Monday, January 31, 2005

I may have been wrong, Part Deux

OK, earlier today I posted what I thought was the third and only picture of me and all my brothers and sisters. I thought I had made an earth shattering discovery in figuring out that I was even the one hosting the third picture. It only took me six months to realize that we were all in that picture.

Move foreward a few hours and my sister Kim sends me an e-mail telling me she had a better pic than the one that I had. One where you could actually see Terri and Pam's face.

Thanks to Kim for sending me this pic and proving me wrong a second time in one day.


I may have been wrong

A few months ago I made a post saying that I finally got the only two pictures of all five of us siblings together. I even wrote about it in a October 16, 2004 BLOG entry that I had made. One of the pictures was from 1978 and one was from 1999.

HOWEVER, I may have actually made an error in that assessment. I was looking through my photo album this morning and noticed another picture that all five of us were in.



This was from 1988 when Pam and George got married. You can see me on the far left in a time long ago when I actually had hair. My sister Kim is standing beside, then you see a picture of My sister Pam and George in the front and my brother Gary standing in a blue suit in the middle.

The only one apparantly missing from this picture is Terri, but if you look behind Pam and on the other side of Kim, you will see that Terri was in the picture but was hidden from the view because of where Pam was standing.

So, I guess I was wrong and there is another picture that contained all five of us in one picture. I'm sure if I look at all the video tape of the pic nics in the past I could find frames where we are all together, but no still photograghs that I am aware of.

Wouldn't it be nice some day soon if all of everyone's differences could be put aside for a little while and a group picture could be taken of everyone. Not only my bother and sisters, but their spouses and thier kids and their kid's kids and everyone. If Danile and Kamey get married this fall and if you include her one daughter I recall, maybe it's two, can't tell off the top of my head. If this is correct, then adding in Mom and Jean and Gerald, I count 22 or 23 people that need to assemble in one place at one time for this event to happen.

It seems like an impossibility, but you never know it may happen some day.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Weekend Wrapup

Wow, I swear weekends seem to be getting shorter and shorter. I even got off work a little early Friday because I stayed so late on Thursday Night to try and get our 36" scanner working properly.

Worked a little on the Football Database, but not too much. I need to get hopping on that. My knee was sore this weekend and I just relaxed Saturday, then Sunday I was busy writing a little script so that Mom will be able to keep better track of the books at Country Inn. It was just a simple but time consuming spreadsheet in excel that I ended up writing it in. I was going to build an Access Database, but I was reminded to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and chose not to do so. Maybe in the long run I'll design them one customized to their needs.

I see my mom finally did another BLOG entry. I was happy to see it, hopefully she can write a little more often for people outside of Morgantown. I like the fact that all the BLOGS are now tied in together, makes it a little easier to keep track of what's going on around the family.

My niece did manage to kick a little more ass and make the Honor Roll again. She's making me very proud, I can't emphasize how important education is. It's what prepares you for life and beyond, Brittany has been doing a lot of studying and has really excelled in the classroom.




I managed to get an e-mail off to my nephew Randy at the Mountaineer Challenge Acadamy. He's probably still in the phase where they are starting to build his confidence back up after breaking him down. If you are reading this, do him a favor and drop him an encouraging e-mail, it'll be a definate lift to him on this challenging journey.

wvchallenge@wvchallenge.org
Subject: Cadet Hamrick

Has to be mailed by 3:00 for him to receive it that day. Remember he can't respond, so I'm sure encouraging words from everryone will be very appreciated.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

New Jib Jab Cartoon

Even though I didn;t vote for him, the guys over at Jib Jab have finally done a followup to This Land that got so much attention prior to the election.

They have follwed it up with Second Term. It's pretty good, but I like the first one much better.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tuesdays Tidbits

* Every once in a while it's nice to run a tidbits post addressing little things rather than to overextend something that I really don't have a whole lot to say about. On with the tidbits.

