Monday, May 25, 2009

Random Thoughts: Cobweb site

My site is becoming a cobweb site. If you've never heard the term before, I'm not suprised. It was a short lived term to describe a site which is static, eternally under construction, and never updated, possibly for years at a time. It's a shame the phrase never caught on. In my opinion, it's fairly clever. Maybe people are just averse to spiders.

Anyway, I haven't posted in a while. I think it's because All I'm doing right now is the same thing everyone else is doing. I work. I eat. I sleep. I take ocasional bathroom breaks. That's pretty much it. I've been out in the garden a lot. I'm expect to be done with the spring effort by the end of the day today. Do people really want to read about that?

Actually, that is something I have thought about. What do people want to read? Initially, I started posting reviews of movies. I consider myself an expert critic. Also, I have a strong appreciation for good movies and TV. It made perfect sense for me to review movies. The only problem is, who wants to read my movie reviews? At one point, I started reviewing resturaunts too. It only seemed proper because I like to eat too.

Unfortunately, the situation became untennable. I exhausted the cheaper dining options. I really didn't want to see terrible or uninteresting seeming movies just so I would have something to review. Lastly, it took so much time that it felt more like a job then a hobby. Since it didn't pay like a real job, and to the contrary, cost a significant sum, I stopped.

Well, I stopped my reviews after I had my website, domain, etc. So, what could I do with it now? Well, it became very blog-like. In fact, it became so blog-like that I installed Wordpress blogging software on my site to make posting easier. There was still no income, but at least I wasn't using notepad anymore.

Once I lost the primary focus, I started posting all sorts of stuff. I could write about any and everything I wanted. Unfortunately, the second factor came in. Readers. I had none. OK, really, I had less than 10, and probably less than 5. Most of what I wrote was informal, so it really didn't bother me that much. I still had viewers of my site because they came for the pictures of my daughter. Unfortunately, the effort to post a hundred pictures every month is a pain. I have to rotate them, filter them, and then take up all available bandwidth for hours just to get them to the server. After that, I have to load them onto the picure site and post a link to them. All said, I probably was devoting a couple hours a month just to get pictures on the web.

Then, I had a couple server/ISP failures. Despite the fact that my ISP said everything was totally restored, it was broken. Fixing it myself resulted in the loss of the online precense of my "acessory" photos like the car  shows, travel, etc. Sure, I could re-upload, but how long would that take? Thousands of photos would take days of network bandwidth. The final technological blow came when my ISP initiated a forced relocation to another server to "improve" things. I tried it a couple times myself, given the past history I had with them. It didn't work. Eventually, they said they were going to do it if I didn't. I let them. Surprisingly, they did it acceptably.

What does all this mean? Well, like most of my posts... not much. I want people to read what I write. I'm sure it would motivate me to write more. If they're not going to read it, though, I don't want to pay a decent amount of money. That is especially true if I don't post. There are plenty of free blog servers out there. Also, there are also picture servers out there. At this point, all I wouldn't want to move is my e-mail. It would be a pain to figure out all the various things that have my e-mail addresses. I think I may start a potential move. I'll have to look around and see what's out there for photo storage. After all, I have a new baby on the way. 2.5 years of Laura's life resulted in 4000+ photos. I'm sure the second kid will be less, but maybe not. The other advantage to going the free blog route is that I could break up my diferent sites into themed sites.

Will I do it? I don't know. Probably. Maybe not. I'll post a follow-up here if I do. I just don't think I want to pay for this site anymore. It seems like a waste of financial resources. That's especially true if I don't post. So, enjoy this Memorial Day post. I'm going for a run.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Car Restoration: Awesome 3-D Scanner & Printer

I saw this posted on the Cadillac & LaSalle forum, but it deserves a post from me too. I knew this stuff existed, but I had no idea it was so advanced. Apparently, you can get a 3-D scanner for about $3k. They didn't say how much the printer is, but it is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Give the video a watch if you want to see the next big thing in making stuff. After this, matter converters can only be a short time away.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Random Thoughts: Cleaning

I've never been one to part with things lightly. It's the Yankee Thrift in me. If it were up to me, I would never replace anything until it was no longer functioning and beyond repair. Sadly, I have become somewhat of a pawn of industry. It's hard to fight the giant, inexpensive TVs, even though my 16-year-old 13" TV still functions with a converter box. Besides, it has become like an old friend. I've been with my TV longer than I've been with my wife. How do you give up on that kind of friendship?

