Sunrise over Lake Champlain from Ticonderoga


Support the victims of Hurricane Katrina (click image)


Musings and Meanderings

Friday, October 31, 2003

Well thats done!



Finished the BSA training last night. Whew. The head of training for the district forgot to include me at the end due to a paperwork snarl for that one shot Monday class so I had to wave about my three cards showing I had finished al three courses.

In the mean time I have gotten some great stuff on e-Bay: a First Edition Boy Scout Manual (1927), some 50's era Scoutmaster Handbooks and Scout Handbook, and found the 70's edition Scout Handbook that I used to have as a scout.

By back reading this stuff I hope to bring more to the table as an ASM

So on to the next step, integrating into the Troop before the WeBeLo's Year 2 kids come on board in the winter.

And the outside possiblity of something OKPIK (say Awk-Pick) which is winter camping training in January. 3 and 4th.. pretty near New Years Eve... hard to miss those bowl games. Well we shall see.

Read below if you are staying up to date on the blog, I'm back blogging this am (Saturday) as I've been so busy....

posted by Mike 11:25 AM

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Gettin' ready for Halloween

Day two of the Boys Night In Marathon. Tonight we decided to do Pumpkins instead of movies. Alex designed a custom pumpkin with a neat / scary face. I took a pre made design looking like a Dracula. Kinda neat stuff actually. We use the PC Jackolantern program which is simply the PC version of those templates you see in the market to cut nice patterns in Pumpkins.

I didn't take any pics of them this year. Of coruse the JackOLantern looks better in the dark and lit, and that is problematical with my digital camera. We "boys" did ok with out L if I do say so myself.

As for work we are moving right along. Getting the other lines going as quickly as we can, Automotive and Satellite. The local stations start broadcasting in November for this Market. Thats EchoStar (DISH) not the DirectTV (Hughes) product.

Otherwise its been pretty weird with the Wife gone for two nights. Look forward to her coming home, as is Alex.


posted by Mike 11:38 PM

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded

Boys Night In part One...

Liza is gone doing a reset for the next two days. So once we finished the homework we loaded the Matrix Reloaded DVD.

This was Alex's second viewing, my third as I watched it the Friday after the DVD came out. I waxed and waned about that in an earlier blog so I won't go into detail except that I just don't like the scene with all the Smiths... it just doesnt work in CGI.

Out

posted by Mike 11:50 PM

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I always knew that AOL was run by morons but this one takes the cake

In an attempt to confirm shipping for some Vintage BSA handbooks I bought on eBay yesterday I got this message (in part) from AOL.

... while talking to mailin-03.mx.aol.com.:
>>> QUIT
<<< 554- (RTR:BB) The IP address you are using to connect to AOL is a dynamic

<<< 554- (residential) IP address. AOL will not accept future e-mail transactions

<<< 554- from this IP address until your ISP removes this IP address from its list

<<< 554- of dynamic (residential) IP addresses. For additional information,

<<< 554 please visit http://postmaster.info.aol.com.

554 5.0.0 Service unavailable


Let me explain in simple terms what this means. Road Runner utilizes dynamic IP address'. It is the basis of cable modem technology. Therefore I will always have an ever shifting IP address. If you don't know what that means don't worry. Thats not the point.

Road Runner is provided by Time Warner. Who owns Time Warner? AOL!

So.. These morons in their ever increasing attempt to stop "Spam" have blocked the emails of all their residential Road Runner customers.

God I hate amatures.
posted by Mike 8:40 AM

Monday, October 27, 2003

The Joy Never Ends

Discovered this am that we are not getting our cheif technician back today as we had thought we were.

His sister had called last Monday to tell us that he was sick and would not be in (last) week.

Expected him in this am. Instead got a call at 9am from him saying that it would be a month before he could go back to work.

So we ran an ad last weekend. We have a few plans including hiring the first guy who can do the job that comes through the door, contacting some ex-CS people to see if they can do the job, and last but not least, sub contracting the work over to another repair place in town.

Jeeze. What a life.
posted by Mike 10:57 AM

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Outdoor Training Fun

Ok here is the story.

I left work early on Friday so I could go shopping for a few more things and pack my gear. I had borrowed a pack, tent and sleeping bag from L's cousin down the road a bit. In my shopping I picked up a few cool items including getting a new pair of Hiking boots, one of the new types that almost look like tennis shoes. Also picked up a middleweight top "thermal underwear" thought it's not called that.

So I leave home on time and get up to the site on time. We find our place to camp and meet the other participants of the training. So far so good. Then as the dusk settles I pull out the tent. No structure poles. Use the cell phone, hey cuz.. where are the tent poles.. Oh he says, they are not there?? DUH or I wouldn't have called.

