October 31, 2003

the friday five

1. What was your first Halloween costume? the very first one I remember was a store bought Astronaut costume with one of those plastic, elastic held, masks. Enfortunately when I would breath the mask would fog up so I couldn't see.

2. What was your best costume and why? no idea. never put much into Halloween. It's probably my least favorite holiday. For the cost of a costume you can go out and buy more than enough candy.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat? Nope. In my neighborhood that would have gotten me in serious trouble, everyone knew everyone.

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.) Nope.

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend! I don't watch horror films, don't tell scary stories. I do not find being scared entertaining.

Posted by John at 09:29 AM
October 29, 2003
What's Going On

Haven't made a personal post in a while so I thought I would.

The endless game of financial catch-up is what is taking most of my time and energy lately. Brie and I had thought that the bank was going to except our request for a skip payment for our car loan because of the financial situation Hurricane Isabel left us in, but on the day the car payment was due they called and said no. That means that now the car payment is being paid two weeks late instead of two weeks early. Frustrating, but something we can set right over time.

Also on the auto front, we got our cars registered in Virginia finally. We got personalized license plates because they are so cheap here, $10 a year. I got "DADS D" for the Durango and Brie got "LOWTUS". After getting the cars registered you are required to submit them to a yearly state safety inspection. I took the D down thinking it would be an easy pass. Much to my surprise the dealer says I need new brake pads and the Rack and Pinion needs to be replaced. The brake pads are $100, but the Rack and Pinion is $650. This is definitely not something we can afford, luckily it is believed that my extended warranty should cover it minus a $50 deductable.

Now for the kids ...

Sebastian went to the dentist last week. One of his front baby teeth is dead and it hasn't come out on it's own. I noticed a few weeks ago that the adult tooth was actually already coming in and was behind the dead tooth. Not good! So we took him to this great dentist in Chesapeake. He specializes in children and works with kids who have handicaps such as down syndrome. They really made Sebastian feel comfortable, but in order to pull the tooth they will have to use nitrous-oxide enough to calm him down, they do not put kids out. Of course, insurance doesn't cover stuff like that. They strictly cover novacaine shots, so the tooth removal is going to cost $125 because of yet another deductable.

I was also informed by the IEP teacher on Monday that after being observed by the autism specialist and Windsor Elementary, where the district has a special class for autistic children, the specialist has made a formal recommendation that we move Sebastian into that class. This is something that is difficult for us to grapple with because it would mean placing a label on Sebastian. Something that we have worked to avoid. We will have a meeting soon with the specialist so we can hear her observations. In the end all that matters is that we do what is best for Sebastian and what we feel is going to give him the best chance and a successful future.

Keegan is doing great in school. He really loves to color and learn vocabulary. He scored so well on his assesment test that he has been moved from the middle group to the top for vocabulary. It is interesting to see how Keegan behaves/learns in school because it is so different from Sebastian.

Madeline is still not potty trained, but we are getting close. She is wearing underwear pretty much all day long, but still has accidents. The main issue is her refusal to tell the truth when she has accidents or when she needs to go to the bathroom. No matter how many times I ask her to go she tends to say she doesn't have to, then has an accident. It really wears at my patience. She knows what she is doing, she knows when she has to go.

As for the adults.....

Things are going really well at work for Brie. They are still in season so she has been putting in 10 hour days and going in for a few hours every other Saturday. that has put stress on our home life, but not much we can do.

I have had a cold for the last few days. Which means the house is a mess. I haven't been able to finish the office/studio since I don't actually have any place to put anything. We need to get some cabinets or shelving in here. Lately I've been in that "nesting" mood where I really want to focus on decorating the inside of the house. We need plants, framed art, and accessories. Hopefully over the next few months we can get caught up with all of these sudden costs and start focusing on living like I feel we should.

Reading back over this post it would seem like I am in a negative mood. I am sharing a lot of personal financial information, something Brie would rather I don't do. Everyone who knows me knows I tend to be rather forthright when it comes to money and that I think out loud a lot. That's a lot of what my blog is about. Putting myself out there. The thing is that even with all the financial stresses going on I am much happier than I have been in a long time. Finances and time management are things we can work on and get under control and being here we definitely are not distracted or bogged down by worrying about other things. Moving to Virginia was like making a turn in a tunnel so that you can finally see the light on the other side. If San Diego was our descent into the darkest parts of the tunnel then we are definitely ascending and feel for the first time in years like we are on the verge of getting our lives under control and even better, we are doing it on our own. For a while I didn't dare think to far into the future because I was sure that something would come at me and stop me from achieving my vision. I don't feel that way anymore. I know that if I stay the path, acknowledge and move on from the obstacles, I will get start reaching some of the goals I've set.

Posted by John at 10:56 AM
October 24, 2003
Larrys Halloween F5

Larry's Mostly Harmless Blog

What are you going to be for Halloween this year? Nothing. I was Robert Smith of the Cure back in '97 and '98 and that was the last time I dressed up.

What was your favorite Halloween costume? The only costume that comes to mind instantly was when I was in Kindergarten and I went as an Astronaut in one of those store bought costumes with the mask that stays on by the magic of elastic string. Oh yeah, and the year I wen't as Pete Burns from Dead or Alive, that was fun.

If money were no object what would you be for Halloween? I've never been much for Halloween so I don't have any idea.

What was your cheesiest Halloween costume? "the headless horseman" it was my moms jacket with a black stocking cap over my head and a pumpkin. I couldn't actually see out of the jacket so I had to try to figure out where to walk by looking at my feet.

