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Archive for October, 2011

Sickness update:

Posted in Thought of the Day on October 25, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

Just went to the restroom to blow my nose.

I’m sure the people voting in the adjacent Assembly Chambers were pleased to hear what I can only imagine sounded like the World’s Most Awesome Trumpet Solo.


Posted in Blogs, Sports, Support, Website, Wombats on October 24, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

Let’s just go ahead and file this under “Everything.”

First off, I haven’t been feeling up-to-scratch, and my weekend was filled mostly with medicine and disconcerting amounts of post-nasal drip. That it came on the heels of a flu shot, which my coworkers swear is the sole cause of my infirmity, is a mere coincidence.

Second, I did attend the Swapmeet for winter gear at Kenai Central HS on Saturday. I did not find skis, as I grossly underestimated the budget necessary for winter activities. That, and a friend who knows about such things insisted that I choose skis and apparel based on color. Wise words from one who knows. I considered a delightful pair of flippers, but decided against them, hoping that they would be better matched with someone who would look better in them than I would.

In help news, Master of All Things Hardware Casey has rededicated himself to his blog, and I have a current battle for blog supremacy with Jordan and his wildly helpful Helpdesk blog.

Speaking of bloggery and website funnery, we’re trying to come up with a name for the KPBSD Blog Server. Something more creative than “KPBSD Blog Server.” Ideas are encouraged. We can’t use Blogosphere, since that term is the collective term for all blogs. See poll at right or leave a comment. We have also created a Directory for some of the existing KPBSD blogs, so if you would like yours included, please let me know.

In wombat-related news, I recently found out that the animal collective term for wombat is a “mob.” The gratification I get from this tidbit of information is beyond understanding. I hope someday to encounter a wombat mob in the wild.

So there we have it. A bit of everything. I’ll thank my flu medications for the cohesion exhibited in this post. At least my nasal passages are happy.



Posted in Sports on October 10, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

I’ve been working here two months already. Hm.

Time is fun when you’re having flies.

Anyway, I’ve been back in Alaska for slightly longer than this, and have taken every opportunity to enjoy the variety of recreational activities the State has to offer.

I’m not alone in this endeavor. The students here at KPBSD schools are busy with all manner of sporting events. The football season is coming to an exciting close, with previously unassailable SoHi defeated by rival Kenai, volleyball is getting very interesting, with a strong showing by smaller schools such as Skyview, and all around the District, kids are out enjoying the healthy benefits of exercise.

For me, exercise and traditional sports are a bit of a new thing, for when I was in school, I was a trainwreck of an athlete. Seriously, I was awful, at every organized sport I happened to be forced into (Thanks, Mom and Dad).

  • Cross Country Running – I was spectacularly bad at running. I actually managed to place DEAD LAST in one event. Demoralized, I went home, where my very supportive Mother said, “Well, you didn’t get first, but you probably didn’t finish last.” Ouch, Mom, ouch.
  • Swimming – Instead of “Swims like a fish,” I was “Swims like a fish sandwich.” How I managed not to drown is thanks only to a keen interest in survival and the Shallow End.
  • Wrestling – Went to one tournament and broke my ankle warming up. That was the end of that.
  • Track and Field – The only season I tried out (wanted to be a pole vaulter), Mount Redoubt erupted, covering the Peninsula in ash and ending the season for everyone. This was probably just the planet’s way of saying I was far too uncoordinated to be running with a spear in my hands in the first place.

Add into the mix that I invariably crash when I am on a bicycle, I would be a Trifecta of Catastrophic Failure if I ever did something silly and insane like try to do a triathlon.

Needless to say, I am very impressed with student athletes, as their abilities to put in the time and effort of intense physical training in addition to school work is astounding.

So, while back in Alaska, I have used my few short months to get in shape and do exercise. Along with hiking, I have taken to the odd mountain biking trek. Yes, I still fall. A lot. But the overwhelming influence of gravity does not deter me. One brilliant and beautiful place to ride is Soldotna’s Tsalteshi Trails.

Tsalteshi Trails are a well-maintained system of trails used predominantly for cross-country skiing in winter, and for hiking and mountain biking in the summer. With some 15 km of trails, there are steep hills, quick turns, and beautiful city views.

The trails themselves are named after wildlife indigenous to the area, and all all trails have their Native Alaska name on the trail marker signs. For instance, “Bear” is also known as “GGAGGA,” which is precisely the sound I make when encountering one in the wild.

