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


End of an era
Red Hat is officially
dead. Red Hat chose to go full enterprise. It is $2400 for a server license. I hate to say it, but that is just too much for my small company. Red Hat is the distribution I learned first. It seems like all the books refer straight to Red Hat. Linux meant Red Hat to me for allot of years. I'm using Mandrake at the moment. I want to try SuSe. Mandrake is French (I know). SuSe is German. I hear good stuff about SuSe all the time. It is a professional distro. Many businesses use SuSe. It is on par with Red Hat in performance as far as I can tell. The U. S. government will not use anything that was not compiled in the U. S. so, Red Hat is about it.
Red Hat has spawned a bastard called the Fedora Project. I have not tried it. I only have one problem with Fedora, it is not Red Hat. It is a different distribution. It doesn't seem to support RPMs fully. Stuff is in different places. BAH!!
There is a movement to make Linux easier to use and make it something every Joe/Jane can use to get work done. Their goal is to make an open source system that businesses will want their employees to use. They have a long way to go. I said years ago that Linux was not ready for the desktop. Well, Linux is not even at Windows 95 level of usability. The developers are not going about the task in a way that will end with a better desktop. Microsoft spends more money on user feedback about the interface than any one company spends on the whole of Linux development. That is no way to catch up.

These scientists claim to have found Atlantis. Is Atlantis a real place? Was it wrought in the imagination of some ancient story teller? Not knowing is the only thing that makes it interesting. Too many myths and legends are defined these days. Once we figure out what the root of a story is, it isn't a mystery any more. People stop telling the story.

France is
limiting the freedom of religion regarding family abuse and some other stuff that is considered a violation of human rights. When you read about some of the things that France has troubles with you might think it makes since. Think about it though, other countries don't outlaw these acts. Young women in the U. S. are required to leave the country to marry men they may have never met if their parents say. The French caught hell a while ago over banning young Muslim women from warring scarves in schools because they are a public display of religion. Forget the fact that it is a requirement of the religion.

My short term memory is shot. I'm trying to copy some files to a couple of locations around the globe at my day job. It is taking forever. The total size is around seventy megabytes and the network keeps bombing out the copies. My explorer died twice. At least XP restarts explorer when explorer crashes. In 2000 you had to start it manually. Lately it seems like every time I turn around I forgot where I was. It doesn't help that every one wants my attention. I've actually started telling people that I just don't have time to do stuff.  I can't get anything done because I have to stop in the middle and help some one else with something.

Bad Movie of the Week
Police in Macedonia (near the old Yugoslavia area) gunned down some illegal immigrants for the single purpose of making it look like the cops were doing a good job tracking and killing terrorists. It is enough to make you sick. But, hay, al-Qaida couldn't have a worse opinion of the West at the moment, right?


Political stuff
There is an article on The New York Times web page talking about the support for Bush waning recently. I believe it. There is so much criticism in the press lately that no one can hear a supportive voice over all the jeers. I don't know what kind of base The New York Times has for it's poll. I know I don't answer the phone at home so they will never get hold of me. Most conservative people I know don't participate in polls.
One little part of that article confirmed something I've believed for quite some time. Nader will divide the Democratic party if he continues to run for president. Apparently 5% of those polled would vote for Nader over Kerry where Kerry looses the 5%. I guess Nader puts the demo in democrat. =] It sounds like a dollar for Nader is five dollars for Bush. If there were only a way to make sure Nader would not pull out of the race and support Kerry.
Something else in the article says more Americans believe the Iraqi people are ungrateful for the toppling of Saddam. This was inevitable in my opinion. People in Iraq and the Middle East in general have had two uniting themes guiding their lives for the past fifty or so years, the hatred of Israel and the hatred of Israel's strongest ally, the U. S. I keep hearing that many folks will not be happy until Israel is pushed into the sea. I thought Arafat said that, but I can't find a quote. People in forums love saying it.

Some random word searches on Google.

Ralph Wiggum
Go Wiggum. You are one of my favorite characters on the Simpsons.

Abandon Missile Silo
Where were people expected to park?

Big Red Switch
I'm just not that impressed.

plastickelly blog
Cool. Searching for plastickelly alone also brought up a couple of porn sites.

Cool, again.

A buddy of mine has a Mercedes. It is a little hot-rod coop convertible. He paid like $55,000 for it and didn't even get the xenon headlights. He is kind of nerdy and not a very good driver to be honest. I've ridden with him several times and he breaks funny. Anyway, it has been a running joke that there is a pool to pick when and just how he is going to kill himself in that car. Well, he spun it out just off Wilcrest and did some damage to the undercarriage, Thank God he wasn't hurt. He seems a bit embarrassed about the whole thing. I may take up a collection to get him some of those racing lessons they have at tracks somewhere around here.


Saddam's Birthday
Today is Saddam Husain's birthday. He is 67 years old. Normally I listen to NPR on the way in to work. They talk about birthdays. It is usually some relic I've never heard of. Today was different. This guy survived an early life as a hired killer. He rose to power in a political system where rivals kill each other to advance. He survived as a despot over a country of armed tribes. He survived taking that country to a couple of wars with his neighbors. He survived losing to the number one military power on Earth twice. This guy is going to out live me.

Bad Dreams
I had a bunch of violent dreams last night. People were trying to hit me with golf clubs and bats. My neck hurts this morning and I wander if I ducked allot while I was sleeping.
One of the guys up here said they had a disturbing dream about shooting people in the head a couple of weeks ago. I've had those dreams, but mostly after playing first person shooters. It is extra creepy because I go to the range every so often. In the dreams I smell the gun powder and feel the gun kick. I know it's a dream because my ears don't hurt after I shoot.
I've had friends tell me about stabbing some one with a sword and feeling the resistance as the blade plunged into flesh. I ask, did you smell the blood? They said no. I think there will always be some incomplete part of dreams. That is because the rational part of the brain only contributes random sense to dreams.