So the upshot is that the tent was never put back together properly. At this point it is 8pm. And I discover that contrary to my understanding, no food was being provided for dinner on Friday night. So I decide to go home and get the poles from the cuz, eat dinner and head back. Furthermore after driving the hour home to get said poles I'm too bloody tired to drive another hour back and put a tent together in the dark. So chancing the diatribes of my fellow campers I bailed on going back Friday night and slept in my own bed. That's roughing it.

Got up at 5:30am on Saturday and drove back up to camp. Picked up a box of Joe from Dunkin' Donuts on the way. Half the guys were happy with my bringing the coffee up, the other half couldn't believe I didn't stay the night, that is till I pointed out my still laid out and structureless tent on the ground. Some wit "got me" however by putting a broken matchstick in my coffee cup top so that it leaked over me. Pretty good idea who it was, so he may get payback on Thu when I see him for the final day of ASM/SM training.

Sat was spent from 8:00 to 6:30 in outdoor classes. It was very cold in the am, but by 6:00 PM had warmed up over 30 degrees! (It was 28 when I left at 5:30am and 58 when I drove back past the time and temperature at 7PM that night going home.) The classes were: Woodcraft Safety, Knots, Cooking Gear etc, Cooking, First Aid, Hiking & Camping Equipment, and Map Orienteering. For me it was a massive walk down memory lane, remembering all the things I had learned as a Boy Scout. The big change that I see is in cooking technology and fuel technology. Amazing changes in the last 30 years. Also due to lawyers and the cumulitive number of law suits over the years, the business of being a scout seems to be a bit less fun than it used to be.

So I was all prepared to spend Sat Night at camp. But lo and behold at 6:30 PM the director of the weekend says that the one class they were teaching on Sun had no teacher, and would we like to go home? Well yea. Besides I wanted to see the World Series (see below).

So I never did sleep in the woods. What a bizarre turn of events.
posted by Mike 11:31 PM

Saturday, October 25, 2003

What a story!

23 yr old Kid Pitcher.
3 days rest.
Complete game.
Shutout.
6th Game of the World Series.
Tags the final out personally.
In Yankee stadium.

What a story. What a dream come true for Josh Beckett. If handled correctly the Marlins could be the "A's of the National League" a competitive team on a low budget.

Now we get to listen to the biggest idiot in Baseball spend the off season slagging off his "horrible" team. Now I don't like the Yank-me's. Duh. But this is a great team and a great lineup. SOMEONE HAS TO LOOSE. Stein-moron just can't handle that sometimes its him. Makes Al Davis look lucid. Go figure.

Oh and yes I came home Saturday night. We finished the Outdoor training early, but thats another story for tomorrow.

posted by Mike 11:59 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Talk to ya on Sunday! (or Monday)

I'm spending the weekend in the Adirondack foothills with a BSA training course called Outdoor essentials. Once I survive that I will just have one more 2.5 hr class next Thu and I will have passed the basic "course load" necessary to be a Trained Assistant Scoutmaster.

Whew.

It's been quite a month with all this going on. Major thank you's to the local family for help with Alex, and special thanks to E and S for loaning C's pack to me for this coming weekend.

Frankly I'm pretty excited about this weekend. I have not been camping in years, and part of the structure of this weekend will be teaching the patrol method by participating as patrols. Now my absolute best memory of scouts as a kid was the week I spent in PLC or Patrol Leadership Training. So this should be fun.

The Scoutmaster and I are going to hook up in the afternoon and I will be taking up one of the Patrol Boxes (various things for a successful campout Pots, Pans etc). The other ASM who is also in the local Guard is going as well so it will be a good bonding experience.

The only down side is that it's going to be chilly on Friday night according to the weatherman. Below freezing chilly, but just below freezing. Not really haven's the appropriate clothing for that I am going to try to take a half day tomorrow to pick up the remaining gear I need and to be able to be up at the campsite at the correct hour.

So no blog tomorrow or Saturday, and maybe not Sunday depending on how tired I am.

Have a great weekend.

PS and Off topic: I really wish that baseball would go back to Take me out to the Ballgame at the 7th inning stretch. Go Marlins!

OBCD today Jazz Fusion. Some Saga. Some Bond.

Reading: Emotional Chemistry by Simon Forward and JP Morgan.

QOTD:I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.
-- Fritz Perls
posted by Mike 10:39 PM
Stone Age Web Site.

Found this site still living out in cyberspace, it was written in 1998! Imagine that.

