Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Favorites

I held onto Firefox for a long time. I liked the add-ons. I liked gestures. I liked tabs. Chrome caught up. Chrome is faster. Chrome is cleaner. And I think Chrome is smaller. I like being able to pluck pages out of the tab bar. I like being able to merge lone pages into a shared tab bar. I like being able to search in the address bar. It's an all around slick browser. And I've been slowly migrating to it for all my daily use.

Also digging me some Caprica. Those guys at Sci-Fi (SyFy!) have done it, again. Top notch writing. Great acting. With a light dusting of technology to give it some flavor. But the science doesn't over-power anything. It fleshes it out enough to make it extra interesting. I have to admit I didn't like some of the plot lines at first. But now I see the light. The slow development was like an appetizer. And now the main course is starting to be delivered to the table.

Of course, I watch it on Hulu. Which is another new addiction of mine. I don't even DVR shows any more. Hulu's got that covered, too....

Oh, sweet, sweet technology. I don't know how to quit you!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

To Fix A Ticket

Back in December, I received a speeding ticket. Yes, I was speeding, but I think it was an understandable reaction. He was in an unmarked car. Riding in your blindspot. For a mile. Speeding up as you speed up. Slowing down as you slow down. I thought he was a car load of methed-up teenagers. I stomped it. He lit me up. A speeding ticket followed.

Rolled to Covington, LA, this morning. DA wouldn't talk on the phone. Had to show up in person. Cruising through some sleepy little bayou town. Spanish moss. Locals-only cafe. Dirt roads. And WHAM. A three-story, bruick and courthouse. Couple million square feet. And no parking. Had to cruise down back roads and park a half mile away from the building.

The DA finally called my ticket number. I hand him the paperwork. He says we can talk in his office. Points me to his have a seat. Hands my ticket to his admin. She types in the number. Types in my SSN. I don't say anything. And the DA says, "How about if I reduce it to a non-moving violation? Won't show up on your insurance." I nod. "That was my goal. Thank you."

Takes me longer to walk to the car than it took to settle the ticket.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Blues & Beer

Some folks are in town from Detroit, MI, for training. Wanted to take them somewhere that speaks to the flavor of the South. Food, decor, music, service. Some place unique that they could not find within 600 miles of their home town. So I took them to The Quarter, in Gulfport. A favorite hangout of mine. Top notch on all fronts. And surprisingly affordable.

Luther Wamble & Buzzin Cuzzins was playing. I swear I saw Luther 15yrs ago, in Moble, AL. He's improved with age. Makes blues look effortless and beautiful. Over, these guys are dark blues Gods. An unholy trio of funktastic swamp-bred awesomeness. Missing their performance is akin to missing the second coming of Jesus. If Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Lee had a baby with Lemmy from Motorhead, it would be a triple delivery starring Buzzin Cuzzins.

And the bass player has a 'stache so cool it could halt the Recession. I want my goatee to marry that sweet 'stache and give birth to a thunderous   Lemmy-style lovechild.

And the food? Gumbo, oysters done four ways, voodoo shrimp, crab cakes, and some nummy sammiches. All of which met with high praise. Not a crumb was left behind. Detroit loved it. Bob even said, "I want to make love to this bowl of gumbo!"

A fine night. Beer, blues, good food, and friends. All that is good in life.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

From The Driveway

Most of this came out while we were in the driveway, about 20' from the front door:

  • Wishes she had worn long sleeves instead.
  • Wishes she had brushed her teeth again.
  • Forgot to bring the oranges (which are inside) for her Mom (who we're going to see in 5min.)
  • Can't wait to go to sleep tonight. Even though it is 5PM. Except the Emmy's are coming on.
Weekends. Love 'em!

