Thursday, March 31, 2005

Productivity Interupted

Pounding keys.
Ring Ring.
Sarah missed her bus.
Grab car keys.
Pounding keys.
Ring Ring.
Flip yellow pages.
Make 15 minutes of phone calls to answer a question.
Pounding keys.
Discover something that would have saved me 20 hours work.
Pounding head.
All coding halt.
Ftp ftp ftp.
Quality time.


There is some NASTY malware out there called "sixty pop six" and if you are seeing an Internet Explorer window open that is blank and says "sixty pop six" in your title bar then get help for your computer quick!

I'll post removal instructions on Spy Journal Tech Tips soon.

So I've worked on some machines and done some errands. It's now 2:30pm and I'm speed coding. I must finish today!


Check your numbers folks! The Powerball winner of $25 million was in TN!!

(see also Complete Lottery Info)


I'm on such a roll! The code is pouring from my finger tips and my stride is about to be broken. I must wake the kids and prepare them for school then get the to their respective bus stops. After that I have a maintenance client that needs 2 computers repaired with a potential 5 hours per machine (fortunately they can be done simultaneously). I may still be running the Den meeting tonight which ends at exactly the same time I'm supposed to be presenting this finalized, finished, kaput, code to the client. I'll have 4-5 hours today to accomplish roughly 10 hours of coding.

I am soooo close!


Woohoo! I'm make good code but I still can't make it fast enough!

Nice storm

Have a good thunderstorm going right now. Makes me wish I had screened windows in the office.

It's 3am and I'm up and working! I still need to bend time to fit everything in today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Love Love Love...all we really need....

Love Your Reporter! Love Your President! Love Your Obgyn!

It was hilarious the first time around. It's even better when the reporter loses composure.

3 year old creativity

Amy eats a poptart and sudden holds it up and declares "it's a dress!" On her own she had made bites that turned her poptart into what did indeed look like a summer dress.

Earth at Risk

We are using the Earth to improve our lives, but our children and grandchildren will live in a worsening environment that endangers their existence, more than 1,300 scientists warn.
Some of the recommended changes:
  • Remove subsidies to agriculture, fisheries and energy sources (such as fossil fuels) that harm the environment.
  • Pay landowners to manage property in ways that help the environment, such as storing carbon dioxide, which causes global warming.
  • Use free-market incentives to reduce farm pollution and global-warming gas emissions.
  • Protect more areas from development, especially in the oceans.
  • Invest in cleaner technology for agriculture and energy use.
I wish our city planners would read these recommendations as we continue to leave old buildings empty and build new buildings. And plan unnecessary roadways like the Knoxville beltway (the Orange Line).

Kicking self

I woke at 2am! Wide awake! But ambivalence kicked in. I could not decide between two courses of action so I decided to lay in bed and think about it. 2nd rise at 5am but now I'm dressed and ready to face the day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Wahoo! Received my 2nd check from Google!
And made another milestone on one of my projects.


I want to discuss finances here but I view it inappropriate. Besides to discuss the details could potentially put my family in harms way. For instance, I've had to garage a car since in order to make this happen I could not afford to renew the registration or insurance on that vehicle. This week it will be a small miracle if I can keep the kids fed. I've had to delay payment on important bills and go to arbitration with UT over a loan.

However, 3 weeks ago I made the last payment on a debt I've fought for 15 years. Part of that conclusion did include a lump settlement with the creditor. It was huge relief!

The irony?

Yesterday I received a letter from the creditor declaring me free and clear. In a separate envelop was a new bill from an unrelated source for an amount almost the same as what I just paid off. It numbs the mind.

"We must keep the proletariate down for if they rise just a litte we will not be able to keep them down."

Woke to productivity!

I woke this morning at 2am and worked for an hour and a half before making the dreaded mistake of allowing myself a "power nap" from which I rose at 5am. I found Amy half asleep on the hallway floor at the top of the stairs at 2am. She's learned to climb over the gates so I anticipate a fall down the stairs soon. I wonder if it would simply be safer to leave the gate open.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Why I'm so tense

In November I started trying to do my taxes. Every week since then I've thought about it and stressed over it at least twice in the week. April is here and NOTHING has been done on the taxes.

Welcome to my demented mind

Their real headlines vs my made-up headlines.

These are actually headlines taken from Google News at roughly 12:37pm GMT-5.

Them: Quake strikes off Indonesia coast
Me Earth splitting apart. Democrats rush to the side with the most trees.

Them: Space Station Empty as Crew Takes a Space Walk
Me: Emergency Shuttle Launch Prepared. Space Station Crew Locked Out!
Yuri says, "Perhaps comrade we could get one of those hollow, fake magnetic, meteorites with spare key outside."

Them: Jacko Case Focuses on Past Allegations
Me: Prosecution loses confidence in themselves; returns to familiar ground.

Them: Terri Schiavo Receives Easter Communion and Morphine for Pain
Me: This is the body and whoooppeee!

