Only slightly used.
It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.
Target Focus is a good and a bad thing. Target Focus is when you
concentrate on a target and shooting that target with great intensity.
This is good because you tend to hit the target more often. This is bad
because you tend to ignore things that seem obvious otherwise. Target
focus is what Cheney blamed when he shot his friend while
had a friend once follow a deer through is scope and when he fired, he
was hit with a bunch of splinters. It turns out he could see the deer,
but the barrel of the gun was blocked by part of the blind he was
People in weapon training learn to control their target focus. That
is why we train. Recently, a highly trained counter terrorists military
troop accidentally used live ammo on a training exhibition and injured
sixteen people. The man was arrested, but it looks like it was a
mistake, not an intended attack.
I just watched an episode of 'The Unit' where one of the members
grazed another because of target focus. It turned out the grazed member
of the team was also out of position, so it was really both their
faults. That's the reason we train.
I've noticed myself having the same trouble. I focus on one goal so
much that I miss another goal. I have to force myself to stop and look
at the larger picture. This reminds me of another training and
experience issue called the two hundredth hour. That is where you know
enough, and get cocky enough to get yourself in trouble. This is a
rookie mistake made by a seasoned professional. This is why doctors in
the U. S. will have to go through a verbal check list before, during
and after surgeries from now on.
I've also noticed work projects exhibiting target focus in a bad way. Then there is focusing on scope creep more than the original target. And loss of focus all together. All of these things add up to common loss of guidance. It happens on the best of project. It happens to the best of leadership. Well, maybe it doesn't. =]
This ain't shit. Worst case my ass. He had a support the troupes sticker on the back of that van. That's why he got the hit he got.
Now, this asshole deserves to be thrown under the buss.
The difference is A) country. B) Money. The guy in the first video is a working stiff. The guy in the second video is obviously some rich kid with more money than sense.
Every Wednesday and Saturday night I have a raceway just outside my front door. Westheimer is sometimes blocked off by racers who then tare ass up and down the track with impunity. I've called the police. I've filmed people blowing by at over a hundred miles an hour. I want to know how much money it took to have an officer follow the guy in the first video and I want that same amount of money spent every week on nailing a different racer until they are all simply priced out of racing up and down the public road next to may home.
Then There is this. What did they do?
What is the difference between humans and animals? It seems to
important to we humans to separate ourselves from animals. We must
prove we are superior to that which we eat or subjugate to our will.
Is it the use of tools? No, It has been proven that some animals use
what can only be described as tools to do things. Some monkeys use
sticks to get at fruit. Birds use rocks to break shells of
invertebrates. Some fish do the same.
Is it collective creativity? No. Ant hills, bee hives, herds, packs,
schools, all collective cooperation for a common goal. Our societies
are more chaotic and crime ridden than any of these groups.
Is it transportation? No. No animals build their own transportation
as far as I know, but they will use what is available and hitch rides
with each other. That is how humans got started with transportation.
Is it the thumb? No, What is to stop a dog from saying a tail makes
him a superior being when they get around to talking? Just because we
can grasp things and rotate them with greater ease than some other
animals, doesn't make us a higher life form. If this is the case,
elephants have us beat.
Is it religion? I hope not. Some would say religion should bring
humans down a notch from the animals. Who is to say our pets don't
warship us or each other. Or that very special tree, or all things that
Is it murder? No. Animals will kill their own kind. I've even heard
of a psychotic female monkey killing other pregnant females for no
Is it laughter or sadness or morning or glee or any reaction to any
emotion? No. It could be said that animals have responses to most or
all of the same range of emotions as humans. Maybe even some that we do
Is it because we ponder the very question? This is possibly
closest one yet. I still say no because how do I know what thoughts or
passions pass a creature's mind while slipping through cold dark quiet
waters between meals and mating. Until we can discuss the
with another animal, I have to say this one misses the target as well.
This is really a cop-out answer. Someone who is well versed in
acting and animal psychology should play the part of animals and argue
the point for them. I would like to witness this debate. Humans vs
animals, which is superior? Which deserves 95% of the world's resources?
Humans are not superior to so called lower animals. We are simply
tuned higher in many attributes. We are smarter. We are more capable of
adaptation. That is we adapt our environment to fit us in stead of the
other way round. We communicate in a complex manor. Yadda yadda.
Why are we obsessed with calling ourselves higher than other things and each other? Is life more important to the universe than a rock? I doubt it.
Americans are apparently loud and annoying when they vacation in
Europe. I listen to the BBC a bit and that is the gist of the comments
about Americans over there. I bet I know why this is so.
Based on my experience, Americans get about ten days of vacation a
year. Even then, that is only after the first year you work somewhere.
Think about all the other obligations that eat up a day of vacation. I
had to go deal with Metro (the bus system) recently and that ate one of
my ten days of vacation. That leaves me with nine. I took another at
some point for some reason I cant even remember. It was some reason
other than having fun or relaxation. That leaves me with eight. I only
get five days of sick leave that is all gone because I have allergies
that lead to bronchitis and intestinal problems and I get migraines
from all the stress. That will easily eat three more days of vacation
leaving me with five days.
I will probably spend the five days during Faire season taking
Friday's off to help put up tents and set up camp and frigging relax at
camp. This means I will not get a full week off at any point in the
year. I am very blessed because I work for a company that is
intelligent enough to shut down for the most part between Christmas day
an New Year's Day. I'll get that time off if I play my cards
Most Americans I know have no opportunity like this.
