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


Another example

Yet another video example of a street crossing that is far worse than Westheimer. It goes by basically the same principle as the other video I posted a couple of days ago. There is a bottleneck in the traffic. And people take advantage of the congestion to cross the road. Scary stuff.


I've heard about checkpoints on roads in the southern US Where the authorities look for illegal  aliens. Then I hear about checkpoints in the middle east that are pretty much looking for any one who they don't like at that moment. People in the US say they feel like the checkpoints do no good. The checkpoints keep moving north and never seem to catch the right people. The law breakers just move off the major roads in to neighborhoods and quiet side streets.

At the checkpoints in the middle east you might be asked religious questions to determine if you are Shiia or Sunni. You might be asked who your parents were to figure out if you have bad blood. You might be asked if you have ever been to Israel. You may be asked your tribe to figure out if you work for a particular militia.  You might very well be drug from your car and shot on the spot. It happens all the time.

Calling them something else doesn't make them any less of a Checkpoint. I believe we should allow cops to have checkpoints on roads and just give every one who passes by a breathalyser test. That is just me.

I've heard that in Israel you have to have your car searched to park in the grocery store parking lot. There may be a blast wall between the parking lot and the store front.

These are thing that just happen as one group of people tries to dominate every one else in the world. I'm surprised (pleasantly) that this sort of thing has not yet happened on a grand scale in the US. I do not know why we do not have weekly car bombs and homicide bombers. I'm not sure it matters that I know. I'm glad my family is that bit more safe. I'm not sure I care that big brother is listening to everything that goes on as long as my family is free to peruse better cable TV and hit the beach on occasion. Or listen to our choice of music just for entertainment.

The real sign of the fall of freedom in the US will come sometime after we need passports (or RFID or national ID cards with RFID) to travel from one state to another. That is the beginning of the end. End of life and freedom as we know it today. this option has already been proposed in one fashion or another. When it is implemented, well, I don't know what to do about it then.

Very Local News

  • I had to change the batteries in my $5 radio. It is the first time since I got it for my birthday. That rocks. I've even left it on over night a couple of times. This is probably the last analog radio I'll ever own.
  • Some folks have started bowling once a week at work. It is kind of cool because I can bowl, kind of. I'm bad at it, but the odds of me killing any one is low. I was on some kind of league in high school. I sucked then. I'm not any better now. I think my highest game in history was 180 or so. I average around 90. I used to have my own ball. Nat likes bowling. She has her own ball. That might be a fun family activity.
  • It is nearly the end of the month. We are going to make up a full budget and go over the last couple of months expenses with a fine tooth comb. If we have no money to blow so be it. Nat and I need to stay on top of things better.
  • I ordered new glasses. They are progressive bifocals so they will take a couple of weeks. They are thicker wire frames. The frames are black. I nearly got some Blues Brothers glasses, but decided against it. I'm tired of shuffling glasses while working. I still have contacts for Faire and the like.
  • I went over to Adam's place for lunch today. We noticed too late that the sour cream we were using on our homemade tacos was ... something beyond sour cream. The rest of the day jokes flew about side effects of eating mature dairy products.
  • The power flickered a couple times at work today. Just after lunch the sky turned dark. The lightning was intense. The rain was thick. The drone of the machines almost drown out the rain until it lapped against the windows at the whim of the wind. There was a toad in the lobby of our building that caught the eyes passers by.


Way too many games of quarters

If it is a fake, it is a good one. This guy has plaid way too many games of quarters. That is pretty much amazing. This is why I don't play drinking games. There is always some guy like this who will smoke you any time he wants.

I'm .. I'm a Commodore sixty fooooooooour

I've had days like this. Sometimes I feel like a relic from a by gone era. I had a Commodore 64 back in the day. It was a good machine. I only had a couple of games. I did my first programming in basic on that box. It had one programming tool. 'list' We have come a long way.

Garbage Disposal

Nat fixed the garbage disposal. She called on the warantee and found out how to fix it. I just turned the wrench. She got an Allen wrench with the name of the company on it in the mail. We didn't wait that long. I used one of my own Allen wrenches. Now we have a functioning garbage disposal again. Yay us.


Feeling God

I heard a story on NPR about Mother Teressa. She had several decades where she just didn't feel the presence of God. She stuck to her guns. She till believed. She just didn't feel it. There are times I just don't feel it. I go through the motions and do the next thing. Mother Teressa did all her hard work for so long caring for the poor, teaching people faith.

I've been preying all day for help with our marriage, finances parenthood, the whole bit. I go over it in my head and I have irrational fears of loosing the house, car, we can't go to faire. I want to give up and spend my last dollar on lottery tickets. I pray some more. I ask God for strength. Then I get to work and do the next thing. I do my time sheet. I pray again. No overtime.

I started to say a prayer for Mother Teressa, and just as the thoughts leave my mind, I get the over whelming feeling "Don't worry about Mother Teressa."  ... Well, OK. Felt a little God there.

I have always had a great relationship with God. I asked a long time ago for God to interfere in my life on purpose. And, I think God has done so. I have had things happen to me where that same feeling or inner voice bubbles up and tels me what to do. That is great. I attributed it to God. Talk to God all the time. I believe in God whole heatedly. I do not believe in religion. I have a theory, and a blog to put that theory on. so, here goes.

Learn everything you can about all religions. find out things about dead religions. don't pay any attention to how old, or how many people each religion touts. Talk to people who ware thick glasses and find out what they think. Then don't listen to them. Talk to your friends. Then, don't listen to them. Talk to your family, then ignore what they say. Wonder in the darkness. Wonder in the light. Have a cup of coffee. Watch some cartoons. Thank God for all of it. Then, go do some chores. come back and think about it. Then, don't listen to what you say. Sleep on it.

