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


Slippery Slope

I let the fact that Sundays are the last day of the weekend affect my ability to enjoy myself on Sundays. Yes, I have to go back to work tomorrow. That does not mean I can't have some fun. I know this consciously, but it happens.

Justin and Lance have a music thing tonight. I've been looking forward to videoing them just for something to put up on YouTube. This show is not far from my house. Nat doesn't want to go. She is worried about her mother tomorrow.

Tomorrow I go to work, Nat goes to visit her mom. Elle is with Bill. I wish there were a better way to relax while worrying about tomorrow. I mean, tomorrow will get here weather I like it or not. It doesn't matter how well I prepare, or how much I fret. If tomorrow does not come then why was I worried?

Right now I'm waiting for a text or a tweet telling me the right time to show up at J. P. Hops House. Sundays are open mike night.


Headed to a music thing this evening. Hoping to get some video footage. I'm watching Top Gear. No other posts today.


Paranormal Activity

I watched the movie Paranormal Activity.

I don't get it.

Not only was I never scared. I had a hard time sympathizing with any character. If anything, I wanted to hear what the ghost had to say.

Why are people so hung up on ghosts from the past. Must there be a story behind all hauntings? Are evil people still evil after they die? There are so many random crimes committed every day that if people had a choice to do anything after death it would be to continue doing the same thing they did in life. Which, would most likely be random crimes since that is what happens more often in life.

Enough about the plot. I hated the characters. I was glad they were being haunted. I didn't feel bad for them, even at the end. There was no protagonist. None that I found antagonistic. I was definitly rooting for Darth Vader in this flick.

The style left me cold. The single camera layout of this movie made me itchy. I ached for more shots from the tripod. A five minute video is OK if it is jumpy. I'm upset with entire movies shot from the hip. I'm so glad I did not pay to watch this in a theater.



I walked around the parking garage at lunch trying to relax a bit before hitting it again. When I was done, I walked down from the top floor in a rarely used stairwell. The temperature had dropped 20 degrees F since the morning. The stairwell was downright warm. My glasses fogged. There was one door left open no about the third floor. There was a thermal zone where the temperature and humidity  equalized in about 10 feet. It was crazy.

Chrome browser has the worst spell checker of any publicly available software that I'm aware of.

LMGTFY - Next time someone asks you for information that they could have just typed in to Google. (Google it)

Power Supply Woes at Work

Nearly burned my office down this morning.

I walked in to work and popped a new power supply in to a box. We have an exchange warranty on hardware so when the power supply crackled popped and smoked we sent in a ticket.

Got the new power supply. Popped it in. and snap crackle and smoke. Unplug. Take the case off to make sure it is not on fire. Hand to someone else to deal with. Well, maybe not. I'm sure this will be my problem.

There must be a short on the motherboard. Fortunately we have people at my company who are great at finding that kind of thing.

The motherboard will need to be replaced. I have to call HP Monday and walk through the destination. The motherboard will need to be re;laced. The replacement will fall on my shoulders. I suck at it. We have people who are great at it, but they will not be called in to help.

The excitement of a fire did wake me up.


I'm going to build one of these in my back yard and call it a jungle gym.



Our deductible is paid for the year on the car. W paid $750 today for rapiers after Nat got run off the road. This is what insurance is for, right? Well maybe if they paid for stuff.

$600 last month on a toilet. Now $750 on the car. Plus the bits we had to pay for the rent car. The insurance only covers so much. The insurance only paid like $400 on the car. Not sure what the rent car comes out to. I'll do an after video if the muse hits me.


So, I have been reading a couple comments about the iPad. Mainly people think the name is stupid. Mainly people thing the idea is not what people want. Then, the griping starts about it doesn't do this or that. It has too many limitations to do what I want. It costs too much. It is a Kindle killer, but it really isn't .

After looking at the specs this is the Apple equivalent of a netbook. It has that touch interface that Apple is so frigging proud of. It has an on screen keyboard or you can use a bluetooth keyboard. Maybe a mouse, but I bet the touch interface takes over. I kind of hate people touching my frigging screen. 

I herd someone say that Apple wants families to buy six or seven of these things. One for every room and or person in the house. You go from one to the other and they can tell who it is is and adopt your settings and persona. Yadda yadda. I prefer sitting in front of a desk to deal with the invasion of the outside world in to my world. I like being able to get up and walk away from it at times.

This just doesn't feel like the next big thing to me. What do I possible know about that sort of thing. I'm a nobody. I'm a consumer. I'm a computer geek. This thing has little geek apeal to me. It just seems like a fail waiting to happen.

Haven't ten different computer manufacturers gone down this road? Microsoft did and dropped the whole tablet PC line after a while. The Census people had tablet computers purpose built last time around. They made the news. Same after Katrina. People from the government and insurance companies walked around taking pictures whit GPS and adding notes to a database.

All in all, I feel a resounding collective yawn.


Traffic was light this morning. Is today some kind of holiday? Anything I should know about?

"He is treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania." PITA wants to replace the groundhogs responsible for groundhog day with a robot. The guy who runs the organization that takes care of him responded with the quote above. PITA has apparently achieved every other animal rights goal in the universe.

Local Band (lanceandjustin)

Some friends of mine have a new band Twitter feed. Check them out. I give them my highest rating. "Doesn't suck!""

Web Hits

The other day, i was feeling down. I asked god for a sign. That is a bad thing to do I know, but I did it any way. I was about to check my hits on my blog. I said "If life is bad, then my hits will be down. If the hits are up, then life is good. If they are the same, then I'll just go to bed." I know this is a rood thing to ask if God. I fully expected the hits to be right about the same and to head off to bed in my depressed stooper.

I normally have a few less than 20 per day. That is not bad I've found out for a blog that has no theme and is just background noise on the world wide web. I saw a hockey stick. The last number was 37. Woh, what happened.? I looked in to what caused the numbers. It was exactly the same balance of direct traffic, searches and referring sights that I always have. the numbers were just higher. Nothing to tell me that it was caused by any one page or post.

For example, not long ago I posted about an iPhone fire email that i received. That post even got a few comments. It was a spike in hits. As a matter of fact it was easily the highest number of hits I've gotten in one day. If memory serves it was 96. This is not what happened here. All of those hits showed on one specific post. These recent hits were simply all over the place. It was a simple uprising for one day.

This blip was from Tuesday. Tuesdays are typically flat. When I wen to look at the current day, Wednesday, the numbers looked about normal for a Wednesday. I wander if it was just a blip. I wander if it was the sign I was looking for. I know what I believe.



I had to look up the parts and warranty of an HP server this morning. It took me fifteen minutes to track down the "find the dates for the warranty on one of your boxes" link. I found all kinds of generic warranty information. I found all kids of offers t update warranty.



Five failed banks were taken over last Friday. Don't be surprised if our government wants to start handing out "toxic assets" are handed out as tax refunds pretty soon. I'll take cash thank you.

This morning I accidentally hit the delete key and blue away all my podcasts on my Linux box at work. This was on a thumb drive. Those file do not show up in the trash can that is on the desktop. However, there is another trash can on the thumb drive that you have to go look in. Some times files show up there and some times they do not. Not every version of Linux uses the hidden folder. Some Linux distros use different names. This morning, the files were there. I used the command line to moved them back to a folder where the GUI could see them. I'm not sure, but it doesn't seem like there is a way to see hidden files and folders from the GUI. I suppose this is a good thing.

45 BC is the first year that January first was drawn up as the break of the new year.



I got a wild hare and took a couple pictures of the sunset from my office window. I've done this sort of thing before. I wonder if I will ever get my crap together long enough to make a montage of sunsets from my office window? I doubt it.

Sunset from work window. on Twitpic  Sunset on Twitpic  Sunset, ok that is the last one. on Twitpic

Light at the Crossroads

Westheimer and Walnut Bend. It looked like someone had hit the light with a tall truck. I waled out of the building thinking I would have to walk down to Wilcrest to get on the bus. Traffic moved pretty stedily and people seemed to let each other move from lane to lane.

I was, dishonorably, hoping for a wreck. That would have made for much more interesting video.


