Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Site Changes

The changes are subtle but I think they were worth while.

Actually most of the changes were done to my CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) file. What the hell is that you ask? It's a document that allows you to specialize the HTML tags. For example, if I want every bold item to also be red in color, you can do so with a style sheet. Then every time you use the bold tag it'll not only bold the text but turn it red. Ok so my explaination was a bit redundant, but what do you want for a two sentance CSS leason?

The biggest change is that all the text isn't bold anymore. What do you think of this change? Please let me know using the comment link below. PLEEEEEASE!!!

I also changed the logo from Flash to a simple GIF. You cannot tell the difference which is great.

Ok thats it. Now go away!

no no! Don't go, I was kidding really! I swear! i really do! Like a sailor! heh!

Graphing your Website (or Blog)

I was watching The ScreenSavers tonight on TechTV, yes because I'm a geek, duh. Anyway, they showed a neat little project called TouchGraph. Some of the stuff on the site didn't make that much sense to me, mostly because I didn't bother to read it, but the TG GoogleBrowser was what i really wanted to play with anyway.

Basically you just put in your URL in the field that is provided, click "Graph it!" and go. Oh BTW, it does require Java 1.3 or higher. Don't know if you have it? Well try running it. If it works, you do! If it doesn't, click here. (WebTV and other TV based Internet applicances will not work no matter what you do, they aren't "smart" enough to handle Java, plus the software is developed by Microsoft and they don't like Sun and Java.)

It's mostly a toy but it can tell you how your site links to others. It can be misleading though. The data comes from Google and if Google hasn't "touched" your site in awhile (or at all) the results may not reflect your current site and its' links.

I discovered that the format that I used to create a unique and fun design (layers) prevents Google from "spidering" my website properly. I also discovered that my logo, which is a Flash image, misleads the search engine spiders too. I am now armed with information that will allow me to modify my site so that it is more search engine friendly.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

IT vs. Upper Management

I had an interesting conversation with one of our sales reps today. We sell mid-range payroll/HR software. The sales person I was talking to noted that she often got in easier with a company when she talked to the upper management, CFO, and/or CEO of a company. Since our software costs many thousands of dollars they are often involved anyway. But the key is that the sales person sells the features and benifits to managment before the IT staff has a chance to evaluate and deside if the product will work with the current infrastructure.

I found this particularly interesting because it happened to our own company. Our current customer database application is crap and a real pain to administrate. My boss and myself were not consulted until after the product was purchased. The sales person who sold us the product went to the CEO and Sales VP directly. He did an awesome job of selling the product and then the IT staff got the shaft.

The product has had nothing but problems from the start and it has not gotten any better with two version upgrades. Now the sales person wants to sell us a newer more "powerful" product. I just found out about it and right now my boss and I are out of the loop, again.

Here is a quote from James Riis as posted at ZDNets' TalkBack section:

"It's quite a challenge to explain the benefits and differences between the $50 solution and the $500 dollar solution. For example, Great Plains and PeopleSoft both sell accounting software. While on the technical side it's easy to explain the performance and scalability differences. On the business side, each product handles the accounting work. So they then conclude that all things are equal, so choose the least expensive one.

I guess it's a lack of trust by the business folks. They believe that technology people want to implement the latest and greatest (aka most expensive)."

Frankly I'm not sure if that is the problem at my company or not but I'll stick my neck out on this one. I WILL NOT support another junk application. If given the chance I will research and evaluate every product that can do what we need, regardless of past loyalties or sales hype. As I discovered from my sales rep co-worker, sales people don't want to talk to IT. We are often (not always) too cautious to be caught up by sales hype.

Well it looks like it's little ol' me, Mr. IT boy against the big bosses. Good thing they like me a lot. I think they have to, they know I could wipe all the servers in about 5 minutes and since I built the network I could tear it down too. I would never do those things, but certainly that has to be in the back of thier heads. It wouldn't destroy the company, but it sure would make things hell for awhile. What they don't seem to understand is that the system is near hell already!

