Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Gambling That's Good For You

Gambling That's Good For You

I have an idea of starting a casino where its gimmick is a benefit to mankind and advancing civilization. Build a casino in Vegas and donate, say 50% of the profits to technology research and development, architecture invention and maybe some charities. People will come in because 1) it's a casino and 2) dissonance is reduced because money lost is going to a good cause, which is the excuse victims - er, visitors will use after the casino cleans them out.

Now I need a name for this casino.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Today is trash day for the neighborhood. It's also the first pick up since Christmas. On my way into the edition today, I drove slowly to see what all of my neighbors got for Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

It was a very merry Christmas. For gifts I received Angels & Demons, Dan Brown's first book before Da Vinci Code, Morrowind game for Xbox, wireless Xbox controller, a couple of nice sweater-shirts, Scrooged on DVD, Run Ronnie Run on DVD, a bottle of wine, a nice inspirational book for fathers with daughters, Scene It the board/DVD game (very fun), a Jeep keychain, a Sherlock Holmes and the House of the Baskerville mug, plus a good amount of cold hard cash.

For myself, I bought a telescope and Half Life 2, Chronicles of Riddick. Merry Christmas to me.

The big gift is coming Feb 1.

Mrs. Lock was pleased with her gifts this year. She had five and she opened them in the following order (intentionally set by me):

1. Deck of cards.
2. Pair of dress socks with diamond patterns.
3. Hand held videogame - baseball.
4. Neil Diamond greatest hits CD
5. Half a caret diamond ring with white gold band.

I tried giving her four hints leading up to the big prize but I don't think she figured it out (thankfully). She was very pleased with all of her gifts except maybe numbers 1-4, definitely not #4.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Random Thoughts - I Mean It

Random Thoughts - I Mean It

I have a memo pad, stored online so I guess it's a virtual memo pad, where I leave notes from thoughts I have during the day. Thoughts I know I'm not going to remember in 10 minutes let alone several days later. Many of these entries are the basis for some of my blog posts here. But there are some entries, I really don't know what I was thinking about and as a result, not sure how to comment on it.

But rather than just delete these random thoughts, I should post them in their raw format, the quick entries as I typed out (even left the typos in) to jog my memory later when I came across it, but my memory doesn't recognize what the heck I was thinking about. I'm sure I have a belief about what I wrote, I just can't remember the context. I inserted some comments (in brackets) to clarify a little what I might have been talking about.

Anyway, here it is. Truly random and unsubstantiated thoughts.

For someone to be happy, their partner has to give them what they want. for their partner to know what they want, they ahve to know them implicitly. For that to happen, the partner knows what makes him/her tick. Something unnerving about having someone who knows how to press your buttons.

Create a website that searches a db of lottery results. User enters their number, searches to see if it would've ever hit.
(This may have been an entrepreneurial idea I had instead of a potential blog entry)

Pregnancy like a gun. Even get cocked. Later on, it's obvious the gun is about to go off.

Medication can remove anger out of a family. Kids imitate. Meds keep their parents calm, they'll learn to stay calm from behavior observation. If the kids see the parents take the drugs, hmmmm. Bad.

Conspiaracy theorists give our government too much credit. [Killed] JFK, [faked] land on the moon, 9/11. We can't even find WMD, protect skyscrapers.

I have more respect for [Patrick] Swayze as an actor after he played a pedophile in Donnie Darko.

I'm a slow learner in a lot of areas. But I never quit learning, so caught up since adults quit [learning] when leaving school.

Over-domesticated: Picky of side of garage to park on, side of bed. etc.

My toy as a kid was the vacuum cleaner. I even had a name for it, VC1U2. It helped me with spelling.

People passionate about doc filmmaker Michael Moore. Passion usually derived because it insults their political view. I saw Super Size Me, didn't get emotional because [it insulted my] love [for] fast food.

Ah, feels good to clean the closet.

Someone In Need

Someone In Need

"Costs just pennies a day. Won't you do it?"

Who has that kind of time to set aside just pennies per day?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Looking Back

Looking Back

Read this post of mine from a year ago, especially the last sentence.

Update: 62k in 401k. Not sure about ESOP. Should be higher than 30k. 7400 in IRA.

I don't take up crusades, I just question everything and I certainly don't have any answers.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Airing Your Dirty Laundry

Airing Your Dirty Laundry

I thought this was neat and a good, unbiased practice of fine, objective journalism.

Click to enlarge.

Missed The Birth

Missed The Birth

I had a dream last night that my wife got up in the middle of the night, went to the hospital and had the baby while I lie sleeping. In my dream, I woke up the next morning to find a happy and healthy and very big (for a newborn) baby in the crib in our nursery.

My first reaction was stunned disbelief which quickly turned into elation because she was finally here but that quickly turned into anger because I missed out on something important.

I confronted the Mrs. to ask what happened. She told me she was having some problems with the pregnancy, felt some contractions she thought were false and went to the hospital in the middle of the night to get checked out. She thought it was a routine issue and didn't want to bother waking me for it. While being examined at the hospital, she went into labor, had the baby and brought it home in a few hours all before I woke up. I got very mad at her for not waking me even for the problems she was having. I felt very frustrated. I couldn't even express how upset I was that I was not a part of the birth. I complained that I will now have to wait until the second kid to get my chance to witness a birth of my child.

It was one of the more emotional dreams I've ever had. The end is definitely near.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Diaries Of A Newborn's Father

Diaries Of A Newborn's Father

I'm not there yet, but in a month and a half I will be. I was given a head's up by a friend who is there now. This was his experience that he felt should be shared with me in some sort of destructive, intimidating, scare your pants off sort of preparation I guess.

A baby will definitely test your patience. It will amaze you how frustrated you'll get when they have been fed, burped, changed, and for some unknown reason are still crying their head off.

I consider myself to not have much patience....and I know I've been pushed to feeling crazy to the point where I go to [Mom] and plead for her to take over, just for a bit until I get back to sanity.

You find yourself mock crying with the baby, knowing you are an idiot because they are nowhere near comprehending what is going on..they can't help it....but you do it anyway when you get into frustration land.

Not that it excuses it at all, but I've seen the path that people take when they abuse babies...I'd never allow myself to walk it of course.....but I have seen from a distance the blocks you from ever going there...but people who can't love or don't care....I know where they have allowed themselves to go

And this is with a non-colicky baby. I COULDN"T IMAGINE HAVING A BABY WITH COLIC!


No no no.

Can't imagine that.

Anyway, we put him to bed in his crib....have the baby monitor thing going and we lay down for sleep, listening to his breathing through the little baby monitor. Over time you get used to a hiccup not being an emergency. or a cough or a sneeze not being reason enough to bolt out of the room and rush to his aid...

Over time.

They say eventually you'll (or you're supposed to anyway) get to where if you know they don't have a good reason to cry (food/diaper/burp) then you'll let them cry

I can't even fathom that stage yet though.

Oh I start that stage, feeling confident, then the cry continues...

30 seconds go by.... I'm standing strong.

60 seconds....worried look upon my face, but still not moving.

120 seconds....straining now, the cries have got louder...surely he'll stop when I don't come.

180 seconds....shit, he's still crying....obviously something must be wrong right?

182 seconds...oh fuck it....something's wrong, Daddy's on his way!

It's pathetic, but repetitive

The positive side....

There are many, but one in particular blows away all the negative that you stop counting the positives. When you first are able to make them laugh.

It won't be something you'll be able to repeat regularly, probably; but I was able to make him laugh three times in a row with pauses in between to confirm it was me doing it. Fourth time wouldn't come but those three were so amazing. He looked into my eyes and giggled that whole body giggle that babies do, because there is so little of them; easily melted away any concern or previously thought "important" thing that was on my mind.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

No Virginia...

No Virginia...

Teaching your kid about Santa Claus is a bad thing. You may think it is harmless and something cute and everyone is doing it so it must be ok, but perpetuating the myth that a fat man lands on rooftops, sliding down chimneys to deliver gifts to the whole world and ignoring a bright kid's inquisitive nature about how it is physically possible to travel to every inhabited location on the planet in one night or exactly how this jolly man gets access to houses that have no fireplaces, well you're basically just showing your kid that you can lie to him.

It's no different then a guy who bold face lies to his friend that his fly is open then promptly fingers his nose as he checks out your fictitious observation. The victim is going to think twice next time you tell him something that might be in his best interest. It may be funny to you and the victim may appear to laugh, but something dire has just happened.

You think since they were kids they will forget. But you don't understand the power of the subconscious mind. You have irrevocably damaged your child's trust in you for the rest of his life.

It's better to come clean now and instruct the child in the importance of rituals and culture should you continue to observe Christmas in its playful ways.

Oh, and the same thing goes for the Easter Bunny, Harry Hanukkah, Jesus, etc.

