Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Blogger has seemingly eaten and partially digested my template, so until I can replenish it from a backup at my office, please be patient with an older backup from two years ago.

UDPATE: The previous template has been uploaded from a version saved at the end of July, but I've lost my 9/11 tribute banner :(. I'll have to hunt for another version...

UPDATE II: 9/11 banner restored! I love Google caching ;)

The Next Self Portrait Challenge

I can't quite get a straight answer on whether we're supposed to do a fifth-week version of the August "Enclosed Spaces" Self Portrait Challenge so I'm just going to hold off and wait till the end of the week with the first September challenge.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight

This is the best movie news I've seen since they announced the making of "The Phantom Menace"

Autumn 2007 will finally see the long-awaited premiere of a full-length Dragonlance animated motion picture. Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first in the original Dragonlance trilogy written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and based on their series of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventures, will feature Keifer Sutherland as the voice of the wizard Raistlin Majere , Lucy Lawless as the Plainsmen princess Goldmoon and Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum as Tanis Half-Elven.

A number of other accomplished animated series voice actors will fill out the cast, including Jason Marsden (Adult Kovu in "The Lion King II" as Tasslehoff Burrfoot) and a number of other actors who seem to rotate around from animated series such as Batman, Kim Possible, Harvey Birdman, Jimmy Neutron, Fairly OddParents and Justice League to numerous video games and other voice media.

This is the fantasy series that should've gotten the super-multi-million dollar Peter Jackson trilogy treatment, and not that second-rate Tolkien stuff. Dragonlance has well-drawn characters with life-spanning problems and obstacles, growth and sacrifice - plus a world that's warm, rich and far more interesting than Middle Earth ever hoped to be. Characters such as Bilbo, Gandalf, Aragorn and especially Sauron come off as 2-dimensional next to Tanis, Tas, Raistlin, Camaron, Sturm and Takhisis.

Come next fall, you'll see too.

Until then, the Inn of the Last Home, favorite watering hole of the fabled Heroes of the Lance, will keep you warm and comfortable....

Official Dragonlance Movie Site

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, August 25, 2006 - Feast One Hundred & Eight

Note: I'm getting a little over the repeats. At least two of these questions have been asked before, in the not too distant past. But I'm game, hey.

Appetizer - If you could have a free subscription to any magazine, which one would you like to have?

(Repeat #1) Time Magazine. Whatever your political bias, I've always found Time to be pretty fair and thorough. Plus it's weekly.

Soup - Describe your living room (furnishings, colors, etc.).

(Repeat #2) We have a green couch and matching big fluffy chair that's actually big enough for me to curl my long legs up in (almost). There's also a big matching ottoman. We have a new square coffee table that hides two rolling footstools/benches that the kids use. There's also another gold upholstered chair that used to belong to Laura's grandmother. We have a newish entertainment center against the wall and end tables next to the couch and big chair. There's a fireplace, rugs on the floor, a couple of floor lamps and currently my keyboard lives in the corner.

Salad - What does the shape of a circle make you think of?

A planet. All nine of them. (gee, you can't tell where my loyalties lie, can you?)

Main Course - Name 3 things in your life that you consider to be absolute necessities.

Family, church and fun.

Dessert - What was the last really funny movie you watched?

"Duck Amuck", the classic Daffy Duck cartoon by Chuck Jones.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Interplanet Janet is Very Angry

Don't make Interplanet Janet angry.

You wouldn't like her when she's angry.

Scientists, you've made her angry. Be very afraid.

BREAKING NEWS - Sun no longer designated a "star"

Leading scientists met today to finalize definitions of "stars" and have determined that Sol, the central celestial body in our solar system, is too small, puny and yellow to actually be considered a true "star". Comparisons to red and blue giants such as Rigel and Betelgeuse hastened this decision. Opposition from astronomers and astro-physicists was light, due to the fact that there just wasn't enough of it. Light, that is.

