||Saturday, January 7, 2006
Fifty years ago today my parents were married at a little church in Las
Crusus, New Mexico. They are still together after all these years. I've
just come from their anniversary celebration. All but two of their nine
children were in attendance along with 25 or so of their 31
grandchildren. It was fun.
What struck me was all the old stories that were part of my childhood.
We heard many of the old standards like how my parents met, moving
around many times as a young family getting established, skunks under
the old rock house in Farmington. The usual. But now they are part of
our heritage and somehow take on more meaning.
Dad and I sat out in front of the restaurant waiting for everyone to
arrive. He said, more than once, how amazing it was to think back over
the last 50 years and how it seemed impossible that 50 years had passed
by so quickly. I have a better appreciation for Mom and Dad now than I
ever could have imagined at any point when I was growing up. That they
are together after 50 years is difficult enough. That they still love
each other and enjoy each other's company is a real tribute to them. It
isn't easy for two people to stay together through all of the crazy
events that accompany them along the way.
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for everything. I'm glad I got to spend some time
with you today. I'm glad that I'm part of your history. And I hope you
have many more happy years together.........
||Friday, January 6, 2006
"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to."
||Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Earlier this week I was in California and fortunately had my bicycle with me. I took a ride from Twentynine Palms into Joshua Tree National Park.
What a grind! Perhaps I wasn't so fortunate after all. It was 16 miles
from lovely, beautiful, Twentynine Palms (motto: what the moon would
look like if it had palm trees and bunny rabbits) to the top of the
hill in the park.
I've since looked at a map
and now realize that I wasn't that far into the park. I did get past
Jumbo Rocks but not quite to the Ryan campground. There was a brief
respite of cycling on some flat ground. But that wasn't great. I
realized after going an extra mile or so that I'd benefitted from a
tailwind and struggled into the breeze to get back to the downhill
I did have that 16 miles of coasting, hitting a top speed of 39 MPH
(plenty fast on a bike) and staying above 30 MPH most of the way. Once
back in Twentynine Palms I had a short ride back to the hotel. Nothing
to complain about. Except the cold. Down hill isn't all breeze in your
face and easy coasting. Sometimes it's bugs in your teeth and sometimes
it's frozen fingers...........
||Friday, December 23, 2005
Friday, of course
"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood
puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It
came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he
puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought
of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't
come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
||Thursday, December 22, 2005
The next Johnny Long book
For the past several months I've been enjoying learning about Google hacks from Johnny Long's book Google Hacking for Penetration Testers. Good book, good information.
Now I want another Johnny Long book, Penetration Tester's Open Source Toolkit.
This book includes a Linux CD with a suite of powerful penetration
software, a.k.a attack tools. I'm not expert enough to fully understand
the importance of this book. I'll need to get an opinion from Troy, The
UEN Security Geek.
Either way, this will be one of my next book purchases..........
Worth a look
Yesterday while doing some pre-Christmas shopping at Smith's I picked up January/February issue of Bicycling Magazine. The editor, Steve Madden, does an article in each issue. This time he had a sidebar suggesting a visit to Dave Zabriskie's web site.
DZ is the Utah native who won the Tour de France Individual Time Trial
(ITT) and also the big Giro d'Italia ITT. He's pretty funny and is known
for his unusual sense of humor.
Dave conducts a series of one question interviews with some of the best cyclists in the world. So check out DZ's site when you get a chance...........
||Wednesday, December 21, 2005
This is one of the cool things about my Dad.
I got a call from him at about 9:00 Saturday night. He said that he
must be getting old because he couldn't remember how to import music
into iTunes. I asked a few questions and found out that it wasn't
really a problem. He was trying something new. He went on to tell the
story something like this:
Earlier that day Dad went into Best Buy
and told the first employee he ran into that he wasn't leaving until
someone showed him how to import cassette tapes into his Windows PC.
The first answer was that there were some products available. Dad asked
if the employee had used them. "No," was the reply. But this employee
seemed to understand and gave it a moment of thoughtful consideration.
"But I have a geek," was the next response.
So the Best Buy geek was sought out. And this Geek directed my Dad the the Xitel INport
product. Dad headed home and began by digitizing one side of one
cassette. This amounted to five songs. Now he was trying to figure out
how to get them into iTunes and convert them from .wav to MP3 files.
We talked and I told him that he would probably need to use the
Add to Library feature under the File
tab. Before I could finish the exlanation he was saying, "hey, the
files are there." By that I understood that he had completed the move
and that he was looking at the newly digitized files in his iTunes
The next question from Dad was how to convert the files to MP3. I told
him that would be under the Advanced tab and before
I could say more he was laughing and telling me that the conversions
was underway. Then he wanted to know how to tell if the file had been
converted. I directed him back to the File tab and
the Get Info selection. And right away he asked,
Dad turned 70 last March. By September I think he was finally retired.
He had one last job to do; install laptops, PCs, LAN,
Internet and firewall for a business that one of his friends, Daren,
was starting. Dad told Daren that he probably wasn't qualified to set
all this up, but Daren laughed and told him that he was confident that
Dad would figure it out. He did.
As far as INport
goes, it looks like a pretty cool product for those of us with vinyl
and cassettes that we don't want to or can't purchase in digital form.
It's also possible to record from the radio and digitize those
recording into a PC. The file quality is very good. I listened to a few
of my Dad's imports after a Christmas party at his house on Monday
night. By that time he had digitized 188 songs. He'd been
||Friday, December 16, 2005
Friday, of course
"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory."
--W. Edwards Deming
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what
we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life
before we can enter another."
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
© 2006 Jim Stewart
Last Update: 1/7/06; 9:52:33 PM