Monday, August 09, 2004

What's in the Office 2003 Editions?: "$399 US" For Microsoft Office 2003 or I can just download Open Office from


for $0 and get all the great tools I need. Gee, that's a no brainer.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

D'ya know what's irritating? People who assume anything you might happen to be doing on a computer is by default playing. I get this a lot and I suppose it's because most of the people I know and work with aren't involved with computers professionally other than what they are required to be by their jobs. You know, reading interdepartmental e-mails, filling out reports and turnovers, etc. That sort of thing. Oh most of them have computers in their homes but for them it is, for all intents and purposes, a toy. They play games on it, get online and chat or look up stuff once in awhile but rarely use it for serious matters beyond perhaps some online banking. So to them, by default, when they see someone on a computer that person must be "playing". Now, I don't deny that I have a game or two installed on my computer and once in a great long while I might in fact be playing but as I've gotten older games are far, far less of interest to me than the big game of life in the real world. That's where you play for keeps. That's where scoring big equals real, tangible bounty from winning or real, tangible hunger for losing for that matter.

So, far more often than not, if I am on my laptop I am either studying something that I think will be of value to me professionally or to make my life better in general, taking care of financial matters or reading news (USA Today, Yahoo! News, etc.), e-mail or, writing a rant in my Blog! Other than perhaps the writing in my Blog bit I really don't consider any of these activities to fall into the realm of play. After all, when someone goes to their mailbox and gets the bills, junk mail and whatever else no one asks them if they are playing with their mail. If I were to sit at the table, drink my coffee and read a printed version of the newspaper or magazine I normally read online I doubt someone would ask if I were playing with my newspaper. And believe me there is nothing playful about paying bills.

To people with this mindset computers are toys and therefore anything anyone might be doing is playing which makes it perfectly acceptable to pester, distract and otherwise annoy them while they are doing it.

Well, now ya know what's what's irritating.

There, I got that off my chest. I feel better now. Whew! ;-)

Oh, BTW, it wasn't someone at work that set me off on this rant, this time at least...

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Firedfox - The Browsed.

Well, not everyone who has tried Firefox ends up being a fan as the person who created this site can surely attest. There's nothing wrong with that. It is, after all, as it should be. You're not going to please all of the people all of the time.

I am still very much enjoying FireFox and Thunderbird myself and have most recently been playing around with the things you can do with keywords, bookmarks and the %s feature. But, while I am a fan of The Mozilla Foundation and the principles of Open Source Development my primary concern is keeping the internet open to everyone regardless of their software (or hardware for that matter) preference. Microsoft has made some damn fine software which is both easy to use and accessible to almost anyone. But when any company captures more than 90% of a given market it has achieved, I don't care what arguments you make, monopoly status. When you own that much of the market you begin to want to make everyone else play by your rules, you begin to ignore standards set by organizations like the W3C and start setting standards of your own and those who don't play by your rules or standards are left out in the cold because you control the vast overwhelming majority of the market and you can decide what should and should not work. You start telling developers and vendors that if they don't cater to your platform and your platform only they don't get to play on your vast playing field. Eventually you begin to care less about customer service because the customer has few choices but to pay your high prices, put up with your lousy customer support and live with security vulnerabilities until you get around to doing something about it.

Now, people can and will argue all day long on UseNet newsgroups, in chatrooms and on Web Logs about whether or not Microsoft has in fact reached this level of apathy towards the customer but as someone who is old enough to remember the telephone monopoly or having dealt with local cable company monopolies I can tell you that you don't want one, single company to control 90% or more of the market for too long or it's just a matter of time that you'll be paying hundreds of dollars for the most basic of tools and still have to pay for telephone support when it doesn't work right. What? Did I hear someone say we're already there? Well, there you go...

Competition is a good thing. The more players there are in the market the more important it becomes to keep the end user happy by writing better code, fixing problems in a timely manner when they are discovered and supporting your product! So for this reason, and a few others I won't go into right now, I tend to like to support underdogs like Mozilla, Linux and other Open Source competitors because these little Davids keep the Goliath on it's toes so it doesn't forget that customers do have a choice. So even if you prefer Internet Explorer over Mozilla Firefox or Opera or whatever else is out there. Even if you're a fan of proprietary development tools like ActiveX and VBScript. You should still find competition refreshing because it keeps your favorite company from forgetting that if they don't take care of you then you can pick up and move to another neighborhood. If that 95% dominance of the web browser market drops to say 80% or 70% you can bet Microsoft will pull out all of the stops and start improving their product and developing some things that'll blow your socks off. After all, it was no accident that all of those Netscape users of the past abandoned it for IE 4.0 when it came along. IE won, partly because it was free and came bundled with Windows but it also beat Netscape because it was at the time a better browser. Netscape Communicator had become buggy, bloated and yes, expensive. Oh sure, you can't compete with free (well, maybe the price is figured in to the price tag of the OS) but maybe a $20 version can move where a $50 version can't? Maybe better prices for software in general would be a good thing. If musical performers who make millions of dollars can produce and sell CDs full of their latest recordings for about $16 why does a CD full of software like an HTML Editor or a Compiler have to cost $300? Is it any wonder piracy runs rampant with prices like that? Just like people can see paying $1 each for songs that they like instead of paying $16 for a CD that only has two or three good songs on it. People would probably be more likely to pay a fair price for just the tools they want and need than dropping a car payment for a bunch of junk they don't need. But that's just me I guess. What do I know? I'm just a guy that likes to tinker with computers in my spare time and write stuff in my Blog when it occurs to me.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

As I stated in my previous post I recently switched to the Mozilla internet suite. Well, I wanted to update a bit since I've had time to play around with it. The more I use it the more things I find that I like about it. I would highly recommend the Firefox Browser, Thunderbird E-Mail client or in my case the entire Mozilla Internet Suite with Browser, E-Mail, Composer and Chatzilla included. You can't beat the price, a free download at and the usability and security improvements over IE and Outlook Express make it well worth the time and effort.

Now, a little history about myself. Before I got onto the internet in 1995 I ran my own FIDONet BBS from 1992 to 1995. My first computer was a Commodore Vic 20 that I got when I was 16 years old back in 1984. So I've tinkered with computers off and on for pretty much most of my life. I'm no stranger to the history of Netscape vs. Internet Explorer and the Linux, Mac, OS/2 world vs. Microsoft. In fact, I've installed and played around with Linux distributions since the slackware releases first started making the rounds in the early 1990's. Long before Tux was choosen as the mascot and before Red Hat, Debian and other popular distributions of today came along. I've tinkered with coding in C, Java, Javascript, DHTML, Perl and other Web technologies but never got good enough to create anything useful on my own. Just enough to look at other people's code, see how it works and modify it to fit my needs basically. That's been enough for me. I always liked Linux and the entire Open Source movement but invariably had to go back to using Microsoft products due to lack of applications for the Linux platform or compatibility issues when wanting to do work between my computers at home and those at work. But it looks like Open Source is finally coming of age and becoming a real alternative to the exisiting dominant models.