Linux is 1.2% or 6.x% of market share for the OS share. I'm not sure of the details. It depends on who you listen to. I've blogged before that I almost hope it does not become too popular. Linux has managed to stay off the malware radar for the most part.

Don't define points and lines. Define their relationships. It is impossible to define a point and a line on to themselves. They don't exist and the idea of how to work with them is abstract. This translates to reality. It is no wonder politics is so difficult. We are aloud to define relationships but not people. Defining people is discrimination. Defining relationships is a no fly list.

There was a guy on the bus reading a book that was six inches thick. He was at the beginning of the book. I nearly went over and asked him what the book was just so I would know how to write it up in the blog. That wasn't happening.

Nat's iPod Touch will not recognize my wireless router. I can get my laptop and my phone on the wireless network. her iPhod refuses. It has something to do with the 'password' vs 'WEP key'. My laptop and phone both say 'enter the key' and her iPod says 'enter the password'. I looked around online and found a couple places where they said to enter the password or WEP key in the password field. That did not work. I think my router is just out of date. I bet the protocols have moved on. I have a slightly newer router. I don't know if it has the features I want. I may have to give it a try.

"Are you the pidgin or the stature today?"

I updated my work machine from Red Hat 5.3 to Red Hat 5.4 using the repos that I downloaded. I was so confident that it would work I made backups and said a prayer. I did have to rebuild and install the the video driver. Everything else seems to be working fine. I'll turn the repos loose on the company tomorrow.

Burner concepts

Elle's burner phone has no camera. Thank goodness. It does however have a flashlight. How cool is that?!? The phone weighs nothing. I've thought of buying one and throwing it in my bag and forgetting about it. Thought about suggesting Nat throw one in the glove box for the same reason. We have decided not to tell Elle about the flashlight functionality. She is almost as crazy for flashlights as I was at that age. (Yes, am now as well.)

The flashlight thing is cool. I'm trying to think of other ways to get people to buy a burner mobile. I'm thinking a Pocket Fisherman kind of device that would be advertised on late night TV.

The idea of an emergency radio, flashlight, tire pump, mobile phone almost makes sense.

  • waterproof
  • pare of wire cutter/players, other multi-tools
  • place for matches or a built in lighter
  • wind up charger
  • GPS
  • emergency radio/TV receiver (It would have to be digital these days)
  • emergency transmitter locater thing

The idea of a cheap device is out the window.


Humans are designed to over eat when the resources present themselves in order to build up a savings account of fat when food get hard to find.only nature had applied this principle to our financial skills. If people saved by default, society would never have developed a financial wing. There would have been no need to barrow or take risks in the same way that we have now.

Nat had to pull some money out of the savings account this morning to pay for the rent car. The Carola is in the shop after someone ran her in to a curb.I know it is a required expense, but it is the end of the month and pulling money out of the savings account drives me up the wall.  i become irrational because it is so hard to put money in the savings account in the first place.

Save save save save SAVE!!! Where have these words been?


Bent rims

Natalie got run off the road Saturday evening. Some jerk was trying to racer her on the freeway and pulled off when she did. he cut her off and ran her in to a curb. The driver side rims are scratched up and I bet they are bent. We filled out a police report in case we have to call on the insurance.

I like Nat's comment "What about a 2005 Carola says 'I want to race.'?"

Apologies for the quality .I think it is just the dark conditions in the garage.

Blown Engine

That's how you blow an engine. It explodes, catches on fire, falls out of the vehicle, and you then run over it. Stile! And they are all so smooth about it too.

New Rules

If corporations used to owe it to their shareholders to lie low, staying out of politics, in other words, they now owe it to their shareholders to speak up, defending themselves.  Board members and executives will still feel squeamish about political activity, but at annual meetings from now on shareholders will rise to challenge them.

I mean, you can just see it, can’t you?  “The proposed cap-and-trade legislation is going to raise our cost of doing business,” some cranky, dyspeptic shareholder will now almost certainly argue before the executives of, let us say, the Massey Energy Company.  "Mr. CEO, members of the board, the Supreme Court has already told you that you have a constitutional right to fight back.  What I’m telling you now is that you have a fiduciary duty to do so.”

The supreme court says corporations can spend money from their general funds, not just what they raise for the specific purpose, on political influence as in ads and such. Before, corps had to rais the money from people and make sure that money was very tightly tied to the one purpose of dealing out shovels of influence and not for anything else. Now, that rule has gone.

In theory, Microsoft, a company with billions of cash lying around, can guarantee a billion dollar campaign of smack down on any governor or representative who gets between them and the laws that let them bundle what ever the hell they want with their OS or define what is an OS or get in their way at all.

The RIAA will have free rein to define copyright because any one who says something they don't like will simply be run over by a bulldozer of unflattering ads and mud slinging. Copy rights will be extended to the infinite. People who copy a song will go to prison for the rest of their lives.

You will have to take out a mortgage to break a mobile phone contract.

Broadband will be metered, dissected, and sold to the highest bidder ... online.

Wal-Mart will charge a tax, yes, a tax on small business that compete in their area of business, which, is everything. Wal-Mart will also win the right to immanent domain, because, who is going to stand in their way?

Only corporations will be able to file patents. The eminent domain that Wal-Mart won will also apply to patents.

I predict that one corporation will higher Xe and declare war on another, only to find that Xe works for them too. The battle will rage for years and no one in government will lift a finger because, hey, Xe is a corporation too. They have rights.

Still Awake

Yes, I'm still up. There is no way I can sleep while this boom boom is going on. I slowly loose my sanity and scream at Natalie. This is affecting my marriage and piece of mind. There is nothing I can do. I have suicidal thoughts while this is going on. If I blow my brains out on a Saturday night, you know what happened.

Can't sleep

Nat comes home after getting run off the road. She is fine. The car has a bent rim. She called the cops.

I can't sleep because of the boom boom music. They have it louder than usual. So, I'm sitting here stewing in my own juices. Looking for something to get mad at.

I haven't put up a video in a while.

There are some different lyrics in that version that I don't remember. Nice.

I'm just trying to drown out the boom boom. I can't sleep in my own house.



I want to like this show. I do not. I watch it on hulu when it is available.I don't know why I don't like it. The graphics have gotten better as the series has progressed. The acting is good. I just don't buy the stories. 

One of the 'experts' identified an armor piercing steel jacket 9mm by the shell casing only. They just got through talking about the long blood spatters left by the bullet pasing through someone's head. That sort of thing is lessoned by the fact that a bullet is armor piercing, not increased. Armor piercing bullets have the same amount of energy as normal bullets, they are designed to pass through things and not do damage to the things they hit (except by piercing them of source). This means less blood spatters.

I hate that. I hate when I know more about ballistics than TV.

Worse, the woman who was the expert is Indian. She turned to someone after making these statements and said [from memory] "You thought I was a token Indian didn't you?" I answer to the screen "Well, now that you mention it..."

This is a failure from the producers and writers as well as a systemic symptom of Hollywood pandering to stupidity. Don't you think that geeks who have not much else to worry about, will look up facts about things they might find interesting like how guns work? They know these days hoe guns work because they play games that go to great pain to make the fighting as real as possible without any real danger. You are making a show to make money off these people. You should try to understand them just a little bit.

I hate this show. I'm not watching any more.

Poker night

I had a chance to go to poker night over at a friend's place Friday night. I did not go because I don't have the $20 buy-in. It might have been fun just to turn up. It would have been nice to hang out with friends from work for a while. I don't get much of that.

Thursday was game night. I didn't go to that because I don't like staying out late on week nights. The rest of these people at my work all come in at 09:00 it seems. They are young and can survive on less sleep. I need to wind down after a day. I can pull it off on a Friday as long as I have no real commitments on Saturday. I'm not much in to board games and the like, but I do enjoy hanging out.

There is another factor in these social gatherings. Food. In addition to the $20 buy-in there would have been about a $10 cost for food. This $10 would have come in to play with the game night as well. I make [redacted] a year gross. That sounds like a lot to many people. I have $40,000+ in commitments not including taxes. We are a one income household. I'm broke. I have to worry about that $10 a couple times a week.

Several of the guys at work are single and living in a situation where they can spare it. Several others make enough money to spill $10 on a sandwich and a $20 friendly poker game.

