Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Karma Can Be A Bitch

Usually, the Chip Foose gang at Overhaulin' contact their car makeover owners on the seventh day. No one called or showed up to take me to my remade El Camino. So now it's time to put aside the notion that it might show up. The creeps that stole it probably cut it up that very morning. I hope the fools are infected with some horrible STD and die slowly. Please pray for me to survive this horrible setback. Please pray for me to find forgiveness in my heart.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Quote is Funny

Never did see my oldest daughter while she was visiting Mother. At least she's (oldest daughter) home safe after flying half the day. Had transportation problems Saturday and am running a fever with this horrible case of the flu. I was ordered not to go up there around her (Mother) since she had bypass surgery less than two weeks ago and is still recovering at an almost miracle pace. Anyway, half full glass is at best diluted by melted ice tonight. Wimpy boy is outta here and back to bed.

"After two days in the hospital, I took a turn for the nurse."
-W.C. Fields

Thursday, February 23, 2006

With a Little Help From My Friends

As can be seen from the comments in recent posts I am a blessed man. Wow, such a great family and friends response. Good to be mobile again. Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers. Having to buy even an inexpensive vehicle is a big 'hit' for me. My time spent posting will be minimal at best for a few days. The most important matter is Mother revcovering from bypass surgery. They are running some tests to find out why she is short of breath. Gotta' run and do business. Later.

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."
-Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Update on Recent Dilemna

Mother is doing super! How am I doing? Things have been rosier at the beach house. It will be hard to recover from the recent theft of my automobile. My business is built around prompt mobile response. That mobility hit a screeching halt due to some sorry no good bas--- that will rot in the bowels of hell stealing my all time favorite automobile.

I know a lot of people made fun of it, but this old truck was a salvation to someone that had survived a divorce after being married for 22 years and then experienced health problems. It's hard to let it go. The creep that stole it better pray to God I don't spot him before the police find him. The Vietnam nightmares have returned.

I am desparately trying to acquire transportation in order to return to work. The phone is still with me so please call if you need service. If I cannot respond promptly my friends at Red Magnet are available. Just last week I was discussing a new venture with some local people which involves pulling and routing cable on a regular basis. This is now on the back-burner since several thousand dollars of test equipment are in the hands of a thief.

Thanks to everyone for their support. Beagle posted about the theft in the Memphis Live Journal Community and several other areas. I appreciate all of you.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

There's Just No Title Appropriate

Thank the Good Lord Mother is home and doing great. My oldest daughter flew in from Baton Rouge and is with her for a week. Brother Dan, his family, Aunt Judy, our friends and others have been such a blessing. What great family/friend response. Everything is so great about her recovery and I thank you all for the prayers and well wishes. Now on to another matter.

I know we are supposed to be positive, but if anyone wants to pray for a pox and horrible damage on the sorry --- that stole my 27 year old El Camino Saturday night after I drove in the rain and sleet Saturday to help get her home I certainly DON'T have any problems with it. Yes, the lead sled was stolen sometime Saturday night and recovery looks dismal. Thanks to Em, my youngest daughter, and Charlie for the quick response to a sorely needed ride home.

God help me bolster enough strength to stay positive. Due to my scheduling a service call on the way back, most all my tools and some expensive equipment were in the back interior compartment. Needless to say disappointment in my fellow man is at an all time high. Distressed? Yes. I will refrain from profanity by not going further with this post. Please pray for me...God knows I will need it.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Weather Outside Will Be Frightful

There is a chance of freezing rain overnight. Local weather forecasters are vague about just how bad the weather may get. Probably a good idea to make a trip to the local grocer and prepare for a weekend inside. Visit the local library and check out a good book. Plan on a family Scrabble party. Lord knows that one shouldn't drive in this area during bad weather. Local drivers are bad enough without frozen overpasses and bridges.

Mom Update (Brother Dan reporting): She is up and walking. All the tubes and IVs have been removed. The pain seems under control and if this current trend continues she should be home in a few days. My oldest daughter is flying in Sunday amd will stay a week. This should be really kewl since they are big buddies and talk hours on the phone each week. As my youngest daughter mentioned in a Live Journal post, we are a blessed family. (EDIT: Just got word that she may be discharged tomorrow! Wow, 4 bypasses on Tuesday and home on Saturday. Awesome.)

Hang in there, the chilly weekend is just hours away.

"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water."
-Carl Reiner

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Work and Recovery

Things are hectic at the beach house. Not out of control, I must say, just hectic. Trying to get a grip on the "schedule" and perform service calls so my return to Baptist Desoto Hospital will happen in a timely fashion. Please contact me if you have pending tasks that need to be addressed. The new theme for a few days is 'around the clock' so don't worry about putting anything off. Let's get stuff done. Again, do not hesitate to call. Even if my presence is needed at the hospital there are very capable techs standing by that will help.

