Friday, December 31, 2004

Have A...

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

We Have An Offer!

At 4:51pm today we received an offer on our house of $172,000. This was our asking price and has only 2 requirements: a home inspection, and that their financing goes through. So Tomorrow we go in and sign the offer and away we go! I will post more later... Rick out!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pretty Strange Eh?

A Rick Pic

LavNav Toilet Night Light

LavNav Toilet Night Light - Toilet Light - Boys 'n Girls Potty Night Light - Automatic Soap Dispenser - Gadgets: "Bathroom lights can be painfully bright in the middle of the night and can disturb you or your partner's sleep. Unfortunately, most night lights waste electricity all night long, occupy valuable electrical sockets, and don't put light where you need it. The LavNav is a better solution. It turns on when you approach in the dark, and turns off after you leave, shining gentle yet sufficient light where you need it, when you need it. Better yet, the LavNav uses RED or GREEN light to cleverly show the position of the seat. It's smart, energy efficient lighting that makes the bathroom safe and easy to use at night.

Beyond its obvious value for use in your home, the LavNav also provides an ideal solution for RV's and motorhomes, portable restrooms, and yachts and other boats having living quarters attached."


Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "The BBC tells how broadband internet usage has soared over in the U.S. 'More and more Americans are joining the internet's fast lane, according to official figures. The number of people and business connected to broadband jumped by 38% in a year, said the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).'"

What Are The Odds?

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "Mars Rover Opportunity, a few meters shy of the 2km mark on its odometer, has come across the remains of the heat shield from its landing. This map traces the path of the rover for the past 11 months. It's been averaging about 6 meters/sol.

Spirit, which had to stop to dislodge a rock, is still climbing the "Columbia Hills". It's tough going, and Spirit experiences slippage of up to 80% as it climbs the hills."

Tsunami Information:

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "This week's deadly Asian Quake and Tsunami may have been so powerful, that it changed the rate of Earth's rotation. In a Reuters article, a NASA geophysicist theorizes that the quake compacted the Earth enough to speed up the planet's rotation by 3 microseconds. A second article says the quake moved undersea tectonic plates by up to 98 feet, shifting islands near Sumatra out to sea an unknown distance. Also, a USGS team wants images from commercial satellite operators to help pinpoint coastline damage. Lastly, an interesting article from the Australian Spaceguard Survey about the need for a Tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean. The author comments that tsunami warnings may not help much, as people often flock to the coastline to see the giant waves." The current estimated death toll is now nearly 70,000; Amazon and Google, among others, have added front-page links to simplify donating to the disaster relief effort.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Holidays

Well here it is already Sunday night and it's all done except for the over filled recycle bins on the curbs outside. I'm talking, of course, about Christmas. I believe my festivities mirrored many others as I followed the 10 requirements of the Holidays:

1) Drive at least 4+ hours in one day. Bonus points for heavy fog and rain in the dark. Double Bonus Points if you tell your spouse that they are not doing their job as a passenger by not creating stimulating conversation or worse yet closing their eyes and maybe even taking a nap!

2) Communicate with a difficult person. This includes: Boring conversation, a one sided conversation, a story you heard last year or every Holiday, any type of story about that persons children or anyone with a voice that involves more nose than thoat. Bonus points for leaving the conversation and shooting 'The Look" at your spouse, showing that you are about ready to snap. Double Bonus Points for avoiding that person for the rest of the function or for leaving early.

3) Eating food on paper plates. Bonus points for having to bend the plate into a 'U' shape to increase its' load bearing capacity. Double Bonus Points for having to be told to use the plates and not just stand in front of the table and forage right out of the serving plates.

4) Having to watch some cheesy home video made by someone who thinks they are Steven Spielberg just because they own a video camera. Bonus points if you had to watch it more than once. Double Bonus Points if you manage to have to use the rest room during the showing and slip out.

5) Having to keep one Christmas get together from the other Christmas get together because you know the two parties would never get together. Bonus points if at some point you mention something that screws up the timeline but then put it back together with no one figuring out you messed up. Double bonus points if you think you fooled them but you didn't. (You'll never know... you might as well get some points for it, right?")

6) Dropping some type of food or liquid on the host carpet or floor and making a half hearted attempt to discretely clean it up. Bonus Points if the said food falls from a 'U' shaped plate. Double Bonus Points if didn't try to clean it up but just did the side to side look to see if anyone else saw and seeing that no one did you just walk on.

7) Calculating in your head the known value of your gift to them versus your preceved value of their gift to you. Bonus Points if your gift kicked their gifts' ass! Double Bonus Points if your gift was much cheaper than it looks or re-gifted from the 'secret' get together from #5.

8) Doing 'just a little' snooping while using the bathroom or walking to the bathroom. Bonus Points for reading any prescription bottles. Double Bonus Points for using any holiday decoration for drying your hands.

9) Watching someone save all of the bows and refold wrap, "You know, for next year." Bonus Points for ripping the person doing the saving. Double Bonus Points if you normally do it too, but since your not doing it now, you act like you never do it.

10) Taking an awful digital photograph of someone, showing them the photograph because you know it's awful, having them beg for you to delete it, telling them you will and even going through the motion of doing it but don't so you can use it against them later. Bonus Points if you know who you are. Double Bonus Points if you did the same thing to me!

Disclaimer: The above 10 items are put together as a joke and in no way represent my joyful holiday get togethers. It is not my intention to upset or offend anyone in anyway. ...but, Oh MAN! did my gift kick your gifts' ass!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Have A...


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Bring Santa BACK! I Fixed It!

A Rick Pic


Alright, I dug deep, and entered the closet of parts that no mortal man should enter. There was a chance I would not come out again alive. I came out, alive, and with replacement CD-ROMS! Then I put some hurt on the B-Hautch 'puter, show'n my lEEt status. Translation: It's working now. Call Santa back, we can have Christmas now!
Me In The Kitchen

A Rick Pic
Computer HELL!

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The Computer That Would Not Live.

About three weeks ago while driving to a store I thought of an idea. An idea to make my sister a computer out of the many parts laying around the house. These parts, good parts, had come from other computers and needed a home, a home that was not my home, or more importantly, not Debs home.

