Wednesday, December 31, 2003

bed time
It is New Year's Eve (and we may go to some friend's house), so I guess since I've been up since 3:30 I should get some sleep or I'll be dead by 8:30 and look like I'm old or something. :-)
Sushi - the list
And because I save EVERYTHING... here is the list of the sushi that I made:
  • Nigiri
    • Shrimp
    • Tuna
    • Salmon/Avacado
    • Braised Beef

  • Hosomaki
    • Tuna/Chive

  • Ura Maki
    • California w/ Smelt Eggs & w/ White Sesame Seeds
    • Shrimp/Asparagrus w/ Black Sesame Seeds

  • Maki
    • Shrimp/Asparagrus/Avacado

I also made Grilled Terryiaki Beef & Grilled Curry Chicken (because not everyone likes sushi perhaps, and everyone likes these - even if they like sushi) as well as Edamame and Rice.
On a lighter note
Speaking of kids... and stories. OK... maybe I wasn't speaking of stories, but I'm thinking of blogging, which is telling stories (kind of), so it ties in.

I've been thinking I should blog some "life stories" every now and then. Not everyone may find them interesting, but I told Jacque this one yesterday and she cracked up.

Jacque mentioned that Bobby has always loved different food, every since he was little.

Tiffany also. Before she was two she was eating shrimp cocktail and stuffed mushrooms. We used to have people stop at our table and tell us how they were watching her and how well behaved she was. This 18 month old, sitting their politely muching on stuffed mushrooms.

But she always loved to eat everything. She was never one of those kids who only eat a few things. One of her favorite things to eat at that age was fresh mushrooms dipped in blueberry yougurt. How she came up with this I don't know... but she was always asking for it. At 18 months old!

When she was born I was part owner of a reasturant in Montana. I'd take her into work with me and put her in my apron. Head out the top, arms out the sides, legs haning out. She'd just kind of hang there and watch as I was closing up. And I'd stick her in her bassinet on the counter as I was making sandwhichs, tacos, etc. Once she was old enough to sit, I'd just plop her down at the back of the counter and she'd sit there and smile and watch me cook.

But I always had to keep and eye on her because she'd always be getting into the food. I'd get a full wheel of tickets and be cooking away and grab a hamburger bun and there be'd these little tooth marks in it. "Tiffany... don't chew on the hamburger buns" - or I'd look up and she'd be reaching into the butter and sticking it in her mouth - "No!". She was always pretty good - just curious about what everything tasted like. Happy, smiling and watching. Usually one NO was all it took. But then I'd get an order for sauteed mushrooms and I'd reach into the cold table and pull them out... and I always had to check them. Sometimes there would be four or five of them with little nibble marks. She just loved mushrooms. I never knew why she'd put them back. Maybe she was worried about getting caught. Grab one, take a few nibbles and throw it back and get a new one.

Some things you just never forget. This 12 month old, sitting there, kind of like a weeble in her diaper. Nibbiling on mushrooms while her dad was cooking burgers.

And we still love to cook together. Love you sis!
Rose Bowl
And so the question comes up... do I play the "hey... you aren't going to be living at home that much longer" dad card one more time?

Pretty much every year since I went to UofM, I watch the Rose Bowl (or whatever Bowl game they are in). Tina is not a sports fan and so we don't watch much football. But I usually try to catch at least the bowl game every year. And every year I watch it with one of the girls. (Used to be Tif when Jaime was really little, then both of them, then lately just Jaime). Its usually kind of a big thing. I make Tuna Dip & Chips, Guac and Chips, usually sub sandwhichs, and some kind of Stewart's soda or something. We get the food all ready and then eat, watch the game and yell at the TV.

Jaime has always been a funny kid when it comes to loyalty. She used to turn the TV off when AT&T ads would come on, once I started working for MCI. And she'd always yell at the other teams. It cracked people up when she was little. We may not follow the sport all year long, but come Rose Bowl day, the other team is the hated enemy! It really makes it fun :-) If you are going to do something, you might as well be passionate about it! So we always watch the game with a great deal of enthusiasm and fun.

Well this year she isn't going to be home. She is supposed to be leaving on Thursday for a D*group outting. (Youth discipleship group). Her group (about 5 girls and the leader) are going up to a cabin in the woods and then coming back on Saturday in time for Jaime to make it to worship team practice. So... she isn't going to be home to watch the game this year. And we just got a 55" TV for Christmas.

So... do I let her go, or do I pull the "Hey... you're not going to around for ever, and I want you to stay home and watch the game with me." dad card? I know... kind of selfish of me... but she isn't going to be home forever. And she'll enjoy it too. Plus it is a tradition and it always kind of marks the end of the holiday season. After that its back to work, school, church, etc. So... I've got a few more hours to think about it before she gets up. (Which is one of the things I was thinking about at 3:30 when I woke up).
A reflective post...

This Christmas was pretty hard on all of us (Tina, Jaime and myself). Tif wasn't home this year. Her and Brian went out to his mom's. Jaime was crying off and on all Christmas Eve day, sobbed that night, and starting crying once when she opened one of Tif's presents. Tif wasn't home the year before last (without this effect)... so what made this year so much harder?

I think it was a combination of Tif not being home... and realizing that Jaime is getting close to leaving too. Tif's leaving kind of snuck up on me. I knew she was getting older, I knew she would leave home eventually... but I didn't fully appreciate the impact. With her gone, I'm well aware of it. I think we all are. So I think it wasn't just Tif not being her, but it was that along with the realization that Jaime may only be home one more Christmas.

Its really weird, but I think about it quite often. Jaime is the kind of person that really doesn't like people staring at her... and she'll frequently catching me just looking at her and say "What!" - "Nothing... I'm just looking at you".

Jacque and I ran into a store yesterday (I was picking up a couple more sushi plates and she was getting something for Bobby's birthday.) She mentioned that Bobby and David were over at CBC registering for classes and she couldn't believe he was 18. "Yeah... I know. I can't believe how old Jaime is either." We both started to choke up... said, "OK... well see ya later" and walked off. I feel kind of old... like a grown up or something, writting that. When you first have kids it is hard to believe that you'll ever have these kind of feelings and that they'll leave home. That is something "way down the road" - but here it is. Faster than you think.

I am so thankful for my kids. I have been lucky to really become good friends with both of them in their later teen years. Not just a parent, but friends. Jaime and I go to the movies together, listen to some of the same bands, go out to eat. At this point in my life (and her life) the time we have together is precious. I just realize how fast she is growing up, and how soon she'll be leaving the nest. And I cherish the time we have left. I know it is sometimes hard on her, as she doesn't like to be smothered and has a VERY ACTIVE social life. Which is very cool. She does a lot at church and hangs out with her friends a lot. Tina and I try to balance our desire for her to be home with her need to be with friends. She is just so cool that everyone wants to be with her. ;-) So... she probably doesn't get to do EVERYTHING she'd like to, but all in all I think we share her pretty well.

Anyway... kind of rambling (hey... its 5:30 AM - what do you expect?). Really all I wanted to say was how great she is. How much I enjoy her. How much I'm going to miss her (even though she won't be gone for at least another year and a half), and that if you have kids... enjoy your time with them. As everyone always says (and as I have learned), they grown up way faster than you think.
Tina got me some sushi stuff for Christmas. I of course had to try it out! And as Tina says, I had to "go off the deep end" and do it in a big way. Spent Monday driving around getting ingredients (that I could get the day before) and looking for oriental stores. Found a couple off of Academy and Pike's Peak. Then went to Par Avion yesterday to get fresh salmon, beef and tuna. Spent a couple of hours cooking and preping stuff and then about 30 minutes to an hour making sushi. I of course had to try different kinds, so made Nigiri (just fish and rice), Hosomaki (small rolls), Uri Maki (inside out rolls - of which a California Roll is a type) and then just a normal maki or roll.

I found some Black Sesame Seeds (as well as normal ones), so had all kinds of different colors and textures... which after all is part of the point of sushi. All in all it turned out pretty good. Not the best sushi I've ever had, but considering it was the second time I've every made sushi, and the first time I've made most of these kinds - it was pretty successful.

My favorite, from a "wow - that's a cool new taste" was a Tuna & Chive Hosomaki. I used a small julienne of tuna and 3 chives. The chives gave it a very nice bite.

The overall favorite (and one I almost skipped) was a Nigiri beef! Yes, beef! I had seen a recipie for nigiri beef and thought about making it... but then decided it was a little too weird when about 1/2 the people coming weren't too thrilled with the idea of eating anything raw in the first place. Then when I was at Par Avion and looking at their meat - and figuring how easy it would be, I just couldn't resist - but figured I'd braise it, rather than servering it totally raw. I bought 1/2# of filet, trimmed off all the fat, marinated it in a mixture of olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper for about 3 hours then braised it on the grill. Then refrigerated it and sliced it just before serving. As a number of people said, "wow, melts in your mouth." I braised it for maybe about a minute of each side. Just enough to brown it maybe paper thin.

