Friday, January 31, 2003

How to be a programmer

... because sometimes - often, actually - I have no idea what I'm doing (Don't tell my boss that, okay?). (lol)

American Memory from the Library of Congress

Okay all you amateur historians out there: This one's for you! link found from mercy me

Update: That first line seems reminiscent of the song "Pump Up The Volume" by M/A/R/R/S

"Okay all you home-boys out in the Bronx: This one's for you!

Yahoo! News - Olsen Twins Ain't Headed to College

According to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's publicist, rumors that the twins have applied and been admitted to various colleges, "including Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Cincinnati, University of Miami and University of Dayton," are false.

Being a University of Cincinnati alumnus and a current resident of Dayton, Ohio, I am 'slightly' relieved. Now, if my 5-1/2 year old daughter Keisha was old enough to understand, she'd be miffed, no doubt.

Update: Found Dayton Daily News columnist's Mary McCarthy's humorous take on the situation:"Diary of a dreamy semester"

ZDNet | Blogs become key tools for developers

Yet another reason to blog, eh?

Web logs (commonly known as "blogs"), message boards and other online forums are becoming increasingly important vehicles for developers to attract customers--and development talent--well before an application even enters the beta stage.

Careful With That Delete Key

I just moved the two quotations that were here over to QuotesBlog. As I was refreshing my browser to see that the changes took place, I noticed that someone had actually left comments on them. I deleted the posts and the respective comments! Dangit!

Update: Okay, not so bad after all. I somehow still had the Feedback-to-feedback thingy from backBlog and was able to read the comments via an email that was sent.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

WebMD | Age of (Even More) Anxiety (or Why I Blog)

"To worry is human; to carry on, divine." Yet another article about worry and anxiety. It is a significant part of my life, so that is why I blog about it, in case you were wondering.

Douglas Mennin, PhD, director of the Yale Anxiety and Mood Center, who specializes in the study of worry and generalized anxiety disorder, states:

Worry serves a purpose -- it pulls us away from the immediate experience of the problem. We run things in our head, but we don't act. People who worry all the time are always in their head. That is the problem. We have to move on with our lives. That's how we are able to live in times of uncertainty. That is the skill we learn. People have done this throughout history.
Yet another reason to blog. I praise God for the technology that enables me to pour out my heart here and elsewhere. Blogging and journal-keeping helps me to sort out what I'm feeling.

Anxiety, Aggression Gene Discovered

According to the article, the January 23 issue of the journal Neuron will contain findings of a study indicating that "a genetic abnormality may help explain why some people are more prone to feelings of anxiety and aggression than others." This appears to me further proof that there exist biological causes behind anxiety and depression.

Now, my natural tendency, when I read this, is to think, "Oh, I'm defective. That's why I have this problem." It's then that I need to remind myself that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God. He doesn't make any junk, knows exactly what he's doing, and has a plan to use me, despite my weaknesses. In fact, its these weaknesses that are designed to get me to rely more heavily on him. Amen!

via WebMD | Anxiety, Aggression Gene Discovered

Free Swiffer Jet-Mop - HOAX ALERT!

Hey everyone. Called it - have one on the way. It's legit... Try it out!

This is really easy - it's all automated. I've been wanting to try one of these but think they're a little expensive. Well, now you can get one for free!

free swiffer jet-mop call-in:
Dial 1-877-512-4526

They will mail you a coupon for a free Swiffer wet jet mop.

Note: I am unsure is this is available outside the United States.

Update: This claim is false. The coupon was for $5 off the purchase price for a Swiffer wet jet mop. The offer expired February 2003. Check out the Swiffer page over at Please accept my apology for spreading false information.

Presenting -- Blogs!

Meanwhile, over at the Spacemonk...

Mike is putting together a presentation on blogs at the college where he works. He's asked for some suggestions, which, I must admit, are very intriguing.

As Angie said, "is interesting to me how tiny communities are built when a blog offers a comment section..."

Shuttle Crew Calls Station, Workers Recall Challenger Disaster

Yahoo! News - Shuttle Crew Calls Station, Workers Recall Challenger Disaster

I remember, in the days following the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion, a boatload of emotions. I still can recall portions of President Reagan's address to the nation. In an effort to deal with how I was feeling, I penned a poem, which I entitled "Confusion". I recently posted it to "Streams of Consciousness". Please check it out when you get a moment.

2005 Update: removed reference to an obsolete Yahoo! link.

Making Money Writing Your Blog?

Perhaps you should take a look at the article. I had to link to it because it's worth more than just one visit.

You Are Wonderful!

"Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man." -- Sophocles

crossposted to QuotesBlog

Weblogger Meetup in Dayton

I have voted every month since I first found out about this venue, and yet every month it's been cancelled. I would love to attend something like this with fellow webloggers from Dayton, so if you are interested, then please cast your vote! Point your browser to Thank you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Written and/or Electronic Journals

"In addition to blogging, do you keep a written journal?"

In response to my own question (heh heh), I answer with a resounding "YES!"

Readers of this blog may also be aware that I have five(!) blogs that I own. They are as follows, in the order they were, uh, born:

In addition, for several months now I've been a regular contributor to The Topics Blog.

Yet, since I'm not strapped to a computer 24/7, I also have been keeping written journals. Every now and then, I'll post something I've written into one of these blogs, but most of the time, I don't. One journal is simply called a "personal" journal, in which I write just about everything. I've recently begun an observation journal, which I've entitled "Sights and Sounds". I have been enjoying posting in that one a lot lately, because I'm finding that my sense of observation is growing as I continue to work on it. Heck, I even keep a journal of stuff I'm working on at work (does that sound redundant?). I got that idea from a former colleague.

Why am I saying all of this? Well, although it may actually seem that I don't post a lot, I still am writing. Writing is like an addiction. Writing is also therapy. Go figure.

Paving the Milestones

While sorting through some old files and stuff tonight, I came upon a treasure: my junior year College Prep English class research paper, dated May 11, 1987. It was entitled "Paving the Milestones (Miles Dewey Davis III)". The purpose of the research paper was to describe how an important individual has had an impact on society. I chose to do my research paper on Miles Davis because I was a jazzmaniac (I may need to get that word trademarked, by the way), and loved his music:

Little did I know how much my research into his persona, his "mystique", if you will, would affect me as an individual. There I was, an insecure junior in high school, struggling to find myself. And what joy I found by learning about the man, Miles Davis, who lived his life caring so much less about what other people thought than what he thought of himself. I decided to imitate his "devil may care" qualities, and it showed.

Toward the beginning of our research we all were called upon to present some preliminary findings to the class. Our presentation would be videotaped, and our peers would critique us. I was unprepared, anxious and insecure, as usual. But my zeal, enthusiasm, and overal 'jazzmania' (there's that word again), was definitely evident. I felt like the presentation was a disaster, but then again, I was the first presenter in our teacher's little experiment.

When the time came for us to give a final presentation, I again was chosen to go first. This time, armed with my own "mystique", I blew the class and my teacher away with an excellent presentation. First of all, I had purchased a toy trumpet. I began my presentation, with my back to my audience and played the tune most often heard at the beginning of horse races; it was the only one I knew how to play on that thing. Secondly, after explaining how Miles pioneered modalism with his album Kind of Blue, I played the opening riff of "So What" on my alto saxophone. My peers were, as I said, blown away. My teacher was impressed with my boldness. I got an "A".

I remember this event as though it was yesterday, for that moment is one when I saw myself very victorious.

21 Feb 2008 Update: Check out this blog post for a video of So What: Miles Davis knew how to play

Blog Quiz!