When you get up the next day try Buddhism. I've like Buddhism this week because it allows you to take part in other religions as long as they are not violent (so much for Islam-supremacist folks) and no one gets in trouble. I like that because you can basically show up to all the family stuff and chant the party line to your parents, go to your girlfriend's place and put up with her Witch friends. Then tell your friends you are an Atheist. You can say you are a Buddhist on forms. I call this pollybullshitism.

Again, I do not believe in religion. I believe in God. I know God. I believe that religion was originally designed as a way to control people on mass. In post caveman days One only had contact with people other than your neighbors when one went to church. That may have been an entire life. Let's cover the basic commandments for most religions, shall we.

  • Don't kill people (except in specific situations)
  • Don't dittle other folks wives/husbands.
  • Don't listen to other religions. (self serving)
  • Don't eat [insert food type here] because it is unclean.

These are all things that stir up shit amongst small communities. There are few commandments against war or polluting or using up natural resources too quickly yadda yadda.

Today I like religions that teach. Teach what? Well, I have no idea. I like learning is all. I think the Matrix is about as likely to be "right" as any registered religion. I don't like reincarnation because I do not want to come back once I'm done. I wonder sometimes if I'm really some alien who paid to come to this planet as some kind of vacation. I want my money back. Reminds me of an episode of Red Dwarf.

What is the answer? Well, faith is the answer. I believe that people need something to believe in. I know I need something like that. If you question your faith then there is not much faith there. There is nothing permanent in this world. All things will eventually come to an end. The universe itself will go poof one day. I believe that God is still there. I would ask that we be there too, queuing for the bus to get to the next universe.


And I thought Westheimer was bad

I must stop complainging about crossing Westheimer.

I have to say that these guys do have balls. I've heard about some of the crazy rules in the middle east for roads. I have only one question after watching the video. Why did they bother painting lines on the road? I suppose cleaning up the bodies is cheaper than electricity for the traffic lights but come on.

The walk across the street is slow and deliberate. The cars are slowed by the natural bottle neck of the road. The people continue across the street at a steady pase and let the cars and bikes (and buses) maneuver around them. That is one plan. So is spraying the oncoming traffic with a machine gun and diving for cover.

The real thing

I've only seen one humvee in my life. It was on display at a car show. It was the official military version. It had canvas doors. I'm so very glad the one's in Iraq have some armor now. I have too many friends over there defending my freedom to be complacent.

Be warned there is strong language. They did almost just get blown up after all.

My new place

Well, I've been saying for years (just ask Nat and prepare for her eyes to roll) that I want to live in a water tower like the Animaniacs. Well, it's been done. I'm sure more than just this one time. No elevator though. That is, if you don't count repelling down the side. I would prefer to use one of those modern water towers that looks like the Jolly Green Giant should walk up and hit it with a golf club.

Another dream destroyed by the internet.


Jackie and a big gun

This is what every one things will happen the first time they fire a big gun. My mother is small and can bust a cap with the best of them. I really should have stuck around at this party. I just wasn't up to it.

The video is of my friends Jacky and Chris. The Desert Eagle blongs to a mutual friend.

Wine Sucks

Wine 0.9.44 Released

Posted by kdawson on Saturday August 25, @05:21AM
from the in-old-bottles dept.
jshriverWVU writes to let us know about the release of Wine 0.9.44. Wine is a free implementation of Windows on Unix/Linux. New in this release are: better heuristics for making windows managed; automatic detection of timezone parameters; improvements to the built-in WordPad; better signatures support in crypt32; still more gdiplus functions; and of course lots of bug fixes.

The fact that this kind of minor tweak makes news tells me that Wine sucks. I of course know that Wine sucks from personal and professional experience. To date, I have only gotten one program to work in Wine. That program was a key-generator that basically had the functionality of a lookup table.


Lights vs Batman

I had a nightmare last night. Let me tell you what kind of night mares I have these days.

I'm in a hall way in a public building and I have to go to the bathroom. There are no labels anywhere that I can tell from a distance so I hang out waiting from someone to come by so I can tell which door they go in. I try my best to look impatient so it looks like I'm waiting for someone to come out of the bathroom.This is something I've learned to do as a legally blind person. Now I'm doing it in my dreams. The nightmare part comes when every one going in the two doors all look just androgynous enough that I can't be sure if it is a man or a woman. So, I'm standing there looking at people walking in and out of the bathrooms. I'm worried that I look like a pervert. Then the alarm went off. I really did have to pee.

Well, that's not the end of the story. We had a meeting in the office today, The usual stuff. I had used the men's room earlier the morning. Nothing to report there. Then, After the meeting there is a rush, so I give it twenty minutes or so. I walked in the men's room and realized something was dreadfully wrong. I was several steps in the room and things didn't look right. I slammed to a halt and said "AAAA!!!" in my head. Just as I was about to turn and dive back out the door, I realized something. They fixed the lights.

The  new thing was the fact that I could see everything clearly and brightly. The lights in the men's room have been at half mast since I've worked here. It was kind of a mood setting thing that wasn't so bad. Guys don't care how well they can see stuff in the bathroom. Just look at our aim. It was getting to the point people could see what they were doing thought. Something needed to be done.

I had just watched an episode of Batman the Animated Series last night where Scarecrow found people's worst fears and exploited them. One man feared death. Another man feared spiders. Batman feared his father saying he was a disgrace or a disappointment to the family. I pondered what my worse fear was. I couldn't really come up with anything at the time. Now, I know.

My Scarecrow illusion would be a mile long hall full of doors to lady's rooms with women walking in and out of doors. There is one men's room .. somewhere. I really got to go and I can't ask for directions, because I'm a guy.