I got the filet at Par Avion because their meat is local and free of hormones, etc. If you decide to use raw beef, I'd make sure and buy it somewhere similar!

Pastor Joe came over and Michael was going to be home alone, so he came too. Jaime and Michael helped serve and then cleaned up the mess (for a couple of HOURS - lots of sushi plates, etc.). They were awesome. I love this kind of thing so much (going and buying all the ingredients, prepping, making it all and then presenting it). And it was such a blessing to be able to finish it up, go eat with everyone and then by the time everyone left to have it all cleaned up! The "kids" did an awesome job. Thanks much again to both Jaime and Michael!

And speaking of "presentation" - Tina got me sushi plates and "dipping dishes" for Christmas. Hand glazed, very cool. And then she went and bought bamboo place mats and a cool boat yesterday and some other cool dishes. So it was all very beautiful.

It was a blast! I'll have to do it again!
Leeks, Tarragon and Morels
Erika made a comment on my Tarragon & Chicken post, "Please define: leeks and tarragon. Thanks!". A picture is worth a thousand words, so I figured I'd google it and see what showed up. One site that showed up was Wild Leeks/Ramps. I had never heard of ramps before. Very cool that they also mentioned Morels. Morels are a wild mushroom that cannot be domesticated. We used to go "hunt" them in Montana. Once you found where they grew, you closely guarded the location - keeping it a secret lest everyone come and pick them. I spent many an afternoon out hunting along the rivers looking for morels. I'm going to have to buy some now that I've found an on-line source for fresh ones! (Hmm... I"m not sure it is a good sign when you go to a food web site and it says "Free shipping with orders over $125" ;-)) - Wow... just took a look at the page, which also has recipies. Yeah... I'm definately going to have to remember to order some Morels when they come in season. (Almost makes me think a trip to Montana is in order -- just to see if I can find some. Fresh morels and wild asparagrus. That was always cool).

Anyway... ramps are wild leeks - and don't quite look like the ones found in stores. This site has a nice picture of a domesticated leek (as well as a discussion). This is the type I've always used. Always available at Kings Sooper.

Tarragon is an herb - Herba Dracunculi - or the dragon herb, because it was thought to drive away dragons in medevil times. I just learned that on Gernot Katzer's Spice Dictionary. Very cool info. Emeril mentioned the other day that tarragon was a less fashionable spice, not currently in heavy use. I've always liked it and first ran into it in a French Chicken Casserole recipe (which I'll have to post some time). Besides that dish, I mostly use it in scrambled eggs and lately in a chicken sauce as well.

Thanks for asking the question Erika. Led me to some cool sites!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas programs
In my experience of doing "Christmas programs" at two churches... I pretty much find them to put the people involved into a most un{spirt of the season} type mood. At least for me.

Easter programs are usually way more work... and because of that, started way sooner, involve way more practice, and come off smoother.

Christmas programs (probably because of the time of the year) are done with less people (everyone is off to the relatives), far less practices (usually only a few weeks) and therefore more stressful. I remember at an old church they'd usually start the first week of December... at the earliest. And we'd always vow to start them in Nov the following year (which we never did).

I had to laugh Sunday morning. I'm behind my congos... practicing, messing up the timing, not coming in right... starting to stress a bit, and the kids are running everywhere screaming and making noise and I feel like ripping someone's head off. It was then that I realized "the reason for the season" and decided that maybe I just needed to lighten up a bit. :-)

It all came off great, as it always done because:
  • kids are always really cute, no matter what they do
  • the Holy Spirit covers much
  • most the musicians are performing, i.e., most the people in the congregation are not musicians and don't notice minor mistakes.

All in all it came off great, was great fun to do, and I'd do it again in a second. (I usually place stuff I don't traditionally play in normal services which is always fun). It just seems a bit ironic that in celebrating His birth, we usually are more stressed than at any other time.
Tarragon Chicken
I made Tarragon Chicken with sauteed Leeks and Garlic Saturday night. Jaime was off doing something and Tina and I were home alone for dinner. It was really good. Easy, quick, tasted great, nice presentation. A pleasent sauce with some nice accompaniments. But then again I really like tarragon.
Tackling Hunger
Up to 4,365,681 cans.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Happy Holidays
That's it for me at work... on-site anyway. I'll off till the 2nd. I'll be working here and there from home, although my off-hours working generally decreases over a break. The further out I get, the less desire I have to get on and work "just for the fun of it". Too busy playing X*box, cooking, etc. :-)

Anyway, based on that I may not be posting as much over the next two weeks.

BTW: If you are in the neighborhood this Sunday, you should stop in at ICC. This Sunday is our Christmas service, and we are doing some special music. I was at practice last night, again tonight, and maybe Saturday morning. We are doing some cool drum stuff and I'll be making the floor rattle with my "big drum." That is always a blast. :-)
Human contact
A group of people, sitting in 6'x8' cubes, head-phones on, listening to blaring music, talking to each-other on the computer. Getting up and walking 10 feet to talk to someone is just way too much of a pain. Besides... its intrusive.

/me goes back to tappin' & hackin'
Its a good day
Sitting in my cube, Evanescense blaring, hacking CLIPS to generate code and drinking Diet MtDew. Yeah, life is good.
JoelOnSoftware: Biculturalism
By now, Windows and Unix are functionally more similar than different. They both support the same major programming metaphors, ... There's not much about the core set of services provided by each operating system to limit the kinds of applications you can create. What's left is cultural differences.

A good discussion of programming cultures. And yeah... I most program for programmers.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

It was worth it
What a great movie. It was well worth getting up at 4:00 to get some work done, and then standing in line starting at 8:00.

Doors opened at about 8:15, so we didn't have to stand outside long, and they were seating immediately. I had to hang out in the lobby waiting for everyone to show, but we were in around 9:15, and by then the place was packed. Jaime and Nat had gone in at 8:15 and saved seats, so that was good.

I think it was the best in the series. They all have their good parts, but this one of course finishes the story. Peter Jackson was great... but how to you do something as good again? Where else do you get such an epic great story that you turn it into 3 movies that take 2 years to see?

Anyway, awesome movie. I can't wait for the extended DVD to come out and see the extra scenes. I'll probably go see it again during break. Even though there are other movies I want to see too, it was so good I just have to see it again.

And fyi: It is 3 and 1/2 hours long, combined previews and movie.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Woo hoo
Hey, it's 28 degrees outside. Maybe by the time we get to the theater to stand in line it will actually be above freezing. That would be nice. :-)
Isn't it ironic?
And then I find, February 8, 2002 Health journal: Tanning booth dangers, on the Ladies' Home Journal site, with a sub-title of, To stay healthy, steer clear of tanning booths.. And the "sponsored links" are:
  • Tan Discount Central
  • Discount Salon Lotion
  • Fake Bake 1/2 off Special
Close to home
Women who use tanning booths at least once a month increase their
risk of malignant melanomaby 55%, according to a recent study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institue
NicholeR goes in for an MRI at 8:30 tonight. Please keep her in your prayers.
Today is the day!
Girls up at 6:30, have to leave at 7:45, because we HAVE to be at the theater by at least 8:00 to get in line. Not for tickets (we've had those for close to 3 weeks), but for good seats. Movie starts at 10:00. 2 hours early should be good enough.

I'm psyched. :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Lighten up folks
Getting on the highway at Woodmen today. 2 lanes merge into one on the on-ramp. Which then merges into 2 lanes that are packed. Moving slowly, but moving. As I'm coming on (and watching my rear-view mirror... 'cuz you always have to make sure someone isn't cutting you off as you "merge in") I notice this woman behind me start freaking out. She is driving some good size SUV (I think it was a Jeep) and she is just really ticked off. She starts waving and screaming. Hmm... guess someone didn't let her in quick enough. She just keeps making all these gestures to someone behind her.

I keep watching this as I'm merging in - still on the on-ramp. She is about 3 cars behind me. We are in about 1.5 lanes, and now she swerves onto the shoulder and cuts this guy off. More yelling and gesturing. I'm starting to get a bit nervous. You can never tell when two people's battle is going to spill over into the surrounding cars.

I'm now into the merge section of the highway, trying to pick a spot to merge into the highway traffic... but she's getting closer. Uh oh... her she comes. Even though we are down to one lane of merging on traffic, she decides she better take the shoulder to make SURE the guy behind her doesn't beat her onto the highway. Now she comes up behind me and is right behind me... We are talking maybe 2 FEET. So now I'm watching her and not paying much attention to the other traffic. She is right on my tail and won't let up. Great... now I'm getting pulled into this mess. I'm now in about 1/2 a lane of traffic and realize that I'm merging into the highway without paying much attention, so look in time to let a car get by me and merge in. And she just keeps coming. Good thing is that she is close enough that I get her plate number. She then blasts past me on the shoulder and pulls onto the highway in front of me. I double check her plate number. Now the other guy merges into the fast lane and is going with the flow, which passes her (since her and I are in the slow lane). She takes this oppurtunity to flip him off one more time and then jerk into the traffic behind him and follow him down the road.

