January 31, 2008
January 25, 2008
Doctor Who. Back in November of 1963 those lucky Britons where introduced to an Unearthly child, Susan who's eccentric Grandfather was The Doctor (played by William Hartnell). What first seemed like an early twilight zone quickly becomes full fledged science fiction as they journey back to the stone age with Susans unbelieving and not quite willing teachers.
Of course I was in Southern California then, watching Hopalong Cassidy and the Cisco kid on KTLA and KTTV. In that time before cable the BBC was an ocean away. No, my first introduction to the Doctor was on a UHF channel when I was in Junior High school. Tom Baker was 'My Doctor'. Blue screen special effects and third rate Television sets would have been a quick turn to another station if not for clever writing and top notch performances. And then it happened, while fighting an enemy he fell off a radio telescope tower to his death.
Yup, the lead character died. Not something you EVER see. End of the series? Nope, as it turns out The Doctor is a time lord (not a human). As such he has this thing he does call regeneration where by he can change every molecule in his body and get around something as minor as a crushed body.
This is the plot device that kept. the show going for 26 seasons and seven Doctors. In 1989 they stopped producing the television show, however there was several books and radio shows that would keep the flame burning. Somehow Fox television made a so so attempt to bring him back to the magic glowing box in 1996 with the 8th doctor. Then there was more radio and a flash animation series as well. Until 2005 when they re-started production.
Christopher Eccelson brought a frentic pace with some amazing stories and and equally amazing back story (Bad Wolf anyone). Plus, they added websites that would keep the plot running. With a climax that brought David Tennent into the role, created a spinoff Torchwood, and leads us to the above clip.
This was filmed as part of a childrens fundraiser and takes place between the 2007 season and the 2008 season. Peter Davidson (the fifth doctor) meets David Tennet (the tenth doctor). Its amusing enough for the current doctor fans but just grabs us long time fans by the nostalgic heart.
This is a great show and I am doubly blessed that my whole family enjoys the Doctors exploits as much as I do.
January 20, 2008
Laughter is something different. Something is funny for some reason and we laugh. Likewise is the need for entertainment.
I am starting to think we are at an entertainment crossroads. While we have no idea what the first entertainment was we could surmise it had something to do with watching something, then telling about what you saw.
You can see how that could branch into fiction and story's. So the old campfire tales, singing, poems and physical humor, with its oohs awe's and laughter.
Someone gifted at the above would start honoring requests. If someone new came along, the group would want to share the old familier acts.
A natural extension would be to send your entertainers to visit friends, tribes, neighbors. Throw a few centuries and you have an industry around entertainment.
With the internet we have a retro back to the storytelling on a wide scale. With that raw unpolished edge that makes it that much more novel. Also, we have captured entertainment from the past that we can discover or recall.
Television in a small way has stepped up its game. There have been some very good shows out the last few years. Movies are struggling trying to find where they belong. radio has lost most of its traction and is being relegated to background noise.
January 19, 2008
Today I am upgrading my laptop from XP home to XP pro, so I can remote into work via our VPN (virtual private networ). A VPN is a digitally secure way to connect across the internet.
The reason you need XP pro for this is to connect to a Domain. A Domain is a large computer network consisting of various servers, workstations and other devices.
Using the VPN I can access our Domain and do pretty much anything I could do at work. Neato! So phone calls early on a Sunday that somone needs a password reset means I can help out in my PJ's and then go back to bed. Versus, throwing on sweats and driving the mile to work. Seeing as how its a 5 min round trip I havent really jumped on this as soon as I could have.
So installing XP is something you do while your doing other things because it takes awhile and its about as much fun as watching paint dry on a cold rainy day. If you are lucky enough to have an office with all the same make and model of computer all purchased about the same time this is a really quick job. You have your computer boot from the NIC (Network Interface Card) and download an image file of exactly how you want the system to work.
If you have a mishmash of systems and not all the images then your stuck doing it by CD.
So, you set your computer to boot off the CD, you let it go through the steps and then delete the partions set up new partitions and reformat them (trust me its the cleanest bestest way). After it finishes up you have your windows but it will look large on the screen and will not be able to connect to the internet very well.
So, you need to have the drivers for your NIC or Wireless device ready to go. I do this in advance because I have done it after the fact and ended up looking for a computer that is hooked to the internet.
Okay so you install the driver and viola, your on the internet. Now comes the fun part. XP will require three update sessions the longest about two hours to get all the security patches and service packs into place.
Next you will need to find out what other devices are not working. Probably the video and audio. So now you need to either find out what is in y0ur system (again knowing in advance, good plan) and go to said websites and get the latest greatest for your system.
Now if you bought your computer from a decent company, they will have a nice website with all your drivers in an easy to find and download place. If you went to a mom and pop local guy, hopefully he provided you with a good list with the make and model numbers of your components.
Otherwise your gonna have to know what each device is, where to find the make and model number and hope that the manufacturer decided to mark the item.
Finally, you need to add in your security stuff. I like freeware like Free AVG and Windows Defender. Yes, there are others out there. Yes, they are arguably just as good or better. I like these ones, cuz the cost is right.
So now you got your system all in shape, and if your a good IT guy you make an image and save it for the next time. If you are not a good IT guy you figure you will do the same thing again and it will just take time. If your a home person and want to make a recovery disk, this is the point to find somone with a program that will do just that. Like Ghost. Your mom and pop people will probably be able to do just that for a small fee. Make sure they make the CD or DVD bootable.
What a fun way to spend a morning eh? At least I can blog during most of this.
January 18, 2008
It used to be Americans bought a car around 5 years, now its 9 years.
In the 1980's the CAFE standars made smaller more fuel efficent rolling deathtraps. Directly resulting in thousands of deaths on the roads.