Not every one has something they enjoy like Faire so they save up
money over a course of several years, working fifty hour weeks, for an
over stressed boss who gets off making their lives miserable because he
cannot afford to take time off, putting up with over stressed customers
who have not had a vacation in years, putting up with their stressed
under achieving kids who seem think they are going to live with their
parents until they are forty, to finally get to take a full week off
from their job. Now they have not had time to plan properly because the
boss and coworkers have not kept their shit together long enough to
plan for the disappearance of one person for five lousy days. So, when
they get to the place where they are going to frigging relax, every
little detail that doesn't just fall in to place is going to make them
wonder why they bothered taking a vacation. Why didn't they just stay
at work and not risk letting the boss know how much better things run
without their presents.
<pant> <pant> <pant>
That is why Americans are loud and obnoxious on vacations. We do not
have time to relax. Relaxation is for those lucky enough to be in a
coma. So, Europeans, the next time you have to deal with an American
tourist who gets all bent out of shape because some little detail
didn't fall in to place, go ahead and give them the dirty look and talk
about them with a sneering tone in a language you know they don't
understand because they should be spending those tourist dollars closer
to home and letting Europe slip into an immigrant dependent nanny-state
where so many of the people who should be working to make things
better have already been lucky enough to slip in to that comma the
Someone hit the the light pole and fire hydrant across the street
my house. It looks like a truck backed in to both of them separately.
I'm not sure I would have noticed it when I walked out this morning or
not. Nat told me about it on the ride home.
This neighborhood is pretty hoopty as it is. This is all we need.
Our grass is not mowed. There is a brand new fireworks stand at the end
of the block. Now this. I blame the housing bubble for the quicksand
that is my home's value. I should take the rest of the neighborhood in
What I came home to.
Close up of some damage. Clearly someone was backing a large vehicle
up the drive way behind the fish market ans smacked the fire hydrant
and street light. Note the lack of tire tracks. This makes me think it
was a large truck backing up with a long over hang behind the rear
I hope that hydrant still works. It would have been both tragic and
funny to have come home to a geyser.
Past Damage. This leaning blocking concrete filled pipe was bent
long ago. Goes to show the history of this shopping center.
Still Works. Kinda.
I'm impressed. I like the comments on this one.
I'm waiting for the next video in this series. It's called "Extreme
Sightseeing Helicopter Crash"
let me guess, the pilot's name was
Ernesto, and now Brazil has the "Ernesto law" that prevents assholes
from flying their sh!t between buildings and through car tunnels. Yeah,
Elle of course had to go to bed this evening. She tried to get angry about the whole thing. We made her move some cloths from her bed so she could sleep. She stomped from one room to the next while I just stood there watching. She gave me a dirty look and was only scolded when she talked back. I knew she was tired and I knew the best way to teach her a lesson is to not give her the satisfaction of raising my temperature and that her actions would not get her what she wanted. Nothing changed because of her antics. Nothing was gained or lost. The cloths got moved. She went to bed. We tucked her in and vows were exchanged not to let the bed bugs bite. Off we all go on the path of sweet dreams.
Sometimes the best reaction is none. Sometimes that is the lesson for both parent and child.
I heard that Amy
Winehouse has early
signs of emphysema. Isn't she in her
twenties? Someone said she is a chain smoker. I've heard five or
packs a day. Is that possible? How many cigarettes can a human smoke a
day without dying of nicotine poising?
I stopped and listened to some of her music last night. I thought it
was beautiful, sad music before I heard this news. Now I add tragic to
What is the deal with brilliant stars burning bright and dying
young? Who is a star who was bright when they were young, aged well and
is still going strong at an older age, or was still going strong when
they died at an older age? Is it just the drugs? Is it the hounding by
fans? Is it fame? It is not money. It is not money. There are many
people with money who are not self destructive. There are broke people
who are destructive. Do these people think they are supposed to live
fast and die young?
Her work is great. She has a blues sound in some over her work. Some
of her songs have a pop sound. Others have a rock beat of some kind.
She is skilled. She is also a twenty something burn out who smokes
crack and a carton os cigarettes a day. Don't sign any ten year
My dad sent me the picture above in an email. Me being the snoop I
am, I found it
on YouTube. They have embedding turned off, bastards. I hate it when
they do that. What are they thinking? Do people think they are loosing
something by letting people put products they are fighting so
hard to advertise on their blogs? It frigging pisses me off.
Nice idea. Shitty video. I'm looking for bike videos and they have a
bunch of Dennie's waitresses in tight tops riding the bike around a
parking lot. I'm disappointed.
This is too funny. This is from a TV show, but I don't know which one.
I will never have this kind of free time again. Someone took a portion of their life and made a Simpsons map for Quake III. That has got to be fun. I wish I knew. I've never played Quake III.
It isn't just the house either. They did most of the town. I didn't see the nuclear plant, but I bet it is there. They had Moe's. The skins for the characters were Simpson's characters. I mean for fuck sake. This is cool. It is like a whole new game.
That's it. I'm officially dead. I'm keeping dinner warm for the worms.
This is a hacky-sack that you set on fire. It has bad idea written all over it. I imagine we will see fifty dip-shits playing with these at Faire this year. I predict an inferno. Are you a pussy if you use tongs to pick it up after you drop it? Heath, stock up on the extinguishers. Kenny ... NO!!!!!
