# Sunday, October 19, 2003

Bill Gates in the House

BillG will be here in New York City on Tuesday to launch Office 2003 to the world. I have beta tested and apha tested every version of Office since Office 95 and can say that this is a good one. Outlook 2003 is worth the upgrade alone (my complaints from the beta were fixed). Andrew Brust claims that Outlook 2003 makes him 20% more productive than before, I'd say that is pretty fair.

For developers, Office 97 was the one and only upgrade that you HAD to do, but this one is compelling with the XML support. XML is just about everywhere in Excel, Access and even Word.


posted on Sunday, October 19, 2003 6:26:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, October 17, 2003

The Curse Must End


I am not a New York Yankees fan, but I don’t root against them. But to be honest, when the NLCS and ALCS started, I was rooting for the Cubs and Red Sox to make it to the World Series. I wanted the curse to end.


Last night when the Red Sox took a 4 run lead I was cheering. I thought the Red Sox were going to the World Series so I shouted at the bar last night “The curse ends tonight.” As a Mets fan, I should have know better. The most spectacular comeback in all of sports history is the 1986 World Series. Bill Buckner aside, the curse was alive for the Red Sox on October 25th, 1986. That historic night in Flushing, Queens proved the Babe Ruth curse when the Red Sox were 1 out away from their first world championship since 1918. Last night the Red Sox were 6 outs away from the World Series and blew it. (I was there as a Mets fan in 1999, just 3 outs away, so I know how it feels.) So New York City is a bad place for Boston, first in Shea Stadium in 1986 and last night in Yankee Stadium.


Last night’s awesome come from behind victory for the Yankees was great for the team, their fans and my home, New York City. Unfortunately it was bad for the sport. The curse must end. Just not this year.

posted on Friday, October 17, 2003 12:36:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Thursday, October 16, 2003

Email From Maegan This Morning

They are going for the summit next Tuesday (10/20) or Wednesday (10/22). Everyone asks me "I thought you can only summit Everest in May." It is still possible to do it after May in the fall. Here are the stats, odds are against my team, but I know that they can do it! Out of 1924 successful summits on Everest, only 279 (18%) has actually occurred in the fall. Out of those 279, only 17 happened after October 20. The majority of the fall summits happened 1953-1993. Those years had 608 summits out of which 232 (38%) were made in autumn! Strange. From 1994 to 2003 however, there has been an explosion of 1320 summits - but a mere 47 (3.6%) in the fall.

So if she is going to summit and ski down, she will just have to forget the odds and go for it. Good luck and remember to come back-please.


posted on Thursday, October 16, 2003 7:27:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Thomas Jefferson v James Madison

This question of direct democracy versus representative government that Dad and I are talking about is not a new one. As I said the founding fathers of this country struggled with the very same question. The Federalist Papers contain James Madison's debate with Thomas Jefferson on this point.

Jefferson wished for a pure democracy whereby the citizens could assemble and administer the government in person. All people could then have a direct say in how they are governed and share in the power that is used to govern. He talked all about a new revolution every 10 years, yadda yadda yadda. No wonder he liked the French-they are still fighting the French Revolution and the Revolutionaries at the Bastille in July 1789 were quoting Thomas Jefferson (who was in Paris at the time as George Washington’s ambassador) as if he were their spiritual leader. So the French?  How many constitutions have they had since 1789? Last I counted it was 6, not to mention all that Napoleon crap. (Let’s also not forget the Reign of Terror.)  How many have the United States had? One quite successful one.

James Madison believed that we are all prone to faction--"citizens...united and activated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or adverse to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community" (Federalist Papers #10). "No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause," said Madison, "because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity."

Duh. Madison argued that the remedy to the risk of faction (or"special interests") was a representative government where a small but carefully determined number of citizens are elected by the rest to act on their behalf and in the interest of the public good. He won, Jefferson lost. Basically Thomas Jefferson gained some ground in a 215 year old debate last week with the election of the Terminator.

Sorry Dad.

So everyone, just remember the United States is not a democracy, but a Representative Democracy. (And yes we are a republic too, but so are the commies in China.)



posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 7:27:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback

Total Recall


My Dad did not agree with my thoughts on the Recall Vote- see his email below.