Poor Nat caught the brunt of this fear of mine at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago. She pointed out which bathroom was the men's room while I was walking up to the door. I gave her a bunch of crap about it and I'm sorry. I didn't realize what and affect this had on me.


I've decided I need bifocals again. I'm constantly flipping glasses around at work. When I ware contacts I still need to use glasses for up close and computer stuff. It is getting annoying. I do not really have a prescription for bifocals right now. I'm going to look at my old glasses and figure out what numbers I need to put down.

Contacts are annoying and expensive. I can see a little bit better with contacts. That only lasts for a while. After waring them for a couple of hours they start getting dry or out of focus. They get on my nerves. They are a real hassle at Faire. You can't wash your ands properly and the dust is like a plague. Sometimes the smoke hangs in the air and just stifles life. I wish I had some satellite views of the cloud that camp ground must generate some evenings. That and if something happens in the middle of the night, and it does on occasion out there, you don't have your contacts in to bludgeon the correct person in the dark. I would probably still ware contacts in the park if I'm in costume.

For day to day living I think bifocal glasses work just a bit better as long as I have peripheral vision and the bifocal part is not so strong that it makes me trip over stuff. I've worn bifocals most of my life. I had a kid call me four-eyes in middle school and I corrected him "It's six-eyes Stupid." No one was impressed.

I looked at some frames and I noticed I like the thicker frames these days. Not hugely thick. Just more than wire. I'm in to black as a color option. I hope the lenses are not too crazy thick. That fact will keep me from buying too large a diameter lens. It will affect how much I ware the glasses too. I'm vane, I admit it.


Today's Distractions

  • I'm listening to football (soccer) podcasts. I'm starting to remember names of teams and players.
  • China
    • The U. S. sub-prime trouble is nothing compared to the teetering juggernaut that will bring the world financial markets to their knees when China has something happen in it's market. They just don't have the backups that the other markets have. It may be a fortunate thing that China does not allow foreign investors to directly invest in their market.
    • China keeps their currency artificially low. Other countries are going to retaliate. I'm convinced this is why the U. S. has let the dollar plummet.
    • With all the recalls, the get rich quick free market in China could topple at any moment. Perception is not everything, but it is a lot.
  • The Israelis prepare as I type for ware with Iran. The fallout shelter business is ... skyrocketing. I talk to people here in the States and no one seems concerned in the least about Iran having Nuclear weapons. Oh, they pay it a bit of lib service when prompted, but they are busy bullshitting about the weather to be bothered otherwise. I'm terrified. I believe it is a rational fear.
  • The U. S. military has said the U. S. does not have sufficient ground forces to handle the challenges of the current world stage. In other words, They want more troops and more equipment.
  • I'm getting to the point where I do not listen to anything any one famous has to say.
  • Egypt is 9% Coptic Christin. Who knew?
  • More people keep guns in their homes in Switzerland than in the U. S.. I wonder if the Air force park their jets in th back yard. It is all due to the mandatory military service. This is all going to change due to liberal shifts in the government. That's good news for potential attackers.
    The suicide rate is higher in the U. S. though.
  • NPR had a story about air travel. All I can say is that I'm glad I have nowhere to go. I'm also glad I do not work in the industry. It is just plane too cut-throat. I blame deregulation. Just because I can.
    • Employees get pay cuts every couple of years.
    • Worse pensions ever
    • Poor management (make themselves rich while stepping on the other employees)
    • Passengers know 30% of flights are at least an hour late. They come in looking for a fight.
    • Flights are way over scheduled (more tickets sold than seats)
    • Planes get stuck on the tarmac for hours passengers and can't leave. Then get arrested if they protest.
    • The system of traffic control is from the fifties. Spotty coverage and no one uses GPS to its potential. The hub and spoke system just doesn't work any more.
  • I was hungry pretty much all day today. I had a fair lunch. Nat got me some of those room temperature dinner things. I noticed, they are good, but have small portions. I blame the one serving per container rules that came in several years ago. I had three sodas, two bags of potato chips. I also had six Oreos. Now that I think of it, there is no wonder I'm still hungry at the end of the day.
  • Three billion fags a month in in Great Briton. That's a lot.
  • MySpace, Face Book, et al - They may have to come up with a way to verify people's age. I can't wait to find out how they intend to do that without alienating half the people on the page. I have several friends without credit cards. The Texas ID database is not online and I don't think any one wants it online. Even if I plug a biometric scanner in to my computer, how do go online from school or elsewhere unless every computer has a scanner.
  • Alternate titles for this post It scares me how much I will agonize over the title of some posts. This one was nothing.
    • Very Local News - Well, it is mostly about non local stuff.
    • Random Crap - Too Generic.
    • Random and Local News - Bumpy somehow.
    • Miscellaneous facts - Well, most of them are not facts. Nor, are they miscellaneous for the most part.
    • Leftover Topics - The truth, but no zing.
    • Things I'm Too Lazy to Write About - Nearly went with this one.



I never got to experience the coming of age of getting a car and driving away. I did have a bike. The one that I had that mattered was a Mongoose. I also had a Fuji. They both had mag wheels. I'm so glad no one uses the mag style of wheels any more. I never liked them. Spokes work better. However, The Fuji had seven spoke mags. Nobody had seven spoke mags but me.

I road my bike all over the place.I did find some freedom at least in my home area of Quail Vally. That was on the street. The real fun was off road. There are a bunch of canals running that area. Lantern Lane had a huge open area behind it. It is all a park now and surrounded by houses. It was a cool no-adult-land for years. A lot of people road motorcycles out there. Some drove 4x4 vehicles around. Wait a minute, I drove my Mom's old Jeep out there once. Before that, I road the wheels off my bike.