We are not a large company. Fourty employees is not too difficult for a single IT guy to manage. (My boss has other things he has to do, so IT is 98% mine) However with those 40 employees we have SEVEN databases. Only three of them can talk to each other, but they do not work together well. Of those 7 DBs, there are 4 different databases types too! Now it doesn't take an IT genious to realize that is a highly inefficient way to hold your data, especially when the data tables need to be linked!

Ok ok, enough bitching about work. I'll let you know how my battle goes. I've been pretty good at argueing my point when necessary, lets hope this doesn't become ugly.

Addicted to Blogging

I took this test and scored a wopping 0%!! Whooo! I'm only a looser in the blog world. (no comments from the peanut galley!)

Actually the test is a bit unrealistic due to its extream nature. I'm probably closer to 10-20%, depending on the day.

Umm...I can't think of anything else to write, so you see my score was accurate! LOL

Monday, July 29, 2002

God I need to get to bed

Ok, as i've said before I'm a link whore. I did say that before right? Gosh I hope I didn't forget the "link" part.

I've redone my links and added a "BLOG" section. Since my blog has been getting more attention, thanks to sweet Sugarmama, I've been getting more comments. Ok so I only have two. :P But to reward their commentary, even though one sounded mildly threatening. I'm not stealing anyones love slave!! I swear! ;) Oops trailed off, told you i'm tired. I added their blogs to my hall of shame...or fame, whatever.

There are a couple I added just cuz I thought they were cool, maybe if I'm cool too they'll write. Not to suggest that those who have written already aren't cool! Oh I'd never say such a thing! (Note: Sugarmama has not commented on my blog yet. :รพ )

It's just SOOOO nice to have fans! Oh shut up and let me have my little fantasy. Geez! Ruin it why don't ya!


Hey it may be immature and stupid...

But its still funny!

Go check out I will admit freely that these guys/gals collectively have the maturity of a 13 year old, but hey if we can't laugh at people who do and say stupid shit what can we laugh at?

My favorite sections thus far are:

  1. Legal Threats - A collection of silly "legal" requests, usually because SA said thier site sucked or something (rolling eyes). I question the validity of the "e-mails", but if you pretend for a little bit, these'll give ya a good chuckle. Or you may consider legal action against them.
  2. Photoshop Phriday - At some point somewhere on this site (I haven't bothered to look for it) there is a weekly theme and people with Photoshop skills (or some times those without skills) submit parody images. If you don't know what I mean go look, you'll understand.

In case you stumble across something on this site that you find disturbing or unsavory remember that I did not create the site. And I'm linking to a couple sections that I thought were funny, but this is far from a comprehensive review of thier site. They seem to have a thing for Henti (Japanese Anime Porn). Not my tastes, but hey whatever works for them. If you think that might offend you, don't click on that link.


Sunday, July 28, 2002

Open Office

As Zorak would say, "Stick it to the man!"

From the ranks of the Linux zealots and Sun Microsystems hatred of Microsoft comes, dun dunna duhhh...the OPEN OFFICE PROJECT! Finally us cheap bastards who have been pirating copies of Microsoft Office from friends, relatives and the work place have a totally free and usable office suite.Ok ok there was Suns' StarOffice 5.2 a few years ago. But it lacked two key things that OpenOffice 1.0 has.

The first is real usability. StarOffice was overly complex and confusing. Even to someone who knows applications (me!). Also it was so very different compared to Microsoft Office, which most of the world is familiar with using. It's hard to get momentum away from Microsoft when the general public, which barely was aware of it's existance and corperate America, who would have to retrain all it's users, most of which are as computer literate as a native of the Brazilian jungles, cannot see the cost savings. After all why use a free, but harder to use suite, that may or may not work properly with your system at work/school, when you can "borrow" a copy of Microsoft Office, for free, and have the consistancy and compatibility that you need. Most users at home AND the office didn't even realize they were breaking the law by doing so. After all it's a dubious law as it is.