Them: Crowded House Drummer Hester Found Dead
Me: House Less Crowded

Them: Hail and Heavy Rain Pounds the Southeast
Me: Apparently I don't live in the Southeast like I thought I did.

Them: Court Considers Foreigners Rights in US Death Penalty Cases
Me: Foreigners may be exempt from dying.

Them: Supreme Court to Decide P2P Legality
Me: Supreme Court finds answer to sharing all those volumes of legal pleadings with other courts while avoiding royalties and copyrights.

Them: SunGard agrees to $11.3B buyout
Me: SunGard Board of Directors Very Happy. As are their children. And their grandchildren. And their great grand children. And what will be their great, great grand children. And...

Them: Mandela gives me strength - Jackson
Me: Criminals Bond

Them: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt Officially Split
Me: Movie to be "Siamese Fraternal Twins" Cancelled
Me: We've gotten all the publicity this relationship can muster, let's move on.

Them: Irish show jumper stripped of Olympic Gold Medal
Me: When asked "So did you eat grass?" the horse replied "Nay."

Them: Nepal's Police Detain 16 More Anti-Monarchy Protesters
Me: Napal allows protesting but only one person can do it.

Them: New Hope for Cat Allergy Sufferers
Me: Help put an end to cat sneezes...because its really cute and distracting.

Them: Zimbabwe Ruling Party Blasts Archbishop
Me: UN Steps in and requests Zimbabwe turn down the music

Tea Coming

I received my email that my Adagio Tea is on its way!

Make a difference

I just posted that "It doesn't take much effort to make a difference." A few simple phone calls I have made which led to a difference: I've had speed limit signs with "children playing" posted at each entrance of the neighborhood. I've had knocked down road markers replaced. I've moved bus stops. There are more but I need to return to programming. The point is you can get things done if you are willing to make "a little" effort.

George Orwell would be proud!

What can the American people do but belief they are watching legitimate news?
The Bush administration, rejecting an opinion from the Government Accountability Office, said last week that it is legal for federal agencies to feed TV stations prepackaged news stories that do not disclose the government's role in producing them.
Is this legal? In a contradictory memo on February 17 Comptroller General David M. Walker wrote:
such stories -- designed to resemble independently reported broadcast news stories so that TV stations can run them without editing -- violate provisions in annual appropriations laws that ban covert propaganda.
As a citizen it is your right and obligation to step up to the plate and protect your rights and freedoms. When you see information like this that disturbs you, contact your state representative or congressman. They all accept emails, phone calls, letters and faxes. It doesn't take much effort to make a difference.


It took me an hour to draw myself from bed but I'm up at the hour I like to rise and I'm working!

Sunday, March 27, 2005


I've wanted to comment on the beautiful weather and the evening thunderstorms. I've wanted to give my wife's belly more recognition and congratulate her for finding her way into The Zero Boss' blog. She's had a record number of people see her now. I've wanted to talk of the fantastic Easter morning and the joy and excitement experienced in the kids. And so much more.

I've been mired down in my own lack of productivity. I think I flat-rated a project that I greatly underestimated the amount of effort. I'll pay for this in so many ways.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The day

So last night I cut and marinated the brisket and this morning began making beef jerky. If you don't own a dehydrator you really need one. Wonderful cooking tool!

Negative: I have a client very unhappy with me.
Positive: I overcame a major hurdle on their project today.

Positive: Started cleaning the bedroom floors and moved furniture
Positive: Boiled eggs for coloring
Super-positive: Painted wife

Nice Canvas!

My wife is so beautiful! She is an absolute work of art!

It's the Easter belly! Posted by Hello

Mother Nature's Symphony

I love waking up early. I almost got up at 3am today but gave myself permission to sleep until 6:10. When I took the dog outside the air was crisp and the birds, hundreds of birds, were singing away. It was loud and beautiful. I could identify some. Between 4am and 7am the birds sing the most and I could sit outside the entire time and do nothing but absorb what they have to say!

Friday, March 25, 2005


Hit a couple of major milestones on a project today. That feels good. Much more to go.

Scientists say T-Rex tastes like chicken

Preserved meat found in fossil.

I shall finish the game, Doc

William H. Bonney: You remember the stories John use to tell us about the the three chinamen playing Fantan? This guy runs up to them and says, "Hey, the world's coming to an end!" and the first one says, "Well, I best go to the mission and pray," and the second one says, "Well, hell, I'm gonna go and buy me a case of Mezcal and six whores," and the third one says "Well, I'm gonna finish the game." I shall finish the game, Doc.
Young Guns II

Thursday, March 24, 2005

In a plant's mind

So, that talking you've been doing to your plants and the classically music played for them to hear apparently doesn't make you all that crazy afterall
Not only can plants communicate with each other and with insects by coded gas exhalations, scientists say now, they can perform Euclidean geometry calculations through cellular computations and, like a peeved boss, remember the tiniest transgression for months.
Next time you need a little help on that math homework talk to your plant. (the story)

The Tea Links

I forgot to meantion that on the banner above clicking each flavor takes you to a different page of the Adagio site.

Look Ma! No wires!

