Sunday, August 07, 2011

Birth Of A Nookworm

Sometimes I feel a bit ashamed to admit it, but for most of my life I didn't read much. Rarely, in fact. Mostly it would be parts of a technical manual for something I was working on or something I was curious about.

In the last 7 months, I have read 14 books - and I'm working on my 15th now. It was all triggered by a "gadget" - the NOOK Color reader/tablet. (Maybe technology is the sole reason for my new interest in reading.) Not only is it a reader, it's in full color and functions as a tablet. It has high-speed wireless internet access as well, and that access is unrestricted once a WiFi connection is made - most of the time automatic and unnoticed. WiFi is just about everywhere these days.

Anyhow, the books I've read aren't any one type or genre. To date, these are the ones I've read (in no particular order):

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Johnathan Safran Foer)
Heaven Is For Real (Todd Burpo)
Saratoga, A Novel Of The American Revolution (David Garland)
The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
The Hunt For Red October (Tom Clancy)
The Interceptors' Club (Steve Douglass)
The Invisible Man (H. G. Wells)
The Time Machine (H. G. Wells)
The War Of The Worlds (H. G. Wells)
The Worst Hard Time (Timothy Egan)
This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection (Carol Burnett)
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (Jules Verne)
Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)
Water For Elephants (Sara Gruen)

I recommend all of these, for varying reasons. However, I must add that the first one on the list was not an easy read. From the perspective of a 9 year old boy who lost his father in the 9/11/2001 attacks, it did not flow well. A second read might be better, but I haven't done it yet. I am now working on The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek To Freedom. I am not disappointed, on several levels.

My interests are not solely the subject matter, which can vary quite a bit as you can see. I enjoy a book that has flow, and is not overly burdened with minute details. Pertinent details are necessary, but lengthy minutia is hard for me to read. Some books I have tried to read might take the first 1/3 of the pages to detail every little thing from the characters' pasts, their families' pasts', etc. I don't care for that. I prefer that, in the course of the story, pertinent details of the character's past be injected when necessary. Those that whip around like a wild hose unleashed are not enjoyable for me either. Sure, I'll accept flashbacks when needed, and even changing to perspectives of different people now and then are fine - but wildly thrashing the story line around is burdensome to read. I read for enjoyment - finally.

Shelley has labeled me as a "Nookworm". I have become kind of a bookworm - with the Nook [Color].



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Air Show at Tucumcari

Wednesday, Shelley and I took the day off to take a short jaunt to Tucumcari, NM to see an air show that the Rotary Club was sponsoring. Tucumcari is only about an hour and a half down I-40 from us. The Canadian Snowbirds were there, as well as an assortment of WWII planes and other aerobatic aircraft. The Army's Golden Knights parachute team performed as well. I took over 1000 photos of the event, and Shelley did 800 or 900 or so. Makes me glad I don't do film any more.

Here are some of the shots I took that day.

This Avenger is similar to the one "Papa Bush" flew in WWII.
An F-15 demo team made an appearance, too.

The Canadian Snowbirds - flying their Canadair T-114's.

A T-6 Texan.

You can see more photos HERE.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Rainbow Bridge

From Shelley:

For 15 years he was in my life and in my heart.
He was his own cat--funny, independent, kind--but never cuddly.
Cuddly wasn't Chip--but I never doubted where I stood with him.
We respected each other.
He was a funny old Maine Coon who called the shots in our relationship
and I obeyed him the best I could.
Chip was unique. He talked. People would doubt it until
they heard his verbalizations with their own ears.
"Hello!" "Out"
Plain as day.
His given name was "Chaucer" but he didn't like that. He sure let us know that
"Chip" was more suitable. "Chippie" was another name he was called when he was "kittenish".
He loved being outside--and because of a thick long coat, even
a blanket of snow didn't bother him.
He sure kept my feet warm on a cold winter's night.
Chip would let us know it was time to get up before the alarm went off.
Chip had a soft purr and he loved treats.His favorite place to sleep was on the
console table in our bedroom--under the fragile Tiffany lamp because the sun came in that window.
He was special,
He will be missed
Rest in peace my little friend.
I will see you again waiting for me at Rainbow Bridge...where Bat must be waiting too. Perhaps you're together playing in the cool grass or basking in the sun.


- and From Dale....

Chip was a special, albeit a bit misunderstood little fella. He was known for being a bit psycho, unpredictable. You would wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and look up and see his face - just staring at you - an inch or two from your face. You never knew if you would get slashed for simply petting him. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

He was misunderstood by most - but I understood him. I knew he wasn't a bad boy at all. As time passed, my faith in him was proven right, and we became the best of friends.

One of his talents was that of speech. He could say "Hello!" as well as you or I - and he'd do it when he wanted something, not just at random times. If we were doing something and not paying attention, he would say "Hello! Out!" when he wanted to go out.

He was special. He was our little boy. We will miss you, Chippie.

Relaxing in the back yard.

Security Device: Locking down Momma's computer.