Found a different program called espeak that works for me. It
converts text to speech from the command line. Before you swallow your
tung, it works very well. I can not only paste text straight in to the
command window, but I can type in breaks between the blocks of text. It
also does not have the problem that KTTS had where it reads a huge
block as one sentence. That was annoying. Oh, and it doesn't crash
every three minutes. I'm telling you, Linux is getting more like
Windows every day.
This one is much different. It sounds much more like the old
computer generated voices. Remember "Shall we play a game?" All the
speed and pitch controls are from the command line. I already rigged up
a simple script simply called 'say' that has my favorite settings. Run
'say' and start pasting in to the window. If you want it to stop, hit
ctrl-C. If you want it to pause hit ctrl-S. These are both every
The work systems do not support the sound libraries to run this
software yet. If I had some time, I would hunt them down. It may happen
yet. I'm sure it can be done.
This software is bound to piss me off at some point. I'm sure I'll blog about it. Still, some good news.
On an unrelated bitch. No sooner do I get the new TTS working than
the news aggregator breaks with some cryptic error. It frigging worked
yesterday. Frigging Linux.
Carlin died yesterday. He was a funny man in small doses. He was
too political for prolonged exposure in my book. I laughed at his
jokes. I felt some of his pain. Once he said "You ever looked at your
watch, someone asked you what time it was, and you had no idea. You
gotta look at your watch again?" I thought I was the only one who did
that up to that point. I got hits off his internet
radio station for a little while because I wrote a little review.
When I was a kid I had some tapes my father bought. They were of comedy routines of Richard Prior, Robin Williams, and George Carlin. I listened to them for hours. I broke them out weeks later and listened to them again.
Imagine a scene. You are looking at the back of a nun playing some
friendly little ditty on the piano. As the camera circles around the
nun you realize she is smoking a fat cigar. At that moment, Gorge turns
around in a habit and grows 'What the fuck are you lookin' at!?"
I believe in God. I have a hard time with religion.
R. I. P. Funny man.
How do you become an internet sensation? Case and point.
My mood is all over the place. I worry about work. I worry about being able to find another job if I need one. I worry about Nat and Elle. I worry about finances. I worry about my dad riding his new Harley Davidson.
Things are not all that bad at the moment. I am paranoid. At least,
I hope I'm paranoid.
I just pealed Elle an orange. She doesn't like the white part so I'm
eating the remainder.
My dad's Harley is very nice.
I got to sit on it and rev the engine a couple of times. It has the vibration and feels like a Harley, but it doesn't rattle like some of the old models. No, that's not him doing the burn out. I just found a random video. 90% of the videos were guys starting their bikes and sitting there, listening to them run while mesmerized by the chrome in the sunshine. Not a bad way to spend and afternoon.
This is why guys get motorcycles during their mid-life crisis. I wonder if I'm hitting one right now. I'm a smidgen early at 39, but I'm sure it happens. I keep boring my few remaining readers with crap about no future and feeling sorry for myself. I can't promis there won't be more to come. I can try to be sain though. I can't run off a get a Harley.
This was a good movie. I remember the scene being parodied here. I'm not sure I get the original scene. This video is pretty funny though.
Got up at 17:30 today. I've noticed, when left to my own choice, I
will sleep in on Saturday until the sun goes down. This is not because
I need the sleep or anything. I just don't want to get out of bed. I
prefer to dream my day way. When I can watch the sun climb up the
blinds it is late afternoon and I know that it is safe to get up. I
think it has something to do with my eating patterns. I don't eat lunch
regularly. I do eat dinner regularly. I think sleeping Kelly is just
holding out until the first meal of the day rolls around. I used to
sleep in until eleven on Saturday. I used to eat lunch every day back
when I could afford it.
There is some element of depression involved too. Natalie wants to
have a baby. We are so broke that I cannot keep her and Elle fed and
under a roof like I would want. Perfect time to have a baby. Every one
around her is having kids. It brings her down. Our group of friends has
hit that age where they all want to have kids. I suppose it is natural.
I have no degree. I have little experience outside IT. It is getting
to the point where no one in the U. S. is going to have a job in an
industry that can possibly be performed over seas. I'm going to have to
move to China to get a job in IT. I won't get a job there either
because I will be competing with fifty million degreed and hungry
people who know they will only have one child.
I'm nearly forty years old. I have no prospects for improving my
position. I have little to look forward to except a life of work. I
have no retirement. I have no plans on retiring. No pension. Social
Security will collapse the day before I'm eligible. I only hope that I
have the health to work until the day I die. That is the plan.
No wonder I stay in bed until 17:30. I'm going back. Catch you
tomorrow, after five.
There is a brand of popcorn called Act II. Never quite
Act 1 is character definition and plot set up. Act 2 is conflict.
Things fall apart. Act 3 is the resolution. The hero saves the day and
Childhood is Act 1. Adulthood is Act 2. Retirement is Act 3. Or,
maybe having kids is Act 3. Perhaps one event's Act 3 leads straight to
another event's Act 1. some say death is life's Act 3. You get to go to
heaven, hopefully, and relax.
I'm off to have some conflict flavored popcorn.
It really looks like this human skid mark did this on purpose.
Some thing should be left to the imagination. This creepy little experiment is going to give me nightmares. I mean, I hope it is some doctored fake, just so I can tell myself it wasn't real. You know, so I can get some sleep tonight.
