August 2003 Archives

Love bugs and Sundays


Love bug season is just dragging on and on. Despite what the link claims, these creatures are not lovable. They are disgusting. They have been plentiful this season but Iíve actually seen them even worse than this and as much as I hate them, I think our outdoor cats and our hummingbirds hate them even more. They drown in the water we have out for the cats, they land in the catsí food, and they get trapped in the hummingbird feeders where they also eventually drown. They are everywhere. When I enter my house, a dozen or so get swept in with me and I have to wipe my hand because I've smashed three or four on the door knob. Our vacuum cleaner is clogged with them. Enough already.

It is now 4 days until the NFL football season. The final cut comes today and a lot of familiar names will be out of work. I expect the Saints will be looking for a safety and maybe another linebacker from amongst the newly unemployed. The Saints have shown absolutely nothing in the preseason and the hope is that theyíve been holding back more than their opponents. Hope springs eternal for Saints fans.

Salam Pax still wows me.

18th in the mirliton series below:

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThe show was Lieutenant Nun, the story of a former nun who fought on the frontiers in Peru all the while dressed as a man!"

Welcome influx


Once more around the horn as this site is getting an unexpected and welcome influx of visitors thanks entirely to Susan Adcock (Pitcherlady) and Dave Barry. Susan has quite generously linked to this blog on her great site. Dave Barry linked to her extremely funny entry (Linked here a week earlier but I'm very certain it didn't have the same impact.) and well, thatís how these things snowball. This is quite grand if you ask me and those are two of my favorite blogs.

The final major event of August for me is over as is my personal week from hell. The very long days started last Sunday and climaxed today at about 2AM or so. Yesterday started at about 4AM and ended at the aforementioned 2AM and I found my eyes closing more than once. Glad itís over.

Ya Boys Civil War Fantasy Football League Auction was held last night. It was a 3 hour marathon and I am not at all happy with my team as is and will likely be making many moves in the coming days and weeks.

It is supposed to rain just about all weekend here in Bush so I am glad I got out and got a pretty decent look at Mars earlier this week. As for the rain, I am totally indifferent to it. The whole weekend is slated to be down time.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThey were louder and louder, the words became more serrated more like sounds... and there it was, the first punch."

End to the crazy week


ďRequires registrationĒ is becoming the most annoying term on the net. Thanks. I had to get that out of my system. Iíve encountered it twice this morning.

The Saints put on another lackluster performance last night (Might require free registration. Doesn't sound any better coming from me) and even managed to lose a player to injury even though their main objective last night was to not lose any players to injury.

Mis-spelled ďGimmeĒ as in ďGimme ShelterĒ yesterday in a comment. Just wasnít thinking. Iíll be glad when this week is over. More of that below.

This is a welcome Friday. Itís been a long and very busy week. Not nearly as busy at work as I would like but way too busy before and after work. The last of my fantasy football events is tonight and the three day weekend cannot come soon enough.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďBorn in a cross-fire hurricane.
This is a post about "Jumping Jack Flash"; it could also be about any one of fifty or sixty other songs that have followed me around ever since I can remember

Mars Attacks!


Got out last night at about 10PM and took a look at Mars. The weather did not cooperate fully. There were clouds all around and I was fighting dew most of the 20 minutes I spent outside. This was astronomy on the run. If Iíd had more time, I would have allowed for the telescope to warm up longer, would have allowed my eyes to adjust to the night longer, etc, etc..... Even so, the view was fantastic. Got a pretty clear view of the southern polar cap. The northern polar cap is tilted out of view. I will try again Saturday night and Sunday night when Iíll have much more time. It will be a little bit further away but that wonít matter much to me with my modest equipment. The Hubble images are magnificent. The Hubble does mostly mundane, professional astronomy but every now and then it pays for itself with spectacular wow-the-public views of space and the solar system. That thing is worth every penny spent on it.

