It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.


New Years
A couple of people have asked me what plans I have this evening. I tell them "laundry" (with a visit from my old buddy Johnny Walker). I thought about it and I hope to wake up tomorrow and find there is no news about anything special. That is a sad statement. A good day is a slow news day recently. I don't remember a time in my life when people felt like this on mass. World War II movies seem to portray a home front feeling a bit like what I'm feeling now. I feel on edge and I check the news every fifteen minutes. I'm too paranoid. I must relax.
It is after lunch. Sidney and Japan have had their New Years celebration. They could just run them again at midnight for Houston and no one would notice the difference.
I'm listening to the
BBC Five Live. They just said another explosion has been heard in Baghdad. The comment was "That is typical these days. We hear this story every night from Baghdad." That too is a sad statement. It is true. There have been explosions in Baghdad every evening over the Christmas break.


In the beginning, sometime during World War II, Man said "Doing math by hand sucks." and Man wrought the paper tape machine. This paper tape had holes stamped into it's surface and ran along a light sensor that counted the wholes and allowed Man to run and play while the machine toiled. And Man said "This rocks." And Man was right.
The machine that counted the holes in a paper tape satisfied Man's need to pursue ignorance. But the machines multiplied and grew complex. They counted electrons. Each machine spoke it's own language driving Man nuts. Man said "This Sucks." And Man was right.
Then, during a time Man was willing to try new things, sometime in 1969, he begat the seed of his own ascension. Man loosed upon creation a language to guide machines. This language was called "C" and Man said "Everything else sucks. C is the only way to go." And Man was right.
From that point on every list of instructions for these complex machines was written in C, or hidden behind another language that was just a vale for C. And Man said "Whatever." And Man was right.


New Year's Resolution
I'm giving up sex for a year. Not just sex, my ally-catting ways as well. That's right. It is the straight and narrow for me for an entire year. No more staying out until dawn on work nights. No more three day parties. No more sexual treasure hunts. It will be tough, but I think with the support of family and friends I will prevail.
I look forward to your support.

Geek Speak
So, I'm trying to get Bugzilla to work on my web server. I follow the instructions. They are 10,000 foot level instructions. This is an open source project and the only way the people working on the project get paid is to hire themselves out as consultants. The instructions online are lacking to generate a need for more consulting. I follow the instructions as best as I know how.
The scripts included in the install that are supposed to fix the access rights mess up some of the execute attributes on the Perl scripts. The page “index.cgi” was working just find. Then, it just quit. What happens the script called “fixes” the rights on files. It didn't fix the rights on these files. The three-hundredth time I ran the script it must have messed them up. The symptom is the CGI script is listed in the browser instead of running on the server.

I had to learn a couple of things.

  • How to set rights on files more accurately.

  • How to change the colors in PUTTY.

  • How to set the access rights under Apache web server more appropriately.

  • Better security measures for Apache.

  • How to get CGI to run under folders other than the default under Apache.

  • How to install Perl modules (not how to fix them when they don't work).

  • How to write and run a hello world in PHP and Perl.

People laughed at me when I said I wanted to be a comic. Well, they aren't laughing now.
When I go I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my father. Not like the other people who were screaming in the car he was driving.


Someone Special
Have you ever had some one who you wished you were special too? Because they are special to you. It feels cruel when they treat you like every one else. You learn about them to find their interests. You make them your interests. Still, you are one among many. What to do?


What is with gift giving? Women seem to get all upset when you can't read their mind and pick out the perfect gift. My parents gave me a GPS for Christmas. I have no use for a GPS. I go nowhere. My father has needed one for his boat recently. I tried to give them a TiVo because they watch so much TV. My father took one look at the book and said “There is no way I'm going to learn how to use this.” Neanderthal.
From now on I'm giving people cash. That is just the Kelly thing to do. I'm never buying any one anything ever again as far as gifts go. All it does is provide people with an excuse to call you a jerk and blame you for their problems.
Bryan has a great thing going. I don't give him anything and he doesn't give me anything. It is a guy thing. We speak every six months or so. I consider him a close friend.
They are talking about people on TV at the malls exchanging and shopping. People are bargain hunting.


It isn't fun being me on Christmas. I never seem to forgive myself. Some guy tried to run us off the road on the way home from work on Christmas Eve. My parents don't want their gift. I'm alone. There is no snow. Christmas sucks.

Next year Cash.


So, I'm trying to log into my machine remotely one day and it just isn't there. VNC keeps telling me "no server". I can still get to my web page (on the Linux box, go figure) so the network is still up. I've had this machine reboot for no reason a couple of times lately. When I get home I take one look at the screen "hard drive failure". That is a pretty new drive so I unplug everything and plug it back in. It comes right up. It is the power supply. "humph". The box isn't worth repairing. The $40 on a power supply would server me better if I just upgrade.
It seems like I hit this stage one every box. I have an old HP 333 that has a bad IDE channel that prevents me from installing the latest kernel of Linux. I have an old Gateway 400 that my web page uses. I also use it as a file server. The original 10 gigabyte hard drive caught on fire. That still cracks me up. It now has a 40 and a 120 gigabyte drive. I had to flash the BI/OS to get the 120 squeezed in there.
I should have a new machine on the way. Well, new to me. It is another x00 MHz box that no one seems to want. I want to take the box that I'm having the trouble with now and convert it to Linux. Right now the only thing I seem to do with it is Overnet, email and a bit of web surfing. I should be able to get away with Linux without trouble as long as the network card works under the distribution. The same NIC (Network Interface Card) will work find in one distro and not the other. It seems the cheaper the NIC the more likely it will work.
Now that Red Hat is dead (to me anyway) I have to find a new favorite distro of Linux. I will consider Fedora just as much as any other. I'm a bit miffed at Red Hat for acting like Microsoft. I'm sure they did this whole "We will support another free distro instead of keeping ours free" in order to get people used to paying for the name Red Hat. They can kiss my wallet.

What a difference a good night's sleep can make. I feel great this morning. I took a decongestant before I went to bed and slept like a baby.

Five Live
I listen to the BBC Five Live during the day. I come in at 6:30 am Central in Houston Texas. They are just starting their evening commute in England. They interview actors and singers and the like. They also have traffic reports, they call it “travel”. A couple of months ago the guy who plaid John Luc Picard on Start Trek The Next Generation read traffic. I thought that was cool. Well, It has been topped. Today they interviewed the guy who plaid Gollum. He read traffic as Gollum. It was disturbing and fascinating, just like Gollum. I pictured Gollum in a suit with a hat on the street on his way to work, daydreaming on the train, stopping for a paper, wanting an adventure.


I'm at work and I'm sick. If I don't come in I don't get paid. So, I'm here. I should be at home in bead sweating the cold out. I don't have a fever, because I'm popping Tylenol every ten minutes. I'm buzzing on cold medicine. It isn't a good buzz. I'm staring at the screen wanting desperately to go to sleep. Why waist a sick day on being sick? I got back from lunch and I feel a little better. I have so much to do when I get home. I have to pay bills. I have to do some research for Tpro. I have to wash the sheets. I need to pick up a package  from the apartment office. I have to throw out some boxes. I need to fix my computer because it is resetting for no reason and not coming back up.
It is not easy to be me and be sick and be responsible. I can leave today at three o'clock. The walk home sounds dreadful. I should stop at the store this evening. I need a bunch of stuff. It will not happen. I will go home and collapse. I fear I may sleep straight trough to tomorrow morning when my alarm goes off. It wouldn't be the first time.
Must keep eyes open. Must keep breathing. Must ... umm. something ... it isn't important.
I want to go home and sink into clean sheets, dream of sleeping so I'm enjoying two sleeps. I'll snore with a smile on my face. ahhhhh.