I would like to hear a recording of this kid in about fifteen years to compare. It would really freak me out if it sounded exactly like video.
This is Ho Chi Min City. Other countries use the fuel efficient bikes, but they take their family of five on the bike. You would get thrown under the jail in the U. S. if you tried this sort of thing. We have made choices on the side of safety and longevity that just don't happen in some places. I counted about three, maybe four bikes go by with very small children on board.
We got a storm through here. We got hail and high winds. It was unnerving. The hail smacked the top of the roof. It sounded like someone dancing up there. Nat is going to look in to what exactly you have to do to tell if you have damage. The power went out a couple of times. Elle was a bit upset by the lights going out.
Work is nuts. I'll never get used to that. The stress made me want to vomit in a meeting today. Not sure I'm up for that kind of thing every frigging day. I'm a light weight when it comes to stress.
Home is less stressful than at some points in the past. That is a wonderful thing. it makes life worth living. Less stress at work probably wouldn't match that. If only I could hit that balance. If only I didn't suck at life.
The text to speech thing broke on the computer again. I'm really pissed at Fedora. I have just about had it. Ubuntu is looking better and better. I hear they keep the beta software to a minimum on releases. This is not a toy for me. I need it like most people need a functioning keyboard.
I'm not so tired tonight. These last couple of days I've have been absolutely drag-ass every night. Tonight is not so bad. I will reserver judgment on my over all condition for when I get up in the morning. That is the true test. Right now I feel pretty good.
Remember that case where a woman pretended to be a young boy to get
information out of a young girl, then dumped her harshly? The young
girl then killed herself. This happened in Missouri if memory
Missouri has no laws on the matter. A federal court in Los Angeles has
brought charges against the young woman. Something about fraud against
MySpace by lying about who she was.
Now, she was lying about her identity by saying she was someone else
entirely. Nearly every one on MySpace has a screen name. So do I.
Screen names are not what is on trial here. Saying you are person A
when you are person B is. Also, the bylaws of MySpace and the ability
to enforce the bylaws in court is on trial. This precedent may force
people to use their real name at some point on a forum in order comply
with a federal law.
That open all kinds of trouble if accurate. How much prudence is
required when checking someone's identity by those who run the forums.
Who gets sued when someone gets nabbed? What about foreign users? What
about foreign forums? What recourse will people have to track people
down who slander intimidate them? I'm using the word 'forum' in a broad
It would be nice if this effort would drive some of the post SPAM
off the forums like MySpace, Facebook, every other random forum site
like Goblin Nation. Everyone's site is pounded with Viagra adds sent by
people in third world countries logging in on OLPC boxes working for
bags of rice. It won't help though. What do the advertisers care? They
are already breaking 25 laws, what is the trouble with a 26th?
Nothing like brotherly love. Feel the love. I said FEEL IT!!!
I have a feeling these guys were told where the bunkers were at some point before incoming rattled about their heads. Next time, pay attention in orientation.
"The bunkers are over there when you hear the incoming alarm, run that way and try not to get in my way. ... Are you listing?"
"Ya! .. Bunkers. Gotcha. Where is the commissary?"
Nothing like a good car chase to make me feel better about a shitty day.
How many times do I have to tell people don't stop in the middle of a curve. It is just a good idea. I remember when a friend of mine got hit on an single lane overpass and had to return to the same spot in order to make a report. It was a dangerous place today. Cars kept screeching past and honking. The whole time he was afraid he would get smashed. Sometimes the rule that every one has to return to the scene is just plane stupid.
I haven't had time to think about this subject much. I have no
opinion on whether or not same sex marriages are just or an
abomination. I don't really car. Honestly, I think the stat should not
recognize marriage at all. It should be a religious thing in my
opinion. This is one of those subjects that just keep coming up
matter what you think or what side you are on.
I've heard that like so many other things in our existence,
homosexuality is based on a combination of genetics and environment.
How in the world would a homosexual gene propagate through generations?
Wouldn't the gene die off? Well, no. Because for at least the last
couple thousand years, people have been very strongly encouraged to act
normal and have babies. I bet the pressure has been on longer
than that. Kings want subjects to rule after all.
This pressure put on by rulers and religions contributes to the
longevity of the gene. The more strongly you enforce the no
homosexuality rule, the more it becomes taboo and thus exciting. Not
only that, but you make people who really have no interest in
multiplying, multiply to cover their elicit behavior. They will get
married and have children to keep from being kicked out of society.
This propagates any genes in question. It may also propagate the
environment required to go along with the genes.
I bet genetics are more of an influence than environment. You can't
make someone a genius without the genetic pretense. You can't make
someone a leader without a bit of proper breeding. I think the same
goes for homosexuality/homosexuality. I have no proof of any of this.
I'm sure I'm wrong. Let me know if you know better. I say it takes both.
The dilemma is, if homosexuality were a choice, then one could
choose not to be homosexual. The other side of the coin says that if
there is a genetic switch, someone might come up with a way to throw
that switch or a 'cure' for homosexuality. I don't think either is
completely true of false. They just exist.
There is no resolution because there is no problem. All the people
who want to get "married" to someone of the same sex should be aloud.
People who want to adopt kids who are the same sex should be considered
right along side other couples. People who think it is morally wrong
should not do it. They should also be aloud to tell other people it is
I do not have a line by line belief structure for this topic. I just
want every one to fuck-off and stop clogging the news feeds with crap
about what bits bump against what other bits. I'm sick of it.