In my opinion, having all of computerdom dominated by one software company is not a healthy situation. It wasn't healthy when nearly everyone used Netscape and it's not healthy now that nearly everyone uses Internet Exploder (er...I mean Explorer). Without competition there is no incentive to innovate, to strive for something better, more useful, more secure and more user friendly. Microsoft makes great products, don't get me wrong. Marketing strategy and some dirty tricks had a lot to do with why the free (bundled with Windows) Internet Explorer all but wiped Netscape from the face of the World Wide Web. But during it's downfall Netscape versions became buggier and buggier and the features being introduced just didn't compete with those of the latest versions of IE. In many way's Netscape did itself in. But the code to Netscape got released to the Open Source community about 5 years ago and since then has been worked on and developed by many volunteers throughout the world until the latest version of the browser, Firefox, is as stable and user friendly as anyone could ask for and with a host of new and innovative features to boot. Tabbed browsing, built in pop-up blocking, the cookie manager and the inexhaustable supply of themes and extensions availble to customize your version to your liking blow the latest version of Internet Explorer away. For the first time in years I'm actually excited about the internet again because I think this may be the opening bell for a new round of browser wars sure to bring about some exciting new developments and improvements to the way we all use the internet. With Web Application Development becoming the new wave in software design I believe what operating system or hardware you are running is going to become less and less important because whatever you choose to get online with is going to be able to access any tools you might wish to use.

I know Microsoft is no slouch when it comes to competing. Oftentimes they use all of their corporate might to pounce on any would be competitors like an 800 lb. gorilla. So I'm sure if the new generation of web browsers start capturing too much marketshare away from IE they will come back swinging with some innovations of their own. But that is what healthy competition is all about.

For my own part, I'm going to make sure as many of my friends get an opportunity to put Mozilla on their desktop as possible. I am spreading the good word of the big lizard and buying 5 packs of the CD's from the Mozilla Store to give to my friends who still have dialup connections so they won't have to spend hours downloading it. I might even buy one of those spiffy shirts soon. Afterall, Mozilla is the underdog in this fight with only a few percent of the browser market compared to IE's 94 percent. I've always been a sucker for underdogs, or in this case underlizard. Especially ones that look like they have a fighting chance of succeeding if they can just get a little support.

I'm not naive enough to believe the big blue e is going to be dissappearing anytime soon but if Mozilla could recapture say 20 or 30 percent of the market that would be enough for the world to stand up and take notice. It would be enough for website administrators to start paying attention to the standards set forth by the W3C group and building sites that are compatible for all browsers rather than letting one company set the rules for everyone to have to live by. It would be enough to make that one company get off their butts and do something about all of the security holes that have been found and exploited over and over again in their software the past few years. It would be enough to rekindle some of that pioneering spirit that once existed when the world wide web was a new phenomenon and new, exciting stuff was being thrown out there to play with nearly every week.

This could be interesting...

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I got tired of new security issues coming up every week with Internet Explorer and Outlook Express so I switched back to my old friend this week. Mozilla has come a long way since the Netscape Navigator incarnations of yesteryear. It's got a slick interface, loads and browses faster than internet explorer and the tabbed browsing feature is very handy for the way I surf. Also the mail client has nice built in anti-spam features. With the themes and extensions you can install it's easy to configure it to look and work just the way you want it to. I'm very happy with my new internet suite. I sound like a commercial don't I? Well, I guess since this is open source software and all these guys are running on is what donations people make to their cause out of the goodness of their heart's they can use all the plugs they can get. And they deserve it too because they've done a top notch job on this product. Check it out for yourself:

Mozilla 1.7 / 1.7.1 home page

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - People in homes where the annual income is less than $35,000 a year spend about 50 percent more time a week playing video games than those in homes with incomes above $74,000, according to a study released on Tuesday.

"Eris tend thee; Hekate reveal thee; Nemesis give thee thy due."

"That which our school courses leave almost entirely out, we thus find to be that which most nearly concerns the business of life. All our industries would cease, were it not for that information which men begin to acquire as they best may after their education is said to be finished. And were it not for this information, that has been from age to age accumulated and spread by unofficial means, these industries would never have existed." - Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

"Woohoohoohoo. The wonderful thing about witches, is witches is wonderful
things. They dance, they prance, they clap and sing. They live a life of
joy, peace and fun. But, the most wonderful thing about witches is...I AIN'T
the only one."

- fromTigger's Full Moon Ritual,
Grove of the Hundred Acre Wood

I didn't really do anything except recite the usual
incantations (f**!!!#((( Audi) and it hasn't returned.
Customer's a friend of the wife so I would have heard.

"It's interesting that despite the separation of church and state, we are the most
religious country in the West and certainly the most religiously diverse. We are
also blessed -- no less than that -- to have had so little religious enmity, even now
in the post-Sept. 11 world.

I'd say that's no accident.

But when the bricks get pulled from the wall separating church and state, that's
an accident waiting to happen." -Mike Littwin

-DISCLAIMER: the author's enjoyment of the part of "Devil's Advocate"
does not imply any organizational, political, or religious affiliation
with, or belief in, "The Devil," "Satan", "Lucifer," et. al, or any similar
entities from Christian or other mythology. The author has not
received any fees, compensation, or benefits from "The Devil," nor is the author
bound in any contractual obligations therewith.-


"As long as any group of people is able to dominate others through the
codification of their religious beliefs into civil law, the human species
will remain in the Dark Ages of ignorance and superstition."
-- Ann Moura, Origins of Modern Witchcraft

"As long as you have a cloistered mind and live and think according to social consciousness,
you will never venture into the unknown or contemplate the possibility of greater realities
for fear that it will mean change.

And certainly it will, because there will be more to see, to understand, and to be
part of, than there was before in a tidy world that lives and dies.

As long as you accept only those limited thoughts that have been bred into you,
you will never activate greater portions of your brain to receive and experience
any thought other then what you have faced every day of your existence"

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing
evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but
you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence
you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact,
violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for
violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night
already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only
light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us treat men and women well; treat them as if they were real. Perhaps they are. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can't underestand the appeal of virgins. Been there, done that: what a
pain in the ass! Whining, guilt tripping, second guessing... Sheesh!
Give me experience every time!


"Religions only look different if you get them from a retailer.
If you go to a wholesaler, you'll find they all get it from the
same distributor."
--Stephen Gaskin

"I don't think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink
this decision."
-- George W. Bush, remark to ABCNEWS, June, 1999, regarding Ft. Hood's decision
to allow Wiccan rituals just as all military bases allow rituals of the Christian
faith (in a letter to Cliff Walker, the Bush Campaign HQ backpedaled, calling
this Bush's personal opinion; later it becomes part of his campaign)

"No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith."
President Bush's address to joint session of Congress
Thursday, September 20, 2001

"He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."
Albert Einstein

Then he has but to make Science his religion. There are many saints
in that religion, too. Jane Borland, a teacher at Lamar High School
in Arlington said a couple of weeks ago, "the fact that they (Monarch
butterflies) can migrate thousands of miles on a route they've never
seen before and never been taught, is just one of the wonders and
miracles of science." I nearly spit coffee reading that one. But it
does indicate a sense of orthodoxy, doesn't it? Almost any wondrous
phenomenon can now be attributed to the wisdom of Science.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

"It is no great matter to make a goddess into a witch or a virgin into a
harlot; but to achieve the contrary, to give the humiliated dignity, to make
the fallen worth coveting, for that either art or character is needed." [J.
W. Goethe, 1749-1832]

"Question with boldness even the extistence of a god, for such a god, if
there be one, must surely respect the homage of reason rather than
blindfolded fear"
Thomas Jefferson

"No man [should] be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship,
place, or ministry whatsoever, nor [should he] be enforced, restrained,
molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor ... otherwise suffer on
account of his religious opinions or belief ... All men [should] be free
to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion,
and ... the same [should] in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil
-- Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. Papers

Did you know the Greeks always built a special temple to the God/Goddess
who has not been named? They wanted to make sure they didn't miss any
deities, so they had a temple set aside for any deity that they might have
missed. There is one on the left side of the entrance to the Parthenon, and
at the bottom of the hill in the Agora.

