Where's my cowboy hat?

We are preparing for a week in Texas, visiting relatives. Leaving tonight. It seems like, on long trips like this, I usually prepare my electronics bag. This time, it has a 40 GB hard drive in it. You never know! I is da MacGyver. Aye, for real. While we are gone, Chris is kindly watching our animals. I did not have time to make a program for the living room computer to start beeping every 108 minutes so that he has to enter a code.

The stars at night are big and bright…

We went to El Paso, TX this weekend to visit me gramma. On the way there, we saw thousands of cows. I’ve never seen so many! Had a nice, but brief visit with her. Ate weight in haddock tampiquena (2/5). We stayed at a Super 8 motel, which was quite bad, apparently. No AC. Switched rooms. Loud neighbors kept us up.
Yesterday we were in Deming to attend church and then went to the Pancho Villa State Park. There was a lot of history about Villa I didn’t know. He came and attacked Columbus, NM and the US retaliated by sending a huge number of troops into Mexico to chase him. This was just before WW I, so they were practicing some new military techniques that would be used over there, such as the use of airplanes. They used the “Jenny” JN-3, which was a plane with a terrible reputation. We also went very briefly into Las Palomas, MX. We sorta felt a little creepy the way people were lined up, sitting on the sidewalks to gawk, so we left pretty hastily and didn’t really go anywhere. Overall, Sean whined less on the road than I expected…although he did break down and whine for the last hour of driving last night, it was not enough to make my head explode as I had feared.


I was thinking about the pharmaceutical commercials that come up with a disorder that you’d never have thought of as a disorder and try to talk you into a prescription. “Do you ever blink? You may have chronic nictitation syndrome. Ask your doctor about blinkordinol. ‘Before, I was blinking hundreds of times a day, wasting my time and everyone else’s. Now, I never blink at all. Life is so much brighter!'”

I loves me some gelatinous mutant coconut.

My cousin from California is going to visit our aunt’s family in Alaska. He probably figures, if he’s going to go to Alaska, why not go in the middle of winter and get the full experience? Sunlight is overrated anyway, I guess. There are only about 5 hours a day of sunlight in Anchorage right now. Our uncle was telling us a while back about a fellow who stepped off the plane there on a particularly cold day, inhaled, and injured his lungs because of the extremely cold air.

I helped grampa install Skype 2.0 beta, which includes video chat. He got a webcam with a built-in mic. At fullscreen, it was a pretty conversational way of talking to someone. As far as tech support over a phone, I learned that you should try to reproduce what the person on the other end is doing, no matter what you have to do. (Even if you have to use Internet Explorer.) It will save you time in the end. No use having them describe shapes and doohickeys they are seeing. Anyway, I am natiox on there if anyone wants to try a video chat with me.


Well, tomorrow, we’re planning to head off to the San Diego area to visit relatives. This means tomorrow is baby-on-the-plane-in-our-laps day. Hopefully we can get through that without headaches. 🙂 We’ll be returning by September 1st.

I think it’s amusing how discussion sites like slashdot (and even myself) said, “nobody will buy DRM.” (encrypted music files) Yet, teenagers are buying itunes in droves. “Nobody will buy overpriced Sony UMD movies for PSP when it’s such a ripoff.” These are also selling well enough for Sony to release a lot more. I agree with the silliness of these formats, but I think savvy nerds underestimate general consumer ignorance. Sure, some minority of nerds are going to insist on open formats. Savvy Nerd wants to freely copy mp3s and videos between several computers without restrictions or any special itunes program. But Jane Teenager just wants to easily get a 3 Doors Down single on her ipod and doesn’t care if it’s all locked up in DRM. Jane Teenager outnumbers Savvy Nerd by far. Guess whose money companies will listen to? At this rate, with more evil cooperation on the hardware side, I wonder if proprietary DRM formats might eventually win. I mean, they’re even going to lock down monitors and TVs at the hardware level! We’re getting beyond the days of just encasing a chip in epoxy so the customer can’t look at it. Companies are getting better at locking up their stuff, trying to get from a platform of selling things for a one-time fee to a platform of selling subscriptions for continual fees. There is growing proof that the majority of customers just don’t care. 🙁

I was just chatting with my cousin about the “cloneburbs” in the US. All new housing developments around the US are being built in the same way. He told me he’s getting a new house in San Antonio. I asked him, “Home Depot or Lowes and Target or Walmart nearby? Minor architectural differences between one house and the next?” “Yeah, somewhat.” There’s also usually a community center nearby with a park and gym. I think it’s funny that I can look at my neighborhood in Albuquerque and predict what a new suburb in Idaho will look like. Sure, they’ll use wood instead of stucco and grass instead of gravel, but that’s about the only difference.

A couple of flash apps to make a custom Lego head or Lego body.


Last night, after getting the living room computer set up, I played an English Beat
video on the TV as Sean and I danced. Sean is quite the dancer. If he hears a good beat, he
starts doing a bouncy dance with his arms in the air and then tries to snap his fingers.
After that, I put a picture of his face on the TV, taking up the whole screen. I tried
to get him to point out his nose, ears, and owie (on his head), but he didn’t get it.
I’m hoping to get MAME set up with 4 joysticks on the TV for some X-Men and Ninja Turtle action.


You can buy Pedro’s house…the one in front of which Napoleon Dynamite made that sweet jump.

When placed on “random”, an mp3 player seems to choose a favorite musician that it plays more than any other. My mp3 player’s favorite musician is Stereolab.

