Thursday, September 16, 2004

Change your links!!!

The new blog is alive and kicking at Change your links!! I've already added code to this page to redirect folks to the new site. The only way you should see this *LAST POST* is via RSS feed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


SYNS is moving to my personal web server. Once I get the lay out all perdy, I'll see to it that this page redirects you to the new site. Once you get there, be sure to change your bookmarks. (You do have my site bookmakred, right?)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Yaay Free Speach!

This web site didn't render very well for me using Firefox, but you can still see the "Watch The Trailer" and "Buy The DVD" buttons, which are most important.

By the way, Hollywood, do us all a favor and stay out of politics. You really don't get it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Illiterate Anti-Gun Activists (and the Media Who Loves Them)

I'm not Rambo. I don't think there's a justifiable reason for a private American to own a fully-automatic machine gun or a grenade launcher. But I do own a hand gun. Now, with that said, let's discuss the fire-arm-phobic media and some of the stupid things they say.

In the next week or so, a gun ban passed by President Clinton (under the shadiest of political circumstances) will expire, due to a congressional repeal of that ban. And the media is FREAKING OUT!

The hype (this, from Reuters):
"The ban on such weapons as Uzis and AK-47s will expire at midnight next Monday unless Congress votes to renew it. ...high-powered guns and large-capacity ammunition clips could flood America's streets..."

The fact:
AK-47s and UZIs along with all other fully automatic weapons are covered by several other fire arm and crime laws. When the Clinton ban expires, AK-47s and UZIs will still be illegal. If fact, the Clinton ban is so poorly conceived that it does not cover many true assault rifles.

The hype (from Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY):
"The NRA is an extremely powerful group, there's no two ways about it... [politicians] don't want to tick them off two months before elections."

The facts:
After the gun ban was passed in 1994, virtually every one of the legislators that voted for the ban was defeated in the biggest congressional land-slide election in history. If you think the NRA had the power to orchestrate the '94 landslide, then you give them far too much credit. If that were true, McCarthy would surely not be in office to begin with. Sorry, Carolyn. It's called democracy.

The hype (from Amy Sisley of Physicians for Social Responsibility):
"It is a health-care crisis... 90 percent of spinal cord injuries in the United States are caused by gunshot wounds."

The facts:
Amy Sisley is either a complete idiot or she does not know how to read. What crack-smoking maroon would honestly believe that 90% of spinal injuries are caused by assault rifles?! Lady, have you been on a highway lately? Have you ever in your precious, sheltered life heard of a car accident?

The established facts are that a quarter of once percent of violent crimes in the US (that's 1 in 400) involve weapons covered by the Clinton ban (and all of those weapons are already banned by other laws). Only 5% violent crimes (1 in 20) involve fire arms legal or otherwise. The vast majority of violent crimes are perpetrated with knives, blunt instruments, or bare hands.

Now, let's consider that 95% of crimes that are committed without guns. What do you think would happen if victims of those violent crimes carried legal, licensed hand guns? Ever heard the phrase bringing a knife to a gun fight? Face it. Violent criminals are just not the smartest people. But even they are smart enough not to face down a gun when they're holding a golf club.

How many crimes do you think are prevented every year by law abiding citizens who are willing and able to protect themselves from criminals by owning and being willing to use legal fire arms in their own defense? Unfortunately, that statistic is impossible to calculate, but pick up any gun magazine in any given month and you will read two or three letters to the editor by licensed gun owners telling of a crime that didn't happen thanks to a legal, private fire arm. Seriously, try it!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

And Now... Finally.... an Update

My adoring readers (all two of them) have been clamoring for an update on the "fam". I apologize for the delay. I could say something like I've been buried at work, but it would be a lie. I've just been lazy. At least I'm honest.

Tammy has finished rehab and has been cleared by the doctor to put her new and improved ankle to use. We've been to the climbing gym twice and taken one short bike ride. She's doing well, but still taking it slow. She had a little "discomfort" climbing, but nothing that can't be avoided by doing easier routes while she rebuilds her strength.

My explorer had water pump issues last month and I couldn't seem to find a full day to tear it apart (nor the money to buy replacement parts) so I decided to take advantage of the unusually cool weather and ride my mountain bike to work. I rode to work for almost a full month. Weekend before last, I finally managed the time and money to tear down the truck and replace the water pump. BamBam is running fine now.

My old buddy Galyn has taken me out on several death-defying mountain bike rides in the last couple of months. I am very surprised at how much I enjoy it. It's not the same as riding a motorcycle in the mountains, but it's close. Plus it's getting me back in shape. I still can't keep up with Galyn on the hill climbs and have to stop to catch my breath once in a while, but it's getting better.

