Friday, March 31, 2006

Halo 3 update

Back in May I talked how it looked like Halo 3 was to be released at the same time as the PS3. Since it has been pushed back, there was some speculation if Halo would be pushed as well. Would it still come out at the same time as the PS3?

Well, it appears we have our answer. Halo 3 (possible called Forerunner) has a March '07 release date now according to this Next Generation article.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Revolution/GO Specs

Well, Nintendo has revealed the specs for its Revolution (aka GO) .
Next Generation - Revolution Specs Revealed

The specs are better than the GameCube, but far below the 360 and PS3. Though according to IGN "there is no way to accurately gauge the performance difference between GCN's PowerPC-based architecture and the Intel-based CPU of Xbox".

Either way, you'll not see me in line for this one.

Photo Contest

I entered a photo contest yesterday at with a picture from the snow we had last week.
A set of judges will pick the winning entries each month and award a cash prize (likely $50) and the winning photos will be enlarged and displayed at locations such as City Hall and used in publicity for Collinsville.
It would be cool to win.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Solar Eclipse Wednesday 3/29

I'm slow in talking about this, but there will be a full solar eclipse tomorrow. Course, no where around here. To see the totality, you'll have to be in parts of Brazil, Africa, and western Asia.

While reading about this, I found it interesting that the Astronauts on the ISS will see the moons shadow on the earth similar to this picture from a total solar eclipse of Sunday, Nov. 23, the Moon dropped an odd shadow on Antarctica. (assuming 2005).

What I didn't realized were some of the myths about solar eclipses.
One Indian paper advised pregnant women not to go outside during the eclipse to avoid having a blind baby or one with a cleft lip. Food cooked before the eclipse should be thrown out afterward because it will be impure and those who are holding a knife or ax during the eclipse will cut themselves, the Hindustan Times added.
So, if you have extra money to spare, maybe you'll want to fly to one of these spots, and take a look.


I've talked about a web page that had listed many of the short-cuts to get to a real person when you dial a company so you can skip their IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems.

Well, it appears it has taken off, and now they have created the gethuman database. There are many more numbers than there use to be, and much more information.

Monday, March 27, 2006

R Gym PlayPlace

McDonald's introduces new PlayPlace design
"The gym has climbing walls, dance games, basketball goals and the classic climbing toys."
This sounds interesting. When I first heard they were looking to make their playgrounds healthier, I was skeptical, but this sounds interesting.

If you want to see, then you have to go to the 21st and Garnett McDonald's here in Tulsa. It is the prototype of this new playground.

Burn Ban Back


Yep, the burn ban has been reinstated. I could defiantly smell the fires this afternoon at soccer practice.

Time for allergy meds.

Soccer Saturday

We had a good soccer game Saturday.

The other team called wanting to reschedule since they had 2 kids call in sick, so would only be able to play with 3 kids (having no subs). I hate canceling and rescheduling games. Plus we would not be able to have a ref if we did since we didn't give the 2 days advanced notice that the refs require. For our age group, that isn't necessarily bad, but I wanted the other coach to know that.

So, he decided not to cancel. I was glad since my parents were coming down to watch my boy play.

My wife pointed out that I could let one of my kids play on his team to help them out. I thought that was a GREAT idea. So I offered and he took me up on it.

I ended up putting my boy on his team for a few reasons. The main reason was because I didn't mind and you never know how parents will react to that.

Well, my boy didn't like that. He played pretty miserably the first quarter. I went and talked to him at half time and what point he just cried and cried on my shoulder. I felt bad both for him and the other team.

I told him that if the team he was playing on won, so did he, and if his normal team won, he won too. Didn't work.

Tried explaining how he was being a good helper by playing with them. Didn't work either.

So, I resorted to bribery. Told him we'd get ice cream if he played good. That seemed to work. He played much better the last quarter. (Though he still wouldn't throw in the ball).

Plus, at the end of the game, he ended up with snack from both teams. I think he made out like a bandit. He still didn't like it.

