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



I cannot get enough of rally cams. These guys run down dirt roads at a hundred MPH. This video has one really cool feature. You can hear the co-driver giving the instructions. They rate the turns with numbers. The numbers are just an opinion of how hard the turn is. A five is not so bad a 2 is pretty tough. The distances between turns of other events is measured in 100 or 300. Again this does not mean 100 meters or anything. it is just an objective meaning of how far.
Cools stuff. Considering I cannot drive, it is cool looking over their shoulders as they blow down the dirt roads.

Check out the wicked jump in this rally video.

Things don't always work out the way they plan.

Goggle Video

Looks like fun. They look cold.
OH, Bullet Hole Pictures

Tell me that does not look like a bullet hole. It looks to me to be a 9mm or bigger headed outbound. I can take measurements if any one is interested. We are going to get this fixed asap. I wonder if they can save the little piece of siding that is messed up. The second window on the left is fine. However, we may not be able to find the matching window frame so we will probably have to replace both.
There is a gun range out there. If someone has a very high powered rifle and fires it just right the bullet just might make it to our place, maybe.
More House
I was sick the whole day. I woke up with a headache and a dizzy feeling. By the time I saw the bullet hole, I was a mess and I could feel my heartbeat in my head. My eyes kept going cross and wouldn't focus. My ears hurt and kept popping.  With visions of aneurysms in my head (kind of literally) we negotiated to get the blinds back and some money to fix the window. I'm so glad I took the entire day off. I was a wreck, just like I thought.
We went back to the house after signing and at least covered the window up. The guy at Home Depot said we might be looking at $600 to $800 which is what we negotiated. Hopefully they don't have to pull out the whole frame because that will run into more money.
I'm really glad we had Kristin there. She and her mom can play hardball pretty well.
Well, I just got off the phone with the phone company. They have a service that helps you switch over your electricity and other utilities as well. Nothing gets done until Tuesday and Wednesday. That works for me. The alarm is still active under the other lady's name until then. Good deal.
I'm going to give TXU energy a try. Some of my friends tried it and say it isn't bad. It is not as much savings as I had hoped, but they don't make you sign up for multiple years. I like that.
We own a house!!! We own a house! =]


Well, we own a house. I'm sick of dealing with it to the point of not caring any more. Here are some gripes. None of these things are worth crying over. They are just things I need to deal with
# People walking through our driveway to get to the store on foot. That is going to have to stop. Either I need to extend the fence or put up some other kind of non-invasive barrier to prevent people from going through our property.
# The vacant lot next to us is only big enough for a small gas station. That is not going to be fun.
# We are  right next to the main road.
# The neighbors were sitting outside smoking pot at around nine thirty this evening. They seem like nice enough folk. Too bad Nat is violently allergic to marijuana.
# There is a storage facility of some kind behind us. It appears to be industrial. There are strip malls to the left and to the right.
# We were driving around after dark and noticed about three bands of roving hoodlums.
# We are basically a mile and a half from a mall. I've not heard of many places near malls that don't go down hill. That worries me.

Bullet Hole
Something that almost killed the deal is the bullet hole in the back window. I've listed some facts about the bullet hole that might be interesting to those out there in blog land.

The two stories about the bullet hole.

1) The first story is that the husband/boyfriend had an accident last Fall while cleaning a gun. It is a pistol round. I bet a .45 or so.
2) The first thing out of her mouth was denial. "It must have happened since I moved out." She said the police called her after the alarm went off. She has no idea what happened.

What might have happened

1) Her daughter looked like a hoodlum to me. She had the gang looking tattoos and just kind of fit the profile. I'm thinking she may have had a party that went nuts or a drug deal that went bad.
2) This woman and her boyfriend/husband were clearly at each other's throats. I bet he kicked in the front door (the door has been kicked in) and took a pot-shot over the bed to raise tensions.
3) Some of the local hoodlums broke in and shot up the place after it was vacant. There was evidence of mildew under the window, so it has been broken for a while. Hell, we patched it tonight with a sheet of plastic and some duct tape.
4) Nat just came up with a very likely scenario. The husband comes home to find his own front door latched. He hears a commotion in the master bedroom. He kicks in the front door only to discover his wife in bed with another man. He fires the gun in anger. Did he hit anyone? That would explain a lot. That would sum up several loose ends.

Running Scared
I am terrified. This is the biggest thing I've ever bought and I have a ton of reservations about it and the neighborhood. I have come to the conclusion that if we get broken into, I'm not going to replace things until I fortify the place. As it is, we have the alarm company's information. We are going to call them first thing tomorrow and get the service started up before we move a stick of furniture.

If you need to find out what kind of stuff has happened to a car, you can get hold of a place called carfax. Someone needs to come up with the same thing for homes and apartments. If a crime has been committed there  or the place has been gutted you should be able to find that out. If there are gangs that claim that area as their own you need to know it before your buy.
I better get started. That kind of information is worth some coin for some people.

Well, I'm off to bed. We need to get some sleep before tomorrow. We still need to talk with this apartment complex. Well, I'm not going to list all the crap we still need to do. We need to create a home in a house now. Hopefully everything works out.
Right now my neighbors in the next apartment are making  a bunch of noise. At least we only have one neighbor within earshot now. They look like a noisy crew, but the pot smoking will hopefully keep them to a dull roar.


