I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

I have setup a button to accept donations for the Brown Family.

[button]

I don't know how to make you trust me, but I swear on my Grandmothers grave that I will get any donations that anyone gives to me over to Mr Brown and his family. I've emailed the News-Record reporter and will be emailing Mr Brown shortly.

Update: According to a commenter, he has his own paypal account, so I've taken the button down. Contact him directly if you're interested in donating. cybermancer2k1@hotmail.com.

I have been reading Michael Brown's View from the Sidewalk blog this morning after seeing it on Digg. This guy is really real, which is to say an honest, educated person who has fallen on hard times. I'm maybe two missed paychecks away from where he is right now. I don't know what, if anything, I can do to help, but I am going to start telling people about him. Maybe someone I know has the resources to help him.

We haven't asked the other girls' mother what led to her losing her house (she still works, near as we can tell), since I deem it ain't our business. One thing I have observed, however, is that she seems...well, comfortable with being in a homeless program. She's savvy about how it works, all its little nuances, and seemingly has no problem being there with her kids.

I, on the other hand, am very uncomfortable indeed. Sorry, I'm not one of Reagan's "homeless-by-choice" and I'm not trying to stay in that progrm through its entire duration, 12 weeks. I want out. I want my own space with a roof over my head, I want it so bad I can taste it, and I'll be damned if I let anything stop
me.

The day I get comfortable with being in a homeless program, someone please put a bullet through my skull.


Night before last, a man approached Jen at Taco Cabana and asked if she'd buy some food for him and his wife. He didn't ask for money, as so many people do these days, but rather for food. We bought a small meal for them and gave it to him. He thanked us and shook my hand. We wondered most of the way home from Austin where we stopped for a bite what his story was. I wish I knew...

The blog, called View from the Sidewalk, has become a way for Brown to vent, rant and reflect on his problems. He reveals the day-to-day travails, his guilt and anger about the situation, and his depression... A sign of the times?

read more digg story

Tonight was the closing of the Torino Olympics, and I'm so sad that I missed the closing ceremonies. I've been looking for video of it, but haven't found it. Doh!

I need to subscribe to their podcast: http://www.sliceofscifi.com/

This post marks two special occasions. Today is my one year Blog-Birthday, and this is my 500th post! Yee Haw!!!

Do you know that that means I make an average of 1.3 posts per day? How about that?

I made a pretty good (I think) post over on Jen's site while she's out of town. Kind of a welcome home present. :)

I hope that I keep up the writing. My goal over the next year is to write more about life and less about the junk I see on the net. I enjoy keeping track of that, but in the long run that's not why I'm doing this. I want the kids and maybe even the grandkids to read it and say, "Gee, Gramps sure was an old windbag wasn't he?" That would be the ultimate! Hehe. So, they aren't going to care what was on the "Old Internet, in the days before AI Multithreaded HD wrist computers". I need to write more about Brendan, the new baby, Jen's an my lives at home and at work. I'm going to try to do that.

So, if anyone's reading this, thanks for reading it. I hope you enjoy Gramps's writing...but uh, don't read those posts where I cuss. It's a filthy habit that you young whippersnappers shouldn't pick up. :P

I haven't seen the real map of the London Underground, but the one that they talk about on http://www.boingboing.net/2006/02/22/transport_for_london.html and http://www.boingboing.net/2006/02/09/tube_map_relabelled_.html is very humourous! Of course the map has been removed due to some slimy lawyers, but you can still find it if you look. I have a copy of the file. I guess now I have to look for the real map to compare it to.

On another note, the next post will be my 1 year anniversary of blogging and it should be a doozy!

This is an amazing website. Not only are the pictures and text good, the interface is unlike any I've seen before - and I look at lots of websites! Plus, it doesn't hurt that the topic is a personal favorite: Japan!

http://www.3deearts.com/Tokyo/

That pizza kicked ass! 450 was a good temperature, plus I put an already-cold soda in the freezer for the 7 minutes that I cooked the pizza so that I'd have a super-cold drink to go with the perfectly hot pizza. It worked out great!

And since I already had this sitting next to me at the computer, I couldn't help myself taking advantage of it to keep the hot, bubbly goodness of cheese hot. :)



I may never microwave leftover pizza again now that I know how easy oven-baked goodness is to achieve.

Everyone knows that it is a sin that we all commit - We reheat great pizza like Papa Johns in the microwave! Hiss! Boo! I do it too, but I decided not to today. I can wait 10 minutes for good, hot oven reheated pizza I think. But what temp to warm it at??? I thought that I'd use the power of the internet to find out!

These people say 450, which is what I put the oven on even before going nettin'. 425 say these, for the first cooking. These guys say to heat it in a frying pan! I don't think I want to try that this time, so I'm going for the oven. Lets hit the afterburner switch and lets see if we can heat up some pizza! Flame on!

