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Showing posts from 2006

Finally!

We got some snow today, finally. When it is -8 Celsius and the world is still mostly green and the sky is clear, my brain rebels. However, tonight, we got a nice light dusting of snow. Things turned a bit white for a short time.

Everyone is telling me that it will not stick on the ground and will be gone by morning, though. But at least I finally got to see some snow!

Still Not Feeling Well

I did not come to Canada to spend it sick. However, I am still not feeling well today. Coughing, aching, stuffy head (but luckily not a stuffy nose), occasional sneezing, and tiredness.

*sigh

At least I'm with M, even if I'm not the best company right now.

A Good Christmas

I have been having a good Xmas so far. Spending quality time with M. Got good "loot" for the holiday. Have been a little overwhelmed by the parties filled with lots of people, visiting M's relatives, and other engagements. I am more solitary and small-group oriented than is M or her group of friends, so I will have to get better at being more social when I come here. I am scheduled to participate in the annual Risk tournament this year on the coming Saturday. Am very much looking forward to that.

Today I woke up feeling a bit under the weather. Been coughing and sneezing a bit; stuffy headed and a bit lethargic. Headachy and having some digestive issues. Took some Zicam and need to take some more. Hopefully I have caught it early and can get beyond it quickly.

No snow here. Which I'm a bit disappointed. I enjoyed my first White Christmas last year. There was a chance of snow today, but it did not appear although a little bit of frozen rain has fallen off and on.

M and I…

Back in SJ (Xmas Tour '06)

I made it here safely and soundly. Actually, the two flights here were two of the better ones; fairly smooth and boring, which is good.

However, I always have a tale to tell and this is no exception:

- My Super Shuttle driver arrived a bit early. Rather than being the last person on the van, I was the first person. The driver was wearing the thickest, most cloying, and strongly applied cologne you can imagine! It took almost an hour to go the 6-7 miles up the 5 freeway to Disneyland (around which we were picking up the other 6 passengers at various hotels) and by that time my eyes were watering, I had a headache, and my stomach was a bit upset. I guess my Scents & Sensibilities article was a premonition, eh?

- Same driver decided the 5 freeway was too crowded (although we would be getting over to the carpool lane) so he took the 91 freeway route to get to LAX. Just as crowded. So, the typically hour-long trek from my apartment to LAX wound up taking almost 2.5 hours due to traffic an…

Interesting Biological Note

On Monday morning, I awoke with a start at 5:30 am, an hour prior to my alarm clock’s set time. On Tuesday morning, I awoke at 5:00 am. This morning, I awoke at 4:00 am. I have also been getting tired earlier in the evenings and finding myself falling asleep in my chair or heading to bed much earlier than usual.M thinks it is because I have a strange habit of “preparing” for my trips back east and the 4 hour time difference. Which is as plausible as anything I can come up with!What that hopefully means is that I will sleep on the LAX to Toronto part of the flight, rather than staying awake mindless and numb through the dark hours. For me, the term “red-eye” is an actual fact. Plus, I do not think I stand any chance of sleeping on the Toronto to SJ flight—those prop planes are just too noisy, even with ear plug or music to listen to, for anything close to restful sleep.I have about an hour to go before I head home. A couple of things to do at home, most importantly packing my cell phon…

Scents and Sensibilities

I inherited from my mother a quick reaction to certain scents. For her, it is patchoulioil; I also react strong to patchouli oil (used in perfumes) as well as to certain flowers, herbs, and plants.

As I walked from my cube to the back stairs to grab a Pepsi for the afternoon haul, I was instantly struck by a heavy, sweet scent that gave me an instant headache and made my sinus areas flare. I cannot tell it if it is someone's lotion, the many flowers, pointsettas, and wreaths around the office, or someone's perfume that triggered it, but the reaction was swift and the effects are lingering.

