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


Economic Collapse
What do modern people wish for? What would make our day. How about never having to change batteries in your phone. How about never charging anything again? How about no more gas for your car? Well these things are inevitable. Think about it. If you go back 100 years and told people they would grow old in a world thick with air planes, orbital travel, robots building cars, cars in every garage. What do you think they would say? Well, some one who was alive in 1903 might have been old enough to read about the Right brothers flying in a powered kite. Then, they may well have lived to watch humans walk on the moon, only sixty some odd years later.
Can you imagine how much people would pay for the fountain of youth? It would stop all other trade instantly. Nothing else would be worth anything. The next big thing I believe will come out of stem-cell research. I think we will fall upon the fountain of youth and not know it for a long time. I believe it will happen in China because of their zeal at the moment.
Maybe the next thing will be a power source. Think about a commodity of that magnitude simply sputtering away into the either. That would make nearly one third of our economy walk out the door. All those third world countries that rely on oil for their food and armies would simply not be important to the developed world any longer. Millions would starve. A power source to replace oil would, simply, destroy our economy over night.
So, how is the next big thing going to destroy the Earth as we know it? The Earth will be fine. The people, however, may find themselves lost before they know it.
What will save the world? Save from what? What is so wrong with what we have that it must be saved?
Poverty (Famine) - The only way to get rid of poverty is to get rid of money.
Pestilence - If it isn't one bug, it 's another. Before HIV, it was Polio. Before that it was TB (still is TB). After we cure AIDS, we will still have Cancer, insanity, flesh eating bacteria..
Space, Quantum, Time - Those are all sound barriers that will fall.
Fear - Without fear, there is nothing left to conquer.

So, Cynthia, did I out do myself?
This movie has been out for like two years. They didn't want it to conflict with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I tried getting it from the Internet, but I only got the Chinese with Korean subtitles version. At least, I think it was Korean. That is the trouble with P2P, you never know what you are going to get. If you are not picky it works out great. That kind of attitude will never fly in business. I did watch one of the battle scenes. I couldn't help my self. It rocked. I have got to see this flick.
Some one asked me how they can be creative in China. They have so many restrictions from the government on what they can say, I'm not surprised they have so few modern movies. The government in China will not let any one talk about the problems with communism. They restrict speech in most areas. However, you can say what you want about ancient China. I bet that is why there are so many Chinese movies on the subject.
. . .
It came in. I watch it. It is a very proud movie. One moment of pride. All will and life sacrificed for an end. Worth your time.

Big Mistake
I just figured out how much I'm spending on lunch. When I got up from the ground, I swore an oath to back off. I'm just going to have to eat cheaper.
I've stopped on the way home at the local grocery store a couple of times recently. That is a big thing for me. I have to get off the bus walk across the parking lot to the store. Only get as much as  I can carry. Walk across the parking lot again. Wait in the heat, rain, people throwing garbage out of cars for the next bus. I had a bottle thrown at me once. I think they were just tossing it out the window to get rid of it, bastards. Lug the stuff from the street to my apartment. Think about only being able to park in the furthest spot in every parking lot. That is what it is like running errands on the bus.

Gmail Invites
I have six invites. Does any one want a Gmail invite? Just let me know.

(bad) Jokes
Why did the scientist install a knocker on his door? To win the no-bell prize.
How much do pirates pay for their earrings? A buck-an-ear.
If a man is talking to himself in the forest with no woman around, is he still wrong?
If a women is in the forest talking to herself with no man around, is she still complaining?


Well, there is a big thing going on in my life at the moment that I cannot write about. I'm undergoing a change. I hate it some times. I want to just blurt it out.

Some Things I Learned Today
The United States is the biggest market for Latin music in the world.
Purple pens and highlighters are the new big thing this school season.
Nonhours Worked: The number of hours a worker puts in off the clock.

How many dyslexics does it change to take a light bulb?
Did you hear about the Aggie bank robber? He tied up the safe and blew the guard.

Cool Stories
Caller ID spoofing. This is cool. I hope this becomes open to the public. They seem to think this will be challenged in court as a deceptive trade method. I don't care. It will be an option on every mobile phone soon enough.
This guy is going to need that wheel chair if he doesn't put on a helmet.

The Name game
Click here for the game
Anna, Bo Banna
Bonana, Fanna, Fo Fanna
Fee, Fy, Mo Manna
Cynthia, Cynthia, Bo Bynthia
Bonana, Fanna, Fo Fynthia
Fee, Fy, Mo Mynthia
Let try Chuck
Chuck, Chuck, Bo Buck
Bonana, Fanna, Fo F***
Fee, Fy, Mo Muck
Nice. The Java has an oops check built in.

Wonders of Google
It never cease to amaze me what you get when you type some random screwy stuff into Google. Take "Hoky Poky" for example. I got back art, cookies, and poetry. The Internet is still a good thing.

Hard problems to over come
I'm watching some old episode of Babylon 5. This could just as easily be any SciFi show. There are so many imposable problems to over come in SciFi flicks. Gravity, inertia, the fact that spaceships don't bank like airplanes, the astronomical cost of space travel all are usually skipped. Babylon 5 takes on some of these factors. They are over budget and things keep breaking because the contractor who had the lowest bid cut corners. They also have ships turn on their axis and fire at another ship without banking. They also have the large space station rotate to mimic gravity. The small ships still don't really explain things well. They also suffer labor disputes and have to deal with the media and diplomats, who are of course are at each other's throats.
The human condition is specifically designed for gravity. We need it like we need air. Our bodies rapidly fall apart without the strain of walking around.

Speaking of SciFi and things fiction.. .  Did you ever notice how similar Ed and Fred are? I have a wall hanging of Ed from Cowboy Bebop. One evening I was watching an old episode of Angle and it hit me. Fred and Ed are strikingly similar.



Fred joined the Angel series when one of Cordelia's visions called the group to the dimension where she was trapped.
Ed joined the Crew of the Bebop (the name of the ship) when she files a fake skip trace wanted add and lures them to her planet.

Fred is introverted, kind of bubbly and weired, but extremely smart, naive.
Ed is extroverted, very weired, and extremely smart and street savvy.

Ok, maybe they are not all that much the same.


I spent most of today sitting in my apartment thinking about the future. I went for coffee with some friends earlier. The world just keeps turning. Every one has their life. How do we all not just kill each other? It has to be the threat of retaliation. In the U. S. we have the law enforcement agencies to ensure retaliation for crime committed against us. I bet you never thought of it that way before. The police and judicial system are here to ensure revenge on an ordered and predictable scale. Even when the cops guard something or there is private security, the thought of getting caught and receiving punishment is what holds most at bay. Harsh penalties is not what detunes crime. It is a guarantee that you will get caught. Even if the punishment is not high, people will not do a crime if they know they are being watched or know they will be caught no matter what. I read that somewhere. I hate not having a citation.
So I get back from my coffee expedition and I look around my apartment. I just don't feel at home here. The world just doesn't feel like the place I'm supposed to be. I don't think I was meant for anything better. I just think there was something different with my name on it and I got shuffled at the last minute. I have no idea what it could have been. My apartment is empty. The neighbors are noisy. The neighborhood is going down hill fast. I wish it would rain. I like it when it rains. Does any one out there know what I should have been?

