June 30, 2009

Julia and Julia

I grew up watching Julia Child cooking. I would either be captivated or flip over to something else. This trailer impressed me with Meryl Streeps portrayal is so perfect. Plus, the concept just seems fun.

Julia Child the person has a colorful history. She worked with the OSS (CIA) helped develop shark repellent, she received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat.

she attended Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and studied privately with master chefs. With her knowledge she began teaching cooking, translated recipes from French with precise attention to detail and made fine cuisine accessible. With this she co-wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

She was not the first TV cook, but her show was the most widley watched. Her personality trancended the media. Her Second book The French Chef Cookbook, was the recipes she had done on the show. She was on the air in various venues from in 1963 through the 1990's.

She founded the educational American Institute of Wine and Food She received the French Legion of Honor and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Child also received honorary doctorates from Harvard University, Johnson & Wales University.

Quite a life, quite a lady.

June 29, 2009

Deserving of tale told

The following is a tale of our adventures in the World of Warcraft.

It was pitiful, these once powerful Ogres milling around, not even taking notice. The one time terror they held was now a distant memory of another time. We ignored them as they did us. We went to this "Dire Maul" to return a book, for which we needed a key, to whit we needed to find a little impish demon.

The Ents packed a punch, though they fell quite easily to our prowess. We have walked on other worlds and honed our skills and craft far above these denizens abilities. It was in no sense a fair fight, or even a battle of note. We skirted many opponents. Then the oddness occurred. Being a bit too secure in his ability the Orc Gorlach attempted a leap across a gap in the suspended walkway. The brittle floor gave way and he plummetted downward into the soft foliage below. Some of the creatures, startled by his appearance attacked only to quickly be dispatched by the Warlock.

His bound demon servant (Thokthang by name) had started to give chase to his master, not by dropping down. Instead the void creature followed some ethereal directions that guided him along the labyrinth. Gorlach besieged sacrificed the void to gather some fortitude and finish off his foes.

High above, Boans and Tuuk pondered how to re-unite with Gorlach and gingerly traversed the less then solid precipice with Orc proven due caution. As they neared an Ent infested hallway and girded for battle, ladylike screams came wafting up from below. Panic, disbelief and laughter ended the life of Gorlach. Tuuk and Boans engaged another Ent, confident the fight would be short.

Little did they know the petulant screams from there companion was an onrushing wave of death. The void walker has an ability for making creatures angry. In its searching for Gorlach it aggravated quite a few denizens then when sacrificed switched their aggravation towards the Warlock. They moblike started the march towards.

Gorlach was taken unprepared for the ocean tide of creatures who promptly beat him about the neck and head until he gave up the ghost. Gorlach was actually bemused by this unlikely suicide he had foisted upon himself.

This group then turned its attention to Boans and Tuuk who were near toppling the Ent as as the group descended. Carefully weighing his options, Boans Hiked up his robes and ran as fast as his undead form could take him. He shouted words of encouragement to his Bovine companion, which faded into the distance. Boans had wispy memories from some long-forgotten past that crept into his undead brain as the pitch of the battle rose. First a bit of wisdom from who-knows-where: an avalanche of small grains will take down the mighty grasshopper. Adding to that, the cryptic phrase from a similarly unknown source: “Run, Forrest, Run!” The seemingly random thoughts nevertheless were enough to set Boans into action following a tactic from a mysterious song floating through his consciousness: “Brave, brave Sir Robin…”.
Even with vast experience and magical power, his undead legs had not gained speed over time. Boans could run no faster now then the last time he was in this structure. Worse yet, the enraged mob behind him was slightly faster than Boans. His only hope was to reach the portal through which he knew the crowd would not pass.
Two key pieces of magic were all that separate Boans from being torn apart by the mob. First, he had the ability to emit a circle of ice to freeze those closest behind him. This ability took time to recharge, but with each blast it bought Boans time by stopping the fastest of the pursuers. Secondly, Boans could teleport very short distances with another magical ability. Just as the hot breath of the chasing mob was upon him and fingers were starting to grasp at his robes, Boans would make a teleportation leap that would open another small gap from the increasingly enraged group in pursuit.
After a few nerve wracking minutes, Boans made his escape through the swirling portal that acted as a solid barrier to the angry denizens that were following. His undead mind quickly forgot the death of his companions behind him as the ghosts of Gorlach and Tuuk arrived for another attempted penetration of the structure.


