Friday, February 28, 2003

Top 10 Search Terms for Feb

Here are the top 10 search terms people used to find my website. I have combined those terms that were VERY similar to one another.

REQ | Search Term


26 - making fire in photoshop - Again this phrase brings a good number of people to my website.

22 - Poser Gallery - My gallery of art created by Poser is limited due to the fact that most of the images I make, I make for Melly, but I still get people checking out my site for them.

11 - Screen Destroyer - This is just the name of a picture I created but I find it odd that people are searching for this. Will someone please enlighten me?

9 - WinDVR2 - Ugh, again? I gotta quit mentioning this peice of crapola

9 - Flame Artwork - not only do people want to know how to make fire (digitally) but they want to see fire too. Pyros. ;)

7 - Archangel - I can't tell if they are interested in the Marvel Comics character or in the religious version.

5 - Entertainment PC case - Guess people are really getting into building entertainment PCs now. Unfortunatly I dont have a lot of info for these people.

5 - Micro ATX Flex Case Quiet USB - I don't fully understand what these people were looking for, but 5 people came to my site in search of it. Interesting.

5 - stainedglass - Huh?? I don't have anything about stainedglass on my website!

4 - Blender Artwork - I have a picture called Rainbow Caught in a Blender. But Blender is a freeware 3D application. I suspect that's what these people were really looking for.

Honorable mentions:

media snake - Must have been looking for info about the MPAA or the RIAA.

woman in neverwinter night gallery - Dude just play the game and you can see plenty of 3D women walking around. This one is a bit weird.

buffeting or explained or blinker or adjudged or deal - This one totally escapes me.

Ok it was a slow month in terms of good search phrases. Guess if I had boobs and talked about sex all the time or something I'd get more hits. Oh well.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Big Brother is back!

Read this FAQ regarding what Intel and Microsoft (along with others) want to do to your computer. It's a dangerous threat to computing as we know it and you should be aware of it. Ignore this issue at the risk of your freedoms and rights.

Shortcut for Windows 2000 and XP users

When walking away from my computer, at work, I like to "lock" my computer so no one can sit down and start fooling with my stuff.

The "normal" way to do this is to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and then click the "Lock Computer" button.

Well I discovered a shortcut! I totally stumbled on it. Hold the WINDOWS key, the one with the little windows flag on it, and then hit L.

Ok so it's pretty useless for those people who are running Windows 95/98/ME (I dont think it works on XP Home either), but I thought I'd share it anyway. Be thankful i'm so generous! LOL

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Fire Tutorial

I know it's not quite the end of the month yet, but I was checking out the popularity of my tutorials and I found that this month alone, I have had 49 unique hits to my website from web surfers searching for how to make fire in Photoshop. At this month! Ok for some people that's not much, but I'm pretty thrilled about it.

If you use the search phrase, "making fire in Photoshop" as 13 people did, I'm #1 in Google. Rock on! LOL

I really should get some more tutorials up on here too. I have a couple in my head, I've just never gotten around to writing them. Shame on me.

One would be for the game Neverwinter Nights. It has an editor with the game so you can create your own games, but there is one tricky thing that many othes mentioned, but they never went step-by-step and it took me a week to figure it out because no one went from start to finish.

The other is a long promised tutorial on how to import DEM (Digital Elevation Maps) into Terragen to create more realistic landscapes. Honestly I'm going to have to relearn that one. I think there is new software for it too, so that wouldn't be a terrible thing.

I'm also happy to create tutorials or answer questions, if I can.

Building an Entertainment PC

My entertainment PC list has helped Rita. I'm not entirely sure how she found my site, but she had a few questions. Here is what she wrote, followed by my answers, best I could do. Please keep in mind that I'm not rich nor are any of these companies giving me parts to test with. I do my best to research the hardware, but I cannot promise anything.

I liked the list you put together for possible entertainment PCs. I was thinking of building something similar and wondered if you have any input:
What do you think of the AMD version of the Shuttle system (sk41g) with the All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 and AMD XP2100? Do you think this would get too hot? The 7500 doesn't have a fan, and AMDs run hotter. If it doesn't get too hot it would cost about $200.- less (
Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. (I have the 7500 + AMD Tbird 900Mhz now and it seems fast enough for TV/DivX media. I don't know if the 8500 is worth the extra money for a non-gamer-any thoughts on this is also appreciated.)