Our Sun will now officialy be known by the designation of "turnip".

Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Monday, August 21, 2006

August Self-Portrait Challenge #4

Enclosed Spaces

One of the most enclosed feelings one can have is when something is wrapped around your head.

Here is what I go through every night:

I'm wearing here my CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) unit, used for treating severe sleep apnea. Which I have, in spades. Pressured air is generated through the unit on the little table to the right, then forced through a hose and into the breather under my nose. A constant stream of air is pushed into my lungs during the night, keeping me from snoring and giving me a steady amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. I'm not claustrophobic so it doesn't bother me in that way, although most mornings my nose if very sore when I wake up, as if I had a bad cold and had been sneezing all night. The soreness does go away fairly quickly, though.

Unfortunately I don't always wear it all the through the night. If I wake up in between two of my sleep cycles, it's sometimes very difficult to get back to sleep. I often end up tearing off the mask and accompanying chinstrap, flinging them to the floor and turning off the air unit - sometimes between 4:30 and 6:30am.

Those early morning hours when I do wake up and cannot get back to sleep, I look like this:

For more information:

My Sleep Study (Feb 2005) - Part 1 and Part 2

Sleep Study Followup

It's Kind of Like Camp...

The drain in our shower isn't working right - well, to be more precise it's leaking through the ceiling in the kitchen below. Which can put a bit of a damper on food preparation.

As such, PlumberMan comes tomorrow (for the third time) to again try and fix the problem. Until then, we have to use the shower in the kids' bathroom down the hall in the mornings.

So there I walk, in my towel, down to the showers. All that's lacking is watching for bears and scorpions and I'm back at camp...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

Friday, August 18, 2006 - Feast One Hundred & Seven

Appetizer - What color is your car?

It's kind of a sea-foam green. I like it.

Soup - If you could wake up tomorrow with full training in another occupation and a job in that field, what would it be?

Sometimes meme cross, don't they? This is similar to a question I answered the other day. Well, I'd love to instantly have the skills to manage an amusement park. If not actuall business management, to be the creative director.

Salad - How many times in your life have you had the flu (or something similar)?

Very few times, outside of childhood that I can recall. Other than a span of time when the kids were small that stomach bugs spread regularly through the house, I've been fairly illness-free.

Main Course - What is something that has happened to you this week that you didn't expect?

I didn't expect some specific work difficulties I encountered this week. Nothing major, just some communication problems regarding getting someone access to certain areas of the network they need to do their job.

Dessert - How old were you when you had your first kiss?

Old enough to be embarrassed about it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wanna Live to See Sixth Grade?

This afternoon

Brainyboy v10.5: Dad, you mispelled something in your blog.

Me: (huh? wuzzut?) I mispelled something where??

Brainyboy: It says, "Were you in any clubs or organizations? I was in Key Club and Beta Club, although I 'enver'--". You spelled it e-n-v-e-r instead of n-e-v-e-r.

Me: (muttered curses and veiled threats to make sure his second day of fifth grade tomorrow may be his last...)

What's he doing reading this blog???


Tagged by Logtar

Four jobs I wish I had the capabilities of:

1) Professional Theatrical Director - I have the capability of this, but I guess not to the level to actually be good at it and paid for it.
2) Space Shuttle Pilot
3) Songwriter or Author
4) Head guy at Wannadoo City

Four names I wish I had other than my own:

1. Josh
2. Will
3. Patrick
4. George Lucas

Four of my favourite actresses:

1. Jodie Foster
2. Helen Hunt
3. Annette O'Toole
4. Susan Sarandon

Four songs I could listen to over and over again:

1. The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles)
2. Circle of Life (from The Lion King)
3. When You Wish Upon a Star (from Pinocchio)
4. Fins (Jimmy Buffett)

Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Any Star Trek
2. 24
3. The West Wing
4. Lost

Four places I would like to go to on vacation:

