Monday, December 13, 2004

Amputation rate for US troops twice that of past wars

From the Boston Globe:
Doctors cite need for prosthetics as more lives saved
     US troops injured in Iraq have required limb amputations at twice the rate of past wars, and as many as 20 percent have suffered head and neck injuries that may require a lifetime of care, according to new data giving the clearest picture yet of the severity of battlefield wounds.

     The data are the grisly flip side of improvements in battlefield medicine that have saved many combatants who would have died in the past: Only 1 in 10 US troops injured in Iraq has died, the lowest rate of any war in US history.

     But those who survive have much more grievous wounds. Bulletproof Kevlar vests protect soldiers' bodies but not their limbs, as insurgent snipers and makeshift bombs tear off arms and legs and rip into faces and necks. More than half of those injured sustain wounds so serious they cannot return to duty, according to Pentagon statistics.

     Much attention has focused on the 1,000-plus soldiers killed in Iraq, but the Pentagon has released little information on the 9,765 soldiers injured as of this week.

     "The death rate isn't great compared to Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. But these soldiers are coming back to their communities and people are seeing just how high the price is that these young people are paying," said Dr. G. Richard Holt, a head and neck surgeon at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and a retired US Army surgeon who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq earlier this year.

     Responding to the large number of amputations, scientists at Brown University in Providence and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology yesterday announced a $7.2 million research program to design more functional prosthetic limbs. The US Department of Veterans Affairs is paying for the work.

     Data compiled by the US Senate, and included in the 2005 defense appropriations bill in support of a request for increased funding for the care of amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, reveal that 6 percent of those wounded in Iraq have required amputations, compared with a rate of 3 percent for past wars.

     According to Brown Medical School's Dr. Roy Aaron, the current VA medical system "literally cannot handle the load" of amputees.

     Aaron is heading up the Brown-MIT effort, which will also include the Providence VA Medical Center.
"Amputee research has never been a high priority because it's not . . . fashionable," said Aaron. "Iraq has changed that."

Complete Article here
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Sunday, December 12, 2004

I bet they were good though....

Copied from Yahoo! news:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri's most violent criminals can no longer play video games that simulate murders, carjackings and the killing of police officers, a decision reached after prison officials were told about the content.
"We didn't closely review these," Dave Dormire, superintendent of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, told The Kansas City Star. "We were told these games had more like cartoon violence."

The Star reported Thursday the state's new maximum-security prison pulled dozens of violent Sony PlayStation 2 games from its recreation center on Wednesday, after officials were alerted to their content by a reporter. Inmates had been using them for months.

In fact, the prison's PlayStation offerings included one of the most violent games on the market, "Hitman: Contracts," in which players use everything from meat hooks to silencer-equipped pistols to carry out brutal contract killings.

In all, 35 of the facility's more than 80 games were removed. Others remain, including science fiction and sports games.

The games were paid for from inmates' purchases mostly of snacks at the prison canteen. The canteen generates up to $20,000 monthly and a committee of corrections officials, prison staffers and several inmates decides how to spend it.

Much of the cash is used for weightlifting and exercise equipment. Video games are a new purchase in Jefferson City; prison officials say other facilities have done the same, though it doesn't appear to be the norm.

"It has a good effect on helping us run the prison and make sure they're busy and not trying to work on ways to escape or harm others," Dormire said. "That's kind of our bottom line public safety."

Some corrections experts were shocked that violent games would be allowed in the hands of violent prisoners.

Jacqueline Helfgott, a professor at Seattle University who has studied the effects of violent movies and video games on criminal behavior, said such media can have a negative effect on inmates.

"You get people in a maximum-security prison who have already gone over the line," she said. "They're not afraid to engage in violence, unlike the nerd sitting in front of his computer."

Jim Houston, a professor of criminal justice at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., agreed.

"These kinds of games reinforce a criminal lifestyle that caused them to get into prison in the first place," Houston said.

Mary Still, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bob Holden, said the governor believes violent games are inappropriate for prisoners. The governor does not oppose nonviolent video games for inmates, but says they should not come at taxpayer expense.

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

From Draplindustries Design Co.:

From Draplindustries Design Co.:
That's right. We're tired of having to listen to your loud, obnoxious conversations. We don't care about yer new haircut or what "he" might have said to you the night before. (We couldn't believe it either!) It doesn't interest us in the least whether or not you are going to attend the company Christmas party or when you need to pick up yer ugly kids from soccer practice. Nope. Don't want to hear it.
We're fighting back.
Simply download this PDF, cut 'em out, and "politely" hand them out to whoever is "spinning a yarn" next to you in the checkout line.
---The Draplindustries Design Co. and Coudal Partners: Concerned about garrulous public chatter, and gosh-dang-it, we're doing something about it.
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Friday, December 10, 2004

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

This day in history

I'm sure the majority of blogs are going with a Pearl Harbor theme, and as such, I will venture into other areas:

1931- Model-A Ford Discontinued:
The last Ford Model A was produced on this day. The Ford motor works were then shut down for six months for retooling. On April 1, 1932, Ford introduced its new offering: the high-performance Ford V-8, the first Ford with an 8-cylinder engine.

1934 - Jet Stream 'discovered'
Wiley Post is credited with discovering the jet stream when he flew into the stratosphere over Bartlesville, Oklahoma. With the financial backing of Oklahoma oil pioneer Frank Phillips, Post planned flights to test the "thin air" in the stratosphere above 50,000 feet. The Winnie Mae, made of plywood, could not be pressurized so Post developed the pressurized flying suit, forerunner of the modern space suit. Made by B.F. Goodrich, it was of double ply rubberized parachute fabric, with pigskin gloves, rubber boots, and aluminium helmet, pressurized to 0.5 bar. In Mar 1935, Post flew from Burbank California to Cleveland Ohio in the stratosphere using the jet stream. At times, his ground speed exceeded 550 kph in a 290 kph aircraft.

1965 - A Fleet Of Chevys
Chevrolet produced its 3,000,000th car for the year. It was the first time Chevrolet had produced an annual total surpassing 3,000,000 vehicles.

1972 - Last moon mission
Apollo 17, the sixth and last U.S. moon mission, blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Flight Commander Eugene Cernan was the last man on the moon. With him on the voyage of the command module America and the lunar module Challenger were Ronald Evans (command module pilot) and Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt (lunar module pilot). In maneuvering Challenger to a landing at Taurus-Littrow, located on the southeast edge of Mare Serenitatis, Cernan and Schmitt activated a base of operations from which they completed three highly successful excursions to the nearby craters and the Taurus mountains, making the Moon their home for over three days. The mission returned on 19 Dec.

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Monday, December 06, 2004

A webpage that defies description...

...other than to say some guys have a negative IQ:
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Friday, December 03, 2004

Found a good site for parents of inquizative kids....
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Can't pass up "This day in history" ...

First human heart transplant - 1967
In 1967, in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, with his team of 20 surgeons, performed the first human heart transplant on a South African businessman, 54-yr-old Louis Washkansky. At the Groote Schuur Hospital, his diseased heart was replaced with the healthy heart of a 25-year old woman who had died in a car crash. Washkansky lasted only 18 days before succumbing to double pneumonia, contracted after destruction of his body's immunity mechanism by drugs administered to suppress rejection of the new heart as a foreign protein.However, the next patient, Philip Blaiberg, lived for nearly two years. Since then, many thousands of human heart transplants have been performed.

First permanent artifical heart - 1982
In 1982, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center removed the respirator of Barney Clark, one day after the retired dentist became the world's first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik-7. Surgery was performed by Dr. William DeVries in cooperation with the inventor, Dr. Robert Jarvik. Clark had actually visited the veterinary laboratory at the University of Utah and watched calves that had received the artificial hearts. Near death, with his own heart practically useless, Clark agreed to the experiment. He said, "It may not work that well for me. I'll do it for the next patient." He lived 112 days on the artificial heart. Of the next four implants, the longest survivor was William Schroeder, who lived 620 days. Image: Clark and DeVries.