They are over. Thank God. Now I have to deal with the Republican Convention. I didn't watch the Democrats. I'm not watching the Republicans. I didn't watch the Olympics. I don't watch sports. People are watching less TV these days. I am one of those who may have it playing in the background (like right now), but I'm only using it to drown out the neighbors and their urban bullshit form of expression. The only thing I sit down and watch are the Simpsons, and every once in a while the news. I can't stand local news. They have a hard time competing with world news, so they have to blow everything out of proportion. I spend most of my time these days working, or listening to radio. Normally I would read a book (most likely on the computer), but I haven't gotten that done lately either. I do continue to write in the blog. I can't seem to give that up. It is a bit of an obsession.
I remember growing up and thinking there was not much for me on this Earth. I just had no idea what was destine for me. I still have no idea. There is no buss full of children to save. There is no women to save. There is no company or country to save. There is just me. There is just the world around me. There is just the sun, Earth and life. None of it makes any sense. Is it supposed to make sense?  There has got to be more than this. I might be alive for another fifty years. This is going to add up to a long boring blog.


Working on Saturday
I've spent most of today at home working on a simple project for T-pro. It is some documentation for our support page software. Is that boring enough for you. I've put in eight hours, but not eight solid hours. It is kind of fun sitting down and hammering something out. This is just complex enough to require writing it down to follow your own thoughts.
I can sit here and write documentation all day long and it will never satisfy the writing itch that makes me want to keep this blog up. My mom says she wants to writ a book about her life. She has an interesting family life. She should give it a whirl. My mother had nineteen brothers and sisters, but she was raised by an uncle and aunt. She wants to write some of the old stories down. I suggested she should start by writing one thought on a page and repeat. Then go back and ad one or two notes to a thought, and repeat until she has some notes. Then, order the notes and keep adding to them as the stories come to her.
For example:
Anecdote on the ride
Day camp when I was a kid
Lead by a counselor
Not as fun as the hey-ride
Messing up
What does the horse think?
I have to know what I want before the horse will.
Hurting the horse
Getting distracted (The horse knew instantly if I was not paying attention.)
Not knowing how to take care of a horse
Good smell bad smell
People and horses evolve together
Horses I Know
Missouri from Yellowstone
Taz, Robin's horse
I wrote the word Horse, then wrote the topics under it, then wrote the topics under that ... In a couple of minutes you have an outline of my life that surrounds horses. It took me ten minutes.
The next step is to keep adding information under each topic. Either more sub-topics, or the actual story or information. Who know, you might end up with a book.


I ran over to a coworker's office to ask if he wants to head out for lunch. He said yes. I stand there for a second looking at one of the magazines on his desk and he comes right out and tells me he doesn't have time to chat because he has to concentrate to get something done. Man, I wish every one would do that. If I'm being my typical goofy self and not catching the signals of "go away and let me work" then just tell me you are busy. I can appreciate that. I'm so bad at picking up signals.

I'm screwed. Greenspan says every one is screwed for retirement in the coming years. As soon as the baby boomers start dropping off the employment roles, it is all down hill for the economy. I could have told you this. He wants to raise the retirement age. How about Death? I've always said I am going to work until I drop. I've been hearing for my entire life that baby boomers are going to get screwed when they retire. They have been paying in to the system for their entire lives and now they are going to have to take it on the chin when their turn comes. There is just not enough money or planning. There has been a distinct lack of balls on the part of politicians for ever to do anything about it. It is just all going to blow up in our faces over the next couple of decades. I heard that in the nineties every retiree had two people working to pay the social Security bill. In the next decade, that will change to one to one. I don't have a better answer. The Japanese and most of Europe are in the same boat. It is definitely the second world war that caused the problem.

People keep asking me how to generate PDF files. Business keeps demanding the format and not providing an answer. Well, PDF995 is a $10 program that works like a print driver to generate PDF files. You hit print, select PDF995 as your printer and it prompts you for a PDF file name. It doesn't get any easier. Adobe Acrobat costs something like $300 and the only thing most people get out of it is the printer driver. If you don't mind a pop-up add after you generate a PDF, PDF995 is free. The users cannot tell the difference really.
Linux has a printer driver and a whole slew of utilities for generating and editing PDF files built in.

Microsoft just came out with the official release of service pack 2 for Windows XP. It installs a bunch of useless icons all over the place. It installs an automatic update feature that I will put on my laptop at least. It also puts on a firewall. The last is the one that will cause the most problems. Once you activate the firewall, it will start firwalling your applications.It is like putting a fence around your computer. It prevents things from getting out that should get out. For example. VPN (Virtual Private Network) also know as RAS (Remote Access System) may be affected. The way you set the firewall to let software be accessed is pretty straight forward if you have ever worked on port forwarding stuff. You go to the new security control panel and put a check mark next to the service you want open, or add a new one. Or, you can turn it off if you already use a firewall.
I do not like the fact the firewall can be turned off remotely. Microsoft wanted to allow support organizations to have the ability to make changes through their network. Makes sense, but that means there is a loosely guarded hole in the wall. It is just one more thing to remember to deal with.


What is the difference between God and Bill Gates?
God doesn't think he is Bill Gates.

Why should Bill Gates be buried 100 meters deep?
Because, deep down, he is a good guy.

A boy and a girl are bragging about their fathers to one another. The little boy says "My father is an accountant. What does your father do?"
The little girl replies "My dad is Bill Gates."
The little boy, astonished, says "Honest!?"
The little girl says "I didn't say that."

Kid looks up to his dad and says "When I grow up I want to be a musician."
His dad looks back and says "Sorry son, you can't have it both ways."

What kind of bait do you use to catch fish sticks?

Well, it was great. I played two characters, though not at the same time. The first guy died. I didn't really get the role playing. Here is the scenario. A bunch of people in the bar, having some laughs, all end up killing each other. It is a running battle that lasts three hours in real time and maybe five minutes in DnD time. During this five minutes the following happens.
* Several attempted murders.
* A couple of murders.
* An accidental fire.
* A cockroach the size of a horse turns up.
* A ware rat bites both my characters in the ass (at different times).
* An attempted hanging.
* An attempted male goblin vs male human rape.
The health inspector shows up and demands the place be shut down. The bar owner tries to charm her (It's a spell, not a smile). I, the bouncer, and the cook drag her into the kitchen to murder her on the spot, but we must be quiet because just as the door swings shut behind us the local constable walks in. At some point the kitchen catches on fire and burns the bar to the ground around our ears as we beat each other to death with table legs and bear mugs. All in all, a good time.


There was a pretty scary plane crash in Russia. It appears to similar planes both disappeared from radar at the same time, from the same airport. One of the pilots gave a signal (via a hidden button) to alert of a hijacking in progress. There is no proof it was a full hijacking situation yet. (it is still early Wednesday morning here in the States) but it is very suspicious..They say the planes may have both gotten a part of a bad batch of fuel. The thing is, they should have both had plenty of time to radio back to the tower if that were the case. I understand the communications systems on commercial planes have redundancies and power backups.

Friend of a Friend's Car
<her email>
[My boyfriend]'s car was broken into at my place last night. At 12:45am my phone rings, I figure it's a wrong number but want the ringing to stop so I answer it and it's an authoritative voice from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of Emergency Management asking for him!!! That'll wake you up!! Not only getting a call from them, but how did they track him down there?? Since it's an official vehicle, it was removed to the county fleet processing center. I just talked to him and luckily the only things taken were an old cell phone and the charger for the new one. Weird it was the only one broken into (Chevy Tahoe) -- it was parked between a new Cadillac Escalade and a Range Rover, right across from a brand-new, paper license plate BMW and my mustang convertible (top up).
</her email>
We went on to talk about cars and why they picked his car.
<my response>
That sounds like a smash and grab theft. I bet it was some one walking between cars who saw the mobile and charger laying on the console or seat. The car was not the target, just what was in plane sight. I had a friend who had her car's window broken for a science book in the college parking lot. They left a laptop sitting right next to it.
</my response>
<her again>
The cars on both sides of it and mine had chargers visible. And charges are cheap. The old phone wasn't visible. It was in the console along with a spare key to the car that was just made, his wallet (credit cards and cash were untouched), and a POLICE RADIO. I think they saw the police radio and bailed.
</her again>
She is probably right. I don't pretend to understand why people do the things they do.

