Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Deere John

I got a gift in the mail today that I'm excited about. Since I purchased a John Deere riding lawn mower last month for my 1/4 acre yard, they're going to send me a FREE HAT! FREE HAT! FREE HAT!

So I'm getting my free John Deere hat in four to six weeks. How cool is that?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Dream Journal

I had a dream last night that I wore a suit that would make me invisible. I needed the helmet to make my head disappear. I'm not sure what I was using the suit for, I think for the forces of good but I can't remember. Seems like an easy thing to abuse.

I do remember saving someone from a storm or earthquake or something natural disaster related. She was out in the middle of a storm's path, I picked her up, threw her over my shoulder and was looking for a safe spot. There was a K-mart and a Firestone building on the block as I tried to decide which one to enter. I was about to choose the K-mart, but something changed my mind; something I remembered about the store which I can't think of right now that made me choose the other store. I delivered the woman to safety in the Firestone store. Can you imagine a completely invisible person carrying a woman slung over the shoulder? What that would look like? And why did I need the invisible suit to do that?

After delivering the woman to safety, I found my 16 month old daughter in the shop of the Firestone store changing a car's oil! The staff seemed surprised a baby could do that. For some reason I wasn't but I was very proud. She still can't talk but she can change a car's oil.

That's all I can remember.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunned Out

Quick post. Had a good (and hot) time at the Lock In Laws today. We get together almost every holiday. Ribs and burgers grilled out. Didn't do many sports activities today. I think it was in the 90s. Felt like it anyway. No one wanted to move.

I got to use my new HD camera today. Filmed Baby Lock and Mrs. Lock's relatives. I'm getting ready to download the movies and see how they look. I bet I shot half a Gb. Hope I have the hard drive space for it.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gmail Size Hits the Century Mark

I held it off as long as I could but my Gmail email account currently has 100 Mb of saved emails. That's after I cleaned out the Spam folder which usually knocks off 4-5 Mb (sad). I remember when Gmail first got started, Yahoo email only allowed 5 to 6 Mb, but they didn't archive every message either. Now, of course, to compete they allow 100 Mb. It might be 200 Mb by now, which I would be filling up if that were my primary account. So here I sit, praising google in a Google blog service. Kinda implicates me, doesn't it?

I got the Gmail account in April 2004, so after a couple of years use, 100 Mb. I did receive some good size attachments over those years which I usually deleted. Some things I kept but most got trashed to save space. They were usually pictures of other people's kids or flash programs or joke images which I have no interest in going back to visit.

My first Gmail email was to Mrs. Lock. It read: "Hey baby. Check out my new email."

Watson, come quick, I need you.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Five days left on my commitment to post every day in May. I've missed a few days but have made them up on others. There should be at least 31 posts by the end of the month. Maybe 32 but one of them was a quote that I didn't think counted.

Next time, maybe even next month, I'm going to try for everyday. I like my chances.

Farmer Killers

I saw a statistic that said more farmers than police are killed on the job each year. Perspectives rule our lives and most of us have it wrong. We think because we're told. Try and unlearn everything you were taught growing up. It's a good place to start. Then re-learn it for yourself. Question everything.

Why am I talking like Kurt Vonnegut?

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen:

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't know.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

BTW, the speech was a hoax, but it bears having a reprint here because it's a great speech, whoever did it.


Ugly people are shy. Fortunately for you, they're tied together. If you change one, it'll change both. You decide which one is easier.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I owe the blog another entry. So here it is.

There was a time when my blog was pretty anonymous. It still is mostly. I don't use any real names or locations. But enough people who know me are aware of my blog's existence. It probably doesn't help that I linked it from my personal website at: ah ah ah. I'm not telling you. It's like trying to find out where Fez is from or where the Simpsons live.

Not so anonymous anymore so I can't tell you about my sexcapades with homeless people or that I haven't paid taxes ever (bring it IRS! The S stands for SUCK!) or that I kidnapped a clown and keep him stuffed in an abandoned well I have in my backyard. His paint is starting to run. Probably from all the crying... and from pissing himself. Do you know they put the paint all over? Fascinating. Whenever he gets too hoarse from shouting and starts using the horn, it always brings a smile to my face. Maybe one day I'll let him go. Or maybe I'll see how many of his colleagues I can jam into that well with him.

