I missed noting when it passed 10%, cause while I had heard there was a place you could find out, I hadn't bothered to find it yet. But now I have and of course that means I will keep track. And perhaps note it here when I pass certain milestones.
In any case, I started at my current company on 11 Jan 2006. It is now 31 Jul 2006. Just about six and a half months later.
At this point 12.09% of the employees of my company were hired after I was.
One more time lapse of my webcam. This time from Sunday. It has a bunch of boxes moving around as we unpacked and organized things, along with a bit of Mike as we put him back into his real tank after more than a week in a much smaller travel tank.
I was thinking about posting daily time lapses until the living room was fully in shape, but certain family members are reluctant to be on camera, so this is likely the last one. :-) But it is kinda fun to watch things rapidly moving around!
This is the time lapse of my webcam from Saturday when the movers were doing their unloading thing. The first frame with movers is at 15:01:11 UTC and the last is at 20:19:57 UTC.
This is a 5.2 MB file, so it will take a while to load. And of course it needs Quicktime.
The rest of the day we can be seen moving around and unloading some of the boxes. And of course we are still doing so now if you look live. This will assuredly continue for several days yet, if not longer.
Cinema: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
So... the day after we watched the DVD of the last Pirates movie, we went to the new one in the theater. That would have been back on the 9th. I've gotten a bit behind due to this whole moving thing. In any case... I liked the movie. In some ways I liked it better than the first one, but for the most part I would say it was a wash. Fun movie. Worth the 2 hours and the buttered popcorn. But nothing I'll remember much about in the long term. It was fun though, and I'll see #3 when it comes out.
I really should write these right after I see movies, cause two weeks later I basically don't remember all that much. There were pirates. There was a dog. You need to stay to the end of the credits to see the last bit with the dog. There was also a girl and some people made out of fish. People made out of fish. How can you go wrong with a movie that includes people made out of fish?
At 15:00 UTC today (Saturday), about 10 hours and 15 minutes from the time I am making this post... the movers will be arriving in Bellevue to deposit that portion of our stuff which will be coming to our apartment. The camera will be pointed in the general direction of the living room of the apartment. So those interested will be able to watch as stuff arrives. I know that will be thrilling and exciting for everyone. The time lapse view after the day is over might be fun too. Or not.
About 300 homes surround the former Port Malabar Country Club, and the residents don't want 310 more built on the old greens and fairways.
The Planning and Zoning Board will meet again Aug. 2 to continue a discussion on the new proposal. A meeting Monday night drew more than 100 people.
After nearly three hours, board members unanimously voted to defer any action.
Residents hope to find investors willing to buy and upgrade the golf course. Homeowners failed to persuade the city to buy the site for recreation. The homeowners association discussed buying it but hasn't come up with the money.
Resident Russ Wood said properties along the course had decreased in value since it closed.
Being now a decent bit less than 400 miles from our final destination we decided to stop a little early for the night. A little after 3 UTC we were in our room in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. We went out and bought some supplies we needed.
Now we are at dinner. And we're now caught up again to real time on these blog posts. Woo!
Still catching up here from when the Treo couldn't get Internet. On the 18th around 4 UTC we were going through Billings, Montana and decided it was time to stop for the night. But every place we stopped at was sold out. Mostly by firefighters fighting forest fires in the area and maybe a convention or two as well. So even though we were tired we kept going West.
We stopped again in Laurel, Montana a few miles down the road. They were full too but the lady called around for us and found us a place 40 miles further West in Reedpoint, Montana.
Reedpoint is a no stoplight four block town with less than 100 people. Our hotel for the night was the Hotel Montana, a five room hotel completely furnished with 1800s era old west antiques and with a saloon on the first floor... It was very cool. Brandy took a bunch of pictures with the real camera but the one above will have to do for now.
Amy fell asleep instantly, but as we were unloading a white dog with a black circle around one eye ran up to me, dug a little bit in the gravel road, picked up a rock and dropped it on my foot. I had no idea what was going on, but Brandy determined the dog wanted to play fetch with the rock. So I spent 10 minutes playing fetch with the dog and his chosen rock before we finished taking in our stuff.
Between 6 and 7 UTC we were finally settled in for the night in Reedpoint.
...you are driving down the Interstate with duct tape and plastic sheeting covering one of your car windows.
We had traveled about half an hour on the donut to the town of Gillette, Wyoming where the AAA guy had told us there was a tire place where we could replace oyr blown tire.
But we had a second problem. When the tire blew and we vibrated to a stop the back left window fell off its track and would no longer stay up.
