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


What Kind of Pirate are Ye? (*Pix*)

The Clever Pirate
Enod Ylecin! You catch on to situations quickly! If you smell trouble you immediatley put your brain to use and figure a way out...whether your in the middle of a thunderstorm or left the scraps at dinner time. You will go far in life because you see it for its possibilities. People admire your advice and trust in your instinct...believe in yourself enough and you can take over the world!
Take The Quiz Now! Quizzes by
Well, it is All Halo's Eve. I'm no longer impressed. I didn't get off work until 18:30 and didn't get home until 19:40 or so. It has been a long day. I'm just plane tired. Nat got a box of Crunch and Munch for me. I scarfed it down like a starving man.
The dog bit the kitten far too hard.
I'm working on something that is kind of fun at work. It is a script that sorts data to make a bunch of links. It is very boring to the rest of the world, but I like it.
I've just about decided to give up on trying to save any pictures off the CF card I complained about. I'll put the video up soon.
I'm so tired. I'm off to spend time with my family.


Guilt by Association
Lost ship and all it's contents. So, here is a buddies drama over the weekend.
My buddy  plays Eve Online. He likes that game. A bunch of folks at work play it. They seem to enjoy the complexity of it. Eve Online is a space age MMPOLG (Massively Multi-Player On-Line Game). It simulates not only the warring and diplomatic end of things, but the economic side of things as well. The idea is to acquire wealth and thus big ships and minions and so on. you have to learn how to do things which is based on how long you have been playing the game.
Our hero has been playing for ever. He has accumulated a bunch of crap. He decides to move it across the universe because some one told him the grass was greener over there. Half way across a "secure" chunk of empty space, he runs into a gang of evil doers who are bent on simply grabbing as much as they can out of the game and don't care who they hurt in the process.
Here is the scenario. Our hero enters the system via a gate. He is suddenly bunched up in a group of ships  He figures out very quickly that it is a cage of ships. A battle cruiser shows up and starts to destroy the sucker who came threw the gate before him. That ship is destroyed and our guy starts getting nailed just because he is the next in line. You see, our hero took precautions to look inconspicuous. It doesn't matter because he is just the next guy thought the gate. Well, the battle cruiser and the other ships blocking the way are of course in on it together. He gets destroyed before the "cops" show up. The cops destroyed the battle cruiser because it was the one firing on the other wise helpless ships that were just flying through the gate. The other ships all just stand there and mop up the debris that is all our hero's stuff that he has spent like a year of game play accumulating.
This is one time that guilt by association would come in handy. Of course the ships that conspired with the battle cruiser should be brought to justice in some manor. But they will not because the game is not set up that way.
I seem to remember a charge of "conspiracy to commit piracy on the high seas" in a movie. Substitute "deep space" for "high seas" and you have the game equivalent. Justice is a difficult enough concept in reality. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to simulate.
I forgot to mention that our hero cannot dispense some instant justice because he would then  become the ship firing on the "innocent" ships that did not fire on him first. This is a frustrating part of the game. You basically have no recourse at this point. This kind of kills the game for me. If the justice system refuses to work, I want to higher a couple of Guidos to go start lopping off parts of this prick's anatomy until I get my shit back. Maybe get the fourteen year old's account suspended for a week or two who pulls these kinds of things.
Personal Drama
This weekend Chris and Sharron got married. Congratulations by the way. I took my camera and took a bunch of general faire pictures on one card and started shooting wedding like pictures on the other card. Two minutes before the wedding started, I get an error on my camera. I turn the camera on and get "no pictures" on the screen. My first reaction was to fall to my knees while screaming "NNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!", but I just walked back out to the camp grounds and went to bed. I didn't want to distract from the proceedings. I was a huge grump the rest of the night. Nat and I ended up getting in a huge fight Sunday morning over crispy bacon or something. Those are the worse fights, the one's that start that way. Because, they are about so much more.
I didn't take another picture all weekend. Kim and Dania offered to send me a piece of software that will attempt to recover data off the card. I will be forever in their dept, just for trying. Even if it doesn't work, they are champs. I'm sure I'll blog about my experience either way.
Nat took a really good video of the wedding display being eaten alive by ants. How many people can say that about kneeling inside a chapel? I'm going to attempt to get it up for view soon. I'll also put it on the Goblin Nation, but it may take a couple of days. First I want to make an analog copy for safe keeping. Hopefully she will blog her experiences too.
Sunday, after our fight, Nat helped frighten people in the haunted house attraction at faire. Nat's mom works there as "God", aka the person behind the controls. It is a fun job. I routinely hear her giggling behind the curtain. Nat had a ball. She was in chains as "victim #3". She got to mess with people's heads for a couple of hours. She has no vice again today,  but I think it was worth it.


I got a chance to read some of the blogs that I have been neglecting over the last couple of months. I noticed something disturbing. They are turning in to the media. I've noticed several of them don't check facts any more. They just link to someone else's blog and hope someone will check the facts. There are three or four that still put forth the effort. I may do a review later.
The hay-day of blogs has past I bet. Heck, all the journalists have blogs. All the politicians have blogs. I would prefer to read the janitor's blog over the CEO any day. Talk about getting the dirt. =]

Janitor's blog
day 1
Fixed lights in the stairwell. Ate a berger for lunch.
day 2
Found a dead rat behind the bus stop. Ate chicken strips for lunch.
day 3
Screamed at a bunch of kids to get off the grass. Ate left over pizza for lunch.
day 4
Swept up broken glass from vandals. Ate hot dogs I cooked with a blowtorch for lunch.