The Shuttle mobo/case (SK41G) is a good case and has both positives and negatives regarding cooling.  One the plus side, it's aluminum which is much better at dissipating heat than the standard steel case.  The primary negative is the number of heat generating devices that you'll pack into they system. However as popular as these cases have become I would be very surprised if the heat levels reached unsatisfactory levels.  Especially since these cases are being snapped up by enthusiast builders, who tend to overclock.

Unfortunately, I have no proof of this and is purely conjecture.

You'll be fine with the ATI 7500 All-in-Wonder.  I believe the Remote-Wonder device will work with the older All-In-Wonder software as well, however that will be an additional purchase, if it's an issue for you.

I picked the 8500 because I was going to be doing both gaming and TV on it. I have actually since switched to an nVidia card for my gaming system, but
I'm still quite happy with the 8500.  But I doubt there is enough of a reason for you to upgrade, especially if you are not planning on gaming with it.

My TV system is running an original Athlon 900 (Slot-A) and it has no trouble with DVR functions.  The temperature, stays at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pretty basic heat sink.  You have more cooling options with yours than I do and you'll be able to cool yours equally well and likely better.

Believe it or not, your real temperature "bad boy" will more likely be your hard drive.  The 7200 rpm drives tend to run a bit hot.  If you are looking to get a larger hard drive, for recording, look at 100GB or larger.  Most of the reviews I have read show that the slower, 5400 rpm drives actually run as fast as smaller 7200 rpm drives because they have a very large cache, often 8MB.

With my 40GB (7200rpm) drive I had to purchase a hard drive cooling fan kit that sits under it.  I have a full tower, so I have room.  In the Shuttle case you are looking at you will not have that kind of space.

Another thing to consider is that you can tell Windows, in the Power Settings control panel, to turn off the hard drive after a period of time. If you are simply watching TV, not recording, let it turn off.  It'll reduce the temperature.

A lot of temperature will depend on how you use the system and where you place it in your room.  If it's buried it'll be hotter, than if it's exposed.

I hope this is helpful. If anyone notices any problems with any of this, please let me know. That's why I have a "comments" link.

F'n Snow

It's snowing AGAIN this morning. Ugh! This sucks. Glad I'm getting new tires put on my car this morning. Too bad they are better designed for rain than they are snow. Come on SPRING! Get here already will ya!

Monday, February 24, 2003

WebSite Update

I've updated, seriously, the photography section of my art gallery. It's not 100% complete at this point, but you are free to check out the changes. I've added a number of photos that were previously not availible on my website or were hidden. I'm not totally happy with the navigational design, but it'll do for the time being.

Part of the reason for this change was to remove the family photos that I had posted. My website gets a lot more hits than it used to and certain family members may prefer not to be posted up here. Also my website is intended to be a gallery of my artistic tallents. Most of the family photos are far from artsy.

I also wanted to reorganize the photos themselves. Now rather than being organized haphazardly by events or other criteria that made sense at the time, there are now basic catagories; Architecture, Art, Creatures, Flowers, Landscapes, and People. The last one, People, will be pretty small at first. I'm still not sure if portraits are my forte or not yet. Currently I just have a picture of my dad and my friend San. I had others but those are the ones I liked. Others were just personal, not artistic or particulary "good" photos.

Please be patient as I work on getting up the individual photo pages. Consider the thumbnails as teasers until then. ;)

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

This man said it right

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." - President John F. Kennedy, January 20 1961

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Why? One reason.

Saddam Hussein

I just watched "Why Can't They Kill Saddam?" on the History Channel. While I know some of it was likely propganda (who's going to call Saddam a sweety on American TV?) I feel confident that much of his history, that they brought up, was accurate. Regardless of the reasons leading up to or the excuses for the attrocities he and his goverment have commited, they are ruling through pure and simple terror.