Gmail review
Cynthia decided to take Blogger up on their offer and beta test Google's new Gmail. I couldn't let her out geek me, so I had to give it a shot. the address is zhsy00001 at I'm not putting a direct link because of web page sniffers used by spam bots.
It is very beta. The address book is lacking. There is no Pop3 support (yet). I can't find a signature setting anywhere. It won't let you select multiple people for one email from your address book (I haven't figured it out yet). It does let you delete old mail, even after you have archived it. It has a category system for labeling your email. There is a nice feature for reporting an email as spam. If this does what I hope, as people report a particular email (and hopefully similar emails) as spam, gmail will toss them out before they hit every one's inbox.

Aunt and Uncle
My aunt and uncle are in town this week. They are on my dad's side. They have a sail boat and sail around looking for adventure. Yes, they are retired. My aunt is a school teacher. My uncle is a military man (air force). I'm not sure what he did in the military exactly.
For a while he drove a limousine. I remember a story about him driving the whole family down to Wall-Mart in the Limo and letting them out at the front door while warring the outfit and all. I just can't picture my family pimping at Wall-Mart like that. I'm sorry I missed it.


My new dream car
Sixty four valve, eight liter, “W” sixteen cylinder, one thousand horsepower, four turbo chargers, variable valve timing (on all four cam shafts), computer controlled clutch, all wheel drive, I'm in love. The Bugatti Veyron have crammed as much as possible in to a single engine. I love it, the site does the math. 1.3 gallons a minute must be burned to get 1000 horsepower. The videos of the engine are a pain to get to, but worth it.
Look out Gumball Rally.

OK, the world has gone topsy-tervy. My day job is getting harder. Well, not harder. It is definetly less fun due to pay cuts that I will never recapture and the politics that are driving me up the wall. Tpro is getting easier. Well, not easier, better defined. There is forward momentum and I can't wait to find out what happens next. I've learned a ton and there are opportunities galore.
I've got my support server up and running. Now, I just need to figure out how it works. =] I still have a bunch of other stuff to learn. I'm on my way though.

Simpsons philosophy
Lisa finds out her family experiences “dumbening” at age eight. She feels the evil sting of genetics. It turns out to just be the males of the family who get stupid. I kind of know how she feels. My vision is genetic. That is what I've been told. I don't believe any of these doctors know what they are talking about.

Bad day
I had a crappy day today. I don't want to go into what caused it. I think it is a bunch of crap all piled on top of each other. I'm having trouble juggling two jobs. The day job is just falling apart. There is this one project that will just not work. The other job is suffering badly.
At my day job I've asked for help from higher up in my own company. They are basically lost. They say “talk to the vendor”. The vendor is trying to help, but apparently this company is the only one trying to do what it is doing. No one else in the world does it this way according to the vendor. So, I'm the bad guy. I'm the one who can't get it done. Two multi-billion dollar companies don't do it like this, but I'm the one who has to fix it.

Woman I met through my blog
I've told some people about a woman I met because of my blog. First of all, I'm finding that there are people reading my blog I've never met. She is a friend of a friend. She found my blog through Cynthia's blog. She first said my blog was boring and wanted me to spice it up. Well, there isn't any spice to sweeten this train-wreck. We have been chatting through email and the only thing we have in common is that we agree we have nothing in common. She is outgoing and has parties. I sit at the computer for ever. She goes hiking, I've been hiking twice. She has sex toy parties and I can't bring myself to go to a strip club. We are a lousy match.
I've asked five times for dinner or a meeting (other than a sex toy party), but her schedule always gets in the way. She doesn't want a one on one meeting. I understand. I don't shine in a party scene though. I suppose I don't shine one on one either, but I'd do better than at a sex toy/mortician graduation party. (for God's sake) How the hell are you supposed to meet some one for the first time at a party like that? What is she thinking?

Vanilla Sky
I tried to watch Vanilla Sky. That was a mistake. A guy maybe kills some one or doesn't, maybe he had a car wreck or maybe he didn't. It looks like two plot lines run in a twist around each other. It is my opinion that this movie was produced to match shows like Memento. Vanilla Sky takes it one step too far and it is just annoying to follow. Besides, when the car runs off the bridge and slams into a wall, there is no steam from the radiator. That car was not running when it hit the wall. Supposedly, it was doing 80 when it went off the bridge. It should have been close to over heating. There is no way that much front end damage didn't pop the radiator.


I've decided to not go to the sex toy/mortician graduation party this weekend. If the woman who is throwing it knew me at all, she would not have invited me. I'm sure it will be fun. I have a hard enough time at boring dinner parties, and this time I wouldn't even have my camera to hide behind.
I'm just not that guy. I wish I could just stop worying about finding someone and get some work done.


I was watching an episode of the Simpsons, the one where Homer buys Marge a bowling ball with his name on int for Marge's birthday. I had an epiphany while watching her move over from one side of the lane to the other and going from a single pin to a strike. When I was in high school, I joined a bowling team. We met one night a week and just bowled. I was terrible. I still am. I did, however, learn some powerful things about myself. That is the earliest time I realized I had a problem with anger. Every time before that I just accepted the way I felt and let myself go. I wanted to control myself at bowling though. There were girls there. I found out years later the girl I was interested in was a lesbian. That too would haunt me throughout my life. I had no idea how to make the anger go away.
The bowling was only half the frustration I encountered on bowling night. My mother noticed how upset I would be when I came home. There was a night when my parents had some friends over and asked me to find a ride home. I walked. It was about six miles. It wouldn't be the last time frustration over a woman would make me do something stupid. Six or seven years later, I walked from a friend's house to Westhimer where I caught a bus back to my apartment for the exact same reason.
The epiphany is about sports. I've always wandered why sports are so important to some people. I realized while watching the Simpsons and thinking about what I learned during bowling that people use sports to communicate and learn the social ins and outs. I wander if that is part of what I missed. I did miss something. Somewhere along the way I missed learning how to date, flirt, the mating ritual. Now, I have to learn at thirty five. I think the first step was a willingness to learn. That happened a while ago. I wander what the next step is.

