Thursday, September 30, 2004

Personnel Update

I’m Eric, and I’ve been around with this blog since the beginning. Back then, I was quite the avid blogger, writing several times a week in two different blogs. Then, I got married, moved out, started a job, and started going to bed before 3 a.m. Somehow, this has caused a big change in a lot of my personal habits, including my blogging.

As it is, I have enjoyed much of the change, but I sometimes miss all of the interaction I had with blogs and message boards back in the day. Jake tells me that it takes some time to sort things out when you get married, and this is probably the case. Marital bliss is great though, and I think it makes up for the changes. I do apologize to my friends who have had to put up with a quieter me. And to my wife who has to listen to me all the time, including when she’s trying to do homework or sleep. Also, I snore, and she’s been a very good sport about that. I’m sure it will stop being cute

So drastic is my life changed that it’s taking me days just to write this. I wrote the first two paragraphs Tuesday afternoon, but was interrupted by my wife and sister-in-law coming home with dinner. I couldn’t get back to it that night, and then yesterday while I was coming home from work I got a call from my mother. It turns out that my grandfather is in the hospital for kidney problems that are being complicated by prostate cancer. I didn’t get home until quite late.

Every day seems like that. Even if I come home and don’t have to go somewhere, the computer is tied up doing homework. I’m working a lot too, and I am traveling about once a month. Between now and Santa Lucia day, there’s at least three trips that I’m likely to be sent on, each to a different state. If I’m lucky, one will be close to D.C. so that I can swing by and visit my brother.

Now, after finishing two more paragraphs, I’m being pulled away to make cookies. Before I got married, such urges would be put off until everyone had gone to bed (unless that’s when I was writing).

So, I don’t have a lot of stories that I haven’t told. There was the one about when I got engulfed in a ball of flame, but I think my fellow forum members have heard it.

When I was a senior in high school, I lived all alone in the basement for an entire winter. My brother, who usually lived in the adjacent room to my own, was away, and my other brother hadn’t yet moved in to take his place. Our two rooms were built at the same time, and since his was on the north side of the house, the thermostat for the basement was placed in his room.

Several times during that winter, I would be in my room doing homework, and gradually notice that I was cold. Not just a little chilly, but actually cold. I’d eventually get up and check the thermostat, where I would find that it had been turned down as far as it would go. I would turn it up to a more respectable temperature and go back to work. A few weeks later, it would happen again. And again.

Apparently, someone decided that since the room was unoccupied, there was no need to heat it. What always amazed me was that I’d usually be working for several hours in a 50° room without really noticing it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Updates to Current



The new m205 is here, and fully functional. The higher resolution display is very nice. Very nice indeed. The resolution of the 3500 was never a problem to me, but the difference is notable.


The DVD-ROM/CD-RW for the m205 arrived today, and all is well there.


Sandy called me from her home to say that her PC wasn’t working again. I went over, looked at it sternly, and it suddenly started working. It wanted to be booted into Safe Mode and then left for a minute or two in order to load whatever new driver it didn’t like—probably the monitor—and then rebooted. Windows!


I’m glad I went, because her cable modem needed a driver and she had no idea what to do about it. I had her find the box the modem came in for me. There was a CD inside the box, and there were no more problems.


Leon’s PC will begin its journey tomorrow to some eastern state (seems like North Carolina) and spend a day or two in a UPS facility where UPS employees are paid to fix Toshiba computers. It just needs a new keyboard thrown on. It’s not too challenging, but when a company proudly trumpets its trademark color as brown, and they want to fix your computer, well, brown things come to mind.


To be fair, I didn’t decide that I don’t like UPS’s service before they served me. That tablet has been to them something like six times now, with mixed results at best. Toshiba, are you listening?




It’s getting that time again…if you’ve been to one of my LAN parties before, please plan on attending the upcoming event on 29 October, this very year. That’s a Friday.


