Musings from Dragonsfang
(Archive: December 16, 2003 to December 30, 2005)

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Friday, December 30, 2005:


crystal rainbow kaleidoscopic fury
random waves of numbness
dream observer cursing in the dark
little boy crying
violence hiding in the background
anger and frustration
nothing to be done
nothing can be done
partial aspects handling bits of communication
thoughts scattered, no two alike
words, written or spoken, have no meaning
defeated coherency
sound so bright the light screams
accept the pain, recover the mind
pain and relief confused
chilled and tense, hours
hours, days lost, buried

Wednesday, July 20, 2005:

The word is given.

Warp speed, Mr. Scott.

"Cap'n! There be angels here!"

Rest in peace, Jimmy Doohan.

Monday, April 04, 2005:
     Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place - reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on; if not, join the majority and do nothing.

-OldCoot, ExtremeTech Forums

Monday, December 27, 2004:
     Marvin is totally cool. He's my hero. Here he is guarding one of my computers.

Hope y'all have a safe and happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 16, 2004:
     The following is a self-indulgent rambling rant, written by a drug-hazed, sleep-deprived, post-migraine zombie.

     Why a zombie? One word... Thorazine. Thorazine and Hydrocodone. Ok, two words. Thorazine and Hydrocodone. And insomnia. Ok, three words. /wave Monty Python.
     Migraine --> depression --> migraine --> drugs --> depression --> insomnia --> migraine.... WTF??
     Damn sorry state of affairs here. Oh yes, absolutely, more drugs has to be the answer. Drugs for this, drugs for that, drugs to handle the issues of drug interactions. Give me a fucking break!!!
     Let's add in the incipient ulcer, the acid reflux, the problems with business in this fubar economy (I'm the sole developer/programmer/designer, the other guys handle sales, support, etc.), my knees hurt when it gets cold, the torn tendon in my left hand hurts like a sonuvabitch, this piece of crap house I'm living in because I can't afford to get something better at the moment... good gawd.
     Let's add in the frustration resulting from inability to focus or concentrate due to the depression and migraines. I used to be able to "design by intuition" when programming/developing. I could hold dozens of simultaneous threads in my mind at once, doing a week's work in a day. Leaps of logic-defying coding stunts that would render difficult issues into the equivalent of a smoke-and-mirrors display that would put Copperfield to shame. This is all gone. I've lost it and I don't know where it went. At this time, I'm lucky if I can remember what the fuck I'm trying to do with a single line of code staring at me. I look at it and look at it and it doesn't mean a damn thing.
     "Have you thought about therapy?" Yah, right. Show me the money! I don't need to pay somebody $4,000.00 a month for them to tell me I'm suffering from clinical depression and write up another prescription. I admit to a certain amount of self-diagnosis. The web has a great deal of information regarding migraines, depression, and their interdependancies.

     I thought I was going somewhere with all this, but whatever it was has eluded me. Suffice it to say I'm just simply tired of all this shit. Frustrated is a mild term. No, I'm not suicidal. Not in the least. That's so totally against my nature, I can't even contemplate it in a theoretical sense.

     I just need a fucking break.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004:
     I just said "goodbye" to Everquest. After nearly 6 years, the time had come. I won't bother going into all the reasons for leaving EQ. So much good and bad over the years that it would fill a novel.

     So for now until the release of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, the games of choice are World of Warcraft and Guildwars.

     I'm having a lot of fun in the World of Warcraft beta. Awesome scenery, very smooth movement, and the quests are just great. They make sense and are progressive with story and lore. I figure this will make a decent home until "The One" comes out.

     I got a spam email in the dragonblog account... someone selling a forklift. Ok... wtf? On another account, I received about 100 messages from the same lamer about turkeys. Now, I normally don't mind the occassional meat byproduct, but this is friggin' nuts. What the hell are these people thinking when they auto-send this stuff out? Do they really believe this makes them money? What the hell is the point?

     On a positive note, is my new online retailer hero. I love these guys and they pretty much have a lock now on my internet tech purchases. I made an order, couple items, recieved order, and one of the items was incorrect. I've dealt with a lot of online retailers over the years and getting an order fixed can be a real PITA (Pain in the ass). What with RMA's, multiple shipping costs, repeated phone calls to very non-congenial retailers... so, I fired off a rather strident (by habit) email to their customer support yesterday. Today, the response (paraphrased)... "Oops, we screwed up. Go ahead and keep the thing we sent by accident and the correct item is on the way."

     Can't beat that.

Thursday, November 11, 2004:
     UPDATE: Well, that went easier than I thought it would. yay! (of course, this statment won't make much sense until the rest of this post is read.)

     Well, I got tired of messing with the blog machine that was creating my posts. Kept having trouble getting it uploaded to my server. Sooo... decided to forgo the headache, copy everything over, and make my own format. Not as flashy with all the css and stuff, but function > form in this case.

     Comments option is gone. Wasn't being used anyway. If you really have something you wish to say, hit the email link above and I can include your statements, opinions, etc., in a followup post.

     Couple things to take care of here, seeing as how far behind the times I've let myself lapse... first of all...

Rest in Peace Christopher Reeve

You will be missed.

     I won't go into all the work he has done regarding various things in the health industry and research, or his courage in dealing with his disability and coping with life. Utmost respect to him and his family.

My reaction to the election results...

     Yah, I'll have a diatribe before long. Look for it in the next few days.

     Also, look for Part 2 of my journey to the west before too much longer.

     Lessee... what else? Not much else at the moment, I guess. Lot of work getting all the text and info from the old page, so have patience. And, of course, my isp just went down. Oh well.

     Speaking of losing your isp... am I the only one that feels curiously cut-off from the world when that happens? I'm not exactly a social butterfly, don't have places I like to hang out, not a party animal, and don't do the bar scene at all. My primary means of communication with friends, family, and business take place through IM's, email, and in rare instances, the telephone. Am I a victim of virtual socialization? Or is it just my natural inclination to avoid as many of the brain-damaged as possible? I could just be lazy, I suppose.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004:
     Consumer Report Part 1: Look at this -- the Diebold GEMS central tabulator contains a stunning security holeSubmitted by Bev Harris on Thu, 08/26/2004 - 11:43.
     Investigations Issue: Manipulation technique found in the Diebold central tabulator -- 1,000 of these systems are in place, and they count up to two million votes at a time.

By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location, a second set of votes is created. This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks.
This program is not "stupidity" or sloppiness. It was designed and tested over a series of a dozen version adjustments.Public officials: If you are in a county that uses GEMS 1.18.18, GEMS 1.18.19, or GEMS 1.18.23, your secretary or state may not have told you about this. You're the one who'll be blamed if your election is tampered with. Find out for yourself if you have this problem: Black Box Voting will be happy to walk you through a diagnostic procedure over the phone. E-mail Bev Harris or Andy Stephenson to set up a time to do this.