Nothing worked at work. I had to fix things that I thought were working today. Nothing too major. I am taking tomorrow off to take care of the house stuff. It is either ours tomorrow at around 11:00 or so, or I tell them all to go to hell and walk away with a vow never to own a house.
The system is set up to rip you off. I'm going to pay out over half a million dollars for this house over the next 30 years. It makes me sick that it is so frigging hard to get a loan. If the insane woman we are buying the house from doesn't cough up her part of the home owner association fee, I may actually just walk and sue them for violating a signed contract. I'll have to wait and see how I feel at the moment.
Nat has done all the work on this house thing. She found the house. She found the insurance. She did the legwork. I have to call in tomorrow on the phone, electricity and whatever else. Our realtor counted cable as a utility. That's funny. I cannot imagine living without electricity or water. The phone is on my optional list. Cable, however, is still a luxury to me.


Nat got a cute hair cut. I will have to get a picture up. She was browsing Craig's list and stumbled across a cool hair place called Toni & Guy. She got a really cool hair cut for nothing. They do training on Tuesday nights and you can get in for free if you are willing to be experimented on. Fortunately, things have worked out.
She was on Craig's list very early in the morning last night when she noticed the post. She called that moment and got the appointment. The lady was surprised to get a response that quickly. We also got a bunch of free cardboard boxes off Craig's list. We will probably get a dog off the site as well. I remember hearing about the site years ago. I've never gotten anything off of it before. I would not have thought to get a free haircut from a web page.


More on JAlbum
Remember my past rants on JAlbum?

The command to fix the problem

cat JAlbuminstall.bin | sed -e 's/export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/#xport LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/g' > JAlbuminstall2.bin
Run this in the same folder with JAlbuminstall.bin. Then run the JAlbuminstall2.bin file to install the program.
It appears you have to run the same command on the JAlbum binary after you install. I run from the .jar, so I'm not sure if this is needed or not. Now, I get to reconstruct my favorite skin. That doesn't please me either. Did I mention I'm pissed at this whole mess?

Here is the guy who had the answer up on his blog. Big thanks.

Here are the errors I got before.

[kelly@localhost soft]$ sudo ./JAlbuminstall.bin
Preparing to install...
Extracting the installation resources from the installer archive...
Configuring the installer for this system's environment...
awk: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
dirname: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
/bin/ls: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
basename: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
dirname: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
basename: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
hostname: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Launching installer...

grep: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
/usr/java/jdk1.5.0_06/bin/java: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

This whole situation pisses me off. This should have never made it to the public. This kind of thing reeks of lack of testing. I do programming in Linux all day long. This kind of thing makes Linux look bad. That makes my software look bad. I hate that. JAlbum is normally a pretty good product. They need to do a bit more testing on different platforms before inflicting their cruddy software on the public.


Fedora Core 5
Here we go again. Last night I shut down my computer. Only I accidentally hit the setting next to shut down that says something like "put to sleep" or whatever.  The computer shut down the power. I woke up the computer and then shut it down for real this time. When I walked in today I get "GRUB_" and nothing. The keyboard is locked and absolutely nothing else happens. I try fixing the boot loader.  Nothing. I tried loading the boot loader from the Fedora DVD. Nothing. I have to reinstall the whole OS. I have to start over again.
That's it. I'm NEVER suggesting this OS to any one. I'm converting to a Windows user. I'm running out in a couple of months when I have the money and buying Windows for all my computers. Linux is dead to me. It isn't any better, but I do enjoy complaining about an OS that fails that I have to pay money for.


Iran Gets the Keys to the UN

Under threat of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its own nuclear program, Iran has been elected to a vice-chair position on the U.N. Disarmament Commission, whose mission includes preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
"This is the U.N. fiction, which brings us close to nuclear war with each passing day," Bayefsky said. "The allusion is to universal democracy, though the majority of voters is non-democratic and include thugs, racists and war-mongers."
"The U.N. has long ago forfeited its role as an international body safeguarding international peace and security and this is just the latest proof of why the U.N. doesn't work," Gold said of Iran's election to vice chair the Disarmament Commission.

The article goes on to mention that Iran has put a lot of effort into getting as many comity seats in the UN as possible. I think it is getting to the point where Iran is using it's oil wealth to set up the UN to bow out of a pending Middle East power play in the, oh, let's say five to ten year range.
I could go the worry-wart route and say that "doomsday is nigh ..." but I'm just not in the mood. You know, things will work themselves out. It is just a question of who will be the one to make the most of the situation. China and Russia are making a big mistake by supporting Iran. I doubt Iran trusts them. These are not stupid people we are talking about. They must know that any of them would sell the other out over a drop of oil.
Silent Hill
Yee-gads What a mess. I wish I had the razor wire contract for this movie. It is a cross between one of those lost on the highway - zombie - demon spawn from hell - beware what you wish for - burn people at the stake - Virginia razor wire massacre flicks. I heard some one say this was based on a game. It had this point in it where they had to explain a lot through a narrative. I'm jaded. I've played enough of these spooky games to not jump at the goofy stuff any more. "Why! are you going down the spooky stairs?!? Didn't you just hear that air-raid horn blowing in the background?!?"
Nat liked it. She seemed visibly disturbed about five times.


