Posts

Showing posts from 2006

Dumb quiz of the week--what accent do I have?

What American accent do you have?Your Result: The Midland "You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.The Inland North The Northeast Philadelphia The South The West Boston North Central What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Muhahahahaha....NO ACCENT!

Repent--Kentucky has a GOOD football program!!

I'm still shaking my head over this one. My quote at 11am today:


Man, I just hope we don't embarrass ourselves.


After watching a well-coached, well-played game from the UK Wildcats, I still can't believe that's the same team that played LSU just a few months ago. They had a stellar opening drive, adjusted their game-plan against the Clemson pass-rush, then just lit-up the stadium for 21 unanswered points. As my pall Jeff says, the game really wasn't as close as the 28-20 score would indictate--we owned Clemson today.

It was a cool, professional game, with great intensity and drama. It was like watching any other SEC-powerhouse program play--great athletes making great plays, with some coaching gambles and tricks thrown in (Fake punt from your own 20!?!)

Awesome game, guys. Congratulations on a great year, and (hopefully) a turning point in UK football history.

Grand Prix: "The Godfather" of Racing movies

This shot says it all:



It's 1966. Real Formula cars. Real formula one drivers (Brabham, Clarke, Rendt...all legends). Filmed on 65mm Panavision at the real racetracks.

In my opinion, they should never make another racing flick. None could be better than John Frankenheimer's 3-hour epic Grand Prix. I got the DVD for Christmas, putting it on my list purely by reputation--this is the same instinct that I used in buying "Grand Turismo" for Playstation.

I watched it over an afternoon and night on Tuesday, and was drooling--ask Whitney--from the first shot to the last. I actually don't remember much about what was happening while I watched the film; I even forgot if I ate on Wednesday morning...

The movie itself follows the 1966 season of Formula One, the pinnacle of open-wheeled racing, from the first Grand Prix, at Monaco, to the last at Monza in Italy. We find our larger-than-life heros in maverick American Pete Aron (James Garner), all penis-and-ego Nino Barlini…

That's just...wrong!

Image

Lovely read, if you're looking for a car

Totally contrary to the "Never make a dealer an offer" strategies of Dave Ramsey, This blog is an interesting (if slanted) view from a guy who's been there, done that.

The march to the mountains

Image
Much like Sherman's March to the Sea, Team Combs and I are engaged in a Christmas march to the mountains: Today, we're sacking Louisville, tomorrow Georgetown, and Wednesday afternoon my Mom & Dad's house. On Christmas today, Joey arrived from his dad's as we gorged on Cathy's wonderful breakfast casserole.

We'd already opened presents--I got an assortment of Craftsman tools, Whitney received her Kenmore canister vacuum cleaner, and we opened most of Stu, Cathy, and Rachel's gifts.

Once Joey arrived, we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 then he tore into his presents. He got some wonderful, durable presents from his grandparents, including an assortment of Legos, a great backgammon set, and his first Swiss Army Knife.

On "Voyager"

I've spent the better part of three dull, lifeless days watching a marathon of Star Trek: Voyager and wanted to comment on it.

LAME!

I've listened to Jeff complain about the "venting plasma from the port nacelle" problem, and it seems every episode I've seen has something to do with time travel or the hollo-deck.

I've commented several times watching these episodes how these idea were great--the first time I saw them on "Next Generation".

:-)

Review: Casino Royale

Image
Okay, let me get this out of the way. I'm a heterosexual man, and Daniel Craig is damn sexy. And he can act. He plays Bond in the raw--all power and ego, a "blunt instrument" of death. Marvelous!

Yet, we find Craig's Bond compelling, even disturbingly human. He's an orphan, sponsored through the best of Britain's schools, fresh off his first two kills for MI-6. When we first meet him, he's found a like for killing, but by the tragic ending of the movie two hours on, he knows how much of his soul he destroyed in acquiring that taste for blood.

Let's talk Bond for moment: Twenty pictures in, the franchise was dead, a caricature of itself. Mike Myers made a career out of spoofing it. Craig has brought it back, I applaud the accomplishment. In bringing the series back to the beginning (in the same Ubermenche way as Batman), they've revitalized a great character.

Royale has flaws: The aerial acrobatics in the first chase are a little too fansta…

Listlessness

Image
So...I'm at home, totally stir-crazy.

Do like like my couch though...my I've been spending lots of quality time on it for the past day or so. Gloomy outside, with a steady rain.

Currently reading "Husband Coached Childbirth" by Dr. Bradley

w0000000000000000000t!

Image
Guess what my PE guy got me for Christmas?!



a Holiday Coffee sampler from Peet's

I thought I was gonna break-down in tears...

Zeitgeist

n. The spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.

This time at LXK is weird, as it is every year...there's a combination of languor and pressure. Customers will be irate one minute, gone on vacation the next, and managers sway between micromanagement and "Have a Merry Christmas!"

Maddening.

* * *

Thoughts on the way into work:


I love cars, but ultimately, they're (very breakable) things that don't last very long.
On buying new versus buying used--ultimately, it's a personal preference. There are arguments, intangibles, and assumptions on both sides, but there are two camps: Folks who buy new cars because they can't imagine a car breaking, and folks who buy used cars who understand that cars break; theirs just break more often :D
December 14th? Sixty-two degrees? Sure, why not?!

:-P

Image
Jeff's in-law wedding adventure, with pics!



Jeff, knifing through the jungle, machete in one hand, blue-steel revolver in another...ready for anything, even a UT-Martin fan!

Ah, geeky gold

posting by proxy...

Image
"Ouch!"

Don't know whether to laugh or cry on this one...

So, I get back from lunch, and someone's brought an ice cream cake from DQ for the area.

I go down and help myself to a slice, and I ask what the occasion is. Everyone looks around nervously.

"Tell him, Sue."

"You tell him, Gary"

"_____'s dad died."

????

"Yeah, they weren't close."

Apparently.

Go Joe, go Joe!

:-) Check-out my pal Joe Guillory, the lawyer!

Random thought...

I live in fear of the day vending machines start taking debit cards...

Quick hit: Say it with me now...

I will not eat popcorn before bed
I will not eat popcorn before bed
I will not eat popcorn before bed
I will not eat popcorn before bed

Yeah...nothing like being groggy and sick-as-a-dog at 4:30am.

Getting acquainted with east lexington...for about 5 hours

As Bella was in Louisville today, nesting and going to a baby shower (not her own...mmm...pregnant women on parade!), I went to get my CD player installed at Car Stereo warehouse.

They thought they could run the outputs through the factory amp, but turns out the factory amp was dead. This took quite awhile.

