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


The promised Elle Dragon pictures. Please comment.

Thanks to Trever and Danial for the dragon.

My favorite
Elle and Dragon

Or maybe ...
Elle and Dragon
I ate with chopsticks this weekend. We went to Katy Mills Mall and I ate some funky glazed chicken chunks with some chopsticks. I had been practicing with pencils at home. I did alright.

I cannot believe this kind of crap still attracts people. These people stick their tung out over the evil of Western Civilization and then cash the check. Hypocritical children. The G-8 meet a couple of days after the concert. They want to use this as a rally to throw off the meeting between nations, I'm sure.

I don't want to get the paper. Nat says it has plenty of coupons in it. Those make it worth getting the paper. I say it is not worth killing a tree for the coupons. Every morning around 3:45 Elle wakes up and starts crying. We have come to the conclusion that the paper guy is throwing the paper against the wall in front of our door that is Elle's bedroom. It so happens that is right where her head lays. Now, do I:
* Cancel the paper.
* Lie in wait for the paper dude and discuss the matter.
* Complain a lot and deal with Elle crying in the morning.

I'm trying to get some pictures together. I have several of Elle that are amazingly cute. Nat's brothers brought over a huge stuffed dragon that is a bit taller than Elle. They won it at Dave and Buster's. I couldn't believe it. Those guys are awesome. I don't have the dragon pictures ready yet. Soon, soon.


Crying Freeman
This is a Japanese/American movie about the Japanese mafia. There are guys walking around with the funky tattoos all over their bodies. There are lots of scenes where ten guys empty machine guns into innocent bystanders. Not a bad romp. I can watch it while reading blogs because it is not in subtitles.


Revenge of the Sith
I have to say, this movie is on par with return of the Jedi in my book. Darth Sidious stole the show. He did the best job of all the actors. I like the multiple saber fights. I like all the obsequious battle scenes. Natalie liked the iguana. I liked the fact that R2D2 can keep his mouth shut. C3PO needed his mind wiped. That was appropriate.
It is dark. Jar-Jar has no lines. What is not to like?

Melinda and Melinda
Another movie. This is a story as told through two different points of view. One time through the eye of a tragedy writer. The other is through the eye of a comic writer. I'm watching it right now. It sounds like a great idea. Too bad it is so boring.

Minny-T extension is great for Firefox.
Nothing else of interest happened today.


The company I work for is nuts sometimes. I swear they would rather spend a million work hours to save a nickel on a software license.
We have this little Excel workbook that allows us to fill in some information about phone calls we take. It takes in some very rudimentary information and sends it off to a hand made Access database sitting out on a server somewhere. The real solution to the problem is to use one of the 900 CRM (Customer Relation Management) packages to maintain the information. This company already has a complete package in place. It lets you put the info in. It lets you report the info out. It is backed up all the time. The problem is, that would require training people for ten minutes, and a user license for the software. It makes me sick to think how many hours are spent creating, bug-fixing, documenting and training for this new XLS file. I just don't get why the powers that be refuse to accept that someone had the same Idea years ago and already fixed it.
Not only that, but some functionality of the XLS is lacking. The install instructions are pretty much as follows.
* Copy the XLS to your hard drive.
* Do not edit the original.
* I said don't edit the original.
* What did I just say?!? That's it, STOP trying to edit the original!
You wonder why managers treat people like six year olds. Well, it is because people act like six year olds. Another thing lacking is the update schedule. There has already been an email saying "Oops. We left out an important piece of information. Replace the XLS." Now, they are getting two different sets of data.
Another thing that gets me is who writes these things. They are typically some manager or engineer who has only written a few macros that saved a few keystrokes in the past. Now, they are a master systems annalist. They get 0.5 out there and people start screwing it up and breaking the system. now there is corrupt data in the database. Suddenly the managers are screaming for version 0.5.1 and they don't want to pay for it because it is a fix. It is a fix even though the original specification never called for what they are asking for now.  Suddenly, this cool program that fixed some problems is the problem. The manager or engineer who started this train wreck starts dodging phone calls and forwarding emails to NULL. That or they have changed titles, or gone to greener pastures.
This is usually when I get hold of the project. They come to me to fix things that never should have been written in the first place. I take one look at the (no error handling, no comments, no documentation, no modularization) code and tell them they are nuts. That is usually the time they tell me they refuse to do an upgrade to the proper piece of software. They refuse to do an analysis of what is going on and fixing it, because that is what should have been done in the first place. Now they have far too much invested in this crap to go get something that works.

Something I learned today.
If Wal-Mart were a country, it would be China's 8th largest trading partner. (Something mentioned in passing on BBC Five Live today.)

Revenge of the Sith
I've asked Nat is she would do me the honor of attending The Revenge of the Sith this evening hopefully at the Alamo Draft Hose. She said yes. =]  I rally think The Alamo Draft House is the only theater I will ever go to again.

Tonight, Tomorrow and Beyond
There are a bunch of other things we should probably get done. We have to go to Conroe to make the car payment. Nat bought a car from one of those fly-by-night auto places. She got stuck paying far more than the car is worth. I wish I could find a better way to pay this thing off. It isn't a bad car, it just is not worth nearly what she owes on it. Also, we have to pay off her computer. All in all, I have to say, for being homeless and being forced out of jobs repeatedly to take care of herself/Elle/Mom, Nat did a great job of not ending up that far in debt. I'm quite proud of her.



What do women and rocks have in common?
You skip the flat ones

You know you work for the government when ..
* The process becomes more important than the product
* You don't see anything wrong with attending a meeting on a subject you know nothing about
* You feel you contributed to the meeting just by being there
* You stop raising issues/problems because you know you will be the one answering them.
* You fly first class across the country to attend a conference with 100+ people to discuss the fact that the project does not have enough money
* You work for an acronym, on an acronym, and your job title is an acronym
* You understand the rationalization of an acronym composed of acronyms
* You know that the location of a meeting is directly related to its importance. (1) A meeting at Fort Hood requires a subordinate or a contractor (2) The same meeting at Lake Tahoe requires your personal attention
* you've sat at the same desk for 3 years, done the same thing for 3 years, but have had 3 different business cards

More Sore Back
Last night I went out of my way to pay good attention to Elle. When she was just running around being a kid, I gave her a hug and kissed her head. I tried to play along for a minute in whatever fantasy world she had concocted. It paid off. When it was bed time she tried to throw a fit, but the wind was not in her sails. I laid her down and she was out like a light. Even when she woke up this morning at like 2:30 or something, she cried. I went in to console her. She couldn't go back to sleep, but when I got up to leave, she just laid there. She did not cry. I don't know if she fell back asleep or not. That might be the secret. Pay good attention before you have to pay bad attention. It won't work every time I'm sure. Nothing works every time. She could get away with murder if she just did it quietly and didn't leave much of a mess.
Oh, the back. When I laid her down to go to sleep, I laid down on the floor to wait. Man, when I went to get up, my back had locked up. I nearly cried out when I stood up.  Nat had an anti-inflammatory to help the pain. It worked too. Hey, this family thing is not as bad as I had always imagined.