We are off to the movie in a minute. I'm not sure what we are going to see. It is at Alamo Drafthouse so it will not be a total loss. I hope to write about the moving of the refrigerator later. Someone remind me. It was not particularly eventful, but it was an adventure.



Subject: Trip


David M. Bresnahan
April 1, 2006

Dear President Bush:
I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few arrangements. I know you can help with this. I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
3. All government forms need to be printed in English.
4. I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking teachers.
5. Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.
6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole at their school with the Mexican flag flying lower down.
7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.
9. I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone, please be sure that all police officers speak English.
11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws or tax laws.
13. Please tell all the people in the country to be extremely nice and never say a critical word about me, or about the strain I might place on the economy.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all the people who come to the U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that Pres. Fox won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely. However, if he gives you any trouble, just invite him to go quail hunting with your V.P.
Thank you so much for your kind help.

David M. Bresnahan

Sounds about right. It does sound ridiculous when you think about it from this side of the fence. When I listen to the to the debates I hear "gimme gimme gimme" from one side and "no" from the other.


This is one of those silly games that go around the blogsphere occasionally. Of course, you are supposed to go besmirch other's comment sections with it, but I just can't bring myself to become part of that. I'll give the six facts about myself thought. I suppose they are just six short anecdotes about yourself.

1)  I just learned a second ago what goulash means. Nat was telling a story about her friend who was cooking a pot pf goulash and was surprised to learn that it is based on a sort of hobo-stew from Eastern Europe.
2) I've met one professional football player. He was the son of a designer who worked at my old job. He seemed like a nice guy for the three seconds I knew him.
3) I believe that there is no such thing as perfection, random, or true. You can prove that anything called random has some kind of order to it. You can call things perfect, but nothing ever is. No matter how much proof you have not every one is going to accept the truth.
4) I type and turn my head in my sleep like I'm flipping back and fourth between computer screens. (according to Nat)
5) I have lived in Houston all my life and I never went to Astroworld or Waterworld. ever. I'm 37. Now, it is too late, and I don't really miss it.
6) When I go to gathering I would rather take pictures than participate.

Not quite in the spirit of the game, but informative.


I say what I feel, and I don't care if you don't like it. These are things I have wanted to put out there for a while. I can't help myself. I'm exorcising my constitutional rights to bitch. If you don't like it you have the right to bitch too. Do not take any actions against me other than complaining.
If you are in a country where people don't have the right to bitch, well, odds are it is your own fault anyway.

The word immigration to me means you go through the system. I read somewhere that some folks are trying to say that the term "illegal immigrant" is a racial slur. Which race? What about the white illegal aliens from Russia and other points where , yes, white people don't have it all that great? Backwards shit-holes where they barely get sunshine like Kentucky come to mind. (kidding! I've never even been to Russia.)
I've been trying to avoid talking about this issue because I have very strong feelings.

In France right now there is a bad problem with people in ethnically polarized neighborhoods (slums) surrounding Paris. The problem is those people are Middle Eastern and don't want to be French. They want to turn France into a suburb of the Middle East and have the same kinds of law. You know, where women can't drive or own property. They say it is because there are no jobs. Well, then stop coming to France. Apparently, being unemployed in France is better than setting foot in the Middle East, in most situations, not all. I'm sure someone will put up an argument on that point. There have been riots and shutdowns. Someone was saying there are no-go areas in the neighborhoods outside Paris. The president of France has given in on every single point so far. I have a feeling They are going to have to rename the place pretty soon to Bendover.
The press in France keeps blaming the government for not having enough jobs for the mass of immigrants that poor into the country. The "Muslim youths" keep rioting. They are not even all Muslim. Some people are just misfit hangers-on who want to get on the news or to set a car on fire.

The Words
Belgium has had some problems too. A famous film maker named Van Gogh, yes related to the Van Gogh, was murdered on the street in cold blood by a Muslim "activist". I have to say some one who commits out and out murder should be called something stronger than "activist". Toe me an activist is someone who straps them selves to a tree or the front door of a building and is willing to be arrested. Perhaps someone who writes or makes noise should be called an activist. People who kill for their cause had better be in a uniform, or it is murder.
I feel ashamed of the American media taking the sides of the bad guys against our own soldiers. The war has to be won at home before it will be one abroad. I think a president said that once. It is still true today. Calling people on the other side by words that are in the least bit sympathetic is not helping the over all effort. "freedom fighters", "rebels", "activists" are not things you call your enemy.
Why does the U. S. media have a problem with the U. S. government? They have butted heads a couple of times, but not much more than say the unions or the car industry. I think it is because they are on the ground together. The media has to deal with government officials on a daily basis. They are both out to out do the other. Government wants to keep the country running and any time a single member of a government body screws up, the press is all over it. That is because it sells ads.