There is a news item that seems ridiculous. The California Department of Transportation must pay out 6.3 million for being partially responsible in the wrongful death of two teenage girls.

The driver, Gina Norris, who plead guilty in juvenile court to vehicular manslaughter received no jail time. The 17-year-old girl intentionally sped on a rolling road in the San Bernardino Mountains in a deliberate attempt to get airborne, lost control and killed two passengers. A survivor and mothers of the dead girls sued Caltrans for wrongful death, arguing the road was hazardous. Caltrans argued the road was safe when driven legally.

There is defined right and wrong here that is set aside. Culpability belongs to Gina Norris. She is not an adult so her parents (or guardian) should be held accountable for certain fiscal aspects.

Your average parents would not be able to afford a 6.3 million dollars. Teens dying in a crash is a sad tragic thing. The State of California has a large cash flow, so lets compensate the loss from someone with money... What exactly does that say about this particular jury?

What example does it set when the leader of your country brings about a cutback of charitable giving and states that the government will take up the slack? We hear a lot about government responsibility and quite a bit more of the government blaming the government for what the government did and how only the government can fix this mess the government made.

Responsibility for your actions and choices is not marginalized by your ability to pay. Neither is it mitigated by which direction you point. You are responsible for yourself and your family, your community and your representatives and your fellow human beings. You can not delegate responsibility away, you can only be irresponsible in your choices.

Goverment Responsibility? Harry Truman is rotating in his grave.

June 27, 2009

Radio Gaga

AM and FM Radio is having a difficult time. It could be they are obsolete.

Or possibly it is the business model that is broken? If I want to start up a radio station today, I need to get the okay to broadcast, get the equipment then the personnel. After a format is decided upon you would have to pay to play the music or some fee for broadcasting someones show. or you have local talent. Next you will need to sell advertising on your station to cover the capital, upkeep, fee's and salaries.

How much would that cost? No clue, but my best guess is considerable.
I could use my computer sign up with a web based radio company and pay $10.00 a month or so to be a DJ. Much less capital and expenditure. Probably low to zero return.

I am a radio fan. I love the history the genre. I am fascinated by the old shows and enjoy hearing new personalities.

Just seems to me that the given model for the business is difficult to sustain in the current market. What are the kids listening to? Ipods and Zunes. How do folks get local news? They don't, unless they have cable TV or something big enough locally comes to MSN or Yahoo.

If I want to hear music I have a dozen or so Internet stations I can tune into. If I am in my car, I will play an old fashion CD while the kids sit rocking out in their ear buds.

The more I think about it maybe this is one of those cases where something has to die in order to be reborn.

Michael Jackson

The rumor\innunedo\gossip\slime\sleezeball\speculation\conspirac\culture Stock market has rung the bell. The "company in question?" Michael Jackson.

We hear how tragic he was, how talented he was, what an Icon he was... All hail the king! That all might just be true, there are certainly more then enough known facts justify his talent and his tragedy. He was a flawed human being.

However, I am finding the polarization of one aspect rather curious. That is the allegations of inappropriate behavior. Crime of which he was exonerated. Was that due to him being rich? or being innocent? If you bother to read the various documents from the trial, you will find a lack of any credible evidence.

Add a couple more arguments into the pot and I think you can see my point. First off the McMartin Preschool debacle. That case shows how difficult it is to get accurate eyewitness testimony from kids.

Next in speaking as a parent, I would NEVER settle a case against someone who molested my child. I would NEVER accept payment over a chance at justice. IMHO if you accept money from someone who molests your kid, that makes you vile and the definition of evil.

June 24, 2009

Quiet days

This AM I was greeted to silence, I had to shut the windows due to the cacophony of crickets and early morning birds. The bed was uncomfortably warm and kicking off the covers and cooling with the morning chill was nice. A glance at my clock offer proof that I awaken 15 minutes before my alarm has a chance. I debate waiting for the digital messenger to have a purpose, then I roll out of bed anyways. This was a six hour night, pretty good for me as of late.

