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


2007-03-30

Point of View #2
Yesterday I described the wreck as I remembered it. Nat had a much better vantage point. She reminded me that we were on the east side of Highway 6 in the westbound far left lane. I said people were eastbound by mistake. Nat also has a better order of events. I wish she would contribute it to either her blog or this one. I'm not sure why, but it feels important to get things straight. I only remember a crunch and seeing the wheels of the belly-up Dodge go by through someone else's window.
Isn't that always the case? Cops say it happens every time. Every person on the scene has a slightly different story describing the same event. I remember psychology class where we read studies of people in a classroom all surprised by a person walking in and steeling something off the professor's desk. The descriptions given of what happened very from person to person. Then they find out it was all an experiment. The would be robber walks in and a video is produced. Every one in the class goes over what they say happened and what really happened. Many people are surprised how wrong they were. Sometimes people still don't believe the video.
This makes me want to put a pod on top of the car with a bunch of video cameras aimed in all directions and a recording device somewhere. I have a buddy who does surveillance camera work. I bet he could rig something up that would black-box the data in some stout way that would survive a crash. Store things like speed and possibly GPS kind of data as well. That might be a whole new market. I imagine armored car companies to law enforcement would be interested in that kind of thing.
Today at work, every ten minutes, a vehicle slammed on it's breaks in the busy intersection five floors down. It makes me wonder how many near misses there are right outside my window. I've seen the aftermath of a couple from my perch. When will we have autonomous cars?


2007-03-29

Near Miss
Saw a car flip over tonight. Nat has told the details like nine times to any one who would listen. She is shaken up over it.
We were stopped waiting for the light at Westheimer and 6. When there was a crunch behind us. Out of the corner of my eye I see the Jeep Cherokee next to us lurch towards us as the guy behind the wheel flexes hard standing on the break. He was already at a stop. Then I see, through his windows, the wheels of a vehicle (Dodge Durango) role past. Not the wheels, the vehicle. It came to a stop and there were shouts and people started getting out of their cars. The woman driving the Durango was pinned. Her son was able to get out.
Let me try to explain what was going on.
  • Heavy traffic all trying to get to highway 6. Bumper to bumper. Not really moving at this point.
  • Little black car pulling out of Academy, stops to let the Durango go by.
  • Blue car turning left from the East bound side of Westheimer starts crossing the lanes of traffic to get into the Academy parking lot.
  • The Durango was East bound in the far right lane and didn't see the blue car.
  • Durango hits front right of blue car sending it into the green Jeep Cherokee next to us. (under is more like)
  • The Durango gets knocked to the right and hits the black car at an odd angle nearly crushing the small car.
  • Durango, now sideways flips.
  • Durango also hits the Green Jeep next to us.
  • Our car was hit by debris from at least one of the cars. There is a tinny green smudge on the back passenger panel. I remember no sensation of impact.
I'm sure I'm not doing it justice. At some point a green Ford explorer got rear ended too. I've gone over this ten times in my head and I bet the Blue car crossing the street turning left may get a ticket. I don't think the Durango was going that fast. It rolled, but then again, it is a 4x4 SUV.
Nat was out of the car and on 911 in a shot. I had to tell her not to get between the cars. I've heard too many horror stories about people getting squashed between cars after an accident.
My first impulse was to jump out and start taking pictures. That is rude in that situation. I stayed in the car and kept Elle company. Elle never freaked out. Nat pulled us into the Academy parking lot, via the other entrance. Elle and I sat there for a few minutes and then got out to watch the mayhem. Elle tried to wave at the ambulance driver and got upset when he didn't wave back. I tried to explain to her that they were very busy.
My Summery is that all three of our guardian angels were on the job.


