Walker is gone.

We had to put Walker down this morning. He was suffering. We couldn't stand to watch him run into the walls any more. We'll see him in heaven.
update: Lots of pictures of Walker in the web album
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First Drink of the Day

First Drink of the Day.
So true.
Download the mp3

My nerves are burnin'
My stomach's churnin'
Threre's only only one thing I need
It comes in a bottle
or a glass or a can
It's the cure that's guaranteed


It's True!

Engineers drive pretty girls crazy!


Dinosaur Dream

I had a really weird dream the other night. It was as vivid a dream as I can ever remember having. What's really weird is that I remembered it. I never remember my dreams. Well, almost never. Anyhow, here's the dream...

I'm a caveman, dressed in leopard skin and carrying a spear. I was returning from a familiar cove after unsuccessfully trying to stab a couple fish for dinner. I came upon a pliosaur half out of the water. This is the biggest old pliosaur I'd ever seen (maybe it was a Liopleurodon). He's about 40 feet long and his jaws are 12 feet long. He has lots and lots of long pointy teeth that show when he opens his mouth. He's just laying there moaning in pain, "OW my tooth! It hurts! It hurts!". About this time he sees me crouching behind a big rock and calls out to me, "please help me, I'm in pain!".
Being a caveman, I'm a bit leery of giant predators who could eat a dozen cavemen as a light snack, so I approach him cautiously. As I get a little closer, I can see one of his upper teeth is sticking out at a strange angle and the gums are all infected looking. I'm just crouching there, holding my spear out in front of me, wondering if I should help him or kill him, and he says to me, "I'll do anything you want if you'll just pull this tooth out!"
I asked, "You're not going to eat me when I get closer?"
"No, I promise, I won't eat you."
"Do you promise you'll never eat any people ever again?"
"I promise"
"Do you promise to bring me a fish?"
"What kind of fish?"
"A big fish, like a tuna. No dolphins, no ichthyosaurs, no coelecanths. And no squids either!"
"OK, I promise I'll never eat anybody ever again, and I'll bring you a fish as big as you are."
Now every caveman knows, a pliosaur in pain will always keep his promises, so I walk over to the poor suffering monster and I grab the tooth with both hands, (the tooth is a little smaller at the base than a beer can and about 12" long, tapering to a sharp point) and I pull with all my mighty caveman strength -- the tooth comes out, root and all, and the ploisaur squeals like a (baritone) pig and about a cup and a half of disgusting pink pus comes oozing out of the hole. I jump back so he can't 'accidentally' bite me in half. I grab a double handful of kelp off the beach and shove it in the tooth-hole and ram it in with the back end of my spear. I tell the pliosaur to bite down on the kelp for a while and wait until the pain goes away.
After about 10 minutes he raises his head and smiles at me. (A smiling pliosaur is more scary than heartwarming). He scoots backward with his flippers and swims back out to sea. I stand on the shore, watching, waiting, wondering if I'm ever going to get that big fish he promised me. After 20 minutes or so, I give up on the idea of a fish dinner. I pick up the tooth as a souvenir and continue on down the beach.
After a couple miles on down the beach, just before I have to turn inland to my home cave, the pliosaur rushes out of the surf in front of me, and he has a nice big fat blue fin tuna between his front teeth. He turns his head directly towards me and drops the tuna right at my feet.
I gutted the fish with my spear, threw it over my shoulder and climbed the path inland to my tribes' cave. Not all of my cave-mates believed my tale of helping pliosaurs in distress, even after I showed them the tooth, but everybody ate themselves into a stupor anyway.
(fade to black)