Well, you get the idea.
Hit .. again
I'm getting board with the whole getting hit by a car thing. It was poring down rain. I was a quarter way across the intersection at Westheimer and Richmond, in a bright blue rain coat, with a flashlight shining behind me, when an SUV swings around in front of me and cuts me off. When I tired to stop, my knee popped and I fell against the back of the frigging truck. I know the driver heard me because they started to stop. The back fender popped like a tin can. They took off when I started limping from my knee. I limped around the office earlier this year for a couple of days. It felt like the same injury popping up. It didn't start feeling better until I got to work. I bet I have some kind of cartilage scar or something. Great.
Anyway, I was in the cross walk crossing with the light and this person decide they would rather cross in front of me than behind me. Nice job. If they had waited ten seconds, I would have been out of their precious way. Ten seconds.
Full-size tan with black trim SUV. New. Hand print on the right rear fender. Maybe a Ford, I'm not sure.


I learned today
How to Format a Flash Drive in Linux. You must have sudo or root privileges.
# Make sure the drive is mounted.
> sudo mount /media/usbdisk

# Find the file system type and Filesystem (/dev/xxxx)
> df -Th
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdc1     vfat    126M   12M  114M  10% /media/usbdisk

# Unmount the drive.
> sudo umount /media/usbdisk/

# Use mkfs to format the drive.
>  sudo /sbin/mkfs -t vfat /dev/sdc1
mkfs.vfat 2.8 (28 Feb 2001)

# Mount the file system and check the size.
> sudo mount /media/usbdisk/
> df -Th
Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdc1     vfat    126M     0  126M   0% /media/usbdisk

Good luck.
I went over to a friend's place for lunch today. We had fish cakes, hot dogs with horse radish sauce, black eyed peas, rice, cornbread and collard greens. It was amazing. I mainly liked the company. It's funny. We had left overs at a person's house and it was a great meal. I haven't had that nice a time at a restaurant in a long time. It was just friends and food.
Sodas - good.
# Dr Pepper used to be a Southern thing, but you can get it all over
the place in the States now. Nebraska is an exception.
     o Nebraska is a Pepsi state.
     o I'm not a big Big Red fan.
# Games - No one has time to play. They wouldn't work on my Linux computer anyway.
# Kids - Get in the way of gaming.
# TV - How much of a pain the DVDs are that you get and how much more convenient it is to download TV shows. There are finally some thought out shows like Lost, and 24 out that make you think. Mind numbing shows like Friends are hopefully on the way out.
    o Lost is cool. We both watch it regularly.
    o Heroes is cool, but I haven't seen it.
    o Celebrity Dancing sucks, but the wives watch it.
    o 24 is good.
    o Prison Break is along those lines but neither of us can stand it.
One of the best lunches I've had in years.
We use a document tracking software at work. No news there, every one uses them these days. It sends out emails that have the comments of people on the different projects. I got one of those mails today. It was talking about hooking frame monitors up to equipment to make sure data wast tracing properly. It was not in great detail, but was specific on what kind of test someone wanted to run and what kind of data they were looking for. I got the gist of it from a ten thousand foot level, but I had no goddamn clew how to do it or even where to begin.
It was a  stark reminder that I'm not an engineer. I have not had the training these other folks have had. I'm here to do different tasks. When I was with my old company, I felt like a genius. Now I feel like a janitor with a keyboard. I'm learning a lot. I will not match wits with these folks here. I fill a niche.


Song I Hate
I HATE Red Red Wine. I hate it. I can't stand it. It gives me an instant hang over when it comes on. I hate it by every artist who copied the original. I don't even remember who the original was. I don't car. I hate that song.

Filter Script
Well, the script I wrote to filter files at work seems to be working pretty well. I have some output below. The bottom three numbers should add up to about the first number. The song "Red Red Wine" was the inspiration for this filter. I'll leave that to your imagination.

Total files processed   > 52628
Good files in playlist  > 49806
Bad files out of list   > 1066
Non music files         > 1756

Bellow is my current filter list. Right now the script uses an exact match. I want to try regular expressions at some point, but on this number of files I'm afraid it may slow the script down to the point of making it annoying. It already takes 3.5 minutes or so to run. That is mostly IO for getting the file names over the network. I read there is a python module for dissecting MP3 meta data. I'm going to look into it sometime in the future. This is a fun way to teach myself Python.
Remember, this is the stuff I don't want.

    "Radiohead and U2",
    "pimsleur", "Pimsleur",
    "/Spice Girls",
    "/Luca Turilli",
    "Red Red Wine", "RedRedWine",
    "Barry White",
    "Destiny's Child",
    "/George Clinton",
    "Quad City",
    "Love Tractor",
    "To All the Girls I",
    "Motley Crue",
    "/Living Colour",
    "/Rush ",
    "Tripping The Light Fantastic"