Nonlocal Energy
Nonlocal Quantum Hologram
DNA Phantom Effect

"Government doesn't work. It doesn't keep our streets safe and it doesn't educate our children. Government is good at only one thing: It breaks your legs, hands you a pair of crutches, and says, 'See, without us you wouldn't be able to walk.”
- - - - - Harry Browne

"We're also about body acceptance. We take the nude human body for what it
is: a gift of nature, dignified and worthy of respect. No body parts are
shameful; none need take on more significance than others. Naturists think that
all natural bodies are whole and complete, no matter what shape they take, or
what scars they bear."

It does make for an interesting, provocative, but civil discussion, though.

I really believe you should consider the fate of your eternal soul,
brother. The one true Goddess holds her hand out to you, having
sacrificed not only her Son, but also her Lover and Brother for your
salvation, that you might understand the meaning of the Summerland,
the lessons you have failed to learn in previous lives. May you taste
the everlasting cycle that has bourne us all, and forever shall bear
us onward.

Did ya' chuckle a bit? I fed you some of the priciples of my relgion
and included one of your own... The one true way tack. I hope this is
not lost on you. It sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't it?

I felt the same way when I read yours.

"Free advice. Any time that anybody starts proclaiming themselves any
kind of 'governing body' or 'authority', particularly of a folkway,
heritage, or spirituality, RUN VERY FAST THE OTHER WAY!"..."Unfortunately
we DO get some of the same kinds of power-trippers and control freaks
that the Christers get, and like theirs, such tend to target newbies and
seekers who aren't experienced enough to recognise them. Remember,
these groups can no more give you 'permission' to be what you are - you don't
EVER need anybody's hypocritical 'permission' - than they can let you be
or make you be something that you are not.

Farheil," -Harbard

"Who died and made you the pantheon?" -- Weazel

Not being Christian, I am not bound by their moral code of turning the other cheek.
I am also free to tell you what I think of you in no uncertain terms. You are a
small person. You lack both the ability to accept correction and good manners.
Your ineluctable obtuseness belies the miniscule nature of your ersatz
intellect. In short you're a dunce. Good riddance.

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will
within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often
but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights
of the individual."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Christians have been claiming for thousands of years that God is
everywhere. Pagans actually *believe* it.

What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put
it on? - Henry David Thoreau, _Familiar Letters_, May 20, 1860

I've always viewed the mixing of beliefs and practices as a strength,
especially to Wicca. To recognize that each culture has an inherent
religious "correctness" and to be able to integrate what we believe to
be the best parts into a unified whole is important on a personal
level. I don't believe its disrespectful to incorporate new ways of
connecting with divinity simply because someone else also employs
those ways. Nor do I see it as disrespectful to alter those ways
either subtly or drastically.

We shouldn't claim that our altered or adopted ways are "true and
authentic [insert label here] traditions", but we shoulnd't be scared
to borrow what we feel to be divinely True.

The Tenets


Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old
enough to know better.
-- Anonymous

Body shame, like prejudice, is not natural. It is learned from others &
benefits no one.

An interesting trick some friends have done is to record the SIT
(Special Information Tone) notes into the beginning of their outgoing
answering machine message. The automatic-systems that the
telemarketers use will then strike you from their "live" lists.
They're available online in various sound formats if anyone cares to
do this.

Not necessarily so, Wicca is about 50 years old, the word Witch, and witch craft is centuries older, Wicca can not claim witchcraft as being a part of itself, because it has always been their, long before their was a wicca. Wicca is a religious path. A witch is someone who studies and uses the art and craft of magick, its not a religion, its no part of any religion,
Which is why you can have witches of just about every religion in the world, including atheists. You can be a witch and a wiccan, a witch and a pagan, a witch and a Jew,
a witch and a catholic ect, ect.

For me pagan these days means someone who follows an Earth religion or a
local religion, rather than a monolithic religion.

"Never tease fundamentalists while they are visiting in your home.
It is against the rules of Pagan hospitality, and besides, they pee
on the rugs when they get worked up." - Terry, alt.religion.wicca.

The capacity to learn is a gift;
The ability to learn is a skill;
The willingness to learn is a choice.
Rebec of Ginaz ("Dune: House Harkonnen")

It's pretty simple, the way I see it (and keep in mind that my comments here
are strictly from a Jewish perspective).

The commandments were given to the Children of Israel. The strict
interpretation of the commandment is that the Jews will worship YHVH only.
It does not negate the power of other gods for other religions; it just
forbids the worship of those gods by Jews.

Rabbi Honigsberg

I kind of like the way Robert A. Heinlein put it in 'Stranger in a Strange Land'

"...but the least likely explanation for it was the no-explanation of random
chance, the conceit that abstract somethings "just happened" to be atoms that
"just happened" to get together in ways which "just happened" to look like
consistent laws and some configurations "just happened" to possess self-awareness..."

Plato's influence extended long past his own life and, indeed, never died.
The Academy remained a going institution until A.D. 529, when the Eastern
Roman Emperor, Justinian, ordered it closed. It was the last stronghold of
paganism in a Christian world.

Why do you quote things out of the Old Testament, when it no longer applies today?

Because Christians do. Confronted with space on a schoolroom wall, Christians
suddenly feel the need to post the 10 commandments. At gay pride rallies,
references to Leviticus pop up everywhere. And just try getting through a
pro-life march without seeing umpteen Christians waving banners quoting
Isaiah or Psalms. The fact is, Christians refer to the Old Testament all
the time. The difference is, we do not suffer from selective amnesia when
doing so.
Plus, Christians say that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
In other words, He never changes. So if He thought genocide was okay back
then, or that little children should be mauled by bears for teasing a man for
being bald, then He must today as well.

Its funny how we all seem to know the bible, the book
that condemmed our ansestors to death and the book
that almost destroyed our religion.

What -- Old Testament rules from God no longer apply
today, since we're under the New Covenant? Then there
are some people who are trying to hang the Ten Commandments
on public schools walls that you should have a talk with!

Whatever you wish for me,
May you have twice as much.

"Then again, there are so few Omnis around to eat, one must resort to meat."

Just because we are not interested in war doesn't mean that war isn't
interested in us - Trotsky

The key to the future lies in the past.

A golden ring, a tied knot,
two wreaths exchanged, two metals wrought,
a union, a bond, fusion, linked
O Gamos,
oh bless us
oh goddess ... Hera

Hera- Sister and wife of Lord Zeus. They are the King and Queen of the Olympian Gods. She is the divine goddess of Marriage and Unions. Let all relationships be blessed by her for they are all Unions and within her domain. Let her preside over all weddings, and partnerships. Any celebration of union for she will bless it with the fruits of success. Be it children, success, wealth, whatever. Honour her praise her and she will reward your dedication.
Let all vows be made before her and beware to those who would break those vows. She is goddess of retribution for infidelity. You have been warned!
Praise be to Goddess Hera.

