Andrew Connell

Latest Musings topics

All the latest Musings pages on this site.

Here you'll find random posts that don't belong in any of the other categories on this site.

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    Blog: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    Wow… this past year has been one hell of a ride. It all started by testing myself and chasing a dream of quitting the day job to go out on my own . Looking back it was one of the best decisions I made professionally. My work life has been split up a few ways. I wrote a class on MOSS 2007 Web Content Management and teach it as both a 4-day hands-on class as well as a 5-day Live Meeting based class exclusively through the Ted Pattison Group (Ted, BTW, is one of the best people to have as a business partner).
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    Blog: Tim Tebow for the Heisman Award

    Go Gators baby… Go Gator Nation!
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    Blog: A dissenting voice: splitting TechEd US into two weeks stinks for SharePoint professionals

    A few weeks ago Microsoft announced that TechEd US was going to be split from the 1-week format to the two week format that TechEd Barcelona does. The first week (June 3-6) is for developers , the second week (June 10-13) is for IT professionals . This was done based on attendee feedback and I know many popular people in this business love this decision. But frankly, I think it sucks from my point of view.
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    Blog: The NFL has to get their head out of their collective arse

    The NFL has their own channel, the NFL Network. They are in a fight with cable companies around the US trying to get them to include their channel on the basic packages, yet they also want to make it the fifth most expensive channel. They claim people like Comcast put their own channels on the basic packages (I think the Golf Channel falls in this bucket) so the cable companies are being unfair to resist.
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    Blog: Does EVERY freaking blogger need to tell you that VS 2008 is on MSDN now?

    Damn… I think I just did it too. I’m on holiday this week deep in the western NC mountains with the family. Decided to fire up the laptop tonight and sync mail & RSS feeds as everyone turned in early. I’m not even 20% through my feeds and I must have just seen the 100th post of someone spouting off VS 2008 is now on MSDN for download. Jesus guys… is this REALLY freaking necessary?
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    Blog: Home office setup (geek pr0n) :)

    My home office setup. On the desk is my primary machine, Dell Latitude D820 (2Ghz Centrino Duo, 4GB, 80GB SATA 7200RPM HDD, 2nd modular 7200RPM IDE / DVD+-DL), beautiful Viewsonic VA1912wb 21" widescreen, Uniden wireless phones, Treo 700wx, Zune, wireless USB mouse, two WD 5400 RPM USB drives, and my MSFT Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000. In the desk is my switch for this side of my network, Vonage router, and old skool KVM).
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    Blog: An ad written just for me...

    Thumbing through one of the magazines laying around just waiting to be dropped in the recycle bucket, I noticed an add that caught my eye. After reading the whole thing, it hit me: there is an advertising agency that knows EXACTLY how to pull a hook-line-and-sinker on me. I scanned it in but the image looks like crap… here’s the ad and text of the ad: _I, ___(insert name)_____, do solemnly swear that before I die, I will do the following: Experience what it’s like to not only drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porsche, and AMG series Mercedes, but gain an intimate knowledge of these supercars when I push all five to their extreme limits under the guidance of a highly-decorated professional racecar driver who will teach me elite driving dynamics like how to maintain neutral balance through a decreasing radius, double apex turn and accelerate out at top speed on a world-class track that is mine for the day.
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    Blog: Microsoft and TestDriven.NET.... I don't get it

    Many others have already voiced their opinions on the matter like Bil , Phil , Frans , and MSFT’s own Dan Fernandez among others on the soap opera known as Microsoft vs. TestDriven.Net / Jamie Cansdale . If you aren’t aware of what’s going on, here’s the skinny: Jamie released a version of TestDriven.Net as an open source project that works with the Visual Studio 2005 Express SKU’s. However, the VS Express EULA states that it can’t load any add ins (paraphrasing here).
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    Blog: Sydney Day 1

    First of all, 35hrs of travel from Florida to Sydney, Australia is a LONG trip. But it’s worth it… Sydney is beautiful!
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    Blog: DevExpress rocks - they've "solved" the newsgroup/web forum delima (pay attention Microsoft!)