No country in the world has as open borders as the U. S. I bet that statement is true. Any one who wants to come here can get in it seems. Just the other day there was a story about sending more troops to the borders to shore things up. I constantly hear about electronic fences and robot planes flying back and forth to spot the illegals on their journey. What has come of it? 150000 protesters waving Mexican flags walking through the streets of LA. Every one of them complaining about the treatment they get in this country. Things like emergency medical coverage, free education for their kids, the list goes on. I would like to make it against the law to be in this country illegally and go to school. If you don't deport the people here illegally, you go to jail. That would cause an underground, but it would stem the tide too.
Every twenty five years or so it seems like we have an amnesty of some kind. Is this just the way things are going to go forever? Are we going to just let them in and do nothing? The whole world is going industrial. The U. S. is way out on the front of that curve. It is only natural that any one who doesn't want to wait for the changes to take effect back home will want to go to one of the bleeding edge places to make a living. It is less work for more return. It makes sense. Do it through the proper channels or don't do it.
I don't think we need a bunch of new laws. We don't enforce the laws that are on the books now. If people have it in their heads to do something regardless of the law, you have to physically stop them. Remember, many of these folks are coming from countries that are corrupt to the pint of not being able to feed your family.

Assimilation vs Adaptation
Adaptation is what happens first. Someone comes here and finds a job. They find a place to stay. They figure out how to live. They may bring others along. They probably settle in a sympathetic neighborhood where people still speak the old tung to help them adapt to the community.
Assimilation is becoming part of our country. This takes time and effort. I was not a full member of this society until I was either 18 or 21 years old. Those were the last age hurtles that limited me in a significant manor. At that point, I was assimilated.
If people were more encouraged to assimilate things might be different. However, people do not want to assimilate. They want to stay with the surroundings they know. That is normal human condition. We, as a species are highly adaptable, but we don't like assimilating it seems. The idea here is to make adaptation more difficult and make assimilation easier.
I can't swear to it, but that seems like what this worker program that Bush touts wants to do. I can't read that stuff without falling asleep so I just plane don't know.

Jobs Americans Don't Want
The official unemployment level in the U. S. is pretty low right now. If memory serves it is like 4.7 %, which is not bad. That figure does not include a bunch of people like teenagers looking for part time work in the Summer and displaced workers who have had to change occupations because they lost their job.
I've heard the same argument over and over that the illegals do jobs that Americans don't want. Well, Americans have to pay income tax. If you make $3.75 an hour and don't pay any income tax it is more like making $6.00 an hour or so. I'm pulling these numbers out of the air, but you get the idea.
When people employ illegals, they should be forced to pay the taxes. Find them and tax the crap out of them. Hit them with penalties, fines and interest. I used to be highly against the idea of VAT taxes. Now I don't know. They might help flees the masses of untaxed illegals. At least, that would level the playing ground a bit. That is, if income tax goes away. HA!! I said a funny.

Got me. I'm lost. I do not know what I'm talking about. here are some ideas I've heard knocked around.
# Enforce immigration laws.
# Build a real fence and a no man's land on the border.
# Extend the turnaround of illegals from a couple of weeks to a couple of years.
# Start throwing people in jail who harbor illegals.
# Change public opinion on the matter of "Americans don't want these jobs.". The wages will rise if no one will do it for so cheap.
Those are a good place to start.


The air conditioning is fixed in my office. I would have complained about it earlier,but it was just too hot. For the next couple of days it will be freezing in my office. That is because the pneumatic actuator is on order so they just jammed the old one open. They worker said "If you have frost on your eyebrows, I know I've done my job." Now, that's the attitude I want my AC guy to have! Now, pardon me. I need to get back to the worst of alls sins, centralized air conditioning. "aaahhhhhh....."


I was looking for cheep glasses and stumbled across Zenni Optical.  I was doing a search on Google for glasses and found a few places. You know, I've gotten where I completely ignore the Google adds at the top of the page. I naturally skip them. This time, I was having a hard time finding what I wanted. and clicked on the ad. At first glance, they don't look bad. I like the prescription interface. It makes me nuts clicking on the ad though. If I buy from them, I'm going to make sure to go straight to their site and not use anything tat will encourage the ads. I'm just mean like that.
Every other place I looked either had some specific type of glasses or goggles they were selling or were very proud of their 2% discount. I cannot vouch these guys. I have not tried to buy anything from them. Just because they were on Google ads is no reason to think they are a better deal. I have no idea if Google does any checking or not. I want to give them a try though. I found a frame that looks promising. I have my prescription around here somewhere.