Without concious thought I meander to the bathroom and turn the shower on. I have this little test of how tired I actually am. I reach across the shower and turn on the water. If I can pull my arm back and not get hit with the cascade of water, I am hitting on all twelve cylinders.

I do and I am. Good morning so far.

Shower, brush teeth, shave, smellies and pick out a shirt for the day. I like my nice assortment of Polo's a dressy T-shirt is a comfortable thing. I toss yesterdays pants into the laundry, after extracting the much too long belt from its loops. Undies on and clothes are tossed on the floor as I detour to microwave a cup-o-joe. While the whirring noise rotates my tall mug in a countdown dance of caffinated goodness, I am noticing how dead and grey the kitchen feels. Trevor did a good job cleaning up the room last night. He actually showed some pride in the job he did on his and Connors room last night. That gives me the first smile of the day.

A beeping noise, some sugar free hazelnut creamer and it is back to the desk and my morning bloodletting. My sugars are lingering around 100-110, which are good numbers, below 100 is better.

Coffee is nice and strong. The cup is drained much to quickly.

My morning pills packed in a small tin, ear-buds in and the local AM radio news playing in my ears, it is time to hike to work.

June 23, 2009

Cranius and Legs have been making consistently first rate WoW videos. I am impressed that they can show a cohesive storyline with characters and emotions with the limited animations available to them. Peratus provides the sutible pounding rock music.

Summer Entertainment fare

We saw the new Trek film (liked it). Saw the new Pixar film (liked it).

There is the New Harry Potter film. After that it looks pretty bleak.

GI Joe, may be fun. There is the Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. Julia and Julia might (long shot) lure me in to buy a ticket.

Usually with economic downturn there is an increase at the box office. I'm guessing that is only if the studio's put something on the screen that people want to see.

I am sure there is some good word of mouth, type film that will capture my $4.50. In the meantime, films I missed that are now on AMC and FX. Burn Notice and Doctor Who specials will have to fill the bill. Maybe its a good time to pick up a sport?

June 22, 2009

Website review

Redundantly, I am actively loosing weight. Because I live in the real world, and that means going out to eat every so often. Which means finding out, calorically, what I ate after the fact. This is daunting and suprising.

So Mens Health has this nice website. It's based on the book "Eat this not That"

Now you can look up the resturant (national chains), and find out in advance what options you have and the calories, sodium and fats involved are.

I found some of the look ups fun to know as well:

Baskin Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake
2,600 calories
135 g fat (59 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fats)
263 g sugars
1,700 mg sodium

We didn't think anything could be worse than Baskin Robbins' 2008 bombshell, the Heath Bar Shake. After all, it had more sugar (266 grams) than 20 bowls of Froot Loops, more calories (2,310) than 11 actual Heath Bars, and more ingredients (73) than you'll find in most chemist labs.

June 21, 2009


So I am reading that you should cover the clocks in your bedroom and when you feel like falling asleep, do so. When you wake up, assess if your tired or not without benefit of a clock.

So last night around 10:00 I covered up the clocks and proceeded to read. I had cleverly put my wristwatch in a sock and when I got tired. I hit the timer.

I know I laid in bed for a bit before drifting off.

When the morning came, I felt tired so I went back to sleep. I believe this happened two more times. At that point I felt well rested so I got up. When I checked the clock it was 5:45. The timer on my watch showed 3 hours 21 minutes.


June 20, 2009

"Head!" Pants, NOW!

Today I am wearing 20 year old pants that are brand new. About the same time Sgt. Pepper was teaching the band to play, my wife went to the Broadway and purchased me some Dockers. Unfortunately I had gained too much weight to wear them.

They were nice pants and we opted to put them in the closet till I lost the weight. I guess that was till now. At 218 they fit nicely and despite the fact they hid themselves quite well, Tina was able to wrest them from hiding into viability.

I'm pretty sure this is the longest something of mine has gone from purchase to useage.

June 19, 2009

Daddys Day story.

When our oldest two were small, I came home from work one day to find my wife, stir crazy. She had not had adult conversation for quite awhile and being stuck in a condo in Long Beach was not helping. The previous weekend while at the mall I had noticed a help wanted sign on a clothing store.

It took little prompting for Tina to apply, she got the position and began working nights. This got her out of the house, made a little extra cash and clothing at bargain prices. More importantly it gave her adult time.