The blurb says the pool was closed. It looks like fun to me. That is, if you can avoid being washed overboard. Or, slammed in to the side of the pool. Or thrown in to something or through a glass window. You know, it doesn't really look all that fun.
What scares me is, I would tip my hat and as "how do you do?" before realizing there is a danger.
With computers,there is something that drives me nuts. If you want
to make things work the way you want them to, you have to make changes.
These changes are many. The default settings on software is never good
enough. The default settings are just there to get people started.
The next computer or OS I run on with mplayer, I will need to make
the exact same setting change I made today. I will completely forget
what the settings is. I already have. I just know to google it again
next time. It pisses me off. I should have a magic method of saving all
configuration to my brain. If I were one of those people who could
remember everything for the rest of my life, this would not be a
problem. I hear they live normal lives. When are scientists going
to throw that switch making all of us vast vats of useless information?
Things break too. The Kttsmgr software broke from Fedora 8 to 9. It
kind of works. Now it reads the whole thing you paste as one sentence.
This makes for no breaks between sentences. It also makes the software
have to render between each paste instead of each sentence. it also
effectively makes the software single threaded. This all causes a delay
between thing you pasted for it to read. It slows me down. It makes
things harder to understand. It pisses me off.
I've always understood why people do not upgrade until they are drug
kicking and screaming in to a new piece of software. I rarely
sympathized with it. Now vender's are trying to get people to submit to
forced upgrades in the name of security. This is a kin to wait staff
filling your tea without asking. You just got your tea right and
someone cones along and dilutes your masterfully concocted beverage. I
don't put sugar or whatever in my ice-tea. It still pisses me off when
someone fills my glass without asking for this reason.
When I buy a new car, the old gas works just fine. Look at how much
trouble it is to add electric vehicles to our roads. Battery powered
cars have been around as long as gas cars. Same goes for the metric
system. I'm just waiting for all the uproar when analog TV is turned
off. How many people are going to cry that they didn't have a chance to
upgrade? You know there are going to be lines of people looking for a
free TV on my tax time.
So, I get my TXU bill like normal in the snail mail. Then I get the email the same day. That's cool. I try twice to pay the online bill, but you can't get through. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened to me with TXU. They don't get that people consider the online presents as their presents, not some other entity.
I'm the first one to admit it is not easy to keep online stuff working. It is not easy just to keep thing going. Maintenance takes a full time effort on any kind of data driven site. Look at Goblin Nation. It takes several people just to keep a couple of forums free of spam and bots.
I'll be filling out the paper check to pay the paper bill so I won't
get my electricity cut off. TXU begs people to stop their paper bills.
I think there is a link on every page to do so. I just don't trust them
enough to pull that trigger.
Elle's school had a Father's Day thing this morning. They have a great playground. in the back. Nat and I watched Elle play with the other kids. She is an awesome kid. She made me a cool tile thing that is her hand print and a cool card for for Father's day. How cool is that? The teachers served coffee, juice and donuts. I didn't have any, they upset my stomach that early.
Nat and I sat on one of the playground climb things and watched the clouds go by. That is, we watched one big cloud go by. I looked like it was swelling up and headed our way. It ended going to the side and giving the playground some covenant shade just as the morning was warming up. They have a hill to run on too. Now, that is a rarity in Houston.
So, I mowed. It was late in the afternoon so the front yard was
pretty much in the shade. The back was too by the time I got there and
started to do work. Last week, I mowed in the middle of the day like a
dumb-ass. It wasn't too bad temperature wise. There was even a breeze
There was one interesting thing thought. There was a little blue Budgey or Parakeet
dive bombing me. It landed in front of the mower a couple of times. It
landed on the mower once, but the vibration seemed to upset it. I tried
to be friendly, but it simply sat on the ground a couple of meters
away. It wouldn't come near me. I went in and asked Nat to "Come get
this budgey bird out of the back yard." She thought I said bungy at
first. She did the same thing I started to do. She tried to pick up the
bird, but it wanted nothing to do with that. The bird ended up flying
over the fence and turned in front of the neighbor's house.
If that little bird does return home, what stories it will have to
Still need to do the cat box.
I went to bed around 03:00 this morning. I got up at about 17:30 or so. I got on the computer and found that nothing had changed that much in the world. I watched some silly movie and now I'm typing a blog entry. Sorry for the poor quality, I'm still a bit groggy.
The DnD game last night was a lot of fun. It was still 3.5 edition.
Most of the guys have played both and feel that 4th edition of DnD
feels way too much more like a board game than a roll playing game.
After reading online reviews I have to agree. I play board games. I do
not want DnD to turn in to a board game, or a video game for that
matter. I don't know what is going to happen with the rules set.
The really scary thing is that I'm still sleepy. I heard what might
have been Trever coming home last night after I went to bed. Nat was
still up. I have to go empty the cat box and mow the lawn. I don't want
to do either. One of those days I suppose.
This is what shooting a firearm is supposed to look like. After that last video, I thought I'd remind everyone.
I've complained about Applebees a couple of times. They have bland yet greasy food. Trever treated us to unlimited ribs this evening. They were not bad ribs as long as I block Heath's beef ribs from my mind.
Remember our friend Jaqui? She has officially become a YouTube icon. Well, minor icon.