I disagree 100% with Dad. For starters, there is a recall every 4 years. The founding fathers would not be proud, they deliberately created a representative democracy, not a true democracy. The Federalist Papers warn of mob-rule (I know Dad I still have your copy, I should give it back to you to re-read). Remember that the founding fathers did not trust the electorate (only white males at the time) the Senate was not even elected, but appointed! They did not trust the electorate, why should I. Plus I have 230 years of history to judge the electorate by.


I do not support referendum and initiative, just look at Switzerland trying to vote to enter in the UN, enough said.


Dad's message:


-----Original Message-----
From: Albert J Forte

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 9:14 AM
To: Stephen Forte


you have spent too much time at high altitude. Our founding fathers would be

proud of caliiiiiifornia.

Only 4 recalls and one succesful in  40 years. Comparing this to 9/11 is

rediculous. when did you lose faith in the electorate. Jefferson would love

this. The voters want recall on the books. I also support referendum and

initiative. Get some sleep ; you are nuts.


A little direct democracy once in a while might shake up the flow of special

  interest money.


I dare you to print this reply on your blog

posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 3:14:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Case for Case


Ok I have gotten a lot of press because I love the Rozenshtein Method for creating cross tab queries. I have even traveled the world and spoke about it all summer at TechEds around the world.


I have gotten flack, especially from annoying Australians, about how “complex” the Rozenshtein Method is. So today I found myself writing a crosstab and used the Case Method.


It was an ad-hoc query that I have to run a few times over the next few weeks. It never has to run in another database like Access or Oracle. It was needed to be quick and dirty. I decided NOT to use the Boolean aggregates and use a Case statement. The basic structure of a case statement is as follows:


CASE  FieldName WHEN ValueYouAreChecking THEN TrueExpression ELSE FalseExpression END


Pretty easy no? Here is a sample:


SELECT tlkpWeekEnding.WeekEnding_DT as Weekending, DiceCat.DiceCat_NM as 'Job Category', Sum(tblData.TotalListings) AS 'Total Listings', SUM(CASE  Service_ID WHEN 1 THEN TotalListings ELSE 0 END) AS HotJobsTotal,

SUM(CASE  Service_ID WHEN 2 THEN TotalListings ELSE 0 END) AS MonsterTotal,

SUM(CASE Service_ID WHEN 3 THEN TotalListings ELSE 0 END) AS CareerBuilderTotal

FROM DiceCat INNER JOIN ((tlkpWeekEnding INNER JOIN (trelServiceURL INNER JOIN tblData ON trelServiceURL.URL_ID = tblData.URL_ID) ON tlkpWeekEnding.WeekEnding_ID = tblData.WeekEnding_ID) INNER JOIN DiceCatDetail ON trelServiceURL.JobCategory_ID = DiceCatDetail.CorzenJobCatID) ON DiceCat.DiceCat_ID = DiceCatDetail.DiceCat_ID

WHERE tlkpWeekEnding.WeekEnding_ID=75

GROUP BY tlkpWeekEnding.WeekEnding_DT, DiceCat.DiceCat_NM

Order by  DiceCat.DiceCat_NM


Here are the results, we move rows to columns:



Job Category

Total Listings



































Information Technology































So if this is so easy why oh why do I insist on using the Rozenshtein Method? Well, I don’t insist on using it all the time. I like it because it is super fast and make sense to me (I was into Math as a kid, sorry). I think that you should know both and use the one that you think is most effective for the job at hand.


Happy Crosstabbing!

posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:40:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 13, 2003

Firehose Security and Privacy


Everyone is going a little too far with security and privacy. Some idiot hacker sends out an email virus and lots of ignorant people click on it and then lots of people blame Microsoft. The bigger problem is that then Microsoft responds with more firehose security methods. (Ever try to send an email attachment in Outlook now?)


Regardless, now the anti-virus people are trying to make our lives yet even more painful. Now if you install Norton Anti-virus, by default its Firewall software makes any web site that uses the HTTP_REFERER blow up. Like it is such an invasion of my privacy to tell a site where I clicked on the link to get there from.


