The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


(Free) Download Manager

Cool utility of the week award:   Free Download Manager

People, Dogs And Stupidity

So I own a dog (by virtue of divorce, as I originally bought it for my ex-wife) who cannot be left in a yard without a fence (something I would assume you cannot do with most dogs), and once every 3-6 months, he runs out the front door when someone is trying to enter or exit.

So there is this neighbor (not the redneck who attacked me [see Oct 13 2001] but the one who has children with no self control regarding fireworks, and who gets drunk and makes idle threats [see Aug 14 2004]) who owns a dog who does (mostly) stay in their unfenced yard (he goes out and drops feces in other yards as I've observed many times).   Apparently he is well trained since he doesn't do it in his own yard.

So recently, when my dog runs out, goes to his yard, acts like he's going to kill their dog, then when he realizes he is 1/5 the size of that dog (ours is a Miniature Dauschund, theirs is some pit bull or-something mean-looking kind-of-dog, but I've never seen it be beligerant), our dog runs back toward our house yelping.   It's happened at least twice before in about 2 years.

So the neighbor comes over as I'm carrying my dog towards my front door and states "I'm sorry about that, man, but you know, my dog was in his yard".   Huh?!

So I'm wondering, is it the law that the animal does not have to be on a leash if it HAPPENS to be in it's own yard, or is it the law that it HAS to be on a leash no matter what if it's not in a secured area?   Their dog ROAMS the local vicinity looking for new places to call a restroom when the owner is "not looking", and either way, if it ever bit anyone, he would obviously be liable.   But more, this guy gives me this quote which DEMANDS a smarta$$ respnose.   Thankfully, I was in normal form, and took the UNEXPECTED approach as is my preference in such situations, and simply said "I'm aware, thank you" and continued toward my front door.   He stood there a few moment staring at me and then turned away.

What a nut.



Where does "hiding from your parents" end and "cowardice" (or fear of acting like an adult) begin?


The Responsible One

I really am tired of being "the responsible one". It translates roughly into me being the "mean one", the "overbearing one", the "joyless one"...

Just once I'd like to be able to say "the heck with what [insert various names here] thinks".

At this, I am a failure.

But what frustrates me MOST is that I have this problem with my OWN KIDS sometimes.   I equate it to "Getting Old" which is ALSO frustrating.   At the ripe age of 37, I feel like I'm finally "getting older".   :-(

Hello, Panasonic

The Aiwa CD/MP3 player died a few weeks back (I had hoped beyond hope that it was a write behind the dash come loose, because PreOut Bass Output was working fine).   Plugging the factory stereo in showed that it was indeed the Aiwa.   I really wasn't interested in buying a new stereo.

But of course, I did.   A new Panasonic (went middle-of-the-road this time, which is still better than the years-old Aiwa thanks to technology's progression) is now installed   (imagine this: I did it myself)   and I'm happy again.



This movie was just plain dumb and not very interesting (no wonder they had "The Rock" star in it).

I see no reason to waste time analyzing it.   Read here.


Cunningham Research For 8 Years

Today is my eight year anniversary at Cunningham Research where I serve as the Manager of Data Processing.   That's quite a long time, eh?   What a long, wild trip it's been so far...


Band Headlines

Spruce Creek High School's performing arts program is busy as usual this winter season.   The director passed some forthcoming headlines that will be appearing in local newspapers to the parents... see them here.



Stupid System Processes (zHotkey.exe)

What brainiac thought this up?

On my particular system, this system process is over 3MB in size! That's larger VNC Server! For what... the ability to hit a special key on my keyboard to run a calculator, webbrowser or mail client?! IT RUNS SHORTCUTS basically. It takes up MORE RAM than a SERVER that allows FULL GRAPHICAL ACCESS TO MY DESKTOP?!?


Goodbye, zHotkey.exe... *phzt!*


Orbiter Online... Just Barely

I posted a new message at the homepage of Orbiter Online for those few who visit it still (as noted in my webserver's logs).


Gunkies No More At Spruce Creek High School

Apparently one single person with an opinion can significantly alter how a school in the Volusia County School System operates.

For years, Spruce Creek High School's band program has a tradition (offbeat, different, yes..) of calling new band members (mostly freshmen, but not limited to) "Gunkies".   During their first year in the band, they are made to do several things out of the ordinary (for the rest of the band).

- They're required to wear a nametag during the week-long band camp before school starts, and they are required to get the signatures of all the band captains on that tag (to get each signature, the captain makes you do something - and that captain has to be able to do it as well)

- They're assigned as groups (sections, typically) to bring in "extra instruments" after various practices (such as, the Flute section having to also bring in drum equipment)

- They're treated like, let's say, a plebe in the Naval Academy, or a new recruit in boot camp in the US Armed Forces.

- They're beginning their trek through years of training to become LEADERS.

That just ended thanks to one anonymous person who decided it "wasn't fair" (and in fact called it "harassment"; the term "hazing" also came up during the conversation).   This person elected to be anonymous to "protect their student" from others who may cause problems if it were known who caused this to happen.

I find it appalling that the school decided to bow to the wants of an anonymous, uninformed person who wrote eloquent letters (two of them) threatening the school with retaliatory action if their student did not come home and inform them that "Gunkie" and all related operations had been removed from the band's curriculum.   In truth, it was the band director Mr. Kidd, in an attempt (apparently) to keep it simple and avoid potential escalation, who decided it would be easier to just give in.   I don't like this idea (neither did a large number of those who were vocal about it during tonight's band parent meeting)...   but, what else COULD he do? He is facing someone who is CLAIMING they are going to involve the school board, the county school system, and probably further than that!

Heaven forbid this person ever get involved with the armed forces, or with any organization that grooms leaders, self-thinkers, go-getters or simply well-rounded individuals who have learned the difference between "harassment" and building character, learning how to deal with life, or just plain growing as a human being.

My kids and I have come up with a unique way to "voice" our concern over this. It should be showing up very soon. It should get a lot of laughs and/or nods of agreement based on what we saw tonight.

Hope you're happy, John (or Jane) Doe. You just lessened part of a great 25-plus year tradition of helping build leading, self-aware, human thinkers, all for the sake of stopping your kid from carrying an extra instrument into the band room once in a while...



MOVIE: Roll Bounce

Well, with yet another genre (70's skating scene) remade into the hiphop image for yet another movie, I was not exactly impressed with this one.

There was very little "acting" involved.   Well, actually there was very little "story" involved.   It had quite a few "ethnic-based" jokes, which is fine for comedy relief (hispanic jokes, black jokes, white jokes, mixed-race jokes, ad nauseum) but the story, and the skate-doubles who would do the real moves for the actors (such as "Bow Wow"), left a lot to be desired.

It was a nice movie, with a lot of popular 70's music, but we should have gone during a matinee showing -- not late night at full price.   Of course, being at a Regal Theatre where the entire film was masked by floating "dark-glass filtering" as if we were in a 95 cent movie theatre didn't help either.

The best part of the entire evening was after I made three complaints about the picture quality and received five free unrestricted movie passes.   Coolness.


Losing Posts

About three weeks ago, Blogger lost an entry I made, out of the blue, no good reason. No solution from support.

Today, I just spent over an HOUR drafting a very lengthy and indepth posting, and Blogger BOMBED posting it, and I could not recover the post using any of the geeky-capabilities available to me. Not in any cache, not within the history of Firefox's browser, NOTHING.

I feel like I need to beat my head in with a herring now.