I'm not asking for sympathy or a free sandwich. I just want people to understand why I don't shoe up at game and poker nights. I would love to hang out. I may pack a lunch on the next game night and just show up. If I don't play any games, it will still be fun.

This is my sandbox

This blog has deteriorated to the point of my own sandbox. I do not say it is anything else. I just don't feel like I have anything left to say that any one would want to read about. That and so much of my life I want to talk about cannot be put on a blog. It is a sticking point on starting new posts.

More on Firefox on Linux

Upon further experimentation, it may have been Gmail causing much of my problem with Firefox.

I left Firefox open over night with no page open at all and the stutter problem did not occur the next day. I left the only page open that I used to constantly leave open, Gmail, and the problem happened the next day. I've been surfing the net and watching videos and so far so good. I do get some system stops, but that appears to have something to do with the whole computer.

The next experiment is to leave Google Docs up all night and try it in the morning. I'm popping Gmail open and checking my mail. Then closing the tab. Hopefully that does not leave the problem hanging around for the rest of my session.

Surely I will complain about this further. Stay tuned.



I need to blog about psudopod and podcastle podcasts.

I missed another great opportunity for a video today. I need to just video my whole life and pull the interesting 3 minutes for publishing. Nat brought Merlin to the bus stop to pick me up. By the time I knew he was there, he was in my lap. He is a nerves traveler. Could have been cool.

Haiti momentum

It really sounds bad. There are all kinds of rescue crews running around. There was a single happy moment where a lady was pulled alive from a collapsed building alive. Another where a child was saved. The time for rescues is past. It has come to recovery. There are pictures of bodies clogging streets.

Some interviews are coming out of the worst zones. People sound like their spirits have been broken. Some sound like leaders who will get things going. Some just sound lost. Every one has lost loved ones and friends.

Pictures are horrific. One photo showed bodies lined one after the other for an entire stretch of road between several collapsed buildings. There were two rows of of bodies. It must have been over a hundred lying in the sunlight. The photo was taken from the air or a high place. There was one man standing next to the rows with his hands on his back. He looked tired.

There are stories of mass graves. I don't know how else you would handle the situation. That thought makes me frightened. I cannot imagine suffering the loss of family and then learning that maybe they are buried in one of the mass graves outside of town. Maybe not. That is another loss.

There have been several occasions where the police fire warning shots. So many that when the police started shooting people for real, people didn't panic. They just stood there while some people in front of them dropped.

The first boots on the ground from what I heard were American and Israeli. Not sure how true that is. I hope it is true only because I know the U. S. is up to that sort of thing. The world expects it from us and I'm not sure I mind that fact.

They didn't need to block every frigging channel for a telethon. Thank goodness for the internet.

Linux Kernel Notes

Building, this is psudocode

> make oldconfig
> make gconfig (if you need to make any changes.
> make
> sudo make install
> sudo make modules_install

Double check the /boot/grub/grub.conf to make sure the entries line up with paths in the /boot folder. Check the default is set properly. Sometimes a second make install and make modules_install to get the *.inf files to show up under /boot. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

Red Hat 5 uses LVM (logical volumes) by default. The LVM2 library that comes with RH 5 is not computable with the 2.6.31 and up kernels. You must either update the LVM2 library (not recommended) or manually construct the patricians on install. Trouble continues for 5.3 and the 2.6.31 and up kernels. I could still not get modules to load properly. It looks like there is a lot of work headed my way. I can't find a whole lot on the internet about getting late model kernels running on RH 5.


I like the fact that a Republican won in Mass.. I really think voters just wanted to tell the old boy network who was really in charge. The citizens of this country run this country. The president and congress and judges and the cops and the lawyers and all of them work for the citizenry. Citizens are not here for your amusement and to pay you taxes.

People were angry at the Bush family for controlling the presidency for so long. The same might be said about the Clintons. The Kennedys are a lesson in nepotism. There was someone running as a Libertarian named Kennedy I  believe. That made me laugh. That poor bastard has the wrong name for the party and the times. Good luck anyway.

It is not the Republicans who won in Massachusetts. It was that idea of the people being in charge. I hope the Republicans and Democrats learn this lesson. They work for you and me. Not just the people paying the campaign bills, not just the lobbyists, not just the largest return on a piece of land.

This is no revolution. This is a blip. I love the finger pointing and blaming that has ceased the Democratic party. I like that some Republicans are calling the vote exactly what I've called it here. Even Obama has come to terms with the lack of a mandate for his agenda.


Video converter

Found a converter for 3gp (from my phone) to mp4 (everything else) that also does a million other destinations. Works for me.


I may have blogged it before. Not sure. It looks familiar. It, or something like it is required for doing anything with the video and audio files that come off my phone. I have a G1 Android phone.

All I know is the software works. The quality is already so bad from the phone that I'm not sure there is any loss to be noticed.


Everything seems to work on the new phone. Shipped the old one back. Thank goodness we have UPS drops at work.

My office is approximately 50 m above sea level. I posted on Facebook for people to post their altitude. I doubt it will go far. Not even sure it is accurate indoors.

Nat tells me channel 13 was videoing around our hose to catch racers. The trouble is, they were shooting at like 18:30. They need to shoot at 00:00 or so. They are out on a Thursday evening. They need to hit the place on Wednesday or Saturday evenings. They are not going to get any decent footage at the time they showed up. Now, do they want to get good coverage? Apparently some county representative turned up to defend the lax response by law enforcement. (My 2 cents)


Got in the new G1

It is the same phone, only a new one. The GPS quit working on my old G1. It had something to do with the piece of tape that came off when we opened up the phone. The tape has metal in it that must be the GPS antenna.

The phone is tight. I assume it is a refurbished model. It feels nice and tight. Looks good. Nat blew out the old phone with the canned air.

It has been fun setting the phone back up. I learned where that setting is that lets you tilt the phone without opening it up. I'd been looking for it. It is right under settings. I don't know how I missed it.

It is in the room charging. It looks like everything works including the GPS. Let me tell you that functionality is required any more on a smart phone. I was sitting in my computer chair and wass able to get a +- 2 m lock on my position from within the house. That is great for a phone with a 1 g antenna.



It is very sad to day this, but I've stopped listening to the descriptions of the Haiti devastation. Destroyed, devastation, hungry, trouble getting food and water to people, gotcha. Several reporters have given in depth reports from the airport. So many people are busting their ass to save lives. The reporters just sound like they are phoning it in. I'm missing the details.

I had the strangest dream last night. I was in live action first person shooter. The gun kicked. The bangs made my ears hurt. When I died I re-spawned. I ducked behind things and rolled around sideways to avoid being shot. I could smell the burning gasoline. I could feel the sun. My goggles kept fogging up. It was so much better than paint ball. I've never played, but I just know it is so.

We had to fill in forms for new insurance at work. We have great insurance, but Christ it is a pain in the ass to keep up with things. Of course I had to scratch out some stuff on the forms. That is through on triplicate. They had some excuse why we could not fill things in online. It would have been easier to read my output. Trust me. It took half a day to get SSN out of Nat for her and Elle. 

There is a divorce registry for people saying I don't instead of I do. About time. It can be an expensive time of life.

I'm listening to a guy talk about the equipment he uses for podcasting. The number one thing podcasters talk about is a microphone. Apparently the mic makes the first and foremost difference in sound quality. Think about it, It is never going to get any better than it is coming out of the mic. You just play with it at that point.

I'm hearing some whispers after the recent Google hacks from China and numerous other issues, Microsoft may actually have a plan to kick people off the internet who are using IE6. It is an 8 year old browser and needs to die. That is where many of the breaks and issues have some from in the past several years. Just say no to IE6. I may add some code to my sight that tells people with IE6 to fuck off upgrade.


Browser fail

Now Chromium-Browser will not play all YouTube videos. As soon as the video starts to play,  Opera plays YouTube fine, but it is unusable with Google docs which I use for blogging. Firefox still has the issue with being jittery and crashing every couple of hours.

I am reduced to the following for the time being.

Firefox: nothing

Opera: YouTube

Chromium-Browser: everything else.

This is ridiculous. I shouldn't need every browser available to the opperating system just to get a day's surfing done.