Mom Update (via brother Dan): Mother sat in a chair and ate breakfast this morning. She is very alert and acts like someone that had heart surgery yesterday. There is some pain, but this is to be expected. They are working on alleviating the pain which will work to accelerate the speedy recovery we desire. The ICU nurses are just awesome. I know I am waxing mushy towards gratitude, but your well wishes and encouragement mean so much to the whole family. Everyone has been super and understanding in our time of need. These have been blessed days.

"Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon."
-Dag Hammarskjold

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mom Update

Mother had a quadruple bypass and was lucid and drinking water at 9:30PM. We had a United Methodist Minister (Brother Don) and a Baptist Minister (Brother Joe) in attendance most of the day. She is one tough lady. The reports are positive and they are expecting her to actually walk and sit up tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for the prayers and positive attitudes. Y'all are all da bomb!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Surgery has been scheduled

Just received word that Mother will undergo bypass surgery in the morning. We expected this to occur within the next few weeks, but the timetable has been moved up. If you need to contact me please do so by cell phone. There will be technicians standing by for everyone that does business with me. Your prayers and patience will be appreciated.



It's More Than a Game

After being in and out for a few weeks, then enduring a flexiril state of mind due to moving furniture things should return to normal for a few days. Running in overdrive is the theme this week. When it rains, it pours, etc. The backlog that has developed must be overcome. It is cold this morning. Temperature is in the 20s, but by Thursday or Friday it may be in the 70s.

Recent conversation with a fellow tech turned to sports. I am not a huge sports fan. My Dad was a baseball/sports fanatic. My brother coaches a baseball team. He has one son that still knocks the ball out of the park. The oldest son now spends a lot of time on the golf course and is quite a duffer. Sorry, if Ole Miss isn't playing football (and they didn't play much last year) my interest is not sports.

All this said, my hat is off to Anne Abernathy, luge competitor in the Winter Olympics. She has suffered injuries that will keep her from competing in the games. This happened while training. What's amazing about this woman? A LOT is an understatement. She's 52 years young, the oldest woman to compete in the games for starters. She has overcome cancer and is just downright awe inspiring. Read further at NBC Olympics. And I worry about a sore back and the sniffles. Can we say wimpy?

That said, it's time to turn and burn! Have a casual Monday.

"The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball."
-Doug Larson

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Songs in the Air

Lazy Sunday afternoons are the best. It's cold outside and the overcast sky might make one dreary. Not today at the beach house. CMT just aired a show called Crossroads. Today's segment featured Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett singing together onstage live. It will air again tonight at 9:00PM, CST. Surely they will repeat all the episodes occasionally.

Seems I've been listening to Ms. Raitt all my life. What can I say? She's just awesome. Don't always agree with her politics, but she is a 9 Grammy winning songstress that has deep, musical soul. And if you don't like Lyle Lovett, give this show a chance. His Joshua, Judges Ruth CD recorded in 1992 caught my attention because of the sheer engineering expertise if nothing else. Happens that the whole album is nothing but super tunes and talented renditions of those tunes.

Tune in and check it out . Go to the website and take a look at upcoming episodes. Brad Paisley/John Mayer will be interseting. So will Wynonna/Heart. Even though I like James Taylor I'll purposely miss his hour with the Dixie Chicks. Hate to even mention their sorry, un-American name. Wish they'd move to France.

"He who sings scares away his woes."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Southern Vines and Dragons

It's late so this will be brief. We have formed the guild for our players in the online game, Guild Wars. The name is Kudzu Dragons. The tag that follows our name while in the game is YALL. Is that kewl or what? Everyone seems to like the cape and emblem we put together. Of course it's a green dragon with some kudzu lookin' stuff as a border. Hey, we are having a load of fun! Just wish there was more time to play.

"The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment."
-Doug Larson

Friday, February 10, 2006

Unencumbered Yahoo Instant Messenger (IM)

Yahoo, IMHO, tries to hide the ability to use Yahoo Instant Messenger as a solo entity. It seems they MUST install that horrible, horrible toolbar and a mail client that is not needed. So, here's a step by step guide how to use their messenger service without getting Claria and 180solutions all over your computer. You may want to print this post before starting.

First Step: Update Lavasoft AdAware and Spybot Search & Destroy. Run scans with both programs. Then run CCleaner. This will help rid your PC of the bad guys. Don't have these utilities? See last Sunday's post.

