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


Well, it is a heck of a Halloween. It is raining outside and has been since like 5:30 or so. I was kind of hoping to get some snapshots of little goblins that happened by our place. Alas, was not meant to be. So, here are some random snaps I took last Friday.
This is Tiger's infamous "I know where you sleep" look.

Just plane cute Elle.

Elle trying to traverse the huge pile of shit at the front of our apartment so she can look out the window.
Too Cute.
Blog Game
Your Halloween Costume Should Be
A Flying Monkey
I don't get it. I suppose I could go back and try to force the different answers to find out what my options are, but I really don't care that much. They misspelled Halloween for goodness sake. I'm not sure I like this game.


Fortune Cookie
"Promise only what you can deliver".
Texas Renaissance Festival
Well, this is the last weekend before our wedding.
Costume of the week.
His left eye is artificial. You may remember him from such favorites as this picture. When he and I do things together we like to say "We only have one good eye between us."
The care wreck aftermath.
This was Halloween weekend. A guy in a sheep outfit showed up at camp followed closely by an even uglier guy in a Little Bo Peep outfit. That was pretty much the highlight of the camp. Nat and I got ready to stay out there for the night and then decided to pack everything up and head home before midnight. We got caught in a traffic jam behind an obnoxious guy who ended up falling asleep in his vehicle before they let traffic through. Life flight took off and everything. I have to tell you I could not see the cop on the right hand side. I didn't even realize  He needs one of those reflective vests.
Everything else I want to write sounds too much like a complaint so I'm going to stop here.


"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."
Things change. This weekend we were going to go out to TRF early on Friday to help set up. Well, Nat got another headache, poor thing, on Thursday so that fell through. We then planned on heading to my parent's place to make some skirts for the chain mail clad women who are in the wedding party on Saturday. We find out that Mike is going on Saturday to get some parts for his costume so we have to change that sewing thing to Sunday. We plan on sleeping here tonight, getting up early in the morning and heading out to Fair. One minor change.
Next week is the wedding. We plan on my parents taking Elle until the wedding Sunday. Then Bill takes Elle until after the honeymoon. My best man and I  plan on camping out Saturday night at Fair. Nat will be right down the street in an RV with the Bride's maids. They have  a tone of last minute things to get done on Saturday. I intend to buy some cloths for my aunt and uncle somewhere along the way. My best man will also need some outfit bits. What things are going to change on these plans you ask? Well, this is the third set of plans as far as I can remember.
We found a cool place for the honeymoon. It fits nicely with the theme of our wedding. It is Castle Avalon. It looks like a cool place. It is on a big piece of land with trails and such. I hope we have fun. I want to take some pictures. Wish me luck..
Buddy's blog
We went out to eat with friends this evening. While at dinner the subject of blogs came up. My buddy has a blog. He had three anecdotes to tell us this evening. I think he was trying to figure out which were worth blogging because he asked us to rate them. It was funny because Nat, his wife and I all had different rankings for the three stories. I'm not going to do the stories justice here. He will go into far greater detail I'm sure.
Baseball Tickets
Buy on line, or buy face to face. My buddy was trying to get baseball series tickets. One person tells him to buy them face to face to make sure he gets what he is buying. The other person tells him to buy them on line because you get a better deal. Well, my buddy goes on line. He picks out some tickets. They call him back and switch the tickets on him. The tickets still don't make it. He calls them back and gets switched again. Not only do they not send the original tickets, but he gets a completely different set of tickets on the day of the game. He sweat bullets all week. These were expensive tickets. From now on, face to face for those kind of tickets.
My buddy has a really cool client opportunity. The hardware they make not only impressed the client, but it impressed the client's customers who had no idea the new hardware was coming on line. That is so cool. That is the kind of things engineers live fore. This client is going to brag about my buddy's company at a conference soon. That might mean a bunch more sales.
Getting Yelled at by His Boss
My buddy works for a small company. The owner of the company exists to make the company work. He started out years ago screaming at his employees. now he gives a stern talking to. My buddy was getting his ass reamed by his boss for a delay due to a bug in the system of a new product still under development. This went on for like two hours. When my buddy gets out of his meeting, he checks his voice mail and finds out that fifteen minutes after he went into this meeting, the bug had been found and fixed by one of the other developers. Irony is a bitch.
Now, he damn well better blog about at least one of these stories or I'll feel like a dope.
Jen Rathbun

All music donated to the Programme by the artists. The running order for Programme 3 is:

“oneRedPix” - Miniluv
“Play In Traffic” - Vanessa John
“Dry County Blues” - Eric Wrong And The Do-Rights
“Married, Buried Or Gay” - Jen Rathbun
“Her Indoors” - Si Jubb Carruthers
“The Bloodwerk” - Viktoria Matthews
“Bengalesium” - Zombie Skull Death Cult
“Fliers” - Theory Anesthetic
“The Happy Song” - We’re Not Really A Group

As of last night, the Apparat Programme has 372 subscribers. Programme 1 was also direct-downloaded 1,865 times. Programme 2 was direct-downloaded 1146 times. Direct downloads of previous Programmes: 1 | 2

This is not the normal News Letter from Jen. This is her mention on a blog called Warren Ellis. Warren ( I assume that is his real name) lives in England. It is pretty cool that he would publish an artist from South East Texas. Good show Warren.
Answers vs Dictionary
I use links to a lot. I use links to too. I posted recently about the word "fair". I got the following email.

Hi Kelly,

    I found your blog as I was searching for quality blogs that list reference sources, such as I'd like to introduce an alternative: is a free reference source that, aside from serving as a dictionary, displays quick snapshot facts in entertainment, politics, current events, health, and much more. Our pages are free of pop up-ads and have a clean, user-friendly interface. provides clearer, cleaner and more accurate information on over one million subjects.  For an interactive comparison of and features, click here.

    There are several ways to boost your blog's readership using Easily link words, names or phrases on your site to explanations. Make searching even simpler for your readers by providing them with an search box directly on your blog.  For various style options, see our Webmaster Tools Page.