Click on this link for a map of my sojourn overf the next 5 hours. I went:

- To Sam's club, to loiter.
- To McD's to get some coffee
- Back to CSW where they said "It's almost done"
- I went outside and talked to my Mom for 45 mins
- I walked up to Eastland bowling lanes, where it was league day and high-school day (!)
- Went to harbor freight to touch all the tools. It's a thing with me, okay?
- Went to Hardees where I listened to KY lose to UNC while I was reading the paper.
- Walked back to CSW, where they finally had my car done :-)

So, I got lots of time to be cold, walk around, and consider life. . .

. . .no great epiphanies followed.

The radio saga

Image
Yeah, so I get my new radio, and I follow the easy-to-read step-by step instructions and I end-up with the mess you see above you.

Seems that E30's all have wonky common-ground stereos, and if you want any sort of quality, they have to be rewired. I'll be getting this done tomorrow...

Still, it was a priceless moment when Whitney and Joey returned from church Wednesday night to find me wrestling with my car's wiring in my pj's :-)

On notebook envy.

I have a notebook. It's spiral bound, college ruled paper, with 80 sheets.

I notice others in meetings have graph-paper notebooks, so they can create cool engineering-y diagrams while they doodle.

I envy those people.

Haiku

Stumble in the dark
Engineers search, people hate.
Satisfying none

Baby Shower

I'm drowning in baby gifts. My old church family was very generous, as were several members of mom's family.

Got to drive Cathy's Mazda MPV today, and it handled very well at "interstate speeds" :-) More powerful than Yoda, in any case.

Thanksgiving in review

Tact: noun. a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.

After attending the second of two Thankgsivings, I must say, Brentzels don't have tact. The Combs clan doesn't either.

* * *

Scorecard

Atmosphere: The Combs homestead (now Janie's house) versus Papaw Brentzel's ranch-on-a-basement. Includes creek and hide-and-go-seek.
Advantage: Combs

Attendance: The Combs's were missing a whole family, while the Brentzels were only missing one cousin (Alan).
Advantage: Brentzel

Best after-dinner, catty comment: Combs. Hands down.

Best nugget of wisdom:
- "Hell, Harold, don't pay any attention. They can hear a gnat fart from 5 blocks away."
- "You know how often I change the oil in my race engine? After EVERY race...Yep...used that special 50-weight stuff..." "Well now, I wuz turning 4600 rpm down the back straight, and if I have my math right, using an overall tire diameter of ___…

The Cam-U-Ry

Image
"Camry" means 'crown' in Japanese ("Cam-U-Ree"), so here's my summation of our Crown so far:

It's great so far; the only complaint I have is the engine--with 3-4 people + stuff aboard, it can barely get out of its own way. In the flat, it'll happily cruise at 80-90mph, as it's geared very tall, but it's hopeless in the mountains. We averaged 26 mpg on our trips in the past two days, which isn't bad, but it isn't the 30mpg I was hoping for. Some new tires and a tuneup should fix this.

* * *

Christmas presents...mom & dad bought us a set of Goodyear Assurance TripleTreads:



And...a new stereo for my beamer:



cool stuff! :-)

Relaxation, day Zero

God help me, I'm taking off this week.

I expect to get the shakes sometime in the next couple days, as I really haven't decompressed. I'm accustomed to the 7am video conference with India, and until that doesn't happen, I'm not "on vacation".

* * *

This weekend was pretty neat--did nothing on Saturday, and little to nothing today, aside from some shopping :-)

In other news, we've Christened the Camry "Yoda", as it's unattractive, old, and unexciting. Yet, it's full of time tested wisdom.

Yeah, something like that. Anyway, Yoda rhymes with Toyota. Close enough, anyway. :-)

It's starting again...

Good old Michael K (aka "Gateway") is back on the GTO's are cheap, buy one bandwagon.

Apparently, they'll be going for under $25k again, since the 06's are the last year for them, and they're still piled-up on dealer lots.

400hp
RWD
Clunky 6-speed
no trunk

:) no thanks. Do miss Thor occasionally, when those ever-so-rare patches of open interstate loom, and my 170hp just doesn't feel adequate.

New inspirational moment

So, I come downstairs from my 10am meeting, to see something very...odd.

A middle-aged lady from our facilities staff had her mop and bucket, much like other days, but she was MOPPING THE CARPET. Not the tile in front of the elevators, the CARPETING!

Clayton came by and we commiserated on this idea, and found it to be a metaphor for our whole frickin' company. We're mopping the carpet. Working hard, but mopping the carpet nonetheless.

No, I don't have Connective Tissue Disorder

subtitle: OWWWWWWWWW!

So, Whitney and I were hanging out last night, practicing some of her Bradly exercises, specifically Tailor Sitting. As we sat there, we were discussing flexibility and she said I should lean forward from my 90-degree position as far as I could.

I leaned at about a 45 degree angle and finally felt a little stretch in my behind, so I kept going.

Turns out, I could bend all the way forward, still in the seated position and touch my nose to the carpet. She was suitably impressed...

...Then I got up this morning, and every piece of connective tissue from my lower back to my knees hurt. =-) Seems I'm not that flexible, after all.

A weekend

No car-buying/repairing histrionics this weekend--just a cool Friday night watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. Joey's in love with this cartoon, and Bella and I wanted to check-it-out.

It's awesome--we were spellbound for 4 22-minute episodes. The story arcs are deep, characters are superbly round.

* * *

Saturday, I worked 6-12, then crashed at home for an hour nap before we went bowling with another family. I got a sparkling 83 on the second game.

Fun times...

Something about knowing I share a birthday with Nick Lachey isn't terribly comforting.

Though, the Berlin Wall did fall on my birthday, which is cool.

Cancelled my C&D subscription...

...sigh...

Been a C&D subscriber for ~20 years, but it was time to vote with my feet--their recent tests have been garbage, the redesign caused my eyes to hurt, and the editorial content has gotten more "frat-boy" by the issue.

It's still a respectable magazine, and their technical skills are above reproach, but it's not worth my money.

:-)

I love my wife even if she is a pharisee.

Changes in G'town

Article

Pending a recount, looks like Varney is out and Tingle-Sames is in. Also, our guy Marvin Thompson is back in for city council.

I would like them to change to a district-based council structure...voting for 8 folks in the at-large is too hard!

On the election

Image
Today's the day...

Cast my ballot at 6:15 this morning, and was glad to do so. With all but one exception, I voted Democratic (yes, Dad, you can rejoice.)

Yes, I'm naive. Yes, I've started to believe at least some of what I read with respect to Iraq, torture, foreign policy, and the covert operations of our current executive.

Yes, I believe in checks-and-balances, and the blank check Hastert and Frist gave Bush over the past 2-3 years is criminal.

Yes, I believe Carl Rove is Satan, a demagogue who sowed division in a country desperately needing togetherness, all for political gain.

Yes, I believe we've willfully exchanged freedom for safety.

