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As I had hoped, my restless body affliction seems to be going away a bit each day. Last night I only got up once and when I did the symptoms were not as bad as they had been. If this pattern continues then I should be back to "normal" next week - at least as normal as I get. I wonder why this happens to me in the first place and why does it only happen at night when I try to sleep? Does it have something to do with circulation and if so is this an omen of something worse perhaps? I'll bring it up to my doctor when I have my physical just to see what he has to say.
The episodes have left me feeling tired during the days which I conclude is a result of disruptive sleep. But then again I think I should have more energy in general so as I mentioned the other day I'm thinking about seeing a psychiatrist who should be more informed about brain farts than my internists. I'll write myself a note to call Dave Fromang - John's uncle - for a referral.
Yesterday morning I got a key lime cake out of my freezer which I brought back from Islamorada this past Summer. I cut it into quarters and took some to Mary Ann & Tom knowing how much Mary Ann likes this cake from the Islamorada Bakery there close to the Palms. Nothing like enjoying a bit of fond Summer memories here in the dead of Winter. There are probably other great key lime cakes I could get here in Vero but there is something special about having one from the Keys.
I had to replace two more landscape lights but this time it was from two different zones and the lights I replaced had not been replaced since they were first installed. How do I know you ask? Because they were GE bulbs and I've not bought GE bulbs before. So it was good they lasted this long which is more in line with what I expect. I'll never buy any of those brand "X" bulbs from China again - they are piss poor.
Have you boys and girls been following what Congress and the Obama Administration is doing to us? They are out and out lying about this $850 billion spending bill.They call it a "economic stimulus " bill but very very little of the bill has anything at all top do with stimulus. As her majesty queen Nancy Pelosi said last year a stimulus bill should be quick, targeted, and limited. This bill is none of that! A lot of the spending is in the outer years like 2010 and farther so it is not quick. It increases 'entitlement spending by almost $200 billion dollars and you know that is surely not quick, limited, and targeted - entitlements go on for ever and ever. There is so much pork in this bill it is astonishing that Congress dare call this a stimulus bill !!
Did you know the money supply has doubled in 12 months when you have to go between 1929 and 2007 to see the last time it doubled! What does that mean you ask? Inflation will be out of control in a few years when all that money chases to little product. The bigger long-term worry is inflation not the recession we are currently experiencing. I think some targeted, limited, and immediate spending could be useful but this bill is none of that. I'm surprised and pleased not one single Republican voted for it and in fact 10 Democrats voted against it as well. There is nothing bipartisan about this bill - the only thing bipartisan is opposition to the bill. There is nothing "new" in Washington as Obama promised - it is the same old same old!
What a difference a year makes. This time last year the Vero Villa was still being renovated and now it has become my home.
The economy is affecting my little cottage industry of building websites. My first client has not paid the invoices I've sent as of yet. It could be he pays bills once a month so I'm going to wait until February before I take his site down. I'm glad I decided to stay in control of all aspects of his site and I will follow this procedure for any future sites I might build. I will be the one who owns the domain name and the hosting account. The paint contractor's site will be published as soon as I get more pictures he wishes to have on the site. On my landscape guy I'm waiting for him to give me a clue as to what he thinks he might want. In the meantime I've played with a few different approaches and looks. More to follow.
In this process I've learned how to use my image editing software better. Today's pictures is an example of what I've been testing. Oh, if it were only true! Captain Matt thinks I might become dangerous with my ability to manipulate images - nah, it ain't [sic] going to happen. I'm just having fun with it but the purpose is learning how to change images to meet a requirement for building a site. If I were to actually buy the powerful software that's available no telling what havoc I could raise. As it is I'm using a free application called Paint.net which was developed by students at the University of Washington and is an 'open source' software package. Open source means anybody is free to make plug ins for the program.
What a difference a day makes. yesterday it was mostly sunny with a high of 81 but then some rain came in front of a cold front to mix things up here. It is suppose to stay in the 60's here today and get in the lower 40's overnight tonight with a cool day tomorrow as well.
I've not been feeling well this week although I've not felt sick either. when you are sick, you have symptoms like congestion, coughing, fevers, nausea, pain, etc. I've had none of that - I've just not felt well. This leads me to believe I may need to have my anti-depression drug modified or changed. No, I've not felt depressed as such but depression has other symptoms like lack of energy and a sense of not being well. It could be the restless nights I've been having. I have my annual physical scheduled in April but I'm thinking about seeing a Psychiatrist before my annual physical. It was my internists that prescribed Cymbalta but he's an internists not a psychiatrist whom I believe would be more versed in treatment. What the hell, it's another way for me to do my share of pumping money into the economy.
When I went to coffee yesterday morning a guy sat next to me that coughed and sneezed while I was there. He even coughed up something onto my pant leg..Yuk!! I finally just got up and left because I don't want to get whatever he's got. I may have left too late but I hope not. I think it is damn rude to go cough and sneeze on someone or in a meeting. If you are sick, then keep your damn sickness to yourself and stay at home! This meeting is optional, not mandatory. You will not lose a day's pay if you miss a meeting. Coming to it sick is very inconsiderate of others that are there. I may not go back this morning but if I do, I damn sure will not be close to him or any other virus carrier.
Kudos to the City of Vero Beach. After I called about my sprinkler problem day before yesterday they sent a dude out early yesterday morning. The problem was a cracked pipe and my man "Bill" fixed this morning before 9 am (see picture). You folks know it makes me unhappy to have my systems not working as they should so I was very pleased with the response time of the Vero Public Works Department. Today's picture is that of Bill fixing the break. BTW, 'Bill' is from Vietnam so I've not got a clue how he got his name.
A couple weeks ago I was talking about the positive affects of vitamin B-12 in the area of energy and memory. I was reminded by Captain Matt talking about the shots his Mom was getting on a weekly bases so I decide to purse it. I got online and ordered 25 syringes and a 30 ml vile of pharmacutial grade B-12 from a Canadian pharmacy. The B-12 came with a doctor's prescription label on the box but I never talked to a doctor nor did I fill out a questionnaire - I guess you're not likely to become a B-12 junkie but then again they don't know me! I'm addicted to more...more of anything, just more. The syringes came from a supply company in New York without a prescription as well; Florida requires a prescription but that didn't seem to bother the seller.
Next I recruited two human lab rats on which to test the needles and the B-12. Both of my rats - and you know who you are - were willing participants in my experiment. In both cases they said the needle was painless and that's because I ordered a very small gauge needle. It is too early to tell how affective the vitamin has been on my rats but it wasn't too early for me to try it myself. So last night I injected 1cc of B-12 into my body and this morning does seem to be any different than any other morning to me. The good news is all three of us are still alive it's just the new hair growing on our palms that is a bit strange! I'm going to keep this up on a weekly bases for awhile to see what benefit it may have on me and my rats. If you want to know more about B-12 you can find it here .
Yes I had another restless night with my restless body but I don't think it was as bad as the night before. tonight will be the test because if I reduce the amount of times I get up in the middle of the night to soak in my tub then I'll start to believe these symptoms are fading away as they did about 10 months ago. Then it took several nights but each night was better than the night before. The only side affect from these restless nights is that I'm tired the following day. Not that I want to sleep the next day but just a sense of a lack of energy. Maybe the b-12 treatments will help offset the affects of a restless night with a restless body. One can hope.
Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day here in Vero although it was a bit windy. I beginning to understand more and more why old farts like to come South for the Winter. You know we had cold weather last week which very much reminded me of Atlanta but to my surprise, I'm glad it's warming up again. Does that mean I now officially qualify as an old fart? The next thing you know I'll be going to supper at 4 PM to catch the 'early bird' special at the local cafeteria. Well as my Dad always used to say, getting older is better than the alternative!
Just Damn! I had a very bad night last night with my restless body syndrome. My legs and arms tingled all over and I could not lie still to go to sleep for more than about an hour. I was up 5 different times getting into a hot tub of water to soak for about ten minutes then back to bed. The hot tube treatment does work but it also wears off and needs to be repeated. I don't know what causes this but I'm pleased the treatment is as easy as a hot tub of water. I hope this goes away soon like it did the last time it happened in the Spring of 2008.
My Dad used to have restless leg syndrome which gave him fits over the years. Me thinks I could have got the gene that causes this problem - a problem by the way that usually affects only old farts. There is medication but like my medication for clinical depression it is something you have to take everyday, not just as needed. I don't want to go there if I can avoid it. Now the Cymbalta is the only daily prescription I take and frankly I want it to stay that way. I do take over the counter stuff and prescription pain medication but only as needed. When I see what ails my contemporaries I'm very fortunate with my general health. Oh sure, I'm whacked but there is not medication or cure for that.
I've been trying to transfer my domain BillsView.net from InMotionHosting to GoDaddy where I park all my other domains. What a bunch of hoops you have to go through to make the switch. I started on Friday of last week and only yesterday did I get all the codes, passwords, and permissions to move my registrar which unknown to me was a company known as Melbourne IT Ltd. Well I think I've got it done and now it will only take a few more days before I'll have all the domains in one spot. I've got about a dozen or so but 7 of them are ones with Tanzanite in the name. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of them but having the option is something I like.