An unfortunate side-effect to this new hobby is that I tend to fall... hard. On our first difficult trail (Cedar Hill), I did a full-fledged "endo", landing squarely on my helmet. Yaaay helmet!

A couple of weeks ago riding in the Hwy 360 area, I lost it going down a rocky ravine and bashed my shin in a big way. My knee is still a tad swollen from that fall, which put an end to my daily ride to work. The knee is not bad enough to keep me off the bike entirely; just enough that I decided to rest it.

In other news, I have been drafted as the "climbing expert" on an exhibition to summit Grand Teton next summer. Again, this can be entirely blamed on Galyn. His brother-in-law, for some as yet undetermined reason, has made up his mind he needs to climb the Grand. He enlisted Galyn to head the team and Galyn tapped me to be the rope-man. We are planning on taking the Owen-Spaulding route in August of 2005. That route is the easiest way to summit, but still has a couple of spots that will require some easy rock climbing. All the guides say the route is easy but "exposed", meaning you probably won't fall, but if you did (without protection) you would make a nice meal for the carrion birds three thousand feet below. On the way down from the summit, we'll be doing at least two rappels over 100 feet. This means toting two climbing ropes (approx. 9 pounds each) to the 13,770 foot summit along with the necessary hardware. I'm going to have be me in MUCH better shape by then.

Tammy and I are starting our second season directing the youth drama group, The Bottom Line, at our church. This year is going great. The kids are excited and we have many more chances to perform. We are also both teaching Sunday school; I'm with 10th grade boys, Tammy's got 9th grade girls. Just last night we have a meeting at the church to discuss a new adult drama ministry. We won't likely have directorial roles in that group, but will certainly be involved.

Okay, I'm spent. I can't think of any other information to share. I hope you all (both of you) enjoy this update. Good day!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Facts can be painful to those who try to hide them

Great facts to help you make the right choice in November.

If you agree with these messages, VOTE!! If you don't agree with these messages, VOTE!!!

Our men and women are fighting for democracy in places that have never seen it. Don't let your chance to support democracy slip by. Right or wrong, right or left, take advantage of the right you have, bought by blood.

Register here:

And so, it strikes...

My favorite web cartoon, PvP, was nearly ruined when the author's PC was striken with Windows XP Service Pack 2. Scott Kurtz writes:

So, despite my actively avoiding it, my Windows auto-update installed service pack 2 on my computer this morning. Then it didn't want to reboot because of the stupid security center not being able to confirm the status of my anti-virus software.

I'm still afraid to reboot a second time, but I guess I have to try. I'll go ahead and try now. If you don't hear back from me in a couple of days, please send a certified microsfot technician to my house.
Don't say I didn't warn you! If it's not too late, reset your Windows Automatic Update to warn you about updates BEFORE it downloads them!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Jesus was "the original Democrat", despite Al Gore's claim to the title.

A conference of "Religion Experts" in Austin, Texas... *Snicker*

Okay, wait. Sorry. I swear I can say this with a straight face if I concentrate...

A conference of "Religion Experts" in Austin, Texas, have come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the "the carpenter from Galilee was the original Democrat." *Chuckle*

Okay, sorry. There's just no way I can say this without laughing. How unprofessional of me. Please forgive my lack of respect for... "Religion Experts" in Austin, Texas...

*Bursts into convulsive laughter*

"Keep Austin Weird!!"

*Doubles over laughing with tears now streaming*

I can't... I can't... Oh, it's too funny.

Complete Article Here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Lord of the Olympic Rings

I was talking to my friend Randy Peterman via IM today, and we decided the Olympic coverage would be much more fun if elves and dwarves were allowed to compete. Here's a taste of the "Lord of the Olympic Rings Summer Games":

"Gee Tim, Legolas sure looks good on the high bar this year!"
"That's right Elfie. Even though the rating system only goes to a perfect 10.0; which I achieved 20 years ago before I became a washed up, witless commentator; Legolas' quadruple-flip-over-the-bar release move earned him a perfecter 15.0! That'll be hard to beat."
"It sure will, Tim. Now, we turn to Gimli on vault."
"That's right Elfie. Gimli will be attempting a Full Thorin Oakenshield, which is humanly impossible, giving it a start value 'outuva' 17."
"Ha ha ha. You said 'outuva' like it's some kind of special Gymnastics term, when really it's just bad grammar. I wonder if Gimli's beard is going to be a distraction during this vault."
"That's right Elfie."
"What's right Tim?"
"That's right Elfie. Here's the approach! Oooh. Eeeh. Ugh. WOW! That was great. He really stuck that landing. It reminds me of that perfect 10.0 vault I did 20 years ago. Remember that?"
"Yep. It's a shame Gimli vaulted a good fifteen feet past the landing mat and 'stuck' his landing right on top of the entire Romanian team. What a mess."
"That's right Elfie. That's a compound fracture if I ever saw one. It's not going to help the Romanian's chances to medal."

