Posts

Showing posts from 2005

The Best

Image
My mom, an absolute saint, passed away on Monday, December 26, 2005 at 4:04 PM Eastern Standard Time, aged 77 years and nine months.

No matter how much you think you are prepared for this, you cannot imagine the pain of the loss. Tell your parents how much you love them ... right now.

We will see you later, mom. We love you.

-- Don

P.S. She was very active in the Red Hat Society, and the above picture is related to that, hence the hat.

Rocky Mount

I was in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, last week for a job interview * CTO of a software company.It went quite well, and they're vetting me now.Keeping my fingers crossed.All The Best,* Don

Macy Gray

Macy Gray is a no-talent hack with no range.

Wednesday Morning, 10:14 am music

"Du Hast" by Rammstein.

Dandy Warhols

"You Were The Last High" by The Dandy Warhols * best song ever?Could be.

James Blunt on Saturday Night Live

On SNL this past weekend, James Blunt performed his hauntingly beautiful song "You're Beautiful".(STRONG CHRISTMAS GIFT HINT HERE)Lyrics from his web site. Good stuff ...My life is brilliant.
My life is brilliant.
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw you face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Fucking high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw you face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.
You're beautiful. You're be…

Lost In The Woods?

Reminder:To get out of the woods if lost: Walk downhill until you find a stream, then walk downstream until you come to a road.Simple.All The Best,* Don

Friday Morning Music

Coding, headphones on, listening to Usher's "Yeah".

Baby Shower Cake

Image
Patti made this cake recently for a baby shower. It's all chocolate, even the white ... that's modelling chocolate.

She even made the little Teddy Bear candies.

And the taste was incredible. All from scratch, but of course.

Amazing.

All The Best,

-- Don

You Can't Play In The Big Leagues Unless You Can Handle A Curveball

Apparently, our current administration in Washington cannot.

Important story.

In Hawaiian

Te mo'o nei au

Hail To The Chief

Our son was elected as President of his fraternity!Way to go, Ian!! We're so proud.* Mom and Dad

Wedding Anniversary number 27

Image
This past weekend (just after Nov. 10, our 27th anniversary), Patti and I visited the Finger Lakes region of New York for a three day romantic getaway.

Woo-hoo!!

We drove up on Friday, stopping in Williamsport at the incredible Bullfrog Brewery for a wonderful lunch.

Then, we drove past our hotel (in Painted Post, NY) and directly to Ravines Winery to pick up some bottles of their Most Excellent Meritage (rhymes with "heritage") wine. Picked up some other wines, too.

Left there and headed to our hotel to check in, then to downtown Corning, NY (a really nice, quaint little town) for dinner.

The best part? I stopped in a cigar shop while walking to the restaurant and picked up a Fuente Opus X cigar ($20 and worth every penny)! Woo-hoo!!

Nice dinner, then back to the hotel to crash. We were beat.

Next morning ... Saturday ... after breakfast, we headed up to the Keuka Lake Wine Trail. We were electric with excitement (and basking in "afterglow", ifyouknowwhatImean wink wink)…

Today's History Lesson

Check this out

The Treaty Of Tripoli

Wow ... things sure have changed.

Oh ... and notice the part about America being a Christian nation. Good stuff for today's debates about our society.

All The Best,

-- Don

Handle

From Wikipedia:when referring to liquor, a handle is a half gallon or
1.8927059 liters or 63.09019667 shots. The name comes from
the handle that is often found on bottles of this size

Congratulate Us!

Today, November 10, 2005: Patti and I celebrate 27 years of marriage!CHEERS!All The Best,* Don

Words Of Wisdom

Check out this story in Wired:Eat, Sleep, Work, Consume, Diehttp://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68742,00.html?tw=rss.TOPSadly, that's about 99 percent of my life right now. *sigh* Oh well ... beats starving!All The Best,* Don

Back To School?

I'm this close to going back to school to, eventually, get my MBA. In fact, I may sign on in the next few days.

Any advice or comments?

All The Best,

-- Don

Halloween

Image

Beauty Defined

Audrey Hepburn.'nuff said.All The Best,-- Don

Best Song Ever?

Quite possibly the best song of all time:"Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" by Four Tops.If you don't think Motown music rules ... well ... then
you just Don't Know Music.All The Best,-- Don

Columbus Day Kayaking Around Long Island

Image
(Long Island is a tiny island at Lake Marburg in York County, PA)

All captions are *above* the pictures.