"We are one, after all, you and I;

together we suffer,

together we exist,

and forever will recreate each other."

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

> of the Church Of Satan,
Speak you may but communicate you can not... Your church is just
another part of the christian church of organized religion. When
will you ever learn.... "There is no Satan." Satan is not a being
and never was. You like Your Christian brothers sell hate and fear.

We don't buy from either of you.

I am awaiting a commission to investigate Satanism and Witchcraft in America;
headed by Fundamentalist ministers.
Perhaps they could call it "The Inquisition."

Blessed be to all in this troubled time;
Chloe McMahon

I believe in the rule of law. I also believe that laws should
prohibit only those actions that are proven to be truly, tangibly harmful to

There are those who know, those who don't, those who wish to learn and those
who don't:-)

How did pagans get such a bad rap?
When the bully owns the printing press, guess what the copy is?

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."-- Mohandas Gandhi
"Nonviolence is the supreme law of life." -- Indian Proverb

:O <----This is the face of a man who's on the Jerry Springer show and
has just found out his girlfriend was a man and that he's now running
off with his Mother, who infact is not his mother, cause he was adopted.

"Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the
winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser
is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an
impartial guardian of the law."
-- John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court Justice Appointed by Gerald Ford

Wicca is a contemporary Pagan religion with spiritual roots in Shamanism
and the earliest expressions of reverence of nature. Among its major
motifs are: reverence for the Goddess and the God; reincarnation; magick;
ritual observances of the moon, astronomical and agricultural phenomina;
spheroid temples, created with 'personal power' in which rituals occur.

AAAARRRRGGGHH!! Who let all the football worshippers in here? ;-)

Seriously, a ritualized form of 18th century warfare promoted as our latter
day Roman circus is not my idea of entertainment .. although I guess
regular football games give the violent types something to do in place of
rioting in the streets ..

"That which is called God by the Christians, Jehovah by the Jews, Ultimate
Reality by the Hindus, the Buddha Mind by Buddhists, Allah by Muslims, and
which the Chinese call the Tao- That is the Real Self and is all-pervading.
May we experience that!"

For the believer no evidence is necessary for the nonbeliever none is

-- ?? --
Happy Third Millennium everyone.

('s actually --

450,000 AA (After Anu) according to the Sitchin "calendar"

9602 years since Ramayana wars

6237 according to the Egyptian calendar

5761 according to the Hebrew calendar

5119 according to the great Mayan Cycle

2754 years since Romulus and Remus "founded" Rome

2750 according to the old Babylonian calendar

2545 according to the Buddhist calendar

2004-2006 according to Christ's probable birth years of 4-6 BCE

1421 according to the Muslim calendar

423 years that the Dalai Lamas have been governing Tibet (though now in exile)

209 according to the French Revolution calendar

and as of January 24, it will be the end of the Year of the Dragon, and the beginning of the Year of the Snake, according to the Chinese calendar...

...but heck, we won't worry about such piddling details and obvious Western ethnocentrism! It's all just an excuse for a bit of celebration anyway!).

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. - Gandhi

There are Christians who do utterly horrible things, and are
always repenting, feeling that Jesus will forgive them. Gandhi
mentioned this phenomenon in his autobiography as the principle reason
why he rejected Christianity: because as far as he could see, it simply
purports to deliver one from the CONSEQUENCES of ones sinful deeds,
whereas Gandhi wanted to elimate sin and wickedness at its very source,
not simply escape the consequences.

The Truth is out there, we'll let it back in when it sobers up.

Those that Beat Their Swords into Ploughshares Shall Plough for Those
Who Did Not

For two millennia, pagans have lived on the spiritual periphery, their Earth-based faith demonized by mainstream religions.

"The Christian church has spent 2,000 years making "witches' and "pagans' bad words because we are the religion that lost the war (between paganism and Christianity)," says Denver psychotherapist Judith Brownlee, who is also a witch. "Anthropologists will tell you that any time a culture comes in, takes over and ousts an older culture, the gods and goddesses of that defeated culture become the devils and demons of the new culture." Weary of being associated with satanic worship, black magic and other unsavory practices, and tired of keeping their dearest values hidden for fear of discrimination, some pagans now come together to celebrate Pagan Pride Day. This year it falls on Saturday. -(Article submission courtesy of Lowell McFarland)

"You can have no religion in the schools. You can have all religions in the schools, but you can't have only the Christian religion in the schools,"

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men."-Matthew 6:5

"It must be tough being a Bible-based fundamentalist Christian. After all, if you take it literally the book is a study in contradictions, not to mention advocating a host of currently unfashionable ideas, such as selling your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7), slaughtering goats to expiate one's sins (Leviticus 16), and of course, that business about God creating the earth in 7 days. However, one would think that despite the difficulty of following all of the Bible's injunctions, the words of Jesus might merit some special attention from a Christian."

"But no..." as Diotima goes to explain in, We Pray Too: A Report From The Bible Belt, "They believe that not being able to broadcast their prayers over the loudspeaker at a football game is a violation of their First Amendment rights, and they were bound and determined to let the Supreme Court and everyone else know it."


A home blessing meditation for charging a room:
o Sit Straight with palms on lap, take deep breaths, relax,
and move into a mental space where you activate your
intuitive senses,
o Imagine a cord of energy from your spine connecting you to
the Earth, and channel energy from the Earth through it,
o Silently ask for divine protection, guidance, and blessing,
o Direct your psychic sensing outward, and feel lines of
force coming out of your aura,
o Note where the strongest energy is (check out the
floor,ceiling, directions, etc), Note spots that feel empty
or dead, note places that feel full alive, focus on where
you are sitting and how you feel at that particular spot,
o Imagine a sphere of light and love energy at your heart,
feel it pulsing outward with every breath.
o Feel the radiance increase with every breath, feel your self
as a star, continue to breathe deeply and send out the
energy, letting it pulsate in the room,
o When ready, start making power sounds representing the love
and light you are channeling; use it to amplify the light
you are weaving; and fill the room with the energy,
o Then shift focus to sending a probe out into the room, and
note the differences in the quality of energy and how you feel
about it,
o Repeat if necessary,
o When done, feel the completeness of the work.

A room blessing involving elemental quarter invocations:
o Face each direction (with arms out in appropriate elemental
invoking gesture), and say, while channeling and visualizing
elemental power:
- Powers of (say direction),
- Powers of (say corresponding element),
- We great you, we honor you, we welcome you here!
- Watch over and bless and protect this place.
o After each invocation, shape the energy into columns of light
by sweeping ones arms together until they are parallel and
sweeping them up and down while channeling and shaping the
o When the energy is properly shaped, say so "mote it be."

o After you have done all four quarters, channel in spirit

To return the energy to a more mellow state while energizing
yourself, put your hands out and take in a bit of the energy into
your self from each direction, going widdershins, hold hands to
your heart and take in the energy (techniques also exist for
bringing it into a stone and retrieving it when needed).

The above was taught by Selena Fox at Esotericon V, in January

OK -- my $.02 .. as long as the school is not promoting or discouraging any
particular religion, it is constitutionally protected free speech.