Software packaging
I just had some guys come in to my office at my day job and ask me about adding a bunch of configuration files to Microstation. That is no big deal if it were the company's install. We have gone through great pains to make everything fit into a standard for just such times. The trouble is, they want to add our company's configuration files to another company's install of Microstation. I know this other company has not paid as much attention to standard folders and locations for configuration information as this company. They are asking me to do the most difficult possible combination of tricks. They want me to go into an existing system and make a bunch of changes without screwing a bunch of stuff up. I can put a brand new system in place easier. I can get rid of the existing system and put a new one in place easier.
People just don't understand that automating things requires people do do things the same way every time. When Henry Ford automated manufacturing of automobiles he did it with an assembly line. Every model T that rolled off the line was identical. You could get any color you wanted so long as it was black. All the parts have to fall into just the right place and bolt together without modification every time. Computers are no different. When some one changes the folder the program installs to, they are moving the engine to between the seats and don't even realize it.
My suggestion is to remove Microstation off the machines and do a full company-ized install. This will eliminate conflicts between their version and ours.

Jobs going overseas
By the way. The other company is in India. This company is moving many engineering support jobs offshore. The job I used to do here when I started at this company a couple of years ago will no longer exist in a few months, and it will never come back. It will never exist at any company again in the USA. Once they get the skills to do the support jobs and the engineering, what will stop them from just managing it all themselves? Why will they need the USA at all? They will have new markets all over the world full of new consumers with new found high paying (10% of US wages) salaries.
There was a meeting of the engineering industry people not long ago. I wish I had details. They were in awe of the Chinese. When companies go to China to research engineering, they find that all the engineers have PH/Ds from US universities and will work for ten cents on the dollar of US wages. They are immensely qualified. I'm afraid US citizens are just going to have to get used to a lower standard of living. We have ridden the high horse for too long it seems. Not everyone will own a car. Not everyone will have cable. Maybe we really are the stuck-up snobs the rest of the world sees us as.
Well, screw the rest of the world. I love the USA. I think she is the least worst country ever.

And I didn't think I had anything to say when I started typing. I need to be more upbeat. I'm going to be managing support at Tpro, so I will be the one deciding who gets the jobs and how things are done. That should float me for a couple of decades. Houston is a huge engineering town. It will be hit hard by this very soon. Maybe the housing market will come back to a reasonable level. I can watch the fall of western civilization from a tarries on the thirty-fifth floor. (eew! I don't like that image.) I can fight the rising tide of apathy and ignorance by spreading knowledge nurturing wisdom. That is a much better sound bite.

Excused Absences
Christmas and New Years day fall on Thursdays this year. My day job has a policy of working the day after Christmas. A mandate came down from corporate that they can take the day after Christmas and the day after New Years day as a free vacation day. I'm a contractor. If I don't come in, I don't get paid. Thanks Corporate. I get one less day of pay this year, and one less next year. And on top of a 6% pay cut in the beginning of this year. Merry Christmas!


Hobbit Names
I found a page that gives you your
hobbit name. Mine is Marmadas Grubb of Little Delving. Several soles have responded.

Fosco Chubb of Deephollow
Rosie-Posie Sandybanks (not of Frogmorton)
Meriadoc Knotwise of Michel Delving
Rosie-Posie Sandybanks of Frogmorton
Wilibald Bulge of Hobbiton
Dimple Bumbleroot
Longo Brambleburr of Bindbale Wood
Ruby Knotwise of Whitfurrows
- and her alter ego Merenwen Pallanén the elf
Honeysuckle Brockhouse of Loamsdown
Wilibald Grubb of Little Delving
Petunia Foxburr of Loamsdown

One cool thing is some of these little folk changed their email signature to reflect their hobbit name. This is the kind of stuff that makes the internet fun.


Geek Speak
So, I'm trying to get Perl and PHP to work on my Linux box. I have some experimentation to do for Tpro. In Red Hat 9.2, the last free version of Red Hat, I decide to cheat and just install them off the distribution CD. I find out they are already there. In order to make sure they are actually working before I try to install the real software I'm testing, I, being a geek, decide to get the tried and true “hello world” to pop on each first. Now, I might be done installing the test software by now if I had just assumed they work and sallied forth. No. I start pummeling through the documentation for Perl and PHP. I decide Pearl will be first. I tear the machine apart looking for the Perl folder. Other scripting languages like SH (Shell) BASH (Born Again Shell (no kidding)) all have folders to start with. Well, Perl is an executable. it takes me an hour of searching and research online to figure out that I'm barking up the wrong tree. There is Perl, /usr/bin/perl right where it is supposed to be, except it is a binary (and exe in Windows speak) instead of a folder. I write the hello world and it works in one shot.

#!/usr/bin/perl (This like tells the interface where to find the language so it can run the script.)
print “hello world”;

That's it. Three hours later for that. That did include install time.
Now I'm off to PHP. PHP is a bit different. It is a web scripting language only. In other words, you need a web server to run it for you. (PHP does have a command line interface. That is not what I was testing.) I thumb through a PHP book I bought several months ago. The first chapter has the fabled “hello world” page ready for my use.

<title>Lookout World!</title>
<?php echo 'hello world' ?>

I pop over to my HTTP folder and plop the script down in a test folder and try to hit it from outside. “object not found”. =\ What the heck? I stare at the PHP script on the screen and think to myself “It is right here in the screen. What do you mean you can't find it?” Well, it isn't the computer, it is me. I've put the script in the wrong test folder. I pop over to the right test folder and retype the script, because I can't remember the intricacies of the mv command in Linux, and Putty (the term program I'm using) locks up. I must have it some magic key to upset Putty. “rassa-frassin-picajunk”. Then came the magic words in my browser “Hello World”. They some how make everything OK.


It is freezing outside. There is a light frost on cars and grass. This city is not used to it. In Houston, if one patch of ice forms on an overpass ten miles north of the city limits, the whole city shuts down. People here just don't know how to drive in weather of any kind.

I am so smart (I mean smart)
I was just helping out someone at work this morning. They want to install this software on a standing web server at the company I work for. The trouble is, our IS department blows a gasket when you want to put anything on these servers. They are very touchy and the versions of DLLs need to be tracked to verify security updates and stuff like that. Anyway, I was able to walk this person through a complicated install requirements schema. I told him how to approach the vendor and the IS people to make sure he gets what he needs. I was able to explain why we need to do the whole thing twice (development and production). Sometimes I surprise myself with my own knowledge.

Failure to control speed
There is a law in Texas that says if you rear-end some one it is your fault. The law is there to take the load off the courts I'm sure. I've only heard of one of my friends getting this overturned and making it the other person's fault. It is a boon for insurance fraud people because they simply cut some one off and slam on the breaks. The whisper mill says if you can prove the person in front was on their mobile phone, you might get them ticketed instead of you.

Help Desk woes
Where I work uses a huge support company for technical support. Our company has tens of thousands of workers. The last couple of months, the wait time has gone to over an hour. You have to listen to this repeating voice that bitches at you for calling the help desk. It says you will receive a response in 24 hours. The trouble is, I know more than the front line people who will get this email. They say 24 hours, but I get three week turn around. I have them lower the priority of the ticket without telling me because they don't want it to show up on the reports. That gets my hackles up.
I only had to listen to the repeat message four times that time. I actually got through in five minutes.
I need a password reset on a VMS server. The front line person can't do that. They have to escalate me to security. I'm only on hold there for about two minutes. That is all acceptable. What happened?
I'm going to do this for Tpro. I'm going to be 1-800-NoHelp. It is amazing how may companies suck at support. I hope Tpro is not one of them.