* * *

Okay, the reality here--our only national election was for the House of Representatives, in that race Ben Chandler ran without Republican opposition. Still, I hope enough Republicans get their butts kicked that SOME of the political structure changes...

weekend in reverse: the e34 fiasco

Image
...or "My Dad becomes a BMW brand Ho"

So, after haranguing Dad to be my wingman on the Desperate Friday Car-Search©, replacing my burned-out wife, I developed a list of 5 "likely" cars from the lists I could find online:

- At World Class Autos in Nicholasville: an Infiniti I30, and '95 BMW 525i
- At Big Blue Autos: The Camry, the Accord, and another I30.

Upon arriving at World Class Autos (Home of "Kentucky's largest used car showroom"...yeah right, you could fit their building inside CarMax, but whatever...), we scoured the frosty lot for the e34 I was so keen on.

Aside: An e34 is a 1989-1995 BMW 5-series. It's like a bigger version of my car 325



We finally found the car, and it was a rough back-lot special: Filthy outside, with pitted paint, and 130k miles on the odo. The power/heated driver's seat had burned-out its fore/aft adjustment motor. Oh, and the battery (located beneath the rear seats) was dead.

But how this thing drove!! Tight, …

Weekend in reverse: Buying the blasted car

After the e34 fiasco, buying the Camry was pretty easy: Drove over to Big Blue Autos, and they (conveniently) had the keys to EVERY CAR sticking OUT OF ITS DRIVER'S SIDE DOOR!

Supposedly, this was to simply the detail-guys moving them around the lot. I personally think this was a giant sociological experiment to see who would be the first person to steal a car.

I only did it halfway--I got a dealer plate first.

First up was a sad-looking Infiniti I30 that didn't quite check-out...so that was out. At this point, two cars remained: the Camry and a V-6 Accord.

The accord was kill-me-beige, and a real blast to drive. Great seats and tremendous power. Every stoplight/stop sign had me laying rubber as I booted the throttle. Controls were light, but TOO light. Driving up Bryan Station Road, the car was playful and engaging. Sadly, the inspection of the car didn't add-up: It was missing a couple of VIN stickers, and had corrosion in odd places in the engine bay. Also, I did…

Weekend in reverse: Camries have crappy lug studs.

So, having bought our new-to-us Friday, and brought it home Saturday, I noticed some interesting things about it Sunday.

It has THREE brands of tires on it. The front tires look new, but they're called 'Road King' or something like that. The passenger rear was a Dunlop P4000 touring tire, and the driver's side rear was a BFGoodrich something-or-other.

The BFGoodrich tire was also backwards.

Some tires, particularly rain tires, have V-shaped treads that dissipate water, IF THEY'RE MOUNTED CORRECTLY! If they're not, they approximate the wet-road traction of a greased pig.

No problem, I thought...I have all the tools necessary to jack the rear of the car, and flip the two rear tires. Ah yes, as with most of my "this will be easy" inclinations, I was wrong.

Jacking the car was easy: The rear subframe carrier has a nice flat spot where the suspension attaches, and with 60% of the weight on the front wheels, my 2 1/2 ton jack was well up to the task.

Then,…

Weekend in reverse: Monday Morning

Image
Yep...this is the Quentin Tarantino version of my weekend...

So, this morning, I arise at ye earlie momente of 5am, make coffee, scour the house for my badge, finally leaving with a backpack full of books, computer, power brick, passport, and other assorted goods.

(And, I just remembered...without lunch...CRAP!)



So, I get to the security room, and notice that the interior of my car reeks of coffee. I unzip my backpack to find the thermos tipped over. Usually, this isn't a problem, the thermos is watertight and double-sealed at the top...

...unless the idiot who washed it last (me) left out the rubber piece in the lid.

Inventory:
- One ruined (borrowed) book
- One passport that looks aged 100 years
- One soaked backpack

Thankfully, the power brick and laptop seem to be fine. They live in their own cushioned area.

After last night, thought all my bad luck was over. Nope.

MY EYES....the goggles, they do NOTHING!!!

Image

Lou Dobbs gives 'em heck...

This doesn't sound much like Lou:


Only 15 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast a ballot in this year's primary elections, according to an American University study. Never before have so few of us bothered to vote in primary elections. And it's no wonder. Our middle class is beginning to get the joke.

Most Americans understand that all the major decisions have already been made.


His point on outsourcing is apt: No matter which party is in power, outsourcing manufacturing will continue unabated. The next congress and definitely the next presidency will see the utter collapse of Ford or Chrysler (possibly both), destroying the heart of the middle class.

The weekend of car shopping. . .no luck yet.

We spent 12 hours yesterday and ~2 hours today looking over cars, and we found-out several things:

* Old Buicks. Wow...no one can amortize production costs like General Motors. The Buick Century we looked at definitely felt like a quality buick from 1985, manufactured in 2002, right down to the front bench, column shifter, and coarse, powerless engine.

* Mazda 626, a very surprising, well-handling machine, but too small for our needs, we think. Whitney had a ball driving it, but it felt like a 'tween' car...between a civic/corolla and a decent family sedan. Also, CR doesn't like them too much

* Salespeople are highly variable in the used-car trade, and we saw the full gamut, from "Big John" at Swope (lied to us about everything...I barely believe 'John' was his real name..) to Danielle, the waif who looked 12-years-old. It think Whitney and I freaked-out Danielle.

* The Toyota Camry really is that good. It's like, they took everything that makes sen…

Interviewing...3.0

Link


Still, I don’t really care. I want my ER doctor to understand anatomy, even if all she has to do is put the computerized defibrillator nodes on my chest and push the big red button, and I want programmers to know programming down to the CPU level, even if Ruby on Rails does read your mind and build a complete Web 2.0 social collaborative networking site for you with three clicks of the mouse.


Dang straight!

The end of 'Sharkey'

It's not final yet, but our Intrigue is junkyard bound. Whitney got a call from the 'State Farm Total Loss' department, which we assume implies it's totaled.

I went by this morning, and collected what few things I'd left last week--garage door opener, some CDs, lotion, hair brads/clips/scrunchees. The poor car looked so sad...one year, 25k relatively trouble-free miles, we're moving on.

Last night was narrowing the list...our requirements:

* Must be < 200" long (has to fit in our garage like Sharkey did).
* Within our budget
* Whitney must be able to drive it
* 4 doors
* Big enough to be a 'family car'--stroller, car seat, etc.
* Safe
* Reliable
* Low operating costs--regular gas, good mileage, cheap/easy to repair.

Here's what we have:

Buick Century
Another Intrigue (01 or 02 model)
Mazda 626
Honda Accord
Toyota Camry


Only downside to the Intrigue are the known mechanical/body issues--steering rack, strut tower bearings, window regulators (dumbest desig…

Finished a weird paperback...

