Saturday, July 31, 2004

"Bob, It is raining in my house."
I called Bob the Builder. He is doing the work on your porch. I told him it was raining in my house. Not only inside the porch but also inside the house. Slight exaggeration, sure. But the wall in the guest room is wet.

I crawled up in the rafters with some tar paper. It didn't take much effort to channel all the water out of the house. Bob says the roofers will be here on Monday.
Yesterday was a holiday for me. I didn't have to go to work and I had no plans. At first I thought I would work on the bed finish. But I could hear the call of the road, and shame of all shames, I think the Miata had set in the garage undriven for 7 days.

One of the tires looked low, so I check them all out and then hit the road. At first I really had no plans other than to just cruise around a bit. I headed west, California here I come. After driving a little bit I decided I would go visit my Grandfather. He live about 90 minutes away.

When I got there I parked in his driveway and knocked on the door. After a few minutes there was no answer. I had my cell phone, so I rang his phone. I let it ring 10 times. Again no answer. His car was in the driveway so I figured he was just out for a walk. He walks a good bit. He is 78 years old.

My father lives across the street so I walked over there. Again I pulled out the cell phone but this time I called before I rang the doorbell. As soon as he answered the phone I started ringing the doorbell. Dingdong, Dingdong, Dingdong. He said "Hold on a second, someone is at the door." And there I was.

He called back across the street and eventually he got an answer. We we back over there and talked with him, Scott, for a while. Scott _really_ liked the Miata. He asked me how much I would let him have it for. He spent quite a bit of time telling me about his first convertible. He bought it after returning home from WWII. He also told me I was living life backwards. In his opinion I should have gotten the convertible when I was younger and single. Apparrently girls love convertibles.

I would not be surprised at all if the next time I saw him he had a Miata. After all, he is only 78 and girls love convertibles.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Hello, It is me again. 

The Miata is still sitting in the garage.  Tomorrow is out of the question.  I am driving down to Birmingham on business.

Tomorrow evening it will be woodworking time once again.  I am still working on the first coat of poly.  It could be said that I haven't been working on the first coat of poly.

I setup a Continuum Server on my Linux box.  I had a friend try to connect from the world wide WAN.  Firewall must be setup wrong.  I will try again later.  We played a little while on a server setup for beginners.  Those 'beginners' are pretty good.  They must have been playing a while.  Get the binaries at and go get spanked.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

It seems like the Miata has been sitting quietly in the garage forever.  Has it really been five days since it moved.  Does the rear tire pressure really look low, or is the car simply beckoning me to come give it a little attention.  Perhaps tomorrow will be a Miata day.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Lots of typos in my last entry.  I guess I didn't proof it before publishing.   And now I am just feeling too lazy to fix it.

I took Aaron and Austin home today.  They live about 90 minutes away.  Friday Aaron asked me if I would help him get his computer on the internet.  They have another computer in the house hooked up to a cable modem already.   Time to put together a LAN.

I called his mother and asked how long the cable needed to be.   Best guess was about 75 feet.  You can buy a 100 foot ethernet cable but they run about $60.  To me that is insane.  I decided to make one.  I got the category 5 cable from Home Depot.  100' of Cat 5 runs about $18.  I already had the crimping tool and the RJ connectors.  You can get a 500' roll of cable for about $45.  I should probably do that next time considering the number of times I have gone to HD and bought 100'.

I also bought him a Linksys router -  CompUSA, $59; Ethernet card, $14.   Aaron's birthday is in August.  I told him this was an early B-day present.  My Father said he would help pay for it.  Aaron and Austin now have Internet access.  I suppose they will be up late tonight playing Subspace/Continuum. 

I considered buying them 802.11B wireless stuff.  For the cost of the router and wire I could have gotten an equivalent wireless setup.  However there is no way of knowing whether the signal strength would have been good inside their house.  If it was bad, that could effect thru-put and latency.  I decided, better safe than sorry.  Wired was the way to go.

Yes, I did spend most of the weekend playing computer games.  Just like the good old days.  I am a gamer.  Dude!

The Miata spent the weekend in the garage.  I drove the truck(extended cab)  as I was taxi'ing the four kids around.

