We went to Foley, AL on the 23rd and stopped at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile on the way back home on the 24th. Here are some of the photos from our trip.
I finally figured out how to get a whole bunch of extra lives in one of my favorite PC games - Bionic Commando Rearmed. So before I completely forget how I did it, I'm going to type it out here on my blog.
First you need to install a copy of Bionic Commando Rearmed, either v1.0 or v1.1. Next you will need to download and install Cheat Engine, an open source program that is really neato.
Now, fire up Bionic Commando Rearmed and go to the first place you can find in the game where there is a quick, easy way to die early in the stage. Take note of how many lives you currently have. Pause and ALT + Tab the game. Now start up Cheat Engine. Select the process "BCR.exe". Choose scan type "exact value" and value type "exact". In the blank box above scan type, put in the exact number of lives that you currently have. Choose Next Scan and let it scan.
Now swap back to the game. Quickly kill your character, take note of how many lives you now have, pause, and ALT + Tab back to the Cheat Engine window. In the blank box above scan type, now put in the exact number of lives that you currently have, which should be one less. Choose Next Scan again and let it scan.
Once the scan has completed, swap back to the game again, and repeat the paragraph above. You'll keep doing this process over and over until Cheat Engine can narrow down to the one address where the number of lives is stored. This is why you want to die quickly and change as little as possible between deaths. When you finally have one address showing in Cheat Engine, right click on it and choose the change value option. Put in how many lives you want to have, 900 if you want. That's it!
I'm still here. I just haven't had the time to do any decent updating. I've been doing my best to keep the Links page up to date though. I'm going to try very hard to get back to updating soon.
I've added a few more photos to the Kara Celeste Dean photo gallery. I'll probably begin a new gallery for more recent photos of her sometime soon.
It's crazy that Kara has already passed the 10 week old mark. Make sure to watch the videos I've uploaded of her over on my YouTube channel.
We Were Pirates - Robert Hunt: A Torpedoman's View of the Pacific War by Robert Schultz and James Shell has finally been released. I have a copy of the book now, but I'm sending it off to be signed by Bob Hunt himself tomorrow. I've babbled on and on about this book quite a few times here on this blog, but for those who don't know it's a book about Bob Hunt's time spent aboard the submarine USS Tambor (SS-198) as a torpedoman in WWII. Bob Hunt was on the Tambor when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and he stayed onboard for war patrols 1 through 12. That's every war patrol the Tambor made except for the 13th patrol. My grandfather was on the Tambor for war patrols 11 and 12, so they were shipmates. I was keeping in touch with Bob Hunt via email until early this year. I later learned that he had something happen to him and he was moved into an assisted living apartment.
I haven't even opened my copy of the book as I know if I do I won't want to send it off for autographing. Getting this book autographed means a lot to me.
You can read about this book by visiting the author's website where you can also order a DVD that goes with the book. There is also a small video interview with Bob there. You can order the book through the U.S. Naval Institute or Amazon.com.
These are two of the greatest cartoons from the 1980s. Sunbow Productions was an awesome animation studio. They took real pride in their work. Today's cartoons are full of CGI and such. Not these back then. Transformers and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero have suffered years and years of poor releases/no releases by various organizations that held their copyrights at the time. Shout! Factory has acquired the rights to these cartoons. They are releasing the best ever available complete sets. This is awesome!
It was already hard enough to update my blog here before Kara was born. But now it's going to be nearly impossible! I salute all of you single parents out there - I don't know how you do it. While Kara is a happy little girl in general, she does get quite fussy suddenly at times. She also can give us pains at night when we are trying to get more than 3 hours of sleep at a time. I feel bad for doing this kind of stuff to my own parents when I was a baby for sure.
I really want to see the new "Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen" movie, but I'm not sure how we'll ever make it to a movie theater again. The new Harry Potter movie comes out in less than a week, and the new live-action G.I. Joe movie starts sometime this summer. We'll have to get to the movies sometime somehow.
I have a new found appreciation for coffee. Ever since Kara was born it doesn't taste quite as hot nor quite as bitter. It keeps me somewhat alert, which is something I constantly need these days. We are also loving watching NBC on weeknights. There is The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien then Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And even better, this fall Jay Leno will be back with his own new show at 9 PM central.
So to sum all of this up, I guess I'm getting old.
Kara Celeste was born on June 2, 2009. Due to various factors, she was a c-section baby. It was quite an experience. She had issues with low blood sugar at first, but that was cured with a bit of time. Then she had jaundice, but with the help of a bili-light that was cleared up too.
I would have updated by now, but we haven't had a free second to do anything. See the photos here.
We received big news this past Tuesday - Kara Celeste will be born on June 4, 2009. That's only a week and a few days from now! Emily received a steroid shot on Tuesday night and Wednesday night that is supposed to give Kara's lung development a little boost for a delivery at 37 weeks.
We are both really tired and scrambling around in an attempt to have everything ready for the hospital and for when we bring her home. Emily ordered an ITZBEEN™ from Amazon.com. This little device looks awesome as it keeps track of so many things including how long it's been since the last changing, feeding, etc.
Busy busy! Emily and I completed the 3 weekly childbirth classes as well as a baby care class. Only one more class to go. I have found the classes interesting and somewhat calming.
Emily was told not to go to work anymore after today. She was only given this long because fo the state testing that finished up today. So she will hopefully be staying at home as much as possible while trying to relax. We still do not have a set due date, but hope to find out very soon.
We have been so busy over the last month! It's wild. Emily had a wonderful baby shower at the church on Sunday, April 26th. She had another baby shower given by her co-workers on Thursday, April 30th. Then we had a surprise this past Sunday, May 3rd as we walked into Sunday School. Our classmates had cooked breakfast and gave us yet another baby shower. Emily has one more shower, more of a friends and family shower, in a couple of weeks. We are blessed to have such great friends and family who are willing to help us out. There are still always more things we'll need. If you want to take a look at our registry with Geoffrey/Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us, just click here.
We have been attending weekly childbirth classes as well as weekly checkups with the doctor(s). Everything with Kara Celeste has been normal. The due date has always been June 24th, but we are still suspecting that delivery will take place around 2 weeks before that. We have no definite date as of yet.
Hey that's just a little over a month away from now!
I'm trying out a new layout for the website. More of a white and black look.
We had a pretty long day today. Sunrise service with breakfast fellowship afterwards, then lunch with the Sharps and Littles, and dinner with the Deans. It was a beautiful day, and at least the rain held off until late this afternoon.
Dad is going to physical therapy 3 times a week for his shoulder recovery. It seems to be doing well.
Emily and the baby Kara Celeste are coming along just fine. Weekly checkups are still in order.
I wish we could make another trip down to Mobile/Foley. That was so much fun and not too far away. :(
As of today, Emily is officially in the 3rd trimester. That's 28 weeks today. Starting this week she will see Dr. Nelson once a week. Lots of doctor visits. At each visit she will have an ultrasound and then she'll have a 20 minute session with a non-stress test (?) machine.
Dad's surgery last Wednesday went as planned. He had a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. He went back to the doctor today for a checkup, but I don't know the results of that yet.
Well, Emily and I had a fun two days of Alabama this past Thursday and Friday. We stopped in Mobile at Battleship Memorial Park so I could see the Drum and visit with Tom Bowser and meet Leslie Waters. Then we went on over and down to Foley and checked into our motel. We were quite hungry so went then went to eat at LuLu's and it was great! Friday we had breakfast at the motel and did some quick shopping around Foley and in the Tanger Outlet Mall there. On the way home, we had a late lunch at the Original Oyster House in Mobile.
The pictures I took at Battleship Memorial Park are here.
Sadly, while we were gone, Emily's uncle Wayne Little passed away. The funeral is this afternoon.
Emily has spring break this week. She decided to go to Jackson today and took my mom with her. I just hope I get some doughnuts out of the deal!
I've been tidying up the HTML and CSS over all the websites that I manage. It's amazing how many little tweaks you can find over time. I think I have everything almost up to date. Now I just need to finish creating the custom error pages for all of my websites. Those are pretty neat.
Oh, and in case you didn't notice, I added some code into this page so that you can read my last 5 updates on Twitter.
Emily went for another checkup today. She had an ultrasound, some of which was in that neat 4-D format. That's the picture below.
The baby registry for our baby girl has been created for Geoffrey/Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us/Kids"R"Us (it's all the same place). Take a look at it here.
What a week. Emily twisted her ankle Sunday afternoon, which led to a visit to the emergency room early Monday morning. They did x-rays and gave her a splint and a pair of crutches. It's unclear exactly what happened, but they didn't believe anything was broken. She is still hobbling around, but it should be gradually getting better every day. The worst part is that she can't have any anti-inflammatory drugs since she's pregnant.
The Mississippi State Legislature is underway with they 2009 session. You can view all measures online as usual. My predictions? As usual, I don't believe a budget will be decided upon during the regular legislative session, which will lead to the usual multiple special sessions, costing us thousands more every day for nothing. Perhaps even leading to the teacher pink slips of years gone by. Let's see how close I am! :) It's sad. No one wants to give up anything, so everything will be cut down to a near non-functional point.
If you want to watch your tax dollars hard at work on live camera, check out this link.
The month is nearly over and I'm still having trouble with typing "2009".
Emily and I went to the specialist in Jackson yesterday for a checkup on our baby girl. It was amazing as this doctor and his assistants spent a lot of time with us. They were using the ultrasound machine nearly the entire time and we got to watch it all on a big flat screen TV in front of us. Everything checked out just fine as far as what he could see at this time. Dr. Perry was mostly looking for physical birth defects in the spine and heart areas. We go back to his office next month for a checkup with a doctor who will perform an echocardiogram on the baby.
We do have newer ultasound photos but I haven't scanned them yet, as they really don't show much more than previous ultrasounds have.
In website updates, I have moved the location of the guestbook using a PHP function to integrate it into this website better.
We found out Tuesday afternoon that we're having a GIRL! So no more wondering for us.
I also recently got a Corsair Survivor 32 GB Flash Drive. This this is awesome! To be able to carry 32 gigabytes of stuff around in your pocket, safely, is amazing.
It's New Year's Eve. We made it back to the doctor today and have a new photo from the ultrasound. The baby isn't quite big enough nor was she/he in a good enough position to determine the sex today. Emily goes back in two weeks for another checkup and hopefully we'll find out the gender then.
12/31/2008, 15 weeks
Here are the newest ultrasound pics. These were taken yesterday, December 2nd. We could see the baby moving around and moving hands, arms, and legs.
12/2/2008, 10 weeks 6 days
Emily and I just got home from her doctor visit. Here is the newest ultrasound - click on the little pic for a bigger pic.
11/18/2008, 8 weeks 6 days
The due date is June 24, 2009.
Many of you know by now, Emily is expecting! Here are some photos of her ultrasounds thus far. Click on the little pics for bigger pics.
First ultrasound, 10/30/2008, 6 weeks 1 day
Second ultrasound, 11/4/2008, 6 weeks 6 days
No complaining about the quality of the pics please, the originals are on crappy paper (feels like those receipts you get at a gas pump) and my scans are as good as they are going to get.
We are thrilled! On the 2nd ultrasound visit (the first one I went to) we got to hear the baby's heartbeat! Man that thing was beating fast.
It will be a long road to travel the next many months, please keep us and the baby in your prayers. Any of you that know me well, you know that I have a LOT to learn.
In other news, SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG was featured in the October/November/December quarterly newsletter "Anchor Watch", the publication of the HNSA. There are people all over the entire planet that receive this newsletter. I scanned the article:
I understand now that Mark was suffering from a progressive disease. Manic depression, paranoid schizophrenia, obsessive/compulsive disorder, and panic attacks.
Here is a bit from his final show with him talking about his condition.
I'm floored. I don't know what to say.
He wanted everyone to visit WhatADifference.org.
RIP Mark Eugene Stevens aka "MrPoi" - you will be dearly missed by many.
I hate that I missed your final radio show on October 4th. I thought I'd be able to catch a replay. :( For those of you who never heard MrPoi's shows, they were unique. PoiRadio.com - MrPoi's radio show website. I think I'd kept up with Mark over the years ever since the early days of college. So sad.
Mark had signed my guestbook over and over throughout the years.
Just wanted to share my Contra art that I received from the ~8-bit-Painter. He actually paints this stuff, pixel by pixel. The image below is actually 3 12" tall by 6" wide images. I just put them together and added the Contra logo under them.
I just read this:
FLASH-01: CASREP ON SEAWOLF PARK IN GALVESTON
Submitted by: Pat Householder Nat Cdr on 9/14/2008
The force of Hurricane Ike did major damage at Seawolf Park.
From aerial shots, we can see the fence around the park is gone, the grounds flooded, the multi-ton Tautog Sail was moved (pivoted) about 40% if you consider the fulcrum point to be the fwd point of the sail, and the USS Stewart (DE) was undermined on the starboard side and is listing to starboard.
The entry and storage buildings are also missing and the USS CARP barrel (alongside the Stewart) is askew.
Click the video link below, then advance it to approx the 3 min mark to see the video over views of Seawolf Park. The announcer describes the Stewart as having washed ashore, but in fact it was planted in the soil as is Cavalla.
I sure hope they have good storm insurance, because they are going to need it.
John McMichael and the Cavalla Assn may need to put a call out for help, both financial and/or physical. I hope and expect that all subvets who are capable of doing so will answer that call, if it comes.
I attempted to create a before and after shot with what is available right now:
Well, we went to Jackson today to take care of some shopping needs and to get away for a while. I hadn't realized it until we left, but I don't think I'd been to Jackson in many months. It was saddening to see so many places that had gone out of business since our last visit. I was extremely disappointed when we went to eat at Roadhouse Grill only to find the building vacant. That was my favorite steakhouse. The "Roadie" steak couldn't be beat! :( This economy just sucks. It's making me feel old.
I did get lucky at Hobby Lobby. Their poster frames were 50% off today, which was exactly what I was looking for today. Oh how we wish that Meridian would get a Hobby Lobby. They have a great selection of stuff and if you're willing to wait they will eventually have a great deal on whatever you need. I got a quality poster frame for my new "Submarine Evolution 1900-2003" poster for only $10. What a deal! Emily helped me get it all together tonight. Below is the finished product.
Hero: a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength.
In the photo above are Ron "Warshot" Smith and his wife Georgianna Smith. I believe this photo was taken only a week ago at the 2008 USSVI national convention in TX. Ron passed away early this morning. He was a WWII submarine veteran. A torpedoman on the USS Seal and gunner during battle surfaces. He was wounded during a gun battle. Ron accomplished so much during his lifetime. He even wrote/co-wrote two books, "Torpedoman" and "The Depths of Courage: American Submarines at War with Japan, 1941-1945". I can't say enough about what this man meant to so many people. I do know that he was kind enough to answer many of my questions while I was trying to learn about what all went on with my grandfather back in WWII, as he was a submariner as well. I own a copy of his 2nd book "The Depths of Courage" but I never got a copy of his first book "Torpedoman" as it's been out of print for quite a while. Just this past July he mentioned he was going to reprint "Torpedoman" but I don't know if he ever got the chance.
Sailor, rest your oar!
The highlight of the day was helping dad with the hay.
Tomorrow, Metallica's new album "Death Magnetic" will be released in stores. Metallica is one of the few bands that I've stayed with for well over 15 years now. I'm really looking forward to this new CD. Metallica is one of those bands that every album they release has a completely different sound to it. I wasn't very thrilled with their previous album "St. Anger" released back in 2003. "Death Magnetic" has a "...And Justice For All" meets "Load" sound to it. Not bad!
I still haven't figured out the problem with the forum/database. I think it's something to do with the way the forum security acts. When someone visits the forum it does a hostname lookup, which requires the use of the web server's lookup service. I've disabled this feature and I'm hoping this will fix any lingering problems.
Since the Mississippi Board of Registration for Foresters has dropped the BORF logo from their website, I've complained to bring it back. In the meantime, today I scanned an old sticker I had and cleaned it up a tad digitally. Here it is:
Well, apparently something, some tiny something, got corrupted in my MySQL database that keeps up with the forum members on SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG Forum. So far I've only found one member that it has affected, and I'm still not sure if I've got the problem sorted out. Databases are magic.
I wanted to put this down so I could remember it. Ron Martini "Rontini" said this:
"I also at the Annual Business Meeting got up in front of some 250 members and told them about you (by name) and your page and what that was all about."
These are some great people.
The 2008 USSVI National Convention ended this morning. I haven't heard all of the details yet, but I thought I'd share the photo above. That's Bill Lee, Base Commander of the USSVI Lockwood Internet Base. He was my sponsor for associate membership into USSVI. He's holding a SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG bumper sticker, and in the background you can see the LIB Memorial Submarine Display Table complete with a computer running the presentation I put together.
Just thought I'd share that.
I've been meaning to add this link to my links page. This is very geeky, but you must check out The Ultimate Game Room! You've been warned about the geek factor. It's the geek's wife's nightmare.
What a way to spend Labor Day. Sitting around the house being thankful that Hurricane Gustav didn't blow us away. It definitely could have been worse.
So where have I been? Well, when I heard that the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) Lockwood Internet Base (LIB) was sponsoring a "Memorial Submarine Display Table" at the 2008 USSVI National Convention the first week of September, I volunteered to make a computerized presentation. With the help of people from all around the world, I gathered several hundered megabytes of photographs of the 26 different museum submarines. Once set to music as a slideshow, it goes on for about an hour and twenty minutes. Bill Lee of LIB hopefully arrived safely in Ft. Worth, Texas today with a computer to show the presentation all week at the table. I hope it will draw people to the table and get them to browse all the stuff that will be available at the table.
I've been enjoying the new Bionic Commando Rearmed on the PC. Bionic Commando on the NES is definitely one of my top 3 favorite games of all time, and Bionic Commando Rearmed is a perfect remake of the classic NES version. The only changes were for the better and the graphics were updated. It is available via download only on XBLA, PSN, and PC. That's the ONLY thing I don't like about the game, but it seems that's they way PC gaming is going. I miss good old hard copies of discs in a nice box. Anyway, you can buy the game onine and download for around $15.
My fortune cookie from our wonderful dinner tonight said "Your present plans are going to succeed". I wonder what my cookie knew that I didn't? I have become a fanatic for fried rice, buttered potato slices, and sweet and sour chicken. Who knew that Chinese buffet food could be such a starch lover's heaven?
There have been lots of changes around here. Previously, I had 2 different hosting accounts that were hosted on the same server with the same host, 2 different domain name accounts, and 4 different domain names scattered everywhere. I decided to consolidate. Now I have 1 large hosting account, 1 domain name account, and all 4 domains are being used under the single account. What it all boils down to is I have LanceDean.com hosted now, and it's the starting point for me on the web. I've called it my "Internet Index Page" for lack of a better idea.
My pics have moved around as a result of me getting tired of fooling with the Gallery application. It's a royal pain in the rear to keep up to date without it breaking. I have enough problems without that. So, I didn't bother installing it again after the move. Instead I've found a neat little PHP script called PhotoFrame that I modified with some help to get what I want. It's super small and super simple. Just throw some photos into a directory and put this file in there with them, and you have a simple result.
Lastly, I've given "The Life of Shelton Doyle Blalock" it's own sub-domain from LanceDean.com. It can now be found at http://blalock.lancedean.com so update your bookmarks!
It turned out that the major problem with my websites was a failing hard drive. My data was moved onto a new drive in the server in Florida and everything has been great ever since.
SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG is moving forward. Thanks to donations from supporters of the website, we will soon be listed as Associate Members of the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA).
My truck hasn't cranked in over a week now. It's a mystery as usual.
Just wanted to say that my websites (all 3 hosted on the same server) survived a bad denial of service (DoS) attack all afternoon. Someone or something is really mad at the server these sites are hosted on. IP addresses have been banned and servers have been rebooted. I hope it's over. All over the internet I've read more stories of massive DoS attacks as of late. I don't know why.
Today was Memorial Day. Emily and I placed new flags on the graves of my grandfathers as well as her great uncle who was killed on the USS Indianapolis at the very end of WWII. We went to her parents' house for supper and it was tasty.
This past weekend, we visited Mobile, AL. We decided to try out our new Garmin Nuvi 260W GPS unit. We left home on Saturday. Once in Mobile, we briefly stopped at our motel before letting our Nuvi 260W lead us to a nearby Super Target, Kohls, and Panera Bread for dinner. Then we found a great movie theater with stadium seating and watched the new "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" movie. It was much better than I expected with numerous references to his past Indy movies. It was so nice to watch a movie in a "real" movie theater that didn't harass or search us like here in Meridian.
Sunday morning, the Nuvi 260W lead us to a nearby IHOP restaurant, where we ate a delicious breakfast. Then we traveled to Battleship Memorial Park where we met up with Tom Bowser, a man who has become a friend over the last year. He's the main restoration fella who volunteers his time on the USS Drum, the oldest submarine in the USA on display as a museum, right here in Mobile, AL. Also meeting up with us yesterday was Mark Allen and his wife Leilani, who were on their way down to Florida from Oklahoma. Mark volunteers with the USS Batfish in Muskogee, OK and helps me moderate the forum on SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG. It was a great visit! Afterwards, we ate at the Original Oyster House just down the road from the Park. It's a great place to eat!
Then we let our GPS tell us how to get home. What a great trip and what a nifty new tool for trips. You can see pictures of our trip by clicking on the "PICS" link up top, or by clicking here.
I received a copy of Robert Hunt's diary from WWII. It's really interesting. This man was aboard the USS Tambor in the Pacific when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
I have finished (somewhat) a tribute to my maternal grandparents, Shelton Doyle Blalock and Lodena Alexander Blalock. It can be found here. I'm trying to spread it around to everyone that I think would be interested in looking at it. It tells of Doyle's younger days, WWII submarining days, marriage, rockhounding, sand bottle art, retirement, etc. Lots of stuff to read there.
Thanks to Peter Jorgensen, I have updates on a book release I've been looking forward to. We Were Pirates - Robert Hunt: A Torpedoman's View of the Pacific War by Robert Schultz and James Shell is coming Spring 2009. Robert Hunt served on the USS Tambor for 12 war patrols, which was every single war patrol but her final one. My papaw was on the last two war patrols, so they did a war patrol together. This book is going to be exciting.
Here's a video that Peter Jorgensen recorded when he and Robert Hunt visited the USS Cobia on May 4, 2008. There are no Tambor class submarines in existance anymore, but the Cobia is a Gato class, which is the nearest thing.
Sometime last week, I learned a bit about CSS and external style sheets. Man was I amazed! I immediately began using the magic of CSS and external style sheets on this website, DeanForestryServices.com, and SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG. Heck I was even able to twink my MySpace page too. Luke told me over a year ago how great CSS and external style sheets are, but I was slow to change I guess.
The weather has been beautiful here lately. It finally rained Monday and washed all the pollen away. It's the best time of year to me. Green never looked so good!
I am now an Associate Member of the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) and the USSVI Lockwood Internet Base (LIB). They have been a big help with the SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG website.
I got the DVD Das Boot: The Director's Cut last week for a bargain. I'd never watched Das Boot before, and I must say it's an awesome movie. This version of the movie is 3.5 hours long, an hour longer than the original movie release, but yet nearly an hour and a half SHORTER than the uncut version. Since it's about u-boats, it is a German film with German speech. I did watch it with the English speech instead of reading English subtitles, which isn't too hardcore I guess. Perhaps I'll get the 4 hour 53 minutes uncut version someday.
Wow, Hillary Clinton is running all around Mississippi today and tomorrow. Bill Clinton is even coming to Meridian on Saturday night at 7 PM to speak at MCC! How exciting. Although I think people made a MUCH bigger deal about Oprah visiting Meridian a while back. How sad.
Jack Nicholson is THE MAN!
On a different note, Ubisoft released Silent Hunter - Wolves of the Pacific: U-Boat Missions on 2/28/2008. While I'm not all into u-boats, the add-on fixes a bunch of stuff with the regular game. The odd thing is this game isn't available in a physical form for people in the USA. We only have the option to "digitally download" the add-on for $9.99 straight from Ubisoft. I've never seen this marketing method before. I like having a nice box and a pressed CD that will last for decades to come. Oh well. It's still great!
SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG is still gaining momentum. Hopefully it will continue.
I make one update clarifying some of the presidential race misinformation and everyone labels me as an Obama fan. The truth is I'm still not 100% certain WHO I'll vote for. There's still plenty of time to sway me, but it likely won't be a republican.
I've created a new website/forum called "SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG" after seeing a need for it. It's an attempt to positively promote the over 20 submarine museums across the United States while uniting the volunteers and curators of the different submarine museums. Hopefully it will be an easy way for people that aren't aware of the museums to get interested and make a visit. Check it out! SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG
Well, in the very near future we'll have a single democratic and republican presidential candidate. Hopefully everyone will go vote for someone, whether it's for an old guy, a black man, or a white woman. :)
With that said, I've gotta get something off my chest. Over the last few weeks, I've heard every crazy thing imaginable said about Barak Obama that it's getting out of hand. Why do people believe everything they hear? Why do people take pride in repeating unresearched rumors or forwarding emails with wild accusations? Now I'm not saying that I'm voting for Barak Obama, nor am I saying that you should. I'm saying that Barak Obama is NOT a radical Muslim who won't recite the Pledge of Allegiance, was NOT sworn into office on the Quran, does NOT go to a racist, secretly Muslim church that excludes non-blacks, has NOT been endorsed for president by the Ku Klux Klan, is NOT being funded by Hugo Chavez, and he HAS and HAS NOT placed his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Keep on looking at the Urban Legends Reference Page on Barack Obama provided by Snopes.com. Stop forwarding those emails to me now, please.
Honestly I have been enjoying the democratic race, as whoever comes out on top it will be someone very different from anyone in the past. It's been amazing to me with all the past Hillary Clinton hate that hardly anyone bashes her for love of bashing Barak Obama! Bashing can be fun, too, as long as you have your bashing information correct. :)
Today we went to Hunter's 4th birthday party at McDonald's. You know, as a kid I went to someone's birthday party at McDonald's at the College Park location. It was really impressive and I really wanted a birthday party of my own there someday. The magic just wasn't there for me today like it was around 25 years ago. McDonald's is a LOT different than it was 25 years ago, too. Heck McNuggets didn't even exist back then. I'm old...
Anyway, Hunter seemed to have a great time as well as all of his friends. He got lots of presents and cake. His birthday is actually Monday, so he probably has even more in store for him.
Other than an annoying, persistant cough, I think I'm over the flu.
Speaking of annoying, have you kept track of the Mississippi State Legislature this session? What a party. Go to this site to keep up with what's going on. I understand that today the Senate passed SB2149 which would make school district superintendents an appointed position. Appointed by the SCHOOL BOARD I must add. What kind of idiots do we have running the Senate?? What is wrong with electing a superintendent? Another bill that wasn't killed today like it should have been is SB2206 which would allow sheriffs to use radar guns, period.
I tell you, it is nice that you can watch the senate and house floor live via the web this year, but we still need accountability on voting. I'd like to know who voted for what. I bet if that information was available, this stupid crap would slow down at least.
On a different note, I've entered 4 screenshots in the Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific February Screenshot Competition. Each month Ubisoft (the folks who made the game) sponsors this competition. Here's one of my four contributions, I call it "Rub a dub dub, five Japs in a tub" as 5 Japanese sailors are escaping a Huge European Liner (around 19,000 tons) that I just sank.
View the screenshot here.
Well, today I think Emily and I are showing small improvements in our sicknesses. This flu is something terrible.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 30th running of the Budweiser Shootout last night. He also set a record by leading 47 laps. All of this is really significant because he is driving a new car with new sponsors under a different team - Hendrick Motorsports. Hopefully this is a sign of what is to come this year. Read more about it here.
SICK! Emily and I are both sick. Apparently Emily had this flu that's going around. Then I started feeling sick Wednesday. I hurt all over, have high fever, and cough a lot. Seems like the flu to me. Emily still felt really bad after nearly a week and after finishing her Tamiflu, so she went back to the doctor Thursday. She has a touch of pneumonia now. So here we are, both sick and barely able to talk to each other. I got word today that dad has now started feeling sick. I'd say that everyone should stay out of contact with other people for the next week or two. The flu is taking over!
My DDO subscription ran out officially on the 6th, and the guild Transgression disbanded (nothing to do with me) last night. Times they are a changin'.
Wow, what a Superbowl! I don't even care about football, but that was some show. The halftime show featuring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was the best halftime show that I can recall. The 4th quarter of the game was full of miracles. It was neat to see the underdogs come out on top.
Emily is feeling better today. She's pretty sure she'll return to work tomorrow even.
I received word today that Robert Hunt's story will be published by the US Naval Institute Press in the Spring of 2009. Dr. Robert Schultz is the author. The title of the book is We Were Pirates and will be all about torpedoman Robert Hunt's whopping 12 WW2 war patrols aboard the USS Tambor. Bob Hunt will have an awesome story to tell! My grandfather was on board the Tambor for her last 2 war patrols, so it's going to be wonderful to read a detailed story of those patrols from someone who experienced them firsthand! You can read a small sample of We Were Pirates by clicking here.The Links page here has been purged of broken links and cleaned up a bit.
Yep, it's Superbowl Sunday. Giants vs Patriots. I don't care for football, but the commercials are cool. Emily has been sick with something since Friday morning. I took her to the doctor Friday afternoon with nothing too conclusive but flu wasn't completely ruled out. She's been taking it easy.
I went to a little get together last night with friends to eat cajun-themed food and chat. It was fun, but Emily didn't get to go. I brought her some food back in Tupperware. We are supposed to go somewhere tonight but I don't know if she feels well enough to go.