    Once last thing to spread the word on your blog: Make your blog an Answer on the Blogger Directory. Submit your blog, and, if approved, you and your blog will become an entry on

    Feel free to write me with your comments and ideas; we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Liz Cohen
Communications Coordinator
Get the Answers.

"Communications Coordinator"?? I think this means Marketing. That's OK. I went and looked at for the purposes of linkage. Check out the entry for the word "fair". Tons of information. As a matter of fact, too much information. It took me a minute or two to find the synonyms for "fair" itself. They have one really cool feature at the bottom of the page. The American Sign Language page has a video clip. Nice touch. I tried to figure out how to submit my blog, but I could not find the link. I don't think personal blogs are not what they are after.


It is "Fair" Goddammit!
I've gotten crap for using "Fare" and "Fair" [I think I used "faire" once] when talking about The Texas Renaissance Festival. OK, "Fare" Is completely off. Check out synonyms for the word "fair". Scroll down to the noun section.

Main Entry:   fair
Part of Speech:   noun
Definition:   carnival
Synonyms:   bazaar, celebration, centennial, display, exhibit, exhibition, expo, exposition, fall fair, festival, fete, gala, market, observance, occasion, pageant, show, spectacle

I'm not going to go back and correct anything. I never do.


Roiad gravel thing
I used to have a toy one of these when i was a kid. I thought it was some kind of snow thing back then. It is to flatten gravel roads and driveways. Taken Monday.

Monica's RV. Takent Monday.

Elle brushing teeth
Elle brushing her teeth. Ain't she cute?

halloween 1
The picture looks better than the real thing. There is more to come.

halloween 2
Closer view of the side window.

I tried SuSe Linux 10 on my primary machine last night. They have this thing called a Live DVD. What it does is allow you to boot the OS from a DVD without installing any software on your computer. This means you can test your hardware for compatibility before committing to a full install. I've always wanted to try SuSe. The last time I looked at it you could only do the FTP install. I could not get the install program to recognize the network card in the computer I tried so I gave up pretty quickly. Even this time the standard Intel Pro100 NIC (on the motherboard) took two tries to come up. The sound card acted like it was not working, but every time the "no sound device" error came up, the proper error sound would play through my headphones. I'm not sure what that means.
SuSe also comes with some sort of support for EmacsSpeak. This is a program that reads aloud. I have come to rely on that feature a great deal in the last few years. Anything over a couple of paragraphs I pop it into a reader and go on about my day. It has enabled me to read 10 books all in the 700 to 800 page range known as the Wheel of Time. I have also started using it to proof read my writing. It is amazing how much better one writes when one proof reads one's work before one publishes it. There are dozens of packages for Linux that tout reading aloud. This one appeared to have professional looking documentation. I also know that Emacs has been around for a long time and has a wide support base. Wish me luck.
SuSe will also have a full Apache web (HTTP) server install. This will make my primary machine a backup web server if my old Clunky Gateway/Frankenstein box goes down again. Remember Rita? She somehow managed to blow the power supply in my old web server. It was not plugged in during the storm. I'm still blaming it on the weather.
I have a 40 gigabyte drive laying on my desk. I intend to use it for the SuSe install on my main box. This will give me an opportunity to test out the EmacsSpeak and other features. I look forward to the day I realize it has been a week since I booted in windows. I don't do the multi partition thing, so my boot will be hard drive based. I'm terrified of blowing away my current install by mistake. Thus, I pull the hard drive out of th box while messing with the OS install.
This is what I want to do anyway. I hope to get started soon. The more I know about Linux the better. I can't help but feel that the next version of MS/OS is going to really piss a lot of people off. Mark my words.


From SuSe
This is a test post from the middle of Suse Linux Live DVD.
Snow in Pennsylvania.
PA Snow 2005
PA Snow 2005
Click for a larger image. She, my aunt, was complaining about an early cold snap. Her email stated
"It is only October 24th and we have not even had a frost yet. The snow weighed down the trees and broke off the branches. Many people in Waynesburg have no electricity and schools were delayed for 2 hours! "
Complain, complain.


I took the day off to go sign the marriage license. That effort took about twenty minutes plus travel time. The rest of the day was dropping off wedding stuff with family. That took all day.
Monica, 49, just bought a brand new minibike. It is cool. I meant to get a picture, but everyone was too cold. The weather has definitely turned toward Fall/Winter in these parts. Florida is getting a dose of hurricane for the third time this season. We get some of the most beautiful weather of the year. Hardly fare, but that is just the way it is.
I'm making a backup of some of my data to DVD. I found out ISO will only support just under 2 gigabytes. LDF apparently supports larger files. I hope the damn thing works in a computer if I ever need to retrieve the data. Well, it works on this machine.
I went to change Elle's diaper. She hates it when I do it. I'm not sure why. I must not do things correctly. I found out it pisses me off no end when she won't look me in the eye because she wants to tell me a lie. She has an easy time lying to me when she is in the next room. She can't get the words out when I'm looking her in the eye. Even when I turn her away and ask her the question she still has a very hard time. I'm not sure where that is going. It is just an observation.
It is past my bed time. I'm worn out. Elly got about five naps in the car. None of my friends blogged today. Off to bed.


Kilts Kilts Everywhere
While I was walking around Fare, I could not help but notice that every other guy there was waring a kilt. Half of them wore clean shaven heads. I think I may have found my popular fashion to follow. I stumbled across a store there that sells Utilikilts. They are generic kilts for every day use. They have mostly solid colors and are quite manly. I say if it is not made from a tartan, it is a skirt. But, I'm not going to say it to this guy.

Another Picture
TRF group
This is the group of folks I hang out with at Fare. They are a interesting bunch of people. I'm glad I fell into hanging out with them.