Like many things, once I sense it I cannot get it out of my head. I am now hypersensitive to everything around me with a smell. My boss just made her popcorn, another scent I don't care for, and it is causing me discomfort. The guy next to me has shoes with an oddly rubbery smell (like they have been wet too long) that is bothering me. I can smell the soil in Fred's (my cubicle plant) …

Gratuity

I value Super Shuttle for their ability to get me to the airport safely and efficiently. And, overall, I think it (and other services like them) is a good value for the service rendered.

However, I do have one issue: the required, minimum 18% gratuity. A gratuity is supposed to be something extra, a bonus for doing the job well or above and beyond the call of duty. Enforcing a mandatory gratuity, and one that high, does not allow me to make that judgment.

A gratuity is defined as "something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service" (Merriam Webster Online dictionary). As it relates to these types of services, it usually implies some sort of extraordinary services performed by the one receiving the gratuity. The fact that Super Shuttle makes this an obligatory amount defeats the purpose and is contrary to the meaning of the word. At that point it is a tax, not a gratuity.

Overall, I have not had an issue with this gratuity and it was close to what I would …

Xmas Ques

From M's blog:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate. Egg nog is gross.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Wrap.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Some of each. I like white outside, in icicle style, because it makes me think of snow and ice. Hey, I come from the desert-- that's a happy thought, there!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
When I get to it, if ever.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Ham. Turkey. I enjoyed the year mom and I had grilled steak.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
The year we did the marathon Xmas trek. We had Xmas in home town, then drove to mom's parent's house and had Xmas there. Then packed into the car and continued north to dad's parent's house and celebrated there. I didn't like all that driving at the time, but looking back it was fun and we got to see a lot of relatives.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What truth?

9.…

Lacrosse Case Again

There is something wrong with our judicial system when all of the evidence points away from those accused and yet the prosecution still pushes forward. I have commented before on the Duke Lacrosse rape trial, and every time new information has been disclosed, that evidence has made the case for rape more remote.

First, you have a woman of highly questionable ethics and a very scant story accusing an entire group of people of a heinous crime with little evidence except her word. The scant amount of physical evidence the police could find on the woman all pointed away from those who the woman accused of the crime. And then witness after witness, including the woman’s friend and fellow performer for the evening, all stepped up to say that the accuser was not alone, that she was never seen with the particular people accused, and that after the alleged rape she was acting “normally.”

Then the initial DNA evidence came back—none was a match to any of the Lacrosse players. And the forensics in…

Followed by an Oh $#!+ moment

As I cruised out to get something for lunch, I decided to go to the local Taco Bell/Pizza Hut and get a PH2. In order to get there from here, I have to sort of zig-zag my way. At one point, I have to come up and around an onramp onto MacArthur, but get over a lane so that I don't merge onto the 73 north.

At just that spot there was a small white vehicle stopped in the lane I need to be in. As I am busy accellerating to join the traffic on MacArthur, and am glancing over my shoulder to make sure I have a clear lane to merge into, there is a car stopped with no lights flashing, no brake lights shining-- just stopped.

I learned something as I slammed on my brakes and steered to avoid killing the occupants of the car-- actually, two somethings: 1. the stupidity of people knows no boundaries and 2. a stopped car that has no other traffic around it nor anything to indicate distress or being stopped (like lights flashing) can fool your brain into thinking it is moving.

As I swerved and scre…

Oh Crap!

I just had one of "those" moments. I had worked on an Alert (a small, directed document that we send out with all our builds to ensure clients are aware of specific changes to the application or of special notices about the build we think they need to know). Took me about an hour or an hour and a half to do the Alert, as it included tables and some key formatting, etc.

Realized that I had created two folders on the network drive on which we work. So I said to myself, "I better delete that other folder right now while I'm thinking about it or else I'll forget and confuse myself later."

I then promptly clicked on the folder, clicked Delete, and clicked Yes to the warning message without thinking. I renamed the remaining folder, then opened it to finish what I was doing-- and was staring at an empty folder.

