Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Concerning Love and Joy

One of the things I use this blog for is to blow off steam. Life can get a little annoying so we try to find ways of releasing the pent-up frustration. I, like many others, have taken to blogging for this. One of the consequences of posting these rants in a public forum is that others will potentially see them. This is both good and bad. We wouldn't be blogging if there was no possibility of anyone reading what we write. But the down side is that since everyone can read what we post, those whom we might be ranting about can read them, too. All this babbling comes down to the fact that, on occasion, I post things about my ex-wife in here. And she, also on occasion, reads them.

Thus I would like to make one thing crystal clear... My ex-wife and I are on very good terms and I feel that she is a great mother to our son. She loves him more than anything else in the world, as do I. No matter what happens we will always share this bond of loving our son. Anything I might say about her in here or in the real world is not an indication of, and should never be taken as, her love for our son. It's true that, again on occasion, I think she is insane. But then again I thought that way before we were ever married. I'm positive that she, (here it is again) on occasion, has thought the same of me.

So, bottom line: We both love and care for our son. This is without question and without reservation.

Belgian GP Comments

This race was far from "uneventful".

Spa lived up to it's reputation as a very tough track as neither Renault, BAR-Honda nor Williams-BMW were able to even finish the race. Jarno Trulli had his Renault on the poll but wasn't able to keep it in the race. Kimi Räikkönen started his McLaren-Mercedes in 10th but was able to power up into the lead and fend off Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari for his first win of the season. It was the first time this year that Michael didn't win a race he finished. But that didn't bother the German to much. With this 2nd place finish he clinched the drivers championship, the 7th of his career. This was also Ferrari's 700 GP race and it would have been Michael's 7 win at Spa, if he'd won.

The race had a number of really spectacular crashes starting with the first curve of the first lap. Throughout the race there were a number of crashes, bringing out the safety car 4 times. But every time it looked like Michael would have a shot at Kimi during the restart the Fin just blew him off the line and kept him in second place. This could have partially been helped by the fact that Kimi had his car set for a dry track and Michael's Ferrari was set a bit more for wet driving (the qualifying was held in a fairly big downpour).

One very bright bit of racing was turned in by Rubens Barrichello. He started 6th but was involved in the first turn melee and had to come into the pit to have his entire rear wing assembly replaced. This put him dead last far behind the next car. But with some skillful driving and good luck he worked his way up to 3rd and was able to capture his 11th podium of the season.

All in all it was an exciting race to watch. It was great to see McLaren looking very strong these last few races with their "new" MP4-19B. After the complete disaster that was the first half o f the season maybe they can make a good showing over the next four races. But even with the non-win at Spa, there's still no certainty that anyone has really climbed up to match Ferrari this year. These last four races should be quite enjoyable.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Lucas to make more Star Wars?

Star Wars creator George Lucas could be poised to make three sequels to the original space opera trilogy, according to insiders at Lucasfilm.
Maybe it's just me but I remember when The Empire Strikes Back was released that the deal was there would be three "clusters" of three movies. Episodes 4, 5 & 6 would, obviously, be first. Then would come the prequels (1, 2 & 3) followed by the sequels (7, 8 & 9). For some reason it seems that no one remembers this. It's now some kind of surprise that the last three will possibly be made.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Good Fucking Morning!

It's been two nights in a row that I haven't been able to get to sleep till after 0500. Both times I'm up at 0930 for my son. It's hard enough to deal with the FM but no sleep is a killer. I smoked a whole pack of the Eclipse cigarettes from about midnight till I went to bed. Oh, and speaking of smoking...

The cost of cigarettes is more than doubling next week. The tax increase is going into effect then. I felt stupid paying $3.50 a pack for these things but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay over $8! When I quite for real the first time was when we came here to the States in '88. I went from paying $0.47 a pack to, at the time, $1.30. Hopefully Skoal won't go up in price like this. I still have those Commit lozenges to fall back on, though. They work fairly well.

