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


Blu-Ray Woes, Nintendo Rules, And MP3 Still Champ - 2008 Ends

Since Fred, who has jumped on the Blu-Ray bandwagon to some degree, commented on Blu-Ray being more than just more storage (though I still say that's all it is, regardless of a supposed resolution bump, which IS due to new levels of storage), I noted this latest article which articulates things better. Making Blu-Ray akin to laserdisc has a pretty big "ouch" factor, in my mind. Laserdisk was of course large and unwieldy when the time of the LP vinyl record was disappearing (since it was the same size), so at least Blu-Ray has THAT going for it (though technically, if something is going to replace DVD, you'd think they would have gone for something smaller - since I'm not aware of many, if any, companies selling movies in a "mini" Ray disc format, which I can only assume exists just as it did for DVD and also assume is compatible on drives by default).

I remember thinking, when Fred showed me a few minutes of The Dark Knight that it was a bit insane that the player was slow on pulling up video, booting in general, and related functions, I am understanding enough to know that it's only what.. a year or so old? The players will obviously get better and "near instantaneous" as time goes on. The issue is... will it last? Another article shows how there is a "very loud vocal minority" saying Blu-Ray is here to stay, but with the PS3 still costing so much to produce ($450 average right now apparently), I don't know. I'm not as anxious to get a BD drive for my computer now. I'm going to wait at least several months.

I can't even imagine what a PS3's Blu-Ray playback experience is like (though I assume the actual movie playback is "fine"). Once again, the video game console wars show that Nintendo ruled, followed by Microsoft who has the best online experience bar none. PS3 sucked royally and is finally in BETA for their online service that was due a year ago. The fact that they took Microsoft's approach of selling PS3s at a major loss to "get into the market" with nextgen means they seem to be floundering in general. Just like my belief that PERHAPS one of the auto manufacturers in America NEEDS to be put down for the other two to flourish once again (*cough* GM *cough*), perhaps it's time for Sony to concentrate more on their other electronics. PSP is crap (though a decent hackable toy for MAME, Linux and more) and PS3 is a loser (your opinion may vary, I'm sure).

Very similar arguments existed not only for laserdisc, but for such previous new technologies as Nintendo 64 (for some reason, the cartridges were very expensive to produce - I believe it had to do with NV RAM storage on them or something), then even the GameCube (which by my recall did not flourish at all) and heck, even "MP3 replacements". MP3 is still the king (are Apple players still trying to force their format down your throat with that silly iTunes store?). It's hard to be unbiased or to have a "normal person's" point of view when my mentality is that of a computer-geek who doesn't need DRM content, doesn't need a DVD player to watch movies (and no, streaming is still crap, too) and who doesn't stare at an unexpected screen on his computer and go "okay, let's go pay someone to click a few buttons on some prepacked software that makes them look like they have any clue to fix this". I still pity the average consumer who gets screwed by people "like me" who "fix" their hardware and software. :-/ This is why I am not and never again will be a salesman. But that's a discussion for another time, so I digress. :-P I'm rambling now.

Happy New Year to all.


MUSIC: Secondhand Serenade

Every year, at around Christmas time or New Year's, I re-evaluate my music collection, looking around at what new artists are offering, what established artists are doing new, and the like.

This year, I was very pleasantly surprised to find "Secondhand Serenade". Their music is very cool. I really enjoy both of the albums "A Twist In My Story" and "Awake"! I think part of it is the heavy acoustic influence in their music. I really hope this group continues producing music along these lines for years to come.


V.H.S Will Finally R.I.P.

It can now be officially said that the VHS video tape format is dead, as the final company (in the US at least) offering them is closing shop. This article has the details. I'm still not clear that Blu-Ray (is that how you spell it?) will replace DVD. Yes, it's a bigger storage format (and that's basically "the difference" - contrary to what the average person thinks).

Yes, that means you can put more content on it and make it "more interactive". Yay. But there have been so many articles saying how BADLY the format is doing, and how BADLY the Playstation 3 is selling, etc etc, so who knows. I think we should just 10TB flash drives, drive through Blockbuster, plug them in, grab the 3-5 movies you want to watch with whatever DRM they [think] will stop the movie from being used after a certain number of days, and be done with discs, tapes and the like altogether. Or Hollywood could just stop being a multi-trillion dollar business (ah, but that would never happen, right? Naaahhhhhhhh....). :-P

And no, I'm not all for the streaming of movies over the "web". We have nowhere near enough infrastructure or bandwidth to make things completely fluid, just like VOIP phone calls have yet to be consistently as clear as a wired call, and heaven forbid you compare cell service (don't tell me Sprint or AT&T or any other is "perfect" - take your head out of the sand first). Those people also probably believe Satellite is the way to go for television distribution in a reliable manner. Bah.