The City of Vero Beach monkeys that tore out my old sidewalk to replace it for a new one managed to screw-up my rather pricey irrigation system. One zone does not work at all which suggests to me the pipes are broken or more likely disconnected deep underground. I just hate sh*t like this. Here I am minding my own business and trying to make my property look good then along comes the city to screw my system up. And what for you ask? To replace a couple of sections of sidewalk that had cracks in them. That's it!! Just minor cracks.
I called the dude at the City in charge of breaking property owner's irrigation systems yesterday and he is to send someone out at 8 this morning. I'll miss coffee but I'll be here for the repair crew. And by the way, while there here I'm going to point out the ruts in my yard caused by that damn bobcat. I know the City has the right to do the work they did but I also think I'm going get them to fix the damage they caused. Other property owners around me don't have to worry because their yards look like sh*t anyway! Just damn!
Captain Matt came by last evening to say good bye as he plans to head back to Atlanta this morning. He brought some pictures he found at his Mom's house for me to scan then send to him and his brothers before I give them to Tommy. Here is a picture of us in Chubb Cay taken in the mid-1980's. I hosted TB and a buddy of mine from Canada, Patrick on a 4 day fishing trip. The hot babe was our mate - we had a GREAT trip.
Remember I bought a new-old recondition Dell Optiplex computer a few weeks ago? This one has a small profile - about the size of a laptop only thicker - to use for testing, playing, etc. It came without a mouse or a monitor - it is just the computer but it's a powerful little dude. Anyway I figured out how to control it from my regular desktop through the Remote Management tool in Windows. That was fine and good but it did need to be connected to my home network via a CAT5 cable. I ordered and installed a wireless adapter but I could not control it remotely while connected wirelessly. Then I was talking to Mike yesterday and the subject came up about remote management because he has a computer at his lake house he's controlling from his home. What I didn't know is that I need to change a specific function in my Linksys router to allow Remote Management and when I did...shazam, it worked. Now I can place this computer anywhere in my house and control it from my desktop wirelessly. Cool, huh?
So now you're asking what the purpose in all this is, right? Well boys and girls, I'm getting close to the point were I'll be able to connect to other computers from my home in order to help folks if they have a problem - Lina or any of you. But also I'll be able to connect the Optiplex to my 67" Samsung using the TV as a monitor. Why would I want to do that you ask? Well there are episodes of some of my favorite TV programs available online for free like Monk, The Closer, Burn Notice, etc. Plus, I think I can buy movies online and have them streamed to my computer anytime I want. Actually I'm more interested in the TV series, but the movie thing is cool too. Updates to follow.
As many of you have noticed, I've been improving my skills with my image editor, Paint.net. It is not Photoshop but then again it's free and Photoshop costs hundreds of dollars. The folks out at the University of Washington started the project years ago and it continues to grow. With their 'open source' policy, other developers have made plug-ins that will come very close to mimicking the options found in Photoshop. This software is so powerful and complex it takes a long time to learn how to use it. I'm finding new skills useful in my attempt to make even cooler, more professional websites.
My work on the new website is progressing well - I'm now waiting for the client to give me any other pictures he wants. Yesterday I took pictures on the Vero Villa and a church he painted to put into the 'portfolio' section; it was his request. Then I found other pictures of homes in Vero to add to other pages. I'm not sure he'll like any of them but at least we have a space-holder until I get ones he does want to use. If you lost the URL, you can just click here .
I got another job in the workings as well. my landscape guy called and said he wants me to build him a site as well. I sent him an e-mail just to see if he might be interested and he said he wanted to ask me earlier but was afraid to! He thought I wouldn't want to mess with it and frankly at the time I might not have said yes but now times are different and Sally & I have to eat. It's better work and more fun than standing at a door saying, "Welcome to Wal-Mart" ! Walter is to get some of his thoughts together and then I'll take it from there. I'm thinking about opening offices in London, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
I've had one of those restless body events in the last two nights, but not nearly as bad as some episodes in the past - I only got up once to take a hot bath around 11:30 pm and then slept until Sally decide it was time to wake me so I could scratch her ears. Sally usually wakes me a couple times during the night to give me the opportunity to pet her or scratch her ears. Usually I obey her wishes and then go back to sleep. The restless body syndrome was nice bothering me after Sally woke me ; what bothers me is not knowing what the heck causes it in the first place. Fortunately the episodes are few and far between.
Sunday morning I re-watched The Bourne Ultimatum until 10 o'clock - what a great movie, huh? This movie is one nonstop chase scene with Bourne just knocking off anyone in his way. I liked the plot, the action, and the overall theme of the Bourne movies. At the end you don't know what happens to Bourne but you do know he is still alive. Because the movies have been so popular I bet Hollywood will make another movie and I'm guessing we'll see Bourne being called out of "retirement" by someone high up in the US Government to go on a vital mission to save America. No, I have no source on that it's just something I would do if I were a producer. Once you got a hit series then Hollywood always goes with more like in James Bond. Time will tell.
For the first time in many months Sally got sick on my carpet.I head it when it happened so I was able to get up and clean it up right away. I don't know why this happens but it is my belief that's just what cats do from time to time. I do not think she is ill as such but rather probable ate something she should not have in my house. During the night she is on patrol and I'm sure she finds critters out to chase like small insects or a lizard - Florida is full of lizards which I think make cats sick.
John came over for dinner last night after another hard day at the beach protecting the folks on John's Island. No, the island was not named after my John but a guy by the name of John Turk whom I actually knew as a teenager. He owned from the Indian River to the ocean for about 20 miles North of Vero's beach on AIA. Today that land is worth a fortune when acre lots sell for $1,000,000 and more. Anyway, I cooked our John a New York strip Publix had on a sale for only $7.99/lb instead of the usual $12.99/lb - in these tough economic times you have to be a prudent shopper. I like cooking for him as it gives us a time and reason to visit - the guy does have to eat to keep his strength going so he can save people. This picture was taken last night.
It was a good thing I did not go fishing with TB, Captain Matt, and Flynn yesterday because I had a toss and turn night Friday night. I woke up at 3:30 and could not go back to sleep until about 6 AM and then only for another 45 minutes. As a result I was tired and I still have my congestion from the cold. I feel fine it's just this damn stuffy nose I keep on having.
Captain Matt reports they had a good day catching dolphin off and on the whole day. When you catch fish in frequent intervals you tend to pay more attention to the baits and you're more alert. The dolphin ranged in size from just schoolies to some good keepers in to 10 to 20 pound range. Matt also reported several strikes they did not get including some that let the unmistakable mark of a billfish - if you've seen the marks you'll know exactly what I mean. I guess I need to be on board to get the sailfish to bite, huh? Matt had his wet suit on today because it was cold - see picture.
The City of Vero Beach poured the new concrete for my sidewalk repairs and much to my surprise no one wrote their name in the concrete. It dried in about 24 hours without incident. What I don't understand is the sand the City workers put over my grass where they drove that damn bobcat. I hope they've not killed the grass there because I sure have spent a lot of time and money getting my lawn looking good. So what's up with the sand? Why did they put it out? It was done on purpose I'm sure. Maybe I can find them working in this area tomorrow and ask.
I've been testing a new mail form page for my new client on the same server I've loaded the pages. The 'send mail' function does not work. So I loaded the files to another domain of mine and got the function to work there. What's up with that. I now you need to use the ASCII file sending function when you use an FTP client so I know that was right. This was driving me crazy - more so that I already am - so I created a folder on my computer with the 'sendmail.pho' and 'contact.html' files in it the via ASCII I used my FTP client to upload it to BillsView.net and BillsPost.com (aka. BillsView.com). I sent the same folder the same way to each domain. It worked on one but not the other. Huh?
Now me thinks something is not as it should be at BillsView.net but I know not what. I opened a help ticket with my server host asking them to look into it. I bet it is something simple I'm missing but I've not got a clue as to what. These folks have a great host package but they expect their clients to know what they are doing. They don't offer help with programming at all but I'm convinced this is not a programming problem. By the way, I use BillsView.net to test scripts and host my live webcam. I also just store stuff there as well.
Talked to Starr yesterday to ask about her hearing and to inform her Darby died - her family and Darby's family were neighbors as well and each family had 8 kids. Of course she was sadden as we all are but at the same time Darby had been suffering so it was his time. Starr is finally have her hearing loss checked out because it is an issue, a big issue. How can you teach or tutor if you can't hear? I think she should be able to qualify for Social security disability. One ear is and has been deaf for years and the other one is about to go. Up until now she has really not done anything about it so I'm very happy to see her take this move. Stay tuned for updates.
My friend Darby past away overnight Thursday after a very long battle with cancer. He has been fighting it for over 18 months but the recently discovered brain tumors did him in. The tumors put him into a coma and then his system just started shutting down. All of us who loved Darby will miss him but we also know he's no longer in pain. Darby's life-force has left his body to rejoin the infinite amount of information and energy that ebbs and flows throughout the cosmos.