The people who originally put the JPEG format together were bought by another company who wants money.
There needs to be a law that says when you create something you have to charge for it from day one or you loose the ability to go back and gripe.
SCO would have lost their privilege to sue entities for any Unix code that had already been put in other programs. They would only be able to go after stuff created from now on. The Linux people said “Tell us what is in violation and we will take it out.” from day one. SCO took forever because they knew their case sucked. Now their main investor is upset.
Maybe the JPEG format has had its run.

National ID cards
There is a huge debate in England (Britain) over national ID cards. Privacy Rights people have all but thrown in the towel. They are getting the message that it is going to happen because the government wants it very badly. The physical card is not the issue. The biometrics that are linked to the card will be held in a database and kept for ever. The database will only be accessible for law enforcement, or so the officials say. Of course, this is the information age and companies will lobby for access to all or part of the data. I'm sure it will come in small waves. Lets suspend our rights a piece at a time in the name of anti-terrorism. The terrorists hate our way of life, so lets change our way of life until they have nothing to hate.
I have to tell you, I like the idea of a national ID card in the States. It is one stop shopping for identity theft. The card will be difficult to copy. The data in the database will be under lock and key. That will just make it precious. When is the last time any government got anything right on the first try?

Movie in the making
These guys were caught in a building and nearly didn't make it. The story reads like a movie script. Scary stuff.


Laser canon
This thing looks cool. They have finally worked the kinks out of most of the systems and this one is going on a plane. They swear this thing was designed to shoot down missiles as they launch. I'm sure it will work for that purpose. I know that is an important defensive mission this device will cover. However, what is to stop them from aiming this thing at a vehicle or AAA emplacement? Cost might be a factor at first. This thing will only get cheaper.

Ethics in business
My day job is a major corporation. Yesterday they gave away free ice-cream if you call your congressman and tell them to vote a specific way on a law. How messed up is that? That just makes me feel dirty. I've read the law they want and it sounds like something I might vote for given the chance. The ice-cream thing just makes me feel like a five year old. It also seems petty. It sounds like a bribe to me. I'm no lawyer. They are not paying for votes, but they are paying for you to call your government representative and tell them to vote a specific way. How chicken-shit!

I'm in the middle of setting up some software for the help desk Tpro will use. The software company doesn't really support Linux well, so I put Apache on an old XP machine. I installed Apache, I installed the Support Wizard software. I messed with some settings. I pointed my router to the new web server running on the Windeath box. Then came the time to test the first hit from outside the network. I typed in the link that would cause my computer to look from outside the local network through the internet for the path back to the machine sitting on my desk less than a meter away. The test page came up, it came up, it worked. Something extraordinary happened at that moment. I felt a surge of exhilaration come over me. I felt like rolling my head back and cackling like a mad scientist. I now had two active web servers on my home network. I had conquered two platforms.
I had not seen it coming. That is the scary part. I had no expectations when I hit enter on that address bar. My God it felt good. Now, I just have to configure the software. That is noting compared to making it connect.

Japan's Vietnam
Read about how the Japanese captives from Iraq were treated after they returned to Japan. The Japanese government charged them for air fair on the trip home. That is not how things work. These people were journalists trying to get the story. If you have a problem with journalists going to places of turmoil, stop buying the media to which they report. Bad form Japan.

Say it was a missile
Every time I hear reports from Iraq that mention what witness say, the media quotes some one as saying “... it was a missile.” I hate that. There was a radio report a couple of months ago that had a translator say “There is a guy running around the crowd telling people to say it was a missile.” I believe that translator far further than I believe the eye witnesses. I wish the press would blow off eye witnesses who are not confirmed. In the U. S. the reporter always finds the most buck-toothed hill-billy to put on the tube who is willing to say “Ya, I seen'em.” After a life time of this, I can't listen to “.. an eye witness said ...” without thinking they are full of crap.


Anger resolution

Recognize the problem
It is surprisingly difficult to tell when you are angry or in a bad mood. The first thing that tells me I'm in a bad mood is actually my own voice. I yell at the computer, or whatever is in front of me, or I bite some one's head off. Sometimes it is my own head on the block.

The next thing you have to do is stop. This is also a difficult step because anger and rage have a momentum. That momentum must be broken before you can continue to the next steps.

Make up your mind to change
Even after stopping the momentum, making the decision to not be angry is perhaps the most difficult of all. When I am angry, I want to stay angry. I want to yell, I want to stomp. Sometimes I just plane decide to stay angry. I don't know why. You have to start over again and it is just that much more difficult the second or third time. “I don't want to be that angry guy. I don't like the angry guy.”

Pull yourself away from rage
Once you make the decision to not be angry you must pull yourself out of the mood. It is a bit like pulling yourself out of a pool that has a ledge with no place to hold. You will feel yourself slipping backward, but you can't panic or get angry. You have to relax and simply go forward more slowly.

Follow through (prevent relapse)
I find myself easy to anger for a long while after I calm down. Sometimes a distraction helps, but only temporarily. I take frequent breaks at work before I get angry. I have to. I need to clear my head between tasks.

Resume life
Now, you still have to fix the problem or complete the task that made you angry in the first place.

A Man's guide to Women and complaining
I am thirty five years old and I have to relearn the same lesson over and over again. When a woman comes to me and tells me about a problem she is having, she doesn't necessarily want a solution. She might want sympathy. If she wants sympathy, she will think your are bossing her around when you offer her a solution.
For example, your wife tells you that she hates her professor at university. Do you A, Say “Drop the class sweetie, it isn't worth it.” or “Go to the dean and talk about it.” or “Slash that bitch's tires.”; or B, Say “I remember some of my professors ...” or “I can go talk to the dean if you want.” or “What does her car look like?”; or C, Say “I hear you sweetie. Tell me all about it.”
The correct answer is of course C.