"The most beautiful things in the world cannot be
seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart."
-Helen Keller

Sunday, September 27, 2009

PBase Down

Many of us use PBase to display our photographs. Some are amateur hobbyists, some experienced/advanced, some real professionals. Whatever your level of photography, everybody who uses PBase's service has been affected by the outage that began a few days ago - 24 September 2009.

I've seen many comments in cyberland concerning this. A few are patient. Some are outright vicious towards "Slug" and his setup - even claiming a lack of professionalism and blasting his hardware setup. Come on, give me a break! Have any of you heard of Murphy's Laws? I've been in the trenches of industrial maintenance for over 35 years, and I am not worried. I have confidence in Slug and PBase. I know how stuff happens. Multiple servers have been affected in his area, and some could well be one/some of the big boys that have "proper" setups.

The main problem might not be with PBase per se', but with someone much bigger. I don't know how he is set up. Do you?'s trail involves people like Inflow, Inc. and Who supplies the servers? Who is the responsible tech? I have a domain and servers that I have absolutely no control over. The hardware is not in my house, nor do I have access to it - and that is very common.

I have no doubt that all of our photos are safe. I know that it often takes an ungodly amount of time to do simple things with computer systems. I have no doubt that there is redundancy. Even if you delete all your stuff inadvertently, it can be restored. Yes, it is possible that some things might be irrecoverable. Maybe even some of my stuff. So what? I have backups and can put it back without near as much hassle as Slug and PBase are going through as I type this. If you don't have your stuff backed up.....well, what can I say?

Don't be impatient. Can you imagine how much data is involved? I can't. People all over the world have been using PBase to store their photos - plus all the additional related data like custom page setups, etc. Terabytes on top of terabytes on top of terabytes are very likely involved. Think of how computers have been a problem to you, and how much time you have spent offline because of it. Imagine the similarities, but on a much bigger scale.

Do you have a professional photography business that only centers around PBase? You don't have a backup plan in case of problems? Why not? Ever hear of a computer that crashes? Think it's just your little notebook PC or Mac that have hardware or software crashes? Your home computers never have problems, do they? Think again.

I have well over 1500 photos on PBase. They are still there. They will be there when he gets back online. I will be there, too. I'm not leaving. I have no reason to leave. I trust PBase with my photos and the price is very good. Plus, I like his TOS. Many sites lay claim to your photos for various reasons, like advertising. Some even lay unrestricted claim to them to the point of even transferring them to 3rd parties! Not Slug. He specifically states it in plain language - no legalese BS. The photos you post there are yours and will always be yours. Nobody else can claim or use them in any way, shape, or form. That's one of the many reason I will not leave PBase.

Hang in there, Slug. Do what you need to do. Take the time you need. You have my full support. I'll see "you" when you get back up. I've got some more photos to upload. :)

-doxielover1 at PBase


From PBase:

28-Sep-2009 1:01 UTC / 27-Sep-2009 21:01 EST

We have been working nonstop to continue importing the data into the new database, and we are making good progress. While we wait for the data to import, we are going through PBase pages and making sure everything will be ready to go online when the data importing is complete. When PBase comes back online, some of you may find that some of your images do not display. This is simply because the data for those images will still be copying over to the new database. As the rest of the data comes in, those images will be fixed. We will let you know as soon as we have more news.


Importing to a new database, huh? I guess that means it's not just a quick-and-easy copy from one to the other. I would presume that there is some conversion going on to make it usable by the new database as well. They didn't take a break for the weekend like some people (that were/are bad-mouthing Slug) have been alleging.



As of the time of this addendum, PBase appears to be up and running in its entirety. I never lost anything. I'll bet nobody else did either.

Thanks for your efforts, Slug!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Remember.

Do you?

I remember seeing where one plane hit the first tower.

I remember watching the TV and seeing the second plane hit the tower.

I remember thinking at that point, "That was not accident. We are under attack."

I remember "that feeling" in the pit of my stomach.

I remember the towers falling - from the safety of my couch.

I remember thinking "Put me in, coach!"

I remember the skies falling silent.

I remember our Canadian friends coming to our rescue by taking in our people.

I remember wondering when it would end.

I remember thanking God for brave Americans like those on Flight 93, who prevented far more loss of life.

I remember how Americans from all walks of life, all beliefs, and all political persuasions were as one.

I remember September 11, 2001.

I long for the attitudes of September 12, 2001.

Do you remember?

Do you really?

Let us never forget - anything.

Semper Paratus.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


In my world, the question has come up as to whether we are a Christian nation. In answering that question, we need to agree on a definition of "Christian" as it is generally used. Technically, it refers to one who believes in Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and all the events of Jesus' life. That would not include Jews and others. However, it is used casually today to refer to those who believe in God, a deity, or a supernatural being worshipped in a religious faith by whatever name. That is the context I use it in here. I use it to include all believing faiths.

A little bit of research will show that most if not all of our Founding Fathers did believe in God. Some of them like Thomas Jefferson believed that one's religious beliefs were deeply personal, and were between one and his God, as evidenced in the following quotes.