I take this oppurtunity to call 911 and give them her license number. Luckily no accidents occured.

I proceed on to work, getting off at Garden of the Gods Rd and traveling up it to work. Witnessing much sliding and packed traffic, and one more occurence of someone trying to merge into a lane which results in them blocking two lanes, rolling their window down, and screaming at the car that didn't let them in fast enough.

All this on 5 shots of espresso. Yeah... some days its just a fun drive in.
Jitters, what jitters?
Stopped at Starbucks on the way in and got a triple-Venti. Yeah, that's 3 shots of espresso. But the guy messed it up and only made a double - so he then made the triple and asked if I wanted the double as well, since he'd throw it away otherwise. So yeah, 5 shots on the way in.

Guess I won't be having that MountainDew at lunch today.
Need to get a tie for someone this holiday season? How about one of these infectious ties? Perfect for the artist or scientest/geek amoung us. :-) I think the plauge (#1224) is kind of cool looking.
Quote of the Day
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails! Bertha Calloway
Is this really a witness?
I don't agree that this guy should have been arrested and fined... but I also don't think that getting people upset is really spreading the good news and being a true witness. Show 'em the love, not the hate.
Tired of all those annoying ads that are always popping up? If you've are using a Mozilla browser, you can use AdBlocker. Which is downloadable via this link.

I just installed it. Pretty nice. I do wonder if enough people use these things, will free web services go away? Things like Blog*Spot, free web pages, etc. exist because of the ads they run...

Monday, December 15, 2003

  • 2 days until the King returns!
  • 10 days till Christmas
  • 11 days till I no longer wear contacts
  • 18 days till I no longer wear glasses (at least all of the time).

BTW: Jaime will be wearing her Pippin's Girl shirt opening day. :-)
At Home
Working at home today. Tossed and turned last night, woke up with sore muscles, sore throat and generally just not feeling "myself". But hey, I can work from home. The snow is outside blowing, and I'm here, working, blogging and drinking Earl Grey tea. All in all, not too bad.
YahooFinance: Thirty-Year Fast-Food Veteran Sheds 40 Pounds and Gets Thin by Eating 'Thick'Yeah... that's what I'm talking about. Lose 40 lbs by eating $6 burgers. :-) 2 fast-food chains give buns the boot.
Carl's Junior has a no-bun $6 burger.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Italian Tomatoe & Cucumber Salad
Made a snack of Italian Tomatoe & Cucumber Salad last night. Stuck in on my other blog in case anyone wants to give it a try!
I fixed my web site. Had to mess with the frames and add some dummy ones in, but it is all working now. Same color schemes, frame along the top so you can jump from any page to any other. More "modern"... I think. Anyway, a step in eventually moving to my own domain and web site. :-)
Redid my home page. I still have to update the "home" part, but redid the index and all the sub-pages. Mostly just the "skin" - color, frames, etc.

Hmm... and I just now loaded it and it doesn't look too hot. I didn't think about the fact that angelfire is running its ads in frames. So, its frames have totally messed up mine. I'll have to give this another shot... when I get some time. :-S

Friday, December 12, 2003 Student finds largest known prime number
The number is 6,320,430 digits long and would need 1,400 to 1,500 pages to write out. It is more than 2 million digits larger than the previous largest known prime number. SCO's Mind-Bogglingly Bad Faith
SCO is told to hand its source code over to IBM... so it does... on 1 million sheets of paper.
Cancun kitty
Obviously someone had
  • time to spare
  • a knife
  • a lime
  • a cat
  • a camera
  • and perhaps too much tequila

ComputerWorld: Online brokerage scam targets investors
When it sounds too good to be true...

Thursday, December 11, 2003

TheAtlantaJournal-Constitution: Former WorldCom CEO John Sidgmore Dies
Wow, only 52. He seemed like a good guy from what I heard from him while he was the CEO. The Butter Truth
Yeah... any good cook can tell you that butter is better than margarine. :-)
We're in the Rosebowl
Probably old news, but I'm finally posting it. RoseBowl this year is UofM vs USC. Should be a cool game. Carl (a guy I work with) played with USC "back in the day" as a line backer, and helped USC beat The Wolverines in a RoseBowl. But I don't hold that against him. :-)

Usually I watch Michigan in a bowl game every year. One of the few games I catch. Usually with one of the girls. This year it will be all alone. Jaime has a D*group camp-over. :-( But it will still be fun. Soda, food, yelling. :-)
eXcite: Cerritos, Calif., Goes Wireless Citywide
Pretty cool. Wireless connections from anywhere in the city.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Another year...
Entering meeting minutes and just entered that I've scheduled the meeting for 05-Jan-2004. Yup, another year almost over.
Mozilla upgrade
I've installed Mozilla 1.5 with Tabbrowser Extensions. I've got 10 tabs open, with 6 different colors for the different groups I'm in (various wikis, bbs, etc). I'm digging it.
  • 7 days to ReturnOfTheKing
  • 15 days till Christmas
  • 16 days till I no longer wear contacts
  • 23 days till I no longer wear glasses (at least all the time)
3.3M cans of soup
TacklingHunger is up to 3,368,494 cans of soup, with the Broncos donation being 82,745. This thing has been picking up steam lately. Broncos are up to 12th.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I'm getting rather grand-fatherly feeling lately. Not because I am one, or even that I'm about to become one or anything. Tif has said it will be at least 10 years (but that was about 18 months ago... so only 8.5 years now!) and Jaime said at least 6 (given she doesn't even have a boy-friend and is still in high school... that's cool).

But I was out on some sites today looking at UofM stuff... and they have some REALLY COOL stuff for little kids and babies. Since I'm past that stage in my own life, I have to wait for my kids to have kids... so I can be the cool grandpa and buy them all kinds of neat UofM stuff. :-)

Monday, December 08, 2003

Legal drinking age?
I never realized there was a legal age for viewing a web site. Just seems a bit weird.
As I sit here eating yogurt with chopsticks I think, Yeah, I guess I can eat pretty much anything with chopsticks..

And although that is true...

Note to self: Next time you think, "Do I have a spoon at my desk?" - just go ahead and bring one in, just in case. Cuz chopsticks work... but for yogurt they are kind of slow.
Tackle Hunger
Almost 3 millions cans of soup given away on Tackle Hunger. Broncos are in 13th place with 72,634 cans. They were ~46K last week. Nice increase.

Don't forget to go back every day!
Eating left-over Sauteed Chicken and Fall Veggies which I whipped up last night. Fast and yummy.
Stress balls
A note to stress ball manufactorers... Foam balls with writting imprinted into them works better than balls with a color shell with writting on it...

I'm picking flecks of yellow paint off my clothes, from one, while the pink one is working just fine.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

BBCNews: Art's glass toilet tests courage
An artist has created a usable public toilet in a glass cube to challenge the curiosity - and bravery - of people passing London's Tate Britain gallery.
I think this is hilarious.
Last night for dinner I made:
I wanted to grill some pork chops I had bought the night before, and I didn't want to do plain BBQ sauce... so decided a soy/five spice/lemon grass marinade would be kind of cool. The terriyaki sauce just made it simple (then added the other seasonings.

And cause I was running late and knew it would take some time to marinade/grill, I decided to make some Shrimp Cocktail to hold us over... and then say the limes, thought about cervichie... and the avacdos were on sale... so that is how that came about. :-)

And had to make a "normal" salad for Tina. She wasn't feeling great, having gone through some surgery Tuesday. But she thought the chops were really good... which just shows how much her tastes have changed. Now eating Vietnamese and Asian food all the time. :-)

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Seasons Greetings
Online Holiday Snow globe

Got it to work on IE. Didn't work with Mozilla.
Battlestar Galactica
I have to check out Battlestar Galactica. I would have gone to the opening at the movies, but it was showing the day we left town for Vail.

And there is an XBox game!
There are very few friends that you run across in life that are true friends... for every, regardless of effort. You know, the kind of friend that you may not talk to for months, and when you talk / get together / whatever, its like you just talked yesterday. No hard feelings about "not keeping in touch", no condemnation, none of that. You're just friends, and you know you'll always be.

I have some friends like that and I'm so grateful. I'm a terrible letter writter, don't do well at keeping in touch, etc. Could be considered a character flaw. But I'm just so happy that I have some friends who love me and who I love, no matter what. And no matter how long its been. Takes all the work out of it. Thanks guys (and girls)!