Dungeons and Dragons
This evening I'm headed over to a friend's house for DnD. This will be the first time I've played in like a year or something. I've been going nuts. Tonight is a canned adventure he picked up at GenCon last week. Something about a bar fight. I can't wait.

Good and Evil (continued)
In Dungeons and Dragons you pick an alignment for your character. This is a combination of your willingness to follow orders and your tendency toward good or evil.
Lawful vs Chaotic
A Lawful character is one who wants to fit in order of things. I like to think of the good soldier as one who follows orders except when the orders are wrong. An example of a lawful character in a movie would be Darth Vader. He is torn between good and evil. He commanded the soldiers and submitted to the emperor. He always had the "plan" in mind.
A chaotic character is one who stands alone. Some one who might be called a "lone wolf" would be chaotic. An example of a chaotic character in a movie would be Capitan Kirk. He never followed orders. He constantly broke the rules. He had sex with a green chick. He seemed to believe rules were for other people.
Good vs Evil
Where do I begin? If you help people you are good. If you hurt people you are evil. It is a combination of your intentions and the results of your actions that measure this. I was raised a Lutheran. They believe that we are judged on faith alone, not actions. I can't hang with that any more. I believe that the ultimate judgment is determined on a case by case basis.
What am I (as a human)?
I prefer a list of simple rules to live by. I prefer working for a large, organized company. I hate it when people bend the rules. I hate it when people are lazy (even though I'm lazy) and screw up the work process. I write work processes. I am lawful.
I don't really believe there is a such thing as good or evil. I believe they are things that happen and choices people make on the fly. I believe that people who do bad things had different motivations than I and could have made a choice to be good. I believe that good people will turn bad when they are tested, or their family is in danger. I believe that I am neutral with good tendencies.
I'm Lawful Neutral in my own opinion.
Choices in DnD
People never seem to make the most accurate decision for their character in DnD. A Paladin is a class of character in DnD that is a champion of a religious order. They can be good or bad, but they must be lawful.  People in our group seem to pick paladins because they kick ass. The trouble is, paladins are supposed to live a very specific and ordered (humble) life. I believe a person (player) who could play a paladin correctly would not pick a paladin as a character because they don't feel they would live up to the responsibility. The player who just wants the bonuses of a paladin doesn't care if they will play the character properly. There for, no one will ever play a paladin properly in our group.
I almost always play chaotic characters. I almost always plan non-human characters. I almost always play fighting characters who are physically strong and "manly". All of which are things I am not in reality.


An old farmer in Florida had owned a large farm for several years.  He had a large  pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.
One evening the old  farmer decided to go down to the pond,
as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.  As he neared the pond, he heard  voices shouting and laughing with glee.  As he came closer  he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his  pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond.
One of  the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out
until you leave!"  The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you  ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked. "Holding the bucket up he said, I'm here to feed the  alligator."

Flash Card
This is a cool story about how a Flash card just might survive where film probably would not. They talk about SanDesk cards surviving plane crashes and the laundry. Then at the bottom of the article it mentions that SanDesk is in Sunnydail California. . . . Isn't that where Buffy the Vampire Slayer was centered? hmmm, possessed supper memory cards. I bet there is a market for those.
What is evil? <rant>
There is so little evil for evil's sake these days. There is always some political or monetary reason behind people's actions. The funny thing is most evil seems to have political reasons instead of money. There are not many monetary problems that more money will not fix.  Most political troubles require complex communication and compromise. Political problems are caused by lack of resources, absence of freedom, crime, censorship, oppression, or any other thing that all the money in the world will not fix. (Crime is not always money related. Drugs are bought with money, but it is the addiction and the willingness of people do commit other crimes to get more drugs that is the problem.) Conflict arises when one person wants something another person has, or is. If you have a cookie, and I want your cookie, we have a conflict. I can buy your cookie, or steel your cookie if you are unwilling to sell. However, if you are something that I cannot tolerate, we have a conflict that money will not solve. I must learn to tolerate the difference, or remove you, or myself from you.
In the years leading up to World War II, the Nazis used existing prejudice to directed the focus of a country's people to hate a minority. This minority was blamed in one way or another for all the political troubles that money would not solve. This minority was blamed for problems that had been around for longer than the country had existed. It baffles me how a people can be convinced that a few people around them are the root of all that is wrong at the moment. It happened in WWII and it is happening right now. Not only is it happening in Africa, but closer to home as well.
In the U. S. we just haven't picked the one point of blame. We single out small groups for short periods of time to blame for the latest trouble. When Enron brought down the energy trading industry, we scream "rein in the CEOs". When a particularly heinous crime occurs we blame the manufacturer of the means of the crime (auto manufacturer, gun manufacturer, crow-bar manufacturer) instead of the people who committed the crime. I'm starting to think the strategy to prevent mob control is keeping the attention of people bouncing from one topic to the next faster than people can get organized to change things. Maybe this is a good thing. I do not want the repeat of Nazi Germany.
Is evil defined by why some one does something? Is evil defined by the means to solve your needs? I'm trying to think of one pure evil thing, or doing. I'm trying to think of one pure evil person. When you  remove the political desires (redistribution of resources) from actions and people, the line between good and evil blur.


Doom 3 (continued)
I finished Doom 3 with some help from the cheat codes. It didn't take that much to get it to work on my laptop just fine. I'm sure  I didn't get the full gaming experience. Then again, I never intended to spend weeks taking on every creature and taking down every boss with least ammo expenditure. The real gamers out there will want to flame me, but I just don't have time to pursue the experience.
The graphics were OK on my laptop. I had to lower some setting somewhere and leave it at 640x480. People's faces looked funny because the computer only did shadowing on half the face at a time. People kind of looked like that old episode of Star Trek where the people have half a whit face and the other half is black. (The show was a statement on the ridiculousness of skin color prejudice. It wasn't the color of their skin, it was which side was black and which side was white.)
Overall, I give it an "eh!".

I did not watch two minutes of the Olympics. I don't get NBC in very clear in my area. That, and I don't care. I'm just not interested. I've never been able to do sports. I never got into it. I preferred to sit in front of a computer for hours on end while suffering the affects of radiation sickness due to 13 CRTs glowing 24/7. Doesn't the Republican convention kick of tonight or tomorrow? I bet I watch more of that than the Olympics. I might make five minutes.

Sex and DnD
I remember these articles that bounced around when I was kid. Dragon Magazine had this running joke about "and next week sex and DnD ..." at the end of many articles. If memory serves, they actually had the article once. Now, there is a whole book dedicated to the subject. Thanks to Alexis for sending me the link. I've read some samples and the rules they came up with are interesting. I won't go into details.