I'm still dabbling with Silent Hunter 4 when I get a free little bit to play. Here's a screenshot of a mission I completed today, the insertion of a secret spy agent.
The weather has been cold and wet lately. I really don't care for winter after January 1st is over, and it's just getting started then!
There are so many little tinkering things I want to accomplish soon, and working over this website is one of them. Yes yes, I say that all the time, but I do mean to clean this place up soon.
This is just a little update to let you know that I'm still around. February is just around the corner, which is just another month to knock out on the way to May! :)
Oh, I've canceled my DDO subscription for now. It requires too much time to play. How's that for a gaming complaint? I've been dabbing with Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific. Here's a little screenshot for you below. I sank this Huge European Liner (around 10,000 tons loaded with Japanese troops) with my Balao class submarine which you can see just above the Jap sailor's head in the distance.
Mom and Luke both had a birthday December 10th. Last Sunday (December 9th) we had mom and dad over to our house to celebrate mom's birthday. See the pics right here.
Today, Emily graduated from MSU Meridian (once again) with a master's degree in elementary education. See the pictures in the Gallery right here. It was in the MSU Riley Center so that was interesting. Congrats Emily! When are you going for another?
There's only a week left of fall, and only a week left until I turn 30. How sad is that??
Another week has passed. Emily attended her final class at MSU Meridian this week. She graduates on the 14th with a Master's Degree. Yeah, she's always been a lot smarter than me and now she'll even have the paper to prove it.
Emily and I went down to Laurel last night for the annual Christmas get-together for the Welch family. It made me miss the crazy Blalock (Jessie & Flora family) Christmas get-togethers that used to happen.
Oh, and it looks like I may be getting Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific for my birthday! I'm excited!
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had plenty to eat! Emily was able to enjoy Black Friday out shopping with Angela. I tried to watch the Egg Bowl (that's Mississippi State University vs. The University of Mississippi in their last football game each season) but felt so badly midway through the 2nd quarter I had to take a nap. Amazingly, MSU was down 14 to 0 but came back in the 4th quarter and scored 17 points!
I was able to work on another YouTube video this weekend of my papaw Doyle Blalock. He was on the local news back in 1994 talking about sandbottles.
I nearly have the Gallery in working condition.
This past week was a busy week, and not everything was "good". Oh well, it will all come and go eventually.
The final NASCAR Nextel Cup race was today. This was the last time Dale Earnhardt Jr. will ride in the red #8 Budweiser Chevy for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Next year he'll be driving a new car for a different owner. How odd it will be to see him driving the #88 green and black car for Mountain Dew (or the National Guard at times). Even more odd will be the fact his teammates are Jimmie Johnson (this year's Cup champion) and Jeff Gordon. Jeff freaking Gordon, not a bad fella, I have no ill will towards him, but this will be like Superman and Lex Luthor working together on the same team. It should make for an interesting 2008 NASCAR season.
Lastly, I found these neat examples of how to simulate life inside a submarine for non-submarine folks.
Life Aboard A Submarine?
Spend as much time as you can indoors during the daytime, stay out of direct sunlight. Go to work only before sunrise and come home after sunset.
Paint everything around you Sea Foam Green (Navy NSN Green, no substitutions) or Off-White to be sure you are living in a clean, happy environment. Every Friday, set an alarm on loud for a short, but hated, drill sound. Then get up and manned only with a bucket, sponge and a greeny. Clean one area over and over, even if it is already spotless.
Eat food that you can only get out of a can and requires water in order to eat it. Empty out your refrigerator and turn the temperature control down, turning the refrigerator into a freezer. Get rid of all fresh fruits and vegetables.
Repeat back everything spoken to you. Repeat back everything spoken to you.
Sit in your car for six hours at a time with the motor running. Keep hands on the wheel. But donít leave your driveway. Log readings of your oil pressure, water temperature, speedometer and odometer every 15 minutes.
Put Lube Oil in your humidifier instead of water. Set it on high.
Buy a trash compactor; use it only once a week. Store the rest of the garbage in your bathroom.
Donít watch movies except in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.
Have the paperboy give you a standard Navy haircut.
Take hourly readings on your water and your electric meters. But only for a six hour period.
Sleep with your dirty laundry.
For you old mechanics, set your lawn mower in the middle of the living room while it is running. Only for six hours a day.
Invite guests but donít prepare enough food for everyone. Serve food cold. Limit the time they sit at the table to 10 minutes.
Wake up at midnight every night and make a peanut butter sandwich, use stale bread. Better yet, make your own bread but cut 3 inch thick slices and use these. Optional: warm up some canned Ravioli or soup.
Make your family a menu for the week without knowing what food is in the cabinets.
Set your alarm clock for various times at night; adjust the volume to the maximum. When it goes off, jump out of bed, get your clothes on as fast as you can, run outside and grab the garden hose. Then go back to bed and do it all again when the alarm goes off.
Once a month take apart every appliance completely and then put them back together.
Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 to six hours before drinking it.
Invite at least 85 people you really donít like and have them stay for a couple of months.
Store your eggs in the garbage for two months and then cook a dozen each morning.
Have a fluorescent lamp installed under your coffee table and lie underneath it to read books.
Put a complicated lock on your basement door and wear the key around your neck on a special chain.
When making cakes, prop up one side of the pan when cooking. Use extra icing to level it off.
Every so often, yell "EMERGENCY DEEP!" run into the kitchen and sweep all pots, pans and dishes off of the counters onto the floor, and then yell at your wife for not having the kitchen area "Stowed for Sea!"
Put on the stereo headphones (donít plug them in), go to the stove and stand in front of it. Say (to no one in particular) "Stove manned and ready" stay there for 3 to 4 hours. Say (once again and to no one in particular) "Stove secured", then roll up your headphone cord and put them away.
Pull out your refrigerator and clean behind it for 4 hours and then put it back when you are done. Have your wife come and check every 10 minutes with a flashlight to see how you are doing.
When doing your laundry fill it only 1/3 full, sit in front of your washing machine in your underwear and read a book or magazine youíve read at least 5 times before in the last week. When the wash is done, only run the dryer for half the normal time.
Fix-up a shelf in your closet that will serve as your bunk for the next six months. Take the door off of the hinges and replace them with curtains. While asleep, have family members shine a flashlight in your eyes at random intervals and say either "Sign this!" or "Sorry, wrong rack!"
Emily and I traveled to various cemeteries this afternoon to pay tribute to past veterans in our families. Take a look at the pictures we took today.
I'm trying out a new app called "Gallery" here on the site. I'm slowing moving all my pictures over into it so I don't have to make a whole full blown HTML page every time I take a few pics. This new way will be much easier so I will hopefully take more pics (again). See it HERE, k?
Make sure you check out those pics from a couple of weekends ago when Emily and I, along with mom and dad, visited the USS Drum submarine at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, AL. I had a blast, and everyone else did too, or at least tolerated it. :)
Last, wonder what I want for Christmas? Here are the goods!
In other words, money to purchase books online would be awesome. I'd say that 98% of those books listed can't be purchased here in a store.
Finally got that bumper on the truck. The pictures are all located right here. It cost more in the end than I would have liked, but it's done and should outlast the truck.
It's HOT down here. All last week and this coming week it's 100+ degrees F and that's before the humidity factor.
Well, much has happened since my last update months ago. The most significant was that Mamaw passed away on May 11th. She was my last grandparent. Things seem different now.
Last Sunday I backed my truck into a tree here in the front yard. The bumper squished up like crumpled paper and mashed into the body of the truck, messing up the cosmetic look of the rear. For revenge, dad helped me locate a huge, very heavy, very brawn thick steel bumper off a wrecked truck for $80. I'm cleaning it up, welding stuff to it, and having it coated in LINE-X soon. I figure I'll have a solid steel heavy duty bumper on the truck for less than $250. Pics to come on that project.
Emily took me to see the Transformers movie Friday afternoon. It is over two and a half hours, but it's AWESOME! Sure, it's not completely true to the old G1 stuff, but I felt it was rather a good blend of old and new. I'd see it again, and again, and again for sure.
Today is Mamaw's birthday. Happy birthday Mamaw! She got out of the hospital in just enough time to make it to Mom and Dad's house for lunch. Dad wasn't able to be around us because he has a bad cold. At least I didn't give it to him.
Emily and I went to Jackson Friday. I was trying to find some new work boots, but had no luck. Everything anyone has is either insulated or steel toe or both, and I want neither. The real sad part to the day was finding out that CompUSA was closing its Jackson store, the ONLY CompUSA in the state. I really hated that and went over the store inch by inch. The entire stock is 10% to 30% off. I got home and learned that there are MANY CompUSA stores closing within the next 45 to 60 days. Sure, CompUSA wasn't the cheapest place, but it was one store that I could actually walk into and buy what I was looking for. Best Buy is not CompUSA by any means. R.I.P. Jackson's CompUSA.
Yes, I have fallen off the face of the Earth.
I lost interest in updating this blog over the last few months. That combined with the fact that I felt like nothing was really worth talking about. But I'm still here, still kickin. My toe healed up just like new. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's have come and gone.
My Dell XPS laptop bit the dust on New Year's Eve. We came home and I turned it on...and it wouldn't come on. After much testing and reading I've come to the decision that the motherboard is dead. Not good, as even a used/refurbished motherboard (Dell p/n C2291 if you want to find me one) costs $200+ on eBay. That's a heck of a lot to pay, as a motherboard out of a desktop system of around the same age would be maybe $40 tops. It's upsetting.
I'm still here, don't give up on me.
Nearly a month with no update. Yeah, I'm a slacker. A lot has happened. Mamaw has gone downhill quickly. She has spent the last few days/week in the hospital, again. She's on so much pain medication that she's out of her mind somewhat. It's to the point of either being drugged up and not being able to take care of herself or even get up, or else be in total pain. I'm not sure what will happen with the situation.
Friday night, Emily and I were getting ready to go to Newton County's Homecoming football game. We were passing through the kitchen on the way to the laundry room when I tripped and slammed my bare foot into the corner of the stove. I staggered and hobbled on into the laundry room, thinking I had done the usual hitting of the toe. As we began pulling the dry clothes from the dryer, my ears began to ring and slowly .. turn off. I got cold and lightheaded. I said that I had to sit down, so down I sat right there in the floor beside the kitty litter box. At this point Emily was aggrivated with me for being such a wuss, and I was too. Then I had a magical dream and awoke on my back to Emily staring over me with a very worried look on her face. I guess my mind was still rebooting because I couldn't comprehend what she was saying. She says that I passed out and banged my head against the stove and convulsed for a while. I don't know what happened to me after I sat down.
We went on to the football game, and my toe next to my pinky toe hurt tremendously more and more as the night progressed. She took me to the doctor on Saturday, and sure enough, it's broken clean across. So, I've been wearing a funky looking blue velcro sandal/shoe thing and taking lots of Loratab.
So that's my goofy toe breaking story. I could say woe is me and my life just sucks, but no one cares to read that crap eh? I'm glad that everyone I tell gets a real hoot off of the story, it makes me feel better! :)
Well, I'm officially off the hook for jury duty. It was an interesting experience the few days I actually did have to show up. It's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. The most annoying part is not knowing, day by day, when/if you'll have to show up or not. It makes it kinda hard to make plans, you know?
Other than that, not a lot going on here. Monday was dad's birthday and we had a nice get together for him that night. Mamaw had fallen sometime early in the morning yesterday and mom had to deal with taking care of her for most of the day. Emily has been busy with work, but not nearly as busy as she had been the last two years at her previous place of employment. It seems that having a great assistant really does help out.
The grass here has grown to a mile high. Each time I think about cutting it, it's either too hot, raining, about to rain, or I don't have the stuff at hand to cut it with. Soon it will take a tractor if I don't get it done. I thinking now about Saturday to plan ahead for it.
I apologize for not writing. We've been busy, and I still have nothing newsworthy to report often. I have been selected for jury duty, and that has been sporatic for the last couple of weeks with only one week left to go. We've had work going on, big and small.
I suppose it's also safe to announce now that Emily has a new job teaching 3rd grade at Newton County Elementary. We were both so excited when we first learned of the job, but didn't know what to think when the contract took sooo long to come forward to be signed. Everything is straight now, and she just finished up her fist week with kids. I think she really loves the job!
The NCHS class of 1996 reunion was a blast! There were around 35 actual classmates that showed, and most all of them brought along their spouse. I would have had an even better time if I wouldn't have had such a massive migraine headache that night. I ate asparin like candy until it finally went away somewhat. I took a few pics, most of them don't look good. You can download all of them right here in an 8mb zip file, and like I said, I wish I'd have taken more, better pics.
The Newton County High School class of 1996 will have a ten year reunion in the ballroom of Crescent City Grill in Meridian, MS on Saturday, July 29th, 2006 from 6:30 until 9:30. If you have any more questions, shoot them at me or someone else who knows. :)
Emily and I returned to the Great Smoky Mountains for our anniversary. We were there from the 13th throught the 17th. I've just now gotten the pictures sorted through and the page created. If you want to check them out, here is the link to see them at. I told a little bit of our day-by-day activities. We had a really great time as usual! The weather was perfect and things went very smoothly.
We were sad already though about NASCAR Cafe closing, and then we get to our destination only to find that the Rocky River Grill and the Apple Tree Inn Family Restaurant had both closed as well. I know that the Apple Tree Inn had been around for like generations or something and had even burned in the 90's only to be rebuilt again. I don't know if it was closed for good or just closed while we were there. Oh well.
We had a cookout for our Sunday school class here last night. It went very well too. I was glad we were able to all get together to eat!
I'm so mad! NASCAR Cafe in Sevierville, TN HAS CLOSED!!! This really sucks. I look forward to eating there first thing on vacation every year. Looks like we just barely missed it. It's just memories now. I have pics of it in both vacation collections on the Pics page, and I have a neat short video I took here just last June.
I have returned! No big news lately.
Emily got her GRE results the other day and everything seems just fine about them. She's on her way to getting enrolled for another graduate class for second summer semester.
I had an optamologist appointment this morning. Just a checkup. Thankfully the pressure on my eyes had not risen since last year, so I'm still safe from eyedrops, at least for another year.
Luke is here! My brother Luke came down from Seattle for a few days to visit. We got to eat together last night and I think we'll be able to get together again sometime before he leaves (sometime Monday).
Emily and I are looking forward to a vacation sometime soon. That will be a big event to be discussed here, as usual.
Yesterday was Mother's Day, I hope everyone had a wonderful day. We had our parents and my grandmother over for lunch. We have pictures to share and I hope to have them up soon.
Emily took her GRE on Saturday. I think she was happy with the test scores that she knows about thus far. Congrats to her!
Transgression, the Dungeons and Dragons Online guild that I lead, took down Velah the Red Dragon last night. It was a huge accomplishment for us. I have a few screenshots in this folder for everyone to view. Yay!
I know, longest update gap ever. I really haven't had much to talk about.
I went to a continuing education course this past Saturday. It was about the Southern Pine Beetle, even though much of the time was spent teaching private landowners how to be a forester. Oh well. It was free and I got 5 hours of continuing education credit.
Mother's Day is this coming Sunday. Emily and I plan on having our mothers over for lunch that day. We have lots to do in preparation. :)
Emily has to travel to Jackson this Saturday to take her GRE. She's about to officially be in graduate school. She has already taken a few graduate classes, but to go any further she has to be enrolled.
I managed to put together a small picture page of Easter 2006, check it out!
It seems that May and June are going to be busy. I think there is something going on nearly every weekend of both of those months. I would love for Emily and I to be able to return to the mountains again this summer, but I don't know if it will happen. Money will probably be short, and gasoline will probably be very high. Maybe I'll get some more pics up of stuff.
Today was a long day. We went to Sharp Memorial Methodist Protestant Church for the sunrise service this morning. We stayed around for the pancake breakfast afterwards. For lunch it was over to Emily's Grandma Little's house. Finally, for supper we went to mom and dad's house with Mamaw. I am sleepy and dead tired. We have lots of pictures from everything today, but I don't have the time to put them up yet. Emily has a lot of them on her photobucket site already though.
Oh, I've been meaning to advertise this on my site. The Newton County High School class of 1996 ten year reunion will be July 29, 2006 at the Crescent City Grill in Meridian, MS from around 6 PM until around 10 PM. More to come about that as I find out more.
I'll try to get better with the updating again. I need to do more I know.
OK, so I know I haven't been updating like I should. Nothing newsworthy happens much it seems.
On this past Friday night, I got to meet my cousin Kellie's husband Kaz. Uncle Kim and Aunt Joanne were there too. Mom has pictures, but I don't have the link to her photobucket site in front of me right now.
Dad and I have been working a good bit lately. It's been beautiful weather for it. Somehow out in the woods I got a thorn (around 2" long) off a parsley hawthorne stuck in my wrist near my watchband - in my vein!! What's the chance of that? Crazy sight for someone who doesn't like needles. Ugh. It bled very little, but the vein swelled a bit for a day. Now it is only a tad sore.
I've been busy with DDO lately. The guild leader of the guild I'm in quit the other day. I wasn't logged in, and before he left he promoted ME to being guild leader. Sooo, I've been trying to get myself up to the challenge. I've created a new website for the guild, you can see it at http://www.transgressionddo.com. It's hosted here with my current web package, as I can have 2 add-on domains. Neat eh? I have a forum going there, and now I'm trying to work on some better graphics and stuff.
Yesterday was mom and dad's wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary to them. It was also Olivia's birthday. And my friend from highschool Marissa had her second baby yesterday as well.
Just for the heck of it, here are my two current characters in DDO. Hilliard Darkeyes is the first character I made. He's a level 7, human, fighter. He's wearing +3 full plate for armor and a helm/skullcap that grants +2 will saves and +1 wisdom (it looks good, ok?). Quercus Darkeyes is the second character I made. He's a level 6, human, paladin. He's wearing +2 full plate of light fortification and a helm of power 1 (grants 10% more spellpoints).
I wanted to post about something I haven't seen on TV news. Did you know that Dell bought Alienware? I really thought that was a downer. Sure, Dell claims that Alienware will stay a seperate but wholly owned subsidiary, but it just doesn't seem right. Alienware was such an up and coming company for high end systems.
I had a fighter character in DDO, but grew bored with him and created a paladin. I named my paladin Pinus, as in the genus Pinus, Latin for Pine. Sadly, someone in the game found my name offensive and fussed to the GM. I had no idea what was wrong when I suddenly logged in the game and my name was no longer Pinus but instead Pinuss. After complaining to the in-game support, I was told that someone had found my name offensive, the GM changed it to Pinuss, the same person STILL found that name offensive, and now I was politely asked by the GM to just change my name completely. I really enjoy playing DDO, but if things don't turn for the up soon, I'm not sure if it will make it.
So, if ya play DDO, you can find me on the server Ghallanda under the name Quercus or Hilliard.
We met tonight with our Sunday school class. Our teacher, Mrs. Lynn, really goes all out for us at these meetings. It was a good time and we're looking forward to the next meeting next month.
A week has passed an no news update. Once again not a whole lot has been going on.
I think Emily has had a good spring break. She got to travel to Birmingham on Wednesday, go shopping on other days, sleep a little late, etc. We went to Jackson yesterday and had a wonderful time. We ate supper at Up The Creek and I really liked it!
I picked up a Plantronics GameCom Pro 1 USB headset while in Jackson at CompUSA. Since it's USB I can route all voice chat straight to my ears while playing Dungeons and Dragons Online. This way I can talk and hear responses easily while all game sounds and music still play through my desktop speakers. It's really nice. That's one of the really fun things about DDO, being able to voice chat with your teammates.
I hope all of you have a great day/week. I still want to post often again, I just need to get back into the habit.
It's been nearly a week since I last updated. Not a whole lot has been going on.
I've been playing more Dungeons and Dragons Online this week. The best time to play, however, has still proven to be the weekends at night. As a result, once again last night the servers crashed, all of them. I don't know for how long, I just said forget it and quit for the night. I hope they get these crashing issues fixed soon. The first major update is scheduled for Tuesday, and they promise more game content to be added in early April.
Emily will be enjoying spring break this week. It does look like this week will be really nice weather wise, except for tomorrow. Rain is predicted for tomorrow. I know she was ready for a break to do other things.
Jeff fixed my truck. It seems the issue was a bad spark plug wire. Some other small things were fixed as well. I'm back driving again!
Sometime soon, possibly this afternoon, I'm going to work on a little Dungeons and Dragons Online page on this site. It will be a place I can share screenshots, talk about the guild I'm in, and talk about in game experiences and stuff. Keep your eyes peeled for it. (yeah right, I know how much you guys care LOL)
I had a good time playing Dungeons and Dragons Online this weekend. The only trouble is the game still has some annoying bugs and the dern server I'm on (Ghallanda) gets bogged down to the point of a crash, which leads to all the other servers coming down as well. I'm glad I chose Ghallanda because it's always busy with players. Khyber is the other most popular server. Both experience lags, bogs, and crashes. The servers all went completely down Saturday and Sunday nights for a long time, at least an hour each time. This morning, the servers are all down again due to a "scheduled" maintenance and won't be back till after lunch. I know this was the retail sale launch weekend, so hopefully Turbine will get DDO all fixed up soon. Each time the server crashes there is a "rollback" where you lose everything you've done and received for the last 30 minutes or so.
The weather has been wonderful here lately. Cool mornings and highs in the low to mid 70s. Blue sky and no rain. We worked outside a good bit last week and it was great weather for it.
My truck is back in the hands of Jeff today. It still has issues with a cold motor. I think he's replacing the temperature sensor switch so hopefully that might fix things right up.
Whew, I picked up my retail Limited Edition copy of DDO today from GameStop. Thank goodness I had no troubles at all, other than it arriving in the store a day late. So many others have not been as fortunate with their preorders.
I've found a nice group of guys to play DDO with. The guild is called Transgression. Everyone has been super!
I've been scarce lately. I apologize.
Last night our Sunday school class met at the church for outreach (or "visitation" as the older folks call it). It was really enjoyable! We ate, talked, and sent out postcards and cards to prospective and missing class members. We should have been doing this kind of stuff a long time ago. Mrs. Lynn really went out of her way to have a nice time prepared. One of our classmates has been having a lot of trouble lately with random passouts. I wish we knew more about that whole situation.
I just checked out the bill status page for the Mississippi Legislature. I haven't been keeping up with all that as much as I should have this year. It looks like it's been very uneventful. There is one bill in particular dealing with transportation that seems to be going places, and it really sucks. Nothing I can do. I've already written everyone on the House Transportation committee and got nowhere. I guess it's time for me to voice with my ballot.
GameStop called here tonight with an automated message saying my preordered copy of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach would be available for me to pick up in the store tomorrow afternoon. That's great because I had no firm idea of when it would arrive. Some people have said today, some have said Best Buy isn't expecting their copies until March 3rd. Hopefully my copy will really be there tomorrow afternoon. It's rumored that this game has sold out prematurely and the latecomers to the preorder rush have been receiving notification that their order was canceled.
Well, Dungeons and Dragons Online went live around 5 AM today. This is for the people who pre-ordered only. It's called the Head Start Event. We are getting to play for about a week before it hits store shelves to buy. Pretty cool deal. I've created a human fighter character named Hilliard Darkeyes on the server Ghallanda. Find me and invite me to your group! It took me about 20 minutes to find a group today, but once I got in it I stuck with them. We completed a few quests many times over. It was very fun, but time consuming. It's also neat to be able to use a microphone to communicate with your group.
Anyway, I've bored you all with that enough. More interesting stuff to come soon, and some screenshots from the new game.
Just a small quick update. Emily got the results of the CAT scan today, and everything turned out fine. No mass or tumor or anything like that. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and concerns. :) We both feel a lot better now.
Well, Emily made it through the CAT scan today just fine. :) We don't know any results yet, and don't know when we will know anything.
After my last post on Thursday, I was hit with a stomach virus. It has almost completely left me today thank goodness. The coughing is almost gone too.
Anyhow, that's why I haven't posted much lately. Hopefully everything will get back on track really soon!
Some of you may know that Emily went to the doctor about a month ago because of a really bad sore throat. It turned out that one of her lymph nodes on her neck was swollen pretty large apparently. She was given some antibiotics and told to return in a month. Well, she went back today and the swelling was still there, just not quite as much. She was given some more powerful antibiotics and has a CAT scan scheduled for Monday. The scan is just to make sure that the swollen lymph node is due to an infection and not something more serious. Please keep her in your prayers.
I have still been coughing. It's been about three weeks of coughing. It's driving me crazy! I finally broke down tonight and took so some of my precious Polytussin. There's not much left! :( If this doesn't get better then I'm going to the clinic Monday after Emily's CAT scan. Fun times.
My truck decided it doesn't want to run on cold mornings anymore. Jeff has it thank goodness. I don't know what the issue is.
I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. We had a fine day.
Paul Ott's poem is bad. Please don't make it the state poem. Have you read it?
I'm sorry that I don't have much else to say. I want to get back to more stimulating topics soon!
A busy week it has been. I had to go to an all day seminar Thursday to get some continuing education credit. I didn't really enjoy it. I suppose everyone must endure some professional bashing from peers every now and then, it just sucks to have to pay money to do it.
I've been playing the beta of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach since the 3rd, so my 10 day beta trial is up Monday. I was having a terrible terrible time with that game. You cannot play it alone. Sure, there are a few quests that are aimed at a single player and those are obvious. But the others have to be played with a huge party. I have found that I like playing as a pure fighter. The rogues get abused and told what to do all the time. The rogue is the point man of the team. The clerics get yelled at if they aren't healing other party members every second. The mages save the fighters' behinds a lot, but they die so easily if they get in the wrong place. Fighters just fight, nothing more is expected of them. Just get in front and hack and slash and try not to die.
The city is HUGE in the game. I finally was in a great party and we defeated all the levels of the Waterworks quest, which unlocks the rest of the city. I get lost in this place. There is a marketplace tent, trainers, and even a bank!
Like I said, it's hard. It's hard to get started at level 1 for anyone. All it took was a good party of people a little better than me though and I got to level 2 quickly and gained some good inventory. I'm now almost up to level 3, and that's probably as far as I'll get before my beta ends. I've made a few pals on there. It's good to have a great party of people who know how to play. It sucks to know that after Monday, my character will disappear and I won't be able to play again until the 24th or 28th or so.
Look here for my DDO screenshots.
Well I did it. Friday I preordered Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. I've been using the 10 day beta trial, and the game is pretty good. It's difficult to play, I know that much. I'm having good luck playing solo as a human fighter, but I wanted to play as a half-elf ranger/thief. Things would be better if I had a small group to team up with.
I'm still coughing. Coughing sucks.
I did get my Rio Red Swingline 747 stapler today in the mail. I got it from RedSwinglineStapler.com. It's so cool, and metal too!
I have given up hope for the Mississippi Legislature. The 31st of January was the last day for bills to come out of committee. Needless to say, I think all the bills that I was hopeful for died in committee. Oh well.
I have been feeling kinda sick yesterday and today. Just enough of a fever to make me feel bad and enough dry coughing to drive me insane! I finally broke down and took a tad of my trusty Polytussin and right now I'm feeling pretty darn good! Polytussin will cure anything, if only it were available over the counter...
I'm seriously thinking about pre-ordering Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. I've never played, seen, nor experienced a MMORPG before. I guess I've always been scared of the fact that you pay around $15 per month just to play the game. I feel like you'll have to really like a game and put a lot of time into playing it to get $15 per month out of it. There are thousands of happy World of Warcraft players out there right now though. I think this new Dungeons and Dragons Online will give WoW a big challenge. Anyway, if you pre-order D&D Online you get some nice bonuses, especially with the Limited Edition box. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get into it. The game is set to ship on 2/28!
Ya better wear your seat belt, because it's likely by the end of May you will be pulled over and ticketed if you aren't. You can thank House Bill 409 for that. Sure, I think everyone should wear their seat belt, it saves lives. But should you be pulled over and ticketed just because you don't care enough about yourself to click-it? I'm not so sure. The Governor has said he will sign this bill into law as soon as he gets it.
I've updated the My Computer pics page. I added in the new Maxtor 250 GB hard drive (430 GB of storage total now!) and the new Antec Hard Drive Cooler. That Antec hard drive cooler is really nifty because it shows two different inside temperatures in a retro green LED display. Click on the thumbnail below and look over to the far right:
I have one sensor hanging inside the case and the other sensor stuck inside the heat sink on the CPU. The display cycles back and forth between the two sensor temps every 3 seconds. I really like it.
Well it turns out that FastAccess Xtreme 6.0 just wasn't for us. Sure, it worked fine Monday. Sometime Monday night, however, our connection restarted and nothing worked right after that. The speeds were slower and very inconsistent. The ping times skyrocketed to the point of losing synch. Large downloads would stall suddenly and cause the modem to lose synch. I finally gave up on it and put in the order to downgrade us back to Xtreme 3.0 on Wednesday morning. By the time the day was over we were back to 3.0 and working fine. DSL depends so much on line distance from the central office or remote office and the quality of the copper line between there and your home. We have good line quality, I think we just live just a little bit too far away from the central office (which is only 1/2 a mile line of sight from here).
It's sad to know that this tier is the maximum speed we'll ever have until some new technology comes out. I'm not complaining though, we get a steady 2.90 Mbps on our downloading. At least now we're on the cheaper price tier than before.
What a dreary morning! It's raining and getting colder. Ick. Also, the stock market turned to crap on Friday, Ford is going to lay off thousands and stop making some models completely, and Google is being sued by the federal government for not releasing private search information to them. What's up with all that??