What really upset him was he didn't get to play on daddies team.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Star Wars

My son and I watched Episode II tonight. He acts as if he has never seen it. We have had a lot of fun. 1 thing I noticed tonight though that I found amusing. Obi-Wan cut a persons hand off in a bar in this episode. He does the same thing in Episode IV.

hmmmm.... interesting habit.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Spring Snow

Well, we are a few days into spring, and I thought I'd shared some pictures of Spring in Collinsville Oklahoma.

Here is a lovely close up picture of my red bud tree.

And here is my snow covered Forsythia. I think the yellow and white look sorta cool. (no pun intended)

I drove by this creek while taking my son to day care. This was just beautiful!

Here is an old grain silo I see when I take my son to day care. There is something really neat about it.

I'm really glad I took the time to take this pictures this morning as the snow is quickly melting away. This will probably be the last snow of this season... probably. This is Oklahoma after all.

(You can click on the pictures for larger versions)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Battletech becoming real?

Ok, that is a bit of a stretch. However, it appears that artificial muscles may no longer be science fiction.

UTD NanoTech Institute - News: "University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists have made alcohol- and hydrogen-powered artificial muscles that are 100 times stronger than natural muscles, able to do 100 times greater work per cycle and produce, at reduced strengths, larger contractions than natural muscles."
In the Battletech universe, there was a substance called Myomer that was a form of artificial muscle.

I always find it very amusing when things from science fiction work their way into reality.

Firefox 2.0 alpha set for release | Tech News on ZDNet

Firefox 2.0 is starting it's alpha stages.
"The final release of Firefox 2.0 is expected in the third quarter of this year."
This article from ZDNet has states that this Alpha is not recommended for anyone other than developers and testers. It is an alpha after all. They tend to be a bit buggy.

Something else to look forward to this fall other than the PS3.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Death for a convert?

Have you heard this story coming out of Afghanistan. And this is not a story from when Afghanistan was lead by the Taliban, this is out of current day. Today.

Abdul Rahman, a 41 year old father of two, is awaiting trail for rejecting Islam.

He had approached police on an unrelated matter, but told them he had converted from Islam, and was carrying a Bible. They arrested him. Afghan law is based on the Islamic law. And in that law, conversion can mean death.

Here is a quote from this CNN article:
"They want to sentence me to death, and I accept it," Rahman told reporters last week, "but I am not a deserter and not an infidel."
That is what having faith in the One True God is all about!

There is more to the story than this as you can imagine. There are the political twists that are involved. Take the time to read the whole article, but what strikes me personally is that here is a man that is truly willing to die for Jesus Christ! Some may think that this is no different than what the homicide bombers do, but I disagree. See, these men blow themselves up to kill "infidels" to earn their way into heaven. Rahman has already done everything he needs to do to get into heaven. He's accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior which means he's given his life to Him, and letting Him lead him.

As Paul said in Philippians 1:21
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
If Rahman dies, he gets to see his God. If he lives, he gets to keep living for Christ.

I know that I for one will pray for Rahman and his family as they goes through this.


I know I've not updated much lately, but not a lot going on really.

Saturday;s soccer game was cancelled, which I found strange since we've played in colder and wetter conditions than that, but that wasn't that bad.

My sister and her kids were up as well as my cousin and her kids, so my boy and I went up to see them and have lunch with them in Bartlesville. That was a lot of fun. Though on the drive up, I started not feeling well. That never got better, and I was sick that evening, Sunday, and into Monday. I had flu like symptoms, but either it wasn't the flu, it was just a short flu, or the flu shot I had helped me get over it quicker, I'm feeling much better this morning. Still have a nasty sounding cough though.

Anyway, that's mostly it. We've had several days of a nice slow rain, which is what we needed. They lifted the burn ban, so tonight, we grill! Well, I hope.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Happy St. Patty's Day everyone! I hope this day treats you all well.

I've been doing some research on St. Patrick's Day, and have found out a lot of stuff I didn't know about.

One thing I learned. The whole pinching thing? It was made up by school children.

