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



That's not mud

Three guesses. Yup, that is an open sewer the Humvee is driving through.

Cat stuff

Cat fight!! Sort of.

Highlight Color

I can't see the screen very well, at least not all the time. Sometimes I have to play little tricks to make things easier to read. One of these tricks is to highlight text so it has more contrast. This is particularly useful on the web. People have no concept of accessibility on the internet.

For a couple of months, I've been complaining about the highlight color on Gnome (Linux) at work. The versions of Linux I use do not come with very good color schemes or themes for high contrast. All but two of the themes that EL5 comes with have white text on a light blue background for a highlight color., The high contrast white theme has icons the size of dinner plates, slide bars that take up half the screen and is uuuuugly. The rest of the themes all seem to look the same. You can't use the inverted high contrast theme because it makes spreadsheets and other programs unreadable. They are getting better, but they are miles off right now.

I cannot find a Gnome program for generating themes by hand. All I wanted to do was change the highlight color to white text with a red background or yellow background and black text. Something that sticks out.

Enter Fedora 8. The Gnome theme chooser has a color option. You can just pick the color you want. You can even save the theme.I'm going to try to bring the Blue Curve theme that I modified to Red Curve to work and get it to work with my box there.  My luck, the files will not be compatible. That is a pessimistic point of view and I'm leaving that behind. I want to at least try.

I did run across a theme for Gnome that makes your desktop look just like a Mac. There is even a program that does that floating icon picker thing on the bottom of the screen. That might be interesting, but I hate that thing at the bottom of the screen on Macs. I'm sure people love it. It is the best thing since sliced bread. I used a Mac for a little bit many years ago with the beta version of OS-X.

Another accessibility thing that does not work in gnome/X is the magnifier. There are attempts to make it work, but they are counter productive. The default magnification thing just stops after a while. I could only get it to work on like half the screen at once. I really miss the magnifier in Windows. it was so simple and yet, now I know worked elegantly.

60 minutes

So, how long is a 60 minutes podcast? 43 minutes.

Fog in a Southern City

I walk a ways past a bayou on my morning commute. Some days it is hard. Some days I take my life in my own hands. This morning had a thick fog for this area blanketed over it. The fog here is white at the sides and a light blue at the top. It is spotty and rarely too thick to drive through. It is never too thick to walk through. Not that I've ever seen. That is, except in the dark in the woods. Even with a light it can be difficult to keep from walking in to a tree or a fallen log.

People here don't get much experience driving in fog, snow or ice. When these things do happen, most people take caution. I've never been hit by a car when it was raining or foggy. I've only been hit in clear weather. At worst it was overcast, but dry. It reminds me of a statistic that I heard that people who driver cars with anti lock breaks and a dozen airbags  get in more accidents.

The news spoke of the fog as though it were a plague. The warnings rang though the mist. I've heard a traffic commentator say something like "It is a normal day with nothing wrong, so be careful. Cause that's when the y get-ya." He was joking, but it is a bit true. When things are 'normal' your guard is down. I know I do it.

As I walked, I took note of how far ahead things went out of vision. I'm not a reliable judge, but I tried any way. There is not a wall where you see things on the close side and do not see things on the far side. Cars simply melt away as they drive on. Some leave their break lights as a last gasp of existence. Trees and houses simply watch me pass by. The few people take no notice as I pass.

At my walk's end, the busy intersection is calm. There are many people going every which way. The traffic moves better than in clear weather. The people seem more patient and willing to compromise to make it to their destination. The bus driver takes half a cycle of the light to just wait for a good spot to pull in to traffic. Well, most of the drivers do that anyway.

On the ride, I stared out the window at a world packed in gray cotton candy. Places where there is grass or trees are thick. Parking lots and buildings make the fog more thin. The ground is wet in most places. Everywhere there are people. It looks like it should be cold. It is not. It is seventy degrees or so. It is humid, thus the fog. It feels thick as swimming in soup. People are sweating, but it does them no good. Traffic flowed smoothly. It was faster in the fog. Not that people went faster, but it felt that it had not taken as long because fewer people were in that dangerous hurry that gets people killed. The commute was less stressful in the fog than on a clear day. How messed up is that?

It was quiet this morning. Not really. All the sounds were there. The fog didn't stop the waves from moving about. People were muted in some way. They were thinking more quiet thoughts. It showed in their attitude and actions. It was nice. Hell, I wish every day was foggy on the commute.

The fog was still hanging around, though not as thick, at lunch time. The sun was shining. It was warm, but there was a funny bite to the air. It was like the atmosphere reminded me of somewhere I've never been.


PHD: Permanent Head Damage (I like it)

synthespian: I'm not sure if this is a completely fabricated digital character, or a person who only does body movements to be digitized into a computer for a film.

Cyber Monday

What the hell? Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving break. People go back to work and hit the internet for Christmas shopping.  I complain a lot about not having internet access at my job. I understand why. The estimates are out of the world on how much this phenomena costs employers.

Plus, I'm jealous. I used to have internet access at other jobs and I didn't really abuse it. I used it for work related stuff and I checked Dilbert every morning. There wasn't much else unless I needed something right then.

My cousin was the CEO of a comic book company and played WOW on the job. How enviable is that statement? A) CEO of a comic book business. B) Played WOW on the job and who was going to say anything about it? Humph!

Little Difference

I'm warring my watch again lately. I seemed to have given it up for a while. I'm also back to warring my contacts the last couple of days.

It has been so long since I've worn my watch that I misread the time yesterday by an hour at one point. It is an analog watch. I'm so used to 24 hour time that I loose track thinking in terms of "quarter till" and "half past". I like the sweep feel of an analog time piece. I need one that does 24 hour time. I like the visual queue you get by imagining the appropriate hand sweeping forward to another time and counting the number of ticks it goes past. It gives a sense of how long until something happens, more so than a digital read out. At least, it does for me.

