iSlideRule and iPhone

I released my first iPhone / iPod Touch app tonight. It's an idea I had for an application for the iPhone a couple of months back (when I first got my iPhone). I've put together a slide rule application, with configurable scales on each stator and the slide. It will take awhile to show up in the iTunes application store I'm sure, but I hope that folks will find it not only interesting, but useful as well.

Anyway, now that I've completed the first version of it, I have some additional ideas for features that I could add to it (which, for obvious reasons, I won't actually post here yet! Happy

For now, I'm hoping to have reviews that will be useful as an aid for me to improve the app. I did a bit of testing of my own on it to ensure that it worked OK, and in doing so, found that I wasn't handling a full 180 degree rotation correctly. So, of course, that was fixed before I posted version 1.0.0!

So, now I'm just waiting to see what the response is to this app. And, of course, I'm contemplating my next application! So begins my exploration of the iPhone application market. I even purchased an iPod Touch just to insure that the app would work on it (of course, they sent me a second generation touch. Since I cant' quickly verify that it works on a 1st generation Touch, I didn't mark it as compatible with that platform. It *probably* would work though. The app doesn't do anything to strange or restrictive that would limit its capability on the older Touch.

It's Been Awhile...

It's been a while since I posted anything here, so I thought I'd just put a few thoughts and updates as to what's been going on with me here.

I'm spending time at work these days doing design work on the next project I've been assigned to. Can't really discuss what it is, of course, but its fun, and innovative, and a challenge; all the things I like about my job. We've got a great team of people on this one (like all the projects we do, of course), and its moving forward rapidly (at least I think so). I've got enough time right now to do a really good job of up-front design and thinking through all the interactions that are needed in the system, as well as how communications with the outside world will work. This is the type and style of project that I can really enjoy working on. My whiteboard is covered with design notes, as well as half of a notebook full of scribbled down ideas, comments, features, and little pieces of the system design, all block-diagramed out. I'm busily transcribing all that (plus what's floating around in my head) into a more formalized set of documents... Happy

My pool playing has been "back-burnered" lately by a number of things (time, health, work, etc.) but I'm hoping to turn that around and get back to the table soon. I do enjoy playing and for me; it is a relaxing way to spend a few less stressful hours during the week (and I miss having a couple of cold beers with the team!)

Christmas time is nearing, and I'll be traveling home to visit my parents. It'd be nice to have a really white Christmas, but I'll settle for having my family around over the holidays. It's looking like my brothers and sister, and my parents will all be at my lake house this year for Christmas. It'll be our first Christmas all together in a few years, and a first down at my house. I'm really looking forward to the holidays this year!

And, for those that have looked over my site before; I just added a Meebo widget to the side panel of my front page here. From that widget, anyone can send me an IM if I'm online (and if I'm offline, I'll get the message the next time I sign on)! It's a new feature and widget I found in this months (December '07) issue of MacWorld. It currently forward messages to my AIM account. I'll probably add some of my other online IM accounts as well... Winking

Vacation 2007

Well, I just returned from my annual summer vacation. This year, I drove my new 2007 Ford Escape to Washington state. The trip from Dallas TX to Wilbur WA was my usual route. Dallas to Amarillo, to Raton, NM, to Denver CO and on to Cheyenne, WY. Continuing north to Casper, and Sheridan, then on to Billings, Bozeman, Butte, and Missoula, MT. I crossed the northern part of Idaho, through Couer d'Alene, and into Spokane, WA.

My return trip was roughly the exact route, but I side-tracked from Raton, continuing south through Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM, then taking I-40 back to Amarillo, TX, and then on to Dallas.

During my vacation, I worked on projects around my parents home, as well as on my lake house on the Columbia River. I also took a day-hike with my nephew and sister (pictures in my photo album!)

This vacation was enjoyable, but, as always, it felt too short even though I took off nearly 4 weeks from work. I left with several projects planned for the next year, as well as several projects that weren't completed. Luckily, there is always next year!

47 - 74

Happy Birthday to Me! It's my 47th birthday today... and as my sister pointed out to me last night on the phone, for a few months here, if the digits of my age are transposed to 74, it's my dad's age... hmmm.

I don't have much planned for today. Work, then I think I'll go play darts at Drinks for something different to do tonight. I haven't played a tournament in quite a while (actually, I haven't played darts in quite a while so it should be very interesting! Winking

Anyway; time to get the day going...