Image
Erik suckered me into reading another of his slightly-off books: Gil's All-Fright Diner



Pretty neat, little book, read over 2 hours in 2 days. The premise is essentially a folksy, redneck buddy tale, but these two buddys Duke and Earl (yeah, ask Erik says, "You gotta know something's up when the two main characters are named Duke and Earl"), they happen to be a Werewolf and a Vampire. Redneck Werewolf and Vamipire...

So, the story starts with their old pickup truck (naturally...) running out of gas in front of Gil's All Night Diner. Gil skipped town a few years ago, under mysterious circumstances, and the proprietress, Loretta, has two problems--she needs to run a new gas line, and she keeps getting attacked by Zombies from yon graveyard.

The premise holds-up pretty well, and the book is full of quotable quotes...overall, it was good to read ANYTHING. Distraction is good for one, it would seem...

ARRRGH!!! And me without a camera...

Image
Further on the I need a small digicam front:

Driving home Monday, what should appear in my rear view mirror...silver with two blue-ish stripes?



Yep. Ford GT, Tailed by a bellicose Fox-bodied mustang with an exhaust, this guy wasn't having any of it. Right at the Northern I-64/I-75 split the GT driver put his foot down and it was like the Stang had thrown out an anchor. He was GONE, all this on a roll from about 85mph (at which point, the GT was probably only at the top of 2nd gear!)

* * *

At the other end of the spectrum, I saw one of these:



It's a Smart ForTwo, the smallest car on sale in the world (I think...) Tiny 1.0L engine, tucked underneath the floor. You 'parallel park' one by nosing it perpendicular to the curb.

Blah...

Haven't slept very well since the excitement last week, and it's wearing on me...my routine is off and I'm suddenly a very light sleeper. I still go to sleep easily, but I wake up very easily, too, and I'm having bad dreams.

And boy, have I just been a joy to be around--moody, sleepy, and quick tempered.

Everything's just in limbo at the moment--all 3 projects I'm on, my car's in the shop, Whitney's car. Total state of suspended animation.

Disturbing sign of the apocalypse #437

Image
So, we picked Joey Actually-My-Name-is-Simon, and headed Team Combs over to McDonald's in Shelbyville. While in McD's, I noticed the fry assembly line: At one end, close to the drive-thru window is the holding area, where crisp, deep fried potatoes sit under a heat lamp in red McDonald's packages awaiting customers.

To the right of that is the deep fryer, the heart of America's burgeoning artereosclerotic crisis, where hyrdogenated vegetable oil at God-knows-how-hot fries the rather-uniform Taters as they sit in baskets. The fryer's apparently run by a digital timer, set each time a basket lowers into the oil.

All pretty mundane, the height of Fast food efficiency...

...and then, we see that efficiency, amp'd-up to eleven



To the right of the fryer was a machine that had a hopper at the top, a diagonal line of the fryer baskets below the hopper, and a mysterious empty space below the line above, perpendicular to the top. To my horror, I saw a girl dump 5 bags …

Wow :-)

Image
Gotta love a good mechanic's vise:



Installed my birthday present from Stu on the orkbench today...felt like a crime drilling those 4 half-inch holes in that beautiful workbench, but it went pretty well.



It's an awesome vise: Two positions, two work anvils, and it swivels through 360 degrees.

Other random photos:

Team Combs will be riding in style, yo




Joey, da ninja!

Whitney's accident

Image
Not much funny about this one.

Whitney's fine, the baby's fine, and the car (at first blush) looks repairable. Joey's up with his dad in Louisville, so he's good too.

Whitney was pulling across North Broadway in front of our church, from the Buzz Cafe to the church, and ran the right front of the car into the left side of a northbound Lexus GX470



They bumped at about a 45 degree angle.

* * *

State Farm had everything in hand, and Collision Care in Lexington has the car, so all seems to be okay...

New leaves in the fall

Fall is often the time I turn over a new leaf. Surmounting my annual September insanity, October and November are often times of rededication and renewal. Weird, I know, because for everything else in the Northern Hemisphere, these are times of dormancy and decay.

So, yesterday, I did it again: For personal reasons, and after much consideration, I gave-up unbounded use of the internet at home. My wife is my accountability partner, guardian of the (changed) passwords to all accounts on our computer. It's a pretty drastic step, but the last 10 years of so of my life have left me with little other choice.

So, this morning, I was irritable and almost had the shakes--I couldn't check my gmail, news.google.com, or look at headlines. I don't know how long 'detox' will last, but I hope it inspires other, positive things in my life.

Sad, weak people

This guy came and spoke at Georgetown College when I was taking religion classes there.

Sad, sad story, if it's true.

Eye candy

Image

The New Cardinal workshop

Image
:-) Making things is fun.

My father-in-law, Stu, is a former shop teacher. He likes making things, and probably likes teaching others how to make things even more. He's made me a fabulous workbench, and decided it was high time I learned about power tools.

Now, I've spent years watching Norm Abrams's New Yankee Workhop, marveling at the things Norm can do with his keen eye, instincts, and...uh...$100k of power tools.

So, Stu had a project for us: Build some peg-boards to mount tools on. Sounds simple enough, but for a guy who's never used a table saw, it was pretty neat!

First, we ripped 4 pine two-by-fours on the table saw to make eight 1.5" pieces, then we ran the milled edges across a joiner to even-up the edges. If you've never seen a joiner, imagine a steel 'L', only the L is 3D and about 2.5 feet long with a steel blade in the middle at the bottom of the L. The whole works reminded me of an angry beaver, trying to rip off my fingers as we used it…

Cool!!!

Let's see...

word-processor: Check.
spreadsheet: Check.

Google's edging closer to having an Online office suite

Neat, go-anywhere technology.

Dialog

Me: Man, I wish they'd create invisible fence for PEOPLE to keep them out of your dang yard!

E: They have.

Me: Really?

E: It's just so hard getting people to wear the collars!

Happy unnecessary, decried holiday!

Yep. It's Columbus Day

Celebrate the greatest conquest & associated genocide in recorded history? No thanks.

"Fun with Dick and Jane"

Image
This was a waste of time: A premise that can't sustain a feature-film, combined with Jim Carrey's hammy performance had Whitney and I surfing the web during the DVD.

Lone bright spot: David Duchovny is one VERY lucky man. Tea Leoni, as in "Spanglish," was a lift to every scene she was in.

Randomness. . .

Image
You know, seems like I could use Marty Brenneman to narrate my last few days of build agony



"It's Harold up to bat now...the offering. SWIINNNNNNG and a miss. Oh he forgot to include the 33rd build file from the install team."

"Harold again, he's 0-for-101 at this point in the game...Gets a piece of this one, fouling it back to the test lab."

