Friday, December 30, 2005 - 23 dogs killed by toxic dog food - Dec 30, 2005

Contaminated dog food which was sold in 23 states killed nearly two dozen dogs and sickened 18 more, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

How much espresso is too much?

Me: I'm on my way home.
Jaime: Are you going to stop and get me Starbucks?
M: Yes
J: Horray for me!
M: Yeah - I just need to decide if I should get a drink or not. I just had a Triple Venti Carmel Macchiato with Jeff. That's 3 shots and this would be another 2.
J: Hmm... then in her best little girl voice Well it IS vacation!

Turns out - 5 shots in two hours is NOT too much when "it IS vacation". Of course, we'll see how late I'm up tonight. ;)

Impulse Buying

Went into Whole Foods to get ingredients for Curry Chicken, stopped at the display out front and tasted their BBQ ribs... I spent probably 30 minutes at least there - looking at salads, tasting cheese, looking at flowers.

I left with BBQ Ribs.

Hi-Tech - sort of

Jaime is in her pjs, watching the big screen TV. She's got PIP (Picture-in-Picture) going, splitting the screen in half. On one half, Judge Judy. On the other half, Pac-Man.

20 years after Pac-Man came out, we now have the techology to play it on a $5000 TV at the same time we watch Judge Judy. :)

Holiday movies - the best and worst experiences

Went and saw two movies this holiday season. King Kong and The Chronicals of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

I thought Kong was excellent and Narnia was pretty good. I've never read The Chronicals, so maybe it would have been even better had I read it first. In any case, this post isn't about the movie, but about the experience and has nothing to do with the movies. (other than my quick critique above.)

Kong: We went an hour early and ended up at the back of the line just as they were opening for seating. We couldn't find 4 seats together; other than the very back or very front, so Tina and I sat together (in seats 3 and 4) and Jaime and Michael sat in seats 1 and 2 in front of us. After sitting there for a few minutes, Tina looked over at the lady on the end of row and asked, "If you don't mind, do you think you could move down one row, that way the four of us could sit together?" The lady gave her a rather pained look, so Tina said, "Well you don't have to. I was just asking." to which the woman replied, "Oh... then No." Sigh.

So then Jaime noticed that the row they were sitting in was occupied by them, a large family and then three empty seats at the other end. So after much "You ask them - no you ask them" going back and forth, Jaime (the introvert - way to go kid!) got up her nerve and asked, "Would you guys mind if we got up and you moved down one, then our entire family could have the four seats at the end." The mother looked up and down the row and then replied, "Sure" as she and several kids got up. Looking down at her husband she said, "Come on lets move" to which he replied, "No." She said, "What?" and he replied, "This is EXACTLY the center and I'm NOT moving from my seat." To which she just looked kind of dismayed and then sat back down.

Jaime got this total look of disbelief on her face and just turned and looked at us like, "Can you believe this?" to which Tina replied, "Its the holiday season. What did you expect?"

A few minutes later the mom looked up and down the row again and told some of her kids to switch seats, to which the dad replied, "Fine. But I'm not moving". So one of the kids switched ends and we were able to move down and sit all together. We told the woman thanks much, etc. But for the next several minutes and probably the rest of the day, Jaime just kept saying "I can't believe that guy wouldn't move ONE seat. I just don't get people."

Narnia: Jaime and I decide to go to the 10:20 AM show. Shouldn't be too many people there, should be easy to get in. Yup on both counts. But turns out that the 10:20 movie is the "kiddie" movie. (Something to keep in mind in the future). We get there and there are 3 women and probably... 15 or so 4 and under kids with them. Can you say Nightmare! We get popcorn, etc. amidst lots of "Do you think they are coming to see Narnia? Probably. No, maybe they are coming for something else. Yeah... not likely." When we get to the theater, the 3 adults have them all linedup and are trying to keep order. "Billy, stay in line." "Tommy, keep focused and move when the rest of the line moves." We are standing there along with some other adults, all with horrified looks on our faces. The "group" heads left, and the woman behind me says to her husband, "Stage right?" and he replies, "Yeah", and so we wall cut to the right entrance and go to find seats.

As we are going in, I notice that the "group" is heading to the very back. So Jaime and I get seats, with 3 moms and 6 kids in front of us, a few adults and a 3 year old to the right, and many kids sprinkled here and there throughtout the theater - with the "group" all across the back.

We are fifteen minutes early, so I spend the next 15 minutes alternating smiles and frowns at the 3 year old little blonde girl next to me - who isn't quite sure what to make of me. She alternates back either a straight face or a frown. I find I can get her face to go straight by smiling or looking away - the quickly look back and frown, at which point she will frown too. Great fun - I can't wait for grand-kids. Jaime totally believes that at any point she will start screaming or her mom will catch me and we'll get asked to leave - so I quit. Meanwhile, adults are making trips back and forth getting booster chairs for the "group".

We are a little worried about the quality of the movie experience - given we are worried that there will talking, worrying, etc. all through the movie. We are plesantly wrong!

The "group" was extremely well behaved - at least from what we could tell. No talking, crying, etc. And not many of the other kids around us made noise either. Once in a while some kid would let out some exclamation - which actually just added to the experience. Nothing like the wonder of a little kid caught up in make believe letting out a squel or whatever when something unexpected happens. Or when the table rock splits in half and the little kid in front of you - who has been quite the whole time, yells out "What the heck!!!" :)

My admiration for whatever day care, mother's group, or whatever it was that showed up with 15 kids, 3 adults, for a 10:20 AM movie - and where the kids behaved so well the entire time. It was great to see - and put some faith back that not all little kids in large groups are out of control. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

THE Bowl Game

The 2005 Alamo Bowl game, Michigan vs. Nebraska, is going to start in 20 minutes. Sandwhich materials (ham, salami, pepperoni, turkey, tomates, onions, lettuce, banana peppers), dip (guac), potatoe salad and Cream Ale mixings (1/2 and 1/2 and Vernors) are all ready. The phone calls to Lana (and Dominick) have been made.

All is ready. Now need to just make the drinks, put the food together, and get ready to watch UofM beat Nebraska's butt. :)

Probably the only bowl game I'll watch - seeing as this is the only one that is important. ;)

Update: Michigan lost the game. :( 32-28. As Michael said in a comment "stupid refs". The refs did a really bad job, costing MI two timeouts and 10 seconds at the end of the game. Perhaps MI could have done sometihng with that, had the had it. And an obvious pass interference call that should have been made. Regardless - the Cornhuskers did a good job coming back, so I'll tip my hat to them for that. Maybe next year... The last three MI bowl games Jaime and I have watched, they have lost. Sigh.

And one more thing.

Someone asked in a comment on my Christmas Service post why I still attend and lead worship at ICC. I responed there.

(BTW: To be technically correct - I don't really *lead* worship, although I do lead people in worship. But I'm not the worship *leader*. Just one of my anal word things... which mostly comes up at work. LOL)

But one more thing... If you believe you have a personal relationship with God (which I do) and if you go to a church that believes in that, then the topic of what church to go to, where to serve, when is it time to leave, etc., etc. comes up in a lot of discussions and sermons. The normal answer is "You should serve where God tells you to serve." He knows how he wants a "body" formed (i.e., who He wants in which church, who will help further a church, etc. etc.), and He knows where he wants you placed. So you should go where He wants you to go - and stay there until He wants you to leave, gives you peace to leave, or whatever.

And when people leave they will frequently used the "God Card" - "I've got peace to go" - to which there is reall no answer - because you can't usually argue with someone when they say "God told me its what I'm supposed to do." - Unless it is something totally unscriptural, but leaving a church doesn't really fall into that category.

So - is God telling me to stay or to go? Well - I believe He is telling me neither. (And yet another soul bearing disclosure on the internet - blogging - how weird.)

I've left church's a few times. In one instance I "heard" as clear as I could that God was telling me to go. I was asking Him about something and He said, "Well why don't you just go to this other church?" Ironically enough, it had never occured to me until He suggested it. It wasn't something I was struggling with. I was just thinking about things. Other times its been some family issue that has caused me to leave a church.

A few times I believe that God has told me, "Do what you want. I love you - I always will. Which church you go to isn't going to come between us." I've gotten the feeling that He doesn't think I belong in a certain church, but because He understands me way better than I even understand myself; He knows how hard it is for me to change. And so He isn't rushing me. He's just letting me know that no matter what I do - it isn't going to effect our relationship. And that if I stay, He is ok with it (even if He doesn't think it might be the best for me), or if I go - He'll help me find a new place He'd rather see me at. But he isn't going to push me. And that is they way (even when He said "Well why don't you go to that other church?") He has always interacted with me. Gently. Never pushes too hard. Just helps me along.

So that's where I'm at right now - for those that care (and I can't imagine that many people find this all that interesting. But I blog it anyway. I'd rather read some funny blog personally...) I'm weighing the options. Looking at pros and cons. Trying to listen to God and see what He wants me to do. And if I decide to go - getting the "oourage" or whatever to go talk to someone about it.

Until I make a firm decision - I probably won't say that much more about it; other than when someone asks - which is what prompted this reply.

And again - even though everything on the public internet is out there for "everyone" to read... I don't think of these entries are so much as being a public critique of ICC. I think of them more as *me* working my issues though with a particular church - and a particular place in my life, at this point in time. No church is perfect. Every church has something to offer someone. The point is to find one where you think you are supposed to serve. Where your needs can get met, and you can offer something in return. Where it is a win-win for everyone. And that is the issue I'm having right now. Is ICC that place for me. Not whether anything is wrong there, or any person or person's are bad, etc. I've never left a church because I thought the church was "wrong". I've just felt (for whatever reason) that it was no longer the place for me.