So the plan was hatched. I had a nice Dell case, 400 MHz Pentium 2, 196 megs of RAM, 8 Gig Hard disk, 4x burner, and all of the little things that would make a decent internet surfer, non-gamer, utility rig. Just what my sister needed. I lovingly gathered all of the parts and began building what I thought would be a 2-3 hour job. I was wrong.

Open it up, clean it out, hook up the drives, connect the cables, clear the CMOS, close her up, plug her in, and push the power button. Floppy drive does a head seek... and does not stop! It sounds like a jackhammer and I can acutally feel the vibrations through the case. I kill the power and reverse the IDE cable. In other words... My fault. Second power up, RAM check freezes in mid stride. Kill the power and reseat the RAM. Third power up, no devices detected, none. Tear it apart, reseat everything, re-run the cables, try again... You starting to get the idea? This continues for a long time with many strange events with no rhyme or reason.

I am now on my 3rd hour and I just got the thing to boot up and have started to install the operating system on it... and the CD-ROM dies! That is okay because a have another one. DEAD! Three hours gone, have to go and buy a new CD-ROM drive tomorrow, and this thing is supposed her friggen Christmas present. So much for the easy computer build. Fruit cake is starting to sound a whole lot easier!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

This One Hits Close To Home

NEWS of the WEIRD - Current News: "Despite a $7.5 million budget deficit, the city of Berkeley, Calif., bought a 40-foot-long refrigerated trailer last year for the sole purpose of storing shopping carts that had been commandeered by homeless people for their 'stuff' but then abandoned. According to a November 2004 report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the city says the freezer prevents vermin infestation while authorities wait (up to 90 days) for the 'owners' to reclaim their belongings. Critics of the program said the city should just confiscate the shopping carts, most of which had been stolen from merchants in the first place and almost all of which are never claimed, anyway. [San Francisco Chronicle, 11-16-04] "

Yea For Internet! Boo For Inflight Cell Phones!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "The FCC has unanimously voted to allow wireless internet connections on airplanes. If everything goes according to plans, airplanes might be offering passengers internet service by as soon as 2006. Furthermore, the FCC is also soliciting comments about the possibility of lifting the in-flight ban on cellphone use. While this could be new profit source for the cash-strapped airlines, it might also be a new way to annoy your neighbor sitting next to you."

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Site Of The Month!

This one is pretty well done...

Welcome to, the ultimate source for airplane seating and in-flight services information.

• Do you want a seat with extra legroom? A seat with a non-restricted recline? A seat that is extra quiet?

• Would you like to compare the First Class, Business Class and Coach Class seat pitch and seat width of different airline carriers?

• Are you traveling for business and need to know which airplanes have laptop power at your seat and what type of adapter you'll need?

• Have a long flight and want to know what type of in-flight entertainment is featured on your flight and what movies are playing this month?

High Tea At The Empress!

High Tea At The Empress!
Originally uploaded by Richard Whitten.

A shot from the archives offered as a replacement for lack of good photo opportunity during todays journey.

Stopped By The House Last Night...

And the wood flooring is in! Hard to believe, but it made the great room look bigger! Kind of like a long basketball court with no hoops. Of course, I had to view all of this with my face pressed against the window since we are still locked out. I called the builder and asked about the lock and he said I could call him anytime and he would let us in. So, I will have to give this a try this weekend as the photos will be lacking until I can get in there and shoot some new ones.

I am typing this from the Rogue Regency in Medford, Oregon. A lovely meal from Taco Bell and I am now tucked away in my room working on the blog. The whole world must be working on their blogs, as the site is very slow tonight. I was going to take a photo today on my way down but since the leaves have now fallen off of all the trees and it was smoggy there were no good shots to be had. I'll go dig up an old one from the archives.

Special Offers Inside LOTR Extended Version...

Inside the case is an insert with two special offers:

1) For $3.00 you can get an Extended Version Slipcase. This case will hold all three extended version DVD's in one box. Offer ends March 31, 2005.

2) If you purchased the first release of the movie 5 months back you can get a $5.00 rebate since you bought the extended version. Offer ends March 31, 2005.

I ordered the slip case, and will turn in the rebate next. Now what to do with my left over $2.00?
LOTR The Return Of The King Extended Edition!
Out Today! Picked up mine at Fry's for $20.99

A Rick Pic

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Even MORE Photos Of The House...

Maybe you aren't sick of the House yet...
Carnival Ride For Food

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Master Bath Counters

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Kitchen Counters Are In!

A Rick Pic

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Locked Out...

Went out to the house today and discovered that a lock had been put on the front door and all of the sliders where blocked with wood, AND the garage doors were locked. This does not come as a surprise as expensive stuff is now going into the house, stuff that could be stolen in the night with no problem. We pressed our faces against the glass and saw that the Bathroom flooring we picked out is now down. Deb really wanted to see the cabinets but alas we could not get in. I will try to call the builder tomorrow and see if we might be able to get special visitation rights. Cross your fingers.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Check This Out...

It has been a week!

Here I sit on a Friday night. Just got back from having a nice dinner with both my sisters. April is visiting from California, it was good to see her!

We have had someone look at the house each and every day since putting it up for sale 7 days ago. We wonder what people coming through say, think, and look at. It is a strange thing to have someone come and look at your stuff while you are gone at work! The cats know all of this of course, but won't tell us.

This week at the new house the kitchen and bathroom cabinets went in. We picked out all of the flooring and carpet and such last weekend so it will not be long until that all starts going in. We are trying to stay calm and not get too excited as the deal is not done yet. When our house sells it will be a good day with much celebration!

Well I am off to play online.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "PC World reports that Memory-Tech has developed a dual DVD, HD-DVD disc, which stores DVD content on the upper layer and HD-DVD content on the lower. The DVD data can be read by standard DVD players, giving customers the incentive to buy now, and reap future benefits by buying an HD-DVD player at a later time. Blu-ray suffered a heavy blow when HD-DVD gained the support of four major movie studios; could this be the knockout punch?" (The format was developed jointly with Toshiba.)

