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



Let's see, I need to write something for Sunday evening. No idea what to put down. Boring topics falling out of my ears. no. NO!!! NOOOOOO!!!!

Corn dogs for dinner. Did a load of dishes. slept most of the day. Listened to a book for a while. Slept for most of it. Threw away four old shitty keyboards. They all kind of worked. Each had it's own problem.


Never trust live feed again

The software uses a live video feed. After roughly selecting the object using a touch pad, the program reduces the quality of the frames coming from the camera. It then removes the object from the reduced quality version. Once this is done, it improves the quality of the result and blends it with the actual frame. This is then returned to the viewer in just 41ms. 41 ms is unbelievably quick. At that speed, the human brain doesn’t notice any delay. It is as if the object is not even there.
This technology could of been used in Live NEWS feeds removing UFO's, removing a missile fired at the Twin towers. Remove anything as it is fed direct to us on our TV's.
this piece of software was invented by Dr. Wolfgang Broll from the Department of Virtual Worlds and Digital Games at the Technische Universität in Ilmenau in Germany. He has aptly named it the Diminishing Reality System.

I've heard of this kind of thing. Never seen it in action. There is all kinds of cool applications. Reduce the size of a crowd when reporting a news story. Get rid of that shit head video bombing you while you are trying to talk on the video phone.


Where the hell is this show going?

Frigging commercials

Who are they targeting? Ford has a new ad about a car that touts using the GPS to find the best fuel economy to your destination. This is not a bad ting. This is a bad way to advertise your vehicle in my opinion. They should sell the car based on what you can do with it, not what you can avoid doing with it. Tell people who they can have fun in the car. Tell people how they can take car of their families in the car. Point out the positive things that buying your car will buy the people who get one.

I would like to know how effective advertisements are on me. How well does the advertiser's message get through to me? What products have I been exposed to via what kind of advertisement and hen followed through to purchasing that or a related product? I feel like a victim when I stop and think about how I may have made purchase decisions based on what an advertisement. It makes me feel like I have been taken advantage of. This is not rational, but true.


YouTube allows it's members, people who post videos, to put up ads and make money on their effort. This works out well for most folks. I'm getting very tired of the same seven or eight commercials. I'm not going in to them because I just don't want to talk about them. I'm that tired of them.

I've thought of attempting to monetize my videos. However, I can't fathom putting up the same commercials as every one else. I don't even get some of the commercials. I'm just not in touch I suppose. That is a normal state for me. What does it take to make money at this sort of thing? Surely, I do not have enough hits to matter one way or the other. I earned a whopping $1.25 in two years on the blog. The videos must be about the same ratio of more effort to click the monetize button than it is worth.

I have no moral objection with monetizing online content as long as it dose not get in the way of the content. Rolling ads, commercials that play before the video, get in the way in my book. Ads that pop up across the bottom of the video only get in the way if something is being said in that area in the video. As long as you can close those ads and get to the content, I'm OK with tat too. Ads that run along side or below the video are fine as long as they are quiet and don't distract me from the content.


I have a couple readers from the National Library System. The old reader is really just a modified tape player. It has multiple tracks and speed controllers. It has simple pitch controllers and such. It is identical to the one I had when I was a kid. The technology has not changed in thirty years on this front.

Well, there is a new reader in town. It is a digital reader. It takes USB based cartridges and uses a modified m3u media file to play an audio book. You download the audio books from BARD. Google NLS BARD to find the sources and request a player if you qualify. The players will only play those books and the books will only play on the specific players. This is the most awesome thing that has happened for a long time on this subject.

This moves the books for the blind in to the 21st century. It means that I can search a web site for the book or magazine I want and download it instead of going through a request process and waiting for things to travel through the mail. Then, worrying about returning the book and waiting for the mail. If you use a Kindle, you have had this kind of support for a while. I'm just now getting on board.

This switch seems to have been rushed after the fact. The new readers appear to be so popular that the deadlines of killing the old system have been moved up a year or so. I'm not the only one who loves this new process compared to the old one.

Old Process

  • Read through the catalog for a book or magazine.
  • Send an email with the information to a human.
  • Wait for a week for the book to turn up in the mail.
  • Grab the first tape, flip the tape (3 times), second tape, ... fifteenth tape.
  • Make sure all the tames are rewound all the way.
  • Pack up the tames in order, flip the address label.
  • Mail.
  • Order something else.
  • Wait.

You could request multiple books in order to have something while you were waiting for a new book to turn up. You could also have automatic selection processes in action that would bounce another book to you when the old one was received. Dealing with snail mail was bad enough. I had a very bad habit of flipping the address label more than once and mailing the book back to myself. There were a couple of bad tapes. There were a couple of bad containers for the tapes. This is to expected. Still, limiting the mechanical factors makes for less chance of failure.

New Process

  • Log in to the BARD web site.
  • Search around for a book or magazine.
  • Download the file to the computer.
  • Uncompress the file to a USB drive.
  • Plug the USB drive in to the player
  • Press play.
  • Repeat as needed.

No late returns. You can store them on CD, though they only work on that reader.

The idea at first was to send out the USB based cartridges in the same way that the tapes were headed out. Someone was awake and said "What the hell are you people thinking?!?" Thank God. They made the web page and avoided half the troubles of the process. One side effect of this is the lack of a cartridge that fits in the digital reader. Now I have to use a USB drive which sticks out of the side of the device like a sore thumb just waiting to get knocked off, broken or lost. This makes portability a bit touchy. The digital reader does have a place to attach a strap on the back. Nice design.

Field Data
Title NLS BARD digital reader and the old school cassette reader
Description I have a couple readers from the National Library System. The old reader is really just a modified tape player. It has multiple tracks and speed controllers. It has simple pitch controllers and such. It is identical to the one I had when I was a kid. The technology has not changed in thirty years on this front.
Well, there is a new reader in town. It is a digital reader. It takes USB based cartridges and uses a modified m3u media file to play an audio book. You download the audio books from BARD. Google NLS BARD to find the sources and request a player if you qualify. The players will only play those books and the books will only play on the specific players. This is the most awesome thing that has happened for a long time on this subject.

BARD Web site
Tags NLS BARD legally blind audio book reader audiobook tape player digital audio Houston Texas Harris County Canon 948IS
Link Video, BARD

Video bullets

  • When I was a kid.
    • Green
    • Not one change in 30 years.
    • Didn't read even with the reader much.
  • Old Reader.
    • Basic functions.
    • Tapes, flipping, sides.
    • Too big to fit in a back pack.
    • Process of tapes, mailing, waiting
    • Demo
  • New Reader.
    • Basic functions
    • USB drive
    • Portable, rounder, easier to carry.
    • No cartridge. USB drive sticks out.
    • Web site and no returns
    • Demo

Of course, I didn't print this list and have it in front of me while making the video. I think just typing it up helped.

Rolling up the tent

Field Data
Title Rolling the old tent.
Description This is our old tent. We found all the pieces, rolled it up and stuffed it back in the bag. Can't believe I managed to get it all in. =]
Tags Tent Houston Texas Canon 940IS maintenance
Link Link

Network analogy

People love wireless networks. I hate them. The quality of the network connection is poor most of the time. Instead of making a good connection, wireless systems make a good enough connection. The numbers sell wireless. If you have a 11.x kilobit connection or a 56.x kilobit connection or a 300 kilobit connection is what rakes in the upgraders who have money for the bleeding edge.

The faster these things get, the more tricks they play to make the numbers work. You have dropped packets and flipped bits. There are recovery and survival mechanisms to keep things from getting hairy. If something breaks, the protocols and routers try to fix things as they go and keep the bits flowing.