You are Windows 98.  You're a bit flaky, but well-liked.  You don't have a great memory, but everyone seems to know you.  A great person to hang out with and play games.
Which OS are You?

New Look for QuotesBlog

I've updated the template for QuotesBlog. Check it out and let me know what you think (Personally, I am fond of the new description - I came up with it myself.).

9-Digit 'Social' Overuse as ID

I could not agree more. I am so glad that the State of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now not allowed to include one's Social Security Number on Driver's Licenses. Let's keep the momentum going. Check out the article, if you'd like...

Also, Identity Theft on the Rise...

via Wired News | 9-Digit 'Social' Overuse as ID

Bureaucracy at it's Best

This email came from my good friend Jeff I. More reason why we should reduce the size of government:

Everyone who has ever bought a house can enjoy this.. (or dealt with bureaucrats)

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA (Federal Housing Admin) loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply (actual letter):

"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):
"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the U.S. from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.

For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella. The good queen, Isabella, being pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus' expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is [considered by many at the time to be] the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back, to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA.

I hope the hell you find God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"
The loan was approved.


Those are words you don't hear every day. Rarely, if at all, in fact. We received this notice in the mail a few days ago from the City of Middletown Division of Taxation:

Pursuant to the authority granted the undersigned by Section 890.09(b), Ordinance No. 086-22, as amended, City of Middletown, Ohio, you are hereby ordered to appear at the office of the Superintendent of Taxation, One Donham Plaza, Middletown, Ohio on the
30th day of JANUARY 2002, at 11:15AM
to be examined under oath at a hearing concerning your failure to
You are further directed to bring with you
all information necessary to file your return, along with the full remittance due including penalty and interest charges.
Failure to comply with this supoena constitues a violation of said Ordinance subjecting you to a fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment not more than 60 days or both, as provided in Section 890.09 thereof.

Signed, Linda Davies Stubbs, Superintendent of Taxation

Issued under the authority of Section 890.09, Ordinance no. 086-22, as amended, City of Middletown, Ohio, by the Superintendent of Taxation.

Mailed: January 15, 2003

I kinda prefer the words Lorem Ipsum better. Or even a summons to perform jury duty.

Update: We went to the Middletown Tax office this morning and took care of the situation. A representative from their office completed our 2001 City of Middletown Income Tax return, and it turned out that we only had to pay a little shy of US$256, which is a lot better than a $500 fine or jail time.

I still wouldn't have minded jury duty that much, though.

Help Me Find This Book

Readers, I Need Your Help!

I am trying to remember the name of a book I remember reading back in grade school. I believe it is a juvenile fiction book, and each chapter was told alternatively by a boy and a girl, possibly a brother and sister. It was a mystery story. That's about all I can remember about it. I would like to find it so that I can read it again.

Can you help me?

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Idea Generators

Some neat stuff about dealing with writer's block emanated from my brain this morning over at Streams of Consciousness, my creative writing weblog. Allow me to say here that there are some easy "cures" for writer's block. Wanna see?

10 Things you wish you didn't know...

Most of these things will turn your stomach, so don't read while eating. Also presented are some potential obsessive-compulsive disorder triggers. There. You've been warned.

via the [lfjokes] mailing list

Monday, January 27, 2003

Ten Cars That Made History

This is an interesting article from Forbes that describes 10 cars that have defined the automobile industry thus far. It includes a slide show.


Senator Lautenberg Has Head Surgery

"Yahoo! News - Sen. Lautenberg Has Head Surgery"

I believe a sarcastic joke can be found here somewhere. Stay tuned.

2005 Update: removed reference to an obsolete link

Why Saddam Must Go

[CARTOON] - Why Saddam must go

It makes sense to me.

Jim Borgman | Why Saddam Must Go

Gas Passers Sitting Happy

You read that right. It's the GasBGon flatulence filter, and it's real. My wife and I have often thought that this would be a great idea, but James and Sharon Huza have already, uh, stolen our thunder - if you know what I mean: Partly for laughs and partly for serious medical conditions, the GasBGon flatulence filter is the real thing. Some interesting quotes from the article:

  • "Second-hand flatulence knows no borders." -- James Huza, on taking their products into Belgium, Britain, Asia and Canada
  • "I'm sure everyone knows someone that could use one of these." -- Eric Curran, of Staten Island, N.Y.
  • "I travel in the car with Mom and Dad a lot. I have my own [cushion] with the checkered flag." --Five year old son of Richard Cowles, a maintenance engineer from South Carolina
That last quote kinda gives new meaning to the phrase "And they're off!" doesn't it?

The Rise of the Machines

D.A.N.I.M.A.L.: Digital Artificial Neohuman Intended for Mathematics and Accurate Learning...VERSION 04.16

And all those people back in school thought I was just smart or something. It turns out that I'm really a cyborg.

Portune To NFL: Get Back To Me By Monday, Or I'll Sue

I remember that one of the reasons why he got elected County Commissioner was because Hamilton County voters were also upset, feeling that they were getting the shaft for a stadium that was not living up to what they had hoped for. So, now, it seems to some, that the Bengals and/or NFL, have broken faith.

More to come later, I hope.

2005 Update: removed reference to an outdated link.

Making Pancakes

Another friend of mine, Corky A., who was in my wedding, forwarded this to me:

Six-year-old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten. Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove and he didn't know how the stove worked!)

Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky. And just then he saw Dad standing at the door.

Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, Dad picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process.

That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend, or we can't stand our job, or our health goes sour. Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do.

That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him. But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to "makepancakes" for God or for others. Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried...

Please pass some of this love on to others....suppose one morning you were called to God; do all your friends know you love them?

I was thinking ... and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that need rekindling or three words needing to be said. Sometimes, "I love you" can heal & bless. Remind every one of your friends that you love them, even if you think they don't love back.

You would be amazed at what those three little words, a smile, and a reminder like this can do.
So I share this with you, and offer this encouragement. Share this with everyone you love, and make sure to share it again with the person who shared it with you. And never stop "making pancakes"!!!

Prayer Request - Haile's Back

Last week, I received another email from my good friend and sister in Christ, Dana B. She writes:

I have a personal prayer request for everyone. As most people know I have two girls: Hailie is 6 years old and Stevie is 4 years old. Well, Hailie had been complaining of lower back pain, so we went to the family doctor who requested an X-ray. It came back showing what looked like a hairline fracture so we were sent to an orthopedic doctor.

[The orthopedic doctor] looked at the X-ray and agreed he saw something but was not 100% sure, so she had a bone scan done about two weeks ago. She had her follow up appointment yesterday. My prayer was answered that it was not cancer or a tumor. But we were told she has a condition called "Spondylolysis," and basically that means that on her lumbar 5 vertebra, she has a crack where it looks like the fork (I do not know how to totally explain it).

Usually this happens to children that are older and are more athletic. So they are thinking she was born with it. But the specialist will be monitoring her to see if it will heal. If it does not heal, they will try these steps in order:
  1. Physical therapy,
  2. Back brace, and last would be
  3. Surgery.
Basically what can happen is if it does not heal, the crack can totally break and there would be a shift in that vertebra, and that would cause the nerves to be exposed. I am understanding this is not a totally crisis condition but I am requesting your prayers that the situation can be stablized and that no more damage will be done.

It is hard to understand that a 6 year old is dealling with this. If she can have back pain at 6, how will this effect her later in life? I guess I should not worry about this. God is already in control and knows the outcome already. I am at peace with that. Well, thanks for taking a moment to read about my prayer request. I love you all.

