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


Little Notes

The light behind my house

So, Sunday afternoon, Nat and I both hear a loud "GZZZZT!!!" noise behind our house and our power flickered. Nothing caught on fire, but the light on the building behind my house, and the lights that were on inside are all dark now. I hope those guys who were cleaning out the place didn't cross-wire the lights and AC. The last thing we need is an industrial strength blaze a few meters away.

Internet Radio no more

Following the expiration of the act, the RIAA and a new player SoundExchange launched a successful litigation before the CRB, resulting in a ruling that the internet broadcasters would now pay a monstrous fee structure, retroactive to 1/1/2006. This egregious ruling would slam internet broadcasters with fees similar to that paid by music download services along with retroactive fees to January 2006. The actual fees for a successful station like RadioCIA would increase by 2000%/month along with a one-time retroactive charge. Furthermore, the monthly fees would escalate for a period of years to even more stratospheric rates. The net effect of this mafia-like extortion would be to immediately shut-down all but the largest, corporate streaming stations. The majority of these being the larger terrestrial broadcasters currently streaming their content. Again of note, is the terrestrial portion of their broadcasting does not entail any of these royalties, remaining status quo.

Please visit the SaveNetRadio website for additional information on saving another valuable choice for everyone.

Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Bad news. I like internet radio. I particularly like Australia and British morning shows and local news from around the world. If people can't get American stations, they will just get it all somewhere else. Worry not. Oh, and listen to their commercials.


Guns Don't Kill People

As you may have noticed, other than the MSM scare campaign about high-cap magazines that has now been thoroughly debunked — as well it should be since it, in the finest tradition of “professional journalism”, was founded on nothing even resembling facts — they’ve also been working themselves up quite a bit over the truly frightening characteristics of the humble 9mm Parabellum round, or “Euro Pellet” as we like to call it around here.

"Euro-Pellet" HA!!! I love it.

The 9mm round was invented in the late 1800's. It is not a high powered round. I'm surprised it went through as many doors as it did in the Virginia Tech shootings. It is the "standard" sidearm for the U. S. military, though I've heard some keep different rounds on hand. I said before that the shooter either was a good shot or put out a bunch of ammo. It appears the latter was true. He shot people as he walked around the room and then went back in at least one case finishing people off.

Personally, I only like the .45. I have one for home defense. I use .45 hollow points. They are not the biggest round you can put in a pistole, but they are one of the biggest that will not also take out an entire wall in the process. .45's have a history of not going through walls that well. They are short and fat and have less penetration that their mass of led or volume of bang implies. In WWII soldiers noted charging enemies high on coke being knocked on their butt or sent spinning to the ground after encountering a .45 slug.

I've heard the .40 is a good all around round. I haven't had the chance to try it out. The numbers round good.

Mostly, I try not worrying about it. There are any number of opposing points of view. It gets to me when people try to say that a specific gun or caliper of weapon is to blame for anything. There are calls to ban .50 caliper weapons when .22 or .25 probably kill more people than all the others in civilian conflict in the U. S. They are typically easier to conceal and quieter. Some countries have a minimum size of pistol you can legally purchase. That makes them harder to conceal. That makes more sense to me than worrying about the size of the bullet.

Wonder where I got this. It is a great comparison. I've wanted to make a picture like it for a while.

Ammo comparrason


I tried to post this on Goblin nation because one of the guys took a great picture of a bald eagle. I couldn't get the forum to accept the code.


Bitch Session

The sun came out once in a while today. That's how it is some days. The traffic is nuts today. I don't even know why. Is it me, or is it getting worse?  Wednesday, when my sweetie picked me up, we had to snake trough the neighborhood to Richmond and still got caught in a snarl of cars and angry people. Why do people let it get to them? It's traffic. That is what it is supposed to be like. If it weren't a pain in the ass, what would couples have to talk about when they got home?

Houston is spread out over a wide area. Every inch of it is either a place to drive to, or a piece of ground devoted to cars. You know, I've complained about this quite enough on my blog. It will never get fixed. It will only get worse. I'm afraid the solution is $10 a gallon gas. That would do the trick. More people would work from home. Public transportation would finally take over. We could rename the place to Utopia.

And, I'm a republican. What else would I fix while I'm blathering on?

  • Foreign Aid: I have no idea what to do about that. It sucks that the rest of the world hates us and half of them stand daily at the US tax payer's tit.
  • American Idol: abolished. Keep the losers under wraps. Tell people they suck before they darken my screen.
  • Drunk drivers: Put a bounty out that pays people who turn in drunk drivers. $1000 every time someone is convicted to whoever turned them in.
  • Lawsuits: Looser pays court costs.
  • Taxes: Flat tax.
  • Illegal Immigration: "WALL!" Why are people so freaked out about walls? My house is made of walls. I only let people in when I want them there. If someone just climbed in the window without permission, I'd shoot them.
  • Over crowded prisons: Start throwing them over the WALL.
  • Medicine: Abolish all forms of malpractice insurance. Don't let hospitals or employees carry any kind of insurance. The prospect of being ruined in one fell swoop should keep them on their toes.

But, then what do I know? I just keep my ears open.

Lunch Conversation

Well, all people talked about at lunch was shop and home stuff. Some spoke of sports and the soccer practice several of the folks up here do just for fun. We spoke of having beer on the school property where the soccer practice takes place and what the tickets might be like. It was Lone Star beer too. If you are going to get in trouble for it, at least have a decent tasting beer on hand.

