February 28, 2018 at 11:20 PMjamesbl

So, I have been getting into bourbon lately... So much so, that I wanted to try to turn some clear rye into something a little more palatable.  I decided to start with this:


This is your standard clear Rye Mash variant produced by Buffalo Trace.  Quite a nice start, but at this point, still tastes completely awful (trust me, I tried it).

I also have a full woodshop, which means I have plenty of white oak (and cherry) wood on hand.  What comes next is pretty simple, really.  I first started by slicing some varying sizes of oak and cherry… see that pretty wormhole, btw?


Just cutting these woods brought a very nice smell to the woodshop – especially the cherry!

Next, in order to (attempt to) replicate the charred oak barrel environment, I charred these sticks to what I would consider about a number 4 char (char details can be found pretty quickly on the Internet – such as here).  I definitely attained the alligator skin texture I was looking for.


Two of these are white oak and the other is cherry wood.

Hint:  NEVER USE SAP WOOD.  In this case, since I cut my own and have a ton of oak and cherry wood on hand, I just cut the sap out and kept only the good stuff.

Now that the hard part is done, the only thing I have left to do is bottle some up and let time do its magic.

Here’s what it looked like initially.


I must say, after only a couple of days, it started soaking up quite nicely and turned into this:


Considering this happened so quickly, I went ahead and added more clear into this bottle.

IMG_4092   IMG_4094   IMG_4093

Keen eyes will notice the cherry still floating – I think this rules out which wood is more dense, right? Smile

After talking to friends at work about the process, I decided to take 2 oz. samples each week for 1-2 months (if I can last that long!) and sample each to try to determine how long I should let the “aging” (infusion) go before it becomes smooth and tasty.

I grabbed a box of clear white 2 oz. bottles from Amazon to use for this endeavor.

Stay tuned!

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SharePoint 2013 and MAXDOP–No Configuration Required?

August 21, 2013 at 6:32 PMjamesbl

As I was testing some random architecture in my SharePoint 2013 lab recently, (PS – it’s good to work for a hardware company – my lab is finally decent!), I noticed my SQL 2012 server had its MAXDOP configured to 1.  This is great and is obviously a best practice when it comes to hosting SharePoint databases.  The only problem with this was I did not make this change, and considering the default was not 1, I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

I decided to try to catch it in a trace so I spun up SQL Server Profiler and then created a new test content database.



As it turns out, Microsoft apparently made a change to SharePoint 2013 whereby the MAXDOP setting is checked and changed to 1 automatically anytime databases are created.  This includes when you first create your farm and the configuration wizard is run.

This is important for two reasons, one good, and one potentially not so good.

  1. 1. You no longer have to configure this option manually!
  2. 2. If this database server happens to be shared in an enterprise environment, this automatic change done by SharePoint 2013 could potentially have negative effects on the other non-SharePoint databases which reside on the same SQL server.  Be aware!

Posted in: SharePoint


SharePoint 2010 SP2 Released–Server 2012 Compatible Now?

July 25, 2013 at 2:32 PMjamesbl

According to the Microsoft Office Sustained Engineering blog, the SP2 bits for SharePoint 2010 are now available for download.

Links for SharePoint Foundation and SharePoint Server are below for convenience:

SharePoint Foundation 2010 SP2 KB Article

SharePoint Foundation 2010 SP2 Download Link


SharePoint Server 2010 SP2 KB Article

SharePoint Server 2010 SP2 Download Link

Also Microsoft has published an Excel spreadsheet noting the specific fixes that made it into the SP2 packages.

Finally, as most of us in the SharePoint community are aware, with the release of SP2 for SharePoint 2010, with it was supposed to come compatibility for Windows Server 2012.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any details which speak to this point, specifically.  In fact, the KB article which describes the incompatibility has not yet been updated so I’m very curious if SP2 really will bring us Windows Server 2012 compatibility as promised in the article.

Posted in: SharePoint


Launch Task Manager from Desktop Context Menu

June 20, 2013 at 4:44 PMjamesbl

I use task manager a LOT in my job. I also almost always have a ton of programs running, therefore, do not have much space on my taskbar and get tired of finding “just the right spot” to right click in on to get to Task Manager.  As you know, with Windows 8/Server 2012, this becomes even more of an issue (don’t get me started).

After spending the past 20 years with Microsoft, I’ve come up with a ton of registry shortcuts I use as timesavers to do my job, including this one.  Saving the following as a .REG file and importing it now allows me to right click anywhere on my entire desktop and launch Task Manager from there:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Task Manager"


Note:  You could easily replace this with any other program you frequently run as well J.

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Welcome… again

June 10, 2013 at 3:45 PMjamesbl

Since starting with my new company, I will begin by saying I am first going to migrate off some of my older blogs from here while I am still able to.  I do not plan to migrate every post, but only ones which are still relevant, so I welcome your patience.  As always, I’m happy to write about anything else that you are hungry for hearing as well.

First things first, I frequently do a lot of testing inside Virtual Machines (VMs) using Windows Server operating systems and one thing I’ve grown to dislike is having to type in a reason as to why I decided to shut down or restart my machine.

Shut Down Windows-2008R2 Shut Down Windows-Server2012

Even though I’ve grown accustomed to simply typing in a period (.) for the shutdown reason, and clicking OK, even that gets old, therefore, below is the registry key to use for disabling it altogether in Server 2008/2012:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Reliability]


Note:  You will need to typically create the “Reliability” registry key before adding the registry value… or you can just cut and paste the above into notepad and save it as a .REG file for immediate import.

No rebooting is required for this and I’ve confirmed it works on Server 2003, 2008, and 2012.

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Of Goats, Horses, and… Cats

August 24, 2011 at 12:44 AMjamesbl

Today we took a ride to Daron’s house to see his new servers (ok *I* wanted to see his servers – PowerEdge 2950 for fellow interested nerds), and while we were there, we got to see, feed, and play with his horse, goat, and cat…Strange mix, but it worked.

Aaron had one of the most fun times he’s had in a long time… he got to ride the horse, and feed both the horse and the goat.  I think the most fun part for him was was watching Daron make the goat poop (don’t ask).

WP_000100 WP_000106WP_000101

He can’t wait to go back Smile.

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