I've been told that the memorial service will be held on February 16th, Darby's Birthday. He would have been 61. Details are not available and the only thing I know now is that he will be cremated. May he rest in peace.
Tommy and Captain Matt asked me to go fishing with them today but I decided I'd better not go until I'm sure I'm over my cold. I actually feel pretty good but I also know it is going to be very cold this morning on the Florida Cracker until the sun gets high in the sky. Once you get cold while on a boat there is no way to get warm - you just stay cold. Today's picture was taken the last time I was no the boat and it was 20 degrees warmer that morning! I'm grateful to have been invited - Tommy is always generous to ask. My hope is they catch some fish and have a great day. Reports to follow.
Yesterday I got a call from the guy for whom I built a website without his knowledge. He liked it and has decide to move ahead with actually finishing the site and the publishing it to the internet. I spent all day revising the work to fit what he wanted and then uploaded my second attempt for his review. You can see it here. It is still a work in progress of course because we need to put pictures of his actual work on the site, not ones I randomly found on the internet.
When I started the project I really did not have any idea if Jim even wanted a site - it was my version of a 'spec house' only in this case a 'spec website'. Had he not been interested or wanted something entirely different I could still save the work and use it at another time. As usual, I learned some new tricks of the trade as it were with respect to tables. You have to really cross-check your work in Internet Explorer as well as Fire fox but cause the two browsers don't render the data the same. I think the site renders the same in both browsers now. My current problem is I can't get the 'Contact Us' form to function properly but I will.
Shazam....another paying client.
When I returned from coffee yesterday morning I found 5 City of Vero Beach workers and a bobcat on my sidewalk. They were here to take up some broken/cracked sidewalk sections so that they can be replaced with new sidewalk. Some of the sections they wanted to take up had very minor cracks but that did not stop them from removing them anyway. They told me it was for "safety" reason and to replace the 3" slabs with 6" re-enforced concrete slabs. Why you ask? Because when the last big hurricane came through Vero in 2004 the City's repair and clean-up trucks drove on sidewalks around the city and crushed them. The new sidewalks should be strong enough for just about any truck to drive on top of them.
I was out there with my camera taking pictures in case they screwed up my landscaping or ran over my sprinkler heads. They were nice folks who's intent was honorable but all the same they could mess up something and if they do, I want the city to fix it. Thus far I've not discovered anything they've broken they had not intended on breaking. Today's picture is of some of the guys doing the work. Two of the workers were the same two who's picture I put up about a month ago.
Yes my cold is better; thank you for asking. The treatment routine seems to be affective although my nose still is stuffy. I find myself waking up at night breathing through my mouth because my nose is completely blocked. So last night I put on a Breath Right strip before I went to bed and it really helped. The dude that invented the strips sure has helped a lot of folks breath easier. I also use a nose spray called Afrin which is also very useful. Frankly I think some of the stuffiness could be because of Sally the hair factory. I've never been allergic to much of anything but a lot of anything - like cat hair - could trigger an allergy, couldn't it? I know that my visitors have to limit their time her if they are allergic to cats like Tommy and Mary Ann. Captain Matt is allergic as well but he takes medicine while here - a dose or two or three of Crown!
I worked on a new website for the paint contractor who painted my house inside and out. This guy is top drawer in my opinion and I say that having had had a good bit of experience with painters over the past 35 years or so. He does not have a website and at one point said he thinks he should have one. Here's what you might find amusing - I built the prototype site for him without his knowledge. I called Jim and told him I wanted to send him a link to something so let's see if he loves it or hates it. Take a look here at the work I've done thus far - what do you think? The important thing will be what he thinks.
To my knowledge, Darby is still in a coma - without food or water I guessing his time running out quickly. I think the family did the right thing by just letting nature take it's course rather than sticking tubes down his throat to keep him alive a few days longer. It's Darby's time.
Brother Drew many a very interesting point about the name of my new soon to be World Famous website. He suggested I go with the name GeekWebsiteDesigns.com because not only is it universal, it might get some traffic because it sounds similar to Geek Squad, the company that can install or repair computers or home theaters. Drew correctly pointed out Geek Squad are co-branded with Best Buy and very well known. When I was coming up with a name, the Geek Squad group did not even enter my mind - my name evolved out of e-mails sent to the people for whom I was building a website when I signed them Bill the Geek. I'm going to follow Brother Drew's suggestion and set up the account as GeekWebsiteDesigns.com.
It was a cold day in Vero yesterday and again this morning with the morning temperature around freezing. What made it worse was the wind - Vero gets a lot of wind, a lot more than Atlanta as I recall. It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day which made it very nice even if it was rather cold. I'm not sure the high temperature got out of the 50's yesterday. We should warm up for the weekend but frankly I'm liking this bit of a cold snap.
I went to Home Depot and Lowe's to search for replace plants for my bedroom suite - the plants in there were going to die if something was not done. They have a one year guarantee but instead of taking them back to Home Depot I gave them to John to take home and plant. If these palms were put in the ground and watered, I think they will spring back to life. John suggested his Mom would like them so now it's Starr's mission to nurse them back to life. Home Depot had crappy looking plants but much to my surprise Lowe's had 3 healthy looking palms like the ones I gave to John. They were $5 more per palm than the same palm at Home Depot but they were good looking. Lowe's has a one year guarantee too so let's see if I can kill them before Easter.
I had 463 spam mailing in my Gmail account overnight. Jeez! That is amazing to me. I still get about 8 to 10 spam mails in my Comcast account too but it usually is not overwhelming. I've concluded the best way to eliminate spam is to use one of my domains as my main e-mail account. I never get spam at my 'Bill at billsview dot com' e-mail account. I spelled it out to hide it from bots. It is the big e-mail handlers that get the spam like Comcast, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. Maybe I'll slowly migrate my e-mail address - I'll let you know of course.
Tommy was over the other day and asked what I thought about the Keys this Summer. It seems he got a call from Donna about some clothes found in the condo he's been renting and the owner thought they might be his. He and I agreed that we are both open to trip down this year but there are several things that will influence that. We'll have to see what Tom & Mary Ann's situation is this Summer and the amount of time off the boys can get for a trip. Of course Captain Matt is willing to leave his schedule open until the end of Summer for duty in the Keys - he's a real trooper don't you think? I'm not sure what John will be doing and I know that the Dutchies will not be coming because Sjak will have just recently downloaded a playmate for Yari. No word from Jeff and Amy but then again I've not asked.
Today's picture was taken from my balcony at the Palms last summer.
My friend Darby has slipped into a coma from which he will not recover. Now it is just a matter of time before the tumors on his brain shut his systems down. He said on Thursday he was ready to go home and by that he did not mean his condo. He has been surrounded by family and friends who love him and now it is time to let go. His wife and daughter have accepted the ultimate outcome and now it is just a matter of win - likely soon, very soon. I'll miss my friend Darby but I too have come to the conclusion he has fought long enough. I remember when my mother died it was my Dad and me that were relieved she did not have to suffer anymore. I feel the same way about Darby. Today's picture was taken in November with Darby, Charlotte Terry, and me.
My cold is improving but slowly as most colds do. Yesterday my sore throat was all but gone and only the stuffiness and that general feeling of not feeling well was still with me. This has been one of the mildest colds I've had since I can't remember. Colds usually get me down for a week and then another week before I really start to fell normal again (at least as 'normal' as I get). I'm hoping this is it for the 2008 - 2009 Winter cold season for me.
Captain Matt came by to pick up a Windows XP operating system back-up CD to re-install Windows on his mother's computer. I tried to fix it and I did really improve it but there are some nasty bugs deep down in the bowels of her machine. Reinstalling XP is a lot cleaner and frankly easier solution to her problem. I've never installed an operating system but I think it is rather easy - we'll soon find out when I hear back from Captain Matt.
I keep changing the wording on my soon to be famous Geek Website Designs web pages. I have them all up on my BillsView server but I'm getting to the point of setting up a separate account for that site. The only issue is what domain name I should use - GeekWebsiteDesigns.com or VeroWebsiteDesigns.com? Or...maybe I'll come up with yet another name I like even better. If any of you loyal followers have an idea, send it to me. I'm not sure where this is going if anywhere at all but for the time being I'm having fun and it fills my days.
While doing some research on SEO I came across some rather interesting data. Much to my surprise my website, TanzaniteAmerica.com, has been sighted as an "authority" on other websites as it relates to Tanzanite. Imagine that - others use me as their qualified authority on questions dealing with Tanzanite. The site has also received a positive rating by the online security source...Web Of Trust. These are the folks who offer free software which reports on sites as you navigate the internet and prominently alerts you before you navigate to a dubious site. Many sites have adware, Spyware, and other malware associated with going to them. My purpose in creating TansaniteAmerica.com a couple years ago was to establish a baseline of knowledge and authority on the internet such that I'll have a history when I really try to sell some Tanzanite. I still get inquires but no one has bought a stone yet. I'm waiting for the mines to dry-up before I really advertise.
