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Jan 30 2009

Everyone Is Sick

647-allergies.gifAll four of us are sick. After a week of the boys both being sick, Mama took them to the doctor today and they are both on three medicines. Hopefully, with the assistance of modern medicine, lots of fluids and the rest that the weekend brings we'll all be feeling better.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jan 28 2009

Tulsa Ice Storm 2009

Not nearly as bad as the record breaking December 2007 ice storm, Tulsa was hit yesterday with a quarter to half inch of ice across the city.

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Mary captured these cool photos showing how the ice collected on just the underside of the leaves of our holly bush.

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It doesn't take feet of snow to shut this town down, just a thin coating of ice and it's panic city. Check out the links below for memories of "The Big One."

2007 Tulsa Ice Storm Blog Posts:
Dec. 10, 2007: Tulsa Ice Storm and Power Outage
Dec. 12, 2007: Tulsa Ice Storm - Pictures Update
Dec. 13, 2007: Keeping Busy & Warm

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

Today Mama broke out the paint supplies for a creative afternoon activity.

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Will started out using a brush. But, about half way though switched to his fingers.

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Drew knew exactly what he wanted to express with his painting. The end result of both boys is as good as any of the crap Jackson Pollock ever thew down on a canvas. Much like Pollock's numbered works, Drew and Will's masterpieces are unnamed because the viewer should not search for representational elements in the paintings but, rather, "look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what they are to be looking for." (Translation: I'm a talentless hack perpetuating a great fraud, please buy my paintings because I'm afraid of having a real job.)

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I love Norman-Rockwell's "Connoisseur." I don't know what Rockwell was actually trying to say but, to me, he was throwing mud in Pollock's eye, saying, "Hey Jackson, I can paint as good a Pollock as you or anyone else, lets see you try and paint a Rockwell."

Recently I've had some extended discussions elsewhere on the interweb as to the definition of "art." I tend to a more restrictive classical definition that art takes talent not present in the average person. Art is not decoration, performance or that which any random person can imitate. Most of the people I've been arguing with have been brought up never to judge anyone or impose any kind of standard on people. They believe if someone says something is art, it is art. Or, if someone merely tries to make art, that their endeavor results in art. Otherwise, you might have to--heaven forbid--judge somebody or disappoint some precious snowflake and inform them that despite their best efforts they really are not artists. Such expansive definitions, ultimately, have no bounds and everything become art. If everything is art, then nothing is art. I conclude, my "restrictive" definition is the only logical definition and, ultimately, less restrictive.

Two more shots of Will and Drew as they finish up after the jump.

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Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jan 25 2009

Daddy's Little Helper

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Drew, not shown here, has outgrown his car seat (not necessarily by a measurement provided by the manufacturer) and is big enough for a booster seat. After our typical shopping around and internet research, we finally found one we liked...and bought two. The most convenient place to do the minimal assembly was the clean, spacious, well lit, kitchen floor (three adjectives that don't apply to too many places).

As soon as Will realized it was a seat that I had pulled out of the box, the following conversation took place:

Will: Sit down?
Daddy: Not yet.
Will: Sit down?
Daddy: Not yet.
Will: Sit down?
Daddy: Not yet.
(Repeat many, many times.)
At some point, our little comedian, who was apparently in the midst of an Elton John impersonation, walked over and grabbed my hair, lifted my head up, and inquired, as if for the first time: "Sit down?"

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After a laugh and a quick picture take, I was back at the task at hand, only to be interrupted moments later from the other side: "Sit down?" Yes, finally, Will got to sit down in his brother's new booster seat. Five seconds later, he was off to the next activity. The booster seat was successfully installed and Drew got to get in and out five times today.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

096-economy.jpgI don't have time for the quality of post I'd like to put up. So, instead, just some headlines and links along with a rambling comment or two.

Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion

"The Federal Reserve refuse[s]...to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral."
The taxpayers give out $2 Trillion...a sum so huge no person can really, fully, comprehend it...and the Federal Reserve refuses to disclose where the money went. I've written 4 or 5 snide comments and none of them fully capture the insanity of this, so I'll move on.

$1.6 Billion Of Bank Bailout Went To Execs

"Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management."
If the company you run collapses and you have to go on your hands and knees begging to the taxpayers for a handout...more like a truck-load-out...actually closer to a cargo-ship-out...doesn't it make perfect sense that you then reward yourself with some huge bonuses and stock options?

Federal Spending Soars 25% Before Bailout

"The government's spending commitments exploded by 25 percent in 2008, putting taxpayers more than $1 trillion in the hole [each year] even before the astronomical costs of the economic bailout were taken into account."
Ummm...Dear Government...make that Dear A$$holes in Congress...you can't keep doing this. I wouldn't mind so much if my great-grand-kids could travel back in time and shove searing hot pokers in your eyes, but you'll all be long gone when our nation collapses with no way to hold you responsible. I have no words to describe your collective stupidity.

