Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Making the RCA Victor Dog Howl!

Finally saw Red Dragon's super monitor. I don't know the specs, but it seems to cover a great portion of the wall. It was nice to sit and play a round of Unreal Tournament 2004 in front of this huge, clear portal and the Logitech 5.1 speakers were a rockin'! Has to be at least 32" and in 16X9 format too! Awesome.

Have my black-eyed peas soaking and the ham is cooked. Looking forward to a nice peaceful weekend with work scheduled throughout. Hey only one more day to work this year! Party careful.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."

-T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Looking Forward to 2006

End of year busy blues is the song I'm a singing. Redoing a laptop that is not liking a new wifi card (just decided to wipe hard drive and start over), rebuilding a workstation, rebuilding a server and have several fires on the side. Ahhhh, life is good.

BBC has an interesting article about Net safety. This is a subject near and dear to my beach house heart. Still working on online tutorials about how to install software which will protect you from the baddies. There will be pictures. It'll be here soon.

Even though the traffic has subsided, there are still crazies out there. Be careful.

"The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it: Whether he's got a wound on his knee or in his soul."
-Rona Barrett

Monday, December 26, 2005

Are You Being Polled?

Slashdot has a new poll every week or so that resides usually at the bottom of the righthand column. This week's poll is ->

I wish you a:

Merry Christmas!
Happy Holiday!
Happy Hanakkuh!
Blessed Solstice!
Peaceful Kwanzaa!
Bah Humbug!

The winner? Merry Christmas by a great margin. This pleases me. Glad to see people are not bowing to the smarmy, liberal jerks and are speaking their peace. The comments are interesting. There are some weird people in the world, LOL!

Time to finish some PC repairs long overdue, then I must face the El Camino. It will be a long day.

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Fog is Lifting

Due to new medications knocking my feet out from under me, an El Camino that is ailing, a cell phone that is suffering from psychosis, and trying to perform vital service calls I've not posted for a few days. The message on the container stated, "May make drowsy for 3-5 days." Boy howdy! An understatement if there ever was one!! That has subsided and even the past few groggy days have been spent feeling like a real human being again. My blood pressure is down at an acceptable level.

There's work this weekend. Please bear with me while efforts are made to get everything caught up. Even in the drowsiness I've worked late several nights this week. My family is disappointed, but this is one of those 'make lemonade' times. Truth is I don't enjoy travel that much anyway! The year 2006 approaches and several projects need completion before it arrives. That thing living in the southwest corner of the garage has to find a new home. The Battle of the Beach House Garage shall be fought with diligence!

Time to try some last minute shopping. Everyone have a Merry Christmas. Remember, this is a celebration of Christ's birth and a remembrance of Him by faithful believers. Peace out!

"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
-Harry Truman

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Late night and a Virus Warning

The past few days have been spent trying to adjust to new medications. Better living through modern chemistry. No doubt that I actually feel like a human being again. This is the first time since mid-October. Now I have to find another reason to drop into whine mode, LOL. God in Heaven help the poor veterans that have served our country with valor. The horses' butts at VA Hospital Memphis are horrible. The local clinic is a different story. Just a real nice bunch of folks. If you are a veteran needing help with obtaining care please email me.

If you use Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus you might want to read this article at Techworld. You are vulnerable to infection. Want to alleviate this problem? Uninstall Norton and install AVG Free Edition. Better protection, easier use.

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon."
-Doug Larson

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tale of a Stolen Diamond

One of my all time favorite actors is Peter Sellers. He still cracks me up. A remake of one of his movies will premier February 10th. All of his movies remain fun, easy viewing. He had a sort of tongue in cheek, dry yet slapstick sense of humor. My favorite Sellers films are Being There, The Party, Dr. Strangelove and anything that has to do with a pink feline.

The remake stars another favorite actor, Steve Martin. He plays Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther. You can watch a trailer here. You will need to download Quicktime to view this clip. Be sure and use this link otherwise you'll end up downloading the useless iTunes with it and that will double the size of the download.

Some people will all but die knowing that a great film like this has been remade. Let's give it a chance. Steve Martin IS in it and so are Kevin Kline, Beyonce, and Jean Reno. Martin did a good job handling the Phil Silvers role in the Sgt. Bilko remake of the TV series. This "new" Pink Panther may open the door for younger viewers to watch the original, which starred such greats as Mr. Sellers, David Niven, Robert Wagner, and Claudia Cardinale.

In the meantime, try watching something with the talented Mr. Sellers. He's one of the great ones.

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here...This is the War Room!"
-Peter Sellers (Dr. Strangelove, 1964)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

All I want for Christmas...

BEWARE: Major Whine Warning!