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Joy Of Home Selling

This fine duo of stories comes in two parts:

Part One - ‘The Key’

We arrive home from doing errands and buying groceries today and begin unloading the Jeep into the kitchen. We are both ready to be done, ready to just hang out for the rest of Sunday and maybe watch a movie. Deb and I pass each other a couple of times in the garage as we make trips back and forth from the Jeep to the kitchen counter. I enter the garage with the last load and find Deb standing in front of the door into the house with a look on her face, “Did you lock the door?” “No, I’ve just been hauling stuff back and forth.” “The doors Locked and my keys are on the counter.” Says Deb. So we both remember the emergency key we have stashed in the garage for this very reason! And then we remember me giving that key to the real estate lady for the lock box! Crap! Now we are hosed. No key, food inside the house the needs to go in the fridge, no car keys to drive for help, my cell phone is almost dead and might be able to make one more call. Thinking. Who will it be? Janet the lady who cleans our house! I call, she’s there, and says she will drive the key over! Whew, thank goodness that is over, now we can get to relaxing…

Part Two – “We’d like to show your house’

So now we spread out, doing laundry, pay the bills, I tear out the cat door to clean it, thinking about changing into my pajamas and then the phone rings, we don’t hear it because we are working on messing up the house just a little bit more. “I would like to show your house in the next hour and a half if that is okay… click” Deb hears the ‘beeb’ of the answering machine and listens to the message, we are not happy! We stop everything, clean up the whole house, and head out into the world for the next hour and a half. We do a whole lot of nothing as we imagine what it would be like to just be sitting on our butts at home. Two hours later we get home but there is not the required card from the home sales person on the counter. What’s up? We wanna be home! Deb calls the lady and asks if she has been to the house or is still coming? “Oh, what’s your address? Ahhh, no we didn’t make it there cuz it got dark.” Wow, that must have been a big surprise when it got dark like that!

The above stories took up 3 hours but is seemed much longer than that. I feel better now.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Sites Still Under Attack!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "CNet reports that popular BitTorrent tracker hosts such as Suprnova and LokiTorrent underwent DDoS attacks on Wednesday (I'll bet you noticed). The culprits are primarily unknown, but these sites were flooded beyond control from the attack. This appears to be striking an interest in revising the BT protocol and Suprnova's interest in making their own protocol."

Switched To A New Photo Host

I have switched to for my Photo Hosting. This will allow full resolution photos to be available on my blog. Click on the Jeep below for a sample of what flikr can do. If you want to share photos with family online, this is the site to do it with!


Originally uploaded by Richard Whitten.

As I set here in the dark at 3:00am I dream of being out in the woods somewhere tooling around in the Jeep with no top!

Loren's Birthday Celebration Continues Across The Globe!

A Rick Pic

Volcano Is Washington States's Biggest Polluter | News for Oregon and SW Washington | Environment: "MOUNT ST. HELENS -- Since it began erupting in October, Mount St. Helens has been Washington state's worst air polluter.
The volcano spews 50 to 250 tons of sulfur dioxide into the air each day. That compares with about 120 tons a day from all the state's industries combined."

Friday, December 03, 2004

Happy Birthday Loren!

My sister Loren turned 38 today! Please say a prayer tonight as she edges ever closer to the big 40. (The end of life as we know it.)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

TiVo Is The Future... Accept It!

Engadget - "So one of our least favorite things that the TV networks have been doing to mess with their competitors -- padding a few extra minutes to the end of shows in order to create scheduling conflicts so that TiVos and other digital video recorders won't record a show on another channel that comes on afterwards -- is apparently getting worse, with Nielsen Media Research reporting that lots more shows are doing this. The networks might think they're being clever, and on one level we're at least little impressed that they're even thinking about this sort of stuff, but in the long run all they're doing is alienating people and convincing DVR owners that they either need to download shows online or upgrade to a dual-tuner DVR that eliminates scheduling conflicts."

Pending - Off Market!

The future home of the Whitten's is now on hold awaiting the sale of our current residence.

Check Your Credit History...

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "Under the terms of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, passed last year, and amid growing concerns over privacy and disclosure of sensitive financial data, the three leading credit reporting agencies must provide consumers with a free summary once a year of all credit information on file for that person. Consumers in 13 Western states will be able to grab free online copies of their credit reports starting Wednesday."

Sometimes Free IS Better.

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "In the December, 2004 issue of PC World, the author of an article titled Poor Defenders concludes that most commercial anti-spyware software is ineffective. In tests using a fresh install of XP and 6 typical spyware infections the commercial software failed to stack up against freeware competitor Spybot Search and Destroy. Four out of seven commercial products failed to remove any of the infections. One product even installed 57 spyware files itself! Conclusion: Use freeware products like Spybot and Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Personal.' "

'The Swarm' 2 Is Almost Here!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "Exeem is a new file-sharing application being developed by the folks at Exeem is a decentralized BitTorrent network that basically makes everyone a Tracker. Individuals will share Torrents, and seed shared files to the network. At this time, details and the full potential of this project are being kept very quiet. However it appears this P2P application will completely replace; no more web mirrors, no more bottle necks and no more slow downs. Exeem will marry the best features of a decentralized network, the easy searchability of an indexing server and the swarming powers of the BitTorrent network into one program. Currently, the network is in beta testing and already has 5,000 users (the beta testing is closed.) Once this program goes public, its potential is enormous. ' "
Looking Towards The Kitchen

A Rick Pic
View Out Of The Dining Room

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The Living Room

A Rick Pic

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Home Update...

Much has happened since the last update.

Settled on a deal with the builder that gives us a 3 month guarantee for first rights to buy with no possible bump in position on the new house. The upside of the deal is, as long as we sell our current house in the next three months our new house will be waiting for us off the market and locked so no one else can buy it out from under us. The downside is, if we screw up and can not sell our house or back out of the deal in any way the $3000 bucks we gave the builder to hold the house becomes his! So cross your fingers... or, come buy the house!