Another benny for remaining anonymous. If the Clown Antidefemation League (CAL) knew who to send letters to, I'm guessing I would've got a pretty nasty one from those bozos.

Pink Hair Thingies

So I'm posting late once again. It's hot. Probably the hottest day of the year so far. Mid 80's I believe. Right now though it's thunderstorming and trying to cool off. So inside the house it's sweltering, outside, it's wet and cool.

Today at work I was talking to a coworker. I pulled something out of my pants pocket because I didn't recognize the feel of what was in there. I pulled out two small baby rubber bands, very decorative and girly. My coworker jokingly asked me if they were mine. I remember how they got in there. The babysitter handed them to me saying they fell out Baby Lock's hair during the day. I stuffed them in my pocket and forgot about them.

Pulling pink rubber band thingies out of my pocket at work reminds me I am definitely a parent... and it's cool.

Monday, May 22, 2006

24: Day 5 Ends

Another season of 24 come and gone and I'd say it was their best season yet. Too bad we have to wait till 2007 to see new episodes!

I'm wondering though when the country gets into big trouble like it does on the show, Jack Bauer should be getting pretty confident that all will be well in exactly 24 hours from the start of the trouble. It takes him exactly that amount of time, no give or take an hour. It's to the minute for the crisis to be resolved. Talk about a goal oriented guy!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The DaVinci Code

I saw the DaVinci Code this weekend. I enjoyed the book which is rare for me to enjoy any book that doesn't have the word Dune in the title. Mrs. Lock bought me the author's previous title Demons & Angels which I flew through as well. If you've read either of those books, you've read them both. Very similar.

The movie was good. Mrs. Lock and I enjoyed it as well as the other people in our party. I've heard some critics panned it with bad reviews although I didn't bother to read those reviews. The only one I've seen is from Ebert & Roeper and they gave it 2 thumbs up and actually said it was better than the book. The movie had a very good opening at the box office so what do critics know? Not a lot. That's why they're critics and not artists.

The scenes in the movies were exactly how I pictured them when I read the book. This is either a testament to the author's descriptive abilities or the director's interpretations. Well done there.

I can't mention this story without making a comment on the controversy it has spawned. People seem to forget, first of all, this is fiction. The job of a storyteller is to make you believe and if he has to use made up evidence in a real world setting, he is going to do that to get your attention. It just shows how testy people get about their religion and if a book/movie is threatening your faith and causing you to have second thoughts about your belief, you have other issues that should be addressed before blaming a piece of entertainment.

DaVinci code or not, odds are Jesus Christ was real, he was mortal and he probably married and/or had kids. That's the way legends go. The man is real, the story is enhanced. There was a Beowulf most likely. Whether or not he slayed a dragon by swimming underwater for days is probably not that accurate but it was based on something.

I saw an article that the water Jesus was reported to have walked on was probably frozen at the time. Sounds good to me. That I can believe.

The First in Technology Firsts

I was not the first person I knew to use the Internet.
I was the first person I knew to load a website.
I was the first person I knew to have a website.
I was not the first person I knew to use Usenet.
I was not the first person I knew to use IRC.
I was not the first person I knew to play a Mud.
I was not the first person I knew to use Gopher.
I was not the first person I knew to have a PC desktop.
I was the first person I knew to have two PC desktops.
I was the first person I knew to have networked PCs.
I was the first person I knew to use a thinnet (10baseT) network. Ahhh terminators.
I was the first person I knew to decrypt passwd acounts with password cracker tools.
I was the first person I knew to use ICQ.
I was the first person I knew to use Yahoo Messenger.
I was the first person I knew to use eBay.
I was the first person I knew to use Google.
I was the first person I knew to run a dedicated PC gaming server.
I was the first person I knew to configure a firewall.
I was not the first person I knew to use a DVR.
I was not the first person I knew to have a digital camera.
I was the first person I knew to use Napster.
I was the first person I knew to use bit torrent.
I was not the first person I knew to have a laptop in the house.
I was the first person I knew to have four laptops in the house.
I was the first person I knew to load a blog.
I was the first person I knew to have a blog.
I was the first person I knew to use movie rental-by-mail service (Netflix).
I was not the first person I knew to have a Gmail account.
I was not the first person I knew to have an mp3 player.
I was not the first person I knew to play an MMO.
I was not the first person I knew to have HD.
I was the first person I knew to setup WiFi in the house.
I was not the first person I knew to use an online console gaming service.
I was the first person I knew to listen to podcasts.
I was not the first person I knew to use VOIP phones.

