Friday, October 22, 2004

I am such a geek

I must admit that I swore a couple of years ago that I would never do something that I have recently done. I laughed at people who did it and called them geeks. And while I may work in the computer software field I have never ever considered myself a geek. That is, never until 2 weeks ago.

I awoke one Sunday morning to find that my computer would no longer boot. I am a cheap bastard. I haven’t upgraded my hardware, other than adding memory and hard drive space, since November of 2000. Therefore, I am well past the average lifespan of a PC in today’s computing environment.

My 1.4 Ghz system wasn’t booting, and on top of that the motherboard was so old that it wouldn’t support the full size of my 160 Gb hard drive and would only support 1.0 Ghz of the 1.4Ghz chip. I decided it was time for NEW HARDWARE!!!!!!!!!

As previously mentioned, I am a cheap bastard and my local Fry’s store is always selling motherboard processor combos at good prices. If you’ve never been to Fry’s, it is like being addicted to drugs and having a cocaine superstore down the street. As the Eagles song “Hotel California says, “You can check in but you can never leave”. It is crazy, filled with high-tech computer gadget, console video game, High-Def TV plasma wide-screen, high end audiophile, video camera, DVD, software junk that will overdose a geek junkie in very short order. And if the geek happens to be married, they sell appliances, toys, books, music, and movies as well. I can’t get enough of the place. But I digress…

So there I am in Fry’s purchasing a motherboard/processor combo for a reasonable price that is three times the speed of my old machine. I spend a few bucks more and got one of the fastest systems they had but I didn’t see going cheap here. The plan was to re-use all of my old equipment other than motherboard, processor, and memory and just purchase these pieces. This is where geekdom starts.

I needed an extra hard drive controller for all of my old hard drives. I had forgotten to pick this up at Fry’s and went to a closer store for this part. At the store they were selling PC cases with lighted fans for the side and top panels and cold cathode ray tubes on the front. In addition, the case had USB ports on the front whereas my old case had none. This, along with the fact that it had a multitude of fans which keeps the system cool (both temperature and wow factor) was my excuse to buy a case with lots of lights and fans. After putting it all together, I added some neon light tubes to the clear acrylic side panel for more light as well as fans with flashing lights and neon lights later on. Now with all of the lights off at night, I can read a book 10 feet away like I was sitting next to a lamp. I guess my middle-age crisis bypassed the Porsche and went to my PC.

Now my kid wants one with an aquarium built into the side. It will never end.

Pics at

Happiness and health


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart

I have two favorite baseball teams….The Seattle Mariners and whoever is playing the Yankees. My hatred of the Yankees goes back to when I was a kid living in the Kansas City Missouri area. You see, I was a big fan of the Royals and they had pretty good teams through the mid to late 70s. George Brett, Hal McRae, Freddy Patek, Jim Wohlford, Cookie Rojas, John Mayberry, Dennis Leonard were all players that I loved. They were good enough to win the west for a couple of years straight and play in the ALCS. This is where my pain begins and my hatred for the Yankees fertilized.

For two straight years the Royals and Yankees played a game 5 to crown the America League Champion. In those days, there were no wild cards and only 2 divisions in each league. The league championship series was only a 5 game series so the winner of these game 5’s would go on to play in the World Series. In each year, Chris Chambliss hit 9th inning home runs to beat the Royals. They broke the heart of an 11 and 12 your old boy two years in a row. At that age you never recover from that kind of pain and I harbor resentment still today.

In 1995 I got some revenge on the pinstripes. I had recently moved to Seattle and a lot of the reason that I picked this city to move to was because of the Mariners. I was a lone M’s fan in the middle of Louisiana looking to move and I had offers in New York and San Jose as well as Seattle but I picked Seattle basically because of the M’s. As it turns out this probably wasn’t the best financial move I could have made but I love it here. Not only do I get baseball here but the weather is great. I know everyone says it rains a lot here but anyone who has lived in Louisiana for any period of time knows it rains there more than Seattle.

I digress from my point which my revenge of the demonic Yankees. My Mariners had made a late season run to win the American League West title in a one game playoff with the Angels and had to face the scumbag Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. After losing the first 2 games in New York, the wicked Yankees brought their team of pigs to Seattle to close out the series and move on. Thankfully, at least for me, this didn’t happen. After winning games 3 and 4, game 5 went into extra innings where Randy Johnson was called out of the bullpen to pitch after starting just 2 days earlier. Randy pitched for a couple of innings and gave up a run in the top of the 11th. In the bottom of the 11th, Joey Cora led off with a bunt single and he was advanced to 3rd on Ken Griffey Jr.’s single. Edgar Martinez followed that with a double to left field that scored Junior all the way from first. I had never seen Junior run that fast in my life and I was delirious. There I was, a 30 year old man, crying with my friends in one of the happiest moments of my life. Edgar, Junior, Johnson, and the rest of the Mariners had beaten the Yankees in the playoffs, something my childhood’s favorite team couldn’t do at the time. It had taken 18 years to exercise the demons, but they were finally gone.

