12.27.2003

Awesome dinner at D&M's home tonight: home-made hot and sour soup that warms from the mouth all the way to the toes and I enjoyed it so much I could have had another bowl or two, it was sooo damn good. I need to get that recipe and try it out here, although I am told that it isn't written down anywhere. I knew I should have paid more attention while they were making it, damn the martinis!

Followed a link on Les Jones Blog over to Tim Blair and discovered a new Newhouse News Service column by James Lileks!! It is short and sweet so make sure you click over there and read it! And while you are clicking through Les Jones and Tim Blair, read some of Blair's Worst Book Predictions and best quotes from 2003. Good stuff. (And thanks for the tip David).

Alrighty, cheesy Dean Martin Western on cable, gotta go.

12.26.2003

Happy Wedding Anniversary to my folks!!!! 39 Years!!! Yowsa!!!!!!
Late getting this out but it has been a busy day here in the Northwest, but MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Wonderful day spent with friends and family and once again I am reminded how fortunate I am! More tomorrow on the "Late Night Packing Blitz: The Night I Ran Out Of Scotch Tape" and the fact that not one single cashier or store clerk I ran into while shopping said "Merry Christmas" - it was all "Happy Holidays" and one gal even said "Have a Happy" - that's it, she couldn't even finish that one off. So I said ' "Have a Merry" then, with a chuckle at her PCness and a look from her that said she knew that I knew that she knew, I gave her a hearty "Merry Christmas".

Good Night!!

12.24.2003

Quick Update on everything:

Ok, from the beginning - Got home late last night and was up until 2 AM reading, tried to sleep and everything about the truck and work and debts I owe and bills and responsibilities and ex-girlfriends and the rip-off repair guys and every bad thing I have ever done and some of the good stuff I have done came crashing down on my head and I tossed and turned and cussed and hollered and shouted and every time I could clear my head, it all came rushing back. I had a little conversation with God and Jesus (unusual for me but very, very helpful) and also had conversations with Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future - honestly. I was even singing the "I like life, life likes me" song out loud last night at about 5 AM or so, Sage was very concerned. No really big realizations other than I am tired of feeling like a whiner and that is going to stop and well, several other things that I am not going to discuss here. Finally fell asleep sometime after 6:30 AM, I must have still been muttering to myself as I drifted off and was awoken at 9:30 or so by a call from the Bro.

Bro came buy to run me up town to finish some shopping and to run by the bank. I had called the repair shop regarding my truck earlier in the morning and they said it might be ready, to check back later. After running a couple of errands and doing some light shopping, I called the dealership at about 1 and was told that they had closed at 12:30 and I could get my truck on Friday. NOOOOO!!!!! We were really close to the dealership so we drove over there and there were actually a few people wrapping up things so they were able to sign my truck out after I paid the bill. So now, I have the truck back, it runs great, as it should after all of that damn work. Heater core still needs flushing but I will do that over the weekend.

Ran by a couple of places to drop off late bills and then dived head first into Last Minute Shopping. Luckily, I had done a little shopping already and had a things lined out to fit within my budget and still be able to afford to get some folks some cool things. Off to WalMart and then to a couple of sporting goods stores - it is great that the Bro has gotten his step-daughters and wife into the shooting sports because it opens up a whole new line of gifts that I can get. I don't know diddly about buying normal, regular gifts for teenage girls, so the new hobby gives me a great opportunity to buy ammo and gun doo-dads and gun rugs and bore brushes and targets and stuff like that!

Home now, obviously, catching up on news for the day and getting ready to dive into the process of wrapping all of this stuff. I hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Christmas and gets to spend this evening or tomorrow with friends or family. Hopefully there will be a showing of The Christmas Story on later tonight and I can fall asleep and dream of sugar plums dancing in my head and The Old Man shouting of "@##&@# Bumpusses!!!!!!"

Merry Christmas!!

Home late after dinner and gift exchange. Had a great time and had many, many good belly laughs which is something I really needed.