Pictures are up.
No more Shit daemon. Though, her story will live in infamy for years to come. The telling of her story to others spawned stories of past goings on from the camp. Something about pulling guns on a guy who had firecrackers. Something about blowing horns back at an on coming train. Something about wax and naked women. You get the idea.
Nat made some wonderful spaghetti Saturday night. She helped make breakfast the next morning too. The spaghetti was wonderful There was a huge pot of it. We fed like thirty people, most of whom came back for seconds. This is including Bluebury. We did OK. I was worried we would not have enough food, but Nat really came through.
Next weekend is the wedding between Chris and Sharon. It is also Halloween weekend. I know Chris and Sharon understand that many people only make some of the weekends. Most attended are first weekend, last weekend and Halloween weekend probably in that order.
The Goblin Nation is a-buzz with people preparing for a huge meeting/party that they have been planing for months. They are calling it the King's court. It sounds like a lot of fun. We will all be right in the middle of it on next Sunday. It sounds like fun, but that means a bunch more people.
I'm planning on taking the real camera next weekend. It should be fun. A bunch of people dress up as just plane amazing things. The camp grounds are packed. I have to say that this weekend was practically vacant. Only the die-hards were at the camp. Next weekend, Nat's going to try to get out there early so we can literally stake a claim. I'm taking a video camera for the wedding. Maybe we can catch some cool events besides the wedding.
Friday evening
I got off work a bit early and We headed out straight to faire. We took Johny because he needed a ride. We couldn't really get him back home because we had to run and pick up Elle. We still didn't make it out there until after six because we had to stop and pick up extension cords and citronella from Wal-Mart.
I made my normal walk around the back street and was amazed how how empty the place was. I would love to have some aerial photos from first weekend and this one to compare just shows up.
I stayed over at drum circle until 03:00. It was cool listening to the cops tell their stories and to watch the drunks try to pull their car off a truck tire that they somehow managed to drive over right in front of the cops. In a very drunk voice "There's a tire under my car." - "Where are my glasses?" - "I was asleep, what did you do to my car?" It was priceless. The tire was under the front of the car. They tried to drive off the tire, but the front wheels of the Toyota Tercel had no traction. They were gone by morning so they must have gotten some help.
Saturday evening
Nat made the most amazing spaghetti.
We made an amazing fire using all wet wood that was mostly huge chunks. We used the air mattress pump to fan the flames. That little trick works wonders.
Me brought her ferrets out, but I didn't manage to get any pictures.

humm, Ken is in every single one of these pictures. He usually has his finger in all the pies at camp.

There was a fetish with hiding under other people's cloths .. while they are still warring them this weekend.

Bra tree

Fanning the flames.

Draining the spaghetti

Speaking of cops, Mike showed up just in time to help us move our tent with his four wheeler.

That is enough. I'm off to bed. Must go back to work to rest up for next weekend. Ned the money too.


Cold Weather
It was actually cold this morning. I put on my jacket and stocking cap as I walked out the door. I thought for sure I would end up taking them off before I got to the bus stop, but nope. I took it slow and didn't sweat much. Last night while waiting for Nat, it was cold. I got off late and wondered around the building looking for an alternate way from the lobby to the sixth floor. Last week I had to take the elevator during an electrical storm. The power had already blinked several times. It was nerve wracking.
I cannot wait to camp this weekend. It is awesome snuggle weather. I hope they don't turn the propane heaters up too high in that tent. Those things are going to kill all of us one of these days. "tragedy at the Texas Renaissance Festival camp grounds last night. It seems a bunch of drunk idiots put several four foot high propane heaters in a tent with no ventilation. Twelve dead." Well, Lets hope not. If it happened in Tony and Dizzy's tent, it would be more like 32 dead. They have better ventilation though.


Ye-old Satellite
TRF from above
I've mentioned that I get free sodas at work now. Today I managed to drink three sodas. I just happened to get the last can on all three six packs so the three ring holder deals were in my trash can. Our office, Kade and I, is where the recycling pile of cans stays. So, we have a couple of cases worth of empty cans sitting in our office. I imagine the boss walking in, taking one look in the trash and looking at all the empties stacked neatly in the corner and throwing a fit about how we take advantage of the sodas too much.
I doubt he would even notice.
Work Music
I wrote most of a script at home and took it in to work today. The script walks a folder, a piece of cake in python because they included a walk() command in the "os" module, and pulls out all the music files by extension. It then compares the full path to a list of phrases that eliminates the crap that I don't want to listen too. I find myself eliminating a couple of things that I just can't stand like U2 and Destiny's Child. Then I find myself eliminating some things that are just distracting at work like some dance music and jazz that I might other wise enjoy. I find it distracting at work.
It kills me not to have internet radio. I want a notebook so I can bring it up here and find a wireless network to attach too. That is one thing I really miss.


Pencil Dreams
I had a dream last night that i was writing something with a pen that felt like a pencil. It used ink, but had all the tactile feel of a pencil. It even made the scratch sound that a pencil makes. I remember thinking "What a cool pen." I wonder if there is a market for this sort of thing.
I agonized over a decision I made today. First some background. I listen to music at work. Sometimes I listen to Spanish lessons, but not so much as I should if I want to learn. So, I usually keep a set of headphones at work. Several years ago I bought several at once from for the low price of $3.99 each. I got like five or six sets. They even had 5 foot cords. Well, the set that I had at work was double taped and rattled. They never sounded good. Apparently I find the price of headphones more important than my listening pleasure. They finally died. They stared doing that thing when the wires go bad. The sound starts cutting half way out. I'm not sure how to describe it in words. It is a bit like pulling the jack half way out while you are listening.
Well, I finally step back and take a look at these things. They look like they have been through a war. This isn't even the first of those five or so sets. I still have one of them at the house somewhere. That just won't do.
I run over to Target during lunch. I cross at the light because the lunch crowd wants to run you down at this intersection. There is a bunch of construction in the  Target parking lot. I nearly got killed traversing from the sidewalk to the door. The most noticeable thing about Target is the single lane open for checkout that is backed up seven deep and some woman screaming into a walky-talky for someone to get to the front and help. I make a "B" line for the electronics department. I wonder around and some nice lady helps me find the regular earphones as apposed to the gaming head-sets that are in the hundreds of dollars.
So, I stand there and go over in my head what am I looking for in a set of headphones? They all seem to have some gimmick that is supposed to single them out of the crowd. I decide my spending limit is $10.00 and I need a 1.5m cord. Well, one set of headphones fit the bill. Their big selling point was the cord only went to one side of the earphones. I'm not in the least worried about that. No, $10.00 and a 1.5m cord made the decision for me.
What cracks me up is how hard it was to make the decision to spend the money on headphones. I thought about the money I need for faire and meals for the house. The budget is basically zero. We are not in danger of loosing the house or anything. We just have no spending money. If it were not for Sam's Club and coupons, we would have no luxuries like bottled water, eggs, plates and cups for faire. It just wouldn't happen.
We are certainly not the only folks with a tight budget. We will get by. These headphones sound twenty times better than the old ones.


