I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

It's Monday, but I'm off work, so it feels like Sunday. One of the great things about working for the Catholics is all this wonderful free paid time off around Christmas. Ahhh, I'll miss that when I don't work for them any more.

Well, I'm working on setting up a new computer. We had planned on getting one at tax refund time, but there was a deal on Dell's site and you know I can't pass up a good deal.



The one we got has these specs:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 5000+
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
19 inch S199WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel Monitor
NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Integrated Graphics GPU
320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
Vista Home Premium

I have a whole lot of things to do today.

Yesterday I took Brendan to the Tower of the Americas. We're going tonite to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks that are launched from the top. More about that later.

Kina Grannis made a song about Digg and its really good! She's one of the top 10 finalists competing for a chance to be signed by Interscope Records and have her music video be played during the Super Bowl! You can watch the video here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoHzuLY1lcM. Vote for her at www.crashthesuperbowl.com

read more | digg story

I have to make some notes to myself for things to write about:

Attended 2 funerals in December: 1 catholic and 1 baptist. Compare and Contrast.
Gave away a ton of money in RuneScape (a brief return to the world)
Christmas party

Here's some actual material:

We went to iHop last night and ordered a ton of pancakes. I snapped this on the way out. Talk about Ho Ho Ho!


Merry Christmas all!

Geeeeee, it's been a long time since I logged in. Blogger put a message on my dashboard saying "Who the heck are you?" Hehe, just kidding. But I've had no time for writing lately. I'm kind of sad about that. But oh well, once January gets here, I'll be much better off.

I saw this on Harrypotter.com today and had to screenshot it. DVD 5 is out and this is one of the stills. I call it Dan Radcliffe as Captain Kirk. :)



Looks like Kirk in the old series uniform, but with glasses.

Today is Dobie's party, which might be fun or might be a disaster. We'll see. My friend Christopher was invited, but it is his mum's birthday, so he can't go. Oh well. I don't think I've written much about Christopher here, because I've only known him for 6 months or so and I haven't been writing much this last six months. He's a great fun guy. He lives life to the fullest. He's an anime fan like me and a video game fan and just an all-around good guy. I'm allergic to his dog. I never knew I was allergic to any animals, but I've been thrice to his house and every time I'm congested and coughing up crap for a week. She's a nice dog, though.

He bought me two expensive games for Christmas and I'm overwhelmed because I can't really spend as much on him as he spent on me. I am uncomfortable having to deal with that, because I want equality. I'm going to feel uncomfortable for a while, but if I win the mega millions that I put 5 bucks into yesterday, I'll give him a few hundred thousand. You too Ruthy. :)

It's cold today. 43 deg right now. We have broccoli in the garden that may not make it.

We (read: Jen) did Micky and Minnie for out front lawn this year, but have had nothing but challenges with them. The wind blew like a banshee yesterday and they are lying down in the yard (they blew over) despite having them copiously cable tied to metal fence posts. Darn it. They look cute when up, though. See?



A video might be forthcoming, if I get around to it.

Ooooh! I'm dumb. I let Jen's domain expire the other day by accident. It was expired for 3 or 4 days before I renewed it. That could have been a disaster. Whew, dodged a bullet there. I renewed 3 of my 4 domains so I wouldn't miss the two that expire in January. I use namesecure.com, but I probably should switch to somewhere else. They're expensive at $8 per year.

Playing Chrono Cross. Old PS1 game, but really good. Working on an XBOX 360 by playing on Live Search Club. Almost there!

Merry Christmas. * < ( : - )

Cassette tape adapter
32 Meg PCI Video card
iPod classic skin
old Yanni/Kitaro CD
HP 5 DVD
plasti-tak
Logi Mouseman, the blue one, ebay

We're thinking about getting a new computer around tax return time. I'm so excited. While I've been using 1152 x 864 resolution at work for some time, we're stuck at 800 x 600 here at home. Ohhhhhhhhh, the screen is sooo big here. We have to scroll left and right to see many websites these days. I'm anxious. :)

Thanksgiving was fun. Went to the folks for a few days. I watched some videos on my iPod to keep me occupied, so that was cool. I finally figured out how to properly do the conversion of my home videos to iPod format. It isn't hard now that I know how to do it, but I had a bear of a time figuring out all the steps. Oh well. Hint: don't follow the directions given in the conversion program. They don't work. Hehe.

We bought bro Super Mario Galaxy for his birthday, and played it a little with him. It's a great game and lots of fun. Not tooooo hard, but hard enough not to be boring. Just my kind of game. I always get stuck in Mario games and never finish them (I've never finished one) so I was enjoying it a lot. The Wii control is great too.

I really, really miss games. I need a good RPG to play. Wahhhhhh. I have a couple that would be good, but why I haven't started them I don't know.

It's cool seeing someone you know on TV...I know the guy in the blue in the first spot. I've watched several of these commercials, and they are really good. I think this is a local production company. I got to their site via WindTricity.com - they're good guys because they use 100% wind power for their operations.

November 10th was a great day. I helped put on an Anime Convention. It was one of the most fun experiences of my life. Dave, Christopher, Aaron, Wil: thanks a million guys.

Brendan just bumped my butt with his head and I said "Thanks for that klunk."

He said "I'm not a klink, I'm a boop!"

Hahahahahah!

I have known that I needed to write this down, but I've been so busy lately...

I went to Oni-Con 2007, apparently the 4th one, and had a BLAST! It was so much fun. Me, my friend Christopher, and JoseLuis and Jennifer all stayed together. We only went to Saturday, but we had a really good time. We went thru the dealers room about 4 times, watched some AMVs, took a ton of pics of people in costume, played some video games, and just generally enjoyed ourselves. I didn't go to any of the panels, but they did. I have learned since that I missed a major important thing by not going to any panels, but I'll do that next time I guess.

Their site says they have over 4,000 attendees. I'm so happy about that.

We also ate at Tan Tan Restaurant. It was an awesome place. Over 300 dishes, and I want to try so many more of them. I had Shredded Pork over crushed rice. It was tasty, but I wish I'd had some of the Pan Fried Noodles. Christopher had Chargrilled Pork and Egg Cake with Crushed Rice. The egg cake was awesome. He let me taste a little. I can't wait to take Jen there.

After that, we went to Hong Kong City Mall. It was great. It has inside of it the biggest Asian market I've ever seen. I spent a lot there. :)

We also shopped at where I bought a copy of Saigon Top Hits 28 from the $1.99 bin. It is really good!!!! I want to get more volumes!

I found this handy little tip today when I had to send CTRL+ALT+DELETE to a remote desktop session (which always ends up being processed by the local machine and not the remote one). The keystroke is CTRL+ALT+END. Handy to know and remember!

This is a fun video to watch...



but dude needs to spend less time tinkering with gadgets and more time paying attention in English class.

Woo hoo! I'm going to Oni-Con this weekend! It's gonna be great!

Brendan has told me twice now "You're my best friend."

Awwww, I'm both touched and saddened. I love being his best friend. Thing is, I'm like his only friend. Hmmmm. Except for Jen and Andy.

Just watched this again. Love it!

There are several good sci-fi/fantasy movies coming out this year that I want to see.