My neck of the woods seems so small on Google maps. This was my turf. I lived in this area. I road my bike up and down that bayou at least a million times. I shot off pellet guns. I talked a kid out of hitting a bullet with a hammer there. I crawled under the street through the storm suer. I snuck around like a ninja at night. I walked around by flashlight. I biked around that rough ground and crossed the smelly water when the level was low. I hunted turtles and fished. I sat and wondered. I took pictures. Then lost them. They are in a shoe box somewhere.

Then I grew up. I don't ride bikes much any more. I'm tempted to run around my current neighborhood. I'm not sure I ever will. The world is crewel in many ways. It is good too. I've moved on to different things. Those are good things.


Cloud Spotting

I watched a thunder head roll past our building for a moment today. It reminded me of when I was a kid watching clouds while laying on the ground. I was head to head with a couple of other kids. I don't remember who. We were in sort of a star pattern so we had different prospectives on the which way was up for the drawings that floated by in the form of clouds. I remember a perfect wolf's head and a Star Trek Enterprise. I remember angles and plenty of sailing ships. There were things you had to squint a bit to make out and things that leaped from the sky.

I remember doing this again when at the pool. There was a ten minute period out of every hour or two where life guards had to take a break. Every one under the age of eighteen had to get out of the water and let the guards go smoke a J in the guard room. Sometimes I would take the time to look up and daydream about nothing. My God, I used to waist hours of every Summer's day at the pool. There were times I would have the water to myself. I'd swim laps under the water with no sound other than my own heart and the rush of water past my ears. The blank bottom of the pool would act like a clear blue sky. it was the best when the waves of the water would cause ripples of light chaotically across the bottom of the pool. Those were the best times to go swimming.

On rainy days I made things appear from the drops of water running down the window. I still make images out of the stains in the carpet. To this day, if I can find one, I can lay in an empty room and relax as images and sound poor in from nowhere to fill the void. My mind makes up the difference. My mind just makes up as it goes. I can understand how people go nuts after staying in solitary for even a short time. I would not make it very long. I'd cluck like a chicken in a couple of hours.

That thunder head I watched for just a moment today brought all kinds of memories of Summer days spent doing thing I probably shouldn't have done while cooped up inside my parent's home with nothing better to do. I think the internet and video games are a great way of stifling people's creativity, but they might be good ways to prevent people from just going out (or staying in) and getting in trouble. I suppose there is good and bad on both sides.

The thunder head was about a mile away. Between it and I was sunshine. The shadow of the cloud was dark. I, up on the sixth floor, could almost feel the sunshine. This is one of those times it's good to stop and smell the roses. Oh, well. Back to packaging Linux software. Oh, the cloud is gone.



I forgot how much I like Austin. I took time to walk around in a neighborhood. I wasn't in a very good mood and yet I enjoyed the walk. It was hot, but not stifling. It was sunny, but the sky was blue. The grass was green. I was not the only person walking on the sidewalk. There were sidewalks. People were using the bicycle lanes. There were still asshole drivers passing in a no passing lanes,  but there was a sidewalk so I was not really in danger. The bicycle lane was wide enough to allow the bicyclist mother stay outside her daughter who was next to the curb and still allow room for said asshole to zoom by without causing a pedestrian pile up. There are hills. I miss hills. I've never lived where there are hills, but I miss them for some reason. There are not as many trees as Houston, but the many trees that are there are healthy and don't look like drown rats. Austin was not built on a swamp. The dirt is dirt and not pollution reinforced smelly muck. People stopped at the stop signs for the most part.

I need to find a job in Austin. I need to get Holly to move the company to Austin or somewhere in the Hill Country of Texas. That shouldn't be that hard. Even the folks from other areas agree Austin is better than Houston on the vast majority of fronts. I wonder if we can move TRF closer to Austin. Bah! There are plenty of fairs out that way already. I'd like to know the results of a real "let's move the company" vote.

Homeless folks where I live

I walked past a homeless guy on the way to the bus stop this morning. He was sitting on the side of the road. I'm not 100% sure he was homeless. Just a feeling. A few months ago, a woman sat at the end of our sidewalk for a while. She looked like she was under a lot of stress. I believe she was waiting for a ride. She was gone when I looked out the window later. There is a guy who walks up the same strip I walk up who gathers aluminum in a bag. I feel bad. I feel like a jerk not giving them something. I wish I could help. I'm broke. It is all I can do to keep the roof over my family's head. I would love to hear some of their stories. Then again, I may not like it.

I suppose the homeless people hang out near my home for the same reason the racers and Smoke and Toke are in the area. Lack of law enforcement. I wish I knew then what I know now about the no-man's-land my family and I inhabit. I might have actually thought about where we were going to live.


Bad weekend

I just had a really terrible weekend. Every one around me tried to make it better. I refused to listen. So, what's wrong.

  • I'm not good at my job. I'm afraid I'm going to get fired for stupidity. The thing is, I'm normal. Every one else there is a genius.
  • If I do get canned, my only option for the moment is to go back where I used to work. it is a good place full of normal people like myself where I can shine. I'm not sure they want me. I know it is a different place than it used to be. I hear it is going to get bought out by a company that I do not really want to work for.
  • I'm broke. I'm slipping down the steep slide of brokenness. The day will come when someone shows up to the house and takes it away.
  • I'm no fun any more. I was never a lot of fun. Now I'm even less because of all the other stuff.

I'm sure I could come up with some other gripes. I'll spare my readers.

Nat and I went to a friend's house warming. We took a bottle of wine that we have not been able to drink only because it is too big to fit in our refrigerator. It is the kind that needs to be chilled once opened. The bottle is like half a miter tall so it would not fit without moving shelves around. I hope they liked it.