Expecting Parent's Dream

Expecting Parent's Dream

I had a dream last night that I was changing a kid's diaper. It wasn't even my kid and I barely knew the parents but this kid was drenched in his own urine so I went to work. I took off the soiled diaper and saw that he had beaded drops of urine all up and down his body. I basically gave the kid a wipey-dipe bath getting all of the contaminant off of him, put a new diaper on him and he was as good as new.

Why am I dreaming of changing diapers?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Couple of thoughts:

Do people who paint camouflage consider it an art form? How do they know where to put the green and the black and pick the size of shapes?

Will Astronomers 2000 years from now (re)name the celestial bodies names like Jesus, Buddha, Hare Krishna, Larry?

Lest We Forget...

Lest We Forget...

Yesterday came and went with little fan fare. Why should there have been fan fare you ask? Well, it was 53 years ago yesterday that the United States was attacked by an Axis power, drawing us into the largest war this world has ever seen.

December 7th is Pearl Harbour Day.

It got very little mention or observance, at least from the sources I use to get my currents events and I wonder if this is what will happen to 9/11 in 50 some years?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

"I'm not a Republican but I'm saving up to become one."
-- Emo Phillips

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

It's December already.

Mrs. Lock is in the 8th month of her pregnancy. That leaves *counts on fingers - 5,4,3* TWO months left before parenthood is thrust on me. Two months of horrible horrible freedom.

Bring it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I saw this headline today.

(Reuters) Report: Nearly Half of HIV Adults Are Women

Wow. I wonder who the other half is.

Monday, November 22, 2004


It's moments like these, historical events that make a blog owner happy.

Nationally, this news is big. In the sports world, this news is huge. And in this state, this news is gimongousgantictastic! This state is buzzing with the events that took place in Detroit last Friday night.
To give you an idea of the atmosphere here, on my way into work this morning, I flipped through my usual collection of radio stations. I spent on average about five seconds per station and in those brief moments before I moved on to the next station, every radio program managed to mention something about Artest or the fights or Detroit - five seconds! That's a small indication how big the news is here.

I have coworkers from corporate out in D.C. emailing and IMing me asking me about what happened, what's the mood here, what do our fans think of the whole ordeal, what did I think of it, was the punishment appropriate. They've come to me for the inside track. The news is big out there, it's a typhoon in here.

And here's what I said:

When asked if Pacers fans here are embarrassed as to what happened. I said I don't believe they are for the most part. I think they are proud of their team, I think they are proud of their players who don't take anything from disgruntled fans. Was the Artest/Jackson/O'Neal reaction an over reaction? Probably. But something had to be done. If you saw the following Pacers game against the Orlando Magic, the players (the ones that were allowed to play, all six of them) got a standing ovation in Conseco Fieldhouse. No one here is embarrassed.

I tried to imagine what the outcome could have been had Ben Wallace shoved Reggie Miller instead of bad boy Ron Artest. What if it were nice guy Miller lying on that scoreboard table getting hit with the cup? What would Mr. Cool/Captain-Of-The-Team do? After thinking about it, I honestly think we'd see a very similar reaction and I don't mean Artest jumping into the stands on Miller's behalf.

I think we'd see Miller jump off that table and head into the stands kicking Detroit hide and not taking any names. Only what would be different this time would be 11 other Pacers on his heels parting the crowd like Moses at the Red Sea allowing Miller the chance to exact his revenge.

Artest got one Pacers escort instead of a whole team. Why? Because he's Artest. He has the brute strength and raw emotion of 11 other people and the Pacers that didn't join him, didn't feel Artest needed their help and they probably felt sorry for the fan(s) that was about to receive the shock of his life.

It's also perception. Artest as a person does not deserve to be assaulted by any means. But if you were forced to pick someone on the Indiana Pacers team to get hit by a flying object and have that action have the smallest impact of unfairness, it's Artest. Not because of his hard foul on Ben Wallace but because of his reputation, his past. If you believe in Karma, Artest was probably the closest to have it coming. Miller is Mr. Nice Guy. Any unprovoked assault on him would have been unjust in the extreme and the demons of holy hells would be raised to punish those who upset this balance in the universe.

To avoid confusion, I do not condone the assault that happened to Ron Artest. It was completely unprovoked. I support this man and his decision to take his own action 100%. I'm only talking about behavior and perception here which might provide insight to the common reactions we're hearing and the punishments that were delivered.

As much as Commish David Stern and the NBA deny it, this is good for business. This NASCAR's the NBA up a bit and in this day and age of fear, people want to see blood.

You have to realize, many NBA players, Artest included, are just thugs off the street who are handed everything overnight they ever wanted materially. Your racial sensitivity monitor might be starting to beep right about now, but this isn't racial. I'm talking about members of a certain club, two clubs: NBA and NBA fans and both groups have quite a racial mix.

These NBA players didn't go to behavior school, there are no NBA courses on how to deal with the sudden changes to their lifestyle that they receive. There are players in the NBA taken out of inner city pressure spots where the living atmosphere from day to day is kill or be killed and these kids are then put into a camp where they dedicate at least a decade of their life to working hard physically and they're expected to act like Mother Theresa with a mean slam dunk. The fact that events like the one in Detroit don't happen more often astounds me. I don't know what else you expect from these players especially when you put them in a building with more thugs directly off the street and with little to no security.

I understand Detroit's reaction. They are the embarassed ones. It was 3 vs. 3000 on (inter)national television and the three (eventually) walked away. Talk about a loss of town pride.

Anyway, I like to see things shaken up. I like to see systems undergo constant change. This will be an interesting time for the NBA and a moment that will not be soon forgotten. But like I said, it's a good thing.

The funniest thing I've heard so far out of this whole ordeal was a comedy skit where a radio personality who was doing an impersonation of former NBA player and current NBA commentator Charles Barkley, was asked what he would've done in that situation, he replied, "I would've gotten up and punched Bill Walton right in the face. How come out of all those fights, nobody went over to Bill Walton and gave him a piece."

Friday, November 19, 2004

I'm only paranoid of that which has already happened in history.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I am not a fan of a government that wants to raise my family or tells me how to raise my family. That means I am also not a fan of people who want the government to raise their family.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004



I wonder how successful I would be if I were to go around to as many websites as I could find that requested donations via PayPal, write the webmaster saying I want my (5/10/25/50/100) bucks back because I had a change of (mind/heart/soul/socks) about their (product/service/prank).

How many of them would bite and fork over the "refund?"

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I will be the parent of a daughter before I have my next oil change.

Friday, November 12, 2004

2 Halo Or Not 2 Halo

2 Halo Or Not 2 Halo

I think I'm the only Xbox owner on the planet who didn't buy Halo 2 this week.
"Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure."

-- Dogbert

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Horror Of Trees

The Horror Of Trees

What about the trees? What about the trees? Save the enviornment! Hey, trees have killed their fair share of people too. We are merely defending ourselves.

We honor the fallen: Michael Kennedy, Sonny Bono, brave heroes who were sacrificed for the cause. This post is for you.

Ski with God my brothers.

Monday, November 08, 2004

November Update

November Update

I forgot to do a monthly update! My memory is fading fast. Here's one with a snapshot of today's headlines.

U.S.: 42 Insurgents Killed in Fallujah
Arafat's Wife Lashes Out at Officials
Peterson Jurors Expected to View Boat
Hinckley Asks Judge for More Freedom
Bin Laden's Ex-Driver Seeks Delay in Trial
Ivory Coast Loyalists Confront French
'Incredibles' Rakes in an Amazing $70.7M
Ark. Girl Blows 16-Inch Bubble
Stocks Move Lower on Profit Taking

DJI 10394, NASDAQ 2042, SP5 1165

#1 Movie at the box office:
The Incredibles

Last movie I saw at the theater:
Shaun Of The Dead

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Butterfly Effect
The Big Bounce

Books I'm currently reading:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

CDs I'm listening to:
Korn - Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Wired CD Compliation - Rip Sample Smash Share

Video games I'm playing:
Morrowind III: Elder Scrolls. GoY Edition
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Baby Update

Baby Update

So we're all done with baby class. It covered techniques like coping with the pregnancy, relaxation methods, what to do during labor. We got a tour of the maternity wing in the hospital then the last week was caring for your newborn. We had four classes and went weekly on Tuesday night from 7p to 9p. It was worth the $75, if anything to get us acquainted with the hospital and the staff that we will be using.

Mrs. Lock started her third trimester this week. She's at week 27 and everything is going fine. She's dealing quite well with the pregnancy, very few side effects and she even said the other day that she'll miss being pregnant. I can fix that.

She's actually in Chicago today for some meeting. Seven months pregnant and she isn't slowing down for work.

I'm a little bit under the weather today. I hope it's not flu! I can't take a break though because I have corporate visitors in town. We need to go over a bunch of things before starting up a new air traffic system here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Words to the members of my government

Words to the members of my government

All quotes said by Thomas Jefferson.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

"The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. "

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive."

"No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will."

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

"He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors."

"It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong."

"Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society."

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

"One man with courage is a majority."

"I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. "

"In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty."

"Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence."

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

"Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe."

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Mr. President

Mr. President

Today's an important day for this country. With the polls saying the people are divided, 48% for incumbent President George W. Bush and 47% for the challenger Senator John F. Kerry, this is going to be as close as it gets. Vegas doesn't even know how to calculate the odds on this one.

Of course I have made some observances in this political season that I'd like to address.

One of the impacts of this election, arguably, would be documentary filmmaker Michael Moore's piece titled Fahrenheit 9/11 which was pretty much a Bush bash fest. I enjoyed the film as I do all of Moore's pieces. I think he is an excellent documentary filmmaker and it's interesting to me to see the worship or the slams he gets because of his political work. If anything is a showcase to how people react to how they're beliefs are supported or refuted, it's Moore's work. There are tons of documentaries being done in this style, a story told from one view point, but Moore's gets the most attention and I tried to find out why. I think quite simply, it's the topic. People are very passionate about their political beliefs, and why shouldn't they? It probably has the greatest impact on their day to day lives.

I saw another documentary piece recently titled Super Size Me about a man's 30 day experiment to show you why fast food is bad for the human body. This movie was a McDonald's bash fest like what Fahrenheit did to Bush, but I haven't seen any reaction (except from McDonald's themselves) on the scale that Moore gets for his piece. Where are the McDonald's fans, the fast food fans defending or shredding such a controversial piece. The filmmaker 30 day fast food experiment wasn't even scientific which should make it more controversial, but alas, it's all about the topic. If you don't want to stir up passion (please do actually) don't mess with people's politics.

My prediction is that Senator Kerry will win this election. Even though he's down in the polls, the difference is negligible and you have to take other factors into consideration when determining the outcome, like the polls that are taken to figure out who's leading whom. A sizeable (one that would matter in this close election) group of people were unreachable by polls in this age of cell phones. Pollers can't call cell phones. People with cell phones only (like me), can't be reached. People with cell phones tend to be young adults and young adults tend to vote Democrat. I think it's enough to give Kerry the edge.

Onto another topic: The vote or shut up mentality. I don't support this attitude. Vote or not vote, it doesn't matter. It only takes a small percentage, something like 4 percent, if the group is properly mixed to represent the whole group, we would get an accurate result by the 4 percent. The trouble is when the group isn't properly mixed, when all of one group decides to not vote. If you want an accurate election, pressure society to vote. Don't blame the media for doing its job.

Next, delayed results. Get your act together. Get those votes counted quick. Cut down on the lawsuits that delay the results past election night. Voters will quit voting if this keeps up. Fix the system.

Nader deciding to run which both sides claimed would hurt the Dems is a good thing. Kudos to Nader for exercising the format of how our democracy is supposed to work. The Constitution doesn't support a two party system, it's society that's supporting that. So if you don't like having a third or fourth or more parties running, stealing votes from the your precious two party system, change society's views on the two party system and encourage people to vote for the actual candidate they like the most, not vote for the party. Straight ticket voting is for the lazy. There are liberal Republicans and there are conservative Democrats.

Finally, persecution of the undecided voter. It's simple. Undecided voters are being pressured to pick the guy who likes chocolate over the guy who likes peanut butter. It doesn't matter who becomes President. That's why they're undecided. Because you take your issues more seriously blinds you from understanding why the undecided exist.

This will be my first time voting in a booth. I've only done absentee in the past. I hope I know how to work it. There are some clueless people out there voting, I'm sure I can figure it out. Just an hour away now before Mrs. Lock and I head out to make our voice heard.

That's all for now.


Monday, November 01, 2004

"Chaos is the Law of nature, order is the dream of Man."
-- Henry Adams

Friday, October 29, 2004



I have a theory on why a number of people have claustrophobia. It's in the top 5 of things we're afraid of.

I think it is because we remember our time in the womb when our environment was very enclosed and very tight. You might wonder why a memory of our time in the womb would scare us since it was probably a happy time. What we also remember though is that we were completely submerged in a fluid.

As an adult, if you've ever been swimming, you know being submerged in liquid for a small time means death. We learn to fear the danger in our environment. This lesson coupled with what we subconciously remember from the womb, and retroactively, we develop claustrophobia.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

This is a photo that appeared in the November 2004 issue of Wired for an article about the death of corporate brands. I loved the picture so much, I had to display it here.

It reminds me of a Mad TV skit called Clops - claymation cops modeled after the reality cop show Cops where one of the Clops got a called about a disturbance at a bakery. When they arrived, it with the dough boy "baked" on crystal meth and he was flipping out, shouting, screaming, throwing things around. The Clops filled him full of holes with their guns but the bullets just ricocheted off or the dough boy absorbed them unharmed. The dough boy laughed at the Clops for trying to kill him citing he was invincible until one of the Clops shoved the dough boy into an oven, turned the broiler to high flaming the dough boy to a crisp.

"Bad toys, bad toys. Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they turn on you?"

Red Sox World Champs

Red Sox World Champs

So the Boston Red Sox finally win a World Series for the first time in like 80 some years. And they did it quite impressively too by being down 0-3 to the Yankees for the AL pennant; coming back to win the next four then going on to meet the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and sweeping them for eight straight wins in a row.

Finally, now maybe they'll quit whining about the curse of the Bambino. Superstitious freaks.

I do look forward to returning to a time when winning the World Series becomes and remains the top news headline for the day in this country.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Lesson In Daylight Savings Time

A Lesson In Daylight Savings Time

I may have preached on this before, but it's that time of year again. Time for the country and soon most of the world to come off daylight savings time (DST). You people wanted your precious daylight for the summer and now that it's gone, it's back to the winter grind.

The state I live in is only one of two states (I think) that does not observe daylight savings time. I always get "You guys are crazy!" No, you guys are crazy for changing your clocks twice a year and with it your internal physiological clocks wreaking havoc with your psychological makeup just so you can enjoy an extra hour of summer every day.

Even though 96 percent of the country observes DST, they don't understand how it works. It takes a guy in a state that doesn't use it to explain it to you.

I have bosses on the east coast that schedule teleconferences using Eastern Standard Time (EST). No one is even observing EST at the moment except maybe us (more on that later). So they schedule these meetings an hour off from the intended time and they don't even realize it. Fortunately, I know what they actually mean when they pick the time so I show up when they need me. Since everyone else out there misunderstands the timezones in the exact same way, they all show up at the same time too so no harm, no foul and problem perpetuates itself unless I speak up.

The country and most of the world is currently observing DST. Next Sunday, October 31, most likely while you're sleeping, this country will go off of DST and return to Standard Time (ST). When referring to timezones while observing DST, you either use DT or just T. If you're on the east coast, you refer to times in EDT or ET (phone home). Don't start using EST until after October 31 (this year).

Here's a tip that is usually the source of confusion. The timezones themselves do not change; you just hop to one when it's time. EST itself never changes. It is always -5 hours from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT); shorthand is -0500 GMT (a standard reference point for timezones always compares to GMT). Since GMT doesn't change with DST either, the number (aka the offset) is always constant for each of the timezones. So EST is always -0500 GMT, all year long. When they switch to DST in April, they leave EST and begin EDT. EDT is -0400 GMT. That's the extra hour they get during the summer.

Do you see how that works? When going from ST to DT, you shift closer to GMT, so currently, during DST, Eastern is only four hours from GMT and Central is five hours from GMT. I'd like to point out now that CDT has the same GMT offset as EST; minus five hours. Remember the timezones themselves never change, just the people. CDT is -0500 GMT. EST is -0500 GMT.

See how easy that is?

Here's my problem with DST. I have to deal with my east coast bosses who don't understand why my state doesn't observe DST and I have to remind them on a regular basis what time it actually is here. This isn't our fault for not complying with the norm, it's your fault for setting a faulty norm. If you don't think this country sets precedents for being the odd man out, metric system anyone? Convert 78 degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius for me. Which side of the road do you like driving on?

Now, if you're interested in some tidbits about understanding a region that doesn't observe DST, read on. If your brain is already full from what I've said, I suggest you stop and come back tomorrow.

Indiana does not observe DST. It's a farmer thing. Although as more businesses set up shop here and as more farmers shut down, it's getting harder to fight off the DST advocates. I hope the day never comes when Indiana has to observe DST. If it does, I'm looking for houses in Arizona (the other state that doesn't observe DST). Ok I'm not that serious about it, but I'm pretty adamant.

So Indiana never changes its clocks. We actually have our own timezone. It's called, appropriately enough, the Indiana timezone. If you browse through the timezones on your Windows PC clock, you'll see it listed among the world's timezones. Since Indiana never changes and the timezones themselves never change and GMT never changes, Indiana, CDT and EST are all the same timezone; -0500 GMT. In the summer, we share our time with the Central location and in the winter, we share with Eastern. It's a lot of fun pointing out this discrepancy to non-Hoosiers. They just don't get it.

