jpg as this month unfolds, we will celebrate the birth of many great people, and today, the month's very first day, we opened our very first bottle of home-brewed root beer ..... and the experience was pleasant, but not overly wonderful ..... it's a strong batch and too sweet, with lots of character that needs to be softened for the next batch.

after-dinner update: the root beer turned out to be a big hit as an after-dinner drink ! it is strong and sweet and john, pat and leisa liked it (so did i after eating).... it's just not the kind of root beer you gulp down by the glassfull to wash down a hot dog.

mike came round to visit and one thing led to another, and that other thing led to me digging through some drawers and finding some ancient baby papers of mine (mom was obsessive about keeping data).... this is a timely discovery, as this month i turn a year older ( not counting weekends and holidays, i'll be 36 this month).

mike is working on an editable Leo family tree (sim to a Wiki, i think) .... big project with scraps of data feeding in from here and there.... waiting for a major slug of info from Robert L.

and, hey ..... who says you can't take it with you? ...




a person reading that page of my "baby book" today might wonder where did that little rocking horse end up.... well .... i know where she is (you can call her rosebud)... she doesn't rock any more (neither do i for that matter ! ) but she's as sweet as ever, and doesn't look a day older after all these years.


regression analysis shows there is no mathematical correlation between my early height and weight data ... it's possible that i came from krypton, as the data shows my body density was close to titanium.

discovered that both of my digital cameras take movie clips in quicktime *.mov format, and it's kind of neat and at least as good as the old 8mm film from the olden days..... as ever, the problem with personal movies is they are extremely boring.... nonetheless, i persist....

after much trial and error with various browsers and video players and format, i settled on inserting movies clips this way ....

this movie will not work in any version of IE, because IE does not correctly handle the html object tag (hopefully someone at MS is working to fix this ? ). the movie plays just fine in the newer versions of epiphany, firefox and opera running on linux and MS-XP.

a webrowser will play the movie inside this window using whatever quicktime movie player software is installed on the computer.

movie deleted by me


next project is a javascript / html challenge to get it to work they way i want .... and i'm not totally sure that it is possible... but as always, the fun is in finding the answers .... the death is in working the details... jpg


i was right ..... there is death in the details of showing user-selected movies inside a single object without having to reload the whole page.

...... all is not lost, the answers are in the quicktime-javascript interface, which is semi-documented for Mac's on the web .... maybe translatable to linux.

note note

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this week the drug stores and card shops will be packed with guys reading over cards that say stuff like...."my most dear and beloved heart..." and ..... "our souls reached across the universe to touch each other " ..... "i knew at that moment that for all eternity...."...... and we will all be standing there glancing at each other thinking the exact same thing .... who the hell writes this crap? .... can't hallmark find a writer who talks real human being and expresses how i really feel ?

.... yet another ritual no man understands..... thank them for making blank cards anyway.

good cinematography

a good photograph looks good any way you turn it.... it always looks balanced, pleasing and well composed no matter how you look at it, even if the people in it are turned upside down.

good movie cinematography makes a movie that is good even with the sound turned off...... i wouldn't film King Lear or The Iceman Cometh with no sound, but the point is that if the movie makes its point with the sound off, it has great cinematography.

being deaf makes a person more aware of great cinematography.

you can watch every godzilla movie with no sound and still get the point. also, all the asian martial arts movies, american westerns, food channel cooking shows, wrestling, all sports, tom and jerry cartoons, 3 stooges filmes and all political speeches.

note note note


BSA's were "thumpers" .... the 2 pistons went up and down together, not one after the other.... the very manly thump-thump-thump sound was impressive.... when the smooth japanese bikes came out they sounded like a can of bees.

..... mine was blue

i can recall that sometime around 1966 while still at home and in school i saw an ad for BMW motorcyles and it showed a bike and beneath it ..."in the Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Love."

and then i saw the James Bond movie Thunderball and some chick rode a BSA 650 lightning that was mounted with rocket launchers.... oooohh.

and then i was in manhattan and saw a guy on a BSA stopped at a light... he was wearing boots, jeans, a suede jacket and a black beret.... and i knew that the stars were aligning to tell me i was destined to own a BSA.

