Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Why we won't go metric

From Shimshon on PernMush
Shimshon's coworker explains that we'll never go to the metric system, becuase you 'Peter Piper picked 8.1 liters of pickled peppers' doesn't have the same ring to it.

Not everyone is an OO fan

Overhead in the hallway
That's my expectation if it is linear code. If its some object oriented crap then...
Some people just can't find their way around in OO code. Oh well...

Pern: Thread falls tonight

Thread falls tonight over Ista. I'll probably be working on the ground crew - most likely with a shovel, as I've never handled the flame throwers before.

Some people say, "Wow... you must have spare time on your hands", but hey... some people golf, some work on their cars, some... whatever. I just happen to work and play on a computer. :) And it is something to do with Tif, which is very cool, especially since she is not local. She won't be on tonight though (she is usually just on during the day). I HAVE to get broadband set up before the end of the month... I keep meaning to call from work, but then get busy and forget. But when she's here she's going to want to be on-line the same time I am.

Anyway, I like mushing. Doesn't take all that much time - it is fairly slow paced. If we are home, we usually watch TV in the evenings. So, I'll be watching TV with Tina, I'll just be fighting thread on Pern at the same time. :)

Monday, June 28, 2004


Mushing seems to be taking over my "computer play" time. I haven't been blogging near as much - and I haven't been keeping up on my blog reading. But mushing is pretty cool. One very hard thing about it for me is that there is nothing you *have* to do. Its all role-playing. Very weird to play a computer game, and not have some goal. Nothing to win. No puzzels to solve. Nothing. I keep asking "So... is there something we HAVE to do here?" And Tif keeps saying, "NO!" :)

But it is a cool thing. Interesting enough, she said that most mush players are girls. Guys just can't handle "this is just writting - player interaction - there is nothing to kill" ;-) Anyway, its cool.

It is interesting to write a story with multiple people, you've never met, and pretty much just flow the interaction a few sentences at a time.

Worship - flowing with the spirit

Another post on flowing with the spirit during worship.

Sunday was really cool. As I've mentioned before, we are starting to flow more and more with the Spirit. We were doing (some song - I'm so bad with titles) that we haven't done for quite a while. It was a worship song. We were bringing it down and Steve rolled the chorus several times. Teresa then pointed to Bobby and he started playing lead. It was building and I came off the congas and started playing my "big drum". (I don't know the name - its just a really big drum that I play with mallets that are about 2.5 feet long). It just felt like I should go there.

I was starting to feel it, but kind of playing the normal kind of thing I play. But playing with my eyes closed and just kind of "listening". And then Bobby took it somewhere different. He started playing a different lead - a different rhythm. At least it sounded different to me. :) It just went somewhere else. And I just went with it and started playing something different. It was very cool. And then I started doing this thing where I play the drum (pretty deep), but also play the sticks against the side, to get this clicking sound. Nothing really on purpose. Just a feel. I just start doing it. It was so cool. (Not that what I was doing was cool... but just that the feeling was so cool).

So we stayed in that for some time and then Teresa said that instead of breaking and then going to pray and coming back, we'd just keep going. If someone had to do something before church they could, but whoever wanted to keep going could. So we just kept at it and took it into worship. We probably played that one song for 15 or 20 minutes. - That is one thing about flowing - time just stops. I have no idea how long it is. I've played for over and hour and looked up w/o realizing how much time has passed.

It was so very cool. Its getting cooler every time. We then started with our "normal" worship. It was good, and we flowed some, but it seems like we haven't made that "breakthrough" in service yet. It was good, but not as good as practice. I'm not complaining, just stating it. But, we are getting there. Every part of us playing (practice, congregational worship, etc.) is getting better. Very cool stuff.

I'm in training

In 3 weeks the church is having the annual picnic and this year we are doing several games. One of them is... a jelly donut eating contest! Woo hoo. I've won one of these before (in Flint MI). That was a "who can eat one the fastest w/o using their hands". This one is seeing how many you can eat in 5 minutes.

Tonight I ate two as fast as I could... just to get a feel for it. I'm in training now, working on my technique, etc. Hey... everyone has to have a sport. :-)

When it rains, it pours

Yesterday about 3:30 or so (whenever I was done doing the deposit at church), the rain just started COMING DOWN. I mean it was in waves. I stayed at the church for a few minutes, then sprinted for the Jeep... with a heavy deposit bag in one hand (11 rolls of pennies from Children's Church :)), by percussion duffle bag thrown over my bad, and nothing on but a vest and sandles (well and my other clothes of course). Threw open the door and jumped in, with my duffle bag on my bag, half way soaked.