You think this was planned?

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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

RSS feed from my blog

Took a few minutes last night to play with RSS options of blogger. The feed is available here:
Then, using Feedburner, I was able to put this onto my Tis Gar Plen menu frame:
Recent Tis Gar Plen blog entries

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Friday, November 26, 2004

What a week!!!!

The blog has been quiet for a while, but I hope you will understand. Last week I was offered the webmaster duties of, a site I have been very interested in for the last year. While the domain name contains my doctor's last name, it is actually a site maintained my Ertl recipients and supporters. The previous webmaster has become very busy and offered to let me take the duties for a while. I was more than happy to jump at the chance. Spent the majority of my free time last week and the first part of this week making major revisions/additions to the site.

Earlier this week I got several pieces of good news ... all related to amputee issues:
  1. On Monday, my CP (certified prosthetist) asked me to go to Minneapolis with him ion January. He is going for some new training, and all the students are required to bring their own 'test subject'. It is unknown if I will get to 'walk away' with any new technology, but as long as I can help Jonathan out, I am more than willing to go. Won't really be a vacation, as we are going to get there late Wednesday, attend 16 hours worth of training on Thurs/Fri, then fly back Friday evening. Should be a rush trip, but I will get some time to get to know Jonathan better, in a better environment that we are normally in (clinic setting)
  2. Found out that the moderator of another major amputee website (Dan) has the same CP as Chad from Survivor ... and Dan is forwarding my contact info to Chad for contact about various items to discuss. This may not sound like much to most, but Chad is a major 'spokesperson' in the amputee world right now, and the chance to correspond with him is huge to me.
  3. ABC has a series on television called Extreme Makeovers. While I have never seen it, I understand it the purpose of it is to provide an extreme makeover (duh) including makeup, hair, clothing, etc for a few lucky people. This season they have decided to include an amputee in their lineup., with the makeover including a prosthetic leg. (No, I am not applying!). My doctor, Will Ertl, has provided the idea of having a truly 'extreme' makeover, including an Ertl Procedure amputation, for a person who is already needing it, but is lacking in the resources ($$$) to have it completed. If this happens, as webmaster of, I may get to have some part in the process. We'll just have to wait and see!

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Friday, November 19, 2004

ErtlRecon Website

I have been spending most of my free time working on the website. I have been really jazzed about the opportunity to work on this site and help advance the awareness of the Ertl Procedure. Check out the site to find out more info about it.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This day in history

In 1970, a U.S. patent was issued for the computer mouse - an "X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System" (No. 3541541). The inventor was Doug Engelbart. In the lab, he and his colleagues had called it a "mouse," after its tail-like cable. The first mouse was a simple hollowed-out wooden block, with a single push button on top. Engelbart had designed this as a tool to select text, move it around, and otherwise manipulate it. It was a key element of his larger project - the NLS (oN Line System), a computer he and some colleagues at the Stanford Research Institute had built. The NLS also allowed two or more users to work on the same document from different workstations.
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If you are reading this...

You are either brand new to my blog, or you have found out that I changed my blog address from to
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Software review taking a break

Yep, it was a short run test, and it proved not to be as popular as I had hoped .... It might come back to the top of my priority at a later date
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Just a (really) quick note....

Yesterday I got to take over the reins of the website. I will post an announcement when my updates have been placed over-top of the current one.
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

WORLD WAR I ENDS: November 11, 1918

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiýgne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

    Interesting info found yesterday:
  • Of the 418,000 Canadian soldiers sent into World War One, over 60,000 were killed. There are only three WW1 veterans still alive.
  • More than 330,000 Australians served overseas in World War One. Of these, nearly 60,000 died. There are only four WW1 veterans still alive in Australia.
  • I couldn't find the numbers for American WW1 survivors, but it has to be pretty small as well.

1921 Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknowns
Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

Coincidentally, George S. Patton (one of the ablest American commanders in WWII) was born on this date in 1885. Patton studied at West Point and served as a tank officer in WWI.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wednesday Software Review: HTTrack

Application title: HTTrack
Software type: Freeware
Use: It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site's relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the "mirrored" website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.
Ron's thoughts: I tend to do a lot of research via the web, but have a dial-up connection at home. When I find a useful site, I use HTTrack to bring it down to my laptop locally (using the high speed connection at the office), so I can review it quickly, without an internet connection. As soon as I am done with the site, I simply delete the folder that was created during the mirroring process.
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First computer virus

On this day in 1983, U.S. student Fred Cohen presented to a security seminar the results of his test - the first documented virus, created as an experiment in computer security. Cohen created this first virus when studying for a PhD at the University of Southern California. Others had written about the potential for creating pernicious programs but he was the first to demonstrate a working example. In the paper, he defined a virus as "a program that can 'infect' other programs by modifying them to include a ... version of itself". Cohen added his virus to a graphics program called VD, written for a Vax mini-computer. The virus hid inside VD and used the permissions users had to look at other parts of the Vax computer to spread around the system.
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Monday, November 08, 2004

Athlete's Tongue

Ever have one of those days when every time you opened your mouth, you ended up putting your foot in it? That has been me for the past day or two. I will either learn to stop, or get accustomed to that taste of shoe-leather.
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Today in History: 1846

Artificial leg:
In 1846, the first U.S. patent for an artificial leg was granted to Benjamin F. Palmer of Meredith, New Hampshire (No. 4,834). The leg had a pliable joint that worked noiselessly and preserved its contour in all positions. It presented no openings in the exterior of the legs about the joints and contained tendons of gut and springs arranged in such a manner as to give more elasticity, stength, durability and freedom of motion than previously available. Artificial legs had been used previously: in 1837 one was exhibited by Howland & Co of Brookfield, Mass., at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association.

11 months ago today: I had a surgery that made me thankful that Benjamin Palmer started what he did!
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Today in history: 1879

Will Rogers Born:
Beloved American actor and humorist Will Rogers is born in "Indian Territory" (now the state of Oklahoma). As a child, he excelled at riding and rope tricks, and as a young man he traveled abroad with a Wild West show. Later, he appeared at fairs and vaudeville shows, sprinkling his act with his gentle, folksy humor.

In 1912, Rogers began appearing in musical comedies, and by 1917 he was starring in the Ziegfeld Follies. His folk wisdom won the hearts of the nation. He appeared in a few early films, but silent movies failed to do justice to his verbal talents.

With the dawn of talking pictures in the late 1920s, Rogers became a top box-office draw. His films included Happy Days (1929), A Connecticut Yankee (1929), and Ambassador Bill (1931). In 1930, William S. Paley persuaded Rogers to try radio. Although Rogers was skeptical of the medium and disliked the microphone, his 12-episode show-full of his trademark humor and thoughtful political observations-was a hit. Later, he returned to radio, hosting Gulf Headliners in the early 1930s.

Rogers declined a nomination as governor of Oklahoma but later served as mayor of Beverly Hills. In 1935, Rogers died in a plane crash while flying in Alaska with aviation pioneer Wiley Post.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Attended an Amputee Support Group meeting yesterday on OKC

Like I mentioned in the software review entry, it's only Wednesday, but it feels like it has been a full week already. Rushed out of the office a few minutes early on Monday to vote, so we wouldn't have to fight the crowds when we were needing to get to OKC on Tuesday. What we were told was going to take an hour and a half took a total of 22 minutes. For once a productive government office ... who would have thought?

Got around Tuesday morning, gathering up all the items our girls would need while staying a friend's house, and started out for OKC. I had planned enough time for Renee and I to eat a nice lunch and still arrive at the meeting a few minutes early (those of you who know me understands that is like 30 minutes prior to the doors opening). Lunch was nice, and even provided somewhat of a floor show, as the gentlemen sitting behind us were more than happy to share their political views loud enough for everyone in our section to hear. I won't say who they voted for, but their opinions appeared to flip-flop during the 30 minutes we were near them. Even after a leisurely lunch, we still got to the conference room before it was even unlocked!