I had a very productive and fun day of wireless networking challenges. I connected an office wirelessly using two DLink 7100APs. One acted as the access point and the other as a repeater. Much fun!

Day in review

Woke at 5:30. Spent the day at the computer. Had an afternoon break to help Sarah deliver Girl Scout cookies. Skipped dinner. Spent 5 hours removing some nasty spyware and viruses from a computer. Returned home to grab 20 minutes of sleep then return to programming on the computer after brewing my final pot of coffee. The bean is dead! Java no more! Have an 8 hour day planned for tomorrow to help a company move their office and make sure all their computers are working.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I had a 5 hour computer repair tonight. I would have liked to have laid hands on the computer for another 3-5 hours. People really can't afford to pay what repairing these machines are worth because if I billed an appropriate hourly rate they'd be better off buying a new machine. Of course, the data is what is actually valuable to people and businesses. I think I'm going to publish the method I use for cleaning the machines.

As for now, I'm exhausted but really need to work through the night.

My Adagio Tea Links are up!

After a half a month of procrastination (and hopes that my PageRank™ would jump from 4 to 5) I have finally placed my links to Adagio Tea in hopes of getting to try some of their tea for free. Be sure to place a link for free tea on the page of your site with the highest pagerank. See Spy Journal Blog Tips for an explanation of PageRank™. Remember that if you put the reference in a post it could potentially scroll off to an archive with a pagerank of 0.

Be sure to read about the experiences of Cathy, Catawampus, and Zero Boss.

Computer Probs? Call me!

If you are in Knoxville and having computer problems, call me. I make house calls (usually $95 a visit to clean adware, remove viruses and install software updates). I could use your referrals right now.

Thank you!


Two proposals out! Yahoo.

Creative Labs owes you $62.50

Creative Labs settled a class action lawsuit and owes owners of all of the original Audigy series are included in the proposed settlement. This includes the Audigy ES, Audigy Platinum, Audigy Platinum eX, Audigy Gamer, Audigy MP3+ and also the original Extigy external USB sound module up to $62.50 if purcahsed before the end of 2004. Offer ends September 25, 2005. Addition information and legal dosc are available.

Political - How evil could Bush be?

Did we, the United States, plan the terrorist attack in 1976 while George Bush Sr was running the CIA? Has GW Bush been planning for almost 30 years to steal away our freedoms in the name of making us safe? Timothy McNiven says "Our own U.S. Army devised a plan commissioned by Congress to bring down the WTC using commercial airliners and box cutters as weapons." He apparently has documents proving his claims.

I have not Snoped this story yet. Remember, this is the Internet. Anyone can make up the "truth". Confirm your sources. I am on a deadline so I can't confirm this story right now.

True or not the story should make us think daily on our civil liberties and ask ourselves "are we having our freedoms stolen away?" and "have we gained anything other than a false sense of security by turning our society into a George Orwellian reality?"

Woke last night to the sound of thunder

How far off I sat and wondered
Started whistling a tune from 1962

Then the older dog jumped on the bed and tried to climb on top of me. She really doesn't like storms. The puppy seemed to take it well. This was midnight. I'd had a good 2 hours sleep but could not convince myself to get up for a much needed all nighter. Instead I fell into a deep, deep sleep and woke at 5am to rise at 5:30. At least I'm consistently pre 6am now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Ok. I didn't clear my plate. I made a good effort but I've still got some distance to cover.

I've hit that time of the evening where I'm so tired my body just aches. I should go for a run around the block.

Progress but nothing to show

I've actually been pounding keys on a project most of the day without too much distraction. What a pleasure to get work done. Unfortunately, I don't have a deliverable to show for it which is frustrating. I need to take a break and switch gears for a bit.

Dinner routine is coming fast and Tommy has STAR tonight so we all hoof it out to Lenior City. Cool!
The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) announced that STAR has been awarded a $2500 Quality of Life grant. STAR will use the funds as a part of the Rider Patron program, which allows us to continue providing cost efficient
therapeutic services to our riders through the donations of individuals,
civic groups, businesses, and foundations such as the CRPF. STAR riders pay
only a portion of the actual cost of the lessons, therefore there are many
costs associated with lessons that must be covered by other sources.

Speaking of Spaying

Study: Teens Who Pledge Virginity Try To Bend The Rules "Poll finds they're more likely to have tried anal and/or oral sex." Man! Being a teen sounds a lot more fun than it was in my day!
Teens who take abstinence pledges are almost as likely to be infected with sexually transmitted diseases as kids who don't, according to a new study that found pledgers tend to substitute other risky behavior for regular intercourse. ... Researchers found that kids believe engaging in oral and anal sex gets around the rules of abstinence programs by technically preserving their virginity.
What do the naive adults have to say?
Leslee Unruh, president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, called the study "bogus." "Kids who pledge abstinence are taught that any word that has 'sex' in it is considered sexual activity"
And the message to those teenagers on the dating scene is 'if you want some action, try an abstainer!'
Just 2 percent of kids who never took a pledge said they had engaged in oral or anal sex but not intercourse, compared with 13 percent of "consistent pledgers."
Of course the message to parents is "talk to your kids!"

hot hoT hOT HOT!