We pile in the car and head to Austin. I'm already being a jerk because I have no idea how I'm going to pay for gas. We get to the house after my wining about everything. Nat, understandably fed up with me, heads in and I take off for a walk to nowhere. I'm grumbling about being broke and wanting to jump in front of a bus. I wonder around for an hour or so until I have to pee and head back to the house. There was nowhere to take a leak. There are not as many fences in Austin as Houston. I could have gone behind a building I suppose.

When I got back to the lovely home of our friend's I basically moped around and then went to bed. We crashed there. I woke up around 11:00 and wondered outside. I got in the car and listened to a little hand held radio for a while. I have to say, Austin radio is much better than Houston. I stumbled on to a song by the Plain White T's. It was about a guy in love with a girl and how he will pay the bills with the guitar he is playing. It brought a tear to my eyes.

Then I kept flipping and came across A Prairie Home Companion show. They were talking about Summer and fresh sweet corn all smothered in butter and salt. That is the stuff man. I nearly balled. I think I've only had fresh sweet corn once in my life. It was just that good.

I was still a jerk the way home. As much as I gripe about this house, I felt miles better walking in the door. Elle is over at my parent's this evening. I ended up putting $24 worth of gas on the frigging card. When I got home MySpace pulled the same authentication crap where they make me log in fifteen times before I can look at my page. Centerpoint Energy doesn't understand that they have locked me out of my account so I have to call them tomorrow and explain that I need my password reset and stop asking me bullshit questions that I never gave them the answers too in the first place. I busted my hump trying to get things done at work, but it doesn't look very impressive on paper.

Tomorrow is another day. I'm about to go crash under our new ceiling fan that my dad put up. Now that I know how to do it, I'm going to give it a try in the other two bedrooms. Hell, I may put some up in the garage one day. I may put up some real lights out there too. We shall see.

With all this being broke business, I have no idea how Faire is going to go this year. It is going to go. I want to be there. I don't care if our friends can make it or not. I want Nat and I to have as much fun as we can. One of these days I'll figure the money thing out. Maybe. Maybe not. I need to figure out the whole life thing all at once really. There is more to it than money.



The frigging weather screwup said there was an 80% chance of rain this morning. I asked Nat for a ride the previous evening and set my alarm for 7:30. Normally i get up at 6:00 if I'm walking.

The alarm went off and the first thing I noticed was the crystal blue sky and zero clouds. Well, the sky had some of those wispy feathery things floating around. I jumped in the shower. I felt good. It was a good morning. When I walked out to the living room I kissed Nat. I walked back to Elle's room and got her up. I took her to the living room where, still asleep, she started wining, crawled behind a chair, curled up in a ball and tried to go back to sleep.

Long story short, Elle made the ride to my work in her night cloths. it was a beautiful morning. It wasn't even all that hot. The only thing that I was worried about was the wreck that the news said was on Walnut Bend. That is the street my work is on. By the time we got there, everything was all cleared up. I'm not sure how effective it is to have those traffic reports on TV, unless you have a TV in your car. that is a bad thing though.

Despite the late start, Nat still got me to work on time. She is a miracle worker.



I planted a tree today.

I sunk a shovel into the ground.

I broke the grass.

I pulled the tree out of the pot.

Where is the rain they promised. I suppose I should be careful what I wish for. I suppose the world goes round with or without one tree in my back yard. There is one more tree to plant. I'll do it tomorrow if it is not raining too hard. We have a storm on the way. We need the rain. Not too much though.


Vacation Days

UK complains about 20(28) days vacation a year. They are fighting to get 28 days. Some folks in Germany get 45 days. I get ten. This frigging pisses me off. I'm sick of killing myself to break even. We need a revolution of the workers in the country. I want more time with my family that is not between work and more work. What is the point of life if I have to work 24/7? Too bad I don't have the time to start a revolution.

  • Denmark: 39.5 (days off a year); 
  • Austria: 38; 
  • Sweden: 36; 
  • Slovakia: 35; 
  • Luxembourg: 35; 
  • France: 35; 
  • Germany: 34-39; 
  • Portugal: 34; 
  • Czech: Republic 33; 
  • Slovenia: 33; 
  • Italy: 32; 
  • Spain: 32; 
  • Greece: 32; 
  • Poland: 31; 
  • Finland: 31; 
  • Bulgaria: 31; 
  • Belgium: 30; 
  • Hungary: 30; 
  • Romania: 30; 
  • Ireland: 29; 
  • Netherlands: 28-29; and 
  • UK: 28.


The UK may be at the bottom of the EU league table, but it is still well ahead of many other nations; in Canada and Japan, workers are guaranteed only 10 days of paid leave per year while the USA does not have any legal minimum for paid leave.

What a bunch of babies. Denmark gets 40 days a year and they get to smoke dope and they got legal hookers. ... What am I waiting for? How hard can it be to get Danish citizenship? Oh, wait, that's the Netherlands. Frigging U. S. schools. OK, 28/29 days. Not too shabby.

The falling Dollar

I listen to BBC and a few others on a daily basis. I hear nothing about the sub-prime loan financial debacle going on in the U. S. right now on U. S. media. It is every other story on BBC financial radio shows. It really sounds like the rest of the world is pissed at us for letting our curacy fall. We bitch at China for keeping their value low. We appear to do the same thing.

NPR has covered it a bit. Basically, the FED says "You buttered your bread with bad loans. Now you can choke them." There will be no bail out. If people take stupid risks and there are no bad consequences, they will make the bad decisions again. Tough love. Both barrels.

Ginger Nut

I had no idea red-heads were so discriminated against in England. It is no wonder the red-headed status of the Weasley family made such a huge difference in the Harry Potter books. I wish I knew about the treatment of my follicly brethren before finishing the entire series. It would have made the incessant harassment of the kids make more sense.