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
The Golden Compass
Stardust

Woot!

Warning: There are lots of things you can find in Google that are unfit for consumption by children. This is one of them.

CHRISTIAN MOTHER GOOSE

A "Droste effect" picture, on the concept of "4.0 mega pixels"from Seb Przd's Flickr photo stream.

See it

I have always seen this cool photo manipulation technique, but never knew it had a name. I want to try to make one of these myself...

I don't really have time to write about it right now, but this evening I went out with Christopher and Dobie and:

Sat at the bar and had Dim Sum. They had alcy, I had diet coke and a glass with sprite and a spritz of coke so I wouldn't be odd man out
Went from the Chinese restaurant next door to the Japanese one for the meal
Had a Blizzard
Played PS3 for the first time
Wated the first ep of Aeon Flux animated series
Found out that Chris is making out with a girl I introduced him to

Awesome!

Fun night. Note to self: write details later. Sleep now.

I love my wife! She got my family together and they all pitched in on a NEW iPod for my birthday. And not just any NEW iPod: a NEW iPod CLASSIC 80 GB. I know, that's like a contradiction, but it really is a new iPod classic. See, here is what it looks like.



It really does look like that. It holds pictures and will show them on the right half of the screen but it also will show you the covers of albums you have on there and other neat things too.

I LOVE IT!!! So much space!

It's small and light and the screen is super bright and it plays videos and oooh!!!! It's great! They gave me an iTunes gift card and the FM Radio tuner to go with it.

I have used it a ton. The battery is very good. I listened and watched a lot this week and I only had to charge it yesterday for the first time. It's great. Thanks ya'll!

I plan to give my old one to Brendan loaded with some of his favorite songs and a few oddball things just to see what he says about that. :)

Well, I've bombed 4 times now on encoding my video file. The audio and video aren't in sync and that bugs me - not just a little either! There's a good 7 seconds difference. Grrrrrr. More work is in order.

I played around with my laptop's wireless card today too. I had to go to help my friend with a publishers doc she was trying to make work, and I figured I'd take my laptop with me. I hooked it up in the car and turned on the wireless just to see what I could see. Mind you, I didn't attempt to connect to any of these networks, but they did show up on my screen.

I couldn't believe that there were so many networks! In the 5 miles I drove, I saw all these pop up (in random order so you can't work backwards and find out where I live):
2wire484
netgear
sam-3
2wire562
skyriver
riverinn
beerdepot
2wire271
ac4m-something-something
mrpko
airrowdy
2wire348
zipcodepvt

All those networks...very interesting! I wouldn't have thought there'd be so many.

Something I also learned about today is how to change the MAC address on your network card. The MAC address is the worldwide unique identifier for each an every network card produced. That number identifies you with 100% certainty if you use a card to log onto a network. Sometimes, network owners get a list of all the MAC addresses of their PCs and use address filtration instead of passwords (WEP/WPA). You could use this tool to play a prank on your wife by changing her MAC address so that she couldn't log on to the network. You shouldn't do that though, or you probably won't get any...well, nevermind. Suffice it to say, that this should be used for educational purposes only.

I learned a lot today!

So, I mentioned I was playing with Ophcrack. That has been fun. I've just been trying setting different passwords on my laptop to see what was crackable and how long it took. This was running on my Compaq 700 series, which is a relatively low-powered little machine. It is only an AMD Duron 1Ghz with 256 Meg of RAM, but it works for me. Thanks Dobie. I'm sure that this process would run considerably faster on a newer machine. Anyway, Ophcrack (from the Wikipedia) "...is an open source program that cracks Windows LM hashes using rainbow tables. It can crack 99.9% of alphanumeric passwords of up to 14 characters in usually a few seconds, and at most a few minutes." I didn't know that stuff, so I tried some longer passwords in my experiments. By the way, Rainbow tables are interesting but complex; read up on them if you're interested.

I have a nice table, and (for god only knows what reason) Blogger won't display it right, so here it is in a separate window.

To use this tool, you have to have a computer that boots off the CD that you have in hand. If the computer doesn't boot from the CD (you have to just try it and see if it does or not) then you have to change the CMOS setting for boot order. Smart techs set their computers not to boot from CDs and set a CMOS password, but I'd be interested in seeing how many unprotected computers I could boot in the real world and have success with this. If you have easy access to a machine and time, but not the CMOS password, you can pull the CMOS jumper to clear it. By clearing that password, you gain access to the CMOS settings and change the boot order. If it isn't password protected, you just have to know what F-key to press to get in. Anyway, if you can get the computer to boot the CD, you just sit back and wait. If the password is short and easy (and let's be honest: most people use their dog's name or something) you'll have it in no time without any traces. I guess if you were a smart Orenthal James Hacker you'd wear gloves so as not to leave fingerprints. hehe.

So, the long and short is that hacking passwords is easy if several circumstances go your way. If the machine is CMOS password protected and cabled to the desk and doesn't boot off CD, you're outta luck. Then you have to social engineer the password out of the user, but that's probably illegal, so it would be inadvisable.

From that same article I just mentioned: "51% of adult men smoke in Japan, which is down from the number of male smokers in the 1980s. Japan has some of the weakest anti-tobacco laws. There are very few public areas that are smoke-free."

Fucking disgusting. I can't imagine if half the men I knew smoked. I would definitely have trouble making friends.

(Huh...this is post 1,111. Kinda cool.)

Did you know that Japan has laws mandating recycling? I didn't!

I was reading this article about the cool vending machines there, and saw mention of "...the recycling laws, which are enforced in Japan." That piqued my curiosity, and I ended up reading this. I wasn't able to find a lot of info on their laws, but I'm at least interested. I want to increase recycling at work as much as I can. I already do as much as I can at home, but so many offices at work don't even recycle paper yet...

I'm multitasking today.

1) Cleaning a little
2) Learning about an encoding program to encode some of my home videos to iPod format
3) Playing with a password hacking program on my laptop
4) Tinkering with iTunes on Bren's computer. Giving him my iPod, because I got a new one for my B'day. Have to write about that.

Details and results of password experiments later.

I've really been enjoying the videos from KipKay on Metacafe today. Lots of good things. Smart dude.

Digital Blasphemy, that is. I love this site. I have to make note of it here so that I don't forget it. I have already forgotten it several times and remembered it again, so maybe now I can continue to remember it! Hehe.

We've been watching Negima! at anime club lately. I like it. I didn't at first, mainly due to the annoying voice of Negi, but now I do. My favorite characters are Yue and Nodoka.

Been entering bills in WheresGeorge today. That's fun!

I still think a lot about the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I saw the name listed on a bulletin board at work as "Deadly Hallows" - either not a fan or an accepter of any changes suggested by spell check. Hehe.

I was reading today something that I had been thinking I wished I had compiled myself: A list of all the spells in the Harry Potter series. It's a good article. If I'm ever rich, I'm going to give a lot of money to wikipedia.

Instant baby soothe, quick-peel an egg, speed-remove your shirt, turbo parking, and more!

It may be an ad for Sprint, but I'm ok with that. This is the best kind of ad! The shirt thing works! Try it!

Link to Waitless.org

(At the bottom left, there's a link called "Calculate your time" - I tried it first with "driving to work" and then descended into dirty words/phrases. It was damn funny.)