Old site found by archeologists
posted by Mike 8:35 AM

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I got some great bumper stickers

There is this great website called Two Unemployed Democrats which has the most wonderfully funny, politically astute, and politically appropriate bumperstickers.

Here are the first two going on my car



and






Otherwise......

I am completely beat. I have not slept well in a few nights. Last night I woke up and for the few moments I was not aware of what time it was felt like I had just finished a full night's sleep. I was waiting for L's alarm clock to go off, and then I looked at my watch.

1:05am.

Sheesh.

I had the most vivid dreams, they involved my HS sweetheart. I periodically dream about her. I figure its a tenuous psychic connection to the alternate dimension Mike who married her. Yes I believe in alternate dimensions. I'm a nut, sue me. They are always the same, about family life, etc etc.

Now family members who read this do not think for a moment that this is some psychic cry of a suppressed unhappy husband. You all know just how much I love my wife and cherish my life with her.




Busted

Alex's best friend Lucas had a moral dilemma. Seems that Alex got what they call "detention" this week in 5th grade. This is NOT for bad social behavior or being a bully, but because he didn't get all his assignments in. Anyway Lucas learned in conversations that Alex had no intention of telling us that he had Detention. Alex argued that it would be over and done and we would never know about it.

Lucas is a very morally upright child. So he went home and talked to his mom about it. Judy called us. Ok so how do we handle it? Can't blow Lucas' cover. So I gave Alex three chances to tell me if anything was going on at school. Then I asked him if he knew I communicated with his teachers on a regular basis. So that covered Lucas and allowed Alex to save a little face by finally telling us about this. Alex learned three important lessons today. Do not lie. Don't be afraid to tell the truth and DADDY ALWAYS FINDS OUT. ;)




OBCD: Bond (the all gorgeous girl classical band), Lots of U2, some 1980's "hits".

Now reading: Ok so its gonna take quite a while to finish Morgan at this rate. I just got the newest 8th Dr novel Emotional Chemistry in the mail today so I'm diving into that.

QOTD:Help others get ahead. You will always stand taller with someone else on your shoulders.
-- Bob Moawad
posted by Mike 9:37 PM

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Some Days...

I just cannot stand people. Isn't that just awful? I'm in sales too, good career for that mood swing don't ya think.

Now I really like my boss, he is a good guy, but as I am sure I have some habits or traits that drive him crazy, he seemed to be showing all of those today that drive me crazy.

Do you know the term "learned helplessness"? Its when you do something for someone so they learn that you will do it for them and they don't learn to do it themselves. Well with his lack of computer skills, and his taking over the administrative part of my old job, I couldn't get two minutes to myself today.

Drove me just crazy.

Then I had another explosion on one of my trading groups. Personality conflicts. People getting mad. Ulterior Motives. Friends getting hurt. Not pretty. Oh well...

OUT

OBCD: A whole lot of Led Zeppelin. Studio remasters

QOTD:My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
-- Vladimir Nabokov
posted by Mike 10:59 PM

Monday, October 20, 2003

Odds and Ends

Stupefying Boring

I survived my one-day class "New Leader Essentials" today as part of the training required for the BSA Asst Scoutmaster position. I won't go into just how dull this was, though I must say the trainer does her best to make the information interesting.

The most amusing/pathetic parts were the videos commissioned by the BSA National Offices. Frankly they looked like something the Sesame Street people put together, with words coming down on the screen to hit the "actors" (very loose use of the term) on the head. Yea it was that absurd. Then there was a 15 min video reviewing the developmental stages of children. Gosh if I had known this existed I would not have put in four years at a school of higher learning getting my BA in Psychology, concentrating of child psych.

So with this done I have two 2.5 hr Thursdays to go and one frigid overnighter this weekend and I'm "trained".




Great Library

The classes have been held in the new East Greenbush Library. WOW what a fantastic new library. The children's section alone is worth visiting if you have kids. But I joined the Library system again because they carry a number of the "Great Courses" series from The Teaching Company. I borrowed the History of the English Language, which is a series of lectures by a Stanford Professor. I have always wanted to own some of these series on tape, but the cost (even on sale this one is a $50.00 series) are just way to high.

I am very impressed by the donor, or the Library buyer, who purchased these tapes for the Library. This library card will also allow me to catch up on some Presidential Bio's that I cannot find or are out of print. The library is an easy ride for me from work during lunch, but at least till the last Thursday of this month I'll be going there anyway for the BSA training.




Phone installation expert

Well now I am at least. We finally got our phone lines at the new place but as is the new way of things the Phone Company only brought the lines to what is called the "D Mark". From there its your problem. Well the place was somewhat pre wired for phone, or should I say over wired as it seems no one has removed the phone runs just added to them.

