Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Enough already.

Ok three times in the last week I have started typing a post in here and got dragged away in the middle of my start and didn't come back to it to a day later and then didn't finish. Enough already, you all missed my fabulous post about my draft in my Fantasy Football League, Josh's first day of school and his trials to get into honors classes since he was left out, my first day of my History class (a 25 page paper due in 3 months - oh my), and Teri's continual teacher induced insomonia. I also didn't get to write about the great in-law move out, or the wedding that wasn't. Its kind of frustrating to be so distracted by interesting things happening that you don't have time to share them and when you do finally get a moment the only thing of any interest to you is catching up on your missed sleep. Did I mention that 25 page paper?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mixed martial arts

I am the type of person who does not have any regrets with things that I have done in my life. I have made choices and traveled the path less chosen some of the time. One of the regrets that I do have is the fact that I did not get involved with any of the sports that I enjoy when I was young. Yeah I did the standards, I played Little League, I even did one day of Pop Warner Football, but the stuff I like is not so mainstream. I have always had an urge to participate in the more esoteric sports, things like fencing or karate. I regret the fact that I did not urge my parents to let me join these activities when I was younger. Maybe that is why I enjoy watching these sports now as an adult. I have always been a fan of martial arts, and can sit and watch kickboxing or judo or karate on the television. Yet, my all-time favorite spectator martial art has got to be the mixed martial art sports, especially as represented by the UFC. Once again I will be over at Martin's house tonight, beer in hand, parked in front of his high-def big screen TV rooting for my favorite fighters and having a good old time. I have even dragged Teri into the viewing, as she also joins Martin and I in a fan triumvirate as we watch Ultimate Fighting!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

C'est la vie

Ok I haven't felt like blogging lately, or should I say I haven't felt like writing a blog. Its not like I haven't had the time, I have had some free time available and I am still reading blogs and leaving sarcastic comments. I just have been mind dead lately, too full of ennui to be able to get the mind juices flowing. If it was the middle ages I would say that the muse had left me, and probably sacrifice a small animal to get the gods favor again. (Hmmm wonder if the in-laws chihuahua is available. Nahhhh, they probably wouldn't like that) What I really need is some motivation to get my creative energies free flowing again. An appreciative audience chanting my name and flinging pickles from the top of a temple would suffice(bonus points if you identify the movie that paraphrased quote came from). I actually logged on to blog and stared at a blank screen for 10 minutes ysterday and then asked Teri what I should blog about; I was just mind numb. I also worry that I am too negative on here or as my son commented yesterday, too hypocritical. So here is today's question, "What do you like to read about in the blogs that you visit?"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Geek competition

Ok I always thought that I was a computer geek. Not in the sense of geeky/nerdy looking, but in the sense of having too much technological stuff and way too many computers (I have two working ones - two unworking ones and several partial ones plus Teri also has a computer), but my son has just raised the unspoken competition to another level. In a moment of weakness, Teri's parents agreed to get my son a new computer if they sold their house (he has been "struggling" along with the old 700 mhz of ours). Now this was several months ago and I had not really thought about since the in-laws moved in and whatnot, and then a couple of days ago Teri told me that her Mom had mentioned the fact that they were going to get Josh a computer and us a washing machine when they moved out (we still have the original machine that we got soon after we got married 16 years ago). Of course Teri tells me this while we are on the phone during my lunch break and we promise to talk about it later, like when she got back. Well it turns out that when I got home today, my son had the biggest grin on his face because the in-laws took him out computer shopping and got him a brand new 3.06 ghz machine. Now he is crowing cause he has the fastest computer in the house (Teri has a 2.6 and I have a 2.7) He also owns 4 computers now:his new one, the old 700 (actually that is ours and I should get it back), and his two laptops. Wow, geekdom hall of fame here he comes. He is soooooooooooooo spoiled.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Calling collect

I wonder how someone starts out being a collector. Is it some recessive gene somewhere? Maybe its environmental and you learn it at an early age. I am an avid collector. I collect books (over 1000), coins, comics, stock certificates, chess sets, robots, and medieval weapons. I have collected in the past: Magic the Gathering cards and casino chips. My wife collects Disney snowglobes and Disney beanie babies. Even my son has a collection or two. Yet, my 9 siblings don't collect anything (at least that I am aware of). Ok, my brother did collect Magic the Gathering cards, but he sold his collection after a few years when he quit playing. Am I in the minority? I know everyone has a few books and a DVD collection, but what about useless things? Restore my faith in humanity, tell me what you collect.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