I was the first person I knew to hack an account, way before there was even an Internet. It was high school, I hacked most of the faculty's accounts by guessing the passwords which happened to be their first names. What's funny is I was suspected of doing the hacking but without proof I wasn't prosecuted. What I did get caught for was copying a file from an open network drive to my account, which was very harmless. Faculty just didn't know enough about the systems to realize it was harmless so I got suspended. Go figure. Being suspected of hacking the faculty accounts did not help me there.

You Gonna Have Another?

I know I wasn't alone this but growing up, I got asked when I was getting a girlfriend. When I got one, I got asked when we'd get married. When I got married, it was when was I going to have kids. And now that I have a 15 month old, it's when is the next one?

I know people are just making conversation. They might be a bit curious about how I make decisions but for the most part they don't care. After the conversation, it is forgotten and their own lives take priority.

So being asked about a second kid, it gets me thinking. We waited eight years to have the first one, I jokingly reply it'll be another eight. But I'm in no real hurry for another one. Our current daughter has brought me so much joy and has added so much purpose to my own life, I find no need for another.

And it only seems offensive to our current child if we have another. It's like we're telling her, 'you were great and all but you've outgrown the happiness you bring us and now we want newer model.'

So I'm in no hurry. Only biology is pressuring us but that's why I married a youngin'. Doesn't matter how old I get.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dream Journal

Thursday night, I got home late and took the laptop to bed to post only to find no internet access. I checked the wireless router, it was fine, rebooted the cable modem but the network light on it wouldn't light up. I checked the television and our cable was out too. Just static. Turns out, there was a city-wide cable outage. That meant our TV, internet and VOIP phone were down. So I couldn't make my post.

As for yesterday's missing post. I have no excuse. I dropped the ball on that one. So time to play catchup. Three posts today.

Thursday night I had an interesting dream. Dreams are supposed to be interesting but mine still surprise me the themes I get. I don't think I would ever act this way in reality.

In the dream:

I got a tip that three assassins were coming to my house. Their target, I'm not sure but it wasn't good and I had to defend my home. The tip I got was a package of cheese that was delivered to me moments before. It's unclear if someone related to the assassins sent it or if someone was trying to warn me, but the cheese was the universal sign that killers were coming. It's not quite 'He sleeps with the fishes.'

Within moments (time goes very fast in dreams), I saw three men approaching the house. It was daylight out and they were very cocky about their arrival, shouting at the house and waltzing up the driveway making their intentions very clear. The garage door was open and the first two were coming in. I had a pistol, took a shot at the first assassin and he went down like a sack of potatoes. The other two, seeing their peer fall seemed unphased by the loss. They continued with the verbal barrage and confidence that they were going to carry out their mission.

The second assassin who was close behind the now dead one, made it into the house. I took my second shot, practically point blank range right at the man's forehead. The bullet entered, didn't exit. The man stopped in his tracks but stood there. He also flashed a smile, but otherwise didn't move or say a word. I knew there was a third killer somewhere on the premises, so I needed to move on past this guy to track him down. I touched the bullet hole on the guy's forehead and it didn't go deep. I could feel the metal surface of the back of the bullet right on the surface of his head. When I pushed the bullet just a millimeter, blood streamed from the wound. The man still didn't move and still had the smile plastered on his face. Deciding he was no longer a threat, I left the smiling, bullet-marked, catatonic man standing in the hallway to the find the third.

