Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Top 10 video games parents should be wary of

Ok first off, every one of the games on the list are rated "M" for MATURE. Children should never have access to these games to start with but apparently over-zelous groups feel it needs to be stressed further.

CNN Money, 'Doom 3' vs. 'Madden'
Interest group identifies video games it says are inappropriate and appropriate for kids.

While there are some good points in the article the bottom line is that it's parents responsiblity to know what their kids are playing. A friend of mine and his wife have strict rules as to which games can be played at their house. Most games rated T are still out of the question because their youngest is not yet of that age. Some of those games have been racing games such as Test Drive: Eve of Destruction, because of, "Mild Lyrics, Mild Violence, Simulated Gambling". The lyrics are in the music that is playing, which you can turn off. The violence is inherent in the game as it's demolition derby. The gambling is, you race other players for money. Most of these themes are not beyond a 9-13 year old and other games have 'gambling' but since it's not with 'money' they don't have a problem with it.

The point of this is that parents have to judge games for themselves. Ratings are there to guide, but are not fool proof. But it's pretty clear that most Mature rated games don't need to be in the hands of younger children. They suggest 17 and up. That's reasonable for most.

This is no different than movie ratings, which personally I feel have degraded badly in recent years, but for some reason it's a big deal because video games are supposedly precieved to be only for kids. That's a bunch of crap there. Most of us who grew up on Pong, Atari and even NES are now adults and we still like to play video games. As we've grown our tastes and themes have changed. Jumping for magic mushrooms and the like evolved. We want more story. Look at how amazingly successful Myst was/is. It has no major violence and killing or sex, but it had a great story and puzzles that were geared to a more developed mind. An eight year old even today would likely be frustrated or bored with Myst as it's a bit more than the average child intellect can deal with. Not to suggest there are none, I know of some myself.

As technology has improved so has game-play and story. Games coming out today have more im common with movies than they do computer programming. Developers utilize the same technology to develop creatures and special effects. Games today have better special effects than some movies just 5-10 years ago. We can play live action rendered on-the-fly 3D games that are nearly as beautiful as Toy Story when it came out and that took hours per frame of film!

For some reason parents seem to treat games like movies though. They don't restrict when they should. I saw a whole family come into the theater to see Hellboy when it came out. While it wasn't rated R it certainly was not acceptable for a 3-5 year old little girl, such as they had with them. The father had to take her out after the first 30 minutes and frankly that was probably too long.

Where did peoples brains and good judgment go? If you're a parent you should know what you are buying your children, not just getting something because its on their wish list. And explain to them why they cannot have it. You think my friends kids are happy about being restricted from more mature games? His son wants to play Grand Theft Auto and other such games because they look (and are) cool to play. But rules are there for a reason. Some of the things you can do in those games a pre/early teen doesn't need to be exposed to just yet.

Adults know the difference between entertainment and reality. Children build their perceptions of reality based on their experiences. Giving them these experiences before they are ready to realize it cannot be reality can be dangerous.

It's easy for me to preach not having any children yet and I recognize there are likly things I'm not considering from a parent perspective, but I'd still argue that parents have to regulate their children. That responsiblity is not that of game maker or retailers who sell them. A video game store like EB Games has the responsiblity, as a theatre does, to prevent minors from buying a mature rated game (or see a rated R movie), but if the parents buy it for their child, the parent is the guilty party, not the store.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Settling In

Melly and I are starting to turn our house into a home. When I first moved in the place was pretty empty and I just lived in the rooms I need to use. It was definitly a bachelor pad.

Now it's very different. The rooms are filling out nicely and it's looking more like a real home, not just a half empty house.

There are lots of things that still need to be done yet, but if you consider Melly has only been here for about 2 weeks, though it seems like its been longer (good thing), things have come a long way in a very short amount of time.

The cats are getting used to things too. I think they enjoy the new stuff to check out. Loki is starting to get comfortable with Melly, but he's still a bit of a spook around her though.

Without going into all the details, I know I'm really excited about all the stuff that's happened. I believe Melly feels the same. I hope she feels more at home now. I know I do.!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Moving and moving in

I flew up to get Melly on Halloween. She met me at the airport with her van, hauling a large 6x12 UHaul trailer. Both the van and trailer were packed full.

Since I didn't check any luggage, I slung my bag on my shoulder, after a warm hug and kiss, and we walked out to the parking lot.