MOVIE: Yes Man

I found this movie to be very enjoyable. It had enough of Jim Carrey's campiness and enough of his "Dramatic" side to create a nice balance. I found myself laughing out loud, anticipating things, and even believing the romance blossoming with his co-star. The actor from "That 70's Show" was a bit hokey (but that was the point). This was a good movie!

MOVIE: The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

Okay. Gort is a bunch of nanites?! What? That was Gort swarming over the Earth in the previews? What?!

This movie was just sad. It ended abruptly, and was nothing more than a stepping stone for Will Smith's son. Really sad.


R.I.P. Majel Barrett-Boddenberry

Wow. Star Trek's nurse-computervoice-firstofficer-annoyingmother and widow of Gene Roddenberry has passed away. (sigh) She had just finished doing voice work for the new "Star Trek" movie, too. A true fan of her husbands work to the very end.


Christmas Viral Video For Husbands

My friend Mike sent me this link, and I found it to be very funny. If you've ever been in the "dog house", men, this is for you...


Yes, Robert, You ARE Getting Less Spam Now...

...but I doubt it's going to last.

A "rogue ISP" (as described in this article) was knocked offline a few days ago, and in case you didn't notice, you are most likely getting a lot less spam now in your Inbox.

I personally can say that my mail server is easily processing about 30% of the email it used to since this happened.

I'd love to think this will last... but I really doubt it.

GAME: Left 4 Dead (XBox 360)

My sons were chomping at the bit to get this game, and were going to shell out $30 each to buy it, when we came up with the idea of "Trading in" a bunch of older stuff. I was on a kick to get all the old XBox games verified as to which ones worked with the XBox 360 or not, so when that was done, we were left with about 20 games that were no longer playable (since someone stole our XBox recently).

First we sold a few at a fair price of $5 each to a neighbor, then the rest for approximately the same price (except a few that had "no value") to GameStop, along with our old Game Cube (as the Wii plays all our Game Cube games). That ended up purchasing our copy of this game.

My verdict:   Frankly, I'm disappointed.

Yes, it's pretty unique in gameplay, but really, I would swear they made a decision to "not finish it" to rush it out the door for Christmas or something. You can't save, you can only play "an entire campaign" at a time, that's it. And it's being misrepresented as a four-player game. The box clearly tells you it's a two player game, but advertising makes it sound like you can play four on one console. Only two, so be warned.

The XBox Live gameplay value is "good". It works fluidly on my broadband connection and was fun.

I've finished all four campaigns as "single player" on the default difficulty with little problem. I may go back and try them again at Expert (there are some more achievements to open), but really, this is $29.99 game in my opinion, not a $59.99.

Oh well.


Website Maintenance

I finished consolidating all the "Recent pictures" into one location. Previously all the kids had their own space to post pictures at, but this fell into disuse, and with the girls pushing onward toward maturity and their own lives, and the boys never really using this space much at all, I've taken all picture sets and pulled them into the "one Recent picture group". Really just another anal obsessive-compulsive keep-things-in-order on routine on my part. Also updated links on family pictures on our About Us page to actually lead to the respective person's private webpage, but since those two are falling out of use, I will probably update THEM to lead to each person's social networking site(s) (which actually already happens on the About Us page, so...). Anyway, maintenance done. Yay.


Demo Of Flash-Based Interactive Digital Image Manipulation

Whoa, cool stuff. At this link you can actually interact with a superimposed digital gremlin using your webcam (and a printout you make at the website). I tried it out and it's pretty nifty for a "first draft". It runs entirely in Flash, and you simply print out the Square with the word HIRO on it, and then put it in front of the camera. The gremlin appears wherever the printout is in relation to it's location and direction. I found that it's better if there is little else around the Square (like desk clutter). I placed the printout on a giant white board I had for science projects, and the gremlin appeared, no problem. Neat stuff!

Monty Python = Smart

Why try and FIGHT the digital age and all those kiddies posting bits of material from TV and Movies... join 'em and make some money off of it! That's what Monty Python decided to do. And who are we to argue with the black knight? Ni!

US Economy Hitting Home Now

Besides retirement funds being affected over the last 2 months, the US economic woes hit home today as our company made announcements which will have (hopefully) short term effects on the employees. I have faith that it really will be short term (three months), but it's scary none the less. :-/


Star Trek movie trailer

Okay, so I saw this trailer for the Star Trek movie coming out in 2009, and the trailer as a whole was very exciting to see. One thing (as I've rewatched it a few times online now) bugs me: the first scene.