Friday we packed up the office.  Saturday a moving company moved our stuff.  Tomorrow I will go to work at a different location.  The new offices are much nicer than the old place.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

LAN Party
I have been playing Subspace today. Most of the day actually. It is also known as Continuum. I first played this game about 10 or 11 years ago. Last night I downed the server binaries and installed them on one machine. At one point we had 5 other computers in the house logged into the server. Many explisions later my head is pounding. I did pretty well in the gaming though. My opponents were 11, 8, 6, and 3 years old.

My two nephews are staying with us today/tonight. Besides the LAN party we also went to Greenbrier for lunch, and hit the neighbors pools this afternoon. Domino's provided dinner. Hopefully things will begin to wind down in another hour or so. There is nothing quite like listening to a six year old yell, "Shoot him, Shoot him, Shoot him", only to then hear a three year old echo.

All things considered, it has been a good day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

F1 Hot Wheels Re-deux
I hit a few more Advanced Auto Parts stores today. Now I have the whole set of Formula One Hot Wheels. It turns out there were 6, not 4. Tonight we all played cars on the coffee table. At the final store I visited they actually had all 6 cars. At least until I got there. I grabbed the last McLaren and Jaguar F1 cars.

Another benefit of the final stop is the cars rang up for $1.29 a piece. The other store was selling them for $1.99. I told the guy at the register I thought they were suppose to be $1.99. He didn't seem to care very much. About anything. Just a job, ho hum. Lucky me.

For the record, the complete set consists of:
  • Ferrari
  • Jaguar Racing
  • Jordan Grand Prix
  • McLaren
  • Renault F1 Team
  • Williams F1 Team

    They also had the cars in 1:18 and perhaps 1:24. The 1:18 scale cars where $24.99 and the smaller ones were $4.99. I will stick with the regular size Hot Wheels. They fit the budget.

    This little adventure, aka the obsession of the week, was very interesting. I had no idea that people made weekly trips to the store to purchase the latest Hot Wheels. And these guys are not playing with them. They keep them in the orignal packaging. I guess it is a lot like stamp collecting. Not nearly as expensive as collecting 1:1 scale cars.

    I sure have been verbose lately. :)

  • Monday, July 19, 2004

    F1 Hot Wheels
    Speed channel has been advertising Formula One Hot Wheels available at AutoZone. Sunday I stopped by to get a set. They only had the Ferrari and Renault cars. I hope to find the other two at another store later this week. Tomorrow is a Miata day so perhaps I will go find the other two during lunch. Top down of course.

    And no, I won't be sharing these with Jordan. He can get his own. Ok, maybe I will get him some too. And we can't leave Brianna out either.
    Google recently bought a company called Picasa. I had never heard of them before today. Hit their site and download their free software courtesy of Google. To quote them, Picasa is "Everything you need to enjoy your digital photos in a single application." Give it a try. My first impression was "This thing rocks."
    I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code. I assume it has been getting good reviews because I have heard several people mention it lately. The story was pretty good. The puzzle aspect was pretty cool as well. I actually figured a few of the puzzles out before the solutions were presented. The coolest part though was all the conspiracy stuff. Several times I had to remind myself that you can't believe everything you read. It certainly made me want to read more about Da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton. I liked the book enough that I took it to work and handed it off to a friend. It will be interesting to see what he thinks about it.

    After finishing the code, I started another Terry Pratchett book. I have been working through a list of his stuff for about a year I suspect. I am on #13 of 22. Every now and then I throw in a Harry Potter book, but I am all caught up on those now. I got started on the Pratchett Disc World stuff after reading a book he co-wrote called "Good Omens". It was recommended by someone on Slashdot. Back in '92 someone recommended the first Pratchett book to me based on the fact that I enjoyed Douglas Adams' stuff (Hitch Hiker's Guide, Dirk Gentley, etc). Good Omens was ok, but I really like the Disc World stuff, especially the books involving Nanny Ogg and the GUY WHO TALKS LIKE THIS.