Bertha, as we affectionately named Melly's van, worked hard pulling the trailer, but nothing too terrible. She struggled up a few of the mountains and bumps were murder, felt like the whole ass end of the van was going to yank off. Once she was on nice smooth interstates she did fine though.

The first night we ended up stopping at the Bates Hotel. Not really, but it was kinda freaky like that. It was only $45 for the night though and it was dark and rainy, so it was for the best we stop that night. The bed wasn't the most comfortable and they only got one channel that wasn't fuzzy, but it was a place to rest.

By Tuesday we made it home. I was pooped! Melly did some driving, but I did a majority. I didn't mind, she wasn't real comfortable in the heavier traffic, especially with the trailer. It was a pretty trip, but it'll be much better next time with no trailer to worry about. Next time being a road trip or vacation, not a move.

Melly seems to be getting adjusted. I know its not easy for her all the time though. She left behind all she knew. She probably feels a bit trapped sometimes too. I consider it OUR home, but the reality is that it's in my name and she is well aware of that. I think she oaccationally feels that she's at my mercy. Even thought she is completely safe with me and I would never take advantage of the situation not having a job and being dependant on me makes that more difficult for her. I think time and her finding a job that she likes will make that easier for her.

She's looking for jobs already, but she wants to take her time finding one. To find the right job and to get used to the traffic and area here. I totally and completely support that. The original plan, before she moved here, was for her to take about two months to get settled. I think that's still viable.

She has already made a huge impact on the house. It looks more like a home now. A womans touch makes a HUGE difference. I really like the changes she's made. It makes the place more comfortable and inviting. We still have a lot we want to do, but it's coming together now. It's really great working on the place together as a couple.

So while we both have some growing and adjusting to do being in the same house and dealing with one another every day like that, it's been great. It feels very natural to me. It doesn't feel forced. She doesn't just feel like a room mate, she's the woman I want to spend my life with, all of it.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Big Week Ahead!

I'm really excited about this weekend and the coming week! Melly is moving down! Sunday I'm flying up to meet her and we are driving down.

At first I really wanted to get back here fast, but now I think it will be more enjoyable and less stressful if we just drive more relaxed. Drive until we are tired and be comfortable calling it a day. Why push it?

For the last month or so we've both been excited and scared to various levels about the move. Now it's only days away and it's like WOW!

We are both starting a new chapter in our lives, one we will write together. It's an amazing and wonderful thing!

Thursday, September 16, 2004


I havent written in awhile and I wanted everyone to know I'm safe and ok. I've just been terribly busy with the house and school. Once I get settled more, I hope I'll have more time to write. I don't even have much time here at work. We are about to launch our new website, that I designed, we have a users conference that envolves the entire company AND later next month we'l be getting in a bunch of new computers to replace some old ones. Lots on my plate. Wow! I'm busier than I realized! I guess I better get back to it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The house is mine! All mine! Muahaha!

Well it's official. I'm now a home owner! Wish me luck.

I've not moved in yet, so I'm not totally sure what I've gotten myself into yet, but I'm excited right now.

So thus opens a new chapter in my life, exciting and scary.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Black Lists vs. Individual Filters

I've been working with our customer mass email list today. This is a list that we use to notify our customers when software updates are ready, federal or state news pertaining to HR or Payroll and yes, some marketing. Our customers request to be on this list, so even the marketing materials are NOT spam.

We use a product/service called They provide the means to send to these large lists, while providing statistics and other handy tools. They have strict rules governing their use and they do not tolerate clients using their services to send spam. They want to remain on the good side of the very narrow line between legitimate marketing email and spam.

Some of our customers ISPs or even their internal IT departments refuse to open up their server level filters to us, leaving us and our contact at that company with no reasonable option. Basically they are out of luck.

I've seen this kind of spam filtering before and while it's quite effective at blocking junk email, it has a high rate of false-positives. In other words, lots of legitimate email gets filtered out as well. Personally I feel this is much too drastic, especially when the email administrator is unwilling to give his/her users an flexibility. A few of our customers' ISPs were quite willing to open up our emails to our client. Others almost laughed in their faces and said, "In your dreams!" Email Dictators!

What we use here, where I work (I use it at home too), is a much more personalized approch, where the end user can make the determination of whether the email is junk or not. It's a free open-source product called "SpamBayes". You can get it from SourceForge. It's a great filter that 'learns' through a little training what is spam and what is 'ham' (good email). Through statistical analysis it is quite successful at moving junk into the junk folder and it also has a nice 'suspects' folder for those emails that it's not quite sure about.