Gee, I haven't written in a long time. It isn't that I don't want to, but I have two reasons: 1) I have been so freaking busy with work and consulting and stuff and 2) I have been using all my free time with Jen and the kids. But, for now I'm on my own. Jen and the boys are visiting my parents. I'm going to try to write more this weekend.

I'm listening to the Splendid Table right now. They are talking about Apples and I was so surprised that the time from first hybridization to market is 30 years. Case in point: the new HoneyCrisp Apple. It has been 30 years in development! It is very good, in this apple lover's opinion. It's also very expensive at $2.99 per pound, at least here in South Texas. It must be cheaper near where it is grown, but it is pricey here. Anyway Lynne had Dr. David Bedford from the University of Minnesota, one of the creators of the HoneyCrisp, on the show.

I also heard and ad for Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, which I may have to take Jen to. I didn't know you could grow olives in Texas, but apparently you can. I think she'd love to have an olive tree.

Jalapenos
I also picked a ton of our red Jalapenos this morning. We have the non-hot jalapenos, and I really like them. Unfortunately, I found we have lots of Orange Bugs on our tomatoes. Their days are numbered.



Back later...

Goodbye, Yahoo Photos...I never used ye, tho' ye thunk I did.



Dear Yahoo! Photos user,

For some time now, we've supported two great photo sharing services: Yahoo! Photos and Flickr. But even good things come to an end, and we've decided to close Yahoo! Photos to focus all our efforts on Flickr — the award-winning photo sharing community that TIME Magazine has called "completely addictive."

We will officially close Yahoo! Photos on Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 9 p.m. PDT. Until then, we are offering you the opportunity to move to another photo sharing service (Flickr, KODAK Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Photobucket). We’re making the transfer real simple, and with a couple clicks we’ll automatically move your photos to Flickr or wherever you want them. You can also download your original-resolution photos back to your computer, or buy an archive CD from our featured partner (for users of the New Yahoo! Photos only). All you need to do is tell us what to do with your photos before we close, after which any photos remaining on Yahoo! Photos will be deleted and no longer accessible.

I like getting birthday greetings!

Well, it looks like my pic a day week failed. I tried, but I was too busy. I'll try again. Jen did great, though. Thanks, babe. You're wonderful!

FO, this one's for you!


Motion Activated Sprinkler Vs Pigeons - Watch more free videos

Well, it seems to have been a terrible week at least in terms of me posting more than one picture and one poor excuse for a picture. I may or may not complete that project. I want to, but I don't know if I will.

Oh well, we shall see.

In the meantime, here's a cool video that I liked. I love space.

Bubbles in Space

Seven Days, Seven Pictures. Day 2.



I was doing more Net Community Service today with Google Image Labeler. This was one of the more memorable images that I tagged. G.I.L. is kind of fun. It's almost like a game!

I need to get back to GalaxyZoo too, but I've just been very busy with my various different activities lately. Either I'm working, or consulting, or at home doing something. Anime Club just started back up, plus I need to work on Mom's website. Many things going on = dearth of blogging. Dearth, not death. I'll never stop blogging. This is my diary for when I'm old and feeble and can't remember stuff. Hopefully the kids will read it some day and appreciate it.

Seven Days, Seven Pictures. Day 1.


(Zoom!)*

So, here's my first picture. There's a weird story behind this. I did a consulting job for a lady yesterday which was supposed to just consist of setting up her computer at her new house. She's just moved from her apartment into a newly built house. In fact, she's only the second person to move into this new development**. She's single again and very independent, with an adult daughter who has her own family. Anyway, I arrived as agreed at 10am. It turns out that the computer desk had not been delivered yet, so she said why didn't I just set the computer up on the floor and then we could move it when the desk got there. I didn't like that option very much so I said why couldn't I just go get the desk for her. I have a van, and I can take out both back seats for lots of cargo room. She was happy about that and I went off to get it. When I got to the store, her friend was there to pay for it, and we found that it was not assembled as they had thought, but it was flat-packed (you know like any furniture purchased at Wal-Mart - flat in a box, u-assemble). After a little fussing, the friend went ahead and paid and I loaded it up along with a shelf she bought. The friend left and I chatted with the two store guys for a minute. I ended up giving each of them a business card and answering some questions. Then I went to a second store called Tuesday Morning to pick up a little corner table for her. I like that store; we have to go there. So, I got back to her house and opened up the desk. It was sooo easy to put together, and it was very nice. Solid wood, not that particle board crap from Wally World that I have a lot of. Hehe. Anyway, it was solid and heavy and great. Better be for $350! So, I setup the computer on it and hid the cables as best I could. I didn't put the shelf together, but I did unbox the pieces for her and reassure her that she could do it (I bet she doesn't, though). So, finally after 4 hours, I was done and ready to go. She asked if I would mind taking the boxes and some other trash to the dumpster. I literally stuffed the van with cardboard boxes and good stuff, while piling 6 giant black trash bags on the roof. I'm a packrat, so my mouth was almost watering at the prospect of taking home all those great moving boxes, which I did do. I threw the bags away and dug out some fine pieces of stair railing for dad.

This was one of those giant red dumpsters and it had stairs on it, so I assumed I was meant to climb the stairs. Hey, they were put there for a reason! I assume the reason is that in case anyone "accidentally" threw away anything good, someone else could retrieve it. :) Anyway, I got the goodies, and brought the moving boxes home, and the box from her new HDTV, and this coffin picture is the box that the shelf parts I was talking about came in. Jen and I were talking about whether to keep it and we decided that it looked like a good burial unit.

It was a pretty good day; got neat junk and made a good chunk of change for my 4 hours work!

*Dang, they better not cremate me when I kick off, or I may burn down the place!
**I saw this cool mobile surveillence station on the way into the place.

I got this idea from the Jumping Monkeys podcast #12 and from Chookooloonks. For the next week (starting tomorrow), both Jen and I are going to do a picture a day with some kind of blog post or commentary on the picture. I don't have the stick-to-it-ive-ness of Karen Chookooloonks, so we're just trying it out for a week.

If any of you few readers want to do the same, just leave a comment so we can go look at yours too. I'm thinking of you, FO; you can do it. ^_^ How about a hospital picture to start?

Speaking of which, last weekend Jen and I and boys had a marvelous visit with Mr and Mrs FO, and baby bean FOlina who I look forward to meeting in January. We played Monkeys on the moon and Carcassonne. We love Carcassonne so much, we're planning to buy it. And by the way, isn't this just a monkey themed post? Hehe.

I have been enjoying Jumping Monkeys the podcast quite a bit lately. I particularly liked the one with Cat Schwartz, the hitechmommy, who I've been a fan of for a long time. It's a great podcast, like all Leo's are. I LOLd while driving at something Leo said in JM #12: He called Boston Proper "Slutty Clothes" - he was right. :)

Well, get ready for the first picture tomorrow. A hint: It'll kill ya! Har har har har!

Jen, you're busy at the moment, but read this.

I don't recall if I ever mentioned that we finished Potter 7. It was awesome.

I was just dinking around at the library website and found the record for that book.

