The Great Lamp Caper

Quite possibly the funniest email thread I’ve ever seen(update: link removed to protect the innocent) is being passed around work lately. This is how it starts:

Subject: my Lamp

The lamp from my table disappeared when I was on vacations. Could you please help me to return it back?

Thank you

~Alex (Developer)

Names have all been changed and, besides possible leads on the great Lamp caper, there’s no company confidential information in the entire thread so I have no problem sharing it. To understand why this is funny, you need to know who the 2 parties involved are.

Alex is just a low level Software Developer. Possibly been here a few years, maybe not.

His email is addressed to Dave aka CEO who responds below, and the conversation continues from there.

Dave (CEO): I’m sorry about your lamp. What would you suggest I do?

Alex (Developer): I do not know… as I understand some service people removed lamps from a lot of desks. Some people did not allow them to do this, but I was on vacation. Probably you can tell me who did this, by whose order or/and who is responsible and what I have to do to request the lamp back…

Dave (CEO): On the assumption that you are serious, I have copied Carl in our real estate group who can look into the great lamp caper. I wish you all the best.

Alex (Developer): I sent these emails mistakenly not looking at where I send them. I am so sorry. Please accept my apologies.

Dave (CEO): Don’t apologize. It’s ok. Chris will sort it out.

I find it awesome that he responded and I love the responses, but I sorta feel bad for the guy because it’s been passed on to EVERYONE.

The Mercedes Maybach

My friend Emily E-mailed this to me and I figured I’d share it here.

The car pictured in this note is a Mercedes Maybach. Notice the ‘recliner’ rear seats and the ‘electrostatic’ sunroof. The sunroof turns from opaque to crystal clear depending on the passengers preference.

Maybach 1

Maybach 2

Maybach 3

Maybach 4

Maybach 5

Maybach 6


Maybach 7

Gmail Windows Live ID

Microsoft Windows Live IDIf you’re like me you use One E-mail address. I used to be a fan of two. One for junk forms, another for real use. Since spam filtering is so good now, and custom filters are so easy to customize, it became much easier to just get it down to one.

A very long time ago I created a Windows Live ID using an E-mail address from Time Warner. Actually, I created an MSN Messenger account. Later it was turned into a Live ID once Microsoft came up with the idea.

I have long since abandoned the Time Warner E-mail address but I have been stuck with the Windows Live ID that uses it. A short time ago I decided I’d switch. It was about time to combine accounts and utilize my one E-mail address as my Live ID account as well.

I never realized it would be so difficult to create a Gmail Windows Live ID. The first thing I did of course was to attempt to register using the normal windows live registration methods. Of course it instructed me that my account already existed. I thought this was strange but who knows, maybe I did create one already. I started the forgot my password procedure but was quickly told the account didn’t exist. Strange. After a bit of research, I learned that after a year of inactivity windows live accounts are disabled. No matter so I set out on the task of reactivating it. After several weeks of E-mails and live chats with microsoft I finally arrived upon the following E-mail:

Hello Randy,

Thank you for writing back to Windows Live ID Technical Support. I have read your messages with us and understand how inconvenient it can be when you are unable to access your account. This is Don and I look forward to providing you with the necessary assistance.

You can register your own e-mail account (Non-Hotmail or Non-MSN account) as your Windows Live ID if the e-mail address you are using is not part of a reserved domain. I would like to inform you that a company that controls the registration of all e-mail addresses within that domain manages a reserved domain. Recently, Gmail has reserved the creation of Windows Live IDs.

As of this time, users cannot register as their Windows Live ID using our registration Web site. I suggest that you contact Gmail support team for further assistance.

For the meantime, you can sign up for a Windows Live Hotmail which is automatically a Windows Live ID.

To create a new Windows Live Hotmail account, please visit:

some very long link

Please note that you will be directed to Windows Live ID Help Pane. If you encounter any issues, kindly verify which of the steps did not work for you as we want to make sure the instructions are easy to follow.

We appreciate your continued support as we strive to provide you with the highest quality service available. Thank you for using Windows Live ID.



Windows Live ID Technical Support

I had no desire to create a new hotmail account since I was on a mission to reduce my accounts down to using a single E-mail address. I’m quite positive that my Microsoft Live ID is the very last account remaining not using my gmail address.

So I was trapped. Or so I thought, until I stumbled upon this little gem. I’m not sure how or where I found this, but at some point I happened across a link that was supposed to work for Gmail address registration. I’m not sure whats different with the link, I haven’t examined it closely. I will, however, tell you that the following link does work to register a Gmail Windows Live ID.