The contacts have been in my bag for weeks. Every since I got my new bifocals, I haven't been warring my contacts. That means the whole Faire season has been glasses.

I forget how much better I can see with contacts. It is not a huge difference, but it is noticeable, especially at night and off toward the horizon. Well, contacts are better as long as they are sitting right. They have a history of messing up after long day. That is normal from what I hear. I don't know how long this little trend will last. I figure until the next time my contacts piss me off.


It's nearly 2008

I remember asking someone in the early eighties "How should we refer to 2001 2002 2003 ...? Should we say oh-one, or two thousand one, or twenty oh-one?" I was a boring child. I tried looking up how people referred to 1901 and 1902. Some people in old movies said aught-one or not-one. That didn't sound right.

Now that we are almost out of the decade, I'm running through my memory and trying to remember how people referred to the years and record it here so the boring kid at the end of the next century can look it up and think "That doesn't sound right."

9/11, 7/7

When referring to huge happenings that take on a meaning of their own, the year is not in the name that people seem to use. These are simple happenings that do not need more information to tell people what you are talking about. Honestly I've had to stop a could of times and remind myself that 9/11 happened in 2001. 7/7 happened in 2005, I think ... anyway.


In every day speech I've noticed that people just say the full year. "It happened in two thousand six." Or "It is a two thousand three model." In writing and blogs it is all over the place. You do not get a two digit date much anywhere beyond hand written notes. It is really a non issue. Nobody cares.

Y2K influence

I blame the year two thousand issue that was This was the buzz word of the late nineties. The only thing managers and PR people like better than an acronym is an acronym with numbers in it.

The place I worked hired a whole floor of people to fix problems and sign off on old programs saying they would at least function after the date rolled over. I wonder what percentage of the economy was running on the "millennium momentum."

The concept of a two digit date reaping havoc across the globe was in every TV show and news cast for a couple of years. "What's going to happen when the millennium clock rolls over?" Note I didn't say "ends" or "starts" or anything like that. That statement is technically correct because the year two thousand is the last year of the previous millennium, not the first year of the next millennium. It cracks me up that it was the most debated and promoted non-issue in history.

I think people just got used to the idea of not abbreviating the year portion of the date any more.

The true tell will come in about the middle of the next decade. What colloquialisms will people use to refer to this decade? ... I predict it will be a non issue and no one will really care. They will continue writing out the whole year until about the fifties when no one cares about Y2K or other such influences. Then it will all begin again.


Fedora 8 Upgrade

Well, it went better than I expected. It took all night for everything to install and then it took me most of the evening to the the repo links working. The way you get yum to point to the new repo is by typing it in by hand or using an RPM to force the upgrade of the files. I did it by hand. It took me several tries to get the auto stuff back to the auto settings on both of my machines.

The good news is that everything seems to have worked and upgraded. Most everything is working except Nedit. Nedit never seems to work. This time Nedit closes down every time I try to paste. That means it is useless to me.

Flash works, Mplayer works, Firefox works, aMule works, web server works. Other stuff seems to be flowing well.

The new Gedit doesn't want to set the background to black and the foreground to white. The default settings are kind of hard to read.

I"m sure there are some other changes that will make my life a living normal. I'm sure I'll bitch about the troubles it causes here in the blog. Hey, at least I can post.

Kids say the darnedest things

We were at JITB this evening woofing down some great American burgers. Elle got a toy. It was an anthropologist kit. It consisted of little tub of play-doe. Nat asked Elle if she could say anthropologist. Elle replied "anrchocolate". I nearly came out of my chair.

Lesson Learned

I learned several thing from this video. Don't let this guy near your SUV, Security gate, or anything else. If you find yourself chasing down a run away vehicle, take the extra second to sit down in the seat before jabbing on the break. It kind of looks like this guy was hitting both peddles or something along those lines. It doesn't't't look like there is any one else in the car. I cannot tell.


You know, I tried playing the guitar several years ago. I was bad. I didn't practice enough. I don't have very good coordination to start with. There are any number of excuses. I suck at music in general. I enjoy listening.

There are a bunch of folks at my office who are good. They are engineers too. That kind of pisses me off. It really does seem like some people got double helpings at the talent fountain in the line to get born. I've witnessed people juggling infants while riding a unicycle on a tight rope over a flaming pit of death. I cant barely walk and chew gum.

There are some other issues that I have with my genetic situation. There is an old joke. What is the best way to live a long life. Answer, choose your parents well. It is the truth to this day.

If science has really figured out how to trick a skin cell in to thinking it is a stem cell, the rules might change. That is still in the "some day" category though. I just don't think this stuff will help me out. Maybe Elle's generation will benefit.

In Unix there is a command called 'ps'. It tells you what is running on the machine. It lists each process out with some useful details. The primary use for this command is to figure out what to kill. This is a metaphor for life. Someone needs to come up with a way to figure out what really is going on in your life and allow the removal of bits and pieces that cause problems.

There is more to a human life I suppose. Things get too out of hand and you think "God, one more straw and my back is going to break." That can be the truth. Something needs to give.

I'm not there right now. I'm in a good place. Things are under control as long as Nat and I can keep the bills paid. It has been a long time since I felt comfortable where I was. These moments are fleeting and far between. It doesn't matter if things are on the edge of a cliff. Just so long as you know where you are and you are OK with it.

For the moment, I'm OK with all of it. Not even. I'm great with it. I hope Nat feels the same way.

I know, I know, I'm opening myself up for the other shoe to drop. Well, I hope it doesn't. I hope the other shoe lives it's own life and leaves me and mine alone. Things are good. Things are bad. Things come and go. People come and go. It is life. Up and down.


I walked around the top of the parking garage and talked to myself. This was not different than many other days where AI have no other plans for lunch. It was cool and quiet on top of the garage. The ground level was windy. The top of the garage was calm with only a gentle breeze, cool as it was. The sun was warm. The sound of my boots squeaking didn't even bother me that much as I passed.