This resulted in a confusing mess of lines running off the D Mark board. However your intrepid phone installation guy me was able to wire up two sets of Four Line Jacks and the fax machine, though it took most of the afternoon. I think the boss was impressed. Hey maybe we will go into phone system installation as well. Why not!?!




OBCD: My Moody Blues studio album collection. The core 7 albums plus the live album fit on one MP3 CDR, the rest fit on another. The earlier stuff is phenomenal. I'm not as hot on the rest of the studio stuff but its still good ol MB.

Just read as a break: The next 7th Dr book of the Virgin Books "New Adventures" called "So Vile a Sin".. we loose one of the long time companions in this one: Roz Forrester, and it is written by one of my fave Dr. Who authors Kate Orman. Still reading JP Morgan - did I mention it is very thick?

QOTD:I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.
-- Steven Wright
posted by Mike 10:10 PM

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Delegate for my Alma Mater



Yes that's me in Academic Regalia!

Last week I got a call out of the blue from my Alma Mater's alumni office. The lady introduced herself and said that Greg had suggested she call me and that I was a nice guy. I told her of course not to publish that info or it would ruin my reputation! Anyway she told me that my Alma Mater had gotten an invite to send a delegate to the inauguration of Dr. Glotzbach as the 7th President of Skidmore College.

I told her I was honored and would of course attend. That was today.

I got there in time to mill about with the real academician and put on my robes, which my college had been so nice to send me. Then we marched into the basketball stadium on Skidmore campus and there I sat through two hours of Dr. Glotzbach's inauguration. No it was far from boring. The ceremony was punctuated with speeches by various Skidmore dignitaries. Interspersed was some really great music provided by Skidmore students. Two of note were actually written by a Skidmore Senior and were quite good brass pieces.

Dr. Glotzbach's speech, although longish, was quite good and very "dense". Not in the meaning of "stupid" of course but very strong on 50c words and even stronger on ideas. Dr. Glotzbach's field is/was Philosophy and it was very apparent from listening to him. I found it very refreshing listening to all the speeches as they were written by well read and well spoken academic's and they actually made me think. A far cry from our work a day world of sound bites, slogans and phrases.

All in all it was quite enjoyable to participate in this event. When I got home I did up a quick piece for our Alumni website and posted the picture below as well.



OBCD: Sound Tribe Sector Nine official live album called seasons 01.

QOTD: I am deferring this for today. There were so many great things said today at the inauguration that any other quote pales by comparison.

posted by Mike 8:52 PM

Friday, October 17, 2003

Ugh, Part Two

Yes I sat up till the end of the Yank-me vs BoSox game.

No I am not a happy baseball fan.

Why?

1) The Yankees again in the world series. Ho hum. Just how many times have they been there?

2) The Marlins cannot even fill their own stadium during the year, even after the All Star Break when they had a better record than the aforementioned Yank-me's.

3) This all translates to one thing: low ratings again for the World Series. Now I don't care how much Fox looses on this, I'm not exactly a fan of that network mind you, but it's just not good for the sport.

urghh!
posted by Mike 11:59 PM

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Becoming a Scout Leader

I have decided to renew my "career" with Scouting. It is a dedication to many things including my son, his friends, my love of teaching kids and frankly my sanity. My son graduates from WeBeLo's year two in February and I have declared my intent to his future Scout Troop to help out as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

To that end this month is going to be a bit crazy. In order to qualify for the "trained leader" patch which I think is absolutely necessary for the respect of the kids and the other leaders I need to complete three "courses" taught by the District. The first is a one evening course for 2.5 hrs next Monday (so no "Boys Night In" next Monday). The second is also 2.5 hrs each, but is over three sessions tonight and the next two Thursday's. Finally, and here is the fun part, I get to go camping with the adults this month as well. Its a Friday night to Sunday late morning commitment.

Once that is done however I qualify for this important designation as qualified leader. My son starts Scouts officially in Feb 04, but I may transition myself earlier depending upon how much of my free time I wish to commit before he comes on board.

OBCD today: Stone Trek's. Progressive Radio shows recorded by my friend G in the 90's and lovingly transcribed from cassette tape to CDR's by myself earlier this year. I cut my prog teeth with these shows growing up on the Left Coast.

QOTD: Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.
-- Groucho Marx




For some reason Tues and Wed's blog did not publish so I have re published it below.
posted by Mike 11:00 PM

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Ugh, Part One

Hopefully there will not be a part two...

The Cubbies lost. Most baseball fans and many non fans who see highlights saw the fan interference play last night. I could tell the air just went out of the Cubbie balloon then. Sitting at dinner tonight before the game I prognosticated fearlessly that the Cubs would loose tonight.

