27 September 2006

Techie Side Notes

Just a little bit of info for those that may not know.

For those that know this – it’s easy and comes natural, or else someone walked you through it and you couldn’t repeat the process again if you wanted to.

Either way, this short post isn’t really for you.  It’s for those that would like an easier way to do things.

I have a really decent counter and stat tracker on this site.  So I notice some patterns in the traffic. First off, almost 100% of ;my initial traffic comes from Debra at Barmaid Blog.  I truly think that she has a perverted side, as she did my the Huge service of posting my link on her site.  So related to that, I also notice that there are some readers out there, and you know who you are, you guilty little fiends, that make a once or twice daily run through the blog world, checking for new entries.  Yesssssssss, we know where you live, too.  >>Evil Grin<<  Big Brother also noted that this curiously seems to happen with greater frequency during normal work hours.  Shame on you!

There are other repeat readers who check my site three to four times a day, presumably waiting breathlessly for my next self whipping.  (yes, you people are sick, enjoying it as I inflict literary pain on my own inadequacies.  LMAO).

For those that prefer not to have to check that much every day, I have included the links for the RSS feed.  If you homepage allows you to add content or add rss feeds, you simply have to edit or add that, and then type in http://www.cardiacfantasies.blogspot.com/XXXX

If your site uses straight rss, replace the four XXXX with rss.xml

If your site uses atom feeds, replace the four XXXX with atom.xml

This will show you the title “Cardiac Fantasies” on your web page, along with the latest three to five entries in the blog, and when they were posted.  That way, unless something shows up there, you know there is nothing new but perhaps some comments.

For you Firefox users, it is so incredibly easier and more efficient.  Simply click your bookmarks, click manage bookmarks, click file, and “Add New Live Bookmark”.  You can name it, then put in www.cardiacfantasies.blogspot.com .  It will then give you a bookmark on your bookmark toolbar.  When you click that bookmark, it will give you a menu showing ALL of the entries in my blog.  If the one at the top is new, then there is a new post, and if not, then there isn’t.  This is much more efficient because Firefox checks the site much more often than your homepages web trawler, and so you know sooner that something new is up.

Lastly, for those of you that browse the blog ring (hitting multiple same blogs each day, keep it up.  I do the same and it’s fun. You really don’t need the shortcut because you hit all of them Everyday.

Note, the rss and atom feeds will work on any of the Blogspot sites.

Live Journal has a slightly different format, but still similar.


So, Ladies and Gentlemen, Thanks for flying Cardiac Airlines.  Please fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride!

And PLEASE, if you have a comment, spit it out.  Even if you hate this place, we’d (myself and I) would love to hear from you.






25 September 2006

Of Geeks and Goddesses, Part II

When we last left our ailing hero, he had just crashed and burned from his first crush ever.  Our hero is young, bright, and bounces back quickly.  He is also hopelessly naïve and inexperienced.  He’s a buck toothed kid that’s relatively small for his age.  Not stunted, just small.  He has no muscle mass to speak of.  He sports a relatively hardcore case of acne that, while its not total pizza face, it is bad enough to illicit comment.  The partial Italian blood in him has given his slightly dark complexion an oily skin, which, while giving him good even tans and turning sunburn to brown overnight, has also contributed greatly to the zit issue.  Still mostly confident at this time in his life, he asks a few discreet questions, plays fly on the wall to the conversations of some of the more popular, older folks in the choir, and slowly gathers in the lingo.  You ask the girl you like to “Go with you.”  That was the terminology.  That meant you were boyfriend/girlfriend.

He’s now found one that has caught his eye.  She’s hot.  She’s blond.  She’s a part of the top in crowd, the elite.  He knows that he’s the butt of jokes from the in crowd at times.  But again, so Naïve.  He isn’t even truly aware of the invisible barrier that will forever keep geeks like him from hanging with the Goddesses of Olympos.  Even once he becomes aware, he will not understand it for a long, long time.  It’s just so far beyond the ken of his upbringing and his world view.  He’s insecure anyway.  I think that at some level, he believes that having a girlfriend, though the interest is new to him, will make that insecurity go away.  I think that at some level, being the empathetic person he is, that he has already committed the grave error of establishing a yawning black hole in his heart that only a female can fill.

So she’s hot.  She’s the ultimate in popularity.  She’ll eventually go on to become a cheerleader in college.  Yeah, she’s that good.

The setting is a Church Hayride.  He goes up to her on the bus, having never had much of a conversation with her ever before.  He pops the question.  She has the infinite grace not to laugh in his face.  She even has enough compassion for the little dumbass that she actually explains that she doesn’t really like him that way, and gently sends him away.  He’s in shock.  He’s crushed.  He’s an emotional person as it is.  For three hours, while everyone is enjoying the hayride and the picnic, he’s off by himself, bawling his eyes out.  He didn’t have a jock dad to tell him that it was unmanly to cry.  His dad never cried, but never told him it was wrong.  He’s devastated because he doesn’t understand. He has no concept of the invisible barrier.  He has no clue as to why he’s not good enough.  So he’s displaying emotion the only way he knows how. 