Sunday Thoughts
So, it is Sunday afternoon. I'm trying to think of something to blog about. I'm trolling other blogs looking for material to steel when I notice a bunch of stories about that report about who killed the Lebanon Prime Minister. Originally, the story is that an organized group of Syrian officials did it. Well, someone turned "track changes" on and got a bunch of names including the brother in law and uncle or something like that of the Syrian government. Anyway, This is about the tenth time I've heard of high level people getting screwed by track changes in MS Word. Maybe now that some highly dangerous governments are getting stiffed by MS, there will be a backlash that will get something done. The official line from MS is that "this is a feature, not a bug." That has pissed a lot of people off. Well, a lot of people who have been bitten by the problem. Let's see if the combination of the UN, who has gotten bitten by the MS Word bug recently and is trying to take over the Internet, and now Syria, a murderous corrupt family driven dictatorship, can convince MS to fix the "feature" without resorting to violence.
I suggest Open Office. You can save to PDF format straight from the application without any additional software. You are not tied to MS Windows either. That closes a slue of NSA infiltration and other hack attacks. Think about it.


Back Early
We went out to Fare Friday early. Well, early for us. Everybody said they were going to bring their kids. We brought Elle. No one else brought their kids. We came home Saturday evening. Oh, well, it was fun. We tried to arrange a single day for Elle to be out there. It just didn't work out. I didn't get any videos. I was really waiting for Sunday when Elle was to be in the parade and sporting some child sized chainmail. As I type this, the guys are out there having a great time. We will have a double good time next week.
Link to Pictures

Dimascus Steel
This sword is made from Damascus Steel. That means several layers of different hardness to allow it to be both bendable and stay sharp at the same time. This is what $5000+ buys you in a modern sword.

$16000 sword
That is what a $16,000 sword looks like. It is amazingly well balanced. The detail is all beautiful. In a word, "wow".

Directing Traffic
Elle Directing Traffic.

A friend of ours waring some nice sparkly necklace.


Where do i cash in?

My blog is worth $4,516.32.
How much is your blog worth?

Peta can eat a dick
Natalie has a link to Peta video depicting the cruelty to animals in an oriental country. It is extremely graphic and designed specifically to offend. It shows animals being tortured and then skinned. I don't have a problem with cats' skins being used as leather or fur. I disagree hardily with the treatment they receive in the video. Animals should be respected as fellow living creatures with the exception that they can be killed for food and products.
Peta can go fuck themselves. I refuse to acknowledge that Peta does any good anywhere. Their terroristic methods of attention getting make them a dangerous activist group in my book.


In the Corolla's Trunk
2 folding cots
1 queen size air mattress
2 adult sized folding chairs
1 child size folding chair
1 Igloo cooler
1 Colman stove
1 Colman lantern
4 canisters of Propane
1 portable folding table
1 large backpack with Fare garb outfits.
1 bag of canned food
1 Iron pot
1 small box full of cooking flatware
1 small lantern

In the Corolla's Back Seat
2 Sleeping bags
3 Bedding blankets
2 large pillows
1 Elle in a car seat
2 bags with Nat's Fare garb
While we were packing up this weekend I had to haul a bunch of stuff from the GP Large to the car. The car was parked at one end of the tent and we were sleeping at the other end. It didn't pay to walk through the tent. So, I had to climb over a rope and walk everything back to the car. I pulled the car forward about 30 feet. Nat said th breaks are sticky on the Toyota. She wasn't kidding. Once I got it rolling, I had to ride the break a bit to keep it from accelerating over the 1 or 2 mph I wanted to go. I still had to climb over a rope, but now I didn't have as far to fall.


Last weekend at Fare, two black men walked up to camp and started talking about the camping experience. I was a little nervous, because they were young obnoxious and a bit hyper. Normally, at the camp grounds, people are pretty laid back. These guys were animated and loud. We also met a very attractive black girl at Fare. She is in many of the pictures. I found myself relaxed around her, but still mindful of her race. There was a time in my life where I was dead set against interracial marriage. I was automatically on guard around black people. I used racial terms to describe whole groups. I've grown a great deal in the last twenty years. There is, however, still a tickle in the back of my mind that I must overcome on occasion. I hope that I will grow further and take every person I meet on a case by case basis and not prejudge based on ignorance.
That said, there are these couple of men in my work who congregate at the intersection near the elevator outside my office. They seem to meet nearly every morning a half hour or so after the place opens. I've herd them talk about cars, boats, TVs, and building tree houses. This morning one of the men was talking about the dangers of eating at buffets. He said it was unclean and germs got around easily. He also mimicked an oriental person at one point in the conversation. I don't remember what he said, but it was clearly offensive. I happened to be on my way to the bathroom at the moment and noticed it was a black man performing the impression.
Now comes the question to me. I find irony in that above paragraph. I've made fun of people based on race at different points in my life. I've always regretted the action. It was in the name of "belonging" to a group. I've always tried to belong. If it had been one of the white men performing the mockery, would I have even remembered the incident? Have I not noticed the same thing happening before?
The funny thing about reflection upon one's own world is you still use your own eyes to see yourself.


I'm trying to compress the video from the Texas Renaissance Festival last weekend. First of all, the video is terrible quality. I don't know what I'm doing yet. I have much to learn. It is jumpy. It is blurry. It is dark. It is an early attempt.
I had trouble capturing the video. I tried using Nero Capture to convert the video to Divx 5.2, but the files were corrupt. Then I tried the same thing with MPEG 2 and got the same result. I tried to capture to another format and something else blew up.  I ended up capturing to raw DV format (still an AVI) and then converting it with VirtualDub to Divx 6.0. It is much slower than doing it all in one step, but it is about the only way I can get it to work at all. I am having trouble getting the audio compression to line up properly with the video. Think a bad kung-fu film. I'm trying several different CoDec settings to find one that works. I like the noise reduction of Divx, but the sound has to align. The one that aligns nicely sounds like crap. The one that sounds good is off by a smidge. I'll keep trying. The final product will be a Divx 6.0 video and some version of MP3 audio. It will be around ninety megabytes. It will be hard to watch because it shakes so much.

UPDATE: The video is up. Forgive the quality.
I was listening to BBC Five Live today with Peter and Jane. They read out emails and text messages on the stories all the time. It is so much better and easier to screen than taking callers. They do take callers, but they are highly pre-screened. Every once in a while, they have a funny text. Today they had the following (from memory) "Please tell my husband Joe to turn off his mobile [cell phone]. He is connected to the house and all I can hear is Jane and Peter."
Now, that is a public service announcement.