I then headed down to the bank (Palmer Park and Powers). Wow... there were cars with water up to their frames, one car off in the ditch with water swelling around it, and numerous places where you couldn't see while you were driving because there was so much water coming up over the windshield. Seeing as I was in the Jeep it was actually kind of fun! :) But I'm sure others in cars, the fire department (who I saw going on 3 calls in about 15 minutes), etc. did not think so...

'Gaping hole' lets hackers into Windows

Just yet another reason to use Mozilla instead of IE.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Origami Boulder Company -- Original Origami Gifts!

I bet someone is actually buying this stuff... just for the humor in it.

Text of the law

Title link points to the actual bill. It only applies if the speed limit is 65MPH or above.

You may get ticketed for driving (vs passing) in the left lane

Under the new rule, which takes effect July 1, those who lag in the left lane could be ticketed and fined between $15 and $100 with no points off the driver’s license if they are blocking the flow of traffic.
The only exceptions would be for left turns – if permitted – or if the volume of traffic does not allow a vehicle to merge safely back into a nonpassing lane.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Personal conversations at work

Being the type of person I am (P, intravert, whatever), it really gets me when people have personal conversations on the phone at work. I *try* not to listen in, but some times you just can't help it. Not listening... but hearing.

I used to have someone next to me who was always talking to her ex-Mother-In-Law about her new boyfriends. I mean some of it was *really personal* and I'm like, "Do I really need to know this?" It made me pray for her all the time, so maybe that was good.

It just makes me feel uncomfortable when I hear someone getting chewed out by someone (you can just tell) or whatever.

Usually if I have something private to say I'll walk to a conference room or something... Come on people... give me a break!

Watermelon origins

The long and general culture of the watermelon from North Africa to middle Asia led to the view that it was of Asiatic origin, although it had never been found wild in Asia or elsewhere. Finally, however, about a hundred years ago, the great missionary-explorer, David Livingstone, settled the question of its origin. He found large tracts in central Africa literally covered with watermelons growing truly wild.

In the wild state both bitter and sweet melons occur in the same locality, but the bitter ones appear no different from the sweet. The natives knock a hole in each fruit to taste the juice before taking it for food or drink.

Yahoo! News - New Dial-Up Scam Sends Phone Bills Soaring

Been pretty busy lately. Didn't read the whole article and don't know if it is world wide or mostly in the UK. But I have heard of similar things here. Always good to be aware of these things.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Feds classify french fries as fresh veggies: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Not as weird as it sounds. Rather than a true classification, it is a legal term being used to keep bankrupt distributors from getting out of paying french fry vendors.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


As I've mentioned in several posts, I've been MUSHing (Multi-User Shared Hallucination) on Pern lately. A big fan of the books, I've thought about mushing when Tif has mentioned it in the past, but never actually did it. Well she has started up again and sent me some mail on it, etc. And this time I actually got into it!

I'll probably post more about it as time goes on, and I'm starting a sub-section of my web site about it. Pretty cool stuff.

Not everyone (who I talk to), gets the whole mushing thing... but I'm finding some very cool stuff there. Its really more than just a game. I've played plenty of on-line games, and the big difference is... there isn't really much *to do*. The whole concept is the interaction of the characters. As a newbie, I'm trying to figure out how to "play", the commands, etc. But I'm also trying to figure out how to role-play. What is appropriate, what isn't... and how it all fits together. And then there is the actual code behind it all, which is always cool to me.

So, right now, I'm just enjoying learning... and finding out who my character is. Kind of weird to say, since I'm the one behind my character... but it is just an idea. And as my character interacts with other characters (through things I say), he is shaped by the things they say, his interactions with them, etc.

Pretty different... Pretty cool.


So Tif and I are on Pern, and one of the people RPing uses the term "bogarts". While Tif and I are discussing what that means, she mentions the context in which she heard it the other day.
The guy in the commissary had his cart in the middle of the aisle and I was trying to slip past it. He said something like, "Dude, sorry. 'Scuse me while I like, totally bogart the aisle!" I just nodded and smiled blankly. :)
LOL. For those interested, from the urban dictionary, bogart is:
v. To hog something which is supposed to be shared, e.g., a bone or controller.
n. A person who bogarts
n. The act of bogarting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Ananova - BBC in mock gun battle gaffe near Heathrow

Yeah, you'd think alerting the authorities might have been a good idea.

Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry

In an unprecedented joint industry effort, MCI, Inc. (MCIA.PK), CIENA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: CIEN - News) and Mintera Corporation today announced they have achieved the world's fastest Ultra Long-Haul (ULH) connection at 40 Gigabits Per Second (Gbps) -- four times faster than the highest-speed ULH routes deployed today.

Cool. Faster speeds are always good. :-)

Monday, June 14, 2004

The right connections make a difference

Up in Vail. Woo hoo. Plugged the laptop into Bec's router, and it came up no problem. :-) I was disappointed that I couldn't get my USB port working, so my external keywboard and mouse weren't working... Until I realized I had them plugged in wrong...

OK. Now that your're done laughing. Yes, the USB splitter has green for mouse and purple for keyboard... but my mouse is grey and the keyboard is orange. :-) Yeah... I usually plug them in right, but wasn't paying attention and didn't realize they'd plug into the wrong connector.

Oh well, all is well and high-speed now. I'm psyched.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Internet withdrawls

Wow... my remote access password expired on Saturday (well really Friday night). The help screen on the web site says, "Your password will expire on such-and-such a day. You'll be given plenty of notice." I guess that statement in and of itself is considered "plenty of notice" since I received NO other notice.

Drove into work just to make sure I could get back on, since we are going out of town for a week. Woo hoo!

Logged in, got my 243 emails (mostly spam) since leaving Friday afternoon, and changed my password. Hopefully all is well now...

Anyway, next time I "see" you, I should be in Vail.


Friday, June 11, 2004

Apple - AirPort Express

Wow. This looks very cool... Been thinking about getting a cable modem, maybe I'll have to hook it to this, then run iTunes off my pc, hook up via my laptop, etc. Would be all set up. Just don't know if $129 is expensive or not for this kind of capability. Looks pretty cool though... I think I'll suggest it to Pastor Joe too (or Michael could). Seeing as he plays his iPod all the time, he might be interested.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Distant friends

Its funny the way some people impact your life. When I was at DEC we used to play a game called DECWeb all the time. The best PBEM games I've ever played. Spent countless hours (a week!) playing it. More than just a game, it was a community of people within DEC. I met people from all over the world (some actually in person). Not only were those game contacts, but they have resulted in jobs, knowledge, technical help on projects, etc. In other words, it wasn't just a game... it resulted in increased productivity for the company and lasting friendships.

Most of those people I'm no longer in contact with... but I still think of them from time to time. Yesterday I was reading an article, and it mentioned Francis J. Ricciardone. I immediately thought of Mark Riccardi. And it made me smile. Hmm... maybe that is really Mark... and maybe he's there to take over Iraq, the first of his conquests in ruling the world. :-)

Mark was an awesome DECweb player. A supreme diplomat. I'll never forget the time he talked me into jumping into his stargate ("It's safe, trust me"). When I got my turnsheet, there was a small probe sitting there with "Welcome to my nightmare" on the side of it, which was being destroyed by a mine left at the stargate, along with my entire fleet. Many people felt cheated by Mark, I just felt he was an awesome player. I played with him many times... sometimes with him and sometimes against. If he was your ally (really your ally - and that was the hard thing to know), he was as loyal as could be. If he was just pretending to be your ally, then watch out.

We spent a lot of time over the course of the games, talking, emailing, plotting.

I haven't heard from Mark in years. Asked Dave about him, and Dave said he tried contacting Mark, but never heard back. I've also tried to google him over the years and never found him.

Mark... wherever you are, hope things are going well for you and yours. You are someone I'll never forget.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Technology News Article |

Bill Gates and I agree that within four to five years hardware will be free," Schwartz told Reuters, who will outline Sun's belief at a Sun conference in Shanghai this week that the network - the hardware, software, storage and its interlinks - is fast becoming a commodity
Cool. Free computers... unless the software gets too expensive.

And thats it

So... I think that has me caught up... Other than I've bought some Pern books and been working on my character a bit more. And the fact that we are going to be going out of town part of next week. Just to "get away" for a bit. Not sure exactly where we are going yet... somee where in the mountains. Tina will be sleeping/reading, and I'll be reading and "playing" on the computer. Probably do a bit of work, and blogging, and mushing. And then just hanging out, cooking, doing what ever. Should be great.