That was about it. I tried to keep up, but I was falling asleep. I ended up walking around the parking garage for a while. I had planned on talking to Nat over lunch. It is nice having unlimited network minutes. She was busy helping a friend. I wish she would blog about it. it is so nice having someone out there having fun.


I think I was supposed to use heading 2 on those last couple of posts. I'm not going to fix it. It is all part of a growing process.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Most designs don't need more than that.

The trouble is I'm writing this stuff one place then posting it to another. I do not get a real preview until the code hits the blog. I could download the template, copy the style code, do some local testing, and make changes, but that takes effort. I guess you could call this a test  post.


Web Knob

Things I've learned about web editing recently.

  • Frames: Bad idea.
    • Too limited in design of a page.
    • Too much opportunity for things to go haywire when someone changes their fonts or browser size. I use frames on my page and I hate them.
    • Frames don't work on most portable devices.
    • Shit disappears.
  • Templates: Bad idea.
    • An amazing idea in the first days of a project. Get out of hand quickly.
    • You can't apply one and then modify it in place, then re-apply it later.
    • Cant get rid of the damn things and leave the code behind.
  • Layers: Bad idea.
    • Replaced by CSS
  • Tables: Good for some things, not whole pages.
    • Look good on paper.
    • Cause headaches when you start setting too many limitations.
    • The site Looses flow of information easily. It is like everything is written in stone.
    • hard to modify stuff across an entire site once stuff is in place.
  • CSS: Better than most of the above.
    • Solves most of the problems above.
    • Won't allow real code to be placed, just attributes.

CSS it is. Head First is good book to get a head start on (X)HTML and CSS. It walks you through scenarios and shows solutions. It is a bit slow for someone who has a clue about editing HTML and the sort, but a great walk through. Advanced users need not apply.


I do not complain nearly enough about the TV shows I watch. Here goes.

Spoiler Warning

Last night (2007-04-25) was the best episode of LOST in a while. It was highly boring right up to the last couple seconds. The woman from the helicopter let the chubby buy know that wreckage was found from their flight and it was said to have no survivors. That sucks. That is a major turning point really. Quite a revelation. The crash victims are being held captive by the Others. The crash victims are being experimented upon by the Others. The crash victims are being played. It is really time for an out and out revolt. It won't happen. Pussies. I'm the hot head. I'm not sure what they could really do anyway.

The Others cannot have children without the women dying. That is the story any way. If true, they need a group of people to use as lab rats. How convenient that a plane load drops in their laps. I would call them straight up evil, but I'm not sure I wouldn't do the same thing in their position. They are dying out. What should they do to survive? Well, it all boils down to which side you are on. One has to win and the other lose. Anything in between is unmanageable. So, what happened to the crash victim's children? Are they on the island?

The crash folks have been on the island for 90 days. Now, there will be a loss of hope of rescue. They have to face the prospect of living on this island at the whim of the Others. Quite the nasty situation if you ask me.

I don't think I've found myself hoping a series that I like would end before. I hope the creators and producers all have an end-game in mind right now. I hope things get pulled together in a way that frigging makes some sense. I hope the guy with the neck cancer gets his in some mind-bendingly offal way. The only character I have any sympathy for is the chubby guy. He seems to have suffered hardships for not much gain. yet, he keeps a pretty faire attitude about it all. not bad considering he is off his medication.

I suppose I'll keep watching, despite myself. Hey, at least I'm not blogging a bout American Idol.

Sick and Tired

There was a story on NPR this morning about kids listening to music too loud on their iPods. The experts said that ringing in the ears meant hearing loss. That is very true. I've heard that many times. The whole story reminded me of my grandfather. He went through WWII. He had three ships shot out from under him. Then he went into aviation. He flew Corsair airplanes. Those are the ones that had such a huge prop, they had the bent wings to keep the prop from hitting the ground. he told stories of flying around Washington DC towards the end of the war on patrols. He got spot-lighted and might have gotten shot down if he hadn't gotten the hell out of there. He also landed on carriers. He made an emergency landing in Galveston at one point after the war.

Then he got old. Then one day he went shooting with my dad. He had hearing protection on, but it didn't work for some reason. From that day on, he was very hard of hearing until he died a couple of years later.

I remember listening to him tell stories when I was fifteen.


Weather This Morning

They have been warning about the weather for days. "It's going to hit Wednesday morning. Driver safe."

I got up this morning and turned on the news. I watched the radar and this huge yellow and purple blog headed right for us. I can tell exactly where our house is because the map now reflects the street next to us.Ś The one all the racers charge up and down. It's on the map between a couple of freeways.

I can hear thunder an d see lightning flashes. At the same moment on TV the yellow bit is approaching the curve where we live. It was kind of cool watching the monster in the radar image scratch and crawl across Houston. The news people have folks stationed at key intersections standing in the rain watching commuters splash their way to work.

Now it is over. Well more or less anyway. What will they have to talk about?