With a little luck and lots of hard work I'll be able to go back to Tae Kwan Do again. Not smoking will be good for that. I'm kinda dreading the initial weeks of hell as my body tries to get back into shape. Just before I had to stop going I was able to put a standing side kick shoulder high. A cross-behind or skip sidekick I could get just above forehead level. Now I can hardly get it hip level.

Anyway, I need to get ready for work.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Hey hey feelin' fine mamma,

Painted ladies and a bottle of wine mamma,
Ooo ooo feelin' good mamma,
They took my money like you knew they would mamma,

I wish I could remember the lyrics and artist of this song. I know I could Google for it but that would take away the fun.

The ambien is kicking in. I took a double dosage tonight. Probably not a wise (or smart) thing to do but, well, I haven't been stoned in forever. Not that I was a serious head or anything. The worst/best time was in the mid 80's. I'd get stoned but good with some friends. I'm talkin' "Help me find the fucking door!" stoned. It would be quite easy to find some weed, there's a few people I work(ed) with that would likely know of a source if they themselves weren't one. But I really haven't had an interest in getting wasted for many, many, many years. No desire plus having a kid equals no stoned. Represented mathematically as "!desire + kid = !stoned."

My son doesn't want to live with his mother right now. He's feeling the tension and animosity in the apartment and just doesn't want to be there. I understand this completely. My ex only has about a week and a half before physical custody shifts back to me when school starts. I honestly don't want to keep him from her but I think that it would be better for him if he stayed here while things are still going on over there. But that's her call. I've tried to see if I could get him to stay one night but he's dead set not to. And I'm not going to say no he can't stay here. Having him around is better for me than all the meds. Gives me that reason to get out of bed in the morning. I think that it would be better if he stayed here until she gets the situation resolved. There's only about a week and a half until he comes back to me for school. But I don't want him to not be with his mother. So far she has gotten into various kinds of predicament since she moved out in December 2000. All have been related to the current girlfriend she's with.

It seems she likes her women very butch. Not counting the half dozen (or more) one nighters, the ones she's been in some form of relationship with are definitely the "Manley" type. But I digress...

Anyway, my son can feel that there is something wrong and doesn't want to be around with it hanging over everything. He wants to stay here even though I don't have a gameboy or a playstation or his bike that she borrowed (that she still hasn't returned to me!!!) . We do have games and we rough house as best I can with my physical situation. We also watch a LOT of cartoons. Between the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon there's enough for him to watch all day and night if I let him. Today his Grandma took him and his two cousin's out for a little bit then they came here and we all watched T3 together. Well, mostly. There were scenes that had talking in them so my son and my youngest niece, who is only two months older than him, would get fidgety and play with some of the toys lying around. When it came to the actual action, though, that was a different story.

After the movie Grandma took the girls home and my ex came to get our son. He was already saying how he didn't want to go, that he wanted to stay here. My nieces heard this and that are kinda wondering about it. Very shortly after they left my ex came to get him. At first he wasn't really wanting to go until he remembered his gameboy. Then he was off and running. But...

But then at about 2047 (that's 8:47pm for you nonmilitary types) the phone rang and it was him calling me in tears wanting to come back here. I tried to see if he couldn't try and stay since this is mommys time for him and that he'd be with me again in about a week and a half but that didn't matter to him. So here he is again. Sleeping away in his bed (something I should be doing, too).

My hope is that this whole episode with his mother doesn't "damaged" him in some way. But no matter what happen in the future he has as father who loves him more than anything in the entire universe. Period.

This weekend is hers and she's planning a beach trip for the two of them with her new "friend". I think he'll do a little better if he's at the beach. This kid is a real water baby. He can swim for hours and never wants to get out. Even when it's so cold he can't talk 'cause he's shivering so much and his lips are blue.