When you are talking a wrong character on a web page or an off color pixel in a video or photo, the idea of keeping things going instead of keeping them accurate works pretty well. This is the surfing the net side of the equation. Surely you have noticed this kind of thing at some point. A page seems to be all messed up, tables are out of kilter, the design looks badly mutated. What do you do in this case? You hit refresh. Well, this happens in database communication too.

When working on databases, all the data has to match. What is coming off end A must be correct on end B and vise verse. Another packet travels beside the real data that exists only to back check the original data. If things do not match in the slightest, the whole transaction might just start over. This will happen as many times as it takes to not fail the back check. The client or server sits there and pumps the refresh key on multiple levels. This may only be one step in a tremendous burst of data that needs to go back and forth between the server and client.

If you can surf the net without noticing any degradation, it does not mean that you can do things that require database communication without trouble. The only analogy I can think of is the difference between trowing and juggling. Surfing the net is throwing a request out there and seeing what comes back. Microsoft Outlook and other database communication is like juggling communication between the client, server and CRM, while dancing with the server on the dance floor shared with the entire internet. There is a unicycle in there somewhere.


No internet

A couple of podcasts are looking in to have a day where you do not use electronic devices that provide any kind of mental stimulation. No computers, TV, stereo, music player, phone, game player or whatever. Nothing for an entire day. I've done this sort of thing at Fair in the past, but not recently. My phone did not work at Fair for the first couple of years. Not worth a damn any way.

Some studies say that young people who are cut off start to feel lonely and detached after one day. I believe it. I have a hard time getting away and staying away from the internet and such. I can't remember the last time I watched a TV for the sake of watching. At work, I have only limited internet. They watch us like a hawk. This is a good thing I suppose.

Perhaps, I will not participate in the log off day. Not sure yet. I can sleep an entire day. I'll stay up to midnight and then sleep to 15:00. Then I'll read a book for a couple hours. Then eat something and play tiddly-winks for a while. AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! I'll never make it. Bring on the assimilation tubes. I for one welcome our robot-zombie overloads.

Redefining the world

Every one must be an optimist. No one is aloud to be a pessimist or say that anything is not working. Everything is working all the time. Nothing is broken, ever. Anyone who says anything bad is a bad person and you should not listen to them. Any one who points out flaws is a flawed person.

This is how China works. This is how the old Soviet Union worked. This is how big brother works.

Failure is the new success.

If you can't do, redefine what is as what you did.

Doing fifteen completely unrelated things to make a living over your lifetime is now defined as a career.

_________ studies is the new engineering.

What was once called a slum or a ghetto is now a diverse neighborhood.

The unemployed are potential workers.

High unemployment is a large employable pool.

Taxes don't take away from what you can spend, they add to services other people get.

The government doesn't hide facts and figures, they protect the public.

Sometimes things are broken and need to be fixed. Sometimes something is causing a problem and needs to be changed. If it were not for pessimism, no one would want change, no one would need hope. You shout from the roof tops "Change! Hope! Change!" Then you turn it off like a spigot. I think not. The world is what it is. People are people. Some will always be happy. Some will always be sad. Some will find their way and some will not. All are useful. All make the world what it is. Stop trying to change me. Stop trying to save me from myself. I'm here. I'm me. Deal with it.


I watch a vlog from a guy named Charles Trippy. Yup, that is his real name. His finance's name is Ally Speed. They get stopped at airports quite a bit. I know a lot more about these folks that I have a right.

They love their dogs. This is the real reason most people watch the vlog at all.

Charles recently had a run in with someone at a coffee shop. That is they ran in to him. He had to deal with their insurance company called USAA. He was not pleased with USAA, but this is kind of a good thing for USAA because I want my insurance company to be a dick to the people who are thinking of suing me. Anyway, he got the car fixed.

When Ally graduates with some kind of language degree next Summer, they will most likely move to Los Angeles because that is where the money for their chosen path is.

Charles has a communications degree. I have to say, he is using it to its fullest with his vlog. I'd higher him.

Charles recently launched a rocket with a key chain camera attached. Pretty cool footage. He then proceeds to attach his vlog camera, a Canon Elf like mine, to a remote control truck and drive around. The camera bites the dust. He must have just wanted a new camera. That camera bit the dust.

He killed another camera in a water slide incident. He had just gotten through traveling to Jamaica exclusively to show off some brand of waterproof cameras.

The man has access to waterproof rugged cameras and insists on using these Canon Elf cameras for camera unfriendly tasks. I don't get it myself. More power to him. Maybe he has stock in Canon.

The most recent purchase that Charles talks about in his vlog is the Canon SD3500IS. It is much like my camera, the 940IS, but has a touch screen and some fancy crap. Charles seems taken with the wide angle lens. I have to say, that is great. The wider the better in my book when it comes to vlogging. The camera has several of the limitations as my camera.

Video Down Side on the Canon SD 3500 IS

  • Still has the 10 minute limit.
  • Still only does mono sound.
  • You still have to stop recording video to use the optical zoom.
  • You still have to stop recording video to switch to or from macro.

Definitely not the camera that I'm impressed with. I'm looking at other models.

Remember the death of Charles' last couple cameras? They had some form of watery death. Well, day one, Charles nearly dose in his new camera by vlogging in the rain. Charles, ... come on. You must have kept one of those weatherproof cameras. Keep it in the car or something.



My blog entries are too short. Over the last year or more my entries have gotten shorter and shorter. This is due not to the lack of thing to say, but the lack of willingness to sit down and think things out while putting them down. My attention span has shortened to about five minutes for the deepest of thoughts.

I watched a show on hulu last night about a collage class for anthropology. They had a running joke that watching YouTube videos was a good way to study current trends in civilization. In one of the podcasts I heard today, there was a joke about making class times as long as a YouTube video to keep people's attention. This is more true than any one in charge is willing to admit.

My job is not helping. I get torn from one project to another every five minutes. I'll be restaging three machines simultaneously while researching hard drives and laptop batteries online for replacing existing systems. It is just a normal thing.

I'm frighteningly bad at multitasking. I do not even believe that humans are capable of multitasking. They are only able to do one thing at a time. The illusion of multitasking comes from switching from one thing to another. This adds overhead to the process making things worse. Real art and true craftsmanship comes from someone doing one thing at a time. Doing it well. Then doing the next thing. This makes for quality.

I'll never have written anything longer than one of these blog entries without the ability to concentrate on one subject for longer than five or ten minutes. That is just not how writing is done. You write. You fix. You fix some more. You fix some more yet. You start over. Then, you get to go to the next paragraph. It is maddening and a tedious process. Not every one works that way. I'll have to.

Now, how do I fix this defect? Well, I need to exorcise the thinking muscle on long term projects. I have no ability to stick with things over the long haul. I need to fix this too. I may need to stop with the whole Notes crap that I put on this blog. Either expand on those entries or save them in a file somewhere for seed ideas.

How many times a year do I go through this same effort? I must have to kick my self in the pants three times a year. Yee-gads. I'm a mess.

Shawn of the Dead

I re watched Shawn of the Dead last night. I forgot how good that show is. It also reminded me that even British people should learn gun safety.

Spoiler Alert!

When the inevitable zombie apocalypse occurs, be armed with firearms. Killing zombies is more efficient with firearms. Do not get caught in Canada or Europe when the other shoe drops. No one in Shawn of the Dead can soot. They don't understand the concept of keep the ammunition on your person at all times either.