And a good Sunday of cooking

Went to Pastor Joe's to play cards Sunday afternoon. Since it is so nice out, I suggested a "bring your own meat to grill and a dish to pass" bbq. We ate a quick lunch, I got the deposit done, and then picked up some meat and salad/fruit and headed over. I was the last one there and people were done preping their food and Pastor Joe had the grill going. I ended up doing all the cooking (Yah!)

It was very cool - since people had brought very different stuff.

I grilled:
  • 2 pork tenderloins w/ BBQ sauce, and asparagrus
  • Salmon with lemon and dill
  • Marinated chicken breast
  • Hot dogs
  • Italian sausage with peppers and onions

Pastor Joe has a very nice grill, double rack, and I was able to get everything on it at once. Just shuffling things around, so the sausage grease was falling on the peppers/onions to keep them from drying out, moving the chicken up to the top once it was done and waiting for the pork to finish, etc.

Pretty much everything took a different amount of time to cook, and I timed it so all the meat went on at once, and came off at the sime time (by moving things from hotter to cooler spots). My idea of a fun time! It was awesome. And everyone had more than enough food for themselves, so we all shared. Great fun!

I'd do it every week! Like I've said before, its such a great time of fellowship and for the staff to get together.

Worship this weekend

Worship was great this weekend.

I drummed for the youth on Saturday night. Quite the blast. Its hard to teach an old dog new tricks... ;-), so it took me a while to get one of the songs, but during the actual service it all went very well. Very cool stuff. I love playing with Michael. He really flows when he leads. Its cool. I'll be drumming for the next two weeks. Next week Tom and Jennifer are coming down. 2 hours to practice with a team that will be playing together for the first time. Yeah, it will have to be God. :-) But it will rock. And then the following week I'll be drumming with Nichole leading, which will be awesome. A great chance to do some mentoring, because she hasn't solo lead that much. It will be a great experience for her, and for the youth team as a whole.

The Michael will be back and we'll start to get out of transition and to where we want to go.

And then Sunday we did two new songs. One we had some... well not trouble, but it didn't come together as fast as usual. But we did it Sunday morning and it was great! Its always nice when you do a song and it feels like it is doing what it is suppose to do. It was a praise/fast song and everyone really got into it.

We had some "flow" problems, but we'll discuss those Thursday and learn from them. Not so much that the congregation knew... well least too much. We have to get a little better about not looking like we are confused, when we are confused. ;-)

All in all, a very fun and good weekend of worship. It keeps ya going!

Layoff update

When I reported that we had lost 1 person, that was all I knew. That was what the "rumor mill" had told me. Turns out we actually lost FOUR. Well officially it was only 3, because one of the people worked for us, but belong to another group. But in my mind it is still four, because four people that worked on Sheriff will no longer be working on it.

We lost a technical writter, system support, implementation developer and the implementation manager. Two got layed off right away, the manager is leaving mid July and the developer got an extension until mid Sept to finish the work he is on now. Again, compared to many groups, we weren't hit hard at all. Around 10%. Some groups got hit at least 50%! But it still shows the unfairness of just throwing numbers down the line. Our manager numbers (number of managers given the number of people in the group) were just fine... but someone decided we needed to lose a manager. For whatever reason. Probably just to share the pain. Even though we have more work than we can possibly do, are good producers, and have a great ROI. Good news is that the manager had been thinking lately about going back to school for his Phd... and his advisor had recently called him out of the blue and discussed coming back. So works well for him, which is cool.

Luckily for me, no one on my team got laid off... although I do work with everyone who did get laid off and have known some of them for probably 8 years.

However, still looks like more work for me. Since we had to let a manager go, we can't get another one, so that manager's work will be split between the existing two managers. And since my manager had two teams, and is now picking up something like 6 more small teams, he has said he'll need his current leads to pick up some of the responsibilities. (Yeah... I would be one of those current leads). His number of people isn't going to increase drastically (since the implementation teams are very small), but I expect his management responsibilites (working with the customer, etc.) will increase. Probably an increase of about 50%.

Anyway... so, more work for me, perhaps. At least more reponsibility. We'll figure it otu. There is only so much you can do, and if they keep cutting your group, you just have to do less.

In what direction do you read blogs?

Whenver I post several posts, and then post something that ties them together (like - been busy, just posted several things), I always wonder in what direction people read blogs. Beacuse they are in reverse chronological order, with the newest being at the top, you'd think people would read them from the bottom up... or at least from the last one they read, up. (Which is the way I read them, if I notice someone has posted several things. That way I get them in the correct time order). But... it is naturally for us to read from the top down, so maybe people read them from the top down, until they get to the one they last read.