"...When the government fears the people there is liberty, when the people
fear the government there is tyranny..."
Thomas Jefferson

"Man is the dream of the Dolphin"

"You're not learning how to be a WITCH, you're remembering how
to be ONE"

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -Samuel Adams

My apologies, I am inexperienced in the realm of personal attacks and
retaliation. I have grown accustomed to discussing the merits of the issues
in a civilized fashion.

"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead
of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit
their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of
the facts that need altering." -- Dr. Who

But... you don't have the right to force me to believe what you do, or to
force me to practice your religion. And you don't have the right to
interfere with me practicing my religion. Our country is based on religious
freedom. You have the right to not associate with me because you think I'm
harmful, but you don't have the right to ban me from my beliefs. THAT is
what our country stands for.

And as a side note, you're more likely to convince me that I'm wrong by
letting your God's light shine out through you than by wielding a sword
against me upon which you've written His name.

"You could spend an hour counting the petals in a flower
It might take you a year to count the veins in each petal
If you spent ten lifetimes, maybe you could count its cells...

...but you'd have completely missed the point
You fuckhead."

"I've paid a high price to be me, but it was worth it. The bill is paid, I
have my receipt, and I'm pretty proud of my purchase. And if you don't have
a self, I highly recommend picking one up. Some things you shouldn't
lease." - Catalyst

These comments are meant to offend everyone equally. If, for some reason you are not offended, please write me with a description of yourself including your name, race, weight, religious views, political party, strong opinions, physical disabilities and anything else that you are
touchy about, and I will try to offend you in a future comment. Complaints should be emailed to:

They said, "You have a blue guitar.
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

-- Wallace Stevens, 1937


It's a dangerous precedent when the state's morality goes against the
parents personal morality in how they want to raise their children. It
works both ways, for those who are Christian conservatives as well as
liberals. So the law keeps a 15 or 16 year old from seeing a boob in
a movie theater, they can easily catch up and see much MORE on local
cable on HBO or Skinamax for instance or from a video at Blockbusters.
Keeping things like sexuality as a major taboo makes them want to see
it even more (just like anything else teenagers want to try because it
is demonized). If it was honestly approached like in many other countries
I've lived in (Germany and Australia) then it becomes less of an issue and
depsite all fears, the kids don't go wild having wanton sex in the streets.

And while we debate this kids much younger than this are welcome to view as
much war, carnage, horror, blood, murder, and mass killings as they like but
if a boob is shown their minds will be rotted.

Oh the irony!

"Time is our best teacher, unfortunately, she kills all of her students"

"My life changed forever the day I realized that I am not responsible
for the way other people think of me." -Richard Feynman

"Tell a man that there are 400 billion stars and he'll believe you. Tell him
a bench has wet paint and he has to touch it."

"Come on, you apes! You wanta live forever??"
-Unknown platoon sergeant, 1918

"It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that
virginity could be a virtue." (Voltaire)

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

"I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense,
reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use." - Galileo

Be good, servile little citizen-employees:
Pay your taxes so the rich don't have to.

Children should not be protected from knowledge of what the world is like. They need to know.
They need to understand that people have sex, and that they should
protect themselves when they're old enough to engage in it. They need
to know that doing bad things can have terrible consequences. Sure,
it's scary. But that's what growing up is about.

Who is the idiot who first thought that children should be protected
from this knowledge and awareness? It is certainly not something we
humans evolved to be like. And all throughout history, children
experienced the life around them one hell of a lot more than they do
now. Personally, I think letting them see things like that, and
explaining it to them, makes them a hell of a lot better adjusted than
protecting them from it and letting them discover that their world is a
carefully constructed lie.

A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a
comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom,

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number
293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and
therefore we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax

Silence followed and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom
and said,

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier, but while I was
talking, the flight-attendant brought me a cup of coffee and spilled the hot
coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"

A passenger in Coach said, "That's nothing. He should see the back of mine!"

As I have learned it, Imperial Rome was very tolerant of other religions, but their tax
system required all subject peoples to make offerings to Roman temples. It seems that
the polytheistic world didn't have much of a problem with this, but it was the cause of
near constant rebellion among the monotheistic Jews. Into this time was born Jesus and
the Christian Church. A few hundred years later the Roman state was taken over by
Christians, starting with Constantine but fully accomplished much later. So by the time
of the misnamed Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church had been organized along Roman
governmental lines. Christendom was now the unifying concept in what was once the
Roman world. In one of the splendid ironies of history, the oppressed became the
oppressor, and the aftereffects of Roman religious imperialism are with us even
until this day.

Political leaders have always known the power that religion has over people's lives.
Fortunately the Founders of this country used this understanding to keep Church and
State completely separate through the Bill of Rights.


"The biblical concepts of sin and salvation are an integral part of Christian doctrine. Christianity first creates a problem
(sin) and then offers a "solution" (salvation). This is not unlike the protection racket; you either buy "protection"--or else!"

"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in
life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
[Benjamin Franklin, in _Toward The Mystery_]

Ye have enemies? Good, good- that means ye've stood up for
something, sometime in thy life.... -Elminster of Shadowdale

Now you keep claiming that the USA was at some point a Christian nation.

Can you tell us exactly when that was?

Was that back in the day when a large part of the population was
considered "property?"

Or was it when people were denied the right to vote based on their sex or
their skin color?

Perhaps America was "Christian" when Pinkerton guards were shooting down

Or perhaps America was "Christian" when it enacted the internment of
thousands of Japanese-Americans simply because of their ancestry?

Perhaps McCarthyism, which blacklisted and destroyed the lives of so
many because of their (real or imagined) political beliefs, part of the
evidence of what it means to practice love, honesty and justice?

Maybe America was "Christian" while it engaged in National Security
that resulted in the radiation, biological, and chemical experiments
that killed, sickened, or disabled so many servicement and civilians?

You made the claim. I'm simply asking for clarification

Why did God cover two-thirds of a planet made for man, a creature lacking gills, with water?

Something to think about this weekend.

Being your basic Norse-Irish mutt, I've always been amused by the following within the "Pagan Community" of March 17th, the Feast Day comemmorating the death of Patrick, the "Patron Saint of Ireland." Many justify it by saying that they are "celebrating being Irish." Fine. I see it as the Irish equivalent of Stikklestad Day, the celebration of the death of Olaf the Fat.

To me the celebration is my way of saying "Fuck you" to the arrogant cretins who would try to turn us to their alien faith. The fact that we *can and do* celebrate shows that, in the end, Patrick, Olaf, and all the other fucking Missionaries on this Earth living, dead, or yet to be are all failures. We survive. At least, most of us do. Some don't quite make it.

This weekend, as I celebrate life with my kin, I'll raise a glass to a little girl I've never met. The Lincoln Park School district is in the news again. On the morning of February 20, 2001 CE, Tempest Smith hung herself rather than face another day of taunting from the Xtians at her school. The full story is on and linked from

I'm sure you've all noticed the outrage and national outcry this ongoing religious harasment has caused amongst our dedicated civil servants and elected officials...

There's more I want to say, but words fail me. I'll save it for another day. Now I just need sleep.

We're into "raze their cattle; burn their women, kill their fields and
abduct their barn" territory here.