Yes, you guessed it-- I deleted the folder I had worked on for over an hour.

Just contacted IT and they don't have any way of recovering that folder for me…

New Blog

Welcome to the new, improved John's Omniverse. I decided a change was in order. I upgraded to the new beta system from Google and changed my format and color scheme. I believe this format will be easier to maintain and update. Hope you like it!

Note: All previous posts and comments have been saved and converted to this new template.

Sunday Morning Shopping

It is fun to go grocery shopping early on Sunday morning. It is the only time I feel really comfortable shopping, as the majority of people I see are other individual males looking a bit lost and confused as they wander up and down the aisles.

I am not sure what it is about Sunday mornings, but it seems like a lot of men go. And they are all, generally, getting about two plastic bags worth of groceries. Also, there tends to be many employees roaming around, restocking, etc. This allows us men to ask questions and find our items.

However, there were a few women this time around. And, to my honey, just wanted to let you know: an Asian woman was in the bread aisle, sniffing a loaf. Unless the previous one got an extreme hair cut, this was a new one.

Why do Asian women sniff the bread in the bread aisle? Don't they know I find it rather disturbing that they open the loaf right there in the aisle and snort bread like it is cocaine? I sure hope they do not put it back when they are done an…

Casino Royale

I can admit it-- I had reservations about Daniel Craig as James Bond. I was not rabidly against him, as many Bond movie fans were. As a matter of fact, I saw him in Layer Cake and thought he was a pretty good actor. I just did not think he was right for the direction that Bond had gone in recent years.

However, I was more than willing to put my reservations on hold until I saw some clips, reviews, etc. If the clips and reviews were unfavorable to me, I would be reticent to see the movie even though I am a big fan of the Bond movies in general.

When I started seeing the initial reviews, pictures, and then the first clips from the production, my mind started to change. The new, harder, simpler direction seemed perfectly suited to Craig's acting skills and his "look." Further, they wrote the movie around his talents, taking advantage of his more rugged looks, his ability to explode into action, and his way of smoldering under the surface.

The fact that they did away with Q …

Lions

It is tough being a Detroit Lions fan. This season has been particularly tough, as they have been in all but three games until the final minutes. Those three games, a big loss to Chicago early in the season, blown out by Miami on Thanksgiving, and a win versus Atlanta, show just how good and bad this team can be.

However, the fact that they only have one other loss by more than a TD (a loss vs. Minnesota by 9) show they have been tough all year. They have been up in many of those games, too! In their most recent loss, Detroit was beating New England, doing all the right things, until about 8 minutes to go in the game. Then NE got their act in gear, tied the game, and the Lions frittered away the game with some very late turnovers.

In the first game of the season, versus a Championship-calibre Seahawks team, they dominated. Only a bad coach's decision late in the game (punting rather than trying for the FG) allowed the 'Hawks to hold on for a 9-6 win.

I think this new coach is ge…

29 Palms

A little of that home town magic... Twentynine Palms is referenced in a Veronica Mars episode from this season when it is mentioned that Wallace and Pizz have headed there and are staying in a motel there for a hard and heavy weekend of studying.

Let's have a Woot for the home town!

A Little of that Family Luck

Well, M now has experienced a bit of my luck.

Her first flight from LAX was delayed about 1.5 hours for flight crew from another flight arrived. Which caused her to miss her connection at Montreal. The irony is that she was there, she ran, but didn't make the 15-minute rule.

So, she's staying with her brother in Montreal and will be back home tomorrow.

All I have to say to the Fates is this-- we're not married yet! She doesn't have my last name quite yet, so go easy on her!

I'm sure I'll have new stories to tell of my own come December. Stay tuned. ;-)

On Her Way

Super Shuttle just picked up M and she is on her (long) way back to Canada.

We had a good visit, got to make the rounds and visit with a few of my friends this trip, and had a very productive meeting with our new immigration lawyer that will allow us to make some more definite plans toward the future. So a very good visit, all in all.

