Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Death and Life

Tonight, my beloved puppy Angel passed away. She was the last puppy born fifteen years ago and the runt of the litter. There were eight puppies, and it was a long and difficult birthing. Twenty-four hours, starting at midnight. An emergency run to the vet. She's now in the very towel I brought her home in 15 years ago.
She was always a bit daft. I always thought if Angel were human she'd a be a bit blond, like I used to be. I'd tell her to come in and she'd go outside. She had a funny way of walking when it was feeding time, where she'd twist in a U to make sure you were following her out to the patio. She'd do this while making turns and her head into stuff. She was fiercely loyal, and she would wait by the front for us to come home. When myself or my mom would go someplace, we had Angel as an escort. She'd follow us up and down the hallway. Even in the pouring rain she'd still go outside to potty. She even tried making it out tonight, fighting to the very end to fulfill that age old compact between Dog and Man.
And now, she's gone ahead to where I can't go now. I hope I get to see her and all my other companions (pet hardly seems to fit when you've been with someone for longer than more human marriages) when it's my turn to go.

"If you get there before I do, don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through;
I don't know how long I'll be.
But I'm not gonna let you down, darling wait and see.
And between now and then, till I see you again,
I'll be loving you. Love, me."

I love you, Angel, my sweet, silly, little old lady. And I will miss you forever.

Till we meet again, on the Other Side!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mini-figs on Display

How my Lego guys and gals originally were setup, a very simple gandstand style display made from Legos of course.

I decided they needed a better setup, and tore the whole thing apart and rebuilt the grandstand to include this shelter area for the Indiana Jones figures and roof top accommodations for more guys.

I put the oldest figures at the front, with the white, yellow, red and blue solid guys being my oldest guys from the late 70's. The white fellow at center is so old now his hips no longer support him and he has to sit. I should make him a nic chair some day!

Here's another view of the guys and gals looking at the Star Wars side of things.

And this view shows off the Magnatron, Space Patrol and City peoples. Note the Little Red-headed Girl in front of the two Luke Skywalkers (pre- and post- hand removal) behind the green Martian at front.

And there's still more, but they are duplicates of these.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Voices from the Quilt Hobby

From overallquilter on Twitter:

Quilting has changed with the times

Yes, it has changed. But the core stays the same: The love of making something wonderful for friends, family and yourself out of fabric and thread.

I couldn't possibly say how many amazing and awesome quilts I've seen in the last decade plus of going to my Saturday classes. When I first joined with Carol Leigh, I felt like being at the home of an old friend right off. She was friendly, had excellent advise, and was always willing to share everything she knew about sewing and quilting. She was an amazing person. It was a huge shock when we heard she passed away unexpectedly one night.

That's when "we" met Judee Gonzalez. The total opposite of her last name. Short, round and blonde. The first day she taught, I learned more about sewing machines than in the last 35 years of my life. She had all the students bring in their machines for maintenance. One lady brought in a little Singer featherweight, complete with all it bits and bobs. And everything in it's original boxes. Again, Judee made me part of her family and she part of mine. Judee and her husband moved to Colorado a couple years ago to be closer to her family. I miss her!

Kerrie Missamore took over from Judee a couple years ago, and she's a hoot and half! Even clas sis fun even if I don't sew a stitch. Kerrie does long arm quilting too, and has done loads of wonderful work on many quilts in the area. She always has a project going (only one, hardly.... more like 20) and we all look forward to classes. No summer classes this year, the college couldn't afford to have the room for a free class this year. So looking forward to September this year. We get to see what other people have been doing over the summer.

Another thing I love is first day of class pot luck we have. Always yummie from everyone!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Quilts - Grand Tour

I think there's a few pictures of my own quilts ont his comptuer somewhere, and I might even be able to find them.

This is the top for Grand Tour. Six inch nine patch with 2 inch sashing. It just needs to be bound now.

Here Grand Tour is some embellishments and hand quilting. I used buttons as stars and there's even some glow in the dark thread on it.

This is the (mostly) center block with The Explorer. He is surrounded in glow in the dark thread, which is really hard to quilt with because it kept sliding right through no matter how much I quilted. I finally wrapped it around some other thread and got it to stay that way.

The quilt is named "Grand Tour" after a proposed NASA mission that would send one spacecraft to each planet in the solar system in turn, starting with Mercury and ending with Uranus. I think the mission would have taken less time than it's taking to get this finished.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Models and no, not that kind!

Sovereign class ENTERPRISE

Galaxy class USS BENJAMIN PARKER, of the Department of Planetary Resources

USS VALIANT, after an unexpected trip to the Delta Quadrant.

USS MOONSHADOW, modified to fight the Borg.

USS STARFIRE, a Model B Excelsior.

Two of the Excelsiors and ENTERPRISE (the real one).

Battlestar ORION.

Had to add this one, it's too nice to not share.

Pictures from Suey Creek

A few pictures I took up Suey Creek Road in San Luis County. All rolling hills, oak trees, and dry grass. Very quiet and pretty.