Microsoft Flight Simulator
I got Microsoft Flight Simulator Tuesday evening. I'm thinking it was a mistake. I'm legally blind and unable to drive or ever get a pilot's license. I love the simulators. This thing is going to soak up a bunch of time. I can sit there and watch the plane fly past some mountain range and just love it. I'm not even into the navigation and map manipulation stuff. My favorite activity is flying through a mountain range and landing on a lake in the middle of nowhere. I've always had some fascination with aquatic planes. There are helicopters too. I've developed a much higher respect for helicopter pilots. Even in easy mode the helicopter is like trying to heard cats in the air. My favorite plane at the moment is the Piper Cub. It is a one person plane with no horsepower that flies at about sixty miles an hour. It is just a sweetheart to fly.


Quote of the day
He without stones should not through rocks.

We had a descent little break today at my day job. There was a fire drill in the middle of the morning. I wouldn't mind doing that every day the weather is pleasant. It is December eighth and the temperature outside is in the sixties. I'm not complaining. It is just a bit off really. December is supposed to be cold and rainy. I remember as a kid walking around outside in shorts on Christmas Eve. Ah, well. global warming is a bugger.

I'm watching a Jackie Chan movie called
The Medallion. It is definitely Chan's stile. I'm zooming through the boring bits. There is a stupid love story. Something about a kid and a book. Blaw blaw blaw. I do like the Hong Kong opinion of Interpol. They are teated like inept Keystone boobs. Not worth a rental.


California bans GM pet fish
I'm going to buy a tanker truck full of these things, drive them to CA, and dump them in several rivers and streams just to piss all the CA freaks off. (my apologies if you are a CA freak =] )

DND isn't that bad
Some one read my DND gripe below and asked me what other stuff is making me upset right now.
Bad stuff
I'm working two jobs.
I'm only getting paid at one job.
The second job is costing me a fortune in money and time.
I got a 6% pay cut at the job that does pay.
I haven't had sex in a year and a half.
My only love prospects suck.
I'm only attracted to gay women (issues!!!!! This needs another blog entry).
I just can't bring myself to sleep around. I need "looooove" or something.
I have this rage problem that I can't get ahead of.
I've stopped preying because I'm getting tired of listening to myself wine to God. (OK, I haven't stopped preying, but I do feel pathetic.)
My next door neighbor, no matter who lives there, has a sub-woofer they insist on putting next to the adjoining wall.
Good stuff
My best friend in the world, Adam, is always there for me, doesn't always put up with me, and is usually supportive.
My parents have always been supportive and had my back.
The second job, the one that does not yet pay, gives me hope for the future.
I know God suffers with me. I know 99/100 people on the Earth have it worse than I do. I know I'm going to heaven when I die. I wish that did it for me.

Offshore Programming
I just heard an interesting fact about Offshore Outsourcing of code. One of the advantages is hiring three companies to start a project and dumping the one that show the crappiest results after three months. Then dumping the runner-up after six months. I assume this is on like a two year project or so.
It would most likely be best if they didn't know the other companies were involved. Then again, the sense of competition might help spur them along.
From a Tpro perspective I need to know these things. The only way to beat the Man is to be the Man.

I spend time on the phone at work. I have an ear bud thing that allows me to use my hands for rude gestures while helping people through computer problems. I caught myself a minute ago hitting the mute button just as I was about to cough. The trouble is, I was not on the phone and didn't even have the ear bud in my ear. It makes me wander how many people have seen me do this while they are sitting in my office talking to me. I wander how many of them have done it.


Well, my workplace has some interesting security ideas. There is a fence all around the complex and guards. There are three gates for automobiles. The “back” gate is almost never open. There is no automatic open thing that opens it. I t is just for show really. The side gate is closed off this morning for no apparent reason. I don't drive and the guard let me walk in. That is worrying. That is the kind of thing they do when there is a security threat or, even more worrying to me, a lay-off. I've heard rumors that a large project is about to be reassessed. The two in the chest two in the head meeting was yesterday. hmmm.
-later the same day-
They are obviously funneling people through one entrance because they are looking for some one coming in to the complex. I'm not giving anything away. The rumors I've heard about the project are at least delayed.

Notebooks everywhere
I just walked past a conference room. There were fifteen people in there with at least ten notebook computers. Every notebook had a separate network cable. There were two hubs and a switch. My company has a paranoid view of wireless. I'm thinking one wireless router would have eliminated fifteen cables and obvious hazards. They wouldn't have spent twenty minutes setting up all the wires and wasted tape taping them to the carpet. The policy is just plain no. Oh, well. I suppose it is for the best.


I've been thinking a bit about dominance lately. People seem to confuse sex and dominance. Football, baseball, other competitive sports are really not about sex. They are about dominance.
I watched a show on the news about bullying in schools. I was both a bully and the victim of bullying when I was a kid. It is all about who is alpha-kid. Dogs bully. Monkeys bully. It is part of our mammalian brain. We tell people to be winners and then tell them not to be bullies. We tell people they are empowered and then set the rules. We tell people to get an education and then send their job to another country. We tell people to eat healthy and then inundate them with ads for fattening food. We tell people not to smoke and subsidize tobacco farmers.
The U.S.A. is doomed to very nasty implosion. I worry I will live to experience it. This country was formed because people were trying to escape dominance by a few over the many. They used dominance to take the country. Now, those who are dominant are trying to make a nation of passive addicts.

OK, sorry. I'll step off the soap box. I'm ordering a very fattening pizza and some caffeinated Dr. Pepper. mm mm mmm. No one is dominating me.


Bubba Hotep
This movie is great. Watch the trailer and go see the movie.


The truth about game points
I've explained what game points are. Lets review. Game Points are a reward for helping the DM (Dungeon Master) make the game better. They can be used to improve a dice role, and even modify a minor plot point. Our DM gives quizzes based on reading or if he is to lazy to assign reading he just tells us to make up our own questions. Game Points are also allotted for those who perform tasks like order food or other annoying tasks that would other wise eat up the DM's time.
I have had trouble accepting Game Points because they are outside the game. To me the idea of game points is no better than someone saying “give me money or I'll kill your character.” It is just bad.
I used Game Points for a long time right up until Adam (our DM) bitched at me once for not using a game point to save a character that sucked. They are my game points. Get off my back. I figured I had two choices. I could just dump Game Points outright, or just waist them on frivolous stuff and make sure I didn't have any when push came to shove. Adam dangles this carrot in front of people to control them. If I take the value away from the commodity and blow it off, it blows the control. It has become a competition. Sarah (one of the players) is the most obvious one who made it into a competition.
I'm not playing DND any more. It isn't the game. It is the people. I like them as friends. I just can't play DND with them any more. (it is really me. I'm just no good at competition. I don't like beating people and I can't stand loosing.)

Today is Thanksgiving. I went over to the parents house and ate great food until I was about to bust. It was just me and my parents. I think the abandon a trip to some relatives in Oklahoma to have dinner with me. I feel greatly out of place going to my parent's house for holidays. I'm thirty four years old. I have no girlfriend. I have no wife or family to take. I don't have any other family (the in-laws) to share holidays with. There is just nothing there. There isn't even a prospective lady to fill the gap. I wish I could run though names and say “she is not a prospect because of this reason.” and so forth. That just isn't possible. I'm an old maid.
Today was hot and humid. For some reason, it felt like Christmas.

I bought a new mouse. It is a tinny thing meant for notebook computing. It is optical, wireless and uses one of those little USB plugs to connect. The LED light on the USB “dongle” is about as bright as any xenon headlight I've ever seen. It blinks obnoxiously whenever you move the mouse or click a button. It is just plane annoying. The mouse is great. I've played games with it and used it for several days. One of the guys at the office got one a couple of weeks ago. I got the non-rechargeable version. It was $20 cheaper.

Failed Marriage
Jenna, my ex-wife, told me she was pregnant. I wanted so much to be married. It was days like today that drove me to it. I think she really was at some point. She went to the doctor. and the whole bit. It turned out that we did not have a child. Jenna did lie to me about being on the pill. I knew what was going on and prevented pregnancy manually. We were married for about eighteen months. I was a right bastard to her. I didn't have the guts to call her on the situation. When she would not pay her taxes, I snapped. That was worse than lying about pregnancy or birth control. A child only takes eighteen years to mature and some of the stuff that happens along the way is cool. The IRS is just plane evil and once they know your name, you are in their sights. We have not spoken in something like six years. Jenna married my mechanic. I sure miss him.