    It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of the productivity tools CodeRush & Refactor! Pro for Visual Studio 2005 by DevExpress . While I’ve only played around creating custom plugins, one of the challenges I, along with so many others, have faced is a lack of documentation for plugin development… something equivalent to an SDK. The answer was always simple… head to the DevExpress newsgroups. The Plugin newsgroup contained a wealth of information.
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    Blog: My Vista beef...

    So many folk have come out against Vista… but this won’t be another one of those posts. I love my Vista… love it like crazy. Still got a few things I have to iron out, but for the most part I’m very happy. However, there is one thing that’s driving me insane, one that’s annoying, and another that might be a REALLY big problem. Vista Annoyance - Fails to get IP from some DHCP Servers Which ones?
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    Blog: Proof bad things happen in three's...

    What a week… arg… so much lost productivity. Maybe this is just karma for my public slap of the Ohio State Buckeyes . At any rate, things started off bad, got frustrating, and then just got worse. **Bad Thing #1 - Sunday: The Day QuickBooks Died…**On Monday night, as I watched the latter half of the NCAA Championship Game between Florida & Ohio State (did I mention GO GATORS! ?), I popped open my laptop to get some backlogged tasks wrapped up in QuickBooks.
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    Blog: Vista folk, beware of McAfee VirusScan and Security Center

    I’ve been using McAfee Security Center / VirusScan for a few years now and have been fairly pleased with it. It wouldn’t allow me to do certain things, specifically like exclude certain file types which is very important when living in virtual machines (so, I’ve been shutting A/V scanning off while in a VM). But lately I’ve been having a lot of issues after a recent McAfee update to their Security Center / VirusScan v11.
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    Blog: What I'm listening to...

    It’s no secret to those close to me that even though I’m an American to the core, I still hold true to my heritage as an Irishman (so what if it’s been a few generations when the O’Connell’s came across the ditch and dropped the “O” from our name). Want to win me over at a conference? Easy: buy me a Guinness or a Black & Tan . :) All hip to a new album by one of my favorite bands that was released a few weeks ago.
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    Blog: Oh Vista you're so fine, you really make me blow my mind... hey Vista!

    There’s a fair share of negative Vista posts out there on the blogosphere, such as Mark Miller’s “ Vista, I’m so Pista ” (dude cracks me up… it’s not a negative Vista post, just a rant on MaxVista). However, first a disclaimer, I have to post my positive experience. First, I’m not using Vista as a development platform. Yes, I do have VS 2005 & SQL 2005 installed, but I rarely fire them up.
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    Blog: Windows Live Mobile Search ROCKS!

    I noticed this the other day on a few blogs, including the Live Search blog . This may be cooler than sliced bread! Now with your Windows Mobile device , after downloading & installing Live search for mobile, I can easily get directions from point A->B (by either entering an address, or by picking an address from my contact list), see a map of my area… a LIVE map, looks identical to the one you have on Local Live .
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    Blog: Florida Gators - National Champions!

    I got my Christmas wish :) How ironic that the only Florida fan I could find in Colorado was someone who just recently moved from the Jacksonville Beach area (only 20 miles from me). Sure, I knew our defense was good, but man, THAT good? And zero mistakes by QB Leak… that was a bit of a surprise too. Great way to finish your college football career as a senior!
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    Blog: I've been tagged, so here are "5 things you don't know about me"

    You seen this whole I’ve been tagged thing? Man, a search for that phrase on Technorati has over 34k hits (all within the last few days)! After not checking my feeds for a few days (ya know, New Years Eve, college football, duh!), I see that I’ve been tagged by Shane Perran , Sahil Malik , and the new Mindsharp employee Keith Richie . Geez guys, all this tagging and I feel like the grafiti’d wall under an overpass, loaded with local gang symbols!
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    Blog: All I want for Christmas is...

    Is a National Championship! Florida vs. Ohio State , January 8, 2007 in Glendale Arizona… Go Gators! BTW, anyone know of a good sports bar in Loveland, CO where I can watch the game (traveling that day)? GO GATORS!
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    Blog: Musings on the state of RSS aggregators and NNTP readers...

    This is by far in no way the first time I’ve ranted about the state of RSS aggregators and newsgroup readers. I came across a post that Nick Bradbury wrote last week ( and again, earlier this week ), the guy behind the popular RSS aggregator FeedDemon (which I’ve been using for the last year or so… and I’m quite pleased with it), added that mentioned a new feature coming to a future release of FeedDemon.
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    Blog: My Vista Experience So Far...