1. Anywhere in the Caribbean, especially St. John, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Martinique or St. Maartin
2. Ireland or Scotland. At the warmest possible time of year ;)
3. Alaskan cruise
4. Tour the Mayan ruins in the Yucutan

Four of my favourite cuisines:

1. Italian
2. Mexican
3. Japanese
4. Breakfast

Four places I wish I was right now:

1. Walt Disney World, or any park in Orlando
2. Busch Gardens in Williamsburg
3. Sitting in the audience at a rehearsal directing a show
4. In an office with a window.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Because You're Breaking the Law

Activist defies deportation, takes refuge in church
Elvira Arellano, who became a national spokeswoman for families facing deportation, had been ordered to report to the Department of Homeland Security by 9 a.m. Tuesday. Instead Arellano took refuge in a West Side church.
I saw a report about her on CNN today. They interviewed Bishop Minerva Carcaño, of the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. Bishop Carcano took up the cause of Ms. Arellano, while stating that UMC was taking a doctrinal stand against the immigration policies of the United States.

This is a categorically false statement, as the UMC does not defy established legal immigration procedures. Bishop Carcaño has decided arbitrarily to establish doctrine fo the UMC. I hope something is done about her position through the UMC heirarchy.

Meanwhile, Ms. Arrelano pleads her case in the papers...

She appeared at the pulpit of Adalberto United Methodist Church in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, vowing before dozens of supporters that she would not return to Mexico "like a coward." She said she would stay in the church indefinitely with her 7-year-old son, a U.S. citizen.

Actually, you are showing your cowardice in front of your son anyway, because you're breaking the law.

This morning, Arellano appeared in front of the church and said she doesn't want to leave her son. She said she is not a terrorist and only wants to protect his rights.

But you have no real rights in this case because you are in the country illegaly and you're breaking the law.

"She is an active and engaged member of our community. She is a great mother. She is the type of person we want—and need—in our community," Gutierrez wrote.

Except that she is breaking the law.

Her supporters invoked the notion that lawbreakers can be protected in a house of worship, a tradition that dates to the ancient Greeks.
This tradition was used to protect enemies of the state who feared for their lives from the state. The church was used as a humanitarian sanctuary until more peaceful resolutions could be worked out (if at all). In Europe, the Catholic Church was almost or as respected and feared as the government and many officials didn't dare violate the sanctity of its walls for fear of incurring the wrath of the Pope. That particulat political dynamic between church and state doesn't really exist anymore - especially in America - so invoking it as a proud traditional practice sounds almost foolish in this way. Almost like someone claiming squatters rights or extolling the virtues of droit de seigneur...

"If Homeland Security chooses to send agents to a holy place, I would know that God wants me to serve as an example of the hatred and hypocrisy of the current administration," Arellano said.
And, of course, eventually you get to the money quote, where the "hyprocrisy of the current administration", which naively seems to play well these days with 50% of the nation, will rally anyone who espouses that belief to their cause. Regardless of whether it's immigration, abortion, taxes, weather, or war, blaming the government is a typical ploy of those who haven't a real leg to stand on.

Legal experts agree that a church offers no formal protection, but they say it could put the government in an awkward position.

"Just because you are in a church doesn't mean you are less deportable in a legal sense," said Joel Fetzer, associate professor of political science at Pepperdine University. "But in a political sense, it looks very bad to be hauling people out of churches as the camera rolls."
And of course the government has to start worrying about PR when arresting people who've broken the law. Not just clearly and blatantly broken the law but actively resisted such arrest and rallied others to aid and abet their flight. I agree it doesn't look great to arrest someone in a church, but legally it cannot nor should not offer such protection.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and other members of the state's congressional delegation urged homeland security officials to let Arellano remain in Chicago to care for her son, Saul, born in the U.S., who has ADHD and other health problems. She was granted three stays of deportation starting in 2003.