I've also got my old stereo which I got when I was still in high school. Should I get rid of that just because I haven't used it in almost a decade and I never even hooked it up when we bought our house? And my scanner... Just because I have a new all-in-one device that replaces my printer and scanner in a better, smaller package, should I dump that? You never know when an aspiring comic artist is going to need a scanner.

Well, whatever I have to do to force myself to get rid of this stuff is what I have to do. I can't afford the space. Although, as I write this, I'm considering keeping the stereo receiver for the garage and the TV would fit just perfectly on top of that. All I would have to do is get rid of Erin's mini-stereo that I rescued from the junk pile. Can you believe she was going to get rid of it just because you have to shove the CD tray closed while repeatedly hitting play to get it to work???

UPDATE: As funny-but-not-joking as I am being in this post, I just found the remote for a TV that died about 4 years ago. It was covered with tape because the battery door broke. I can't even fathom why I wanted to keep that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random Thoughts: I'm exhausted but I can't sleep.

If I were smart, I would be productive. There are those dishes from dinner that I left until tomorrow morning, but I don't want to wake my daughter and/or wife. I could clean the office, but my eyes are so tired that I don't want to turn on the light. I could go work in the garage since it's not that bright in there, but it's too cold out there. I could do anything worthwhile, but that would rob me of my opportunity to make excuses.

Really, I just want to sleep. I was watching TV and dozed off at 9:30, but I woke up. When I turned the TV off, my brain turned on. I really need to go to bed, but I can just feel that I will be staring at the ceiling for a while. Maybe I'll just go have some warm milk. Yeah, right. Who ever decided to drink warm milk in the first place? Alhough, come to think about it, milk comes out warm. I guess the real question should be, who ever decided to drink cold milk in the first place? Enough about milk.

I bought a bucket today at Home Depot. I had a couple bags of sand in my truck bed which split open. Instead of waiting until I got home to fill the bucket, I did it in the parking lot at work. I was very careful to take corners slowly so the bucket wouldn't fall over. Careful, that is, until I got to my driveway. The bucket dumped out in the bed. Fortunately, I have a 2-year-old and a small orange beach shovel. She was working too slowly, so I decided to help by scooping up handfuls and dumping them into the bucket. I didn't consider two things. First, leaning over the tailgate of the truck puts my face about a foot away from the top of the bucket. Second, Laura was very meticulously scooping up a shovel-full, dumping it in the bucket and packing it down. Sadly, when a 2-year-old packs the sand down, she apparently throws a bit of sand back up with each pat. She got me square in the right eye. I couldn't close my eye, but I couldn't keep it open. I couldn't get it out because I had sand all over my hands from helping. All I could do was pull my phone out and call Erin to get her to come out of the house so I could blindly stumble my way to the bathroom sink and mirror. My eye still hurts. It's all scratched and irritated. Considering how much different stuff I do which could result in crap in my eyes, I should really consider investing in an eye wash. I can't imagine they're too expensive.

In still other news, I am almost done hooking up the air compressor in my garage. I managed to misplace the 90 degree elbows I had bought, so I got one of those today too. All I have to do is cut a couple pieces of PVC and wire up the outlet. Except, that will only get me to the stage where I can plug in the compressor. I started looking at what I need to actually use the compressor. Small compressors come in a nice little plug-and-play package. You get the compressor, regulator, shut-off, usually some hose and some beginner-level tools. With a big compressor, you get a big compressor. I briefly looked into what I needed today. I got a good deal for the compressor when I bought it. What I didn't realize is that I am probably going to have to go out and spend another $50 to $100 just to get it minimally working. That doesn't even could what I would have to do to get it set up optimally with multiple drops, hard lines, filters, and other miscellaneous parts and pieces. It will be nice when I have it working, but it looks like it will be a while still.