Observations of Steven Wright
If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the famous erudite scientist who once said: "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen...and replaced by exact duplicates. His mind sees things differently than we do, to our amazement and amusement
Here are some more of his gems:
1- I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2- Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
3- Half the people you know are below average.
4- 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
6- If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
7- All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
8- The early bird may get the worm, the second mouse gets the cheese.
9- I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
10- OK, so what's the speed of dark?
11- Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
12- When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
13- Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to avoid work.
14- Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
15- I intend to live forever -- so far, so good.
16- Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
17- What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
18- Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
19- A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
20- The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
21- The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
22- Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
And some of my personal favorites........................
23- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
24- The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
25- My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

I don't normally steel an entire blog entry from another blogger, but this one was so concise and complete I couldn't bring myself to remove any of the entries. Steven Wright Quotes has even more great bits of wisdom.
Here are a couple more from that site linked above.
Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.
If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?
I had some eyeglasses. I was walking down the street when suddenly the prescription ran out.
If God dropped acid, would he see people?


Locked Up
So, people got locked up. Have you ever been to Fair and seen the jail? It is right between the jousting grounds and the Sea Devil Pub. Nat and a bunch of other folks were nabbed by someone just after the chainmail fashion show and dragged off to the jail. Nat and Rozen were handcuffed. There were nine folks in in chainmail in the jail cart. Then, the jailers kept adding regular people who would pay to get in just to have a picture taken. Remember it is smaller than an elevator. Anyway, this guy paid to have every one locked up. It was a big funny joke. Only, the people in chainmail were not laughing after about fifteen minutes. It was hot. Most of them were getting claustrophobic. They had just run threw the whole grounds in the 12:00 parade then dancing around in the fashion show in all those heavy pieces of real steel mail. Things were getting a bit touchy. I paid for Nat to get out. She leaned over and said "Hey honey, want a kiss?!?" When I kissed her she snatched the money out of my hand. She paid for herself and one of the other girls who was starting to  feel bad. She and I had a quick conversation about how serious the situation was becoming. I coughed up my emergency $20 and bailed out all but one of the remaining chainmail folks. They wouldn't let us get the other girl out. Finally a friend of hers showed up and borrowed some money to get her out as well. All in all, it was a minor fiasco.
Now, one good thing came out of it all. When Nat informed the girls who paid for their freedom, I got gang kissed by most of the girls. Nat says I had the biggest smile on my face. There is a blank spot after the kisses induced by bliss. Chris actually gave me permission to take two pictures of him. That is huge for him.

In the far right picture is a guy in black leather armor. He is the guy who started it all. In his defense, he meant it all in fun. I don't think he meant for the chainmail clad folks to have to pay for their freedom. He only paid for three people to be locked up. Nat got him though. She got him to volunteer to be locked up, hence the picture. It turns out he was in there for forty five minutes. Payback is a bitch. =]  He is going to go out next weekend even though he has to work to make it up to folks.
So, I work on the third floor. The snack machine is on the first floor. I get on the elevator at the third floor and press the (1) button. The elevator stops on the second floor. A guy gets on. He does this triple take of the floor number. I mean, I had to stop my self from asking him "what floor do you want?" There is no basement. I thought for a moment he meant to get on an "up" elevator and would ride this one back up, but no. He got off at the first floor and headed out.
I got my PayDay bar and went back to work. It is one of those things that has stuck with me all afternoon. It plaid repeatedly, like a crappy song that won't go away. I had to blog it to evict it from my mind.


Fest Pictures
You can find the latest Fest pictures Here. A wonderful time had by all, or at least those with a talent for it.
Here are a few examples.
That is the kitchen. Yes, Heath has won several awards for brisket, chicken and other forms of roast beast.
Why I go to Texas Renaissance Festival.
Some of the "fun" going on between friends at Fest. I think I ended up paying for six people to get out of the jail.
Bacon Bacon Bacon Bacon Bacon BACON!!!
We head out Friday evening and set up in Christal's tent. I finally figured out how to properly pump up the air mattress. That was kind of nice. I got to change in front of a dozen people. We got up Saturday. I tried to put on my armor, but all the Chicago screws kept coming apart. I ended up buying a shirt and some "wrap-pants". These pants are just a single cut piece of cloth with draw strings that hold them on. They are sixty bucks. They probably take twenty minutes to sew by some one who has done it for a while. Anyway, the pictures are from the whole weekend. I had my life threatened six times I think. Some of the same people are the first to ask about the pictures. Well, here they are. Enjoy.
Alexis has a new blog. Check it out.


New Cop Car

2006 Chrystler Police car from RoatTest.comFor the 2006 model year, the pursuit-rated 5.7-liter Hemi version and the Hemi Charger sedan join the lineup. Rated at 340 hp and 390 lb-ft, it gives the Magnum/Charger a power-to-weight ratio of less than 12:1. (Crown Victoria: 16.5:1, Impala: 15:1.) This translates into 14.0 quarter mile times at 100 mph and a 146 mph governed top speed.

And it looks tough too. (click the image for a larger version)
I've asked cops about police cars. They all say they would rather have one that took a curb over one that took a corner. The description of the suspension on this vehicle makes it sound like plenty of thought went into it. (hat tip The Daily Brief)

Sammy rubs an old lamp and a genie appears and grants him a wish. Sammy wishes for peace in the Middle East, and the genie looks at the map and says: "Look, mate, I can grant you many things, but this one is an impossibility... people have been trying for this one for 5,000 years and it's a killer... isn't there anything else you'd like to wish for?"
Sammy thinks for a moment and says: "Well, my wife Miriam... she's a bit timid in the bedroom area... is there any chance you could get her interested in oral sex?"
The genie scratches his head for a minute and thinks. Then he says: "Can you just let me have another look at that map of the Middle East?"
Stolen From NormBlog

