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


Maxstor or Maxflame

"Dell batteries you say catch fire? Well don't worry about that Dell battery, look inside your PC case at your HDD, mine just went up in smoke and flames..." Could be worse. It could be ball lightning. I hear there's a lot of that going around inside servers these days.

The drive I had catch on fire was a Maxstor. Bastards.
Last day of August and it was like 80 degrees and dry this morning. It was wonderful. I enjoyed it so much I had to immortalize the feeling here in my blog. I have a cold. More like I have a sinus infection brought on by allergies. I'm not letting it get me down. I'm sure I'm driving my poor office mates and Nat nuts with all the wheezing and coughing.
I had a dream last night that my company doubled my salary just because I am doing such a good job. I hope that is not some kind of omen. As it is, I need to double check my pay rate. Something is a miss I think.
Since they cut the grass next to our house, the plantation has been under siege from ants and every other kind of vermin. I must make myself spray the crap out of the house and yard this weekend. I bet my current cold is related to the cut grass. Now if only someone would come pick up all the garbage left behind.
A bunch of the folks at work are headed out to a football game tonight. I'm so glad I'm not in to sports. There were some tickets that came up for grabs.
I heard in the hall today the question "What would it take to get the U. S. to switch over to the metric system for real?" That is a tough one. I think it would take the imperial system causing Alzheimer's or something.


While at Work Today
I thought about life for a moment. I only had a moment because I'm busy. You know, getting things done. Getting on with life. When the thought of what was going on around me hit me like a brick. Nat is at home sowing with a friend. They are making costumes for the costume party next month. The kids are in school (Elle and Ben, our friend's kid). I am at work. So is the other significant other.
Every person in this office has the same kind of thing going on. If they are single, they still have family or friends. The worked ticks along. It hurts my head.
People head out to lunch. People head home at the end of the day. The streets nearly kill us all. We eat. We sleep. We love for a little while. Then, it is back to work. I spend more time on the computer at work than I do with my family. The candle burns.
No solution, no winners or losers. Just the way things are. I'm happy. My God! ... I'm happy.
You wouldn't know it to look at me.


I should have switched to aMule a long time ago. It is more stable. It doesn't give me childish limits on my settings. It has run for several days in a row and remained at higher speeds. it doesn't even seem to be breathing heavily.
The interface needs some work. The statistics don't seem to work. I always get the same scale. The lines of the line graph shoot off the top of the chart never to be seen again. I assume I have a setting wrong somewhere. I'm not that concerned about the graph. I'm glad to get the reliable program.
Speaking of reliability, I did some testing on the VNC vs xterm front. It is possible to run these particular tests via VNC, disconnect, then reconnect later. The tests survive fully even if the network is killed over a half hour. The xterm program dies after a couple of minuets. Until we have a consistent problem, I'm not making the switch.
The Price of Success
Western culture can no longer have great successes. We have forbidden ourselves from celebrating the good that comes from making big things happen. We cannot win a war. We cannot conquer space. We cannot find curs for tough diseases. All these require sacrifice and there will always be those who try to attain their fifteen minutes via exploiting that sacrifice and saying "The price was too high".
I remember reading about WWII and the metal collection drives, the fuel rationing, food rationing, cigarettes that lost the green ink on the pack. All were simple sacrifices. We won that war. We celebrated.
During Vietnam, I remember the access the country went to. I remember reading about increases in wage, super concerts, brand new cars, vacations all over the world. We lost that war. We morned.
My father once told me "You can't have it all, all the time. Something as got to give." He meant sacrifice. In accounting they call it opportunity cost. When you buy one thing it may very well keep you from buying another. You must weigh the consequences of both choices and make a decision. When I decide on a car, I don't have someone waiting until I pick then following me around telling me I made the wrong choice regardless of what choice I made. I know some spouses like that. (No, not you Nat, you are a supportive wife)
It is easier than ever for people to complain. It used to be that someone had to produce a paper to reach the masses. You had to raise funds, step on toes, make some noise. Not any more. I have access to a huge chunk of the people in the world just by blathering on this blog daily. True, I have about ten hits a day thanks to my mom and Nat, but that is beside the point. It has become very easy to be heard. Perhaps too easy. The listeners must now filter the information themselves.
My point is, don't believe everything you read or hear out there in the world. People who put down those who are trying to do some good may just be trying to get their name in lights. People who have a cause may just be trying to hold a group together or get on TV. Some times people are just not sincere. Be a skeptic. Ask questions. Complain intelligently. Support your claims. Back up your opinion. Make observations. Admit you are wrong when you know you are wrong. Step back and say "They are all full of shit." every now and then.
Then, when you know and feel and believe ... stand your ground.
Lunch Conversations
* New gigantic TV at a stadium.
I have no idea what stadium now has a 1600x900 inch TV that leaves at least three square feet for the game after adding all the advertisements.
* Life expectancy of lunch meat.
Deli lunch meat does not last as long as the packaged stuff. God bless those preservatives and radiation.
* Captain Crunch, PEZ, pixye-stick sandwiches.
Came up after discussing alternatives to lunch meat.
* Wigi-bar on guitars. (whammy bars)
Someone spoke of the little bar on guitars that makes it stretch the note calling it a wigi-bar. Quickly corrected by the guitar enthusiasts, but sparking a fork conversation about guitars becoming time machines, or predicting the future.
I learned today
That it should say "10 items of fewer" not "10 items or less" in the grocery store. Fewer is for integers. Less is for more abstract things like religion or intelligence. Does the same apply to more and greater?
That Guy ... What's His Name?
I wonder where the idea of making up a fictitious employee to blame things on, then killing him off came from. I remember this on MASH, I think it was the Marry Tyler More Show, Simpson's, Drew Kary, Dilbert (comic) and goodness knows where else. It is one of those concepts that has been passed along. I wouldn't doubt Shakespeare did it first.