Zos is the name of a cult, I know it exists here in Newtown in Sydney Australia. Zos has the tag of CHANGE. All change in the material world is expansion or evolution the Big Bang, Satan booted out of heaven Christ calling him the Lord of This World. Zos is about the phenomena of change. The bar across the "oso" is the harmony of change. All things occuring for a purpose. Balance. Do you research on ZOS and you'll agree.

Well, the closest thing I ever saw coming close to a valid explanation of Page's glyph is that I used to have this friend who was dabbling with the occult and had this magazine at his house which explained this 'Zos' cult (I don't know who this Zos was but it had a lot to do with quite simply change. I don't mean personal growth but change from the original source - the big bang - the devil kicked out of heavan - you can take that to mean a lot of things. And when you think about the myriad of chnges in Dazed and Confused Page this seems to reflect what I'm saying. If anyone in Australia knows of this cult which seemed to be around Newtown in Sydney in the early Nineties then please expound on this. I'm sure more can be found out. The other sympols are self explanatory - Plant's - wisdom (the feather) the Circle - the divine. Bonzo's and Jones's - the trinity. Jones did play Church organ remember. Cheers, Buggerlugs.

Yes, it is sad that you had to give up, you should not have to be in
that position. You are not responsible for fighting all battles as is
no one. I fight plenty, but feel free to choose without criticisim from
someone who has a special interest in the one I chose not to.

How many times have I been chastized for giving to one charity and not
the other. A person is not selfish and uncharitable because they gave
to their favorite one rather than yours.

Yes I believe in the brother's keeper approach, but do not believe I am
the bad guy for making the decision about my recources and excersizing
my choice as to where and how I do it.

Before retirement I gave a LOT to charities. Far too often turn downs
would result in my being told (usually petulantly) "I don't see why you
can't give some money to me when you gave some to XYZ!" My answer was
always "You don't need to."

The Great Dionysia occured during the more favorable months of late March- early April
Dionysiac rites

"We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal', and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal'."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"God had to kill himself to appease himself, so that he wouldn't have
to roast us (his beloved creations) alive for all eternity, except
that he didn't really die."
[Unknown, capsule description of Christianity]

Ps 58:10,11 - The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done; they
will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.P eople will say, "Surely
there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on

Ps 68:22,23 - The Lord said, "I will bring them back from Bashan, I will
bring them back from the depths of the sea, so that you may bathe your feet
in blood, so that the tongues of your dogs may have their share from the

Yep - that's a religion of joy and gentleness! I'd know it anywhere!!

5 Kinds of love

The Greeks have five words to describe different kinds of love. it's
sad that the English language has only one, we love our husbands, wives,
friends, families, french fries, TV shows, ...etc. Wouldn't it be nice to
have a word for each, like the Greek did?

1. EPITHUMIA : a strong desire of any kind - could be good or bad. It
means to set the heart on; to long for, rightfully or otherwise; it can
mean to covet. When used negatively it is usually translated lust.
In a positive way it is usually translated desire.

2. EROS : carries the idea of romance. Includes the idea of yearning to
unite with and the desire to possess the beloved. Words that further
describe it are; infatuation, attraction. Eros love has the ability for us
to see no wrong in the beloved, no flaws, etc.

3. STORGE : could be described as a comfortable old-shoe relationship
comprised of natural affection and a sense of belonging to each other.

4. PHILEO: friends, brotherly love, it cherishes and has tender affection
for the beloved.

5. AGAPE: the totally unselfish love that has the ability to give and keep
on giving without expecting any return.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented
the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took
him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican. "But then, why
didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican
explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of
his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your
time?" "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a
siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my
friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a
full life." The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Yale and I can
help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell
the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.
With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one
and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly
with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then
leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New
York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise." "How long would
that take?" asked the Mexican. "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied
the American. "And after that?" "Afterwards? That's when it gets really
interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets
really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!" "Millions?
Really? And after that?"
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast,
sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and
spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!"

Don't pray in my school
and I won't think in your church

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate."
-- Ulysses S. Grant, Address to the Army of the Tennessee, Des Moines, Iowa, September 25, 1875, from Albert J. Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

A Nudist is simply a human being without Artificial Additives!

Are we so narrow minded that we show war, murder, rape, etc. on TV, but we do not allow to show one of the most wonderful creations (the human body) in its natural form. - Mario Roman

It is not selfishness to live as you see fit. Selfishness is
insisting that other people live as you see fit.

It continues to baffle me why there is no attempt to censor television`s continual portrayal of homicide as a means of conflict resolution, while at the same time regarding an unclothed human body as a problem. - Charlie Metcalf

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge in the field of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."" - Albert Einstein
Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity - these are strictly confined to man, he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed. - Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth

"Every day people are straying away from
the church and going back to God."
Lenny Bruce

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

I was completely lost before I found out where I was.
-Nicole Jacamel

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Still Dreaming The Impossible Dream

I've decided to take things in a new direction and in so doing I've removed a number of the posts and articles I wrote in the past because they reflect a different perspective on things than the one I have now. As many of those who read me know I am a Plant Maintenance Man (P.M.M.)who has been working for American Airlines since December 23rd, 1989 and am a member of the Transport Workers Union (T.W.U.) Local 513. There have been some issues regarding the T.W.U., the apprenticeship program which, if implemented, will allow P.M.M.s to upgrade to become full mechanics, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (A.M.F.A.) and general attitudes of some of my co-workers which I have written about in the past and will continue to write about but I want to rewrite things from this new perspective which has been given to me after some discussions with people who have been very helpful and informative, some observations I've made of the actions of my co-workers and some deep reflections both mentally and spiritually.

I still think it is important to point out the actions of the past so that things can be put into perspective for those who read what I have to say in the future so I will be going over the text of the posts I removed and sorting out the facts which should be presented so people have a better idea of where I am coming from and how I came to feel the way I do about how these situations have been handled.

Stay tuned for more in future posts and again, thank you for reading and for those who have called and/or written in response you have my deepest gratitude.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

While I was looking for material to do the new extension to our back patio deck with I found this stuff. It seems to be a cost effective and durable solution. I might be using it...

Ondura Roofing: 800-777-7663 - The New Wave in Roofing

Sunday, April 11, 2004

This thing sounds interesting but man it's expensive! Maybe when it makes it's way to stores the prices will come down to earth. Besides, I like to check out what others think of products before I buy them. Especially ones that are advertised in infomercials.

Jack's Power Juicer

That reminds me. Speaking of infomercial products that sound interesting. That Total Trolley thing sounds pretty handy too and I read a few good reviews about it on so it might be worthwhile.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of Saint Patrick's Day....and then some.

Welcome to the saint patrick centre - the world centre telling the story of st patrick, patron saint of ireland

By the way, Happy Birthday Jeanie!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

One of the Plant Maintenance Newsletters I subscribe to just started a news board on their website. It might be worth watching to see how things develop:

Plant Maintenance Resource Center Job Board

Monday, March 15, 2004

This is an excellent site for learning the National Electrical Code:

Mike Holt Online Training

It's just a shame that Texas is not one of the states listed which accepts the online course as continuing education credit.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Started building a page to display Emily's artwork. We'll scan some stuff and create thumbnails later...