There is a movement in England to make it the same level of 'wrong' to use hair color as a slur as it is for a racial slur. They keep talking about banning words like n**** and bitch. Are they going to ban ginger or ginger nut? The sane voices that say the sentiment is what needs to go are left in the cold. How do you ban an idea? If you figure that out, start with Jihad, please.

Written 2007-08-13 (sorry)

What she said

I have a friend who went hang gliding in Houston. Actually on Lake Houston. It sounds much more fun in her words.

You go out on a boat with a big kite on the back.  Once you get to the open are of the lake, you get into a harness on the hang glider along with the instructor (it’s tandem).  The boat hauls ass, you go up high.  Once at the right altitude (or when the boat has to turn), the cord is cut loose and a little parachute comes out of it so it stays in the air while the wench hauls it back in.  And we’re free flying.   1600-2100 feet in the air. In about 20 minutes, gravity bring you back down.

The kite has pontoon on the side, so it stays out of the water along with our arms & head, but the rest of your body goes in the water & you hang out until the boat comes around to pick you up.

Anna Banana

Now, that sounds like a ball. I put a bug in her ear about figuring out a way to video the next time she goes.

Very Local News

  • I got out of the shower this morning and looked in the mirror while stroking the go-tee that I intend to grow back. I realized, I had just shaved it off without even thinking about it.
  • I missed a really cool party this weekend because I wasn't feeling well. My back hurt and I felt ill from weed-eating earlier in the day. Nat took me home after an hour. She has a bunch of cool stories. I missed a hell of a party. I need to stop doing that.
  • I want to shoot and publish more videos. It is fun.
  • The magic of mowing my own lawn is gone.


Elle's name

Elle says her name. I'm a sucker for this cute kid stuff. I'm a parent. =]

Dems play catchup

Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years
Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years.John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, would keep troops in the region to intervene in an Iraqi genocide and be prepared for military action if violence spills into other countries. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would leave residual forces to fight terrorism and to stabilize the Kurdish region in the north. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois would leave a military presence of as-yet unspecified size in Iraq to provide security for American personnel, fight terrorism and train Iraqis.

So leave a token force that has no real influence over the things that happen in the area. Then, when that force is eventually attacked and overwhelmed because it is inadequate, bail for real. Dems want to soften the blow of abandonment. They want to be kicked out of Iraq by a bunch of armed ex-farmer thugs and yet make it look like they had planned it all along. They want it all to just go away without actually accomplishing anything in the process.

Cowards. The lot.


I still want one

I still like the whole idea of people carrying around cheap notebooks, networking with people around you.

It all sounds so Utopian. On second thought, I'm not that happy about giving my bandwidth away. Besides, it does look goofy. That strategy works for me. Not that you couldn't use a can of spray paint to customize it. The notebook uses flash for a drive. That technology is going crazy right now. I wonder if we will all have flash drives in our computers soon. I wonder if they could make it use a regular OS.

Looks pretty good to me

This video looks pretty good to me. I'm not expert. I would love it if aliens were real. I would love it if they had an agenda. Something interesting to make people remember they are just harry bags of salty water.

Written Friday 2007-08-10

Lunch Conversation

Nat came up to work for lunch.
  • Restaurants from home towns. They were all chains that just weren't here in Houston.
  • Comics books and action figure or doll preference as a child.
  • Even being full may not satisfy the psychological need for a particular type of food. Sometimes even a good food will not satisfy if it wasn't what you were hungry for in the first place.
  • I had to ask Shawn, a guy I work with, his name. I just couldn't remember it. This lead to a discussion from Nat how horrible I am at names.
  • How we named Merlin, our cat. Oh, and his story.
  • The Spoons came up along with a couple of other band names.


What does the do for us? Where does the money go? Who pays it?

I think the lottery in just about any form is a tax on stupidity. I didn't come up with that. I heard someone else say it a million years ago. I've played the Texas Lottery. I needed something to hope for at the time. I've never won so much as a dollar. I've gotten $10 or so from scratch off tickets, but I'm sure more money has gone out than come in. I've not bought scratch off tickets, but people around me do occasionally.

Mark Twain I believe was the one who said "The fastest way to double your money is to fold it in half and stick it back in your pocket." I like that one. I need to live my life by it.


Home Conversation

The other night Nat said to Elle, clad only in her underwear, "Where are your pants?!?" I'm not sure if she ever got a straight answer, but it came down to Elle needed to change. That lead to a discussion about toilet habits. Which lead to a conversation about washing cloths. Which lead to the rules changing a bit. Which lead to a crying fit. Which lead to Elle getting grounded, or maybe not. I lost track somewhere in the middle.

Elle is getting to the point where she talks back. She is four going on sixteen. We have kept Elle at home more in order to prevent this sort of thing. I've noticed Elle is much more attentive when we have these discussions with her these days. I have also noticed she no longer just falls down and shouts every grandparent name she has ever heard while crying and refusing to listen. this policy is paying off for us. I'm glad the grandparents are understanding.

I wish Ted (Elle's father) had more time with her. He is off defending our country in Iraq at the moment. I'm glad Ted's dad keeps the memories fresh, but it just isn't the same thing by a long shot. It is very important to me that Ted remain a solid part of her life.

Parking Garage Crowd

I've blogged that I walk around the parking garage during lunch sometimes. Well, it is getting crowded out there. It turns out that several people hang out in the garage during lunch. I've noticed a couple of people sitting in their cars and soaking, eating, talking on the phone and God knows what else. It mostly happens on the sixth floor. That is the highest and most empty floor below the roof. It gets toasty up on the roof. Normally, there is no one on the roof. I pace back and forth talking to Nat on the phone or grumbling about my problems to ... nobody. Lately, there has been a work crew up there painting the place. Someone fixed the light fixtures too. The place could use a coat of paint. Don't get me wrong. I just want a fortress of solitude where I can abandon the world and not be the guy who has to talk to people. That guy is high maintenance.