Now, here’s the deal…usually we plan on food for the party. I’ve asked in the past that everyone bring a few bucks to pull their weight, but that only works so-so.


So here’s what I’m thinking. Leon and I had lunch at a delicious Chinese place yesterday. I wondered if we should order in Chinese for the party. Leon pointed out that Chinese food isn’t really compatible with carrying to your PC and setting it down while you play. Then we both hit the idea that it might be nice just to sit and eat dinner with everyone, rather than stress about playing games the entire time. That way we can get to know one another a little and see each other’s faces.


I know some of you aren’t that fond of Chinese, and that’s fine, because it can be worked around. But think it out and let Leon or I know what you think, and plan on bringing 7 to 8 dollars for your meal, which we’ll order once everyone has had a chance to look at the menu. Then we’ll send someone to the Chinese place to pick it up, because they’ll make your food to go, but they won’t deliver it.


Also, Half-Life is great and I definitely want to play it at our party, but let’s plan on another game, too. I’m open to suggestions. Motocross is a good option, as is Need for Speed. Let’s toss around ideas and see what we all like. We need new game blood.


As you can see, my PC work bench has been clearing up quite a bit, but I still have one major project that needs lots more work…the server. It isn’t hard, it just takes time and I need to do it.


I’m in Enviro now and I should start paying attention.



Hi! For those of you who don't know me ( and I think that category is occupied entirely by Dave), I'm Jeff. I am Jake's younger brother, and thrilled to have been invited to join this Blog.

Seeing as this is a tech forum, i'll keep my posts non-fictitious. In other words, you won't hear anything from me except real life exploits.

Yesterday, I got my parent's old POS computer, with dreams of making it my Linux box. But first I either need to get Julianne's monitor and find some space for it, or wait until Friday when my KVM switch arrives. Isn't the internet wonderful? you can instantly search for, compare prices and buy anything you want, and then wait. Oh, well.

Anyway, back to the Linux box. I have had some past experience with Linux. Way back when, I had my computer dual booting Mandrake, but I decided that it was sucking too many system resources to accomodate my needs. In other words, too much stuff to put on my hard drive, something (Linux) had to get the boot.

Yup. Too many games. Too little time.

So now I'll have a seperate box just for Linux and I won't have to worry about lost space. At least until my eighty gig fills up.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Design My Web Page!

I hereby announce a contest.

I own a domain ( I have money put aside for hosting the domain. I've even done the grunt work when it comes to choosing a web host.

What I don't have is a design for my web page. I want a web page, but I don't want to design it. I've been meaning to learn how to design one for a while now, but I am busy and otherwise motivated.

So here's the deal. I have a copy of FrontPage 2003 that has never been installed on a system. It is a real, live, legal license. If you're willing to design my page, and update it from time to time, and if I like your ideas on the page's design, I WILL GIVE YOU MY COPY OF FRONTPAGE 2003. Honest. I don't need it.

I want in my webpage: A nice home page area that includes a blog. An attractive user interface that isn't cluttered and has room for blog author photos and a website logo.

An about page that gives info about the page and contributors. Don't worry about the content; just build the areas and make it easy for me to add information.

A link bar or two that give internal and external links. THIS is a good example of what I have in mind. But please don't rip off Darren Barefoot. Our design needs to be both appealing AND original.

If you prefer, I'm willing to change the prize. For instance, I'm willing to build you a PC at cost, and I'll even throw in free parts if I have any spares on hand when it's time to build. Really, I'll make it worth your while.

We'll work it out. You make a website for me that I like, and I WILL make it worth your time.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Richard's Song

So I promised an intro and an experience that not everyone here already knows.

Yeah, I’m Jake. I’ve been really chatty lately on this blog, and I hope to make a habit of it. This is a really good creative outlet for me, but only when I use it.

I like computers and I want one of my businesses to put me in a position where I never worry about money again.