Fast Forward to the meeting .... it was more of a "come and go", "glad to meet ya" type meeting, in an attempt to get this group started. It was nice in the fact that I got to talk with my surgeon and CP (certified prosthetist) in a non-clinical setting, getting to know them better. All the people that attended were quite nice, and it seems like the group has potential ... if for nothing else than just to get additional ideas and stories to share as I help new amputees (that is something I am very active with, and hope to become more active!).

Sad note during the meeting: a younger couple (approx college age) came into the meeting, and I could tell that both were very sad, but neither were amputees (we weren't wearing signs, but in a small environment it isn't hard to tell, when you know what to look for). Upon speaking with my surgeon, he advised that this couple was here for support, as their four year old son had become an amputee the previous Friday (29 Oct), due to a farm implement accident. I didn't have a chance to speak with the couple any, but told my surgeon to pass on my info to them when/if they are ready to talk to someone. For all of you reading this, if you make prayer a daily habit, please lift this family up in your prayers, both the health and recovery of their son, but also for the strength they are going to need to get through this as a complete and functional family.

Good news: I may be getting some 'official' training in the area of peer-support certification. In other words, a national amputee association has a program to train and certify peer-mentors for helping others through the initial issues of an amputation ... something I have been doing already. With the certification, I would be able to make myself available to area hospitals for contact in case of an amputation issue. The certification lets the hospital(s) know I'm not a crack-pot trying to get in contact with patients. I'll provide more info as it happens.
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Wednesday Software Review: Postponed for a week

Even though this is only Wednesday, the week has already been hectic, and too busy for me to put a review together ... check back next week!
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Monday, November 01, 2004

The Dark Sucker Theory (not original, but I like it)

For years, it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light, but recent information has proved otherwise. Electric bulbs don't emit light; they suck dark. Thus, we call these bulbs Dark Suckers. The Dark Sucker Theory and the existence of dark suckers prove that dark has mass and is heavier than light.
First, the basis of the Dark Sucker Theory is that electric bulbs suck dark. For example, take the Dark Sucker in the room you are in. There is much less dark right next to it than there is elsewhere. The larger the Dark Sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark Suckers in the parking lot have a much greater capacity to suck dark than the ones in this room.

So with all things, Dark Suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the dark spot on a full Dark Sucker.

A candle is a primitive Dark Sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You can see that after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the dark that has been sucked into it. If you put a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, it will turn black. This is because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. One of the disadvantages of these primitive Dark Suckers is their limited range.

There are also portable Dark Suckers. In these, the bulbs can't handle all the dark by themselves and must be aided by a Dark Storage Unit. When the Dark Storage Unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before the portable Dark Sucker can operate again.

Dark has mass. When dark goes into a Dark Sucker, friction from the mass generates heat. Thus, it is not wise to touch an operating Dark Sucker. Candles present a special problem as the mass must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat and therefore it's not wise to touch an operating candle.

Also, dark is heavier than light. If you were to swim just below the surface of the lake, you would see a lot of light. If you were to slowly swim deeper and deeper, you would notice it getting darker and darker. When you get really deep, you would be in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats at the top. The is why it is called light.

Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to stand in a lit room in front of a closed, dark closet, and slowly opened the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet. But since dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the closet.

Next time you see an electric bulb, remember that it is a Dark Sucker.

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Wednesday Software Review - AM-Deadlink

Application title: AM-Deadlink
Software type: Freeware
Use: AM-DeadLink detects dead links and duplicates in your Browser Bookmarks. If a Bookmark has become unavailable you can delete it from your Browser. AM-DeadLink checks Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla and Netscape.
Ron's thoughts: Over the years I have managed to acquire (too) many favorite/bookmarks. Many of them are support-related, while others are for personal use. One thing I hate is to use a bookmark, only to find the associated link generates a 404-file not found error. AM-Deadlink checks all of my bookmarks and identifies the ones which will generate a 404 error. From within the program I can also delete these problem links, without having to use the 'manage favorites' within my browser.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Application title: EditPad Lite
Software type: Shareware
Use: EditPad Lite is a general-purpose text editor, designed to be small and compact, yet offer all the functionality you expect from a basic text editor. EditPad Lite works with Windows 95, NT4, 98, 2000, ME and XP. The Linux version is available separately.
Ron's thoughts: Favorite features:
- Able to have multiple documents (tabs) open at the same time
- Able to find/replace in all open documents at the same time
- Unlimited undo and redo
- Reopen menu option for up to 16 files
- Uppercase, lowercase, invert case and initial caps conversion
- Able to color code tabs (easily distinguish between active/non-active & modified/non-modified
- Free
This little application has saved me numerous hours over the years, use with the first two features mentioned above.
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Friday, October 15, 2004

I'm Confused

This was passed to me, but I can't understand it. Maybe you can.

I'm trying to get all this political stuff straightened out in my head so that I'll know how to vote come November.
Right now, we have one guy saying one thing. Then the other guy says something else. Who to believe? Lemme see; have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia--good.
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq--bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia--good.
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq--bad.

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia--good.
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq--bad.

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists--good.
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator--bad.

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy--good.
Bush bombs terrorist camps--bad.

Clinton commits felonies while in office--good.
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit--bad.

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden--good.
World Trade Centers fall under Bush--bad.

Clinton says Saddam has nukes--good.
Bush says Saddam has nukes--bad.

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq--good.
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq--bad.

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton--good.
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan--bad.

Milosevic not yet convicted--good.
Saddam turned over for trial--bad.

Ahh, it's so confusing!

Every year an independent tax watchdog group analyzes the average tax burden on Americans, and then calculates the "Tax Freedom Day." This is the day after which the money you earn goes to you, not the government. This year,tax freedom day was April 11. That's the earliest it has been since 1991. It's latest day ever was May 2, which occurred in 2000. Notice anything special about those dates?

Recently, John Kerry gave a speech in which he claimed that Americans are actually paying more taxes under Bush, despite the tax cuts. He gave no explanation and provided no data for this claim.

Another interesting fact: Both George Bush and John Kerry are wealthy men. Bush owns only one home, his ranch in Texas. Kerry owns four mansions, all worth several million dollars. (His ski resort home in Idaho is an old barn brought over from Europe in pieces. Not your average A-frame).

Bush paid $250,000 in taxes this year; Kerry paid $90,000. Does that sound right? The man who wants to raise your taxes obviously has figured out a way to avoid paying his own.
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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Doctor, Doctor jokes

Doctor, Doctor, I can't stop stealing things.
Take these pills for a week; if that doesn't work I'll have a VCR.
Doctor, doctor, nobody understands me.
What do you mean by that?
Doctor, doctor, people tell me I'm a wheelbarrow.
Don't let people push you around.
Doctor, doctor, I keep thinking I'm a dog.
Lie down on the couch and I'll examine you.
I can't, I'm not allowed on the furniture.
Doctor, doctor, No one believes a word I say.
Tell me the truth now, what's your REAL problem?
Doctor, doctor, I keep trying to get into fights.
And how long have you had this complaint?
Who wants to know?
Doctor, doctor, I can't concentrate, one minute I'm ok, and the next minute, I'm blank!
And how long have you had this complaint?
What complaint?
Doctor, doctor, I think I'm a bridge.
What's come over you?
Oh, two cars, a large truck and a coach.
Doctor, doctor, I think I'm a cat.
How long has this been going on?
Oh, since I was a kitten!
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Monday, October 11, 2004

What a Saturday!!!!!

Won't get into all the activities on Saturday, but had to share one of the many 'blasts' we had:

After getting up early to drive a couple of hours to meet some friends in the Muskogee area, we decided to load up and visit The Nina, a full size replica of one of the three ships (Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria) used my Christopher Columbus to find the new world. Prior to going, I did a little research, but thought what I had found was in error. Documents I reviewed indicated the Nina was 93 feet in length ... that had to be wrong, because I have seen dozens of movies with ships from that time period, and they were huge. All I can say is: Not the Nina!