Thanks to some help from a friend at BellSouth (again), I was able to upgrade to FastAccess Xtreme 6.0 today! I placed the order online, and within an hour it was live. Here are the stats from some tests I've done:
:::.. Download Stats ..::: Connection is:: 6785 Kbps about 6.8 Mbps (tested with 12160 kB) Download Speed is:: 828 kB/s Tested From:: http://testmy.net (server2) Test Time:: Mon Jan 23 2006 15:16:48 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time) Bottom Line:: 121X faster than 56K 1MB download in 1.24 sec Diagnosis: Awesome! 20% + : 172.05 % faster than the average for host (bellsouth.net) Validation Link:: http://testmy.net/stats/id-HCGMP46B3
:::.. Upload Stats ..::: Connection is:: 442 Kbps about 0.4 Mbps (tested with 579 kB) Upload Speed is:: 54 kB/s Tested From:: http://testmy.net (server1) Test Time:: Mon Jan 23 2006 15:17:38 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time) Bottom Line:: 8X faster than 56K 1MB upload in 18.96 sec Diagnosis: Awesome! 20% + : 89.7 % faster than the average for host (bellsouth.net) Validation Link:: http://testmy.net/stats/id-X4GUWO6Q2
AWESOME! And it's $3 less per month than what we were paying for the previous tier.
For some reason, my guestbook wouldn't work again yesterday. I took the time to upgrade it to the newest beta version and everything was working again. I had to reset my admin user/pass too. Something went really wrong somewhere, but right now it's working again.
I've created a new picture page of my NES stuff. It's mostly the old cheat books, but there is some other stuff there too.
At least the Governor had enough sense to veto SB 2310, which would have lowered until eliminated grocery sales tax and increased cigarette sales tax. Of course, the Mississippi Senate could override his veto, but I don't think it will happen. In times like these, it's foolish to get rid of any taxes. Mississippi is broke. I think it was just something that Lt. Governor Amy Tuck came up with to make herself look good, and now it's backfired on her.
Wow, maybe writing to your representative does do some good. I had written a letter to many of the House Transportation Committee members last week concerning the new $10 inspection sticker law. As of July 1, 2005, if you have aftermarket window tint on your vehicle, you must pay an additional $5 at vehicle inspection time to have your tint verified as being legal in the state of Mississippi. This only punishes people who have legal tint, as people with illegal tint pay nothing.
I saw this morning where Representative Greg Snowden, a house Transportation Committee member, introduced HB 976, which would REPEAL Section 63-7-59 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, which would get rid of not only the inspection sticker fiasco, but also remove any window tint regulations period (at least the way I'm reading it).
I sent an email to Greg this morning thanking him for introducing this bill. I highly doubt that this bill will pass, but I sincerely hope that it does. It's silly to charge an extra $5 every year at inspection time just because you have legal tint. Why not charge the extra $5 to people who have ILLEGAL tint? Why not punish the law breakers instead of the law abiders?
Thank you Representative Greg Snowden!
I've added a whole lot to the Metal Gear page. You did know that you can get there on any page by clicking on Solid Snake, right?
Just wanted to say that I've been working on an archive page. I never kept my older news, I just deleted stuff off the bottom of the page. So, it's been a matter of searching old caches of this site over various sources. There are only a couple of lost forever gaps, one is only a couple of weeks, the other is a couple of months in 2004. I did manage to find the very first blog entries of this site from early 2004 though, so that's neat. I'll find a better place for the archive page soon.
I don't think I've mentioned this before. MAGFest M4 is going on right now! I think that would be cool to go to someday. I'll be too old by then though. Anyway, it would be a wonderful weekend to see The Minibosses, The NESkimos, Temp Sound Solutions, and many more play live, as well as have some geeky fun.
In case you didn't know, a new version (v1.5) of Thunderbird just came out in the last few days. It's a tricky install to do if you are using Thunderbird v1.0.7 and want to upgrade (like me). It's not recommended to install on top of v1.0.7 and you have to do some odd backup and restore stuff for it to work out right. I do love Thunderbird, it's much better than Outlook Express to get your mail with. It's FREE too. Now both Firefox and Thunderbird are on v1.5 and ready to smoothly upgrade in the future (I hope).
I'm thinking of creating a Blog Archive section now that I have all this extra space. I've already deleted permanently all the news older than 5/30/2005 though. Oh well. It's just an idea. I don't really want to change to some type of PHP/MySQL blog thing like WordPress because I like my layout like it is. Hmm...
There's lots of legislative news to talk about, but I'll wait for another day for that.
Well, I'm officially on a new host (Surpasshosting.com) now. The activation went through Thursday morning, and I went from there on getting everything moved over to the new host. When I thought everything was ready, I switched the nameservers using GoDaddy.com. DeanForestryservices.com switched over just fine except for a few CPanel quirks. However, this site had all kinds of issues. If you visited last night you probably saw a parked domain page. Oh well, sorry! It's all fixed now. So far everything is VERY impressive, their support is wonderful too. Just $59 per year for the hosting and $7.95 per year for the domain name totals $66.95 per year for this place. :)
My guestbook didn't move over quite so well. The database moved over intact, but the guestbook had all kinds of broken quirks. So, I ditched Advanced Guestbook and went for a more modified version called Lazarus Guestbook by a helpful fella named Carbonize. His guestbook is a better version of Advanced Guestbook, and he even includes a little script to run that will convert your old Advanced Guestbook over to Lazarus Guestbook. I really like it, and I know if it messes up he'll be around to help. He's helped me a lot in the past with my Advanced Guestbook problems. Try it yourself if you need a guestbook and you have a free MySQL database and PHP.
Sooo, to make this long story short, instead of only having 200 MB of storage space, I now have 5 GB (5,120 MB). That means lots of space for lots of more stuff for $9 more a year.
This site will be in the process of moving to a new host shortly. I've decided to leave CCL Hosting in favor of Surpasshosting. I got their OC5 Plan, which has a whopping 5 GB of disk space and 100 GB of bandwidth, plus they use CPanel and Fantastico, and everything else you can think of, nearly unlimitedly! This plan is only $9 more per year than what I was paying CCL Hosting for. I feel bad about it, but I'm ready to have more space.
I'm also switching my work website, DeanForestryServices.com, over to the same plan with Surpasshosting.com.
As of right now, both plans are paid for, just awaiting activation. Then I'll have to move everything over and point the nameservers to the new hosts. Hopefully there won't be any downtime, but you never know!
I guess today is the day for me to have my five minutes of fame. About 6:30 AM, I received a phone call from Lou Pate of 710 KIRO AM in Seattle, WA. I'm not positive is was him, as I just listened to the live report by a guy named Chris Sullivan, so it may have been him instead. Sorry, I had just gotten out of bed like 15 minutes before the phone rang! He wanted to do a phone interview about my recent trouble with Amazon.com's zShop seller "mygreatchoice". Wow. I was shocked! What brought this on? Then I remembered that Emily Heffter of The Seattle Times had contacted me via email inquiring on the same subject for a story just a week or so ago. Well, here is that story! I can't believe it. It was all for real! While I was sitting here trying to take all that in, some guy from CBS news called me about 7:45 AM asking for a phone interview on the same subject! What's going on here? I never even complained that much - less than everyone else did actually. All I did was give "mygreatchoice" bad feedback just like everyone else. I guess I'm just easy to find or something.
I'm not MAD at Amazon.com, I mean it wasn't THEIR fault. It took a while, but I did get my money back. I actually feel bad for them that they are having to refund soo many people's money just because one of their zShop sellers went bad. Amazon.com is having to put THEIR money out to make up for the money lost to a bad seller. I hope they go after "mygreatchoice" and recover more than 100% of their money from him.
Well, I received my copy of "Brass" as well as "Live At The Middle East", both by The Minibosses. They are both awesome! Not just the music, but the cover art and everything. The crazy thing is that I'd already downloaded and/or heard most all of this music already, free and legally of course. I really WANT to support this band and I feel good even about ordering merchandise from them. I think this is how music of the future will be. Oh, my Minibosses tshirt hasn't arrived yet, but I'm sure it will soon.
I've also ordered "Now You're Playing With Powar" volumes 1 through 5 by Temp Sound Solutions. I can't wait to hear them. Shawn Phase, who IS Temp Sound Solutions, sold me the albums directly. Like I said, I think this is how music will survive for the future. Shawn has a lot of great talent.
House Bill 369 is a wonderful bill for a Representative to support. Senate Bill 2128 is also a wonderful bill for a Senator to support. That one would get rid of those darn vehicle inspection stickers completely.
Lou Rawls died today. That's so sad. I always thought he had the coolest voice of anyone. I can still remember as a kid watching Reading Rainbow on PBS...Lou read Ty's One Man Band and I just loved it. Now that I recall that, I think that's where I learned about onomatopoeias for the first time. Great kid book. It was a tie for my favorite Reading Rainbow book with James Earl Jones reading Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain.
I'm still waiting on my Minibosses "Brass" CD to come. I ordered it Christmas day!! Oh well.
Thankfully Amazon.com finally refunded my money to my credit card today. I had been a victim to a zShop seller named "mygreatchoice". Make sure you read the hundreds of negative feedbacks that fella has. I wasn't the only one was charged for a product and never received anything. The lesson? NEVER order from an Amazon.com zShop seller! Order ONLY straight from Amazon.com. See, I wanted to order a DVD box set for Emily for Christmas, so I ordered from "mygreatchoice" through Amazon.com since Amazon was sold out of the box set. I ordered on November 26th, my credit card was charged on November 28th, and weeks later I still had nothing. Amazon.com made me wait until December 23rd to file for a refund. I finally got the refund today. Long mess for something that shouldn't have been.
I'm famous! The Meridian Star printed my letter to the editor today. Read it if you want, I've fussed about the subject in the letter enough on here already.
One more thing, now that the Mississippi legislature is at work again, here are a couple of links you need. Here is a great article written by Sid Salter full of links to helpful information. Here is where you can find the latest legislative news every day. I still have to sit down and write my letters...soon!
I'm back! :) Emily and I finally got over our sicknesses towards the end of last week. We ending up having a big New Year's Day party over here at our house, so we cleaned up the house. We got into such a big cleaning mood that we even cleaned out our closet(s). Now we have like 10 or 15 tall kitchen bags full of clothes to get rid of. I'm hoping to call around this morning and find some thrift shop that wants them. It's amazing how much we have kept over the years!
I finished the Christmas 2005 picture page of our Christmas doings. Check it out.
The legislature begins the 2006 session today. I'm sure it will be a legislative session to remember this year, as the state is broke and things were never even really met last year! I'm hoping to send out letters making my requests known, mostly this year being a ban of the new stupid window tint/$10 inspection sticker law. That one really needs to expire in July (as it is set presently to do if no one does anything else)!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
Another Christmas has come and gone. This year was just as wonderful as ever! I have more pictures to post from our doin's, but I just don't have it in me to review and post them right now. See, Emily and I have been sick ever since late Christmas night with some kind of stomach virus or flu or something. Emily had/has it worse than me. I felt like I was going to die the night mine came on, no lie. It's been horrible. Don't sniff too long on this website or you may catch it! :) Anyway, I'll get those pics up soon and tell you all about everything later.
Wonder where I've been? Emily took me on a trip to the Smokies for my birthday! We left on the 18th and returned on the 21st. It was a truely wonderful trip. You can read about it and see pictures here.
Last night we went to Richie and Angela's house for our get-together with Jeff and Debbie. It was a fun time, especially watching the kids. See the pictures here. That's the Christmas page for this year, so there are pictures there from other stuff too.
I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas!
Thank goodness, it looks like the remaining parts of the Patriot Act (the parts that had yet to be made permanent law) will NOT be passed into law and will totally expire as of 12/31 unless someone messes up. Die Patriot Act die!
Now to get back to what's important. Heh.
I'm going to make it a point to write all the Representatives and Senators that I can to support a "castle doctrine" aka "Stand Your Ground" law. I had read about the possibility of Mississippi following Florida's law this legislative session. With such a law, you would be able to use deadly force to protect yourself AND your property if you felt it necessary.
There will probably only be one more update before Christmas Day as things will begin to get very busy around here as of tomorrow. I hope to have lots of pictures to share with everyone from this Christmas season. Check back soon!
Today was a good day. Nothing major, just an overall good day!
I've been browsing through my favorite free music site - VGMix.com. Yeah, it's basically video game music as the name implies, but it's awesome! Most of these indie guys are very talented, and it's become what I listen to daily. Most have no words, just some good jams. Check out Ryan8bit's work on that site.
Today I had the chance to clean the new "boomstick" and it looks wonderful! It's the perfect shotgun for me. Maybe I can get some pics up soon.
LOTS going on here. I must start by telling mom and Luke both happy birthday today! Mom and dad went to Arkansas this weekend to return a generator that someone so generously let them use in the weeks following Katrina. Last I heard they had returned the generator and were on their way back down to Memphis to spend the night.
Today, Emily and I went to Jackson with Richie and Angela. Richie and I stayed at the Great Southern Gun and Knife Show that was going on in the Trademart while Emily and Angela shopped elsewhere. Richie found a great deal on a "new" SKS. This guy selling them had boxes of them, all still sealed in cosmoline. There's no telling how old they were, but they looked good, and were just a little bit over $100 each. Amazing. Anyway, we had finished our looking around at the show and were waiting to be picked back up, so we decided to wander for just a bit. I found exactly what I was looking for on the first table in the show, AFTER we had seen everything else there. It is a Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge with a modified 20" ribbed barrel and 8 round magazine tube extension. It looked great, and I bought it. It's the first shotgun I've ever purchased. It looks darn good for an old Wingmaster. The barrel is stamped "80" so I think that's supposed to mean it was made in 1980, but the barrel is also stamped "REP" which I think means "replacement barrel", so who knows how old the thing is. I've emailed Remington with the shotgun's info to try to get some more history. It's neat that you can do that.
Argh, enough rambling. We all left the show and went to the brand new Bass Pro Shop in Pearl. That is a huge store! They sell just about everything to do with the outdoors. It was crowded but workable, we just didn't have long to stay in there. I'm sure we'll be visiting that store again soon.
That's that! I hope to be back again soon with more good news.
December is finally here. It's hard to believe. It seems like Christmas was just here, and now it's upon us again. Anyway, things are going good. The house is decorated for the season (thanks to Emily - now to do my job with the outside stuff), and I got my truck back from Jeff earlier this week. It runs like brand new! It's awesome.
I took some cruddy pictures of our new 3-in-1 Ultimate Prelit 7 1/2' Remote Control Christmas Tree (now sold out as link shows) from QVC. The quality isn't great because I had to turn the flash off to get decent pictures, so the lighting is terrible for picture taking. Here they are - colored only, clear only, and both on, as well as a pic of Janie taking her usual Christmas spot:
This video (warning: HUGE) nearly made me cry. I don't know why. Super Mario Brothers is so retro now. Ahhh...I'm old.
Oh, by the way, I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I didn't take a single picture throughout the holiday, sorry! I do hope to keep a better handle on things this month though. Keep an eye out, more stuff to come!
Emily and I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Wednesday night. I got aggrevated before the movie ever started. They still do that same old bag and purse search crap in the mall movie theater. I swore I'd never go back there after the last time this happened, and to go and have it happen again made me even madder. You'd think you were about to get on an airplane or something. It's not right, and no other movie theater we've ever been to has searched us. No more money from us, you dern Bonita Lakes Cinema 9! I sent a complaint via this link, but I'm sure it did no good. Anyway, the movie was good, but not as good as some of the previous Harry Potter movies. It was probably due to time constraints. It was obvious in a few spots that pieces of the movie were cut out to shorten the time, and I'm sure they'll re-appear on the DVD. :)
Thanksgiving was busy. We ate with Emily's Grandma's side of the family for lunch, and my parents' house for dinner. The following day (Black Friday) Emily went shopping and I went to work. We ate over at Richie and Angela's house for dinner with the Sharps. Today, I've just felt sick. Sore throat and burning nose. I managed to throw the prelit tree together, but that's it.
Anyway, it's less than a month till Christmas. You'd better get busy!
Thanksgiving is nearly here! Emily has had this week off, so she's feeling better of course. Dad is sick, has been ever since Friday. We went to a continuing education course in Raymond, MS last night. We had to go in order to get our required hour of ethics for our license renewal. All my renewal requirements have been met now, all I have to do is fill out the form. *sigh*
My truck is in the shop with my father-in-law, Jeff, behind the wrenches. Thank goodness he's taking the time to fool with it. So far I've had a leaky intake manifold gasket and a bad camshaft position sensor. I'm sure it's time for some things to go bad on it. It's been an awesome truck through the years though, and I have no plans to get rid of it any time soon.
Still now Fastaccess Xtreme 6.0 here. I have no idea when or if it will ever be available here. :(
Emily has been working on her MySpace.com page. Check it out sometime. I have one as well, but I don't do anything with mine. It's just "there" and that's it.
I guess things will be busy from now until after the new year basically. I hope I can keep up with it all on here both with words and pictures. It's been so nice to have all these pictures of past events on here for others to look at. Just in case I don't update before Thanksgiving Day, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Oh, and try not to get trampled on Black Friday...(yes Brian I swiped that link from you!)
Today was the official launch day of BellSouth's FastAccess Xtreme 6.0 tier. However, we can't upgrade to it yet. I have no idea why. We'll see soon, I hope. Twice the speed for the same price (or less) can't be beat!
This story was kinda amusing to me. I don't really know why. Maybe it's because I remember the crazy stuff we had to do sometimes when I was in elementary school.
Just a quick morning update here. I heard on the morning news just now that Georgia-Pacific is being bought out by Koch Industries! Man. This after Kimberly-Clark announced new price increases on their consumer products. I wonder where all this is headed?
Oh well, I finally broke down and created my own page over on MySpace.com. I did it only with the hopes of being able to make myself easier to find by old friends. I think I'm pretty easy to find as it is, but this might help someone find me.
Emily is still sick. Lots of coughing. I hope she gets better soon.
I need a new water pump in my truck. I've noticed lots of coolant under the truck from the front of the motor all the way to the back axle. Hopefully that will get tended to really soon.
We've accomplished about 90% of our Christmas shopping already. It's a nice feeling. It doesn't feel very much like Christmas around us yet, but I'm sure it will kick in any time now. We still have to decide what we want to do for the first weekend of December. I don't know why so many holiday festivities are scheduled for the first weekend of December!
BellSouth is supposed to let their new 6.0 Mbps Xtreme package out of the bag on Wednesday. This new tier is 6 Mbps download and 512 Kbps upload. Right now we have the 3.0 Mbps Xtreme package - it's 3 Mbps download and 384 Kbps upload. The weird thing is that it will be within a couple of dollars for us to upgrade. I hope it will be available to us.
What a day! I spent today over in Madison at Haglof's office listening to a seminar. I'm getting caught up on my hours that I need to keep my license. Haglof's stuff is pretty expensive, but they do have this neat device called a DME that might be worth looking into someday.
Emily has been sick for at least a week now, but she was really bad off Tuesday and Wednesday. She saw the doctor and got some antibiotics and stuff, so she's getting better now.
Our QVC Christmas Tree came via UPS on Friday. The box wasn't even all beat up. It weighed a whopping 68 pounds! Anyway, we put it together and it worked just fine. Now we just have to find a home for our old tree. It's a 7.5' tree, only used 5 Christmases. Any takers? :)
We've been taking care of our Christmas shopping - early. I think we have things pretty well lined out. It's going to be nice having it all done early and have it all paid for. Very nice.
I got to see the new episode of King of the Hill tonight. It wasn't that great...kinda makes me sad. It wasn't bad by any means, as no episode that I can ever recall has been *bad*.
We watched DOOM the other night. It was very good in my opinion. If you've never played the game, I don't know if you'd care beans about it however. I like it well enough to want the DVD when it is released.
Long time, no update. Nothing much happening here. I replaced our toilet flapper again today. The cheapy flapper I bought started leaking just a day or so after i put it in. Sooo, I went back to Lowes today and picked up a slightly more expensive but impressive looking flapper called the Korky Plus with a 5 year warranty. I have my fingers crossed.
Why am I telling you this...I don't know. Anyway, we did finally order that Christmas Tree from QVC. I hope we'll like it. In the meantime, we need to find someone who wants an artificial 7.5' tree. Any takers?
Halloween has come and gone again. I really like Halloween, it's my 2nd favorite holiday of the year. Sadly, each year it seems to die a little more. Or maybe that's just me. Halloween used to be a big scary event, now it seems it's much less. The day after Halloween - today - Christmas commercials have begun airing all over the place. It's kinda weird, but I'm already in a Christmas mood. I'm looking forward to Christmas a little more this year than in the past, I don't know why.
Have you read about the new tax law changes that are actually being recommended to the President? How silly is that??
I saw my old college friend Matt Pope today. He told me to tell Don he said hello, so I'm telling you now DON! I gave him my email address and webpage address so maybe he'll check in soon.
One more thing, speaking of saw, Emily and I watched Saw 2 last night. It was creepy, almost as good as the first. If you haven't seen the first movie this sequel won't make much sense to you I don't think.
I was greeted by this popup last night when I booted up my laptop. It turns out, after doing some searching, that I wasn't the only one with this stupid thing. See, I use ZoneAlarm Free Version. This new popup is an annoying way to sell their new spyware scanner. Only the free version users of ZoneAlarm will get this popup, and supposedly it's only if you have the "check for updates automatically" option checked. Maybe you can set that to "manual" and it will go away. If you noticed from the popup there is no way to tell the thing "no thank you", instead you must choose to buy something right now, or be reminded to buy something later. I have ditched this version of ZoneAlarm and gone back to a much older version of ZoneAlarm from February 2004.
Tonight we watched Napoleon Dynamite. All I can say is that it's a weird, weird movie. Nothing vulgar or obscene, just weird.
Whew! I've been busy busy ever since the last update. Friday was a long day at work. Saturday was when Luke and Tani were leaving for Seattle. I also fixed the windshield washer hose on my truck (it was chewed up to nothing) and went by Lowe's to quickly grab a new flapper for the toilet. That afternoon/night I went to a fall festival. Yesterday, Emily and I went to church. The sanctuary is being remodeled, so we had (and will have) services in the gym. Those folding metal chairs, even though padded, make my whole lower body fall asleep within about 10 minutes of sitting. It's a terrible, odd feeling. Anyway, we went to Jackson after church and didn't come home until late last night. We wanted to get away and just do stuff we wanted to do. Actually, it was supposed to be an early chance to do some Christmas shopping, but lunch took way too long and we didn't even think about many stores closing early or not being open at all on Sunday. Oh well. I think we'll go back again soon, with a LIST of things to do and get.
Speaking of Christmas, here's the tree that we've been thinking about ordering from QVC. It's a neat 7.5' prelit, remote control tree. You can choose to have colored lights OR clear lights OR both with just the press of a button on the remote!! How neat is that?
I was able to take a picture of Luke and Tani as they were about to leave for the airport on Saturday, so here's that picture. I think it turned out really good.
Today is Emily's 25th birthday! I was glad everyone got to come over to the house for it. We had corn dogs and nachos. It was fun! Happy birthday Emily.
I didn't get to mention that I took Luke and Tani to Starkville Tuesday. We had a good time. It's been good to be able to see them again this week. Starkville, as well as the drive up there, had changed some since the last time Emily and I visited, which was just a couple of months ago. I know it must be really different to Luke and Tani since it's been over two years since they've seen it. Luke and Tani go back to Seattle on Saturday. Maybe we'll get to do something again before they leave.
That's all, gotta get some sleep now.
Emily woke me up this morning saying we had no electricity. It had gone out just minutes after her alarm clock had gone off. It was a long morning. Being without electricity isn't fun, especially first thing in the morning.
When I came home this afternoon, I found our cat Janie on the front steps, waiting for me as usual. However, I noticed today that she was really dirty, muddy even. Then she tried to stand up. Her front leg had somehow gotten under her collar! It was an odd, disturbing sight. Kinda funny now though that I know she's ok. I had to take her collar completely off to get her leg free. Isn't that strange?
Luke and Tani made it here yesterday afternoon. They are here for the week. This is the first time we've seen them in two years. Luke and I are going to Starkville one day this week to eat at The Little Dooey, an old favorite.
Today was homecoming at church. There were lots of people there that we hadn't seen in a while.
After doing some searching, I found that my favorite show on TV is on its last season. King of the Hill, according to this article, is in its last season, this season, the 10th season. I have always LOVED all of Mike Judge's work. I watched Beavis and Butt-Head all through high school and loved every minute of it. Near my high school graduation time is when Beavis and Butt-Head ended and King of the Hill began. Also, who could forget Office Space?
Emily has spent the day at the Canton Flea Market. Today and tomorrow she is off from work due to fall break. I guess it came at a perfect time for her. Dad and I worked on an appraisal today from an inspection we did yesterday in Prentiss.
My mother in law has fallen victim to the new law about window tints and inspection stickers, HB 734. This law is a load of crap that should be repealed, as I had fussed about when it was introduced. According to the law, if you have tinted windows in your car, FACTORY OR NOT (actually, this law isn't supposed to apply to "factory" tint, but who can tell what is and what isn't? see below), you will pay the inspector an additional $5 to TEST (yes TEST) your tint to make sure it's "legal" in the state of Mississippi. If the tint is legal, you will get a nice sticker on EACH (yes EACH) window that has tint on it. I quote:
From and after July 1, 2005, the Department of Public Safety shall issue labels to official motor vehicle inspection stations for affixing to every motor vehicle required to be inspected in this state with a window therein which has been tinted or darkened with any tinted film or other darkening material after factory delivery. The label shall be affixed to the lower left corner of each such window, shall be legible from outside the vehicle, and shall indicate the label registration number, a certification of compliance with Mississippi law, and such other information as the Commissioner of Public Safety deems appropriate. The labels shall be of a type which is pressure-sensitive, self-destructive upon removal, and no larger than one (1) inch square in size. Before affixing the label, the inspection station shall conduct a test to determine that the window complies with the luminous reflectance and light transmittance requirements prescribed under subsection (2) or (4) of this section. The test shall be conducted using such methods or devices as may be approved and certified not less often than annually by the Department of Public Safety. For conducting such tests, motor vehicle inspection stations shall charge and collect a fee of Five Dollars ($5.00). Two Dollars ($2.00) of such fee shall be retained by the inspection station, and Three Dollars ($3.00) of the fee shall be remitted to the Department of Public Safety and may be expended, upon legislative appropriation, for the operational expenses of the department. No fee shall be charged unless a test is actually performed under this subsection. The presence of such label upon the window of a motor vehicle shall indicate that the person who affixed the label certifies that the window meets the restrictions of subsection (2) or (4) of this section as to luminous reflectance and light transmittance.
This is yet another reason to vote against everyone in the House and Senate. This is just an excuse to pay an additional $5 *penalty* for having tint on your windows. Ten dollars for an inspection sticker is just silly. While other states are getting rid of inspection stickers, we are raising the price.
My tint is factory tint in the back of my truck, and is 35% tint in the front, legal in the state of Mississippi. To avoid hassle, I will lower my windows prior to getting an inspection and see if that works out.
Read a good story about this fiasco here.
What a beautiful day! We slept late. I cut grass and cleaned up the yard all afternoon. Emily spent the afternoon shopping. The temperature was 70-something. Near perfect.
A new law was finally passed last night that allows the casinos on the coast to rebuild partially onshore. One more step towards getting back to normal.
Where have I been all week? I dunno, you tell me. Nothing major happened this week. Wednesday, Emily and I went to the bank to sign all the paperwork for our loan. Everything went fine, and we got a much better rate than expected. I don't know why, but we did. After the cancellation period passes on by, everything will be set. It's a good feeling.
Thursday night we ate supper at Ryan's with the supper club from church. It was fine, and we all went to Books-A-Million afterwards. Emily and I went to Wal-Mart after that for the weekly pantry filling.
A new version (v1.20) of Nestopia was released yesterday. I haven't tried it yet, but I will. It's gotta be awesome. Try it if you need a NES emulator.
Sorry! A whole week went by with no updating. I guess that's how exciting life is right now.
Today we went to the Little family reunion at Okatibbee Lake. We got to see people we haven't seen in a while and have lunch. The weather was nice too!
This past week we managed to get our new home loan all straightened out. We'll be closing it this week. Hopefully by consolidating some of our debts we'll be better off soon. We've also switched our home insurance to the same company that insures our vehicles, thus getting a better deal on the entire package. We're trying to keep more of the money we bring in. Trying...
I tried out the new Dungeons & Dragons game called "Dungeons & Dragons: DragonShard". This game sucks, let me tell ya! I thought I'd really like it considering it's a RTS (Real Time Strategy) game like Command & Conquer: Generals. However, it just really isn't that great. RTS should stay away from the D & D area.
I have been playing Neverwinter Nights all over again. This has to be one of my top 5 favorite PC games ever, the others being (in no particular order): Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2k4), Sid Meier's Pirates!, and The Punisher. Anyway, I have the original NWN game plus the two official addon modules - NWN: Shadows of Undrentide and NWN: Hordes of the Underdark. I plan to play through all 3, and then try one or all of their 3 new "premium modules" which are short campaigns released solely over the internet. Neverwinter Nights 2 is supposed to be released in early January of 2006. I'm excited! I hope my older PC can keep up with it.
On another note, I found a wonderful app for backing up your favorite DVDs called DVD Shrink. Yeah, I know it's old news to many of you, but it's a wonderful program that's easy to use! There are many tutorials online, and best of all, it's FREEWARE! Long live freeware.
Who knows what this week will bring? I'll try to get back on schedule with the updating. I know that Emily has a big midterm in her graduate class she's taking on Tuesday nights. More later!
Rain today, and lots of it! We took the morning off and acted like slackers. We went to Emily's parents' house for lunch. Then we came home to watch the season premiers on ABC...and the dern satellite wouldn't hold on to a signal. When it finally would, WTOK (the local ABC station) went out. Bah.