Since implementing SpamBayes the users here have been a LOT happier and I very rarely hear any problems about junk mail now. If you're a home user or work user, take a look at this product. If you have a lot of issues with junk mail, you'll like this product and solution a lot more than letting your ISP screen everything.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Out with the old...

I removed a couple blogs (from the left) that I wasn't reading any more. I also removed a couple links on the right as well. I use them for my own personal use as much as 'advertising' other peoples sites. They were simply taking up space. Away with you!

I did, however, add a new blog. Alton Browns' Rants & Raves. Those of you who don't know who he is, he's the host of Good Eats on the Food Network. It's a great show, informative and entertaining at the same time. Of course the same could be said for Iron Chef, but most of that stuff I wouldn't want to eat.

Anyway, I found his blog to be as entertaining as his show, though with a slightly sharper edge, though I believe that to be a good thing. Tell it how you mean it AB!

If you have never seen Good Eats, try it a couple times, you might like it. It's on at 6 PM CST/7 PM EST. Mountain and Pacific time zones, your on your own.

Scary Dream

I'm not usually one to succumb to scary images. I enjoy reading Clive Barker books and his movies. I rather enjoyed the Resident Evil movie. Though I've never played the game I have played Silent Hill. Scary images like that normally don't bother me, but last night they did.

I was in a game, remotely controlling a weird little tribble like thing, but it would mutate into a big nasty monster if it fed. But that never happened. It died. Then I had to walk the halls by myself. It was a business hall. Almost like a hall in a school or hospital, with doors here and there. I walked deeper in and around a corner. There were elevators, but they were broken. Then I had to walk back, but the lights had gone very dim, almost dark. Pretty soon most of the illumination was coming from the lights further down the hall, where they had not shut off. Lots of long shadows and grainy darkness. There was a door to my right. I turned to it and tried the knob gently. In my hand it started turning back and forth quickly and loudly, as if someone on the other side was trying to open it too, but it was locked. Then the door opened suddenly, to darkness.

I'm not sure what it means, if anything, but sleeping afterwards was difficult and all other dreams after that were shrouded in gloom. Must have been something I ate. LOL

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Those who know me well know I can be a stubborn man. It's not like I'm stupid

stubborn, but I know I can do anything I set my mind to. It might take
me longer or require me to request the aid of an expert, but I'll do it.

Well I've been challenged. I don't think it was an intentional challenge, but
the gantlet has been thrown. My parents don't believe I can handle the house
I'm buying. I don't think it's about the payments or if I can handle home ownership.
I believe they feel I cannot handle working on the house. It does need
some work, but not a lot. There are a few rooms I'll want to remodel eventually,
but for now they are fine. The kitchen and bathroom are a bit dated, but quite
functional. The den and office have some cheap paneling up on the walls and
ceiling that I would like to replace with drywall. There are some minor drainage
issues too, but a spade, gravel and some perforated pipe will go a long way
towards fixing that.

Is this house going to be work? Yes it is? Are there more skilled and qualified
people that could make this house into more that I could? Probably? Does that
mean I can't do it though? No it doesn't. I may have to pay a bit more here
and there but I can also save money here and there because of the friends I
have and their friends who do many of the things I'll be wanting to do. For
instance, my office roomies' husband used to build cabinets. Who's to say I
couldn't save hundreds if not thousands of dollars hiring him to build custom
cabinets, rather than buy expensive pre-fab units?

Bottom line is that if someone (parents or otherwise) is going to try to talk
me out of something, never question my ability to handle it. I'll do it just
to prove them wrong and I'll do it WELL.

Monday, August 09, 2004


I guess I should write and explain that I'm buying a house. The link on my previous post goes to a gallery of pictures of the house.

Some details:

