• 09.25.2008 No Comments

    Wow. Things keep getting pretty crazy with regards to the presidential campaign. I was shocked when I learned McCain placed his campaign “on hold” until a general agreement could be made on the financial crisis. I’m very concerned he may be committing political suicide. Hopefully, the debate will go on in Mississippi, because I think all evidence shows McCain is a superior debater to Obama. What a risk this is… I hope it pays off for the McCain campaign, but we will see how it all shakes down.

    There is a lot of blame flying around about the crisis and how we got into it. I found this video to be a good explanation of an idea of where the blame should be placed:

    Housing Crisis Video


  • 09.16.2008 No Comments

    I’m working on a website for a friend, and I’m using some unfamiliar software as the backend.  I’ve never used Joomla before, and there is a learning curve to get it to do what I want.  It is an open-source content management system; it will allow a non-technical user to add and modify portions of the site and manages all the relevant content without me having to write the code.  For example, I’m using WordPress to manage the backend of this blog.  It takes all the work out of creating something from scratch.

    Well, I may be admitting my ignorance here, but it took me about an hour to figure out how to get a horizontal menu and how to add items to it.  But, I was able to eventually accomplish that and now I need to start changing the style of the site to better suit the needs of my friend.  Once I do that, I will need to create the actual content for the pages (but he will provide most of this info, so not hard).

    The real task will be trying to implement some custom features I want to have on the site, such as people being able to select options they want in a house, and the script output some recommended houses that will fit their needs.  I’m also thinking about having the ability to calculate payments and financing issues, and also being able to select custom options and seeing them applied to a mock-up house… as if they were customizing their own home.  Then allowing the person to submit the information to my friend so he can contact them about what they are looking for.

    If it all works smoothly, it’s going to be really cool and hopefully attract some business.  You can see the work in progress here

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  • 09.12.2008 4 Comments

    I was a little concerned that it might not make it to me alive, but IT DID!

    The little guy (or girl) is only about 1 1/4 inch long from leg to leg, but is quite alive and pretty fast moving too.  I bought this coconut husk stuff that is used as a substrate for his new home, which is a ziploc plastic container with holes poked in it.  It seems lame, but, evidently, while they are this small, they can find their way out of large enclosures, or make themselves hidden.  So until he/she gets bigger, that will be it’s home.

    Here’s the picture! It’s very docile and I had no problem getting it on my hand and seems comfortable there.  I just have to be careful because if it fell off my hand a few feet, it would probably die.  So in the background you can see my hideous sheets on my bed.  I was only about 6 inches away from the matress.

    Spider in Hand

    Spider in Hand

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  • 09.08.2008 7 Comments

    For about 2-2 1/2 months now, I have been meat-free. People ask me all the time: Why? What for? Don’t you get hungry? (Or what I really get pissed at, “Oh well, you’ll start eating meat again soon.”)

    So, this is my attempt at explaining my own personal reasoning behind it. First, I respect the many people who do this, and have been for a much much longer period than myself. I only wish I had started sooner. I started thinking about doing it before I got off of work for the summer. My main reasoning behind it was that I didn’t like that I put all kinds of hormones and other products into my body that are not naturally found inside the meat. Also, I would prefer to know that animals were not dying just to feed my taste for chicken, pork, and beef. However, I was never able to really stop. I limited myself to chicken, but still did eat meat.

    The youth group I work with took a mission trip to Heifer International, an organization that provides training and animals to people in poor nations. While there, the food service offered vegetarian options, which I took when available. I also learned more about animal and water management and how the way factory farming in the United States hurts our environment and could be considered cruel to the animals themselves. So, at the end of the trip, I made a commitment to myself to become vegetarian.

    Although that setup my original reasoning, my reasons for continuing to not eat meat have changed based on research on the topic. I now believe my main reason for not eating meat is because of the poor living conditions of the animals. I have so far not been able to give up milk or cheese, and sometimes eggs. I know that even organic products can be mistreated and abused. For example, when egg-laying farms have male chicks, they suffocate them in bags or grind them up alive since they have no purpose. Eating chickens that have their beaks clipped, are caged in very small spaces, where the waste is so toxic they get skin burns… this is not right. Even food animals deserve to be treated well while they are alive.