Interesting, but I wonder about software developers saying something is easy. First, I think whatís ďeasyĒ to them may not be easy to the rest of us and second, everything to do with software should be fairly ďeasyĒ to them. Just thoughts, Iím probably missing the point.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThe NYC skyline as it's almost never been seen"

Spectacular image. Worth the visit. -Rob

Mars & Raccoons

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At about 9:20PM last night, I walked to the end of my driveway and looked up toward the southeast. There was Mars. It was every bit as bright as advertised. 9:20PM is not a good time and the end of my driveway is not a good place to set up my small (90mm) telescope. I looked out my dormer window a little later (About 10:20PM) and it looks like it had cleared the trees sufficiently for me to set up in the back yard. I can shield myself from my neighborís lights there and I'd have a good dark sky with no distractions other than the constant squabbling of the raccoons over the food we put out for them. The Milky Way is clearly visible from my house in Bush. Unfortunately, the telescope and eyepieces take about 30-40 minutes to warm up to the outside temperature and I was just a bit too tired to do it last night so I will pay homage to the weather gods, put the telescope outside when I get home, and head outside about 10:30PM tonight for a little astronomy.

Years ago, after I had acquired some skill at observing, I discerned the polar caps of Mars with my telescope but it was very difficult then and not very rewarding. It was not a very bright image because I was using the highest power eyepiece I have. I should probably be pleased that I could do it at all. Iím hoping it will be easier this time and also hoping I can use a lower power eyepiece. My eyesight is not as good now as it was then and a brighter image would be much more satisfying.

Speaking of raccoons, we have one that comes to our feeding bowls that is rather small and has a bad leg. We canít really tell if itís an injury or a birth defect. I saw him (For the sake of this entry, Iím calling it him. I canít tell if itís male or female) a couple of days ago when I was walking in the yard. He doesnít move all that good but he can get up and down trees. This time, however, he ducked into a little hole thatís partially covered by pine needles. I got pretty close to him and talked to him a little. He was very quiet and didnít seem all that concerned about me although he was watching me very closely. I went inside and got a bowl and poured one of my Del Monte fruit cups into it and also put some grapes in it. We know they love grapes. I mentioned earlier in this entry that raccoons squabble with each other. They do something that is a combination of a growl and a bark if you can imagine that. In our bedroom on the second floor of our house with the windows closed and the air conditioners going full blast, we can still hear them squabbling outside. As I was putting this very thoughtful and considerate bowl of fruit down in front of this ungrateful, downtrodden raccoon, he let out several of those combination bark/growls at me. It scared the hell out of me and the fruit went flying. To hear this quite remarkable, quite loud, and quite threatening sound come out of this creature that could not have weighed much more than two pounds is an experience I wonít soon forget so I will leave this little guy alone to make his own way in the world.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďTonight on NASA TV, a group of NASA astronomers and engineers will host a live 4-hour broadcast about Earth's ongoing close encounter with Mars. The purpose of the program is to help sky watchers find Mars in the night sky, and if they happen to have a telescope, to understand what they see in the eyepiece when they point their 'scope at the red planet."

Hectic Few Weeks


Charles Pierce makes a compelling and somewhat humorous case for not moving the Montreal Expos to Washington D.C. He then suggests moving them to Havana. He makes no case for this, however. From my seat in the Bush, LA bleachers, I think thatís a bad idea.

Not much else to blog about today that I havenít already blathered about for the last few days. Just got past one fantasy football event (Draft) and have another one coming up Friday night. That one is an auction and Iím going to it straight from work. Got lots more to do between now and then. Iíll spare readers the details.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThe waves were tiny our first day at the New Jersey shore and the water was surprisingly coldóthat numbing cold you never get used to."

Post Draft Report


We had a good fantasy football draft yesterday. It got underway about 45 minutes later than scheduled but that was no big deal. All of the food got eaten. Big surprise there! What the owners have learned over the seven year existence of the league, how well they prepare, and how thoughtful they are when it is their turn is just amazing. The league has come a long way and it gives me a lot of joy and gratification. This hobby is a lot of fun and is worth the work. Our team here.

It was a long and tiring weekend and this figures to be a long and tiring week. Got things to do both before and after work all week. This upcoming three day weekend will be welcome here.

Now just 4 days until Ya Boys Auction and 10 days until the NFL Season.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThe Miami-Dade County Florida school district is considering selling advertising on the inside of their school busses. Just one more step towards the industry's goal of putting of putting ads in front of us 24 hours a day starting at birth."

Isn't that the truth? -Rob

Draft Day


The Saints appeared to lay an egg last night in what was billed as the final tuneup. Most of the 49er starters left early and the Saints starters had no interest in going against the 49er reserves in a preseason game. This alarms some people. They say things like, ďTheir reserves made our starters look bad.Ē. It doesnít concern me nearly as much. Iíll never understand why people get so worked up over preseason games. Theyíre strictly exhibitions and a good many of the players will soon be doing real work like washing cars, bagging groceries, or driving cabs. Some people actually bet on these games.