But some of those sympathetic to her cause, including Durbin, suggested that another stay of deportation would be harder to justify because her son's condition has improved. Immigration officials say that without a U.S. senator's request, they cannot grant such a stay.
If she were in the middle of normal naturalization proceedings, and due to the fact she was raising a young child I would normally be in favor of some leniency. But she'd already been deported once and entered illegally again. The health of the son is no longer a burning issue. She has publicly flaunted the laws of the country and cannot be afforded any more mercy - because she's breaking the law.

Arellano's supporters say that if agents do try to make an arrest at the church, they want it to be a chaotic scene, much like the 2000 raid in which federal agents seized 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez to return him to his father in Cuba.
In which case all involved should be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. Because (say it with me) they're breaking the law.

As her backers offered hugs and kind words, Arellano said she is prepared to pay the consequences of defying the U.S. government.

"If I have to spend 10 or 20 years in jail, I don't care," Arellano insisted. "Because I am going to fight."
Finally we see where her priorities truly lie - herself, and only herself. If she cared about her son as she claims to, she would not allow him to grow up with a mother behind bars. She would not allow him to grow up seeing his mother become a martyr and political symbol for nonexistent government persecution. She would not allow him to see her set an example of selfishness and criminality.

She would not allow him to see her break the law.

There is no moral, legal or ethical stance for the vast majority of illegal immigrants in this country to take. Regardless of their integration into the workforce, regardless of our tradition of open-arms immigration, regardless of the economic status of the homes they leave behind... There is a process for becoming a naturalized citizen or legal resident of the United States and those who openly decide to ignore that process - however long it may take - are breaking the law of the United States and must pay the penalties prescribed by such laws.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

School Daze!

I found this meme at Blogaritaville:

How many schools did you go to?
1) Smithwood Elementary School
2) Gresham Junior High School
3) Knoxville Central High School
4) University of Tennessee (all of these in Knoxville)

Teacher's nightmare or teacher's pet?
Teacher's pet, absolutely. I enjoyed going to school and didn't give anyone any trouble.

Did you have a label in school? (nerd, jock,etc)
My label would've been "artsy" if such a label existed because as time went on my life increasingly revolved around the Holy Triumverite: Band, Chorus and Drama.

What’s the biggest rule you broke in school?
I don't recall ever really breaking a rule bad enough to get me in trouble... I do remember really sticking my tongue out at my second grade teacher because I got mad at her. I don't remember anything after that....

Were you in any clubs or organizations?
I was in Key Club and Beta Club, although I enver quite figured out what they did except service projects. Maybe that was the point. And of course the aforementioned music and drama groups.

Did you have any nicknames in school?
No, my parents deliberately chose the name "Barry" so it couldn't be shortened or altered into a nickname.

Three subjects you enjoyed?
1. American History/Government (High School)
2. Greek and Roman Mythology (College)
3. Astronomy (College)

Three teachers who inspired you?
1. Mrs Steed (5th Grade)
2. Mr. Roberts (7th grade Science)
3. Ms. Scarbro (8th grade American History)
4. BONUS! Mr. Secrist (11th grade American History)

Would you go back and do it over?
I would if I could only give my past self some advice - don't fall in "love" so hard, and even when you do, do something about it! Don't sit and pine from afar, don't be afraid to walk up to her and tell her how you feel.

Any major fashion faux paus? Bonus for pics!!
I wore parachute pants in high school occasionally (it was the early 80's, after all...)

I don't have any parachute pants photos, but here's me on the day of my graduation from UT (circa August, 1989):

Monday, August 14, 2006

August Self-Portrait Challenge #3

Well, I'm moving up in the world.

However I seem to be having some...maturity issues.

I finally got out of the doghouse, so progress is being made... My wife, however, feels I still have a little too much childishness in me as you will see. While I did get a new toy a couple weeks ago, well, it seems all I want to do is play with the box.