I don’t mind working to learn things on my own that someone else might learn in a classroom. In fact, I feel that the quality of my education in the areas I’ve done this are higher than otherwise.

I like gadgets and toys. I marvel at the world around me. I want to know more. I want to be as useful a person as I can be. I want to live my religion better. I want to be a better daddy. I want to listen to more music. I want to be better at math. I want to play my bass guitar more often. I want to drive fast with the windows down on a sunny day with classic rock blasting through the stereo. But I also want to listen to NPR quietly.

In a word, I’m complex. I value my youthful indiscretions and I love who I am. And I also want to be a better me.

Before I get to my story, a quick note: I am not the central character in this story, but I was there and it left a strong impression on me. I think that the story’s effect on me is telling regarding my character, in spite of the fact that I was mostly just an observer. And I think I told this to Leon once, so I hope you’ve forgotten by now. Here we go.

The first year I worked at scout camp was the summer of 1995. I still wasn’t quite sure who I was yet, so I didn’t know what to expect at camp, as far as making friends goes.

Somehow, I managed to steer clear of most of the staff scandals, and when I was involved, I came out smelling rosy. The camp director and his family were starting to feel like family to me, and they came to trust me. It was a funny kind of trust, though—they trusted me not to do anything fantastically stupid or destructive, but at the same time they knew I was a little crazy, and so regarded me with some caution. A good strategy then as now.

Things were really going well for me at camp, and I began to make some friends that I’d never imagined I’d have. One was named Richard. Yes, that’s his real name, and no, I won’t be writing his last name online.

Richard was a little younger than me, and crazy in a kindred way, but we had different areas of interest. So we had a lot to talk about.

One day late in the camp season, Richard pulled me aside and asked if I’d like to see something. I made a note of the nutty fire in his eyes and quickly said yes.

Richard and I went on a walk to an area that was technically inside our camp, but was far out of the area that anybody went.

We ended up on a mountain slope that had a tree on the higher end of the slope and one on the lower end about sixty feet apart.

“BSA won’t let us have a zip line because we’re not a high adventure camp”, he told me. “So I made one of my own. I’ve been scrounging stuff from around camp to make it, and you’re the only person who knows why now.”

The trees had a steel cable stretched between them, and Richard had a handle/pulley contraption for riding the zip line with.

The slope of the mountain was such that top tree’s connection to the cable was only about four feet high, and the bottom one’s connection was somewhere around twenty-five feet. About halfway between them, where the cable was a good twelve feet in the air, there was a big stand of brush, about five feet high and ten feet around. From there, the ground sloped a little more sharply, and the height of the cable sharply increased until it reached the tree.

Richard told me that he hadn’t tried the zip line yet because he wanted someone around to share the fun. He made me re-commit not to tell anyone about it and prepared for an inaugural run.

The line at the first tree wasn’t high enough for him to hang from it, but he wanted a running start anyway, so it off he went.

Time slowed down as I watched Richard get running, and then lightly hopping, and then dangling completely as he went.

The steel cable sagged considerably, and when he picked up his feet, they were only a foot or two off the ground. Too soon, the bushes in the middle were coming up, and Richard wasn’t high to clear them.

I watched in worry and amusement as he whipped right through the middle of that bush, speeding up as he went and beginning to turn.

The ground quickly dropped away and Richard was moving alarmingly fast. His journey through the bush had put an awkward turning movement on him, and his approach to the tree was clearly going to be challenging.

At the moment of impact, he managed to face the tree. This should have been good, but he was moving fast and still turning, so only his torso hit the tree. His legs swung down and around to the other side of the tree.

The force of being wrapped around a high tree at high speed pulled Richard’s hands off of the bar he had been holding on to, and he began to fall down the tree, but not out of it. He tumbled down the trunk of the tree, and I wondered if I’d see any more movement from him ever again.

He was still for a moment, and I rushed over to the brush at the base of the tree. He sat up slowly, moved his arms and legs deliberately, checking for damage.

