Friday, October 24, 2008

Prop 8 and Gay Bashers

The start of a busy weekend is close at hand. Gotta get the house all spic & span for Karen's dad and grandma. Would like to do some clean up outside the house, too. We're going to put my old PC monitor, Jeremy's old TV, and the hutch that housed it all on Craig's List, but I want to clean them up and photograph them to put in the ad. They'll be free, too, if anyone wants them. It also looks like Karen's running around trying to do something for my birthday Sunday which I wish she wouldn't do. We may have as many as twelve (!) people for dinner at Chevy's on Saturday.

I bought some flea medication from this dude on eBay over a month ago. I even paid the dude. Nothing. I just sent him another email. I'm really thinking about not dealing with eBay at all anymore. There are just too many untrustworthy sellers. This is what I get for being cheap. The dogs have now gone a month without their flea medicine.

As I drive around town I will see the occasional sign for "McCain Palin" and "Yes on 8", but no "Obama" or "No on 8" sign. Perhaps Martinez is more of a right-wing hillbilly town than I thought. These homophobes that back Prop 8 are too much. OK, so you don't like gay people. How does it affect your life if gays have the right to marry? Does it somehow diminish the value of your heterosexual relationship? I just don't get it. The other day the girls and I drove past these people holding up some homemade "YES ON 8" signs. What kills me that almost all of them looked Hispanic. You'd think that people of color would have more sympathy for people being discriminated against. People at work think it's because many are so religious.

But don't get me started about religion. Now don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of Joel Osteen's sermons. But there is so much hatred in the world that's based in religion if "devotion to God" means hating gays or Jews or just being intolerant then I don't want any part of it.

Acceptance doesn't mean endorsement. Just because I accept others' homosexuality that doesn't mean I wish more people were gay, too. I don't know of any gay person that feels they're gay by choice. Why would anyone CHOOSE to belong to a group of people that are hated by so many?

Enough with Prop 8 already. Leave gays alone. Let them live their lives. To paraphrase Howard Stern, "if gay people want to be as miserable as the rest of us heterosexuals then let them."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Short Wednesday Update

It's Tuesday night about 8:15. I'm on a hella hot BART car that has no air circulation.

I've fallen into the bad habit of starting a post and never finishing so whatever I'm able to tell you here on the train is all I'm gonna worry about writing.

I haven't been posting here or on my dog blog lately. I've just been insanely busy as of late.

They've been offering 4 1/2 hours of overtime almost every day and a full 8 hours OT every Saturday. There's going to be major changes at work starting December 1st. Who knows if overtime is going to be offered at all after that so I feel like I need to get in as much as I can while I can get it.

My birthday's Sunday so Karen's been running around like crazy. Her dad and grandma are coming to visit Saturday so we've been working really hard to get the house in order.

We had to do some major furniture moves. Bryan gave me his old Sony Vega Trinitron TV Monday. It's nine years old but it's still a pretty high end TV. We had to move it from his place in San Mateo over to our house. It's massive. It took quite a lot of effort to get it not only into the house but into its spot in our bedroom. It weighs 250 pounds and it's unbalanced so it took quite a bit of muscle and sweat to get it moved. We had to take out our old 27" and the entertainment center it sat in. They both now sit in Jeremy's room. Now we have to figure out what to do with Jeremy's old crappy TV and the shelf/hutch that it sat in.

I'm also still trying to work in time to walk the dogs. So I've been working 12 1/2 hours every day and when I get home I have to pitch in with the housework, move heavy furniture AND have time for the dogs. I'm so tired by the time I get done I'm too tired to write. I have neither the energy nor the motivation to update my blog. You understand, don't you?