Help me. Help me, please....

Take the Self Portrait Challenge!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Everything Update

1) Skie health - he's fine. Tests came back more or less negative on toxoplasmosis, so he had just some kind of viral infection. He's still biting the crap out of my foot on a nightly basis as I sit here typing.

2) Me health - lots better. Still sneezing. I'm going to go mow in a few minutes so maybe I'll still get heatsroke!

3) Me sanity - not as far gone as I may have let on in my previous post. I can exaggerate the seriousness of some situations, so maybe I did in this one. Maybe I just wanted commiseration, who knows. Anyway I feel better about it now, even though the circumstances haven't changed. I just need to learn to deal with it instead of letting it get to me. Good advice in any situation, really.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Kick Me? I Wish

You know sometimes you walk through your day and swear you have a "Kick Me" sign on your back?

I could only hope for a "Kick Me" sign. A "Kick Me" sign would be merciful and kind. Mine says, "Pummel Me with a Tire Iron Across the Neck Just Before Smacking the Back of my Knees and Throw Me to the Ground in a Crumpled Heap".

I think I picked the wrong day to give up chips. Sorry, guys, I can't participate in the "What Makes Me Happy" meme this month.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Taking it Easy

I'm home sick from work today, getting a chance to blog from here. I'm going to take it easy and get over whatever sinus thing that's got me.

I never really mentioned the problem we had with Skie the kitten over the weekend. He got really lethargic and sleepy Sunday and Monday and just wouldn't move much. He would eat fine if placed in front of his bowl and otherwise looked and sounded healthy, just like he was totally depressed or wiped out. Took him to the vet Tuesday to find out he had a virus - they're thinking it was taxoplasmosis, which is a respitory disease humans can get, too, which is especially dangerous to pregnant women and is carried by cats. So he's gotten antibiotics and perked right back up yesterday... we'll know the blood test results tomorrow.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Self-Portrait Challenge photos - they're a blast to take.

There's not much blog-worthy these days without dipping into current events, which I don't want to do.

Suffice to say this person is leaving my office tomorrow for good and I'm pretty bummed. I've worked fairly closely with her since I started my job (and have known her for several years before that) and I'll miss her a lot.

Monday, August 07, 2006

August Self-Portrait Challenge #2

Well, last week's "Enclosed Spaces" Self-Portrait Challenge landed me in a bit of trouble.

Seems my wife was less-than-enthusiastic with the threat of exposing my, um, tender mercies to the internet audience. Sometimes an artist is unappreciated in his own family. Scandalous, I know.

Anyway, I have had to play the penitent husband and accept my punishment like a man.

Or, as it were, like a dog.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Friday's Feast

Friday's Feast

(Note: I used to get email notifications of when the FF was posted, but it's been very spotty lately. Has anyone else who does the FF had this problem?)

Friday, August 04, 2006 - Feast One Hundred & Five

Appetizer - Name an actor or actress you think is totally underappreciated.

Alan Alda, for one. And that's not just because I'm currently reading his autobiography, nor ir it because Hawkeye Pierce is my favorite fictional character.

Ok, maybe that is why. But still.

Another actor I love to watch but I don't feel has received his due is Jeff Bridges. "What?" you say..."He's a famous movie star!" Well, yes, but even for all the great movies Bridges has done, he still has never quite made it to the top of the heap, nor is he really known for that one memorable role that he deserves. Maybe someday.

As for actresses, Jodie Foster has always been my favorite. Like Bridges, she has had great success but in this case due to her own personal life and creative quirks never quite broke into that top group deserving the greatest praise. I think once her career is over she will join Tom Hanks as the undisputed best actors of their generation.

Soup - Impress us by using a big word in a sentence.

"His choice of words in the poem was very ostentatious, but was still quite onomotopoetic due to the conflagration of tones and pronunciation."

Oh, you just said one?

Salad - What is something inanimate that you've given a name to (such as a pet rock)?