Which is a reason for not serving and just hanging out at a church. The less involved you are, the less you have to deal with these issues. Because it is just somewhere you go on Sundays. But I've never been that kind of person - especailly because I always want to serve on a worship team.

But I'm starting to ramble now...

Popular Front: SnowDays

This is pretty cool. I added a snowflake with my name. Its kind of cool to just sit and watch all the snowflakes. Something you could do as a kid with paper and scissors, now you can do on the internet. :) Over 1.8M snowflakes. The things you find on the internet. :)

Tax Scam Preys on Refund-Hungry Public with Real Gov Site

Tax Scam Preys on Refund-Hungry Public with Real Gov Site: "The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about a phishing scam that uses promises of tax refunds to steal sensitive financial information.
Phishing scams are getting more sophisticated.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

In Search of the Spiritual - Newsweek Society -

In Search of the Spiritual - Newsweek Society - "Seventy-five percent say that a 'very important' reason for their faith is to 'forge a personal relationship with God'—not fighting political battles.

Today, then, the real spiritual quest is not to put another conservative on the Supreme Court, or to get creation science into the schools. If you experience God directly, your faith is not going to hinge on whether natural selection could have produced the flagellum of a bacterium. If you feel God within you, then the important question is settled; the rest is details."

Good quote, and when you get right down to it, how I feel. I've been having some long discussions (as noted previously) with an atheiest friend, about ID being taught in school. And this is why I've been having the discussion - because to me, having a personal relationship with God is what is important; not whether or not he is taught in school. And I think that if more Christians would worry about the former, and not the latter - that not only would they do better, but they would spread the light better as well.


Family is starting to wake up (I hear some stirings upstairs). While I was waiting, I downloaded all the pics off the camera - so I'd have room for today.

I posted a number of them to my photo blog. To see them all start here and scan back thru all the photos posted today. There are some from the last day on Mackinaw Island, last few days at Pat and Wards, and then some Thanksgiving pics.

I can't believe everyone is still asleep

Its 6:30 - I've been up for 2 hours, and Tina and Jaime are still asleep.

Wow - Jaime must be getting older. When she was little she'd never sleep this late on Christmas. Of course she is almost 19 now... but in many ways (especially at Christmas) she is still just a little kid... But not when it comes to getting up at 6:00 I guess.

Guess I'll go back to surfing, email, etc. until they are up.

Christmas Services

Strangely enough (or perhaps not so strange), I find that I often do not like to participate in Christmas Services. I'm not alone in this. For some worship team members (and perhaps others), a Christmas Service is less about worship and more about performance. In many of my experiences, caroling (which is done by almost all churches that I've been apart of) is not something loved by many worship teams. And thus, we usually start very late practicing, which leads to stressful services. Additionally, the service is way more of a "performance" and way less worshipful. As one person said, "This is the one time of year some people come to church, and rather than having a great worship service, we do Christmas carols. What's up with that?"

I went to two services this year, one at ICC (where I was on the worship team) and one at NCF - where I was a visitor.

ICC's wasn't too bad. There weren't a lot of people there when we started (so we held off for 10 minutes while Michael just played Jaime's keys for a while. That boy can play - without any training or anything... another discuss someday perhaps). In any case, we started after 10 minutes and still many people weren't there. Partly could have been due to the snow, and partly because we had to do it on the 18th and maybe people just weren't in the Christmas spirit yet. In any case, it went OK. But it didn't seem all that worshipful - but that could have just been me.

NCF's Christmas Eve Service was awesome. A couple things. 1) In my recent experience with NCF Christmas Eve Services - they aren't done by the worship team. Which might be a good thing. That way the people that are doing the songs, etc.; are very much into it. They signed up for it. They wanted to do it. 2) Its always like a family reunion. Especiaclly this year, since we haven't gone for probably 4 years or so. So saw lots of folks we hadn't seen forever, lots of little kids that are not much more grown, etc. The format was very nice. A mix of carols, worship songs, and "memories" of Christmas' past, all discussing the love, spirit, etc. of Christmas and showing God's love. Cool stuff.

Very interesting to me though, seeing it from one side or the other. I guess when I'm worshipping, I want it to be worship type music, and when I'm participating in a Christmas program then I'm cool with it being just that... a Christmas program. I've done that at NCF before - where we did special music as part of the program - and that was cool. Its all a state of mind I guess - and what is the goal, etc. Something I need to keep in mind in the future....

In any case, NCF was very cool. It was nice to see how the church has grown. And it was great to see everyone I haven't seen for so long.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Get a move on girl

Whole Foods is packed. I mean, people waiting in line to get food samples, aiales jammed, packed. And the store is laid out artistically in spots, so there are places where essentially 3 "lanes" will come together at once.

I'm waiting to move into a lane when this guy is coming towards me with his daugther pushing the cart and an older woman in front of them. The girl kind of stalls looking around at people, etc.

Dad: Come on girl, git a move on. Get a move on girl, you're blocking traffic.

The elderly woman hurridly pushes her cart forward and off to the side and turns with a startled look on her face.

Dad: Oh... I'm sorry, I was talking to my daughter, not you. "Come on. Get out of my way.", he snarls, and then grins and gives a big hearty laugh.

Christmas shopping... its a blast! :)

And another thing that would have helped if I had known earlier...

So Jaime and I are cleaning the house, because Tina is at work, we are off and this way we don't all have to do it tomorrow on Christmas Eve.

So I'm vacuuming (dyson vacuums RAWK) and the container is kind of getting full so I figure I'll empty it. I look at various buttons and figure how to get the canister off the vacuum, but not how to open it. I take it upstairs to Jaime.

Me: Hey, do you know how to open this?
J: taking it and messing with some buttons Not really. I don't think I've ever done it before.
Me: Takes it back, spots another button near the top, and holding the canister downward and gripping one handle, push the button - at which point the bottom pops open and the contents shoot out in a nice big gray pile of dust, etc. into the middle of the bedroom floor.

Jaime and I turn and look at eachother like this --- :-S

J: Live and learn

High Altitude Baking Instructions

So I'm making some scones this morning, from a mix. Never done it before - and although I cook quite a bit, I don't bake all that much.

Step 1: Drain fruit and set aside.

Step 2: Blend water and mix

Step 3: Kned dough 6 times

Step 4: Form

Step 5: Cut and put on pan

Step 6: Bake

And then a few lines down from there...

High Altitude (over 5,000 feet): Add 2 taablespoons all-purpose flour and additional 2 tablespoons water. Prepare as directed.

OK... WHO WROTE THESE INSTRUCTIONS? Obviously not an engineer... Things after step 6 are LATER than step 6, not before.

This is the second things I've baked while on break where the high altitude directions were at the bottom of the instructions. You'd think I'd learn...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - Judges ask tough questions in evolution sticker case - Dec 16, 2005

: "Jeffrey Bramlett, arguing for the American Civil Liberties Union and parents, cited the book's author, Kenneth Miller, who testified it would be misleading to say evolution is not a fact"
And there you go... Evolutionists don't want ID or Creationism taught "because it's not a fact" - but when someone says evolution is just a theory, they respond with "no - its a fact". Well it isn't. If both sides would stop taking such a hard stand and teach both sides... and let the kids decide religous questions for themselves, things would be much better. IMO. - Toobin: 'A very important precedent' - Dec 20, 2005

"TOOBIN: Including President Bush. And President Bush last year said very clearly that he thinks there should be alternatives to evolution taught, that he thinks -- as many of the supporters of intelligent design say -- you should teach the controversy. But those people suffered a real blow in the courtroom."
And I don't see what is wrong with teaching the controversy. If not in science class, then perhaps in history, government (or whatever a political science class might be called). We are so into showing all sides of the story, into discussing the controversies of the past, and of keeping students up-to-date on current events, etc. But this can't even be taught as a controversy? I think this is just the pendulum swinging the other way... My 2 cents. - Judge rules against?'intelligent design' in science class - Dec 20, 2005

"'Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact,' said the statement that the old school board approved in a 6-3 vote in October 2004. 'With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.'"
And as long as students are indeed encouraged to keep an open mind, and are told that there are alternative theories, then I'm cool with that.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

F u t u r e M e . o r g

What to send an email to yourself in the future? You can by usingF u t u r e M e . o r g. I haven't actually done it, but it looks easy enough, and they say that won't spam you.

Google Gmail Power Tips from ExtremeTech

Google Gmail Power Tips from ExtremeTech: "This article is an excerpt from the upcoming ExtremeTech book Hacking Gmail. This Chapter shows you how to accomplish keyboard shortcuts, plus addressing, filtering, and advanced searching in Google's slick email service."

Plus Addressing combined with Fitlering was something I hadn't heard before. I use Fitlering already, but this could make it even more useful... Specially when you think of making a different email address for every vendor registration. That way you can see where the junk mail is coming from. :)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wired News: Lyrics Dustup Ends in Apology

"A music publisher has issued an unusual mea culpa in the digital copyright wars, apologizing over legal threats that led a software programmer to pull an application he'd written that automatically scours the web for song lyrics."

While Ritter now appears to be free of legal woes, ad-laden websites that offer unlicensed lyrics and guitar tabs will soon be under attack.

Beginning in January, the Music Publishers Association, of which Warner Chappell is a member, will begin pursuing a campaign against 5 to 6 such companies, according to MPA CEO Lauren Keiser.

I know a number of guitar players that pull guitar tabs - might be harder to do soon... - Foxlife - 'West Wing' Actor Dies of Heart Attack

"LOS ANGELES — John Spencer, who played a tough and dedicated politico on 'The West Wing' who survived a serious illness to run for vice president, died of a heart attack Friday. He was 58."

