Thursday, July 31, 2003

... and the GEEKS shall inheirit the EARTH!!!

I just couldn't resist. I'm at Denver International Airport, with about an 1.5 hours to kill. There are banners in all the terminals saying WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS... so of COURSE I've just got to check this out. Fire up the laptop, scan for wireless LAN, and there it is... Connect ... and ... oops ... enter your credit card number... sigh ... $9.99 for a 24 hour period. It's not really WORTH $10, but I just had to do it once to see how it was setup. (not to mention the fact that I'm probing their network. I'll probably get busted for cyber-terrorism or something. Now that I've typed THAT, there's probably several FBI agents being dispatched to my location... I'm downloading a rather large file right now, and it's coming in at 148KB/sec ... not bad!!!

(hmm ... a bunch of phones are ringing around me now... that must be the Airport IT/IS Department wanting to know who is running a portscan... hehe)

So anyway, I'm almost home! I'm sure that any approach I make towards the laptop in the next 24-36 hours will earn me at the very least a disapproving glare, most likely a heavy object tossed at me. Yeah, you all think Shelley is this sweet little innocent girl, but remember she's got all these hormones raging through her right now...

So, I've still got 45 minutes to kill, so I guess I'll check in with my Puzzle Pirates, since I won't be able to play. A few people told me they had blocked new accounts, but one of my buddies got on the other night. Keep checking your email, this thing is really fun!

UPDATE: Looks like I might be in Denver a little longer. Oh well, another few hours, and another free round trip ticket. woohoo! At least I'm getting my $10 worth out of this 'net connection.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

NOT a Good Sign...

Damnit, THIS (Memo warns of new hijack plots) and (Flip-flop on air marshal schedules) are NOT what you want to see the day before you're flying out of a major International Airport... I'll have my geek gear with me, so if there's problems, I can always ... ummm.. I don't know, beat them over the head with my laptop? Throw DVDs at them (ninja-star style, of course...)

People say ...

... that Calvin reminds them a lot like me... I just don't see it...

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Telemarketing group sues FCC

Telemarketing group sues FCC? Can you believe that they're suing because they aren't allowed to make UNSOLICITED calls??? I really hope a judge not only throws this crap out of court, but slaps a fine on them for a frivolilty (no, that's not the Word of the Day).

The countdown is on, two more days and I'm going home! I'm really looking forward to the downtime, the time to spend with Shelley and the tadpole... actually, I guess we really can't call it that anymore (Pregnancy - 11 weeks).

I found a VERY interesting way to pass the time, especially for you puzzle people. It's an "online community" called Puzzle Pirates. Basically you get to run around and chat with other people in a virtual world, and say things like "Arrrr, Ahoy me mateys", challenge others to swordfights, sign up for duties on a ship that goes out pillaging, and such. The interesting part is that for every "job" or "fight", there is a puzzle you have to play: Tetris, Bejeweled, Othello, etc.. all with their own unique "pirate" theme. It really is a blast, and I'll post some screenshots. I've sent a couple of people there, and they said that they were told that it wasn't allowing new registrations, but I was told the same thing, then got a "welcome" email a few minutes later. Sign up and keep checking your email!

I've got some movie stuff that I'll post later. Gotta run to work now!

Monday, July 28, 2003 - Bob Hope dead at 100 - Jul. 28, 2003 - Bob Hope dead at 100 - Jul. 28, 2003

Wow... kinda makes you realize how old we're getting, doesn't it?

I've been working on a post this morning, but haven't had time to finish it, when I saw the news above. Thought I would just put this up for now, and add some more later today. Dealing with a couple of last-minute fires here... need to put them out before they turn into raging infernos...

Friday, July 25, 2003

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I hate Wesley Crusher...

Ok, I know that I'm revealing myself here as the ultimate geek here, but I have to let everyone in on another of my recent finds on the 'net. Do you remeber Wesley Crusher, the Ensign we all loved to hate from Star Trek: Next Generation? Wil Wheaton was the name of the actor, and he's got his own 'blog. He's written a book, and actually has a lot to say on topics that I find interesting!...