Shamelessly taken out of context for shits and giggles.
Ubuntu Linux
I've been wondering which Linux to try on a desktop machine. A couple of weeks ago I had my Linux web server go down due to a blown power supply. I had Fedora Core 4 ready and waiting for a quick install. Fortunately, the system came up without much incident. It has Mandrake 9.? on it, but that is a French distribution. Thus, I'm looking for something new. I've never used Fedora before. It is the RedHat excuse for using open source software for an enterprise operating system. Well, now I'm hearing more an more about Ubuntu Linux. Slashdot ran a story yesterday about the new release. Now I'm hearing about it on blogs. DistroWatch has an extensive list of links on Ubuntu.
So many people want to compare Linux to MS Windows. That is not a good comparison. They fulfill different needs. I have only used Linux in a server capacity so far. However, I want to get off the Windows habit. I'm not just cheap. I am genuinely worried about the direction of both the company and the operating system. The company wants to become AOL, which is a failed company by the way. The OS wants to become a TV box with a single button labeled "Next".. I want a choice in the matter.
Has any one out there in vast Kelly readership used or had experience with Ubuntu Linux? What is your favorite distro and why?


Fuck-Up Levels
Fuck-Up Description
Reverse Fuck Up, actually works in your favor
Ends up being a moot point. Nothing good or bad happens.
Loss of property
Loss of job or income
Loss of friend
Loss of best friend
Loss of love or separation
Permanent damage to person (below level 9)
Loss of limb or sense
Someone dies
This came up today. I had a level a potential level 7 fuck-up. Don't ask the details. A friend and I originally wrote this list in middle school. I think I got it right. I'm sure there is room for interpretation. You get the idea.
I love this kind of thing. I always wonder where words come from. The blog Done with Mirrors has some posts every now and then that simply define and trace the history of words. I can't get enough of it. I do not even have the patience, but I think I would love to track down the meaning of words and phrases.
The meaning of Halloween among other related words.


Top News
I'm getting complacent. Let's look at the top news for Yahoo today. What is "news" coming to?
Latest Iraq Suicide Attack Leaves 30 Dead
I see this same headline nearly every day. It just doesn't grab me any more. Something like 35,000 U. S. Troops survive another Terrorist bombing in Iraq, now that would get my attention. Well, for a while anyway.
Natural Gas Users to Take Hit This Winter
This hurts. I knew it was coming. How much? A lot. There is going to come a point where people cannot afford to drive to work.
Economic Fallout From Bird Flu a Concern
Oh, not to mention the piles of bodies that have not yet materialized. They say it could kill 1.2 million Americans if it does what they think it might. Scary stuff. I'm investing in canned food and shotguns.
Apple Expected to Unveil Video iPod
It is about frigging time. If it does satellite TV and surfs the web, I'm in.
Report: It's Over for Jude and Sienna
Who put this up as a "top story"? Who Cares? He banged the babysitter. He deserves it. She was right for leaving his cheating ass.


Work was work. I'm busy. It is kind of nice. We had an update at our company to Windows SP2 and it screwed up a bunch of my stuff. Most people have no troubles at all, but some loose some registry connections. These glitches cause a prompt to come up every time you hit save in an Office product. I wish these annoying things just wouldn't happen. It is the reason I have a job though. Today, I had to track down yet another bad registry entry that popped up for the same old reason. It is a drag.
I got home and we washed one of the bed rolls (sleeping bags). It survived the washer, but I am terrified to dry it because of the plastic outer skin. It is laying across some bins right now, but I doubt it will dry properly.
Then, as we are putting Elle to bed, she zigs when I zag and she head-butts me in the nose. I haven't had a bloody nose in years. I had forgotten how much of a stun effect they have. It was only a drop or two. Now my nose hurts. I'm afraid it will swell. That will make my sinuses even more messed up. I hope I'm back on track by Fest this weekend.
Speaking of Fest, I've been looking at swords on eBay. They look pretty good, but they are amazingly cheap. I wonder what the problem is. They must be made in China or be hollow or something. They scare the heck out of me. Maybe they are cursed.
Chicken and Dumplings

Dump into pot:
    * Can of Chicken Broth (large one)
    * Can of Cream of Celery Soup (can use chicken, I just like celery more)
    * Can of chicken.
On each of the cans, after dumping contents then fill the can about 1/3 full of water and swish around to get any last bits of contents and dump that in also.
Bring to a boil.
Take a can of refrigerator biscuits (the ones that come in a tube) and divide each biscuit into about 4 pieces and add to boiling soup.  It takes a while to tear or cut the biscuits into pieces so I usually do that while waiting for the soup to boil.
After adding the biscuits, cover and turn the heat down to a medium-low and it'll be done in about 10-15 minuets.  DO NOT STIR or the biscuits/dumplings become water-logged and sink to the bottom with out puffing up.  I actually like them that way too.  After you scoop out the first course, the dumplings will sink anyway.

You can blog it if you make it.
Next time I make it I want to add some vegetables too.

Well, I have not yet made it. Since Chicken and Dumplings is Nat's favorite, I have a good feeling about his one.
I wish Anna would blog more often. She is an interesting person. She could just cut and paste half our emails and have a collection of rich posts.
Instant Message out of the blue.
"His eyes were cold. As cold as the bitter winter snow that was falling outside. Yes, cold and therefore difficult to chew..."
James says he got this off SlashDot, but I can't find it.
"What is with the guy coated in blood?" This is a question Adam put forward about this picture. Well, Jen, the blond in the background, is an EMT type person. I'm not sure what her exact qualifications are, I'm using that term in a lay fashion. The guy to the left (the Amish beard) is called "Doc", so I assume he has some kind of medical background as well. Jen is the one the cops call though. The guy had impeded the path of a fist for reasons unknown. Something to do with a girl. Unfortunately, he needed stitches so the guys couldn't do much for him besides clean him up. He did repent when that ice cold water hit him in the fifty degree chill.
The next morning, a girl stepped in a hole and twisted/broke her ankle. Jen and Doc were Johny on the spot again. That sort of thing happens often out there. They are good folks.


This just in, Dark Matter is a load of crap, Kelly was right.