Some Facts about Patrick
  • Patrick was a real person born in 373 A.D in Roman Britain.
  • He birth and death dates are not know. (Tradition says March 17)
  • He was not Irish, but a British Celt
  • He was not Roman Catholic.
  • He brought the true Gospel of Christ to the Irish as a Christian missionary-evangelist around 405 A.D.
  • He was taken by pirates to Ireland as a slave. He escaped after 6 years. He later went back as a missionary
You can read more about St. Patrick here.

Also, I found a lot of information at a Saint Patrick's Day FAQ, but this is much like Wikipedia, the answers are given by people like you and me, so, if they are wrong, so is the answer.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sony Postpones PlayStation 3 Release

This is not surprising, but it is official that Sony will postpone the PlayStation 3 Release till November.

I think this is a good move. It gives them the opportunity to do it right, and not rush it out the door.

That said, it better be right, or this will be really, really bad.

Guess you know what'll be on my Christmas list huh?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Classic '80's Games

While doing some searching on Google for legitimate work reasons, I stumbled upon Classic '80's Games. The Google link caught my eye.

Being the avid game player I am, I bookmarked it and moved along to the legitimate work I was doing.

Though not all the games on this page are from the 80's (Pong), most are, and many will make you smile.

Games like Duck Hunt, Pacman, Frogger, and Space Invaders are just a few.

Take a look!

Distracted Drivers

After reading the report from Yahoo! News that Distracted Drivers: Even 'Hands-Free' Talking is Dangerous my head hurt.

So, we as humans have problems looking and listening at the same time? I find this hard to believe.

But, let's play along.

Since we can't listen and drive at the same time, we have to get rid of everything that makes noise.

Ok, here is the list of things that makes noise when I'm in my car.
  1. Radio
  2. my wife (not a slam on my wife, we talk to each other in the car)
  3. my kids (the younger, the more distracting)
  4. engine
Get my point?

Ready to get rid of the radio in your car?
How about other people that are in your car? Or, if there are any, no talking allowed.
Though I think my favorite is the engine. Have you ever listened for a strange noise the car is making and tried to figure out what it is? Probably.

OK, so no radios, or people, or engines, or cell phones in our cars so we can all drive safe.

Silly researchers.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tulsa Master Gardeners

I mentioned yesterday that I had gone to see Paul James, the Gardener Guy at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show. He was the highlight of the trip, but a close second was the OSU Extension's office Tulsa Master Gardeners exhibit. It was beautiful. They also had lots of information in handouts that you could get like creating butterfly gardens or attracting birds to your yards.

I also got a really cool calendar, runs from March 2006 to February 2007. It gives you month by month gardening task reminders, and monthly gardening tips.

I probably should have gotten a few calendars, but I didn't. Sorry. But, I did get some really cool information. The link above for the Tulsa Master Gardeners links you to their web site, and all the information I found at the garden show, you can get from their web page.

They have information on Butterflies, Calendars, Diagnostics, FAQ's, Herbs, Insects, Pruning, Soil Tests, Vegetables, and other information.

If you like to garden, I'd take a look. I've also added their page to my links section to the right.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Paul James, the Gardener Guy

I got to see Paul James yesterday! It was too cool. He was speaking at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show.

The area around the stage was packed. He commented on how he didn't expect that many people there at a 3:00 show. Said we must either be retired, didn't have jobs, or called in sick.

I was a bit worried. I love watching his gardening show on HGTV called Gardening by the Yard. He is too funny, and just acts like a genuinely nice guy. I didn't want to meet him in person and find out he wasn't. He didn't disappoint!

Instead of doing a lecture, he did an hour Q&A session. It was cool. I even got to ask him a question. I had to really think to find out a question I wanted to ask. I asked a question about my extremely overgrown forsythia. It has some places on the bark that look like nasty growths on it. Basically, he said don't worry about it, but I can go to town on it to remove the old branches. So, here is a picture. Once it finishes blooming, I'm going to town on it.

Another person asked "How do I keep squires out of my potted plants? He answered something to the effect of You can buy a product called Remington, or Ruger, or Windchester... (he went on, basically the answer was you really can't.)