Yes, I hate to say it, but Wil Wheaton is cool... If you don't believe me, check out his Audblog link where he describes an encounter with a 14yr old Star Wars fan...

... we now return you to your regularly scheduled life, already in progress..

Photo Album test v.001

So, I took advantage of a lull this morning to try a few different tricks with the photo albums... I think you all will be sufficiently impressed... and if not. :P

Bear in mind, that it's all a work in progress... I'll get some descriptions and clean up the pics a bit... and start adding more pictures.

I found a very cool website last night (check it out <-- ). I'm going to be releasing some books into the wild before I leave here, and whereever else I find myself in the world....

More delays, more grumblings, etc... Everyone is just so sick of looking at this thing just SIT here, ready to just pack it up and walk away. There are a ton of other projects whizzing around, and we're ready to grab onto something and fly with it.

More later...

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Welcome to Monday (Day 2)

This is going to be a long week, I can tell already...

I've found two things that have made my time on the 'net less wasteful... ok... it's still wasted time, but at least it's more productive, if there is any truth to be found in THAT statement...

Anyway, Google has a toolbar that you can add to your browser, and it does a lot of useful things. (Sorry Netscape/Mozilla users et al, it's Internet Explorer only.) Obviously, it adds a "search" field so that you can search Google without having to do anything "extra" (ie, Open New Window, Go to, search keywords, etc). You just put your keywords in that field, and it will spawn a window for you and show your results (set in preferences).

But that's just the first of many useful functions! It also has a pop-up blocker! Some of the pop-up ads still sneak around it, but it blocks 95% of the annoying BUY ME BUY ME crap that some sites think will make them solvent...

In addition, it has a quick-button to their News (searches like 4500 news sources and compiles them on one page, categorized), Autofill (remembers your info, highlights fields it can "autofill" for you when it recognizes them), and it's all very configurable. Get the toolbar HERE. I would recommend getting the 2.0 version, even though it's still in beta (testing release).

The second thing I've added to my browser is the toolbar. This only adds a field to enter words, and a quick link to their Word of the Day, but it adds the ability to highlight any word in your browser, right-click, and search the dictionary for that word... very useful for those pompous people that use big words to seemingly aggrandize (Word of the Day for today... seriously) their intelligence.

I've added a counter to the bottom of this page, so I can get a better idea of what kind of traffic I'm getting here. It's starting to grow, yet no one is using the Comments feature at the bottom of every post!? Come on people, I know a lot of you have useful and witty things to say (with the possible exception of Micah (see Tag-Board at left...)), so start giving me some feedback! (Don't forget to allow pop-ups on this page, if you're using my Google toolbar suggestion... what do you mean you don't know how??? sheesh... just click on the button that says ## blocked, where ## is the number of pop-ups it has blocked for you so far.)

That's all for now, I got the FTP thing figured out, so I'll start uploading things today. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 21, 2003

So begins another week...

and I thought Shelley might appreciate this:

Pregnancy Q & A

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he/she finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Things are still on track, and I'm definitely going home the first week in August, and shipping out to Turkey sometime soon afterwards. Beyond that, things get fuzzy.

I saw a ton of movies this weekend (what ELSE am I going to do??), and the biggest surprise was Bad Boys II! Is it believable? No, not really ... Is it too violent? Yeah... probably... Is it beautiful? Oh HELL yeah! The camera angles, cinematography, and special effects alone made this one great. I really don't like Martin Lawrence, but even he couldn't ruin this one for me!

I saw a couple others, but the only ones I want to warn you about are Monster's Ball (totally pointless) and Requiem for a Dream (too much ... something... just too much).

I know you people don't come here for movie reviews, but sadly, that's about all I've got to report right now. I'll have some pictures up soon (the FTP for my server is just not working right now), so that will at least be better than listen to my impression of Siskel (or Ebert... whichever one is still around.. I forget...)

More soon!

