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Friday, June 30, 2006

Cleaning the Garage

I hate cleaning out the garage.
But it was time to do it, so I didn't want to put it off any longer.
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I found about half of a car in there. The bottom half, actually.
I had to put it back under the top half to get it out of the garage.
But how do you go about putting the bottom half of a car under the top half?
I don't know if there's an official way that it's supposed to be done, but here's how I do it.
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Turn the top half sideways, roll the bottom out under it, and then turn the top down onto the bottom.
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There. Good as new. AND it gives me more space in the garage.
So, Three hours from start to finish, and I ended up with something like this
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I found a fully functional wood shop up under all that crap.
Here's some of my work:
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A Jack of All Trades and a Master of None.

I took the toll road today

I don't normally take the toll road. I took it today though because I was taking my family to see Superman Returns and I wanted to be sure to get there before the start time.
Now why is it that I can spend $28.00 on movie tickets and be ok with that, but if I spend $1.25 on the toll road I get a guilt complex?
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Monday, June 26, 2006

Old memories, new memories

When was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter?
I don't mean a post-it note. I'm not talking about email.
I mean a good ol' honest to goodness letter. The kind you put in an envelope and mail. You remember licking stamps and putting them on the envelope upside down to mean "I love you"?
When was the last time you stood out by the mailbox waiting for the mail to come because you might get a letter from your lover?

The last letter that I ever wrote was to my mother. And that was back in 1989.
It seems I needed some money.
I'm not sure.
It was so long ago.
Not that I don't talk to my mother, mind you. I just don't ever mail her letters anymore.

Why not?
Well, to start with, I have unlimited friends and family minutes. So I just pick up the phone. It's even free long distance.

And what if I can't reach her by phone?
Well, I just send her an email.

You see, email made the U.S.P.S. obsolete. That's all there is to it. There's no reason to mail a letter anymore. Not when you can instantly send a message anywhere in the world as often as you want for absolutely free.

But did you know it almost didn't happen?

Back in the early days of the computer, we didn't have the internet yet. We used to have to call each others house and hook up one computer directly to the other.

We used to send batch emails from one city to another.
And we used to have to pay for stamps.

But when the internet finally started spreading, with it came instant email.
But the email was separate from the internet at first.
You had to have an email browser, and it would call the service and check if you had messages, but without really logging you onto the internet.

It was really archaic. But it worked.
And it was ours.

But then....the big boys stepped in.
Before long, we found out that they made it so you couldnt just register your email to your computer anymore.
You had to register email with an email server.
And then came word that they would be charging for this service.
And that's where the shit hit the fan.

They split into two camps, for the most part.
One group said that they should charge you ten cents for every email that you sent.
The other group said that you should have a montly fee for bandwidth.

And for a while there was a lot of speculation about whether this whole internet business was worth all the trouble it was causing.

Many people began switching back to the old Bullitin Board Systems.

And then came Juno.
Juno really changed the whole thing. It started almost as an underground company. And they literally screamed their logo. EMAIL WAS MEANT TO BE FREE!!!

And then they went out and proved it.
And I haven't seen an email server in fifteen years.

And that's what always happens.
That's why I still dont use sprint.
Or AT&T.
In fact, I will never use AOL either.

But I have a long memory.

But when I look back on it, you know, with hindsight being 20/20, I wonder why everyone was so scared. I mean, any time there is a hole in business, some young upstart always comes in and fills it. Every single time.
That's just the way it works. That's free market.
That's what competition does for us.

That's why Bill Gates was able to best big blue.
That's why a couple of nerdy kids could go from Phone Phreaking to building Apple computers. Innovation always wins out over corporate greed.

Ever heard the story of the Ritz hotel? Or about Chef Boy-r-d?
How about Papa John's Pizza.

Any time the big guys think they got you cornered, there's always a new way to stick it to them.

When gas prices go up to three bucks a gallon, you start hearing about people with their own biodiesel brews in their garage.

When heating oil goes up, people learn how to burn dried out corn.
It's just the American way.

So what's all this talk about net neutrality? Do you think it will really pass? Do you want it to? I don't.
Now before you go burning my figure in effigy, just stop and think about it for a minute.
What the internet definitely does NOT need is more government intervention.
As it stands right now, if you wanted to start your own ISP, what would it cost you? I used to run my own server back in the olden days and it was the price of a phone line. But the laws are written now so that if you wanted to make your own, you would be hard pressed to get one up for less than one hundred thousand dollars. And that's if nothing bad happened. That really puts a damper on the little guy. And that's just for an ISP. If you wanted to become a big dog and compete with the internet backbone, it would be impossible. That's what government intervention has done for us geeks.

But suppose that the net neutrality thing dies out and then the big dogs all put up a bunch of sniffers, sorters, censures, and you are left with half an internet. How would you feel about that?