I wish Nat was there. I don't remember the last time she and I just went for a walk. How many opportunities does one have to stop and smell the roses?



So, I'm upgrading both boxes to Fedora 8. I didn't even know it came out until night before last. While looking for information that might help my notebook woes, I found out that my primary OS had a major upgrade.

As I type the RPM system is breaking it's back making sure all the software on the system is the proper version.

I tried to use the DVD to do the upgrade but the install hung on a circular dependency. That is A required B and B required A and the line never ended. The GUI upgrade just showed a progress bar. I could only tell the system had not completely locked up. I had to sit and watch the list of dependencies rocket up the screen and recognize the pattern repeating itself in order to catch that there was something wrong.

Uninstalling several offending packages and disabling a couple of repositories seemed to help. I should have written down the changes I had to make to the system to get things work. Things will simply have to find their way back on the system as needed I guess.

It wasn't that long ago for the last upgrade. I'm not sure, but it seems like it was only about 8 months since the last major version of Fedora. From what I can tell the changes are not that vast. I think they are just promising upgrades every so often and cranking them out. I wonder where they got that idea.

Wish me luck.

Not long now

This is an inevitable step in evolution. That, and it is just plane cool.

Printers Suck

Let me start off by saying all printers suck at this point. Not in their print quality. That is top notch. No, they all suck because they have become a cash cow of big corporations that use them as a staple income. It has come to the point where ink-jet replacement ink is worth $5200 an oz. Note: I'm pulling that number out of my ass. There have been times people have bought new printers on sale because it was cheaper than replacing the ink cartridges. At least the cartridges are the majority of the failures of the printer. When you replace the ink in most ink-jet printers, you are replacing the print head and most of the complex stuff.

Laser printers are complex, hot, messy expensive hogs. They much electricity and supplies. The one in my office has a bad cleaner brush. This means it makes dark prints with a constant spear all down one side that makes every print offal. It is useless for anything other than proofreading or instructions, for which I rarely use a printer these days.

We have a working printer at the house. We got it because we needed a fax machine. It was cheaper to get a scan/fax/printer thing. I'm not sure we ever even used the fax. It copies too. What a great way to waist print cartridges. This printer is HP. It seems like HP is one of the more expensive replacements.

I heard a rumor years ago that Wal-Mart was threatening to come out with their own printer line and charge $2 for new cartridges. Sign me up. The monopoly by comity that is the desktop printer industry has taken it's toll and needs to be knocked back in to line with reality. this sort of thing has gone one for long enough. I would call for a break up of the industry, but they are all in on it. How do you break op fifteen companies? It is highway robbery.

It's like a club of rich billionaires that all milk the private tit for more money that they just spend on better milking machines. Isn't it against the law to refill cartridges? Doesn't HP have the patent on their cartridge and refilling said cartridges?

The real solution here is not to use printers any more. I've not gotten Nat to bet on this pony, but I'm working on it. We print things for Elle and we print maps with directions to get places.  I'm not sure what else get printed at the house. I'm tired of ranting on this subject. It is old and done. It's just too bad no one will do anything about it.

It is a green conspiracy I tells ya!!! Oh, wait it is a corporate conspiracy!!! Wait, no. Maybe it is a government conspiracy. No, they couldn't pull anything this complex off without a scandal biting them in the ass. Maybe it is just a bunch of stuff that happened. ... No, that doesn't justify my getting so pissed off about it.  ...


Names (update)

Did I say we had three folks named Chris at work? I should stick to my rule of not blogging anything about work.

Off Work Day

I wasn't supposed to be at work today. I had scheduled to take a day of vacation. Sometimes it is scary to go to work when you hadn't planned on going in. Just watch the uncut version of Clerks to know what I man. If anything good happens, you don't think about it. If anything bad happens you blame yourself fro coming in.

I don't think anything bad happened. I suppose that is the worst.


Server down

I'm upgrading the web server so my pictures and assorted links for the things i created will be down for a bit. It has already been running for hours, but that is normal for a Linux upgrade. It is not hung up, I hope. It is checking dependencies.

Say a prayer for me and my box.

Stupid cat (and turtle) stuff

That turtle is biting the shit out of those cats. I wonder what the cats did to the turtle.



I acquired an old notebook from a friend. It had Wincrap 98, 266 MHz, 256mb RAM.

Cat in laptop bag

The cat likes the bag.

I put xubuntu on the box. It runs surprisingly fast for such an old box. It does not recognize the sound card. No online radio. No reading articles aloud. Drag. It isn't going to do what I wanted it to do. One of these days I'll get some way to make it work. It or another system.

I had to shoe the cat out of the bag three times. He might smell the cats the owner has.

That cable is my wireless-less system. I had a hard time finding wireless connectors for my last laptop from several years ago so I started packing a 50 foot Ethernet cable. Works like a champ.

I'm downloading Fedora 8 live CD and install DVD as I type. I don't know if Fedora will fix anything. It's worth a try. It seems like yesterday that I updated to fedora 7. They are squeezing them out faster than Catholics these days.

Jet Lee impression

I have nothing else to add.


Thanks Giving


Nat was not feeling well at all. She still made a ham, and two kinds of awesome mashed potatoes. We went over to Adam and Laurie's place for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a blast. I took some pictures and managed to leave my camera at Adam's place.

They are in the middle of a move. Soon, they will have a better, bigger place. It has a huge game room. I haven't seen it yet. I would help them move, but they higher movers. I like that. It is good to have friends who higher movers.

Every one had their kids there except us. Elle had plans with her father's side of the family. That's fine, but Nat and I not to mention the other kids missed her. I'm sitting here right now blogging and surfing the net. Nat is taking a nap trying to feel better. I know Elle would not enjoy being here, yet I wish she was here. We get her back Sunday some time.

What am I thankful for?