I found this tonight:
I've done nothing constructive today. I've watched TV, played UT2k4 online, and watched more TV. Actually, I've just spent the last few hours redoing my work website, Dean Forestry Services. Heh. I've added a lot more info to it, changed colors, and cleaned up the graphics. I like it a lot better now. I'm ticked because the background and the images don't mesh as they should in Internet Explorer. It looks flawless in Firefox. I guess Internet Explorer still doesn't render .PNG images properly yet or something. I hope what I've said on it makes sense. I'm getting horrible about spelling and grammar. I must find an easy, free, at my fingertips dictionary and thesaurus. That would be oh so nice for days like this.
Check out http://www.deanforestryservices.com and see what you think of it.
There has been some wind, some rain, both on and off, all day today. Nothing major as of yet. Maybe it won't get too bad here. Hurricanes really suck.
That's all for now! Time to go eat and watch a movie.
Yay! Tonight is the season premier of CSI! I'll be taping it however, because we're eating with the supper club tonight. I'm not complaining, that's what VCRs are for, right?
Today was a busy day, and I didn't go to work. I got our house insurance straightened out with a new company. I was lucky to get our home insured due to the recent and upcoming hurricanes. The company was instructed not to write any more home owner's insurance policies, but since I live on the fringe edges of the storm(s) and live in a mobile home and not a stick built home, we got a new policy. That makes no sense I know, but I'm glad anyway.
I had an interesting experience today in the McDonald's drive though. I ordered a cheeseburger with no pickles and a medium Coke. I pulled up to the window, I was handed my drink first, then a bag. I took it all and drove out of the parking lot to the stoplight. That's when it hit me....the bag was pretty heavy to have only a cheeseburger in it. It turns out I had a spicy chicken sandwich, a double hamburger, and two orders of medium fries in the bag! I thought about going back...but then I thought about all those times that we've been on the short end of the stick in the drive through. Heh. I ate good all the way home! :)
Janie (our cat) seems to be doing well after her attack. She's not limping anymore, and the cut seems to have scabbed over. She has a big blister on her ear though. I guess we should keep a better eye on her.
Busy busy day though. I also picked up Emily's contact lenses, stopped by the office, and picked up a nut and bolt in Meridian. I even washed my truck here at home! First time in probably 9 months at least. It needed it!
Yawn, it's morning. Something got after our cat Janie last night. I went outside to find her to bring her inside for the night. She came out from under our front porch and gave a sad meow. Her collar was gone and she was bleeding a little from her back leg. She must have been in a big fight. This morning all she's done is lay on the bed. I hope she's ok.
Saturday I cut more grass and did more cleaning up. That afternoon/night we went to Jeff and Debbie's house to help them move out and help Richie and Angela move in. I guess that had been going on all day but we did get there in time to help out with some things. Needless to say we were both tired on Sunday. It was difficult to get up and go to church, go for lunch, and go to Wal-Mart after all that.
It looks like another hurricane is headed out way. Just lovely. Sure, it's supposed to go for Texas, but just a few weeks ago we were sitting around thinking that Hurricane Katrina would go for Georgia and not be nearly as strong as it turned out. You never know what to expect. It's uncomfortable just thinking about it.
Sorry for the no updating! I've been busy busy.
I forgot to mention that our office was broken into the weekend before the hurricane. Whoever robbed us took food, drinks, stamps, a gasoline can, wrenches, sockets, a cap, some nice binoculars, pocketknives, my toy skidder, and my diameter tape. Real jerks. I'm sure there was more they took, we just haven't realized it yet. I don't care how bad off you are, nothing justifies breaking and entering and stealing.
I'm so sleepy...time for bed.
"September the 11th" - how many times each week do we still hear those words? I completely forgot that today was Grandparents' Day...
Things are quickly returning to normal around here. I don't know anyone that is without electricity in our area, although I'm sure someone is without. I've been cutting trees, cutting limbs, cutting grass, etc. It seems like a pile that never gets smaller. I guess all we need is time. The longer it takes, the lighter the trees and limbs will be however. :)
Someone sent me a link to a great collection of 197 photos taken throughout the New Orleans area before, during, and after the storm. You should take some time and go through this photo gallery. It gave me a little different perspective on the whole New Orleans situation.
I think Mississippians affected by the recent hurricane are getting the shaft. Like this article for instance, no FEMA debit cards to be distributed here, only in TX. Ironic?
Our DSL came back up late Wednesday night. It's been working just fine ever since...I have my fingers crossed.
Most everyone around here has their power back now. Most of the gas stations have gas, and they're selling it at a somewhat reasonable price again.
UPDATE: I came home from work today to find our DSL was down, again, for like the 3rd day in a row. This is starting to REALLY aggrevate me. I called tech support, and after rebooting the modem, resetting the modem, rebooting the computer, re-entering user/pass about a dozen times, the tech support girl finally contacted the networking department, and lo and behold, there IS a network outage in our area. Wow, you think? I'm glad I had no custom settings in my modem. Why can't I just call to report an outage??? She said it'd be out for 24 hours. Great. Dialup sucks, especially when it's time-limited as ours is right now.
Good news! The power companies have made much progress over the last few days. I got word last night that mom and dad had power restored to their home, as well as Shauna. They are on two different power companies, so maybe a huge number of others in the area have power now as well.
Dad and I went to the office yesterday. Upon checking on one of our client's properties in Lauderdale county, I was amazed to see very little damage to the forests. I think that as a whole, Newton county got hit worse than Lauderdale county. Maybe it's because we were closer to the eye of the storm. The worst damage I saw around Meridian was in the North Hills community and the Oakland Heights community. I don't know who has electricity in those areas now, but last I heard a huge percentage of Meridian had power.
Thank you again to all the power companies and all the workers not even from here that came down to help. Given the magnitude of the storm and the widespread outage, I'd say things got back to working condition fairly quickly.
Gasoline was *only* $2.39 for regular yesterday at Lost Gap at the truck stop. There weren't even lines to the pumps or anything! However, when Emily stopped there last night after class to fill up, many of the pumps had signs on them that read "out of gas" and on the remaining pumps there was only the super grade of gas left. No regular or premium. I figured the shortages would be over by now. Surely that will get back to normal soon. As far as gas prices go, I think we are all being had. How can one station sell regular for $2.39 while another station nearby sells it for $2.99?
Thanks again to everyone for all your help and concerns. Around here it's cleanup time!
Our DSL service keeps coming and going here. Every day since the storm it's been up a few hours and off more hours. It went out yesterday afternoon and didn't return until late this afternoon. I can't complain though given the magnitude of disturbance all utilities have seen lately.
I got word that Uncle Kim got back home safely to Arkansas. Thank goodness for him and my aunt coming down to help, and thank God for the lady who didn't even know who my parents are that sent a huge generator with my Uncle for them. Mom and dad still have no electricity, but it's rumored that their power company has the substation down south of here repaired and is bringing power back online slowly to the north. They may even have electricity tomorrow! Who knows.
I spent the day today helping dad repair fences. Destruction everywhere like I've never seen. I don't know how things will ever be *normal* again. I dread the thought of crawling over downed trees every time I go out to work for the next 5 or so years.
I'm glad to see the nation give so generously to all the victims of Hurricane Katrina. So many people have needed help, and so many more still need help. It just goes to show how much we take for granted every day.
That's all for now. Hopefully our DSL will stay online so I can update. If I disappear for a while, you'll know why.
We are still doing ok. Mom and dad stil have no electricity, but I just got word that Uncle Kim has arrived with a generator for them. They are doing better now. People are slowly getting their electricity back, but it's going to take a while.
I have to hurry...so here is a link to the narrated Hurricane Katrina page. Big link. Click it and read about the storm.
Just a short update. We are alive. We are doing ok. Our power was restored here today about 2pm. We are very fortunate as many many many people are still without power. No one has drinking water. Gasoline is going to run out soon. Many people are without food.
Here are the pics that we took during the ordeal. I haven't made a descriptive page yet, but will sometime soon. Till then you can sort through them. Hurricane Katrina is my generation's Camille. Icky icky.
We are so thankful to still have our home and to have electricity back as of right now. Please remember the thousands of others who are not as fortunate.
Nothing much to say today. It's been still unbearably hot here. It's too hot to get anything accomplished.
We did some upgrading to our satellite today. Southern Satellites came out and replaced our cruddy old Dish Network 3900 receiver with a new 311 model. It works just like it's supposed too! We also upgraded to a SuperDish from our Dish 500 dish. It's bigger and picks up the local channels here. Our signal is up at least by 20 on each satellite (119, 110, 105). Yay!
Man I'm sleepy.
I've added a couple of pics to my 1911s page down at the very bottom, and I've updated my Links page to add a link to an AWESOME extension for Firefox called "Adblock". Adblock takes a bit to figure out and configure, but then it's smooth sailing afterwards. It kills those popups that do get by Firefox, as well as gets rid of those flashy "click on me!" ads (after you configure it to do so, of course).
It's been wonderful since I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows XP. It took a while to get everything back on it and set back up, but now it's better than ever!
I had found a great music site called OverClocked Remix. It's got remixes of many popular video games from all platforms. All free and legal. Not much "rock" type music there, but still some cool stuff.
Oh, I also uploaded a new DUMeter stats page. Looks like I've been using DUMeter for a year now. Gigs and gigs go by...
Hot day! Gas is $2.59 here already...what are we going to do?
I got a new tag for my truck yesterday. It's one of these. The woman at the courthouse looked at me kinda funny when I requested it, and then barely found one in the other room. She said my tag was one of two that they had in storage. I guess it's unique.
I formatted my hard drive yesterday and reinstalled Windows XP. It was the first time since I put my system together back in 2001. That's amazing to me. I remember back with Windows '95 and '98 you'd have to format and reinstall every 6 months. I really didn't even HAVE to format, it's just that my extensions were all really screwed up and I had a bunch of junk spanned all over my system that couldn't be removed, properly or improperly. Some advice for you readers....NEVER install SCANSOFT PAPERPORT PRO 8.0 SE! It will majorly screw your computer up permanently.
It looks like BellSouth Fastaccess will release their new speed tier, dubbed "FastAccess DSL Xtreme 6.0" on October 7th. That's only rumored. The speeds are supposed to be 6 Mbps download and 512 Kbps upload. It would have been nice to get 768 Kbps upload, but oh well. I just hope we'll be able to get this new tier here! Someone had told me you'd have to live within 5,000' of the CO - wired distance. It might be a close shot for us.
I sit, ready to type this update. I have my IBC Root Beer on a coaster next to me. I have an mp3 by the Minibosses playing away on Winamp, their cover of Castlevania 3 actually. Click that link to download the free and legal mp3 (7.52 megabytes though). It can be relaxing and nostalgic!
Anyway, today was another HOT day. I'm tired of the hot days, I want the highs to get back down to the lower 80s again. I guess it won't be too long.
I went in search today of some CCI Blazer ammunition for my .45 ACP. It can't be found anywhere in Meridian! Isn't that whacked? I guess I'll have to order some. I just want to try something that's inexpensive to shoot besides my Winchester white box ammo. I want something that isn't steel cased like Wolf ammunition. That's what's neat about this CCI Blazer ammo - it's casing is aluminum! Not brass, not steel, but aluminum. Oh well. Natchez Shooters Supplies has it for pretty cheap to order.
Over the last couple of days, I've somewhat cleaned up and added to the Links page and the About page. Nothing much though.
I found a neat, but disturbing, search engine. It's called ZabaSearch Free People Search. It's scary how much information you can find out about someone from this one search engine!
Here is an article about Ruby Hall - it looks like it won't be completed by move in day....
In case you missed it (like I did), Thunderbird v 1.0.6 is out. I think it's been out for a good while. Oh well. I downloaded it, backed up my profile, uninstalled v 1.0.2, and installed v 1.0.6. I can't tell a difference, but it works. I'm sure something was fixed in it. It's a great mail program.
Do you use WinAmp? I uploaded a few of my favorite skins of Alpine car stereos. They are here. My favorite skin of all time is this one.
Last night I put yet another lid on my Dell Inspirion 2600 laptop. There is some design flaw in the hinges. This is the 3rd lid that's been on this laptop. Here's a picture of the original lid that cracked. The replacement for that one cracked in the same exact place. I hope this one lasts a little bit longer. It's around $30 for each lid (used)! I'll never buy another plastic laptop if I can help it. From what I understand, Dell now makes a laptop made from magnesium alloy, the Inspiron 9300. Yum. Well worth the money if the outer shell will stay in one piece!
We ate with our supper club Tuesday night. The usual bunch was there - Shauna, Heather, Jamie, Patrick, Emily, and me. Patrick is moving in at MSU this Saturday. He'll be one of the first to live in the huge new dorm Ruby Hall. Lucky? I'm not sure...I think he'll miss a lot of the college experience by living in a *new* dorm. :)
I want this book.
The weekend came and went. We tried to relax for most of it. Hannah's birthday party was Saturday. It's amazing that she started kindergarten today! It seems like she was just born.
Emily had her first day back at school with a room full of new 2nd graders. She came home today in a much better spirit than a year ago at this time. That made me feel better anyway. I hope this year will be better.
I cleaned up our Vacation 2005 picture page in order to free up some room. I now have 109 megabytes of free space to doodle with. Maybe I can get some new pictures up soon. I also want to share some of the NES cover music I've found. It's legal and free to distribute. :) Keep watching for something new soon.
I was sad to learn this morning that Peter Jennings had died last night. He was a great reporter.
I was also saddened to read that Suttle Hall at MSU is scheduled to be demolished in 2006. Emily and I are going to get back up to Starkville soon to spend a day. Sometimes I really miss that town!
What a busy week! Emily had to go to the school all week to prepare for next week, the week with kids. I helped her around her classroom Wednesday and Thursday. We went to Jackson Wednesday afternoon to pick up her school supplies and do a little bit of shopping. I got a new Interstate Battery for my truck, which I am excited about. I think the summer heat was killing my old battery.
I spent the day today helping dad haul hay, until the rain stopped us. Then I came home and just crashed. I meant to take a 20 minute or so nap, but ended up sleeping for like 6 hours or so. I think Emily did the same as soon as she got home. Today was open house for the school and Emily spent the day meeting with parents and kids. I think this year will be better than last year was for her.
I found an awesome NES/Videogame music site called "Dwelling of Duels". This is a site where anyone can send in a song to compete in the current month's themed competetion. There's even a complete archive. Metal, jazz, etc., it's all there.
What a weekend! Sunday we went to Sharp Memorial Methodist Protestant Church to see Denise and Michael have their newborn baby boy A.J. be dedicated. They had a baby shower afterwards too. We took some pictures from that, but until I free up some space (all those silly vacation pics) I have less than 2 MB of space to do anything with. Sorry, I'll figure out something soon.
We found out that while we were gone from Chunky Baptist Church Sunday morning our Sunday school classroom got switched with another room. I guess that happens all the time, I mean someone moved rooms so that we could have that room back when this class got started. Now our class has dwindled down to just 5 or 6 people and it's sad. Apparently when our classmates showed up Sunday morning the furniture had been moved and everything (by a couple of deacons earlier that morning I am told). Oh well. I'm really tired of fooling with the whole thing. Cliques. It's not what's done, it's HOW IT'S DONE!
I've had a craving lately to re-read George Orwell's Animal Farm. It's been a while since I read that book, but it can apply so well to live today. Sure the book may be really about Russia back a long time ago, but I can see similarities every...week.
I found some more wonderful NES music and I've been drowning my ears in it. Great bands: Minibosses, NESkimos, and Ryan8bit. More on all that stuff later.
It's time for bed. Emily started back to work today and has to get up early again tomorrow.
Hey Denise! I saw where you signed my guestbook today! I didn't forget about you and the newborn Anthony Joseph born July 8th, no, I just had a huge gap in my updating during that time. Emily updated her news about that time though. I'm sorry! :P
Congrats to Michael and Denise on their baby, sorry I didn't put that up earlier!
It's been just another hot day here. We spent the morning at work taking care of little things that take time and checking on a logging job. This afternoon I've done a few small things that I've been meaning to do, just hadn't yet. Other than that it's just been an ordinary Friday, even had the regular fried catfish for lunch! ;P
Emily and I have still been able to keep in touch. Having a Nation plan with Cingular is nice. She's been shopping and visiting her cousin at the hospital. It sounds like she's been having fun. I've still been just playing a lot of UT2k4 and watching C.S.I. reruns, as well as cartoons and such.
It finally rained here today and cooled off just a tad. It's been unbearably hot lately.
Boring, yeah I know. Anyway, Emily left Wednesday morning for Seymour, Indiana. She went with her parents to visit her cousin Leah and husband Tim. Leah just had her baby Wednesday and they wanted to be there to see her. Emily has been in touch thanks to our new plan with Cingular, a Nation plan! She's been able to get online with her mom's laptop using AOL and she's supposed to be emailing me some pictures any minute now. Ah, there's the email now. Ana looks like a cute baby! Here is Ana's picture.
So while Emily has been gone, I've been going to work, coming home, playing with the dog, playing a lot of UT2k4, and watching TV. It's amazing how around the house decisions are so complicated when she isn't around. Hmm. Emily should be home sometime this weekend, even she doesn't know yet.
It has been HOT this week. It's so hot today that there is a heat advisory out until 7 PM tomorrow night. It's a good day to be inside. Emily and I were both tired after this past week and we just watched TV and stuff today. We are going to Newton tonight to Wal-Mart and eat supper at Sonic because we want one of those new Cookie Dough Blast desserts. Heh.
We've really been enjoying our new phones. They came via FedEx on Wednesday! Today we found a few games for it, but we just can't find many quality JAVA games for the Motorola v551. I've tweaked everything on my phone. The Bluetooth capability is just awesome! I have custom wallpaper and nifty ringtones that I made. I made ringtones straight from a few of my favorite NES games - Metal Gear, Contra, and Super Mario Brothers. They sound great. I might put the stuff I've created on this site, I dunno.
One more thing, I found it sad today that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been pulled from store shelves due to the ability to unlock sexual content via a downloadable patch, named the "Hot Coffee" mod. No, I don't own this game, nor have I even played GTA since the original two games. What is sad is the fact that this game is NOT FOR CHILDREN to begin with, even before someone found that sexual scenes could be viewed with some modifications. C'mon people, get with it before the gaming industry is ruined just like the music industry in 1985. Know what your kids are doing if you really, sincerely care about them.
I was somewhat saddened today when I watched the news. It seems that WTOK, the local ABC channel, is going to expand to start a new FOX channel in the area. Why does this upset me? I've been watching FOX 5 Atlanta over Dish Network for many years now. I really like their reliability and lineup. Once a local FOX station is opened here, I won't be able to get the Atlanta station anymore, I will have to get the local FOX channel. I hope it's not crummy! At least I have till this fall before anything happens. Also, you may note, WTOK is buying WGBC, the local NBC station. It's crummy, I guess it can only improve. What a monopoly!
We still haven't received our new Motorola v551 phones yet. They are supposed to come via FedEx, and should be here at any time.
Oh, BellSouth Fastaccess DSL announced a lowering of prices on their tiers of service for residential customers. The kicker? They will no longer offer discounts for bundling. I get a small discount for bundling. Also, only NEW customers will see the discounts. However, supposedly, existing customers can call after the 25th of this month and REQUEST the discount on their DSL. Looks like I'll have to be calling to get a discount. Oh well, as long as I actually get it it's not too bad. Their Xtreme tier, 3 Mbps down and 384 Kbps up, will be $42.95/month now. That will be about $10 cheaper per month for me, so that's good, if I can get it. That's still too high, but I have no other options but dialup. No way!
We got to meet with Daphne at Cingular Wireless this past Thursday. She was very nice. I think we will have a better, cheaper plan and all of us will have better phones. We are now on the Nation 500 FamilyTalk w/ Rollover plan. We each have Motorola v551 phones on the way. Business customers have their equipment sent to them instead of just walking out of the store with it. I dunno why. Anyway, we're excited.
I've been working on creating my own ringtones and wallpapers. This phone has Bluetooth capability, so we should be able to send data back and forth from computer to phone. I've made a few neat NES music ringtones from .nsf files. I can't wait to hear how they sound on a phone for a ringtone!
Well, we survived Hurricane Dennis. It turned out not to be all that bad in this area. We left our home Sunday night for my parents' house. They lost power early in the night. When we got back home Monday morning, we found no significant damage and our power had never gone out! Thank goodness! We are very thankful.
Right now we're in the process of attempting to upgrade our cell phones and plan with Cingular Wireless. I'm hoping all will turn out well. I'm having to wait for an appointment to find out.
Nothing much else is going on. I'll try to get more regular with my updating again!
I've been playing the fool out of Unreal Tournament 2004 this week. Emily has a new game too, but not for the PC. It's Dance Dance Revolution Extreme for the PS2. She says it's fun. It's definitely not for me though!
I got new tires on my truck Wednesday. They're Summit brand tires, but I can't find a weblink on them. Oh well. I cleaned out the inside of my truck, which I had apparently not done since I got married! It needed some attention.
I've been off my antibiotics since Tuesday morning. I finally feel ok to get back into the sun again. The grass is knee deep here, and Hurricane Dennis is threatening to blow us all away this weekend. I hope it's nothing like Hurricane Ivan was last year. I just knew I should have cut those trees back away from the house!
I cannot believe that a FL man was charged with stealing wi-fi internet!! There is nothing wrong with using someone else's wireless internet signal as long as you aren't breaking passwords or encryption! That's silly. If someone leaves their wi-fi wide open with nothing secured on it, they must really WANT you to use it for free, right? :P
A relative of ours, Suzanne Blalock Norwood, passed away late last week and was buried today.
Hey, it's July! Sorry for no updates. It's been SO HOT here, which sucks when you're on antibiotics. I'll take my last one in the morning. Then I'll finally be able to get in the sun again a lil bit. The grass needs cutting terribly.
I finally bought Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2k4) for $20 at GameStop Sunday. This game is a blast! It was really expensive when it came out last year, but now it's pretty cheap. You play it online with friends or whatever. I suck at it, but I'm getting better. It's hard playing against these guys that have been playing for over a year!
Today we went to Emily's parents' house for lunch, along with Richie, Angela, Hannah, and Hunter. For dinner we went to my parents' house, along with Mamaw. We ate a lot today! Plus, the neighbors up the hill from us haven't made a peep with fireworks tonight (thank goodness!). Today has been pretty good...but HOT!
The new mouse came today. It's weird feeling (as all new mice are) and I'm having a hard time getting used to it.
Also, my new book came today in the mail. It's called Let Me Play: Stories of Gaming and Emulation by Radford Castro. It's wild reading about someone my age playing console/computer games as a child and having similiar experiences, especially when this guy lived in California. This book is going by pretty fast.
My rash is still clearing up. Most of the redness has gone, but there is still a fading dark area , like a bruise looks like as it goes away. I'm still on those dern antibiotics for 5 or 6 more days.
We stopped by the local Books-A-Million store Saturday night because they were having a big sale. I found the perfect book for me! It's High Score! by Rusel DeMaria and Johnny Wilson. It's so awesome! This book gives an overview of gaming, from when the first computers were developed all the way up to today. It includes much about computer gaming, but also has a lot about consoles and handhelds. Terrific book!
Not much else to say. Oh, my new mouse is supposed to be here by Thursday! Yay. This old mouse is really getting annoying.
I wanted to tell my friend Brian congrats on his newborn son! His site has pics and a blog of the whole thing so far. I know they are proud parents.
I just finished ordering a new mouse from Newegg.com. It's the Logitech MX518, it looks pretty good at least. I hated not being able to actually see and feel one before I ordered, but no local stores have anything like it.
Tomorrow is Saturday and we're thrilled at the thought of being able to sleep late! :P
My mouse is dying. I don't know what's wrong with it. It's a Logitch optical mouse that I really like. It just doesn't want to move anymore. I didn't know a mouse would just slowly stop working anymore like this.
It was HOT today. I've been working and Emily has been getting some continuing education credits at MSU Meridian. My rash is getting slightly better, at least it doesn't burn anymore. The antibiotics must be beginning to work.
Today I discovered Audioslave. I know, how could I have gone so long without discovering them?? Audioslave is the lead singer from Soundgarden and the rest of the band is Rage Against The Machine. How awesome is that?? The music is pretty good too.
I'm sure you've heard by now that Edgar Ray Killen was convicted yesterday of manslaughter on 3 counts. I don't know what to think of that. I didn't watch any of the trial, I wasn't there when it happened. I just think it must have been something amazing to convict an 80 year old man of a crime committed half his life ago. Guilty or innocent, whether he was standing there when it happened or whatever, I don't think it really matters much today.
I didn't mention that while on vacation last week an odd rash appeared on my ankle...right where a tick had bitten me a week before. I went to the doctor today and he said the rash definitely looked like the characteristic bulls-eye rash named "erythema migrans", which can be associated with Lyme disease. He told me that Lyme disease hadn't been documented to be in Mississippi yet. Hrm. Anyway, he put me on 15 days worth of antibiotics that take care of most all tick borne illnesses. Who knows what it really is?
That's about all the news for today. The doctor visit took up most of the day.
I hope you are all enjoying our 2005 vacation page!
We're back!! Yes, that's why no updates this week, we were gone on vacation. We just got back in last night. I've managed to put together a complete Vacation 2005 page, but be warned that it's HUGE and may be impossible to load on a dialup connection. Please do check it out though. It's a pictoral diary of our trip. We had so much fun this past week. The weather was perfect - a little hot but no rain. There were no waits at the restaurants, and by that I mean that the door didn't even have time to shut before someone was grabbing us and taking us to a table. The lines at attractions were almost non-existant. It was perfect!!
Not much else to say right now, trying to get back into the being at home mood. Please do check out our Vacation 2005 page - it's also listed on the Pics page now.
We went to Sunday school this morning, had lunch with my parents, and had supper with Emily's parents. It's been a somewhat busy day. It's been good though.
I am so sleepy right now! I'm going to bed. You'll hear from me again...sooner or later! ;P
What a day, what a day! When it rains, it pours, you know? It was literally hot and rainy today. Tropical Storm Arlene's rains are just now reaching our area. I hope this one dies quickly and moves on. We don't need another hurricane up this far again!
This story is amusing, seems two kittens in Japan urinated on a fax machine and nearly burned the house down. How wild!
I was irritated all day at work today. It seems that someone I know could be best summed up by the first track of filth comedian Dennis Leary's 1993 album "No Cure For Cancer". If you know what I'm talking about, smile. :) I do.
Aargh. President Bush is pushing to give the Patriot Act more power and make it permanent law. I despise the Patriot Act. It's filled with powers that take away privacy from all of us on many levels. I'm sure intentions were good when it was created, but crazyness was thrown in at a time in our country when everyone was running around fearing for their lives. We were taken advantage of. While the Patriot Act gives the FBI access to all of your personal records and gives them the right to fully spy on you without asking anyone's permission, bloody chainsaw weilding crazy man was allowed to enter the USA from Canada - legally.
Oh well, nothing I can do about that anyway.
We've had a busy week. Dad and I have been working out near the Naval Air Station. Those jets are LOUD, I mean that kind of noise that makes your eardrums rattle and cut out for a few seconds. Those guys in training flew over our heads about every minute, it started making me feel crazy after a couple of hours of it. It did kind of make me want to watch "Top Gun" ... if I only had that on DVD! Anyway, I finally got a short nap this afternoon. Emily had gone swimming with Angela, Hannah, and Hunter. She got a little red today!
Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to read over this website. I know you must be bored, but thanks though! All you Newton County Class of 1996 people, sign my Guestbook, ok?
UPDATE: I just added a new pic of our cat Janie on the Pets page.
I just read where an application I use (freeware) has been shut down by a company over legal reasons. It's DVD Decrypter. Read the article here. DRM has gotten way out of hand! *sigh* Nothing I can do about it anyway...
Today, dad and I went to St. Stevens, Alabama to pick up some paint for work. It was about 200 miles round trip. Emily had a checkup with her doctor, and I think things have improved for her. Her hemoglobin a1c was lower too.
Oh, before I forget I wanted to thank Carbonize for the help in fixing my Advanced Guestbook. Thanks Carbonize!
We are still excited about our upcoming vacation, but a CERTAIN THING needs to happen REALLY SOON or vacation may not happen...can't say more than that but you can probably guess what that means. I hate to count chickens before they hatch, but sometimes you just have to. Sometimes it's just too easy to count chickens before they hatch...bah.
My eyes are good for another year! I had no problems, other than my eyesight is slightly worse than it was last year.
I put Emily's AutoVentShade Bugflector 2 on her car this afternoon. It looks good! I don't have a picture of it on her car, but here's a picture of one on an Escape like her's.
I finally got my Guestbook updated and added in a simple image verifier type thing. Maybe this will cut back on the tremendous amount of guestbook spam I was getting. Check it out, I was impressed.
Once again I've fallen behind on my updating. It's been a pleasant week, besides the rain anyway. Emily had trouble with a tire last night, but you can read about that on her website. She's done a much better job of telling the story than I could have.
I've had a lot of trouble sleeping this week. I just can't make myself fall asleep. I don't like to take sleep medicines unless I don't have to get up on time for something. I'm sure you know what I mean. It sucks that I have to go to the optomologist in the morning for my yearly checkup. My eyes have gotten progressively worse it seems. I fear I have only a few more years before I have to wear glasses all the time instead of just for certain situations. Also, the pressure on my eyes has been increasing over the years, which will lead to the use of eyedrops to maintain a safe pressure on my eyes (avoiding glaucoma is the point). Oh well. Maybe tomorrow won't be that day to start using the drops. Maybe tonight I can get some sleep.
