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Legacy Post – Come to Atlanta and see our wonderful fish! 28 June 2009

Posted by splait in The Georgia Aquarium.
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(Originally published – 06.29.2008)

I worked at the Georgia Aquarium (GeAq) last Friday night. It is “the world’s most engaging aquarium exhibit”! In the summer, Friday nights are live Jazz Journeys nights, and the music is great. Also, you can buy wine and beer and carry it around with you (I bet that got some people’s attention!)
So, that’s a reason to come on Friday nights. What about the other 48 hours a week the GeAq is open in the summer?
The Georgia Aquarium is the LARGEST AQUARIUM IN THE WORLD!! (I know – I’m shouting! But I get that way whenever I go there or even think about it!) We have four of the largest fish in the ocean living in our 6.3 million gallon Ocean Voyager tank, living with several thousand other fish. AND YOU CAN DIVE OR SWIM WITH THEM for a nominal fee. (Sorry. I told you I get excited!) In that tank are grouper (an endangered species – I’ll talk about that another time), several other types of sharks, humphead wrasses (you gotta see ’em to believe them, and, if you get right up to the acrylic walls, you can see that they have beautiful coloring), saw fish, bat fish, salt water angels, and many others. When you enter that gallery, you actually WALK UNDER THE WATER! How cool is THAT??!!
We have the Cold Water Quest gallery, where my wife prefers to work. That one has three beluga whales (you have to see Nikko. He’s a real ham. He coulda done Vaudeville.); a giant pacific octopus; Gracie and Oz, the sea otters; the pregnant male weedy sea dragon (carries the eggs on his tail!); penguins; and many other exotic animals. You can even touch sea anemones at the touch pool.
There are three other galleries and a very entertaining 3D movie for the kids (of all ages), but my favorite gallery, and the one I work in the most, is Tropical Diver. In that exhibit, there are garden eels (appropriately named, as you’ll see when you visit), schooling pygmy sweepers, graceful zebra sharks (born at GeAq!), jellies (they ain’t fish – they are related to coral, which is an animal!), Nemo (clown anemone fish), Dori (the palette surgeonfish), sea horses, and the great living Reef Wall, my favorite spot in the entire building. It has 165,000 gallons of water, about 80 species of fish, over 2,000 total fish, live coral, and more color than you will see anywhere else in Nature except the oceans themselves! They add new fish and coral all the time, so there’s always something new to see.
Best of all are the guests (YOU!) I get to interact with kids of all sizes and teach them what I’ve learned and observed about the habitats and animals. I love watching people’s faces when they round the corners of either the Ocean Voyager or Tropical Diver exhibits and come to the large windows for the first time. And the littlest kids – the looks of wonder on their faces and the questions they ask (Can I take a whale shark home? Who do I go see about that? – I told him to talk to his mother, and to tell her to get a really big ZipLoc bag and a truck.)
If you don’t live in Atlanta, GeAq has become a destination spot for people all over the world. So come on down! We have lots of other things for you to see and do, too. If you live in Atlanta and haven’t come yet (you’ve had three years, almost – WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM??), get your butt downtown! Check it all out at http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/. You’ll be amazed at how that neighborhood is changing. There are plenty of restaurants (and more coming), Centennial Olympic Park and it’s fountain, the Coke Museum, our sports teams, and so much more.
Shoot! I just realized. I forgot to mention the FOOD! (How could I forget THAT??) Cafe Aquaria’s food is all prepared by Chef Wolfgang Puck’s wonderful organization. Even though it’s a cafeteria, the food is not what you’d expect from one.
I work at GeAq about three shifts a month, and the dates and times vary, so you may not see me, but I’m not the attraction anyway. Come see one of the world’s greatest places to spend a few hours!
I’ll have more to say about GeAq as time goes on. There are the missions of the place and the wonderful people who work there, staff and volunteers, and the other animals I haven’t mentioned. And stories. Lot’s of stories.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Bernie and Billi Marcus, who gave their vision, time, money, ideas, and passions for the purpose of educating and entertaining us all!
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Legacy Post – Come to Atlanta and see our wonderful fish! (originally published 06.29.08) 27 June 2009

Posted by splait in Uncategorized.
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I worked at the Georgia Aquarium (GeAq) last Friday night.  It is “the world’s most engaging aquarium exhibit”!  In the summer, Friday nights are live Jazz Journeys nights, and the music is great.  Also, you can buy wine and beer and carry it around with you (I bet that got some people’s attention!)