The biggest impact (to me) of having the country observe DST and us not having it is that it messes up my television programming. To make matters worse, it's not consistent on all stations. Some of our shows get bumped around an hour when the country changes and others don't. It's a network vs. cable thing; cable gets moved, the networks that have local affiliates in the state don't. This really screws us up because now we have conflicts we didn't have before plus our favorite shows are on later in the winter which means we have to stay up later to watch them.

So, I plead with you, United States, quit observing DST. You're just causing harm to you and to others and most important of all, you're messing with my stories.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Future

The Future

Our figuring out the answers to scientific complexities that currently elude us is a as certain as man's curiosity. Our own biological design is a goal and also a reminder that whatever we want is possible to achieve. Our existence is our own motivation to find all of the answers - ALL of the answers to life.

We are living proof of what we think now of as miracles. As long as we live we will figure out all of the mysteries that is us and with that understanding, be able to create whatever we diddly darn well please.

Such knowledge will demand great care and responsibility lest we wipe ourselves out with it. If you've ever considered if a higher power created us, think about what that being's intention was by giving us a very advanced scientific blueprint (ie: us) plus an overwhelming desire to understand such things. Then consider whether or not that power knew we would figure it out. Assuming we did figure out all of the puzzles in life, does this being count on us to use it wisely or will He/She/It/They lose his investment.

It's a little bit comforting to me to think there is a higher intelligence behind our creation because if He's smart enough to build us, He should be smart enough to keep us from blowing ourselves up. Or if it turns out to be a test, maybe He won't interfere at all and merely gave us a resource to keep our extinction from happening and it's a matter of recognizing that resource to exercise it. Either way, with a Divine Being behind the scenes, we have a chance.

If there is no higher power and life happened by accident, then it saddens me to think that with no Great Protector - we will eventually remove ourselves and all life from this existence.

-- Lock

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Technological Dependency

Technological Dependency

I went over to my brother's last Saturday for my nephew's one year birthday party. I took my laptop with me to show my family some pictures I had taken and loaded onto the machine. My Mom got a hold of the laptop, started playing around with it and then asked me why she couldn't get on the Internet like she could when using it at my house.

I wanted to laugh. My initial thought was to answer "Well my house is 45 miles away and I can't find a router strong enough to broadcast that distance." But instead I gave a very polite and non-condescending explanation of how WiFi works.

It makes me think of how easily we use machines that we don't have an understanding of how they work. I don't know how a combustible engine really works, but I can depend on my car to get me to my destination and I really don't care how it does it.

Incumbent or Newcomer?

Incumbent or Newcomer?

Less than two weeks away from the Presidential election and the two major candidates are in a dead heat. Boy, was I wrong (see last paragraph).

It's time for a change. The last time I voted for a President, we had eight years of peace and prosperity. It's time to bring that back. I'll take a flip flopper over someone who won't admit their mistakes.

Monday, October 18, 2004



Hey there blog. What's up? Haven't chatted in awhile. Today is my first day back at work. I took all of last week off and it was nice. What did I do? Nothing. Where did I go? Nowhere. It was the best vacation I've ever had.

Actually, I did get a bit busy. My parental units came up for the week to celebrate a couple Libra family birthdays - mine and my nephew's. The parents stayed with me for most of the week. It was good to go out with them, hang out with your parents like you would friends.

They got me a birthday card which was enclosed with a check for 25 dollars. I thanked them for the card and teased them about the check saying I used it to pay my mortgage. I turned 32, my wife is giving birth to their granddaughter next February and they're still giving me checks for my birthday. I wonder if it will ever stop? 50 years old and I'll still get 25 dollar checks (adjusted for inflation is about $7.55).

In between entertaining the parents, I played a few video games, watched a few movies but spent most of my time watching the Farscape marathon they had on SciFi. That was fun getting back into that show that I hadn't seen since they cancelled it. And what a great show it was. Very fast paced, very smart. Just good solid scifi - Enterprise could learn a few lessons since it can drag at times.

That's all for now. See ya.

P.S. Angelina Jolie named #1 sexiest woman alive by Esquire magazine. Well duh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Vacation: Days 1 - 2

Vacation: Days 1 - 2

Day 2 of my vacation and I'm having a great time.

Day 1 was eventful. I actually went in to work for a couple of hours to take care of some routine yet important stuff. Ironic that the one day of my vacation I decide to work and it was a holiday.

After my two hours at work, I went home and fired up the Xbox. Played video games for about an hour or so and then met Mrs. Lock for lunch. We haven't done that in awhile. Not since I used to worked second shift many years ago.

After lunch, back to the homestead to watch some TV and play more video games until wifey got home from work and then it was movie time.

Day 2, I got up with Mrs. Lock (light sleeper), saw her off to work and then tried to plan my day - video games, television or movie? SciFi decided for me because they're in the middle of a massive Farscape marathon. They're playing the whole series over 11 days. I sat down at 8 and started watching. It is now after 2 and I decided to take a break. The Tivo continues to record the episodes, I'll just catch them later. Somewhere in there, I took a breather to run to the store and pick up some toilet paper at Mrs. Lock's request. I also picked up a black T-shirt with Frankenstein's head displayed in the middle. I'm wearing it now. Got to celebrate the holidays.

One of the reasons I had to get the toilet paper is because today I am waiting on the arrival on my parents. They're coming up from Florida to celebrate my and my nephew's birthday and it'll be nice because they'll stay with me for the week and help me celebrate my vacation. Let me just say that it's not that we don't use toilet paper when we don't have guests, you just have to keep a handy supply on hand (so to speak) when you double the house's occupants. We need to drastically increase the coffee supply in the house too but I think Mrs. Lock is picking some up on the way home.

I can't wait to see how the rest of the week goes. A whole lot of time off and a lot of things to waste it on.

Mrs. Lock said something interesting to me last night. It was right after we got done watching Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. We saw the argument about the Bush family's ties to oil companies and ultimately the middle east and how such a relationship might have a corruptive hand in how our President makes his decisions. My wife wondered if by electing Kerry, we wouldn't just be perpetuating the same corruption. The Bushes made their fortune from oil. Isn't there a foreign power that owns the ketchup/tomato industry that could control the Kerrys in a similar fashion? Mrs. Lock says to keep an eye on Italy if Kerry is elected.

Screwed if we do, screwed if we don't. Why do we even bother?

Monday, October 11, 2004

My wife is due on 2/1. That's Groundhog's Day eve. I told my wife that when our child is born and if she sees her shadow, she'll go back in the womb for 6 more weeks of pregnancy.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Turning 32 means being offered the choice between sex and a nap - and you hesitate.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Kung Fu Baby

Kung Fu Baby

I got kicked in the face this morning by my unborn daughter. I was trying to listen to hear what goes on in the womb and them BAM - I got it right on the cheek bone. Is that what I get by physically altering her universe on her?

Just wait until you are born. You're gonna have to come out of there sometime. I know the time and I know the place - and I'll be waiting.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Lucas's Yang

Lucas's Yang

George Lucas, in an attempt to bring balance to the Force, made three really outstanding movies and then, decades later, released three real pieces of crap - Genius!

The man is very heavily into Eastern philosophy, he believes in the yin and the yang and incorporates many such themes into his art.

After making the first Star Wars trilogy which were amazing films,
obviously ahead of their time and still stands up as a champion when compared to modern movies, he felt a spiritual need to produce three anti-Star Wars movies which he is in the process of doing now. This is what brings balance to nature which is what nature needs. Lucas knows what he's doing. He does this for us, for the universe, for eternity.

He even realized that the first three movies were so superb, that he couldn't possibly make the exact opposites even if he turned out Showgirls three times. So what he did to give him a fighting chance was to tweak the masterpieces he already made many years before. Films we thought were done and a part of history forever. But this filmmaker had the insight, the guts, by adding some changes here and there to the original trilogy. He did this to bring them down to a smaller level, one he could compete against (his own movies) and turn out the steaming piles he needed in the second trilogy.

Don't ever question the master.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Never Too Old To Get Toys

Never Too Old To Get Toys

Mrs. Lock turned 31 yesterday. For her birthday I got her a night-light lamp in the shape of a crescent moon and a Mother Goose storybook with full color pictures.

We agreed to get each other baby items for our birthdays (mine is next week) in preparation for the big gift I gave her five months ago and the one she's about to give back in four.

Friday, October 01, 2004

If China were to have a nuclear metldown, would it be known as the America Syndrome?

Views On Religion - A doozie...

Views On Religion - A doozie...

You have been warned.

Reading The Da Vinci Code has reminded me of my own views on religion. For me, it's still a case-in-study, but I see benefits and I also see damage religion can cause. But religion may not be to blame. It's the people who use it or as the case may be, abuse it.

