They finally get it....

Just this last week Amazon.com started selling mp3's from Warner Music Group as DRM free files. I am a sometime buyer from Amazon so I decided to try it out. I purchased "Paradise City" by Guns N Roses and downloaded the file. Then I copied the file to my mp3 player and to my backup hard drive. It was great! And for reasons I cannot explain I feel a sense of ownership that keeps me from wanting to share the file for free with the rest of the world. It is as though if I get it from someone for free I feel a pressure to share it for free. That is how the file sharing networks work. But if I pay for it, I feel like I own it and why do I want to give something away for free that I had to earn? It is like if I am paying for my internet connection why would I want my neighbor to sponge off of me and tap into it for free. There will always be the people who try to get something for nothing but if I am paying for it, then they should also. For years now I have been downloading free, legal music from places such as Garageband.com and it is very good music but there has been much that I have missed because I either had to get it illegally or I had to buy whole albums when I only wanted a song or two. The bitrate is 256 so the files are pretty good quality and my equipment and hearing are not good enough for me to worry about extremely high fidelity and quality, these are plenty good for me. Right now I am listening to a 16+ minute Peter Frampton song recorded from a live show of his circa 1999. It rocks! Whatever I don't have I will have. The tracks are .89 cents each, how can I go wrong from that? All these artists are going to continue to make money from their catalogs and I get a lifetime of quality music when and where I want it. They finally get it.


What a weekend!

This weekend, for the first time in nearly two years, Tammi and I went shopping together, ate at a restaurant together, and was able to enjoy each others company somewhere else other than in a square room with a hospital bed. It was wonderful, picking out things for our first grandchild that is due any day now. Being able to look at stuff together was a joy that I had almost forgotten. With all the holiday crowds it was very tiring for both of us but it was something we would not trade for anything right now. Within 48 hours we figure we will become grandparents for the first time as our oldest girl is beginning to have contractions so this it the perfect time for Tammi got gain enough strength to be able to get in and out of a car. We may have a Christmas baby! What a gift that would be! As hard as 2007 began, it appears it is going to end wonderfully and I have great hopes for 2008.


Another milestone reached...

Last Monday evening Tammi did it again. Twice. For 5-6 seconds the second time. She stood up! If anyone ever thinks that is not a big deal, try being confined to a bed for 22 months and then see if standing up, just for a moment, is not a big deal. I am so proud of her for how hard she has been working to build her strength. She so desperately wants to come home, to be a real couple once again that she is not letting anything, including excruciating pain, stand (pun intended!) in her way. Will she ever be who she was? No, of course not. She will not walk around the mall or through the park like most of us can. But to be able to stand up, to move from a wheelchair to a recliner will be enough. It will mean independence. And that is worth so much. It was a very good day. I see many more ahead of us.


And the saga continues....

My all time favorite movie franchise is releasing another installment Christmas day. Of course I speak of the "Alien" movies, all of them. I have been a fan since the age of fourteen when the first movie came out. Because of my age and the fact the movie had an "R" rating I did not get to see the first movie until a year after its debut. A double feature was being shown which also included the movie "Magic" and my mother really wanted to see that movie so she agreed to take me to see "Alien" if I would watch her movie with her along with my sister watching them both with us. But prior to that for English class we had to do several (well over 10) speeches and we were allowed to do them all on the same book if we so chose. So I made them all on the book "Alien". I had a model of the Alien creature, magazines discussing the movie, and anything else I could get my poor hands on. The opening day of "Aliens" (the second movie) I was the first person in line at the first showing in the city. I made special arrangements to be off that day just for the occasion. I have been very disappointed at the downward spiral the subsequent movies have taken but was rather pleased with the first AVP. I know many fans thought it was too wussy and by the looks of the trailers this one is much more gory, but the movie entertained me and that is all that matters to me. I hope the gore of the new one does not take away from the story line of the war between the Predators, Aliens, and Humans. I have been doing some reading about Ridley Scott's thoughts a new movie, one that would include Sigourney Weaver but I guess that is going nowhere. I did see in the trailer (see for yourself below) that there a new female character in the vein of Weaver. That is good as a strong but hot lead is always good for ratings with the men. I may be older but I am not dead!! A hot chick is never a bad thing! I will wait for it to come out on DVD as 23 years ago we did not have home theaters so we went to the movies to get the surround sound and clear picture. But now I have that at home and do see why I need to put up with crowds and high prices when I have the comfort of my home to enjoy it. So I figure three months, six at most and I will get it on Netflix. Tammi will enjoy this one also as she likes the blood spewing stuff more than I do.

Proof that the secret is...

Not what you eat or do but how you respond to everything. That means keep the stress down. You won't stress about how to pay the bills if you live within your means. You won't stress about your relationship if you truly wait for the right love of your life. You do not have to be wealthy to be rich, for there are no better riches than a good, clean life.
clipped from www.wfaa.com

This is the home of Melvin and Minnie Lou Scott, married 80 years.

At 100 and 99, they still do their own yard work and eat bacon almost every day with breakfast.

Unlike most of us, they don't seem concerned about ultraviolet light, the effects of cholesterol or monitoring their body mass index.

They just focus on the simple things in life: mowing, gardening and puttering.

The couple can't pinpoint what factors contributed to their marital longevity, but they remain grateful to have shared so many happy years together.

In eight decades of marriage, the couple said they've never had a fight.

"We've had lots of discussions,"

The couple said there's no real secret to their long love affair.

"If people want to stay married, I guess I would tell them to live right, stay off dope and live a clean life," said Mrs. Scott.

Her husband offered a different perspective on living long and large.

"We've always worked," he said. "We still work. And we eat three meals a day."

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An ending and a beginning....