    First off, before I installed Windows Vista Ultimate x86 (RTM) for the first time last week, I had zero hands-on experience with it. Sure, I downloaded and burned the ISO’s of the beta, interim, and beta bits, but I never installed it. I hadn’t even seen a single presentation on Vista, or anyone using Vista during a presentation of something else. Frankly, I had enough on my plate to really spend any time really watching it aside from a few keynotes at TechEd or PDC…
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    Blog: A blogging milestone: 1,000 posts

    Its been almost three years since I started blogging and with the recent flood of posts thanks to today’s release of MOSS 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh, I hit the mark of my 1,000th post (this is 1,001). I never really had a goal of reaching any number of posts, it just happened. The number of posts doesn’t mean as much to me as another milestone around the corner…
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    Blog: In remembrance of September 11, 2001

    I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the first news. We had just moved into our first house the previous weekend and everything was still pushed away from the walls while we were still painting. I was almost to work when the sports talk radio show cut in to say a plane had hit one of the towers. Once I got into the office, my boss had the TV on.
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    Blog: Scott Adams just figured out how to solve the Middle East issue...

    We’ve all done it, someone IM’s us something and we reply LOL, or LMAO, or ROTFLMAO… maybe even the rare HCTISDFTIJPM*… but rarely is it true. I just saw Phil mention that Scott Adams posted that he figured out how to solve the problems with all the hostility in the Middle East… and he may be onto something. For me, a honest and true LMAO moment: Recently we had a heat wave in California.
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    Blog: On open source and naming conventions...

    **First on naming conventions…**Recently a series of posts caught my eye ( via Bil ) on Coding in an Igloo that went on and on about code naming conventions. This guy looked at the various naming options and conventions most of us use and then gave his $.02 on what he used and why. he covered SQL Server objects, UI controls, classes, interfaces, properties, fields, local variables, methods, etc… quite a good read.
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    Blog: Windows Desktop Beauty Contest 2006 by Roy Osherove

    Roy Osherove started a beauty contest for the best Windows Desktop. All you have to do is create an account, login, take a screenshot of your desktop, and upload it to the site. And what’s a beauty contest without prizes? 1st Prize - MSDN Premium Subscription & fame forever 2nd Prize - TBD 3rd Prize - TBD Submissions must be in by the end of August 2006 (is that Roy’s time, my time, your time?
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    Blog: RECAP: JAXDUG July 12 Talk on Virtualization and Developer Tools

    First, thank you to everyone who attended my talk at the JAXDUG meeting last night . I was quite surprised at the turnout with a last minute change in venue (what’s up with that Merrill Lynch security? Damn.. that’s some tight stuff!). Second, I’d like to apologize for not getting to spend as much time on the development tools like I had planned. I noticed the virtualization part of the talk was longer than expected, but I decided to wrap up the virtualization best practices piece and then we’d just run late and those not interested in dev tools could leave.
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    Blog: JAXDUG talk reminder, blog subscription cleaning, and musings

    JAXDUG Talk - July 12, 2006 @ 6p Tomorrow night I’m giving a talk at the Jacksonville Developer User Group ( JAXDUG ) on virtualization & developer tools at 6p at the Bank of America campus off Southside Blvd… get more info on it here (including the talk abstract & detailed location information). Blog subscription cleaning After a very untimely database corruption of my RSS aggregator ( Omea Reader ) last week which resulted in numerous subscriptions being delivered to the wrong feed (very annoying to get CLR debugging posts in a SharePoint UI blog), I finally reverted back to an old backup from before TechEd.
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    Blog: Friday humor

    A few of my favorite Dilberts before I head out on a nice vacation through the 4th of July: And my personal favorite - Audios - cya in July
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    Blog: Linksys technical support sucks... REALLY sucks

    Right before the SuperBowl, I made the switch to HDTV. I got my TV, DirecTV HD receiver, and a power line filter/surge protector from Best Buy. If you’re a member of their Rewards program, you get coupons based on the amount you spend. Well, spending a bundle for my setup, I got about $80 in Rewards coupons. Finally decided it was time to upgrade my broadband router at home & let Best Buy pay for it.
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    Blog: Funny: 1986 World Series Game 6 Re-Enacted in RBI Baseball