(same dream, scene two)
A couple weeks later I'm at the same cove again. Again I'm trying unsuccessfully to stab fish with my spear. I decide to give up and go home empty-handed. As I climb the path back to the cave, I spot a Tyrannosaurus Rex lurking in the bushes along the path. I stand ready with my spear to fight the beast when she speaks to me, "The pliosaur said I could find you here."
"OK... "
"He says you saved his life by pulling his bad tooth."
"Yes, I did." as I pulled the tooth out from where I kept it under my belt like a shortsword.
"I have a problem with my tooth."
"I can see you have lots of big pointy teeth. Which one? Point to it with your tongue."
The T. Rex opens her mouth halfway, leans forward and points to the tooth with her tongue. "iths thith one here", she says indicating an upper tooth along the side near the front.
I reach out with the blunt end of my spear, "this one?" as I give the tooth a poke.
T. Rex screams in pain and brings herself back to full height, her eyes fiery with anger and watering in pain. "Don't do that! It hurts!"
I'm standing behind a tree now with the pointy end of the spear back between us. She looks at me for a moment and says, "that spear wouldn't stop me if I wanted to eat you!"
"But then who would take care of that tooth?"
"Humans taste bad anyway, OK I won't eat you if you help me."
"The Pliosaur promised me he would never eat people again."
T. Rex raised her right hand and said, "OK, I promise: I'll never eat people again."
"The pliosaur brought me a fish."
"Yes, he did mention a fish. I can't catch fish, I don't swim."
"We eat red meat too.."
"OK, I'll bring you a big hunk of red meat or something."
"A good piece of fresh meat, not some old stinking rotten brontosaur tail"
"OK, OK, a nice big fresh piece of good red meat with no maggots and I'll never eat any humans ever again. I Promise."
At this point I could tell she was getting a bit aggravated, by the tone of her voice and the way her tail was twitching. A tyrannosaur's promise is only good for as long as she doesn't loose her temper, so I look for a way to get the tooth out without getting chomped on. I a big oak tree growing nearby with a branch growing horizontally. The branch was a foot and a half in diameter and about 4 feet off the ground. I ducked under the branch and told her "bite down on this branch while I try to get that tooth out". She eyed me warily, but did what I asked, she walks over to the tree then half squatting, half laying on her big belly, she puts her mouth around the branch. I told her, "All the way back to the jaw, so I can get at that tooth."
She did as I asked, leaning forward into the branch. Her top jaw was angled downward and I could see that the tooth was not going to be easy to pull, even though it was slightly loose. It wasn't going to be easy to get my hands around. It was sharp, about the size and shape of a big spear point, with big sharp teeth on either side of it. I reached in my pouch (in dreams, things like pouches appear and disappear as needed) and pulled out a 4 foot long piece of sinew cord, and carefully looped it around the tooth. I told her, "close your eyes".
"why should I close my eyes?"
"So you can't anticipate when I'm going to pull the tooth out and flinch, that would make it hurt even more."
"How much will it hurt?"
"A lot! Close your eyes." I reached down with my right hand and picked up a big rock as I wound the cord around my left hand. I smacked the rock hard against the tooth as I pulled with all my caveman strength on the cord. The tooth came loose, blood splattered all over me, but the tree branch held strong, and T. Rex only bit halfway through it. I was able to scamper away while she jumped to her feet and screamed in pain.
"Why didn't you warn me about the rock?" she asked angrily.
"I didn't want to scare you."
"I'm not scared"
"No, but I am!"
"You should be!" She stood there for a minute sucking on the tooth hole with her tongue. "Hey the pain's almost gone now. C'mon, I'll give you a ride home." She turns and squats down for me, motioning come on with her head. I shove the bloody tooth and cord in my pouch, pick up my spear and hop up on her back. She started walking toward the cave where I live.
I can tell she's walking extra smooth because I'm not at all worried about falling off. Even so, she covers the ground as fast as I could at a full run. While we're still a stone's throw from my cave I say to her, "stop here, I better walk the rest of the way myself."
"OK," she says as she stops and I slid down her back to the ground, "But why stop here?"
"Because, the sight of a large carnivore scares the cavewomen and they'll send all the other cavemen out to throw rocks and spears at you."
"Well, OK" she says, still sucking on that tooth hole with her tongue. "Thanks for knocking my tooth out." and she runs off into the woods.
The next day, I make a new spear using the tyrannosaur tooth, it's pretty easy to do since it has a double root. (the one in my dream did anyway). It's larger, sharper and a little bit lighter than my other spear.
The other cavemen and I are out hunting. We're on the edge of a large clearing, watching a small herd of ankylosaurs grazing, planning our strategy, how to separate one of them from the herd, then kill him and eat him.
Suddenly, a tyrannosaur runs out from the forest on the other side of the clearing, the herd scatters, the tyrannosaur chases one of them straight towards us, but the ankylosaur stops suddenly and raises his knobbed spiky tail striking at the tyrannosaur while looking over his shoulder. It's a standoff, as long as the ankylosaur keeps his guard up, he won't be eaten. I look over at the tyrannosaur, I'd know that gap-toothed smile anywhere. I step out of the forest I and throw my new spear with all my mighty caveman strength, it strikes the ankylosaur in the throat and penetrates on through into his chest. He turns to charge at me, but the tyrannosaur jumps on his back, chomping off his head faster than I could run back into the forest. My cavemates are a long ways back in the forest by this time calling to me to run for my life. There is a spark of recognition in the Tyrannosaur's eye as she looks at me, she pulls my spear from the dead ankylosaur with her teeth. grabs it with her hand and examines it. "Nice spear", she says.
"Your tooth!" I reply.
"I see that", and tosses it back to my feet , I pick it up. "I owe you some meat", she says and grabs the hop of her prey, shakes her head and drops the whole back leg at my feet. The leg is sliced cleanly with the hip ball just sticking out of the meat.
I pick up the leg and throw it over my shoulder. "Thanks for dinner!" as I walk away.
"We're even now!" she says and begins feeding on the corpse.
I am joined by my cavemates who carry the leg and eye me suspiciously. All my Cavemates eat like pigs that night.