Waiting for Chris, my son-in-law, to arrive.



Chris loads my kayak with his.




Arrived, with kayaks at the ready.




Finally on the water, heading for Long Island!




There are a lot of duck blinds on the islands. I also thought the stack of rocks was cool.

(See Joshua 4:21 in the Bible for a verse that immediately popped into my mind)





Of course, we were not alone.





It was overcast and about 60 degrees on Columbus Day ... and mostly calm. We had a great time kayaking, and afterwards I had a good chocolate milk shake at a nearby ice cream shop.

Next time, let me know and you can join us.

All The Best,

-- Don

Two ... Two ... Two!!!!

October 25, 2005 ...... just two months until Christmas!!

Just A Start

I've just started to put together my resume ... I'm looking for my next contract programming gig:

Hired as consultant by Microsoft to write a White Paper about AS/400 and Network Integration

Was involved in consulting talks with IBM about the design of a free-format RPG programming language

Hired to travel across the United States to speak about AS/400 and Network Integration

Speaker at numerous COMMON meetings

Two-year President (maximum term) of the Dayton, Ohio-area FOCUS 400 User Group, during which time it grew from 20 to 80 members

Have written magazine articles for News-3X/400 and Midrange Computing magazine.

Was lead developer for a custom software solution for a major pharmaceutical corporation that was hailed by the Food & Drug Administration as a model for the rest of the industry.

Was Chairman of a Business Process Reengineering committee in a small medical devices manufacturing company where we reduced order fulfillment from seven days to three.

As CIO for a small impo…

Tonight ...

What are you doing tonight?

I ask because I can guess what you'll be doing just two months from now ... on Christmas Eve!

Woo-hoo! Bring on the cold, the snow, the gift wrapping, the carols ... I love it.

All The Best,

-- Don

Electronic Paper

I mentioned this in my class on Monday night. Link: http://www.devlib.org/news/consumer-electronics/flexible-electronic-paper/ Ya see, you should listen to me! *smile* All The Best, -- Don

Technology Of The Future

See it here.

All The Best,

-- Don

My First Wikipedia Contribution!

Today I made my first contribution to a Wikipedia article!I added the "Trivia" section to the entry for Wrightsville, Pennsylvania.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrightsville,_PennsylvaniaAll The Best,* Don

Dream

Last night I dreamt that a huge power generating plant on
the East Coast was blown up by terrorists. Mushroom
cloulds shot several thousand feet into the air.What's weird is that the last time I had a dream like that
was on February 25, 1993, when I dreamt that a terrorist
knocked over the World Trade Center buildings in New York
City.*shudder*All The Best,- Don

Satellites

Sat out for an hour last night (Romeo y Julieta corona).
Saw five satellites and one shooting star.

Clarification

The Yankees as a franchise, NOT this year's team in
particular ... The Greatest Ever.In fact, this year's team is low on the list, ever since
signing Randy Johnson. He has no class. He doesn't deserve
to be a Yankee.Bernie Williams ... Derek Jeter ... those are Yankees.All The Best,-- Don

Salt Bad for Baseball Fans

A recent study has revealed that too much salt intake is linked to a person not being able to discern a great baseball team.

Among those who eat too much salt, over 99 percent of them failed to realize that the New York Yankees are the best team ... ever.

Many of those tested became dilusional and started rooting for the Baltimore Orioles, and some even jumped on the Washington Nationals bandwagon.

So if you run into a Yankee-hater ... just relax. They're ill.

*smile*

All The Best,

-- Don

Post Up

Funny site: http://www.Engrish.comEnjoy.All The Best,-- Don

One Of My Favorites

"Ripple", by Grateful Dead:If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

Call For Help

My son is a student at Penn State. He's looking at Med Schools and a possible dual MD/MBA program. He's majoring in Computational Biology.

He was previously in the Cognitive Science program, including Artificial Intelligence.

He's, hands down, THE best computer programmer I've ever met. Jason, he's THAT good.

He needs work.

If you know of anyone that could use an incredible software developer (yes, he knows that language you're thinking of, and the UML, and has great real-world web development experience and Flash and e-Commerce and you name it ...), please email me.

It's too much talent to go to waste. He needs to get through Med School. You (or someone) needs a great talent. Let's make this happen.

All The Best,

-- Don

Today's libertarian reading

Karl Hess, great libertarian of the past, wrote these words in 1969.

What, oh what, would he say today???

All The Best,

-- Don

Music, Genomes and Pandora's Box

Like music?