  • Killing loved ones because they turned in to zombies.
  • Killing zombies with guns, vehicles, bits of wood.
  • Traveling to somewhere more safe avoiding zombies.
  • Acquiring a very nice car, because you can in a zombie apocalypse.
  • Survivors using zombies as slave labor.
  • Survivors falling in (back in) love.


  • Killing someone who is not a zombie because, hey, when will you get a better chance?
  • Flamethrowers.
  • Modified zombie guzzling super vehicles.

It just might come to pass that both zombies and robots will rise and attempt to conquer humanity. I want to make the movie where both happen at the same time. Humans basically sit and watch the fun. Then, get back to their daily lives when it is all over. Then the zombiebots get a shot at it.

Shawn of the Dead might be the most accurate portrayal of what a real zombie apocalypse would look like. Some will be in denial. Some will take charge. some will stand there and be eaten. Some will prey. Some will just sit there and dye of thirst. In the end, either the military will come in and take care of things or the zombies will all run out of food and die off. Either way, the survivors get to repopulate the earth. That's what you should look forward to.

Working Parents

A couple of the moms here are work were having a chat in the hall, near the coffee machine this morning. They were reminiscing about kids. They were talking about husbands having different schedules than they have. They both had Husbands change jobs or at least schedules recently.

They spoke of scheduling conflicts. How one of their husbands get off at 15:00. Our work is very kid unfriendly. Not just this place, but the demands made on the employees make our lives extremely difficult when it comes to a family.

"I've asked [the boss] about putting in a kid's room up here." One of the moms said.

No one is going to hold their breaths on that one.

"I thought I would be the stay at home mom." One mom said. This didn't work out. She mentioned having to let that thought go to survive.

I feel for these two women. However, I don't feel that much for them. They made their choices. If they want a more favorable work life, it is out there. They have to get away from this company. This company is not parent friendly. This company is not alone. I've been at a company that was much more parent friendly. The mentality of this company will simply not allow it.


We have computers in the lab of many vintages. We need to diversify because of customer support. They all have one thing in common. Drive failure. There is not one kind of drive that is infallible. They all fall apart after enough use. Some do not need much use. Typically, the third time I have to mess with a drive beyond mount or plugging something in, I replace it. One of the boxes today might have survived the check disk for the third round, but I do not want to deal with that exact same drive again next week or month.

Recently we had a system board (formerly known as a motherboard) loose the two Ethernet connectors. They showed up in the BIOS. They showed up on an lspci. No software could communicate with them. We had to purchase a $10 NIC and plug it in to the board. This doesn't sound like a hassle, but it is a bench system. It is just a system board, drives and power supply screwed to a bit of plywood. The card gets in the way and I fear it will be ripped out when someone trips over the network cable. The system is in a spot where people have to get behind the rack to do things. The potential of someone (me) tripping over the cord is relatively high.

Tripping over the wire is probably how the original Ethernet ports died in my opinion. What is an IT Tasmanian Devil to do?

Example: I was working on one of the machines in the server room. Someone came in and says "The network is down." I get a few more details and figure out that the problem is with the server right below the one I have been working on for two hours. I ping around and verify that it is indeed that server. What to do? Well, I giggled the network cables. Fixed. I am a miracle worker. "That was quick. Good job Kelly."


Texas Renaissance Festival Camping 2010

This is just a taste of Camping at Texas Renaissance Festival 2010.

There are so many clips that I cannot show. There are so many funny things that I cannot video. One of these days I'll make a documentary about camping at TRF with all the extra footage. I need to wait for people to get old and forgetful.

This group calls itself Safe Haven. There is some Yahoo group for the family of folks, but I forget what it is. We come together as much as possible. We share shelter and food. Sounds like a village to me. Yes, people bring their kids out to camping. We do it. People should do it. It is an experience that should be required of all young people to have to deal with adults who have no respect for them.

Field Data
Title TRF Camping 2010
Description This is just a taist of Camping at Texas Renaissance Festival 2010.
Tags Texas Renaissance Festival TRF camping dressing family fun Safe Haven canon 940is
Link Link

Texas Renaisance Festival family fun 2010

One of the most fun things to do at TRF is to wander around and people watch. Even the mundanes are entertaining.

Field Data
Title Texas Renaisance Festival family fun 2010
Description One of the most fun things to do at TRF is to wander around and people watch. Even the mundanes are entertaining.
Tags Texas Renaissance Festival TRF 2010 inside family fun canon 940IS
Link Link

Work Fountain Update

YouTube refuses to process this video fully. It has been long enough.

Field Data
Title Westheimer Fountain progress
Description Just an update on the fountain out front of my work.
Tags Houston Texas fountain Westheimer
Link Link


Enchanted Forest

Wonderful time at Faire this weekend. I left this video very long for the heck of it. It is the full 10 minutes aloud by YouTube. Well, They supposedly allow 15 minute videos now, but I haven't figured it out yet.

This is the Texas Renaissance Festival. The Enchanted Forest walk is free. I should have know better. If you get in the place right after cannon (opening) and run to the the back, you can have the place to yourself for a bit. Maybe next time.

I will have some more videos coming from this weekend's trip. I'm destroyed this evening. This video is basically uncut so the editing consists of shooting the intro and dropping it in place. Then click the render button. I suppose it could have used some editing, but I'm just way too out of it.

Some of the footage I shot was me basically vlogging in the Faire. This is a big step for me. I've done like two shots of me talking to a camera in public with the camera aimed at my face. There is something worth noting about this experience. I feel more comfortable doing it inside Faire than in the realm of the mundanes. This means I do not feel the fourth wall stress as badly while in garb in Faire.

Field Data
Title Enchanted Forest Texas Renaissance Festival.
Description This is the Texas Renaissance Festival. The Enchanted Forest walk is free. I should have know better. If you get in the place right after cannon (opening) and run to the the back, you can have the place to yourself for a bit. Maybe next time.
Tags TRF Texas Renaissance Festival Enchanted Forest Faire fare Houston nature walk Canon 940IS
Link Link



I like the advice of an artist being interviewed on NPR. She said "Don't be afraid ti fail." "Don't be afraid to write a song that sucks." Very good advice. This is a huge problem for people raised to always think they deserve praise for every little thing. These folks are learning the hard way that they were set up for failure. No one cared what happened to them after they graduated.

I need some more fictional and light listening podcasts. Something has to give. The political news is so bad that I just can't take it any more.

I still dislike Phil Collins. He always seemed like the kind of music old people liked. I'm old now and still despise most of his work.

Getting Dark


Just last night I mentioned that it was getting dark earlier every day on Twitter. It is one of those things that you notice all at once even though it took a while to happen. It was dark this morning on the way in to the bus stop. The sun was just coming up as I walked from the bus to work. The clouds were glowing with that purple read of pollution. The air was humid, but not too hot. All the grass is dying. These thing signal the oncoming of winter. Nothing new.

I feel the same darkness coming for our country. The U. S. has been in charge for over a hundred years. I fear that I will live to find myself in this glorious nation during a very dark time. Worse, I fear we as a people of a nation will simply let all the bad people have what they want.

The darkest times are always ahead. We are people, not animals. We are people, not machines. I get the distinct feeling that I am being corralled in my own home and country. There is nowhere to go. There is no good place for refuge. There is no escape. This means we have to make our situation the best we can. We have to find ourselves in a good situation when the situation is found to be bad.

What preparations to make? Who is a good person to have in your corner when things get bad? Why bother? The only plans that I have rely on society existing in a stat that allows me to survive. That is, I need a store down the street to keep it's shelves stocked. I need a bank to exist to allow me to make payments. There is just not enough to go round if these things break down.