Good bye Dark Matter, Hello General Relativity
Posted by Hemos on Monday October 10, @10:30AM
from the all-einstein-quotes-you-know-are-wrong dept.
dr. loser writes "The CERN newsletter reports that a new paper by scientists at the University of Victoria has demonstrated that one of the prime observational justifications for the existence of dark matter can be explained without any dark matter at all, by a proper use of general relativity! What does this imply for cosmology and particle physics, both of which have been worrying about other aspects of dark matter?"

I knew it! I said ranted several times that Dark Mater is a load of CRAP!.
Fest Fact
We only went out to TRF on Sunday last weekend. While getting ready to head out, one of the guys, I think it was Doc or Chris, said something very profound. He said something like "You know, when we [the guys] all ware armor, we are ready in half the time than when we ware the other costumes." He continued that it is because the armor is finite. You know when it is done. Whit the other cloths, you can keep trying different things and you will never really find a "complete" uniform. A frightening point. Frightening, because he is right.


Pictures from this weekend at TRF. The campgrounds are extremely dusty, so please ignore the dust storm look of some of the photos. We went out late Saturday evening and stayed Sunday. I particularly like how the kilt outfit is coming. I just can't get over how big that GP-Large Tent is. (one two) We had great pork both Saturday night in the form of a pork roast, and Sunday morning in Blue Ribbon bacon. All cooked by Tony. He looks like he can cook up some bacon. We got use out of our Colman stove. It was a great weekend. I wish we could have made Saturday. They said it was nice weather.
Check out the REAL repeating crossbow. It is functional and is based on a Chinese design. They said it had a group of about four inches at ten feet and that was without aiming. Those were dowel rods and they shattered two of them. It has a 100 lb pull and cocks with that leaver. Not bad. I'm impressed.
If I were not so damn tired, I would put more up. Hopefully I'll think of more later.


Rita, the hurricane, taught me something fundamental. For a short time I was put out of my home. That had not happened before. Even though I went straight to my parent's place only a little ways away, I was still running to safety in a very minor sense. I was displaced, as they say. The power went out at my apartment complex tor nearly two days. That was about the extent of the damage.
Now, this morning I read about an earthquake in Pakistan. Suddenly the memories of evacuating my family come to my mind. The stories I hear from those at work and their families come poring before me. I remember the displace families at the dome. A friend of mine took in some strangers and helped them get jobs. I imagine the displaced families, moving to a friend's place or with their extended family. I imagine the people who have burned bridges over anger who had no where to go. I say a prayer, learn a lesson, and move on.


Plans Change
Things change pretty quickly sometimes. I came home from work and found out that Elle was pretty sick. She had a nasty cough. Nat was feeling bad too. To be honest I didn't feel all that hot myself. Nat and I decided to let Elle go to Bill's place. We were far too run down to go camping tonight. We will make another decision tomorrow when we get up. We both still want to head out to fest. This will cut into the picture taking. We may only head out for the day. if we do that, I doubt I'll ware the armor. It does give me more time to find a bandanna. More to come.
Here we go on week two. We leave this afternoon and head out. We are already making adjustments to our equipment list. This time we need to take more food and a means to cook it. Heath has a huge kitchen trailer, but he has to work this weekend so that is not an option. We got a Colman stove. I always wanted one of those for some reason. We got four bottles for it, but I'm not sure how long they last. It is supposed to be 50 degrees this weekend so we need to take plenty of blankets. That is good news for the armor front. It was hot and humid last weekend. All these fest cloths were designed for a cooler climate.
My wonderful mother tracked down some saddle soap for me this week.  I need it for the leather armor. She found a guy who makes saddles and asked him which was best. What a gal. Anyway. I cleaned the armor last night. I also cleaned the boots. That stuff works. I'm not sure how much to use, so I just used a dab at a time. It seemed to work.
The one thing we cannot find is an air bed frame. Since the hurricanes that swept through the south East, people are displaced. Many people needed an additional temporary bed for relatives and friends visiting in the long term. Those things are spot on for this requirement. All the stores are cleaned of them. was out of stock at the time of this post. I can only find the frame I need at twice the price.
Bill will pick up Elle today. She has a cold and is all snotty. I would say we should keep her and stay home, but Bill's family has some pretty cool plans this weekend so that isn't really an option. He is a good guy and knows quite a bit about taking care of kids. We are only a phone call away most of the time at fest, so I'm not worried. I wish Elle felt better so she could enjoy the weekend and cool weather better.
I just read that last paragraph and a tear came to my eye. I sound like a dad. Where did that come from?
My father just handed me a Colman propane lantern. I used to have one a million years ago, but the case was a bad design. The top of the case (with the handle) attached in such a way that it would come apart at the first chance. Thus, the lantern hit the ground and the glass broke. The glass costs more than the lantern. I haven't figured out that one yet. This new one is nice. I don't think it has ever been used. The case folds open on hinges so there is little chance of the lantern flying out. I need to find the propane cheaper. It is $2 a bottle at Academe. I thought they were recyclable, but I don't think so. Every one says to throw them away. Seems like a waist to me. Between the stove and the lantern, I'm glad we picked up one of those extended lighters from the dollar store.
We only plan on going in on Saturday. We will take our time Sunday to break down camp and head back early. This is the plan anyway. There is just too much stuff we need to get done. Some of the camp folks get there on Friday to set up and don't leave until Monday. Must be nice. Some of those campers cost $250000. I have trouble affording an air mattress frame. No one said things are fare. If life were fare, Nat and I would go watch Serenity before heading out this evening. That might put us on the ground in a tent at around midnight. Drat.
I plan on taking the video camera this time, but I don't make any promises. A couple of once in a life time things happened last weekend, but I'm not going to hold my breath this time. Expect some pictures though.
Blog Stuff
Normally I don't bother with this stuff, but I just couldn't resist. This comes from NormBlog.

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Well here it is (by my count anyway).
"I squatted down and just staid there to watch."
I'm not going to give any background. That sentence is kind of creepy and thought provoking on it's own.