  1. It's 52 years old (built in 1952 for those bad at math, myself included)
  2. I close on August 31st, but we may try to close sooner if possible.
  3. It's on 0.97 acres of land, so you can be sure I'll be busy caring for that yard!
  4. It's about 2000 sq ft of house, but there is a good portion of the basement that they counted as livable space that'll need some serious TLC before it'll be usable, but that's not a problem. The upstairs is in great shape.
  5. Officially it's 3 bedrooms, 2 bath. The reality is there are 2 usable bedrooms and one bath. In the basement is a cave that could be a bedroom, but will be eventually converted into an office and then there is the 3/4 bathroom. It's cramped but functional.
  6. It has a nice patio out back for BBQs and entertaining.
  7. REAL hardwood floors. I'll be having them refinished before moving in as the current owners tried to redo them and kinda crapped them up, but luckly, no damage, just a poor job.
  8. The kitchen has a nice new tile floor.
  9. The sweet refrigerator with a water filtration system is staying.
  10. It's in a GREAT neighborhood, with little to no traffic, except for the local residents. In other words there are no through roads, so no one will try to use the neighborhood as a shortcut.
  11. It's physically closer to work, but I think the commute will be as long. There is more traffic on this side of town.
  12. I'm only 5-10 minutes away from a nice large mall with a huge megaplex movie theater, including an IMAX screen.
I'm sure there are lots and lots of other good and bad things about the house that I'm still going to discover. I'm quite confident the house will be a nice one though. I like the idea of eventually redoing the basement. It'll be a fun project. And of course none of it has to happen right away since the main floor is in great shape. We'll probably get settled in first and furnish the place before looking to do a lot of remodeling. Little projects here and there. It doesn't have to be done tomorrow. I'll have to keep reminding myself of that. I can be a bit impatient sometimes.

I'm having it inspected tonight. Hopefully the inspection goes well. If not I'll have to start over. If it goes well then it's just a matter of getting everything wrapped up and waiting for the bank. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lyrical fuel for the political fires

I wonder who they were talking about here? (yes I know I'm being sarcastic)

Stars & Stripes

A tyrant is a man who allows his people no freedom
Who is puffed-up by pride
Driven by the lust of power
Impelled by greed
Provoked by thirst for fame

Divided and conquered
Gripped by fear
Wishful thinking that it can't happen hear
It's well underways but nobody knows
A repeat of history
That's how it goes

Tell the people that they're under attack
By man-eating foes from mars or iraq
Mobilize outrage
Muzzle dissent
Send in the troops
Strike the pre-empt

Stars & stripes
Learn how to fight
We come together by the dawn of the light
Oh so proudly we hail as the rockets red glare
Stars & stripes

Control the airwaves
Fuel the reaction
Use every weapon of mass-distraction
Turn active people into passive consumers
Feed 'em bogus polls and harebrained rumours

Cut back civil rights
Make no mistake
Tell 'em homeland security is now at stake
Whip up a frenzy keep 'em suspended
Don't let 'em know that their liberty's ended

Everything goes in the desperate states
The veneer of democracy rapidly fades
Wreak total havoc on all opposition
In any event fulfill your mission

Totalitarian media sensation
You will give 'em domination
Never mind they call you a liar and thief
By now you're undisputed commander-in-chief

Saturday, July 03, 2004

House Hunting

Sorry I've not been writing much lately. I've started the house hunt. It's a long drawn out process but I'm learning a lot about myself and what I want, as well as about the whole process.

I just drove about 50+ miles around where I live now, checking out neighborhoods. I'm afraid however that it was fruitless. I drove as far as 30 miles out from where I am now, which is about 10 miles from downtown Nashville and about 20-30 minutes commute, depending on traffic. I can't see adding on that much more of a drive. It just isn't worth it. The homes were nearly the same price too. They had a bit more acreage, but still, that's a long way out! I think I'd be perfect for someone who wanted to get out of the city, really out, and enjoy a bit more of the simple life. I'm just not ready for that. I like the conveniences of the city and the medium length commute to work.

So I'm off to check out some other neighborhoods. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Good for Bill

Bill Cosby has a good mind and isn't afraid to express it.

I don't feel comfortable discussing deeper the thoughts he had but I can say that it's good to hear him stepping up to the plate and telling the brutal facts! Go Bill.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Been awhile

I know I've not written in weeks. Things were awesome when my sweetie came to visit and I'll be going there again at the end of July.

I'm trying to leash train my cats. It's going to be interesting I can tell. I got them into their harnesses last night and we pretty much sat in the grass, but that's alright for a first time. I'm not sure if they'll ever 'walk' like a dog, but it'll be fun to get to take them outside with Melly and I when we are together.

I've been working on some pictures Melly took while she was in Cambodia, many years ago. They are really great pictures. I scanned them in at 1200 dpi and then did some major photo editing. One picture in particular was a lot of work but fun. There were some girls doing a traditional dance on the walkway to Angkor Wat, but there were tourists all over in the background. So I erased them, without damaging the photo. I'll post a picture, both the finished full image and a couple before and after close-ups.