Time For A Change

So, last Friday (Good Friday), I decided it was time to take action and go get a new vehicle. I've been thinking about a new vehicle for some time now, and finally had the time to go take care of business.

I went to North Central Ford in Richardson, TX and sat down in the Fleet/Commercial Sales department (nice thing about being a member of Texans Credit Union ). I had already decided that I wanted a Ford Escape. Now, it was just answering the question of what year and color. 2007 or 2008? (Yes, the 2008's are already in and its only April of '07!). Black, Gray, Green, Blue? I finally decided on a light gray/silver 2007 Escape XLT with the 3.0L V6 engine and gray leather interior. I traded in my 1994 F-150 Lightning on the new vehicle. I'll miss the Lightning, but it was time for it and me to part companies. It had been a reliable vehicle for the past 13 years, but it was time.

So anyway, here's my new vehicle!

(Picture taken inside its new home in the garage at my townhome...)

My new Escape should serve me well over the next number of years. I tend to keep vehicles for a long time these days...

In other news, my 9-Ball team continues its advance; we've won the past couple of weeks and are in good position to be ready for the upcoming City 9-Ball tournament. The 8-Ball team I'm currently on; "Dammit Jim @ Drinks" is doing well also. We've got our work cut out for us; but we're having some fun. Happy

I've been spending some of my spare time recording my vinyl albums over to my computer, and adding them to my iTunes collection. I purchased a ARTcessories DJ Pre II phono preamp and connected it to my Griffin Technologies iMic USB audio interface. I then connected my Technics SL-Q300 turntable to the preamp (I've had this turntable since the early 1980's and its still one of the best I've ever seen in terms of performance for the cost.) So far, I've done 38 different albums in the past weeks. I've still got the majority of my collection to go; but I can take my time and do a recording every now and then as I want to.


Spring, Vinyl, Pool and Stuff

Spring has definitely arrived here in Dallas. The weather lately has been great. As I sit here looking out the window, the sky is blue with a few clouds, and a slight breeze is blowing. In general, its pretty relaxing. I've also been walking to work when I can; usually Tuesdays and Thursdays as the other days of the week I have lunch out with friends.

I've resumed (after a few year layoff) the conversion of my album collection from vinyl to electronic so that I can put the songs on my iPod. Re-listening to some of these albums that I haven't played in years brings back memories. I still enjoy a lot of this music and remember why I bought a particular album or another. Of course, a few albums that I have and have listened to make we wonder what I was thinking when I bought them. Happy

We're midway through our Spring APA season. It started off pretty good, but work is taking a toll on my ability to concentrate on my pool game. The usual near end-of-project frenzy is in full swing and code stability is of huge importance. My 9-Ball team is holding position about midway in the standings, but I would wish we were in better position. We've got a few weeks to turn around and start winning consistently again... we'll see what happens.

This next week is a critical one at work; our latest project goes into full system test. We'll just have to see how it goes. Happy

A Good Start to a New Year

Well, it's 2007, and I'm busy updating websites since I just returned from my Christmas trip to Washington state. It took a bit since my original flight plan was through Denver (that flight, on Frontier Airlines, was cancelled since the airport was still closed on Dec 21, 2006 due to the recent blizzard). So, new plans were made, and I flew Alaska Airlines to Seatlle, then on to Spokane via Horizon Airlines. The return trip was on the 1st instead of the 4th, so vacation was cut a bit short. Flew back on Horizon from Spokane to Portland, then via American Airlines from Portland to Dallas. It was basically a good trip all around.

I've posted additional pictures in my pictures gallery under the Construction heading. Mainly because they're all pictures taken down at the new house on the lake over Christmas (my parents and I spent most of my vacation down at the house and I really hated to leave the place because it is very comfortable!)

Anyway, back to updating sites... Winking

Update to web tools

I'm finally upgrading to the latest version of Rapidweaver, version 3.5.

I've been putting it off since I've got to upgrade the themes I use and that may take some time. So; I've kept the older version around so that I can continue updating some sites, but I'm upgrading my personal site with the new tool (always treat your own stuff like a guinea pig...)

