Monday, December 26, 2005

Well, it's over

Christmas is done. It was strange to have Christmas on a Sunday. So far, so good, thought. No complaints about the gifts, yet.

Like I've been telling everyone at work, it's been a Hot Topic and Leather Christmas. Lots of bondage pants and long leather coats. Not alot of stuff, but an apealing haul, none the less.

What was my best present? Hard to say. I really like the coat. I would say the gift I use the most was from Steven. But he got the idea from me. In fact, there were at least 4 of them given at our house. The Belkin Nostromo n52 Speedpad. Awsome gamer toy. You can configure it to be an entire keyboard, all for the left hand. Cool stuff.

I do like the leather coat, though. I guess I look OK in it. I really don't care. I like it, so I guess that's all that matters.

I got the Air Force Monopoly game, too. Cool idea. Nice game pieces.

I got a nice bath robe, too. And a Homer Simpson tie.

Of course, the cool "family" present was a new LCD TV for the living room.

On a different subject, I'm really looking forward to this Friday. Jackie and Carlo's wedding. The big thing over winter break for Det 330 AFROTC!

Well, work tomorrow, so it will be a long day tomorrow. I need to finish my 88 hours this pay period before Friday morning (that is, the end of the year).

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Long overdue

OK. It’s been like forever since I’ve blogged, but I’ve really been busy. Well, OK. Not REALLY busy, but busy none the less. I’ve changed jobs (that was a real shock to my old boss, but not unrecoverable) and now I am a Systems Analyst. I can now geek out at work and get away with it!

I’m on a plane to Orlando right now. I really like Southwest Airlines. The “Flight Attendants” are fun and actually have a personality. That always makes flying easier. Not that I don’t like flying, but I just don’t like NOT being in control. I guess it’s OK for me to not like flying now that I’m not in the Air Force any more.

I’m holding in my hand a funny thing. OK. The bags of peanuts have gotten MUCH smaller since I started flying. There’s almost a mouthful in the bag now. Almost but not quite. But that’s not the funny thing. The label on the bag says:
“Dry Roasted Peanuts
Ingredients: Peanuts, Dry Roasted, with Salt and Tapioca Dextrin.
Produced in a facility that process peanuts and other nuts.”
Like I didn’t know that dry roasted peanuts would be produced in a facility that processes peanuts! What else would they process there! Come on, really. That’s going just a LITTLE too far with CYA, don’t you think? If someone is allergic to nuts, don’t you think they would be smart enough to realize they shouldn’t eat peanuts, because they contain . . . peanuts? Wow.

Speaking of Wow, (I just can’t leave it alone). I guess that’s my new addiction. It’s a great stress relief, but I often wonder, how many of those female characters are actually guys (like me)? Who knows. I do have fun, though.

Small companies are interesting. After leaving a company of about 500, starting with a company of about 30 is a refreshing experience. I like the structure, or lack thereof. I like the unpretentiousness of the whole thing. Easy-going is a good description. I guess I didn’t explain WHY I’m on a plane for Orlando. 1st day on the job and already I’m going on a business trip! And of course Orlando is a good choice. The bad part is, today is Marie’s birthday, so I didn’t really get to see her except to wake her up this morning and say Happy Birthday. We did get two birthday dinners out, though. I guess that’s close to making up for it. I guess when I go down to Norfolk, I’ll have to make sure to take her with me.

I don’t want this to drag on, so I’ll stop for now. I’m really hoping the hotel has WiFi. If not, well, it’s not much of a hotel in my book. WiFi to me is just as important as cable TV in the room. For business people on the road, WiFi is a fact of life, and I don’t want to have to try to find a coffee house to connect at (and have to pay).

I’ll try to keep you updated more.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

OK, It's been a while.

I now have a new job. Well, I start on December 12th. I'm not leaving because of any problems at my current job. It just wasn't challenging me. You can only review so many documents and make so many PowerPoint slides. I guess it's just not my style.