If you have some friends like that, keep in touch (even if infrequently). They are rare.
Using images
Usually I don't post images on my blog. At most I'll post links to them. But I figured I'd try it out. Seem to work ok, although it does seem to mess up the placement and push the entry up into my "header" area. We'll I'll see if posting this helps. At most I'll probably only post images once in a while.
Another blogging mishap
Blogging and absent-mindedly eating... Food from the cafe is cold (yeah... heat, what a concept) so nuke it for a minute. Click on the blog throw some food in my mouth and spit it back out... Yeah... IT JUST CAME OUT OF THE MICROWAVE!

Note to self: pay attention to the temp of the food when blogging! ;-)
Very cool
A friend is the webmaster at this church. Very cool. Nice job Elizabeth!
30 degree change
Walking into work from the car -

Yesterday: Cloudy, windy, cold. 26 degrees. Wearing a long sleeve shirt and my winter coat. Looks like winter is here.

Today: Sunny, calm. 56 degrees. Beautiful day. Wearing a polo and my vest. Guess winter isn't here yet!

Monday, December 01, 2003

ComputerWorld: Asian software pirates already selling next Windows OS
Gee... and for only $1.58!
Microsoft corporate attorney Jonathan Selvasegaram. "It's not a ready product. Even if it works for a while, I think it's very risky" to install on a home computer, he said.
In my experience, that is true of all Microsoft OS's... They all seem to degrade "after a while" ;-)
Quote of the day
From MightyGirl: Video Golf is just about the whitest thing the world's got going.
Tweet and Raptor
Just in case anyone was confused, when talking about naming our boxes Tweet and Raptor, yeah, I mean some Linux Servers running on Intel boxes, i.e., computer node names.
ComputerWorld: U.K. to consider national biometric ID cards, database
I don't know much about the technology, but yeah, I agree with Vansevenant,
expressed serious doubts about the security of a national database. "It is a pretty bad idea, especially the database, which would be an ideal target for hackers and terrorists."
ComputerWorld: Cool Stuff: Super-Geek Specials
Hey... if anyone has a spare $17,500 and is wondering what to get me for Christmas, the 92in monitor would be cool!

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Just hanging out
7:30. Standing in the bay-window, looking out at the highway and the Safeway across the valley. People arriving to get their last minute fixings. Snow gently falling, pine trees along the creek covered in snow. Creek slowly flowing as the snow builds up. It fights winter, not yet freezing completly. House is quite, no one up yet. Check the "turkey bag" instructions. 3 hours for a 19lb turkey. Used to have to get up at the crack of dawn to start the meal... We are eating at 3:30 so folks can get some skiing in. So... don't have to put it in until noon!

Will probably cook a big breakfast and then take the girls up to the gondola ride and check out the valley and the skiers, if we can get back by noon. Then a few hours of cooking and baking and "the meal".

We are blessed! Thank you God!
Stuffed Shells
And before I forget... Made Stuffed Shells the day after I made Chicken & Vegtables in a Rich Red Sauce. It was really easy, tasted great, and was a great way to use up the extra sauce!
Oh... and Becky got DSL installed yesterday. Pretty cool. Up here in the mountains, snowing outside... and I'm sitting here working and blogging over a high-speed line. Yup, its good to be alive!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Up and Becky and Rich's for turkey day. Lorraine and Autero are here and we brought Erika with us. We've been up here since Tuesday. Here being Vail. Its really beautiful. I was hoping to get some great pictures and post them, but our digital camera just stopped working. Not sure what is wrong... but looks like we won't get it fixed till we get back. But anyway, having a great time just getting away, hanging out, and eating some great food. Ate at Vendettas last night. Awesome carpaccio!

Well... I'll be spending the day cooking - which will be a blast, and just hanging out. Hope everyone else has a great time! And maybe I'll get some of Jaime's pics and post them.
Tackling Hunger
Tackling Hunger is a Chunky Soup web site. Every day you can go there and click on the football helmet of your favorite team and they'll donate up to 5M cans of soup. Easy to do, takes a few seconds. (You click the link, click the helmet, and then fill in a number they display). I've posted it under daily blogs on my blog web page, so that I am reminded to visit there daily.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Got the following email from a friend:
I've enjoyed your site. It's a side of you that I didn't know existed. THE QUIET GUY SPEAKS! Keep up the good thoughts. It's become my "daily soap opera". :-)
This isn't the first time I've heard this. Lana (my sister-in-law), when she first started reading my blog, told Tina, "I've known James for 25 years and never knew 1/2 these things.".

Yeah... as I've said before. Kind of weird. Tina always asks me why I blog... The truth is, I don't really know. But I expect it is for a number of reasons.
  • I'm a geek
  • It is much easier for me to express my thoughts on the computer
  • I'm very much an introvert... I don't think that means I don't want to talk to people... I think it just means I'm a little uncomfortable in certain situations or something... anyway, much easier to type :-)
  • Cause I think about a lot of these things at weird hours and there is no one to talk to about it, but by putting in on the blog, I talk to everyone about it.
  • Cause I'm a pack-rat, and this lets me keep some of my thoughts forever

So... that's some possible reasons. Also, I've had a number of people say it is cool and they enjoy it, and that's pretty much enough reason right there!

So... thanks everyone for your kind words. I truely appreciate them!

Monday, November 24, 2003

Foreign Language Studies
Just in case you might be interested in learning another language:
Jaime wants to learn Elvish... and hey, as a home-schooler, maybe she can get credit for it! I'll have to look into it.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Winter meal
Dropped the girls at the mall, then braved the elements to go to the store. Got some of the stuff I needed for Thanksgiving Dinner, as well as stuff for dinner last night. First big snow of the season... almost blizzarding out. It was crazy, the store was packed. Drove home trying to avoid getting run into by anyone... If you don't get tense, and just flow with it... it is actually kind of fun. The whole thing was an adventure.

Got home and made Chicken & Vegtables in a Rich Red Sauce over Gemelli. Spent about an hour preping and cooking, then the girls called and they were ready for me to pick them up. Got to the mall and they both said, "Yum... you smell really good. What's for dinner!". Nothing like the smell of olive oil, garlic, onions and tomatoes. Got home and the whole house smelled like it. Yum... I love a dark rich tomatoe sauce dish w/ paste as the snow and cold rage outside. Eaten with a glass of wine by the fire!

Saturday, November 22, 2003

So... this previous week Colorado Springs had record highs. It was in the mid-70s several days. It is currently snowing outside... And the forcast says next Sunday it will be 54. That's one cool think about CO. Snowing one day, and a few days later it is warm again.
Format change
FYI: I changed the format from publishing 10 entries on the main page to publishing 7 days. I *thought* 7 days meant a week, but it really is the last 7 days of posts, i.e., 7 days that I have posted. (Confused? Well if I've posted on 7 of the last 10 days, then 10 days show up).

I did this because every once in a while I'll end up posting 10 entries in one day... which moves everything over the last day to current. I realize everyone may not read this blog every day... so I switched the format.
Its just kind of strange
So I'm driving along listening to Classic Rock the other day, and Up on Cripple Creek comes on the radio. I've heard it before, but not enough to really know it. And when it gets to chorus
Up on Cripple Creek she sends me
If I spring a leak she mends me
I don't have to speak, she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one
I think, Well that is certainly strange/funny - "A drunkard's dream" Not really a love song, just a funny kind of song. But then I listened to the next two verses
I took up all of my winnings, and I gave my little Bessie half
And she tore it up and threw it in my face, just for a laugh
Now there's one thing in the whole wide world, I sure would like to see
That's when that little love of mine, dips her doughnut in my tea

Now me and my mate were back at the shack, we had Spike Jones on the box
She said, "I can't take the way he sings, but I love to hear him talk"
Now that just gave my heart a throb, to the bottom of my feet
And I swore and I took another pull, my Bessie can't be beat
And I started thinking, "Wow... this really is a love song.

I don't know... what really struck me was the simple things. Seeing her dunk her doughnout in my tea and gave my heart a throb, to the bottom of my feet.

Now I won't say I know exactly what this song is talking about - but those words touched me. After being with someone for 25 years, you become one flesh. And it really is the little things that Tina does that sometimes make my heart throb, to the bottom of my feet. She always says to me, "Tell my why you love me" and I never have any good words for it. It isn't any one thing. It isn't that she is so beautiful (although I think she is), or that she is a great wife (which I think she is)... its all the little things. Its that she does little things kind of like dunking a donut in my tea that make my heart throb all the way to the bottom of my feet...

Great song!
After having said that Mellisa looks like her Mom, I got several comments of "What? No she doesn't, she looks like Joe."... And in this picture, yeah, she looks way more like Joe. So... I'm not sure what it is. But sometimes when I'm around her I see Shirley. So maybe that isn't "looks like", but its something!
Put some more pics on my web site. There are two sets of pictures and two ways to view them. One is "Links to pics", which has individual links - for those with slow browsers that just want to see a few of them. The other is "A page fo pics', which links to pages where the pics are embedded. Even with dial-up, they download pretty fast.