I think I might get the frelling DSL line working this weekend. It's kind of up right now in that you can go to http://www.webtrek.org and get the page. Sometimes. The big problem is that neither ssh nor telnet seem to work. How cab you get anything done without ssh and even telnet. No one can log in and if you can' login you can't get anything done. Unless you're sitting at the console. For me I manage systems the same way with remote access tools. There's no reason one should change the way they do things just because you're sitting next to (practically on top on) the system. I want to manage it the way I do the remote boxes. It works, so why change? But it seems that for Verizon (THEY SUCK!) as long as you can ping in and out then it's not their problem. I'll get a bunch of sniff traces and packet dumps and show them. The aggravating thing is that it all work fine a few weeks before. I was moving most of the things that the CoLo server was doing down here to the new box on the DSL line. I got quite a bit moved but there's a lot more to do. They better fix it this time or I'm canceling the service. And they better not pull that bull about a cancellation fee.

Well, that's all for now. I can hardly see and my fingers are starting to type random keys when I type.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Night of the dead living

Another sleepless night. Sigh, this is getting ridiculous. What's it take go get some sleep?!? The Ambin isn't working, at least not good enough. I'm going to go back to bed in a bit but I figured if I can't sleep I should do something. It would have been better to try and get some real work done but instead I'm here. Oh well. If I had an ounce of discipline I swear I'd be king of the world now.

I want to get back into programming. I'm doing a little PHP for a small internal app at work but I'd like to do more. There's so many programming languages I'd love to try, too. Plus I've finally decided to try and get passable in C. My ideal would be to learn Assembler, C, Eiffel, PHP and Ruby. I can do small things in PHP now and I took a C class ages ago (plus working with so much open source) so I can write very trivial C programs. I've never done Assembler or Eiffel or Ruby enough to do more than "Hello World". I'd also like to get back my COBOL chops. I did 6 or 7 years of COBOL programming, mostly new apps as opposed to legacy maintenance. I did do my fare share of Y2K stuff, of course.

The problem is that my time management skills absolutely suck. Hard. One of the projects I was involved with a little while ago (until my health became such that I can't even read mailing lists anymore) was originally all done by one guy. He decided that for the next major release he'd open everything up to the world and let others be involved with development. One of the guys on this list was a young guy who'd never done C programming, let alone X Windows. He jumped right in and in a few months was one of the core developers. Much longer ago I had a friend who was a stage manager for theatrical productions at Disney World (or is it Land... The one in Florida). While his wife was pregnant, got a laptop and taught himself programming beginning with Assembler and moved onto serious, heavy duty stuff. The last time I talked to him he changed professions and was doing some high paying consulting and app customization work. The open source world is full of people who have families and jobs yet still have the discipline to set aside some time to hack. I spend way to much time laying in front og the TV watching crap I don't even want to watch or aimlessly wandering the web being distracted by any little useless bit of info I find. Even now I could be reading a chapter in one of the books I got specifically for (re)learning programming. Instead I'm here typing this.

Well, that was all very depressing. Maybe when school starts my son and I can do our homework together. That might help. This would all be so much easier for me if I was taking some kind of class or training. I do much better in those kind of situations than trying to do something myself. I need a plan. A guideline for what to do and when to do it. Maybe if I setup some kind of schedule or something... But then I'd need to get motivated for that, too. Catch-22!

Damn! There's only one more cigarette left. I really need to quit these frelling Eclipse cigarette's (again). I want to get back to Tae Kwon Do again with my son and this smoking isn't going to make it any easier to do. Plus quitting would save me approximately $90 a month. That's $1080 a year! That would sure be a big help with the debts and stuff.

Well, I better call it a night. It's 0155 and my son will be up in the morning dragging my ass out of bed so I'll need all the rest I can get.

Friday, August 20, 2004

My Miracle Cure

The last two weeks have been like hell for me, physically. It's been all I can do to get up out of bed. But this morning was very different. I have my Miracle Cure back.

Weather, or more specifically the pressure changes, can and do hit me like a ton of brick. The summer weather here is usually the three H'es; Hazy, Hot & Humid. This almost invariably leads to afternoon and evening thunder storms. All of this will put me flat on my back. Yesterday was no exception to the trend but I had an ace in the hole. My Miracle Cure was with me. My son.

