I just got done playing "Rally Ball" with my friend Bree here at the station.Â We were being filmed and I'll post the video on here later.Â Anyway, Bree is very cool...tall, thin and beautiful, which is why I chose her to be on the video with me.Â Just watching me horse around with the Kinect games aloneÂ wouldn't be nearly as interesting, and I also wanted to show how the system works with two players.Â I really think we need to have this Kinect for X Box 360 hooked up here at the station all the time.Â It's a great stress relief, and it's GOOD FOR YOU to get up and do something after you've been cooped up in a cubicle,Â or control room, or production roomÂ all day.Â Â Plus, PLAYING with co-workers is a wonderful bonding experience.Â It's the same thing with family game night in your very own home.Â You share some fun, you connect (with Kinect) with each other, and have a fun or at least funny story to tell afterward.Â
So, that's my mission right now.Â To find a space to have the Kinect for X Box 360 hooked up all the time right here at the station.Â I'm SURE nobody would abuse the time.Â Besides, it's such a physical thing, none of the sales types who are all dressed for success would want to have sweat running down their backs, so just a little game here and there would be perfect for all of us.Â
Wish me luck getting this through the committee....
When Kinect for X Box 360 was released this Fall, I was asked if I was interested in the launch of this revolutionary gaming system. I first replied that "I'm not a gamer," but then I was introduced to a whole new way of gaming where you are the controller, and thatâs what got meâ¦Iris, the non-gamerâ¦interested. "Okay," I said, "let's give it a whirl." So we got the system hooked up in the conference room here at KGON and we started playing Kinect Adventures. My favorite was "River Rush" where you ride the rapids and gain points by collecting pins along the way. I've been on real rafting adventures, and this was great fun! The visual experience is so cool. All of the Kinect action games are a blast for both kids and adults. We had the games set up for our annual Halloween party at the station, and the phrase I kept hearing was "I have to have one of these!"
For families with kids, playing together is a fantastic way to spend family game night. While I still adore board games, this is one of those ways where even novice video gaming parents can join in and do pretty well. Hey, I was a total NON GAMER before Kinect! Now, the kids will probably kick your butt Itâs a bonding experience. Plus, it gets everyone up off the couch and with the winter weather blues in full swing, I think we all need a big dose of endorphins filling our souls. Something to chase away thoughts about the gray skies and lingering cold that will last in the Great Pacific Northwest for about 5 more monthsâ¦sigh. Plus, I have another reason to enjoy Kinect. I need to strengthen and exercise. Iâve gone through several physical setbacks in the past year (three surgeries is quite enough, thank you) and this is a fun way to get some of my strength back. I have to be careful of jumping but thereâs lots of other things I can do to get stronger. Now, I have Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, Your Shape Fitness and Dance Central to enjoy!
So, the system arrived and I took it home. That alone was a big improvement because when it was here at the station, I felt like a lab animal when people went past the window and saw me swatting invisible ping pong balls. At home, I can just get comfy and play. To set up the system at home was pretty darned easy, really! The first game I tried at home was Kinect Sports, and I thought bowling was a good low impact way to get started. It was! Then I moved onto Boxing. Oh boy! What a workout. I was dripping sweat and when I finally looked at the clock, I noticed that I had been playing FOR AN HOUR! If this was an exercise class, an exercise machine, or even a walk around the local high school track, I would have been watching the time from about 10 minutes on. Iâm not a gym rat (and if you are, then I applaud your prowessâ¦but thatâs not me), and every piece of exercise equipment that weâve ever had in the house became a clothing rack in no time at all. Then they go out to a garage sale and turn into someone elseâs space issue.
So, Iâll be keeping you in the loop on my progress and the coolest parts of the âGood for youâ games. This is going to have to really be fun for me to stay with it, and so far, so good! Click here to find out more about Kinect for X Box 360.
While thinking of something to blog about,Â a letter came into my email here at work about theÂ use of company email.Â From time to time we have to fill out forms that say we are being proper and businesslike around here, and I'm fine with all of it.Â I've heard enough horror stories about people sending dirty jokes or pictures to "all staff" and it just sends cold shivers down my spine.
Not that I'd ever send any of those things.Â Okay, maybe from home, but not from work.Â The list that follows is just good advice for anyone to remember.Â I will include my own comments in parenthese and italics.
Your work email is property of the Company.Â Anything you send or receive can be viewed, retrieved or saved remotely by a database administrator at any time, with or without notice to you.Â Use a personal email account for personal emails.Â
DO NOT email when angry.Â Â Count to ten, take a deep breath, and re-read your draft 5 minutes later â and remove any inappropriate adjectives and adverbs in it before hitting send.Â Â (I have learned the hard way on this one...but it was a scathingly brilliant rant.)