It sucks because I am going to have to get started on my list of nice-weather projects soon. I may forget about my annual maple tree pruning. The power company already did a minor pruning. Actually, that made me feel good to see that professional tree pruners couldn't find much to do when pruning my tree.  It means I must have done something right when pruning. I already did the fruit trees. I should probably thin the blueberry bushes. I know I should thin the raspberries. I also need to put in the other grape vine post and prune the vine too. I have to finish my office closet desk project. That literally just needs to be finished. After that, I have two major indoor projects. I am going to install wood floors in the last carpeted bedroom. Also, I need to do a partial renovation in the main bathroom. I just decided that I am going to do whatever I can to bring some natural light into that bathroom. I know it meets code, but having a bathroom which is central to the house with no windows is just idiotic. Right now, I'm thinking a solar tube is the bare minimum. I may also revisit the idea of installing glass blocks up near the ceiling. That would let light in from the master bathroom while being unobtrusive and still isolating sights and smells to their origination point. I have to investigate their sound insulation qualities though.

Well, according to my word counter, this is already approaching 1000 words. Also, it's 11:30 so I should probably give sleep another try. I just hope I don't wake up at 5 like I have every other morning for the past week. Stupid daylight savings time. I guess one good thing is that it's almost spring. I saw a blooming dandelion yesterday. So what if its an annoying weed and it was sprouting between a joint of some curbing along side a parking lot. It's still spring-like, damnit!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Random Thoughts: Fire hazard

I have an RSS feed for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission - Recall feed. I regularly see recalls like this:

Candles Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

Seriously, do people not know that lit candles are firehazards, in and of themselves? Isn't it obvious to everyone that fire is hot?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Random Thoughts: Stimulus is a sham

I saw this video, and agree wholeheartedly. This guy says that if the government does nothing, there will be terrible recession, but this stimulus will lead to "unmitigated disaster." Summarizing, he feels that the fundamental problem is that Americans spent, through credit, money they didn't have which overinflated the economy. Now, they can't afford to continue this so the federal government, through stimulus, is trying to keep up the spending. The only possible outcome from this is prolonged massive inflation and economic collapse.

Quite an interesting set of ideas. I feel this way, but I rarely encounter people who have such a clear understanding of common sense. People overspending is bad. The government overspending is worse. Think about the people you've known throughout your lives who made a reasonable amount of money, but always seemed to live beyond their means. They live paycheck to paycheck at best; live by the credit card at worst. The total and absolute certainty with people like this, is is that their house of cards will fall.

Sure, having a nice car, fancy toys and every meaningless distraction of life is fun. If you're lucky, you may even make it through the low times unscathed, only to come out the other side more set in your ways. But really, should our government live like that? Is that what we've become? We have gone from declaring our independence from an overbearing king to getting our treasury bills cashed at a liquor store. Yeah, US!

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Baby Gallery: Laura - Oct., Nov., & Dec. 2008 & Jan. 2009

New gallery of Laura. All sorts of stuff made it into this gallery. There are pictures of Halloween, our trip to NC, Laura's B-day, Xmas and some winter fun. Also included are some pictures of Laura's newest cousin, Jameson. Right Jim? With an 'e'?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Random Thoughts: Mentally drained

Lately, I just feel wiped out. I could go for a nice long hot shower and a nap... 24 hours a day. The problem is that I can't afford to take time off at work or at home. I have tons of things to get done at work before the contract runs out in May. I also have tons of projects, big and small, to finish (and start, in some cases). I really need a month of time where I can just do stuff around the house followed by a month vacation followed by another month doing stuff around the house. Good luck to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Random Thoughts: Sick women

Erin and Laura are sick. Laura came down with a dry hacking cough on Sunday morning, which progressed like a cold in reverse. Monday evening she ran a fever, which has persisted. Last night was a little concerning. Erin had her in the shower and she started saying her neck hurt over and over again, and she started crying. Last night she threw up, and this morning she dry-heaved some stomach juices while waiting for her jello breakfast. I called her pediatrician and relayed the symptoms. When I added the symptom of, "My neck hurts," the Dr. said, "Well it's not bacterial menengitus because she would be dead right now."