Every one tells me to get a pet. I work funny hours. I would not pay enough attention to a pet. I have a small apartment. I don't find the same enjoyment in pets that others find. I just look at them and think “I would hate the life you lead, all cooped up.” I was probably a domesticated dog in a past life. I don't want a dog. I don't want a cat. I don;t want a fish. I don't want a bird. Stop telling me you think I should get a pet.
I had one of those Japanese watch sized electric pets once. It died. It died a couple of times.

I'm in one of those moods where everything looks bleak. I can't snap out of it. Things are screwing up at my day job. I don't have the energy to follow through with Tpro work I need to do. My social life won't return my phone calls. blaw blaw blaw. Nothing is happening right now that hasn't happened every day of my life.
This is as good as it is going to get. I'm healthy. I'm trying to think of other good news. What ever. Kelly complaining about being Kelly again
. There is no fix. This is me. I should accept it and just do the next thing that needs to be done. I need to pay bills. I need to finish a small software project for Tpro. I need to stop doing software packaging at my day job. When I came home this afternoon I just went to bed. I haven't eaten. I got up because I wanted to write in my blog. I probably wouldn't have stirred if it weren't for my adoring public. =]

I learned
I If I'm not really paying attention, Spanish music sounds like Arabic music.

People gripe about their weight. Well, my two cents:
Ware cloths that fit. pull the tags off i you don't like the size written on them.
Eat what you think is healthy. Avoid things you know are crap.
Get off your butt and exorcize. This is what really matters.
Through the scale out the window. The stress over that number will kill you quicker than the blubber.
Thank God you have enough food to eat and some choice.


P2P update
There is a new type of download software out there called stream ripping. It appears to be a way that users can share files without being traced. It is a bit annoying sounding because you don't choose the music you download. It is a way to get around IP addresses and such. It pulls down from online radio. A bunch of the downloads are just DJs or even advertisements, but you just delete those.


Office Politics
I am definitely a technician. I'm finding more and more that I am very bad at politics in the office. I tend to tell the truth and air my thoughts far too often to be a political success. It will keep me in a technical position for the rest of my life.

Grasping at Straws
I found a cool
site that shows the origin of many phrases. I heard the phrase "grasping at straws" on the BBC and I just had to Google it. I've been looking for a decent site that compiles the origins of phrases. This place is pretty lame. It is also seriously bent toward British ends. Ah, well, tis more the thrill of the hunt.

I'm looking at the company I work for and I've come to the conclusion that they should get rid of my department. That is, they should outsource. The whole department is overhead. We do not take in outside work. It makes sense now why outsourcing saves so much money. If my department took in outside work, we would be forced to make ourselves better than we are. We have many shortcomings that would be culled at the first chance if we lost a client who was paying. I.T. departments almost exclusively work only with inside a single entity. There is no competition. There is no incentive to improve the product (for real) because you have a captive customer. This epiphany has made me reconsider the approach to outsourcing. The company I work for makes a specific group of products. I think now that this company should stick to that and outsource engineering, support, construction, I.T., and some other overhead objects. This company should keep control of research and development, ownership, legal, rights management, and other managerial objects. What do you think?

2 eDonkeys
I am moving Overnet (aka eDonkey) to another computer. It was on an XP box, but I'm moving it to My Linux server because I need the XP box for testing. The funny thing is, the Linux box is 1/3 the CPU 1/2 the RAM and much older than the XP box. However, Overnet runs faster on the Linux box. Right now they are both fighting over the DSL bandwidth. I'm letting the XP machine complete its downloads before I completely take it offline. They are both running at full speed. I suppose the extra $10 I pay per month for the higher speed DSL is paying off.


Well, it finally happened. The company I work for has banned picture capable phones from all sites. Everyone will have to surrender their phone to security upon entry to the facility. This also implies that you will not be able to leave the phone in your car in most cases because the parking lots are inside the gate. I have been waiting for this memo.
The next thing I'm waiting for are the mass layoffs as a result of outsourcing that the company has assured us we will not feel. Also inevitable in my humble opinion. But, I'm not bitter.

Wild Wild Middle East
The New York Times has an article on the contractors working for the coalition in Iraq. I'm reading this article and thinking "Ye-gads! this sounds like a massive pile of kindling ready to light." It sounds like there are many groups of people and companies from different countries all trying to work together. They are paid by the companies that need security. Some of the companies complain they didn't realize the security needs when calculating the contract costs. Some of the contractors are under supplied and under trained security guards. Some are ex-special forces. Some quit the special forces to take the higher pay of the contract.
One thing that sounds interesting is the different companies are clawing and scratching to get some order to things. Normally, they don't have motivation to communicate and agree on rules. Getting a phone call from your men in the field asking for backup and listening to them die on the phone because there is none must be a good motivator.


Linux VS. Microsoft
This operating system is never going to kill Microsoft at the present rate of creation. I just tried to get a help desk software to install and spent nearly four hours trying to get the (script) to run, but nothing. It was looking for rpm. I type in rpm and baddabing, there it is. It was looking for make, I type in make and badaboom, there it is. The rpm files that came with the install have some problem with Mandrake 9.2. I'm learning Mandrake 9.2 sucks.
I installed Apache on one of my XP machines and it took ten minutes. I installed the help desk software in 10 minutes. Now, there is only configuration. Every time I try to install software that didn't come with the distribution Linux messes up. It is just plane not ready for prime time. It is worth the extra $999 for click-click install and setup. In a business it costs more to have some one sitting there jacking with the machine than it does to just pay the extra money for a Microsoft server. Maybe outsourcing will change the face of labor costs and thus topple Microsoft.

AT&T Wireless lessons
I read an article about AT&T Wireless. The article covers AT&Ts troubles complying with the federal law last year that said companies had to allow mobile customers to transfer their number from one company to the next. It is quite damning. Ex-employees say between threats of outsourcing, poorly planned software upgrades, poorly maintained networks, and a bunch of other crap, AT&T screwed themselves when this law hit. I like the picture in the article.
Things I learned from this article.
Don't screw yourself with upgrades.
Don't hide the fact your are outsourcing.
Don't just assume the legal system will grind slowly.
Erase you frigging whiteboards after meetings.
Keep confidential memos confidential.
CRM failure can drive current customers away.
CRM failure can stop new customers from using your business.
Using non standard software can bite you in the ass in ways you don't read about on the box.
Five million onetime script fixes are not the way to run a large network.
You need motivated workers to make things work.
Software testing really is worth the time it takes to do it.