Alas I was right.

I've seen two major series now coached by Dusty Baker, last years game 7 of the World Series and this nights game 7 of the NLCS. It seems that Dusty has a chink in his managerial armor. He keeps pitchers in too long. The Giants lost the series last year because of this and tonight the Cubs lost for the same reason.

Oh well.... Hopefully Part two will not happen and the Sox will go to the WS.

OBCD today: Mike Mixes and various other "workout" MP3's. Good fun music.

Still Reading: Morgan.. I won't put up another Still Reading till I am done.

QOTD: Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose.
-- Andy Rooney
posted by Mike 11:44 PM

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

History Exam

Thanks to Sue for this one.. its rather amusing.. and yes between my age and my head for trivia I got a high score

(Don't peek at the answers 'til you try it.)

1. In the 1940s, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?
a. On the floor shift knob
b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch
c. Next to the horn

2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it. For what
was it used?
a. Capture lightning bugs
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing
c. Large salt shaker

3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?
a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze,
expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.

4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?
a. Blackjack
b. Gin
c. Craps!

5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings
when none were available due to rationing during W.W.II?
a. Suntan
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks

6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't
tell whether it was coming or going?
a. Studebaker
b. Nash Metro
c. Tucker

7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
a. Strips of dried peanut butter
b. Chocolate licorice bars
c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside

8. How was Butch wax used?
a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing
c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust

9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to
your shoes?
a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot
c. Long pieces of twine

10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?
a. Consider all the facts
b. Ask Mom
c. Eeny-meeny-miney-mo

11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940's?
a. Smallpox
b. AIDS
c. Polio

12. "I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey"
a. SUV
b. Taxi
c. Streetcar

13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pet pony?
a. Old Blue
b. Paint
c. Macaroni

14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?
a. Part of the game of hide and seek
b. What you did when your Mom called you in to do chores
c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an
A-bomb drill.

15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on the Howdy Doody show?
a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajewea
c. Princess Moonshadow

16. What did all the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were
handed out in school?
a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you
high
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid your failure

17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?
a. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs, which tasted like
bubble gum
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household
items
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos

18. Praise the Lord, and pass the _________?
a. Meatballs
b. Dames
c. Ammunition

19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song "Cabdriver"
a hit?
a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires

20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?
a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin

------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANSWERS

1. b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand Controls, popular in
Europe, took till the late '60s to catch on.

2. b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?

3. c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the
bottle top.

4. a) Blackjack Gum.

5. b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the back
of the leg with eyebrow pencil.

6. a) 1946 Studebaker.

7. c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.

8. a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.

9. a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a
shoestring around your neck.

10. c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

11. c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies
and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread of
the disease.

12.. b) Taxi. Better be ready by half-past eight!

13. c) Macaroni.

14. c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an
A- bomb drill.

15. a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.

16. a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.

17. b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household
items at the Green Stamp store.
18. c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.

19. a) The all male, all black group: The Inkspots.

20. a) Tony Bennett, and he sounds just as good today.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

SCORING

17- 20 correct: You are not only older than dirt, but obviously gifted
with mind bloat.
Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely a GEEZER!

12 -16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind is definitely muddy.

0 -11 correct: You are a sad excuse for a geezer or you are younger than
springtime!
_________________

posted by Mike 11:55 PM

Monday, October 13, 2003

New Office

At last we have moved to new digs. It is not glamorous by any stretch of imagination but it is "ours". The office consists of a big garage of all things, with a office built on the ground floor and a "mezzanine" level above it for another office open to the garage. I use these terms loosely, mezzanine and office but lo and behold when I came in the desk that I inherited from the old business was in the office below. I actually have four walls, an office! I have not had one in years, never had an office of my own at the old business.

Of course we do not have any phone or Internet service into the building at this time but we are working on it. Spent the day putting my desk together. I went up to Comp USA to get a more memory but the chassis of my computer is so ancient that they did not carry the correct type. So I will order it online instead.




Damaged Goods

For those of you who are not completely hooked into the Dr. Who cult (as the BBC calls it) the mental image that is conjured by Dr. Who (if you conjure one at all) is one of a harmless children’s/young adult show where the various actors that played the Dr. fight off various bug eyed monsters in bad makeup and worse sets.

In the 90's the BBC gave the book rights to Virgin publishing who proceeded to put out two books a month for a number of years. The two series were dubbed the Missing adventures (stories about previous incarnations of the Doctor) and the New Adventures (strictly about the last Doctor played by Sylvester McCoy).

