Apr 302011

For some reason, renewing an old passport seems to require just as much paperwork as getting your passport for the first time. The only thing that may simplify things is that it may be possible to do it by mail. All of the necessary forms and addresses for renewing or getting a US passport for the first time are provided at the http://travel.state.gov/ website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html.

Below are some common questions and answers about passports and travel in genral.

Do I need a passport?

Yes. Pretty much wherever you’re from you’ll need a passport. Even people in the European Union should carry their passport when traveling for purposes of identification. Children and infants do need passports as well. Yes, you do need a passport when traveling to Canada or Mexico.

How long does it take to get a passport?

About 6 weeks according to the US travel site referenced above. Getting your passport early is a good idea as expedited requests still take a long time (3 weeks) and they cost extra.

Apr 292011

3 weeks – 0 days:

  • open a bank account in France
  • make arrangements for the dog (kennel, vet, flight)
  • figure out how to open an IRA for the 401K
  • change address with everyone
  • Find cell phone carrier in France
  • Look for appartment in Aix
  • Prepare vehicles
  • sell everything
  • have a going away party.

after arrival:

  • day 1: get cell phones
  • finish opening bank account
  • find activities for Jen
  • find activities for the kids
  • enroll the kids in school
  • figure out how to get a driver’s license


Task Completed
Find a hotel in Denver February 1, 2012
buy plane tickets January 28, 2012
Transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy that can mail them January 28, 2012
call customs about arriving 1 day early January 27, 2012
research schools for the kids. added May 8, 2011 November 1, 2011
find out when Buddy needs his shots and get them at the appropriate time November 1, 2011
find paperwork necessary for the visa for myself and Jen November 1, 2011
Get health certificate and titer test for the dog August 12, 2011
Get official translation and copy of birth certificate and Master’s degree ($100 per document, + extra for the apostille at the Secretary of State office August 12, 2011
Research what’s necessary for a work visa and for a visa for my family members (work, student, or retirement visa) August 10, 2011
Accept a job offer August 8, 2011
Get Little Man a passport. see http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html July 27, 2011
Find out what may be necessary as far as paperwork for being employed over there.The company in France takes care of most of it, then we have to actually go to the French consulate in person (pfft) for additional paperwork. July 27, 2011
Find sites for posting my resume and searching for a job. June 15, 2011
Figure out how to do my resume. The tutor helped correct spelling and grammatical issues. June 7, 2011
Find how to improve my french, via classes w/ business and software vocabulary or maybe for the delf/dalf.I decided on private lessons via Skype over the internet. I found them at verbalplanet.com. June 1, 2011
Create draft 1 of a résumé (CV) in English (to be revised and translated later) May 30, 2011
Renew my passport. see http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html May 20, 2011
Create a timeline with deadlines for finding a job in France, finding one in the States, and giving up just going without a job May 11, 2011
organize todo list by when they need to be done in relation to arriving in france. April 29, 2011


 Posted by at 8:07 pm
Apr 192011

The following are things that I think could be improved upon in JSF2.

1) There is no colspan (or rowspan) attribute for panelGrid.

Something like this would be useful, for example if you want full control of the tables JSF creates for you for specific formatting. There are a couple of ways to get around this. One method is to not use a panelGrid and just use a plain old html table. Of course, if you use a plain html then you’ll have to wrap it something (like a panelGrid for instance) if you’d like the table to be rerendered with some AJAX.

The other way around this is knowing that the panelGrid does offer headers and footers for the table it creates for you. This may be acceptable for your design.

<f:facet name="header">
    <h:outputText value="I am header text and I take up many columns."/>


<f:facet name="footer">
    <h:outputText value="I am footer text and I take up many columns."/>

2) A Boolean value on a bean is set to false instead of being left as null when the form is submitted.

There isn’t much to say about this. It’s “Boolean” not “boolean,” so don’t touch it if it’s null! This may have to do with the javax.faces.VALIDATE_EMPTY_FIELDS setting, but in my mind the two should be unrelated. Storing null instead of “false” is useful when saving form data to a database and capturing whether the user actually chose false or was defaulted into false. The default should be null if there is a “no option” default. The only way around this I’m aware of at the time of this writing is making the backing bean use a String, giving the “no option” option a value of “null,” and then turning that “null” String into an actual null value before inserting into the database (what a pain).

3) selectMany check boxes can only be displayed vertically or horizontally.

What about 2 by 2? 3 by 2? etc. This is another control issue.. The way around this that I found is to create extra methods on the backing bean – one that returns the first half of the check boxes and one that returns the second half of the check boxes. That way the two methods can be used for two separate columns, thus creating a list of checkboxes that are two-by-two. The annoying thing about doing it this way is that returning a simple

list.sublist(0, list.size() / 2);

doesn’t really work. Since JSF wants to set data on the list instead of just looking at it, you may need to actually truly have two lists on the backing bean. Then dealing with it as one list requires some additional workarounds. That’s what I had to do…

 Posted by at 9:56 pm
Apr 122011

Here’s how to kick people off of the server in case they leave for the day (or for lunch) and leave their RDC (Remote Desktop Client) open.

*open a command prompt to windowssystem32dllcache

*type the following…: query session /server:etltst01

*type the following….: reset session X /server:etltst01
where X is the ID of the person to boot.

from http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/command-line-hack-for-terminal-server-has-exceeded-the-maximum-number-of-allowed-connections/.