    Some people have WAY too much time on their hands… A guy decided to enter a contest to win $25,000 for creating the best Internet viral video. So what did he do? He re-enacted the bottom of the 10th inning of the 1986 World Series Game 6 on the Nintendo game RBI Baseball, and recorded all 8+ minutes of it… including Bill Buckner’s blunder that kept the Mets alive and eventually win the 1986 World Series!
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    Blog: A good day for Gator Nation

    I haven’t been the most vocal fan over the course of March Madness, but that doesn’t mean I’m not on cloud 9 with the rest of Gator Nation. Today is a good day to be a Florida Alumni… GO GATORS! 2006 National Champions!
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    Blog: I *love* Microsoft Outlook 2007 (but RSS support leaves more to be desired)

    I can’t say it enough or any more effectively… I absolutely love the enhancements in Outlook 2007. My five favorite features (in order): Todo Bar: All my reminders/tasks in one, always on, panel! If I’ve flagged an email as something I should follow up on tomorrow, or added a task to do by the end of the week, or have an appointment this afternoon, I love the fact that ALL of that shows in one integrated pane!
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    Blog: Gotta love TheDailyWTF.com ...

    Every few days, I check my /Entertainment folder that has about 10 or so feeds in it. Three of the feeds always have something amusing from the previous few days, then there’s Dilbert … can’t ever get enough Dilbert. Two recent posts stood out at TheDailyWTF.com, a blog that takes submissions from developers about development “things” that make you just go WTF ?!?! Post 1 ( actual post source ):
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    Blog: My scariest night ever: February 3-4, 2006

    I’ll preface this with: If you plan to fly anytime soon in bad weather, this isn’t the story to read. Before Friday, the roughest/scariest flight I had taken was from Las Vegas to Los Angeles in 120mph crosswinds… that’s now the 3rd roughest/scariest flight. After my MSP->ATL flight was delayed 2hrs, I finally board my standby ATL->JAX flight (missed the first one due to the MSP delay) at 9pm… expected to arrive home NLT 10:45p… but Mother Nature had different plans.
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    Blog: I've got some Windows Live Messenger beta invites... want one?

    I don’t have many (less than 5)… but if you want one, contact me. I don’t want to see “I want one”… I want to hear how much you use Messenger, where you use it (work/home/mobile), and get creative (seriously, more points for creativity) about how being in the beta would benefit you. Please submit your request via the contact form on my site (not in the comments to this post).
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    Blog: CNET CPU dual core battle royal: AMD vs Intel

    I admit that I don’t know much about AMD. I bearly understand their product line and what everything means (the model numbers)… typically I just go with what’s familiar: Intel. CNET just posted a new article where they tested the Intel dual core against the AMD dual core… and the AMD chip blew the Intel chip away. Interesting read… » Dual-core desktop CPU bout: AMD vs. Intel
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    Blog: Nifty trick for shippers and meeting their promised delivery dates.

    Now I know UPS’ little trick if they happen to fall under the circumstances where they’ve promised delivery within 2 days but it doesn’t look like that will happen… Just before Christmas I ordered a new taptop ( Toshiba Tecra M4 TabletPC ). Because I didn’t select one of the preconfigured systems, it had to be built (I wanted 2GB of RAM and they wanted to charge something around $650 for an upgrade to 2GB from 512MB… instead I’ll post the included 256MB that I specified in my config to ebay and snap in two 1GB modules I got from Crucial for a grand total of $210).
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    Blog: Sony PSP Rocks!

    Twas two days before Christmas and I was hoping for a PSP under my tree , and after a good trick by my wonderful wife, I’m now the proud owner of a Sony PSP ! Until I had one in my hands Christmas morning, I was going off everyone else’s reactions. The quality of the graphics and the entire system (built-in WiFi, built-in speakers are actually not that bad, and the feel of the unit rocks!
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    Blog: Merry Christmas to all...