Saddam has beaten the Iraqi people like dogs until they wimper and hide with their tails tucked between their legs. Talking out against Saddam is an offence that will get your tongue cut out. And you can bet that it wouldn't be at a hospital by a doctor with pain killers and a sharp scapel. No they'd drag your ass in the middle of a dusty square with people gathered around and remove your tongue with the first knife handy. It would be unlikely that the victim would have a doctor to care for him right away either.

The goverment has professional rapists on the payroll to torture and/or extract information from the women or the husbands/fathers of the women.

Saddam Hussein is not in power because the people want him. He is in power because he has scared the people beyond speaking.

I don't have an references so you can take this or leave it, but many of you have also read and listened to these same things. Many of the people of Iraq want Saddam out of power, preferably killed. Many even support the US doing it.

Saddam has been compared to Hitler in his sheer cruelty and lack of respect for life. Do we sit and let his terror continue? He and his goverment is the abusive husband and father who beats and terrorizes his family because he can. Because it keeps him in charge, in power. Are we the neighbor who turns his back and ignores what's going on? Saying it's none of our business? Or are we the neighbor who does something?

The UN wants to see more proof that this man is dangerous. How many people have to be tortured and die before they agree that he is evil and must be stopped? Are they blind?

Will innocents die if we go to war? Yes they will. Saddam will make sure of that. This man is not beyond using human shields. So if we go to war, we MUST win. We cannot let those who will be martyrs, of freedom for Iraq, to die in vain. There are things worth dying for. Things worth going to war for. The right to live your life in peace and security is one of them. The Iraqi people do NOT have those things. Things we have been taking for granted. America is not the terrorist here. Saddam is.

Saddam is the Al-Queda terrorist to his own people. He cares nothing for the people and only for his life and security. He wants people to think he is the savior of the Arab peoples. Driving out the westerners. Does a savior beat, kill, maim, rape and torture??

Don't turn your back and pretend these things aren't happening. To do so is to support it.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Say what?

I just heard the most absurd thing on tv. I was flipping through the channels and one of the news stations was focusing on peace demonstrations in New York City. The reporter was talking to a man, who looked like a fairly intelegent person, about a law suit that he and others are bringing up.

He wants to sue the government because he doesn't want his MARINE son to be killed or have to kill anyone. HELLO!!! He's a trained killer! That's his job. He joined the miltary to defend the United States and human life from scum like Saddam and Bin Laden.

Now I can understand the father not wanting to see he son killed, but it's the MILITARY. If that law suit goes through it will be a sad day for the protection of our country.

I'd like to hear from this Marine. Every Marine I've ever met has been amazingly loyal to the US and takes great pride in their training and their job. I suspect that the son of this dimwit is pretty upset with his father right now.

God that pisses me off. I didn't join the military because I'm a bit of a pacifist. I'd rather things not lead to war, but I doubt there is any other way. Eventually those two psychos are going to attack the US again. Better to be proactive. If we are reactive they will just pick at us over and over again. How many 9/11s need to happen?

Friday, February 14, 2003

Auto Badges

Someone hit my website searching for what the GLS badge (on VWs and perhaps other cars) ment. I was curious as well. So I did some hunting. Here is what I found:

  • GT = Gran Turismo (no not the game)
  • GTI = Same as GT, the I standing for Injected, for Fuel-Injected. Pointless in this day and is more used as a badge of honor rather than specific meaning.
  • GLX = GTI/GLI (according to VW) The X was probably introduced to ease the confusion after all the cars were fuel-injected, however GTI was/is still a very popular badge among enthusists.
  • GTO = Gran Turismo Omologato. The first part is Grand Touring, but Omologato translates to "Accredited" by Babelfish. According to various net sources it loosly means, "pieces from different cars."
  • GL = Gran Luxe. Grand Deluxe. Jetta GL isn't really either, but that's what I found for GL.
  • GLS = Gran Luxe "Sport"?
  • SX = Various meanings. Sports Crossover was a common one found, but it's likely that's a newer meaning. My opinion has always been SX=SuX. LOL
  • RX = Rotary Experimental. This is a Mazda specific code. Used on other cards it's likely to have a different meaning.

I'm stopping there because this is HARD and also I need to get out of here. If you have any additions or corrections, please submit them to my comments, just below.


Monday, February 10, 2003

Enough to drive you mad!