Linux Question
I to a bunch of testing over the network at my job. This is nothing special Every software company does it. My current method of testing is to ssh into a host machine and pop up a bunch of tests running in xterm windows. If anything happens to the network on either end, the whole test suite goes ka-flooy.
I've experimented with running on the local system. That is far more stable of course. If I VNC into the local box, kick off the test. Then disconnect VNC. Then reconnect via VNC when I want to check up on the progress. Is this any more stable? I know VNC is not the most stable program. But if it is not actively talking over the network, will it still crash, or leave the processes running regardless of network activity?
I'm going to have to run some tests. I need to do this on a box and unplug it from the network for a half hour or so. Then, plug it back in and try to connect. If the tests are still running, I may have a more stable method of running my tests. The act of unplugging the network would kill all the xterms over the network thus killing all my tests.
I just don't trust VNC as far as I can throw flaming Dell laptop. It is good for some thing, but just not very stable in the long run. I cannot bring myself to even think it is the more stable solution in any case. How is that for program prejudice?


Nat's mom came over for the weekend. It's been fun hanging out. Besides, she cooks.
I've been sick all day. I have slept a couple of times. It doesn't seem to help. I'm achy and my nose keeps trying to escape my body. I do hate being sick.
Nat is watching the Emmies. She is pissed off that I'm on the computer. I would love to spend some time with her if she turned off the TV for a while.



Mowed Field

Mowed field

I was outside weed eating and low and behold, a crew with a tractor showed up and mowed the field next door.  I have no idea who paid for the mowing. The truck had a sign on the door, but it just looked like a paid crew. It could have been any one from either of the home owner associations to the county or even the owner of the land. Now, I'm glad I've been keeping the little strip of green next to my fence. Now, if they would only go mow along the street.
Iran's Mess
Iran will have nukes by the decade end. Think about that. This country has officially announced that they want to wipe another country and indeed religion off the face of the Earth. They shout "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" at the closing of their version of a parliament. Iran has fed munitions to terrorist organizations as recently as this week to further their goal.
And no one listens. I remember saying before that people who read the paper before WWII had a pretty good idea what was going on in Western Europe.


I'm not sure what to put here. Let's see. I'm trying to get my palm pilot back up and running. I wish I could sync it with Google. I could sync it with Yahoo if I get their pay service. not via Linux though. They only support Win-crap. Well, I stand corrected. There is some software for Win-crap to sync with Google Calendar.
I'm trying to to think of something to talk about. I'm coming up blank.


Definition of War
Well, I don't have a real definition. I just have an opinion. War is killing the enemy. Killing them until they as a people submit, or until they are gone. If you don't fulfill that criteria, you have not won.
It is like the old time gunslingers said. If you leave them alive, any of them, they will come for you. The other side has to at least know they have lost.
You cannot win a war by bombing pieces of land and stop the electricity flowing to the people. The more miserable people are, the more blood in their eye. When they know they have lost, they are broken. They stop worrying about their cause and start worrying about their hide.
What happened to the will to win? What happened to the drive to stop the bad people? political Correctness is going to kill western civilization. We are not aloud to feel emotions that hurt. We are not aloud to rally behind a cause that causes harm. For ever, we have been told to sit and be quiet. Don't make waves. Don't fight. Don't harm others. If we are a breed of broken people, then we have already lost the war.
Lunch Conversation
Well, I didn't participate in any conversations at lunch today. I'm still in a bad mood from having to ride the bus yesterday. I almost went out with some of the folks here just to try to get over it. The truth is, the only thing that stopped me is that I'm broke. I ended up eating a Snickers and walking around the parking garage. I normally mumble to myself as I pace back and forth. I'm sure any one who sees me out there thinks I'm nuts. Today I grumbled and bitched out loud to no one. I must have left just in time because the guys in the white cotes didn't get me.
I tried calling Nat, but it turned out I was just not in the mood to talk so I got off the phone quickly. She doesn't deserve any of my grumbling. It is all this city, metro, asshole drivers who try to run me down, the IRS, the bank, the home owner's association, you know the story. They should call it the Fuck the Home Owners Association. it seems like they are just out to get you most of the time.
I get so pissed off I just shake sometimes. Nat thinks it is at her. It is the people around me. It is the situation. I told Nat to not freak out this morning in traffic because she got stuck hanging out in an intersection. She reminded me that I'm one to talk. She is right. I am the king of freaking out over stuff that doesn't warrant it. I have no idea what to do about it. I'm going to give myself a heart attack some day. It used to be much worse. Nat has missed my peak of loosing it. I've tried over the last several years to control my rage. It is a life long thing.
I stirred my coffee today with a spork. And I'm proud of it!


