The ramblings of a techie turned math teacher. Blog

Koa guitar

Good for the soul

You can learn a lot from books. You can learn a lot from people around you. You can learn a lot from the ever present Internet. But you can only grow your soul — your spirit — on your own. I’ve had a successful run of years. I’m good at what I do for a living. My skill set has grown phenomenally over the years. I’ve also become a competent car mechanic. I’ve...

Monty, Darth McPherson, The Colombienne and The Swiss... We have wine, but if the food doesn't get here soon, it could get rowdy....

Weekend on ice

It’s been ten years since it’s been properly cold in Dallas. That’s what the weatherman said… It’s only stories like this one from Toronto that make me feel like it’s better to be here right now. The forecast has been exaggerated a bit in the past, so I was hoping they were being pessimists again this time. I suppose they just can’t risk not telling us how bad it could have been....

Creating a bootable USB drive (Windows)

Like me, do you only have a really old USB DVD drive to install Windows Server on your servers? Would you rather have a faster way to install Windows 7 on your desktops? Here you go! Create an NTFS formatted Primary partition on your drive at least 4GB in size and assign it a drive letter Mark the partition active Next insert your Windows7/Vista DVD into the optical drive and check the drive letter...

Blue Ridge Mountains

Confessions of a closet southern boy

Bluegrass. Sitting on the porch swing. Hounds. Pickin’ guitar. Barn cats. Pickup trucks. Grandma’s quilt. Mountains. Fall colors. Dogwoods. Clear mountain streams. Peach trees. Starry nights. Just up the holler. The peaceful silence of snow covered pines. It’s amazing the trouble we relocated Southerners have to go through just to find the food — the easy stuff on the first list… “Southern” isn’t a place, it’s a way of life, but...

Picking favorites

Parents, it’s rumored, must be careful not to pick favorites. Nephews, on the other hand, are fully entitled to choosing their favorite uncles and aunts. Well… whether it’s OK or not, I did. I remember as a young kid when we’d load up in the car with my grandparents to go visit my great grandparents for the weekend. That trip frequently felt like a visit to a foreign land. Their house...

I've long known that a falling piece of toast can land only one way... jam side down. And, most likely, on one of the many clumps of Fiona hair that no vacuum cleaner in the world can quite overtake. Last night, I made another incredible discovery. It would have merited further experimentation, but I was going to run out of socks... You see... I discovered that dropping a rolled up pair of socks from any point in my master bathroom results in said pair of socks landing in a water dish. I was, given this discovery, further surprised to learn that their are only three water dishes in the master bathroom and that one of them was on the counter. And it's not a small bathroom by any stretch. Including the closet, you could fit a large portion of my parents' first home into our bathroom. In the end, it all just meant that I had to run a load of laundry to get a clean, dry pair of socks. This phenomenon concerns me, though. You see... I have an amazing ability to encounter localized pockets of enhanced gravity. That's a euphemism for "When I go mountain biking, I tend to encounter the ground with some frequency," or even, I suppose, "Given the opportunity, I'll probably fall down." Fortunately, dirt is soft, and my most serious bicycling injury to date involves a painful bruise on my breast bone. However, given my new knowledge that gravity doesn't always pull straight down — that is, that there might be more prominent nearby gravitational bodies than this Earth we wander around on — I'm concerned that I might encounter something more dangerous in the woods this spring. What if, for example, a localized pocket of enhanced gravity formed in the middle of a tree. Come to think of it, I may have witnessed just such an occurrence a few weeks ago when TT-Bob came flying off his bike near SMU... There must have been a gravity pocket in that light pole overhead! That really does explain a lot. I'd prefer to continue falling down, though.

Falling objects

I’ve long known that a falling piece of toast can land only one way… jam side down. And, most likely, on one of the many clumps of Fiona hair that no vacuum cleaner in the world can quite overtake. Last night, I made another incredible discovery. It would have merited further experimentation, but I was going to run out of socks… You see… I discovered that dropping a rolled up pair of socks from...

Wickett says it's too cold

I couldn’t find Wickett this morning…

After being completely or partially incapacitated for nearly two months, it felt great to do something last night. Two somethings, actually… I changed the oil in the RX-8 and I replaced the ignition element in my upstairs furnace. The oil change went Exxon Valdez when the cold temps apparently took their toll on my catch pan and caused it to spring a small leak. Even after the impressive spill in part...

Gotta get the ball!

Life with the WMD: Keeping it classy

Within 24 hours of Fiona coming to live with us, I had her enrolled in obedience school. I wasn’t given a choice in this matter — neither by Amanda, nor by Fiona. Fiona was brilliant at obedience school. Well… mostly… There were two very small issues. One stemmed from her insane drive. She loves to play. She wants to play. More. More. More! The other, I suspect, stems from her separation anxiety....

Fuji at rest on a cold winter's day in Dallas

38… Riding the thermometer

  We year-round cyclists have a way of rationalizing really cold days. Once the mercury starts to dip below 50, we “ride the thermometer.” 45 degrees? 45 miles. Last night at dinner we were discussing what/where to ride today. At the time, I wasn’t really keen on another ride downtown, but I knew it was the prudent choice. One of the mysteries of living near a big city is that said big...