Today has been fun so far. I slept late as usual on a Sunday morning after staying up until 3. That's one of my favorite things to do. That sounds funny, but I enjoy staying up until the wee hours doing what the hell ever I want and then sleeping in. Call it weird, call it crazy, call it whatever you want, but that's what I go for. Had some good cereal with milk that is ever so close to spoilage for brunch. I have 9 boxes of cereal in the house and I was bound and determined to have some without going to the store for fresher milk. It wasn't really bad milk, but the date is today and you know if you have milk on its expiry day that you're taking a chance. :p

So, for several hours (off and on) I've been working on my blog design. I have been thinking lately that I want to add a box in my right sidebar for pictures. Even though I often post pictures inline with my entries, and will keep doing that, sometimes I want to see a slideshow of my family pictures and/or mobile phone pictures. I do take a lot of mobile phone pictures and I don't really do anything with them but post a choice one occasionally. Like this one. I played with Textamerica since that's the one Cat Schwartz uses, but I didn't like it as much as I like Flickr. So, Flickr it is! Just glance at the right side of the screen just below the green profile box and see what's new. Click on any photo to see it bigger.

I guess I'll finally get around to explaining why this post is called Two Songs. I've listened twice now to Zoe's Christmas Special and she plays some very good music. I don't like all of it, but she does hit a some gems. In the Christmas show, I particularly liked These Words by Natasha Bedingfield and Emily Kane by Art Brut. Bedingfield has more soul than almost any other female singer that I've heard. She really has some vocal talent, I think. I'd compare her soulfulness on this song to Diana Krall [correction: I really meant Norah Jones] or Mariah Carey. She even has the video on her site. You find it. Art Brut's song is just very jaunty and British and has a a good beat. I laugh just thinking of how it must have gone when Emily Kane's friends told her about this new song with her name in it. Oh yes, Emily Kane is real! Check it out!

Mouths were left wide open in The Artrocker Room at Frog on Saturday as Eddie Argos and muse Emily Kane 'got down' to...'Emily Kane'! As Eddie arrived he introduced me to his companion for the evening; "Tom, this is Emily." "Hello Emily, hope you have a good time" I platituded and dashed off to attend to some mini-crisis or another, like the CD players not working as per."Did you meet Emily?" asked Ed Idiot later that evening; "Yes," I replied, "You know who it is don't you? It's Emily Kane!" My flabber was gasted.

I asked Eddie for the SP, how did it feel? "To be honest it's ten years worry off my back, I realised that really I was in love with being 15 years old - not Emily Kane." Which is not to say that Emily is anything other than absolutely charming, and she certainly knows how to shake it down - as well as being a PacMan pro! But as Josie Harris said to me "I've got to go, it's doing my head in, Emily Kane dancing to Emily Kane!"

Now, I'm finally listening to Zoe's Feb 10 show and just seeing what I like and all.

That's about all I've got for now. I'm 2 days into my week-long temporary bachelorhood (J and B are up at the folks in North TX) and I've indulged in pizza several times. Dobie and I had Double Dave's for lunch yesterday and I've got Papa John's in the fridge. PJ's was having a customer appreciate day yesterday and I had to pick up some 1 topping larges for $5.99. Good deal!!! I think I'll have some now...the cereal has worn off. :)

[I had to add this while I was on the theme of music. I downloaded this week's iTunes free song of the week, which is Danielle Peck's I Don't. You have to listen to this. It is the corniest example of drunken bad relationship music that I've heard in a long time. She isn't a bad singer at all, but the lyrics are...indescribably cheesy. The sample ends early, but what she says is "Jesus loves you; I don't."]

I just found out that not all my favorite music items are displaying in my profile, so I am editing them down to meet the "20 items, 60 characters" limit. Here's what I've had in there for a long time, but half of which has never been displayed. Doh! This is at least a little significant since my next post is about music.

Profile Music favorites:
No frikkin' RAP, Kitaro, No Doubt, John Tesh, Coldplay, Creed, Yanni, Nine Days, old country, Lifehouse, Matchbox Twenty, Vanessa Carlton, Avril Lavigne, T.A.T.U., Kelly Clarkson, 3 Doors Down, Evanescence, Bowling For Soup, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Jimmy Eat World, Sarah McLachlan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Semisonic, Sixpence None The Richer, Zoe's Radio Show

You know what really pisses me off? This! Why can't people use apostrophes correctly?


A funny sign that I saw in a bookstore lately. It's old or else I'd say that someone used a net translator to translate it from Czechoslovakian into English or something...


You literally can find a book on any, any, any subject in the universe these days. This one is a vvvveeeeerrrrrryyyyyy specific textbook.


And here's a cool animated gif that you would almost swear is a video. Whoever made this did a really good job.
Ain't he purty?

This is a cool story about Olympic athletes and their iPods.

Olympians Chase Glory to iPod Soundtrack

By Abigail Tucker
The Baltimore Sun
02/18/06 5:00 AM PT

"It enables you to focus on what you're doing without actually focusing, if that makes any sense," said Dustin Majewski, 23, of Pasadena, who often listens to music -- from Helmet to the Rolling Stones -- when he snowboards. "You're not over-thinking, and that's the best way to perform the harder tricks and maneuvers."

