Friday, December 30, 2005



Lately, if I want to get posts onto my blog, I have to start the process without having any ideas of what to write and hope something comes to me. Case in point.

It's the end of the year, I knew I had to post something. I didn't even have something for Christmas. I had planned to post what I received as gifts, but how boring to me. Do I really care?

The biggest gift of 2005 for me was of course my daughter who was born February 1. You should see her now. Toddler by many accounts, even before her first birthday. I can still make her laugh at my leisure. She's thrilled to see me when I get home after work. We have a good time.

That's my Christmas present this year, my adorable daughter. Also my birthday, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, New Year's, her birthday, everything. That's what 2005 gave me.

Wish I would post more often, like I did in the old days. But if wishes were trees, I'd have a forest.

Happy New Year.

Buy Serenity on DVD. At one point I had 2 copies. I just gave one away.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Human Nature

Human Nature

Have you noticed that if you ask for help, the common reply from people is to figure it out for yourself. And when you do figure it out for yourself and try to help those that were once in your position, the common reply is then, 'Yeah I knew that. You could've found that out here, here and here.'

Everyone knows the answer and they'll bend over backwards to let you know they have the answer but when they're asked to share it, brick wall.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

As a government grows, so does a nation's problems.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much."
- Walter Lippmann

Monday, December 12, 2005

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Mostly IRC conversations, interesting ones, funny ones that crack me up.

Pulled from

Degskalle› There is no point in arguing with an idiot, they will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience

Zybl0re> get up
Zybl0re> get on up
Zybl0re> get up
Zybl0re. get on up
phxl|paper> and DANCE
* nmp3bot dances :D-<
* nmp3bot dances :D|-<
* nmp3bot dances :D/-<
[SA]HatfulOfHollow> i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

xterm> The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

DragonflyBlade21>: A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

Zanthis(ALE)> AFK, tornado

Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.

Beeth> Girls are like internet domain names, the ones I like are already taken.
honx> well, you can stil get one from a strange country :-P

[TN]FBMachine> i got kicked out of barnes and noble once for moving all the bibles into the fiction section

Locl-Yocl> I helped the EMTs at a car wreck and got blood all over my arms and shirt. It looked like I murdered 20 people with a fork... anyway, I walked into a convieniance store down the street and said my girlfriend needs a tampon. The guy at the counter was mortified.

xxxGirlygirlxxx> Thank you for listening to me.
xxxGirlygirlxxx> You know your a really good listener.
xxxGirlygirlxxx> Sweety please say something.
Sandaedar> Ok I'm back.

robT> Name ONE thing that your windows comp can do that my MAC cant
bawss> Right click.

DaZE> at my school.. the cop from DARE passed around 3 joints to show everyone... and he said "if i dont get all three of these back this schools getting locked down and everyones getting searched till i find it.." and like 30 minutes later when everyone got to see 'em and they got passed back the cop had 4

IronChef Foicite: well, there's a lot of reasons
IronChef Foicite: i mean, roses only last like a couple weeks
IronChef Foicite: and that's if you leave them in water
IronChef Foicite: and they really only exist to be pretty
IronChef Foicite: so that's like saying
IronChef Foicite: "my love for you is transitory and based solely on your appearance"
IronChef Foicite: but a potato!
IronChef Foicite: potatos last for fucking ever, man
IronChef Foicite: in fact, not only will they not rot, they actually grow shit even if you just leave them in the sack
IronChef Foicite: that part alone makes it a good symbol
IronChef Foicite: but there's more!
IronChef Foicite: there are so many ways to enjoy a potato! you can even make a battery with it!
IronChef Foicite: and that's like saying "i have many ways in which I show my love for you"
IronChef Foicite: and potatos may be ugly, but they're still awesome
IronChef Foicite: so that's like saying "it doesn't matter at all what you look like, I'll still love you"

Mike3285: wtf is a palindrome
MaroonSand: no its not dude

benja> A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question
asked was:"Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the
food shortage in the rest of the world?"
benja> The survey was a huge failure...
benja> In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.
benja> In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.
benja> In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.
benja> In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.
benja> In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.
benja> In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.
benja> And in the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant

(morganj): 0 is false and 1 is true, correct?
(alec_eso): 1, morganj
(morganj): bastard.

skrike> I think the people above me are having sex
skrike> either that or they're sleeping restlessly and agreeing with each other a lot.

Galactic> you know what's ALWAYS bothered me? cold cereal mascots
Galactic> I mean that is just some FUCKED UP SHIT
Galactic> the Trix rabbit, for example
Galactic> I dunno man... if I were him I'd be fucking KILLING some kids
Galactic> I remember a commercial where the fuckin rabbit WENT INTO A FUCKIN STORE AND BOUGHT A BOX OF TRIX WITH HIS OWN FUCKIN MONEY.
Galactic> fuckin kids came outta NOWHERE and basically fuckin mug the poor stupid bitch rabbit
Galactic> "silly rabbit Trix are for kids"
Galactic> Fuckin rabbit just sits there and looks depressed.
Galactic> FUCK NO that wouldn't fly with me
Galactic> I'd have pimp-slapped EVERY ONE OF those fuckin bitches
Galactic> and made them go get me the REST of a "complete breakfast" and eat Trix right in front of them bitches and THEN beat the shit out of them some more.
Galactic> and wtf is with the disguises? All the dumb rabbit does is hide his ears and all of a sudden he's a fuckin kid?
Galactic> I dunno about you, but if I SAW a 6 foot fuckin RABBIT with his ears tucked under a baseball cap, I wouldn't immediately think
Galactic> "Hey, there's a cool lookin human kid, let me go over and share some of my cereal with him"
Galactic> NO.
Galactic> I'd be thinking
Galactic> "that's a 6 foot fuckin RABBIT with his ears tucked under a baseball cap... what the FUCK was I just smoking?"
Galactic> another thing... wtf is up with cereal being "A part of this complete breakfast"
Galactic> last time -I- checked, cereal WAS breakfast
Galactic> they show a big ass bowl of frosted flakes next to a waffle, a pancake, toast, a banana, a fuckin grapefruit... who the FUCK eats a breakfast that big
Flaming_Duck> not me
Flaming Duck> I don't even EAT breakfast nomore
Flaming_Duck> I mean, I eat when I get up
Flaming_Duck> but the whole thought "BREAKFAST IS ONLY SERVED UNTIL SUCH AND SUCH TIME"
FLaming_Suck> bitch, you make my fucking sausage and egg sandwich when I pay you the fucking money
Flaming_Duck> don't give me that shit.
Galactic> Back to stupid cereal mascots...
Galactic> Lucky Charms.
Galactic> Lucky can turn the fucking MOON into a marshmallow, and he can't escape a bunch of fucking 6 year olds?!?!?
Galactic> C'mon now, Lucky.
Galactic> I KNOW your bitch ass has got to have a "Blow the fucking kids up" spell SOMEWHERE
Galactic> or make "kid marshamllows" and EAT those bitches.
Galactic> "They're after me Lucky Charms!"
Galactic> ....
Galactic> I dunno why I went off on this rant here
Galactic> it's just always bothered me."

MortalKombat> stfu mat|t u cu.nt
* Acaila sets mode: +b MortalKombat!*@*
mat|t> rofl
MortalKombat> omg wtf man
* MortalKombat was kicked by Acaila (forward, forward, back, back, forward, punch)
@Acaila> FATALITY!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Odometer Milestone

Odometer Milestone

100,000 miles on my Jeep. This is the first car I've had since its birth. I think it had 13 miles on it when I bought it from the dealer in August 1999. Just over six years later, I turned over the 100,000th mile on it. It happened today at 10:18a on 465 south right at 38th street, west side, in a territory where everything is covered in white.

A blizzard blew through the night before that made my drive home from work four and half hours long! When I wasn't frustrated, I was bored. I even got a tired and hungry. Then I started eyeing my falling gas gauge needle that told me I shouldn't leave my car running all night in 4 wheel drive and the defroster left on high to defog the windshield. But I finally made it home.

So, 100,000 miles. I watched it flip, then a semi cut me off. I honked my horn in celebration and maybe a little at the truck driver who probably never heard me. I cheered. I laughed. I cried. I don't want my Jeep to break down on me now.

The last car I owned was an 82 CJ7. I bought it with 125,000 miles on it. I put it at 170,000ish until I sold it and got the Wrangler I have now.

The car I had before that was a Hyundai POC. It may have had about 100,000 miles on it when I bought it off some college kid for $900 cash. I probably put about 5,000 on it before I blew the engine. Replaced that engine and blew it out again within a few months. Then I sold it for scrap for $100.

The car before that was an 86 Topaz (Mercury's version of the Ford Tempo). Great car. Fast, zippy, solid. Until the clutch went out. Gave it back to my parents and then rode a bike everywhere.