This morning is the coldest morning I've had here at the Vero Villa; it is 36F or 5C this morning. The "official" Vero temperature is 33F or 0C now.
Today I'm pleased to report my cold did not evolve into one of those monster colds with pounding headaches, nausea, congestion, and over-all shitty feeling type colds. I still have some congestion, a bit of a sore throat, and that sort of overall "I've got a cold" feeling but this time it's minor. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had such a minor cold - I just hope I've not counted my chickens before the cows come home. So now I'm wondering why? Was it because I started using Zicam at the very beginning signs of a cold? Was it the large doses of vitamins B & C? Was it the Vick's vapor rub all over my chest? Or maybe it was that wonderful Barnes Groves Pink Grapefruit?
The makers of Zicam would want you to believe it is their medication of course. I think it was more probably the combination of treatments rather than any one treatment. Thus the next time the rhino virus shows up in my hot body again, I'll go through the whole regiment again. But first let me get over this one.
My soon to be published website has a simple look that I like and now the text has been revised about 5 times - adding words, taking out words, changing a few sentences. I still have the urge to say more than I have so I might add an additional page. I'm also thinking the design might be too simple especially for those who think they want more flash, colors, etc. Of course I know how to do that I just personally like the simple site. Shall I illustrate what I mean? One of the largest law firms with offices around the world is BakerBotts - look at how simple is their home page. Now you can see where I got the basic idea for my new site.
The other question I have addresses the name of the site. Should it be Geek Website Designs or Vero Web Designs? I've tried to come up with a name using the word 'view' as in BillsView but I've not hit on something I like that is not already registered. Got any ideas boys and girls? The best names should be short, easy to remember, and a .com or .net domain IMHO. No matter, I'm having time playing with this whole thing and learning more about SEO.
John came by for a visit after work on Sunday. He had a haircut but it was one of those style-looking cuts where you can't tell he had much cut at all (see image). Sort of reminds me of expensive restaurants - the more they cost the smaller the portions. Same thing with hair stylists - the more they cost the less they cut. Nonetheless he does look very well manicure these days as he should working at John's Island. When John left I sent him home with the three palms that were in my bedroom - I just about killed them but he said he'd plant them and nourish them back to life. With some real sunlight, water, and TLC I think they will recover but they were doomed in my bedroom. Now to head out to Home Depot to get some new plants to kill.
Yesterday Tommy, Captain Matt, and Wild Man Flynn asked me to go with them to the World Famous Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival. Would you know it, my funky feelings of the past few days has mutated into the beginnings of a cold with a terrible sore throat and stop-up nose. So although I would have liked to go out there on a beautiful, cloudless, mild day I though it best to stay inside and nurse my cold. I didn't feel real bad but if I start to do stuff and ignore the symptoms I'm afraid the cold could get a lot worse and last a lot longer.
At this point I'm on a vitamin C, Zicam, throat spray, and headache relief regiment. I stick that Zicam stuff up my nose 3 times a day and take 4000mg of vitamin 3 times a day - the other stuff I take as needed. I also have a secret weapon here in the house - TB brought me some fresh red grapefruit from one of the Barnes' Groves best trees to eat. For those in the know, you'll agree with me that Tommy's grapefruit is awesome and does not need FDA approval.
I'm really disappointed I did not go to the Frog Leg Festival. Boys and Girls, this is one real Southern country style fair with food, rides, and those little booths whose sole purpose is to take your money in exchange for some worthless trinket. This is a prime example of one of the things I like about Vero - you can find old style small town activities that are rated "G" for good family fun. What a difference between the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival and the Greek Festival in Atlanta for example. Both are fun but on opposite ends of the pole.
Jason came by with a hole on the left side of his body about waist high. Turns out he had a big boil that needed to be cut open and drained of all that nasty stuff you get in boils. I saw it on Wednesday and told him he needed to see a doctor but like most kids he did nothing. Friday night it hurt enough and was big enough that he did go to have it drained. He'll be fine of course but the doctor did tell him he came just in time before it created another issue.
So I've been doing research on SEO's (Search Engine Optimization). For the most part, I think the website that do this for a fee are basically worthless. They advertise submitting your site to 100, 300, 800, 1600, etc search engines which is a bunch of crap. I found that 98% of all searches are done by just 4 search engines the others are either not used or portals to one of the big 4...Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live, and Search.com. And another thing, auto-submissions don't work because some of 4 require you to put in a security code to manual submit.
There are tricks to be learned about getting ranked high on a search engine and I'm learning some of them. This information is free if you just look for it. There is rather expensive software available claiming to help with SEO however the first one I tried didn't help one bit - it just generated a lot of useless data a company could sell to a client. By the way, most of this data can be obtained by other means if you know how and of course I do. With a working understanding of .PHP and MySQL one can get all the information these other sources sell.
My New York attorney client was willing to pay extra for submission and information but I chose to submit him manually to the big 4 and then I re-wrote some of his META tags based on the new knowledge I have on search engines. Now to see what happens.
So I was better yesterday than I was at the end of the week on Thursday and Friday. I'm not sure what is going on if anything at all. frankly I think that I'm just going to have some days better than others after all, I'm not in my 20's anymore. All you young farts ought not laugh because your time is coming too. Oh, and by the way, that nice firm lean body of yours will get soft, flabby, and bigger. Some of youhave already experienced this haven't you? I can remember when the two mid-thirty's kids - Syp & Jeff - had about 6% body fat and were as lean and fit as two young men could be. That was about 15 years ago and oh my how times change. HaHaHaHaHa
When Captain Matt was over the other day, he mentioned his mother received a B-12 shot from her doctor to boost her energy. Well, you've heard me speak of my lack of energy from time to time even after consuming 3000 calories in a gallon of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, right? Well I think there really is something to this B-12 stuff. When I was working back in the Big A, I would take clients to doctor's offices for insurance physicals and while there see "older" people come in for a B-12 shot. I asked the doctors and they all said it was to boost their energy.
So I did my usual research on the internet which confirmed my belief that B-12 can help boost energy as well as provide other positive side affects. There seems to be almost no bad affect from B-12 and apparently you really can't overdose on the vitamin. What seems to be the real important thing is how you take it...swallow a pill, put a pill under your tongue, by injection, or by a patch. Almost all of the reports suggest injection is best meaning the more direct access the vitamin has to your system the better. Pills seem to uniformly come out on the bottom for effectiveness except by the manufacturers that sell the pills. So I'm going to give vitamin B-12 a try either by patch or injection. Stay tuned.
Sometimes when I go for coffee in the morning I'll find myself sitting next to a noise maker. What do you mean you ask? I mean someone who's in constant motion, grunts, snorts, coughs, mumbles under his breath, or is eating aloud. Some thing that bringing those crunchy breakfast bars and eating at the coffee klatch is a good idea - I think they sound like a cow chewing it's cud. For those of you city-slickers who have actually heard a cow chew it's cud you'll know exactly what I mean! It is damn distracting - why can't these people eat quieter food or better yet, eat somewhere else?
Speaking of things that irritate me...I don't like to talk (or listen in this case) on the phone to someone who is doing something else while talking to me. I mean anything else that makes a distracting noise like eating, drinking, doing the dishes, etc. Women are the worst offenders but some men do it as well. It seems that every time my dear good friend Charlotte calls she's doing something else too. Last week she was riding her damn bike; I heard here huffing and puffing while the wind noise drowned out half of her words. Drive in car car and talking is ok... you can put the windows up and turn on the air conditioner. Talking to me while doing pots & pans and eating & drinking is something I just don't like. You've been warned! Wow...I feel a lot better now that I bitched for awhile this morning - did you enjoy that?
I'm sick this morning - just DAMN! My throat is really sore.
My design website is coming along but I took a day off yesterday because I didn't feel good. Georgia Tech Jeff called on Skype and suggested I might be feeling bad because I thought I should be feeling bad after going to the germ-infested courtroom with Jason on Wednesday. Well the headaches were not imagined but at the same time I think there could be something to Jeff's view on this. I took some headache pills with codeine and they helped a good bit - I try to avoid the hydrocodone unless I really hurt.
So I've been thinking about the website's name - I started with Geek Website Designs and actually bought geekwebsitedesigns.com. Then I thought maybe I should have something more un-beat and Florida-ish like SeaBreezDesigns.com, SeaBreezWebsites.com, or VeroWebsiteDesigns.com...what do you guys think? Then of course I can create a name out of thin air with absolutely no meaning but could sound good - that's what the dude did when he named his ice cream Haagen-Das. Got any recommendations for a cool & catchy name for me floundering website design adventure? Your suggestions are welcomed.
I have a comment about the US Air plane that went for a swim in the Hudson river on Thursday. I'm pleased there were no fatalities or serious injuries. But I don't think the captain in charge of the flight was such a great Hero - no, he was a true professional doing his job. Why do you think air line captains get paid the big bucks? Well it's not because they can fly an airplane - for God's sake I've got a pilot's license. No, they get paid $200,000 a year to know what to do if something goes wrong like on Thursday. Flying is not all that difficult - landing a plane with 100 passengers in a river takes a cool head under fire and lots of confidence and experience. So this captain is a true professional doing what he is paid to do.