Last weekend, snowboarder Hannah Teter told her boyfriend that she planned to listen to his band's song "Communicate" on her iPod during her Olympic halfpipe routine. This made him a bit nervous. "It's a heartbreak song, basically," said Eli Lieberman, 28, whose tune is about lost love and "cascading" tears. "I was like, uh, Hannah, don't you think that's a little mellow?"

Apparently she did not. As the world now knows, Teter -- who was seen dancing before her final run -- won gold Monday. When she told journalists about her secret groove, Lieberman's punk reggae band made out pretty well too: Strive Roots' Web site , which averages a few thousand hits a month, scored 37,000 one morning this week alone.

Apple Wins the Gold
The biggest winner of all may have been Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) , maker of the tiny iPod that soared to glory along with Teter. This Olympics, U.S. snowboarders have competed while listening to the personal music device, and skiers, speed skaters and other Olympians from all over the world have been observed listening raptly during practice and before competing. All of which makes for great press.

"One of the lasting images of these games is going to be these snowboarders with their iPods," said Abraham Madkour, executive editor of SportsBusiness Journal, a trade magazine that covers the sports industry. "It's the perfect form of subconscious marketing." It's especially perfect for Apple because it doesn't pay a dime for the display. The company is not an Olympic sponsor.

"We don't target athletes," said Stan Ng, director of iPod product marketing. Olympians provide their own iPods or other MP3 players -- although U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Darryl Seibel said that a personal music device company is "a sponsorship waiting to happen."

Indeed. The U.S. snowboarding team's pinstriped uniforms are already wired for the machines, with a nifty iPod-size pocket, speakers in the hood and a control panel on the left sleeve that allows the athletes to select songs.

"Wearing the hood, you don't have to worry about the silly little white earphones falling out," said Silvie Snow-Thomas, a spokesperson for Burton Snowboards, which makes the outfits. "The jacket was a natural development, new tech, because snowboarders are very hip and cool and always on the cutting edge."

Shaun White, the 19-year-old snowboarder, also uses an iPod-equipped helmet, which -- according to newspaper accounts -- frequently pipes in Led Zeppelin or, during his recent gold medal routine, AC/DC's "Back in Black."

During her silver medal performance Monday, snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler listened to Green Day's "Holiday."

Joey Cheek, who won the men's 500 meters in speed skating, likes hearing Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" before races.

Kimmie Meissner, the 16-year-old figure skater from Bel Air, listens to "I Like to Move It" by Reel 2 Real on the gold iPod mini she totes around Italy -- although her official routine is set to the more soothing sounds of Ottorino Respighi's "Belkis, Queen of Sheba."

Extreme Listening
Experts say the proliferation of iPods this Olympics merely highlights the long-standing relationship between athletics and music. Competitors have long been known to rock out before performances or during practices, in order to relax or to reach their ideal "arousal levels," according to Sam Zizzi, a professor of sport and exercise psychology at West Virginia University.
"Athletes and teams have been doing this for decades," he said, adding that the type of music varies with the energy level of the sport. "Weightlifters want to get fired up, with heavier rock music or dance music with a strong beat. In the luge you'd want to be relaxed; maybe listen to some Miles Davis."

The Sony (NYSE: SNE) Walkman, Discman and the MP3 player have all served to provide game-day soundtracks over the years, but CD players have been known to skip. Cassette players are bulky and -- especially in frigid Alpine environments like the mountains around Turin -- "the batteries run out," said Don Orr, the editor of Snowboarding.com, a news and equipment Web site.

That's where iPod scores big. Its small size and digital technology facilitate listening in extreme situations -- such as being upside down, in the middle of a 1080 toe grab, during a once-in-a-lifetime Olympic routine.

Athletes of all kinds use iPods -- from Vince Carter, the NBA player who was reprimanded in 2004 for listening during layup practice, to members of the Orioles and Ravens -- but snowboarders are the machine's natural ambassadors on the Olympic stage. Theirs is a very music-oriented sport: Competitions are frequently set to blaring rock anthems. In Turin, selections are provided by the evocatively named DJ Chainsaw.

Goes With the Lifestyle
The iPod -- which was unveiled in 2001 -- has been part of Winter X Games for several years, according to Melissa Gullotti, a spokesperson for the extreme sports event, which includes snowboarding.

"These athletes have always been listening. Music is part of the genre and the lifestyle," Gullotti said.

"It's a detachment kind of thing," said Rodney Fox, 27, an iPod-addicted competitive snowboarder from Frederick. "I listen to metal when I'm trying to get something new down -- but if I'm mellow and it's a good powder day, it's reggae or some old Motown."

"It enables you to focus on what you're doing without actually focusing, if that makes any sense," said Dustin Majewski, 23, of Pasadena, who often listens to music -- from Helmet to the Rolling Stones -- when he snowboards. "You're not over-thinking, and that's the best way to perform the harder tricks and maneuvers."

