Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Adult karate has been good to me over the last couple of days. It's nice to get back to the sweat, the pummeling and the evening aches. Honestly though, I need to keep on top of this or my natural state of slackerdom and inaction will take over and the 'plumping' will begin. Since I have a full physical (reccomended by my medical team ... it's been a while) scheduled for April, it would be nice to not hear the sharp inhales as they review my blood pressure, weight and chemical breakdowns of the various samples. Yeah, I'm coming in on 40 and we all know what that means for men. PSA. < shudder >
On the way home the other night, I found that they had closed a road (Maple) at that one particularly dangerous spot. Just at the south end of the Naval Air Base where the Elementary school is and all the accidents happen. The local STS surveyors and a small cadre of 'dirt grunts' were milling about, generally making a hazard of themselves. In the end, if they do put a light it it will be a boon for my commute, but a curse for everyone else. I suppose it's for the best, people do stupid things when they have not had their morning coffee. There have been a series of rather horrific accidents in the area and many of them are of the 'T-Bone' variety ... never a good thing. There is a lot of school bus activity between the bus depot at the elementary school and the High-School on the other side of the base ... people tend to make assumptions about that and the are correct 9 times out of ten. The other 10% is where we have issues. Traffic Light:Good, Personal Responsibility to make Rational Assesments:Bad.
Hmmm, other stuff. The 'snow' we had here last week was followed up by more 'snow' [read: crappy sleet and freezing rain] with more forecasted for later in the week. Bletch. On the upside, the kids are happy to be swimming and are doing ok in karate. Alexis is back-sliding a bit, but Master Smith recognizes this as a typical behavior pattern and is going to 'deal' with it. With burgeoning population of lilliputian TSD students, he is considering a special test to bump them up to Yellow belt. They probably would not survive the normal test. Since he is just recovering from a similar run-in with the virus patrol (he teaches children, thusly, is exposed to the same onslaught of daily viral and bacterial attacks), he is still trying to get his legs under him. This will be interesting to watch. Jake will certainly get pumped about the 'board-break'. The weeks of him trying to break everything in sight afterwards will be challenging. I'll have to head off to the Home Depot Temple and pick up some thin pine slats to give him a harmless outlet.
Had a work related class to attend last Friday. It was not particularly revolutionary in it's concepts. I've been doing similar stuff for Requirements Traceability and Leveling for quite some time. The interesting aspects were the ancillary data. Things like the instructor (Dr BeetleButt) going to the wrong site thinking the class was in NJ instead of Pennsyltucky. That resulted in the class starting 2 hours late. That, and the class was scheduled to be 4 hours but should have been 6 hours. So now, we are running up against my departure time of 1600 hours. Not good. The Prof was one of those standard academic types. In fact, he as an epitome of the stereotype you are probably envisioning in your mind's eye. Leather elbow patches on a tweed jacket, the cumbersomely thick glasses, beard and matching chrome-dome, loafers and dark turtle neck stretched to it's limit over an obtrusive pot belly. If he had a pipe to periodically chomp on while gazing off into the horizon while deeply contemplating the underlying basis for a student's question. So, I completed the class, took the test and got one question wrong. Which one? Dunno. Gotta keep the students from writing all the questions down and distributing them. Sheesh, we are all adults here and this type of Frat-House behavior ... aw, never mind.
Oh, and could you all wish the Ever Beautiful Mrs a happy BD? She is going to be ... ummm, young ... yes, very young again at the end of this month. Happy Birth Day Honey, and here is to you sharing another 100 or so with me.[+/-] show/hide the rest of this post
Technorati Tags:Old Lady | Illness | Karate | Children | Traffic
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Yes, I live. Barely. Over the last week I've managed to plumb the depths of illness to it's murkiest abyss. A cold, a head cold, a sinus infections, chest cold, bronchitis and the threat of pneumonia. A quick run down should give a clear picture of what has bogged my down beyond the obvious health issues. There was the snow storm and the cold snap. The first wreaked havoc with the Daycare schedule and local roads, the latter caused a pipe to break at the manor and I had to deal with a multi-liter/second waterfall. The snow was not really snow, but frozen rain with sleet just to add to the fun. Our addle-minded DOT threw a load of salt on it to melt it and the overnight temperatures plummeted so the salty slush froze over into a deadly ice arena of curbed cars and tumbled SUVs. The bulk of the week was my constant battle with support phone calls regarding failed upgrades and peculiar situations that could only have come to pass by fingers being in places they should not be. This, of course, was denied through omission and "you can't prove that" type responses. Heap on top of that the skeleton crew of staff who actually made it though the Mad Max causeways to the office, you have a significantly frazzled individual. From what I was told, it was an all time record for inbound SOS calls.