I like this movie. It is a story of chivalry and a good old fight. I watched again recently. I hate the music. It is this eighties pop sound that makes me ill while watching such a wonderful movie.

Asleep our dreams find a willing mind, a place to play.
Awake our minds find a world around, a place to live.
In our dreams we fight, we flee, we fly away through the clouds of reason.
In our daily lives we want, we climb, we sink into sleep with glassy eyes.
Stumbling in a daze from our well built tours we find another.
One who may share our folly love, our time awake.
Do we know love when we sleep?


Ditto copies
Microsoft MSN site looks like old ditto copies. You know the ones I mean. They used a black magnetic ink paper original and some one sat there turning the crank and running the original against a piece of paper in a bath of blue ink. While I was growing up I always had a hard time reading those miserable copies. I used to sit there and say to myself “They must not want me to be able to read this stuff.” For years I complained. It was not until high school that the copies were made with a real copier. Now I look upon the MSN sight and I say “They are trying to fool me.” They wouldn't use blue text on a whit background for EVERYTHING if they didn't believe in the psychological affect that blue on whit has. It is sky. It is water. It is flowing movement of nature. I say it is hard to read and just one more reason for me to hate Microsoft.

James and Tempest
I'm trying to think of something to say that doesn't sound like a weather report. Well, the weather was spot on. The place was perfect. The groom was just the correct amount of nerves. The bride was beautiful. The guests were happy. The kids were board. it was a wonderful wedding.


Bus stop
I tried to catch the earlier bus this morning. I just missed it. I was hoping to make up a few minutes at work. This is a rough way to start the day. I was trying to ease my mood by meditating, when this guys sits down two meters away. It is a Friday morning and this guys is in shorts and a tank top. He looks in his early twenties. He is going to school or somewhere to goof off all day. I hear him sit down. Then he starts coughing. Then he starts smoking and doubles his coughing. Now I'm upset. It is legal to smoke at a Houston bus stop as far as I know. Even if it is illegal, what are you supposed to do, call a cop? Then he asks me "What time does the bus come?" That sounds like a legitimate question, but he is not warring a watch. I don't see a mobile. What is he going to do in the mean time. If I say five minutes he will sit there until the bus comes. If I say forty five minutes he will sit there until the bus comes. I hate it when people using public transit beside me try to talk to me. That is why I ware  headphones. I've gone over that one before.
I"m a grump.

AT&T gets jiggy
I heard something about this from the BBC a while back. AT&T will soon let you put your phone up to the radio and for 1$ a server somewhere will send a message telling you what song was playing. I'm sure it has limitations and I'm sure it will not work for folk, or obscure stuff, but top forty will work fine. This will save more lives than airbags.

A friend of mine is "observing inventory" as I type. It is a beautiful Friday afternoon and I can't imagine doing anything related to inventory on a day like today. Then again. I am at home typing in my blog instead of out soaking up the rays and out of doors. I'm like that though.
I remember doing inventory for a company I worked for several years ago. What a pain. Count a box of pens, mark it down. Count a role of paper, mark it down. I sorted coins once to find over eight hundred dollars. That was mindless over and over again toil, but it was a bit therapeutic. Inventory is just maddening to me. The job I have requires me to think and salve problems (in programming terms). The coin thing just required looking and tossing into a specific pile. Inventory requires just enough thought to prevent the mind from wandering. Yet, not enough to challenge the mind. I suppose  am all or nothing.

Daily listening
I'm finding out that I would much rather listen to news all day than music. That is scary. I find news distracting. I have to turn it off to really concentrate. Music is mostly in the background depending on the genera.

What do you want?
Microsoft wanted to fire off a service that let you click on any word and a search would kick off and bring back information (related to what you were reading at the time) that were based on the word you clicked. The only trouble with the service was no one really wanted it.
I fear the race to get tourists in space will suffer the same problem. It sounds cool, because it is so select right now. After a very little while, it will get old. I bet long before the price drops for shmoes like me to take a day trip to orbit, it will be passé. "Let's see, jet-ski trip, or fifteen minutes in orbit?"

My buddy James is getting married tomorrow. He found the perfect woman. The rest of of can stop looking. She is a Linux admin. That's all I have to say. Her name is Tempest. They get along like no one I've met. I wish them all the best.


Dates and computers
Today is the fifteenth of April in the year of our lord two thousand and four. This is a legitimate way of writing the date for humans. It makes since to some one who takes the time to read the words. Even if you have never seen the date written out like that before, you can pick today out on a calendar. Try teaching a computer how to interpret this into a machine date that looks something like "10010100011001011001010001100101". Computers usually count the number of seconds from a given point to determine the date. It is an operating system thing. That's why the whole Y2K thing was a huge bust. That doesn't even get into which order of day month year or year month day or month day year or what ever order you put the numbers. So, when people say "Give me the latest file." they need to specify whether it is the date created, modified or accessed they need.

Adult Happy Meals
I like
this idea from Mikky-Ds. They offer a pedometer. It says they are sick of being sued.

War Correspondent
A buddy invited me to paintball this Sunday. He is fully aware that I am legally blind. He suggested I take on the role of War Correspondent. This intrigues me. It would be the first time I have ever attended a sporting event as an amateur photographer. I should carry a microphone and talk into the camera like I'm reporting from the front. I could call it my War journal. That is,until some one shoots me and I walk right up to them and kick them in the head.
It isn't getting shot, It is looking like I'm blind during a sporting event. I hate that.

BlogBack sucks
OK, I'm trying the comment thing. I can't figure out how to get some of the features to work. I'll try to add poles and what not later.