As such I got to spend the evening just me and the kids. After a couple of nights, I came up with a routine for the kids to follow. After Dinner we would play, then watch their TV show. At the conclusion they would get dressed for bed, brush teeth, give kisses and go to bed.

Tina's first few weeks at the new job was fairly busy and she really did not experience the kids routine, which had become ingrained with the consistency. Neither had I explained that I had set up the routine.

One evening off we all were sitting watching the kids Television show. As it ended I said my usual. Okay Kids, time for bed. To which the dutifully got up, got into PJ's, brushed and gave kisses marching off to bed.

Tina shockingly looked at me and said "What did you do to our kids?"

You would think the tale ends there but not quite. Not with Connor.

While in Canada yesterday, They had a very windy evening. Connor spent a lot of it up at the gazebo just looking out over the neighborhood & toward the lake. He'd come in for a while, then go back out to the gazebo. A bit later he came up and said, "Get on the night clothes, melatonin, and brush teeth." He kissed Diana, Omi and then went downstairs with Tina to do just that.

All others Pay Cash!

There is an ongoing question in many scientists' mind around humans ability to formulate understandable mathematical expression of virtually every natural phenomenon. Could this be speaking to a supernatural existence?

In the book, Quantum Questions, Ken Wilber compiled the original writings of thirteen important founders of modern quantum and relativistic physics, to explore their understanding of the relationship of physics and mysticism. Without exception, each one of them believed that modern physics does NOT prove spiritual realities in any fashion. And yet each of them was a mystic, not because of physics, but in spite of it. By pushing to the outer limits of their discipline, a feat of true genius, they found themselves face to face with realities that physics categorically could not explain.

One scientist explained that quantum physics provides us with a precise map of a part of God's creation, and in this respect we get more precise knowledge and understanding of God obliquely, He thinks science can never decisively "prove" the presence or absence of God. He felt God was somebody whom we trust and accept without proof.

DNA may prove my own Pop is my biological father, but I don't care about that. I know my Pop and Mom, love and care for me, and that's more then enough.

Acceptance of God is a matter of faith, not of scientific proof.

There is a professor of brain neurology who has became an Christian because he had been caught by an inexplicable awe when he was examining the mechanism of brain function. He concluded that nobody-else than God could have made the brain in such an orderly and sophisticated manner.

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo said: "The Church never fears the truth of science, because we are convinced that all truth comes from God"

I think we should examine our "old maps" more seriously and be open-minded to refer to the "new maps" that science provide us. This does not mean that we throw the old away and accept new uncritically. Because an old map is still relevant and a new map can contain false information.

oooh za za

In a quiet town, this time of night has some odd noises. Like the nighbor across the street doing something on his roof...

At least the dog is snoring....

June 18, 2009

As sayeth the bard Für möglicherweise zu träumen

That probably is a horrid translation. I guess it has been a while since I get to hang around the house by my lonesome. Tina is on vacation, she has Connor and Diana up in Canada with her.

Trevor is busy with a musical and some chores and hopefully finding a job, so I tend not to see him until bedtime. Which is an issue I had almost forgotten.

Sleep eludes me when my family is away. It is the damnedest thing. I was sitting down, getting the nods, last night. I rousted myself to bed, as I laid down. BOOM! wide awake! Some conditioned response? I'm not sure.

So far I am averaging four hours of sleep since Sunday night. I feel fine and I have not noticed an impact on my work. For whatever reason my circadian rhythm believes I am living on Neptune or something. I stared a Novina, last night without much intervention from Saint Joseph (or Saint Jude for that matter).

I guess it is just an odd psychological phenomenon.

June 17, 2009

Computer Family

I like computers. Going back to 1976 working on a PDP-8 Teletype set up (I even had the awesome yellow, oil impregnated, computer tape).

There is a stark contrast between my siblings degree of computer knowledge. Recently it was brought to my attention how odd my family's Computer to TV ratio was.

We have one Television (there is a second, it is a Wii monitor, more then a TV). Not counting the computers in storage we have seven active systems. One for every member of the family and two laptops. We recently added a second pay-as-you-go, cell phone for Trevor, I myself and Tina have not owned one.

You would think such a high tech family would be sporting the latest in cell phone fashion? Nope.