Sure I can see why those who were on the plane viewed him as a hero...but remember, it was his life on the line too. A hero in my mind is someone who does something extraordinary above and beyond what is or was expected. Tell me...when you get on a plane don't you expect the pilot in charge to be able to handle an emergency? I sure as hell do. What you do not necessarily expect is a bystander to run into a burning build to rescue people from death like my friend, Charlie did when he ran into the World Trade Center in 2001 - now het's a hero. It was not his job nor did anyone expect the action he took. Others might have done the same thing and I would call you a hero as well. Do you see the point I'm making? I will yield to the opinion for those on that flight, the Captain would be a hero in their eyes. The Main Stream Media now suggests that when the Captain walks on water the bottom of his feet don't even get wet!
Wouldn't you know it - the one time this week I did not take my phone off the hook when I wanted to take a bit of a nap, the damn phone rang and woke me about 15 minutes into what was going to be a much longer rest. This time it was once again from someone I did not know but at least this time it was someone with whom I ordered something on the internet. They called simply to say my order was being ship. Why didn't they just send a damn e-mail like 99.9999999% of every other online vender? Jeez! Do I have bad luck when I try to take a nap or what?
I was feeling a bit out of sorts yesterday although I'm not sick with anything - at least I don't believe I'm sick. Shut up!! I can hear you now saying..."you are a sick puppy". No I'm not. I'm just from a different planet. I think I need some good reset and less stress - choosing which Godiva to have or ice cream to eat is stressful.
One fella [sic] that I really like at my coffee klatch decided to have a coffee-free day on Wednesday and reported his activities to us yesterday morning when he came for coffee. The good news he just took a day off so I hope to see him regularly again. Stuff happens but the important thing is to get back on the road after running into the ditch. Many of you know I was a very reckless driver for many many years - too many years. I hope to see my buddy this morning.
My own website design site is still under construction. I continue to learn new things each day I work on it which is good for me - I like learning stuff. What I am a bit surprised about this time is how careful I need to be to cross check the page rendering in both Internet Explorer as well as Fire fox. With the last two sites I built there was little difference in using the browsers but this time I'm noticing more differences. The real problem is I'm not sure what I'm doing differently this time than I did the last two times. Oh sure, the pages are different but the basic coding is not that much different; at least I can't readily see what I've done differently. I'm still hopeful of having something published soon - by the end of the weekend.
I'm getting spammed to death on my Gmail acount. I clean it before I shut down in the evening and by the next morning I've got between 250 and 300 new e-mails in my spam folder - this morning there were 257! I used to get about 30 or 40 and all of a sudden it has increased by more than 100 between 9 PM and 6AM. Of course I get dozens and dozens during the day as well. I just hit the delete all button and move on to the next thing. I just wish I knew what site I entered this address that caused the flood. Do you have the same problem or are you a lot less popular than am I?
Just so you can get a feel for the direction in which I'm headed - at least at the present - with respect to the yet to be published Geek Website Designs home page, here is a screen shot. I took a full screen image so as to give you the correct view of the actually size of the page - I chose not to fill but half a page. Click on it for a bigger image. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery boys and girls?
It is Friday at 6:05 AM and I don't feel all that great this morning. At the very least it seems I'm going to have a headache day but in addition to a headache I feel a bit of nausea as well. I've not got a sore throat which is my usual warning of an impending cold so we shall see. More complaints to follow.
We went to court yesterday as scheduled and wouldn't you know it, Jason was among the last to be called. I sat with him for almost two hours but I found it rather interesting. Yesterday for the most part was a hearing to hear the plea from those charged; only a couple of people actually got sentenced yesterday. The judge seemed to be very reasonable based on the facts as presented in the hearing. I have a good feeling about the outcome for Jason when he goes back on February11th - I will go with him again. In the meantime I'll get him prepared to present himself for the best possible outcome - I learned what this judge looks for in someone who comes before his court.
What I didn't like about yesterday is all the people in the courtroom coughing, gagging, hacking, sneezing, etc...the damn place must have hundreds of thousands on nasty germs floating around in the air. It was a petri dish for the rhino virus. . If I get sick in the next week, we will know for sure where I caught the virus. I'm hoping they were just all chain-smokers having smoking coughs and not virus coughs.
And another thing...where do these people come from? When I go around town I rarely see the drags of society as I saw in court yesterday. I must assume these folks are in a social level where life is a real struggle for them, they are poorly educated, and have very few positive things happening in their lives. Not all were like that of course but not one single person other than the attorneys in the courtroom had a coat on. And very few had a tie like Jason. Well I guess the folks that wear coats and ties buy their way out of problems?
When I was settling in to watch a bit of news on FOX News channel, captain Matt dropped by for a visit. He's still in town helping his mother with some health issues and wants to see things settle down before he heads back to Atlanta. I think it is a matter of the right drug cocktail and she'll be able to manage without Matt. Like I've mentioned before, I've gone through the same experimentation with the drugs I take. It would not be appropriate for me to go into anymore detail except to say I do believe there is a good combination that will benefit Lina once it is identified.
I've also been working on a site to talk about my great professional skills in building a website then publishing it to the internet. I've started on a plan but didn't like were it was going so canned it and started two others. In the process I found something I think would work on the first plan so I'm back to it now. My goal was to have something up before the weekend but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. Stay tuned.
Captain Matt is featured today as he takes a break from the riggers of working at The Palms this past Summer.
At 1:30 this afternoon I'm going to court with young Jason where he will face the judge. The DA offered a year probation, some fines, and some evaluation as a sentence if he were to plead guilty. Jason doesn't want that - he wants to go to jail so as to avoid a year's probation and the fines (about $600). His public defender thinks she can get the judge to sentence him for 15 to 30 days which will avoid the probation and other costs. If he gets 15 days and is "good" while in jail, he can be out in about 8 days. While I personally hate the thought of jail, Jason sees it as a 'job' that will pay him $600+. Stay tune.
Speaking of young people, John came over for a visit last night to bring me up to speed on his school and work. He has a lot on his plate with classes Monday through Thursday and then John's Island duty Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What I was particularly pleased to hear is he really wants to go to Florida State in the Fall meaning I think he is finally focused on completing college then joining the work force with a career in mind. Up until now, it seems he was going to school because that was just something to do between work and play. I see something now in him I've not seen before - a real commitment to his education. Needless to say, I'm most pleased. Once John decides he wants to do something I think he'll put the effort in to make it happen.
I've replaced 3 of the landscape lights that were out before the rains started yesterday - I've got two more to replace today. The bulbs I replaced had come apart at the seam where the lens was attached to the casing. I think these lights were poorly manufactured which has caused the problem. The lights I put in were more expensive 'name-brand' lights so let's see what happens. One other thing - it is still the same circuit giving me the problem. The lights on the two front circuits have never burned out since they were installed. So I think there is still a circuit issue otherwise why have other lights not gone out?
I've been working on a new website for me. I've got the domain name GeekWebsiteDesigns.com but I'm not sure I'm going to use it. I may just create some name because I like the way it sounds even though it could be totally meaningless. I started with a designed, didn't like what I was doing and then started something else. On my new path I came up with an idea that I'm now going to experiment with on my original idea. No, I've not got anything for you to see yet but I should by the end of the week. I want something simple, attractive, and informative - the issue is these attributes are in the yes of the beholder so your input will be most appreciated.
There seem to be basic categories of sites; those that are selling products, those that are selling services, those that provide information, and those that entertain. For the most part, I find the simpler the site the better I like it and by the way the quicker they will load. It took me a long time to understand simple is better - do any of you remember my first attempts at publishing pages on the internet? I found this page still lurking on Comcast.
Jason has been found - he was cleverly living in his apartment when I went by yesterday morning. When I asked him were he has been he unfortunately reported he has not been drinking coffee over the weekend. Hmm! Well I'm going with him today to meet with his Public Defender to see what's up with his court date tomorrow. As of Friday, the lab tests still have not been reported with regard to the needle. From my point of view, those results are important to his case. I'm beginning to smell a rat in the District Attorney's office because they made an "offer" of an outcome without having the results of the lab tests? What's up with that? Does it make sense for the prosecutors to make an offer without the results?...I don't think so, do you? I'm very interested in what we will hear this afternoon at 4:15.
Yesterday I talked with my friend Darby's sister. She reports he is slipping away a bit each day which I think is par for the course for a growing brain tumor. He is at the point where he does not recognize all his visitors - it is indeed sad.
My thanks to my two favorite critics, Syp & John, for their generous comments on my very professional work building Messina and Associates PC. Now that I fine-tuned each page I think I'm satisfied with the work I did on this project. The better news is my client is most pleased with his new site and the fact I did it so inexpensively for him. Actually I was sort of doing a favor for Chuck's friend but at the same time he will pay me a bit for my remarkable design. I'm done with this project for now but I am going to do some research on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for this and other sites.
