Archive for May, 2011

Memorial Day – Honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice

May 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Today is Memorial Day in the USA. We are honoring those who gave all so we can remain free. As divided as this country is, we realize all that we owe a great deal to our veterans. I believe that we need national service, whether the Peace Corps, Americorps or the military, to appreciate the work necessary to remain free. I have a number of friends who’ve either served in the Iraq war, or are there right now. So a big shout out to Maj. David Brickley, Lt. Col. Keith Stone, Lt. Col Robert Zaza, Lt. Col. David Gourlay, Cpt. Becky Ore, Lt. Col. Paul Knapp as well as the countless others who are there anonymously. You are in our thoughts.

Even though this is about World War I and Australia, this speaks of all who died in battle:

And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda

When I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in 1915 my country said: Son,
It’s time to stop rambling, there’s work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
When the ship pulled away from the quay
And amid all the tears, flag waving and cheers
We sailed off for Gallipoli

It well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well
He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shell
And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell
He nearly blew us back home to Australia

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
When we stopped to bury our slain
Well we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then it started all over again

Oh those that were living just tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
While around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
I never knew there was worse things than dying

Oh no more I’ll go Waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
When they carried us down the gangway
Oh nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
Then they turned all their faces away

Now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Renewing their dreams of past glories
I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn
Those weary old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But year after year, their numbers get fewer
Someday, no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong
So who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

Remember them always. Never forget.

Kicking Old School

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Remember when tetris first came out? I played it on a Zenith i386 PC that we got from our ticketing provider (I was working at Wolf Trap in the Box Office at the time) and I remember during breaks playing it. Addictive and easy to learn, Amy Glancy was queen of tetris at the Wolf Trap Box Office. Well even Amy can’t match Jin8. I didn’t even realize there was a tetris level that was invisible!

Check it out!

iPad for n00bs

May 27, 2011 2 comments

ipadSo you’ve joined the mewling masses and gotten an iPad. Now what? There are some very basic suggestions and apps that I think every iPad user needs to have/do.

  2. Download and install Find iPhone
  3. Download and install Dropbox (free)
  4. Purchase and install DocstoGo
  5. Purchase and install Angry Birds (kidding! sort of)


First and foremost, you need to set a password. This can be a simple 4 number PIN or can be as complicated as alphanumeric and special characters if you’re concerned having very sensitive information on your device (or you’re Jason Balge).

How to do this? Go to settings->General->Passcode Lock. Once into the configuration screen, set a simple PIN number as a passcode or move slider into the “off” position for “simple passcode.” This will allow for either numeric or alphanumeric passcodes not constrained by the 4 digit limit of the simple passcode. For extra protection, you can turn on the feature that wipes all your data (after all, you do sync your device to your PC regularly, right? RIGHT?) after 10 failed login attempts. Careful with this if you have small children…


Works with both iPhone and iPad, this app is free and, in conjunction with MobileMe, can be used to locate, send a message or remotely wipe the data on your device. You will need an email address that is registered to your iTunes account and you will need to register to MobileMe. This is a free service so don’t sign up for the $99 annual cost of MobileMe (unless you like the extra features that service provides).

Here is a step-by-step (with pictures!) guide from Apple:


Dropbox is a cloudbased service that synchronizes your files across multiple platforms. A must when going to meetings and working on files on multiple PCs and devices.

This is a tiered service where the first 2 GB worth of storage is free then there is an additional fee for larger capacities. This services stores your data in the cloud and synchronizes it with folders on every device you have a client. Since I have two PC’s at work and one at home, as well as an iPhone, iPad, Xoom and Galaxy tab, I’ve dowloaded the clients/apps for all the devices (on different operating systems – iOS, Win 7, Snow Leopard, and Android) and am able to access the same files on every device. Another nice feature is the integration with Documents to Go so you can open up the documents in Dropbox directly in the Documents to Go app. On the desktop, the files will open up in the default program (usually MS Office).


This app gets more use than any other app on my tablet. The ease of use and the native Microsoft Office support makes it ideal for business use. When used in conjunction with Dropbox and Email, one could do most things on the iPad that you would normally use a laptop for at a fraction of the weight and size.


C’mon. You know you want to. It’s fun flinging flightless birds at poorly constructed edifices containing limbless egg-stealing pigs. Hours of mindless fun and frustration.

Tech Republic states the obvious – a business use for the iPad

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I discovered a third use for the iPad | TechRepublic.

Um, no shit Jason. This is what business have been using tablets for since BEFORE the iPad.

Let me guess, you discovered that the iPhone can also be used to make phone calls, too. I want the 5 minutes of my life spent reading your article back.

If you want to check out the article because you are interested in what business uses the iPad is good for, be my guest.

World Travelers

May 8, 2011 1 comment

I was reading a blog about traveling the world and started thinking about when I started traveling (I was 6) and the places I’ve been (25 countries, 159 cities) and that started me thinking about my kids and how, at 4 and 7, they’ve been to a ton of places already. Elena (4) needs a new passport and as I was looking through her pages, I see stamps from Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, Canada, not to mention may places in the USA. SHE’S 4. Zachary has been all those places as well as Italy. I wonder, by the time he’s my age, where he’ll have been?

As of right now, here are the places they’ve been. I wanted to get the list going so we can look back at this in a year or so…

Family at Intramuros

The family in Manila

Zachary Elena
Washington, DC Washington, DC
Baltimore, MD Baltimore, MD
Virginia Beach, VA Virginia Beach, VA
Williamsburg, VA Williamsburg, VA
Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee, WI
Wisconsin Dells, WI Wisconsin Dells, WI
Chicago, IL Chicago, IL
Door County, WI Door County, WI
Madison, WI Madison, WI
Dallas, TX
San Francisco, CA San Francisco, CA
Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas, NV
Honolulu, HI Honolulu, HI
Madrid, ESP Madrid, ESP
Alicante, ESP Alicante, ESP
Tokyo, JPN Tokyo, JPN
Manila, PHI Manila, PHI
Merida, MEX Merida, MEX
Puerto Vallarta, MEX Puerto Vallarta, MEX
Cancun, MEX
Milan, ITA
Toronto, CAN Toronto, CAN
Niagra Falls, CAN Niagra Falls, CAN
Categories: Family, Travel Tags: ,