Sunday, October 15, 2006

A few notes from the week past...

1> Plumbing hurts. Our master bedroom's bathroom was desperately needing redoing, so I started. Of course, the medicine cabinet had rusted, so a new vanity was needed. Then the sink won't match the new mirror, so let's just put in a pedistal sink (makes the room look much less cluttered). And the linoleum was warn out. And.. well, you get the picture.

To put in a pedistal sink, I had to undo the twisty plumbing that was put in for the last sink. I started learning how to sweat (i.e. soldier) copper a couple of weeks ago, and after throwing my first couple of creations away, I thought I was ready.

Of course, I bought the wrong size drywall AGAIN. Sitting on the floor for 6 hours straight hurts. But I have pipes that aren't (yet) leaking, a wall that's mostly solid, and one step closer to the master bathroom of my dreams (or at least not my nightmares). And only two superficial burns. (Don't touch the hot pipe.)

2> Writing is hard. I've had three posts bouncing around in my head this week, but I've not been posting or writing in so long that I couldn't get started. Therefore, I'm just starting now. I think you'll get more posts this week. But that's not a promise. :)

3> I'm really really sick of politics. I should be more interested, but I get this deep, retching feeling every time I think of either group of bozos in Washington. I don't know if I'll be able to do much political commentary this year.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Why I'm Not a Conspiracy Theory Nut

Number 1 Son loves to watch shows about alien conspiracies. Milady and I have been working too well on instilling a libertarian streak in him: he doesn't trust the government to tell the truth. How he can also claim to be a good Democrat too, I'm not sure... ;)

I would use my own words, but daveschoder summed it up so well over in this comment at SlashDot:

We can't keep any of our classified programs secret; we have people coming out of the woodwork at AT&T and within the intelligence agencies themselves to leak every possible program we've got going on in the "war on terror", but yet we can manage to keep it secret that the government itself directly planned and executed 9/11 and also murdered 3000 of its own citizens, despite millions of pages of evidence to the contrary, Islamic extremist organizations the world over, and so on - this is getting better than Holocaust denial!

Like I've told Number 1 Son: Nixon and the plumbers couldn't keep a simple break-in secret. I used to suspect that the mafia had killed Oswald, but even the mafia couldn't keep that kind of secret. No, there's no way 200+ people have kept the Aliens secret at Area 51, or that Dub and crew fixed the WTC buildings, etc.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Requests for prayer

A young man, Drew O., who goes to our homeschool co-op, fell 30 feet out of a tree Tuesday, and has been unconscious and in ICU ever since. The doctors have had to put him in a drug-induced coma to try to keep his brain fluid pressure down, and have been somewhat successful. At last word, he will have to stay in the coma for at least another day or two, and then they'll wake him up to see if he can start responding again.

Also, the son of Little Miss' Sunday School teachers, Jarrod, has not been responding well after surgery to close a cleft palate. He has not been wanting to eat or drink. We need to pray that he gets his appetite back, and that eating and drinking don't hurt him.

(8:12PM Update: Jerrod is eating, and seems to be turning the corner. No updates on Drew yet.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I fibbed

In the splash page, I said:

Thanks to the new work, I needed to move the blog over to a new database. I started to do it, and halfway through, I asked myself, "Why am I doing this?" That's when I realized that I am just not up to blogging right now.

I haven't tossed the old articles yet, so I may bring them back in a couple of months.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

It seems I'm hooked on blogging. I had the blog down two days and was wanting to post at least three different things. Guess you're stuck with me, whomever's reading.

Monday, July 17, 2006

He's Back

Dave from Revenge of Mr. Dumpling is back. Since Dave was one of the first bloggers to hit my webrolls, I just had to mention it.

Good to see you back.

Updated: I just checked the blog roll, and it looks like Spoons and Nick Queen have made a reappearance too. I've moved them out of the "no see" category too. You know, the one I was in. ;)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Milady is well

I had hoped to take the laptop to the hospital, but we ended up not staying long enough for me to even log in had I taken it.

Milady is very well. She is in great spirits, and is doing physically well. Moreover, the stress associated with the cancer is gone. Her blood pressure is down from 138/98 or so down to 118/78, and her sugar (we think) is also down from borderline high to normal.

She had a full bi-lateral mascectomy, and we have chosen not to have any reconstruction.

Thanks for everyone's prayers and well wishes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Milady will have surgery Friday

I was going to post the story of our trip to New York last week, but the computer didn't co-operate. Last night, I was going to try again, but then I had another migraine. So maybe tonight or tomorrow. ;)

Milady's doctors have advised her to go ahead and have a preventative mascectomy, and scheduled it for Friday. She will also have a preventative hysterectomy in December.

We haven't confirmed it yet, but it appears that her mother's family may have Cowden Disease in it, which means that her chances of feminine cancers are in the 30 to 40 percent range.