Today my daughter turned 18 years old. She is now a legal adult. She received her drivers license and now she is also a legal driver. What a milestone for both of us, parent and child. It has been a hard road with her and it is by no means over. But she is an adult now and will be treated as such and she knows that with that "freedom" of being an adult also comes new responsibilities. I can only hope she has been listening and learning. I will say we had a wonderful, happy time and it was so good to see her smile and laugh.


Time is running out...

I am really needing a change of environment. Today I was involved in a heated discussion where I was having to defend myself once again. I am tired of this situation as I surely am not paid enough to be crucified for the actions and failures of others. I am very fortunate to have employment but I know I can do just as well with two part time jobs that earn me the same total wage as this one does. Two simpler jobs where I just work and do what I am supposed to do without being held accountable for the actions of others. This has to change.


Turning point...

Tonight, for the first time in nearly two years, Tammi stood up. It was brief and painful but she did it. I am so proud of her. She was reduced to tears by the impact of the moment and what she had just accomplished. She may never walk again but this is an important step for just to be able to stand up for the shortest of times. If she can do this, she will be able to move herself from wheelchair to sitting chair to be and more. I just know next year is the the year we get back to having a more regular relationship, being able to live together in the same home and actually build something together, something called a life. What a positive start to the week.


What a sad movie...

This evening I watched the movie "The Constant Gardner" and I have to say it moved me. I knew it was highly recommended but I really had no idea what it was about. At first it seemed to move slowly and truth be told it never did speed up but then that is not the kind of movie it was. The sadness of a tragic love story set within the tragedy of human greed causing human suffering was really brought to life by the two main characters. I thought Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz did a wonderful job of showing their love for each other while keeping their passion for what was happening to them. Of course I was not expecting the ending but in retrospect I think it was fitting. I could feel his love for her just as I feel my love for my wife. With my wifes illness there have been many times I have wondered how I would react if she were to be taken from me.
Speaking of the pain of love I have come to the conclusion that losing someone is too painful to bear and that all the people around me right now that I love is all I am going to have. I cannot bear the thought of suffering the pain of loss if I was to lose my wife or children. Parents are hard too but for there to be a me there had to be a them. So that part I had no choice in but if I had to do it all over again I am not sure I would ever have gotten married and had children. It seems the more you do with them, the more you love them, the more it hurts when you lose them. I hurt enough over so much I cannot control I do not wish to hurt over anything that I can control. I love the ones I have but I will not have anymore of anyone to love as I can only take so much.

Visit the Official I Am Legend Website

Product review...

Just tried out my new pen scanner and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations so far. I have only been scanning the text in the tutorial part of the manual and there was plenty of space around the text so I do not know just how good it will work on the small text in a magazine article. I do feel that once I really get used to what angle and speed to scan at it will work fine. The only reason I had to correct a few words is because I did not drag it in a straight line nor did I hold it at the proper angel. I kept wanting to angle it as you would with a highlighter and this device you want to hold it more straight up and down so the tiny wheels move freely. It is fragile plastic and the tiny tabs that hold the battery door in place surely will break very easily if you are not careful but overall I think it will hold up. I am usually pretty good at taking care of my stuff as I cannot afford to replace it if I break it. I think it will do what I had hoped it would when I ordered it.


Wrong, just wrong...

I am glad that my ex-wife makes enough money that she does not require government assistance, otherwise my child support would be going to the state instead of to my son. This money needs to be going to the children, the ones it was intended to go to. This is taking food out of the mouths of our babes.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Mothers Skimp as States Take Child Support
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Good drug...

Januvia is one of the pills I take for my diabetes and i have to say it works really well.
clipped from www.cnn.com
Januvia, a pill from New Jersey-based Merck & Co., Inc., is the newest entrant to the diabetes field. Like the other drugs, it controls blood-sugar levels and is only used by diabetics with type II diabetes, which generally emerges in adults as a result of obesity.
Januvia's growth has been rapid since the drug was launched into the U.S. market in October 2006. Sales for Januvia (and the similar drug Janumet, which is much smaller) totaled about $200 million in the third quarter of 2007. Some analysts believe Januvia has billion-dollar blockbuster potential. John Boris, an analyst at Bear Stearns, has projected $740 million in sales for 2007, Januvia's first full year on the market.
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Sadness...and then boredom

Today I lost one of my (and many another 40-something year old man) childhood heroes. Evel Kneivel passed away and with him another link to my childhood. While my memories will never fade, knowing he is gone will push them a little more into the past. Every once in a while I would see him in the news and it would bring back the memories of me trying to jump my wagon with my bike as a ten year old. Twisted that knee and to this day it hurts when the weather turns colder! I remember watching the Wide World of Sports on ABC with anticipation of his spectacular showmanship. It is just another reminder that I am getting older with each passing day. Now for the boredom. Loved the fact that Dallas won the game but if the NFL Network ever wants to achieve its goal of competing with the broadcast networks it will absolutely have to find a better broadcast team. I like Chris Collinsworth on Sunday's when he is in the studio but him and Bryant Gumbel just cannot call a game. That was about the most boring experience I have ever had when watching the Cowboys. Fox has the crowd going in the background and just makes it feel alive. A lot of people missed a pretty good game but they did not miss anything when it came to the team in the booth.


