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Independents Day

Saturday, May 19, 2001

     We went from early March to mid-May with no rain at all here. The earth was beginning to crack and the grass was already brown. Now we've had 5.8 inches in the past three days. The crawlspace under my house has three inches of standing water. My back porch has the same volume of good ole W.V. mud. The neighborhood drainage has become overwhelmed to the point the street is a new channel. And it's still raining! Cleanup on this day will not be fun.

     Here's one for you Candi. The FBI Handbook of Forensic Services provides guidance and procedures for safe, efficient methods of collecting and preserving evidence. Also describes the forensic examinations performed by the FBI Laboratory. (link via Webgrammar)

     President George W. Bush said that he is opposed to Internet access taxes, and also called for the adoption of a permanent tax credit facilitating scientific research and development. "We need to ban Internet access taxes," said Bush as he addressed members of the Electronic Industries Alliance. "We need to understand how powerful the Internet can be to commerce and growth." I concur, we certainly don't need a government albatross around the neck of an industry still trying to find its sea legs. How's that for mixing metaphors?

     If you know what color you want for your Web page, but you can't figure out the hexadecimal code for it, Internet.com has a scripted color wheel. It dynamically displays 4096 colors in a chromatic scale utilizing cross browser mouse event capture.

     OK gang, quiz time. Who in the world has Chinese food for breakfast?
Sorry to see you go Greg.

     Life's little instructions: Whistle.

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.

Friday, May 18, 2001

     The courage and strength of character are phenomenal. The decision making prowess is impeccable. She knew exactly when it was time to quit work, knew the wish list was important and went in search of the beach, brought all the kids together at precisely the correct moment, and managed to get back home just in time. Stuck somewhere in the middle between half full and half empty, today will be the start of something new. Embrace her.

     If you haven't ever been to R.I.G.H.T.S., now may be a good time for your first visit. One of the most information rich compilations pertaining to artistic copyright on the web, this site from Jann of Aspirations to Sweetness recently underwent a face lift. The site contains a copyright definitions page, information about redistribution and basic FAQ. File it under must have resources.

Project Cool Sighting      Trés Cool. Internet Brothers was honored to be yesterday's Project Cool Sighting. Perhaps not quite the same as when Glenn Davis was "da man" at Project Cool, this was still great cause for excitement when the referrer log started building. Our sincerest thanks to Erin Gannon and the rest of the Project Cool review team for introducing their readers to the netbros.

     Life's little instructions: Sing in the shower.

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

     Echoing what Kitty said, there are some losers out there, but there are a whole lot more winners, including yourself Joe. If you need a break for awhile, by all means do it. You've been at this long and hard. Recent stress from the layoff, extra effort building the very successful ageless project, having to put up with the likes of me — they all take their toll. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be what's right for you.

     Finally had our first good thunderstorm of the season. It's really been drought conditions here the first two months of spring. Two good days of soaking rain culminated by tonight's window rattling boomers that sent the dogs under the bed perked up the flowers and grasses.


     It was enlightening to see what Patti wrote about living with depression. Her shared experiences were a confirmation of sorts for conclusions I've been reaching myself. Also, the timing was perfect, as that's exactly what my therapist wanted to talk about this week. She asked me, "What have you learned about coping with depression that you can carry forward and use in the future?" It was the first time I've seen the word dysthymia, but it definitely applies. Thanks Patti.

     Anti-depressant medications are out of the equation for me. Paxil sent me to a rubber room, I gained 50 pounds while on Wellbutrin, Zoloft made me downright stupid and Celexa messed with my digestive system to the point of dehydration. Psychoanalysis has been beneficial, on occasion, especially most recently, but I have to agree with Patti that eventually it evolves into nothing more than banter with the analyst. It is only valuable as long as learning and insight are occuring.

     I got better this time by mobilizing my energy, then taking action to improve my condition by contacting those who could be of benefit. There have been many helpers, both in real life and online. I got off the meds completely, improving my physical health. I worked on the stressors in my life and found methods of counteracting the interference. I opened new channels of communication and expanded old ones. I sought second opinions and received more thorough examinations, including discovery that my adrenal glands aren't functioning properly. At first, I had to make myself do things I didn't feel like doing, now motivators are returning.

     The recovery has been remarkable, even the therapist is impressed with the before and after. A pat on the back for us both. I've regained the ten pounds I lost a couple months ago; the dark circles and hollowness are gone from my eyes; confidence and self-esteem are restored; my energy levels are returning day by day, and most importantly, I'm not sick. So now what? For the short term, I'm going to savor the moment — enjoy the serenity. In three weeks I have another round with the medical doctors. I am better prepared to deal with the long-term consequences of living with depression and treating myself through strength and knowledge. We'll see if they agree.

     Life's little instructions: Strive for excellence, not perfection.

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

     This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary. The slickrock desert. The red dust and the burnt cliffs and the lonely sky — all that which lies beyond the end of the roads.

     The sun is not yet in sight but signs of the advent are plain to see. Lavender clouds sail like a fleet of ships across the pale green dawn; each cloud, planed flat on the wind, has a base of fiery gold. I want to know it all, possess it all, embrace the entire scene intimately, deeply, totally. To meet God face to face, even if it means risking everything human in myself.

     Suddenly it comes, the flaming globe, blazing on the pinnacles and minarets and balanced rocks, on the canyon walls and through the windows in the sandstone fins. We greet each other, sun and I, across the black void of ninety-three million miles. I am not alone after all. — excerpted from Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

     In joyous and loving memory of Kaycee Nicole.