Over Heard
I over heard something very mundane and yet interesting at one of the parties this weekend. Someone quite young mentioned that the downloaded song they enjoyed had a few minor bleeps and clicks in it. This was a song that would never be heard on the radio apparently because they said that when they listened to it from a friend's MP3 collection, the bleeps and clicks were in different spots. This kind of thing happens with downloaded music from time to time. The person said it just wasn't the same song. The flaws gave the song character. The flaws made it their version of the song. I'm not so sure. It seems the bleeps and clicks come about when the MP3 is made, so any one who downloaded that self same file would most likely have the same bleeps and clicks. That is beside the point here.
I nearly fell over. I've heard the exact same words said when I was this person's age about CD verses vinyl. I mean the exact same conversation. it kind of creeped me out. I felt so very old. I've rounded the generational curve. Yes, I owned a record (vinyl) player once. I had a collection of my parent's old 45s (not pistols) to listen too. I don't even know where to look for a record player beside eBay. Someone probably still makes them.
Promotional Items
Someone mentioned the demos they get while working that are all on flash drives. They get power point and full multi media presentations on a flash drive in the mail. They were wondering how cheap you can get those things in bulk. I'm sure there is quite a markup because there is really nothing to those little things but a single chip, some wire and plastic. They cannot be as cheep as a CD to print.
The advantage the flash drive has over the CD though is that it is reusable. How many times did I reuse AOL floppies When AOL went to CDs, they just got thrown away. Normally, these flash drives have the name or logo of the company that sent the promotional stuff. Maybe that will keep them on your mind in a year when you are carting your kid's little league pictures back and forth to the office.
It was a couple of years ago that I first heard of a concert where you could walk outside and buy official flash drives that contained an edited version of the concert in MP3 that you just went too. Even if you copy the MP3 off and use the drive for other stuff, the logo of the band or album was printed on the outside.
I wonder what the next step will be? MP3 clothing? oops, been done.
Heart Rate
This is a little command line I used to test my heart rate. Wait 5 seconds so I can find my pulse after hitting enter, print "GO". Wait 15 seconds, print "STOP". multiply by four. Came out to 76. Not too shabby I suppose.

> sleep 5; echo "GO"; sleep 15 ; echo "STOP"
Lunch Conversation
Open Water - I have not seen it. Sounds scary. I want to get the DVD extra stuff more than the movie after hearing about it.
Vista Games - Vista is going to come out with a built in method of playing games on the MS network. This will cause problems because the mouse is so goddamn better of an interface than the standard game controller. There will be balance issues.
New Game - People are playing a new game called Elder Scrolls Oblivion. It sounds like a run of the mill mmorpg, but there is no one plot fits all method of playing. It sounds like my kind of game. You can just wonder around and get into trouble as you please. it's too bad I have neither a console or a Windows box to play on. I can't wait until Linux gets the gaming consideration it deserves. I'm not going to hold my breath.


Party Sunday
Something that stuck with me about the two different parties we went to this weekend is the difference between the groups of people. The Saturday party was with a group who call themselves Chaos. It has been around for a very long time. They have their spot all picked out at the camp grounds at Faire. They used to have a tower out there for the entire season, but that is forbidden now. Everything is forbidden now. The faire operators have gotten organized. Anyway, the tables at the bar we all gathered at were like the geographical boundaries between sects or clans within the Chaos group. Every table had that click hanging around it seems. There were plenty of exceptions. Maybe I didn't catch what was going on correctly. The whole group seemed fractured.
We had fun. that's what matters.
The Sunday group was a more loosely nit bunch who called themselves "the Goblin Nation". The King and Queen run a shop called "Goblin  King" at TRF. I'm not sure what the difference is exactly. I know the clicks inside the larger group have not fractured the over all feel of the nation. There are some over lap folks like Nat and I. I think we have just not found our spot.
Nat and I hang out quite a bit with another group called Safe Haven. The fractures in this group are widening every day. People just want different things out of the same situation. I cannot say it is a bad thing. I just want to go to faire, hang out with a bunch of drunk idiots like myself and have some fun. It is the different interpretation of "fun" that gets me in trouble. Nat and I are the butterflies that bounce from group to group. I find that in itself fun. I like walking around the camp ground and just saying hi to people.
There is every kind of person in both groups. There is every imaginable character walking around the camp grounds at faire. you name it. Weapon toting hot heads. Knobby kneed black haired angels waring only a vale, prancing between the tents and singing in a language that died before Christ was born. I'm telling you, anything might be found wondering that labyrinth.
There really is a presents of that something greater when so many people gather in a common way.
Wow, I got off topic.
One funny thing that happened is the sumo wrestling. Of course, there is one huge guy who could just about take any one there in a fair fight or otherwise. He goes by Mongo. he is sworn to protect the queen and yet they were both in the ring apposing each other. The queen won 2 to 1 rounds if memory serves. She tweaked his nipples for one win, and waltzed him out of the ring for the other. Maybe that ended in a tie. That would make a cool sport. Waltzumo. Interesting.
It was some kind of hot. I don't know how the people who were rolling around the ring could keep from passing out. All I did was stand there and take some pictures and I was sweating bullets. Elle was full of energy. She had several adults panting who were trying to play with her.
I really hope Safe Haven doesn't go the way of Chaos. I mean Chaos is a fun group to hang out with. It seems like there internal strife is tarring it asunder. It would be great if a strong leader would bring them all together again. I bet that is all it would take.
I really hope we all get together and do more stuff outside faire. It has been a ton of fun with all the people and all the groups. Even strangers who show up to the camp ground end up bing fun in one way or another. Sometimes you end up laughing at people instead of with them, but those things happen.
Something I've heard from at least one member of every single group are the following words. "It is good to be me." That is a sign of a good time.



You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Batman, the Dark Knight


William Wallace




Neo, the "One"


Lara Croft


The Terminator


Indiana Jones


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Amazing Spider-Man


James Bond, Agent 007


El Zorro


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

I always come up batman.