I don’t remember saying anything, but I remember looking at him, concerned. Richard looked back, and a smile spread across his face. I smiled back and said “Don’t do that again.”

“No, I don’t think so,” he replied.

We laughed (and he limped) all the way back to the main area of camp.

What stands out to me is how easily that could have been me on the zip line. We had a tractor at camp that we’d pull a trailer around with to move junk around. You had to be 18 or 21 to drive a camp vehicle, and I was only 17, so I’d usually stand on the trailer hitch and ride behind the driver.

Once I was standing on the hitch and the driver hit a bump, which sent the hitch off of the ball. We were driving down a hill, so the trailer immediately began moving toward the tractor. I grabbed the outer wall of the trailer, pushed down hard and used it to hoist myself up and over the wall and into the trailer. It’s a good thing I did, too, because the trailer smashed into the back of the tractor HARD.

If I hadn’t got off that hitch when I did, I would have been mashed and then run over. Thank goodness for my crazy days.

I’m no good at just typing up a little blurb on something. It’s a gift when I need to pump out an essay, but maybe it’s a curse for a blog.

Hmph. HP's mother wears army boots. (That's you, Carleton.)

Jeez, would you believe this? You'd think an Intel board would have an up-to-snuff BIOS, for gosh sakes, but nay. Actually, I think the Western Digital drive is at fault. But that’s not like them. All of my WD drives have been great.

Sandy's hard drive wants to be jumpered as Cable Select, alone on the cable, and on the middle connector on the cable, NOT the end one.

And yes, I did try more than one cable. And yes, I do know how to properly jumper a bootable hard drive (Primary Master, set Active), which is why I didn't try this solution days ago.

And guess what else? When the hard drive is alone on the cable, and jumpered Cable Select, and on the middle connecter, the hard drive access light magically comes to life!

Turns out I really did rewire all the front panel headers right, it's just a wonky drive setup. WONKY!

I have AGONIZED over this system. And it's a stupid drive/cable/jumper quirk. I'm glad to be washing my hands of it. I'm also back firmly in my anti HP/Compaq foxhole. Their product AND service in Sandy’s case have been, simply put, horrible. I will never give them money. I was half-way tempted to buy an iPaq a while back. Now, never. No laptops, desktops, tablets, media centers, pocket pcs, servers, or peripherals from the Fiorina conglomerate for me. Too much badness in five years.

So listen. I really think we should all post an introduction. For Dave’s sake, yes, but also just so we all know what everyone is up to.

For privacy’s sake, no last names, addresses or phone numbers. Remember, this stuff is publicly available on the intarweb.

Do say what you’re currently working on, though, what your family is like, what sort of toy is at the top of your Santa list, and, oh, how about an experience about you that’s telling. Yeah.

And please, Eric and Leon, no stories that the three of us already know. This way we’ll all get some new information, and the four of us will be clear on who’s who. M’kay?

My next post will be my contribution (and probably my third post today).

Status Report

Ok, that was quick.
Both Leon and Eric have piped up in comments to welcome Dave. I've sent an invitation to Dave, so hopefully we'll be seeing him around soon and hearing what he has to say.
Additionally, I'm now attempting to post in a different way. I usually log on to Blogger and then compose my post on the Compose page, but now I'm trying to email a post.
This means that it will be easier for me to format my posts, like THIS.
I hope that worked. There's a bold, underlined, italicized, green word in that last sentence. If it isn't there, then something went wrong.
So I worked on computers all night. The new Tablet has a bad keyboard. The letter "S" sticks, and either types hundreds of the character per minute, or doesn't type "S" at all, not even intentionally. Unfortunately, the stick is in the circuitry, and not in the button itself, so it's beyond my technical prowess to fix. Good thing it's still under warranty.
The old and new Tablets use nearly identical keyboards, so I've just been swapping the good one back and forth, depending on which system I need to use.
A new, virgin copy of Windows XP Tablet is on the new Tablet. Like the more expensive olive oil, though, it's extra virgin, and it will take a lot of work before it's up to my usability standards. Like a new keyboard.
Toshiba forgot to package my DVD-ROM drive with the new Tablet, and I'm currently working on getting one sent. Apparently, they've been forgetting that with all the refurbished m205's, so I'm not the only customer with the problem, and the retailer actually called me about it before I called them. Impressive.
Sandy's processor did come yesterday, but now the system is having funky drive problems. I've been working hard on it, but so far the answer to this one is eluding me. There don't appear to be motherboard drive controller problems, jumper problems, ATA cable problems, or a host of others, and yet the error is still manifesting itself in a lot of different ways.
It's been a stressful week. I think I need to have Leon over this weekend to help me relax.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Busy, busy, busy...