Rockin' on without Microsoft | Newsmakers | CNET

Sterling Ball, a jovial, plain-talking businessman, is CEO of Ernie Ball, the world's leading maker of premium guitar strings endorsed by generations of artists ranging from the likes of Eric Clapton to the dudes from Metallica.
But since jettisoning all of Microsoft products three years ago, Ernie Ball has also gained notoriety as a company that dumped most of its proprietary software--and still lived to tell the tale.
Some great quotes. A very good read on using Linux in a business environment, as opposed to Microsoft. - Fun USB Drives - Gallery

USB Drives from Japan. Most of these are drives that look like sushi. How cool. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MCI Signs Five-Year Global Managed Networking Services Contract With ABN AMRO Worth EUR 500 Million

AMSTERDAM and ASHBURN, VA, USA, December 14, 2005 -- MCI (NASDAQ: MCIP) today announced that it has signed a five-year global network integration agreement with ABN AMRO to manage their global data network and firewall platforms. The value of the contract is EUR 500 million (approximately $550 million) over five years.
Cool. We pick up a $550M contract, and I work on some of the software that helps support that contract. Not customer facing stuff - but still, its always cool to support something that is being used in this kind of thing. :)

Tabs working - also VPN

I got my tabs working. Turns out I did have an extension installed, which probably didn't work with the latest version. I removed the tabs and now my previous problem is gone. Of course my tab functionality isn't nearly as good as it was before - but it is functional - which is most important. Maybe in the future I'll try and find the extension again and install the latest code.

And VPN is working. Woo Hoo. :) I got in, read irc logs and downloaded my email. After weeding through the stuff I don't really need to read - I only have 60 emails left to look at. :-S - But given its after midnight, I think it will wait till tomorrow. This is why I check email on vacation though. If I waited 3 weeks - well it just wouldn't be fun. Probably a few thousand email to wade through, with 500 or so to read. Maybe more. Yuck.

All in all things are going pretty good. A few things to blog tomorrow... but too tired now. Hmm... and Christmas shopping to do tomorrow - so maybe the blogging will have to wait till Thursday. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shoot me now...

I woke up at 6:00 this morning... this whole "I can sleep in because I don't have to go to work or do anything specific today" thing as not caught up with my brain yet. So - I'm up at 6:00 - what should I do? Since I still can't get into work because my VPN is down, I can surf my work email or catch up on irc logs (something that is still making me nervous or whatever) - so I might as well catch up on my personal email, read some blogs etc.

Getting a bit bored with that (I have mail ADD) - I decide I should check and see if Mozilla has an upgrade. Been a while since I've probably upgrade. It does - so I upgrade Mozzila and Chatzilla. I get the traditional Mozilla warning of "You'll have to reinstall 3rd party packages" - no biggy - I don't use many... I think.

So I've now reinstalled BlogThis - but where is the little blogger symbol? Ah, yeah, that was off the Google Toolbar... but apparently it only works for Firefox now. Sigh. OK. Well I really like it, but I can live without it, as BlogThis should work good enough and I don't use the Google Toolbar for much else.

And then I realize NONE OF MY "Open in new tab" FUNCTIONALITY IS WORKING. Sigh. I can't middle click and have a link open in a new tab, I can't right click and click on "Open Link in New Tab" or "Open Link in New Active Tab" - and I use this functionality HUNDEREDS of times a day. I'm finding out just how often I use it, not that it doesn't work.

I've messed with the preferences, and I can't get seem to get it to work. This is really annoying.

I'm off to do some googling and see if I can figure out how to fix this. Wish me luck...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Man Apologizes After Fake Wikipedia Post

"NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A man who posted false information on an online encyclopedia linking a prominent journalist to the Kennedy assassinations says he was playing a trick on a co-worker."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Study: Google users wealthier, more Net savvy | InfoWorld | News | 2005-12-06 | By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

Study: Google users wealthier, more Net savvy | InfoWorld | News | 2005-12-06 | By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service: "The longer people have been using the Internet, the more likely it is that Google will be their search engine of choice, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. Internet users conducted by investment banking and research firm S.G. Cowen & Co. LLC."

Makes sense. That's what I use. :)

Vacation Starts

Its Satudray and I'm "off work" for the next 23 days - no setting my alarm clock for over 3 weeks...

And I'm up before 5:00 anyway - just because, and I'm on my computer - and my VPN connection to work is not working... so no email, no code reviews, no checking irc logs.

This could be a very long 3 weeks...

Friday, December 09, 2005

southpaw: Baby Got Book

A friend sent me this link. It cracked me up. This is great. :)

Official Google Blog: A cure for the common inbox

Google integrated an RSS feed into Gmail. If you read the post, and the read the "Links to this post" at the bottom; you'll see quite a few people saying how easy it is, just a "featurette" not a feature, that it sucks, etc.

Personally I don't get it. I like it... But then I'm not a big RSS person. I do have an RSS feed integrated into Mozilla - but I don't use it much. Having DefectiveYeti's RSS feed at the top of my gmail, and perhaps some other bloggers, where I can scroll through it seems cool to me. But I like integrated stuff where I don't have to go to another window, etc.

Maybe I'll check out Google's RSS Reader - but for now, Google Clips seem like something easy to customize into my gmail window and provides me with some functionality. So again, I think it is cool...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Case researchers discover methods to find 'needles in haystack' in data

Case researchers discover methods to find 'needles in haystack' in data: "A Case Western Reserve University research team from physics and statistics has recently created innovative statistical techniques that improve the chances of detecting a signal in large data sets. The new techniques can not only search for the 'needle in the haystack' in particle physics, but also have applications in discovering a new galaxy, monitoring transactions for fraud and security risk, identifying the carrier of a virulent disease among millions of people or detecting cancerous tissues in a mammogram."

The paper that is discussed also posted, in pdf.

Very cool stuff. Especially the application to fraud and security risk detection... Have to think about that some.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

evhead: Odeo version Next

Ev's post on Odeo. Interesting... I'm not much of a speaking kind of guy, but I'll have to look into it more. I have listened to a few podcasts, and the though of being able to create and share your own for free - just like Blogger/Blogging, is interesting...


Yesterday was the first major "its really winter now" work day.

Wind whistles mightly in the chimmny
I grab my laptop and step out into the garage
The door opens as I head toward the back of the jeep
Sun shinning, snow blowing across the driveway and swirling into the garage
I button the top two buttons of my coat, securing it around my neck to keep the warmth in
Throwing my laptop in the back of the jeep I head to the mailbox, latest Blockbuster movie in hand
Small particles of snow bite my cheeks and the neighbors gray trash bags are slowly blown down the street
Throwing the movie into the mailbox I grab the bags and push them down in the trash can to secure them from the wind
Turning back towards the garage, the snow bites again and as I shake my head I feel my frozen hair slap against my coat
I jump in the Jeep, leather cold, and turn on the seat warmers

Driving down the street, sun shining, snow blowing, seat warm, face still tingling and hair starting to thaw
I think about how much I like the first days of winter

And then I get to the intersate

Traffic backed up, everyone moving slow
The sun has not done its job yet
The road is icy with hard ruts in it
I put the Jeep in 4 wheel drive

Cars in the right lane are looking for an opening
Seeing one they shoot forward into a small space,
Causing the cars in the left to hit their brakes
Anxious and nervous, the van in the right lane carefully moves along at 25,
Causing everyone in the right to snake around them
I join the snake and am safetly past the van, continuing on, looking for other obstacles

Garden of the Gods is no better
Heavy traffic, some fast, some slow, rutted lanes and slush
Cars doing 45, cars doing 25
3 lanes of traffic - most of the time
The steet lines are covered
Two wheel drive cars nervously proceed down the street,
Attempting to cut the lane into thirds - and fail - taking their third out of the middle
The lanes go down to two and traffic backs up
Anxious four wheel drives try to make it to work
Hitting a turnoff lane, the road opens back to 3 lanes
We take our third out of the middle of the right lane and the turn off lane
Snaking around the car - we continue on
The road opens up and we proceed to work

Stepping out of the jeep at work, snow swirling, wind whislting, neck tense
I think about how much I like driving to work on the first days of winter,
Not so much

Monday, December 05, 2005

Growing pains for Wikipedia - page 2 | CNET

Growing pains for Wikipedia - page 2 | CNET "Thus, to avoid future problems, Wales plans to bar anonymous users from creating new articles; only registered members will be able to do so. That change will go into effect Monday, he said, adding that anonymous users will still be able to edit existing entries."

  • Drag that they have to do that - although barring anonymous users just means you have to register - which isn't hard and isn't uncalled for. At least that way your "name" is on the article.
  • Given taht anyone can still edit - I'm not sure how it addresses anything. If I can edit it, I can replace it with whatever I want. Of course, assuming it works like MoinMoin, someone would be able to easily revert the entry and/or see what chang was made.

All in all, I'm not sure if this will really do anything, or is just meant to appease those who don't understand it better. Unfortunate.

Moving into vacation mode

I'm at work this week, then "off" until next year. 3 weeks off. Woo hoo. I love my job, and work most weekends and will probably work some while I'm off - but it will be cool.

Most likely I'll do some reading, watch some movies, play Xbox, learn LISP, work on my office (tidying up), work on the basement (tidying up) and do some major cooking. Jaime and Tina only have one week off, so there will be two weeks where I can just be home by myself and play "wife". Cook everyone breakfast and send them off to work, figure out what I'm going to make for dinner and have a hot meal fixed when they get home. It will be a blast. :)

And before I get my head chewed off for saying "wife" - I know a wife is much more than that and lots of wives might not even cook. Its just my June Clever role while everyone else is at work. :) It will be cool to not have to stop on the way home and pick stuff up, but go out shopping for whatever I feel like and cook something up.

At least that is the plan right now. Many times I have a similar plan, but over the course of 3 weeks I get more and more unmotivated about "working" at anything and just decline into hanging out. But I figure with 3 weeks - I should be able to get some stuff done on my "to-do" list. Cooking for sure. Xbox for sure. And hopefully some tidying up.