I found the last man in the backyard on a bulldozer. He ran over the fence dragging panels with him making all kinds of noise. I grabbed the man, pulled him from the bulldozer, grabbed him by his ankles and proceeded to smack him face down on the fence panels he tore down. His body remained rigid and holding him just by his ankles I was able to smack him down like I was holding a two by four. I did this repeatedly smashing him down as hard and as fast I could. I don't remember any visible injuries appearing on the man but it was clear, I was taking him out and he was no longer a threat.

That's all I remember. I believe I woke up shortly after that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Farm

A few minutes before I plan to post, I don't have a particular topic in mind. It usually comes to me seconds before I'm ready to type but this time, it didn't happen. I still don't have a topic in mind.

Ok thought of one. The cat walked into my field of vision.

We have two pets, a calico cat who is eight and an albino rabbit who is over ten. They're both very active animals. On nice days, they're released into the backyard (fenced) to have it with nature. The get along very well. It probably helps that the rabbit is the size of a small dog and twice the size of the cat. The cat is curious of the rabbit and tries to steal a sniff, but he very much intimidates her so she's very cautious around him. The rabbit on the other hand is oblivious of the cat (or anything else for that matter). He's noticed her a few times, but for the most part, couldn't care less and hops away to eat up the yard.

They're great animals. Both quiet and not messy. Easy to clean up after, easy to feed. I'd like to make them permanent outdoor pets, but I think the weather systems wouldn't be good for the rabbit. The cat might survive but the rabbit might not and being of the albino kind, I'd lose him in the snow anyway.

Snakes on a plane. Now there's some pets.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

24's Jason Bourne

While watching one of the best shows on television, 24, I started to notice some similarities between the main character, Agent Jack Bauer and the main character in a series of books I'm reading named Jason Bourne. Robert Ludlum, the author who created Jason Bourne in a trilogy of books, details a militant covert operative who worked for the government in the blackest of ops. His fighting skills in both hand to hand and weapons were unequaled and the world's best (worst?) terrorists couldn't best Bourne when confronted. He could be in the worst of situations, infiltrate the tighest security and he get out of anything with just a scratch. Sound familiar?

Also, look at the name. Jason Bourne. Jack Bauer. Same initials, last name soft, almost French sounding. Coincidence or are the 24 producers paying tribute?

They turned two of the three Ludlum books into movies starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.

Monday, May 15, 2006

2005 TV Season

Season and series finale time. Lots of intense episodes on lately making me a busy tv watcher. I have to say goodbye to a couple of shows this season. After eight years, West Wing is now officially off the air. I'm really going to miss that show. A very smart and engaging program. It almost made you feel politicians were actually useful...almost. It is fiction after all.

I followed Prison Break in its debut. I just saw the season finale tonight. After it was over, I asked Mrs. Lock if I should give season two a chance. She said no and that it was dumb. I have to partially agree. It started off strong, but there's not much the show could do in one setting (prison). They had an illuminati type subplot going on on the side, but it just wasn't enough. Plus all the gaping holes and ridiculous situations that could never happen, which doesn't stop me from thinking 24 is the best show on TV, so I can't really fault it for that. Both shows are guilty of pulling off impossible stunts, just 24 makes it interesting to watch. Prison Break didn't have a whole lot to back it up. So I gotta say goodbye to that show. Thanks for an entertaining season.

Doctor Who, another new show I gave a chance. It started off quirky, then got serious. It was obvious to me that the different episodes are directed by different people. You'd have a silly army of mannequins in one episode (pilot) and then world war 2 ghost orphans haunting a city in another. Aliens on a space station in another and screwing around with the time continuum in another. The show was all over the place which means there were parts to love and parts to make you say 'eh.' So I think I put my time in for Doctor Who for its rookie season and I believe I'm done. It just depends how my TV show dinner plate looks next season. I might find room for it but for the time being it's on the chopping block. I did the same to Lost last season. Gave it a chance, walked away from it before the start of season two. Haven't missed it.