The Mexican government is getting pissy about "Mexican food" not being Mexican. If you have enchiladas smothered in cheese you do not have Mexican food.

I was watching an old Buffy the Vampire Slayer the other night. It was from the third season I think. Buffy was having trouble with the cops and her mother asked if she was going to hurt the police. Buffy answered "I'm a slayer not a postal worker." I laughed out loud. I wonder how long it is going to be before no one gets that reference. "Have you tried not being a slayer?" That show was just good.

There are fifty applications on Android for Twitter and they all suck. The functionality of the Twitter front page just does the job. The apps all just move the same functionality around. Many have too small fonts and no bells or whistles. What is the point. I keep going back to the Twitter web page.

Crusade vs Jihad (the words)

The word Crusade and Jihad are used so wrongly that it hurts. Bush used the word Crusade to mean a struggle. That is what many Muslims say about the word Jihad. It means a struggle that must be fought or overcome.

They are both illegitimate if you ask me. Since this is my blog, I'm asking.

As far as I'm concerned the word Crusade refers to the actions taken in the whatever century to hit the Middle East for invaiding the holy land.

As far as I'm concerned the word Jihad means the actions taken to enforce sharia law.

If you mean that something is very difficult and it is going to take an organized movement to achieve the end goal, then say so.  The emotional baggage that comes with these two words is a bad thing. The stress will not help your crusade/obsession for a stoplight at Fifth and Main.

This is a moving target. People don't seem to care about what words mean any more. I cannot tell you how often I hear news shows and print using "who" and "that" incorrectly. It drives me up the wall when professional communicators get it wrong and just don't seem to care. It is no wonder U. S. kids are learning nothing in school. We are a couple generations in to willful ignorance.

I'm not the brightest bulb on the block. I screw things up beyond comprehension. Ask Adam about me and the words "wonder" and "wander". I messed it up so much that I've messed him up. These are professionals. it makes me ill and it causes me to loose respect for modern news and media organizations.

Shooting Video in Public

Boston is arresting people who film the police doing their job. They call it illegal wire tapping. The cops can video the citizens. Those hold up in court all the time. The idea is you have to tell people you are videoing them before it is legal to do so. If I take out an ad in the local paper informing the public that my phone has a camera and I'm probably filming everything that goes on around me, does that count? 

The government is not your friend. The police are not your friends. Police are there to keep the piece. There is no right to freedom of speech or expression in the U. S. unless you have the resources (lawyers) to back it up. Only the broke and the rich have rights. That should be the mantra of the middle class.

I'm just now getting in to this whole shooting video thing. I like the idea of putting some media out on the net. It is a share thing. It makes me feel like I have left some mark for the better. Every time I try to look up the laws about who is able to film what and put it where I get a different answer. The rules are a moving target. Every state has laws. Some of those laws appear to violate the constitution. What do I know about the constitution, I'm just a citizen. You know, the one that annoying piece of paper is supposed to protect.

I want lines dammit! I want rules that make sense to follow. I am not out to get any one. I'm not out to out anyone. I just want to know what the rules are and how to work within them.



I signed on to Skype. I finally have a friend in a foreign country and I would like to stay in touch. I have no idea if he wants to stay in touch with me or not. I assume he is going to find friends and acquaintances on that end. Still, I want to give it a shot.

Skype is the best thing that comes to mind. Skype for Linux does not appear to have the search-your-contacts functionality so I have to find people the old fissioned way. I have to ask.

Skype appears to suffer from the same troubles as all chatting software. If people are not on the system when you go looking, they are not reachable. Skype has several phone clients and there fore catch more people. None of my friends have that functionality at the moment.

Now, if only I had something to say.



LiveLeak really needs to do something about their messed up video aspect ration on their embed script.

I'm also getting fed up with people who film things on their iPhones and hold the phone sideways. The phone is smart enough to point that direction up, but you get these hard t owatch sideways videos that make you feel like you are looking out a door frame on to the world.

Still, this is not a bad video. The idiot in the stolen car, well, I hope it is stolen the way he is treating it, has a very near miss. This could not have been planned. without some video tricks.


Here is something kind of scary. Remember I got a steroid shot for my sinus and chest cold. They are supposed to help you heal. Well, my back had been hurting for about a month. It is the old neck injury I got from a car crash back in 96 or so. I've blogged about it before. It is when my first wife and I had to rent a Ford Explorer when the Escort was in the shop. We got rear ended and tossed around inside the cab a bit. My head was turned when we got hit because the Mustang that hit us had slammed on the breaks and made a loud screech. I really think this made everything worse. I wish I could say, just go limp, but who the hell is going to think of that when you want to see the wreck that is about to happen?

Ever since about a week after that I have had a spot in my back that hurts occasionally. My neck turned just right will set it off. At some point about a month ago I slept funny and have had a constant irritation in my back no matter how I slept or how I turned my head. That is, right up to about six hours after the steroid shot. I'm fine now. No wonder people get hooked on that stuff.

Here is a video that should scare most off of steroid use. Don't watch unless you have a strong stomach.

ABZ (Aggressive Belief Zealotry)

There is a problem with Politically Correct Sp each beyond the removal of human sensitivity and emotional attachment. The terms you decide to go with must be generic enough not to single out people who have not yet been officially diagnosed with a label. That is, people should not be offended until someone in an official place of power has dubbed them with a term. Yet, the terms have to be catchy and buzz-word capable so politicians can use them in speeches to group people without actually grouping any one. If it helps a politician speak loudly about nothing, it is a win.

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists of late have been Muslim. The Oklahoma bomber is the only exception that pops in to my mind. If memory serves, that was in retaliation for the Branch Davidians that were slaughtered in 1995.

This new term would have covered them as well as all the religious zealots out there.

The term ABZ (Aggressive Belief Zealotry) identifies any one who believes in anything enough to take action that bring harm or damage to property in order to further their cause.

The term ABZS (Aggressive Belief Zealotry Syndrome) refers to the condition and list of symptoms leading up to taking such actions.

There you have your buzz-word  You have your generic term that refers to believing in anything strong enough to bring harm or damage to property and you have your psychobabble term to identify people who show signs of falling in to that category even before they do anything. This will allow people to talk about bad people with a term that does not identify the reason for their belief, only the strength of that belief and the potential of directing that energy toward harm or property damage.

We should immediately stop using the term War on Terror and start pushing the idea that believing in something is fine, but bringing harm to someone else or damaging property in order to get your message across is bad.

ABZ and ABZS might be abused and applied to gang bangers who tag walls. These folks could then be put in the crime database and hit with terrorism level surveillance. There are million examples I'm sure. 

By attacking the conviction and depth of the belief and not the belief itself, the political correctness of the attack may be held in good standing even though the result of profiling and singling out would be the same. Once labeled in a manor that is politically correct, people will not fear singling out terrorists and dealing with them appropriately. There will be some blow back because so many ABZS sufferers are Muslim, but that can be hand waved as targeted hot spot. The abuse of the term will only serve to diversify the community of people settled with it.


When life hands you lemons

Blame the lemon lobby.

Find the deepest lemon pockets and sue.

Start an anti-lemon blog.

Taste one of the lemons and follow life around mocking everything they say in an exaggerated pucker lemon voice.

Patten jack-o-lemons. Make a fortune and buy life's employer in a hostile takeover. Then, make life get lemon aid every hour, on the hour. 

Firefox is pissing me off

Firefox on Linux has some genuine issues. I'm using Ubuntu and the version Firefox that comes with the stable updates. Ever since 3.0 I've noticed the same issue. It is getting worse and it is pissing me off more and more. I'm learning how to use Chromium-Browser. I do not like using Chromium-browser because it is Google. It kind of pisses me off too, but I can live with it until either Firefox get's its shit together or Opera does. Opera has it's own set of pains in my ass.

The Firefox issue is the same one I've complained about before. At seemingly random intervals the browser simply takes a break and hammers my system. This happens on all open windows at the same time. It makes videos running in Flash skip. It makes my typing erratic. It grinds my machine. The issue causes full crashes. It get worse over time. Blah blah blah. I'm sick of dealing with it. Linux needs to focus on a different browser to be the default.