There is apparently a method to e-file your taxes for free through TurboTax. Haven’t tried it, myself.

We went to Clovis this past weekend to visit my aunt and her family. Brought along my sister and her baby who’s Sean’s age. We were going to come back Sunday but unforeseen circumstances occurred. We were borrowing Vanessa’s mom’s SUV because it’s probably more reliable than our own which needs a new muffler. After we arrived in Clovis, we noticed an antifreeze leak on her vehicle. We took it in and had to get it repaired in Clovis. They finished with the repair and we went to pick it up. It was still leaking. They did the second repair and it was an O-ring. So, we were finally going to be able to leave but then there was a large snowstorm between Clovis and Albuquerque, closing the Interstate. So, altogether, 3 days were added to the trip…sort of a surprise vacation. My aunt and family didn’t kick us out for some reason and were very kind, in fact. My uncle works incredibly hard at a clinic there. Since he founded it, he does something like 2 or 3 jobs at once. We spent lots of time playing with the babies. I also tried out my cousin’s Nintendo DS with its novel use of the stylus for games. For example, there’s one game where guys are falling from the sky and you have to draw trampolines for them with the stylus. We also played lots of Mario Kart Double Dash on Gamecube and trampoline ball with my cousins. Trampoline ball is a game my brother and I made up where you can’t touch the soccer ball with your hands or arms and whoever it touches before it goes off loses and has to retrieve the ball. My cousin showed me a cybercafe he’s helping to start up. They had Steel Battalion on HDTV with its $250 controller. They get a little silly justifying the controller because there are five switches that seem to be just for your “pre-flight checklist”. They had a couple of other HDTVs with XBoxes and DDR. Of course, there were lots of computers so we did a bit of LAN gaming. On the way back home after the snow storm, we occasionally saw abandoned cars that had swerved off the road in the snow. There was a long line of stopped traffic on the west-bound Interstate for what was apparently an oil spill. So, traffic was going from 75 to zero. Vanessa and I saw a semi slam into the back of the traffic jam. It ripped a semi trailer in half and spilled boxes all over. We could see the driver fiddling about with his seat belt so I guess he was ok.


Vanessa was talking about how the computer at her mom’s restaurant is filled with spyware. I need to find some way to change the Internet Explorer shortcut to go to Firefox but still show up as a blue E so that the users would just think they were using Internet Explorer.

Vanessa says she may or may not have seen this guy at the mall where there were lots of possible movie trailers about. I bet minor stars get a lot of “Will she recognize me? Is she actually going to know my name? Nope, didn’t recognize me.” moments.

Wanted to clarify a few points about about America for tourists who might visit the U.S. We all ride horses and wear cowboy hats. When you meet someone new, the custom is to say, “Warbly wap der sipaday.” You must then come up with three words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. The funny look they will give you is a look of respect. Thank you. Carry on. (Yeah, don’t follow that advice, ok.)

What is a serif and how did it get in my cereal? That little hangy-offy thing on the tips of the letters in some fonts was originally to keep the dust from collecting on letters when they were carved into stone in ancient Italy.


As far as GBA games go, I hear Warioware Inc. is a pretty weird game. It has 200 5 second minigames without instructions where you just have to do some random task. “Minigames include brushing teeth, cracking an egg over a moving frying pan, shaking a dog’s paws and more.”

Comcast web servers are unreliable. You might be unable to access this page sometimes and sometimes you’ll get through with no problem.

Evin did a much improved version of my me as a black guy photoshop.

We got back from the vacation at Virginia Beach area. It were loverly even though it was cloudy and rainy all except one day. Vanessa’s dad lives out there and we also saw many of her cousins. Her brother visited. Her aunt (tita Malou) served a great deal of tasty Filipino food all week. Corn was also served. We went to Busch Gardens amusement park. A nice place. We rode the Loch Ness roller coaster several times. Great one, that is. (Here’s a video) Busch Gardens usually does copies of whatever shows are currently popular. Last time, it was a River Dancing Clone. This time, it was Imaginique, a Cirque du Soleil clone. The singer for the show sounded like Eccentric Opera. Rhythmic classical opera stuff. Some amazing visual artsy stuff and trapeze stuff and the weirdest clowns I’ve ever seen.

On one day of the week, it was actually sunny. We visited a swamp where there is a concrete trail running through it. (I’d never been to a swamp, since I live in the desert.) Turtles and various insects abounded. After that, it was off to the beach! We got a cheap body board to ride some waves. I could play in the waves for days at a time. I had a huge grin on my face the whole time. Eventually, some storm clouds approached and Vanessa had to tear me away from the waves. She said it gets kinda nasty when there’s a storm on the beach.

We took a ship tour of the Virginia Beach area. Lunch was served on board as well as amusing entertainment. One of the singers sang to Tita Malou.

One day we went to Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant. It has the supermegaultra seafood buffet. It even had Mahi. Vanessa and Uncle Danny mainly ignored everything else and went for the crab legs. (le video)

Cyndi Lauper had a free concert on the naval base which we went to. She sang less synthesized versions of most of her classic songs. She sang some new stuff too. We were about two hours early for the concert and got to sit through her sound check but we were right up at the front during the concert. She seems very picky about her sound setup. She was even correcting things during the concert. She moved speakers as she sang. She patted her stomach to tell them to turn up the bass as she sang. I pity the sound guys who work for her.

We found the game Mad Maestro on special at Walmart. It’s a cute Japanese music-based game where you conduct an orchestra to make certain things in the game happen. Along the lines of Parappa and Um Jammer Lammy.