The tire place only did tires, and by the time the tire was going to be done places we called would only say they MIGHT be able to look at it the next day. Brandy did NOT want to spend a couple days in Gillette waiting for the car like we had spent a couple days in Clarksville. So that was eliminated as an option.
Instead Brandy found a K-Mart, bought the needed supplies and bandaged up the window. By about 00:20 UTC on the 18th we were back on the road.
A little less than 90 minutes into Wyoming (around 21:50 on the 17th) the back left tire blew out while Brandy was driving down the Interstate at 75 mph.
Bang. Then loud and heavy vibrations. Brandy safely stopped us on a shoulder. Where we were the ground was too soft for our own jack to work effectively, but AAA had us going on our donut in less than an hour.
We are in Murdo, South Dakota for the night. I am using the last couple of minutes of Brandy's laptop's battery cause we are out of Sprint's digital network so I can't use the Treo. There is no time, so that is my only comment for now. Have to send before the battery dies...
Tonight we are in Independence, Missouri... home of Harry Truman. We drove a little longer this time to make up for yesterday. But not too much more.
The movers packed the power cord for Brandy's laptop. And tonight the VPN device for my work laptop (the only authorized way to connect to the internet) stopped working. So our only Internet access is now my Treo. That is quite annoying.
DVD: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Amy wanted to watch the new Pirates movie last weekend, but I had never watched the first one. Well, I'd started it many times. But one thing or another had always stopped me from watching it each and every time the DVD had been put on. Of course I couldn't watch the new movie without watching the first one first, so this last Saturday, I finally watched the whole thing from start to finish.
It was an OK movie, although I'm not sure it deserves all the attention it got. But I did enjoy it. It was a fine little movie, with some funny moments. Not a big fan of Jack though. Just not my kind of humor I guess. But it didn't detract all that much. I liked the ghost pirate things. I liked the monkey. The girl was OK too. The ships were the most fun part.
In any case... decent enough movie on DVD so I was not dreading the prospect of seeing the new movie in the theaters.
Part of Brandy's Car fell off yesterday. It made a fun grinding noise as it did so. Then the car started pulling strongly to the left.
We got it checked out this morning and it turns out it is one of those parts without which your wheels can fall off... potentially causing other minor side effects like hitting things at high rates of speed, dismemberment and death... or something like that... So we decided to stay in Clarksville an extra day while we got that taken care of.
We're in a mall within walking distance of our motel right now. We've got about 24 hours to kill before the car is ready.
We thought about going a bit further tonight, but then decided not to. We're in Clarksville, TN. Some food is in order, then sleep. We've got some things we want to do in Clarksville before leaving, so no sleeping in too late.
Everything is spic and span. Mostly thanks to Brandy. The last goodbyes were said. We loaded the car. Finally we locked the door for the last time. We are now headed north on I-95. We'll see how far we get tonight.
But we are on our way... I, Brandy, Amy, Cheese, Skittles, Zuri, Mike, six zebra danios, three male betas, one female guppy, one neon tetra, about 19 crickets and about 50 snails... are on our way.
The thing about working for AOL in the mid-90's, or at least how I recall those days, is that the "now you have it, now you don't" experience harmed certain people. Some worse than others and yeah, you can say what a bunch of jackasses they were with their money and their expectations (and yeah, I can add tales of acquaintances and friends to that fodder). One of the reasons was that most of these folks were young, clueless about the stock market, economy, business, etc. Cycles, bubbles, I don't recall ever hearing any of those words when I was at AOL. It's not like there were many people there over 50 to make the connection to their parent's time during the depression, or people over 40, or many over 35. Not that we would have listened to any of those old people anyhow.
The movers arrived almost on the dot at 12 UTC. I had meant to take a few more pictures and such. (And take a shower.) But that didn't happen. They arrived and then it was a whirlwind. Us scrambling to make sure the things we wanted to take with us in the car were seperate. All of them running all over the house sticking things in boxes. They have been here six hours now. Almost everything is packed. A couple more hours and they will be gone for the day. By the time they leave everything in the house except what we will need for the trip West will be packed nicely in boxes.
Then tomorrow they will come back and load everything into the truck. boxes and furniture. Tonight will probably be our last night in this house. Tomorrow will be a hotel. Then we'll leave Palm Bay... presumably for good... on Wednesday morning.
I am a bit overwhelmed, so I'm reatreating to the computer for a little bit. Most of the house is already packed. It is already not quite home any more. And it makes me very sad.
THere is absolutely no question that this was the right move. Absolutely no question that things are better and will be better in Washington than they were in Florida.