Nothing much to do today, it's raining!
I just read where the Antique Flea Market at the Fairgrounds in Jackson is being shut down. That's sad. I used to love going there as a kid. It's probably nothing like it used to be though.
Congrats to the MSU baseball team for beating out Ole Miss to become the SEC champions this year!
That's it for today!
Heeey heeey switch, turn it over and hit it
Turn around, now switch
Turn it over and hit it
Will Smith - "Switch"
(hey it's my website I can say whatever ramblings I want!)
Anyway, did you see where the Mississippi Legislature agreed on a $4.5 billion state budget? Looks like education WILL be funded, it's amazing! It even looks like Meridian might get $2 million for the Southern Arts and Entertainment Museum too. I don't think any of this has been passed completely, but I doubt much will change. This is great and all, but man where is the money going to come from for all this? :)
On another story, here's a nice quote for the day from an AP article:
Speaking out for the first time in favor of controversial base closings, President Bush said Friday the nation is wasting billions of dollars on unnecessary military facilities and needs the money for the war on terrorism.
Man, that really gives me chills. Read the whole article here. It's not "ok" to just ditch people who signed up long before 9/11/01 to serve the USA just because the sky is falling now. Bleh.
"We have more bases than we need," Bush said. "Supporting these facilities wastes billions of taxpayers' dollars, money that can be better spent on giving you the tools to fight terrorists and confront 21st century threats."
What about the man or woman whose only source of income is from a job that is now set to no longer exist? Once brave defenders they are now "waste"? What about their children's hope of ever going to college? What about where our food will come from tomorrow?
What is up with this article?? Desperate Housewives is a cleaner show than any daytime soap opera show ever has been! Heck *I* even enjoy this show (yeah I said it)! I just don't get this issue.
Oh, and if you happen to need a new kidney, pancreas, or liver in the future that your body won't reject, you'd better move to Korea. Looks like stem cell research is still spinning its wheels here in the USA. We are falling behind on this new world of medical technology, and that is sad.
Oh well. Have a wonderful, safe, Memorial Day weekend! Hi to all of my readers - Emily, Mom, Luke, Tani, Shauna, Uncle Kim, Brian, and all of you other folks!! Sometimes I wonder who does read this site regularly....
It has been a long week. The first couple of days this week....the humidity was killer! At least today and yesterday the humidity was down a good bit. It's hot, but not too humid.
We are still getting geared up for vacation! We got a 1 GB Memorystick for our Sony DSC-V1 digital camera from Newegg.com today. A whole gigabyte of storage on one flash card, that means hundreds of pictures! I've estimated that over 700 pictures could be stored on it at the 2048x1536 resolution, and over 6,000 pictures at the 640x480 resolution (most of the pictures on this site are 640x480)! Wow!
Dern you Star Wars! You've brought the focus of the whole friggin' FBI and Homeland Security down to torrents, which do have legitimate uses ya know. P2P for piracy always was and still is kinda dumb anyway. Oh, and what does piracy have to do with Homeland Security anyway?
I don't even have to begin to tell you all of the stupid news stories out there lately. I've been trying to ignore some of the "news". Lately I've been listening to the B-52's "Rock Lobster" after listening to a Kmart commercial that it's in. It gets stuck in my head. I had never heard it before, and apparently it was the B-52's first hit in the late '70s.
One more thing, did you get to watch Carrie Underwood win American Idol 2005? I thought she was really good.
No, I haven't forgotten about this website. It's just that I've been really really busy lately and it seems like not many noteworthy things have occurred.
Saturday we went to Richie and Angela's house for a cookout. The food was wonderful. Other than that nothing has happened out of the ordinary.
Emily and I are both getting really excited about our vacation. It will be time to go in just a few weeks! It's down to time for making plans and stuff. We've been watching some of our old vacation videos from previous years. We can't wait!
Many days with no update. I apologize.
I've been working steadily all week. Emily has her last day with kids in the room today. Most of her kids came for their last day yesterday, but a few will probably show up again today. Tomorrow is her last day to go to the school until the next year begins in August. She will have a couple of months to attend continuing education classes and vacation finally.
The Mississippi legislature is back in special session which began yesterday. While the 2006 budget isn't even being discussed yet, they have passed many bills already, such as some bill to help military families, a new do no call list bill, and a few other bills. Maybe the special session won't last too long, as it costs at least $35,000 per day to conduct. That's like the state giving away a free car to someone every day that the special session continues. Sad.
The Afgan people still hate us.
The new and "improved" Patriot Act is on it's way. You'd better watch out for this one. We gotta give up all our personal freedoms to fight them thar terr'ists.
Well, Meridian's Naval Air Station cleared the BRAC list with hardly a scratch. Hard to believe given that it has been up for closure so many times in the past. However, the Pascagoula Naval Station is to be shut down. Many other bases in the nation are to be shut down as well. The Key Field Air Guard Station in Meridian is going to lose 175 workers apparently. I'm not sure how that will affect everything. All of this is to save $50 billion over the next two decades. That's a lot of money, but not nearly the $82 billion to be spent quickly over in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaking of Afghanistan, those people hate us now. It seems someone at the Guantanamo Bay prison flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet to scare the Muslims there. Lovely. Now they hate the USA and are rioting and burning our flags in the streets. Does anyone outside of America love us anymore? :) That's not to say that Afghans haven't done similiar or worse, but that's not setting a good example anyway.
Oh, and in case you missed Primetime Live the other night, they had a really crappy story about the Lockheed shooting. The story started out pretty balanced and informative, but before it was over they had insulted Sheriff Billy Sollie as well as all of Mississippi in my opinion. They purposely interviewed the Sheriff with the Confederate Flag portion of the Mississippi flag in easy view. They found some total old, atypical redneck man somehow related to Doug Williams to interview...he was complete with the trailer, added on porch, overalls, and coke bottle glasses and liked the "N" word..a lot. ABC news should be ashamed of themselves to skew the truth so badly. They did not help the image of Mississippi at all. Emily and I commented how we've NEVER personally witnessed a racially motivated hate crime, and now the rest of the world is thinking that Mississippi is filled with old white men in overalls on every street corner yelling the "N" word at every black passerby. Ignorance. I wish I could find an online copy of that interview with that old man. It's almost comical to watch if you know the truth but would be scary if you didn't.
Wow, the USA is getting silly again! Everyone's obsession with terrorism fightin' has let the US Senate get stuff that has nothing to do with terrorism. Yesterday, the Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill was passed by the Senate, 100 to 0. Not only did this pour more money ($82 billion) into the Iraq sinkhole, but it also passed a rider called the Real ID Act. Looks like we'll all have to get national IDs now. Your papers please? C'mon. Get real. Riders in bills should be illegal. This is terrorism of the US citizens. It's time for a real change. Big brother IS watching you, and no, the sky ISN'T falling this time, it's for real. Get with the program.
Firefox v1.0.4 is now out. As with the previous version, you can upgrade right on top of your current version, no need to uninstall prior to upgrading.
We met with our supper club last night at El Norte - the new one over on Highway 19 North. We were there, along with Shauna, Heather, and Jamie and their kids. Heather and Jamie said they were going on a vacation to the Smoky Mountains today, so I'm thrilled for them. We can't wait until next month when we get to go. Shauna talked of new job possibilities, so I'm happy for her as well.
I just read where Mississippi's special session will begin on May 18th. Maybe it won't last too long and hopefully they'll get something done this time around.
The BRAC (Base Realignment And Closure) list for Mississippi is supposed to be released on Friday at 7:30 AM CST. WTOK news is suppose to have live coverage of the announcement this Friday morning starting at 7:30 AM CST. Maybe I'll get to watch some of it before work. Who knows what will be on the list?
The state of Mississippi got $100 million in a settlement from WorldCom. However, the governor wants the money to go towards paying off the failed beef plant ($43 million) and put most of the rest into the highway fund ($50 million). So much for education again. The only hope for the education budget is the fact that the state brought in more revenue than expected in tax dollars in April.
Speaking of education, what are these kids thinking?? They claim that the state tests were too easy! Emily has been commenting all last week on how hard the tests were that her 2nd graders just took. Either way, state testing promises to only get harder in the next few years. That must suck.
One more thing, an updated version of Firefox, version 1.0.4, is due out any time now. Once again a critical flaw was found in the current version. Grab the new version when it is available.
Time to go get ready for work!
Today was a beautiful Mother's Day. We took pictures at our house - see them here or find a link to them on the Pics page. Emily made lunch and it was wonderful!
It's official! Emily and I have reservations next month...it's vacation time! We absolutely love going to the Great Smoky Mountains, mainly Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville! We are thrilled!
Firefox v1.0.3 and previous versions have two extremely critical vulnerabilities. I'm sure a new patched version of Firefox will be coming out shortly.
Another beautiful day! I've been extremely busy this week and my updating has fallen to the side.
There has been must noteworthy news, but now I can't recall much of it. One thing was the race for mayor in Meridian...well the republican side of it anyway. Current mayor John Robert Smith beat Wally Hudnall by only 500 votes! Wow, maybe there will be a really good race for mayor once democrat Jimmie Smith gets in. I hope Jimmie Smith is Meridian's next mayor. It's time for a change for sure.
I read today where AOL is still slowly going out of business. It can only go downhill from here.
I also just read the news of Nvidia's Nforce motherboards having an integrated firewall, what a neat idea! Although, I don't really think I'd need it. It is a neat idea still though.
I think mom is feeling better. She wants to go shopping so she must feel a little bit better. :)
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
May is here! The weather has been excellent here - record and near record lows in the mornings and highs in the low to mid 70s.
It seems there is a new wacky gun program coming to town. That sucks. So now, if I have my LEGAL handgun in my truck, and I get pulled over because I don't have the special extra $5 sticker for my LEGAL window tint, my LEGAL handgun will now be fired and the casing and bullet be complementary entered into a "database". Wonderful. Mississippi is slowing becoming a conservative California.
Anyway, mom told me this morning that her head was still spinning. She's done with the prescription she got last Monday. I'm not sure what she'll do next.
I'm sleepy now.
It's been a busy week. Dad and I have been working a lot, and have a lot left to do. Looks like summer will be busy if it will stop raining every other day. Emily has been busy preparing for the big end of the year tests her kids will be taking. I think they start the testing next week. Her first year teaching will be over soon, and I'm sure she's happy about that.
No big news to report. Lots of little things that I can't recall right now. President Bush has been out pushing his new Social Security plan and I don't really know what to think about it. I know a lot of people are really upset about it. I really have no hopes in Social Security one way or another. I think it will be dead one day. Congress passed a Medicaid cutting budget. The CDC wants us to start using new insect repellants that contain picaridin or the oil of lemon eucalyptus. I don't know about that. DEET has always worked pretty good for me. It's being used daily by me, even with the new bubblegum scent that Off! has.
Emily and I are ready to go on a vacation trip. I'm sure we'll be looking into that more closely in the next couple of weeks.
Mom is still doing ok. The doctor thinks she has some form of labyrinthitis. She is taking a pack of antibiotics (or are they steroids...I don't know), starting today.
This continuing story really irritates me. I'm sure you've all seen the video of the little year old girl who was handcuffed at school for being a little brat. I tell ya, the educational system has somehow lost it's power of fear. We all used to be so scared of what would happen to us if we did any little thing wrong. Now, 5 year old kids have no fear of consequences. I think it's the parents' fault. What else could the school have done with this girl? Doesn't this girl's mother understand how dang aggrevating it must be to have a student that won't do anything as told? How anyone has the patience to work with kids like this is unreal to me. It takes someone special to do that. :)
Tonight for supper, we had Bubba Burgers. If you've never tried them before, and you occasionally use a premade hamburger patty on your grill, give Bubba Burger a try sometime. You put them straight onto the grill frozen, and you don't even have to add any seasonings or anything!
Mom had to go to the emergency room this morning. Seems she had a spinning head and was throwing up. She's back at home now, hopefully doing better.
I'm dyin to sign up for one of those unlimited accounts over on NewsHosting. BellSouth's newsgroup service just ain't getting the job done anymore. Speaking of BellSouth, a new tier of 6 Mbps downloads is supposed to be out sometime this year...rumored lately to be around June for some. Right now the fastest you can get with BellSouth is 3 Mbps (Xtreme), which is what we have here. I do hope that when the new 6 Mbps speed is offered, they'll upgrade Xtreme users for free to that new tier, or else lower prices on all tiers across the board. BellSouth's DSL service is probably one of the most expensive in the nation. I'm thankful every day for it though! It's my only way to broadband here.
King of the Hill, The Complete Fourth Season DVD set is coming out on May 3rd!!
One more thing, my friend from high school, Marissa McGee Lee, just had her first baby. His name is Ethan Andrew Lee, born April 19, 2005. Congrats to her and her husband.
This week promises to be a busy one. I guess that's good though. It's hard to believe that this is the last week of April. May will be here really soon. It just seems like this month has flown by.
What a nice week it has been!
Hehe, remember the woman that found the fingertip in her bowl of Wendy's chili? She was arrested today. Seems that she may have made the whole thing up. Still though, I wonder where she got the finger from??
As I have said before, Dee Snider is the man!! He performed today at a high school. He should run for president! :)
I don't have much to say today. Last night Emily and I met up with our supper club at Pizza Hut in Newton. We had the buffet, and it was very good! I didn't even know Pizza Hut (or some of them anyway) had dinner buffets.
I spent this afternoon cutting grass. It was a beautiful afternoon for it. Emily is working on progress reports for her kids. I think they have to be ready to be sent home for tomorrow.
That's it...my eyes are burning, time to find some drops.
What a nice weekend it was. I spent the day Saturday cleaning Emily's car. I washed it, waxed it, cleaned up the inside, and changed the oil. It was a job! I used some of that new DuPont Teflon Spray Wax and it looked really nice! This new DuPont line of car care products looks very promising. Teflon is the perfect thing for your car, I wonder why they didn't think of this years ago?
Saturday night we went to a restaurant called "The Back Forty" near Lake, MS. We had been there before a long time ago, but don't go there regularly because it's $15 a person for the buffet. What I eat off the buffet I could just as easily eat at the local Barnhill's restaurant buffet. I guess it's nice though for something different about once a year.
Sunday afternoon Emily and I went over to Heather's house so I could work on her computer. All this spyware and malware has gotten totally out of hand. Her computer was so consumed with this stuff that it would barely even run. You must keep an eye on what you do on your computer or it can easily get away from you. Using Firefox with a few settings enabled and disabled helps to cut down on this kind of junk.
Land of the free... I agree totally with Mr. Rogers statement in this article. Banning smoking outdoors as long as cigarettes are legal to buy is simply crazy. I myself believe that homosexuals should be banned from the park rather than smokers! :) You local people will understand that poke.
Meanwhile, while more teachers are being laid off and Mississippi is getting further and further behind, this is still coming back strong.
Tax day. Today is the suckiest day of the year.
Tonight Emily and I watched our niece Hannah play her first game of t-ball. All those little girls running around was a funny sight. Hannah told me she had a lot of fun, so that's good.
As I type this, I'm listening to Ennio Morricone's "The Ectasy of Gold". I just love this song. The whole soundtrack to "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" was great really. I also think it's neat how Metallica has this song playing at their concerts just before they come out on the stage.
Emily has already gone on to bed, so I gotta keep the volume turned down and finish this update. The new version of Firefox, version 1.0.3, came out officially today. You no longer have to uninstall to upgrade! You can just install on top of your existing version. If you already have Firefox all ya have to do is go to Tools->Options->Advanced->Software Update->Check Now (make sure the box beside "Firefox" is checked). The update should be available to download from there - or you can just download the new version straight from here and install.
Just a quick morning update. That bill I mentioned yesterday about the legislature giving Meridian the right to a 2% food and beverage tax? I found it, it's right here. At least Meridian residents will get to vote on the thing sometime soon. From the article I read on in yesterday it seemed that the entire state would pay the 2% tax, but that impression was wrong of course. It would be only for the city of Meridian. Man that sucks. Meridian eaters would have to boot the entire construction cost of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center apparently. I know 2% doesn't sound like much on top of your 7% you pay already to eat out, but that's how Starkville is and it isn't much fun. We'll see how the vote goes when it's presented. I'm kind of skeptical myself. I'm not sure how I'd vote if given the opportunity.
Well, I picked up our tax info from the CPA today. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not better off without a job at all. The self-employment tax alone is a whopping 15.3% right now. 15.3% of not-a-lot is a whole lot. I'm not talking about some three digit figure either. This really sucks. I'd hate to think of what would happen if I actually made a decent amount of money. I guess I should start making those quarterly payments sometime. For all of you who aren't self-employed, be glad that your employer pays for half of your income tax and you never even get to see the money that is taken out. It's a lot easier to let go of something you never see.
Lots of Rage Against The Machine and Guns 'N Roses music is going through my head right now.
WOWSERS! My first college roommate "Bob" stopped by my site yesterday and signed my Guestbook!!!! Cool man, email me sometime - you see the email address posted up a little bit on this page don't ya? I haven't heard from Bob since around 1997 or so. Come back soon. Google does work wonders.
Did you order a new Dell laptop this morning? I didn't...but it sure would have been nice :). I'm looking forward to the day when I build my next big system. One of those Intel P4 3.73 GHz HT CPUs would be nice...whooo they are expensive right now though.
Time for a rant. Thank goodness that MS utility regulators have asked the governor to bring back the set-to-expire-July-1st "do not call law". Yeah, in case you missed it, our legislature let our wonderfully awesome "do not call law" die this session...so unless something is done it won't be in effect anymore after July 1st. Sure, they can pass some stupid window tint inspection law but they just let the "do not call law" die. Brilliant!
And here we go again, teachers are being pink slipped due to our dern legislature. This isn't right at all. Emily came home from work today and told me that some Leake county teachers got pink slips today. Sure, they are needed, you can't have empty classrooms. This makes it difficult for everyone. There is no excuse for the legislature just letting this happen. Something must be done.
We can't fund education, so hey, let's make a way to generate a ton of money to pour into the yet to be built Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center! That sounds like a good idea eh? I hadn't heard of this bill yet, but according to this article (you need a username/password to read that, use "anonymous/anonymous" if you don't want to bother with making a free account) a bill has been passed that will let MS residents vote on a prepared food and beverage tax that would fund the Center. Wouldn't that money be better spent to go towards education? Come on man, get with what's important.
OK, /rant off.
Tax day is Friday the 15th. We still don't have our stuff back from our CPA, but he's supposed to have everything ready tomorrow. I'm hoping that Emily and I will come out ok. If only I'd made at least one of my estimated payments...oh well. Dern taxes.
Just a very short update to throw in. Do you need a new Dell computer?
"Dell Home Coupon - $750 off $1499 on select Inspiron Notebooks, Apr 12
Hottest Notebook coupons of the year are valid at Wednesday 6am PT.
Dell Home has new promos on PCs. NO tax in many states. Free shipping. Current specials expire Th 4/13
$750 off with select online Inspiron Notebooks $1499+ Coupon Code: J096TQ8TFFG2VX Exp Tu 4/19/05 5:59am CT or earlier"
Yep, they are doing their crazy $750 off coupon deal again, beginning in the morning. Better order early if you want a good one.
Looks like rain is headed our way for today. The news said that the weather could possible get really bad today just like how it did last week. Fun.
I just found out yesterday that Tani has a website. I've added a link to her on the Links page.
Nothing else much going on. I'm just hoping that if the weather gets really bad here today that my new wall of 23, 40 pound Quikrete bags will hold back some of the rushing waters from our driveway. If not, I guess I'll have to try adding some more!
Nothing much new to report. Today has been nice. No rain and nice near 80 degree temperatures. Emily and I slept late, then she left to go shopping with her mom while I stayed around here and cut grass. It's supposed to be raining again here Monday. The ground is so wet here it's hard to imagine. Even my little push lawnmower left tracks in many places today.
The new version of Firefox, version 1.0.3, is due out any time now. There was some JAVA exploit that was found that makes the new build of Firefox essential once it becomes available.
Just a quick rant for the morning. In case you haven't heard already, our legislature left the Capitol last night WITHOUT passing a budget for next year (beginning July 1st). That is truely terrible. They extended the session for three full days that cost us $56,109 and still didn't do anything! Now there will have to be a special session sometime between now and July 1st to come up with a budget. Everything is up in the air now. No planning for next year can commence because no one knows how much money will be available. Read the article about this from the Clarion-Ledger.
It's time to vote against EVERY SINGLE SENTAOR AND REPRESENTATIVE that is in office right now. They have all proven that they can't do their job. I hold each and every person there responsible. There is no excuse for such junk as this.
We are getting washed away here! The weather has been terrible all day long. There is a river of water flowing perpendicular across my driveway right now. That's not a good thing. I think there is more rain on the way for tonight/tomorrow morning. I hope this isn't another one of those mass flooding things where you leave the house but cannot get back home due to rapid flooding. That sucked!
Mississippi still has no budget for next year. Ho-hum, nothing new here.
Just a short update. The Chunky Junction, once a restaurant, now an abandoned building up at the I-20 exit for Chunky, burned this morning. Ever since then, my drinking water has been pure crap MUD. This really sucks.
After running water for a looong time, it finally cleared up. I guess everyone on down the line sucked up all the nasty and I finally got my line from the road to the house cleaned out. While I was at it, I turned off my water heater and bled all the water out of it. Man, there must have been a layer of sand in the bottom of the water heater! Anyway, I let the hot water run until it came clean. Then I let it fill up and turned the heater back on. Maybe everything is clean again. I HATE it when this happens.
I hate it when the time changes. This morning it was dark outside when we got up and it just didn't feel like time to get out of bed. Things like this used to not bother me - I guess I'm getting old.
Did you know that the state of Mississippi still has no budget for the upcoming year? This is outrageous. People are getting upset over it. Why must this keeping happening year after year?
In case you missed it, the Pope passed away this past weekend.
Wow! Oil got above $58 per barrel today! When will the madness end?? Soon a steam engine that burns cash money for the boiler will be cheaper than gasoline. I think someone knows something that we don't. The USA is suffering tremendously due to such high fuel prices, and the end is nowhere in sight. No, I don't believe that little plasic, battery powered cars are the answer either!
Oh, don't forget your tin-foil hat when you leave the house. What? You've never heard of the famous tin-foil hat? Read the definition here. The tin-foil hat kinda goes along well with the story of "Chicken Little". Heh.
Tonight we are eating out with the Supper Club gang at El Norte (the new one). I hope it will be good. I think I had some kind of stomach virus last night and the thought of food isn't highly appealing. Maybe the smell of food will make it better.
By the way, version 1.0.3 of Firefox is already in the works. I think it's already to the RC2 stage. The major fix in the new version will be the stupid bug where if you don't uninstall your current version of Firefox before installing a newer, updated version, you'll have 2 Firefox entries in your Add/Remove Programs panel. That's a pain. Version 1.0.3 will correct this so you'll only have to install new versions on top of the old ones WITHOUT any uninstallation. Nifty.
One last thing, I must push DU Meter. It's $19.95 though. What does it do? It keeps up will all your incoming and outgoing bandwidth on your PC and totals your daily, weekly, and monthly usage. It's neat if you are curious about how much you download and upload each month. I've used it non-stop since August of 2004. You can output the data to an HTML file. See my DU Meter data here.
Wow, April 1, April Fool's Day. Yesterday was Mom and Dad's anniversary, so happy anniversary to them.
Terri Schiavo passed away yesterday. It's an end to a sad situation. At least the battle is over, for her anyway. I'd hate to be in any of their shoes.
It seems that the Pope doesn't have much longer to live. The news stated this morning that his death could only be hours away. That's sad. He's had so many problems the last few years, but he's toughed through them all so far.
The state of Mississippi still has no complete budget for the 2006 year. Meanwhile, this sucks - teachers are once again hanging in limbo. Just as predicted. How bad will it be next year? Something must be done, some more revenue must be found.
The weather has been wet that last couple of days. There are flood watches and warnings all over this part of the state. Once again my driveway is badly washed and bumpy. It needs fixing, but I'm not sure how to do it. Oh well.
Well, I finally created the look I wanted for the top of this site. Those are the exact letters from the original NES game Metal Gear. Yay.
I've finally got the pictures up from our Memphis trip as well as pictures from Easter. Neither set of pictures has much content, but oh well.
There's so much in the news lately, but I don't have the time to rant about any of that right now. Enjoy the update!
As you can probably tell, I've redesigned the buttons and logo at the top of each screen. It's different I know. I kinda like it. I found this neato font called "Press Start". It's called "The DEFINITIVE 1980s Video Game Font!" and it appealed to me.
Emily has to pass out report cards today, so she has to stay late after school to do so. I know that sucks for her, but maybe some of the parents of some of her kids will show up and be concerned.
Finally our legislators had some sense. Our state is broke. This article paints a clearer picture.
More messing with the site is sure to come. Maybe I can finally get those new pictures up!
Today is Easter Sunday. We went to Sharp Memorial Methodist Protestant Church for sunrise service at 7 AM. Afterwards, we came back home before going over to Emily's Grandma's house later on. Lastly, we went to Emily's Grandfather's house for supper. Long day! It' been getting steadily colder as the day has gone on. Right now as I type this it's very windy outside.
Yesterday afternoon we went to Jackson. I got a new Netgear ProSafe VPN Firewall with 4 Port 10/100 Switch and Print Server, model FR114P from CompUSA. This is one nice router. The built in router in my Westell 2200 modem just wasn't cutting it anymore, so the Westell is now set to bridged ethernet mode. The new Netgear router handles the PPPoE, it's doing the NAT, it's handling some nice firewall options, and I have our Brother 8840D printer plugged into the parallel port print server. Now we can all print to the printer without my computer having to be turned on. So far I really like this router if it will hold up.
Emily has tomorrow off, so I hope she has a wonderful day. Maybe the weather will be nicer tomorrow than it was today!
I have a few pictures from today, as well as a few from our Memphis trip a week ago. Hopefully I'll get them up soon.
By the way, if you use TreeWalk DNS, you'll want to know that v8.0 "Hawk" has been released. I'm trying it out right now on this laptop. Seems to work quite well so far.
I found some awesome custom fonts just now. I'm going to toy around with them to see if I can use them on the site sometime.
I can't even remember what I wanted to type here tonight. I'm sleepy. Emily has the day off tomorrow. I might stay at home too, I dunno. It should be a truely beautiful day tomorrow.
More to say tomorrow hopefully.
Oh, and I did take a few pictures around Memphis, but they aren't impressive. I might put those pictures up soon.
Today turned out to be a beautiful day as far as the weather goes. Not much happened today though. Emily has had a terrible headache all day. I couldn't sleep last night. I was tired, but couldn't fall asleep.
Firefox version 1.0.2 came out today. I've updated but notice no big changes. You still have to uninstall your old version and then install your new version, just like Thunderbird version 1.0.2.
Not much happened yesterday, not even enough to write anything about.
I found this article this morning. Here we go again. More shortfalls, more cuts. More screaming and drastic measures. When will they realize that something must be done to generate more revenue, even if it is a tax increase? Heck, I found out this past weekend that TN has NO state income tax, rather a 9% sales tax across the board. I'd be in favor of that if it would keep situations like the one now from happening again.
I hate this whole Terri Schiavo situation. It seems that the U.S. District Judge in FL ruled not to reinsert the feeding tube even after the federal government got involved in the case (which they had NO business in). Maybe her husband's wishes - Terri's wishes - can be carried out now. Man, don't ever let me lay around for 15 years in a constant vegetative state please! I don't know any of these people involved so I wouldn't want to make the decision. I do know that the video footage we've all seen could easily be manipulated to sway you into either direction. If any court rulings should get involved anyway, it should be local courts, not the federal government!
Just so you know, version 1.0.2 of Thunderbird came out today. I've learned that with both Firefox and Thunderbird that you have to uninstall your previous version BEFORE you install a new version or else you'll have 2 installations showing on your Add/Remove Programs list. This page shows you how to back up your settings and such in case something goes wrong. You might wanna back up before you uninstall your old version just to be safe. Version 1.0.2 of Firefox should be out any time now as well.
I haven't updated since Thursday night because Emily and I went to Memphis, TN Friday and Saturday to visit Justin and Olivia. We had a lot of fun. What'd we do? We left our house Friday around 1 PM. We got to Memphis around 6 PM. It's a pretty town. We had supper that night Rendevous which is a nice restaurant downtown that serves mainly barbeque. Justin and I got a full order of ribs each, Emily got a plate of chopped pork shoulder, and Olivia got red beans and rice. It was excellent, and I don't even eat ribs normally. We went for ice cream at Sonic afterwards. We spent the night with them and got to watch the cats and raccoons (well I was asleep when the raccoons came but Emily saw them) outside their apartment. The next day Justin had to work for a while, so we had to meet up with him later on. I finally got to eat at an IHOP, and it was AWESOME! I got the International Burrito and Emily got a Breakfast Sampler. I dearly wish Meridian had an IHOP. After the late breakfast, we went to Wolfchase Galleria Mall in Germantown, TN. That mall is owned by the same company that owns Mall of America! Needless to say, this mall was very nice and huge! After the mall, we met back up with Justin and went to Huey's for supper. That was a dern good burger! That was the end of our Memphis visit basically...we were on our way home just after 5:30 PM. Emily and I stopped at Batesville, MS to run through the outlet mall there. We made it home around 10:30 PM, stuffed and sleepy. Thanks to everyone who helped take care of our pets while we were gone! Thanks to Justin and Olivia for having us and showing us around!
Amber and Gabe had their baby yesterday! We found out on our way home. We went by the hospital to visit them briefly this afternoon and they all seemed to being doing just fine. I found this link where a baby picture could be shown in the next few days possibly. Congratulations!