Trying Doom III
Wish me luck.
. . .
Well, it is hours later and my neck and hands hurt from fragging until I can frag no more. Even on easy mode I needed the cheat codes. That is just me. I've never been particularly good at these games. I do enjoy playing them though.
The game is dark. You have a flashlight that you can use to beat things to death with. The shotgun is useless unless you are right on top of your foe. The pistole is under powered. The Chainsaw rocks. Why have chainsaws on Mars? That is what the shipping clerk asks. There are a bunch of places in this game where you are just plane ambushed. It is every corner. The little robots are cool I wish I had a legion of them. They use a PDA to hold all the game information and objectives. You download other's PDAs to access security and get through doors. The emails are useful. You have to unlock the weapons lockers with a code. There are too many little run and jump puzzles. Of course, any are too many for me. Why would they design a maintenance platform that no sane person could ever use to perform maintenance? I haven't found any vehicles to drive. Just tons of locked doors you have to be railroaded down a specific linear path to open and continue the game. The thing is, it plays exactly like the original game. I hear the original Doom 95 is in the cheat codes.
My final word on the matter is to pick it up if you are a frag-freak like me. I remember universities banning Doom from the network. I remember buying a network card and cables just to play Doom. It was the first time my computer was connected to another. Those were the days. The days Yahoo was a couple of collage geeks who still had "Grrrly Stuff" on the front page.


Wheel of Time
Book 7 done.


Doom III
I've said for quite a while that I am waiting to buy a new computer until Doom III comes out. Now that I have read the reviews, I'm not impressed. Every one seems to rave about the graphics and sound. It is a 3D shooter and not much new. The review people also complain the game crashes on several computers that meet the requirements. That is disappointing.  Oh, well. I'll just wait a bit longer. I don't have  the ware with all to make a buy right now anyway. The computer I want isn't even all that. It just has a bit more ram and a bit more video cars than the ones on the front shelf.

I took my notebook to a meeting last night and used the wireless network to present my story to the board. How cool is that. I was not as prepared as I had hoped .I'm typing this blog entry on it right now.. I pretty much use it as my primary computer. I don't use the wireless at home because it is too slow to stream the movies I get. 802.11B is only about 11 megabit.  802.11G is 55 megabit natively and most of the routers double up for 110. You could double 802.11B, but what is the point. the G routers are $50. This whole wireless thing is kind of freaky. I like being able to run to a coffee shop and get some work done in a different environment. I like the idea of having a portable TV at a baseball game for on demand replays. I like the idea of improving GSM with local mini-tours all over the place. The reason mobile coverage sucks is because people don't like the tours bristling above the trees. These mini transceivers would hide just on top of light poles. People still bitch and say "Not in my back yard!" In the same breath, they say "Dammit  my phone dropped me. I can't even make a cal in my back yard." People seem to forget the phone, their TV, their computer, the Sun, the Earth, and even their own bodies give off radiation all the time. There are these things called cosmic rays that may actually cause aging that the entire planet Earth will not shield you. Losers. People make me sick.


I've been told all my life that the retina is not fixable. I had some retinal tears several years ago and I had laser and cryo (freezing) surgery to prevent the tares from worsening. There are new things created by science every day in the field. A couple of  years ago the odds of getting any amount of help were zero in five billion. Now, it is a couple in six billion. Still, much better odds.

Last hold out
OK, this is not the last group holding out in Iraq. Najaf has a famous mosque and a pissed off cleric running things. With every story I read about these guys, I get the idea the only real gripe they have with the Iraqi government is that the group in Najaf is not the one in charge. Iraq will not be an Islamic state, there for, it is unacceptable. They really are making a nuisance of themselves. I'm not sure why they intend to fight to the death. Do they want to rule the city like a mini-kingdom? Do they think the country will lean toward an Islamic state if they are all wiped out? I get the distinct feeling I'm not getting the whole story.
I'm sure this Moqtada al-Sadr character has his reasons.  The guy sounds like he is after political power to me.

Conversation on YIM today at work
James: I wanna go home
zhsy00001: Me too, Wait. No I don't. I just have more work to do there.
James: but it is there and not here...
zhsy00001: After a while, it is all bad.
zhsy00001: Don't ever work at home.
Actually, it is much worse than going work. I have to give a presentation this evening that I'm really not prepared for. I tried. I messed with what i was supposed to. It is jut going to get much more involved than I expected. It is too the point now, I go home, I eat something, I sit down and try to figure stuff out for my evening job. I don't want to go home any more. I'm taking tomorrow off from day job. I have a tone of crap to get done, but I'm going to sleep in and try to relax a bit. Wish me luck.
I had an invite to GenCon. I don't think I would have had the energy to enjoy it. Money is waisted on the rich.

How many Microsoft Software Engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
None, Microsoft changes the standard to darkness.
How many support desk people does it take to change a light bulb?
The lights work fine in every one else's office. They must be fine in yours too.

There is about to be a price war on digital cameras. Sony has a 7 megapixel for under $500. Others are not far behind.That is great news, since I jut bought a 5 megapixel camera a couple of months ago. This kind of reminds me of walking through the park looking for good places to take some shots. A guy was walking in front of us with an expensive camera dangling from a strap just a few millimeters from the ground as he walked. I was with Bryan (a fellow shutter-bug) and he assured me that camera was worth around a grand. We both stood there wishing we could afford a camera that nice to toss around.


I got four positive comments on my boots today. They are almost worth the too much money I spent on them. Well, no. I paid more than I should have. The break in period is nearly over. I only have the slightest warm spot between my toes now. It won't be long before they ware like moccasins.

Oh, MY GOD!!!
If I were in charge, which I'm not, I would give this bitch the death penalty for being stupid and reckless.  She adopts seven kids. She dumps them in Africa. She was on her way to Iraq when some guy from San Antonio found the kids by accident. The kids are bound to be all messed up. They were abandoned in another country.

Trailer Parts and Axles
My mobile phone number is similar to a the phone of a place called Trailer Parts and Axles. I get these random phone calls from dyslexic hillbillies. "I need to order some parts ..." I'm telling you, one of these days I'm going to just say "sure, what's your credit card number?" and just move on with my life. They all sound like that guy on the Simpsons Kletis, the slack-jawed yokel.


Wheel of Time (continued)
I completed book six this past weekend. I have become addicted to the series. A friend tells me the current story line (involving a bowl) takes entirely too long. He also mentioned the Amazon comments seem to tern against the author and the series around book seven. I read the first couple of chapters of book seven. So far, so good.
I have to say, this story is unique in my experience. I've never followed a story of such detail over so much story time. I can't think of another story that has spread out like this one. The author does a great job of keeping focus even though the story seems to go all over the place. The weave really does have many intertwining threads. I hope I can stick with it to the bitter end. I hope the author doesn't die any time soon..

My Readers
I've gotten some feedback on my blog. Adam skips the news and loves the geek stuff. Cynthia skips the geek stuff and loves the news. It seems every one likes, or endures, the personal experiences. The anecdotes are a hit. It's just too bad that  I don't get out more.

Gmail is starting to piss me off. I know it is a beta, but damn-it, I would like it to work. I'm in the middle of typing an email. When I'm ready to click send, it just sits there. I don't know if it sends or if it does nothing. Even if I go look in sent items I cannot tel for sure if the email went out. So, I have to send it again. Then people complain they got it twice. This kind of thing only seems to happen at high load times. That scares me. What is going to happen when they go live? Generally it clears up quickly. That doesn't help me really. It needs to work all the time to be frank.
Failed sends.
They still do not support HTML tags.
It is hard to select more than one address from the contacts list. (you have to type them in)
No fixed width font.
No way to list conversations that have no category.
No way to get emails out of Gmail in mass. (in case I need to change my address someday)

Post Office
A friend of mine had a little story about the Post Office. I remember a time when I was a kid where people said the Post Office was a job for life. I don't think it is quite that any more. I have to tell you, there are some losers working for the Post Office.
My friend found she had no mail for three days.  A sign showed up on the community box saying "Go get your mail at the Post Office."  She made a trip to the Post Office. She waited in line for a half hour to get her mail. The person who was helping here disappeared behind the scenes and came back to say "You have to call your carrier." Great. The next day she calls her carrier the next day only to sit on the phone for ever. She hears from the carrier "Your mail is at the Post Office." She goes back to the post office. A half hour in line gets her the information "Your mailbox has been fixed. Go away." OK. They didn't say go away, but that is how my friend felt. If she had just waited another day, she would have had all the mail in her mailbox.
Is it me, or does this sound like incompetence? Do they do this on purpose? Do they know how stupid they look? Are these people behind the door smoking a multi-pipe-gas-fired-crack-hookah?

