We did it (on schedule too ! ) .... I have a new domain name here [www.davesjournal.us] , which i like better than "tikmark"! and we moved all the older files here.

png "here" being Mike's server, safely locked away in his basement, as shown in the picture on the right (which had to be blackened out for national security reasons).

things are slower (pictures load slow) but eveything seems to work okay

i am also trying out a more fluid page format, rather than the fixed 900 pixels wide as before, so this page should almost fill up your screen however you resize it.

Gemini and Other Zodiac Signs

at the beginning of the month, as usual, i stumble onto the topic of zodiac signs and came across this neat image showing the sequence of zodiac signs trhough the night sky through the year .... also showing the connect-the-dots lines that show each constellation ( which i still don't get, but it's interesting)

text, shamelessly stolen from other web pages ....

gif As the earth goes around the sun, this motion means that every day we look back at the sun in a slightly different direction, with different stars behind it. The sun appears to move through the constellations. Theoretically there are twelve constellations through which the sun moves, one per month, and these are the Zodiac constellations. In reality there is a 13th constellation through which the sun passes (technically, at least) and it gets no credit for being in the Zodiac - Ophiuchus.

Gemini is May 22 - June 21

here's a closer look at the Gemini constellation .... The heads of the gemini twins (Castor and Pollux from Greek mythology) are represented by the two brightest stars in the constellation. The constellation is rectangular in shape with each side representing one of the twins.

Geminis are said to have a dual nature, as symbolized by twins. This duality also represents exchange and interaction. The sign of Gemini is closely associated with exchange of ideas, communication, and trade.

jpg The sign of Gemini is thought to be very adaptable and flexible, sometimes to the point of being two different personalities.

The glyph for Gemini depicts two lines joined together, showing the symbolism of the twins, and the duality of the nature of the sign.

Cow Shytt

.... i'll say it again .... spend a morning digging cow manure into your garden patch ..... get into it up to your elbows, your finger nails, your hair .... so dirty you have to hose down your pants outside before bringing them in to wash ...

digging in cow shyyt puts your values, your priorities, your view of yourself and all other things back in the right alignment ..... i'll feel even better after a shower.

Lucia's Tires

jpg have been waiting for a letter (real paper!) from Lucia for 2 months .... came yesterday, and brightened my day as it usually does to read something that was written (by hand) specifically to me. she had been too busy to write she said but now she was at the tire dealers getting new tires and was in the waiting room with nothing to do, so .... she wrote to me.

this is a neat idea .... when people get stuck in waiting rooms they could shoot off a few postcards to someone and make the world nicer...... so i'm thinking ..... they should sell postcards in waiting rooms and even have a postoffice drop box there ..... they'd make millions if it catches on .... think of how many cards you could send out in an hour or two!!

unfortunately she will probably not write again until she gets stuck in another waiting room (/joke).

Tikmark & awk

Hey .... this is a great day so far !! ..... "why" you ask , well .....

jpg [background] i started the "tikmark" domain years ago to publish some engineering scripts that i had written in the awk programming language. using awk for engineering is pretty unusual and i wanted to put it on the internet because it's a great idea.

well .... my tikmark website has been out there for years, and hasn't had much traffic until a month ago ..... apparently some professor, Tim Menzies, (who has his own awk website) found my tikmark pages and has his students and friends clicking into it.

AND ... today, actually yesterday, his awk website did a seriously nice article (here is the link: awk.info) on my tikmark website.

is this my (long overdue) 15 minutes of fame ?


i ....uhmmmm... stumbled upon stumbleupon maybe 6 months ago and have been addicted ever since and if anything keeps me up at night it's clicking ..... clicking ..... clicking randomly through the internet on my netbook while lying in bed.

i signed up to stumbleupon with my usual internet profile:

  • dark brown hair. piercing but gentle eyes
  • 6'2", 210lb
  • funny, smart, people say i look like brad pitt
  • sensitive, like walking in the rain and love to read hallmark greeting cards
  • love cats, flowers and that Life-something channel on TV
  • have a license to kill (#008) but use it sparingly
  • am very lonesome since my wife Debbie ran off with the pool boy.

so.... last night i am reviewing my "profile" as other stumblers see it.

i run the mouse cursor over my picture and a small window pops up and the only thing it says is ...... "64M" ..... that's 64 years old and married ! !

