General Archive

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cursed

Voodoo DollIt's a good thing I'm not superstitious, or I'd think I was cursed.

I live in Wichita Falls. Our local airport (SPS) has a few flights a day to and from DFW airport. Flying the connecting flight from Wichita Falls makes trips so much more convenient - I can spend my time reading instead of concentrating on all the cars around me. It might cost a little more, but if I'm going to be traveling by myself, once you factor in gas for a round trip to Dallas along with the cost of parking, getting the connecting flight isn't such a bad option pricewise.

There's one problem, though. DFW gets hit by a lot of thunderstorms. It seems like every time I try to fly out of Wichita Falls, on the way back home, my first flight gets delayed by weather, and I end up missing the flight from DFW back to Wichita Falls. Thinking back, I'd say that it's worked only once out of the five times I've tried it. I usually end up renting a car and driving back home. So, not only did I spend more for my airplane tickets to begin with, but I get stuck paying the rental car fee and gas on top of that.

Given my past luck, I'd pretty much decided on giving up trying to fly out of Wichita Falls. However, my brother got tickets to the Steelers game for this past weekend, and thought it would be fun for the three of us brothers and our dad to go watch it. So, this was a trip for just me, where my wife and daughter were going to stay behind in Texas. And it was in November. How many thunderstorms hit in November? So I decided to take my chances and fly out of Wichita Falls.

I think you can guess what happened. On the way home, I was supposed to land in DFW at 7:15, and then catch an 8:00 flight to Wichita Falls. I knew it was a little close, but I figured I'd be okay. Well, with a thunderstorm that just sat right over the area, we had to divert to Shreveport to get more fuel where we sat for a while waiting for the weather to clear, and we didn't get to DFW until after midnight. Just a little bit too late to catch my 7:15 flight. Anyway, I was too drowsy at that point to try to drive home, so I spent the night in DFW and flew back the next morning.

I'm not going to say that I'll never again try to fly out of Wichita Falls. However, I'll be sure that I never again schedule the last flight of the day from DFW to Wichita Falls, and to give myself a little more time between flights.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get Out and Vote

I Voted Today

Now any of you that haven't voted yet, go out and do it.

Image Source: Whirlwend

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Civic Duty

With all this talk of civic duty going on right now, I can't help thinking of a certain line over and over (not safe for kids, and probably NSFW)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Random Videos

I've spent my lunch breaks this week playing around with a VB program I wrote. Well, technically, I borrowed some of the code from the Brightness Demo ©2005 by Tanner "DemonSpectre" Helland as the method to display the pixels on screen, but the actual image generation was something I developed. Go look at the Circle Gradient Pattern Generator on my Programming page if you're more interested. Initially, I made the program to generate a bunch of still images, like in the collection I have on my Artwork page. I'd always wanted to make animations with it, and that's what I finally got around to this week. Click on either of the two thumbnails below to see what the animations look like (Quicktime files, ~1.3 MB each). If you set Quicktime to loop the video, it should do so seamlessly.

Animation 4 First Frame Animation 8 First Frame

I haven't quite gotten the program to where I'm ready to share it, yet, but I hope to next week. So, consider this a preview of an upcoming website update.


Update I've uploaded both videos to YouTube, if you don't feel like downloading a Quicktime movie. The quality isn't near as good, but at least it gives you an idea of what the animations look like. Both are available below the fold.

Continue reading "Random Videos" »

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A New Addition to the Family

I've never been much of a 'dog' guy. It's not that I don't like them, but, as I like to say, that I like other people's dogs. I like wrestling with them, playing tug of war, fetch - all the fun stuff. But I never wanted the responsibility of having to take care of one myself.

Ever since my parents found a box of kittens abandoned in a gutter, I've had cats. Cats are easy to take care of - give 'em food and water and a way to get outside, and they'll be fine. They like human affection, but as long as they have another cat to keep them company, they seem to do just fine when no people are around. Dogs are different - you have to groom them, pick up their crap, take them for walks, actually play with them every day. In a lot of ways, they're like kids, except that they'll never grow up to be able to take care of themselves. Hence, my preference for playing with other people's dogs.

Well, the other day while we were putting up Halloween decorations, a dog roaming around the neighborhood ran into our yard chasing one of the cats. I chased after them to make sure the dog didn't eat the cat, and all it took was a stern word to get the dog to leave the cat alone. Then it decided to stick around in our yard for a while. It was pretty friendly, and my daughter, as she would put it, 'loved on it' quite a bit. Well, a few hours after we'd finished with the decorations and gone back inside, the dog was still on our front door step. That's when we made our biggest mistake - we gave it a bowl of water and a small dish of cat food. It didn't leave after that, and was still out front the next morning.

So, we did the responsible thing. We put up signs around the neighborhood, called the Humane Society, ran an ad in the paper, but we never heard from anybody looking for the dog. I suppose we could have taken her to the pound, but could you do that to a face like this?

Maddie

So, we decided to keep her, and named her Maddie. She's doing okay so far, but it's still tense with the cats. Right now, the dog gets the back yard, while the cats get the front yard and the house. Hopefully, they'll figure out how to get along. Here's another picture of Maddie to show how big she is:

Maddie & Jeff

BTW, my daughter took both of those pictures.

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