DO NOT discuss confidential information and forward inappropriate content.Â If you would not be happy to see your email displayed on the front page of the New York Times, don't send it.Â Never make any libelous, defamatory, offensive, or obscene comments in emails, even if you intend them as a joke.Â (Yeah, copy and paste is just too darned easy.)
DO NOT attach unnecessary files.Â Only send or forward attachments when necessary.Â Also be aware of the size of attachments; many systems have file size limits that will reject any email in excess of those limits.Â Â (My birth mom still has dial up.Â We can barely send a letter to her.)
DO NOT forward virus warnings and chain letters.Â If you receive an email message warning you of a new super virus, it is most probably a hoax.Â Same for solicitations for charitable causes.Â By forwarding such emails you use valuable bandwidth, or worse, potentially spread viruses.Â Just delete.
DO NOT reply to spam.Â By replying to spam, for example to unsubscribe, you are confirming that your email address is â'liveâ and will only generate even more spam.Â Just delete.
Proofread emails and run Spell Check before sending.Â (It's also nice if you know how to use the English language and the proper use of "their, they're, and there."Â Â Â Â It's an added bonus if you actually know some of the rules of punctuation.Â I weep with joy.Â I know I'm not perfect when I write, but I do try.Â Go ahead, correct me.)
Do not overuse Reply to All. Only use âReply to Allâ if each recipient really needs to see your reply.Â (It'sÂ as thoughÂ people feel like they have to chime in on every little comment so they are perceived as a team player.Â Stop it.Â Stop it right now!)Â
Do not overuse the high priority option.Â The same goes with the use of words like URGENT and IMPORTANT in the body of the message.Â We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf.Â (He was eaten, right?)
When sending emails to large numbers of users, add all recipients as bccâs to prevent inadvertent replies to all.Â (My sister-in-law still hasn't figured this one out, bless her heart.Â Just an FYI, if you say something bad about a person and follow it up with "bless his/her heart" it's like you never said a bad thing at all.Â Ask my Mom.Â I learned it from her.)
All good points and advice.Â I'd also like to add a couple of other things for my friends and family.Â
Please fact check any and all political BS that you forward BEFORE you forward it.Â On second thought, don't forward it at all, because it will probably cause us to not speak for a while.Â On third thought, send it.Â It's a good reason for me to not call.
Do not send anything with sparkling angels, dumb punch lines, blonde jokes,Â threats if the email is not forwarded, or animated artwork.Â I will instantly delete these and start deleting allÂ email from sender when I get these.Â Â Also please do not send me anything with corny music in the background that is supposed to inspire me with a picture display.Â Do not send Power Point attachments.Â My birth father does this all the time since he retired and I don't have the time that he has to just sit in my underwear and read this stuff on the computer like he does.Â I must now wash my mind of that visual.
It's all about common sense when it comes to the internet and some people just don't get it.Â
Excuse me, I must now go to my social networking site so I can see if I have messages that the company can't see.
My friend Joey Scruggs and I recently connected again.Â One of the many benefits of Facebook.Â Reconnecting with old friends.Â Not that either Joey or myself are in any remote way old...but we did meet a number of years ago.
Anyway, Joey is always involved in local music, and he told me about a gig that I wanted to pass along.Â Here's the info:
BILL KIRCHEN, Commander Cody's original guitarist is coming to Duff's Garage May 28th to do a CD release Party. The guy is considered one of the finest guitarists in the world.Â If you need to know more, here's a link to his website: http://billkirchen.com/CrosstownArts/client_music/kirchen/
One of my favorite driving songs of all time is "Hot Rod Lincoln."Â Not only does it have kick ass guitar that is throwing out great licks, but the guitarÂ in the songÂ is like a vocal...itÂ is so expressive!Â Click here to listen to this incredible version of Hot Rod Lincoln by Bill Kirchen.Â Â The man not only does an incredible version of the song, but alsoÂ mimics all these different guitar styles in the song and works them into the story of the Hot Rod Lincoln.Â I'm talking about everyone from Chuck Berry to Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple.Â Un-freaking-real!!!Â The lyrics of the song are so great too.Â This is the part that always makes my pedal start heading to the floor-
Pulling out of San Pedro late one night
With the moon and the stars just shining bright
We was headed up grapevine Hill
Passing cars like they was standing still
Now, for those of you who have never driven the famous, or infamous Grapevine, it probably doesn't mean as much.Â But for those of us, and especially truck drivers I'm sure, who have, it's pure poetry.Â And then there's the line that could have described my teen driving years, and certainly my son's:
Wound it up to 110
My speedometer said I hit top end
My foot was glued like lead to the floor
And that's all there is, and there ain't no more
See Bill Kirchen play live!