Friday, July 18, 2003

damnit.. looks like I just don't have any luck with little cameras. This one has developed a bad spot (that's what I'm doing in that picture with the irritated look on my face... in case you were wondering ...) just like the one that goes to my phone... I have no idea where it came from, because this has been sitting in the bag since I last used it... Guess I'll have to try and get it returned before I leave... :P

Yet another perfect C&H

heh... another classic.

Looks like things are becoming more official. We're scheduled to leave for Turkey on 12 Aug, so I'm going to finish getting this stuff documented and packed, and the equipment will be shipping out next week. I'm going to go spend a week or so in Colorado with Shelley and the tadpole. I'm sure my list of Honey-Do's will keep me busy...

I also found a great website with some pictures and information about the second location this project will be hitting: Constanta Romania. Very interesting stuff, be sure to check out the postcards...

That's all for now, more later. I'm going to come up with a better solution for pictures, so that the page doesn't go off to the right. (That's where the webcam is right now, in case you're looking for it...

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Just. Plain. Weird.

One of the more amazing things (in my opinion) about the Internet is the fact that it gives us access to images and information we might have otherwise gone our entire lives without ever experiencing... and that's a good thing, right?

Warning: That experience is something that some people may wish they had NOT experienced. The design of the website is amazing, the content is... umm ... questionable.

Also, it's been a while since I gave anyone my movie reviews. I've been renting (and copying ... shhh....) DVDs like crazy lately, since I got my new DVD burner. I have this vision of us stuck in some tent in the middle of the desert, watching movies... It's not going to be anywhere near that bad (we've got a line on an apartment in Turkey already, with broadband 'net access...), but I just want to be PREPARED for long stretches of NOTHING to do... ya know?

So, here are my latest picks and pans. First, I finally got through Gangs of New (Yawn) York. Scorsese has never overly impressed me, but this is arguably the most boring thing I've ever seen. The sets were beautiful (tho rather smallish), and I'm sure most everything was technically and historically accurate, but there was just nothing of substance to hold my attention. I didn't care what happened to anyone in the movie, and was happiest when it was over... The only tick on the Emotion Meter was the very last scene, as it showed New York city with the Brooklyn bridge in the foreground, and the city evolving in the background through the magic of timelapse photography. When I saw the twin towers of the World Trade Center there, I felt a pang of sadness. If it had forwarded once more and they were gone, it would have been a lot sadder.

The most interesting movie I've seen (rented) was Equilibrium. I rented this solely based on a movie poster in the window quoting some reviewer, "Forget the Matrix...". Halfway through the movie, I realized that I had heard about this movie from other sources (specifically about "Gunkata"), but had never seen it. Basically it's set in a future where society has banned all emotions, to prevent wars and crimes. They enforce this "sense crime" by mandatory medication at regular intervals, and execution of "sense offenders". It won't make you "forget The Matrix", but it's definitely an interesting movie.

Tears of the Sun... no wonder the Sun was crying. Very un-interesting, wait for it come to cable TV.

Windtalkers - Great story, beautiful cinematography, great acting.

Phone Booth: Worth renting, but I'm glad I didn't see it in the theatre.

... more when I think of of them...

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The Meaning of Life...

The Meaning of Life

I knew it had to be online ...

Monday, July 14, 2003

Funniest thing I've read in a while...

Most of you know that I'm not a big fan of "forwarded email", but this one is unique (and funny) enough to share... THANKS LORENE!

For those who already have children past this age, this is hilarious.
For those who have children this age, this is not funny.
For those who have children nearing this age, this is a warning.
For those who have not yet had children, this is birth control.

The following came from an anonymous Mother in Austin, Texas

Things I've learned from my Children (honest & no kidding):
1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh," it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. The mind of a 6-year old is wonderful. First grade...true story: One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home. She read, "And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, "Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?" The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that man said?" One little boy raised his hand and said, "I think he said...'Holy shit! A talking pig!'" The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

25. 60% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

The funniest thing was 25... how did they know I was thinking that???

testing ... testing... 1 ... 2 ... um...