Please pray for Milady, and the entire family.

Monday, May 29, 2006

They finally hit a ball

I've been a Cincinatti Reds fan as long as I liked baseball. I think my Grandfather helped influence that. I've wanted Reds tickets ever since the 1990 World Series.

Our homeschool co-op got free tickets from the Reds for Friday, and I paid $30 in the silent auction for all 4 of those tickets. I thought it was a bargin.

Well, they weren't bad. For being way back in the far right corner, on the lower part of the upper deck.

Fortunately, we all REALLY like the Great American Ball Park. Even in the far corner of right field, the field was very watchable.

The game was a different story. The Reds couldn't get a hit, and they stranded 2 on base. Poor Coffey turned a 1 run deficit into a 3 run gap, and that sunk the Reds. The reliever isn't supposed to help the opponents so much.

A couple in our Sunday School class saw Saturday's game, and Arizona shut the reds down again. Terribly embarrasing.

At least the Reds won today, by the skin of their teeth (a 2 run homer in the bottom of the ninth). I told Number 1 Son that that's why you watch baseball: it's not over until the third out.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Playing free poker, again

This is Number 1 Son, if I ever let him play for money with me:

No. 1 Son thinks he's a really good Poker player. The only problem is, he is pretty good. Good enough to where we can't consistently beat the other.

That's why I told him that we can play free tournaments, and games that don't involve paying out money.

Last year, I played this tournament, and he "advised me" (until he got bored and walked off ;) ). So we're going to try it again.

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Migraines stink

Last night about 8PM, I ate some salsa with our neighbor, who'd come over to talk to Milady. Around 9, the salsa got its revenge: I got a migraine. A "spray the whole bathroom with vomit" migraine. This morning, I felt like someone had picked up my brain, used the inside of my head for hammer practice, and thrown the brain back in sideways.

What's worse, I may be getting day 2 of it. If anyone's still reading, I'd appreciate a quick prayer of healing.

(update 5/26: It looks like it's not getting worse, so I think it's just aftershocks, not a full-blown continuation of the attack. One can hope.)

Back from the cold

I think I've managed to lose all my readership but Jeff, but if you've stuck around to check on me, I really appreciate it.

Milady's niece had her bilateral mascetomy, and came through it with flying colors. They had gotten all of the first tumor with the core biopsy, but then found a tumor that had been starting up in the other breast during the post-mascetomy biopsy.

Unfortunately, her genetic test results were completely inconclusive. They didn't find any BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. That doesn't mean there weren't any, or that there aren't any other mutations. Milady's geneticist says that the niece's cancer is genetic, and that Milady has a 25 to 50% chance of having it.

Milady's geneticist completely supports a preventative mascetomy and removal of the overies. She also doesn't think it'll be a problem getting the other doctors to set it up.

As the quote from Mother Theresa supposedly goes, "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

We are praying to God that He leads us. We think right now that He's provided this information so that Milady can get the surgery done now, ahead of any cancer.

We would really appreciate all the prayers you can give.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Genetic Tendancies -- and needs for prayer

I'm sorry for not posting, but things have been hectic.

Milady's niece has breast cancer. It is Stage 1, and highly differentiated, so her doctors believe that it hasn't hit her lymph nodes yet, and that she can avoid chemotherapy. (The one doctor who did the core biopsy thinks he got the entire tumor when he did the biopsy, but of course couldn't promise it.)

Milady is consulting with a geneticist at the University of Kentucky, and the geneticist is certain that Milady's family is carrying one or more genetic markers for breast cancer. The geneticist is going to test Milady and her niece both, to identify which marker is in play, and whether Milady is now carrying the gene herself.

Our current prayer is that Milady's niece has an easily identified marker, and that Milady doesn't carry it. That means Milady's chances of breast cancer fall back to the same as the general population.

If Milady has the marker too, then plan B is a bilateral masectomy and Tamoxifen for a year or two until she is ready to do a full hysterectomy. She is prepared for that, too.

The worry starts if they can't identify a gene marker in Milady's niece or Milady. Then Milady has to consider having the masectomy and hysterectomy anyway, since the geneticists are 60-80% certain that this cancer is genetic. She just doesn't get that certainty of knowing she HAD to have the surgeries.

Milady's niece has been scheduled for surgery on Friday for a bilateral masectomy, so please pray for her and her doctors. Also, pray that Milady is not carrying the gene markers, and for the geneticists, that they will get an accurate diagnosis.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Prayer of Thanksgiving, and renewal for other prayer request

Milady had her mammogram today, and an ultrasound. She is completely clear and healthy, excluding a pulled back muscle that just won't get better. I'm hoping that's from the stress of waiting for the mammogram, and it'll get better today or tomorrow.