For the media: Harris and Stephenson will be in New York City on Aug. 30, 31, Sep.1, to demonstrate this built-in election tampering technique.

Members of congress and Washington correspondents: Harris and Stephenson will be in Washington D.C. on Sept. 22 to demonstrate this problem for you.

Whether you vote absentee, on touch-screens, or on paper ballot (fill in the bubble) optical scan machines, all votes are ultimately brought to the "mother ship," the central tabulator at the county which adds them all up and creates the results report.

These systems are used in over 30 states and each counts up to two million votes at once.

The central tabulator is far more vulnerable than the touch screen terminals. Think about it: If you were going to tamper with an election, would you rather tamper with 4,500 individual voting machines, or with just one machine, the central tabulator which receives votes from all the machines? Of course, the central tabulator is the most desirable target.

Findings: The GEMS central tabulator program is incorrectly designed and highly vulnerable to fraud. Election results can be changed in a matter of seconds. Part of the program we examined appears to be designed with election tampering in mind. We have also learned that election officials maintain inadequate controls over access to the central tabulator. We need to beef up procedures to mitigate risks.

Much of this information, originally published on July 8, 2003, has since been corroborated by formal studies (RABA) and by Diebold's own internal memos written by its programmers.
Not a single location has yet implemented the security measures needed to mitigate the risk.

Yet, it is not too late. We need to tackle this one, folks, roll up our sleeves, and implement corrective measures.

In Nov. 2003, Bl ack Box Voting founder Bev Harris, and director Jim March, filed a Qui Tam lawsuit in California citing fraudulent claims by Diebold, seeking restitution for the taxpayer. Diebold claimed its voting system was secure. It is, in fact, highly vulnerable to and appears to be designed for fraud.

The California Attorney General was made aware of this problem nearly a year ago. Harris and Black Box Voting Associate Director Andy Stephenson visited the Washington Attorney General's office in Feb. 2004 to inform them of the problem. Yet, nothing has been done to inform election officials who are using the system, nor have appropriate security safeguards been implemented. In fact, Gov. Arnold Swarzenegger recently froze the funds, allocated by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, which would have paid for increased scrutiny of the voting system in California.

On April 21, 2004, Harris appeared before the California Voting Systems Panel, and presented the smoking gun document showing that Diebold had not corrected the GEMS flaws, even though it had updated and upgraded the GEMS program.

On Aug. 8, 2004, Harris demonstrated to Howard Dean how easy it is to change votes in GEMS, on CNBC TV.

On Aug. 11, 2004, Jim March formally requested that the Calfornia Voting Systems Panel watch the demonstration of the double set of books in GEMS. They were already convened, and the time for Harris was already allotted. Though the demonstration takes only 3 minutes, the panel refused to allow it and would not look. They did, however, meet privately with Diebold afterwards, without informing the public or issuing any report of what transpired.

On Aug. 18, 2004, Harris and Stephenson, together with computer security expert Dr. Hugh Thompson, and former King County Elections Supervisor Julie Anne Kempf, met with members of the California Voting Systems Panel and the California Secretary of State's office to demonstrate the double set of books. The officials declined to allow a camera crew from 60 Minutes to film or attend.

The Secretary of State's office halted the meeting, called in the general counsel for their office, and a defense attorney from the California Attorney General's office. They refused to allow Black Box Voting to videotape its own demonstration. They prohibited any audiotape and specified that no notes of the meeting could be requested in public records requests.
The undersecretary of state, Mark Kyle, left the meeting early, and one voting panel member, John Mott Smith, appeared to sleep through the presentation.

On Aug. 23, 2004, CBC TV came to California and filmed the demonstration.

On Aug 30 and 31, Harris and Stephenson will be in New York City to demonstrate the double set of books for any public official and any TV crews who wish to see it.

On Sept. 1, another event is planned in New York City, and on Sept. 21, Harris and Stephenson intend to demonstrate the problem for members and congress and the press in Washington D.C.
Diebold has known of the problem, or should have known, because it did a cease and desist on the web site when Harris o riginally reported the problem in 2003. On Aug. 11, 2004, Harris also offered to show the problem to Marvin Singleton, Diebold's damage control expert, and to other Diebold execs. They refused to look.

Why don't people want to look? Suppose you are formally informed that the gas tank tends to explode on the car you are telling people to use. If you KNOW about it, but do nothing, you are liable.


1) Let there be no one who can say "I didn't know."

2) Let there be no election jurisdiction using GEMS that fails to implement all of the proper corrective procedures, this fall, to mitigate risk.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004:
Part I

I left town at 8:00 am. It was 28 degrees and snowing. Beautiful day.

Promptly fell asleep soon as I hit the seat on the bus.

Transfer number 1: Butte, MT.

Shortly thereafter, like 10 minutes, that's when I decided that maybe life in prison would be worth blowing up a few kids. What is it with parents that think it's "cute" when their 4-month old can scream louder than a landing jet? And what's up with a 2-year old being able to boss their parent around? Of course, these people all move to the back 1/3 of the bus like it's some kind of day care center without anyone in charge. I picked up 2 bottles of juice and one baby bottle of milk that had rolled to my seat. And I was in the front 1/3 of the bus. Twelve hours of this, people. Please! This type of public transport is NOT for the babies.

Somewhere before Salt Lake City, I saw something that looked like it came from the Matrix: Revolutions machine city. I don't know what it was, but it was big. Buildings with orange lights up, on, and around them. Very strange and surreal.

That was when we entered a different country. The Land of the Buffalo People. These Buffalo People are quite interesting. To themselves, at least. They believe they know everything about anything and are continually impressed with their own intelligence and beauty. I'm sure they feel it is their divinely-inspired right to be the iconic model of modern day perfection. In my opinion, the only thing they could possibly model would be the loading capability of a forklift. One of these Buffalo People spent a half hour trying to figure out how to lift the armrest between two seats so they could sit down.

Transfer number 2: Salt Lake City, UT.

Yay! The kids are off the bus! Woohoo! Sleep time. It's 10:15 pm and the bus pulls out of the station. I snuggle into the seat, lean back, close my eyes, and I hear "hee hee hee [snicker giggle] hee hee!"

What the...?? OMG. The Blonde. Yes. A smart, clever, cute blonde. In itself, that doesn't seem like a bad thing, except it's totally wrong. Everything was funny to The Blonde. A hiccup was funny. "hee hee hee." Someone saying, nicely, Please quiet down a bit, was funny. "hee hee [giggle] hee." The bus hitting a bump was funny. "hee hee HEE." Even worse, her cackle was the highest-pictched fake falsetto I'd ever heard. I suppose I should be greatful she didn't snort, too.