And I'm already moving into that mode - but I guess I still have one week left, so I should really head to work.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Teach them to think

Thinking about my final comments on the previous post, maybe enlightning was the wrong term to use... maybe evangalizing would be better. I believe in many cases it is a schools job to present many different viewpoints, to explain what is going on politically, socially, culturally, etc. (depending on the class). I think survey type courses, where you get a little info on many subjects is a good thing. I just don't like it when a particular point of view is pushed to hard as the "correct" view, etc. This applies in many classes.

Explaining why someone might think a particular programming language is ok, as long as it isn't pushed as *the* only programming language to use. And this holds especially true in many of the soft sciences, etc.

Some of my best soft science classes were a philosophy of ethics class where the instructure did not push his ethicial viewpoint, but we read many philosophers and our tests consisted of eassays where we would answer ethicial questions, saying which philosopher's viewpoint we held to in addressing the question, and why. There were no "right" and "wrong" answers, the grades were based upon how much you understood the material and how able you were to express yourself in those terms. Very fun class because it made you think. Another similar class was a political science class on current events, where again, the instructor had a particular view point and expressed it, but it was not the "correct" answer. It was just a viewpoint. We spent quite a bit of time in class discusses viewpoints, etc.

I think schools would do better to cause students to think, then to try and foster certain social, political, cultural viewpoints upon them...

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I just finished reading two editorials in the Woodmen Edition, a sort of "small town" newspaper for our area of Colorado Springs. It usually has some good editorials so I always check them out. This week the two were:I'm not sure the article links will last more than a week (as they seem to be relative), but if really interested they should be archived for a while...

The Suzanne Fields article discussed an event (party) at Colubmia University where all the participants must be naked. It goes on to discuss sexualism on other campuses, and basically the sorry state of affairs on many campuses.

Froma Harrop's article discusses a prediction by Peter Drucker, where he said that the modern university will disappear in a few decades; being replaced with the internet, online classes, recordings of lectures, etc.

To a certain extent - a "home school" college eduation - to use an analogy. We home schooled both our kids (or for the majority of the time they home schooled themselves). While it has many positive aspects, the major complaint I had against it, was not the quality of the education (it seems sufficient - or maybe even better than public school) or the lack of socialization (Jaime led a very active social life without it); but my major complaint was the classroom interaction. One of the things I enjoyed about college (depending on the size of the classes) was the interaction. Thinking about things and discussing them. I was 25, married and had 1 child - with a second born my senior year - so I was far less interested in social things (other than of course UofM football :)); than probably the majority of students. But I really enjoyed the class room. And when I got my master's I felt the same way. The "campus" was at MCI and consisted of the same group of students working on their mastors (starting with 12 I think and down to about 6 by the end of the class). While much smaller than most campus classes, this still allowed us to exchange ideas.

I know with things like wikis, irc, etc. - it is possible. But I still feel there is no substitute for actually sitting together and discussing, or working a problem, etc. I realize the benefits of on-line classes (you can work them when you want, you can have a full time job and still go to school, etc.) - and I haven't really participated in any - so don't know what kind of "interaction" they offer. And maybe I'm just old-fashioned. But I'd hate to see them disappear. And I don't see how they can, as not everything is "book learning" as they say.

Interesting though that one article is on how universities won't be around in the future, and another one is complaining about things that have nothing to do with learning at another. Maybe if schools got back to teaching, and aways from enlightening (at least in some areas); they'd be better off...

A lot going on lately - I think I'm in a reflective stage. :)

The Literature Page - Read classic books by famous authors online

The Literature Page - Read classic books by famous authors online:
"The Literature Page is your place to read classic books, plays, stories, poems, essays, and speeches online, brought to you by the creators of The Quotations Page. Our collection currently includes 233 works from 85 authors. We add new titles regularly."
How cool.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day from the Google "home page":
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist
There are other great Emerson quotes on that page as well. This one is perhaps a bit ironic:
I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.


"The Colorado State Patrol has added an alarming new policy banning the biggest bicycle events in Colorado! Their new policy limits bicycle and triathlon events to 2,500 riders, but this limit can be lowered at any time putting every event at risk. Bicycle tours, races, charity rides, group rides, and triathlons are all affected. "
I'm not a bicylist, but I still signed it. I know plenty of people who are, and when I used to go to church at NCF - they always supported the Emily Griffith Center Road Ramble every year. Outdoor events are a big part of what makes Colorado, Colorado.

According to this post on the Bicycle Colorado site, the cap is delayed until 2007. I think it is still worthwhile to sign the petition though.

Friday, December 02, 2005 - A false Wikipedia 'biography'

I had heard for weeks from teachers, journalists and historians about 'the wonderful world of Wikipedia,' where millions of people worldwide visit daily for quick reference 'facts,' composed and posted by people with no special expertise or knowledge — and sometimes by people with malice.
Comment in an article by John Seigenthaler on a Wikipedia 'biography' that claimed he was suspected of being involved in the assassination of JFK.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

defective yeti: Smooth Criminal

Sometimes Defective Yeti just cracks me up. List this entry. :) - Girl with peanut allergy dies after kiss - Nov 28, 2005

SAGUENAY, Quebec (AP) -- A 15-year-old girl with a peanut allergy died after kissing her boyfriend, who had just eaten a peanut butter snack, hospital officials said Monday.

IVR Cheat Sheet by Paul English

The IVR Cheat Sheet lists quite a few companies that after computers that talk to you when you call - and how to get to a human. The web - its a cool thing.

Science & Technology at Scientific Longstanding Puzzle of Honeybee Flight Solved at Last

This means that honeybees are using a wing stroke pattern that is less efficient than the broader strokes and slower flapping of fruit flies and other insects, despite their constant foraging for food and other necessities. But it also means that a bee can generate more lift when it needs to--when it must carry a heavy load, for example.

Sunday, November 27, 2005 -- Japan's Hayabusa Spacecraft Lands Successfully on Asteroid

"On Sunday, JAXA officials had said the Hayabusa probe, on a mission to land on the asteroid named Itokawa, collect material, then bring it back to Earth, failed to touch down after maneuvering within yards of the surface.

However, the agency said Wednesday that data confirmed that Hayabusa had landed on the surface Sunday for a half-hour, although it failed to collect material."

Pretty amazing when you think about it. 2 rovers moving around on the surface of Mars and sending back data, and another probe landing on an asteroid, taking samples, and then bring them back to Earth. Even though the probe didn't collect anything yet (it still has a chance), the concept of the mission is still very cool. -- Seasonal Red Planet: NASA’s Spirit Rover Completes One Full Martian Year

"NASA’s Spirit rover currently exploring Mars completed one full swing around the Sun Monday, giving researchers a year-long look at the Martian seasons."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Links in a blog

And one more quick thought... actually putting links into your blog entries (like I just did on the previous post) isn't just a good idea because it lets other people follow them... but just in case you stumble across all of this at 3:00 AM, and then a few days later can't remember where all the resources were - you can always go back and read your own blog. :)

(A note to myself as much as to any other blog writter out there...)

A glimpse into what it means to be me

So, typical Wagner holiday with "the kids" - up until midnight playing Xbox with "the boys" Thursday night. Then watched some TiVo before calling it a night around 1:30 or so and going to bed. (Because I'm on vacation my hours are starting to shift towards a little later and sleeping in quite a bit later). Up at 8:00 or so today (well yesterday now - Friday) and then made some breakfast. Anyway, because I'm in vacation mode (and because we played Xbox all afternoon), I went to bed pretty early; probably around 10:30 or so. So - up at 2:30, just because, for just a few minutes...

"Hmm... left the laptop on, I should probably shut it off". In the midst of doing that, read a few emails (why not, I'm a bit awake now), and in doing that somehow decided since I was up anyway, I might as well see if Paul Graham had any new essays. He did. While reading Web 2.0, I saw the reference to reddit, and decided to check it out, which lead me to Practical Common Lisp, and to Lisp in a Box.

Very cool... I've been reading Paul Graham for some time, and gotten very inspired by a few of his essays. (One of which discussed using the tool you use for programming to hack your system and caused me to write several generators for our system in CLIPS, since CLIPS is what implementations use. This lead to some good things. Anyway, I digress). We kick around his assertion that lisp is the best language ever, and having used Lisp at Michigan, I've frequently thought about picking it up again. Especially since it is used to program emacs - and it would be nice to know it better so I could hack emacs a bit. In any case, I downloaded and installed Lisp in a Box, which was easy enough to do, and bam - I'm up and running Lisp and following along in the book. Very cool stuff. :)

But now its 3:44, and although I was only going to be "up for a minute" - it is probably time to go to bed. Otherwise its going to be 5:00 before I know it (especially since its getting later by the minute as I blog this), and it will be morning and then I'll just be up. Resulting in me probably being tired while everyone else is up - which won't be good. So I guess I need to end my first session of lisp hacking - although it is fun and I think might lead to something cool. But... I've got 3 weeks or so of vacation coming up that I must use before the end of the year, and not much to do during that time - besides some blogging, reading, house chores (maybe finally cleaning out the basement and getting my office in shape) - so I have ample opportunity then to do much lisp hacking. Especially if I'm up at weird hours, since I won't have to work the next day and Tina and Jaime will.

Anyway... that's a glimpse into what it means to be me. Wake up in the middle of the night, don't fall back to sleep immediately, and then next thing I know, I'm installing lisp, hacking it some, and now all kinds of thoughts are whirling around in my brain about how I could use it on my current system, how I should finish the entire book so I can learn it more, etc. etc.