    Zaphod Lives!
    Here it is. The new tag:

    I wanted "RAM MX5" but I was limited to a max of five characters. MX5 was already taken as was RICKM, RAM, and RAM92 :).

    I need a vacation!

    Sunday, July 18, 2004

    New Tag for the MX-5
    I put the new tag on the Miata yesterday (RAMX5).  It looks pretty good to me.  I tried to post a picture but I am having passive mode ftp problems again.  I guess it is time to reboot again.
    I am still working on applying the first coat of poly to the bed.  I would gladly pass this chore on to any willing soul.  I wonder if poly can be applied with a paint gun?
    I got some good photos this morning:  A white '89 Ferrari Testarossa, several Corvettes, and a nice silver Miata.
    The framing work on the back porch is mostly complete.  They got started on Friday, worked about two hours yesterday, and then most of this afternoon.  It should be interesting to see how long it actually takes to get the whole thing complete.  Who thinks it will be done inside of two weeks?  Bob the builder actually estimated about a week to finish.  Ha!

    Thursday, July 15, 2004

    "I am not quite dead yet"
    Really, reports of my death have been greatly exagerated.  
    At about 2 or 3 am on Wednesday morning I decided to take a road trip.  I woke up my wife.  She said, "sure, lets go to the hospital."  I said, "What the hay!" and off we went.

    At about 10 pm I started experiencing some slight pain in my shoulders.  I tried the hot tub out but it didn't help.  I went to bed close to midnight.  I stayed there for almost 10 minutes.  I couldn't lay on my left side, my right side, or my back.  I moved to the sofa so my fidgeting wouldn't keep Ginger awake.  For the next couple of hours I tried to find a position that I could stand.  It gradually got worse.  I eventually woke her up and she took me to the hospital.   I eventually got a shot of demerol.  That made things much better!  It was getting light when we got home.  I don't actually remember the drive home.  I slept all day, at least until 5:00 pm when the phone woke me up.  I was awake until 8:30 pm but still foggy most of that time and I think I dozed off several times.  When I got in bed at 8:30 I slept thru til 6:45 am when Ginger's alarm clock went off.  I went to work today though in retrospect I probably should have stayed home again.
    The scary part is we don't really know what happened.  Some say it was simply muscle strain or a muscle spasm.  One guy suggested I was simply dehydrated.  Regardless, of what anyone says, I don't know what happened.  I do know that it hurt more than I have ever hurt in my life.  I hurt so much at times I couldn't even speak.  And of course occassionaly I considered hurling but I never quite got around to it.
    The good new is I am still alive and kicking, though for a while today I had serious doubts.
    On the brighter side, I see blogger had added some features to the blogging GUI.  I will have to try them out soon.  Good night.

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    The beverage calorie list is here. Send me anything else worth noting.

    [Verbose Mode On]
    I few months ago I turned my computer off. I was leaving town for a few days on vacation and I didn't really care to leave it on while I was away. The machine I reference is my Windows XP machine, not my Linux box that is hosting this site. The vacation was a trip to Pigeon Forge.

    After returning from the trip, I turned the computer on. Now everyone that has paid attention knows that computers usually die when they are being turned on. You might consider a lightning strike as an attempt to turn it on all the way to 11. Yes it is true, when I turned it on, the magic smoke escaped from an IC on the controller of a 40 Gig Western Digital hard drive. The drive was manufactured way back in 2001 if you can believe the date printed on it. And yes the smoke is magic, mainly because with out the smoke it will no longer work and it would be a true feat of magic to put it back.

    The IC in question is an ST L6278 1.2. ST means that it is an SGS Thompson part. The L6278 is simply a part number. Basically it is the motor control chip.

    So heres what we know. The hard drive quit working. I checked digikey and several other sources but was unable to find a replacement part.

    Western Digital said they would replace the drive. It was still under warranty, but they would not repair it. Guess what is on this drive? Your right! This is the drive I use to back up all the good stuff. In some cases the good stuff only lives on the backup drive. Doesn't make it much of a backup does it? I am not interested in get the drive replaced, what I want is the data back.

    I checked with one of those data recovery places. There estimate for retrieving the data from the failed drive was between $800 and $3000 dollars. Sure no problem.