Just stuff that goes through my head... and oh, I'll be posting several things. Been kind of busy, partially just looking at Pern stuff, and haven't kept up.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Its over

Been informed that they are "done" for today. Meaning that whoever is still here is still here. Only know of 1 person that got let go from our group... but I may just not know all the details yet.

Appropriate Dave Barry quote:
"I guarantee you that one day you will find yourself working for a huge impersonal corporation run by morons.
Everybody does! It's not so bad: You get a little cubicle where you sit all day doing some tedious corporate thing that has absolutely nothing to do with anything you learned in college. For diversion, you'll speculate with your fellow cubicle dwellers on how your corporation manages to survive under a management team with the combined IQ of a kielbasa. "

Todays the day

Senior Manager at weekly staff meeting yesterday: "I need everyone to be here at 8:30 tomorrow".

OK... so the rumors are true. Today is the day. 7500 people get axed. They are being tight-lipped about this one. Not sure where the 7500 are coming from. Not sure how hard we'll get hit. Our group does good work. We have more work and more $$ than we can spend. (People are budgeting funds to us, and we've got more budgeted than we can spend, because of the low number of people we have). We don't have enough people for the work/funds we already have allocated. And we'll lose some people today.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning is the first time I've been nervous. Just this small gnawing in the back of my head. I'm near the top of the list (I think). (Bottom being the first one they'll let go). But that is only if they lay people off based on some sense of sanity. And they seem to just be going for numbers. So... who knows.

I was thinking of wearing my Google, "I feel lucky" t-shirt, but I'm not sure that is appropriate. Folks who are leaving my not take it well. So... I think I'll go with my "I was created for worship" t-shirt. I never wear christian t-shirts to work, and rarely ones with writting... But today it just seems appropriate to remember that there is more than work. A bigger reason why we are here. So hey, if I get cut, I get cut. God will take care of me. And if it is going to happen, He's already got something better lined up.

But it will still be a hard day, either way. We are just getting way to small, and whoever goes it will be someone I've worked with for years. And they won't get to say good-by, etc. Just walked out the door.

They'll probably start around 9:00, do one at a time (takes about 30 minutes I think) and at some point we'll be told, "Ok. Its over", i.e., if you are still here, you are safe.

Women were bringing their new babies into work yesterday to show them to all their co-workers, before their co-workers got axed and they'd no longer see them. Just in case...

Went to bed at 2:15 last night, up at 6:00. Yeah... its going to be a weird day. I think I'll copy my web pages off my lap-top... just in case. Better safe than worry. :-S

Thursday, June 03, 2004

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column

Very cool. A Linux box that you can use as a WiFi router for only $79. Discussion of emerging technologies, etc.


I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before last, and last night I only got about 3.5, waking up at about 4:30 AM. Just too much going on in my head. But lack of sleep makes it somewhat difficult to be writting documentation all day (which is what I'm doing this afternoon.) Of course, I can write here, but that is different. :-S

  • Looks like the layoff is tomorrow. Some folks are very nervous.
    Me: getting on the elevator w/ co-worker You don't look so good, looks like you should be leaving, not getting to work.
    CW: Yeah... I'm pretty nervous about tomorrow. First time I've been worried about one of these.
    Me: Yeah. Tomorrow's not looking like a good day.
    CW: I figure I'll be leaving - should be getting drunk about this time tomorrow. I'm thinking I'll take up drinking again, at least for a while
    So yeah... not a great atmosphere right now
  • Been thinking about PernMUSH quite a bit. Cool stuff. Doing some background character documentation. Sent it to Tif. She thought it was cool. Talked to Reye yesterday in Pern for a bit. About wikis and such.
  • Got the new computer set up at home. Not too bad.
  • Been doing some CSS work for the church web site
  • Worship practice is tonight. Tired... but it will be very cool.
  • Drumming w/ the youth worship team on Saturday.

Looking like it is going to be a busy week/weekend - like usual! Tina and I are talking about getting away for a few days. Would be very cool.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Bush is in town!

Wow... Pres. Bush is in town. I just heard someone mention it on the phone. Shows how much I keep up with current events. :-S He's at the AFA.

Well... been playing with CSS and hanging out on Pern. So gotta get back to work.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004