I look forward to my visit at Xmas/New Year's.

For right now, I feel a bit shredded (for obvious reasons). I think I'll go take a nap for an hour before going to work for the day.

Quick Hits

Fiance
M is here and I am extremely happy. We have managed to visit with some friends, see a movie (Casino Royale—definitely worth seeing), watch some NFL together, and have some quiet time alone. My apartment is just not conducive to two-people, though. Caly has voiced her displeasure at having a woman staying in “her” apartment. I won’t mention how she reacts to having another female cuddling up with “her” human. Cats will be cats, and therefore possessive and a bit condescending.

We have a visit to another set of friends on Wednesday, as well as driving out to mom’s that evening for Thanksgiving the next day. Then Black Friday. Maybe another friendly visit on Saturday. Oh, and lots of shopping. She did bring two suitcases, after all.

Having to work today and tomorrow sucks, though.

Bank
I have already heard back from my bank on the car loan debacle. It appears they realized my recent transactions were supposed to go entirely against the Principle, so that is why they backed out the paym…

Here and Safe

M arrived safely and soundly at about 12:15 pm. We packed up her gear and made fabulous time back to Irvine. We spent the day going to CostCo (twice), church, Albertsons, and having dinner.

On tap for tomorrow, Casino Royale with Chris and Cynthia and some football at a normal, decent hour (none of this midnight football in the Atlantic time zone crap!).

Crazy Evening, Crazier Morning

Internet
Last night, after my nightly chat with M, I needed to go back on the internet for some reason. I found that I had no connection at all to the internet. I tried my work laptop and even TiVo to connect, but there seemed to be nothing doing. And this after chatting for an hour and browsing the internet after work. I checked all connections, released and renewed my IP, turned everything off and back on, etc.; all the usual tricks. Nothing.

I attempted to reconnect this morning, prior to leaving for work. Still nothing. Yet Cox’s online help site indicates nothing unusual for the Orange County area. I wonder if my modem or router crapped out on me very suddenly? The lights of each were still working, everything appeared to be firmly connected.

Bank 1
I picked up my mail yesterday evening as well, but did not feel like reviewing it at that time. This morning, I went through it. I received a loan statement from KeyPoint that was dated 4-20-06—WTF? Why, in November, would I be receiving …

New Sensation

I like chocolate bars. Especially those made with dark chocolate. Some of my favorites include Snickers, Baby Ruth, Hershey’s bars, Three Musketeers, 100 Grand, Crunch, Smores, and Milky Way. I do not like any nut except peanuts and I dislike coconut.

Recently, I ate a Snickers, a Baby Ruth, and a dark chocolate Milky Way. Not all at once, mind you. An interesting thing happen—I had a sensation like small electrical shocks in my mouth as I ate. This has not happened before, so I was a little surprised. The sensation is nothing that causes me pain or discomfort; it is just a very mild annoyance that is enough to notice even as I enjoy the candy.

I do not know if it is the ingredients, the acidity of my mouth, the mixture of silver and gold fillings, something psychosomatic, or an entirely different reason, but the sensation is there all the same. I only notice it when eating mixed-ingredient candy bars like those I mentioned, however. When I last ate See’s Candy and a Hershey’s Chocolate…

Not the 300 I Imagined

Welcome to my 300th post to this blog. I have been working on a new post for a while; I have a couple of interesting topics and have been working on each trying to decide which would be my 300th post. One is a personal event that happened while I was a child and shaped my world and life view, another was a political rant about things, and a third was simple musings about life.

This is NOT one of those topics.

------

Dorothy (friend and work) and I went to Albertsons for lunch today. I ordered the Italian Delight. And, shock of all shocks, they did it right! I actually got the sandwich I ordered, correctly made with no additional ingredients (like onions or mustard/mayo) added in and without the tomotoes, as requested.