Lastly I'll probably be redesigning my website again in the next couple weeks. I've been doing a major redesign of the website for the company I work for. It needed it badly. The new site probably won't go live until early September, but it'll be a night and day change. I can't wait.

Well off to work I go. I'll try to write more, but I can't make any promises.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

The love of my life is going to be in my arms in less than 9 hours. God I can't wait! It's been too long.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Photo Printer

Despite the cheap 'photo' printers that are out in the market today, I still prefer to have my digital photos printed professionally on quality paper at a price I can live with.

I have been using Shutterfly for 2 or 3 years now and I've been happy with their quality. However, I recently ordered a beautiful photo from Hunkabutta recently and he uses a service out of Washington state called PhotoAccess. Their prices are great and they offer a number of different products, aside from simply printing to photo paper (the canvas prints should appeal to the artists out there).

What stood out for me was the quality. The photo I received looked amazing. Of course a lot that had to do with Mike's (Hunkabutta) photography skill. But the reproduction was beautiful!

They also didn't trim the photo to 'fit' the page. Mike's photo didn't fit the 11x14 ratio perfectly so they just printed it to the 14" and let their be a white border on the left and right. Shutterfly has a tendency to crop your image to fit the format resulting, quite often, in chopped heads and the like. I'd much rather have a white border that can be trimmed manually or masked out with a nice frame mat than have my photo cropped.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Can you tell the difference?

A recent discussion on Hunkabutta about how people can have a hard time telling the difference between other cultures brought up some interesting information. For instance, it's not just that white people have a hard time telling Asian differences apart. They have the same problems. It's just natural to make generalizations, even visual ones, about things (and people) that we are around a lot. Just as many a redneck Ford/Chevy drivers couldn't tell the difference between a Kia/Suszuki/Hundai, if the tags were removed, the same can be said for people.

Enough of my blathering, just go take this test for yourself and see how you do. I was surprised at my results I honestly believed I could tell the difference between Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. With a score of 7 out of 18, apparently I can't as well as I thought. I wonder however if the author of the website picked difficult faces on purpose though. Just like any other close cultures, there will be some mixing and the differences will blur. Could you tell the difference between a German and a Swede, even if you were from one of those countries? In some cases perhaps, in others the differences would be so small if they existed at all that it would be impossible to tell.

And for anyone who reads this as something racist, please believe me when I say it's not. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Asian peoples and cultures. I also hold onto the fact that there is as much genetic difference between my father or my sister and I as there is between me and any stranger on the street, regardless of their skin color or region of birth. The difference between me and Jackie Chan is that he is a kick ass movie star and I'm just some dude with a blog. Well, it's more than that, but our skin tones don't mean a thing.

Enviromental Irresponsiblity Generator?

According to the Unitied Nations University and printed by Computer Shopper, in the June 2004 issue, "Building an average desktop PC with a 17-inch CRT monitor requires the outlay of 1.8 tons of raw materials - the same amount that goes into manufacturing a midsize automobile."

That is a shocking number to me. But what is more shocking is that a lot of PCs and monitors end up just being tossed into the landfills. Recycling aluminum cans may be easier, but this is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Right now, primarily, corporations are doing computer recycling, but in the consumer market there is no easy way to recycle your old PC.

Dell will take your old PC and will make this available to you at the time of purchase, of your new PC.

"You may recycle up to 50lb for $15. For example, the estimated weight of a PC is 30lb and monitor is 42lb, for a total of 72lb. The PC and monitor will need to be boxed separately, for a total price of $30."

Others have or are taking this approach as well, but many consumers wonder, "Why should I pay someone to take it when I can throw it away for nothing?"

Well Gateway customers have another option. Gateway has a trade-in program for customers who are looking to upgrade. Unfortunately, according to the customer support rep I talked to, this is not availible to owners of non-Gateway systems, though they have a donation program that will take any brand of PC, though I suspect (I didn't ask) that they'll require you to purchase a PC, asfter all they have to recover their costs some where. Recycling PCs is a very expensive process.

What about just throwing them away? I know some of you have thought that and wondered what the big deal is. Well aside from all the poisons and nasty materials in the computers, a heafty fine may be part of your 'free' dump. Depending on your state/locality you can get hit with a heafy fine.

Be responsible with your computer and monitor. It's an enviromental mess just waiting to happen. Donate to family, friends, the less fortunate, schools, a church or recycle it!