I had back to back unrelated meetings canceled today due to a massive meeting about my department. I think the meeting that pulled away all the directs is to justify the existence of my department. What I think happened is one of the new high-up folks (we have had some shake ups lately) saw a line item with my department name in it. Now, they are getting the 1000 meter level view of the place to figure out if they want to abolish us in the name of cost savings. I've been here eight years, yet I'm still contingent. I've worked for, well, now three contract agencies and sat at basically the same desk the whole time.

Get a Mac

Even though I'm a security guy going on 22 years now, my day-to-day work is pretty much like everyone else's. I live on laptops and use my desktops at home and the office for geeking and experimenting. My two day-to-day laptops (two, for 24/7 backup) are my business machines. I don't need them to do a whole lot - except work reliably, which is why I am fed up with WinTel.

I want my computer to function every time I turn it on. I want my computer to not corrupt data when it does crash. I use a handful of applications: Microsoft Office, e-mail, browser, FTP client and some multimedia toys. Regardless of format, they should work without crashing.
I live on the 'Net. I do not want my browser to eat up all of my memory. In the WinTel world I need an assortment of third-party tools to try to keep my PC alive. That's just crazy.
Why does WinTel have these problems? I have heard all sorts of explanations, and I don't subscribe to any of them. I've come up with my own (hopefully rational) reasons WinTel will fail - and has to fail:

Basically, this guy is fed up with all the disasters that befall MS-crap-OS every five minutes. I consider myself a power user and I still find myself in trouble daily. I have a Linux box at the house and I have not had to do jack to keep it running. I have two (now three) MS-crap-OS boxes and I have to run constant security/spyware/virus software just to keep the damn things afloat. PC-Magazine was saying for people to get duel processor machines so one processor can keep an eye on the other. That thought makes me sick.  The article above has some good points. Go visit the blog too. They are doing a real experiment.
I work for one of the huge companies with over 50,000 nodes on the network. I'm telling you 95% of the computing power people need is (email + web surfing + Office + moving files across the network + (multimedia / 2) + (PowerPoint * 2) + CADD ) all times the square of the  ignorance level of the individual user. That's pretty much it. Linux does it all. Mac's do it all. There is this thing called Citrix Server that allows any other computer to use a MS-crap-OS machine remotely. That means the any all the silly folks who write software that is not compatible with truly multiple platform (MS thinks different versions of their software count as multiple platforms) can use one of these Citrix Servers to host their trash. Problem solved. Go away MS-crap-OS. We don't need you. We don't want you. We are sick of you. Die Die DIE!!!
Sorry, I got carried away there.
I know what is coming. I'm not stupid. MS-crap-OS wants to make the X-Box into the home media machine and home computer. The home computer part of the X-Box will only run MS certified software to ensure security and privacy. Only MS will have access to your personal data, and God knows we all trust MS.


Word of the day
Disentangle: untie a knot.
Politicians love this word when describing paperwork or red tape. I think it is over used. Why don't they just say things are messed up? I would make a terrible politician because I just don't deal well with bullshit.

Elle was throwing a fit this morning. She was laying on the floor and kicking her feet. Nat was at her whit's end. I picked Elle up and took her outside for a second to let her cry. No sooner did I pick her up than I felt a twinge in my lower back. Now I have pain when I walk. Great. I'm used to picking her up from her standing position. I didn't keep my back straight. I've done this kind of thing before. I need to relax this evening and lay flat on the floor  with my feet up on the couch. to let my muscles loosen.
Lately it seems like Elle cries at everything. I can't figure out what is the real root of the problem. She needs some time with other kids. I think she is frustrated that she is not an adult. She should be a kid while she has the chance.

When are we going to do DnD again? No one seems interested in the weekend group any more. They have a weeknight group for the real die-hards. I can't keep up with those guys. I still want to play. Now that Ethan has a girl friend / fiance and thus full weekends, Adam is not motivated to gather the clan. I feel left hanging. I wonder if Ken and the other folks want to start up a game.

For Real

Maybe the problem is that, nowadays, divorce has become too easy, and oftentimes, it's easier to call it quits than it would be to try and fix what's wrong in the marriage. Unfortunately, members of the TV generation (that's us) are known for their penchant for "the easy way out."
Or, perhaps it has to do with the fact that we are the first generation that has had to contend with very vague roles within marriage. Who's supposed to cook and clean if both parties work equal amounts of time?
"So, what are the right reasons?" you ask. I guess everyone has their own way of determining with whom, why and when they walk down the aisle, if at all.
My personal favorites are common goals and love (I've been burned, but I still choose to believe in this delightful enigma). Just make sure that yours is real.

I remember the first time someone said "starter marriage" in my presents. It was Peter K. from my work. He left for greener pastures nearly a decade ago. What he said has stuck with me. He was spot on. My Ex and I didn't have anything in common. Nothing that mattered anyway. She and I differed on too many topics. She wanted to spend money without considering the consequences. She didn't want to pay, or understand the concept of paying her taxes. That really was the final straw. It came down to I didn't want to have children with her because I feared her responsibility.
It is the real thing with Natalie. I've known her for years. I've wondered about her for a long time. Does she feel the same way? You know how it goes. She was dating someone, or I was dating someone. Things never worked out. We both say we wish we could have found each other earlier. I just don't think we were ready those eleven years ago. Nothing has ever felt more right.

Natalie's brothers came over last night for a visit. We piled in the cars and went to Dave and Buster's. Three seconds after we got to a pool table Elle started throwing a fit. I took her outside and we sat in the car while she cried and tossed around. It was very hot in the car. At that point I was more worried about getting arrested for a two year old throwing a fit. I really did intend to exit the car after she calmed down a bit. Natalie was understandably upset because Elle was over heated. I felt so bad I didn't want to go back in Dave and Buster's. I went for a walk and then fell asleep in the car. Nat tells me her brothers felt insulted because I didn't want to hang out with them. That wasn't it at all. Great way to start the family relationship.


Nat's Brother
Nat's brother came in for a visit last night. We picked him up and I got a couple of the stories he told. He is in the military. He will be out in a bit less than a year I believe. I was kind of tired, so I missed the details. He sounds like he is ready to be a civilian again. He let a couple of cuss words slip in front of Elle. He kicked himself every time. He commented "I have the cleanest mouth in my unit. Including the women." I believe it. Most of the recently ex-military folks I've hung around with had "potty mouths" (I'm getting into the parenting terminology these days). They typically give it up after a while. It doesn't become noticeable until they are around kids.


The pilot whose small plane flew over Washington this month and triggered a security scare that emptied the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court, said on Tuesday he thought he was going to be "shot out of the sky."
Homeland security and military aircraft, including two F-16s and a Black Hawk helicopter, were scrambled to intercept the Cessna 150 turboprop and escort it to an airport in nearby Maryland on May 11.

I bet it was scary. I do hope this person gets some kind of punishment. It was a mistake, but pilots should be afraid to screw up. Again, Western Civilization is afraid to use negative reinforcement to control behavior.

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines Corp. has proposed firing 2,031, or nearly half of its mechanics, in a bid to save $176 million a year, their union said in a document posted in its Web site on Monday.
Mechanics have been a particular target for job cuts at many traditional airlines, which have found that they can save money by outsourcing maintenance to outside providers who can do the work for cheaper.