But the hatred is still there which brings me to the 2004 ALCS. After watching the Yankees handle the Minnesota Twins rather easily, the foul stenched team from New York looked ready to destroy what a lot of people thought was the best American League team in baseball; the Boston Red Sox. After losing rather badly in the first 3 games of the 7 game series, the Red Sox have come back to tie the series at 3 games each. I am no big Boston fan, but if I have to listen to Ben Afleck complain about Bill Buckner one more time I am going to be sick. So here is hoping that my 2nd favorite team this week will beat the Yankees in game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. If they don, I will still have 1995 to hang on to.

By the way, I still have my Mariners 1995 World Series tickets for the event that never happened.

Happiness and Health


Monday, October 18, 2004

Who is in bed with whom?

I guess politics will be on my mind until after election Tuesday and that depresses me almost as much as the thought that Christine Gregoire might be my next governor. Today’s thought center on what strange bed-fellows politics make.

I had a nice little visit with my local casino late last week. I had never been in this particular establishment. It is a small place with a restaurant and about 15 card gaming tables. I was the only one sitting at my table an d I was having a nice discussion with the dealer who had inquired as to the casino at which I most frequent. I explained that while I was a card player my wife is a slot machine maniac and so I have to travel to an Indian tribe owned casino where slot machines are legal. Unfortunately this casino is about an hour away whereas the establishment I was currently in was only 20 minutes away. I like to have a nice clean casino just close enough that it is convenient when I want to go but far enough away so that I don’t have to deal with any craziness.

The discussion with my dealer began to center around a proposition on the Washington state ballot regarding slot machine legalities. Initiative 892 calls for the le3galization of video slot machines which are taxed in order to reduce property taxes by an estimated 400 million dollars a year. Now perhaps gambling isn’t the best of things in the world; it isn’t as wholesome as milk or Julia Roberts but in a state where we already have casinos on tribal lands and card based casinos down the street, as well as lottery tickets available in any major grocery store, slot machines that help reduce taxes seem like a good thing. I have heard the same advertisement run on the radio hundreds of times over the past month warning me that the initiative does legalize slot machines which are described as “electronic scratch tickets” by the advertisement. I had assumed these ads were really sponsored by the moral majority right, a hypocritical group that I despise. However, I came to understand from the casino employee that not only was the group fighting the act but the Indian tribe casinos were fighting it as well. Of course, they want a monopoly on the business and would lose it if this act gets passed.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the sliminess of it all but I continue to be amazed by what politics and money will make people, including myself, do.

Stay Happy and Healthy.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Election 2004...What a slimy bunch of idiots and one particular moron.

We in the United Sates are only a few weeks away from elections where we decide who will be in charge of our laws, economy, and, in some cases, whether our citizens die fighting in a foreign country. Now don't get me wrong. I fully support our presidents decision to enter a war with Iraq and don't believe that issues that most of his detractors spew are worthy of my commenting on. However, it is a fact that people are dying in the Military and while it saddens me that it has to happen I am proud to live in a country where people have the courage and conviction to fight for people's rights to complain about what they are fighting for.

In the meantime, I watch our leaders spew garbage at each other for months because they believe that:

1. American people won't make an informed decision based on what each candidate will try to accomplish believing that their ideas will better the American people's lives.

2. The other candidate is going to smear whatever crap they can to make them look bad.

In some ways it is sad to watch the public put up with this mess. However, I know that reality is that these tactics are the way of the world today and I will just have to stomach mess that they make.

In the meantime...........

This brings me to my main point of this piece. CHRISTINE GREGOIRE. This idiotic Attorney General of the State of Washington is currently running for Governor as the incumbent Democratic Party candidate is leaving office for (hopefully not) bigger and better things. Chris, as she is now calling herself, was the moron whose office continually screwed up cases by filing papers late or incorrectly DIRECTLY costing the taxpayers of our state literally millions of dollars. Now these actions were bad enough that if this happened in the business world she would have been fired by any competent manager. But not only has this woman kept her job through her 4 years if incompetence, she is now looking to get a better, higher profile job of Governor. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have no clue what her opponent, Dino Rossi, has ever done good or bad. I know, though, that Christine Gregoire is not qualified to run the public toilet facilities in the city of Seattle.

I must admit that when it comes to politics I probably lean towards the right. However, I am not some blinded hard-core Republican and my issues with this particular candidate have little to do with social programs and taxes but rather with the thought that such an incompetent person could be in charge of my state's laws and economic policies for the next 4 years. It makes me angry that she can be endorsed by any thinking person.

Most of my thoughts are about sports and the computer industry so this post is a little out of character for me. I must speak up about this idiot's run for office before I feel guilty for not saying anything before the moron is elected.

Health and Happiness.