I have been tracking a favorite topic of mine for a while and it is interesting that within 24 hours a couple of applications of geographic information systems (GIS) have come under scrutiny for the depth of detail they provide to their users. GIS technology is EVERYWHERE now. It is benefiting every industry, every government, every consumer, every citizen of this planet. I doubt if there is another technology out there that has benefited so many in such a short time.

The first story is something many folks in the GIS industry have debated and discussed for the past decade or so and that is allowing detailed street and address information to be readily available on the internet. The first concerns raised were by folks in public safety because any Joe Blow with a web browser could look up the address of a local policeman, judge or politician and find out exactly how to get to their home and either harass the public servant or harass their family. Because of those concerns, most local governments do not provide that kind of information to the general public for fairly obvious reasons.

Today, I read a story linked on Drudge to a story on CNN's site that introduces a new concern: sexual deviants, disgruntled wives, pissed off husbands, ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends, etc., etc., having access to detailed maps and address information - found either through phone number to address applications available on the net or other sleuthing tools available. Many folks would not like to have this information available on the internet, but truth be told, it can be found just about anywhere and it takes just a little bit of time at a county courthouse to find out the same info.

The other interesting story I saw tonight was on MSNBC regarding the detail of satellite photos and aerial photography made available to the public. All new photos have the detail of buildings and features around Washington, D.C. blurred out due to terrorist concerns. I subscribe to a great online mapping tool called EarthViewer 3D Nvidia. It is an absolutely awesome internet mapping application that presents the user with a globe that allows you to zoom in, pan, spin and hop from address to address and to any location around the globe. If you watched any of the Iraq war coverage, you probably saw a version of the Earthviewer in action as they panned and zoomed around Iraq and showed key areas and detailed maps of Baghdad. Very Cool stuff. I assume that the reduced resolution photos of D.C. hide any anti-missile/anti-plane defenses and that is a good thing. The truth is that anyone can get their mits on this kind of technology.

Should we make address matching tools and high resolution photos unavailable on the internet? Should folks only with top secret clearance be able to zip around the virtual sky with EarthViewer and hop from their mom and dad's home, to Arrowhead stadium in KC to Seatac Airport to see what cars are parked in any lot in Washington, D.C.? Should only a few "trusted" folks within the County Assessor's office have access to addresses and parcel information? I don't think so. But, I think we need to do whatever is necessary to stop the terrorists, plain and simple. Remove them from the face of this earth. And if some jackass is using these wonderful, beneficial tools to track and harass their ex-whatever, those bastards or bi-yatches need to be in jail and the existing laws we have regarding these crimes need to be enforced. If we need more jails, build them, damnit. Ok, I am done ranting. I just don't want to see these wonderful tools go away because a few people got freaked out. So, if some jackhole uses MapQuest and Google to find his ex-wife and beat her with a pipe wrench, could the woman sue MapQuest and Google for providing that info? Does she sue Craftsman Tools for making such a fine pipe wrench? Or do we go after the pipe wrench wielding, MapQuest/Google-using thug? See where this could go?

Ok, it's late, I am going to bed. Merry Christmas Eve!!

12.23.2003

Christmas dinner tonight with some friends in Olympia, then tomorrow I need to finish up my minor shopping and it is unfortunate that I can't contribute more to the economic recovery! Tomorrow will also probably be the day I get my truck back, woo hoo. Got some ideas from my bro on pursuing some action against the dealership, but I am not sure what I can accomplish with this bunch. They screw people over every single day and are experts at it.

Christmas Day will be spent at the Bro's house, and that should be fun.

No Christmas decorations here at Casa Henderson, no lights or tree, but I did get a great pile of Christmas cards this year which are displayed proudly by the front door.