Your Sister in Christ from Dayton Ohio

God's Promise

My friend and brother in Christ, Bill T., who is going through some very rough times, just emailed me this promise from God:

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. -- Philippians 4:19 NIV

More Customer No-Service

the public school transportation system

Over the last month or so, we've lost much faith in our public school's transportation system. This morning things came to a head, and I burned with anger once more:

At the beginning of the year we were told what time to expect our daughter's morning and afternoon buses. Then, within the last month, the morning and afternoon times have been pushed back further and further. A couple weeks ago, I had called the transportation office and was told that we should call them if the bus was over ten minutes late from what her pickup/dropoff time was. That time was, in fact, much later than what we were told at the beginning of the school year.

I was quite understanding when told that the reason Keisha's bus was late was because some parents were either not prepared with their kids to leave in the morning or were not at home when the kids were being dropped off in the afternoon. No problem, I thought. As long as we know what time we need to have our daughter ready in the morning and what time to expect her when we come home.

We had even begun accomodating the fact that since our daughter was sometimes late for school, she'd miss having breakfast with the other kids at 9:15. So we'd started giving her something to eat before her bus came. Again, no problem. As long as we know what time we need to have our daughter ready in the morning and what time to expect her when we come home.

This morning I received a call from home. It was mom. It was already 9:20 and Keisha's bus had still not come. Mom had a very important doctor's appointment at 10 AM. She had called the transportation office and was rebuffed by the "Customer No-Service Representative". So I called. But, while I was talking, this woman began interrupting me. I told her to stop doing that, and, finally asked for the name of her supervisor. She did me one better and proceeded to connect me.

After almost 50 rings, I hung up and searched online for Superintendent Percy Mack's phone number. The secretary, after hearing my complaint, transferred me to the head of Transportation, a Mr. Sullivan's office. I voiced my complaint again to his secretary, who then asked for my phone number and promised that she would forward this on to Mr. Sullivan and the transportation person in charge of my daughters bussing. I then told her that I expected a return phone call later today, and we hung up.

Now if I don't hear back after 1 PM, guess who's gonna follow up?

Super Bowl 2003 - Tampa Bay Triumph and Stuff

Okay, I don't have much to say that others haven't already said. Hence, I won't belabour you with stuff you've already heard. I just thought it interesting that Tampa Bay's kicker's name was Grammatica. From what I saw all of his kicks were "Grammatically Correct".

Mom, Jennie, and I remarked that maybe he has a sister named "In". Hmm. "In Correct". I then remarked that maybe he has another brother whose name is "Politically Correct".

Begin throwing your rotten eggs now.

Alias Season 2 Episode 13 - "Phase One"

It was an 'Alias' to remember!

We somehow managed to stay awake to watch the new episode of 'Alias' last night. It had been, what, almost two weeks since we'd seen the last new episode, in which some interesting developments regarding Sloane's search for his wife came to fruition. Well, let's just say that last night's episode, was, indeed, a 'New Beginning'. So bittersweet throughout the entire episode. We finally got to see who Sydney's love is, in fact.

But, I was left in shock at the final scene, which involved the most unexpected plot twist I'd ever imagined. All I can say is, let the week speed on so that next week's episode will come!

I Want To Fire My Bank

For some time now, we have been neither been able to access our primary bank account online nor use our debit card. This past Saturday morning, Jennie and I went to the branch of the bank, the one where we had opened the account five years ago. We went to a teller and told her what the situation was:

After some initial research, she got her supervisor. Her supervisor told us that our account had been blocked from access because of the repeated history of overdrafts to our account.

I responded, loud enough for other patrons to hear: "So, we're bad people and we'll no longer be able to access our account?"

"Well, no, Mr. Johnson. You just need to call our 1-800 number or come into the branch where you opened the account."

"Excuse me, but that's where I am," I replied.

"Well, we can clear that up for you, Mr. Johnson. We just want to warn you that, if your account gets into an overdraft condition again, then your account will get the block on it."

"Okay then," I answered, "so after this, we'll be able to access our account online and use our debit card?"


Then we deposited my paycheck and left, believing that things would be okay.

Page forward to Sunday - yesterday. On our way home from church, we stopped to fill up our gas tank, using our debit card, which doubles as a 'fake' credit card; i.e., so that we can use it to buy gasoline. The gas station offered 'pay at the pump', so I kept the car running while I emerged from our car to check if our card would go through. No such luck.

So we went to the nearest bank branch that we knew would be open on a Sunday, which was inside a local supermarket. As we walked to the tellers station, we noticed that they had some Super Bowl cookies for customers to enjoy. We explained our situation to the teller, who then proceeded to get some help from her colleague.

"Hmm. It seems that your home branch has placed a block on the account on any debits."

"We were just there yesterday!" I exclaimed in unbelief. "Does this mean we can't even write a check to get money out of our account?" again, loud enough for other patrons to hear.

"I'm afraid it does, sir. Your home branch placed the block, and they have to be the one to unblock the account."

"I thought we took care of that yesterday! This is bull!!" I yelled, and proceeded to storm out of the store. Fortunately, I remembered to wait for my wife and daughter.

After we had gotten into the car, Keisha proceeded to ask, "Do we not have any money, Daddy?"

"I don't want to talk about it right now, Keisha," I replied. So then she asked Jennie. "Keisha, I said not to talk about it, okay?" After some gentle nudging from Jennie, Keisha got the hint.

To add insult to injury, we arrived back home to discover that our car could not make it up our driveway. Frustrated and angrier, I drove to the end of the cul de sac, turned around and tried again. Alas, to no avail. Now, more frustrated and angry, I turned the car around and began to drive in the other direction.

"Why don't we get out and shovel the driveway?" Jennie asked.

"FINE!" I said, as I deserted the car, leaving it in neutral with the door open. Jennie would take over the car, and I would shovel.

I got our shovel, and managed to shovel half the driveway before I ran out of steam. Frustrated, angry, and tired, I threw the shovel across the yard in a fit of rage. Then I sulked momentarily. I decided to try again, and got more frustrated that the snow wasn't coming up as easily as I wanted it to. I began to beat the snow on our driveway, yelling at it, and again threw it across the yard in another fit of rage.

Fortunately, I had cleared enough snow so that Jennie could drive the car up the driveway. After she had pulled the car into the garage, I picked up the shovel, and put it back in the garage. Then I went around to the backyard and wept. I was so frustrated, angry, depressed, and altogether upset. I sat down against our back wall for a little bit.

Then I noticed that our puppy had emerged from the garage and was on his chain. He came over and licked me, which helped me feel a bit better. Then, in a playful mood, I began to throw snow on him, which he appeared to enjoy. So I piled as much snow on him as I could. Then I got up, strolled over to the virgin snow in an untouched part of our backyard, and laid myself down. It was rather peaceful and quiet. I didn't feel quite so cold yet. I thought about how I was feeling, prayed to God, and asked for his forgiveness for my fits of rage.

I'm learning that I don't know how to express my anger constructively. I told Jennie in the car on the way back home that I felt like writing a scathing letter to the president of our bank, using the F-word, the S-word, and the D-word a lot in my letter. I don't usually curse, but those words seemed appropriate at the time. As did the thought of tearing the bank manager a new bodily orifice, if you know what I mean.

Jennie remarked that we should have just walked out of the bank office with all of their Super Bowl cookies.

Got a lot on my mind right now, so get ready, I'm gonna unload some of it.

Friday, January 24, 2003

The Post That Used To Be Here

Let's just say that I decided to get rid of it. It was an example of HTML-gone awry. There. It's over. I feel good. I feel better. I feel better than James Brown. I feel better now.