First, my background. I was raised in a very conservative and God fearing house. We went to church on a regular basis, something like three times a week, every week, every month, every year. I was a regular in Sunday School, youth groups, Christian camps, church services, religious outings, fellowships, religious holiday plays and vacation bible schools. You name it, I've done it. I've been present in many denominations ranging from Jehovah's Witness to mainly Protestant beliefs (sorry, no Catholic experience). Protestant sects such as the very professional Methodist and Baptist, to the chandelier swingers and speaking in tongues members of the Assembly of God to the snooze fest generic churches where no one offends anyone and accounts from the Bible are watered down and only symbolic in meaning, subject to the interpretation by the preacher. So, I think I have some perspective when I speak on this topic, having spent most of my life in a church. In fact, I'd consider myself an expert witness so I have the right to express my opinion on this age-old controversial subject and actually, I believe, just might have some valuable insight.

Begin humble opinion

I don't automatically assume any religion's bible to a book of facts. I think it is a book that is based on some kernel of truths with embellishments and exaggerations; something that happens with any myth maker. If a bible were chili, the truths would be the beans and meat, and the made up stuff would be the spices, the chili powder; the more you add, the hotter it gets.

Having said that, I'm not necessarily knocking religion except in certain extreme causes. An important thing to point out is that people are using religion to do good. If a book commands you to honor your parents, don't steal, don't murder, don't lie and be on your best behavior, what's wrong with that? It's intent is to make people better and make society more civilized. But what are you going to notice? The guy who doesn't cheat on his taxes, or the guy who kills his family with a Weed Wacker because God told him that they were unjust? Religion gets a bad rap and as long as you leave something open to interpretation (which is impossible to stop btw), rogue agents are going to use it for their own motivations. But the responsibility still lies on the people of that group. Another topic for another day though.

So what's my problem with religion? The problem is, I want to know only truth. It doesn't have to be absolute truth, I don't need to know everything, I just don't want to know even one thing that's made up and I certainly don't want to conscientiously place my life-long belief system on that inaccuracy.

How important is it for you to believe in truth? If you want a belief that is based on entirely fact, religion is not for you. You'd be better suited in the sciences. Religion and science do not get along because the members of each group can't understand how the other half lives, how they think the way they do. It's absolutes versus faith. To science, faith is chaos. To religion, science is sacrilege.

Religious history is full of fables that are loosely based on an event or a person or persons and there is no doubt that some truths are actually present in these stories as is the case with any historical account. Many believe there was a Tutankhamen, a Mayan civilization and Vikings, but the stories that go with these accounts are not exact, especially when the divine is called in.

Verbal communication was much more prevalent than written through most of a religion's history, so stories were handed down the ages by storytellers who told their account as they heard it and remembered hearing it. The religious claim divine guidance when versions of the Christian Bible are printed, reprinted, translated, put onto book-on-tape, preached in church, told by missionaries or turned into a pop-up book for children. But they have to believe this to believe what they follow is true.

Religion is an event that happened somewhere in our history. Laws came from the effects of this event, an ideal of how one should live his life. The event can not be repeated or updated since it was one event or a series of events, which by definition means it already happened, in the past. And now that it has passed, you may now all believe in this idea because it's past, it's history, it's set in stone. No changing though! Because it's already happened. Can you change the past? No. Besides we already have the instructional manual printed. There's no amending it. It was already made. Look, 66 books. You can't have 67, then it wouldn't be the Bible. So since they started this ideology a long time ago (read: they were the first), they must be in God's graces and we should follow their teachings forever. A religion is a religion because someone thought of it first. Think on that. It means, change is not allowed.

So how can people believe in a religion with inaccuracies? Because religion doesn't call for its followers to seek the truth. The catalyst for religion is a thing called faith, and faith is believing in something you don't actually understand. The stories that can be found in a religion's bible can be believed by the faithful because believing in something, anything, is what they need to develop their faith. It is human nature to believe in something, to get behind it, support it, make it flourish so it can protect you. No one chooses to be on the losing side, and here's the kicker, especially not after having already made the choice. Research Jim Jones and the People's Temple to see evidence of this common human behavior. We look to our leaders with this behavior to give us what we want, to protect us so that we may support what we believe is the right way and pass our ideals on to our offspring.

Remember the church once believed the world was flat and that the universe revolved around the Earth. Where was the divine guidance there? Did God take a lunch break? This was an official church view and all followers of this religion, a religion which still exists today and flourishes with a good size memberhsip, should have undeniably believed in. I wonder what would we still believe today had science not existed.

So maybe it's not important to you to know the earth is not flat. Maybe it's just important to you to support your club, regardless of the truth.

End what turned into be a holier-than-thou attitude

This piece was a long time coming. I'm surprised I waited this long to post it, but again, that book that I'm reading, my views are right there in its pages.

DJI 10184, NASDAQ 1936, SP5 1130

#1 Movie at the box office:
The Forgotten

Last movie I saw at the theater:
Spider-Man 2

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Cold Mountain
Bad Santa
School Of Rock

Books I'm currently reading:
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

CDs I'm listening to:
Van Halen's Best Of Both Worlds

Video games I'm playing:
DND Heroes
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

Thursday, September 30, 2004

"Honesty is the best politics."
-- Stan Laurel

Monday, September 27, 2004

Illegal Operation? Am I Under Arrest?

Illegal Operation? Am I Under Arrest?

"[Something] has performed an illegal operation."

Everyone has seen this popular (and I do mean popular as in frequent) Windows error. What a terrible name for an error. People actually think they have broken the law! Microsoft, why did you go with this syntax? Was there something legal about the code to begin with?

It just goes to show what one of the most litagated companies always has on its mind.

Sure, I don't think I'm actually holding a furry rodent to move the cursor across my screen and when someone says his computer has a bug, I don't reach for a can of Raid. But those are obvious, cute computer names. Illegal operation is just wrong. It will never catch on. They are just plain errors or exceptions.

"WARNING: You have just killed your mother. Do you wish to reboot?"

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Why are the subtitles in The Passion Of The Christ in Comic font?

Thursday, September 23, 2004


A friend of mine and his wife just had their first child, a boy. Here's what he had say about his son being born:

"Take your highest high, and then throw it away....because it won't compare"

I'll see for myself in about four months.

Ass Out Of You And Me

Ass Out Of You And Me

I have been accused many times in the past of turning a blind eye to a situation or I have been incorrectly labeled in a certain ideology. When this happens, I have essentially been judged by that accuser. The problem is, I think I have been judged unfarily because I don't always see it that way. Sometimes they're right but sometimes not and I think I have been unfairly judged by people who don't want to take the time to understand the complexity of something and truly know what the situation is.

First off, I don't see it as turning a blind eye to something. To turn a blind eye to something, you have to be aware of the situation and actively ignore it. It's an issue of a guilty conscience and it's not that I live with mine, it's that I don't have one about the situation I'm supposedly ignoring.

So what is it? What am I doing (or not doing)? I am refusing to make an assumption about something until all the facts are in. And here's the shocker; to me, it's not even important if the facts never come in. I'm content and things are safer as long as I don't make the assumption.

I don't understand why is it so important to people to make assumptions? You know what that is called, don't you? Jumping to conclusions. When has that ever been a good thing? If you're jumping to a certain position, that means you are leaping over something, passing objects by without even a glance. If you jump to conclusions, you're in a hurry or your lazy or ignorance tells you you already have all the facts so make your decision now. I lose a little respect for these people, but I know it's a common behavior, so since you all do it (including me but to a lot smaller degree than anyone I know), I can deal with it. But you'll quickly fall off my 'intelligent people' list everytime you do this to me, just so you know.

So what's the solution? If you're ignorant of a situation, why not just wait? Why draw a conclusion? Is your report to your Professor due? Is your editor jumping on you to get this story in before the presses roll? Is your C.O. preparing his plan of attack and needs your intelligence right away? If you're under a deadline, by all means, make your best guess. Otherwise, just enjoy it before you judge it. In fact, never judge it.

Assumptions lead to miscommunication, absence of justice, disagreement, offense, wars, religious extremism, violence, racism, sexism, poverty, illness, apathy, destruction - the list goes on.

Do some homework before you open your mouth, or better yet, don't open it.

Making a guess (and making it clear you're only guessing) is not the same as assuming. Feel free to be as prophetic as you want. It's ok if you stink at it. You put your reputation on the line and that's what it'll cost you if you're wrong. Judging someone else though, brings into it more than just your reputation and that's where the trouble begins.

I am definitely a Libra to think this way. The balanced view. I don't happen to believe in astrology, it just seems to be a coincidence that I live my sign to the tee. I don't dare assume I am a Libra in every sense of the term though.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Cool Weather, Cool Gifts

First off, welcome Fall.

Second, three entertainment pieces came out yesterday that I want.

1) Star Wars trilogy DVD set (the good ones even though Lucas left in his crap revisions)

2) Mr. Show Season 4 which will cap my Mr. Show collection. The show lived too brief a life.