Longest Day

Started with a visit to First United Methodist Church. Liam was Acolyting. Then he sang. We took communion. (Yes, me too! (Gotta set the right example for the kids. (No, I didn't not combust!))) Moved on to a side trip. Me & the kids. (She was off doing whatever she does when she's off.) Picked up my Mom and drove to see Great Grandma. She had just received an unannounced visit from some strangely-overweight hobo decked out in brown gloves and a "turban" (which you and I would call a dew-rag, but Great Grandma has decided to call a turban.) Upon seeing the stranger, Great Grandma immediately pointed to the neighbors house and say, "You want to go over there. Not here!" And as the confused tramp slowly walked away, she called the cops. A few minutes later, as we drove to Subway for some super nummy five dollar foot longs, we spotted two cops and an ambulance crowded around said-wayward-traveler. Some quick sammiches and we stopped by the Cajun Crawfish Shack to get something for Mom. But she nearly withered to a retiree husk before the cook went out into the Gulf, caught the shrimp himself, cleaned it, and cooked it nearly an hour after it was ordered. Aunt Mert showed up. Cousin Bobby showed up. We left Mom and her fresh shrimp behind to chat them up. Then stumbled across Grave Digger. Yeah, the real one. Alcohol-injected 1500HP monster truck that surprising parks outside Autozone and lets pre-pubescent kids sit inside while their carpet-burned parents can take their. Home again. Briefly. Liam visits a friend. Meg and I travel to Blockbuster for chocolate-covered Peeps and Julie & Julia. Home all too briefly to re-assemble the team. Before heading off to a talent show / pot luck dinner. Meg does the alphabet backwards. Liam plays his upright base. Cousin Alex does interpretive dance.

After an 11hr day, we're done. Just hope the hobo didn't land in jail. But he shouldn't tangle with Great Grandma.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Wants New

She needs a new adorable haircut and a new girl to do it.

She needs to figure out how to redo Liam's floor this summer. Even though I know  how to do it.

She needs a new house with more space because her closet is full of too many clothes and photos.

She doesn't want to go to the party tonight because she doesn't have anything to wear.

She needs her Mom to help her decide what to wear.

She needs new boots. Wants a $300 pair. But would accept a $150 pair.

She needs to wax her hands because they are so dry from chemicals and taking care of kids this week.

She needs a different outfit because the black one won't work in this cold weather.

She doesn't want to go to my favorite non-smoking bar. Even though she doesn't have any cigarettes.

She doesn't want to watch anything up front. Especially not a show about building cars.

...that's all,  for today.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Perchance To Dream

Two days blend into one when you spend most of the night wide awake. Squinting at the blackberry. Counting down the hours until you absolutely MUST get out of bed. At least it went by quickly.

My day consisted of nausea flavored with a splitting headache. At some point I come out of this gray cloud of semi-sleep and I'm standing in the Uniform Control restroom, at work. Don't really remember getting dressed or driving. But I'm standing at work, wondering if I went already or if I'm waiting to pee.

Wrapped up Friday with a few beers and some nummy Indian food at the Clay Oven. And I still can't sleep. Don't even feel the urge. So I just type and hope it brings me closer to sleep. Perchance to dream.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Combat & Training

Must be approaching a year since Conficker broke out. And I'm still in the trenches with it. Every day. New solutions. Yet new infections. Spanning the WAN. Some rouge somewhere out there re-infecting my systems. Fortunately, just low end stuff. Nothing serious. Still. Time consuming. Cumbersome. And embarrassing for a computer guy to struggle in this tarpit for so long. Looking to the day we crawl out of the muck. And move on with our lives.

On a positive note, found my way back to the gym for a second time. Abs. Forearms. Cardio. 2.5 mile run. Almost 400 calories. My foot held together. Though I couldn't keep the same pace I set a month ago. It will come back. In time. I'll get there. Hopefully without pain.

Funny how we (or at least I) spent decades ignoring our health at the price of profit. And then we spend years of sweat, toil, and money trying to reclaim what we so gladly abandoned. Which always leads to my current regret: not caring about my health until my late 30s. I could have, should have, started sooner. And how different would my life have been? What could I have accomplished for myself?