I'm getting off at the next station so I'll have to end this here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Short Post

I think I forgot to mention on my last post what the doctor said about Imani's chest pain. But first I have to tell you how funny it always is whenever I have to take her to see her pediatrician. She really hates getting shots. Like really, really, REALLY hates them. So, of course, she always asks if she's going to get one. And, of course, I always tell her, "Yes, you're absolutely getting a shot, probably 2 or 3 at least." What makes it even better is that the pediatrics section is adjacent to the injection clinic. I really get her going sometimes. Yes, I know I'm a shitty parent. Thank you.

Her doctor diagnosed her as having something called "Costochondritis". Basically, it's inflammation of the cartilage that connects the rib cage to the sternum. No special treatment needed. Just over the counter anti-inflammatories like Tylenol and a heating pad for the pain. Because the pain occurs in the chest it's harder to take a deep breath which would explain her shortness of breath. I would guess that since she's never played tennis anywhere in the ballpark as much as she does now she's got what you could define as "tennis chest".

I had a long diatribe about the debate last night along with my soapbox statement about abortion that I typed but apparently failed to save it. My diatribe was not meant to be shared today. It was pretty long. Perhaps today's post was meant to be short. I'll try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Computer Genius Strikes Again

Guess what the tech wizard did today? I read 3 or 4 different tech magazines every month, look at countless tech websites every day, and listen to some 6-10 hours worth of tech podcasts every week. So, it was I, creator of the Tech Slayer blog, that foolishly destroyed my desktop computer. Even better, I may not be done yet.

Earlier I mentioned having an overheating problem with my desktop PC. Well, I had a few hours to kill today so I had the bright idea of completely dismantling it, cleaning it super duper clean, and putting it back together in hopes of getting the damn thing to work properly again. I got careless trying to reseat the CPU and managed to bend connector pins. And not just one, dozens. Have you ever seen a CPU before? They've got dozens and dozens and dozens of teensy, weensy little pins on the bottom, each one having its own place in the slot. Unbending just ONE of those pins would have taken me forever, let alone the 40 or so I had managed to bend.

The CPU is the brain of any computer. So no brain. No computer. Thanks to me. I guess need to start looking for Uverse.

I wonder how much a new motherboard/CPU combo costs at Fry's

Thanks Mom!

This is my first post typed into my NEW LAPTOP.  Woo hoo!  This is a birthday present from my mom.  She got it for me on Saturday.  It's very nice.  It's a Toshiba, 14" screen.  I wanted to go smaller than the one I had before, the STOLEN one.  That one had a 17" screen.  Although the big screen was nice it was a bit bulky and quite a bit heavier than smaller models.  The processor is an AMD Turion duo-core RM-72.  The RM-72 runs at 2.1 GHz vs. the stolen one that had a duo-core that ran at 1.6 GHz.  It also has 4 GB of RAM, twice the memory of the stolen one.  So it's quite an upgrade.  I did have a problem with it though.  On Monday while watching a DVD I got the dreaded Blue Screen of Death and the screen went blank.  I've seen this problem before.  It's a hardware failure.  So I took it back to Circuit City and exchanged it for another one, same model.  I'm quite pleased.  THANKS MOM!

I was pondering getting another HP.  Mom and Bryan both have HPs and they've served them faithfully.  But I had a few problems with my stolen HP.  Twice the motherboard failed and had to be sent back to the factory.  Then last week on The Tech Guy, a caller was asking Leo, the host, about his opinions on laptops and Leo was adamant about dislike for HP laptops, especially the Pavilion line.  One of the techie guys at work had a pretty low opinion of Pavilions, too, so I decided to stay away this time.  Jess and Karen have had pretty good success with their Toshibas so that swayed me.

Although overtime has returned at work starting tomorrow I'm taking the day off.  Imani has started complaining about having shortness of breath and tightness in her chest so I'm going to try to get Kaiser to squeeze her in tomorrow.

