Category Archives: General

A note about the photos below

By the way… if you look at the image file names, pay them no mind. They have no relation as to when the photo was taken. They were assigned by the camera, and reset each time we upload the pictures to the camera.
I am not sure why the captions are not appearing with the thumbnails at this time. Anyhow, enjoy.
[Note, post refers to post prior to this one on the same day.]

My dad is in Japan

I’ll have to post the reason I started blogging each day before I get distracted and forget it.
Today the reason I started blogging was to say that my dad is Japan for a month. Best of luck to him while he's there and I hope he has a good time, despite being away from his family for so long… I guess no weekend drives home from there, even if they built a trans-Pacific bridge, it would take a long time to get back home in Texas.
Sara wanted to go with him. She knows some Japanese, and would love the opportunity to go.

Jewel Quest – A winning Bejeweled clone

Proving my theory that there is little, to nothing new under the sun, just new ways of doing things comes yet another Bejeweled clone. Bejeweled is playable at that link and on, and the demo is down loadable from a million and one websites, including both of those. Anyhow, the newest clone to hit the market is Jewel Quest, which is actually a fairly cool and innovative twist on the game, and I may like it better then the original (and I am sure Bejeweled isn’t the original, but it is the one people are undoubtedly trying to
duplicate). The game was developed by and it looks like the primary distributor is GameHouse, the people who distributed Inspector Parker, which was developed by Oberon Media.
Alaware, Big Fish Games, Gamextazy, Small Rockets, are other distributors and developers of smaller games like these, with lots of overlap between them offering the same games (Small Rockets being an exception to the rule here, it seems they develop and sell their own games only). I am sure I am leaving out lots of other small developers and distributors, but these are the ones I have tried demos of.

Our water softener is going or IS kaput

My dumb water softener has been running now for 10 hours… A replacement water softener will run at the very least $399 (for some reason the link won’t come up, so I won’t link to it at the moment) on up to $979 or more, and that is from a budget source (I’ve priced them out before). At the $979 level or even $799 and up level, the system goes with me short of there being a better one at the next house, I would just put the old one to the side and reinstall it when I move… oh to dream. The $979 unit on their page of complete water treatment systems, would be my ideal one, then down the line to their $399 unit, the $1299 and $1799 units on that page are more then this house would need. I wonder how much one saves dropping the drinking filter?
Anyhow, perhaps there is a fix for my current system… and we’ve been using unfiltered water for a couple months now as I ran out of salt in the brine tank, so if I have to bypass it, no big deal.

C++ class, Make it easy to know when we update, Sara goes to orientation.

The diffaculty level of my programming class at school is going up a notch again. We are now moving into Windows programming in C++. Oy.
I have been trying to find either a blog or a wiki dedicated to teaching C++, but no luck yet. I figure they have to be out there somewhere. There are teaching blogs and teaching wikis for other stuff, why not C++?
Want an easy way of knowing when this site, CNN, and many others such as Google’s news page, are update? Many sites use a RSS
or Atom feed to let you know when they have updated. To subscribe to us, or other sites using these systems, you need a news aggregator. A good free aggregator is Feedreader. If you don’t mind paying $30 for a good one, FeedDemon
would be the way to go. Using an aggregator makes it so you don’t have to check those sites out each day. It goes to the web page, dowloads any updates to itself and lets you know when they have been updated and which ones. I highly recomend using Feedreader to see what it is all
about, and then if you decide you really like it, then upgrade to FeedDemon, or if Feedreader is doing the job for you, stick with it.

Sara is on her way to orientation at school.