Yeah ... right ... you think you like music. But when it comes to music, sorry, but I have it all over you. Don't even try.

But fair enough, I'll have pity on your pathetic existence and clue you in to a fantastic music site: www.Pandora.com

Awesome use of the Music Genome Project.

Of course, the first station I created was "Rolling Stones". Why not ... World's Greatest Rock 'N Roll Band! YEAH BABY!

All The Best,

-- Don

We Be Jammin'

Image
Labor Day weekend. My friend, Rich, came over.

Swimming, good food, cigars, adult beverages and music.

All The Best,

-- Don

Today's Musical Note

From "My Fair Lady":"The Rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain."All The Best,-- Don

"Fair Lady, Dost Thou Liketh Thy Cake?"

Image
Patti made another one of her incredible wedding cakes. You see, the thing is, it's all from scratch and tastes wonderful. Enjoy ...









All The Best,

-- Don

Four Four Four

August 25 ... can you feel it? ...... only four months until Christmas!!!*LAUGH*All The Best,-- Don

I WANT ONE!

This is too cool!

All The Best,

-- Don

Surf's Up!

... and surfers everywhere rejoice!

All The Best,

-- Don

Let's Cut Randy A Break

Randy Moss, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings and now an Oakland Raider, admitted in an interview that he smokes pot on occasion.

Okay, say it with me: "So what!"

Let's face it: Marijuana should be legal. There is absolutely no good argument against it being legal. If anything, it should be legalized and alcohol banned.

(Of course, being a Libertarian, I'm in favor of legalizing all drugs. You want to burn your brains out smoking Crack? Help yourself! It's your decision. Natural Selection rules, baby!)

Who hasn't experimented with marijuana?

(Let me answer that rhetorical question: me, Waldo, Chris Burnside, Matt Wise. We're the only four people on the planet ...)

The point is, the hypocrits in the media will have the panties in a wad over Moss's admission ... all the while discussion their upcoming article about Randy over a couple of martinis.

And who is the hypocrit?

Randy Moss is, in fact, a pretty much down-to-earth guy, if you'd spend the time to le…

Software Development

When it comes to developing software ...... I LOVE OOP!All The Best,-- Don

... And He Knows It!

Jason rules!

All The Best,

-- Don

It Takes A Village

My daughter has her degree (Business Admin from Millersville University).

My wife has her degree (Culinary Arts from YBI).

After four years of college, my son will have his Master's Degree (from PSU).

I don't have a degree.

I'm the Village Idiot!!! Woo-hoo!!

All The Best,

-- Don

$3,000 To Rent A Car?

Some corporations are, in fact, evil:

A buck a mile to rent a car?

All The Best,

-- Don

Kayaking at Laurel Lake

Image
Chris and Erika got new kayaks last week, so we couldn't wait to go paddling together. Fate turned a kind hand, as my parents were planning a week at the cabin (at Pine Grove Furnace). So all we had to do was drop in for a night and go out on Laurel Lake the next morning.

Friday, after work, 5:30 pm. Our heavy duty off-road vehicle is loaded and standing at the ready.



Just ninety minutes later, we're at the cabin!




My dad drills out the corn and puts it on stakes for the deer. They come within 20 feet of the cabin at night to feed.



Erika was relaxing with ... uh ... pineapple juice ... yeah. Notice the corn in the oven.



That corn was enjoyed about 15 minutes later. Dinner: corn on the cob (from Blessings farm in Wrightsville and fantastic), fresh tomatoes and focaccia (from the Lancaster Market, also fabulous).



Saturday, after breakfast, my SUV is at the lake. I'm psyched.



Chris and Erika arrive just moments later.




Before heading out, I survey the lake. Looks great, about a dozen o…

How To Cope

I'm a huge fan of management guru Tom Peters. I have (and have read) several of his books, and I agree completely with his philosophy regarding business, which is basically "be 'out there', be on the cutting edge, take risks and when you fail, make it a big failure".

That last point ... "fail in a big way" ... is important. Because, if your failures are all tiny, then ... well ... you're simply not taking enough risks. Ever heard of New Coke?

I'm taken to applying Tom's (yes, he and I are on a first-name basis ... seriously) principals to my personal life (in addition to my business). I sometimes have a "big failure" in my personal life (e.g. 'D'oh! ... I shouldn't have said that').

But just as important, I allow those around me -- especially those I love -- to fail in a big way.

And that's how I "cope".