Sage will be getting a few treats from Santa as well this year. She was more than a little excited today because I went to help a friend pick her dog up from the vet and had Riley (the dog) smell all over me. Riley had surgery to repair a torn ligament in her left leg so I had to carry her to the car and then into the house. She was quite mortified and has to wear one of those "Elizabethan" collars. There isn't anything quite as funny looking as an embarrassed dog on one of those collars, very Far Side-ish. Riley is now sequestered in the laundry room and we hand-fed her some dog food and raised her water bowl high enough so that she could drink without the collar bottoming out on the floor. She seems to be doing pretty good and the drugs were kicking in when I got a ride back home. When letting her outside to do her business, we had to loop a towel underneath her stomach, lift her rear end and provide extra lift so she doesn't put weight on her bad leg. The vet actually had a professional-looking sling that they use for that. She kind of enjoys this and ends up lifting both legs and enjoying the ride wheelbarrow style.

Ok, I need to get ready to head out for dinner in a little bit. Take care and talk to you all soon!


MAD COW DISEASE IN WASHINGTON STATE. Holy Mooooooly.
Update on the truck:

Dealt with the dealership today and have come to the conclusion that the guys that work in the repair shop are even more slimy and even larger jackasses than the sales guys. The repair guys must have been too slimy and must be bigger jackasses than the sales managers would allow on the floor dealing with customers on a daily basis. Yeah, I am basically getting screwed and there is not much I can do about it. I checked on state laws and and protections I might have available to me on this damn deal, but there is no way out. The engine is going to need another 900 bucks worth of work done to it to fix the ORIGINAL damn problem that prompted me to take the truck in to get fixed in the first fricking place. This bunch of jack-holes has lost my business forever and I will make sure they know that.

I have been reading Jim Miller's blog on politics for a while because he keeps a close watch on what is going on in Seattle and around the country. His latest entry on Molly Ivins and her latest crap-tastic column on poisoned babies is a keeper. Thanks for keeping track of that old crank Jim.
New addition to the daily reads, Les Jones Blog - all it took was the sweet photo of the Smith N frame and links to other gun porn. Link discovered on Jeff's Alphecca site.

12.22.2003

I really missed an opportunity: Leg Lamps

12.21.2003

Just watching a little football and surfing job sites this morning. Made myself brunch today with some scrambled eggs and bacon. I had picked out some of the "low sodium" bacon and it was damn good and had less fat and more meat.

Chiefs looked pretty bad yesterday. The Vikings really spanked them bad, but, I am not giving up hope. I think there are some problems on the defensive side of the game for the Chiefs and that it has nothing to do with skill or capability. To me, it appears that there are some motivational issues. Hopefully, they can get that crap all figured out soon and make a strong push to win next week and then take a full head of steam into the playoffs.

Christmas is in a few days, hard to believe it is here already. Despite being out of work and without transportation and with about 10 bucks in my pocket, I am excited and full of Christmas cheer. I have always really enjoyed Christmas, first as a youngster trying to be as good as humanly possible so Santa would treat me good on Christmas morning and man oh man, did I get treated good! Santa was very good to me and still is, I must be doing something right. As I have gotten older, as all of us do, I take much, much more joy in giving gifts and surprising folks with things that they didn't expect and I spend about 99% of the time feeling sentimental and wanting to be able to do more. This Christmas is hard for me because I can't do what I want to do, but I am keeping my chin up and resolving not to give up on my search for gainful employment, trying to not let the truck fiasco get me down too much and trying to find the words to express to my family and friends how much I appreciate their support and love and for kicking me in the ass every now and then when I need it!

I have been pretty good this year as the Santa Claus Naughty or Nice Rating tool illustrates. Here is my rating from Mr. Claus:

"Nicer than nice. A real champ! I was really proud of all the hard work that went towards changing those "naughty" habits of last year. Treated friends nicely and was exceptionally honest (which happens to be one of my favorite traits!) It's amazing what a good old fashioned "I'm sorry!" can do for a rating. Keep up the good work!"

Not too shabby!

Ok, back to the search and the "living" resume. I have shortened it and removed extra crap that I had put in there, it looks a lot better. Anyhow, talk to ya later and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.