    I’m not some nutcase that wants everyone to live like I have been for the past couple months. Just want people to recognize where their food comes from; what the life is like for those animals before they are slaughtered. I think those are fair issues most people can get behind. And by having more education, perhaps people will start looking at other options.

    For an idea of where your food comes from, look here and select an animal under the “meet the animals” section on the left.


  • 09.05.2008 No Comments

    Has anyone not been completely shocked by the way the presidential race has been changed now that Sarah Palin is on the Republican ticket?

    It amazes me.  Now, I consider myself Libertarian, but McCain is moderate enough to get my vote (that and I truly believe if Obama is elected, extreme left policies will be put in place and he has no idea how to lead).  Palin is far from moderate.  On most social issues, I agree with Democrats and on most Goverment issues I agree with Republicans.  So, Palin’s very very conservative social stance does not agree with my personal politics, but you can’t help (no matter who you support) but be impressed with her.

    Did you know that almost 39 MILLION people tuned in to watch McCain’s nomination speech? That’s 500k more than Obama’s record-breaking numbers.  But I certainly attribute it to Sarah Palin.  Over 37 million tuned in for her speech! (Compared to Biden’s 24 million.) And she certainly delivered.  The press had been dogging her for days and I was shocked and upset at how unfairly she was being treated.  Questions were asked of her that shouldn’t be asked.  And questions were asked that SHOULD be asked of Obama but haven’t been pushed.  Well, the plan backfired — she delivered an amazing speech.  If you didn’t see it, go watch it on youtube.

    So, with Palin uniting the conservative base, that left McCain to give his nomination speech on what I was hoping to hear: letting people know he has a record of working across the aisle; avoiding strong attacks on Obama; and presenting a message of hope for our country.  It was the right speech, at the right time (39 million reasons why).  So, it’s a new campaign… I’m very excited.

    The press continues to dig and dig and try to find something on Palin, but, so far, they have little to show for their work.  You can tell that democrats and the media that support them are truly scared of Palin.  I believe this may be the spark to put this election away.  But if you watch CNN, you can see the attacks developing and then moving on as they never get any ground… it’s great! (I would watch MSNBC for the attacks, but I just can’t stomach it.)

    Here’s an example: Palin said in her speech that the governors office owned a jet, and that was wasteful.  So she says she put it on ebay.  Well, CNN is saying that she is deceptive because it didn’t sell on ebay.  It was sold later by private auction.  So…. she DID list it on ebay (which is what she said), and it DID sell (but other auction), right? Wow… she is soo misleading.  Good thing we have the investigative team of reporters to check into such lies.

    So, yeah.  I’m hoping 60 days from now, McCain/Palin will win the election.

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  • 09.04.2008 No Comments

    Perhaps I am nuts.  I have been frequenting a site I used to visit all the time, the SomethingAwful forums.

    Well, there is a sub-forum called “SA-Mart” which allows members to sell and buy various things.  I have recently been spending a little dough on odds and ends.  There is a member who raises tarantulas, scorpions, and millepedes.  He sells them on the site.  He just listed two more varieties, including “Grammostola aureostriata,” which is a supposedly docile species that can grow up to 8 inches.

    Of course, I had to have one.  Now I’ve just gotta clean out my old gecko cage and get it ready for the octopede.  The picture is of this species… doesn’t it look… friendly?



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  • 09.04.2008 8 Comments

    Ok, so here is my first post.  This is mainly for testing purposes more than anything else.  However, it could be that this becomes the ONLY post on this entire blog (I have a hard time remembering to write).  Even more so, I doubt anyone will find anything I have to say worthwhile.  I also find it a little arrogant to think that anything I have to say matters.

    But, with that said, I do occasionally want to rant about something… so this gives me the opportunity.