3) Van Halen: Best of Both Worlds. I don't feel tardy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I have all the answers. Do you have the patience?

Monday, September 20, 2004

O Draconian Devil, O Lame Saint

O Draconian Devil, O Lame Saint

I've been reading this really fascinating book called The Da Vinci Code. I didn't think I'd like it because I usually don't read anything that isn't Dune related or at least Scifi, but I gave it a try when my neighbor handed it to me and now I can't put it down - well obivously I can at some point but I do have to work and post blog entries.

The story is very interesting, especially for a geek like me who likes nothing more than to keep a storehouse of useless trivia in my brain. This book delivers and cites the origins of many well known symbols and phrases in our society.

I'm about half way through it, but I'd recommend it. It has a fictional story in a non-fiction location, so there is a plot at work to keep you interested in case you were thinking it was just pages and pages of trivia crap.

My title for this entry is an anagram from the book. See if you can figure it out.

Friday, September 17, 2004

First Pictures Of The Fruit Of My Loins

First Pictures Of The Fruit Of My Loins

That's little Lockette, my future daughter. I guess I won't get to call my child Tumor after all.

She's waving. Wave back. DO IT! NOW! There.

Fruit of my loins. What an odd phrase. Why not Veggies? Veggie of my loins? The lesson here is don't be foodist.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

"Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Kids are from Uranus."
-- Greg Morton

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Boggles The Mind

Boggles The Mind

You can get 92 English words from the word planets.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Some fun. Controversial of course!

Some fun. Controversial of course!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Quick Update

What a hectic week. I've never been so busy with work as I am this month and there is no end in sight.

Because of my secret security clearance (necessary for work when working for FAA), I have a couple of emails in my corporate email that have Word attachments. These particular documents are password protected and if I want to read them, I am to call HQ to get the passwords over the phone so I can open them up and peruse the black ops contents. And if I dare print them off, I am told that they are not to leave my sight and if I want to part ways with the secret documents, I have been instructed to shred or burn them. Yikes!

In my personal life which is losing some me time to work-me, Mrs. Lock and I got our first ultrasound on Tuesday. Want to know what we're having? Too bad. Too many people I know read this. :) I can tell you - it's a baby.

More when I can find the time.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Monthly Update

Monthly Update

Wifey is in month five in the development of Lock Jr. Our first ultrasound is next week which is our first attempt at finding out the child's gender (or genders if it's a hermaphrodite). We're thinking of naming the kid Tumor (if it's a boy of course. You can't call a girl that!) because the properties between that of a fetus and tumor aren't very different. Ok, I'm thinking of naming the child Tumor. Mrs. Lock has already commanded that that's not going to happen.

Many of the plethora of pregnancy books we have lying around the house state that the child has all of its organs already and is very much open to development in hearing audio sounds outside of the womb so I've been reading chapters from C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia (my favorite childhood series) to my wife's belly every night. So little Tumor is being educated in the ways of transdimensional wardrobes, witches, and talking lions (Aslan rules!).

Supposedly it has its eyes, but locked up in that safety deposit box called the uterus, what is there to see?

It'll be nice to know the gender so we can quit calling it 'it.'

DJI 10171, NASDAQ 1853, SP5 1106

#1 Movie at the box office:

Last movie I saw at the theater:
I, Robot

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Bubba Hotep
Shanghai Knights

Books I'm currently reading:
The Exit Door Leads In by Phillip K. Dick
We'll Remember It For Wholesale (Total Recall story) by Phillip K. Dick

CDs I'm listening to:
The Millennium Collection by Johnny Cash
Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle

Video games I'm playing:
Sega's ESPN NFL2k5
Lots and lots of system link Halo
DND Heroes
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Spider-Man 2

Toxic Spill

Toxic Spill

Why do people have to fart in the stairwell? You know that stuff lingers. It's got nowhere to go but up and down and you're ten seconds from being outdoors where there's breeze and open air. Is it so bad you can't hold it in for ten seconds? Maybe that's why you were heading outdoors - you felt an emergency fart coming on but you couldn't quite make it. If that were the case, I'm wondering, after your gas explosion, did you turn around and go back to work realzing it was too late? That mission was not accomplished? Or did you continue your way out the door thinking, "I'd hate to be the guy coming up the stairs in the next five minutes."

Monday, August 30, 2004

Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Identity theft has always been a meddling problem, but in this technological age of computer and Internet, it has become much more devious and as a result, prevalent.

Just in the past couple of weeks, I have received emails from my supposed credit card companies and bank that they are updating their customer records or they lost my customer info and need me to reenter it or I've won a prize being a favored customer and I need to log in to claim it. More times than not, this is someone trying to steal your identity and/or financial information and if you fall for it, you're in trouble.

These emails look like the real deal. They look authentic, professional, company logo at the top, very business like and the requests may sound reasonable. Check the email over and look for a couple of signs that will tell you if you're looking at the real deal or if you've just received it from someone who is about to become the next Mr./Mrs. You.

Look for typos. If you see any, it's fake.

Most of the emails ask you to click on a link included in the email to log in. The link in the email may look authentic and may have your bank's actual domain in it, but it could be taking you somewhere else. You can find out where the link actually takes you by hovering your mouse pointer over the link, without clicking on it, check at the bottom of your browser to see what the actual destination is. If it's an IP (bunch of numbers), it's fake. Don't click it.

Credit card and bank companies will never ask for your password or pins. They don't know this information but it's because they're not supposed to have this information. It's useless to them. That's part of the security of passwords. If the email is asking for your login info, it's fake.

Banks like Citibank keep a list of all the fake emails on their website, copies of the bogus emails people use to try and steal info. Go to their site and look for a section on security to find a list of the more commonly used methods. If you receive a Citibank email you know is fake, forward it to You will get an automatic reply that can tell you if it is a common fake email or if it is a new one. Every one I've forwarded, they already knew about. You will get a reply within minutes telling you if the email was fake or not.

Other banks should have security setup like Citibank's. Just go to their site and look for it. It's your identity that's at stake. It's worth a few minutes of your time to do some research. If you receive a fake email and have no security division to forward it to, at least report it as spam so your email provider knows and can keep it from going to other suckers who might fall for it.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: Just don't trust anything you get in email. If the email requests private information, there is a good chance it's fake. If it is legit, ask for alternate means to provide the info, like telephone.

Good luck. There are some very talented scammers out there.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Singularity

The Singularity

"If the world were full of da Vincis, we'd all be quarrelsome, gay, left-handed Italians who couldn't finish a painting."
-- Bruce Stelring

Read the rest of the article about why we are kidding ourselves. It's dead on with what I've been trying to preach to friends and family for years.

Fable A Reality

Fable A Reality

In just over two weeks, a game I've long been anticipating and one of the reasons I added an Xbox to my household console collections, will finally be released after many, MANY years in production.

Fable is close and I couldn't be happier to check out video game mastermind Peter Molyneux's next installment. I still whip out Black & White, Populous 3 and even the DOS game Magic Carpet 2 every once in awhile to have some fun with the ingeniously designed games! Although Magic Carpet is difficult to run in XP now. When I can get it started, it runs 10x the speed that is was meant to and I have trouble flying my magic carpet at warp 3.

On another topic, I believe I'm the only Xbox owner in the world not head over heels for the November release of Halo 2. You'd think it was the second coming of Christ. I already have Halo 2 - it's called Halo.
"I read newspapers periodically."
-- Mrs. Lock

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Fun With The English Speaker

Fun With The English Speaker

A couple of days ago, I went into La Bamba's to get some dinner. I like to order in Spanish and shoot the breeze with the staff with my very limited vocabulario de español. But I've been in there so many times, they already know what I want and they go to work on my sandwich as soon as I hit the door. But if I did have to order, it would go something like this.

"Una torta pollo. No tomates, no cebollas," I would theoretically say (and have said in the past).

This is a reply I actually got last time.

"¿Deseas una cerveza?"

I thought for a second as I tried to translate. He repeated it.

"¿Deseas una cerveza?"

"Are you asking me if I want a beer?" I asked.

"Yes," the patron said.

"Do you even have beer?"


Then he and the guy frying up my torta had a laugh.

¡Qué Bromistas!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A Necromancer Eulogy

A Necromancer Eulogy

Patriarch Korba
Master Necromancer
A Real People Person.
Expired August 2004.
R.I.P. Among Your Beloved Minions.

I forgot to check in on my 94th level Necromancer in Diablo 2 and they wasted my beloved character. I got busy. I forgot to log in within the 90 day allotted time period to keep him active and now he's gone forever - or until someone else remakes him.

Korba was awesome. I've tried the other classes but never really got into them as much as I did necros. Necros rock! Sweetened by the fact that they were probably the least favorite of all the classes among players, I had the class virtually to myself.

And Korba knew how to tear things up. He could summon over a dozen revived creatures he or his party had just taken out, a few good skeletal mages and countless skeletal warriors who all revolved around his centerpiece, the Fire Golem.