I'm sitting here, stunned, that it only took 5 tries to get it right. I was thinking this may become my White Whale.

Oh well, I'm sure something else will come along.

Because I Like to Share

Image
If you can see it, there is the wound. It is just over an inch long. You can't make out the egg under it very well, as it is hard to take a pic of your own head.

PS - to any women who view this: hopefully the wound will keep you from swooning at the sexiness of my bald head. If you do swoon, well, you can't hold me accountable for the sexy!

;-)

Oops... I Did It Again

Somehow, I'm still not quite sure how, I managed to cause the valence on which sat one of my surround sound speakers to fall off the wall-- and the speaker went with it and knocked me hard on the head.

I received an inch long gash in my forehead, was bleeding profusely, and became instantly dizzy/woozy and headachy. I knew I was bleeding when I saw the spatter on the carpetting and felt the steady trickle going down my face.

I staggered into the bathroom, slattered blood all over the sink, the basin, and the mirror. Grabbed a wad of toilet paper and held it tight to my head, and it became almost instantly soaked. I threw that away and grabbed another wad and pressed just as hard again. Once I felt like the flood had lessened enough that I could make it to the kitchen, I grabbed a third wad of TP, held it to my head while I went to the kitchen and grabbed some ice, put it in a plastic bag, and wrapped that in some napkins and more TP.

At that point, I became very weak and sick-feeling…

Tired of the Questions

What she said (including disclaimer).

Hallelujah

Over the last two-three weeks, I watched a number of shows that featured a slow, plaintive song with a refrain in which the artists repeated the word "Hallelujah" a few times. The song is, of course, named "Hallelujah" and is a Leonard Cohen song originally.

There are a few websites that refer to music from various shows, and this helped narrow things down a bit. One that was useful was:

Blogcritics

These sites and my musically-inclined friends led me to find a whole list of people who sing this song. Some are quite good versions.

kd lang
Allison Crowe
Rufus Wainwright
Daisy Chapman
Jeff Buckley (probably the most popular version)
Angelou
Steve Acho
Brandi Carlile
Elisa

The small snippets of these songs I heard on iTunes indicated that, while good, none of these were the precise version for which I was searching. I went back to the 'net to see if there were any other versions that might have been found. I found this website:

Stylus

Sure enough, the John Cale version-- which w…

Guiding Light

Okay, this is just goofy! I guess, with their viewership down to all-time lows, they are hoping to grab some of the comic-book readers in American and suck them in? I will admit, soaps and comics use many similar tactics in keeping viewers and stringing out storylines.

From IMDB.com, Oct. 20, 2006:

Superhero To Beam Onto 'Guiding Light'
Guiding Light, America's oldest soap opera -- it began on radio in 1937 and moved to television in 1952 -- will be taking aim at younger viewers next month when it introduces a Marvel Comics-created superhero on Nov. 1. Marvel Comics said that it will cross-promote the storyline with an eight-page insert to appear in several of its comic books in which the Guiding Light characters will interact with Marvel superheroes.

Follow up link:
http://www.superherotimes.com/newsarchive/001724.php

Italian Delight

I like a good, Italian style sandwich. Three weeks ago today, while visiting the Albertsons by work for lunch, I discovered their deli has a very good Italian sandwich. It has cappicola, cotto salami, genoa salami, provolone cheese, tomato, Italian dressing, and pepperoncinis. All this is on a baguette-style sandwich roll. I order it sans tomatoes.

Well, three weeks ago, I read that on the wall, ordered from the gentleman behind the counter saying, “I would like the Italian Delight sandwich. I want it exactly as it is listed, except no tomatoes.” I thought that was pretty clear direction.

Well, he asked me twice if I wanted mustard and mayo on it (yuck!) and he added onions and included tomatoes. Well, after taking the onions and tomato off, and ensuring he did not slide any mustard or mayo on there, I enjoyed the sandwich. Quite tasty and a great value for the price. However, with no one bothering him and nothing to do but make my sandwich, it took the poor guy well over 20 minutes to…

Memory Foam

I have a crappy bed. No bones about it. On my own and with my mom's help, I have looked for ways to improve the bed using foam, extra pillows, and feather-filled toppers.

