Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This song, as sung by The Kingston Trio, is great.

Three Jolly Coachmen

One, two, and three jolly coachmen sat at an English tavern. Three jolly coachmen sat at an English tavern,
And they decided, and they decided, and they decided to have another flagon.
Landlord, fill the flowing bowl until it doth run over. (Repeat)
For tonight we merr-I be, (Repeat twice)
Tomorrow we'll be sober. (What!)
Here's to the man who drinks dark ale and goes to bed quite mellow! (Repeat)
He lives as he ought to live (Repeat twice)
He'll die a jolly good fellow! (Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Here's to the man who drinks water pure and goes to bed quite sober. (Repeat)
He falls as the leaves do fall, (Repeat twice)
He'll die before October! (Ho! Ho! Ho!)
Here's to the maid who steals a kiss and runs to tell her mother. (Repeat)
She's a foolish, foolish thing. (Repeat twice)
For she'll not get another. (Pity!)
Here's to the maid who steals a kiss and stays to steal another. (Repeat)
She's a boon to all man kind. (Repeat twice)
For soon she'll be a mother!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What A Great Quote Of The Day!!!

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.

- Fred Allen

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Third Thursday in November!!

Okay gang ... today is the third thursday in November, and you know what that means!!

Thanksgiving is coming?


Christmas just around the corner?


Leaves are falling?

Wrong again.

It's ... Beaujolais Nouveau Day!!!!

Here's hoping 2007 is better than 2006 (not so great) and more like 2004 (yeah!)

All The Best,

-- Don, The Wino

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Listening to Peter Gabriel's "Shock The Monkey" right now.
GREAT tune!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Perfect Pun Opportunity

This morning, I sent a text message to my wife asking if we had dried thyme at home (I'm making jambalaya for dinner).

Almost three hours later, she finally answered.

To which I responded with the perfect pun:

It's about thyme you answered me!

Ahhh ... perfect. PERFECT. These type of things add "spice" to life, especially during the holiday "season".

All The Best,

-- Don

Monday, October 29, 2007

March 2009

I have many goals.

This is one of them ... by March, 2009.

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hmmmm ...

Let's see ... two months from now ... hmmmm ...



Friday, October 19, 2007

My "Problem" with Technology

I've been working in the Technology field for about 28 years now.
My "problem" is this: I'm still fascinated ... impressed ... awed, by technology. Even the slightest "ho-hum" thing just pushes my button.
For example, today I was working with a client. They had to establish an account for me and grant me certain rights to their FTP server.
We tried and it didn't work. I then PING-ed the server, we found the problem (turns out the DNS server was pointing to an internal FTP server; I simply use the fixed IP address instead) and BINGO I'm in!
That just is so cool to me! Push some buttons and wham-o I'm cruising their server.
Heck, I still haven't gotten over the telephone. I mean ... think about it; you push some buttons and suddenly you're talking to someone anywhere on the planet! DUDE ... THINK ABOUT THAT for a minute.
Tech is cool.
All The Best,
-- Don

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Song Of The Day

My son sent me the link to this video, not knowing that I used to hear this song on the radio as a teenager! Oh, how I long for those wonderful days!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pittsburgh Pirates!

*ugh* :-(

Next year!

-- Don

Don 1, Embolism 0

I kicked it's ass!

Actually ... visited the doc last week for my final check, including bloodwork. Short story is: I'm as healthy as can be. Or even more so; my numbers are terrific.

As for the embolism ... it wasn't! HA! Turns out, I had three things going at once: A shoulder injury, a (probable) allergic reaction to all the Advil I was taking resulting in hives, and -- get this -- gall stones!

The gall stones explains the pain in the side and lower back and the elevated liver enzymes!

So I'm in great health and can return to working out ... kayaking ... SURFING! ... and all the Go Get 'Em stuff I like to do.

WOOO-HOOO ... I'm off to ocean in late September for some wave action!

All The Best,

-- Don (who is, obviously, very happy and excited ... excited enough to overuse exclamation points!!!!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Backing Up A Bit

I need to go back in time and lay a foundation for everyone.

(dislaimer: I cannot spell breath or breathe. I mean, which one where???)

Let's see ... two saturdays ago I used a power tool to sand part of my deck. It's an attachment that goes into my power drill and spins with the sanding "paddles" running perpendicular to the sanding surface.

It was not particularly difficult, but I need to use a lot of force. It vibrated like crazy. I could feel it all the way up my arm.