I'm starting to figure out that it really is up to the student to learn something as apposed to the teacher teaching something. I suppose there are arguments that say it takes both. I think the student must be willing and deliberately intend to walk away from the experience with something new. The only other ways of teaching are to coral someone in to a corner where they must perform or suffer some kind of downward consequence.  I just haven't noticed the reward model working when it comes to knowledge transfer. The best way to get someone to pass a test is to guaranty humiliation if they do not.
Weight Watchers works by parading people over a scale and shouting out numbers in front of a crowd.
This is why I'm a terrible teacher. I am impatient. I hate repeating myself. I can't wait for it to sink in. I have poor communication skills. I don't sense when someone is lost.
So, I was handed an entire web site at work and told to "fix it." I'm a dead man. I haven't a creative bone in my mouse hand. I've looked at what I have to work with and I cringe.
Creative freedom ... BAH!!! Tell me what to do.
I'm sure I'll figure it out. It is a bit like any change. I have some learning curve to over come. The HTML that  I've modified in the past has been from a stable start. This is not quite a rewrite.
On a good note, maybe I'll learn how to spiff up the old blog and table-bound home page a bit.
Well, I found only two HTML editors recommended. They both suck. Amaya is not so bad. None of the editors I found can hold a candle to Dreamweaver. Not by a long shot.
I'm screwed. I'm reading about limitations to using Dreamweaver under Linux. Great. They just need to port it.


Just for Fun
I got this in an email today. I haven't forwarded an email in quite a while. Even if these are fakes, they are well done. I have no idea where these came from. I have no idea if any of them are real. I have no idea if anything is copyrighted. Just look and giggle.
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign
Cute Sign


In the beginning
And God said, "Give Kelly a break. Let him have a Sunday afternoon with Elle. Just kicking it and watching cartoons."
Good God. Thanks.
Elle & Tiger on counch on a lazy Sunday afternoon
I wish I could send Tedd a couple of cartoons.
Surrender, day one

Clinton promised, “As soon as I take office, I will begin to bring them back home.”

And I thought Carter was a pussy.


No Good patents
Software patents only hurt people who use software, not so much the people who write it.
Microsoft has been pushing for stronger software patent rules. MS wants to protect what they create. That's great. MS is finding that they are the target of more "protection" than they dish out.

"As reported by Info World, Microsoft was issued a cease and desist order on February 7 of this year by Vertical Computer Systems. The order was for patent infringement by the current implementations of the .NET framework. Both the .NET framework and Vertical Computer Systems' site flash use XML to create component-based structures that are used to build and operate web sites. Vertical Computer Systems is requesting a full jury trial. If VCS prevails, .NET technology implementations as we know them may completely change and Microsoft would probably have to pay out a hefty sum."

That is one example. Now for the one I fought with all week.
It turns out that MS lost a lawsuit with a company that had a patent on how browsers use objects. Objects are all those things that make the web more than words and pictures. Flash, Java, PDF, and any number of other things that depend on how MS Internet Explorer uses objects to get their job done.
I had to get a Flash object up. I ran smack in to this trouble. Any time you have an object that pulls in something from outside the browser you get a huvering message that reads "".
I had to deal with a problem that the biggest software developer in the world could not deal with. I wonder how much money MS spends on lawyers and lobbyists every minute. I bet it is more than I'll make in a lifetime.

Microsoft Confirms IE Changes in Wake of Lawsuit
"On Monday, Microsoft verified that it will be making what it calls "modest" changes to Windows and IE to meet the requirements of the jury verdict against it in the Eolas patent infringement case. Microsoft says it will finish making the changes to IE and Windows by early next year and will provide developers that use IE technology with documentation to help them modify their applications, Web pages, and browser plug-ins to work with the new plug-in scheme, which affects all Web pages that use plug-in technologies such as Adobe Reader, Apple QuickTime, Macromedia Flash, RealNetworks RealOne, all versions of Java, and Windows Media Player. A preview of the new user experience shows the user being prompted to confirm loading of each ActiveX control."

OK, I have no idea how to explain this.
Imagine you are a web browser. Your user asks you to pick up a cup of coffee. If you lean over and pick it up, you are now violating this patent. You, as the browser, have to ask another program to hand you the cup of coffee. I know. It doesn't make sense. Software patents rarely do.
I wish I had paid more attention to this a long time ago when I read it.


NASA Nut-Ball
It must be stressful because people are freaking out at NASA. I have a buddy who works at NASA and is near the complex where the guy barricaded himself this afternoon. So, I call him up. He says "Hi Kelly, just a sec. I have to barricade this door." I started laughing, but more from fear. he is the quiet type. never dated much.
He was joking. He would bring a Samurai sword, not a gun. We agreed that would be different at least. I haven't had a good laugh like that in a while. I needed one.
Contacts in my Dream
So, last night I had a dream. It apparently was zipping along boringly until I looked in a mirror. My contacts were turning black. They were turning my eye black. They were dirty.
I popped them out and took a look.It was the size of the lid on a peanut butter jar. It was nearly opaque with dark coal colored goop. I tried washing one of them with the contact fluid. It gave off glops of stuff. It turned the sink dark colors like a dirty toilet. It was getting bigger and blooming like a filthy plastic flower. It was the size of a dinner plate in large leaves of now clean clear stuff that contacts are made of.
I ended up planting it to grow a contact plant. Good way to save money. I wonder if they will be my prescription. I woke my self up laughing at myself.

Nat says I laugh sometimes in my sleep. What the hell kind of dreams are these? I suppose it is better than nightmares. Drivers Nat up the wall though.