NBC and the Olympics - Striving for New Heights of Something

<RANT>I love the Olympics. My wife fills half a dozen video tapes every four years so she can weather the down time until the next Olympics roll around. (No, I'm serious.) The athleticism, the drive, the indelible human spirit; it's all so inspiring. Every four years, the bar is raised, records are broken, and unimaginable feats become reality.

You know what else is inspiring? NBC's coverage of the Olympics. It inspires me to watch re-runs of Cheers on TBS! Every two years (Let's not forget that they butch the Winter Games too!) NBC achieves new heights in idiocy, provides record breaking annoyance and makes unimaginable suckage a reality. To quote Greg Storey over at Airbag, the coverage is "sucktacular"!

Seriously! Who can I pay to get the Olympics on another network?! ANY other network. Heck, the Cartoon Network could do better than those yahoo's with the Peacock. I'd take Sponge Bob and Patrick any day over Tim Daggett and Elfie Schlegel. (Yeah, yeah. Tammy watches Gymnastics, so I do too. It takes a real man... oh never mind.)

Now, I know they're not all bad. Bob Costas is a cordial enough guy, but is there any way we can get Katie Couric assigned to cover deepest darkest Congo? I'm sure her witless banter and mind numbing trivia would sound better with rocket propelled grenades whizzing overhead.

Who is the guy who handles scheduling over at NBC? Is there a minute hand on his watch? I'm thinking to myself, "Hey Self, how's it hanging? Let's see what time the 200M Freestyle is on tonight. Gee. The schedule says, '8:00 PM - 12:00 AM: Olympic Summer Games'. That is SO helpful. Maybe I'll just scrape my thighs with a cheese grater instead of listening to Katie for four hours just so I can see a 60 second race." I'm not making this up. See for yourself!

*Sigh* Okay. I feel better now. Does anyone know how I can get BBC-Canada on my TV?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

XPSP2... Oh, yeah! He was my favorite Star Wars robot.

Apparently, last weeks stint in Microsoft Certification Training (aka Billsoft Brainwashing) didn't stick with me. I learned enough to feel confident breaking new stuff at work, but not enough to change my opinion on Big Brother Bill. (Have I mentioned how much I hate trying to make all the cool web design stuff work in IE? I'm not bitter, but... well, okay, I'm bitter.)

Windows XP has been out long enough now that I feel fairly comfortable with it. It's really not a "bad" operating system. If you must use Windows, this is a pretty good version.

Unfortunately, XP has also been out long enough that MS is ready to screw it all up. Thus Service Pack 2 (SP2) is all geared up. Very soon, your friendly neighborhood Windows Automatic Update will quietly deliver all sorts of "new features" courtesy of XPSP2.

Now, to be totally honest, most of the features of XPSP2 sound alright. But there are just a few troublesome "helpful features" (aka "You're too stupid to be trusted, so we'll quietly add features that take away your ability configure your own computer.").

SP2 was originally written to force Automatic Update. That is to say, you would no longer have the option to pick and choose what Windows Updates you installed. Instead, when MS posted an update, your machine would go get it and install it without asking your permission. Sadly (snicker snicker, nudge nudge), some countries have passed laws preventing this behavior. If Microsoft (or anyone else) wants to install code on you're machine, they MUST give you the option to "opt-out". Thus, this feature had to be removed (whew). Instead,'s home page is splashed with trendy looking banners imploring you to "Get ready by turning on Automatic Update today!".

SP2 introduces an OS firewall. For my layman readers, that means that Windows itself will block certain types of connections to or from your computer. That's fairly harmless if you're just an EISU (E-mail, Internet, Solitaire User; someone who only uses their computer for simple tasks). But if you use your PC to, say, share music files or run a web or game server, this firewall could be a real headache. And, it does nothing to prevent things like spyware, that use the internet (port 80) to do their dirty work.

Also, since the pop-up blocker industry has become such a huge threat to Microsoft's revenue, (please read that as dripping with sarcasm), MS has decided to add this "helpful feature" to IE. Gee thanks. You know those widely accepted, standardized functions like javascript's Well, you can forget those, cuz they're (insert scary "ooh ooh" sound) DANGEROUS. Never mind the fact that most high end web applications, such as on-line banking and cool sites that help you find a doctor who takes your insurance, use pop-up windows. Those web applications will break when XP starts blocking those pop-up windows.