Not everyone agrees. "I'm not certain it's such a good idea" to listen to a music player during events, said Mike Jones of Dundalk, the president of the Baltimore Ski Club. "When you're doing aerials and everything, you have to concentrate and focus on positions. On a day when it's cloudy, you don't know whether you're looking at snow or sky, and distractions can be very dangerous."

In fact, Spyder -- the company that sponsors the alpine ski team -- didn't rig its Olympic uniforms with iPod-ready wires in part because of safety concerns. "The skiers are racing down at 40 miles an hour," said Laura Wisner, a company spokesperson. "You are in a completely different realm. It would not be a good time to listen to your iPod."

The ones who may truly be affected by the iPod infusion are the fans, said Eric Zillmer, a professor of sports psychology at Drexel University. In competition, music represents an intimate tie between athlete and audience -- whether it's the snippet of a rap song played when a batter approaches the plate, or the background to a figure skater's routine.

"When people listen to the music, they're listening to an athlete's rhythm," he said. "When all of that comes together, it's a beautiful thing."

The tie is broken if the athlete -- plugged into a music player -- is the only one listening, he said. This may be all the more true with snowboarding exhibitions, where spectators are hearing another soundtrack altogether: jarring rock music, for instance, while the athlete riding the snow in front of them may be pumping the most soothing reggae into the speakers of his snug-fitting hood.

"I think it's better when we can listen to it too," Zillmer said.

Athletes' playlists
Here is some of the music on the playlists of Olympic athletes: Hannah Teter, American snowboarder: Listened to "Communicate" by her boyfriend's band, Strive Roots, during gold medal run. At an Olympic qualifying event in December, listened to "Higher" by k-os.

Gretchen Bleiler, American snowboarder: Her silver medal run was accompanied by Green Day's "Holiday."

Shaun White, American snowboarder: "Back in Black" by AC/DC played during gold medal run. Also likes Led Zeppelin.

John Kerr, British ice dancer, who skates with sister, Sinead: Before events, likes to listen to "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson.

Steve Omischl, Canadian freestyle skier: To energize before a competition, plays Rage Against The Machine and Eminem.

Jessica Schultz, American curler: Listens to Eminem and Metallica before games.

Joey Cheek, American speed skater: Likes to hear Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" before competing. Kimmie Meissner, American figure skater from Bel Air: Listens to "I Like to Move It" by Reel 2 Real.

Jen, can I have one of these, please, when we hit the lottery?

I also found Lindsey's page at USOC.

Lindsey Jacobellis was clearly on the road for snowboard cross gold when the worst happened - she wiped out just before the last jump of the course. As she made the second to last jump she grabbed her board in what some say was showing off, and some say was an effort for stability in the wind. She scrambled up and followed Swede Tanja Frieden to the finish line for the silver medal.

"I was having fun," she said. "Snowboarding is fun. I was ahead. I wanted to share my enthusiasm with the crowd. I messed up. Oh well, it happens."

I have to say that after looking at the slow motion, I think she was trying to show off, but I don't fault her for it. She was way ahead and it was almost in the bag. I am really sad for her, but I can imagine how awesome it would have been if she would have succeeded with the trick and gone on to gold. It would have been history in this the first year of snowboard cross in the Olympics. She will certainly be remembered for it, and I hope that she can ride to gold in Vanouver 2010.

American snowboarder Jayson Hale said "It's kind of a little victory thing. And when you've got that much of a lead at the end, you throw in something for the crowd, for fun. It happens. Just not at the Olympics and not when you've got a medal in your hand."









Congrats on your medal Lindsey. You're still a champion.

Jacobellis takes 1st place in the semi-finals to advance to the finals.

So, competing in the finals, we have:

Maltais of Canada


Jacobellis of the USA


Ricker of Canada


and Frieden of Switzerland


Good Luck Lindsey!!!

Hey, check out http://bozettetc.blogspot.com/ - Good pictures!

Lindsey Jacobellis rocks!!! I couldn't help but cheer her on in her quarter finals race in snowboard cross. I was happy for the Japanese rider too, who made it past the quarters. Yuki Fujimori, I think her name is. I always have to cheer for Japan, no matter what the event. ^_^

I think that it is high time that cool events like snowboard cross made it into the Olympics. I never put much worth to snowboarding until this Olympics. The half pipe was somewhat interesting, but the whoop-ass competition of women's snowboard cross really was exciting. Hey, now I can say that I have two favorite Olympic sports: Men's speed skating and Women's snowboard cross. Viva la Olympics!

We just finished watching Joss Whedon's series Firefly last night. We've really come to love this show, and tonight we're watching the movie Serenity. I don't know if any of the series' mysteries will be cleared up in the movie, but I really hope so.

I was just reading the series page on wikipedia. Warning, it has spoilers. I've also read some on Tv.com and on IMDB. I am excited about the movie tonight!!!

This is a spam email I got today...very unusual...


