Colorado Backyard Chicken Coop

After months of planning and thoughtful research, I designed and built my own chicken coop from scratch. I could have bought one of the prefab kits online, but after looking them over and reading reviews, they simply wouldn’t withstand the weather on the Colorado plains. I needed something a lot more sturdy and heavy so it wouldn’t blow away in the 40 mph winds we are frequently subjected to out east. A lot of thought went into the design. I had to take many things into consideration such as location,…
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Why I Have a Land-line Phone Again

Years ago, I struggled with the idea of canceling my land-line phone and relying solely on my cell phone. The main reason for doing so was cost savings. The land-line phone was costing me somewhere around $40 a month after taxes and all the options. I didn’t see any reason to keep paying for it when my cell phone offered far more features and it was mobile. After much debate, I ended up going through with it, but years later I found myself in the same debate ultimately deciding to…
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Polycom HDX People+Content Poor Call Quality

We ran into an issue where the Polycom HDX endpoints degraded with poor call quality. When various endpoints connected to the RMX 2000 bridge and one of the participants pushed content via People+Content, everything seemed OK. However, once the token holder stopped pushing content, many of the participants’ call rates (not all, though) dropped considerably, in most cases by half. As an example, an endpoint that initiated a call request at 1024 Kbps dropped to 512 Kbps. This was enough that the older HDX 4000 and 8000 Model A and…
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Slow File Transfers Between Windows 7 and Server 2003

As my organization started to upgrade our domain-joined workstations from Windows XP to Windows 7, we ran into an issue with the clients browsing via DFS (Distributed File System) and file transfer speeds both over the LAN and the WAN. As the users explored the DFS tree, the navigation was extremely slow, sometimes in excess of 20 seconds drilling down just one directory level. Likewise, the file transfers were also very slow between the Windows 7 clients and the back-end Windows 2003 servers. The users were not happy. To make…
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Why Do We Pay So Many Taxes?

There are many types of taxes that take many different forms depending on where you live. There are excise taxes, direct taxes, indirect taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, county taxes, and city taxes. While some do collect money for necessary services, like running the government and fixing roads, some are simply a way for the Federal or local governments to modify consumers purchasing habits. A tax on tea is what lead to the Boston Tea Party and was a contributing factor of the Revolutionary War. Below is a list of…
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Do Surge Protectors Work Against Lightning Strikes?

Surge protectors are a common staple in just about every house that has a computer or expensive electrical equipment that needs protecting. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and power ratings, which claim to protect the equipment should a power surge occur. And while that may be the case for smaller variances in the electrical grid, will they really protect equipment from a lightning strike, the grand daddy of all electrical surges? The short answer is, no. Small appliances and equipment use small fuses, which when exposed to…
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Incredible Facts About Lockheed’s SR-71 Blackbird

Lockheed’s SR-71 is one of the most distinguished and recognizable aircraft ever built, and to the pilots who flew her, she was beloved and a joy to fly. The SR-71 went into service for the United States Air Force in 1964 and was retired from service in 1998. Built solely for reconnaissance, it performed thousands of missions throughout the Vietnam conflict and The Cold War with Russia. Capable of speeds in excess of Mach 3.0, she was extremely fast for her time, much to the chagrin of the over 4,000…
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