sometime around 1976, an old british guy at GE put his blue BSA 650 thunderbolt up for sale, and i could feel the stars coming again into alignment for me.... of course they did


jpg played with juicing, editing, converting CD tracks and then adding an mp3 sound object to a web page..... the html code was simple and virtually identical to the code for a movie .... ( does not work with IE)



sound track deleted by me



after class yesterday, went to the microcenter to check out the eee-pc as mike alerted me about. it is a neat gizmo, and my big worry that the screen would be too small is not a isn't. i started openoffice spreadsheet and did a quick one .... it work just fine and was easy to read. could not surf as it was somehow not on the internet ??..... this thing is no bigger that the paperback i am reading (and thinner !!).... and it has an SD card reader built-in!.... very nice, however... the speakers on the sides of the screen are a major waste of space.... this has been commented on by others. i am going to wait and see what they do with rev2 before i drop $400 on it. but i can see this thing being my companion.... my 17" widesrceen laptop is too big for dragging around.

went to the olive garden for dinner ... nice place, too many people..... we were forced to drink endlessly at the bar while waiting for a table.... food was great.... donna and denis are fun (hadnt seen them in 3 years).... he just bought a $50,000 pickup truck with a remote that started the thing from at least 500 feet away.

then over to best buy to spend my gift certificates on movies.... i was looking for enactments of Ibsen, or O'Neill or Joyce but finally selected the lighter classics.

when i was 8 years old, i saw the BF20KF's 3 times in one week, by begging 3 weeks allowance out of mom..... i was expecting this dvd to be an awful copy (as it is a double feature along with THEM!), but it is excellent and fun watching again.... (but at the end, when lee van cleef shoots a radioactive grenade into the beast to kill it while it is destroying a roller coaster, always makes me cry) ..... every sci-fi movie from the early 50's has the exact same cast of actors, and they are like old friends..... however the next year, the toho company created godzilla (real name = Gojira) who has been kicking ass for 54 years now despite having been dissolved, exploded, electrocuted, shot into space, buried, burned to toast and blasted to pieces by rockets..... now that's a monster !!

and ..... Matt makes the HS baseball team !!

Jupiter image seen on a pita bread....

just read on the internet where some guy in england has a piece of toast that shows an image of the big bang that created the universe.

i was skeptical until i went into the kitchen to make a vegy wrap for myself and .... hard to believe ..... but there is an image of the planet jupiter on the Pita bread.

jpg jpg

these are signs..... i can feel it .... something bad's gonna happen someday.

an ironic twist of fate...

while i had the smithsonian institute bidding against several religious cults and a UFO club for the piece of pita bread ..... as fate would have it, Debbie ate the vegy wrap.


new baby Jack Stepanian makes his debut ....

Rebekah called last night with the news.... just got this e-mail from Loretta:

Baby Jack Stepanian arrived Sunday at 11:46am at the Birth and Women's Center in Dallas.
He weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long.
He has newborn gray blue eyes and dark brown hair. Can't decide who he looks like.
We left the center around 3:30 pm and came home to an excited family waiting by the door to meet him.
Mommy and baby are both doing great and got several hours sleep last night. Yeah for sleep!
Will try to send a photo when I have one.

"cant decide who he looks like" ??? .... he looks just like grandpa dave (inset image) .... you can hardly even tell us apart !!



weather for today .... depressing.

SantaFe (my text & html editor) has a new look this morning .... i replaced the html drop-down menu with a sidebar, and opted for more organic coloring..... it works and feels much nicer..... and it runs on ethanol.



L-ocean gizmo is making progress after the fact that the bike brake caliper could not be mounted on the stick in any simple way..... easiest solution was to make one out of wood....

February 20, 1944


Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mom


i have this little thing that i say (ask debbie) more and more as the years roll by... "thank you, god, and thank you, dad and mom".

and when i say it, i feel like the pictures of the universe that mike posted.... i feel perfectly infinite and incredibly small at the same time.... and i am hoping some day to understand that.

  • 1916 The World War I Battle of Verdun began in France.
  • 1925 The New Yorker magazine made its debut.

  • jpg 1945 Legendary mahjongg afficianado, intellectual, provocative, man-about-town D. Leo was born.

  • 1947 Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.
  • 1972 President Richard M. Nixon began his historic visit to China.
  • 1973 Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert, killing more than 100 people.
  • 1975 Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up.

