Sunday, May 29, 2011

re-post from the philadelphia bike coalition page

Greater Philadelphia Bicycle News: Bicyclist Killed by Hit and Run Driver in Upper Bucks County

one reason you want to be extra careful, even pulled over to the side of the road and the cars will still try to get you, some motorists simply cannot stand seeing folks on bikes, let's hope this hit and run drive is found and convicted. Ghost bike below is a symbol for fallen cyclists.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

NBA Chicago Bull's center Bill Cartright's bike lives on

Bill Cartright's custom Zinn bike, built for the 7'1" center comes alive again in a resale on ebay. My son scored this bike on the Net and is enjoying riding it. Cranks are 210mm, so you have to be a big guy to ride the bike.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When a Tornado Hits a Drilling Site

Cactus Rig 117 Canadian County, Oklahoma. 

Tornado Aftermath. Picture courtesy Derrick Brown.

Link to Story*

May 24, 2011

Injuries reported when storm hits Oklahoma oil rig

Associated Press

EL RENO — An El Reno official says 20 workers at an oil and gas rig were hurt when a possible tornado moved through the area.

Community Services Director Terry Floyd also said Tuesday that the storm did extensive damage to the rig, as well as a Devon Energy production plant and a metal business.

Floyd said he didn't know the extent of the workers' injuries at the rig owned by Cactus Drilling. Emergency workers also contained a gas leak caused by damage to the plant, and damage was reported to Calumet Industries, a metal business.

Floyd also says officials closed Highway 66 between El Reno and Calumet until emergency personnel could evaluate conditions. Interstate 40 was closed but was reopened.

The medical examiner's office has confirmed four fatalities in Canadian County.

* Thanks to Arlington resident, Kim Feil, for sharing this story with us.

North Texas Storms & Gas Leak, May 24, 2011

9:43p The National Weather Service has issued a TORNADO WARNING for Dallas, Hunt, Kaufman, Rockwall, Rains and Van Zandt counties until 10:30 p.m. Doppler radar is detecting a developing tornado in southern Dallas County near Duncanville. The storm is moving to the east at 40 mph and is capable of producing hail larger than baseballs. You need to take cover immediately if you live in Balch Springs, Seagoville, Combine and Crandall. We also have a gas leak at Rufe Snow Drive and Loop 820 in North Richland Hills, where there appears to be wind damage and a power outage. (Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Governor Perry Knew

Internet Speed Enhancement

I hope that everyone has noticed an improvement in internet speed on their workstations in the office starting last week. As part of the move to the cloud for email services I was able to improve the internet speed for all DHCP clients from 3mbps to 25 mbps.

Enjoy workmates.

June Technology Class

I hope to schedule out next employee technology class for mid to late June 2011. The class will cover our new email cloud services in detail which will be a lot of fun. if anyone has any other topic ideas please post your ideas to me by commenting here.

Blogger Status Report

As everyone is aware this blog has been very quite lately. For all of my dedicated readers I apologize. These past several weeks (6-8 I believe) have found the majority of my attention with with Microsoft in an effort to migrate our mail services to their cloud. For the most part this transition has been accomplised, although I am still working on getting out "corporate compliate" archiving up and running.

I thank everyone for their patience during this process, especially my entire communication officer staff who continue to amaze me with their professional and independent work ethic!

I hope to make more regular blog entries from this point forward. Keep your fingers crossed!

Report from the Cloud

Ok it's been about 2 weeks now since the Borough of West Chester moved their email services from an on-premises exchange server to Microsoft's cloud with "Exchange Online". So far so good. During these first 2 weeks we have had everything. As we all know nothing is 100% perfect, except perhaps "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" (I will explain this later). After migrating everyone over to the cloud and on the eve of heading to Disney World for a much needed break Microoft began experiencing what they call "service degregation". This meant that mail flow during the early hours on May 12, 2011 stopped. The good news was that I noticed this at about 5:50 AM and quickly contacted Microsoft Online Support. A technician reported that they were aware of the problem and working on it. A work-around was offered but before anyone arrived in the office the "cloud" was back in service.

New technology can be a little scary and no one really likes change. However I believe that today's world economic situation demands bold and visionary decisions in respect to keeping cost down while striving to offer the best that technology has to offer. The "cloud", I believe will be critical during the next several years, providing organizations with the ability to keep technology cost down while (at the same time) providing high end technological services.

As the "service incident" on May 12, 2011 demonstrates nothing is easy and we will need to learn to "roll with the punches" during these hard economic times if we are to move even more services to the cloud in the future.

We can do this! In the decades past, business was done without the internet and email services. If these services are down from time to time, pick the phone up, reach out and talk to eachother. I do not expect service interruptions to be normal, however we should always be prepared. Keeping cost down is mission critical in these times, and working together the Borough of West Chester will find success and efficent government.

The Borough of West Chester maintains an information technology cost (capitol & salary) that is only 1% of it's annual budget. That is something we can be very proud of. Migrating adapatable services to the cloud will help the borough to sustain such a small cost in this area which is something every taxpayer will be thankful for.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fair Share for Clean Air

If we can't have this, can we can at least join all the other communities in North Texas that have gotten on board with the Fair Share for Clean Air Campaign?