Eight hours later... Las Vegas, NV.

The Blonde got off the bus.

I slumped in exhaustion and immediately dozed off. For 10 seconds. I had to hunt down a rest room. Bad.

Somewhat relieved and quite groggy, I stepped out of the terminal and looked down the street. Ahhhh! Flashy! Blinky! It's 5:30 in the freaking AM. My eyes are being hammered by solid waves of flashy blinkies! So I took a couple pictures (1, 2, 3). Drank a bottle of some brand of tea. Walked up the street a few blocks. Had an hour and a half to kill, anyway. Saw some people... well, humanoid beings, anyway. Where do they come from and how do they get that way? I won't go into any details. Suffice it to say that I went back to the terminal and waited amongst the nearly normal until reboarding at 6:45 am.

OMG. The Blonde fissioned. There were now two of her! Thankfully, they departed a couple hours later in Baker, CA. You people in Baker... Beware!

It was quiet. Bliss! And the sun was shining. On my face. I pulled my cap down over my eyes and slept the sleep of the recently deceased.

Transfer number 3: Los Angeles, CA.

A 3-hour layover. In LA. A foreign country. I speak English passably well. But, I couldn't understand 90% of what was said around me. Then it dawned on me, they weren't speaking English. I don't have a racist bone in my body, but is it too much to ask for people to learn the language of the country they live and were born in?

I found a bench in the large terminal, had a seat and pulled out a book. A young woman nearby asked "Can you watch my bag?" I said sure, since the bag was right next to me. She returned a few minutes later, said "Thank you." I nodded and read. After an hour, I needed to find the facilities. I turned to this young woman and asked, "Can you keep an eye on this for me?" She looks at me and says, "Sorry, I don't speak English."


I still don't have a response for that.

It didn't get much better. Didn't get any worse, either. I felt like I had taken a trip to Portugal or somewhere.

But then, a young man sat down next to me on the bench. He was somewhat fidgety and was failing to completely control a grin. I saw the Airborne insignia on his cap. We struck up a conversation based on the weather or something. This young man had just got back to the states from a 2 year stint in Korea, along the DMZ. (forgive my memory if any of these details are in error). He had stories, anecdotes, and was immensely glad to be going home. Sir, on the billion-in-one chance that you should read this, know that you have my deepest respect and best wishes for your future. You made my trip to LA completely worthwhile.

I may be ashamed of our government from time to time, but I fully support, appreciate, respect, and applaud our people in service.

Finally, reboarding for the last phase of the trip. Only a 3 hour trip now. And it passed uneventfully. No kids, no blondes, just quiet.

Got to my destination, got off the bus, and there my friend was waiting for me.

Friday, May 14, 2004:
I just got back from a 2 week trip to LA. I'll write up my adventure with the Land of the Buffalo People, The Hippo Twins, The Horking Snog, and others when I've recovered from the bus ride.

In the meantime, some new tidbit thingies...

The Genesis Project...

Yup, genetics is teh c00l.

Hmmm... Brain Fingerprinting.

A little gatorade in my kevlar, please.

What is a newb?

If hackers ruled the universe.


Maybe this will boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1904 ... one hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes!

Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1904:

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarianbetween $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

.. And I forwarded this from someone else without typing it myself, and sent it to all of you in a matter of seconds! Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years ... it staggers the mind

-bobwinners, Extreme Tech forums

Saturday, April 17, 2004:
And now, all the news I feel like printing... or something.

Yay! More Star Trek techo gadgets! This one is actually useful.

Bah. Guess having unlimited funds to tie up a company in endless litigation can pay off.

Gravitational Lensing... Go ahead, repeat it quietly to your self. Gravitational Lensing. So cool.

Short wavelength blue light laser is the next step in removable storage technology, but paper... ??

Fake water.... umm... k.

And so, the revolution begins.

Followup to the beginning revolution.

Methane on Mars... cows, swamp gas, the possibilities are endless. For jokes.

The scramjet lives.

More scramjet goodness.

The first step toward electronic telepathy?


TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese company unveiled a 3.5-metre (11.55-foot) tall robot that can forage its way through a heap of debris as a trailblazer for rescue workers following a disaster such as an earthquake.

(AFP Photo)

The five-tonne T-52 Enryu (literally "rescue dragon") is hydraulically operated and equipped with two arms ending in
pincer "hands" that can grasp and remove obstacles to help rescuers reach people trapped under rubble. Each arm is capable of lifting 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) and when they are fully extended the two pincers are 10 metres (33 feet) apart.

The prototype robot was developed by Tmsuk, a company based in the southwestern Japan city of Kita-Kyushu, in cooperation with fire-department officials and university researchers. The company aims to develop a commercial model by the end of the year.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004: is adding something new... an IE toolbar. It integrates into MS Internet Explorer like other toolbars, but one thing is does not do is add scan crap. It does not add spyware, does not report back to the mother ship, no bs. You can download it from
The toolbar is a beta atm, but functions just fine. There's also links to anti-virus and spyware removal tools. Go for it.

Monday, April 05, 2004:
I've added something new at the top of the page. Well, two new things actually.

One, the scrolling news ticker, from they concisely summarize articles into bullet points... makes for quick and easy reading of what's happening.

The other..., is a consolidated search mechanism that pulls in the top results from three of the top search engines, Yahoo, Google, and Teoma. I didn't know what I was missing. Got so used to going to different search sites while doing research or looking for something that I figured I was doomed to multiple search and result windows. With Zippp, you get the results in one window from three different engines, ranked by the site statistics, with links to not only the results but to the originating engine.

They have a "Partner Link Exchange" program that I highly recommend to anyone that wants to improve their web site usage. No popups, no ad banners, nothing except the streamlined search box you see above. For more information, send email to

Tuesday, March 16, 2004:
A new Action Figure that I'm positive will take the world by storm. There's never been anything like it and the techology is incredible!

Perhaps the cow was unjustly accused all these years.

A new twist to ringing the doorbell and running away.


How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb?

1. Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

2. Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

3. Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!

4. Rottweiler: Make me.

5. Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

6. Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeze, please, please, please!

7. German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

8. Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.

9. Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb?

10. Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

11. Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

12. Pointer: I see it, there it is, there it is, right there ...

13. Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?

14. Australian Shepherd: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle ...

15. Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes re-wiring the house, my nails will be dry.

The Cat's Answer: "Dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is: How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?"


What is a Cat?

1. Cats do what they want.

2. They rarely listen to you.

3. They're totally unpredictable.

4. When you want to play, they want to be alone.

5. When you want to be alone, they want to play.

6. They expect you to cater to their every whim.

7. They're moody.

8. They leave hair everywhere.

CONCLUSION: They're tiny women in little fur coats.