"I am smiling."
(thanks for the picture, mike!)

from the new yorker....


and.... l-ocean is done !



weatherwise today was utterly miserable and i spent much time reflecting on my good fortune whilst i was planted in a chair reading stuff, laptopping and looking out at the snow and bad roads and watching the TV images of crashed cars.

made a "laptop" version of SantaFe to acommodate the widescreen format and did a good bunch of school work and finished the invention convention project "l-ocean" and shot a picture (shown above) off to emma. then i canceled tomorrow's class and put the test off a week and promised to post my notes "soon".

made 2 loaves of bread.... portugese sweet bread and french organic bread (is there somewhere on earth an inorganic bread.... but hey, it's french)

then i made (or actually am making) what i am calling chicken salvatore for a good reason. i have never used a recipe or recorded how i prepared food (mostly because even i never cared to repeat the process); but, given the recent intense interest in family history going on around town, i thought that i will start naming the stuff i make and who better to name stuff after than your predecessors..... so tonight we indulge in (do you hear a trumpet?).... chicken salvatore..... and it is prepared by cutting boneless chicken breasts into small pieces and marinating them in italian salad dressing and then dropping them in a wicked hot wok and flash frying them for 60 seconds. yet the twist comes here .... on the side, fry up peppers, onions and garlic, seasonings and your favorite beans (previously cooked) .... put that aside as a topping for the chicken.

i invented this recipe as certainly as rocky invented beating beef ribs in a freezer.

debbie has already alerted the hospital that i may be spending the night there. she says that she is not eating it because its lent and its friday .... but truth be told, she wants to see what happens to me before she tries it.

later....well ... it is (was) excellent, and the organic french bread was a fine companion.

but it is 8:45PM and i have a belly full of peppers, onions, garlic and fried chicken and wine ..... good thing debbie called ahead to the hospital....

baby jack i think even sleeps like me....


there's a scary resemblance going on here ...



slow day today ... Spring needs to get here soon..... i am getting seriously oxygen-deprived ..... posted class notes and watched history channel dvd's on past presidents which was extremely interesting .... these are not the worst of times (though that fact doesnt help much)!!

my bugzilla case against gnumeric is confirmed but as yet unsolved.

i have a new thought that the internet actually alienates and isolates people more than it "connects" people..... getting 30million page hits when you search for something is not "connectivity", it is alienation...... alienation in the sense that there is an overwhelming amount of stuff going on out there that you never even knew about and are not part of and don't have the slightest chance of catching up with .... that's my theory on alienation for today .... if you want connectivity, pick up a pen and write someone a letter.... i need to get out more.

Mike: gee dad you know a lot about computers..


me: don't get discouraged mike... you'll catch on.


jpg finished the kitchen cart at last. this item has my best ever routed shelf slots (thru doweled from the outside). the slots don't break thru the front, for better appearance. used 2 leftover pieces of shelving from when we did the kitchen over 3 years ago.... just made it.... no spare pieces. shelves are high enough to fit boxes if wine, the breadmachine and the little oven to get them off the countertop.

watched the 1954 movie THEM! (giants ants in the sewers) and found out what Leonard Nimoy was doing way before his Spock days.... the sign on the wall is funny .... this is the airforce UFO office.


note note


it's 100F outside and D is trying to get me out for a walk.... i knew this would happen .... my temperature threshold for walking is 400F normally and 300F in a pinch..... we could drive south until we hit warm air and then go for a walk, right?

well .... we are back now from our walk, and i have a pot of vegetable something in the crock pot .... deb wants pancakes for dinner !

note note note

we both left the room pleased that each had approved, i might even say valued, each others' methods for "wasting time".

.... the idea of a mandolin-ukelele rock duo was not ruled out, but we both felt the need for a tambourine gypsy type dancer person to round out the group.

a massive dose of heritage and nostalgia

mike started the ball rolling and one thing led to another.... he has an editable tree going on-line, i started a simple spreadsheet that was a neat idea but is not linking properly (and is a color-coding nightmare!).


but working spreadsheet or not, you have to wonder about each life story that goes with each name on the tree.... at least, i am, probably because i have the time now to do so.

Closing out the month

i offer an amendment to our Constitution .... recognizing first that i believe the US Constitution as it is written (not as it is abused) today is truly inspired of God (or whatever you desire to call It), and this is a truth that i hold to be sacred.

the amendment is as follows: every US government representative and every son, daughter, grandson and grand-daughter of eligible age of every US government representative who elects to launch a military action (whatever you desire to call it) against another nation shall serve in the heat of that military action until it is ended. the only exemptions are persons physically confined within medical or mental institutions for the duration of the war.

so much for February .... in like a lamb, out like a lion.

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