The next day my right shoulder -- specifically the trapezuis muscle -- hurt. A lot. As in I-wanna-die-now a lot. And when I tried to breathe it REALLY hurt. The pain would radiate down the entire right side of my torso, front and back. Hurt so bad that I was taking only shallow breaths. I couldn't get a deep breath because it hurt so bad. I mean, I was ABLE to get a deep breath, but it just hurt too bad to take one.

I spent the next few days taking mega does of Advil as the pain seemed to only get worse. On a scale of 1-10 it was a high nine (my rotator cuff injury a few years back was, in fact, worse; but this was bad. Bad.)

Friday morning, I left work after only 90 minutes and headed home. I couldn't work like this. I needed some rest.

So I got home and floated around the pool for a while to relax. Pain didn't go away, but I was at least able to relax. Hey, it's hot, I'm off work, and in the pool. Wouldn't YOU feel relaxed?? :)

Saturday morning I woke up and -- darn it -- now I can add sunburn on my chest to the now-even-worse shoulder pain. Sheesh ... ARGH!!

Only problem is, my wife points out that I have "sunburn" on my back, too. And it's "blotchy".

It's not sunburn; it's hives.

Okay. Now this makes sense. It's obviously pleurisy. Pain on inspiration, redness ... no brainer. I'm heading to the Emergency Room to get some antibiotics, then off to work.

Arrive at E/R around 9:15 AM. Packed. Sit, wait, hurt.

My wife, who lists "worrying" as a hobby, says she's coming in to be with me.

WHAT FOR? Sheesh! It's No Big Deal. Whatever.

Finally, by 1 PM I'm in back in E/R and an intern is explaining that I need a chest x-ray to confirm pleurisy. Bloodwork is also being done -- pretty standard stuff. Okay, cool ... I'll be outta here in a few hours with my meds.

X-Ray ... wait ... still in pain ... Hey! He's back!

"So ... pleurisy?"

"No, your lungs look great. It's just muscular pain. I'll give you a prescription for it and you'll be on your way".


As a matter of course -- standard stuff - the more experience doctor has to approve the diagnosis of the intern. Well this older fellow, a Doctor House-like guy, has other ideas. He wants a CAT scan of my lungs.

Hmmmm ... what??

Okay, a CAT scan is non-invasive and he's just ruling stuff out and I'm glad he'd rather err on the side of safety and next thing I know "We're going to have to keep you for a few days".

WHAT???? For a frickin' SORE MUSCLE?

"Your CAT scan shows a Pulminary Embolism".

(PE in their obscure language)

Oh boy ... and now the fun begins ...

All The Best,

-- Don

"Hi, I'm doctor so-and-so from oncology, ..."

"... your liver enzymes are elevated and we need to run some tests."

(Note: I am writing this on Wednesday morning; the event took place two days ago)

Okay, imagine the fear *that* brings you.

I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV ... but even I can read WebMD and see what are the causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes (AST and ALT). Going down the list, the only thing I cannot check off is ... *gulp* ... cancer.

Okay, time for some math: elevated liver enzymes + no other cause matches my history + I'm speaking with an oncologist = ...???.


This is all happening at seven in the morning, after being surprised to learn that I'm not to have any food. Uh-oh ... this isn't looking good.

I need an ultrasound of my liver, kidneys and pancreas.

So you know how it goes. This day that I'm supposed to have an ultrasound done on my liver, kidneys and pancreas turns out to be -- for some reason -- the busiest day in the ultrasound department in a long time.

So I wait ... and wait ... and worry. My life is rewinding in my mind ... the things I haven't done because of some stupid reason or WHATEVER! I'm depressed ... oh I see how it goes: eat right, stay active, take care of yourself, be a nice person and you get cancer. Yeah ... great ... while the heroin addict I met in the Emergency Room ("Joshua", and I added him to my prayer list) gets rehab and is good to go.

Yeah, at this point I'm as low as I've ever been.

FINALLY get me into ultrasound at 2:30. Of course, that means nothing because another doctor has to view and interpret the ultrasound.

At 5:00 pm, my doctor finally comes in.

Okay ... I brace myself. I know what's coming and I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

"You're fine."

What? WHAT?? WHA?????? But ... but ... how?

"Then what's the reason for the elevated liver enzymes?"

"Dunno. But your ultrasound is great, you don't have cancer and you can stop worrying. You're in great health, actually."