<This point on is from a couple of days ago>

My Mozilla browser lost its mind last night. I rebooted the machine and poof. There is only one profile. I can't imagine November 25 is any kind of magic virus date. All settings reverted to day one install. I lost all my bookmarks (favorites/shortcuts). The history was there.
really should do a backup of my important information. You know the culda-woulda-shoulda syndrome.

This morning it was chilly. I walked in just before dawn. I could see my breath. It felt brilliant. This noon we ate outside without jackets. The sun is shining. The ground is dry. It feels like mountain air. What a marvelous day to be in Houston.

Little things
I forget often that the little things will ware on you. At work, I use a table with a mettle back on a daily basis. I type like a jackhammer and the mettle back wiggled on the enter key and others. wa-wa-wa-g-g-g. Every other key it would make a sheet mettle clanging sound. I didn't realize how much this wore on my nerves. I didn't realize, until I just now tightened the screws and it fell silent (until you kick it outright). It is like that sheet mettle back was banging right on the back of my head. I didn't even realize it.


We are playing today.
Sarah wants a Pegasus as her steed. Brian asked if he could have a Pegasus-Bane sword.
We have a new guy (old player new character). Bryan (different Br?an) was eaten by the avatar of some evil god. He came back with a new character that is some kind of monk slash rogue type.
We are helping a king build a Zeppelin so he can fulfill his dream of bombing his next door neighbor from above. We are trying to design a massive bomb dangling from the bottom wrapped in other bombs that will level this guys castle the King doesn't like. There is something about the Kings men that makes us suspicious.
One of our guys has the pants of Slad summoning. He called up a huge Blue Slad to go down into the dungeon with us. Oh, some one just rolled a 100 on a random monster check. That could be bad.
We are fighting some kind of thing that turns you to stone. They are the monster that the 100 role brought on. So far, we only have one party member turned to stone. There hit points aren't that great, but they hit every time. You have to make six fortitude saves or turn to stone, or loose a point of strength. I miss fighting just normal hordes of kabolds and ogres.
I passed my six fort saves. Geeze. I killed one. Not even one that I was fighting. It just got to close to my fury. I missed another one, crap.
I've noticed I take for ever to do simple math. My brain just doesn't switch to math mode quickly.
Now we are fighting some Drow-Spider guy. Humm-Drumm
I want to go home. I hate this. I should stop playing. Adam insists on making stupid potty humor during the game. It is a trait of his that I have never been able to stand. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here.
I can't read the screen on the notebook worth a crap. I can't find some one to love me. Why am I wasting air? Every one else pares off. I feel like I'm the only one who can't find anyone. Goddamnit. I'm surrounded by friends and I feel alone.
It was my turn, I got to stand up and draw a weapon. Woopee. I want to go home.
I'm wasting my time. I'm wasting the time God gave me. I need to find some other thing to do. I'm falling.
Blue, our Slad, is running up to the front to attack the army of Drow coming up the hall to slaughter us. I hope I die quick so I can just go home. I'm heading in to commit suicide. I might as well call the cab now. What kind of character should I role up next? This front line crap is getting old. I might have to go back to a cleric. Just to stay out of the front line.
Can we just die for God's sake? I want to go home. I should just go. I'm dying. I'm tired. Food is soon. God loves me, but some time it is tough love. I will be gone in a minute. I can eat and go home.
It is a quarter after eight and I'm ready to bail. Damn it I survived. I can't keep doing this to myself.
I wanted to go home. This is unfair to the others. I'm worried that I won't be able to keep my mouth shut and I'll snap at some one.
I can't win. We came up against a bunch of Mind flayers. and I'm in the back. BAH. I have to run from the rear all the way to the front. I'm getting nowhere. Grapple rules take too long. FUUUUUCK!!! I got stunned. That means I cant run into battle and go out a hero.
We have dynamite. That is just wrong. There is a section in the Dungeon Master's guide covering dynamite.
For God's sake! One of our guys (the one that just died played by Brian (the guy who always turns against the party)) just showed up after we left him for dead. He is attacking the party. Go figure. I didn't take any damage that time either.
I healed myself. Damn it. I am definitely going out this battle. There is no way we can go out.
We are having a battle on the on the Zeppelin. The giant spider guys are sawing through the ropes holding the cabin on the balloon part. I've tried to use my rod of lordly might to push a couple of the spiders off the balloon. It isn't successful as I had hoped.
It is 4:30 in the morning. I'm sitting at home. When I run back through the days events, I realize I just don't enjoy DND like I used too. The trouble is, I try to think of one thing that I say “I need to do this to relax soon.” and absolutely nothing comes to mind. I have no release. I can't keep acting like a jerk at DND. It isn't fair to the others. I need to stop going. Nothing is going to change before our next session in January.
Well, I do look forward to writing my blog.

Radar Glasses
I was reading about some radar imaging that worked in a jet. It made real time three dimensional pictures to the pilot. They suggested it would work on vehicles. I think they might work on a smaller scale. It would be nice to have glasses that would use radar in total darkness.


It's Floodin' down in Texas”
Houston was built on a swamp. Many moons ago, a good chunk of Ft. Bend county was rice fields. Now we pay the price for cheap land. I'm told the flood problem is what keeps property values low in Houston. If it didn't flood so much here, we would have California prices.

That lazy asshole Sam Houston said “Hey, there is a big ditch surrounded by miles of swamp and grass lands with ten tons of mosquitoes to the acre. Perfect.”
BTW, I was trying to look up the spelling of “acre” and stumbled across this site. Nice find.

Outsourcing everything
I just read a little bit in Information Week that a major bank is outsourcing a bunch of it's technology stuff offshore. It isn't just manufacturing any more. IT is leaving. The reason IT is so easy to push over the pond is because no one understands it anyway. IT salaries are dropping next year. The US will soon be a nation of middle-managers and Mexican fast food cashiers.
Americans pay the highest price for prescription drugs and yet the research that the drug companies tout for the high prices is headed offshore. China is known for manufacturing just about everything. Now, China is a-wash with PHDs who will work for a tenth of the American equivalent. Same with India.

Too Mobile
At work I've noticed a couple of times people making mobile phone calls from the toilet. If any of you ever call me from the can, you better need some kind of rescuing.


From hence the pixies tell tails of that which they dream upon. The hold on the tattered thread fades with time, but the butterflies know still the path to scry. Fey lie yet among the quiet meadow. Were we rude to the mighty soles bound by such faint mortal coils? Alas, we are left, alone, in a world no longer known to dragons.

Five year plan (me being paranoid again)
I was asked recently where I want to be in five years. The last time I answered that question I was in collage. I didn't answer it right then either. I don't know where I want to be in five minutes. People who seem to know what is going on want me to constantly make plans five years in the future. It just doesn't make any sense to me. If I make plans, fate will make sure to fuck them up. Planning doesn't work for me. I need to make plans, I know. Making plans pleases others. I take no satisfaction in the plans. I know they mean little. Other's always want to make plans for me. I need to get over it. I want to be part of Tpro's plan.
Where do I want to be in five years?
I want to be free.
I want enough money to make money be a non-factor in my decisions.
I want enough future that my kids will be able to purchase a wing at their university of choice.
Where do I not want to be? Where I am now. If I'm still at the same company I'll be very disappointed. I want to be far beyond where I am now. I need to advance. I cannot allow myself to stagnate.
And, then, there is education. Every time I think I am ahead of my anger, it sneaks back up on me. I wanted to put off school until I get a handle on it. I think now that it is part of me. A part that I must accept and learn to predict and manipulate.