You know what I might do next? I might just build a simple site for Geek Website Designs - what do you think? If anyone else wants to look at my work I can put it on display there. I do have 5 working sites under my belt now although one needs some updating and cleaning - that would be PeachtreeSuite, a site I built several years ago. This site has stuff on it that no longer is functional but the owner wanted at the time. It needs some updating, revising, fixing, heck...it needs help.
I needed to run my dishwasher about the time I was going to bed - it smelled on the inside. So I figured I'd be awake long enough for it to go through it's cycle so I started it. When I went to bed, I couldn't hear the dishwasher because it is so darn quite. You know, I never noticed that before because I would start it as I went out the door in the morning. The dishwasher I had in Atlanta sounded like an attack helicopter was landing. I'm most pleased in my new discovery of something in this house I've had for a year.
The 3 new landscape lights I put in a week ago are already burned out, kaput, don't work, finished, dead...Just Damn! Mind you the other light on that circuit is still working - that would be the old one I did not replace. What the heck is going on? I think it could be the lights that came in a 'no-name' box; I think they were especially piss poor lights in the first place. My last order of 10 lights were all Sylvania lights which I assume are better quality. This time I'm going to put in the name-brand lights with the hope they will last longer than a week. But you know what? There is still something wrong because the burn-out problem is always on the same circuit!!
I'm getting worried about Jason - he's still missing. I could have gone out of town on a job but the kid has a court date on Wednesday and a meeting with his public defender on Tuesday afternoon - I'm going to be at both meetings. Perhaps I'm just a bit too paranoid but it is unusual for me not to see and feed Jason at least one day on the weekend. I'll go by his apartment again this morning after coffee.
John has had to buy some books for his classes which is not unusual. What is fringing amazing is they cost $450 I think for just 4 books (he's taking 4 classes). That's a real racket IMO because the professors get gifts and goodies from the book publishers to use their books. Where else can you sell a book for $100 that no one really wants to buy much less read?!? And why do the course books change so often - does math, science, English, and accounting change that often? I think NOT! Jeez, poor John has to work several weekends to get enough money after taxes to buy the stupid books. Of course you need books for school but this smells like a scam to me.
My house keepers come this morning so I'll get to talk to them in person again since I built their site. Charlie is having a great time with it which makes me very pleased. It's ok for me to tell you my Charlie is Charles Sereika, the same guy who's story was told in the movie "World Trade Center" with Nicolas Cage . Google his name and you'll find out he is an amazing brave man who ran into the burning World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to save lives - here is an article about him. You know, I built his website before I really knew who he was - to me, he was just a great, honest businessman with a little cleaning company who's service I found second to none. As my Dad always used to say, what goes around comes around and in my small way I've helped him.
I've completed the preliminary work on the website I've been building. It is not finished but the first 7 pages are up on the web - you can see them here. I need to adjust the left hand column on each page so that it will be more uniform. Now I'm waiting to hear back from Anthony Messina as to what editing he wants done or changes made. My real quandary is what is a fair charge for building the site, getting the domain name, and then hosting it. I've already completed the work and paid for the name and web host myself so I hope I've not made a mistake here. More to follow.
In the process of all this I tried to identify a "fair" charge for services as I've provided. If you go to a discount "big box" online website building and website hosting service they charge on average $100/page and up plus from $20 to $60 per month to host it. So to be fair, I don't feel I should charge Anthony for all the time I spent on it (although I'd like to) but rather for something in the range of what he'd have to pay someone else. Just because it takes me 30 minutes to figure out a line of code others could understand in 2 minutes, I'm not being fair to charge him for my learning curve. I told him what I thought was fair to both of us so let's wait to see how he responds.
Jason has been missing in action for the past 3 days - I expected to hear from him either on Friday or yesterday. The public defender helping him called me late Friday with an offer from the state but I can't find Jason. He sometimes goes out of town to work so I'm hoping that is the case now. I plan on going over to his apartment if I don't hear from him by noon today. It is not like him to disappear off my radar scope.
Boy was I tired yesterday after spending the whole day working on this website for the lawyer. My shoulders go sore from the way I was sitting at and using my keyboard - it was very nice to take a whirlpool bath again last night. I should take breaks but once I get going on a project I go until all of a sudden it is dark outside and I've not eaten all day. Hmm...nothing that a quart of ice cream will not fix. The good news is I see light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train headed my way.
I uploaded all the files I've done thus far to the server I've set up for the 'client' and then sent him a long e-mail last night about the work. I expect a good bit of editing and additional work will be needed because I had very little information from which to work. What I did was research site after site after site representing law firms to see what others putt up. I think I did a pretty good job with the scarce information from which I had to work -have a look. Now it is up to Anthony to get back with me so we can finish the site. Oh and believe it or not, my house keepers say they have others who want a site - am I really going to do a few of these?
Before I went to bed I watched a recent movie about the FBI chasing cyber criminals and one in particular that would kidnap people then slowly kill them live on streaming video. I got caught watching it but in the end I didn't much like the movie. I don't even remember the name of the flick. Oh, well. I rarely stick in front of a TV for the two hours it takes to watch a movie but as I was getting ready for bed and I was tired, I watched this one.
After coffee the other morning I was asked for a ride to Publix by one of our attendees - this is a guy I like and who has done some work around my house for me. He and I along with Jason went through the store as he was picking up a few items. I noticed he had no regard for price and repeatedly said , "it doesn't matter; I'm not paying for it" - he has food stamps. I say all this because it further confirms what I've always believed - when it's other people's money (in this case, taxpayers) many folks don't give a damn and are reckless. That morning I saw him buying things I'd never buy because in my opinion they are too expensive and not a good value like 'Greenwise' milk Publix sells for $6 a gallon or expensive cuts of meat not on sale.
It is this attitude that it's not my money that gets our country deeper into a finical mess with the huge waste in welfare. I'm not saying everyone on food stamps acts like this in fact I'd like to think most folks who qualify for support do not. But can you just imagine the out - of - control costs we'd face if there were "free" universal health care!!! Imagine all the people who would run to the doctor if it were not their money being spent! Don't get me wrong - I want to help and support people who need it through no fault of their own. But it pisses me off to see people living on "the system" without a care or making any effort. This pervasive attitude of "entitlement" is destructive to our society and wrong. Let me now step down from my soapbox.
I've been having some real strange dreams of late - not bad dreams just strange ones. They seem to combine things from my life in Atlanta to my life here ion Vero but now and when I was growing up here. Some people from Vero have joined some people from Atlanta in this new Verolanta town in which I live in my dreams. I guess my brain is trying to sort out what's going on in my life...good damn luck!
My friend Darby has had is last radiation treatment ever according to his sister, Gloria. His cumulative lifetime treatments are at their max and any more treatments might cause his demise even quicker than the cancer he has ravishing his body. According to Gloria he has lost all his hair again and his mind is slipping away. Frankly, he was slipping the last time I saw him but apparently it is worse now. Darby is at home and under hospice care. I'm afraid his being here in the big blue planet is drawing to a close although he still had enough in him to go to the Ocean Grill for Patty's birthday a few days ago. He sure has been a strong fighter - I'm not at all clear I could have gone through what he's gone through and still be here.
It is time to change the rug in my back entrance hallway again. The holidays are over and I want to replace the red "holiday" rug with something more universal in appeal. So after doing my homework on the internet I found a rug I liked and decided to order it from the same place I've been buying my rugs. This online vender has a low price guarantee and will credit you 50% of the difference between their price and another vendor's price if you can find it for less. So of course I did my research and found it for $60 less which means I get a $30 credit towards the purchase. That's not a lot but it will save me enough money to buy a 24 piece box of Godiva chocolates! Anyway, the rug is made with Turkish wool with the designs in the "Europa" collection known to be faithful reproductions of Eastern European designs. I ordered the rug yesterday - it's pictured here today.
Yes boys and girls I did watch some of the Florida - OSU game Thursday night. Frankly I got a bit tired of all the commercials but then again what do you expect in this play-off game. I know TB and all my other Florida Gator fans were thrilled with the win. What parts of the game I did see sure were intense - these were two really great football teams and from my point of view deserved to be in the play-offs. There is no way in Hell that my school will ever get to this level of play but I do hope they can be as competitive next year as they were this year - that would be fantastic.
Yesterday's hot Vero Beach Press Journal headline, "Fellsmere's Frog Leg Festival adds beer to menu" - full story here
Yesterday I spent working on the yet to be published website for my lawyer "client". I've decided to build two different designs from which to choose. The one he does not chose I can always save for another site and in the meantime I got the learning experience that comes with this programming. Yesterday my two areas of concentration were tables and .css style sheets. You can make your web page design easy to change or modify if you use style sheets. There are a few tricks that apply to style sheets and tables I come to learn with respect to certain attributes - I will not bore you with the details.