Before I get to the evening, let me go over my day. I worked. Then I came home. That sounds like a Monday. I wrote some code, I asked some questions of support people at another company. I told a person his project was ready for testing. I can't wait to get his comments back. It amazes me how you can hand someone exactly what they asked for and they have changes. Tomorrow is another day. The same. Hopefully with less trouble and more answers.
Now., my evening. in an hour or so a buddy of mine will call me and we will go over colors for a support page for my evening job. It is one of those pages you have probably used to get an answer over some computer question. We are going to attempt to get the colors on the page to match some other products we have. Our over all page will change as well. We will go to a tabbed design. I'm sure they will change other look and feel stuff. I want allot more content out there.
I cannot be trusted to design anything for looks. Everything would be white text in Ariel on a black background. I took some classes in desktop publishing many moons ago. The most important thing I learned is that I have no taste. I cannot tell blue from green or red from brown. Cynthia can testify that  I cannot tell beige  from pink. If it were not for the description, I would not know one from the other.


DnD Character
In life, I'm a computer jockey. I spend my time making computers do what they said on the side of the box. I use the things I've learned from day to day to perform my job(s). I did not make it through university. I never did well in school. I believe in my heart that if I had perfect vision my whole life I would not have done much better in school. I have not found love in my life. I have not found anything that makes me embrace life for more than an evening's good time.
In the world of fantasy I insist on playing simple shallow characters. They all have well defined rules. Even if the rules are those of chaoss. My characters are usually true to themselves. I have the hardest time with magic users. I like playing dwarf fighters. I like playing  strong, easy going characters who do not have to lead. The waking world seems to take enough from me that I have little to spare for the fantasy. It seems I am challenged just staying here. Like something is pulling me elsewhere in the ether. Anyway, My choice of character is mine and I made it. I will  be a fighter. Just a plane fighter. Wait, "just"? No. I will be the only fighter. I will be the only player who plays fighters. I will be the best fighter.
When it comes to the world of fantasy, there are no shortage of exceptional characters. Superman is a super hero. The Flash is a super hero. Spiderman is a super hero (or, the spider that bit him is the hero). The Hulk is a mistake that kind of works out for the side of good. There are a million more, but there is one who stands out in my mind.
Batman is just a guy who lived through his parents being murdered and through force of his own will made himself a super hero. He is not a super hero. "Some day a punk will get lucky. I accept that." He is a man. He is a wise fighter. He learns as he goes and remembers everything. He remembers how things connect. He reasons them out. He fights. He is not complex. His toys are complex. He fights.
I play with a bunch of engineers. They like playing complex characters and then not doing much more than fighting the bad guys. Our plots are sometimes twisted, but simple. I don't know what the other players' motivations are. An engineer playing a gadgeteer is like a shoe salesman playing a cobbler. I don't get it. It is not mine to get. Let them enjoy themselves.


Friday the Thirteenth
I went out back for lunch today. Every one seemed to bale on me for lunch. I went to the cafeteria. I don't mind. The food is OK. They have pick-nick tables out amongst the trees. One of these days I'll publish some pictures, but I'll have to wait until the company moves, because they are touchy about pictures. It was wonderful. The weather is really nice lately because there are two hurricanes slamming the East coast. I have to say this feels like un-August. While I was sitting out there, I noticed the Sun light filtering down through the dense trees. The ground hardly shown any light. As I looked up from the ground to the top of the trees, the speckles of light seem to float. The light changes every few moments as the Sun crosses above. The leaves blow gently and change the light. It makes me think of chaoss theory. Chaoss theory makes me think of the stock market. We might as well bet on the sun shining one the leaves. You cannot judge the future of the whole based on the part, or vise versa. The stock market moves just as mysteriously. You think "I can watch the trees and predict where they will grow and how they will filter the light." Well, you can study the companies and predict how they will grow and make money. So, why doesn't every one win with the stock market? Because it is gambling.

From Iraq
I don't know exactly where the person found this.
You know you've been in Baghdad too long if:

You start to think "it's not so bad here"
You say "this place sort of grows on you"
You say "it's not the humidity, it's the heat" (Houston residents only)
You say, "it feels cooler today" and find out that the temperature is 105.
The term "trailer trash" is a term of endearment
You think "DVD Mista" is a friendly greeting
You call your tent (trailer if you're lucky) 'home'
A "weekend" lasts from 0730 to 1200 on Friday (What about 0730 to 1000)
You get excited at the idea of ICE

You don't jump when a door slams or someone drops something
You aren't alarmed when every second person you see has a gun . . . or two . . . or three
You kick the M-16 on the floor aside without a second thought when you sit down to eat in the Dining Facility.
A Gloc or 9 mm on a lady's hip is considered sexy
Mortars and rockets sounds are "okay" compared to Vehicle bombs (IED's)
You can measure distances based on explosion sounds
"Scoring" means you acquired a new weapon

You go to Fallujah and Mosul for R&R
You are soothed by the sounds of helicopters flying six feet over your trailer
You automatically get down on your hands and knees in the dirt to inspect the underside of your car, even when you are wearing a suit or skirt
Bullet holes in cars are no longer alarming
Car selections consist of "hard" or "soft", not Cadillac or Mercedes
Road trips consist of 6 vehicles and large caliber weapons
Driving on the sidewalk is normal.
Driving on the wrong side of a divided four lane street is normal
Driving 60 mph through a bustling street market is considered prudent
Hit-and-run fender benders are treated as mere warnings
Riding in a hot Humvee is preferred to an air-conditioned soft car
You get upset that you don't get C-130 Frequent Flyer Miles
Your carry-on luggage includes a flack jacket and helmet

You enjoy waiting 45 minutes for the toilets to refill
You start believing that Deodorant should be a personal choice
KBR buzz cuts begin to look stylish

 "Texas Barriers" are something other than a device to keep Texans out
"Jersey Barriers" are something other than fences to keep Holsteins away from Jerseys
You begin to believe that project construction being blown up only twice a week is progress
You get excited with the presence of clouds
You know ten times as many South Africans as you've ever known before
The security guards are Ghurka or South African and you know them
Afrikaans at the pool is normal

You look forward to Mohammad's Mango ice cream as the treat for the day
Powdered eggs taste ok
You consider plastic ware the Palace China
You can distinguish inherent qualities of various plastic utensils
The quality of the plastics utensils becomes a hot dinner topic
Having to separate plastic plates causes you undue stress
Lettuce for your salad becomes a luxury
Scamming a 3rd can of soda makes you feel like you got even with someone
You are putting on weight because the Saddam's Revenge Diet no longer works
Going to another mess hall is an adventure

You think desert combat boots look great with a dark blue suit or shorts
Sand between your thong sandals actually feels good
The color white is no longer an option
Speedos for security guards seem right
You can recognize 12 different camouflage patterns
You've given up on shoe polish