I hit a bunch of random blogs today. It is Easter, so a bunch of them sounded all bible-thumpy. That's fine. I don't have a problem with that. I hit more than one that contained information about Atheism. The funny thing is, they were the worst at being preachy. The term Atheism is supposed to mean that you don't have a belief structure. You prefer not to buy the story of any religion. It seems like these people believe very strongly in Atheism.
What is the purpose of religion?
* Where do you go when you die?
    * Heaven if you are good and follow the rules here on Earth.
    * Hell if you are bad and cause social unrest.
    * In some religions you suffer your sins against others and feel the reward of the happiness you bring.
    * In some religions you find the happy hunting grounds, or achieve rank gain/loss based on your deeds.
* An early attempt at social control
    * Don't eat pork, because no one cooks it right and people get sick.
    * Don't commit adultery because it is the first thing that will cause a blood feud between families and get a bunch of people killed.
    * Don't kill people because it will only lead to more killing.
* A means by which to organize people when needed.
    * Back in the dark ages, people had no way of getting news except for social gatherings like church.
    * Most wars were fought over religion. When you do the math, it was over land or resources, but the people were told it was over religion.
* Sex.
    * No sex before marriage, because it leads to disease and orphans.
    * No sex without following the rules. if you break the rules you are outside of society and get no more sex.
Have we outgrown religion? We preach to young people to be independent and think for themselves. We tell children to find their way. Then we tell them to follow the rules of law. We tell them all to be leaders, even though that does not make sense. Then we tell them to buy that new pair of shoos because they are cool and people will think more about you or want to have sex with you if you look cool.
Perhaps we are just shifting our belief structures around. I know so many people who pay lip service to God and do what ever the hell they think is socially acceptable. In the end it all boils down to dominance and the want of humans to fit into the dominance hierarchy. People just want to know their place. They will say that they want to be way out ahead of the pack, leading the way, but they submit to the pack.
Religion is but one tool for finding one's place in the hierarchy of society. There are any number of ways now to determine what to say next in the conversation at the water-cooler, bar, IM, blog ... .
Any good surfer will tell you in order to ride a wave, in order to get what you want out of the ride, you must find the best place in the wave and put yourself there at the right time. You ride the wave by knowing the wave. You will get nowhere trying to tell a wave what to do. In other words you must submit to the wave in order to succeed. They won't put it like that because submitting to something is a bad thing in western culture these days.
So, what is my point? Well, I wish I knew. I call myself a Christian because that is how I was brought up. I can't say I have strong feelings in any direction. I talk with God every day. I have a funny feeling that things are closer to the Matrix than the bible. I can't wait to find out how the story ends. If I can, I'll find a way to blog it.
Happy Easter
I hope all are well. It is a beautiful sunny day here in Houston. It is hot in fact. I am with my family.Nat and Elle are in the living room playing with some new play-doe and a princess kit (yes, they make princess kits for three year olds.) It feels good.
Tomorrow is work again, but that is tomorrow. In two weeks we move, but that is two weeks. If I'm not careful, things just might work out for the best. It kind of makes me glad I didn't name this blog Doomsday Kelly. Stay tuned.
You can do a loop in a helicopter.

I love you Natalie.

More Google Video

Well, I think I've figured out how to embed video. It took all night, but here it is.
I cannot use my normal editor because it re-formats the code too much. I loose one of the end codes and the HTML breaks. That is kind of strange because those editors are not supposed to do that. I remember how horrible Front-Page was about messing with your code. It just destroyed it. If you were doing any code, it paid to put it in separate files from your design.
Anyway, enjoy.


Heard at work today
"The reason you don't understand this is because it doesn't make any sense."
Chicken Little
Entertaining. Startling for little kids. Fun.

Chicken Little

These are just some random snaps from the movie.

Chicken Little

I think they are getting the balance between realism and cartoonism better every movie. They will figure it out pretty soon. I bet then you will notice a bunch of movies all at once. I think they are already digging deep for story lines. People like the medium. I bet some American version of Anime will pop up soon.
Different Distroes for Different Folks
I vaguely remember complaining years ago about needing different installs for Win 95 and Win 98. Then I heard a term "multi-platform" come from Microsoft like it meant something.  When Microsoft said multi-platform they meant it ran on multiple versions of Windows. That always pissed me off. I wanted things that ran on Mac, Linux and Windows. I do not own a Mac, I just think they are cool.
Now I'm running into the same issues with Linux.
Red Hat 9
32 bit
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 32 bi6
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
32 bit
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
64 bit
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
64 bit
Fedora Core 3
32 bit
Fedora Core 4
32 bit
Fedora Core 5
32 bit
Fedora Core 3
64 bit
Fedora Core 4
64 bit
Fedora Core 5
64 bit
Multiply that by different kernel versions and different platforms like PPC and different compiler versions suddenly you are in a pickle. It wasn't that long ago that only the 32 bit part really mattered. Those days are gone. For the longest time, Red Hat was the only game in town. Now, you have SuSi owned by Novel and FreeBSD in Europe and elsewhere. There are tons of other distributions on top of those.
I've noticed a movement in the Linux world to support packagers like RPM/YUM or DEB/APT-GET. Something has got to give. If you truly wanted to support all the different combinations you would need to compile on like 35 different machines every time you had a release.
Perhaps you understand why I switched from Ubuntu to Fedora at the house. It was to eliminate DEB/APT-GET and a whole other platform. I miss the ease and user base help of Ubuntu. FC isn't bad for community support. It just seems like there are more steps involved in everything you do. That is inherent in Linux though.


IT: Aero To Be Unavailable To Pirates
An anonymous reader writes "Users thinking of pirating the next version of Windows may have a surprise in store: no Aero for you. The upcoming Microsoft OS will run a check to ensure the copy was legally purchased. If it comes up short, the shiniest part of the OS will not be available." From the article: "At first an optional program, the piracy check eventually became mandatory for many types of Windows XP downloads, but was not required to run any aspect of the operating system itself. Microsoft has identified reducing piracy as a key way for the company to grow its sales of Windows, which is already used on more than 90 percent of personal computers. But it's not just pirates who will be blocked from Windows' fanciest graphics. The Aero display also won't be available to those who buy Windows Vista Basic, the low-end consumer version of the operating system."