What is a Dog?

1. Dogs spend all day sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.

2. They can hear a package of food opening half a block away, but don't hear you when you're in the same room.

3.They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.

4.They growl when they are not happy.

5. When you want to play, they want to play.

6. When you want to be alone, they want to play.

7. They leave their toys everywhere.

8. They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss.

9. They go right for your crotch as soon as they meet you.

CONCLUSION: They're tiny men in little fur coats.


Three dead bodies turn up at the mortuary, all with very big smiles on their faces. The coroner calls the police to tell them what has happened.

"First body was that of a Frenchman, 60, died of heart failure while making love to his mistress. Hence the enormous smile, Inspector", says the Coroner.

"Second body was a Scotsman, 25, won a thousand pounds on the lottery, spent it all on whisky. Died of alcohol poisoning, hence the smile."

The Inspector asked, "What of the third body?"

"Ah," says the coroner, "this is the most unusual one. Billy-Bob the redneck from Montana, 30, struck by lightning."

"Why is he smiling then?" inquires the Inspector.

"Thought he was having his picture taken."


In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was well known for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who said excitedly, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of our students?"

Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," Socrates continued "Before you talk to me about my student, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say.. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and ..."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what
you are about to tell me about my student something good?"

"No, on the contrary ...."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?".

This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why he never found out that Plato was banging his wife.


An Irishman who had a little too much to drink is driving home from the city one night and, of course, his car is weaving violently all over the road.

A cop pulls him over. "So," says the cop to the driver, "where have ya been?

"Why, I've been to the pub of course," slurs the drunk.

"Well," says the cop, "it looks like you've had quite a few to drink this evening."

"I did all right," the drunk says with a smile.

"Did you know," says the cop, standing straight and folding his arms across his chest, "that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of
your car?"

"Oh, thank heavens," sighs the drunk. "For a minute there, I thought I'd gone deaf."

Friday, March 05, 2004:
And now, the news. In a very specific particular order.


What if you could live for 300 to 5,000 years? Is this a total fantasy? Or are these guys really on to something?

That would be a most excellent wave, dude.

Mars is for kids, silly rabbit.

I remember when there was QLink before AOL existed, a nice little friendly community. Then they became AOL and the plan for world domination began. Beware!!

Plan 19 from Outer Space!!! Beware!!

Don't open the frickin' attachment!! Beware!! And other tips for safe computing.

Arrrrrr...there still be pirates in this day and age? Arrrrr...shiver me timbers!

A girl's best friend, eh? Beware!!

Jurassaic Park ain't got nothing on this. Farewell, all life on earth! Beware!!

Jimi Hendrix made it scream. Stevie Ray Vaughan made it cry. Eric Clapton made it rock. Happy 50th birthday, Stratocaster.


Canadian Sepukku: It's where you drink a case of beer and drive your snowmobile into a moose.

What NASA won't tell us is that the reason Opportunity went silent for some time earlier is that it ran thru a puddle and short circuited......hence their evidence for water.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004:
In recent news: The French Government announced today that it is enforcing a ban on the use of fireworks at Disneyland Paris. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused soldiers at a nearby French army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists .


In other recent news: We've received word from the White House that George Bush has stuck his finger in an electrical outlet. When asked to make a statement, he said that "that's where the leprachauns hide their gold."


George W. Bush
The White House, USA


I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.

I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.

I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.

With the help of my father and our right-wing friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.

During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.

With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.

I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history. I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period and the all-time record for most foreclosures.

In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history.

My "poorest millionaire," Connie Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by a U.S. President.

I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.

More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.

I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).

I set the record for fewest number of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.

After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.

I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, preemptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families -- in war time.

I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-president, attended regarding publ ic energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.





How many forum members does it take to change a lightbulb?
1 to change the light bulb
1 to post that the light bulb has been changed
14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently
7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs
27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs
53 to flame the spell checkers
6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb"
.. another 6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive
2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is "lamp"
15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that "light bulb" is perfectly correct
156 to email the participant's ISPs complaining that they are in violation of their "acceptable use policy"
109 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb forum
203 to demand that cross posting to hardware forum, off-topic forum, and lightbulb forum about changing light bulbs be stopped
111 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this forum
306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty
27 to post URL's where one can see examples of different light bulbs
14 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL's
3 to post about links they found from the URL's that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group
33 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too"
6 that flame them for not using the Search feature
12 to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy
19 to quote the "Me too's" to say "Me three"
4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ
44 to ask what is a "FAQ"
4 to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"
143 to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs"
16 posts of two forum members that are exclusively talking to each other only about lightbulbs and what they did that weekend
24 posts of telling them to take it to PM's
1 moderator that comes in and says something about doing it wrong and that everyone who disagrees gets a warning
1 new forum member to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again

Wednesday, February 11, 2004:
Note: the following rant contains spatterings of profanity.

Wes Clark is dropping out of the presidential race.

Dubya is too damn stupid to live, yet he's going to win the election again... unless people with half a clue get off their lazy asses and go vote.

The Republican Machine, seeking power simply for the sake of having power, will continue to rape the job market, sodomize the economy, alienate our former allies, and remove even more of our personal liberties.

In large part, I blame the so-called free press. The major media outlets that 99% of the people get their news and information from are bought and paid for, people. CBS, ABS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC, CNN, CSPAN, and any other high profile news agency, are all firmly in bed with the Republican Machine. Earlier in the democratic presidential nominee campaign, the mantra was (as dictated by the Republican Machine) "Dean is the front runner, Dean is the front runner." Even when it was clearly obvious to even the semi-literate that Dean was at best in 3rd place on the polls. Then "Edwards is the front runner, Edwards is the front runner." And now, "Kerry is the front runner, Kerry is the front runner." Why? Because Dubya and the Republican Machine know that anyone but Clark would be an easy candidate to beat. Clark scared the Republican Machine and Dubya shitless. Thus, the continual harping on a subject that had been answered over and over from the moment that Clark entered the campaign... "You voted for Reagan and Nixon. You're not a democrat. You voted for going into Iraq, you warmonger."

Sure, he voted for Reagan and Nixon, which, to him, were the best choices at the time. Big fucking deal. He did NOT vote for going into Iraq. The proposal at the time was whether or not to consider using military power to deal with an imminent threat should such a threat become imminent. Oh no, the retards in power continued to harp on this last item for the entire time Clark was trying to point out how corrupt, stupid, and irresponsible the Republican Machine and Dubya was. And, of course, that's all you heard on the media outlets. So much for being independant news sources. Fucking traitors to the idea of fair and balanced coverage.