Hopefully I'll actually be able to fall back asleep. But its all good. I've got Lisp installed now. :)

And so - a few more quick thoughts:
  1. Wow - how the world has changed since I last used Lisp in school. I'm sitting at my home computer, connected to the Internet over WiFi - and installing a Lisp implementation on my computer, with an emacs front engine. All free. All fast. All easily installed and downloaded. And more importantly, I'm also blogging about it and pointing to numerous articles and resources on the web. All easily accessible by anyone reading my blog - so they too can share in the Lisp experience. Pretty mind boggling. Something that cool about being 47. You can remember back 20 years and think how different things are now.
  2. To anyone reading this that might be interested in programming (Michael) - you should think about reading the book, installing Lisp and doing the programs.
    • Its free
    • Its easy
    • It would teach you some programming - which isn't a bad thing to know - even if you never go into a job that requires it.
    • And while Lisp isn't the most marketable skill set (as mentioned in the book) - it is just very cool. And is impressive as a resume building thing - "I just wanted to learn to program something real (not just HTML, CSS, etc.) and so I found this on the web and hacked some Lisp" :)

OK... enough now - its almost 4:00AM - which is getting dangerously close to "Well its morning and I'm up, so whats the use in going back to sleep" time...

later all - hope you are having a great holiday with families/friends - and as always, excuse the bad spelling - its even worse at this time of night...

Friday, November 25, 2005

You pick

Walking out of Burger King (because Tina needs a burger for lunch the day after Thanksgiving) and I see a couple sitting in their car in front of me, eating their burgers. Why would someone set outside of Burger King and eat their burgers?
  • Secret rendevous?
  • Germaphobes?
  • Intraverts?
  • One is eating McDonalds and the other Burger King?
  • Volunteer Firefighters, waiting for a fire calls? (they did have fire-fighter plates)
  • Were going to take the food home and then decided to go to Wal-mart so just ate in the car?
  • ___________________________ (your guess here)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Turkey is in!

The turkey is now in the oven. I use an oven bag, which is really cool because it keeps it moist and it takes less time to cook. For a 21lb turkey it only takes a little over 3 hours, instead of the normal 5 hours or so.

So - the turkey is covered in butter, savory salt and pepper, and "stuffed" with some onion, celery, garlic and more savory salt and pepper. Not really a stuffing, but the veggies kind of steam in the body cavity and flavor the turkey, some.

So - the turkey has about 3.75 hours to cook, even though the directions say 3 - 3.5 for a 20lb - 24lb turkey. So for a 21.5 turkey that should be plenty. And it has a meat themometer in it, just so I can double check. One year it wasn't quite done enough, deep in the breast, close to the bone. Probably because it wasn't quite thawed all the way, so I don't take any chances any more. Tina really likes her poultry well done...

Also I made sure the turkey didn't have a kitchen strainer stuck to its butt. :-O - This is probably my most humiliating cooking story, but since everyone in the family probably knows it, and since it is a yearly "Do you remember when" story, I guess I might as well tell it here.

So one year Tina kept losing the kitchen sink strainers. You know, the metal thing that goes into the drain of the sink to keep big chunks of stuff from doing down the drain. Well we kept losing ours, and Tina would buy a new one, and it was getting close to Christmas and ours disappered again. I was thinking of getting her one for Christmas for a joke, when I found one in the trash. Looked like she had been throwing them away while in a mad cleaning frenzy, and hadn't realized. So I took the one I found, wrapped it, and gave it to her! Anyway, around that time, when we were going through the phase of the mysteriously disappearing strainer, we had Thanksgiving at Becky's. I put the Turkey in the sink, rinsed it, got it all prepped, and picked it up and stuck it in the bag. About an hour before dinner was ready, Becky was cleaning up and looking for the strainer. It was no where to be found. We were all like, "What! Another disappering sink strainer!" Weird. We looked all over, looked in the trash, etc. "Are you sure you have one? It didn't get misplaced?" - "Yes, it was here last night." Anyway, we couldn't find it.

So a few hours later, we pull the turkey out of the oven, pull the bag off of it, and as we are getting ready to plate it - and sure enough, there is the kitchen sink strainer, stuck to its butt! I had set the turkey in the sink, and the strainer had some how got stuck to it and I never noticed. The turkey was fine - but I never lived it down.

So now... I remove the strainer from the sink, fix the turkey, and then just double check to make sure no strainers are missing before I put it in the oven...


One of the great things about vacations is that I almost always get caught up on some blogging - either writing blogs, or reading them. I'm always *thinking* about things to write, just don't often get to it. But this week I've just been kind of hanging out, doing a little work, watching TV, taking some naps, and doing quite a bit of reading on things like dispensationalism, ultra/hyper dispensationalism, and sending some emails to people I haven't "talked" to for some time. But after going through all that for a bit, and then getting up at 5:30 this morning, I had even more "extra" time than normal. No one else is up, I don't have to put the turkey into the oven until about 8:00, my email is fairly caught up (for me), etc. So I figured I'd go check out some blogs.

I just love MightyGirl. She rarely fails in making me laugh, bring a tear to my eye, etc. Yes, Bryan does really love her SO much, as evident by his birthday present to her. What a guy! And it was so cool that she jumped in the water. And then I read bmay and DefectiveYeti. I'll probably go through some other blogs as well (although not now because it is getting close to 8:00 so I have to get the Turkey in).

Its just cool to get caught up. :) As I always say (when I get caught up), I don't know why I don't stay caught up more often, but I just don't. Too busy, don't think about it enough, whatever. But as I've said before, I do enjoy reading these blogs and getting caught up with whats going on in these people's lives - people I don't even know. Weird. And I like to blog.

I was talking with someone the other day, about some of the stuff I've blogged lately. About some stuff that was particularly painful, etc. Weird to just "put it out there on the internet" - but like I've said before, its not like 100s (or even 10s) of people read it. The person replied, "But you aren't really putting it out there for tons of people to read. Its your therapy. You aren't a big talker. In fact, if I want to know what is going on in your life - I go look at your blog. Because I know you aren't going to talk about it." Wow, pretty insightful! But exactly right on. Of course this person has known me for a long time. But yeah - that's why I do it. Its kind of a non-personal way of letting people know what is going on, share stuff I think is interesting, etc. And for an introvert, its a safe way to do it. Weird that its safer to write in a medium where potentially tons of people could read it, rather than share it face-to-face with one person. But thats me. :)

Well - like I said, time to go put the Turkey on. Of course, cooking thanksgiving meals are usually "get up early and get the turkey on" followed by just hanging out and waiting for the mad dash of preparing everything else. So... I should be back in a few. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Just like it was yesterday

Had lunch with Pastor Mark today. He called up out of the blue a couple of weeks ago just to say hi. Even though we only live 50 miles or so apart, we just don't get together all that often. I had this week off so we met for lunch 1/2 way. It was awesome, like we had just had lunch yesterday.

Its great to have strong men of God in your life who you can talk to and who are best friends. Time can elapse (I probably haven't talked to Pastor Mark for almost 2 years) and then you can just get together and its like it was yesterday.

I definately need to keep in touch more often.

Wired News: Outsourcing to the Heartland

Outsourcing to rural America. Very cool

Worship on Sunday

Worship on Sunday was pretty good. I think the best part was the before service worship. We've changed things up at church and now we are doing "before service prayer" for about 30 minutes. We started with the idea that people would pray and the worship team would practice, both at the same time. But that didn't work too well as the people praying are in the same room as the worship team - and us practicing is a little distracting.

So we reworked the format to where we get set up pretty quick, practice, and then we do some worship music while they pray. This type of approach worked very well with the teens - because it provides a strong backdrop of worship during which people can pray. Worship music is sometimes good in helping block out "the noise of the world" and letting you focus on God, thus being able to hear his voice during prayer.

Sunday we were doing that and I was playing with my eyes closed when we went into a very sweet song - and I started hearing this very cool voice that sounded like... Joyce. Joyce granduated from high school this last spring and left the worship team when she went off to college - but it sounded like her, and opening my eyes, sure enough it was. She must be back in town for the holidays. That was very cool - because it was "her song" and she always flows in it so weel. Plus I didn't know she was going to be there - she just kind of jumped in. (Maybe Teresa asked her to). Anyway, it was a very sweet time of worship with us just flowing in that song and following where she lead. Probably the best time of worship of the service.

I just really like that impromptu - flow with the spirit - kind of stuff. It is so conducive to prayer.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wal-Mart employee fired for Christmas email | The Register

While not the only point of the story, I think this is a good example of why the whole "separation of church and state" thing is carried just way to far, and how it shows that in some countries, they feel that we have nothing better to do here than be stupid and nit-picky.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Deferred Success" is new term for failure? - Yahoo! News

"In 2005, some people wanted the word 'brainstorming' replaced by 'thought shower' so as not to offend people with brain disorders, and they also wanted 'deferred success' to replace 'failure' so as not to embarrass those who don't succeed."
For the most part, I hate PC words.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Yeah, that's me. I'm a cat.

On my way to work a few days ago. Opened the door to the garage, pushed the garage door opener, light comes streaming in the door and the door starts going up. I'm reading something and walking to the back of the car so I can put my laptop in the trunk. The sound of the door in my ears, as the door continues to rise.


The sound/feeling of my head slamming into the door as I run into it looking downward at whatever I was reading.

I quickly look around to see if anyone say this graceful move on my part. No. Good. Yeah... wasn't me. I didn't just do that.

I wait for the door to finish raising, throw my computer in the trunk and jump in the car, pulling out and checking again to make sure no one is laughing. At the same time making a mental note - "I can get to the end of the garage and arrive at the door much faster than the time it takes for the door to get above my head level. Next time - stop and look before trying to exit the garage." Yeah... something I need to remember.