I continue to enjoy doing this but you know what...at the end of the day I'm a bit sore from working at my computer all day. The solution? Well a nice hot whirlpool bath sure is nice and relaxing after a hard day at my office. I'm glad I decided to have that tub installed.
After coffee yesterday I went by Steve Fromang's office to offer my help with regard to his machine. His sister Starr (John's mom) told me his machine needed help. When I arrive some dumb jerk was sitting there chocking down cigarette smoke and informed me all was fixed because they defragged the machine - Steve was in Ft. Pierce for the morning. I offered to look at it anyway but this rocket scientist said all was under control - ya, right! I bet I can find a half dozen things needed fixing so I'll go back when Steve is there. The truth is this guy probably should not have allowed me to get at the machine without Steve's authorization. I'll go by again this morning.
I want to help Steve because Starr asked and I've known him all his life. But while I'm there I also plan on quizzing him on Jason's quandary given the fact Steve handles cases like Jason's all the time. Maybe he can give me some advice as to what Jason should do to affect the best outcome in his case. It might be smart to drop the public defender and get Steve to handle the case because the cost might even be less than having some probation payments in the hundreds of dollars?
You've heard me speak of the news letter I get called Windows Secrets, right? They provide excellent information about Windows and the various applications and problems associated therewith. Today they report that Vista is looking more and more like the Edsel of the computer industry. Combine this news with reports that Windows 7 may ship as early as mid-2009, and it looks like Microsoft is ready to relegate Vista to the binary scrapheap. People are willing to pay big bucks extra to get XP. Eric Krangel reports on the Silicon Alley Insider blog that Dell has gradually been inflating its surcharge for "downgrading" a PC from Vista to XP. The bite rose last June from $20 to $50, then spiked in October to $100, and now is a whopping $150. The fact that Dell's customers appear to be willing to pay this amount or more to avoid Vista may be the greatest indictment of Microsoft's unloved OS - what do you think?
I have Windows XP Home. Windows XP Professional, and Windows Vista and I for one do not have a problem with the Vista OS. The issue with me is that there are so few many programs compatible with Vista compared to XP that I prefer the flexibility of XP. Sure there are more and more Vista applications each day but the software world will never catch up with XP. That's why all of my desktops - and I have 3 now - run a version of XP. I know. I know. Apple is the best of the best as my little Dutchie kid would say.
Was there a football game last night?
Wow! I continue to be busy all of my waking hours - I didn't even have time to watch FOX News at 4 PM like I normally do each day. From the time I got up yesterday at 4:30 AM I was going all day with the exception of a brief 25 minute power nap at 12:30. I did not want to get up so damn earlier but I woke up and starting to think about the website I'm building. As is the usual case, once I start obsessing on something I might as well just get up so I did. Yesterday was indeed a long day for an old retired Florida fart.
After a breakfast of shredded wheat with blueberries I went to chair my coffee klatch gathering as I do the first Wednesday in each month. It was a great meeting as it always is with me at the helm full of my wise cracks and endless humor. We have our business meeting on Friday which now will be held quarterly instead of monthly - I was successful in getting that changed last year. Frankly, we do not have enough business that requires monthly meetings and we can always call one if needed.
I started re-writing the initial pages of the website I'm making and then got a wild hair to build a whole new page. So most of the day yesterday I was writing and editing the style.css file and editing pictures for a newer more complex site. My plan is to do both and then ask for feedback from the attorney for whom I'm making the pages.It is easy for me to decide I like this or that but of course I want him to like whatever I do - it is his firm that is important not my whimsical choices of colors and design. This project is keeping me out of trouble that's for sure.
In the afternoon I went with young Jason to meet with his public defender about his up-coming trail on charges of riding a bike at night without a tail light and possession of a needle even though he did not have drugs and was not under the influence of drugs - in Florida it's illegal just to possess a needle. Frankly I think something seems wrong if police officers don't have anything better to do than to rain hell on a young man because of these two charges. Wouldn't you think the damn cop would have given him a warning about the light rather than charging him and then searching him? Just damn! Well we didn't find out anything so we'll go back next Tuesday when the tests of the needle should be back. I'm guessing that some residue of something will show up but I think it will likely be the strong, dangerous prescription drug valium. Oooooooo.
What irritates me is that my tax dollars are going to pay for this type on nonsense. Jason could go to jail at the worse or be put on probation which for him is bad because he has to pay the court about $200/month in probation fees for as long as it lasts. The kid doesn't have $200/month for this shit and may have no choice but jail. What have we come to in this country when someone like my little buddy Jason can get in so much trouble while Madoff destroys the life savings of hundreds of people and he's confined to his multimillion dollar apartment on the upper East side of Manhattan? Where is the proportionality? I wonder what I have in my house that could send me to jail and I don't even know I have it? Good then John is 21 now or I might get sent away for contributing to the delinquency of a minor if I offer him a beer!! Jeez!
Do I look like a geek or what?
Where have I been you ask? It seems that my plate has been full for the last few days; much fuller than usual. Folks have asking for my help and I've been spending time with each trying to do what I can. Take yesterday for example. After my morning coffee a couple of my coffee buddies came over to the Vero Villa seeking my saga advice on this, that, and the other thing. they were here for almost two hours as I mesmerized with my brilliance and never-ending stories many of you have heard at least once. Then another guy without computer knowledge came over to seek my help on applying for a free cell phone online. It seems that the Sate of Florida will give a cell phone for up to a year with 60 minutes a month free air time to people who are on government assistance. Then yesterday afternoon Captain Matt came over for some training on how to clean and protect computers against baddies like adware, spyware, viruses, and other unwanted malware. We used his laptop as the control machine to clean and protect.
I like writing code so this process is fun for me. It will take me longer than someone who's actually had training because a lot of what I do is trail and error - edit, check, and then edit again. Each time I do this I learn something new and thus I get better - if you even imagine me getting better than I already am!! Yesterday I did buy the domain name and set up an account on a server separate from where the domain name is parked - I can get server access for a lot less than what is charged at the registrar, GoDaddy, but on the server I use you got to know what you are doing because there is no help except if there is a 'server' problem.
This afternoon I go with young Jason to meet with his public defender in regard to that ticket he got when stopped for not have a light on the back of his bike. The big deal is not the missing light but rather the fact he had a needle on him at the time which is illegal in Florida without a prescription. No, he did not have drugs, he was not high, and the needle didn't have any traces of drugs but to the Vero cops, he is a criminal. My God...don't these City of Vero Beach police have better things to do then to hassle a young guy on a bike? In Atlanta, this would be a big joke. BTW, he could have had a gun and that would be ok - guns are allowed but needles are not. Isn't there something really wrong with this picture? Jeez!!
Did any of you boys and girls see the error code in my Archives at the bottom of this page? I didn't think so. Do any of you ever look at the Archives? I didn't think so. Well I moved reduced the archives from 12 months to 6 months and stored the others elsewhere. That was not the problem - the problem was some of y 'Comments' had grown huge from people posting trash on my site. No worries, with one click of the mouse they are all gone.
Today's image is expresses what I'm like when writing code.
I got a late start today because I've been pre-occupied with the website I've been building and the new one I will build. The owner of the site, CleanHouseVero.com, is afflicted with the same obsessive compulsive behavior I have in that he wants things just the way he wants things - sound familiar? I'm just like that too so I have no fault in doing exactly what he wants my only issue is that I'd like to make all the changes in one operation instead of dribbles. I think his site is good for now although we may be changing the picture on the Contact Us page. All in all we both think it came out pretty good for an old retired Georgia Tech geek who's had no formal training in website design or coding.
John came by last evening with a wonderful gift - a pint of vanilla and a pint of chocolate chip ice cream from the Boardwalk ice cream shop on the beach. My early thoughts are confirmed - they have really good ice cream. The trick for me is the texture of the ice cream which of course is directly related to the butter fat in the ice cream. You can give 'flavor' to ice cream but the 'taste' is more than just the flavor. John has correctly learned the most direct way to my heart is through my stomach with some wonderful ice cream or chocolates. Thank you John.
He also gave me some of those aromatic Yankee Candles knowing how much I like to burn things with scent. These candles are levels above your average candles because they burn longer and give off a very pleasant aroma which you can actually smell. Many of the scented candles are hard to smell - they just don't have the same kick you find in Yankee Candles. We burned the pumpkin one last night and discovered the longer it burned the more scent was released. It smells best when the wick is in the center of a liquid pool of wax. Naturally my body odor is fabulous but sometimes a change is nice.
While we are on John, he goes back to school on Wednesday with 4 courses this semester. That means he'll have to go to the first Summer short session to take two more courses before he can transfer to Florida State in the Fall. Yep...he says Florida State is where he really wants to go and his mother and I think that's a great idea. I'm 100% behind him on this choice. Now he'll have to make certain he does the work to get the grades and courses necessary to transfer. I'll be watching.