Goblin Party
We went over to the August birthday part for Goblin Nation. It was really a kind of pre-TRF party. It was a lot of fun. I have pictures. There were a couple of pictures that had to be removed because of ass-crack during the sumo wrestling in the back yard.
* Great food.
* Great friends.
* Great fellowship.
* Amateur sumo wrestling in the back yard. (Yes, that is what they are doing.)
We had a blast. Heath cooked. Elle played with the other kids there. Thanks to Bill for driver her all the way out there to meet with us. I did not wrestle.

Weekend Recap
Friday - Went to the show and  saw Talladega Nights with Adam and Laurie.
Saturday - Went to Woody's and met up with a bunch of TRF folk. It was fun and I got to ware my kilt.
Sunday - August birthday party for Goblin nation. It was a blast. Took a bunch of pictures.
It has been a heck of a weekend. Nat just went over our calender for the next month and things look kid of crazy. We have a friend's baby shower, garage sale, house issues, house cooling party, and other assorted gatherings to attend. I don't have time to play DnD on a Saturday between now and the end of the year. If I didn't know better, I'd say we had a life.


Bully with Nukes

There is new evidence that North Korea may be preparing for an underground test of a nuclear bomb, U.S. officials told ABC News.
"It is the view of the intelligence community that a test is a real possibility," said a senior State Department official.
A senior military official told ABC News that a U.S. intelligence agency has recently observed "suspicious vehicle movement" at a suspected North Korean test site.
. . .
Asked what the United States would do in response to a nuclear test, a senior U.S. official told ABC News, "We would try to hermetically seal the hermit kingdom."
The official said the United States would immediately push for sanctions to cut North Korea's ties to the outside world. Another possible option would be a naval blockade of North Korea.
But it is unclear how effective such efforts would be. North Korea is already the most isolated country in the world.

I think it would do the world some good for this nut job to finally get nukes. I hope someone important wakes up and says "Hey, we actually have to do something about this." Imagine that.
Oh,e but it isn't the Norks' people who are doing this. They are a bunch of humble farmers who are kept starving in the dark by their elite leader class of despots.
So, what? I believe a nation's people should be held responsible for their government's decisions. If it comes to pass that the rest of the world has a problem with GW listening in on international conversations keeping an ear out for people who want to hurt us, then let them make their own phone system.
I don't feel like standing on the soap box right now. I'm off to have a life.
Nat and I are supposed to go to some party later today. It rained too much this morning to mow. I'm glad i got the weed whacking done earlier this week. We have some kind of thing tomorrow during the day. I still don't know if we will have Elle or if  Bill volunteered to keep her until after. I'm not in the loop it seems.
I'm copying a bunch of stuff off my old computers to the new one. I had to rebuild it again because of a stupid mistake I made while configuring the box. For those of you in the know, Ubuntu doesn't give the user root privileges by default. You have to run the command "sudo passwd" and set the root password. I had managed to screw up the sudoers file before I set the root password. I was sudo screwed. I'm quite positive Nat is sick of my tantrums over the frigging computers.
Nat has had to take Tiger (the cat)'s food and put it behind a barrier because Molly (the dog) keeps trying to eat it instead of the food in her cage. I bet it is just a situation of the grass always being greener in the other bowl. The cat is just depressed and won't help himself. He just looks at the gate and meows in a distinct "What did I do wrong?" tone. I don't like pets much, but Nat reminded me that they are something to blog about.
Lately I have made sure to read the following blogs first. All the following blogs have a conservative bent. Thank God.
Jawa Report - Star wars theme, informative and fun to read most of the time.
Jihad Watch - All business. Keeping an eye on those
Anti idiotarian Rottweiler - Extreme in all things. Highly opinionated. Doesn't mind telling you who they don't like. I made an entry recently that said I wanted someone to hate. Well, I read this blog so I don't have to hate.
Intel Dump - Some of the coolest stuff goes across this blog. I've thought about sending in my tank silencer picture I found and asking what the hell it is. (the picture is temporarily down for server troubles)

Then there are the blogs I skim.
Little Green Footballs - I used to read this all the time. Now, the guy who does it doesn't offer enough of his own opinion for my taste. It feel like he puts up a bunch of posts and doesn't have a bunch to say about it. the comments section is a cesspool.

I'm sure I'll have more to complain about later.


I hate computers. I hate Linux
I have to re install (restage) the computer that I'm using for a server because the fuck-heads that made Linux can't bring themselves to admit that the display system called "X" sucks huge green donkey dick. Please, no one ever use this piece of shit OS. Just for me, write stuff down and learn to do math in your head. I hope they all die broke. I hope Bill Gates looses it all and dies in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Weed Eater
I know now why people buy gas weed eaters for a home. I used to wonder because I'm thinking with that small of an area to cover, you could almost do it faster with an electric because of the set up. Not only that, but I used to think electric weed eaters lasted longer than gas. I was wrong on both counts. My great, wonderful father bought me a brand new gas weed eater day before yesterday. Even with the first time setup I did the entire plantation in about thirty minutes.
Let me tell you, this weed eater puts up with a lot less shit from the weeds. It took me a bit to figure out how the throttle works. You have to feather it every now and then. That means let off and get right back on. while you are chewing through the heaver stuff. Otherwise it starts running rich or something and wants to stall. You have to rap it up before you (gun the throttle) well before you hit the weeds. It needs to be at the higher RPM when the string hits the vegetation. It has a three position throttle. Choke, half choke, and run. Thank goodness the instructions are on the frigging air cleaner because I'm not going to remember how to start the damn thing next time I need it.
I need to use better eye protection. I've got a pare of goggles somewhere. I also need ear protection. The engine is not supper loud, but it is just loud enough to do bad things if I use it every weekend.
Besides, I like walking through my yard while it idles. I feel manly and picture the breeze that makes the weeds sway and twitch is actually them attempting to flee the juggernaut reaper headed their way.
And when I wrought the last blade of my enemy to the ground in ruin, I looked back upon all I had done and wept, for there were no weeds left to whack.
Thanks Dad.