     Life's little instructions: Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

     Did I ever tell you about the time we were robbed at gunpoint? I was traveling to Florida on I-95 with my family, stopped for the night at a Howard Johnsons motel in Jessup, Georgia. We were just returning from dinner and preparing to settle in for the evening. As my wife unlocked the room door, we were rushed from behind and pushed into the room by two youths. After the initial confusion, we began to make sense of what was happening — there they were — the barrels of two pistols pointing directly at us. Everything slooows down.

     All the robbers were interested in was cash; no jewelry, credit cards or the like. Fortunately, we've always been in the habit of separating our travel loot into multiple small stashes, so they only got about $150, a small pittance for what could have been an extremely ugly situation. My family had apparently learned well how to behave in a situation like this. We were completely passive, let the robbers know they were in charge, and cooperated enough to satisfy the encounter. There was fear, but not panic.

     After about 3-4 minutes of searching for cash, they herded us all into the bathroom, shut the door, then left. That moment was particularly dangerous because we could not see them. They could have just opened fire on the closed bathroom door. Thankfully, they did not. We waited a few minutes to assure they had cleared the area, then began assessing the situation. Our son lept from the balcony to seek help from the office (spraining his ankle in the process). I called 911 on the motel phone and my wife and daughter began straightening the looted luggage (a mistake come time to dust for finger prints).

     We spent the next three hours repeating our recollections to various levels of police officers, all the while realizing there would be no sleep on this night. They brought two boys back to us for identification, but not the same ones. Finally about midnight, we loaded everything back into our car and hit the road again. We arrived at our final destination in Florida about 6:00AM, very tired and full of adrenalin, but very much alive. Lessons learned: always check your back before unlocking a door; when staring at a gun pointed at your head realize you are not in control; do not touch a crime scene after the perpetration; wear clean underwear, you never know when ... nevermind.

     Life's little instructions: Avoid negative people.

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.

Monday, May 14, 2001

     Even if you don't believe in evolution, you can certainly appreciate a well-produced web site. Becoming Human offers a rich multimedia presentation of paleoanthropology, evolution and human origins. Start with the beautifully engineered Flash documentary, examine the latest news and views, or search for additional resources. Coming this summer, a Learning Center that will include lesson plans and other educational activities. Becoming Human was endowed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is a production of Arizona State University.

     At Travel Adventures you can go around the world in 80 clicks. Just pick your continent and start surfing around. Learn all about the different countries, cities, locations, and landmarks. Plenty of excellent photography, travelogues, places to see and things to do. If you aren't sure where to go on your next vacation, there are a world of ideas here.

     Did you know that 12,310 articles about technology and business are generated each day? It's the familiar information explosion dilemma. As the amount of data escalates, it seems impossible to absorb it all. Fortunately, a solution is at hand ... — from a sales pitch for an online newsletter

     Life's little instructions: Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.

Sunday, May 13, 2001

     When my parents were moving to a smaller place a couple years ago, they spent a lot of time going through old memories deciding what to keep. Included among the memories were boxes of pictures. There was one box in particular that caught my eye. It was full of dozens of photos of my mother — from diapers, through school age, as a young and middle-aged adult, and on into her senior years. I couldn't take my eyes off one picture of her standing in our old living room, dressed for church. She was the same age I was as I examined the photograph, mid-forties. She was stunning ... size six dress ... brilliant smile ... elegant hair and posture. It was 30 years ago. I would have been in my first years of college. Funny how you don't notice much about your mom at that age. Mom, you are beautiful. Happy Mother's Day.

Bluzz of the Week      Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums, journals and blogs. Kids say the darndest things. For me, it's been a whole new experience watching my grandson develop. I missed out on the toddler phase with my step-children. If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.

     My apologies to Mary for not knowing her last name, so I'll just stick with her nickname, Dizzy. I've only been reading her blog, A Dizzy Thought or 2, for a couple weeks. Already I've discovered that Diz is quite the storyteller. For example, last week Diz shared a conversation she recently had with her young son Ricky. Here is just a small sampling. Out of the mouths of babes:

     "Ricky is the one who frequently asks me questions & never seems to forget that October 22nd is Mumma & Dad's wedding anniversary & it's PopPop's anniversary as well. Ricky is my Pops personified. This morning out of the clear blue, the following is the conversation that occurred."

     "Mumma, is PopPop an angel? I believe he is. What do you think? I think he is cuz I can see him sometimes. (jaw dropped — and about this time I start to feel the lump building in my throat)"

     "You miss PopPop don't you Mumma? (by that point I have tears building) Yes baby, I miss my Pops very much. I don't think I will ever stop missing him. But, I have very wonderful memories of your PopPop that make me smile when I start missing him and I remember what a good man he was. I also remember when I start missing him that he has no more pain."

     "I miss PopPop Mumma. I know you do baby, you know what though, you are just like your PopPop, you are a very loving person, you care about people and how they feel, don't ever change that about you sweetie. You know I won't Mumma, cuz it's the golden rule, to love everyone and it makes you happy and PopPop happy too, he told me so. (at that I can't keep from crying)"

     "Ricky smiled this silly smile that was my Pops smile. I knew in my heart I was looking at my child and my Pops combined, that somehow, my Pops was telling me through his grandson to let go of the sadness in my heart, to honestly know he IS finally at peace. As I drop the little men off at school, JJ who had been at the other end of the house beautifying himself when the conversation between Ricky and I took place, puts his arms around me, hugs me REALLY tight then looked me dead in the eyes and said ..."

     "I love you Mom, smile, PopPop IS fine. Jaw dropped again and I smiled. I believe my little men do see my Pops, and you know what, I DO believe them. My Pops is fine, at peace, and their guardian angel." — Dizzy

     Add some lucid confusion.  Your comments appreciated.








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