Me?

Well ok

Why this blog?

Well why not blog?... where else can you go, vent (AKA state your opinion in a heated manor), blow off your stress, and actually have someone come read it?.. Hell try that at a bar, and people give you a real nice big personal space.

Well actually, I was just curious where it would go if I started it... We'll see.

Who am I?

Well I'm your average guy... Late twenties, early thirties... I work in the entertainment industry. Mostly on scenery, lighting, rigging. Occasionally on sound, Jasmin live video, and even spend some time behind a sewing machine when needed... I am slowly developing a taste for fine woodworking as opposed to the often quick and dirty method we deal with in the arts... I live someplace in New Jersey. (that's the east coast of the US if you happen to be from elsewhere)(and no, I do not have that "Jersey accent" that the world thinks we all have) Anyone that actually knew me, would figure out who I was just from reading how I write, and what I write about. So what ya get here, is me... the raw version... Enjoy it, or hate it, its not to likely to change.

Where do I stand on the current military actions of the US?

Honestly, I happen to hate war, death, and destruction. (if you don't, then go away, I don't want you here) However, I absolutly stand behind the armed forces and the great people filling their ranks. I'd prefer that they could all be home with their families, unfortunatly, that doesn't seem to be possible right now. Hopefully they can do their job, and get home soon... But don't ever expect to see me yelling for their recall to the states because the press is screaming "morass".

And I make no distinction between domestic ones, and foreign ones... Scum is scum... I'd like to think that we as human beings are intelligent enough to deal with differences peacefully... I've got no problem with anyone that wants to live their life in peace. Personally I don't care if your religion is so freaky that part of it involves feeding kittens to snakes, as long as it doesn't impact me personally, and you don't get in my face telling me I'm wrong because I don't beleave in it... (that goes for everyone... don't come knocking on my door to talk religion... period) (damn... now there's a digression...)

How about politics?

I do what I can to avoid politics too... That's not quite as easy as ducking other topics.

What's the deal with that freaky kittens and snakes statement?

Cats are my favorite pets, and I am constantly creaped out by snakes... I figured throw the worst possible combination together, and it'd be a good analogy.

There you have it... Me in a nutshell... Or is it me - a nut?... Ehhh... Does it really matter? I'd be suprised if you made it this far to debate it.

More another time perhaps...

Competition

I am officially amused.

We all know Google Earth... A lovely little system of maps, and satellite images, and the combination thereof... It can be fun to play with when you're bored... I'm sure it has tremendous commercial possibilities too.

What does it take to compete with the Google boys?... The country of France... Yes, the country... Not some industrious French corporation... I mean, are there any really?... They only work 35 hours a week... I'd be long out of live sex chat business if I had to follow the work rules in France... Take a look at this semi-summery.

- there is a statutory requirement for an interrupted period of one day's rest per week, which in principle should be on a Sunday;

- an employee must have, in principle, a minimum of 11 hours' consecutive rest per day;

- there is in principle a limit of 48 hours per week, and even in exceptional circumstances, working time may not exceed 60 hours per week. Working time may not exceed an average of 44 hours per week for a period of 12 consecutive weeks.

Yea... I'm sure my clients would love me calling them up and explaining that we can't deliver because we have breached the number of hours that we're allowed to work... 11 hours off in a day is a pipe dream... We're lucky to get 4 every night for a week or more at times.

But I digress... Heavily...

Meteorites and Other

Yes, it has in fact been forever since I posted... Doesn't matter, as everyone has given up on checking here by now... So why post?... Somehow I just can't stand the thought of giving up completely.

So I was driving back to NJ yesterday from a weekend with my girlfriend outside DC, and something hit and chipped my windshield that I can only explain in my mind as a meteorite... I know, that's nuts, and it was probably a road rock... What led me to this conclusion, was that there were no other vehicles around on either side of the Turnpike (which is weird in itself), there were no bridges, light poles, or trees that could have dropped something... Hell there wasn't even a sinister looking flight of birds up above looking to bomb me... Also when I saw the thing before it hit, it was falling straight at me, not arcing in like a stone from a vehicle in front would have.

Doesn't much matter what it was though as now I have a chipped windshield, dead straight in front of me that I need to get fixed.

I make the drive to DC and back fairly frequently, and my live jasmin girlfriend does it almost every weekend I can't... So I have gotten to see more of I-95 than anyone should have to... This raises a question... What the hell is wrong with Delaware?... Delaware represents 15 out of 180 miles of the trip... That should take all of about 20 minutes, including tolls... It routinely takes 45 minutes to an hour, because for some reason the traffic is constantly packed... Yes, the speed limit is 55 as opposed to 65.... That's not the sinister reason behind this... Its like some attention deprived child throwing a tantrum... For some reason that state simply will not let you just cruise through.