I actually see cell phones as a bane to my existence. I do not want to be that connected. There are times when it would be handy to have one, I suppose. Still we continue to function fine without one.

About the time I start pondering the acquisition, I observe some hapless fool in the store going aisle by aisle with the phone glued to his ear asking if he should purchase item after item on the shelf. In other words this marvel of modern communication allows him to go to the store while the person on the other side of the conversation is doing the "shopping".

Seems a paper and pencil list would be a better option.

If your a businessman. Understood, thats the nature of business today. I really think having a "turn off time" is paramount. So I remain blissfully unfettered by cellular plague.

June 16, 2009

Alone again

The house is too quiet. I did not get to hear the customary bathroom door slam as Connor starts his day. There was no listing of "what to do" today.

Last night I really had a tough time trying to find some busy work. At least I got to bed early. It is always a bit uneasy when Tina is driving all day and I am here. I whisper a lot of prayers for an uneventful journey and ask Mr. Christopher to intervene.

They made it to Kelso WA. In good time. They got to eat at one of the family favorite places. Connor had his travelling blanket and pillow, he was ready to go to Canada "No East, just North!" and he was looking forward to the "flying car" through Portland.

I have been popping Ibuprofen like mad due to an exercise injury on my neck. My foot is feeling much better so I am going to try the walk to work thing today (I got an ace bandage on said foot for some extra support).

It is going to be a quiet week while I think about Canada.

At least the news has some items that lift my spirit.

June 15, 2009

Help save our Healthcare!

There are four arguments for the single-payer system.

Obama says:"it will keep them honest." Because the Government is such an honest entity and above corruption? This is from the same man who's economic assumptions in his 2010 budget is pure fantasy.

Obama says, it will play by the same rules as the private insurers, and therefore, won’t drive them out of business. If the rules of the private insurers are sound enough to be adopted by government, why a government program at all?

Secretary Sebelius says it's necessary to give a choice to the consumer. So 1,300 entities offering health care plans isn't choice? We need one more? Also, many of these will close up shop against the government. so that's LESS options?

Then there’s the argument that the American people are not smart enough to handle something as complicated as health care and have a competitive market. Well that is a liberal theme to be sure. "people aren't smart enough to figure things out, and that's why government needs do it for them."

Do not buy into the 47 million uninsured. Fourteen million of are eligible for government programs and haven’t signed up. Ten million have households with incomes of $75,000 a year. Quite a lot are not American Citizens.

Sixty percent of the uninsured in San Francisco are not citizens.

Thank you Mr. George Will.

June 13, 2009

Fitness Goal setting

In all honesty, I have not put that much thought into what I want to do.

I like skating, I enjoy swimming, rock climbing was always fun for me. Doing a Marathon at least once would be nice. Playing some sport. If I lived someplace with Ice I would really like playing hockey or try curling. They have soccer, softball, baseball and bowling. None of which really sounds "fun." Kayaking or other river sports does sound fun, its seasonal. There is some MMA in the area, but I would not want to compete due to the punshing aspect, although I do admit to having a bit of interest in that.

I want to be stronger and have more 'wind'. I guess thats a goal...

To all the jobs I've loved before!

My favorite work has been ones were I can see progress due to my actions. Ressurecting a computer from the dead. Implimenting an elegant solution for an on going problem. Bringing a project in early and under budget. Getting that five minute of being a hero.

That is usually all you get. Good Job, great work... hmmmm, maybe you can...(and its gone!)

Jobs that have been annoyance have been the ones were there is nothing to do. Waiting for something to break, wondering when you get the next sales call. Give me a project and a deadline anyday.

June 12, 2009

This old body

Started off with a weird landing while on the trampoline. I pulled it further doing a bridge exercising. Then made it worse by stretching.


The high point of the arch of my foot has a muscle knot and the bone or ligiment directly above that point can have a sharp pain when walking or stretching.

..More Joy!...

After riding my bike (due to my foot) to work, I noticed some ache with either tensor fasciae latae or vastus lateralis where it connects to the bone near the top of the knee.