More scenery.

This is not the driveway below, but the actual named road. Again, it's a cliff to the left and the right and no room for two cars.

This is the driveway to one of my client's homes. Yes, it's only a couple feet wider than me car, and the left is a sheer drop.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Voices from Tech

Saw an article about the prospective Apple tablet PC. I kinda thought that would be coming along shortly after seeing the iPhone in action. Once people see how useful a touchscreen is for drawing and imagine editing, it's a huge boon to graphic artists. Even for my doodling, I love my Gateway CX210X for for the InkArt program. That allows you to draw with pencil, pen, chalk, paint and even use a pallet brush to smear paint and chalk like real. And with something like Photoshop or Gimp, the possibilities are endless.

Saw the article at Gizmodo, and they posted a price of 800 USD. That would be an excellent price, 200 less expensive than a Macbook even.

The iPhone always seemed like a technology testbed for the touch tech. Having a tablet would be a logical extension (and return on that investment) of that technology. Now, imagine having an iPhone in there too, or at least some heavy duty wireless capabilities.

It's almost an appealing idea even to me, and I'm not really an Apple fan, or a cell phone fan.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Voices from the Cinema

Went to see Half Blood Prince tonight with my sister as part of her birthday. Very good movie. I enjoyed much more that Star Trek. At least HBP made sense, the characters are likable, the look of the movie is amazing. I really enjoy the "world" of Harry Potter, the setting, the myths, the characters. I even like the bad guys. They aren't just plain old cookie cutter villains.

Even the old building in Diagon Alley look like old buildings. There were leaves in the corners and nooks. The weathering made things feel -old-. Felt like I was (almost) there.

I'd spend money to go see it again.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Ballad of Mulan, from the Chinese poem

Translation from Chinese:
Tsk, tsk, and tsk tsk,
Mulan weaves at her window.
We cannot hear the shuttles sound,
We only hear the girl’s sighs.
“Now tell me girl, who’s in your heart,
And tell me girl, who’s on your mind?”
“There’s no one in my heart at all
And no one on my mind.
Last night I saw conscription lists,
The Khan is calling troops everywhere.
The army’s rolls were in twelve scrolls,
And every scroll held Father’s name.
My father has no older son,
Mulan has no big brother.
I wish to go buy horse and gear
And march to the wars for father.”
In the east mart she bought a fine steed,
In the west mart she bought blanket and saddle.
In the north mart she bought a long whipp,
In the south mart bought bit and bridle.
At dawn she took her parents’ leave.
By the Yellow River she camped at dusk.
She did not hear her parents’ calls,
She heard only the sad whinnying
From the Turkish horsemen on Mount Yan.
She went thousands of miles to battle,
She flew across fortified passes.
The north wind carried the sounds of the march,
And cold light shone on her armor.
After many a battle the general died,
After ten years the stout troops went home.
She came back and saw the Emperor.
The Emperor sat in his hall of light,
Her deeds raised her rank by twelve degrees,
He gave her a hundred thousand and more.
The Khan then asked her what she wished.
“I’ve no use to be grand secretary.
Just loan me a camel with far-running feet,
To carry me on its back to home.
When her parents heard that their daughter had come,
They came out of the town, leaning one on another.
When her sister heard the big sister had come,
At the window she made herself up with rouge.
When the young brother heard that the big sister had come,
He sharpened his knife and got pigs and sheep.
Then Mulan opened the door to her room in the east,
She sat on the bed in her room in the west.
She took off her buffcoat and armor,
And put on the skirt she used to wear.
At the window she combed her wispy locks,
In the mirror she put on rouge.
Then she went to the gate to see her companions,
And all her companions were struck with surprise.
“We marched together for twelve long years,
And you never knew that Mulan was a girl.
The male hare’s legs have a nervous spring,
The eye of the girl hare wanders.
But when two hares run side by side,
Who can tell if they’re boy or girl?”

The story of Mulan, from Wikipedia:

Voices from the Internet

A moment of silence, CompuServ closed it's doors today after being an Internet Service Provider since the last 1960's.

You can read the whole article from InfoWeek for more information.

I was with Prodigy for a very long time, until they turned off the servers running Prodigy Classic in October of 1999. I still miss the feeling of community and friendships that I made there. Ten years later, I still have yet to find anything that approaches the easy of use and accessibility of Prodigy.

Prodigy is where I first learned that opening a computer's case would NOT cause a rift in the space-time continuum. Thanks to Mark Laughtenschlager and Craig Crossman of Computer America for starting me down this long, windy and strange road of helping people fix their computers and get thte most out of them.

Prodigy is where I met an amazing and crazy bunch of people in a place called Serenity Springs. We've tried working with MSN and other places to keep in touch, but mostly use email now. They all will always be in my thoughts.