I really shouldn't be writing right now...I'm sitting in GeoSci. But there are a couple of things that I've just got to jot down.

First, Dave, if you're reading this, welcome to Phischkneght (pronounced fishnet). This is where Leon, Eric, and Jake share ideas and just toss things around in general. It's a nice little outlet for frustrations and such.

Guys, Dave is my fellow Teachers Quorum Advisor. There's some dispute as to whether I'm his assistant or he's mine, but it doesn't really matter, because we're both assistants to the other guy no matter which way it goes. Personally, I like being the Assistant to the Assistant to the Teachers Quorum Advisor. I think I'll have some business cards printed up with that on them.

Dave is in the Army Guard, with a medical team. I forget just what exactly he does, but I know he's a CNA or better. I think he's studying to be a PA. Dave is also a full-time student and a daddy. I went to high school with his wife.

I've proposed to Dave that he could join our blog. He would give us a new point of view, as he is a non-technical person who is trying to understand all this technical junk. He's learning these things in school and he also has a personal interest.

So maybe with Dave's help, we can learn to better explain the concepts that are second nature to us in writing and we can help him make sense of all this computer stuff.

Moving on, the new Tablet arrived yesterday. As usual, Toshiba and Micro$oft have teamed up to make it as difficult as possible to put a fresh copy of the OS on, so I'm hacking my little heart out. So far, the easy ways haven't worked, so I'm about to try a copy of XP Pro with Tablet slipstreamed in for the virgin install. Then I'll have to put on drivers, programs, office, activations, blah, blah, blah. It's going to be a lot of work. But it will be worth it.

I'm also upgrading my server. All of the hardware is installed and runs well, but there are some hiccups that I'm dealing with. For instance, Partition Magic doesn't like Windows Server 2003, and if it detects WS2003 on any of the system's drives, it won't start at all, in both Win32 and DOS modes. And that sucks.

Additionally, Ghost 2003 won't start if it detects any SATA drives on the system.

The SATA drive and the drive holding WS2003 are different drives, so every time I want access to Partition Magic or Ghost, I have to pull power to the offending drive.

Furthermore, WS2003 logs the sizes and locations of each partition, and if anything changes, barfs instead of booting. So you'd better get the partitions right the first time, or it's a total re-install. Once again, Micro$oft is making life hard.

I should be receiving a new Celeron 2.4 Ghz chip for Sandy today. Her new motherboard is already in the system, and I've already re-wired the front panel headers for the non-OEM board. I somehow lost the hard drive light in the rewiring, but it's not critical, so I won't worry about it too much. If the power button didn't work, that would be a problem, and the power light would worry me too, but the hard drive light seems the best choice if I have to lose something.

Then it's just a matter of booting to Windows, installing her motherboard drivers, updating Windows and antivirus software, and re-imaging the hidden partition. Pretty basic, right? Probably a 45 minute job. If nothing fries.

Oh, and my other project, once I'm finished configuring the new Tablet, is to reconfigure my old Tablet for Leon. FedEx lost his computer, and I'm going to have to go to the seller for a refund.