    It turns out there are a few hard drives in the house. As a matter of fact I have an old 100 Meg drive you can have just for the asking. Let me know ASAP and I will send it too you. One of the drives around here has a L6278 1.2 on it. Most of the others either have the older L6262 or some labeled SMOOTH.

    I tried taking the controller board from that HD and putting it on the dead HD. It make some nice clicking sounds but it wouldn't access the drive. I put the functional drive back together and it still works! Whew! I also tried another controller board with the same form factor. Same results. Click click click.

    So now I am eyeing the L6278 1.2 that resides on a function HD. The IC is a 44 pin quad flat pack. With the right tools I could desolder it from one board and resolder it to the other. Attempt to read my data off and then move it back again. With any luck I would have my data and the functional drive would remain functional.

    Here is a problem. I don't have a good desoldering tool and the tip on my soldering iron is not fine enough to solder a 44p QFP back on.

    I know a guy that has the skill and access to the tools to get the job done right. I will be checking into this in the next day or so. Did I mention the drive with the good IC is not in my computer. Now that is a detail not to be over looked.

    When I set out to get the solder this weekend I was planning on doing it myself, but I had forgotten how small a leads on the chip are. I know my limits. I still needed the solder though. I pretty much used up what I had building up the wiring harness for the new radio.
    [Verbose Mode Off]

    Tomorrow is a Miata day. Haven't quite gotten all the way though the U2 CD yet. And for those taking notes, when playing MP3s, the player picks up at the same point in the song as where it was when it was turned off.
    Splash Splash Splash
    We visited the neighbors pools yesterday afternoon. For reasons that I can't explain, I decided to try to do a flip into the pool. I have never tried to do this before. I was somewhat successful a few times. Mostly I just landed on my back. I suspect I would have been more successful if they had a diving board. I was just jumping from the edge of the pool. So 35 is not too old to learn new tricks.

    Jordan showed me a new trick as well. He has now conquered the deep end. No float required. And he has also learned to do a rather nice dive. Brianna still prefers a float and hanging out near the stairs.

    When the clouds rolled in we move over to our hot tub. The rain was cold and the hot tub was hot.

    I typed up the camping experience last night. I should have it posted in another day or so. I still need to proof it and add pics.

    I asked G to dig up some old photos of the Acura yesterday. Ginger asked if I was planning on making an "I Love My Car" website. Too late for that.

    Who is sending the anonymous comments about iMike's tech support?

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Check out the write up of the radio install. Pictures included.

    I created a replacement home page and put it online last night. Not much to look at but neither was the old one. Today while searching the web it occurred to me that even though I forgot to backup my home page, Google had done it for me. So I searched for me and selected the cached version of my page. Next I 'viewed the source' and then saved it to my harddrive. Now I just need to FTP it back to the Linux box.

    I did a writeup of the stereo install last night. I will probably post it later today after I proof read it.

    I need to make a trip to Radio Shack this afternoon. I need some soldier. More on this later.

    I have now finished 1.75 applications of stain to the cherry bed. Almost time to open up a can of satin poly.

    Saturday, July 10, 2004

    Ever wondered about the URL?

    I think you have had too much to drink. The picture looks fine to me.
    rm -Rf www/*
    I accidentally deleted my homepage. And I forgot to back it up. I guess this is the perfect opportunity to redo it.

    rm -f blog/entry
    And this is the second time I wrote this entry for the blog. Somehow I erased it before I posted it.

    If only I could accidentally erase dept. I would be everybodies friend.

    I was just starting to work on the chronicles of the stereo install when things went south. I guess that will wait.

    I tried a Vanilla Pepsi today. Yuck! And to make it worse, I thought it was a Diet Vanilla Pepsi when I picked it up. So I got the bad taste and 160 calories to boot.

    The lights on the Miata are no longer stuck up. This moring I took the console back apart and plugged in the one connector that I overlooked yesterday.