Those frigging Germans came up with something this cool?
One of they guys I work with knows someone at Houston Metropolitan
Transit Authority. Their contract for fuel lets them pay something like
$2 a gallon for diesel right now. That is from a contract a long time
ago. That contract ends later this year. They are going to have to go
from $2 to something like $4.50 a gallon. I've heard several times that
the price is going to go up. The current price is $1 to ride on a
standard rout. I've heard every number between $1.35 to $2.50 all at
once. Metro gets tax money. Either the fair must go up dramatically or
the subsidy must go up.
Metro is just one example of cost rise. The cost of everything is
going up. Trains are very efficient, but no one has a warehouse on a
train line any more. They have to use trucks to get their wares around.
Everything made of plastic is going up in price. Electricity,
usually generated via some fossil fuel, is going up. Water, pumped with
power and cleaned up through plans that need lots of energy, is going
up in price. Food, bot being used as fuel via bio-fuel and energy
expensive farming techniques, is going up in price. I don't need to
mention airline travel. Even data centers are feeling the pinch. Not
just for energy, but coolant, consumables and shipping things around.
Where goes the cost of energy, so goes the cost of just about
everything else. That is why the do not include energy in the cost of
inflation. Because energy is built in to the cost of just about
everything people buy every day.
The thought of gas being used as money is already happening. Someone
on a pod cast reported that not only are car sellers using gas cards as
an incentive for buying something, so are grocery stores and
clubs. I expect the credit card that has a discount on gas is
pre-approved and in the mail in it's way to me as I type.
The solution to this sort of spiral is pretty obvious. Stop
traveling so much. Stop consuming so much. Learn to live with the
things that do not cause you to travel so much or consume so
That sounds like a liberal tree-hugger solution. Well, maybe it is. My
ever shrinking wallet may turn me in to an environmentalist.
People in the U. S. don't realize it for the most part, but they
have received a 20% pay cut over the last couple years. Between the
tanking dollar and the cost of labor and goods from the rest of the
world, the same old salary is just not worth as much as it was. The U.
S. is not the only place where this is happening. China is going
through a pay spiral as is India. Those cheap places to get things
designed or built are not so cheap any more. There is a balancing going
on. In a couple of decades, there will be few places left to find the
cheap labor manufacturing or services.
I would love to know what percentage of all human wealth has gone to
a few families in the Middle East over the past century.
<end of rational blogging>
<begin conspiracy blogging>
All this makes me wonder if the aliens landed some time in the
thirties and said we, the whole world, had to meet some criteria to
join the Intergalactic Collective (IC).
A couple of years ago I blogged something about "was it so bad before you were born?" I was trying to use that statement to help people relax about the afterlife by asking them to remember the before life and assessing whether or not it was so bad. I watched a comedy routine from Billy Connelly recently where he used a very similar statement to say that he did not believe in Got. That stuck with me.
Let me reiterate that I believe in God. It is religions with which I have various problems.
Billy called the Catholic church a bunch of child molesters, or something like that. Do you know how many people are in the Catholic Church? A lot, at least. There are going to be some bad apples. The church can be blamed for mishandling the issues as they arose. Hopefully, that changes or the Catholic religion will have issues.
Not that the Catholic Church has a special place in my heart or
anything. I think it is a fine religion. I like most religions. I wish
they all had something different about them. I wish most of them
did not take themselves so seriously. That is a symptom of the people
in the religion as much as the rules and basis of the religion.
Someone who reads this blog might think I have a problem with Islam.
I do not. I have a problem with any one of any religion who wants to
kill me for what I believe or lack there of. I have a great big huge
problem with that. I find that offensive.
Anyway, Billy Connelly can bite my ass. I'll still laugh at his
We have internet kiosks at work .These are computers in the hall in little alcoves that absolutely every one can see even from far down the hall. The idea is to make sure no one is waisting time on the internet when they should be working. Not a bad idea.
At lunch today, I walked around the parking garage complaining about work crap to myself as usual. Worry not, it is all generic gripes, no names or proprietary information. When I cam back in, I got on one of the internet machines to hit Dilbert and User Friendly for a geek infusion. While I'm there trying to read the graphics, one of the other guys sits down and says "Kelly, I don't know how you do it."
I'm like "Do what?" Then I realized he meant sit that close to the computer and read something. I answered "It is the only way I can read. I don't have a choice."
I didn't mean it to sound as if I were offended. I wasn't. I made up my mind a long time ago not to be offended when simple things like that happen. I just answer and move on. I hope the person I was talking to was not put off.
Today we worked on the back door. For a long time the back door had
been rotted out on the bottom. Today my father came over and I helped
him put up a new one. It was easier than I thought. I was hot and those
last couple things were quite difficult because we had already eaten a
large lunch and were ruined for the rest of the afternoon.
I got up This morning. My parents came over. We measured the door.
We stopped at a garage sail I got some cereal bowels. We went to Home
depot Looked at storm doors for front and back. They want too much
frigging money for those things. We went home with shims, caulk, spray
insulation and ... wait for it, a pre-hung door.
The moment we got back, we went to the back yard and started taking
the trim off the outside. Then the inside. The outside trim was no good
for reuse. It is still Sitting in the back yard. I have to haul it
across the street to a local dumpster to get rid of it. We poked and
prodded and pried and pulled nails. and pride some more. The frame gave
way bit by bit. I hope there are no nails left sitting in the grass
around the back door.