Check these Web sites for more recycling and donation options:
•? IAER (The International Association of Electronics Recyclers)
The IAER has a search engine for recycler companies and locations.

•? NRC (The National Recycling Coalition)
The NRC has an Electronics Recycling Initiative that includes a list of state and local collection programs, as well as a list of some donation sites.

•? NSC (The National Safety Council)
The NSC also has a list of recyclers that is broken down into states.

Thanks for Gateway Computers for the links above.

Dell - How to Recycle
Gateway Computers - In the Enviroment

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Let's make craters!

I haven't played it yet, because i'm at work, but Scorched Earth is back! Yeehaw! And now it's in 3D. This rocks my world.

Go get it!

Thanks to a boy and his computer for the link.


I wish I would have read this about 6-9 months ago when I started to build my HTPC. I have an ATI AIW 8500DV currently and I don't have a problem with it, however there are some issues I'm stuck with. My processor is only an Athlon 950, so I don't have a lot of processing power to spare. The Hauppauge PVR-250 does all the encoding/decoding on the card itself, so I could record at higher qualities without killing my system or causing dropped frames/audio glitches in the recorded video.

Anyway, I'm just passing this info along since I've recommended the All-In-Wonder a lot and now I wonder if that was the most sound advice.

Cinco de Miracle Whip

I didn't pay attention and missed another Cinco de Mayo celebration. Not that I have any cultural reason to celebrate, but millions of people celebrate St. Patricks day and there aren't THAT many Irish running around the country.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to try next year. Good Mexican food and margaritas sound good just about any time of the year to me!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Would you like to try our...

I know they have been around awhile now but man I find them annoying. What I'm referring to are the fast food pre-recorded greetings when you pull up to the speaker in the drive-thru. It's just odd because you can't tell if its a recording or not until you say 'no thanks' and then someone else's voice asks what you'd like.

I DO understand why they do this though. It's marketing. These fast food places want to push their latest new sandwich or salad. When I worked fast food we'd be requested by the main office to push a particular item in person. In essence the drive-thru operator had to remember to say the lines every time. If you've ever worked fast-food, especially in the drive-thru you know how difficult and tedious this can be, especially during the lunch rush (the best time to do any marketing however).

So now we, as customers, have to listen to automated greetings first, then talk to a real person. It's a shame, but I understand it. It's still irritating though.

Monday, May 03, 2004

I'm OK

I thought I better post that I'm ok now. The problem has been sorted out and I'm happy again. I hope I didn't scare anyone.

Now back to work I go. Don't worry Dave I'm not spending all my time on here. :P

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Everything sucks!

The shittiest thing about being depressed is everything you like or lave just sucks. Nothing is any good. Things that don't normally bother you are mutiplied 1000 fold until you dispise every irritant.

I hate the way I feel right now. I hate how i'm feeling so negative. I'm supposed to be the one who can look past the negativity and embrase the positive, no matter how small. Right now I just dont give a fuck and that scares the hell out of me.

I dont know why i write this. It'll probably make people worry and then I'll have to deal with that too. But if I dont do something I'll explode. I don't want to blow up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Yes this is the place

No you're not lost. I just repainted the place. I was feeling up to a change. I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"FOOLS" Day??

April 1st is tomorrow. Traditionally it's called by some, April Fools Day. Until a few years ago I didn't give this much thought. It was a day to watch your back at work or school or where ever. Now I see that it's not all fun and games.

If you're a practical joker, use common sense and courtesy. Some people do not like to be 'punked'. Before you think, "Oh they just don't have a sense of humor," consider why they may not enjoy being pranked. Maybe they lost someone very special to them on April 1st or something tragic, such as a rape, happened on that date. How would your sense of humor be?

Keep your 'victim' in mind when you are planning your jokes. I've known guys that'll go back and forth all the time and both enjoy it. Others do not. I personally am not a fan of it, but I don't care usually. My rule is that if you're going to mess with me, mess with ME not my stuff. I've had my office rearranged, my car marked up with shoe polish and other similar things. Those things piss me off. Pull a fast one on me and I'll find it amusing, maybe.

Please consider this tomorrow. Some people find April 1st a solemn or even a sad day. Consider and respect their feelings.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Blog anniversary

After a posting by SugarMama, I have suddenly realized that on April 6th, my blog will officially be two years old. I have had various personal websites prior to that, but not a 'blog'. I have been with Blogger from day one too. I know a lot of blogs I have read over the last two years jumped ship, and I'm sure they had perfectly valid reasons, but I think something has to be said for any product (on the Internet) that has been used successfully for 2 years by anyone. Products come and go, but Blogger is still alive.