Milady's niece may not be so fortunate. She has calcium deposits consistent with pre-cancerous cells. Depending on test results, this will at least result in a lumpectomy, and possibly a masectomy. Please continue to pray for her.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Request for prayer for Milady and her niece

Wednesday, she went to the doctor with a new lump in her breast, and the doctor said that she should have it checked out further, just to be sure. They didn't have any appointments until next Thursday. Despite her best efforts not to, Milady is fretting over it.

It doesn't help that her niece also has a calcium deposit in her breast that will probably be removed, since her mother died of breast cancer a couple of years ago.

Please pray for both Milady and her niece.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

A Small Outage

The home network went down promptly at 9:35AM EDT this morning. For once, it was Alltel actually doing what they were supposed to do: change over my DSL line to the new ATM technology.

I've gotten a speed boost, and packets do seem to flow much faster now. Things will be even better when naked DSL can be obtained, but we'll take things one step at a time. :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rest In Peace

It was one year today.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

(No) Safety in Numbers

Number 1 Son got to attend TeenPact last Friday, so I took a day off work and accompanied him. They held it in one of the committee rooms in the Capital Annex, so we had to go through security.

If you can call it Security at all. Everyone I saw was setting off metal detectors, and no one looked. I had my laptop backpack on, and no one even cared to look. I could have left my backpack anywhere in the place, and no one would have cared a bit. Anyone who was armed could have shot their way through the security and been on the floor of either House in a matter of moments.

I'm really glad no one has felt the need to attack Kentucky's State Government, because it would be easy to do.

Friday, March 17, 2006

How can Albany be beating UConn? -- Maybe not

I thought UK was playing at 8:15, so I turned on the UConn-Albany game. It's 11:59, and the only reason UConn is only 10 down is that they are fouling left and right. They can't even make their free throws.

I don't know if UConn will win or not, but Albany deserves to win.

-- Update: OK, UConn won, but they sure didn't deserve to do so.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hope it continues

Yesterday, Number 1 Son went with me to Casey County in the morning to pick up the 1/2 of a beef that my dad had had packed for us. He wouldn't say it directly, but my whole family has been a bit disturbed by my habit of falling asleep when driving tired (imagine that...). I think he was afraid I'd be too tired to drive straight.

Milady wasn't happy for the two of us to head out at 6:30 AM, but out we went. We had to drive by my parents' house to get a second copy of the map to the packing house, then head most of the way in Liberty. When we got to my parents' house, Number 1 Son insisted on calling Milady and telling her we were there. Then he did it again when we got to the packing house.

"Son, why did you call Mom?"

"She was really worried about us, so I wanted to make sure I called."

"She wasn't really that worried."

"Yes, she was, Dad, so I wanted to call."

As Milady said, we can only hope that he keeps this up when he's 16 and out with friends....

Thursday, March 9, 2006

What I've been doing

Milady's niece is having a wedding, and my sister-in-law was throwing me dirty looks. It seems I was overdue a trim-down. I called it my Taliban look:

Big hair

(the color's not right, the picture went dark, so I had to gamma correct the living daylights out of it)

Now I've got a beard that approaches respectable:

little hair

I ended up cleaning some 3 inch hairs out of the sink once I was done trimming my beard.

Fortunately, I'm still one of those long-hair freaky people:

Long Hair

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Prayers for Zola

Ever since we cancelled Dish Network, I haven't been able to watch Zola Levitt, but I have kept track of his ministry.

Now, via WorldNetDaily, I've heard that Zola has stage 4 metastasic lung cancer. We need to all pray for Zola, and his family.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It looks like I've been spotted

Jeff over at Think Sink has obtained a picture that he says shows that I've become active in the Think Sink Martyr's Brigade.

I can neither confirm or deny my participations in any such actions... Nice likeness, though ;)

Monday, February 20, 2006

It's sad that they're just not funny any more

I hadn't thought of Happy Fun Ball for years, but there was a commercial with the traditional warnings, and the only appropriate response came to mind:

"Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."

Milady hadn't seen the Happy Fun Ball commercial, so I went to try to find the video. I couldn't, but I did find the transcript. Milady laughed so loud I thought she'd wake the kids.

With Cialis and crew warning us not to consider 4 hours of a good time as a good thing, it's amazing just how ahead of its time SNL with Phil Hartman and crew were.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Request for prayer

Milady's niece "J" has been in the hospital a couple of days now with a stubborn case of bronchitis that just won't get better. After three days in her local hospital, they're transporting her to Lexington for diagnosis and more time in the hospital.