Stay off of Northwest Airlines in about six months or so. It will take while for the crappy maintenance to catch up to reality, but it will.

Wedding Plans
I'm sure you will get details as things develop. Nat and I are going back and fourth over expenses. I'm just trying to say you don't have to spend a fortune to have your family there. I heard somewhere that a few middle eastern weddings can cost over $100,000. Yee gads. I should count my blessings. Nat and I both have heads on our shoulders. We will make it work.
I have no idea who to invite. No matter what happens, someone will freak because they were not invited. What are you supposed to do?
There is a dress involved, That means I am already in the dark.
Nat and I are talking about what place to have the wedding as I type. I kind of like the idea of having a Fair wedding. I might actually get away with waring armor to my wedding. How cool is that!?
Natalie says her mom might not be able to sit down in some of the smaller gardens at TRF. I offered to hire a rick-shaw for her. I haven't heard back, I wonder if she passed out laughing.
Inside or out?

Arbor House Brunch $15.50 per person Char-Broiled Chicken Assorted Sausage Cajun Fried Potatoes Seasonal Fruit Salad Rolls, Nuts and Mints Tea and Coffee.

Italian Brunch $15.50 per person Pizza Squares (Meat and Veggie) Italian Breads (Garlic and Cheese) Seasonal Fruits Assorted Cheeses Tea and coffee. [no]

Italian Brunch $15.50 per person Pizza Squares (Meat and Veggie) Italian Breads (Garlic and Cheese) Seasonal Fruits Assorted Cheeses Tea and coffee.

Queen's Celebration $19.50 per person Carved Roast Beef and Pork Loin Seasoned Turkey Breast Ham Deli Tray Fresh Vegetable Crudités Assorted Cheeses Sauces and Dips Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tea and Coffee.

My head is spinning.
They want $600 for a cake. And, they won't let you bring your own in. BASTARDS!!!
That can't be right.

$150 for the reception site...$320 for the food...$125 for the cake that feeds 50 people (that is the smallest cake which is pictured on the website)

That's better. This thing might work out.

Elle's Shoes
Elle got some new sneakers. They light up as she walks. They are pretty cool. They were like $14. I remember some of the adult shoes that cost $150 with the little lights. I remember an interview with a police officer who said something to the effect "I love those lights on shoes because suspects are easy to find at night. Thanks Nike." I liked that. It makes me wonder why the adult shoes are so darn expensive.
We were in the car on the way home last night. I was in the back seat with Elle. I taught her to clap her shoes together and make them blink. It kept her occupied for a while. I ended up giving up on getting her to sleep last night. She wanted to be part of the party (Nat and her brother looking at old pictures) Just as I was about to get her to go to sleep the frigging cat start me-owing and wakes her up. I have never in my life come that close to kicking a cat. I almost did last night. That was bad timing. I decided I couldn't compete and just gave up.


Jen's News Letter
  This Tuesday night, May 24th, I'll be kicking off the summer concert season at EB5, International Tea and Coffee House. EB5 is a wonderful new art gallery in Spring that not only serves tea and coffee, but fine wines, pastries, and sandwiches. The concert series, "An Intimate Evening With..." is in conjunction with the Spring Post.
22557 Aldine Westfield Road
Spring, TX 77373

So come out for a mellow and early evening at a new hip place.

See you,
Jen Rocks! Go.

So, I have worked at the same company for about eight years now. It isn't quite true because I've worked for two different contract companies. I'm placed at the real company. The company that I do the work for makes it very clear that I am contract. It doesn't matter that I've worked here longer than most of the direct employees it seems. It is kind of a bum deal.
A couple of years ago I was given the opportunity to move from one contract company to another. I moved because the benefits from the second contract company were a slight bit better. Now, the main company wants to end the contract with the contract company I am with. That means, if I want to continue to work in the same place, I have to move to the original contract company. This is not only a pain, but they make it sound like there is no guarantee that I'll get my job back. I feel like I have to re-apply for the same position. I had damn well better get the same pay rate. I mean, they are already s me on the benefits just because of the nature of the contract company.

More Work
The water on this floor is gray. I can't believe this place won't do something about hate rancid drinking water. I feel like they just don't care. How the hell am I expected to get work done when I have to worry about the quality of the drinking water? The coffee tastes like crap. No wonder. It is being made with puddle water.

Argh! I can't stand using a code editor exclusively. I really need to have a GUI for typing and layout, and a good code editor for funky stuff. It is so much faster to drag and drop some things, cut and paste.  I've gone back to Mozilla's editor. It is a simple interface and the code is easy enough to mess with on the fly. Well, OK, I'm lazy. I don't want to write a program every time I go to jot down some notes for my blog.s

Adam & Laurie's Weekend
  The poker party was very fun.  We played Texas Hold'em, tournament-style.  It was nice because even though Laurie and I both played, we only lost a collective $110 (which is good for us).  If you end up going to another game, I suggest trying it.  The difference is everyone puts in the same amount of $$$ (say $30) and then all the poker chips are divvied up equally among all players.  Then you start playing, and while betting, there is NO LIMIT to the amount you can bet.  Also, every 15-30min the blinds double (so for the first 30min the big blind is 3 chips, little is 1 chip, next 30min big is 6chips, little is 3 chips, et cetera).  Money is doled out by order of finishing.  The person that wins all chips gets %70, the person to come in second gets %20 and third gets %10.  Games typically take ~2-3hrs.
I managed to play 3 games (Laurie, 2).  On the first hand of the second tournament game Woody, a guy named Nick and myself went "all in" where all three people's chips were in the pot opening hand.  Woody and I lost to Nick making us the biggest losers of the night.  (Technically Woody went "all in" first so I think he's the biggest loser, though he counters with the fact that his cards were better than mine, so I would have lost to him.)
Sunday was very relaxing.  Laurie, Woody and I all played Everquest for 4 hours.  (I have attached a few screen shots of our exploits.)  We adventured into the Crypt of Varsoon, killing tons of Clay Gaurdians and fighting undead weavers and a hugely powerful animated book called the "Book of Life".  The Book of Life had 15 animated helper books that kicked our collective asses around town.  We then watched an excellent movie called "Spartan" with Val Kilmer and written by David Mamet (same guy who did "Glenngerry Glenn Ross").  It was an excellent political thriller.  Recommended.  Great dialog
Before the game, we went out to lunch. Man, his poker game sounds like allot more fun than the movie Nat and I stayed in to watch. The truth is, we had a good time. We didn't loose $110 or the like either. We watched "National Treasure", it was OK. Then we watched "Saw" which was kind of gory. I figured out what was going on too early the first time I watched it. I hate that. I am not the kind of guy who knows what is going to happen next in all the movies. Sometimes I can call it though. It is kind of random. I hate that. If I always guessed it, that would be cool. I could lay bets and impress some one.
I'm betting Adam sent this to me knowing full well I would put it on the blog. He blogs vicariously through me.