Our current house is now up for sale! I arrived home today to a large "For Sale" sign in the front yard. Tommorow I am told we will have our first walk through with an interested party. The upside of this deal is if we sell the house we are one step closer to moving into the new one. The downside is, I now have to make the bed every morning and pick up my underwear off of the floor!

Saturday we go and pick out all of the internal organs of the new house. This includes, Carpet, Wood Flooring, Light Fixtures, Appliances, Molding around the Fireplace, and some other stuff I am sure. The upside is, we get to spend hours picking out just the right parts for our dream home. The downside is, we get to spend hours picking out just the right parts for our dream home.

That's it for now. Well, it is off to make some Mac & Cheese and Kool-Aid... The new rule is: Buy a new house, step back a decade in the quality of your dinner!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Details On The House!

Builders Web Site.
Landscape view of 5 acres. Note:
Black rectangle shows property line.

A Rick Pic
The House We Like!

A Rick Pic

Been Looking At A House...

It started on Thursday night, on the way home from Thanksgiving in Eugene, Deb and I started to discuss getting a new house. This discussion had happened many times before and ended with "We're fine right now, we'll do it later." This time however, the reality of rising interest rates, the fact that we have been in our house for 10 years, and the simple need for change made this conversation continue.

Friday Morning: Deb hit the internet and we started looking for houses and land that fit our desires. We want at least 5 acres, trees, privacy, and a little larger house. We hit the road, and by 1:00pm had visited 7 sites. Some were just houses sitting out in 5 acres of perfectly flat, treeless land. Others were very nice houses, but were older and we wanted new construction. One was a good posibility, trees, private, 5 acres, but was way up in Ridgfield, and there was a really rough road to get there. There were two houses that we just could not find however, and we really wanted to see those too.

Friday Afternoon: We feel that continuing the hunt without making sure we can do anything about it is not wise, and we call Countrywide and get pre-approved for a home loan. We also contact a realtor and ask for a list from her, of homes that fit our profile. Her list matches our list almost perfectly and also includes the two mystery location homes we had failed to find earlier in the day.

Friday Evening: We set out again to find the two last homes. Using the GPS we manage to finally find these two homes that are side by side in Brush Prairie. In the fading light we find the house we want! Both homes are being built by the same builder, both about the same size, and both on long 5 acre lots with frontage with Salmon Creek. One great! The other, "Not so sure." We get home and talk the rest of the night... is this really what we want to do, are we really ready, does this house warrant all of the change we are about to bring onto ourselves? Sleep does not come easy this night.

Saturday Morning: Meet with Loren and head out to the three final contenders. We hit the two side by side and in the good light really start to fall in love with 'The One.' We walk the property line all the way down to Salmon Creek and really give both locations a good look over. We then head back up the the Ridgefield property and seeing it again does not inspire us. We deside that the Brush Prairie house is the one we really want.

Saturday Afternoon: Worry starts to set in we begin to invest ourselves in this decision. Will someone else buy the house before we can get this all figured out? How long do we have to put this all together before the whole thing falls apart? We decide to meet with the realitor Sunday to make an offer on the house.

Sunday Morning: We meet with the realitor and make an offer on the house. We are prepared to put our house up for sale, but decide to wait to see if our offer is accepted before doing so. Our purchase of the new house would be contingent on the sale of our current house, and if the builder did not want to wait for us, there was no reason to put ours up for sale. Much paper work later we were set, just have to wait for word back from the builder.

Sunday Noon: We pick up Bob and Nora and head out the the house to show them, and we knew if we'd gone crazy they would tell us. When we arrive, there are, for the first time other people looking at the houses. This does not feel good to me as I am concerned that they will buy the house before the builder even gets to see our offer. It turns out that one of the visiters actually is the builder and he is showing the houses. We spend quite awhile talking to the builder and he says we are the first and only offer and he seems to be a very nice guy. We talk about the house and the property and we leave the site feeling pretty good about our chances.

Sunday Night: We head back over to the house with Ray and Juli and show them the house for the first time. They seem to like it and I take some photos while the dream of this working out takes hold of me. Deb and I are both tired and feel sleep will come tonight due to sheer exhaustion. So much for the restful 4 day weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I Made It!

It has been a hard road to get to this point, but I have reached the reward... four days off. My brain has almost turned to mush. As technology has marched on, my time to absorb it has headed in the other direction. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I plan on relaxing the whole time!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Mount Shasta On The Way Home

A Rick Pic
Just Finished. Rick Rating: B
(Way too short for the money,
only 140 pages)

A Rick Pic

Dome Growing Fast... | News for Oregon and SW Washington: "If lava continues to pile up inside the blasted crater of Mount St. Helens at the current rate, the volcano could rebuild its summit in about 10 years. The new dome now covers 70 acres."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Call Me.

Engadget - "Verizon Wireless is already testing a ringback tone service right now in parts of California, but we just got a hot tip from a highly reliable source that T-Mobile has imminent plans to announce a nationwide ringback service of their own. T-Mobile had no comment when we asked them about this, but they didn't deny it, either.

P.S. - In case you aren't familiar with ringback tones (and believe us, you will be very soon), they're basically customized audio clips that callers hear when they dial your number instead of the usual ringing sound."

Woot! Site Of The Month!


"What is woot and who's behind it? is an online store and community run by the employees of a 10 year old consumer electronics distributor that focuses on close-outs and generally buying stuff cheap. Since the distributor doesn't sell to end users, Woot, Inc provides us with an employee-store slash market-testing type of place. Hopefully the boss won't take notice. We anticipate profitability by 2043 -- by then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices.

I see only 1 item, do you sell anything else?

No. We sell 1 item per day until it is sold out or until 11:59pm central time when it is replaced (see next entry for details). However, each item we sell is in stock and ready to ship that day. Our warehouse manager thinks we are insane.

What is the schedule for new items?

OK - this is simpler than it sounds: A new product is released at 12am central time Monday through Friday mornings (if you are not a morning person, this can be described as Sunday - Thursday at midnight. better?) Friday's product will last through the weekend unless we sell out. If a product sells out during it's run, a new item will not appear until the next release time. You will know if a product is sold out, because the main page says 'SOLD OUT' instead of 'I want one'. (clever, eh?)