And don't mention those travesties of debates. Sure, everyone that participated got to say something. Right. "Ok, Mr. Candidate, you have 10 seconds to answer the following: Explain the electron tunneling phenomenon in quantum physics and its possible impact on the future of technological advancement as it applices to CPU design." Morons. This country in whole has become one that thrives on sound bites and easily consumable info-traces. "Perpetuate ignorance!" seems to be the cry of the Republican Machine and its media slaves. "We can rule the world as long as we keep people from thinking!" I won't get started on the subject of abbrogation of responsibility.

In part, I also blame Clark and his campaign management team. They should have pushed harder against the 800 lb gorilla of the news media and the Republican Machine godzilla to get their message out. Easy? In no way. Clark tried to stay clear of the shit-slinging festival that seems to be the de-facto standard behavior in campaigning. I admire that, but it doesn't get you noticed. Clark stuck to his opinions and facts about Dubya's competency and what has happened in this country under the Republican Machine's autocracy. That's a good thing. He just wasn't loud enough.

So, now what?

I'm depressed, pissed off, and maybe even a little scared. I simply will NOT vote for any Republican Machine candidate. I trust the current democratic candidates about as much as I trust my ability to telekinetically lift the Queen Mary. But that's more within the realm of possiblity than having this country get back on track under the autocratic rule of any member of the Republican Machine.

Do you want four more years of dwindling economy? More American jobs being shipped overseas (laughably called "outsourcing")? More of our personal liberties falling under the aegis of some stupid legislation like the Patriot Act? Do you want to be arrested as a terrorist for stepping across the Canadian border to admire the Peace Arch? This shit is not made up. It's happening now and will continue to happen unless We, the people stop it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004:
Various types of computer users in business....

Zero vision user:
This type of user didn't know how to use a computer, doesn't want to learn how to use a computer and will have nothing to do with it. Although sometimes you'll find such users on a computer, they usually have it hard wired into their heads that they can't learn anything new, can't solve any new problems that unexpectedly show up and absolutely hate a change in their routine.

Kamikaze User:
This user believes that s/he can fix whatever is wrong by experimenting with every button and menu item. Although these users have a high degree of independence, they can and will cause real damage if their common sense fails them.

Brain Dead User:
This kind of user cannot cope with anything that is outside his or her scope of knowledge. They will seek help for everything, every time it happens

Late Blossomer User:
These users are eager to learn, but they take forever to master simple tasks, but once mastered, become very good at it. They usually do not require help after they have mastered something.

Whip Me User:
These users wont move a finger unless someone is there to tell them what to do. These border on moronic, as they give the impression that they don't know what they are doing and this happens over and over again. They can't think for themselves, they want to delegate responsibility and are the total opposite of Kamikaze Users.

Literal User:
This is the user that takes everything literally. These are the users that look for the "Any" key on the keyboard, insert a second disc in the drive when told to do - without first removing the first, and who move away from the computer when told to "back up". The good news is that they are educatable, so they don't repeat the pattern over and over.

McGiver User:
These users come across a problem and solve it any way they can, even if it isn't the best way to do so. They are the kind of people that will fix a broken picnic table leg with a stool and a couple of bricks. They are resourceful, but drive other people crazy with their not-so-good solutions.

Robot User:
This user does not know how to "use" the computer. To operate it, they memorize every mouse and key stroke and faithfully reproduce them to do their job. They may know how to construct a spreadsheet or write a memo, but have no idea what Excel or Word is about. They can connect to the Internet and browse, but they have no idea what a modem is or what exactly is the Internet. They never learn, only memorize.

Tech: "What does it say on your desktop?"
User: "Sauder."

Tech: "Look at the bottom left of your screen. Do you see the button that says 'Start'?"
User: "No, it just says Zenith."

Thursday, January 22, 2004:
Time for the news, in no particular order.

Robotic scientists? Can Skynet be far behind? More strides in artificial intelligence.

Ever been curious about earthquake activity in your area? This site has up-to-date info on all earthquake activity in the U.S.

You have to give Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld a look. I'm really tempted to get a blob myself. Stress-relievers are good.

A virtual maffia? There ain't no maffia. Shaddup or I breaka you kneecaps.

Some theorizing and interesting factoids about a post-Episode III life for Star Wars. When one thinks about it, the people involved would be kinda dumb to let the franchise die, no?

Here's a bit about some stuff you don't normally hear about in the media. U.S. forces in Iraq committing suicide in "record" numbers? WTF?

I bet most people either forgot or never knew that Earth has had spacecraft on Venus. Considering the relatively ancient technology, these pics are still pretty good.

Well, artistic expression will be, er, expressed, regardless of the medium.

Hahahah. Go Neo!. heheheheh. Made me laugh.

This is just cool. Again, artistic expression... well, you know.

Ack. And things were going so well for Spirit. Probably all that spam floating around. Hate spam.

What a dork. 'Nuff said.

Please donate to the Space Shuttle Children's Trust Fund to show your appreciation for New Voyages. This charity is for the children of the crew from the Challenger and Columbia. A worthy cause and worthy of your support.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004:
Well, that was interesting. Within a few hours of my Star Trek: New Voyages mirror opening, I had to shut it down. The demand was incredibly greater than my bandwidth (which is not small). Hopefully, it will be back up before too long as my provider does some upgrading.


Well, the Star Trek: New Voyages episode is available now. For an out-of-pocket "fan film," I have to say this went waaaay beyond the call. Visit the New Voyages web site here. You can download the episode parts either from sites listed there or from my own mirror here.
I am well pleased. Sure, there are some minor tweaks yet to work out for the next episodes, but overall.... pretty damn cool. I'm pretty sure that they are watching what happens here. I mean, an average of 10,000 downloads per hour during the first 60 hours?? Then the mirror sites opened up. Then the usenet/binaries news groups. I wouldn't be surprised at all if over 2 million people get their hands on this.

Related item... Bring Back Kirk! has been around for a while, but seems to be gaining some momentum. Some pretty compelling arguments there.

The new comments server is up and running. Leave a comment. Please. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2004:
I don't know if the following is a true story, although it would be difficult to make something like this up. I don't know the actual source. It came through one of the mail lists I'm on.

Neighborhood Hazard (or: Why the Cops Won't Patrol Brice Street)

I never dreamed slowly cruising through a residential neighborhood could
be so incredibly dangerous!

Studies have shown that motorcycling requires more decisions per second,
and more sheer data processing than nearly any other common activity or
sport. The reactions and accurate decision making abilities needed have
been likened to the reactions of fighter pilots! The consequences of bad
decisions or poor situational awareness are pretty much the same for
both groups too.

Occasionally, as a rider I have caught myself starting to make bad or
late decisions while riding. In flight training, my instructors called
this being "behind the power curve". It is a mark of experience that
when this begins to happen, the rider recognizes the situation, and more
importantly, does something about it. A short break, a meal, or even a
gas stop can set things right again as it gives the brain a chance to
catch up.

