October 2008 Archives

While washing dishes yesterday, could've sworn I heard the Bug calling me. Very weird (considering he wasn't here).

Sounded so real that I turned off the faucet and walked outside. Even peeked around the corner. Nothing. Nobody. Am I starting to hear voices? (Or did he really call?)

Used to have a boss who dismissed rumors that couldn't possibly be true by saying, "People hear what they wanna hear."

Fireworks CS4Photoshop vs Fireworks

In other news, I've been learning Photoshop, little by little, tho it's taking longer than expected. (Doesn't everything?)

I wouldn't say it's difficult, but there are so many tools, commands and features .. stacked one on top of the other.

Friend suggested my time would be better spent learning Fireworks. I always thought Fireworks was the Macromedia version of Photoshop. (But it ain't.)

While Photoshop specializes in Print graphics (and photo-editing), Fireworks specializes in web graphics (which is what I do).

graveyardReceived a call this weekend from family back East, notifying me a friend I grew up with had died. The call left me feeling weird, unsettled .. even more than when my parents died.

During a golf tournament (I hear), Patrick's wife tossed him a golf ball, while he was sitting in a golf cart. Reaching for it, he somehow fell out and hit his head.

In a coma, his brain swelled so much that doctors performed surgery to remove part of it. After 20 days, they pulled the plug (seeing they'd removed so much brain tissue). Can you believe it?

What's ironic, is that Patrick was the best catcher of balls I ever knew. He was all-State in high school, and 1st string all-American wide receiver (for class B schools) in college.

He broke (and set) all kinds of pass-receiving records at every school he attended. (Most receptions in a single season, in a career, most TDs, most yardage ... most, most, MOST!)

In high school, his nickname became 'Lance' .. after all-Pro wide-receivers of the day. He had hands like glue.

We grew up in a suburb of New Haven. There were four of us who were very close. Patrick lived across the street. Being so athletic, he's the last (of us 4) anybody would expect to die early.

He wasn't very big, which is probably why he wasn't drafted by the Pro's, but he was super-fast, and would catch any ball he could touch. In all our years of growing up, I only saw him lose one foot-race (to Billy Sullivan, who was 2 or 3 years older) .. and not by much

If you touch it....

Growing up, I often played against him, 1-on-1, with my cousin playing steady-quarterback (for both of us). Now, let me say that, playing against anybody else, I could go out for a long-bomb .. and even with 4 or 5 guys around me, still come down with the ball .. most of the time. But playing against Lance, he'd come down with it every time. "If you touch it," he'd say, "you should catch it." (And he did.)

So you can see how it's especially ironic he died while trying to catch a ball. Perhaps it was this philosophy that caused him to reach farther than he should've.

No Desire to Rule the World

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There's a scene in The Gladiator (Best Picture, 2000) where Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor, 160-180 A.D.) shares with Maximus (his General) that he's dying, and tells him he wants Maximus to replace him and lead Rome after his death.

Marcus Aurelius | Roman Emperor 161-180 A.D.

"I want you to become protector of Rome after I die .. to give power back to the people, and end the corruption that has crippled it. [long pause] Would you accept this great honor I have offered you?"

Maximus responds: "With all my heart, no."

The ancient emperor grabs Maximus by the head and implores, "That is why it must be you!"

The implication here is that the very desire for this power (» ruler of the most powerful empire on the planet) disqualifies one for the job. (A political catch-22, if you will.)

Indeed, it has been my experience, working in large organizations, that people who crave power the most tend to suk the worst at exercising authority.

Maximus for President!

Realize I'm making coarse generalizations, but certainly, anyone who wants to be president (or even a senator) would've long since passed the threshold of any power-craving test we could concoct.

I see less of a problem however, with the people themselves than with the system that puts them there. Most agree our current system of government does not attract the best and brightest minds our nation has to offer.

Along these lines .. I must ask » what is it that drives a person to desire such lofty positions of authority? .. especiallly when approval ratings sit at all-time lows, and few trust a politician to do what he/she says. And does mere presence of this desire prognosticate anything (as Marcus implies) about the likelihood of their becoming a noble, effective leader?

The gang at YaBB released an updated version of their forum script » YaBB 2.3. Radified has been using this free (open source) Perl-based script since 2001.

The Choice 2008: A Frontline special

Sounds like a significant upgrade. Lots of features added and bugs fixed. I stayed up late last night (1AM) and installed a new/clean copy.

It takes a while to dial in the new forum, but I've done it many times before, so I know the drill. All appears to have gone well, after a little glitch.

The Rad forums contain nearly 40,000 posts, in roughly 5,000 threads, some of which have accumulated more than 100,000 page views. We specialize in backing up your hard drive with a cloning program, such as Norton Ghost.

Frontline Launches New Season

In other news » tonight on PBS, Frontline airs its first program of the new season, titled » The Choice 2008, featuring an in-depth look at our presidential candidates.

Ruby on Rad Rails

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Updated the VPS guide, which is now 20 pages .. tho the last two are incomplete. I can probably finish it in 25 pages. (No hurry.)

Ruby on Rails

Installed Ruby on Rails today, on my laptop, where it seems to be working fine. Also installed RoR on the Rad VPS, but it seems to be having trouble there. (Problems identified.)

Ruby is a programming (scripting) language (not unlike PHP), known to have elegant syntax. Some even call it artistic.

Rails is a Web Application Framework (not unlike the Zend Framework for PHP) which is built with (and based on) the Ruby scripting language.

Flying TreeI try to avoid letting much time pass without updating the home page. (Makes the site look neglected.) But I can't seem to post an entry without first 'feeling' it.

Lagging on Updates

In other words, I can't write something just for the sake of writing. (Feels phony.)

Unfortunately I haven't felt much of anything recently. Probably due to (I suspect) defense mechanisms, which protect us from "thoughts or feelings too terrible to tolerate."

Confronting the Uncomfortable

Rather than avoiding uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, I endeavor (as best possible) to orientate myself toward them (confronting them) .. uncomfortable as that might be. I feel this is the best (and fastest) way to move on.

My experience recently has been » periods of crushing pain, interspersed with periods of feeling .. nothing. While pain always suks, I know that feeling nothing is worse. (Numbness is a bad sign.)

As time passes, the painful periods become less frequent and less severe .. until (like now, for example) I'm finally back up to zero. (My head is finally back above water.)

The Dog said, "I was worried about you for a while, but you sound sound better." I'm cracking jokes again, and even making people laugh. (Good sign.)

In dealing with adversity, I've noticed two extremes. (A ditch on both sides of the road.) On one side, some hold on to pains from their past, choosing to relive them over and over (for years it seems). While others deny any past hurts at all, despite their apparent influence in their present life. Both approaches seem dysfunctional.

If someone ignores the stench emanating from their closet door, they're unlikely to clean out the manure piled inside. Same could be said for the person who periodically enjoys playing with it. Speaking of dysfunction ..

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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