That takes us to the second reason Sun's StarOffice didn't take off. Ok we kinda sorta covered it. Basically now, with Microsoft Office XP and all future releases, friends and family will not be able to borrow each others CDs. Now us cheapies will have to find alternatives. I don't know about you, but I'm not about to shell out $500-600 for Microsoft Office just to make sure my blog is spell checked! StarOffice is now at version 6.0 and they improved the problems I listed in part 1, however now they are charging for it! it's still reasonable, around $50-60. However, people are used to not having to pay for it. In a way it's become an expected part of the computer. You "have" to have a word processor and spreadsheet program. The other stuff is negotiable. Microsoft wants to gouge you for the privilage of using thier software. Screw that. Sun is being nice and reasonable. is saying, hey we're not perfect, but we're FREE!

Actually StarOffice and OpenOffice were being developed in tandem for quite some time until Sun broke off and decided to do some of thier own polishing. This means you'll get much of the compatibility and improved interface with OpenOffice, but without the small overhead cost that Sun is charging.

Is it perfect? Nope. Does it get the job done with minimal waste? You betcha! Most people don't use but 5% of all the "features" that are in Microsoft Word. You can be sure that 5% will work and work will in OpenOffice, as well as other popular features.

Bottom line is this. If you are a home user you shouldn't feel or be forced to use Microsoft products. Nor should you have to resort to stealing to get the tools you need at a reasonable price. Microsoft wants you to pay out the ass for a pretty basic product. And they wonder why people pirate it! It has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with market value. If people got thier moneys worth out of Word in a reasonable amount of time, so that the cost was offset by the gain, piracy would be much less than it is now. gives people a way to "stick it to the man" without breaking "the law".

We have a winna!

FINALLY! Someone actually commented on my blog!

Thank you Joan (Goddezz Bidch)! You win, umm... win the gradification of knowing you're the first? heh! Now you can call everyone else losers for not commenting. If I do they might not come back. I love ALL my readers! hahaha I'm such a blog whore.

It's nice to know someone is reading my babblings. LOL

Freak Hollow

Well my company had its summer picnic Friday. It was actually fun though there were a few individuals, who shall remain nameless that I could have lived without. But that isn't the freaky part. It was our location! A few people, one of them was one of the name, who incidently left early, suggested SMILEY HOLLOW. I was teasing the kids and telling them it was really Sleepy Hollow and they should run for the covered bridge if they saw the Headless Horseman. Yes, there WAS a covered bridge!

Looking at their website you'll see a few of the creepy smiley faces. They were every where! Ya know I don't like clowns and now these hick fools are trying to ruin my love for the smiley face! Ugh! Something unsettling about old satellite TV dishes painted yellow with black smiley faces on them, nailed to trees. Makes me think of that 80's B-horror flick, “Motel Hell” where the guests were knocked out, then “planted” in the ground only to be later smoked and processed into sausages.

Hey did I mention they had some really good smoked pulled BBQ pork? Not as good as Witt's or Hog Heaven, but it did the trick. They also had some very good corn bread cakes (like pancakes, but make with cornbread mix, for those not from or in the south.), corn on the cob and BBQ baked beans, though I'm some what suspicious that the beans were from a can not homemade.

They had their own mini-golf putting range, horseshoes “rings” and basket ball hoops. There was sand volleyball, but my company isn't exactly full of energetic young athletes. A few of the guys look like they are pregnant! When are you due boss? Heh ;)

All in all it was good because people couldn't run off and do their own things. It was small and quaint. About perfect for the size of our company. And since most of the employees have families there were kids every where and there was plenty for them to do.

Ok so the place was a bit seedy and when I visited the website I about fell out of my chair laughing. I didn't think they were serious at first! The website is still a joke, but hey I had a good time anyway. Mostly cuz there were little kids every where. :) I'm just a big little kid after all.

Nope I'm not gonna bitch about the government or the entertainment industries today.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Did the RIAA win or lose?

A moot point since they will loose in the end anyway, but here are some thoughts:

Brian Ansorge wrote, refering to the article "FM station: Copyright fees killed Webcast":

This will all be a moot point when we (I am one) artists get smart and ELIMINATE the MIDDLE WO/MEN.