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows
by J.K. Rowling ; illustrations by Mary GrandPré.
New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007
Currently 127 holds on first copy returned of 304 copies

How about that! 304 copies. I'm impressed.

But I'm reading this anyway...http://www.aboutcolonblank.com/

People here are boring. I just learned how to browse profiles and, checking San Antonio, found not much of interest. Oh well, maybe I'm one of them...

I'm still feeling puny from being sick. Maybe that's why I'm such a grump.

My friend showed me this weirrrrrrd music video...



Unrelated to that:
------------------
Been a busy week at work. Going crazy trying to get about 3000 students' account organized into their right places before orientation on the 18th. Also have been trying to get my two assistants to commit to more work so we can finish that. They won't firmly commit. "Well, maybe I can..." Come on dudes, you need the money!

Unrelated to that:
------------------
I haven't really been working on finding a new job. I'm still sad that I didn't get the one at that bank :( :( :(

However, I do have two firm references. The lady that first hired me as a student, and the guy that hired me from there on as full-time. Definitely good. My references will be more organized now. I just have to get one last one for sure.

Unrelated to that:
------------------
Oh gawdddd we're all sick. First Jen on Friday, then Andy, and me last night, and Brendan in the wee hours of this morning. I hate being sick. We had spaghetti last night and I saw the return of spaghetti much sooner than I expected to. Brendan came into the living room at 4am, where I was trying to distract myself with net, and said "I spit on the room. You cleanup?" Poor little chum. He slept on the couch and still is, his sleep interspersed with waking up to barf. Hopefully my barfing is over. I have been drinking tiny sips of water because I'm as thirsty as a dog in the desert, but even that makes my stomach hurt. I ache.

Unrelated to that:
------------------
We've been buying games for the Nintendo 64 on eBay for Bren. He likes them, and they're cheap. Jen got me Chrono Cross which is rated 10 on gamespot. It's a PS1 game, but I'm anxious to play it if I can ever finish the Diablo II expansion.

Unrelated to that:
------------------
Over the weekend, when we were all fairly well, we went to Jen's cousin's baby shower. It was nice. The cake was good. Costo, I think. We also both got to chat with her cousin Jamie with whose mom we're estranged. I like Jamie. She's an anime fan like me. The shower was at Alamo cafe, where 7 years ago we were married. Needless to say, it is one of our favorite places to eat. Oh, eating, my stomach hurts just thinking about that.

We use those dial-around long distance numbers. I just got an automated call from the one we're currently using thanking me for being a customer. I was wondering if they were still the cheapest and apparently they are.

10-10-987 - $1.33 for 20 minutes.
10-10-220 - $2.49 for 20 minutes.
10-10-345 - $3.30 for 20 minutes.

Cool!

By the way, I didn't get that job. She sent me a letter. I've known for a week, I've just been too unhappy to write it down.

Back to the search, I guess...

I don't recall if I ever posted this wonderful collage that Jen made a few months ago, so here it is.



I just adore this!

Larger size is viewable in my Flickr box on the right.

...Jen, a projector, and two wii-motes!



Hahahahaha! What a good sport!

I eat an apple for dessert after lunch almost every day of the work week (except when I forget to bring one.) It's not that I particularly love apples all that much, it is just that they are convenient. No tools needed and only the core to throw away when I'm done. Not to mention that I don't get juice on my hands when I eat them like I would an orange for example. I can't stand getting my hands/face dirty when I am eating in public. At home its OK, but in public I use a ton of napkins.

Anyway, here's an article I just read that says I'm doing something good. By the way, my favorite is Pink Lady, with Fuji a close second. I hate soft, mushy apples.

Reading today: http://kerflop.com/ and http://offsprung.com/.

Going consulting in approximately 4 minutes. Yahoo! $$$!

Haven't looked at any galaxies lately, but the newsletter that came out from them today made me more excited about doing so. Check this out:

To date, unbelievably, 80,000 of you have viewed and classified more than 10 million images of galaxies. Our initial target of having each galaxy (there are a million in our initial sample from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) viewed once is more than done, but we still need your help. Our NEW target is to have each and every galaxy classified by 20 separate users.

Ok, now I have to go login...

Man, there's a b-woman at work that I hate dealing with. She's always rude to me for no reason that I know of. It makes me feel 1 inch tall when she does this. The hag has only worked here a few months too. She should show more respect. Pah!

Ok, sanity can return now.

I've been looking at lots of the photos over at Brandy Fletcher's blog in the last few minutes. These are some really great photographs. Outstanding. I like several in particular. There's a photo of a lady in a wedding dress, turned B&W, but with the flowers left yellow that I really like. I also like this one of a funny girl with a star over her eye, much further down on the page. That's just kewl. I wanted to link to the photos, but for some reason I couldn't and I didn't want to take copies. Oh well.

I've been playing Vector TD and enjoying it quite a lot. My high score on the first (easy) map: 3,794,972. Level 49!!! Dang, those yellows always kill me...


(Zoom)

Well, we're almost done with HP and Deathly Hallows. It is really good. I'm still on the lookout for HP related stuff, and thus am putting up this letter seen in Jul 23, 2007 issue of Network World magazine. That is a very good trade publication that I get at work. Finally, my two loves Potter and Networking - together at last.

It's pretty amusing for the network guy that is also a Potter fan...it may just be confusing for others. Networking is a type of Wizardry, I think. That's why I'm in it!



Click here for a bigger version, or here for the original scan (big!).

This is ep 1 of my favorite, favorite, favorite anime series, Cardcaptor Sakura! OK world, let it be known far and wide that I love shōjo anime, particularly of the Magical Girl variety. And I'm not ashamed of it. :p



I just adore Sakura-chan!



I've watched all 70 episodes (subtitled of course, never dubbed) (and certainly never the Americanized tish version they called Cardcaptors) and both movies, plus I'm almost finished reading the manga version if I can just track down #5. I've gotten the wrong number 5 from the library twice now. Hehe.

Other anime that I like: Maburaho, Ranma 1/2, Elfen Lied, Fushigi Yuugi, Outlaw Star, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ceres Celestial Legend. When I was a kid and before I knew what anime was, I loved Space Battleship Yamato (aka Star Blazers) and Voltron.

I swung by Jack in the Box yesterday morning for my favorite thing to eat for breakfast - Breakfast Jacks! With the egg, and ham, and yummy cheese all on a soft bun, I could just eat them all day.

So, I get to the menu board and here's what I see:

(click any to zoom)



Amazing! Jack's menu board display uses Windows CE!



I was impressed. That's pretty cool.


I wasn't impressed by the fact that some dopey tech had put the same static IP address on the menu display and on some other device, though. How dumb can you be? Hehe.



Looks like fun to me...

"In March, a strange virus felled large swaths of the tech blogosphere. Well, it wasn't exactly a virus -- it was actually a Flash game, but one so giddily addictive that it would destroy, for days and weeks at a time, the productive capacities of anyone in its path...Desktop Tower Defense"

Play Vector TD now - read more - digg story

The end of analog broadcast TV, that is. Don't know what that means? Well, read up! It basically means that if you use one of those old timey TV antennas, you will be outta luck come February 19, 2009. That's only 574 days away!