So, that’s a reason to come on Friday nights.  What about the other 48 hours a week the GeAq is open in the summer?

The Georgia Aquarium is the LARGEST AQUARIUM IN THE WORLD!!  (I know – I’m shouting!  But I get that way whenever I go there or even think about it!)  We have four of the largest fish in the ocean living in our 6.3 million gallon Ocean Voyager tank, living with several thousand other fish.  AND YOU CAN DIVE OR SWIM WITH THEM for a nominal fee.  (Sorry.  I told you I get excited!)  In that tank are grouper (an endangered species – I’ll talk about that another time), several other types of sharks, humphead wrasses (you gotta see ’em to believe them, and, if you get right up to the acrylic walls, you can see that they have beautiful coloring), saw fish, bat fish, salt water angels, and many others.  When you enter that gallery, you actually WALK UNDER THE WATER!  How cool is THAT??!!

We have the Cold Water Quest gallery, where my wife prefers to work.  That one has three beluga whales (you have to see Nikko.  He’s a real ham.  He coulda done Vaudeville.); a giant pacific octopus; Gracie and Oz, the sea otters; the pregnant male weedy sea dragon (carries the eggs on his tail!); penguins; and many other exotic animals.  You can even touch sea anemones at the touch pool.

There are three other galleries and a very entertaining 3D movie for the kids (of all ages), but my favorite gallery, and the one I work in the most, is Tropical Diver.  In that exhibit, there are garden eels (appropriately named, as you’ll see when you visit), schooling pygmy sweepers, graceful zebra sharks (born at GeAq!), jellies (they ain’t fish – they are related to coral, which is an animal!), Nemo (clown anemone fish), Dori (the palette surgeonfish), sea horses, and the great living Reef Wall, my favorite spot in the entire building.  It has 165,000 gallons of water, about 80 species of fish, over 2,000 total fish, live coral, and more color than you will see anywhere else in Nature except the oceans themselves!  They add new fish and coral all the time, so there’s always something new to see.

Best of all are the guests (YOU!)  I get to interact with kids of all sizes and teach them what I’ve learned and observed about the habitats and animals.  I love watching people’s faces when they round the corners of either the Ocean Voyager or Tropical Diver exhibits and come to the large windows for the first time.  And the littlest kids – the looks of wonder on their faces and the questions they ask (Can I take a whale shark home?  Who do I go see about that? – I told him to talk to his mother, and to tell her to get a really big ZipLoc bag and a truck.)

If you don’t live in Atlanta, GeAq has become a destination spot for people all over the world.  So come on down!  We have lots of other things for you to see and do, too.  If you live in Atlanta and haven’t come yet (you’ve had three years, almost –  WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM??), get your butt downtown!  Check it all out at http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/.  You’ll be amazed at how that neighborhood is changing.  There are plenty of restaurants (and more coming), Centennial Olympic Park and it’s fountain, the Coke Museum, our sports teams, and so much more.

Shoot!  I just realized.  I forgot to mention the FOOD!  (How could I forget THAT??)  Cafe Aquaria’s food is all prepared by Chef Wolfgang Puck’s wonderful organization.  Even though it’s a cafeteria, the food is not what you’d expect from one.

I work at GeAq about three shifts a month, and the dates and times vary, so you may not see me, but I’m not the attraction anyway.  Come see one of the world’s greatest places to spend a few hours!