With snowfall approaching, I plan to extend my questionable athleticism to cross country skiing, which should be delightful to anyone who likes to watch me fall down. So, I’ll try learning with the hopefully patient people at Tsalteshi by attaching slippery boards to my feet. I imagine this will be rather like riding two eels. Adding to my considerable ineptness at all things ski, it appears that I’ll be armed with sharp sticks in my hands, so if I could have a medical team specializing in puncture wounds nearby, that would be great. If I somehow manage not to greviously injure my person, I imagine I’ll be learning exactly why Skyview High School is so named, as a view of the sky is precisely what I’ll see whilst flat on my back.

So, big ups to the students capable of non-traumatic athletic endeavors, and here’s to what will surely be an exciting and humbling winter.

If you need me, I’ll be practicing my swim training. I’ll be the one in the Shallow End.


A. Chord D.N.

Posted in Website on October 6, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

I haven’t been this excited about accordions since the Great Alaskan Polka Festival of ’84.

You may now realize that you haven’t the slightest idea of what I’m going on about. Welcome to the club.


Yes, but not exactly the Mariachi kind.

The accordion I am way too excited about today lives on the front page of the KPBSD website. It’s on the right, right to the right of  the highlight, am I right?

The accordion is a device that allows a user to interact with the website to specify the type of information he or she would like to receive, all while being rather parsimonious with the website’s pixel space.

This allows us to introduce new information, such as Facebook and Twitter feeds on the home page, without subtending more of the homepage’s valuable real estate. The way the behaves when a user clicks on its various regions give rise to the accordion term.

So, try out the accordion, and tell me what you think. Stay tuned for more instrumentation, including a website tuba and website jug, because our end goal is to form a proper Polka Orchestra.

I’m kidding, of course.

Nothing about polka is proper.


And Now for Something Completely Different…

Posted in Wombats on October 6, 2011 by Webmaster Mike


A bit about wombats and associated wombattery.

Posted in Blogs, Wombats on October 5, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

I haven’t been working here for two months yet and here I am already blogging about wombats.

But today’s post is not for your average, garden variety wombat. Oh no.

Today I’m all about the AWESOME FIGHTIN’ WOMBATS.

For those of you unfamiliar with my job description, I manage the KPBSD website and associated online content. Part of this content is the District’s 44 schools’ homepages. Currently, the homepages are hosted by a third-party, and are set to expire soon. With that in mind, I have been researching other ways to have school websites with the following desirable attributes:

  • Easy to manage
  • Customizable
  • Affordable
  • Contains references to wombats

As luck would have it, the answer lies in our very own blogosphere. By using easy to learn and use WordPress technology and hosting the content on our own servers here at the District Office, we maintain content control and best of all, the price is right. In that it costs nothing more than everything we already have in place.

“But Mike, how do we become part of such an incredible and groovy system?” You ask.

The answer is Wombats.

Fightin’ Wombats, to be specific.

Awesome Fightin’ Wombats, to be quite specific.

Getting started with your own blog is easy, and if you want to manage and update your school’s blog (which will be the new official school website), that’s super easy, too. To begin, go to:

Awesome High School and enroll. You won’t be sorry.

Be sure to vote in the poll at right regarding the Awesome High School Wombat motto.


Positively Possessed – Electronegativity and you.

Posted in Support on October 4, 2011 by Webmaster Mike

I’ve previously described how someone can find assistance with various computer-related trauma they might be experiencing. Because of overwhelming feedback, I feel as though I should make a few things clear.

Many have maintained that I am incorrect in my supposition that computers cannot feel hatred. Some have even cited examples of loathing from appliances such as the copy machine in a particular school.

Though a matter of taxonomy, this assumption of hatred is misguided. The real matter in this case is known as Electronic Possession.

Possession can be easily mistaken for sentient-like feelings from a machine, but the cause of the problem is none other than our favorite of subatomic particles; the electron.

Yes, electrons, being negative by very nature, have a distinct propensity to behave in odd ways. Take Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which maintains that one cannot simultaneously know the location and velocity of an electron. In other terms, if you know where it is, you don’t know where it’s going, and if you know where it’s going, you don’t know where it is. This feeling may be familiar to those of you who have been to college.

If that is not an example of the occult, I don’t know what is.

Luckily, the solutions outlined in my previous post remain true, but I’ll add some more terminology, because hey, who doesn’t love terminology?

Jordan, in this case, is what is known as an Electron Whisperer, as he gently coaxes electrons to behave as they are supposed to.

Casey, by contrast, is an Electron Wrangler, as he uses his vast array of talents to physically corral electrons into their proper places.

I hope this clears up any confusion. As always, feel free to contact our department, as we can assist you in all of your whispering or wrangling needs.