I missed yesterday's item, can I get one still?

No. Each product is discontinued at 11:59 central time monday-thursday and sunday. We may get more at a later date if we're lucky, but we offer no guarantees, we allow no backorders, and we have no waiting / notification lists. Too bad."

Amazing Deals! If you can stay up until 10:00pm that is - Rick

Get On The Ground!

Headed out to get some In-N-Out Burger and came home to some excitement! I pull into the Hotel parking lot and park the car. I do my usual removal of the stereo faceplate and I hear a powerful engine sound to my left. As I look up I see a blacked out police cruiser lock up all four and screech to a halt not 300 feet in front of me! A dog leaps out of the car and heads into a line of bushes and comes out the other side attached to a guy flaying and trying to run. The cop draws his gun and screams "Get On The Ground"... "Get On Your Belly!" Cop cars coming in from EVERY WHERE! Dog is chewing on this guy and he is screaming. (I can hear this because I have put down the drivers side window.) "Stay DOWN!"... "Get DOWN!" Three Police men with guns drawn are screaming at the guy who is STILL trying to get away from the dog. Six police cars now! Last one to arrive turns on a spot light and you can see that the dog has the guy by the arm and is shaking the crap out of him. (I have a french fry. Hey! They were going to get cold!) Man finally stops struggling and is decended on by the police (Whooo Hooo there's gunna be a Whoop'n!), hand cuffed, and stuffed into a car. From bits of post arrest conversation I think he was trying to steal a car from the next store car lot. HUH! Whatcha Gunna Do When They Come For You!

P.S. The burger and frys, though alittle cold were still good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

An AOL Trial Disk Has Beat Them There!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "Dome A is the highest point on the Antarctic Plateau, and it has never been reached by humans. It is thought to be the coldest place on earth, and is certainly among the most remote. Yesterday, a team of Chinese explorers set out from Fremantle, Australia to reach Dome A and set up a robotic weather station which will monitor the local conditions for up to five years. The team is expected to arrive at Dome A in early 2005."

Now This One Could Piss Me Off...

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: PVRblog is reporting today that TiVo will begin to place banner advertisements on your screen when you are fast forwarding. As one of the whole points for people getting a TiVo is to remove obtrusive advertising, it seems like a really bad move to force advertising on people at the exact moment that they are using your technology to avoid advertising. This act points to the desperation of TiVo and their management team and although it might help them in the short run it will most certainly backfire in the long run." This is ironic for a company whose slogan used to be "TV Your Way," but not surprising, since its CEO says he wants to move to a largely advertiser-supported revenue stream. I've bought three TiVos in the past four years, but my next PVR will run MythTV -- unless HR2391 passes and makes me a criminal for skipping commercials.

The Man On The Right Was Airlifted Home!

A Rick Pic

And On The Eighth Day...

Heavy Fog moving into the area tonight as I sit in my Hotel room digesting a Carl's Jr. Burger. I sent my laundry in this morning so I am in some fresh relaxing clothes as I enter a bit into my Blog. Ray and I had a pizza feed last night and I will be posting a photo of the feast next. I was hoping to eat the left over half tonight, but Ray got the nod and headed home.
For that the Bastard WILL PAY!
From this moment on his name will not be spoken in the city of Vacaville, and any who utters it shall have his tongue cleaved from his festering hole! I swear by this, and will uphold it until I breathe my last breath! May his meaty soul writhe in pain as he sleeps in his soft bed next to his woman while I once again I fall to sleep on the doorstep to HELL.... Vacaville, California. There, I'm over it!

Well, I am off to do some reading and see what the Woot! of the day is.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Fall in Vacaville California!

A Rick Pic

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Vacaville, Sweet Vacaville!

So ends my 5th day of being on the road. The pile of dirty clothes is now even with what I have left in the suitcase. I have unwrapped 5 new bars of mini-soap and layed 5 new mats down in front of the shower. I sat in front of the television and looped around the channels for 30 minutes looking for the show I needed... It never happened. I noticed that the elevator in the Hotel does not have current operation permit and that they sell candy bars for a dollar in the lobby. The person who cleans my room is named MICKI, and a card with his (or hers) blocky scrawl is left in my room each time it is cleaned with a big 'thank you'. I think the next time I leave some towels on the bathroom floor I will include a note with RICK on it and some equally cheery greeting! I eat a bowl of 'Golden Ghrams" cereal every morning and this morning I saw a big rabbit in the Hotel parking lot. I set the thermostat to 68 degrees every night before I go to sleep and set it to 72 when I wake up. These repeating activities seem to take on a 'Ground Hog Day" feel to them when you are doing an opening. Well, It is time to go and do some reading and hit the sack for the big day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Hey Baby, Got A Light?

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "MSNBC is reporting that a 'Boeing Co.-led team has successfully fired for the first time a powerful laser meant to fly aboard a modified 747 as part of a U.S. ballistic missile defense shield.' The test called 'First Light' has a budget of $474.3 million in the fiscal year 2005 and is part of a larger $10 billion dollar missile defense system."
Hmmm, That's A Good Place To Hang My Shirt!

A Rick Pic

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Say That 10 Times Fast...

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "NASA intends to break its own aircraft-speed record for the second time this year by flying X43a scramjet ten times faster than sound. On November 15 the X-43A supersonic-combustion ramjet - or scramjet - will again take to the skies aiming for Mach 10."
Mobile Nerd Station

A Rick Pic

Fall in the Mountians of Northern California Posted by Hello

Oh, You'll Love California!

