Monthly Archives: November 2003

Big News!

Melissa and I are expecting to expand the family on or around July 12th of 2004. We’re both ecstatic about the news. As I suspect is normal, we’re both a bit scared, but the excitement overwhelms it.

Our extended family is all quite excited. This will be the first grandchild for both our parents, so I’m sure the excitement is that much greater.

While I’m sure there are many out there who feel that this method of announcement is tacky or too public, I’m fine with it. If you prefer more private access to us, please feel free to email us at dave_h and fallatmelissa at braunlift.com and hotmail.com respectively.

By the way, this is why I was so happy earlier this month. (:

I’ll post about other things soon enough. I have several hum-dinger stories to tell. (:

Entry #350

Mikey and I usually leave up an icq window between us while we’re at work, for random questions, rants, etc. He got back from a meeting, and announced such via icq. This is the (very random) conversation (if you can call it that) that followed:

Mikey – Work: back
dave – work: front
Mikey – Work: left
dave – work: top
Mikey – Work: pop
dave – work: sprite
Mikey – Work: pixel
dave – work: bitmap
Mikey – Work: background
dave – work: process
Mikey – Work: fork
dave – work: river
Mikey – Work: pheonix
dave – work: arizona
Mikey – Work: battleship
dave – work: miss
Mikey – Work: mister
dave – work: sprayer
Mikey – Work: clean
dave – work: McClean
Mikey – Work: irish
dave – work: arg, you win… I meant McLean
dave – work: As in Don McLean
dave – work: (:
Mikey – Work: w00t
* Mikey – Work does victory dance

things that make me want to kill people

First thing this morning at work, I had to read through a patent application for correctness. Legal writing makes me angry, and more than just a little angry. It’s written specifically to obfuscate its actual purpose. It’s written just to make me want to go postal.

Which is exactly how I felt when I got done reading the legal document, and took a look at my blog. I had two comments, both were blog spam. They were advertising the aktins diet and term life insurance. They both kill puppies in their spare time, I’m sure.

So, I think I need to craft some verbage to link from the comments that basically states “if the link that you post contains *anything* except a link to your personal homepage or blog, then you accept responsibility for any DDOS that may fall upon that linked site.”.

happiness is…

me! I’m a very happy guy today. We now return me to my regularly scheduled programming.

bubba lives

My 1987 Mercury Cougar runs once more! I spent a few hours today, and with help from Dad and my brother Matt, we got Bubba pulled out of the weeds at Grandma and Grandpa’s where he’s been for almost three years. He now runs (albeit roughly). The plan for now is to get plates for him, change the oil, check the brakes, get a new battery, and drive him for a month or two until my brother Joe has time to attend to him.

Once Joe has time, he and I are going to either swap the engine out for a 302 that I traded for (which only has 20k miles on it) or else rebuild the 3.8L engine and matching transmission that’s already in it. We’ll see.

I’ve missed my old car. I like it a lot. Hopefully it will treat me well as a commuter vehicle, now that my commute is 20 miles a day, instead of 850 miles a week. (:

kaboom

I’ve been trying to get to a tire store to replace the tires on the LeBaron for weeks now. Things just haven’t worked out. The tires have been getting progressively worse. Last night, we finally saw clear to get down to walmart (30 minutes away) for some replacements.

The passenger front tire ended up blowing on the way down, though. Not just getting a little hole and going flat either. It shredded itself. Or, I shredded it, to be completely truthful.

So, out came spare and jack. The spare was awesome. It’s a regular tire and rim, none of this donut stuff. The jack on the other hand… It wasn’t so hot. It took me several minutes just to figure out how to make the stupid handle they provided actually *raise* the jack. I think I may have broken the handle in the course of the tire replacement, but overall, it was a painless effort. A guy was even kind enough to stop and shine a flashlight for me towards the end, when it was getting dark.

So praise God for the tire blowing. Seriously. I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere. Nowhere important anyway. I was in the car, so Melissa wasn’t stranded with a flat. It wasn’t raining or freezing cold out. Overall, it just happened, and life goes on. Providence is comforting.

open source movies

I, like many, saw and moderately enjoyed Matrix: Revolutions. I don’t claim that there weren’t plot holes, but it was still a mildly enjoyable jaunt into a fiction world. It left me hungering for something more… Matrixy though. Something in the spirit of the original Matrix.

(for the remainder of the discussion, let’s pretend that the scene with Neo and Trinity popping through the cloud cover never happened. Forgotten that? ok, good, back to my narrative)

So I got to thinking. How could we make a fourth matrix movie, only this one wouldn’t suck like the previous successors did. What could we base our movie on? Well, let’s think about this. The machines are very smart, sentient beings with lots of manufacturing capability. Inexplicably, they’re still very succeptable to electric shock (lightening and/or EMP), so they haven’t moved beyond the stormy cloud cover that is all the rage on Earth at that time.