Huh? (a true story)
Two programs, A and B.
* A need B to run.
* B needs A to install.
* With a fresh install you must install A first, then B. There is no other way to do it.
* if you have an upgrade, you must install B (remember there is an old version of A already on the machine) then uninstall\ the old A and install the new A.
Clear as mud? :-|

On of those days
I just got pissed off and destroyed about five pieces of computer equipment at my house. I cannot afford to replace anything. I can't use the fucking speakers. It is getting to the point where I can't blog anything any more. There are too many politics.
I left work at 6:30 today after nearly everything went wrong. I didn't get home until 8:15.  A trip that in a car would only take 20 minutes took over an hour and forty five minutes because I'm different than every one else. I'm an outcast.
The bus driver was very busy screaming and laughing into his cell phone the entire trip. We nearly got in to three wrecks. He didn't seem concerned. There was a domestic incident going on in the back of the bus. I was waiting for the sound of teeth hitting the ground. The bus stopped twice. Once at Wataberger and again behind the mall. I fucking hate riding the bus.
I understand hatred. I understand the want to have a target for all this anger. It would be so nice to have someone to focus on. Someone I could hate. Someone I could ultimately blame everything wrong with the world on and just hate.
I say that I hate computers all the time. I wish I could be that week. Let go and just be one of those evil weak hate mongers. They are all over the place.
I'm sick and tired of everything. I'm tired of the whole world needing me to make it work. The IRS needs me to make the budget. The government needs me to give a shit. The police need me to follow the stupid fucking rules.
What about my needs goddammit! I need some fucking freedom. I need to be a man. I need someone to hate.


Worth a read

... The last guy was the cook. He didn't do anything in the fight for the longest time. He ended up fleeing the burning bar at the end and stood outside the exit door killing people that ran out for safety. I respected that.

Sounds like a rough neighborhood.


The padlock I put on the gate froze up. I tried whacking at it with the hack-saw and after five minutes managed to get a couple of slivers of the metal loose  I asked my father if he could bring over his bolt cutters. He did. Those things sliced through the lock like butter. I need to get one of those things.
My father ran me over to Home Depot and bought me a new lock. I'm going to try to lubricate this one a bit more often. He also bought me a brand new weed eater. Hey Adam, do you want yours back? It needs a fuel line and some other work. Good old Dad. He has my back.
The weed eater is very similar to the other one except it is completely different. That is, it has all the same parts, but everything is different in some way. It feels lighter. I have not fired it up, but I plan to soon. The yard needs it.

In other news
Nat said we should build a pond in the back yard and fill it with electric (glowing) catfish.
It was a busy day at work. It was nuts. It was just one thing after another. Just about normal. The only creative thing I got done was changing the default theme for one of our test accounts. They had one of these stupid round edged fades all over the place themes that was slow as Christmas on some of the shittier servers. I changed to one called "simple" that boasts that it is built for speed. I've have only heard one comment for the positive so far.
I got home and my brother in law came over to help fix some broken boards on the fence. He basically did all the work. Our fence is in one bit crumbly piece. I don't know where the builder found the wood in the fences in this neighborhood, but it mast have taken effort to get seeder that brittle and chocked full of knot-holes.


Cowboy Bebop dog

Nat got a dog. Her name is Molly. She is cute. She is a long haired black dog that is close to the ground. She is going to be miserable in this climate. She reminds me of the dog on Cowboy Bebop. I'll post a picture as soon as i get the new server up.

New Computer
Things are coming along nicely. I bet by tomorrow I'll have the system set up so that my web page will come from the new computer. Right now I'm in transition. I forgot how slowly things transfer from one computer to another over a 100mb line. I ended up using smb shares because I cannot figure out the privileges for nfs to save my life. This computer will have P2P tasks on top of running my web page. That is a tall order.
I had to get aMule set up for accepting links from Firefox. It is harder than it sounds. It is like editing the registry entries in Windows. Oh, wait. That is exactly what it is like.
Remember all the trouble I had getting VNC up and running? Well, I'm just going to put the KVM on both computers. I will only need to use VNC occasionally if things work out. There is a real problem with using VNC on Linux. When you use VNC, it starts X which is the windows program. That means you start up a whole new desktop. Everything you run while under that VNC session is a slave to that one VNC process. If the connection crashes you loose all the subprocesses. In other words, if I start aMule downloading some files in a VNC connection and anything happens to that VNC instance, aMule and any other programs I had running all go away. The KVM is a much better plan for this situation.
I'll keep every one posted.

Elle's Computer
Nat has been watching those nanny shows where some expert comes in and shows people with wild kids how to be proper parents.  Elle is scatter-brained. She is three. It is to be expected. She cannot focus on anything that does not meow or bark for more than seven seconds. This drives Nat, Elle's teachers, and myself nuts. One of the things Nat has held over Elle's head is her computer. This is OK because I do not have it ready anyway. Hopefully I'll have it up and running in a couple of days.