2007-03-28

Bus Shooting
There was a killing on the same bus line that I take to and from work. It happened at 11:40 or so today. I was safe at work. Still, it is pretty close to home. I remember blogging about a bus trip where a man and woman were fighting to the point I expected one of them to hit the floor. All these different scenarios go through my head. Married couple, fighting over a seat, some genuine nutter with a pistole. One of the news reports said they got on together and were fighting before the gun play. I hate the bus on a normal day.
It may have been that creepy guy who talks to people. No, I couldn't be that lucky. This guy just rambles on like he knows everything. He just likes to hear himself talk. There is not much worse than someone who wants to talk to you while riding the bus. Maybe the religious freaks who honest to God, put on a skit right at the front of the bus like they are old buddies who just ran into one another. I wonder if it was them. That would be funny.
I'm glad the shooter is in custody. I hope to run in to some details on tonight's news.
Done
I wonder how many "ode to the blank page" poems have been written. I feel like jotting something down worth your time to read, but that isn't as easy as it sounds. At what point has one blogged everything there is worth blogging about. No question mark because it is rhetorical. I suppose if I have the strength to put hand to keyboard, I should be able to think of something to say.
Then again ...


2007-03-27

Feeling better OK less bad
I have a rule. I do not run to catch a bus. I have come across too many stories of people tripping and busting their teeth or an arm while running to catch a bus. I have to pay very close attention to cross the street so I try not to do any more than jog across an intersection.
This morning I walked my normal rout to the bus stop. I trudged through the mud and past intersections. By the time I got to the last street to cross.. I noticed the west bound side got the turn signal. This means the light is about to change in my favor. I found myself in the right position to cross the street just as the light turned green. You want to do this because the person in front has no momentum. They have less opportunity to run you over if they are not moving. As the light turned green and I started across the street I realized that i had jogged the last several steps to put myself in the right position. I've been sick and the thought of jogging, only yesterday, made me feel weak. I then remembered that I was sweating. I was hot and wet from walking and it didn't feel like I was going to die. Heck, it felt kind of good - like stretching a muscle after it has been sitting too long. After standing at the bus top and gulping some water, I notice that I hadn't even coughed yet.
Worry not, I coughed my head off later at work, only after taking my cough medicine.
So, what made the difference? I took antihistamine last night before going to bed. They usually knock me out. I slept like a baby. I don't remember waking up for coughing. I did wake up for the weather. Wind, rain, thunder all scare Elle. I said a prayer for our safety and enjoyed the sound of the rain in my antihistamine stooper.
Reminder
I'm typing a reminder email to myself as I type this. For example, yesterday, I sent a note to myself that said to bring in a USB mouse to PS/2 port converter. I need it for a KVM that really sucks. I tried it and it doesn't work anyway. That's not why I'm jotting this down.
I send myself an email from work to the house saying "Bring in a USB mouse thing." I dig it out of the bins-o-crap I cannot believe I found it. Then I reply to the email saying "Take the USB thing out of your bag." Well, I got to work this morning and saw a "reminder" email from myself. I could not remember for the life of me why I sent myself the email. The USB gizmo was in my pocket the whole time (not the bag).
My commute must be stressful or at least distracting. I'm lucky I can remember my name when I walk in to either work or home. When I get to work, I just want to get to work. That makes sense, right? When I get home, I just want to be home.
There is a new dimension to this reminder method. I can send myself emails from my phone now. It is a bare to type in, so, thankfully, I'll keep it brief. I bet it works though. I haven't tried it yet. It will probably work better than a string around my finger.


2007-03-26

Wanderings
A car that has been spotted in our parking garage a couple of times. I'm pretty sure it is a Ferrari. There is a Lotus that's out there every now and then too. There are a bunch of Vets. I'm not sure which company pays enough for all this access.
Ferrari front

Ferrari Side

The Halls are Buzzing
I can't tell you how many conversations I hear in a day of work that are about video games. It isn't a bad thing. People really do keep it to a minimum. Which makes it even more strange. You might hear a conversation about zombies or mutants or intergalactic drug cartels that own all the banks.
I've blogged about hearing a conversation about insurance and whether or not it was worth the cost only to find out it was starship insurance in an online game.
I haven't played any games in so long. I do not have time, money or time. Time counts twice.
Where I used to work people always talked about stocks and sports. There is plenty of that here, but people are not afraid to let there inner geek shine through. ... Well some still don't do it much <cough>Bill</cough>.


2007-03-25

Global Warming being Gored

The best science does indicate that global warming is real and man-made - and Gore deserves applause for making global warming cool again. But statements about the strong, ominous and immediate consequences of warming are often wildly exaggerated. This is also strong Gore territory - and here he deserves a severe reprimand.
...
There are many world problems - like HIV, malnutrition, trade barriers, malaria, lack of clean drinking water - where we can do immense amounts of good. It seem obvious to me that we should focus our attention and our big expenditures there first.