I wasn't supposed to get him 'till Friday after work but he wanted to come over last night. So far this summer he's spent almost as much time with me as with his mother (the custody arrangement is for me to have him during the school year and she has him in the summer with alternating weekends year round). We are, of course, allowed to vary this if we agree and his mother and I have a pretty good relationship now so there's generally no problems.

Having him around is unbelievably good for me physically and mentally. When he's here it is often difficult but it's infinitely better than when he's not. Yesterday I don't know how I was able to make it into work at all. It took all my effort to just be able to stand and walk the 10 feet from my car to the building door (thank $DEITY for handicap parking). This morning, even though I didn't get to sleep until after 0230, I got up at around 0830 when he did. We've been watching cartoons, playing Yu-Gi-Oh and I've been catching up on the computer. Right now, as I type this, he's playing around with the lamp post behind me on some "secrete mission".

I'm going to take hi mover to Grandma's while I go into work. She's been great watching him when he's here. Of course, she loves having him around, too, so it's not to much of a chore.

Senna name to return to racing

Bruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton Senna, will take part in his first car race this weekend when he competes in a round of the Formula BMW UK Championship at Brands Hatch.
It'll be nice to have the name back. Hope he gets a chance to make it into F1.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

No sleep again

I didn't get to sleep 'till after 0435 this morning. And had to wake up early because Peapod was delivering my groceries. Thank $DEITY for them, though. It's damn near impossible to get to the store and go shopping anymore. I'm going to jump in the shower and try to get to work this afternoon. More hours is a good thing.

My Palm died a while ago so I tried getting one on eBay. The unit arrived DOA so I got a refurbished Sony CLIÉ® from TigerDirect.com last week. It arrived and is at my brothers house. Maybe, if I get moving quick enough, I'll swing by and get it before going to work.

However, I believe that right now I'll take a short nap.

Jumping off the track

Today was tough. I seemed to feel ok but every thing I'd try to get up and do something I'd get all woozy and light headed. Seems my vision is getting a bit worse as well. There used to be a focal point I could reach with my eyes. I could take off my glasses and bring something close till it was in focus. This is not happening at all with my left eye. There is no focal point for that one at all. My right eye still seems to float around four inches from my eye. While emaling with an old friend he was telling me about the eye lens replacement surgery he'd had recently. Seems he's never seen true, clear colors in his life. And he doesn't need glasses anymore (plus it got rid of the cataracts). Maybe it time to start thinking 'bout this. It's been getting harder and harder to see to drive (more on driving later) and it would be interesting to see lights without the large hallows around them. Did you know that I see the ordinary light bulb, when turn on, to be as big as a volleyball? If my health insurance covers this kind of thing... Maybe.

Had dinner with a guy I haven't seen in 20 years. He went to high school with my brothers. I coached him in football for two or three years. He was this skinny little guy who would put everything he had into it. He looks great now. I almost didn't recognize him at first 'cause he's shaved his head but it only took a moment. He was here visiting with his family, most of whom were here to visit him. Kinda an impromptu reunion. It was fun and we had a great time. There were only two problems that came out of the evening; my driving and the Apple Store.

I found the store when I came out of the parking garage. Being that it is impossible for me to at least wander through a computer store I did just that. There were some more good educational games for my son so I planned to come back after dinner with everyone. Once dinner was over and we all left I did go back. I found a ton of games, even one for me, but the approximate total for them would be just over $100. Now, I definitely don't need to be spending money on things like this. However, while I was waiting I asked, in an off-hand way, what the lowest priced iPod they had in stock. They had one of the older models for $159 but w/o any of the extras (like dock, case, charger, etc.). Then another guy showed me a refurbished one that was the one next up the line from the first. It came with all the extras and the total price was $179. Originally $399 now $179. I guess I lost my mind at that point. I put back $65 worth of the games and bought the iPod. With the two games I did keep for my son it came to $235! Looks like I'll be going into non-spending mega-mode again. I still should make it to the 1st in the black but the next paycheck is going to be just over half of what it should be so time to pinch pennies again.