We drove up and saw it from a distance, but it felt like I was looking at it from an airplane. I thought there is no way that thing is as small as it appears to be, but as we got closer, it didn't get any larger. After paying the small 'boarding' fee, and figuring out what postcards were going to be purchased afterwards, we proceeded to the Nina. Where it was docked on the Arkansas River, they were able to secure a small barge between the shore and the Nina so it was easier for the visitors to access. While it looked small from the shore, it felt even smaller after boarding. The deck was sloped from the center out, to aid in the removal of water from choppy seas. On the 93' ship was another 18' boat, not a life boat per se, but the "ship's boat" used to go ashore with in the original days. One of the crew members was providing a running tour of the vessel (whenever I use that term, I hear Chekhov from Star Trek ... back to the story) and explained how the storage hold below deck was only for supplies and animals, and that the crew remained above deck the entire time. There was one additional area below deck for Christopher Columbus and his "cabin boy", but that area was only 6'w X 6'd X 4'h and the only ventilation for this area was from the hatch he had to crawl through to get into it .. there were no port holes. The idea of setting off across the ocean into the unknown is one thing, but to do it upon this tiny vessel (there I go again) is unbelievable

Three reasons to visit the Nina (from a crew member):
  1. To see a near perfect example of a type of sailing ship-the caravel- of such clean, sculptured, honest design that it was produced for upwards of 125 years. with its Scandinavian style bow and midsection and its combination square and lateen rigging it was probably the best open water sailing vessel of its time- that pivotal time referred to as the ' Great Age of Discovery'.
  2. In some small way to enter that age, to perhaps get a feeling for Columbus himself, that enigmatic and flawed human being, who, admire or despise him, is one of perhaps only three individuals in all of our long past who, by themselves, for good or ill, personally altered the course of Western history.
  3. To stand on the sloping deck of the Nina, as true a replica as will probably ever be built. It was Columbus' favorite ship, the one he very nearly died on in 1493, upon which he ultimately logged more than 25,000 miles.

Sad to say, the Muskogee visit is the last port to be visited. When it leaves, it will go to the Grand Caymans to start conducting 'day cruises'.

After visiting the Nina, we also went to view the USS Batfish, a decommissioned US Naval Submarine housed in Muskogee (over 300' in length, to compare/contrast the differences). That visit can wait for another blog report!

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Dilbert hits too close to home ... too many times!

Who hasn't experienced this from a manager?
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Friday, October 08, 2004

Motorcycle Airbag

Halo Labs is developing an airbag system for motorcyclists that fits inside a jacket and was kind enough to put three hypnotic, cringe-inducing, yet hilarious videos of their product tests online. I especially like the end of video one, where the cartoon man is launched over a car, tumbling and spinning, only to land in a mess of out-of-place legs, showing that even an airbag jacket isn't going to help you much when you're flipping thirty feet through the air (but at least your vital organs might make it out in one piece).
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Happy Birthday, Chevy Chase

Cornelius Crane Chase, later known as Chevy Chase, was born in New York City on this date in 1943. Chase began writing material for comedians in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. After meeting Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels while standing in line for a movie, Chase landed a job writing and acting for the program. After a year, he left the show to launch a movie career. His films include Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), and Fletch (1985).

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

OKC Zoo up for award!

The OKC Zoo has been selected as a semi-finalist in Microsoft's America's favorite zoo contest. We are in the top 15 out of 50.

Winner will receive a $25,000 grant and will be chosen by internet voting. All you have to do is go to the link below and vote for Oklahoma City as your favorite zoo!
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Which OS am I?

You are Palm OS. Punctual, straightforward and very useful.  Your mother wants you to do more with your life like your cousin Wince, but you're happy with who you are.
Which OS are You?

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Wednesday software review: CursorClock

Application title: CursorClock
Software type: Freeware
Use: Here's a little program for all you office clock-watchers out there. This application will turn your mouse cursor into a working clock.
Ron's thoughts: The use pretty much says it all .... This little application places a clock at the bottom of you cursor. The only adjustment you might have to your computer is to turn off the "Enable pointer shadow" in the mouse properties (in the control panel). If that is activated, the clock area is just a black box. Place it in your "Start Up" group and enjoy!
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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

For all you animal lovers out there

The Animal RescueSite is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota to get free food donated by corporations for abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "feed an animal in need" for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know:

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Monday, October 04, 2004

Just wondering.....

Brent .... is that you on the right?
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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Attitude check

Saw these and just had to share .... the one on the left is hard to see, but the caption on the shirt (below the straight line EKG) reads:
For a minute there, you bored me to death
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wednesday Software review: BackUp4All

Application title: BackUp4All
Software type: Shareware
Use: Backup4all is an award-winning backup software for Windows. It was designed to protect your valuable data from partial or total loss by automating tasks, password protecting and compressing it to save storage space. The application is feature rich and offers an intuitive interface making all features easily accessible for both beginners and professionals.
Ron's thoughts: When I originally obtained BackUp4All, they had a freeware version of the program, that was minus some of the current bells and whistles of the latest version. However, for what I need, it works just fine. I have it set to backup my "My Documents" folder, as well as various other important files/folders on a nightly basis. It creates a .zip backup file, so I can simply open the file and retreive whatever file I might need.
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Monday, September 27, 2004

How fresh is fresh?

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Shirts I really need to get!!!!!


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I feel like a slacker......

I feel like I should blog, but I have no idea what to blog about.......

(the title of this entry reminds me of the setup line for a joke:
"I got a sweater for Christmas....")
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Friday, September 17, 2004

Groan Alert......

Frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack. "Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday." Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager. Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral. The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed. Very confused, Patty explains that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office. She finds the manager and says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?" The bank manager looks back at her and says... "It's a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Wednesday Software Review: AM-Notebook Lite

Application title: AM-Notebook lite
Software type: Freeware
Use: AM-Notebook is a fine system tray utility that provides an easy way to store notes and other data.
Ron's thoughts: I found this little program when looking for a small One-Note replacement program. I have it run on startup, and it is always available for storing both short-term and long-term information.

(sorry for the short review ... I have been out of the office for a few days in regards to a family medical issue, but still wanted to get this review out)
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Friday, September 10, 2004

Wouldn't you love to hear President Bush make this speech?

My Fellow Americans:
As you all know, the defeat of Iraq regime has been completed. Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.

This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is time now to begin the reckoning.

Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, and Poland are some of the countries listed there. The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the worlds nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.

Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption. Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France.

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth. Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France, or maybe China.

To Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Yo, boys. Work out a peace deal now. Just note that Camp David is closed. Maybe all of you can go to Russia for negotiations. They have some great palaces there. Big tables, too.

I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mes amis. I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers, and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York.

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change. Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put em? Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil.

Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty - starting now. We are tired of the one-way highway.
It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them be saying, "darn tootin." Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America. It is time to eliminate World Cup Soccer from America.

To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you and we won't forget. To the nations on List 2, a final thought. Drop dead.

God bless America.
Thank you and good night.