It is Sunday morning now. Elle spent the weekend with her grandfather . Nat and I had a agreement not to touch the computers until Sunday. It seems like every little even was blogable too. It never fails, when you cant get to your blog, a bunch of blogable stuff happens. Now, of course I remember nearly none of it. Nat told me some stories about being homeless that I wish she would blog, or at least written down. I know they are painful, but they should be told. We didn't have any out of town trips. We haven't have any emergencies yet. Elle is back from her grandfather's and went to the potty on her own. Thank God. I really hope she catches on soon. More later.


It was a pleasant walk in to work today. It had been a while since I have taken the bus. It was refreshing really. That is, until I nearly get run down by someone who insisted on running the light at the same time I was walking the cross walk. If I hadn't been looking around as I crossed as I normally do, I'm sure they would have hit me. I'm sure of this because they were busy passing other cars and dodging side traffic to even see me in the morning gloom. I'm very glad I don't carry any kind of firearm. I would have emptied it through their back window. The car was a small frame middle colored coop with one headlight (I don't remember which one) out. I couldn't see the driver. It was dark and I am legally blind. I hope God gets that fucker.

Elle's little boyfriend
Elly has this little boy she really likes named David. He is the same age. They met in day care. I heard a story that they had to be separated at nap time because they would cuttle. That is so cute. Anyway, He was one of the little kids terrorizing the cat last night. When he left Elle was devastated. She cried for an hour. I had to hold her and fight her squirming and screaming or she would stand at the door pulling on the door knob. There was a point where she pushed against my stomach with her legs trying to get away. I finally let her fall back a bit and caught her. My intent was to let her feel that falling sensation. It worked. ABout the third time she came back up and hugged me and held on. After that, she only switched shoulders to cry on. They were both wet. When she finally went to sleep, she slept all night. I left her this morning in childhood slumber. I was worried about nightmares. I think the hour of crying and the loss of her voice again completely wore her out.
Natalie and I joked to ourselves that "She is two now and wonders why her boyfriend can't stay the night. What is it going to be like when she is sixteen?"
I passed out on the floor in Elle's room. I was worn out. It was around midnight or so. I eventually stumbled into the bedroom. I only remember it taking me for ever to get into bed. I had to brush my teeth, take out my contacts, get ready for bed. All the time I was waiting for Elle to wake up and start crying. It didn't happen.

Weekend (sappy)
Elle's grandfather is taking her until Sunday. We had planned on having a garage sale tomorrow at the apartment complex, but it was canceled due to lack of participation. They want to try again in June. Whatever. I want to get together with some friends. I want to introduce Natalie to my friends. She and I have had many of the same friends for a long time. I've met some of her exclusive friends. I want her to know my life, loves and hates. I want to know hers.

From Reuters (guy on bike on a peer) It looks like I have the JAlbum software working again. I will try to get some pictures up soon. I have the itch. I will publish some of Nat's photos too. Here is a snap from Reuters


I get home from work and there are three kids in the apartment. They belong to some friend's of Nat's. We ended up with two 2 year olds, and an infant staying over night. The infant is no big del. The two year olds get in constant "mine, mine, mine, mine, mine ..." fights. They are walking around behind me so I'm watching a movie called "Alien Lock down" in a two inch wide window on my computer. This is the kind of thing people with kids have to do. It is already bast ten and El le is not even close to bed. Her little buddy is as least as hyper as she is so they feed off each other.
This whole father thing is starting to sink in. I had not'held a baby until today. Natalie keeps saying she wants to have a baby. We don't have insurance. I need to get her on my insurance and make sure it covers birth. I need to know how the military coverage is going to work. There is no reason to cover Elle with the crtappy insurance I'm going to get if the military stuff is going to be superior. Anyway, I'm tired. I ran 100 mph at work. I get home and ran 100 mph again. I'm not sure how I'm still awake. It must be the noise.

Bed, ... bed ... bed ... bed!
Justin's Latest Gig
  Nothing like the last minute, but I thought I'd let everybody know that Slappy's will be playing our last show for the next few months this Saturday, May 21st at RockStarz Patio from 6PM to 7PM. This is a Nurturing Dreams Foundation charity event featuring exactly what, I'm not sure! But judging from previous experience, there'll be lots of great bands and plenty of other interesting going's on. As if Slappy's weren't draw enough!

RockStarz Patio
6203 Nyoka St (basically the intersection of BW8 & 290)
Houston, TX 77041-5311
Phone: 713-466-0204

Local Terrorists
  Violent animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists now pose one of the most serious terrorism threats to the nation, top federal law enforcement officials say.
Senior officials from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives told a Senate panel Wednesday of their growing concern over these groups.
Of particular concern are the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).
John Lewis, the FBI's deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, said animal and environmental rights extremists have claimed credit for more than 1,200 criminal incidents since 1990. The FBI has 150 pending investigations associated with animal rights or eco-terrorist activities, and ATF officials say they have opened 58 investigations in the past six years related to violence attributed to the ELF and ALF.
I'm glad mainstream media is finally calling these people terrorists. They have been around for a long time. That doesn't make what they are doing right. If I don't like a law, if I don't like what my government is doing, I cannot be aloud to put people's lives unnecessarily at risk to get my point across. I must work from within the system. That is the whole point behind a government. They allow an existing set of rules to be applied and must allow for changes to those rules as based on need of the society.

Adam's Opinion on Sith
  Great movie. It kind of pisses me off. It seams ole George Lucas *did* still have the ability to write a good movie after all. After the last two stinkers I just wrote off my fascination to the original Star Wars as youth and nostalgia. Instead, after seeing a movie that recaptures most of the elements of the first three movies, I know its not just youth that excited me about the films.
The guy that plays the Emperor steals the show. He is the bomb.

Artist James McMurtry
Song: Safe Side
Album: Candyland


I'd be pissed too
Ugly hairless cat
From Reuters News.
Waking Up
What in the world wakes Elle up in the middle of the night? I really think it is her rolling over and noticing I'm not laying on the floor any more. I wonder sometimes if the night light hurts more than it helps. If she is mostly asleep and her eyes come part way open she can see that I'm not on the floor. However, if the night light is not on, the room may be to dark for her to notice anything and she will not get that "Oh my God! I'm alone!" feeling. When I go in the room after she has woken up, she really tries to get back to sleep. I'm telling you, mentioning the word "bed" is a strict no-no.
I may try it without he night light this evening. Last night, she woke up twice. Both time she fully intended to cry until someone came and got her. The trouble is there is no negative to her waking up. I need to think of a way to make her think twice before she calls us to her side. I want her to start thinking "I don't need them that bad." and roll over. I need some parenting advice.