You see ... the only people that can hurt you are those you love. I mean, if the deadbeat down the stree…

UML

I love the UML. It makes life so much better for me.I just wanted to share that.All The Best,-- Don

Thirty Six Years Later ...

Today (July 20th) marks the 36th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing. Check out this Google site: http://moon.google.com and zoom ALL THE WAY IN! Nice. All The Best, -- Don

The Museum of Unworkable Devices

Perpetual Motion Machines. Fascinating stuff. Anyone remember the episode of The Simpson's where Lisa create such a device?

This ranks up there with Time Machines on my list of things I want to own.

(There can't be Time Machines, or we'd be bumping into people from the future all the time)

All The Best,

-- Don

Don't Look Now ...

... but the New York Yankees have climbed into first place. And all is right in the universe. (Not that I really care that much; my sport is returning in October. "Game on!") All The Best, -- Don

Sad Picture

Image
It's *sniff* empty :-(

Don't Use Weather.com

Weather.com sucks. Way too many pop-up ads and those annoying animated ads that appear to float out from the side. ARGH! Enough! I don't use it any more. I use the National Weather Service: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ifps/MapClick.php?CityName=York&state=PA&site=CTP All The Best, -- Don

Half-Year Update ...

2004 was the worst year of my life.

2005, so far, has been the best year of my adult life.

(I guess the year I was 14 years old was the best. Absolutely minimal responsibilities, plenty of spending money, and time to do anything I wanted).

Here's to 2005 keeping an upward trajectory.

All The Best,

-- Don

How Big ??

Image
How big is this picture?



Two feet!

All The Best,

-- Don

Sunday Meal

Image
I might not be as talented as the lovely Patricia Hannigan, but I can sometimes toss together an appetizing meal.

Take this past Sunday, for example. My newly-vegetarian son was home from college, and he and I and the little lady were a-hungerin' for some vittles ... so I entered the kitchen, honed my knife and started to toss together some veggie wraps.

Of oourse, it was a balmy 90-plus degrees outside, so I had the fan running in the kitchen.



And, the whole-house fan was cranking as well ...


(Forgive the mess on the right-hand side of the picture ... a little remodeling work is going on in our house. Okay ... a lot of remodeling work is going on in our house ...)

And, you absolutely must listen to Comic Opera while preparing a meal ...



But the end result was worth the wait:



All The Best,

-- Don

Slump ... Rut ... Crisis ... or Just Monday ??

You know the feeling. You get to work and you ask yourself "Why am I doing this? Why do I work so hard, so many hours? Why don't I live a simpler life? ...". So what is it? You in a slump, something you'll ride out for a few days until you feel better? Or is it a rut, which only gets worse. Something you need to climb out of by making a change (or two)(or three). Or perhaps this is a real crisis.  You know, you need to make huge, wholesale changes. New career, new place to live, the whole kit and kaboodle. Or ... *sigh* ... is it just "Monday"?? All The Best, -- Don

Go Deep, Not Cheap

You don't always get what you pay for. Example: A Toyota is a much higher quality car than a Mercedes. Yeah yeah ... argue all you want about luxury and status ... but truth is, Toyota is better. (Remarkably, near the bottom you find Volkswagen and Audi. So much for "German Engineering"...) My point? We recently purchased some what-we-thought-was-good ceiling paint from The Home Depot (pet peeve: it's _The_ Home Depot, not "Home Depot". ARGH!). The kind of ceiling paint that goes on purple and dries white. Painted the ceiling in our being-remodeled bedroom. The result? Crap. We had to add another coat. This time we went to "Covers The World" Sherman-Williams and paid for good paint. Now? Perfect. Lesson learned. Save money when buying bottled water (tip: DON'T!) and spend the savings in good paint. Don't be afraid to go deep into the wallet now and then to get quality. All The Best, -- Don

Waste Of Time?

I think not! That is ... my surfing the web ... reading blogs about technology ... checking out web site designs ... learning about "Life Hacks" ... these things do not constitute a "waste of time". On the contrary, these are the things that contribute to my broad wealth of information and insight and make me the valuable asset (I said "asset" ... "...et" ... okay?) that I am. So when you shoulder surf me and catch me at Gadgetopia, don't accuse me of wasting time (by the way ... and you have enough time to shoulder surf? Hmmmm ...) ... realize that I'm expanding my knowledge ... knowledge that will benefit *you*. All The Best, -- Don

Link: How To Turn Your PC Into A Mac

Great Quote

From RickCecil.com:

Great quote from Al Swearengen
Pain or damage don’t end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man and give some back.