That would include the RIAA, ASCAP, BMI . . . all the b$@%@*ds.

That's what this technology is going to facilitate.

I can't wait.

Glad to hear from an artist finally. Especially one who sees what is going on and how to take advantage of it. The old gaurd record companies and their SS guard (RIAA)are loosing favor and rather than change their policies and business practices to tap into a new and very powerful market they are whining to and paying off goverment officials in the hopes that laws will be created to keep the old business practices in place.

I suspect they know they are failing but are unwilling to accept it and will kick and scream until finally they are no more.

They are currently already not needed. The tools and infrastructure are already well established and in place for the individual artists to distribute their music over the Internet. Many are already doing it and as contracts run out, even the bigger artists will begin to see the light.

Artists work hard to make thier music. I respect thier efforts a great deal and I support them as best I can. But frankly as things stand now even, unless you see them walking on the street and hand them $20 for thier efforts, they really aren't getting what they deserve, period.

I'm not talking about the top 40 artists who make up a tiny percentage of the total artists out there either.

Ah screw it, you all can see it, if you choose to. Hiding behind bad laws and twisted logic may work for some, but the rest of us will see the realities of the situation and do what we can to fix or at the very least, point out the problems.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Hysterical Paranoia Strikes Again!

What is most sad about this is that this story is coming from Australia. I've not heard any mention of this here in the States until now.

The goverment is now going to have a bunch of volunteer citizen spies. Oh wonderful! So that nosely old lady that lives next door will now have government backing for sticking her nose in your business. This is exactly the sort of thing we SHOULDN'T do. The idea is that it'll help the goverment know about terrorist plots and other criminal activities. That's all fine and dandy if you buy into the "if your not doing anything wrong, whats the problem" ideology. Personally I think that is flawed. This is simply Big Brother keeping an eye on you through the use of Little Brothers.

What about those who will abuse this program. Do you really think the government is going to have a strong qualification program for those who wish to participate? If you think they will you're fooling yourself. The application process will likely be screened by ill trained local agents who will let voyuers, thieves, spies and other agents who have NO business having this kind of authorization.

The local voyuer may simply flash his credentials in the TIPS program and be let off easy for peeping in windows. Thieves will be able to legally scope out a potential target. When someone approches them, they can just say they are part of the TIPS program and be left at that.

This isn't the Neighborhood Watch Program here. This could go a LONG way to damaging our freedoms. We don't live in Nazi Germany. We don't need citizen spies! I urge you to write your government officials and fight this!

Monday, July 15, 2002


Play PONG online! This rocks! The computer is really hard though. But man o man this brings back some memories! Great way to waste time too! ;)

I think I'm turning PC!

I've been reading a few other blogs here and there and I realized that I've become or have always been a big wuss! These guys speak thier minds and that is cool. Sure its a bit caustic, but they don't hide behind politically correct words and phrases!

I've always considered myself just middle of the road. Live and let live. Don't judge others. Etc. etc. But does this mean I'm open minded or just a wimp for not stating what I really feel.

Honestly it does depend on the situation. Take illegal drugs for example. I wouldn't do partake myself, but that's just cuz I act like i'm on speed all the time anyway. *grin* But seriously, I don't feel the need for them. Others may though. It's more complicated than saying, "As long as it doesn't hurt me, I don't care." Frankly the organized crime that distributes the drugs is more dangerous to society than the drugs themselves. There are many very compelling reasons to make them all legal. Alcohol is legal and look how many people it kills, but making it illegal only causes social dissidence and revolt, been there, tried that. The cost to asist those with problems would be much less than "The War on Drugs".

I don't know what those dumb asses on capital hill are thinking, but some where someone's pockets are getting lined with filthy cash. Bastards.

Saturday, July 13, 2002


Created with Curious Labs' Poser 4.0 (formly owned by MetaCreations). I was attempting to model my own face and was having little luck. So I started playing with expressions. This one stood out as speaking volumes!