"That's a high fly ball and this one belongs to the Reds...er...the MVP team"

Looks like the build will go off today. Yay.

* * *

True to form, the opening day of Keeneland's fall meet gave us the first crisp morning (42 deg F), allowing me to sport my new Columbia 3-in-1 coat

I'm gonna be one of THOSE dads....

So I get an email from Wal-Mart with "This weeks deals" or whatever.

Inside was a little pink doll.

and I'm like, "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Maria would love that!"

Yikes.

Build...

Image
Got to be really good friends with vimdiff today as I tried to kick-start the build for our "End of Lifed, never need anything else but a plugin" product.

Yeah, well. We need it again, and she's not so happy to build this time. We played with the build significantly for the last product, pseudo-integrating Ant, while leaving around lots of makefiles, an arcane language of rules, predicates and suffixes



...and, it's still not working. I'm most of the way there, but its bailing-wire-and-twine at best.

Moment of clarity of the day: The Byzantine build scripts (the PERL scripts that wrap our hellacious make/ant/maven/thingamagigger files) started to make tremendous sense. Trad is the man. Trust in the Trad. Trad is good. Love is war. Peace is...

okay, I'm going home.

freaky dreams

So, I had a dream last night that I was having an operation on my bad knee, but I was under local anesthesia (or else, I just couldn't feel the pain...it's a DREAM!).

So, the docs get in there and I have not one but TWO ligaments on the right side of my knee. One's cut and the other is so badly cut the doctors cut it and repair it, rather like a Symphysiotomy (in my head thanks to Whitney's midwife...ugh!)

So, anyway, the docs repair the ligaments with what looks like a cross between bubble-gum and ear wax.

As promised...ultrasound!

Image
Told ya...look at that cute nose!

On why people stay at bad jobs

These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyways.


:-) Yeah, yeah...dramatic. Erik and I discussed why people stay here...We're a mediocre company ("Our goal is to be the clear #2..."), and our specific group is a study in "too many generals, not enough troops".

So, why do people stay, not just in tech, but in any industry or line of work?

* I joked, "Well, I'll soon have two reasons that need food, clothing, college funds, and orthodontics..." Lot of truth there, but I don't think that's the whole story.

* It is harder when you're the only breadwinner. People with dual incomes have a lot more "F You!" power than people who need to make mortgage and put food on the table.

* Speaking of mortgage...This is a house-own…

It's a girl!!

About 18 weeks from now (...ish), I'll be the proud father of a baby girl. Found-out yesterday.

I'm still sort of in shock; I was honestly steeling myself for the prospect of having a boy. . .the demands of being a father, of moulding a young man, Boy Scouts, etc. Joey's a joy, and I was looking forard to having another.

Still, Maria shows every sign of being a vigorous Combs gal, hopefully in line of her cousins--brunette, brilliant eyes (hope she gets her Mom's eyes!)

Oh my...:-)

Courtesy of "They Call Me Mister Jarvis!"

KCQRL tourney @ Georgetown College

So, amid the monsoon we've had today, one block over from the (possibly cancelled) Festival of the Horse, Georgetown College hosted a Quick-Recall tournament.

It was a fun day; I moderated in my old computer science room (131 in Asher Science Center) for 6 rounds. Top question of the day was:


Q: Doug Stanhope and Snoop Dogg are among the celebrity guest hosts of this video series, whose various titles include America Uncovered, Endless Spring Break, and Sexy Sorority Sweethearts. Name this video series that exchanges tshirts for flashes from young women.
A: GIRLS GONE WILD


Yikes.

Georgetown hasn't changed a bit since my graduation in 01, it seems.

From the weatherband this morning

Today's UV index forcast is...one. One is in the low category.


Ya think? Actually, I'd say outside is somewhere between Transylvania and English Moors.

On "Boundaries"

Image
This book bothers me, but it's not book's fault. Yes, like most self-help books, it's overwritten and it restates the obvious -- you have to learn to say 'No', even if you're a Christian. This is similar to other self-help genres: You must live within your means to stay solvent, and eat less while exercising to lose weight.

It's not like these things are rocket science.

Thing is, I have boundary issues, but for a weird reason: I'm very, very selfish. For most of my life until I became a Christian, if something benefitted me or made my life easier, even if it was WRONG, I could rationalize it. This lead to me being a friendless, fat, whiny, sociopathic, self-righteous sot. Envision Comic book guy, and you'd have me, circa 14 years old:



So, as I grew up and found God, I went back the other way: Wanted to please everyone, serve everyone--do pennance for how much I'd taken from people emotionally my whole life.

Anyway, so this book....Not so mu…

[sings] Sleeptalker...I'm a sleeptalker...[sings]

All I remember of this is a foot going in my face.

Yike.

More Joey quotes...

Hey, if Barbara Bush's dog can have a book, I think I could collect enough Joey quotes to fill a paperback, at least.

Joey: You guys don't have to buy me anything for Christmas...

Me (to self): Awww....

Joey: ...As long as you buy me EVERYTHING.

* * *

All quotes copyright JoeyCo, Inc. All rights reserved.

:-)

2007 Mazdaspeed3

2007 Mazdaspeed3 - The Car Connection: "They could ship it over here available only in taupe paint and genuine rust and it would still be one of the most exhilarating cars Mazda has ever sold in the United States . In the history of sport compacts, this car is an immediate icon."

Looks like the Mini Cooper 'S' finally has some competition, though it's sorta like the Corvette -v- Porsche comparison: Interesting on paper, but few people will cross-shop both brands.

I sure would, though. :)

Weekend ruminations...

Friday, I had S&S rebalance all the tires on the BMW, hopefully ending that particular lesson in trying to save a coupla bucks.
I overseeded the lawn Friday, cutting the lawn down to stubble, seeding, rolling (thanks Jeff!) and watering. My water bill this month should be interesting :-)
Saturday, Whitney and I slept-in late and went to the Spoonbread festival in Berea. Whitney was very impressed with the town. I was not very impressed with the spoonbread.


The weather's been unreal for the past few days--no humidity, highs in the 70's-80's. Hope to get a little rain on my lawn the the next few days.

Body pillow, airbag, Harold-defense mechanism

Image
So, Whitney ordered this bizarre (yet very comfy) pillow last month. Just thought I'd post-up a pic to show the scale of the thing.

News...Joey was 'star of the week' in his class!

Image
Joey got to be the star (or super-star, or all-star, or something), so Whitney and I helped him create this neat poster. (Okay...I helped joey paste-up everything onto the poster-board...)

Happy Anniversary!

Image
Today, I surprised Bella with flowers and a card, and we ate the topper from our wedding cake last year. Hard to believe a full year has gone by, but it sure has -- we're established in our new church, Joey's in school, and we have another baby on the way :-)

Quoted from my household

Bella: Why are you tiptoeing through the house with your shoes on?