Nat and I ran out of money this month. We have nothing left over. We have to put gas and groceries on the credit card for the rest of the month. Everything keeps getting put off to "next month". There is no next month. We will be just as broke then as now, if not even deeper in dept. We grew up in the eighties. No one prepared us for this. We had a choice of collage and jobs. The shit was never supposed to hit the fan.

What I'm trying to say her is that the bad guys win. I am broken. I have failed to keep myself in a state where I can survive the bad times. There is no backup. There is no plan A much less plan B. When bad things happen, we will simply fall like so many millions of masses. It just might kill us. At least I had a chance to make it better. At least I had a chance to be a better person a better survivor a better planner and a better man. Dark times are here. Look around. Funny how it snuck up on us.

On a lighter note, I stopped listening to political podcasts today. I don't know how long this will last. I figure I'll start again after the election. This is an election I have no intention of voting in. My vote means nothing. They are all crooks. The destiny of our planet has been decided long ago. I have lost all faith in all political systems. I have faith in God. I vote for God.


Separation of church and state

There is no separation of church and stat in the U. S. Constitution. The first amendment text is below.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances

Note "respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". This is not a separation of church and state. This says two things.

  • Congress cannot force a religion on you.
  • Short of things like sacrifices, Congress cannot stop you from following your religion.

That is it. The concept of "separation of church and state" is false. People who spout this mantra have an agenda other than protecting the rights of U. S. citizens.

If there is a separation between church and state then zoning laws cannot control where you build a church. The laws governing land ownership do not apply to churches. Those laws apply. You wouldn't want a church coming in to your private property and telling you to get out so they can build there. so,

So, where is this line? Is the line in the same place for all religions? Is it the same for Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Witches, Snake Charmers, Satanists, Jedi, or people who claim to worship badgers? Can I make a religion up on the spot that only has two commandments, free beer and to never pay my taxes again? I bet quite a few people turn up th the meetings.

Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion. People who hate God or have a problem with their birth religion get really touchy when even reminded that there are such things as religion. They think that every little reminder is bound to be offensive to someone and should be removed. This is an anti-religion religion and these people are puritans. I would like to be separated from these people sometimes.

Frigging curbs

Nat gave me a ride in this morning. I had some food to bring for lunches. On the way, Nat pointed out a pickup pulling on to the median for no good reason. The median is overrun by tall grass. It was a personal truck, not a white work truck. This reminded me of all the times I've been in a vehicle that has climbed a curb or median.

Brian Notling and I drove over a median exiting a hole in the wall restaurant on some side street. We would have had to go all the way to the light to turn around. Screw that.

Cynthia W. and I were in her Honda when an ambulance came up behind us. She pulled on to the median to get out of the way. I was very worried about her low little car, but it did just fine.

My father and I were in a Jeep in the Medical Center. I needed to make an appointment either before or after my eye surgery all those years ago. My dad took a left over the median where a left turn lain was for the other way. This happened right in front of a cop. We went on our merry way.

I was riding with Greg in his Ford diesel. I don't remember where we were going. We were on a country highway. There was a wreck and the cop was directing trucks across the median ditch patch the wreck.

I vaguely remember blatantly plowing over a curb in Adam's old Buick. Surely it was more than once. We must have done it in his Acura too. My recall is failing me.

Playing CB tag requires many curb hops. I can't remember the specifics. Going hunting or shooting or just offroading with people makes for dozens more curb hops. These are not as bright in my memory because they were part of larger efforts.


Other left!

Yikes. What gets me are the couple of people standing at the corner who nearly get flattened.

TV as a monitor

When I was a kid, I had a Commodore 64. It plugged straight in to the TV via an RCA cable. The same thing happened with the Atari. My dad complained that the switch the selected the two inputs was causing the picture to blur.

Today and over the last couple of days, I've been trying to get a couple monitors in one of our conference rooms to work on a PC. They are some LCD TVs that advertise they work on computers. They have VGA connectors and HDMI connectors. I have tried both the VGA and the HDMI from a DVI video card. They all work, but some better than others.

One of the TVs has a delay in the motion no matter how I change the settings. It has a PC game mode with a setting that says something like "high speed" that still has a nasty delay between the movement of the mouse and the motion on the screen. The other TV defaults to a PC mode when you plug in a VGA connection, but must be set to PC when using an HDMI connection. This makes me worry about what happens when you loose power. I didn't have time to play with it any more this afternoon.

The top resolution of both monitors is 1920x1080. That is just not good enough for monitors as large as these. They should be 3000x1500 (whatever the magic numbers are) or better. I'm not the first to complain about HDTV causing monitors to top out at a specific number with resolution. You practically have to buy a monitor designed for medical equipment to get a large screen with higher resolution. The stations used by the folks who fly UAV recon and attack aircraft use extremely high resolution monitors.


  • The cartels have people on the border to make sure any one trying to cross border pays them a tax. The cartels are doing a better job of policing the U. S. Mexico border than either country.
  • Governess, police chiefs and U. S. diplomats are being shot in broad daylight.
  • Kidnapping is an industry. It is only a matter of time before this sort of thing starts happening on U. S. streets.
  • The cartels set up check points and look like military. Wen the cartels are looking for someone or something, they go door to door and do not stop until they are satisfied.
  • The press is scared to report anything bad going on. The cartels have their own press secretaries. In some cases, stories are run past the cartels and the press has come right out and said they will comply if the cartels just tell them what they can and cannot pursue.
  • No one wants to go to the police because they are either another branch of the cartels or worse, on their own with no backup.
  • The cartels make blockades where they car-jack people and use the vehicles to block roads to protest arrests.
  • There are heavy weapon shootouts in the middle of the day, downtown in many cases.

Some say that the drug wars going on in the northern part of Mexico are a revolution in disguise. The locals in some cases prefer the courts that have been set up by the cartels over the current government because the verdicts are more fare and more likely to be enforced. 105 tons of marijuana were recently seized on the way to California.

Soon it may be legal to grow you own pot in some states. Most people in Mexico blame the demand for drugs in the United States for the money that pours in and corrupts capitalism in their country. I have a hard time arguing with this. We have outsourced our illegal drug production with frightening results. This has not worked out for anyone. I'm still not convinced making some currently illegal drugs legal will fix anything. It would be nice to have the tax revenue.

No more to conquer

Two thirds of the taxes you pay today go to servicing the national debt. That is, two thirds of the taxes you pay today go only to pay the interest on the national debt. Who is making that money? International banks.

Insurance, The Stock Market, Social Security, they are all Poncey schemes. They all depend on more people coming in than going out. They all depend on income today to pay what is owed yesterday. They all have to grow to survive, even if they get too big. Too big to fail means we need new people. Right now, the entire banking system of the world is in a state where they are being propped up by tax payers, and not their own investments. When people ask me what to invest in I say MREs and ammunition.

The old definition of a depression is four consecutive zero growth quarters. That simply will not do these days. The numbers keep telling us we are not in a depression or even a recession any more. We are all better now. Things are all peaches and cream. That is, unless they are not.

They can only take it all. They can only have everything all at once. Once this is done and past, where will they go for more? What will they do to pass the time when there is not one thing left to pass from another to them?


I don't even feel the walk in any more. Even if I'm not feeling 100%, I still make it to the bus stop without much to do. There have been times I had to stop and sit down on the ground to rest while walking in the heat. I wonder if I'm in better shape or just pacing myself better.

Someone tweeted that they have people in the office who talk four notches above inside voice on their mobile. I have to agree. I fantasize about whistling very loudly to get their attention and screaming at them. Which is self defeating.

headed to California stopped on the road like a traffic ticket. It is a mess.