The reason people pirate Windows is because it is easy and cheap. Microsoft is making a mistake by breaking their operating system in this way. First off, it is only a first step. MS wants to charge you a monthly fee for the use of their operating system. If you don't pay up, you don't get to view the digital photos of your grandkids.
The computer I'm typing this on is Linux. When I bought the computer it had a copy of Windows on it. I wish Microsoft was charging by the month because I would have not waisted as much money on their product. As it is, I'm looking for a laptop and I refuse to pay anything for Windows on it. Wal-Mart has some great prices on laptops, but all of them come with Windows installed. You cannot get one at Fry's. These folks are betting a lot on Microsoft's plan. People don't care what OS is on their machine, they just want the digital pictures of their grandkids to come up.
I am so glad I don't care about this anymore. I hope MS does decide to charge an arm and a leg for every copy. $900 a seat should do it. What do I care. MWAAA! AAAh-AAAAAh!!

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and was very much in favor of the redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, "How is you friend Audrey doing?"
She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus, college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."
Her wise father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Nat got this in an email and sent it to me. I think I heard something similar to it a long time ago, but it is pretty timeless.


Lesson of the day
The difference between copyright and patent.
Some time in the late eighties, a small company came up with this program that squashed all the "air" out of EXE files on MS-DOS systems. I remember a drop of over 50% on some files. It was awesome. At that time, hard drive space was still a premium. If memory serves, it made a noticeable difference when you ran it on some large programs.
Now, the company did not get a patent on the process. They did copyright the software. Well, It turns out that what they were doing was not all that difficult. It was amazing. The next version of all the major C compilers made smaller EXE files. I can hear the meetings that must have gone on. "Why the hell is this program able to make our EXE files smaller and everything still works?"
Anyway, The little company basically lost their shirt. If they had been able to patent the process, all those compiler companies would have had to talk to them before adding similar functionality to their software. I bet it is easy to just eliminate the "air" from the compile in the first place, so the compiler folks may have had a chance at beating the patent, but you get my point. The copyright only protects that set of code. The patent protects the process.
This is why so many large software companies want software patents and so many small companies and individuals do not.



You have to hope that this study is flawed, but the evidence seems irrefutable. Several months ago, scientists at Europe's annual human reproduction conference suggested that "the results of a recent analysis revealed the presence of female hormones in beer, and suggested that men should take a look at their beer consumption. The theory is that drinking beer makes men turn into women.
To test the theory, 100 men were each fed six pints of beer within a on-hour period. It was then observed that 100 percent of the men gained weight, talked excessively without making sense, became overly emotional, couldn't drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing, had to sit down while urinating, couldn't perform sexually, and refused to apologize when wrong. No further testing is planned.

Got this one from a friend via email. There was a picture included, but I basically just typed it in. I don't have the bandwidth for that kind of shenanigans.
I was walking past someone else's office today and I heard the words "... end of the universe ..." I was instantly sucked in like a gigantic black hole that may or may not be at the center of our universe/galaxy.
* Is the edge of the universe the farthest point one can travel?
* The faster you go, the slower time passes for you. In other words, if you travel very fast, when you come back every one will be much older than you. (theory of relativity)
* There is a theory that says during the big bang, time shot out like a wave. The wave expands and weakens as you get to the edge of the universe. The moment the first thing comes to a halt, as in time stops for that matter and piece of space, the wave will begin to collapse. Think about it. If there is no time, there is no movement. If there is no movement, then what is the difference between mater and space? No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. If there is no time, then space and matter both cease to exist. The universe will simply collapse in on itself.
* They say the universe is expanding because it appears to observers on Earth that everything is getting farther and farther away. Again, based on the Doppler shift of stars. I've said before that this smells a lot like there is a hole in the theory. Has anything gotten further away since the discovery of the Doppler Shift in the 1920s? it has been nearly 80 years. Surly there should be detectable change somewhere.


Nice Day
Some things at  work are coming together. I still feel like I have miles to go, but I'm able to do my job without asking quite so many questions. The weather was nice too.

New Orleans
On the way out the door my friend and fellow employee told me an anecdote about New Orleans. He and his wife went to New Orleans for a casino adventure. They got one. They got lost somewhere in the vacant streets of New Orleans. Not the kind of lost you get in a neighborhood looking for a friend's place. The kind of lost that ends up with buzzards circling over head. He said it was like a zombie movie. The streets were empty. The buildings were abandon. There were no gas stations and the little light came on while he was wondering around looking for fuel. He got out of it without a scratch thank goodness.
I remember having that feeling while driving around Houston just before the hurricane last year. There were a few personal vehicles and a bunch of emergency running around. It definetly had a unique feel.


More on Iran

I'll bet dollars to your donuts that this was leaked intentionally. And we'll be hearing more.

The game is called good cop/bad cop. I'll guess Jack Straw is playing good cop right now. "Mahmoud, my friend, you gotta give me some help here. This guy is crazy! He's gonna fry you like Donbalaan! Rumsfeld's pinned the map to the dart board. I seen it. I wanna help you man, but you gotta give me something to show!"

Of course, someone else gets the rant on Iran better than I did. You should jump over and read the whole thing. It is not log.
This wins the best random blog hit of the day award.
Triumphant return of the gray box.