You get a big smile when you see your pressed clothes at the KBR laundry
You get a bigger smile knowing they didn't lose your laundry
You think the bullet holes in the roof of your trailer is just another form of ventilation.
You get upset because the post office won't ship your looted artifacts
You haven't had water from anything other than a bottle for months on end
You consider broken sandbags just a new beach expansion
The idea of a double wide is only for the fortunate
Forgetting your badge makes you feel naked...but pants are optional
A bootleg of the new stateside release is not available at the PX 2 days later
"Only one rocket has hit the Palace" is excellent news
Cardboard boxes have become substantial pieces of furniture

Stars & Stripes seems to be a liberal newspaper
Acronyms become the acceptable language
It feels normal to have to run outside to make a cell phone call
You call your coworkers on a cell phone as soon as new T-shirt patterns arrive at the PX
"Can you hear me" takes up 50% of your cellular telephone conversations
You realize it is Saturday or Sunday because no one from DC phones

August, 2004


Yesterday was so busy at work I didn't have time to look up. I got home and did some cleaning. Before I knew it, I had to run over to a friend's place to do some research for my return to DnD. More to come on that later. I was supposed to check out some evening work pages. I was supposed to read another chapter in my cousin's book. It felt good to have a full day. I have a pile left over for this morning and this evening. That's OK. I feel needed. Oh, I forgot to write anything for the blog. That's a shame.

Twenty five gigabytes on a "DVD" disk fro the same cost. That sounds better than it really is. The next version of Windows (Longhorn) will support some versions of high definition DVD formats. I've heard that the storage requirements for HDTV are vast. I bet a twenty five gigabyte disk may not cut it for true high quality HDTV. The Japanese have had HDTV for decades and the means of recording shows (TiVo esque) for years as well. I don't remember if I mentioned the trouble DVD/audio CD (dual Disks) problems the movie and music industry have at the moment. It reminds me of the audio book conundrum I went over earlier.
Music people want their money.
Movie people want their money.
Producers want EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW!!!!
Every one has an agent, a service, and an assistant.
Agents have agents.
They all own different cars for different occasions.
The U. S. is New Saddam. We are headed for a fall of biblical proportions. It will not be terrorists, or a big rock from space. Our own decadence and excess will simply collapse under its own mass.

Go to Google and search for "Different Cars for Different Occasions" including the quotes. Normally, long search phrases like that severely shorten your list of hits. When I got to the bottom of the list, my heart skipped a beat.

Paranoid Kelly
1)  Project Tasks
There is a particular project I perform a particular task for at my day job. I just got a note saying IS will perform that particular task for the particular project. The reason I got is dubious. I think they don't like the job I did, or the flack I give them for wanting a one day turn around (hence the quality). Let them deal with IS. IS has a two week turn around, and a turn over that makes call centers look like a career choice..
2)  Moving Office
Speaking of the above project, my department is splitting down the middle. The people who work on the magic project are staying here and the rest of us are headed up to a cave on the third floor. I ran through the list of people staying and those moving. I don't like what I get. It seems to me, one or the other will disappear or get melded into another group.
I don't mind change, as long as I understand it. The reasons for the move are quite obvious and were there years ago. The high-ups want to get out of cubicals and go back to offices. Go figure.
Why am I so paranoid? Maybe it is because I don't work for the company. Maybe it is because I have been a temporary worker for seven years. But I'm not bitter.


Well, I'm not the only one who is dissatisfied with keyboard design. What did I say about layout changes? This is a new one. This keyboard is designed to be held and looks a bit like a game controller. The mouse joystick is right handed only. Not only that, but it is a joystick design. I bet I'd have a hard time with it. That's too bad. I wonder how stout the space bar is.

They are filming a zombie movie inside Chernobyl. I can hear the set now "I didn't say action yet ... Hey .. Cut . . . CUTaargh!!!" I like zombie movies. Most of the time, they don't pretend to be anything more than a zombie movie. Those are the good ones. The only exception is 28 days later. It had a plot and pulled it off. That is quite a feat.

Generic Computer Fix
I'm getting crotchety and impatient with computer problems these days. People come to me with an old busted-ass machine and want me to make it run like new. What they forget is it ran lick shit the day they bought it. It just ran slow as all the other computers sold in the world on the same day. The first thing out of my mouth these days is "Buy a new hard drive, they are cheap. Take the old hard drive out and put it on a shelf for later reference. Format the new hard drive. Install the operating system. Install only the minimum software you need (no themes, screen savers, games) and configure as needed." There, I'm done. I'm sick of helping people just call me wanting to use my knowledge for free. It has taken me a lifetime to learn this stuff. I get paid for what I know and can make computers do. I have one friend who asks me questions and to fix her computer, but invites me over for dinner in the process. I don't get too many home cooked meals. That is a nice trade. I have another buddy at my day job who offers me rides home when it rains in an exchange for some advice. That's a good exchange too. My mom (can get whatever she wants out of me with no exchange) actually cleans my apartment occasionally  Tat almost makes up for the four trips the roll-top desk made up and down the stairs..As for the rest of you, I accept cash, PayPal and exchange of favors (of a non-sexual nature) for my knowledge and time.
I've gotten fed up enough over the past couple of years to tell people who I haven't spoken to in weeks to go to Dell when they ask "Hey Kelly, what computer should i get?" When people ask what camera they should get, I send them to Digital Photography Review. They only cover high-end cameras and equipment, but what do I care. I'm only interested in high-end stuff. They asked me, I told them.

Poler Bear
Baby poler bear walks up to his mom and says "Am I a full blooded poler bear?"
His mom says "Yes, you are a full blooded poler bear. Go ask you father."
The young bear runs to his pop and says "Dad, am I real poler bear?"
His dad looks down at him and says "Yes son, I'm full blooded poler bear. Your mother is full blooded poler bear. All your grandparents are full blooded poler bear. You are a real poller bear. Why do you ask."
The young poler bear looks his dad in the eye and says "Because I'm freezing!"


Well Duh
I wonder how many Israeli tax dollars are going for this study. I could have told them weed helps wane stress. They intend to give marijuana to stressed out soldiers to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Blogging is hard on the old keyboard
Well, I would not have guessed it, but I must be typing quite a bit on this blog. My cheep keyboard is about to loose its space bar. The left side anyway. It turns out I use my left thumb almost exclusively to hit the space bar. I had to switch to an old USB keyboard I originally bought for testing OS/X beta a million years ago. It is the most awesome keyboard. It clacks like an old IBM or TRS80 terminal. I learned to type on a manual typewriter. That is why I pound the keys. I should invent a computer keyboard made from a manual typewriter (drat).  I own about half a dozen keyboards. You would think I would have found one I like. Either they change the key-layout, connector, or design (flexible/wireless/split/silent) so often that I cannot just have a favorite keyboard it seems. I'll live.

The X-Box Murders (The X-Box Massacre)
Four guys in X-Box case  Here is what I've gathered from the news stories I've heard. A girl let some people stay at house owned by her grandparents. Somehow some cloths and an X-Box ended up in her possession. The people staying in her grandparents house killed her, and every one else in the house, to get the cloths and the X-Box, allegedly.
  Here is how I infer events. The girl let some people stay at her grandparent's place. She expected something in return. When the four men, who had all lost their jobs recently, could not produce, she obtains the X-Box and some cloths as collateral. The four guys show up with baseball bats and kill the woman and every one else in the house. One of the stories suggested that at least some people were killed in their sleep and that no one put up a fight. The girl was beaten so severally, the authorities could not use dental records to identify her.
   I would like it noted for the record that no firearms were used in the execution of this crime. It was just that much more horrible because baseball bats were used.
   Certainly the X-Box had little to do with it. The X-Box only plaid  the part of a commodity. Anything these people considered valuable would have sufficed  It may as well have been a TV, a car or a ring. .