F****** St Valentine
What are you to do if you have bad erection? Especially in the forthcoming Saint Valentines Day???Don t worry, it is not the last of pea-time...The most simple way is to visit our site, order the medication and that is all you are to do!Do not kill the clock!


Happy Valentine's Day! :)

This is Monad!

http://blogs.msdn.com/monad/

I need to read it and learn more.

We just watched Apolo Anton Ohno have a slip in the race that could have put him into the finals in Men's Short track speed skating. He was in second place and tried to pass the leader, but accidentally touched the leader's skate and that messed up his run. I was so hoping to see him take gold. Well, way to go Apolo - you are great for having made it to Torino. I'll be watching for you in Vancouver!

From the official page:

Ohno stumbled coming into the closing lap of his semifinal and only made the B Final, where racers contest places seven to 12. In fact, he almost missed that race entirely, jumping over the barriers onto the ice as the others lined up.

"It's disappointing. I wanted to make that final," said the 23-year-old, who ultimately finished eighth.

"In my heart I felt I could have been there. I put everything on the table today.
"Prepared myself mentally, physically the best I can. I was really looking forward to it."


Ohno from the US slips during men's 1500 metres Short Track Speed Skating semi-final at the Winter Olympic Games © Reuters

Here's another article about it too. And here's a fan page for AAO.

I am not sure how this is going to work, but I'm interested:

Solar plant to be built in Nevada

It's cold this morning. Darn cold, I think, but not snowing like it is in the NE. I wish it would snow about 6 inches here. Free time off work! Woo Hoo. That'll never happen though. :p

I'm up early as is my usual ritual on Sundays. I didn't want to get up, but I woke up with a lot of congestion and a runny nose (like anyone wanted to know that.) Being half awake with a runny nose is damn annoying. It's like a fly buzzing around you in an otherwise quiet room - you just have to solve it. So, I got up and solved it and then went back to bed for 30 minutes but couldn't go back to sleep. So, I got up. It was so cold in the back of the house that I turned on the heat but stayed in the front watching Charles Osgood for about 20 minutes while it warmed up. He had Barry Manilow on. Did you know that he wrote the Band-Aid jingle? "...stuck on me" Weirdness.

I'm listening to XRM radio again. I checked out a CD from the library by a band called Atomic Kitten and I was listening to that, but they were just too soft and sleepy for me. Despite Jen's pestering me, it was the name that attracted my attention rather than the 3 good looking girls on the cover. I swear!



I also picked up a Jewel CD which I only listened to a little bit last night. I have come to the point of just picking random shit at the library these days. It's kind of like being the rat in the skinner box. Pick a good CD, get some enjoyment; Pick a bad one, waste time. I've gone through all of the CDs that they have that I really wanted to listen to, but once in a while I get something that I really like. For instance, I just returned U2's hits from 1990-2000. That was an awesome CD and I just picked it at random. I wish that my library had a bigger selection. It's good, don't get me wrong, but if I won the lottery, I'd but them a lot of new CDs.

Ooh, Evanescence (Bring me to life) is just playing. Love that song.

I just saw that U2 has a 1980-90 CD too and I'm going to have to request that one from the library.

I have lately been looking all over for episodes of an old TV show called Voyagers from when I was a kid. I loved it when I was in first grade (I think).

Introduction: "We travel through time to help history along. Give it a push when it's needed. When the Omni's Red it means history's wrong. Our job is to get everything back on track. Green light kid, We did it!"

I've been looking for months and can't find that show. Too old I guess.

Right now, I'm pretty interested in MAKE magazine. I haven't read an issue, but I've listened to some stuff about them on the net and it sounds cool. They are having a convention of sorts that I'd just flip to go to. Maker Faire. The Mythbusters, Jamie and Adam are going to be there. (Hey, I didn't know they had a fan club!)

Brendan has been particularly cute lately. We both got haircuts yesterday and it really did a lot for him. Jen says that my improvement post-shag-removal is as marked as his. Thanks wife!

We visited Dobie for about 4 hours yesterday. He thinks that he is going to be able to settle his years-long court case this week. I hope he does. It'll do him good. If he gets a good settlement, I think that it will make his life a lot easier. I hope he travels and gets himself healthy, not necessarily in that order. hehe.

Well, I think I've rambled for long enough. I didn't have a hell of a lot to say to start with. :) Jen and Bren are going to visit my folks this upcoming Friday. They're going via Amtrak, which will be good. Brendan is super into trains right now and I think that he will be amazed (or terrified) to ride one. I don't know if he'll link Thomas the Tank Engine and a big silver Amtrak, but I hope so. That's all for now. Tata!


Reading today:
http://www.burningpaper.net/
http://www.myspacepranks.com/
http://www.engrish.com/
http://www.makezine.com/

I was just digging around in my dowloads folder and found this audio clip from Disney World. This really brings back great memories of our Honeymoon at WDW and on the Disney Cruise Line. Anyone who had ridden the WDW monorails will recognize one part of this clip; it's one of the things that stands out in my mind from the trip, oddly enough.

