Greater Lansing Real Estate

Apple vs FBI

So my mom asked my opinion on the current standoff between Apple and the FBI over their insistence on building a back door into the iPhone “just this once” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). As I said to her…

I completely agree with Apple’s stance. Once they create such a method to circumvent the security on the phone, I guarantee it will be ordered to do so from now until eternity. That is unless you believe everything the government and law enforcement tell you. In that case, then yes it will be just one time (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Let’s also address certain politicians insistence on “opening up” security and “using our heads”…

START: Sarcasm and Contempt
Yeah, let’s open up security all over the place. In fact, then no one will ever be able to transmit anything securely ever again. Hint: “open up” just means lets build in a vulnerability, a bug – intentionally!! You didn’t want your credit card info submitted securely now do you? Probably should let the gov’t be able to scan all your photos and financial documents, and travel plans, and basically anything that’s stored digitally. Not like that’s everything now a days.

Not that hackers or “bad guys” would take advantage of that or anything. Gahh!!

END: Sarcasm and Contempt

Weekly Challenge 1: Nothing Alaming

Welcome to the first in a series of weekly challenges. This first one is “nothing alarming”, and anyone should be able to do it.

Simply pick a time you’re comfortable waking up. Set an alarm, and wake up when it goes off.

What’s the challenge here? For some it may be waking up to an alarm. But here’s the kicker… No using the “snooze” and you have to wake up at the same time on the weekend (and tomorrow if you have it off).

To join the challenge search in for “WC01” or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you wake up to your alarm, be sure to “check in” on

Join my weekly challenge!

I would like to invite all of you to a little series of weekly challenges! Doing something for a day doesn’t provide much benefit. Asking to do something for an entire month may be too much…

But we can all do something for a week. Who knows. You may like it!

My goal is to post each challenge on Sunday right here on and provide a link to the goal on where you can check in each day, chat with others participating in the challenge, and follow your progress.

At the end of the week, if you want to keep up the challenge as a regular habit keep it around. If you want to just move onto the next do that.

What are these challenges going to be? Who knows. Some may be easy. Others more difficult. They could be heath, diet, or productivity related. They may even be categorized as something else.

Your first challenge is to go out and download the app from the iTunes App Store or the Play Store, create an account, get logged in, and follow me so I know you’re playing along.

The first challenge will be posted Sunday.

Giving Thanks

As I sit here in the last hour or so of Thanksgiving I can’t help but reflect back on the many things I have to be thankful for…

For a wife that supports me whether it’s for work, new endeavors like real estate, or giving me time to work on projects for the family.

For being able to wake up to the smiling faces and “morning hugs” from my daughters. The ones who can make everything right in the world even if everything leading up to that point has been sh!+.

For family holidays like days of old. I may have passed out for an hour or two, and I could care less about people’s physical ailments, but it’s hard to explain how happy it makes me just to be around family on holidays. It’s how we grew up, and it’s how I want the girls to grow up.

To have a roof over our heads. Actually, our choice of roofs with the “new” house and the “old” one on the market. Paying off the house is probably one of the best things ever as it gives me the piece of mind to know that, while I want to unload it, I don’t have to do anything… but seriously, if you know someone please let me know. That said, I am beyond excited about the “new” place. I just love the 9′ ceilings, amazing kitchen, the privacy behind us, the changes being made, excitement to open the pool, and being in the same neighborhood with our friends.

For a growing family. We welcomed 2 new members of the clan this year and I was beyond honored to be asked to be Godfather to my niece. Family was such an important part of growing up that I hope the girls one day appreciate it.

For work and the mind and body to do it. Whether it’s software development, real estate, telecommunication, or even work on the house I love coming up with solutions that make my client’s lives better. While any one of them can be exhausting I’m glad to have the ability to do what needs to get done. To be a do’er. To make a difference.

Hoping you have much to be grateful the rest of this year and in the coming year!

Access a Console (including CYGWIN) from Notepad++

If you’re regularly in Notepad++ you may find the NPPConsole to be a huge help. With it you can access a windows console or even cygwin if you prefer (I do). To get started…

  1. Download the NPPConsole Plugin
  2. Extract the dll to your n++/plugins directory
  3. Restart Notepad++ if it was already running
  4. Use the Plugin Manager to make sure the plugin is available

If you want to just use the Windows console (DOS) you should be all set. To integrate with CYGWIN…

  1. Choose Plugins -> NppConsole -> About…
  2. In “Command to run” enter: C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe ${–login -i}
  3. In Line number pattern after file name enter: :${LINE}

iPad 2 Black Screen Of Death

Tried to turn on our iPad today and got nothing but a black screen. If you would take it into a dark room you could tell that the back light was going on and off, but other than that it was just black. Tried a hard reset, and even did a full factory restore from the PC to no avail.