Last week I purchased a Personal Expression memory foam topper for my bed. Well, actually two, but that is another story. With 3" of memory foam on the bed, my sleep has been deeper, more restful, and better.

The foam does a nice job of molding around me and easing the pressure on my shoulders and back. I have been moving less during the night.

Matter of fact, my only complaint is that I have not quite figured out the heat issues. The memory foam molds around me more than I am used to. Also, the temperatures are getting cooler at night, which causes me to grab my afghan during the night. Then, since the foam has me wrapped up and I have the extra warmth from the afghan, I am getting too warm. When I get too warm, I have trouble waking up. Yesterday I slept in until after 8:30 am and this morning I stayed asleep…

Follow Up - Head

The headaches have eased back and I seem to be generally okay. I still have some small issues that may be related. With as hard as I hit my head, I'm sure that I had some form of concussion, even if I did not lose consciousness.

I also have some issues with my arthritis, which the knock to the head have not helped. My jaw very nearly locked shut yesterday and is still a bit sore today. However, I know that taking some prednisone for a couple of days will ease that away, so I am not overly concerned by that. But it was bad timing with the headaches and a general grogginess brought on by the blow to the head.

Life's Little Challenges

Sometimes, life is a challenge.

My fiancĂ© and I want to be together. However, through the happenstance of how we met, it turned out that we are from different sides of the continent and in different countries. So our ability to be together is stymied by rules and regulations we must overcome first. It is taking longer than we would like, and it is frustrating, but all we can do is continue to press our nose to the grindstone and move forward. We are, at least, reviewing the immigration paperwork and making some tough decisions on when and how we can get me to her. And, of course, this challenge leads to other challenges—moving, marriage, distance from my current friends and family, job. All of which I look forward to meeting and overcoming in the future.

I really enjoy Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying. I have a great group of friends with whom I play. We even have a wealth of people who like to GM, which is often unusual for groups. However, I really want to play in a super-…

A Good Swift Kick to the Head

I hit my head. Hard.

My apartment sports a crappy over/under clothes washer/dryer set. The dryer, on top, has a door that likes to slowly swing shut if you do not put something to block it. As I was doing laundry yesterday, I dropped a piece of clothing and bent to retrieve it without considering the dryer door, which I had left open.

I stood up at full speed and, banged the back of my head into the metal dryer door with a great deal of force.

Luckily, I had folded articles on the washer top. I hit my head so hard I actually ricocheted down and would have hit the washer, but landed on a pile of folded clothes instead of chipping a tooth or breaking/bloodying my nose on the hard metal surface of the washer.

This morning, when I looked at the washer unit, I noticed it was moved back slightly and no longer facing exactly straight—apparently I hit it hard enough to move the unit, too.

What is interesting is that I did not even break the skin or give myself a goose-egg. However, I hit it hard …

Art Imitates Life

Anyone who has ever played any MMORPG, but especially WoW, needs to watch last night's episode of South Park, "Make Love not Warcraft."

I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face!

True Evil

Guns are evil.They must be—every time something horrible involving guns happens, that is what I hear from the media and from people.Recently, a man who was having psychological issues both from the loss of a child 3 years ago and from a molestation event that happened 20 years ago, took a shotgun and a 9 mm handgun to an Amish school and killed some children and himself.He wasn’t at fault; the guns were— because guns are evil.The guns somehow made him write the multiple suicide notes, call his wife during the incident, and choose a place where he could vent his frustrations without much fear of reprisals—a school. Damn, those guns are evil.Two other gun-related incidents occurred this week as well. In both cases, children got weapons and took them to school and shot people. It is not the parent’s fault for not properly storing or locking the weapon. It is not the parent’s fault for apparently not teaching the children proper respect for the tool, or forgetting to teach the children th…

Intelligent People

Sometimes, being an intelligent person actually is an impediment.