I'm really thinking about getting the $10 a month version of NetFlix. This lets you stream a bunch of stuff and get one disk at a time in the mail. Not too shabby.


Elvira, still got it

I need to find her show. I love those old horror shows.

Writer's Block

Writer's block is really when you have a story line going and you cannot move forward on that story line. What is it when you just have nothing interesting to say? I hit this point in nearly every blog entry. That is just how it goes. It is a rare occasion when I have to go back and shorten anything because I think it is too wordy. Far more often, I must read and add a line or a paragraph to clarify something. Sometimes I think I put some details in and realize only after a reread I completely missed some important point.

You would think anyone could just sit down at a keyboard and keep pounding the keys until the perfect novel or story or at least blog entry were on the screen blinking back at you. This is not how it is done. There must be writers out there who do this. There are just too many books on the shelves of Half Price Books for this not to have occurred. Most of the interviews I've heard have writers telling the tail of woe about having to have people how love them lock them in an empty windowless room with a laptop and a toilet and feed them through a notch in the door.

This is the sort of motivation that I would need to do any kind of serious writing. Just having time after work to knock something out is not good enough. I would have to be trapped and under the gun to really make magnificence from the dribble that pours from me on a daily basis.

There are reasons for writer's block. Stress, outside influences, distractions, poor diet come to mind. Well, these are excuses anyway. There is no generic root cause in my opinion. The fact is the words and thoughts are not coming. The important thing is to get the words down. Get the words down. Get the words down. Put them on the page. Make sense of things later. Edit, edit, edit, then edit some more. Get the words down. If I had a memory maillot, I would hit every one reading this paragraph with it to help those words sink in.

How important is it to you to have written? Writing is not the goal. Having written is the object. The strategy is to get the words down. The tactics, well, the tactics start with hitting the keys or putting a bit of weight on the pencil while scratching it around the page.

the self same rule goes for making videos or audio. Do it. Then worry about it sucking. Fix it and then worry about others liking it. Trash it later after starting it again. Edit, edit, have a shot of your favorite whiskey and edit some more. When it is still crap, blame everything and every one. Curse the heavens. Then, get started on the third rewrite.


I'm still sore from Faire. At one point during packing up I re-through out my shoulder pushing a huge wooden box in to a trailer. It is the one in the video I called a coffin. It was full of about three hundred pounds os camping type stuff. Still, it is good to be sore for a good reason. It was fun and worth the packing. Yesterday at work I had to crawl around under a bunch of desks and lift a 56 pound monitor. My shoulder spoke to me, but functioned.

I listen to a bunch of politically oriented blogs and podcasts. This really sucks when it comes to election time. They all run the same frigging 5 or 8 stories over and over. Each commentator attempts to out fact the other and get some exclusive. I'm so sick of the same people getting raked over the coals and people complaining about those people getting raked over the coals. There needs to be a limit. Someone talk about something else. What else is there in politics when there is an election on the horizon?

Pseudopod Rocks!

You can slice layers between brain material and as long as blood vessels and some major connections stay in tact, the bit of brain left on the outside will remain alive. This then becomes a living bit of brain matter, thinking on it's own.

One of my coworkers will come out and camp at Faire this weekend. He is all about percussion. He wants to play at drum circle. There is a hierarchy out there so he will have to be careful not to step on toes. He is a better drummer than any one I've heard play out there. I hope his experience is favorable and makes him want to be a regular. I want to reminisce about my first memories of camping at Faire. I'm just too busy and distracted to do so. One of these days.

My shoulder hurts. I have a nerves tick that makes me stretch the tendons in my shoulder. Now, I've thrown it out. God is telling me to motivate myself to stop with the frigging nerves tick. It is unnecessary. It only does harm. I can do this. I can stop the tick.

We have a sort of shed or closet in th back we call The Cubby. It is just sort of a useless room where stuff gets dumped. I used to set up computers in there, but I have an office with room now. I was quite worried that a bunch of the computer bits would start to vanish after I was not frequenting the place so often. It is true that some bits have grown legs, but the freaky thing is that more stuff is turning up. There are monitors that were not there before. There are cables galore left lying on the Table and unsorted on the shelf. I turned around today and a couple Dell face plates were lying there that didn't fit any of the computers I put together. It is like a black hole of computer equipment back there. I'm not complaining.

Nothing else to say today. Shame. I'm so interesting too. =]



Friday evening, I don't remember Friday evening. I vaguely Remember existing last week at all. There must have been something going on.

Nat came home from Faire long enough to take Elle to a kids party. A friend' of ours has two little girls. Their birthdays fall close together. They like making them Halloween themed parties. This worked out well.

Nat and I drove up to a dozen kids, half a dozen adults and half a dozen teens all doing their own stuff. The adults were cooking and preparing. The teens were decorating. I shot video. Oh, and ate. They had corn dogs, one of my weaknesses.

Much of the video was crap. People said things I didn't want out.


Today, we got a spoof mail from someone trying to either get a government web page's information or cause the web page to go down. This is a common business to government web page. One of our people in the know tried to sign in to the real page and found it was being slammed by people trying to check their information.

The email was a cut and paste from the email that normally comes from the web page. The words that were changed, were misspelled. This is an indication that the mail you are looking at is not from a practicing company. This is also why it makes it through the mail scanning software. If you have an exact copy of the email from the wrong place, it will get caught and flagged. If you misspell just enough, it may very well not get nabbed by the filters.

The whole idea of SPAM mail pisses me off. SPAM everything pisses me off. Forums, Twitter, Facebook, they all suffer the same issue. Someone is trying to sell you something or trick you out of information. They do this for their own monetary gain. It is ugly. There are bad people out there trying to get you.

How to stop it? Diligence, persistence, Doing your homework. These, unfortunately, are the same things that make the spammers successful. For every trick the good guys come up with to limit spam and scam emails, the bad guys will counter in same. There is not nearly as much money in stopping them as there is in doing it on an individual level.

Computes get better every day of catching this stuff and figuring out how to stop it. Computers get better every day at figuring out how to get round the filters. People are less and less willing to sit down and hammer through the mountains of data.


Faire vid

Texas Renaissance Festival 2010 second weekend Sunday 2010-10-16. Good times had by those with a talent for it. Drama abounds, but not in my vids dammit.

Showing a little bit of the camping experience. Good food if you are willing to bring and cook it. Good times if you can get past the drama of people being people. Fire breathing and impromptu entertainment by talented people.

Not sure what happened to the music. You cannot her it with my camera. It was plenty lowed.

Met some awesome new people. Ran in to old friends. Talked, videoed, and hung out. packed up camp. Walked around the camp ground in the dark like I always do. The video is useless. I would need some kind of night vision to catch it and that would ruin the experience. You have to be there to catch the moon light and the under canopy night lighting.

Field Data
Title TRF Camping 2010, second weekend
Description Texas Renaissance Festival 2010 second weekend Sunday 2010-10-16. Good times had by those with a talent for it. Drama abounds, but not in my vids dammit.
Tags TRF Texas Renaissance Festival camp ground camping 2010 Canon 940 Texas
Link Link

Kid party

Nat, Elle and I made a party for a friend's little girls. This is a combination birthday and Halloween party. The girls are cool with it so it all works out. This video is all about the kids having a good time. This is an awesome family. I'm so glad to have taken part.

I hope everyone likes the video. Enjoy.