Then, I found this helpful YouTube video, and apparently the secret is just to beat the thing! Watch and see. It worked for me.

Windows Batch File (.bat) Not Running

If you’ve ever accidentally set batch files to open in a text editor, and now are unable to run them anymore you have to use the registry editor instead of the Control Panel file associations. As pointed out in this article

  1. Click on “Start”->”Run” and type in “REGEDT32” and press Enter to start the Registry Editor.
  2. Find the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.BAT\UserChoice
  3. Delete the key named “UserChoice”

My Evernote Wishlist

I’ll admit right off the bat that I love Evernote. It has a ton going for it and is extremely flexible. I’ve been a premium subscriber for 3+ years now so I think have a good handle on the things I would really love to see integrated into the platform.

  1. Recurring Reminders – It’s nice to be able to get a reminder, but what about that weekly status report?
  2. iCal Integration – I get it, you want to keep people on the platform but if I can’t see reminders on my calendar there’s less chance of me opening up the app in the first place (prob even more true for new users)
  3. Differentiate between overdue and future reminders. When I look at my reminders all I see is a huge list until I do the mental processing to say “oh, that’s not due until next week”
  4. Stop clearing my iPhone reminder notices. As soon as I open up the app, and close it I have no more visual indicator that I have something in there waiting for me. My suggestion would be to give users a couple options for what they want the little red counter to represent:
    • Due Today and Overdue Reminders
    • Overdue Reminders
    • Include Unread Chat Count
  5. Email tasks – I’ve sent this one in a number of times, but I’ll list it here to. I love the Evernote email integration, but why can’t I email myself a task? It could be as simple as all “[]” get converted to task checkboxes. (ex: “[] Pick up milk”)
  6. Improved search – I get it. The natural language and search in docs/images is great! But why can’t I easily search for all my overdue reminders? Or things due between this date and that? I don’t want to have to go to notes and click on the reminder icon that keeps moving but doesn’t show up unless your in snippet view. I should just be able to search “due:overdue” or “due:today”. Check out RTM, Gmail, etc. There’s a ton of companies doing this so not sure why you can’t.
  7. Web merge / multi-edit – One of the things I like the most about the desktop client is the ability to select multiple notes and merge them or edit (add tags, move to a notebook, etc). Would love this ability from the web client!
  8. Email clipper – When work doesn’t allow it or you’re on the go, to be able to send an email with a subject like “clip:” to my Evernote email address and have it clip the site/article to my account (instead of just creating a note w/ the link) would be awesome!

Oh, and I’d also like to report what appears to be a bug. If I email multiple tags with a reminder the first tag and reminder get set, but the 2nd tag gets put in the note title (ex: “This is a note @_Inbox #tag 1 #tag 2 !tomorrow” gets turned into a note with the title “This is a note #tag 2”).

While this may seem like a bunch of complaints you’ll notice most of it has to do with reminders and tasks. The rest of the platform is awesome and I love that I can use it across all my devices (Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iPhone, Android, Kindle, etc). I’d highly recommend giving it a try, and if you haven’t already, just click on this link to get a free month of Evernote Premium.

Screen Capture Open Menus

I know I posted a link to this on SM the other day, but wanted to add the abbreviated version here for my reference.

If you’ve ever had the need to capture a screen shot, but also capture a menu that may be open (like File -> New…) you can still use the build-in Windows “Snipping Tool” to grab what you need.

  1. Run the “Snipping Tool”
  2. Press the Esc key
  3. Open the menu you want to screen shot
  4. Press Ctrl+PrtScr
  5. Click “New” on the “Snipping Tool” and pick what you want to grab

Here’s an example:


DB2 Stats vs Actual

Ever have a DB2 query that all of a sudden went from performing just fine to being dog slow? If so, there may be an issue with the stats on one or more of the tables being used in the query. To check, run the SQL below replacing XX and TABLE_NM with your appropriate schema and table in 2 places…

-- What DB2 thinks the table count is
-- Actual table count
        COUNT(*) AS COUNT_NB,

… if the record counts are way off, have your DBA do a runstats on the table in question followed by a rebind of any stored procs that use the table.