Fun With 8 Barrells

Tell me those choppers don't look like UFOs zapping things from the sky.
Wicker Man
I cannot believe they are making another "Wicker Man". I hated the first one. I just don't envision them doing a better job on this effort. The same guy wrote the screenplay.
I saw three seconds of the trailer and said to myself "That looks like the Wicker Man." I was instantly pissed of that they would attempt to suck money out of my pocket for this terrible movie. Oh, sorry. I should not pre-judge it that blatantly. Then again, it's my blog and I'll poo-poo a movie that I haven't seen if I want, so nya!!
New Machine
Elle needs her own computer all ready. It needs to be a windows box because her educational games only work under that antiquated platform. It will help her learn important skills needed to succeed in the world today, and tomorrow.
Now that I have given you the official line, I get to set up a new server. (yes!) My parents are not doing what every one else in the world does with old computers. Normally, people leave it in the closet until it is so far out of date as to be useless to any one for anything that does not involve recycling. My parents gave us a computer for Elle. I'm using it to replace my two old severs and giving Elle the better of those two for her own. I need to find a case for it. This will lower power consumption and centralize my server efforts. It also replaces one of my Windows machines with Linux. I'm using Ubuntu 6.06. I have the hardest time setting up VNC on these machines. Right now I have to log in to the box using ssh and kick off the vncserver. This sounds easy to do, but I have to figure out how to run VNC as a service and get it to log in as "me" on the machine in the process. I almost think i would rather just log in and do it by hand. Most of the things I want to do on the box do not require a GUI anyway.
I use the server for three tasks. FTP, HTTP and eDonkey/overnet/aMule (aMule). I now have a computer that will run all three. This is many times cool because I will now only have to leave one computer running all the time. This should work out well. Now, if only I had NTFS support on Linux already. It sounds like NTFS support will come in on Linux right about the time MS abandons it for some other file system. Figures.


Bitch Ph. D.
I don't agree with most of the stuff on the blog, but I like the picture at the top.
Lunch Conversation
It was a banner lunch today. There were just enough of us at lunch to make it an intimate affair. We all sat in the lunch room, also known as the party room, eating our prepared meals. Every one either had a TV dinner or a sandwich it seems. I had something a bit different. I had a can of corned beef. It was boring by itself so I also prepared a brick of roman. It was surprisingly good with a bit of pepper added for flavor. the noodles soaked up the access broth/gravy that made up most of the can's contents.
We covered several topics. The most interesting was how we learn from other people. We listed off people who made bad choices and we learned from their mistakes. It included financial and relationship lessons. I learned from the conversation that it can indeed be done. Every one there had an anecdote to contribute.
We also covered long distance relationships and what kids will do to try to keep watching TV during meal time.
Industrial Accident
I put my contacts in this morning at work. I have to do this every now and then to keep my eyes used to having the contacts in there. I ware them so rarely any more that my eyes get used to glasses. I got them in and then decided to take an aspirin to head off any eye strain I might get from the contacts. As I took a swig of Dr. Pepper, it slipped out of my hand. The most amazing thing happened next. The can bounced from my hand to my crotch (the chair), then to my backpack that was on the floor in front of me, then to the floor. All the while slinging its contents all over the place. It got on the table, floor, my pants, my backpack, the aspirin bottle, the chair and of course my hands and the can. I'm quite proud of the little guy. There was still half a can left.
Good Bye America

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, “If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.’”

A moving speech. I got this from my mother in the form of an email. I did a little searching online to find out if it was real. Someone did the research for me. Good old internet.

Simply beautiful. This is the kind of thing that makes dreams come true. I'm so glad that someone spent so much time and effort making it happen.


Make Thoughts
Funny that thing.
Thinking hard.
Hard to stay focused.
Mind wondering past the task at hand.
When a break comes the mind leaves my body for just long enough.
Long enough to think of silly things.
Long enough to dream.
I make programs.
Make takes time.
Long on  some machines.
Shorter on others
Never long enough to do good or evil.
Always my mind slips into a state like a sin wave signing in and out.
I think of the silliest things on these breaks.
I wonder if it is healthy.
To dream.
In waves.
o Got up
o Went to work.
o Got more assignments than I have to date. (boss is going to Gen-Con)
o Got out of work late.
o My brother in law has some stolen wallet issues. We ran over to his place to help him out.
o Got two chick-fillet sandwiches and ate them in record time on the way home.
o We got home at 9:00.
o Walked in door, went to bed. Slowly undressed as pieces of cloths became uncomfortable. I vaguely remember getting up and brushing my teeth.
When I walked in to work this morning, It felt like I had just left. Those are the breaks. I'm not complaining, this time. I didn't have much to say anyway.



Hi everyone,
I'll be tickling the ivories at Main Street Crossing this Friday, Aug. 11, from 9p-12.
There's no cover and it's a great little place to have a fancy coffee or cold beer.  They serve yummy food there too.
Address is 111. W. Main St in Tomball