It is rainy here in Houston. All day it rained. It was one of those wavy rains that is hard for a couple of minutes. Then it is drizzly for twenty minutes. Then it is clear for five minutes. Then it starts all over again. I listened to the tinkling on my work window most of the day. The horizon changed every time I looked out the window.
It rained at Faire on Sunday. It took the wind out of my sails. I don't like going in on Sundays anyway. I hope Tony and Dizzy are all right. They stay Sunday evening and pack up Monday. Tony probably built an ark out of firewood. That is the kind of guy he is.
It is supposed to rain again this coming Saturday. Oh, well. We will tough it out.
Some of my friends got to leave at 3:00 from their work. No such lick at my work place. it has been raining non-stop for hours. Even when it gets light, it is still drizzling.
But, no troubles. We all made it home safely. We even went to Sam's Club for eggs.


Faire - week 3
Pictures are up.
The first eleven or so pictures are from first weekend.
My favorite
Nat and her new armor.
There is a year long story behind this one. We went to the Goblin King last year and picked out this armor. More accurately, Nat picked out the bottom part. We could only pay for part of it at the time. It was supposed to make it to one of the Goblin King parties, but that didn't work out. Anyway. We finally got our budget together. Since it had set in a shop for a year, it needed to be reworked. Not only did they do that, but the Goblin King threw in the shoulder pads and neck thing for no extra charge. that is just the way they work. I like Goblin King. Nat and I are both highly satisfied.
Day 1
Friday evening we set up tent and played around. They had a huge raised fire pit. It is so nice having a fire. I'm trying to think of anything cool that happened Friday, but Nothing comes to mind. Those are the good days. Kim and Dana stopped by. Several other familiar faces. It was just plane fun.
Day 2
Saturday during the day was very nice. Woke up had a great breakfast. Got dressed out and headed in to faire.
We went by the Goblin King and Nat got her new armor. Mongo was introduced to a new club. A bunch of folks we know all came by at one point or another. We stopped by the haunted house where Nat's mom works. They have the new bobble-heads in. Somehow Elle ended up with the witch. I think Bill or Ted must have picked it up.
Shit Daemon
I stumbled back to the camp grounds and just sat there for a while. I walked around the camp grounds while others prepared the evening meal. I find it best if I stay out of the way. While walking around that back road I noticed there were a lot less people than first weekend. That's normal. First and last weekend. It is fun to look at all the different people.
A little while after I got back, we ate and I noticed a woman and three prostitots at camp who I have never seen before. The mother was drunk off her ass and combative from the start. They were all dressed like slutty pirates. I thought I got a photo of them, but I didn't.
So mom goes to drum circle and ends up running a bunch of people off who were trying to dance. The girls come back to camp with some sob story about how mom is passed out in some tent. I'm hearing stories about how nuts this chick is, and how belligerent. Someone tells me she threatened to abandon her kids. That is all second hand info thought.
This is the point I went to bed.
I stumble out of bed about 3 am to take a leak and notice a tent right in the middle of camp. I remember a story of a very drunk guy who was trying to set up a tent in the middle of camp last year. He was just so drunk that he didn't realize the open area was someone's camp. Well, this looked planed. I went on about my business.
Day 3 (shit daemon continued)
So, I'm laying in bed listening to my knees creek and I hear some commotion outside and the sounds of revulsion among a crowd. I missed all the "fun" that happened the morning too. Apparently, I'm a heavy sleeper. I get up and get the story second hand. The people at my cam didn't want to let the three girls loose because mom was completely out of it. So, being good people, they set up the tent and put them all to bed. In keeping with the old saying "No good deed goes unpunished." The psycho bitch had had one of those horrible drunk shit-all-over-herself episodes in the tent. They ended up abandoning the tent and salvaging the hardware.
This is one of those things that happen. It five years someone will ask "Remember that bitch who tried to abandon her kids and ended up shitting all over the inside of a tent?"
This was one of those drama things people gripe about at Faire. Oh, well. I slept through most of it.
Sunday, I wanted to catch some pictures of Elle, but it was raining and I was too busy trying to pack up and basically just messing around. Got home. Slept for a bit. Unloaded the car. Started in on the pictures. I'm pooped. I need a vacation from my vacation.
It is supposed to rain again next Saturday. Dammit.


Sam's Club
So, Nat and I went to Sam's Club last night to get sausage, three dozen eggs, four pounds of bacon, cups and plates for faire. We also got 16 high efficiency light bulbs, 220 trash bags, a huge bag of dog food, and some other stuff. We filled one of those huge Sam's buggies. Some of the Sam's buggies have places in the back of the cart for two kids to sit. That's pretty cool. We walked out of the place for $127. I figure it would have been at least double that at a grocery store and we would not have been able to find nearly as high a quantity.
I did notice tooth brushes were not really that good a deal there. At least, not when compared to the dollar store. Razors were a pretty good price. Sam's wants $45 for one of those six foot plastic tables. They want $70 for one of the ten foot plastic tables. I couldn't find any metal shelves for the garage.
I'm learning that Sam's is a hit or miss kind of place. There are some things it is good for over the long haul and some things you just have to catch.