Written 2007-04-18 (I didn't get on the computer last night)
Virginia Shooting

It is the same thing over and over. There is just not much new.
The guy's parents were "devout" Christians. He had problems with Christianity. Who doesn't? I have problems with Christianity. I believe in God, not so much religion. I don't go nuts.
The media has softened on the criticizing the school a bit. It is still there. They keep talking about some kind of air-raid sirens and not using email to warn people because only people online can view it in the short term. They had an interview with a student who said she heard an announcement over the athletic PA. Some collages have an automated call system, but most people probably have it set to call their home number and not the phone they have on them. Some people don't have mobile phones. I agree with the cops that say there is just no way to get every one to run and hide all at the same time.
There were stories about some of the students who died. The one that got me was a guy who was an athlete who was killed while holding a door shut with his body. The gunman shot through the door and killed him. I wonder what percentage of people died or were injured that way. 9mm are not known for their penetration.
No mention of where he got the gun that I've heard. Did he buy it and wait the five days/ He had the legal right to do so apparently. Did he steel it from a cop car that morning? I want to know.
I haven't had a chance to read any blogs since this thing started. They always have the best info. They are typically willing to speculate and project information more than the media. This is changing. Blogs get Fisked often and they are starting to do their homework before posting more often. That is a shame really. I kind of miss the jumping the gun conspiracies that got posted. I suppose some integrity is a good thing. Who knows.
Web Development Without Web Access
I'm the only web developer in history who does not have internet access. I have to run back and forth to a lab when I'm working on the web pages. EVERYTHING to do do with web development assumes you have internet access and just provides links to the documentation in stead of the documentation. They only give references to data in stead of data. They link to each other for examples in stead of just quoting. It is maddening. Even clicking on help in some of the programs wants to bring up an internet link instead of a help file.
I'm going nuts.
I have to email myself stuff and shuttle information back and forth. Then, I find one link that I need to follow. Well, that is another trip. The lab is not far. the trip is not difficult, but It is just a click verses:
# Copy the link to an email and send it to myself.
# Locking my machine
# Walk to the lab area where there might be someone who needs to ask a question, or someone in the hall who needs something and there I happen to be.
# Log in to the internet box.
# Bring up email
# Log in to the email.
# Click on the link.
# Find out it isn't what I needed, or maybe it is.
# Double check if there are any other resources I will need (hardly ever fruitful)
# Close email.
# log out of internet box.
# Wonder back to my office after hitting the restroom or grabbing a soda. Get stopped in the hall again.
# Logging into my workstation.
# Stare at the email for a moment trying to remember what I was doing.
# Read three lines. Try to apply what it says. It is wrong, or not right for what I needed.
# I need another link.
It is maddening. And this is if I do not get side traced by someone needing my vast gray-database. (brain)
I care. I'm just not going to do anything about it.  I catch myself troubled over things as my day goes by. I find myself telling myself that things are not so bad. "I care. I really do." Then I wonder if I mean it. And I ad "I'm just not going to do anything about it." I would like to think that is a temporary thing, but I know myself better than that. I man to leave it the way it is. I have to choose my battles with myself. Sometimes I will fix it. Sometimes I will let it slide. Sometimes I do not care. Most of the time I worry. Then, I get off my butt and fix something just to make myself feel a bit more needed by me. I never appreciate it. I never say think you. I'm a bastard sometimes.
I do care. I really do. I'm just not going to do anything about it right now. I'm going to get on with my life. I'm going to run and hide. I would have done that anyway. I care. I really do. I have to. I never take my own advice.


Finally, the video

Boring, but finally up. Some of the juicer bits like people drinking beer and smoking cigars got cut because I was trying to be smooth and hold the camera down by my side. I got great shots of people's butts. Better luck next time Kelly.
Lunch Conversation
It was all about the shooting in Virginia.
# Every one agreed that the frigging media is trying to vilify the school. What the hell is the school expected to do?
    o The police were investigating one shooting when the guy went somewhere else and started up again. There was a two hour window. That is not long enough to expect authorities to nab someone.
    o Someone interviewed a student and the questions were biased to get the person to answer in a manor to make the university look bad. The student answered with something like "What do you expect them to do?"
# Some kind of "lock down" order went out so people went inside, where all the shootings happened as far as I can tell. It looks like the suspect walked inside the building along side every one else.
# If every one on campus was required to carry a firearm, That guy would have gotten three shots off before being engaged.
# People are already sick if hearing about the case. What the hell does it have to do with "me"? Yes, it is a tragedy. Yes it is a horrible thing. At least NPR was running other news stories along side it this evening. You cannot dwell. Life must go on.
# There is about five minutes of news being shoved into a "24 hour coverage" cycle.
# That kid was a good shot. He only had a 9mm and a .22 and he killed nearly every one he hit as far as we could tell.
# Where are the people who raised him?
# He had written some disturbing stuff for assignments. (So have I)
# After Columbine, a counselor came on the radio and told people to pay attention to people they would normally not pay attention to. In other words, stop being a dick to people or they will eventually get pissed enough to shoot you.
# You can't trust English majors (I said something like this to Nat last night joking, but it appears I'm not the only person who thinks that is funny.)
I may have all my facts wrong. I have not been paying that close attention to be honest. I have too much else on my mind with family, work, taxes and life getting in the way of caring about some nut-ball screwing with my rights to own and bare arms. Prick. If I ever go nuts, I will not kill people with a gun. It's just too done these days. Will the next homicidal freak please come up with something interesting for the evening news to overplay. Better yet, get a blog. It is a great way to bitch and vent.
So, I've published a couple of videos on YouTube now. I've developed a taste for it. I had a feeling once I got my frigging Linux box to do some rudimentary video editing and conversion I would fall in love with video. Other people shot both of the videos I've put up so far. That isn't really my thing. I lie the editing and mechanical bits. I'm bad at shooting video. I'm getting a little better. The biggest thing is to hold the camera still it seems.