Field Data
Title Kits birthday party
Description Nat, Elle and I made a party for a friend's little girls. This is a combination birthday and Halloween party. The girls are cool with it so it all works out. This video is all about the kids having a good time. This is an awesome family. I'm so glad to have hard part. I hope everyone likes the video. Enjoy.
Tags Texas Pumpkin carving contest fun kids birthday party Halloween Canon 940
Link Link


Researches say the darnedest things

Meta-Research Debunks Medical Study Findings
"From The Atlantic comes the story of John Ioannidis and his team of meta-researchers, who have studied the overall state of medical research and found it dangerously and widely lacking in trustworthiness. Even after filtering out the journalistic frippery and hyperbole, the story is pretty disturbing. Some points made in the article: even the most respected, widely accepted, peer-reviewed medical studies are all-too-often deeply flawed or outright wrong; when an error is brought to light and the conclusions publicly refuted, the erroneous conclusions often persist and are cited as valid for years, or even decades; scientists and researchers themselves regard peer review as providing 'only a minimal assurance of quality'; and these shortcomings apply to medical research across the board, not just to blatantly self-serving pharmaceutical industry studies. The article concludes by saying, 'Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor ... I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life.' I've always been somewhat suspicious of research findings, but before this article I had no idea just how prevalent untrustworthy results were."

Do not trust what people say. Whether it is on the internet or in print, trust your gut. Just because there is a number next to it doesn't make it right. There are three kinds of deceptions used on mass numbers of people. These are 1) Lies 2) Dammed Lies and 3) statistics.

Surveys can be skewed by question language.

Research results can be skewed by estimates within the research.

There are a million ways to play with the numbers. People play with the numbers. There is so little money in research and so many research projects that go nowhere that the value of the played with numbers goes up greatly.

Just cramming numbers in the middle of sentences makes some people more likely to believe the premise of the statement. It matters how often, loudly and the amount of conviction in your voice. This lesson was learned by Hitler. He used the idea of ramming information down people's throats repeatedly and saying it like you mean it to bring the world to war. Lying works when done properly.

Clip Vid

Shot some very random quick clips today before, at and after work. Just trying to get something up for people to ignore. Hopefully, I'll have something good to up up after this weekend. There is some kind of kids's party this Saturday. Maybe I'll get a party trick or a game or something. It should be fun.

I'm inflicting this upon the world for one reason and one reason only. Everything goes on the blog.

Field Data
Title Something to ignore
Description Shot some random clips before, after and after work today. Just something for people to ignore.
Tags work clips ignore canon 940IS Houston Texas
Link Link

Just for shits and giggles. Here is the pile of files that went in to makeing this video.

total 1.4G
drwx------ 2 kelly kelly 4.0K 2010-10-15 23:46 ./
drwxr-xr-x 3 kelly kelly 4.0K 2010-10-16 00:05 ../
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  20M 2010-10-13 19:28
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  78M 2010-10-13 19:30
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  18M 2010-10-15 23:19
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly 177M 2010-10-15 07:45
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly 9.2M 2010-10-15 08:30
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  17M 2010-10-15 23:19
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  15M 2010-10-15 23:19
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  15M 2010-10-15 11:04
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly 638M 2010-10-15 12:12
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  53M 2010-10-15 12:20
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly 140M 2010-10-15 12:24
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly 8.9M 2010-10-15 23:35
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  24M 2010-10-15 12:35
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  36M 2010-10-15 15:53
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  19M 2010-10-15 18:14
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  25M 2010-10-15 18:15
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  14M 2010-10-15 18:15
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  35M 2010-10-15 23:35
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  16M 2010-10-15 19:16
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  50K 2010-10-16 00:08 2010-10-15_day.kdenlive
-rw-r--r-- 1 kelly kelly  42M 2010-10-15 23:53 2010-10-15_day_youtube.mp4


Computer stuff today

HTML editing

I completely give up on WYSIWYG HTML editors. The only one that doesn't suck is Dreamweaver. I cannot afford it so back to using a text editor. I do not even like the text HTML editors on Linux. Blowfish does not offer suggestions. At best, it tries to make the closing tag when you type an opening tag. This is more annoying than useful. At this point I just want a programming text editor.

At work, I jot down some notes and finish them up at home in the evening. I have to remember to mail the HTML to myself at home. Tables have given me trouble with hand written HTML in the past, but it is better than's web editor which refuses to make any text without it being wrapped in paragraph tags. This can through tables in to disarray. Paragraphs go haywire. You change one thing and everything else may be affected.

Yesterday I used OpenOffice web editor and things went OK. The HTML editor drops bits like the end embed tag from a YouTube video. The funny thing is if you copy and past the WYSIWYG part and avoid HTML completely, the YouTube videos work. Not sure if Blogger is fixing this for me or if the Editor leaves the end embed tag in place if you avoid the HTML view part.

Now, I'm just typing in the text and adding in the tags in a text editor. It doesn't even matter which one I use. There a wars fought and lost over which text editor to use on Linux. There is something empowering about just typing in the code as you go. It takes longer. It may not be as fancy as the auto formatted stuff. It works for the most part. Anything you use over and over, you can make a template. When I talk to people who do web editing daily, they all and I mean all edit the HTML at least some of the time. All the WYSIWYG seem to modify the code. They capitalize tags or un-capitalize tags. They drop things on the floor. They loose all the tabulation. They swap one kind of tag for another. These changes are usually in the name of some some standard or another.

HTML all the way! Of course, next week I'll change my mind again. Stay tuned.

Laptop utilities

It took a laptop three hours to run a drive check at work today. I had to leave it running over night. Because I have to lock it up, I had to walk it to the lock closet on battery. It was only at 53% when I left.

At my old employer, we only had laptops. There were precious few desktop kinds of computers around. You had to have an exemption kind of reason to get one. I had two laptops assigned to me. This is because I had to constantly restage one of them for software install setup. The other was my normal workstation. When it rained, it poured. It seemed like I had weeks go by where I had no install work to do and then I would get five all at once. It never failed.

Semantic Ghost

Used the real Ghost CD today. First time in years. Iv'e been using G4L Ghost for Linux for several years now. I had a situation where I needed a feature that G4L does not support as far as I can tell. I needed to burn some computer images to DVD instead of a drive or network. This is a pretty slick thing to do when it comes to people leaving the company.

You have to install the software on a Windows box. Then you have to create a boot disk using that software. They give you all kinds of choices. You can even add an image right on the boot disk if you are in to that sort of thing. It has been such a nightmare getting the boot disks part of things to work in the past. It is really nice having a company just make a utility that gives you the GUI. It is about time.

I need to start using this software more often. It is pretty cool. The open source rip off of this software is pretty darn cool too.

USB drive cables

The company ordered a couple of those USB to SATA/IDE/Laptop_IDE cables that I raved about a while back. The one I had purchased is going back home with me. People were fighting over it. These things are $14 well spent for an IT person.

They let you burned DVDs, mount drives, copy large stuff all over the place even faster than the network will let you. They are slow, and a bit awkward to use. Many machines will not use the devices plugged in to one of these cables for a boot device. Tons of issues. They are still worth the $15 or so online.

Someone asked me what kind of USB drives to get. I recommended these cables. This way, you can use all kinds of drives to move stuff around and you are not locked in to one drive type or size. They work with legacy equipment too. Flexible is good in IT.


The walk in this morning was beautiful. Some day soon it will get cold. Then it will kind of suck. The best walking morning is that day where you are just a bit chilly, but not cold. You will warm up as you walk of course, just a smidgen of breeze, clear sky, sun coming up. The grass crunched from dryness as I walked. The cars didn't run me over. It was nice.

Wow! Mark Levin with a toothache is like seeing the devil walking toward you with a clipboard in his hand and a smile passing his lips. It is something to behold. The audience should pass the hat.