Fortunately, a fresh install of Windows on the old Tablet will be easy, as I've already done all the hard work, and I have DVD Ghost images of what needs to be on there.

I guess I'm getting long-winded. Also, my GeoSci class is getting interesting. So I'll wrap this post for now. I'm trying to post more often, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job. Eric and Leon, let me know what you think of inviting Dave to contribute. If everyone agrees (shouldn't be a problem), I'll send the invite.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Regarding Police

I wrote this a while back, and I've been waiting for a good time to finish and post it. Sorry for the length, but it is what it is. -ed. (Jake)

We went to the big fireworks show tonight and I had an experience there that reminded me about something I've been intending to write.

First, the show was terrific. The fireworks were dazzling, the day was warm, my seat was comfortable, the audio book I was listening to was thought provoking, my family members were fun to play with, and the day was warm, resulting in pretty girls wearing very little. To cap it all off, the thousands of people that were trying to drive home at the same time we were trying to drive home were very courteous, and once we hit open road, we drove fast with all the windows down and loud classic rock on the stereo. This was a good day.

Now. I love the TV show COPS. I sing the theme song during the intro and credits, and I like to say “132 and Bush, I’ve got him at gunpoint,” “Ok, gunpoint, 132 and Bush, covers code three” when the cop radios squawk those lines during the credits.

I love COPS because I have a sadistic streak and I love to see the bad or stupid or bad and stupid guys get smacked down by the cops. Love it. And what I really love about COPS is the showcase of human behavior that it is.

At the firework show that we attend every year, there have been problems in the past with people bringing their own fireworks and endangering others with them before the main event starts. This year, there were large, obvious signs all over the place stating that bringing your own fireworks is illegal. Still, some folks are stupid, and a group near us lit a strobe firework. It was very bright and smoky.

The park was absolutely bristling with law enforcement types, and about two minutes after the strobe firework was finished, a pair of cops was upon us asking who had the fireworks.

Here is the focus of my interest. People who don’t understand police officers get in trouble with police officers. There are spoken and unspoken rules to follow when dealing with law enforcement officials. If you don’t follow the rules, you will regret it.

We followed the rules. When the officers asked us who had the fireworks, we addressed them respectfully, looked them in the eye, told them what they wanted to know, and stayed out of the way.

I was raised in a middle-class family, far away from any inner-city areas, and I’ve been taught to respect and cooperate with the police. For the majority of my two-year LDS mission, I lived in the inner-city areas of Wisconsin, including Racine, Milwaukee, and South Milwaukee. Attitudes toward police there are very different from the attitudes that I learned growing up.

I have a theory that many people who get themselves in trouble with the law find themselves in trouble because they simply don’t understand the rules. The attitudes they’ve been taught about police are wrong and dangerous, and this leads to heat-of-the-moment errors in judgment.

When a police car pulls up behind me on the freeway with lights flashing, my adrenaline levels shoot way up, I get nervous and a little afraid, and I consider my options. Of course, running is one of them. But I never do that. I pull my car to the side of the road, and I wait to talk to the police officer, because I’ve been taught that things will turn out better for me if I do.

So as a service to the blog-reading public in general (and all two of you who will read this), Here are my…

Rules for Dealing with Police:

1. When you see a police officer, smile and wave (with all five of your fingers). I smile and wave at cops all the time. I make a special point of doing this when I know that the cop has seen me speeding.

You see, I like to speed. When my car goes fast, I go happy. I’m careful to watch for police, but sometimes I zip right by them. In general, I still see them, but too late to make it look like I was never speeding. So I slow down, look right at the cop, smile and wave.