SP2 is bad enough that IBM has issued a stern warning to employees, "Don't install SP2 on your work PC!" IBM, as you can imagine, has all sorts of really cool web applications for internal use. And if folks who use those applications install SP2, those cool web applications will break, bringing IBM's internal workings to a crawl. All this time IBM has been one of MS's biggest fans. Now they're peeing in each other's soup. It's kinda fun to watch.

What could be worse than Microsoft introducing code that tears up the internal network of its biggest ally? How about introducing code that breaks its OWN software. Yep. Microsoft announced that SP2 will break Microsoft CRM, a customer support system that my own company has been wrestling with for months. We've just about got CRM working with our network and ready to roll out and now, SP2 will break it anyway. Nice.

So, what's the bottom line? What should I do when Automatic Update chimes and tells me that SP2 is here and all I have to do is click one little button to receive this manna from Redmond? Personally, I'm going to wait. I can install the service pack whenever I want. I prefer to watch everyone else wail and gnash their teeth first. Then, when someone comes along and posts all their hard earned work-arounds, I'll "patch-up" and take advantage of someone else's sweat and tears to fix my SP2.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Risk - The Game of World Domination

The world is so much easier to understand when it's just a board game. I really like the french reference.

(Ironically, Tammy and I started a game of Risk just last night. Of course it won't be finished for weeks.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Party's Over, Time To Clean Up

Well, now that all my web sites are on a new server, I guess it's time for me to chain myself to my desk and get them all redesigned.  The new server has some nice blog software that I plan to put to use, so at some point, SYNS will be moving in-house.

In the mean time, my folk's site, needs a serious face lift.  It was written long before I learned about standards compliance and CSS layouts (ala CSSZenGarden). It also needs a good deal of programming and database work since new features were added with duct-tape programming.

Also, Light-Spark needs to be converted into a more professional looking site for contract work, etc., especially since all the branding marks on sites I've done point to what is now my personal site. Not very attractive to folks who might actually want to pay me to do a site.

So *sigh* I guess I have to give up some gaming time and get some real work done.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

PHP? Check. SQL? Check. DNS? ... DNS?

I've got the new server! (Yaay!) I'm moving over my web sites. Most of the files are handled. Still have some database work to do. Then it's just a matter or DNS catching up.

Once light-spark is resolving I'll move laddsdarkhorses over as a "add-on domain". Three sites, one low payment. I love it!

For my non-techie audience, that means, " and will be down for a couple of days. They're moving to a new house."

For my techie audience, Blue Host is awesome!

Number One, engage!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I, Bob, Take Thee, Bob...

The Federal Marriage amendment is coming. Read it! Learn what it means! Then, exercise your freedom and contact your representatives in congress. Tell them how much it means to you that they support (or not, if that's your ilk) this amendment.

This site has plenty of good information about the amendment, the reasons behind it, and the effects it will have.

That which one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.

Ronald Reagan

That which one generation embraces, the next generation will cram down the throat of your elementary school children.

Yours Truly

Monday, July 12, 2004

Daily Reasons To Re-Elect George W.

During my lunch time surf, I ran across this link. The page is titled, "DAILY REASON TO DISPATCH BUSH". As I read the 72 "days", each one left me cheering more and more for "Gee-Dub". I sent the following email to the author of the site.

Thanks so much for compiling this compelling list. These jewels of information have renewed my steadfast faith in George W and his administration. I've linked to your list from my personal blog and will encourage all of my fellow conservatives to do the same.

Of course many of your entries are indictments of FBI and Homeland Security personnel and policies that have nothing to do with the President, but I suppose guilt by association is allowed when you're campaigning for hate. Hitler and the KKK sure got a lot accomplished that way.

You also site numerous budget cuts to federal programs. Apparently you've not done enough budgeting to know that cuts are sometimes necessary to achieve priority missions. You know, little things like economy boosting tax cuts and new technology to keep our soldiers safe.

Isn't ironic how all the things you hate about Bush make me and tens of millions of other Americans love him all the more?

God bless you and keep up the good work,

Trint Ladd
Go and see for yourself:

Server Down

It looks like the server that hosts all my sites is down. You'll notice some broken images here in the blog. Light-Spark, JesusLovesYouAnyway, and Montis Draconis all reside on the same box and all are down. Just FYI.