All The Best,

-- Don

Coming Soon ...

... a blog for the Central York High School Class of 1977.

Stay tuned and spread the buzz.

All The Best,

-- Don

Everybody's Gone Surfin' ...

Image
Friday, June 10 at Indian River Inlet. In a word: COLD!

Arrived at Indian River Inlet at 1:30; I had scoped out the low tide on the internet and it was 1:41. Perfect timing.

We arrived and it was downright chilly outside. Sure, it was 80 degrees ... but the offshore wind made it feel like 65. So cold that my dear wife decided she'd sit in the car and read while I froze my tush off.

Went up and checked out the beach patrol's sign. WHAT? Low tide is 5 pm??

ARGH!!!

Oh ... and in big letters: "Water Temp: 57 COLD!"

Great. Oh, and did I mention it was very windy? No waves.

So we motored down to Bethany Beach and walked their wannabe boardwalk to kill some time. Saw some nice sights (guys ... you followin' me on this one?? I'm talkin' NICE sights *nudge*).

Anyhoo ... we had a nice walk, some ice cream, and then headed back to IRI so I could freeze while Patti read.

Got there just before five o'clock. As we came over the bridge, I spotted some primo waves -- small, t…

100 Things About Me

Since the world revolves around me ...

(You know ... in fact, to each of us, the world does revolve around us. After all, who wants to live someone else's life??)

1. I love attention. But you knew that.
2. I have a big ... Ego. :-)
3. I don't mind the cold, but I hate when it's windy. Even in the summer. Ever try to ride a bike in the wind? Argh!
4. I love my children more than anything in this world. You just cannot imagine.
5. I love our dog, but I'd get rid of her in a heartbeat if it was up to me. I hate owning pets.
6. I have a great dislike for aquariums. Keeping fish is like collecting used coffee filters. B-o-r-i-n-g.
7. When I eat ice cream, I mash it up until it's soft. Then, I coat the back of my spoon and lick it off. Sounds disgusting to watch, but it's a slice of heaven to me.
8. When I eat Jello brand gelatin, I put some on my spoon and then suck it in through pursed lips. Again, disgusting. Don't know where I picked that up.
9. I'd rather surf tha…

Wow

Parkour is incredible.

Water Temperature at Ocean City Maryland, May 31, 2005

59.2 degrees.--
Read The Internet's Most-Read Blog: http://DonV2.blogspot.com

Buzzwords

ARGH!!!

Since when is it wrong to experience a "problem"?

At a client site recently, the following email came past my desk (emphasis mine):

"_________, I've ran into an opportunity with the HRIS server. It needs SQL SP3a installed before the SQL reporting services. I'll work on it today after hours."

Opportunity?

How about "... had a little problem; I'll get it fixed right away"????

Sheesh! That's no way to run a Mission Critical system *puke*.

All The Best,

-- Don

Water Temperature for May 26, 2005

52.3 degrees.

Yet Another Birthday Gift Idea

Anything by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole. Incredible music indeed.

All The Best,

-- Don

More Music

Out of the Blue and Face The Music, both by Electric Light Orchestra, would make excellent birthday presents (hint to Ian and/or Erika).

All The Best,

-- Don

Gift Ideas For Don's 46th Birthday on May 27, 2005

A UtiliKilt, 34.5 waist and 22 (or so) length. www.utilikilts.com (please note; my waist is 32, but the kilts are cut weird. Trust me on this one) Any good cigars, including (but, of course, not limited to ...) La Aroma de CubaPunchEl Rey Del MundoCamachoLa Gloria Cubana Serie RMacanudoCohibaMontecristoDon Lino AfricaAny music CD's by the Rolling Stones, except for Let It Bleed and Bridges To Babylon -- I already have those two.
12-gauge shotgun shells for Trap shooting. Any size bottle of Buffalo Trace.
Any size bottle of Maker's Mark. That's it for now.