We sat the new door, fame and all in the hole left by the old door.
My father put in some shims and leveled the door. Then he put in some
screws. The leveled again. Then put the we put the inside trim back on.
We shimmed some more and then did one of the coolest things. Well, my
dad did. We sprayed this bright green insulation between the door and
the two by fours. It expanded slowly and climbed the walls like a
bulbous florescent B-movie monster. It was great. In the end it trimmed
off the wall easily with a hack-saw. The trash can is full of the
entire day's leftovers.
My father put up the last bit of trim on the outside after another
quick trip to Home Depot to find the perfect piece of wood just lying
there. He put on the dead bolt from the old door. I ran some more caulk
between the trim and the siding. It is messy, but effective. If you
can't be neat, be thick. That is my only advice for insulating things.
It turns out the lock is on sideways and we cannot pull the key out
of the lock without unlocking the door. My dad had to put it in twice.
Trever is going to take a look at it in the morning. We were trying to
hunt him down earlier. He was supposed to be back here by like three in
the afternoon. It turns out he wen gaming straight after work and
didn't get out until after 22:00. Nat and he are watching 300 as I type.
My father had the coolest drill. It was a Lithium Ion battery drill with
a light above the trigger. It was very light and very handy. It had a
one handed mechanism for replacing bits that was very handy. It did
have the reverse switch in a funky place that I kept hitting. My dad
hinted that I could act surprised come Christmas time. =]
When I go before the home owner's association to extend my fence beyond the front of the house to prevent people from walking through my yard, I intend to say it is all in the name of child safety. A child may come around the garage just as my wife is backing the car out and run someone over. The best way to prevent this tragedy is to extend the fence so people rounding the corner are at the sidewalk level. This smells like the exact same excuse being used to let people privately snoop on other people. It has been done by governments for years. Whey not make a buck at it?
This is another one for Myth Busters. Is that show still on Cable? I need a fix.
I've never thought much of Triumph. This one convinced me thought. ... Wait a minute, 900 years???
He is an asshole for riding a dirt bike on the street, but I'm impressed with the skills. He is trucking around curves and up and down minor hills. Not shabby.
These fellas have deliveries to make. So, they brave the flaming bridge. Then they hang around and take video all afternoon.
Bravo. Someone put in some time and creativity on this one. I like it.
I saw a guy riding a small motorcycle. I'm hearing that scooter sales are going up. I've seen people riding scooters on Westheimer. They are quite brave. I wouldn't do it. I would want something that can out run the assholes.
The small motorcycle was red with a dirt bike look to it. That is about as close as I got. The rider could just as easily have been a woman as a man. He was small framed, warring a helmet and a jacket. I couldn't tell if he was warring boots or not. I have no idea why the rider attracted my attention. I'm positive I do not know this person.
This situation got me thinking about bikes. Several of my friends have motorcycles. More of them than ever are commuting with the two wheelers. My father tried it for a while, but his trip is too stressful for a bike really. I bet he ends up driving my Mom's Honda Accord by next year. My brother in law Trever is hanging out at our place until the land is ready. He rides a bike to work. He needed a jump at 04:30 or so this morning. He parks it in our garage next to the Corolla. Everything fits nicely.
One of my coworkers rides a bike in. He complains that if he passes me as I'm getting on the bus I beat him to clocking in. The difference is the parking garage. I don't know where he parks, but it takes him long enough to get through the garage up to the time clock to kill any advantage he gets over the bus's time. I just walk straight from the bus stop up to work.
The rider also made me think of the motorcycles my family used to own. They were straight four stroke dirt bikes. We road with some folks who had the street legal versions of our bikes. The street legal versions had more top end, but were a bit trickier on the hills because the gears were farther apart. The bike I saw this morning was probably a 125 or so. It was definitely a four stroke and street legal. We got rid of the dirt bikes after my father broke his leg on his. It was for the best.
Note: When I grew up, my English teachers instructed me to use 'he' in the case you do not know, or must assume the sex of a person. I was told specifically not to use 'he/she' or 'they' in this situation.
Have you ever had one of those days where you can't catch your snap? Something stressful happens and you cannot get your focus. You ponder and are constantly distracted by this thing that feels like it is looming over your head. Everything you do, you have to regain your focus, stop and think.
Then you have one of those days where everything clicks. You are in the zone. You can block distraction and plot points ahead of you with second nature abandon. Events happen like a well oiled machine. Things work
If there were a pill that let you focus on tasks and not the thing that is bothering you, it would sell like Viagra.
I believe firmly that there is good stress and bad stress. Good stress is the thing you focus on and get done. There is a sense of accomplishment. You shout "YES!!" when it is all done. Bad stress is when things go wrong and stay wrong. When you have to make up for things that are not going your way, or there is no closure on a great deal of effort, that is bad stress. You might shout "DAMN!!" and shake your fist at the heavens.
I have no idea. Thought I would post it just for grins and giggles.
It is amazing how quickly you go from a bad storm to a disaster with the whole building caving in around you and shit flying at the speed of an f-5 tornado.
This footage kind of looks old by the electronic equipment. It almost looks staged. If more than one of them would jump the guy at a time, I think they would have a chance of taking him down. It doesn't really show a resolution. I hope the frigging cops showed up. I would love to know what set him off, but I can probably guess. The guy who tries to pick up the papers at the beginning looks like a prick. I bet he made some comment that was the final straw.