You should never dread crossing a state line unless you are running from the law... I dread Delaware.

One the work side of life, we're in the calm between storms... We have 2 shows on June 15, in two different states. Currently we are trying to get material in to re-do a recent project that a client didn't like, but it is a 3-4 week lead time with a huge minimum charge for the material... We didn't screw the pooch here, they specified the wrong material... Personally I wanted what we will be using now... They of course want everything done yesterday... Had they given us the time in the first place, it wouldn't be a panic now... There is also a build project for another rental shop... We do an occasional job for them if they're over-committed, or like now, they don't have a staff welder... Of course I don't have a time table on the project, but you can bet it will be mid June.

And that's it from here... Will I post again?... Hell I don't know... My internet is down at my house (for a bloody week now mind you) so I can't do so from there, and I only come in here now if there is something to do (which is most days, but we keep them short...).

Technology passed me by

Until I dragged it down and beat it in to submission.

A friend of mine has a big ink jet plotter (Cadjet 2) they weren't using... I've got a number of surplus vintage wood working machines... He collects such machines as well... So a swap was in order.

He came by to see what I had available a couple days ago while on the way home from picking up a little machine north of me... We kicked the tires on a few of my machines, and he then suggested bringing in the plotter, which I had not expected... I figured we would swap when the machine of his choice could come out of my shop lineup... So he left it with me, along with a load of paper for it, and headed on his merry way.

I played with it a bit yesterday, but it seemed like the cable I had was giving me fits... So I brought another cable in today... New ink cartridges came in today as well... Well I beat my head against that thing all day... Its an older machine, though there are still plenty of them in use... Problem is in my case, I hadn't evolved with the machine like everyone else that owned one from way back... It's a mid 90's ink jet... I can't imagine what it cost then, I was still working with pen plotters, and dot matrix plotters then... Well it got to be 5pm and I debated going home, but figured I didn't have any reason to rush here, and it was quiet now, so perhaps I'd have better luck.

All it took was the right search string in Google... I happened across a post from someone trying to get it to work with the "new" OS of the day... Windows 95... Seems in Win 95, Microsoft came up with the ECP or Enhanced Capabilities Parallel Port... It was way faster than the earlier version, and helped with their plug and play deal... Well guess what... Its too damn fast... I guess hardware wasn't talking back and forth yet then, because the plotter can't tell the computer to slow down... The data comes down the ECP line so fast the plotter can't handle it... So after beating my head against XP for a bit, because hell who would want a slower port, so why put that info in the help... I did finally figure out how to get XP to roll back to an EPP port, after having to set it that way in the BIOS as well.

Suddenly, I hit print, and while it isn't a barn burner, I now can have nice big E size prints... I'll work on the speed issue... I'll just have to get AutoCAD to go to monochrome, and use line thickness for clarity rather than color, which is my usual MO on the 11x17 printer... I can do both in the same drawing, and the plotter has some features that will help with that as well.

Happy Dogs

I was never a huge dog person... I mean, I got along with a number of dogs over the years, but they were always someone else's pet.

Two dogs however have effected my life... The first was a big, basically happy Rotweiler. He belonged to a friend of mine. I never really trust Rottys, they're just too protective of their people... He and I never really hit it off... So how did he effect my life?... I really wanted to date that girl... We always seemed to get along well, and there didn't seem to be too many massive differences between us... But, you can't date a dog lover, unless you can love their dog, and their dog can love you... Door closed on that possibility.

We're still friends, and chat occasionally... Sadly, her dog suddenly died a couple weeks ago... He went before his time by a few years... Sick one day, and gone the next... Do I mourn the dog in this case?... No, not really, I mean I had some bitter feelings for him, but I don't want any animal to suffer... Mostly though I feel terrible for my friend, and the loss to her... Until recently, I never would have been able to understand that loss.

That's because of dog #2.

He belongs to the girl I dated for the last 4 years... Happy Dog is the best way I can describe him... Everyone that meets him loves that dog... He's a mutt, mix of greyhound, and some kind of bulldog as best anyone can tell... It is impossible to stay in a bad mood around him... He was diagnosed with cancer last spring... He's had 3 surgeries, and radiation, and seems to have beat it... He doesn't have quite the same energy level any more, but he's no spring chicken any more either.

Until I came across him, I wouldn't understand it if someone claimed this... He was my friend.

He's still fine, don't get me wrong... I just don't get to see him any more.

Its hard as hell loosing your best friend when you break up with someone... I am dealing with that, because that was a choice. It wasn't a mutual choice, but it is a choice I can understand, and that takes a little bit of the edge off it... The dog and I didn't get to make that choice, it is simply the result.

The house is way to god damn quiet.