Ocean City Water Temperature

I toyed with the idea of going surfing this weekend in celebration of my 46th birthday, but the weather is against me. It's going to rain -- which is fine for surfing -- but the water is only 52 degrees! Yikes! Guess I'll be shopping instead. Let's see ... cigars ... Rolling Stones music ... new shirt or two ... some new pants ... Happy Birthday To Me it will be! All The Best, -- Don

Great Web Site/Service

My dear friends at 37 Signals (Hey Jason!) have come up with yet another winning web site and service: BackPack. BackPack allows you to store emails, documents, pictures, videos, music, notes, what-have-you (that is, "stuff"), in one place on the web. But it's beyond that. You can set up reminders, which will email you and/or your cell phone. You can share pages of "stuff" with other people. The basic package is free. I might write a Palm Pilot component for it. It's really great; check it out. Links: 37 Signals: http://www.37signals.com Backpack: http://www.backpackit.com

All The Best, -- Don

Credit Card Fraud Alert

CONSUMER FRAUD INFORMATION Example of a recent fraud involving e-mail messagesThere have been increasing e-mail and Internet-related fraudulent
schemes targeting financial institution customers. Pennsylvania State
Bank does not request confidential information by e-mail or the
Internet. If you receive what seems to be a legitimate e-mail message
or Web site requesting sensitive information, such as bank account
information, please notify us immediately.Example of a recent fraud involving VISA CardA first person account of an actual fraud: "Person calling says, "This
is ____, and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at
VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an
unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on
your VISA card which was issued by bank. Did you purchase an
Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based
in Arizona?""When you say "No", the caller continues with, "…

Engine Update

I have the best Toyota dealer in the world. No ... the best car dealer in the world.

They're going to replace the engine in my Spyder under my extended warranty. I pay the $50 deductible, they pick up the rest ... even including a rental car for a week.

Diehl Toyota. I'll never go anywhere else.

All The Best,

-- Don

Blown Engine

I blew the engine in the Spyder.

Dealer wants $5,500 for a new short block.

Guess who's shopping for a used, cheap 1ZZ.

Sheesh ... it's always something.

-- Don

BWI

Got up at 5:15 this morning -- a Sunday morning! -- to take my dear friend Kelly to the BWI Airport. Sheesh.

Hey Kelly ... can ya help a brother out and, perhaps next time, get an eleven o'clock flight?

:-)

All The Best,

-- Don

Shooting

Wow ... it's been three weeks since I posted anything on my blog. Forgive me, but I've been hugely busy ... in a very good way.

So we just got back from participating in our newest hobby ... shooting. Trap and Sporting Clays to be more precise. Tonight, we went trap shooting at the Isaac Walton League near Red Lion.

It was a blast.

And what was really great was that our son, Ian, came along.

I was anxious to try the Charles Daly Sporting O&U 12 gauge with the 30-inch barrel. Brought along the same gun in a 28-inch barrel for Patti.

My friend, Matt, and his father (Chet) were the hosts. They're both accomplished and talented shooters.

I was up first, and I don't mind admitting that I'm not especially good at shooting clay birds. I did okay after a shaking start.

Then Patti took some shots. She's pretty good, although it took her a while to get into her groove.

Then -- wouldn't you know it -- Ian stepped up and smoked 'em.

(I was so proud of him)

Matt and Chet …

Don't Want To Jinx Myself

I don't want to jinx myself ... but things have been going incredibly well for my wife and I for the past three months or so.

I landed a second client, and with it comes a decent increase in income. Good enough that Patti is able to leave her frustrating job as a pastry chef and either: Stay home for the summer and cook and garden, or; get a more rewarding pastry chef job where she can make wedding cakes.

We landed a new mortgage at a lower rate and are saving money there, too.

The pool is open ... we had a great weekend of gardening ... and I'm back on the bike every morning.

Things are going well. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

All The Best,

-- Don

Dinner Last Friday Night

Patti and I treated The Krichten to dinner at The Left Bank in York.

Arrived at 6 pm for a 7:45 dinner. A few adult beverages, some cigars (Opus X for me) and great conversation spelled the 105 minutes until we were seated. It's always a visual treat to be at The Left Bank -- guys, you follow me??

*smile*

Dinner was fantastic. Shared a small bottle of Pino Grigio. I had the jerk pork, Patti some fish (halibut?) stuffed with lump blue crab meat, and Joe some shrimp. It was all just perfect.

My physician was seated at another table, and I sent a bottle of champagne over with a note, "To Barry, Thank You, from Don". He appreciated that. The guy has saved my life; it was the least I could do.

(That's not hyperbole. Had he not diagnosed and treated my severe depression back in 1998, I wouldn't be here.)

Afterwards, I wanted a tiny, tiny bit of something sweet for dessert -- just enough for a taste. Our server was kind enough to get a very small scoop of ice cream and cover …

Yankee Class

The Boston Red Sox prefixed their home opener today with a ceremony where they received their long-awaited World Series rings.