Opera seems to work. That is, Opera does not have the issue listed above. Opera does have issues with cut and paste and in Google Docs which bites me in the ass when I blog. This is unacceptable. It is a list of simple interface issues that keeps me from using Opera as my full time browser. Otherwise, I would love to. It is open source and other wise as fully usable as functioning Firefox on the same Linux system.

What happened tonight sent me over the edge. I have to jump through a couple extra hoops to blog from Chromium-Browser, but it is doable.

There I was using Chromium-Browser for everything except blogging. That is three tabs open. One on Gmail. One on Google Docs at the list of documents and one tab for my current day's blog entries. That is it. It doesn't seem to matter what I'm doing. Like I mentioned, the issue is kind of random except for the fact that it gets worse over time.

It used to be that if I shut Firefox down and then started it back up again, the problem would be fixed for some time. Not tonight. No. I tried this and it didn't seem to be working. The problem just came right back with a vengeance. I gave up and killed the running copy of Firefox and switched to editing my blog entries with Chromium-Browser regardless of the speed bumps.

After running for quite some time, Chromium-Browser was running well. It seemed to be hitting the CPU a bit hard. I have several copies open. I have everything running and if Chromium-Browser hits my machine hard while working, I'll forgive it for now.

I wanted to know what part of Chromium-Browser was hitting the CPU. It had to be Hulu. I killed the Hulu tab and the machine was still making noise. The fans do that. It is a massive drain on my sanity, but I'm too broke to fix or replace the problem. So, what is hitting the browser?

The next step in the diagnosis is to run 'top' and figure out what process is eating the system alive. <yelling> It was Firefox!!!! </yelling> Some retarded zombie process of Firefox was pulling 99% of on CPU, because Firefox is THANKFULLY nut multi-threaded. Otherwise Firefox would have been bogging my machine.

Firefox on Linux SUCKS!!!! Fix it or fix Opera. Opera will be easier. There is less wrong with it.

Base Jumping from that Dubai tour

The Burj Birdmen from Jan-Paul Bednarz on Vimeo.

This is awesome. I would never do this sort of thing. I might even complain about it when it is done in the U. S.. When I was a kid someone jumped off the 20 Vision tour or what ever it is called now days. They got busted the moment they landed. It still made for interesting conversation at school the next day.

Big rig ride

I have no idea why I like this.

Haiti pre-quake medical stats

Haiti is in agony; the earthquake has destroyed its buildings, homes, lives. But with regard to health care, there wasn't much to destroy in the first place. Even before the quake hit the capital, leaving its hospitals "abandoned or destroyed" the country's medical infrastructure was in shambles. Three fourths of the population had no access to any kind of health care as of 2008, according to the International Crisis Group. There are no emergency wards to speak of in the country, and only one doctor for every 3,000 citizens, compared with seven docs per 3,000 people in the U.S. Private hospitals charge fees that put decent medical care out of reach for everyone but the Haitian elite, and public clinics, according to an April report from Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF), "are often plagued by management problems, strikes, and shortages of staff, drug, and medical supplies."

It's no surprise, then, that despite Haiti's recent strides toward a more stable society, the country had what MSF's operation director called in April an "immediate public health crisis" long before the quake. Life expectancy is 61 years (Americans, on average, live to 78), and out of every 100,000 pregnant women, 630 die young of complications, a rate 50 times greater than it is in the U.S. Haiti's infant mortality is the worst in the western hemisphere, at 60 deaths per 1,000 births, compared with U.S. rates of 7 per 1,000. A third of babies are born underweight. Malnourishment, according to MSF, is "endemic." Almost 4 percent of people have HIV, compared to 0.3 percent of the U.S. population. In the slums, there's open sewage; everywhere, there's undrinkable water and the malaria-bearing mosquitoes that breed in it.

It sounds like Haiti's plan for disaster recovery was to depend on the kindness of every other country in the world. Not a good plan. What will the death toll be? I shutter thinking of the stacks of bodies that were on the streets in some of the internet videos. The looks on people's faces were as devastated as their surroundings. Someone was noted for asking [from memory] "Where are we going to bury all these poor people."

The remainder of the story quoted above is about the global recession and general apathy that people will have because, let's face it, people have their own problems to deal with. It is day three and people are complaining that the news cycle is moving forward.

Welcome to the 24 hour world. Actually, you are lucky to keep someone's attention for three consecutive uninterrupted minutes these days. Everything is here today and gone tomorrow. So many people, organizations, companies, products, events, and family are all clambering for every moment of our existence that the competition is killing us. Politicians complain that they have to compete with celebrities for the attentions of the Paparazzi. Parents who want celebrity status make outrageous claims that their kids are in a run away balloon to make the evening news.

How can a natural disaster hope to contend?

Day so far

I got up today and couldn't breath worth a dang. For the last couple of weeks, since the first, I've had one or two symptoms of illness. It all started with a sore throat and some chest congestion. That seemed to go away after some expectorants and lots of water. The cold never really went away. I battled it with gargling, the nose flush thing that Nat got me. For a while, it was looking good. Funny how a week can go by between paying attention to these sorts of things.

Last week my health seemed just fine. I had a runny nose and a cough. Nothing big. Then, the last two days, I'm tired and ready to pass out after exertion. My head is stuffed to the ... gills. My throat is raw and my cough is too frightening to describe. I missed Tuesday. I missed today. I hate having missed two sick days this early in the year. It just rubs me wrong.

The doctor gave me an antibiotic and a pill cough medicine. I'm going to continue taking the expectorants and decongestants. They will not conflict with the prescriptions.

The thing that seems to have given me a second lease on life is the steroid shot. My god I feel fantastic. Well, compared to how I felt a couple hours ago. my symptoms are still there, but I don't care. I have some energy and my back stopped hurting. It is a good thing those shots are not readily available. The abuse would be proliferate.

It cost $103 if memory serves to get out of CVS. They carry polarized fit over sunglasses. I'll have to remember that. I wonder if the Democratic Republic of Obama health care plan will help that cost out in the future. Somehow I doubt it.

I've had days like this.


Called T-Mobile

I called T-Mobile and asked about my phone and warranties and the whole bit. Remember the GPS is dead on my G1. I like the phone. I've been paying a fortune in insurance on the phones. It is nearly a thousand dollars between Nat and myself. They are going to exchange the phone. If they don't like what they see, they will charge me $100. I don't think any parts are missing. The phone has not gotten wet or anything. There are no cracks or anything. I'm sure the exchanged phone is refurbished. I'll deal. Half the functions on the phone use the GPS. 

Wish me luck.


Now that Chrome has adblock and flash-block ad extensions, it is worth using as a primary browser on my Linux box at the house. Everything works. I'm still missing the copy-html, but I'll live. Firefox seems to be getting worse, not better. It crashes and grinds to a halt after less and less time it seems. Opera has some issues that prevent me from using it as a primary browser. Chrome is really the only other choice on Linux as I find it. Trouble is, Chromium blows when it comes to making blogs. Nothing pastes with the proper formating. You have to jack with the cod a bunch to get what you want. You can't keep links when you try to use google docs as a repository. It cracks me up that google docs works worlds better with Firefox than Chromium. Get on the stick Google.

For some reason my computer at work stopped automatically mounting flash drives and anything USB honestly. It is amazing how much of a pain in the ass that is. I have no idea what service to restart to get it back up and running.

Haiti's GDP is %80 foreign aid. Much of the economy is barter and there for not kept track of and taxed by the government.

Nat thankfully gave me a ride to work this morning in the rain. We caught Kasia walking in. Nat would like the world to know that she does not look like she just had a baby a couple months ago. Kasia mentioned that her cloths let her know every day.

Wire frame Lambo. I heard about this on Cafination.

Barter with your bank

A friend and I were talking about winning a million dollars in the lottery. Even at 4% which pays like $40,000 a year, you have to put $30,000 back in to keep up with inflation. It looks like inflation is going to go up much higher than interest rates. Banks only give special deals to rich people who they think will bring more business in to the bank. Lottery winners are not on the 'in' list.