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

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This Day in History... (Sept 10)

1897 First DWI
Even without Breathalyzers and line tests, George Smith's swerving was enough to alarm British police and make him the first person arrested for drunken driving. Unfortunately, Smith's arrest did nothing to discourage the many other drunk drivers who have taken to the road since. Although drunk driving is illegal in most countries, punished by heavy fines and mandatory jail sentences, it continues to be one of the leading causes of automobile accidents throughout the world. Alcohol-related automobile accidents are responsible for approximately one-third of the traffic fatalities in the United States - 16,000 deaths each year, and also account for over half a million injuries and $1 billion of property damage annually.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Something shared by a proud daddy ... consider this a virtual refrigerator

Sarah had a assignment for her "World View" class to write about God. Here is the result:

The approachability of God is the most awesome thing in the entire universe. Spending time talking to Him is possible no matter what you are doing, whether it be washing dishes, riding in the car or just sitting; He’s always available. You do not have to wait around and pass the time until bedtime just to talk to Him. He is waiting and ready to listen. Even if it is the middle of the night you need not worry about waking Him for "He will neither slumber nor sleep," (Psalms 121:4). Not only that, but He really cares. Since He wants to know how you feel and what you need, no matter how small or unimportant, go ahead and ask for help finding your missing shoe; nothing is too small, "Look at the birds of the air; your heavenly Father feeds them," (Matthew 6:26a). If God cares that much for birds, then surely He will help you find your shoe. He cares if you have had a bad day or if you have had a great day, and He wants you to tell him about it. So majestic is He, but He still takes time to hear each of us individually out of the 6 billion people on this earth. It does not matter to Him if you are smart or not, or what you financial status is or where you live. He hears you the same whether you live in the African jungle or the White House.

God’s approachability is the result of His son, Jesus, dying on the cross. If He had not died then our ability to talk to God would be clouded by sin. Without Jesus’ death, which He died for us, we would be lost for all of eternity "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). For we can not earn our way to heaven, but Jesus paved the away for us when He took our sins, "That while we were still sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) that we might be with him forever, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as result of works, that no one should boast," (Ephesians 2:8, 9). God’s availability is the most incredibly amazing thing about God and unselfish death of Jesus so that we might live with Them all of eternity.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Dark Sucker Theory

For years, it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light, but recent information has proved otherwise. Electric bulbs don't emit light; they suck dark. Thus, we call these bulbs Dark Suckers. The Dark Sucker Theory and the existence of dark suckers prove that dark has mass and is heavier than light.

First, the basis of the Dark Sucker Theory is that electric bulbs suck dark. For example, take the Dark Sucker in the room you are in. There is much less dark right next to it than there is elsewhere. The larger the Dark Sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark Suckers in the parking lot have a much greater capacity to suck dark than the ones in this room.

So with all things, Dark Suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the dark spot on a full Dark Sucker.

A candle is a primitive Dark Sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You can see that after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the dark that has been sucked into it. If you put a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, it will turn black. This is because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. One of the disadvantages of these primitive Dark Suckers is their limited range.

There are also portable Dark Suckers. In these, the bulbs can't handle all the dark by themselves and must be aided by a Dark Storage Unit. When the Dark Storage Unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before the portable Dark Sucker can operate again.

Dark has mass. When dark goes into a Dark Sucker, friction from the mass generates heat. Thus, it is not wise to touch an operating Dark Sucker. Candles present a special problem as the mass must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat and therefore it's not wise to touch an operating candle.

Also, dark is heavier than light. If you were to swim just below the surface of the lake, you would see a lot of light. If you were to slowly swim deeper and deeper, you would notice it getting darker and darker. When you get really deep, you would be in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats at the top. The is why it is called light.

Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to stand in a lit room in front of a closed, dark closet, and slowly opened the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet. But since dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the closet.

Next time you see an electric bulb, remember that it is a Dark Sucker.

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Hnuan Mnid- Paomnnehal Pweor

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg! Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe...

Amzanig huh?

Ntoe: I'm not ginog to try and splel cehck tihs!
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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Don't upset the Gimp-Boy

OK, now I'm upset .... Here is why:
NBC prided themselves on presenting hundreds of hours (did they end up getting over 1,000?) of
coverage via their numerous channels (NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo and NBC HDTV). They, along with ALL other US based broadcast organizations have refused to air ANY coverage for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens (Sept 17-28).

I understand that the public won't be as enthralled with the Paralympics as they were with the Olympics .... but ZERO coverage? Not even a middle-of-the-night-so-set-your TiVo/VCR-to-record-it time?

As soon as I get some contact info for the various broadcast organizations, I am going to send them a piece of my mind (I know I don't have much to share ... but they'll get a piece anyways)

See for a report from the US Paralympics site about the (lack of) coverage.

According to the International Paralympic Committee, this year's games are expected to break new ground by gaining the widest media coverage ever (see Record Number of Broadcasters at ATHENS 2004 Paralympics). The last sentence on that page advises:
The rights for the US territory have not yet been bought.

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Two funerals and a (major) allergic reaction ... What a holiday weekend!

Some people look forward to three-day weekends. After this last one, I wouldn't wish it upon my worse enemy.

On Saturday, I went to the funeral of a good friend's father. It started late, and the following reasoning was given by the pastor: "you might have noticed we started the funeral a little late ... this is due to the fact that Mr. Black was always late to everywhere he went, and family thought it would be appropriate to start late". Ok, start with some humor ... considering the life we were honoring, that was appropriate. The funeral also included a powerpoint presentation showing dozens of pictures of Mr. Black growing up, playing with his kids and grandkids ... it was very well done. The trip to the cemetery was somewhat eventful, as some people don't understand that a hearse (driving slowly), with about a hundred cars behind it means a funeral procession. When their traffic light turned green, they decided they should go ... the car in front of me almost got t-boned .... not a pretty site during a funeral.

On Sunday, I went to David's funeral (see Sept 2 entry). I have never been to a child's funeral before, and I hope I never have to again. The family and pastor did their very best to make this a 'Celebration of Life', but when the video presentation of David's (short) life was played, which included so many cute pictures of him and his little sisters, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. David's parents are absolutely WONDERFUL people. It took about 45 minutes for the sanctuary to clear after the funeral, but that was because both were standing at the door, shaking hands and thanking everyone that was there. Very short stories (many which ended with laughter) was shared near the door.

On Monday, Renee and I decided to take the girls to OKC (Oklahoma City) for some shopping. While we didn't find exactly what we wanted, some of those shopping (no names being shared) had no difficulties in finding something to buy. We then went to lunch. Before I explain the rest of this story, you need to remember that over the last three years, I have had several combinations of pharmaceutical medications mixed up in my body, and I am still trying to get my body (internally) over that experience. As a result of the various meds I have had, I have developed some food allergies. Well, I didn't order what I normally do, which is unusual for me, but what I got was good. On the way back to Stillwater, I got a pounding headache, which is one of my initial indicator of an impending allergy attack. The next indicator is what scares Renee to death: difficulty breathing. Yep, that kicked in as we are northbound on I-35. A quick detour into Guthrie for some Benedryl and I slowly recovered (when this happens, I am pretty much toast for th rest of the day, due to the fact that I have to work so hard at breathing until the Benedryl kicks in ... it feels like I have run several miles, all up hill)

After a weekend like that ... work is almost a welcome site!
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Friday, September 03, 2004

TGIF Image

Click on the image for the full effect
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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Please lift up in prayer....

Please lift up the Weckler family in prayer.

To make a long story short, their 8 year old son David was recovered (unconscious) from being underwater on Saturday. He was airlifted to a hospital in Tulsa, where he has been in the ICU since then. After running several test, and hard decisions, he was removed from the ventilator at 12:06pm today. At 12:12pm, he was pronounced dead. His parents and grandparents were with him. His two younger sisters were being watched by friends.

His services will be Sunday afternoon.
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This Day In History.....

1945: Japan surrenders (Aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II.)

1945:Vietnam independence proclaimed (Hours after Japan's surrender in World War II, Vietnamese communist Ho Chi Minh declares the independence of Vietnam from France.)

1959:The Mustang's Little Cousin (The Ford Motor Company introduced its new marque, the Ford Falcon, in the first nationwide closed-circuit television news conference.)
Personal note: I used to own a 1964 four door Ford Falcon (I got to drive it for a few days before my accident)

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Wednesday Software Review: RoboType

Application title: RoboType
Software type: Shareware
Use: Do you find yourself typing the same phrases and paragraphs repeatedly? Perhaps you prepare business documents that contain standard paragraphs. Or maybe you're a tech-support provider and you have to answer the same questions over and over via e-mail.
Ron's thoughts: I don't think I could provide technical support (at the high level of productivity) that I do without this program (it ain't bragging if it's the truth). This program "watches" what you are typing, and when a certain combination (the template for the review is created by my typing `review - see screen capture for details) is typed, the typed characters are replaced with the pre-defined text. It is like having an ever-expanding clipboard to copy from.

