Fri. Mar. 23, 2018 – finally

60F with 90%RH and clear in Houston. NOAA weather map had the whole US basically clear for the next day. Been windy here though, which usually means weather coming in. I guess we’ll see.

One child at Girl Scout camp this weekend, the other with 3 outdoor events scheduled, so I certainly am hoping for clear…

Have to build a first aid/medicine bag for my wife to take to camp. Interesting mix. No trauma, but added “comfort” meds. I can’t quite just grab an existing bag.

I’m hoping to get the eye tracker installed on OFDs lappy today. I went thru another round of updates, 6 reboots, including another firmware/bios update. If win7 doesn’t work, and I have to go thru this all again, I’ll be using the offline update tool for sure. What a PITA.


OH, and What did you do to prep this week??

Thur. Mar. 22, 2018 – I may have issues

Hey all, don’t know if my issues have resolved but here’s today’s open.

Got a bunch of stuff to do out in the real world today too, so don’t know if I can troubleshoot.

Page visits were down yesterday, so I know that at least some of you were still having trouble.

If you still have trouble connecting to the site, please email me at and let me know. I may be a while responding. Please include browser and any addons you have installed.

Many thanks to Rick who has been chasing this.


Wed. Mar. 21, 2018 – site issues, please be patient

Good morning all, mid-50s here and damp. See your breath weather….

There have been some site issues with hosting, in the immortal words of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, DON’T PANIC.

Rick is working to fix what broke, and things should be back to normal soon.

In other news, it appears that Austin has one less bomber today. Hooray. There will be some interesting things to learn from this attack, wrt the surveillance state, insurgents, etc. If you are on the other side of that, there are lessons about vulnerability, and resilience to learn too. Got a trauma kit and fire extinguisher in your mail room?


Tues. Mar. 20, 2018 – more of the same

Good news from RickH regarding the continuation of posted yesterday. Read thru his announcement, and take a look at the site to provide feedback please.

About 60F and a bit drier here in Houston. NOAA says two days of clear weather. We’ll see, but it sure would be nice to have a long comfortable spring this year. I’ve still got plenty to do in the yard and garden.

Another package bomb, this time in a FedEx facility outside San Antonio. Probably headed for Austin. This would be the third different type of bomb. I understand that to be very unusual as most bombers find something that works and stick with it. Maybe it’s a copycat, maybe it’s someone testing out different designs, maybe it’s a personal grudge. If this bomber continues, I’m sure we’ll find out who it is. If not, it will be an interesting look at insurgency, tradecraft, etc. Imagine that the victims are prosecutors, judges, politicians, police, prominent bloggers, activists, etc. There are people that WANT this, can’t hardly wait for it, and will be working their way down a list. I really don’t want to get to that point, so keep talking to the other side please.

That’s it for now,


Mon. Mar. 19, 2018 – Back from vacation, tired.

I feel like this is the first day back from vacation since it’s the first school day. REALLY should have worked on acclimating the kids to the time change….

71F with misty drizzle in the Bayou City. Glad I got at least a little done outside yesterday.

Shopping and IT work is what’s on the schedule here today.

I let all the fresh staples run down before our trip, and didn’t want to shop over the weekend. So I’m feeling like the house is empty and the family will starve 🙂

In somewhat local news, MORE people have been injured by package bombs in Austin TX. That makes more in the last week than in the whole country in the last year, if I’m not mistaken. WTF?

Isn’t a mail bomb an anarchist staple? There has got to be more to the story than we’re hearing. I’ll also make a side bet that there will be copycat bombings too.

And with that pleasant thought….


Sun. Mar. 18, 2018 – The best morning comes at the END of a good long day

Well, this wasn’t a best kind of morning, and in fact I haven’t had one of those in years. But sleeping in when you got up early and worked hard the previous day, especially when you have two little ones, and your wife has plans for you is precious.

75F and 90%RH, sunny and generally nice this AM here in Houston.

I’m stiff as a board from standing on concrete for 12 hours and humping those tubs around.