Late Friday evening, the Parental Units ... GrandParental Units ... arrived and I collapsed into bed for the next 48 hours. Of course, any shift in my body at the time just caused the gallons of sputum to slog about my chest like molasses in a 55 gallon drum and sent me into a riotous hacking fit. I was admonished on multiple occasions by various parties that I should have taken care of this sooner. Egads, the hounding would most likely pursue me to my grave if I did not resolve this as soon as possible. I spent Presidents day in bed watching TiVo with the kids and making appointments with the blood-letters. I do not like going to the family practice. Other than my primary physician, I have never seen the same doctor twice whenever I visit. They change the staff there quicker than I can remember their names. Each one needs a primer course on my history since my medical file contains nearly 12 years of complaints. They need to bring it to the freezer room ... errr, patient room ... on a fork-lift. As a matter of course, my 9am appt turned into a 10am appt and I did not see an actual doctor till about 1030. When someone who could tell the difference between a Buick and a stethoscope did arrive, it was a matter of minutes before I was sent packing with 30 prescriptions clutched in my pestiferous hands. I took it all in stride and was even amused at the bewilderment when I supplied peculiar responses to their questions. Mostly regarding how I was dealing with the illness. You see, one look at me screamed 'Manual Laborer' ... coating of ash on boots, frayed jeans, durable Carhartt coat. Then they learn I'm a software jockey ... heh.
So, here I am sucking at two different inhalers and chowing down on the finest (and most bitter) pills the pharmaceutical industry has to offer. How has your week gone?
Monday, February 12, 2007
Back at the Manor, the Ever Vigilant Mrs was fretting over the hounds. Apparently, they decided to share a Volkswagen for lunch. She was rather concerned about intestinal blockage that could result from an improperly masticated engine block. Sooo, she left a message on the Vet's answering service and was hoping for an appointment the next morning. She got it, at the ass-crack-of-dawn. That pretty much 'masticated' most of Saturday morning for her. I spend my time feeding the kids a well rounded breakfast (scrambled eggs with mozzarella cheese, cinnamon toast and cereal and a side of $$$OJ$$$) followed by a hearty lunch of pasta, Sweet Italian Sausage and Wegmans Olive Pasta Sauce w/ Hearty Tomato Chunks. I tossed in a few cloves of garlic just to give it a bit of zing. They ate it. While they were fighting tooth and nail for the last scrap of meat, I tended the fire, swept out the Hound Detention Center, did the laundry, the dishes and started bringing in the firewood for the week. I'm saving the dog dip duty date for when the Mrs returns to the Manor. You know, I need to share the love.