From Jen's Diary:

Here is a picture of us on our honeymoon. We went to Disney World and on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas. I recommend this to everyone! Boy did we have a blast! We are wearing these goofy hats and our homemade honeymoon pins. They have Winnie the Pooh doing a handstand on the moon with a “hunny” pot and state “I am on my hunnymoon!” They got us a lot of congratulations and free desserts!

Last night we watched the last 1/2 hour of the opening ceremonies of the Torino Winter Games. There was some beautiful imagery. I really enjoyed it. Watching the opening of the Olympics always gives me a good feeling. There are so many people there and all of them are cheering and the athletes are taking photos of each other and of the event and it is just wonderful to watch. I can't describe it!

I am going to watch some of the games, and like I mentioned before, I am really anxious to watch speed skating. And what the heck is"moguls"? I've seen that mentioned several times. I have to look it up.

This is an article by Ray Bradbury from Feb 5th's LA Times. I consider him to be one of the preeminent writers of the 20th century. He has some very good suggestions in this article. His comments only go to show how badly our elected officials and the moronic citizenry react to innovative ideas in our cities. I've seen this so many times here in San Antonio. The latest and greatest fiasco was the Light Rail (link/local mirror) vote in 2000 in which the under-informed and short-sighted ballot-casters of our fair city rejected what could have been a revolution in transportation here. I fully expect this to continue in the backward cities, which will continue to grow more polluted and experience more traffic snarls. Bradbury has the right idea and I hope he succeeds - but I'm not holding my breath.

Wanna read more about SA light rail?

Here is the commentary from LA Times. (link)

L.A.'s future is up in the air
By Ray Bradbury, RAY BRADBURY is the author of "The Martian Chronicles," "Fahrenheit 451" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes," among other books.

SOMETIME IN THE next five years, traffic all across L.A. will freeze.

The freeways that were once a fast-moving way to get from one part of the city to another will become part of a slow-moving glacier, edging down the hills to nowhere.

In recent years we've all experienced the beginnings of this. A trip from the Valley into Los Angeles that used to take half an hour — all of a sudden it takes an hour or two or three. Our warning system tells us something must be done before our freeways trap us in the outlying districts, unable to get to our jobs.

In recent months there has been talk of yet another subway, one that would run between downtown L.A. and Santa Monica. That would be a disaster.

A single transit line will not answer our problems; we must lay plans for a series of transportation systems that would allow us to move freely, once more, within our city.

The answer to all this is the monorail. Let me explain.

More than 40 years ago, in 1963, I attended a meeting of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors at which the Alweg Monorail company outlined a plan to construct one or more monorails crossing L.A. north, south, east and west. The company said that if it were allowed to build the system, it would give the monorails to us for free — absolutely gratis. The company would operate the system and collect the fare revenues.

It seemed a reasonable bargain to me. But at the end of a long day of discussion, the Board of Supervisors rejected Alweg Monorail.

I was stunned. I dimly saw, even at that time, the future of freeways, which would, in the end, go nowhere.

At the end of the afternoon, I asked for three minutes to testify. I took the microphone and said, "To paraphrase Winston Churchill, rarely have so many owed so little to so few." I was conducted out of the meeting.

In a panic at what I saw as a disaster, I offered my services to the Alweg Monorail people for the next year.

During the following 12 months I lectured in almost every major area of L.A., at open forums and libraries, to tell people about the promise of the monorail. But at the end of that year nothing was done.

Forty years have passed, and more than ever we need an open discussion of our future. If we examine the history of subways, we will find how tremendously expensive and destructive they are.

They are, first of all, meant for cold climates such as Toronto, New York, London, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo. But L.A. is a Mediterranean area; our weather is sublime, and people are accustomed to traveling in the open air and enjoying the sunshine, not in closed cars under the ground.

Subways take forever to build and, because the tunnels have to be excavated, are incredibly expensive. The cost of one subway line would build 10 monorail systems.

Along the way, subway construction destroys businesses by the scores. The history of the subway from East L.A. to the Valley is a history of ruined businesses and upended lives.

The monorail is extraordinary in that it can be built elsewhere and then carried in and installed in mid-street with little confusion and no destruction of businesses. In a matter of a few months, a line could be built from Long Beach all the way along Western Avenue to the mountains with little disturbance to citizens and no threat to local businesses.

Compared to the heavy elevateds of the past, the monorail is virtually soundless. Anyone who has ridden the Disneyland or Seattle monorails knows how quietly they move.

They also have been virtually accident-free. The history of the monorail shows few collisions or fatalities.If we constructed monorails running north and south on Vermont, Western, Crenshaw and Broadway, and similar lines running east and west on Washington, Pico, Wilshire, Santa Monica and Sunset, we would have provided a proper cross section of transportation, allowing people to move anywhere in our city at any time.

There you have it. As soon as possible, we must call in one of the world's monorail-building companies to see what could be done so that the first ones could be in position by the end of the year to help our huddled traffic masses yearning to travel freely.