Photo Stitching:
I did some photo stitching by hand many moons ago. I might have some links out there somewhere. It took a surprisingly long time to sit there and hand align the photos together. I had of course, not used a tripod so there was a bit of a twist to the adjustment. They make nice photos though. Some software came with my new camera that makes it a quick step to stitch photos together. The trouble is, it doesn't worry too much about alignment and just melts the two photos together. If you don't use a tripod and a level system, you will get some twist to the pictures. No one has that steady of a hand. I want magical alignment. Something else I noticed, is the fish-eye effect doesn't work well with stitching. The edges of a photo are distorted in that bubble affect that I'm sure every one has noticed at some point. This stitching software doesn't seem to take that into account either. I'm also worried about the size of the photos that come off my camera. Will my laptop be able to mesh six or so, five megapixl shots together? We shall see.
Well, I got home and gave the cheap crappy stitching software a shot and it sucks. I didn't use a tripod blaw blaw blaw. I think the I suffered from the fisheye affect as well.

Benny Hill
I accidentally downloaded some Benny Hill clips. Actually, I got the whole collection of Best of Benny Hill. I remember watching this stuff when I was a kid on PBS. I used to laugh. I remember the granny suite. I'm watching it now and only laughing at every fourth joke. Ah, well. it is still funny.


I setup software for install off the network. I got this CD from some guys who swore they had an intern who had installed it all over the place. "Oh, it's a piece of cake." When I tried to get it to work using the exact same instructions the intern wrote, I got all kinds of errors. I asked if the intern could spend some time with me to get things worked out. You know what? It's six months later and they finally admit, the intern got the 2002 version of the software to work great. They gave me the 2003 version. That version has some problems. May I have three days added to my life please?

I screen my calls. I have all the ringers turned off in the house. If you don't leave message, you will never get in touch with me. I screen my email. I don't answer my mobile until I check who is calling. I don't answer my phone at work unless I'm ready to take calls. Email at work is a bit better. If it weren't for email there would be no work done at the company I work for. Email is the preferred form of communication.
We have records retention policy (thank you Enron) that says we must assign a kill date for everything. The deal is, you put yesterday's date on everything and you are required to destroy it before you can do the task. I'm working on a script that would force the dates on everything on the network forward a year and trigger a mass shredding of data. All the backup tapes would automatically purge themselves. All the file shares would purge. If it happened over a long holiday, it could through off decades of data in a couple of hours. I'm kidding of course. At least, about me writing the script. I have not interest in harming the company I work for or any other. There are precious few time servers in North America.

Low carbohydrate diets are taking over the US. I've heard from some one who visited Europe recently and the Europeans don't understand how Americans intend to loose weight by eating. While were were talking over lunch I noticed this healthy way of eating meant you could dip meat in cheese and say "I can't have chips, I'm sticking to my diet." I converted.

Invisible Eunuch
It's amazing. I'm invisible to women younger than I, and I am a brother to every woman my own age. Wow, what a nightmare. This last weekend I went a party where some younger woman happened to attend and had an email conversation with a woman my own age.
Younger women
At Dan's party on Friday evening there were several young women present. They were all about twenty-ish, pretty and they all looked twelve years old to me. I might have caught their eye if I had set myself on fire.
Email conversation
The conversation happened via email. We made small talk about our plans for the weekend and so on. I try to have no "intentions" with the conversation. I try to keep things loose. She mentions fighting with her boyfriend/whatever. I've been down this road so many times I cannot do it again.
Again, I'm tired of being the sounding board for women who have a problem with their current man. Why do women think I'm going to show any sympathy? I don't feel like a hero when you cry on my shoulder about the guy you are having sex with (hint, not me), I feel used.


Today was Easter. I went over to Tom and Jen's house for some great food and Champaign.
They played a party game and a good time was had by all. They have a beautiful house.

I'm not sure why, but the weather means allot to me this year. For some reason I'm watching the rain on the windows and listening to the wind blow the grass on a sunny day. I don't get it. Maybe I'm just getting old. Today was rainy, but allot of fun. It was worth getting out just to feel the rain on my hat.

Boring blog
Ever since that girl mentioned something about how boring my blog is, I've noticed it is even more boring than normal. A funny thing isn't going to happen to me on the way to everywhere. it takes a life time to build up those stories. The funny thing is, I've had a full weekend. The nothing-happened weekends seem longer. They seem more relaxing too. The most relaxing weekends and evenings are those where I have no obligations. There are times I try to create something new. That is relaxing too.

Story line
I've noticed a story line that keeps popping into my head. It is a man who has lived for centuries through many average and a few exceptional human lifetimes. He finds a way to come back to our time from the future to warn of trouble or right some wrong. He regales those who will listen of his many lives through time, places and the people he has met. As he departs to return to his home in an unknown time one listener asks for one lasting piece of advice to take on her own journey to the future. He stops for one moment and says “Learn Chinese.” then walks away.


Dan's party
Dan's birthday party pictures are here.
I went with Tom and Jen. We are among the older crowd at the party. We joked on the way that the “kids” at the party are just too hip for us. It worked out that we are definitely not the <insert colloquialism for the group of people who form the basis of what is cool at the moment>.
Dan and his wife have a beautiful home. That is, except for this thing, I mean antenna, on the back of the house. I am all about getting good reception, but there are limits. I remember a house down the street from my parents house that used to have a huge satellite dish on the front of the house. The home owner's association blew a gasket, but the guy who lived there was a lawyer and tide everything up for years, then moved. I hope Dan doesn't have any trouble.

Bachelor party
I have a buddy who is getting married next week. His bachelor's party is today. I called and asked what was going on, but, of course, they just might end up at a topless bar. I opted out. I don't have any conches or moral objection to topless clubs. I just can't go to one. I've been over this before.
So, at home I sit. I don't feel bad about it though. I know I would feel much worse about the whole thing if I went.