Second Step: Open your browser, preferably Firefox, and go to Yahoo. Towards the top of the page in the right corner you will find the Messenger icon. It's a smiley with a telephone receiver stuck in his/her ear. Open this by clicking on it. Download the Yahoo Instant Messenger install program by clicking on the Get It Now bar.

Step Three: Here's the tricky part. Open up the program. On the first page unclick the two check boxes towards the bottom and go to the top and click on ONLY Custom Install (it's probably in blue letters). On this Choose the Products to Install page make ABSOLUTELY SURE all boxes are UNCHECKED except the Desktop shortcut box. That's right, leave the Desktop shortcut box checked. Then read their very wordy, vague license agreement and check the yes box. Download the program.

Step Four: When the program download stops click the finish box. You now have the Yahoo IM program installed and running. If you have a Yahoo identity use it. If not create one. I always make sure it starts ONLY when it is told to start. Poor ole' Windows has enough problems starting up without dealing with this resource hog messenging program. Also, stop that ugly thangy that pops up everytime you use the IM by going to the Messenger tab at the top and then clicking on preferences (BTW I certainly don't let this program search my computer for users, etc.). Oh yeah, that ugly thangy that pops up is Inside Yahoo. It's in the preferences under the General tab. Just uncheck the first two boxes on this page.

I do not like this program, but do use it. Most of the time it is launched thru a third party client called GAIM. GoogleTalk is a far better IM client. Its only drawback is that it will not conference voice calls. Hopefully this will change in the near future.

Hope this helps. Please remember, you are installing at your own risk. Don't whine if you screw things up.

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong."
-Richard P. Feynman

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Update and Gratitude

It is so nice to know that I've friends. Mother had the heart cath today and is home feeling okay. She's a bit tired, but Lord knows that's understandable. It does look like bypass surgery will occur in the next few weeks. I cannot say enough good about the staff of Baptist South in Desoto County. These people act and react the way one desires from professional medical people. On top of that they were extremely polite and informative. Hats off to 'em!

Thank you to all that have sent well wishes and it tickles Mother that such a response has happened. Yes, it is NICE to have friends.

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
-Washington Irving

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Observations from the Veranda

This has been a wacky week and it's just Wednesday. Since I am trying to prepare for a short trip appointments are being moved around. Yes, aligning things in an orderly fashion, that's it! That's the ticket! If the mysterious creature that lives in the southwest corner of my garage could read this post it would be ROFLMAO. Just came from out there and it is worse than a wreck. This weekend I will get up at dawn and start the battle of the beach house garage. A grown man shouldn't be in such a state of disarray.

We've had a cold spell sweep through the area. There was rumbling on the porch last night around 3:00AM. Arnold, opossumus germanicus austriabodicus , was seen waddling down the steps. The grill wasn't turned over so he may have been in 'stealth' mode on a recon mission. There was a howling later on. May be that Arnold was staging an attack mission on the neighbor's cat from the veranda. Ole' Arnold seems to be into the high drama thangy. Flipper, Mr. Ed, Mickey, Bugs, y'all beware. Shoot even Chuck, Steven, Rock, Clint and the other Arnold better watch out!

"Efficiency is intelligent laziness."
-David Dunham

Volunteer help on the garage cleaning will not be rejected if you are of a mind. Enjoy a chilly, beautiful day.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tastes Like Chicken

It's another gray rainy day. Good day to sleep. Hope everyone enjoyed the Superbowl. I slept, due to a nagging flu-like cold that decided to revisit. Feeling better, but still running a slight fever. Thanks goes out to everyone for putting up with all the recent rescheduling. I have to play catch up since Mother is going to have the 'cath' procedure Thursday. Talked to brother Dan this morning and he says she's in good spirits. We are both Momma's boys.

Are you believing the people that play GuildWars with me online don't like my suggested names for the guild being formed? What's wrong with Gun Toten' Muthas or Phried Phrog Legs? You have to use an abbreviation that follows your name in the game. For the first guild name I wanted BANG and the second YUM. Hey, if there is a Guild named Alcoholic Muppets then why not Phried Phrog Legs? It'd look real snazzy on a T-Shirt. You'd think friends of mine would have to have a sense of humor to put up with me! Go figure.

Molly from Florida GMailed and suggested making a links list to all the posts that deal with spyware prevention and computer safety. This is a great idea. Index the really important stuff. It's under consideration. For 2.5 years I've procrastinated about developing a help section here with screen shots, step by step tweaks, etc., for my favorite software. It is still in the works, just have to find time. Ashby Rhett Culpepper, III, Esq., made a very good point in the comments yesterday. An appropriate edit has been added.