Today is Draft Day. Today, everyone can be champion. Today, everyone has a chance. Today, everyone is equal. Good Luck to all!

A Google search on "fantasy football blog" today has CrabAppleLane listed second. First? See the BOTD below.

Update (11:59AM): Sunny and hot today here in Bush with no wind. Perfect love bug weather. They will infest every nook and cranny of the house today. I hate those things.

17th in the mirliton series below. If these things don't produce mountains of wonderful, edible fruit, they're history. They are ugly and unruly.


Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI sorta thought this was a scam- but I trused Textamerica. Since I entered into the template contest, I was elegible to win a free edition of Microsoft Digital Media Edition Plus, which is a $20 piece of software, for free."

Blue Ginger

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Iíve talked about my blue ginger in a previous entry. As you can see, theyíre finally about to bloom. I seem to remember them blooming a little bit earlier than this though I could easily be wrong about that. They will stay in bloom through the first freeze. In Bush, that usually comes sometime in December. Wish Pitcherlady was here to photograph them but my pictures of them will be OK.

After yesterdayís comedy of errors, I am hoping to fare better today with the tasks I have at hand. They are:

Cleaning up some of our clutter. The wife (Patsy for my mom) and I are major clutterbugs.
Washing our downstairs windows. This is long overdue.

What could go wrong? I donít even want to think about it.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI received my first paycheck a few days ago. Let me put this in perspective:

Except for a very brief period, I have never earned more than much more $1000 a month. I will be 31 in September, and I have been in school, non-stop, since I entered college in 1990. This includes summers."



The title about sums it up! I also agree with her view on the hoopla it caused.

The Kind of Day I had

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Five minutes before I did this, I had gone through this hole at almost the same angle with no problem. Five minutes after I got the tractor stuck, I also broke my lawn mower. The lawn mower was fixed in about 20 minutes but the tractor required a wrecker to come pull it out.

Some items of note

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Just items today.

Found out Wednesday that The Charlie Daniels Band will be playing the Washington Parish Free Fair in Franklinton this year. The fair site hasn't posted it yet. I like some of their stuff and the concert is free so I plan to be there. I expect a pretty large crowd for that one.

CFFL Fantasy Football Draft Sunday. Iíll make a few more notes tonight and tomorrow but Iím about as ready as Iíll ever be.

My mother recovering nicely from an emergency operation for an ďincarcerated umbilical herniaĒ. She writes about it here. Go Mom!

Took the day off today. Blog entry posted somewhat later than usual because of it. Got some yard work to do this morning, then a lunch date with the wife, and a coffee date with my sister. Will run some other errands afterwards if time permits.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďNews is circulating about a ďgoodĒ virus thatís roaming the Internet:"

You'll have to visit the blog to see what that quote is about. -Rob

Computer nonsense


Got a taste of my own medicine this morning. When I opened Word Perfect for this entry, I noticed the wife had tampered with the settings I was used to. She had removed the margins and header and that was useful for the task she was doing at the time. This had no impact whatsoever on the composition of the entry or functionality of the program but I could not proceed until I figured out how to get it back to the way I like it. I have done the same thing for the same reason on other peopleís computers. And Iíve done it without conscience. It should be noted that I am usually doing something at their request when I do. When my sin is discovered, I am no longer at their machine, do not remember in exact detail how or why I did it, and it is usually on software I donít use and donít have so I canít talk them through it step-by-step.

For better or worse, I am the computer person in the family. If they only knew how many things I screwed up on our computers, they would probably never ask me anything.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďWould YOU stop a vehicle with these plates?"

Go see the plates he's talking about. For what it's worth, I wouldn't. -Rob



I wonder how many disputes arise between credit card companies and their customers when a merchant uses several aliases. For instance, I used my debit card a few weeks ago to get gasoline at a Conoco station in Pearl River, LA. The charge showed up on my statement as Bennett Christian. This happened to be the one single item I had not posted in Quicken so I had no corresponding charge on or around the date it occurred. Rather than ask for more information (The smarter thing to do), I disputed the charge. The bank had to close my debit card account and send me a new card (A process that takes a week to ten days). About an hour or two after this was done, the banker called me with more information. It was my card as opposed to the wifeís. The card was swiped and I still had it in my possession. And, finally, it was for fuel. That last tidbit jogged the memory. Unfortunately, I couldnít reinstate the card. I will just have to do without it until the other one comes in. Iíll take most of the blame for this but I think it was avoidable and there are two ways to do it. Put Bennett Christian on the sign that now reads Conoco or put Conoco on my statement where it now reads Bennett Christian.