World Police
It seems the US wants to be the world's police force. I thought the UN was supposed to do that. There are so many voices in the UN, they have no voice in the world these days. The Sunni and the Shiite people in Iraqi were sworn blood enemies when one group was in control under Sodom. They were killing each other every chance. Now, a year after the US invades, they ban together to kick the US out. The groups appear to have learned from other terrorists an they use the news stories to coordinate their attacks in different cities. They wish to split the American forces, or at least spread them thin. I would site stories on news sites I read this information from, but there are just too many.


Radio sucks
I'm listening to some
radio station while at work. Their selection of music is off the scale. They are all over the place. It is nice to have variety, but they are bound to play something that makes me ill about every half hour.
I heard somewhere that rap music s running out of beats. The mathematical combinations are waning. The trouble is, copyright laws use math to determine what is unique. At some point they will simply run out of the stuff that is covered by copyright. I wish I had a source for this.
You have heard many rap songs that are really based on some old song riff with some one saying how great they are over a beat. I just heard one of these using the riff from "Walk on the Wild Side". Well People who did the original song feel like it is still their material. The people who make the rap insist that it is something completely new and original. They are both full of crap. Can't we all just get along?

Writing for work and school
I've noticed a major flaw in the education system. The trouble is writing for an audience. In school all through university I wrote with my professor or TA in mind. They were a monolithic audience. There was one personality to target with every thought. The trouble came when I hit the real world. I could not target my boss, who would review the information before it goes out to the business. I had to target the people in the business, but with my boss' impression of what the people in the business would need. That is a whole separate wrinkle.
As best as I can tell, there was nothing in school that covered this conflict. Perhaps in journalism they cover this problem. I've been lucky that my current boss is a great communicator. She taught me the skills I have. What I learned in school was only half the information.

This is just cool. CNN has news of the first people qualified to participate. The X-Prize is ten million dollars to the first private group that puts paying passengers in space. The guy who did this ship is the same guy who designed that plane that flew around the world without stopping or refueling a couple of years ago. This is one of those things that makes you like to be alive. Some one is out there doing something this cool just because they can.

Man, Tpro is looking good. These guys are amazing.


I've experienced one more factor in outsourcing. Not only does the company I work for have to wait for a person in India to come back from another assignment, but the code he wrote cannot be touched by any one at the US company or any other vendor due to contractual obligation and the placement of liability. That means, for a one or two line change in some code, we have to wait two weeks. Yes, that's saving the company money.

In movies, that shot where a helicopter fly over a city at night, it's been done. That shot where a helicopter fly over a building to give it that 3d affect, it's been done. That shot where the camera is moved closer to some one while changing the zoom to make it look like 3d, it's been done. Hitchcock owns that one.

I had some one call my blog boring. She didn't specify anything. I suppose I can talk about her, because she will not come back. I do definitely appeal to geeky people. There is nothing right or wrong with being a geek. It is just something that is. I assume I am far too technical to appeal to “normal” people. Then, I've never been normal. I was not normal as a kid. I am not normal as an adult. That is not a bad thing. I have problems with part of it. I do not like being alone. I do not like missing the point in movies and conversation. I've aloud myself to believe that normal people live in a daze, normal people climb the ladder, normal people click next, normal people are happy.
I could never be happy with normal.


Weeding out
There is a story on the BBC radio talking about these testes they give students in their last years of "high school" in England called A-levels. There is a mandate from government that half of all students should go into higher education (collage) and the result is most people get better grades on their A-levels. The universities are getting together and saying they need to adopt new testes similar to the US ACE or SAT in order to weed out those student's who will not make it through university. All the students notice is a bunch of more tests. People have days of tests that determine where they will be able to go to school. I remember the stress over the SAT. I didn't even care what grade I made on it. I got a 980 by the way. Not bad. That is better than average. It isn't great. I worry that I would get double digits these days. I'm out of test taking practice.

Two Worlds
Microsoft is on my nerves again. There are several articles about Microsoft roaming around that tout how Microsoft is above the law. The fines are not the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. It is like making Microsoft buy a candy bar. Microsoft has control of the market and they like it that way. We were just talking at lunch trying to figure out why people just bend over for Microsoft. People say, "but we want a standard interface for our programs." Ford puts steering wheels and gearshifts in automobiles just like General Motors. There are subtle differences, but they are basically the same design. There is no reason Microsoft, or Xerox should be allowed to patent the GUI interface.
One of Microsoft's big deals is trying to say the media player is part of the operating system. What is to stop them from saying Word or Excel is part of the operating system and basically blowing all potential competitors away? Oh, wait. Microsoft already cornered the market on Office tools. They even took the name Office Tools for their own. Microsoft will only pay lip service to standard document formats. Microsoft's answer to a standard is "use Word, there." The problem is you have to use Windows to use Word. Even Macintosh will not run Microsoft Office for ever.
Now Microsoft is about to make serious moves on the internet search market. That means every time you look for something on the net, Microsoft gets dibs on what you find. In order for software companies to advertise their products, they will have to pay their competition for the privilege. Can you say monopoly?
Yet, the general public just keeps paying Microsoft for the privilege of using software that is solely controlled by one company. What is to stop Microsoft from saying "We want to charge a tax for computers sold without an operating system because we just know they are going to put an illegal copy of Windows on it anyway?"
Microsoft already has that law.


I knew it
There is a CNN story about
TV causing ADD. They say it isn't the content, but the fast paced "life" that happens on most TV programming. Some of the folks at my day job (women) blame mothers not paying enough attention to kids for the ADD. I don't buy it. I try to look back to caveman days to answer questions about modern troubles. What would a caveman done in this situation. It is amazing how much that helps me figure out why things happen. Most of the time it is just a bunch of bunk.
<my opinion>
Young brains develop with a thirty minute resolution cycle when kids watch TV. Life takes allot longer to find solutions to problems. When a child watches TV and finds that everything is done and every one is laughing after thirty minutes.
</my opinion>

BBC radio (five live) just had a little mention of sitting on a beach during a holiday <vacation>. They spoke of trunks with sand driven into them. That made me think of a story. I remember Melissa, my first crush, showing me a funny mark on her back. She wandered where the heck the little star shaped light spot came from. Well she figured it out pretty quickly. There were little black stars on her otherwise yellow swim suit. The shapes lined up quite nicely. It was the first time a woman showed me a part over her body. Even if it was a pretty innocent part of her back.