As the NA's progressed they became more and more cutting edge sci-fi and less the childish romp of the old TV shows. I have just finished Russell Davie's "Damaged Goods" which came out near the end of the Virgin run. Imagine how much this genre has evolved when I tell you that this novel contains the following things: prostitution, cocaine abuse, homosexuality, psychic powers, and nasty ancient trans dimensional nasties. Sounds absurd doesn't it? Well I am here to tell you that this one book is one of the best Dr. Who novels I have ever read.

So why is this one time author important in the whole scheme of things? Well Mr. Davies went on to become a major player in the BBC TV writing and production area and has just been tagged as the major creative force behind the NEW Dr. Who series that will be broadcast in two years by "BBC Wales".

Now to think that the new Dr. Who series will contain ANY of these elements cited above except for the trans dimensional nasties (required for any sci fi series I suppose) is absurd at best. The BBC simply won't allow coke, prostitution and other darker human endeavors to be broadcast to their viewers. But it gives much hope to the future of the series that such a vibrant creative force will be guiding the new Dr. Who series.




OBCD today: Quality control by listening to one set of copies of the Portals, Movements and Structures II 4 cd set. I am impressed every time I hear this set again.

Still Reading: Now that I finished "Damaged Goods" I can concentrate on the JP Morgan bio I'm reading...

QOTD: If there's anything unsettling to the stomach, it's watching actors on television talk about their personal lives.
-- Marlon Brando
posted by Mike 10:47 PM

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Saratoga Petrified Gardens



Went with the WeBeLo's up to Saratoga this am before the rains hit to cruise around the fossil beds. It’s a lovely 1-mile loop walk with plenty of interesting things to see for adults and kids interested in the geological past of the local area.

The picture above and below is the fossil remains of a the fossilized stromatolites' reef. The swirls in the rocks are the fossil remains. As time has gone on great and little cracks have appeared in the ancient petrified remains of the reefs.



Stromatolites have the appearance of “cabbage heads.” The surrounding land around the Saratoga area in PreCambrian times was once in shallow water along the ocean’s coastline. Stromatolites are algae formations from the blue-green algae group and are considered plant life. They gather in colonies.

Their scientific name is Cyanophyta. They contain chlorophyll. When they were alive, they were located in the ocean between tidal zones. In other words, they were exposed during the low tide and hidden (or covered) during the high tide. They were actually rooted within the tidal flats of the ocean bed. They developed during the Precambrian - Cambrian Period, nearly 540-1300 million years ago. These are rare formations.

All very fascinating and we had a great time.






Soccer Drubbing

Humility is good and the team got it in droves today. Oh well.. They were unbeaten, i.e. they had only tied and won games.

Football Drubbing

Da Raida's lost AGAIN. Boy was my prediction spot on for their season. I'm sad I was so right. It's going to be a loooong season again. I went 5 - 4 in the early games, straight favorites went 6 - 3. Well ya can't pick em all. Gosh now all I have to do is get 4 of 5 of the afternoon/evening/monday games to get my 9 correct for the week. This is not easy. The only two upsets I called against the spread in the early games was the KC and TB games.

posted by Mike 5:27 PM

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Computer Tech

Spent a good five hours today working with the new ED computers. The boss had finalized arrangements Friday for a new place for the new company so we are out of the old building finally. I really hated going in to the old building every day!

Anyway the owner's sister (remember this is a NEW owner - not the much berated old owner of the old business) is a CIS person for a big corporation. They just upgraded their old computers so she was able to gift us with two Dell computers. One is sweet: 128 Mg Ram, decent size HD for business, PII chip and Windows 98se. The other was problematic however: it had 2000 professional in it so I had to reformat the HD with Windows 98se (so the two computers could network if needed). It only has 64 mg of Ram and it also has a PII. The problem was that the video card - not on the motherboard thank god - would not work in 32bit color with W98. Well I had an ATI Rage laying around that I bought for A's computer but could not get to work. I swapped the Rage for the Diamond that was in it and got everything up to speed. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the computer up to my standards program wise.




Enterprise

So while playing computer tech I watched a bunch of Enterprise episodes...

I have been recording this season's Enterprise on the DVR and so I watched three episodes today. The differences from last season are apparent. They have turned up the heat on the T&A with the Vulcan Science Officer and a Lt of the Marines bopping about occasionally in their undies. Its also much more violent and the characters are behaving more "gritty". There is an over arching "arc" for this season regarding a race (group of races actually) whom for no apparent reason seem hell bent for leather to wipe out Humanity.

Overall however I still don't "care" about the characters like I have for other Star Trek franchise shows. Next up are the Jake 2.0 show's I have also been recording.