I knew it

Arafat Was Gay, Died of AIDS!

Which will be the MSM outlet to break this?

Good Idea

"Amazon recently closed a Series A financing deal with, a startup selling DRM-free MP3s with a demand-based pricing model. All music starts out free, and prices increase for popular tracks. Jeff Blackburn, Senior Vice President for Business Development, 'The idea of having customers directly influence the price of songs is an interesting and novel approach to selling digital music.' What does this mean for Amazon's own intentions to sell music?"

Finally, someone came up with a good idea. I like this one. I hope it catches on. This is a feedback pricing structure. Obscure tracks will be inexpensive and those crap songs that every one has to have right now because their anorexic friend told them to will cost a fortune. It is a natural progressive loop that will force the guns and butter balance of the music continuum. That and it just makes sense.


I wrote this day before yesterday. I completely forgot to publish it. I think some of it is redundant. Anyway, enjoy.

Elle's computer

Nat and I got Elle's computer up and running. It took me a couple of tries to get the OS working. It is stressful, how much of a pain in the butt Windows is to set up off a network. I much prefer Linux, though it uses the net for the install as well. We have not plugged it in to a network until we are comfortable that Elle will not have Internet access without our direct oversight. All the little games and educational programs that we have found use the software as a way to access online content. Some of the software will not work at all until the web is accessible. What a pain.

it is amazing how quickly she took to it. She stood over my shoulder, not easy at three foot and change, for the whole time I was trying to assemble and install the system. She hopped on and didn't look back. She needed some help getting some things started. We had to hunt down a set of headphones. Elle still hasn't grasped the idea of closing programs before removing the CD. We have time to work on it.

Nat says "Great. Now I have to computer addicts." We think it is is highly advantageous for Elle to have experience getting things done on computers. Lets face it, she is going to have to do it for the rest of her life. School is thick with computers these days. Everything is MS. I think the school system could do better and much cheaper than that. I'm not the one in charge.

I think Natalie was as excited as Elle to get the computer up. Nat put pictures on the box and goodness knows what else. I went to bed at midnight and Nat was still setting things up with Elle. I know it was a bit late, but Elle wouldn't have slept any way. I can't wait to find out what Elle has learned.


I'm impressed

This is an emergency landing. I don't know the details. Just having plaid around with video games I know this is being made to look easy. That road looks like a bare patch of grass from altitude. I'm sure the pilot had a lot of experience.

Raw Footage

This is some raw footage someone shot apparently from the bridge that was not far away from the one that collapsed. It was parallel. I heard today that the bridge the fell was designed to handle two lanes of traffic in each direction. It had been repainted with four lanes of traffic in each direction. A stress engineer was asked bout the poor design and corrected the interview that the bridge was only designed to handle half the weight and number of cars that hit it daily for the past twenty or so years.


I spent the whole day updating my computer at work. I got a web update done. I got a few other small things knocked of my to-do list. The rest of the day was bringing the machine from EL4 to EL5. I'm left with a machine that will not run some system configuration programs and won't use both monitors properly.

I just tried to get a piece of software working on Elle's computer. It didn't work because the software insists on downloading prerequisite from the internet. It has gotten to the point that no one distributes things like DirectX or the DB drivers from Microsoft any more. I still prefer the YUM model if you insist on downloading your updates. At least, I can download an entire repository for YUM and take it off line.


I'm more evil than this

You Are 54% Evil
You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

I've been slacking. I need to pick up the pace. Any suggestions?



All of Jennifer's siblings also have names that start with J. They are: Joshua, 19; John David, 17; Janna, 17; Jill, 16; Jessa, 14; Jinger, 13; Joseph, 12; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 9; Jedidiah, 8; Jeremiah, 8; Jason 7; James 6; Justin, 4; Jackson, 3; Johannah, almost 2.

The Duggars have been featured on several programs on cable's Discovery Health Network.

Among the "fun facts" listed on Discovery Health's Web page devoted to the Duggars: A baby has been born in every month except June; the family has gone through about 90,000 diapers, and Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for 126 months -- or 10.5 years -- of her life.


My grandmother and grandfather on my mother's side had 20 children together in a total of 19 pregnancies. My mother was one of the only set of twins. They were not Catholic, but they went to church most of the time.

I hear stories of men producing um-teen children with different women. They are just plane dogs. If you call them a dog, they act proud of it. I worry for the children produced this way. What do they learn about the world right from the start? It makes me ill thinking of it.

Geeks ring true

"Marriage often requires coping with the loss of some individuality, whether it's adopting a spouse's last name or setting up a joint bank account. Now, some couples say it can be equally tricky to navigate intimacy in the digital sides of their lives. They are running into thorny questions regarding how much to share and how much to keep separate in areas ranging from email addresses to online calendars. For some young newlyweds, this means a debate over whether to combine their blogs. Longtime spouses, meanwhile, say perennial arguments about who has more closet space are now joined by bickering over which TV shows get deleted to make room on the TiVo."

This rings true. Nat and I have separate blogs and will. I've thought of starting a blog for Elle. A blog, to me, is a personal thing. Some companies have blogs, but they are just gimmicks. They are more news lists. Some blogs are written by groups. Those are more forums than blogs. I suppose you can do whatever you like with a blog. I just think they should be individual things.

As for bank accounts and even which curtains tu put up. Those are all up for discussion.


Wish I could/would write

Well, not really. I wish I had written. I wish I was an author that people loved. I am glad I have no obsessed fans. I'm glad I have my anonymity and privacy. I want to be the writer who cranks out amazing stuff all his life. I want to go out on top at the ripe active age of 109. This isn't too much to ask is it?