    The windshield has had a chip in it since pre-me. This morning I went to Autozone and Advanced Auto Parts. I needed a quart of oil, 1 pint for the Miata and 0.5 quarts for the truck. While at Advanced I saw a windshield repair kit made by LocTite. It was just under 8 dollars and I was going to have to use the plastic as I had no cash. I didn't really want to put a $2 charge on the card for just the oil, though I probably should have. Impulse buy brings total to ~ $10.

    The stuff worked to some extent. You can still see that there was a chip in the windshield though it is now much less noticable than before. I feel like I followed the instructions to the letter. I suspect with another application the chip would go away. At this point it is not worth another $8 to me.

    I began the process of staining the cherry bed today. The MinWax golden pecan is a nice light stain that looks good on the cherry. I got two coats on the rails and most of a single coat on the head board. I have not yet begun on the footboard. The humidity level was high while I was working. So high in fact that it started to rain. I get anxious about finishing when the humidity is high. Things don't always dry out as they should.

    This afternoon I drove over to the big volume chevy dealer. The radio was advertising a Corvette show with free Cokes, Hotdogs, etc. I got there about 2:30 pm. As far as I could tell the show ended at about 2:00. The radio didn't mention show hours. I wanted to get a picture of some of the early era 'vettes and maybe some late model ones as well. The place was pretty much clearing out when I got there. Oh well.

    This morning on the way back from the auto parts store I got stopped at a light with 7 'vettes surrounding me. I could tell they were all envious. The water spots don't really show from more than a few yards away.

    The real reason for the trip to the parts store was I saw a commerical during the lsat few F1 races that said Advanced would be selling model F1 cars. I thought if they weren't too pricey I might pick up a Ferrari. The store I hit didn't have any.

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    The stereo is in. Nice fit. Sounds good too. I snapped some photos. You can see those later. One problem. I think I left a connector unplugged when I put the console back together.

    I was taking a few photos of the car and I asked Jordan to push the pop up button. Nothing happened. So I turned the lights on using the switch. Up came the lights. When I turned them back off, the barn doors stayed open. I decided to let it ride for the day. I have a whole weekend to fix it.

    FootLoose is on CMT right now. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows Kevin Bacon. Not really.

    This evening I made the weekly Friday evening dinner trip in the Miata, top down, lights up/off. Dinner consists of Chic-Fil-a Kids meal for Jordan and Cheese Burger Kids Meal for Brianna from Burger King. Everyone is happy. Fortunately I normally pass both on the way home from work so it isn't really out of the way.
    Who Rakes the Leaves?
    I received an email yesterday from a guy by the name of Dan Michaels. He is part of a band called 'The Choir'. He had my email address because I had ordered a few CDs from his web site earlier this year. I have been listening to these guys for 17 years by my count. The note, probably part of a mass mailing, was to let me know that they are working on a new album to be released possibly by September.

    A while back, I linked to their website from my home page with the phrase "Who rakes the leaves". There is a very long story which I won't go into right now behind what that means. By coincidence, the main page on their website contains a picture of a large tree.

    Now for fun, go and Google "Who Rakes the leaves". Include the quotation marks. Their page was the second link when I did it. The interesting thing about all this is that their website says nothing about raking leaves. It happened because I linked to them with that phrase. Google is amazing.

    I think The Choir is located in Nashville these days. That is only a couple hours by Miata, straight up Interstate 65. Perhaps I should drive up there and provide some backup vocals. They could edit them out later.

    Everybody in the band appreciates Rik
    Back in 1900 and 87, I returned to Alabama from a far away country known as Texas. A few of my friends started a band about the same time. They offered to let me be the lead singer but they had to edit me out later. They were inspired by The Choir and U2. Check out the music of Presence here.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    I am taking tomorrow off. Definitely looking forward to another long weekend.

    UPS delivered the Aiwa today. Perhaps I will install it in the AM.

    And yes, I did get out and pound the pavement last night. Didn't hit my goal, but at least I was out there.

    Tired. Must sleep. Zzzzzzz.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Excellent Timing
    I checked the UPS tracking number this morning. The new car stereo is scheduled to be delivered on Friday. Excellent timing.

    I noticed a little squeak this morning in the Miata when I press the clutch pedal down. The humidity is high today. Near about 130% actually. Ok, the weather report actually says 90%. Perhaps when it drops the squeak will go away. If not, I will have to turn up the volume on the radio. Excellent timing.