Lastly, my driving. I'm finding that I can't really use my left arm to drive anymore. My left arm and hand have gotten to where they can't do much of anything that requires effort. But not only am I working against that, and my vision as stated above, I seem to find myself being detached lately. Like I'm just watching myself on a movie screen or something. I'm there in the moment with my body and mind but also not there. Somewhere above and behind. It's really hard to explain. How does this affect my driving? I'm not really paying attention to the road. I seem to spend more time looking down on myself from this detached presence. I'm watching me drive and not watching the road. I really can't explain it any better. I'm worried that one of these days I'm going to just miss something and have an accident. It's bad enough if I get into one but I will not take the risk if my son is in the car. Hopefully this is just a short spell and I'll be fine soon. If not I might not be able to drive soon. That would be a big problem.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hungarian GP Comments

Well, it was a fairly uneventful race, no big crashes or any trademark Sato engine explosions. Ferrari started 1-2 on the grid and finished 1-2 to secure the Constructors' title. They needed 9 points and got 18. The drivers title is theoretically still not clinched but the only driver who has a chance to beet Michael is Rubens, and that's not likely to happen.

One of the interesting things was that Kimi Räikkönen was the first driver out of the race. This is the new McLaren-Mercedes package and it was supposed to bring them back into competitive form. The first few races it ran weren't bad but this one wasn't even close.

Juan Pablo Montoya didn't have to bad a race, all considered. He started his Williams-BMW 7th on the grid and ended up 4th. Fernando Alonso had another one of the, what is now becoming a common occurrence, Renault rocket-like starts and blasted from 5th to 3rd at the start. He nearly got Rubens on turn one but the Brazilian held on and it was pretty much over from there. The Ferrari's spend the race running 1 or 2 seconds a lap faster than everyone else on the trace.

While this race may have seemed fairly bland the results are anything but. Michael Schumacher won his record breaking 12th race of the season giving him 82 wins. As the Speed Channel announcers were quick to point out, the racer who is currently driving that has the next most wins is David Coulthard with 13. This is also Ferrari's 14th Constructors' title and 6th consecutive. Barrichello has been the only driver this season to finish every race, coming out of the points only once in the German GP. Let's see, what else... 51 consecutive races without a mechanical failure for Michael. There's some fuss about Mark Webber leaving Jaguar-Cosworth and going to Williams-BMW against his contract. The commentators talked about Giancarlo Fisichella leaving Sauber-Petronas for Renault after leaving them for Sauber last season. Giancarlo has always said he wants to drive for Ferrari but that's not likely to happen. Driving the Sauber was close as they run the Ferrari engine and chassy from last year, which is the main reason he moved to Sauber. But there's some question about his driving skill and loyalties. Plus he's fairly up there in age at 31. I agree with them that he should have stayed with Sauber. The tram is coming along and the car's have been good.

There's probably more I'm forgetting but the bottom line is that the Michael Schumacher-Ferrari package is, at this moment in time, unstoppable. We are witness to a golden time in F1. Years from now we can look back and say, "I was there when Schumacher and Ferrari were making history."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I finally understand Rob Enderle

Rob Enderle is an IT/IS industry analyst. His job is to look at the industry and try to figure out what it's doing and where it's going and to report on that. This way businesses and people can use his reports to help make decisions without having to sift through the mounds of information themselves. Rob Enderle is, to my knowledge, the sole employee and owner of The Enderle Group. From it's web site,
The Enderle Group provides an unparalleled look underneath breaking technology events to identify the core reasons that buyers and builders of this technology should care. Enderle Group strives "to bring diverse and challenging views into technology advisory services and consulting".
In the Linux and open source community, however, Rob Enderle is someone who is hated and vilified and, more recently for me, become someone who is just to be ignored. Like a gnat buzzing around your head in the summer. Occasionally it buzzes near your ear and you shoo it away. This is what it's like now when Rob Enderle published an editorial or presents a speech. Normally I just see his byline and summarily move on. Why? There's a long list of reasons that could be easily discovered by a good google search. But the bottom line is that he violently hates open source and, specifically, Linux.