We have heat! Let the spaying begin!

So typical

Why is that marriages have to degrade to "us against him"?
Sterotypes revolving around marriage and the roles in marriage obviously exist for very valid reasons.

Barking at the dog

I found that if the dog bolted I could use a harsh tone in my voice and reel her back in. Gruff "Molly COME!" and she would come. I trained myself to use that gruff tone to get her to respond. A few days ago I consciously began calling her in using a softer voice with more cheer and happiness and found that she responded just the same as when I would call her gruffly but there would be more excitement in her eyes rather than an submissive tucked tail and lowered head. Making the effort to be excited at her return or answer to my call/request made her happy to respond to my request.

We sometimes have to leave Molly at home alone. She cannot always be left in the car or go wherever we happen to be traveling. Crating her was too tramatic. Her panic attacks in the crate grew to the point that we thought she was going to hurt herself and we conceded to letting her run free and paying whatever consequences resulted. Those consequences to date have been packages of food (like spaghetti) strewn about the house, toys eatting, feces and urine on the floor, books torn up, papers dragged from desks but overall nothing irreplaceable or terribly costly. Mostly, being as intelligent as she is, Molly communicated quiet well that she was punishing us for leaving her alone. A few times (maybe 3) I came home and called her over to the mess, forced her nose into the mess and scolded her. Now she is doing much better and last night was along for nearly 3 hours and didn't even have an accident! No mess! Nothing to clean! Last night she did not cower from me but the few previous times she has been left home alone I called her excitedly to tell her how good she was but due to the 3 punishments she would cower to me each time despite my wanting to reward her. I would feel horrible.

In punishing a child, or adult, or animal - in dealing with them with anger - consider how much damage is being done. One slip, one bad time takes many good experiences and much more time to heal the unnecessary damage. I am still very angry and jaded toward the Knoxville Police Department for what I feel was a very unjust ticket. If I cannot move beyond that one incident, how am I to except a child to move beyond a harsh scolding when a gentle talk is all that is necessary.

I cannot change the world but I can change myself; and perhaps, just maybe, the world will decide to be like me.

No Anger Necessary

Anger has to be the absolute worse emotion and the most unnecessary. It accomplishes absolutely nothing that less harmful sentiments cannot achieve. Recently I had grown to believe that the only way I could get the puppy or the children to respond was to bark orders at them. I've made a concerted effort to try to break what developed into an "angry habit."

I've slipped once today already. I'm going to be more prudent for the remainder of the day. I feel better in my chest when I am not being angry towards others.

Anger is so contagious. When others are having a bad time the good energy in you seems to evaporate quickly. It's as if your good energy burns twice as fast to try to help bring the down person up but as you burn through your good fuel you crash and suddenly there are two negative magnetics sucking energy from the room. Unhappiness breeds unhappiness like coachroaches produce offspring.

Apparently Simple Goal

Today I plan to clear my plate of all programming projects. Kaput. Finished. Done. It's not a terribly reasonable goal but needs to be done.

Sleep...too much sleep!

I was getting loopy about 10 and went to bed. Woke from a deeEEEEEp sleep at midnight. Had the energy to get to work but lacked the will power and drifted back to sleep to awake at 3 and 5 (finally rose). I want to panic but I will not.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Can't see past the phallus on your face

David Spade puts penis on face; only one person notices and its NOT Owen Wilson. Janet Jackson calls foul.
...when viewed on a medium-sized TV, Spade’s customized schnozz is not that obvious. But in this case, size does matter: On the large-screen TV we happened to be watching, it was as plain as the whatever that is on your face.

Quote of the Day

"Talking to you girl is like long division." -Old 97s "Singular"

Family is great

I love my family. It is so fun watching them grow. Noah and I played chess for the first time last night and he did pretty well. Amy amuses me all the time with her "big girl" behaviors.

I frequently feel like I'm failing them. If I work hard enough to properly provide for them then I neglect them in time. If I give them the time they deserve then the money isn't there to provide the life they should have.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I was about to declare the dog house broken but I slept in a bit this morning (6:40) and apparently she could not wait. Small mess. At least she didn't pee. I think for the most part she gets it. She understand she is supposed to go outside.

She's funny too. She has picked two spots in the yard and will only do one thing in each spot. The spots are on opposite sides of the yard so she will go to one and do half her business then bolt to the other side of the yard to finish up.

Last night I accidently tried to call her in as she pranced across the yard and she gave me the most human face that seemed to communicate "uh, look man. Are you crazy? I'm busy!" as she kept her pace toward the second spot.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

And the whirlwind came...

So this afternoon I helped Sarah deliver some long overdue girlscout cookies. Then I scored some more programming. Then the boys and I joined the ladies at the mall to help with the girlscout cookie booth and relieve them for dinners. As I returned home Molly was outside and heard the Jeep and bolted down the street for it. The neighbors and Cathy thought I was going to mow her down. Spent some quality time with the neighbors afterwards and that was much fun. Time to settle.