First, the good news. The Cowboys won. Now the not so good news. The score should not have been anywhere as close as it was. Green Bay was missing two important defensive players (KGB and Woodson) and it showed as Dallas moved the ball at will. But the defense gave up too many plays, like the long touchdown run and some passes by Rogers. I give credit to Green Bay for making a game of it but it should have been a 20 point win without much of sweat being broken. Aaron Rogers may be the future for Green Bay but tonight Dallas made him look like the present quarterback of a 10-1 team. Hopefully the letdowns can be fixed by the time Dallas goes to Detroit. Detroit can put up some points in a hurry. Bought a new toy this past weekend. It should arrive tomorrow. It is a pen scanner which is a device that looks like a highlighter on steroids and it scans in printed type. I read a lot of magazines and am always coming across stuff I would like to save to look up at a later time but just do not have the time to scan in pages. Things like web url's, quotes, titles of books or videos, etc. I also don't want to tear out the pages from the magazines (not because I want to save them, I put them in a recycle bin) as I do not want torn out pages laying around. I have known about pen scanners for quite some time so I decided to find out if there was one that I could afford so I did some research on the internet. I found one that had been reviewed by David Pogue of the New York Times "Circuits" column. He thought it was pretty good so I decided to find out just what it cost. I found one at J&R's Electronics in New York City for about $90 with a $25 mail-rebate. I truly hope it works as advertised. I read several reviews on the internet and most were positive. As with most things I do believe that the negative comments are a result of people not understanding how it works and get frustrated. Also, they may have higher expectations of what any given product than what it truly is capable of. I figure many of these people could not master how to hold it or they expected it to be able to scan line after line. I do not need it for that (it supposedly holds 500 pages of text) as I do not think I will be scanning more than 30 characters at a time and most likely not near that many. That means I will have plenty of time between scans for the device to record each scan into the memory before the next scan. I am not going to sit there and scan page after page, I just want it for those moments when something does come along that I want to remember. And you can tether it to your computer and scan directly into a program such as word or excel or straight into the url field in the browser. I really think this is one of those gizmos that if it works I will use it a lot. Practice is what will make the difference between me writing a positive or negative review. Don't make the expectations higher than what the product can do and practice with it until you know how to properly use it.


Lessons of life....

This is one of the lessons I have recently learned about myself. There is so much about life that we need to know and by the time we know it, so much of life has passed us by.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
I’m the man pretending he knows what the hell is going on around him when, in fact, he’s clueless.”
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Not the same and yet it is how I feel at times...

The following quote is from a man that had been incarcerated for 16 years for a brutal murder that he did not commit. He is having trouble adjusting to life outside. In no way do I think my life compares to his, I have been free, and yet my choices and decisions led me to locked in a mental prison that only now am I becoming free from. I am in a "halfway" house but I am on my way to mental freedom. I cannot recover time lost but I can enjoy that which is yet to be.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
“I’m free, but I’m trapped, and no matter how much I run, I’ll never make up for the lost time.”
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If only...

I had understood just how much my life was affected by being bi-polar. I have been taking medication for this condition and it has completely changed my life. I can now see myself and my actions in a different way and realize just how much I had been holding myself back. The emotional roller coaster was far greater than I understood and its effects on my relationships was so much more than I thought. I do know that it is better late than never. I cannot recover that which is lost or was never found in the first place but I can move forward from here.


Finally....well, maybe.....

I finally broke down and ordered internet to be installed at my apartment. Went through a website that partners with all of the major providers as they offered a rebate on the modem ($90). Finally received the modem Friday and had a Saturday appointment to have it installed. That is when things went downhill. The guy spent the better part of two hours trying to get a signal but to no avail. There are two cable outlets in the living room and yet neither one of them seems to be connected to the box outside. So the technician called in to have another, higher level tech, come out and rewire my apartment. He told me that it could be anywhere between two and seven days before they can get out and do the rewire. So I am excited to get it but disappointed it is going to be another week before I do get it. There is so much entertainment on the internet available that I do not know if I will need my tv for anything more than Cowboys football and the one show each week that I schedule for, "Life".


Well, that did it. An interception at this point shuts the door. Dallas put up a good fight but just not strong enough yet. We will see as the season goes on. These two teams could meet again down the road....
Not good enough. A field goal is not going to get the job done. Dallas should have run it twice since they are running all over New England. I just don't see how the Dallas defense is going to stop them.
Well, couldn't hold them that time. Gave up too many pass plays (that is all New England can do is pass, no running game to speak of) and that is only going to get worse. Dallas must create some turnovers because New England is not going to beat themselves with mistakes. Pressure must get there quicker.
Hearts are fluttering! What a drive! And that pass for the touchdown? That was special. Tom Brady is not the only quarterback that can throw it on a rope. This should be a great game the rest of the way.
If, and that is a big if, Dallas can keep from giving up a score on the first drive after halftime, maybe Dallas can make a ballgame of it. The offense now knows it can move the ball against the Patriots, they just have to find a way to stop them. Does Dallas take more risks with all out blitzes? Do they change up their pass coverage schemes? I do not know but something will have to happen for Dallas to win.
Well, I think that just showed that Dallas is not ready to compete with the big boys. After getting the emotional lift with the fumble return, they just cannot stop the New England offense. They come so close to sacking Brady and then he gets it away. Two sacks is good but they just cannot put enough pressure on him. The only thing that will keep this a good game is if Dallas can get a touchdown before halftime and keep the score within four points. With New England getting the ball first after halftime, they must stop them.
Now that may be what Dallas needed to feel they belong on the same level with New England. And with that emotion flowing the defense will be right back out there ready to go after them again.
First quarter of and my fears are coming true. While the Dallas defense has made a couple of plays for the most part New England has done what they have wanted to do. And as par for the year Dallas offense has started slow. This is not a team that Dallas can start slow against. Finally putting a drive together and getting three points is a start but Dallas cannot afford to give up any more points.

Is this all we really are??

Is this true? Is it ok?
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Or is it just another example of the fact that Americans age, but never seem to mature?
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When not trying to impress someone impresses them...

