November, November

this month i hope to learn and highlight stuff about Native Americans past and present.


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1960's Rock and Roll ....

jpg .... was different things to different people. to me it was buddy holly, chuck berry, little richard, the doo-wop groups.

on the other side of the fence were the teen idols ... elvis, frankie avalon, fabian, bobby's vee / vinten & rydell ... the cute lover-boy singers.... and the sweet girl groups ... the chiffons, the shirelles, the chantels etc etc.

last night in worcester we saw the lover-boys and the sweet girls.

jpgit was okay ... it was great in being extremely casual feeling (though it was at the large hanover center) and the performers (65 - 75 years old, except for the 35-ish backup band) did pretty great up there.... felt like they never left the business.

magic happened when The Chiffons sang "one fine day" and "will you love me tomorrow" .... a time warp took me back 48 years ... worth every penny of the ticket (and then some).

the lead singer (lady with the white hair) is the original, the two younger chiffons today are her daughter and her niece.

i was never ever a chiffons fan, but i am now.

jpgSymbols in HTML

after hacking up my own symbols for years, i discovered (in the back of a book) that html code already has representations of symbols !!

such as ....
♥³ × δ π ² ÷ ω = ¾(σ)

thus, i added a button menu to SantaFe to paste symbols into my html pages.

SantaFe is now much more complex than the original GEDIT program that drove me to simplify my life (!) by writing SantaFe in the first place ! ..... such is the life cycle of all software.

A (micromanaged) vacation plan


Loretta's response ..... " hey dad ... GET A HOBBY !! "



The 5th of November, 2008

Electoral Votes: Obama = 364 / McCain = 162


Link to Obama's Speech

Popular votes shown on the map. States are scaled to actual populations (not square miles of area)....

And if you break the popular votes down to the county level, disregarding state boundaries and shading the county vote percentages from blue (Obama) to red (McCain) you get a clearer picture of the distribution of votes...


Nov.4-9.2008 (Texas)

as always, visits to Loretta's are busy times. we hit the dallas aquarium, which was my request .... great place (though expensive) to visit. breakfast at Cheddars with Christopher (who is destined to be a financier, and who is already rich and still owes me $30 that he thinks I forgot about but i'm really waiting for it to acumulate interest over the years !). he also has two softair pellet guns, that somehow L has given in to him having (hey, it's Texas !)

Sarah is into batman and i promised to send her a list of my books to see if she wants to read any of them.... we went to a comic shop and got some new ones too.

Andrew has a facebook site and i semi-promised to sign up there so we can be internet "friends" or something like that.... i don't quite get it, but i'll sign up probably. he volunteers at a food dispensary for the needy, and he works also... he has a new car of his own (he is 17!! or thereabouts).

Loretta made a wonderful photo book of her family history back 2 or 3 generations.... it's a work of art. i photographed it and will clean up the page images and post some of them here at some point.

one day we had breakfast with Christopher and Sarah at IHOP, then they conned me into "going bowling" at alleycats, but what they meant was "playing laser tag" at alleycats (we ended up doing both).

Sarah utterly trounced everyone at laser tag, getting 2× as many points as anyone (and 17× more than i got !!).... Andrew still denies it, but the data is recorded on alleycats' computer.

then took the little folks to stuff-a-bear or something + mall shopping.

Catherine came over and we ate at Loretta's home-style diner.... C is working and going to school full time so she doesn't get much sleep. she voted for ron paul and i promised myself to reread his website and recall why i did not vote for him (he had a few strange ideas on foreign policy that i can't recall).

saturday, me, D, C, A and M went to red robin for "gourmet burgers" they call them .... okay, i'll have one with gourmet bacon and gourmet cheese and gourmet ketchup please.

i posted some pictures at → texas2008

when you take your own picture...
check behind you first...



i now have a page on facebook, and i don't get it.... it acts like a clumsy, overcomplicated way for people to communicate.... instead of one page for every group of "friends" it's set up so that each person in the group has a page that all the various friends write and read ..... and people write on each others "walls" so the thread of comments gets scattered over a number of walls on other people's web pages ! ? ! ? .... way too complicated .... if you want to stay up with a particular group you have to visit each of their pages and read the various comments other people have left .... all designed to get you to wander around the internet and spend time visiting pages with more reader comments (like "wow that's cool") than original content.

i'm happy to be plainly anti-social ... keeps my life simple.