* As most of you may already know, my sister Terri was injured at work last week. I guess the gas oven wasn't lit and it ignited when she checked it. She received first and second degree burns on her face and neck and lost about what she estimated as a third of her hair. She's OK and already back to work.

* My Nephew Daniel called me last Saturday night from Kentucky concerned about Terri's welfare. It was nice to hear from him. Although the recent winter storm we were supposed to get this past weekend didn't hit us, he said that they had received a couple inches of snow.

* I didn't want to Jinx the Pittsburgh Steelers, that's why I wasn't saying anything about the AFC Championship game. The Steelers have a tendency to lose it when they play it in Pittsburgh, this loss makes the fourth loss in the last five attempts to make the Superbowl from home. Good luck to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

* Speaking of the Super Bowl. Country Inn is the place to be to watch the game.

* I sent out a few e-mails last night to a few classmates from the Morgantown High Class of 1982 to see if they could update their information and pass the link on to others from the class so we can get an up to date list of information on everyone. After twenty plus years, you have to fish a little bit for information on classmates to find their e-mail addresses. For any and all of you Morgantown High Alumni, keep checking back on your classes information or have someone contact Mark Devault at Mark@devault.org to get your class hosted.

* Speaking of Databases, I'm helping Mark construct the WVU Football Database. Right now I'm going through and adding some complete rosters from all the years that we can obtain the information for. WVU's Sports Communication Department has been very helpful in allowing Mark access to their records. Stay tuned, Mark is the King of MySQL and it's going to be a good learning experiance.

* The WVU Men's Basketbal team hosts the defending NCAA Champion UCONN Huskies tonight. We have been a very cold shooting team the last few games, if something doesn't change and a few players don't get hot shooting the ball from three point land, it's going to be a long night for Coach Beilein. Although, if we get hot, which we are due, it could be interesting.

* Bought the DVD Friday Night Lights this past Friday. It had a alot of criticalaclaim and hype and for once I actually agreed with the critics. I thought it was a good movie. Not the greatest sports movie, but well worth the proice of admission.

* I finally got around to burning the CD's that everyone had requested. I have the software Nick requested and Val's Wedding pictures burnt and ready to be used.

* I got mny first chance to use Office 2003 at work. It was the first time that I actually used this version of Office and I was impressed. I use Office XP at home and I sometimes even use Open Office.

* I am still boycotting the Dominishing Post after they went to a pay site last week. I don't even bother picking up the paper edition anymore.

* Did I ever mention that I hate snow?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Goodbye and good luck

Yesterday was kind of a sad day for me. It was the last day of work for a friend and the man who basically taught me 95% of what I know about GIS. I've worked with JB Churchill for over 3 1/2 years. He was the one who initially hired me for the Hollowfill project in the summer of 2001 and we worked together ever since.

It was from the valuable time that I worked with him that put I feel put me head and shoulders above any of my peers in the Geography department in GIS. While people were learning to use the interface and what buttons to push, I learned to do it the hard way with arc info and a command line. Once I got the hang of this it made understanding the interface almost a joke while 75% of my fellow students were dropping out of the discipline.

I owe him a very big thank you for the knowledge and the hand up on how to use GIS to it's fullest extent of it's possibilities.

JB commuted an hour and a half every day from Maryland to Morgantown, he recently found a much higher paying job 3.2 miles from his house. I don't think it's hard to understand why he's leaving. He will definately be missed.

The entire NRAC went to lunch yesterday at Blackbear and surprised him with a new Ipod Shuffle . I loves music and I hope this entertains him when he's runnig around the country looking for and identifying unique birds.

Thanks again oh master bird expert, you taught me well. Good luck and I hope we stay in touch.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Some people have too much time on their hands

I was surfing around the net this morning and found the debut of RoboDump 1.0.There is a nice little story that goes with it, be sure to read it.

What would inspire someone to create something like this is beyond me, but I would definitely give him a A+ for creativity.

Of course there is also this little flash file of a movie and trivia game of Eric Cartman from South Park. Respect My Authority

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Man Code

A cute one I saw and thought I would post.