If you need a GMail invitation, please email me. I'll gladly pass on this wonderful email service. It is the best, bar none.

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is."
-Francis Bacon

Sunday, February 05, 2006

In My NOT So Humble Opinion

You have all your defensive tools in place right? Your anti-virus program is up to date? Remember, McAfee does not count as an anti-virus program because it doesn't work. Norton, Symantec (why won't they use just one name?) seems to work most of the time, but it is an expensive resource hog that slows down machines that do not have ample memory (1gig or more). AVG works fine and is free for use on your persoanl PC. The upgrade is really awesome for a nominal price. If you have read this far then you are probably wondering why there are no links yet. They'll be listed at the bottom in neat order so you can go to one place to download instead of picking thru paragraphs. Now on to the number one problem in online computing.

Spyware just sucks. This includes all adware, thiefware, malware, dungware, garbageware, badware, etc. ALL the people that write spyware suck. C'mon folks, get a real job not working for Satan! If you Yahoo there's a great chance you have adware/spyware on your computer. Again: IF YOU YAHOO THERE'S A GREAT CHANCE YOU HAVE ADWARE/SPYWARE ON YOUR COMPUTER. Stop it! They call it "adware" and sue people that call it spyware. But hey, it invades my computer and seeks personal information so that, in my opinion, qualifies it as spyware. Besides, you can't get blood from a turnip. Claria and 180solutions are all over Yahoo and Claria says on their website that 30 something percent of their revenue comes from Yahoo. There is a way to use the Yahoo Instant Messenger without the rest of that horrible stuff. Email me and I'll reply with the procedure. BTW, it is very likely that Yahoo is watching this site. There are tell-tale signs. Creeps!

You have to be very careful about anti-spyware programs. Several contain spyware. Yes, that's right - many anti-spyware utilities are, indeed, spyware. Some anti-spyware companies are scared of rat companies like Claria and permit garbage to slip thru their software. A good examplle is Microsoft. Last I heard Microsoft was letting Claria pass through their scan. If this has changed please let me know. Anyway, you have to use more than one program. The beach house network swears by Lavasoft AdAware, Spybot Search & Destroy, JavaCoolSoftware's SpywareBlaster, and CCleaner. CCleaner is not anti-spuyware, but it goes a long way to remove useless files that may harbor the possible return of spyware. Don't use any other programs. If these are installed and tweaked properly, they will prevent the bad guys from making your life miserable. If you need help installing, please contact me; cybersouth@gmail.com. You won't be successful in your defense if you do not set up these programs properly. Also, update.

Here are the links to the programs used at the beach house. All are found at MajorGeeks, which is the best download site on the web! They also have an uber selection of things geek - like, really kewl T-Shirts. If you download these programs please consider donating or using their upgrades. These people work long and hard to provide us these awesome tools.

AVG Free Edition

SpyBot Search & Destroy

AdAware SE Personal



"Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another."

EDIT:Ashby Rhett Culpepper, III, ESQ., brought an important matter up in the comments. All the programs listed above are free downloads. Some companies accept donations (I donate!) and others have upgrades for minimal fees. This post was written to show everyone how you can keep your PC safe without spending money. I apologize for the oversight.

Ghost in the Machine

The original post had to be deleted since someone decided it should be on the page 5 times in a row. It has been noticed that errors have occured when publishing, but the procedure that has been used for almost three years has not changed. At least not at the beach house. So it's bye-bye post and sub with this message. Sorry. It was just a rant about Tupelo drivers, anyway

Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Night Rain

Sorry about missing for a few days. Trying to catch up on everything and Mom is scheduled to have cath procedure next Thursday. Everyone feels positive n that's good. It's raining and the temp is dropping. Moved some PCs around today on the beach house network and it makes for smoother flow when benching a machine. Still need to get field work caught up, especially since I'll be gone again next week.

Everyone enjoy the weekend and stay casual thru the Superbowl.

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."
-Satchel Paige, 1974

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mom Report and Gaelic Vocals

Nice to be back in the swing of things, sorta'. Mother is calm and we are all feeling better about her heart. Still don't know what and when will be done, but the doctor seems to be cautious which is good. We should know more today. Anyway, her spirit is tremendous and she is a pillar of strength and faith.

If you've been here frequently then you know that I am a huge fan of Celtic Woman. They will be in Memphis on April the 17th at the Orpheum, 8:00PM. That's good news, but the bad news is that tickets may be sold out. Have an 'insider' checking for me. Will keep you posted. They've added another singer too. Her name is Deidre Shannon.

Hi ho, hi ho. Everyone hang in there. Just a little over two days until the weekend!

"My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart - a heart so large that everybody's joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation."
-Mark Twain