Congrats to the Red Sox, who after 86 years finally won the Big One. Even though I'm a Yankee fan, I'm happy for the Sox, and especially their fans. It's been long overdue. I only wish they would have defeated the Reds in '75.

But as the Red Sox were receiving their rings, what did the Yankees do?

They stood at the top of the visiting team dugout and applauded.

Class. Pure class. Typical of the New York Yankees.

2005 ... New York Yankees Championship number 27!!!

All The Best,

-- Don

Summer Is Coming

How do I know? I opened our pool on Sunday.

The water was mostly clear, about 54 degrees. The bottom was covered with soot, but I was able to vacuum it up. Some shock and some clarity stuff and by Wednesday it'll be crystal clear.

In keeping with my tradition of swimming on opening day and closing day, I jumped in. Cold is an understatement. So cold, my feet hurt after just four or five seconds. I dipped under the water and climbed out.

WOW ... it was so cold!

But the pool is open, which means summer can't be far away!

All The Best,

-- Don

My Wife, My Teacher

I made homemade Caesar Salad on Monday night. My wife gave me the instruction for making the homemade dressing.

How'd it turn out?

Let's just say that I now know how to make some incredible Caesar Salad dressing! Awesome!

All The Best,

-- Don

Remote Desktop

I love using Remote Desktop.

I just disconnected from a server. I'm now going to drive home and finish the work from my office there.

God I love technology.

All The Best,

-- Don

Quick Statement About Pope John Paul II

I'm not Catholic. I could argue at length with the church's theology.

But think about this: John Paul II forgave the guy that tried to kill him.

Wow. Think about that. Could you do that?

Amazing.

The guy was very instrumental in the fall of Communism. He was very conservative. He stopped Liberation Theology in the late 1970's. He spoke against the excesses of capitalism run amuck. He brought peace to the Catholic church and their relationship to Jews and Muslims.

The guy was a spiritual stud.

All The Best,

-- Don

My Ship Has Come In! - Updated

(This post was updated on April 2)

At last!

Perhaps, just perhaps, after years of waiting, things will start going my way.

Resolved to the daily struggle, I never expected this turn of good fortune.

I won the lottery!

Last night!

Five hundred thousand dollars ... can you believe it???

Of course, the government will take a bite, but I don't care.

Obviously, I'm going to Disneyland!

Lest you think otherwise, this won't affect me one bit.

Show me the money!



-------------------------------------
Okay ... it's now April 2 ... let me break it down for ya:

At last!
Perhaps, just perhaps, after years of waiting, things will start going my way.
Resolved to the daily struggle, I never expected this turn of good fortune.
I won the lottery!
Last night!

Five hundred thousand dollars ... can you believe it???
Of course, the government will take a bite, but I don't care.
Obviously, I'm going to Disneyland!
Lest you think otherwise, this won't affect me one bit.
Show me the money!


Don't ha…

Airliner Graveyard Coordinates

If you have NASA's World Wind software, or are using Terra Server, here are the coordinates for the airliner graveyard in Mojave, California:

Latitude: 35.0645484924316
Longitude: -118.164093017578

Enjoy this cool aerial photograph.

All The Best,

-- Don

My Next Wristwatch

I like wristwatches. I have a few, but want more.

This is the watch I want next!

All The Best,

-- Don

Current Weather XML Feed

Available here.

What I'd Like To See Happen

Read the story, below, of my reporting of some guys dumping trash along a creek in Lancaster County.

You know what I'd like to see happen?

I'd like them to get caught and fined. Then, I'd like to see part of the fine be used to send them on a state-sponsored fly fishing trip, to give them an idea of how important the environment is.

Fine them twice what the trip would cost.

Call me naive.

All The Best,

-- Don

Slow Down!

Slow down, you move too fast
You gotta make the morning last
Just kickin' down the cobblestones
Lookin' for fun and
Feelin' groovy

-- Simon & Garfunkel

Coming Soon ...

100 Things About Me.

Score One For The Good Guys

Sunday morning, wife, daughter, son-in-law and myself took a ride into Willow Street to visit the Lancaster County Winery.

We were driving along a creek when we came within 100 yards of some low-life bottom feeding scum who were dumping insulation by the creek.

They spotted us and took off.

And you ask why I always carry a digital camera. Silly you.

I snapped two pictures of their truck. Later, we drove up to the spot where they were dumping and I snapped two pictures of their environmental disaster. Looked like some insulation that had been through a house fire. Four pictures for the DEP!