It seems like people who are not as intelligent manage, alone and without help, all the time. They just throw caution to the wind and go. Who cares if they did not do something correctly—they will just fix it and continue on. Who cares if they misunderstood the nature of that over there—they will just explain their mistake and move on.

Vacuous people throw caution to the wind and just do something. More often than not, it seems to work out for them. Not being overly self-aware allows them to damn the consequences and move full-steam ahead. They do not seem to agonize over the imperfections and faulty assumptions, nor do they let the setbacks that their lack of information creates stop them. And the universe, or the higher being, appears to smile on their ignorance and move them past the impediment with just a gentle nudge, and maybe a whimsical smile, and on they go.

Intelligent people just cannot do that. They are stifled…

And Gone

M is mid-flight, somewhere along the way to SJ. United and Air Canada-- please take good care of her. She's a very special cargo to me. Make sure she arrives safely.

Thoughts on this--
It shreds the emotions to get together, have some incredibly lovely days together, and then be ripped apart because one of us has to go.It is very hard to focus at work when you are emotional.We must get some resolution soon, as this is tough. Tougher than tough!She's a much better packer than I am.I have the benefit of a full wardrobe at her place, so can generally take just a carry-on with me.St. Cecilia's is the best Catholic church we have found here. More traditional than any of the others.We did manage to spend 4 incredible days together. I took her to my home town and showed her what a small desert community is. I think she was shocked, surprised, and a little overwhelmed (or maybe underwhelmed). It is a quiet place, hot, with just over 26k people in it. We saw all the sights I could th…

She's Here

M has arrived, safe and sound.

Random Thoughts (9/21/06)

I need M here. And these four days will be nowhere near long enough.I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.I hate working on Data Dictionaries. I know these are important to programmers, and even sometimes to clients, but I hate, hate, hate formatting, rearranging, and putting them together. I have another one lined up, though. *sighWe need parents to be parents. When they are not parents (whether trying to be our friend or otherwise), they are not performing the proper role. It is okay to be friendly with your parent, but they should always act like your parent. I’m lucky in that my parents have always fulfilled their role. We still have no accountability in this country. We need people to just step up and say, “I was wrong. It is my fault. I am accountable.” How refreshing would that be? It is obviously a behavior issue and my behavior modification attempts are not working. What else can I do? I miss the days where I could just quietly color in my room. Even when I do that toda…

A Mixed Blessing

Today is the 5th anniversary of that tragic event, and it seems a good time to look at how our country has responded.

9/11 has turned into a double-edged sword for America. It has drawn its people closer together and has allowed people to honor our military for their contributions. But it has also divided the country, mostly when the President chose to abandon his pursuit of the perpetrators of 9/11 and go after Iraq for what has turned out to be no reason at all. Now people still want to honor our men and women in uniform, but they also do not want to fight what has been categorically proven as an unjust war.

In the years since 9/11, our government has done many things to try to protect its people. However, once again, those actions have two sides. On the one side, 9/11 taught America how vulnerable many of its infrastructure is to outside forces. However, so many planes, trains, and ships are loading, unloading, and moving freight around this country that it is impossible to check the…

RIP Crocodile Hunter

Steve Irwin’s enthusiasm and energy were infectious. Audiences could readily see that he cared for the critters with which he worked, and his boundless energy made him entertaining to watch as he ran, dove, leaped, and climbed his way after animals. But, while it made him a great host for wild life specials, those personality traits were also what led him to such dangerous antics when dealing with these creatures.

No amount of expertise is a balm for the recklessness that he displayed on camera. No other wild life expert prior to Irwin acted and reacted around these dangerous creatures like Irwin. It was just a matter of time. Anyone who watched any of Irwin’s specials had to come away with the idea that this man was going to die out in the field at some point. Unfortunately, since he was so successful and brought so many more viewers to wild life channels, many of the modern animal show stars now follow in his footsteps.