Blatantly Offensive

And after the Enterprise episodes I turned on the Yank-me vs Red Sox game. By now if you are a sports fan you have seen the "low lights" of this pathetic game. You all know I don't like the Yank-me's. But watching some young Latino buck whack Don Zimmer to the ground (he is in his 70's) in the dust up in the 4th inning just made me ill. I hope Martinez gets fined big time for his bullying of Mr. Zimmer.




OBCD today: Not listening but burning. I made five copies of the four CD set "Portals Movements and Structures II" which I have alluded to earlier - four CD's chock full of unsigned and signed Progressive artists' music. Just brilliant!

Still Reading: Ok I'm such a Dufus. Its not called "Pierpoint" but "Morgan".... durr. And still reading the 7th Dr "New Adventure". Very gritty, full of homosexuals and drugs, set in Maggot Scratcher's late 80's UK. Not pretty but a good read.

QOTD:I have only one superstition. I touch all the bases when I hit a home run.
-- Babe Ruth (I love blog appropriate quotes).
posted by Mike 9:43 PM

Friday, October 10, 2003

WOW no blog since TUESDAY??

What have you been doing?

::kids voice:: Nothing...

Part of the problem is that I usually compose these at work (I know I know) or later in the evening at home. Since we lost our Broadband at work its been more problematic to write these, and with the baseball playoffs I've been preoccupied in the evenings.

I'm rooting for an interesting World Series, i.e. one without the Yank-me's.

Oh look a World Series with the Yankees... how different and unique... YAWN.

Really it would be great for the sport to have the Cubbies and the Sox play each other. One has not won a WS since '08 and the other since '18. My luck (and the Fox network cause it will kill the ratings) it will be the Yank-me's and the Marlins (The Marlins cannot even fill their own ball park let alone interest the rest of the country).




Spin Control

I see Dubya is taking on the road to sell his great record to the American people. Heh. Phat chance.

Its very good to see that the American public is beginning to wake up and see that this guy has no plan and is focused on one thing: making his cronies richer.

Now if the fractious Dems can get a focused message then maybe the country has a chance of recovering from this Man and his band of civil rights abolishing, war mongering arseholes.

This is so incredibly not Politically Correct I've been reticent in saying it: but how many innocent Afghani’s and Iraqi's have to die in relation to the innocent Americans who died in the WTC to satisfy this Man's blood lust? Is the ratio 2:1 3:1 10:1? When does an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth end? Oh and you can add every American boy killed AFTER hostilities stopped (according to our leader) to that American innocent's total.



Kid Overnight

So the kid is staying over at a friend’s house tonight. Usually L and my Friday nights consist of complete relaxation with her dozing off in front of the TV downstairs and me dozing off in bed with the TV on. (We watch different things on Friday nights). So the over riding question is.. Romance or the Regular Hum Drum...

Decisions decisions

OBCD: Some shows from June in Trenton NJ.....

Still Reading: Pierpoint and Damaged Goods simultaneously. (JP Morgan's first wife died 9 WEEKS after they got married from tuberculosis... does that hurt or what?)

QOTD:Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan. But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.
-- Harriet Lerner


posted by Mike 9:35 AM

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Californication....

OK CALIFORNIA -- Time to prove if you have any sense what so ever.

Are you all tools of the Right Wing Republicans or do you think on your own? Are you buying the party line like the sheep in the rest of the country or do you think for yourselves?

Do you elect an actor with no strongly established positions, who thinks that Hitler was a neat guy, and who grabs asses in his spare time?

Prove to the rest of the country that you all are not a bunch of flakes like we all think you are....

I dare ya.

signed - an EX-citizen of California




Boys night in

It was the every other Monday last night. We rented Eddie Murphy's "Daddy Daycare". Very cute and touching. Details are unimportant. The plot was cute, but predictable. The movie was stolen by the characters of "Marvin" and "Ben". Rent the movie to find out who they were. I also rented "The Core" and "The Animatrix" but I have to return Core and Daycare tomorrow so I prob won't watch "The Core".

Decided to oversleep on purpose this am so I didn't get in till 9am. Rolled out of bed at 7:30, got me and the boy ready for the day and off to work/school! Fun.




Now reading: BOTH the JP Morgan bio and "Damaged Goods" a 7th Dr Adventure by Russ Davies. He is going to be the force behind the new Dr. Who series coming next year from "BBC Wales".

QOTD: The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is.
-- John Lancaster Spalding.