Police Pursuit
A police officer in the UK decided to take one of the new pursuit vehicles out for a test drive a couple of months ago. He reached a top speed of 159 mph on a highway. Here is a link to the car type that he used. Understand, this link is the civilian version. The on board camera recorded the whole thing. Some other workers turned him in. The judge agreed that the police have to test on public streets. In the officer's defence, he is a driving training instructor. If any one needed to do the testing, it was him. The cop was driving at night on mostly clear roads. It sounds like he knew what he was doing.
In Italy, test drivers for car companies can get a license to drive like maniacs on the public road. There are movies I've downloaded on P2P that show Ducati drivers flying through traffic on rain soaked roads. It looked quite illegal, but apparently, it is find. They really do think differently across the pond.
Radio Scanner
I used to have a scanner that picked up mobile phones. I listened at night and the only people using the phone at that time are cops and prostitutes. One evening I heard a cop talking to his wife. He got a call to a fight. He starts driving fast. You can hear the engine and tires making noise. He makes some calls on the radio. His wife is clearly disturbed, but she does not want to hang up. They disconnected before he made it to the call. That conversation always stuck with me. So did the one where a guy was in a fight with his boyfriend and said "Some one is probably listening to this getting their jollies." I cracked up. Another call was a lesbian who had two different girlfriends on call waiting and flipped back and forth between them. I don't know how she kept them straight (so to speak). One of the girls was the steady girlfriend. The other was obviously the wild affair. You can still get scanners that will pick up mobile phones, but it is far more difficult and expensive with digital signals these days.


  Evolutionary scientists have never had difficulty explaining the male orgasm, closely tied as it is to reproduction.
But the Darwinian logic behind the female orgasm has remained elusive. Women can have sexual intercourse and even become pregnant - doing their part for the perpetuation of the species - without experiencing orgasm. So what is its evolutionary purpose?
Over the last four decades, scientists have come up with a variety of theories, arguing, for example, that orgasm encourages women to have sex and, therefore, reproduce or that it leads women to favor stronger and healthier men, maximizing their offspring's chances of survival.
But in a new book, Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, a philosopher of science and professor of biology at Indiana University, takes on 20 leading theories and finds them wanting. The female orgasm, she argues in the book, "The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution," has no evolutionary function at all.
The female orgasm, she said, "is for fun."
I bet that title got your attention. You know, this article could help prove the existance of God, and that she is really female. What do you think?
I'm trying out HomeSite for HTML code. It is a code only editor. I'm not sure how it will work out because I'm not used to editing stuff that way. It has a spell checker. It automatically inverts the code for things like bold, italic, images and links. We shall see how it works. For one thing, carage returns are not automatic. You have to type in the characters you want to display. I must remember to turn word wrap on while typing. ... Ah, control enter puts in a <br>. When you hit the & a menu drops down and lists all the symbols. When you type in a tag and hit the space bar the elements of that tag drop down in a list. This is nice so far.
I can tell I'm going to have some trouble. I like dragging and dropping stuff from my browser into the editor and referencing it. Lets see what happens here. ... When you paste a link, you get just the text. When you drag and drop the link, you get the http link only. Oh, well. I will not like hunting down the code on the page. That is going to suck.
Let's try a link.
Let's try a picture. Just testing the link functionality
    This is quoted text.

We may have a winner.


Keep your mouth shut
So, this guy kills another guy during an argument over marijuana. He takes the dead guys body and throws it under another body in a recent grave. The authorities had the following to say.

"Had this guy kept his mouth shut, we would've never, ever found out what happened to this victim," Detective Tony Morales said.

They said he gave some funky information during an interview. Lesson number one when you do something stupid: Keep your mouth shut. The best cover story is "What the hell are you talking about?"
News Week Commits Murder

DiRita "exploded" when Newsweek informed him that one of the original sources behind the report had partially backed off the story, the magazine said.
"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said," DiRita told Newsweek, according to the magazine's report. "How could he be credible now?"
"If you read the al Qaeda training manual, they are trained to make allegations against the infidels," Army Col. Brad Blackner told Newsweek.

How do you like that inaccurate headline you eye-grabbing, fact-not-checking loosers?!? Check your facts. Stop relying on third person hearsay.
You know, those people who died were Muslims. Why are the clerics not blowing a gasket over this? (oops, they are)

Putting Elle Down
Elle is in mid transition. She has her own room now and we are trying to get her comfortable with sleeping alone. Natalie lived in a two bedroom apartment with another family. She had only one room to herself and Elle. Elly got very used to having Nat there when she went to sleep. We have had at least one night of no sleep from Elle throwing a fit. It has been a learning experience trying to get Elle to convert. The gate did not work. Elle will sit there screaming and pounding on the gate. She is claustrophobic. The feeling of not being able to get out of the room is enough to make her irrationally try to escape. Confronting her directly doesn't work because once she starts crying the act of crying is self perpetuating. She doesn't even know why she is crying. There is no negative reinforcement (it used to be spanking, but you can't do that any more) so she won't break the crying cycle. If you only use positive reinforcement then throwing a fit pays off. Have you tried negotiating with a two year old?
Elle gets upset when it is bed time. I've noticed if I don't say any of the typical bed time words like bed, sleep, night-night ,or any of the like, things go much more smoothly. Last night Nat walked by the door while I was going through the motions and said something with the word "bed" in it. Elle started to cry. We had to start over again.
The procedure changes every night. Usually, I get her to sit on her bed and try to read her a story. I pat her stomach or back. She always refuses the covers at first. I have to wait for her to nod off before pulling them up. When her eyes are shut, she is still awake. If I get up she will get up and cry as I leave. I let her get groggy and nod off a bit then as I get up I say "I'm going to lay down right here" and point at the floor. Then I lay down and act like I'm going to sleep. I lay there listening to her breathing. I also curse every noise that comes from the apartment above us or the parking lot. Her breathing will change several times. It will get a bit heavier. Not yet. It will lengthen. Not yet. It will become more rhythmic. Not yet. She will suck in a gasp. Not yet. It will level off somehow. Not a snore, more of a balanced pattern. Now. I slowly raise myself up. I quietly bring myself to my feet. Stop. keep listening. Same pattern. slowly, don't trip on anything, don't kick anything, tiptoe out of the room. Leave the door open a crack. Our little child out of sight. Prey for her to be safe tonight.


Quote of the day
Lord, grant me patience, bu please hurry.

We got Elle back. My parent's had taken her to church and gotten her a new dress. They seemed to enjoy keeping her for a day or two. Fortunately, Elly has several grandparents. She is the first from many angles. I think we can get some help from time to time.
We went to Wal-Mart and got some cloth, a battery air pump, a crock pot, and anti-bug-windshield washing fluid.
I swapped out the hard drives in my Dell. I have to tell you, Dell support is great. It, however, their cases are kind of a pain. I had to nearly demolish the case to get the drive out. One side of the case is closed with pop-rivets. It will double-side tape it in place some later time. Right now it is formating. I'll re-install everything tomorrow, ow whenever I can find the time. This whole kid thing is a real time suck. It is allot of fun though.
It is nearly midnight. Elle is asleep. I'm about tho hit on Nat, wish me luck. I'm signing off.
Restful Saturday
So, Friday afternoon, my parents take Elle for a weekend. Nat and I have the apartment all to ourselves. We don't have any plants for Friday evening. Saturday we are going to an all day concert. Elle won't come back until Sunday after church.
Well, we end up running back to Conroe for some things Friday evening. We run into Monica, Nat's biological mom. She is upset that we didn't bring Elle. We end up back at the house at like one in the morning.
Saturday morning we meet with one of Nat's old friends for lunch. Then we head out for the concert. The concert is in Rosenberg. We wonder all around the concert and have some fun. I have a hard time with crowds so I'm about to loose it the whole time. It wasn't bad. Nat gets a phone call from her other mom that there is a sewing machine waiting for her back in Conroe, but we have to come get it right now. Off we go. We ended up leaving a friend of ours just sitting there with her infant child, waiting on a ride. This trip is like eighty miles.
So, we have brownies and ice-cram in Conroe. Just as we are walking out the door we get a phone call from the friend we left behind. She needs a ride. We start hauling ass back to the apartment to drop off the sewing machine. Then make the run back to Rosenberg to pick up the friend. Fortunately, we get a call that it is all clear at the last minute.
We go to the video store, get some movies, We come back to the apartment. Nat starts getting ready to watch the movies. I nearly fall asleep. I basically turn into an ass and decide I want to go to bed. Nat, feeling dejected, storms out and there I am back in the dog house. Fortunately, we made up.