Looking forward to 200,000.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

This Day In Rock...Oops

This Day In Rock...Oops

In 1943, Jim Morrison is born. Lives to the ripe ol' age of 27 until heart failure claims his life in a Paris bathtub on July 3, 1971.

In 1953, Sam Kinison is born. A car crash claims his life on April 10, 1992 at age 38.

In 1980, John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan. He and wife Yoko Ono were returning home from a recording session. He was 40.

In 1984, Motley Crue singer Vince Neil crashed a sports car on a California highway, killing his passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle Dingley.

In 2003, Ozzy Osbourne was seriously injured while riding a quad bike around his English estate. He apparently hit something and the bike landed on top of him.

In 2005, guitarist Dimebag Darrell, formerly of Pantera, was shot and killed during a show with his new band, DamagePlan, in Columbus, Ohio. Three others also were killed before a police officer shot and killed the gunman, Nathan Gale.

If you're a rocker, stay home today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005



Going to be a good week. I've got my family coming up with my youngest brother and his family in tow. The guy just retired from the military. Spent a year in Iraq. I did fly out to Colorado Springs last year to visit him but I think this is the first time the whole family will be together in many many years. I can't even remember the last time.

So I've got a half day today, working full day tomorrow. Off Thursday and Friday although I do have to come in Friday morning for about an hour to take care of some time sensitive data my company needs.

Thursday, Mrs. Lock, Baby Lock and I are traveling 90 minutes south to spend Thanksgiving #1 with Mrs. Lock's Mom and her family. After we stuff ourselves there, we're going to drive two hours east to spend Thanksgiving #2 with Mrs. Lock's Dad and his family.

After that visit, we'll spontaneously combust although I'm not sure how spontaneous it really is when we knew we were getting two Thanksgiving dinners in one day.

But wait! There's more.

Friday we'll celebrate Thanksgiving #3 with my own family at the Lock Stronghold. Our metabolism will get quite the work out with three turkey dinners in 24 hours, we'll waste away to nothing, skin and bones when it's all over.

I'm thankful for many things this year.

#1 is Baby Lock. What a joy she has brought to my life, even when she's screaming.

#2 is seeing my family for the holidays, all of us together.

#3 is having a very cool and fun in laws that make our long drive well worth it.

Happy Holidays.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Single Player Heaven

Single Player Heaven

2005 was a big video game year for me. I think I own more video game titles this year than I ever have in previous years. And before you go blasting me that of course I have more video games this year because I'm just adding to my eternal collection whenever I buy a new one, I should tell you that I have given away and sold most of my older titles. I don't keep video games around for long unless I really really like them. When Gamecube came out, I gave my N64 to my brother, all games included.

So anyway, big video game year. I'm partial to single player games and I did several of them this year. It was probably the best year for video games too. Just some very good titles the video game industry is cranking out. Great talent.

Halo 2, my first single player game to kick of 2005. Actually I picked it up in December, but it gets included with the gambit of single player games that took up most of my 2005 free time, even the newborn arriving in February took a distant second.

Halo 2, highly anticipated, I think it was Xbox's #1 seller and still is to date I believe. Has a tremendous multiplayer side to it which I dabbled in. Single player pretty fun, nothing extraordinary over the single player game in Halo, but new vehicles and weapons to play around with. Not sure how long it took me to solve it. Maybe 15 hours? 18? It was shorter than the others. Fun, but if I had to pick a shooter to play over and over, it's a title I'll mention later. Took me several tries to beat the boss. Like a dozen? I went back and played it on normal and beat the boss on first try. HUGE gameplay difference between normal and the skill level one higher that I played on. 8/10.

Next, the controversial title that's been in the news lately and has certain people seething and if you're not in that group, then you're in the group that is seething over the people that are seething over the game. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Wow, what a great game. Huge. This series has really set the standard for fun loving sandbox games. I had a lot of fun with this game building my thug empire, running over hookers, blowing away old geezers with a sawed-off and doing my civic duty by controlling the gang population with genocide. And all of that was before I started the missions.

I played this game almost daily over a couple of months. I'm not sure the number of hours of gameplay, it seemed endless and since I was having so much fun, this is a good thing. Load screens are a bit much, about the only thing I can dock this game for and given the size of the cities, it's very understandable. Beat the boss (final mission) on the first try. 9/10.

Next, Jade Empire. This actually was my first purchase for 2005, I started playing it but San Andreas came out. Took a break from Jade Empire to play GTA for a couple of months. After I was done with GTA, I came back to Jade Empire to finish it.

I enjoyed this game although the load times were very frustrating and very long. Not so much a Jade Empire as it is a Load Empire. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Once you got into a map though, it was endless role playing fun, until you had to go to the next area.

Save file said it took me about 25 hours to get through the game. I'm going through it again as a Closed Fist (evil) follower to see how it ends for the bad guy. Also, there's a skill you get late in the game that I kept undeveloped during my first run, that I found out on the very last mission is very powerful. I'm going to be pumping it up as soon as I get it on my second run through. Very neat game. Get rid of the long load times and it'd be awesome. 8/10.

Next up, and on the seventh day, God created Resident Evil 4. I never really played the previous titles, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had more experience with the movies than I did the games, but let me say, this easily became my favorite game this year, possible of all time. There was a small learning curve, the third person shooter if I can call it that, it made aiming a bit awkward but I got used to it after getting hacked by the first few creepy villagers. And there were a few gotcha moments in the game that made me jump out of my seat or scream like the baby that I was. Combine that with the eerie music, dank environment and best graphics for any video game ever to make me feel spooked from start to finish. No game since Doom has affected me this much. I did beat the boss on the first try after exhausting every resource, every health, every bullet I had in my inventory. It was a slobberknocker to the finish.

RE4 took me about 21 hours to complete. After finishing it, a super weapon is unlocked but not accessible right away. You have to buy it and the price tag is very hefty. After finishing this game, I immediately started over and went after the new super weapon. I finished this game for the second time in about 10 hours. Would've been quicker, but you have to save up for this super weapon and I didn't get it until after the half way point through the game. 10/10, not a darn thing wrong with this title. I love this game and I think I'm going to marry it.

After trying Doom 3 on the PC, I picked it up for Xbox. Very good looking game, scary at times, good mood. Good amount of game play. You do a few restarts because some areas are tough to get through. My favorite thing to do was take a chainsaw to one of the "dogs" and slice and dice it up.

So it looked good, simple, scary, a good shoot 'em up gore fest. What more do you want from a Doom title? I beat the boss on first try. Went back and redid the ending just so I could explore the lair since I didn't waste any time the first time through. 8/10.

Lego Star Wars. This is a couple's game. The wife and I like to get these co-op battle games to play together. In that past we've enjoyed the Baldur's Gate series and DND's Heroes. This was to further the tradition. This game took about 35 minutes to finish. Ok maybe not that quick, but it's a pretty darn short game. That's not a complaint though, we enjoy the game (still playing it to unlock other things/characters). It's cute, fun, novel. You can slash Lego Jar Jar with a light saber over and over (he keeps coming back!) if you're into that sort of thing. 7/10.

Another title I'd like to mention, that doesn't really qualify for my 2005 list here because I got into late 2004 and haven't even played it in 2005, is a game Morrowind. After feeling a bit disappointed by the short story line in Fable, I wanted more questing, more role playing, more stat adding, power leveling, more magic using, more everything. Morrowind filled this void for me. It was the super size to Fable's small fry. Morrowind and Jade Empire were purchased to satisfy my RPG hunger that Fable created.

The interesting thing about Morrowind is that I had given it a try the year before on the PC. It was around the time it came out but I did not like it. I thought, simply, that the character moved too slow. Combat was a bit weird, but the thing that turned me off of the game was that I moved way too slow. When I gave the game another try on the Xbox about a year later, I read about an item called Boots of Speed or something like that that added 200 to your speed. The average speed was probably 20? 200, I could go places with those and I did and that got me interested and I enjoyed the game leveling up my mage.

Another cool feature of the game was customizing and making your own spells. If you wanted one spell that could make you fly and turn you invisible at the same time, you could do that. You set the duration, the strength which affected the casting cost and you could name the spell yourself. Very very cool.

There's no way to beat this game. It's huge. Fable had an ending, Morrowind goes on forever, it's a bottomless pit and that's a good thing. 8/10.

Single player games I'm working on today: Half Life 2, Quake 4, Burnout Revenge, Star Wars: Battlefront.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Land of Confusion by Genesis

Land of Confusion by Genesis

Is this 20 year old song out of date?

I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They’re moving into the street.

Now did you read the news today
They say the danger’s gone away
But I can see the fire’s still alight
There burning into the night.

There’s too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems

And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

Oh Superman where are you now?
When everything’s gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

I remember long ago -
Ooh when the sun was shining
Yes and the stars were bright
All through the night
And the sound of your laughter
As I held you tight
So long ago -

I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know, we’ll never keep.

