Tag Archive for time

Grave Peril

The third book in the Dresden Files series, Grave Peril, is more of the same of the previous two books… and that’s no bad thing in my opinion.  The first book was a bad wizard, the second was werewolves, and this time around Harry tangles with ghosts and vampires.

Well done, Mr. Butcher.  Well done.

Saving Daylight

Why is it that when I gain an hour in the fall, I never really notice, but when I lose an hour in the spring, it hits me like a ton of bricks?

I would go on with a diatribe about how I think Daylight Saving Time is stupid and we should just pick one, or split the difference and shift half an hour one way and be done with it… but I don’t have the energy.

Tis the Season

Or perhaps it isn’t.

I can’t help but think that something is missing this year. Of course, as with every year since her passing, I miss my mother. She really enjoyed Christmas time. And I have lamented before about the lack of Christmas TV programming, specifically It’s A Wonderful Life being shown nine million times on seventy channels.

But this year, there is something else missing… It seems that even though people dislike thinking of Christmas as a commercial holiday full of spending money, they’ve also managed to suck everything but the commerce out of it. I was at a mall last week and they weren’t playing holiday music, not even the old classical stuff, and they didn’t have much in the way of decorations at all. A few stores had up some bows or snowflakes, but the mall itself was clear of holiday cheer. The grocery stores all look the same as they do any other day of the year, as do the Target’s and Wal-Marts. Best Buy has adopted a gift logo for general use, so even though it might appear they’ve got “present” decorations up, it is really just their every day stuff. At restaurants, nothing indicates that any celebration might be going on, except maybe the occasional wreath.

Luckily, many of my neighbors, myself included, put out lights and other decorations… but many is less than half, and once I leave the neighborhood it becomes a rare occurrence to see anything in the spirit of the season that isn’t directly selling something.

Lots of people I know say they are having trouble getting into the spirit, and to me at least its easy to see why.

I suppose it might be considered insensitive to want to see more celebration of my chosen holiday… but isn’t it also insensitive to want to see less celebration of someone else’s chosen holiday? I really don’t care… I want to see more of everyone celebrating however they choose to celebrate it.

Anyway… I’m off to observe my holiday traditions… a bunch of nothing today, followed by a late night snacky supper (sandwiches with all the fixin’s), a fitful sleep, breakfast and presents over at Dad’s house in the morning, and a misfits family Christmas dinner at night.

So here’s to you, in all that you do, whatever you are up to. Merry Christmas!


Stuff on the Net XVII

For some reason, I just love this video and music. I play it every day to start my day.

I’ve seen it a million times and the internet classic of Charlie goes to Candy Mountain is still just as messed up as it was the first time I saw it.

I used to run Stuff on the Net every month or two, but people stopped sending me cool links, and I don’t want to just repeat the things I see on other blogs I read. So, send me cool links…

Caught in a Pornado!

This makes me laugh.

Honestly, who doesn’t believe that could actually happen? Over the years (and because I’m a programmer of web pages myself) I have gotten pretty good at spotting fake links and stopping myself from getting taken to sites I don’t want to go to, but I see it happen to other folks all the time.

Oh well… I hope she doesn’t go to jail if it really wasn’t her fault. Definitely though, cases like these need to spend a little more time investigating the computer. They have computer forensics for a reason.

Tagged for Five

It appears that I’ve been tagged with the latest of internet fads (some people like to call them memes, but whatever). So, I’m supposed to tell you five things that you might not know about me… damn, I’ve been putting crap on the internet since June of 1998, I think I might be out of stuff to tell… but here goes and forgive me if any of this is a repeat:

