Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Eve

Wow has this been a long, yet productive year. 2005 looks to be lining up to be a great one also, let us only hope.

Anyways, I here that greatness can be obtained by your location on New Years Eve. Some smart dude come up with that (me for the plug I'm about to deliver) and I think I have to pay close attention to him and all his infinite wisdom that he bestows upon us. I am pretty sure that the place he was referring to on New Years Eve for this year is located on Rt. 73 and is called the Country Inn.

Can greatness be bestowed upon you for being at the Country Inn tonight? Absolutely. 10 years from now I think people are going to look back and be able to claim that "I was there" at the Country Inn on December 31, 2004. With my own eyes I got a chance to see Aaron Scott before he really hit the big time. He is a young up and coming singer who has already opened up for some of the biggest names in the industry like Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney. I'm really looking foreword to listening to him tonight.

I'm looking foreword to obtaining my greatness for 2005, if you want to obtain your greatness, come to the Country Inn tonight. Don't deny yourself the opportunity to say "I was there".


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Internet Tsunami

I know this guy was just trying to be helpfull, but it kind of bit him. Matt Drudge from Drudge Report direct linked to him BLOG when he had some movies of the recent Tsunami's that just rocked Asia. 10 Terrabytes of Transfer in 24 hours. Wow, talk about a serious amount of number of hits.

NOAA does have a nice little animation of the model of the path of the Tsunami. I have a friend who works at NOAA and he told me Sunday night that 4,000 people from his hometown in India have been declard dead when the overall deathtoll was mearly 8,000 people. It's expected to reach 100,000 after the fall out. NOAA's Animation

There are some very interesting videos posted HERE. He's having bandwidth problems and is trying to get the videos back up.

If anyone is interested in helping any of these people, I have a friend who recently returned to Sri Lanka last year after both he and his wife Seela finished their doctorates. They were both 75 miles inward so they are fine, but are very busy helping out. The WVU department of Geography and the NRAC are combining to put together an aid package to send to him directly. If anyone id interested in making a donation, I'll post the accountinformation once we get it set up.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Nice little surprise.

I got a little pleasant surprise in my e-mail today, I checked it and seen a familiar name that I know. I got an e-mail from my nephew Daniel just wanting to say hello. Which to tell you the truth, kinda made my day because it had been some time since I had spoken with him.

He was telling me that he is now engaged and is going to be married this April to a girl named Kamey. She seems like a real nice girl, even though I've never met her. I added a few pics of him to my picture site under family.

I told him to do a BLOG and I've seen he has obliged by starting one. Now if we can just get a few people to post in theirs who have them (hint hint).


Sunday, December 26, 2004

Weekend Tidbits

* My short little six day break is about over with, but I can say I enjoyed it and got a little bit of much needed relaxation over the week.

* I did manage to send an e-mail to my sister Kim, aka the "Blacksheep", and wish her a Happy Holidays. I received a return e-mail a little later wishing me the same.

* How about those Pittsburgh Steelers!!!! They won again and ran their record to 14-1 on the season and clinched a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

* I managed to do another movie file this weekend, yes a second, and it was one that I had in the back of my head to do for sometime. I had to sort through all my pictures and old movie files to get the appropriate content, then I had to make sure I had the right song to go with those pictures. I did try something different this time by adding an actual movie file in it and fading the sound. I did accidentally get the same picture in the movie twice, and since it was a fit chick in a bikini, I just thought I would add a little transition to go with the music and kick back to the same picture. This one is a little humorous so here it is.

* My Latest Movie File I hope you enjoy it. I do however get the impression my friends and family are trying to tell me something. I'm not sure what it is though.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Media File

I threw together a little Windows Media file from the pictures from Christmas Eve.

Hope you enoy. Holly Jolly Christmas


I just would like to take this time and wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas, I hope Santa Claus was good to you.

A few Christmas Eve Pics

This is just a taste of Christmas Eve.










Friday, December 24, 2004

NORAD is tracking Santa Claus

Every year NORAD, tracks Santa's trek around the work and even catches some very rare video footage of Jolly Ole Saint Nick.

NORAD's Santa Link

Keep track of where he is tonight, the most special night of the year. Let's all wish him a safe trip around the world tonight.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Inside the Actors Studio

Flipping through the channels tonight, I managed to stop on Bravo. The show Inside the Actors Studio was on and it captivated me. I guess it's a film class that's broadcast on television, because the audience seems to be completely full of film students.