It is Friday the Thirteenth
I've never been much on superstition, but today, I walk into work, and he email is down. This company runs on email. My tasks and phone numbers for meetings are all in there. Email has been acting funky for a week or two. They replaced a network card on our Exchange Server a couple of weeks ago. I wonder what is wrong with it this time.
I can still get to my web mail. If they would only let me check my mail from the internet, I could probably still get some work done. This trouble is Houston specific. Odds are the web system and local system would not both fail at the same time.


Pope Benedict XVI said today he had opened the process for the sainthood of Pope John Paul II.
The move overrides the usual five-year waiting period following the death of a possible candidate.
The pope made the announcement in Latin during a meeting at the Basilica of St John Lateran with the Roman clergy.

There is a natural affinity to really love the pope that just died. He was a pretty good pope as popes go. People liked him for the most part. Was he, however, saint worthy? There is a reason it takes several years before you can nominate someone for sainthood. It is to give people time to "get over it" and make a clear headed decision. They are short sheeting the process. I personally think it is a mistake to rush.

It is easier to say "world wide web" than it is to say "www". There are fewer syllables when you say it out.

So, I have this IBM mouse at work. It has this little nob between the two main buttons. This nob takes the place of a scroll wheel. I hate it. It is never right. It is not really adjustable. You have to put 75 lbs of pressure on it to go up and just blow on it to go down. That is no big deal. I can deal with that. The thing that pissed me off is IT GLOWS BRIGHT BLUE. I finally got mad enough to pull the one little screw out of the mouse, take it apart and crush the LED with a pare of pliers.  Did you ever have one of those toys that has one pin through the middle with like ten pieces that only went together in one way. You pull the pin and it is a 3D puzzle and a juggling act to get the frigging pin back in place. I had one that was an airplane. It had about eight or ten pieces and you had to put them all together before you could get the pin through the middle. That is what this mouse was like. One little screw in the bottom, and the whole mouse comes apart. There is this little plastic lens thing in the bottom that just sits there. There are top and bottom plastic bits. There are separate button bits. It has the little motherboard. It has two LEDs floating around inside. I busted the blue one with the pliers. Then I had to flux around with the wire that runs from the mouse buttons to the motherboard. It was all quite comical. I do, however, have a fully functional and non-glowing mouse.


Tiger is the cat we inherited. He was skittish the first day or so. Last night, he came out from under the chair and let every one pet him and he ate a little bit. That is always a good sign. I had to run him out of Elle's room while I was trying to put her down. He walked up to the door and meowed. Elle can't help herself. She wakes up and says "giddy!!!" in that amazing cute little girl voice. She will not leave him alone when she thinks about it. You have to distract her to get her to change direction.

I'm trying to think of some news stories that are worth mentioning.
I'm sickened by the number of little girls that are being murdered in this country. The same thing happens in Europe, but not nearly as often. There was on recently in Florida (is it always Florida?) recently where a father killed his daughter and her friend who were both about eight or so. I mentioned to Nat that I'm just sick of hearing about it. I think a bit less of humanity every time I read one of these senseless cases.
Then, some jackass flew a small plane into a no fly zone over the White House. I remember watching the TV at work in the lunge. There were already a bunch of folks tuning in to find out what happened. "The white house and congress are being evacuated." The all clear came pretty quickly. I heard about it on BBC Five Live before the local news.
Saudi Arabia
Now it looks like Saudi Arabia may have a doomsday project that would destroy the oil fields for decades if anything too strange happens. That would trash the world's economy in a heart beat. That might actually lead to more efficient cars though. I wonder if this is why oil companies are gearing up to build plants in the Middle East.
There are some really nasty riots going on in Afghanistan. What started the whole thing is some roomers that the U. S. Military flushed some Koran books down the toilet to intimidate prisoners. To understand the significance of this, one must understand the significance of the Koran to Muslims. Think about Jesus Christ. Think about the place in Christianity that Jesus takes. That is a pretty important place. Now, think of that place being filled with the words and teachings of a book. That is what the Koran is to Muslims. The book, or more accurately, the  teaching contained in the book, is the savior to Muslim people. Flushing it down the toilet is a bit like spitting on Jesus while he was suffering on the cross. Someone please correct me if I've gotten this wrong.
Iran has nuclear intentions. You know it is bad when France gets mad about it.
North Korea
North Korea has nuclear intentions. They are close to a nuclear test according to some.
China is hording oil for a possible war over Taiwan. Oh, wait, they are just gobbling up nearly 1/4 of the planet's oil because of their economy. To keep that oil flowing, China needs to keep the seas under its control.
I called Dell about the primary machine. They walked me through a simple BIOS disk test and sent out another drive. Airborn express has had a hard time reaching me because we don't have a phone plugged into our home line. We only use it for DSL really. I don't like the fact that my drive just all of a sudden died in that machine. I do like the quick intelligent support I got from Dell.
That drive was always loud. I never had a single problem from it. Then it gave me a couple of read errors. Then, it died. The whole thing took about an hour. Back up often.

Nat's Move Video
Natalie finally approved the video for publication. It is a 20 megabyte download. It will take at least 20 minutes off my server. It is in Windows AVI format. Good luck. Listen close. I have to get the Dell back up and running before I put any more pictures on the main page.
Jen's next gig

This just in:  my friend, April Kelly, came down with something awful, poor thing, and can't make her show on Friday.  So I was asked to take her place.
So I'll be playing up a storm with Mike Pope and Willie B for the Texas Music Showcase.  Sarah Golden (if you haven't seen or heard her, man, you just gotta!) and I are the special guests this month.
It's this Friday the 13th (come celebrate your superstitions with us)
JP Hops House
2317 South Highway 6
Houston, Texas 77077

Hope you can make it.
Oh, and I'll be playing up in The Woodlands the next night, Saturday, the 14th at the Millbend Coffee House  I'm opening for Bill Ward.  Gosh I'm in such great company!



What is this? Two evenings in a row, Elle has gone to bead without all that much trouble. Last night she did not cry at all. Tonight we had a bit of a "clean up you toys" incident, but the whole bed thing went very well. I think she is getting into a routine. I hope it isn't just a fluke. If I'm jinxing myself, I'll scream. The apartment is actually starting to look like a place to live, instead of a storage unit. Tiger has only been here a few hours, but has already eaten and played with his little cat toys. He won't come out from under one of the chairs while Elle is around. That will take some time I bet.