Helping Others Win In The Process

A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back... every one of them. One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better."

Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story.

Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
What do you think?

via e-mail from Bill T.

Snapshot Memories Written Down

A few days ago, I used one of my own topics and came up with some snapshot memories:


Bad blizzard that year. Schools were closed for awhile. I remember that we'd get a bunch of homework when we went to class in case schools had to be closed again for awhile. I went to Greener Elementary. I believe I was in the second grade.

Keego Harbor, Michigan

In the spring and fall of 1990, as well as the spring of 1991, I co-oped for a company in the Greater Detroit area. I stayed with a coworker, paying him room and board. He had a house in Keego Harbor, which is situated next to Cass Lake. I remember the A&P Supermarket, just down the street. Some of the best moments were spending time at night on the pier, overlooking the lake and seeing the stars. There were a couple times, I believe that I went sailing. I had never sailed before, and the craft we used was not that big, if I remember correctly. I decided not to go back out sailing, once I found out that in some places the lake was over 90 feet deep. I have a terrible fear of large bodies of water to begin with, thanks I suppose to movies like "Jaws".

Sharon Keys

I had a huge crush on her in fifth grade. I remember that her best friend was Tracey Grau. She always made these really goofy looks at me, because I'd stare at her often. I was too shy to really do anything else.

Yahoo! News - Daschle to Offer Economic Stimulus Plan

I'm sorry. This wasn't in the humor section. The idea of Daschle offering any economic stimulus plan is a joke. It's a contradiction in terms.

Will you people in South Dakota please make Tom "Puff" Daschle go away?

2005 Update:

  1. Removed references to story link, which has expired
  2. South Dakota voters made Puff Daschle go away in the 2004 election:
    Tom Daschle Is Gone - Thank You South Dakota!

Office surfers may face wipeout

Office surfers may face wipeout - Tech News -

Be careful out there...

Yahoo! News - Springer Considers Run for U.S. Senate

He hasn't even lived in Ohio for awhile! But, then again, if Hilary can do it, then maybe he could. I don't plan on voting for him if he runs, though.

2005 Update: removed references to the original link, since it's no longer valid.

Giving Directions - Just for Fun

We're planning to have a couple friends from church over a week from tomorrow. They each needed directions to our place. The woman subsequently emailed me and the other guy directions to her place. And, just for fun, the other guy emailed us directions to his place! Yeah, we're a goofy bunch, alright.

C'mon and Blog!

Ganns puts an encouraging parody of Madonna's Vogue. Check out the post from Monday, January 20, 2002 (no permalinks available, sorry).

Frozen Friday Feeling

Weather forecasts could be much simpler if they just told me how long I need to be outside before I get frostbitten. I stopped understanding degrees of cold weather once the temperature dipped below freezing.

Sting Added To 2003 Super Bowl Halftme Line-Up

LAUNCH - NEWS - Sting Added To Super Bowl Halftme Line-Up With Shania & No Doubt

Good. That's a good enough reason to stay tuned...

R.I.P. Nell Carter

Remember the show "Gimme A Break"?

TechFest 2003

TechFest 2003 - A Celebration of Technology in the Dayton Area!

Here are the details:

When: February 21-23, 2003. At Sinclair Community College Dayton, Ohio. Ponitz Center (Building 12), 4th & Perry.

Everyone Can....Learn, Share, and Have Fun with technology. Kids can..have a blast performing hands-on experiments, listening to scientific "story-tellers" and meeting "famous" scientists! Students can..plan futures as local colleges, and schools promote classes, degree programs, and scholarship opportunities! Adults can..realize job opportunities, explore local technology, and expand their professional horizons through networking, techncial and professional society membership, and education.

Sponsored by Community Service of Affiliate Societies Council and Engineering & Science Foundation.

For More Information, call (937) 224-8513 or visit

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Alpha Male Links -- Lessons 1 through 18

Some more winter humor for you!

You'll know what I mean when you read Halley's Comment: Alpha Male Links -- Lessons 1 through 18

Be warned, however, as it contains some "salty" language.

Listening to My Online Radio Station

While at work today, I listened to my Launchcast Radio Station, and the following songs played:

I have not included those songs I chose not to listen to. What do you think?

Waiter! Bring Me Water! (Green Mix)Shania TwainUp
That's The Way Love GoesNorman BrownAfter The Storm
Chance Of A LifetimeTake 6Brothers
Inbetween DaysThe CureGreatest Hits
NightbreedDanny ElfmanMusic For A Darkened Theatre
What It's LikeEverlastWhitey Ford Sings The Blues
Whip ItDevoAdventures Of The Smart Patrol
Basic InstructionsBurlap To CashmereAnybody Out There?
After The Rain Has FallenStingBrand New Day
I Can Still Make CheyenneGeorge StraitBlue Clear Sky
Ol' RedBlake SheltonBlake Shelton
Purple HazeJimi HendrixExperience Hendrix: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)Toby KeithCourtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)
Without MeEminemThe Eminem Show
Backyard RitualMiles DavisTutu
If You Only KnewReba McEntireWhoever's In New England
TubePhishHampton Comes Alive
We Will Rock YouQueenGreatest Hits
FirestarterThe ProdigyThe Fat Of The Land (Edited)
All Along The WatchtowerU2Rattle And Hum
Garden In The RainDiana KrallLove Scenes
Driving Aloud (Radio Storm)Robyn HitchcockGreatest Hits
Pick Up The PiecesPhil CollinsA Hot Night In Paris
I Don't Want To Be Single AgainJeff FoxworthyTotally Committed
A Northwest PassageCinnamonThe Courier
In My TimeTeddy PendergrassLove Language
We Like To Party!VengaboysThe Party Album
One Billion Miles OutBanco De GaiaBig Men Cry
You Wanted MoreTonicSugar
Groove Is In The HeartDeee-LiteWorld Clique
BleedingSixpence None The RicherMega 3 CD Collection
Don't ChangeINXSShabooh Shoobah
It's Been AwhileStaindBreak The Cycle (Edited)
I Hate Myself For Loving YouJoan Jett & The BlackheartsFit To Be Tied: Greatest Hits By Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Fine TimeNew OrderThe Best Of New Order
World Is Made Up Of This & ThatFatboy SlimThe Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook Collection
SleepMelissa EtheridgeBreakdown [ECD]
Blast Off To NowherePowerman 5000Tonight The Stars Revolt!
Blue (Da Ba Dee)Eiffel 65Europop
Rhythm Of Life (Trance mix) - The SecretChristopher LawrenceTrilogy Part One: Empire
Take Me InPetraPetra Praise: The Rock Cries Out!
DeadThey Might Be GiantsFlood
New YorkU2All That You Can't Leave Behind
Why Can't I Be You?The CureKiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
You Still Touch MeStingMercury Falling
You And MeVengaboysThe Party Album
FlimAphex TwinCome To Daddy
Help MeOingo BoingoDead Man's Party
Silent TownTommy KeaneTen Years After
ScroogedDanny ElfmanMusic For A Darkened Theatre
To Be With YouHoobastankHoobastank
One, Two - (featuring Kurupt)EverlastEat At Whitey's
Lucky ManEmerson, Lake, & PalmerThen And Now
Bring The NoisePublic EnemyIt Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Burning InsideMinistryThe Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste
Fishin' In The DarkNitty Gritty Dirt BandHold On
Don't Drink And DriveJeff FoxworthyGames Rednecks Play
La GloriaErasureWild!
The Look Of LoveDiana KrallLive In Paris
Head Like A HoleNine Inch NailsPretty Hate Machine
Bend A LittleJimmy BuffetThere's Nothing Soft About Hard Times
Trains Make Me LonesomeGeorge StraitStrait Out Of The Box
Hush-A-ByeBob CarlisleButterfly Kisses & Bedtime Prayers
She's Not Just A Pretty Face (Red Mix)Shania TwainUp!
Gangsta's ParadiseCoolioGangsta's Paradise
MajesticThe OrbU.F.Orb
Message In A BottleThe PoliceMessage In A Box
Little SisterJewelPieces Of You
KompodMouse On MarsIaora Tahiti

Book Reading - Rereading Harry Potter

I mentioned before, and you might have noticed the Current Reading List via, I'm doing more reading this year. One book I am devouring is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I just started re-reading it about a week ago, and I am now at chapter 18, or page 288. I think I'll want to reread Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban after this one.