Didn't anyone else notice how pathetically fake the first scene looked with "JTK" scrambling to not fall off the edge of a cliff? He was very obviously "anchored" there while his hands scramble to catch hold to save him. For a film being made by someone (J.J. Abrams) who is supposedly in such demand, I was really wondering how of all the scenes they'd open with (as "cool" as it was with the 'Vette and the hoverbike Cop), why they'd choose a scene with such horrible acting, non-believable "terror" from a kid NOT in any danger, and just how the "I am..." quote was supposed to be "so cool" (I found it very much queer and probably out of context).

I love the visuals and everything else I saw. But in a world where attention spans are so short, and where you are judged on things so critically, this was a horrific "first scene" to use in my opinion. I still think it's going to be a very good movie (and I am quite content for any fellow Trekkers to whine about canon this or OMG WHAT DID HE ALTER that - give it up, people). Let's hope this "kid" is a minimal invasion and his poor acting (and/or the poor engineering of his scenes).

UPDATE: Hi Def trailer (#2) is now available at

MOVIE: Quantum Of Solace

So the new James Bond flick was released, and I went to see it with Vesta. I have to admit I was more interested in seeing the Star Trek and Watchmen trailers "mainly" (I did want to see James Bond, just not as much as the trailers).

The flick was good. The new actor playing James Bond is living up to his reputation of being tougher, stronger, meaner, more cold blooded. Apparently the series is trying to get more like the actual writings of Ian Fleming, and be less 'gadgety'. I like where it's going. People LOOKING for the gadgetry and such may be disappointed, I'm not sure. I enjoyed the movie, though.


Coincidence, Or Lack Thereof

I am not one to believe that "coincidence" happens frequently. I happen to believe it is quite rare. Obviously true "coincidence" is a fairly random thing in most arenas. But let's say for instance, if someone were frustrated with a person, and something important to that person ended up missing, or broken, or altered in some way... that's just too much of a "coincidence" for me to just pass up and say "oh well" to. Yet I find I have to do that frequently or else be even more of a "jerk" than I can already be perceived.

Coincidence is just not a frequent visitor. More often it is "retaliation", I think.


Dad's Ongoing Problems... ALS?

Well, my mom just called and said that the latest "idea" is that my dad has ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). This is disheartening, but really, at the moment, it's just another guess based on preliminary tests. I can only hope it's wrong, or that somehow we can figure out a way to slow it down... :-/


My Week

Let's see, in general I've not done much outside of working this week. My company let one of my programmer/data handlers go, so my department is running very tightly right now. Frustrating, but it was a purely financial decision. The company is "doing fine" but this "busy season" is not as busy as it usually is it seems. Unfortunate.

I'm still not planning on voting. I don't feel Americans should vote if they are not properly educated on the persons trying to become President. I don't feel informed enough. But then again, it seems like ALL candidates talk with so much double-speak, and they rarely stick to what they say they're going to do, that perhaps it really SHOULD just be a popularity vote... I don't know. It's a sad process because I don't personally believe 80% of the people voting have clear reasoning on the subject. Most are voting because they heard one thing they liked about so-and-so. I would vote for McCain, that's *fairly* clear (so the Obama fans can rejoice that McCain is getting "one less vote" I guess). Obama and McCain both have good ideas, as is frequently the case. Perhaps America should move away from Presidency and towards a Board-driven style of government. Again, I don't know.

Today is another band event (FBA Marching Assessment) which I'll be filming and photographing for the year-end DVD for Spruce Creek High School, per the norm. It's fun stuff, one of the things I still enjoy doing, and includes my kids which is a bonus. Soon enough they'll be completely separated from "this family life" and leading their own lives, so I milk every moment. I'm no longer directly responsible for the content on SCHS Band's website as the new assistant director apparently wanted to handle it. I'm still in charge (board member, et al) but he's doing the daily maintenance and apparently will put up a new site soon.

Finances in the past few weeks have been "disasterous" for various life-event related reasons, but they should be clearing up after next Friday. Not publicly discussed yet, but Vesta is currently living in a separate home, and as far as I can tell (and am pushing to happen on my end) that is how it will remain permanently. There are problems that I cannot see being repaired, some of a very basic nature, and others which are more complicated. Once we were living together, it all came out, which is unfortunate. I've never been one to endorse "living together" before marriage, but after this experience... I see some merit in the idea, despite my religious upbringing screaming at me that "it's wrong". (sigh)

I put my webcam back up. I'm not bothering with URLs in this posting, but it's at if you really are so inclined to see me at my computer desk, when I happen to be there. In the morning, my hair's a mess (like right now). Don't say I didn't warn you.

I guess that's about it for now. Just thought I'd post some thoughts today. Peace out, people..