Register Your Gmail Account as a Windows Live ID

Up my (feed) Arsenal

A while back I posted about feed 43 and Feed Rinse.  Since that time I’ve become even more of a feed junkie.  I find not having to go searching for information a monumental time saver, and as such I’ve let my subscriptions grow to well over 200.  Also I’d say I’ve become much more informed which may or may not turn out to be a good thing.  My weapon of choice is still Google Reader and while talking with my friend Matt I discovered he has been using bloglines.  We talked for a bit about the different features and I came to realize Google Reader is missing a few really nice things.  Since our brief chat I’ve found several new feed tools to enhance my tool set.  There are three features which Matt takes advantage of which I was unaware existed.

  1. E-mail feeds.  Use this feature to sign up for a newsletter which you want to receive but prefer to read in a feed format rather than E-mail.  It can also be used for any site which you don’t want to have your email address.  This is especially handy for those sites which block the ‘+’ operator in your E-mail address (which I wrote about here).
  2. Tracking Shipments.  Create a feed that directly links to your tracking number so you can keep ‘track’ of where it is and what it’s doing.
  3. Public feed sharing.  Let people know what you’re reading and where.  I recently wrote about using the shared items feature on Google Reader but that was just for individual items.  This brings it to a whole new level.  It can also be used to share your blogroll so you can provide an automatic blogroll list via feed.

Let me first tackle #1.  A few days ago I discovered Mail Bucket.  This handy website will create a feed out of any email address you send it.  They allow dots, dashes etc.  All you need to do is have E-mails sent to and the feed for that E-mail address instantly available at  Remember though, this is publicly available so make sure no sensitive E-mails are being sent there.

#2. Matt happened across Power Sellers Unite.  This site allows you to create a feed from a UPS or USPS tracking number.  This is something I had previously attempted to find but other sites had been blocked by UPS.  Let’s hope this one doesn’t anytime soon.

#3. This one turned out to be much easier than I had thought.  As it turns out you can make any folder in Google Reader public.  Thanks to Google Reader’s tagging/folder system this turns out wonderfully as any feed can exist in more than one folder.  Therefor you can keep them categorized as you wish, and simply add a feed to the ‘public’ folder (or in my case use the blogroll tag).

Another helpful site I happened across recently that can help you Up Your (feed) Arsenal is Yahoo Pipes.  This fancy little site might one day replace both Feed 43 and Feed Rinse and numerous others but for now it’s just a site to keep an eye on.

When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time

Mr Light Blue

Yesterday Rachel and I went to go see the Puppies again. They’re getting Huge! I think we’ve picked out the one we want. Rachel and I both like “Mr Light Blue.” Maybe I’ll setup a poll to let people pick which puppy they think we should get. We still need to decide on a name. If you have suggestions let us know.

Matt showed a few coworkers and myself two cool things to fight off SPAM. A feature built into all E-mail servers and a new telephone service. Both of which if implemented properly will significantly reduce the amount of SPAM you’ll get.The following E-mail addresses are all equivalent:


Start only handing out E-mail addresses with +___ in them. This allows you to filter the incoming E-mails very easily, see where a lot of your spam is coming from (aka who’s selling it) and maybe take some actions in that regard.

Grand Central is a free telephone forwarding service that you can use as your own personal phone screener. One of my favorite features is the ability to send all incoming phone calls for anyone you don’t already know to voicemail. If you do want to take all phone calls, people you don’t know are prompted for their name and you are given several options before ever talking to them. The available options include recording the conversation, sending it to voicemail (and listening in) or simply taking the call. Check it out it’s really slick.

According to PC World the 50 Most Important People on the Web.

If you like to browse Blog’s In the WordPress development Blog‘s most recent post they listed the speakers of the SxSW this weekend. I started browsing a few of them. Some are very interesting, I’ll post my favorites later.

I’ve said for a while that the next car I buy is either going to have built in GPS or i’m going to build a computer (with GPS) to put in the car. It looks like BMW is getting it right. Check out their latest onboard computer, its pretty sweet:

I’ve always kept track of a lot of websites and with RSS it certainly makes it nicer. However I never found an RSS Reader that I really liked. Recently a friend alerted me to Google’s Reader. I’ve started importing RSS feeds that I like to keep an eye on and it’s pretty nice. However I found that it means there’s just another site I have to go to to see if anything new has happened. I did some googling and found a Google Reader Notifier Extension for Firefox. Seem’s to be exactly what I wanted.

I added a Wedding page to the site. At the moment it just contains a count down timer. We’ll add more relevent info later like time/date/place/photographer/dj/honeymoon/hotel suggestions/etc.

Rachel and I will be in Buffalo for St Patricks day. We’re going to see Piebald. They’re kicking off a new tour starting in Buffalo and Rachel’s friend Allison knows them. We’re tagging along and we might even get to meet the band. Pretty sweet. If you want to listen to some of their stuff take a look click here.