Lunch Conversation
# Video editing - I asked other folks what they have done in the past. No one seems to have gotten anything cool done, myself included.  This came up because of a discussion on compression.
# Linux at home - Most people give up on Linux at home. I understand. I don't play games any more so I'm really just using the box for web and email. The next version of MS OS will lock people down so it is harder to pirate software. I have a feeling many more folks will convert to Linux as their old machines die.
# Vacation season - A couple of folks are taking vacations soon. It is the low priority people's vacation season it seems.
# Faire - It's funny, people asked me about faire and the different camps. I enjoyed explaining the cool stuff that people have done out there.
# Hot or Not - Someone posted some of the guy's photos on one of the Hot or Not pages. They are betting how low their ratings will be. They took a bunch of pictures of themselves with "varying pupil sizes" for some reason. Those are the pictures that went online. I have a feeling I'll hear more about that one.


I went out for my normal constitutional walk at lunch today. I pace around the parking garage and talk to myself. Well, in between topics I noticed the shadow of a cloud on the ground laid out in front of me. I was on the roof, or top floor, of the garage with an unobstructed view of the lovely blue partly cloudy sky. This single poofy cloud was just next to the sun. I raised my hand up to block the intensity of the sun and could see both the whole cloud and it's whole shadow in my site at the same time. the shadow dwarfed the entire apartment complex behind the parking garage slopping over on all sides. I thought to myself "That little cloud is one apartment complex in diameter." it gave a strange feeling of just how high that cloud floated. It wasn't that high at all. I figure it was about six or eight times higher than the building based only on dead reckoning.
I stood there in awe once again of nature and our insignificant there in, and thought "I need a wide angle lens for my camera so I can capture something like this." But, my camera wouldn't do justice to a wide angle lens. It is not high enough resolution. No, I need a new rig. Something from Nikon. That Canon over exposes every picture it takes. What I really need is a flash right now, but I don't want to spend money on my current setup.
By this time the cloud floated away. I could still see it and the shadow below it. They were distant now and hazy. It reminded me of West Texas when I saw several clouds cast their shadows on the sides of hills and the desert floor. it gave the most wonderful depth to the whole scene.
That reminds me of Yellowstone Park and the observation station at the top of one of the summits we climbed. I took pictures of the amazing view that day. I caught clouds from the top casting shadows on valleys tens of miles away. All was blue and orange and green and distant. That was summer. I would like to photo Winter someday.
The year was 1991. The car was a primer black 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans am ram-air (the one with the scoops at the front of the hood). Dip-shit Brian cut a hole in the stock hood to accommodate a normal carburetor. It turns out that stock hood would have been worth far more than the rest of the car. I've blogged before about the trip to Florida I took in the early nineties. This was the car we took the trip in. It was primmer black. It was beat up. It needed shocks. It should have  been fast, but wasn't. Well, I think I found out why.
It had a Pontiac 400 in it. It had a different engine when Brian bought it. He rebuilt the 400 using pretty good parts and paying attention. The car lost power at higher RPM and I finally figured out what was probably wrong. First off, it had a high gear rear end. Second, you have to use different timing on a 400 than on a 350 or 455. it turns out Pontiac used a slightly different throw sequence on the pistons with that crank. The engine was timed to spark when it expected the pistons to be in the right spot for a 350. That only works on the first piston in the 400. We had the correct cam shaft, but were telling the plugs to fire at the wrong time. The engine ran, but lost power when put under stress.
In retrospect, it is a good thing that car was not as fast as hit could have been.


Summer School
For some reason I've had some memories pop into my head today about a Summer School class I took many moons ago. I took ti to get the credit out of the way. I needed to make up Algebra II on my schedule and this was the only way fit all of it in without killing myself.
it was not quite a blow off class. I had to pay attention and actually learned a bit. It was Government and Economics. One semester each.
There were two conversations that I specifically remember. Both involved a dumb blond who just had no worldly experience and didn't read on a regular basis.
1) We were covering the different stock and bond markets. The teacher mentioned that U. S. bonds were one of the most reliable if not the most reliable domestic investment you can get. That is why their yield is low. The blond spoke up and asked "What is the deal with U. S. bonds? They can fail too right." The teacher replied "If U. S. bonds don't pay off, you have a lot more to worry about than the stock market." The blond didn't get it. We had to explain that by the time U. S. bonds are failing, the entire economy of the U. S. will be in the toilet. She never did get the concept of the government being that important to the economy.
2) The discussion was on relations with the Middle East. They have oil and we want the oil. Thus, conflict. The subject of etiquette came up and the fact that one should not eat from a common try with the left hand in the Middle East came up. The blond asked "Why in the world would that be a problem?" The teacher responded "Would someone fill her in pleas." The teacher went on with the discussion and a few moments later your hear from the same girl "Nuh-uh. That can't be right." The teacher without having heard what was said replied "Yes, that is what happens."
So, I heard there was supposed to be a front moving in today. Well, they were right. It came on with a vengeance. You could see the wall of dark gray climb out of the distance like a rising plague. One side of the building was partly cloudy with bits of blue sky and the other side of the building was a portrait of foreboding.
It was lunch time so I ran out to the parking garage to catch a glimpse of the incoming torrent. I was not disappointed with my decision to take the stairs to the fourth floor. The power blinked several times. The fourth floor was the best vantage because it is right at the top of the trees that surround the garage. This gives the wind shape and presents.
The first waves of cold, rain laden wind shot straight through the open sides of the garage walls and straight into my face. That is the first taste of winter my friend.
The walk back to the building started with a trip back down the yet stairs in the garage. They were still warm from the earlier sunny day. I through to myself "I'm glad I carry a flashlight in my pocket." as I descended the narrow passage. The gap between the building and the garage is covered only from above with a simple roof. People darted across the open expanse now swept side to side with lashes of cold rain. It was like a Tomb Raider trap. I took my turn across the ankle deep puddle of exposed ground and only got wet on my left side. The air conditioning felt very strange on only half my body.
I could not think of a way to get from the ground floor to my work floor without using the elevator. I boarded the small crowded box and ascended. First a stop on one floor, then another stop. I breathed better when the door opened on my floor and I got out. I will have to learn of a way to my perch without the rickety lift.
This is faire weather.
Regarding Water Bottles
Don't try to put coffee  in a standard disposable water bottle. I tried it at faire first weekend. The bottle shrank from the heat and got sticky. The coffee tasted like plastic, so I threw it out. This experiment was a dismal failure. Just ask Nat. She will love to tell the tale.
When I started walking the strip of death along side the road from my home to the bus stop, I would nearly kill myself huffing and puffing. I drank an entire bottle of water and still wanted more. Now, I don't seem to break too much of a sweat and only drink half the water. Not all of that is due to the weather change. I think I'm getting some exorcise for a change.
I'm not alone. Half the folks on the bus carry a bottle of water in the Summer. The drivers don't seem to get upset about it. I've heard rumors that the faire folks won't stop you from bringing water into the faire. I usually sneak at least one bottle of water just so I have one to refill inside. TRF has to meet municipal water standards so the tap water is not that bad.
Strange Date
10/10 means something to me. I don't know if it is the time or the date. It is creeping me out and I don't know why. I remember noticing the time on my watch many years ago. I'm not sure what the hell is going on. I remember when I was a kid thinking that one of the classes started at 10:10 in the morning and the number creeping me out then. WTF?
Jen's news letter