  • Nat
  • Elle
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Family and friends who are fighting for our freedom in foreign lands.
  • A good job that fills the larder and keeps teaching me new things.
  • Leftovers.
  • Pirate vs Ninja remote control toys.

  • YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, LiveLeak and any one of twenty other places where people including myself can express themselves and say howdy to friends.
  • Text Messaging (SMS).
  • Public transportation that keeps me from riding a donkey to work.
  • Blogs - Professional and personal. I just like knowing what's going on.
  • My own blog. It gives me a place tor rant and rave. It gives me a place to wine. It helps me be understood, and to understand.
  • Full bellies and a warm dry place for my family to sleep.


Ranger, eat your heart out

Mike (Ranger) flies RC aircraft, or at least he used to. He was pretty good. Watching him and his friends made me respect how difficult it is to fly one of those unstable birds.

Just taking off and landing in that confined space is difficult. This person has had years of practice. I respect that.

Presidential race update

I would still vote for Hillery today.

If you want Bill Clinton with balls, vote for Hillery. If you want Jimmy Carter with a bit more charisma, then you want Obama.

I'm less sick of all the hype than I've been in the past. There are ways to avoid the constant drone of bullshit that spews forth from the news outlets. The MSM seems very distracted by the  stats voting for their favorite brand. The states keep trying to one-up each other. Pretty soon we will have to vote for toddlers. I just don't put much weight in the primaries. I suppose they are good to let the losers know they do not have the backing of the party.

Hillery said the other Democrats are taking bullets straight out of the Republican play book. She did the same thing a couple of days ago. She is still the best candidate to me. That is a sad statement because I think she will suck as a president. I have an odd feeling she will end up being another Nixon in some way. There are just no better alternatives for me right now.

Are there any Republicans in the race? I remember Republican candidates. You know, back in the day.

Tornado dream

I dreampt that the Goblin King shop was destroyed by a tornado. In fact the whole block of stores was flattened. Nat and I were there and hid behind a cement wall. It was all that was left. There is no cement wall in the shop, only in the dream. Someone was trapped under the floorboards. They had gone there to escape the tornado only to get trapped. We found this person and had to call for help.

I like GK. I like the shops next to GK. I hope this is just some silly dream and not some kind of omen. Perhaps this was spurred by the news story about the ghost closing a door in that building that was demolished. The authorities brought out cadaver dogs to search the rubble just in case.


The guy who holds the football for extra points and punts is a professional football player. I assume he shows up to all the practices. I assume he shows up to the parties. I bet he makes a good living. I wonder if he needs another job. I wonder sometimes if he pays the team to play.



Guy standing at counter

Some story to go with the picture. hmmm.

So, I spent the frigging whole day trying to get a script to log in to multiple computers and build software over multiple platforms without having to mess with it. This is because programming is best driven by laziness. That or play Wow until you drop. I forget the rules. It was in expect which is a pain in the ass on a good day.

It was pissing me off. I had a bunch of people in my office talking shop and confusing me with some stupid jokes. I still got the script to work. Well for the most part. I still need to run through a full test across all the platforms tomorrow. I need to set up a million tests to run over the long weekend. I need to do some web publishing. Normal stuff. I know for a fact that I'm not going to be in the mood to do shit tomorrow.

I ended up at Whole foods with Adam. The whole time I'm trying to not look like a gay couple as Adam keeps asking me about shit he holds up to me. The funny thing is Adam was completely oblivious to my plight. Adam did look at home in the place.

He dropped me off at home and picked up the turkey roaster thing we got for Christmas a couple of years ago. You can almost take a bath in it. We are headed over there for Thanks Giving dinner sometime Thursday.

Nat had dinner waiting for me. ... How cool is that? Her back has been hurting her and she has not been feeling all that great. She still took the time and effort. What a gal. She spent the day messing with fonts.


Thanks Giving

I called my parents. They are visiting relatives at the moment. My mother passed around the phone. Now, they are in the car headed for a flea market of some kind. My uncle Ron had that long distance phone conversation tone. I don't know how to describe it. People used to get this tone when talking long distance. I've done it myself. It is a "what I'm saying better be important because this phone call is costing someone money" kind of tone. My mother and I might as well have been across the street. I hadn't heard that in a while.

I must admit I envy them going to a small store on a Monday. I don't care if it is because all but one of them is retired. I am so looking forward to the time when I'm retired and blogging all the time. Blogs will be passe by then. The new thing will be community cyber connections. I"m probably going to be too old fashioned for that sort of thing. I haven't made up my mind yet.

Oh, ya, Thanksgiving.

I still don't know what we are doing for Thanksgiving. Our options are:

  • Camping at Faire. It seems like no one else who is at our normal camp will be there though.
  • Our own Thanksgiving. Sounds like a lot of work to me. Nat wants to cook, so she might enjoy making the meal for the family.
  • Eating at a friend's place. This sounds like the best bet to me. I haven't had a chance to run it by Nat yet. She wants to cook, so maybe we can bring something.

There may be even more options that I cannot think of at the moment.

I got a couple of texts from my mother yesterday. They were at uncle Jacks place. It is a ranch of sorts. "I get to shoot goats in the butt with a bebe gun. and ride a four wheeler. I'm happy." Then I get "Jack has a dog named Mouser, She brings the eggs in from the chicken coop and lays them on the mat at the back door." Those are scary to get from your mum while she is on the road.

If we decide to do the Faire thing I envision a lot of sitting around and shivering. It is to get cold over the T-day break. It will be wet and none of the normal folks will show up. I can only speculate that there will be fewer folks inside the faire too. I predict a lower than normal turnout. TRF just isn't what I think of when I think Thanksgiving weekend.

If we do the cook yourself thing I have a feeling that no one will sit down and eat at the same time. I predict lots of snoring and watching of TV. Not a bad combo, but not what Nat expects.