Gore is really riding the global warming thing. He lost the presidency. He never was that good at being a politician. He is a pretty face among a long list of pretty faces. He will ride this dead horse until it bucks him, or people just don't pay attention any more.
He most have come into contact with several celebrities during the Clinton years. I remember a news story about the room for rent if any one famous happened by at the White House. They brainwashed Gore in to thinking they had the secret to a genuine cause. The man is barking loudly. Who besides me only chuckles and gets on with their lives?
It is scary when the New York Post dumps all over your liberal cause with facts. Gore must have fallen and I missed it.
Real Estate

Dekortage sends news of what may be a new development in the attempted mainstreaming of Second Life. We've seen plenty of examples of real-world news media, politicos, and PR campaigns setting up in SL. But so far most of this action has been about first-life organizations trying to gain real-world publicity by their forays into SL. CNN is reporting that the real estate firm Coldwell Banker is moving into SL for the purpose of selling and renting in-world properties. From the article: "Coldwell Banker has bought extensive tracts of property on the central 'mainland' of Second Life. (Most companies own 'islands' scattered all over.) It subdivided this digital land into 520 individual houses and living units, half of which it will sell and half it will rent... 'A small number of land barons mostly control real estate in Second Life, and we thought we could bring real estate to the masses,' [a VP explained]."

One of the oldest mantras in the real estate biz is "They ain't making' any more of it." This presents a fundamental flaw in the plan to use online worlds as a basis for a market.
# The company can simply turn off the servers and "poof" there goes your investment.
# The company can simply change a value in a field somewhere and "poof" there is a new continent to sell to the highest bidder.
# The company can invent disasters, or ignore damage to specific structures or areas based solely on a whim, or who pays more to the online company.

There are just too many variables of a human nature to rely on a virtual universe. For a genuine bank to get in the business of this flighty nature where it can all just go away at the flip of a switch.


2007-03-24

Drugs
Nat, Bill, Elle and I went to a couple of pharmacies today. I snapped a couple of pictures.
Elle waiting for drugs
Elle wanted to sit in the fancy moving chair that Nat had hold of there for a minute.

Elle waiting for drugs
Of course, she made it in the chair. What the picture dies not portray is the "bvbvbvbvbvbv" nose Ell makes while in the hot-seat.
We ended up in three different places. Now that we have better insurance, we can get medicine when we need it. She doesn't act sick. Elle was running around the isles and giggling at toys.
Lawn's mowed
Lawn guy came and went. The yard looks great. He cut the yard with a kind of circular patter. He cut shorter than I normally do. I never water so I was cutting it a bit taller. I'm going to keep an eye on it. If the grass doesn't burn, I'll keep it that short.
I walked outside for two minutes to look at the job and pay the guy. I started coughing right off the bat.
Oh, well.
Nat and I will be in the market for a wheelbarrow. This is the highest sign of home ownership. We want a patio. Nat says she wants to put something in herself. That sounds like a lot of work, but it will make the place more "ours". It kind os sounds like fun too. I promise to take pictures and blog it.
We cannot have any temporary buildings according to the HOA. Any building has to be built as a permanent structure. I'll have to do my homework to find out if that is possible and will fulfill my needs.


2007-03-23

Self Medicating
Well, I cleared it with my doctor first. I'm sick, I'm taking an expectorant. They are about the only thing that feels like it is doing anything. They are from Wal-Mart. They are generic. The pills are rough. It is like trying to swallow a little piece of brick. It sure would be nice to have some mucus membranes left for that ride to the bottom, but I've been taking these things for a couple of days. My throat is dry and the pills are like wads of sand paper. Nice combo Wal-Mart. I nearly choked to death today at lunch.
Oh, but the latests batch are blue. That was a pleasant change over off-gray.

I just got back from Wal-Mart.
Tandom axl toy
I would have killed for one of these when I was a kid.
Anyway, I took the day off. I walked to the bus stop and my chest was hurting when I breathed in. The doctor gave me a prescription and said not to get it unless I got worse. I got some paint thinner quality antibiotics. It's called Avelox. It came with a bright yellow instruction sheet and some warning labels. I like it.
Nat was a sweetheart and called a lawn guy so I don't have to mow tomorrow. I'm off to rest and scrounge up some grub.