Well here I am once again captive in my Hotel Room in the Heart of Vacaville California. Just finished my delightful In-N-Out Burger while surfing the 13 channels of quality TV. Bed meets the softness requirements, toilet has the necessary pressure to handle the 'out of town' gift I plan on leaving it once (or twice) a day, and, I smell NO smoke! This establishment does have an indoor pool as well as wireless internet and a breakfast area, so it ranks well on my all time list of fine hotels in the under 100 dollar range. I find that I am starting to change with all of the travel I do. I still get a thrill every time I come back to my room and the bed is made, but I have lost the desire to bring home small bottles of shampoo or bars of soap. I think if I had to design a hotel there would be some improvements that I could offer. One would be more plugs, lots more plugs, and put them at waist level. The fatter I get the harder it is for me to get down on my hands and knees, crawl under a table and plug in my laptop! Also,
If you are going to run Wi-Fi in your hotel, at least make the signal strong enough to reach the friggen desk in my room!
Oh, and why does every light in the place have different kind of switch to turn it on and off? So, at night when I need to get up and address the above mentioned gift it takes me an extra 15 seconds of fumbling to get the light on? And... what is a man or woman to do if he or she wants to eat his or her take out food in front of the TV? How about the super high tech idea of a TV Tray? No, it is much better for me to try and balance all of this stuff in my lap while I sit at the edge of my bed squinting at my 15 INCH SCREEN WATCHING 13 FRIGGEN CHANNELS while catsup drips down the front of my SHIRT!!!

Now, I am sure that all of you sitting in your own homes right now, reading this entry of my blog, are starting to wonder about my mental health. I'm fine, don't worry about me... much.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Great For The Nerdary!

"New Scientist reports that you can now buy your own automated Room Defender. 'Who would like this gift? Any child, or anyone who saw the director's cut of Aliens and dreamed of owning one of those automated sentries.'" The New Scientist gift guide looks pretty useful.

Things That Make You Go Hmm.

"The Seattle Times has an article about Microsoft's Foundation and their new partnership with Comcast to provide a TiVo-like service."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Attacking The Pile...

I have now completed all of the computer building projects in this cycle! Packed up the last one for set-up tomorrow. Now that the computer room has 7 more feet of desk space I can now give Deb back her kitchen table and dining room table. It has been my morning project to liberate these downstairs surfaces and put everything away. This being my last day off for quite awhile due to the coming store opening makes getting all of this done feel all the better. Back to the projects.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I Want One!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "The US Army is testing robots armed with shotguns. The robots are called Packbots and have already seen some action in Iraq. It also has chemical sensors that detect nuclear, biological, and chemical contaminants. Maybe I've seen a few too many bad sci-fi movies, but robots with shotguns scare me."

I've got a protrusion for ya! | News for Oregon and SW Washington: "A lava formation inside Mount St. Helens' crater has a new, glowing protrusion the size of a 30-story building. The protrusion, which glows red at night, has risen by 330 feet in the past nine days, pushed up by magma, or molten rock, within the volcano. "

Good Deed Done!

About 2 weeks ago I came home from work and and small black and white cat came up to me and begged for attention. She was very skinny and looked like life was not going well for her. I went into the garage and put down a handful of cat food... it was consumed in seconds. So began the pattern of the cat hanging around the house and greeting me everyday when I got home for me to feed her. I was obvious that she was an indoor cat at some time, as she was happy to be petted and was not afraid of me.

Deb wanted to adopt her, but I figured this would be very hard on our 2 cats that are now almost 10 years old. So Deb went to plan B and proposed to her new employer that the City of Happy Valley needed a cat! They accepted, "City Kitty" was moved to her new home, visited by a vet, and now will be the mouse hunter for the office space. Just thought you should know.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Shrek 2 is out on DVD Today! I picked mine up at Best Buy For $15.99 Posted by Hello

The Glory Of A Day Off!

Here I sit in my sweats, cat in my lap, heater at my feet, plugging away on my computer! My entire day is mine, ALL MINE! Last night I was so dog tired that I was in bed by 9:00 and asleep by 9:01. It is now time for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

DVD's That Can Take A Licking!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'NewScientist reports that TDK has developed a transparent polymer for LCD screens and optical media that is impervious to general neglect and abuse. Quoth the reporter, 'In one of the most convincing technology demonstrations this reporter has witnessed, I was handed a CD, a wire-wool pan scourer and some permanent marker pens, and invited to scratch or mark the discs. Hard as I tried, I could not make a single mark on the disc with the scourer. And the ink simply wiped off.' The coating is apparently responsible for Blu-Ray's new caddy-less form factor.' "

The Time Change Blues

Here I sit at 4:30am in the morning, pitch black outside and me wide awake! Now, remeber, it is really 5:30am due to the time change and if you factor in that I am over 40, this up at the Ass Crack of dawn thing doesn't seem that far out of line!

As a child... hell... 3 years ago, I could sleep until noon, wake up for a 5000 calorie meal and hit the sack again two hours later. I would then wake up the next day with a tan, a new car and not a care in the world. Now, things are not quite the same, I wake up at 3 in the morning with the thought of 'did I rotate the tires in the last 3 months?' or, 'My leg hurts, it must be from sleeping WRONG!' Sleeping WRONG? How the hell do you sleep WRONG?

Sleeping is so simple that they don't even include instructions with the mattress!

After 40 however, I can't even do that right!

Well, I am off to try my hand at the art of sleep again... wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Dremel Tool Pumpkin Carving Anyone?

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "With Halloween just around the corner, Dremel has "developed" the ultimate pumpkin carver set. It actually looks like it's just your normal dremel (although it's translucent orange) with a 191 high speed cutter and some fancy patterns. Of course, if you already have a Dremel and cutter (or reasonable knock-off of either/both), then you can just download some patterns."

TerraServer... find your house!

TerraServer 6.0 Homepage: "TerraServer contains 3.3 tera-bytes of high resolution USGS aerial imagery and USGS topographic maps. You can locate imagery by clicking on the map above, entering a city or town name in the 'Search TerraServer' form at the top of the page, or entering a U.S. street address. Click on Advanced Find to see other methods for searching our imagery database."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Still working the bugs out of the Allergy Cat! Posted by Hello

Yup, It's Still Doing That Volcano Thing | News for Oregon and SW Washington | Environment: "Scientists said Monday the lava dome continues to quietly grow in the crater of Mount St. Helens. The U.S. Geological Survey said magma is pushing to the surface of the volcano at the rate of ten cubic yards -- a dump truck load -- per second. And in less than two weeks, the uplift has grown to the height of a 35-story building and the area of 29 football fields, said USGS scientist Ralph Haugerud."