OBCD Today: More of the MP3 CD's I use in the Gym. You can put LOTS of songs on these discs...

posted by Mike 1:19 PM

Monday, October 06, 2003

Post Weekend Blues

OAKLAND: BOTH the A's and Da Raida's lost on Sunday. AND I was wearing my A's cap and Raida's Sweatshirt. The nerve of those two teams to both disappoint me. Well at least the CUBBIES's won!! Goodbye Atlanta... Now if we can just usher the Yank-Me's out of the playoffs and see an A's - Cub or Red Sox - Cub World Series!

POOLS: Still Alive in the single elimination pool but got drubbed for the second straight week in the other pool. To add INSULT to INJURY I had printed up the grid on Thu and made my picks, then could not find them. So on Friday I did some thinking (Do Not Think while doing pics.. go with intuition) and picked a few different choices. EACH of those were wrong. My strength in football pics is the "feel" not the analysis. Oh well. 11 weeks to go.

BLESS ME FATHER: Watched a couple of more episodes on tape this weekend. What a hoot. And to think this was filmed in 1978. I get all dreamy and nostalgic about 1978/1979. I was 16 - 18 and in HS. Some of the best British Comedies, Dr. Who, Prog Rock came out of that era. In love for the first time in '79. Ah the nostalgia of the Middle aged Man.

NO BURN ZONE: I owe a handful of people CDR's from trades and trees and such. I was supposed to do them this weekend. I didn't cause I was a bum. So now I have to do them during the week, which isn't a bad thing as it keeps my busy. Still waiting the arrival of Portals, Movements and Structures II which is a four cd set I am Treeing of all studio work by new signed and unsigned prog musicians. Its a work of love, no trades occur on the tree, the CDR's move one way only.

NO BROTHER ZONE:Spoke to Brother G on Friday.. said he might come by as he was on the East Coast. Was hoping at least for a call from a Land Line (his cell roaming charges are unreal) but no call. Oh well. I had this fantasy he would just show up at the door. A would freak happy and L would glare cause the house was not in order. Well one can dream can't one? lol

OBCD today (monday): "workout" MP3CD chock full of fun songs with a beat.

Now Reading: Pierpoint A biograpy of JP Morgan. This is a "desert course" (though its thick) to my Roosevelt Biographies as it sees the time period from a slightly different perspective.

QOTD is a great one: The married are those who have taken the terrible risk of intimacy and, having taken it, know life without intimacy to be impossible.
-- Carolyn Heilbrun
posted by Mike 10:10 AM

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Ramblings....

Mood: Dark.. but getting lighter

Irritations: People with bumper stickers that say things like: We support our troops, and Proud to be an American. Why? Cause it's one big DUH! Take a stand that is risky. Jeeze.

New TV I like: Jake 2.0 looks good. Smallville/Angel have been upgraded it seems. NOT into these gritty Detective/Lawyer/Hospital/super serious dramas except West Wing. I really don't like Reality Shows. ECK!! Wife and Child love Survivor so I have to run and hide after dinner.

The job situation: Probably moving twice in 1.5 months, as we have to escape the old building and the new rental is not going to be ready when we need it.

The Job Track I honestly don't know if I made the right move joining this company. I looked forward to the death of the old company for 2 yrs so I could move on. I'm just not sure the new entity constitutes moving on.

Silly Car The damn check engine light is on. My buddy in the car business says to disconnect the battery for a few minutes and it should turn it off. If it goes on again then I might have a problem.

Fave old shows from the BBC dept: There was a cute show that I used to catch on PBS called Bless Me Father which was taken from the books by Fr. Daniel Abernathi who was a RC curate in the 50's. I thought I had bunches of them on tape but over the years they had been inadvertently recorded over. So I splurged with some birthday money and bought the first and second season on VHS. No DVD's yet.

I want this on my car: A bumper sticker that I put on the TOP of my car that says: If you can read this then you are driving a GAS GUZZLING SUV! "I drive an SUV cause it's safer on the road" they say. Well buddy if there were not so many SUV's on the road running over cars then everyone would be safer.

Still alive: I survived a scare with the Raiders last week in my "pick one team a week to win (not against the spread) and you cannot pick it again for the season single elimination pool". 4 weeks down, 12 to go, and there are only 6 left of 35 original players. I got my but kicked in the "pick the whole schedule per week against the spread" pool but so did a lot of others so I'm still in the top 1/3.

OBCD today: the "essentials" CD set that was generously given to me by my friend "elfslut". Don't take that name badly, she is a great lady.

Still Reading: Wolfsbane - GREAT characterizations of Harry Sullivan in this one.

Quote of the Day: If you don't run your own life, somebody else will.
-- John Atkinson
posted by Mike 3:59 PM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind