Monthly Archives: February 2004

Happy Leap Day!

Today is the the day that only comes once every four years, so enjoy it to the fullest.

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Save February, she alone
Hath eight days and a score
Til leap year gives her one day more.

Leap Year Info from Eric Weisstein’s World of Astronomy
Why Leap Years?
Happy Birthday to all the folks born on Feb. 29th, you are always younger than you look…

The Garden : This Afternoon :: Rain : Sun

The backyard as seen through the Lemon Tree at 5pm

Last night the “severe storm” that was supposed to hit SoCal as fierce as it hit NorCal was more of the average “lots of rain” winter storm. By mid-morning today, the sky was partly-cloudy, but by noon we had rain again. Just before 2pm this afternoon, I went out and took pictures of finches at the bird feeders and flowering vines in my backyard. By 5pm, the clouds had mostly cleared and the sun was shining bright.
The pictures on the left are when it was raining at 1:45 pm and the pictures on the right are of the 5pm sunshine time. American and Lesser Goldfinches finally found the thistle sock about 3 days ago:

The backyard as seen from the side yard at 2pm The backyard as seen from the side yard at 5pm
A passel load of goldfinches on the thistle sock at 2pm Two goldfinches on the thistle sock at 5pm

Notes on the “Da Vinci Code”

A few months ago… mom upset… did some research on Metafilter, and here is what I found:
1) They come in quest of the Grail – on Roslyn Chapel.
2) Rennes-le-Chateau is a small French village with… – This Metafilter post has hours of interesting, Time-Suck links. Beware.
3) And Best of All….Oak Island and all of its sundry links are worth at least 8 hours of Time-Suck and is a much better mystery than the Grail and Mary Magdalene. I promise. Pirates, booby traps, maps, miles of tunnels built hundreds of years ago with no machines…. and all of it in Canada! Novia Scotia = A Total Ecilspe of the Heart.
I promptly forgot about the whole “Da Vinci Code” to do with the Oak Island Time-Suck, until Julie Wanda loaned me the book just before Bowling. I completed it the other night, and I have to say, with many others … it is an ok to decent Romance/Thriller with all the thin characters and silliness of both genres. Regardless of my newly found literary snottiness, Jude Deveraux and Umberto Eco could have written a tighter plot in their sleep…
Ramon Jusino’s Review of the DaVinci Code

The Opus Dei reponse
Dismantling The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown’s Web Site
My small contributions to the critiques on the novel:
a) The Lit Crit Concept of Unreliable Narrator: Ummm… So the biggest expert and proponent of the novel’s main thesis also happens to the be the Evil Guy. Hmmm… can we say Unreliable Narrator? If the main authority of the subject in the course of the book is also the main Bad Guy, does this not give Mr. Brown a big loop hole and out on any faulty research and theology?
b) The Sacred Feminine repressed and supressed by the Roman Catholic Church? What glue was Mr. Brown sniffing when he wrote the novel???? Cough, cough, cough… Mr. Brown, have you never heard of the Virgin Mary? The Queen of Heaven? Prayed to regualarily by all 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide… The Rosary… Hail Mary, Queen of Heaven. Hello!
If Mr. Brown wanted to write about the “conspiratorial” supression of the Sacred Feminine, he picked the wrong Church. Small tip for you, Mr. Brown, Protestants – not Catholics – are very afraid of the Sacred Feminine.

I have succumbed…

Everyone else has done it… So, I figured I might as well join the “Where have I visited” Bandwagon. Thanks to Tom for providing the link to the map generator.

I have visited 60% of the States in the U.S (in red). Although, I must confess Missouri, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania were just long layovers at various airports. The rest I have driven through at some point in my life.

I have only visited 18% of the Countries in the World. Now I need to get my sorry self to Canada, South America (particularily Chile & Peru), Africa, Central Asia and ….
Create your own visited country map
Create your own visited states map

Notes from a Sunday Afternoon

1) Ralph Nader – Please, Just say no. J.D. Lasica sums it up best:

“This man has neither conscience nor shame.”

2) Bless them. Scientists at the University of Minnesota have developed a way to produce a renewable source of Hydrogen for fuel cells that is not based in oil/fosil fuels but in corn derived ethanol. Farmers of America will be happy:

“Researchers say they have produced hydrogen from ethanol in a prototype reactor small enough and efficient enough to heat small homes and power cars.
The development could help open the way for cleaner-burning technology at home and on the road.
Current methods of producing hydrogen from ethanol require large refineries and copious amounts of fossil fuels, the University of Minnesota researchers said. “

3) Lots of lovely, happy rain the last few days. More to come. Orange County is still 6 inches below the normal rainfall.
4) SXSW here I come. I have paid for my Interactive and Music badges, I have the $$ for 8 days of hotel room, now I just need to save $$ for food & misc. whilst in Austin. Yeah!
5) I have decided that I will be upping the speed on my job search, while I love my freelance clients, I am going bonkers at home with just my computer. I would like to get a full-time web design or web master job at a real, live company. If you know of any positions in the LA/OC area, please let me know. Thanks!

Its Raining!

Good News: It is raining!
We, here in Southern California, have been 5-6 inches under the normal for the rainy season. If we don’t start seeing some good storms rolling our way, we will have a drought this summer.
Rain, Rain, come again – this week, next and the one after that…

A New Twist to Virus Emails

By now we are all familiar with the “hello,” “server report,” and “thank you” email subject lines in emails that contain the latest virus worm.
Today, I received a new twist in three separate spam virus emails – insulting me to get me to open the “story.zip” file that contains the worm virus.
The subject line says something like “Your Story”, “I though you would want to know” etc. The Body text says something to the effect of “Bad writing”, “You could do much better”, “Your plot is thin”…. Basically the virus spammer is attempting to insult a writer into opening the zip file containing the virus.
I am sorry I didn’t save the emails to give you the exact subject lines or body text being used, but they were all sent from actual entertainment companies. If I get more, I will report exactly what is said.
People creating and sending the viruses are getting more sophisticated in their use of tricks to get folks to activate the viruses.
Practice Safe Computing: use a firewall, a good updated anti-virus software, and don’t open any attachments that you are not expecting. If an suspect attachment comes, delete the email. You can always ask your real friend to send again if it is legitimate.