Here Kitty Kitty!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'Allerca Inc is now taking reservations for genetically engineered hypo-allergenic cats, which it calls 'lifestyle pets'... and apparently they are just the beginning... you can take delivery of a cuddly non-sinus bothering bundle of joy for just $3500. 'The hypoallergenic cats produced by ALLERCA will allow consumers to enjoy the love and companionship of a pet without the cost, inconvenience, risk, and limited effectiveness of current allergy treatments. Clients will take delivery of the first ALLERCA kittens in 2007. The hypoallergenic cat is the first of a planned series of lifestyle pets that ALLERCA will develop over the next few years.' Meow!' "

My Mailbox

I got home today and checked the mail. Now I'm talking about the box that usually contains the once in a lifetime offers for .0004% interest on a third mortgage so I have some cash for the dream vacation I have always wanted but could not afford. Now, I just checked this box yesterday at about the same time and I am pretty sure it was empty when I left.
Today, however it was stuffed with political shit!
I count 11 individual pieces of political attack mail, (all of it shiney and eye catching) indicating that the other guy is a monster turd, and should not be elected! I was lucky to get some of the same stuff twice, once to me and once to Deb. One was a full blown pamphlet by a guy who starts out his pitch by saying that he is a Billionare! I seem to remember running into him at the gas station or maybe the Burger King where I must have given him my address! Anyway, since I already took a crap today and have used up all of my reading time, I chucked probably close to 20 dollars worth of direct mailing into my recycle bin. That reminds me, I better figure out who I'm going vote for soon!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

This is a great new tool from Microsoft XP PowerToys! It is called Virtual Desktop Manager.
Posted by Hello

HD TiVo Rocks!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'G4techTV does a review of three of the new HDTV recorders. Noticeably absent is Microsoft's Media Center 2005. The Hughes HD 10-250 gets the highest marks and is the 'G4tech TV Lab Pick.' Although I haven't used the other two HDTV recorders I have to say I would concur on their opinion of TiVo's DirecTV box.' " Here's the link

And what a fantastic job they did!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'The BBC is running a story about Lowry Digital Images and how they used 600 dual G5s and 400 TB of storage space to clean the dirt off of the old Star Wars reels, and upgrade the resolution to get them ready for their DVD release.' " Hers's the link

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Computer room is back in shape!

Alright, I saw an opportunity to clean the inside of my computer. Since the entire room was trashed, and I needed a break from real work so I cleaned the bad boy within an inch of its life. My Antec case has always had 2 USB and 1 FireWire port under a flap at the front, however I have never hooked them up. The problem was that the wires were all set up for separate pins and I couldn’t get my fat hands to the places on the motherboard to plug them in! I felt a pleasant calm wash over my body as I completed the vacuuming portion of my cleaning and I decided to try the wires and get the connections done once and for all. It worked. I must say that deciding what expensive item to plug into those ports for the first time to see if they worked or emitted a small puff of stinky blue smoke was not easy. I decided that a USB dongle was the cheapest item to risk on that port, and when forced to choose between the video camera and the iPod for the IEEE1394 the camera got the nod. No smoke, all worked, just thought you should know.

Furniture HELL!

Headed over to Oak Unlimited to pick up a new book case and a 7 foot long addition to the computer desk with a file drawer module and a shelf module. It goes without saying that this was a major undertaking with much grunting and moving of furniture. We decide to do the bookshelf first, move it in, load it up, all is well. Clear out the area for the computer desk, drag it in, set it up... something is wrong?!
The desktop is eight feet long instead of seven!
I make the call to Oak Unlimited and they wont have a 7 foot version until Monday! Oh, and they close the warehouse for pick-up at 4:30pm! So, to recap, the house is trashed, I have to return the 8 foot long sheet, pick up the 7 foot one and do it all before 4:30pm. Hey, since I just friggen work for a living and have all of the time in the world I'll do that...
Because I Don't Have A Choice Now, Do I.
I am off to put the house back together.

Eat in peace: cellphone-free zones popping up at restaurants?

Engadget - "Due to customer complaints, The Vineyard restaurant of Bentonville, Arkansas has designated a "No-cellphone" area after customer complaints about annoying cellphone chatter while they were trying to enjoy a meal. We're not even going to touch this but sheesh, what's next? No smoking? Oh, right, sorry."

Friday, October 22, 2004

"Hey Baby!" Posted by Hello

Stranger Things Have Happened...

Well thursday at 3:00pm it happened! I was cut loose! I made the call to change my departure date and Nancy came back with "You wanna leave tonight?" So began my trip home.

5:00pm - Security man is assigned to shuttle V.I.P. to airport pronto as the financial well being of the entire corporation hinges on him getting back to his division for a very important meeting! (With his bed!) Guy has worked for the company one week and had no real idea of my true importance, which must be why I listened to Rap music for an hour on the way to the airport. Before departing, I was wisked to the Hampton for a short goodbye that consisted of a power packing job that will probably render some of my clothes wrinkled for life.

6:30pm - Arrive at the airport and find that the flight will be delayed due to thunderstorms around Las Vegas. I make my way through security and end up having my back pack almost taken apart! I get a smoothy, a computer magazine and take a seat in the loading area.

8:40pm - Flight should begin loading (they say) in 10 minutes, though I see no plane yet. I have the magical 'A' ticket and procure a spot in line. A woman falls in behind me and parks her dumb self about 4 inches off of my butt even though there is a TON of room for all of us to stand. I can not even reach back to grab my phone without hitting her! So, I hit her. Repeatedly I bump, graze, look over my shoulder, sway into, step back into this lady to no avail! She does not even begin to understand!

9:20 - Board the friggen plane.

10:45 - Arrive in San Jose where they have held the connecting flight to Portland. Out of one plane and into another. As I take my seat in the new plane the guy behind me begins to bitch out loud, thanking ME for delaying his flight! His wife is begging him to stop while he proclaims that he has flown over 100 times THIS MONTH on Southwest and that they are NEVER on time! A large male flight attendent calmly walks up to him and tells him that one more word will result in him being escorted off of the plane! He shuts up, and his wife mentally caluculates how many years will pass before he will get to see her naked again.