I just hope I can teach the kids to learn from my mistakes. Show them the errors of my ways. Help them break the cycle. And lead the healthy life I never lead. That would make me proud. Actually, prouder. They're already my greatest accomplishments. I just want them to be even greater.

The Whole Fence

She let the dog run around the yard this morning. A few minutes later, the dog disappeared. All too briefly. Before long, Meg heard a scratching at the front door. It was the dog. She'd gotten through a gap in the fence. Ran around the side. Wanted in through the front door. Much rejoicing.

Instead of fixing the hole, she wants to replace it. The whole fence.  Um. Yeah.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Comeback

Trying to get back into the habits of productivity. Versus slackitivity. A pinched nerve in my back sidelined me for a couple of weeks. I rapidly became a Man-Sized Sloth. Stayed up too late. Ate wrong. Moped around the house.

So, I finally made it back to the gym today. Chest and biceps. A mile on the treadmill. Felt good. Like meeting an old friend. A sweaty, smelly old friend. Who leaves you hurting the next day and regretting you hung out in the first place.

On a good note, I'm still at 199lbs, even after full two weeks of slack. Gives me hope I can shed another fourteen pounds by the time we hit San Destin beach in May.

On a bad note, Nurse Cindy thinks may I be rocking a stress fraction on my left foot. Something painful is happening with that bad boy. Doesn't hurt when I run. But afterwards... feels like somebody pulled a ice-coated titanium carving knife out of the freezer and wedged between the tiny bones of my foot. Fortunately it only does that every time I put my weight on it.

However, I don't have time to decipher the mystery of my ailing foot. Between work, projects, the gym, and the family, I'm constantly quoting Alice's White Rabbit: Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!

He's off to his rabbit hole. I'm off to bed. Perchance to dream.

That pesky gall bladder.

Bad news: Just before lunch, a migraine crept behind her eyes.

Good news: The tests of her gall bladder came back without any negative results. The little villain gets to stay. For now.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

On Healthcare Reform

America wants to wave a magic wand and magically be able to do several extremely difficult feats:

  1. Cover "everyone." Unfortunately  though we've turned into a country where a significant percentage of the population does not want to spend "their money" on "those people" who just want "something for nothing." The people who want it call it "universal healthcare." The people who don't call it, "socialism."
  2. Provide more options. Which could mean less time in the ER to some folks. Or quicker access to more specialists for other people.
  3. Provide cheaper options. Everyone wants to pay less.
Here's how I look at covering everyone: sick Americans hurt everyone at some level. If we're less productive that we already are, we're worth less. And some sick folks have this nasty ability to make OTHER Americans sick. We should fix everyone. It is better for all of us. Oh, oh! "They" shouldn't get my tax dollars. "They" are getting too many "free rides." And it is just another step toward "socialism." If we're going to abolish all forms of social programs, we're going to have to take it beyond socialized medicine. We're going to have to remove other programs like... the police... the post office... our roads... the fire department... the Army... the Navy... the Airforce... the Marines. All of those are social programs And every American benefits from them. 

As for money, that's a joke. As a country, we spend more money per person to get less medical coverage than any other country on Earth. We're spend 15% of our GDP on health care. We spend 5% on "defense." And healthcare-related deaths are far and away the #1 killer in America.

And here's a real crazy idea: Be a healthy country! Promote healthy eating habits. Promote healthy activity. Promote pro-active medical habits.We got a cigarette smoking POTUS with cholesterol issues. Let's start there. How about our leader shows us that personal healthcare starts with personal responsibility? Maybe then we'll see costs and lines go down. 

Monday, March 01, 2010

Her Abs

She decided to do some kind of home workout today. "Kinda ran," and did some sit ups with Liam on her feet. As a result, she's walking around rubbing an odd muscle on her right thigh and cursing the aging process. All because, she "kinda ran" and did ten crunches?