If we do the Adam and Laurie thing, we will have kid's table. Adam and I spoke of this earlier and it seemed to hit a cord that we would have a kid's table. We both felt like parents for a moment. It was strangely pleasant for a couple of dads talking about having a kid's table at Thanksgiving dinner. (I'm grinning ear to ear and tearing up typing that statement.) I picture Elle and the other kids  giggling and making a mess on the table. I feel all parent like.

Of all the names

The company I work for has like seventy people at the moment. There are two of several names. There are three of Chris, and Kelly. I had an idea that Chris was so popular. Not Kelly. All spelled the same way too.  There is only one Michael. There is only one John. There are no folks named Jennifer. I'm flabbergasted.

There are a bunch of Chris handled folks at Safe Haven. Some are Christoffer or Christopher. Some are Christin. They are all Chris.

It wold be more surprising if we had another guy named Kelly. I knew a woman named Kellie who married a guy with the last name of Kelley. I think that is how they spelled the names. His CB handle was Cracked Axle because he blew an axle rounding a corner. We called him Crack on the radio and the cops freaked out.



I put up some pictures. Nat backed a cake in the shape of a castle this morning. it was a tin given to us by Adam and Laurie for Christmas a couple of years ago.

The other set of pictures are from a couple of different days at Faire. They were on the camera, so I put them up.


New Camera

I would kill for one of these.

Video Camera

Or, something like it. It is high definition and shoots straight to video. It would be just the thing.

Product Features (My comments in red)

$250 (or $215)
  • 3x optical zoom with autofocus
    You pay $100 for optical zoom. It is worth it.
  • 2.4" LCD display; color viewfinder
    They all have something like this it seems. Even the cheap ones.
  • Enhanced 5.0-megapixel digital still camera for stunning clarity and detail; 1280 x 720 video resolution
    That is high-def video. I wonder how much the files take up per second. That is a nice resolution, but do the optics make it worth while?
  • Multifunction dock features 3.5mm audio jack, 6 watts of speaker power and clock/FM radio
  • Dock utilizes AC adapter (included) or 4 AA batteries
    So, half the functionality is in the extra bit that is supposed to stay at home. Yuck.
  • Advanced H.264 high-end compression technology
    That's software.
  • LED lights allow you to shoot in low lighting conditions
  • Night mode allows you to take snapshots in dark environments
  • Not bright enough, I'm sure.
  • Photo effects include auto, sunny, cloudy, tungsten and fluorescent
    This means nothing really.
  • Secure Digital and Secure Digital High Capacity memory card slot (media not included)
    $40 for 2G. How much video will that hold?
  • USB interface ensures easy video transfer; A/V out lets you view your films on your TV or PC
  • Includes docking station, lithium-ion battery, charger, wrist strap, USB and A/V cables and software CD

Sounds pretty basic. It costs too much. I'm thinking I would like to buy something cheap enough that if I did loose it, I would not be afraid to replace it. Otherwise, I will not use it. I know it.

Some day.

Latest Auto Accessory

For the soccer mom who has everything.

Now that we know why one barrel just doesn't always do the job. We give you the vehicle mounted Gatling mini-gun on a vehicle that looks like a normal SUV. Take your kids to soccer in style and give that shit head who just cut you off six thousand brand new assholes.

Animal Mayhem

How Do A Kitten Peeve A Dog ? Very Funny - Watch more funny videos here

Let's see just how far we can get before we get pounced.

mmmmmmmm Kitten popper. Momma might have something to say about this.

Give'em hell Chuck

Chuck sounds like someone who knew his dream and made it happen. Hell of a job.

More on the tent 2007-11-15

Camping picture

Taken just before we started erecting the tent. Dizz is next to the trailer. The Italian woman is in the chair. There are two lanterns making that big blob of light to the left. The candle that "has a purpose" is on the ground between the two women.

Click for the full 640x480 pic. The phone that took a better picture was another $100 at the time we got our phones. Someday.


Hot as a pistol

Short bursts. This weapon doesn't seem to put up with very much before it begins to glow hot. They used to surround the barrel of machine guns with cooled oil to keep this sort of thing from happening. Now, the barrels are just easily replaced.



(That might get me a couple hits)

Thursday evening Nat, Elle and I went out to Faire camp grounds to help Dizz put up the GP Large. Nothing interesting about that. We did the same thing last week. Chris and Bree came out. There was another Italian woman there who apparently was getting married Friday (today).

Chris knows what's going on and is good about keeping focused. It's nice working with him. "Kelly, stop fucking off and hammer in a stake." Something like that.

Bree is good natured. She smiles and cracks jokes. She also helps. It is fun working with her.

The Italian woman helped greatly. I was worried because she complained about being cold so much. She got up and pitched in without a word. I like that.

Nat was on the spot even though her back hurt. She aggravated it she worked so hard. She is not able to run around Faire throwing stuff at people. She gets paid to do so in the parade. She needs to rest up for final weekend.

Elle was right there saying "I can help Kelly?" She doesn't quite have the order of questions down. She is so cute. Elle did hold the flashlight a couple of times. Good girl. It's funny when she goes to had someone a flashlight, she ends up shining it right in their eyes, without fail.

Dizz is always working it seems. She is a hardy mountain woman. She over did it a smidge last night.

Satan was there. The same one mentioned in yesterday's blog. He came over to make sure everything was OK. He already had the shower and kitchen set up at his camp. Showoff. =]

I drove several stakes. I'm not sure I did a very good job. I'm not sure I got the angle correct. I'm not sure I didn't bust any of them as I hammered away. I did like the sparks as they flew. I did get some aggravations out and it kept me warm. It never fails that some of the stakes will need to be moved. Sometimes you end up hammering them all twice and one four times before the tent is in shape.

The corners of the GP Large are coming apart. It turns out the stress is a bit much for the canvas. The metal rings that hold the poles to the canvas are coming out of their mounts. It looks bad, but I bet with some care it can be repaired. It may need to be replaced. I'm not sure how much effort that is, but it does not look easy. This is the last weekend for the big tent this year. Next weekend is Thanksgiving. Many people intend to treat this weekend as last weekend. The camp grounds are going to be packed.