Another favorite show of mine is ending its eight year run this week. That 70's Show, a very hilarious and tongue in cheek sitcom with great characters is going off the air after Thursday. I enjoy the reruns now. It's the poor man's Friends, a little less stuffy and fun. Kelso, what an idiot.

In the coming months, it doesn't mean all reruns. I'm very much looking forward to the return of Venture Bros., Deadwood plus whatever else might be coming back that I don't know about. Won't need to pack the TiVo. It'll be busy this summer too.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Video Games for Mom

Happy Mother's Day. I sleep with one. Not mine but rather my daughter's. I should call my mom and probably will here in a few. Ah Oedipus. What were you thinking?

E3 is ending tonight. I'm not sure why I'm very interested in the video game industry. I am a bit of a game-head, but I don't buy enough of their products or fast enough to really have the interest I do. I listen to PC Gamer's podcast every week even though I haven't bought a PC game in over six months and maybe average like two a year. I bought an Xbox long after it was out and even discounted. But hearing about what's new with video games interests me greatly for some reason. Maybe it's the technology that is developed to make some amazing looking games. Impressive video graphics isn't necessary for me to like a game, most of the ones I like are very simple looking, but it doesn't hurt. It's a bonus for the title if it looks great.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Port or Starboard?

Beware Saturday the 13th! Dun dun duuuuun.

I handed my 15 month old daughter a crayon and some coloring paper the other night. After she tasted the crayon for a few minutes, she would scribble on the paper with the crayon upside down (flat side). No matter how many times I turned it around, she wanted the flat side. This behavior is fine, it's a good sign of creativity. The most creative people are, to borrow the example in story, the ones who do not color in the lines.

There's one thing that caused me to hesitate before turning the crayon over to her though. Which writing hand is she going to use? I was afraid of setting precedent. I let her pick the hand she wanted to use, but I still felt like I was locking her into something that she will have for the rest of her life. It's probably not true that she picks her writing hand at this stage, but it still made me pause. It's also a sign that she's leaving her infanthood behind; a sobering thought.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Math and Science

A school group is touring my work area today escorted by FAA staff. They're looking at all the computers the FAA uses to run its air traffic system. I heard the teacher tell the kids, "If you want to get a job with the FAA, you need to be really good at math and science."

I didn't laugh out loud, but I laughed. First, who dreams about working for the FAA? It's fireman or astronaut at that age. Secondly, I use basic math once in awhile when I need to measure Cat5 cable or realize that a dual monitor system requires two, count them two monitors.

But Science? Which science? Chemistry? Physics? Geology? Feng Shui?

Gotta be a public school teacher.


Most of the near incidents that happen to me while driving seem to be from drivers on cell phones. It's switching lanes without looking. I usually have the bigger vehicle, so I'm not too worried about it, but why risk your life like that for a phone call?

So either everyone on the road is using a cell phone while driving and I'm getting my usual number of close calls or the cell phone drivers are really bad drivers. I'd like to think, after they realize their mistake in response to my incessant honking and occassional gesturing that they are saying into their phone "Oh no. I made a mistake. I almost tried to run a guy off the road. I hope he realizes I'm sorry." I know they have plenty of time to get this out because I see them stay on the phone long after their error.

Beware Friday the 12th!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Feng Shui

My workspace doesn't look like its usual self this week. It looks like I'm packing. What's really happened is I've received a slew of packages recently and they're piling up in my area. Boxes upon boxes. I work in a secure room so they're safest here. But it's a bit of an obstacle course for me to maneuvar around.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Senior Singers

I think it's tough for elder celebrities to relate to the common man and I think as a result you don't get anything from them in their golden years that can really speak to you about on your level. An artist could've been the best lyricist musician, songs to make you empathize or even cry, but once they get a taste of fame, I think it's hard from them to have everyday crap happen to them anymore.

Sure, they still have their problems, probably more than most but they bring it on themselves and he's where they lose touch, they don't think they're the cause. They might blame someone else for their invented woes, so how can they feel the part of the victim to write the blues? Everyone else is just an idiot to them.