Jen Rathbun News Letter

I'll be on the FOX morning show tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 7, from 7-9 am.  I'll be hanging with the weatherman and doing Jen songs.  Sounds like they'll do an interview with me closer to 9 am.

Exciting, huh?

This came in email today. Jen is a budding artist. I will be able to say "I knew her when ..." and no one will believe me. Go hit her site and get her second CD "Coffee, Chocolate and Men". It's jazzy and fun.
I moved the signature to the right hand side. I just like the look better.
I've been surfing the net for years, and this i the first I've heard of this site. It is a collection of Flash files that are the "30 Second" version of feature films. It is Angry Alien Productions. I think my favorite is Jaws. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Our Cat
Our cat, Tiger, yes, original, I know, is quite needy. I'm not a cat person, but Nat is. Anyway, We go camping most weekends throughout the Fall and the cat hates it. We don't take the cat, he just blows a gasket when we leave. He parks in front of the door. He puts his toys in our way. He sits down with the bags like one of us will accidentally pick him up and pack him in the trunk. Then, when we get back, he meows, and I mean "MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!", then pukes all over the place because he didn't eat while we were gone and gorged once we returned. We have a nerves cat with issues.
He is lovable enough the rest of the time.
This is some advice I gave a fellow blogger just starting out. Some of this is stuff I've put here before.
Sitemeter: I never did get the automatic thing to work. I had to copy an paste the code on to my template.
Comments: The comments out there in the world are crazy. No two are alike. I love getting comments, even when they are "fuck you" or something telling me I'm an idiot. I've only removed one comment that was racist.
Backup: DO NOT TRUST BLOGGER!! I cannot emphasize that enough. I use an external HTML editor (Mozilla /Edit) to create my posts and keep a copy of every single one on my computer. Then, I back them up on DVD every now and again.
I also recommend this for editing while you type. Half the posts on blogs are "I just lost a long post and I'm pissed." This happened to Nat a couple of times.
Hits: The best way to get people to come to your blog is to comment on their blog or in forums. Stay on topic and use a very small amount of text to put your link in like a signature.
Too Many Blogs
You know you have been reading far too many political blogs when you have a dream that Princess Diana gives a speech condemning the political correct assassination of a fictional pig. Click here if you have not heard the whole story.
Diana gave a heck of a speech. She compared the atrocities of the crusades with the atrocities of 9/11 and the London Tube bombings. She said she finds the terrorists as offensive as they find her. She said "I'm not blowing up your children am I!" Diana had a bit more of a Cockney accent than normal in my dream. That's a dirty girl. Oh, wait. I've said too much.
Have you heard about the Oklahoma Suicide bomber? Don't feel like your are left out. The MSM (Main Stream Media) isn't covering much. I saw some articles. However. ZombieTime has a ton of links. He has taken the time not only to compile the information, but also adds some intelligent incite. Go have a look.


Wow, I always said Adam needed a blog. Check it out. He is a fellow DnD geek. Now, I have proof.
Google and Sun

Internet search giant Google and network computing company Sun Microsystems have entered into a multi-year agreement to distribute Sun's software technologies, a move some say is meant to offer users an alternative to Microsoft products.

You know, this is one of those times I'm not going to hold my breath. I'm going to reserver judgment on whether I think this is good or bad until I can lay a mouse pointer on some software. People keep speculating that this is going to revolutionize the way people use software. I hope so. The way things are working right now is just not working that well.
I've heard that the idea here is to offer an online version of Star Office. I use Open Office at the house. I need a word processor about four times a year. That does not justify $200 to $700 for an office suite. I wish Thunderbird had a passable calender and would sync with my palm. If it did, I could go 100% Linux. Time will tell.
[begin rant]
Frigging bus. I get off work. I walk one mile to the bus stop in the heat. I turn the corner just int time to see the bus go by without me. I wait in the heat and noise. I get on the next bus and ride home. All is good. Well, until they stop at the quick-mart down the street from my stop. One hundred meters short of my stop. I make a "humph" noise, roll my eyes and stomp off the bus. The driver says "I'll just be a minute". and runs into the store to take a whiz. Now I start walking in the heat again to cover the hundred meters to my apartment. This time is no different than the other fifty times this has happened. Since I made a scene getting off the bus, the driver hurries up. She is only in the store for a minute and a half. If I had not gotten off the bus, the drivers usually take four or five minutes. I've clocked them. It really makes a difference depending on the driver and how pissed off I look. I have fantasized about jumping in the driver seat and driving to my stop. Let the driver walk the hundred yards. Now, I understand having to take a whiz after sitting in the seat all day. Drivers need a break. Five minutes is not even that much time to worry about really. But, it is just short of MY STOP!!!
[end rant]


Light Reading

I remember the "Bloom County" controversy in 1987, when the strip contained the line "Reagan sucks." My editor at the time was delighted and ran the strip as printed, justifying it with the explanation that it means, or could mean, "sucks eggs" rather than being a reference to fellatio. She got letters and subscription cancellations anyhow. I don't think she cared: She really, really thought Reagan sucked anyhow, however you interpret the verb.

More than you ever wanted to know about "sucks". Be careful, you just might learn something.


Fest Pictures
Check out some Friday night antics. No one is in garb. This is just the party Friday night before Opening day of the Texas Renaissance Festival in 2005. It is at camp Safe Haven.
Straight to the pictures

Camps of Note at Fest
There are a couple of camps of note. These are just a couple that I've heard of so far. These are groups of people who decided to hang out together and have fun. They are Chaos, Brigadoon, Avalon, Safe Haven, and Nottingham. I want to go into a detail of each of these camps. It will have to come another day. I'm frigging tired. I don't think any of these camps have web pages, though they should.

The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering that some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials.
Inspector John E. Lewis, deputy assistant director of the FBI for counterterrorism, told the Globe that the investigation hasn't yielded any evidence that the vehicles were stolen specifically for car bombings. But there is evidence, he said, that the cars were smuggled from the United States as part of a widespread criminal network that includes terrorists and insurgents.
Cracking the car theft rings and tracing the cars could help identify the leaders of insurgent forces in Iraq and shut down at least one of the means they use to attack the US-led coalition and the Iraqi government, the officials said.

