coldwind heights

So I was checking out Google’s webmaster tools top search results was “coldwind heights.” I have no idea how this counted for 30% of my search results since until now, I never referred to coldwind heights. A little bit of Googling reveals that Coldwind Heights is a place in World of Warcraft. To be more exact, it is an elevated area located west of the Crystal Vice and east of Angrathar the Wrathgate. I suppose previous posts related to WoW has somehow linked my site to hits related to Coldwind Heights. For anyone that has a web site, I recommend both Google’s webmaster tools as well as Google Analytics.

Trip To Sandy Hook

Thanks to getting a few extra days this year and having a lot of dates where I couldn’t take vacation, for most of November I have been on vacation.  The date of this posting happens to be one of the few days where I am actually working.  On November 9th my friend Rick and I decided to take a trip to Sandy Hook, NJ.  In a month not unknown for snowstorms, we had a bright, sunny 71 degree day for our trip.  It took us about an hour to get to Sandy Hook and we spent a few hours taking pictures and video of the shoreline, Nike missiles and the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.  Afterwards we went to Olive Garden for lunch.  Below are two videos.  The first is the video I took of Sandy Hook, the second is an animated slideshow from the pictures taken with my Rebel XTi.  You can find the actual pictures via my Picasa photo album.


On Wednesday, November 4th 2009 Merck & Schering-Plough merged.  While I was supposed to have that full week off, I came in for Day 1 integration support.  I was expected to work from 11:30 AM – 8 PM, however I wanted to attend the Day 1 global webcast as well as be able to find a parking space, which can be a challenge at 11:30 AM at Whitehouse Station.  I decided to come in a little before 7 AM.  The global webcast went quite smoothly with the exception of the audio from Brazil.  Each Merck site had an EC (Executive Committee) member.  Whitehouse Station had Bruce Kuhlik who is Merck’s chief legal counsel.  I started my Integration shift at 1:30 and thanks to good timing, got to be in a group picture with Chris Scalet, Merck’s Chief Information Officer.  I managed to call a customer back at 2:00 and quickly take care of her Flash issue.  I was told that integration support was going to be dull.  I don’t know who this Murphy guy was, but I seem to be an unwilling, yet strict adherent to his law.  There was a major issue was with the new “Merck Today” social network site that we are using for integration related news as well as to allow legacy Merck & Schering-Plough employees to introduce themselves to each other (people couldn’t sign on).  At 2:00 the site was brought back up for testing by IT (Information Technology) and despite continued issues, an email went out to the legacy Merck population at 3 stating it was available.  Cases started to come in.  I had to quickly scramble to not only get a group created in our help desk system but get accounts created as well.  While I was doing this, Mr. Scalet also needed a count of the number of cases we received since the 2:00 “soft launch.”  Getting reports from our help desk system is never an easy process, but let’s just say there was an hour or two that were quite hectic for me.

Woohoo! November!

We’ve come to November already and things are happening.  Thanks to a combination of only using a few days and working for Merck for a decade as an employee, I have a ton of vacation days to use.  Since I couldn’t really take vacation in March-May and again in October, I have them all squished into November and early December.  I was supposed to be off this entire week (11-2-11/6 and the following Monday) but something is happening that will preclude me from getting the whole week off.  As referenced, there are some big things happening that should make this month exciting.  In addition to the former, I will be ordering a new computer for my parents.  There is Thanksgiving later this month and at the end is a trip to Las Vegas!  Stay tuned to this blog for my experience with the “Big Event.”

Here are the specifications on the Mac Pro I will be configuring for my parents:

•    One 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
•    8GB (4x2GB)
•    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
•    ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
•    One 18x SuperDrive
•    Apple LED Cinema Display (24″ flat panel)
•    Apple Magic Mouse
•    Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User’s Guide
•    Final Cut Express preinstalled
•    HP Photosmart Premium Wireless Fax All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier
•    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro (w/or w/o Display) – Auto-enroll

Map picture
Map picture