I'll be at Main Street Crossing in Tomball this Friday night, Oct. 13, from 9pm - midnight.  You'll hear some originals, some jazzy standards, and some fun, sing-along cover tunes.
Main Street Crossing is in Tomball: 111 West Main Street. for a map.
Thanks and take care,

Sounds like fun to me. We will be at faire, but we would love to come.

Strange Date

10/10 means something to me. I don't know if it is the time or the date. It is creeping me out and I don't know why. I remember noticing the time on my watch many years ago. I'm not sure what the hell is going on. I remember when I was a kid thinking that one of the classes started at 10:10 in the morning and the number creeping me out then. WTF?


Dream of Faire
I read somewhere that they are finally going to start selling those vans in the U. S. that I keep catching on international news stories from all over the word. They are basically Isuzu trucks you see everywhere with a different bed/cab put on the frame. They are very cheep, pretty efficient, relatively reliable, oh, did I mention cheep? They drive like a tank and are not much on the amenities. One big advantage they have is the towing capacity of a heavy pickup truck.
So, what does this have to do with my dream? Thank you for  asking.
I had dream that Nat and I were at faire driving one of those vans with an Arrow-Stream trailer behind us. The whole gang had migrated from tents to RV trailers. I suppose we are all getting to that age. Nat and I were talking about it. There  are four shower units that make it out to the cam site at one point or another. There is at least one every weekend. That is not including RV showers.
So, even when I can't make it to the camp grounds, I dream of making it to the camp grounds. It isn't fare I'm thinking about. It is camping. I enjoy the camping more than the faire. I dug out my old MagLite, just because I can. I even found some old rechargeable D batteries to use with it. I may abandon them for alkaline because they are dim. Nat got me some batteries. The funny thing is, the 1 watt LED flashlight I carry is as bright as the two cell MagLite at close range. You cannot get a beam with the LED though. I can't wait to check out the LED MagLite somewhere.
I really missed fare this weekend. Nat begged me to go. She had a great time. She ended up going both days. She owns her own chainmail and the shop where they have the show needed people. She managed to get a ticket for Sunday on Saturday. So, why not?
What did I do?
Well, I had all these plans of writing a Python script for creating an xmms play list. I wanted to do some research for investing. I wanted to mow the back yard. I did absolutely none of it. As a matter of fact, I didn't even think of most of it until today at work.


So, Nat informs me on Thursday while I'm mowing the yard that she doesn't want to go to faire this weekend. I had just gotten a phone call from some friends who said they were not going to go out to faire because they cannot get a babysitter. This takes the wind out of my sails. Hey, that's fine. We can take a weekend off. Then, Saturday morning she gets a call that a bunch of her family is showing up. So, she wants to go anyway. That's fine, but my moment for faire has passed. I choose to take the weekend off anyway and just hang out Saturday. Well, it turns out the friends showed up Saturday too. By the time camp rolled around, every one was piled in the GP Large and I was listening to a great time over the phone. Nat informs me she is going back Sunday morning because she wants to model chainmail for Lord Randolph again.
I'm asleep by the time she gets home. I'm still asleep when she leaves Sunday morning. Elle shows up just after noon. She cries until she figures out Mommy is not home then quiets straight down to an afternoon of torturing the dog and eating the house down. That is about normal these days.
So, I didn't spend a moment at faire or the camp this weekend. I did get to hear plenty of really cool stories about the full moon and having fun with friends. I had every chance of going. It is not going to be a fun week at work without the relaxation.
Addenda 1
One of Nat's stories was of a dust devil following them around while they entered the camp grounds. When she got home, we watched a show on PBS about tornadoes. Then, the home makeover show was on. They were playing an episode where a family got put out of their house by a tornado. The creepy part is the family in the show had our same last name.
Addenda 2
On the way home, Nat was accosted by a vehicle full of teenagers. She had to call the police. By the time the teens figured out Nat was writing down their license plate number they took off. The police have the numbers and description of the vehicle and people.  A report went into the system. Nothing will happen, but it should I wish a cop would at least follow up on the issue just long enough to scare the teens in to realizing that there are consequences to their actions.
Makes me sick.