I’ll have lots more to say about GeAq as time goes on.  There are the missions of the place and the wonderful people who work there, staff and volunteers, and the other animals I haven’t mentioned.  And stories.  Lot’s of stories.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Bernie and Billi Marcus, who gave their vision, time, money, ideas, and passions for the purpose of educating and entertaining us all!


Legacy Post – Who I Am – Part 001 (originally published 06.28.08) 27 June 2009

Posted by splait in Uncategorized.
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My name is Sid Plait. I am a graduate of Georgia Tech in Information and Computer Sciences, and I worked for high technology corporations in and around Atlanta, Georgia for over 21 years. I spent most of that time concerned with what my clients needed and wanted, and making sure that what we developed was as easy to use as possible. At some point, way too long after I’d had enough of Corporate America, I left it and went out on my own. I love consulting, and work with homeowners and very small businesses from downtown Atlanta to points north, from Decatur to Vinings, Roswell, And Alpharetta.

My main areas of expertise are:

  • Macs and Windows PCs (fixing, maintaining, and upgrading)
  • Networking (wired and wireless)
  • Technology integration (getting your iPod, iPhone, Treo, Blackberry, media server, and whatever else comes along talking to your network and assisting in organizing your life, putting your record albums into digital format, hooking up an external drive for backups, etc.)
  • Virus and other malware removal
  • Disaster planning
  • Data recovery from failed hard drives
  • Recycling electronics properly
  • Destroying hard drives from old computers so no one can get to your data

I also love to teach my clients as much as they want to know about their computing environment, and I do it using plain English, so that it’s easy for them to “get it”.

When my clients graduate to servers, I refer them to several different people here that I love to work with and are associates of mine that will provide them with the same level of support and respect I gave them while I worked for them.

I have lived in the Atlanta area since 1972. I love my wife, daughter, her fiance, and my dog; music (most types); movies; science fiction; mysteries; the occasional Oprah Book Club book;  college basketball and baseballPowerCore; the wonders of the universe beyond our planet; and volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium several times a month.

I am not fond of, nor am I very tolerant of people who hate, people who repeat things they hear or read on the Internet without doing their own research on the subject, people who lie to get power and/or money, and people who refuse to listen to both sides of an argument and think about the information from the side opposed to them.  These people may become targets of future posts here.  If you ever catch me doing any of those things through this blog (or anywhere else), call me on it.

Hopefully, there are a few people left who don’t fit that profile.

Oh yeah, I also like Waffle House, the Cuban sandwich at Fancy Pantry (ask for it crispy!), food in general, and writing.

I use a Mac as my main computer (PowerBook G4, 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM, 250GB hard drive), and I have a number of PCs running different Windows operating systems.

This blog will be about things that I love, and some that I don’t.

Please feel free to comment on anything I write, but do so nicely. BE CIVIL, no matter how much that hurts. (If you’re not sure what ‘being civil’ means, go here.)  I reserve the right to remove any comments or whole postings by anyone who is rude or mean. Even to the point of blocking that individual from posting at all if s/he doesn’t understand the rules.  After all, it’s my blog, not yours.

I hope you find these pages interesting and fun (much of the time, anyway). If there are topics you would like me to address, please write me by cutting and pasting the following into your browser’s address bar: blog”at”plaitsolutions”dot”com.   MAKE SURE you change the word “at” (with the quotes) to @, and the word “dot” (with the quotes) to a period. I did it this way for security purposes.

Trust me.  Internet privacy and security are true passions of mine, as you will see in posts on my other blog.

I look forward to meeting you through this medium.

Deja Vu? (deja vu?) 27 June 2009

Posted by splait in Uncategorized.
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Some of you will notice, over the next couple of days, that posts here on this site look familiar.

Well, if you read my other blog, they will be.

I am moving all non-technical posts from blog.plaitsolutions.com to this blog.  The two blogs have separate purposes and I don’t want to confuse the people going to the other blog any longer.  It will be linked to my website and will be strictly technical from now on (well, after I get all the stuff moved over here, anyway).

I will use the words “Legacy Post” preceding the original titles so that you can just discard any emails you get if you don’t want to read them again.