A little small talk, "thank you"'s all around and he says he'll see me tomorrow (Tuesday).

He leaves and I break down. I have never been so scared in all my life. I didn't even realize how scared I was until he left, and this burden was lifted. I cried and cried.

So, at this point (Monday evening) I'm still in the hospital for PE, I have elevated liver enzymes, but I DON'T HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS! WHAT IS GOING ON???

I'll write more about that later.

All The Best,

-- Don

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Eat well, stay active and you'll end up in the hospital with a pulminary embolism.

At least that's what I did.

(message sent from hospital bed ... sheesh)

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Count 'em: Five!

Five months until Christmas!

And I'm listening to Christmas music on Pandora today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Don 1, Depression 0

By revisiting my Locus of control, I've overcome my latest round with Depression. I kicked it's ass, actually!
All The Best,
-- Don

Thursday, July 05, 2007

One Gorgeous Swede

No, not Tiger Woods' wife ... but this Volvo C30:

This Guy I Know

I know this guy. He graduated from high school in my wife's class. So he's about 48 years old.
His I.Q. is probably under 100. He's not stupid, but he's not going to be working on the genome project any time soon. Catch my drift?
Since high school, his career consisted of running a machine for Dentsply. He makes $19 per hour. That's it. Hardly well-to-do.
So ... he's retiring at the end of August. RETIRING! Age 48!
He's been getting ESOP contributions since day one at Dentsply, and he's cashing in his stock, investing in something safe (I suggest Tax-Free Munies), and retiring.
Two million dollars. TWO MILLION DOLLARS!
DAMN! Way to go!
It TRULY is what you SPEND, not what you MAKE.
All The Best,
-- Don

The Battle Is On

I'm battling depression right now. Been for about two months.
I think the root cause is that I feel totally overwhelmed with responsibility.
At work, all three of my customers want me there most of if not all the time. It's a "good problem", as they say, but it puts a lot of stress on me, what with trying to juggle my schedule and keep them all happy.
I just finished an extremely important, high-profile project for one customer. Important as in "we can't remain in business without this" and high-profile as in a certain government agency needs to approve my work in order for my customer to stay in business.
At home, I have the deck refinishing project. My perfectionist wife, God bless her thorough and "do-it-right" heart, insists that we sand the deck before the new coat of opaque stain. Sand it by hand. No electric; BY HAND.
(Note: Never, NEVER, use opaque stain. It means you have peeling after two years and a constant battle to keep the deck looking nice.)
I have a ton of mulch to spread. Literally. But before that, I have a "land reclamation" project whereby I am chopping weeds (burdock - ARGH!) and hauling stuff away. Then I can mow the area enough to get in, pull weeds and finally mulch.
Add five years with no vacation.
I guess, after writing this, it's not so much. But I somehow feel overwhelmed.
Oh well ... just keep chipping away.
Gotta run; a customer just called and wants something RIGHT NOW!
All The Best,
-- Don

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Politics, Business and Ego

The talking heads on the TV were just now commenting that Michael
Bloomberg is a shrewd businessman and wouldn't enter the presidential
race unless he felt he could win.

Ha! Never underestimate the ego of a successful person.

Read The Internet's ABSOLUTELY BEST Blog:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Technology Is Incredible

Back in 1979, I cut my teeth in software development (it was called "computer programming" then, and it was part of the work of the "Data Processing Department") on an IBM System/34 minicomputer.
This 900-pound monster stood four feet high, 30 inches wide and about five feet deep.
It had a massive 27MB hard drive and cavernous 64K of RAM. Wow.
I did a lot of Accounts Receivable programming. With no support for a Date data type, doing date math was ... fun. Yeah ... fun.
Now, in my pocket, I have a Pocket PC phone ... camera ... web browser ... email client ... all that in one compact unit. About the size of a deck of cards.