After the Mrs returns, we all head out to the Local Home Depot Temple and the Lowes Heretic Central to look at tankless natural gas water heaters. On the way, the Mrs suddenly becomes faint and wilts like an molasses sculpture in August. There was projectile repercussions ... the Tyrants issued a citation for 'barking' in the car while the driver was driving. Indeed, it is a well established rule that there should be no talking to the driver unless the 'watchers' so deem it. Once the Mrs pulls her head out of the digestive fluid retention receptacle, there shall be admonitions. On the second leg of our outing, we found out why daddy does not spend much time at Lowes. I need a new laundry faucet since the old one in the mud room is on longer responding to requests to be shut off. A slow drip continues and no manner of washer mangling is helping. Time for the big-guns. So, after trolling the aisles and finding nothing but the fru-fru fixtures, I queue up to ask the solitary customer service rep about the super-secret location for the common faucet. Well, there are 4 people there before me. Two women and two men. The men took about a total of 10 minutes for their request to be fulfilled. The women, they needed a dissertation of how the Romans utilized plumbing and what looks better with the window treatments: brushed bronze or anodized platinum. After several discussions with the children about the pro's and con's of won-ton and brutal homicide, the hour was up and I got to ask my question. Yes, I could have interjected and probably should have, but I follow the rules. No matter how inane. So, when it came to be my turn, the poor fellow was reaching for the box cutter so as to open his veins to let the built up vitriol seep out. Alas, it was to no avail. The kids keen laser beam eyesight evaporated the blade before it sought the soft and pliable tissue of his withering limbs. I asked my question directly and succinctly: "I need a Delta Laundry Faucet.". Tears welled up in his eyes as the realization that the hellish nightmare was over. No colors, not styles, no nonsense. The only way it could have been more direct is if I gave him the stock number. We walked over as he shed is 'May I be of service to your abusive questions.' vest and pulled a box from behind an obscure shelf. He gave me a look that screamed 'I want to have your children.' and we gave each other a simple nod. Transaction over; 7 minutes, 40 seconds. On the way out, I grabbed a SOG utility tool, paid and headed back to the manor. The Mrs languishing in her co-pilot's seat and the Tyrants weary from their use of the ocular high-energy vaporization weapons.
Sunday: Religious indoctrination where I was asked to read the Homily between mop-up operations after the crafts session and before dispensing Valentine day's cards to the 12 or so children. Upon returning to the Manor, the Mrs was still in her steel-rebar reinforced insulated sleep-wear. I can take a hint. I instructed the Manor Environmental Agent (EVA) to raise the ambient room temperature from .01K to 68F. And all was good. The wood burning stove was maintaining the set temperature, it just was not bringing it up rapidly enough. No matter, I think our budget can survive ONE month of using the MegaFurnace as it was designed. Besides, I can survive just fine with one kidney after selling the other one, no? Speaking of digestive/filtering organs, the Tyrants have shown the Mrs and I that they are more than capable of fending for themselves. Over the weekend, they have surreptitiously absconded with three bananas, two bags of fruit snacks and an apple. I'm fairly certain they have stashed other 'famine supplies' about the property in caches that I have yet to uncover. I had better watch out for booby traps and trip-wires. They don't like their buried treasures being looted.[+/-] show/hide the rest of this post
Technorati Tags:Religion | Swimming | Karate | Children | Plumbing
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I just took a look at my sitemeter counter ... 39,989 visitors since May 24, 2004. Wow ... who is going to be lucky 40K? Depressing part, some people get 40K hits a DAY. Whatever.
Technorati Tags:Cruft | Blogging
Though the prompting of the ever vigilant Mrs Tyron, I give you this:
Technorati Tags:Faith | Meme | Catholic
Friday, February 09, 2007
Karate is going well for me. Joints are hurting, but not failing. Soooo, either healing is taking place or irrevocable scarring. On top of that, I was sent into combat (sparring) last night and was quickly disabused of any feelings of grandeur from my short-lived glory of earning my orange belt. Of course, I've got the next form down and just need to tidy it up for the next test. After the sound 'schooling' I got last night, I think I'll need to dedicate a bit more energy towards paying attention to what some of the more seasoned members are doing. Either to mimic their tactics or at least learn a bit about them so as to formulate a workable solution to my habit of providing them with a target rich environment.
Farging nanny state nonsense. Didn't anyone learn from Prohibition? I cannot wait till the Mob opens up the "Al's Trans Fatty Acid Speakeasy" and watch as gourmet chefs run off to Moose Jaw to ply their poisons. The interesting points here are that 1) There are no Fines, 2)Restaurants only, 3) Philly only. Sooo, if you wrap your food in plastic or sell it at the curb, are you exempt? What defines an 'eatery'? Is a pub included? And what's stopping me from just eating the entire tub of Crisco at the supermarket? I'm probably going out on a limb here, but most people cannot afford to eat out at restaurants so much that this could possibly be the problem. It's the Prepackaged food that I wolf down by the crate that kills. Precisely the tax-base the politicians do NOT want to destroy. You want to save money on health-care? Then give a tax deduction for keeping healthy and within the weight range that is considered appropriate. Yes, I know, fraught with fraud and bell-curve cases ... but it's GOT to be asymptotically better than THIS![+/-] show/hide the rest of this post
Trans fats banned in Philadelphia
By Patrick Kerkstra - INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Some bad habits, it seems, are easier to kick than others.