For a while I had a car I called "The Phoenix" for reasons to complicated to go into.

Main Course - What color would best represent your personality and why?

Green, easily. Cool and calm, yet full of the vibrancy of life

Dessert - Fill in the blanks: ____________ is so ____________.

My self-confidence is so easily cracked these days.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

80's Video Blast of the Week

In 1989 Billy Joel released his eleventh studio album, Storm Front. From this album came one of his most famous and influential songs, "We Didn't Start the Fire".
"We Didn't Start the Fire" is a song by Billy Joel which chronicles 120 well-known events, people, things, and places widely noted during his lifetime, from 1949 to 1989, when the song was released on his album Storm Front. Joel explained that he wrote this song due to his interest in history; he commented that he would have wanted to be a history teacher had he not become a rock and roll singer. Unlike most of Joel's songs, here, the lyrics were written before the melody, owing to the song's somewhat unusual style. Nevertheless, the song was a huge commercial success and provided Billy Joel with his third Billboard #1 hit.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Voter Turnout - Too Little Expectations?

Yesterday’s turnout for Knox County election was approximately 52,000 or so, which is between 20-25% of the ~244,000 registered voters in this county. R. Neal says that while it’s high for Knox County, it’s still low for an election with as much as stake as this one had.

What’s interesting to me is that, as I said yesterday at 7:30 there was a line out the door of the gym to vote and it took me 40 minutes to finally get all the way through. And all 9 voting machines were in heavy use. There was no way they could’ve expanded their resources to cover more voters. What if turnout had been 40%? 60%? God help us, 80%? What would the polling places have done then? They couldn’t order out for more machines…. the wait time would’ve been interminable.

Just because historical precedent suggests 20-25% turnout, that doesn’t mean a much higher percentage shouldn’t be prepared for.

UPDATE: Another point that occurs to me - who's to say that long lines or rumors of long lines don't deter voters from stopping in? How many potential voters drove by a polling place or through the parking lot yesterday, saw the line and decided not to waste his/her time and drive on? And how many at home or in their car talked to someone by cell phone who as standing in line and, warned at the long wait, stayed away?

It would be to everyone's advantage to make sure that lines are short at all times, not just non-peak times, and that there is something there to at least engage the minds of those standing in line so it doesn't seem so bloody long. At Cedar Bluff Middle I chatted a bit with two ladies who were standing in front of me but that was it. There was nothing to watch, nothing to read, nothing to catch my attention while waiting.

Would it be such a subversion of the polling process to have workers walking up and down the lines, chatting, makind conversation, maybe fetching drinks of water or soda for the souls in line? As long as the political chatter and opinion was kept out of it, that might help.

The shorter the lines and more efficient the voting process, the more people will agree it's not a waste of good, valuable time and come out.

Whither Frist?

With the possible successors to Sen. Bill Frist’s Senate seat narrowed to two, Tish waxes melodic about the good doctor’s legacy and virtues:
I say all this just to prepare you for a few thoughts I’d like to share - thoughts on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. I have an incredible admiration for this man. In fact, I blogged about him once before. His accomplishments in the medical field and in politics make him one of the most influential men in recent history - at least in my book.
She goes on to list a number of these accomplishments, all of which are indeed noteworthy. I commented on my evaluation of Senator Frist and his legacy, and repeat it here for discussion.

Everything I’ve seen of him since after he was elected tells me he’s become a career politician all the way and replaced medicine as his passion and career.

I know he’s not running for Senate, but 1) he’s filling a campaign promise and b) he’s setting up for a presidential run. I believe he’s angling everything that’s going on in his professional career for political gain.

The fact that he rose so fast from a Freshman Senator that nobody’d ever heard of (but with a “hook”, that he was an MD) to gaining popularity by using his medical skills while in office, to suddenly rising to Senate Majority Leader? The ascension was too sudden to be simply a testement to his leadership and integrity - there had to be way too much politickin’, and that’s not good for anyone, especially his constituents in Tennessee.