It was cold and dusty. We had the cars high beams giving us light along with a couple of lanterns. I also used my MagLight. At one point I noticed the beam was dimming a bit. It wasn't the bulb or the batteries. There was an inch of dust on the lens. This must have happened one of the times the light ended up on the ground. The disadvantage of a flashlight in general is that has to be handy to be handy. I still say it was a good purchase. It never fails that there is just not enough light in all the right places when putting up one of those tents. I have a head lamp that doesn't work either because I'm constantly shining it in every one's eyes.


Remember the RV fire from last week? There was a moment last week where a bubble burst. The fabric of our collective Faire happiness was tested briefly.

There was a moment where I sat behind the car looking at the night sky. It was freezing and I huddled up looking though a slit between the hood of my jacket and the neck of the jacket. The sky seemed removed a bit. There were tons of stars and a large number of planes flying around. Thee was also a radio tower off to the North. There was a glow to the South East that was the faire ground. There is a fourth wall feel between the camp ground and the Faire.. The camp is the camp and the faire is the faire. Last week when you could see and smell the smoke from the burning RV climbing the night sky, glowing red on the bottom, and falling on the camp, it broke the magic for a moment. It made everything, the whole magic world we have made for ourselves shake a bit. That monster in the air that was a real fire that could hurt people. The smell of burning plastic and wood that rammed it down our throats. For a moment I felt both the magic and the break. It was strange. Then I watched the sky for a while.


On the way home I asked "Shouldn't we be on the Toll Way by now." We had been on the Toll Way for like five minutes. Just as the words past my lips, we past a toll booth. Nat was like "Are you OK?" I was just plane tired. Elle was of course passed out in the back seat the whole time. Nat managed to get us home without damage.

We didn't get home until 1:30 or so. I was so out of it that I sat down to play with the cat for a second, to distract him from running in to Elle's room while she got ready for bed, and fell asleep against the wall. I just brushed my teeth, washed up a bit, and went to bed. Got up in the morning and went to work.

When I got home I noticed the amount of dust on my boots was the same amount that I normally carry home after a full weekend. This means the terminal dust load on my boots it achieved within a couple of hours at least. I bet with farther experimentation, it happens within several minutes.

I nearly dropped the coffee pot this morning when I felt a sharp pain in my upper forearm. The joy of pounding the sledge into the stake and watching the dust fly, feeling the ground shake was well worth it. I was worried about typing last night, but that is OK.

It turned out that several people were up late last night. Some didn't get to bed until 3:00 or so. They were playing video games or something along those lines. Every one seems to be in good spirits though.

At noon, it felt like 10:00 or so in the morning. My built in clock was off all day.

I did break the $10 bill I was saving in my pocket for next weekend's camping fee. It was a noble cause thought. Cinnamon Pop-Tarts.

Things I Learned

  • Put the center poll tip through the center of the metal plate, through the grommet in the tent canvas, and make sure the metal latches are all straight before you push on the poll to raise it up.
  • The candle has a purpose. I have no idea what, but it has a purpose.
  • You really can warm your hands around a liquid fuel Colman lantern.
  • Hammering a metal tent stake in to the ground really can be fun.
  • Standing at one end of the GP Large and shining a MagLite to the other end lights nearly the entire door even on a tight beam of light.
  • Ratchet straps do not age well when used with a GP Large.
  • A GP Large has twice the foot print of a GP Medium.
  • The work lights that Heath uses work many times better than the headlights of a couple of cars and a couple of lanterns for putting up the GP tents.


Work Stuff


We, like every other software development team, use a code repository software. This means we check out copies of stuff, modify it and then check it back in. The changes are all zippered together. Conflicts are noted and handled as they come up. This is the only way multiple developers can work on a project at the same time with out things coming to blows on an hourly basis.

Sometimes I have to log in as a functional user ( a non existent user only used for specific tasks ) The couple of times I have to check in some code, I'm supposed to put my name in the check in to make sure we know who committed the change. I cannot get myself to remember. I do not know what the deal is. It must be simple habit. It is not a hard fast rule. It is just a good idea really.

Up Time

My computer at work has Red Hat Enterprise Workstation 5.0. It has been up now for 30 days. That means without a reboot. I do everything on it. I don't hold back. I dare say that a Wincrap box would not have lasted this long. Especially with only half a gig of RAM to work with.

The machine has slowed down, but not any more than happens around day three. It won't beat the VMS system at my old job. That server stayed up over a year without a boot. The performance never wavered. It sucked start to finish.

Friends at Faire

Mom, you remember Satan. He was at our wedding.

Yes, they are parked next to our car. They were in the GP large.


There are worse things to live for

When life deals you 40mm high explosive rounds, make a mess of the countryside.

Buy a frigging truck!

Driving is a privilege, not a right. They don't test intelligence to get a license.

24 oz

It hurts telling this story. I don't know why. It is something that happens to me all the time.

This past weekend, I road up to Brookshire Brother's (a small grocery store near Faire) to get some things for Saturday night. I think it was honey we were after. When we checked out, we went through the self check out line. Heath and Byron made it through without trouble. I was picking up a case of water for Nat and I.

I went through the routine of swiping my product and touching the screen. When I went to pay I had to lean in and cup my hand around the little screen to read it. My hat brim hit the screen. I would have taken it off, but it was helping to shade the screen. This is pretty normal for me.

The lady behind the counter wanted to come out to help me. Heath and Byron told her that i was legally blind. She happened to be standing on Byron's def side. He told the lady that he was legally def. Then Byron pointed to Heath and said he was legally pregnant. (Hope I'm not giving up too much info here.). We all chuckled it off as we walked out. I'm glad to have people around me who can joke about it.

