My Exciting Life

My three (maybe two now) faithful readers will rejoice. Or not.

I have great intentions of posting daily, and think about it often, but neglect to actually place my fingertips on keyboard at the appropriate web page.

There’s not much excitement in my life, at least nothing that seems worthy of a mass of readers (those two guys) visiting to read my thoughts (such as they area).

Most days are the same. Get up (well, smack the alarm) at 5:35am, do the morning shower/shave/dress ritual (along with a morning visit to the small one-chair library room — the one with an abused fan). Tromp downstairs, wander outside to grab the newspaper, and head for the kitchen. Breakfast could be a bowl of cereal, or some instant breakfast (if I spent too much time with the snooze bar or the small library). Gather up the computer bag, cell phone, wallet, keys, newspaper, and lunch (prepared by my lovely wife), and head out the door.

Into the car for the 35-55 minute commute (traffic gets slower if I leave much past 6:50 am). Into the parking garage, down the elevator, walk to the office, through the door, down the hall, and plop into my desk chair.

Turn on the radio and the computer, log in, fire up the email and look for anything urgent. Start the web browser, open up the usual morning web site (about 30 of them), and look for anything interesting.

Check the email filter servers, the web filter servers, and all the other stuff at work.

At the end of the work day, grab the computer bag, cell phone, and head home. Relax a bit before dinner, maybe watch the local and national news, and dinner. Become a ‘geek potato’ after dinner (TV on, notebook on, DVR playing captured shows). Perhaps some dessert, and off to bed about 11:00am.

My exciting life.

Ask a Stupid Question Day

Tomorrow (Friday Sept 28) is “Ask a Stupid Question Day”. Yes, there is an entry in Wikipedia, so it must be so (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ask_a_Stupid_Question_Day )

And for those of you keeping track:

September 29 is… Poisoned Blackberries Day
September 30 is… National Mud Pack Day

Got any stupid questions? (or was that one?)

On my wall at the office, there is a picture from the movie “Sixth Sense”. It shows Bruce Willis and the “Sixth Sense” kid. The caption is “I see stupid people…they are everywhere. They walk around like everyone else. They don’t even know they are dumb.”

A relic from my days on the Help Desk.

Happy Birthday to :-) !

The ‘smiley’ emoticon is 25 years old today, invented by Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman.

Wikipedia says “The two original text smileys, 🙂 to indicate a joke and 🙁 to mark things that are not a joke were invented on September 19, 1982 (at 11:44am) by Scott E. Fahlman, a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Computer Science. His original post at the CMU CS general board, where he suggested the use of the smileys, was retrieved on September 10, 2002 by Jeff Baird from an October 1982 backup tape of the spice vax (cmu-750x) as proof to support the claim.”

Here’s the original message:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman 🙂
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:

🙂

Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use

🙁

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoticon )

More Fake Web Pages

One of the silly things that I do is make fake web pages for the morning show host on a local radio station. They don’t get much traffic, but they amuse me. I have fun trying to come up with a page for the unusual products that the radio host (Paul Robins on KGBY Y92 www.y92.com) comes up with.

There’s some funny ones in there, at least I think so. You can get almost any picture on the Interweb. (They are all safe for work, although the muscle man one is a bit disturbing to look at.) Most of the pages are done in Adobe Fireworks, with a bit of work in Photoshop Elements as needed.

I’ve been doing those fake web pages each week for over a year, so there is quite a collection. So I came up with a ‘Random Fake Web Page” button that picks one out of the list. Some of the pages even have the audio file for the fake commercial.

So if you are really bored, you can start here (http://www.digitalchoke.com/paulshow ) and use the Random button to get started. To see other pages, just hit Refresh in your browser.

I’m easily amused.

No Labor on Labor Day Weekend

Smack dab in the middle of the US Labor Day weekend, with Monday as the holiday. Here in the States, we celebrate Labor by taking the day off.

The weather here has been warm (OK, hot), but not as bad a Phoenix (AZ), where there have been many days over 110F. (For you two readers that speak Centigrade, that’s hot.) Earlier this week, the humidity was higher than normal, in the 35% range. And the low temps at night were in the mid-70’s, about 10-12 degrees higher than normal.

Yeah, I know that 35% humidity is nothing to many of my four readers. But it’s unusual for us here in the Sacramento (CA) valley. So, we get to complain. But probably not much sympathy from others.

Not much planned for the weekend, other than some surfing of the Innertubes, some computer work, and goofing around with various web sites I own.

Hey, it’s a holiday weekend. Goofing off is what I do during holiday weekends.

Couch Potato Status

I’ll admit that I spend a bit of time in the family room in front of the widescreen TV. I often do it while using the laptop. In fact, at this very moment (as I write this, although this will be posted tomorrow), the TV is tuned to one of the DirecTV radio stations while I type this drivel.

I do put away the laptop in the evening to watch the shows that are on the DirecTV DVR. I’m not sure what this says about me (or if you three regular readers really care), but here’s a short list of my favorite programs (in no particular order):

– “The Closer” (USA)
– “Psych” (USA)
– “Burn Notice” (USA)
– “Saving Grace” (USA)
– “Painkiller Jane” (SciFi)
– “House” (USA)
– “Monk” (USA)
– “Heroes” (NBC)
– “America’s Got Talent” (NBC) (I really liked the winner)
– “NCIS”
– “McBride” (Hallmark Channel, although there don’t seem to be any new ones, so I watch the reruns).
– Various old westerns
– “Magnum, PI”
– “Simon and Simon”

There are others, but that’s probably enough to bore you for now.

Any of those on your list? Or others that I may need to search out? Send a comment.

Employment Changes for Pam

Pam (wife, for you three new readers) has been staying at home since our son’s death in April last year. It was (and still is) quite difficult for her. She’s had trouble sleeping and concentrating.

(One of the things that I have done to help out is establish a web site for Jason. You’ll find it at www.jasonhellewell.com , and includes some pictures, the music that Jason composed, and the funeral talks.)

One of her therapies (other than several discussion groups on the ‘net) is scrapbooking. She has gone through family pictures and made several hundred different scrapbook pages of Jason and our family and his friends. The office has a nice work area, and she has one wall of cabinets and shelves filled with scrapbook supplies. It has been a good thing for her to do as she works through her grief.

Lately she has decided that it might be a good idea to get back to work. She misses the social aspect of work, even though she does get out a bit and has a good support group of on-line friends.

Yesterday, she was offered a great job. Three days a week at a nice hourly salary, no overtime (that was a problem with her last job), and working with a known group of work friends (the job is with the same local government). She’s excited about the job; it will still allow her to pursue her “scrapping”, make trips to Utah to visit our oldest daughter and her family, and pursue other activities (like taking care of the house and me).

I think this will be good for her. There’s no financial or spousal pressure for her to go back to work; we’ve been able to survive quite nicely on my income. The extra income will help build up some long-term savings, and help with increasing her retirement options.