Iran and Nukes

The Iranian nuclear program must be taken out, and if the vicious current regime goes with it, so much the better. The risk, not only of the mad mullahs using nuclear weapons, but of their providing them to one of the terrorist groups they sponsor is too great. If it takes tactical nuclear weapons to accomplish the destruction of the Iranian nuclear threat, so be it.

Of course the Bush administration is not saying nukes are ruled out. That would be stupid. Our enemies already think we are week and should be destroyed.
"Oh, of course we would never use nuclear weapons against people who have come right out and said they want to wipe our allies off the face of the earth." says the U. S. president. Then what you ask? A strange glow to the North East and the most dreadful news of an ill wind.
No, Keep them guessing. I can so see the U. S. using tack ordinance against hardened bunkers below which are wrought the tools of our hastened end.
What will destroy this once great nation will be it's people's apathy. When no one cares, no one fights. No on fights, no one wins. There is nothing like a fight to bring a nation together. We may one day sink into a puddle of self pity and loathing, but we will not surrender to an enemy who has a name.
Just like a European to bring a treaty to a nuclear war.

Oh, that felt good. I need more of that. Nothing like a good rant at 4:00 in the morning.
JAlbum Setup

Finally got JAlbum installed on Fedora Core 4.

Login in as root, start terminal
Run 'yum remove gcj', enter yes to remove all related to gcj.
Download J2SE Development Kit(JDK)
Add the following at the end of etc/profile
JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.5.0_06;export JAVA_HOME

My jdk version is 1.5.0_06, anytime you update jdk, update the /etc/profile as well.

java -Xmx800M -jar JAlbum.jar

These instructions should be in the goddamn README. I'm tired of having to hunt them down in the forum.


Linux Sucks
I'm really starting to think that Linux sucks. Just recently, I tried to upgrade from Fedora Core 4 to Fedora Core 5. The upgrade appeared to go smoothly at first. Very soon, I figured out that most of the things that came with OS worked pretty well except yum. Yum didn't work. That is, it kept trying to upgrade some package that was not compatible with the kernel that was on the machine. At least, that is what I discerned from the cryptic error messages. So, there I am with a machine that won't install or upgrade anything. Every thing I had installed was suddenly missing libraries. I gave up for one day and came to the decision that I would just restart from scratch.
I tried to install from scratch, but It turns out my media was corrupt. I downloaded the DVD image from a non Red Hat torrent site and it was missing some part of gcc. It must not have been an issue during the upgrade because I received no error then. So, I boot Ubuntu and downloaded a DVD image via the official Fedora site. The first messed up DVD passed the media check and so did the second. Well, it worked finally.
Now I'm busy putting the whole system back together. They took out the "everything" button on the install list. Now, you have to go in and install everything by clicking on a million little boxes. That is annoying. The one thing I still cannot get to work is the accessibility stuff. I depend on the reader pretty hard and I can't get it to work. Well, not yet anyway. Wish me luck.
Written for Friday 2006-04-07

We did a bunch of inspections today. I cannot fathom how expensive buying a house is. I feel like every notary in a hundred mile radios is making a buck off this transaction. The real estate agents all get paid. The banks get paid several times each. inspectors, surveyors, mortgage people, all get a payment for services rendered.
Now, wait a minute. I called my bank to get a home loan. They get paid, some other company gets paid for mortgage fees. Hold on, I thought I was dealing with my bank. How many times do they need my signature? I've signed the same 38 pieces of paper three times now. Plus a bunch of other stuff that basically says "Kelly agrees to pay us money."
If I sit down and look stuff up it makes sense why I'm paying these fees all over the place. I'm not so worried about getting ripped off after looking some of these things up and asking some questions. It is just nuts the amount of crap that has to happen before you can put your name on a house. It happens every day. How has it gotten this bad?
Something that I've learned that I have mixed feelings about is I have "excellent" credit. Actually, my relater called it "amazing". That scares me. I feel more like a target. It isn't like I can barrow any more money than I already have with this whole house thing.

Guy Call
I called Nat while I was at lunch today. I got a funny answer. She was at the new house we are looking to buy in the middle of an inspection. She answers the phone and all in one long word says "High honey we are in the middle of an inspection love you bye." click. That is what I call a guy call. Short, to the point. Little or now side chatter, just the facts kind of thing. Just one more reason to love Nat. s


I'm downloading a new copy of Fedora Core 5. Not only did the upgrade completely fuck my system, the DVD turned out to be corrupt so I have to download another one.


What a day
Over an hour to get to work this morning. Missed the first bus. Waited for the second. There was no second bus. One went by that said "out of service". I caught the third. I should have come in early today and actually had tome to eat a lunch. Instead, I only had time to talk to the loan officer. I'm starting to hate life.
Lunch was a nightmare today. I learned that our house payment is going to be between $1300 and $1400 a month. That is not quite half of my take home pay. I'm in over my head. I have two checks outstanding that have not deposited yet. I have last month's check that is in limbo between here and the bank. I used some new deposit system through UPS. Great. Where is my money. I have my IRS refund that is supposed to be here by Friday. Great. Where is my money. The bills are piling up. I don't have the money to pay them. If for some reason this contract falls through, I'm calling it quits on buying a house until we have like $20000 in the bank. I don't care that interest rates are low right now. I have always been the guy who gets screwed on financial deals. I'm always going to be that guy. I give up.
Well, I just checked online and it appears one of the checks showed up. Thank God!