I'm moving my sites to a new host this week anyway. When that happens they'll be down while DNS propagates. But first, the existing server needs to come back up so I can get the sites packed up for the move... I hope.

Back To Life (Not That I Died Or Anything)

I have returned from the Microsoft Brain Washing... I mean... Training. Actually, the class was great. Dave (my boss) and I learned a lot and are excited for Microsoft to release the next version of the .NET development environment. (The current version produces nasty, non-complient, HTML code. Version 2005 promises to be better.) But for now, we're back to plain old ASP.

It's nice to be back in the office. I really do like this job.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Big Foot (Not to be confused with Big Feet)

Tammy got her hard cast off last week. She's now in a air cast which allows her to take it off. Finally, she can take a real shower. (You have NO idea how much that means to her.) She's still on crutches and not supposed to put weight on the foot for another couple of weeks. But being able to air it out, itch it at will, and shave makes her much happier. The most amazing thing, as you can clearly see, is that her foot and ankle are remarkablly swollen. This picture was taken as soon as she got home from the doctor. It's gotten better since then (and she has shaved) but it's still noticable. Also her calf is about half the size of the healthy one that's been doing double duty.

So where are we now? She sees the doctor in two weeks at which time we expect to get the go-ahead for her to walk on the air cast and maybe put the crutches in the closet. Then another couple of weeks before she can go without the air cast. Then, potentially, some physical therapy to get everything limbered up and get the muscles restored.

Call Roto-Rooter!

I seem to have a pretty serious blog clog. I'm not sure what the deal is but "Surely You're Not Serious" is not loading very consistantly.

I promise I didn't do it. The blog is still here. If you have trouble getting it to load, just keep refreshing.

But then again, if you can't get the blog to load, you won't be able to see this anyway. So this post is pretty useless, like the big bill-board that says, "Are you illiterate?"

Monday, July 05, 2004

Fond Memories of High Explosives

Whatever happened to the good old days when you could go to a brightly painted, plywood shed and buy enough black powder to send your fingers into four neighboring counties (at buy-one-get-two-free prices no less)?

The Fourth of July is just not the same for me since our society has gotten all safety conscious. I remember buying M-80s that would blow a Coke can in two and bottle rockets that could deliver my Star Wars action figures into low Earth orbit.

Now days, the news starts up the pro-pig-anda on about July 1st. Some stern-faced police sergeant shakes his finger into the camera so that everyone knows if you light a sparkler in city limits you'll be jailed for a couple of decades and routinely have humiliating pictures taken of you by rogue U.S. Marines.

I would like to get my hands on "that one kid" who held a cherry bomb in his hand until it wasn't his hand anymore. That kid ruined this great holiday for all the rest of us. Shame on him. If it weren't for him we wouldn't have constitutional amendments that state no citizen of the U.S. shall purchase any celebratory explosive device more dangerous than "the amazing growing snake". Now, if your an illegal Mexican laborer, you may feel free to bring several sticks of dynamite across the border with you and celebrate OUR independence (and catch a few fish with out a fishing pole).

School Daze

I'm in Microsoft training all this week. I'm learning why Bill Gates is my friend and why I should buy all his stuff. Most importantly I'm learning that anyone who says Microsoft isn't the best stuff ever, or worse tries to compete with Microsoft, must be the Anti-Christ.

You remember those slaves in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that walked around chanting? Yeah, I'm one of those guys.

I'll be back in the real world next week. Until then, buy Microsoft or die.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Rebel Without a ... um ...

Just 'cuz I'm such a rebel, I'm linking to this site. I'm not making this up. See for yourself.

"Hyperlinking to this site, is not permitted without the express prior permission of Sellotape®."

Jonny Comes Marching Home

My nephew, Sgt. Dustin Ladd, is on his way home from Iraq. He is coming home injured, but, thank God, not as a casualty of war. He's got a serious back problem that could not be diagnosed in the field. He'll spend some time at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, and, most likely, head back home to the Panhandle after that.

Please continue to pray for the other 128,000 brave American men and women protecting freedom in Iraq.

Everybody Cheers for the Underdog

<Game Geek Post Advisory>
If you're not familiar with Ultima Online or other, similar MMP RP games, this won't make any sense to you.
</Game Geek Post Advisory>

My guild on Montis Draconis has been the sole Order guild for months now. There are several Chaos guilds that have had a heyday beating up on the Honor Guard, since we are only just learning to do PvP. All our characters have been designed for PvM and are really good at it, but when the Chaos guys started playing rough, we had to adapt. The other Order guilds changed to Neutral and ran off to Trammel (where PvP is a no-no).