Anyone who is even remotely involved with the Linux community knows that there are many real wackos on the fringes. This is because there are many wackos out there in the general populations and any community will have their portion of the wackos from said general pool. Some of the wackos have attacked and threatened Rob Enderle, even to include his life. On this I strongly disapprove. Rob Enderle is not worth the effort of writing a death threat letter or making a phone call. [And besides, death threats are illegal and not very intelligent things to do]. I knew he'd received a little hate email and snailmail from the wackos but I never really understood how he could keep taking the position on Linux, the SCO Group and Microsoft that he has been under the tremendous flood of sane, calm rational evidence that has come out through groups like Groklaw and others. I mean, if someone were to present you with irrefutable proof of the objective evidence that you were spending all your time defending and supporting a lie you might think twice about continuing your course, wouldn't you? Not Rob Enderle. It only seemed to fuel his fire against the truth. And this is something I couldn't understand.

But just this evening I finally had the chance to read the key note speech that Rob Enderle gave at the SCO Forum August 3, 2004. To be more accurate, I read half of it. I wasn't able to make it all the way through [something that often happens with things he writes or says]. But in it he talks about an event where...
I got myself into a lot of hot water by doing something I knew was wrong to prevent a crime from being committed. I am both an ex-auditor and an ex-sheriff and took the related vows very seriously and still, for the most part, live by them. By all accounts I would have lost my job and probably had to change careers again if it weren't for Bill Gates personally coming to my defense and pointing out that what I did probably kept a lot of folks out of jail. He didn't have to do that and, to this day I doubt he even remembers he did, but I remember.
Between this and the death threats he's gotten, plus his strangely described "eye opening experiences" at IBM [like this is only prevalent in IBM and no other mid- to large size companies. Or political parties, I might add], one can see that his vision of the world is so distorted by these events that he couldn't accurately analyze a bowl of fruit let alone an industry as complex and fast moving as IT/IS. Back before Linux and open source hit the consciousness of the world outside the community, he'd already made up his mind that they were bad and evil things to be destroyed no matter the cost! He is doubtless spending long days and nights feverishly working over any information that comes out positive about Linux and negative for the SCO Group or Microsoft in order to twist it around. See, it's become personal.

As the old saying goes, he can't see the forest for the trees. While he talks about transcending his bias', his speeches and writings strongly reinforce the fact that he is totally incapable of this. He can't form a coherent thought except that which has himself as the poor victim of this evil Cult of Linux. It has nothing to do with technology or facts or evidence.

I am reminded of a line in the movie The American President. To paraphrase it here... I always thought Rob Enderle spent so much time screaming at the rain because he just didn't get it. But it's not that he doesn't get it. It's that he can't sell it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Back at home

We got back Monday afternoon. Man, I hate traveling!

I used to be ambivalent about it. But now, with the disability, it's really rough. The trip was worth it, though. We all went up to the home town, Brockway PA, of my maternal grandfather for a family reunion. Now, we've been to reunions for just the relations of my maternal grandfather before. The last one I was at was in '94. There were a few of them in the 90's and the largest turnout was about 80 people. This time there were over 150 people there. And this turned out to be a bit over one forth of the actual living relatives. We have over 450 people who are descended from my great-grandfather. He had 8 children, I believe, and these children then had large broods as well. My mother is, in the Borg vernacular, 9 of 10. (My maternal "ethnicity" is Italian. I'm half Italian and half German on my paternal side) . Needless to say, the food was absolutely wonderful. I ate so much that weekend I was good to go for days. The people were great, too. We found out that one of our distant cousin's was living in Germany at the same time we were and didn't even know it till then. The stories that the elder generation told were great as well. Lots of interesting a fun tales from the past. I only wish that more of them could have been there. Five of my mothers six brothers have passed away already and one of her three sisters is recovering from some pretty heavy-duty surgery, though she's doing exceptionally well. It was funny... There were a lot of really hot looking women there but they were all related to me in one way or other. It brought to mind the Jeff Foxworthy joke, "If you've ever gone to a family reunion looking for a wife, you might be a redneck." Luckily I am not that much of a redneck.