Emerald Tiger
I went back and fixed the popup info boxes on the Eagle Solar Screens site. Now, instead of a canned alert screen it comes up with the company logo and colors and has a nice close window button at the bottom. I like it better and I think Tommy will be pleased with the results as well.

George nails it again.

George Carlin Responds to Indecency Uproar

"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things — bad language and whatever — it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition. ... There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."

Friday, March 12, 2004

I saw this and I thought, that's easy for Greenspan to say, he's got a job. Sure, historically free and open trade has benefited the U.S. consumer and the economy in the long run but this outsourcing is getting out of hand and this jobless recovery has gone on far longer than any other period of job loss or lack of job creation since the great depression. This is not a typical economic cycle and eventually if no one here has money to buy products it's going to lead to an overall drop in demand and prices i.e. deflation.

It's like I heard someone say on a radio program. Oh sure, it's great that the shirt at the store costs less than it did before but if I don't have a job I can't buy it anyway.

Greenspan sees jobs picking up
By Sue Kirchhoff, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday that the job market should brighten soon, and warned against protectionist efforts to prevent U.S. jobs from moving overseas. - Greenspan sees jobs picking up
This attack on working class Americans has gone on long enough. Maybe it's time for greedy corporations to start paying for shipping our jobs overseas. Why buy from these people? Visit this website to find out more:

InSource America

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A collection of my favorite quotes...
You know, it really makes you wonder what the agenda is behind the search engine rankings when one day you're in there and the next day you're not. Which voices get heard and which ones get silenced. Who decides? Who is behind the scenes pulling the strings? Money talks...

Save Overtime Pay! Sign the petition NOW!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

A Note To Naysayers:

You know those people that are always trying their best to hold you back, put you down and make you feel inferior.

I love those people!

You know, the credit union that turns you down for a loan even though you've financed two cars with them and taken out signature loans for which you have never missed a single payment but now, since something which was totally out of your control has caused you to get some bad marks on your credit report you're a risk.

You know the people who say because you started at the bottom in the company that you will always be less qualified, less experienced, less educated, less deserving than them of an opportunity to get a promotion and make a decent living to support your family.

You know the ones who underestimate your intelligence and/or your abilities.

I love those guys!

You know, the ones who tell you that you're never going to amount to anything, you're not good enough, not smart enough, etc. and then do everything they can think of, pull every dirty trick to make their prophecy come true.

I love those guys!

Why, you ask. Because I love the looks on their faces when I prove them wrong.



Another very useful site.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

"Pump School" - an education in fluid handling

Hey, check this out! It's sponsored by Viking Pump, Inc., the makers of the pumps which run our fire control sprinkler systems at work.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Just some tidbits found on the internet regarding Plant Maintenance Men throughout the system:

Opening Mechanic and Related.

October 17, 2000.

Opening remarks of Jim Little, Negotiating Committee Chairman

7. Reclassify Plant Maintenance Man as Apprentice Mechanics or Utility Man...

Scope of Plant Maintenance Man Position:

TWUATD Contract Library

Sorry I haven't updated here lately but I've been busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest this past week. A lot of it is because of projects I decided to undertake but some of it is because of projects others have found for me (Mom's car again, nothing major, Layne and other friends having computer problems, etc.)

Emily finished computer enhancing one of her pencil sketches this past week. We scanned it in and she used The Gimp to edit it. It turned out really nice and I have it set now for my desktop wallpaper. This one is entitled Fairy Queen and it will probably be one of the first ones to go on her new website when she's ready to put it online. Also one of her oil paintings is now dry enough to put on the scanner so we'll probably get in soon too.

On Layne's computer we ended up having to download new drivers for his video card and for his motherboard but there was nothing we could do to resurrect his modem. It looks like that bit the dust whenever his HD and Power Supply did. There must have been some sort of surge go through the system. Anyway, at least everything else is working okay even if he can't get online with it just yet. A new modem probably won't cost more than $25 anyway.

I went down to the Union Hall Wednesday to see what the latest was on the apprenticeship program and they said the company is very skeptical about the whole thing because they don't want to get stuck footing the bill when right now the focus is on cutting costs everywhere they can to survive. The Labor Board has a lot of grant money available though and if they implement the program based on their guidelines the company could actually come out ahead on the deal. From the looks of things most of the company's questions were satisfactorily answered and there will be a followup meeting sometime in March.

I also learned that in addition to the 7 mechanics being hired off the street in Facilities at the airport there will be 2 hired off the street for Automotive as well. At a time when there are still union members on layoff status, even if they are of the lower classification of PMM, I find it reprehensible that the union is doing nothing to get the 22 PMM slots which previously existed at DFW reinstated before hiring new mechanics off the street so those who are still laid off can have a chance to get back to work. But this doesn't surprise me any. This is the kind of representation we have had for the 14 plus years I've been there. It's the classic good ol' boy, friends and family scheme.

My guess is this apprenticeship talk is just a ruse to take the PMMs' mind off of what's going on until the hiring is over (probably somebody's friends, sons, grandsons, cousins or whatever) and then "something" will go wrong with the program which the union will claim was the company's fault and once again we'll be left hanging out to dry.

Hopefully, in the meantime I will be able to find some sort of part time job on the outside to help bring in more money and build up my resume because I don't hold out much hope for the future of Title II in the next contract negotiation. It's time to start looking towards damage control and building up skills to use in the marketplace for when the time comes.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I caught the last half hour of Art Bell with Aaron Donahue as his guest tonight on the way home from work. This guy's take on the future is pretty creepy. He must be the life of all the parties he goes to. ;-)

Saturday, February 21, 2004

A Beautiful Mind

We got this in from Netflix yesterday and it was really a great movie, much better than I was expecting it to be. They did a good job on the website too. There are a lot of things to make you think and exercise your mind. Well worth checking out!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Well, this weekend I need to rebuild that carburetor on the lawnmower I never got around to last week, do some more work on the fence in the backyard so the dog will quit getting into the neighbor's yard, go take a look at my mom's car and see why it's not starting for her sometimes (sounds like a loose/dirty battery cable or something) and see if Layne and Teresa want to come over for a visit. That should keep me pretty busy.

Somewhere in there I'm going to do a complete rewrite of this site:


for my crew chief's side business. He gave me some new pictures to scan in and more content to add so it should look VERY different when I'm done. Sometime I need to make time to get over to Oscar's house to see if I can get his pop-up blaster to quit blasting screens it's supposed to be configured to leave alone.

When I get some more free time I want to continue working on collecting more PDF files and other technical data and specs from some equipment manufacturers for my library.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - The Tutorial Website

This is an interesting website. I happened upon it while doing a search for information on wood burning. Not, wood burning as in putting logs in your fireplace and such which is what I ended up with a lot of in the search results but as in burning words and designs into wood for decorations or signs and such. I have a wood burning kit I plan to practice with so I can decorate some of the frames I plan to build for Emily's paintings as well as to carve and decorate some furniture and shelving pieces for us to use around the house and maybe to sell.

Anyway, the site has LOTS of categories to find books, courses, online tutorials and all sorts of references to learn about whatever might interest you. Most of the topics seem to pertain to computer and software tutorials which leads me to believe that is where the site got it's start but has since branched into other topics. This might be a good place to bookmark and watch.