"I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to Him, and not to the priests." --Thomas Jefferson to Mrs. M. Harrison Smith, 1816. ME 15:60

"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803. ME 10:378

"Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone. I inquire after no man's, and trouble none with mine." --Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814. ME 14:198

Some take advantage of these comments to suggest that Jefferson did not believe in God, and use this as support of their arguments against the issue. In fact, he was adamant that his beliefs remained private, as he considered everybody else's to be. It was nobody's business, plain and simple.

One of Jefferson's quotes has been selectively and partially quoted in an effort to support non-belief or atheistic arguments.

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

The point here is to question the government. He is expressing the mindset here to be very suspicious - not of God, as they would have you believe, but to be suspicious of those who hold high public office. The comment about questioning the existence of a God is only to emphasize the veracity with which one should be suspicious of government.


Tolerance and The First Amendment

The town halls of late show disturbing trends. Those trends seek to demonize Americans. Town hall meetings are set up to try to convince us that the happenings in government are good and should be carried out. When citizens speak out their minds as individuals with their concerns about those bills and policies, "stuff" happens.

We are not to be persecuted for our opinions and are in fact supposed to be protected from it in light of The First Amendment. Unfortunately, there are those who have very little tolerance for opposing viewpoints. Our current leaders are in violation of the First Amendment. They slander and persecute us repeatedly because we do not agree with them. They call us un-American?

Where is the the tolerance they preach? Where is their support and defense of our Constitution that they have sworn to?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Humbling Experience

Yesterday morning we went to the parade in downtown Canyon. It was the biggest they've had yet - markedly bigger than past years. It lasted over an hour this year. We loved it!

As the floats of military men past and present passed along the route, they were met with one long standing ovation and grateful applause the whole way. As they passed by us, I stopped my applause to take a few pictures and give them a high "thumbs up". One of the floats touched me. I was standing there with my US Coast Guard cap on, camera in hand, just minding my own business. ;-) Two of the soldiers (shown here) broke loose from escorting their Veterans of Foreign Wars float to come over to me - ME, of all people - for the purpose of shaking my hand!

I was surprised when the first one (a Desert Storm veteran) extended his hand and said, "Thank you, sir!" (I thought they just wanted to say hi to the kids in front of me.) I was kind of glad he did though, because I wanted to thank them - each and every one in the parade.

I was very much humbled. It's been over 30 years since I served and I must admit I felt a little unworthy. I remember thinking, "Everybody should be thanking you guys."

Thank you, Gentlemen!
Thank all of you who are putting it all on the line (and have put it all on the line) to keep our Country safe and Free.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mandatory Savings?

I don't get it. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

"Obama’s plan for IRAs does not make the accounts universal. Instead, it targets employers that don’t offer a retirement plan to workers. But like Social Security, the benefit would be automatic. If workers aren’t given a 401(k) or similar option, then their employer must automatically open an IRA on their behalf and make contributions through direct deposit, pulling the cash from the workers’ paycheck. Employees who don’t want to participate could opt out."

  1. "But like Social Security, the benefit would be automatic."
  2. "their employer must automatically open an IRA on their behalf"
  3. "pulling the cash from the workers’ paycheck"
  4. "Employees who don’t want to participate could opt out"
Now (if I understand this right) his plan would force (the word "must") employers to automatically take our money like Social Security (whether we like it or not - again, "must"). With all that definitive talk, we could opt out if we wanted. So I ask you.....

Why would we want the government to make us do another Social Security-like thing, as well as they've handled it?

What's the point of forcing employers ("must") to take our money for an IRA - and allow us to opt out if we want to?

You have to do it, but you don't have to????

How about "do nothing" and let me contribute to an IRA if I want to - through payroll deductions if I want? Stay out of my wallet.

All I can see is that they want to control more of our personal finances. If this goes through, they will have control of yet another aspect of our personal lives.

  • Ask and ye shall receive.
  • You get what you ask for.
  • "Change" is not always good.
  • "Fundamental change" can be catastrophic.
  • Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
The sad thing is, only Liberals/Democrats can change it. Think about it. Does the Democrat [sic] Congress listen to the Republicans? Or do they just let them talk and ignore them - and do what they want without any consideration? Are there any Liberals that will listen to a Conservative and take them seriously? Are you taking my comments seriously? For our sake as a Free Country - I hope so. If not, it will fundamentally change, and very few will like it.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Energy Control Bill

It passed the House. Does anybody know what's in it? The ones who voted for it don't. I've looked a some of it over, and I don't like what's there. You wouldn't either. I went to the Library of Congress and other official sites.

I really hope the Senate shoots it down, but I have little hope that it will.

I never wanted to "fundamentally change" my Country. I kind of liked it as a Representative Republic form of Freedom. I wonder if anybody asked what he and his Democrat Congress wanted to "fundamentally change" it into?


Saturday, June 20, 2009


The last three years have given us little rain. We've been very dry around here. The main lake we get our water from has been very low. This year has been pretty wet by comparison. We have been getting rain fairly often. By comparison to previous years, it's been monsoon season. No, it hasn't been a lot really. We could use a lot more, that's for sure. So far this year, we've gotten 5.9" of rain at the airport. That's about 2.5" below normal. Normally, we would have 8.35" by now.

Let the monsoons come!