Well, I apparently missed Saw IV, and was a tiny bit out of the loop on this movie. It was "okay" for a Saw horror flick. Not the best by any means. The "shocking ending" was... eh, not that shocking really. I was not really impressed. Yes, there was some gore. But really, not even having seen the fourth movie, this was probably the least of them all by my book. Bleh.


Dad Should Get Better Soon?

My father (62 years in age) in the past 3 months has seemingly aged 30 years, with all the crippling effects of such a transformation, physically. Hands, legs, body won't move faster than a snail's pace. Unable to react quickly to anything. Falling a lot. It's been very discouraging for me and the kids, but especially my mother who is the sole bread winner as he's not working any more.

He was FINALLY admitted to a hospital to have (extensive) testing done (MRIs, X-Rays, Ultrasounds, blood, etc) this week.

There is no consensus as of last night, but one theory currently being tossed around is that he has a badly compressed disc in his upper back or neck. I'm assuming that this would mean that the disc is affecting his nervous system (mainly) and having a flow-down effect to the rest of his body, if this truly is the issue.

I'm just thankful someone at the doctoral-level is finally taking "an interest". We've been visiting him daily so far (me with or without some of the kids). We certainly want him to fully recover, but it's been more disturbing seeing someone who is normally fully mobile now moving with the grace of a 117 year old stroke patient. :-( But I am having faith that he is now, finally, getting the attention he needs...


New Watchmen Movie Video

Recently the SCREAM awards featured some new footage of the upcoming Watchmen movie. The original trailer was already a wet dream for fans of the movie the world over. Now, this new footage may very well make some of those same fans just pop with joy. I have to admit, I'm getting happier and happier the more I see of this production.

Though Alan Moore has stated publicly that he's not interested in seeing or being any part of the movie, I'd like to think he'd at least give it a view and state his opinion. Though he may be a perfectionistic self-righteous owner of the entire Watchmen concept (and rightfully so), some fans would appreciate having his take on the whole thing. I doubt it will affect the box office either way.   :-)

I also hope that the lawsuit brought on by Twentieth Century Fox doesn't cause the unthinkable - the complete shelving of the movie (then again, I'm sure it would end up on the Internet that much faster, so...)


Braces. Again.

So as the family winds down on the whole braces ordeal (the orthodontic kind), I get to go back in time. Yes, I now have braces again. Top row, six front teeth (or is that teef?). My front-right tooth simply won't cooperate so they believe a month (HAH) of having these one will solve it, if I get the retainer the same day they come off and wear it religiously. They had previously mentioned a simple operation where they cut the muscle and let it grow back with the tooth lined up, and frankly, I wish they'd done that, but I'm sure that'd cost me money that I can't afford right now. So, I've got these nice shiny braces with black rubber bands to go through the holiday season with. Yay.


Anthony Performs With Spruce Creek

Anthony had a solo tonight at the Winter Concert at Spruce Creek High School while playing with the Wind Ensemble. He was awesome! I was quite proud. :-) He's in his last year of high school and seems to be making the most of it (in more ways than one)... good for him.

Star Trek (2009) pics

I pulled some new photos of the upcoming Star Trek movie starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto today and thought I'd share them for anyone who doesn't happen to look for this stuff. This link takes you to them at my family website. I really hope the "bridge scene" is from another ship (perhaps the USS Kelvin)...


Richard Garriott In Space

All hail the geeks. We continue to show we're the true owners of this sphere. Richard Garriott, creator of Ultima line of games, is in space right now. Lucky dude. I wish I had $30 million laying around to do that.

Lendica = Happiness

Mom said it couldn't be done.

So now, I feel it is appropriate to proclaim myself the official, first ever, master of Lendica.

I created the recipe myself (since no one before me did. I posted it online. I refined it. I have made it several times. And now, I've made the biggest single vat of Lendica on record. Three times the recipe ingredients at one time. It took my biggest pot to do (and barely handled it) plus another huge put for the prep work on the vegetables and lentils.

I'm quite proud of myself. Lendica = GOOD. If you haven't tried it yet, do so! Sprinkle some salt and/or Parmesan cheese on it. Make sure to let it set overnight before eating for the BEST effect!


MOVIE: Quarantine

This was a really good horror flick! I truly enjoyed it. I did not expect to, which sort of helped... It was filmed just like "Cloverfield", from the perspective of someone video taping the entire movie, and it worked well. I really recommend this movie if you like horror.


Poor O.J.

It's hard to have any sympathy for O.J. Simpson, now convicted on twelve counts for armed robbery and kidnapping. Part of me wants to say "what if he REALLY WAS innocent of his wife's murder" way back when, but frankly, it seems like on of this situations where "if it smells like a skunk, acts like a skunk, etc... it must be a skunk". Sorry, O.J.