A show that I, and I think I can say everyone has seen in the Cartoon The Simpsons. We have all seen the show and probably each know 100 characters by heart. I've watched the show for so many years, that you seem to forget that there are real people behind the voices. Other than Yeardly Smith I couldn't put a human face behind any of the voices.

It was nice to see this very talented group of actors on stage and demonstrating the voices of the characters for us all to enjoy.

Monday, December 20, 2004

David Blaine

Street Magician David Blaine recently did a live, gory illusion on the Carson Daly Show. Be forewarned, this could be considered very grotesque.

The Illusion

His Website

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Long week

What a week this has been, to get any time off for Christmas I have had to make up a boatload of hours. This week I have decided to work 7 10 hour shifts and will work another one Monday so I can have a little bit of a break for Christmas. I'll be off from Tuesday till Sunday and that will be my longest break from work or school since before I started college in 1999. It will be nice to relax a little bit. I'm not real sure what I'm going to do with my time off, but you can rest assured whatever I do will either be something I've needed to get done or just a little bit of relaxing.

With Christmas coming up this week, it should be a great week as usual. The Hall family Christmas has just grown to a point where Parking was going to become a serious issue. I've counted as many as 80 people there before, and when parking is limited it creates a burden on neighbors. This past summer there was a few discussions about renting out the Marilla Recreational Center and holding it there like we did for Valerie and Bobby's wedding. That plan seemed to get a little bit sidetracked though as the year wore on. I actually started a thread for it in my forums, but it seems like I am the only one who ever posts over there. Maybe the family just isn't into the whole message board thing. Good thing I at least got a few started doing BLOG's.

This year the Christmas Eve festivities will be at Nick and Terri's new establishment, it has all the room, space and parking we should need to accommodate everyone that we are going to need to. I heard Terri hung up a picture of Dad and a couple of the patrons donated a flag as a memorial to him. My mom said it was very touching to see, but I haven't had the chance to see it yet. I'm sure after Monday I will have a chance to go and spend a little time with Terri at the Country Inn.

I'll be sure to take pictures of everyone and try to do a little media file about it if I can find an appropriate song to do. Christmas day really hasn't been a big thing for me, it has always been Christmas Eve for me. The excitement leading up to it. Whether it be Santa Claus stopping by and paying a visit, or the rekindling of long lost friendships, or just seeing family members you don't see all year Christmas Eve has always had a very special meaning to me. This year shouldn't be any different. Hopefully I can capture it in pictures and we can keep it forever for the next generation to enjoy. Hopefully they wont make toomuch fun of the way we dressed. Anyone remember the Disco era?




Friday, December 17, 2004

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Country Inn Night

It's Thursday night and Nick and Terri are going to have their first band to play at their bar since they took over. The Chicken Pickers are the featured band for the night. I hear they are pretty good, I'll have to make it up to hear them sometime soon.

I haven't managed to get up to the bar the past week or so, been a little busy making up hours for a nice little Christmas break.

It's also Thursday night and no Survivor. Arrrrggghhhhh

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Survivor Final

Tonight is the two hour final of this seasons Survivor. We are down to the final four tonight and will name the sole survivor tonight also. The four remaining survivors are Eliza Orlins, the very quite Dr. Scout Cloud Lee, Twila Tanner and the last male survivor Chris Daugherty. My personal choice Chad is already a part of the jury, so going into the last show I would have to say I'm cheering for Chris, for no other reason other than I think he has played a great game and managed to survive and put himself in the final four when all indications were that he was going to be voted out weeks ago.

The first immunity challenge of the night was a vertical human maze where you had to climb around this vertical maze to come back with a pair of pieces of wood and return them to the bottom. There were ten sets of pairs that the contestants had to find and return to the base to form a two word answer for the for immunity. Chris went to the highest point for at the start and won immunity for tribal council.

At the first tribal council of the night, I guess the first question that I was asking myself was now that Chris had won immunity, was he going to honor his alliance with Eliza and go against Scout and Twila and try to eliminate one of them, or was he going to make it simple by eliminating Eliza, probably the games strongest remaining player at the point. Well, Chris is obviously playing for the money because he voted Eliza out, eliminating the only player who could be a stronger physical challenge player than he was. Eliza was a little upset, but it is a game. I think it was a great strategical move on his part. If he wins the next immunity, he picks who he goes to the final two with. Personally, Eliza and Twila have been at each others throats from the very beginning and I sided with Twila because she worked her ass off in the camp and told it like it was.

The next day they went through the traditional rites of passage, that's when the final three players go on a journey and see the torches of all the players who have been eliminated from the game to this point. It gives everyone a chance to reflect upon time they may have spent with each and every individual player to this point.