  • A few pictures I took of pictures of the kids at Becky's reception, so I could post them, and
  • Pictures of people at TommyT's sushi/welcomeBackFish get together. Hey... there is even one of me!
And speaking of worship
I've been thinking about this for some time. Reading Erika's post made me think about it even more...

Background I stepped down from the adult worship team to work with the youth about 2 years ago. The youth worship team has grown tremendously, Bobby and Michael are both able to lead it so well, and I've been working in one form or another 7 days a week. Even if you are called to something and have a great time with it, it is a committment, time away from family, etc. So, about a month ago I stepped down from the youth ministry. A hard decision, but one I felt I had to make. Meanwhile... A while back (spring maybe?), I started playing on the adult worship team again, but not going to practice. I'm in a position where I can do that, and Teresa was great enough to give me the freedom to do it.

After I stepped down from youth, I decided I really didn't have a good reason for not going to practice. Its hard when you are working 7 days a week, but now I had Saturday off, and it is easier to do stuff on a day when you are already committed to something else. Plus I had been feeling this loss. Worshipping with the team on Sunday was cool... but somehow I wasn't feeling a part... or maybe totally a part. I was... but I wasn't. If you get what I mean.

Anyway, a few weeks after stepping down and getting some other stuff in line, I started going to practice again. And it has been AWESOME! Who would have thought? But it has been. I've gone through times of practice when it is something you have to do, so that you can worship on Sunday. I know it probably isn't like that for everyone. Some people work on their parts quite a bit in practice. But I pretty much just play what I feel and once in a while someone (Teresa, Steve or Greg) will suggest something else. And as drummers and percussionists know... you spend a lot of time not doing anything. We are working on the vocal parts... could you STOP MAKING SO MUCH NOISE. Yeah... faced with boredom we tend to tap, drum, etc. Which is why I tend to go sit down... so I don't just start making noise out of habit. :-)

But it hasn't been like that. I've had these times in the past, where I come home from worship practice and I'm so wired that I can't sleep for a few hours. And it isn't like it was some big spiritual thing where God showed up, everyone realized it, we all fell to our knees or something. I think its just HIS PRESENCE. He's just THERE. You can feel Him, you are worshipping Him, and you are just having a great time Prasing Him and playing with Him. That is the only way I can explain it. I've been in secular bands. Lately I've done some secular stuff. And it was fun. And it was cool. But it WASN'T the same. At least for me.

If it isn't worship, its just lacking something. And that is a real revalation to me. I've always suspected that was true. I've always felt it would be true, deep in my heart. But I haven't done anything secular since I've been worshipping, until lately. And it was confirmed. Like I said, it was fun and cool - and I'd probably do it again... but it just wasn't the same. Nothing can beat playing music to God and worshipping Him. It was what we were meant to do. And one of the coolest things about it... is that it is easy.

It isn't a big reverent thing. It isn't a big "I'm playing before GOD. I have to be PERFECT." It is a fun thing. A joyful thing. A playing around thing. It's "I'm playing before God... my friend. The creator of the universe who loves me, wants to be my friend, and sent His some to DIE for me... just so we could hang out FOREVER." When we let go, aren't uptight, and don't worry about things. When we just have fun, He enjoys it. That is the way it was meant to be. And in Him having fun, we are blessed...

Again, that's the only way I can explain it. David worshipped, danced, and praised before The Lord joyfully, with abandon, with his whole heart, and he was a man after God's own heart.. And God delights when we do the same.

I once asked God, "Why? Why is it that people will say I'm annointed. That I just seem to GET worship? Why is that? I'm not a big scholar. I don't spend enough time with You, in the Word, etc. Why have you blessed me? Why is it that worship is so fun for me?" And He told me, "That's exactly why. Because it is so fun for you. I have blessed you because you bring me joy. You joy in worship, and that is what I'm looking for."

I think He does that with all callings. He is looking for someone to do a particular thing... and when He finds someone who will do it, and have a good time doing it, He blesses them.
Part of my desire, and I think why I was called to work with the youth, is to get people to understand that about God, their calling and especially Worship. Its all about the passion, the fun, the delight in doing what God has asked you to do. If it isn't fun, if it doesn't feel right, if it is a strain...then I'm not sure its God. I believe He calls us to things that will bring us joy... because He put that desire, ability and joy in our hearts for the things He has called us to!

So yeah... I'm just very excited with how practice has been going lately. I've talked to Tina about it. It just feels so right. We go through highs and lows in our walk... and I'm very happy to be in a high right now. Practice has just been so AWESOME and I come home so jazzed. Its a great thing to Worship Him.
Is 40:31 Chik
Erika has posted again. As always, it is a great read. Some excerpts:
Saturday was pretty good, considering we didn't have our usual worship leader. It's nice having Michael there because things seem to run smoother; people seem to pay more attention. Not that nobody respected Bobby and Scott, but I don't know...Michael's the worship leader, and I guess that's just what we've all adapted to. That's not a complaint at all, just a thought. I think it's interesting how things seem a little lacking when we realize how much Michael really does lead us, not just the congregation. When he leads, he ministers to us, not just sings to the congregation. Anyway, so yes, worship practice was good, because, after all, Scott does know how to lead.
Yeah, when you are part of a team, and that team has grown in unity, purpose, focus, etc., then when people aren't there it just feels different. Especially when that person is the worship leader. What a great testimate to how much Michael has grown, and how called he is to be the Worship leader. Michael, if you are reading this, that is great when the people you are leading feel this way. You truely are called!

RE: "improv" - yeah... sometimes you have to just turn it over to the Holy Spirit and not worry about what you are playing, but just flow with it. Very cool you are starting to feel that and walk in it.
The worship time as a whole was good. It was missing Michael's playing and singing, but Bobby, Nicole and Scott did a good job working together to make sure there was never anything truly missing.
Yeah... its a worship thing. You guys are strong enough together that given there is a core group there, you'll flow with it. As long as you stay focused on God. You all have come such a long way.
I was really surprised later, because I was praying with someone, and Bobby stepped up and sang for a while after the message. As usual, he did very well, even though he thinks he always sounds [terrible]
Although Bobby may not have the perfect voice, he does have a good voice... and he has PASSION. And that is what worship is all about, and that is why he does so well.
Maybe we're never supposed to stop growing, and although James isn't with us all the time, and Michael wasn't there that night, things are feeling back to normal.
I'm glad to hear it. You guys are so awesome. I missing being there... but I'm always there in spirit. And yes, you never are supposed to stop growning. You guys continue to grow, moving in what God has called you to and has for you, and find out where He wants you to go.

Thanks for posting... you ROCK.
Catching up
Read some good stuff last week, which I usually post. But it was so crazy early in the week at work that I really never got caught up. Worked some this morning, but the girls are still sleeping... Here are some cooking tips:

From MightyGirl
  • A no-mess way to open pomegranates, and
  • a guacamole recipie containing them. Yeah... sounds weird, but she says "it will make your taste-buds ache." Hey... I HAVE to try it.
I just don't get it
I'm leaving the Starbucks parking lot, having spent a few minutes watching someone try and figure out driving procedure. Hint... when someone is trying to back out, and you want to pull into their space, don't get so close that they can't get out. It just irritates everyone waiting for the drama to unfold, as well as the person trying to back out. Anyway...

So I'm leaving that, and I notice a pickup with a camper on it stopped in a fairly narrow two lane road. Weird place to stop, I think to myself. Then I notice he has a shopping cart tied behind his camper:
  1. How did the shopping cart get there? It is below a Kings Sooper... but there is about a 30 foot embankment. Did it fall down? Did someone leave it on the road and he is being a good citizen and trying to return it?
  2. Why is it tied to his truck?
  3. What is he doing with it?
As I drive pass, he makes sure it is tied securly, gets back in his truck, and pulls forward. It makes it all of about 5 feet before falling over at which point he just drags it behind his truck for about 10 yards; gets out; sets it back upright, and starts all over again.