I want a Terminator. I'm not sure which model I should get. I'm sure my credit will cover it. The second movie introduced a new model made of this malleable mettle that can take the shape of others (or me). I could send the Terminator to work to take meetings and give me the synopsis. This might come in handy. The third Terminator had this same ability, but lacked the true fall-through-a-grating functionality. The third Terminator was big on weapons and blowing shit up, but my current life just doesn't need that. The first Terminator has it's points too. It is like an old pickup truck that won't die.

Terminator 1 scenario.
“Fly me to work.” I'd say.
“We need a helicopter.” the Terminator says.
“Find me a helicopter.” I demand.
“By your command.” answers the Terminator. Hey, isn't that a Silon's line I think to myself. Ah, well.
“Go get me lunch.” I'd say.
“Yes sir.” says the Terminator, and off he'd buzz in my brand new helicopter.
Later I'd ask him to take a meeting along side me and just sit there looking tough so no one would assign me any tasks. You never know when I'll have the Terminator drop off the report. =]

Terminator 2 scenario.
I'd say “Look like me and sound like me and go to work and do what they tell you and bring me the money.”
“Yes sir” the Terminator says with a smile. Oh, did I mention when the Terminator is home I'd have it look like J. Lo.

Terminator 3 scenario.
“Blow that up.” - KABOOOOM!! - “t-hehehehe!” (me giggling)
“Blow that up.” - KABOOOOM!! - “t-hehehehe!” (me giggling again)
You get the idea.


Florida Adventure 1
Job moving
We were living in a hotel just off the beach. It had a mall in the bottom floor. There were these two guys who had a store in the mall who sponsored a “Party on the Plaza” type gig on the back tarries of the hotel every week.
I was walking across the plaza and a guy (not one of the two in question) asks “want to make some money?”
Well, I shoot him a look to kill and he comes back
“Helping some guys move?” he corrects quickly.
“Sure” I say. “How much?”
Well it was $35 bucks to help carry some furniture and some boxes to a truck. It was just a couple of hours work. It was a piece of cake. The guys were nice. They had one guy I noticed hanging around the hotel before. He gave me the creeps.
They all wanted to go drink some beers and buy my dinner. I declined saying “I have to go cook dinner for my friends.”
They paid me and said “I'm disappointed.”
A fact that I found out later made me very happy that I declined. Sabina told me after the fact that she was sorry to see those two guys go. She added “Those guys were really nice for a couple of fags.”
The creepy guy passed by me in the hall after that and smiled saying “missed you at the party, you should have come.”
I hate Hollywood Florida.

Florida Adventure 2
Guy on the bicycle
I was sitting outside the apartment in the late summer. We were making dinner. A guy road by on a bicycle and offered me a job painting his driveway. They do that sort of thing in Florida. I agreed. The guy struck me as kind of queer, as in homosexual. I ended up helping him clean up behind his property and painting his driveway. By the end of it (a day and a half of labor) I was so disgusted that I wouldn't take his money for chores.
it was this little adventure that made me want to get out. I think my friend and Brian breaking ties was just the last straw.
i hate Hollywood Florida.

Florida Adventure 3
Cars under the bridge
Brian had heard through this guy named, ironically, Kelly that there was an impromptu meeting of a bunch of teenagers under a bridge somewhere to drink and carouse. We met some other fast car enthusiasts. The whole night was fun. We spent this night somewhere in north Miami.

Florida Adventure 4
Sabine is a German woman who worked in the mall on the first floor of the hotel we staid in. She worked at a shop. The funny thing is, I don't remember what they sold. Tourist junk I think. We made friends and hung out a bit. She had a German accent and was a bit mysterious.
We hung out at her place a couple of times before I left Florida. It was fun. I never did sleep with her. While I was sitting in the bus station waiting for the bus to take me home Sabina walked by and came in to say goodbye. Why didn't I kiss her?
I called her after I got back home and Brian answered the phone. It turns out he left my friend and hooked up with Sabine. I spoke with her later and she felt bad about the whole thing. Brian was good at using women. Brian came back to Texas before my friend did.
I think I would like Germany

Florida Adventure 5
Yahoo Beer
We met these guys who were locals. I don't remember any of their names except one. Kelly. he was laid back and long haired. Some of his buddies came over and we went down to the lobby of the hotel to walk them in. We were walking through the lobby with about three cases of beer and a cop turned around and gave us a quadruple take. not one of us even reacted in the tiniest bit. We just kept walking right past the guard and up to our room. We found out later one of the guys had just “yahooed” the beer AKA ripped it off from a quickie shop. He had grabbed two cases near the door and shuffled them under his arms. When he grabbed the second two on of them broke and a bunch of beers spilled all over the floor. The clerk screamed at him. He just stood there for a second and flipped off the clerk. Then took the three cases and walked out the door. It might have been his buddy who actually jacked the beer.
I drank some stolen beer in Hollywood Florida.

I've never told another human any of this. So, what is the deal? I can tell the world, but no one close to me.


In the summer of 1993 I was lost. I haven't found myself yet. I've been married and I've fallen in love, though not with the same woman. I was going to school in Missouri City Texas at Houston Community College. I was taking core classes and making “B”s. I walked to school and home again. I spent time talking with the smokers outside the main door to the building where classes were held. They have since moved the smoking area somewhere farther away from the walk way.
In that summer I hung out with an old friend of mine. I had known her for years. She started dating a guy named Brian. He was in to old cars, and using women. I suppose that is judgmental, but I feel it is the truth. They had meat when they were much younger and chased each other around the yard. I remember my friend smiled when she told that story. I don't know what she saw in Brian. He just seemed like a train wreck to me. I hung out with them because there was just nothing else going on in my life and I so wanted to hook up with my friend. I still have feelings for her. I suppose I always will.
I helped Brian on the 1973 Transam that he was rebuilding. The vehicle I remember most is the 1971 Chevrolet pickup that he let me drive in an unfinished subdivision one Tuesday afternoon. I remember putting in the transmission to the Transam. It was a turbo 400 three speed. That is where I learned that there are several different kinds of torque converters. There are lockup torque converters that stop slipping at a given RPM. There are “tight” torque converters that don't slip as easily for sports cars. There are “loose” torque converters for other cars and there are stall torque converters that are in neutral until a given RPM. There are combinations of each.
One evening I ride my bike over to Brian's place and find out that he and my friend are headed to Florida. They site the same reason's I want to hear. “We need to get away from our parents.” I felt the same way. I remember telling my parents. My father understood and was supportive. My mom, being my mom, freaked, but relented.
We drove the T-Bird to Florida, the whole way out running a huge rain storm. It turned out to be the bands of a Hurricane that was hitting the place we were headed. We missed it.
We drive in to Hollywood Florida late and slept in the car. We had been sleeping in the car for a couple of days anyway so it wasn't a big deal. Brian drove around until we found a place to crash. The first night we spent in a small hotel off the beach. For a Month we stayed at a hotel on the beach. We rented an apartment, but only stayed there for a couple of weeks. Brian wanted to ditch my friend. He asked me to take care of her. I decided to come back home to try to make him stay with her. He didn't. She ended up staying with some looser for a couple of weeks and then came home herself. What could I have done different? Not gone in the first place I suppose.
All in all, I count it as a learning experience. I learned I don't like being broke. I learned to stay away from Hollywood Florida. I learned one cruel part of the world that stays inside me now.
Before we left for Florida, I was in limbo. I didn't have a job. I lived on Social Security Supplemental Income. I was going to school, but that was just to do something. It seemed like what I was supposed to do. I meat many good people there including for some strange reason several topless dancers. Apparently dancers go to HCC in pretty high numbers. I meat a Play Boy bunny at University of Houston. We were both filling out change of address forms.
The whole ride to Florida in the Transam Brian and my friend were in the car, but I felt a presents. The feeling was the strongest just as I woke up. I know now it was the angle taking care of me. Nothing bad actually happened to me while I was in Florida. I brushed close enough to the edge to learn the lesson.
When I got back, I slipped quickly back into the routine of oblivion. Eventually my friend came back. I never did get with her. She was vulnerable and I felt crappy just wanting her.
I'm not sure how to close this entry. The truth is my life just kept going. Now I'm here. Tell me about your adventures in life.