Me, it gave me a chance to reflect back to the posts I have made about Survivor since my first one on September 23.

The final immunity challenge is usually one of endurance. This one was no different, the three survivors had to stand on a stump with a bow drawn, if they released pressure from the bow, it would pierce a eyepiece that came out when it was first drawn, thus eliminating them from the challenge. Scout was the first to pierce her piece and be eliminated. After 1 hour and 7 mins, Twila pierced her paper piece nd awarding final immunity to Chris. This allows him to basically pick who he wants to go against in the finals for the million dollars and guarentees the either him or the person he picks $100,000 minumum and $1,000,000 to the other. What amazed me was whe n Scout stepped off, why did Chris and Twila continue to battle for the immunity. If I'm Chris, I'm wanting to go against a very open and loud personality in the finals rather than a cancer survivor who has flown in under the radar.

At Tribal council, Chris played strategy and eliminated Scout from the game, leaving Chris and Twila as the games final two players. I think Chris chose Twila to go to the finals with him because of her open persoanlity. I'm sure she has ticked off a few Jury members along the way with their personality conflicts, or her swearing on her son's life and then it being a complete lie. I think he will beat Twila, but he would have lost to Scout, who played a very honorable game.

At the final tribal council, the game switches and now the players are no longer voting, it's now put into the hands of the seven jury members that they had previously voted off. All seven Jury members did have a chance to ask one question to each of the final two players before they make their vote on who they are awarding the million dollars to. I really didn't see any surprises from the jury as far as questioning, it seemed more like a bitch session about why they were in the Jury and Chris and Twila were stil in the game.

For the final vote, the jury members do not vote anyone out, they vote for who they want to win the million dollars. After the votes were tallied, Jeff informed them once again as he usually does that he would talley the votes in the US. He does a sequnce when he parachutes out of a plane and rides a motorcycle into a live audience in Hollywoood to read the results of the final tribal council.

The winner needed to see his name on the parchment 4 times to get a majority. After six read votes, Chris was declared the winner of Survivor Vanuatu and the winner of the Million Dollars.

Mark "Stats Guru" Devault

I was sitting here paying some bills when I got an IM from Mark, he asked if I had read today's paper. Not knowing specifically what he was talking about I said no (I basically glance at it online anymore). It seems Bob Hertzel gave Mark a little recognition on his website in today's paper.

It seems like there is a little discrepancy between the WVU press guide and Mark's site. The press guide is subject to human error that could never have been caught had the king of MySQL not decided to put his passion for WVU sports and his expertise in Database design and caught the error. Mark pointed out that the Guide had WVU with a home record of 18-1 in 1986, where in reality we were 13-1. A simple handwriting error had given us credit for an additional five home games. The "Stats Guru" is quickly making a name for himself.

Mark has designed a few unique databases that are one of a kind. He has the one for Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and he's just starting the WVU Football database. Not to overlook that he also created a Morgantown High Alumni site that's one of a kind.

West Virginia University has had some great people associated with it throughout he years. Jack Fleming was "The Voice of the Mountaineers" for many years before he passed away. Jerry West can safely be argued is the single most marquee player in WVU basketball history, and AC Whitey Gwynne a pioneer in the field of athletic training. These guys have all come and gone in their time at WVU. Today, it is Mark Devault that may just join his own brother Bill on that list of Most Famous West Virginians with the truly innovative set of databases he has designed.

From all of us stats loving WVU fans, thank you Mark.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Mozilla Update

Penn State University has told 80,000 students to stop using Internet Explorer and switch at an alternative browser such as Firefox, the one I mentioned in yesterdays post.

I read somewhere that within the first 24 hours of its release, Firefox 1.0 had five million downloads.

There are some very bad security glitches with IE and I switched to Firefox a couple weeks ago. I would highly recommend everyone who reads my BLOG to switch browsers.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Open Office

As the twenty-first century keeps on rolling, technology continues to grow and our society continues to become more and more electronic friendly. Products such as Microsoft's office has almost become a necessity to almost every household. It is pretty much become the industry standard.

If someone wanted a copy of Office, they would be limited to a few options. First would be the obvious and pay Microsoft the $150-$900, that's from the student edition to the enterprise edition that has everything. Secondly, if the first one isn't an option, people could start to seek out a pirated version of the software from Kazaa, Imesh or any other file sharing software. Being how the RIAA has monitored such file sharing software lately, this could end you up in court.

There is a solution to all of this though.