It's taken many weeks to tweak our characters for PvP and to train up new characters, but we are finally seeing some fruit. Last night, after drafting in yet another experienced, former PvM player into the guild, we had our first fairly successful raid and killed two of the "big boys" on the Chaos side.

Mq Mcbutin (a.k.a. McButtHead) is one of those annoying, mouthy characters constantly sending messages about how everyone is a sissy and he "pwns" the Order guilds. Last night, McButtHead was beheaded and, just as we all predicted, he instantly logged off and spent the rest of the night pouting off-line. We know this because his cohort, Anthraxa, who is much cooler and a nice role-player, is his roommate and he laughed at Mq right along with the rest of us. Anthraxa was also taken down, but was much more gracious about it. We'll have lots of fun reminding Mq that he's not the king-of-the-world he thinks he is.

Yaaay Honor Guard!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Like a One-Legged Man in a Butt-Kickin' Contest

Tammy has adapted well to being one-legged. She's frustrated with life in a cast, tired of it, but learning to cope.

We've found the easiest way for her to get up and down the two flights of stairs to our apartment is to ride piggy-back on yours truly. She's learned how to get in and out of the tub on her own, get herself dressed, carry paperwork around the office, and drive left-footed. I still drive her to work most mornings, just to be safe, but on rare occasions when our work schedules don't jive, she drives herself. We've got a nice, safe, rounded-tip hanger that she can use to attack the occasional itch. She still can't carry most stuff from room to room, but that's what I'm here for.

We've also found a remedy for the deep bruising on her hands from using the crutches. Water Noodles, those long, brightly colored, foam pool toys are very easy to cut into short sections, and the hole in the middle perfectly fits the plastic handles on her crutches. They look kinda funny, bright yellow handles that are twice the diameter of the originals, but if they alleviate the pain, who cares. The first set lasted a week before the foam broke down and collapsed. I think we have enough noodle to last until she's done with the aluminum torture devices.

In two more weeks she goes in to get a "velcro soft cast". We're hoping that she'll be able to walk on it, but that's all up to the doc.

Would Pete Rose by any other name smell as sweaty?

I've been asked before where the name Light-Spark came from. I spent a great deal of time thinking about the perfect domain name and finding out that all the perfect ones are already taken.

Since my site would cover web development, graphic art, and photography, I wanted something that could apply to all three. My logic was as follows. All computer graphics and programming are, in the end, nothing more than tiny electric charges bouncing between different pieces of silicon and copper that eventually produce light in a cathode ray tube (that's what your monitor is). Photography is capturing light to film. (Photo - light, graphy - writing.) So I ran the gamut of domain names that related to light and electricity. Light-Spark was the winner. (In fact, was already taken too, so I had to hyphenate.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Senator John Kerry Appears In Senate!

Wow. This is news worthy. John Kerry actually showed up to vote on a bill in the Senate. This makes 14 votes he's cast this session... out of 132!! So, if this were you or me, working an 8 hour day, we would only actually be in the office for 51 minutes. I'm pretty sure if we tried that, we'd get fired.

And Kerry BRAGS about it!

"It's a particular issue that's been very critical to me," Kerry told reporters as he walked into the Capitol. "It's central to something I want to get done."

So I guess the normal, daily, boring business of running America is not very critical to him; not something he wants to get done.

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

God bless America and God save our troops.

My nephew, Sgt. Dustin Ladd, has been serving in Iraq. Nothing glamorous, mind you, as he is in a reserve unit in the Quarter Master Corps. That means they get to do all the dirty work that Active Army doesn't want to do. Cleaning, loading and unloading trucks, heaving boxes from here to there and back again. It's not much to write home about. But, if it weren't for Sgt. Ladd and tens of thousands like him, what would Iraq look like right now? Who would be out there restoring electricity and water to thousands? Who would bring ammunition and arms to the brave men and women keeping peace on the streets?

I've been corresponding with my Uncle Robert who served two tours in Viet Nam. He possess that wealth of wisdom that no civilian can understand; that strange and mysterious wisdom that comes from watching death swoop down on the guy standing next you and leave you standing unscathed. I read a great quote that very well explains the awkward relationship between veterans and civilians.

We are all fascinated with war and war heroes. Whenever we talk to one, we want to hear all about their experience. But the irony is that war heroes want to talk about ANYTHING BUT war. We all wish we could have been there, and they all are thankful that we were not.
Robert opened up to me a little after I sent him that quote. He didn't tell me about his experience, but instead sent me a letter he'd written years ago. I read it with the same fascination mentioned above, but when I was done reading, I almost wished I hadn't. The mental images I got where pretty disturbing. I can't imagine having to live with the actual, visual memories.