But when I moved here. When I bought this house. For the first time since I was 9 years old I left myself think of where I was living as not just where I was living, but as HOME. I indended to stay here for many years. I intended to marry Brandy here, adopt Amy here, and maybe even have another someday. And this was the place for it. This was the place to settle and finally grow some roots. This was a house that would be good not just for a couple years, but which I would have been happy staying in until I retired and beyond. It was never supposed to be a 16 month house. It was supposed to be home. It WAS home.
And now we are leaving. After driving cross country we will arrive at a small 2 bedroom basic apartment with a six month lease that is almost up. We'll probably renew that lease for at least a few months more. Then maybe get a slighty nicer apartment. We won't however be looking at buying a place again for many years most likely. On top of the much higher cost of housing there, we also made the decision to send Amy to private school, which will basically use all the money we might have considered spending on buying a house again. So... maybe sometime. But definately not in a timeframe we can forsee and predict. Apartments can be OK... depending on the apartment. But I had definately gotten used to being an owner. And I liked it.
The movers pack our lives away, taking them away from this place. Some of it will come to our apartment in Bellevue. Most of it will just go into storage, most likely for many years to come.
Anyway, this is a sad goodbye that is in progress. The final goodbye will be Wednesday morning. In the mean time, there is not much to do. The movers are doing their thing.
I sit and watch and am sad.
And I trust. I trust that before too long, with all of us there, one way or another, Washington will start to feel like home and not just where I happen to be this year. But not yet. Maybe in a few years.
Author: Ralph May
Started: 2 Jul 2006
Finished: 5 Jul 2006
108p / 4d
This is one of two volumes. I'll get to the next one before too long I imagine. I picked them up in Aylesbury during my 2002 Q1Random Vacation. It is basically a book full of pictures of old postcards... as the title would imply. Each one captioned with a bit of history about what is shown, when it was, what has changed since then.
I actually find this sort of stuff facinating. So I was very interested. Plus of course, it was about a place I had been for my random trip. So it brought up good memories of the place. I recognized many places on the postcards even though they had often changed quite a bit.
I just read a little at a time, otherwise this would have been a one day book. It was mostly pictures after all.
Over the holiday we dropped the price on the house again.
When we first priced it we priced it several percent less on a cost per square foot basis than the last few houses in the area that had sold, which was also below the going rate for houses on the market at that time. We still got very limited foot traffic. One or two showings a week.
After a month we dropped the price 10K. It took a week or so, but then we saw a significant increase in traffic. Up to about five or six people looking at the place every week. But no offers.
So now that it has been another month we drop it another 10K. Yes, we could leave it where it is and just presume the right person will eventually come along, but we just can't afford to wait month after month for a sale, so... drop the price.
Hopefully we're getting close to the pricepoint where we will get an offer sooner rather than later. Next week the moving trucks will come and all of our stuff will be gone, and WE will be gone. We need to then close that chapter of our lives quickly, not drag it out all summer.
Of course, we are not alone. It isn't like everything else on the market is selling and we are not. The market is just very very very slow. And prices are dropping. Which sucks. But that's the way it is. We're still in the overall profit zone though. So as long as it sells soon, I can't complain too much.
This would be my mother's mother's father. I have a nice picture of him. :-)
Other than that, born in Vermont. Lived a while in Maine. Married twice. No kids with the first wife. Two with the second. One of which was my (Great) Uncle Rod, and the other of which was my Grandmother. He was a minister in the United Church of Christ. Although it didn't become the UCC until right before his death. I believe the branch he came from was the Congregational part of the UCC and he probably would have identified more closely with that.
Well, OK, I whizzed through this one kinda fast didn't I?
First let me explain why this book is the book I read. You see, as I've explained before, I don't have my whole book pile from home here. And some non-fiction books that were for work skipped ahead in line, cause they were for work and all. So I finished the non-fiction book I was reading and needed a fiction. But the next fiction in the pile had a higher number than the next non-fiction in line, and I can't read them out of order. So I needed a fiction that did not have a number. The next fiction in the pile I had HERE that did not have a number was James Patterson's The 5th Horseman. See, Brandy had left that here last time she visited, so it became part of my pile. But that was the 5th in the series, and you can't start at #5, that would be wrong. So I ordered the first one and that is what became next on the list.
So... the book itself. First of all the speed is deceptive. Yes, I did 236 pages a day, which seems really high for me. But this book is printed with a big font and large margins on the pages, and is written in short uncomplicated sentences. Each chapter is only a couple of pages. It is designed to be a quick read that doesn't require all that much thought or analysis. It just sweeps over you. It is much more like watching TV than reading really.