And amazingly so is my blog. I know my readership is low and that's ok. I don't post that often and it's pretty banal when I do. I haven't posted any new art or photography in a long time either. I have some nice pictures of my cats though and a few recent pictures of some scenery but aside from that I've been focusing my time on my sweetie and school.

Anyway, it's interesting to me to go look through my archives (to the right) and read about the things I thought were important at the time. It's like an old journal I found from 1988. Man I was a wacky kid. Of course not much has changed. LOL

A special thanks to my readers who actually post comments. Thanks to the ones who don't too, but I'd love you more if you'd leave me sweet little love notes. ;) LOL Does that make me a comment whore?

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

New and Important challenge

Well I've finally decided to seriously look at becoming a home owner. I've talked about it before but I was mostly just talking the talk, but I wasn't even considering walking the walk.

It's not that I don't want to own a house, I do. I'm just scared of the whole process. I'm afraid someone will try to pull a fast one on me. Granted, I know a lot about houses thanks to many remodels with my dad. That also gives me the ability to fix up some things, but I don't have time or the interest to do a major remodel. I have no problem with the idea of changing some fixtures and the like, but I just don't want to HAVE to do months of work before it's even comfortable. I lived in too many of those homes as a kid. I don't want to as an adult.

I'm also scared of the banks. I don't like banks much and I'm not a big fan of money in general. But with a house you have to have LOTS of money. More than I've ever had. To me that is a daunting prospect. However, I have to face those fears because I'm not going to own a house any other way.

Any of my wonderful readers have any websites or advice that would be helpful please leave me a comment or send me an email. Thanks!!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Lucky Me!

That's not sarcasm. I really feel very lucky. I'm in love, true love. I love a wonderful woman who makes me feel like I could take on the world and win. I never realized how insignificant my world was until I couldn't hold her in my arms. Now we are counting the days until we can be in each others arms again. I'm also counting the days when we'll be able to hold each other every day for the rest of our lives and through eternity.

I always thought 'soul-mate' was just a hoax. I know now that it's very real. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Dear religious zealots

This is from an email that was sent to me. I found it quite funny and an important point. Many of the 'laws' in the Bible were written for a totally different society and time. While they make for good guide lines and they should be studied, they are not the 'word of God'. So lets use some common sense people.

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal here, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

If you don't like this, that's ok. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs as well as their opinions. So don't write me saying how I'm going to burn in hell or something like that. If hell exists, it's gonna be one hell of a party (no pun intended) because nearly everyone will be there not heaven.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

28 Days Later...

I finally watched this movie last night. It was entertaining and exhausting at the same time. If you have a weak stomach or just can't handle blood, don't watch this movie. It's violent and very bloody in certain scenes. There were times when I thought, "I really didn't need to see that."

That being said the 'infected' were quite effective in their scare factor. They were crazed, very quick and deadly. This made you feel they could pop out from anywhere at any time.

There is some brief male nudity, front and back. I personally didn't care, but some might find that 'wrong'. However, if you have a problem with nudity, then you're likely to have a problem with the violence, so you shouldn't watch this movie anyway. There were some bare female breasts too, but they were pasty zombie boobs, not all that attractive at all. I'm sure there were some necrophiliacs out there that got excited. Wierdos.

When I was through watching the movie it was close to 10:30 pm. I was wiped out from the movie. It was an emotional roller coaster. A few tender moments intertwined with the scares as well as with suspense and many other intense emotional tools. The film maker definitely succeeded in producing a movie that kept you on the edge of your seat.

I was a little disappointed with how the movie ended, but I understand it. I wanted closure for the situation that caused the infection. The movie was focused more on the people surviving it though, so in that regard there was a sense of closure. I think it still could have been a bit better, but oh well.

All in all, I wouldn't buy this movie to keep it in my collection. I would recommend it to those who enjoy a good 'zombie' movie or other similar types. Again, those who can't handle the blood and violence should stay away. There is also the threat of rape in one part of the movie. No rape actually happens, but those who have been raped might find the scenes difficult and could possible be a trigger.

My vote is 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Microsoft a monopoly?