Basically, you can't win. Inflation exists to keep working people down. Think about it. Barter has no inflation. If there are many sharp stones around and few shiny stones, the rate of exchange of sharp stones to shiny stones will increase. Inflation. If the demand for pelts drops and the demand for salt goes up, the rate of exchange of pelts for salt will drop. Deflation.

Guns vs butter.

Try telling that to your bank. Try telling that to the tax man. Governments hate barter because they make no taxes off the transaction. Hillery Clinton said it best. "We tax everything." Every time money moves our beloved government takes a slice. If you leave your money sitting, inflation eats it alive. You have to struggle just to tread water. That is how the government likes it.

If you have an economy based nearly very much on barter you end up with Haiti. Millions of people with few government amenities and little regulation, such as building codes. When something bad happens, you get a poor response and much more damage than might have been. In the good times less than half the population had clean drinking water and less than a third had proper sewage.

Balance is the key.

Movies of late

There is some blow back against special effects and CGI. Some say 3D is finally going to take over and suck. There are so many gimmicks to distract from the bad movies that keep coming out of Hollywood. I'm not the only one who thinks 3D is an attempt at DRM (Data Rights Management). It is to prevent people from being able to just copy movies and distribute them.

I haven't seen a 3D movie. I wanted to go to a 3D movie last summer. Never made it. I wasn't bothered which one to go watch. Elle saw Up in 3D. Nat and i managed to miss all of them.

The experience of eating at Alamo is better than watching a movie in 3D. I would happily watch a 2D movie in a theater where I can have a beer and a BLT while watching the movie. Maybe even finish up with a slab of cheese cake. Worth it.

Besides, I do not want to deal with the glasses. I ware glasses to see and I've heard bad things about doubling up to watch a movie. Not every one's eyes are exactly 2.5 inches apart. The formula just doesn't work for every one. I've heard good and bad things about the technology from a dozen sources. I have no idea if it will work for me until I try it for myself.

Now 3D TVs are coming out. There are a couple of different technologies. There are a couple polarization mechanisms. Sony has a blinking glasses system that sounds interesting. The one that works and does not need glasses is some sort of laser technology that is supposed to be out in a couple years. Pilots use helmets with double heads up displays, one for each eye, that work fantastically from what I've read.

This is just one more way being legally blind is going to bite me in the ass.

Somewhere I read that 2009 was a very good year for movies monetarily. I believe it with ticket prices. Theaters need to remind themselves that they are a cheap way to get out of the house and not an social institution that is too big to be bypassed for some new distraction.

Barter with your bank

A friend and I were talking about winning a million dollars in the lottery. Even at 4% which pays like $40,000 a year, you have to put $30,000 back in to keep up with inflation. It looks like inflation is going to go up much higher than interest rates. Banks only give special deals to rich people who they think will bring more business in to the bank. Lottery winners are not on the 'in' list. 

Basically, you can't win. Inflation exists to keep working people down. Think about it. Barter has no inflation. If there are many sharp stones around and few shiny stones, the rate of exchange of sharp stones to shiny stones will increase. Inflation. If the demand for pelts drops and the demand for salt goes up, the rate of exchange of pelts for salt will drop. Deflation.

Guns vs butter.

Try telling that to your bank. Try telling that to the tax man. Governments hate barter because they make no taxes off the transaction. Hillery Clinton said it best. "We tax everything." Every time money moves our beloved government takes a slice. If you leave your money sitting, inflation eats it alive. You have to struggle just to tread water. That is how the government likes it.

If you have an economy based nearly very much on barter you end up with Haiti. Millions of people with few government amenities and little regulation, such as building codes. When something bad happens, you get a poor response and much more damage than might have been. In the good times less than half the population had clean drinking water and less than a third had proper sewage.

Balance is the key.



The first climb is exceptional. The second climb is outstanding.


I was sick yesterday. I am still sick today. I went to work all day.. I lasted only because of Tylenol Cold and Sinus. I'm on drugs. Working while sick is better than watching daytime TV.

Pragmatism. that is why Democrats are gathering around the majority leader, Henry Reed.

There is another Star Trek movie coming. I think they said summer 2012. This will be Star Trek 12. I wander how long it will take to have more movies than TOC (The Original Series) episodes. If memory serves, three were 64 episodes.

My twitter feed has become a Zombie story on the run. I put weather reports on Facebook. Everything else ends up here.

My phone not having GPS is pissing me off. It is amazing how much functionality of the phone depends on those elusive satellites. I have over a year left on my contract and new phones are hugely expensive buying off the shelf. I think I can fix my phone for $50 or $60, but do I want to? Is it worth it?

I saw Saw Six near the seashore. I never saw 3 or 4, but six is here. What happened to 5? Who cares?



I'm a coward. I am not so concerned about being a coward. I only fear being discovered.

I'm afraid of normal every day things like doing homework, and coughing too hard.

I'm afraid of popping my ears when I blow my nose because that is not good for them. 

I'm afraid of doing too many push-ups as I age. I'm afraid of doing too few push-ups while aging. 

I'm afraid of religion because I do not know which one is right. I'm afraid they are all all wrong.

I'm afraid of choosing the wrong mobile phone carrier because even if I live to 100 that is 1/50th of my life.

I'm afraid of having the wrong footwear on when the world collapses.

I'm afraid of joining a group on Facebook that makes me looks stupid.

I'm afraid of letting Elle surf the net.

I'm afraid of setting habits that people in the neighborhood might exploit.

I'm afraid of crossing the street even when the light is going my way.

I'm afraid of being a bad friend to people who deserve a good friend.

I'm afraid of not paying my own way.

I'm afraid of catching something every time someone coughs because I have in the past.

I''m afraid of being attacked because of the color of my skin on the bus.

I'm afraid of being a bad parent, husband, son, employee, Christian, home owner, geek, and coward.

I'm afraid I will never stand up for what is right.

I'm afraid I will miss the call.

I'm afraid the world will not know my name. I'm afraid the world will know my name.

I'm afraid the sky, the U. S., the west, the Earth is falling in to a pit of chaos.

I"m afraid of family getting sick. I'm afraid of me getting sick. I'm afraid of friends getting sick.

I'm afraid of that what I eat is killing me. I'm afraid of smoking, even though I never have.

I'm afraid of germs, virus, inoculations, ignorant indecisive scientists, and doctors who just know they are God.

I'm afraid of pretty women. I'm afraid of all women. I'm afraid of social awkwardness and saying the wrong thing.

I'm afraid of mediocrity and fame.

I'm afraid that Google will never learn how a spell checker is supposed to work.

I'm afraid that I will miss the greatest video opportunity.

I'm afraid I will accidentally film my own death.

I'm afraid the freedom of speech will only apply to those who say what every one else agrees with.

I'm afraid that everything will be copy righted or patented.

I'm afraid that human kind will simply stop wanting to survive and thrive.

I'm afraid I'm done. =]

Solving the Cube

This is one of the guys I work with. he is brilliant when it comes to puzzles and problems. He is right handed. I've noticed several patterns in this video. He looks at one side and manipulates the top row first. IF you look closely he flips the top to one side and almost in the same motion flips vertical columns one way or the other. Then flips the top side back to get a look at the new set of patterns. He rolls the cube around until he recognizes a pattern, orients the cube and repeats the moves until he gets the desired effect.

I used to think that people who could solve a cube in a very short time kept the whole cube in their mind and speed through several operations until they knew how to solve the color scheme. I was wrong. It is a collection of patterns and responses that achieve desired effects. The collection of patterns grows and is culled over time until the cube becomes a two minute distraction.

This theory mens there is hope.

Each corner of the cube has three colors. Each axis of the cube is fixed. You know what color is going to be round the corner of each side. Once you run through the patterns in y9our head, you start to realize there are only a few ways for each piece to fall in to place and a billion ways for them to fall out of place.  I worked this out many years ago when I took a cube apart to find out how it worked. There are patterns of movement that allow you to swap the corners of a solved side around so they line up with the correct middle color. The same is true about swapping middle side pieces. My friend her is a master. of pattern recognition. I'm glad he is on our side.


Evening tweets

Zombies held at bay for now. Stay tuned. It will be dark soon.

Making a run for it. Warm dry place to sleep or death!

Stopping fore supplies. Must stay wary.