Image test:

... incidentally, it's also a test of your gaming knowledge. A true gamer is smirking right now, a married one is laughing (and looking over his shoulder for his wife...)...Yay
I'm fairly sure Mom and I had this same conversation at one point in my life ...

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Thumbs UP, Thumbs down...

I spent my Sunday in the typical manner... went to the movies in the morning, and I stayed for another one (always wanted to do that...). I saw Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines first, and since I wasn't really impressed with it, I went and saw League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. That one was MUCH better. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had known a bit more about the story. Apparently it's a graphic novel (aka big comic book). Anyway, I recommend LXG, but suggest waiting for T3 to come out as a rental... really not that impressive... and yes.. there will be a T4...

So, we're supposed to be shipping the project this week. A transit company is coming in the end of this week to crate everything up, then we need to figure out something to do with me in the interim. I might try to get home for a little bit, but don't tell Shelley! shhhhh....

Speaking of Shelley, she got some news from a good friend of hers. Clint and Dana are pregnant (well Dana is... ugh, old joke)... which is really good for Shelley (ok ok .. good for them too) because now she'll have someone to be pregnant with her! Congratulation C&D! ... and speaking of Clint, I heard this the other day, and thought of him...
The Hamster Dance 2!!!

That's all for now, unless I get these photos done tonight... really!

Friday, July 11, 2003

I'm never eating here again...

Always good to start your day with a laugh... =)

A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that
the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed
a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed
he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all
the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve
our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"

"Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Andersen Consulting to
revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded
that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop
frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are
better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and
save 15 man-hours per shift."

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with
his spare. "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of
making an extra trip to get it right now."

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the
waiter's fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same
string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the
waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right

"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone is so observant.
That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the
restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull it
out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening
the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent."

I asked, "After you get it out, how do you put it back?"

"Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

Thursday, July 10, 2003

... umm... so it's a big ... NO WAY!

Stonhenge SOLVED?

Arrrr Mateys! Here there be TREASURE!

I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean last night, and it was VERY good! If you're a fan of swashbuckling movies, you'll love this. Great effects, swordfights, storyline, etc.

We got an update on our shipping schedule, but as usual, I'm not going to believe it until the plane is actually leaving the tarmac. As of this morning, we're scheduled to be on the ground in Ankara, Turkey on 5 Aug 2003 (sorry... I'm stuck in military time/date mode...). There are still a few things that need to happen first, but this is the most noise we've heard yet.

More later!

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why
the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.

A programmer is someone who solves a problem you
didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.

A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking
for a black cat which isn't there.

A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000 word document
and calls it a "brief."

A psychologist is a man who watches everyone else when
a beautiful girl enters the room.

A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your
wrist and tells you the time.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell
in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.


Ok, still can't upload the picture albums I've been working on. I'll just upload them to my server, and re-direct until they get this fixed...

Shelley left yesterday at 6am, so we had to get UP at 3am ... so needless to say yesterday was a LONG day for all of us... however, she did take a bump and got a free roundtrip ticket, so it was worth it!

Lots of activity around here; we've got a technical writer down to help us prettify (yes, it's a word) the manual. Sadly, I know more about the software he's using than he does, so I am stuck at my desk more than usual.

However, if you've been reading the news, things are starting to heat up in Turkey (our first scheduled stop), so things are in a holding pattern... ok.. holding MORE than they were... End result is that they may just roll us into a different project, since it's costing them a ton to pay my rent and rent a car for me... especially on a fixed budget project. As usual, time will tell...

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Here's a post for you Micah!

... probably a prediction of what kind of kid we'll get:

Hope everyone had a great July 4th!

Thursday, July 03, 2003

I'm going to go pick Shelley up from the airport in a bit, so I just wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

Here's a quick comic for the geeks:

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Another interesting thing I found today:

disclaimer: It's not that I don't like Bush (that a whole different topic...), I just really appreciate the subtlety of the joke... ya know?
We are not alone?

When I first read this article, there was no picture... then when I blogged it... there was...