Sometimes he’ll smile and wave back, sometimes he won’t. But my experience tells me that cops will bother you less--not more--if you smile and wave at them. I’ve had a grand total of two speeding tickets in my life, and I’ve been driving cars for over eleven years now. Both of those tickets were over five years ago, and both of those cops snuck up on me, so I didn’t get to wave at them. See? It works! And that leads us into my second Rule for Dealing with Police…

2. When a cop sees you doing something illegal, STOP DOING IT!!

I also slow down when a cop sees me speeding. Likewise, if I think a cop may be watching me light fireworks, I only light legal stuff.

I think there are three parts to why this works. First, some cops like to surprise people. If they can come out of nowhere without you ever having known they were back there, the ticket has an “I could be lurking anywhere waiting for you” quality.

Second, some cops dig authority. That’s ok, because they really do have authority, and they really do need to use it. So if an officer sees you doing something illegal, and you have the good sense to stop, a lot of the times he’ll feel that you respect his authority and let you go. (Insert Cartman "Respect my authoritay!" sound clip.)

Finally, cops know what a victimless crime is just as well as you do. If you’re not robbing banks or killing people, odds are your illegal activity is something the cop has done too. If you stop, there’s no harm done. If you don’t, he knows that it’s his job to do something about it. So he will, even if he doesn't want to.

3. If you are face-to-face with a police officer, let him know that you respect him up-front.

There are several ways to do this. First, always look him in the eyes. Second, tell him that you intend to cooperate.

Ever watch COPS? Remember the guy (he’s in about every other episode) that tells the cop to leave him alone and then tries to walk away? Pop quiz: How many front teeth does that guy have? The answer is: ‘not as many as he did before the cop mashed his face into the concrete.’

Tell the cop that you’ll do whatever he tells you to (because face it, you will anyway) and then do it without being forced. This tip alone should keep you from getting maced.

Let’s step up the challenge a little.

4. Tell him the truth. He knows something’s up, or he wouldn’t be talking to you.

Maybe the truth isn’t as bad as he thought it was. Then you’ll get off easy. Maybe if you’re brutally honest, he’ll let you off just for being honest with him. Maybe you just need some good karma. The point is, be honest with cops. They like that.

5. If you’re going to make a point, be nice about it.

I lean a little liberal among my fellow Utahans. I don’t necessarily feel that a police officer should be able to require my ID for no reason. And I believe in the right to decline a search of my vehicle.

I’ve never had the opportunity to refuse either, but if I’m granted the opportunity and decide to take it, I’m going to be nice about it. It will go something like this: “Sir, I respect your authority, and I’ll do anything you ask within the law, but I’m declining your request to search my vehicle.”

Remember, he CAN arrest and/or hurt you just for talking snotty to him.

6. If you’re going to make a point, for God’s sake, be legal in the first place.

Because it isn’t making a point if the cop suspects you and then turns out to be right. If I refuse a search of my property, and he gets a warrant and searches anyway, and finds dope in my car, I’m screwed. And I deserve to be.

Civil disobedience is a sacred practice that must be exercised by the people from time to time. But criminals aren’t capable of civil disobedience, because they create the problem. Go ahead and deny showing the cop ID. Just don’t have warrants out for your arrest at the time.

I could go on all day, but I’m going to cap it with this next one.

7. Don’t be stupid.

If you need to put someone in danger, make sure it’s just you. Find a legal outlet for your illegal urges, or better yet, find religion and overcome them.

Furthermore, if you’ve decided that you’re going to break the law, be informed and in acceptance of the consequences. Sometimes I light illegal fireworks. I’m willing to pay a $50 firework ticket if I get caught. Maybe if I get too many firework tickets, I won’t be willing any more.

I won’t be robbing any banks and killing the tellers because, along with other very good reasons, I’m not willing to spend life in prison if things go wrong.

If you’re not comfortable with society’s laws and you’re also not comfortable with the consequences, it’s your responsibility to leave society. I won’t get into how this is possible, but it is. (This is why I could never join Canadian society. I like my guns too much.)

Civil Service

I'm not entirely sure if working for the government is sucking the life out of me, but I have found myself being rather tired lately. And it looks like I've lost all interest in my web logs.