Good, accurate, and timely decisions are essential when riding a
motorcycle... at least if you want to remain among the living. In short,
the brain needs to keep up with the machine.

I had been banging around the roads of east Texas and as I headed back
into Dallas, found myself in very heavy, high-speed traffic on the
freeways. Normally, this is not a problem, I commute in these conditions
daily, but suddenly I was nearly run down by a cage that decided it
needed my lane more than I did. This is not normally a big deal either,
as it happens around here often, but usually I can accurately predict
which drivers are not paying attention and avoid them before we are even
close. This one I missed seeing until it was nearly too late, and as I
took evasive action I nearly broadsided another car that I was not even
aware was there!

Two bad decisions and insufficient situational awareness... all within
seconds. I was behind the power curve. Time to get off the freeway.

I hit the next exit, and as I was in an area I knew pretty well, headed
through a few big residential neighborhoods as a new route home. As I
turned onto the nearly empty streets I opened the visor on my full-face
helmet to help get some air. I figured some slow riding through the
quiet surface streets would give me time to relax, think, and regain
that "edge"so frequently required when riding.

Little did I suspect...

As I passed an oncoming car, a brown furry missile shot out from under
it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me. It was a squirrel,
and must have been trying to run across the road when it encountered the
car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time to brake or
avoid i t - it was that close.

I hate to run over animals... and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but
a squirrel should pose no anger to me. I barely had time to brace for
the impact.

Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels can take care of themselves!

Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing
on his hind legs and facing the oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve
in his little beady eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible
second, he screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel
for, "Banzai!" or maybe, "Die you gravy-sucking, heathen scum!" as the
leap was spectacular and he flew over the windshield and impacted me
squarely in the chest.

Instantly he set upon me. If I did not know better I would have sworn he
brought twenty of his little buddies along for the attack. Snarling,
hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I
was dressed only in a light t-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans
this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry little tornado was
doing some damage!

Picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in
jeans, a t-shirt, and leather gloves puttering maybe 25mph down a quiet
residential street... and in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And

I grabbed for him with my left hand and managed to snag his tail. With
all my strength I flung the evil rodent off the left of the bike, almost
running into the right curb as I recoiled from the throw.

That should have done it. The matter should have ended right there. It
really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the
pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have
headed home. No one would have been the wiser.

But this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary
pissed-off squirrel.

This was an evil attack squirrel of death!

Somehow he caught my gloved finger with one of his little hands, and
with the force of the throw swung around and with a resounding thump and
an amazing impact he landed square on my back and resumed his rather
anti-social and extremely distracting activities. He also managed to
take my left glove with him!

The situation was not improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were
continuing, and now I could not reach him.

I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of the
throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and
my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand
and into the throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a Valkyrie can
only have one result. Torque. This is what the Valkyrie is made for, and
she is very, very good at it.

The engine roared as the front wheel left the pavement. The squirrel
screamed in anger. The Valkyrie screamed in ecstasy. I screamed
in...well... I just plain screamed.

Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in
jeans, a slightly squirrel torn t-shirt, and only one leather glove
roaring at maybe 70mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential
street... on one wheel and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man
and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder.

With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my other hand back on
the handlebars and try to get control of the bike. This was leaving the
mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did not want to crash
into somebody's tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had not yet figured
out how to release the throttle... my brain was just simply overloaded.
I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little affect against
the massive power of the big cruiser.

About this time the squirrel decided that I was not paying sufficient
attention to this very serious battle (maybe he is a Scottish attack
squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got IN my full-face
helmet with me. As the faceplate closed partway and he began hissing in
my face I am quite sure my screaming changed tone and intensity. It
seemed to have little affect on the squirrel however.

The rpm's on The Dragon maxed out (I was not concerned about shifting at
the moment) and her front end started to drop.

Now picture the large man on the huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed
in jeans, a very ragged torn t-shirt, and wearing one leather glove,
roaring at probably 80mph, still on one wheel, with a large puffy
squirrel's tail sticking out his mostly closed full-face helmet. By now
the screams are probably getting a little hoarse.

Finally I got the upper hand... I managed to grab his tail again, pulled
him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This
time it worked... sort-of. Spectacularly sort-of, so to speak.

Picture the scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off
on a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do
some paperwork.

Suddenly a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in
jeans, a torn t-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing one leather
glove, moving at probably 80mph on one wheel, and screaming bloody
murder roars by and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade
directly into your police car.

I heard screams. They weren't mine...

I managed to get the big motorcycle under directional control and
dropped the front wheel to the ground. I then used maximum braking and
skidded to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign at a busy
cross street.

I would have returned to fess up (and to get my glove back). I really
would have. Really. But for two things. First, the cops did not seem
interested or the slightest bit concerned about me at the moment. One of
them was on his back in the front yard of the house they had been parked
in front of and was rapidly crabbing backwards away f rom the patrol car.
The other was standing in the street and was training a riot shotgun on
the police cruiser.

So the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to "let the
professionals handle it" anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I
swear I could see the squirrel, standing in the back window of the
patrol car among shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery, and
shaking his little fist at me. I think he was shooting me the finger!

That is one dangerous squirrel. And now he has a patrol car!

I took a deep breath, turned on my turn-signal, made an easy right turn,
and sedately left the neighborhood.

As for my easy and slow drive home? Screw it. Faced with a choice of
80mph cars and inattentive drivers, or the evil, demonic, attack
squirrel of death... I'll take my chances with the freeway. Every time.

And I'll buy myself a new pair of gloves.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004:
Read this. I mean it, read this.

Not much I can add to that except to express my pure disgust with the Bush administration.

Note: Comments server is down.

Monday, January 12, 2004:
Work work work. blah. Where's my billion $ lottery win?

Some cool stuff in the Ain't it Cool? dept...

I wouldn't mind watching some Bruce Lee action while working wearing a set of these things. I continue to love how the science fiction of yesterday becomes the traditional tech of today.

I mentioned a couple posts back about my problem with spam email and using an old version of Netscape that I didn't really want to get rid of. Well, I think I found a solution. It's free for one account and you can upgrade to the Pro version to handle multiple accounts. I've been playing with it for a week now and I think I'll end up going for the Pro. It makes doing your email a 2-step process, but once the filters, black-listing, etc., are all in place, getting less spam is a good thing.

Mars is cool. And I don't mean cold, although it is a bit chilly there. I mean, it's cool, as in golf-cart sized rovers running about, robotic geologists sampling stuff, and neat pictures. Check it out.