It was a lot of fun.

Friday, March 10, 2006

MRO orbital Insertion

It's been a while since I've talked space. This is a good of topic as any.

In just about an hour, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will start braking to orbit Mars. Doesn't sound bad, but NASA is 2 for 4 in orbit attempts.

NASA is suppose to have live coverage on NASA TV from 3:30 to 6:00 PM ET.

I hope this works and they get the MRO into orbit.

There are several instruments on this, but the one that has me most intrigued is a High Resolution camera that can phone items as small as a dining room table on the surface of MARS.

UPDATE: The MRO succesfully entered MARS orbit this afternoon. has a full MRO Mission to MARS page that shows info on the current mission.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Email Blogging

It appears that I now have the ability to blog from my PDA!

Not sure how much this will get used, but I find it interesting.

This post was made from my Palm.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Collinsville Election

Since I do not live in Ward III, I know very little about today's elections. I can, however, give you the results as they are currently known.

Ward III Totals: 50 Bateman & 46 Davis

And as Ted at the site states, in this count, "absentee ballots may not be included".

Election Day

Today is Election Day. Sadly, I had nothing to vote on in Collinsville today. The only election was for Ward III City Commissioner.

For some of the Tulsa Election Coverage, stop by Roemerman on Record: Election Day coverage.

New Palm

I know I've gone a few days without a post. I've just sorta been busy.

This weekend, we had a bit of a shopping spree. This is not a regular occurrence. So, it was a lot of fun.

I got a new PDA this weekend to replace my Sony Clie that had been crashing. I got a Palm TX. I'm really enjoying this new palm. It has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. It can switch it's screen from portrait to landscape. It plays music and videos and shows pictures. It has a screen resolution of 320 x 480.

I've got the wireless to work at my house without much problem. The biggest problem I had with that was remembering to put the palms MAC address in my wireless router. I've had more problems getting the wireless to work at work because of the VPN. Being able to sync at work via the Bluetooth is nice though. That has been the hardest thing to set up though. Still not sure I've got it perfect, but I can at least hotsync.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Soccer Season Begins

Today was our first soccer game.

If I was to describe the game in one word, it would be


It wasn't pretty. The referee never moved from one spot on the field. Lots of balls went out, but she never called them out, cause she couldn't see them.

I guess what made today's team worse was 2 of the players on the opposing team had played before... on my team. I had coached them for the last 2 seasons.

We don't keep score, not really, but if we did, it would have been 30 to 2 I think, maybe 30 to 3.

action shot of my son kicking in the ball

Tulsa Mayor election

I wish I had paid attention to the call I just received and didn't hang up on the "automated" phone call.

The Caller ID said "Private Name Private Number"
It was a woman's voice on the phone.

She started out by saying "I'm calling about the upcoming elections for mayor. Tulsa is in real trouble..." I hung up.

See, I live in Collinsville which is north of Tulsa by about 20-25 minutes or so. I can't vote in the Tulsa election for mayor. I know I'd vote for Chris Medlock. If you are from the Tulsa area, and are interested in the election, I'd suggest you go to Steven's blog of Roemerman on Record. He'll talk more about it since he actually lives and votes in Tulsa.

Anyway, back to the call. After I hung up the call, it made me wonder who's campaign office was wasting time and I'm sure money calling numbers that can't vote in the election. And if they don't know who can vote for them, then who exactly are they going to be representing as mayor?

TV & Weight loss

Last Sunday, our pastor encouraged us to go a week without TV, and see if it made a difference in our lives. He wasn't saying that TV is bad, just that many of us (himself included) watch too much TV. Also, we have a revival at church next week. This was also to help us get ready for that.

We decided to give it a try. And strangely enough, I've enjoyed the week with the TV turned off. Now I will admit, Wednesday night when Lost was on was a little hard (it is recorded).

Friday night, however, has been the worse. There were several times I really just wanted to sit down and watch TV. Not because there was anything I wanted to watch (well Battlestar Galactica, but I don't watch that with my boy). I just wanted to "veg" or "zone out". Instead, my son and I played some games of UNO, and then we went to McDonald's for a while. We eventually came home and played some more UNO, and my wife joined in and played a couple of games before bed.