I don't know if I ever mentioned this in any of my prior blogs, so I thought I would do a whole post about it, kind of trace my internet roots so to speak. Many, many years ago, when the internet craze was still in its infancy, way back in the late 80s, I got introduced to the world of personal computers and bulletin boards through a local BBS (bulletin board service) that the local Apple Computer store ran for people who bought computers there. This was when an average computer sold for serveral thousand dollars, about a third of the price of a car. I logged on, created a handle, chatted with a couple of people, and that was it. It wasn't until a couple of years later that I had my second encounter with online services. This time it was during the summer and my younger brother had conned my father into buying him A brand new Mac to use at college (since he was going to be a computer engineer). My brother had discovered the wickedness of Compuserve and online game playing. I watched him play a couple of times, created my own handle, posted a couple of messages, and that was it...until the following summer. My brother came home for summer break after his freshman year and started logging on to online services again. After wasting big money on Compuserve games, he discovered a local BBS that was free, well alright there was a minimal charge, MultiComm. Once again I watched him while away his time, chatting with other computer geeks, but this time I was hooked. I created my own online identity -The Grey One- which soon morphed into -Davyd Grey- after a somewhat nasty flamming match with Grey Wolf as the BBS system only recognized the first 3 initials of handles and could not distinguish between the two of us. I was soon downloading a term program on the family Apple 2+ and began chatting away my summer. Pretty soon I had growing circle of cyber friends across the Las Vegas valley and we were making plans for a grand meeting where everyone could get to know everyone else face to face. Finally the first meeting happened at Shakeys pizza, which led to another get together the following week, followed by another and another, which quickly became a weekly must attend event attracting 40-50 people every Saturday night. We quickly outgrew the pizza parlour and started meeting at a local park with touch football games preceding the gathering. Needless to say this went on for several years, with new people showing up, and old people leaving. Finally after a decade of this, in the midst of a blossoming internet craze, MultiComm closed its doors. That was in the late 90s, and although I have managed to keep in touch with several of my MC friends, we all drifted away in seperate directions; that is until just recently. Last year I ran into an internet site called BBSmates, which is a database of all the old BBS's across the country and membership lists for each. In addition, it also had a forum for posting with messages from several of the old MC goons. Mass conversation quickly ensued and as of two weeks ago, Dragon - MultiComm's old sysop was finally persuaded to reopen the BBS as an internet site found here. Go visit it and tell me what you think. Relive the glory days of old style BBSs and see what us computer crazy geeks had to deal with using our 300 baud connections.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The early bird

You know its gonna be an interesting day when a bird dive bombs your car in the morning. I was traveling to work this morning and made my normal turn onto Rainbow. As I was barrreling down the street, a pigeon leapt out of a tree and dived to within inches of the front of my car. He then straightened out, paralleled my car for awhile and then took a left turn straight into my windshield. After the bird careemed off the glass, I heard several thumps on the roof and expected to see a dead bird in my rear view mirror. However, the bird floated over to the side of the road. I continued into work with thoughts of my own mortality rambling around my brain. Carpe diem, seize the day.

I suffered through a crazy day at work today, with an insane user, followed by a stupid user, followed by an impatient doctor, all calling me for help in a row at one point. I'm lucky I have the patience and high stress levels to be good at what I do. I am also now the most senior person in my department after only 9 months, as the turnover for the last year has been attrocious. My manager didn't lose a single person for four years and then has lost three in the last nine months. I am now in the unenviable position of training the new guy at the job. I am so distracted that I actually left the window of my car open halfway after reading in my car at lunchtime. Luckilly for me nobody wants to steal a 10 year old Honda with a couple of dents.

I left work late as I am wracking up the OT with our short staff and had nothing on my mind other than getting home as quickly as possible with the heat and humidity overwhelming me. Driving home with the window open reminds me of how food must feel as it is slow roasted on the barbeque. I hate not having a working air conditioning in 100+ degree heat. Teri and I still can't decide whether to spend the $1000 to fix the air or just give in and get a new car. I was zoning completely as I drove home, not thinking about my day at all, not a care in the world, at least until I saw the sad looking bird limping on the side of the road, languishing in the shade, taking short dizzying flights from one spot to another. Man, I feel old...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I read an interesting article today, it was about Americans changing attitudes towards savings. Back in the 1950s, Americans saved about 5% of their wages in some manner on average. That number plummetted over the next 50 years til it reached an all time low 2 years ago at 0.4%. Yes thats right, Americans 2 years ago were saving only 4 cents out of every $100. Well guess what. That got even worse this year, as for the first time ever Americans averaged a savings of ZERO. Yes thats right, officially Americans are no longer saving. Ok the stats are a little skewed because it does not count 401K plans as they are still considered income as it has not been taxed yet. But still, zero percent! The article stated that this trend was even more disturbing because Americans were increasingly using the paper profits in their homes to buy big ticket items thus depleting their equity and any possible emergency funds that might be available there. If home prices ever go down sharply it is highly likely that it will tip America into a depression that will make the ones of 1929 and 1987 seem small. My questions to everyone is, "How much savings do you have and how does it compare to the debt that you have? If you needed cash immediately could you get it? Especially if America was in the midst of a great depresion and money stores were tight. Think about it.