Too many men
There’s too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Baby Lock Turns Nine (Months)

Baby Lock Turns Nine (Months)

Today is Baby Lock's nine month birthday. She's been alive as long as she's been a bun. She's bigger than life, always excited to be awake and playing. She loves to express herself, elation when she's happy, angry when she's mad. She still has yet to fall asleep while in the middle of doing something. If she's tired, she complains until someone rocks her to sleep, otherwise, she will stay up all night.

We're fortunate that she hasn't been sick since she was born. She's as healthy as an ox and ready to take on the world. It cracks her up when you try to scare her. The more you do it, the more manic her laugh. She loves exhilaration.

Anyway, won't be long before the big Zero One.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

History of U.S. Warfare by Congress Member

Taken from The Nation

In a remarkable October 7 speech delivered on the House floor, Representative Ron Paul, a maverick Republican from Texas who has long been critical of Bush's misguided approach to fighting terrorism, invoked Reagan's legacy as part of a call for withdrawal.

Supporters of the war in Iraq, as well as some non-supporters, warn of the dangers if we leave. But isn't it quite possible that these dangers are simply a consequence of having gone into Iraq in the first place, rather than a consequence of leaving? Isn't it possible that staying only makes the situation worse? If chaos results after our departure, it's because we occupied Iraq, not because we left.

The original reasons for our pre-emptive strike are long forgotten, having been based on false assumptions. The justification given now is that we must persist in this war or else dishonor those who already have died or been wounded. We're also told civil strife likely will engulf all of Iraq.

But what is the logic of perpetuating a flawed policy where more Americans die just because others have suffered? More Americans deaths cannot possibly help those who already have been injured or killed.

Civil strife, if not civil war, already exists in Iraq-- and despite the infighting, all factions oppose our occupation. The insistence on using our militarily to occupy and run Iraq provides convincing evidence to our detractors inside and outside Iraq that we have no intention of leaving. Building permanent military bases and a huge embassy confirms these fears. We deny the importance of oil and Israel's influence on our policy, yet we fail to convince the Arab/Muslim world that our intentions are purely humanitarian.

In truth, our determined presence in Iraq actually increases the odds of regional chaos, inciting Iran and Syria while aiding Osama bin Laden in his recruiting efforts. Leaving Iraq would do the opposite-- though not without some dangers that rightfully should be blamed on our unwise invasion rather than our exit. Many experts believe bin Laden welcomed our invasion and occupation of two Muslim countries. It bolsters his claim that the U.S. intended to occupy and control the Middle East all along. This has galvanized radical Muslim fundamentalists against us. Osama bin Laden's campaign surely would suffer if we left.

We should remember that losing a war to China over control of North Korea ultimately did not enhance communism in China, as she now has accepted many capitalist principles. In fact, China today outproduces us in many ways-- as reflected by our negative trade balance with her.

We lost a war in Vietnam, and the domino theory that communism would spread throughout southeast Asia was proven wrong. Today, Vietnam accepts American investment dollars and technology. We maintain a trade relationship with Vietnam that the war never achieved.

We contained the USSR and her thousands of nuclear warheads without military confrontation, leading to the collapse and disintegration of a powerful Soviet empire. Today we trade with Russia and her neighbors, as the market economy spreads throughout the world without the use of arms.

We should heed the words of Ronald Reagan about his experience with a needless and mistaken military occupation of Lebanon. Sending troops into Lebanon seemed like a good idea in 1983, but in 1990 President Reagan said this in his memoirs: "…we did not appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle… In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing we should do was turn tail and leave… yet, the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there."

During the occupation of Lebanon by American, French, and Israeli troops between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide terrorist attacks in that country. One horrific attack killed 241 U.S. Marines. Yet once these foreign troops were removed, the suicide attacks literally stopped. Today we should once again rethink our policy in this region.

It's amazing what ending military intervention in the affairs of others can achieve. Setting an example of how a free market economy works does wonders.

We should have confidence in how well freedom works, rather than relying on blind faith in the use of military force to spread our message. Setting an example and using persuasion is always superior to military force in showing how others might live. Force and war are tools of authoritarians; they are never tools of champions of liberty and justice. Force and war inevitably lead to dangerous unintended consequences.

--Representative Ron Paul, R, Texas

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

If you make more laws, you make more criminals.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Violent Video Games

Violent Video Games

Video game violence is in the news again recently because of a douchebag lawyer in Florida is attacking the industry in a way that doesn't make sense. He offers $10,000 to anyone who can make a video game where the lead character attacks people in the video game industry, killing them, chopping their head off, any torturous fashion the programmer sees fit. Someone took him up on his offer, created the game where the lawyer was the main character doing the killing. They wanted to cash in on their creation but the lawyer said, 'I was being satirical. You don't get your money.'

I know why he had this response. He'd have to go after himself if he backed this creation.

What he and others don't understand is that violent video games do not make violent people. Violent people might be attracted to violent video games.

If I chop a tree down with an axe (which I've done), I won't start going Paul Bunyan on people because of my foresting practices at home. You could put a face, arms, legs and a voice box on the tree to simulate a person, and it's just not going to give me those homicidal tendencies the real sickos get.

The truth is, the need to regulate the video game industry is an idea from old farts of another generation that are blown away with the graphic capabilities of these video games and it's as real to them as looking out the window. So they are appalled and if they're appalled, they have an emotional reaction and if they have an emotional reaction, they start restricting rights. Video game violence does not desensitize people to violence. Video game violence desensitizes people to video game violence, so the old farts that see it don't realize it's harmless and so they feel they need to take action.

Serial killers are usually the product of a poor home and a poor home is usually created by some sort of government intervention in raising kids, welfare programs or high taxes to keep families poor. So in actuality, the government makes violent people. Let's put an AO rating on it and shelve it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A friend of mine said this to me today. Did I mention that I think my friend is certifiable?

"I wouldn't give up playing basketball to have sex again."

He's proud of this. No it's not A.C. Green.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Best Blonde Joke

Best Blonde Joke

Got this from Mrs. Lock so I don't want any hate mail saying I'm a misogynist. I just appreciate a good joke.


A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started."

Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"

The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger."

Her boyfriend heads over to help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger."

He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then... *sigh* ...let's put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Firty Free.

Mrs. Lock got me an iPod shuffle.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Growing Network

Growing Network

Work just bought me a new laptop even though I have little use for one. It's a move to standardize the machines accessing their networks. I'll take it home and play around with it but between my peripherals and Mrs. Lock's, our network is becoming quite the hub. Running on it are:

Four laptops (FOUR!)
One desktop
One Networked printer
One TiVo
One Xbox
One VoIP phone
Plus the occasional guest laptop when visitors stop by (It happens!)

And soon to be, when their WiFi is released later this year:
One Nintendo DS

This may be the standard in 5-10 years, but today, it's borderline insane.

Oh yeah I bought 1.5 Gb of RAM last week for my desktop ($120!). I don't know anyone who commercially has that much in their home PC. I can tell the difference since it's been running only 380 Mb of RAM for years.

Again, the standard in a few years will shame my setup now, but today, it's a big upgrade. Although you can never have enough memory for your machine.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Yin Yang

Yin Yang

If math is the universal language and 1 = 1 is a balanced equation, isn't that proof that the universe is balanced and works to remain so?

Happy birthday Mrs. Lock (yesterday).

DJI 10477, NASDAQ 2147, SP5 1219

#1 Movie at the box office:
Flightplan (Serenity at #2)

Last movie I saw at the theater:

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Stewie Griffith: The Untold Story (DVD)
Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy (DVD)

Books I'm currently reading:
Good Omen by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Albums (cd/mp3) I'm listening to:
Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists
Green Day - American Idiot

Video games I'm playing:
Empire Earth
Halflife 2
World of Warcraft
Lego Star Wars

Price I'm paying for gas:
$2.79/gallon. ($45 to fillup)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dave Barry Quotes

Dave Barry

"The only way to get elected to Congress is to raise a bunch of campaign money, and pretty much the only way to do that is to already be a member of Congress."

"Congress, after years of stalling, finally got around to clearing the way for informal discussions that might lead to possible formal talks that could potentially produce some kind of tentative agreements."

"Congress shall also create a tax code weighing more than the combined poundage of the largest member of the House and the largest member of the Senate, plus a standard musk ox."

"The question is: What can we, as citizens, do to reform our tax system? As you know, under our three-branch system of government, the tax laws are created by: Satan. But he works through the Congress, so that's where we must focus our efforts."

"Here's my proposal, which is based on the TV show "Survivor": We put the entire Congress on an island. All the food on this island is locked inside a vault, which can be opened only by an ordinary American taxpayer named Bob. Every day, the congresspersons are given a section of the Tax Code, which they must rewrite so that Bob can understand it. If he can, he lets them eat that day; if he can't, he doesn't.