There is also an ability, during the replacement process, for it to prompt you for information to input. That feature allows for a scripted answer, but to include personalization at the same time. While I thought the program was cool before, when I found that option, it became invaluable! (I could actually write an addition 25-30 lines of info about this program, but I don't want to set a precedence for long review)

RoboType is a title in the "Utility Downloads" area of PC Magazine. Utility Download is a 'for-fee' service of PC Magazine. A year's subscription is $19.97, but you can also get a 30 day pass for $9.97 or simply purchase RoboType via a one-file pass for $5.97.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

My below knee has a first name, it's O S C A R......

Last week, Renee and I met a couple of friends at a local coffee shop (no, not Starbucks) for an evening of enjoyable conversation. During the evening, Mr. Friend and I were talking about various amputee related items, while Renee and Mrs. Friend were talking about something else. Several times I referred to myself as a below-knee amputee. A few minutes later, Mrs. Friend asked me what I meant about my style of amputation. My buddy and I look at each other with quizzical looks, trying to figure out what his wife meant.

She then repeated what she heard (obviously not what I said): that I was a bologna amputee. (insert laugh track here)

You just had to be there.
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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Posted for Brent (looks best if you click on it and view the full-size image)
Note: this is not an animated gif (posted by "Hello" and that service requires a jpg format)
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Blogger's block?

I feel like I should blog ... but I have no idea what about. How about a few comments to the readers?
Brent: I almost decided to post a 'belated' software review, since you made that comment ô¿~
Joe and Kevin: Thanks for a slamming week of support ... you guys are tops in my book
Estee: Who is 'dissing' 2nd level? I have been thinking about that ever since I heard it!
Dr. E: Stress level is going down (either that, or I am getting used to it)
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Friday, August 27, 2004

Ever have a day where this seems like you are looking for the elusive black dot all day?
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Wednesday Software Review

...will return next week. We are slammed with the start of the new semester. Sorry ô¿~
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Monday, August 23, 2004

This has to be one of my favorite "cartoons" I have found on the internet.
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Friday, August 20, 2004

I haven't shared this with very many people......

Earlier this week, I called one of the local radio stations (KLVV) and talked to the DJs in the only 'character voice' I can do: Mr. Haney from Green Acres. The conversation went on for about 3-4 minutes, and we were all haved a great time. A few minutes later, much to my surprise, they played the tape of our conversation on the radio! I ended up making a HotPop email account with the address of to communicate with the DJs. During the course of the emails, I was asked to provide my real identity, so that I might be contacted in the future to do some radio spots as "Mr. Haney".

Earlier today I got an email from Janelle, one of the DJs who is coordinating a public appearance for the radio station next week, asking if I could work at their booth. The event is called "Lights on Stillwater" and is an annual event to welcome the students back to town. Janelle let me know that during the evening, she would be calling into the radio station, and that Mr. Haney might be allowed to do a live remote as well.

Sarah (my 14 year old) is extremely jazzed that I am going to be with Janelle (she is Sarah's all time favorite DJ), while Renee is simply puzzled as to why anyone would want to hear me talk like Mr. Haney. Sarah has already let me know that we (she and I) are going to be there, if for no other reason than for her to meet Janelle in person!

Renee thinks I should use this as a launching pad to work for Adventures in Odyssey, which is a weekly radio broadcast hosted by Focus on the Family out of Colorado Springs.

Who knows ... this might be my big break into radio (NOT!)
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Today was very productive ... at least in my eyes

Most of today was the type of day I enjoy in the office ... extremely busy, but hightly productive. There were a few issues during the day that I wish wouldn't have happened, but all in all, it was a good day.

For the past 6 weeks, I have been promoting the idea of us (IT) bringing up a 'secure' SMTP server, so all of our clients (students, faculty and staff) would have easy access for sending mail, if they were using IMAP access. We had already received the hardware to host the server, but other items took priority over the completion of this task. This week the rubber finally met the road, so to speak. We had students moving into residences which had no access to an SMTP server. In simple english, that meant they could check their mail, but not send any. With that ammo, I was able to leverage the resources to get the job accomplished. At 9:45 am this morning (the Friday before classes begin on Monday) I was notified the server was in place and considered a production server. by 10:00, I had completed my testing of the settings required to use the server, both from an on-campus connection, as well as two off-campus dial-up accounts. At 10:35, I had documentation created and delivered to our webmaster for publication, which included instructions for setting up IMAP/SMTP connections using both Outlook Express 6 and Outlook 2003.

At 11:30 I was notified that Cox internet customers weren't able to utilize our SMTP server, due to Cox deciding to block port 25 acess for all of their customers. By 12:15, after researching information on Cox's Customer Support site, I had additional instructions created for our clients that might be using Cox at their residence. The instructions explained why they weren't going to be able to use our SMTP settings, as well as a link to the page which provided the SMTP setup instructions from Cox. This new document was on-line (both as a directed link page from our "How To" site, but also linked from the two initial pages) by 1:45.

This is the kind of day I like, busy but with very noticible results. I even got a few verbal 'atta-boys' from people who don't give them out all that often. You gotta love it when a plan comes together!
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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Today is much better

If you couldn't tell by the last two posts from yesterday ... yesterday wasn't one of my better days at the office. However, last night Renee and I had a chance run in with a very fun couple, and the evening went extremely well. I also had a chance to 'vent' with the a buddy, and today I am felling much better. We (Renee and I) have also spent some time researching other employment opportunities, and I am thinking very seriously about dropping an application for one of the positions (federal job in OKC). We'll just have to see how that all works out.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

humm.... how does this work?

Status: I am a stupid idiot, incapable of self initiated thoughts
Plan: Utilize the decision tree, filling in the blanks, without any conscious thoughts needed (worker bee mentality)
Expected Date of Completion: to far in the future to see

(some of you will automatically recognize the format of this entry. I, of course, had to be reminded of it earlier today)
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I guess my brains were actually in my right ankle

Why else would I have gone from being a person who was considered "highly respected", "sought-out", "the go-to guy" (insert additional glowing adjectives here) technical 'guru', to a blundering idiot who doesn't even understand how a simple decision tree can be put in place of even the smallest amount of training for part-time help desk employees?

I mean, why should I even hope to imagine that a support position person would actually be expected to ask questions, other than the ones in the Decision Tree. Shouldn't a ticket with the following information: "Client has lost privileges in Okey", "User isn't receiving email", "Client is not able to open some messages in her inbox", etc be sufficent enough for a 2nd level person to be able to pull the answer/solution out of the thin air? Why should I have to inquire "what other pertenent information is available about this issue?" from a first line support person? I would tend to think that they would automatically attempt to obtain as much information as possible

It is almost as bad as the following cartoons: (yes, I love UserFriendly)

I expect drool to start rolling from the corners of my mouth involuntarily within a matter of days.......
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Wednesday Software Review: MyIE2

MyIE2 (recently renamed to Maxthon):
Software type: Freeware (the screen capture is the current theme I am using: US Road Signs)
Use: MyIE2 (Maxthon) is a powerful web browser with a highly customizable interface. It is based on the Internet Explorer engine (most likely, your current web browser) which means that what works in IE, works the same in MyIE2 but with many additional efficient features.
Ron's thoughts: MyIE2 (I like that name better than Maxthon) is simply Internet Explorer on Steriods! It uses the IE engine, much like Mozilla uses the Netscape engine. As such, your favorites are available. The thing I like about MyIE2 is the tabbed browsing and the ability to create groups. Every morning I read the same webpages. Instead of having to click on several links to get them all, I simply open my "Morning Read" group. Each page is openned on it's own tab and as I review a page, I double click on the tab to close it. When in the MyIE2 options, there are several Tab actions available.
From the Maxthon web page:
....with many additional efficient features like:
Tabbed Browsing Interface
Mouse Gestures
Super Drag & Drop
Privacy Protection
AD Hunter
Google Bar Support
External Utility Bar
And Much More...
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

What a difference a year makes!