I had my truck engine replaced a couple of months ago. I talked about it here a few times. The friend who did it for me had a mild stroke or a mild heart attack Monday. The term, ďmildĒ, is about as relative as you can get but thatís the way it was described to me from the people (Just other friends, no doctors) Iíve talked to. Iím concerned about him. Heís much too young for this. Heís about 10 years younger than me.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďArmadillo Aerospace was created by John Carmack, one of the founders of Id Software. If you want to support private enterprise in space, buy their games! Of course, since they are the creators of such titles as "Wolfenstein", "Doom" and "Quake", you probably have already done so."



Yesterdayís back-to-school traffic, though expected, still caught me unprepared. I left earlier but not early enough. Will try to adjust for it today. Most traffic congestion has discernible causes such as an accident thatís blocking a portion of the road, an accident thatís in full sight that people have to gawk at, a police car in view, road construction, etc. Traffic along my path sometimes grinds to a halt or is ridiculously erratic for no particular reason.

My path also includes an entry point onto the interstate where the usually unconscious soul in front of me doing 30 mph likes to try to merge with the 75mph oncoming interstate traffic by gradually speeding up to 40mph. Why not? Theyíve got me behind them to soften the impact. Sort of reminds me of the short film, 405. If you havenít seen this film yet, follow the link and make the effort, especially if you have broadband.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďWord up: being a small piece quite deliberately unjoined does remove a good deal of grip and compulsion from one's life. I'm just saying."

Upcoming draft

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Another week starts after a fairly good weekend for me. Iím hoping to take Friday off and have a little more time to prepare for the CFFL Draft Sunday. Itís being held at my place and has been since the league started 7 years ago. I have just started preparing for the draft and the auction the following Friday night. The draft board is finished and the labels are printed. Not real happy with the way the draft board turned out but it will do. This is a big event in a fantasy football season. I have third pick in the draft. What I try to do is know a little something about a lot of players. Have to be flexible in thought and be prepared in the event a player you had your eye on gets snatched just before your turn. That has happened to me more than once.

Free fantasy football is becoming a thing of the past as many are finding out. The truth of the matter is that it never was free. Itís just that someone else was paying for it. The deal used to be that to play for free, you put up with advertising bombardments. Now, some people are having to put up with fees and ads. There is a mentality amongst some internet users that thinks everything ought to be free but those servers, phone lines, software packages, and technicians and engineers cost money and advertising is not paying for all of it any more. This is a natural evolution.

The NFL season is now just 17 days away, Ya Boys Auction is 11 days away, and the CFFL Draft is only 6 days away......

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďHer proposed solution, however, strikes me as fanciful. While the notion of abolishing government-issued marriage licenses is interesting, it strikes me as incredibly unlikely to happen any time soon"

Sundays and Fantasy Football


Like last weekís Saints game, I am not overly impressed or concerned about the outcome of the game. I am concerned about Deuce McAllister, however. Iíve seen enough of him. If he doesnít play another preseason down, Iíll be fine with that. He is the franchise. If he stays healthy this season and continues on the pace he set last year, the Saints will need a truckload of money to keep him. What scares me about Deuce and the preseason, however, is the specter of injury. Another franchise, Michael Vick, went down last night due to a freak injury. Donít need to see that happen here.

Well, Phone Booth was entertaining. Spoiler-alert (Skip down to the next paragraph if you plan to see this movie): If the ending was supposed to be a surprise (It might have been too much of a cliche for me so I give the film maker credit for that), though, they should have cast a less distinctive and well-known voice. Heís also listed in the cast and his voice is all over the trailer. I think this could have been done better.

16th in the mirliton series below. Not what you would call a showcase plant. They are ugly and you have to be invited to my house to see them. Theyíre not visible from the road, thankfully.


Will make the CFFL Draft Board today after running a few errands. Time to get geared up.

The medical term for today is ďincarcerated umbilical herniaĒ.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďTomorrow I have to go back to work. In some ways the quiet of the office will be a respite from a rampaging 2-year-old. But still I find I am very apprehensive."