    Chance to t-storms this afternoon. Will need to put the top up after lunch.

    And speaking of lunch, we hit the new indian place {Vinny's} again yesterday. Mmmm. Tried the butter chicken this time as well as the samosas and Gobi 65.

    I woke up this morning to the sound of a cell phone beeping the battery is almost dead beep. Since I was awake anyway, I jumped in the hot tub at 5:20 am. Very nice. The moon was still out at this time. No not that moon, the one in the sky! At around 6:00 am I came back inside. The kids were already up playing. Brianna was surprised that I got up before her. That rarely happens.

    Monday, July 05, 2004

    My father brought me a bag of veggies from the garden today: cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. I decided to mess up the kitchen this evening. I prepared some boiled squash, fried squash, sliced red tomatoes, fried green{or slightly, mostly red} tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers. The kids were quick to say they didn't like that stuff. I also made some homemade biscuits which I ended up tossing. The baking powder had expired so they didn't rise. The kids ate PB&J, no crust, J=strawberry jam.

    In the next section I refer to my father as 'aka PaPa'. That should have been 'aka PawPaw' I suppose. At least that is the way it is pronouced.

    It has been a week since I pounded the pavement. I really need to get back out there. The little bit I had done really helped when I was out hiking last week. I hear a coconut pie in the fridge calling my name.

    I started writing up the camping trip, but I haven't finished it yet. Need to get around to that one soon. It's all starting to fade.

    More Formula One
    As I sit here I am watching the French Grand Prix that I Tivo'ed this weekend. It has been another good race. Don't know how it ends yet. Shh! Don't tell me.
    Crutchfield Update
    Less than 12 hours after placing an order, I received and email from Crutchfield stating that my order has shipped. Perhaps it will be here by Friday! I was surprised that it shipped today. I was under the impression that most hard working folks were enjoying a long weekend. Perhaps they had Friday off instead of Monday.

    Coma Induced Spending
    I ordered the new car stereo last night from Crutchfield. Technically it was this morning. The web site said 2-3 business days for delivery. Hopefully it will arrive Friday so I can install it next weekend. The unnamed Miata will be happy. I never really got around to trying to name it.

    My first car, a 1976 Mercury Comet, was simply called 'The Comet'. The was also 'The Vette', which was a 1979 Chevy Chevette. There have been others cars, but none really ever got a name. They are simply refered to as 'The Horizon', 'The Pinto', 'The Grand Am', {watch your step} 'The Acura', 'The Truck'. And now 'The Miata'. Only one of these cars really had a personality, the vette, but who wants to call a car 'the money pit'!

    Yesterday afternoon I decided to take a little nap. Coma is a better description of what happened. I woke up 3 hours later and really wasn't ready to get up at that point. Of course I paid for it today. At 11:30 pm I attempted to retire to bed. At 11:34 I knew I wasn't going to sleep anytime soon. I tried again around 1:30 am.

    Southern Adventures
    This morning the kids and I went to Southern Adventures. Ginger was working. My father, aka PawPaw, drove over from Tuscumbia to go with us. We played mini-golf and some games which exchanges quarters for tickets. Wack-a-mole, stomp-a-spider, ski-ball type games. Pawpaw won the mini-golf. Don't know the exact score because when things start getting really bad, one should simply stop counting. Either that or resort to serious cheating. Lunch was at Wendy's. Frosties all around. I sure could use a nap. Then I could stay up all night tonight. Will I never learn?

    Sunday, July 04, 2004

    Today I made the requisite trip to Home Depot. Light bulbs, #10 brass screws, and Minwax golden pecan stain. The later two were for the bed. Brianna is still waiting. I mentioned to Ginger that I was about to start staining the bed frame. She said something about buying a new matress and box spring set. I told her not to get in a hurry.

    On the way to HD I saw another red Miata sitting at a stop light. I waved to the guy as I passed throught the light. About a minute later I see him in the rear view mirrow. I slowed down so he could catch up. His was a red 1999. We had the typical conversation two guys in Miatas can have at a traffic light. First he mentions how dirty his car is and how clean mine appears. This is of course an optical illusion. Next we move on to the big gray cloud hovering overhead. No offer for a pink slip race. I think I could have taken him.