2007-03-21

Cough!!!
I sound like a dying man.
Web Development
I have some new assignments at work. They are web development. I feel like I should turn my nose up at it for some reason. That is very foolish. It is good work. I won't say it is easy. It is a challenge at times. Mostly making sure people ask for what they really want, realize what they really need and providing both. With design jobs, satisfying you customer is priority. They have to be able to be satisfied is the rub.
The really cool thing is, I know someone making $35 an hour doing this stuff. Sounds like a useful thing to learn. This is what I have a 2 year degree in after all. It was just called digital publishing then.
Ah, it's off to dinner.


2007-03-19

Bullet Points of My Recent Life
People wonder how I know so many stupid facts. I like Cliff Calvin on Cheerer's. I'm observant, but not on things that matter. Nat says she has seen women hit on me and I paid no attention because I just plane missed it. Better that way I suppose for a married guy. I could have used a hint or two in my younger days.

When I send pictures i take on my phone to the gallery on T-Mobile they come out 400 by 300 something. For some reason the web page seems to shoot them down a bit. They look a big blurry too. When I email them to myself, they look better and are the native 640x480. I don't think they show up in my gallery if I email them. They are stored somewhere on the web though because the emails only have links, not the attached pictures. Which makes me think I better go ahead and copy them out of the email in case they disappear from the www in a given amount of time.
Basically, they are crappy pictures. They look choppy like they have been rendered up from a lower resolution. They are a bit over compressed. The camera part of the phone must be smaller than the end of my pinkie. The upgraded model of the phone has a 1268x1024 camera (1.3 mega pixel) that fits the same footprint. That is James Bond kind of stuff. Imagine what tools Bond would have to use today to keep up with the Joneses of international intrigue.

Lance came through with a lanyard. I'm appeased for the moment. It works like a champ. He got it from his Wii game system. There was a recall on the lanyards so he had a couple laying around. Thanks man.

Microsoft has a control panel in Vista called something like Mobile Device Control Center or something. I've noticed instructions for it floating around. I frigging hate that because it means that independent developers will rely on that control panel and not write better interfaces. If they don't write them for Windows, they won't filter to Linux.I hate to admit it, but that is the way it seems to work these days. I'm looking for phone software that will let me sync my phones through bluetooth or USB and there is just plane nothing out there that I've gotten to work yet. Now, I know why. MS has squelched creativity.

We didn't do anything special for St Patric's day. We went over to A&L's house and ate dinner with their family. That was a lot of fun. We are all parents now. That is so funny. We told stories of the apartment that Adam, Ethan and I shared for a while as we were all coming of age. Adam's mom was introduced to J├Ągermeister. That is a story in itself. Cathy (Ethan's wife) commented "J├Ągermeister is usually the last thing you remember drinking." Too true.
We watched a DVD from Susan. It had some video and many pictures on it. She made it herself, but the DVD had some play back issues. I've noticed that on home-burned DVDs.The videos were very cute. They live in Alaska. The kids are hyper because they are trapped inside so much during the winter. Adam narrated. It was informative.
Adam also made home made ice-cream. It had the consistency of a stout shake. It was very rich. It was also very good.  couldn't eat more than a scoop or two. I believe he served it via a ladle.
We hadn't hung out with A&L in too long. I talk to Adam at work all the time now. It doesn't feel the same at all. That is work stuff.

Blogging Trouble
Lately, I've been a bad blogger. I'm working a bit more than normal. I can't blog about some of the things I would like to get off my chest. They are just plane inappropriate. I've had a couple of people say they've noticed I haven't written as much lately. It is true. I have plenty of excuses.

# Work
As I mentioned above, I'm working a bit of over time. I worry that I'm no good at my job. I try to be a good employee and I try to do a good job too. those are two different things really.

# Family
Nat and Elle are wonderful. I like spending time with them despite Nat's opinion.

# Illness
I'm sick with something. I've made an appointment for tomorrow to go back to the doctor. It leaves me feeling tired and lazy. I do chores around the house. By the time I'm done with my day of needs, the wants fall away somewhere. All I want to do is vegetate. Tell me I'm alone in that one.