Private Vehicle In Space

Check out here the story of history that was made this past Sunday evening. The SpaceX program has successfully launched a rocket into orbit. Cool stuff.


MOVIE: Lakeview Terrace

Samuel L. Jackson certainly makes a great "bad guy" (good guy gone astray, what-have-you). This movie was enjoyable overall, a story of racism seemingly brought on by the apparent cheating of his wife discovered by virtue of her death along side her lover (who was "the other color"). It was not a 100 million dollar budget masterpiece, simply a decent story that was well acted.



I think this is going to sound confusing, so bear with me:

Sometimes the stupidity of others, who are attempting to accuse you of stupidity in error, helps you to realize certain stupidities in your life that you need to rectify. So basically stupidity wrongly labeling stupidity yields discovering real stupidity, allowing you to fix said stupidity despite the fact it was original stupidity which was misdirected to begin with.

Clear? Great!


MOVIE: Disaster Movie

Now I can appreciate a good parody like anyone else. This was not a good parody. It was really.. REALLY.. bad.

MOVIE: Babylon A.D.

This movie lacked any coherent storyline. It had nice special effect, decent action, and ended with a wet thud. It was a waste of money in my opinion.


Getting Behind

I'm sure I've forgotten to list some movies I've seen (may post them if I recall them). Life's been interesting, busy, hectic, insane since June 14th (my wedding day). Wow. Having the Brady Bunch at home is definitely interesting!

More to come soon.

MOVIE: Tropic Thunder

Okay, yeah. This movie was definitely "offensive". It was funny, I'll admit. But I can imagine why certain "groups" would be angry about it. Tom Cruise as the overweight, hairy, foul mouthed CEO was hilarious though (the best part of the movie in my book).


Tron 2 (aka "TR2N") featured at ComiCon 2008 in San Diego

Disney had a nice surprise for those attending their presentation at ComiCon... test footage from a possible Tron sequel, which appears to feature Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner!

As long as the link works (as many links are being pulled down, probably by legal threats), here is one to the video shot by someone ... let the Light Cycle battle begin (as Flynn watches on)... here.


MOVIE: Mamma Mia!

I mainly saw this because I like Abba's music, so it ended up being me and the females of the family going. My wife and I literally laughed OUT LOUD when we walked in the theater and the entire audience was:

1. in the back half of the theater (far sighted I guess)

2. covered in white or grey (or no) hair

It was just too funny - I really should have taken a quick picture of the audience but that's illegal I guess...

The movie, based on the play, featuring the music of Abba, was "fun". Definitely a chick-flick for the most part, but still nice if you enjoy their music. The storyline is not exactly what you'd like to have your kids worrying about (one of these THREE MEN is your dad, guess which one, 'cause I dunno!!). But it was still "fun". I actually enjoyed it.

MOVIE: X-Files - I Want To Believe

I DO NOT want to believe I paid to see this episode. Yes, episode. It was a middle-of-the-road X-Files episode. That's how the commercial for it advertises it, and lo and behold, that's all it was. I was very unhappy that I spent ANY MONEY at all seeing this movie. :-(

MOVIE: The Dark Knight

To say that this movie surpassed the first of the reinvented Batman franchise (which started with "Batman Begins") would be an understatement.

Heather Ledger's Joker was truly a fresh approach, which worked well. It's unfortunate that if they bring Joker back, they'll have to find someone new. Harvey Dent's character worked well, but I wish he'd had more screen time "post transformation".

I'm still frustrated with the whole [rough voice] I'M BATMAN [/end voice] schtick they're using. He sounds like he's going to start choking one time because of the gutteral sounds coming out of his mouth every time he talks.

The cell-phone OMAC-ish subplot was also interesting (especially given the Batman storylines of the last few years in the comic franchise). I felt that the cell-phone "radar" was just a bit much (but I'm sure someone would argue "Okay, it's a man in a bat suit doing impossible things, so...."). I felt they stole this from the Daredevil movie, basically.

Fun movie, nice and long, and lots of twists. Loved it!!


"Billy" - music playing application

I'm using Billy now. He's my friend. He uses less than 1% processing power and plays my music very nicely, with basically no impact on my computer. I like Billy. :-)

See Billy and his friends here.


MOVIE: Hellboy 2 - The Golden Army

Pretty good flick, good effects, decent storyline. I did think that Perlman's voice (actor playing Hellboy) seems a little "wrong" to me. I mean, I remember it being gruffer in the first movie. Now it seemed like an every day white-boy's voice. Weird.

I don't collect or read the Dark Horse comic that the movie series is based on (doesn't interest me) but the movie was fun. Juggling babies is not something you get to see everyday. :-P

Blue Springs State Park

Since the State of Florida decreed that Sunday you could get into the state parks for free, we took advantage (thank you, Mandi, for getting us up to do this).