Short Day
I was so busy today that I didn't have time to think outside the box. I often wonder if people do nothing in their off time to make it seem longer. I don't think that is a good idea. I bet, if people got off their butts, myself included, they would find themselves fulfilled.
On the other side. I know some busy people who fill their days and evenings from one end to the other, solid, with every moment accounted for, some times more than once. They need to relax and take a moment to smell the flowers.
Balance is the secret. I bet it is different for each of us.

Cool Site of the Day


I found a new outlet for movies. I suppose it is an inlet. Anyway. horror movies. They have all the classics. I can't wait to get some in. I can't say horror is my favorite genera. I may have been over heard saying SciFi is my favorite. Lately, I just can't say. There have been so many bad SciFi movies out. <cough>Riddick</cough>.  The cartoon was better. Honestly, I don't know where they went wrong with that one. It sounded like a good idea. Vin Diesel is a DND nut (like myself) and may have liked the idea of playing a comic book hero. The two Star Wars pictures made me yawn. The last couple in the Alien series didn't get my hackles up. I can't wait for Alien vs. Predator. I may have to break down and catch that one in a theater. Their site looks like they put more time into it than the movie.
There have been a number of series I liked lately. Firefly was canceled before I started to really watch it. I hate that. I don't have cable, so I miss most of the good series. I hate that too. They are making a movie from that series. They are digging up Battlestar Galactica. Looking at, I should not complain until I get cable. I have nothing against cable. I watch too much TV with five channels.

Too Far
Have you heard about this? It is a TV show like Fear Factor for Mexican immigrants. The prize is a law firm helping with your green card application. Mexican people are being exploited. There is not much a lawyer can do, except throw their name behind your paper work. Mexicans will humiliate themselves for little more than a promis to look into it.

Prozac in the Water Supply
Britain found Prozac in the water supply. I know some people who swore fluoride was a mind control method. They would not let their kids drink city water because the florid was going to rot their brain, or make them mindless all-consuming zombies, who eat too much, and buy all shinny things they find, hmmm. maybe I should look further on that one. Wait, wasn't that the flu shots?
Wheel of Time (continued)
I'm on book five. I half way through and I don't understand why every one complained about this book. The first half has been full of intrigue. It doesn't seem slow to me. The chapters are a bit shorter.
. . .
I tried taking notes for a minute. It would be excruciating to keep it up for any length of time. Int 5 paragraphs there were about 10 new names of people or places. Give me a break.  I just had to give up.
. . .
Almost done now. It looks like the climax was several chapters back. More one politics and the game of houses.
. . .
The fight at the end of this book is more personal. The other books are grand at the end.
Book five, done.

I user a program called eDonkey. This software has gone through many changes. Lately they have gone back to an old name. The company moved from eDonkey 2000 to Overnet back to eDonkey. The network used by this software has been taken up by several other software. When you download something on one, it may come from another.
* It has taken a while, but I've just about got this thing figured out.
* Stick to common files. Use the web pages that have file links. Try to stay away from searches in the software itself. Every file has an ID. The IDs on the web pages are fare more common and usually they are more complete.
* Make sure you have the right ports routed. They change sometimes. There are two ports this software uses. Incoming and outgoing. You have to configure them in the software and in your router.
* Keep your DL list full. At any time, I have about 35 files trying to download. The computer tries to get the one's it can and leave those it must for later.
* Make sure you stifle all incoming messages. There are nothing but jerks on the network. It is best to ignore them.
Following these rules will not guarantee any good results. A download of 30 (Kb/sec) is usually considered good. I can achieve 150 on occasion, but it does not last. The problem with P2P is it is unreliable. You cannot always get what you want, when you want. However, if you are patient, and you don't let the red progress bar make you mad, you may have some fun watching  Don't depend on it. Just let it happen. Trying to get a specific file on a P2P network is like throwing a live bee at a loose paper target in a hurricane.


3D screens
I fear advances in visual technology for consumer electronics. I can't always use the latest thing. I can barely read the screen on new phones. I envision some advance in computer monitors or mobile phones that will prevent me from getting full use from the new devices. I do hate being left out of new technology because I cannot see as well as others. Of course, with the aging of America, there may come a backlash to manufacturers forcing recognition that God did not create us all the same. We shall "see".
There was a story at some point talking about top executives who demanded some high-end camera phones have the ability of removing the camera as an option. This comes about because most companies ban camera phones. If you want email and chat, goodness knows what else, you were stuck with a camera too. No more. Now some phone manufacturers have removed the cameras. I've heard rumors that some phone manufacturers have banned camera phones too. I cannot prove it.
Didn't they know this was coming? Couldn't they have asked some one? I could have told you that my company would eventually ban these things. My day job has a strict policy against cameras anywhere on the site. I know several people with camera phones. Not one of them uses the camera feature for more than a couple of days before it becomes old.

I'm not the only one who feels Sudan is just an excuse to focus away from Iraq and other areas. These articles say it is a conflict between farmers and nomads. The real trouble is not so much ethnic as economic. I wonder if it is the neighbors of this area who want military action. One problem with nomads is your cant draw a line around them on a map. The stuff happening here is scary and should be dealt with, but I don't want to use U. S. troops to do it.

Why are audio books so expensive?
A) Writers want to make novel money off the sale.
B) Audio producers want to make CD money off the sale.
C) Publishers want to make book money and CD money off the sale.
D) Producers want everything RIGHT NOW!! AND LOTS OF MONEY!! BWAA-AAh-AAh!!!
E) Distributors want to make book money and CD money off the sale.
F) All of the above, plus they all think they are gigging extra from lazy people, while forgetting that blind people might enjoy an audio book as well.
I have the strange feeling The Wheel of Time would break me.


I'm a curmudgeon on my blog. So says a couple of people. (only one used the word curmudgeon) I suppose I am. Well, <in a Cartmen voice> "Screw you guys. I'm going home!"

Happy Place
Why do people do drugs, or drink alcohol for an entire lifetime? I had a friend, many years ago, ask me why people keep doing things that hurt them so? Well, It is to escape themselves. I think most people have some kind of escape. Something that helps them think or focus on everything else. I know a guy who goes on vacations and hates it. He wants the vacation to be the escape, but it is his TV shows he watchs that make him relax. I told this friend to take a week off and watch TV. Kind of like Al Bundy did in "Married With Children". I seem to enjoy reading current events and writing garbage like this in my blog. My escape is in my head. People have said heroin is like a vacation from yourself. Not every one has an escape I suppose. Some people are either well centered or just too oblivious to need one. Another friend got married and had kids. She didn't realize until too late that was not what she wanted. She used college for her escape. She said "I screwed up and graduated." Then, she had to get a job.

I read that book. Why did i read that book. It has really made me think about strange stuff. I'm referring to "A Brief History Of Almost Everything"of course. That Ax factory I mentioned before made me think about other inventions that human kind did not come up with. We were not the first to invent the ax. We did not start the whole cloths thing. I heard somewhere that neanderthals used crude boles dug out of wood. It struck me that neanderthals are not considered our true relative, more of a genetic cousin. That thought humbled me. suddenly I realized that some one else  walked the Earth and created things before us. What happened? What finished off the dim neanderthal?


At work today I had three meetings. That in itself is not unusual. However, all three meetings were scheduled at the exact same time and I had no meetings longer than a half hour at any other time during the whole week. Something strange happened from 8:00 to 10:00 this morning.