And the day is off!

Had a great meeting with my clients followed by helping a little at the girl scout cookie booth. Came home to debate programming or cleaning but need to run some errands first.


I like programming because sometimes it feels like I'm performing magic!

Productivity waining

7:45 and that past few hours have been great for programming. The house is coming to life and time before my meeting is running out.

Lots of worms to be caught

It's 6:10am on a Saturday morning and the 8 year old and 2.5 year old have both risen. The 8 year old goes to play with Playmobile and the 2.5 year old immediately requests The Incredibles.


Ban gay marriages / beat up your wife points out that the bans on gay marriages are opening legal loopholes making prosecution of domestic abuse difficult.


Two major issues resolved on a project. Excellent! Moving onto another project.

Nice and quiet

I like programming at 3am. It's so quiet. I'll watch the dog take a walk in the crisp air while having a steaming coffee and just stare at the stars while listening to the peace.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Lack of progress

14 hours ago I started trying to write 30 minutes of code. Now I have 11 hours to complete 40 hours of work. I'm tired.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Blogger is back!

I was unable to use Blogger for a day and a half. I was certain that I was having network issues because Google wouldn't allow that much downtime would they? Wherever the problem lay, it seems fixed now.

I have a day and a half of writings cooped up in me but I have weeks of coding begging to get out so I best return to client obligations.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

3 Dog Night

It wasn't until recently that I understood "three dog night." I always thought that meant spring up and shout "Jeremiah was a bullfrog. Was a good friend of mine..." Apparently 3 dog night refers to temperature. A 3 dog night means that to stay warm you needed 3 dogs in the bed with you. Thank you Cathy for explaining that to me.

We have 2 dog nights occasionally around here but usually its just a one dog night. Molly plays a game with me. She takes my spot in the bed until I'm ready to come to bed. It's funny and at the same time guarantees me a warm spot to settle into.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Some things do change with time

Remember when gay meant gay? Apparently other words have changed meaning over the years too. Batman's Greatest Boner

Free CPR in Knoxville this Saturday - Learn to give life!

The American Red Cross-Knoxville Area Chapter, in conjunction with other chapters throughout East Tennessee, is hosting the 11th annual FREE CPR Saturday in thirteen counties throughout our region. The event will be held on Saturday, March 19th from 9am to 1pm at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Attendees will learn rescue breathing, how to respond to an unconscious and conscious victim, how to perform adult CPR, and many other aspects of responding to emergencies. Upon completion of the course (normally $27), participants are certified in CPR for one year. And again, it's FREE.

For more information or to register, call 865-584-2999.

Feels so good!

In school I used to love to do math because not only could you solve a problem, you could solve it again and prove your answer. Math has a tangible success. You do it and receive instant gratification. Coding is much the same. I actually got to code this morning! And I produced results! And the client is happy.

Now onto more difficult, less quickly solved problems.

Obsessive Compulsive Dog

So the puppy is finally starting to figure out that poop and pee goes outside. She's even picked 2 favorite spots. What's funny is that she doesn't seem capable of going unless she and I have played soccer. I take a blue soccer ball and I'll kick it over the house or down to the lower lot and she will take off with exuberance to find this ball. She'll run down the hill and bring the ball back to me. I'll kick it a second time and she'll return holding this blue soccer ball in her mouth but this time she'll bypass me and go to her spot. She won't let go of the ball while doing her business. It's the funniest sight! Of course it only makes sense that our family would end up with a dog with rules and rituals.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Well Hung

In today's home repairs I rehung the towel rack on the back of the bathroom door (with the proper hex screw so it will stay hung) and I hung the vinyl levelor blinds in Noah's bedroom window so he can stop flashing the neighbors.

Ah! Feels great to make progress on the house!

New and improved FireFox!

I uninstalled Firefox and deleted all references to extensions and temporary files. When I inspected the registry I had references to Firebird and versions predataing .8. With the machine cleaned and a fresh install of Firefox 1.0.1 I'm hoping to be a happier camper. I'll clutter it with extensions soon but not Tabbrowser Extensions. I can live without saving tab sessions if it means better browsing.


Seems as though my installation of FireFox has bitten the dust. I am blaming the Tabbrowser Extension as I have not seem any of this behavior on other computers. Of course, I do use this one the heaviest and it is the only one with Avast! installed. I will completely uninstall FireFox and reinstall to see if things improve. After using FireFox so much, Internet Explorer just seems so pathethic.

Cool! Gross! Beautiful!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching a hawk sit in a tree in the backyard and have its lunch. It tore apart a mouse (some kind of rodent), cleaned its beak then flew away. I learned how to use the digital zoom on Cathy's Canon Powershot A95 just after it flew away. For those wanting the same, you move the switch to the picture of the mountain then click the thumb button on the back of the camera down where it reads a picture of a flower and MF; this turns on a magnified sqaure in the viewer and you can use the zoom toggle to move in a little closer. Remember, this is a digital zoom so some quality will be sacrificed.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Of Grasshoppers

Student: How do I learn responsibility?
Master: Teach responsibility.