We had a blast swimming in the water there, going down around the fissure and looking inside. One guy caught a fish with his bare hands (I found it odd that a huge trout-sized fish would be swimming around lazily in water infested with humans, but oh well).

It's pretty cool taking a party of Ten out to have some (basically) free fun! Then our party of eleven (plus Anthony's girlfriend at that point) went out to see a movie (Hellboy 2).

One odd note: The state of Florida decided (due to a government official who was slighted once, according to the gate guard) that as the parking lot is full, you are denied access, and that instead of shutting down the park for 3 hours at a time to wait for more parking, they literally change the status of availble parking as people come and go. This in itself seems wise; however, actually being the person who came through the gate, was denied access, then the people immediately behind me WERE GIVEN ACCESS, left a sour taste in my mouth. You cannot "stand" at the gate and wait (which is ALSO stupid, even though I'm sure it's to prevent a line from going out the gate to the main street) and they deny u-turns so you theoretically have to go blocks away to turn around and go through the gate again and play russian roulette. So, we waited a couple minutes, then got back in the drive-in lane, and proceeded to drive 1 mile per hour towards the guard shack (helped by some bicyclists). By then, we had two openings for our two cars. Otherwise, we'd have been turned away again. Hilarious, and stupid, at the same time. :-P


Wedding Day

Saturday, June 14th at 11:00am, Vesta Lee Maloy and I joined in marriage, vowing to spend the rest of our lives together.

The wedding went just about perfectly, with the music choreography, weather and guests all cooperating nicely with our plans. We couldn't have expected it to go as well as it did, so we're very thankful.

Pictures are now online at our family's website, with more to come from other guests with some luck.

Later this morning, we take off for Miami, where we will board a cruise ship to enjoy the Carribean, and each other, for a week. If you're in the vicinity of our home and want to play some Nintendo Wii or XBox 360, stop in as the boys will probably be looking for some players to beat while we're gone.

Thank you to all our guests (over 60 of them) for your well-wishes, time, gifts and attendance to our happy event. You helped make it even more spectacular for us!


The Family Is Complete

Vesta and Mason have officially moved in full-time (this is happening because otherwise she'd be paying another month of rent and utilities in Jacksonville, plus hundreds more dollars in gas again), so the household is once again "complete". Mindy is living in the Jacksonville area, likely for the foreseeable future, but has a home to come to if/when she makes a decision in that direction.

I'm very happy to have my Love home with me full time, finally. Life is looking up in many ways, and we're two weeks away from the wedding! Time to send out reminders to those coming...


MOVIE: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Harrison Ford discovers interdimensional aliens. *yawn* It was an okay movie. Not stellar, and smacked of rehashed special effects (especially the emulated-Ewok celebration in the jungle).

Daniella And I - Updated

It seems that things are just not working out with my oldest daughter and I.

I'm unable to accept a hateful, horrid attitude towards all family members, self-righteousness, and the inability to talk in a civil manner.

Sometimes you get to a point where it's better that you simply remove yourself, or the problem, from your circle. It's extremely discouraging when it's a beloved family member.

My daughter, Daniella, is forcing me into a decision I never could have imagined having to make, especially after her decision to live with her boyfriend, Emmett. Now I'm the one that has to consider the good of the rest of the family, including my new extended family, and Dani just doesn't seem to care.

2008-05-29:   It's funny how things work out. Dani and I talked and we're cool-beans again. It's funny also how a hateful person can help in the process of mending fences between others. So to my ex-wife I say... Thanks! You, as usual, have given the kids even more clear information as to the kind of person you are and will continue to be. I was going to be mad about the lie written in Dani's nice scrapbook, but since she was intelligent enough to know it was completely crap and ripped it out, I'm content. :-P


Wedding Fast Approaching

Good grief. 3x the number of people I expected to come to our wedding have RSVP'd!!


Turning Water Into Fuel

So hot on the heels of my posting relaying the astounding feat of one gentleman showing that you CAN generate more energy than you expend doing it (which defies certain "laws" which will now have to be updated), another more down-to-earth gentleman has come up with something out of a scifi story: turning water into energy

Using a patented process, this man is able to use H2O (water) and electricty to create what he refers to as "HHO". He demonstrates how it produces flame that is barely warm, but when it's exposed to other surfaces, it becomes hotter than the sun. So he took the next logical step and has converted an old Ford into a water-powered vehicle (he then adapted it to be a hybrid, to also from gas if needed). He also demonstrated how using the "torch" he created, the flame actually goes back to it's original format after hitting a surface -- water.