My scream of agony that you may have heard earlier

That agonized scream you may have heard was the sound of me, suffering at the hands of my computer. I have software I want to use, but I can’t because I don’t have Windows XP. Sadly, I can’t afford Windows XP at the moment, especially WinXP Pro like I would prefer to have. Next
WinXP Home/Pro both prefer more then 128MB RAM, at least 256MB RAM, the more the better, and I only have 128 MB RAM. I hear what you are thinking, why not upgrade the amount of RAM I have since RAM is cheap. Well, it is, unless you have RDRAM, or Rambus RAM, which will run you several times regular memory prices. Upgrading to 512MB of RDRAM, which
I would consider the absolute minimum today, would cost over $200, and 1GB of RAM, the true minimum, would run over $400, not an affordable option either way. Then the video card… which could be upgraded to a minimum card for a tad over $150, though really I would be missing out on lots of stuff even with that until over $300 or so which doesn’t work on my system as I don’t have enough power from the power supply, so I am stuck with a $100 to $150+ type of upgrades. The CPU is unfortunately unreplaceable, as Intel went with another pinout configuration on the higher-speed chips. So how much to upgrade my current system? Let’s say 1 GB RDRAM ($400+), a new video card ($150+), Windows XP Pro($190 for the upgrade), so at minimum, I am looking at $740 or so. At that point, I still wouldn’t be able to run some of the games I would like to play, and if I were to compile a really big program (unlikely anyhow, I’ll admit) it would take much longer then I would care for… The above doesn’t even account for the software upgrades I really should get…
Options? New system from Dell at the same price range… doesn’t work, as the only way to do that is to get integrated video with no option for adding a video card. Cheapest I could come up with at Dell was $1355, and that is dropping the monitor from the system price, a much better system would be $2054 from them. Now in both cases that included a $260 upgrade to get Office small business edition, and at the moment I qualify for the Student edition which I could get cheaper elsewhere… Still tons of cash.
A homebuilt system would be the preferred option, since as I am building it, I can control the exact parts going in, and make sure they are good quality. This would run about $3100 or so without a monitor upgrade.
Which is kind of odd, as the notebook I want is about $3135 without changing anything… I know, I know, $3135 seems extreme, but this isn’t just a regular laptop, but a DTR, or Desktop Replacement.
All the above is without upgrading to the development software. I won’t even go into that cost, but development software is a tad expensive.
Of course there are other things we need more then a new computer, so I am stuck… grr…. and hence the scream of agony you may have heard earlier… oops, here it comes again…

Ari Update, Ari’s CD of photos, Sara’s surgery, My school update

Ari has fairly well mastered the going from back to front roll. While we put him down on his back, we almost always find him on
his belly when we get him up. He has re-learned the front to back roll, so he goes back and forth, though he still finds it easier to go from back to front.
Sara fed him cabbage… eww…. He liked it well enough apparently. He seems to like solid foods.
Want photos of Ari? We have a CD full of them, free for the asking to family and friends. Okay, well, more like 200 MB or so of pictures, so not a full 700 MB, but still… Anyhow, let me know if you want it. Updates to the CD will be issued to broadband friends and family via Bit Torrent. I recommendAzureus for your Bit Torrent client. I’ll let you know when the update is available.
Sara had surgery on her toes the other day. All went well. I’ll leave her to go into all the graphic detail, the big… long… shots and all of that. She starts school here in a little over a week. KSU: Stark, she’s coming right at ya.
My last day of school will be December 23rd. Well, last day for the Associate of Applied Business, Computer Programming and Applications anyhow. After that I start on my Associate of Applied Business, Computer Networking and hopefully earn my MCSE or MCSA. Still left are Literature, Database Applications, Advanced Database Applications, and Graphical User Interface Programming. Technically there is an externship as well, but that can be done during the same time as classes, and most of us in the night classes are complaining that an externship isn’t reasonable for us since we all work during the day, and how many places will take us after 6 pm for externships? So we’ll see how the externship works out or not. Anyhow, figuring I finish with the Networking classes by May 26th or June 23rd, I may have my MCSE or MCSA by this time next year. I believe I currently have a 3.68 overall GPA.
I got to get off to let Sara have the computer… so until later… oh, and I’ll get back to work on the accessible version of this page again soon. More on that bit on the next update from me.

Crib bumper time & not getting stuff done

Guess its time to get a crib bumper. We just found Ari asleep with a leg dangling out from between two rungs of the crib.
I went to the Podiatrist for the first time today. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had to have the corners of my big toes dug out though. Next week I will have to have a little procedure to cut out the corners of toe nails down to the nail bed. I guess we’ll see how that goes. It sounds a little scary to me.
Other than that we didn’t get a whole lot done today.
I have some things to do but I’m avoiding getting any work done. Hehe. Oh well, I guess I’d better get on the ball. When I’m working and going to school I’ll need all the extra time I can find, and I don’t want to waste it. I might as well get as much done now as possible. Still don’t know if I got that job yet. Hope so.