Me: I don't want to get the carpet dirty

Bella: So, you want to look ridiculous AND get smaller footprints on the carpet?

As the thunder rolls...SPORTS predictions!!

I'm sports-obsessed this weekend...namely because football's back!! Yep, the 22-man skirmish played out on an artificial battlefield is back, and it's great.

So, some predictions:

Eli's Giants will beat Peyton's Colts. On the Giants' home field, they're showing defense and a RUNNING GAME. Is Peyton the better QB? Yes. Does it matter? No.
Kentucky football sucks. What else is new?
Brett Favre will be benched by midseason. Home opener shutout? Yikes. Retire and let us remember your 90's glory!
The Breathitt Bobcats will have a losing season. Tough schedule and few athletes.
This will be the best year ever for the Arizona Cardinals

Enjoyable (surprise!) picnic

Friday was the annual area picnic, and for once, I had a total blast--10:30am to 4pm, including a great disc golf game, horse shoes, football, and some cool manager-sponsored games: Slingshot paintball (!) and Charlie's Left/Center/Right.

I'm sore, sunburnt and dehydrated. Loved it!

* * *

Bonus, headed to Wally-World and got my tires mounted, no waiting (!)

TypingMaster Online Test, Desktop Educational Application

TypingMaster Online Test, Desktop Educational Application

82 WPM...w00t!

Dad says he's never seen anyone type as fast as me. I told him he's seen very few typists, then.

Rant

I'm a full-time regular developer that the company flew to Switzerland. I've been onsite at a large banking firm for 3 days. Things are not going well. Our "solution" is as bad or worse than the original problem, and the $90 million PER YEAR customer is frustrated. I've provided one substantial update in three days, and have followed no reproducible baseline procedures.

What's my natural next email?


BTW, tomorrow is my last day here on official business. I'll be sightseeing Friday and Saturday.


Wow. Just...wow.

Class warfare? Inflation?

I think this post by Delerium sums it up pretty well



I'm in the top 10%, but not by much and I DEFY you to find anyone near this point who can:

Afford to send 2 kids to a decent college
Take expensive vacations
Pay the mortgage, car loan and credit card loans
Maintain cars and house
Heat, electric for house and gas for cars
Feed the family well
Pay for your multiple insurances

and even if you budget, scrimp and save...

You are left with SQUAT!


I think we're on course to spawn another generation like Japan: Expensive land prevents owning a home, along with high living expenses preventing long-term savings (retirement, insurance). Thus, we're left with a group immune to the "but things always get better" mantra of their parents. Difference, of course, is that this gen expects things to get better.

Yeah, he'll regret this later

Image
Yeah, I can just see pulling-out THIS picture whenever joey brings home a gal, gets married, etc.

Oldie but a goodie

LOVE this:

This mini-movie is the #1 reason I continue to lust after an E39 M5

So...why can't we get a cool Corolla in this country?

Image
Yeah, we get a rather stodgy, jellybean corolla, and the rest of the world gets this nice, useful 4-door hatch.

Like the treatment on the grille/hood better, as well.

Sore on Saturday

I'm hopped-up on a combination of butter-cream, butter-mints, and mixed nuts...that's right kids--it's Baby Shower time.

Wait a tick...no, not a shower for OUR forthcoming baby, one for someone ELSE. Whitney's coordinated the whole thing, and it's (hopefully) winding down as I write this.

From the sound of the games--something about clothespins & toilet paper--I didn't want anything to do with it. :-)

Fear and self-loathing in La Bluegrass

Ever have a day where you woke-up and just wished you weren't yourself? That's pretty-much me today.

Fell off the wagon this morning, very hard. I won't go into the details, but there's at least one person who reads this blog knows what I'm talking about. No rhyme or reason to it, just happened. I've had a very good week, and last night visiting with some of our Church friends was awesome, but for some reason, I took a step I shouldn't have taken and only a few minutes later jumped right off the wagon.

So, today begins another "first" day.

* * *

Work's been stinking of late; I won't bore you with the details. If it was fun all the time, they'd call it "play" or "fun".

Software by Rob : Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers

Software by Rob : Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers: "I have never, ever, ever seen a great software developer who does not have amazing attention to detail."

Let me just say it: I'm screwed.

Anyone know of a remedial course for Type-B programmers?

Ford Cutting N.A. Production

RELEASE: Ford Cutting N.A. Production - The Car Connection: "The new production plan will result in downtime at several assembly plants between now and the end of the year, including: ...Louisville, Ky. (Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer)...and all F-Series truck plants (Kansas City, Mo.; Norfolk, Va., Dearborn and Kentucky Truck in Louisville)."

Looks like a rough Christmas in Da Ville. :(

So, this whole "God is Jesus, Jesus is God" concept

From a conversation I had with my pastor:

So, in explaining the concept of Jesus and God being one in the same, and Jesus being a "manifestation" of God. God is the "author of the universe" and Jesus is his embodiment. One of my fellow parishoners said to Scott:


So, it's kinda like Stephen King doing a cameo in movies based on his book?


Yep.

The Age of the Essay

The Age of the Essay: "You don't know yet. And so you can't begin with a thesis, because you don't have one, and may never have one. An essay doesn't begin with a statement, but with a question. In a real essay, you don't take a position and defend it. You notice a door that's ajar, and you open it and walk in to see what's inside."

Paul Graham is a hero of mine, not for his hacker-hero-worship, but because he's a THINKER first, and a programmer second. His "essay on essays" should be given to every freshman in college.

Zonked...

Prediction for the day: Lots of people driving convertibles, motorcycles, etc. It's BEAUTIFUL outside...65 degrees, no humidity. Really feels like Fall.

* * *

One cup of coffee, and I'm still totally zonked. I know I slept, but it feels like I didn't sleep at all.

Bummed that Katerina is leaving the company, but I'm kinda glad for her, too.

"Suburbia"

I guess my point is that I don't like suburbia. I want to move back to a town where everybody has at least an acre or two of land. Good fences don't make good neighbors. Good acreage makes good neighbors. And beer. Beer always helps.


Agreed, on both counts.

link

Yep...this guy's going on the RSS reader...

On being jealous

I'm jealous. Straight-up, seeing red jealous. There was something that was mine that someone else is doing a bang-up job on after it got taken away from me. So, hard thing is, are my misgivings about it real, or are they just a manifestation of that jealousy?

The Bag of Holding

The Bag of Holding: "Got your top 5? Good. Now find out who made each of them. Send the creator a letter of thanks, and make it sincere. If appropriate, send a small cash donation, anything you can afford."

My list:

BMW
Timex
Sage
Firefox
Ruby


Yup...nothing like the proper tool.

The next family truckster....