So what the heck is happening here? Its like I am falling apart. As my wife warned me I was doing too much too soon. My old HS buddy who got me on this health and wellness kick pontificated the same: "Train for a while at one level before raising the bar or adding anything new. And then only a tiny bit (or one small thing) at a time. You are moving stuff that hasn't been moved. Take it slowly and tendons will get re lubricated and find their way back into the track"

While I was walking to and from work. I was trying to increase my speed, even sprinting the uphill portions. With my bike riding, again I was pushing the envelope going up over the hills. Even with the body weight exercises, doubling and tripling the number of reps quickly. I was even annoyed with myself for not increasing at a quicker level.

Looks like patients is yet another personal challenge. Which is pretty amusing seeing as how I have been very patient with my 2 lbs a week average loss. So now I am going to figure out a better slower progressive program. Starting with healing up.

June 09, 2009

Rage at the educational machine

Educators have horrid paradigms. Periodically I need to engage our educational system to get needed things in place for Connor (If you do not know, Connor has autism). The teach-speak term is "Advocating". This runs in a near predictable pattern.

I want something "extra" from the school for my child.
The educators say this is not needed and they have something already in place which will fill that requirement.
I then question what they have in place, point out how that "something" will not fill the needs of my request. After all this is not something they can just "do" for all the students.
The educators assure me that said "something" will work fine and be flexible enough to cover the needs.
I further point out the apples .vs. oranges of what my son needs compared to what they are actually offering.
The educators begin to "educate me" on what my child "really" needs and try to minimize my request. Stating they need to "assess" the situation to make a better decision.
Further, they explain this will take into account my little concern and will allow them to make an intelligent choice which will be the best thing for my child.

Around this point of the conversation, I have either been convinced that this would be the best route...

They have belayed out enough rope for a good ole fashion hanging.

You see I have some experience with negotiations (I have been a purchasing agent). There have been many studies on my child's classification of Autism, and I have either read them or via my wife been informed of the outcomes. Also, I have detailed knowledge of mistakes the school system has made with my sons education and the outcome of those as well. In other words, I am well armed. Finally I am tenacious and I have no fear of confrontation.

The usually results in getting needed services into place for my Son. I just wish it was not always a battle to demonstrate I know what the hell I am talking about. *sigh*

Autism is not widely understood. Perhaps educators are stuck on thinking its a behavioral problem. There are those who dismiss Autism as a myth spread by enabling parents. People tend to fear the unknown and defensively define to justify what they observe. Perhaps some people do not have the luxury of curiosity or cannot be bothered.


Seems to be bike year.

With some oddball injury to my arch and walking being difficult I have been riding the bike to and from work. I have an idea in the back of head about riding to various spots here in Oregon for fun and exercise. I am not ready to do that, but I am thinking.... soon... soon!

Trevor, as reported earlier, was almost crushed by a truck. He escaped harm but his bike was destroyed. he got a newer, better, nicer one on the cheap via a local pawn shop. My daughters bike was stolen over the weekend, while she was at collage.

In her case she was not actively using the bike. It has been locked up static for a while. The thieves took the fence as well. I guess her lock worked. She has been interested in getting inline skates. I was not thrilled with the idea as her prowess with said skates is not that good. However, school is out and she is heading up to Canada with Tina and Connor, that would give her a good chance to strap them on and learn the in's and out's of blading.

June 08, 2009

Online Entertainment primer (games)

So you have searched Google, watched YouTube, interact on Facebook, Played Bejeweled, Made a Blog and had some fun doing various things. There may be an interest in something more Entertaining and more interactive. Something that is an alternative to channel surfing. This blog is an introduction to Social Gaming, better known as MMORPG (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game).

These are virtual worlds and you have an Avatar (read representative) who's actioins you control. In this example I am using World of Warcraft which currently has 12 million people playing, which is more people then the state of Ohio.

This is not your typical arcade game. There is no real score, or even a real ending. It is goal oriented with a deep storyline you participate with and nearly unlimited choices.

The basics start with installing the game. This can take several hours, I recommend setting it up for overnite and going to bed. Registering an account (again, use a free 10 day trial so your not out any cash). Then jumping into game.

You will then have to create your character, Avatar. Choosing Race, Gender, appearance and class. Class is a definition of how your avatar will interact in the game. Once you get a name chosen (believe it or not, choosing a name can take a long time), you are then deposited into the world following a short video giving you some information on your characters race is integrated with the ongoing story line, or Lore.