My advice, don't rush out to buy a brand new TV now. In the like year and a half before then TVs will get better and go down in price. No worries. You don't really have to have a new TV anyway unless yours is 10 years old and doesn't have a digital tuner. How do you know if you're OK...well, I dunno. I guess you wait until Feb 19th and see what happens. :)

Everyone should read this!

It is just another example of the severe paranoia that seems to be gripping even the lowliest of our uniformed people. The author's reference to the excesses of the Soviet era sound right on to me. Transparency Now!

I got a spam this morning that made me giggle. This is so stupid. Do they really think anyone is going to open this trash?



Stupid Spammers!

I've been watching the neat videos at Potter Puppet Pals, a fun site.

They have cute animated icons like this one that I've been enjoying! I'm going to link to them!




I've also decided that I'm not even going to look for Potter things like the Marauders Map on the net. I read a spoiler that I didn't want to. :(

I was talking with someone (I can't remember who) the other day about the Potter movies and their directors. I was under the false impression that all 5 had different directors, so I went and looked it up.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - David Yates
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Mike Newell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Alfonso Cuaron
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chris Columbus
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Chris Columbus

Though I've enjoyed the movies immensely, I think #1 and #5 have been the best. I really liked Chris Columbus's style and respect to the original story in Sorcerer's Stone. That ran over into #2, which I also liked, but I didn't think it was as good as Stone. Prisoner was a departure from Columbus's style which I didn't like so much. I was not happy to see the kids put in jeans and T-shirts, and that kind of turned me off to this movie. I know that Emma was pushing for that, but let me just say phoo to that. I LOVED the ending credits made to look like the [Warning! Book 7 spoilers] Marauder's Map though. Goblet was, I think, the most disappointing of the films to date. Soooo much was taken out and changed for the film version, and the highest affront to me is changing the near-perfect tales that JKR has produced. Movie 4 sped through the book, leaving out tons of great backstory, changing details to meet the desires of the movie-makers, and just generally leaving me with a feeling that it was more for the money than the storytelling.
I just have to say thank god for David Yates. This guy must have worked with Chris Columbus or something, because to me the old magic of movie #1 was back with Order of the Phoenix. I'm am so, so, so happy to see that he's also on board for the 2008 release of Half-Blood Prince. I expect fully that it will be as good as Order's movie. (The Half-Blood Prince movie will release Nov 18th, 2008, according to FilmSpot, but the 21st according to IMDB. Suffice it to say that I'll be happily sitting in a midnight show sometime in Nov of next year.) (On IMDB, the "buzz" over the HBP movie has increased 900% since last week. Oooh!)

So, while I may complain a little about the execution of the movies, I do own all the DVDs and have enjoyed each several times. I'm so very happy that #1 was great (because hey, it's the first!) and that #5 was great (since that's my favorite of the books.)

We're finally back from getting Harry Potter book 7. Yay! I'm so excited.

When we entered #6 Bookstore Drive, oh, I mean Barnes & Noble, we were sorted by a nice lady with a hat and directed to a table to get our reserve ticket. We got there about 10:45, so we got a relatively late pickup ticket, but I figured they had PLENTY of copies and wasn't too worried. We checked in, and thanks to Jen, were on the list of pre-reserves.


(Zoom)

We went on in and strolled around a bit before getting our photy-graph taken.

World's Worst Picture
(Zoom)

Most assuredly one of the worlds worst photographs of all time, but I can laugh about it. Where's Brendan? Oh, cowering in the vicinity of Jen's ankles. Little rat!

Then we made our way to the Children's area where we knew there were some benches to sit on. We pretty much just sat there and did nothing until time. Bren and I made a circuit of the store once just to see who we could see, and I picked this up. There were a few really good costumes, but I didn't take any pics of them.

The Harry Potter 7 Handout
(Zoom)

Here's a pic of Brendan clowning.

Brendan at Potter Night

And one of Andy.

Andy at Potter Night

We chatted with some nice folks while we were sitting. Andy went to one lady and got bounced on her knee for a while, so that was cool. Bren kind of hovered on the edge of a small group of kids, but didn't really interact.

We also had a nice chat with a lady and her 11-year-old-maybe daughter. The daughter Katelyn was a big fan, and we had a good time talking to her. Her brother Andrew was in line and I talked to him briefly later, only to introduce our Andy to him. He was happy and tweaked little Andy's cheek. :)

When it was time, we got in line, and I have to compliment Flourish and...oh I mean Barnes & Noble: they had line directors, and people always telling you where to go. The checkout was prompt and organized, then out we went to the car with book in hand!


Earlier in the evening we had made a tough choice: JKR was reading the first chapter online from London and we decided who better to hear it from than her. So, we'd heard the entire first chapter before we got the book and just started with chapter 2. Here she is at the reading. I've been looking for a copy of that video, but it is only on Scholastic's website as far as I can tell.

J.K. Rowling with Book 7

Thank you JKR. We love your work.



Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Less than *six* hours left until we get our hot little hands on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hurry up, hurry up!

Bren calls Smashmouth's All-Star "Shrek Song". He sings it all the time now. He makes up lots of the words, but he has the tune down!

It's very cute.

[Update]: We may be banned from further listening to this song. I just played it and Bren loves it so much that he thrashes and headbangs while it plays. I was sitting on the floor participating when he ran full speed toward me from 5 feet away. I turned my head away since he scared me so badly and he rammed his face into the side of my head. I heard a sickening crunch and would have sworn that his nose was broken. I screamed "Help, Jen" (yeah, I'm a baby) and we found that he had almost knocked out his upper right front tooth on my head. It was bleeding and loose, but it didn't come out, thankfully. Brendan was in shock it seemed for about 30 minutes. He wouldn't talk and was just sprawled on the floor alternately crying and quivering. It really tore me up, but Jen as always was the voice of reason and looked up "tooth injury" online. He's OK now, but I sure don't feel like playing that song very much anymore...

I had an amusing set of phone conversations this evening.

"Ring, Ring"
Me: Hello.
Caller: Is this Pizza Time?
M: No.
C: Ok.
Click.

1 Minute, "Ring, Ring"
M: Hello.
C: Is this Pizza Time?
M: No.
C: Do you have the number?
M: No.
C: Who is this?
M: I'm just a guy at a house. (Tee Hee Hee...it's been months since I've gotten to use my tagline!)
C: Huh?
M: I'm just a guy at a house.
C: Who is this? What's your name?
M: I'm not gonna tell you my name; What's your name?
C: Carla, what's yours?
M: Joe.
C: Ok.
Click.

3 Minutes, "Ring, Ring"
M: Hello again Carla.
C: Is Joe there?
M: Yeah, that's me.
C: Joe Momma?
Click.

Me and Jen laughed our butts off and were sure she was going to call back again, but she didn't. :( I was all ready too with "Pizza Time, would you like to order our Carla special" or in a deep voice "Pizza Time, can I help you......hahahahahahah JUST KIDDING!"

Oh well. That was my fun for the night. [grin]

I'm happy. Over the past few days, I've solved problems for several people and they have said "I love you, Darrell!"

And they weren't Jen...Oooh! :)

I've spent about 45 minutes total this week working for the scientific betterment of humanity. No, I haven't been signing up to donate my body to science, I've been working on classifying galaxies at Galaxy Zoo. It's fun to do something useful. While Seti at Home is great, this is a little more hands-on.