A doctor's appointment will take up most of the morning, then it'll be nice to come home and get a few hours badly needed rest. Sleep was not easy last night. After being told the new meds would be in the mail in just a day or two, they still have not arrived. It's been nine days. The VA mass inefficiency at work doing it's best.

Again, medication means more productivity. More productivity means more activity. More activity means weight loss, sense of accomplishment, lack of fear, etc. This, in turn, means less medication and VA usage. Hey, bet sleep will even be better! And maybe the whining will subside, LOL!

It is a VA Memphis SNAFU; I called the local clinic and they verified the drugs had been ordered. They also reported on lab tests in what I considered a timely fashion. Once again, these are Mississippi folks. Polite, well mannered. They seemed concerned about the slow response Of VA Memphis.

There is a site being built to address such issues. Mine is only a minor horror story compared to some folks. Yes, some Vietnam Vets have stayed in contact down through the years. Most of the help received in resolving issues here (this adventure started in March 2004!) has come from Vets in Texas and California.

Everyone have a great Saturday and revel in the warmth of the season. Beware of the traffic crazies too.

"A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life."

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's Early n I'm Late

The high today will be in the 40s. Traffic is bad. Is there, like, a group of appointed people that can only terrorize the highways and byways between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Evening hours and weekends it's understood that folks off work are hustling around to finish Christmas shoppping. But through the week?

For all potential lab rats WikiHow has a superduper article on how to convert an ATX power supply into a bench power supply. Very detailed with pictures. Be sure and read the tips. Interesting that they listed How to Rip DVDs in the Related WikiHows section. Go figure...

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
-Dr. Seuss

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Turning Pages

Looks like Kongitis is spreading rapidly from theater to theater. Here's a neat article about different pieces of trivia that are found in the movie ->USAToday. It's super that Mr. Jackson cares enough to embrace the original film. Think this film will overtake Titanic? I hope so.

At least the movie monkeys that schedule cinema events in Tupelo placed this feature at the Malco 10. Still unbelievable that they put the Narnia film at the rinkydink mall theater. Oh well, a drive of 50 miles to Corinth to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is not a bad trip. Those folks have it in their new stadium seating Malco. You go Corinth!

There are 7 books in the Narnia Chronicles. Yes, the others will probably be made into movies. C.S. Lewis also wrote a strange, eerie science-fiction trilogy that has philosophical and religious content. THAT is what I want to see. Folks, please remember that this man was a great friend of John Tolkien. They taught at Oxford together, drank in pubs together and belonged to literary club called the Inklings.

It is with great pleasure that I see some of my heroes treated justly at the movie houses. C.S. and J.R.R. were contemporaries during the middle of the twentieth century and their books were always around the house when I grew up. C.S. Lewis was a great Protestant Theologian while Tolkien was a devout Catholic. What a wonderful friendship! I think they'd both be proud of the attention their works are receiving today.

The scifi trilogy by Lewis? Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.

"The reading of all good books is like a conversation with all the finest men of past centuries."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Kong of My Heart

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain hasn't let up. Constant slow drizzle that turns everything outside gray. But, it should be through tonight and sunny tomorrow. Internet connectivity has been spotty for the past few hours so this may take some time to compose.

"Moviegoers will go ape over Peter Jackson's action-fantasy thriller that delivers royally to all ages," says Louis Hobson in the London Free Press. All the reviews seem positive and it is good to see Mr. Jackson follow his phenomenal success with all three of the Lord of the Rings releases by crafting what looks like another box office smash hit. Saw Jack Black on Letterman the other night and he was entertaining. He is glad to be a part of this re-re-release.

Both the original and the 1970s version have been viewed in the past two weeks at the beach house. The first one is still fun to watch. Nevermind the stilted acting, black and white film process, the trite dialogue, and the dawn of special effects; this is a masterpiece made for the child in all of us. The second version with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange? Well, at least they found Jessica Lange.

Time to quit monkeying around and get busy. Everyone have a safe, dry day and eat a banana...

"Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stopup Popups

Yes Speedo Bob, I've noticed an increase in popups while using Firefox. This just proves that Satan exists and that people worship him, become demons, work for collection agencies or Osama or the phone company, write popups or use popups to annoy all of us. Open Internet Explorer and the yellow bar at the top gets busy. There are several extensions used to combat this garbage in Firefox.

First, update Firefox. You should be using version 1.5 or above. Then try to install some extensions to aid you in your right to maintain privacy. For instance, you might try Flashblock. Should you? Click on the link and read about it. There's also Adblock. The explanation is in the name. For the more aggressive web surfers you might like Nuke Anthing, Enhanced.

Have a neat utility, extension, program? Please let me know. Click on the Comments or email me! Oh yeh, one more thing. Speedo Bob, please don't send pictures!