Image
Bella's car won't last forever, and I keep wondering what we'll look at next. Things that matter to me:

Small-sized person compatibility: Some cars (including my E30!), Bella just can't drive. She needs power-adjusting seats (and pedals, preferably!) and a tilt/telescoping steering column.
Safety: I don't want my family in a death trap. In this I include active safety: A vehicle must be stable and maneuverable enough to avoid problems, with positive driver feedback. It must also have enough power to get out of its own way.
Economy: This is not just pure fuel economy, but also operation, maintenance, and repair. Preferably, this would be something that runs on regular gas (or diesel), with cheap parts, that's designed with maintenance in mind. E85 or biodiesel compatibility's a plus. Fuel economy > 30mpg on the highway is almost mandatory here.
Reliability. This is a given; this will be the car for family trips, and which must get the family to/fro…

Mooching pics from others...

Image
Joey passes into an icing-induced sugar coma.

* * *

After the non-practice Soccer practice (lightning, thunder, oh my!), we were able to make it to David's surprise party, which was awesome for me in many ways:

- Got to introduce Whitney + Joey to most of my 'work family'
- Took whitney to a GOOD thai restaurant, for a change.
- It counted as date night. (j/k, dear!)

Keeping a lower profile

At Bella's request, I removed all geographic and visual references to where I now abide.

For all those crazies out there on the 'net: I live alone atop a high, craggy mountain surrounded by piles of gas-inducing bean burritos and buckets of ammunition for my many sub-machine guns. The approximate location of my hermitage is East of Noah's Ark, and north of Shangri-La.

Please feel free to not drop by.

Biggest "duh" thought...

So, on the news today this story:


BP said that it would have to shut down a segment of the pipeline for a period of up to six months to replace 16 miles of the structure.


Okay, why does BRITISH PETROLEUM own the Alaska pipeline? Why doesn't an American company (or better yet, the federal gov't!) own it?

7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable

7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable: "It doesn't matter what you tell yourself, or what slogans you memorize about how everyone is special. You'll think of yourself as special when you do something special. If you think of yourself as special prior to actually doing something special, you're not healthy and well-balanced. You're a narcissist, disconnected from reality. "

Okay, this is a LITTLE over the top, but taken as a whole, this article describes why post-modernist Cyberspace and human beings don't mesh, past a point. We need people. (By extension, I'd assert we need God, too!)

Fulfilling every need for communication without real community leaves us empty. I didn't realize how empty my life was until I had a relationship with God, my church family, my small town, and Whitney and Joey.

As an aside, this is also why working at a tech company is impossible some days -- people have no people skills, and they never learned to &quo…

The (exhausting) weekend that was...

Yeah, so this was supposed to be the weekend where I relaxed all Saturday, staying in bed all day if I wished...

...so, naturally, we reorganized the house and Rug Doctor'd the carpets. In between doing that, I found time to change the oil in the Beamer. All this, while Joey lived la dolce vita down at Dale Hollow Lake.

The lowpoint was probably when the Purolator filter in the E30 decided to get stuck, at the same time my left shoulder had a heat cramp. I finally crawled under the car and got it unstuck with my StrapWrench from beneath.

Then today, we had a luau with the church, and our Sunday school class had to coordinate the event and put up everything from food, to Tiki torches, to games for the kids. It turned into a 3pm -> 8pm afternoon for me, down by the river.

But there were lots of good moment: Powerslides in the Beamer on the gravel road from the by-pass to the property, teaching some kids the simple joy of skipping rocks in the creek, and playing beach-ball volley…

May you be cursed to live in interesting times...

Washington Post Article


Rarely has our system produced a more naked exercise in opportunism than this measure. Most conservatives oppose the minimum wage on principle as a form of government meddling in the marketplace. But moderate Republicans in jeopardy this fall desperately wanted an increase in the minimum wage.

So the seemingly ingenious Republican leadership, which dearly wants deep cuts in the estate tax, proposed offering nickels and dimes to the working class to secure billions for the rich. Fortunately, though not surprisingly, the bill failed.


Heard about this this morning on the way in...and it just didn't make sense--an increase in the minimum wage AND cuts in the Estate tax?

Huh? What sort of game are these guys in the House running?

* * *

I don't particularly agree with Dionne's article, but I do see the current situation as untennable--Ammericans en masse cannot support our current lifestyles given $3.00+ gasoline. Somethings got to give. Here in Lexington, w…

Dagen då larverna kom till Flogsta

Image

There are bad days, then there are days when you fall down the stairs

[Interior: Postmodern tech-company building with central spiral staircase]

Harold, our intrepid protagonist walks down one flight of stairs, three individual 90-degree spiralled segments, to the floor below. He carries a sheet of paper containing the candidate's resumé in one hand, a water-filled tupperware cup in the other. He looks off the the right, then suddenly finds himself falling down the stairs, landing on his left side, most of the impact on his left shin & ankle. His left hand is numb.

Water spills everywhere on the stairs.

The foyer of the building is full of people

Harold: "S$^t!"

Girl: "Are you okay man"

Harold: [shakes left hand]. "murmph"

Lisa: "Are you okay, Harold?"

Harold: "Yeah..."

* * *

My pride is bruised, and I'm sure my ankle will be tomorrow. You'd think I'd WATCH WHERE I WAS GOING!!

"Mac Ad spoof"

As a growing Ubuntu acolyte, this is just hilarious:

Resistence is futile....

Reports from the frontlines--DATELINE BEATTYVILLE

After a morning of sleeping-in, procuring some coffee at Kroger, and gassing-up the Intrigue, we headed to Beattyville, leaving at 2 and arriving around 5 (!)

The news:

- Dad bought a truck. It's the same truck as his last truck, but it has the advantage of 97k fewer miles and a higher differential ratio (3.43 v 3.73)

- Used the air tools to rotate the tires on the intrigue.

- Dad tried to use the same technique to teach Joey to catch a baseball that he used with me. With similar results--Joey ran into the house. Was alot of fun, though, being an objective observer.

We're spending the night, and Bella thought she felt the baby kick for the first time! :D

* * *

Work was pretty fun the remainder of Friday--sat at home trying to figure out an XSLT stylesheet on an XML document, basically to automatically generate the settings documentation for our new system.

Not entirely booted today...

Nothing like having the Hershey Squirts all morning combined with too little sleep to make one perky on a Friday.

* * *

Thought: I must stop caring what people at work think of me. I've got folks like David, Jeff, and Patrick, who are just awesome, supportive, and real. And, they're all alot older than me. Then, I have people my own age who are just not nice. Ugh.

* * *

In case we doubted Joey's self-image...

(On exiting the tennis court this morning)

Me: Man, you were hittin' that ball pretty well? Your dad been workin' with you?