One thing complicating her illness is that she works as a social worker back home, and on one of her home visits a couple of weeks ago, she walked in on a family that had just been cooking meth. She was on steroids to help open her lungs up, so she breathed a full dose of the fumes. Her doctor in the first hospital knows that didn't help, but he can't tell if that did any damage or not.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Replay of earlier

More DSL trouble. Sorry if you have trouble getting to the site. Of course, if you do, you won't see this note, but I still have to say it. ;)

Monday, February 6, 2006

Selling out

As you can notice to the right, I've included some links to under my Amazon Affiliates account. Anything purchased will go to pay for my bandwidth and/or hosting costs.

The first book I currently have listed is Motel of the Mysteries. This book is a hilarious satire of archaeology, with the protagonist doing an Egyptian-style archaeological dig of a tomb of very important people of Usa (i.e. the permanent residents of the Toot And Come-In Motel!). Motel of the Mysteries is a good tool for understanding that science "fact" is based a lot on the scientist's assumptions (something terribly useful for Creationist parents to share with their children).

The second is Dave MacKenzie's album Solo. Milady and I are great fans of the blues, and MacKenzie is one of the best guitarists I've heard in a long time. Plus, you just have to respect a fellow who will go to a festival and play a song with "I like great big figures when I'm looking at the bottom line" in a song named "Big Ol' Girls" ;).

I finally know what Code Black is

and I'm no better off for it.

Some idiot shot himself with a bazooka, and the unexploded shell was still in his chest. While he sat in the operating room.

I was flipping from channel to channel post-Super Bowl and saw Gray's Anatomy. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

(For the record, I thought someone might have had Ebola, just based on the previews.)

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Ad winners and losers

Winners: My favorite is definitely Ameriquest's "That Killed Him". Second is MacGyver Uses Debit Mastercard.

CGI excellence: FedEx's Caveman Shipping, with Budweiser's "Wave" as #2.

Sentimental Favorite: Budweiser's "Clydesdale American Dream" tied with Dove's Self Esteem.

Best Movie Trailer: V for Vendetta. Best Movie Advertised: probably Cars.

Wierdest: Emerald Nuts.

Second Half

8:25PM I'm going to DisneyWorld. So am I (next year, maybe), it's just going to cost me $2000....

8:32PM: Huge touchdown for the Steelers. Nice.

Gotta go to the bathroom on the plane, and now you're stuck. Ameriquest has another good one (the doctors were better).

The asteroid erodes. Oh, "pebl". It's good that Motorola's current phone came from outer space, they can't make money selling phones from anywhere else.

Captain Hook gives out autographs. He's obviously making that liberal arts degree pay off.

Another Lost ad. I just can't care.

8:42PM: Wow. 10 Minutes without a commercial. Nice. Seattle needs to score, bad.

More Clydedales. This one is sweet, at least. Nothing like a little horse doing the big horse's job.

Fabio gets old fast. I saw this one before now, but it is hilarious. "Live comes at you fast." Good, but not as good as when M. C. Hammer goes broke 15 minutes later.

The old timer wants the old times, when you checked scores on the internet. Haha.

8:49 Time Out

Godzilla-style monster falls in love with giant robot. How very manga-ish. And you get a Hummer. I always knew there was something wrong with them.

People in biohazard suits. They've obviously been around the Packrat household right now. No, just Target cleaners.

Unscripted show. From Lorne Michaels. Sons and Daughter. I knew it'd stink.

Just back from timeout, and Seattle gets the interception and make a 50 yard + return. That's the big play they needed. (Then a touchdown a couple of minutes later.)

8:55PM: The monkeys are back. And his friend works for donkeys. Cute.

Now nerd boy in cool car finds nerd girl, and has Taco Bell. Adam West narrating is an extra touch.

I missed a SlimFast commercial there. I don't notice Optra, since I can't drink it (I'm allergic to NutraSweet.)

Sons and Daughters is going to be VERY stupid.

9:01: The razor commercial is still stupid.

Anthony Hopkins as a speed-hungry au ssie is a strange choice.

So why did they try to flood a Toyota Takoma? And do you REALLY think it just drove away?

9:06PM: The kids and I swept and cleaned the floor a bit for Milady. Wow, they're skipping another commercial opportunity, but they did mention Gray's Anatomy in the show.

9:15: Did I miss one? I was helping Milday clean.

A Benny Hill reference in a Sprint commercial? Very strange.

The rest are local, I think, and not worth mentioning.


Stunt City: Nothing says "Deoderant" like a guy coming through a glass roof.

"Even druids like Emerald Nuts" What?

Paul McCartney is now selling Fidelity Investments. What a sell-off.

Michael J Fox is back on Boston Legal. Good to see him working.

9:28: A reverse pass. Impressive.

Budweiser being poured by the stand pictures. CGI graphics #2, but not as good as the Fedex one.

"We can't leave Jack behind.... Never mind, let's go." I liked the original Pirates of the Cari bean, so I'm somewhat impressed.