Tail of the weekend
So, we were going to go Friday evening. I'm not sure why. Adam had to cancel reservations through Expedia. Do not eve make reservations via Expedia. They are pricks when it comes to cancellation and customer service past initial sale.
Nat and I get up Saturday and call A&L. No answer. We head over there. No answer at the door. Hmmm. One of their cars is in the driveway. The garage is closed. We start heading back home and get a call. They were out back. I had started to think they left without us.
We hit the road. Adam instantly looses us in traffic. I mean, he bolts ahead and we get stuck behind dozens of cars in a long line. Nat does 90 for a half hour and we don't catch them until 71.
The hotel we stayed at was OK. I like the one we stayed at last year a bit better.

The Party
I had fun. Nat was worn out. I think she made the best of it. There were tons of folks in afro whigs. That would be because it was a fro-down party. I even got into the act with a bright orange topper. It itched too much to keep on for a while. Most of the other folks had plenty of hair to buffer the whig grinding into their scalps.
We Hit an HEB for breakfast food for the trip home. and went to bed.

Back Again
The next morning, we went to a restaurant called Mother's. That is, we would have. Mother's is a vegetarian place that is very good. It turns out a hobo was trying to cook a stake in the ally and burned the place down. Not to the ground, but they had to close. We ate across the street at some place with a Mexican sounding name.
We hit the road. This time we only followed Adam until we got to 71. I blew them a kiss and we didn't see them the rest of the trip.

Nat and I got home and didn't get much of anything done. I think a couple loads of laundry. I cussed at the herbicide that did nothing to the super weeds that are growing back in the cracks in the cement. I did get the video edited and up on YouTube. It is boring. I cut some of the bits out that might have made people upset. I guess I need to carry the video camera around to catch interesting stuff.


Ethan's Bday Party Video

This is my second attempt at a YouTube video. I had to cut this down to keep the size under the radar. That's what I cut, I promise.

I had to take a half day today to get the last bit of taxes done. We used a guy in Richmond Rosenberg. With the house and all, I wanted to have a pro do it. I'll have a good go-by for next year.
I heard about the crazy news story about the shooting in Virginia. I'm sure this is not the first place you have heard about it. I'm just going to link to the most obvious place. I have no theories or comments really It is just a mess. I don't like the fact that the guy hung around for a while then went and killed a bunch more people. That kind of pisses me off. I'm going to wait for more details. there is just night solid in the news that I've come across yet.
Right now I'm burning some data DVDs and typing up my blog. I'm also looking at my second video on YouTube. It is a cut up version of the movie I shot at Ethan's birthday. I'm going to make sure they like it before I publish it here. I'll have the pictures up sometime soon too. I just don't have as much time on the computer being a husband and parent. There are other bits to life.
I'll try to get some things written down. Maybe even something worth reading.


Ceu (Brazilian)
She is hot and can sing. What else do I need to say. She is pretty down ot earth too. I think she has some staying power. I like her music that I heard on NPT Friday morning. Soleful, dreamy, just plane good. I think the fact that I cannot understand a word of it helps a bit.
Her myspace page
The record company's site
National Geographic
I haven't read any of those articles. I just grabbed a coule off google.

Missed opportunities
These are things I wrote on Thursday the twelfth. I haven't been able to blog them because Nat gives me no end of shit for getting on the computer. I'm getting kind of tired of it. She won't let me be me. I'm thinking of getting up early in the morning to get my computer stuff done so I can spend more time with the family in the evenings.
Anyway. Here they are.

Meaning of Life
There was a time I sat on a bench listening to music on a Tuesday afternoon. I sat there for hours watching people walking by. There is something about Tuesdays that make them very ordinary. People got in their cars and walked to the bus stop. I was at college looking for guidance and a plan for life. I didn't understand that the life that is loosely planned is much more free. You plan for the big things like family and a couple of big goals, but not to much more. That seems to be the best thing. Have the big goals on your mind. Worry about your family's issues. make that dream come true. Everything else just is, or just falls away.
Then come the rainy days where everything looks gray and dense. Gloomy weather. Gloomy people. Gloomy plans. Gloomy goals. I don't know how people in Washington do it. I suppose people can get used to it. I remember someone telling a story about a Jew in Germany before WWII. They said something to the effect that people just got used to the treatment they received. I don't want to get used to it. I want to make it sunny. I can't control the weather, yet, but I can control my reaction to it.
"All of life is a play. And the world but a stage." That's pretty much the same statement. You may not build the set, or control the lights, but you write the dialog. You choose to smile or sneer.
Today is sunny and bright. This weekend is supposed to be nice. I hope my mood fallows God's example.