One the one hand, if you are getting your service from one of these guys, then they are selling you a service. If you do not like the terms of service, you do not have to buy it.
In my own life, I have gone to college, and I have a pretty decent income. I am not ashamed of the fact that I like computers and that I am blessed enough to buy whatever kind of computer equipment I want. That's the reward that I have for all of the sacrifice I put in by going to college and getting a degree. So if I go out and build one of the fastest rigs in any household in the country, isn't that my right? I would say that I probably have a faster computer than anyone reading this post, except one. (fucker)
And if I want to hook up a T3 and get blistering fast connection speeds, it's my money, can't I spend it however I want? And if I put up a wireless router and connect it to every computer in my house, again, why is that anyones business? But, however, if I do that and then hook up my neighbors computer to my network and charge him a nominal monthly fee, then there is a problem. I would be violating the terms of service that I agreed to when I signed up. Because my ISP sells internet access, and that's what they do for a living. That's industry. That's how things work.
Incidentally, I do not have a T3. I have a mediocre cable connection. I cannot get a T3 at my house, or for that matter any more than about 750 down. The reason why is that my cable company sucks. I can't go over to any other company because of government intervention. It seems my neighborhood is divided up into sections and the two major cable providers in the area each have a zone that they are allowed to service. So I'm stuck with the worst one in the area. That's due to the government deciding that that would be fair.
So I'm not very supportive of letting the government place yet another level of "protection" on an already stifled industry.

But maybe you think that the internet has risen to the level that it should now be considered not a luxury, or a product, but a vital part of American society's infrastructure. Maybe you think that everyone in the country should have a right to internet access in some form due to it's remarkable potential for free education and expression. I couldn't disagree with you. But that is simply not a reality at this time. And net neutrality would do little to promote such a concept. But I think I have a much better solution.

I say what would be best would be to let the big boys have their way and censure the internet however they want. But there's a reason.

It would spur change.

Just as the advent of the internet rendered letter writing into a lost art form, and just as high speed connections have enabled VOIP to doom Ma Bell, so too would the internet sniffers and sorters render the entire internet backbone providers into the realm of once upon a time.

Here is the future of the internet:
In the near future, many cities will be providing high speed internet access supported by city revenues with a possible nominal monthly fee. Ten dollars a month is the number I have heard tossed around. The technology for city-wide broadband has been available for quite some time now. All that is needed is an impetus for change.

Don't believe me?
Take a look around.

It's coming. Soon.
I believe that within ten years, every major city in the nation will offer free or nearly free internet service. After that, the only change that would be needed would be to take the logical step of bypassing the internet backbone providers and linking each city directly to the DNS root servers and then the current internet providers will have to change, if they want to survive. Within ten years, I predict that the internet providers we have today will have to change over to providers of fiber to the curb. That is, Internet 2. It's the only way they will avoid going bankrupt.

So if you want to call your Senator and tell him your view on Net Neutrality, by all means, feel free to. It will give you something to tell your grandkids when you are explaining to them how the internet used to be.
But at the same time, make sure to call your city counsel members and tell them that you want to go wireless.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tool boxes for women

Ok, Cinthia asked if they have tool boxes for women. Now let me just say to start off with that I'm opposed to the whole idea of women having toolboxes. I mean seriously, folks, what would happen if women learned how to fix everything? I'd be out of a job. See, I know that if I want to impress my wife, all I have to do is break out the tools.
If we get into a fight, something aroung here is getting fixed. I don't know what it is, but for some reason, the sight of a sweaty guy with no shirt on, taking something apart, fixing it, and putting it back together always seems to be what women really want in the world. I think it goes back to that basic, carnal instinct that says, "I want someone to take care of me." But hell, I'm just an old redneck boy from Texas, so what do I know? So then, here we go, toolboxes for women...

It would have to be something small. Not too heavy. Something that could be organized. You know, can't just have the tools all heaped up in a pile. And something clever. Nothing at all like this:
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Can you see the testosterone dripping off of this thing?
Furthermore, it has to be practical. Are you able to bust loose a stuck screw? Maybe you want something electrical.
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See how this is perfect for most women? It even comes in yellow. And no guy would own one. If guys want screwdrivers, they prefer a screwdriver set.
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See how macho with all the different pieces? You must know a lot to have all those screwdrivers. I bet you could build something big with all of those.

And then you need something to carry it all in. Something that has drawers.
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And then you get yourself one of those clicky little label makers and label where everything goes in it.
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And there you have it, the perfect toolbox for women.