Wicker Man
This has got to be one of the most fucked up movies ever maid. It is about a police officer in Great Britain who goes out to a remote village to investigate a young girl's death. He finds pagan ritual all through the community. He fears the girl who he discovers is alive, is going to be used for a sacrifice. The officer is a highly religious man. He is a man with little time for love or sin. What he doesn't know is the villagers have something else in mind. And, it really is all over a harvest of apples.

Wicker Man

This one kind of sumps up the attitude of the officer. He is all about the rule of law and the rule of God.

Wicker Man

Tis is one of the pagan rituals. There far more interesting shots I could have taken, but this is a family blog.

Wicker Man

You will cringe by the time you get to this shot. Worry not, it is almost over. No surprises by this point.

Two entries I wrote by hand yesterday.

The Best Adventure
I miss blogging the news. I only got a few responses that were positive to the new related entries. I got a lot more negative bitching about the gray boxes all over the place. I do not have the time to keep up with the news any more. I'm up at seven these days. I get off at six. We always have errands to run. All I ever want to do is crash. It drives poor Nat crazy. I feel bad that I don't have any energy after work. This new job is extra tough. It is getting better. I'm just starting to find my feet. It is going to be a while before things smooth out.
I read a blog the other day from a guy who is going round the middle east interviewing interesting people and coming up with the best stories. I complain about not getting enough sleep. I work. I watch TV. I am home every night by seven or eight or nine depending on the errands. I occasionally blog. I sometimes take pictures. I love my wife and child. How can I compete with actual adventure? I wouldn't swap with Michael for all the anecdotes in an old adventurer's heart.

Ads that piss me off
It really makes me sick when they play ads for drugs on TV. Cold medicine, herpes, impotence, prostate trouble, feminine trouble, migraines, you name it, there is a pill or a very expensive treatment for it. I get tired of car commercials. Mobile phone ads are getting worse every minute. It is medicine being hocked next to toilet paper and the latest attempt at entertainment from Hollywood. Medicine just seems like it should be on a higher level.
Politics, however should be on a lower plane. Something that includes baseball bats, crowbars and a bunch of killers for hire all locked in a prison until only one is left standing.



You Are 80% Evil
You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

I guessed 49% or less. You know what, I like being evil. I think it works for my personality. I'm turning over a new leaf. 80% evil 80% of the time. The rest of the time it is 100% indifference. Yup, sounds like a plan to me.
The power of a headline
I read a headline wrong. I read "Attacking Iran Could Cause Tourism". It actually said "Attacking Iran Could Cause Terrorism" Now, the first headline is one I would wont tho read. The second is the classic "well duh!"
Mudbugs 2006
Well, Happy birthday to Chris. He got a sword with "color change technology". I have to say I had a blast. Nat and I hung out all afternoon. As a matter of fact, we hung out until late evening. We left as the LSU UCLA basketball game was going badly for LSU.
It's funny, Nat got invited to four events all on one day. Two of them were scheduled for the same time as the Mudbug party and the other two were both for this evening after 21:00. They were all fun things. Nat made the comment that our calenders are normally so drab, then four cool things to do in one day. And April first at that. Nat didn't feel up to going to the other parties after we left the Mudbug event. She is out cold and enjoying some well deserved rest. I'm afraid to go in there and join her even though I'm quite tired. She can't sleep properly with my snoring. Besides, I flop around in bed like a grounded catfish.
Somehow, all the pictures ended up out of order. I'm not sure what was going on there. I tried to shoot with the camera  set a stop dark to get some depth to the photos. It just made them dark I think. JAlbum was giving me fits with an out of memory error. I found a command line setting that seems to have fixed the trouble for now. Good old Google.
There were about fifteen times I wished I had the video camera.  I think i have Fedora set up to download DV, but I'm not sure. I'll have to do a test video at some point. I noticed the quality of the pictures has dropped a bit. I'm doing more socializing these days.
I'm just too dog tired to keep typing. We are going to try to put a contract on a house tomorrow. Yes, Sunday. Wish us well.

To the pictures.


Inside Man
Nat and I went to see Inside Man. It is a Hollywood attempt to a twist on the old heist film. I won't give it away. It got me thinking though. If you had something you needed to do and you were willing to do almost anything to get it done. Where would you draw the lines? What would be the limit?
Only robe people. Institutions are made up of multiple people. People are who your are robbing from, not institutions like banks or museums. People value what ever it is you are steeling. People will try to catch you.
Only steel that which will not be missed. If you take something that no one knows is there, or that every one has forgotten about, you will not have to run away.
Only steel from people who will not suffer a loss. If the person doesn't care, or know they were robbed, where is the harm? Well, it is still wrong after all.
Only take what is given freely. Well, I've always said please and thank you will get you a surprisingly long way in this life.
It all boils down to people. Learn people and you learn life. Every day I program computers. I understand computers and how they work. I cannot figure out even a single person. It is like that part of my brain was never in the box.
I can tell a person the truth or a lie. I can only tel la computer what to do. If I give a person an order, that person takes it onto themselves to do the task. A computer just does the task without consideration. It really is just a bundle of switches. You give the right list of commands and you get the predictable answer. With people, you just can't predict the outcome.
OY. I better stop now.