Read The Internet's ABSOLUTELY BEST Blog:

Monday, June 18, 2007


Can I just say that I really, really like bourbon?
I don't drink it every day. Probably averages about twice a week over time. But DAYUM is it good!
Maker's Mark and Buffalo Trace are my favorites. And my wonderful daughter gave me a bottle of the red wheat stuff for Father's Day.
All The Best,
-- Don

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What I Like About Ron Paul

From a Washington Post article:

"I'm for the individual," Paul said. "I'm not for the government."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

An Anchor Made Of Bacon

The one distinctive smell that I remember from Basic Training (way back in 1978) was that of bacon cooking in the morning as we did our PT.
Now, whenever I smell bacon, it snaps me right back to Lackland AFB ... the warm, humid mornings ... the TI screaming (our TI was a 6-foot-5 ex-Marine named "Sargeant Smoak"; we were known as "Smoak's Jokes") ... the fear of the unknown.
I hear Billy Joel's CD "The Stranger" and I'm 17 years old, driving my Pinto late at night on a weekend, after work, to visit my girlfriend (she's now my wife of over 28 years!). Why? Because I distinctly remember Starview 92 playing the entire album when it was released. They had a late night radio show where they'd play an entire album. Before they started, the DJ would instruct you to "start your tape recorder ... NOW!". I can remember rolling through the intersection of Route 30 and Roosevelt Avenue when Billy Joel's newest album started to play.
Remember the smell, when at the boardwalk in Ocean City, of newly-made t-shirts with an ironed-on design? The smell of those hot presses, making your t-shirt ... that's a fresh in my mind now as it was some 35 years ago.
Isn't it funny how a song, a smell, a sight, a sound can take you to a place and time in an instant. It's anchored.
Do you have any "anchors" such as that?
All The Best,
-- Don

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Don't look now, but the Pirates are in second place in their division, only four games behind the Brewers.

I'm tellin' ya ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Those Pesky Pirates

Yeah ... um ... well, the Pirates are struggling. At 19-25 they are eight games out, but still a game ahead of last year's World Series Champions!

I'm not giving up on them. Not gonna do it. But I would like to see them put together a charge and move up.


All The Best,

-- Don

Water Temp Update

The water temperature at Ocean City, Maryland, is 56.5 degrees! I've surfed in water that cold before ... so it won't be long before I'll be back.

Hmmmm ... the weekend of June 2nd looks good ...

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Just Love This Picture

I just love this picture.

That stunningly beautiful woman is my wife of 28 1/2 years! Yeah, it's good to be The King!

All The Best,

-- Don

P.S. That's Penny ... HER dog. NOT my dog. HER dog.

Obligatory Picture Here

Somebody graduated from Penn State on Saturday!

Ian's degree in Science is just a start. This fall he starts his Fellowship at
New York University where he'll work towards his PhD in Computational Biology.

So ... my daughter has her degree (Business Administration and she's kicking butt thankyewverymuch) and my wife got her degree in 2002 (Culinary Arts AND Baking & Pastry eatyerheartout) and my son.

So my new nickname around the house is "Mister G.E.D.", being that I'm the resident non-degreed idiot. :)

Works for me!

All The Best,

-- Don

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Must See TV

Wow. You MUST take 20 minutes and view this video from PBS in 1987. Astounding and prophetic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pirates Continue Season Of Surprise

The Pirates are 6-6, one game back but zero games back in the loss column!

Keep it up Bucs!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pirates Continue To Roll!

The soon-to-be-World Champion Pittsburg Pirates continued their Shock And Awe campaign of 2007 with a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros last night.

This is going to be a great season for us Pirates fans!

All The Best,

-- Don

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pirates Begin Miracle Season

The Pittsburgh Pirates -- you heard it here first -- began their World Series Winning Season last night with a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros.

The Pirates are now tied for 1st, but it won't be long before they separate themselves from the pack.

They will be this year's surprise team. Trust me on this one.

All The Best,

-- Don

Friday, March 30, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ocean City Surfing

Water temperature is 42.4 degree (F).
I'll wait a bit longer, mm-kay?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Teeth, Hawaii, Europe

So I had my twice-a-year teeth cleaning today, and while there I spoke with the dentist about having my entire smile "redone" to make it nicer, straighter, better, etc.
The technology is incredible ... and so is the cost. Ballpark figure is around $7,000, give or take a few C-notes.
So ... get the new smile, or take a wonderful vacation? Hawaii? Italy? Iceland??
What to do?
All The Best,
-- Don

Friday, March 09, 2007

Beltway Madam, Law & Order

Heard about the Beltway Madam?

I can already see an episode of NBC's Law & Order that is "ripped from the headlines".

A person is killed. Turns out that person purchased the "Black Book" from a madam who had high-profile clients.

-- Don

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Filing versus Piling

I use Windows XP. I pretty much have to, since I'm a .NET developer.