So we had to change the code on our site to:


AbsoluteUri = Request.Url.AbsoluteUri


instead of




This clearly has to stop. The privacy police have gone too far. I am also worried about potential legislation in Congress (which I have personally lobbied against through ACT) on Privacy. Sharing my medical records and financial information is one thing, but quadruple opt-in is another. Give it a rest.

posted on Monday, October 13, 2003 2:04:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [6] Trackback
# Friday, October 10, 2003

Open Up Mt. Rainier


Rainier Mountaineering, Incorporated (RMI) has a monopoly for guiding people up Mt. Rainier. (Unless you do it yourself.) This contract was due to expire in 2001, but is currently on its second 1-year extension. The NPS has recently proposed a range of alternatives for guiding at Mt. Rainier which will greatly affect the choices that we have when looking for a Mt. Rainier climbing guide service (see page 36):




The Preferred Alternative, #3, I enthusiastically support.  This

alternative, among other things, splits the RMI concession into three

concessions.with three equal companies having the ability to run trips on

Emmons, Kautz, and Muir routes. 


So send a letter saying that you support Alternative #3...and send it to:



Mt. Rainier National Park

Commercial Services Plan Comments

Tahoma Woods, Star Route

Ashford, WA  98304


or, you can send it by e mail:






posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 11:27:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [10] Trackback
# Thursday, October 9, 2003

Want a Dell for under $200? (Offer expires today)

Do you want a new Dell for testing or just as an MP3 player in your home? Go to this site and follow these directions. (I of course added a few things like RAM and mine came out to about $300):


Under "Dell Dimension 4600 Series" section, change the selection to "Pentium® 4 Processor at 2.40GHz w/800MHz front side bus/ HT Technology [subtract $50]"
Under "Mail-In Rebate Offer" section, check the box for "$100 MAIL-IN REBATE"
Under "Memory" section, change the selection to "256MB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz (2x128M) [subtract $100]"
Under "Keyboard" section, change the selection to "Dell® Quietkey® Keyboard [subtract $20]"
Under "Bundled Software" section, change the selection to "SAVE $100!! Microsoft® Office Basic Edition 2003 [subtract $15]"
Under "Hard Drive" section, change the selection to "40GB Value Hard Drive [subtract $70]"
Under "CD or DVD Drive" section, change the selection to "48x CD-ROM Drive [subtract $200]"
Under "Monitor" section, change the selection to "No Monitor [subtract $160]"
Under "Video Card" section, change the selection to "64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce4 MX™ Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI [subtract $15]"
Under "Modem" section, change the selection to "No Modem Requested [subtract $30]"
Check each and every option to make sure you are getting everything that you need
Scroll Down and click on "Update Price"
Scroll Down and click on "Continue"
On next page, Scroll Down and again Click on "Continue"
On next page, Scroll Down and Click on "Add to Cart"
There is a $100 Rebate on this system
Dell Small Biz is offering Free Shipping on new system purchases
Your Final Price: $239 - $100 = $139.00 + Free Shipping
Note: Dell Small Business charges tax on ALL purchases!

posted on Thursday, October 9, 2003 3:59:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 8, 2003

The Biggest Threat to Our Democracy


While I am a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies (I have seen each and every one more than once), read his work-out book for travelers and am counting the days until Pumping Iron is released to DVD (33 days), I think that the California Recall of Governor Davis is a larger threat to our democracy than the 9/11 attacks and all of the controversial steps taken to ensure our safety (like keeping the prisoners in Cuba, etc).


For starters, I tend to be a centrist, but lean more to the right, so technically I should be happy. I am not. I am losing sleep over this. This threat to our way of life has nothing with Democrats, Republicans or the Terminator. It has to do with the “What have you done for me lately, “ short attention span, need results now, Internet culture that is evolving in this country.  Now people’s short attention span has turned to elections. This is bad.


Another problem is that people don’t like to take responsibility for their actions anymore. The voters have the option to recall an elected official, every 4 years! Governor Davis was elected barely 11 months ago and less than 4 months after he was elected the recall movement was started.


This clearly has to stop. The “what have you done for me lately” culture was seen during the recent war in Iraq. While not taking any sides on the war issue, about 6 days in the news media and popular culture were saying that it was taking “too long”. Six days to invade and take over another country? They can’t be serious. But alas the news media and popular culture were.


People have way to much of a sense of entitlement and this attitude will only come back to haunt us. What is next? Why not elect the president via TV ratings like predicted in the late 80s TV show Max Headroom?

posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 3:31:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [18] Trackback