Fred looks a lot like Crispin. Fred is a good sport. I doubt Crispin would sit still for a picture if I tied a bib around his neck. -Rob

Update (5:38PM): Crispin on the job. Thankfully, the lizard he's after is outside.

Lazy Saturdays


Theyíre pointing at Ohio as the starting point of the power outages a few days ago. For what itís worth, I think this has national security implications and to tell the world that a remote, fairly obscure, and probably unguarded power grid could cause that much disruption to our lives is not in our national interests.

Lazy day in store today. The lawn will wait until next week. I recorded two pay-per-view movies last night. As soon as the wife wakes up, weíll have an old-fashioned double feature in our living room.

Now playing: Gangs of New York & Phone Booth.

Update (5:10PM): Gangs of New York was so long that the double feature was called off. I'll add to the chorus of those that say Daniel Day-Lewis is the only reason to watch this film. Without him, the film is too long and too tedious. With him, it's only long. Phenomenal actor.

Sleep, glorious sleep. Went to bed at a little after 10:30PM last night and slept soundly until about 7:30AM. And then went back down for nearly another 90 minutes. Havenít slept like that in 20 years. Could get used to it.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďAt one stage while I was at University, I went through a bit of a phase of reading other peopleís books on why they didnít believe in ígodí either."

Of Spiders and power outages


On the power outages yesterday: Considering that it was a hot August day and that it happened around rush hour for most of the regions that it happened in, Iím pleasantly surprised that yesterdayís news of that occurrence wasnít much worse than it was. Though no cause has been announced yet, I suspect a bazillion air conditioners going full blast might have contributed to it.

Another thing I just love about this hot, hot summer: Roaches everywhere. Theyíre on my deck, theyíre in my garage, theyíre in my trees, and theyíre in my house (At least until they find the poison, the cats, or me).

Weíve got bugs out here in the country. We have mosquitoes most of the year. We have June bugs in March, not June. Theyíre annoying but their season is short here. We have gnats twice a year. Very annoying but they also have a short season. We have love bugs. This year, they werenít too bad. A couple of years ago, they were everywhere for a long time. They are very, very annoying. We have red ants, who can build towering castles overnight in my yard. Theyíre somewhat annoying. And then we have spiders and roaches. Roaches are exterminated with extreme prejudice here. Spiders are a different matter. If you canít learn to live with them and/or reach some accommodation with them, you canít live in the country. They are smart, they get in places that are hard for you to get at, and they are extraordinarily industrious. My Argiope spider (Seen here) last year built a web that extended from the garden border bricks on the ground to the overhang on the roof (About 15 feet). From what Iíve read, they eat their web every day and rebuild it every night although this one must have done that while I wasnít looking.

Only took 90 minutes to do what should have been a 5 minute upgrade to the CrabAppleLane Forum last night. Itís got me a little tired this morning.

My sister, Janine, on forms today.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďFriday's in Heaven (or is this Hell?)."

Just stuff


I recently encountered a service that will create a website for your company. You fill out a form with various tidbits of information about your company and the program creates a cookie-cutter type of web page. The price for this service you ask? $9000 for the first page and $3000 per subsequent page. The pages created are nothing spectacular. Any idiot with basic web page creation experience, this idiot included, could do it. In fact, I would do it for half that.

And just three weeks until football season, 15 days until Ya Boys Auction, and 10 days until the CFFL Draft.......

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThere's a convention in comedy sketches where a bunch of idiots do something really really expensive, and to keep the audience amused a little cash counter appears on screen, with numbers whizzing away."

The Times


Maureen Dowd (Requires registration) in todayís New York Times on blogging:

ďThe most telling sign that the Internet is no longer the cool American frontier? Blogs, which sprang up to sass the establishment, have been overrun by the establishment.Ē

Her entire article is about blogs by or for politicians. Where to start? I doubt a lot of people, other than journalists, read the politician blogs. And, I also donít believe blogs sprang up to sass the establishment although they can do that and have done that with spectacular results on occasion (Trent Lottís resignation as majority leader). I, personally, believe most blogs are read by other bloggers. I wouldnít characterize the internet as the ďcool American frontierĒ though I do think itís cool and itís a frontier. Iím convinced the majority of American internet users are file swappers and/or email forwarders. See the Blog of the Day for a different take on the article.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďInspired by the people who coined the term "Dowdify" for the practice of distorting a statement by selective elision, political blogs hold the establishment's feet to the fire, and you can ask Trent Lott and Howell Raines how that works. And as far as I know, I invented the political blog in 1995 for the Coalition of Parent Support, a California grass-roots political organization. If the mighty MoDo doesn't like this invention of mine, she should probably stop using my other ones, UTP Ethernet and Wi-Fi. It simply wouldn't be right for her to sully her alpha-girl cuteness with such vulgarity.Ē