It's as if he's been acused of something that he is guilty of. This guy has no poker face! He's trying to look innocent, as if he doesn't know what is going on. He also has a hint of anger in his lips, as if he's going to try shifting the blame.

Let me know what you think he's thinking. Use the "comments" link below to add your thoughts.

Click the image to see a larger view. Or view it on

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Flowers vs. The Sims

I was out shopping today and something struck me as interesting. I was considering why people enjoy planting flowers. They are hard to grow and often die quickly. They also are very pretty though. I thought about my own flowers. (Yes, I have flowers, what of it?)

I take pleasure in the challenge of keeping them alive and seeing just how big and beautiful they can become. I recently was on vacation and had a friend water and feed my cat. She took care of my interior plants too, but I neglected to mention the flowers outside. She didn’t notice them and they were near death when I got back. Since then I’ve managed to nurse many of them back. Some were too far gone already. Some I thought I could save but ultimately wilted away. However the others are coming back now. They have a little ways to go before they’ll be what they were, but still it feels great to see them continue.

I suddenly realized that I often feel that way when playing simulated games on my PC. Take The SIMS for instance. Here you have to nurture a simulated person (or people), their home and their job(s). What I realized though was that on the computer the rules are slightly different. And not necessarily in a good way.

With my flowers, if they die I have to go buy more. I have a financial “punishment” if I don’t care for them. With The SIMS I could let them die, neglect them, smother them, etc etc. That is good in that you can explore the infinite possibilities, but bad because there is no consequence. If your person dies, you start over. You may feel a little guilt or remorse if you worked hard on that sim or had grown attached to them. (Yes it can and does happen.) However if you let them die you don’t get in trouble. Not really. Over time this jades the creator. They become more and more resistant to feeling bad for their loss. In time this carries over into the real world.

I’m certainly not saying all games are bad, but simulated activities should be watched carefully. Don’t loose your soul to the sim.

There are certainly many sims where attempting the simulated activity in the real world is impossible or impractical. The old classic Maxis game, SimEarth is a good example. No one is ever going to be able to practice terraforming a planet any other way. Perhaps you have a dream of flying but you simply don’t have the money to take flying lessons and rent or buy an airplane, a flight sim would be a solution to that problem.

Sims have their place, but I think many people neglect the simple pleasures and real rewards and punishments that the real world provides. Those rewards and punishments cannot be neglected by the children and teens (and adults) of today or tomorrow we may find our society has completely forgotten how to be responsible for their actions and understand they will be punished if they do wrong. Unfortunately we can already see society moving in this direction.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Interstate Speed Limits

I'll be the first to admit that I like to drive fast and unimpeded. But there should be better rules for driving on the interstate. Note, I'm refering to the interstate system alone, not highways or city streets.

Rule 1 - You should not be allowed to drive on the interstate if you cannot or will not drive, at minimum, 10 MPH less than the posted limit. That means no slower than 60 MPH if the limit is 70 MPH. Traffic volume, in during rush hour, is an obvious exception.

If your car is not capible of driving interstate speeds or is unsafe at those speeds, what in friggin world are you doing on the interstate to start with!?!?! I see this all the time. Old klunker vehicles that look like they were driven out of the junk heap crawling down the interstate. Where is the state patrol for these morons? And what about the local heavy haulers. I'm not talking about the big rigs that ship products all over the nation. Those guys keep up and drive with manners and caution (generally). I'm talking about the local gravel hauler or waste hauler. They lumber off the on ramp at barely merge speed and tie everything into knots. It makes no sense.

If there were no other ways to get around it would make sense. But there are almost always other highways or local roads that parallel the interstates. There are exceptions, always are, however those exceptions usually are in remote areas where traffic isn't a problem. So, those people who cant or are unwilling to drive the speed limit ("its too fast!") should take alternate routes and let us who are capible use this wonderful method of getting around quickly.