And now, in the OMFG sub-department of the Ain't it Cool? department... Star Trek. I've been a Trekker since the first episode aired back in 1966. Right, Trekker, not Trekkie. Trekkie denotes some nerdish prepubescent geek dressed up in crepe and wearing a rubber Klingon Halloween mask that's been sneezed in a few too many times. A Trekker is a fan of the science, the scripting, the work behind the scenes, the Feinbergers, the moral stances integrated into the show, the chances taken that were ahead of their time (tv's first interracial kiss, prophetic medical technology, etc.), and even William Shatner's demonstrative acting. When I first heard about this Star Trek web site and project, my first thought was "Riiiight...". Figured some sort of web flash animation thingie. Or home movies. Nothing against home movies, btw. As a non-sequiteur, check out this home movie. Not Star Trek, but close enough. Anyway, back to the subject. I checked out the web site, read some things, then looked at the pictures. OMG. I care not one whit if the actors are amateurs (not all are, they have some cool guest stars). I don't care if they don't have a 5 million dollar budget per episode. This is some pretty darn exciting stuff to me and I can't wait to download the first episode (coming later this month). And proceeds go to charity? I'd say this was a classic No-Lose Scenario. I'm excited ;)

Monday, January 05, 2004:
Happy New Year!
Resolution: less procrastination, starting tomorrow.

Ain't it Cool?
Virtual Keyboard! That's just cool. I will be getting one, just 'cause it's cool. Will probably used it like twice or something, but it's cool. Now, where are them dang holographic displays?

Ain't it Sad?
The Seahawks had a tremendous game going with the Packers. Then one little mistake. /sigh

Ain't it Stupid?
When I was a kid, lo these many centuries ago, I had an original metal Slinky. It had a cool sound and the feeling of it dancing back and forth in my hands was curiously soothing. But a movie about a Slinky? An Indiana Jones Slinky? I can't even fathom where an otherwise operable human mind could come up with such an idea. Or perhaps I'm being too generous with the 'operable' part.

Watched T3: Rise of the Machines again. Too bad they couldn't get a good scriptwriter for that movie. Special effects were good, I liked the fembot, both in the flesh and the metal. But... remote control over physical objects? Pleeease. John Connor was a wimp. Bad writing. I'm sure the actor that portrayed Connor could pull off a stronger role, but casting for his part could have been better. Internal consistency was lacking, also. Not going to give any spoilers, but it could have been better.

I'm getting a decent collection of live concerts on dvd now. Rush, Uriah Heep, ELP, more. Great stuff. The new Led Zepplin dvd collection is VERY much worth having.

Back to work.

EDIT: a pic of the town I live in was requested. So here it is. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003:
In the WTF? department...

Snow in Hawaii?? Gotta be global warming. Or El Nino. Or something. That's like electricity finally coming to Montana. Nobody expected it but it had to happen sometime.

In the Ain't It Cool? department...

Black and White M&Ms. I used to like M&Ms. Love chocolate. And they're small, easy to manage, don't melt in your hand. What's not to like? So, why haven't M&Ms been my chocolate staple? Is the candy shell too hard to crack? Not enough chocolatey goodness per bite? Dunno. But I do know that as soon as this contest is announced, M&Ms will flood my home. Willy Wonka was a great Darwinian executioner.


The Donut to End ALL Donuts. Caffiene laced pastry. OMG. Gimme fresh-ground Columbian, M&Ms, and a box of these babies, and I'll be set.

So, I'm leaving the store the other day and this woman is coming toward the door. Being the chivalrous sort I am, I hold the door open for her. Such a look she give me. I could hear her thoughts... Damn hippy. Think you're good enough to open a door for me? Sod off! Well hell. And, of course, coming the other way where I didn't see, another woman towing a kid and lugging a couple bags of stuff... yup, gives me a look. Da hell is wrong with you, boy? You don't see I'm loaded up and don't wanna wrassle tryin' to get the door open? The two go by in opposite directions. I stand there a sec, light a smoke before heading to the car. Some guy in a suit is coming toward the door. I figure, why not? Holidays and all, I'll be nice. I'm not totally apathetic yet. The guy smiles, says 'thank you,' then winks. Some days, you just can't win.

Friday, December 26, 2003:
Got a foot of snow last night and it's still coming down. Yay for a white Christmas :)

My mother made a crocheted bedspread for me, with a dragon on shield design. Very awesome.

Need to get me a good digital camera.

Not much to say today, got games to play and coffee to drink.

I hope that those of you that come by here have a safe and great holiday time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003:
And now for some quotes....

Hey guys, it's ok! He just wanted his machete back.

Don't run. We are your friends.

I don't know where we're goin', but there's no sense bein' late.

Assassination is the highest form of public service.

I just know, before this is over, I'm gonna need a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitchin'.

First, we must observe the ancient ritual of the pre-fight donut.

An intellectual carrot. The mind boggles.

I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off whatever it is.

It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.

Never interrupt me when I'm talking to myself.

Music to drown by. Now I know I'm in first class.

That wasn't flying, that was falling with style!

You know, you might come in useful. While they are eating you it will give me a chance to get away.

Somebody help me, I'm being spontaneous!

Thank you for the cookies. I look forward to tossing them.

Red meat! We crave sustenance!

If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass when it hopped.

My reputation precedes me. Otherwise I'd be late for all my appointments.

Wait! Come back! I was gonna make espresso.

Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you!

The trouble with being infallible is that you have to deal with everyone else making mistakes.

It is said that the civilized man seeks out good and intelligent company, so that by learned discourse, he may rise above the savage, and be closer to God. Personally, however, I like to start the day with a total dickhead to remind me that I'm best.

You know the monkey is the only cookie animal that gets clothes. . . .I wonder if the hippo is like, 'Hey, where are my clothes?' and the monkey is like, 'I mock you with my monkey pants!'

The best way to find out where you are from is find out where you are going and work backwards.

You may have stopped my MAD robots, but you will not escape my flashing ball.

I'd better get a new rubber duckie. This one is too mean.

Thoughts of sex distracted me and now I have to immolate myself to subdue the buzzing in my head!

There's nary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman!

This is nothing out of the unusual. Cows turn themselves inside out all the time.

I'm not trying to rescue you, I'm taking you along as emergency rations. If you die, I'll eat you.

I hate broccoli, and yet, in a certain sense, I am broccoli.

I'm betting that I'm just abnormal enough to survive.

The owls are not what they seem.

I'm not bald, I'm just taller than my hair!

Distract me? A beautiful woman laying naked in a bathtub? HAH! ...... Where was I?

Shut up! I hate chatty food.

If I have to sacrifice my integrity for po litics, I guess I'll just have to stay a lawyer!

Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time.

And if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce it tastes much more like prunes than rhubarb does.

Attention: tonight's supper will be baked beans. Musical program to follow.

I am not a complete idiot. Some of the parts are on backorder.


Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2003:
Saturday I spent all day in Everquest. Yesterday was football and movie day, with a little D2 thrown in. The frickin' Seahawks are going to give me a frickin' heart attack. Excellent 1st quarter, then the entire team fell asleep.

Anyway... been thinking about using something new for an email client. Have no trust for MS stuff. Office scares me with all it's inviting orifices for viri, worms, etc. Been using Netscape 4.05 for a long time, years. It's worked well, but it just can't handle the spam anymore. Would like to be able to migrate all my email messages and folder setups to a new program, but that's probably not going to be possible. Going to look at Mozilla, I think. Then there's Eudora and a plethoric host of email clients out there.

Good grief! December 22nd??? Sheesh. What do I want for Christmas? hmmm....

Multi-format DVD recorder
New VHS player so I can unshelve the 100+ tapes I have and put them on DVD
Dodge Viper
New headphones (got 'em)
Flannel pajamas
Velvet house coat
64" High definition plasma television
World of Warcraft beta
Sigil Games alpha
Pink Floyd concerts on DVD

The dragonblog email address is up.
Comments are working.
The hordes are massing, frothing at the gate.
Mixed metaphors are cool.

Friday, December 19, 2003:
snow-shod boots
    thin socks
        coffee smells good today

What the heck is that? I don't know anything about haiku.

Anyway, I was reminiscing this morning. More like day-dreaming actually, soaking up caffiene and yelling at the cat. Well, not yelling. More like being his love slave. Anyway, back in... um, when was that? 1980-whenever. Remember the movie Dragonslayer? I was a member of The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) at the time it was being released, living in Portland, Oregon. Paramount Pictures contaced our local chapter and asked whether or not we'd be interested in helping promote the picture's release in Portland. We considered it carefully, weighing the pros and cons. Are you kidding?? The biggest collection of nerds, geeks, and fantasy buffs in the state? Of course we accepted without question, other than when and where. So, on the night of the event, dozens and dozens of us, all in full regalia, swarmed in downtown Portland outside of the Broadway Theatre. And we got a crowd. Boy, did we get a crowd. As soon as the staged fights began between armored and weaponed participants, the crowd grew by 10 or so police. There was a squealing shriek... or a shrieking squeal, don't remember which, and one of our guys was off chasing some gal down the street, waving his sword and yelling something about "Wench! It's only a codpiece!" The promotion went off well, the movie was great, Paramount was pleased, no arrests were made. What did we get out of it? A couple hundred 4" x 4" Dragonslayer stickers.

Speaking of movies... ever see Amazing Grace and Chuck? Cool little flick. A bit unrealistic, but it is tagged as a fantasy. Jamie Lee Curtis (rawr!), Gregory Peck. And me. Yup, I'm in that movie. A couple scenes, anyway. Have to look quick. My car's in there somewhere too. Lemme tell you, Jamie cracked me up so bad during filming. She's got a great sense of humor. All the production assistants wore those flourescent orange plastic hunting vests (so they'd be easy to spot) and any time one got near her, Jamie would whip out a Magic Marker and write crap on the vest. "For a good time, call...", "Don't even think about it.", and so on. Gregory Peck looked so thin and frail, tottering around, I thought he would drop dead at any moment. But, on film, he looked great. Magic, I guess. And Alex English is tall. Dang, he is tall. Tallest person I've ever been around. Warm, flat, alcohol-free beer is... well, it's bad. And you can't just pretend to drink it when you're on camera. Was a great experience all around.

Edit: Seems the comments server is down. Not like there's a lot of people wanting to leave comments, but one never knows.

Thursday, December 18, 2003:
It has literally been years since my web site was updated. Same old stuff. Well, maybe I should do something... spiffy it up, add new content, reorganize, get rid of bad links. Good idea. Yup. /yawn

Meanwhile, in the WTF? department...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The president of the United States does not have the power to detain an American citizen seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, in a serious setback to the bush administration's war on terror.

A "serious setback" that a US citizen can't be snatched off the streets and sequestered away in a military prison without legal representation or procedure of law? What the hell brand of LSD are these jokers eating? Three cheers for the Patriot Act. To borrow a phrase... "This facist crap makes me want to puke." Sure, the creep in question deserved to be picked up, but you can't just throw away a couple centuries of jurisprudence for some misguided concept of convenience.
You can read the whole article here.

Then, in the Ain't it Cool? department...

Sony Unveils World's First 'Running' Humanoid Robot

Sure, they're making these things for entertainment purposes, but did you catch the line about how some models can get back up after falling down? Some interesting advances here with balance and mobility. Give a couple of these things swords and the AI that was used in The Return of the King (generated battlefield soldiers - except for the run away part), toss them in an arena, sell tickets... whole new meaning to Robot Wars.

Regarding this blog... it's purely a vanity thing. Sometimes (every day?) I have the urge to say something and there's only so many physical ears to go around for my verbal spewings. Whether or not I get millions of visits to this page an hour or just a couple a month doesn't really matter. But, if traffic warrants it and a couple email messages think it's a good idea, I'll look into adding a comments-per-post section for the horde of readers.

Edit: okay, why not? I added the ability to comment on posts. I'm so lame.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003:
Things that are pissing me off at the moment...

Parents that refuse to take responsibility for their children
The economy
G.W. Bush
The economy
Stuff that doesn't work the way it's supposed to
Repetitive lyrics
Sam Hain, my cat, who has decided that today is the day to be a royal pain in the ass
My coffee cup... it's empty
Work... I'd rather be writing, composing music, playing my guitar, learning my synth programs
My house... my house sucks... inadequate power needs, too small
Trite euphanisms
Willful ignorance (all time favorite)
Software bugs
Procrastination, mainly my own
My car, impossible to get parts (1964 Ford Galaxie, 390 Interceptor, arrrrrrr!)
Neighbors and their car parking skills (lack thereof)
Dirty dishes (I need a frickin' maid... with frickin' laser beams?)
Planned obsolescence
Email spam
Telephone spam
Snail mail spam
Canned Spam
Mystery Science Theater isn't on anymore
My broken VHS player
Driving in winter
Lack of a comedic item to finish off this list

Tuesday, December 16, 2003:
Well, I threatened myself I was going to do this at some time... create a place for personal musings.
So here it is.
Colors, background, etc. will change as I get a round tuit.

In the meantime, I was re-reading Footfall (Niven/Pournelle) again for the nth time and one of the chapter header quotes finally struck me:

"Only one ship is seeking us, a black-
Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back
A huge and birdless silence. In her wake
No waters breed or break."

- Philip Larkin, "Next, Please"

Maybe it was just my mood at the time, but there's some interesting imagry/feelings coming out of that.
For some Philip Larkin stuff (and a test of whether or not I can embed a link), go to Larkin stuff.