Wow. I didnít get that much out of it. -Rob

Saints v Eagles

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Not terribly concerned about the Saints performance last night because this game simply doesnít matter. Camp legs were clearly in evidence and too many people on both sides sat out. When a guy runs two steps and falls down, heís on camp legs. It comes from running constantly for the last ten days or so. Their brains say go but their legs say no. Thatís to be expected this early in camp and both teams were fighting it. The coaches were strictly evaluating their players based on what they were being asked to do. And since we, as fans, donít know what theyíre being asked to do, we shouldnít draw conclusions but we will anyway. The Saintsí tackling looked pretty bad. Thatís all Iíll say.

The more I learn about the internet, the more I am A) amazed that it works at all and B) just amazed. More on that on a day when I have more time.

Feed the hummers and Iím outta here.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďThey say the person who finishes a triathlon is different from the person who starts one."

The Wall

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Watched Roger Waters The Wall: Live in Berlin over the weekend. Itís a DirecTV freeview event in August so itís not the whole concert but it does have the main gist of it. Except for Cindi Lauper on Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 and Van Morrison on Comfortably Numb, it was surprisingly good. Iíd heard and read nothing but bad reviews of it.

I came to be a Pink Floyd fan late in life. I was not a fan of theirs during their heyday in the 70s. The first album of theirs that I bought was Momentary Lapse of Reason, which came out in the 80s after Waters had left the band. David Gilmour, the guitarist, had taken the reins. I have since bought some of their earlier releases, including The Wall.

Waters and the rest of the band had a spectacular breakup from what Iíve read. Even fought over the use of the band name, Pink Floyd. The rest of the band won that one. What Iíve read in Fidonet echoes and usenet newsgroups is that Waters was the songwriting talent of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour was the musical and vocal talent. That appears to be true. However, parts of this concert sounded exactly like the album and Waters sings just fine. The songs from the album that Pink Floyd plays in their concerts (Which happen to be the ones I like best on this album) sound a lot like the album as well. Itís a great album for its music only. On a rock opera level, it doesnít do much for me. Quadrophenia by The Who is much better.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďAn excerpt from Herbert Asbury's The Barbary Coast. There's a Sandman story about this, but I always though Neil Gaiman just made him up."

Another glorious Sunday


After the upstairs AC unit thawed out yesterday, we turned the thermostat up a bit higher than we normally like to keep it and that seems to have helped. It hasnít frozen up since and the downstairs AC unit doesnít have to work as hard. Why does this stuff always happen on weekends? My plumbing problems always happen on weekends, too.

On the bright side, the mile-long list of to do things I had yesterday is a foot shorter.

Totally mesmerizing. The blogosphere took off around September 11, mainly because of entries like that one.

15th in the mirliton series below. Theyíre starting to look pretty bad. Theyíre healthy, but hard to look at.


Other photos I took this morning here. Doubles as a test.

And 25 days until football season opens, 19 days until Ya Boys Auction, and two weeks until the CFFL Draft....

Going to start preparing my cheat sheet for those events today.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďDid your parents ever say to you, "I'll give you something to cry about!" when you started to wail for no good reason?

I kinda feel the same way about car alarms. That go off. Every. Damn. Day. Shouldn't I be allowed to put a brick through the window? Slash a tire? Steal a radio? Finally give that damn alarm something to cry about?"

More and more

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The upstairs AC unit is frozen up. This happens periodically and the AC man hasnít figured out why or what to do about it. It leaks a little bit but not a lot. They all leak, Iím told. Hate to see him come out here just to recharge it. Weíre also friends and heís in one of the fantasy football leagues here. I owe him a dinner or something.

Grilled some green onion sausage last night. Had it on french bread with Provolone cheese and olive salad. A restaurant in old Metairie, Radostaís, makes a similar sandwich with Italian sausage. My version of it looked great and smelled great but was only OK. The wife, who bought the green onion sausage in the first place, doesnít like it. Says it has things in it.