You use your keyboard and mouse to move the avatar and interact with the virtual world. There are assignments given to you (Quests). These will advance the story, or be given current reasons, or launch you into a sub-plot line. As you do and accomplish quests in game you learn more Lore and unlock new skills and abilities, referred to as increasing in level. The first ten levels is a tutorial that will teach you the bulk of game mechanics and the background history of your character.

Around level 12 you will find yourself interacting with people from all over. The other players. Like all situations, some will be nice, some will be less so. You will find a group of people and become associated with them in a group known as a Guild. They will be a support group, that can answer questions and help out with assignments in various ways.

Time needed? With a 30 minute chunk you can actually do quite a bit. If you play about two hours a week (figure that much less television time), you can find it quite entertaining and very social. It can be nice unwinding after a stressful workday.

What about all the bad stuff you hear, about playing too much and loosing wife, family, friends? If you are an alcholoic, have gambling issues, or find yourself quickly addicted to anything. Get help, If your like the majority of the population and can self regulate behaviors, you really have nothing to worry about.

I hope this makes sense to the neophytes out there. If you have a little adventure, try out the 10 day trial (you can do the trial over and over again). Its what will replace TV.

June 07, 2009

Cousin Daniel

Daniel is my nephew, more specifically he is my sisters youngest. He is closest in age to my, Trevor and Diana. He graduated high school today and he is already set to head off to Collage in the fall.

This was a great graduation ceremony, followed the next day by a party at my sisters place. Tina the kids and I got to spend the grad night there. All of my brothers and sisters were in attendance and its really nice to see and have that kind of family support.

I believe my Mom and Pop have made it to every graduation, that is 12 out of 13 grand kids (leaving my youngest Connor). Quite the legacy.

So Congratulations Daniel, you have my admiration for such a successful High School experience, your family has much to be proud in you. We are eagerly waiting to see what adventure the future holds for you.

June 06, 2009


It certainly is uncertain times. Some of the plans out there have the appearance of bad fiscal idea's that stagnate investment and job creation. Opposition viewpoints are not analyzed, they are dismissed via the origination. Even the subjective nature of humor can be met with villification if it dares cross certain boundries. The Fourth estate has become state media in its blinded onesided devotion.

Locally we have 19% unemployment, falling county and state revenues and more and more looking to the Federal Government for "help". This is a time of sacrifice, we are told, by those who are not leading by example, rather the opposite.

It all comes back to we the people. in a democracy, you get the politicians you deserve. If you start from the proposition that politicians are crooks, you will eventually make that proposition true. If you complain but do not participate in the voting process at a minimum you loose any moral authority.

As we see the current administration spending more and more borrowed money and blaming it on the previous administration, you have to wonder when that finger pointing rings hollow.

To me it seems like there is this hole that need filling and we are all being forced to buy shovels to dig it bigger, so it will fill in nicer...

June 05, 2009

Words or Actions?

"Oh, but he has changed"

The above quote in any given context should be viewed with skepticism. Fact of the matter is people are slow to change, people dislike change and rally against change.

Ambiguity is public enemy number one. When someone says one thing, and does another, there is a dishonesty that needs to be noted. Yet, holding someone accountable for words and actions has a disconnect. Just as responsibilities for ones own words and actions is often redirected.

Honesty is more common in personal relationships then the national stage. Honor and loyalty has an air of naivete and quaintness.

Virtues that have been taught out of our society?

My Father-in-law prided himself on business deals made on a handshake. His reputation in his field was built on his high standards.

My own Father never considered his work ethic as a virtue, it was what it was, the way he was.

Both were satisfied with jobs done right, it was something that reflected upon them and earned them respect. People you could trust without reservation.

I consider myself lucky in the people whom I have that level of trust. I wonder if that number is smaller then my grandfathers and if my kids will have a smaller circle as well.

How to Paladin

There is probably no reason to watch this, unless you like wow and have a curiosity for watching the product of a mind unhinged.  Yes, he has made 32 of these.  Yes, every one is pretty similer.  There is no plot, there is no reason.  It is just whimsey in Warcraft at the highest level.

To me, it warms my heart to see someone having so much fun with active entertainment. 