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jpg The Leica Digilux-2 was in production from 2004 through 2006. It was the first and last of its kind .. a digital camera that handles and operates like a classic film camera ( zoom, aperture, f-stop, and focus rings on the lens barrel and a top knob for shutter speed).

The body is boxy (which us old guys love.... you can hold boxy cameras any way you desire) and the design is simplistic.

The lens is a supreme Leica 28-90mm / f2.0 jewel.

It has "only" a 5Mp sensor but the pixel size is large and the images are outrageously great. It sold for $1800 ($400 of that paid for the Leica red dot on the front), and now sells for $700 (a huge drop because it is way out-spec'd in today's megapixel-crazy market place).

It has become a cult classic, and has a worldwide religious following. Having a love-hate relationship with mine, I am one of the fervent D2 religious nuts.

I was set (money in hand) to "upgrade" in September when the Photokina rumor mill was promising a great new announcement from Leica (as far as I am concerned, Leica put the ball down and walked off the field !!). I kept my money and my D2 ... what is out there today just doesn't work.

Leica has apparently decided to let the D2 remain one of a kind, and is not "upgrading" it .... which of course adds to cult frenzy around the camera.

Enter Leica forum member Thorsten Overgaard (Denmark) who has risen now to exalted grandmaster of the D2 cult by creating this fabulous dedicated website.

Thorsten Rocks !!

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jpg back in 1968, i was a seriously hot shytt, which explains why the chicks followed me everywhere.
here i am with my 1968 charger 440cu-in (7 mpg at best) beast with a carburetor as big as some engines are today.
this picture was taken after i lost the lead role in Bullett to steve mcqueen, so i am kind of pissed off.

i am chompimg on a short cigar (an affectation that clint eastwood stole from me for his "fistful of dollars" movies).

some people have critized my use of whimpy blue sneakers in this shot, but i say ... when you're me, everything works.



buon giorno, i miei amici .....

if you are wondering what to feed your backyard birds in the winter,
here is the answer.



.... while i am in here blogging my fingers to the bone, guess who is outside playing in the leaf pile and listening to itunes !!


HTML and Web Pages

this is my annual lecture on writing simple web pages in html.

on the left is a text file that you would type using any basic text editor like NOTEPAD or GEDIT (not a word processor, like WORD). i highlighted the html tags to make them easy to see ... your text editor probably won't do that for you. NOTE: you type the tags in with the text ! (once you have a tag typed in you can simply copy-paste it anywhere else you want to use it).

save this file with the "html" extension to its name. open that same file in your web browser ... see the image on the right.

that's all there is to creating a basic web page with headings, paragraphs, images and horizontal lines.

i find this method much much simpler than using a fancy HTML-editor, and infinitely simpler and better than something like WORD, DREAMWEAVER or OpenOffice (way too complicated for this task).

postcript: the NYTimes web page is written using this basic text typing approach .... they find it is faster to create a page this way !!.


"I'd like it to be my idea"

In the movie Shane, Joe Starret (a peaceable farmer) holds a gun on Shane ( a gunfighter).

Joe: Get off my land.
Shane: I will as soon as you put that gun down.
Joe: What difference does it make?
Shane: I'd like it to be my idea.

Sometimes, D comes home and says "I am quitting my job tomorrow". I then get all twisted up inside and I argue against her doing that for 100+ great reasons I come up with.