# Laziness
I've never been one to jump in and crank out bullet points.

# Home ownership
Home ownership has been surprisingly stressful. I knew it would be a pain, but I thought it would be more rewarding too. It has just been a pain. It's just a place to take care of and a yard to mow.

As a side effect of all these time consuming events, I have not written as much in my blog. I still feel the need to write things down for the world, but the time I have to do that is falling by the way-side.
I have a feeling that there is a story or something brewing in my mind. I think it is acting like a log-jam for the rest of the ideas flowing down stream. I have no idea what it is, or if it is any good, or if it will end up on the blog. I worry it is life altering event that will happen to me sometime soon. I hope that is not the case. I'm actually happy these days. That is the perfect time for the "other shoe" to drop I suppose. I hope I'm wrong about that one.

By the way, bullet points are considered a blogging faux pas.


2007-03-18

Bluetooth Lanyards and the Right to Bare Music
I have been looking for a lanyard for my mobile phone. I have one for my flashlight that I carry around. I need one to prevent dropping my phone. I can find lanyards all day long that are the around the neck kind. I have ten or so laying around. What I need is a lanyard that comes with the electronic devices like cameras or ... mobile phones. I need one of the around the hand kind.
When you do a search online for lanyard there are a million sites. You can design your own custom lanyards. You can order them by the pallet.
I'm also trying to get the bluetooth software for Linux to work. I've heard it works all right, but takes some playing. There is some documentation on the subject around the net.
Nat is a victim of the ring tome scam. She got a new phone from the self same career and they are making her buy the old ring tones again because they would not directly transfer from the old phone. This should be illegal. It's going to take a constitutional amendment to get that.
I think we, the people, should demand that once the rights to a piece of entertainment is purchased, all forms of said entertainment are then purchased. In other words, once you buy a song, you get it at cost-of-media from every other venue it is available. No renting, no leasing. no legal shenanigans, just once you buy it, you got it. Heck, then you can pass it along to your kids when you die. You can sell it it at a profit. I like that idea.
What do you think
Notes from Saturday Morning

Filed under "Eat spinning steel dip shit!!!"
Here is a link to the latest in home defense designs.

Today is St Patric's day. You wouldn't know it by looking around. It is very quiet.

The back yard needs mowing again already. I just mowed it. The weeds are knee high all ready. I need to get some weed killer for the back yard. I need mass quantities.

Last night Nat and I went over to my parent's place. Elle had a mobile phone from a garage sale. It didn't work, but she would sit there and have conversations with every one she knows. She used it to take fictitious pictures. "Say cheese!"


2007-03-17

One Song Days
No more one song days in a while. I can still listen to the song that gave me the emotional jump start, Breath. There is a song lyric that says feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all. I do not believe that. Sometimes the world just all pulls tight. It is hard to remember there is more to it all. There is no limit to things that can or will happen.
I listen to the same song for a couple of days straight. I'm not the only person who does this. I've seen it in movies. It must be a sign of depression. Today is not one of those days. I am married to a wonderful woman. I have the most amazing doughtier. I have the best parents. I have great friends. I have a good job. It is a day where I like listening to old country. Songs about uncloudedly days. and finding God in the cupboard .
Today is a good day.


2007-03-15

Day
I took today off. Yesterday I left work early at just after five o'clock. Funny, that is early these days. I called in this morning. I feel a bit better now. Nat had the right medicine for me. She is the best wife. She is the best friend too.
I'm tired. I was a bit feverish last night. That seems to have past.
While waiting for Nat to come pick me up yesterday I tried out a quick video on my new phone. It didn't do a half bad job. I'll try to link it below.
Today was one of the prettiest days I've felt in a while. I didn't get out to enjoy it.
I've thought about sending pictures and videos to my friends. The majority of them will bitch at me for costing them money. Are Nat and I the only ones in our click with pictures and video on our phones? I feel like I have to drag people kicking and screaming in to the age of hyper communication.

here is the link to test video. You are on your own getting it to work. there is audio, but it is very low. Please give it a try and let me know if it does or does not work for you.