So, when are we going to put a bounty on the head of car thieves? This is the second time I've written on this subject.
More TRF
I felt bad on Sunday. I heard later that this kind of thing happens. The camp grounds are extremely dusty. The grass is wild weeds. I sneezed my head off and coughed quite a bit. I blew black snot all over the place. I'm sure that didn't help the dust situation. Ken had trouble with his allergies too. Fortunately, once I got to sleep I mostly stayed asleep. I think the generators drown out most of the camp night noises.
Not only is my nose sore, but my thighs are killing me. Walking in armor is aerobic exorcise. My knee caps and a spot on both shoulders are sore from the armor rubbing my skin. I have some black marks where there should be no black marks from the armor. I'm not sure how that happened. Oh, wait, did I mention it was hot as a blacksmith's balls? I did get a better pare of pants for under the armor so that should help next time.
I need to get some saddle soap for the armor. As mentioned above the dust is kind of crazy in the camp grounds. Everything gets covered in a layer of beige dust. My boots are black, but they turn the same color as the sand in about three steps. I quickly stopped trying to knock off the sand and started covering accidental clean spots that arose. Live and learn..
I forgot to mention the guy who graciously stopped by camp in only a sporran. Typically, a sporran is worn with a kilt, or at least SOMETHING else. They are an accessory to a larger outfit. This is the first time I've heard of someone doing the whole sporran-only motif. He was polite.
I didn't touch a computer the whole time, even though there was one available. Ken's company has laptops with always on Cellular connections. He drives so damn much, that he is miles away from any friendly Internet connection. He needs a secure connection even at construction areas. The drive back to town from Fest is an hour or more one way and $20 worth of gas. It only makes sense. He offered me the use of the laptop while I was staying at the Camp on Sunday. I never even considered it. Even with the rain, it was just nice to sit under the tarp and snooze. If only i had thought of bringing a hammock.
Photographers, we ran into both the people who said they will take photos at our wedding. Man, they look like professionals. I am so glad. We may get a mix of film and digital, but I'm not worried about it. We will find a way to compensate them for their time. People at TRF are proving to be pretty cool so far.
I spent too much money. I promised to spend even more in the future. It is killing me. I'm so cheap. Well, I'm almost done. Well, one is never "done" with a hobby. I plan on using this stuff six to eight weekends a year. That is more than some people use their hobby stuff. Plus, it is camping and eating barbecue.. That is good old American fun, right? ... Please donate to your heart's content by clicking the "donate" button to the right. =]


Where to begin. There were a lot of firsts this weekend.
Ken and Heath went out to the camp grounds around noon or so. They set up a GP-Medium and another GP-Large before we got there. Well, Christel put up the large. They also had a trailer set up that is a huge wood burning kitchen.
I was so excited at work I was antsy on the way home. We packed the car like Grapes of Wrath and headed out. We got out to the camp ground after dark. I needed quite a bit of help putting up the tent. I had not even cracked it before we headed out. Like five people showed up with HUGE flashlights to of the darkness. Ken helped me put up the tent in no time. We partied until the wee hours of the morning. We fell asleep to the drone of ten generators. I'm not sure when I went to bed, but I know I missed some of the fun.
Heath also lent us a air mattress frame. That thing is worth the investment. It holds the air mattress off the floor and makes it about the same size of a regular bed. They fold up in a snap and fit in with all the rest of the camping equipment. I should not complain about the setup. Chris brought his bed. That's right. He packed up his bed, mattress, box spring, frame and all and put it in one corner of the GP-Large. Now, that is camping. We expect him to show up with his Lazy Boy and night stands next week.
We got up at the crack of 10:00. I put on the armor that Ken has for sale. I wore it all day and nearly died three times from the heat. Ken's armor weighs about 85 pounds. He nearly took Nat's eye out with one of his armor spikes. ([from Nat:] I still can not see correctly with that eye.) We saw Nat's mom who works at the "torture chamber" attraction. We wondered around and had a bunch of fun. We hung out with the group for a while then struck out on our own. We were supposed to go to the wine tasting, but when we got there I just didn't feel like going in. There was audience participation required. I'm just not into that.  In fact, I hate it. I come to watch a show, not be the show. Anyway That was a waste of $90.
Saturday evening was another night of hanging out and having fun. Heath cooked up a ton of meat. They switch off who pays for the meat. I ate until I was sick. Forty or fifty people (including one of the local cops) came by for a bite. Ken and Chris start wrestling on the ground in the common area between the tent and the kitchen trailer. (Yes, kitchen trailer.)  They have been friends for  a couple of decades. While they had each other pinned in the dust, Nat sneaked up and goosed both of them.  Each thought the other had done it and started fighting just that much harder. It was hilarious. They where the only two present who did not get the joke until it was explained later.
Nat's brother Daniel came out after some convincing (lots of single women in chainmaille). He went to the fest with Nat the next day.
We fell asleep by the sound of generators. I did manage to garbage one of our tent's zippers on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Ken again came to the rescue.
I felt kind of bad. I ended up staying at the camp grounds instead of going into the fest. No one seemed to mind. They all knew it was my first weekend so they cut me some slack. This gave me time to load the car and pack up the tent. Now, the tent went down in about five minutes. It took me the rest of the hour to get it back in the bag. Remember, fold, do not roll.
I fell asleep on one of the deck chairs under a tarp that had been strung between the GP-Medium tent and the trailer Kitchen. I get a phone call from Nat. She says it is raining in the fest. I look that direction and sure enough there are huge dark clouds coming my way. I'm the only one in camp so I start throwing stuff under the huge tent and packing stuff away. A bunch of stuff gets wet anyway. I was glad I had packed our stuff. It was still fun.
Nat and I drove home and took showers before picking Elle up from my parent's place. Now I'm home and I'm ready to pass out. I didn't take many pictures. I was far to busy trying to learn the ropes. There will be many weekends of photo opportunities in the future.
Good night. ... wait, something is missing. ... no generators. I'll have to put a playing card in the fan or something.