Yesterday, after work, we took Sarah and Hope to Hideaway (a local pizza place), since it was the first day of school. Afterward, Renee and Sarah had to go to the Library, so I got to take Hope home. Renee offered to give Hope and I a ride to my car, but I told her would would just walk. Instead of going straight to the car, we decided to take a few detours :-)

First stop, the campus fire station to check out the fire trucks. When we first got to the station and walked into the crew quarters, I told the guys that Hope wanted to look at the trucks. Robert, the guy who eventually gave us a tour, asked Hope if she wanted to drive one of the fire trucks. It was so funny the way she said "Dad?" and looked up at me, as if to say "can I really?". All the guys laughed and told me how cute was ... and who am I to argue about that? Robert was nice enough to not only show use the driver's area of the trucks, but to also open all the storage areas and explained about everything on the truck. Hope even got to sit inside the truck, where the fire fighters ride. At the end, Hope was allowed to look through an ambulance "... just like what took dad to the hospital...". We thanked Robert and was off to our next stop.

Next stop .... to watch the marching band practice. The band now practices between the Student Union and Theta Pond. When the drums started, Hope just had to start dancing and spinning, and had me join her. When the director stopped the band, we were off to Theta Pond to see the ducks. Just as we were getting there, the band fired up again, so we were headed back for more dancing and spinning. In the middle of all the dancing/spinning, Hope told me she was happy I have my "fake leg", so we can play together.

That is the reason for the title ... I wouldn't have been able to have a day like this a year ago.
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Saturday, August 14, 2004

The fence is up (well, most of it anyways)

With a big thanks to GT, Tom, Sam, Peter & my daughter Sarah, we were able to get the majority of the fence up on Saturday. I knew we wouldn't get all of it up, as I haven't decided exactly where I want the gates on either side of the house, or the widths of the gates. Many decisions about the fence were made 'on the fly', and you can tell the fence wasn't put up by professionals, but who cares? It is up (relatively speaking) and looks good! By having friends help, I was able to save over 60% of the cost of having a fence company come in and do it. It really felt good getting outside and being productive ... I wasn't able to do as much as I could three years ago, butI will get back to that level eventually.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Hey, how did you get that info?

If you are new to this blog, you won't know the info in the upper right corner is new. If you have been reading for a while, you (hopefully) noticed and wondered about it. If you want the information on how to get one one your page/blog, leave me a comment. If you figure it our on your own, send me an email.
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Thank God for Wireless!!
Sitting in a meeting, but was smart enough to bring my laptop with wireless 3COM card ... at least I can stay productive, even if I am stuck in a meeting
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How does this guy do it?

Sidewalk Chalk Guy
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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wednesday Software Review: w.bloggar

I am going to attempt a weekly installment of software review/recommendation. I have plenty to talk about, but lets see if I can remember to do it each week.

Application title: w.bloggar
Software type: Freeware (screen cap is a link to a larger image)
Use: w.bloggar is an application that targets to be an interface between the user and his blog(s), in other words, is a Post and Template editor, with several features and resources that the browser based blog editors can not offer.
Ron's thoughts: As I have mentioned before, after I found this little application last week, I had to share about it. Being that this series will be posted using w.bloggar, I felt it only right to start the new series out highlighting it. When I started blogging last year, I found that blogger had the ability to post a blog entry to another site, utilizing FTP information. Since I maintain a couple of websites for some friends, I found that using a blog was a simply way to keep the "site update page" current on each site. After doing the updates, I simply make a blog entry about the changes, and publish it. Blogger will update the page on my client's site. Two examples: Sunrise Health Institute and Youth Fitness Zone.

Additional features:
Edit past posts (even created prior to using w.bloggar)
Delete post
Spell check
Post to multiple blogs at once
Font formatting (bold, italics, underline, strike through, and colors)

If you end up using this program, send me a little note (or leave a comment). Also, let me know if I should continue to this new series.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

.... is bad news

I realize the the the titles are out of order, but I blogged earlier today (is blogged actually a verb?) and started with No News is ...., and now I have a sad response to that entry.

I just got off the phone with a friend who had a bad day. I wasn't aware of any health issues in his family until today, but that just changed. It turns out, his dad had an MRI recently and today found out he has a tumor in/near his brain (I didn't dig for complete info). Please remember to keep my friend in your prayers (sorry I haven't given his name, but he can share that info via a comment if he so desires ... )

Post for 10 Aug @ 6:55pm
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No news is .....

I've been staying busy with everything needed in preperations for the upcoming semester, and really haven't had anything to blog about. There were some interesting entries on the "This Day in History" site, but nothing that I felt like copy/pasting.

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Left Behind .... the series

Some where during the last couple of years, I have let the reading of the Left Behind series slip. Renee and I went to the public library Thursday evening, and I stumbled across the 12th (and last) book, Glorious Appearing has been published. This discoverywas in the new books area. When I read through the list of titles inside the front cover, I realized I was a few books behind. I went ahead and checked out the last two, in hopes to finish them prior to the 14 day check out allowance.

When I checked out the books, I had plans to continue working on the fence (see a few days back), but Friday night those plans got changed. GT's (my fence building buddy) wife wasn't feeling well, so we decided to postpone until next week. Then Renee started one the first of a couple knitting projects (bably blanket and scarf), so I ended up with plenty of reading time. Just got through with the series, and it was worth the time.

Now it is time to look for a classic ... I think I will visit the Project Gutenburg site and use Reader Studio to turn it into a .lit format, so I can read it with MS Reader (pc and ppc formats).

Request for comments: What Classic should I read and why?
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Friday, August 06, 2004

Meetings, meetings and more meetings

This just takes the cake! I have been busting my hump all morning and into the afternoon (except to take a break to attend a congrats/BDay celebration for my new boss - three levels above me) so that I would have everything done prior to a series of four back-to-back meetings this afternoon.

After walking across campus to attend the first, I get told that the meetings are going to be postponed by 1.5 hours. So back I trot across campus to my little cubby-hole. Then, as I am getting ready to head back over, the admin asst (not mine, the head cheese of the meetings) calls to tell me the are all postponed until Monday. To make matters worse, what had been back to back 30 minute meetings are now scheduled for on the hour. This means a wasted 30 minutes between each meeting, since I am not walking back to my office to get 10 minutes of work done.

(Heres a thought: I guess I could take my laptop and get some blogging done wireless....)
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More time on the computer last night (who would have thought?)

Last night, instead of the planned time of activity with my wife and oldest daughter, I was on the computer updating important files .... my resume, a letter of application, and a few pages on my web site (About Me and My Resume). The resume and letter are for a position here on campus, the Director of Instituional Research and Information management.

Here is what they are advertising for (italics added by me, indicating what I believe my strengths to be):
Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field, extensive professional and administrative experience in higher education or industry, an established track record of significant accomplishments in institutional research, information management, or both, a commitment to customer service, keen analytical skills, a demonstrated ability to create a highly motivated and effective team.

Preferred Qualifications
Graduate or professional degree, extensive experience with a research university, at least one year of experience at a director level or higher, experience in environments requiring serious multitasking and meeting of deadlines, knowledge of statistical and other methods of analysis, extensive experience managing and leading teams of professionals, experience in creating internet-based solutions for information delivery, an extensive knowledge of current technology, and a proven record in rapid and successful design and deployment of IT solutions.

As you see, I feel like I should fit right in. I'll let you know if I ever get scheduled for an interview.
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Thursday, August 05, 2004

This Day in History:

Marilyn Monroe is found dead:
1962: Movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was "caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide."