2007-03-12

Daylight Savings Time
It's funny dealing with all the different operating systems and the different approaches to controlling clocks. Most of them have behind the scenes updates that take care of this sort of thing. Those work great, until you are on computers that are not connected to the internet. Then it is all done manually. No big deal, just time consuming.
And what's with Des Moines Iowa and Chicago Illinois being on the list of cities and not a single city in Texas. That is just plain annoying.
What is the point of daylight savings time these days? If any one asked me we should just all use UTC and figure out what time things are supposed to happen. I know people have a hard time with one-world-anything, but this is an exception. One of the guys up here said it gets him every time they make the switch. I have to say it hasn't been that big a deal for me this time. My schedule is messed up any way. I bet it affects those who have a firm routine greater than the chaotic folks like myself.
Frigging Edison started this crap to save candles. It looks like I'm not the only one who thinks it is a crappy idea to observe this silly tradition any more.


2007-03-11

Good Sunday
# Parents took us out to Ragin Cagun. Though, it is on Gessner, not Westheimer.
# Parents bought us a new bed. We need a new bed.
# Parents took Molly to help us find her a new home.
Hmmm. Good Sunday. I'm so glad to have supportive family in the area. I remember my father saying he had to flee the state of Kansas to get away from his parents. I think I'm reaping the benefit of his hard times.
Not to mention it was a pretty day. It is supposed to be rainy and horrible all week. You know what, I'm not sure I mind. I would rather have a couple of good days on the weekend than five nice days in the middle of the work week. This is Spring Break for a bunch of people. That sucks for them. I'm working over time.
Hot Box
So, I'm compressing my home directory with bzip2 (like zip, but smaller files) to copy it to another machine. I'll explain why later if things work out. I don't want to jinx anything. Now, remember, this is nothing out of the ordinary. This is something perfectly every-day. I do it ten times a day at work. My machine starts over heating and gives me a bunch of scary messages up the screen.

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:35 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU1: Running in modulated clock mode

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:35 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU0: Running in modulated clock mode

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:41 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU0: Temperature above threshold

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:41 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU1: Temperature above threshold

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:41 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU1: Running in modulated clock mode

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:41 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU0: Running in modulated clock mode

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:49 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU1: Temperature above threshold

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:49 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU0: Temperature above threshold

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:49 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU0: Running in modulated clock mode

Message from syslogd@dellbox at Sun Mar 11 17:15:49 2007 ...
dellbox kernel: CPU1: Running in modulated clock mode

That means my crappy Intel processor is kicking in to a slower gear to prevent a melt-down. This really pisses me off. I will never own another computer that has a kick-down gear when the going gets above 50% usage. What the hell were they thinking?
My computer is something like a 2.3 GHz machine. That is, it is 2.3 GHz until you need it then it turns into a 1.4 GHz or something.


2007-03-10

Yoda?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

How far off are these guys. I don't think there were enough questions.
Nat will be pleased that she married a short alien who is not known for his talent with the ladies. Is Yoda male? Does his species have mail/female bits?

Glimpse
The radio mentions a dragon boat gathering. The announcer describes the boats and the crowds. It makes my mind wonder for a moment. I think of a movie I saw years ago that started with a person rowing in flat water through a city. That leads my mind to a scene I encountered on a Boyscout retreat when I was fifteen. A man in a small boat on a lake at dawn pulling in floats as the sun shown sideways in the waist deep fog rising off the warm water in a cool sharp air morning. The shadows of the trees around the lake only allowed rays of light and dark through it seems one at a time. The trees chose the rays well. From the shore it seemed your feet should be wet. The ground felt like it was under the water level. The sounds from the man in the boat were echoed around the lake giving every tree and rock a voice. The smell was of camp - wet, cold, dirt, fire, and bug spray.
Then I come back. I'm thirty eight years old. That memory is of a moment that lasted a few heartbeats from many years ago.