Rule 2 - Fast Traffic goes in the left lane. Slow traffic goes in the right lane. This should be common sense for everyone, however there are a lot of people who apparently don't understand this very basic and well known rule. It should be in the driving tests!

Every day it seems like I get behind someone in the fast lane who is driving slow for no apparent reason. I'm not talking about coming up on them at 90 MPH either. I'm talking about driving the speed limit and coming up behind them, in 3 and 4 lane interstate roads no less! Hey I know I feel more comfortable over there in the left lane myself. Especially in traffic as there is a nice wide left-hand shoulder to pull off onto if traffic halts very quickly. Whomever came up with that idea was a genious. Anyway, if someone comes up on my butt I let them by as quickly as I can. I don't understand why others can't seem to get this concept. I suppose they think they know better than you and deside they will force you to slow down. Well not only is this dangerous it is infuriating. Those two together make it even more dangerous. The faster driver is going to get upset, impairing thier driving with anger. The faster driver is likely to ride the butt of the slower driver making the chances for an accident higher.

Now if that slower driver was to speed up for a moment to get past a car in the right lane and then pull into that right lane as well, everyone would be happy. The faster driver could speed along and the slower driver would not be in immediate danger. Slow drivers in the fast lane are simply dangerous. There is no question about it. Who made them honorary state patrol, to keep peoples speed down. I don't know one person who has ever complained about a slow driver in the far right lane.

Rule 3 - Blinkers are MANDATORY

I get mad when people don't use thier blinkers in the city, but generally you are going slow enough to react to those idiots, if you pay attention. But on the interstate, especailly multi-lane interstates, you really NEED them. If you look to your right, to drop into one of the slower lanes, there is no one there, you feel secure. But if suddenly someone in the right lane next to it desides to merge into the lane you were about to, how are you going to know without blinkers? I can tell when a car in front of me is going to go based on how the driver acts, regardless of thier blinker use (most of the time). But you don't have the time to study the drivers to your left or your right except at a glance. A blinker is a very telling sign that they are doing something. Without it you just don't know until they make thier move.

So, if someone doesn't use thier blinker and they cause an accident because of thier lack of use, they should go to jail, loose thier license or pay a heavy fine. I don't know the typical way a state patrol officer would handle this situation, but I bet generally its treated pretty lightly. But it shouldn't be. They wouldn't be let off the hook if they drive with no headlights, though I see that sometimes too. These people are putting other innocent peoples lives at risk, yet there is no strong deturing mechanisim to stop them from doing just that.

Why do you think road rage is such an epidemic on the interstates and highways? Because there are drivers out there who do not consider thier fellow drivers. Hey I drive fast, but when I get behind someone slow, I try to cool myself off and back off and remind myself that I'm not in a hurry. However, at the same time, the people who are driving slow, or not using thier blinkers or have other automotive issues that could put others at risk, need to consider what they are doing. They need to take responsiblity for thier actions. And there needs to be REAL consequences when they choose not to. And that includes me and every other fast and sporty driver.

Just as an FYI, I avoid changing lanes every 5 seconds. I see others jockeying for position all the time and they are even more dangerous than the slow people, but the traffic jockeys are much more rare than the crawlers. I consider myself sporty but safe and considerate. I use my blinker about 95% of the time. I will admit that I occationally forget myself, but not in high traffic situations. I drive fast, but I maintain a safe speed for those around me. I pull over into a slower lane for faster traffic. I don't honk or flip off slow drivers, even though I'm tempted. If someone wants to merge, as long as they use thier blinker, I'm more than happy to allow them in. Don't use your blinker, you can sit and wait or try forcing your way in like a prick. It's up to you.

Ahhh...I feel better now for having ranted and raved for a bit. Just be happy I didn't get into my lothing of SUVs. ;)

Monday, July 01, 2002

Comments Please

I've added a new feature. You can now make comments to my blog entries. Please take the time to write me if you have comments to make. I appreciate any and all comments.


Quicktime VR

Try these out and see what you think. Warning, these Quicktime files are large.

Percy Warner Park (3.89 MBs)

My Living Room (2.44 MBs)