Well Linksys is right up there with Dell for long hold times. I've been waiting for support and probably an RMA to ship this piece of garbage back to them, for 40 minutes now. the first 20 were silent except for a recording occationally saying, "Thanks for waiting. A support representative will be with you shortly." YOU LIE!!!

Now I'm listening to really bad music. I have been for the past 20 minutes. No more deciteful messages, just really really bad music. Not even MUSAK. Just CRAPOLA!

When I finally get someone they'll probably be an idiot. ARGH!!!!

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Two Hours Later

Still snowing and it's really starting to stick now.

It's snowing AGAIN!

What gives? I live in Nashville. It's not supposed to do this.

Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Oh well, at least its the weekend. Maybe if it gets really bad I can stay home tomorrow. hehehe

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Potent Lyrics

I listen to Industrial music, a hard edged electronic genre. One of the bands I enjoy is Funker Vogt. I purchased their Survivor cd in January. There is a song on there that hits me in the face every time I hear it. Not because of the music but because of the lyrics. Lyrics that were written in the Spring of 2002.


They were fighting for land in earlier days

Wanting to extend their living space

They were fighting for their faith a thousand years

Call it holy war - it’s the sum of your fears

They are fighting for oil at the present time

Want to suppress all of these crimes

Fighting goes on in the next decade

It will never stop until it’s too late

They will fight for water not far from today

A limited resource after the decay

They were fighting for land in earlier days

Thought they were a superior race

History repeats itself

The war will soon begin

It’s already ten to twelve

We are almost within

A new war just started to avenge their nation

The war against terror - our new obligation

We are in a tunnel with no light at the end

The war is not over, there is more to defend

Written a year ago and it's still VERY current. And these guys are German, if you couldn't tell by the name. They have the balls to tell it how it is. None of this bubble-gum crap that you'll hear on the top-40 radio stations.

Thank god for blogs because otherwise I don't know if we Americans would even have a voice anymore, outside of CNN and other hyper-media.

I hope the lyrics are as strong to you.

Friday, February 07, 2003

My Very Own Nation!

Yes it's true. I rule my own nation.

It's still small and immature in some areas yet, but it's growing. The fact that I had the best defense, in my region, per captia should certainly help immigration. I'm sure in due time my nation, The Incorporated States of Hyperactivity, will become a thriving healthy country respected and envied by my neighbors.

Alright, here is the real deal. This is a little political game at It's really quite interesting. I'm sure Acidman would enjoy it. Be the ruler of your own nation. Make the rules as you see fit. But the thing I've found interesting is that some of the questions you are posed, political "issues" that you have to address are often more complicated than you realize at first. You may desire to be a nice country and end up being a police state. That is the fun thing about this. So far my country is staying pretty stable. There are certain things I wish were better, but I can't gripe too much. It IS a game after all.

Read the FAQ before you start to make sure this is something you'd really be interested in. The author admits that it's only fun for about a month before it starts to get repetative, but hey, what the heck right?

BTW, the flag up above is of my own design. Yes, you can design your own flag. Sure it's trivial, but you want your country to have some individuality don't ya?

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Don't Stop Reaching

With the terrible loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia I've started to think about the many times I've heard people comment about how the government is spending too much money on NASA. I hope those people are swallowing a bit of guilt today.

Columbia went up in its first flight back in April of 1981. Nearly 23 years ago! The Shuttle was designed in the 70's.

Do you realize that private individuals are reaching to the stars because the governments of the world are stuck in bureaucratic BS and cannot see the immediate benefits of space programs? In case you haven't heard about it, these individuals are going for the X Prize .

The real point is that both the governments of the world and the X Price participants are doing this all for what? The almighty dollar.

No one can see the reasons for investing in space because they cannot see how it'll benefit 'them'. Politicians don't want to support controversial and long term space programs because, first, they'll risk their political careers and second, they won't reap any benefits because the rewards will be too far in the future.

Hopefully the stock market crash will have proven the point that long term investments are still better than any short term gains.

We have a large moon full of resources that will help us further our reaches. We have an entire other planet with Mars. We have a whole belt of heavy ore asteroids. We have a VERY rich solar system. Do you think our planet is going to be able to sustain us at our present growth much longer?