Friday the Thirteenth
Tomorrow is Friday the thirteenth. I'm not really a superstitions person. Friday the thirteenth does bug me for some reason. I suppose it is all the bad press over the years. All day today, Thursday the twelfth, I've been wishful thinking that it is Friday. It doesn't seem to matter if it is the thirteenth tomorrow. I suppose I prefer Friday the Thirteenth to any old Thursday. That should say something in itself.
It is beautiful outside. I need to enjoy the nice weather more while it is around. I should take tomorrow off and spend it with the family before the busy weekend. Too bad I cannot afford the time off.
Here is a link to a map collection from UT. Bill, Elle's grandpa gave me this link. It will kill hours.

I'm sorry about not writing lately. I've written some stuff, but it is terrible. Here, look ...

Are we done here?
Have we made this place what we wanted?
What we planned?
Was there a plan?
Is it God's plan?
Did we have a real chance?
Were we doomed from the start?
Are we the guy in the red shirt?
Are we the planet to leave alone?

Once upon a time, long long ago. In a place far far away ...

The smell of blood and death woke me. Then there was the sound of something made by men from my world crashing hard into the worthless ground we were fighting for. It was a powerful, painful sound. A quake ran through me not from the impact, from knowing how many of my people were dying as I watched - and could do nothing.


Small Talk

Date Schmate

I thought yesterday was the eleventh all day. I have a bunch of messed up dates all over the place. I'm not even going to fix some of them. I mean, how important could it possibly be? <he asked sarcastically>

Fonts and Monitor Stands

I can't always read the fonts in programs so I blow the fonts up if I can. I've gone in to a couple of my programs and set the fonts back to defaults. I've noticed that having these monitor stands makes my body relax more and actually makes the screens easier for me to read. A strange side effect of the stands is an ache in my upper back. I've also noticed that it doesn't matter if I improve my posture or make it worse. Just the change makes muscles sore, regardless.

Video Jones
I have had a hankering to do some video. Now that I have had the taste of putting a video, even if shot by my mother, on YouTube, I feel the draw to do more. It would be a piece of cake if I were on a Mac. It would not even be all that difficult if I were on a Win-crap box. However, I'm on Linux. That is going to be a challenge. Hey, I need to learn as much as I can on how to get things to work under Linux. That is my job after all.

Web Woes
I'm doing some web editing at work and the only game in town is Dreamweaver. There is no comparative program that I can find in the open source world. Nothing holds a candle to the Adobe efforts in my book. I don't know what to do except find a way to use a different machine for any real web editing I need, or live with a different editor. I can't afford a different editor, so crappy editor it is.

Nat's Computer
Nat's Computer is dead. I wish I could get her a new one. At least the CPU anyway. I've kept my eye on Sam's computer shelf. They only have top end CPUs at the one we frequent lately. They only have full system deals too. We need to make it as inexpensive as possible, but I want to get her something that works.

Nat's Blog
Check out Nat's latest blog entry. It is a hoot and very well done. I notice I'm not in any of the pictures. I feel left out.

Random Picture
I took this picture this afternoon just after I got off work while waiting for the elevator. That is my lovely family waiting for me six floors below.
Family 6 floors down


Showing my Age
I just can't eat Cheese-its without feeling heartburn any more. Is life really worth living without Cheese-its? Well, I'm just going to have to find out. I mean, what's next? Tabasco!?! Say it ain't so! I may be pushed to do something rash at that point.

There are a couple of things I need to do research on.
# Bound partials, practical use
# Gravity wave communication
# Plane mounted laser that shoots down missiles
# Hypersonic sub-orbital surveillance plane that replaced the Blackbird.
# MRI (NRI) that sweeps the oceans for subs.
All of these things I first heard about on TV, namely PBS. Then nothing. Some have been shown to be right, some have not yet prove anything.


Anatomy of a Monday
I hate Mondays. I'm not even sure why. I tend to get plenty done on Mondays. Honestly, I enjoy my job most of the time.
Today, I worked with a new server that has 8 gigabytes of RAM in it with two duel core processors. That is a serious work horse. When I went to build a program, it still bogged down to a crawl. There is just no hope for this one project that we use. I have no idea what the bottleneck is. It is just plane slow. The powers that be say it is that way only because there is no other way to build the package and get what we need. I looked in to what it is doing as far as my skills let me. It just seems like there should be a better way.
It was cold and rainy this morning. Even listening to the news didn't comfort me much. I morned the Sunday afternoon we all spent just sitting around and watching movies, eating left overs. I suppose the glass of wine didn't hurt much either.
But hey, I got my first YouTube video up.
First Go

This is my first attempt at uploading a Youtube movie. Let's see how it goes.


Nat's Birthday
Nat's birthday party.
OK, this is from the night before. Elle is so cute though.

Nat's birthday party.
Another gratuitous Elle shot.

Nat's birthday party.
My mom. She had fun. Even if this doesn't look like it.

Nat's birthday party.
My dad. The guy who ponied up the doe. Many thinks.

Nat's birthday party.
Saddle. It's for the tourists.

Nat's birthday party.
I think that is an award of some kind. Maybe it is just plane memorabilia.