I Miss My Pants - Poem

Some morning humor for you:

I miss my pants Thanks to the Evhead for the link.

Daddy and Daughter Date

Last night I took my five-year old daughter Keisha out on a "Daddy and Daughter" date:

Shortly after I arrived home from work, we left my wife Jennie and my mom, both of whom haven't been feeling that well lately, and drove to Huber Heights. When we got off I-70, we drove to the Danbarry Cinemas to see what was playing. Keisha and I bought our tickets to see SpyKids 2: Island of Lost Dreams and then drove to the Huber Heights McDonald's, which has a huge PlayPlace.

After getting our food, we sat down in the PlayPlace area to eat. Keisha was so excited to play that she didn't even open up the two toys she had gotten in her Happy Meal. We had enough time for her to go through the PlayPlace one time before we needed to head back to the movie theatre.

Upon arriving at the movie theatre we bought a box of Milk Duds and proceeded to where "Spy Kids 2" was showing. I let Keisha pick out the place for us to sit, and she chose front row, stage center. I think that there were only two other people in the theatre with us, but they sat toward the back.

Keisha and I loved the movie, but more importantly, we loved spending the time together doing something we both love to do. I really enjoy asking her about how her day at school was. Having been to observe her class a few times, I was able to ask specific questions about different classmates and different activities.

You are not fully aware that so much time has gone by until you see it in your children's lives. Moments like these are truly golden.

It's So Cold Out There That...

Boy! It Sure Is Cold Out There!

Only 3 degrees Fahrenheit this morning in Dayton, Ohio USA! Winds out of the northwest mean that it can feel like -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. I propose a contest of sorts. Describe the cold weather using the most outrageous, yet appropriate metaphor or idiomatic expression you can think of. For example:

  • It's "Beat-you-up-and-steal-your-lunch-money" cold out there today!
  • It's so cold outside that my nose hairs started to shiver!
Let's see what you can come up with!

HP's Top Ten Home & Home Office Articles

Just to satisfy your own curiosity, why not check it out?

2005 Update: the original link no longer exists. I did a search at HP Home and Office for the title of the article, and I've included the results link here:
Okay, take me there...

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Midweek Spam Rant

I need to empty my bulk folder, so let's dump it out and ridicule the spam populace:

  • Come sample our product for 100% free! 22079
  • Field Opportunities
  • News Letter from
  • The Best MP3 Site On the Net!Better Than Napster Ever Was!
  • Finally found the damn site!
  • Eliminate All Debt Now
  • Danimal0416 Give your woman something to smile about
  • Equifax Personal Solutions - January 2003 Newsletter
  • Gold VISA card, No Credit? Bad Credit? No problem! 15371

Toothbrush trounces car as top invention - Toothbrush trounces car as top invention

Insert humorous/sarcastic comment here.

2005 Update: Okay, here's a stab at it: Fresh breath will get you further than a "fresh ride."

Blogroll Issues

Hot, buttered Blogrolls

Well, shucks. It appears that the Blogrolling server is down. This situation does make my page load a bit faster, though.

Update: They're back! Now, let me find some jelly...

‘Dateline’ to focus on Jackson’s face

It must be a slow news period for this to make the headlines...

Coleridge on Understanding

"To believe and to understand are not diverse things, but the same things in different periods of growth." -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Winter 2003 in Dayton, Ohio USA

Welcome to Dayton, Ohio. Today it will be a balmy 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Combined with the wind chill, it might be time for a sweater, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Ohio Bicentennial Moment: Ex-slave became renowned educator

For those who do not know, Ohio is celebrating its bicentennial in 2003. It was in 1803 that Ohio became one of the United States of America. This bicentennial moment comes via the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Ohio Moments: Ex-slave became renowned educator

Martin Luther King Day 2003

Flashback one year ago, and this is what you saw in the Journey Inside My Mind:

Are there any times when violence is right? What a difficult question to answer. Ever since the terrorist attacks on the US last year, I have believed that it is necessary to use force. We gave the Taliban time to turn over Osama bin Laden, and they let it run out. As a result, we dropped bombs on them. More...
I am interested in your thoughts, considering the present world climate.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Welcoming a New Team Member to the Workplace

I thought I might need this...

I was looking through some papers, and I found this item, which I thought I might need someday.

Pointers for welcoming a new member to the team:

  • Learn about them and accept their background
  • Explain the rules, culture, and values of the organization
  • Allow the new member to participate in group activities
  • Ask the new member for input
  • Speak to the new member in his or her language
  • Teach the new member in pieces
  • Create an 'orientation' binder for the new member
There. Now is your turn to ridicule it.

TV Violence - JOKE ALERT!

Saul: Do you believe that television causes violence?

Paul: Sure -- my kids are always fighting over which shows to watch.

D.L. Stewart | Marketable skills still in demand

D.L. Stewart from the Dayton Daily News, always has an interesting slant on life. I miss him as a late-afternoon talk show host on the sister AM radio station, News-Talk 1290 WHIO.

2005 Update: The original link pointed to D.L. Stewart's January 19, 2003 column. You can read D.L. Stewart's column online at the Dayton Daily News website.

Yahoo! News - Bengals Introduce New Coach

Does anyone care?

2005 Update: I take this back. Marvin Lewis has done a great job transforming the team. Let's hope they keep up the good work!


My belt buckle just snapped apart!

Friday, January 17, 2003

Weekly Spam Roundup

La-deez and gentle-mennnn!!!! Get ready for this week's spam roundup! Music please...

  • Sofort Bearbeiten (Don't you even bring that bear bitin' around here!)
  • Danimal0416 Home loans & refinancing at very low rates!()
  • About your website (hmm... maybe that one's worth looking at)
  • HGH Anti-aging - Makes you look younger (That reminds me of that time I used almost an entire tub of anti-aging cream before bedtime... I woke up as a baby! - HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding...)
  • [none] (A subject line like that makes me really want to open it... NOT!)
  • FREE Guide - Building Your E-Commerce Web Site
  • Danimal0416 Stop Smoking in 7 Days! (I stopped over 10 years ago)
  • Get Rid of All Debt Now
  • Fwd: ADV: Check these dating jokes out...(umm... I don't think so...)
Thank you... Thank you... Thank you... You may now resume your journey...

Mental Health - Self-Harm Discussion Forum

"Come here to talk about the need some feel to hurt themselves in ways that include cutting, hair pulling, hitting or burning to ease the stress of daily life. Together, let's find ways to stop violating our bodies and learn to cope without physical pain."