Third world countries are waking up and wanting to grow. Well guess what they'll use to grow. Fossil fuels! And they are already highly limited. Sure they are renewable, over millions of years! Our energy needs as a world are increasing faster than oil can support it. But oil is cheap. We've learned well over the last 100 years how to harvest it cheaply.

Other fuels, solar, wind, hydrogen, etc. are better, stronger and more available. Hell hydrogen is the most abundant fuel on the planet. Of course it's volatile, but it is the fuel of tomorrow. We will burn this planet out of oil some day and if it's not developed then what? We go back to horse and buggy? Yea right.

Agencies like NASA have been instrumental in helping develop tomorrow but because people don't believe in what they are doing, they are loosing money. Sounds like the place is a bureaucratic nightmare already.

To be patriotic for a second (or anti, depending on how you want to look at it), why is the U.S. so focused on oil? What happened to our super clean and fuel efficient cars? The big automakers have fought tooth and nail against non-internal combustion engines. The few electric or hybrid cars on the road are considered a joke. And here we are driving gigantic gas guzzling SUVs??? Am I the only one standing here saying, WTF??!?!

Did you know Europe has been working strongly on hydrogen vehicles? Mercedes has been working on Hydrogen fuel cells since 1994! And only NOW is Bush pushing funding for them? Since when did the U.S. ride the coat tails of the rest of the world? I thought we were a world leader. Nope, we are just really good sales and marketing people.

It's been those sales and marketing people here in the U.S. still pushing the SUV. Notice how many SUV commercials you see on TV. When was the last time you heard one that said anything about fuel efficient? Notice how we gave up complaining about fuel prices. Kinda hard to bitch about how much you pay for fuel when you're vehicle costs $50+ to fill up, on standard unleaded.

That's why SUVs have become status symbols. They say, “Look at me, I can afford to waste money on fuel.” What a friggin joke!

Alright off the SUV soap box, you've all heard me bitch about that before.

The world MUST move beyond selfish goals and immediate reward or we, as a human race, are doomed.

This isn't about the United States vs. any one else. This is about the survival of the human race. But everyone wants. Everyone is so selfish they cannot see beyond their own goals. You know I recycle aluminum cans. I have actually been asked why I dump them in the basic bin instead of going to the pay recycling machine. It's not about me making money. It's about me doing my little part.

The world has to come together. Did you know countries are a relatively new invention. Sure there were loose empires through the history of civilized man, but not like what we have today. And they will fall too.

The European Union has possibilities, but even those member countries can't act for the good of the group. Imagine if California wanted to pull away from the rest of the U.S because they felt like they were supporting too many of the other poorer states. Their next door neighbor Nevada doesn't have anything but gambling. If you were a rich software engineer would you want a drunk womanizing gambler living next door to you?

But that's not how it works here in the US. The states are not independent. Will the EU become like the US. It's very possible. The US could even merge with Canada and Mexico. Well except for Quebec, they want to be part of France. ;)

If you look beyond today and even tomorrow, into the not so distant future it's plain to see that things will have to change. If they do not, we will spiral down into a hell on Earth.

Some groups, I won't point fingers, want to go back to old ways. Want to forget technology and money. Well there are two problems with that. One, money has always been around and will probably always be (more on that in a second). The second problem is that technology is a Pandoas Box. Once opened you cannot put back what has been released. Like cloning. It was discovered then suddenly we thought, “Humm maybe we shouldn't have released this into the world.” Too late. We will have cloned humans. No way getting around it.

The future will keep rolling on like a steam roller. Only if we are prepared with research and knowledge will we be able to survive and keep from getting flattened.

Those who served aboard Columbia and all the other Shuttles and all the NASA scientists and researchers deserve more respect than they get. My those we lost rest in peace. The died not for the United States or NASA but for every human on this planet. What they did was to better humanity. For that they will always be heroes in my book.

Finally, Acidman AKA Gut-Dude, wrote some strong words as well on his blog. We don't always agree and frankly I thought I might disagree with him on this issue, but I was happily surprised he and I are on the same side on this issue. Well I can't speak for him, but I agreed with him in any case.