I was able to get through the menu and check out. I wonder what the lady was thinking at that point.

Not five minutes later, there was a painful situation where I had ask a convince store clerk to come out from behind the counter to show me where something was. He was a trooper about it. I told him that I have bad eye site and thanked him for the extra effort. I was in there for a while. When I walked out the door, Byron was on his way in to rescue me.

That is the painful part of the story. Now, for the triumphant bit.

Normally, theses situations are painful. This one was too. I was able to laugh it off with the help of friends. I was still able to have a good time the reminder of the weekend. I even had it together enough to get the tent we borrowed back in the bag. That is a big thing for me right now.

That is the first time I've had two in a row like that and not gone completely off the deep end in to depression. I think it partly having friends near by who understand me. Mostly it is Nat's influence. She has made me stronger.


Married people need not apply

For some reason, several of the married couples at Safe Haven had problems or disturbances this weekend. Ken and Jen, Randy and Simone, and Nat and I all had slightly public spats. Tony and Dizz had a scare, not a fight. Let's just say, Tony is over seas at the moment.

I just don't know what to do. I'm worried about Nat and I. Yet, I want to help our friends at the same time. I have to devote all my strength to our relationship. The others are on their own for the moment.

I have to admit that witnessing how the other couples act around one another helps me identify when I'm being a numb scull. Speaking of numb scull, Nat said I was being hard headed Friday night and I bopped myself on the head with my MagLite. It left quite a goos egg. Every one asked me if I was OK when I had ice on my head. That felt reassuring.

Faire is a pretty wild place. I've only touched on some of the goings-on that happen every day out there. It is difficult for a married couple to stay focused. It has to be done though. I mean, you can't treat your relationship with kid gloves all the time. All parties must bot trust the other and be trust worthy themselves.


Saturday evening, we were sitting around the camp fire bullshitting. A couple of people who have motorcycles hopped on and tore off like something was wrong. We are all looking at each other. Then someone runs up to tell ever on that Randolf's shop is on fire. We all raise our gaze to the South East to find a rising cloud of black smoke rising from a spot that could very well be That area.

Everyone freaked. Calls started puring in and out. The people in a camp not far off have a bunch of lights and music playing. They have the lit up pyramids made from blue translucent canvas and aluminum scaffolding. They also have one of those propane torches that hot air balloons use on the top of one of the pyramids that they set off every so often. They got it cleared by the cops. It was going off during the fire. That wasn't helping nerves.

Chris made it to the patrons area and called Dizz. It was an RV, not a shop. No one was hurt. It turns out to be an electrical fire in a brand new RV, it's maiden voyage as a matter of fact. Hey, the fire alarm worked. Can you say lawsuit?

Eye witness reports say it went up like a match head. There was nothing left but a pile of ashes, axles, and a puddle of plastic.

While it was happening, I half expected to see George (Faire owner) playing violin.

Tent Politics

We took Elle this weekend. We stayed in a separate tent from the young and sexy people. We borrowed a tent to stay in. This is because I have not been able to get our tent back in the fucking bag it came in. It is really pissing me off. I did manage to get the tent we borrowed back in the bag, but that was not the bag it came in. It was an overnight bag.

I just didn't feel comfortable in the big tents if Nat and I were not camping there. I go in when invited, but I still feel like I am invading someone's bedroom.

It all boils down to respect. If I don't have a reason to be in the tent, I don't want to be there. I understand how the nomadic tribes came up with the whole cut off a hand for steeling. That's all that came under the tent flap. CHOP!!! Let me tell you, some folks at camp would like to go back to the old ways. People are tired of shit disappearing. Dizz was half tempted to set up the other GP Medium for people to park their motorcycles. That's a bit much really.

What's the red light?

The red light on the dash as got to be the traction control. That's the only thing I can think of.


Rennies Be We

Written 2007-11-09
Nat and I went out to the camp grounds Thursday evening to help with the tents. It was fun. I hadn't seen the camp grounds without a bunch of cars, RVs and tents all over the place. It looked pretty in the MagLite, spotlight, and headlight lit forest of wondering shadows. They washed over one another and danced for our amusement every time someone crossed one of the trails of light. It was highly magical. The darkness was not glum. It was an adventure. There are so many lives touched by this patch of mowed farm land. The spirits were out watching us. The moonless forest in the sea of dark surrounding us left us to our tent pitching duties.

We are but one group of people among many. There are families like ours that we do not even know. The village, nay city (we got a Quickie-Mart place out there this year) have a common goal of enjoyment. We are drama queens, metrosexuals, rocket scientists, homeless, doctors, firefighters, cops, homemakers, thieves, teachers, parents, ... rennies ... all.


Morning Commute

I road the bus this morning. We were trucking along. We got to Kirkwood and I thought "Shouldn't we be farther along?" At that moment I heard the traffic report that said "The light at Westheimer and Highway 6 is out ..." We had passed through that intersection only minutes before and I didn't even realize it. How cool is that?

Nat has to go through the same intersection later so I sent her a text. I got in about ten minutes later than I normally get in. That made me exactly one hour early. I like getting in early It takes some of the stress off the morning.



Some things are better left to the imagination. Some times the dream is better than reality. Sometimes it is better to let go of what you know and let a little bit of bliss in.

Santa Clause .
Easter bunny.
The Sun stands still and the Earth moves.
How many people died before doctors figured out to wash their hands and instruments between patients?
Daemons are as real as angles.
Your dreams cost.
It takes work to be free.
Freedom is not anarchy.
Some things are worth dying for.
Some things are worth killing for.
McDonald's is just another fast food place. They are simply good at it.
There is nothing between us and space but air.
Mom and Dad are regular people.
There is no perfect song.
Free software will never out perform pay software because of the need to blame people for your mistakes.
Some of the most beautiful dusks are pollution enhanced.
A bear is just a big fuzzy pig.
Raising kids is hard, scary, painful, rewarding, wonderful.
Peace is not the opposite of war. Loosing is.
No matter how good you are at something, there is someone better standing in the wings.
The light goes off in the fridge when you close the door.
If no one looses, no one wins.
Sex is not the end all-be all of existence, until you are not getting any.
You get more energy when you eat food with less energy in it.
A dark, cold, snowy, forest can be heaven or hell on Earth.
A hand to hold, a full belly, a warm dry place to sleep. Priorities.
The most important thing to figure out in life is what is really important.