The universal compensation for buddies who help you move is beer.

Bitching about the brand of free beer in a buddy's refrigerator is forbidden. You may gripe if the temperature is unsuitable.

Women who claim they "love to watch sports" must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game, and the ability to pick a buffalo wing clean.

The minimum amount of time you have to wait for another guy who's running late is 5 minutes. For a woman, you are required to wait 10 minutes for every point of hotness she scores on the classic 1-10 scale.

No man is ever required to buy a birthday present for another man. In fact, even remembering a friend's birthday is strictly optional and slightly gay.

Agreeing to distract the ugly friend of a hot babe your buddy is trying to hook up with is your legal duty. Should you get carried away with your good deed and end up having sex with the beast, your pal is forbidden to speak of it, even at your bachelor party.

Before dating a buddy's ex, you are required to ask his permission and he, in return is required to grant it.

If a man's zipper is down, that's his problem ---you didn't see nothin'.

When stumbling upon other guys watching a sports event, you may always ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who's playing.

It is permissible to consume a fruity chick drink only when you're sunning on a tropical beach and it's delivered by a topless super model and it's free.

Unless you're in prison, never fight naked.

A man in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must remain sober enough to fight.

If you compliment a guy on his six-pack, you better be referring to his beer.

Never talk to a man in the bathroom unless you're on equal footing: either both urinating or both waiting in line. In all other situations, a nod is all the conversation you need.

If a buddy is already singing along to a song in the car, you may not join him.-"far too gay."

"Thou shall not rent the movie "Chocolat"

Monday, January 17, 2005

Update on Randy

As I've stated here before, my Nephew Randy is off to the Mountaineer Challenge acadamy. He can receive e-mails from all of us, but he can't send them. For him to be able to read it that day, they have to be sent by 3:00 and remember he can't respond. Send him a word of encouragement. His e-mail address is as follows:

wvchallenge@wvchallenge.org
Subject: Cadet Hamrick


I'm sure he would love a word of encouragement from everyone.




Monday's Tidbits

* Even though the rest of the University has today as a holiday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, it's back to work for me. (yuck)

* Had a few car problems over the weekend, I was coming to work Friday morning and my alternator went out. I was stuck in a blind turn at 6:30 in the morning and had to literally walk to Wal-Mart and carry a battery back to my car. It was cheaper than a tow truck and probably quicker.

* I changed the alternator and worked on my brakes Saturday, thanks again to my brother in law George for telling me how to get that belt back on. LOL

* Watched the Steelers win Saturday in a 20-17 nailbiter win over the New York Jets. It had to be one of the worst games I have seen them play this year, but fate must be on their side this year as they won the game and advanced to the AFC Championship Game next weekend against the New England Patriots at home. Two to go boys!!!!!

* I went to the WVU v Boston College Basketball game yesterday at the WVU Coliseum. It was tied 29-29 at halftime, but Boston College beat us in the second half and pulled out a 73-53 win for themselves. The loss ran WVU's record to 11-3 on the season.

* My nephew Randy was off to the Mountaineer Challenge Acadamy yesterday. Terri and Val were going to drive him up.

* Did I ever mention I hate snow? I woke up this morning and saw a couple inches of headache covering the ground. Note to the GIS companies in Hawaii, please give me a job. (LOL)

* I managed to add my own BLOG in an experiment of my .RSS reader in Thunderbird. I'm probably going to add a few of the Active BLOGS on my list to the reader.

* I talked a little to Jane over the weekend, I think she's planning on coming into town for the Superbowl.

* Speaking of the Superbowl, Nick and Terri are running a board for this years game. $10.00 a square to get on and plenty of opportunity to get your name on the board and donate to my winning.

* Did I mention I REALLY hate snow?


Saturday, January 15, 2005

New Search Engine

Yahoo has introduced a new search engine that allows you to search for videos. It's in its Beta right now but it is accessible.

Yahoo Video Search

WOW, what a great game

Just got done watching the Steelers 20-17 overtime win against the New York Jets. I can't believe we won that game.