And, finally, these words of "wisdom" from our President Barack Hussein Obama:

"[W]e shouldn't worry about the deficit next year or even the year after; that short term, the most important thing is that we avoid a deepening recession."
Worrying about the short term is what got us in this mess. It's what causes all messes. From CEO's worrying about the next quarter's financial results instead of the company's viability a decade down the line to politicians buying the next election with massive handouts instead of making the hard decisions in the best interest of the nation a generation from now. The only thing that matters is the long term. What would you have previous generations do? That which was best for them in the short term, or that which was best for our nation in the long term?

The most recent, insightful, and academically rigorous research reveals that FDR's New Deal big government only prolonged the Great Depression. Our nation is not great because of our government, it is great despite our government. Our nation is the economic powerhouse of the world because of business. Big business, small business and entrepreneurs the envy of the world, are what made this nation great. Not politicians and government bureaucrats. And, God forbid, certainly not government programs and the stealing from one man to give to another or the shackling of future generations with incomprehensible dept.

The United States government should be slashed on a massive scale. Whole departments eliminated overnight. Department of Education...gone. All hiring stopped. Raises halted. Benefits frozen. The word "entitlements" eliminated...you aren't "entitled" to anything. I've never been in a government office where people work as hard as at small private companies. The entire notion of our government should be reworked. Politicians should be elected who pledge to go to Washington with the goal of accomplishing nothing. At least no harm would be done which is better than can be said about most of what our government does. Seriously, have you ever heard of a single problem brought before Congress where politicians stood up and proclaimed that they ought to do nothing? That should be the most common reaction.

U.S. Stocks Slide in Dow Average's Worst Inauguration Day Drop Socialism has never saved an economy nor been the method by which all can share in the largest pie.

Not that anyone cares or can be pulled away from American Idol but here are some good videos on the whole government bailout/stimulus situation:

Keynesian Economics Is Wrong: Bigger Gov't Is Not Stimulus
Reason on the Bailout

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

095-hard-drive-maintenance-01.jpg

Many of the problems encountered by users of hard drive storage devices can be avoided by simple annual maintenance. You clean and maintenance your car and other things around the house, why should your hard drive be any different? You've defragged, run other maintenance programs, but have you bothered to open it up and give it a good cleaning? For optimal hard drive performance, follow the easy steps below. (As always, read through all the instructions before beginning.)

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Gently pry around the edges of your hard drive case and separate the cover from the main unit. It just pops off. Don't worry about any small plastic pieces that break off, they won't affect anything.

Click "Continue reading" for the rest of the steps.

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Time to start unscrewing screws! These are the easy ones, a simple phillips screwdriver will do the trick.

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Keep going, some of the screws are a little hidden. Be sure to save the screws for reassembly later.

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Finally, we get everything unscrewed and unplugged from the hard drive, wrapped in thick foil in the center.

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Carefully peal away the thick sticky foil from the hard drive.

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Once you get all the foil off, you'll have to remove the screws from the hard drive itself. Some are hidden under stickers and all are the uncommon torx type. By this point you've probably figured out that the manufacturer hasn't made it easy for you to perform maintenance on your hard drive. Duh, that's because they are in the business of selling hard drives! Imagine if other manufacturers could convince consumers never to clean or maintain their product? What a scam!

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Here's one of the hard drive's reading/writing heads. Oops, is that a scratch? Ha, ha, don't worry, modern drive's aren't affected by little surface scratches. Have you ever seen the back of some CD's and how scratched up they are but still play perfectly? Hard drives are far more technologically advanced and are even less affected by simple surface scratches.

095-hard-drive-maintenance-09.jpg

In fact, feel free to scratch up the surface all you want. At this point in the process, I can promise you, you won't adversely affect the hard drive's performance. Some people like to scratch in the date, so they can tell the next time they open up their hard drive when the last time was that they cleaned it.

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If you happen to bend the read/write head, don't worry, just bend it back. Be sure to press it down real good so it's as close as possible to the drive's surface.

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Time to give everything a good wash! A little dish soap, some warm water and a scrub brush. Don't hold back with the elbow grease! Give it a good scrubbing.

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Finally, you may find that some of the parts have worked themselves loose and are just spinning around uncontrolled. Good thing we caught this before it completely spun itself apart! Get yourself a hammer or a hatchet and pound them down until they are solidly in place. Once everything dries, reverse the steps to reassemble your hard drive.

In the first paragraph I promised "optimal hard drive performance." Following the steps above is the only way to absolutely guarantee you will never again lose valuable data and time to a failed hard drive. I know I'm certain the drive pictured will never again cause me problems!!! Not to mention, sometimes it just feels good to get "hands on."

Finally, yes, this is a joke.

Posted by Don | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (0) |