Joey: No. I'm just good!

hehe

Annoyances.org - Top 10 things likely to be overheard from a Klingon Programmer

A morning prayer...

Oh Lord, strengthen me in thy sight.
Pull my soul from the despair I feel,
Make me ready to carry your banner,
Plant my feet on the rock of your Word.

Oh Lord, though the hour seems dark,
show me the light of Your love.
Raise my eyes to Heaven,
show me the glory of Your throne.

Kill the lies that hide behind my tongue,
undo the hurt I wish to inflict on others.
Remind me of my purpose,
and that You believe in me.

I am Yours, Lord. Am wholly thy servant.
The things of this world I desired pass away,
but You remain, my God.

Promise Keepers

Image
Spent Friday night and Saturday up in Columbus, Ohio at a Promise Keepers event, held at the 20,000-seat Nationwide arena.

It was a great experience, as 7 of us from Northside Christian Church (Pastor Scott, Ryan, Me, Rick, Chuck, Tim, and Jason) headed out at 2:30pm in the rental 15-passenger van. On the whole, it was great to just be myself, not worried about talking sports, or computers, or whatever else. I could be comfortable and enjoy just laughing and being myself.

Intel to ax 1,000 managers | CNET News.com

A wonderful day...

I sit basking in the glow of my citronella candle as the last pink of day turns to gray. Relaxed. Sated.

Today was a study in contrasts--my relaxation now versus me taking a DeWalt cordless drill to the remains of my powerbook as I salvaged the Hard Drive. Bella wanted the pictures off it. I got through 16 little screws, but the final two holding the hard drive to the case itself stripped out. I was a little frustrated and thought "Well, if this were a car, I'd just grab a metal bit and drill-out the screws."

Turns out, this is a perfectly serviceable option for laptops, too.

* * *

Later, we washed both cars and gave the Bimmer a nice-smelling coat of carnuba. Noticed more nicks-and-scratches than when I bought it a few months ago. Must....get...touchup...paint!!

Kinda wish today wouldn't end, as up-and-down as it's been.

Just overheard at our house

Um...mommy...

I wanna wear spidey and my football pijamas, but I can't 'cuz they don't match


Yike.

Gotta love Ruby!

Ruby is an awesome, powerful little language.

I needed a 'time' command for windows to measure the execution time (in seconds) of a command. Should be trivial, but I'm not Windows API savvy. Here's the full script in Ruby:


t1 = Time.new
IO.popen(ARGV.join(' ')) { |pipe| puts pipe.gets }
t2 = Time.new

puts "Execution time: #{t2 - t1} seconds"


Simple, direct, and obvious. LOVE IT!

Let it rain!!

The Lord granted us a respite last night just long enough for a clear sky for the awesome Scott County fireworks show, but this morning has been a steady, slow rain, up to 1" on my rain gauge.

We need it desperately.

* * *

In other news, the new baby Combs is actually at 10 weeks instead of 9, putting his or her delivery date at February 5th. New ultrasound scans coming soon.

Making Hay on Independence Day...

In church yesterday, out of the blue, my inclination was "You need to go visit your parents." Sans Joey this weekend, I told Whitney we needed to go and she thought it was a great idea.

Had a wonderful time with Mom, Dad, Norie, and Mike getting in about 248 bales of hay off some land just around-the-corner from their farm. Hot, dry day in the 90's, but it turned out for the best: I helped with the hay, got some exercise, and got some "quality time" with Dad. Whitney was bored to tears, but at least she got to stay cool.

We all miss Joey and look forward to having him for the 4th of July.

Superman Returns Review

The powers that be bought the whole regular employee cadre tix to the matinee of Superman Returns. I hated it, but then I didn't care for the first 4.

The movie comes (in the dc comics reality) after the events in Superman II, but prior to those of Superman III. Superman left 5 years ago to investigate the last-known position of Krypton, his homeworld, only to find the world has all but forgotten him and that his former love has a new live-in man and a 5-year old kid.

This expensive, Bryan Singer-directed film was all the superlatives--stunning visuals, sweeping story, well-developed characters.

But I didn't like it...Kate Bosworth was the same icky, unattractive Lois Lane as Margot Kidder, and Brandon Routh was the same smirking Superman as Chris Reeve. However, Routh is somehow less emotionally engaging.

There are many bright moments: The film lapses into comedy (maybe even camp) once we've hit the rising action. One precious scene has Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor chewi…

On the logic of female promiscuity

Okay, my brain is off-the-wall sometimes. I was watching some sort a show about Bradd Pitt and Angelina Jolie and thought. "Dang, guys are just pigs. All we think about is sex. Our nature is to be promiscuous." Brad had left Jennifer Aniston to be with a "better" (?) woman, Angelina.

Something, though, made me think that wasn't quite right: WOMEN should tend to be more promiscuous than men. Here's my thoughts, ignorning the obvious moral concerns and thinking anthropologically:

Consider a society of people. That society will have a bell-curve distribution of traits, with some butt-ugly morons and some beautiful geniuses. To maintain social cohesion, as well as to provide for the best environment to rear children, that society arranges itself as mating pairs, as we would say, husband and wife. The husband provides protection and livelihood for the family, and the wife bears and rears the children.

Here's the catch, though--the wife needs the hu…

Mechanic’s Tale: Junkyard Dogs - The Car Connection

Mechanic’s Tale: Junkyard Dogs - The Car Connection: "In the crazy Jac Nasser years at Ford I kept hearing rumors of Ford attempting to buy up large numbers of junkyards. He chased every unprofitable business strategy that came down the pike, so I guess he could have taken the profit out of junkyards too."

(to the tune of "Oh, how I love Jesus")

Oh, how I hate Fo-ords,
Oh, how I hate Fo-ords,
Yes, Oh, how I hate Fo-ords,
Because they first hated me.




People speculated that Ford wanted cradle-to-grave control of their product. I have a different theory. He probably figured that by delivering the new Ford products directly to the junkyard, they cut out the costly dealer network and distribution system. He could also avoid dealing with those pain-in-the-neck old guys who actually bought Ford products and complained when they didn't perform right."

700 posts + the weekend

:-) Can't believe I have 700 posts on here...wow.

* * *

Ah, the weekend: Joey, Whitney, and I went up to da Ville to attend a wedding. Small, neat affair off Peterson St in the Highlands. For a simple wedding-on-the-porch, it had lots of mishaps--Firetruck went by during the special music, flower-girl pancaked on the dancefloor (with exciting bleeding!), and the photographer's assistant passed-out.

Whitney felt faint and my persistent hamstring injury kept us off the dancefloor :-(

We spent the night w/Stu and Rachel.

* * *

We spent all of Saturday at the Louisville Science Center. Awesome place; pricey, but worth it.

* * *

Sunday was pretty awful...I was cranky and tired, and didn't really "wake up" until after 3pm.