Or, he can give them food either way. It doesn't matter. The main thing is, we never let them off the island."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Patriotism vs. Nationalism

No doubt I've listed a few of these quotes on this blog in the past, but it pays to repeat, especially on such an important topic.


There is a lot of talk these days about patriotism and dissent. Most Americans have confused Patriotism with Nationalism, though the two are often diametrically opposed. Waving a flag is Nationalism. Dissent is Patriotism. "My country, right or wrong" and "USA: Love it or Leave it" is Nationalism. Pointing out dangerous flaws in government policy is Patriotism. Telling people to "Shut up and get in line with the President" or "If you don't like it, move to France" is the antithesis of Democracy. For a better understanding of Dissent and Patriotism, I leave you with these words from some of the greatest patriots in history:

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from the government.
- Thomas Paine

"A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution".
- President James Madison

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither."
- Ben Franklin

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
- Samuel Adams

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it."
- President Abraham Lincoln

"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce and brave man, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
- 'Mark Twain'

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President."
- President Theodore Roosevelt

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
- President Theodore Roosevelt, 1912

"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
- James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

"So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy."
- Roger Baldwin

"Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion."
- Oscar Wilde

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
- George Bernard Shaw

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
- Dr. Martin Luther King

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."
- Haile Selassie

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

History may be written by the winners, but the losers aren't going to tell it right either.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Quote regarding the federal government's response to the Katrina disaster in New Orleans.

"If the government responded like Wal-Mart responded we wouldn't be in this mess."
--Jefferson Parish President, Aaron Broussard

Full transcript of his interview.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The War on Poverty creates more poverty.
The War on Drugs creates more drugs.
The War on Terror creates more terror.

Why do we have a federal government?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005



Nothing makes my day like figuring out ways to save money. And I write this as I'm watching one of my stocks decline on the market today. *Grrr*

I have what faux doctors call an intentional bad memory. I tend to not retain stuff, let's call it, hard drive space in my brain. Space I want to keep available. It's not that I don't think most information isn't important, I just think I can survive without it. So I tend to forget easily to keep my brain clutter free. Driving on the computer theme, you know how on a PC running Windows, over the years, you try new programs, some good, some bad, but over time, with all of the information you've installed, the PC starts to slow down, gets bogged down by things you've wanted to try over the years then forgot about or soon realized you no practical use for. That is how I view my brain and I don't need a lot of data in there that I'm not going to use. I believe in garbage in, garbage out. So I will intentionally ignore or allow to forget stuff that I know won't be of any use to me soon after storing it.

Since I've decided to impose a bad memory for myself, in order to keep from losing my house, car or whatever else I might default on because I forgot to pay bills, I have to impose systems for me.

Systems are something I will remember not unlike the concept of a mathematician would have a need for a formula. This mathematician could memorize the sum of every number in combination with every other number in existence or he could memorize one formula to figure it out whenever he needs the answer. What I call systems are my formulas. I put my systems into place, forget everything else and wait for the savings to roll in.

For example, I have a cell phone. I have my anytime minutes and my night time and weekend minutes. I also have a program on my cell plan that enables my phone with Internet access. I love my net access on the go. I have to have it and when you hear me say I have to have something, that means, it saves and/or makes me money. Think I'm greedy? Not if you know what money truly represents, but that is another topic for another day.

Now I am not hurting financially, but if you can save and not knock yourself out doing it, why not do it? I looked at my cell phone plans and for six years, I've been paying for unlimited net access at $10 a month. So I started to wonder, how much of that unlimited time do I actually use? Infinite time at $10 a month is quite a bargain, sure, but I don't even come close to using infinite time on this plan. Not even a fraction of a fraction of infinite. So I was curious how much a per minute rate would cost me. It turns out it's a per kilobyte cost of one penny per kilobyte. Well how many kilobytes do I use on average? I found out that I use about $5 per month's worth. As high as $7 one month but as low as $3 another month. $5 a month? That's $5 savings. I'll take it. So I dropped the unlimited plan and went with the rate. Now I'm done with that. I don't ever have to think about it again and it only cost me a little bit of time, something I'll make back in the first month of savings.

Was I hurting by spending $10 a month? Did my child starve? Was I evicted from my house? Did I have a long history of bouncing checks? No. But my formula says if it's cheaper and especially if it doesn't put you out, take what's behind door number two and implement those savings baby! If I had implemented this six years ago and assuming my usage always averaged $5 per month, that would've saved me $360. It adds up.

Another example of this. Thanks to my cell phone, a couple of years ago I started to wonder why I needed a land line? I mean, I essentially had two phones and hardly even use one. It's actually closer to zero. Through most of my life, I use near zero phones. So I wondered, what would happen if I dropped the land line? It's blasphemy right? I mean people have always had phones since dinosaurs rules the earth. It's still a marvel of a technology to most. People struggle to keep their phone line active on a regular basis. They're convinced they can't live without it because it's always been that way and cell phones, well that's just something you use when you're not at home worshiping your phone shrine. And they may feel they can't live without phone service. Well I can live without it and a couple of years ago, we dropped our land line service, relying strictly on our cells and let me tell you, we have not missed it one bit. I got to save $40/month there. In almost two years, I've saved a cool grand and counting. Done thinking about that. Good times. Pass the pina colada.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that most people don't think like this. They don't know they need a system. They don't know to take stock of what they have and throw out what they don't need. Some are ok with wasting money. I've already admitted I would be just fine if I wasted money. But why? The little bit I save adds up over years and though I may never realize it or be able to trace the source of it, it literally makes me richer. But I don't have to know where it comes from. It's automatic. My brain has that valuable real estate that I don't want to store junk in. I just need the resident systems I've developed to take care of me and it does. I save me money? That's good enough for me. Keep it up.

At the risk of going off topic, many people waste money on things they just don't need. I mean absolutely don't need. All things are relative, but if you have absolutely no use for it, get rid of it, especially if it's costing you. It's hard for people to imagine life without that it, like the phone example, but you have to take the risk.

Realize this, you could be housed in a cardboard box living in gutters on the street, and you will be ok. Most of you will survive, you might even find some happiness with no responsibility, no one relying on you, no stress so life may even be good for you. If you can do that, take a quick spin around where you live and know that everything that your eye saw, you can live without. Now start taking inventory of the things you can live without and get rid of it. It will actually improve your mood. Material items weigh on your conscience. It's just another thing to take care of. Think of it as having children. Each item you own is a child that needs to be cared for. Guess what, you're running a foster home. Do your best to keep things to a minimum, donate that child to charity or sell it in a garage sale and it will save you tons financially not to mention mentally.

You might think I'm a bit obsessive about money. Obsession is an unhealthy amount of time devoted to one thing or idea. First of all, I don't see how saving money is ever unhealthy, second of all, I no more devote my time or my thoughts to this than you might thinking about what to have for lunch. Once you're trained in this style of thinking, it becomes that system, then it's automatic for the people. Just remember to be (shiny) happy (people). Possessions don't make you happy. They are indeed fleeting. People make you happy. You're people too, so this includes you. You can get happy from self satisfaction of your contribution in the world. (Man, I got way off topic, but that's the beauty of a journal) Your contribution supplies your need for self actualization (Research Maslow on this).

An exercise I like to do frequently is picture what the world would be like if everyone were like me. Besides it being a boring with nothing new happening and a certain bout of extinction setting in because adaptation to changing environment is lost, what kind of an effect would my personality times six billion have on life? If the answer scares you, you're not happy. If you think the answer is awesome, you're in denial. Feeling the need to contribute positively to those around you is rooted in taking responsibility. If you don't deal well with taking responsibility for your actions, you're not gonna get it. This is what it means to give and you shall receive.

Anyway, a post of this ilk was long over due. Also, the monthly snapshot has been MIA for awhile. Here it is.

DJI 10387, NASDAQ 2129, SP5 1207

#1 Movie at the box office:
40 Year Old Virgin

Last movie I saw at the theater:
Batman Begins

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Immortel (dvd)
Kung Fu Hustle (dvd)
Sin City (dvd)
A few from James Bond marathon (tv)

Books I'm currently reading:
Speaking of Liberty by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Albums (cd/mp3) I'm listening to:
Audioslave - Out of Exile
Richard Cheese - Aperitif for Destruction
Velver Revolver - Contraband
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Black Eyes Peas - Elephunk
Lot of trance/techno

Video games I'm playing:
Resident Evil 4 (Looooove this game)
Empire Earth
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Halflife 2
Halo 2

Price I'm paying for gas:
$2.50/gallon. ($42 to fillup)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The government sells security and the best way to sell security is to create insecurity.