I am never going to be a "beautiful" person as far as physical appearance. I also will never be considered "cool" due to my personality. I am just a guy. Because of that I have always tried to find a way to impress a woman. I would try to be cool or hip. I would either smoke some weed, dress a certain way, be an impressive single father or otherwise try to be someone that I was not. I was a good, hardworking single father but I used that to try to impress women. The other day as I was gazing at my newest Playboy magazine I realized that there is no way I could ever impress a woman that looks as they do by being something that I was not. Being fake is not very impressive at all. I can see where a beautiful woman would be more impressed by someone that is not trying to impress her. I mean there is a right and wrong way to impress a person. Flowers and a bottle of wine at dinner can be impressive. Trying to go out of your way to be something you are not is not impressive. What I never realized because I did not know who I was is that everyone who figures out who they are and who they are not ends up having different things they are looking for in another person. I believe some attractive women figure out that they can attract a lot of men to themselves and because of that they start to look for other qualities than just what a man looks like. I truly believe that is why I see a number of less than perfect body men with very attractive women. If you can have anything you want, you will become much more selective as to what you will have. If I could go back 20 years I would simply dress nice, be true to myself and not worry what others thought of me. That would have been attractive to someone and I would not have had to work at. Natural is a beautiful thing.


Another week gone by...

And what a week it was. That is not a good thing this time. Friday we had a meeting to discuss my claims that are over 30 days in age. I was totally unprepared because I was not fully told what was expected of me at this meeting. I really looked bad but I still have a job and I am making it right. Earlier this week I read that my new fav show is on the bubble. Actually, all four new shows on NBC are on the bubble. That includes Bionic Woman and Life. I am not that excited by Bionic Woman but I really do like Life so I will be quite disappointed if it is canceled. What is ironic is Life has taken the place of Smith from last year, the show about some high end thieves. Life is drawing few viewers than Smith did but this year NBC is ok with the numbers. That is because twelve months later there are fewer viewers watching television. I have reduced my watching to one program a week in primetime, Life. I happen to watch Bionic Woman but only because it comes on right before Life and I don't really watch it. I do watch Numbers on Friday nights with Tam at the nursing home but really again, just kind of listen to bits and pieces. Last week I ordered three Kid Rock cd's including his new release (came out Tuesday). I have listened to about half each cd and I like him more than before. I am a fan of his hard rockin' music but he sings ballads quite well also. I know why he does not get airplay; his lyrics are way too explicit and I know maybe I should not listen to that stuff, but the way he sings it just sounds cool. Tammi even thinks so. To me he is a throwback to 80's hard rock but combined with his rapping he has a sound all his own. I just like it. Tomorrow is the big game between the Cowboys and Patriots. I hope in 24 hours I am writing about a Cowboys victory as that will legitimize them as worthy opponents for the Super Bowl. Irony again takes shape as last year Dallas beat Indy so it can be done and I expect a very good game. At the least if they are competitive with a close score they will still be legit.


Is luck good fortune or is good fortune just being luck?

That is what I am wondering regarding the Dallas Cowboys win last night over the Buffalo Bills. Did Dallas get lucky? Did the Bills get lucky to even be in the game? Was Dallas fortunate to recover the onside kick or was Buffalo unfortunate that they could not cover it? So many questions, but the only question I care about is 'Did Dallas win the ballgame?' And of course the answer to that is YES!! HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!! Luck, Good Fortune, Blessed. All abstract ideas we assign whenever something happens to us that has a pleasant or beneficial outcome. But hidden somewhere inside of that good thing are action and choices we made that led us to be in that particular position. It is of course my Butterfly Effect that is the cause of all of this. Sam Hurd punching the ball instead of trying to catch it himself. The groundskeeper for the Bills stadium maintaining the field in just such a way that the ball bounced as it did. Each effect has a cause and in turn each effect creates a new cause. Our entire universe is built upon this principle. If you believe the astronomers and the big bang theory then this is all just part of that expansion. The progression of time and where the universe is headed is so much larger than each of out puny lives and yet each living creature, each atom that makes up all the suns and planets and comets and black holes has its part to play until we reach the final end. Each day here on Earth, each life that passes and is born, has a part to play. We cannot look at things as individuals trying to get all that each of us can get. You cannot take it with you but by giving it all away you keep the movement of time going forward, something for the next generation to use in the quest to become what we are destined to be.



That is what I am. Allergies are just making me miserable. I have been taking some medication but at this time it is only doing so much. I can't wait for the first good cold front to come through and blow out whatever is causing my allergies.


Another new wifi hangout...

Right now I am spending my lunch hour at the library that is closest to my work. I have never been here before but have driven by it many times over the last four years. I really should have been coming here for lunch during the summer as it is very cool. Although there are quite a number of people here (more than I expected for this time of day) it is quite reasonably quiet and the wireless connection is top notch. Getting away from work for an hour really is important. I have just become too burned out working 8 or 9 hours straight without a break. Spoke to the office today about the kids downstairs and basically told the manager that either they had to go or I had to. Last night there was not a peep out of them but that is normal one or two nights a week. She said she would send them a letter for violation of their lease. I hope it works as I like having enough sleep.


Reviews and other musings...

This past week I watched to new season premiers, Bionic Woman and Life. I already fear for Bionic Woman as it is just a ripoff of Dark Angel from several years ago. Girl with extraordinary powers and gifts is hunted by a government agency. And that show was a ripoff of The Pretender. So while it has good looking young women, it is not new nor interesting. I feel it deviates from the original story line too much. It is too easy to have these nano-bots that heal and cure her. Not enough imagination has been put into this show. I give it five episodes before it will be pulled. On the other hand, I had some good vibes about life. While it is another cop show, making him rich and a victim searching for answers does give it a twist. I think if they keep the story lines interesting it can succeed. Shark is back for another season and it not the best show out there so why not this one.. The Dallas Cowboys sure looked strong again today. I am worried about their slow starts but the finishes are something else. New England in two weeks is shaping up to be quite a showdown and also a test of just how good this team really can be. Even if they lose to the Patriots, if it is a good, tight game it will prove they belong in the same breath. But I fully expect them to win.