Sometimes, D comes home and tells me about the bullshytt dehumanizing crap that her management dumps on her and her coworkers and the first sentence out of my mouth is "Quit that F%$^$#% job, don't let them treat you like that."

So let me rewrite the script from Shane:

Deb: Management treats us like shytt and I'm going to quit.
Dave: You can't quit ...... but if they treat you like shytt, you damn well better quit.
Deb: What difference does it make.
Dave: I'd like it to be my idea.

sleepy me ... sleepy sleepy fog... drizzle....
wiper ....... wiper ....... wiper ..... drizzle
water beads flow up the windshield
wiper ....... wiper ....... wiper ..... drizzle
dreamy sound ... dreamy wipers .... dreamy drizzles
sleepy fog ... sleepy music ... sleepy me


no bang ....

.... good ....

screechy me now ...
wiper wiper wiper wiper wiper wiper wiper wiper

if you spend some time looking at faces, you can imagine lives never seen on TV or in the movies.

jpg jpg jpg jpg jpg

it's a nice game to play .... study a face for a while and then write that person's life story.


I wish you well, kiddo.

I should have written this ....

it is from this website

it reads as follows.....

We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and cliches. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.

help me with this .... facebook...

i signed into my facebook page and here is what i see ..... png

let me comment as follows....

  • if bob leo wants to watch "Many Naked Females" in a hotel room, hey that's fine with me, but i personally would not have advertised this on a web page.
  • so... Andrew is back from NYC and did not get mugged ... lucky devil.
  • dave posted a link to his personal web page, as if some someone else on the planet gives a shytt.
  • bob leo has made friends with various people, and i say it's about time he was friends with somebody !!
  • andrew has done various things with space wars and gangster battle indicating to me that andrew has way way too much dicretionary time at his disposal.
  • debbie and christopher are now friends which is good considering she is his step-mom (sorry, step-grandmom)!!
  • christopher obviously has a gambling problem because he plays poker a lot.

  • png but the gold star goes to michael vinny ... he posts that he is friends with lauren (ooooo) .... and he is sitting by the fireplace with an un-named hot chick .... this guy is downright insane for posting this .... wait'll Leisa reads this !!!

jpg Pat Robertson

this kind-looking man was born in hell, and will return there someday, (and of course take with him the souls of all the people who follow him).

but until then he is here to do the work of the devil, and he does it well, and does it in the name of God.

he preaches bigotry, fear, ignorance and intolerance among people; and his charisma is as insidious as a serpent's. he is not here to make the world a better place, he is here (with others like him) to keep the world of man unraveled and at war.

his soul-brothers are the hateful, militant islamics and all others who preach the very same kind of evil but in other tongues, from other points of view to other sheep being gathered for the trip back to hell.

he can't go back to hell fast enough to keep me happy. i just hope he leaves empty handed.

(Mike's right ... i gotta stop watching TV.)

jpg Christopher has Foiled my Plan

i got a check today from Mr. C for the $30 on the deal we made .... i was secretly planning to let the issue sleep and then hit him with a big interest charge next year and i would be rich.

L tells me that he earned the $$ by mowing lawns and house chores, so this is money that did not come easy to him. (see the spy satellite photo on the right of Christopher mowing the yard that i got from the CIA buddy of mine).

png i have high expectations for Mr. C ..... he works hard, manages his money responsibly, and keeps his promises.

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and ... ummm... i think it's time to get the pump out of the pond...


The Outstanding Public Debt
(today, 23 Nov 2008)=

The estimated population of the United States is 305,147,645 so each citizen's share (man, woman and child) of this debt is $34,955.37.

hmmm... for me a Deb (and M & C), that comes to $70,000; for Catherine that's $35,000; and for L and family, that's a measly $385,509 in national debt.

Look at the growth of the debt under each of the last 6 presidents ... check out which ones caused the major increases in the debt.... The US National Debt

Sign of the Times:
National Debt Clock
Runs Out of Digits

The national debt clock, the unofficial tracker of the federal deficit maintained by the Durst Organization in New York, has reached its limits. Last month, as the national debt exceeded $10 trillion for the first time, the clock ran out of digits to record the number.

