Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sunday, August 20, 2006

live as a god

To float above life's adventures,
to be untouched by daily dramas,
to be unscathed by my worries,
to see the grander scheme.

To know that I die an achiever,
and my children full of pride,
my friends bettered for my living,
strangers' fortunes because I was.

How else can I justify my existence,
how else can anyone benefit from my breath,
how else can my life continue,
if not for a greater path?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

US first nation to witness climate change exodus study

US first nation to witness climate change exodus study What got my attention was a comment made on the site of this article. You go, Dave!

"On 17-Aug-2006 by Dave

1. It was the flood that caused the exodus, not the hurricane. The hurricane was not that much different than others, it is just that it hit populated areas.

2. Global warming is real, otherwise we would still be in an ice age. However, Greenland used to be green, and England used to be known for its wine. The earth has natural "super" seasons.

3. Everyone seems to discount Solar activity/weather.

4. Many don't realize that water vapor is as much or more of a Greenhouse "gas" than CO2.

5. Leftist anti-capitalists are for the most part the one's behind the whole global warming alarm. Scientists do not know all there is to know about Global Warming either, even though some act as if they do.

7. In 1976 Newsweek article?, scientists were telling us to tar the artic snow to absorb the sun to stem "global cooling," which was the alarm back then.

8. All societies problems can be traced to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is responsible for all the evil in the world. (Joke, of course.)"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

politics be damned

We live in a great nation and in great states. Where else can you fight to get back money that your government has taken from you because there is hope that you will get your money back. As of March of this year, I overpaid the Federal government over $20,000. I overpaid the North Carolina government by $2,500.00. Yesterday, I get a letter from our wonderful state revenue department informing me that my wages would be garnished $300. Today, I receive a letter from the IRS saying that I owed but $5,000. Coincidence? This is the result after six months of filling paperwork and getting the run-around at these revenue departments?????

I am learning that government bureaucracy and incompetency has nothing to do with political parties. Those traits are shared by both parties. It is frustrating to have your hard earned dollars taken, not earned as business are required to do, not asked for as moral charities do, but taken as a common thug would do so. Yes, thank god, we live in a country were our freedoms are protected … so long as we give up our freedoms to have this protection.

We have 12 planets now?

I've been wondering what happens on game shows when they ask, "How many planets are in our solar system?" This kind of controversy I can handle! The IAU draft definition of 'planet' and 'plutons'

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

follow your trail!

Our sales people are a curious lot. They see something that they like and they want us to immediately engineer it for sale. So there it is a lot of times in my work that I have to do research for those new product designs. It doesn’t help that my company is changing its business model from manufacturing in-house to to buy/sell arrangement --- they buy packaged systems and repackage them. Or that they are scrambling for sales in any way possible. Currently I am writing an engineering specification for 3.5 and 5 inch LCD monitors. So for the past month, I’ve had to investigate what is available and all the supporting information that I could find on them. Many times I’ve needed a way to mark sites into a congruent trail of links. Have you ever had to explain (read “hold the hand of”) things to the technically-challenged (read “my bosses and the sales staff”)?

Well, hurray!! I’ve found that tool to do just that: Trailfire. Think of it as a web ring on steroids! Very simple to use: I’ve added a plugin on my browser (works with Firefox and IE) and then I simply browse and mark my trail. Then, whenever someone comes across my trailfire markers, they can follow my links. This add-in has a lot of potential. I can’t wait until I’ve spent a month use it!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I have heard some ridiculous things the past few days but the best was a report that I read today. Apparently the pipelines from the oil fields in Alaska had to be shut down due to extreme corrosion in the pipes. The reason for this corrosion? For the past fourteen years, BP Oil deemed that it wasn’t important to run a cleansing machine through the pipelines. Did any one at BP wonder why these pipelines are referred to as the lifeline of America? I guarantee that it’s not because it sounds good! All the billions of dollars that they have earned. Now I hear that the gas may go to $4.00 a gallon because they wanted to save a few more dollars.