Movie review and other musings...

Last night I watched the Viggo Mortensen film "A History of Violence" and my feelings are mixed. While the action seemed to move at a fast enough pace, I felt it did not delve deep enough into Tom/Joey's past. Two top rate actors, William Hurt and Ed Harris had star billing but their screen time was rather limited. Of the two, Ed Harris certainly turned out the better performance. William Hurt, with his limited time was just too over the top, as if to make sure that no one would forget that he was even in the film. Ed Harris on the other hand, convincingly portrayed someone that had no problem shooting you dead where you stand regardless of sex, age, or amount of cash on you. Viggo did his part good, at first being the devoted husband to a hot wife, good father to a couple of good kids and then in an instant he was Joey, the cold blooded killer without a conscience. In closing I would have like 20 more minutes of the movie with an explanation of what brought Tom/Joey to the present. I think a scene where he and Maria Bello were just laying in bed with him telling the story with flashbacks of his past would have worked very well. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Had lunch today with my parents and daughter. My daughter is doing ok today but it is a day to day thing. She just got through selling her stereo for some drug money but she knows that within a week or so she is going to enter drug rehab. I hope it does her some good. It was nice to see her as I do miss her very much. But until she has a handle on her life she really does not need to be coming around my place. I have very little in this world, I want to hang on to what I have. ---------------- Now playing: Art Of Noise - Moments In Love via FoxyTunes



Having been an outsider most of my life has, for the most part, been a lonely experience. But recently I have realized, that while I really don't like the feelings of loneliness, there is something that I can do with it. As an outsider, I have developed the skill of observing others. When I combine observation with memories of events and situations from my past I am able to construct a mental picture of how things should have been done and how they should be done. Something I have come to believe is that for the most part we are no different than a colony of ants. We scurry about our little lives oblivious to what is around us. Sure, we see what is on the news, we say that is terrible, and then we move on because we have other things to do. Why are we so pathetic in doing this? No matter what we do, how much we earn or what we live for we are all going to die. Unlike the ants which live for the promotion of their kind, we attempt to live for ourselves. We do not worry about what is best for our species, we worry what is best for our shareholders. I am as guilty as anyone and I make no excuses, I simply state my opinion regarding the human race. The ice pack is melting and all the shipping companies can think of is how to exploit the northwest passage so they can save some money on shipping. Why are we not putting more resources into finding other ways to manufacture what we want and need and less into finding cheaper ways of getting the stuff to us. I have digressed from my original point I was trying to make. Making money is fine, that is what our country was founded on and it is a good thing as long as greed does not become the driving force behind making that money. When is enough money enough? Does the person make 1 million dollars a year have to have the 10,000 sf home? Or can they have a much smaller home that uses less electricity and therefore does not cause a brownout in the summer that causes the poor person to die from heatstroke because they cannot turn on their fan? again I digress, getting on my pulpit for issues that are for another time. I observe much going on in our world and it is not good. I see the people making the left turns, their cell phones glued to their ears, not paying attention that they just ran a red light. Daily I see people run red lights and I wonder how they will feel when they eventually hit someone and kill their child? I watched a video on the internet of a woman trying to beat a train and not realizing that another train was coming in the other direction. Two of her three children died and it was all due to greed. Greed is not just about money. It is about wanting something so bad that you will have it regardless of who it hurts or destroys. When that guy has to go around me to my left and then change back hard to my lane to make the right hand turn when he could have just as easily stayed behind me, made the turn and then passed me, that is greed. It is a sin. Pride is another sin that I am struggling with. I am 42 years old and when I see a person older than sporting some kind of colors, in this case a harley davidson jacket while sitting on his bike, it makes me wonder. Is it really ok, at our age, be have pride in something you enjoy? How much pride can you have before it becomes a sin? Is pride not a sin? I realized that I feel so down because of the situations in my life that I do not allow myself to feel pride in anything I do, whether it is my work, my role as a husband, father, son. I try to do well at all of these things and yet I feel to take pride in a job well done would be boastful since I have not succeeded as well as I would have liked at any of them. There are so many things that I now realize my parents were just trying to do for themselves when I was a child and teen and they needed my help and yet all I could think of was myself and going to play basketball with my friends. Is that my fault for not having more respect? Or is it their fault for not being more disciplined on me? I am not sure of the answer but I do know it bothers me now. If I had been less in need of companionship I would not have exposed my daughter to the pain she was caused and therefore she may not be how she is now. I did not put her first and now I suffer along with her. The difference is she does not realize she is suffering nor how much she will in the future. She is too busy getting high to worry about that. I only pray and hope she figures it out before it is too late. Husband, I try to be a good husband but I feel I fail miserably at times.


Movie review...

Well, I finally watched the classic movie "Taxi Driver" with Robert Di Niro, Cybill Shepherd, and Jodi Foster. With everything I had heard about it over the years it turned out to not be what I expected nor as good as I expected. The movie really seemed to drag on and was very droll. The plot was very easy to follow and I understood what it was about, there just did not seem to be much excitement. The last five minutes stood out but that is not saying much. Also, I have heard so much about Jodie Foster's portrayal of the child prostitute but I was very disappointed. She hardly had a part in the movie and not much acting was put into it. I gave it three stars out of five on the Netflix meter. I am glad I finally saw it and it was good, just not what I thought it would be with all they hype.



just continues to move on in its relentless pursuit of the end of time. Another week gone by, still too much to do at work, apartment not organized, not enough time spent taking care of Tammi. Blah blah blah. Lets see, the bad things that happened to me this past week: My insurance claim against the other driver was denied. Tammi's leg is continuing to swell My protege was fired My body hurts more and more The check engine light came back on on the Suzuki Now the positives: I can always get a lawyer and sue the pants off his insurance. The staff is finally going to investigate her leg With my protege gone I can once again focus on my own work I can walk and talk and move my body The check engine light stayed off long enough for me to get a state inspection And to boot, we are having pizza tonight! Life is hard and no one is promised an easy road, we can only enjoy the moment as best as possible.