I do like the new UI enhancements they've provided and will be exploring some of the new features to see how I can use them. So far, looks pretty good! And its universal so it'll run on my new 20" iMac. The PPC version had some difficulties when rendering photo albums for publishing and would crash. I found work-arounds for that (order of how things are done and when), but what a pain... Happy

Halloween 2006

It's nearly time to go out for my annual trip over to Drinks for their Halloween party! I always have a great time there this time of year. I'm taking the computer along since I need to upload this entry, along with changes to their website as well as mine.

This past week, I ordered a new 20" iMac computer with wireless keyboard and mouse (it should show up early next week). This is the first new computer I've bought for myself since 1999 (when I bought my old Blue & White G3 system). In addition, I broke down and ordered AT&T SBC Yahoo! DSL service to be connected to my apartment. It's been about 9 months since I had my own Internet access; other than through work, or over at Drinks. With some upcoming stuff, I really decided I needed to have access from home once again. With the service I ordered, it's costing me about 1/2 of what my previous cable internet service cost, and I get faster up/down speeds as well.

The DSL modem and filters and self-install kit arrived yesterday at nearly the same time as I arrived home from work. It should only take a few minutes to connect up and get running if everything works correctly. The DSL service should be up and running sometime Tuesday, Oct. 31 (Halloween!!!)

With the new computer up and running, I'm going to be getting started on a program I'm developing for my brother. He's got a great idea for a commercial software package, the likes of which I've not heard of before. I figure its going to take a while to get it all designed and coded, and the quicker I get started, the quicker I can get it done, and we can start making some money from his idea.

Anyway, time to get a move on here and get going to the club. This should be lots of fun tonight. I can hardly wait to see what some of my friends dress up as tonight. I'm not a big costume-wearer myself, so I'm not actually dressing up, although, I have in the past.

Back from Vacation

I arrived back in DFW from vacation last Sunday night and am now back at work. Vacation was loads of relaxation punctuated with a lot of hard work both at my new house on the lake, and at my parent's house. My dad & I hung new overhead doors on his garage, laid a tile floor in the kitchen at my new house, finished countertops, installed sinks, attached light fixtures, and generally kept really busy. It was great.

We traveled on Sept. 22 over to Seattle and stayed overnight with my brother Jim. The next day, we were guests at Fort Lewis for the SGT John Ordway statue dedication ceremony. My brother John, with the US Army Corps of Engineers, was the landscape architect who designed the Fort Lewis Memorial Park. There are pictures from the event here.

I installed lots of lighting and placed a tile floor in the kitchen down at my new house. I also have pictures of that on the construction photos page. Check out these links ( here, here, and here ) to see what progress was made while I was on vacation!

Now that I'm back, I'm back playing 9-Ball on Monday nights. While I was gone, my 9-Ball team completed the summer session playoffs and pulled off another victory in winning the division playoffs yet again. This makes 4 sessions out of the past 5 that my team has won the playoffs for this division. We are now qualified again for the city tournament to be held after the Spring 2007 session. Third year in a row! I just really love my 9-Ball team! Happy

And now, time to sign off. I've really got to update this log a bit more often I guess... Winking

Mid September in Washington

Well, I'm on vacation at the moment in Washington state. I've been working on the house up here putting the finishing touches on it.

In the past week, we've put down some tile, grouted existing slate that was down, fixed the laminate floor damage that was done by the flooding we had earlier in the spring, and I've been working the fill in around the foundation where sand was washed away by rain.

All in all, so far so good.

I put some new pictures on the house construction area.

Late summer update...

Well, with the assistance of a very good friend, my house is nearly all back together. The ceiling is repaired, and re-textured/painted, and now all that remains is finishing the repairs to the attic A/C unit (actually, I'm replacing it).

Work is still hectic, but the end is near. I've nearly completed a new driver for the device communications module, and it works. Vacation is close; I'll be leaving on Sept. 1... and I am really looking forward to it.

Pool's summer session is just about over; our last 8-ball match is tomorrow night; and I believe I'm about done with playing 8-Ball in league. I enjoy 9-Ball immensely, but 8-Ball, while fun, is proving to be too much to handle as captain. I don't need so much stuff going on... Happy

Vacation will be a welcome break; even though I've got lots of work to do in Washington. Plans are to finish the house and get all the doors hung and trim installed, as well as tiling the upstairs bathrooms and putting fixtures in. It'll be good to get this done. Winking

I figured I should put something in here just to let people know I'm still updating the site. It's been a month and my friend Josh was commenting last week that I hadn't updated in a while... Happy ( Hi Josh! )

Well, gotta run to my next little appointment; I should be home around 9pm tonight...

