Nov 302008

The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) is sponsoring not one, but five different contests (or challenges) as they refer to them centered around using XML, XQuery and DB2 more effectively.  Whether you’re a student just starting to learn about these technologies or a greybeard who has written the documentation followed by the aforementioned students there will surely at least one IDUG contest will offer you either excitement, challenge or enjoyment (if not all three).

  1. Monthly Video Contest: Judged by the IDUG community, all you need to do is upload an XML focused video.  Prizes will be awarded monthly.
  2. Monthly Gadget Contest: Simply create a small widget or gadget that will be judged by the IDUG community.  Prizes will be awarded monthly.
  3. Port an Application: has your favorite app been ported to use XML, XQuery or DB2?  If not, do the work yourself and possibly win a prize. Judged by a panel of judges.
  4. Develop an Application: Better yet, develop a brand new application using XML and/or XQuery and enter this challenge. Judged by a panel of judges.
  5. Take The XQuery Challenge: All you need to do is answer a series of questions by developing queries in XQuery. All correct answers (both query structure and solutions) will be entered to win larger prizes.

So, there you have it.  Now go get your geek on!


Nov 302008

It has been about 9 months since Zaira and I went to the racetrack and played the ponies. After my experience at the Bay Meadows opener this probably isn’t too surprising.  Then again, you might not have noticed the lack of my horse racing posts  at all.  But Golden Gate Fields most definitely has.

Not a week has gone by since early September (opening day was September 13th) without my receiving something in th email from Golden Gate Fields.  But their latest letter certainly got my attention.  It included a coupon for free valet or preferred parking and free Turf Club admission for both Zaira and myself.  For me, being in the grandstands with the “unwashed masses” is part of the experience, so I won’t be visiting the Turf Club any time soon.  Even if I were interested in this ‘elite’ area to watch the horses, free admission wouldn’t motivate me to make the drive.
I will, however, be happy to use them, though when we visit on Saturday, December 13th.  That’s when I can cash in the ticket pictured to the right.  For those not familiar with betting slips, that’s what this is.  This “Mystery Mutuel Voucher” is guaranteed to be worth at least $2.00, but could also bring in $3, $5, $25, $50, $500 or even $5,000!  Now that’s nothing to sneeze at.

In addition to being able to cash in this ticket, that Saturday will also be one of three chances (Friday and Sunday are the others) to enter the 2008 Golden Gate Fields Handicapping Contest and win an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the 2009 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Contest.  Of course, as my betting record (and bank balance) clearly show I can’t handicap for squat so the odds are long of my actually winning such a contest.  However, even a stoppe dclock is right twice a day, so I might as well give it a shot.

Sep 022008

Scooby-Doo Where Are You! premiered on September 13, 1969 at 10:30 a.m., a mere two weeks after I premiered… er… was born, and we’ve had an affinity ever since.  When I was a kid, adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I always answered: Scooby-Doo!  Thirty-nine years later, Scooby is still solving mysteries with ihs friends and I’m still trying to become him. is my last chance. They’re holding a dream job contest and the lucky winner gets to live their dream job for a day. I really think I have a chance, too! But I need your help.

Watch the video below and then pop over to the official dream job site and vote for me to get my dream job as Scooby-Doo. Then share the video wherever you can (MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, your blog, etc) and ask your friends to vote for me as well. But I’m a late entrant and there’s only a few days left in the contest, so please help with this big final push.  Together we can help make my last dream a reality!

May 172008

Gi_0_cplogo If I told you was running an Online Video Contest and the winning ad will get $15,000 would you believe me? What if I said that you could win that $15,000 prize for best “Original and Out Of The Box Commercial” without even owning a video camera? Would you believe me then? No? Good. Because you DO need to get your hands on a video camera to win the $15,000 prize.

However, merely creating a storyboard or text description of an original, out of the box commercial could still net you a new Mac Airbook or a $1,000 American Express Gift Card! S, what are you waiting for? click over to get all the details on The Commercial Pitch Challenge Online Video Contest!

May 152008

As I mentioned yesterday there is currently a Dockers contest running to make a new commercial. The winner will have their video played on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Well, I’ve finally come up with the perfect concept for my video and now I’m just looking for my leading man. What I need is someone who is young, hip and likes wearing Dockers. Shouldn’t be too hard… Should it?

I put out a casting call in my local area (my very local area) and three hopefuls answered the ad, including a celebrity that I’m sure you all know and love. Let’s see how they did…