(An aside: If you can tell me how to do .NET web development using a Mac/OSX please convince me and I'll switch in a heartbeat)

The "My Documents" on my PC has about 200 sub-folders. Some of them have sub-folders.

Problem is, do I file a document here or there or ... or where?? There could be many places it "belongs".

Yeah yeah I know about shortcuts but they're pretty lame. Too much work, too. What? ... drop a document into a folder and then create half-a-dozen shortcuts? No thanks.

So I'm just about to move from the "Filing" mindset to the "Piling" idea. That is, simply put ALL of my documents into the "My Documents" folder. Done.

When I want a document, I open the folder and jump to the name. Not sure of the name? Hello Google Desktop Search.

Unless I get a hugely compelling reason, I'm switching to "Piling" this weekend.

All The Best,

-- Don

Global Warming

It was seven degrees BELOW zero this morning in York.
Minus seven! On March 8th.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Race Against Racism

On April 28, 2007, the Lancaster YWCA is holding their annual Race Against Racism 5K run.
I'm commiting right now to running in it. I won't be running to win, but I'm using this as a Goal for which to shoot.
Almost 48 years old, bad back (which generally prevents me from running; not sure how I'll handle that) and haven't been in "running shape" in five years.
Do I shoot for 27 minutes? Better? Twenty four minutes? Thirty??
All The Best,
-- Don

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Essai de traduction

Ceci a été à l'origine écrit en anglais et traduit en Français employant la page de traduction de Google.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oldie But Goodie

I posted this picture before, but it's been a while and it's one of my favorites.

I took it in my kitchen one evening while cooking. It's a sad picture, that being an empty bottle and all.

But the lighting and colors are, in my opinion, very warm and comforting.


Oh By The Way ...

This is pretty much how I spent my Christmas. This is the view from Mike and Jane's back yard.

Sun City Center, Florida.

Did I mention that my son and I went swimming on Christmas Eve?

Oh yeah ... and I birdied that par three.


John McCutcheon said it best:

"Courage has no meaning without fear."

You can't show courage unless fear is first felt. You can't succeed unless there is a struggle; anything less than a struggle and it's not "success", but merely movement.

Downhill, at that.

It's when we face our fears ... our demons ... our problems ... that we can overcome. Surrender, defeat, retreat -- those are only temporary delays. If we wish a result in our favor, we must push forward.

Keep your chin up, look for the path to success, and don't forget that sometimes brute force is, in fact, the best way.

All The Best,

-- Don

Friday, February 09, 2007

RV or Hotels?

Recently, my wife and I were discussing what we will do when we win the Powerball.
I said I'd fly around in a private jet, or else drive around in my new Lincoln MKX, and stay at the nicest hotels.
She said she'd rather purchase a large, extremely nice RV and travel.
My argument was that I prefer the room and luxury of a hotel, including having someone else make the bed and do the laundry.
Her argument was that an RV can take you more places and you *know* who's been sleeping in the bed.
What do you think?
All The Best,
-- Don

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Joe Biden

Shortest Presidential campaign EVER!
Began and (effectively) ended the same day.
He's a proven racist. Get him outta here.
All The Best,
-- Don

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

Classic Mitch Hedberg

"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down."
  - Mitch Hedberg

Monday, January 08, 2007

2007, A Year In Preview

I was going to use "Personal Mastery" as my theme for 2007, but it's such an overused phrase that I had to come up with something different. So ... my theme for 2007 is ...

Toward Self-Actualization

That's it. That's my theme, the foundation upon which I will build my goals for 2007. I don't "do" resolutions.

Under that heading, I have the following memes which will drive me this year (in no particular order):

  • Remove The Broken
  • Settle For Better
  • Clear Out The Past
  • Gain Knowledge And Experience
  • Lighten The Burden

This is my 2007 in Preview. Soon, I will develop goals associated with each meme and tasks to accomplish my goals.

All The Best,

-- Don

Too Warm

Here in south central Pennsylvania, we just finished our warmest December ever. Our daily average high temperature was 50! That's waaaaay to warm.

January has started out even warmer. This past weekend saw 70 degrees, and it's predicted to be in the mid to upper 50's this coming weekend.

It's sickening.

Literally. It's been too warm to kill of the mold spores and ticks. We need some good old cold weather. About three weeks of nights in the teens and days in the upper 20's ought to do it ... not to mention make it really feel like winter.

All The Best,

-- Don