Hot, Hot, Hot, and Still Vacation delayed...

Well, its really hot here in Dallas. We just ended a week plus of over 100 degree days.

Catching up on the news here; well... over the 4th of July, my house in Rowlett decided it was time to give me another test! Happy

Over the past 15 years of living there, I had replaced every major mechanical system in the house. Except for one piece of equipment; the A/C coils in the attic, attached to the furnace/air handling system. It decided to go out on the 4th of July and not in a minor way. The "emergency" drain tray that catches any condensate water that may not make it to the main drain system decided to literally fall to pieces, and the main drain failed, so I had wet carpet, wet drywall, and wet fiberglass all over the place in the back bedroom that I used to use as an office.

I shut down the A/C, removed the wet carpet to the garage, and tossed the wet underlayment out. After things dried out a bit, I removed the damaged drywall (ceiling, mostly), and began the process of cleaning things up. As it turns out, I definitely need a new A/C coil, and I'll be replacing the old, outdated, and bad duct work that had lost its outer plastic sheathing (amazing how that stuff can go bad...) That, plus a new drain tray, re-route the drain system, put up some new drywall, tape, texture, and paint, then new underlayment and re-lay the old carpet (which is perfectly fine and dry), and we'll be ready to go to market again! I'm still giving whoever buys the place a "new carpet allowance" to put whatever carpet they want into the house. Not everyone likes blue carpet... Happy

Work is totally insane right now. Too many hours; too few people; too many people on vacation... and major serious deadlines looming. Just finished working about 35-40 hours in 2.5 days... and I'm just shot. Still a huge amount of stuff to get working; but the end is in sight. Finally. It's really amazing what you can do when you're hugely sleep deprived! I sure do like Diet Coke!

Amidst all this; I'm still playing 9- and 8-Ball in league. My 8-Ball team is fun; but we just can't seem to catch a break. My 9-Ball team is just plain fantastic. We're focusing on having more fun this season than really caring about winning, but sometimes individual match wins (like this week's) are just so satisfying! Winking I like winning against players that are really not very sportsmanlike; or just have plain super-ego's that make them think they just can't be beat...

Anyway; another week is coming up. Maybe I'll be able to go on vacation one of these days... Sad


Another week and now; vacation delayed!

Well, another week has gone by; and its still hot here in Dallas. No buyer for my house yet; but I am hopeful that it will sell soon. I've been asked about my house by several people; I direct them to the house (give them the address and such) and tell them to contact a realtor to see it... Happy

Big news this week at work; my vacation plans were basically put on hold. I lose the airline tickets I have (they're non-refundable, although work will refund me for them since they need me to stay and help to complete the big project thats going on.) So, vacation is put off and delayed; probably till closer to Labor Day at this point. I'm understandable a little disappointed. Sad

My 9-Ball team won Monday night; playing at home against the other "home" team; the team formerly known as "Chris's Team" and now known as "Who Cares?" (a slight play against my team "Who's Next?" Happy It was a close match; finishing out at 52-48.

My 8-Ball team won the match 3-2 on Wednesday night, so all the pool this week was good (maybe because I didn't actually play in either match; just acted like a "captain"!!!) Winking

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend with not much going on except a little web-work and some yardwork out at the house in Rowlett (weeding, trimming, and generally upkeep...)

For now, I'm sitting here with a cold beverage and good friends... and getting ready to sign off. All websites are up to date and I'm winding my week down!



It's gotten hot here in Dallas. It's been hot (and dry for the most part) for some time already this year; more than normal.

Tomorrow, I've got to run out to the house, adjust the soaker hoses around the house (mainly the amount of time I run them each day), and mow the yard. It's been a few weeks since I last mowed and edged and it needs it. It hasn't grown much (especially since I'm not watering the yard; much anyway... Winking

I left work a bit earlier than normal today (still, it was after 5pm, but when you've been getting in at 5:30 or 6am and staying until after 6pm all week, 5pm seems early!). I'm here at Drinks Saloon, enjoying a cold Keystone Light and some nice jukebox music and conversation with some friends of mine.