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bumper Cars on Steroids

With the rush of traffic, the constant hammering of TV commercials, the current tone of email, and the lights that appear magically in everyone's yard there is no doubt it's the Christmas season. Two friends and I actually spent a few hours shopping over the weekend. Being on new meds made me a nondriver for a day so I happily rode and was fascinated and horrified by possibly the worst drivers in the country.

Defensive driving is something unknown in this area. People switch lanes, barrel through traffic lights, swerve in front of you forcing a screeching halt, so on and so forth. It looks like the Indy 500 in some areas and then you always have the creepy crawlers that move just enough to keep from being ticketed for illegal parking in the middle of the street.

Only place that even compares to this subquality driving is Memphis, but hopefully I'll never go there again. Drive safely out there today; the life you save may be my own.

"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it."
-Dudley Moore

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Okay, I've a new addiction to replace some of the old ones that have fallen by the wayside, thank God. It's called Guild Wars. This is an online role playing game that is off the scale. Right now I am a Necromancer/Ranger name Maskull Tor and I tamed a huge cat that goes around with me and kicks ass when I have to do battle. We are in a place called the Catacombs with some dude name Paulus that keeps leading me through some green muck that slowly saps the life outta you and I keep vaporizing. I don't like this Paulus dude much. Hmmmm, wonder if I can sic the big cat on him? Anyway this is downright awesome and several local people that have much more experience than me should eventually show up. What great fun!

Gotta hit the trail and do business a for a while. Tupelo is cold today. Stay warm folks!

"Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly."
-Roger Ebert

Friday, December 09, 2005

One Ringy Dingy, Two Ringy Dingy

I've received several VERY negative emails about my Peter Finch post on Wednesday. Let me restate that this is a blog and will from time to time contain personal opinions. It is not my intent to agree with everyone. Being smothered in "political correctness" is about to wear my NONliberal butt out. If you like unintelligible communication while trying to obtain service have at it. I don't like it. And won 't like it.

Are you thinking about doing away with the home phone and just using your cell phone? The Washington Post published an article last Saturday that may help you with that decision. This bit of info was discovered at TechDirt which is becoming a good source of news here at the beach house. Anyway, Bellsouth is simply a horrible company. They are bullies and take bending the truth to a new level.

It's Friday. Only two more days to work this week. Everyone enjoy the weekend and embrace your loved ones. Tidings of comfort and joy!

"So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key."
-The Eagles, Already Gone

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Fear and Loathing in Saltillo

K, the doctor's visit was casual. My fat ass needs to lose weight and test results need to be scrutinized. Meds were adjusted. The clinic people were nice. My dread was unfounded. Gosh, so nice to deal with Mississippi people.

It's late and must start search for tech help stuff to post here instead of junk. Later, and thanks to everyone for the support.

"The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology."
-Red Auerbach

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Best Peter Finch Imitation

Monday Intel announced plans to invest 1 billion dollars in India and now Microsoft plans on investing 1.7 billion. Wonder if these two giants realize the people of the United States, their main customers, are watching? And if so, do they care? You can read about this at BBCNews. Why don't they just load up and move over there and we can start using Linux, FreeBSD and hell (this WILL get flack), how about Apple? PowerPC chips can make a comeback!! The world has truly gone mad.

With the massive negative response that surrounds having to talk to someone from there and God knows where else for support, you'd think that companies would try to improve the situation. But no. Support for most manufacturers just slides downhill as we sit by and let it happen. These so called tech help types have defective babel fish stuck in their ears and just irritate you until the phone is finally hung up in disgust.

If I can't understand someone or it's apparent they do not comprehend the subject at hand then I ask for someone that has the ability to speak English or hang up and stop buying their product. I am through with Netgear because of this very reason. The singsong barely understandable pidgin garbage used to smooze you seems to be a verbose way of slapping one in the face and laughing while they do it.

Dissenters please go away. This is a valid protest to overt mistreatment as a consumer. They might as well be speaking Martian. It matters not to me where someone hails from or background just as long as they are not plotting to bomb something or terrorize in general. For God's sake, please learn the language and respect your fellow man with a conscious effort to do a good job if you are going to work in this country (even by phone). This is not too much to ask.

The soap box is put away now. It is probably a given that someone is sending those people in white coats since I actually made a positive statement about Darth Jobs and the Apple bunch. Almost time to go look at the underside of the El Camino - the sun will be up in a few minutes. Hope the parts I buy don't have instructions written in Hindi.

Peter Finch won an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the crazed television anchor man Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network. He died from a stroke during a promotional tour for the film. He did win the Oscar; the first time the Best Actor award was made posthumously and he was the first Australian actor to win the award. The famouse quote? 'I'm mad as hell and I am not gonna take it anymore!!!!!'
-Wobblynife (with the help of Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Take a Break and Have a Cup of Coffee!

