Too Old for TV

March 4th, 2008

I don’t understand it and I can’t watch it anymore. TV just isn’t what it used to be. Or maybe it’s exactly what it’s always been, but my tolerance is lower. I’m not complaining about the quality of the programs, though. I’m complaining about the TV networks and their feeling like they know best.

Since the primaries started, Tuesdays have become worthless for watching TV shows. Right at the end of The Biggest Loser they broke in with a “special report.” That was all right, I guess, but they still cut off the end of the show for information that was nowhere near earth-shattering. I was pumped for Jericho anyway, so I hopped on over to CBS.

The first thing I noticed was that the CBS HD channel was showing a standard definition broadcast of the beginning of the show. I was disappointed a little bit, but decided that it was still worth watching. After three minutes or so, CBS decided to preempt the show for their “special report.” Now I could understand if they were announcing something important like a tornado headed our way, or if a Godzilla-like monster had eaten the Vice President. I would have even been okay with them announcing a local fire or police chase. But no, they were just telling us that Hillary had won Rhode Island. Then they wasted another thirty seconds talking about McCain having won all 4 states and Huckabee bowing out.

By the time they got back to the show, something important had happened and I didn’t know what was going on. With everything that had upset me so far, I decided to just turn it off. If I want up to the minute election results, I’ll go to the Internet. That’s what it’s for! I don’t want my show to be shrunk or obscured for crawls that repeat the same thing over and over either. If you want to give me election results, then give them to me instead of commercials or add them to the commercial breaks. I don’t care if the show ends up running a little long, but I do care if you are going to interrupt it for things I don’t care about right now.

I didn’t turn on the TV to watch election results. I checked the listings and they said CBS had Jericho on. I turned on CBS to watch Jericho, end of story.

Irrational Drivers Drive Me Nuts

February 27th, 2008

On my way home from work there is a long off- ramp/on-ramp that connects two freeways. The ramp only has one lane and at this time of day usually goes slowly with a lot of slow-and-go. Most of the drivers realize that there is nothing you can do to go any faster than any of the other cars on the ramp, cheap so they drive calmly until the lanes open up at the end of the ramp.

Today I was on the ramp and I had about one and a half car-lengths between me and the car ahead of me. When the car ahead slammed on his breaks I let off the gas and coasted up close at which point the car ahead would zoom up again for a few seconds opening up about 2 car-lengths ahead of me. This is normal and happens almost every day on this ramp. I was startled today, though, by a honking car behind me.

I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a black car about 3 inches from my bumper and far to the right of all of the others behind it. I was a little puzzled but figured that there wasn’t much I could do about it, so I continued on as normal for another couple of minutes as we all progressed at the same rate in our single lane.

Out of nowhere this care passes me on the right, cuts me off, and starts riding the bumper of the car that was in front of me. I have idea what the driver’s problem was. He stayed right there in front of me for another two minutes and drove normally as far as I could tell from that point on. The only thing I can guess is that he was upset because I wasn’t tailgating the car in front of me. I have no idea how that would have made any difference to him considering we still exited the ramp merely seconds from one another. I guess some drivers just can’t stand the sight of open space on the freeway.

Linux Hardware Monitoring without X

January 9th, 2008

I use GKrellM for status monitoring on my Linux desktop and laptop machines, but have often wished for a way to get some of the same information without running an X server. I searched around and found saidar, which looked like the perfect solution. I went to install it, but I couldn’t find the packages in my distro’s repositories. I was a little upset that I’d have to build the package myself because I was in a hurry at the time. I dug around a bit more and discovered that saidar is contained in the libstatgrab package! It’s great! See saidar in action. Well, I guess it’s not really in action. Just imagine that the screen refreshes every second or so with new stats.

Merry Christmas 2007!

December 25th, 2007

I hope you have a wonderful week. Christmas is the best time of year, troche even if it is freezing all over the place.

Mormons Are Christians, but Christians Don’t Think So

December 24th, 2007

From a YouTube comment on a Christmas Video I posted there:

I think that the confusion lies in the view of the Trinity, drug taught from the very beginning of the Church. There is One God, co-eternal with the Son and Spirit. God was never like man nor will man ever become like God. Hear O Israel, the LORD is One. No other diety. Lucifer was not the brother of Jesus.