Vacation... in two weeks, I'm supposed to leave on vacation... heading to Washington state as usual... and wow! Am I looking forward to the time off. The past few months have really beat me up (mostly mentally) at work. I'm exhausted. I can hardly wait to get up north where it is cooler, and spend some time at my house on the lake. I've got some work to do there for sure. I'm planning on completing the upstairs bathrooms (tile floors, fixture installs, etc) and finishing out the kitchen and breakfast area floors. It's lots of work, but a lot different than what I do at Texas Instruments. Besides that, the view from the house is; to put it simply; fantastic.

Well, signing off for now!

46 (or 39.7) and counting...

Today (all day long) is my 46th birthday. I walked to work this morning, early, and left work around 4pm (after about 10 hours of work... Happy

Now, I was going to stay at home and have a quiet birthday, but then I remembered its free pool day at Drinks, so here I am, tweaking a few websites... and then I'll be playing a bit of 8-Ball and maybe some 9-Ball... (just to stay sharp) My 9-Ball team won our division playoffs (again; this makes 3 times the past 4 sessions...) New season starts next week, and I've put my new 8-Ball team together. We should (hopefully) do well this summer!

Back to an ice cold Keystone Light now, and a pool table!

House Is Up For Sale!

Well, my house in Rowlett is finally up for sale. It took me a while to move most of my stuff out, clean up the place, and get my good friend, Worthie Cunningham, out there to fix up the place; patch, paint, tweak, etc. Happy

The house is in such good shape now, I *almost* feel like moving back out there. Operative word being *almost*. I'm getting settled into the apartment now and am comfortable there.

Work is hectic, as usual, with daily requests coming in for me to jump from project to project... which I just plainly won't do.

Tonight, I'm over at Drinks, getting ready for our last 9-Ball match of the regular season. We have a BYE next week, so don't have to play the last week. It looks like we'll be finish in 3rd place; good enough to make playoffs... who knows? maybe we can capture the division for a second season in a row... not that we need to. We're already qualified to go to our local city tournament to try to win our way to Vegas... Winking

Easter @ The New Apartment

It's been several weeks since I posted anything, so I thought I'd take a moment and put something together.

The past weeks have been hectic, but things are returning to "normal". I've completed my move to my new apartment and am getting comfortable there. I currently don't have internet connectivity at the apartment, and am considering just not getting connected here. I have adequate access both at work, and over at Drinks Saloon (free wi-fi there via So, what's been happening? Besides the move, I've been shuffled around on several projects at work and am getting dizzy from all the different stuff coming in from every direction.

My 9-Ball team is doing OK and we are holding our own. The city tournament is coming up and we're ready. The 8-Ball team I'm on has been struggling the past few weeks. We were in 1st place for several weeks, but have been losing lately and are missing a few of our more critical players. Its difficult to compete when we are short and giving away matches on forfeits. Its gotten to the point where I am planning on putting my own 8-Ball team back together again for the summer and beyond. I've got a few new players that want to join so shouldn't have trouble fielding a full team.


Fat Tuesday @ Home

Here it is, Fat Tuesday, and I'm home. Good thing actually. I'm tired and need some rest, and its another long day tomorrow. 9-Ball last night; and 8-Ball tomorrow night.

A slight correction from my last post; we're actually getting carpeting for my house from the local carpet and furniture store in my home town, along with installation. I'd always rather do business with local businesses than a business 70 miles away. Money spent at "home" works at "home". Nice rule of thumb when you do business in a rural area.

The 8-Ball team I'm on did good last week (we won 4-1), and we've (at least for the moment) moved into 1st place in our division. My 9-Ball team is having a little mid-season struggle. We've lost the last two matches; one pretty badly, and then last night (not so bad, but still a lost). We've dropped to around 4th place... not too far back yet, but we better turn it around soon... Winking

Work has been hectic; I got switched onto a little higher priority project at work that I need to finish quickly. This one is a fairly straight-forward embedded design with an SPI interface to another processor. I'm doing both sides of the interface and should be able to complete things in short order; about a 4 week total turnaround time; then back to finish up the previous project I was on.