But, having said that, it is exactly what it is supposed to be. A quick fun read. Well, aside from the grizzly murders. But hey, that is part of the genre. It is supposed to be about four women in their little murder solving club, but three of the four really were supporting characters. It was about the first of them. Maybe that changes in the next four books in this series. Dunno.
In any case, I'll enjoyed it. As with any book in a series I read, the next book in the series has already been ordered. And of course #5 is still in the pile, so I'll eventually have to read the ones in between to get to it. That is just how it works.
This is the longest I've let it go in many many years. And not cause I've been trying, just cause I've been crazy lazy. It itches. And with it I am looking a bit too much like my dad. So it will probably go away quite soon.
But I will take votes in the comments here.
Should I shave before going to work on Wednesday? Or should I let it go longer?
All votes left as comments here up until I stop into the shower Wednesday will be accepted.
So I was chugging along doing things when all of a sudden i noticed iChat was showing screen names instead of people's real names. I'm like WTF and go to find the setting that controls that. I can't find it right away, so I hit the info thing on one of the people who was online. And their info card comes up blank instead of their screen name. They had somehow gotten disassociated with the Address Book. So I open Address Book. And it is COMPLETELY EMPTY. Thousands of address cards I had for pretty much anybody I've had any contact with since 1996, gone.
I close iChat and Address Book and open them back up. iChat makes me tell it who I am all over again. Address book is still blank. (I have later determined that I should NOT have tried restarting either of these and it caused more damage.)
Long story short, I freaked out and panicked for 10-15 minutes, then found a backup from February 13th. (It looks like it was made around the time I switched to Cronus.) If I hadn't restarted Address Book, I am fairly convinced there would have been a backup file available from the last time I changed an address, which was actually only hours earlier. Cause there was a "Previous" data file that apparently gets refreshed every time you make a change of any sort. (And when I told iChat who I was again it made me a new entry in the new blank address book and so made a new previous, wiping out the previous previous, which probably had my whole address book.)
Anyway, I took the February 13th address book, then went through my mail archive from February to the present and with a few select all actions added back in every new person (or random email address) who had sent me anything in those months. That'll get me names and email addresses. Unfortunately anything I put in with phone numbers or physical addresses or notes about which email addresses were work, home, etc would not be recreated that way, and I know I have done at least some of that. But I think I will be close.
I have no clue. Not the slightest notion, why the Address book suddenly decided to empty itself.
And it scares the hell out of me. I have not been doing automated nightly backups since I got Cronus, because Cronus is now bigger than the external drive I had used for that purchase. To start that again I need an External 500 Gb drive (or larger) and that just hasn't been in the budget these past few months. I have essentially been crossing my fingers and trusting that nothing will go wrong with a computer that is only a few months old.
But this goes to show you really do never know when something bad might happen. If not a hard drive failure, then even some obscure human error. (Maybe I accidentally did a select all delete on my address book? Don't think so, but that kind of thing DOES happen...) Or some bizarre software glitch. Or whatever.
As this is I am very very freaked out. I was able to restore most of the data, but there is a definite gap. Things that were lost and I can not recreate. But nothing I feel too super critical about.
But had this been my email archive or my Quicken records (all my financial data since July 1995) or my archive of photographs, or a few other things, then I would have been completely non-functional. To say I would be bawling and in tears would be an understatement. It would make my reaction during the great email meltdown of 2004 seem like nothing at all had happened.
I need to get regular daily backups going on this machine again very very fast. Like within the next few days. I am running without a net right now, and that just is not cool. We may be low on cash right now, but I need to figure out how to do this ASAP.
This is my mother's father's mother. The picture is from the 5th VanTilburgh family reunion. They've happened every year since 1909. It is for all the descendants of Mary's parents. Which would of course include me. I vaguely remember going once the year I lived with my mom in Indiana. Maybe I'll go again some day.
Back to Mary though. She apparently always went to those reunions. My mom's father was the first of her three sons. She traveled with her husband David Clement Brandon from Ohio to Arkansas and back to Ohio.
Another Donaghy highlight, this time Brandy's mom's dad Leonard S Donaghy. I frankly think this is even cooler that the pictures. The article is in the Summer 2005 Rumble Seat (pdf) the newsletter of the Antique Auto Museum in Hershey, PA.
Jacks, Jacks and More Jacks
(Dottie Shultz, AACA)
The AACA Museum was still just a dream in 1992, when Leonard S. Donaghy of Pennsylvania donated his collection of over 200 pre-WWII jacks to the future Museum. The collection was brought back to the AACA Headquarters and stored for the next seven years in a small room in the basement. During the past year the collection was moved to the AACA Museum's archival storage room.