We've all had trouble with our animals, but I don't think anyone can  top this one:
Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how  legitimate my excuse, I always get the feeling that my boss thinks I'm  lying.
On one recent occasion, I had a valid reason but lied anyway, because  the truth was just too darned humiliating. I simply mentioned that I  had sustained a head injury, and I hoped I would feel up to coming  in the next day. By then, I reasoned, I could think up a doozy to  explain the bandage on the to p of my head.
The accident occurred mainly because I had given in to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty. Initially, the new acquisition was no  problem.
Then one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast when I  heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen.  "Honey! The garbage disposal is dead again. Please come reset it."  "You know where the button is," I protested through the shower  pitter-patter and steam. "Reset it yourself!" "But I'm scared!" she persisted. "What if it starts going and sucks me in?"
There was a meaningful pause and then, "C'mon, it'll only take you  a second."
So out I came, dripping wet and buck naked, hoping that my silent outraged nudity would make a statement about how I perceived her  behavior as extremely cowardly.
Sighing loudly, I squatted down and  stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action  I remember performing.  It struck without warning, and without any respect to my circumstances.
No, it wasn't the hexed disposal, drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, who discovered the fascinating  dangling objects she spied hanging between my legs. She had been poised  around the corner and stalked me as I reached under the sink. And, at  the precise moment when I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I  unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws.  I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, blindly  rising at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten  hanging from my masculine region.
Wild animals are sometimes faced with a "fight or flight" syndrome.  Men, in this predicament, choose only the "flight" option. I know  this from experience. I was fleeing straight up into the air when the  sink and cabinet bluntly and forcefully impeded my ascent. The impact  knocked me out cold.
When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me. Now there are  not many things in this life worse than finding oneself lying on the  kitchen floor butt naked in front of a group of  "been-there, done-that" paramedics.
Even worse, having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics were  all snorting loudly as they tried to conduct their work, all the while  trying to suppress their hysterical laughter.... .and not succeeding.
Somehow! I lived through it all.
A few days later I finally made it  back in to the office, where colleagues tried to coax an explanation out  of me about my head injury I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to  talk about, which it was.  "What's the matter?" They all asked, "Cat got your tongue?"
If they only knew!

Why is it that only the women laugh at this?

Anna sent me this. It just didn't raise much of a smile, more of a wince.

Free Cat
Cat Bed
Cat Food
Cat Box
Cat Litter
Scratching Post
Animal Carrier
Cat Toys
Cat Cave (place to hide)
Food Bowl
Miscellaneous cat stuff
This is not including the $300 pet deposit that, oh, by the way, $200 is not refundable. This is no kitten. There will be vet bills, damage to property, aggravation. I'm not used to having cats around. The apartment is still a wreck from the move. The cat is skittish anyway. He is going to freak for about a month.
Yesterday Nat saw a dog running down Westhimer's sidewalk near Sonic. She looked at this dog like she wanted to save it. I cringed. I'm thinking "I don't want that mongrel any where near Elle." I just don't have that save-the-animals mentality. I don't find that to be a bad thing. I'm not out to get them or anything. I'm offended when that upsets people. I'm me. Accept it.
OK, end rant. I can deal with the cat. We will get along fine, I'm sure.


Sorry it has been so long. My primary computer died. I'm using the Linux box. You know, I should put Linux on the new machine. It needs a new hard drive. I've been so busy, I haven't had time to think. This is going to be a long one.

I screwed up Sunday, Mother's Day. In typical guy fashion, I didn't take into account how much it matters to Nat. I had planned wishing her happy mother's day and suggesting a present like getting her nails done (which I still intend to do). I was trying to unpack some things and said something stupid like "Honey, I could use some help." That went over like a leaping walrus. I ended up buying her some flowers. She had to drive. That didn't feel right at all. She picked out the flowers. I wish I could get it right every time. I love her so much. Not deserves it.

The act of moving
Sonic Stop
On the way to Conroe, we stopped at Sonic for lunch. I insisted on paying. It was the least I could do. We parked both trucks and started writing down orders. This guy was cussing a blue streak at one of the microphones. His order was apparently wrong. He didn't seem to care about all the kids hanging around. It was fun though. it was like old times in the CB group. They got our order pretty much right. It was ten times more complex than the jerk's order.
U-Haul Notes
So, I call the U-Haul place from Houston. I reserved a truck. We don't need the truck, so I get a trailer to tow behind Heath's truck. We are in front of Natalie's apartment and I call the U-Haul place for directions. Just as we are about to pull out on I-45, Kenny tells them what cross street we are at and then he kind of stutters. They tell him they are at the same cross street. We literally pulled out on I-45 and turned right into the U-Haul place. It was probably 50m between the driveways.
Backing the Trailer by Hand
Some one got the bright idea to back the U-Haul trailer into a parking space in front of the apartment. We didn't use the truck because of the turn radios. We used a heavy duty dolly (two wheeler) to pick up the tongue of the trailer and pushing it. There were cars on both sides of the space. One was Natalie's Escort. The other was a Jeep Cherokee of a random neighbor. We backed the trailer toward the Jeep and turned it in to the space. Nat and Jen stood behind the trailer and started shouting "Woh!!", but the trailer kept rolling for a minute. Nat, tore off her shirt to reveal her Super Girl outfit and threw herself between the trailer and the Jeep. We hurt her arm and left a bruise on her leg. I feel terrible.
Quarter At 65
While zipping down the belt way, on the way home, Kenny and I found ourselves lacking a quarter. Now, this is no big deal, we had a couple of bucks, but the change booths were backed up for miles. We made a quick call and arranged for Jen, in Heath's truck, to pass a quarter to me, in Kenny's truck. It went very well. Jen leaned out of the driver's side back door of Heath's pickup and passed the change off to me. The funny thing is, it was two dimes and a nickel.
Nat's Old Roommate
Nat's old roommate insisted Nat and I met over the Internet. I am quite sure she was confused. Nat and I stayed in touch over the Internet for several years. I'm glad Kenny spoke up in our defense.
There was some question over the electricity bill during the move. Fortunately, that panned out without trouble.
I took some pictures, but the software that I liked that I use for my photo pages was on the computer that died. It may be a bit before I get them all up. This time I took a video that is kind of funny.

We are getting a cat. We are inheriting Tiger from Julie. He is skittish and with a new baby in the house they are freaked out by his acting freaked out all the time. He is a yellow tiger looking cat. He was pretty laid back other wise. I am not looking forward to kitty-litter. I'm also not looking forward to having to feed the cat if we want to stay at a friend's place all night. When we take off on a trip, we have to find some one to baby sit the cat. (bleh) I've never been much on pets. I don't mind it much though.

I've been wondering how to mount a Windows share from a Linux box. Well, I figured it out last night.
smbmount //[user name]:[password]@[computer name]/[share name] [space] /[mount folder] -rw
Now, if I could only figure out how to unmount the share. I'm still working out the kinks. Happy mounting.