Got a new toy the other day. My son saw it on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart and had to get it for me. It's a Homer Simpson that attaches to the dash board of your car. He has an automatic and a manual mode. In automatic mode, he has a motion sensor that makes him say things (I haven't decided if he is saying them to me, or the other drivers. I like to think it's the other drivers.). I think what sold my son was the phrase "Your child may be an honor student, but YOU'RE a MORON". He was in my hand for about 5 minutes before he was attached to my dash. The sensor is a little too sensitive, so he's on manual mode.

I've been really getting into WoW lately (which explains why I haven't blogged lately). I may be having too much fun. I now have 6 characters on 3 servers. Yesterday was a bummer. I don't remember where I was with my 25th level hunter, but all of a sudden, I lost my connection. No problem, I'm getting used to that. My Comcast connection drops a lot lately (ok. it may be me). So I try to get back on and I get a message saying the server has crashed! 40 minutes before we go into a dungeon together as a guild! BUMMER!

Thanksgiving dinner was good. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, Arabic rice (can't figure out how to spell it), and of course, chocolate chip pecan pie! Good food, good friends, good time. Didn't stay too long because Marie had to work at 5:00 AM the next day (BLACK FRIDAY!).

Well, time to go to church. Got to go.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Representative John P. Murtha, READ THIS

Thursday, I attempted to send an email to the Honorable Mr. Murtha from Pennsylvania. That email bounced. I tried a different email address this morning. That one bounced, too. How in the world can a member of congress know what his/her constituents thinks if there is no way to contact them except by snail mail or telephone? Mr. Murtha, please catch up with the times. I'm sure you have some staffers who understand how this internet thing that Mr. Gore came up with works. If you are one of Mr. Murtha's staffers, please pass this message along to him

Mr Murtha,

First, let me begin by thanking you for your service in Viet Nam. I, too, am a veteran. During my 21 years in the Air Force the Soviet Union fell, we drove Sadam out of Kuwait, and we struck back against the terrorists who attacked us on our homeland for the first time since the war of 1812.

I have to say, I believe you're comments are short sighted and just wrong. I fully support our current actions in Iraq. I won't go into details in this email, but if you want to know my opinion about this, please go to my blog at‑day.html. That should fully explain my feelings.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my message. If you would like to contact me, you can email me at

Somehow, I don't think he'll get this message.

Last night, I attended the dining out at the University of Maryland for Detachment 330. Great job, guys. My wife and I both had a great time, and the expressions on your faces when you each saw me for the first time was priceless.

Well, it's early, and I'm writing this in the dark in the hotel room in College Park while my wife is still sleeping (Boy, I'm a geek). My batteries are running down, so I'll close this for now and maybe post more later.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Angry at the press

OK. Now I'm really angry. Representative Murtha from Pennsylvania has spoken out against the war in Iraq. I never thought a retired Marine would behave like that. After 37 years in the Marine Corps, Colonel Murtha has turned against his commander in chief and said we need to pull out of Iraq NOW. My only guess is that he has been influenced by the press that only reports what they deem appropriate, i.e. nothing good, only bad. Please see my blog on Veteren's Day for my feelings on that.

I was so angry I sent him an email. That takes a lot. The last time I did something like that I was upset by a Focus on the Family show that I felt was misrepresenting the Truth. I felt better, but didn't resolve anything. Somehow I think this will be the same. Maybe I shouldn't be such a defeatist, but that's the way it seems.

OK. Enough gloom and doom. Tomorrow night is the dining out at AFROTC Detachment 330, University of Maryland. I'm looking forward to visiting with my kids again. I know. You aren't kids, but I feel like you're my kids. Now "shut up and color". :) I'll see you tomorrow.

Well, it's time for me to go kill something (virtually, of course).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Be careful who you point that finger at . . .

All I can say is it's been one of THOSE days.

All the complaining I do about the other drivers being stupid, all the complaining I do about other people doing stupid things in general, then I catch myself doing something stupid. Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Some days, I feel like Paul. You know, Paul, from the Bible. Look in the book of Romans, chapter 7, verse 15: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." I'm just glad I don't have to work my way into heaven. I'm sure I'd mess that up, too.

Why is it that some people just seem to have no people skills at all? They seem to be the smartest people in the world, but they can't seem to be nice or try to help. I remember reading about a study that said something about being a geek could be a mild form of autism. I can't find the original site. There's lots of stories about it, just google "geek mild autism" and you should find lots of stuff on it.

