Monday, June 30, 2008

Putting it in perspective

Sometimes I lose focus in just how far computers have come over the past couple of decades. My first IBM compatible PC (as we called them back then) was back in 1989 that my mom bought. I think the whole thing was about $2000. I still remember some of the specs. It was a 286, with 1MB of RAM, EGA video card, and a 40MB hard drive.

Now this sucker:

That little guy's capacity is 10000% higher(if my math is right) than the hard drive on my old IBM, and it cost 15 bucks. That is something that just amazes me.

And yes, that is my hand.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keys Please

Just a few things:

1. I was cleaning some crap out of my truck and not only did I find my umbrella I have been looking for for about 2 years behind the seat. I also found a key to a some sort of Mercury. I don't have a Mercury, as far as I know, none of my friend's own a Mercury. My best guess is that someone from a repair shop left it there while working on my truck at some point in time. I just wonder how long it has been back there.

2. I've had a friend's copy of 300 for a while now, and finally tried to watch it the other night. I definitely was not in the mood for that, I popped in the first season of The Shield, now that was what I was looking for.

3. Outside of when I ride my bicycle I haven't worn socks and shoes for almost a month now. Sandals only, baby!

4. I talked to my cousin Renae last week. I knew she had moved, but I didn't know where. She has moved to San Francisco. I told her, "You know my brother practically in San Francisco." No, no she did not. I gave her my brother's number, so they should be getting together.

5. I was kind of handy the past week as well. Helping my roommate install a new dog door in the house. A nice one to with 3 flaps and various insulation to help keep energy costs down. I also helped him install a trailer hitch on his car. The instructions claimed it would take 35 minutes to install the hitch. That is a pretty specific time. 35 minutes my ass.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Wedding, Part 3?

Well I had planned on posting some pictures from the wedding, but I haven't been able to hook up with my dad to get a copy of them, and he is leaving town at the end of this week so it may yet be a while.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Isn't Terrorism Fun?

A link to a story new restaurant in Lebanon. I found it interesting and kind of funny.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Lebanese food served with a bang

My favorite line:

"They accuse us of terrorism, so let's serve terrorist bread, why not?" Mr Ibrahim told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NBA Prediction Round-Up

Around the start of the NBA season I looked at’s predictions of the upcoming season. Now that the season is finally over lets see how they did:

1. Who will win the NBA title? No one had the Lakers and Celts. Also no one had the Lakers in the finals, and the 2 people who picked Boston had them losing. Paul Forrester really blew it with a Mavericks-Bulls final. The Bulls were horrible this year and the Mavs got bounced easily in the first round.

2. Who will be the regular season MVP? Not one person picked Kobe

3. What team will be the biggest surprise? Jack McCallum picked the Bulls, and if he picked them for their total collapse this season and finished 16 games below .500. Oops. Forrester was the closest by picking the Hawks, who at least made the playoffs this year, but were still 8 games below .500. Clearly the biggest surprise this season were the New Orleans Hornets who no one picked, of course.

4. Who will be the biggest disappointment? Some guys really nailed this one. Marty Burns and Chris Mannix both picked the Heat, and they were absolutely right. The Heat really tanked and Riley decided it was time to retire from coaching again. Steve Aschburner selected the Mavericks, which I have no argument against. Unfortunately, Ian Thomsen picked the Lakers and claimed they wouldn’t even make the playoffs.

5. What player will break out and become a star? This could be painful:

Ian Thomsen picked Andrea Bargnan from Toronto, he of the awesome 10.2 PPG and shooting 38% from the field.

Marty Burns took Rudy Gay who did have a decent year for the truly awful Grizzlies at 20 PPG

Bostjan Nachbar of the Nets was Chris Mannix’s pick. The guy shot a sparkling 9.8 PPG at about a 40% clip.

McCallum and Aschburner both took Luol Deng, and he put up 17 PPG. As high as he was taken, and this being his fourth season in the league I would like that number to be closer to 20. This is particularly true when you consider his PPG, shooting percentage and rebounds per game all dipped from the previous year.

Finally Forrester chose LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trailblazers. He did almost double his scoring from his rookie season to 17.8 per game.

I don’t see any stars here…

6. Which coach opens the season on the hot seat? Meh. That is more for the beginning of the year lets move on.

7. Who will be the best rookie? In the end, whoever didn’t pick Kevin Durant was a fool, and that would be Thomsen and Burns who both picked Luis Scola. Durant averaged 20.3 PPG breaking the rookie record for the Sonics

8. What will be the leagues biggest controversy? A couple of guys picked Donaghy, which is the story that still has legs. Forrester said a star would test positive for a PED, and that didn’t happen.