Early on I thought the Steelers would blow out the Jets, but from the last half of the first quarter until late in the 4th quarter, I felt the Jets dominated the game. Pittsburgh let up a Touchdown ona punt return and a touchdown on an interception return and I thought they were done when they went down 10-17 after leading 10-0.

They managed to tie it up in the 4th quarter and the Jets had not one, but two chances to win the game but missed the field goals. They also got the ball in the overtime period. They could not win it.

The Steelers won after a 14 play 72 yard drive on a 33 yard field goal by Jeff Reed.

All we need is two more wins.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Poet's suites extoll life in Morgantown

A very nice article in the Daily Athenaeum today. It's about a very well published poet, and listed among Famous West Virginians.

He also has a website at Cityoflegends.com where you can sample some of his writings. If you are interested in purchasing anything by him Amazon has a nice selection of his work.


By Brian Barnett


His name is William F. DeVault. He is a mere poet to some in Morgantown, but to his readers, his ability to capture intimate emotions through writing is what makes him an artist.
A 1973 graduate of Morgantown High raised along Meadowbrook Road, DeVault pursued his passion for writing while briefly attending West Virginia University as a journalism student, before finally pursuing a full-time career as a poet.
Now at the age of 49, DeVault has published five books about love, romance, loss, death and everything in between. He has accumulated a list of awards that include Yahoo's Romantic Poet of the Internet, Preditors & Editors Readers Poll Poet of the Year and the first American poet named to the Edinburgh International Internet Festival of Arts.
Furthermore, he has a global following that includes Ireland and Los Angeles, where they use his works to teach in high school and where he is a popular commodity for poetry reading nights, tours and lectures.
But in his own hometown he seems to go unnoticed and unrecognized. At his high school, Morgantown High, his first name is incorrect in the alumni database and he is not included among its accomplished alumni.
Meanwhile, West Virginia Wesleyan College's Web site displays a page about his accomplishments, while his own university, WVU, he said has not responded to his willingness to be a speaker or helper in any area of the arts department.
With such prestige already given to De Vault, how does he respond to being relatively unknown in his own community?
His response is much like that of his poetry, metaphorical.
"Have you ever liked a girl to the point where you told her you loved her?" DeVault asks.
"And at the same moment she never gives you love in return," DeVault continues. "But you continue to love her anyway."
This story is also true of DeVault's relationship with his hometown. While the bizarre nature of the ignorance of his notoriety persists, DeVault continues to be very passionate about the area.
Considered one of the great romantic poets of the new Digital Renaissance, he has also written hundreds of poems about Morgantown.
Many of his major life decisions and events occurred while he lived in Morgantown - from the time he was 11 years old until he was 26.
"This town is where my mom and dad were born and raised, where I met my first love, where I first got beat up, where I had my first kiss, where my brother's fiancé was killed, where I lost my virginity and where my daughter was born," DeVault said.
Not only is his passion for Morgantown evident in his writings, but also in his short term goals for himself. On Dec. 16, 2004, DeVault, also a former youth counselor, addressed the West Virginia State Board of Education in Charleston about the importance of the study of arts for all students.
Currently the board is proposing a plan in which high school students on a vocational and technical plan will not be required to take any arts class. While there was no one in attendance to speak from WVU or the Monongalia County Board of Education, DeVault was very adamant about this new proposal.
"I feel like we would be short-changing students," DeVault said. "I believe there needs to be a full spectrum of education because it opens more paths for students."
DeVault's passion for the study of the arts in Morgantown is also notable in the plans for his new book. The book will be a collection of poems about Morgantown, entitled "The Morgantown Suite." All the royalties and proceeds from the book will go to Arts Monongahela, a local arts advocacy group.
There will be approximately 85 poems in all; some written a very long time ago, some written two and half years ago during a visit and even a few written since his recent decision to move back to Morgantown.
He believes this is his way of saying "thank you" to Morgantown, and also a step toward his dream of making Morgantown more of an art town - not just a bar town.
And while he is still uncertain about why he continues to be ignored here, he will continue to write emotional poetry about his hometown and about his life.
"I will never quit writing. Retirement is the time between when I die and when I hit the floor. Death comes when I stop writing, reasoning, learning and falling in love," DeVault said.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Country Inn night

It's thursday and I went down to visit my sister and see this new band she was telling me about. I went and saw firat hand The Chicken Pickers, they were a country band with a lot of talent. I was actually quite impressed and happy to see a parking lot full of cars.