SHYTT .... no wonder the only chick-hits i've been getting are from that nursing home in Wisconsin !


there's a scene in the movie tombstone ..... wyatt earp (kurt russell) has just unleashed his fury on a bunch of bad guys and killed them all, because they had killed his brothers.

cowboy: hell .... if they was my brother's i'd want revenge too.
doc holiday (val kilmer): oh .... make no mistake ..... it's not revenge he wants ..... it's a reckoning.

there were several terrible times in my life when all i wanted was a reckoning, not revenge for past grievences, just a day in the court of common decency, if you will..... a day where everyone involved stands up and speaks the truth to God's face and throws themselves on the justice and mercy of the court.

in my life, that day has never happened, and i have come to know that we all live with unreconciled issues because there are incurably bad people in this world, who simply won't show up in court, swear themselves in and tell the truth.

Coney Island

jpgwell, mike did it again ..... he sent me a link to a web page that sent me down memory lane .... this time it was a link to archival pictures of brooklyn, and i got focused on coney island, where (as i remember my childhood) i grew up.

this image shows the beach as it was when we went there (every day !) in the 1950's .... that's pretty much as i remember the beach too .... incredibly crowded .... lost kids everywhere you turned.

click ... click .... click and i stumbled upon the website for the coney island development corporation that is charged with bring CI back to it's former glory.

and i swiped some of their "conceptual plans" for the New Coney Island (see below) ..... if nothing else, these pictures are exciting to dream about.

(notice that they are keeping the cyclone rollercoaster .... far right edge)....

(this one looks like a real photo, but it's a computer image ...)

if you can stand a 3.6Mb image download, here is a large version of this image ....
view it at maybe 50% zoom and scan around it .... very neat details.

Saint Francis

jpg despite the fact that he is aligned with one of this world's religions, Francis of Assisi was, really, a special and heroic person (go ahead and Google him).

why, you might ask, would his head be lying under a tree in my yard..... well .... because D bought a little statue of him and made me put it there and ....well ... his head fell off.

(i am actually feeling sorry for him now ..... )she's gonna make me buy another one, i know it's coming.

it is kinda spooky though how the sunlight hit his head just when i went to take his picture.

June.07.2009 ...

John, Pat,

Lisa, me and Deb

at Barber's Crossing

(for Sandy & Ernie's 25th)

jpg jpg
jpg jpg jpg


despite the many fights, there really was no schoolyard bullying .... the "fighters" stuck to fighting each other and that was the code of conduct .

i remember one time Gus B. (a fighter) slapped Robert V. (not a fighter) who just stood there (because he would definitely loose if he hit Gus back)...... Gus got in a few more slaps when Vinnie N. (same guy in the story above) walked over and calmly said to Gus, "if you make him cry, you have to fight me" ...... Gus turned and walked away, and no-one ever hit Robert again.

Loretta Joblanski

before Debbie ..... before Edyta .... before .... well the list goes on .... there was Loretta Joblanski..... one grade ahead of me at Our Lady of Solace School.

ever so pretty, those green eyes ......o my.

i kinda discovered "women" when i saw her and i knew i had to impress her with my reckless and cavalier attitude.

so i crashed into her at every opportunity.

every game we played in the schoolyard, i found some idiot reason to hurl myself through the group of girls she was standing with and end up splattered on the ground before her.

the ice princess ..... i was doomed .... nothing impressed her .... torn pants, scraped knees.... they meant nothing to the ice princess.

(i got over it, but she is now trying to be my facebook friend .... shytt, lady .... you missed the plane.)


Interesting View of Iran Today

i have to remind myself now and then that the people who live in any country don't necessarily like how their govenrment behaves (just look at ourselves in the USA as an example). but yet my first thought sometimes (like when thinking of Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Israel) i think "those people want nothing but conflict and cause nothing but problems and bring no peace to the world".

so, today, and article on the Reuters news service reminds me again (as R. Reagan said) .... "people don't start wars, governments start wars." ..... the article is about the young people in Iran who are pretty much disgusted with their government. here are some excerpts ....

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The young Iranians cruising noisily around upscale northern Tehran in cars plastered with election posters have only one thing on their minds: denying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term.

Millions of reform-minded Iranians stayed away from the polls in 2005, disillusioned by how hardliners had stymied former President Mohammad Khatami's liberal initiatives.

Ahmadinejad's political fate may well hang on how many of those jaded voters turn out on June 12 -- if only to thwart him.