Feets too big

I think my feet are getting bigger. I have two older pare of shoes that fit just fine a couple years ago. They are too small now. They are both 10 ½. Normally I ware 10 ½ in shoes and 11 in boots. My toes hit the front now. What the hell?

People tell me I'm nuts. Your feet don't keep growing, right? Maybe the shoes shrunk over the years.


Train Wreck

Not a train wreck, but tells you how my work day felt.

It's Nat and my Anniversary. Light posting.



I'm sick. I frigging hate this. It hasn't gotten in my lungs yet. I stopped this time and went straight to the doctor on the first cough. I'm leaking and oozing all over the place.

The whole family got checked out. Nat hasn't been feeling very well. Elle spent the weekend with Bill. Nat and i went to Faire. Chris (Jade) was feeling like crap Sunday night. I don't think we all have the same thing. Nat and I both drank an all natural fruit drink that said it had plenty of Vitiman C. It gave us both the shits. Nat felt bad most of the next day. I recovered prety quickly.

Sunday evening was highly dusty. Nat and I both helped take down the GP large tent. We got stuck late because of the traffic out of Faire.

Today I stayed home from Work because I have a bad cough. Did the doctor thing. Paid a fortune for prescriptions. Now I dog tired and broke. I'm not sure I'll make it back out to Faire. I just plane can't aford it.

Christmas Lite

Written Friday 2007-11-02
We are going to have a light Christmas this year. We are broke. We have huge bills to pay. Folks better be happy with a card. It is all over the news that retailers expect slow movement. I saw Christmas lights and specials up at Sam's last night.

Nat and I are not going to have any more money next month that we do this month. We are going to have all the same bills. We are still going to be broke. We just have to put our collective foot down and say that we are not going to participate in the madness.

For a Pagan, Nat goes crazy over Christmas. I've noticed that about Pagans. They like Christmas. Christmas is based on a bunch of collaged Pagan holidays and rituals.

I say that Christmas has not much to do about gift giving. The idea is nice. People seem happy to decorate and make a whole season out of Christmas. It has become so commercialized that I just can't take it any more.

Don't get me wrong. I remember opening presents Christmas morning and playing myself to sleep that evening. Those are great deep colorful memories that I cherish. Maybe we should have a kids get a gift day or something.

Tradition aside, Christmas is about worshiping Jesus and thinking God for the savior. People justify the gift giving by saying it represents the gifts given by the three wise men.

I rant about this every year. I kick off my Christmas rant earlier every year. Funny that.


That Crazy Bastard

Can't say they don't know how to party in Australia.


The Dow nose dived plummeted tanked fell 350 points or so today. People blame oil prices. It is the realization that we are in a recession. Joe on the street frigging knows it. I know it. People who are out of work know it. People getting thrown out of their house know it. The only people who don't know it are the 'experts'. Perhaps they are afraid to say it.

The big discussion at lunch today was that too many of the people getting thrown out of their house should have known better that they were getting in over their head. I'm not so sure. I was asked if I wanted some kind of funny loan. I said no. I got a fare interest rate for the day I asked. I got pretty fare terms that day too. I may have gotten in a bit deep. If anything happens to or finances, we are done for. I prey that does not happen. I prey to hit the lottery. Why not?

Nearly everyone I speak to on the subject just assumes things are going to get worse before they get better.

Do you suppose anyone will learn the lesson of don't bite off more than you can chew? Maybe. Then, the next generation of idiots comes down the pike. Do you suppose the brokers who packaged these things up knew they were selling crap? Do you suppose the banks all over the world knew they were buying crap? Do you suppose any one who sold these loans to individuals might have stretched the truth while passing them out like cookies?

Not on even money. Not a one.

Very local news

  • Didn't I mention that I hadn't gotten sick in a while? Well, guess what.
  • B. B. Sparkle stands for Baboon Butt Sparkle. Jake earned the BB part for the red scalp he came in to work with this morning. The Sparkle bit came from the glitter all over his face. Those both came from our party. Adam was spraying people with color hair spray in the back yard. At least he did it out there. Though the couches ended up with colors all over them. Elle made it to school with some pink still in her hair. Thanks Adam.
    Jake will hence forth will be called BB Sparkle. Well, if I have anything to say about it.
  • Time Machine is a backup software that does the grunt work for you.  It is nice. It is not revolutionary. Stop trying to make it sound like the best thing since the wheel.
  • Boot Camp lets you run Windows software on your Mac. I read that you are buying a license for Windows when you buy Mac OS. I believe it. Mac OS is really BSD with a nifty interface. That tells me MS has a version of Windows that runs well on a Unix platform. They should sell Windows for Linux.
  • SD Wireless card. Good idea. None of the software that lets it do anything cool works on Linux so screw em.
  • "The age of the megafire" Is just a scare tactic to get ratings. Fires have happened since before man. People managing fires over decades of putting out every fire causes more fuel for the megafire. As so many other things that happen around us, this too is our own path biting us on the ass.
  • I am a news junkie. I don't remember the last time I watched national news on TV. I watch the local news only for the weather and to figure out where the bad neighborhoods are.
  • Some guy in England pissed on a woman who collapsed in the street, then wen to a nightclub with his mates. One of whom videoed him for later publishing on the internet. The lady who had a bunch of medical problems, ended up dying. The guy who did the pissing got three years.
  • Thee is a movement at the BBC to influence presenters to speed proper English.