For the longest time, Korba used a Blood Golem as his companion, but got tired of that relationship (when Blizzard nerfed it). He divorced the BG and found new love in the Fire Golem. And boy, was he (it) bright! Smart as a whip, aggressive as a bull. It's sad to think that all of those Golems resting on that netherplane will never be summoned by Korba's black magic ever again.

Goodbye Korba. This existence couldn't hold you. You are where you belong; among (dead) friends. Hopefully those beings on the other side won't take too much offense from you manipulating them all of these years through countless battles.

New Look

New Look

Yes that's my pet rabbit adorning my page's new banner. His name is Bunner and we've had him in the family for years.

He's been featured on this blog before and he's real fun when we have get togethers, especially around Easter.

sensing samsara has undergone a few designs since its inception. Unfortunately I can't find its original look; Blogger doesn't keep the template around anymore, but I did keep the last couple of versions.

Peas & Carrots w/ Eyes
Peas & Carrots w/ Bugs
Toad Kingdom w/ Bunner (current)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Sound of Silence Seldom Soothing

Sound of Silence Seldom Soothing

How's that for alliteration?

As I write this, I am listening to a chorus of frogs and it sounds quite soothing.

It reminds me that I rely heavily on white noise at night to fall asleep. For this, I have always run a standard box fan when I go to bed. The fan runs all night and gets shut off when I get up. I can't remember if Mrs. Lock ever used white noise before she met me but now I think she expects to have something running when she's trying to sleep. I'm not sure how I got started on this. I didn't use this method to fall asleep as a kid. I think it started when I used to work midnight shifts and I wanted to insure a good day's sleep by drowning out the wide awake world that did their business while the sun was shining.

Recently, our box fan of seven years has started to sputter, ching, screech and sometimes not power up at all. We're losing our bed buddy and need to see about replacing it with something new. I've thought about digitally recording the sound of the fan, burning it to CD and playing it in our mp3 stereo the whole night, but that can't be good for the stereo to be running all night, every night for multiple years.

So I've thought about a sound machine; you know the kind you push a button which digitally plays a jukebox of natural or artificial sounds. Only problem is that those sound machines suck. They're single speaker, mono, no bass. It's like listening to - well, a piss poor recording of the actual sound like you called it on the telephone and asked for a playback.

Listening to these frogs chirping (or whatever the heck it is they do to produce sound) makes me think I can fall asleep to this. We're not used to hearing frogs where we live. We're not used to hearing crashing waves on a beach either but I bet that would work too.

I'll probably just break down and buy a new box fan. I have to get my sleep.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Quinn Speaks, ATHF Say Goodbye

Quinn Speaks, ATHF Say Goodbye

"C'mon ppl, you know Sealab is prone to massive explosions!"
-- Dr. Quinn, Science Officer

Say it isn't so. Adult Swim as been advertising that Aqua Teen Hunger Force is being cancelled! I just can't believe it. Why cancel something that is obviously so creative and so hilarious? It's not easy being hip.

I keep thinking it might be just one giant joke since those characters at Williams Street Studios obviously have a bent sense of humor.

Oh well, if it does go off the air, I still have Sealab, Birdman and my new favorite show: Venture Brothers! It's the Tick without the Tick, sort of. Actually the Tick is in it, but not as the Tick. What cartoon voice can't Putty do?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Great Googly Moogly

Great Googly Moogly

Today, a huge private company went public. Google became a public company. That's right, the search engine giant has been private all these years and still raked in the cash. But now, they're tired of making millions. Now, they want to make BILLIONS and going public should get them just that.

It's been reported that the Google founders may have violated SEC rules by talking about their company's IPO in a Playboy article weeks before the offering. Article in Playboy? Guess what? No one read it.

More power to you Google.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Running On Empty

Running On Empty

Well my internal clock is pretty messed up. This is worse than someone having to spring forward for daylight savings time (which I actually don't have to do in this state). I went in to work at 8 am yesterday. I did manage to get out by 2p, went home, took a nap. Went back in to work at 10p and stayed until I got home at 7a the next (this) morning.

We had buku network problems that still aren't resolved even as I type this. I'll try to finish up things tomorrow, hopefully.

The poet Jackson Browne once said - actually he says it many times over whenever he tours:
Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too.
Then, Browne's colleagues in the Manfred Mann organization say:
Mama always told me not to look into the eye's of the sun
But mama, that's where the fun is.
Of course, in the same breath, MM say "Wrapped up like a douche, another runner in the night." So maybe I shouldn't be heralding them as poets.

Trust me, what he's actually saying doesn't make much sense either.


Running On Empty

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Milestone: 60k Words

Milestone: 60k Words

I passed a milestone yesterday. If you're the type of person that likes to watch the odometer in your car flip over really big numbers, then you'll appreciate it this, I think.

With yesterday's post, sensing samsara passed the 60,000 word count mark. I've laboriously typed out 60,000 words for your entertainment (or frustration as the case may be) and boy, let me tell ya, does it feel good - as good as carpal tunnel can feel anyway.

Why am I celebrating 60,000 and where's the post on 50,000? Well, I didn't notice when I passed the 50k mark and there would be something missing if I tried to celebrate that achievement now instead of the more current 60k. But lookout 100,000! Here we come! If i'm paying attention, I'll mention something then.


the lock
sensing samsara

Monday, August 16, 2004



Got a lot going on at work with a few new systems coming under my control. Lots of network changes and software upgrades too. I worked late last night, until 2 a.m. this morning. Went back in today to continue working, and quite possibly, I might have to work a full 24 hour shift tomorrow to get everything done that's been handed to me. That'll be a record for me, working 24 hours straight. I hope they don't expect me to work Wednesday. It's possible though. What a nice change of pace.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Devil Went Down To Georgia... And Won!

Devil Went Down To Georgia... And Won!

And this is just my own opinion but I happen to personally think that the Devil won in the fiddle playing contest between Johnny "Rosin up your bow" and the Lord of Darkness. That tough steel guitar, dual strings going at the same time, funky rhythm, nice screeching sound at the end. Who was the judge here?

The Devil gave up too easily. What's wrong with you Satan?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Type-a, Type-a, Type-a

Type-a, Type-a, Type-a

One of the biggest things that bugs me in modern day movies is when I see computer users typing. Typing for God's sake! In this day of graphical user interface (GUI) software, they're typing away like they're playing whack a mole on their keyboards. Why? Why are they always typing? What are they typing? Is it because they all use Linux? Even Linux is primarily GUI by now.

As soon as the character sits down to the computer to run a diagnostic on something, check a patient's records, hack into the Pentagon or create Kelly LeBrock (Vanessa Angel I should say), they're pushing buttons instead of sliding mice. They should be using innovative and intuitive software that saves them the trouble of having to extend the joints of their ten digits over and over. What are you, living in the stone age?

From now on, if you have computer users in your movie or television show, have them playing with the mouse or light pen or Duck Hunt gun. I know it's not cool looking and not much of a sound effect, but do you want realism or not?

I'm reminded of a scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where Scotty sits down at an Apple Classic computer, picks up the mouse and politely speaks orders into the peripheral like it's a com piece. When someone points out that he should be using the keyboard instead, Scotty says, "Hmph. How quaint."

Indeed Scotty. Indeed. Now give it ALL YOU GOT!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Foo Fighters Fan

Foo Fighters Fan

Mrs. Lock told me one time that she was glad Kurt Cobain killed himself which freed Nirvana's drummer David Grohl to go off and form Foo Fighters. She's a big Foo Fighters fan - huge.

See, it pays to always look on the bright side of things.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Time Travel - Bah!

Time Travel - Bah!

Let's talk about time travel and the possibilities of it ever existing. Einstein thought you could warp the passage of time and maybe even slow it down, but not actually reverse it and I happen to agree with that assessment. However, I am not agreeing because I have poured over his theorems, checked his facts and graded his homework. I have my own test that tells me time travel, as I understand it, will never happen.

I can sit here at my terminal and intend to plant a message in an environment that can withstand
the elements of time; a message that tells some future discoverer to visit me at a specified time and location, say, right next to my computer in the next ten seconds.

Guess what? Nobody came (I did wait the full ten seconds). So one of the three things happened:

1) The time traveler never got my message
2) The time traveler got my message but didn't/couldn't obey the request
3) Time travel will never exist

Given the rest of my life, I can develop a means that a potential future time traveler can receive my message. I don't know what that means is now, but surely I can come up with one in the next 50 years. I'll probably plant it in a satellite or deep space spacecraft to insure the message will survive even planetary destruction. With this accomplished, someone living in an advanced technological age will get my message and either use it or pass it to a generation that surely is close to developing the means for time travel if it's going to be at all possible.

If the second option happened, it seems to me the future traveler would send me a hint or a small sign to indicate it was received. For a message to survive all those years, all that time and for that person not to reply to it, would drive the person into a frenzy and no one, not even the people of the future want that.
I received no such sign.