I refuse to let things get me down, to take my smile off of my face. I learned yesterday that the other drivers insurance is not going to accept liability for the the accident. I am unsure if I am going to retain a lawyer or not at this time but I do know that I will move forward with my life. Too much to do and take care of to let this stop me. My faith in God will carry me through this as I know he has a reason and plan for why the accident happened and everything that as come to pass since. I cannot allow myself to be brought down to a bad place because of all the weight that has been placed upon my shoulders, it just would not be the right way to live. I often think of topics I would like to right about even if there is no one to read them but it seems I forget them before I have a chance to actually put the thoughts into words. One that I thought of today regards immigration and the fact that most of the people that come this country do so to create a better life for themselves and their family, especially their children. Two things occurred to me regarding such situations. One is that if they are coming here to create a better life because it is because we have a society here that will allow them to do so. It is always said the American way is that if you work hard enough you can do anything you want. What occurred to me is how do we change the society where that person immigrated from so that they can do that there. I mean no disrespect to anyone that has come here to better themselves, what I mean is what can be done so that they can do the same where they are from. I would think that if a person could do it in their homeland they would. I would think that is how I would feel, that I would leave if I had to but would rather stay if I could. The second thought is if everyone that wants to better themselves leaves to do so, are all that is left are gangs and criminals? They only solution to our problems is to create societies based upon human freedom, such as our country but it seems that as more and more people leave their troubled countries behind it we are becoming a divided world where half are honest hardworking people and the other half are the dregs left behind that would rape and pillage the lands that are left. It is becoming a Madd Maxx scenario from the movie "The Road Warrior". Not now, not in 50 years but if this does not change, in a couple of hundred you will have the divided world and a divided human race.


Can you believe this?

some people just go too far!
clipped from www.wfaa.com
Man accused of burning down trailer home after online dispute
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Received an email today from the other driver's insurance that a decision would be made by the close of business Friday. I hope it goes well as we need it to work out. I do want what I am not due but I know my light was green and I have struggled this week with my injury's so I want what is fair, whatever that may be. I will live but I hurt.


Where it happened...

Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

This is the intersection where the collision happened, from my perspective.



Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

This is what my van looks like after a guy ran a red light Wednesday and I hit him.


Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

This is what my van looked shortly after I purchased it in Nov. 2004.


Online tools...

Just keep exploding. Last night I read about a new online photo editing tool called picnik and it really is slick. I have been using picasa to aquire (scan) my printed photo collection along with organizing all of my photos. I was using Yahoo photos for my online storage, especially when they went to an unlimited amount of storage. Then Yahoo had users move the entire collections to other hosting sites of which I chose Flikr and became a "pro" by paying $25 a year which is fine. I also am a member of Tabblo as I really like their book printing setup. Tabblo can link to Flikr so you don't have to upload the same photos twice. But I still had to edit on my laptop and then upload so I still had two copies of the same photo. Well, now there is picnik, which will link with flikr so you can upload to flikr once, edit with picnik and then make a really cool book with tabblo. And this is not some editing tool with a couple of buttons and not much else. Picnik is loaded with levels, other cools stuff you would find in photoshop and all photos are completely undoable. Because I am a pro user at flikr I get the option of saving the original with the edits or making a new seperate photo which is what I do. I always undo all the edits to my original so it returns to the way it was when I first took the photo. I may want to do something different with it next time. This is becoming too awesome! the only drawback is you have to be connected to the internet but that is not a problem as I will have it at home when I move, and there are so many places I go to that have wifi such as the nursing home where Tammi is that will never be a problem. I don't even like being home anyways so this will just enhance the experience.


TV as we know it is dead....

I have been following a short film series on the internet titled "The Devil's Trade", a tense, horror type short. I have to say that with today's world the short webisodes is the way to go. I previously have posted about the new deal with Myspace and Sony where they have taken old series from the 70's and 80's and shrunk them down to 5 minute webisodes. With wifi everywhere and wimax coming soon who will want to sit for an hour to watch a program. Right now I would be more inclined to watch a current hour long program if they were to cut it into 6 or 7 smaller pieces (an hour long show is actually about 42 minutes of programming) and let me watch it over the course of a week. I still will be watching the same amount of content and in the same amount of time (42 minutes each week) but I will be able to fit it into MY schedule. And isn't that what is most important, that as the consumer we have the power to choose when and how we watch, hear, and experience our entertainment? I no longer watch shows when they are new, I wait for them to come out on DVD and get them from Netflix. For me, the center of my entertainment has become my laptop and someday, when it is cheap enough for me, I will have some type of box that will stream this content to my television just as I get it on my laptop.


Good to know....

This quote is from an article about the "sex toy lady" a woman whose company hosts parties (like tupperware but not tupperware!) to show and sell sex toys. The lady who spoke this is 65 years old. Knowing this information about women reminds me that life for my wife and I is not over yet, she just needs to continue to get better.
clipped from www.foxnews.com

"Just because I have white hair doesn't mean I'm dead."

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What I am attempting to also do...

Joel Siegel, whom I have watched from time to time over the years died yesterday. I found out last night while watched the news program 20/20. While watching this program I learned that he had written a book for his very young son, Dylan, attempting to teach him about all the things in life that he would not be able to later. This is the purpose of my blog and while for the most part it is not good writing, it is my life and Tammi's also. I have a son that may someday want to know about his father's life and Tammi will have grandchildren that most likely will never get to know her. So this is how they will and if the writing is bad at least it is real, it is who we are. I hope they have the chance to learn about us.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Joel Siegel, 63, Movie Critic Who Instructed and Amused, Dies
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It just keeps getting better...