WebMD | Mental Health: Self-Harm

Testosterone May Help Depressed Men

Preliminary results from a small study from Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital suggest that lower-than-normal testosterone levels may be common in men dealing with depression but who fail to get better when taking antidepressants. Lead researcher Harrison G. Pope, Jr., MD, states "We were astonished to find that nearly half of the men in our study had low or borderline testosterone levels. It may turn out that there is a weak relationship between testosterone and depression in general, but a much stronger relationship between testosterone and depression that does not respond to treatment." Read more from WebMD...

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Comments on Comments

While we're on the subject...

... of comments, I'm trying out the new system by backBlog. I may decide to replace the YACCS comments on this blog. I'm also open to any suggestions...

2005 Update: Blogger now has its own comment system. I've kept this post for its historical significance.

Welcome to the Blogosphere | PBS

This is a great article. Easy to navigate, too.

MEDIA MATTERS. Welcome to the Blogosphere | PBS

Comments Controversy

Earlier this week Josh Sargent posted his opinion on his blog:

It's turning into a pet peeve of mine to find a blog without comments. Once I see there's no comment application, i usually don't even read it. I believe the interaction of comments from readers take blogging to another level. What are reasons people wouldn't want comments on their blog?
I added the following comments to his post and present them here:
I agree with your post somewhat, Josh. I have purposely not included a comments section in my "Letters to God" blog, because I know that my temptation would be to include what I think people would want to hear. I do receive comments via email, Dan's e-mail address at, and I am pretty good about responding. In an effort to minimize the temptation to write something because I know people will read it, however, I am not including comments on that particular blog.

If We Only Have Love - A Poem

Author Unknown

If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the hope of our years
Will rise on that morn

If we only have love
To embrace without fear
We will kiss with our eyes
And we'll sleep without tears

If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
And then we'll have a new name

If we only have love
We can melt all the guns
And then give a new world
To our daughters and sons

If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And in death there are no shadows
There are no foreign lands

If we only have love
Love that is falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth
Will grow green again

If we only have love
To be shared by all men
Then we'll start a new life
And we'll be born once again

Then with nothing at all
But the little that we are
We'll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars

Let us have love!

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Fifth Harry Potter Book Due on June 21

Let the countdown begin. Reuter reports that "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" will go on sale around the world on June 21. Some "curious" details about the book:

  • At 38 chapters and 255,000 words, it will be a third larger than "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
  • The first few sentences of the new book are:
    "The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive ... The only person left outside was a teenage boy who was lying flat on his back in a flowerbed outside number four."
  • Expect the book to have a darker side than the earlier escapades
  • It also contains the following:
    Dumbledore lowered his hands and surveyed Harry through his half-moon glasses. "It is time," he said, "for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry. "Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything."

Vintage topographical maps online

Back in college, I majored in Civil Engineering. One of the things I learned about was how to read and use topographical maps. Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing, points to a link where you can view these maps. The engi-nerd in me says, "Way cool!"

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

More (Yawn) Tom Daschle

Sorry about this, folks, but I feel urged - yes, compelled even - to bring this up: WorldNetDaily: Daschle: Try everything to keep out Bush judge, and I quote:

"We're going to do everything we can, everything we can, to stop that nomination, on the floor and in the committee."
Roger Ho writes, "Will you people in South Dakota please make Tom Daschle go away?"

Amen! I love it! My sentiments exactly!

Dealing with Depression

Sainteros has found a link to some tips about dealing with depression, especially during the winter months.

Speaking of reading...

Bene Diction Blogs On offers some interesting material:

Currently Reading - New Addition to the 'Journey'

I recently posted that one of my resolutions is to read more. I've added my list to the left menu, via Right now it's only two books. Thanks again to John Ludwig - his post encouraged me to check it out.

December 2004 Update: The Currently Reading list is on my homepage, "Dan's Domain."

Monday, January 13, 2003

Keisha's Lexicon

Keisha, my five-year old daughter, has her own words for some things. They are obviously a by-product of her age and the way her speech has developed as a result of her hearing loss. Still, I find it all very cute! (Sappy Dad moment to follow...)

So, here are a couple entries in Keisha's lexicon:

  • "Hopper Copper" = helicopter
  • "Hockey Pockey" = Walkie Talkie
Additionally, she loves watching PBS Kids, where she gets to watch "Clifford the Big Red Dog". You may be aware that Clifford's owner is Emily Elizabeth, but Keisha knows her as "Emily Ebizabeth"

With more speech therapy and age, these are sure to vanish from her vocabulary. I am so happy to have captured them for now.

'Alias' Blew Me Away

Last night's episode blew... me... away! Jennie and I were both taken: hook, line, and sinker. I love the way the writers just add these plot twists here and there. That's definitely why I keep watching. I hesitate in continuing because I do not want to spoil it for those that haven't seen this episode. Ok, here goes:

Without being too specific, I was pleased in how the investigation into Sloane's wife's disappearance turned out. It was also good to see Vaughn and Sydney having some time together in a "quasi" romantic moment. In addition, I was further pleased at the cooperation and general pleasantness between Jack and Irina. I secretly (well, maybe not secretly now) hope that those two can work things out to get back together. I have no idea how it could work, though.

I also believe that the way the "quasi" romantic moment between Sydney and Vaughn was handled in a very realistic way; i.e., it was more believable.

There. I hope that I have fully confused some. I just had to get it out.

'Compliments' of...

"Her beauty was like silence in a cup of water." -- Denis Devlin

Is that a compliment? That reminds me of something from the Surrealist Compliment Generator.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Weekend Spam Roundup

Yes, indeed, gentle readers, it's time for a weekend spam roundup!

  • Danimal0416 Stop Smoking in only 7 days!
  • Danimal, Attract Men or Women FAST ...
  • reKgain your youth
  • REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP (it even has an attachment, ooh!)
  • Fwd:eBay secrets that work
  • Lose weight while you sleep - FREE HGH
  • Newsletter from
  • Eliminate All Debt Now

Friday, January 10, 2003

"Empire Strikes Back" Trading Cards

While going through some stuff downstairs a few days ago, I found a keepsake box I'd received from my mom during the first plane trip I ever took to Houston, Texas. I opened it, and, just where I'd placed them a long time ago, were my Empire Strikes Back trading cards! I remember back in the early '80's, when the movie came out. It was hip to collect these trading cards. You'd go to the store and buy the packs, and while chewing the bubble gum that came with them, you'd look to see if you found any new trading cards. Most of them were single scenes from the movie. Sometimes you got a file on one of the characters. Every so often you'd find a painting from one of the scenes.

I had every trading card, except for one. One that was of Lando Calrissian commenting "Having problems with your droid?". And I remember so clearly that one of the kids down the street from me had two of them. Oh how I begged and pleaded with him to trade with me. Yet he never did. Now, over 20 years later, I still have an incomplete set. I wonder how much I could get for it on eBay?

Thank God for 'Fri-Daze'

I stayed home from work today. I've been feeling so drowsy lately, and I think it has to do with this medicine I've been taking. It's called Anafranil, and one of the side effects is drowsiness. The problem arises when I am trying to be active during the day, say like, to go to work, I feel so tired, so I drink coffee or colas to help keep me awake. Today, I just decided to stay home and rest. I slept from like 8:30 - 2:30, and I still woke up tired.

I'm going to talk with the psychiatrist on Tuesday and tell him that this medicine is not working. It's not helping the big reason why he prescribed it in the first place, and it's hindering my life as a side effect.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Blogroll Updates

Mmmm... More Blogrolls, Please!

You can tell that I've increased the number of other blogs on this site. Some of them are tech blogs, and I don't know if I'll understand any of them. Thought I'd give it a try.