I don't want to sweat the details. I want it all to just poor from me to the screen. I want to cross the medium barrier. The act is creativity, not really writing. So few people make good writers and directors. They are two totally different things. I don't really want to be a director really. I just want to make good movies and books and online content and mobile content and all other forms of communication that pop up in the future.

Then comes the lack of tall. I'm not the worlds worst writer. Things I write don't grab people. I can tell you this by the number of reoccurring hits that pop up on google/analytics.  Most of my hits are new hits. That is not so bad really. Over the last couple of weeks, I've had a bit of a bump in hits. It is temporary. It is all because of one entry I put up about blackle. It just happened to do this. I hate that. I wish I could draw people to my writing by the act of writing and my creative charisma.

What kind of stuff would I like to write that I would want others to like? Stories about people. Something about people doing something boring, but I manage to make it interesting. I would want to hit several different types and knock the audience's out every time. Never a dud.

Ya, good luck with that Kelly. I suck at fiction. U;n not all that hot at nonfiction.

Very Local News

  • Some things I've learned recently.
    • Zimbabwe has 1000& a year inflation. That means by the end of the year, your $100 bill is worth $1. The guy in charge has just lopped zeros off bank notes in the past to make up for losses.
    • China has one psychiatrist for ever hundred thousand people. That sounds about right.
    • The US sub-prime trouble is rippling all over the world. The Brits are giving much more air time to the issue than US financial news it seems.
  • Nat and I are making plans for Elle's birthday party. it is months away.
  • Faire is coming up. We still have no solid plans.

Cops need dead-man signals

I believe that technology is ready to allow police and other folks to have something on their body that monitors their vital signs and constantly transmits an OK signal to a robot with a phone. Every time a cop is shot a signal would go off somewhere and a battalion of SWAT would swarm down on the area. Something similar could happen with bank tellers or liquor store clerks. Heck, why not use it for heart patients.

I figure an algorithm could be constructed that could identify the state of well beeping. That is, you could tell by the body's reaction if someone has a gun to their head. There would be false alarms of course. it would take a while to work out the kinks.

European Union

The EU is limiting the ability of the minority to block decisions of the majority. The treaty that makes the EU is really a constitution. The EU is venturing in to law enforcement and family affairs. It all started out as a trade thing. It is becoming a single European government. I wait for it to grow a military loyal only to the EU entity. Many people don't realize it, but the EU now has the ability to over ride decisions made by the people of a given country. The EU can, once Denmark opts-in, come in and arrest people in Denmark for smoking weed even though it is legal in Denmark.

Hitler, Stalin, Neapolitan could not get it done. Now, the EU entity is about to bring the great European Union under one iron fist.

No Child Left Behind

I'm not sure what No Child Left Behind even is. It is in the news every five minutes. It gives me a headache. I hear things about baselines and improvement, stringent rates, and every other buzz word until I'm nauseous. I can tell it costs me money. I can tell I'm going to run smack in to it with Elle's education. I remember I was a fly in the ointment when it came to the school's numbers. I was one of the special ones. It is bad to not fit the mold. More now than before I think.

For all the rhetoric about being ourselves and creative, we are now more than before herded into molds of standardized tests and form fitting degrees. No one is told to be an artist, novelist, photographer, ditch digger. We are told to be productive and find a niche that makes money. Not everyone should go to university. Not every job should require it.

In Briton, the apprentice system is making a comeback. They are actually figuring out that a society needs plumbers. If you don't train local people to be plumbers and such you will have to import them. It is simple really. It is good for business and for people taking the training. It is good in the way that it stalls the reason for mass immigration. I keep hearing that US immigrants do jobs citizens do not want to do. Maybe it is just because no one is trained to do those jobs any more.

They mentioned in the BBC report that some kids deliberately acted up because the only way to get an apprenticeship was to be referred out of punishment. That is ridiculous. I hope it is not like that anywhere in the US.

The people who need education are sitting at the top of the education mechanism.

Harry Potter

I'm right smack in the middle of Deathly Hallows. No one ruin the book for me. This past Tuesday the Writer's Almanac did a write up on JK Rolling. It was pretty cool to hear the inspiration for writing a book about a boy wizard who goes to a school for witches and wizards.

Rowling got the idea for the Harry Potter books on a four-hour journey by train across England. The train was stopped somewhere between Manchester and London when Rowland looked out at a field of cows and suddenly got the idea for a story about a boy who goes to a school for wizardry. She later said, "Harry Potter just strolled into my head fully formed." By the time the train ride was finished, she had already invented most of the books' major characters and mapped out many of the main plot points.

This is cool stuff. I listen to the Writer's Almanac every chance I get. I need to find that weekly radio show done by the same guy. I hope they have some kind of podcast. They finally did an author I've read. =]


Get my shit together

Some days if feels like my head is full of cotton. Things sound farther away. People seem ore distant. Time drags. I'm easily distracted. Focus gone. I'm not sick or on medicine. I'm just tired and need a break. I wish there were some way to recharge without taking a vacation.

In most of Western Europe, people I've worked with get two months of vacation a year. I barely get two weeks. There are people in the world who work all day, every day with no time for family. Some people work themselves to death.

Then there is me. I'm far in the middle. I complain and tap out a blog entry. I wish I wish I wish it were easy for me. I never learned how to keep focus for the long term. I've been like this for all my life. Drive comes and goes. I go on. The world goes on.

I need to get my shit together. I need to blah blah blah. I need the world to get off my back some times. It's healthy to get fed up with all the bullshit every once in a while. I mean the stuff humans have to put up with these days would make a cow climb a tree. There is just too much crap going on all at once. There is too much information fluttering about. We are swarmed, swamped, saturated all the time. Got to get away. Got to be a cow in a field eating grass and sleeping for a while. I might come back. I might find the castle in the sky.