It took five years for Philadelphia City Council to agree on a smoking ban, but today - mere weeks after the idea was first proposed - council unanimously approved a bill banning trans fats from most dishes served by city restaurants.
Philadelphia's ban on the use of such products begins to take effect on Sept. 1, when restaurateurs will no longer be permitted to fry foods in trans fats or serve trans fat-based spreads. By Sept. 1, 2008, trans fats will be banned in all other types of food prepared in Philadelphia eateries. The ban will not apply to pre-packaged foods - such as a Tastykake Krimpet - sold in city stores and eateries.[ed. and scrapple, spam, etc...]
New York City has already outlawed use of trans fats in restaurants, and 19 states are considering banning or restricting use of trans fats. Many restaurant chains and institutions - such as universities and school systems - have already done away with trans fats or sharply reduced their use.
Philadelphia's ban will be enforced by the Health Department, but it does not include penalties for violators. Ramos said he does not expect eateries to flout the law, and he said penalties could be created if they were later deemed necessary.
Technorati Tags:blogging | Karate | food
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Grind it up!
On the Tyrant Front, there has been little change. I've started working with Jovial Jake and his uninhibited outbursts. Last week in Karate, he blurted out to Master Smith: 'I like your Hair!'. Ummm, ok. Jake, just raise your hand if you need something, save the flattery for after class. He is going to be a politician or an Apocalypse Insurance salesman someday. He is getting the gist of it though. Yesterday, he actually raised his hand so that his 'target' would come to him and squat down to his level. Then he would lean over and whisper into the ear of other party: 'I like you!' and then stroke their cheek. Oh boy, he is going to be trouble. Swimming went ok except that I forgot to make sure that there was a swimsuit in the 'Pool Bag' for me. I had to prance about the sides of the pool and bleat out admonishments towards the typically submerged submariner scion. Typically ignored. Eventually, they tired of not having a mobile launch platform and cut the swim session short by 15 minutes. Not much fun without having Daddy in the pool to dunk.
And now, this. Stem cells, space exploration, religion and SPAM all in one! So much potential here! I find it interesting that they used pork of all things. Sooo, no Jews (Except BLT Jews) or Muslims on Mars? But is it really 'unclean' if it never really ate anything? And can this be the straw that breaks the back of the vegan/PETA movement? I mean, it really never lived ... right? I can see Hormel picking this up and starting a 'Home Spam Generator' line of products. No more need to go to the store for spam, just grow it in your gestation tanks at home.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
This is LONG over due, but I have lots of good excuses. You see, Elvis came to me with his band of merry aliens and asked me to help him fight off an impending invasion of Thetans. You see, the Scientology Advocates are all wrong about them. These ghostly invaders are actually Ethereal Spirit Suckers who are causing the MS plague. REALLY! So, I went with Elvis but he wanted to stop off in Vegas first to grab a bite to eat at one of the all night 'All you can Eat' Buffets. I thought he was talking about Las Vegas but instead, we ended up on one of the resort moons of Vega-7. Well, Elvis managed to get thrown in the Pokey for double-parking his space-cruiser in a tow-away zone and then throwing a hissy-fit when the Lesser Vegan Moon Parking Authority put it in the impound and SUPPOSEDLY scratched his ablative paint job. Sooo, I had to bail him out and we apparently missed the gigantic space battle where the Thetans were dissipated and the Galactic Bikini Team were the hero's of the day. Turns out, this is his Modus Operandi. He misses the battle, shows up late and gets to date the surviving chicks. I, of course, had to catch a slow freight barge back to earth that was hauling bad romance novels and DVD's of Barry Manilow's greatest hits back to an Export/Import Business located in Philly. Apparently they got wind that Barry's original name was 'Pincus' and that is a vile insult to your 3rd mating partner for some odd species that is protected as 'underpriviledged' in the Vegan Commiseration Act. Go figure.
