Words


I just read an article in my local newspaper (sorry there links seem to expire). It seems American Cowboy Magazine has named 20 cities which are most favorable to the Cowboy lifestyle. “Stephenville has been named one of the best places to live in the west,” according to the newspaper. I’m kind of bucking the trend or maybe there is a shift as we completely leave manufacturing and embark on a the true information age. I moved from the city to the country. I grew up in a suburb of New Orleans where it is difficult to tell when you move across a political line. I moved around the North East and wound up in Dallas, TX. Now I live outside of Stephenville, TX. Population 15,000. Give or take a hundred or so. If I need to get to the bank across town and I hit every light, it will take about 20 minutes and I’ll barely go over 40mph. I love it here! I can understand why cowboys like it here too.
While we are certainly in a worldwide recession, not everyone is hurting. Throughout much of the world a new middle class is expending. I read this article in The Economist and the one it refers. A lot depends on what you call middle class. The American Middle Class would hardly recognize the Chinese Middle Class, but a very large portion of the world is becoming the new world middle class and that means we will see a lot of the things that come with emerging middle classes. Things like more democracy and more migration from rural to urban areas. And political machines being replaced by term limits and subsidizing agriculture and selling lots of televisions and cell phones.
  1. Did you date someone from your school?
    No way. I would have had to talk to a girl first.
  2. Did you marry someone from your high school?
    No. It was an all boys Catholic school back then. I doubt very many of the students married each other.
  3. Did you car pool to school?
    No. I took the public bus then transferred to the street car. It took about an hour to get to school if the buses were running on time. I rode my bicycle a few times.
  4. What kind of car did you have?
    Dad wouldn’t let me drive until I was 18. I think I avoided a lot of accidents by waiting. Thanks, Dad.
  5. What kind of car do you have now?
    A two-tone brown 1979 Ford F150. My last car was a two-tone blue 1979 Ford F150.
  6. Its Saturday night…Where are you now?
    In front of my computer.
  7. It is Saturday night in high school …?
    In front of my computer. (Wait. There may be a pattern here.)
  8. What kind of job did you have in high school?
    Bus boy / Dishwasher.
  9. What kind of job do you do now?
    Job? Seriously? People still have those? Why?
  10. Were you a party animal?
    Nope. I would have had to be invited to parties. Which would probably mean that I would have had to talk to a girl.
  11. Were you considered a flirt?
    Not in high school. I would have had to talk to a girl!
  12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
    No. I lettered in Drama though.
  13. Were you a nerd?
    Absolutely. I was also a jock. I lettered in basketball.
  14. Did you get suspended or expelled?
    No. I was a really good kid. I was a hall monitor. :)
  15. Can you sing the fight song?
    I have been asked not to ever sing again by local law enforcement. Okay, technically it wasn’t a request. They were a lot of papers, a judge, restraints and quite a bit of moaning. I’d rather not speak of it. Thanks for bringing it up. :(
  16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)?
    • Mrs. Chestnut (First grade teacher. I’m told she was also my first crush.),
    • Mrs. Poulan (She was hotter than her hot daughters.),
    • The extremely attractive young woman who taught typing and liked to wear tight skirts to work (I am certain none of us ever looked at our keyboards).
    • Brother John (Brother John was cool. I threw him in so you wouldn’t think I had a one-track mind.).
  17. Where did you sit during lunch?
    In front of the school on St. Charles Street. It was just two of us. My friend would often have fake epileptic fits when the Street Car passed by. It was really fun to watch. (But, of course, I completely disapprove of his actions.)
  18. What was your school’s full name?
    De La Salle
  19. When did you graduate?
    1980
  20. What was your school mascot?
    A Cavalier. Curiously, some people have said I have a cavalier attitude.
  21. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
    Yes, but only if I could talk to girls.
  22. Did you have fun at Prom?
    I didn’t go. To get a date I would have had to talk to a girl first.
  23. Do you still talk to the person(s)?
    You seem to be miss-understanding this concept about talking to a girl.
  24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?
    No.
  25. Do you still talk to people from school?
    As a single guy I tend to avoid speaking to students.
  26. School Colors?
    Yes. We had school colors. That’s strange. I’d would have thought you’d ask which school colors we had. [shrug]
  27. What celebrities came from your high school?
    Beats me. Ask them.
I have been having trouble with my Firefox browser for some time now. It is sluggish and slow and just takes too darn long to do the simplest things. When I upgraded to the latest version I was still disappointed by how slow it seemed. After a particularly slow session this morning I was considering opening a Bugzilla request. Then I had a light bulb moment. Perhaps some add-on I installed was the culprit. So I disabled all my Add-ons and sure enough the sluggishness is gone. Now I just need to turn them back on one at a time to see which one is the problem. I got my inspiration from an old mind trick. When you are not seeing the solution (or all the solutions) distract yourself with something else. Inspiration will sometimes come to you. I do this a lot while programming. When I have a particularly difficult stubborn algorithm problem, I sleep on it. Literally. I go to bed and often find the answer in a few hours. During the summer time I mow the lawn (a lot). I tend more than 8 acres and 20 homes. It’s a mindless task. Even near homes it takes very little mental effort to avoid yard obstacles. Mowing the lawn is my distraction from daily life and allows me to find solutions to a plethora (I like the word) of problems which arise each month. Find something you like to do that can distract you from the stress of your daily problems and you may find solutions popping into your head at some very unusual times. One piece of advice. Do not ever shout out “Eureka,” if your distraction is an intimate encounter with your spouse. I’m not confessing to such example, but I can foresee that as an awkward conversation.
I just wrote an annoying email. I logged on to an account to update some credit card info for a hosting company where I resell hosting services. The bill doesn’t come due until March, but it is safer to make the change now while I’m thinking about it. A business partner originally set up the account and has been footing the bill each year. Circumstances have changed and I ended up with more hosting accounts on those servers than he has, so I decided that I would foot the bill from now on. He has set himself up as the primary contact and I was always fine with that. The host sent a message to a shared email account, which forwards messages to each of us, requesting I visit their New Client Area. I took a look and it is a nicer looking interface. It is easier to navigate and it has nice big letters saying “Welcome Kevin!” right in the middle of the page. I am not Kevin and frankly, I’m annoyed that this company would assume that only one person would run a company. Perhaps it is the drugs (I take a lot of medication), but I am especially annoyed by this today. I tried to keep my disappointment in this minor detail out of the email I sent about a billing problem, but I doubt I was successful. Now I am wondering what I do to my clients which really pisses them off. It may be something minor as well. Perhaps a client is just having a bad day or has increase their medication also. So, I am going to check all my client contact points for little annoying things like calling people by the wrong name and such. Wish me Luck.
I know what safety is, but I’m watching Fringe tonight and they keep speaking of Safety Deposit Boxes. Now. I know that banks often keep deposit boxes in a safe, but those are called Safe Deposit Boxes. They are boxes which are deposited in a safe. While I was writing this, I realized that a Safety is a position on a football team. I just don’t understand why anyone would store a deposit box inside a football player, but this is Fringe after all.

