And before I get started…

While I’m struggling to get back to the programming I’m also getting back to another pastime, pipe smoking. So I’m now re-assembling my pipe smoking paraphernalia and in the process discovered I’d lost my favorite pipe lighter. So I was determined to replace it. Problem was I forgot who made it. So I spent quite awhile searching to it on the wrong manufacturers web page.
BTW, I have to mention here that pipe and lighter manufacturers has some of the most antiquated and user unfriendly websites I’ve seen.
But I digress.
Eventually I find the manufacturer & the lighter and grab it from eBay. I’ve said all this mainly to lead up to a little unboxing pron. Yes this is a lighter worthy of unboxing shots. So without further ado…

The complete package from Vintage Chic Cigar LLC.  Impressive!

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Hello world!

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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Wait… this is actually funny

Sometimes (okay rarely) these actually can make me chuckle… Tags: ,

from Brevity

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Pissing match, no more?

It looks like it’s the end of the pissing match between council and the mayor, or Janey and the mayor, or Janey vs. Street. The real question is what changed to allow one of them to tuck in and zip up. Maybe I’ll find out that later. And maybe that won’t cause any additional pain.

Not wanting to break with tradition, it looks like they’ll take one final shot before it’s back to "business as usual". Way back a month or so ago, when I was first lain off (is that the right term?) I was told that my leave time would be banked for me and that I would get it back when I came back to work. OK, fine. Then I was told that oops, we cant bank the leave time, so we’ll cash it out for you. …ummm, Ok, guess I don’t have a choice in the matter. However, the more I thought about it, the better I liked this Idea. It turns out there are several pertinent differences between the RDA and OHCD. Less leave time can be accumulated, Overtime is difficult to refuse and can only be taken as comp time. This means I’m very likely to run up against my ceiling. And it turns out that, with me taking care of my dad, I’m not going to do as much traveling as in the past. So actually, the cashed out leave time turned out to be good news. In fact, I might even get a tablet out of the deal, put a new roof on my car, …

Turns out I may be getting ahead of myself. It turns out that as we (the 10 of so hired refugees from the other agencies) were only working for a week before we were unceremoniously laid off, the system (rightfully so) kicked up a flag at the multi-thousand dollar checks.  Unfortunately the previous personnel genius didn’t thick I was important to send a message with the check requests explaining the situation. So the check processing was delayed which some city worker got around to asking someone ‘ what up’? That in itself would have been annoying, a delay, however not the end of the world. The rub comes in that It seems that they won’t be able to issue the check, even though it’s in processing, If I’m currently employed. To me this makes no sense, If the time is converted to money, it’s a done transaction. I may have the option of repurchasing my time, but I shouldn’t be forced to. So after the 6 week bone-job a little sand for the final thrust. God, I love bureaucracy.

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Missing Ed

This is one of those posts that has been puttering around in the back of my head for a while now. Almost two months ago, we lost one of our friends. This is especially significant to our relatively small group of friends, because he was the first to go.

I’ve actually lost childhood friends before. My one time close friend Vincent, and my fair weather friend, but mostly enemy Tony. But they were friends, like most of them at the time, by default, proximity, and circumstance. You grew up together. And to be fair, at least one of those friends from that era, remains my best friend to this day. But I would say he’s the exception. Ed was the first of my friends from the adult phase of my life. When adult decisions were made based on trust, interest, and compatibility. It was a friendship that lasted over 20 year, some rocky (particularly the last few) but all of them fulfilling.

What brought this to mind was what I miss about ed, our sharing of our eclectic interests. Though our tastes in most things, books, anime, music, movies, software, etc. was definitely different, our tolerance was very similar. This made sharing most things such as music, books, and ideas ideal as it was that wonderfull blend of the familiar and the new. Our tastes were close enough that we would end up expanding our somewhat familiar boundaries.

There were two thing I wanted to share with Ed, one right around the time he died and the second just a day or so ago. The first was nerdcore hip-hop. Being the geeks stat we are (Ed most geekiest of us all), this is something we both would have enjoyed tremendously. Though a lot of it is crap, at least when compared to actual hip-hop. A surprising amount of it is fairly witty and some of that is actually good hip-hop. In the witty column are songs such as Ascii Antics, Kill Dash Nine and Rock Out With Your Hawk Out. In the actually good song category are Mountain Kind, Top Secret, and Nursehellamentary. (If I can figure out a good way to do It I’ll post my "ultimate Nerdcore" playlist.

The second thing is Elite Beat Agents for the DS. It’s basically a rhythm game using the DS stylus to tap and slide your way through popular songs. Even thought the use cover artists, they’re close enough to the original to work (at least for a DS game). I’m sure the musical selections would have kept us both entertained and competing till we completed the game.

It’s these kind of little things which make friendships… the sharing of the small. I miss you.

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A new year, A new blog…

Happy new yea…. oh, it’s a bit late for that.

3 years ago I got a free web site through a 1 and 1 promotion. During that time I’ve used that site as a blog, a test site and a training tool for frontpage. I also joined spaces and that became my primary blog  (such that it is…was…is). Well my free site finally expires this month and that forces me to make a decision. Even though I still like spaces and the concept behind it. I’m loathe to give up my personal site and even more my domain (s). So I’m now paying for my web site. The pricing isn’t too bad, still under a $100 a year, and I get a lot more space, bandwith, and .net 2.0

This has prompted me to start hosting my own blog again, and experimenting with a couple of new .net blog products (at least new to me). I now have two new test blogs both here and here.

The upshot of all this determining what to with 3 blogs. Well for the moment I’ll be posting to all three (at least as much as I’m posting at all). The spaces blog (Lair of the Dragon) will be a more family oriented blog, both figuratively and literally. No real profanity, stuff I want my grandmother to read, family events, etc. My private blog (Dragon’s Lair) will be more edgy, no censorship, no topic off limits (at least as far as the blog is concerned, me… time will tell).

So to start this off I’m going to re-post my last new-blog entry.


Posting on the Road

This is my first outdoor post. Actually, from a coffee shop.

So what’s been happening? Well let’s see, the pissing match that is Philadelphia politics continues unabated. Wait, that’s inaccurate. The negative effect it has on Philadelphia employees continues unabated. The pissing match participants are actually still on vacation. Hell, I guess I’m on vacation too… if you define layoff as a  forced, involuntary vacation.

I’m entering week three of the layoff and strangely enough, I haven’t been particularly productive. I don’t count Christmas week as that was spent dealing with Christmas and it’s aftermath. The following week I was recovering from a rather nasty bronchial cough, which translates into go to bed early, wake up late, sleep a lot in between. So this week things are going to be different. Maybe…

The plan, and maybe if I actually commit it disk it’ll make it so, it to move in.

Since moving back in, to take care of my father, I’ve basically kind of put everything on hold and lived in my old room. The problem is I pretty much live only in my own room. Not the kitchen, nor the living room, nor the dining room, nor the other bedrooms. Just my room. So I’m going to make an effort to change that. That means a rather major effort of cleaning, turning a lot of flotsam that collected over the years into jetsam, unpacking and moving some stuff out of storage. All in all a rather major undertaking. Particularly for a procrastinator such as myself.

btw: I post the picture (where it says "insert picture here" above) but for some strange reason, I can’t get any phone reception in the back part of this starbucks, oh well, we’ll work on another method.

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another quick multi-image test

Well writer had a major hiccup yesterday. It could posd text through the firewall but no images. This is is a test post for images from home.

[Update]: well that didn’t work, but it should work with just text… 

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