Just checked the mail and AMFA has once again sent materials wanting me to vote for them to replace the T.W.U. as my union. Despite the bad dealings I've had with the T.W.U. in the past I'm not convinced A.M.F.A. would give me a fair shake either. I do, however, find it good to see that there is someone out there to remind the TWU that they are replacable and can't get away with treating their membership like they don't matter without expecting potential consequences.

For now at least, I prefer to stick with the devil I know. Besides, they are making noises again about starting the apprenticeship program we've been hearing about for years. Maybe it will actually happen this time. Only time will tell.

I might go into more detail on this in a future entry. It is a topic I feel a need to vent about. For now, I need to scarf down some lunch and get ready for work!

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Visiting ol' Lou Minatti's site reminded me of Art Bell who's radio show I used to listen to while working the graveyard shift at the airport. Art had to take an early retirement from the radio show due to an old back injury which came back to haunt him later in life. To sit in his studio for long periods of time causes intense pain so he had to give it up. He still appears from time to time I understand but, for me at least, the show just isn't what it used to be. The current host, George Noory, is an okay guy but doesn't have the personality and sense of humor Art brought to all of the topics. Here's a link to the site:


I enjoy the topics of paranormal studies which the show covers and am open minded enough to entertain the ideas many of the guests bring up but not so open minded to fall for every far fetched theory or prank someone calls in to pitch. Despite what some of his detractors said about him, Art didn't take every single guest and caller seriously either and would have a little fun at the expense of the ones that were obviously either way out there or trying to pull a hoax on everyone. He would even poke a little fun at himself from time to time and this sense of humor is what made the show enjoyable for me.

George Noory and the guy before him (I can't remember his name) who hosted the show while Art was taking care of family matters due to an attack on his son...As hosts they are okay but to me the humor is gone, the show is too dry and serious. It's just not as much fun to listen to as it used to be when Art was hosting full time.

Also, back in the old days when Art did the show and Keith Rowland ran the website you could listen to the show live through the website or listen to archived shows going back for years free of charge. Now this is a subscription service which in these tight financial times I'm not willing to pay for. Since I no longer work midnights and am not going to pay to listen to a show that's not as entertaining as it once was I'm really not sure what's going on these days with it. It might well be that if I were to listen in for a few shows my opinions might change. It's still interesting to drop by the site and see the pictures and stuff though. I'd still take it all with a grain of salt though.

For some reason I was reminded today of Lou Minatti, A UseNet junkie who has devoted a great deal of his life to sparring with "New Age Wackos" "Kooks" and other people he disagrees with in newsgroups, e-mail and on the web. I was curious as to whether he still maintains his website. It appears he does: Annoying folks since 1995

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Oh! Forgot to mention. We got snow for Valentine's Day! It was Allyssa's first snow ever and we built a snowman in the backyard, threw some snowballs and enjoyed the beautiful white blanket covering the world. Netflix sent us the NeverEnding Story so we're watching that now.
Added some material to my Do It Yourself page and put my entire bookmark list online.

Thought this might give the search engine spiders something to chew on for awhile.


Thursday, February 12, 2004

I got an invitation today to join this group and almost deleted it but after dropping by their website and reading some of the conversations going on I found them rather interesting so I thought I might stick around awhile and observe them ;-).

Yahoo! Groups : Fellowship_Of_Observism

Anyway, today Emily is going to H&R Block to see about getting her taxes done and I am going to work out in the back yard fixing some holes in the fence so Tip (Our Dog) doesn't get out, trimming back the rose bushes, cutting down the box shrubs next to the deck so we can transplant them between the storage building and the swingset and bundling up more of the brush pile to be hauled away. This is the first day without rain we've had in awhile so I thought it might be the best chance I get for awhile to get these things done.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Well, that was kinda cool. I just took the Classic I.Q. test here and they said my I.Q. is 131. The last time I remember taking an I.Q. test was in the 9th grade in High School and the score then was 128 so I guess it's fairly accurate.

Of course, they tried to sell me a $15 15 page report afterwards. I wonder how many people with lower scores would be inclined to buy a $15 report? Okay, maybe that's a bit cynical of me but who knows. Anyway, here's the site:

Tickle by Emode: Matchmaking and Online Dating
This is a cool site I spent a lot of time on several months back. I bookmarked it but haven't been by to visit for awhile. It looks like a lot has changed and been added since then. When I get some time I need to check this out some more:

HowStuffWorks - Learn how Everything Works!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Okay, well I might be posting more in here today than I thought I would. I just got back from the library and half-priced books. While I didn't find what I was looking for I did find tax forms and publications which will help me figure out if I'm better off doing them myself or taking them to a professional. I also found some interesting books to read during my spare time while it's raining out.

Let's see, I picked up:

Sloane's New Bicycle Maintenance Manual by Eugene A. Sloane
The Complete Motorcycle Book - A Consumer's Guide by Jim Bennett
Motorcycles - Fundamentals, Service, Repair by Bruce A. Johns, David D. Edmundson and Robert Scharff
The Complete Illustrated Guide To Everything Sold In Hardware Stores by Steve Ettlinger

The bicycle book because I am thinking of picking one up at a yard sale or something to take up riding for excersize and an environmentally friendly form of transportation.

The motorcycle books because when finances finally get better I plan to buy one of those too for economical transportation because I'm tired of the high insurance rates, inspection fees and fuel/maintenance costs of cars.

The everything in hardware stores book just because it looked interesting. There are lots of gadgets, thingamajigs and doo-dads in the world and it's fun to collect trivial information on what they are, what they are for and what they do.

Also, in the free publications boxes I picked up a copy of:

Thrifty Nickel - Classifieds (bargain hunting stuff)
The Mantra - Whole Health Magazine
Working Smart - JobCenter stuff
The Employment Guide - Name says it all.
Employment News - Same as above.

I called mom and Jeanie's doctor's appointments didn't go so well. The buses were running late or bypassing their stops altogether. The doctor was running VERY late and the whole thing was very stressful. It looks like Jeanie and Roy will be working the next few days to make up for having to take the days off for the appointments so they won't be able to make it down to Polly's. It's raining tomorrow so mom and I decided to wait until the weather looks better since we both aren't sure about the road conditions down there. I still haven't received an e-mail from anyone down there about joining the family Yahoo! group so I'm not sure if they're even interested. I guess we'll see soon enough. I might try calling later today or tomorrow.

Since I no longer have a printer I'll need to go over and borrow Jeanie's sometime so I can print off the legal forms I need to get filed so I'll try to get that done soon too.

Anyway, I'm going to go read my stuff and maybe go out to the workshop to tinker with that lawnmower some more. More to come later!
Hey, I did some updating on my Resume. Take A Look Here:
Well, this is as good a place to start as any I guess. I've got some thoughts archived here and there that I want to get posted eventually but today I need to go to the library and half priced books, study for the Facilities Maintenance test for work, look for some part time work to help make ends meet, see about whether I should do my taxes myself or have someone else do them and maybe tinker with rebuilding the carb on my $28 lawnmower. I doubt I'll get all of that done today but sometime during the week I hope to hit all those bases. I also need to call my mom to see how Jeanie's doctor appointments went and find out when will be a good time to go visit my cousin Polly who I haven't seen since my grandfather's funeral in 1991.

So, as you can see, I have a lot going on so be patient if you don't see a lot of progress here right away. I'll get to it eventually.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, visit:

J. Troy Young's Website