Moving time is fast approaching. Less than 3 weeks to go; and I've been packing as much stuff as I can; when I can. The nice thing about moving like this; I can take my time; get the large stuff moved first, then move enough things so that I can use the apartment and also live at the house while I continue to move stuff. This is basically how I spent my last month in an apartment when I was moving out to the house 14 years back... geez, its been that long! Lots of changes here in Rowlett in that time... Happy Rowlett had a small town "feel" back then. It's lost that in the past few years; its just another suburb now; still a very nice place to live, but different than it was when I moved here originally. The population out here has at least doubled if not more...

Well, I think its about time to close this off and go get some much needed rest. Tomorrow will be here before I know it!

Colds, Pool, Carpet, and Stuff

For the past several weeks now, I've had a fairly persistent and nasty headcold with some minor bronchial congestion. The darn thing just won't let go no matter what I seem to do. It's not keeping me from doing things I have to do, but it sure makes life not so much fun! I'll get over it eventually but its making me miserable in the meantime!

My 9-Ball team is playing (as usual) pretty well! We're in good position after the first few weeks of the spring session. The 8-Ball team I'm on is doing darn good as well. We won this past week 4-1 over a good team from the 777 Club. Happy I also got a call from my dad; as well as an email. He found a deal on a new 8 foot pool table for my house at the lake in Washington. It'll be delivered and set up this next Tuesday (Valentines Day!). He told me that he and mom will be practicing so that they can take me on when I come up this summer! I am really looking forward to vacation; there's going to be lots of work for my dad & I to take care of (both on my house, and his... we've got a new roof to put on the shop. That'll be a bit of work!

My sister called me last to night to let me know how much she enjoyed shopping yesterday with my money. Seems she and Mom got together and hit Home Depot. They found the right carpet for my house, so got it all ordered. Delivery and installation included. Came in at about what I had estimated for it. She also found a nice slate-appearance laminate designed for use in bathrooms. We'll do at least the one upstairs bathroom with it. The house final finish work is all falling into place now.

Work the past few weeks has been just moving right along on my current project. I'm getting closer to a beta version of the code that can be placed in software test. The main issue is my project has to support several future products that have not been fully designed as yet; so I have to "anticipate" a bit on their design and be able to be flexible enough to handle interfacing to these future products. Its quite a challenge, but I think I've got a good enough design implemented to cover it. Just have to fully document everything when I get close to finished... Happy

Moving Time is Approaching

The time is getting closer and closer to when I'll be moving out of my house, and into an apartment (actually, a townhouse) closer to work. I've been spending time on the weekends packing stuff into boxes (specifically, things that I plan on storing and not really using again for some time). I can leave a lot of stuff in boxes that I want to keep, but don't necessarily need in the apartment.

I just finished loading a bunch of boxes with stuff and sealing them up. My living room is beginning to look like a mini-warehouse with boxes all lined up! Happy I'm going to miss the house after I move out, but the convenience of living closer to work and being able to actually walk to work (and subsequently NOT being in traffic and driving so much) will make up for it.

I got word from my dad that my cargo trailer has finally been sold. This is good news as I can use the money that the sale brought in to buy carpeting and tile for my house in Washington. The upstairs bedrooms will get carpeting, and tile for the bathrooms. Once that is done, finish trim and doors can be installed. I'm already looking forward to getting up to Washington this summer and working on the house; getting the yard started, trees planted, etc. I've also got several projects to work on with my dad, as usual. I look forward to working with my dad on projects each summer; its a big reason why I enjoy my vacations so much.

My current work project is going well now. I made some breakthroughs in the past week or so and can now see the "light" at the "end of the tunnel" on this one. It's been a very difficult project, but I'll get this one out. Winking

A New Year has begun

Well, I've been back at work over a week now, and am making good progress on the current project at work. I still have a few misgivings about whether it can be made to work reliably, but I keep working on the system anyway.

My 9-Ball team won the 1st round of playoffs while I was in Washington by a score of 52-48. My co-captain called me at about 2 am to give me the news... Winking

This week, we played against the playoff top-seeded team, Chris's Team, out of the same club my team plays out of; Drinks. It was a great match and very very close. My team managed to pull off the win by a score of 51 to 49. It doesn't get much closer than that! So, my team is now qualified for entry to the 9-Ball City Tournament. If we manage to win there, we have the opportunity and honor to compete in Las Vegas at the next National Championship for the APA.