It Was A Jungle Out There

It Was A Jungle Out There

After over a couple of weeks of neglecting it, I finally got around to mowing my back yard and boy, were the nested swamp bugs pissed. They came flying out in full attack mode like bats out of cave. The grass was so tall, the mower was choking. To look at the yard now, it looks like a field of hay and I keep thinking a tractor pulling a baler is going to plow through.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Peaceful, Relaxing, Gory Video Games

Peaceful, Relaxing, Gory Video Games

Since I finished Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas, which is now a collector's item thanks to the recent ratings change based on newly discovered content I can't access anyway, I resumed my Resident Evil 4 game. I think I got about 1/3 of the way through the game until San Andreas was released then I got sidetracked for a couple of months with carjacking, pimping, mass killing, gambling - basically being a virtual entrepreneur.

Note to self, don't play a horror game with excellent graphics right around bed time. The night time setting of the living room is a nice environment to play a great scary game but the side effect is that your blood is pumping, you're edgy, jumpy, sometimes cowering, sometimes crying and when you're done for the night, good luck getting right to sleep.

Friday, August 05, 2005

10 reasons why people can't let go of their government

10 reasons why people can't let go of their government

Article written by Michael S. Rozeff.
The full article, Reflections on the State can be found at

1. Error of identification. People long to be identified as something, an American or a Frenchman or a Russian. These are matters of nation, country, society, custom, language, group, religion, culture, not State. Yet in many people’s minds, they merge. The State comes to represent what a person is. The State gains loyalty by blurring the lines between itself, country and society. Patriotism, a love of country, overlaps with love of State.

2. Error of attribution. People make the logical error of attributing progress achieved by the country to the State: Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc. If a horse wins a race despite a 5-pound handicap, it wins despite the extra weight not because of it.

3. Illusion of order. People fear anarchy. They think that the power of the State to suppress and keep order is better than exposure to unnamed and unseen anarchic forces. Fear of one’s fellow man sows the seeds of support of the State. This solution to the problem of order is an illusion that is based on contradiction, however. If one fears men, and the rulers are men, then the rulers are also to be feared. In fact, the State to whom one gives such great power is even more to be feared. There is no security of life when one turns one’s life over to one’s jailer.

4. Illusion of security. People want security, insurance against the trials of life, a father that is there to feed and house them when they have troubles. It is illusion to think that the State can provide comfort. The State has no resources of its own, so it must draw them from the citizens themselves. In the process, much waste occurs, insecurity of rights is fostered, and the overall productivity of the people is reduced. In its external relations, which are frequently aggressive, the State wastes still more resources. Hence, the State makes people less secure.

5. Vicarious pleasure. Many identify with the State’s power. They feel good when the State uses its power. Death and destruction do not bother them. They like the idea of wars and armies marching, big tanks, missiles and rockets, and space ships flying to the moon. If the State is a superpower, all the better.

6. Hunger for power and wealth. Many people benefit from the State. Perhaps they rule, or gain subsidies or laws that favor them.

7. Philosophy. There are those like Hegel who justify the State and replace God with the State.

8. Miscalculation. Many people think the State is a good deal. These people can’t count or calculate. They give up $1 and get back $0.80 and do not know it. Sometimes they underestimate the costs they bear now and in the future. Sometimes they overestimate the benefits. Of course, the State does what it can to help them miscalculate.

9. Hope. This is a kind of misplaced faith. People irrationally hope and believe that the State’s power will ameliorate various evils, usually in a social context. When the State’s programs fail, these people are incapable of analyzing the reason for the failure because of the complexity of social situations and because of their biased hopes.

10. Gullibility and propaganda. The State encourages illusions about its powers and abilities.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Transformation Of A Country

Transformation Of A Country

As I read about the rioting in the Sudan capital, I wonder why it doesn't happen in this country. The answer is, material possessions. The market has improved the quality of our lives and we've collected a lot of crap in the process. Crap we don't want to give up so we don't dare risk it by taking a fight to the streets, even when it might be warranted to do so. What do the Sudanese have? Hope. They fight for that.

This country used to be like that. We had nothing, we fought for an idea. At some point, we achieved our goal and then some and effectively crossed the threshold to go from struggling to bullying just so we can get more stuff. What we have now is not enough. The aggression never got turned off. Why should it? It's in our nature.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Happy Half Birthday

Happy Half Birthday

Good times, great life. Baby Lock celebrates her life as a six month old today. Happy Half Birthday my daughter.

She's very energetic, vibrant, attentive. Everything in her immediate surrounding is fascinating. When she's studying
something, she'll stick half a fist in her mouth while she contemplates the object.

She laughs quite a bit, fusses a little when it's time to eat or time to sleep. She doesn't like to sit down, she always has to be standing up, with help of course. Baby Lock is adept at rolling over now, from back to stomach, stomach to back.

She has a few favorite toys. A green plastic ring shaped like a bug (I think it's a bug?) that normally hangs on a strap on another toy. She'll pull it off and carry it with her, slobber all over it. Another favorite which isn't a toy is one of the remote controls. I took the batteries out of it and it's for the VCR, a device we don't use anymore. Whenever I want to cheer her up, all I have to do is present the remote and she goes into a giggling fit, struggling to snatch it from my hands. Since she has a couple of teeth beginning to poke through her lower gums, she likes gumming (chewing) the buttons on it. I can hear the rubber squeak against her proto-teeth.

Friday, July 29, 2005

What Kind of Government Do We Actually Have?

What Kind of Government Do We Actually Have?

Here I have a blog I've kept for years. I had a daughter who was born almost six months ago and all I can talk about lately is politics instead of talking about how happy she makes me. Perhaps, having a child causes me to reflect more on what kind of future she might have and I'm reminded of my responsibility as a parent to make sure she can have the best life that can be available to her.

So politics. I was looking at a portion of the Communist Manifesto the other day and it is in outline form. That Karl Marx text that was the ideas behind creating communist governments in the U.S.S.R. among some other satellite countries. The Manifesto has headers, or chapters if you will labeled as "planks," ten planks in all. As I was reading through the planks I noticed some similarities with a certain form of government which is still around today, and I'm not talking about Cuba, China or N. Korea.

I list the title of the Communist Manifesto plank followed by some information concerning our U.S. government. You draw your own conclusions.

4th Plank: Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels

High court OKs personal property seizures
Friday, June 24, 2005; WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.

6th Plank: Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

FCC formed in 1934; FAA, 1958; NTSB, 1967; Department of Transportation, 1966; Interstate Highway System, 1944

10th Plank: Free education for all children in public schools.

Do I need to cite examples here?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"The record industry... has gone the way of the record."

--William Gibson

Monday, July 18, 2005

You Gotta Be You

You Gotta Be You

It's dangerous to implement a system that tries to conslidate the behavior of its populace, regardless of what that behavior is, good or bad, moral or immoral. It's dangerous from a biologic point of view not to mention it being dangerous from a power over the masses point of view.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
- Thomas H. Huxley

Sunday, July 10, 2005

You go to California, it's illegal to smoke cigarettes in bars and taverns. Yeah smoking is bad for you but, who's concerned about their health in a bar? What's the complaint on this one, "Excuse me. Mr. bartender man. I am trying to get drunk so I can drive home and have unprotected sex with some chick I just met tonight and this guy is blowing smoke in my face!"

I believe that we should abolish all bar laws in America. I believe in America, the land of the free, there should be no laws in bars. And if you don't like living under no-law then don't go to the bars. For example, I don't like Bed Bath & Beyond, I don't like what goes on at BB&B, so do you know what I do about it? That's right! I don't go there! I don't picket BB&B. I don't put BB&B on an axis of evil list with Kitchen Kaboodle and the Baby Gap. I don't think BB&B should have to be 500 yards from an elementary school. I just don't go to BB&B.

Auggie Smith
Comedian & Free Thinker

Saturday, July 09, 2005

ISTANBUL, Turkey - First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.

In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.

"There's nothing we can do. They're all wasted," Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Nearly everything our government did in response to 9/11 was harmful and ineffective. Airport security is still insecure (shoes screened but cargo not), but travel by air has become a nightmare for millions and airlines are in financial distress. Federal spending and deficits have soared. Vast new bureaucracies have been created. National ID cards and other intrusions have been created, one after another.

And we are no safer than before, neither will we be, because so-called government solutions for anything are nearly always incompetent and destructive, because terrorists, kind of like evil entrepreneurs, will always be quicker and smarter than big governments.

Jim Babka

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Another step to allowing you to keep your anonyminity online. Bypass website registrations with

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Independant Baby

Independant Baby

We took baby to her first fireworks display for Independance Day. I bought a pair of noise-blocking headphones for her just in case the boom was too loud. But once again, she has impressed me. She loved the big boom, big lights. She was mesmerized by the fireworks and loved them.

Just a couple of weeks earlier, we took her swimming for the first time and she loved that. Had a blast floating around in the kiddie pool. Daddy is so proud of this girl that loves life.

She is the apple, banana and orange of my eye.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Games On The Brain

Games On The Brain

I realized I've been playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas too much when on my drive into work this morning, when spotting some graffiti on a bridge, for a second, just a split second, I considered turning around (on the highway), going back and spraying Grove Street 4 Life over it.

