Jim’s Healthy Chili

Healthy food doesn’t always have to mean no taste.  As I’ve had to deal with various health issues over the past few years I’ve had to learn to make some things that I really love in a new way.  One of these things is chili, which I could happily eat every single day without issue.  Below is the recipe I’ve been tinkering with for a while now and I’ve got it to the point where I really like.  Give it a shot and if you find a way to improve it by all means please let me know! Start with… 3 lbs ground lean turkey 1 large diced sweet onion 3 diced bell peppers (colors of choice) 1  petite diced poblano pepper …brown all that together with a covering of chili powder, mrs dash table blend, coarse ground black pepper, garlic powder drain about half the resulting liquid In big pot add the previous mixture with… 3 cans no salt added diced tomatoes 3 cans no salt added kidney beans 1 can low sodium black beans 2 or 3 stalks of thinly sliced celery a handful of shredded carrot a handful of diced fresh cilantro 3 regular size cans of no salt added tomato sauce low sodium tomato juice to desired consistency (I don’t use much) Spices below to taste, but in general i use .5-.75 cup chili powder 2 tbsp white pepper .25 cup garlic powder .25 cup coarse ground black pepper .33 of a normal sized bottle of Texas …

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Scripting Stuff

I recently participated in one of Cisco’s Collaboration User Group (CUG) briefings on scripting their Contact Center Express product.  While I took the official class, UCCXD, I haven’t really had to do much with it because we had a vendor taking care of stuff for us.  Well, that has now gone by the wayside so I’m trying to get myself back up to date on how to manage the application powering our call center.  I had forgotten how much of a PITA it was to find the scripting documentation on Cisco’s site, so after finding it I thought it prudent to Provide a listing and some links here so I can find it later (and for you if you need it.) The scripting documentation for UCCX is organized into 3 separate documents.  The general link for all supported version is to here.  The links below are for the current 9.0 release. The Getting Started Guide– Intro to the Script Editor application and basics of UCCX programming. Step Reference Guide– Describes the various different steps available for decision making. Expression Reference Guide– Describes the various supported expressions available. One thing I learned in the CUG briefing is that included in each version’s documentation bundle, but evidently not linked anywhere that I can find on Cisco’s site, is a Sample Script Repository.  This is updated for each release. Finally if you work with Cisco collaboration/ voice products much I highly recommend that you think about joining CUG as it has proven to be …

Raising a Woman in STEM

My daughter is 19 months old and already has a pretty good idea of what to do with an iPhone and iPad.  As a technical person myself I have great hope that my daughter will pursue a future in a STEM (short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related career; not because I want to her to follow in Dear Old Dad’s footsteps, but because I see the promise it holds for a life of learning and prosperity.  Driving into work this morning I was listening to a report on NPR regarding a recent study at the University of Texas found that girls are more likely to take Physics in High School and follow a more STEM related path when they grow up with a presence of women working in STEM.  While there are IT and engineering folks around, there is not a strong technology related community in my area, especially females, which got me to thinking about how can I help to get my daughter interested in such things? What can we as her parents do to make technology a potential path in her mind? At home we try to do things that get her involved with technology even now.  We have family spread all over so she usually has a Facetime or Skype video call at least every couple of days, but we haven’t got into the games yet.  Looking at pictures on the iPad is a favorite activity as well.  While not necessarily tech, we abide by …

Getting Started with Veeam Backup & Replication v7

Come one, come all virtualization geeks, the latest installment of Veeam‘s excellent Backup & Replication suite has arrived.  As noted in lots of places, v7 boasts a boatload of new and new-to-them features that the community has been requesting for some time.  Among these are a few that I am quite excited about as they should in theory make my job as an admin easier; built in WAN acceleration, support for tape libraries, a vSphere Web Client Plugin, and the ability to create backup copy jobs to support your basic Grandfather-Father-Son backup strategy without external help. Among the biggies are: Built in WAN acceleration * – will be great for me, I’ll only need to take one backup of each VM a night now (didn’t like the rsync or xcopy methods). Ability to take backups from storage snapshots * (as long as you have HP Storage devices)- According to Veeam, should be high performance, capable of near continuous data protection without impacting production performance Plugin for the vSphere Web Client * – manage Veeam directly from within the vSphere Web Client Self Service Recovery * – Let them eat cake! Tape Library Support – Straight to tape from Veeam as long as it can directly see it.  This has been requested for a while Virtual Labs for Hyper-V – Us VMware guys don’t get to have all the fun now, you can now sandbox and test backups in Hyper-V now too. Parallel Processing of VMs and disks within VMs Backup Copy …

Allowing Supervisors to Modify Skill Levels in UCCX 9

Since we installed Cisco’s Call Manager Express call center system a couple of years ago I could set my watch by the requests from our group of supervisors to modify the skill level of our various agents for the various Customer Service Queues (CSQs).  Generally at the same time they will request access to do this themselves.  Imagine my excitement when UCCX 9 was released and one of the features was a mobile browser application called, creatively, Mobile Skill Manager to do just that.  Further you can imagine my chagrin when after upgrading we quickly realized that the app doesn’t work particularly well at this point, either in a mobile browser or through any of the major standard browsers. So to twitter I went trying to find a way to make this happen and lo and behold I found the answer within the System Parameters of UCCX.  Start by logging into the web interface and look in System> System Parameters.  Then under the Application Parameters section you will find an option called “Supervisor Access.”  By default this will be set to No Access to Teams, and if you want to provide access you will need to choose one of the other two options depending on  your need, Access to All Teams or Access to Supervisor’s Teams only.  For us we chose the former because we are a relatively small call center where all the Supervisors cross train. So what does this do?  Changing this setting allows Supervisors access to a …