It is amazing the difference a second or two can make in photography. That short time can make a big difference in what is in the image. The exposure time for a picture can make or break a sports shot. Too fast and the photo is dark. Too slow and the action is blurred. Even landscapes can tell you how the shutter was set. Look at the leaves on trees, or the ripples in water. Leaves flutter in even a slight breeze. Ripples in water will smear or blur with a slow shutter speed. To catch the waves on a pond you need a faster setting. Waterfalls will turn smoky white with any more than a second or two exposure. Sometimes people will disappear except for a ghostly outline if the shutter speed is set long enough. A night shot will take on a hazy look because of humidity and bugs around lights. People and any animated thing will not survive a long exposure. The moment is only about 1/60 to 1/30 seconds long. Anything longer and time passes, the moment is lost. Photography can tell you things that a movie cannot. There is something irrevocable about that moment captured. You can't spin the wheel forward or back. You only have the one shot. That is it.
There are
moments captured in that one instant that turned presidents mid-course.

Tap-a tap-a tap-a
I'm sitting at work waiting for a process to complete. I catch myself wandering if others listen to me whisper to myself as I run through news reports and work email. When I type, I pound the keyboard pretty loudly. I wander if any one notices my quiet when I'm not typing? How paranoid is that? I've noticed some people up here never stop typing. It is amazing. My boss can type 3500 words per minute. It sounds like an even hum coming from her office.
One thing I've noticed, is most of the people I respect for intelligence at my day job talk to themselves like I do. They are not as abrupt as I, but they do it. I used to catch so much crap growing up over talking to myself.

New Pictures
I have some
new pictures on my home page. They are from Chris and Sarah's party this past weekend. We had a great time and a couple of big piles of mud bugs. Give the pictures a look if you dare. They are the first with the new camera. The are five megapixl off the shelf, but I've shot them down to 30% of their full size. They are significantly smaller than the original. From 1.5 megabytes down to 80 or 90 kilobytes.


I'm watching a movie called Timeline. It is about people going back in time. There are a bunch of references to archeology. I am as much interested in the past as the next guy. I like how archeologists take clues from thousands of years ago and piece together the daily life of some one who has been long dead and gone. There are whole civilizations gone longer than ours has been around. I wander what the archeologists will find of me in a million years. If all they had from the human race was this blog, I shutter to think the image I leave to posterity.
Well, we are a harmless bunch. Our primary concern is to eat, sleep and have sex with each other. Well, everyone has sex except me. I'm the one odd person left out. All the rest of humanity has found their match. That is the reason I have time to write this to you, the entities who find our broken ashtrays and tattered bits left thoughtlessly dropped in the mud on a rainy day. <I'm being depressing again>

Speaking of the future
There is an article about NASA's launch of a gravity detection system. What it is for is to prove Einstein's theories about gravity. According to the status quo, there should be a gravity wake behind Earth as it lumbers through space at 86,000 miles an hour (relative to the Sun). The instruments are so sensitive they can tell anomalies in gravity as the satellite travels in orbit. This gizmo has been on the docket for over forty years. Apparently, the technology just hasn't brought it to fruition until now. I like the quote “the roundest objects in the world.”
What I want to know is, what if they prove Einstein wrong? The trouble is other experiments in the last forty years have bolstered Einstein's theories, so some say the whole thing is a wash. I want a big finding somewhere. I want a finding that changes everything. I want our everyday loves to turn on a dime for the better because of some seemingly little discovery that people almost missed. What was the last small invention that just plane changed the way everything works? Indoor plumbing, electricity, telephone, automobile, airplane, penicillin ...


Man insurance is a pain. I recently had to convert from one plan to another. My old plan doubled in price in six months. I'm single, and not too old yet. I will have to pay $80 a month for a $2000 deductible and lousy coverage. All the coverage is crappy, so you might as well get the cheap plan. Some of the guys here at work say they only work to pay their insurance.

Nice try
Wired has a story “
Seeing-Eye Computer Guides Blind” that describes a new device, or collection of devices, to help blind people get around and read in real world situations. After using my computer and ReadPlease software to read the text of the article online I decided this is a nice effort. It sounds like something that will be useful when they get the bugs worked out. One thing I learned in the article that surprised me is only 10% of blind people can read braille.

Horror movies
I find myself viewing horror movies. I like them even though they rarely scare me any more. They have gotten offal formula and predictable. watched documentaries describing people's love of getting scared. I believe it is because of our politically correct lives we are forced to live every day. That is probably where our like of violence in movies and video games comes from too. Many moons ago, people lived in a society that understood violence. Between hunting and no local police force people had to rely in their own strength and wits. I think I will put up with the PC world for a bit longer. I know I have lost those wits. I never had the strength.

Star Office
Star Office is starting to get on my nerves. When you type it will just change font or size without reason. When you apply styles, the fonts and sizes don't always change. Why have styles if they don't change the font or size? The spellchecker grays out the choices when you start typing to correct the misspelled word. I use Star Office to make my blog entries. It does a decent job of creating HTML. I've never found a WISIWIG editor for HTML that did what it said on the box. Every single one of them, ever, screws up some of the formatting.

Crawfish Boil
I have a Crawfish Boil at a buddie's place tomorrow. A bunch of people I know are going to be there. I hate people. I almost wish I could show up and there wouldn't be any one else there. There is an old movie called The Omega Man where one guy is left alone in the world. It turns out there are a bunch of zombies running around, but until then, the place is a nice neighborhood. Every one has a girl friend but me. What is wrong with me? I'm going to go to the event tomorrow and I'm going to take a bunch of pictures to compensate for talking to people. Every one else has a significant other to talk to or about, I have pictures to take. I am so goddamn sick of being me.