I'm also in preparation to move from my house here in Rowlett and back to an apartment in Dallas. I'm moving close to work; close enough to walk to work in fact. After nearly 14 years in the house, the 20 mile one way drive is getting just a bit old, not to mention expensive in terms of gasoline. Happy I'm looking forward to moving. The floor plan I'm looking at will be available for move-in on March 18 according to the leasing office at the complex. A few weeks out to be sure, but it gives me time to get everything packed that will be moved.

Ready for Christmas break, and New Years

I'm just about ready to head out and visit my folks for Christmas. I've got my shopping handled (got to love on-line shopping and shipping! It makes the task so simple!), and will be flying to Spokane this coming Thursday. Temperatures are running to the low single digits according to dad, and maybe reaching to just below freezing for highs. I'm looking forward to seeing my new house at the lake since the last time I saw it this summer, it was still being built.

The past week saw my 9-Ball team not playing; we showed up, but the other team didn't; so a full match forfeit, and a few hours of practice ensued. My project at work is slowly making some progress... little by little I'm getting some of the system to work, at a low level. I don't know how much farther I'll get in the next few days; hopefully enough to get something working. Happy

Dad told me that the local VFW post in my home town is having a New Year's party on the 31st... and since I'll be in the area; I'm planning on going. I am looking forward to this party.

Updating the Web and the Week In (Quick) Review

I finally published sites I've been working on to "live" status.

The website for my brother-in-law's business; Drew Marine, in Spokane, Washington; is now live at I had done a version of the site using lighter colors, like a white background, and different navigation. But, Drew likes the color scheme we had before with a black background and purple color scheme. So... I re-did the new site with that color scheme in mind, but more modern than what I had before. I'm very happy with the result!

Another site I've been working on for some time was my friend, Mark McQuade's site; McQuade Contracting. It's finally live now and on-line.

I also added another new page to my site containing links to some sites I really enjoy. I'll keep adding to it as I think of other sites I really enjoy visiting.

Work is going a bit better as I'm finally starting to make some level of progress on the new project I'm on; not as much as I'd like, but at this point, I'll take anything. My 9-Ball team had this week off (a bye), but my 8-Ball team played Wednesday. We had enough players so as to not forfeit any matches. I played about as well as I could, but was not able to win (again). It's a bit frustrating knowing that I've got a great team, but we're not able to be competitive. Oh well... Sad


4 Days Down and Ready To Go (Back to Work)

I've had 4 days of downtime and am basically ready to get back to work after a relaxing Thanksgiving break.

I've slept, did laundry, played on the computer a bit, and watched TV. It's downtime I guess I really needed as I don't seem to get much these days what with work, billiards, commuting, and everything else.

sea     So, it's mid-afternoon on Sunday, and I'm sitting here watching the Giants vs Seahawks game. The first quarter just finished and the 'Hawks are in front 7-0. I've been a "fan" (if you can call it that) of the Seahawks for awhile. I'm not a football fanatic, but I've always rooted for the Seahawks. I'm glad their season is going so well this year and I'd really like to see a Superbowl trophy head up to Seattle! Guess we'll see...

Well, back to the game and preparations for the coming workweek. Still not making much progress on the new project, and will probably be having a sit-down with project management to discuss my concerns. It seems like the system I'm supposed to be building upon isn't as far along, or ready, as I thought it was (and as far along as others thought it was as well...) Good news in billiards, my 9-Ball team has Monday off, and the 8-ball team; well... let's not go there! Winking

Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

As I sit here pondering the day ahead, planning activities for the day, I'm also thinking back over all the things that happened this week. I didn't get picked for the jury. I did get some type of start on a new project at work (but its going to take a while to get any understanding of this one; it's not an easy project at all and not really my area of expertise unfortunately). My 9-Ball team swept our opponent Monday night 66-34, but my 8-Ball team fell flat on its face, or they would have if they had showed up. Only Sonja and I were at the match; the rest of my team could not arrive in time to avoid forfeiting... and I got beat by an 8 on the break... not the worst way to lose; that's for sure.

I'm looking out the window and it looks like its going to be a beautiful Sunday. Clear skies, sun is shining, birds are singing. I think it's a good day to rake leaves, put away the water hoses from the summer, clean up the yard, and make everything ready for Winter, now that the temperatures have finally cooled off.