You hear phrases in the media, like "putting a human face" on some tragedy. That doesn't really capture it though. We're so desensitized to violence on movies and TV. My mom took me to see RoboCop when I was 14 because the R rating was "only for violence". It was cool to see all the special effects were bad guys are shot to pieces. But when someone's son, someone's dad, someone's husband, someone with aspirations, dreams, big plans for life after the war; when someone like that gets shot to pieces, it's not cool. It's not even bearable.

I was watching Band of Brothers on the History Channel. It's a great movie. Very well done. But it occurred to me, during one of the battle scenes that to me this is a great movie, but to someone this is the nightmare that's been waking them up in cold sweats for 50 years.

Once that sinks in, try reading today's news again. Then, say a prayer for Sgt. Dustin Ladd and all his comrades. And show your support for our troops.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Ow. My Liver!

I'm not sure, but I think this 404 error page has caused my retinas to detach.

Please, if you have any love for humanity, never ever publish a web page that looks like this.

*Eyes twitching*

*The colors...*

*So... painful...*

Monday, June 14, 2004

And God Said...

This weekend I experienced something life changing. No, really!

In a meeting with Bill Bray, Glenview Baptist's Youth Minister, he gave an account of last week's Youth Camp. The week was uneventful, but good. The kids seemed to grow in their walk with God, but nothing out of the ordinary, right up until the last night. Bill planned one more worship and teaching session before the kids all headed home. He said he wasn't even sure what he was going to talk about. But then, God stepped in.

The kids were gathered in an open air pavilion that serves as the snack bar. It just happened that one of the girls had a video camera and she decided to start filming. A kid named Scott, a chronic stutterer, was sitting with a few friends. They were asking each other what they'd learned during the week. Then, Scott started talking. He was saying things that were truly profound. He was filled with a joy that he did not understand. His face was glowing with a smile that's hard to describe. Once in a while, he would look at the growing number of kids who'd gathered to listen, and grin, and shout, "I love Jesus!" He talked about having a bold faith, loving other's, living for Christ. He talked about self image, the boundless, personal love that Jesus has for each of us, the joy that we should feel when we live IN Christ. Some girls started crying. He praised them for their tears and said, "You're crying because you're happy. Jesus loves that!" Then he began talking to individuals in the group now standing on tables around him. He pointed to kids and gave very personal prophecies. To a girl sitting across from him: "When you look in the mirror, you think you're ugly. But, guess what? It doesn't matter what you think! Jesus thinks your beautiful." To an older boy standing on a table: "You can't be proud anymore, because you know, now, that Jesus makes you everything you are. When you go to school, tell everyone about this. Tell them that Jesus loves them. You WILL be persecuted, but it won't matter, because you know it's true."

I sat, literally, with my mouth agape, watching this video. For the first time, I had a perfect picture was what it was like to sit on a hillside outside of Jerusalem and listen to a simple-looking man speak directly into the heart of everyone present. Scott went on for over an hour and never stuttered once. By the time he was finished every kid in that pavilion had been touched by the words of God spoken through this normally timid young man. Bill told us that he had asked Scott and his parents to come watch the video. Scott confessed that he could not remember most of what he had said. "It wasn't me talking."

On the way home, God was talking to me too. I am ashamed of how I've wasted so much time on frivolity. I know that I'm human, and I can't be perfect, but I can strive to be better. I can spend less time gaming and watching TV and more time reading and growing. I can spend less time arming myself to kill trolls or drive my truck over bigger rocks, and spend more time arming myself to do battle for God.

Jesus loves you and the only way that you can really love Him back is to make Him your number one priority. No two people have the same job to do in God's kingdom. That means that if you don't do the task God has put in front of you, no one else will.

That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Little Miss Muffet...

I was just sitting down to enjoy some time on Ultima Online (If you don't know what that is, let's just say it's a computer game.) after helping Tammy out of the bath. Then comes the call to arms that causes husbands across the world to sigh and roll their eyes. "Honey! Spider!"

I went to the bedroom where Tammy was trying to get into her night clothes while balancing on crutches. She pointed out a small 8-legger on the window sill. Eh. The window sill. No biggie. Just leave it be. There's enough death in the world.

"But it'll get in the bed."

*Incredulous stare* "Why would it get into our bed?"

"Because it's so cumfy?"

Now, I don't care who yeh are, that thar's funny.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Congratulations, it's a bone fragment!