A Muslim minicab driver refused to take a blind passenger because her guide dog was "unclean".
Abdul Rasheed Majekodumni told Jane Vernon she could not get into his car with the dog because of his religion.

Basically, it is a bunch of cab drivers imposing their religious beliefs on the rest of society. It makes me sick. You don't find many Evangelical Christens working at adult book stores (I don't think). You don't find many Muslims at pig slater houses. Maybe cab driver is just not a compatible job for the Islamic religion. Hey, it happens.
It sounds like it is coming down to the battle of the minorities. I can't wait to find out how this ends. Will the cab drivers let the seeing eye dogs on the cabs? Will the blind people have to find non Muslim cab drivers? Will blind people be band from bringing their dogs on all cabs? What will it be after that?
Since I am legally blind, I take a vested interest in the story. I'll keep my ears open for a resolution. I may find a lawyer just in case I need to defend my rights here in the U. S.
Another blog entry on the subject.


Serenity RPG

Serenity Role Playing Game does a grand job of capturing the flavor of this setting. The system is pretty easy as well, with set difficulty values met by a variable set of dice. The editing is fairly decent, although there are a couple score typo or printing glitches scattered throughout the book. There are also a number of incidents where descriptions are incomplete. For instance, grenades are assigned a range, which is really the blast radius and no throwing range is ever explicitly provided, nor is it even possible to compare to a thrown weapon to extrapolate one. There are just enough of these little oversights to irk detail oriented readers. The layout, though, is quite decent, with full color pages, well placed dialog snippets throughout the volume, and full color art. Most of the art are direct film shots from the film, although there are some sketches of the Aces & Eights crew and vehicle schematics. Overall, this is a pretty solid game book. Or to put it in the vernacular, it is all shiny. Take a look and keep flying.

It even has game and plot points built in. It sounds like a larf.
The only gripes are on incomplete descriptions of things and a noted lack of rules. I say, make it up as you go, but I'm a nerativist.
On Target

In general, Rowan individuals are basically idealistic and progressive thinkers possessed of visionary minds, coupled with strong humanitarian and spiritual principles. They thrive on change, becoming impatient with convention or restriction. Artistic, original and unconventional, Rowan people can appear to others as detached and aloof for they are self-contained individuals and their vision is not necessarily always shared by the rest of humanity. Their cool temperament disguises many passionate beliefs and the need is always present for these individuals to argue their case against bigotry and ignorance. If Rowans are unable to find an outlet for their powerful imagination, they easily become restless and quarrelsome. Being true individuals who hate conformity, Rowans are natural born leaders but, because they often adopt unpopular causes, sometimes have very few followers. They are kind and thoughtful people but have problems in following others, which can lead to serious authority issues. Rowan people make for excellent listeners and are very respectful of others' opinions. Since they are somewhat unconventional characters in their approach to life, however, they have a tendency to be a little tactless and may alienate people. Rowans are also liable to antagonize through debate and escalate a situation out of proportion. In terms of a career, the Rowan individual is naturally drawn toward modern technology and possesses an overwhelming desire to reorganize and improve on anything which might be outdated.
Those born between these two dates also fall under the lesser influence of a secondary tree...the Poplar, whose motto is "Overcome Doubt" or "The Uncertainty." Poplar individuals have a decorative appearance but tend lack self-confidence. They are prone to mature very quickly and assimilate things equally as quickly. Displaying courage only when absolutely necessary and hostile only toward extremists, the narrow-minded or hotheads, Poplar people prefer the goodwill of others and pleasant surroundings. This individual can be somewhat choosy, is often lonely and may harbor great animosity toward others. Artistic by nature, they are good organizers who lean toward philosophy. Reliable in almost any given situation, Poplar people cherish their friends and surround them with love. They take partnerships very seriously but are inclined to be generous only toward those who are generous in return. The life of a Poplar individual is made of judicious transactions and all manner of exchanges. If the Poplar perceives a warm and friendly atmosphere, then the heart and spirit opens...if not, then he or she will withdraw.

This is by far the most accurate of any of the birthday based semi-religious tell-me-what-I'm-like things out there. I've always believed that religion and zodiac and all the other stuff of that ilk are basically ways to belong to a group. The bad stuff is on target at least. If you threw in a tendency to annoy people by taking their picture, you would have to put my photo on the description.
I found this on Goblin Nation. More specifically on the forum.


Quick Comments
We are not going out to faire this weekend. We just aren't feeling up to it. There isn't much else going on. Elle is still over at Bill's. Maybe I'll get around to posting on the blog.
Nat saw something move in the darkness outside our place and it tern out to be a very dirty, noisy kitten. Nat says most of the places that take strays don't take in animals on the weekends. I've never heard of this. I'm taking her word for it. I think she just wants to play with it for a couple of days before we take it to one of the no kill shelters.
Molly, the dog, is displeased. She wants to play with the kitten too.
Tiger, the ten year old cat, is beside himself with a young scrawny competitor in the house.
It is in there getting a bath. It doesn't sound happy. It is smaller than the rat I think. I hope it does not grow roots.
I found the new LED MagLite flashlights at Wal-Mart. I looked online, but I couldn't beat the Wal-Mart price by much. With shipping, I couldn't beat it at all. I'm ashamed. I sow missed my MagLite at camp last week. I dug out my two cell and the rechargeable batteries. I also dug up my other couple of LED lights. I need something that throws a bit more light. Besides, people got to know me in this group with a MagLite at my side.