I've also got lots of chores around the house to take care of; laundry, dishes, vacuuming, you name it... typical Sunday at my place. Winking

I guess it's time to fix breakfast and get my day going, and prepare for the coming week. It's a short one since Thanksgiving is upon us! Holidays are great; a good time to reflect on the past year and plan for the coming months. Signing off for now! Happy

Sittin' on the dock of the bar...

So, I'm just sittin' here at Drinks on a Friday evening. Just finished some updates to the club's site, and have been visiting with some of my many friends here. Last night, I watched a DVD of some "home-made" camera footage, taken by a friend of mine as he was journeying down to the New Orleans area taking some of his family members back to their homes. The footage was NOT at all what you see on TV. The utter devastation; homes literally "floated" off their foundations and laying in the streets (obvious, as they were being driven around). This is the state of things there NOW too. Several months AFTER Katrina visited her devastation on the area.

I visited New Orleans in 2004 for a conference... walked the streets of the French Quarter, and the surrounding area... and was at the convention center by the Superdome. Granted, my friend's video was taken in St. Bernard's Parish, not N.O. proper... but still; the total loss of EVERY home in every neighborhood they went through; walls blown in, blown out, houses completely put underwater and washed down the street by the water as it inundated the area... it really makes you think, and feel.

I count myself lucky that I don't have relatives in the area, and at the same time, I feel for my friends that DO have family and relatives suffering through this disaster.

The evening news focuses on the wrong aspects of this disaster... even a couple of months after the event. People are the story. Not the response of the government, or the police, or the riots and looting. Normal people, their lives shattered, possessions, keepsakes, family mementos, and pictures, gone. And not just in N.O., but over the ENTIRE area.

Well, enough of this... I think I'll have another cold beer. And thanks the stars for all the blessings bestowed on me.
(And darn it, I still have to get ready for jury duty on Monday!) Happy

Good night all...

Wonderful world of the web, and a quiet day at home.

I'm just sitting here watching the end of the NASCAR race at TMS on TV... and have my laptop (in my lap, of course). I've been updating the pub websites I maintain. I've tweaked the Drink's Saloon website ( and got it working and looking pretty much the way I want.

I also recently updated the ORileys Billiards website ( These updates make my life a little easier since I've updated my web tools to something much more modern and easy to use. I used to use Claris Homepage 2.0 and 3.0 to do my web development. However, this software has not been updated in several years, and doesn't even run on Mac OS X... requiring me to run the Classic environment to use it. I'm getting used to the new software I'm using (RapidWeaver from RealMac Software, Ltd. - I really like the way it handles web logging (a feature Homepage never had), and also how it integrates with iPhoto to set up and manage photo albums online.

I've now used RapidWeaver on my own personal site, two pub sites, and am working on two other sites with it right now; one of which is almost done, and the other is still pretty much a "work in progress". Happy

The other big change in how I do things now versus a year ago; I'm "wireless" and use an Airport Express base station, hooked into my stereo (so I can listen to my iTunes music), and into my Surfboard cable modem with Comcast cable internet. While I work on webstuff like this, I can download the latest developer updates from Apple that I need this coming week at work, watch a movie on TV (or listen to music if I want), and all from the comfort of my recliner instead of in my home office in the back of the house.

Things sure have changed in the world of computers! Happy Now, I think I'll just relax a bit and get ready for an upcoming week of work, billiards, computers, meetings, and shopping. And, think about getting ready for jury duty as I just got summoned to appear in about a week... Winking

Playing with new web tools

I'm playing around with the new RapidWeaver 3.2 public beta. It looks really good and I like a number of its features over the previous 3.1 version.

Reworking my web world

After several years of the same old website, and using the same webtools, I finally decided it was time to revamp both my site and my tools.

I've switched from the old (really old) tool I was using, Claris Homepage 3.0, to RapidWeaver 3.1. While the new tool is much easier to use and does things in a much more up-to-date format, I've so far found that it doesn't have quite the level of control of formating that I'm used to. I learned HTML coding in the days when text editors were used, and you coded all the tags manually; no WYSIWYG editors...

I'm sure that as I learn more about RapidWeaver, and the various features it has, I'll find ways to do precisely what I'm looking to do in terms of page formatting and layout.