MacGyver is back! And he uses Debit MasterCard. I always knew it, myself. MacGyver wasn't a credit kinda guy.

9:34: Another mobile ESPN commercial. Yawn.

Missed the rest of them cleaning, but they weren't good. Nothing lost there.

9:40 The real world series happens in March.

Repeating the "sequel".

Monday Night Football's moving to ESPN. I would care if I ever watched MNF.

This one's old. When you want that one certain teddy, it's gotta be the same teddy. What that has to do with minivans, I don't know.

9:54: "Running Scared". They really didn't wanted to describe what I'd do to this movie.

That guy really should have gotten thrown out of outback.

Westin doesn't smoke. Good to know that.

We still have a Code Black.

10:03PM : Seattle basically falls apart at the end....

And the special ads are done.


The dog just made me lose the first ads of the Halftime. You didn't miss much.

Now the talking heads are talking. Blah.

8:03PM: Code Black is still a Bad Thing. I guess.

"We;re going to hell. Because we're Jews". Sons and Daughters. It will be stupid, because it will try to be too edgy.

Lost: I like "Addicted to Love". They've mucked to make it sound like it says "Addicted to Lost". Argh.

Now we get to see old guys play rock songs. Cool.

8:07PM: At least Mick Jagger doesn't look like he's lip syncing.

Have to shed a bit of the food from the appetizers, so I'll listen to them from the bathroom.

8:20PM: The Evidence is being advertised again.

Now we're back to locals, nothing original there, except a Darryl Isaacs commercial. He's a local ambulance chaser who looks more like a cross between a football linebacker and Guido.

Back to nationals. Grays Anatomy is Code Black again.

Live-Blogging the ads

Last year, I did a commercial wrap-up. This year, I decided to live-blog the commercials.

6:30PM EST: I haven't watched the pre-game ads, so it's all new.

Bud lights all around: Everyone's tearing the office up to find them. Not very original.

Burger King does a 50s musical with burger parts. All of the Burger King "King" commercials worry me. They give me flashbacks to Queen Bee, the Burger Queen character of the Mid-80s, and that brings Druther's "Andy Dandytail" to mind too. For flashbacks like that, I deserve to at least have done enough drugs to have earned them. ;)

More next commercial.

6:39PM EST:

Sierra Mist: The TSA people steal his Sierra Mist, threatening him with a bit of a body search. You know airport security REALLY acts that way.

Bud Light's Magic Fridge: Cute. Why not just buy some more beer though?

16 Blocks: Yawn.

Halftime Show Commercial: If the Rolling Stones wanted to watch themselves, they'd be banned from the field. Heh e.

Rest in the extended body.

6:47PM EDT: Good grief, lot of kicking in the game. Good thing I really don't care about it.

Toyota Hybrid Car. Huh? I watched it, and it still doesn't make a lot of sense. "Dad, why didn't you put money in my college fund?" "I bought this car for your future."

Cave Man Package: Interesting, in an evolutionary nonsense kind of way. Definitely nominated for "Best CGI" category.

Grizzly bear attack: Yet another way giving someone a Bud Light saves the world.

6:51PM EDT: More kicking.

V for Vendetta: It won't be good, but the trailer sure looks good. They could only afford 15 seconds.

diet Pepsi: Catchy, but really weird. A diet Pepsi can singing hip-hop. The can at least sings better than the real singles.

News commercial. Blah, blah, blah.

Back to the game. Maybe they can get a first down this time. (Before I hit save, Seattle did. Yay.)

6:59PM EDT: Field Goal. Yay.

Leonard Nemoy Aleve: Wow, Nempy act ually did "the sign". Amazing what some real money will get one to do.

"That killed him": OK, Ameriquest has a winner. A young doctor uses the paddles to kill a fly and says "That killed him" just as the patient's wife and kid walk into the room. Definitely on my list for favorites.

Cleaning the gutters: Yet another Bud Light commercial. Yikes. One guy falls through his roof. That's why Milady won't let me on the roof.

"Lost": I just can't get into it, and I liked Twin Peaks.

7:04PM: Almost missed the commercials again:

Diet Pepsi: A movie with Jackie Chan... the stunt double is a diet Coke, and it gets stompted. Cute 15 second, but they're about to push the concept into the ground.

Cars: Oh, is that movie going to be SO GOOD.

Dancing with the Stars: Yawn

I think the next is a local Ford commercial. Not original at all.

7:07PM: Wow, they actually skipped a chance to have a commerical. I'm astonished.

7:12PM: Another kickoff... No res t for the blogger.

Clydesdales playing football, and other animals flashing the game. I didn't need to see that either.

The oblivious guy watching his phone: Huh? I'm not sure I get it. Oh, Mobile ESPN. I still don't get it.

Gray's Anatomy: Code Black must be really bad, but I just can't get enough energy to care.