I gotta get out more.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A person born into a system can't be objective about that system and as a result has difficulty recognizing the dangers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Naked Blogging

Naked Blogging

Certainly I'm not the first to do it but this is a special occasion. Mrs. Lock is certified pagan and in addition to today being our wedding day (a day Mrs. Lock specifically picked) it is also the summer solstice. This is the Thanksgiving of the pagan holidays. A day to celebrate life and nature that supports life. And tonight is very special because as I type this, we are watching a full moon rising in the south east.

The proper way to ring in the summer solstice is to do so without clothes. To celebrate nature, you must be natural, as you were born into the world and sure enough, I have my laptop (something I wasn't born with actually) sitting in my uncovered lap and I sit on the back porch outside behind my house writing to you. I did run a few laps around the yard a few minutes ago. Mrs. Lock said all she saw was a white streak. Streak is definitely the word.

I don't personally subscribe to the pagan beliefs myself, but they seem like a good cause and my expression of freedom from clothes in the name of a pagan ritual is just an excuse I use to indulge a complex I have.

Blessed Be.

Monday, June 20, 2005

First Father's Day

First Father's Day

Yesterday was my first Father's Day. I felt like a cheat since I've only been a father 4 months. The other dads have done it all year. Next year will I'll be full fledged.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere."
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Looking For Connections That Aren't There

Looking For Connections That Aren't There

Has anyone noticed that President Clinton's auto biography has the same title as Adolf Hitler's autobiography?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Good And The Bad

The Good And The Bad

There are good things coming from bloggers who have become a threat to traditional media outlets. Blogs are becoming part of the media itself, but here's the downside to running with the big dogs

Blogs Face Possible FEC Regulation
Friday, June 03, 2005
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

WASHINGTON — The Federal Election Commission is considering whether to require political bloggers to disclose whether they are receiving funds from a political campaign, the latest step in a larger debate over whether political activity on the Internet should be regulated by the government.

Friday is the deadline set for the FEC to receive public comments on a number of proposed regulations dealing with Internet activities. The commission will hold hearings on June 28-29 in Washington, D.C., before deciding on final action.

One of those new rules, the disclosure requirement, has many bloggers bristling, accusing the government of unfairly targeting them and impinging on free speech. But other political activists say that blogs can act as secret cover for political smear campaigns and create a Potemkin village of grassroots support. They say if that's the impact, then the Web logs should be required to disclose whether their operators are on a campaign payroll.

"I think there is a benefit for voters when they find out that something they find on the Internet is more of a paid advertisement than independent analysis," said Rick Hasen, a Loyola Law School professor who has been one of the more vocal proponents for disclosure requirements. "We have all sorts of rules regarding television advertisements; I don't think this is going too far."

Monday, June 06, 2005

I Wonder

I Wonder

Do celebrities have a personal list, a deal with their spouses, of people they can sleep with? And are those people on that list non celebrities?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.
- Sydney Smith

Monday, May 30, 2005

Baby, Baby, Pirate?

Baby, Baby, Pirate?

Today is the one year anniversary that I found out about the existance of Baby Lock. One year ago today, my wife woke me up to tell me she was pregnant. Read it all for yourself.

In a couple of days Baby Lock will be four months old. She's a big girl too. 99th percentile for weight, 92nd for height. She's a very happy child. Smiles and laughs at everything. She is very alert and curious. She can't sit up yet, but she tries. She raises her head in anticipation of sitting up. She loves to be held and sung to. The best thing to calm her right now and has been since birth is her baby swing. Works everytime.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State

Theocracies have worked wonders for Iran, Syria, Israel, Ireland. Let's follow their examples and create a stable, one religion country and live like they do. Well good news, that's where we're heading.

The first amendment of our U.S. Constitution, the one our forefathers thought so essential to list at the top of this country's document of governing freedom includes the freedom from religion. No religion in government. Now why is that? Well, at the time the document was written, people were persecuted for not being protestant. And the rules of being a protestant were governed by the church or heads of church. Heads of church were human. Humans are fallible so as ideas were changed/corrected, rules of religion changed. People wanted to get away from that, they wanted to stop a government from telling them what to believe at gunpoint, noose-point, guillotine-point. I believe in God, I just don't think He is American which brings me to my next point.

Separation of church and state serves another purpose today. Religious governments are emotional. When beliefs and our faiths are attacked, the natural human reaction is emotion, so we fight. If someone is trying to knock down the pride we feel in our beliefs, we have to silence them. When those beliefs become the official doctrine of a nation, it's no different. We defend those fallible beliefs with every resource we have and in the instance of a government, that means big boom weapons. The bad part of that is that we go to war for something men have defined on their own and amend with frequency. To what end does fighting for a religion serve? You fight for a way of life that changes faster than any outside influence could do on their own.

And it is this way because men rule this world, they always have because men are the aggressive gender of the species (BTW, this isn't an essay about sexism, all I ever talk about in all of my posts is human behavior). Men are in power because we are aggressive. We like war. We like conflict. We have to have an enemy. Just in America's history in the 19th century, we fought ourselves over some beliefs. In the early to mid 20th century, it was the evil axis powers. After that, the cold war; our own ally, the USSR was now our enemy. After the cold war, we thought, there's no one left. This meant finally peace at last! There were some remnants of "evil" communism left around the world but they didn't pose much threat (although one does today). So who's left to go to war with?

Don't worry. Take a breath. We found our enemy. It's God vs. Allah. We go to war with the Muslims. But they attack us you say? We're just defending ourselves you say? Do you know why they attack us? The first major event was what? Bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Do you know what their reason was for that? Because we started a fight with Muslims in 1990 in a little conflict known as the Gulf War. That's right, wars begets wars (by members of the same family in case you haven't noticed). The jihad was declared because us infidels went and liberated a Muslim country that geographically looks like it should be part of the Muslim country that invaded it. We started the fight. We were without an enemy after the cold war so of course we started it. You know where the term "it's none of your business" comes from. Yes, it was our business - big business and that brings me to my next point.

There is this long list of countries that fit Kuwait's checklist to be a nation under siege; a nation that could use our liberating help. North Korea, Sudan, China. Do we liberate them next? Nope, they don't have anything. No oil in particular. Sudan has coffee - we have plenty of that already. N. Korea, rice - no shortage there. China, we get their goods through trade. There's no need to act.

But fear not war mongering citizens! When the fight for the Middle East is over (and if we survive), we'll find someone to be the ultimate evil/menace to the world/unstable leader that needs to feel the brute that is the United States. Maybe it'll be us (again). We'll turn an inward eye to find someone. If the church could declare war on homosexual citizens, it would. Unfortunately, gay people haven't made it easy for us to find them by living just in the northern or southern regions of the country (the blue and the pink). They don't show themselves by living in a series of states threatening to secede from the nation, if they did, we'd nuke those states.

Take emotion out of government and there you will find peace. Leave people alone, let them live their lives how they want. Business can afford to lose a few trillion dollars in exchange for a human life.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Questioning Cliches

Questioning Cliches

I don't understand the phrase "I say jump, you say how high." Supposedly it's to signify the speaker's rank over the listener. But if the listener is asking questions in response to a command, isn't the listener mouthing off a bit? Stalling? Manipulating the speaker into a chance of getting out of jumping?

It seems to me the phrase should be "I say jump. You boing!"

Funny Headline

Funny Headline

AP Headline: "Judge Rules Dam Plan Threatens Salmon"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

This was just picked as the world's funniest joke.

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"

Friday, May 20, 2005

True happiness comes when you believe life is fair even when it isn't.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Facts Lie

Facts Lie

Report: Software Piracy Cost Makers $8B

What they don't mention is that software piracy made them $20B.

Monday, May 16, 2005

TiVo TiNo

TiVo TiNo

My chaotic existence of life without my TiVo has finally been restored to order. After weeks of not having TiVo, my life is back on track and I'm getting regularly scheduled broadcasts just in time for season/series finale month.

It all started weeks ago when TiVo pushed out a major firmware update to give users something called TiVoToGo - a feature that let TiVo users download programs stored on the unit to watch on their desktop or burn them to CD/DVD for transport. The problem is when my TiVo unit received this update, it would crash daily. It wasn't specific to time of day or what it was doing at the time of the crash. Sometimes I would be watching TV, not recording anything and my picture would go black. The unit crashed while I was watching it.

After combing the forums, some people noticed the new firmware suddenly made a lot of wireless adapters that used to work, no longer work or at least they noticed some new issues. So I unplugged my wireless adapter and sure enough, the crashes quit. Once every couple of days, I would plug the adapter back in, get my update, then unplug it again. I didn't mind having to do this, as long as they were working on an update that would get rid of the problem it had to begin with so I don't have to be plugging/unplugging my adapter every few days for the rest of my life.