I got a chance to talk to Ty, their fiddle player briefly. He said they play a few bars around Morgantown at a few establishments. I would tell you where, but you can either come and see them at the Country Inn or you can do your own homework.

Not many bands around town have a talented fiddle player like this band has. They played a Devil went down to Georgia and kicked some serious butt.

One thing I did notice tonight was that the acoustics for that bar are quite awesome. They didn't set up where the traditional band sets up, so I think Nick could better accomodate bands if he moved the stage.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tid Bits

* The local country Music Group the Chicken Pickers will be playing this Thursday night at the Country Inn. Terri called me yesterday and said they start around 7:00.

Come early, stay late and bring lots of money to spend.

* I got a chance to talk to mom briefly yesterday on MSN and she told me Tyler is recovering nicely from her car wreck.

* My nephew Randy, aka Bub ,is about to enter the Mountaineer Challenge Acadamy pretty soon. It's going to give him a chance to learn how to take on new challenges and graduate High School a little early. Kick ass Randy, we're all behind you.



Monday, January 10, 2005

A GIS Data Issue

Recently I decided to get into the world of .RSS newsfeeds and configured it to my Thunderbird Mail Client. I'm glad I did that, it's allowed me to catch major issues of concern to me.

I subscribe to a few >rss feeds, one of which is Slashdot which covers all kinds of topics from computer related issues, to gaming to politics to world events. I recently ran across a GIS Data Issue. What it says is that the Supreme Court in Connecticut is allowing the Greenwich Department of Information Technology to withhold data that was financed by the taxpayers and should by all rights be public domain.

The creation of data can be an expensive process, and a lot of GIS data is still in it's creation phase. To prevent redundant acts, we first look to see if a dataset has been previously created by someone else. If it has it's usually shared or made available at a low cost by private industry to try and recover some of the production costs.

One of the first places that you instinctively look is to see what kind of data has been created by some form of government. They can't charge for the data because it has been financed with public taxpayer money and must be made public domain.

I have no idea what information that they feel they have to hide from the public that in one form or another is not already out there. If it is funded by the taxpayers, it needs to be and remain public domain.

I've seen what the science can do, and I know what we are capable of. I do have to say that sometimes I have to step back and question if some datasets should be public domain, but this goes back to how they were funded. I'm all for private industry creating the datasets for the ability to sell for profit, but not if it was financed by the taxpayers.

It's an issue that I'm going to have to stay on top of if I want to continue to remain in the industry.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Very disturbing and sad news.

Every once in a while you watch or read the news and hear or see a tragedy. On December 21, 2004 there was a news story where a man shot his estranged wife about a mile from where I live, then drove off and committed suicide on Interstate 79. Of course I glanced at the article and thought it was very tragic.

The Next day the Dominion Post ran a followup to this tragic story. I saw the name, I saw the picture, but on the surface it appeared to be just a tragic incident. The Following Day they ran a piece about the crime, but it was Christmas Eve and I didn't really notice anything that set of any bells or buzzers in my head. They also ran an article about Jonathan Hyland, the estranged husband that actually shot Valerie. The Day after Christmas the Dominion Post ran another Followup on the victoms condition.

Pan ahead to this past Tuesday night and I was chatting online with Jane and she asked me if I had heard about the girl up by my dad's house that had been shot. Obviously this didn't ring a bell so she told me her name. Valerie. As soon as she said her name I had a sinking feeling.