Beautiful Weather!

It's gorgeous outside (68° C with a light breeze and lots of sunshine) and I've trapped myself indoors with no consideration of playing outside, taking the kids outside or the dog to the dog park, and the mountains are simply these hills on the horizon. Days like this should be celebrated in outdoor activity and I've squandered mine.

FireFox/Avast agony

I'm using the free antivirus Avast! on this computer and recently suddenly started receiving a lot of strange error messages. It comes up in red and reads:
The page cannot be displayed
There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot be displayed.

Please try the following:

    * Click the Refresh button, or try again later.
    * Open the Web site home page, and then look for links to the information you want.
    * Check your firewall settings. The Web Shield process (ashWebSv.exe) must be allowed to access the Internet.
    * If you believe you should be able to view this directory or page, please contact the Web site administrator by using the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Web site home page.

HTTP 502 - Gateway timeout
avast! Web Proxy

The proxy server did not receive a correct response from the upstream server specified by URI or the response was not understood by proxy.

Winsock: (997) Overlapped I/O operation is in progress.
GET {this is the url at the time}
Winsock: (997) Overlapped I/O operation is in progress.
I have yet to find any useful information toward resolving this issue. Seems like it goes away if I go to "On-Access Protection Control" and disable Web Shield. I didn't even know I was using a "web proxy" on this machine. Could explain some of the sluggishness.

The Zone

There is a definite zone. If you've ever done anything that you truly enjoy and requires intense concentration then you've been there. Might be mountain biking when you are rushing down the single track just a little faster than you know you should and everything is blurred in your peripheral vision and it seems like you can anticipate every rut, obsticle and jump on the trail as if you had esp. You know the ride is going to be perfect and the adrenaline rush helps make you more invincible than you already know you are. But if you slip out of The Zone you're a smear on the trail. Just a taco'd wheel, bent fork, smashed helmet, and a bloodied road rash carrying your bike out of the woods.

Computer programming can be the same. If I can get into The Zone then I can pound out elegant computer code that reads like Pulitzer Prize winning poetry. Like anything else, finding the zone takes effort. Maintaining the zone takes concentration. I love being in The Zone. It's frustrating when I can't find it. Sometimes you can find it, but something pulls you out of it for just a moment, then it's lost.

Don't want to kill people? Pretend to kill people!

In the past to get out of being in the Army you simply had to "be gay." That's always the case now-a-days. This blog is full of crap points out to us that there is a more creative avenue for escaping enlistment.

Army frowns on Dungeons and Dragons
IDF says players are detached from reality and automatically given a low security clearance.
  • They're detached from reality and suscepitble to influence
  • Simply detached from reality
  • The game indicates a weak personality
  • These people have a tendency to be influenced by external factors which could cloud their judgment
Tonight Tommy and I head over to a friend of his for a fun game of Dungeons and Dragons. There goes my Q clearance!

Protector or Provider

In sticking with my plan to "pound code" I awoke at 2am. Cathy lay on the left side of the bed, Molly the puppy was curled up on the foot of the bed, Amy was in the middle asleep but squirming, and I was on the right side of the bed doing a balancing act to keep from falling off. The room had a chill last night but our bed spread would keep us all warm, well, except for me because I could only cover part of my right leg as the rest of the covers had disappeared into some blackhole in the middle of the bed. Or perhaps they shrink in the night because I learned in the morning that Cathy neither had covers. I pondered over and over moving to the computer to be able to get work done. 4 hours of programming in the middle of the night is equivalent to 12 hours of coding during the day!

When it came down to making the decision I could not risk having Amy roll off the bed and I didn't think she would stay asleep for the transfer to her own bed so I stayed in bed until the morning came and Molly had the desire to go outside (and outside she went!).

Friday, March 11, 2005

Obsessive Compulsive Toddler

My OCD 2 year old wrote on her hands yesterday with marker. This morning she looked at me and begged "wash it." So we washed her hand the best we could but the marker wouldn't come off. She stared at it a second and said "wash it again." Her short, focused, serious comments make me want to laugh.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I've been a good little programmer today and pounded many keys. I need a brief break and think it is well deserved although I do not want to styme this momentum.

Get your very own Cease and Desist Order

According to BK Delong at Brainstream if you link to Bill O'Reilly's article in the Gazette-Times titled How did Buster get mixed up in this mess? I guess I'm soon to get my very first Cease and Desist! How exciting!

Of course, this could be a huge publicity stunt for the Gazette-Times as our links are nothing more than free advertising for them.

Of Grasshoppers

Student: Why do they keep beating me up?
Master: You are paying your Karmic debt. Now choose to get depressed or get motivated. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Do you?

71 is a magic number

I know the f%^king rules. How come I can't play the game?

Seems like the minute you start to get back on your feet in our society some bastard has to come knock you down harder.

Wow! That's deep!

It's 2am. I should have been in construction...I dig such nice holes for myself.