What is your favorite Halloween candy to get? I've always oved Dum-Dums and smarties

Posted by John at 02:04 PM
October 21, 2003
totl.net human virus scanner

TotL.net: Human Virus Scanner Results

Human Virus Scanner
The virus that have infected you will be show here along with thier cures, if known.

Viruses you suffer from:

Pikachu! Use your hyper-electric-get-a-life move now!

Eat some real food. Something which you can identify the source of every ingredient, not the point of manufacture.

Grow up. Let your roots grow out. Listen to Britney.

Everyone likes folk. No, really. Maybe you should listen to the Incredible String Band.

Read "God's Debris" by Scott Adams (yes, the Dilbert guy)

Big is good. Small is bad. Giant robots would not make a good last line of defence for Earth.

Stop wearing the stick-on ears.

Try MacOS X. It's based on UNIX, it has a smoother UI than Windows and it doesn't suck.
As an extra feature the boxes look nice.

Stop caring!

Free love is passe and potentially dangerous, and patchouli smells like cat piss.

Computer Games
Stop staring at the screen and get some fresh air. You should see a doctor about the RSI in your thumbs.

Consume more stuff! It's easier to buy new stuff than to recycle.

Use a mouse with more than one button.

Prog Rock
Long hair looks dumb with a bald spot. Listen to CD's they don't crackle.

Viruses you might suffer from:

Linux (80%)
Install the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Learn to love it.

USA (70%)
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves! [repeat]

Free BSD (90%)
The GPL isn't that bad really. Adopt a penguin at the zoo.

Brand Names (90%)
Having a well-known name doesn't make it good.

Posted by John at 01:24 PM
October 17, 2003

the friday five

1. Name five things in your refrigerator. A carton of milk, some eggs, a loaf of bread and a stick of butter. Plus turkey bacon.

2. Name five things in your freezer. Pork steaks, boneless/skinless chicken breasts, steaks, frozen strawberries, Eggo waffles.

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink. the garbage can, Windex, Dishwashing liquid, sponges, counter cleaner.

4. Name five things around your computer. speakers, my SY77, Canon flatbed scanner, Olympus C-4000 Zoom digital camera, me.

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet. this house doesn't actually have any medicine cabinets.

Posted by John at 09:38 AM
October 14, 2003
Dali and Disney

NPR : Dali's Disney Film

You should all check out the clips and story about the short that Salvador Dali and Walt Disney worked on together that has been finished by Roy Disney. The film looks absolutely beautiful and way ahead of it's time. I'm excited to be able to see the finished project next year.

Thanks to Brie for telling me about the story on NPR.

Posted by John at 10:57 PM
October 10, 2003

the friday five

1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones? Before Brie and I got together I had seen only a few Superbowls. Been to one Modesto A's Game (thanks to my cousin Stan and his mother) and cared very little about sports. Brie got me started on the 49ers and that grew into NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV and being a fan of the Vikings as well. That being said, if it wasn't for Brie I'd probably not watch much football. I've always leaned towards the Arts more than Sports.

2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes? As mentioned the 49ers and the Vikings. Joe Montana and Jerry Rice are my two favourites and I was a fan of Cordell Stewart. I don't pay attenetion much to players, I believe firmly in the "team sport" aspect.

3. Are there any sports you hate? Why would anyone waste energy to "hate" a sport? They all have their merits whether it be entertainment or a show of skill.

4. Have you ever been to a sports event? I've been to one SF Giants game at Candlestick (luxury box guest of BASS Tickets), to several San Diego Chargers games (courtesy of Brie's Dad's season tickets), and I've been to a San Jose Sharks game.

5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play? I played sports because that is what you did in the small city I was raised in. I played in Baseball, Basketball, and Flag Football leagues in Elementary School. Soccer from Sixth Grade until my Sophmore Year of High School. The thing that amazes me the most is that I never knew the majority of rules to any of these sports. My parents were completely non-involved with my after school activities outside of being my shuttle, so I just showed up and did what I was told. Most of my teams had so many great atheletes whose parents taught them everything about the sport that no one paid attention to the fact that I didn't even know what "offsides" or "double dribbling" really were.

Posted by John at 09:50 AM
October 09, 2003
New Studio Set-Up

This is a Quicktime VR I made of my new studio layout thought I would share it.

Posted by John at 05:29 PM
October 03, 2003

the friday five

1. What vehicle do you drive? 1999 Dodge Durango SLT+. Leather, 6 speaker Infinity stereo, 5.9 liter V8, heavy duty tow package ... all the factory bells and whistles. I love it!

2. How long have you had it? Since August 1999.

3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle? The power of the engine. It's truly amazing how it can get up and go for a SUV. I also really like how the stereo system sounds and the fact that you can control the stereo from the steering column.

4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle? The gas mileage. At 11 MPG in the city and 13 MPG out here in the sticks it's not exactly fuel effecient.

5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now? I'd probably drive what I have now, but trick it out with new rims, a better paint job than the factory (I want it purple with lime flames). A DVD and video game system with monitors in the seats and steering wheel. You know, the kind of thing you see on Cribs :)

Posted by John at 09:19 AM
October 01, 2003
Storm Video

Here is a heavily reduced version of a video I took during the storm, I cut it's aspect in half and decreased it's color depth to get it down to about 3Mb.

Hurricane Isabel Streaming Video

Posted by John at 01:48 PM