Because of the limit on post-length at YouTube I am responding here.

You are correct that those are some of the doctrines that cause some Christians to label the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as a non-Christian religion. Most members of the LDS Church have a different and more inclusive definition of Christian. The LDS definition of Christian simply means anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and who worships Him. This definition probably has its roots in the Book of Mormon passage from Alma 46:13-15.

13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—
14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.
15 And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.

This is why most any Mormon you meet will be incensed when someone even insinuates that Mormons are not Christians. I am a Mormon and I think I understand both sides of this issue. When a Mormon calls himself or herself a Christian, they mean that they are a follower of Jesus Christ. Whether most Evangelical Christians believe that or not is another question entirely.

I do not believe the same creeds that Evangelical Christians believe, but I call myself a Christian because I believe that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior and I strive to follow, praise, and honor him. I hope that this video helps me do those things, if only in some very small and insignificant way.

Gun Free Zones Scare Me

December 16th, 2007

Am I the only one who gets the chills when I see a sign that says “Gun Free Zone” at the entrance of an establishment? My instincts told me not to enter the local library when I saw that on the front door. Here’s a beautiful cartoon from the Rome News-Tribune.

Gun Cartoon

The Planets (GC11N95)

November 18th, 2007

There are so many beautiful little squares of awesomeness in this area. I had no idea there were places like this when we decided to move here. We moved here for purely economic reasons. This cache is located in a nature preserve run by the Riparian Institute. There are trails all over the preserve with running water all over. A riparian zone is the interface between land and a flowing surface water body. This area also houses a small observatory and is conveniently located right near a library.

Krissy and I brought lunch and ate it at the gazebo near the cache. While we were eating there were at least two other groups of geocachers that came by looking for the cache. There are a lot of other caches in this preserve, so we will be back here a few times for them, but this is a beautiful spot just to spend the day and enjoy nature.


The Geoache

The Geoache

I’m rockin’ my Windows Vista swag I got from the Microsoft rep at work. I’m so cheap that I’ll promote Microsoft crap if it means I get free clothes.

Toothpaste That Eradicates Sensitivity

November 17th, 2007

ToothpasteA couple of years ago I went to the dentist and they told me that I probably sleep with my mouth open. I guess that makes me a mouth-breather. Breathing through your mouth when you sleep leads to a dry mouth because you don’t produce saliva when you sleep. As it happens, bacteria just love the nighttime because the like the dryness. This lead to sensitive gums. The dentist gave me some awful-tasting mouthwash that I used day and night for a couple of weeks. It helped my gums, but my teeth were still sensitive to hot and cold. The problem wasn’t debilitating, but it was annoying.

I recently tried out Biotene, which is a toothpaste that not only alleviates the discomfort of sensitive teeth, but also resolves the problem. Biotene could have really helped me out when I was suffering from sensitive teeth. It’s nice to know that there is a sensitive toothpaste out there that I can use the next time I have sensitive teeth. My favorite thing about Biotene is that it’s got Xylitol in it, which is a sweetner that is actually good for your teeth because it mimics sugar enough to attract bacteria, but they can’t motabolize it like sugar, so they die! Give it a try.

Brian’s Free Stone (GC12G9Z)

November 16th, 2007

North of the lake in Freestone park is a skate park that I never knew existed. I bet Christopher would have liked to spend some time there if we had known about it. I had trouble finding this one, but Krissy used her cache-sense and grabbed it with little trouble. This is a pretty big cache which would be great for a travel bug in the future.

While walking around and getting these caches we walked a total of about three miles, which is pretty respectable for a couple hours of geocaching. We left home as the sun was setting and arrived home in the dark.

The Geoache

Duck Tracks (GCJ54W)

November 10th, 2007

This cache is located near the banks of the lake at Freestone park. No one was feeding the ducks today, so I couldn’t get pictures of people throwing entire pieces of bead into the water like Frisbees.

When we started getting close to the cache there was a family getting their pictures taken on the side of the nearby hill. Krissy and I sat down near the banks of the lake and enjoyed the breeze, waiting for the family to get dona and leave. After a few minutes they were still there, so I got up, grabbed the cache, and walked back where she was sitting. While we were hanging out, I took a few pictures of the small-gauge train that circles the park.

Duck Trails Cache

Train at Freestone Park