The name Valerie Reed didn't ring a bell, but I started to look back through the articles I saw some very disturbing similarities to a someone I knew named Valerie O'Dell. Valerie O'Dell was maried to Jason O'Dell, and when she grew up they lived in her mom's house across the street from my dad's. Jason was always over at our house and my dad thought the world of him. It was at this time that I actually got to know Valerie.

They moved away over to Van Voorhis Rd where we continued to stay in contact. They would stop in the store to talk to me just to pass time. I would see her all over campus and we would always spend a good bit of time catching up on what was happening in each others life. We both attended WVU together, she started about a year after me and was a Buisness major, who quite impressively was a 4.0 student. I was really impressed with her because she managed to do this while managing a family and holding down a full time job as well as being a 4.0 full time student.

The last time I talked to her in any great detail was a year ago. We spent an hour and a half BSing in between classes early in the Semester. I don't recall her telling me that her and Jason were divorcing or were divorced. I saw her a coupe times throughout the semester, we had a similar class but different sections, so we discussed that back and forth in passing.

Scan back ahead to this week and talking to Jane made me wonder if this shooting victom and the Valerie that I knew were the same person. I called Jean and asked her if she had heard anything.

In the Meantime the Dominion Post had run yet another Followup to the stories, and I start to once again see numerous similarities, but nothing was confirmed. I had her e-mail written down somewhere and was going to send a "Hi, How you doing" e-mail just to hope I would get a return e-mail and everything saying everything was fine.

This morning I got a phone call from Jean. Apparantly Valerie and Jason have gotten a divorce in the past 12 months and Valerie remarried. The shooting victom was the Valerie that I know.

Her and Jason had attended my dad's last Christmas and my Dad's last cookout before he passed away. I read the last article about how she was shot in the temple and is blind in the right eye and can barely see out of the left. My stomach dropped. Here's a girl that could be an inspiration to many over how to successfully managing a career, Family and excelling in college.

My Reed family is in my thoughts as well as the O'Dells. I'm hoping that she pulls through this, because I know what she is capable of.

There is a benefit dance for Valerie Reed Hyland Fund will be held from 7 p.m.-midnight Feb. 26 at the Cheat Lake Fire Hall. Music will be by Higherground. Cost is $10 per person. Call 292-4644 for information.

Hurry back Val, I'm sure what you do from here on out will be very inspriational.

Friday, January 07, 2005

It's Friday

Woo Hoo, the weekend is finally nearing us again and it'll soon be time to relax again. Not too much planned for the weekend in general. Got a call from Trish last night and she invited me to Arron's birthday party tonight. That'll be fun, I really haven't seen them in a few months and am looking foreward to sitting down and visiting. Oh yeah, Happy Birthday Arron.




I would also like to take this time to wish Tyler a speedy recovery from her car wreck last week. She is one of my sisters oldest and dearest friends and we all hope she has a speedy recovery. We. kind of like having her around.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

It's Tuesday

Boy, how insignificant does that sound? Not very much going on, but I didn't want my BLOG to go stale from inactivity. What can I do to make this post at least worth reading?

Hmmm, how about a link to a 1980's video game like Galaga. Yeah, I pumped a few quarters in this game growing up.

I think the game that I most enjoyed playing back in the 80's was QIX.

Of course there is always the game that started the video game boom of the early 80's. Pac Man

Oh well, so much for todays post. Maybe I'll be a little more creative tomorrow.




P.S.

Space Invaders
Donkey Kong

I aim to please.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Years Eve at the Country Inn

OK, we closed the bar at 1:00 and really did intend on getting out of there, although it was closer to 4:00 before we actually walked out the door. Nothing going on other than sitting there and BSing for a few hours.

It was a good night, I was impressed with Aaron Scott's ability to sing. He is Star 100.9's morning man at the moment, but I have a feeling that the more exposure he gets thats going to be temporary. I was fortune enough to get a copy of his album last night and listened to it this morning, and actually converted one of his songs to mp3. Have a little listen to his song The Man You Needed and judge for yourself.









Oh Yeah, before I forget because of my sleep deprivation, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!