At lunch today, I ran over to Randal's for more bread, lunch meat and relish. I like dill relish on sandwiches. I like both on hot dogs. Well, I like one or the other about the same on hot dogs. There are five or eight sweet relish choices for every one dill relish on the shelves at Randal's.

The thought of universal health care that really works scares me. If it did work. If somehow, we were able to make it work, that would be heaven. Well, it would be heaven to a lot of people. It would be Utopia. Once people have achieved this thing, they would sacrifice nearly everything else to keep it. I suppose this is the idea behind pushing it.

The divorce rate has been on the decline since 1979. Marriage rates have been falling at a steady rate. it is not a higher number recently than ever before. People are living longer and just don't need to get married like we used to.


Let The Right One In


This is one of the most amazing films I've seen in years.


This is a story about a twelve year old young man who is a reject in society. He is the victim of stronger people. He is a follower. He is a loaner. He wants to kill people for revenge. He is a latchkey kid. He has time on his hands.

The girl is a vampire. She must kill to survive. She has all the typical strengths and weaknesses of vampires. She has one extra attribute. She is a very old twelve year old girl.

She also has a man who is with her. He kills for her and drains blood into a bucket for her. He disposes of bodies. He signs the checks. He rents the apartments. He makes the daytime arrangements. He loves the girl with everything about him. He cannot think of betrayal. He is a victim of her power. She needs him. Her life would be hell trying to maker her way without an adult walking around in the daylight taking care of the day to day overhead of life.

This show is so very sad and triumphant. If you sympathies with the boy, he both wins and looses. He is happy and yet sad. He has a rough life. He has no one on his side. He needs a savior. He needs a leader.

The man is a servant. He is loyal. He is getting old.

The girl is a predator. She plays the victim to lure men to their deaths. She kills ans plays a bit with her prey. She revels in the mess of it. She doesn't notice the smell.

When the man begins to fail, when the man just gets old, she finds the boy and prepares to replace the man. The man knows he is to be replaces. He loves the girl so much that he stays loyal. He can do nothing else.

She lures the boy. She reals him in. She devours the old man when he is caught. She does it with little passion or loss. She gets the boy to help her lure a victim to his death. He watches her kill the victim and when she comes to him after, with the victim's blood on her lips, she kisses him and seals his fate. He was falling in love with her. Now, they are intertwined. Their destinies aligned.

He will make a magnificent familiar.

This movie is brilliant not because it is about vampires or teen angst. This show is all about the relationship and sexual tension between these two twelve year old characters.

I wanted to believe that she loved him too. I wanted to believe that the smile on his face was more than her blood tugging his strings.

Country related nicknames

Simple, but kind of works.
Kenneca, Kennamin, Kenafornia
I'm at a loss.
Lance had a better one. I can't remember it.
I don't like this one.
Roll the tung on the 'r' with a bad Slavic Accent.
My best work yet.
The Cynical Surely Republic of Kelly
The CSRK for Short. Doesn't roll off the tung.

Just having fun. Any more out there?


Warning! Opinions contained within. You have the opportunity to stop now.

The president

"There is no such thing as shovel ready projects." How many times did you use that term to sell your agenda? Are you a lyre? Are you an idiot? Are you naive? Are you a stuffed suite? Are you qualified to run a country?

The word “bipartisan” is a fancy way of saying “Shut up and think what I want you to think.” “Stop questioning what I want.” “Every one else agrees with what I'm saying.”


Ceasing private pensions, the scam goes like this. Run the world economy in to the ground. Inflate amount of money in the world. Deflate the value of currency throughout the world because countries have no choice if they want to compete. The true value of everything is not money, it is labor. Pensions have invested in failed banks. Investments like gold and homes and even education are devalued by over production and quick failure. Where is your pension?

You know you have been screwed when they start making statements like “Think how much worse it could have been if ...”


"November is coming." This is a conservative mantra for the moment. I just don't think it is going to be the landslide. I also don't think the Republicans will make much difference. I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Someone went over the list of contested seats in both houses. It just doesn't sound like a tsunami. It sounds like a bigger than normal mid term swing.

Linda McMahon has spent $20,000,000 of her own money to campaign in Connecticut and is loosing in the polls. She is not the only one having trouble with a constituency that has loved them for a long time.

The Tea Party

Spontaneous grass roots movement. It is headless. It is made of people. It is only as organized as it needs to be. The money is all over the place. The people are paying for it themselves. It is conservative. It is hard work. It is difficult. It is difficult to define. It is peaceful. It is lawful.

Joe the plumber. Jane the pilot. Me. We are not a rebellion. We are the people of the United States and we are fed up with what is going on in our government. This country is run by the people, for the people. This is how it is done.

Mailbox Size

I hate being the mailbox Nazi at work. Every couple days I send out a mail telling people to shrink their email box. Some people are very upset that they have tried to shrink their mailbox and it just keeps growing. I have to attempt to explain that it is an ongoing strategy to keep the mailbox under control.

The strategy is to keep your mail under control. Some tactics are below.

  • Personal Folders

    • Make personal folders

    • Create rules to move mail from your mailbox to the personal folders automatically

    • Get in the habit of moving things to the personal folders

  • Know what to delete and when it is gone

    • Empty your trash

    • Figure out where your backup trash folders are and empty those

  • Learn how to check your mailbox size

  • Get important information out of email

    • Rely more on the archive server.

    • Don't rely on searching your inbox for important information. Keep it elsewhere..

There are probably a dozen more bullets I'm not remembering here.

Microsoft Exchange Server is a nightmare to support. Email was one of the first killer apps of the Internet and thus, it was the learning experience for the first generation of software engineers. The concept of email is flawed. It is too easy on the user to send an email. It is too cheap. If they had charged for email from day one, the current internet would look much different that it does today. Email is a vast pile of one way of communicating that has been comity-directed to death. It has suffered scope creep. It has been taken advantage of and turned in to a place where people fear to tread.

The licensing for Exchange server is ridiculous on top of everything else. It is more expensive to give people more space on your own server on your own hard drive. This is insane. There are other options for an email server besides MS Exchange. The only trouble is that they are not MS Exchange. Many of the utilities and fancy email related crap is designed to only work with MS Exchange and Outlook. Who's fault is this?

I even put together some docs on this subject and sent them around. Yes, I'm aware of the irony of sending an email with attachments complaining about mailbox size. I don't have any choice. This is just how work is done. We depend greatly on our email to do every day business. I understand how difficult it is for people to track their email size and worry about it when there is so much else going on.

You don't even need to use your inbox. You can set up rules to move all of your mail straight off the server to a local folder. If anything happens, your mail is backed up on an archive server. The archive server is a pain to use, but it works. you can search the archive. you can search local folders. Make local backups. Move the important stuff out of email. What makes you think your email is more safe than you hard drive anyway?

One thing I cannot provide for people is a web folder in which to hold information. People tell me they have really important information they need access to outside of work. This is perfectly valid. These things happen and need to be dealt with. Maybe your email is just not the proper tool for the job. Maybe we need to invest in something.

What do other people use. Well, it seems like every other small company is using online email. I spoke with a friend who works for a company with about twenty people. They use some service online that is similar to GMail. They pay per person and per amount of space used. They have extra accounts for special needs and distribution lists. That sounds to me like a plan. I bet they spend less per year than the cost of an MS Exchange server. The trouble is, that stuff and services that only work with MS Exchange do not work with their service either.

I believe GoDaddy offers some kind of email server package. I may look in to the cost of this. One would have to have internet access to get to that sort of thing which is not always an option. There are a million options out there that won't work the same as our current setup. That doesn't make them bad or wrong.