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain all are stumping for this "tax" that, like a typical government program is a road to hell paved with good intentions.
January 16, 2008
Comics at that time were mostly Scary storys, Tales of suspense, dealing with the macabre.
This shrink went on to write a book 'Seduction of the Innocent' and appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency looking to censor such books.
The Comics Code Authority (CCA) was formed by the publishers to regulate thier industry.
At one point the now well known comic book writer Marv Wolfman was not able to put his name in the first page credits as it went against the code. His comic book company petitioned the CCA and got that allowance.
As with any rule, law or regulation the industry found ways around the code. As they could not mention Satan, or Zombies they came up with a caracter named Mephist0 and zuvembies.
Good ole' Stan Lee wanted to do an Anti-Drug comic in 1971. Due to the codes black and white rules they were not able to approve the comic. Stan went on to publish the comic without the CCA seal and while it was a big deal for the industry the average comic buyer did not notice.
January 11, 2008
RBG is being flown all over the globe for back to back meetings.
Flying Van has feast of famine with split second decisions that puts the lives of others in his hands.
Ronn has to deal with a state run, federal compliant bureaucracy, and teaching the most difficult nightmare students of all, Tenured Teachers.
Shoo probably has some kind of stress someplace, sometime... kinda... i think...
Timmer's entire life is a demented living hell of guilt and acquiescence as anyone who reads between the lines of his blog can tell.
Keeka... well her stress is self induced... :p
So every so often comes Down time. Unwind time. Escapism.
Personally, when I walk out the door from work and start perambulating the downtown streets, I begin the process of exorcism of the work day demons. This usually is recanting some less then fun event and thinking of 'what I shoulda done' or 'what I shoulda said' or just accepting I was an ass.
When I reach home Connor is there to erase any trace of Funk from my brain. “Hey, Daddy your back! Did you have a good at work?” or sometimes a hug or sometimes a request for Pizza. He has that sunshine on a cloudy day effect on pretty much everyone around him.
So for escape itself, it is no secret that I opt out of TV for WoW. Lately books are few and far between, however, getting into a nice fiction is a plus. Going to the occasional movie (so few I want to see anymore). Or just doing something that isn't related to anything I do at work.
So my house is my escape pod from work into my life.
January 09, 2008
Here is a run down of our little guild:
Tuuk is played by me
Keight is played by Tina
Gorlach by Shoo
Boans is played by RBG
RBG's boy played Treon but he is currantly on Sabbatical.
The links you see are to a neat little data base that the folks who run Warcraft (Blizzard) set up so you can check out your character and possibly look for new improved items in game.
January 08, 2008
If you are not the sort of person who would ever be interested in games and you do not use a Windows machine at work then go with the $799.00 Mac Mini. Buy the apple keyboard and mouse for another $100.00 and a digital flat panel monitor with a DVI port. A Dell ultra sharp monitor refurbished from a company with a good return policy will cost you about $150.00
so your looking around $1050.00 for a 'good' starter Macintosh. It will have all the basic software you could use.
You can get by without security software.
You will not be able to buy software for your computer from most normal outlets.
Very few people will be able to help you with any tech problems (few occur actually) and your internet provider will not have a clue how to set up your system (99.9% of the time this will not be an issue)
Or you can buy a PC with keyboard mouse monitor for $550.00 (based on Dell inspiron 530)
1. Either pay $40.00+ a year or get anti-virus for free.
2. Use either windows defender or some spyware program for free.
3. Buy Microsoft Office with your computer for either $150.00 or $280.00 or get a compatible office product for free. FYI if you buy Microsoft Office Small business your looking aroun $370.00.
January 07, 2008
Flourescent blub's do not have any positive side I can see. They are supposed to save you money on your electrical bill. However, you cannot throw them away in the trash can and if you break one you are looking at a nasty time getting it cleaned up.
I'll have to see if I can get a perscription for one if the ban has allowances for medical needs.
January 04, 2008
So it went something like this "Come on momma, time for chores, I need help"
Tina obliged and was then helping him make his bed. Which had to be made in a very specific way. Sponge bob blanket, wolf print blanket, the comforter folded a specific way all tucked int with the microbead pillow then the regular pillows in specific places.
A kid wanting to clean up his room... good thing.
Next he rousted my collage teen and had him make his bed which is in the same room. Another good thing as I had pretty much given up on the make your bed thing.
So the next day Connor inlisted the help of my high school age daughter to make the bed (exact same way). Got my collage kid to do make his. Then had my nephew house guest make his as well.
I am thinking soon I will have to make my bed again...
January 03, 2008
This made for a consistant set of faces going all through school. That is why two of the links to your right are people I have known for forty years. The bulk of the rest over 25 years.
My wife and I have followed suit and our kids have had the same 'home town' experience as well. So while I have been blessed with a nurturing family and a wonderful home life with good friends, periodically I ponder the ebb and tide of some friendships.
John B. lived across the street and moved when I was six or seven. Peter P. lived up the street he and his sister Barbara and I would run around till the street lights came on (my mom's signal to come home). Jim E. lived on the corner his Dad worked at Mattel, he was the first kid I knew who's parents got a divorce.
They all moved away early. Thier houses reminded me of them.
Junior High friends, High School friends, Youth Group Friends, Boy Scouting Friends, Air Explorer friends. Work Friends etc. There are so many lives that weave themselves into the threads of your life. Some you loose track of, like Steve V. who I last saw on a beach and understand lives in the mid-west now. Some weave back in, Like Ronn who virtually is linked via blogs. or Flying Van who I have always had some contact with but large gaps in the weave.
I find it comfortable that people who have known me for such a long time are still in contact and interested in my life and goings ons.
So thanks for reading. And Shoo special thanks for the blogging.