This morning I went for my semi-annual visit to my dermatologist here in Vero. He looked me over, declared my hopeless but announced there were no spots needing attention now. This is new to me because my Atlanta dermatologist always found about $250 to $350 worth of freezing that needed to be done. I think the Atlanta group just needed to get at least $250 out of every office visit but Dr. Jack McDonald just does what is really needed. His office visits are $110 but that's it unless he does more and more for him is surgery, not freezing. No matter...as long as I don't have anything nastier than usual growing on me I'm a happy camper.
I created a logo for Geek Website Designs - what do you think? Why the name you ask? The name comes from what I call myself when I've been sending e-mails to Charlie - I sign them Bill the Geek. I did go to Georgia Tech and I did have a slide rule I could hang on my belt though I usually just carried it. No, I did not have a pocket protector but many students at Georgia Tech way back then did. BTW, I bought GeekWebsiteDesigns.com just for the hell of it. There is nothing there yet but give me time.
Someone out there has been playing around with my e-mail address and telephone number. Yesterday I got about 4 or 5 calls from health insurance company representatives who were "following up on my request for information". That means someone who actually knows both my e-mail address and telephone number purposely and without my knowledge submitted my name online. There is really no way to prevent these things from occurring so I decided just to be polite to those who called and apologize for the childish behavior of some prankster. No harm done and everyone that called has been very understanding. It is good to see people in the insurance business actively following-up on a Saturday.
The guy for whom I built a website wants me to build sites for other folks as well. he has someone who's already contacted me and he says he knows more. I know Charlie means well but do I really want to get into the business of building and maintaining websites? And if I do, what should I charge for my services? The one way to find out is to see what other small-shop entrepreneurs charge for building, hosting, and servicing a web page. What I've discovered is this could be a nice little enterprise for me - I would be doing something I like doing, helping others with what they want, and generate a bit of a cash-flow as well. So do I want to do that?
My research has taught me how I should charge for my services. With my really, really small overhead, I can do this on the cheap relative to other real commercial operations. In looking at work that others have done for which they've been paid, I've discovered some of them know less that I do. When I look at the code they use, I know better, more efficient ways of doing things. Plus I noticed some site produced by other small business people are not cross-tested on different browsers. Yep...I could do a decent job, at a very competitive price, and maybe just have fun doing it. Hmm - me thinks I needs to thinks about this.
Later this morning the folks from Clean House will be over to review my work and learn how to log onto their cpanel; a cpanel is the control interface between your computer and your server for the administration of your website. Making minor editing changes is something I think I can easily teach them but I'm not sure if they even want to know. It's like when I take my car in for a repair...I wanted it repaired, you can generally tell me what was done, but I sure as heck do not want or need the details. I think Charlie will be the same way in that like many folks he things programming is like Greek and in a way he's correct - it is a different language.
This afternoon Jason is coming over for a visit. I've got a small list of things I want to suggest he do as well as find out how his week has been. He has a cell phone but keeps on running out of minutes so I can't always keep in touch. There are some issues with which he needs to deal but they are all solvable with some time and effort. Doing nothing is not the solution - we need to take action and I'm going to be the catalyst for action.
My junk mail in my Gmail account has quadrupled recently and the only reason I think it has is because my address was posted on Facebook. I have no other reason for getting this much junk shit because that e-mail address is not published anywhere. Oh sure, I've always gotten some random e-mail junk but not in the huge volumes I get now. I think I'm going to cancel my account at Facebook unless I can find another reason. Got any ideas?
Is this the Chinese Year of the Ass? Well, the Donkeys are in power in Washington so it is The Year of the Ass whether the Chinese want it to be or not! What I want to know is why the Liberals are still so damn angry and hateful even after they won the House, the Senate, and the White House? I'm not angry..oh to the contrary - I'm rooting for President-Elect Obama to be a great President, to turn the economy around (as promised), and to keep America safe (as promised). I do not want him to fail like the Liberals wanted President Bush to fail. I will not be trying to sabotage the Obama administration like the Liberals sabotaged the Bush Administration every chance they got. I will not be calling President-Elect Obama a loser, the worst President ever, or dumb as a stump as the Liberals called President Bush. To the contrary, I hope Mr. Obama is a great President and accomplishes great things for America and Americans.
I will not abandon my conservative principles of a smaller government, less taxes, and individual responsibility. But I am willing to give the Democrats the benefit of a doubt until they demonstrate why I shouldn't. There are many positions with which I disagree but the Liberals got elected, so they got the gold. You know about the "golden rule" don't you? He who has the gold rules. I'll keep expressing my opinion - as if there ever was any doubt - and act in a fashion consistent with my conservative beliefs. You see there is a possibility that someone may not agree with me 100% but not necessarily be totally wrong - imagine that! Time will tell but I continue to be baffled as to why the Liberals are still so hateful, angry, and full of self-centered arrogance. Hmm?
I continue to get new, unwanted e-mails in my Gmail account which I attribute to FaceBook. So I decided to change my account's e-mail address to one that never ever gets random spam. This is my controlled test of just what is happening with the information on FaceBook - I'm beginning to believe I should just shut down the account all together. It might be good for people who are young and networking but I'm neither young nor am I networking. Frankly I think it is sort of silly and as Arnold might say more intended for a "girly-man". OK. OK. I know I'm hot and in demand but there is just so much of me to spread around! Don't you see how hard it is to be me?
I spent a good bit of the day working on the website for my house keepers, Clean House - you can clink on the link to see what I've done. I found a basic look I liked and asked my friends if they liked it and they did. So I built the pages, found the pictures via Google images, and put it all together. They edited but the basic layout and language is what I put together after reading other sites - not much is original on the internet these days except the world famous BillsView.com. My friends think I'm good enough at this to actually charge for doing it - what do you boys and girls think?
I went with Captain Matt to his Mom's house to see if I could help with her computer. I don't know how people do it but like many I've known her machine had a lot of crap on it. She also had about 15 programs starting at boot that need not start at all most of the time. The machine would take forever to boot and then run like molasses in Winter. I stopped a slew of programs from booting at start-up, cleaned a bunch of unknown crap off her machine, and got it protected against Spyware and Adware. It is not 100% because she's managed to get some real nasty stuff on it that hides every time I kill the operating process. When Captain Matt gets back from Palm Beach, I think we'll reformat her computer to clean up everything.
The Peach Bowl was the worst game of the bowl season! Not only was it Georgia Tech that got humiliated but the game was not any fun to watch no matter which two teams were playing with the exception those who were for the winners. No one really likes such a lop-sided game - there is no fun or excitement if you know who is going to win. The games I've enjoyed are those who's score was like 30 to 32 or 21 to 24, not 38 to 3!
I'm so very disappointed in the game because Georgia Tech played so very poorly. They could have still lost and I would not feel as embarrassed if the score was closer. It looked to me like the Yellow Jackets did not even belong in a bowl game with the score although they did have some good plays. As usual, it is the mistakes and turn-over's that lead to Tech's demise. When Georgia Tech got a penalty of the kickoff I had a real bad feeling. Then LSU just marched down the field and scored. I stopped watching after the score was 14 - 3 so I can't even comment on the rest of the pitiful performance put forth by Tech. I thought the team was better than that and frankly I lay a Loy of the blame at the feet of the coaches for not getting the team better prepared. Pathetic! And now I have to wait 8 whole months with that bad taste in my mouth before another game!
A couple months ago my coffee klatch friends in Atlanta wanted me to join Facebook so they could keep in touch with me. I'm very suspicious of online social networking sites because of privacy issues and spamming. I joined anyway knowing I could delete my profile at anytime but as yet I've not had to do so. All of a sudden I get e-mails in my Gmail account (the e-mail address I used on Facebook) that I suspect are coming as a result of Facebook. There is no way I can check it for sure but either someone with access to my profile and thus my e-mail account or some internet bot is picking up the address. I'm not sure but I'm going to watch this closely and if needed, just delete my account.
This morning from 10 am till noon my coffee group here in Vero has their New Year's Day gathering. I'll be going to contribute my pearls of wisdom for the coming year - don't invest with Madoff! Before the meeting my housekeeping service guy is coming over so I can help him set up a site. My plan is to get a domain name for him and an account on the server I use, Siteflip. He wants to be able to change and edit the pages, pictures, and text I created for him as I fully expected he would want to do. My challenge is to see if I can train him enough to do that without my help -NOT! He has zero knowledge of HTML so I know I'll need to sit with him to do this or he'll have to tell me what he wants and I'll do it for him. The point is I got him going on his own site as a gift to him for the New Year.
Three landscape lights burned out in 24 hours - what's up with that? I'm not beginning to believe the irregular power supplied by the City of Vero Beach is to blame. Sometimes the power runs "hot" like above 130 volts but that has little or no affect on most devices running 120 volts. But with my lights at 12 volts, the increased power can cause the lights to burn out quicker than they normally would if a proper and steady current was being supplied. Not much I can do about that except to just replace the $10 bulbs as needed. Damn...these landscape lights are more costly to run and maintain than I guessed.
Todays holiday image was taken at Kathryn's Christmas dinner party in the Barnes River estate kitchen. Yes, I am all lit-up like a Christmas tree with lights - it was Christmas after all, what do you expect from me?