Watch the video (hosted by Rick Dees from a television broadcast; I'm sure there are other locations on the web with this info by now)... Click here to see this amazing proof-of-concept.

THEATER: Tony 'n Tina's Wedding

A surprise to me, my friend and Best Man David, and his wife Takako, took us to see "Tony 'n Tina's Wedding", an interactive dinner theater/show. I had seen mention of this in an advertisement somewhere, but never decided to go see it.

Wow. It was GREAT fun. Definitely an adults-only affair, since it's basically the story of a New York Italian wedding and the resultant hijinx (drunken priest, floozy bridesmaids, angry mothers and other such stuff). From the moment you walk up to the entrance, you're pulled into the wedding scenario (a young lady approached us, asking if we'd seen her boyfriend Joey, showing us a picture -- she was part of the show).

Basically Tony and Tiny get married, there is a dance, some speeches, and by then, there has been some alcohol and a lot of drama, which tumbleweeds into hilarious situations. There is at least 5, if not 10, storylines running at any given time, and the actors are walking all around the audience and involving them in the fun. Despite not feeling completely well that evening, I had a blast!!

Thanks to David and Takako for this unique and awesome evening of fun.

MOVIE: Iron Man

Robert Downey was born to play Tony Stark, that I have to admit.

This movie was phenomenal. And to boot, despite modernizing it for the current timeline, the original storyline was kept very much intact as far as the original of Iron Man. Combine that with a modernization of one of Iron Man's best storylines (the discovery that his technology is being used for purposes other than what he intended, and his decision to take care of it himself) and you end up with a great script.

The ending was a bit of a shock (they've opted to take the modern day approach from the Marvel comic, as Tony reveals that he is Iron Man in the very last line of the [regular] movie.

Then came the after-credits portion of the movie... which fanboys like me all sat in the theater waiting for. Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) of SHIELD pays a visit to Tony to discuss the "Avenger Initiative". Cool stuff.

Side note: The use of "Jarvis" as the name of his interactive computer system was a nice touch. But why do I get this uneasy feeling that the eventual "Ultron" story is going to derive from this? Maybe even The Vision will, too. Interesting...

I look forward to sequels, and to the new Hulk which will have a related tie-in apparently (Tony Stark will be appearing, along with Nick Fury, it's reported).


The day finally came. Vesta and I piled the girls into the van and we headed off to see WICKED in Orlando, courtesy of "Broadway Across America".

What a great musical this was! It certainly deserves all the accolades it's received over the years. We even had an understudy performing the role of Elphaba (who is known as The Wicked Witch Of The West in "The Wizard Of Oz". The music, the stage, choreography and visuals, combined with the awesome prequel and concurrent storylines (the first act takes place before the original "Oz", while the second act takes place during the same time period), made for a terrific afternoon.

I'd like to see someone combine both into an all-inclusive musical someday.

Slacking lately

I have not posted in just about a couple months, but it's mainly because it's busy-time for me. Added to that the fact that I'm in the process of getting married on June 14th of this year and "Tony is a busy boy".... so, I'm about to post several entries that are overdue, in chronological order.


MOVIE: Doomsday

Doomsday, by the commercials, seemed to be an English/Scottish takeoff of Max Max. That's pretty much what it turned out to be. It was an enjoyable little post-apocalyptical adventure, though "Max" this time was a chick. I seemed to be more interested in finding inconsistencies with the storyline while watching it, for some odd reason, but it was adequate fare for a post-birthday sit-down event. ;-)


Recording People In The Workplace ... Legal?

Anyone know the legalities of recording audio in your personal workspace? Basically the equivalent to turning on a tape recorder in your cubicle, and recording any sounds that happen to come into your cubicle?

Unfortunately I have to work within a few feet of some very uncontrolled, time-wasting, loud mouthed people, and my Human Resources department refuses to do anything about it (apparently I'm expected to keep headphones on all day with music blasting, to which I guess I will just have to sue someone when my hearing starts to go).

It's absolutely insane the stupidity I hear on a daily basis, and the low level of work it's obvious these people are doing. Makes me want to get on the phone and chat for 2-4 hours a day from work... but my work ETHIC does not permit this.

This is almost as stupid a situation as an that of an ex-wife posting things online (combined with what she says and does) that makes my children look at her with disdain on a regular basis. How stupid.


Turning 40 This Week

We just celebrated my 40th birthday today with local family. Not a huge event, but good food and good gifts. I'm truly blessed in many ways, topped off by the fact that I'm in love with not only four awesome children, but two more and a beautiful blonde wh will become my wife on June 14th. Life is great right now. ;-)

MOVIE: Jumper

This movie was as predicted. Very simple story line (almost made me believe it was setting up for a TV series) and the same simplistic I'm-Damaged-Goods acting from Darth Vader Junior himself, Hayden Christensen. It was a decent movie, but nothing to write home about, or to see twice. Rumor has it the sequel, if made, could involve time-travel on top of teleportation, which might be interesting.