He’s also now succeeded in establishing a rep as a crybaby.  Little Bucky, the crybaby.  After a time, it will be one of the reasons that he doesn’t sing in the choir anymore, though his voice was good enough to make the ensemble, the small group of the choir that does the special shows. 

Our hero has taken a sword to his gut.  It will literally be years before he fully recovers from this wound. He doesn’t hop up and bounce back from this one, either.  It was a sword of fire. And as it struck him, it burned him horribly with truth.  The Truth that he DOESN’T, and CANNOT belong.


I have a feeling that there may be a part three to this.  I don’t know that I am ready yet to share it.  But stay tuned.




15 September 2006

Upon Geeks and Goddesses Part I

Being 14 and discovering the opposite sex was really tough.  I was undersize, completely insecure, a bookwork and pretty much a model child.  I went to a middle school where I was a little white kid in a tough Hispanic area.  We were decently well off as I grew up, meaning we always had enough, but we lived on a developing side of town, so while my neighborhood was really nice, it was at the far outside edge of the school district, and the core of the school district was in… a much tougher neighborhood.  I looked the wrong way at the wrong kid my very first year, and the school bully tagged me out as a target on that day and gave me very little rest in that year or the two years that followed it.  So when I got to grade 7, I had ZERO knowledge of the opposite sex, girls – women – or otherwise.

I was emotionally immature and entirely unready.  My old man, bless his heart, had done very good at instilling discipline, great homework habits, a really good work ethic, and had really helped develop my “gifted student” brain.  He wasn’t real good on the birds and the bees thing, though.  My last year of grade school, someone said the “ F “ word at school, and when I asked him what it meant, he went on about two dogs fighting or some nonsense.  When I pressed the issue, he got me this little book with paper cut outs, like grade school.  He told me to read it and ask him if I had any questions.  What was I gonna ask?  The darn thing didn’t even show the male or female sex organs, I can’t remember it even using the word “Sex”, and the closest thing it showed to the real deal was a  top view of a paper cut out man on top of a paper cut out girl, on a paper cut out bed.  Like, WTF??  Dad knows I read everything, so he figured that 100%, this was his way out.  Now I am even more confused and unprepared for that facet of life.  So here I am, and when I actually notice a female for the first time as something other than a thing to tease or ignore, I totally get an insane puppy crush, can’t stop staring, can’t stop smiling at her, (she’s in the same Church Choir), and after probably two weeks, I actually get the nerve up to go talk to her and by now she is so exasperated and amused at this little buck tooth puppy crush child in front of her (she’s only a grade or so ahead), that she asks me in a very scornful tone to leave her alone, and quit staring at her.

Picture the WWII bombers in the night sky over Germany, the flak shells exploding around them.  In the background, you always see one take a major hit, the sparks, the smoke roiling out into the strobe lighting gray sky.  Then the pitch, the roll over, and the flaming dive as it disappears from the screen, headed to the ground in an agonizing explosion of fiery fury.

Yup, that was me.

It set the tone for five or six years of HELL.  But I was young.  I bounced back quickly.  I bounced back right into the next devastating failure that would haunt me for years and set the path of my life with respect to relationships so far askew that it’s a wonder that I even recovered.

13 September 2006

After the Circus

The anniversary of 9/11 was used for many, many different reasons on Monday.  Most of them were geared towards making money, using it as a political step stool, or sensationalizing and dramatizing the event.  Very little of the hooplah was actually geared towards the memory of this event and how to avoid it happening again.  I could sit here and rant and rave about how sick it makes me to see people using it to further their own agendas, but I won’t.  When it comes down to it, that’s who we’ve become in this country, and that’s one of the ways we have evolved.  It’s capitalism at its ugliest, and finest, and it doesn’t play favorites.

So instead I’ll offer today a few insights that most may not have heard, as my colorful past has taken me through two careers that have a special bearing on the events.  I grew up in construction, and I was in the military.  Between military training and reading books that you can find on the open market today, I got a different read on events as they happened, and in study afterward.

I watched both towers burn on TV.  I saw the first fall.  One of the “traps” that you have to be aware of as a responder to a terrorist attack is the double whammy.  That’s my term.  Essentially, you have one attack at the site of the incident, and then secondary attacks around the outside area of the incident after the police, firefighters, and the lookie loo crowd gather to watch.  The second attack nets as much damage, or more, than the first.  This isn’t a secret, people.  There’s a couple hundred novels out there describing it.  I’d be more worried if the terrorists spent time in our libraries.  Some of the authors in this country have a much more vivid and calculating imagination than your simple terrorist.  So when the tower fell, my first thought was that someone had rigged a secondary.  While it turned out to be incorrect, it might as well have been.  The majority of the casualties to the Fire Response and Police response were taken when that first tower fell.  At least they were aware that it might happen on the second.

Now for the construction background info.  If you’re an engineer, this may not be 100% accurate.  Fine, leave a comment and correct me.  This is for the non engineers.  The tower went down when the floor that the main fire damage was on collapsed.  They’ve got tapes of Osama and lieutenants discussing what happened. They figured on maybe taking the floors above the plane entry level.  They’ve got engineers, too.  When that floor went, you’d might think that it wouldn’t be a problem.  It’s the same weight above that it was supporting before, right?  No.  When the columns collapsed, the floors pancaked together.  The impact loaded the floor in a manner in which it wasn’t ever intended to support.  That created the chain reaction of pancaking floors all the way to the bottom. 

Do you remember the video of all the papers flying around in the air like confetti after the towers collapsed?  When two flat slabs pancake, it compresses the air, then blows it outward.  All of the airspace in the offices on each floor were suddenly compressed to nothing.  The sudden pressure caused the windows to shatter and blow glass shards outward for yards and yards.  The same pressure forced every loose paper to fly outward, too.  Imagine all the movies you’ve seen where an airplane gets a hole in it, and all the loose stuff in the plane starts getting sucked out of the hole.  Now imagine that same scene, only the air is inside, pushing, rather than sucking stuff out.  Everything loose is forced out in the span of a second.  Anyone standing at a window at that time would have been blown out with the force of a bomb.

So anyway, that’s two looks at the event that you may never have had before.  Will it do you any good in the long run?  Probably not.  But its something to think about.  And if something like this ever happens again, maybe you’ll remember this little note, and not be one of the Lookie Loos that gets taken down by the secondary.  At the least, I hope that you won’t join the circus next year.




06 September 2006

The Other Shoe is Dropping



               If you’ve been keeping up (not much of a challenge), the weekend before Labor Day Weekend “ T ”, (the Sigo (significant other)) and  bailed one of her friends out or a real bad spot, and essentially moved an entire house full of crap in two days between just the three of us.  She has this lovely handmade bedroom set with the Texas Star in aged metal hammered in to about every open spot you could imagine, and I think that truly, if there was anything thinner than a four by four on that 6 pc set, it’s because the guy who put it together just missed it. 


     So I lose an entire weekend, every bone in my body aches, as well as every muscle, even the ones I forgot I ever had.  No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, in this world of ours.


     Oh yeah, it gets better.  I get up Wednesday, sinuses packed like the mover had extra styro packing peanuts and decided to fill every available sinus cavity in my entire head with them using a hydraulic jackhammer. Liquids jetting uncontrollably and in an entirely unpredictable manner out my back end.  I go to work.  You have to understand, I have missed maybe 5 days sick time in the last ten years.  That’s just me.  My old man was like that, only he missed maybe a week in a forty year career, and only at the end of it.  His work ethic rubbed off and has held me in good stead, and taken me good places.  Thanks, Pop.  Anyhoo, I go to work and last like two hours.  I go home and try to sleep it off.  Body aching has changed to that Wish you were dead, can’t stretch it out, can’t get ANY comfortable position muscle ache that portends a usually nasty flu virus. 




     By Wednesday night, T and I and both the 5 year old and the 3 year old are just about down for the count.  She calls in sick and takes kids to Doc.  I make it thru half the day, then come home to spend the next four or five hours with the kids.  Do you have kids, or have you had some grow up close to you?  Let me clue you in.  Kids under the age of 10 have to be half dead before they slow down.  They’ll get whiny, cranky, and every other “y” that you can think of, but slow down and take a break doesn’t fall into that category.

I just thought I was tired before.  Come 8:00PM, I am ready to lovingly wring their scrawny little necks and tie them to a tree outside with a gag for mosquito bait.  After sending them to bed for the fourth or fifth time (no, THEY aren’t tired at all) looks up at me and says “I love you Poppa.” The way my body was rebelling certainly lessened the impact that that one phrase should have had on me.


     Friday I show up and leave within the hour.  My boss is decidedly annoyed at me, despite past record of no illness.  I try to tell him that this pisses me off and is as unusual for me as it is for him.  He believes it, I think, as well he should.  I hate this.


     The weekend progresses, and we all get worse before getting better.  We left the house once each day for necessities.  The 5 year old is feeling it so bad now that he just wants to sleep in the afternoon.  Not even the cartoons can keep him up.


     Monday afternoon arrives, I feel almost human again.  I essentially had a four day weekend, and lived through every miserable minute of it. 




     Two precious weekends in a row, shot to hell.  They say good things and bad things both happen in threes.  The other shoe is dropping, ready to close out the dark Triad.  I hear it coming, and I’m really worried about where it is going to hit.