(by this point I'm nearly awake, I roll over and go back to sleep, trying to recapture the dream. From this point the dream is not as vivid as before.)
I'm picking berries from a bush in that same clearing. As I look up, I see a brontosaurus walking slowly towards me from across the clearing. As bontosaurs go, this guy is kind of small, about the size that Fred FLintstone works with, but this one was really, really skinny, his ribs are sticking out like a stray dog. Not much meat on this guy for a caveman to be interested in.
Same story: "The pliosaur said you could help me."
"That ploisaur talks too much!"
"Never mind, which tooth is it?"
"Oh, it's this one." he lowers his head, snarls back his lip, and points out a molar with his tongue.
"OK, come over here," I say as I reach into my pouch an pull out my caveman sinew-cord (much stronger and longer this time) I tie one end it to the trunk of a large tree at the edge of the clearing. I tell bronto "open wide and close your eyes". I tie the other end around his tooth. I slap bronto across the face and scream in his ear, he rears back in fright, and as he does, he pulls his tooth out. The tooth falls at my feet, it has four roots, and it's about the size of a milking stool.

I realize I'm having a weird dream and I wake up. There's no point in trying to recapture the dream, I'm wide awake.

Well, there it is, for what it's worth.


Famous Last Words

  • Hey, watch this!

  • You're bluffing!

  • No problem, I've done this lots of times.

  • Are you sure the power's off?

  • That water doesn't look deep to me!

  • Yes, you do look fat in that dress.

  • Hmmm, this tastes a little strange.

  • OOPS!


Good News and Bad News

C-Reactive Protein is an indicator of cardiac artery inflamation, which can give a warning for atheriosclerosis.

Simvastatin (Zocor) significantly lowers CRP. I don't know what my CRP levels are, (or were) but this has to be good news.

Zocor does not improve chances for angioplasty and stent patients. 3 out of 3.

Statin Use May Slightly Impair Brain Function. I need all the brain function I can get.


Laser Man Caught?

The Political Teen: Man Playing With Lasers: Didn't Intentionally Point at Plane, or so he says.

I hope that's all this is, just laser pointers, but I'm afraid it's more than that, a laser pointer won't blind you, would it?

Crucify the guy -- we need a scapegoat.

Just Surfing, but then...

I was over at Yippee-Ki-Yay, just surfing from my links page, and I noticed his (appearently random) headline said something like
"My Myers-Briggs Personality Type is A??B -- Antisocial something someting Rotten Bastard"
or something like that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling Mr. McGehee a rotten bastard, but he was either making a joke about psychological tests, or about himself in a self-depricating sort of way that maybe is the truth, but has some plausible deniability to it since the headline was gone the next time the page loaded, and he can always say Hey, I was just jokin'.

Anyway, that got me started, and I googled Myers-Briggs Personality Type and arrived at this test here. I took the test, and rather than sending homeland security over to my house to arrest me (at least they haven't showed up yet), it tells me "

Your Type is


Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging
Strength of the preferences %
78 11 67 22

OK, nice letters, but what does it mean?
There's one link to a page titled The Portrait of the Mastermind Rational. It sounds like my job description, in a long winded sort of way.
There's one other link to a page that talks about master planners, and also lists as famous ITNJ types: Rudy Giuliani, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Augustus Caesar, William F. Buckley, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson.
So what does all this mean, aside from the fact I'm getting a swelled head and bragging about something I have almost no control over?
It just means I'm an engineer, I fix problems, and I make decisions when I have to.
The test just told me what I already know.
Never mind.

update: McGehee has the last word.


2004 - Year in Review

To make a long story short, 2004 sucked.

  • One of my cars quit working and wasn't worth fixing. It was 16 years old and had way too many miles on it, but it was paid for! I just wanted to drive it for a couple more years.

  • Dad had a heart attack, then pneumonia. It was touch and go for a couple days. He's nearly recovered now.

  • I had a heart attack. I'm feeling much better now.

  • Dewey died. Best damn cat I ever had.

  • Walker has epilepsy and low thyroid. The meds almost have it under control. Poor dog.

I really shouldn't be so negative, there were some good things that happened in 2004...
Like, uh, ...
Hold on, I'll think of something.
  • I quit smoking.

  • Another year of marital bliss (thanks Basia).