Actually, a lot of things have changed in the last few months, and I'm still working out a balance, and that balance seems like it will be quite a bit removed from my swinging bachelor life. Notably, I rarely stay up past 2 and I'm almost always up by 10. Who would have ever guessed that such a fate awaited me?

On another note, I had a few visions when I started this thing. One goal was to create a place where we could talk tech and establish ourselves online, but a far more important goal was to help Jake get started with a web log. I knew he wanted to do one, but he was dragging his feet. I figured maybe this would help him out, and I must say I'm very pleased with what he's done with it.

Back to sorting out my life, I've found time to watch The Simpsons this evening. "Enjoy them, old man. They will be your last."

Changed POV...

Look, I've just decided I don't care.

I'm sorry for the flippant attitude, guys. I guess I was too busy with my own vision for this blog to listen to Eric's.

Anyway, from now on, I'm just going to write. It doesn't matter, because I write, and what I write is an important part of me. If you want to read it, then it's out there and I'm fine with that.

I know the tone here probably sounds a little angry, but I promise I'm not, at least not at anyone else. It smarts a little when you realize that you were completely wrong about how your teammates view a project.

So here's what's been happening.

There's a lady named Sandy at WSU. She's taken her computer to two other techs and spent $250 on them trying to fix it and failing. She gave her PC to me to take a look, and after an embarrassingly long time, I found the root cause of all her problems...exploding capacitors. And boy, did they. A whole row of eight of them popped and took the processor out with them.

It's an HP system, and of course, when I called HP, they said in their very best corporate speak that I should gingerly bend over and wait for an intense burning sensation. I hung up on them, and went to work finding an appropriate motherboard replacement. The motherboard fried, so I couldn't know yet that the chip had also, so now I'm holding her system for a few more days while we wait for the new processor to come. *sigh*

DENTSERVER is going to get ripped to pieces tonight, and when I put it back together, it will be running with a brand-new 160GB SATA drive, a new 1.8 GHz Celeron, 512 MB of DDR 400, a new Antec 430 Watt PS, and finally, Windows Server 2003!

Yowza, that's a hell of an upgrade. I'm really excited. Then what is now the server will become a Linux bitch box and the Tux case badge on it will no longer be a horrible irony.

For those of you wondering, "bitch box" is a really crass word for a computer that you use to troubleshoot parts, test configurations, and generally do the crap work that you don't want to risk your nice desktop on.

I need a computer of this type so that I can **finally** start (for the seventh time) learning Linux. Been putting this off for far too long.

I'm in a bit of hot water with the missus because I ordered a new Tablet PC. I fought the urge as long as I could, but a few nights ago, I found a refurbished one at a particularly good price and I caved.

It's a good thing I'm cute, or she'd never forgive me. Ever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

(Photo Censored)

So Eric and Leon have taken on radio silence.

I'm pretty sure I know why in each case, and they are not the same reason.

Eric has a potential crisis on his hands and is trying to work out what to do about it. Leon is simply busy and otherwise-prioritized.

There's a photo I've been meaning to snap for the last few weeks, and I finally did it.

For those not in the know, most big corporations these days disallow any photography on their premises without prior arrangement with the management. This includes Wal*Mart.

My local Wal*Mart (it's their new Neighborhood Store variety), however, had an opportunity that I couldn't pass by.

In the clearly-marked Pain Relievers section, right below the sign, are all manner of contraceptives. When I first saw this, I laughed and laughed. And now, the more thought I give it, the more it makes sense.

So I sojourned to the store and blatantly took pictures in plain view of the cameras. I'm really surprised they didn't hassle me about it. I suspect that either a) their security people weren't paying attention, or b) they don't know the rule. At any rate, here's the photo.

Oh, dammit. Blogger wants me to find a seperate hosting solution for my photo. Screw it. Just ask me if you want to see the photo.