Well, World of Warcraft is a fun game. And it's definitely a time sink. But it is a fun one. Sometimes, there's just stuff I need to figure out, and sometimes, I give up and go ask my son "How do you do . . ." That's usually the easy way out.

I guess I'll go watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory now.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's day

I want to start by apologizing. I've not posted a lot this week. I've had a lot on my mind and had to go kill stuff in WoW.

Today is the 11th day of the 11th month. Last century it was called armistice day because that's when the armistice was signed ending the Great War (which we now call World War I). I guess since we had a World War II, and we are now in a Global War on Terrorism, would that make this the dreaded World War III we were so worried about in the '60s? Sure doesn't look like "The Day After".

I was listening to Janet Parshall's America on the way home from work yesterday. Really good radio program talking about what's going on in the world from a Christian prospective. She was talking to an "Independent Civilian Military Blogger" who is writing about what is going on in Iraq and Afganastan without any kind of "spin" on it. One of them is Michael Yon. Check it out.

She also talked about some new ads that are playing on Fox. They are interesting and they have a website, too. The Other Iraq. I don't know about that one. It sounds more like they are pushing for Kurdistani liberation from Iraq, and that would be a bad thing for the region, in my opinion.

As I said when I started, I'm playing World of Warcraft a lot now. When my wife works until 11:00 PM, what else is there to do? No worries, though. At least I get to take out my frustrations of multiple redirections at work by killing bad guys in a virtual world.

Thanks for reading my blog today. Remember to thank a veteran for his or her service. Remember, we have an all volunteer force now. If it weren't for the volunteers, you might have to go do things you wouldn't want to do. It brings to mind Jack Nicholson's speach from "A Few Good Men".
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Sometimes it seems that the press makes the military the vilian. If it weren't for the military, we wouldn't be here. Look at our history. This country exists because of a strong military. If you're a veteran reading this, thank you for standing on that wall.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Historic day

Well, today was an historic day for me. Today was the first time I voted as a civilian. And I was the 15th person to vote in our little town. As I said to the couple in front of me at the school while I was walking in to vote, if you waited until you were walking into the polling place to decide who to vote for, you're not paying attention to what's going on in the world around you. I guess it goes back to situational awareness again (check out some of my earlier blogs).

The great news is, NO MORE POLITICAL ADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(at least until next year)

I just heard on the news that the French government is thinking about calling in the military to take care of the rioting. Somehow, I don't think that's going to make a big difference.
"Excuse me, monsieur. Please put that bottle of gasoline down, or I will be forced to use this new gun and lessen it's resale value."

Well, World of Warcraft is a cool game. I have noticed something very interesting. It seems you can tell the age and sex of a player by the way they act. Here's two examples:
  1. My female night elf hunter is walking through the woods, and a male night elf comes up to her and just stands there staring. No text messages, nothing. I'm thinking "well, maybe they just are learning how to do this" but then I notice he is a 9th level, so he's been playing for quite a while (4 or 5 hours, at least). Just stood there and stared.
  2. Same character, and I notice a female cleric "prancing" through the forest. We party up (become a team, for those of you who don't play) and do a quest together. When we're done, I ask her if there's a quest she needs to get done, and she says "GTG help a friend". OK, no problem. Then she says "Is that OK?" And I'm thinking, just go do what you need to do. I can take care of myself.
1st example to me looked like a teenage boy, the second a girl. Just a guess, but that's what it looked like.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Election problems

OK. I'm getting tired of the political commercials on TV and all the junk filling my mailbox. Even the local elections here are getting to be mud slingers. One candidate says the other is lying about their record. The other one says the same thing. AAARRRRGGGG! Just once I want a politician who tells the WHOLE truth about what's going on.

Well, I guess the good news is that my election problem will be resolved on Tuesday. I bet we won't have more than a 10 or 15% turn out for voting. Maybe it's just the fact that I spent the past 20 years or so protecting this country that I feel that voting isn't optional.