  1. After failing 5 out of 9 classes in three quarters at Southern Tech (now Southern Polytechnic), I was invited to leave. I could blame it on the girl. I could blame it on me leaving the girl after she broke my heart. I could blame it on my deciding to take a full time job. I could blame it on the lure of the student center in winter, the 25 cent cups of hot chocolate and the endless loops of Article 99 and other movies. But the truth is, despite having graduated High School with less than a 2.5 GPA, I actually took and passed 2 AP Exams which allowed me to skip several college classes and the ones I took (2 of the 4 classes I passed) first quarter where, for me, repeats of stuff I had to learn for the AP Exams. So I barely went to class and still got A’s. I thought to myself, “This college stuff is easy!” and I continued not going to class because… I didn’t want to go. So yes, my grades were actually 4 A’s (first quarter), 3 F’s (second quarter) and 2 F’s (third quarter). It was at this point my parents stopped paying for school, I was invited to transfer to another (easier) college and finally learned what my parents had known since I started pulling C’s in 8th grade: My grades weren’t bad because I was stupid, my grades were bad because I was lazy. I stopped being lazy and started making the A’s and B’s I should have been getting all along. Some lessons have a price, this one cost me 4 years of tuition out of my own pocket.
  2. I ask people to remind me of things so I will remember them without being reminded. Its really funny because if I try to remember important stuff on my own, I forget. But, if I tell someone, “Hey, remind me later to…” I never forget and don’t need the reminding. So, I’ve taken up the habit of asking people to remind me of anything I want to remember. It used to drive my wife insane until she learned to ignore anything I asked her to remind me of.
  3. My nose has not stopped bleeding since I was 11 years old. And I’m 32 now. I remember the first time it happened. We lived in Pennsylvania at the time, and we were outside clearing the snow off the drive way. I thought my nose was running, but the look on my mother’s face is something I’ll never forget. I actually thought she was looking at something behind me, and I turned around, slipped, and fell into the snow. When I got up, there was a big patch of red snow where I had fallen. There was blood down the front of my face and jacket. Most days it just bleeds a little and is held back with some light sniffling (over 21 years I’ve probably said the phrase “No, I don’t have a cold”, umm, eleventy billion times), other days I have to stuff my nose with a tissue or cotton to help it back up and clot and scab. I’ve had four different doctors look at the problem, which has resulted in two failed attempts to cauterize the inside of my sinuses and my complete and utter loss of faith in the phrase “Just relax, this will only hurt a little bit.” I have been told that I could have surgery, something similar to that which they do for people with a deviated septum or a small skin transplant, but not only do they not guarantee it would solve the problem, I have yet to have an insurance carrier willing to cover it either claiming it is a pre-existing condition or that its elective cosmetic surgery. All in all, the skin inside my nose is thin, and changes in humidity and/or temperature (you know, stuff like turning on the heater in my car or entering an air conditioned building) can cause it to crack and split. On the bright side, I have been instructed not to donate blood since if I were to have a serious nose bleed immediately after getting blood taken there could be serious problems (like passing out and death and stuff).
  4. I keep a list of all the people I’ve promised things to should I ever win the lottery. And before you start asking, I only make promises to people who ask for reasonable stuff that I think they could really benefit from.
  5. I wear both an engagement ring and a wedding ring. When I first met a girl I thought I might marry (see item 1 on this list), I came up with this wacky idea. That relationship didn’t work out. Neither did any of them for the next nine years, then I asked my then girlfriend (now wife) to marry me and explained the idea, which she loved, and we did it (sort of). Now, let me explain… Marriage, to me, has always been about two things, love and the relationship. The wedding ring, traditionally a gold ring, is a symbol of love. Gold doesn’t fade, it doesn’t tarnish, just like love. If you have ever loved someone, you will always love them, they may change and you may not love the person they become, but you will always love the person you fell in love with. Love doesn’t fade, it doesn’t tarnish. The engagement ring, to me, is a symbol of the relationship. This ring is silver. Silver, you see, if left alone, if not cared for, will tarnish, turn ugly. You have to tend to silver, polish it, work with it. Just like a relationship. You have to care for your marriage, you have to talk and work things out. The silver engagement ring is a symbol of our willingness to commit to that work. Commitment and Love, Silver and Gold. Only, it turns out the girl I asked to marry me is allergic to Nickel, which is used in about 99.99999% of gold alloys, so we went with Titanium instead, because it too does not tarnish with the added bonus that if I’m ever on a deep sea mining rig that is flooding, I can use the ring to stop a pressure door from closing. To that end, my wife and I have matching silver engagement bands (right ring finger) and matching titanium wedding rings (left ring finger).

And there you have it… now I’m supposed to tag five people, and I’m going to be mean and introduce this fad (meme) to MySpace. Kevin, Kelly, A.J., T.D., and Jason… Suck it!

2006: Day 4 – On The Turning Away

Every year, the 4th day of Dragon*Con is a little sad. Not just because its the last day, but also because something always forces me to leave early. So there isn’t much to say about day 4, I woke up, I packed, and then I went to the Exhibition and Dealer rooms one more time. 10 AM on Monday is such a peaceful time to browse. In the words of Verbal Kint, “And poof. Just like that [it’s] gone.”

So, here’s looking toward next year, and hopefully checking in on Thursday and checking out on Tuesday.


So, the wife and I have been looking for a house. Again. We started some time last year, but it didn’t work out, then we started again and found nothing. This year we went and looked at a bunch of places but either they were too small, or too damaged.

But about two weeks ago we were told about a house which was just going on the market. A foreclosure. In fact, it was a HUD sale. So we went to see the house and… wow. It was perfect. Following procedures, I got myself preapproved for a loan again, and we put in a bid. See, HUD homes work like this, everyone who is interested fills out some government forms and puts in their best offer. Then HUD closes the bidding, reviews the applications and decides who wins.

We won!

Our House.

Nothing to See Here

Seriously… for some reason today my brain is so horribly scattershot that I’ve been staring at my article entry page for a while and haven’t been able to think of anything to write about. I think it may have to do with the mind numbing task I’ve been doing at work… replacing direct table queries with view based queries. Its a web app, with about 200 pages, and every page uses queries. Ugh.

So, allow me to hit you with some random thoughts…

TV Shows: Its May, which means that just about every show is pulling stunt casting and/or running season finales. I happen to watch alot of TV and my biggest concern is my favorite shows are on either UPN or the WB, neither network will exist in the fall. The CW (the combination of UPN and the WB) will be announcing their line-up on May 18th. Most other networks will be doing so around the same time as its Upfronts week. Veronica Mars and Supernatural had better make the cut and show up in the fall.

Comic Books: I’m really itchin’ for volume 5 of the Walking Dead to come out at the end fo the month…

Books: I actually finished my pirate book and started something else, but I’m too scattered to really review the pirate book. I want to read more undead/zombie books, but I don’t own any.

Houses: Who are the people who are buying these $500k+ homes around Atlanta? and how can I get their jobs? I always thought my salary was fairly decent, but unless these people are really overstretching their budgets and plan on defaulting their loans or flipping their houses for resale, I must be wrong and my pay sucks.

Computer Games: I really need to play more games. I miss it. But new games will require a new PC investment. *sigh* I guess I’ll stick with World of Warcraft, and maybe start playing Puzzle Pirates or something…

… and why is it that the guy at the newsstand laughs at me every time I ask him to sell me a winning lottery ticket?

A How-To Guide

Basically, it’s for my brother, but I’ve added a simple “How To” guide on Programming to the site here. It’s over on the right listed as “So you want to be a programmer?”

It isn’t anything fancy, just the basic rules that I personally follow when it comes to programming, which is what I do for a living. The main idea behind it is that you don’t need to spend large amounts of time trying to memorize all the nuances of a language, just learn the basics and fake the rest.