By this time I'm out on the road, heading for work and have no idea why this was happening or how it unfolded...
Master and Commander
Went and saw Master and Commander last night. We all thought it was a very good show! (Tina, Jaime and I). Of course, Billy Boyd (Pippen) was in it... so for Jaime, it had to be great.
Very little geek
Jaime has very little geek in her. Told her we were going to name our new boxes Raptor and maybe Tweet and she said, "That is so Geeky dad." :-( Tif would have thought it was cool! Oh well... she is into LOTR and some other geek stuff... so she's got some of my genes. ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2003

Besides Raptor we also thought about Tweet:
  • Tweets are about the loudest plane there is, and
  • Brian flies a Tweet... so I think it would be cool
Geek's and Fighter Planes
Gigs is picking names for our new boxes, often refered to as "the jet engines" because of the noise they make. Chuck suggested fighter planes. We got Raptor, and we are looking for a few others. In the midst of the search we found links to aircraft nicknames and to some nose art. The nose art was found when Kris mentioned that his uncle was the pilot of Miasis Dragon.
defective yeti... blog of the day
Perhaps its not good to admit this to everyone, but defective yeti had me silently laughing in my cube with tears running down my face. TheSquirrelly is the kind of thing that just cracks me up.
Cat in the Hat
Having seen a few trailers... I had a feeling, and although I don't always agree with reviewers, after reading this I think I'll just skip the movie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

FCC Gives Bono a Pass on 'F' Word
WASHINGTON — When it comes to cursing, the government says, it's all in the delivery. That's the view of the Federal Communications Commission in its decision that U2 singer Bono's colorful language during the Golden Globe Awards didn't violate federal indecency rules.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If unchallenged and successful this could hearld a wave of profanity on prime time.
Say what?
Scenario: Eating at a new Italian resteraunt on Sunday. Tina orders the Ribeye, medium to medium well. Waitress comes over to see how the food is after it is delivered.

T: I may be dumb or something, but this looks pretty rare to me.
W: No, you aren't dumb, that is really rare. Who could eat something like that?
T: He could, pointing to me.
W: Oh sorry
M: I used to eat steak medium rare, but now I perfer medium.
W: Just let it drop out of the cow's a** and slam it onto a plate huh?
M: Ah... yeah
W: I'll go get that cooked some more for you.

Waitress leaves

T: Did she just say a**?
M: Yeah... I believe she did.
Love Sushi? What’s not to love! Our Sushi Finder will help you discover your next favorite raw fish experience.
Support for various cities. Colorado Sprinsg isn't listed, but Denver is.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

New Release
Picked up both Let it Be - Naked from the Beatles and LOTR: Two Towers, extended DVD which were released today.
Busy weekend
Was working most of the weekend on the last implementation release. Got things working though... Lots of interesting stuff I saw on-line that I wanted to post links to. Maybe in the next day or two.
No more FireHawk
Dan wreaked the FireHawk this last weekend. :-(

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Went up to TommyT's yesterday. Emily is back from YWAM and so we were celebrating her birthday (which was in August). Melissa and Tracy came over. Haven't seen them for a while. Cool. We ate sushi and dim-sum. Good stuff. Tom was making the sushi and so I made some too. First time ever! It was fun. I love sushi but have never made my own. After doing it yesterday, I'll have to give it a try at home.
Rolled out a new release (fvo - I don't remember what it stands for, but it means deploying the application in production) of one of the implementations. I worked on the first release, but not the second one. But the team for the 2nd release was small, I'm familiar with it, and they were having issues with it in production. Kind of cool stuff (trouble-shooting, etc.), but worked 13 hours on Friday, 3.5 yesterday, and have spent an hour and a half this morning looking around. Late in the week typically isn't a good time to fvo... because you then end up spending the weekend trouble-shooting, if there are issues...

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
And the ad on the article in the previous post... is for Oracle Outsourcing
ComputerWorld: Outsourcing's Dirty Little Secret
Outsourcing is perceived as the silver bullet of the day, and many companies indeed benefit from it. But the dirty little secret of outsourcing has emerged: Everyone isn't happy.

By the end of the first year, more than 50% of the companies that have outsourced major IT functions are unhappy with their outsourcers, according to an informal survey of my clients. By the end of the second year, 70% are unhappy.

Yeah... no surprise there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Desktop images
LOTR desktop images. Some very cool stuff.
Cool shot from Heather today. Reminds me of the trees in LOTRs. :-)
ComputerWorld: Microsoft patches three critical security problems
2000, XP and IE patches. I'm still running 98 at work, so I didn't have to bother with the 2000 or XP patches, but running Windows Update showed that I did need the IE patches.
I would have seen it on Monday anyway... as I weekly checked WindowsUpdate, what with the frequency at which the put out patches.
Cool Calculators
CheapskateMonthly has a list of free calculators you can use. Some looked pretty cool. I don't know much about the site, a friend just posted the link on irc.
And it tastes good too
Getting enough magnesium in your diet may help reduce your risk of heart disease. Good sources of magnesium include soybeans (80 milligrams per half cup), cashews (80 milligrams per ounce), and tomato paste (75 milligrams per half cup).

Yum... I like all those things. Hmm... maybe I should get some Edamame for lunch. :-).

I always knew that olive oil, garlic and tomato paste were good for you. Thus, a pasta with a nice rich sauce with veggies is good. So... maybe the carbs in the pasta are offset by the other stuff.

Above was from RealAge.Com, via mom who sends me tips all the time on how to improve my health.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Support your local worship team!
If you are in the area, don't forget that tonight is the worship team fund raiser at Chic-Fil-A. If you mention "Impact Christian Center", our worship team gets 15% of your reciept. This is valid at any of the Springs locations, although most of us will be at the location on Powers which has a play area for the kids. See ya there!
YahooNews: 'Iceman' Grabs Shark To Save Men
An Icelandic fishing captain, known as "the Iceman" for his tough character, grabbed a 660-pound shark with his bare hands as it swam in shallow water toward his crew, a witness said Thursday ... "He's called 'the Iceman' because he isn't scared of anything," he said. "I know the people in that part of the world. They are really tough."

Yeah, I'd call that tough!
It is extremly hard, imo, to write documentation for something when you totally understand it (because you wrote it) and the person reading the documentation is clueless. I never cease to be amazed at the questions people will ask.

I truely admire people that write user documentation for the masses. Maybe that is one reason for customer support. "Nope... I'm not answering every stupid question in the doc. Let them call someone and ask."

A BIG pot of Cream of Broccoli soup
Melt a pound of butter, and in 3 cups of flour and cook for a few minutes. And in a quart of 1/2 & 1/2, then thin with a gallon of milk. 1/2 hour before serving and in a pound of broccoli. Yum. :-) Not very low cal, but tastes really good! Made soup for the church director's meeting last night. I'll post the exact recipe later.
JT's pictures
Jonny's picture page. Some great shots of JT, TommyT and the girls.
A week of glasses
No contacts for a week. I'm going in next Monday for a seminar and lazik examine. Cost is about $4K to get my eyes fixed. I'll get an MCI discount, plus having it come out of pre-tax dollars helps. Still expensive, but its getting so I can't really use my contacts and always focus on my display. It will be worth it. Seeing is important when you work on a computer. And I just don't feel like wearing glasses all the time. But... to get away from them, I'm have to wear them for a week.
WiredNews: Is it On? Building Silent PCs
Average cost about $150. Seems like it would be worth it, especially in the business environement. My machines are humming around me all day long.
And it gets easier and easier
Went to AnyWho, online directory. Did a reverse lookup on my phone number, and sure enough, it found me. From there I could get a map to my house, a list of all the people on my street (and their phone numbers). I could also lookup public records. Clicked on "Marriage Record", and it doesn't have mine (because I was married in MT), but it did have my friends, who was married in TX.

Amazing the info you can find on someone on the internet...

Friday, November 07, 2003

Geek humor
An audio clip. May only be funny if you are a geek... but I laughed. I did have to follow the link.
Google on the task bar
Ev discusses GoogleDeskbar, which puts google on your task bar. Looks like it is pretty cool stuff. I've installed it and will play with it for a bit.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Walked into the cafe at lunch today, and thought, "Wow, that smells good." And then it hit me, how unusual for me to think that when walking into the cafe.... kind of sad.
You are what you read... kinda
I follow a number of blogs daily. Well maybe not daily for all of them, but I follow them quite a bit, depending on how busy I am at lunch, etc. While some of them were on my links side-bar, I decided it was easier to just put them on my blog web page. This way I can easily go there, and open each one in a new tab, and then scan through them. Some don't take much time... Check out a picture and just stare at it for a minute or so... yeah, that's cool, etc. Anyway, just in case someone wants to see what I read, check it out!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Oh yeah, and I'm back from the movie. It was pretty good. Jaime said, "I'm going to have to think about that for a while." I thought it was MUCH better than the 2nd one. Can't say much more than that... don't wan to give anything away. Oh, I can say there was WAY more action. I thought it was cool.
TechWeb: Quovadx Acquires Rogue Wave
The article really doesn't explain well what RogueWave does. Probably focusing on the latest marketing material. Anyway... we used to use RogueWave extensively as our class library... but are in the finally touches of removing it from our sytsem and going to an open source product. So... doesn't really effect us much (at least not long term), but still an interesting note.
Off to see Matrix:Revolutions with Jaime and Dan. It should RAWK. Update later...
UserFriendly looks at the Microsoft/Google "merger"
In case you don't understand why Microsoft acquiring Google would be a bad thing... UserFriendly is running a series of comics on the subject.
Backplate, yeah... I knew that
Deep background: although my brother is quite the mechanic and used to have no problem with pulling his 327 out of one Chevy and dumping into another, whenever he got a new car; I on the other hand spent a week trying to put headers into my 57. Needless to say, I'm not too mechanically inclined.