OK. I've been wandering around on the net looking for mapping sites. I've found the obvious ones: Yahoo, Google, Mapquest. There's one with good maps of Europe and Asia called Multimap. Microsoft has Mapblast.

What I like best about Google is the satellite images and the map overlay you can do to see what it looks like, not just a "map". Google maps is cool.

Google has a free tool to look at satellite images of the earth. It's called Google Earth. You need an active internet connection to get good imagry, but it's a really cool toy to play with. Check it out.

I know. I missed yesterday's blog. I was playing WoW yesterday, trying to get my new characters up above 5th level. 2 words. Lag sucks. My night elf died 3 times in abour 2 minutes because of lag while I was fighting big ugly spiders. As I said before, cool game.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I'm really getting tired of people bashing the military. I hear so much on the news about "over 2000 casualties" so far in Iraq. The US lost 2000 alone on Omaha beach on D-day. Do these people actually think that the people of Iraq are less important than the people of FRANCE? What did France ever do for us? All they have ever done for the last 100 years is ask us for military help! Iraq had been oppressed since Saddam took power in 1979. And things were always going down hill, not getting better.

I think I know what the problem is. People in the US have become complacent. It seems the majority of this country thinks that if we just leave other countries alone, they will leave us alone. I guess they have forgotten what's been going on in this world since the 1983 Marine Barracks bombing. As far as I can tell, that was the first salvo in our current war. I guess we just didn't know we were at war until we got hit at home. And they tried once before 9/11 and we didn't get the point.

While I'm venting, let me talk about Ms Cindy Sheehan. Ms Sheehan's son Casey died in Iraq in 2004. He was an adult. He was 20 years old when he joined. He was capable of making his own decisions. Don't get me wrong. I feel for Ms Sheehan. I know it would hurt REALLY bad if my son were to die in combat. But I wouldn't try to use his honorable service against the country he died protecting. And what's Ms Sheehan's background, anyway? I can't find anything anywhere on the net about her. Yet she's the one that gets all the press. Her son Casey died a hero. She's using that to push her agenda.

Don't get me wrong. I support Ms Sheehan's right to voice her concerns. I spent 21 years defending her right to say what ever she wants to say. If I didn't, I'd be a hipocrite, because I'm voicing mine. But I think people should use a little common sense when they talk about people who died in Iraq. There is not one person on active duty today in the US military who did not volunteer to be in the military. There is no draft. I don't see one in the near future. It's too politically sensitive. I feel sorry that Ms Sheehan lost her son, but that's the price of freedom.

Just a few statistics. So far, 2040 military have died in Iraq since January 29th, 2002. That's 2040 people in 1374 days. Thats 1.484716 people per day. That's just a bit different from D-day.

Freedom isn't free.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Driven to Frustration

OK. Let me ask you a question. This may be a stupid question. I hope so.

Let's say you're driving down the highway at a high rate of speed (not exceeding the posted limit, of course). The driver of the car in front of you turns on his left turn signal. Here's the question. Do you pass that vehicle on the left, or slow down until after he changes lanes? Personnally, I wouldn't pass a vehicle on the left with a left turn signal on! That just seems STUPID!

OK. I feel better.

Now for the cool stuff. I learned today that mice sing. That's right. According to Washington University in St Louis, male mice sing to female mice to attract them. Check it out. See, guys, singing is NATURAL!

I installed World of Warcraft yesterday. Cool game, nice graphics. Now I just need to figure out all the little tricks, so I can play it well.

Well, it's that time of year again. Tom's Hardware has published the annual Holiday Buyers Guide. Check it out. The toys are cool.

Want to start planning for shopping the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday)? Well, check out this site. According to the site is meant to serve one purpose: to be the ultimate collection of rumored Black Friday 2005 deals. There are similar sites, but accept no immitations. Some similar sites liked parts of our design so much, they've blatently copied them. Last year, 2004, we were the largest, most-visited, most up-to-date site dedicated to Black Friday deals. It's just my way of giving back to the community.
Well, I guess that's it for today. Have a great one.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Where do you surf to?