Well that was fun

I just got done paying my traffic ticket on-line. I got a speeding ticket a few weeks ago. I'm going out of town tomorrow and won't be back until Wed, and my court date is Tuesday. I figured I'd just call them and get it moved... but you can't do that, you have to go down in person. So I went down Friday... but since it was a holiday, the court was closed. (I didn't get it off - so I didn't think about it). So - my choice was to have a bench warrent issued - not a HUGH deal, but still something I didn't want to have happen, or just pay it. So I paid it.

I was thinking about trying for a plea bargin. Doing 48 in a 35 is a $140 fine and 4 points on my license. The $$ is bad enough, but the increase in insurance is probably the real killer. Sigh.

And even though I think it was totally unfair, and considered trying to fight it, once I read this:
Strict Liability: traffic offenses are strict liability crimes. This means that one’s intent is irrelevant. A person’s lack of intent to commit a particular offense is not a defense to a strict liability violation. All that matters is that the elements (eg: "defendant drove a vehicle Five (5) to nine (9) miles per hour over the posted speed limit" in Colorado Springs) occurred.

Radar: With a radar speeding ticket the only issue for the court to decide is the speed of the vehicle. The fact that one did not intend to speed, had a broken speedometer, or oversized tires, is not a defense to speeding. Again, speeding is a strict liability offense.
I decided it wasn't worth it. Basically, the fact that
  • I didn't see any speed-limit sign, because I was driving west and the sun was in my eyes, as the Cop said, "Yeah, pretty bright out here today. Can I see your license?"
  • The road was brand new (they just opened it)
  • The road connects a road where the speed limit is 50 (I was going 48) to a road where the speed limit is 45, and
  • About 1/4 of a mile past where I got the ticket, the speed limit goes back up to 45
Is irrelevant, because the fact was - regardless of intent, I was speeding.

Some days it is pretty cool to have long hair and wear a head-band... other days, not so much. Jaime got stopped a while back and the officer was "Please watch your speed young lady, we wouldn't want anything to happen to you. So this is just a warning. Have a nice day." For me the officer was like, "Yeah. Bright sun. Get your license and registration."

Oh well... its only money. :-S

House for sale, bride included - Countdown with Keith Olbermann -

House for sale, bride included - Countdown with Keith Olbermann - "Woman offers two-for-one package deal online"

Friday, November 11, 2005

Robbing Four Banks, on the Phone All the While

"When it comes to multitasking, it's hard to beat the woman who can rob a bank and never interrupt her cell phone conversation."

Takes all kinds...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The gift of hospitality

In some Christian circles they talk about different gifts (strengths, etc.); one of them being the gift of hospitality. That is certainly a gift that Rich and Angela have. They hosted a Star Wars marathon at their home today. It started at 9:00 AM and probably went to after 10:00 PM. I was there from close to the end of 2, through the end of 4.

It was really fun, and they were so cool how they opened their home up. Their home isn't all that large, but they were comfortable having 20 or so people in it. Rich has a great sound system and a 90" TV that basically covers the entire end of his living room wall. Very cool. :)

Angela was great, cooking the whole time (hot cookies, brownies, chili dogs... yeah - so much for dieting).

Anyway, not that many people have this "gift" - and they certainly do. Was a very cool day.

Clyde - reminds me of some of the volleyball times in the trailer park. Everyone just getting together and having a good time.


My favorite band right now is Evanescence. While their genre is listed as goth rock. I saw one site (that I can't find now) that called it chamber rock. I think I like that term. I think the thing that I like about them most is Amy Lee's erie voice, and the passion in their songs brought on by her voice, the driving bass, drums and hard guitar, and (from the chamber rock point of view) some keys, strings, etc. that are in the background on many songs.

I usually listen to CDs in phases, where I'll listen to only one CD for a month or so. I've got through that at 3 times with Fallen. Usually I'll listen to one CD for a few months, finally get tired of it, and hardly ever go back to it. This has not happened with Fallen.

I've added Anywhere But Home to my Amazon Wish List - having gotten it from Blockbuster and watched it quite a bit. In the amazon review someone posted the easter egg, which is the grammy video. Very cool.

Also cool that Amy Lee and Ben Moody (original co-founder) met at youth camp and they were originally thought to be part of the Christian rock scene. Something that I think can be felt on several of their songs.

Its snowing!

Yikes. I just looked out the window and it is snowing. Brrr... I'm cold now.

Crockpot: Chicken ala King (and Chicken Soup)

A new recipe on my blog: "Tina and I have been pretty much splitting dinner duty lately, but I don't get home until 6:00 or 6:30 - which is a little late for us to start dinner. So I've been making things in the crock-pot. This worked well for dinner and then soup for lunch the next day."

Congress divided on broadcast flag plan | CNET

"Earlier this year, a federal court threw out Federal Communications Commission regulations mandating the so-called flag, a device intended to prevent television viewers from freely copying digital broadcasts and reusing them. "
I wonder if this means it wouldn't be possible to TiVo HDTV. That would be a total drag.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Oddly Enough News Article |

"SAN CLEMENTE, California (Reuters) - A pizza parlor burglar who took the time to bake himself a large pepperoni to go, beat it when the overnight crew arrived but still got away with plenty of dough, police said."
That takes some guts (or stupidity) to make yourself a pizza while you are waiting for the safe. Especailly since it takes some amount of time for the oven to warm up, etc. Takes all kinds I guess. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tiny Vegas home sits at center of housing craze - Real Estate -

Tiny Vegas home sits at center of housing craze - Real Estate - "Manuel Corchuelo's 700-square-foot house in the Las Vegas neighborhood of Naked City, purchased for $30,000 in 1978, is currently on the market for $1.2 million. The tract home is rapidly being surrounded by high-rise condominium projects."

Monday, October 31, 2005


Google Quote of the Day,
The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities, Sophocles
Hmm... coming on the heels of my last post. Yeah... I know. Part of why I'm so upset, etc. is just myself. How I deal with things. How I hash them over and stew on them. Maybe I need to work on that...

What to do, what to do...

I've started a few entries with the following explanation, and here I go again... I used to blog about church stuff quite a bit - but I usually don't like to blog about things (especially personal things) when times are hard, I'm upset, etc. Too many people involved, too many people that might read by blog that are involved, etc. But every once in a while this is just my journal and I just have to get stuff out.

Last week, church was AWESOME. Practice was great, worship was great, the preaching was great. I was interested like I haven't been for a long time. Teresa always does a GREAT job at preaching. Always something from her heart, and from the Holy Spirit. Or so it appears to me. Of course, there was only like 1 person in church when we started worship, but that is pretty normal. Teresa just turned around towards us and said, "If it is just us and the sound team, and no one shows up, we're just going to worship God." In my opinion, that is how it always should be. We should worship God with all our might, regardless, and whoever else is there can follow along. That is how we lead the congregation into his throne room. But by 15 minutes or so into it (about 1/2 way) there were quite a few people. Anyway, it was just an awesome time. Jacque was over there rocking.

Jacque is a singer. She doesn't think she is all that great, and might not be. I don't know. But she is a worshipper. There are certain people you just connect with. The kind that worship like you do. I can still hear Di Stucki sing in some songs, and its been probably 8 or 9 years since I sung with her. But I would be worshipping and hear these angelic voices in my head and all of a sudden Di would start singing the same line. You just connect with some people. Jacque is like that with HOW she worships. She just rocks. You can tell what parts she feels are passionate and which are intimate, etc. Anyway, she was rocking and I always feed off of that.

And then Bobby was laying down some lines on his lead guitar, and he is so easy to follow. He'll just take it some place at times. Again, another person I can just worship with so easy. Plus I've watched him grow over the last... gee 4 or 5 years. From being this "kid" who wanted to play guitar, and knew how to some, to someone who lead the youth worship team, to an excellent lead guitar player on the adult team.

And then my baby was playing keys and singing (which is so awesome for me) and Michael was of course... well Michael - another person I can follow anywhere, and the rest of the team was all in sync. Steve with his "ad libs" which I can always hear in my head, even when he isn't there or the song is on the radio - and cause me to follow his voice, and everyone else. It was just awesome.

So last week was very good. The anticipation for this week was... hard. Pastor Joe had been in CA for a week, praying about what to do about the church. The church is getting smaller and smaller, and the finances are shrinking. There has been a feeling all summer that the church is going to close. Once Tina left I wasn't sure if I should stay or not. But I hate giving up and I'm extremely loyal to the worship team. So honestly, I've just been hanging in there, waiting to see if it will close - because then I won't have to make the decision to leave.

Jacque had quit at the office the week before last. Two Fridays ago was her last day, and that was hard. She felt in all good conscienceness that the church just couldn't afford her any longer, and she couldn't do it for free. So she had to quit. Pretty much some of the same things that Tina went through. I was wondering if she'd be back. Sometimes when you quit working in the office, you stop coming to church as well. But she was there the following Sunday (when things were so awesome) - so i was happy about that. And then I found out during the week that she and Spanky had left the church. That was her last Sunday. And I was pretty sad about that.

Worship team members come and go, its just part of being at Impact, which has a rather large turn-over rate. Larger than any church I've gone to before. You get used to it. All summer I've been worshipping every Sunday like it might be the last Sunday I worship with this team. Either because someone will leave, I'll leave, or the church will close. And all summer that has pretty much been how it has been. You come in one day and Teresa says "So and so has stepped down". And you know that you'll most likely never be part of a worship team with that person again, unless something really bizzare happens (and you end up at the same church), they come back, or most likely until you get to Heaven and you're playing together. (That is always my big "sliver lining" - "Well... some day I'll play with that person in Heaven. And then it will be awesome") So it was very sad.