Perpetual Motion - Unlimited Energy - It's Done

I'm still wrapping my brain around what this man has accomplished. I mean, it's all there, in living color. You have to check this out.

Updated 2-14-2008:   Per the comment left on this post, I found that the page has been disabled/renamed/something, so here are links to the videos that a third party posted to YouTube:   1-2 3 4 5 6 7

Updated 2-24-2008:   I'm *truly* excited by what this man and his team has accomplished. There is now a Wikipedia entry for his discovered where I'm sure many people devoted to exploring his discovery will be keeping a close watch. There is so much to look forward to as this is perfected. The simplest and potential most devastating impact could be an electric car that can charge itself indefinitely with no outside energy source. I think people should start thinking about the possibility of a LOT of humans in the US being out of work as this is refined and turned into a viable product. Oil barons? Bye bye.


David And Takako Married

Well, they were already married, but Saturday we celebrated their marriage officially in Orlando. I was the best man (damn straight). It was great fun, and very touching. Lots of pictures are online at my family site.


MOVIE: Cloverfield

So the hype surrounding the "1-18-08" movie, known now as "Cloverfield", was pretty much well deserved. After watching this "Blair Witch" meets "Godzilla" crosspairing, I found myself wanting to hate the video-camera shooting technique (the entire movie is told from the vantage point of a person video recorder carried around by a couple members of the cast). I couldn't find the ability to hate it, though. It was good. Really good.

The "monster" was technically secondary to the storyline. The story is about how a group of friends survive the destruction of New York, wilderbeast like monsters and the us armed forces. It's a fun ride. Let's home J.J. Abrams does as well re-creating Star Trek this December as he did producing this movie.


Spider-Man Reset?

Good lord.

First there's the clone-saga. Yikes. Then all the dreaded symbiot stories. Arrgh.

Now, JMS comes along and does some awesome things with the character (even if there was also the CHILDREN of GWEN STACY) and than SNAP! They reset things.

There better be some good twists with this. Comics can get to be very frustrating when you've collected and read them as long as I have.


Yep, I'm engaged. And in case it's not clear to who... it's Vesta, the woman who's captured my heart, mind, body and soul. WOW!

No dates yet; we're discussing rings and dates and guests and locations.

She's awesome. I can't wait!!


The Love Of My Life

On December 23rd, 2007, I met Vesta.

On January 6th, 2008, I decided I want to spend the rest of my life with her.

I've never been so scared in my entire life. A lifetime of learned traits are making me very cautious in this. Fears of rejection and false pretenses are non-existent. Vesta is someone I never could have hoped to meet. Of the "two real loves" I've known in my life, Vesta is literally an amalgam of them both, plus unique traits all her own. It's like a dream come true. How did this happen? I feel completely unworthy. That pisses Vesta off. I can't, however, help how I feel. It's no shortcoming on her part; it's me (as cliche as that sounds).

My mother loves her. My father seems to like her. My kids like her very much. My friends like her. It seems that most everyone is happy that I am happy and sharing my life once again with someone special.

I am 100% totally in love with Vesta Lee Maloy. We intend to get married. I am going to wrestle with my own "petty fears" (my own words) and Vesta seems intent to wait for me to come around. We've already discussed in great detail most of the key issues involving the merger of our families. My kids will read this and know for the first time that I feel this way (though they have clearly seen how much we care for each other already) and I have no problem with that.

Last night Vesta and I, joined by my friends David Prather and fiance Takako, as well as Fred and Amanda Weston, "howled at the moon". We went to an establishment named "Howl At The Moon" which features dueling pianos and lots of fun. It's definitely an adult experience (alcohol is the beverage of choice, and a few things done are intended for the mature-minded). I can honestly say we had a blast, as did David and Takako (I believe Fred and Amanda enjoyed themselves, but may have felt out of place, or had other concerns I was not privy to -- I really wanted to press this issue, but chose not to). Pictures should be up later tonight at my home website.

And just in case it's not clear...

I love Vesta Lee Maloy. I intend to marry her.


Thunderbird Took A Vacation

December 24th, 2007. My Thunderbird client decides that about .05% of my email is Junk (the actual ratio is usually about 85%, and then I remove the rest manually).

January 3rd, 2008. My Thunderbird client (no updates) suddenly starts processing Junk mail properly again.

I'm curious if this was a worldwide phenomenon or if it was limited to me. I'd debated uninstalling and reinstalling it, but lazily left it as-is. Now it's working again. What the heck.