Some people ask me where I spend my time on the 'net. Well, here's a few examples:

  • I like to read Slashdot for current high-tech news and information.
  • I look at for additional information, particularly about handheld computer stuff
  • I go to Engadget for cool new tech blogs and
  • I go to Ubergizmo for even more cool new tech blogs.
Also, since I have a home network and I'm extremely paranoid, I built a firewall to protect me from all the "bad guys" out there (the blackhats) who really want to get into my home network and take copies of all my vacation pictures and my Tivoed copies of Mythbusters. Well I use ClarkConnect, a Linux distro specifically for firewall. I'm using an old version, but 3.2 is in beta now. I'm going to get it as soon as it goes final.

A friend just sent me this link. It's so stupid it's funny. Enjoy the llama song!

OK. This was a bit random, but that's how today went.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Holiday or otherwise?

OK. I've had too many people ask me why I don't do Halloween. I look at it like this. I don't celebrate Cinco da Mayo, Hanukkah, Ramadan, the Queen's birthday, or anything like that. Why celebrate Halloween?

Most people don't know the origins of Halloween, so I'll try to enlighten you. Many people think of Halloween as just a harmless time when kids go out and beg for candy from the neighbors; and to tell the truth, I used to think the same thing. I started to understand the power that was available on Halloween around when I was in high school. I was starting to look into the occult at the time, and was digging around into things I really didn't understand. I figured that since I had ancestors who were accused of being witches, and there was some sort of "second sight" in my genetic make-up that I should try to take advantage of what I had. Well, I "out-grew" that stuff (actually, I scared myself out of it, but that's another story) and about 10 years later or so, we (my family and I) were living somewhere "out west", when we heard about kids "disappearing" around this time of year. I also heard about several groups involved in Satan worship in the area. With my understanding I put the two together (accurately or not) and decided that there was some sort of connection between the kids missing (and never reported found, BTW) and the Satan worship. I do know that there are groups out there that perform human sacrifice still. I know that this can be associated with Satan worship and that Samhain (the Celtic name for Halloween) is one of the 8 high (or low, depending on your point of view) days for Wicca and other anti-Christian religions. I can't find any good sites about Samhain, but you can check out and see some of the stuff out there.

You can believe it or not. I won't be wearing a "Halloween Costume" or handing out candy any time soon.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Idiots and Incompetents

OK. I guess I've figured out what my problem is. It's not people I don't like. It's idiots and incompetents.

How can you say you're a good driver if you don't have the situational awareness (SA) to know where the cars around you are? Most of the incompetent drivers around here have their brains six feet behind them on the highway. The have the SA of someone with ADHD.

The worst place for me I guess is the Wal-Mart parking lot. I don't care which Wal-Mart it is, but I always have problems with other drivers in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Incompetent drivers with no SA just driving around in the parking lot like it's empty. I know my car is small, but it's not INVISIBLE!!! But I guess because I have SA, I haven't gotten hit in the parking lot lately.

And don't get me started about I-95 between here and DC. And then there's the drivers in DC itself. Wow. How little SA can you really have!?!

Maybe it's a military thing. Maybe it's because I'm an INTP. Any suggestions?

On another point, today was the second Sunday we used OpenSong at church to show the words to the songs during services. Nothing but good comments! Actually, some of the folks almost raved about it. Great software. Can't wait until version 1.0 comes out. :)

BTW, Erin, I didn't think it was possible for me to get any cooler. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

First Post!

Well, here goes. Just to let you know, this is just going to be a stream-of-consciousness / rant blog, so, you've been warned.

It's a nice, quiet Saturday morning. The perfect time to start something new, like this. Sitting in the living room, watching all the home improvement stuff on TV while using my tablet PC in laptop mode to edit this junk.

When I was thinking about this yesterday, I was thinking about all the stuff I could post, ranting about traffic, the general decline of civility in the world, and lot's of other stuff. But I guess I've calmed down since then. Maybe by Monday I'll have more on some of that.

I saw a cool show for the first time last night. A friend introduced me to "Survivorman" on the Science channel (I don't get the Science channel but Comcast could fix that for me :)). Check out the website at Funny, informative, and cool.

I guess that's all for now, but I'll think of something soon and update this again. I want to make this a daily thing, but who knows, it may be more or less.