When a person decides to become a physician he needs to dedicate his life to medicine and healing others. Frist did so for a while, then saw a better deal in politics and for all intents and purposes turned his back on being a physician. To so easily from such a noble calling to a way of life that wallows in dishoner strikes me as very suspect.

Now, if he’s actually retired from public life and returns to the private sector as a regular doc or even an administrator, I’ll glady admit I was wrong. I hope I am. But I think we’ll forget Senator Frist was ever Dr. Frist as he attempts to become President Frist.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What I'd Like To Read...

...is a website where voters could post, anonymously, why they voted for one candidate or another. Or why they didn't vote for one candidate or another.

The News Sentinel's Jack McElroy says:
Well, if there's one lesson to be learned by this year's county commission races, it's that -- despite what they might say -- voters sure love incumbents.

As of this writing at 10:25 p.m., it looks like only Commissioner David Collins will not be re-elected.
Obviously it's unethical to ask someone out of the blue to explain or defend their voting choice, and (probably) no one would post their decisions publicly, but if it could be done safely and anonymously I would love to hear the reasons why they voted for County Commissioner Jones, who was term-limited but running for reelection anyway. Why did they decide that was in the best interests of everyone to vote the way they did?

With the safety of anonymity (and hopefully a trust that trolls won't simply pretend they voted or didn't vote for someone) I think it would be enlightening.

The Vote? Consider it Rocked

Well, I went and voted today. We vote at Cedar Bluff Middle School in the 42nd precinct, which is N. Cedar Bluff in the 5th district. At 7:30 this evening the line was out the door of the gym into the lobby of the school, and I didn't get out of there till about 8:15.

Even though all 9 voting booths were in operation, voting was slow because of 1) an historically long ballot, and b) brand new-fangled voting machines. The new machines are like big PDA's on steroids, but incredibly easy to use - at least to me. In fairness, I'd tried it out with the online Flash simulator a couple weeks ago and was fairly familar with it...but apparently it really slowed a lot of folks down. I had finished voting before some other folks who had entered their booths before me.

Course, I deal with these types of interfaces all the time so even if I hadn't tried it out beforehand I probably would've taken about the same time.

Voting results may take a while to tabulate, but we all know the winners anyway so...why wait up? Sheriff Tim'll still be sheriffin', Harold and Bob'll be running against each other in the fall and 235 judges across the state that no one's ever heard of will be reaffirmed and no one will notice.

Rock the Vote!

CodeMonkeys of the World...

Your sigil is here:

Again, thanks to Jonathan Coulton.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"A Keyboard? How Quaint..."

My latest investment toward my musical career:

Casio WK-3700
Casio's newest portables utilize the high performance Zpi sound source to deliver the most realistic piano, organ, and synth sounds, plus a huge library of built-in tones, rhythms, and DSP settings. These powerful instruments feature an on-board sequencer and a mixer, for unmatched creative possibilities, plus powerful built-in speakers to take your performance to the next level. These keyboards are ideal for home/project studio use, open-mic performance, education/classroom applications, or simply for pure musical enjoyment.
I finally took the plunge and purchased a keyboard of my own. Now I don't have to beg, borrow or steal for preforming musicals or playing in my band. It's got a ton of sounds and great piano/Hammond organ patches. Plus I plan to start composing and recording some of my own stuff, maybe doing some musical podcasts if I can find the time.

"The Atomic Horns" will hopefully begin performing around the Knoxville and Oak Ridge area soon, so locals keep an eye out. I'll be the guy with the new keyboard ;) We play a mix of rock, country, beach, funk, soul, and everything in between - something for everyone. I handle about 1/3 of the lead vocals, as three of us alternate songs between us. So far I'm covering the Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, swing, country and some classics from the 70's.

"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts..."