I’m hoping that this is just pessimistic people talking about the price hike. To pay the bills, I have to drive almost 700 miles a week. Without a pay raise and an increase in the mileage allowance, I think I’m going to have to sleep at my desk.

car inspection anxiety

Today I took an opportunity to get the annual car inspection done. For the past couple of years, my car was relatively new so my only worry was getting done before the sticker expired. This is unlike my previous car, which I put over 400,000 miles on. Naturally more and more items would fail each inspection with the ever increasing miles. I would then have to run around getting them fixed before time ran out. Each required inspection become more or more dreadful with each year. When I bought my new car, the worries disappeared. Even though the State passed more rigid inspection standards when I bought my new car, the past five visits have been no big deal.

This year is a little different. My car is closing in on the 130,000 mile mark. Things have started failing. Visions of the troubles with my previous car race through my mind. With the State’s strict standards and the way my life feels so out of control at times, my worries were beginning to get the best of me. But I faced my fears this morning. I stepped out the door to find a garage that did inspections. “This is no big deal,” I repeatedly told myself, “This is no big deal.” Yet, when I calmly started up my beautiful car, the race of my fears and dreads began. “Anxieties are mounting … their steeds … and they’re off! ‘Will-I-Find-A-Station’ jumps out in front, closely followed by ‘Will-I-Have-To-Wait-Long’. Trailing close is ‘What-Will-They-Find’, several nagging doubts and the ‘What-If’ family with ‘What-If-I-Can’t-Fix-It’, ‘What-If-I-Can’t-Find-A-Garage’, and ‘What-If-I-Don’t-Have-Enough-Money’ leading that pack. They round the turn as I see a sign “We do NC State Inspection”! ‘Can-They-Do-My-Car-Now’ jumps to the front as ‘Will-I-Find-A-Station’ falls, breaking its legs. ‘What-if-They-Mess-Up-My-Car’ is now neck and neck for first place as I walk into the station. It looks like ‘What-if-They-Mess-Up-My-Car’ has captured first place as a heavy-set, unsmiling mechanic takes my keys and grunts that he can do it. It’s now a horrific battle between ‘What-if-They-Mess-Up-My-Car’, ‘What-Will-They-Find’, and ‘What-If-I-Can’t-Fix-It’ with several unnamed doubts nagging in the rear. We’re waiting for the reassuring honk of the car horn but no one has heard it! Tensions are mounting …. and have joined the race! But wait! There is my car coming into sight. ‘What-Have-They-Found’ has come out of no where and taken the lead!! But the mechanic is smiling and those don’t look like dollars signs in his eyes. Only few lengths from the finish line and several worries have stumbled!! Wait! Wait! Wait! It looks like … yes … it is … [Sir, your car is ready. That will be $30.] … YES!!! All the worries have broken their legs and fallen inches short of the finish. They are being shot as we pay and a welcome calm has descended upon this nerve wracking event.”

Why do I sweat the small stuff like this? It wasn’t a big deal years ago. Is it simply case of conditioning --- of having more events slap me about than having events reward me? I’ve got to get a grip if I’m going to make it to 50!

Monday, August 07, 2006

I Saw Our Solders

This past weekend, I made several pizza deliveries to a section of Fort Bragg where the troops prepare for deployment - a sea of camouflaged people, an ocean of camouflaged emotions.

The new recruits have this cocky air about themselves, while nervously lighting a cigarette and rambling on about the weather. The more experienced solders have a sober swagger in their step and will tell you outright about their concerns.

The single members in ranks playful chat with nervous excitement about going. But they look with a faint sadness at the gather of families around their married colleagues.

The married ones say little. They have the stiff-upper-lip of commitment to their job; their brave, confident eyes hold back tearfully goodbyes for their visiting families.

Some of the troops believe they are fighting for an ideal of freedom. Most known they fight because that's what they are told to do - right or wrong.

In the end, all hope that they return - with as few emotional, mental, and physical scars as possible.