That said, the time spent before and after the reunion was miserable. The drive is about 4 or 5 hours one way. And the first two nights we stayed with one of my aunts. I love them dearly but it's just not easy to sleep in a spare room and all. The other two nights we were in a hotel. That was a little better. From now on when I go anywhere I'm staying in a hotel. It's just to difficult any way else. It's also caused me to think about the whole idea of travel quite a bit. How much do I really want to go anywhere? I know it's not good to be a hermit but even going to work is a hard, painful task.

The only other thing that was significant from the trip was the email backlog I had. I'd brought a laptop up with me but there weren't any convenient links. I had 200 new messages of which about 120 were spam. The spam filters caught over 1600 so it could have been worse. The 120 wouldn't have gotten through if I'd ever get around to upgrading that system. It's be all set if frelling Verizon would fix the fsck'ing DSL line. Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to yell at them some more.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Going on Holiday

I can hear the strains of the Go-Go's "Vacation" in the back of my head. My son and I are going, along with the rest of my family, up to the city of our families origin. Pittsburgh, PA. We leave tomorrow morning (which means I should have hit the hay a long time ago) to go visit with some relatives then we'll be off to a very large family reunion. My mother was one or ten children so I got cousin's out the yingyang. Most of whom I have never seen. But it will be fun, that's one thing we know. Any gathering of 20 or more Italians is a party. And when they are family, it's an even bigger party. I'm going to bring my laptop with me in the off chance I'll find a link somewhere. Can't go that long without email, you know.

Katie vs Katie

Sometimes the wrong thing comes out of good intentions. Seems there was this girl, Katherine “Katie” Tarbox. In the words of the bio from her best selling book - "When she was only thirteen, Ms. Tarbox was a victim of Internet predator and consequently became involved in a landmark Federal case. Her case was one of the first to be tried under the 1996 Communications Decency Act and is still referenced by many legal cases today."

The book she wrote is titled "Katie.com" and was published in 2001. The title has a nice ring to it so the publishers, Penguin Putnam Inc, had the great idea of making the title of her book a domain where they would put up all the online gunk that all publishers of books do these days. There was only one problem. The domain was registered in 1996 by another Katie, Katie Jones.

Now there are some of us who remember the rule that if you buy a domain name in good faith, i.e. don't try and register something like WallMart.com, then you owned the domain. But now the rules have changed. Big Business with rooms full of lawyers are attacking the little guy (or, in this case, girl) and are trying to force her to give up her domain. Now, it wasn't like this book was written and published before she registered the domain. This domain belongs to Katie Jones. Period.

I realize that this blog doesn't get much traffic but for the three or four that might see it I would ask you to contact Katie Jones and show her your support. There is no rightful or honest reason for her to give up what she's owned for 8 years just to help make some publishing company richer.

There are a lot of things that go on here in the virtual world that aren't nice and pretty. They need to be dealt with accordingly. Katherine Tarbox survived one of these incidents. But to then take that and turn it into some kind of sham, use it as leverage to force someone out of what is legally there's. That's coercion. And isn't that illegal?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Another sleepless night

I don't know why I can't get any sleep. Is there something on my mind that's bothering me? Some splinter in my subconscious that is just below the level of awareness? I'm not a shrink and even if I was I couldn't analyze myself anyway.

Maybe it's the new meds? This seems to have started around the same time. I don't think so, though.

I think it might be work. They are doing a reorganization and I'm not exactly positive that I'll survive it. Everyone keeps telling me I'll be ok but I've heard that before. My team leader wants to have a talk tomorrow (well, today, actually) and then have a sit-down with the new guy taking his place, with all three of us. Hopefully then I'll have a better picture.

But it also might be the situation with my ex and my son. He's supposed to spend the Summers with her during the week but he keeps wanting to stay here with me. Now, don't get me wrong, I want him here as much as possible. But we do have a court mandated custody agreement than is going to have to be amended if the physical custody is going to be changed. Additionally, I don't want him to not be with his mother. I do whish her situation would get a bit more stable someday. And I really didn't like that she had me tell him about her roommate/ex-girlfriend. But that's a long story I don't want to get into right now.