It seems email is the vulnerability of choice for hackers these days. I understand MS and some game companies both lost their source code because hackers got in through some one opening up an email attachment. Some malicious programs will capture your keystrokes and send user names and passwords to the bad guys. Some hackers have figured out ways to get around needing the user to click on an attachment. Just surfing the web is dangerous these days.
At my day job, so many emails come in the system that it can take twenty four hours or more for an email with a zip file attached to make it through the scanners. At home, I notice a lesser delay, but just as much annoyance. I wish someone would implement a good fix for this. I hear there are a bunch of options. I don't know which one(s) will work. I know it costs the company (both) I work for money and time dealing with email hassles.

Wednesday Evening
I got off work at 3:00. I went straight home. I should have stopped for groceries. It is so damn hot. I have to wait for the bus in beside a busy road. The heat from the cars and the road is harsh. I got home by my normal time. It was about 4:20 or so. It is nearly 6:00 and it feels like I just stepped through the door.I'm watching a movie. Every one gets phone calls. I can't remember the last time I got a phone call. Just some one calling out of the blue to go do something. They don't want a computer question answered. They don't need help moving. They just want to spend some time with me. Bryan called a couple of weeks ago. Adam and Laurie called to go to lunch a bit back. My mom calls every now and then. (not what I'm talking about)  It's better this way.

I never wanted to sweep Scarlet O'Hara off her feet. I never wanted to save Marilyn Monroe. I wish they left Pretty Woman a drug addict.


The Wheel of Time (Continued)
Book four, done. People keep saying it is one of the best books. I think it was the best so far. I hope there is not too much of a down hill slide. I've herd book five is the most difficult to get through. I've noticed I don't always get the people right. Sometimes I cross who did what. I can hardly blame myself. I should have taken notes. Min did this, Rand did that. Something else I noticed about the fourth book was a touch of comedy. "Don't call me that."

My evening job is talking about moving to Austin. I would love that. Not only is it a more pleasant climate,but the transportation is by far better. Austin just feels more like home. There are hills and trees. I like the layout of the city. There is this thing called zoning that was intelligently applied decades ago, so it kind of works now. I hear driving in Austin can be a chore, but I will be on public transit, or in a cab, so that isn't too much of a concern. My parents might freak. I don't have a girlfriend or career to hold me back.
Houston is ugly. It is built on a grassy swamp. It floods. It is humid. The mosquitoes will carry off small children. It is a nightmare to get around. The air is nasty. There are hurricanes. Can I move today?

How well we kill ourselves. We get better at it every day. So prowed we are of ourselves. We keep track in the news papers. We watch it on TV. The deadly in pools of their own will, just  out of camera shot.


Here is what  I bet is going on in Sudan. You have nomads and you have farmers. The nomads want to roam around living off the land and having a few laughs. The farmers want to fence off all the land and water, thus keeping the nomads from their rounds. I imagine this has been going for quite some time. I bet it has been going since before people called themselves Christin or Muslim. I bet stuff like this has been going on for thousands of years.

More on Boots
They are cool. They weigh about 35 pounds a piece. They are black, steel toe biker kind of boots. I complained about the new boots hurting my feet until they get broken in. A female friend of mine asked me why I don't have more "practical" shoes. It took me a minute, but I thought "A woman giving me advice about buying practical shoes that don't hurt my feet?" Give me a break. I can't remember the last time I noticed a woman waring shoes that didn't look like they were taken from a torture chamber. Anyway, my old steel toe work boots should feel like moccasins tomorrow.

Buffy season 5 episode 2 has a lamp in the first screen that I have on my shelf. The lamp on the series is in a character's room named Dawn. The girl who gave me the lamp is named Dawn. Mildly interesting.

I went out with some friends to lunch. Normally, this would be a complete Sunday.
Benefit concert
Tom and Jen asked me over to a benefit concert at a local bar, Big John's Ice House (down the page a bit). it was hot. The food looked good, but I was stuffed from lunch. It was pretty cool.
Open Mic Night
We went to a bar over on Highway 6. They have an open mic from 6 to whenever. It was pretty cool. There was a twelve year old kid who did a great job playing some classical keyboard.  Jen Kicked ass. I like her new stuff.

The Wheel of Time.
My buddy had the following to say about The Wheel of Time series.
--- Email from 2004-07-21 ---
I think that people that want the story to end get a little grumpy.  It seems that at book 9, where I'm at, that the final fight between Rand and the Dark One is no closer to happening than in Book 3.  There is a certain amount of "lets get on with it" that sets in around book 6 -- but if you make it through that and just accept that the story will never, ever end until the author dies (and then, of course, it will be incomplete) I think Book 9 is just as good, if not better, than book 3.  Book ranks from myself:

 Book 4 - Cool middle part, Perrin becomes cool
 Book 7 - Cool ending, Nynaeve becomes cool
 Book 5 - Mat becomes cool
 Book 8 - Rand becomes cool
 Book 6 - Egwene becomes cool
 Book 9 - Elayne becomes cool -- haven't finished reading it yet
 Book 3 - The Stone is taken, cool-ass sword
 Book 2 - Padin Fain is tres-creepy
 Book 1 - Gearing up the world -- slowest of all books

From Amazon, I think the books are ranked as so:

 Book 4
 Book 3
 Book 2
 Book 5
 Book 1
 All the rest

In all the reviews of Book 1, several people didn't like Jorden's style and bitched about it mightily.  Those that liked it kept reading, so the first book weeded out a lot of grumps.  People that were looking for the series to be a new "Lord of the Rings" started to get pretty tired of the meandering story line around book 5, and the numbers of people put off by the length grow with each book released.  So the last books are panned by a large segment of the reviewers.  There has only been one story arc that I thought went on too long (and did it go on and on).  But other than that, as long as you accept that the story will not end, the later books just get better.
--- End email ---

How frigging ironic is this. I heard a lyric in a song saying "there are no cows in Texas .. if I don't love you." Suddenly, I had to know how many cows there are in Texas. I clicked over to Google and did a search for -"cows in Texas" many- and got the following answer, 13,900,000. The funny thing is, it is a bitch session from some nut job wining about Semantic Web searches, or, the lack there of. Seems to me the current system doesn't suck too bad. That is a big buzz these days. People say "Why can't I just get the answer I'm looking for instead of a web page that may or may not contain related information?" Well, because the web is a gigantic database contained on a billion servers all over the world, being maintained by nearly half as many people. It would take a single database at one point almost as big and complex to contain that data. I know all about complicated databases, I'm reading the Wheel of Time series. Trust me, MS is trying to provide this very service. One of the VPs at MS said he wanted people to experience the entire Internet without leaving MS sites. That doesn't make any sense to me, but he seemed please with himself after saying it. I don't know if you may remember the AOL experience from the early nineties. AOL tried to provide the "Internet" before there was an Internet. They stuck everything including the kitchen sink on their service. They ended up with a slow kick-you-off service that made promises and then dashed dreams. I fear that no matter who tries to take control of the world, some one will provided niche services better and be pushed out of the system by the conglomerates.
There is a term for one company trying to provide every service and sell you everything you will ever need without leaving their site. This term is sand-boxing. It is a kin to putting a child in a play-pen so mom can sip her margarita and play bridge without you wandering off a cliff. It is also a great way for MS or AOL or whomever to make sure you only get options they want you to see.
OK, it is not very ironic. It just pisses me off.


I have a friend supporting a comrade who's wife has cancer. They support their friend by having music and merriment at an Ice house near my home. I intend on going. I worry only that they will not let me in with my backpack. I will go without it. No pictures. I need to make an inventory of my backpack for the blog sometime.

Another Time Absorbing Survey
37.5 %
My weblog owns 37.5 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?