I got to tell you, I laughed for ten minutes after watching this. This looks straight out of the Office movie. Where is the red stapler?
The apartment complex next to work was full of kids playing in the
pool. Shrieking with happy abandon. Playing. Swimming. I stood on top
of the parking garage on the cement in the heat listening ... and
It sounded like my child playing in the water. Elle loves the water.
She loves everything. She is a beautiful smart emotional child. Last
night Trever and Elle plaid on the couch for an hour. Poor Trever
nearly collapsed. The scene was one that will stay with me.
When it was time for bed, Elle fussed a bit, but then gave in and
wished me sweet dreams. She does that when I tuck her in. I wish them
back, but she beets me to it. That is kindness. That is empathy. She is
a kind, gentle human being.
Then I hear her growl "Merlin! Give me a hug!!" as she cackles down the hall chasing the cat. Good times.
I just got an email, from CNN I think it was, that said Clinton
concedes the nomination. It is funny that I feel a bit relieved after
hearing that. I keep saying I do not care any more what is going on in
politics. I'm lying. Clinton supporters are pissed about the delegate
count. No Democrat is going to vote for McCain. Most of the Republicans
I know are not voting for McCain. Obama has little to worry about on
I predict (today anyway) that Obama will win the presidency by a
land slide. I also predict that he will be another Jimmy Carter when
measured after the fact. I worry he will screw the U. S. somehow due to
his lack of experience and his smugness. I worry that
leaders will not take him seriously because because he is too street.
The Democratic delegate thing will be over soon. That sounds very good to me. It is nice to watch Democrats dig in to each other with so much gusto. It has been entertaining. I still think that when the Democrats win everything, they will start attacking each other and forget the future price. Will they be able to get anything done. Will they get something like health care or military spending under control? No. It will be more of the same, only different. I wonder what kind of a honeymoon period Obama will get.
I give up again.
I stayed home sick today. I had some stomach issues. I watched some
movies.and looked up how to better make web pages for work.
Watched Layer Cake
Layer Cake is a movie I've seen like twice. I realized I had gotten
in before, but watched it all the way through again today. I like the
twists. The ending both sucks and is appropriate.
Watched The Recruit
Same thing as Layer Cake above. It was two for a sick day action.
He hasn't had anything to drink either. It is forbidden in Islam. This is the guy no one is going to invite to the party next time.
Went to a friend's place for a baby shower today. I have to say, it was the best baby shower I've ever been to. I had no intention of going until a friend of mine sent me a text saying the guys were having a party down the street "bring meat". This buddy is Heath. Heath is the guy who can cook BBQ like no one's business. I hope God doesn't take a liking to BBQ any time soon.
Heath and Nickie are having a baby soon. I just love how political
correctness has us mentioning the father in that statement. Lets face
it, men are done in eight seconds. Anything beyond that is etiquette on
the part of women. I do like being included in the party though. This
idea of having a barbecue for the guys while the women go over the
gifts four times in the house is great. Nat and I brought a bunch of
baby stuff and potato salad. Oh, and a watermelon that never got eaten.
We were promised it would not go to waist.
Abby hits the Air-Force soon. I don't know how long she will be gone, but she will be missed. I know she will do well in the military. I know she will be just fine. I hope she finds her way back to the group sometime. She had a going away party that took a couple people away from the baby shower. That's fine. That is not a problem. Both events were timely and just needed to happen when they did. Besides, it provides a choice for some folks. I'm all for that.
Some really good things happened today. They all involved
communication and growing toward one another. Any time something like
that happens, it is a good thing.
The food was amazing. Heath was in form. I don't think anyone
touched the potato salad. The watermelon went untouched. We ate meat.
It was great.
I've already begun planning Nat an my baby shower / barbecue. No,
Mom, we are not expecting. (yet.) Heath can park the trailer in the
field next door. We will run an extension cord for the radio. Maybe we
will hold the whole thing somewhere else. I don't think the neighbors
could take it.
Let's see, did I learn anything that I can put in the blog? I heard
some war stories. I learned that I'm not the only one who has a hard
time drinking beer and instead has a glass of wine every now and then.
I learned that red necks still like Camaros.. Red
necks are just as likely to talk computers as guns these days. People
still say "What is wrong with kids these days?" and "The problem with
kids these days is ______." Insert air conditioning, too much time on
TV/computer, lack of spankings, lack of religion, lack of the family
unit, too much moving around. The list is endless. Hell, we agreed that
kids should be aloud to eat dirt. They all do it. It must be natural.
OK, I may not switch to Ubuntu tonight. I was gentlemanly
considering making the move back to Ubuntu tonight, when I finally got
KTTSmgr working again. The voice is different. It doesn't read as fast,
but it kind of works well enough for me to get by. I need to find a
better more stable software package for text to speech. One that is not
included by the OS, so OS updates will not continue to kill it nearly
every time I upgrade. Text to speech is obviously on the back burner of
Linux updates. Fedora gets a momentary reprieve.
I was looking pretty hard at Ubuntu.
It is nice. It has some features I like. The software updates seem to
be kept up to date for the most part. I know KTTS works, but I wonder
if they have something else that works better. Ubuntu is more popular
than Fedora. I know why. Fedora is an after thought or a means of beta
for Red Hat. Not sure I want to strap myself to that any more.