Bad Cat!
The cat, Tiger, has been very bad recently. A couple of days ago I got up from a nap (crashed on the living room floor) and the cat freaked and scratched Nat's breast very badly. She didn't quite need stitches, but it was a deep cut. This morning Nat called me and told me that Tiger killed the rat, Pretty Girl. She got out of her cage sometime this morning. Nat is convinced if she had  fed the rat last night, she would not have gotten out of her cage. I believe it was just a matter of time.
I cannot blame the cat for being a cat. The Rat got out and the cat killed it. If it was a field mouse that got in and the cat killed it, we would be pleased. However, the fact that the cat is skittish and scratched Nat to the point she nearly needed stitches just because I stood up from a nap tels me the cat is a bad cat.
Poor Nat had to gather up Pretty Girl and put her in a small shoe box. I'm not sure if we are going to bury her or what. As for the cat, I have no clue if Nat wants to do anything or not. Probably not. I'll support her 100% no matter what.
When I got home, Nat told me there were no real marks on Pretty Girl. We speculate she may have had a heart attack. There is no way of telling really. Any out there in the blogsphere have a better idea?


Red Dragon
There was a guy at Safe Haven who went by the faire name Red Dragon. I don't think I ever met him. I've not heard the story of what happened to Red Dragon. It sounds like something tragic befell him. I do catch the same story every year.
Ken left his armor on a chair in the middle of camp over night. We were at breakfast Sunday morning and Marble made the comment "Ken isn't going to pull a Red Dragon is he?" He then proceeded to tell the story of Red Dragon coming back to camp smashed out of his mind and stripping off his armor as he stumbled to the place where he would simply fall and pass out. This lead to the story of ...
The MIGHTY RED DRAGON!!!! .. and his little dog Cuddles.
Red Dragon would wonder around the camp grounds drinking and making merry with his little dog in tow. Marble said that he saw Red Dragon early one morning look at Cuttles and say "Cuttles, where's camp." and Cuttles lead him back to  camp. Red Dragon would follow the little dog with blinders on in a semi controlled stumble. You have to ask Heath to show the walk. I just can't do it justice.
I've heard this story a couple of times and it never failles to crack me up, at least when Heath tels it.


First weekend was a blast. We are going to have to get some stuff for next weekend. We used our own tent. We are going to leave the sleeping bags behind and just bring the blankets because we are on an air mattress and cots any way. Next weekend we are staying in the medium GP if we can find some dividers to hang. Nat is going to get a Sam's membership. It will save us money in the long run.
We still need:
# Batteries for the flashlights.
# Another little bottle of propane for the lantern/stove.
# Lantern mantels for the lantern and for Chrystol who gave me some last weekend. I would have swore I had purchased some, but they are nowhere to be found.
# Tons of water. You really cannot have enough water at camp.
# Breakfast stuff. We should get an email soon on what to bring.
I didn't take many pictures this time. I was too busy having fun. They will show up eventually. I need to remember to charge everything before we go. They had a generator out there this time so I was able to charge my phone while they made coffee in the morning. Tony has a huge coffee maker that makes like two gallons of coffee at a time. It uses one pound of coffee. It puts a huge load on the generator so you cannot really use an inverter to power it. I don't really have a use for a generator, but it would be cool just to own one. (No Kelly, No!!!!)
it was more fun camping than running around the faire. I was worried about not being able to buy things, but I didn't really miss it at all. We did get some pepper jelly stuff that is really good. The stuff we got last year was really good.
There were tons of old friends and some new ones. There were drunks and lost people to play with. We did have a fire in a regulation fire pit. I was kind of worried about that. It just isn't a camp without a camp fire.
Saturday evening I got back to the cam from faire and fell asleep. Nat nearly dragged me to the shower, but I snored away. I got up for a while, but I was just too tired to participate. I got up and grumbled around the camp for a while. I walked down the back road just to wake up. It helped. I tried to go back to bed like five times that night, but couldn't. I kept getting woken up for social crises. (see below)
Heath made some ribs on the pit. They are only bringing the pit every other weekend this year. It is just so much frigging work for Heath. He swears he only bought the ribs because they were on sale. He was just screwing around on a whim and made some of the best ribs I've ever had in my life. I nearly tackled five people for seconds. I remember last year Heath saying "These pork chops are not my best." He sounded disappointed. I loved them. I really need to make it to one of the cook-offs.
Oh, I got thrown in jail. The faire has a little jail that people can pay $5 to get you thrown in the cell. I just got picked  out of the crowd because we know the jailers. It turns out I'm a terrible begger. They put one of the girls who worked there in with me to show me how to beg. It didn't help. I think every one I except the couple of guys who would have gotten me out came by and laughed at me. Nat took off to go barrow two bucks. and I was alone. Even my brother in law who will remain nameless came by and wouldn't bail me out. I ended up coughing up my hidden $5. Humph. last year I bailed out like five or eight people. Not one of them was in ear shot.
There was a funny thing that happened while I was in the jail. A beautiful red head was put in the cage with me. She claimed to be Italian. She was good at begging. How ironic. I doubt she had to beg for much. The amazing thing is, I was invisible to her. I mean, It was like we were in two different universes that just passed within sight of each other. The really strange thing is I caught it right then. Normally I don't get it for a day or a week, or even longer what was going on in a social situation like that, but I caught it and was able to react appropriately (get out of her way) right on the spot. That is a new one for me.
A chubby Mexican chick was put in there and told the crowd that she swallowed to get out of the jail. I'm just plane bad at begging. I think she might have been trying to impress her friends, but who knows. Some girl paid her way out and they kissed as they walked away. Now, if that had been the Italian chick, ... Well, I may have ended up in real jail.
One of our friends is going through a rough time in his life and made Nat cry on Saturday night. This is the second time he has pulled this kind of thing and is starting to upset me. He has used his "other cheek" card here. I really hope he figures out what is going on in his life and stops hurting his friends.