Whew! That's enough typing for now
I got to visit with my pal Brian from Starkville today. He came down to Meridian to do some repair work this morning and we had lunch. It's good to see old college friends in person rather than only on IRC. Hehe.
Here's my ticked off news of the day - "State mandates annual tinted windows checks". Now if you have tinted windows, you must pay an additional $5 yearly to have your tint "inspected" and have some special sticker put on your car. Notice this, the representative that made this bill is Greg Ward, who just so happens to own a business called "Quality GLASS"...sounds fishy to me. This is an outrage! I'm highly highly highly ticked about this one. My tint and Emily's tint is 35%, which is the legal limit for Mississippi. Now we are to be punished to have to go somewhere once a year and pay an additional $5 for the life of our cars to have the tint? What a crock of crap. That's it...everyone representing me is officially getting voted against next time around. View HB 734.
Oh, and ya better leave your camcorder at home when you go to a movie in Mississippi now, read SB 2238.
Mississippi has an official state reptile now, it's the "American Alligator". Sure, I know they are here, but how many alligators have you seen lately? Not many. Thanks SB 2060.
Want to read all the measures both passed and failed by the legislature? Click here.
Oh, by the way, I took a couple of screenshots of my computer. This shot shows my setup in Firefox. This shot shows my desktop. I finally have things set up like I want them.
Until the next update, ttyl! It may be Sunday before the next update...
It's late ... I'm sleepy.
Emily and I watched "Robots" tonight. It was pretty good, but Robin Williams gets on my nerves.
I also got the chance to listen to MrPoi's radio show tonight. It's pretty wild! He does it once a month, and you listen to it via the internet using Winamp. He does all his own voices and skits and commercials. It does get wild, crazy, and vulgar at times, but it's pretty cool overall.
This week is passing quickly. The weather has been windy, cold, and damp. Rather sucky. Tomorrow Emily is going to Philadelphia. I'm going to meet up with my college friend Brian tomorrow. He's going to be in town to do some repair work at a local business.
Wanna see who our Mississippi House of Representatives is giving money away to? Check out this article from yesterday. $500,000 to a company that has no permanent address. What a joke.
Monday..what can I say? Today Emily and I got some new fish for our aquarium from Aquarium Magic. We got 3 black mollies and 1 peppered cory catfish. They are all so small compared to our other fish! Aquarium Magic is a nice aquarium shop on Highway 19 North in Meridian. The guy that owns it knows all about fish, and when you buy from him you aren't supporting Wal-Mart, which is a good thing these days.
I finally got to listen to Dee Snider's radio show - "House of Hair" on Saturday night. It was on 93.5 The Buzz (a local radio station). Anyway, I've always had the utmost respect for Dee Snider since he was the man who fought Tipper Gore to keep that "Parental Advisory" crap sticker off my music that I used to buy. Dee Snider, Frank Zappa, and John Denver are the only three musicians who stood up against this censorship back in the mid 1980s. Anyway, on "House of Hair" Saturday night, I heard a song I hadn't heard in a long time by Savatage called "Gutter Ballet". For some reason it got stuck in my head. The chorus goes like this:
It's a gutter ballet
Just a menagerie
Still the orchestra plays
On a dark and lonely night
To a distant fading light
Why did this song get stuck in my head? I dunno. Maybe it's because of the funny business going on that will reveal itself in the next week...or six days...or so. 'Nuff said.
What a nice day today was! I spent the entire day with the pressure washer cleaning the outside of our house. The porch/deck out front looks like new again and the green slime is gone from the sides of the house. My back is KILLING me! I probably won't be able to move tomorrow. I guess I'm a wuss.
I've been through the site and fixed all the thumbnails so that even Firefox users can now hold their mouse over the images to see a description. I just added the TITLE tag to each image and copied what the ALT image info said. I don't know if this is proper, but it works. Maybe it works in Opera and other browsers as well. Oh, I've also messed with my links page as well.
I have to get ready now to go over to Jeff and Debbie's house to have supper. Emily went over there late this afternoon to help them paint. She's always wanted to paint something, especially after watching all those home decorating shows on TLC.
Emily got the results of her formal evaluation done by her principal on Thursday. She got a whopping 4.97 out of a possible 5.00. She's doing very well he said, especially for a "first year teacher". Way to go Emily!
I've been tinkering with Firefox and Thunderbird this afternoon. I'm finally getting them both to look and feel the way I want. I guess Internet Explorer and Outlook Express may be history for me soon. After I got Cookie Culler and The Cleaner extensions installed in Firefox, I was impressed. Thunderbird just seems cooler than Outlook Express by itself with no themes or extensions added on it.
Today I helped dad with his shed project. He's building a new shed to keep a tractor or whatever under. The wind was HORRIBLE today. My skin feels burned.
Emily is now off for spring break 2005. She has a week to do whatever she wants I guess. Whatever goes on it will all lead back to that Sunday night when she says "I don't wanna go back!" ;p
Make sure you read the above note about the cougar stalking the deer picture. Apparently there is nothing special about it.
I've been struggling with making myself switch over to Firefox from Internet Explorer. Firefox can be customized so easily and so much that it just has to be loved. However, it is different from Internet Explorer (for me anyway) and it's hard to leave a browser that I've used daily for around 10 years now. Supposedly it's a better browser and a safer browser as far as spyway and the likes go. I'm still struggling with the switch.
I've also found a wonderful freeware application called Crap Cleaner (CCleaner for short). This thing will clean your browser cache and cookies whenever you tell it to. It also will sort through your registry and clean it up, when you tell it to. I really like it so far, and I think it's updated pretty regularly. I was using CleanCache but I wanted to try something new.
Anyway, you may find me praising both of these applications soon on this webpage once I decide that I really like them.
Yesterday was a busy day and I didn't get to write. Even though it was a bit cooler yesterday it was still nice, until the rain came. It rained big time late yesterday afternoon and last night. Many people lost power for many hours. We were lucky, we didn't lose our power and we're still here!
I spent the afternoon yesterday working on our taxes. I hate taxes. I think I about have everything put together and ready for our CPA to work on it now. Being self-employed really sucks around this time of year.
Gas prices are going up and that really sucks. This summer promises to be terrible. Gas prices here are $1.97 for regular, and diesel is more than that. It's not good for anyone.
Medicaid runs out of money on Friday. It seems that money will have to be taken out of the tobacco settlement fund or else Medicaid will die, period. Has anyone mentioned how to keep this from happening again next year at this time? Not that I've seen. Mississippi will be so screwed next year it won't be funny at all.
Yesterday was a beautiful day again. Emily and I slept a little late, then I did yard work all day. It was a great day to be outside.
I've really gotten into CSI:Crime Scene Investigation lately. Just the original series, not the spinoffs of Miami or New York. It seems that the show is now in it's 5th season, and seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 are out on DVD, but man are they ever expensive! It's easy to watch old CSI episodes on WTOK at 10:30 PM CST Saturday and Sunday nights.
It's 3-4-05. Heh.
Yesterday was a busy day. One of our clients and friend died Tuesday and we went to the funeral home last night. He was Leo McDonald. He had done more in his lifetime than most people could do in two.
My lawnmower was on its last leg when I used it Saturday. I noticed where Sears had a nice new push lawnmower on sale, so we stopped by there last night to look at it. It was a nice 6.5 hp Craftsman lawnmower, this one here. Anyway, I didn't notice that it was an "exceptional value" item, which means that it really wasn't on sale and couldn't get the 10% off or use any coupons on it. Since neither me nor the salesman knew this either, it baffled us at the checkout as to why we couldn't get any discounts. He got the manager over there, who then showed us that it was an "exceptional value" item because the price ended with ".98". Anyway, the manager must have known we were aggrevated so he gave me the 10% off anyway. How nice! So, I have a new lawnmower to assemble and try out soon.
I also wanted a new rake - one of the adjustable kind. I found one at Lowes, this model. So I also have a new rake. I guess I'm ready for summer yard work. :)
I haven't heard ANYTHING about what the Mississippi Legislature has been up to the last couple of days. I don't know if that's good or bad.
Anyway, it's time to go enjoy the day. It is supposed to be very nice this afternoon here.
Another Wednesday, another trash day.
Hey Legislature, fix this please? C'mon, stop fooling with the stupid crap that doesn't matter and get down to business. Who cares if we have Voter ID or give billions of dollars away (that we don't even have) to big businesses for expansions if they hire more minorities!? No matter what happens by the end of the session, if something isn't done to generate more money for the state we will be in even worse shape next year than this year. I mean, last year was horrible, this year is even worse...everyone is having major budget problems. Something will have to be done to generate more money, even if it comes down to creating a statewide lottery! Ouch.
Ohh vacation time will be here soon. This is where Emily and I want to stay for 4 nights on our vacation - Comfort Inn Apple Valley in Sevierville, TN. Any donations? Hehe. That's where we stayed last time we went on vacation in 2003. I remember that we were both sick that time, and being sick on vacation really sucks. This is where we stayed on our honeymoon back in 2001. Creekside Inn of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN was nice. It was kind of old and nostalgic, and it seems to be one of the last family owned and operated motels left around there. I could be wrong though, it just seemed family owned. Be warned, that site plays LOUD sounds when you go to it. We can't wait to go on vacation this year - hopefully it will happen. It's the most wonderful time of the year. :) If we go, I plan to take a ton of pictures and share some of them on this site.
March is here. It's cold. I'm ready for spring to get here. Today promises to be damp, cold, and windy. Lovely weather.
I'm so glad my hosting plan is now safely renewed for another year. The great guys over at CCLHosting.com went ahead and bumped my hosting package up to the new, yet to be fully revealed, level. Thanks again Mark and Greg!
Meanwhile, our Mississippi Legislature fools with stuff like this and this while the important stuff stands to the side. I bet we'll go into another long, expensive extended session once again this year.
It's official! This website has been online now for a year! Let's all do the Numa Numa Dance! Ok, maybe not. Poor kid.
I did finally get my hosting renewed this afternoon! Thanks CCLHosting.com. Greg and Mark of CCLHosting.com are great fellas. They've helped me out and answered my questions promptly.
Nothing much new here. It was raining a good bit yesterday, and it's still damp and cold today. Kinda sucks to have to go out in it in just a few minutes.
Enjoy your day!
What a beautiful day! I changed the oil in Emily's car this morning, and spent the afternoon working in the yard. The yard looks so much better with the leaves mowed up, mulched, or raked away. It won't be long before everything starts turning green around here.
I was disturbed yesterday when I read this article on The Meridian Star's website. If you want to read that article you'll probably have to register, but it's free! Anyway, it's about HB 1657. Apparently, as it was written at some point, it would have CLOSED 23 of the 24 state parks in Mississippi for ONE YEAR in order to save money! This 2005 budget shortfall is just getting flat STUPID now to the point it's scary. Who in the heck would be in favor of just closing down all but one of our state parks? It's obvious the state is spending money (or should I say BORROWING money to spend) on crap we don't need right now. I tell you what, if *I* was a state employee and got laid off from my job working at a state park, I'd be ticked after seeing the financial irresponsibility shown by the legislature. Here's another article about HB 1657 on the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website. It's time to rotate!
On another subject, I keep seeing news about Terri Schiavo coming up. Just so you know, if that ever happens to me (persistent vegetative state), let me die and go on with your life. Don't waste bundles of money and time on keeping me alive when I don't even know you are in the room with me. Some things are WORSE than death.
Did you know that Cuba had a smoking ban? I didn't.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't qualify very good at all for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. He's starting 40th out of 43!
I finally went ahead and renewed my domain name with GoDaddy.com. They are a wonderful registrar if you ever need one. This domain only cost $6.95 a year to own. The hosting is a different story, but it will still only be $50 a year to have a host. Hopefully I'll get that renewal notification soon for the hosting.
I woke up this morning to find this story. This nutcase called 911 to report he was having a heart attack, but when the police showed up, he was outside his home with a running chainsaw! He attacked a Trooper with the chainsaw and was then shot at least 13 times. That's crazy.
I've also found out that all of you that use Opera and Konqueror cannot view the new green horizontal bars on my pages. At least the older versions cannot anyway. I don't know about newer versions of the browsers. I am sorry!
It finally started raining this afternoon. It was coming sometime I guess. Dad and I traveled to Laurel today to turn in some work we'd finally finished. I hadn't been to Laurel in a long time!
I read this story today about Korn guitarist Brian Welch leaving the band after finding God. He says he is dedicating his future musical pursuits to reflect it. That would be cool. I might even buy the CD!
In other news, the MS House of Representatives has passed an $88 million bond bill that includes $10 million designated for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center. Read this story here. It's HB 1720. It was transferred over to the Senate today, so it's probably history anyway. It it's one thing I've learned already from keeping up with legislative sessions is this: the House of Representatives will pass ANYTHING regardless of how expensive or stupid it is, just because that makes everyone happy, while the Senate has to take the responsibility of the House's actions. Hrm...last I heard the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center was going to cost well over $50 million to construct, and even after it was open it would NOT be self-sustaining. No, wait, or is it $87 million to construct? Where's the rest of the money going to come from? Isn't Mississippi already broke enough? "In my opinion and I may be prejudiced as an entertainer, but I think it's the answer to Canton's Nissan. I tell you why. That's because you cannot put a dollar value on promoting the great state of Mississippi," said Paul Ott, MAEC board chairman. Paul Ott - that was quite a silly comparison. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see this museum. But, it is very obvious that there are MANY things that the state could do with the millions of dollars they are about to dump into this project. The state of Mississippi is bad off right now.
If pink slips are handed out to teachers again this year, somebody's gonna really catch it from me!
OK, enough on that. I found a wonderful article on the Clarion-Ledger website entitled "Keep An Eye On The 2005 Legislature". This article has a lot of good resources for monitoring our pesky legislature. Enjoy!
Whew! I've spent a lot of time going through my HTML code to make sure that my website is valid HTML 4.01 Transitional. I have to do this every now and then to make sure that everyone can read my webpages no matter what browser they choose to use. With that said, all you Mozilla/Firefox users out there won't see the custom scroll bar to the right on any of my pages, and you also can't hold your mouse over any of the pictures on the site and see a brief description. Not that this is wrong or anything, apparently Firefox is correct in doing so. It's a flaw in MS Internet Explorer that lets you see the ALT image info while holding the mouse over an image. I like it though. I guess I'll have to change everything one day to make it more Firefox friendly.
Anyway, you may have noticed that I figured out how to make color coded horizontal bars. I like this better than the plain old gray bars, and everyone should be able to see them regardless of browser choice.
I still haven't received a renewal notice from CCL Hosting. I put in a trouble ticket to them and they replied that I'd receive a renewal notice and instructions on how to renew in an email about 2 to 3 days before the hosting plan runs out. Man, talk about short notice! Maybe I'll catch it quickly.
Emily and I have a Newton County Forestry Association meeting to go to tonight. They have meetings four times a year. It's good for me to go to because I get credits towards the renewal of my registered forester's license. Heck I might even learn a thing or two. :)
The meeting went well tonight. We were almost late getting there.
I just wanted to remind myself and all of you out there that soon we'll all have to dial the area code prefix in order to call ANYONE anymore. This will be required of us on March 14th. So, you'll have to dial 3 more numbers from then on in order to call your next door neighbor. If you are a DIAL UP MODEM USER, remember that you'll have to add the area code to your dial up internet connection shortcut. Also, if you rely heavily upon speed dial on your home phone or cellphone, you'll have to remember to update all of those numbers to include their area codes as well. Do you have a home security system that is preset to dial a particular phone number? Heh. I predict March 14th will be the beginning of a nightmare. An overlay area code? How dumb is that. Soon your next door neighbor could have a different area code from you. Crazy.
The above link for the Extended Forecast is a link I found on a local news station. I think that link will give you the 7 day forecast. I was wanting to test it for a little while to see if it works or not.
The Daytona 500 has come and gone. Jeff Gordon finished 1st, Kurt Busch 2nd, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 3rd. I couldn't believe the finish. The last 20 laps or so were the best laps of the whole race. Very exciting! Who knows what may have happened with an additional 10 or 15 laps? :)
My hosting plan will expire in less than a week. I haven't figured out yet how to renew! It seems I have to sit back and wait to be contacted by my web host before I can renew. It's time to renew dernit!
Not much else going on here. The weather today is beautiful! It's like mid 70's here and sunny. No rain yet! It's gotta be coming though.
In case you missed this yesterday, we have a few pics from Hunter's birthday party.
Today is the big day! It's time for the Daytona 500. I'm thrilled. It starts at 1 PM CST, broadcast on FOX. Earnhardt Jr. starts in 5th position. You can look at the complete lineup of drivers here.
Hrm, North Korea thinks that the USA and Japan are out to get them. This doesn't look good.
We have a busy day ahead of us, so I'll make this quick.
The ULTIMATE Game Room...you must check out that link. It's so geeky...it's cool. Makes me jealous to see it. This link will become permanent somewhere on my Links page as soon as I update it.
Emily and I are considering dropping our Starz! movie package and signing up for an online DVD rental service. We just can't decide on who to go with between Netflix or Blockbuster Online. Netflix is $17.99/month + tax and offers 3 movies out at once. Blockbuster Online is $14.99/month + tax and offers 3 movies out at once as well PLUS 2 in-store movie/game rentals a month. Blockbuster Online seems to be the better deal of the two, but Netflix is the old reliable original online DVD rental service. Blockbuster is an "evil empire" of sorts. I just don't know which one to choose. I think they both have free trials. I'd rather support Netflix over Blockbuster, I know that. But $36 more per year....I dunno. Here is just one of many comparisons of the two. It seems that Netflix may have better customer service & turnaround time.
Oh well, time to go get ready. More later.
We have returned from Hunter's birthday party with a few pictures. The link to them can be found on the Pics page or you can just click here.
Another day. Make sure you check out yesterday's comments.
Right now I'm viewing an interesting webpage. It's http://www.clean-your-screen-for-free-now.com/. It's a cat that licks your screen clean. Interesting. It may take a bit to load, if you care to look at it.
The Daytona 500 is this Sunday. Seems like just yesterday that the NASCAR season was ending, and now it's beginning again. Make sure to watch this race Sunday, even if you aren't "into" NASCAR. It's like the Super Bowl on a whole different level. It will be on FOX Sunday at 1 PM CST. That's the NEXTEL cup race (the Daytona 500). The Busch series race (Hershey's Take 5) is Saturday at 12 PM CST, and I'm sure it will be good as well. I think I'll be missing it though as Saturday will be a busy day. Our nephew Hunter will have his first birthday party that day. Saturday night, Emily's aunt and uncle are renewing their wedding vows and we'll be attending that ceremony.
Oh, in an eariler update I mentioned that I had installed TreeWalk DNS due to the troubles I was having with BellSouth's DNS servers. Well, it wasn't working out good on my main computer here so I had to uninstall it and go back with the ISP default assigned DNS servers. However, Emily and I still have it running on our laptops. I like it, but it definitely isn't for all applications.
Man how I get to rambling when I type these news updates.
Until next time...
We just got back home from Wal-Mart. I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying this Dr. Pepper right now. I am beginning to really like Dr. Pepper again. Anyway, I remembered this morning that I wanted to make a comment about the NHL cancelling the 2004-2005 season. Isn't that wild? No hockey this year. Not that I care to watch hockey anyway...
Pardon my grammar, I'm a horrible speller today. Isn't that funny? We all used to be such excellent spellers until we got so used to spell check. Now we're spoiled. Ok, I take the spell checker excuse back because I use notepad.exe to make this webpage with. Teehee.
I'm updating and changing some things on the site. I've added a page for pictures of my handguns. I've updated the links page. I'm hoping more will come soon. It just takes time. Oh, and I ditched the flashy .gif of the American flag in favor of my Solid Snake standing beside the flag. I like it better for a change.
I hope everything is good with all of you out there. Emily came home early from work today - she didn't feel good and her voice keeps leaving. Dad and I have been steadily working as the weather permits. Mom is busy with Mamaw, and Mamaw is still about the same as she has been the last few months. My friend Tim finally got to ride his motorcycle for a good while yesterday. He is still recovering. I'm sure there is other news that I'm forgetting, sorry.
I don't normally put pictures into the news section here, but this is something worth seeing for sure. You just gotta click on the thumbnail above to see the awesome full size image. A friend from church emailed me that picture. It's a cougar stalking a deer. The picture was taken by one of those outdoor motion sensing game cameras. Isn't that neato?
Nearly a week since the last update, sorry about that!
The nice folks at CCLHosting.com have upgraded me from plan #1 (50 MB online storage) to plan #2 (100 MB online storage). What's even better is the fact that soon, very soon, plan #2 will be 200 MB of storage instead of 100 MB. Now I can finally do more stuff with this site, just as soon as I think of what do do.
Two weeks from today, this website will be officially one year old! If I had actually updated it every single day like I intended to do, this thing would be huge. Maybe I can do better for the next year. It's just so amazing that ANYONE can own a domain, be it .com, .us, .net, .org, whatever, and have your webpage hosted, both for around $50 a year!! This year, my costs will be $6.95 for the snakeyez.us domain name and $50 for the hosting - a total of $56.95 for one whole year of hobbying with a webpage.
Right now, I'm listening to my friend MrPoi as he does his Shoutcast radio thing. Check it out, he says he does this once a month.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow. Hope it's wonderful for all of you!
Well the Super Bowl is over for this year. The Patriots beat the Eagles 24 to 21. Not that I really care much. The halftime show was awful, who cares to see Paul McCartney?? And the commercials...there was nothing much good to see there compared to last year. I haven't read what others think yet, but those are my thoughts anyway.
NASCAR gets started up again in just a couple of weeks! The Daytona 500 will be an event to watch this year, as every year. The Budweiser Shootout is February 12th, Qualifying is February 13th, the Gatorade 120s are February 17th, the Busch race is February 19th, and the NEXTEL cup race is February 20th.
The weather is nice again this morning. However, it's supposed to start raining here by noon, and it's supposed to rain for the next couple of days afterwards. The low 60s for the highs are nice though.
Tonight is our supper club get together at Amber and Gabe's house at 7:30 PM.
No news yet from CCLHosting.com on their new tiers of hosting plans. There was supposed to be something released by today, but I don't see it yet. I hope something is announced soon as I'm up for renewal by the end of this month. I need more space to show you more nifty things! For instance, I started feeding the birds again just a week ago, and already there are hundreds of goldfinches out there eating away. They look like gnats! I'd love to take a short video clip of them or something, but I need more space to be able to do it.
Just a quick update to let you know I'm still here. Nothing much has been going on. We've just been making it through these last cold, wet days. Today is supposed to be nice finally.
Have you been following the new legislative session? It's a circus again, just like last year. No money to be found anywhere and further in the hole we go.
Don't forget that Valentine's Day is the 14th, just a little over a week away! I ordered Emily a gift yesterday, I sure hope it gets here in time.
Well, I gotta get ready for work now. It's gonna be busy the next week or two, lots to do!
I got home from work earlier than expected today. Dad got sick, puking sick, so we cut the day off kinda early. I hope it's not the flu or a virus. We'll know soon enough.
I just wanted to throw in that this Sunday is the Super Bowl. Not that I care beans about pro football or anything, but ya just gotta see this event, you know? Emily and I are excited about the wild commercials, it's our favorite part! I found out that the registrar for this website, (GoDaddy.com), is going to air two commercials. So far they've been a great registrar!
One more thing, I picked up a Punisher steering wheel cover from Big Lots for $3.99 last week. I couldn't get it to fit and noticed the directions said to put it on during a warm day. Today was finally somewhat warm, and it fit! I'm happy now. Nifty steering wheel cover.
The first day of February is already here...thank goodness. It's COLD and rainy here today, as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Cold and wet is no fun.
I was searching around today trying to find out if Season 2, Part 2 of the GI Joe DVD set will ever be released. It seems that Rhino lost their rights to the Sunbow cartoon series before they could get this release done and out to the public. That really sucks. The part 2 of the Season 2 would have been all that was left to release of the Sunbow cartoon series as far as GI Joe goes. Now I don't know what will happen. I'm ticked about that.
In looking around for answers, I somehow stumbled across this news story that tells of Paige Davis being asked to leave TLC's Trading Spaces show. Seems that TLC thinks they will be better off without a host for that show, period. I think it will be really stupid. Not that I LOVE that show or anything, but I do watch it with Emily. Trading Spaces has steadily made DUMB changes to the show anyway recently that is really ruining things anyway, in my opinion. Oh well.
It seems that CCLHosting, the people I get my web hosting from, are about to change up some of their hosting plans to *hopefully* offer more storage space. The rumor is that these changes will be revealed by the end of this month. Good thing, my hosting runs out at the end of this month! I need more storage space than the 50 MB I'm currently getting. Anyway, whenever I renew, I will get more storage one way or the other. When that happens, I hope to offer more on this website, mainly in pictures. I have lots I want to do and show, just not enough space.
We made it back home tonight around 7 PM. Her blood sugars are back to normal, the potassium level must be acceptable, and she's not throwing up anymore.
Hospitals are never fun.
Emily's parents have left for the Smokey Mountains for the weekend. I hope they have fun. It's snowing and icy and stuff right now.
Not much else to say right now. The weather here is cold and wet. I don't know what tomorrow is supposed to be like, probably more of the same. I think it's time to go to bed. Don't call me early in the morning. :)
Just a quick update. Emily is in the hospital as of this afternoon. It seems she had a virus that started working on her early Wednesday morning and continued on through early this morning. She went to the doctor today and she is somewhat dehydrated. She will be in the hospital for a 24 hour watch and get rehydrated. I came home just to get some stuff and I'm headed back that way now. Hopefully we'll be away from the hospital tomorrow afternoon if all goes well.
What a headache I have! Ugh. Emily had to stay home today from work. She's been sick feeling for a while now. Maybe she has a virus?
Not a lot to say today. We thought the shaking in her car was gone, but it wasn't really. We went to Jackson Saturday and stopped at Big 10 Superstore in Pearl on the way to get her tires road force balanced. It's a neat process. Read about road force balancing here. While we were waiting for the car to be ready, we looked over a new 2005 Ford Mustang. Those cars are sweet! This was the nicest economy sports car I've seen in a long time. Anyway, the road force balancing helped a small bit, but not completely. Her car still has a bit of shake to it, and it ISN'T the tires. Gotta be a wheel bearing or something.
Yesterday afternoon I went target practice shooting with my friend Gabe. He got a new Glock compact .357 Sig pistol for Christmas. I really suck at pistol shooting, but that's what practice is for I suppose.
What a week this one has been. I'll start with Emily's car. Yes, I took it to the dealership Monday to have that front end shake checked out. Prior to test driving the car, they fixed a couple of recall issues - a PCM (Powertrain Control Module) reflash and a seatbelt latch recall. They then tested the balance of the tires on the front of the car and found nothing. Then they test drove the car...and the shake was 90% gone! It makes no sense to me. They were really friendly about the whole situation. The only thing I can think of is that the PCM reflash fixed the problem. I don't know if that's good or not.
So, with that said, if everything still works out ok, we will go on vacation to Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg sometime in June. I guess we should wait a while before we make our reservations. I'm excited about a vacation. See, that's where we went on our honeymoon back in 2001, and we returned there in 2002 and 2003. Last year we couldn't afford/get it to work out to go anywhere. Anyway, the last time we went (in 2003) we had to go in my truck because Emily's car was broke down the day before we were supposed to leave. Also, I had a terrible sinus infection the whole time and Emily was sick as well. Being sick on vacation really sucks. This year would have to be even better as long as we are both not sick! Also, we'd have our digital camera to take a world of pictures this year. I think that'd be awesome! I want to get a larger memory stick for our camera before we go. Right now we have a 32 MB stick and a 128 MB stick, a 512 MB stick would be nice to have for this trip. Maybe I can find a good deal on a MemoryStick Pro 512 MB soon. Any donations? :)
Luke called me earlier this week. He got a new job in Seattle working for Best Software and begins there Monday. I'm really excited for him.
I've had a busy week thus far. My only concerns right now is what will happen on April 15th this year, tax time!
Time to go, gotta get the trash to the road.
Nothing new really. Tomorrow is MLK Day and Emily has the day off. I'll be driving her car to the Ford dealership in Meridian to have the front end checked out. The new tires on the car didn't fix the shaking, so it's gotta be something else, like a bearing or a joint. Who knows? I just hope they will be able to find the RIGHT thing to fix/replace on her car tomorrow.
Emily and I are sooo ready for a vacation! We never really went anywhere last year because it just didn't work out. This year we are going to go back to the Smokies, hopefully the week of our anniversary. As soon as we get her car to smooth running above 60 MPH, we are gonna make our reservations online for the trip.
Want to read something funny? What happens when you let a Yankee loose with a chainsaw? Read here.
One more link I found today, seems that you can listen to the Bible in mp3 format for free.
The weather has been so nice here, but it won't last much longer. It's been in the mid 70s during the days.
Emily and I watched The Butterfly Effect tonight. It was really good!
I really don't know what else to say...oh, last night our supper club got together at Heather & Jamie's house. It was fun! Always something funny being told.
What a week! Emily has been at home sick both Wednesday and Thursday. She went back today, but she really wasn't any better. She has been practically unable to talk all week. Don't know what it is.
I found another GREAT app, it's called DVD Decrypter. Great for ripping DVDs as well as burning those .img files!
I ordered Emily some new tires for her car. They are Summit tires, and I can't find anything out about them on the web, other than they are probably made by Kelly Tires or Dunlop tires. I'm supposed to take her car in Saturday morning to have them put on.
It's a new year! How hard it is to write "2005" instead of "2004"!
We had a good time over at Emily's parents' house on New Year's Eve as well as New Year's Day. Lots of eating and watching kids shoot fireworks.