    The finance committee has approved the purchase of a new car stereo for the Miata. I will probably buy the most inexpensive one I can find from Crutchfield. The only real requirement I have for it is I want one that will play MP3s from a CD-R. I looked at the local Best Buy. I found one there that would work...but I don't like the idea of their 'professional car installation staff' taking my Miata apart.

    How many hours of MP3s can you fit on a CD-R?

    The trip to the river yesterday was a blast. We all took a ride in the boat. Brianna took a little nap while on the boat. Jordan, Ginger, and I did some tubing. Jordan and I even enjoyed it. We caught some air a few times. While out on the river we passed an island that had wild goats on it. They were hiding among the trees. Jordan got a kick out of that. We also got to ride the wave runners. That was a lot of fun. The river was really wide where we were at. Technically, I think we were on Wheeler Lake. Jordan and I started across the river on the wave runner. We got about a third of the way across before we turned back. Had we gone all the way across, it would have been far enough that no one would have been able to see us. I didn't think that was a very good idea. Surprisingly there were not a lot of boats out. Did I mention the water was really choppy? We managed to put the nose of the wave runner underwater a few times. Only one injury. I have a bruise the size of tennis ball on my right arm.

    Updated the Miata Diaries link to

    Saturday, July 03, 2004

    Happy 4th, er, 3rd of July
    We are going to the river today to celebrate the 4th. The river here refers to the Tennessee River. Plenty of dams make for some nice lakes. I hope to get Jordan out on a wave runner. I would also like to do a little water skiing. It has been about ten years since the last time I was towed around behind a boat. Wish me luck.

    You may have noticed the new look of the blog. I wanted to go for something sparse. This to balance out the clutter of my desktop.

    I haven't had a chance to drive the Miata since Tuesday. I am ready to hit the road. The road is calling. Perhaps this evening. At the very latest, tomorrow morning!

    Anyone want an old Atari 1200XL with a floppy drive, modem, data cassette, etc. It is free for the asking. You pay shipping. I am not sure whether it works. I haven't used it since the last 1980s when I got my first IBM compatable Packard Bell 386sx 16 Mhz with 2M of RAM. Now that was a rocking machine.

    Friday, July 02, 2004

    /* Comments */
    Well I finally got around to getting the comment feature working again. So give it a whirl and let me know if you have any problems.

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    Microsoft Search Technology
    I saw this on slashdot. Microsoft has a demo of its new seach technology available online. It is a bit slow, but I found what I was looking for: Me.

    I searched for "ram92" and found me here and here. Of course I wish the order was reversed but thats just vanity.

    For fun I searched for google as well. Can you believe there were zero hits?
    Yesterday I bought two new CDs. At the time I mentioned the review idea, I had no intention of buying any new music soon. Yesterday morning at work we were talking about ELO and I decided to check Amazon to see how many of their albums I didn't have.

    The first is the new Rush album Feedback. I believe this album was released on Tuesday. This is a fairly short album of Rush doing covers from the late sixties. If your a hardcore Rush fan it is worth a listen.

    The second album was Electric Light Orchestra's Zoom. This one is circa 2001. If you were ever an ELO fan this one is worth getting. It has the classic ELO sound. It's no Time or Out of the Blue but it is still worthy. "In My Own Time" is my favorite song so far.

    Vinny's Authentic Indian Cuisine
    Dave and I hit a new Indian resturant for lunch yesterday. I noticed it on Monday while I was at Beuregards. Monday was apparently their first day open. The place was about half full yesterday. The food is good and the prices are reasonable. I had the chicken korma. Dave had some vegitarian dish. We split something called Gobi 65 and some naan like bread that wasn't naan. I enjoyed the place but I will be surprised if it lasts more than a year.

    I got most of the sanding done on the bed last night. I have been dragging that one out. I need to putty a few spots and then its on to staining. Brianna keeps asking if I am working on her bed and I keep saying yes.