I'm also feeling a little guilty about not going to Tae Kwon Do. It's been over a year since I've gone regularly and he hasn't really been since slightly before summer started. It is something we both like to do and I know I could really use the exercise.

Maybe it's because I don't have a girlfriend. It would make a huge difference if I had a relationship. Not for the sex, I have a way around that (Hi Mari) but for the championship. I am much more solid when I have someone to be with and share with. Someone to help and be helped by. Someone to listen to my problems and to tell me hers. I know; blah, blah, blah... Poor me.

Still, would it be so bad if I got a few hours of sleep a night?

Sunday, August 01, 2004

geek code

Ok, here's my brand new updated Geek Code -

GAT d-@ s:+ a+ C++++ UL++++(US++)$ P+(P++)$ L+++$>++++$ E--- W+++$ N+ !o K? w--- O(+) M+$ V- PS(+) PE Y+ PGP+ t+ 5+++ X R(+) tv- b+ DI++ D+ G+ e h r% y++++

the blogger code

Just ran across this. The question "Why?" comes to mind but I went a head and gen'ed a code. I guess I'll have to update my Geek Code now, too.

My blogger code: B8 d++ t- k- s- u-- f- i-- o++ x e l- c-- (decode it!)

My First "Together" Date

I'd have to say it went well. The lady was a bit late getting to our arranged spot, a Red, Hot and Blue restaurant (ok, she was 20 minutes late) due to a small accident her 4 year old had. He got a small cut on his leg and didn't want mommy to go. His grandma was there, though, so she was able to make it.

My first impression was that she is a very nice looking woman. In fact she is quite pretty. She was wearing a tank top, slacks and sandal's. That was good for me because I do have a healthy foot fetish (no, not like you see in the porn movies, I just like looking... Mostly). When we were done with dinner and getting ready to leave I did compliment her on her shoes. I remembered that from the movie the American President.

After meeting we went to order our food. She is a good talker, says a lot but does not dominate a conversation, which was good for me. I've been trying very hard these last few years to not be the non-stop blabbermouth baboon. We took turns talking about our children, how the culture in the States is different from what we grew up with. She's originally from Peru and still has a nice accent. Seems I'm drawn to women with accents.

I noticed one interesting thing... Whenever she was talking, didn't matter the subject, she would look all around at everything except at me. When I talked she'd look directly and me and listen. Don't know what, if anything, to make of it.

We also talked a little about our past relationships. This was a topic initiated by her. I tried to keep from getting into to much detail about my situation. It seems she's had two major relationships; got married when she was like 16 to a guy she was seeing in Peru and had a "steady" up her in the US for a while. I get the idea that, for the first one, she got pregnant and their families more-or-less made them get married. She moved up to Baltimore around '84 and lived there till she got divorced something like 8 years ago. She later started seeing the other guy. He was cheating on her so she kicked him to the curb, but not before she got pregnant again. So now she's got a daughter who's 21 and in the Navy, a 17 year old son and a 4 year old son. We also shared the difficulties of being single parents.

I didn't go into my disability 'cause the subject never came up. If we have any future dates I'll let her in on all of it, though.

Not much else to say, really. It was nice and an enjoyable hour with decent food. I don't like BBQ all that much so the menu is pretty limited for me there. She did say that she'd been with Together Dating for 2 years an has been semi-regularly seeing someone she met through them for a little while but it seemed like that wasn't quite the relationship she was looking for.

As for us? I told her I'd give her a call the week after next and see if she still wanted to go out. The bottom line impression from this first date is that she is not in a very emotionally stable time in her life right now. Mostly due to the pressures of being a single parent, working three jobs and having her daughter over in Iraq. If there is a next time and she's less stressed out there's potentially some potential there. But I'm also going to be getting more referrals from Together and so is she. So...

Who knows?