It is great to welcome back Odyssey Coffee's banner on this site. They experienced the wrath of hurricane Katrina and are now back in business. Coffee beans are roasting and they are taking orders. Great to see a worthy business survive. Folks, check 'em out and try some of their varieties, blends and flavors. Best wishes.

The jack gave way and the El Camino almost fell on me a few minutes ago. Got out with just a cut finger where the hood caught it as I pulled my lardbutt out from under the chasis. That's some scary stuff! Was trying to get the jack stands under it, so wasn't up under it thank God. This is an adventure I'll be glad to end. Mechanic I'm not!

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."

He Looked Up and Said, "Go Away You Dirty Old Snake!"

Ever heard the phrase 'that boy is snakebit'? Well, it is either an Anaconda or a Python that has been seen prowling around the beach house. The lead sled is still ailing from transmission problems. Three jobs scheduled to end by midweek have been rescheduled. My dread of the doctor's appointment Thursday has increased tenfold. It's hard to get parts to work on a vehicle if you don't HAVE a vehicle to retrieve said parts.

My desire to have a calm, peaceful Christmas is quickly going out the window. This yearning must border on some weird type of heresy. Even though prayer has not helped so far, it's still my greatest option for relief. And yes, all this whining is beginning to irritate even me. Normally optimism abounds around here, but after all I am a man. Now please excuse me while I crawl back under the El Camino and wallow in a pool of transmission fluid and tears.

"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy."
-Lucille Ball

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday and wimpy boy

Thanks goes out to all the great people that call and let me know that they have a problem with their network, computer, router, etc. Using the 'I just didn't want to bother you' excuse is not a very good one. With a wave of bad weather over the weekend several people have called and so far we've successfully recovered from all problems by either phone conversations, email or remoting in to the systems. Hats off to those with their thinking caps on top of their noggins!

An appointment is scheduled with a clinic that I visited many times as a private patient. It's this Thursday. Great results were produced by seeing someone that is no longer on the staff. My luck. After a call to reschedule an appointment they found out that I'd be coming under the auspices of the Veterans Administration. The reschedule was refused and I ran out of meds in October. So now I have to go over there expecting the worse and dread has started taking its toll.

There was a 10% disability when I left Uncle Sam and the wonderful world of Nam behind. At the time it was felt the disability was not needed so it was refused. After many years, nightmares and daily panic attacks now I face a hostile group when dealing with things VA. Maybe refusing that disability was not so noble, but damned stupid. After my experiences with Dr. Sonuvabitch Beavers in Memphis it seems that they are trying to kill me instead of giving aid. Please remember, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that there's not someone out to get you! LOL

Why all the harping? No meds for two months and a fear of more unnecessary abuse do not make for the best circumstances. Is it too much to ask for people to be polite and help me get my blood pressure under control? We will see, we will see...

"And I will use regimens for the benefit of the ill in accordance with my ability and my judgment, but from [what is] to their harm or injustice I will keep [them]."
-taken from the Hippocratic Oath

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Tupelo Forums and Sunday Activities

Just visiting over at TupeloForums viewing some frightening yet funny online ads TFAdmin has found and noticed that this site is now hosting blogs and has a custom browser toolbar available for download free of charge. They've been busy. Nice online community that has many topics and lotsa' users. There ARE some characters in the mix. Fun site.

Building a SCSI server for a client, reloading a corrupted laptop (it has the Windows ME fungus) and trying to configure a wireless router to work as an access point. It's going to be a long afternoon and evening. And hey, if I die today I guess the embarrassment of the awful, messy, trashed out, unkept garage and house won't matter, will it? Ahhhhh, my efforts to stay around until tomorrow are fortified. I need cheesecake...

"Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?"

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Top 100

PCWorld has listed its choices for the 100 best products of 2005. Firefox took top honors with GMail running a close second. Interesting list. Microsoft almost didn't make the top 50. The resource hog Windows Media Player 10 squeaked in at #47. Don't start up all you Gates Nazis. I use Windows Media Player when in Windows. But Amarok in Linux blows it away!!

Who creates all these lists? Google search for top 100, 2005 and look at the results. Got to coffee up, load up, get off my dead ass up and go to work. Everyone enjoy Saturday and try not to get stuck in traffic. It's a bitch out there.

"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."
-Mark Twain (or shop with 'em)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Say Cheese

Recently, a friend of mine purchased a camera online. She hasn't received it yet. I feel sure it will be okay, but noticed an article about a camera purchase at Slashdot while browsing my news sources this morning. The article is located at Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection. Be sure and read the comments at the bottom. Great information and thanks goes out to Thomas Hawk for not being bullied and sharing this bad experience with us. Scammers will reside in the deepest level of hell.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."
-C.S. Lewis