I work in an office and have a few close outside friends that are programmers and network administrators. Over the past few weeks I have tried a few new ways of thinking. The first thing I did was realize that there are some serious unrepairable security holes in Internet Explorer. I'm a former Netscape user and just got frustrated with them about five years ago. I have found a customizable free browser that I would almost venture to say that every programmer I know uses and that is Mozilla's Firefox. The more I use it, the more I like it, but now back to my original post.

I have been an Office user for years, but I have recently found a free open source version of the software that is compatable with everything that I have used so far and that is Open Office. What open source means is that the source code for the software is available and can be manipulated to meet the users specific demands. Although the product as is is good enough for 99.99999% of its users.

On a side note, most hackers and people who write and distribute worms and bugs are doing so and directing them at closed source Microsoft Products. There are other operating systems such as Linux that they tend not to target because it is so open source and not a company making billions of dollars off of the public.

Open Office features include a Word Processor (Word) a Spreadsheet (excel) and a Presentation (Power Point) as well as an HTML editor. I checked out the spreadsheet, and I can write the same formulas in Open Office as I could have in Excel. Side note, I couldn't do the same operations in Coral (since the last time I used it) or Microsoft Works (the free version Microsoft gives you that basically wasn't compatable with anything else.) Open Office gives you an option as to what format you wasnt to save your document in. The only drawback that I haven't used it professionally and tried to save a compatble .dbf file so that it is dbaseIV compatable.

But, for the average everyday user, I give it two thumbs up.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Survivor Night

What am I going to do next week. Tonight we will eliminate it down to the final four players, meaning that a special Sunday Night showing will be the final show of this season, meaning this is the last Thursday Night for Survivor.

During the rewards challenge Julie Berry managed to win a series of challenges and be the last survivor standing. We won a reward where she got to go to a volcano and spend some time there. They told her she could take one person with her, so she chose Chris Daugherty, the last surviving male to go with her and her reward of hotdogs and beer. Of course during the private little trip with the two, there was a little bit of strategizing going on in Julie's case.

The immunity challenge was from questions of a story that Jeff told. Of course it was one of those tounge twister type story, which made it that much tougher. When it was all said and done, with headlights gleaming at me thtough the TV set Eliza Orlins guarenteed herslf a place in the final four.

Coming down to the last Thursday Night tribal council and leaving us with the games final four players the question was whether the alliance would stand stromg and vote off Julie, or would Eliza go together with Chris and Julie and vote out Twila Tanner. Seems like the only one who is safe other than the person with immunity is Chris. At Tribal Council the alliance for the final four stood, much to Eliza's surprise and Julie was voted out.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Penny Wise

Read a cute ARTICLE article today about paying off a debt in pennies. Seems like a man in Utah was given an $82.00 fine for driving with a headlight out. As in his own little form of protest, he decided to pay the ticket all in pennies. 8,200 of them to be exact.

Court officials said they had the right to have him make a "more acceptable" form of payment and that they had the right to refuse his payment in pennies. The guy contended that the pennies were legal tender.

That left me wondering a little about that debate,so I did a little research on my own and I went to SNOPES to get the rundown to see if this had ever been addressed before.

Seems like the guy was right:

Title 31 (Money and Finance), Subtitle IV (Money), Chapter 51 (Coins and Currency), Subchapter I (Monetary System), Section 5103 (Legal Tender) of the United States Code states:

United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.



Snopes defines it in a little more detail, but it does make for a good read.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Survivor Night

I missed last weeks show because of Thanksgiving and the WVU football game, but it seems like I missed one of the best shows ever when the womens alliance was broken.

If you would have asked me two weeks ago who was going to win, I would have said Ami had played a very strategic game and was going to walk away with it, even though I didn't like her.

After what I saw thta happened last week, this week could mean goodbye to Ami. When tribal council came around, 4-2 Ami was gone. She had a great set of boobs that I didn't mind looking at, but other than that I didn't really care for her for some reason.

Oh well, down to the final five.

Country Inn

A few pics from the opening day of buisness at Terri and Nicks's.











Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Pleasant Surprise

Talk about a pleasant unexpected surprise, I got a chance tonight to talk to my best friend from college. She left Morgantown last March and our contact has been limited to none since then.

If I remember only one person from my college years, it will be my old office mate Ginger. Tonight I was uploading some pictures on the net and I saw on my MSN messenger that I received an e-mail from her, quickly I jumped on and told her I was online. To my pleasant surprise she logged onto MSN messenger and we had a voice conversation for a good while.

We caught up on the past eight and a half months and joked around like we were still at the office together. It was a great time. She showed me her work website and caught up on old times. If you have one friend like Ginger in your lifetime, you are a lucky person.

Talk about a great birthday gift!