Enough of that heap of banality, let's get down to the business at hand. At the top of the list is my long time blog buddy Tyron. She got caught up in the Great Blogger Inquisition and had to jump ship to the Typepad refugee camp. Change is good ... sometimes. I suppose though, when it is not crammed down you throat like a magazine at the hands of a deranged cyborg. Damn cyborgs ... always malfunctioning. I wonder if BlogSpot/Google has them on staff. In any event, make a note of Tyron's new (temporary) home.
Now, for some new (to me) MS blogs. First, Allison over at NetXperiment pointed out Splodge down in New Zealand. So then, we are going to circle the world with this Cabal!? The Sun will never set on our empire. Most unfortunate. Another addition is Sophie via Dave. She is a more video oriented blogger so I'll have to grok her offerings to get a better idea of what her experiences are like. Should be an interesting journey, I'm looking forward to it.
Now onto the chronicles of the hero's who walk among us. We have a set of very ambitions folk who are hotfooting it over the finish line that signifies the defeat of MS. Support them, in any way you can. Be it a friendly word of encouragement of a spartan financial donation. Libbi and Jamie (look here too) are committing themselves to the MS Walk challenge. Bold indeed. It gives me an idea that I'm going to work on myself. If everything works out, I'll speak of it more in later updates. Now, not to be outdone is Sean who is doing his bit by trekking over land on his bicycle so It's going to be quiet on his blog. I cannot imagine covering 50-100 miles a day on two wheels and a prayer, but he must have a legion of supporting well-wishers watching for him. Both Charles and I hope to bask in his triumphant glory when he rolls up the East Coast. Finally, there is a brief article posted by Allision about sky-diving. Hey Dave, ring a bell? Going to give that a second try? Personally, I'm a big chicken when it comes to heights so I'll leave my rump glued to this comfy seat and watch on in envy as those with more intestinal fortitude traipse through the sky where angels dance.
UPDATE: Pam is doing the MS Walk too ... not sure how I missed THAT!Crossposted from Charles's site as a service to mankind!
Technorati Tags:Multiple Sclerosis | Heros
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Not much adoo about it...
Experts said the unusually powerful attacks lasted as long as 12 hours but passed largely unnoticed by most computer users, a testament to the resiliency of the Internet. Behind the scenes, computer scientists worldwide raced to cope with enormous volumes of data that threatened to saturate some of the Internet's most vital pipelines.Heh. So, their efforts essentially resulted in no noticeable disruption. The days of the Legion of Doom are truly behind us.
The Homeland Security Department confirmed it was monitoring what it called "anomalous" Internet traffic.
The motive for the attacks was unclear, said Duane Wessels, a researcher at the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the San Diego Supercomputing Center. "Maybe to show off or just be disruptive; it doesn't seem to be extortion or anything like that," Wessels said.
Other experts said the hackers appeared to disguise their origin, but vast amounts of rogue data in the attacks were traced to South Korea.
The attacks appeared to target UltraDNS, the company that operates servers managing traffic for Web sites ending in "org" and some other suffixes, experts said. Officials with NeuStar Inc., which owns UltraDNS, confirmed only that it had observed an unusual increase in traffic.
Among the targeted "root" servers that manage global Internet traffic were ones operated by the Defense Department and the Internet's primary oversight body.
Technorati Tags: Internet | Hackers
Monday, February 05, 2007
Frozen Spam on a stick.
Other news ... I got some comment spam yesterday. Enough for me to notice. I'm not sure why I've never been hammered before but I guess I've arrived now that the spam-bots have located me. And on a completely unrelated note; I saw a car accident in the same place as nearly every other one I've seen in my travels between the Manor and Work. It was in the passing lane and I was in the cruising lane (where I now pretty much reside full time). The antifreeze was still spilling out of the front of the mortally wounded SUV and the police cruisers were still baying in the distance like hungry wolves closing in for the coup de grâce of a foundering herd animal. I scuttled away, leaving the weakest member of the morning migration to it's inevitable demise.