One of the bad things about riding the bus is the smell. There is not one smell. There are many. The other day, there was a guy who stunk of cigarettes so bad it curled thee hairs in your nose. Some days it is kids who have messed themselves. People have any number of smells on hot days. This morning it was a woman waring some kind of perfume that reeked of vanilla and formaldehyde. It made me dizzy.

It seems like half the folks in our company have a KVM. In many cases, me included, if you have a Windows computer reboot while not aimed at the monitor on the KVM, the default resolution will through the monitor out of sync when you try to switch to that computer. This means you get a blank monitor. There is nothing wrong except a temporary incompatibility between the settings on the computer (video) and the capabilities of the monitor to auto-sync to those settings. Is there a $20 KVM out there that will fix this problem and use DVI and USB? No. There is not.

Did you know the new Microsoft phone OS is out? I missed it too. Yawn.

It needs to be as much or more work to make a living by not working than just working.

For some reason, I'm trying to use OpenOffice web editor again for writing the text for this blog. I keep coming back to OpenOffice. Not sure why. The editor is at best mediocre. Embedded objects don't work. The formatting of paragraphs translates funny. There are all kinds of issues. I have noticed though, that I type in much more text when I use a WYSIWYG editor. I'll just have to keep playing with it. All the other editors on Linux seem to suck worse. I think what did it this time was wanting to put together a table with some simple formatting.

Today was the last day for one of the guys at work. He was one of the people I liked and respected. No offense to any one who has left who I didn't say that about, but here it is. He had an official lunch yesterday. I missed this because the email made it to me as gibberish. He had another unofficial lunch today at a restaurant I like. I missed it because they left ten minutes before lunch time.



I listen to Alix Jones and NPR. NPR is easier to ignore while listing to their propaganda than Alix Jones. This is quite a spectrum. I want to listen to opinions I agree with and disagree with. Both sides of the spectrum have both elements.

Messing with notebooks today. People return them after using them around the country. They are in all kinds of shape. Some people just send them back as is. Some clean them off before sending them back. Some activate passwords in the BIOS. There is just no real protocol.

Spent a good deal of today buying cables.

Nat got me some powdered sugar donuts from the Mrs. Bards store. She got me two bags. I've eaten enough to choke a horse. I gave away most of the donuts today. I walked around from office to office on the north side and handed them out. That still didn't kill the bag. I left the rest in the lunch room. They finally disappeared. Still have a couple at the house to finish.

Strategy vs Tactic

Tactics are how you achieve strategies. That statement is not always true. Strategies are not plans. Strategies are not really goals either. Strategies are a way of looking at things. Strategies are a kind of filter or a focus that allow you to use resources, plans, goals and tactics to change things to be what you want them to be.

Budget cuts and taxes are tactics. A balanced budget is a goal. The thing with dates and time lines is a plan. How to govern is the strategy.

Working for a living is a tactic. Planning your life for your success is a strategy.

Dieting is a tactic. Eating healthy food is a tactic. Exorcise is a tactic. Living longer and staying healthy longer in your life is a goal. Changing your life to be a healthier person is a strategy.

Suicide attacks are a symptom of people feeling they have no way out.

The next time someone asks you to do something you do not want to do, tell them that this tactic does not fit your current strategy for achieving your end goal. When they ask you what your end goal is, tell them it is none of their business.

Ubuntu 10.10 second look

Some good some bad.


The slightly newer version of KDENLive available on Ubuntu 10.10 now supports the audio codec that my Canon uses. This means, I can just drag a file off my camera on to the hard drive, then straight in to the KDENLive software that I use for editing. I can skip the step of converting the audio track to MP3 that I've had to do since I got the camera. I forgot how nice it is to do this. The Flip worked, but I carry the Cannon 940.

H264 works! Well, sort of. It is not grayed out. It rips the video just fine. The sound comes out like a robot voice. I'm sure this is a setting or value out of place somewhere. This could probably be fixed with a tweak in a config file somewhere. Ubuntu is notorious for not fixing anything until the next major release which, injects a ton of little shit.


GPodder is broken. It has all my paths. It downloads the podcasts. It does not find any devices. Not only does it not find any devices, but the screen under properties where the settings are supposed, there is a link that say something like "Go here and bitch until they fix it." Classy.

I can still go manually copy the downloaded files from the storage folder to the device. The device is a USB thumb drive that I mule back and forth to work where I listen to the podcasts.

Mouse Pointer

The mouse pointer size works on my desktop, but my server, which I connect to via VNC, it does not. Not sure what all that is about. The video card may actually have something to do with it.


Eh. Shit happens. I'm so happy the video editing is working better that I'm calling it a win. Baby steps.


Family fun

Came home and opened a locked desk and did a cartwheel. Yay us.

I was highly tempted to edit out the grunt while doing the cartwheel. You viewers are highly lucky I'm so lazy.

Title: Fixing a desk and cartwheel

Description: Just getting home and performing a honey-do for the Mrs. Then did a cartwheel for the hell of it. Pretty good.

Tags: cartwheel Houston Harris county Texas family fun fixing desk


Tennis Elbow

The day is short.
Life is short.
I rush and rush.
The world is going to be here without me.

Is there anything worth having that must not be taken?
Is everything in the world a commodity?
Are all things worth fighting for?
Is anything?

Some days I wish there were less of me.
Most days I wish there were more.
I am what I am and I ain't no more.
The great philosopher Popeye said.

Have you ever longed for quiet?
Is there such a thing?
I've longed for peace on my journey through life.
One day I'll get it.


This morning was a rough walk in. Nothing bad happened. I'm not feeling well. I was sweating the wrong kind of swat. The day was not hot or sunny, yet I had the fever sweats and that shaky feeling one gets.

The phone, the phone, the phone is just ringing. We don't need to answer, let the motherfucker ring! The word 'motherfucker' was in my spell checker. =\

I got on the elevator this morning and met my doppelgänger. He was bald, about my age, about an inch taller, had a bit of a stomach, was waring tan shoes, was waring a horizontal striped white shirt with a dark collier. His pants were slacks, mine are jeans.

Burning a DVD ISO larger than 4.4G in Windows. This example is burning a Windows 7 beta. The method should be sound for other DVDs.


Rack fail

Someone said this was a service fail. No, I would say it is a lift or rack fail. I've had friends of mine who are mechanics say those things are highly reliable, if you do the maintenance. No one does the maintenance. It doesn't look like any one got hurt thank God.

Looping violinist

Awesome stuff.


The walk in this morning was unmemorable. It is supposed to rain today. The grass is getting high enough to call the Highway Department again. The median is all but impossible to see over when trying to turn left. One more thing on the list.

I'm learning how ISP calculate bandwidth. It is really chick-shit, but I can't think of a better way of doing it.

nslookup is command to tell you what computer an IP address belongs to. It does not guarantee that the computer using the IP really belongs to that IP. There is spoofing, old reservations, the DNS server is out of date, the DHCP system is just plane wrong. any number of reasons that a computer will claim the wrong IP.

got some more bread and lunch meat for the lunches this week. I'm going to run out of relish before the end of the week. Need a better place to shop besides Randal's.

41.8 million people on food stamps in U. S., a record. Twenty straight months of record food stamps numbers.

Spent a good portion of my day setting up computers and running Windows update on several machines.


Ubuntu 10.10 first impressions

It is the same.

>$ cat /etc/lsb-release

The mouse thing I had troubles with in the past seems to be fixed. This should have been done months ago in the old version.

Looks like there has been an update to the Kdenlive version. It also looks like the H264 rip has been un-grayed. Can't wait to give that a shot.

Toyota videos

Cool stuff. I just like 4runners.