Flawed Design
There are two fundamental flaws in the design of calendars.
1) You must enter data into it before it is useful.
2) You must read the data back out of it before that information is useful.
I suppose these two design flaws apply to more than calendars. Databases of most any kind have this problem. If the data goes in easy, most likely, it comes out hard or hard to understand. If the data comes out easy and usable, generally, something had to be done to make it so. The oldest saying in computers "garbage in, garbage out".
This is why some people have personal assistants. it takes a human to understand what a human wants. This is why phone robots are so damn annoying. It isn't the buttons. I've noticed you have to speak to the damn things lately. I miss hitting the buttons. They don't seem to understand "Oh, for fuck sake!" either.
I'm sure there are folks out there working feverishly on detecting inflection in people's voices over the phone. There is an industrial need for it. I read somewhere that there is no technical reason there are not video phones in every home and in every one's pocket. People don't want them. I don't either. There are some things best left to yesterday's specs.
I used to wonder what I was going to do about all the little bits of stuff. I used old plastic 35mm film cases to store things. Well, I use plastic bags or pill bottles now. Sometimes things just evolve. I dread video phones. I'm playing the old-codger card on that one.

Prince (whatever he is calling himself this week)
I remember my father going fishing with some friends of his. One of them had a boat with a stereo in it. All my life I've been told to be quite while fishing because the fish don't like loud noises. Well, then comes the story of my dad and the music that makes the fish jump.
My Dad's buddy liked country and what we would now call classic rock. However, through much experimentation, he noticed the fish liked a heavy beat. He would put prince in the tape deck and crank it up. it was the only urban music he could tolerate. My father reported to me that it worked great. Sure enough the fish would show up with a little bump in the boat.
I first heard "Pussy Control" at a club called Midnight Rodeo. Yes, it is a country place. I've noticed most people who listen to country like other kinds of music too. I've heard that hip-hop aka. (gangster) rap, aka. be-box, aka. urban aka. crap is on the decline. When interviewed people said it had a bad influence on people who listened to it. You think?!? Some of it is. Some of it is not. I've heard some Christian hip-hop that was pretty good. Prince doesn't seem anything like hip-hop to me. I don't particularly like Prince. I can listen to his work. There are some real stinkers in there.
I read somewhere that Prince played every instrument on his first album. He was from the mid-west somewhere. That's nice. I'm not sure I care.


2007-03-08

Stolen Clips

Just out for a day of clear blue flying. No one appears to get hurt.


Reminds me of one of the first videos I ever viewed on a computer. I could not do this job.

Both videos shamlessly stolen from Canoe, Hunt, Fish, and Fly, by Otter

Timely
I'm listening to NPR this morning. A story comes on about teenagers complaining about their parents never giving them the "talk". You know the one. The birds and the bee - I never got that one really. I've always wanted to be the dad that could talk about anything. This is timely because Nat had a little talk with Elle last night about kissing boys. The talk came about because of a little boy at McDonald's. Elle said something about kissing a boy at school. We are going to have a talk with the teacher about that one. Elle is four. I'm not ready to deal with this. I'm going to deal with it anyway.
I plan on being one of those irrational dad who supports his daughter without provocation. I plan on always taking her side  even if I know she is wrong. I'll tell her if I think she is wrong, but I'll still have her back. I'm not sure I can keep that up all the time, but I'll try.
Didn't I just say she was four going on sixteen?

Build Make Compile
Compile is what happens to each file as the Build program runs on a full package. Make is the name of one of those Build commands.

Compile usually refers to gcc or visual studio compiler. it converts code into binaries through a magical process that no one on Earth fully understands.
Make is the command that kicks things off. The Makefile is a list of commands, a script, that the Make program follows in order to Build a whole software package.
Build is the action of converting man's written code into that which will throw trillions of switches all in the correct order in what seems like an instant.
Like life, every switch in a computer is dependent on pretty much every other switch in the computer. Every line of code I write depends on millions of lines of code written by people I will never know. That line is dependent on a history of standards. That line is one among a legion of instructions that print "hello world".
The more I learn about computers, the more I'm amazed that anything ever works at all.


2007-03-07

Father Daughter evening
Nat went to the rodeo concert last night. She said she had a ton of fun. I hope she blogs about it. Bill picked Elle up from school and dropped her off after I made it home. I've been working over time lately so that wasn't until after seven.
When Elle came in she was crying because she didn't want Bill to leave. She is getting older and I've noticed that she doesn't have the dread in her cry when people leave any more. She is getting older and I believe she understands that her life has some stability. She was in a pretty bad situation several years ago where her life was not stable. It was just hard times. Nothing too scary.
When Bill left. Elle cried for about another three minutes. Even then it was the whimper cries. Then we settled in. We watched a bit of TV. Elle learned how to change channels with the remote at some point. She watched some model show because there was singing and dancing. That is about right for a four year old.
At some point Elle got up to go to the bathroom and said "Don't touch the remote." ... I touched the remote. When she came back she put her hands on her hips and said "You touched the remote!" I said "Yup!" She plopped down in her chair and said "AARGH!! fiiiiine!!" Four going on sixteen.
Nat didn't get home until after we were all in bed. Elle went and got ready for bed when I asked her to. She hopped in bed when I asked her to. I don't think she was up in here room. Why can't all evenings be like that?