Enjoy 5 min of maddness.

June 04, 2009

Why fit, How fit?

Lets put up some arbitrary scale.

Lets say Iron Man Triatheletes  are the pinnacle of fitness.  How sustainable is that exactly?

In my mind, not very.  From a physcial standpoint, there would be injuries that you would have to recover from doing a Triathelon every week.  Not to mention the time element.  The human machine being what it is, I am quite sure someone could adapt their body to do such a hellish feat weekly.  There would have to be some downside. 

It is said that Michael Phelps trains for six hours a day, six days a week, without fail. He swims approximately 50 miles each week, which is over 8 miles per training day. He has two massages everyday and also takes ice baths to help his body to recover.  

Note two things, he does take time off from training, second, his career as an Olympic level swimmer is going to end earlier then later. In other words, he will not be at "peak fitness"  most of his life.  Obviously.

The extreme opposite would have to be laying in a bed, possibly eating at Phelps level of intake.  So there is some grayish area of being fit that is reasonable.  And some modicum of activity to maintain this.

In my mind, being in at the fitness level where I could run a marathon given a month of training. 

June 03, 2009

Healthy Wealth and wise.

Physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity" (USDHHS, 1996). Fitness is made up of five main components:

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the body's circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity (USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Corbin & Lindsey, 1994).

Muscular strength is the ability of the muscle to exert force during an activity (USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Wilmore & Costill, 1994).

Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue (USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Wilmore & Costill, 1994).

Body composition refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts of the body (USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Corbin and Lindsey, 1994).

Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint (USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Wilmore & Costill, 1994).

June 02, 2009


Connor likes to to on a bike ride.  We got a swing bike that makes my mountain bike into a kind of tandem.  He started writing notes at school "requesting" we do some such activity.  His latest note was to take a bike ride to Wendy's.

Seeing as how there is not much for a Vegetarian bent on weight loss to eat at Wendy's I negotiated going to Burger King (The BK Veggie, sans Mayo 240 Calories).  This is the first outing this summer and since I started my quest to limit gravitational pull upon my mass.  I was curious to see how it would go.  We have a nice City park, Stewart park, which goes along the I5 Freeway, the Umpqua river and two other traffic corridors.  It has a good size trail.  Connor wanted to head from the "train tracks" which is a pathway that follows the river for a good stretch.  

We parked at a local pharmacy's back lot, hooked up the bikes, helmeted up and started riding.  Connor likes to say hello to the people walking the trail, there was quite a few for him to offer salutations towards.  He also has control of a bike bell, to warn those ahead of our path.  This ride has tree's on one side with the river, the right side is a field that bluffs up to various businesses and cell towers.  The train tacks parallel the path for the first section, unfortunately no trains for Connor to enjoy.  The trees then over hand the pathway, giving a woodsy feeling with small park like alcoves along the river.  Some blind curves as well.  This opens up to the baseball park complex and the first real challenge. 

So far the ride had been nice gradual up and down, now the section that goes under the I5 bridge over the river.  There is a nice downhill prior to the climb which allows you to get some speed in which to aid the primary ascent.  This was going pretty well until my downshifting threw the chain.  In not much time at all, I had the chain back on and we had walked to the top of the first hill.  The path go's down a bit with a gradual snake like curve left then right as it goes under the freeway, on the far side of the bridge it bears right and has a steep climb to the park proper.

Without a repeat of the chain incident we low geared it up to the top.  Connor was very helpful as a bit of an extra boost of leg power.  

This put us into the grove like wooded section of the park, where there is a rather large and popular Frisbee golf course.  This is a tee intersection Connor chose to head South which takes us back by the river.  This was also nice as it has a downhill section.  Then it got a little interesting.  Connor wanted to ride through the Veterans Hospital grounds.  This is a rather palatial looking brick building estate.  It has a large looping driveway with a 15 MPH posting.  Surrounded by an 18 hole golf course.  It is tree lined which kept me out of the sun even longer (I tend to burn).

This brought us to the crosswalk on the busiest street in town.  Connor pushed the button and we crossed and made it to BK.  I was good and did not consume any of Connors fries's.  The entire ride was about an hour, fed Connor and provided me with exercise and him with a big smile.

I really need to get him a bike.