Just got off of the phone with Bruister and Associates. A few weeks ago, I got an offer from DirecTV to upgrade my satellite to receive local channels. I have been wanting to do that for some time. They gave the work order to Bruister, who is the same company that botched my Ultimate TV installation. They came out here just afterwards and decided they couldnít replace it where it was. Somehow, the job got rescheduled for this morning. Their technician called me last night whining that he didnít have a 40-foot ladder. I cancelled the job. They were calling just now to confirm. When I pointed out where I wanted the satellite to the original installer, he just did it. No complaints. Every installer that DirecTV contracts with since has whined about where it is located. It's on the right side of the house in that image. That's Nikki singing to me. The picture was taken about two months before he passed.

I have a to do list a mile long today. Just yesterday, I thought I had a mostly free weekend.

The 8-minute dating scene.

Is anyone, besides me, tired and/or bored of things vampire yet? Movies about, TV shows about, books about, magazine articles about, nightclubs about, whatever about vampires and how cool they are.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI read it while on laughing gas (dentist) and percoset (post-dentist), and drugs are the only thing that made it palapable."

HTML Editors

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Hummingbirds will be treated to a new feeder this morning. The old ones are getting scummy and need to be cleaned. Iíll put the new one out and take in one of the old ones. The wife painstakingly cleans them with bleach. If someone would make a feeder that has a decent capacity and is easy to clean, I will be forever in their debt.

Having some difficulties with the layout of this thing. My HTML editor, Visual Page from Symantec, likes to convert certain lines of the original source into caps. That was no problem with Greymatter but Movable Type takes issue with it. What this means is I have to do all of my tinkering with a regular text editor and then view it in my browser. To say thatís inconvenient is putting it mildly. Iíve been wanting a better HTML editor for some time but the one I want, Microsoftís Front Page, is a little too expensive for me at the moment.

Happy Birthday, Instapundit.

Update: I've had to correct at least three typos in this entry since I posted it. All of them passed my spellchecker and got past my self-editor also. The latter one has me more concerned. I'll add that to the list of things that are breaking around here.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďAck! I almost forgot that it's Anti-Procrastination Day. Shoot... what to do, what to do? I guess I'll scrub down the kitchen counters. I was supposed to do that on Monday. That shouldn't take too long, so maybe it will give me time to watch a movie. "

The movie star has a blog. -Rob



My new domain host has a software package called ďSpam AssassinĒ installed. Itís up to each individual account to enable it if they want. What it does is runs tests on inbound email and determines if itís spam. Some spam still gets through but it has yet to mis-identify mail that I want to read. Overall, itís a good product. It could add one more feature. The ability to trash it at the server level and/or forward it to all known spammers. Identifying most spam is not hard. My Yahoo account successfully identifies the vast majority of it and puts it in a ďBulkĒ email folder. The war on spam is winnable.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďMisfortunes arrive on wings and leave on foot



Flash mobs? Weird activity. First read about it at Lauriís blog. The flash mobbers think itís fun and maybe it is. It's also disruptive. If itís a harmless disruptive activity, I think that activity will be tolerated fairly well. Unfortunately, the flash mobbers are very likely to find out that people have different ideas about what constitutes a harmless disruptive activity. The one at the Zurich train station doesnít look harmless. The blog is in German but the pictures tell the whole story. If someone missed their train because they had to go around that long line of flash mobbers holding hands, they probably have a different idea about what is harmless fun. David Letterman also did something like this recently when he had 25 or 30 people dressed in Pirate outfits go to a Subway Sandwich shop 3 and 4 at a time. I thought Subway (As with most of Lettermanís subjects) was a pretty good sport about having their business disrupted like that. Just don't know what to make of it.

Self-indulgence running rampant. Apparently, blogging wasnít self-indulgent enough.

And 29 days until football season, 23 days until Ya Boys Auction, 18 days until the CFFL Draft......

Update: Interesting webloggers meet. Both linked here.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI am in Irbil in Kurdistan northern Iraq. Someone explained the history of this place to me today. The mountains here are bare and devoid of trees. They used be forested. Covered with trees. There used to be so many trees in Irbil that you couldn't see around corners. Now it looks like Kansas or really more like parts of Montana."

Just nothing


An inauspicious start to the month business-wise. A friend suggested it was probably ďback to schoolĒ activities and late summer vacations responsible. I buy that.

Fantasy football is only weeks away and I havenít even started preparation for draft/auction. Will have to do that soon.