Prodigy is where I met a group of science fiction and fantasy people, and they made a club called Fandamonium. College kids, book store owners, mothers, dads, writers, and all kinds of nutty, crazy people. I'm only in contact with one of them now.

Like Prodigy, CompuServ brought people together. I hope they have a better time staying that way than we did.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Help out a long time chatter

Hi people,

Prozie has been a fixture in the Lockergnome community for as long as I can remember. A good guy that needs a bit of help. Please give a bit, and please him out in any way you can.

@chrispirillo: The #chris community from WyldRyde just donated $500 to @prozac420 for [Much love, prozie!]

Not asking you to give 500 bucks. But even a buck gets closer to the goal!


Voices from Life

Had a nice day.

Went with mom to the docs and he said she's getting better. Had a nasty cough for weeks and is finally getting over it. But, time for more CAT scans (meow!), meds and then another week off from work. Woohoo!

Then off to pick up a friend and go have breakfast. Place we went too charges a buck for Eggbeaters. I'm not allowed to have real eggs, they give me migraines. And Eggbeaters are NOT the same as real eggs. The potatoes and pancakes were good. Mom had Belgian waffle with huckleberry jam, and Ginny had a grilled hot dog, served on a hamburger bun. Looked really good.

Next, over to Walmart. Picked up some t-shirts, some soda, and some new speakers for one of my laptops. Nothing too fancy, jsut a 15 dollar set of Altec Lansings. They sound pretty good my ears and the old "business class" audio of the Think Pad. They don;t even have a power cord, they draw power from a USB port and then connect to the audio out of the laptop. Sounds so much better. They look like little coffee cups with a stand. I should have got some fruit slices while I was there too.

After the trip through WalMart, we headed over to Albertson's where mom picked up a pecan pie for the brother in law for his birthday. Stayed in the car and relaxed.

Took Ginny home, stopped by Quilting Cousins to see how Shawn was doing (Of course mom bought some fabric for a baby blanket she is making), and then headed home ourselves. Noticed there is a ton of holiday traffic on the roads. Loads of fifth wheels and campers going up and down the 101. Made driving home very interesting. Got the car emptied out, check some email, and then decided a blog post was in order.

Next mission, to get my power cord back from Patti at Creative Patches fter her's died on her laptop over the weekend.

Take care!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Voices from Technology

Today, I'm going through a few dozen old CDs. Games, utilities, productivity, demos. I think I'm going to give the ones I don't want to a friend that helps out kids. It's abotu half of what I have, and I think I need a larger box, maybe two of them. Lots of software from my Windows 95 days with my first "real" computer. That little gem came from Gateway in 1996. It ran Windows 95, had an Intel Pentium 133 megahertz processor, a whopping 16MBs of Randon Access Memory and we spent the 100 dollars to upgrade from a 2 gigabyte hard drive to a 3GB HD. It was a great machine in it's day and ran many programs that kept me entertained for hours on end.

In 1999, it's mother board broke and I was without a computer for nearly two months. I bought a barebones machines from a computer fair. That machine still runs to this day. It is an AMD K6-3/400 overclocked to 450mhz. It also runs Windows 98SE and is on my wireless network.

Anyway, I cut the pile of CDs down to a manageable size and now will try to use some of the ones I kept.

Anyone need a copy of Money 2000?

Sunday, July 05, 2009


This is the Federation dreadnought USS DINOCHROME, named for the brigade of Bolos made famous in Keith Laumer's series of novels.

Close up view of the lounge area, yes, the comm panels have buttons on them.

The pointy end of the dreadnought. Four photon torpedo launchers and four accelerator cannons occupy the central weapons pod, and missile launch tubes point port and starboard on the outside of the pair secondary hulls. Each hull has it's own hangar deck and pair of warp drives.

DINOCHROME is a classic ship, with velocities in the Warp 6 to 8 range and defences typical of the period. Her crew is about 650, and she carries armed shuttles, such as the Tycho attack sled.

ISMV River Tam

Yes, I know what the file names say, but this is what I got translating a Lego ship into Google SketchUp. The Lego is named after the character from Firefly, River Tam, after I saw the movie Serenity. Small and heavily armed seemed to be a good idea, with really large engines. The Lego ships carries more guns, but the idea is the same.

Voices from IRC

Well, this is a big switch. I'm trying out MIRC after two years of Chatzilla. Being a channel moderator means I need to get familiar with a few more tools that I need to know. Too bad MIRC looks like something that used to run on my 8088. But, it's been around for more than a decade, it can't be too bad.

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. You use a client to connect to a server, and then join a room. For example, you can connect to the Wyldryde servers by typing: /server and then you can join Chris Pirillo's channel (sometimes called a room) by typing: /join #chris

You can join other rooms in the same way and talk to people from all over the world that way about anything.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

We're going to be BBQ'ing hot dogs and hamburgers, making potato and pasta salad, having friends over and enjoying the day. We'll have friends and family over, good food, and maybe a surprise for my sister and brother in law.

Remember all those people that made this day possible.