Spam and Spyware and the Gun lobby
There is a story here about a Nigerian man who has been busted for sending unsolicited emails and scamming people for butt-loads of money. I'm not sure what the details are, but it sounds like he might actually get some time for his crimes. It would be nice if there were some justice in this area for once.
I deal with spam in a couple of different ways. I only give my primary email to people, never to places, stores or banks. That is how your email ends up on every one's list. I use a temporary hotmail address zhsp00001 at hotmail dot com. That email will change in a couple of months. As soon as I start getting spam on a daily basis. When I need to register on some one-off site I'll go to an online email place and register for an email address just for the one transaction. I usually use hotmail just because they rotate their mails about every sixty days. I know I'm not eating up large quantities of drive space.
Never respond to spam. Logging a complaint or taking your mail off the list just confirms there is a human on the other end. The spammers get more money for your address if you have gone through the trouble of opting-out. Trying to rely on spam blockers doesn't seem to make a bit of difference to in my experience. The spammers spend their entire day figuring out ways to bypass spam blockers. That is what they do, that is all they do.
Governments are trying to make things illegal. That is great, except the worse kind of spam is that from people who wish to rip you off. In most places, ripping people off is already illegal. It is a bit like the gun lobby always says. “enforce the laws that are already on the books.” Remember Columbine High? Some one figured out those kids had directly broken nineteen federal laws. “Do you think the twentieth would have stopped them?” some one at the NRA asked. I've left the subject in the dust.
There is a product called SpyBot. Get it. Use it. It helps with Spyware, not spam, but it is worth getting while I'm on the subject.

Want - Get
Did you ever want something or to say something to the right person or to tell some one something and you knew who to talk too about it but all kinds of politics got in the way and you just can't talk about it because you will make one person angry and probably make another person scared or frustrated and people just make it worse because they tell you to go for it and you know you can't because of the people involved and the friendships that might be stretched?
I do.


Pipe fittings vs. Folder Rights
I do a technical job on computers at my day job. We have allot of amazing brilliant people there who can't figure out folder privileges to save their sole. I understand when some one who makes five times what I do can't give me privileges on a file share because they have had no (as in zero) training by the company to do so. It pisses me off when they (the one making five times what I do) refuse to call the service desk and ask for help. That company pays $200 a month per user for that service desk whether or not they use it. I do not have the rights to give myself rights. I feel like they think it is my fault. I feel like they expect me to do it. Frustrating.

I came home this evening and and basically went straight to sleep. I hate it when I do this. I'm up half the night and I don't get all the stuff done that I need.
I'm trying the Claritin stuff again. Maybe if I give it a week or two I'll notice a better difference.
I dropped off a CD with a friend of mine this afternoon and looked at her wedding pictures. Her Little one is just about to start walking on her own.


I went to a Halloween Party Friday evening. It turned out to be allot of fun. I took a bunch of pictures. I'm actually in one of them this time. I like costume parties. I drank too much. I was told I looked sexy. I kissed a pretty girl. Did I say I drank too much? I didn't really dress up. I called myself paparazzi. I thought that would be best since they had a standby costume that just wasn't me. They had a sock and a guitar for you to ware and called it a Flea (basest from the Red Hot Chilly Peppers) costume. You have got to see the pictures. Cruella Devil was there. The Grand Wizard made an appearance. ManDrew - The Thrifty Super Hero showed up (he was warring a towel with a big M on it drawn in duct tape). Little Red Riding Hood and her date, Mr. Big Bad himself made it. We had some Martigraw women there. One of the guys wore a suit from the seventies that was in his closet since the seventies. Adam and Laury came as a Samurai and a Geisha. I thought Adam should have been the Geisha.
It seemed like every one I've met from TMS was there. Many people brought their kids. I remember showing up to drunken parties as a kid with my parents. Those are fun memories.
The hangover kept me down all day Saturday. My father wanted to go out on the boat today. I knew last week that I wouldn't be up to it.
I would like to thank Josh for dragging me out and making me have a good time on past occasions. Neither he nor any of the Tpro group were at this party. It is the experiences with them that have helped me have a good time in social situations. Thanks guys.


The first throughs of Winter
The last couple of days have been cool and clear. The weekend was rainy and cold. It felt great. it is to warm up the rest of the week. I should live somewhere cooler, and dryer, with hills, and more trees.

Some updates
I have a Halloween party soon. I need to get the pictures that are on my camera off so I can have it free for the party. I'll put some links up when they are ready.
I read a short article about abundance today. Some problems are due purely to over abundance. Traffic congestion, obesity, even communication trouble could be attributed to the fact that we have more than we need. It creeps me out.
The next version of Microsoft Windows “Longhorn” has a developer's kit ready for use. These things are always full of bugs. They are good for getting an idea of the changes, but the number of addenda will be massive I bet.

I'll tell you one thing, I hate worrying about money. I may not be the nicest guy day to day, but I'm a bad man when it comes to making the bills. Ever since I went to Florida with some friends and felt those empty pockets I've been desperate to keep money in my wallet. Not just cash, the whole survival thing kicks in. Get between me and rent, and the fight or flight response activates. I'm fine now. There have been times when I've worried Tpro will sap my resources. So far the only challenge has been time and effort. Time will tell.

Korean phones
I was watching a Korean cop movie yesterday and I noticed some really cool mobile phones. One of the cops had a phone that looked just like mine. He popped off a styles from the back and slid open the keypad to reveal a pad to write on. He entered Korean letters and sent off a text message. The movie was lame, but the phones were neat.
I watched an Australian movie later that had the same type phones I've seen in the US. In Europe people keep getting in trouble for using their mobile phones to send live sports events to their friends. There was also a case where some people in a night club filmed a rape. It is a mixed bag.


Things I learned today
When I was a kid I did not do well in school. I was in the special education classes. I had some main stream classes, but I don't think it worked out. I missed learning how to handle stress and to communicate somewhere along the way. I read dreadfully slow to this day. Growing up, I thought I would not amount to much. My goal in life was to be independent and live on my own with little help. I've achieved that. Now it is time to retire from that life and move to the next. I'm not sure what that means. I'll keep you informed.
When I was in collage I still had this pride in my life. I insisted on attempting things myself, without help. The next time I attempt collage, I will hire someone if needed to read things to me.
People seem to trust me for some reason. I have terrible communication skills on a personal level. I think because I fake it with people at work I make them think I'm a helpful guy. it is all an act. I think that is why it stresses me out so much. I have had a close friend of mine tell me I should never work where I have to deal with customers again. Come to think of it, I've never had good luck with the general public.

Wireless Networking Continued
I bought some 25 foot Ethernet cables.


I came closer to quitting today than I ever have before. I took my badge off and was stomping out of my office to toss it on the desk of one of my supervisors and I had to stop and take a breath. If Tpro was doing better, this would have been my last day.
What happened? A priority one ticket on Friday an hour before I was supposed to walk out the door. This is in a week with several priority one tickets. It will still be broken Monday. This is so bad. I just can't handle stress. Some dope has set up an automatic deletion of files with the extension of "tmp". The trouble is, that extension means "template" on our of our applications. Thanks asshole! The file shares are read only. I have no access. I did not cause this problem. I feel like I'm the one being punished for it.
The only reward for hard work is more work. Scrudge McDuck said it best. "Don't work harder. Work smarter." OK, some one else probably said it first.
I left at 11:30 and had two margaritas. I slept the afternoon away. I have a neck each from the stress and a hangover from the drinks. I have a meeting Sunday with the Tpro guys and it is all I can think about. Why don't they teach stress management in school? I've been acting very unprofessional lately. I can't get it together.