I just think elder artists, musicians in particular, can not write emotional songs anymore. They end up going country and sing about the exes that took everything. Bitter is the phase they enter. They write bitter or if they're still living the life of a rock star (Stones *cough*), sex, drugs and rock and roll! But no sad songs. Not good ones anyway.

Signs, Signs

There's a billboard on my way to work. For the last month, it just had one word on it; purple background, white letting that read "hopeless." That's all that was on it. No fine print, no brought to you by, nothing.

This month it's changed. The "less" on the word has been poorly scratched off (you know what used to be there) and the clear letters read "hope." Now there is some fine print but I was driving too fast to read it and I don't really care. I'm more interested in the marketing effect they were going for. Not bad.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Will The Truth Set You Free?

As my 15 month old gets older, she's of course learning new things everyday. When Mrs. Lock notices, she might attribute it to something that I suspect is of an intelligence beyond Baby Lock's months/years. But Mrs. Lock swears she did this or recognized that for a certain reason that our daughter was fully cognizant about. My questioning and doubtful mind kicks in and I wonder if that's what really happened.

I do think it's important to assume your kid is smart in all cases. If you treat your kid like he/she is smart, they'll try to fit the role.

So I'm a doubting Thomas and I apply the same reasoning to my daughter's actions as I do with all things in life which causes an internal conflict. The side that wants the truth vs. the side that wants a smart daughter and to show my support as her father. And I'm not sure I can turn off the questioning side. Is it really appropriate in those events? I'm not always going to be right. Just out of chance or due to my inexperience with raising children, I'm going to be wrong on occasion and she really is advanced on whatever she did and her dad is going to incorrectly write it off as an accident and not encourage and reward such behavior? Not good.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sausage and Tang

The weekend continues to be nice. I really should get outdoors. I did shoot some hoops with the neighbors for a couple of hours tonight. There's my exercise for the year. I'll be sore tomorrow too.

The title is a reference from That 70's Show. Mrs. Forman insisted on serving her family sausage and Tang and couldn't figure out why the boys were snickering. She even said "A growing boy needs his Tang!" at which point they lost it.

A Relaxing Weekend

Happy Seis de Mayo!

Ah, I love weekends. 2/3 of the Lock family is out of town visiting with mom-in-law and stepdad-in-law. I'm home playing through a That 70's Show marathon (TiVo almost got full) while playing World of Warcraft. It's quiet except for the trickle of the filter system in my fresh water tank. For lunch I had microwaved two chicken patties and two corn dogs. No chips in the house. Had two Hawaiian Punches to drink. I guess two is the theme of the day.

It's a beautiful day out. Sunshine is bright, temp is not too hot at a nice springy 64 degrees. I was thinking about doing some yard work, but I've got the house to myself today. Why don't I enjoy it's vast interior and peaceful environment while I can. Besides we had a rabbits nest that just "hatched" this week. The baby bunnies are scrambled all over the yard. Would hate to mow one of them over. It's not a pretty sight (or smell).

I saw MI3 last night. It was ok. Not as good as the first but probably better than the second. I'm not a big J.J. Abrams fan, the director. I've only seen one Alias and I gave Lost a try for a season but I didn't care for either. The movie had some key Abrams moments in it, the elements that turned me off his shows so oops.

During the movie, someone lit up a cigarette. Everyone could smell it. I don't think I've ever seen that before in a theater. Seconds later, someone yelled out that whoever had the cigarette that they needed to put it out pronto. Only he used different words to try and motivate the law breaker. It worked. The smoke cleared in a couple of minutes. Personally I don't care, I just realized I don't think I've ever noticed that before. I do remember as a kid, the movie promos would ban talking and smoking (back in the day). Smoking got dropped at some point (although I still see it occasionally) and replaced with turning off cell phones.

Anyway, back to my recreations. I still owe the blog a post. I will have 31 for this month before it's over.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lapsive Memory

I made up a word.

So I forgot to post yesterday. I try to make a promise and I don't last four days on it. WTF(reak)?