Red-light, Green-light, GO!
On last Wednesday night, I actually got to do some sparring in the Adult TSD class right up until the point where I nearly twisted my knee again. Then I was shut down like a roaring speak-easy in the clamorous caverns of Chicago's gangland landscape. NO. No blowing your knee out before your orange belt test, oh foolish grasshopper. I was benched from sparring till after the test. Good enough. Later that night, I arrived home to witness white fluffy gobs of snow falling like flakes of dandruff on an undertakers black cloak. It was dark and not particularly cold so the flakes immediately dissipated when striking a surface ... like some peculiar leakage from a cartoon fantasy world.
Thursday; more no-spar karate but earlier in the evening, Jovial Jake was acting out and got an earful of admonishment where upon he was reduced to sobs and tiny traces of tears trickling down his twisted veneer. Beneath, he was considering his options, but he knew that the bell was tolling and he needed to make a policy change if Master Smith was going to let him test for his yellow belt. He is a little boy after all and he will get what he wants by hook, crook or otherwise honest pursuit. Once again, I arrive at the manor closer to 2100 hours to look up and see a peculiar sky laced with glowing contrails framing an oddly full and heavy moon. So bright that it punctures the high, ethereal layer of clouds that blot out all but the brightest star. The weather is winding up for a hay-maker. I can feel it in my aching joints.
Friday. Alexis wanders in and settles between the mrs and I at 0130. The mrs tires of her antics some time around 0430am. I'm up at 0614, out by 0655, drop off kids at 0700, depart for work at 0705 and arrive at 0720. Perfect, flawless execution. Now, to make it a habit. In spite of the minor dusting of snow, there was little to foretell what that damn rat in Punxsutawney would forecast, but since he is forecasting for the entire country, he can be correct somewhere, but certainly not here. The days following his projection of an early spring have been confounded with the local temperatures dropping into the single digits. No snow ... just bitter, ripping cold. A good day to go and get a nice haircut so I can feel the wind scraping the heat from my scalp.
Saturday morning ... time for my Orange Belt TSD test. I'm up and bumming about when the Mrs tries to disabuse me of the notion that I have lots of time before I need to get going. She says the test is at 0900, I'm under the impression it is at 1000. I persist, and end up correct but not without stewing for 30 minutes about what amount of crow I'll have to eat should I be incorrect (as usual). And so it goes. I test, I pass, I spar and break boards. Not as unusually grueling at the first time, but I have a notion of what I'm in for so that knowledge is my weapon against what would seem to be an intolerable trial. And it is my birthday. Nobody dies on their birthday, right? We go out for pizza with some of the Black Belt Examining Board and have a jolly good time. Then, later in the evening, we go out to our favorite Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Not so much for the enjoyment of the Mrs and I, but more so for the children. For they will be occupied and they will eat their dinner without harassment. And this will make us happy. Joy is where you find it.
Sunday: Take kids to Sunday school. Escort them over the various sheets of black ice. They think that slipping and sliding is a treat of unparalleled amusement; I'm petrified of letting one of them fall. So, we make it inside and watch as various late-comers glide over the patches of ice in their AWD/ABS SUVs with abandon, nearly clipping the school building by the hair of a (frozen) gnat. Of course, a handful of people park their behemoths in the fire lane prompting me to scribble out a few notes begging them to not do so while there are children in the building. Nothing like indicting the neer-do-well with oblivious intent to do harm to children. I could have asked why they were so interested in leaving the Sunday mass so quickly to up the guilt ante as well. But then again, I'm just looking for compliance, not intending on influencing their conscience. Later, I did a solo doggie dip extraction and refilled the wood brackets for the wood burning stove (which is going full blast these days). What a splendid activity in the absurdly cold weather! As a capper, we went over the Family-Friends-Pete-n-Patty's house for the Superbowl where the Tyrants occupied themselves for 3 hours and left me to drink port wine and puff cigars in relative peace. Too bad about the Bears. And there you have it. Nothing to advance of great noteworthiness. No?[+/-] show/hide the rest of this post
Technorati Tags:Birthday | Weekend | Karate | Children | Winter