April 2011


My energy level this week has been surprisingly high, despite the fact that we haven’t gotten much sleep the past couple of nights due to constant thunderstorms, pounding rain, a scared cat and weather warnings come over the EAS radio in the kitchen.

Honestly, I love this stuff. This is my kind of weather.

I’m sorry to read about the storm related deaths elsewhere in the country, though. Very sad This is where social media like Twitter and Facebook can be handy; follow the right folks on your Twitter feed and you have storm notifications long before the National Weather Service releases them.

Mother Nature has had a lot of energy this week and for the most part her displays have been fantastic. Just be prepared for when she gets overly cranky. Know the safest place in your house and keep your eyes and ears open.


Premiere., originally uploaded by iMachias.

I was delighted to see that the first dandelions have arrived in our lawn, a sure sign that spring is finally here. I know that most people don’t like dandelions but I like the color that they bring to the lawn, especially when everything else is still leaning towards brown. You can barely make out in this photo that there’s some purple flowers showing their support of the dandelions as well.

Another sure sign of spring is also upon us; Crazy Cat Lady is ringing her cowbell while standing on her back porch. She is calling her cat with the cowbell. Tom, our cat, just looks in that direction with an air of disinterest. He says, “pfffff. Cowbell.” Then he goes back to napping.


Apple addressed the iPhone tracking issue that’s been a hot topic lately. If you want to read their response to this, you can take a look here.


So they were having this great deal on these little Asus Eee PC netbooks at work and I decided to jump in on the saving. Four weeks later, my new little netbook was sitting on the front porch waiting to be inducted into my little geekdom.

I dubbed it “scout-tux”. All of my Linux machines have tux in their name.

scout-tux came with Windows XP. I found this surprising, because not only is Windows XP 10 years old, but everyone has been telling me how wonderful Windows 7 is for these little machines. I decided not to care and loaded Ubuntu Maverick Netbook Edition on this little guy instead. Everything worked out of the box and he seems to be purring along nicely. Battery life was promised to be around six hours; he’s clock in around 3.5 hours. I can deal with that. He’s going to be a little test machine anyways, I use my iPad when I’m out and about on the road.

The built in webcam worked without any tweaking. I found this to be quite nice. The picture has that grainy quality of 2001, just like Windows XP, but I still like this little guy.


I have a question for the bald men and their admirers. Do the cool kids still shave their head or has that been relegated to old farts and the younger, balding guys now go with the shadow buzzed look. Though I am never fashion conscious (Earl made me throw out my International Male parachute pants just last week), I am age conscious and while I am determined to age gracefully and without impediment, I don’t want to look older than I am. I have accepted the fact that my hair has gone from ginger to cinnamon and sugar and that the right side of my mustache is downright gray, but if I’m starting to look like an old fart before my time something has to be done.

I’m never going to comb over and I’m certainly never going to wear the high and tight flattop I had so long ago, but if I can save the minutes in the morning in an effort to look a little younger I’m going to do it.


Remember when Top 40 singers could really sing and play instruments and write music all on their own and then sound the same live as they did on the record?

A pure musical masterpiece, here’s Joni Mitchell with a live rendition of “Help Me”. One of my favorite songs of all time.


Back in 2005 when we purchased the Acura RSX I talked about the fact that I had dreams of driving this car in the desert. I wanted to drive fast on the open road where I could legally do so.

It is six years later and I have not made this dream come true yet. The farthest west I’ve been in the car is just beyond St. Louis. Earl and I have been toying with the idea of getting a new car and I have been eyeing a new Jeep Wrangler. While this would be quite fun, it doesn’t quite make economic sense for a couple of reasons, including the fact that gas is damn expensive and I have a lengthy commute.

This morning before work I did a little research into all weather tires for the Acura, after all, the thought behind replacing it is because I don’t drive the car all year ’round. All weather tires aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I actually could buy all year tires and performance tires for the amount of money I thought just all year tires would be. The car is paid for and running quite well, so why would I want to add a car payment to the budget when I don’t have to? Just to drive something newer?

So I’ve been thinking that we need to keep the Acura for as long it’s economically feasible. Writing this down in my blog is my way of cementing that thought process. Besides, I look damn good behind the wheel and the car still handles like a dream. A little detailing and TLC and he’s ready to go vroom again.

Besides, we still have an appointment with the salt flats.


I’m officially giving up on the American news media. This morning I listened to some woman use her “very spooky and scary” newscaster voice announce that stalkers are using the iPhones of mothers to steal children. The iPhone tags the photos with your GPS coordinates and when you upload your photo to Facebook, bad men are watching and will swoop in and steal your children right on the spot. At the very worst, they know where you have been.

The spooky and scary woman failed to mention:

– any sort of statistic as to how many of these abductions have happened
– how they’re getting the phones from the Moms
– the fact that most phones and many digital cameras do this, not just the iPhone
– the fact that the feature can easily be turned off
– any viable sense of urgency as to why this is headline news

Fox News is known for it’s rampant fear mongering (except to those that swear it’s the gospel) but most other news outlets are in it for the ratings and/or pledge money, so I don’t think any of them can be trusted. It’s kind of sad, but the most unbiased reports come from outside of the country… BBC, CBC, etc. Heck, even the English version of Al Jazeera gives a more balanced view. That’s kind of sad to me.

So for the morning commute I am sticking to tech podcasts, Stars on 45 and some of the GLBT podcasts. When I snap a photo of my ride, you’ll know where I am.

Just don’t steal my iPhone.


I am totally addicted to Words With Friends, the Scrabble-like game on the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices. I seem to recall reading that you could play through Facebook but I haven’t figured out how, yet.

I used to use a dictionary program to nudge me along but I stopped that a while back, it’s better to exercise the brain. I’m still kicking some major butt so all is well. Once in a while Earl will step in for one of my turns he’s gone on business so it’s all me.

If you want to play, my username is imachias.

Back to the game…


The headache was due to a wonky caloric thing. I just had a cheeseburger breadstick at Dunkin’ Donuts and the headache is gone. The cheeseburger breadstick suspiciously looks and acts like a HotPocket but I can deal.

I need to adjust something in the diet this week. It’s fun living as your own science experiment.

The DD site does not list the calorie information for this stuffed breadstick, so I’ll just assign in 300 calories and leave it at that. I have no idea if that’s accurate or not.