So this Sunday I came into church and started setting up and looked over and knew I wouldn't see Jacque, and that saddened my Spirit. And then Rich (the lead sound tech) said, "You can set up closer to the drums because Bobby isn't going to be here today." I thought "great", sigh. I hate when Bobby ins't there. Oh well. So I started setting up and got all my stuff unloaded and Jaime came over and I said, "So Bobby isn't here today?", "Nope... And I doubt he'll be coming back. He was pretty upset." And I knew in my spirit that was true. Bobby is Jacque's son and because Jacque was so hurt, and upset, etc. when she quit - well Bobby probably is feeling bad for his mom (and whatever else might be going on) and so he probably quit too.

And it just hit me and I had to get out of there, so I had all my stuff unloaded and I always have to drive the Jeep around front. (We can't park in back of the school because it is a fire zone. There is only room in the back for the music trailer and Pastor Joe's car when he gets there). So I went out and got in the Jeep, drove it around front, and started crying. Its just so pointless. All the hurt people. All the people that tried so hard, that worked so hard, that gave their lives and finally just couldn't do it anymore. I called Tina and cried for a minute, then put on my happy face and went back into the church to finish setting up.

Practice was ok, other than the fact that I felt like Bobby might never be there again... but you never know. Maybe he was just taking the day off. Then it was time to start and Pastor Joe and Patti (his wife) were there. That is pretty extrodinary. Usually Pastor Joe doesn't show up until the worship service is about half or 2/3rds over. But he was there this morning. Something must be going on. Worship was pretty good - but there was a lot in the air.

Then Pastor Joe preached... Well really not so much preached, but just talked about where the church is. How things had been rough for so long: Teri leaving him, the church going through a split, people leaving, etc. Why he believes what he believes. He talked about how he has really hasn't been there for the church, for a long time. How if it hadn't been for Teresa and all her effort, the church would be gone. [Which is true... but it was Tina that held it together for 2 years - with help from Teresa and Jacque, and its Teresa - with help from Jacque that has been holding it together for the last 6 months. But the politically correct thing to do is just mention those who are present. To bring up people who are gone just makes people think about them, and that is a bad thing] So that upset me a bit that he didn't mention Tina - but hey, I didn't expect it.

He talked about how we in the American church are programmed to need a vision, but that isn't a new testament thing. That our vision is to do Christ's commission, and that is all we should need. So he isn't going to talk about a vision and a mission of the church to be "missions based" or "worship based" or whatever. We are a grace church and that is what we are. We don't need a vision.

He talked about how some pastor's like dealing with people's problems and fixing them; but that's not him. He hates people problems. He can't deal with them. He can't solve them. He is terrible as a counsoler. All he wants to do is teach and not deal with people problems. So if dealing with people problems is being a pastor, then he guesses he isn't a pastor.

He talked about he had wanted to give it all up. That he asked God to kill the church or let him kill it. But God told him to hang on. God let the church die, so that it could be reborn. "If a seed drops and lies on the ground, it just lays there. But if it dies, and is reborn, it bears fruit." God had to let the church die so it would bear fruit. This is a grace church, with a different ... (well not vision - because vision is an old testament thing - I forget the word used) whatever. We will teach grace, and things made get weird at times, but they'll be fun too.

God let the church get to the point it did because some people had to leave. People who had their own agendas. And now that they were gone, the church could be what God wanted it to be. [So Tina - who had cancer surgery on Tuesday morning and then came in Tuesday night to work with a speaker, did so because of an agenda. And Tina who had cancer surgery and came in that weekend, because Pastor Joe needed her to do something, did it because she had an agenda. Tina and Jacque, who with Teresa moved the entire office, mostly by themselves, and laid on the floor and cried because they were so exhaused, and so frusturated because Pastor Joe wouldn't come over and help move one box, and the furniture and boxes were so heavy for them, but they had to get moved in. And then when they did get moved in, when they thought and planned and figured out how to make the 3 offices work for the 7 people who needed to be in there; then Pastor Joe came in and said that Tina couldn't share the back office with him, but needed to move her stuff out, move the stuff out of the middle office, and she needed to take that office, because he needed the back one to himself - and then for the next 6 months he never set the office up. He never came in and actually used it as an office. After they all just submitted, sacrified their own time, their family time and worked so hard - because they believed in the dream of Impact - that was all because of their own agendas.] So you look at Tina, and Jaque, and Roger and Rachel, and all the others - and they all had their own agendas. They were in God's way, and now that they are gone, God can do with the church what he wants. Yeah, that ticked me off to no end. But maybe that isn't what he meant. That is always a good church spin/PoliticalCorrect thing to say - "The bad ones are gone and now God can do what he needs to." It gives the people hope and makes the feel better.

I'm a Pace (PDP test) and very loyal. And I'm a father with 2 girls. No boys. I'm it. The only man. I'm fiercly protective of my girls. And one of my girls was just attacked. In my younger days I've been known to "come out of my shell" (of being an introvert) and beat into someone for doing that. But I'm a Christian now, and that isn't very Christ like.

So - Pastor Joe has seen the light now. God is going to rebuild, and he is going to try and follow the spirit more. So maybe the church is going to turn around. But what does that mean?

The he said, "If you aren't having fun here, then I really suggest that you find another church where you can have fun. Because we can't rebuild and have people here who aren't having fun and who are bitter." Well, I'm certainly not having fun, and I am bitter. I've seen too much.

So I was angry anyway, and then after service when I was packing up (we had 5 minutes to pack up or pay extra fees because we only have the building till Noon and it was 11:55), Teresa walked up and told me that Bobby had stepped down from the team. And I just started shaking. Tina, Roger and Rachel, Tina Nance, Jacque and Spanky, and now Bobby. Yup, all people who were just here with their own agendas.

I was so mad I couldn't even eat or stay at home. I went home, unloaded my equipment, and went and saw Dreams. (Where I wanted to just reach around and tell the woman behind me to SHUT UP - but I figured partially it was just the mood I was in (yeah... ya think? ;)).

So - what to do. The choice seems clear. Pastor Joe said it. "If you aren't having fun, I suggest you go somewhere else, where you can have fun." - And I always have an open door to do ministry with the Tom and Jennifer. But it isn't that easy. I love the worship team. My baby is on the worship team. And she is growing every week. She looked like such the young woman yesterday. It saddened me that Tina doesn't get to see that. (Tina knows the church is hurting, and it just tears her up to come in and see the people). Do I want to miss that? Do I want to step down and not play with her every week? And I love Teresa and Greg. Teresa and I had a rough time at one point, but I know she is called to be a worship director. She flows in the spirit. She follows God during a service. I'm a rut person, I'm a loyal person, I'm a passionate and loving person. I don't want to lose playing on the team. Steve is there. Michael is there.

So - even though I'm not having fun, I have a lot to lose. And that is the boat most everyone who has left has been in. That was certainly the place Tina was at. But she just couldn't take it any longer. That is the place I believe Jacque was at.

And its not Pastor Joe's fault. He'll tell you straight out. He is who he is. He doesn't believe a church needs a vision. He doesn't believe a church needs elders and trustees. He isn't a good counsoler. He avoids dealing with people problems. He believes that church is a ministry from God - and that God is our loving Father who only wants good for us. If the ministry is hard - then you are doing it wrong. If the ministry takes too much time - then you are doing in wrong. So he is probably never going to be what Tina wanted from him. He is probably never going to be what other people want from him. He is never going to deal with people problems. He is never going to be a leader (either you know how to do ministry and its from God or you don't. He doesn't need to spend time showing you how to do that.). He is never going to be in the office 9 - 5. (If its hard or something you don't want to do - its not from God). And its unreasonable to put those expectations on him. We are all who we are. I was raised with a strong work ethic. I was raised that the man takes care of the family, no matter what. The family comes first, not the man. That isn't how Pastor Joe is - and it is unreasonable for me to expect him to be me. He isn't. (And he has strengths that I don't have).

So the question is - can I serve with that kind of teacher (because as he said, he isn't a pastor or a leader) as the head of my church? Is being on the worship team with Teresa, Greg, Steve, Domonic, Michael and my baby Jaime, worth it? Can I have a good heart, listen to God, worship Him, and get something out of the services. Or will I continue to be so mad, so frusturated and so hurt by all that the lack of leadership and effort has done to my wife, my friends, and to me?

I don't know. Pastor Joe says things are going to change. But what does that mean. It probably means things are somehow going to get better. But it doesn't mean he is going to change. He is who he says he is - and that is fine. But can I put up the good fight? Can I give up Thursday nights with Tina to practice. And then get up at 6:00 on Sunday so I can load my equipment for 30 minutes, go set up for 45, practice for an hour, so I can do worship in a church where the Pastor, the example to the people, usually blows off worship? But maybe that has changed. Maybe at the very least he has gotten a revelation that part of being a Pastor is at least showing up.

And all of this is not how it is supposed to be. Being a Christian and going to Church is not supposed to be about being angry, about leaving church shaking you are so mad. Can I put down this "ugliness" that is in me, stop talking to Tina about it and ripping open her wounds, and just let things be how they are, and go for just the worship.

I don't know. And after writing all of this... I still don't know. But I do think writing this has helped. I think it is causing something to happen in me.

Maybe it will be alright. Maybe things will change. Maybe things will get better. Maybe so much better that we'll all be happy and it will be a good place, and Tina will come back.

But it will still be sad regardless. There are people that have left - good people - people who did all that was within them to do - that will never be back. And that is sad. It is sad because it was a dream we all had. A dream we all fought for. A dream, in my opinon, that God had. And it will never come to pass. At least not with that exact set of people.

So - I'll just have to put my anger down, my hurt down, my offenses for other people, and talk to God about it. Really talk to him. And see what he wants me to do.

Thanks for listening. Most likely no one has read this far. Too depressing. Too "ugly". But hey... sometimes I just need to talk - and I'm too much of an intravert to do it in person.