Sara posted an update…

This weekend Marvin and Carole Anne are coming to visit. That should be fun.
Meanwhile…. I had an interview on Monday at Ambiance. I wonder if I will get the
job. The interview seemed to go well. I will get the call probably at the end of the week whether or not I got the job. She said she would take me shopping for new clothes if I get the job, since the dress code is buisness (and I don’t have a lot of stuff like that).
I am borrowing my mother’s car this week while I get ready to have my car fixed. It drives so nice….
I am doing the Atkins thing. I know I am vehemently against it, but what can I say? It works. I will have to update on what I’ve lost so far when I weigh myself again. Check out
Also, I am making Ari’s baby food. I have already made and frozen pureed broccoli, and I have some tomatos, carrots, and cabbage that I will do the same to.
My dad left for Jordan Saturday. He will be gone for 2 months. I think I could probably borrow my mom’s car for that long if I had to, but I really want to have my own car done by then.
I am expecting a check from the school for financial aid. It should help. Speaking of school, I am excited for it to start. It doesn’t start until August 30.
Like Brian said, Ari ate food yesterday for the first time. Also, I think he’s pretty close to rolling over from his back to his stomach. He can roll over from his stomach to his back already (although it always looks like an accident). He can sit by himself, since Saturday. Although he’s kind of shakey, so you have to be close by, because when he gets tired, he will flop himself onto the floor. He stands really well with support. He’ll be 5 months in a few days. And, at last count he was 25 inches long and 15 pounds 11 ounces. Ari found his feet last week, and he makes lots of different sounds now. I finally took down the bassinette and put up the play pen. He was outgrowing it anyhow. He sleeps in his crib at night.
As far as our finances go, we seem to be doing much better. We can’t really figure out when/where it happened, but at some point we broke even, and then went over that. Wow. Its good not to have to worry about that so much. I think a laptop or a new computer is one of the last things that we need to be thinking about. I feel like sometimes the Mr. has his prioreties a little mixed up. Yes, a computer would be nice….but… I’m feeling energetic, I hope to do more active-type things with my family. Its important to promote an active lifestyle to my son. Speaking of health, I bought Brian a multivitamin. I thought he should have it since he doesn’t eat a wide variety of fruits or vegetables at this time.
Yusef is thinking about going to school in Orlando, Florida. He is going to visit the school in mid September.
I finally finished watching all of Sex and the City. It was pretty good. We’re watching Dead Like Me now and The 4400. Also, we saw the first episode of Amish in the City and we may watch more of it because it looked interesting. I am caught up on Queer As Folk, and I saw all of Buffy. I really need to start Angel sometime soon.
Anyhow, I should go eat breakfast, or lunch I guess…The Atkins has a way of making you not so hungry. As someone who doesn’t enjoy meat as much as some people, I find myself pretty uninterested in food right now, and take little pleasure in it. Perhaps that’s a plus of the diet. I could see how a person that loves meat would really enjoy eating on this plan. Right now, I find myself eating just to satisfy base hunger, not for pleasure, boredom, stress, etc. Yes, I am hungry, so I’ll say more later.
Oh yes, if I could buy all of my waredrobe at I would.
And, World Market is the greatest store in existance.

The future of this site, misc stuff… good night…

Okay, so Trackbacks have been added to the blog here. That link was the official explanation, an easier explanation is here or here (from the people who invented Trackback).
I still have yet to start work on removing the tables from the site and going with CSS positioning.
I am also thinking about changing web hosts so I get have MySQL access at the site, then I would probably move rom RadioUserland as our blogging software, to WordPress, which would save some money, and end up looking better and more professional to boot.
By the way, the PHPGedView version of my family tree will be back up soon. I hit some big bugs while upgrading to the new version… Yet another reason to have a new web host for MySQL… PHPGedView and MySQL are both Open Source software projects, which means you can see all the source code that it took to write the program, then enhance it for your own needs if you need to. I am not sure about WordPress at the moment, I think it is Open Source, but their page is down so I can’t double check. Open Source seems to be the wave of the future, at least to a degree.
Okay, I have been up for way too long. I need to sleep, so goodnight/day…