Sarah came down from Kansas. She is almost eighty.
We went to Black Eyed Pea Sunday. It is strange when I notice the differences between our generations. She says things like “colored fella” and “we didn't do those things when I was that age”. I wouldn't dare correct her. Who is to say what is right at that age. She was a nurse her whole life. She married my grandfather about thirteen years ago. They were married for ten years. My blood grandparents were married for forty-five years. It ended in divorce. They were miserable for most of that time from what I've heard. I didn't come along until things were decades along. I only remember as a kid my grandfather sorting records (the vinyl kind) in a filing cabinet. As he pulled them from their sleeves, one by one, they broke. Apparently they had gone through too many winters in the back room. His frustration built as all of our family do. About the seventh one, I asked “can I break one?” I must have been five or six. He didn't kill me, but ... he wanted to.

All of a sudden . . .
Today at work, I was piled upon again. This time, though it just didn't matter. It will get done or, it won't. I will do my best and find along with the rest of the world if that is good enough. I didn't;t get upset. I didn't freak out. What happened? What is different? Sometimes I can take it and some times I can't I have been focusing on my day job over Tpro for a couple of weeks. I think it helps a great deal. That tells me I will have a hard time balancing family and work. Maybe that is the trouble I've had in the past.


Battlefield 1942
I bought a new game called Battlefield 1942. It is a WWII simulator that allows you to play Axis or Allies. Drive submarines. Fly planes. Drive tanks. The Jeeps rock, though I would love to through a box of grenades in the back when I let out across the desert. The single player mode of this game lacks a bit, but the main objective is to play with other people. That is where this game comes into its own. I haven't played online yet. I'm still trying to hit something with a bazooka. (Where did the word "bazooka" come from anyway?)
There are all kinds of scenarios. There are island assaults, city street to street fighting, open desert, blaw blaw blaw. You can play a grunt, sniper, or a medic. It is the vehicles that make this game different from say Team Fortress. So far I've had a blast. I have the symptoms of a good video game. Eating late, pain in back, neck and hands, and thinking about the game the rest of the day. I can't wait to get back to it this evening.

Woody's place
I have a buddy named Woody. (I still giggle when I ask "Hey Woody, what's up?") He, with his family, live in the beautiful neighborhood with a golf course running through it and beautiful homes all over the place. A feature of note for the neighborhood are the two gates you have to pass through to get to Woody's house. The homes in this section of the area start around a quarter of a million bucks. There is another section of the neighborhood where the homes are worth over a million. There is another gate to get in that section. I couldn't not live in a home where I had to pass through three gates. The running joke is the people in the million dollar homes don't want that quarter of a million dollar riff-raff in their neighborhood.

ShareReactor is a web page that has links for Overnet. Overnet is one of the P2P file sharing software packages I've used. It is mainly geared to movies. Anyway, ShareReactor is not a true commercial web page. They sell advertising to make some money, but they don't do so well. I've noticed their page goes down quite a bit. They had pop up adds that drive every one nuts. I remember a note going across the front page that red “If you don't stop complaining about the pop up adds in the forum, I'll BAN you for ever!” Now, they have in-content ads. That means, the server strips the ads in as the page is built before it is sent to the browser. This way no pop up killer or ad replacing software can catch it. I don't care. I've become so jaded I don't even notice the ads anymore. I read right past them without their even registering.

I'm watching an Australian show called Undead. It doesn't bather with all that “plot” stuff. It is just a simple - aliens invade and turn people into zombies - flick. A fisherman gets attacked by zombie fish in his boat. He has to shoot the fish after they repeatedly jump at his face trying to get him. This movie is possibly the best piece of entertainment ever made.
Why do they keep shooting zombies that just get up again? Shoot them in the head!!! Don't you watch the movies?


I was sitting at work today trying so hard to make something work. It didn't. I tried again and still it laughed at me. Some one else came along with something for me to do. I tried to make it work and it did not. I tried at both until it was time to go home. I stead. I tried at one and only narrowed the problem down. It still does not work. Neither works. The deadline was months ago. These things are making people miss deadlines. I had only moments to think of things that are more important than my labor at the company. I thought about What Saint Peter might ask me when I stand before the gates to be judged. Then I thought of the account some people give of the bright light and many people guiding you to the light just after death. Then I thought about the motivation of the light. Then I thought about those light-up fish at the bottom of the ocean that attract pray with a fake worm and a glow to their doom. Then I thought about the people guiding you to the light and wandered if they just want the light to eat you instead of them. I think about filing out of a portal from the mortal world with many others all being herded to the light by so very helpful beings. Then I think “Jesus I need a girlfriend!”

More Work
I stayed 13 hours today to not much avail. We are in a crunch time. The dam is leaking and I'm plugging holes as fast as I can. Tpro will suffer. I spoke with a close friend I have known for many years. He told me I am an “all or nothing” kind of guy. He is right. I complained recently of not being able to focus. I think the trouble is I focus too hard on one thing. Tpro needs my help more as an investor right now. I will give Tpro my all soon enough.


Jen's Concert
What a concert. Jen stole the show. I bought a CD from one of the other bands. There were ten artists in all. It was a blast. The guys wanted to party on, but I, being the lightweight, had to call it a night early.
We went to a place called the
Mucky Duck. It is a nice venue. The place was packed. It was a hot crowd.

I have some friends who went to the Renaissance Festival today. It is quite simply beautiful outside. I hope they have the time of their lives. I was invited, but I had some work to do. My role at Tpro is changing.

I have had to change my IP schema on my network . It turns out when you do VPN (Virtual Private Network) you start having network conflicts. I readjusted the web server (the pictures should be up), change the IP on everything. The tough part is SMB (Samba). It has some kind of IP link hidden somewhere. I've ordered some sandwiches. I'll tackle it after I eat something.
. . .
Wow, that was easy. “hosts allow” still had the old IP range in it. She is up and running.


I heard somewhere that 15% of the American economy runs on or near the automobile. I wish I could track it down online. Europe has a marvelous transit system. It all depends on how much countries invest. Some cities in the US have a good public transit system. Those are not countries. How much do you spend on your car, or cars? I'll bet it is a fair piece of your income. Some of you might pay more for your vehicle than in taxes. Remember to include your insurance, maintenance, tires, tickets, gasoline and Armor-All. Think of the transit system we would have in America if even a sizable slice of that was spent on rail.
I'm bias. I can't drive. I'm sticking to my guns. What we have now sucks. OPEC has us by the short hairs. There are cars that get 50 miles to the gallon. No one wants them. Every one wants a gigantic SUV. I heard a study on the radio that says automobiles have become the faction accessory to replace shoes. People own different cars for different occasions. It makes me ill.

View from Scott's office
We have a nature preserver behind our building. It isn't really a nature preserver, but it is thick with trees. Scott's office looks out from the first floor under the company. In the morning if you turn off the lights it looks like a cave looking over a lake scene. Between that and the candy he keeps on his desk, it almost makes it worth talking to Scott. :-) (kidding Scott)

It is just going to be a challenge every day. I'm not missing anything. I have to remember that. When I'm upset, that is a normal feeling. It is valid. Things piss me off. I should act pissed off. Things are going to make me confused. That is motivation to learn.

New Mobile plan
600 minutes and unlimited nights an weekends with T-mobile
365 days in a year
104 weekend days (52 x 2)
365 - 104 = 261 full week days
261 / 12 = 21.75 weekdays per month
600 / 21.75 = 27.5 minutes per weekday
600 minutes per month sounds like more than that.

First Order of Business
We have a guy up here who comes in every morning and if, as is often the case, he has left his coffee cup somewhere, he hunts it down. The last few weeks he has participated in software testing and had to track someone down who has the key to the lab to get his coffee cup.