Things are extremely busy at work but that's no excuse. In fact, it should be source material. The best I can do is talk about yesterday. I hauled in a crate off the dock, wooden and sealed with about a hundred industrial size screws. It was probably a good half ton and the size of it, it could've easily have housed a coffin. In fact in looked like what a coffin crate would look like. It was very difficult to maneuver it through the building, around corners, through doors. A lot of people stood and stared, made coffin jokes.

I gotta make another post later today to make up for my lapse. If I did this four days into my promise to post every month, I'm probably going to commit the offense again before it's over. I guess I'll just have to repeat the process until I get it right.

Look out June!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Gas Prices

So Congress is looking into if the oil companies are "gouging" us, to use the industry term, on the gas we pay which is close to $3.00 a gallon now. If such a practice is happening, they'll punish them in the way of fines. Where do you think those fines will go? Back to us in the form or a rebate? Will we all get a refund on the supposed extra money we've been filling our gas tank with?

The money will go to government programs. They'll use the fines for their own programs that are normally funded with taxes, taxes we'll stay pay (since there's no refund coming).

What this means is, Congress just taxed us by way of the oil companies. We might think it's some form of justice to penalize the oil companies for having high prices, but what do we really get out it? Maybe higher gas prices so the oil companies can pay the fines.

What's funny about all this is the government subsidizes the oil companies. They use our tax dollars to reward the oil companies for keeping their prices low. Have you ever seen the price of gas (petrol) in Europe? It's usually $5 or more. Has been for many years because their governments don't subsideze the price to keep it low to keep everyone using gas and not develop many alternatives.

Does anyone find this even a little bit bizarre as to what is actually happening here? We are taxed to keep gas prices low. So they take our money so that they can't take our money. When the gas prices get too high, the money we funnel into the oil companies goes back to the government in the way of fines which is just going to go back to the oil companies to keep gas cheap. It's a loop only we're not in it. We're funding it.

Is this the way to do business?



DJI 11403, NASDAQ 2306, SP5 1308

#1 Movie at the box office:

Last movie I saw at the theater:
V for Vendetta

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Walk The Line (VOD)
Lord Of War (VOD)
Latest Harry Potter (DVD)

Books I'm currently reading:
Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum. (On #3, Ultimatum right now)

Albums (cd/mp3) I'm listening to:
Limp Bizkit - Significant Other
Lots of 80s on radio

Video games I'm playing:
World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft and more World of Warcraft (60 Druid, 56 Warlock, 17 Priest)

Price I'm paying for gas:

Last several Google searches:

porttalk driver
colorado boulder university
204 * 156 pounds to dollars
google translator
victor hugo
galileo galilei
ball state "second life"
sonic digital media
MAX media player DS
Marisol Last Supper

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Exchange Rate

My company got bought out/merged/funded whatever the euphemism is now, by a British company late last year. As a bonus from the new parent company, we all got some shares of the IPO since they were about to go public. The interesting thing is these shares are on the London stock exchange only and when I check the ticker, the price is expressed in pounds. Kinda quirky but money is money.

I just checked it today, and the value of my shares has gone up a few thousand dollars without the price of the stock moving. That means the pound went higher and/or the value of the dollar went lower.

I'm not sure how to feel about that.

"Yaaaa weak dollar?"

Monday, May 01, 2006

A New Beginning

True to my word, I am beginning my month long commitment to posting on my blog at least once a day. And boy, what a doozie I'm starting with.

Atheists. What does it mean to be an atheist? You don't believe in the God or just a god? And is that the Christian God? Muslim God? Satanist God? If it's just the Christian God then the world is full of atheists, very spiritual ones: Buddhists, Taoist, Shintoists, Hindus. The word atheism as I've typed it and as you read it, is a Christian term. But surely they have the same word in other languages and in other religions, so I can't accept that the concept of atheism is just a Christian one. If that's true, that means atheism refers to the lack of belief of any faith's God, then I've got you. Because gods are a dime a dozen. Oh, not your god you say? Why is yours different?