Very busy morning. The inbox was full with responses to a family weblog I inquired about. Busy facilitating that.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI've come to the conclusion that the hookers are in firm control of the fashion industry."

Doesn't lend itself to blogrolling. Too bad. -Rob

Bush heat


The Saints play their first exhibition game this Monday (August 11) night in the Superdome against the Eagles. Iíll probably watch 15 minutes of it. I find exhibition games unbearable to watch for much longer than that. Even on TV, they are a waste of time. In person, theyíre a waste of time and money. Years ago, I remember the Redskins under Joe Gibbs losing their last exhibition game against the Vikings at RFK, 30-0. They started the season, 9-0, and won the Super Bowl. If someone thinks they gain any insight into a team's upcoming season from an exhibition game, they are mistaken.

Fairly productive weekend. The typical summer weather (Hot, hot, hot in the morning and thundershowers in the afternoon) is easy to work around. My two varigated ginger plants, which I thought were tropical, wilted pretty badly Saturday in the sweltering Bush heat. Neither are in the direct sun for any length of time and they had been watered. They must like the cooler climes of Costa Rica.

31 days until football season, 25 days until Ya Boys Auction, and 20 days until the CFFL Draft....

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďLike this really needs to be on the Internet?"

Post, tinker, etc


Spent a good part of yesterday morning on site maintenance and tinkering. Discovered some neat things about the new XMB forum and Movable Type. Spent a good part of the afternoon on the lawn between thundershowers. Got the lawn done, though. More tinkering and posting in store today but I will get out of the house and do something/anything. Itís just too nice to stay inside.

ďAlpenjoy cheese with salamiĒ placed on a grilled hamburger with a catsup/horseradish cocktail sauce is fantastic. Discovered this last night. Will rediscover it at lunch time.

It looks like a gorgeous day is getting underway here in Bush. My guess is the thunderstorm will be here this afternoon like yesterday, the day before, and the day before, etc, etc.....

While waiting on the digital camera to acclimate itself to the outside temperature and humidity, I am posting some more of the old entries into the new blog and composing this entry. Posting the old entries is about two thirds over. Iíll then start on The Laurendine Blog. If I donít finish both today, theyíll be done by tomorrow at the latest. After reading the entries and fixing the formatting on them, Iím glad they were not lost. Iím especially glad I didnít lose the comments. Not that there were that many but I treasure all of them.

Update (9:47PM) - Totally finished importing old messages into both blogs. What a relief. Now, I can get back to the usual inanity.

14th in the mirliton series below. Still not a single fruit on them.


Update: Cute!

Update: Priscilla stops to smell the flowers (August 3, 2003).

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďSince this is a site about "integrity," you should know that I sometimes have a look at the Weblogs for this site to see what search phrases people have used to discover the site....."



I took delivery of my truck 13 years ago today. It was a Friday evening. It was brand new and had 7 miles on it. To say it has been good to me would be a bit of an understatement. The first 6 years of its life were spent in suburbia. It has been the commuter ever since. I currently have about 315,000 miles on it.

Iím now on the 2nd engine, 2nd clutch (Nearly ready for a 3rd), 3rd water pump, 4th windshield, 7th battery (All were 5, 6, or 7 year batteries. The math escapes me), and 8th set of tires (One shouldnít count because I swapped the set of tires that came with the truck the day after I took delivery but we do full disclosure here).

Our Fantasy NASCAR season is now over. Our team, Red Ryders, finished 2nd.

It is now 33 days until football season, 22 days until the CFFL Draft, and 27 days until Ya Boys Auction..........

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďI think I just saw a mouse. Aren't I supposed to be having good luck this month?"

PS - Thanks, Susan

Tinkering, tinkering (August 1, 2003)


Worked on the blog site for about an hour this morning. Iím learning CSS like I learn everything else pertaining to CrabAppleLane. I learn it when I need to know it and it is probably forgotten almost as soon as Iím finished. Added the links back. Not terribly happy with the way things are now but Iíve only been working with it for a day. Need to learn how to move things around and add images to the main site. Adding them to the entries is a breeze. Expect changes here in the coming days and weeks. Iím being a little over-cautious to say the least.

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ďSaddamís sons, Uday and Qusay are dead. For the doubters out there, they have dental records. Unfortunately I only had Saddam in the Amish Tech Support Dead Pool, losing a chance to score not just on two picks, but bonus points for the two dying in the same incident."

A little morbid but I think I like it. - Rob

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