    Merry Christmas to all my blog readers… I hope all the gadgets you want are sitting under the tree all wrapped up and resting for some marathon usage next week. I’m hoping there’s a PSP under my tree!
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    Blog: I think I've finally found a NNTP/RSS/ATOM reader I can be satisfied with: Omea Reader by JetBrains

    For the purposes of this post, when I say feed, I mean blogs or anything that syndicates their site via RSS, ATOM, RDF, or carrier pigeon. Readers of this blog will no doubt know that I have specific demands for a full-featured feed aggregator and newsgroup (NNTP) reader/poster. I’m also quite fickle in jumping between different applications . Before I go any further… I don’t want an online reader. My reader must be a thick client running on my PC… just my requirement.
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    Blog: Don't mess with ICANN... at least don't let the U.N. get involved

    This week the first ever meeting hosted by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union in Tunisia. “One of the goals of the summit is to advance the ‘internationalization’ of what is known as ‘Internet governance’.”1 It is expected at this meeting that there will be pressure on the U.S. delegation from other member countries (such as China, Iran, Libya, the E.U., and others to name a few) and their stance to maintain control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non profit based in the U.
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    Blog: Christmas Wishlist: I want a convertible

    Anyone curious? I want the new Gateway S-7200C 14” widescreen convertible with WinXP TablePC 2005. Spec’d: Intel Pentium M 750 (1.86Ghz, 533Mhz FSB, 2MB L2) 2GB 533Mhz DDR2 SDRAM 14” WXGA TFT (1280x768) 60GB 5400RPM SATA CDRW/DVD combo Integrated wireless NIC: 802.11 b/g 12–cell Lithium ion w/ AC pack (5hrs of life baby!) All for $1,768.99. Now… who’s willing to chip in for little ‘ole me?
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    Blog: Need a good host? CrystalTech.com ROCKS!

    When I got my first domain and website, I setup an account with www.crystaltech.com . I loved their service and whenever I had an issue, their support group was right on top of things. I did have one gripe: their lower-end package only allowed for a meager SQL database (something like 15MB I think… don’t quote me, that was around 2002). So I opted to jump ship and run to www.
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    Blog: Newsreader (NNTP, not RSS/ATOM) suggestions?

    I’m currently using Outlook Express as my newsgroup (NNTP) reader of choice, but I’m not at all sold on it… it’s just the one I’m most familiar with and geek gravitating towards. However, there are a TON of things that drive me crazy about it. I thought about holding off until Windows Mail, the OE refresh in Vista, but after watching a Channel9 video, I see that the NNTP experience isn’t changing all that much.
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    Blog: WSJ has a funny comment about the Sun-Google deal...

    On October 4, Sun & Google announced a partnership, “ The World changes this week ,” where Sun will distribute the Google Toolbar and Google will distribute the Java runtime, as well as a combined partnership to promoting/distributing OpenOffice , an open source MS Office competing product. Today, Lee Gomes of the WSJ (subscription required, or pickup one at the newsstand) has a piece on the first page in the Marketplace section, under the Portals sidebar commenting on this grouping… something that’s quite amusing to me WRT the announcement:
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    Blog: I didn't even know there were two Redmond's!

    I’m feeling for Eli Robillard … he was headed to Redmond, WA… I stress the “was” because it wasn’t until he was in the taxi that he realized where he was. You’ll have to read his experience first hand… » I’m in Redmond!
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    Blog: Joel is posting MVP05 pictures now...

    The one camera that was everywhere we went as it was the only one that was form-factor friendly for a jacket or pants… Joel is now sharing pix on Flickr . Be warned… these are from party nights :P DISCLAIMER: I don’t claim to be the person in many of his pictures… esp when they are taken within a bar or doing something like kareoke (sp?)
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    Blog: ANOTHER iPOD? When will they stop?

    Thanks to Todd for passing this along… freaking trip: » iPod Flea
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    Blog: Hurricane Katrina... and New Orleans

    The pictures, stories, and news is truly incredible and sad. It’s amazing a city of a half-million people can be called un-inhabitable and all citizens are told to leave the city. I have a friend who’s parents & brother’s family live in New Orleans. Her parents were on vacation when it hit and couldn’t get back to their house. Her brother’s family left before the storm hit thankfully. Now, their house, along with her brother’s, is likely a complete loss based on where they are and the news reports.