Atheism literally translates to 'without god.' What's a god? Is it a humanoid being responsible for the creation of you? Is it something that spoke? Had a book published on its ideas or dialogue? No that doesn't apply to every religion (since atheism isn't limited to just one religion we must define it in general) but the one thing that does, I think, all religions have in common is that a god is simply an entity who has believers. That makes a god. A god just needs believers to be a god. It doesn't need a book or church or rituals. Just people to acknowledge its existence in same fashion.

And if I'm right, then I don't think there can be any atheists in the world. The term is invalid. It's even a paradox as I'll explain later. If belief and the support of something is a part of your life, and I'm pretty sure it is and you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't believe in anything, then you can't be an atheist. Even funnier, if you accept my belief in this matter and support it, you just made a god for yourself mister.

I love my fifteen month old daughter. She is my world. My life revolves around her and I would give anything for her, even my life. Isn't this the definition of the ultimate worshipper? Wouldn't many gods love to have me as a faithful follower, the one who would sacrifice anything?

If I am a worshipper, doesn't that make my daughter my god which automatically makes me a (drop the A) theist of something? I now have a god in my life and she is not the only one I have either. I believe in my wife, I believe in peace and the good nature of man, I believe in being happy. I believe in money to get me the things I want or to keep me out of situations I don't want. I believe and worship many shows on television that entertain me. I believe in the love and support of family members. I worship and want all of these things in my life and call for them to support me, so that I may depend on them when I need them. Isn't the purpose of a god? What do you use your god for?

What does your god require? Church? Hymns? Speaking in tongues? Meditation? Helping the needy? Whipping yourself bloody? If you can define your own religion (therefore god) then so can I. If what you say or what your ancestors said make your religion, I can make one too. And if you can make your own religion, your own god and its simply based on what you love, believe in and support, I don't think anyone is an atheist. Even to believe in atheism is to believe in something and now you have a god. A paradoxical one but a god isn't required and in fact many times thrives on not making logical sense.

Then there's the other term...Agnostic. I have a problem with this term but not for the same reason as atheist and that's my very point.

I don't think agnostic is the opposite of atheist. I don't think it's even the same discussion. If agnostic were a ballgame, it'd be the fans and atheism is Bigfoot. The two labels are very different schools of thought.

Agnosticism is uncertainty of the existence of a god. So what? How many countless things are we unsure of? If you tell me the final number of pi is going to be 8, well I'm just not sure. It could be but last I heard pi didn't have one. Does that mean he's wrong? Just because pi doesn't currently have a last number, doesn't mean it can't have one. And if it can have a final number, it means I have to consider the possibility that it does exist (will exist if that's easier for you). Does that make me agnostic about the final number in pi? How can you be atheist about it? It just means we don't know and who doesn't know everything? Aren't we all agnostic then if we haven't seen evidence of a god just like we haven't seen evidence of the last number in pi? How can you deny something the potential of existing simply because it currently doesn't exist? That's why I don't think the two terms are even on the same field. I don't think being an atheist is even possible and I happen to think we are all agnostic, rendering it a useless term if we're all the same thing. It's like asking someone, "Are you human?"

If people ask me if I'm atheist, I don't know how to answer because I don't know what they mean by the question. Eventually the answer for me is no, I am not an atheist because I believe in things, many things. If asked if I am agnostic, I would say. "Of course! Duh."

An atheist will say you can't become atheist. That you are born atheist. If you are religious it is because you have come to religion at some point in your life, leaving atheism behind and actually you're not born religious. You're also born pretty stupid, but it doesn't mean you should stay that way as you mature. I think self-described atheists should quit pointing this out.

But I would argue, you're not born atheist. That you are indeed born into religion. You have a god even at birth. You worship the comfort of your mother, the voice of your father you heard in the womb, the warmth of the breast and the nurturing milk it delivers to give you life. You want these things, you desire these things even at a basic, instinctual level and that's all a god is too. A need.

John Lennon said "God is a concept, by which we measure our pain." Well it's still a concept and therefore exists. John's criticism must be on how God was being used even though in the same song he said that he doesn't believe in Him. He also didn't believe in Beatles, Dylan or anything else that did exist for him at some point.