There seems to be several stories recently about how people mess up their lives using Facebook incorrectly.Â Here's one about what not to do on Facebook because it could ruin your career, or possible career from Yahoo Finance:
With more than 400 million active visitors, Facebook is arguably the most popular social networking site out there. And while the site is known for the casual social aspect, many users also use it as a professional networking tool. With that kind of reach, Facebook can be a valuable tool for connecting to former and current colleagues, clients and potential employers. In fact, surveys suggest that approximately 30% of employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees â even more than those who check LinkedIn, a strictly professional social networking site. Don't make these Facebook faux-pas â they might cost you a great opportunity.
1. Inappropriate Pictures
It may go without saying, but prospective employers or clients don't want to see pictures of you chugging a bottle of wine or dressed up for a night at the bar. Beyond the pictures you wouldn't want your grandparents to see, seemingly innocent pictures of your personal life will likely not help to support the persona you want to present in your professional life.
2. Complaining About Your Current Job
You've no doubt done this at least once. It could be a full note about how much you hate your office, or how incompetent your boss is, or it could be as innocent as a status update about how your coworker always shows up late. While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum where it can be found by others is not the best career move. Though it may seem innocent, it's not the kind of impression that sits well with a potential boss.
3. Posting Conflicting Information to your Resume
If you say on your resume that your degree is from Harvard, but your Facebook profile says you went to UCLA, you're likely to be immediately cut from the interview list. Even if the conflict doesn't leave you looking better on your resume, disparities will make you look at worst like a liar, and at best careless.
4. Statuses You Wouldn't Want Your Boss to See
Everyone should know to avoid statuses like "Tom plans to call in sick tomorrow so he can get drunk on a Wednesday. Who cares that my big work project isn't done?" But you should also be aware of less flamboyant statuses like "Sarah is watching the gold medal hockey game online at her desk". Statuses that imply you are unreliable, deceitful, and basically anything that doesn't make you look as professional as you'd like, can seriously undermine your chances at landing that new job.
5. Not Understanding Your Security Settings
The security settings on Facebook have come a long way since the site started. It is now possible to customize lists of friends and decide what each list can and cannot see. However, many people do not fully understand these settings, or don't bother to check who has access to what. If you are going to use Facebook professionally, and even if you aren't, make sure you take the time to go through your privacy options. At the very least, your profile should be set so that people who are not your friend cannot see any of your pictures or information.
6. Losing by Association
You can't control what your friends post to your profile (although you can remove it once you see it), nor what they post to their own profiles or to those of mutual friends. If a potential client or employer sees those Friday night pictures your friend has tagged you in where he is falling down drunk, it reflects poorly on you, even if the picture of you is completely innocent. It's unfortunate, but we do judge others by the company they keep, at least to some extent. Take a look at everything connected to your profile, and keep an eye out for anything you wouldn't want to show your mother.
Facebook Can Help You Get Hired â¦ or Fired
The best advice is to lock down your personal profile so that only friends you approve can see anything on that profile. Then, create a second, public profile on Facebook purely for professional use. This profile functions like an online resume, and should only contain information you'd be comfortable telling your potential employer face to face. Having a social networking profile is a good thing â it presents you as technologically and professionally savvy. Just make sure your profile is helping to present your best side â not the side that got drunk at your buddy's New Year's party.
Great advice.Â All of it.Â Here's another one to remember:From AOL
The most dangerous thing you can post to your Facebook page or Twitter account is information about where you're going when you are not at home.
Â By telling the world you are on vacation in the Bahamas, or even just eating at your favorite local restaurant, you're letting potential thieves know that you're not at home.
Financial writers Ken and Daria Dolan warn that how you use Facebook and Twitter can be hazardous to your wealth!
"Burglars are fond of your constant updates," the Dolans told AOL. "Would you stand up in the middle of a crowd of strangers and announce that you're leaving on vacation for three days and then tell everyone your address? Of course not, but that's exactly what you are doing if you share such information online."
They cite the case of an Arizona man who told his 2,000 Twitter followers that he was leaving town. When he returned, he found his home had been burglarized and video equipment, worth thousands of dollars, had been stolen. "Even saying you are running to the mall, going out to dinner...is too much information," the Dolans explained to AOL.
One Web site recently found itself in the news for bringing attention to the problem. The site pleaserobme.com was designed to show how easy it is for anyone to sift through Twitter updates for a "feed" of people's current locations. The recent buzz caused confusion, because of course the site was not intended to give criminals the keys to your home. But it did achieve its goal of bringing much-needed attention to the potential danger.
Some insurance companies are catching on. Legal & General Insurance in New England says Facebook and Twitter users could be hit with higher homeowner's insurance premiums. Why? All that blabbing about activities away from home means they face a higher risk of burglary.
The company thinks burglars are actually "shopping" for victims on social media sites, looking not only for an indication you're not at home, but also photos of your home and valuables. That cute picture of your son hugging the dog? A burglar is looking in the background, eyeing your big-screen TV and new stereo system.
And it's not just adults. Teenagers are even more likely to post personal information, so Legal & General has warned that parents who aren't even online themselves could face higher homeowner's insurance premiums if their children are online.