Web entertainment that is. Just learned how Myspace and Sony have partnered to show stripped down episodes of old classic sitcoms. This is just getting to cool! With my busy schedule and uptempo personality this is perfect. Lunch hour never looked so good! I am now drooling for a new laptop with twice the power for video! Christmas is only six months away!!
clipped from www.nytimes.com
For example, last week MySpace became the exclusive site for Sony’s “Minisodes”— five-minute versions of ‘80s sitcoms like “Diff’rent Strokes” and “Silver Spoons.” Tens of thousands of users have watched the clips.
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Why pay?

Newsflash!! Boingo is going to charge one flat fee!! I know for the traveling businessperson this might be a good thing but why pay for what is given free? More and more businesses, and not just coffee shops, are offering free, 802.11g wifi. Having experienced numerous hospitals and nursing homes in the last 2 years due to my wife's illness, they are all going high speed wireless. I have sent emails to Starbucks and Mcdonalds as they both offer wifi for a fee asking them why I should pay. And then there others offering for free but they are offering the slower 802.11b. So lets review, local libraries, hospitals, and privately owned coffee shops nearby offer free high speed wireless, or I can go the Schlotzkys and get free but slow wifi or lastly, I can go to Starbucks or Mcdonalds and log on for a fee and it is slow to boot!! when will they learn. In today's world, offer me free high speed and I will do business daily with you. This is the modern loss leader to get me in the door.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Today, Boingo Wireless, one of the biggest aggregators with more than 100,000 hot spots, is introducing what it says is the first worldwide flat-rate plan for Wi-Fi hot spots. For a monthly fee of 29 euros, or $39, subscribers can use any of the company’s affiliated hot spots for as long as they want.
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Word of the day...

Interesting word, schadenfreude. I feel there are far too many people that practice this. Is it because they are insecure in themselves that they must take pleasure in others pain? food for thought.
schadenfreude, that delicious German word meaning, “taking pleasure in other people’s misfortune.”
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Why my camera is not outdated yet...

Too many people look at "megapixels" as the only way to define a camera ability to record (the camera does not take pictures, the person wielding it does) but that is not true. My "lowly" 3.1 megapixel camera takes quite nice 8x10 photos. I wish the industry would stress this more often.
clipped from www.nytimes.com

All of these are 10-megapixel cameras. It’s a shame the camera companies continue to flog this measurement as though it’s important; more than six megapixels adds only negligible sharpness and may introduce random speckles in the photograph, something the pros call “noise.”

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Expanding upon a belief

The other day I wrote about having to let go of wanting the life we had and learning to enjoy the life we have. I have since expanded upon those thoughts as Tammi and I have reached a point in our lives that we are old enough to look back in retrospect. And what we have seen has made us very sad and disappointed in the decisions we made along the way. We have been going over the choices we made knowing that we could have and should have made different, better ones. I finally decided that not only do we have to stop wishing for the life we had but we must stop wishing for the life we COULD have had. We never had that life so we must look forward to the life we have and just use that experience to make better decisions in the future. We can never get those years back but we can live the remaining ones happier than ever regardless of what happens to us.

My artistry

My artistry
Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

A small sampling of some of my favorite photos.


New phrase to live by..

The other day I was having a conversation with my daughter about becoming a young bride or parent. I told her that too many young marriages fail because one or both of the people want the life they had instead of the enjoying the life they have. Later I started to think about what I had said and realized that Tammi and I need to approach our life together in the same way: we need to learn to enjoy the life we have right now instead of being down and sad because we can't have the life we had. That life is never coming back, she will not ever be well enough for us to do the things we did. But isn't that part of life anyways? As we age we are not able to do the same things anyways but learning new things with your other half is so much a fun part of the journey together. We will never have that life again but we can learn to enjoy the one we have right now. And that is something that can keep our marriage strong, making new discoveries together.


Some good words...

found this on a blog I found goofing around http://www.stillstacy.com
clipped from www.stillstacy.com
Life sucks, finding humor makes it tolerable.
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A different kind of pain...

The other day I was remembering how much it hurt the day I left Rapid city, the agony of leaving Tam behind. It reminded me that I cannot know how bad it will hurt when the Lord takes her from for good. Last night we were talking about why she is being punished by this illness, that she knows some people back home that have done some bad things, sex with their children and such. Why is she being punished when they are healthy. I told her two things. One, they will have to face a higher judgement than what we can give them and two, that we must remain faithful that she is not being punished. I told her instead feeling punished, know that her pain and suffering is there to somehow, someway help someone else. I believe that God's plan is so large and complicated that we cannot possibly know what our roles are but the role to be played is still there. I know in my heart that someone will do something good because of this. Maybe her case will be studied 20 years from now and a cure for osteomylitis will be found or someone will be inspired by her story and go on to greater things. I don't know and will not try to predict I just will maintain the faith that this will come about. To believe anything less is to give up.

Goings on and stuff....