I haven't been blogging as much lately because I got hooked again on Dicing Dangers.  DD is an online multi-player role-playing game, or MMORPG for short.  The popular MMORPG these days is World of Warcraft.  I think they charge $13-15 a month to play.  A few years ago the hot MMORPG was Everquest.  People would get so addicted to this game some referred to it as "Evercrack".  DD is a little different than the latter two.  It's almost all text with a few static pictures.  It doesn't rely on quick reflexes or a powerful computer to run it.  It can be played at a very leisurely pace.  The game lets you set up a free account with two playable characters.  Each character is given about 60-90 minutes of game play per day.  For a small amount of money extra play time can be purchased.  

Players can form clans.  Both my characters belong to a clan known as the "Elite Gonrah Order".   Gonrah is the name of the world this game is set in.  We have actually become a pretty tight knight clan.  There's perhaps 30 of us in the clan.  I'm only one of perhaps two or three Americans in the group.  Most of my other "clannies" are in Europe and Australia.  It's pretty neat.

If you're interested go ahead and create a free account.  Click on this link so the creator knows I referred you.  And be sure to let me know.  We always are very helpful to new players, or noobs.  The only reason I'm blogging right now and not playing is because the game server's down.

By the way, my birthday's Sunday, the 26th.  It's not too late to send me a present!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I believe this is my first blog post in a while. I have so much to talk about that I can never remember once I start typing. Am I the only one afflicted with this mental disease?

Karen and I took the dogs to the Solano Drive-In in Concord to see " Beverly Hills Chihuahua". It was both stupid and cute. It was the number one movie last weekend, and I have no doubt that within a few short months all the local animal shelters will begin to fill with unwanted Chihuahuas. Zoe and Charlie weren't very impressed. They were more interested in all the other people that had brought their Chihuahuas.

Neither one of us had been to a drive-in in many years. The last time I went to one it was in Union City where the overbuilt Union Landing now stands. I forgot how nice it was to just sit back in the comfort of your own vehicle while the movie plays, talk if you want to, light up a smoke, not have to sneak food in. We agreed we'd have to go back again sometime.

The Sharks begin their 2008-09 campaign tonight against Anaheim. What a breath of fresh air considering how bad the A's were over the summer, how bad the Raiders and 49ers are currently, and how bad the Warriors are going to be when the NBA season starts next month.

I was channel surfing last night and caught a portion of a Sharks playoff game against Calgary last season. Of course, I hadn't realized what it was for the first few minutes. I start getting all happy and everything because they're up 5-2, then I see the playoff logo on the ice. Oh, well.

I'm currently dealing with two separate PC headaches. First, my desktop is experiencing a shutdown problem I haven't been able to solve yet. It does a cold shutdown after a minute or two. This is overheating behavior. It's not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, that's how I recognize it as a behavior. So I did what I normally do when I see overheating behavior. I open up the case, clean all the dust out, and fire it back up. But that didn't work this time. So I was playing around with it and discovered that it will stay running in Safe Mode. A tech forum suggested that it could be a driver problem so I just said, "What the hell," and wiped my whole hard drive clean and reloaded a fresh copy of Windows. Usually, unsolvable software problems can be solved by a Windows reinstall, although this is a last resort type of solution. Well, even after doing that it still didn't help. So I'm kind of at wits end. I'm going to do another cleaning, this time much more thorough. I really can't think of anything else.

The other problem I'm dealing with is Asha's laptop. The pin had broken off on the AC adapter and the replacement one was just delivered yesterday. The problem is that I can't get it to boot. When I hit the power button some of the LEDs light up and you can see the backlight of the screen come on but the screen itself stays blank.

Went over Yolanda's last Sunday. Isabel was here on leave. It was nice to see everyone. Isabel seems to be enjoying Navy life. The only problem is that she's apparently committed to her ship for all four years of her term unless she can promote off of it. She's stationed on the USS Bataan. She tells us it's an amphibious ship (!!). It's home port is in Norfolk. And that ain't changing. She said she misses living in California so I hope she'll be able to complete her classes and do whatever she needs to do to get herself moved. She also mentioned wanting to go to Iraq. Yeah, that was a real "what the fuck" moment, but I guess being active military changes your perspective. Let's hope PRESIDENT OBAMA gets our troops the hell out of there before she gets the chance.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Long, Unproductive Week

I have been out sick since Tuesday night. I'm feeling much better now but I was in pretty bad shape for a while there. I actually threw up a couple of times, which is something I almost never do. Perhaps I am oversharing a bit.