Starting in 2001, Robert Krouch of Mechanicsburg, PA sorted, photographed and identified the collection as his Senior High School Project (as a requirement for graduation he needed to spend a minimum of 100 hours on a project over a 3 year period). In addition to identifying the jacks, he created a website to share the collection with the world. The site is:
This is probably one of the most extensive collection of pre-WWII automotive jacks in any museum and will be a wonderful addition to the AACA Museum displays. A location and design for the display cases has been selected. The weight of the collection requires special cases to be constructed of steel and glass. At the present time there aren't sufficient funds in the budget to move this project forward. If you'd like to see this display come to life more quickly you can consider earmarking a portion of your 2005 Museum donation to the "Jack Display Fund." Thank you for your continued support!
As soon as we're done selling the house, I want to donate some for the display of jacks!
Author: Ben Forta
Started: 21 Jun 2006
Finished: 1 Jul 2006
242p / 11d
Another one for work. I'd played with SQL various times before, but played was really the operative keyword. I could use things other people had done. Maybe change them slightly. Didn't feel confident enough to do new things of my own. So I needed to get comfortable. Thus the book. I decided to get a basic level teach yourself book, and this was the bestselling at the time I ordered it.
After reading though, I think I might have gotten one that was TOO basic. There really wasn't all that much there that couldn't be found at dozens of online reference sites. But... having it all in a narrative provided the context I needed to go through and systematically read what I needed to read in a way I would probably not have done just looking at reference sites. Not that I could not have, but that I *would* not have. But the book made me go through it.
In any case, it was a good overview. I feel much more comfortable that I did. It still only covered basic stuff, so if I need more complex things I'll still need need to look it up or get another book, but for the basics, it did what it was supposed to do.
Oh, and of course the "in 10 minutes" part is how long it is supposed to take for each chapter, not for the whole book. They are so tricky!
Brandy forwarded me info that her Uncle Don Donaghy (along with Brandy's mother) attended an opening Wednesday in Washington, DC at the Hemphill Gallery including a bunch of her Uncle's work from the 1960s. Apparently there were a lot of VIPs at the opening.
The exhibition including his work will be up until August 19th. Those of you in the DC area should drop by. A sampling of his work (in thumbnail form) is available on the gallery's website. Just click on the picture above. Actual prints apparently start at around $3000 if you want one for yourself.
The countdown is still holding at the T-minus 3 hour mark. Clocks are slated to resume ticking in 60 minutes.
The analysis and debate about the faulty heater on one of Discovery's vernier steering thrusters continues. That heater is not working, which makes the maneuvering jet considered failed for the mission. Although there are other thrusters that can compensate for the loss of the L5L jet, managers must decide if they want to launch knowing some of the redundancy is gone.
Now given that they already are launching over the objections of a bunch of safety people (see here)...
Now, I know, I know... this kind of thing will never be "safe" and they are only estimating a 1% chance of a catastrophic failure that would lose the orbiter and the crew. And that is considered an acceptable level of risk at this point.
But if that 1% hit, or even if there was enough damage that they need to leave the astronauts on ISS then you'll be hearing the "I told you so"s so loudly we'll all go deaf. Oh well, at least this time around the objections were clearly heard then decided upon, whereas in previous cases they either have been so discouraged that people never made the objections even though they were worried, or they were made and were squelched by middle management and never made it to the top. This time everybody clearly knows the risks that have been warned about, and are choosing to go anyway.
The Astronauts are loading into the vehicle as I type. Also as I type some scary clouds have moved into the area which will scrub the launch for today if they don't move soon. So we shall see.
My alarm is set to make sure I'll be up to watch, and NASA TV has been up on my computer with the sound up for hours now, so it will wake me up if anything significant happens too.
Of course, I'm out west, so unlike home, I can't just step out the back door of the house and look up to see the launch. Oh well.
My mother's father's father. As I post these going through the tree breadth first, this is the first ancestor I do not have a picture for. At least not yet. (I didn't post pictures for the first few I posted, but there were pictures on the corresponding wiki pages, I was just negligent.)
I don't know a whole lot about him either. Born 1875 in Darke County, Ohio. Moved to Indiana, then Arkansas, then back to Darke County, Ohio, where he died in 1956.
The first of his three children was my mother's father. The last of his three children was my Uncle Ed... actually Great Uncle Ed. I visited Uncle Ed's house a few times as a child. I remember swapping Commodore 64 software with one of his grandkids.
But back to David Clement. The main other thing I know is that he was a Justice of the Peace for 36 years.