"I will vote, but only because I want to see anyone but Ahmadinejad win. He has ruined the country," said Mina Sedaqati, a 25-year-old sociology student at Tehran University, over coffee and doughnuts with friends in northern Tehran.

More than two-thirds of Iran's 70 million people are aged under 30, making them too young to remember life before the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah.

All four presidential candidates are wooing youthful voters in speeches and campaign messages and have used popular networking and content-sharing sites such as Facebook to target young people.

More than 150,000 Iranians are Facebook members, and young voters make up a huge bloc which helped Khatami win elections in 1997 and 2001. Access to Facebook was blocked for a few days last month, suggesting government concern at its influence.

that article paints a new picture of Iran for me ... maybe there is hope for that country after all..... and once again, it is the young people who bring hope to the party.

Iran update: June14

forget it .... the Iran elections results have caused widespread anger and protest and charges of rigged elections .... typical of dictatorships, the "winner" (the moron already in power) has arrested all the people that ran against him and most of their high-ranking supporters..... people are rioting in the streets .... i am recalling the fall of the Shah of Iron back in 1979-80 .... i guess the good news is this dictatorship is showing its true colors to the world...... governments suck, bad governments REALLY suck.

jpgItaly, October 2009

the trip plan is taking shape : link to the schedule.

our citizenship papers are (according to Mike) 98% complete .... then comes the interview .... they say that waterboarding is standard practice ....."tell us again, Americano, Perche' si desidera la cittadinanza italiana?"!

Upgraded Pellet Gun Target

i recently built a new pellet gun target ... much more technology than the old one Andrew and i shot at back in 2007.

have a variety of targets .... my favorite target is shown on the right [smirk]

jpg jpg

jpgRoses on June.13.2009

it's been raining for a week and many roses popped out in that time....

.... mom stopped in to show me how the pro's did it back in the olden days.

png Happy Birthday, Rachel png


png Happy Birthday, Mike png

(photo too ugly to post)

Oscar Wao .... recommended by me

jpg love the style of writing .... the story is dynamic and bounces right along and is told in flashbacks, is very intense in spots and the language is exciting and different (for me) .... poor Oscar.

From the New Yorker ....

We caught up with Italian actor Paulo Giuseppi at Ira's Jewish Deli on 34th Street.....

jpg NY: Paulo, you look the same as you did in 1988 ! How do you do it?
Paulo: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam lacus. Fusce accumsan. Phasellus vitae elit. Vestibulum eleifend. Nulla sodales elit in quam. Maecenas vehicula urna vel dolor.
Translator: Grazie, grazie .... he says it's the bagels here at Ira's .... the bagels keep him looking young.

NY: So, Paulo, what brings you to the Big Apple?
Paulo: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam lacus. Fusce accumsan. Phasellus vitae elit. Vestibulum eleifend. Nulla sodales elit in quam. Maecenas vehicula urna vel dolor.
Translator: He is here to be on The View to promote his new movie, Po Teeko's Cave.

NY: Ah yes, the Pulitzer nominated short story that people are saying rivals Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
Paulo: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam lacus. Fusce accumsan. Phasellus vitae elit. Vestibulum eleifend. Nulla sodales elit in quam. Maecenas vehicula urna vel dolor.
Translator: He says he like's the Po Teeko storyline much better (and remember, Paulo was the star of Hemingway's movie as well !) .... he says Hemingway's story is just about some old guy who catches a fish.

NY: Well, Paulo, good luck on The View and at the box office.
Paulo: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam lacus. Fusce accumsan. Phasellus vitae elit. Vestibulum eleifend. Nulla sodales elit in quam. Maecenas vehicula urna vel dolor.
Translator: He wants to know if you can spring for the bagels .... he has only Euros with him.
NY: Si! Si! .... nessun problema !


Started a modest web page for my grandparents clippings and snapshots: here is the link.

these are idle GIMP exercises in semi-transparent layers of overlaid images, and edge effects ....




Deb and Elaine took Elise birthday shopping, so Don and I entertained Emma for the day.... Emma was so excited that she spent hours text messaging her friends to come save her from grandpa Don and crazy uncle Dave who were legally boring her to death.