Monkeys running the company: I've never worked for this kind of place, but I've seen them work. It's not fun.

Fashion Model unmelting from the runway: Cadillac is trying way too hard to be something other than an old people's car brand. Haven't they heard that SUVs are bad?

United way and NFL: babies are always cute.

7:20: Interception and commercial. MI-3. Phillip Seymour whatshisnmae is REALLY creapy. He makes such a good bad guy. Only 15 seconds though, and it's got that guy who likes to jump on Oprah's couches.

I love these Dove commercials, "True Colors". Very sweet, and a very good thing to help offset the "supermodel or ugly" view the media and porn reinforces.

ABC is trying to out-CSI CSI with "The Evidence". I like the Rob guy, but this sounds like a loser.

7:26PM The Shaggy Dog: Every time I think Tim Allen has fallen farther into the career commode, he digs just a bit deeper.

Kermit being outdoors: didn't know that Kermit was such an outdoorsman. "I guess it's easy being green". Ford Escape. Ha.

Finally, a beer commercial that isn't dense. Just stupid.

Shaq advertising Desperate Housewifes. I watched it 5 seconds ago, and I've already forgotten it all.

7:35PM: Time-out makes fund of "The girl". Much cleaner than the last one.

7:38: 2 Minute Warning. Poseidon: Boat sinks. People die, climb and crawl. They drown. Save your money.

Boy, I didn't know it was so hard to make razor blades. Now we have 5 razor blades. Is there such a thing as too many blades on a razor?

Another Desperate Housewife commercial. Hugh Hefner likes it. I guess th is is to convince us that manly men will watch a soap opera. Of course, I liked Falcon Crest, so I can't say much...

7:41: Review of the touchdown. Is the O a part of your life? Do you really care? Blah.

7:44PM This Walt Disney commercial isn't new. Very touching.

7:53 PM Time out. They skipped commercials three times. Amazing.

I'm going to make a seperate entry for Halftime another for a Second Half.

First Half Winners:

Ameriquest's "That Killed Him". Easily. No other serious contenders. Honorable mention: The sheep flasher from Budweiser was a distant second.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

We're just negotiating a price

This story has been attributed to several different people, but basically a rich man asks a woman,
"Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?"

"Of course."

"How about $10?"

Outraged the lady yells, "I'm not a whore! What kind of a lady do you think I am?"

"We already know what kind of a lady you are," says the man. "Now we are just negotiating a price."

The Kentucky horse industry and gambling interests are supporting the expansion of gambling in the state, allowing casino gambling and slot machines into the state.

As I've posted before, I am a recreational no-money-bet poker player. I also have played some serious bridge, again not for money. I have known people who were quite capable of playing games of chance and skill without being out of control. If you have some spare money, and wish to entertain yourself by trying to get ahead of the horserace odds, or try to outplay others at poker, I'm not going to critisize you one bit.

On t he other hand, my great-grandfather allegedly gambled away an entire tobacco check one year. There are a lot of people who gamble in many different forms with money they really need for other things.

The problem is that Kentucky, like the lady, is already committed. The state is littered with Bingo parlors from one end to the other, all providing games of chance under the flavor of charity fundraising. The Commonwealth runs the largest numbers racket gaming system in the state, the Kentucky Lottery. There are race tracks and parimutual gambling stations all across the state. Betting is already here, and already legal.

I personally wish slots were banned world-wide. They are a complete ripoff, because they are a complete game of chance. Video poker and slots have been described as the crack cocaine of gambling addiction. That said, bingo and scratch-off lottery tickets are just as purely chance, and probably just about as addictive.

The other big proble m with the KEEP campaign is the dollar figures being thrown around. KEEP is suggesting that Kentucky will receive $430 million a year on a 33% tax. That means the gaming industry would have to pull in at least $1250 million in profits. Even the best games for the house involve 90%+ payouts. Let's we assume that the industry can pull 75% payoffs, which doesn't happen. To generate $1250m in profits, Kentucky gamblers will have to spend at least $6000million (6 billion). Even with much of that money being recycled, it still just isn't going to happen.

I'm afraid that, like the Kentucky Lottery before, gambling will not pay off like its promises. I just hope that the worst of the negatives don't pan out either.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Only one thing to do concerning Mohammed

There is only one appropriate response to the fuss over the Mohammed cartoons:

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Squatter's Rights - Not Quite

Update: According to today's Kentucky Kernel, the UK campus newspaper (I can't find the article on-line), Ms. McDonald was in year 2 of a 5-year lease on the building. While I still believe that Ms. McDonald is too vocal about requesting compensation for "her business", she is certainly owed damages for the breaking of her lease, especially since eminient domain wasn't used to buy the property.