I've spent more time reading my Bible, and other books. I've spent more time in prayer.

A surprising side effect event that has happened, is that I've lost some weight. I've lost around 3 pounds this week. That isn't a lot, but considering I've not gone for my walks this week, that is great.

What I think is happening, is 2 things,
  1. I'm not munching on stuff while I'm watching TV. I'm less likely to eat when I'm reading than when I'm watching TV.
  2. I would dare say most of us eat out of habit, not because we are hungry. I've spend my time this week, out of habit meaning, out of my normal habit. Because of such, I've only eaten in the evening when I'm hungry.
Anyway, the week is almost over (much to my son's delight). And tomorrow, the TV will come back on. But I'm hoping for some changes in my own TV watching. I'm hoping I'll reach for the remote more and hit the big red button and turn it off.

Here is the deal. I really only watch 2 TV shows each week, Lost and Battlestar Galactica. I also like watching Gardening by the Yard, and Good Eats. So I guess that is 4 shows I like to watch. But the TV is on from the time we get home in the evening till bed time with very few exceptions.

Well see how it goes I suppose.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Strange thoughts

Do you ever wake up with a song stuck in your head and don't really know where it came from?

Well, happens to me all the time. And it happened again this morning.

There was a song that I learned when I was a kid, and I woke up singing it this morning. Well, most of it. I couldn't remember all the words. That's what Google is for right?

Which I could tell you the tune, but I've only heard this tune from this song.

Anyway, for your listening (or viewing) pleaure...

You take a leg from some old table
You take an arm from some old chair
You take a neck from some old bottle
and from a horse you take some hair... you take some hair.

And when you put them all together...
with some string and a little bit of glue
And I'll get more lovin from a dumb dumb dummy
than I'll ever get from you.
My family thinks I'm nuts going around singing this song. But they are smiling!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

South Dakota H.B. 1215

I know you get those emails forwarded to you by people that talk about this Bill or that Bill that is being considered, discussed, or whatever, and it's important you call your representative yadda, yadda, yadda.

Today, I got one of those emails. Though, it was a bit different than most. This one was not a forward of a forward of a forward... You get the point. This was sent to the person that sent it to me. It was sent from the American Family Association (

That caught my eye. An excerpt of that email was
A bill that would ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota and spark a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is heading to Governor Mike Rounds for his signature.
It goes on to encourage you to go to this web site and sign a petition to encourage Governor Rounds to sign this bill.

Wow, that email sounded encouraging! If it was true, and stuff you get in emails can be worse than newspapers about accuracy.

So, I decided I wanted to know about bit more about it, and hit Google, and did some searching. Come to find out it is true. I found Law Librarian Blog and other information about this Bill. It has links to the full text of HB 1215. It also has links to the text of the US Supreme Courts Opinion in Roe v. Wade.

I found this bill very encouraging. I hope Governor Rounds signs this bill, and other States take note and follow its example. I also pray that this bill will hold up in the Supreme Court, which I'm sure it will find its way.

Snow Day

Back on the 18th, I wrote about the fun my boy and I had in the snow. Well, I finally got around to getting my picture out of my camera.

We had so much fun that weekend. 3 long days of sledding and hot chocolate.

What really makes it real amusing is 10 days ago, was our last day of sledding. Yesterday, it was nearly 90 degrees outside. People were wearing shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops.

Well, you know what they say, "Don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute" (or in this case a week)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mystery Solved

As stated on the Mystery Solved page at Microsoft.
Some things will always be a mystery
Windows licensing doesn't have to be.
It appears that you can get a spiffy USB drive FREE to you, provided by Microsoft.

The USB drive will come with FAQ's, Windows Licensing Guide, License brief, Production Information, Transfer of Volume license information and other resources.

From what I can tell, all you have to do is fill out the form, answer a few questions and wait for your USB drive.

The only catch I can see if that you have to give Microsoft your home address. hehe