Greatest Mistakes of All Time

"Sit down. Pour yourself a Coke, have a chocolate chip cookie--whatever you like. Then, grab a yellow sticky note and write this down: 'MISTAKES ARE GOOD'" What's that, you say? Read on in this intriguing article from Encarta about famous accidental inventions. The point? "You should look carefully--and study your errors. You may find things you were never looking for, things that could change the world, or at the very least, taste really good."

Backpack Reflections - Meeting the Public Defender

While going through my backpack this morning I was reminded of something that happened several months ago:

I was walking along Third Street in downtown Dayton. I passed the Courthouse and as I approached the Montgomery County Administration building, I saw a piece of paper lying on the ground. I picked it up and noticed that it was a business card from the Law Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery County, Ohio. I turned the card over and saw the following:

Response to Police Questioning

I understand my constitutional rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during any questioning. I DO NOT give up those rights. Please stop questioning me until my lawyer is present.

I have had that card in my backpack until now. I mean, you never know when you might need the Public Defender, right? Anyhow...

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Fresh Blogger RSS Feed

Fresh Blogger RSS Feed

Someone's gonna have to show me how to use this...

Update: Somebody did.

Westward, Ho!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

In every decade of the 20th century, the West's population grew faster than the population of the other three regions.
Now, aren't you glad you know?

"It's a little bit funny..."

...all of this over a story called "Cafe War Flashback."

Good Question

Have you ever pondered the science behind a shatterproof bottle cap?

Streams of Consciousness | Broken Things

Original poem written in the lobby at work, while waiting for Jennie and Keisha to pick me up.

The King is Gone But Not Forgotten

Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration Info

Also, the Official Elvis Presley Web Site.

Ronald Reagan Haiku

from p r e s i d e n t i a l h a i k u , 2.9.2001:

Ronald Reagan
Once advocated
Trickle-down economics
Dutch trickles down now

Read "Just Call Him George W. Reagan" at BusinessWeek online...

Resolution: I will read more in 2003

And I can use All Consuming to help me track my progress! Thanks to John Ludwig for the link.

Back from the U.S.

Rasmus is back from his U.S. tour, which of course means one foot of snow. Made some changes to his site, too.

Characteristics of Lucky People

Rainbow points out some characteristics of 'lucky' people.

Happy Blog Birthday!

Yesterday, this blog turned 1 year old! Whoo Hoo!!! Take a look back on the past year's 'Journey Inside My Mind'.

Temporary Amnesia

Sometimes I have trouble remember what I wore a few days ago. Then I remember and I don't feel like I'm losing my mind.

Have you ever felt that way?

2002 Word of the Year

flat.level.ground - 2002's Word of the Year

Allison, a fellow blogger from Dayton, Ohio, comments on the American Dialect Society's choice. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" is the winner.


I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, even though I've used abbreviations. Irene feels that everyone is blogging about LOTR (Lord of the Rings). She hasn't seen it. My comments to her:

I guess TTT will be on Google's Zeitgeist for 2003. I haven't seen it or the first movie either. Maybe we could form a club consisting of all the people who have no idea what everyone else is blogging about!
Anyone else wanna join? (snickers, half kiddingly)

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

The Topics Blog

(all links below open in separate windows)

Wow. It appears that I've sure been prolific with ideas lately.

Prayer Request from Old Friends

I received an email last month and I thought it merited posting. Lee and Cindy are some close friends of ours. They were really helpful to us when we first were married. Also, Jennie was with Cindy when Cindy delivered Emiko, their little girl. And Cindy was with Jennie when we had Keisha. So, we're pretty close to them. He works for Honda and they moved out to Japan last year. I got this email from Lee on December 13, 2002:

Sorry to do this but I am sending out a mass e-mail because I don't have time to hack one out for all of you. Cindy was hospitalized last Friday for what we thought was a persistent cold. The vomiting nausea and light headedness didn?t go away after a week. It turns out she had a bleeding ulcer in her stomach. The loss of blood made her light headed and caused the vomiting. She kept trying to tell the doctor she just had a cold, the doctor kept looking at her like she was crazy.

After taking a look in her stomach the doctor found a 6cm tumor. They are unable to tell exactly what type of tumor but at this size it is not a good thing. The doctor keeps insisting that it is not related to the cancer she had 6 years ago. At this time the tumor has not spread to any other organs. However the doctor is guessing it will be malignant based on its size and the blood supply to it.

On Friday they operated to remove the tumor. Cindy's surgery went OK I guess. 2.5 to 3 hours from when they wheeled her in to when I saw her. They removed the tumor but had to do a major resection. They removed the lower 1/2 of her stomach then put a pleat in the bottom of the top part and reattach the hose at the bottom (sorry for the simplistic description but I'm a mechanic not a doctor). The doctor showed me the tumor. Looked like a large boneless chicken breast to me. Almost the size of a tennis ball.

The doctor thought it was contained and that it was softer than he expected (this is good but I don?t know why). We won?t know anything else until the pathology comes back in about a week. This morning she was very groggy and sore.

My mom is here now taking care of the kids. The kids are doing well all things considered. I will return to work on Monday and back to my old schedule (leave the house at 6 am and come home at 10pm 4 days a week, home at 8 on Wednesday). As long as this thing is treatable here in Japan we will stay. If it becomes too difficult we would reconsider this but right now Cindy is willing to stay.

All this makes me realize life is too short to worry about the details. I love this woman desperately and would do anything for her. If she changes her mind about staying so will I. In the mean time we realize we need to enjoy every moment and see and do as much as we can while we can.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Lee B. & family

Blogroll Issues

I like my Blogrolls with butter and jelly

Well, Blogrolling's server is down. That's why you cannot see the links, etc. Let's hope for a speedy recovery...Update: well, I guess they're back.

Over 1 Million And Counting


I just read that "Blogger now has over 1 million registered users."

Monday, January 06, 2003

No Comprendo

I Need help with Spanish

Some time ago, I had a visitor to Streams of Consciousness, who left me his comments, almost entirely in Spanish, I believe. It appears that his comments are a poem, but I haven't a clue what he's talking about. So, if anyone out there can help, please do. Muchos gracias!

Update, 8 Jan 2003: Not Spanish, but Italian!!! Irene is my heroine! Read the translation she came up with; it's actually quite beautiful!

Presidential Assassination Trivia

"History Lesson": courtesy of Mom via email

Presidents elected in a year ending with a "0"
Note that these are in increments of 20 years:

  • 1840: William Henry Harrison (died in office)
  • 1860: Abraham Lincoln (assassinated)
  • 1880: James A. Garfield (assassinated)
  • 1900: William McKinley (assassinated)
  • 1920: Warren G. Harding (died in office)
  • 1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt (died in office)
  • 1960: John F. Kennedy (assassinated)
  • 1980: Ronald Reagan (survived assassination attempt)
  • 2000: George W. Bush ???????????? And to think that we had two guys fighting it out in the courts to be the one elected in 2000.
Lincoln and Kennedy

Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy share some common connections:
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
  • Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
  • Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
  • Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
  • Both Presidents were shot in the head.
Now it gets really weird...
  • Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
  • Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.
  • Both were assassinated by Southerners.
  • Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson...
  • Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
  • Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
  • John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
  • Both assassins were known by their three names.
  • Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Hang on to your seat...
  • Lincoln was shot at the theater named Ford.
  • Kennedy was shot in a car called Lincoln made by Ford.
  • Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
And here's the kicker...
  • A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
  • A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.
Creepy, huh? Feel free to share this with others, because this is one history lesson many people don't mind reading...