I'll renew my opinion that Ms. McDonald needs to own her property before feeling a sense of ownership.

I think I've said here before that I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky. While I was on campus, I only had one apartment, which was on Conn Terrace Drive. I am still amazed that the landlord didn't evict me a couple of times. :) The SuperAmerica store on South Limestone had a lunchtime cafeteria with the best barbeque pork in Lexington. I'd get it and mac & cheese at least twice a week on the way to class. It helped make me the man (or at least 30 pounds of the man ;) ) I am today.

When Milady and I got engaged, we moved away, but Conn Terrace has retained a special place in my heart. Even 12 years later, Milady dreams she's calling me at the apartment and can't get through.

Unfortunately, you can't go home again. UK bought my old apartment, and every other building on that side of Conn Terrace and the street behind it. They've torn all of the old houses down ahead of the construction of the new parking garage for the Chandler Medical Center.

There is an old building at the corner of Transcript and South Limestone that held several businesses. The Dutch Mill Cafe was famous for being a lunch place that two old ladys ran in the late 80s and early 90s (never did get to eat there). Wheel Liquor was a mainstay there, and several other restaurants and businesses gave the place a try. The last place to close there was PJ's Barber Shop. The Herald-MisLeader had an article about her in the paper a couple of days ago. Miss McDonald rented her place from the building owner, who recently sold out to UK for over $600k. I can understand one's attachment to a place one's rented for 19 years, but PJ has been unusually bitter these last two weeks. I've seen several signs in front of her place complaining about UK, and then this quote from the story:

The university acquired the building from owner Frances Fresh for $650,000, according to Fayette Circuit Court records. McDonald says she now is seeking an agreement with Fresh on compensation for the loss of her business.

She wants to be compensated because her landlord sold out? A renter wants to be paid! No, no, no, a thousand times no! She was a renter, not a sqatter.

If you lease, you don't own. That's pretty simple. Miss McDonald was offered (I hope) fair rental rates each of those 19 years that she was i n her place. A renter doesn't get any rights to a place just by sitting in a place for a bunch of years. Frances Fresh sure didn't get any extra from UK because Miss McDonald was in the building; if anything, UK would have prefered the building empty from the start.

It is a serious sign of an entitlement society where a renter can get upset that a landlord has a different use for the building. Miss McDonald needs to apologize to UK and to Miss Fresh, and buy her next cutting shop if she wants to control what happens to the property.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Hiccups in the DSL Line

I've been noticing that the website "hiccups" occasionally, pausing to serve pages. I think the database may have its connection limits too low. Unfortunately, that's an OS reconfiguration, and I won't do that unless I'm home. Please bear with me.

I am thinking about outsourcing to a hosting site. Can anyone recommend a good one?

Update: It's not the database, but instead it appears to be my ADSL line. My DSL provider is looking into it now, but I may be forced into deciding if I'm keeping my ADSL line or going to a hosting site and cable modem.

Update 2: The home network line acts like it's fixed. Hopefully it's fixed. That was enough excitement for one day.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Feed a feline, starve a cat?

A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of having to enter the crawlspace to change our furnace filters. It's a job I thoroughly loathe. We own a split-level, so at least our crawlspace isn't a two-foot space, but it is small, and lined with fist-sized gravel. Being a rather tall fellow, I get to shuffle and grouse as I try to alternate between shuffling and crawling across the space.

I usually shut the cats and dogs out from our utility room, since they want to follow me up under the floor if I do. This time, I forgot to do so, and our alley cat went in. Rather than chase him around, I left the door open and waited for him to come out. Unfortunately, our other cat went in.

Sue-y (yes, named for Steve-O's dog) is our oldest animal. She appearantly was tormented by kids before we got her, and then our kids and dogs (including Psycho-Terrier) were aggressive in playing with her. Now, she hides in the house unless just Paula and I are awake.

Sue-y has that singular abilit y to go into a space and disappear. One writer described cats as multi-dimensional creatures that could phase themselves in and out of our existance at will, which explains how they can enter a room, you can be sure they've left, and then they'll be in the room again.

Well, Sue-y phased out of our crawlspace the same way. Yesterday, it was too cold to leave the crawlspace door open, so we had to try to get her out. Number 1 Son and Little Miss took flashlights and went around the furnace while I waited to corral her out. No luck. Then I crawled the furnace. Still no luck. I finally crawled up to the furnace and looked around. No Sue-y. She was finally in a spot that absolutely no one would pester her, and there she was staying.

I knew she hadn't eaten much for a couple of days, so I finally had to commit to a siege approach: I emptied the cat bowl. She wasn't eating until I saw her out. Fortunately, when the dogs got up at 3AM this morning, she was out. I shut the door t o the crawlspace and fed the cats again.