I don’t know if it is the first of many or a flash in the pan, but my first article for EzineArticles.com was recently approved.

My plan is for it to be the first of many many articles to drive people to my web sites and Squidoo pages for the express purpose of selling stuff to those visitors. Of course, I have had plans in the past which didn’t work out or more specifically plans in which I lost interest. Hopefully, I can see enough return in the form of money and praise to write more articles.

That is not to say that I am only going to wait for this article to sink or swim, but I know that I can be as much a procrastinator as a hero. At least, that is my track record. The challenge for me has always been to find something I am good at that I want to continue to do with a passion.

At 46 years old, you would think I would have found that something already. That is not the case. I think writing has something to do with my passion, but the few articles I have had published (I was paid to write one) have not sparked me to that passion I know must be inside me somewhere.

Many years ago I lived on Long Island in Suffolk County, NY. I have always been an avid bike rider and I recall a personal best where I rode solo for 42 miles. I don’t recall how I did the first half of the ride, but I took a beach road most of the way back.

I visited the beach on my bicycle at least once a week back then. I occasionally commuted to work 18 miles each way also. I even did Bike New York several times, but I remember that one day especially clear. Perhaps it was because I didn’t plan it or perhaps it was that I didn’t have to wait for others in my group to catch up. That day was just a magical day.

(more…)

Words are important to writers. I think I have written enough to be called a writer. I don’t make my living writing, so perhaps I am not a professional writer, but I have been paid for writing in the past and expect to be paid again.

When I run across an inappropriate use of a word, two things come to mind. Is my assumption about the usage correct and should I inform the user of the inappropriate use? Generally, I find I am usually correct and tend to not point out the poor usage.

I often run across instances of people using the word proof when they really mean evidence. After seeing an instance earlier today, I first ran to a dictionary to confirm that they were not synonymous. I then did a Google search to find a comparison of the terms.

Sure enough, I hit this little thread. I’m not going to sum that page up. It’s short enough to read and get a great idea of the difference between proof and evidence. It still amazes me how easy it is to do research in the World Wide Web. What an amazing time to be alive.