Wrong boy-o! You only *thought* that the machines had limited themselves to Earth’s surface. Why would they limit themselves like that? In reality, they moved off-world soon after the sky got charred. They left behind a few of themselves (for reasons I’ll go into later), but most of them moved out into space and built a Dyson sphere around the sun, maximizing their energy input. With that energy influx, they’ve been progressing their technology nicely during the last 200-odd years.

Back to earth. Why are there still machines there on earth, pretending that they need humans to play duracell for them? It would turn out that the machines are in fact somewhat benevolent. When the humans went to war with the machines, eventually scarring the sky, the machines envisioned the Matrix to reshape the human view of the machine. Through each revision, slight changes were made to the group awareness. Slight changes in the total awareness of the machines. The goal of course was to eventually mold humanity into a useful tool, if such a thing were in fact possible. If nothing else, it would provide valuable research into biological beings.

Then the most recent incarnation of the “the One” comes along, as well as the Smith. The “war” that had been being used to prod humanity along is no longer viable, so a new course should be taken. Since the earth is basically a barren chunk of rock, it’s not as though all those humans can be freed from the Matrix. There is no food, no shelter, no viable means of production, etc. Given the human’s incessant need for change and innovation though, a compromise is reached.

Humanity is given control of pocket matrices. Each mini-matrix essentially allows plugins to be written for it, allowing local changes to the rules. These allow for many interesting things to happen. These suffice for most of the population. They allow for a few to understand the nature of the matrix though, and people begin to adjust it for their own benefit. Mayhem ensues.

Also, once they are made aware of actual conditions outside the matrix (in the desert of the real), people are allowed to remove themselves from it. That would also be an interesting storyline to follow. People could rebuild earth, start over on a new planet, etc. That’s where the Dyson sphere comes in. Perhaps the machines would let humans tap a part of the energy they have been collecting, storing, and using from the sun for the last 200 years. Perhaps they have made significant forays into science, and humans could implement new toys based on that. Or use those advances to make interesting pocket matrices.

I may return to these thoughts at a later date, and I may not. I was just thinking to myself what a rich universe the Matrix provides, and what a shame it was that the second two movies weren’t quite what the first one was. I was also sort of riding a high from making a huge breakthrough at work, and I decided to let my brain free wheel for a few minutes. Oh well, back to work. (btw, sorry for the huge delay since my last post. I’ve been avoiding posting for some reason. Now that I realize what I was doing, I’ll stop. :)

I Don’t Like Veggie Tales…

Granted, it’s an adorable show. I watched a single episode once, when I was much younger and can still laugh at the memories (it’s a lip!). I do NOT however think that the show is good for children. No, it isn’t going to teach them to do anything wrong, per se. But it will give them a false impression of the Bible. I mean really, do you really want your kids to associate the Biblical David, with a cute piece of broccoli?! It is, in my opinion very essential to start teaching our children that a the Bible is not a Fairy Tale. That it is not a book of entertainment and cute jokes. It is a book more precious than ANY they will ever own. It is the Word of God. I don’t think any cute cartoon, can improve upon God’s Word. Yes, some might say that the Bible is too deep for children to understand. But in my opinion, children listen. If their parents are willing to teach them and explain things…break down words as neccessary, etc. Then I think that even children can understand it. The Bible wasn’t just meant for grown-ups. Children can glean a lot out of it too, I just don’t think cartoon recreations are the best way to teach them. It goes hand-in-hand with my opinion regarding images of Christ, and re-writing Bible stories. There are some things you just shouldn’t do.

As a side note: My parents bought me a story book about Esther once (when I was really little, obviously). It even came with an Esther doll. The characters in the book were all animals who wore clothes and walked upright like people. Esther was a pretty sheep, so was the doll that came with the book. To this day, when someone talks about the Biblical Esther I still think first of a sheep wearing a blue dress. Heh

Cloud Cover

Sometimes there are days when you wake up cranky and dejected. This is one of those days for me. Doesn’t happen a whole lot. At least not to this extreme. My parents came to visit over the weekend. We had a nice time, but now there is a lot to be done around the house. Picking up everyone’s towels, washing all the dirtied dishes, vacuuming the carpet. I also have to bathe my persian. I hate when I wake up so overwhelmed. To top it off, it is the most cloudy day possible. I never do well when it is cloudy outside. I am very sensitive to light, it really affects my mood in dramatic ways, sometimes. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be the same thing. Where’s the all-natural herbal alternative to prozac when you need it?