Communities and Counties Now on Board (in order of participation):


Dallas County

Flower Mound


Communities planning to join the campaign shortly:


Grand Prairie (hopefully)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rescuing an old bike

circa 1978 ish
(not sure)

It is not easy finding a good used bike for a fellow 7' tall. My son lives in NYC and wanted a bike. My other son got on the Net and looked and looked and looked. Finally an old Miyata steel frame 69 cm was found. Above and below are before and after pictures of a phenomenal restoration done by a local bike enthusiast. Parts were found after scouring ebay and the Net and finally it all came together.

restored to its original glory with updated parts
new derailleur, new handlebars, seatpost, cables, tubing, tires, tubes, brake pads
headset, stem, shifters and a good clean job, hubs repacked
and the list goes on and on

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Don't Forget!! VOTE Today!

Still time to vote. Polls close at 7:00 PM. Most Westchester Neighbors vote at Garner Elementary School on Polo Road. There is a school board race between Steve Pryor and Tim Johnson. A City Council race in District 3 (not our district) between Bill Nash and Bill Thorn. And a school bond election as well.

If you don't know where to vote go to the Dallas County Elections Web site. Fill in your Precinct # or various other items to find your place to vote today. It will also let you know if you are in the system and accurately registered to vote in Grand Prairie, TX.

Click Here to Find Your Voting Place. Now, go forth and vote.

Friday, May 6, 2011


DRIVERS and HELPERS with experience moving, packing and storing household and commercial goods (click here to apply)

* Ability to assist loading and unloading trucks
* Ability to take directions
* Ability to work well with others

Job Requirements
* Both Drivers and Helpers must have a minimum of one year of actual moving experience
* Employees must be able to pass a criminal background check
* Drivers must be able to pass random drug and alcohol tests
* Drivers must have ability to maintain required D.O.T. log books

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Click Here to Read this IMPORTANT UPDATE:  Biblical Reference to Matthew 5:16: Dallas Drilling Blog

Why is this highly-regarded Highland Park realtor  
Grand Prairie's Trailwood Neighborhood??
Jeffrey A. Barnes

Principal of Alpha-Barnes Realty
12720 Hillcrest Road,  Suite 400
Dallas Texas 75230

(Below) Shale Gas Lease Between 
Matthew 516, LTD

12720 Hillcrest Road, Suite 400
Dallas, Texas 75230

 Chesapeake (2009)

(Above) Barnes Assembly A Well 3H

Four (4) Individual Tracts Matthew 516, LTD
(Approximately 50 Acres of the 256 Acre Pooled Unit)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Borough E-Mail Moves to the Cloud Today!

Today might have seemed just like another rainy Wednesday to you. But it was a BIG day for me. After months of research, planning, preparation and living through "co-existence", today, May 4, 2011 the on-premises exchange (e-mail) server was shut down, hopefully for the final time. I crossed my fingers after shutting the server down and was elated to see mail flowing normally. After a tweak here and there other services that we have all come to rely on such as fax-scan-copy to email, unified messaging and help desk work orders were all up and in service as well.

The magic of the cloud is this. Without having to maintain a mail server and replacing it on average every 4 years at a cost of $20,000 the Borough now has more efficient mail services including enhanced security, superior data protection, liability protection and more ways than ever of connecting in to our email services.

Some of these enhancements include

• 14 days back-up of email is expanded to 10 year compliance archiving.

• As opposed to our email residing on one server at our facility, our email is written simultaneously to 6 "department of defense" certified data centers located at various locations across the United States.

• Enhanced liability protection because “open records” rules require local government to maintain files, including email for information and court requests. The compliance archiving will protect our government because these files will accessible upon request.

• Built-in spam filtering as opposed to having to pay a third party for this protection.

• Our partnership with Microsoft will keep the borough up to date with the highest standards of office productivity while controlling cost.

• The Borough has an information technology staff of one. Moving the e-mail service to Microsoft’s cloud will continue to support maintaining a minimal staff while providing effective technology services.

There are many more exciting things on the horizon in reference to our move to Microsoft’s Cloud like Microsoft 365.
Standby for more news from cloud and enjoy. Boy is it comfortable up here.

The "Usama bin Laden" Virus

Hackers, Spammers and Scammers all love a BIG story, and there certainly is no bigger news item now then the recent take down of Public Enemy Number 1, Usama bin Laden. These hackers and other bad eggs are using this news story to intice people into downloading a file in order to watch a video. This is a HOAX and if you follow the link, download a file from one of these messages you will infect your computer, or become a spamming machine. This hoax is especially active on Facebook at this time.

Be aware that the United States Government has not released any photos or video from their recent operation.

Often the message, either through an email or a social networking site such as Facebook will have a link to a website it wants to redirect you to. Often stating it's an "official source", such as CNN. This is a ploy. Ignore it.

Also be aware that even the best anti-virus software can not prevent a human being from clicking on and downloading an infected file.

Here is the official FBI news release in respect to this recent hoax.

Monday, May 2, 2011

FRACking to Commence Tomorrow W/O Rule 37 Ruling

So, it really was just a Dog and Pony Show? Wow.  This must be one of the purest examples of that ever seen in Texas History.

Chesapeake appears to be all primed and ready to go forward with the FRAC Job on Barnes Assembly A Well 3H ~ even though a DECISION HAS NOT BEEN MADE by the Railroad Commission on the Rule 37 Waiver Hearing conducted on February 1, 2011 in Austin!  Members of the Trailwood community all made it to Austin on that terrible day of ice and snow and did an incredible job of representing themselves and speaking up for their right to NOT SIGN a mineral lease with Chesapeake.

In case you haven't seen or read the Transcript, click here to see it.  Westchester-Grand Prairie Community Alliance members paid the rather pricey fee to obtain the transcript. 

We continue to be bewildered by our Texas Railroad Commission, our City of Grand Prairie AND, of course, as always, Chesapeake.

Pray for us.  Thank you.