We’re supposed to go to the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show today (last day) but the plan was to go early and leave early for other commitments. Don’t know yet how that’s gonna play out.

I’ve not been paying much attention to the international news, and I suddenly find that our allies the TURKS are attacking our allies the KURDS; that Russia is withdrawing ambassadors and staff and kicking out foreign diplomats; and that Russia assassinated a former spy in broad daylight in a foreign capital……. anyone else getting a bit nervous about the nearness of a major conflict???


Fri. Mar. 16, 2018 – what did you do to prep for LIFE?

71F, 94%RH and yep, back in Houston…

Still, it looks like a nice day outside.– EDIT — started raining 🙁

This week, instead of what you did to prep specifically, what made you what you are today? What changed you path or set you on the right path? Whether guidance, a person who helped, habits, tips and tricks, or ‘words to live by’, what do you tell a promising kid who needs just a bit of guidance?

For me it was a couple of things, and some minor things helped.

I was deep in credit card and student loan debt. I’d just realized that I’d made it thru my youth and probably WASN’T gonna die young. Suddenly I decided I’d better get myself and life in order for the long haul.


I had a steady job I was good at that paid pretty well, but lots of debt. My roommate (R.N.-a great guy) told me that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to save 10% of every dollar I made. Just deposit my check, and make a 10% transfer every time. Kick start the savings by trying to get thru one pay period without cashing my check, then deposit that in savings. That way, you see yourself making progress.

The rest was simple but hard. Get rid of credit card debt. I did this legally, but the laws have changed to make it harder. If you do the math and see where you will be in ten years if you continue on, or if you take drastic action, you’ll be convinced to just do it.

Get rid of consumer and school debt. You are ruining your credit anyway (it’s probably already ruined by all your credit cards) so do it all. If you don’t pay your student loans they will eventually settle for whatever they can get. Save your cash, make them an offer. Pay them off one at a time IN FULL and at reduced totals.

Get right with the IRS. They will work with you, but you’ve gotta do it and stick to it.

The KEY to this was saving cash. Without that initial 10% saved, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of the rest.

That was the point my life turned around. I went from living in the moment, and changed my focus to longer term. I started saving money so I had options and flexibility.

A while later, in a different city, and a different life (made possible by having money in the bank) a good friend told me to make a 10 year plan. What did I want in ten years? How could I get it? Making the list (home of my own, debt free, money in the bank, start a family) lets you decide if you are making progress or not. It lets you judge choices. It took me FIFTEEN years, but I got there.

Finally, two minor things have helped more recently.

Break your addiction to the “Snooze” button. If you are hitting it more than once, you aren’t getting any more good sleep, and you aren’t getting up. Set it for your final awake time. GET UP and just get started on the day. Set a backup if you don’t trust the alarm or yourself. In a while, you will both start to wake up, and trust the alarm. This has made a big difference in my mornings.

The second is something I read, that was very hard to internalize but helped me a lot in my work and relationships with people in general. Indra Noori (CEO of Pepsico) said the best advice she ever got was to “assume positive intent”. In other words, assume people aren’t trying to screw you no matter what it looks like initially. Most people are not villains. Most are doing the best they can with what they have and what they know. It may screw you anyway, but that’s not usually their goal, they just want to get thru the day and go home. Changing your default assumption will change the ‘color’ of every interaction and opens up a wider range of solutions to any problems that come up. Seriously, this helped a lot.

So, what or who helped you prep for life?


Thur. Mar. 15, 2018 – another day another airplane…

Cool and clear here in Santa Fe. Yesterday it got warm enough to take off the jacket…

Plan for the day is sightseeing, food, drive, fly, and home.

Tomorrow get back in the swing at home and pack for the Hamfest. I need good weather to sell off all the cr@p I’ve been accumulating for the fest. I hope I can find it all and fit it in the truck.

Food here has been great. Super savory, spicy, and delicious. I’m not a big fan of green chilies but ‘when in rome’ … And they’re famouse for it.

Better get packing…