The freeway is the past, the monorail is our future, above and beyond.

Let the debate begin.


Way to go, Mr Bradbury!

Two quotes from a corporate newsletter that I get:


" For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat,
and wrong. " - HL Mencken


" A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at
some indefinite point in the future. " - U.S. General George Patton Jr.

Apolo Anton Ohno



I can not wait to see this guy skate!!!

Hurray for the Winter Olympics!!!

I found another site copying program that I'm trying out tonight: http://www.httrack.com/

I came to the realization tonight that I haven't written anything worth squat in days. Tomorrow, I will write something other than just posting junk that I find on the net.

Here are a few videos that I've watched lately.

Ouch!

Airplane VIII

Boom!


I ran across an interesting-looking website just now. I hope some of my friends and readers will sign up for it too.

IconBuffet is a leading provider of royalty-free stock icons and digital artwork for web designers and software developers. Our icons grace the interfaces of popular web applications, blogs, and traditional desktop software.

The deal with them is that you get a free set of icons periodically, but to get all the free sets, you have to trade copies of sets with friends. Hence the "hope you'll sign up" thing. :)

If you sign up, leave a comment or email me and we can trade sets. I'd like very much to do that!

I've been thinking of using this as my masthead. What do you think?



It's from Spell with Flickr.

[I'm not exactly sure why I'm posting this. It struck me as quite amusing the first time I read it. But today...ehhhh. It's just another of those forwarded emails.]

A Lady libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the White House complaining about the treatment of a captive insurgent (terrorist) being held in Guantanamo Bay. She received back the following reply:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the “Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint.

It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually), since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka -- over time. Just remember that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" -- wasn't that how you put it?

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching.

Good luck!

Cordially, your friend,
Don Rumsfeld

Oh my god, I just read up to #100. Must...tear...eyes...away! *dies*

I just started reading http://www.questionablecontent.net/. I don't know why or how I found it, but it is kind of unusual. It's a Doonesbury for slackers, but better, I think. That's a compliment. I don't like Doonesbury, but I might like this. I made the mistake of reading it backwards from today's back for a week or so, and I don't think that's what I should have done. If I had the intestinal fortitude, I'd start with #1 and read all the way up. But he's on #553 as of this writing. Ho Humm.

Anyway, Jeph Jacques is a pretty good artist. I like his style. He has a very cool tutorial on how he does it here.

Read a few and see what you think.

I was shopping for Jabra headsets lately and saw this on their website. I only slightly modded it to remove some Spanish that I didn't understand, but here it is in its mostly-original glory.


"The Jabra BT250v - you can even wear it in one of those dreams where you're laughing naked in a café!"

So great, in fact, that they're going to put it up in the library at work!

Think it's cold where you are? I doubt it...

http://www.markdaviesmedia.com/cold.htm (local mirror)

If I wasn't so averse to changing things in my life, I would probably change the template on my blog. But I'm not going to. Well, probably not.

http://blog-templates.ravasthi.name/

I remember PointCast from when it first came out several years ago. (I was jsut reminded by this article on BoingBoing.) Several of us at work used it. I think it has changed a lot now, but they still have the same girl on their website. Maybe she wrote it. It used to be a push client for news, weather, and things, I think.


http://www.quadsucker.com/ works better than that other one. Even though I am going to have to manually fix all the links and images, it still works for me. It didn't mess with things like that other one did.

I found one program to do what I wanted to (download a web page and save it) but it didn't work as I had hoped. It jacked with the HTML and I wanted an exact perfect copy.

http://webstripper.net/

I've really been getting into open source software lately, and the best place to find it is SourceForge.net. Here's their list of all-time top downloads from their site. Some very useful stuff.

http://sourceforge.net/top/topalltime.php?type=downloads

Today I am looking for a program that will download all the text and graphics of my web page and save them locally so that I can back them up. There's a lot of writing that I've done in a year and I'd rather not lose it if blogger has a catastrophe.

I'm at home today taking a sick day. I felt like Odo at hour 16.5 when I woke up this morning and I just couldn't make myself go to work. I was showered, shaven, etc, etc and then I just went back to sleep until 11. Hmmmm.

An owner of Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod music player filed a federal lawsuit against the computer maker, claiming the device causes hearing loss in people who use it.

(It's even on Digg. Aargh, it makes me mad that this person is so stupid.)

read more | digg story

Here's another case of a frivolous lawsuit filed by some moron with no common sense.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/02/01/ipod.suit.ap/index.html

Someone needs to kick this guy in the butt and remind him that some common sense is required to live. I've just heard about his next lawsuit; he wants to have a label put on the exit end of gun barrels saying "point other way". Stupid Bonehead.

I enjoy reading PC Magazine. It helps that I got it for $2 for a year - really! Now that that year is just about up, I wish I could remember what the site was that I ordered that from...

Anyways, I just got my Feb issue and found inside a link to PCMagConnect and from there found a link to ClickFlicks.net which looks like a good video site. I have to check some of those out.