As we headed home, we happened past a home about a mile from the site that looked as though it had been through a fire. And a lot of burnt insulation was in the front yard. We took note of the address.

I promptly notified the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection, gave them the information, and emailed the four pictures.

Let's hope those bastards pay. Score one for those of us who Play By T…

Cole Porter

Is Cole Porter the best song writer ever, or what? Love his stuff.

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday Evening, March 14

One too many bourbons.

All The Best,

-- Don

Chalk One Up For Freedom

A California judge ruled in favor of gay marriage on Monday.

Finally, a victory for individual liberty. If two people love each other and want to "tie the knot", then who are we to stand in their way?

As long as churches are not forced to hold marriage ceremonies for gay couples (which would go against many religious teachings), then I'm all for this decision.

I wonder, though ... will they be allowed to divorce? After all, that seems to be quite popular among heterosexual couples.

(N.B. I'm not saying that people should never divorce, so don't take offense where there is none intended.)

All The Best,

-- Don

The Roller Coaster Of Life

So yesterday morning I'm all happy because I don't have cancer.

Then, last night, I find out that my preliminary tests indicate that I have glaucoma.

Sheesh. Up ... down ... so now I'm waiting for the next "high"!

All The Best,

-- Don

Healthy!

Visited the doc this morning. Had to get something checked, potentially cancerous.

It's not!

WOOO-HOOO!! I'm singin' and dancin' today!!

All The Best,

-- Don

Music Note

Andrea Bocelli singing "Sogno" may be the most beautiful song of all time.

A Nice Saturday

My wife had the very rare Saturday off work.

Slept in until (gasp) eight o'clock! Whoa ... haven't slept past 6:00 in about a month. That was a good start.

Quick shower and we were off to breakfast. We were heading to a typical York breakfast (two eggs, toast and home fries for $1.89) when we decided for a change. So we pulled into Panera.

I had the "everything" bagel (they didn't have lox *frown*) with the veggie cream cheese, a cafe mocha and some orange juice. I like to drink orange juice in the morning; I always say "It's like drinking sunshine".

She opted for an apple bagel with maple walnut cream cheese and a latte. It was a French style of breakfast. Small and lots of carbs. You can have your low carb diet, I'll take my good bread, thankyewverymush.

Very relaxing.

We took the Rendezvous to the car wash, and then went to the York Expo Center for a gardening show.

Lots of landscape displays, and we got a lot of great ideas for your next project ou…

My Awesome Dad

Has two patents! Here's one of them.

Cool.

All The Best,

-- Don

500 Miles Per Gallon Of Gas Is Possible

Read this and then please tell me why the Bush Administration doesn't make this a priority? Is this not as important as winning World War II?

All The Best,

-- Don

Way Cool Software

I've wasted the last two evenings looking at satellite pictures using NASA's cool World Wind software.

Download it; it is just too cool. I've "visited" Niagra Falls, the Florida Keys, Las Vegas, my basic training barracks at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, Rich's cabin in the mountains (you're found!), Vail, New York City, my home in York, the cabin at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pole Steeple, Stone Mountain, and tons more.

Cool stuff. I feel like John Ashcroft!

All The Best,

-- Don

Gmail Personal Server: It's Back!

Several months ago, a hack was posted that allowed you to use your Gmail account as a personal file server, accessible from any PC that you wanted (as long as it had internet access and the hack installed).

Gmail made the hack inop when they changed something inside of Gmail. Probably did it on purpose, much like Microsoft's famous "DOS isn't done until Lotus doesn't run" scheme in the late 80's.

Well, now it's back. The only limitation is that this time, it's only for Windows XP.

All The Best,

-- Don

Kilt

I want a kilt. I'm getting a kilt. They are too cool.

Check this out.

I'll post some pictures after I get it.

All The Best,

-- Don

Just Five Weeks!

Image
Just five weeks until I open the pool! I have a tradition; I get into the pool on opening day and closing day. Last year, the water was 56 degrees on open day! Brrrr.

It's the surest sign of spring around our place.



All The Best,

-- Don

Shambaugh The Deadbeat

He doesn't return my emails, he never calls.

Sheesh.

Married To A Chef!

Image
My wife is not only gorgeous, she's a chef.

My wife makes dessert. Your wife probably brings you a sundae from McDonald's! HA HA HA!





All The Best,

-- Don

Car Wash

Image
Before


After