On a positive note, it's really nice to be programming in ColdFusion again!

Monday, March 07, 2005

10 Wrongful Movie Deaths

Jo Blo brings us his top 10 Wrongful Movie Deaths: 10-6 5-1 The reasons for each must be read. My favorite is Quint (#3).
10. Achilles - Troy (2004)
9. Blain - Predator (1987)
8. Hooch - Turner and Hooch (1989)
7. Mani - Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
6. Randy Meeks - Scream 2 (1997)
5. Tommy DeVito, Nicky Santoro - Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995)
4. Leon - Leon (1994)
3. Quint - Jaws (1975)
2. Pvt. Hudson - Aliens (1986)
1. Boba Fett - Return of the Jedi (1983)


Today's Woot! won't last. It's a Microsoft Wireless Optical Elite Keyboard and Mouse.
It’s not your Grandpa’s wireless. Because that was a radio.
I'd grab one up if I wasn't budgeted for other things like..uh..mmm..a child!

Unbelievable! It's such a sad day when a keyboard has such requirements!
Hard Disk: 60 MB of available hard-disk space
I recall desperately wanting to buy a 20MB harddrive in the early 80s and commenting that "I'd never be able to fill it up!"

Frustrated Game Addict?

Has Tetris beat you down? Do you get infuriated with no having enough time to decide where to place the shape? If so, then Tetris 1D is for you! (warning: you could find yourself playing for days on end!)

Beautiful Night!

It's one of those crisp, clear nights that makes you want to bundle up a little, sit on the porch and just listen to the wonderful "silence."

I'm being productive this morning and pounding away at code; code which somehow I've fallen absurdly behind on and am quite disappointed in myself for doing so.

I wish I had the stamina to get up at this time every morning and work. I could knock out most of my client obligations whilst everyone sleeps then use the day primarily for family needs. Perhaps I could take a 4 hour nap in the evening and grab a nap during the day to keep my body rested.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Wahoo! Programming milestone achieved! Had a wierd moment when it became suddenly bright outside and the glare on the monitor gave me snow blindness. Truly freaky! I promised myself a break at this milestone so I'm going to do some brief yardwork then return to making miracles happen.


Wouldn't society be funny if people ran around shouting "excrement!" instead of "s$%t!" when things didn't go their way?

The puppy chose to poop outside this morning! She even used the spot that we'd marked for her! Please. Please! Let this be the beginning of the end of the accidents on the floor (at least for 10 weeks).

Amazon sells everything! Order your fake poop now!

Random Quote from the Bookshelf

I've randomly drawn Rebel Cornbread and Yankee Coffee: Authentic Civil War Cooking and Camaraderie by Garry Fisher from my bookshelf. From page 29:
When in camp, Federal company cooks generally preferred boiling food to frying or broiling it, since boiling was the easiest and fastest way to prepare large quantities of food. ... Just as it suffered from food and other shortages, the Confederate army also lacked an adequate supply of cooking equipment and eating utensils. The shortage became so dire that Colonel Robert V. Richardson, commanding the Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, was moved to submit the following plea to his brigade commander in October 1863
I have not a single vessle to cook one morsel of bread. My cooking has to be done as we can beg the citizens to do it. This practice is exceedingly deleterious. It leads to straggling and demoralization. For God and country's sake, make your fair-promising but never-complying quartermaster send me skillets, ovens, pots or anything that will bake bread or fry meat.... Send me skillets 255 in number. I cannot fight any more until I get something to cook in.
So highly valued were skillets that the men, rather than risk losing a skillet from a company wagon while on the march, assigned it to an individual, who marched with the panhandle slipped down the barrel of his rifle.

Civil war stories captivate me. Just yesterday on the way to the bank to turn Noah's loose change into dollar bills he commented on the Baker-Peter House so we stopped at the gas station and together read Abner Baker's marker and the historic sign. For the 17 years that I've been in Knoxville I've never bothered to read that sign. Turns out Doctor Baker was possibly a Confederate but more likely neutral however his son Abner was a Confederate soldier. Doctor Baker was attending to some wounded Confederate soldiers when some Union soldier's raided the house and shot through the barricaded bedroom door and killed Baker. His son shot the postmaster to avenge his father's death and friends of the postmaster ambushed Abner and killed him at 22 years old.

I know the Baker-Peter House is supposedly haunted. I've never read about the ghost. I wonder if it's related to the story. The sign does not mention the ghost but it does mention Hawk-eye's Too.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Featured Blog

She's back! Say hi to Whoa Mama! and let her know she was missed!

Like comparing?

What were other people doing at your age?


DartMail. Nothing else need be said.

Featured Blog

The Gecko has a blog.

Noah's Pink Pearl eRacer. Average speed of 3 races 3.17 seconds. Winning car bested 2.8 seconds. Noah and I need to practice wheel mounting. Posted by Hello

This is the squirrel's new door. It made the door. Previously when the new roof was put on the roofer's removed a short section of fascia that gave the critters direct access to the attic. I covered the hole but apparently they really liked the digs. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

Obsession! It's not just for perfumes anymore!