Reagan fires 11,359 air-traffic contollers:
1981: Who could forget that the late President Reagan fired 11,359 air traffic controllers, since they continued to strike in violation of his order for them to return to work. Reagan also declared a lifetime ban on the rehiring of the strikers by the FAA. (They had been on strike for two days, after negotiations for a pay raise and shorter work week failed)

Note: I am not a history buff (or at least I never considered myself one), but here recently several very notable entries have been popping up on This Day in History page on the History Channel's website.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Lizzie Borden took and axe....

On this day, in 1892, Lizzie Borden's parents were found dead in their Fall River, Massachusetts residence. Even though fingerprint testing was already becoming commonplace in Europe, the local authorities didn't belive in it's accuracy and declined to test the hachel (found in the Borden's basement) for fingerprints.

After 90 minutes of jury deliberation, Lizzie was found innocent. This indicated the jury didn't follow the prosecution's attempt to prove Lizzie had burned a dress simular to the one she was wearing on the day of the murder and the fact she purchased a small axe the day before.

Even though she was found innocent, the media continued to portray Lizzie as the perpetrator. To this day, she is still remembered because of this infamous rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whals;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

My one (and only) 'tattoo'

This is the logo that I created for the side of my socket (fake leg). The actual socket color (instead of the black backgroud in this image) is more of a heathered (camo) grey, which looks very sharp!

Tis Gar Plen: Original language of the first few words of Phil 1:18, which states "What does it matter?". This phrase was shared with me by my pastor during a very powerful message (for me, anyways). The series was on JOY, and week one dealt with: "Joyful No Matter What". "Tis Gar Plen" reminds me "So What?" that I am an amputee, it doesn't really matter in the big picture. - Thanks Craig!
(you can view the series at:

Christian Fish (Ichthus, Ictus): Universal symbol to identify me with my risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Phil 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Amen to that)

Whoever Finds God, Finds Life!: How we end our worship service every week. At the end of our closing song, our worship Pastor (JT) says "Whoever finds God..." and we all call out in unison "... Finds Life!"

Personal note: the font used for the Phil 4:13 and Whoever... text is using the same font our church uses for our church name and frequently used sayings. This feature is something that 99% of people would never notice, but I am a stickler for special nuances. That was mine. Took me about 4 days of internet searching to finally find the font, but I've got it!

After it was all over, thinking back, I should have had Mark 9:45 (see NASB version) put on there as well.
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Using w.bloggar v3.03

Hummmm, just found a new program for creating my blog entries, and I thought I would try it out real quick. I found it at, and it is pretty much a mini word-processor for blog entries (including a spell checker).

I can also bring up pasts posts (even created prior to my loading w.Bloggar) and edit them within the client (that is how this sentence was added)
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In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocen blue

This day in history: On this day in 1492, Columbus set sail from the Spanish port of Palos in command of three ships - the Santa Marýa, the Pinta, and the Niýa--on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.
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Monday, August 02, 2004

This Day in History

1876: "Wild Bill" Hickok, one of the greatest gunfighters of the American West, is murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota.

1934: With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or 'Leader.' The German army took an oath of allegiance to its new commander-in-chief, and the last remnants of Germany's democratic government were dismantled to make way for Hitler's Third Reich. The Fuhrer assured his people that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years, but Nazi Germany collapsed just 11 years later.

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It must be Monday

If Monday's couldn't get any worse ... how about Mondays when your boss is away from the office, but just got a new Blackberry device?

You know the old saying about "the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys"? Well, someone just got a new toy. (Hopefully that same someone forgot to take the recharger cord/base with him)


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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Manchurian Candidate

Nothing like a dark movie theater to rest in after a hard morning/afternoon of work. Renee and I went to see the Manchurian Candidate, as I never miss a Denzel Washington movie. I was warned to take notes during the movie since it has so many different things going on, but I seemed to follow it just fine (maybe it was due to the slow mental response I was experiencing). As usual, D.Washington picked a great script and was very in-tune to his character. While I won't provide any spoilers here, I will state that this will be one to rent on DVD, for all the extra parts, including the director's commentary!

Question: Why do the theaters have to play so many commercials prior to the movies? I'm not talking about movie previews ... as I understand the need for them. I am talking about the multiple cell-phone, "I want your bod" body spray, credit card and Calvin Klein commercials. Television stations use commercials to raise revenues, but I am paying to go to the movies. As such, I should only have to sit through the 10 minutes of previews and not the additional 15 minutes of commercials. Manchurian Candidate was scheduled to start at 4pm, but the first credit for it didn't show until 4:25!

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Why did I take my shirt off? (or ... Daddy, your back is really red!)

Last month, while I was in Mexico on a missions trip, Stillwater experienced a little bad weather in way of really high winds. As a result of the winds, a few sections of our privacy fence decided to 'take a dive'. The fence is old, and in need of replacement, so that is in the works.

Upon hearing about the fallen fence, my pastor GT has been offering to provide labor during the replacement project. He called one morning this week to ask if this was going to be the weekend, but I told him no, due to the excessive rains we have been having. I thought the ground was going to be too muddy to work with. It turns out that today was a beautiful day and I decided to start the project without GT. The part I was going to do really didn't need his help, so out I went.

Point to remember: I haven't really done any excessive outside work since my accident in June 2001. I haven't even spent a great deal of time in the sun since then as well.

I got my work shorts on, and my cover for my socket (don't want to scratch the new socket's finish), grab some tools and headed to the back yard. Before a new fence can go up, the old one has to come down. Off to the west side of the house to drop the 9 feet worth (3 of which is a gate) first. After several swings of a hammer and some firm tugs on a crow bar, that section is down. Initial thoughts: this isn't going to be so bad (oh ye of little faith).

Off to the 80' worth of south fencing. With a beautiful day like it was, I thought I needed to get some sun, so off came the shirt, 'cause I thought I was only going to be about an hour and a half. Slowly but surely, down come 8' sections of fence. Some needed more coaxing than the section on the side of the house. Being that several sections were entertained with rose bushes, honeysuckles and other assorted vegetation, additional tools were brought out, including one very sharp hand saw. Two hours later (and several blisters as well), the 80' of fencing is stacked into a 8'w X 6'd X 2.5'h pile. Not only the fence was dropped, as Renee brought out a 32oz glass of ice water, that I refilled twice from the back hydrant.

I had originally told Sarah I didn't need any help, because I knew there were going to be nails all over the place. She came out after the south portion was done and told me it was time for lunch. I asked her to bring it out, instead of my going inside with the air conditioning. I said I would do one section of the east side (~54') and that I would stop when she got back. I didn't stop. During the south section, as I loosened a section, I would drag it to the pile. Not this time .... this time I would loosen all sections and then let Sarah (she was still asking to help) help me pile them. Since I had a method for dropping 8' sections, this side went quicker (sometimes sawing a 2x4 is quicker than breaking it free). As the last section was falling, Sarah calls out, "lunch is served".

While eating, Sarah remarks how I am getting some sun on my back, and that I am getting a little red. Since I think we will be going only a few more minutes since she will be helping me stack, I don't put my shirt on. Wrong answer! About an hour later, we are heaving the last section onto the new pile (no reason to lug these things all the way over to the original pile, that is too far away!). Somebody's back looks like it needs the letters STOP painted in white on it, however I am so tired I don't feel a thing, other than my stump throbbing in it's socket.

As a result of all the sweat, wood chips, mud and collection of vegetation all over my body, I am way to dirty to go into the house. I ask Sarah to bring me the hose so I can rinse off the top layers prior to going inside. After basking in the warm "been in hose" water, here comes the refreshing cold water. Ok, that was just a bit too cold, especially on a now sun-burned back, but it felt great!
Fence is down and I am so tired I can't think (or walk) straight. However, now I can rest before going out to remove the dozens of nails in the posts, and figure out how many posts need replacing. More about the fence as things happen.

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