For some reason, audiences primarily gave Irwin a free pass on hi…

Agassi's Farewell

Here is a transcription of the speech that Andre Agassi gave on the court after losing his match to Becker.
"The scoreboard said I lost today, but what it doesn't say is what it is I have found. And over the last 21 years, I have found loyalty. You have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I've found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I've found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could have never reached without you. Over the last 21 years, I have found you and I will take you and the memory of you with me for the rest of my life. Thank you."And thank you, Andre, for always being entertaining, for your growth and maturity as a player and person, and for the many wonderful sports memories you leave behind.

The Big Easy

I do not understand why the President doesn't send the Army Corps of Engineers to New Orleans (I know they are there, but hear me out) to train those left in the city to rebuild. By that I mean, train the majority on building. Train some on wiring and electricity. Train some on plumbing. Their training would be on-the-job and their graduation would be in the streets.

Once this is started, you start putting them to work-- pick a street on which to start. Send the lumber and the other supplies. And put these people to work rebuilding that street, using the plans that must be on file somewhere for each house. Rebuild the street as it was before. When they finish that street, those who cannot do the construction can make the phone calls to tell those who used to own that home that it is back and ready for them to move in. Have others working on the moving aspect; helping to drive trucks, haul furniture, paint walls, and get those families moved.

When that street is done, rebuild the ne…

Using Your Voice

People often ask me why I write letters, emails, and phone 800 numbers. I believe that when you have complaints or encouragements, you should voice them.Recently, I was experiencing a strange problem: one channel, and only one, was exceptionally bright. Didn’t matter if I watched the channel using the TV input, through TiVo, or through the VCR, that channel was much brighter than all others.Many people wouldn’t make a comment on this to their cable company. Many would reason that it might be on their end, or that it is just one channel, so why bother. “Someone will figure it out,” may be what these people would say.Well, I went online to Cox Cable and sent in an email to their support department. It was not important enough to call and wait for a live consultation when I knew if the problem was on their end, it would be something a telephone jockey couldn’t help with. But it was important enough to contact someone and have it checked.
I received the following response today from Cox’s…

Brick

The indy movie Brick is an interesting melange of modern movie and film noir. Rian Johnson, the writer and director, set this story in San Clemente, CA at his old high school.It is a little jolting at first to watch such young actors speaking such out-dated dialog. But once you get past this, the story is smart and intricate.Brendan, the main character, is a guy with a past. In the classic sense of a Sam Spade, he is troubled and is not a nice guy, but he wants to do right. He gets involved with the story when his former girlfriend, Emily (or “Em”) calls him and asks for help. In his doggedly dependable way, Brendan shoulders this burden and begins to send out feelers to figure out in what she is involved. Soon, she turns up dead and, rather than letting it go, he gets in as deep as it takes to find her killer. On the way he is beaten up, nearly killed, gets in over his head, meets up with a femme fatale and the crime kingpin, and then figures a clever way to turn the tables on all in…

Idle Thoughts

- I called the vet on Monday and heard back from her on Monday evening. She wrote a new prescription for Calypso of a different antibiotic to try. She agreed with me that the cat was having some sort of allergic reaction to the other medication and that I should stop.

Caly was a little more hesitant about pill time on Tuesday, but she took both pills without any apparent problems. This morning she was a little more accommodating about taking it.

- I managed to drop off the Ionic Breeze at the PostalAnnex+ that happens to be right by the vet’s office. They shipped it out Monday. Hopefully I will be getting my two new Ionic Breezes soon.

- Many of the people in my Fantasy Football league are not proving overly good at the draft. We constantly have to wait, make arrangements, and bend over backward in order to get them to draft. Irritating. It is not rocket science, just make a pick and move on. And you know it is currently running—so check the damn thing on occasion. It may just be your tu…