The movie theater is NOT your personal therapist room

Yesterday was a hard day, more on that later, so I went to the movies, just to get away from it all. At first I thought about going to see some shoot 'em up, army, honor, loyalty type movie - but I couldn't really find anything that looked good that was playing at the time I got there. So I went to see Dreams (which was really good). Kurt Russel and Dakota Fanning, both of whom I like.

But when I first got there it was almost exclusivly parents with their pre-schoolers... "Uh oh, is this a little kids film?" (It is a family movie, but not just a little kid movie, again, I really liked it). But I decided to give it a shot and sat down.

Directly behind me I could hear two women talking. One rather loudly, the other mostly just agreeing, saying "Uh huh", etc. Basically one pouring out her story, and the other just agreeing. I felt for the woman, but come on... is the movie theater, with your (2 to 4 little kids - I didn't turn around and look) really the place to do this? Statements like the following:

Much talk about what sounds like foster kids - because she was discussing so many different ones. ADD and other problems, grades, their parents, etc.

Yeah, I told James he couldn't come up yet. He has to get his life in order. He comes up and says how much he missed David, but I think its just an excuse to have someone take care of him. James... one of her foster kids?

Yeah, he just lays around and watches the TV. I wished he'd do something around the house.OK... maybe her husband? But he sounds like one of the kids. Even though I wished she'd just be quite, I can't help but hear her - she is really loud

Yeah, I wish he'd just win his stupid lotto. Then we'd be all set. He could get a maid, so I wouldn't have to clean up after him. And if wasn't against the church rules, he could get a concubine too (laughs), then everything would be perfect. He wouldn't need anything from me, and we could just hang out together and have a good time. OH MY GOSH. Like I really want to know that much about your personal life

Then the previews start, and she is still talking... I'm HOPING she is going to be quite during the movie. She tells one of the little kids, "Now you are going to have to be quite, so people can hear the movie wants it starts" - A good sign.

The movie starts - the talking stops. I sigh with relief. Cause I'm about "this" close to going and getting a manager or saying something to her, and I'm usually too much of an intravert for that.

And then in one scene Dakota Fanning opens her bedroom window like she is going to sneak out. "Wow. That is so Jennifer", and she pulls open the window and climbs out onto the roof, "Yup, exactly like Jennifer", walks over the edge and jumps into a pile of leaves, "Exactly like Jennifer. When she's 17 that would be Jennifer." At this point I just want to turn around and say, "For the LOVE OF GOD, would you SHUT UP".

But I decide that wouldn't be very appropriate (but "For the LOVE OF GOD" makes me think of Nick Black, Tiffany and Lindsey, and that is cool - another story for another time), so I just sit there, and luckily I either got into the movie so much, or she didn't find anyting else to compare to her life, that I never heard her say much else.

I just don't GET people who are so wrapped up in themselves that they do this kind of thing in a movie theater FULL of people (there were familes who split up because they couldn't find 3 seats together - it was packed).

So for anyone out there who might read this and talk a lot in the theater... please keep it down, please stop once the movie starts, and PLEASE, PLEASE for the LOVE OF GOD, don't talk about your personal life. The rest of us really aren't that interested and would rather not hear all about it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chili Rellano Casserole

After making my Chili Rellano Casserole today, I updated the recipe. Using a 9x13 pan, it works better with 2 layers and I had to cook it for an hour and a half to get it firm.

Tiffany called and asked a question about the recipe a week or so ago, so it was sounding good. I made it to freeze and have later, but I had to sample a piece of it now anyway. Yum! :)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Mrs. Fields Cookies & Cream Chiller

TheChiller E-mail Blender is pretty cool. Don't know that I'd ever actual use it, but it is cool to mess with. Its powered by Anagram Genius. The things you can find on the web... :)

Thursday, October 27, 2005


The bible says, Without vision, the people will perish. or something like that. I looked for it today but could not find it... so maybe that is a paraphrase. Anyway, I've heard plenty of sermons on it, so I'm sure it is there. ;)

I was thinking about vision this morning, particular in the context of organizations. Being where I am, at work, at church, etc.; its one of the things I do. Think about process stuff, how organizations work, etc. And this morning I was realizing how important vision is. That's not really a big revelation or anything, I mean there are plenty of books and topics on it. Plenty of speakers who will tell you how important it is. But regardless, not everyone gets it.

I've been in groups that have no vision other than to "keep getting work so we keep getting paid". An admirable goal, after all, that is why we work... but not very good as a vision. I'm in a group right now where the vision is much more than that. I don't know that the vision is written down or anything, but we take pride in what we do, feel that it makes a difference to the company (which is always a great thing) and do a good job for the customer. Our boss has always been good at looking for new work. We started with a generic system that could be used to detect fraud - seeing as our first customer was in the job of detecting fraud. Since then we've branched into many different areas: network management, network security, credit card fraud, etc. In one sense our system is a data reduction and correlation system, and we wrote it independent of the domain. Thus we can use it for all of the above. But many groups get stuck on "what we do is fraud", for instance. Our boss has always had the vision to see past that. Which is such a moral boost for architects and designers. I've been on other systems where "our system could do so much more if we could just get other types of customers" but the bosses have kept focused to just one customer. Our boss doesn't do that. He is always looking for new ways in which the system can be used. New uses to the business and company. That has kept us fresh over the years. I've been on this project for 10 years, and I'm still not bored... because what we do keeps changing. We keep finding new ways for it to be used, which presents new types of problems, requiring enhancements to the system, etc.

I wasn't so much thinking about the good aspects of this, this morning, as the bad. Thinking about an organization I know where there is no vision and very little leadership... and it made me realize how fortunate I am to be working in an organization where that its true.

People need a leader and they need a vision. Without out it, they "perish". - United States to Require RFID Chips in Passports

Big Brother type discussion. Will it be easy to scan the data (has to be within a few inches of a reader). Looks like it is more secure, but the controversy goes on.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Official Google Blog: The point of Google Print

Official Google Blog: The point of Google Print: "Imagine sitting at your computer and, in less than a second, searching the full text of every book ever written. Imagine an historian being able to instantly find every book that mentions the Battle of Algiers. Imagine a high school student in Bangladesh discovering an out-of-print author held only in a library in Ann Arbor. Imagine one giant electronic card catalog that makes all the world's books discoverable with just a few keystrokes by anyone, anywhere, anytime."
Wow - some cool stuff on the google blog site. This is my last post for today, go read them for yourself if you want to see more. As always, they are doing some cool stuff.

Official Google Blog: Supporting open source

A very cool things. First the Summer of Code and now they are contributing to other programs. Very cool to see industry and schools getting involved in Open Source.

Official Google Blog: Rumor of the day

Official Google Blog: Rumor of the day
You may have seen stories today reporting on a new product that we're testing, and speculating about our plans. Here's what's really going on. We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google
Cool. So I can submit my blog pages to google and have a better chance of them showing up on searches. :) ;)

Monday, October 24, 2005

development standards

Within our development team we have standards on how mail subjects should look when coding reviews, design reviews, etc are sent out. The standard is in place to insure that certain information is easily asertained from the subject. This is done because requiring that people open the mail to determine the information is too slow; given some of us can get up to 20 of these mails a day and have many outstanding during a particular point in time.

A personal pet peeve of mine is people that can't seem to format a timestamp correctly. There are many ways to represent time (2005-10-25, 25-Oct-2005, 10/25/05, etc.) - and pretty much any as good as any other (unless you have specicial requirements). The key is picking one and everyone using it. That way it is standard. It just gets me that some people can never quite figure it out. I mean, if your job is to write code - something that in general has to be very exact, and you can't even get a timestamp right... well...


Friday, October 21, 2005


fredoland contains link to the Flock download and is the author's (or main contributor, etc.) blog.

Advanced browser gives taste of Web 2.0: ZDNet Australia: News: Software

Talks about Flock. Looks interesting.

Father of Wiki Quits Microsoft; Moves to Open-Source Foundation

Ward Cunningham, one of Microsoft's high-profile hires, is leaving the Redmond software company to join the open-source tool group, The Eclipse Foundation

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The end of VCRs

Read the following on an email from TiVo.
Many manufacturers have halted production on VCRs forever! 2006 will be the last year for VHS movie releases.
Wow. I haden't even heard that. Not that it effects me much. We rarely use videotape or the VCR any more. We always rent DVDs and have quite a few - although we do still have some tapes so will keep our VCR. Also, I'm a big TiVo user, so now that we are into the normal fall season on TV, we don't even watch movies all that often.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - U.S. & World - Arkansas Woman Gives Birth to 16th Child - U.S. & World - Arkansas Woman Gives Birth to 16th Child: "Michelle Duggar (search) just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again."

Internet crime shifts to Russia - Yahoo! News

Internet crime shifts to Russia - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Trafficking in stolen credit cards has largely shifted to Russian-language Web sites after an international crackdown sparked disarray among English-speaking scam artists, a U.S.
Secret Service official said on Wednesday."

More of the kind of stuff I deal with.

Friday, October 07, 2005

To Bike or Not To Bike

Been up for a few hours, reading email - I always have a ton of unread, and reading some blogs - waiting for the sun to come up. (BTW: My kid writes a great blog - I so enjoy reading it. What a young woman she is turning out to be!)

Anyway - the temp is dropping, but the cloud cover is disappating, and I think the wind is reducing. So colder, but less wind. Hmm...

Guess I'll jump in the shower, grab a lite breakfast and then head down to the bike rental place, getting a feel for the weather on the way. After all - it is my last day on the Island. I can always get warm on another day. It can't be as bad as standing on the side of the interstate in Montana all day flagging traffice and having your boss yell at you for getting in the truck to try and get warm because its like 0 degrees outside, you can see a car coming from a mile away and one passes by only every 10 minutes or so - so really, what does it hurt to sit in the truck watching in the rear view mirror when ITS ONLY 0 DEGREES OUTSIDE.

Hmm... that was a random thought. :)