Found food, warmth, family. Made it to the safest place I could. Will get a good nights sleep. Zombies be damned.

Ignore the gentle wrapping on the window seal late at night. There are terrors about and no good cane come in that way.

Story ideas

Story ideas for family and friends.

Mike: drives for the president.

Adam: saves the world by learning something and applying that knowledge.

Sandy: prey's and receives

Natalie: slays a dragon.

Elle: saves a school mate from drowning.

My next door neighbor: finds redemption and becomes a good father.

I got an imagination for my fortyth and drive for my forty first birthday. I'm asking for talent on my forty second.


Say it loud Newt

I can't touch that. We Americans need to make it clear that we are a we and we are not going to take it from them any more. Stop voting for who is pretty and says pretty things and vote fore someone who you would want to counsel your children on life and a career.

Ken's Birthday


Opening cards

A couple of quick videos of Ken's Birthday party yesterday. More to come, slowly. There are a couple photographs. I just can't get motivated today.

I could tell you what Wisper is showing Ken on her phone that makes him say "ow", but then I would have to kill you. There were of course many missed photographic and video opportunities. It was not a wild party. It was fun. I enjoyed the company, cats and the wood burning stove on the driveway.

Thanks Chris for the Whataburger. I owe you a dinner.

Hey Adam ...

How to Brew a Good Cup of Coffee from Ben Helfen on Vimeo.

You are a coffee snob. Try this method of making the perfect cup of Joe and let me know how it goes.


Better wide angle review

Fine, I suck at reviewing things. This guy did a much better job of showing what the little wide angle lens that I got can do. I'm off to a birthday party this evening and I hope to get a couple shots worth posting.

For the moment, my goal is to simply get more media up. As I go I intend to learn more about it and make it tiny bits better as I go. Expect a bunch more bad stuff up before anything worth a damn falls in to place.


ignorance is bliss

Heaven and hell and indifference are in the same place.

They are all part of ignorance.

You cannot dream without ignorance.

If you know then there is nothing left to dream.

Dream about heaven, hell and indifference.

Ignorance is the fuel to dream.

Do not take from the tree of knowledge.

Stay and dream.

What's in a name?

The spelling of a Middle Eastern name is why no one knew the nicker bomber had a valid entry visa for the U. S.. I wonder if the middle eastern names will get standard spellings after this. That or an algorithm for finding similarly pronounced names with different spellings might be in order. There is technology that does this in other programs.

It is always going to be something trivial and stupid that lets the bad buys through. People think of all the big complex things and try to counter them or at least deal with them in some way. It is the simple stuff that bites you in the ass. The devil is in the details. How old is that saying? It is true in spades in an information age. This is just one metric. Who knows what little detail will cause the problem next.

the difference between steel and iron is that you do not knock the charcoal off the steel between foldings from the forge. Simple. it took thousands of years to catch on. With all other metals, you need to go ahead and knock off the charcoal. Iron/steel is different.

Maybe some people need to be treated differently than others. These differences will are defined by some kind of attribute like shifty eyes, clenched hands. nerves tick or any million actions that people perform every moment.

I like a formula that I heard on on a podcast. If you have 100 people in line for a plane, you have a maximum potential of 100 terrorists to filter. You have a nearly infinite number of ways a terrorist might sneak something on the plane to cause a problem.


For years in Houston, I wondered why all the apartment buildings were going up. Every block had a new apartment complex on it.  No one was tiering down apartment buildings. When it happened, it made news.

Now that we have had real estate bubble burst, you would think that more people would leave houses and go to apartments. That hasn't really been the case it turns out. People don't have jobs. They have to move in with someone else or back home with their parents. Now there is a renter's market. Not just in Houston. I'm hearing that this has been true all over the U. S..

So, someone saw the housing bubble burst coming. They invested in places to rent. Makes sense. They are getting bitten in the ass for it.

More than once, I've felt a twinge for not waiting to buy a house when all the fist time buyer incentive stuff kicked in recently. I would not have gotten a loan I think. The price of my house keeps dropping. I'm not selling, so that will just save me in some taxes to be honest. I am very glad not to be in an apartment.

I hated renting only because I felt like someone had me by the short hairs. now it is just a Home Owner's Association. That is not as bad. I look forward to a day when I'm am totally out from under the umbrella of someone else telling me how to live on my own property.

Good Morning

We left one of the sinks dripping last night. We have some exposed pipes outside that are just plane difficult to cover. That is wistful, but works. It is only a couple nights a year. It is less wistful than the pips breaking. Less expensive too.

Speaking of pips breaking, Elle's school had a new fountain out front. Some sort of pipe had broken right out front not far from where we drop off Elle every morning was blowing a cloud of water all over a tree that had icicles all over it.

Nat had gone out in the freezing cold before every one got up and gotten pancake breakfast meals. We got to eat breakfast as a family this morning. How cool is that? Thank you Sweetie.


My cough is still going. I feel much better. Nat's head still hurts. Elle feels pretty good too.

Work was not as nuts today. It was nice to have a  day where nothing really blew up. the last couple of weeks of last year Where nuts. the vacation was nice. The first week of this year has been pretty stacked. I finally got a day where I could stop and think and plan.

Elle was born back in aught-two. Or is it naught-two?

Predictions for 2010 from random blogs and podcasts

  • Twitter will get snapped up by Microsoft or Google and will suck even worse.
  • Blockbuster will go belly up or get bought and still suck.
  • Chrome will pass Firefox in use.
  • There will be some sort of social media that links people who live next door to one another.
  • iTunes develops a flat rate plan for all the media (with limits I'm sure) you want.
  • People realize how boring Second Life is and it folds.


Voting Democrat

One of the conservative blogs asked "What would it take for you to vote Democrat?" Their answer was stupid, but I thought about it for a minute. What would it take? What is my price?

I'm a life long Republican. I get ten days of vacation a year. If the Democrats got me twenty days of vacation a year, I would vote for the bastards. For a while any way. That is my price.

Software Version Numbers


A) Major version number
B) Minor version number
C) Patch number
D) Sub patch number (internal really, nothing to see here)

Sometimes I wish I could video our work discussions to explain to the rest of the world how developers think.  Today we had another talk amongst our developers in the long, long, long never ending quest for the perfect method of defining the version of a piece of software.

The way these things work is we stand in a circle and throw ideas and what-ifs back and forth in order to come to a conclusion on which number deserves to be incremented in the version. This sound like a very minor detail, but it can have major consequences.

General questions defining how to increment the numbers.

  • What is a major/minor change?
  • Define "sub patch".
  • What numbers will customers care about?
  • What should we be able to tell by looking at the version number only?

Every time you have a patch or a major upgrade headed out the door you go through the following list. They are in random order and have no priority over one another. They must all be gone through. I'm sure I'm missing half of the bullets.

  • In which branch of the software development tracking database is the code going to reside?
  • What does it fix?
    • Does that look like a fix to the customer?
  • What is the change compatible/incomputable with?
  • What will it break?
    • What behaviors will the customer have to change?
    • What will customers have to do to adjust things?
    • What will this cause us to have to adjust in the future?
  • What industry standards are we hitting?
    • Just because it is better doesn't mean people want it.
  • What needs to be tested?
  • What needs to be documented?
    • What do we say in the release notes to sell this change?
  • Will it piss marketing off (a valid concern)?
    • Existing customers
    • New customers
    • Competition comparison
    • Nag, nag, nag!!

"It is just a spelling change!" or "It isn't the same piece of software any more." It doesn't matter really.

It seems like we have this conversation every time we need to make a release. One of the developers said he will add ten more minutes to the seven days he of work hours he has spent on this topic over the last couple years. I'm right there with him.

I made an analogy that is apt for every one of these conversations. We all stand around and throw things back and forth until we feel like we are done and walk away. It is like a band of jugglers who all work in tandem to keep the pins in the air. The conversation is not done until we are all in sync.

Deadlines are a whole new matter.

Even on a patch release x.x.X.x, developers have it in their head that Tuesday at 15:00 is when they can check in the 3600 lines they have changed. They do not take in to account the four hours of documentation and building just for the release. That makes it Tuesday at 19:00 when the package hits the Site for download. That is really Wednesday at 08:00 for customers. Oh, wait, there are four days of testing that need to take place and we forgot to change a bunch of stuff in the user manual. That makes it Monday at 08:00. Meanwhile, the developers are working on the next minor release x.X.x.x.

