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.

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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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