But we had a good time mini-golfing and being silly and eating 3 (4 ?) rootbeer floats at home.



jpg it took me hours to find where i stored this picture !
..... way too many CD's around here.
this is a composite image of (most, but not all, of the)
second generation USA-born Leo's..... identities are shown on my
"grandparent's page".

on a completely different, and somewhat funnier topic.....
there is an uncomfortable resemblence here ...

jpg jpg jpg

jpgA Hot Pitcher

you would not look at Elise-my-niece and say "boy she must be a power softball pitcher" ..... well ....
.... i watched her today and she definitely is a power pitcher ....
and i took some snapshots before the thunderstorm hit .... here's the link.


except for 2 days, it has rained every day for 6 weeks. M says it's coming from the ocean, which is a backswirl.... in the winter these would be serious"'Noreaster's" and dump much snow upon us..... i gotta move south a bit.

the breezeway is close to finished .... applied the KILZ basecoat to the floorboards today ..... patched concrete and painted the back half yesterday .... paint tomorrow, dry one day .... we're home.

the sun is out now for it's 15 minutes of fame, then more rain will come.

for the first time in 9 years, one of my senior design students did not show up for the midterm project review.... no communication from him at all ...... why do people do this? .... if he's dead or in the hospital, i will pass him .... if he's not dead, he gets an F, and the teacher is not the problem here.

..... which reminds me of what an ever-so-perfect student i was back in my day .... i spent the first 3 years of college in the cafeteria playing cards (a game called "bullshytt" was my best game). i skipped so many classes, the teachers were asking around if i had died, and got pissed off when they found out i was still alive but too busy playing "bullshytt" in the cafeteria to attend classes.

a high school tale

in shop one day, i am welding something, and the funniest guy in the class (Warren C.) comes up and says "hey dave..... heat this pipe up, i want to get Vic (another student) to grab the end of it" ....so ..... i heated the end of the pipe up, and Warren walks off with it and i get back to welding stuff..... until the screaming begins.....

turns out that Mr. S (the teacher) sees W walking around the class with a pipe and reaches over and grabs it out of W's hand.

true to the unspoken code of .... of .... teenage guys, i guess .... W takes 100% of the blame for the hot pipe, and Mr. S was out just a few days, i think mostly due to mental fatigue.

i, of course, nailed an A in welding.

High School Vandalism, 195?

i did not commit many acts of outright vandalism in my youth, but i did think about it a lot, and i actually did some bad things on occassion, but this story is about the time that G (look upward) tapped me on the shoulder and said "tsk.... tsk....you bad boy ...let this be a lesson to you" .....

in fact, i think G (look upward) set me up for the kill here....

i'm leaving high school late, and no one is around .... i am wearing a suit and tie (can't remember why) and i am generally in a bad mood (can't remember why), and i am walking alongside the school and there is a large glass jar of horseradish-mustard sitting by the curb.

i stop ..... i think .... i walk over and pick it up.....

i honestly can't recall what other things i was thinking, but i was surely thinking to throw this jar of horseradish-mustard through a school window, but i can't remember right now exactly why i wanted to do that, but there's no doubt that i was going to throw it through a school window.

until ..... i feel this slimey oozy feeling sliding down my leg ..... and my eyes start to burn...

turns out the cap on the jar was unscrewed and while i was pondering just which window to toss it through, the horseradish-mustard poured out all over my pants legs.

i never got the opportunity to explain to anyone on the train ride home why my pants were drenched with this yellow-green awful smelling, eye-burning, undefined ooze that looked like diarrhea (and no one asked!).

but i'll tell you one thing .... i never again thought about tossing a jar of mustard through a school window.

a good photographer...
would have tidy'd up the hose and water cans first...

ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust .... and disney

upon D's passage to a more heavenly world than this, my instructions are to cremate her and dump .... sorry .... gently sprinkle her ass .... sorry ....ashes in the Pirates of Caribbean ride at disneyworld.... turns out that she will not be alone .... the following text is from ????, somewhere .....i forget .....

In 2007, a guest alerted cast members at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that she had seen another woman sprinkling some sort of a powdery substance into the water, and the Los Angeles Times reports that the ride was shut down the same year when a group of people managed to leave a pile of ashes in the Captain's Quarters section of the ride.

♥♦♣♠ The End if June2009 ♥♦♣♠


jpg possibly the most wonderful thing about getting older
is that you don't take yourself so seriously anymore.

(possibly the worst thing about getting older is
no one else takes you seriously anymore.)

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