"We already had the meeting for the next minor release x.X.x.x. That means all those changes will make it in to this version right? "

"NO! dammit! Remember those four days of testing and user manual changes?"

"Oh, we need to add one little spelling change to an error message." This is a valid thing to do, but you have to consider that it will cause all package to be rebuilt and even though they come from the same code base, they are now no longer the binary packages you tested for four or more days. You might have to do some testing over again. Is the change worth that many labor hours?

I'm skipping over the word "merge" on purpose because it causes me pain.


Social Sites

Twitter and Facebook are loosing their luster for me. I'm getting tired of reading them and I'm getting tire of writing comments on them. I just don't have anything interesting to say to be honest. The one liners were cool for a while. I'm short messaged out. What I have to say doesn't fit.

This doesn't mean I'm going become any more of hermit than I already am. I'm just not going to stick with hourly updates on every one. I've been checking both about once a day recently and I'm much happier with what I'm learning about people.

Now I'm upset that I paid so much for my phone. The Facebook programs I've tried suck. The web page on my phone blows. You can't get to the videos properly. Pictures look funky. It takes forever to load. All of that will get worked ou in the wash soon. Either phones need to run Flash or Flash needs to get replaced by something much much better all together.

Too many people are happy in my circle. I enjoy people who are mad for tweeting about how miserable they are and how every one is pissing them off. When they get happy for whatever reason I don't want ot follow them any more. This has happened a couple times. Fames people are usually boring in my experience..

Spammers and advertisers are rapidly catching up to social media. Every company got a web page. Every company has a fan page on Facebook and now they all have twitter feeds and blogs. I just don't care about what you have to say. Get off my internet!

I've already griped about the sand box affect of these sites. It seems like they, Facebook and MySpace, are getting worse at providing so many services you would never want to go to any other site. you cannot then reference your content from a third site like a blog on a different service. Someone has to pay for the bandwidth. It still pisses me off.



When I was in middle school, I never thought I would make it to 2000. Now it is 2010. Funny how long it takes to go from 1999 to 2000 and from 2009 to 2010. it has been nearly a week and if I'm not paying attention, I still get it wrong nearly every time.

The Windows 7 call center has been about half as busy as Microsoft expected. That doesn't mean there are less troubles. There are many other ways of getting information. There are even Twitter bots answer questions.

George Lucas' dog, a malamute, was inspiration for both Chewbaca and the name Indiana as in Indiana Jones.

Coke  and Pepsi have the same pricing consultants.

Printer at work

I fixed a printer problem today. Well, it fixed itself while I was standing there. One of the guys at work had recently upgraded his video card ant the printer had stopped working. Here are some contributing factors.

  • The printer was connected through a USB to old twenty some odd pin printer port connector.
  • He had two USB to serial port adapters he uses on a daily basis.

He had tried everything.

  • Unplug and replug all the connections.
  • Try to reinstall the driver, but no devices show up in the device manager.
  • Turn everything off and turn everything on.
  • Different USB port.
  • Heaven know what ever else.

I'm standing there scratching my head trying to think of something else to try. Those USB to printer port gizmos are built in to USB drivers on that OS so you shouldn't need a driver. Besides it was working fine before we added the video card.

Time to start over.

  1. Leave the printer on.
  2. unplug the USB bits.
  3. Remove any printers listed by windows that pointed to our device.
  4. Turn off the computer.
  5. Turn on the computer, let it boot all the way and make sure no ghost printers show up.
  6. Plug in the printer side of the connection.
  7. Then plug in the computer side (USB) and hope the computer says "device found".

It did. The driver was already installed so the printer just came up. Nice. Kelly saves the day by starting over. I'll take it.

I'm not sure how adding a video card could cause the USB devices to shuffle. I fear the PCI ID numbers may have readjusted after adding the card. That means the USB path was the same but some direct addressing mechanism in the printer driver lost track of where to send things. That or turning the computer on and installing a new drive for the video card just knocked something in the registry or plug and play hardware tree out of order. Who knows?

Why did this work? Because this is how the programmers intended it to work. You almost have to think like a developer. They are not setting things up so you can start the process in the middle. Many times you have to get back to zero state and walk through the whole process because some little required automated step will be missed unless all the steps are passed through from the beginning.



So much time off that I forgot to download a new set of podcasts for today. I never checked Dilbert or UderFriendly the whole time.  I walked in to work and got to work. Nothing new really. I think I learned something today. I don't remember what it was off the top of my head. I'm sure it was worth the effort.

I heard a poem about a child who had his eye put out by a broken glass beaker. I need to find some safety glasses for Elle.

I miss having an office where I can hide. When I worked at my old employer, a huge company, I had an office so out of the way that you had tome come see 'me' to find me. No one stumbled across my presents.

Inventory at work. Yuck.

Heard an interview with a podcaster who only does Roman history podcasts. It sounds painful if I'm honest.

The Republican party needs to split. We need the Evangelical Christians on one side and every one else who feels like theiy have conservative values. The democrats would love this I'm sure. it needs to happen before conservatives will have a functional party.


Cat vs Christmas tree

OK, not really. Cool video though.

All in a name

Here are a few of the names I've heard tossed against the wall for the guy who hid a bomb in his underpants and tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Eve.

  • Pantie bomber
  • Nicker bomber
  • Underwear bomber
  • Skivvies bomber
  • Ballux bomber
  • Testicle Terrorist
  • Fruit of the boom
  • Tighty-Kaboom

We had to take our shoes off after the shoe bomber. How many jokes can be made for having to go commando through the airport. I for one am going to ware a kilt and not much else if I ever have to go through an airport in my life again. I heard the TSA stopped confiscating cigarette lighters only because they had trouble disposing of 22,000 lighters a day without causing an environmental disaster.

Video Comment

I got a comment on my latest video on YouTube. Someone asked where I got the lens and how it fit. It is a bit stressful getting comments. They so easily turn on you. It seems like most people who leave comments are just about to be a bastard. I like comments like this. I don't mind answering them. I am so often tempted to just turn them off on the blog and on most other social media. That kind of defeats the point, I know, but it is still a temptation.


where did you buy that lens? and does it fit around the entire lens or is ti partly on the glass?


I got it at Amazon for under $30 drive out. The lens mount sits on the outside of the glass. it is a small metal ring with adhesive on one side. Make sure you center it. I figure if I have to take it off, the glass at that spot of the Flip doesn't have to be clear or unscratched for the camera to work properly.

Goals for today

I wanted to put all the receipts away for 2009. This is more trouble that it sounds. I had a foot high pile of everything that was not immediately tossable I had to sort and put in the proper folder in our file for 2009. That took a couple hours.

Then I paid bills. This requires writing a bunch of checks. Putting everything down in a computer ledger and a paper ledger for the checks. I still have to stamp and mail the envelopes, but all else is done for the moment.

Did a load of dishes. Trash.

I did not get another video shot. I did not get to the yard. I did not get the cat box done, but that might be next. Then I might write a blog entry. This one does not count.

The day is not yete done.


Some movies

Kid taking his dad's Porchia for a spin. He claims he hit 170. He almost wipes out.

Airport scanners

Trains in Tokyo

Moment of impact. This one is long and has people getting hurt. it is one of those train wreck videos. Watch at your own choice.

Quick camera test

Found this little baby online.

Nat put the little metal ring on the Flip for me. There is no way I could have gotten it center. She did a great job.

Nearly all the other options require you to glue a 30.5 mm mount on the front of the Flip. This is certainly possible, but it looks like a tiny camera stuck on the backside of a small lens. That kind of mount would allow for a huge variety of lenses from different manufacturers, but who needs it? It is a snapshot video recorder and I just needed a bit more wide angle to get the content of a room I'm standing in.

I pop the lens off and on a couple times during the video. The lighting was poor,but that is the best time to get poor lighting results. Most of the time I use this camera is indoors in poor lighting. The magnate mount seems solid enough for walking around. I've looped the lanyards together so the lens will not have far to fall before it is caught.