Dr. Who is coming back to British TV. It is only a matter of time before it makes it's way to the states. If Overnet has anything to say about it, it will not take long at all. I'm such a Dr. Who fan. I remember staying up late on Saturday night just to take in the crappy special affects (let's jus face it shall we). The acting wasn't always great. I liked the sidekicks too. They were always kind of funky. They never seemed to fit in to society. Like me. I hope it still has that beyond reality feel that it had in the sixties, seventies and eighties. Some of the first Dr. Who episodes were in black and white. The first time I played with a music keyboard and heard all the sounds that it made, I realized where Dr. Who got its sounds. The laser beams and the funky aliens in rubber masks, or hiding under trash cans with flashlights (torches) strapped to their “heads” made the show a classic. I hope they make the new show with some of this in mind.

A friend of mine, who has been on Earth long enough to know what's up, told me “Don't get a tattoo. Every old person I know regret getting theirs'.” The thing is, I don't intend to ever get old (in the Peter Pan sense). I have thought about a tattoo for fifteen years. I have waited this long to choose what I want on my body for the rest of my life. It is easier to get a divorce than get rid of a tattoo. My last marrage lasted about 18 months. We only knew each other for about a year. I've given this one fifteen years of thought. That means I should get twenty five years of satisfaction. That puts me at about sixty. By then, they will have talking video tattoos like on Futurama.


I have figured out what Tattoo I want. I have given my guardian angle quite a bit of grief over the years. I would like to get a weeping angle. Sitting a bit slumped on the floor with her head in her hands and her wings formed a bit around her like a mother bird might surround her chicks. I picture brown straight hair wrapping around her arms as she weeps for me. I'm going to give myself a little while to think about it before I pull the trigger.
Who knows a good artist?

Sympathy Camera
I want to get a new digital camera. It is $500 or so. I don't need it. I've been going through a rough time lately. It is just plane stress. I never learned how to cope with stress. Anyway. The camera is sweet. It has all the features I want. The trouble is, I just don't need it. I'm going to wait.


Wireless Routers
I've bought three wireless routers in the past couple of months. They are from three different manufacturers. They are all four port wire switches with 802.11b wireless access points built in. Here are my results.
Old non-wireless NetGear : This router, “The Iron Horse” as I like to call it, has a metallic case and as performed flawlessly for years. If I didn't need a wireless router, I would not be trying to make something else work.
Wireless NetGear : This router has one of the best interfaces for maintenance. The trouble is, the wireless portion of the router dies after about fifteen minutes of use. No matter what I do I have to recycle the router to make the wireless connecter kick in. I'm currently using this router because I get the best Overnet numbers through it.
Wireless Linksys : This router has a crappy interface for maintenance. It also lost it's memory every twenty four hours and required a complete reprogramming. This is typical of Linksys equipment. They all suck. Now that they are owned by Cisco, I believe Cisco sucks too. if it is smaller than a refrigerator from Cisco, don't trust it. Josh asked to try this router out. I tried to warn him.
Wireless D-Link : This router has a nice interface. Every about thirty seconds the wire side of the router disconnected for about half a second. This makes Overnet run at about three kilobits for download speed. That is very bad. it is like slamming the door shut on the computer's fingers at it is trying to do it's job.
Summary : Wireless routers Suck.

Mr. Deeds
I was watching Mr. Deeds while typing this up. The scene came around where Deeds asks every one what they wanted to be when they grew up. People said Firefighter, veterinarian, and cool stuff like that. I wanted to be self sufficient. I wanted to depend on no one. I wanted to work for a living and support myself without help. I suppose I am exactly what I wanted to be.

Best use of P2P
All the stupid gaming sites have delays on their free downloads unless you pay them for the no delay Bastards. I've found that I look at the file name and size, then fire up Overnet to get the download. It is faster than waiting through the artificial delay. Sometimes the delay is over an hour for the download to start. I understand the need to make money. There is no right to make money in the United States.


I found a wallpaper for my computer at work. It is just an aquatic plane on a lake or a river with bunches of moss floating around and what might be a moose or a tree stump on the edge. I like aquatic planes for some reason. There was some TV show on a million years ago that had an aquatic plane flying around.

Life is Short
I'm going to give up DND. I need to concentrate on Tpro. The whole game point thing is driving me nuts. Adam, the DM, wants to balance the field somehow and it just isn't going to happen. It isn't fun anymore. They are all a bunch of game-ist engineers. I'm a narrative-ist.I was screwed from the start.

Day Job
Yesterday I was on my way home from the day job with all these aspirations of getting some code done. I got home and was dead asleep in 15 minutes. I woke up at 1:00 AM and have been up ever since. I'm groggy.

I need a tattoo. What of though? I've considered Marvin the Martian, "God - Family - Freedom", a dragon, a cross, a gnome, a fox (my spiritual animal), and others. What is best? A friend of mine has a nice centipede on her arm. She has a chaos symbol, but I can't say I like it as much. Most guys get tats on their chest or arm. Some women like ink on their lower back. I'm sticking to my upper arm. I saw a Cops episode that had a nasty chick with an ivy all over her body. It was disgusting.

A buddy and I are heading over to Whole foods for lunch. There is this guy who makes the sandwiches there. I haven't learned his name, but he is a big fellow and makes big sandwiches. When he is on sandwich duty, we don't need to get a bag of chips.


Written 2003-09-10
I keep catching the company I work for asking software venders to patch old versions of software. This is like taking a 72 Mustang to Ford and asking them to add airbags. Buy a new car.
They also demand that complex programs be written I Visual Basic because the managers can read the code to figure out what is going on. That way they can lay you off in the middle of a project. I've wanted to ask a million times "If you walked into a mechanic's and said 'Fix my car, but don't use any socket wrenches.' do you know what look would be on the mechanic's face? ... This one right here."
Managers only understand hours and dollars. They are not aloud creativity or reason. I just got back from lunch. All we did the whole time was dump on management. This company is in trouble. Then again, all big corporations have similar problems I'm sure.

Written 2003-09-11
It is September eleventh again. The news noted there were less people at this years anniversary. I keep hearing phrases like “We will never forget” and the like. I just don't believe it. We Americans hold nothing sacred. It is raining outside. I remember 9/11/2001 was clear and sunny. I remember leaving work early because I wasn't sure how the buses would run in the afternoon. So much has happened in two years. I've fallen in and out of love again. I've started a business with friends.


My cousin wrote a book called Blood the Masquerade, The Story of Ryan. I'm on chapter seven of thirty four. They are short chapters. That must be a trend lately in printing to make up for out ever shorter attention spans. Her book is about vampires. She has some medical background that shoes in the book. So far, so good.

I'm at work sitting in a darkened mini-computer lab tapping away at this entry between tasks. I feel a bit less alone typing a message to the masses. There is a window in here and the sun is on it's way up. The window looks out on the parking lot. I can watch people scamper about on their way into the building. Someone just came in the lab and asked a question. My solitude is broken. No big deal. It had to happen sooner or later.
The tint on the window is more clear at the top. There is an overhang protecting the upper window from direct sunlight. This building is twenty years old. How long is window tint supposed to last?
I looked at my earth. It says nine eleven. A slight chill runes up my spine. Its been two years. My watch is analog.

I look tired
One of the guys up here who's wife and he just had a baby said I look tired. He asked what was keeping me up and I had to say "two jobs". I feel tired. I've been a grump lately. Nothing a week in a Caribbean brothel wouldn't fix. (I'm kidding Mom) It doesn't help that I'm in the midle of a dificult project for Tellro an my day job. I can handle the Tpro stuff, it is the corporate crap that gets tp me. More ovet, it is the personalities that get to me. When someone asks me who my bos is here, I answer "everybody". It is getting old feeling like the only indian sorounded by chiefs.