Obsessed with a television show like I am with "Lost"? How about to the tune of raising $30 million dollars?

TrekUnited, which is trying to raise money to make another series of Enterprise, says it has a "legally binding pledge" from three donors totaling $3 mil.

Finding the Ultimate Theory of Everything

Could two lookalike galaxies, barely a whisker apart in the night sky, herald a revolution in our understanding of fundamental physics? Some physicists believe that the two galaxies are the same - its image has been split into two, they maintain, by a "cosmic string"; a San Andreas Fault in the very fabric of space and time. ...

Of Grasshoppers

Student: I'm so tired.
Master: Lighten your burden.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

We have a new border. Collecting rent is difficult. I thought it was cute that I was watching this critter collecting building materials for its nest until I realized where it was going. Posted by Hello

Ironic Irritations

I made a post abut how irritated I was this morning when our model Pink Pearl eraser for Noah's Pink Pearl Pinewood Derby car vanished and irritatingly enough the post disappeared.


Two points! Could you imagine the dialog if the net caught her? "Uh. Dude. Didn't see that coming!" "Uh. What should we do." "Yeah. mmm. Maybe we should go get some beer." "Yeah. That's it!" "Guys? Should I just hang out?"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wiring Harness Complete

Our station wagon is now legally allowed to tow a trailer. The trailer hitch had originally been installed without a lighting harness as it was only intented to ever carry a bike rack.

I think about when I started learning about electronics (8 or 9) and I wonder if I'm giving my children enough knowledge. As I work with Noah on rulers and angles and sanding I think about what skills I am giving him and what skills I'm neglecting to pass on. I watch closely to see what he can intuitively figure out and I ponder how to hone his common sense.

I enjoy my adaptability. I want my children to derive as much pleasure from achievement.

The Harness Saga

So I attached the white ground wire. I identified the brown wire on the car as the tail light and attached the brown wire from the harness. I identified the red wire on the car as the brake light and attached the red wire from the harness. I identified the green wire with the yellow stripe as the left turn signal and attached the yellow wire from the harness.

There! I was done and ready to test.

Then I saw this bundle of green cord. Panic! What does that go to? I just attached yellow to green. Oh no! Did I get left and right backwards. Think. Think. Make an L. No. I did it right. Oh! The green bundle goes to the right turn, that's on the other side of the car. How will I .. ugh.

Automotive Work .. wood and metal

It's Pinewood Derby time again! Noah and I are hard at work putting together his car at the last minute (the race is tomorrow). We've decided to make the Pink Pearl eRacer! The car is shaped and sanded. Noah has learned a lot about straight edges, rulers, angles, Drimel tools, and sanding. I've learned that I'm still a procrastinator.

It's also cookie time in TN! I have to install a wiring harness in the station wagon this morning so that U-Haul will rent us a trailer otherwise we have no way to pickup the quantity of cookies our Girl Scouts did so well selling. I'm mostly there. I've identified (with much effort) where the wires will route and that was probably the hardest part. I've grounded it and am now in the process of identifying the other wires.

Toddler Priorities

Amy rose at 4:55am this morning and went straight to her brother's room to play with Playmobile. I went back and asked her "why are you up? Do you want breakfast?" to which she replied, "I play with legos."

Her vocabulary, grasp of language and the concepts that spurt from her mouth constantly amaze me. She said half a dozen things yesterday that dropped my chin.

Focus Comes and Goes

Just as I'm starting to get into the programming groove the morning chaos blows everything away. I woke at midnight and tried to convince myself to stay up. That would have been 6 out of 8 of my work hours. 4am rolled around and I tried hard to convince myself to get up for 2 our of 8 work hours. I finally rose at 5am which was better than the normal 6am.

My 9:30am deadline is going to hit me like a ton of bricks.

Once upon a tree

I remember in my teens..would have been 14 or 15..I walked down to the pond at the end of the neighborhood, climbed a tree 10 or 12 feet high (3-4m), daydreamed for a bit, watched some people that never saw me, then I napped deeply, in the tree, on the branch with a pleasant, warm breeze as the only thought on my mind, with no worries. Irie.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

We need to move

I've decided we need to move to Colorado. Perhaps Buffalo. Mork (amz) liked it. Anyhow, the dog likes the snow very much so we need more snow!

Feature Blog from the Roll

The Solbourne Identity

In search of synchronicity, serendipity, and Plan B...
The inconsequentials of an expatriate speculator living in Hong Kong

Family Found at Dog Park

The other day we had Molly at the dog park and ran into a family of similar size to ours that had a large, all black, German Shepherd. It didn't take long to figure out they had both come from the same breeder in Greenback, TN. He was two years old and the family said he has finally quit chewing on things so much and is still rambunctious. He was a good 2 to 2.5 hands larger than Molly. It was a good trip to the park. Molly performed well and showed off her jumping skills after I set up two 18" jumps before and after the large ramp. She would jump the hurdles, run over the ramp, then jump the other hurdles. She didn't always jump and didn't always clear but we had much fun!