9. Will Kobe Bryant be traded? Only Mannix and Forrester said yes, and we know how that went

10. If you think Kobe is staying, then who will be the biggest name traded during the season? Everyone else said Jermaine O’Neal. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Good job guys, see ya next season!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Wedding, Part 2

Once the actual wedding ceremony took place I was ready. Like I mentioned previously it was taking place outdoors. I waited until the last possible moment to put my suit coat on and go outside. It was still pretty damn hot. Mercifully, the ceremony was short. It was performed by Jenny’s (my dad’s new wife) friends from Kansas. It was decidedly non-traditional. These two people are very much into New Age ideas and religious concepts. We weren’t quite praying to the “Earth Mother”, but it wasn’t to the God I was raised with either. Like I said though it was a nice ceremony, and the vows they said were very sweet.

After the wedding, you are supposed to pose for pictures, naturally. We move the flowers in place and we are going to take the pictures around the garden in the back yard. Being so hot people grab some drinks like tea or wine, whatever. I am standing there, and I wait…and wait…and wait. It has been over half and hour, and I say, “Hey, its getting pretty hot here lets get these pictures taken.” Someone tells me to take my jacket off until we do take the pictures. I tell them “no” explaining that if I take it off I will cool down, and then it will seem even hotter when I put it back on. Finally, the pictures get taken, and I am able to cool down.

Cool down I did. I had brought a change of clothes with me, so I stripped down to a t-shirt and short. I didn’t bring a change of clothes though, so the decision was between wearing my dress shoes or going barefoot. I chose barefoot.

Before I forget: the cake. It was great. Two of Jenny’s co-workers offered to make the cake for her. It was a three-tiered cake. Alternating layers of strawberry and lemon filling, the lemon filling for my brother who hates strawberries. It was freaking fantastic though. I had like 3 pieces there and I took some home as well.

The great part was about it is that people were using their digital cameras. When everything was wrapping up we gathered on the deck to watch the pictures that were taken on a laptop computer as music played in the background. After that we moved the air-conditioned house and chitchatted for a couple of hours.

Next some of my final thoughts…

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Wedding, Part 1

May 31st was my dad’s wedding, and I will break it down into different parts. This one will address the meal we had before the ceremony. The initial plan was to have the ceremony first and then to go eat. Realizing how blazing hot it would be at around 3-4PM in Texas at the end of May, the decision was wisely made to push the ceremony back to early evening when it would be a bit cooler.

Off we go to the restaurant Marlo’s House in the great city of Garland, TX. The sign outside says “Authentic Mennonite Cuisine”.

“I don’t know what ‘Mennonite Cuisine’ is”, one of my dining companions says

“I don’t either,” I reply. “So, how would we know if it is authentic or not? Could any of us here be able to tell if they are lying or not?”

We squeeze the tables in the tiny restaurant around so that we are all sitting “together” and the tables kind of spiral around. Somehow we get our party of 14 into the dining room.

Since we have such a large party and only one cook there were a few items we were discouraged from ordering, so that we could eat in a timely manner. The dish I got, which I can’t spell so I won’t even try. What it was though: egg noodles topped with a cream sauce and sautéed onions, a side of homemade sausage, coleslaw, and a slice of rye bread. The noodles, sausage, sauce, coleslaw and bread are all homemade in-house. For the most part it was great. The noodles were awesome, but the sauce could have used some seasoning. The coleslaw was better than I expected. It had slices of apple in it, and I am not fond of fruit in my vegetable salads for the most part. This was pretty good though. My favorite part was the sausage without a doubt. I wish I had more than just the one link. I inhaled my food, and I was soooo stuffed afterwards.

I love that it is very informal there. The waiter/co-owner hands me a pitcher of tea, as I am pretty central to, so that I can refill glasses. When another party arrives, he is sitting at the table talking to them. Really gives it a nice homey feel. I was surprised to see they are only open three days a week. I guess they have other jobs the rest of the time.

The most shocking/awesome part though: The chef cooks all the meals on a four-burner stove. When I learned that I was truly amazed. She prepared all those different dishes, for 14 people in a very reasonable amount of time. Wow.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kind of, but not quite.

DNC bans lobbyist money - Yahoo! News

That is one heck of a title for a news story, but it isn't quite true. I'm not really going to debate campaign fundraising, and how much and who it should come from, but this seems like they are really going to limit money from federal (only) lobbyists and PACs completely.

My favorite part though:

Obama's ban on lobbyists money is not ironclad. He does accept money
from lobbyists who do not do business with the federal government and
he also accepts money from spouses and family members of lobbyists.

Because the wife of a lobbyist is soooo much different from the lobbyist himself. That is a loophole I could pilot a Star Destroyer through. Plus, these new policies that Obama wants to institute only applis to the DNC, not any other fundraising group for the party. Which the article indicates is "the least successful fundraising operation the Democratic Party." As far as I am concernced it is a whole lot of nothing.