The following is something I had to write for my Micro Economics class. I thought I'd share it. Mostly because it will likely get some people all worked up. hehe

Microsoft produces feature rich quality product, despite what the naysayers may claim. The competing products that are available in the market are simply not up to par with Microsoft products. Microsoft is a very aggressive competitor, that much is certain, but the products that are not as good simply don’t sell as well. BeOS and Linux are very capable products, but not at the same level as Windows. However, Microsoft recognizes that those competing operating systems, especially all the Linux varieties, are biting at their heels. Microsoft is improving and innovating in response to the growing number of Linux users, to try to keep people from switching products. There are definitely activities in Microsoft, as a company, that are a direct result of competition. They work proactively to try to stem off the losses due to competition, they are a business after all.

Does Microsoft enjoy a significant amount of market power? Most certainly they do, but I believe that despite a few unethical decisions, the company made it to where it is today with sound business practices and quality products. Windows isn’t the primary operating system today on PCs because of unethical business practices. It’s #1, because it beat out the competition and the market is such that multiple vendors aren’t the most efficient way to work. Businesses have to share files. In earlier days sharing files between companies was very difficult. Today it’s much easier due in large part to the dominance of Microsoft products.

I have used many of the competing products, such as various ‘flavors’ of Linux, Open Office (an open source, freely downloadable, office productivity suite) and a number of the various web browsers, including Netscape, Mozilla and Opera. In all cases the products were adequate, but simply not as good as the comparable Microsoft products. The one possible exception would be Mozilla, but there are still some sites that I have to go back to Internet Explorer to view them correctly.

Most computer users simply do not have the time or patients to deal with products that are not as good or compatible as Microsoft products, even when they are free or very low cost. Consumers have chosen the more expensive products, because their utility is greater. Those who cannot afford or find the utility of the ‘free’ products equal to the Microsoft products have viable alternatives. Due to their low cost or more often ‘free’ price, the companies producing them don’t have the marketing budget to push their products. This is hardly Microsoft’s fault.

Oh and by the way, I'm posting this using Mozilla FireFox. I also was a long time user of OpenOffice. I recently switched to Microsoft Office 2003 however due to the student pricing and simply better interface. Sorry OpenOffice. I'll check out v2.0, but for now I'll be using MS Office.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Makes you think

I got this from a friend and normally I don't pass these kinda things along, but this one is worth while in my opinion:

A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package: "This, - he said - isn't any ordinary package."

He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box. "She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago.

She has never put it on. Was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it. He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothings he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died. He turned to me and said: "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion".

I still think those words changed my life.
Now I read more and clean less.
I sit on the porch without worrying about anything.
I spend more time with my family, and less at work.
I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through.
I no longer keep anything.
I use crystal glasses every day.
I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it.
I don't save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.
The words "Someday..." and "One Day..." are fading away from my dictionary.
If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now.

I don't know what my friend's wife would have done if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning, this nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends. She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I'd like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favorite food. It's these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come.

I would regret it, because I would no longer see the friends I would meet, write letters... letters that I wanted to write "One of these days". I would regret and feel sad, because I didn't say to my sisters, parents, husband and daughter, not times enough at least, how much I love them. Now, I try not to delay, postpone or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And, on each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day.

Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.

You can do with this as you please, but consider how you live your life a bit.

Carpe diem. (Latin for "Seize the day")

Thursday, February 05, 2004

It's just a boob!

I cannot believe the amount of so called controversy there is surrounding the fact that Janet Jackson's boob was flashed for a split second during the SuperBowl half-time show.

Come on people! She had a little metal pasty thing on too. Even those with HDTVs probably didn't see much more than anyone else. We've seen a lot more Little Kim's breasts on the media. Look at all the award shows were there is always someone wearing something super skimpy or even see-through.

Yea lots of people were watching, it was a publicity stunt. You realize the rest of the world is laughing at the USA for making such a fuss about a boob. Like we've never seen one before. OMG!!!

Now I hear that the Grammies have cancelled her appearance. AOL, CBS and NFL are crying foul, blah blah. No they don't care! They only are acting shocked and disgusted because there are so many conservative prudes out there in the American market place.

Get your heads out of the sand. Seeing a boob will not 'taint' or 'ruin' your child. Leaving them in the dark and in ignorance about sex and sexuality will do much more damage than Janet ever will. Get over yourselves.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Online Library

While searching for a particular tech definition I found For those who don't know FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.

I haven't even begun to investigate all that can be found there, but I'm certain it can be useful for anyone doing research.

I'm still alive

I though I better at least let everyone know I'm still alive and kicking. I'm just busy and I haven't been online much when I'm not at work.