It's all over!



Congrats Steelers!

I voted for Hasselbeck. I heard his name several times between the commercials...

I have to say that all the Budweiser commercials have been very good. Very high production quality. http://www.budweiser.com/

This Hummer ad was cool too. http://www.hummer.com/monsters/
Curiously, the Monster's name is Jennifer. Hmmmmmmmm.
http://www.jenniferlovestherobot.com/
(looks like a MySpace Profile - in other words, hideous...)

I'm enjoying the Stones show right now. They're pretty good for old dudes! :)

Just saw a funny Fedex commercial. Would like to see it again, but they don't have it on their site. Oh well.

Maybe http://www.ifilm.com/ has it or something...

The Stones are playing halftime. Excellent!

http://sprint.com/music

Unrelated to the superbowl, but something I want to read - John Romero, creator of some of the best first-person-shooter games of all time. His blog: http://rome.ro/

http://www.ControlYourUniverse.com (Click) Adam Sandler.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401855/ (Underworld Evo) even though I heard it sux.

Aaron Neville singing the National Anthem? Arf! Somebody teach this guy how to sing!

I've got the TV on right next to the computer and I'm already enjoying the commercials before the game has evens started.

Here's one that I hadn't heard of before now:
http://www.livegreengoyellow.com

It should be a fun evening. Hopefully lots of good commercials, and some good music. Stevie Wonder's on right now. I'm going to note any good URLs in posts tonight...

This website provides a list of programs that contain spyware and other malicious software. It will also identify companies that develop the programs and distribute them on the Internet.

(I just saw an a story about this in Information Week and went to the website. There's no info available about bad software yet, but maybe they will ramp it up soon...)

read more | digg story

Isn't it ironic, doncha think? This is so contradictory. On the label of some Imation DVD+R blanks that I just bought at walmart is this pair of rather contradictory paragraphs...


(click to enlarge)

I don't know where I got this, but I wish it was a winner!

I'd like to eat at Buca di Beppo some time...there's one in Austin. I just saw their ad in USA Today.

I'm not sure I believe it, but here's some info on the third installment. I will buy it if it ever comes out. We bought two copies of Diablo II, and probably will get two copies of this one too.

Link: GamingSteve.com

After reading that, one has to look at the company's site - Blizzard Entertainment.

I like a good blonde joke as much as the next guy. Like the one about "How do you know if a blonde has been using your computer?" ...... "There's white out on the screen"

This one, however, has got to be the best best best one I've ever seen.

I like this animated background. It can be used for tiling, but it is too busy for me to use here.

Since Jen uses Movable Type, one of these days I should install TypeMover and back it up.

Tired of searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot? Now you can have your own, in your car, while you're on the move!

I would so love this. I could use it on my TV truck that I want to buy some day...

read more | digg story

I'm home a little early today, which is nice. I was able to get my co-workers to bring amongst them 6 cakes for our friend's birthday party today. I'm happy about that. 1 was my and Jen's from-scratch Apple Upside-down cake, one was a giant coconut Jello ring made by one guy's wife, one was a cheesepie-like things from the local HEB grocery, one was a homemade chocolate Bundt cake, one was a loaf cake also from HEB, and finally one was a flat pecan bread type thing. I tried a bit of most and all were good. Thanks guys!

I ran across a good listing of web hosts today. I've been thinking about setting up a client with 1and1.com; they had mixed reviews on this LifeHacker thread so I'm not sure yet what to do.

I was just thinking about doing an SPF entry, but I'm not sure what today's topic is. Is it on http://randomandodd.blogspot.com/ or http://aprettyface.blogspot.com/ or somewhere else? More searching is in order!

The more I read Digg, the more I like it. I just found Kevin's flickr photos via http://diggtheblog.blogspot.com/

Keep up the good work, Diggguys!

Plus, I just found this: http://publicdomaintorrents.com/. I don't really know if they are or not, but they look old to me!

and so little to do. Wait. Strike that. Reverse it.

I have about a dozen things I want to post on my blog, but I just don't have time. I am working on a website for a company, just replaced a power supply fan in one of my computers, and am fighting with either bad DVD blanks or a going-bad drive. Argh! I'm gonna go nuts. Come on weekend, I can't wait any longer.

Oh, oh! One of my bestest friends is turning 74 Saturday and Jen and I are making her a cake totally from scratch tomorrow night. I've never done that so it should be an experience. I didn't know you could make a cake w/o a cake mix until I saw it on Alton Brown. Well, I did know, but I had no idea what was IN a cake mix. I'm excited!!!

P.S. A burn just completed successfully on the first try, so it must be the chitty blanks I bought at COMPUSA.

P.P.S. Tonight we started Crown of Fire, so more Shandril for us. Yeah!

Me, briefly

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North Texas, Texas, United States


This is the story
of a man named Darrell
who was working
and bringing up a family.

This is the story
of his lovely family
with 3 kids and wife
all at home.

We're a happy family!
Yes, we're a happy family!

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