The dollar sign in the clock had to be deleted and replaced with a one to record the massive number. The clock's owners say a new model "with space for two extra digits" will be in place early next year.

Mike and Me and Sunday Breakfast

jpg every sunday, me and mike have breakfast at the Family Cafe .... if you were driving across the country, it's the kind of place you would pass by or maybe not even notice.... or maybe say "who would eat there" (well buddy ..... i would, and i do!)

there is no punch line, here, except that the event is a gold star in my week because i get to explain to mike the meaning of life and how he should interpret the various complexities of today's techno-politico-econo-relio world and what's wrong with young people today and how God feels about all the shytt that's going on down here and what his generation needs to do to fix the mess we are leaving them.

but today, mike skipped out .... wasn't feeling well .... and i made pancakes at home that pretty much sucked because they were the just-add-water kind, which always suck.... so why did i buy them, you may ask.... no excuses... i bought 'em and they sucked.

Deb worked until 10PM last night and watched TV until i think 4AM, and is now down for the count on the sofa.

i have "dave's stew-for-two" going, and am surfing the web for controversial (SP?) issues to rant about.

Comment: do yourself a huge favor when travelling .... pass by the franchise fast food joints and eat at the places the "locals" eat at, like the Family Cafe.

The Numbers Don't Lie .... Do They?



long story .... i hurt my back friday cleaning the yard ... lots of pain ... took advil all day and it was only a little stiff this weekend.

monday (yesterday) i was feeling good and did some wood finishing and decided it was time to pull the pump out of the freezing pond.

chipped the ice away and got it out easily.

bent down to pick it up and someone fired a HEI ( high explosive incendiary) device into my lower back and i went down for the count..... crawled into the house and into a chair and whined to myself for 3 hours until Debbie got home, at which point i started to whine louder since i now had an audience.

pain went on and on in pulses and waves through the night
... in the back of my mind was my JA class today at 2PM ... how could i call and cancel it when i had already canceled 2 previous classes this month ... i really agonized over this all morning.... gif Pat is going to lend me a cane she has so i can walk and agreed to drive me to school and home, but i just cannot walk or stand up very long today, so i had to call the school ......tried to get D to call for me but she said that i was all grown up now and needed to take on more responsibility for myself (yes, mommy) . .... so i just called the school.

me: this is dave leo, i really hate to do this but i cannot come in for JA class today.
them: o that's okay, we cancelled all afterpschool classes this week.

so i am thinking .... i was about to drag my shattered, pain-ridden body up stairs, into a shower, into clothes, into a car, hobbling on a borrowed cane and get to the school to find the doors locked, and probably have an accident on the way home due to another muscle spasm in my back, and spend years in physical rehab and psyco-therapy dealing with the guilt of causing an accident.

gif okay ... i'm bored with blogging,
let's see what's on TV.

"The odds are greatly against you being immensely smarter than everyone else. For example, if your analysis says your rocket's terminal velocity is twice the speed of light, you may have invented warp drive, true ..... but the chances are a lot better that you've simply screwed up."

Nov.25.2008 .... Happy Birthday Loretta

(as usual our card will be days late .... "what's new , dave")

jpg Nov.27.2008

had Thankgiving Day dinner at Andrea's house.... very nice time and my back held up just fine and i ate whatever i desired, but could not have wine because i am still taking those painkillers pills.

today (next day) D had to start work at 5:00AM ... i rolled out of bed at 8:00AM. she is now crashed out on the sofa. i am pretty mobile today, and played a little with creating an animated gif image to write text ....


i am on a roll with animated GIF images.... → → mikes head is in a spin ← ←


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Index of My Journal Pages

Other places to visit....

The Names of 4000 Dead US Soldiers