Trundle Bed
The first thing was to find the brackets that hold the metal part of the frame to the wooden part of the bed. We turned the house upside down and found the bolted to the bed. Nat had to run to the hardware store and get a nut that was missing. I get the frame on with difficulty only to find that I had mounted them upside down. The underneath part of the bed won't fit. I take it apart and flip the brackets. Finally the bed is together. I tighten all the bolts, throw on the mattresses, and call it a bed. The whole thing, including a phone call and the trip to the hardware store, took something like five hours. I'm not very handy. I accept it.

Written 2005-05-07
We got the rest of Nat's stuff from Conroe. Kenny and Heath were heaven sent. The apartment is a disaster area. I have a cold, so I feel at half mast already. I'm leaking and coughing, and carrying things all over the place. It is pretty miserable.

Dead Computer
My primary computer died. The funny thing is, I keep most of my important stuff on the server so it isn't that big of a deal to re-install everything. I'm running the diagnostics, but those never work. It is running through the keyboard test and the monitor test and the memory test. I haven't tested the hard drive yet. that is where the problem lies. I should have done the custom test. It finally finished. I ran the hard drive test manually and didn't get the answer I wanted. I may need a new one.
Wow, this hard drive is toast. It will not format. That sucks. I'm restaging it as I type. I'm on my old ex-Gateway that is now a Linux box.
The restage did not work. The drive is full of errors and will not format. It is as if the CPU got dropped during the move. I moved it by hand, so I didn't witness any rough treatment.
Jen's News Letter

I've been looking forward to this one for a long time.  I'll be opening for the fantastic Bill Ward at the Millbend Coffee House in the Woodlands this Saturday, May, 14 at 8 pm.  I've been trying to get in there for a long time--they have very high standards for artists.  So it's an honor to play there.  And if you've never seen Bill Ward, you're in for a treat!

The Millbend Coffeehouse is a smoke free, family friendly environment.  Tickets: $15 ($12 by Advance Purchase); Senior & Student: $12 ($10 by Advance Purchase); Children Under 12: $2.  All proceeds after expenses benefit a local charity decided by audience vote.

1370 N. Millbend
Go to for advanced tickets and directions.

Thanks, and see you there,


First Fight
I didn't even see it coming. Every one is telling Nat how to raise Elle. Every one has something to say about it. Every one has some kind of advice on everything. She feels like people are telling her how to raise Elli and she wishes they would all go jump in a lake. They were not there for her while she was in need. Every one had advice, but no place to stay when she needed it. It makes me mad too. I stepped in it this morning on the way to work. I made some suggestion and said something needed to be a higher priority and wham weepy girlfriend. So far, we have survived.
Nearly every one was telling her to give the baby up. So many people were willing to tell her to have an abortion, but few wanted to help her have the baby. She had to fight to keep the baby. She had to fight to keep Elle alive during her pregnancy. She doesn't need any flack from me.
My mother, her mother, other family members are all pushing us to get married and have kids. Hey, that is exactly what I want. I want it to happen on its own. It will.
We just signed up for a "family" plan on our mobiles. We get unlimited mobile to mobile now. That makes me feel so domesticated.


I am so screwed. Nat and my mother are over at the apartment unpacking as I type. Do I really want to go home? ... Wish me luck.
No computer, no DSL
I'm going nuts. I've had no DSL or even a computer at the new apartment. I don't get it hooked up until the sixth, but even then, they never get it right on the first try.

My baby made me breakfast
Nat made eggs and bacon this morning  She did it for Elle before and decided to make extra for me this morning. She was standing at the stove wielding the only skillet she could find in the yet packed apartment. She was waring a snazzy purple bath robe. I felt so 1950s.

Mom and Nat
I can't find anything in the new apartment. I started using Nat's razer because mine is missing in action. It turns out Nat and my Mom have plotted against me. They have conspired a plan to get me to use skin care stuff and one of those "loofa" do-hickeys. What am I supposed to do? They are ganging up on me. Cynthia would be so proud.

What-Mart kid's carts.
Now I have one more reasoner to hate Wal-Mart. They have these goofy looking carts that look like a huge toy. They have music playing in the cab and have some sort of RFID because the wheels lock if you try to take it out of one of the store doors. If it stopped there, that would be no big deal. The trouble is, Elle wants to ride on one of these contraptions every time we go to Wal-Mart It costs $1 to rent one. As a cart, it sucks. Elle sits ether going "eh.. eh" and points every time we pass one in the store. I'm worried she will start in when we go to the grocery store, or Target or something. I had to carry her the last trip to Wal-Mart because she refused to get in the regular cart. I should sue for back strain. I wish I had a picture.

Fits and parenthood.
I've done some things wrong. I've done some things right. It is a learning curve. Nat and I discuss our strategies with the young one. Elle is far too smart for our good. We got a new child safety gate. She hates the frigging thing. She has been throwing a fit at bed time. The gate lets us keep her in sight during these actions. It is the most frustrating thing I've ever dealt with in my life. The ironic thing is that the most effective method of dealing with her is to reason with her. Stay calm. Tell her what you are about to do before you do it. "If you get out of that bed again I'm just going to pick you up and put you right back in." That works like the twelfth time she scoots her butt sideways while balling at the top of her lungs. She is a level 19 squirm master. Nat and I have decided she will grow up to be an escape artist.

Adam's rant on the word "Soul Mate"

Pet peeve time.
I hate the term "soul mate".
There I said it.  I *hate* the term "soul mate".  It feels good saying it
Why do I hate that word?  Let me outline the reasons:
o  It is a term created because people think that the word "love" lacks
enough commitment for them.
o  Somehow "you are my soul mate" trumps "I love you".  Which is poppycock.
o  So if you are soul mates with someone that means you are married even
after you are dead!  Its like the ole ball and chain is chasing you into
the afterlife.  Is nothing sacred?
o  It was popularized in new-agey California.
o  It sounds like a competing brand of oder-eaters.  (I know, I already
used that quip in a previous email.  Going back to the well here.)
o  Like ghosts can fuck.


I moved in with my girlfriend. Well, we moved in together.
The move went pretty well but, hopefully, that is almost over. We were moving on short notice. Everything seems to have belly-flopped. The new apartment is nice. It isn't just bigger, it is far superior.  I am sore in places that shouldn't be sore. I had my first diaper disaster. My parent's helped out much. I had to move an old ratty entertainment center down the stirs by myself  It weighs a ton. It s easy to get heavy stuff down the stairs when you just mean to throw it away regardless. I was strongly tempted to set up a camera and cart-wheel it down the stairs just to count the pieces at the bottom.
Elle decided she wanted to stay up all night and play. Mostly she cried and beat on things. Nat and I got about a half hour sleep. I've learned that two year olds have an irrational fear of bedtime. I've also learned that you can't let the kid run the show. You have to be the one in charge. Two year olds may know some words, but they cannot communicate. You can only give them orders and take their abuse. This isn't really true. It is an observation. What is really going on, is they are trying to learn how to rationalize and communicate.

The move is why the server is down. No DSL. The move is why I'm not on IM or answering emails very quickly. Worry not.