So this method was acceptable for now and things were great for weeks until the TiVo started crashing again without the wireless adapter even being plugged in. Now what? When it would crash, I would unplug the power, let it boot up but within hours, it crashed again. This made the unit very useless since it required constant monitoring on my part to do its job. If I had the time to monitor, I have the time to watch the program it's supposed to be recording for me.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. I wiped the software on the TiVo; the firmware, season passes, recordings - the whole enchilada went out the window and I started from scratch. When you do this, you have to go through the setup process again to get the unit working again. It's just as if you bought the thing and pulled it out of the box.

As with most TiVo units, including the one I have, you need a phone line to finish the setup. The problem is, I got rid of my phone line a year and a half ago, but I do have a VOIP phone. That should work since a VOIP service works with all standard phones. Since it works with all standard phones, I don't see why it can't work with a modem. Well it didn't. It never could contact the TiVo service to finish setup and the call always timed out.

I went back to to see what I could find. It turns out many users were having trouble getting their TiVo to work with their VOIP. I tried their suggestion of changing baud rates on the TiVo modem, but nothing worked. Then I came across another possible solution, one that supposedly bypasses the requirement to use a phone line. If you have a USB adapter, you can plug the TiVo into your Internet router and it will connect that way. So I borrowed a USB adapter from a friend, put the programming in that tells the TiVo to not use the modem but instead use the USB connection (that code is ,#401). No success. It would timeout also. I can't finish the setup on my TiVo to get it working again.

I need to take it a location that has a bloody phone line to finish it. I take it to work, with a 13" television. I have my TiVo and a small television at work, I have it plugged into my desk phone which thankfully is not on a PBX, and finally, I am able to finish the setup and the TiVo is ready for programming.

I haul it back home, plug it into my 54" television, plug in the wireless adapter that started this whole mess, and I was back in business. I setup all of my season passes again. It's been running for three days now with no problems, things are looking good but I will continue to hold my breath until the day it decides to check out again.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Germany will never shake the Hitler thing because the world learned German from Nazi WWII documentaries and videos.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is Anti Semitic

Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is Anti Semitic

At least the 2004 movie version is. It's a story about a Jewish elder, played by Pacino, who loans money to gentiles. These are the same gentiles who spit on him and mock his people and his faith in public. But business is business. So Pacino loans 3000 duckets (check the conversion rate) to Jeremy Irons, one of the spitters from days earlier who hit Pacino right in the face. But that didn't stop Pacino from loaning 3000 duckets to this man and get this; interest free. All Irons has to do is pay him back the exact amount Pacino just loaned him. If he can't, Irons is default and Pacino gets to collect something else of his choosing. Which happens to be a pound of Irons's flesh, but that's besides the point.

So of course Irons defaults (wouldn't make an Shakespearean-worthy story if he paid Pacino back and be done) on his interest free loan and Pacino comes to collect. Pacino's a little pissed off because:

a) His daughter just ran away with some gentile, a man in Irons's household or staff no less. Pacino, this lonely man who had no one but his daughter for family and she is now gone and took with her a part of her father's fortune.

b) In Venice during this time period, Jews are locked up in an area at night known as the 'geto' to keep their kind from wandering doing who knows what. And if they have to wander out, they are required to wear red hats to indicate their race. Sound familiar? Sieg Heil anyone?

So Irons, who agreed to borrow the money interest free and now can't pay it back, doesn't want to pay what they agreed upon should he default on the loan. What does the supposedly unreasonable Jewish elder Pacino do? He takes Irons to court. Duke Wapner will settle this.

But by now, everyone in town hates Pacino for pressing Irons and taking Irons to court. During the proceedings, a person with an understanding of Venice law (read: lawyer) was able to use a loophole to turn the situation against Pacino and not only stopped Pacino from collecting but actually ended up ruining him financially and ruining his reputation with the same law right there during the proceedings. Irons is free to go. A lawyer is praised and thanked - a lawyer who is seen as a hero and a Jewish elder the Devil! Pacino is ruined. All the white people celebrate, have a party, tease each other, retire to their bed chambers to knock the boots and live happily ever after. End of story.

What an odd sense of justice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thinking Outisde the Ballot Box

Thinking Outisde the Ballot Box

When you can't change the government, change the people - literally. An interesting movement in democracy in support of state/local rights.

Free State Project

Monday, May 09, 2005

With The Wind In Her Hair

With The Wind In Her Hair

We took Baby Lock out in her first convertible ride this weekend. The weather is really nice so I put the top down on the Jeep. Car seat went in the back facing backwards. I wish I had a picture for you but I was busy driving. She had fun. She even fell asleep at one point feeling right at home in the Jeep.

Many more trips are planned to expose her to the important things in life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Do Not Regulate Podcasts...Ever

Do Not Regulate Podcasts...Ever

I hope the FCC (phonetically pronounced as what?) never gets involved in the regulation of podcasts. Leave podcasts alone!

DJI 10231, NASDAQ 1924, SP5 1158

#1 Movie at the box office:
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Last movie I saw at the theater:
Kung Fu Hustle

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Lemon Snicket's
Blade Trinity
Frequency (tv)
Twelve Monkeys (tv)

Books I'm currently reading:
The Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Albums (cd/mp3) I'm listening to:
Moby - Hotel
Kung Fu Hustle Soundtrack

Video games I'm playing:
Jade Empire
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Doom 3 for Xbox
Halo 2

Friday, April 22, 2005

Been Sick

Been Sick

A day after we got back from the wedding in Kansas City, I started getting symptoms. I was achey all over, I had no energy, I was freezing. I came down with what I think was strep throat. As it turns out, many people at the wedding had it too and were coming down with the symptoms same time I was. For that whole week, I was miserable. I had no energy, I couldn't get off the couch. I felt like doing nothing. It was terrible and I hope to never go through that again.

Almost two weeks later and I'm still suffering from coughs and sniffles, but at least I have my energy back and I'm back at work. I didn't go to the doctor when I got sick because I am a big believer in letting your body take care of you; antibiotics really mess up your system. I don't even take aspirin unless I really really need it. But if that ever happens again, I will be in a position to agree to anything just to make the pain stop. I took a lot of Nyquil while I was sick but it didn't help. I was waking up hourly, having horrible dreams that I think were waking me up. They weren't nightmares, just incredibly boring, stress-inducing dreams that I didn't want to see so I kept waking up to get away.

The worst part about being sick is not being able to hold your newborn child. Can't play with them, can't talk to them for fear of spreading germs. I'm glad to have that back.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sikh Wedding Continued

Sikh Wedding Continued

This weekend, the Locks are in Kansas City to attend a Sikh (India) wedding of a friend.

What a day!

We got up in the morning to get ready for the Sikh wedding. It was being held in a Sikh temple in Kansas, the next state over. It actually only turned out to be a 20 mile trip from our hotel in downtown KC, 30 if you count us getting lost trying to find it.

We got to the temple about 11. We noticed everyone had their shoes off so we obliged and took ours off. Most of the crowd was downstairs sitting in an empty room, sitting around and talking. And when I say sitting around, they were all on the floor. There was no furniture at all in this building. We joined the crowd and took our floor seat. Me, Mrs. Lock and Baby Lock in her carseat, waiting for the ceremony to begin. About 11:30, they called us upstairs to the sanctuary to begin the wedding. We all filed upstairs. Mrs. Lock and I noticed everyone putting on head scarves before going in. We saw a crate outside the door of the sanctuary filled with scarves. I grabbed a couple, one for me which I tied into a bandana, and one for Mrs. Lock who just wore hers as a head scarf.

Walking into the sanctuary, several people were seated - again no furniture, on the ground sitting on white sheets which spanned the room. We noticed something else, the men were sitting on the right side of the sanctuary and the women on the left. We wanted to observe the Sikh traditions, so Mrs. Lock took her place with the women and I and Baby Lock sat with the men. Most of the men were sitting Indian style (no pun intended) with legs crossed. I found I was able to sit that way for about an hour before I needed to start shifting.

The ceremony was interesting. I couldn't understand a word of it but I do know they had singers, and music, and testimonies about people's relationship with the bride and groom. There was an act towards the end of the ceremony when the Guru (I guess that's who conducted the ceremony) would stop speaking, music and singing would startup, the groom stood, the bride behind loosely tethered to the groom with a long scarf, and the couple would circle the Guru once, then take their places in front of him again. The Guru would say more words, music would start, groom and bride stood up and circle him again. This went out four times, before the ceremony ended. Now they were married.

After the ceremony, some patrons of the temple went around and handed out this doughy food that everyone partook of. It was a symbol of unity and a way to tear down the classes people tend to take in life. If we all ate the same thing together, we were all equal. This part was explained in English fortunately. I had my piece and enjoyed it.