I am not often stunned into silence, but my words failed me. I had no idea that menengitus transitioned from sore neck to death in 12 hours. Of course, now that I know, I will probably run her to the ER any time her neck hurts everafter.

I stayed home with Laura yesterday because Erin was almost out of sick time. Today was supposed to be Erin's half day, but now she is out cold from sickness herself. Hopefully, my superhuman immune system will keep me healthy. Sadly, though, even though my symptoms are shorter and less severe, I seem to get sick far more frequently now that I have a little petri dish, err..., I mean child.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Random Thoughts: WTF RI?!?!?!

OK, I know people, en masse can be pretty stupid. I also know that some individuals can be infallibly stupid. Lastly, I know anyone can do or say some stupid things at times. That said, some of the responses to the Governer's latest necessary budget ideas are some of the stupidest things I have ever heard. I'm not happy about reduced aid to cities and towns, but at least the Governer wants to eliminate some state requirements, to make the town spending discretionary, rather than mandated. There was a quote from a woman who said, "These cuts aren't the right thing to do."


Well, according to a quote from union leader, that is exactly what we should do in RI. Yeah. That's the solution... Lets make it harder for everyone to live here, so we can maintain our socialist government. I think what we need is a good old fashioned Red Scare. Yep. Some rampant parinoia that people are out to destroy us would be just what we need right now.

More seriously, what we need is an across the board spending cut at all levels. Take a printed out copy of the budget to McCoy and have it shredded at the Great Shredding Event. What comes out the other end are the limits of what we should spend. Does anyone in this state have any concept of fiscal conservatism? We apparently need to change our state flower to the bleeding heart. Maybe we should change our state motto from 'Hope' to 'Empty your pockets.'

Baby Video: Spinning at the aquarium

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Baby Video: Pretty Bird

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Random Thoughts: Happy Belated New Year!

I'm not a big for celebrating New Years Eve, resolutions and what-not. I didn't even make time for an obligatory Happy New Years post. That said, my New Years Eve was spent watching TV in bed. For the first time in about 5 years, Erin was awake when the ball dropped. Of course, that was only because I got up to turn off her light and inadvertently woke her up.

New Years Day was fun. It was 11 degrees and 22 MPH winds for the Hangover Classic 5-mile road race through Colt State Park in Bristol, RI. To add to the challenge, the course was covered with lose-packed snow and ice. If all that weren't bad enough, as we rounded past the sea wall, there were small chunks of sea ice being tossed up into the wind by the waves.

Erin and I ran the race together for the first three miles, but she got mad at me when I offered to hold her hat a few times. In my defense, the last time I offered was only a short-term offer while she put her jacket back on at the aforementioned sea wall segment. I ran the last two miles on my own and finished in a respectable 41:44.

I really surprised myself with that time, too. I have added back on the seven pounds I lost this past summer. I had added a couple of those pounds back on since starting my new job. I've only been able to fit in two runs per week as the days get shorter. Now that they are getting longer, I hope to add a third one back in. The last few pounds, though, are entirely blamed on my recent constant snacking. I really suffer from the fact that the twelve ounce bag of Doritos is only two servings for me. As we (I) polish off the last of the Xmas junk food, I expect the scale will swing back the other way again. I hope/plan to drop 5-10 pounds by the end of the month. February 1st is the Super 5K, which I will likely run. Should be fun... weather permitting.