Sounds like fun to me. We have a garage sale that Saturday morning. It is going to be nuts around here.
General Update
I was mowing the lawn Sunday and nearly passed out from the heat. I started early enough. I drank a bunch of water. I took the breaks. It is too damn hot to mow the frigging grass. The weed eaters are still broken. I need to get the gas one fixed. All it needs is a fuel line. I'm just not the handy type so it is taking me forever.
We are having a garage sale in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure how good a location our house is for a sale. I'm planning on making up some signs and putting them smack in the middle of 1093. I bet we get some traffic.
The house cooling / costume party is coming up. I'm not sure how the costume bit is going to go over with most of the people on the invite list. We are doing it because it is so close to faire and the renies love dressing up.
Elle is holding whole conversations. School has greatly improved her speech. She still uses the little kid version of many words because the grandparents will not correct her. That's OK. She will get it as it stops being so cute. She loves playing with the cat. She has too many toys.
We went and picked up our camping equipment from my parent's house. They were storing it for us until we got settled. It makes me think of Faire. I've been wavering in my enthusiasm for Faire. As we get closer to first weekend, I find myself more excited. I want to have a good time. This year, we have no wedding to plan or pay for. it should be fun.
Food Cloths and Community
My father can smoke a mean brisket. I remember a time at a block party many years ago when he had put regular beef hot dogs on the smoker and people raved how great the sausage was. I miss the days of block parties. It was a time when neighbors hung out together just because they lived near each other. I have only met one or two of my neighbors. Nat has met more. I do not envision block parties. My mother is a good cook. She hasn't been motivated lately though.
Heath is a buddy of mine. The man can frigging cook. His family has trailers they take to rodeos and county fairs that are huge kitchens. Heath brings one to TRF more often than not. My goodness we eat well out there. He had pork chops once that he said "These are not my best". I nearly gnawed the bone to my finger tips.
I guess that is the way things are going. We have better communications these days so the physical distance between us means less. In covered wagon days, you had to hang out with your neighbors because every one else in the world was a couple of weeks via mail away. With the advent of better communications and transportation, who needs neighbors?
it is funny how it still revolves around food. When we are at faire, the pit, as the kitchen trailers are called, is the center of just about everything. It is the source of light and the place where the food comes from. Our camp is famous. Breakfast time is interesting too. We have people come by who are still asleep and just floating on the smell of eggs, bacon and coffee.
It's going to be interesting this year because they have completely banned open fires of all kinds. The only exception is the one fire circle where people drum and dance. We always had a contained pit. I'm not sure what we are going to do about that. The rules say stoves and lanterns are the closest thing to fires aloud. Great.  I know several pyros who are going to have trouble with that one (Ken).
Faire is more about community than dressing up. It is about having out with your friends, getting drunk and acting like someone else for a little while. Some people do drugs. We go to faire. Some do both, but they keep it to themselves most of the time. We try to be cool with it if it doesn't cause any trouble.
Besides, I like waring a kilt.


Is just another day. There is nothing special going on. I learned how to run some proprietary tests at work today. I figured out some other stuff too, but the sun is shining right on my computer screen as I'm typing. It is highly annoying. I haven't had time to type anything up. I need to go spend some quality time with my family. I don't understand quality time. I have not figured out what that is exactly.
Nat and Elle are trying to play with the cat. Elle wants to scream and yank things. She has not learned moderation.


I hate this house. I'm tired of mowing the lawn. I'm tired of every Saturday night the racers take over the area and hold their races up and down the street while their cars make all kinds of noise. I'm tired of the people I've met around here. I'm tired of the home owners association. I'm tired of the shitty construction. I'm tired of people walking across our yard to get to the frigging store around the corner. I'm tired of the ants from the lot next door. I'm tired of no cops. I'm tired of walking down 1093 to get to the bus stop. I'm tired of this house. I'm sorry we got it. I wish I could undo it.
My mother's worse nightmare.

They make it out of the car OK.
I don't speak a word of French but allow me to translate as best as I can. GET OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR!!!. Actually, they keep their heads pretty well for the situation. I can hear at least one of them gasping for air because the water is cold, not because he is drowning.
My mom has always had a fear of being in a car that goes into water. It doesn't sound like a picnic to me either.
Stating the obvious

Yes, "case and point" indeed. I wonder if the guy in the car is going to sue the station for providing the distraction that caused him to look at the camera instead of on coming trafic.

The mother of a Mountain Brook teen who disappeared more than a year ago in Aruba said she was "crushed" by the dismissal of the lawsuit filed against the Dutch teen last seen with her daughter.
"That was our only and last shot for justice," said Beth Twitty, mother of Natalee Holloway.
Twitty said she knew the case filed in Manhattan against Joran van der Sloot was a long shot, but the family took a chance.

I doubt it. What happened is a tragedy. If it were my daughter, I wouldn't just give up either. I would want to know what happened.  I would want the perpetrators brought to justice. It sounds like whomever did this is keeping their mouth shut. It sounds like there is no break through evidence to be had. It is a shame. I've already made the decision to not let Elle do this kind of graduation trip.  I bet I'm not the only father to say that after this hit the news.
Race Issue
So, I'm writing a program in Python that tries to control other programs. This is called process control. I have process A that kicks off process B. Now, A sends an instruction to B. B runs off and tries to get the information like a good little process. All they really want to do is pleas we programmers. But, A has already tried to read the answer that B is looking for. So, when B comes back with the answer, God bless that little process for trying, A is just sitting there and won't take the answer. B will not go do anything else until A tels it to. A is still trying to get the answer that it missed. This is called a deadlock. it is some times called a race condition because A beat B when it should have been the other way around. Adam, correct me if I'm using the wrong terms.
It turns out this has nothing to do with Python really. It is an inherent problem with the logic of computers.
I'm bumping in to one of the fallacies that has plagued programmers since the beginning of, well, programming. Aristotle and Plato didn't have to worry about race conditions I bet. This information doesn't make it any less of a pain in my ass.

. . . (Later in the day I wrote the following on the same subject. I don't know if I intended it to be in the same post or a separate one, so here it is as I typed it.)