I just got word this morning that my cousin Shauna has created a blog. Check it out.
My Links page needs some updating. I'm going to try to add to it soon.
Emily had to start back to work yesterday. It was hard to go back after such a great holiday. Spring Break will be here before she knows it though I'm sure.
Give a kid a big laser cannon and it's terrorism! Yep.
The outlook for 2005 for the state of Mississippi looks grim. There is just never enough money ya know? The legislative session for the state begins today. I'm sure this will be a carnival to watch. Of course we all know that no definite decisions will be made until the very end of this three month session. :)
It's New Year's Eve. Kinda sad I guess.
Emily and I went to Meridian today to get her car worked on and so that I could get a new windshield in my truck. Turns out the Ford dealership service department was closed today, as was the glass place I went to. So, we got nothing done today. She has to start back work on Monday, so who knows when some repairs will be done to her car. Maybe I can get my windshield replaced next week.
Tonight we will be going to Emily's parents' house for their annual New Year's Eve party. Lots of people will be there. After midnight we'll come home and sleep until we get back up tomorrow to go back and eat black-eyed peas and other New Year's Day foods.
Auld Lang Syne, what an odd song!
Happy New Year to everyone!
Hey everyone! I'm finally slowing down enough to do an update. I hope by now you've checked out the mound of pictures taken from our Christmas travels. If you are on dialup, the page will take a bit to finish (if it even finishes at all). I am MAXED OUT on space on this webpage, but I hope to double my storage space in February when my account is due for renewal. I never dreamed I'd need over 50 MB of storage. :)
So what did you get for Christmas? We got all kinds of stuff, more than what I deserve for sure. Want to see a picture of my *big* present this year? Here are three pictures: one,two,three. The new present is the shiny one, the black one I've had for a while. Gotta love 'em!
Emily got a PalmOne Zire 72 today, after seeing a certain relative's model (you know who you are). It should be about done with its initial 3 hour charge, so I'm sure she'll be all involved playing with it soon.
Why didn't someone tell me that Guns N Roses had been reborn?? There is a new band out there called Velvet Revolver dernit! Five band members, and three of them are from Guns N Roses - Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum. There's a guitarist named Dave Kushner that I don't know much about. The cool sorta thing is the lead singer is Scott Weiland, the former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots (STP)! The sad thing is, their premier album "Contraband" came out on June 8, 2004 and I'm just now learning of this band. Where was I??
I found a wonderful (so far) program that has solved the slow loading of webpages due to the CRAPPY DNS servers that BellSouth is offering us right now. This program is called TreeWalk DNS. I've installed it so far on my laptop and Emily's laptop, and it's got webpages loading at blazing fast speeds again. This is just terrific.
Mom and Dad finally got their SuperDish installed yesterday. The initial installer that came out to switch them over from a regular Dish500 dish to the new SuperDish (which allows them to get the local channels in our area) on Monday said he wouldn't/couldn't do it. So, Mom emailed the super-secret but very effective email address for the VP of Dish Network that afternoon, and the next day someone else came out to do the job. That's how things should work when you complain a little!
By the way, in case you wondered what we did during the Christmas goings, here it is:
Like I said, pictures from about half of these events can be found here.
Enough for now!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I know we sure did.
Look at the tons of Christmas pictures here.
Just a quick update, my birthday is tomorrow!! Yay. I turn 27 (I think).
Christmas is just days away, I hope you are all ready. I think we are, minus a whole bunch of wrapping!
Nothing much has been going on this week that was noteworthy. Emily and I went to Jackson on Saturday to finish up our Christmas shopping. It was a madhouse! Since then, we've both felt kinda sick, sinus problems ya know?
Mom and dad are going to Jackson today to do some Christmas shopping.
Emily will be finished with teaching for the year tomorrow at lunchtime. She's excited, and I'm sure her kids are as well. I remember what it was like taking nine week's tests before Christmas holidays. Seems like forever ago. Emily will be done and be able to enjoy the Christmas holiday as she wants to. I'm not sure when school resumes in January...
On Tuesday it had been two weeks since Dozer got stitches. I am going to have to take him back to the vet today or tomorrow to get those stitches removed. Fun.
Oh, one more thing, Dish Network customers near the Meridian, MS area as of today can sign up for local channels! For $4.99 or $5.99 per month (not too sure which) you can get channel 11 (ABC) 24 (CBS) and 30 (NBC). However, it appears that you will need a SuperDISH to get these channels. Hmm. I just knew that me spending some cash on a nice outdoor TV antenna would cause the local channels here to go live on the satellite! I guess I'll stick with that for the time being.
Happy birthday to my Mom and my brother Luke! I hope it's a great day!
Lots to say today!
'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott was shot and killed yesterday. That's so sad. Pantera was a great band back in the day, and Damageplan seemed to be a promising new band. He will be missed.
It seems that local channels will finally be available via Dish Network in a couple of weeks, with DirecTV following at the first of next year. I can't find any further information other than what was posted on The Meridian Star's webpage. I would assume this means that Meridian will finally put their local channels up in the air like Jackson, MS already has. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I do know that local channels are only $1.50 per month per channel on Dish Network. I guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks. Yay!
The weather was bad here during the night - early in the morning about 5 AM CST. I didn't even realize until this afternoon that we had 5 or 6 pine trees blown down (straight east) next to our house. That sucks. I'm glad that no trees on the west side of our house decided to blow down....heh.
Dad and I had to travel to Chickasaw County, MS yesterday. It took us 2 hours and 15 minutes to get there. It's a whole other world up there when you have to work in the woods. At least the day was nice.
Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday, as well as my brother Luke's birthday. I hope they have a great day!
I'm tired. I need to find something good to get Emily for Christmas. Any ideas?
One more thing, how long do you think I should keep previous entries on this site? I used to limit them to one month, but as you can see, the last update on this page down at the bottom is from 9/19/2004. Is that too long? Keep it to one month, two months, a year, what?
Emily and I went to a Christmas themed family reunion last night. It's kinda fun to play dirty santa with people you don't know. :)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Most Popular Driver award again this year. It was really no surprise.
Here's a whacked story for the day. Read this. A woman sold her father's ghost on eBay to make her son happy. How silly.
Great new story for us who live in or near Meridian, MS. Meridian is getting a brand new, first of it's kind in the state Long John Silver's / A & W combo restaurant! Emily and I have eaten at one of these in our travels to Gatlinburg and we loved it. She could get fish and I could get a burger, and both restaurants are dang good! We are so happy. You can read about the upcoming restaurant here, but you may have to register (free) before you can read it.
Watch a video about the Long John Silver's / A & W multibrand restaurants here.
I wanted to update my website earlier today, but thanks to BellSouth's crappy DNS servers I have been unable to view my own webpage all day! Days like today make me wanna run my own DNS servers. That's something I'll have to read up on sometime. BellSouth assigns my connection two DNS servers, and both are slow and laggy, but today they have been flat broken. This makes me mad.
Just as I predicted back on November 18th, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge resigned yesterday. I don't know what's up with all of the administration right now, but change is probably good.
I can't believe that Ken Jennings lost Jeopardy yesterday. I am stunned. The FIRST Final Jeopardy question I've EVER gotten right was yesterday, and Ken Jennings missed it! Question: "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." Answer: "What is H & R Block?". He guessed Fed-Ex. Ouch. I really think that he was just tired of being on the show and wanted to go home. It's kinda sad. I liked Ken being there giving Alex heck. Oh well, back to Jeopardy as usual again.
Can you believe that "Blog" is the number one word of 2004?
Our rat terrier Dozer was bitten by our neighbor's dog yesterday morning. I had to take him to the vet to get stitches. He's moving slow today, but I think he'll be ok. He has to go back in two weeks to get the stitches removed.
I think tonight is Wal-Mart night, so I guess I'd better be going.
It's the last day of November. It's hard to believe that December is almost here.
We've been busy lately, with what I'm not sure. We've been away a lot and had lots to deal with. When at home, I've still been playing Sid Meier's Pirates! a good bit. It seems as your character gets older, he gets slower and it's harder and harder to win swordfights. I think I read somewhere that eventually you have to retire from pirating. I'm sure that time is near for my character, but hey, I can always start a new game.
In Mississippi news, lawmakers are already crying about the upcoming 2005 budget. There is no doubt that the budget will be tighter next year than the already slim 2004 budget. I don't care, let them work it out, just don't put the state's teachers into stress like they did this year. That was uncalled for. Sometimes I wish we had a whole new set of senators and representatives.
I've been having trouble with BellSouth's newsgroups access lately. Three times I've been seemingly banned from the newsgroups, with all three times access coming back in about 12 hours. I don't know what their problem is. I've complained to no avail. I'm going to kick back on the number of simultaneous connections I use to the newsgroups and see if that helps any. We are supposed to have 4 connections. Who knows what the issue is?
One more thing, I can't post direct links to The Meridian Star online newspaper anymore. They have a new login type system to view news stories. It is free, but it prevents direct linking to news stories. Oh well.
It's Black Friday. I didn't leave the house today, but Emily went out Christmas shopping. I think she had fun.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We went had lunch with some of Emily's family and had supper with my parents and grandma. We had a good day. Lots of great food.
Now for some great news...Sid Meier's Pirates! has been released!! This game is so awesome! You may remember this game title because it was released back in 1987 on the PC. It was awesomely fun then just as it is now. It's a little less frustrating and harder to get lost now as well. You gotta get your hands on this game. Two thumbs up.
Anyway, it's hard to believe that it's less than a month to my birthday, and less than a month to Christmas. Goodness. In February this website will be a year old. Man how time flies. About this website...I'm nearly out of storage space, that's why I don't have any new content besides text lately. When renewal time comes around in February I plan to double my storage space. I guess for Christmas pictures some of the other pictures will just have to come down.
The community wide Thanksgiving service was tonight at church. Each year everyone from all denominations gets together at one church for a Thanksgiving service. It was nice, and I think tonight was the most people I've ever seen at this special service.
I added a link to my wishlist at Amazon.com up above. :)
I haven't done much updating lately I know. I don't know why I've been lax about updating...but you haven't really missed anything anyway. Not a lot going on here.
Long time, no update. Sorry!
I found it interesting that Secretary of State Colin Powell decided to resign earlier this week, along with Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. It is even rumored now that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is thinking of resigning as well. What's going on here? That makes 5 confirmed leaving with 1 considering it still. Even crazier, national security adviser Condoleeza Rice has been picked to replace Powell. I'm not sure that she is the right person to be "America's face to the world". Oh well.
Emily was sick all this weekend with some type of virus. She went to the doctor Monday and he confirmed that it was some type of virus and told her to drink lots of clear liquids. She went back to work on Tuesday and by now is feeling better slowly.
Half-Life 2 is out now. It is one of the most anticipated games of 2004. I'm not very interested in it however. I guess I should be.
I've been working at getting our old DOS based cruise program to work correctly on my laptop running Windows XP. So far I've found that DOSBox is a lifesaver. It's a really good DOS emulator. Getting a printout has been a pain, but thank goodness our cruise program has an option to print to a file instead of a printer. This means the program prints the output to a .prn text file. Yay! I can then open the .prn file in notepad.exe and edit it as I want, and then print it in Windows. Problem solved, just a bit of a hassle. I think I can find shortcuts and scripts and nearly automate the entire process however. Still working on it.
The Brother all in one machine is still working just fine. I have it hooked up to my computer and can print to it. It's shared, so Emily can also print to it. It's nice!
Something cool I noticed today...if you do a Google search for Lance Dean this is the 2nd website that shows up! How cool is that? Also, if you do a Google search for snakeyez this website is the 1st link to show up. Wow.
We finally got a small copier for the house yesterday. We decided on one of those nifty all in one devices. It's the Brother MFC-8840D. Now we can copy, scan, print, fax, whatever! It's shared on our home network as a printer. :) It's laser, so forget about expensive multiple ink cartridges. This laser toner is good for 3,000+ copies, and a new toner cartridge is about as much as a pair (color and black) inkjet refills.
Apparently the town meeting in Meridian about the smoking ban went over well. Today's news was that the mayor John Robert Smith vetoed the smoking ban. Apparently there will now be a meeting to override the mayor's veto. Heh.
John Ashcroft resigns as Attorney General. But, is the new guy (Alberto Gonzales) any better??
If you enjoy(ed) Nullsoft's WinAmp, read this article. AOL bought Nullsoft in 1999, and in usual style, killed Nullsoft slowly. Similiar to the way ICQ is probably headed. Sad day indeed. I've used WinAmp for many years. RIP WinAmp.
The weather has been nice lately. Cold in the mornings and at night, and nice (around 70 to 75 degrees) during the middle of the day. Just thought I'd throw that in.
Tomorrow morning at 9 AM a public meeting will be held concerning the recent citywide smoking ban. That outta be wild, I hope there are lots of TV cameras there. It will probably turn into a knock-down drag-out. I hate to see freedoms taken away...but with the ultimate decision being left up to the mayor, I think this ban will pass just the way it is. If it does, and maybe this will BE THE END of John Robert Smith as mayor of Meridian. Good grief what do people see in him anyway?
I don't have much else to talk about at the moment.
Heh, for you people out there who think that I hate the president or something, you're wrong. Heck I even voted for him in 2000. I just didn't like the way he handled a lot of choices given to him in the last 4 years, many of which choices someone he appointed made or whatever. Just so you know. Maybe the next 4 years will be better....
However, John Ashcroft is a fella I do not like. Guess what? Aides: Ashcroft likely to leave post, according to CNN.com. Good riddance. Darn you for your flawed Patriot Act.
Wow, while on the subject of taking away rights, privileges, and freedoms, read this article first, written on June 20, 2004. Now read this article written just two days ago. Isn't that wild? A ban on smoking inside Meridian's city limits. Not even in a bar!! I don't smoke, and having a separate no-smoking section in a restaurant is just fine for me. If smoking is such a serious thing as to make a LAW that PREVENTS people from smoking, why not just go ahead and ban the sale of cigarettes in Meridian if ya can't smoke them where you please? Oh yeah, they'd lose money from sales, right.
On a possibly better note, read this article. Seems that TimTek may be considering building a mill in Lauderdale County. The process sounds pretty cool for what TimTek does. They take small diameter pine trees (like pulpwood sized trees) and grind them down to pulp. They then take the pulp and dry it and glue it all back together in whatever form/size you choose. You could make huge beams out of the stuff.
That's all for now.
Wow, what an election! I have to say that it was wonderful that so many people got out and voted this year. It's also awesome that the popular vote agreed with the electoral vote this year. That's the way it should be. It's good that majority rules, and that there will be no 36 day dragout of who won this year. Maybe the USA can come together and be united again, but I doubt it. Now, if things will only improve. The only bad (or scary I should say) thing about the whole election results this year is the fact that in January, we will have a republican president, house of representatives, and senate. I fear that this will mean that nothing the republicans come up with will be voted down, and everything that democrats come up with will be killed. Only time will tell.
Ok, let's get on with it.
UPDATE: I'm not promoting this site, at least until I can find out if it's factual or not. Anyway, look at this link. It's sad to see #50....
Election day is here! Watch this funny video of President Bush flipping the bird. I know some people suggests that he's flipping the bird to John Kerry, but Bush looks much younger than he does now. Maybe this was back in Texas when he was running for governor or something. I dunno.
Anyway, if you are looking for a Mississippi sample ballot, I found one here on the Mississippi Secretary of State website. By the way, that sample ballot is in .pdf form, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat reader (free) to view it. If you want to see other things about the 2004 election in Mississippi, click here.
I just found this link this morning and found it almost disturbing. Mississippi has a program called "Promote the Vote 2004" where school aged kids vote for the president in a mock election. View the results here. Wow, can you believe that?? George W. Bush got 48% of the votes with 23,859 votes, and John F. Kerry got 47% of the votes with 23,853 votes. Six more votes for Kerry would have been a tie! Isn't that amazing? I think this could easily be how voting turns out nationwide. I think today is the beginning of a big mess, but an exciting mess nonetheless. GO VOTE dernit, regardless of who you vote for, make your vote count.
In other news, Emily and I went out to eat with the "supper club" last night at El Norte and then went to Books-A-Million for coffee and such. It was a good time. Amber, Gabe, Shauna, and Heather were there.
My grandma is at home now in case ya didn't know. She is getting around, but I think she's kinda grouchy still and complains about things hurting when she does move around. I guess that's just part of it all. Hopefully all of that will get better soon.
On Halloween night (Sunday night) Emily and I watched movies on TV. We watched The House on Haunted Hill (the old version with Vincent Price) on TCM and then watched part of the next movie that came on, which was the old version of The Haunting. We only watched the first 30 minutes of this one and discovered it was very much like the 1999 version. So, we skipped over to another channel and watched the new version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was alright for a horror movie, but I remember the original version being even more intense. Maybe it's just me.
Sweet, the day before Halloween!
Well, Emily got her new Dell Inspiron XPS laptop for her birthday. It finally came in (early actually) on the 28th. I got her old Dell Inspiron 2600 laptop, and I've already got it cleaned up/off and running again.
Oh, here's a picture of Emily celebrating her birthday at her parent's house. Hannah, our niece, is sitting beside her.
I have more to say, but I'm so dern sleepy now. More tomorrow I hope then.
No real update today, nothing has happened. We went to Wal-Mart for the weekly shopping outing, that's it.
Oh yeah, skim over/read this article.
Nice day today. Emily went to Meridian to help interview school age kids for some trip thingy. I don't know the details about it. I stayed home and watched TV for a while, and cut the grass (finally). It was a good day. It is just now starting to rain, and it's 10 PM here.
Man, Dell sure takes what seems forever to build a new PC. It's going to be next month before the new XPS gets here. Check out this handy tool. It's an external floppy drive, powered by USB, that also has a 7 in 1 media card reader in it. How useful is that?? Wow. I think I mentioned that product before...sorry if I have.
Tonight, we watched the 2004 version of The Punisher the movie. I thought it was really good. The Punisher was (and still is) my comic book character of choice. I used to love getting comics in the mail. I still have all of them today.
Emily should be having a great birthday today! While browsing for online coupons yesterday, I found a great deal for Dell laptops. From 6 AM CST yesterday morning until 6 AM CST this morning, Dell has a special coupon for $750 off any laptop over $1500! By the end of the deal time, the offer had been backed down to only the Inspiron 1150 and the Inspiron XPS, but it was still a good deal. I ordered her the Inspiron XPS. This is the most awesome laptop I've ever seen! Here's the details:
This is one sweet laptop! It kicks my desktop's butt! All this for a price that is just about $275 more than what her old Inspiron 2600 cost a couple of years ago. This is top of the line!
Now I get her old Inspiron 2600 when this new laptop comes in. :)
Happy birthday Emily! Thanks to Dell for the $750 off!
I forgot to also mention that on Saturday we also went to Best Buy. That is such a wonderful store, it has EVERYTHING!
Emily had to stay late yesterday afternoon (until 6 PM) because parents were supposed to come to the school to pick up their kid's report cards. She got home dead tired.
I have also been busy(er) with work the last few weeks. It's been nice to be able to pay for stuff. :)
Oh, and about the "W Ketchup" link I posted Sunday, I understand the story behind it (Kerry's wife owning part/all of the Heinz corporation), I just thought it is getting totally whacko that people are despising a presidential candidate so badly that they do something like this. Where will it end? It surely won't end after November 2nd I fear.
Tomorrow is Emily's birthday. She'll be 24.
Oh, here's a good deal I just stumbled across. It's from Office Depot, a Maxtor 200 GB EIDE internal hard drive, 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache, for only $99.97!! I gotta grab one of these. Here's another kick for ya that I found on Copious Coupons, enter coupon code 73418862 and get $20 off and free shipping on any order over $100 (so ya gotta throw something else into the basket worth at least $0.03 for the coupon to work). You could get this drive for $80!! If that coupon is no good (says it's vaild until 11/30/04 on SELECT technology products, I dunno what "SELECT" is) then find another coupon here.
No updates since Wednesday, sorry! Hrm...what's been happening...
Emily and I went to Jackson yesterday to celebrate her birthday a few days early. Her birthday is the 20th - coming up quickly. We had a good time shopping, browsing, and eating. On the way to Jackson, we stopped for a late lunch at Sonny's BBQ, which is a wonderful BBQ place! (that link appears to not work anymore - sorry) Once we arrived near Jackson, we stopped at Dogwood Festival Market, then we went over to the brand new Super Target that was just built across the road. Flowood is exploding with new growth, more than anywhere else I've ever seen. After we left that part of town, we did the usual, go to Northpark Mall, CompUSA, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
What's up with this site?
Jamie and I finished the painting job yesterday afternoon/night. Man what a job that was, I would have never realized it. It looks a whole lot better now that it's not puke green colored anymore.
We haven't gotten the chance to go by and see my grandma since early last week. We just never have the chance to go out to Meridian together anymore it seems. So many things to do. Maybe we'll get to see her before the week is out. I understand that she has just begun to somewhat walk on her broken leg.
My bud ka24 is doing better from what I understand. I think his jaw is still wired shut, but I think he may begin walking again soon.
Did you watch the presidential debate tonight? My goodness it was wild. I think Kerry did a wonderful job overall. President Bush is not the best public speaker out there, and he never has been. Heh, neither am I by any means. Kerry did an excellent job remaining cool and calm throughout the debate, while Bush beat several dead horses, slammed his hand constantly/annoyingly on the podium top near the microphone, and LAUGHED way to darn much. Read the transcript from tonight here if you care to read it all.
Sure, as a person, Bush is probably a better person. But Kerry's stand on issues as a whole I agree with. Kerry wants to fund and extend stem cell research, Bush does not. Kerry wants to protect our privacy, Bush does not. Kerry wants to help keep jobs in the USA, Bush does not. Kerry wants to help us with health care and insurance, Bush does not. Kerry wants to slowly raise the minimum wage, Bush has no response. Kerry wants to protect a woman's right to choose, Bush does not. (note: I do NOT agree with abortion unless it is a medical/health issue, but I do believe a woman should have a choice - I am not a woman). Both Kerry and Bush want to end gay marriage, but Bush wants to amend the US Constitution to do so - Kerry wants individual states to make up their own minds. Kerry wants to take care of us first...well you know the rest.
Nothing much going on here today! We are supposed to meet at the church tonight and paint our new Sunday school classroom. I've never painted anything important before, so watch out!
Emily and I went to Starkville Saturday. We were supposed to watch the MSU vs. UAB football game (we had tickets) but it was raining. So, we just ate and shopped. It was fun. We had lunch at Rosey Baby and supper at Abner's Famous Chicken Tenders. The red beans & rice at Rosey Baby's was awesome! Starkville has wonderful places to eat. We also watched a movie at their wonderful new theater. We saw "The Forgotten", a pretty decent movie to watch once anyway.
Oh, MSU lost 27 to 13. :(
Here's an interesting article to read if you are concerned about privacy. See, that's what ticks me off about the way things are going here in the USA. It's just not right the way that our privacy rights are disappearing so quickly! I mean, the Patriot Act, how stupid is that? If someone even *thinks* that you are a terrorist, the government can just come take and do with you as they please.
Sometime soon I'm gonna put together a good soapbox presentation of my current political views, but it will have to be later. Until then, PLEASE watch this Quicktime video put together of the Republican National Convention. Watch this video here. After watching this video (hehe) just sit and ponder about the PRIORITIES of what you need in your life. Consider Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I reference Maslow's pyramid all the time in life, as it makes so much sense to me. We have an order of needs in our lives, with the first being physiological needs, such as hunger, thirst, comforts, etc. NEXT comes safety needs (security). Sometimes you have to wonder if someone can play with your needs in order to gain a higher ranking. Maybe I'm making no sense to any of you. Just think about it.
Emily and I visited with my grandma Monday night. She was doing just fine, but she was confused about many things. I guess that's what happens to you when you stay in a hospital for a long time. Hopefully she will lose this confusion once she gets to come home in another couple of weeks.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. did indeed get docked 25 points and fined $10,000 for his use of a four letter word on national TV. That really sucks about losing the points. Instead of being on top of the points lead, now he's #2, which could prove detrimental by the end of the season. I can understand the monetary fine, but why take away points? It's crazy.
I found a nice app yesterday called DOSBox. It's a free opensource DOS emulator that works under many different OS platforms. I haven't tried it much yet, but everyone tells me that it's the ultimate solution to run old DOS programs with Windows XP. I think this will prove to be a must for all of us who still have DOS games and applications we still want to use in Windows XP. The link to download it is here.
In broadband news, BellSouth is going to introduce a new tier in their DSL access soon. It's called "Turbozone" or "Tinkerbell" by some. It's an attempt to get dialup customers to switch over to broadband and I think it's promising. It will be an always on 56kbps (same as dialup speed) connection. The fact that it's always on and does not tie up your phone line is wonderful. The real kicker to this is that it will offer a "Turbo Button" that subscribers can hit to boost their download speed, temporarily, from 56kbps to the Xtreme tier speed of 3Mbps. Subscribers will be able to press this "Turbo button" up to a several times each month for temporary download speeds. What a great idea! I think BellSouth believes that this will lead to dialup users switching to broadband DSL, and then lead to them upgrading to the highest DSL tier they offer, Xtreme. It is assumed that this tier of service would be available to people who live too far away from the CO currently to get Lite, Ultra, or Xtreme DSL due to the fact it will offer a very low synch rate. Read more about it here.
Wow, I feel bad about not updating like I should have this week. Why? Because I've been hearing that many of you are actually starting to read this page on a daily basis! That blows my mind! I'll try to update more often.
Let's see, I ordered more RAM for Emily's laptop computer last week. Well, we tried to buy it locally, but there is NO PLACE to buy computer parts in Meridian. I mean, c'mon, how hard is it for most of you to go out and put your hands on a new slice of memory, a new 300w power supply unit, or a new 80mm case fan? I bet anywhere else you could get any of those things within 25 minutes. Not here though! I was looking for 256 MB of PC133 SDRAM for a notebook/laptop computer. We went to OfficeMax, Office Depot, and Wal-Mart. I am sorry to say it, but those are the only 3 places in town to find "technological equipment." Anyway, Wal-Mart doesn't even sell RAM in the store, and OfficeMax only has crappy old pieces of paper for you to look at that haven't been updated in years. That store has really gone down the drain in the last couple of years. However, Office Depot did have some RAM, and they even had notebook RAM, but it was PC100 for a high price. I told the guy at the store that I wish there was somewhere I could go to buy computer parts, and he just grinned and said, "Sir you can go to our website and click on the link for TechDepot.." but I just stopped him and remarked how that if I was gonna go through the trouble of ordering something, I could order it from anywhere I wanted to (you know what I mean).
Anyway, I checked out Kingston Technology's website. I've used their RAM before and had no issues with it, and I think most of their RAM comes with a lifetime warranty. It was on sale, and was cheaper than I could have bought it from most brick-and-mortar stores, shipping was free, and no tax, so it was great! The order was placed on 9/28/2004, shipped on 9/29/2004, and received Friday afternoon (10/1/2004). Works great! Thanks Kingston.
When will Meridian get a CompUSA dernit??
Anyway, that was just what was on my mind. My grandma is now in Beverly Healthcare at Broadmoor. Check out those links. I think she likes it there, but I'm sure she wants to come home too. I guess she'll be there for 3 to 4 weeks until she can get around on her own.
My friend ka24 (Tim) is still messed up from his "fight" (5 guys jumped him). He just told me that his leg is worse but his jaw is better. Get better soon bud.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the EA Sports 500 today at Talladega, AL. This was his 5th win there. However, he made some wild comments after the race that may cost him, read about that here. He's now #1 in the Race for the Chase.
Well, my Grandma moved from the hospital to a "swing bed" today. I think she'll really like it where she's going. She is just gonna stay there until she can get around on her own again.
My friend ka24 got into some type of fight sometime this weekend and ended up with a broken leg (3 places), a messed up ankle, and a broken jaw. Seems a bunch of guys mistakenly thought he was someone else. Bad luck for him! Get better soon ka24.
Emily and I still feel bad. I guess it could be ragweed pollen. I dunno.
Today wasn't all too bad, I found a nice chain binder on the side of the road today. :)
The presidential debate tonight was....boring. At least after the first 20 minutes or so. I am ready to hear the debate about domestic issues. I think that debate will really be a breaker!
Emily and I are still trying to get over our colds. I think we'd be ok if our noses would just stop running all the time. I hate this kind of cold, it's getting to where I end up with a sickness like this twice a year now at almost predictable times.
Our friends Olivia and Justin stopped by the house this afternoon. Emily wasn't here however, she was in town buying the stuff we need for our "supper club" get together tomorrow night. We're hosting it this time.
The Sunday School class is still going on. We has 7 members out of the 16 on roll show today. We've had 6 to 8 people every Sunday thus far. We hope it will only grow!
I haven't seen my grandma since Thursday night. I feel bad about that, but Emily and I are both still sick and don't want to give it to anyone, especially her. Hopefully we'll both be going to town soon this week and can see her. I understand that she is doing well and she'll probably be moving around the end of this week.
I ordered some new latches for our old Brother fax machine at the office. It had started printing only 1/2 of a page, and it turns out that there are some little blue latches that press the toner ribbon onto the print head. One of them had broken, and thus only 1/2 of a page would print. We went to the local Brother fixers, and they wanted $19.99 just for ONE of these little pieces of plastic! I found this link to a place that would sell us two of these latches for only $16, shipping included. How nice! We'll see if they work.
What can I say? Not many notable things have happened lately!
Emily and I went to Wal-Mart last night. I picked up a copy of the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD - widescreen version. No, I'm not all that into Star Wars, but these original 3 movies are classics. It will be nice to watch on DVD with everything remastered and all.