Context: My SVX has been making some weird noise, I took it to the shop, the CV-boots were hosed (I knew that) and so they replaced the front axles, and while doing that, the front-breaks as well. On my way home I noticed the car was making a noise. I dropped Jaime at piano on the way to work and she said, "Yeah... that doesn't sound too good." Encouraged by the mechanical knowledge of my 16 year old daughter, I figured the wise course of action would be to stop by the garage... just in case there was something wrong.

G: Can I help you?
M: I had my car in here yesterday for repairs and now it is making a noise
G: What kind of noise?
M: Grinding.
G: Grinding?
M: Yeah... grinding, rubbing, I don't know... doesn't sound good.
G: Just a sec... Jeff will meet you out front.
J: Your car is making a noise?
M: Yes.
J: What kind of noise?
M: I don't know... a grinding, rubbing, doesn't sound good kind of noise.
J: When you drive it?
M: Yes
J: Pull it forward.

I do... he walks around front, leans under the car and messes with it for a minute.

J: Yeah... when you replace the CV-boots the backplate gets bent sometimes. I usually get them straightend back out. Guess I didn't catch this one. Should be good now. Sorry about that.

And now its fixed!

Yeah... the backplate. Of course! ;-)
Quote of the day
If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution. -- Robert Sewell

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Another revolution
Matrix:Revolutions opens tomorrow. If Dan can get tickets, Dan, Jaime and I are going. Not sure when... probably some time during the day.

Geeks are allowed time off from work for major sci-fi movie openings: Matrix, StarTrek, StarWars, LordOfTheRings, TombRaider, etc. I guess that would be Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

Note to self: go check out the Lord of the Rings link for the new trailer!
Computerworld: Check 21 becomes law, allows speedier electronic settlements:
Banks no longer have to ship paper checks all over the country, they can just send images. Its a good thing. My bank, DCU, has been doing this for years (at least internally, they don't ever send me the paper).

Monday, November 03, 2003 Microsoft goes for Google
Looks like Google isn't interested. Good!
Science proves
that Kansas Is Flatter Than a Pancake.
Spam, and one of those Mondays
Logged on a little after 5:00. I didn't check my email on Saturday and I couldn't connect to work on Sunday for some reason, so I have 270 email messages. Argh...

Ran MailWasher and it was going to bounce 29 of them and delete 46, but then my connection dropped. Got back on and now I have 274. Lets try it again...

Bouncing 29, deleting 46. Quick scan of the remaining "Normal" mail to see if any addresses look like they might be real. Then the "Friend" list, to look for my own address (since SPAM sometimes uses your own address as the return address so you can't bounce it an ANNOY them). Mark all the normal mail to be blacklisted... scanning the subects to see if anything looks real. Nope, thats another 162 to bounce, 165 to delete. 1 more disguised spam to delete and I'm left with 63 mail messages to look through.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Tina's pictures
Ok... so Tina definately does not want any pictures of her on the internet. I've remove any pictures with her in them (including group shots). But there are still pictures of the rest of us.

Also... my blog is set to show 10 entries, and I've blogged more than that today! So, if interested, you may want to look at the archive for the month for anything you've missed.
Is it winter yet?
Yeah... I think it is. Last week I was wearing sandals, a sleeveless shirt and a vest. Today I wore tennis shoes and my winter coat.

It almost always snows on Halloween. It didn't this year, but there is ice everywhere. Winter is just around the corner!
Fantasy Football
Speaking of archives... Yeah, last year I reported on each of my Fantasy Football games. This year I've just been too busy to do much besides sign up. I lost the first 5 games I think. Then I won one, and that caused me to at least look at things, so I started moving people around on the bench, then picked up a player. Now I've won two. Still 6-2-0... but that makes me TIED for last place, instead of BEING last place. :-) Maybe I'll pay some attention and actually move up into the middle of the pack. Why bother? Well it has given me a little fun, even if I don't win the whole thing. At least when I've had time its been interesting.
Journalling, its a cool thing
I'm looking for recipes I've posted, and some were on this blog. So I'm scanning back through all the archives. Journalling is cool. I've never really done it, except here. Cool just to see old stuff I thought was cool, events that happend in my life, etc. Yeah, its not every thing, not the really personal stuff (for me or others), but it is a snap-shot of something. And its kind of cool to go look at it. And its only been a little over a year.
My recipes
I blog my recipes, but now I've also listed them on my web page... for organizational reasons. Not too many there yet... I guess I'm not too good about posting them. Well, eventually...
Chicken Karahi
And Tina asks why I'm watching the food channel at 2:00AM. Hey... you can find some cool dishes!

Was watching last night and caught the tail end of a family making Chicken Karahi on Calling all Cooks. Looked pretty interesting. After having the Eggplant Curry last week, I'm in the mood for trying out some other mid-eastern food. (Chicken Karahi is Pakistani). I haven't tried it yet, but probably will in the next month or so (Its a busy month for cooking, not sure when I'll try something new).
good choice
Just went downstairs to tell the girls I had posted pictures to the web... No answer. They are too intent on the movie. But I did get the oppurtunity to see something that looked like a head exploding. I'm not sure what it was, but I decied it was better to retreat to my room and do geeky stuff like blogging, etc.
So... its Holloween... the girls: Tina, Jaime and Erika, are all downstairs watching scary movies. Watching some flick with half dead rotting looking people, blood, screams, etc. Not my idea of a fun time. I could barely get through it eating my dinner!

So, what to do? Hey... we got a digital camera not too long ago and I've been meaning to upload a bunch of pics to my home page. Might as well do it now. Uploaded stuff from cancun, becky's wedding reception, the "kids" while they were here (and dancing at the reception), and a few pictures of Bobby, Zack and Ricky. One of the reception shots has a picture of a bunch of the women, including 4 that have worked on Sheriff.

So... if you want to see some recent shots of people, some flattering and some not so, go take a look.

And hey... if any of the girls get upset... well that is what they get for watching scary movies. ;-) Microsoft in merger talks with Google
Oh great... the company that just fired someone for blogging a "company secret" is now talking about buying Google, which is the parent of Blogger... Ev... say it isn't so!
TheAge: Microsoft fires employee for revealing G5 purchase
Turns out that blogging can get your fired. What a drag. I hate self-censorship. Not about what you think is appropriate to publish, but what someone else might find appropriate for you to publish. You end up not writting what you'd like, but always wondering what someone else will think about what you write, or the consequences. I've often worry about this when writting technial stuff... is this appropriate? Is this a company secret, etc. Drag.
Gigs #2
Dan's second son was born last night. Alan Conner, 30-Oct-2003 22:13, 7lbs 15oz @ 20"

Thursday, October 30, 2003

ComputerWorld: Defense agency extends MCI pacts despite GSA suspension
Hey... when you're the best, where else can they go. ;-)
ComputerWorld: House could vote soon on Senate antispam bill
There are issues, but its a start!
ComputerWorld: IBM's Palmisano says U.S. must innovate to keep jobs
Hey... I'm doing my best to stay innovative...
I just couldn't take it
Day 3 of a week long "drop some weight" diet. I'll have to see if I can find a link for it later. Anyway, Becky gave it to Tina and I. Jaime lasted one day. "Hey, I don't really need to lose weight (she doesn't), and I hate these vegtables." Day 1 was easy. Day 2 was rough. This morning, day 3. I open my mail and remember tomorrow is free breakfast day at work... waffles, pancakes, juice, etc. And my diet calls for... bananas and soup. Hmm... maybe I should go off it. Tina says yeah, 3 days is enough. So I figure I'll tough out today.

Today is mind-numbing. I've got 176 files left to review. It is going somewhat slow. My head hurts. I need some caffine... a Diet MtDew sounds great (not on the diet). Josette pokes her head into my cube, "Want Yakitori for lunch?" - Hmmm... Sure... that is enough peer-pressure for me to drop the diet.

2 greasy-crunch onion-rings... Oh man. The crunch, the grease, the sweet taste of the onion! And then 2 shrimp, just as crunchy, but dipped in mustard sauce. A sweet mustard sauce. Yum! Then the chicken yakitori and some white rice with sweet sauce. I'm in heaven.

But hey... it was worth it. I lost 5 lbs in two days! And if I watch it, I should be able to keep most of that off. The diet was ok... I think I'll do it once in a while, maybe just for 2 or 3 days. If I can maintain and drop 5 lbs here and there, I should be good!

I think it was the code review that really did me in.... just too boring w/o anything to look forward to, like FOOD.

Then down to the cafe for a MtDew... Come back, check the blogs, set my wall-paper to jcn's photo today, write this up and back to work. Speaking of today's photo. Reminds me of lunch in cancun. Sitting on the veranda, watching the lizards. Cool.

Cool unix piping
Geek alert!