And now, how does a woman effectively USE a toolbox?
Women use toolboxes differently than men do. See, men have toolboxes for 50% fixing, and 50% bragging. Women use toolboxes for 50% fixing and 50% getting their boyfriend off the couch.
Here's how it works:
Cinthia: Baloo, will you fix the doorhandle in the bathroom? It's all loose and wobbly.
Baloo: I will after a while.
Cinthia: You said that two days ago! I need it to be fixed. (pout)
Baloo: I'll get to it.
Cinthia: Ok, Fine. I'll do it myself! (Goes and gets the "toolbox for women")
Baloo: (feeling territorial) What are you doing?
Cinthia: If you aren't going to fix the doorknob, I will.
Baloo: (suddenly off of the couch and following Cinthia) Do you know how to fix it?
Cinthia: How hard can it be? Seriously! (Start taking off random screws, parts, nuts, and anything that you can get loose, and making a pile on the floor)
Baloo: Here, I'll do it.
Cinthia: NO! You go watch your precious ballgame. I'll do it. (mumbling something about "my next boyfriend will know how to fix a stupid doorknob")
Baloo: (feeling territorial and somewhat threatened) Ok, I got it. (violently shoving Cinthia out of the way and fixing the doorknob)
Cinthia: (quietly watching)
Baloo: Ok, good as new.
Cinthia Oh, you did a great job, Baloo. And would you look at the drippy faucet?
Baloo: Yes, right away.
(Nothing in your house will ever stay broken again.)
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Korean Missile Testing Press Conference Transcript

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Following is the official transcript of today's Presidential press conference regarding the recent events surrounding North Korea's impending missile test:

BUSH: Ok, nuclear...nuclear...nuclear...ok, I think I got it now...nuclear...Hey, Carl, can we still talk about the threat of WMD if we already did that one? We can? They will? Are you sure? Ok. Nuclear...nuclear...nuclear...Oh, is this thing on? Oh, it is? Oops. Ok, Um, Er, My fellow Americans, I need to talk to you about something of the utmost importance. It has come to my attention that there is another country that's called North Korea. The president of that country is called Kim Dung Hill. He wants to send a nucular bomb at us. So we're gonna shoot it down when he does. I think there's probably some Al Qaeda people over there, too. Anyhow, it really is some kind of WMD this time, so I think we should whoop 'em. We're just gonna bypass all that mumbo jumbo with the congress approvin' it this time, ok.
And don't try misunderestimating me. We're really gonna get them slanty eyed commies good. Thank you, and good night...er...good morning...er, uh...goodbye.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I went to the pawn shop today

I went to the pawn shop today. Just for no reason. I do that sometimes. I don't know why. Usually just a bunch of trash in there. Nothing worth buying. Waste some time.
But not today. Today was different.
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Today I found a toolbox. It's a big ole honkin Craftsman upright. It's about as big as an eleven year old boy.
And the special thing about this particular toolbox is that it came full of tools.
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So not too bad for 144 dollars. Must be my lucky day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fathers Day

I had to work all weekend, and the kids went off to Grandma's house for a visit. Before they left, my four year old went onto my computer and left me a new bitmap image entitled "do not open until fathers day"
So I actually waited until Sunday to open it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Reason Number 42 Why You Shouldn't Let A Four Year Old On Your Computer

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The drag and drop function.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Help Wanted.

Senior management position. Challenging position now available for the right applicant. Good pay and generous benefit package with housing provided. Must be willing to relocate and travel frequently. No experience necessary. Apply in person in the alley behind the little red brick building. Serious applicants only.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cheaters Suck

One thing I can say for sure, Cheaters Suck.
Marriage has been the best thing that ever happened in my entire life. My wife and I have been through ups and downs together. Sometimes more Up, sometimes more Down. But through it all we have learned to depend on each other.
That's why I always hate to hear about someone who has cheated on their wife.
To me, if a man cannot be trusted to keep his wedding vows, he cannot be trusted for anything. I would not have such a man over to my house. I would not go to a doctor who cheated on his wife. I would not give him a ride to the grocery store.
It is the lowest thing a person can do to another person.
And when a man cheats, he doesn't just cheat on his wife. He cheats on his children, too. He is telling his children that after careful consideration he has decided that their safety, emotional security, and the entire family's wellbeing is not as important as his own selfish desires. Such a man believes that his wife and children are something to be used and then discarded.

So hats off to Dawn from www.WeThinkCheatersSuck.com
Her spineless half-a-man husband of twelve years decided to bail for a cheap stuffed-crust bimbo and leave her to raise a disabled child alone, much like my dear father-in-law did to my mother-in-law many years ago, who's sorry ass I had the pleasure of chunking out of my house and telling him that if I ever saw him again he is in for the ass-kicking of his life.
Husbands like that aren't around to deal with the emotional scars they leave on their children. They don't care about the hungry days following their coming out of the closet.

So here's to Dawn's ex. The dickless wonderboy and his skanky blond sidekick, Staci.

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