PCOS and Infertility

Reuters Video - Health Feature Story

"One of the most emotionally devastating problems associated with PCOS--a disorder that affects five to seven percent of women of reproductive age--is infertility. Though infertility does not occur in all PCOS patients, for some women it is a difficult obstacle to overcome. What is the connection between PCOS and infertility, and what can be done about it? Join our panel of experts to find out."

Officials look for source of lake's black hole

ESPN Outdoors - Fishing News | Officials look for source of lake's black hole

"BRAINERD, MINN. — A mysterious black hole in the ice of North Long Lake has officials stumped — and it's getting expensive."

10 Free Seminars from Encarta

Encarta eLearning Center - Behind the News: 10 Free Seminars

"Make sense of the world. These free seminars address some of the most fascinating--and sometimes perplexing--issues behind today's headlines." more...

Daschle Leaning Toward White House Bid

Maybe I should start keeping a running list of those who have tossed their hat into the ring for the 2004 Democratic Presidential Campaign. It may be a moot point to do that, since the Democratic party may wind up choosing someone else to put on the ballot at the last minute, like they did in New Jersey and Minnesota this past election.

Also, Jay Leno, on Thursday, January 2nd:

Tom Daschle announced this week he is going to run for president. Be still, my beating heart. I don't want to say Tom Daschle is boring, but his Secret Service code name is Al Gore.

Update: Well, I guess he's not running after all, maybe.

Some Thoughts on the Weekend Past

Snowy Winter

I drove to work today in Mom's car, since Jennie has been using our car for when she goes to work. It's been snowing rather frequently so far this winter. I would rather have things that way than for it to just be cold without any snow.

Back to School

Also, today is the day that nearly all kids who were off on Christmas break go back to school. Keisha was really excited about going back to see the friends she has in class. She'd been feeling sick since late last week, but apparently the medicine she's been taking is making her well.

Respect Your Elders

One thing Jennie and I are realizing is that Keisha really needs to respect my Mom. Last night at the dinner table she goofed up in how she was behaving toward her Nana, and it was a golden opportunity for us to teach her the correct behavior. Jennie rightly pointed out that Keisha models our behavior, and while I couldn't see it, I agreed and apologized to her for any behavior I'd demonstrated and committed to changing it.


Another thing about this weekend is that I felt tired nearly all the time. I'm grateful for the opportunity to nap, but that also means that I don't do much anything else. Jennie and I were so tired last night that we went to bed without watching 'Alias'.

Separating Friends

I also found out yesterday that a couple whom we're close friends with is separating. It hurts in my heart just to think about it. They have four kids between the ages of 4 to 8. I hurt for these kids because I was six years old when my Mom and Dad separated. Divorce hurts everyone. Believe it.

Saturday, January 04, 2003


I recently got an email from my friend Dale U. He writes:

In mid-November I had to put Candy to sleep so its very weird being at home with no companionship. Candy had been suffering from cancer and it finally got the last bit of strength she had so I regretfully decided to have the vet put her to sleep. I was there with her when she got the injection of an overdose of a barbiturate. It was very shocking how fast it acted though it was painless to Candy. She was a close part of my life and so it has made the last several weeks a bit sad. Candy was so loyal and dependent to me she won my heart in some deep places. It is a very weird thing to decide that something that is alive should be killed.

I remember finding out that the two dogs we had growing up had to be put to sleep. I had already moved away from home, and I found it rather easy to take. Looking back, it probably was because I was no longer around them much anymore and the attachment had begun to fade. I think about our puppy, Jake, though. We've all grown attached to him, and were something to ever happen to him, I know I'd feel sad.

Friday, January 03, 2003

A Note to my Subconscious

I had to tell my subconscious who's the boss...

Virus hoax chart makes grim reading

ZDNet UK | Virus hoax chart makes grim reading

"Computer users are still fooled by false virus alerts persuading them to delete harmless - but sometimes vital - files, and then forward the hoaxes to their friends."

Find out more information about virus hoaxes from the folks at anti-virus firm Sophos.


Foxtrot is good today. I can totally relate.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

That's Fresh!

QuotesBlog just made the list of Fresh Blogs on

101 Things to Do before you die

Have you ever thought your journal was getting a little too mundane and would like to do something that you feel is worth writing about? I know I do sometimes. The folks at Discovery offer 101 ideas for you to become the "intrepid hero of your own life story."

Ain't too Proud to Beg

I am seriously considering doing something like what is being talked about in this Fox News article from Mike Straka, entitled "There's Strength in Numbers Against Creditors." Now all I need to do is figure out how to set up a PayPal account...

Mom's Journal

Last night my Mom was sharing some stories of the things that happened when she was growing up. They were so funny! I told her that she should write that stuff down in her journal. Then Jennie came up with a possibly better idea: I should just tape-record Mom telling her stories and then transcribe them for her. Now that's an idea. I wonder if "" is taken...

Maybe I should become a family historian. I wonder how I could make a living at that.

Growth spurt

Keisha grew a whole inch over the last three months! She's now a little over 46 inches tall. At this rate, she'll be 4 feet tall by her 6-year old birthday in July. I guess it's not wonder, then, that she's grown out of the pink earmolds to her hearing aids. The new ear molds are blue, and she should get them tomorrow when Nana takes her to her speech therapy appointment at Children's Medical Center. We feel blessed because Keisha's Audiologist and Speech Therapist are one and the same person. We like to call her "Miss Joanne." Well, that's what we've taught Keisha to call her. Joanne is the only person in the Audiology department who can do both.

Remember Underoos?

When I was a kid, these were hot. You got to have underwear with the design of your favorite superheroes on them. My favorites were Superman, Spiderman, and the Incredible Hulk. My wife Jennie says she always wanted to have Wonder Woman underoos when she was a kid.

I guess there's not much anything else like them to give you that "superhero" feeling.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Happy New Year!

Today is New Year's Day 2003. Here's how my day went:

I stayed up until 3 AM listening to the TV while doing some work on the computer. I've been redesigning the layout for this blog. In December 2002 I had decorated it with green and red - the colors of Christmas, but with the new year, I needed to change the colors and the layout.

I woke up late today, naturally, at about 11:30 AM. Before heading to bed I took my Anafranil, so I wasn't surprised when I fell asleep later today.

This afternoon I read a devotional from my Men's Devotional Bible about God and my work. The Bible says in Genesis that God created... and he saw that what he had made was good. Hence to work is very godly and good, since God is good. And just as God enjoyed his work, I can enjoy my work. Also, there is a consistent expectation in the Scriptures that we work. Nehemiah was a great example of someone with a great work ethic. In addition, the apostle Paul and his companions were fine examples of diligence. Paul even urges us not to be idle but rather to work.

Also this afternon I was sitting at the dining room table, having finished two slices of leftover sausage pizza and a glass of water. I've begun reading a book I received for Christmas entitled Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson. Actually, I'm currently reading several books. I'm more than halfway through with a book about overcoming self-injury called Cutting. I'm also reading R.A. Salvatore's book Attack of the Clones, which is the novelization of the second Star Wars episode. In addition, I've begun reading a book called The Memory Bible, but I forget the author's name (LOL!). Finally, I've started reading through a book containing journals from Rachel Scott, one of the students killed at Columbine High School in April 1999 for her faith.

So, I have some reading to keep me busy.

I've also gotten a pocket-size notebook to put quotations in when I'm not near a computer. I then plan to add them to my QuotesBlog.

Okay then, Day 1 of 2003 is almost over. Onto Day 2.

December 2004 Update: Added links for the books.