I really enjoyed Order of the Phoenix. I can't remember the last time I went to a midnight show, but it was so worth it. We got there early, about 11:45 and were sent to the "third theater on your left" which was marked as the 12:15 show. I don't know why because our tickets were 11:59, but oh well. We got in and the theater wasn't packed, but it was filling. I think they had it on 3 or 4 screens.

It was fun listening to people. We sat in the front row, as always, and turned around to watch people and listen to banter. Some of em were calling trivia questions back and forth. Now, I consider myself to be quite the HP fan, and most of these things were so obscure that I didn't even know them. (Snape's street where his house is? Professor Sprout's first name?). After a while of this going on, some guy stands up (in jest) and yells "You guys are all nerds! There, I said it." And we all laughed. More waiting and watching people and chatter. Then at one point someone behind us said something about Hedwig, and Jen lifted up our beautiful stuffed version which she had brought along just for fun (I only wore my HP 4 Big Dogs Shirt (Harry Pawter and the Goblet of Fur)) . That same yeller from before said pretty loudly, "Hey your nerdiness has been trumped by the girl that brought the owl!!!" Jen and I had a good laugh at that one!

So finally the previews played, lots of good ones, and then the movie. I was really happy with the way it turned out. There weren't drastic changes from the book, which makes me happy. There were lots of things omitted - mostly small things, though. All in all, I think this was the best one since the first one. They did a great job on it. I say two thumbs up!

We got back to the car at 2:49 am and sped home to sleeping boys. Thanks to Mimi and Papa for letting us have a date night!!! :)

Ohmigod! Order of the Phoenix was great. I love, love, loved it. Awesome!!! I can't wait to see it again. Have to sleep now...

Some of the comments on the Dilbert Blog are really funny. Others are just right-on. Like this, which describes my consulting fairly well...in response to "describe your job in one sentence."

"I fix the computers of people that shouldn't be allowed to own computers."

Scott Adams can be damn funny when he's really on an up day...

Bah!!!! Nothing! OK, maybe I'm a little more anxious than I'm letting on. Hehe. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting...........

Well, since I am off Mondays in the summer, I had a consulting job lined up this morning. I was going to move a small office to a new space, but unfortunately the new space is not ready, so the move is off for today. That's OK, though. I'll get er done.

I've been goofing off for a while to (hopefully) give the bank lady time to answer emails. I'm going to check my email now and hopefully I'll have some kind of an encouraging response. The wait is driving Jen nuts, and I'm beginning to get antsy too.

On the upside, we've got 11:59 pm tickets for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tomorrow night. I'm really stoked! This is my favorite book. I hope they do it justice.

Ok, now to email. Be right back.

Come on!!! Hurry up!

I had no idea we were even voting on the New 7 Wonders of the World. Man, I woulda voted!!!

According to CNN:

The new seven wonders of the world were named Saturday following an online vote that generated server-crushing traffic in its final hours.

The final tally produced this list of the world's top human-built wonders:
• The Great Wall of China
• Petra in Jordan
• Brazil's statue of Christ the Redeemer
• Peru's Machu Picchu
• Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid
• The Colosseum in Rome
• India's Taj Mahal



(Zoom)

Before the vote ended Friday, organizers said more than 90 million votes had been cast for 21 sites. Voting at the Web site, www.new7wonders.com, ended at 6 p.m. ET Friday. Traffic was so heavy Friday that the site was crashing at times.

What is awesome to me is that we are making strides toward global opinion polling. I think that is so cool. While this kind of online vote obviously leaves out tons of people from the polling, I'd like to think that it takes a fair sample at least of those people who are familiar with world events. I think one day, it will be a normal occurrence to be able to go online every day and take part in things like this. Thank you, organizers dudes.

I just found something in our cleaning that I wanted to write down.

In 1992, I took 2nd place in UIL accounting at District, and 5th place at regional.

That's what I got my letter jacket for. Those were really fun trips!

We've been working our butts of in anticipation of me getting the bank job!

We're cleaning house and going thru things that are stored so that we can have a garage sale. Mom and Jen have been cleaning and painting a little and emptying out closets. I have actually pared down my never-used CD collection by about 1/3. The others are ones that I really like and proooomise that I'll listen to. I may even, no, I will even let go of some of my books. I have some I haven't read or just don't want to keep any more. That's the theme of this move it seems: downsize.

Oh, and by the way, we've not heard anything back from the bank. Jen and mom: going nuts. Me: getting a little anxious. I just want to eat pizza.

Mom and I worked on the front lawn today and I hurt my back a little. So I showered and then came back to the big room. The last thing I remember was lying on the floor with Andy rolling around near me and then *crash*! I woke up with a note next to me that they went to HEB (grocery store) and that was it. It was a good therapeutic nap. I dreamed about a new open-front coke machine like they used to have back in the day (everything old is new again, ya know). A guy was with me trying to figure out how to scam the machine so I told him my dear old dad's trick - and I fully believe in dad having done this - take the top off the bottle and suck the soda out with a straw! Hahahahahahaha.

I love the net!!!!!

It lets me watch things like the Live Earth Japan concert live.

I love you, Internet. XX OO

I love interesting numbers - like 07-07-07. What a neat day. :-)

I just contacted my cell phone provider and got this email back:

Thank you for using Corporate Account Support via Sprint online.

We have received your request. A Corporate Support Specialist will reply to your request within 48 hours.

Thank you for contacting Sprint where our customers come first.

Corporate Accounts Support


Weh-he-he-lll now! And just how do they guarantee that the customer will come first, I wanna know? :p

I have heard from a couple of people that Texas now bans cell phone use while driving. I haven't been able to substantiate this, but here's a good list of info that I found. It looks up-to-date judging by the review date at the bottom.

Cell Phone Laws

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the door and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'


They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and happy, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'

It is simple' said the Lord, 'it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to use the long-handled spoon to feed each other, and in so doing they all experience nourishment and happiness, while the greedy think only of themselves and in so doing become impoverished.'


I heard this when I was a kid (my 8th grade graduation speaker told it) and it has been with me ever since. It pretty much governs my life, now that I think of it. I make others happy and solve their problems, thereby making myself happy. It's a good story to remember. :) I'm thankful that one of my nun buddies sent it to me in my email today.

Last Monday July 2nd, I traveled to Denton Texas to interview to the position of IT Systems Administrator at a bank. I was very excited and still am. I was very honest and up-front with them about salary requirements, and that didn't seem to bother them, so there's a double plus.