For those of you who are concerned about the well-being of the people who live in my house (Thank you. It is appreciated.) here is the long version of "How's Tammy Doing?"

Tammy's ankle has been weak since she turned it in the driveway on my folk's ranch in La Grange. A couple of weeks ago, she turned it again, bad. She fell down in the apartment parking lot and called me from her cell phone. I was in my skivvies, enjoying my raisin bran in our 3rd floor apartment when I received this classic "I've fallen and I can't get up" phone call. Not the best way to start your day.

Tammy's a real tough cookie. She shook it off and went to work. It was still tender and swollen a couple days later and friends and family convinced her to see a doctor. Dr. Kwong (who is a real miracle worker in my book) looked at the x-rays and said, "I know what's wrong with your ankle. It's broken." Whaa? Huh? That can't be right, she's been walking on it. Well, I guess her cookie is tougher than we thought.

The tip of her fibula (the smaller of the two shin bones) had broken off in three fragments right were all these tendons with five syllable names attach and hold your ankle together. Three words: Sur Gur Eee. When he had Tammy on the O.R. table, Dr. Kwong was able to fold her ankle over. Basically there was nothing but soft tissue and pain holding it straight while she walked on it. But, the good doctor did his thing and made it "boo-boo all gone".

Now comes the fun part. Tammy has a hard cast on her right foot for the next 6 weeks or so. She just started a new job that's 30 minutes to an hour away depending on traffic and now she can't drive. Remember me mentioning the 3rd floor apartment? Yeah. That sucks too.

She's feeling alright, not much pain, but cabin fever is something she doesn't deal with well. She only missed two days of work and is back to a full schedule working from 7 to 4. But since she can't drive, I have to get up with her at 5. (Yes, it's true, though I always doubted it myself. The clock in my bedroom really does have a 5 AM on it.)

From there the morning goes something like this:

  • Tammy washes her hair in the kitchen sink while I try to convince my body that I AM serious and it really DOES have to get out of bed.

  • Tammy sits on the toilet with her cast propped up on her trumpet case and does her hair and make-up.

  • I fix breakfast and lunch for both of us and run back and forth getting stuff she can't reach or left in the other room.

  • Tammy struggles to find something to wear that fits over the cast and doesn't need ironed. (A real challenge since the man of the house doesn't keep up with the laundry like he should.)

  • I shower, etc.

  • By 6:20 I'm carrying all our stuff down to the car while she slowly and carefully hippity-hops down two flights of stairs.

  • She reads a Psalm or two while I try to remember I'm a Christian driving on a highway packed with heathens and morons.

  • I carry her backpack turned purse, work papers, and morning beverage of choice in to her desk while she plods down the hall on her crutches.

  • Then I get back on the highway and go to work.

I'm trying really hard not to be cranky, but I know that the schedule change causes me to do and say things that are much meaner than should be done or said. Tammy's great though. She showers me with appreciation and love even when I'm a bear (not the soft cuddly kind).

So, all in all, we're doing good. Tammy's already counting the days til she can take a real shower (instead of sitting in the tub with one leg hanging out) and get back to rock climbing on a regular basis.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Surely you're not serious.

Lordy, Lordy. I have a blog. So there really is an End of the Universe. If you don't know what a blog is, welcome to the 21st century, where entertainment has become as trite as reading someone else's diary.

But, hey! I'm a Renaissance Man. I live on the cutting edge of technology. I own a mountain bike AND an SUV. So why not a blog too?! At least it gives my family a way to know what's going on in my life when I get so self-absorbed that I forget to call them for months on end.

So, allow myself to introduce ... myself. (If you haven't figured it out yet, I tend to weave my dialog with as many movie quotes and stolen comedy bits as I can.) My name is Trint, but my mom insists on calling me Trinity, just because that's what's on my birth certificate. (Detail, details!) I'm a Christian, a husband, and a web programmer (in that order). I enjoy movies, computer games, and sitting slack-jawed on the couch ruining my brain with the bilge that comes from my TV. I love to read, but I can never find time to do it. I like funny t-shirts, food, the great outdoors, and food.

My wife and I have two kids: me and her. (That one will have your noodle hurting for a while.) We spend as much time as possible doing immature things, like rock climbing, mountain biking, four wheeling, PC gaming, and even racing RC cars (nitro stadium trucks for those in "the know"). We are also heavily involved in our church, Glenview Baptist Church. We are leaders in two youth drama groups, occasionally teach Sunday School, and are part of a close-knit group of couples our age called RRN. (The meaning of that acronym is under debate.) We both grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and spent several years living in (and falling in love with) Colorado.

That's all I've got to say about that.