12:10 am - Arrive at PDX! Get bags, make way to long term parking lot via the shuttle bus. I do the usual panic attack as I really hope the shelter number I wrote down is the right one.

12:40 am - Climb into bed and pass out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I have arrived!

I arrived at the Hampton this evening. As the door to my room swung open my eyes feasted on the room of my dreams. It smelled good, the bed was large, I saw a leather recliner, at that point I knew that everything was going to be okay. I must move on to another topic as I am beginning to mist up.

The rain hit Southern California with a vengence today! The streets ran like rivers and standing water was everywhere! The new store did not fair well as buckets and trash cans dotted the floor. At one point water was coming down the walls in several places and even took out the intercom system. People just flat don't like rain here! The trend for the day was to take our plastic bags and fasion them into rain hats and race across the parking lot as if the store was about to blow up! I strode out into the rain with the confidence of a person who might have seen a rain drop or two in his life. This caused many to openly weep at my powers, and I began to lay hands on some as I made my way to the car.

I brought sight to the blind, bowel movements

to the constipated, and provided directions to

the nearest Radio Shack for old people who wanted

a new computer so they could type to their grand children.

One man was heard to shout: "You're Shitten Me!" I entered the car with a great feeling of pride that I could bring an end to the needless suffering in this part of the world.

I now must move aside the 4 friggen pillows and enter my bed for the evening. It should be nice.

Hello Hampton! Posted by Hello

Goodbye Extended Stay America! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Please send in your donations to help this man! Posted by Hello

Just got done having a 3 way!

Just tryed out Skype with Ray and Juli. I had no mic so I had to type like a mad man while they simply spoke. I kind of felt like the guy in the movie "Abyss" as he descended deeper into the underwater canyon slowly loosing his ability to type!

I am off to bed to prepare my mind for another day with JimUNDA!

Internet Phone That Rocks!

Skype - Free Internet telephony that just works:
Skype is for calling other people on their computers or phones. Download Skype and start calling for free all over the world."

Was he watching 'Survivor?'

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'CNN is a running a story on an Oregon college student's flat-screen Toshiba TV which was releasing the 121.5 MHz international distress signal. He was unaware of the issue until local police, search and rescue, and civil air patrol members showed up at his apartment's door. Apparently the signal was strong enough to be picked up by satellite and then routed to the Air Force Rescue Center in Virginia. Quite impressive - luckily Toshiba is offering him a free replacement.' "

What? I can't here you! I'm spooling up the engine in my 12.3Ghz Pentium 9 Laptop!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'Today, our handheld devices are powered by batteries, which are heavy and inconvenient. Fuel cells are just arriving on the market as a replacement. But there is a new contender: micro gas turbine engines under development at the MIT. Engineers there shrunk jet engines to the size of a coat button. And their blades which span an area smaller than a dime can spin a million times per minute and produce enough electricity to power your PDA or your cell phone. While there are still a few hurdles to overcome, these micro turbine engines should be operational in two or three years, with commercial products available four years from now. These micro jet engines also have the potential to free soldiers or travelers from carrying heavy batteries. The engineers even think their engines on a chip could be used in poor countries to bring electricity there. This summary gives you the essential details about a technology which promises to free us to carry extra fuel instead of batteries.' "

Whooo Hoooo!

Time to order Pizza! I ditched everyone tonight for a private dinner celebrating my last day in my hell hole of a room! Sure, you're invited; room 232. I plan on ordering something with bacon on it... must have bacon. Not Canadian bacon either, real honest to God strip bacon! I have no idea if this can be done, but you would think that if they can put a Starbucks on every corner in America that they can make me a pizza with bacon on it!

I picked up my laundry today and everything was ready but the Socks and underwear!
"I feel funny, like when I climb the rope in gym class."
They said that someone would drop them by the hotel tonight. I am starting to get a teency bit nervous as it is quickly coming on 7:00pm and I am still looking at the last 2 pair of clean un's I own, shivering in the corner of my suitcase. I do a quick mental calculation, and with the front, back, inside, outside time tested emergency underwear usage guidelines as taught in grade school, (while the girls were watching their video on periods) I have only 8 days left until I'm in REAL trouble. Pray for a knock at my door! Do it for the children!

Time to get the food thing rolling.

Monday, October 18, 2004

I'm back!

Well here I am again in my fantastic Extended Stay America room. The smell of smoke that pours into the room when the guy above me lights up has soaked into everything I own. Every morning at 6 am he gets up and lights up. Every morning at 6:01am I get up and turn off the A/C that sucks in the smoke and turn on the fan in the bathroom trying to fall back to sleep. (nope, It hasn't happened yet.) I have managed to get a new room reservation in the Hampton Inn down the road but I can not move for 2 more nights. sigh.

The opening was a soft one and that was good for my feet but hard on the clock.

I am off to do some reading.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I believe this!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'Financial Express quotes a Dell executive saying that spyware is installed on roughly 90% computers out there. Right now 20% of all Dell phone support calls are spyware-related. University of Washington research this March published a moderate estimate of 5.1% PCs running spyware.' "

I'm smiling because I am looking at Deb. Posted by Hello

The Begining

Well, here I sit in a dinky hotel room on a Sunday night in Temecula, CA! As I shift around in my cheap chair trying to keep my butt from falling asleep I begin my first Blog. I was listening to some music on the iPod, but find that I can not think of what to type and listen to Barry Manilow at the same time. I am not sure what one should convey with a blog? Should I tell you that I had tacos for dinner, that I have white socks and brown shoes on? Or maybe I should be more functional and advise you of the current weather conditions. I will settle on telling you of my desire to be home, as I have a bad case of the 'been there done that' right now and I could really use a teleportation machine. There, I did it, I clicked my (brown shoed) heels together three times and did the Judy Garland thing but nothing happened! Alas, I guess I best accept my fate and lay out the work clothes for tomorrows assult.