Python Forking
I called my sweetie and asked her what's up. She replied that she was at Cole's clothing store with a friend of her's. it is the tax free weekend you know. I need socks come to think of it. Anyway. She asked me what I was doing and I responded "I'm forking and my head hurts."She was a bit lost on the whole concept of forking in programming. And why shouldn't she be lost. Sometimes I wish I didn't know how these things work. It makes me nervis when I know how things work. I'm amazed anything using computers manages to work.
I am trying to get one program to properly control another via Python. I'm sure you have heard me gripe about this recently. They tried to make it easier by adding a new module called subprocess. This module has all kinds of functionality that lets you create a subprocess and then control it via a method called communicate. The trouble is, communicate kills the subprocess in the process of reading from standard out. What the hell good is that? It is fine if I'm firing off a "uname -a" or something, but I want to interact with the program and make it do stuff based on decisions I make in the parent process. I need something more than a one time gather information.
I started digging in and found that they do a fork. I started digging online and found a person who made it look simple. The example is not exactly what I need, but it is a start. In order to get control of standard in and out, you have to use a function called pud2, and there is fuckall documentation for it. There are some examples floating around. I basically get the idea of what to do, but how about some directions for God's sake. I'm apparently in a gray area for Python.
When you look at the documentation for Subprocess, the first thing they say is that this new module is supposed to replace like five old ways of doing the same thing. Generally, this means they still don't have it quite 100%. I don't have time to wait for Python to get their shit together. I'm just going to have to write my own process handler that does what I need. I hope I'm up to the task.
New Hire
I got a note from a friend at my old job that they hired a replacement for my position. That felt a little funny. It was inevitable. I really like my new job. I've been here six months. I feel like I'm contributing. I hope the people who matter think so. Things go around in circles. It still feels strange.
It does make me feel like I cannot or possibly should not go back. I remember when a buddy left the old company for about a year or so to pursue better opportunities at t-pro.. The experience seemed to be wonderful for him. He came back to the old company a much better and more experienced worker.
I do not miss being a contractor. I always felt like a second class citizen because I had a different color badge. They even made us go through different doors for a while. That didn't go over well.
Do I want to go back? Well, I was there just shy of nine years. it was fun. I learned a lot. It felt like time to move on. Who is to say what the future will be like. I have fantasies of living in the country off a lake in the woods and telecommuting. That is the best case scenario for me I think. It seems like that is just out of reach.



This is why I don't drive.
Easy ... Easy!

Wash and a wax. Step lively, I have a schedule to keep.
Where is that tree?

The caption on this says "luckiest guy", but I doubt it. It kind of loos to me like he got hit.
Not bad

Not too shabby.
For the last several days I've wanted to take some pictures as I walk in to the bus stop. It is amazing how much of a pain it is to carry a camera and a bottle of water while walking that horrible rout to the mall. I watched a guy walk down the median as apposed to the jungle I was traversing on the south side of the road. I'm thinking he may have the right idea. Not only is it easier, but they seem to mow the median more often than the sides of the road.
I have done it before. It is not that hard to cross the street. I think I will try it tomorrow.


I learned a ton about python today. I learned not only how to fire off a new process, but how to communicate with it to a point. I still can't get the interaction to work as advertised, but I'm much closer than I was yesterday. I like this job. I get a chance to try new stuff and to dig around to make things work. That is fun to me.
I made a simple command line program "say" something and I was able to "hear" it from inside my program. This is boring to most of my readers, I'm sure. It is very exciting to me. It is the first step to writing programs that control other programs. Once I can figure out that task, the door will open. I'll be able to automate tasks better, write custom regression tests  There are all kinds of programs out there to do this sort of thing. They all suck. I'm going to write my own. I'm going to have fun doing it too.
I also figured out why one computer would not find another across the network. It was a pain. I'm getting tired of Red Hat. Ubuntu was easier.
I'm off to bed.

A TV news enterprise focused solely on ratings and profits would notice what Pew notices, namely that the TV audience identifies itself as more conservative than liberal. Thirty-six percent identify as conservatives, 35 percent as moderates, and only 21 percent as liberals. Wouldn't it make economic sense to at least proclaim an interest in presenting a "fair and balanced" news menu?
 Instead, networks like CBS are offering us Katie Couric touring the country doing her best Hillary Clinton impersonation. They rave about who can be the most emotionally hostile to the White House after hurricanes. Tax cuts only help the greedy rich. Bush is an idiot. Cheney is evil.

I only watch the local news. I get most of my international and national news from blogs these days. Even that list is shrinking a bit due to lack of time. I am very sick of people on the news saying someone I respect is stupid, evil, or evil outrageous. Stop complaining and tell me the facts. Let me make the decision of who is stupid, evil or just plane wrong. Stop complaining and start reporting.
ACLU must die
I'm tired of my tax dollars paying for the ACLU to sue the Boyscouts and to remove the ten comandments. They can bitch all they want, but not on my dime. Well, now there is something you and I can do about it.


Johny Cash is one of the few artists whose art I like from top to bottom. The man did great early stuff. he did great gospel. I even liked the covers he did a couple of years before he past away. Even when he was old and sounded a bit frail, it worked for him. It just made him sound more worldly. I never saw him live. I never thought about it. I wish I had now. I wish I could go back to the sixties and catch him in his prime. I'm not even sure when that was. i wonder what he thought his best efforts were.
I like most of the stuff that Willie Nelson has done. He had a bunch of stinkers though. I can't even think of other artists that come close to the volume or longevity of Cash's catalog. I can think of none that come close to the quality. Much of his work is timeless. It is about the human experience and that doesn't change much whit technology. Some of the words or sayings date the lyrics. The situations and stories haven't changed much.
You done good Johny. You touched my life for the better.