Parent's Pictures
My parent's took a bunch of pictures too. The flash was not going off and you can tell from the pictures. It is nice not disturbing all the tables around you , but the pictures suffered for it.
Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.
This is the one I've been waiting for. That is a nice picture. I only wish the glare off my noggin was one tiny bit brighter so the camera would have had more light to work with.

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.
The glitter is from the real eggs full of confetti my mother found at Kroger.

Nat's birthday party.
"Will you please put that thing down Me-me."

Nat's birthday party.

Nat's birthday party.
Last, and least. Me in my native habitat - parked in front of the TV. That is some SciFi flick about flying dinosaurs that attack some group of mysteriously armed scientists.
Then we had cake and ice-cram. Yay!


I heard the question "What is the worst thing you ever did?" So I made up the following story to sound cool.

I had to shoot a horse once. It's funny the shift in the room when you say that.
It was Spring 1958. I was traveling in Iowa. There wasn't much in Iowa in the fifties  save horses and people driving through.
It was just morning. Clear, Sunny, chilly, Nothing special going at all. Then the station wagon ahead of me locked up the breaks. They were way ahead so I had plenty of time to stop my Ford. Cars were not so easy to stop in those days.
Out of the smoke that rose from the road in front of me, fell a horse. Right in the middle of my world. I hadn't been near a horse in years. Now, my world would pivot on a horse's death. The horse had rolled over the car and landed hard on the pavement. The horse tried to get up. Both legs on one side were dangling like the limbs of a rag doll. The others were flailing, scratching. Her eyes were back  and wild. her mouth was wide, bleeding, and her cry warped steel. Her cry burned my soul, branded me to this day. Her cry shook the thing that makes us human. Shrill, sound, long, agony, the horse sounds like a suckling pig taken from it's tit.
Then, all in one movement.
I stopped the Ford.
I rose from my seat.
I paid no mind to the family already weeping for the horse.
I paid no mind to the woman hurt, not badly in the station wagon.
I went to the trunk.
I held the 45 , a long time traveling companion.
I fed one round and closed the slide.
I walked close to the horse
I fired the lone spark that quieted the most exquisite rage.
Then the morning came back. Like the sun came cracked dawn a second time.
A young girl wept beside the road. It was her horse. Her mother ran to check on the woman in the wagon. Then walked toward me.
I put the gun in my belt and tried to think of something to say. The mother looked down at her daughters prise pet. The story told itself. The horse bolted away form the girl and into the lonely street.
She said simply "Thank you." And went to comfort her child.


Nat's Cats
Cute Cat pic

Cute Cat pic

Cute Cat pic

Cute Cat pic

Cute Cat pic

Cute Cat pic
By far the best one of the lot. Bot cats are deliberately not looking at the camera.
Written 2007-04-03

Last night a bunch of the racers were gathered across the street. They were doing their normal burnout and donut stuff. They fly up and down 1093 like there are not homes and businesses right next to the road. There was another accident Tuesday evening. It was not racers as far as I could tell. It was a tow truck that lost control and flipped. The engine was laying out on the ground next to the totaled flatbed. Both sides of the road were closed. It was a mess all around.
I can sleep through most of the noise. It really upset me when one of them drove through my yard. What really gets me is when my doughtier wakes up from the mayhem. It scares her. That makes me call the cops.
When I was a teen and and in my twenties, I hung out in parking lots with my friends. We didn't lay rubber or drink. We just stood around talking. We kept to ourselves mostly. We didn't race or smoke weed. We just hung out. There have been a couple of fatality wrecks in the past year within a couple of blocks of our house. That's beyond the call. There is no need for people to die in the name of something to do for fun.
There is no need to make my doughtier cry either.
Last night the cops didn't just drive by. They pulled some people over. There was a stabbing in that parking lot a week or so ago. I'm sure that had something to do with it. The racers left for the evening. We heard some drive by, but they didn't really stop in the parking lot. I suppose that is all we can do. I don't want to reap any kind of revenge or anything like that. It is just too much work. I just want to live in peace and raise my family.