2007-03-06

Your tax dollars at work.


2007-03-05

Weekend Review
I worked some overtime Saturday morning. I was in for about four hours. It honestly felt good. I don't mind working when I have good things to do. Good things are those that have steps along the way to give you a sense of accomplishment. I got one of those Saturday. I got one little piece of the puzzle to fit in place. It was nice.
Friday evening Nat and I went to see a movie at Alamo. It was abnormally noisy. Not just people talking, but someone moving a cart around in the back during one of the final climactic scenes. Some bitch behind us kept messing with her phone making it beep.Normal stuff.
Sunday, Nat, Elle and Sandy (my mom) went to a play. it was a local production of Peter Pan. They seemed to enjoy it. My father and I went to a hardware store across town. It is his hang out. They all know him by name thee. We only stayed for a bit, He picked up a part he had ordered. It was fun. I forget what it is like to look around a small private store like that.
Earlier Sunday morning, I mowed the yard. The front was not so bad, but the back has needed it since before Christmas. It was beautiful weather. I'm so glad I didn't wimp out again. Last weekend I had a headache. It felt good. I forgot how tingly my hands get the first time I use a mower in the Spring. Everywhere that holds the mower rail gets vibrated. I did the front. Had a beer. Then did the back. Nat and I went to Sam's club this evening and I got a HUGE bucket of ant killer. It is enough to do the yard, the bit out behind the fence and the lot next door, or at least a good chunk of it. I plan on altering the ecosystem.
My father gave me a new jacket. It is "Northern Face". It is a nice jacket. It is thin. I wore it last night and thought that it would not be warm enough this morning. The news said it was 38f. I wore a sweatshirt under it and was sweating on the way to the bus stoop. It is the kind I can roll up and stick on my pack too. Thanks dad.
I sat on my father's computer and tried to figure out how to change your name on mail. There are tons of examples on the internet, but they don't work. If you change your name, the email "Billy Joe<bj@gmail.com>" Still reads the full name you put in the first time you signed up for the service. I cannot get it to work. Even when he signed up for a whole new account his full name showed up on the new mail. I'm thinking the cookies have something to do with it. I cannot find current instructions. I'm still looking. Now he has me interested.


2007-03-03

How a helicopter works

Watch this and walk in ignorance no more.
Found here.


2007-03-01

Annoying Songs
What is with those old songs that have repeating sentences that drive me nuts? Were they popular in the day? Is it better stoned? I know at work wile listening to music there are several distracting songs that I've blocked.
I can see for miles and miles.
I'm getting closer to my home.
Hey Jude seems to be the only one that pulled it off. It works. I wonder if there was a trend of drug-out songs that probably worked well in concerts in the sixties that just do not translate well to the modern ADD world.

Feeling Better
I'm feeling better. I'm not coughing as much as normal. I feel more energetic. I won't blog how I can tell. I believe it is more than the eleven cups of coffee I had today. There was a poem on NPR about a town obsessed with coffee this morning. How appropriate.
Nat went to the doctor today because she is coughing. Elle seems to have weathered the storm so far.
Too high resolution
I heard someone mention something a bit telling the other day. They were watching some movie that was high-def. It was apparently a period peace, because he commented "I could see the chicks color contacts and it just blew the whole setting."
I've heard this argument against high-def programming. sometimes it is too high resolution for it's own good. Actors have complained too. some news people say they don't like it because they have to pay much closer attention to makeup and nose hairs. It's nice with sports because they can zoom out and get more of the action in one shot without making every one look like a Moonenite.
I don't have high-def. I do not foresee when I will have it. That sort of thing is just not in the cards right now. And by cards, I mean money. The price keeps dropping. Well, it has a way to go yet.
In the immortal words of Homer Simpson "Keeeep sliding."