Once more, thank you all for being here.

BTW, any and all comments are welcome.  If you have something to say, positive or negative, please do so through the “add a comment” link just under the title of the relevant post.  Keep it clean and keep it nice.  You are welcome to disagree, but if you get mean (and I decide what “mean” means), I will block the comment.  If you do it twice, I will lock you out.  Those are my rules.

Step Right Up and Experience the Media Circus!! (Or, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends) 27 June 2009

Posted by splait in Uncategorized.
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To all of you who Googled Michael Jackson and found this site, welcome!  (I’ll get to him in a minute.)

To those of you who have been here before, thanks for sticking with me!

So.  Today I took a great seminar on how to take my business to the next level.  I picked up some really great techniques for doing that.  This post is not about that.

When I get up in the morning, I usually don’t watch commercial TV.  If anything, I watch Turner Movie Classics (commercial-free).  So I was not aware of what was going on.

I knew Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died yesterday, and both deaths left me a little sad.  The world had lost two extraordinary people.  No matter what you think of either of them, they contributed something to use, made our lives a little better.

That’s the last I will say about them here until the end of this post.

During an afternoon break, I went to the lobby of the conference center where CNN was on.  I watched, but I could only stand about three minutes of what I saw.  I was totally disgusted.

We have turned into a nation of peeping toms and ambulance chasers.

CNN had been running non-stop coverage and speculation about Michael Jackson’s death ALL DAY LONG!!!  All the speculation I heard was baseless (or based on rumor), people were being maligned and blamed through strong innuendo.

I heard one commentator say that MJ probably overdosed on drugs.  The implications of that statement could be huge and ruin someone’s reputation (hopefully the commentator’s, but not likely).  The talking head even said that Michael’s doctor would be questioned.

All based on rumor.  All innuendo.

Tonight, I turned on ABC World News Tonight (with Charlie Gibson – another of my heroes).  They dedicated a nice, tasteful, and short three minutes or so to all of this.

However, after that comes on Entertainment Tonight.

And I heard (true or not, I don’t know – more believable, though) that Michael took too many Demerol tablets last night after over-exerting himself.  Then, the idiot on the idiot box said something like “It looks like Michael Jackson may have died of a drug overdose”!

OMG!!

While that statement may be technically true, when someone uses the term “drug overdose”, my thoughts go to illegal drugs, not prescription drugs.  I suspect yours do, too.

Sensationalizing anyone’s death by using misleading terminology intentionally is one of the most heinous crimes committed by “journalists” and talk show hosts.

Don’t these people realize that many Americans (I won’t speak about other countries because I have no idea what they think or how this stuff is presented to them) take in all the crap they spew and believe much of it without question?  Look what happens when the talk radio people blather their hatred out to the masses – we get murders (e.g., the Holocaust Museum), mayhem (abortion clinics), and other hateful crimes that could be avoided if these people were human.   Well, many of them are not; they are just game show hosts, and there are people out there who hang on their every word.

It’s sad, but we have been heading for this for many years.  Maybe we deserve it, because we are so complacent that even our justice system can’t or won’t do anything about it.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  This is pretty much a repeat of Princess Diana’s death and the garbage on the tube for days (weeks) afterward.

While Michael and Farrah were entertainers, they became icons in their own ways, and this is how we treat them – Farrah’s death is basically forgotten, and Michael’s is the headline news for The Inquirer, right between the two headed-baby and OctoMom.

I, for one, will no longer watch CNN, even if they have real news to report.  ET has been garbage for a long time.

Those of us with clear heads are obligated to fight the infotainment and talk radio establishment in some way, shape, or form.  We need to take back the Internet and get rid of the hate mongers.  I know we have freedom of speech, but these people are inciteful (NOT insightful), mean, rude, and are only interested in money and power.

I’m not sure how we do it legally, and that’s the only path I will take, but these people need to banned from TV, radio, and the Internet.

Any ideas on how to do that?  Anyone?

Anyway, this post is a start.