Well, this past week has been quite the challenge. We saw the surgeon on Tuesday but that is turning out to be a waste of time. He really no longer intends to do any surgery on her and in fact stated that unless she is in so much pain that she would rather die than go on (which she is not) there is nothing else for him to do. He told us that if he were to do surgery on her knee there is a very good possibility that it would end in amputation and that is why he does not want to cut on her. We are resigning ourselves to the fact that she will live in a nursing home for a long time if not forever. We just don't know what to do. She needs more care than I can give her, she has no place else to go as there is not anyone that can care for her. Her mother can do some things for her but we cannot rely on that as her mother will not live forever and she can easily get tied up with other things. She went home 4 weeks ago for a 1 week stay to get her medications refilled. You just cannot plan for the delays that life can bring you. So that is out. We discussed organizing so that I can come home 2-3 times a day to care for her but that may or may not work out. What about the times that I need to be at work for the entire day. Just too many unforeseen complications. So the nursing home is where she will be. But there are so many issues there. While we were at the doctor Tuesday someone came into her room and stole some things from her. Not expensive stuff but full of meaning to her. It just is not right that someone would come and take something that did not belong to them. Tammi's roommate has had some things stole also in the past couple of weeks so I am going to speak with the director of the facility about this issue. It will not bring back her things but maybe if the person knows that the staff is being watched they will stop or better they will be caught and fired. Tammi finally got to speak to her daughter this past week and that was such a good thing. She had such tears of joy but also pain because she let her daughter know how much her daughter hurt her by not including her in her life, not speaking to her or coming to see her. She had now spoken to her in a number of months and had not seen her since last September. Tam is going to be a Grandmother and she really needs to be a part of this process since we do not know how many years she will be with us. This past week I have found my new apartment and also rented another storage shed so I can start moving. What a hard six weeks I have coming up (eight really as I have to move the stuff in my other shed after moving my apartment items) but I will git-r-done as larry the cable guy would say. If I just move a little each day it will happen. This Sunday I will move some furniture that I am not using and start on the boxes next week. I was able to make it so that the shed is right on the way to see Tammi and the apartment is just down the street from her also. I am looking forward to this if for no other reason as it will break up the routine we have been under for the last six months.


Saw this today on Super Deluxe..

It is for mature audiences due to some minor violence and language but nothing more than what you would have in an "R" rated movie. The internet is the best invention of all time!!!


When is pain more than pain?

Yesterday I went to see my doctor hoping he would send me to a specialist. He did but I won't be able to see the specialist for another month. For the past 10 days or so I have been experiencing pain on the right rear of my head. This pain increases as my heart rate increases as it is my pulse I am feeling. If I really work up a good heart rate the pain becomes intolerable. And that is what has me worried. At rest the pain is very slight but it is still there. I am worried about things like stroke, aneurysm, or something else. This is not the time for me to have a medical issue. I have held off taking medication for this as I did not want to mask the problem. I feel that if you sprain your wrist, for example, you know the cause of the inflammation and pain. I do not know what is causing my brain to hurt when my heart rate increases so I do not know what the consequences of taking an anti-inflammatory would be. I have an appointment for July 3 but if something were to open up sooner I am at the top of the list to see the neurologist. Paid my application fee for the apartment I wish to move to yesterday and as soon as she calls to tell me I am approved (I do not see any reason why I would not be) I will pay the first months rent. They have a special of the first month's rents for $199 plus no deposit and she said she would honor that even though I will not be moving in until August 1. I have not even looked at the apartments themselves but hey on is the same as another. I told her all I needed was a place to lay my head as my wife is in a nursing home down the street and I will not be home much anyways. It is all working out as if it was meant to be. I stopped in, they have special, they are close to the nursing home and she kept the special since I am paying early. I told her I did not care what apartment I had at first or what floor it was on, that we would transfer once my wife is released from the nursing home. I was going to sign a 6 month lease and then decide what to do after Tam gets out, if she does get to come home. But now I think I will sign a 1 year lease since we plan on transferring when Tam gets to come home anyways. The transfer fee is $200 so that is acceptable and it is a nice enough area that I don't mind staying a full year there. They even have covered parking, something I have never had. All in all it is working out.



Is going to rule the internet and that is ok. I have been using nearly all of the tools and things they off and I have to say, as someone that is always on the go I like what they offer. I really like how everything is integrated. Like everything I use, I just want it to work and it does. Lets see if I can list everything I use from Google: Picasa2 - for my photos Blogger - for blogging (hence this post) Calendar - to organize my life Gmail - For my communication needs Docs - So I can do my reports anywhere, anytime I am connected. Maps - So I can find where everything is. Video's - For my entertainment needs Search - The original reason for Google, so I can find all there is to find. That is all I can think of but I sure there will be more. I have to say that I do use other tools from the web as well. I like Flickr better than Google photos and Tabblo is also a better web hosting are. Also, allyoucanupload is good, owned by Webshots. But for the most part Google is the one-stop-shopping Walmart of the web for me.


Is this all we really are??

from the NY Times, is this how society view men??
clipped from www.nytimes.com
The culture of sexual entitlement and compulsive consumption encourages men to remain boys, for whom women serve as bedmates and babysitters.
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Greedy or Opportunistic?

Sometime back I decided that greed takes many forms and one of them is whenever someone passes you up with excessive speed or reckless driving. Then a few days ago a woman in a vehicle in front of me when around a slower moving vehicle that had cut her off (an elderly man was driving) and it made me think deeper on this subject. Was she being greedy by going around this vehicle in an effort to get somewhere faster? I decided no, she was not. I have come to the conclusion that in these scenario's the fine line between greed and opportunity is this: If by passing someone you cause harm or possible harm you are being greedy, whereas if you pass them with no ill consequences to them or anyone else you are being opportunistic. I know that this may sound trivial but it truly is not. I have a deep belief in God and I am trying to do the right things in life. I was driving along the other day when this vehicle was in such a big hurry on the freeway that because the lane he continued to drive in was ending he caused a lot of problems when he finally moved into the lane that continued on. I decided he was being greedy. Then, when the woman I spoke of earlier made her pass I said she too was greedy but thought more on it. I decided that I too would have done the same as her had I been in that situation and therefore that would have made me greedy. I am sure this makes it seem like I am trying to get out of being hypocritical and that is true but in a the right way. I wanted to get to the bottom as to what constituted greed vs opportunity in this and I feel I did that. I hope to only pass when opportunity presents itself and not endanger others by being greedy. This is not only for driving but presents as a metaphor for many other things in life.