If the recipient is not Homo Sapien, I can not vouch for the psychological affect ignoring my long distance message would have on that species. It's possible another species with time travel capabilities is emotionally equipped to ignore my request, in which case, I would concede that time travel will actually exist, but since I will never find out this contradiction due to the paradoxical nature of the action, I am perfectly safe to continue with my assumption.

If the time traveler was forbidden to contact me in the past, well that's just silly. At some point, they will develop a means to communicate with the past and not affect their precious timeline or whatever rule that exists to keep travelers from communicating to the past. Surely, my message will be saved and passed down to the generation that can accomplish such a thing.

So we get to the third option, which just seems more likely to me, doesn't it? Time travel will never be possible. Occam's Razor says so.

My test would not be complete if I didn't say the following: A response to my request from a future time traveler can be answered, if personal appearance is impossible, difficult or the traveler is just lazy, by posting a comment to this post. Existence of this post will serve a record for me to pick the time and place of contact when I do finally develop a means of delivering the message.

This post must survive until I am ready to deliver my message to the future or I'll just have to choose a new time and location. I only have about a billion more chances.

Image 1: The time travelling duo from Voyagers! pictured with their time travel device The Omni
Image 2: Socrates (so - crates), Ted, Billy the Kid and Bill in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Monday, August 09, 2004

False Recognition

False Recognition

I learned a new word today.

pareidolia: misperceiving a vague but suggestive shape as something definitive.

It's a condition, a human condition supposedly left over from our primitive days when we needed to spot camouflaged predators hiding in the thrush waiting to make us lunch, and I
don't mean tuna on rye.

Pareidolia happens when you're lying in bed late at night, but you left the closet door open. In the dark room filled with moonlit shadows, that XL sweatshirt you bundled up and threw on the top shelf last week is actually a gray skinned, old man bent forward, gnarled over his own legs waiting for you to drift to sleep to make his move.

Reason says there isn't a contortionist killer hiding in your closet on a shelf in plain sight, but at that hour and with a healthy dose pareidolia, the thought crosses your mind if only for a second.

Friday, August 06, 2004

No Shelf Life

No Shelf Life

I rarely post links here because links are made to be broken. I don't like posting information that can become quickly outdated like some blogs that are just click thrus (Dave Barry, I'm looking at you). But I thought I'd try it one day, so here we go. All of these links will be broken in a month.

The Wall Becoming a Musical

Wasn't it already? This one's going to be on Broadway though. Rumors are Roger Waters is tapping Liza Minelli to be a Young Lust girl.

Berry Wants Catwoman 2

They made a sequel to Dirty Dancing, so why not?

Searching For Bobby Fischer? Stop. He's In Japan.

The great chess master wants to (has to) renounce his U.S. citizenship. Checkmate?

TiVo Given The Go Ahead To Share Media

Very cool. I finally will be able to download some of my recorded programs at work and get caught up on my "stories."

New Bushism

Our President's own words yesterday after signing yet another defense spending bill.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

I ran spell checker before publishing this post and it stopped at Bushism, understandably, but the suggested spelling it wanted to replace Bushism with, made me laugh - fascism. I almost didn't notice the difference.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Having (And Keeping) A House

Having (And Keeping) A House

We're coming up on four years that Mrs. Lock and I have been living in our house, our first house. Upkeep of a house isn't easy or cheap. I'm really wondering if it is cheaper to invest in a house or if you're not just better off paying rent for the rest of your life. If you think about the amount of interest you pay in a mortgage plus maintenance, which costs more?

Within two months of moving in, we had to replace the refrigerator. It went out on Thanksgiving Day. Since then, we've replaced the stove, the dishwasher, the garbage disposal, had to disable the water filter system (I don't have $1000 so haven't bothered replacing it). We've replaced the blower in the furnace (not cheap), the water heater, a billion light bulbs. We tore down all of the wallpaper in the house and painted it to increase it's value (very necessary). That was all the stuff that had to be done.

Things that still need to be done: Some areas need to be touched up with paint but there's no such thing as painting one little spot. We have to make a nursery for our impending arrival. Most of the sinks' water flow have degraded severly. I'm not even sure how you clean that out. We need a new screen door, new track, everything. We need to repair one of the windows that is leaking whenever it rains. A new screen for another window. The trim on the house is in dire straits and needs to be painted badly. Carpet is ruined in a couple of rooms (we run a farm). The lawn is mostly green but that's because of all the green weeds. Some of the posts holding up the backyard fence are leaning and pretty much broken off at the base. We've replaced sections of the fence already on several occasions, but it's turned into a game of dominos.

After all of this, the house is still seemingly in good condition. We're trying to keep it up but good grief. There is a ton of little stuff and it's only the two of us living there! There are no kids tearing stuff up (yet)!

Thankfully none of the really big stuff has broken (roof, siding, ceiling). I am now knock, knock, knocking on wood - with a vengeance.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

More movie reviews

More movie reviews

Couple more Lock movie reviews for ya. I'm just cranking away at these DVD rentals.

Gothika - 5/10. Just saw this minutes ago so this review will be quite fresh, hot off the press. Disappointing. It gets as high as a 5 because the feel was right, creepy, dark, twisted, but the story just kind of falls apart. Lots of loose threads that never get addressed, things that didn't make sense, most likely due to poor editing. Like what caused Downey Jr. to change his mind about Berry's story. Also, I'm not sure sexy Berry was right for the role as communicator of the dead, which leads to another problem with the movie, Berry's character was lifted from a more famous movie a few years ago made famous by a whiz kid actor named Haley "I see dead people" Joel Osment. It just doesn't work for her. And when you see her lined up with the other inmates, boy did she stick out. Who looks that good in prison? This movie is good for the suspense and scary, jumpy moments, but not much else.

Run Away Jury- 8/10. Good flick. They took a somewhat complex mystery with enough twists and turns and really made it work. The movie's only real issue is the believability of a group capable of controlling a jury the way it's done in this movie. I'm sure it's done to some extent, I just don't see it with $10,000 plasma monitors and a team of thugs living in an abandoned warehouse next to the courthouse. The highlight, of course, is seeing acting legends Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman in a great scene together. Excellent dialog. Good story. Technical aspects believable and hip (like using an iPod as a computer).

Matchstick Men - 9/10. What a great, great movie. Story is a little weak for me but that becomes very minor and the only flaw for this fine film. Everything else was perfect. Here is another reason of why we should take Nick Cage seriously as an actor. We hold back because we see him in movies like Snake Eyes, City of Angels and Con Air but he has my respect (again) after seeing him in this one. It's very light hearted, almost a comedic movie because we see a con man (he would say con artist!) with obsessive compulsive disorder which makes for some very funny (yet not really sad because of how he makes his living) moments. Good flick. Hard to believe this is a Ridley Scott piece given the story - not very epic but perfect in its own right.

Sum Of All Fears - 5/10. Had its moments, the traditional Tom Clancy moments (the President is yet again a jerk), but too many flaws, too many holes that beats this film up. Affleck does a decent job portraying the young Jack Ryan, no real complaints there (Alec Baldwin is still the best). I don't have much else to say about this one. It was just there. Entertaining at least.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Necessities Of Life

Necessities Of Life

Over a year ago, on our honeymoon, Mrs. Lock insisted that I pack the Nintendo Gamecube before we took off.

You see, at the time, she was playing a kiddy version role playing game called Animal Crossing. It was a very popular title for the Nintendo gaming system and in it you had a virtual town that you had to maintain as a resident. In the game, these fuzzy little characters run around in this town, steal your possessions, chat up a storm for anyone who might be listening, litter, fish and yell a lot in a language that doesn't exist anywhere in the real universe.

If you don't check in on your town on a regular basis, funny things happen. Things like weeds popping up everywhere and roaches moving into your house; not to mention your animal neighbors becoming disgruntled by your absence and thinking up something nasty to say next time they see you. I suppose Mrs. Lock couldn't bear the thought of abandoning her town for over a week while we enjoyed our honeymoon, so reluctantly I packed the Gamecube in with our honeymoon supplies and off we went.

We checked into the resort, got into our room and I noticed that we had the standard issue 27 inch color television, an essential tool in the activity of console gaming. But in the back woods of West Virginia where we were living out our newlywed vacation, this television had no component hookups on the TV (the yellow, white and red RCA jacks). What TV in this day and age doesn't have game console hookups? I suppose we were lucky it had color, but even that isn't necessary to play the blasted game I took the trouble to pack.

Fortunately, a trip to the Charleston mall where one business known as the "Shack of Radios" had what we needed. I bought an RF modulator, which converts the antenna coax hookup (Thank God it had that!) on the TV to component to interface with my Gamecube - retail $30. Thirty dollars for a box I'm going to use once so my new bride can perform upkeep on her village of criminal teddy bears.

I still have the box in my computer room closet collecting dust. I look upon it with fond memories.