Playing with the cat
Kelly and cat

Kelly and cat

Kelly and cat

Kelly and cat

Kelly and cat

Kelly and cat

Kelly and cat
The Politics of New Monitors and Water Coolers
I work in a smallish company. There are only like 70 people working here. The experience has been overwhelmingly positive so far. I think this is because we only seem to have capable people working here. I've said it before, I was the genus at my old job and I'm the dumb-ass here. That is how it feels sometimes anyway.
Since I got here, I've noticed a couple of lines on my starboard monitor. Yes many developers here have two monitors. It does make programming go faster. My old company gave the vast majority of people two monitors. I thought that was a waist on some tasks. Well, the lines got a bit worse over time, but not too bad. I mean, I was still able to get my job done. I decided not to complain until it was out of reason.
Well, Last Friday the big boss comes on the PA and says "If you have a crummy monitor come to lab X." I got up and went over. I was the only one that showed. He and I walked back to my office and I showed him the lines on one of my monitors. He agreed it was annoying and offered me two new monitors. "You need a matching pare." he says.
"Sweet!" I say. In my head any way. "Thank you sir." Is how it sounded in my outside voice.
I was so distracted with the thought of getting new monitors that I accidentally dropped the name of someone else up here who needed new monitors. He had needed them longer than I've been here. He ended up getting some new monitors too. Pretty cool deal.
Here is the politics part. After the monitor exchange was said and done, I went over to the other employee and apologized for dropping his name. These things can go either way. You have to be careful what you ask for. That is true any where you go. Any time you are dealing with people, you have to know who you are talking to. You have to choose your battles. Sometimes they choose you.
At my old office, hardware that had anything wrong with it was pretty easy to replace. You just called the support number and they would replace or fix most things that were actually "bad" without too much trouble. Plenty of hardware to go around, not too many politics except when you are talking large quantities, or specific budgets.
Water coolers were unheard of at my old office. At least, mostly. I used to be on the first floor. Just as I moved up to the third floor, the first floor got a water cooler. It was hidden in a corner out of sight. The reason I move to the third floor was to make room for a bunch of big-wigs taking our office space. That is why the water cooler showed up. Most of the rest of the crew stayed on the first floor. They got to use the water cooler as long as things didn't get out of hand.
The politics here is keeping something quiet that is not exactly a corporate secret. Here at this job, I have three water coolers within a stones throw. One just in the hallway and two more adjacent to the lunch/party/big meeting room that I'm next to. There is a plentiful supply of water coolers so, no real politics to it.
It is the classic guns and butter scenario. Only in this example it is monitors and water coolers.
I can tell the new monitors are working for me because everything on them looks bold. Even the stuff written in color text looks like it has been set to bold. I've often wondered if I could just set everything to bold on my computer. It makes things easier for me to read. I wonder if I could just live without a difference between normal and bold text. I've tried fonts that say bold in the name. They either are not very bold, or they are all smeared when the bold function is used. I just want a strong readable font. Is that too much to ask? Well, the new monitors make a good difference.
Monitor Stand

                - 32" or more -
        / |  - 6" (at bottom of board)
_________/  |
 |  /                             
    |  /
 | /                             
     | /  -11" or 12"

Width   32 or more inches (the wider the better)
Hight   6 inches at underside of board.
depth   11 or 12 inches.

I need two of them. One for work and one for home. I was thinking of using the shelf board out of a shelving unit. They are pretty strong.

I took the time to write it, so I'm blogging it.  If you have substituted fonts, it may not look right. It requires fixed width fonts. There is all kids of software to do ASCII art.


Sunday is a bit better
So, I got up sometime this morning. it was like 11:00 or so. I took a shower. I have to take a shower in the morning just to get motivated to do anything it seems. I knew I was headed straight out to mow the yard, but I still needed to take a shower first.
So, I'm out there mowing. I expect the worse. I thought I would pass out or something. I mowed and coughed a couple of times, but that was due as much to the grass-dust from mowing as it was to the plague I've acquired.
If I can get Nat out of bed we will be off to Sonic for a late lunch. If not, I'll be surfing those political blogs again. Hopefully, this time, I can keep my cool.
Oh, It is the first of the month. I must pay bills too. Damn bills. I only hope there is enough in the larder to cover the outside hands in my pockets.
I'm watching some stupid movie about making movies in France in the sixties. It is so played that I'm going to turn it off and delete it. I then switch over to another stupid movie that is much better. It doesn't pretend to be something full of art.

April Fools Day
I don't have anything to say about April Fools Day except I'm glad that it falls on a Sunday this year. Just to keep people from trying to make jokes. I've never liked April Fools Day and prefer not to participate.

Saturday was a bad day. I got up around 16:00 or so. Yup. I was so tired that I didn't stir until then. I got up and read some blogs. I read some very opinionated political blogs. They don't hold back much. I suppose I just wasn't up for it because I got more and more pissed off as I read. The Iranians think they can kidnap soldiers from another nation and just get away with it. Well, they are just getting away with it. Hell they got a way with it  back in the seventies when they took the American embassy. Why shouldn't the same thing work today? And these are the people who will have nuclear weapons in five to ten years. I can't wait.
Then there are the Democrats who want to erode this nation from within. There are people out there who will sacrifice their own countries ability to defend itself just to get someone who acts more like they do in the government (Hillery).
I have this fantasy of owning a restaurant and Hillery comes by for a photo-op. I throw her out because she is disturbing the other customers. There are no other customers. As she walks out the door I say "The secret service is welcome to stay if the want." Just to piss her off.
How pathetic is that fantasy? It's the only fantasy of mine involving Hillery.

So, we went over to a friend's place for a crayfish boil. As I walked up the driveway, I could hear people in the garage (It was drizzly outside) talking, nay screaming at each other in that drunken way too loud way. I couldn't take it. I ended up walking around the block. Then I sat in the car for a while. I had to go to the bathroom so I started walking down Richmond. I got to Dairy Ashford and figured out there was not much to choose from there. I went up to Westheimer and at a  at Berger King. That is when I decided to just take the bus home. The mile and a half walk did me some good. I got home and Nat (still at the party) SMS me with "Are you still in the car." I answered "At home." She called right then. I figured that would get a response.
She feels like she did when I left the movie a couple of weeks ago. Yes, I can understand that. I left the movie to keep from screaming at the people next to us. I just wanted some quiet yesterday. I couldn't take a loud party where people might start talking about politics.
The fact that I'm sick and coughing ever ten minutes doesn't help anything. I'm starting to wonder if I have the disease that will kill me. Nothing works. Id didn't help that while I was in the car my friend comes out of the party and thanks me for giving him the plague. That may have been the thing that started me walking - to prove that I'm not dead yet.