I'm code reviewing this morning. To do this, I grep for the files containing "jjw needed" (these are the files I have to review), more the diff file, look at the diffs to decide if I need to make comments in the file, and then edit the file. This was taking some manual effort (find the file, type in the name, etc.), which gets to be a pain when you have 100s of files to look at. Played around a bit and figured out that I could use the following commands:

more `grep -l "jjw needed" * | head -4 | tail -1`_diff
xemacs `grep -l "jjw needed" * | head -4 | tail -1`

The 'grep' searches for the files and lists just the file name, 'head' displays the first N results (in this case 4) and then tail displays the last N resluts, in this case 1. This basically perfoms a 'more' on the 4th file, appending "_diff" to the file name. Then the next command edits that file.

While I still long for VMS, and think it is a much better OS, there are some cool things you can do with Unix.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I've always (well pretty much always) had long hair. For quite some time I had it in a mullet (although I didn't really realize that. I just had it long in the back and Tina liked it short on top). Recently (within the last year) I decided to grow it all out. It is almost long enough to put in a pony-tail now. Not quite... but close enough that with some hair-spray it works.

Anyway... it is kind of interesting to see how I am treated differently because of my long hair (not longer recently, but pretty much my entire adult life). Two main things I notice. The first I've noticed for quite some time, the second just recently.
  1. Fast-food, 7/11, etc. help tend to treat me as an equal. There will be someone in a suit, etc. and the service person will be like, "How may I help you sir. Is there anything else you'd like?", etc. But with me they are always like, "Hey dude, hows it going?", etc. I actually perfer the informalness of it... and it is one of the perks of having long hair. I think this is especially true as I get older. At 45 it kind of gives me a lift to have a 20-year old call me "dude", "man", "bud" and not "sir". :-)
  2. People tend not to trust you when you walk up to their car window. This has happend a few times in the last month. I broke down at work and there was this car that stopped and looked like maybe they were trying to see if I needed help. I couldn't see the person and thought maybe it was someone from work. (I was still at work). So I walked up to the window and this middle-age woman had a look of fright on her face. Like I was going to mug her or something. Then last night I left work and the guy behind me had his lights off. It was about dusk and it was kind of hard for me to see him. Going down Garden of the Gods Rd, I noticed quite a bit of traffic pulling onto the road. (Lots of people leaving work). I started thinking, "Maybe someone won't see him and pull out right in front of him." So I'm thinking if I should signal him somehow. We go through several lights (me being a block ahead of him at times) and finally we pull up to a light and he is right behind me. So, I figure "Oh well", jump out and run back to his window. He just stares at me... so I yell, "Your headlights are off" and jump back in my car. A few blocks later I turned off, and he still had his lights off. Oh well... I gave it a shot.

All in all... I think the advantages out-weight the disadvantages. :-)
Jesse Chan-Norris has a cool seascape on photo_a_day. I set it as my wallpaper. For some reason it is kind of disconcerting as I close windows and am looking out at the ocean, instead of some StarWars scene. Not sure why... but I'm keeping it as my wallpaper anyway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

ComputerWorld: U.S. Northern Command's CIO calls Unix 'the Betamax of software'
- But Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose said Linux is likely to endure.
" But I predict that five to 10 years from now, there may be almost no Unix-based systems, just because the intellectual investment it takes to maintain a cadre of Unix-trained, -educated and -experienced engineers is too difficult a problem."

Wow. I had never heard that before. I'm not sure what his alternative is. To me, Linux and Unix are almost the same thing... Another paraphrase is that the systems aren't that complex and are much easier than learning Unix. I totally disagree. But them maybe I'm just working on a complex system.
Pet Peeves
People that don't know how to use a clock...

Tina's relatives (mom and sister) are always calling first thing in the morning and saying, "What time is it there?". One lives in Florida and one periodically works in England. In addition to all the other jobs I have, I also have the job of removing the phone from the bed-room when I first get up on Saturday. This keeps them from waking Tina up at 7:30 on a Saturday. I guess I now have to remove it during the week too, since Tina's mom just called at 7:10 with "You aren't up yet? What time is it there?"

Really... timezones are not that hard to figure out!

And just to be helpful... this Atomic Clock link is set to Mountain... just in case you want to know what time it is in Colorado. ;-)

Monday, October 27, 2003

ComputerWorld: California wins first state suit against spammers: PW Marketing ordered to pay $2M fine.I'm glad to hear it! I wasn't online all weekend, and this morning when I got on I had over 200 emails. Most of them spam. Maybe these types of lawsuits will help decrease the problem.
Play Money(?)
I posted a link some time back to the PlayMoney blog. This is a blog written by a guy who is a trader in UltimtaOnline. He trades virtual items and sells them for both real and play money.

I regularly follow his blog and his most recent article is about a tower he bought and is reselling on e-bay. He opened it at $1, and it is currently at $122.50. He bought the account for $250 and has sold off coal armor for 112.50 and regents for and unknown price. So, it looks like he'll end up coming out ahead.

Friday, October 24, 2003

ComputerWorld: Free hot spots pay dividends
Cool... Panera Bread is going to start putting in free Wi-Fi, which will join other companies such as Starbucks that already offer it. I'm sure there will be security issues, etc., but its a start!
An Example of Fraud
Following is the content of a letter I received in email today. Working in a Fraud group, I've heard of things like this, but have never received one. It is hard for me to believe anyone would be dupped by it... but again, working in a Fraud group, I know people are. In the following, I've replaced the company name, etc. just to make sure no one goes to their web site, etc. from this blog!

Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 12:15 AM


Subject: Fraud Alert. - Order 1845. &


Dear customer,

Recently we have received an order made by using your personal credit card information.

This order was made online at our official or website. Our Fraud Department has some suspicions regarding this order and we need you to visit a special Fraud Department page at our web store where you can confirm or decline this transaction by providing us with the correct information.

But, if you have never visited our site or made a purchase, you can decline any charges from you credit card, by entering your personal info below. Or, if you feel this method of verification insecure - please visit our highly secure site or

Enter your credit card number here:

Enter your credit card exp date:

Enter your name as it appears on the credit card:

Enter your address, zip code and city:

REMEBER: NEVER give out this kind of information over email or to someone that blindly requests it. Yes, if you are on a web site doing a purchase it is normal to expect it. But if you ever get a call or an email that of the form "This is calling and we need your personal info" you shouldn't reply. You should have your credit card customer support numbers, bank numbers, etc. and you can call them back. You can never really be sure who is on the other end of a phone or email.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Good advice
If you find yourself being questioned about a crime you did not commit, resist at all costs the impulse to be helpful.
—social psychologist Richard Ofshe
Not to sound too much like a un-cultured, head-stuck-in-the-techonlogy, geek... but I rarely look at art. Not because I don't like it... just because I don't think about it I guess. Thanks to Maggie, not only did I come across Heather Champ's work, but today Jesse Chan-Norris. I thought this was rather cool. I like that it is black and white... and it just touches something in me. Not sure why... But then, maybe that is the point of art.

Thanks again to Maggie for posting this stuff. I now have these links saved so that I can check them out every day as I'm munching on lunch. Cool.
ComputerWorld: Intel's Barret warns IT execs on tech education, job drain
Intel Corp. CEO Craig Barrett ... blamed the K-12 education system in the U.S. for a shortage of computer scientists... "The K-12 system in the U.S. does an excellent job of weeding out anyone who's interested in science," he said...
It is such a cool field. A shame more students are going into it.
Last night I made Chicken Curry and Eggplant Curry. Tif had seen Rachael Ray make it and was going to try it out, but Tif wasn't feeling well so I cooked both. The eggplant turned out very good! A very nice vegtable curry dish. Good accompaniment for the Chicken Curry... or any meal where you want to add a vegtable curry.

A few recipe notes:

Eggplant: I used 2 heaping teaspoons of Thia Kitchen Green Curry Paste and it was a little hot for us. Not so bad that I wouldn't eat it, but a little hot. Next time I'll probably only use 1 tsp. The mango chutney was great, and I also sprinkled coconut on it. The sweet helps cut the hot. I think next time I may also peel the eggplant, as the skin adds some toughness. Not sure... trade-off the texture and color for a little more consistent texture. We'll see.

Chicken: I again used baby zucchini instead of green beans in the chicken. I just think it is a nicer touch. I'll have to update the recipe at some point!
Biaggi's is our favorite new restaurant. Great food and they have creme brulle! And their web site is pretty good too, with menus, locations, maps, etc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Lost archives, no problem
I was looking for my recipe for curry chicken, and I hadn't published it on my recipe site, but had posted it here. So I was looking through my archives, and some of them were not showing up. Drag... I save everything, so it would be very upsetting to me if my old posts were gone. Went out to Blogger support, found an entry on how to republish your entire site and did that. And now they are there. So easy! :-)

BTW: Took me a while to find the curry chicken link. I guess I'll have to move it out to my recipe site so it will be much easier to find!