BPuhl’s Blog

A little bit of everything without actually being much of anything

Archive for November, 2007

Tools

Posted by BPuhl on November 29, 2007

The amount of money spent on tools in my garage, is only exceeded by the amount of money spent on tools which I believe are in my garage but which I can NEVER seem to find.

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Posted in Nuggets, Randomness | Leave a Comment »

Copy of my invoice please

Posted by BPuhl on November 27, 2007

Ok, how hard is it for a hotel to send a copy of the invoice for a stay to an e-mail address?  I would actually UNDERSTAND if they said that they couldn’t do it at all, but I just got off the phone with the Sheraton in London where I stayed recently, and the conversation went like this:

Agent:  Ok I see here where we have your invoice Mr. Puhl.  And it looks like we have your e-mail address as well in the system.

Me:  Thanks, can you verify the e-mail address you have?

Agent:  Yes, we have brian.puhl-at-microsoft.com

Me:  Perfect, if you can send that e-mail I’d appreciate it.

Agent:  No problem, I’ll get that sent off for you within the next two hours

Two hours?  I’m sure I’m not the only customer she’s dealing with (although it’s 1am over there), but seriously – a 2 hour SLA for an e-mail? 

On the one hand, I’m glad that the hotel industry is embracing cutting edge technologies such as e-mail.  Not long ago, they would have asked for my fax number.

On the other hand, it will be nice when the day comes that – with the invoice on their screen – the agent at the front desk can hit “send” and be done with it.

Posted in Randomness, Travel | Leave a Comment »

If a little is good…

Posted by BPuhl on November 21, 2007

Then a whole lot must be a whole lot better! 

At least that must have been Anika’s theory on toilet paper this morning.  oops.

Posted in Anika, Friends and family | Leave a Comment »

Start to a perfect day

Posted by BPuhl on November 20, 2007

I usually walk to work.  Well.  Sort of.  What I really do, is I walk from my house up to a near-by Microsoft building (Red West-E) and from there I can catch a shuttle to take me over to my building (115).

This morning, I took off from my house around 8am, and decided to walk up the trail through the park next to my house.  Crystal clear, sunny morning.  Might have been 30 degrees out, but probably not even that much.  Darn cold, but refreshing and nice to see your breath.  Casually making my way up the hill, a jogger passed by coming in the other direction, and then a couple came by walking their dogs with a cheerful “good morning”.  Near the top of the trail, another dog walker was just entering, on his way to wherever he was going.

Then at the top of the of hill, as I came out into the normal “park” area, I saw a woman holding a coffee cup in one hand, and one of those tennis-ball flinging plastic things in the other.  Her two dogs having the time of their life running and chasing the ball that she would launch across the park.

As I walked past, I commented to her that with the sun shining, a warm cup of coffee, a crisp chill in the air, and her two dogs; that she could possibly be having the start to a perfect day.

Of course, as I reached the edge of the park – I got this tiny feeling of guilt.  I wonder if the smile which she returned to my comment, also meant: “yeah, if only people wouldn’t keep walking past me interrupting it”

Posted in Nuggets, Randomness | Leave a Comment »

Airline Customer Feedback Program

Posted by BPuhl on November 6, 2007

Have you ever sent an e-mail to a co-worker (and probably their manager) because they helped you out, went over and above, or were just plain good when you needed them to be?  What about doing the same thing for an employee at your favorite restaurant, store, or mega-corporation that’s helped you out?  Sometimes, this can be downright hard to do!

Well, I’ve been traveling a lot this year, enough to get the MVP Gold benefits for Alaska Airlines.  Like many other points/rewards programs, when you reach one of their special levels, they send you a welcome packet in the mail with your membership card, etc…

I was really surprised when I got the package from Alaska Airlines, and there were 10 cards for Alaska’s Employee Recognition program.  The idea was simple, but struck me as brilliant:  Since you’ve reached this level, you must fly a lot, so you probably have a better opinion than most of what’s good and bad, so who better than you to let our employee’s know when they are doing a good job?  Simple, yet effective. 

Now, I don’t know what’s in it for the employee’s, but even if it’s just a little gold foil star on their next performance review I’m sure it means something to them.  After all, who doesn’t like being recognized for doing a good job.

Alaska Airlines – Good job!

Posted in Babbling and Blabbering, Travel | Leave a Comment »

New Blog

Posted by BPuhl on November 4, 2007

Ok, giving this a try again. 

So why would I try to blog again?  And since I had a perfectly good blog over at http://blogs.technet.com/bpuhl, why would I move it to WordPress?

When I started my blog, I thought that it was only going to be about things that were technical and interesting from my position as a geeky guy at Microsoft.  Turns out, that there were many times when I wanted to veer away from the technical stuff, started to write things down, and then didn’t think that it belonged on my blog because my blog was in the technet.com namespace.

Interestingly, when I was hired, there was very little guidance and almost no published policy around blogging.  When I set up my blog account on technet, there were very few usage rules, etc…  But personally, I feel that it was my professional “duty” as a Microsoft employee with a blog on Technet that prevented me from posting many of the things that I wanted to.  In fact, I DID actually post some rather random things for a while, and the pushback from the readers was rather…”interesting”

So in the interest of having the freedom to post whatever I damn well please, I’m moving all the content from my old blog to the new one, and will try to be better about posting here.

For those of you that really only care about the geeky/technical posts, I’ll try to accurately tag all of my posts so you can sort and filter as you wish.

Thanks for reading (at least this far),

Brian

Posted in Babbling and Blabbering | Leave a Comment »

Windows Server 2008 Domain Mode!

Posted by BPuhl on November 2, 2007

Our largest internal production domain is now in Windows Server 2008 domain functional mode!

Great job to the operations, engineering, and product group folks who got us this far.

Next stop – DFSR for SYSVOL replication.

Posted in Active Directory | Leave a Comment »