We woke up this morning to the news that Contra Costa County deputy DA Michael Gressett has been arrested on a rape charge. A moment of panic washed over us when we heard the news. Gressett has been the prosecutor handling the case against Karen's ex. But after a moment of contemplation I realized that the case Gressett had put together is still solid. It will still be solid when the case is reassigned to another deputy DA. It's ironic that it was Gressett that handled the bulk of the sexual assault cases here in Contra Costa County. I understand he had a reputation of being a good prosecutor that pushed for harsher sentences for sex offenders. Of course, if he is guilty then he deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law, but for his own sake I hope he is innocent.

Imani's tennis team kinda got screwed. The school had arranged for a bus to take them to their away games but it turns out that it would cost the school more than they had anticipated so they had to cancel for the season meaning that the team will need rides to their away matches for the rest of the season. I'm not sure to what extent I'll be able to help. I actually had to bundle up and take Imani and two of her teammates to Campolindo High in Moraga to their match yesterday. To make matters worse for Imani yesterday they put her and her doubles partner against Campolindo's best doubles team and they got beat up pretty good. Dad suggested checking Big 5 for tennis rackets. I'll take her there Sunday.

I watched last night's Vice Presidential debate last night with great enthusiasm. After all those nonsensical answers Sarah Palin had given to Katie Couric I couldn't wait to see how she'd fare against a bulldog like Joe Biden. I now suspect that she may have given those ridiculous answers on purpose. She had effectively lowered the bar so much that they halfway decent performance she gave last night would seem brilliant in contrast.

On the other hand, Biden simply had a no-win situation. Everyone knows it wouldn't have taken much for Biden to smash her if he wanted to. The issue all week long leading up to the debate was how could he defeat her without embarrassing her. How much could Biden reel himself back? I think he did brilliantly well. He kept hammering the point that McCain hasn't made a convincing case that he's going to be any different than Dubya. It was clear that Palin had been trained to use certain catchphrases and responses. Near the end she actually tried stealing Reagan's famous "there you go again" line. It was so scripted. More than once she used a "that was in the past, let's look forward" response that was so weak. That whole "that was then and this is now" answer is the kind that wife beaters and adulterers use. I loved it when Biden shot back that "past is prologue" because it's really true. If you're unwilling to look at the past then you're destined to repeat it.

I thought it was a real telltale moment when Biden choked up for a moment and Palin simply kept rolling. I thought it said a lot about Biden's humanity, about his ability to empathize with the common man. In any case, I thought he hit it out of the park.

A quick word about Paul Newman who died Sunday. I wasn't much of a fan of his movies. The days of his prime were a little before my time so I never really go to know him as Paul Newman, Movie Star. The Paul Newman that I knew was the Paul Newman, the race car team owner, and Paul Newman, purveyor of salad dressing and microwave popcorn. As co-owner of the Newman-Haas IndyCar racing team, he was able to recruit big names like Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, and Michael Andretti. He owned more than one IndyCar championship team and always fielded a competative one. He was a passionate and dedicated auto racing owner, driver, and enthusiast. His name added legitimacy to auto racing and I will always respect him for that. As for the Paul Newman line of food products I know many people who are big fans of his salad dressings and salsas. The labels always said funny things like "fine foods since Februrary" and "so good you'll need a machete to hack off the arms of those that will try to steal this from you". The profits from the "Newman's Own" brand went straight to charity and according to his foundation over $200 million have been given over the years. How can you not respect that? And finally, I've heard that his favorite movie of all he starred in was "Slap Shot", the best hockey movie of all time. Wow. What an incredible person he was. The world was a better place with Paul Newman in it.