Emily was pretty sick earlier this week, and I started feeling bad Tuesday. Wednesday I had a terrible sore throat, and today I just basically feel like crap. I'm staying at home and taking it easy today.
We stopped by the hospital last night and visited with my grandma. I don't know how much longer she'll be there for the rehab. She looked good though, maybe even better than she normally looks whenever she's at home. I guess she's doing good there in the hospital, and I'm sure it gets boring.
Fall is here! Yay!
Emily has felt bad today. She didn't go to church this morning. Seems like she has a head cold or sinus trouble, I dunno.
We are so glad to have our power back on! It's so wonderful to have limitless hot water, TV, computers, and internet access.
The "new" Sunday school class met today for the 3rd time. We now have 16 people on the roll! It's exciting. I think it will really turn out to be a great thing with time.
We've been playing Burnout 3: Takedown and The Sims 2 like crazy lately. Both are excellent!
Hurricane Ivan was a big mess. You can read all about it and see our pictures here. All new picture page added there.
We were without power from around 9:30 AM on 9/16/2004 until around 4:00 PM on 9/17/2004 (today). I think that's the longest I ever remember going without power. I guess that's sad, but it was bad!
Go look at our pictures taken from the storm!
Heh, Wednesday is trash day here. Yay!
I found a new toy I'd love to have. It's the Iomega Floppy Plus 7-In-1 Card Reader USB-Powered External Drive. This this is not just a USB 2.0 external floppy drive, but it also has a 7-in-1 media card reader. This could be very handy, especially now that 3.5" floppy drives are becoming harder to find in new computers. Maybe I'll get my hands on one of these sometime. It's not a "must have" but a handy, "like to have" item.
I read where Mozilla Firefox 1.0 PR (Preview Release) is out now. It looks interesting, but I'll wait until the final release is available before I upgrade to it. I haven't used Firefox a lot yet, mostly because I'm so used to IE. It looks promising though!
After the NASCAR race this weekend, the top 10 "Race to the Chase" drivers have been locked in. This means that one of these drivers will have the last 10 races of this season to win the championship. It would sure suck to be in the 11th spot right now. I don't really like this new system. The eligible drivers to win this season are:
Mamaw is still in the hospital today. I think she will be moving to a different hospital (today?) to begin physical therapy. It will be difficult for her.
Oh, Hurrican Ivan looks like it will really mess us up here in Mississippi!
Well, we found out this morning that Mamaw got backed into while walking across the street to her house from church last night. Her leg is broken in 2 places below her left knee and her right shoulder hurts, too. She had surgery on her leg this morning.
Emily paddled a student for the first time today. :)
Tonight, Emily and I went to our "supper club" meeting at Heather's house. It was fun! I fixed some spyware, malware, adware, and viruses off her computer.
UPDATE: I found this wonderful website with great tools on it, Ultimate Boot CD.
Another 9/11 passes by.
Today Mississippi State played Auburn. Guess what the outcome was. :( Auburn 43, MSU 14. Oh well. Our first SEC game this year with the new coach and a loss. Maybe better luck next time.
The Sims 2 is coming, sooner than we think. It looks interesting!
Emily and I have been playing Burnout 3 a good bit. It's a really good game!
Seems like there was something else I wanted to say, but I can't remember what it was. Forgive my recent spelling and grammatical errors! :P
Today was another pleasant feeling day for the most part.
Emily and I have both been busy-busy for the last few days. When she came home today she had a copy of Burnout 3: Takedown for the PS2. She had been wanting that game for a while, now if she could only have some spare time to play it. It's supposed to be one of the best games of the year, and it just came out today.
Congratulations to my friend Brian in Starkville for being featured in the East Mississippi Business Journal for his recent MCSE certification in Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Brian works at Synergetics DCS, Inc..
It's time for bed.
Well, Sunday and Monday came and went. Sunday, we met for the first time as a new Sunday school class. The name we decided on is "Touch of Grace". I think it went well, and we had 8 people show up. I think we could easily have 10, and just as easily we could have 14 to 20 people in there once things get going. We still have to find a room to meet in that we can clean up and call our own though. That part will be difficult.
Also on Sunday, Emily and I had lunch at my parents' house, and Uncle Kim from Little Rock was there. Sunday night, we had supper at my Grandma's house, and both my uncle and aunt were there for that. We looked at pictures from my cousin's wedding and talked a while.
Yesterday, Labor Day, I didn't do a whole lot. Cops was on F/X all day, so that was good. Emily went shopping for a little while with her sis-in-law Angela, and we all ate hamburgers over at Richie and Angela's house that night.
I had to order Emily a new charger for her laptop. The wire that goes from the charger to the computer has been used so much that it won't make a good connection anymore unless you lay it just right. Oh well, at least it's the charger (we hope) and not anything major inside the laptop.
My order from CompGeeks.com hasn't arrived yet, but I'm sure the 3 day weekend has slowed it down.
Looks like today might actually be a nice day after all. A nice front has come in from the west and it's blowing tropical storm Frances to the north and east, away from Mississippi. There is a chance of rain today, but other than that just small gusts of wind and a high of 83. Nice!
Today was a nice day. Well, until I stumbled upon this link from NOAA. According to that picture, Hurrican Frances will be on top of our house 2PM Tuesday. No kidding, that "D" in MS is right where our house is. Darn.
In other news, Mississippi State University beat Tulane tonight 28 to 7. This was MSU's first game with a new head coach, Sylvester Croom. It's good to see things off to a good beginning at least.
The people in our "supper club" group from church are starting a new Sunday school class in the morning. We have no name yet, but hopefully something will come up tomorrow. We all hope it will be a good experience.
That's about it! Lots of stuff to be doing this week!
I don't know where everything went...there is a gap of a couple of months missing here.
We went to a friend's wedding earlier this afternoon. It's also Gabe & Amber's anniversary, as well as our pastor and his wife's anniversary. Happy day I suppose.
Emily is hosting a shower for her friend Olivia right now. I have to stay back here in the computer room or leave the house. I could go somewhere, but where would I go? :)
The a/c was fixed at the office this morning. It was low on coolant.
Emily and I went to eat at La Familia and Wal-Mart afterwards tonight. I ate too much.
I've added a Metal Gear page, though dinky it is at the moment. You can get to it by clicking on any image of Solid Snake on the site, or just click here.
Wow, the windows on Emily's car have been tinted for a month now. How time does fly by!
It's Thursday again. What can I say?
It's HOT here. The a/c unit at the office decided to freeze up, for what reason is unknown. I went home. Too hot to sit with no a/c working.
The supper club get-together went great the other night. It's nice to be able to get together with a group of friends to eat and talk.
Emily and I have our anniversary next week. It would sure be nice to leave for a day and go somewhere nearby, if only to Jackson or something. I've been wanting to visit the MDAC Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson, especially before it totally loses funding and closes. I haven't been there since I was a kid in like 6th grade or so. I'm sure we'd both like to go to eat at one of our favorite restaurants in Jackson. Go shop at the Northpark Mall, Target, Best Buy, CompUSA, and Petsmart.
I added an Index of Links to the "Links" page. Now you can just click to zip down to the header of your choice. I did this because the "Links" page is only going to grow larger.
Oops, made many errors in my update yesterday, I have corrected them now. After witnessing the horrors of primordial man, it can be difficult to think and type correctly.
Emily's new insulin pump (looks new anyway) arrived this morning. Yay!
Tonight Emily and I host our "supper club" get-together meeting. We'll be having pizza and drinks if anyone wants to know.
I think I'm going to create a Metal Gear tribute page sometime soon. I know there are probably thousands of others out there, but this will be my new project. I want to create something unique and truely my own. I'm thinking of complete walkthroughs and item descriptions, as well as maps made from screenshots. Who knows, if it turns out great, I may even create a page for the sequel, Snake's Revenge. :)
Emily and I will have been married for 3 years on the 16th of this month. Time flies...
Well, what a day. Emily's insulin pump crapped out last night. When you'd press a button, it would turn off! It would still send her basal rate (constant insulin) but she couldn't press the button to give herself her bolus (insulin for compensation of carbohydrates in each meal). Emily has a "certified replacement" pump on the way via FedEx. Her Minimed pump has a 4 year warranty, thank goodness. The replacement pump (I guess it's a rebuilt model) should be here by late tomorrow afternoon. Included in the box should be shipping materials and instructions on how to send her broken pump back to the manufacturer.
On another note, Emily was offered another job today! It is for a 6th grade class, but I think she is more interested in her first job offer for a 2nd grade class. We are both thankful that she has offers and options though.
We had to deal with finding temporary medical insurance for her today as well. I think she'll only need a couple of months. Insurance can be aggrevating, but thank goodness I know a nice health insurance salesman who really takes pride in his job. My old health insurance agent was not a very helpful or friendly guy.
On a different note, it's amazing how some adults can act like children, and some children can act like adults. How can an adult turn off their ears and completely refuse to hear what anyone else has to say? No single person in this world is completely right or completely wrong, no matter who you are or what you think. Today I have seen crap that I never want to see again and will never allow myself to be in the position to see again. Life is too short to fool with such. Arrogance cannot be reasoned with.
Note the updates on the "Links" page. I've added a bunch of stuff under the "Miscellaneous" heading.
Forgot to mention the addition of www.DNSstuff.com to the "Links" page yesterday. It's a great website to track down a DNS or IP info.
G.I. Joe - Season 1, Part 2 DVD is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. It's gonna be released June 29, 2004, and it's $41.97 with free shipping. What a nice addition this would make to my collection, especially since I already have Season 1, Part 1. :)
I cut grass today after we slept really late. Tonight, we went to Newton to eat at Hardees and shop at Wal-Mart there. I found a neat lil $30 UPS, an APC BE325 325va UPS. Now my computer won't have a heart attack when the power flashes (I hope). We'll see how it does.
Nothing much else new. We are just trying to enjoy life now. :)
Today was a nice day, no rain! We had supper tonight at the fish camp (local restaurant). They had changed prices around. For a fish dinner, it was like $.50 or so cheaper, but it did NOT include the soup/salad/dessert bars. You had to pay an extra $2.95 per person to get the bars. I'm not so sure this is the wisest decision...many people go eat there just because the soup/salad/dessert bars have always been included in with the meal price. And, $2.95 is a little steep for access to the bars.
Well, one of the schools Emily went to today offered her a job! She thinks it's something she would enjoy. Only time will tell. It will be a week or so before any further news about that.
You gotta try this program! Deeth Little Eightball is awesome. Download it! It's a little magic eightball that stays in your tray beside your clock. Just move your mouse over it to get a response. It's one small .exe file, no installation program or anything.
Well, Emily had a couple of promising interviews this morning. The interview yesterday went well too. I think everyone has been impressed with her so far. I think it will all work out.
The whole Xtreme DSL package has been rocking along just fine. My SN Margin has dropped from basically around 31 db to around 17 db, but that's still an ok level from what I've been told by the great people at broadbandreports.com. My line attenuation has remained pretty much the same at around 17 or 18 db. My CRC Errors have increased, but apparently not enough to matter.
I still DO NOT LIKE this new 5.x version of ZoneAlarm. It is doing funny things to things it shouldn't be messing with at all. I have chosen not to downgrade to my previous version at this point but rather to try to tough it out. Hopefully a "fixed" upgrade will be available soon. I can't complain too much - I use the free version anyway.
I had problems with DNS servers earlier. I thought it may be because of the new Xtreme service, but I've almost 100% decided that it was this stupid new version of ZoneAlarm (5.x). Don't get this new version of ZoneAlarm, at least until you hear that it's been fixed. I've never had problems before. I think this ZoneAlarm version was stopping my computer from talking to my modem/DNS server thus blocking webpages from me. That's just what I think anyway. I had to add some internal IP addresses to my "trusted" zone in the settings, and I'm hoping this has fixed my problem. Just a thought if you've had such issues.
Emily had an interview of sorts today, and she has an interview tomorrow as well. :)
We now have Bellsouth FastAccess Xtreme! Check this out: speed test results. It's 3mbit download and 384kbs upload, with a static IP address as well. Yay!!
It's been lightly raining all day here. At least that's kept the temperature down. We are supposed to go over to Emily's parents' house tonight to eat. Maybe the rain will have stopped by then.
I've been trying to figure out how to make my computer keep the same internal IP address with no luck. Oh well.
Have you seen the new G4TechTV? It's not that great. I cannot believe that G4 got rid of Leo Laporte!!! Not only him, but the Call For Help show as well. That really sucks. Maybe Leo will start up his own TV network.
We went to church this morning and have spent the rest of the day being lazy. I'm watching the end of the Coca-Cola 600 and Emily is napping. I've spent a lot of the afternoon creating a custom animated GIF icon that I can use at www.broadbandreports.com.
Good news again! The static IP address (part of the Xtreme package) has been assigned to us and it's working great! No more dynamic IP address...I'm not sure that's a terrific thing, but oh well. Now all that's left is for the speeds to show up in a few days. :)
Good news! We now qualify for Fastaccess Xtreme online! I just finished signing us up tonight. Many many thanks to my friend Joe at BellSouth - without him, we would have never gotten DSL in the first place, and now we would not have been able to upgrade to Xtreme. The completion date is 6/1/2004, but I won't hold them to that with Monday being a holiday and all. The normal completion takes 3 to 5 business days. YAY!
No Xtreme speeds yet, no static IP. Oh well. A good online friend has hopefully fixed my problem of not being able to sign up for the upgrade and says I should be able to within 48 hours (by this weekend). Time passes slowly...
Well, nothing of Xtreme service has been seen or heard of yet. I don't know if my upgrade order was really placed or not. I guess I just have to sit and wait to see. No static IP yet, no increase in speed. :(
I added a new group of links on the Links page for free software that I like to use. It's handy.
Emily received her teaching certificate in the mail yesterday. She now has everything she needs to teach. Isn't it great? :)
I placed an order to upgrade our BellSouth Fastaccess DSL from the Ultra plan to the Xtreme plan today, over the phone. We still couldn't qualify on the website, but for some reason someone named Cindy at Fastaccess didn't ask any questions on the phone. That was around 10 AM CST this morning. As of 10 PM CST, I still have no verification or confirmation of an upgrade. Was I lied to? Who knows. It's supposed to take 24 to 72 hours for the upgrade to go through. I'm sure I'll rant positively or negatively soon on here.
Tonight, Emily & I went to the local Forestry Association meeting. It was interesting. :)
Well, I worked a lot Friday, cut grass Saturday, and went to church Sunday. Emily rearranged the furniture in the bedroom Saturday, and we both put up new blinds in the bedroom that night. They came from Lowes. Nice fake wood blinds. They work too, not like our old ones.
I've been struggling with our a/c unit the last few days. The blower was swirling water around everywhere inside the unit. The water from the evaporator wasn't trickling down into the drain pan anymore...it was just falling straight down into the blower. I cleaned the evaporator coils & coil fins yesterday, and it works fine now! Oh, and I got *new* foam filters for the evaporator, which had never been replaced. Nasty mess. Note for everyone, keep an eye on your evaporator! Keep it clean.
I'm slipping on the updating again people, sorry. There hasn't been much to talk about since Monday, and Monday wasn't much.
Been a while since the last update, sorry. Nothing much has happened. Today Dean Forestry Services got new Nokia 6340i phones. Not too special, but they can do analog, TDMA, and GSM networks. Cool. I found out that Cingular is activating their GSM network here this week, but I didn't want to step into the GSM world with a GSM only phone, ya know?
Added the "Cost of the War in Iraq" counter to the top of the page today. I found it interesting. Maybe you will too.
Golly gee man, the price of gas has gone wild hasn't it? $1.89 to $1.99 for regular here. Meridian Star article about gas prices here.
Kind of a boring day today. At least we got to go to our friends' house tonight for a get-together. Gabe, Amber, Shauna, Heather, Kim, Emily, and I were all there.
Oh, I ordered some new work boots today. Link to the boots. I hope they are nice...no one sells these boots around here, so I couldn't check them out in person, much less try them on.
Man it's late...why am I talking about boots?
In other news, read this uplifting Clarion-Ledger article about future education budgets in Mississippi. I think something is gonna have to be done.
Wednesday is trash day here...hehe
This afternoon, Emily and I went to Philadelphia, MS. We went to the Williams Brothers Store just to look around. Well, actually I was trying to find some new work boots to no avail. Next we went to Peebles, which is a very small department store chain that chose to come to Philadelphia for some reason. They sell nice stuff. Then we stopped by the Neshoba County Co-Op, and still didn't find any boots. Then we saw this store downtown named Deals and went in. It's kinda like a mom and pop version of the Big Lots! store. Lastly, we made a run by Kademi, but it was closed for the day already, or looked that way. For supper, we went to the somewhat new Hard Rock Beach Club. I think it's the first and only Hard Rock Beach Club in the world. Pretty neat huh?
I know what you are thinking...."wow, I never knew Williams Brothers had a website?" hehe.
Emily had her windows tinted today for her graduation present. It looks good so far...
HB 1696 is done as of Sunday (I think), waiting approval from the governor. It cuts $44 million from this year's education budget, but is much better than after it was initially amended by the Mississippi Senate, who cut funding by $161 million. I suppose a compromise was reached in the last days. The +/- 44 teachers in Lauderdale county alone that were pink-slipped are now receiving notice that they are re-hired. Hopefully things are looking up! The odd thing about all of this is that certian school districts will be receiving MORE money somehow in next year's budget (beginning July 1, 2004) than they were during this year. Lauderdale county is one of those fortunate districts. It's not much more money ($1.61 million more!), but it is more. The money is supposedly going to fund teacher & teaching assistants pay raises, as well as for health insurance. Yippie! Read the article here. How will our home county of Newton fair in all of this? I have no idea.
Oh, I haven't mentioned lately that we STILL cannot qualify for BellSouth's new FastAccess Xtreme DSL service? I wish BellSouth would fix their database! There is no reason that we still cannot qualify. C'mon BellSouth, get it together!
Happy Mother's Day!
Yes, today is Mother's Day. Check out the pictures from today here. You can also find a link to this page on the "Stuff" link above.
On a different note, check out the news with Mississippi education today. Read this Clarion Ledger article. It would appear that things won't be TOO bad, I just wish the legislature would pass something before overtime starts, which is tomorrow. How long does it take??
The big news today is EMILY GRADUATED! YAY! She graduated this afternoon from MSU Meridian around 4 PM CST. Pictures are here. A link to this picture page can also be found on the "Stuff" link above. Congrats Emily!
Just for the beginning of the day, read this article in The Clarion-Ledger entitled "Gov. offers 95% solution."
I just totally lost these updates somewhere. Sorry!
Well, I planted 12 tomato plants today. Guess what? I don't eat tomatoes! They are for Emily. Maybe I can get them to make tomatoes.
Just found out that a friend of mine from high school, Marissa, and her husband, Darren, are expecting a baby. Congrats!
Not much new. We had supper last night with our friends Caleb & Hollie & others. Caleb & Hollie are leaving this week for Chattanooga, TN so Caleb can further his education. We will certainly miss them & hope they will return as soon as they can. I think he's going to the University of TN at Chattanooga. I get details like that wrong a lot.
Emily is busy busy. She's been filling out applications to teach elementary school. Anyone out there in our area needing a terrific teacher?
OK, here's the education issue as I understand it. The MS House of Represenatives passed HB 1696, a bill that would FULLY fund education in Mississippi. When the bill got to the MS Senate, they amended it, cutting millions of dollars away from education! And, from what information I can find, our local senator, Terry C. Burton, was all in favor of the amended bill. Yes, Terry C. Burton was/is in favor of cutting education! Now, as of yesterday, HB 1696 is going back to the MS House to get approval as amended by the MS Senate. It's time to take a hard look at the Senators of this state. Terry C. Burton does not represent me, and does not represent educational needs in this state!
From what I understand, Governor Haley Barbour has found some additional funds that he "wants" to go towards education, but in my opinion, he doesn't want to take the heat for making this money go to education and not other silly state funded things. He wouldn't want to make anyone upset and take blame now would he?
Oh, and today, the House "declined to concur" and "invite conf". I don't know what this means...maybe the House wants the Senate to work with them in finding a solution? I don't know.
To view this bill & its status, click here.
I went the entire weekend with no update. Oh well.
Sunday, April 18, 2004, was the 17th anniversary of the debut of "G.I. Joe - The Movie"....it sure doesn't seem that long ago!
As far as I know, the Mississippi legislature still has no resolve on the lack of funding for education. This is nuts people! Sure, times are hard, but a lack of money for education?? Cmon! If something positive isn't done soon, I doubt ANY legislator will be returning for another term. Sure there are many other state organizations crying for more money, or at least the same amount of money they currently have in the 2004 calendar year, but I think education should come first. Maybe I am somewhat biased, but I doubt many would disagree. Surely there is a soapbox website up on this issue. I'll have to research...
What a long week this has seemed to be. Emily basically had a day off today and will tomorrow as well because the school she is student teaching at has no water. A line broke somewhere and it's taking a while to fix it I suppose.
Man, what is up with 44 or 46 teachers being given pink slips yesterday? Doesn't Mississippi already look hillbilly enough to the rest of the USA? Good grief lawmakers, fix this! Read here.
On a much sadder note today, I watched Chris Mabry's funeral procession pass by Lost Gap today. Here's a quote from a local newspaper about him:
We join with his family and friends in mourning the death of Christopher Mabry, a 19-year-old U.S. Marine from southwest Lauderdale County who was killed in the Sunni Muslim town of Ramadi, Iraq, on April 6, 2004. Mabry was among Marines fighting guerrillas in the cities of Ramadi and Falluja, in Iraqís Sunni heartland where the insurgency against U.S. and allied forces has turned most violent. Mabry is the first Lauderdale Countian killed in Iraq.Although I did not know him, I am grateful for what he did for all of us.
Death in the line of duty is always a tragic loss. But beyond the numbing shock felt by Mabryís family will always be the knowledge that he volunteered to become a U.S. Marine because he knew it was a demanding form of service to his country that requires a special person.
To those who knew him best, he was surely such a man. We are grateful for his service and sacrifice.
Not much going on today. It was cloudy and chilly. Mom decided she was sick enough to go to the doctor. Seems she has the same thing that I had and then dad had. I don't think it's catchy though! :) Emily hasn't gotten it! The sickness is coughing, runny nose, etc. The doctor said it was common right now. Starts as allergies, then turns to bronchitis, then turns to pneumonia. Fun.
Emily was off from school again today. It's back to school for her tomorrow.
I hope all of you out there had a wonderful & blessed Easter Sunday!
What a long day! Lots of new pics from today can be found on the Stuff page, or just click here.
I'm really excited about this new The Punisher movie that's coming out on April 16. I used to collect The Punisher comic books years ago. I would have to say that he is by far my FAVORITE comic book hero of all time. I wish movies weren't so dern expensive, but I might have to just break down and go to this movie.
I forgot to mention that my rebate from Maxtor finally actually came in the mail on Saturday. Way to go Maxtor! Took ya long enough! Thanks.
Emily got her Praxis II test results yesterday. She passed just fine! Yay!
I've been cutting grass yesterday & today. I'm pooped.
I tried to sign up with the new FastAccess Extreme (DSL) today. The upgrade area for members doesn't have the Extreme option for me. Just my luck. Maybe it will be there in a few days. I really really hope so! 3/384 is so inviting.
Happy Easter tomorrow! Easter pics will be posted tomorrow hopefully.
Well, BellSouth will be rolling out their new FastAccess Extreme soon, maybe by the end of this week. I could get 3mbit down and 384? up and a static IP address for $5 more than I currently pay for their 1.5mbit down 256 up. It would be $49.95 a month plus the new $2.97 federal recovery fee (crap), but I think it would be worth it. Dang BellSouth is expensive, but there are no other options here!
Been working like crazy lately. I had a horrible migraine headache last night that left me still feeling cruddy this morning. I don't know what brought that on! I was certainly feeling looney. Emily still didn't get her Praxis results in the mail today....
One more thing, I added a link to the webcam of the MSU drill field on the Links page. Check it out for an updated screenshot every 3 seconds.
Not much was done this weekend. I wanted to go outside & cut grass n stuff, but I am still somewhat sick from the pollen outbreak down here. Dad is sick with it now, maybe I didn't give him any of my sickness.
Been playin more UT2k4. I think I'm getting better at it. Well, maybe not really. Oh well.
Emily is still waiting to get the results of her Praxis exam in the mail. I think they are mailed out, so it should be any day now. I wish my rebates (yes you MAXTOR) would come soon as well. I'm sure Emily did great on her tests, just like everything else she does.
Man, I'm slipping! Been too long before this update. Sorry. I've been sick with this pollen stuff & working actually. Finally getting into playing UT2k4 with friends online, and yes, I do suck at it. I think I'm getting better though. No one wants me on their team :( hehe!
I should start Far Cry again....oooh I can't wait until the new Pirates! game comes out later this year. It's a remake of the old classic. How nifty!
Nice. Today around noon some asswipe stole my credit card info and tried to buy over $1,000 worth of computer stuff online. Luckily, they put in the wrong expiration date and my credit card company contacted me immediately. Now that account is closed. I hope whoever you are that you are caught and heavily prosecuted!
What a wonderful day.
I just finished playing Far Cry through again, this time at a higher difficulty level, using the cheats of course! This game would be much to hard for me without the cheats.
Emily comes home tonight! :)
This website has now been up over a month! yay! I've been sick for almost a week now! boooo!
Tomorrow this webpage will have been up a month! yay!
Emily left today to go on the "Mississippi trip" with her 5th grade students at West Lauderdale middle school. She'll be gone until Sunday night. This is the first time we've been apart like this since we got married in 2000. It's sad :(
Oh, something else that sucks, TechTV was bought out by Comcast's G4 channel. They will merge to form a new G4 channel and retain the best (supposedly) of both channels. Only the future will tell! Read about it here.
Well, tonight I finished Far Cry (heavily using the cheats). This has to be the best game of the year! The graphics, gameplay, everything is just awesome! It eats RAM however. A gig of RAM will help you along! I'm gonna start Far Cry over again tomorrow I'm sure. This is the next big thing.
Today I added a link to a pic of Emily & I up there at the top of this page. Don't wanna scroll up to find the link? Click here.
I'm still enjoying the RetroPad, but I haven't fooled with it a whole lot. I've been playing Far Cry. It's the mose awesome game I've played this year (which isn't saying a whole lot I suppose) - but it IS really good! Even plays well on my computer.
Oh, and this dern pollen has really come out today! I can't quit coughing and having a slight run of the nose. :(
Can you believe that my RetroPad came today? Talk about super fast service! This thing is so neat. After tinkering with it for a few minutes I figured out how to set up Nestopia to use it, just some simple mapping. Other emulators are much easier to define input devices, but Nestopia overall is still my favorite. Much to talk about all this later.
I ordered a RetroPad Nintendo controller yesterday. I can't wait to try it out! In case you missed it on my Links page, this guy makes custom USB gamepads out of genuine used NES controllers. It's really cool! It should be here before 3/23/2004 shipped via USPS thank goodness. I'll talk about it once it gets here. Maybe it will work with Nestopia.
Wow, been a week since I updated. You should try this new Battlefield: Vietnam game. It's pretty neat. Also, I've been hooked on the Vietcong addon Fist Alpha. Man I'm sleepy...
Quite a nice day today. I put up a new shelf here in the computer room. Need more space for all this junk. Speaking of junk, I made a ultra-crappy All Your Base pic from a Metal Gear screenshot. It is the super computer you must blow up at the end. Check it out here. Yes, I do know that I'm like 2 years behind. I just got the idea in my head and did it.
What's with the whole "All your base are belong to us" craze that I missed? I seem to stumble upon it every now and then. Check out this link for more All your base info.
Emily had to take her Praxis exams today. Very stressful. It was a beautiful day today, in the low 80s. Terrific day to open all the windows in the house & do chores. Hey I need to do some more stuff to this website right?
Well, today I changed up the site a little more. I moved the news section to a named place in the index file, so the 2 pages merged into one. I think this makes things flow a little better. Seems like I did something else to the site, but I can't remember right now.
No real updates today. I wanted to do a little change to the site, but I don't have the time. Mom got a new computer today. It's an eMachine! I know I know, eMachines are supposed to be bad. I have great confidence in this system though. AMD Athlon XP 3000+ processor & everything else you need (including a 17" monitor) for $698! It's a great deal, right from Wal*Mart.
Well, not a whole lot new today. Thank you to everyone who has visited this site and signed the guestbook. I really appreciate it. Hey, I just created these pics of the Contra guys. What do you think? Wonder where I could put them? and
Also new today, the new scroll bar. I'm really proud of that. Also, I validated my HTML today with W3C MarkUp Validation Service. I finally got the site cleaned up and in check.
Yay, today is Leap Day. So what? Let's see, today I added different pics of Solid Snake to each webpage. Oh, updated the Links section & corrected some spelling errors. Make sure ya clean your cache and/or reload every time you visit here. You never know what may happen.
A second day, more updating. It's a beautiful Saturday & not much going on. Emily is still hard at work on her lesson plans. I'm messing with this website. Great Saturday eh? I've added a nifty Solid Snake picture to the logo above. I copied a screen using NESTopia, an AWESOME NES emulator, and then used Photoshop to clean up and extract just Solid Snake. Doesn't it look good? :) I'm steadily learning how to use Photoshop, basics only.
Also added today, a Guestbook! Please try it out. I've changed it a lot from the standard template to make it match the site.
Well, here it is, my new website is created. I've been wanting to create my own webpage again since college. This time I even registered my own domain! To check out how I did it, look at the About page. More to come!
Our nephew Hunter was born today. Hopefully some pics of him will be posted shortly. At birth he was 8 pounds 7.5 ounces and 21 inches long.