It seems like almost all the things they want in a person, I have. I don't know much about Linux, but I can learn. I met first with the HR director, a nice lady and had all the standard interview questions. Strengths = reliability and getting the job done, weaknesses = being too busy to keep my office clean. That didn't seem to bother her too much. I enjoyed chatting with her. Then I was handed off to the guy that would be my boss. Nice guy too. We hit it off immediately. He's around my age, has the same kind of glasses that I do, and a little darker hair but his is a lot shorter than mine. Basically he's a taller thinner version of me. We had the same kind of personality too, I think. We talked for maybe an hour and a half, I guess. It was great fun. I've never enjoyed an interview so much. I've always been nervous before, but not this time. I think that's because I'm not desperate for a job. I was relaxed and enjoyed the time there. I was there for a total of two and a half hours, by the way. The whole time mom and Bren were in the car waiting for me; we didn't expect a 2.5 hr interview! :) Anyway, I had a great chat with the boss-to-be and then was handed off to his boss, the Chief Operations Officer. Oh, I forgot to mention that this bank with nine branches operates their entire IT on THREE IT staff and a summer intern. I was flabbergasted!!! That's so small. I'm used to 18 techs, all very specialized. Of course, their financial data management is outsourced to FISERV, which apparently a lot of smaller banks do. So at least I wouldn't be responsible for financial data. That's definitely good. That's serious shit, being in charge of people's financial info. I don't want that yet. So anyway, I had a good chat with the COO, he was nice and very complimentary of the b-t-b. He did mention that b-t-b had some maturing to do, which I'm not sure if that was told me me because I seemed more mature or what, but anyway, that's OK. After I finished talking to that guy, I was handed back to the HR lady. She basically thanked me and said that she had just sent me an email with a two hour test that they give to prospective hires. I said I'd work on it right away when I got home. Wow! I figure this test has to cost them money to administer, and they wouldn't waste money if they weren't serious about hiring me. So I'm excited. :) :) :)

Other things I remember now that I don't want to go to the trouble to write into the above:
1) B-t-b has a blackberry and alluded to the fact that I'd get one too. Cool. I think it was one of the AT&T models.
2) Health insurance only $45 per month for the employee, with an additional cost for the family.
3) Dental and, I think, vision included.
4) Vacation after a year. Maybe a week of it; cant' remember. 5 sick days, two personal days, and all the holidays that the FED observes. That's OK, but not as good as the Catholics. Praise god! Hehe.
5) Runs exchange (my love), BES Server (Exchange's best friend), roaming profiles (cool), group policy (know a little about), Terminal Services (dunno much about), SQUID web proxy (dunno much about), Windows 2000 and XP on the desktops (OK), some kind of tape backups (OK). They are moving from (get this) Win2K on the desktops to XP just now. No Vista there (except on my desk, I gare-on-tee that). They like stability, but I call that a tad behind. They should have gone to XP maybe two years ago or something, but I can deal. If I do say so myself, I'm a goddamn good XP troubleshooter. :)
6) Don't know if they use Ghost or what, but I need to learn that ASAP.
7) I'd be officed out of the Corinth branch, which would be OK. See? Mom, Dad, Brother and almost all my family live up near Gainesville and Lindsay.



8) It would be a nice change of pace.

They liked me and I liked them. I hope I get the job. We'd probably live with Mom & Dad for a while to pay off bills. [As a side note, I blame myself for our financial woes, but I also blame the credit cards companies for marketing so heavily to college students like I was when I got my first one.] I hate to do that, but the benefits far outweigh my dislike. Jen will have company, Bren could go to preschool at the very school I went to K-8 at, plus we'd save a ton of money. I'd have to drive about 45 minutes to work though, and I'd have shitty Internet. Doh! Lots of podcasts I guess on that drive. I suppose I could stand that, but I won't do it for more than 3 months. We will get an apartment or rent a house after that. I insist. I won't be one of those people that lives with mom and dad for a long time. Besides, there's no recycling there. I'll die every time I throw a plastic bottle away. :(

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I used to make voice records on my phone to remind me of stuff. I had to stop because it filled up and I never could remember to clear them off. Finally I have started and one of the things that I was reminding myself of was that early in Brendan's pizza-eating years, we called Pepperoni "circle pizza". One day jen asked him if he wanted circle pizza, and he said, "No, I want TRI-angle pizza." Hehehe.

Well, it's iPhone Launch day. Cool.

I would take one. But it's overpriced ($499 or $599)and underfeatured (only 4 Gig or 8 Gig of space), if you ask me. It sure is purty though!

I just made a call to Sprint/Nextel's customer care like I do once or twice a week every week for some kind of change. I spoke with Natalie there. I don't know her last name, but she has to have been the cheeriest of all the reps I've talked to there - and I've made lots of calls. She spoke well and clearly, and had a smile in her voice. It was an entirely pleasant call. So if anyone from Sprint or Nextel reads this, Natalie is doing a great job. :)

Bad me: blogging at work again!

I was just reading my favorite Japanese Online News thingy and found this interesting story.

Hollywood in need of Japanese, which talks about how many Hollyweed movies are filled with Chinese and South Korean actors playing Japanese roles. This is a travesty! That's like a Caucasian playing a native American part just because both actor and character are from the same part of the world. Bah! :)

I was just reading this and enjoying it a lot. Here's my favorite quote from the story:

Daniel is as interested as any of the millions of Harry Potter fans in finding out Harry's fate when the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is out. "I have no idea what will happen," he says. "There's certainly a possibility that Harry might die. I've been told that people in Las Vegas are placing bets over whether he'll live or die, which is hilarious. Will it make me sad? No. I think if Harry dies in a heroic way, it's a good way for him to go."



I want one!

This is for the real geeks. 99% of the people won't understand why or even care, but I think this is just too cool.

Image to HTML Converter

I was even more encouraged to get my credit report from watching FRONTLINE's "Secret History of the Credit Card" on their website. I have to say though, I'm not very happy with Equifax. Apparently I answered something wrong and now I have to mail in a form. I didn't even get a second chance to answer different questions or anything. Plus, I bought my FICO score from them and I wasn't able to get that either. That is annoying...

The site is Annualcreditreport.com if you missed my last post.

I'm not sure if I'm enjoying what I'm doing or not: I'm at the computer but I'm cleaning. So do I say "fun" because I'm at the computer, or "not" because I'm cleaning? I'm deleting old junk and moving things around. I have a metric ass ton (serious, you should weigh it) of disk storage in this house and I'm always filling it up. I need a drobo!!!! Gaa gaa gaa...I really want a Drobo! My Netgear StorageCentral is OK, but it doesn't do all that. On the other hand, StorageCentral was only a hundred bucks, not five hundred, and it is ethernet based. Their videos are cool to watch, but I also like the more "independent" take that Patrick and Robert have.

Oops, looking up the drobot link too about 20 minutes, during which time I forgot what I was doing and watched this video. Love it!!!!!!! I want to do something like this at work! Those people work for a company called Connected Ventures - they bring you the fun fun fun of The CollegeHumor Network: Big Shocker, Busted Tees, CollegeHumor, Defunker, & Vimeo. I hadn't seen #1 of #5 before. Be warned that you will learn something you may not want to if you click on Big Shocker. Suffice it to say that it may be a (you guessed it) big shock.

Andy is being a good boy this morning. He's setting on the floor amusing himself. He's shredded some paper (I've always wanted a home paper shredder), looked at the Three little kittens lost their mittens book, done a thorough analysis of the fake wood grain on my TV cart, and dug out a sock that was hidden under said cart.

He's really beginning to crawl a lot now. Mostly it's soldier crawl on his belly, but he is also getting up on all fours a little. He drinks down a 4 oz bottle of Gatorade or milk n yogurt in no time flat now too. He's fun and curious.

I just got Paint Shop Pro version 11 and have been playing with it. It has some weird tools built in. I think this warp tool has always been there, but it is easier to use now...inspect my distrubing results.



Ooooooooooooh! Scaryyyyyyyyyyy! :)

Typing w/ 1 hand as Andy is occupying the other. :)

I'm about to get my free credit reports. This is not a scam or sales pitch like freecreditreport.com is. Anualcreditreport.com is a safe, free site provided by the three big credit rating agencies for you under the law. "This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion."

I've also just found a note from back in the RuneScape days while cleaning up. I often think of how much fun RuneScape was and miss it. Like a smoker misses his cigarettes after he's quit, I think. "Seri Ceri's name is Janelle. She lives in California. She knows my hide buying secret. She never sells, but we did meet once so I could give her a chef hat." Those were the days. Seri Ceri, thanks for making RuneScape that much more fun.

Also someone told me a neat little phrase. Actually two different people told me two today.

While talking about how much (how little really) I charge for consulting: "Pigs get fed, Hogs get slaughtered." Good advice.

The other, after I said I'm fine today, was: "Any day not six feet under is a good day!" Agreed!

That's all for now. Playing Knights of the Old Republic on my Xbox. Just started it. Lots of fun. Still have to finish Diablo 2 again though.

I love Improv Everywhere. Watch their videos. Do em a favor and click an ad after one...

Their site is here.

Maybe the best joke I've heard all month...

Q: Why did the guru refuse Novocaine when he went to his dentist?
A: He wanted to transcend dental medication.

I've been enjoying the ClipBook tool on CartoonNetwork's website today. Try it out!

Print the coupon, take it to the store, go home happy!



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I took a lewd picture today. I was walking across the courtyard outside my office and saw these two lizards in flagrante delicto...whew. *blush*


(Zoom)

What American accent do you have?

Midland

("Midland" is not necessarily the same thing as "Midwest") The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Since it's a neutral accent, just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
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YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

I've worked hard to get rid of the country accent that I was made fun of so badly in high school for. Maybe I've succeeded. Yay!

Ever get a error message and need to write it down? Particular one with an obscure error number like 0x80040e09? Starting with Windows 2000, you can copy the entire contents of a message box to the clipboard by pressing CTRL+C.

[I can't believe that this works. I further can't believe that I, master o' slick windows tricks, didn't know about it!]

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There are tons of weird-ass things on Amazon. This is just one...

Fresh Whole Rabbit (only $29.50)

One of the customer reviews, which I LMAO at, follows:

By maus:
We served this juicy but very sassy bunny at a party for friends including Sir Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote from the Arizona Coyote family, Pete Puma, a gentleman from Tasmanian, Samuel from Yosemite CA, and a man named Marvin who likes to dress as an ancient Roman. Unfortunately a Doctor friend and his very long red-haired assistant with tennis shoes could not attend. Neither could a gentleman from Africa who is taking care of a newborn bundle of joy the stork just delivered. In any case, everyone at attendance was extremely satisfied. The meal was a big success compared to the duck we had last year. Everyone agreed it was gamy and daffy. Next year we are going to try something Southwestern. I hear from Mr. Coyote that there's a bird hard to catch but very tasty. I'll keep you all informed.

The sun sets on a field in southern England. Next morning, a large section of the crop has been tamped into a pattern of circles, rings and other intricate geometric shapes. But who created it? Are crop circles the work of alien visitors? Or are they elaborate hoaxes perpetrated by savvy, talented and very determined circlemakers?



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For the last hour or so, I've been playing Desktop Tower Defense. Fun little game. Here's my masterpiece...I didn't keep my jot down my score, but it was something like 1250.


(Zoom!)

This is a pretty amazing boobie cake that I just ran across on Flickr. Artfully created by DebbieDoesCakes.



She also has a pizza cake, the eating of which* would probably get one in less trouble!



Here's the Debbie Webbie.

*not to mention posting of which on one's blog...

Woo Hoo! Another Diablo is in the can!



Act V, here I come!

Ooh! I deleted 1600 messages out of my hotmail today. Yeah! I only have like 3 in my inbox now. Now, only Yahoo and Gmail left. Ugh...

I've almost completed Act IV of Diablo 2. I keep telling Jen that I was to "Battle the forces of Heck." Coming up on the battle with the (other) Big D himself. Time to open up a can o whoop ass! Then, finally, act V, the expansion, which is why I'm playing thru this whole thing again anyway.

Poor Hillary Clinton...everyone is making fun of her as if SHE made the stupid sign. Tsk Tsk!



(from here)

I am absolutely going to be addicted to a new show on the Science Channel. Beyond Invention is a show about the genius inventors (or maybe the crackpots) of fringe science today. I just watched the episode about "Energy" profiling John Hutchison, Tim Ventura, and Joe Newman.

That was incredibly interesting. It took me back to when I was a kid watching good old Beyond 2000. It was that much fun!

I can't wait to watch more of this. There are clips on YouTube of it. Here's a clip of tonight's episode "New Energy". The production company, GryphonProductions, has several clips up actually. There's also info on their website.

DarrellH rating: 3 thumbs up!

I just got a code for MyCokeRewards by clicking on one of their banner ads at the top of My Yahoo! If you sign up or sign in, and enter the code you get, you'll get a coupon mailed to you for a free 20 oz coke product! I just did it!

The code is different every time, so posting the one I got wouldn't have done any good...

I couldn't find anything of use about this on the net, so I thought I'd post my findings.


I noticed this program called jibed2.exe had some ports open on my system, and I wanted to know why.


I did a "netstat -no" and got the following:

Active Connections Proto Local Address Foreign Address State PID
TCP 127.0.0.1:1047 127.0.0.1:26139 ESTABLISHED 2368
TCP 127.0.0.1:26139 127.0.0.1:1047 ESTABLISHED 2636
TCP 192.168.1.101:3920 67.28.122.34:80 CLOSE_WAIT 2920
TCP 192.168.1.101:3925 8.255.0.251:80 CLOSE_WAIT 2920
TCP 192.168.1.101:3927 67.28.122.35:80 CLOSE_WAIT 2920
TCP 192.168.1.101:3929 208.66.98.100:80 CLOSE_WAIT 2920
TCP 192.168.1.101:4727 209.183.226.152:80 TIME_WAIT
TCP 192.168.1.101:4766 66.7.158.37:443 SYN_SENT 2636

Then I went to task manager's processes tab to see what Process ID 2636 was. jibed2.exe! I checked the IP it was connected to and found it belonged to YIPES communications of San Francisco. Never heard of them.

A little more researched showed that this is part of the Knowledge Networks KN Messenger program that Jen has loaded for some of the surveys she takes. I consider it mostly safe. There are many other things out there that should worry you more than this.

WooHoo WooHoo WooHoo !!! We're about to go see Shrek 3. Hope it's good!!!!!! (13377 YAHOO users give it a B, on average)

[Update:] I actually liked this one better than Shrek 2. It was pretty good, but #1 was still my favorite. I think #1 was intended to target the adult audience and when DreamWorks realized that stupid Americans were seeing it as a kids movie, they dumbed it down a little for #2. #3 brought a little of the original humor back, but not enough. I'll give it a B+.

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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