After that, everyone stood up and left the sanctuary. It was back downstairs for lunch. The bride and groom went outside, sat on the sidewalk in actual chairs while friends and relatives would make their way out before or after lunch to greet them, congratulate them and have their picture taken with them. Mrs. Lock and I headed downstairs first for lunch. Everyone was sitting on the floor again in rows. Everyone had a paper plate and patrons of the temple would walk down the rows dishing out whatever they had in their pot. And it was all very good. Mrs. Lock and I are quite used to Indian food and we tasted dishes we've had many times before but there were new entrees we've never had and wonder if our local Indian restaurant would carry them. Not that we knew what to ask for. I do remember one dish they called yogurt. It turned out it was soupy sour cream. It was still good even if it weren't as sweet as what I was expecting something called yogurt to be.

So we finished our meal, then headed outside to greet the new couple. The groom, who was a friend of ours, asked to have our picture taken with them. We were honored. They both looked very good in their traditional clothes, and me in my suit and tie and Mrs. Lock in her skirt, it was quite a contrast.

After that it was back to the hotel to get ready for the reception tonight.

Back at the hotel, I crashed into a nap. I'm not sure what the family did in the meantime, just lounged around I imagine. We started getting ready for the reception at around 6. It was being held just 3 blocks from our hotel so we were in no hurry.

We got to the reception which was being held on the second floor of Club 1000 which seemed to be a bar/restaurant on the first floor. Second floor was a giant banquet hall reserved for occasions like this.

We grabbed the table closest to the bathroom since we had Baby Lock with us. We met a lot of nice people. The open bar was getting me nice and toasted with several rum and cokes. The appetizer and dinner (again Indian, that's all we've had this weekend) were delicious. And the music started. The banquet hall had 4 or 5 serious industrial size speakers mounted around this dance floor at the front of the room. When the music started, some sort of Pop-Indian genre, nice beat, they must have turned the volume to 11. We were at the back of the room it was blasting. We didn't mind it so much but Baby Lock was looking confused. We covered her ears best we could, but when we started getting tired of doing that, we decided to leave. We'd been there a few hours already, got the dinner, the booze, the cake, met a lot of people and we were ready to retire for the evening. We had a blast the whole weekend. Many thanks to the groom for inviting us. You wouldn't believe just how popular he is. 200 came to the ceremony, over 300 to the reception. Those Indians know how to party.

Friday, April 08, 2005

On The Road With Baby

On The Road With Baby

This weekend, the Locks are in Kansas City to attend a Sikh (India) wedding of a friend.

0930. We just had an experience of taking our two month old daughter through airport security. I had my two bags, one for my clothes the other the laptop, the one I'm writing this entry on. Mrs. Lock carried her purse, diaper bag and milk bottle bag. She had to check her clothes bag since you can only have two carry ons.

Getting our boarding pass, the attendant pointed out we were in separate seats, separate rows. Immediately she found a couple of seats together for us. We got our boarding pass, stopped for a bite to eat at the local Cinnabon then we were off to make our way through airport security. What a juggling act that turned out to be. We loaded everything we were carrying onto the conveyer belt (except the baby). Right off, we were asked to remove our shoes. I kicked mine off, took the baby from Mrs. Lock so she could get hers off. A security guard came over and picked our shoes up off the floor and loaded them onto the belt for us. It's probably a good thing he was wearing gloves for that.

Since we couldn't really take a car seat on the plane, we had Baby in a sash-looking thing. Unfortunately, it had a metal buckle so we were asked to remove the sleeping child from the sling before going through. This is where we took turns passing the kid off as we got our stuff loaded onto the X-ray belt. My laptop was about to go through when the guard stopped it and asked if it was a laptop. I confirmed it was so I was asked to remove the laptop from the case. They sent the case through putting the laptop next to the case as it slid through. I handed baby back to the Mrs. to do this. I took baby back while Mrs. Lock got her stuff loaded, hanging on to her cup of coffee. I walked through the metal detector shoeless and carrying our two month old. Cleared. Now as the belt spit out our items, we began the process of loading everything back up. We put our shoes on in turns while one held the baby, we strapped the bags to our shoulder, I replaced the laptop back into its bag, grabbed the coffee, the diaper bag. We installed the baby back into the sling and we were on our way to our gate which was at the far end of wing.

That was an hour ago. We sit here waiting on our flight which just pulled up and is in the process of unloading its current passengers. Time to save, shutdown and get on board soon, right after we feed and change baby.

1130. We're in downtown Kansas City and I write this on the 25th floor of our hotel which thankfully has broadband access. The pre-dinner is tonight, called Bharaat, and we're getting ready to go. Nice for us, the dinner is the lower lobby of our hotel, so we just ride an elevator straight there.

1400. We went looking for lunch. We were wanting to try a BBQ place here in KC, but didn't do much homework before left the hotel. We ended up at a Quiznos and I got the closest sandwich I could find to reflect KC's cuisine - Mesquite Chicken. Baby wasn't happy, hungry I think, so we scarfed down lunch and headed back to the hotel to take care of her.

We lounged around watching TV, Maury and Seinfeld, waiting for dinner. We gave Baby a bath in the hotel sink, getting her dressed right now.

1840. We decided to head downstairs to join the dinner which is scheduled to start in 20 minutes. We're going to try and nab a table towards the back in case we have to duck out with Baby. We get down to the lower lobby of the hotel, and a crowd is starting to amass. We meet some very nice Indian people while we wait for for the groom. We get to know one couple as we chat. It's an hour later, and the wedding party hasn't shown up yet. The crowd is pretty big and we stand around in the lobby waiting for something to start. At about 8p, the groom has pulled up to the front of the hotel in his limo. He is not to come out until the bride's family go out and fetch him. In the meantime, the Indian couple we got to know, the man pulls me out of the crowd and asks me if I talk to the groom, the person who sent me the invitation. I said sure and we went out to the limo where I got to see the groom. He was in full regalia. Black suit, red turban with a golden tiara for lack of a better word, sitting on top. The groom's uncle explained to me this was a crown, but I feel he was translating for me since he couldn't properly describe this piece in English either. The groom had a very ornate necklace around his neck with a lot of American money sticking out of it. He explained the custom is usually done with Indian money so it was funny to see dead U.S. presidents hanging off an Indian tuxedo.
The groom of the Sikh pre-wedding reception holds Baby Lock.
The groom and I chatted for a while and soon the bridal party, mother and members of the family came out to fetch the groom. The groom got out of the car, stood up and hugged the members of the bride's family. Then all went into the hotel lobby where a huge party, a crowd of many Indian men and women, close to 100, were already in the middle of a fiesta. A man carrying what looked like a giant bongo drum was pounding away at it. There were cheers, dancing and lots of hugging. The crowd was here to cheer on the groom and he received them. After a few minutes of dancing in the lobby, the groom proceeded to head towards the reception, one level down. Where he walked, the crowd followed. The crowd snaked around the stairs to the lower level with the groom leading the way. At the bottom of the stairs, the groom stopped. The whole party stopped behind him, all standing on the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, some prayers took place. Garments of clothes were also exchanged between the family members of the groom and bride. The last exchange was between the bride and groom. Everyone cheered and it was time to eat.

And did we eat. Everything was traditional Indian cuisine which was delicious. Mrs. Lock and I loaded up on everything. I wish I could name all the dishes but it looked like we had chicken and lamb, a type of pancake. We filled up. The dance floor was open and with the Indian music blaring, both recorded and live, many were dancing. Specific groups were called up - members of the bride's party, groom's party, families of each, friends of the bride and friends of the groom. Mrs. Lock and I took part in the dance for friends of the groom. A member of the groom's family offered to hold Baby as we danced a ritual dance with the groom and all of his friends. There was no room on the dance floor, we were all packed in, major fire hazard, hands in the air dancing to the eastern music. The groom started a train and 30 or 40 people writhed around the room following the groom. The line was so long, people were still lining up to the train when the head (engine if you will) was already back on the dance floor. More dancing, then Mrs. Lock and I headed back to our table to fetch our baby and take a break. That moment, I think, was the first time Baby has been in someone else's care who weren't her parents.

So Mrs. Lock and I filled up on food and alcohol. She had the Merlot, I was having a whiskey sour. Then they broke out the main course. Main course? We filled up on appetizers? I had a couple of bites of saag, just nibbles. I really couldn't eat anything else.

We met a lot of nice people at the reception, but Baby was the center of attention. At one point, a member of one of the families involved in the wedding, took Baby from my arms and told me to go join the dance. I told her I really wasn't interested in dancing anymore, that I was looking for the groom, but she turned and started walking away from me. Her husband who was standing next to me, called out to her to return the baby, which she did with a smile on her face and many comments about how she was beautiful.

We stayed at the dinner till about 11:30 and Baby started getting cranky. I was impressed with her demeanor after sitting through loud music, people grabbing her for five hours. She did great. So we returned to our room, got Baby calmed down, fed her. We got ready for bed and turned in at midnight to get our rest for the real events tomorrow when we travel to the Sikh temple to see the wedding. Then more parties.