She isn't happy though. This morning she was under Number One Son's bed, meowing softly in annoyance. If cats could cuss, I'm sure that's what she would have been doing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I wouldn't dream of supporting an American internal security service in the style of MI5, but I don't quite understand the big problems with the NSA listening programs under the constitution. The Fifth Amendment would definitely exclude the use of such evidence in a civilian court system. If we keep this power from becoming a personal blackmail pool (like Hoover's FBI), I believe the Constitution does allow Mr. Bush to snoop on foreign calls.

A quote that should strengthen creationists

WorldNetDaily has posted a link to an essay by Frank Furedi that primarily talks about his view as a secular humanist on the current trend by "the elite" to attack Christian movies and Christian-leaning media. In it, Mr. Furedi makes an interesting point about creationism:

So preoccupied are the critics of religious activism with the alleged threat posed by their enemies that they fail to notice that many Christian groups lack the courage of their convictions today, and seem to doubt the authority of their own faith. This is particularly striking in relation to the controversy surrounding Intelligent Design. This theory holds that certain features of the universe, and of animal and human life, are 'best explained' as having an 'intelligent cause' rather than being the product of natural selection. Many see only the danger of superstition in Intelligent Design, describing it as a new form of Creationism on the march. They overlook the remarkable concession that Intelligent Design makes to the authority of science.

Unable to justify creationism as a matter of faith based on divine revelation, advocates of Intelligent Design are forced to adopt the language of science to legitimate their arguments and the existence of some kind of God. This highlights their theological opportunism and inability to justify religion in its own terms. Of course Intelligent Design isn't science; but its appeal to faith in science exposes the limits of the authority of religious faith today.

A secular humanist can see what many ID supporters can't: it is a compromise and we all know it. Once you give science dominion over God, then one only argues degrees, not basic facts. I do believe in the basic tenant of Intellegent Design: there are immense numbers of biological systems that could not have been designed in a piecemeal fashion by rand om genetic mutation, since they could not work until complete.

However, I reject the main compromise of intellegent design: Current neo-Darwinian timelines concerning the evolution of animals are completely and irreconcilably inconsistent with Genesis. Even if you wish to say that the Hebrew word yom does not mean day, but instead age, Genesis documents that the Earth was created before the Sun. Plants were created before the Sun. Birds were created before the land animals. Not only is Genesis 1 not in agreement with current scientific thinking, there is no reason for it not to be if science is correct. The language of Genesis 1 would allow a story that is basically consistent with current scientific thinking with little change. Therefore, either Genesis 1 is correct, God chose to write a grossly incorrect story, or Genesis (and by extention, much of the rest of the Torah) is not inspired.

I refuse to believe that God told a deliberately incorrect story, since that doesn 't match His character elsewhere in the Bible. Even the parables, while possibly not factually true, told moral truths in a story that could be true. Genesis isn't presented in a parable. Instead, it is presented as history.

I also believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is factual when it wishes to be factual. Its visions are prophetically accurate. Its parables tell moral truths. It reveals enough information to us to know the nature of God as fully as we possibly can. There is no line in the book that says "Past this point, everything is accurate". I can't see how Genesis 1 is less accurate than Genesis 20, or Matthew 1 for that matter.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Happy Dance

I've spent the last two months fighting to implement FlashCopy on one of our test SAP instances here at work. It's eaten every second of my spare time at work, and that's kept me from posting. It's now made a backup, and all that's left is to make a test of a restore.

More posting later, after I can relax.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

White with envy

I'm running a bit late, I know. But I just got a chance to read about the MacWorld Expo. MacBook Pro? An Intel iMac 20"?

The onlything missing is a built-in Windows emulator. VMWare, are you listening?

Excuse me while I cry like a little child because I can't afford one.

Sizing problems

After Christmas, Milady and I started back on the Atkins induction diet, and the weight is starting to leave. I was hoping to have a problem keeping my pants on sometime in February. Unfortunately, it's not my clothes that won't fit.

We went really cheap in buying our current couch (which is really more of a love seat). Three of us can barely fit on it. Since we know that our tax refunds will be substantial, I decided to end the couch whining and buy a new couch.

Over to the local furniture store for their half-price sale. In the middle of the store is a really nice sectional couch. The thing was huge. It could easily have sat nine people, and all of us could comfortably lay down on it at once. Very nice. So we signed on the dotted line, and were anxiously awaiting it.

It's raining today, but they wrap them in plastic, so I wasn't that worried. Then Milady called. The couch wouldn't fit through the doors in the house.

I've never heard of a couch that couldn't be taken through a standard 32" or 36" doorframe, but this one couldn't. The delivery guys worked their hardest to bring it through, but no luck. Fortunately, it was the store's people, so we never took delivery. We now have to take measurements of the house back over to the store to see if we can get a different couch to fit the place, or if we're back to the love seat....