People Peeping Paradise

Donna and I are on our way to CT for the weekend and in order to avoid changing planes anywhere we drove up to Charlotte, NC to catch a plane. We got here early just to be sure (having never flown out of here before) that we could find our way alright. On top of that our flight scheduled to leave at 9.55pm has been delayed at least an hour. It is coming in from San Francisco and must have taken a wrong turn in Albuquerque.

We have spent the last couple of hours sitting at various spots in the airport watching the people go by. Boy, you can tell we don’t get out much by the way we are amazed at how many different shapes and sizes there are.

Watching is fun, but listening is even more entertaining. Seems as if 75% of the people in the airport have a cell phone and they are all using them. My favorite are still the bluetooth earbud user who look like they are talking to themselves.

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 363

Northeast Visit Notes

They are right proud of their gas up there. My brother was all excited because the price of regular gas had just dropped under $3 a gallon to $2.98. I filled up the Miata tonight and if I could get away with regular it would have cost me $2.28 per.

The Marriott Hartford/Farmington is still living in the past. No Wi-Fi. High speed internet was available…for $10 a day! And just 12 channels on the TV, four different ESPNs, the big 4 networks, Weather, Golf, HBO and USA were the TV options. I can sort of understand it, the place is smack in the middle of an office park, so the traveling business guy lets his company pick up the 10 bucks for internet and could not care at all if HGTV is on the TV line-up. Wouldn’t matter anyway because there was no way to concentrate on anything because they were the host hotel for a soccer tournament and the joint was crawling with hyper active kids with zero parental supervision. The only pluses were the weekend rate wasn’t to bad and it was only 10 minutes from my mom’s house.

Speaking of family, mine definitely puts the dys in dysfunctional. I’m not sure anyone cooks at home up there, we ate out nearly every meal. Trying to get everyone to agree on where to go was like herding wildcats. And it is not like we are dealing with a lot of people here either, Donna & I, two; sister and husband, four; plus brother and mother equals six. We hadn’t visited in 2 years and after these 2 day I think we are set for another couple years before we need/want to go back.

The flying wasn’t so bad and the security wasn’t to intrusive. The whole liquid thing is weird, you have to put lotions, toothpaste, etc. in your checked luggage, no carry on. Of course once you get past the security checks into the terminals you can walk into most of those newsstand places and get small size lotions and stuff, the clerk will remind you that you can’t carry it on, but who’s to know if you put it in your pocket or purse. They don’t recheck your carry-ons again before boarding.

We rented a Sebring and it worked out pretty good. Saturday was mostly a washout, but we did get the top down quite a bit over the weekend. Including both the ride from the airport on Friday night and back to it on Monday morning. The car only had 6400 miles on it and it made a squeal and a thunk when starting off each morning. More disconcerting was the fact that a section of the top near the edge at a fold was already showing big-time wear.

Started up, went down, back up, down again, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 366

Well, the first half of the migration process is complete, a new domain name has been chosen: I got it through Yahoo! they have a deal where it is a $1 for a year (first year and new names only), so for $21 I have that domain registered for the next 3 years.

Now comes the hard part, finding a host. I want one that is cheap, less than $10 a month, that is reliable and meets some not to demanding requirements: UNIX hosting, 5G storage, 25G transfer, 5 MySQL dbs, FTP and the latest PHP & Pearl. If they are giving a domain name it better get registered to me, not them and then they better offer to host that name and my new dot net one on the same site. Yahoo is just a little over the limit at $12 a month. Right now I’m leaning towards BlueHost for $6.95. Their CEO even has a WordPress blog:

Started down, went up, back down, up again, down again, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 370

Bit Bucket

Had a big ol’ post lamenting my web hosting search, but with all the Mozilla browser tab openings and closings I somehow dumped into the bit bucket – POOF – gone.

Without the time and energy to recreate it, you’ll just have to take my word for it, it was of absolutely no use to no one who wasn’t, like me, search for a web host.

Donna has suggested that I just chuck it all and go cold turkey, give up the whole blogging thing.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 372

Moving Day

Things went pretty well this evening moving the WordPress blog from dot com to dot net. The final test I think will be if this post actually gets posted.

If it does, I’ll go ahead and put a redirect page in the root directory of dot com that’ll make it pop over here. Make up a custom 404 error page for the dot com telling everyone to come over to the new place. Speaking of which if you hit your usual bookmark/favorite and are reading this post you need to replace that one with a new one that leads right here.

Started up, went down, back up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 386

Theme Madness

Regular readers know that I like to change things up a bit around here style-wise. While searching around for just the perfect look I downloaded a couple I thought, that with a little tweaking, I could make do with. Then I ran into one that is just too cool for words, trouble is it doesn’t really work in IE and Internet Explorer users are nearly 70% of my visitors. So I couldn’t implement it across the board.

So I downloaded a theme switching plug-in and installed it. Then I crudely added it to all the themes’ sidebars, so when someone tried a different theme they could find their way back to the original theme.

Give them a whirl, but remember only one has been truly personalized by me:
* WordPress Classic – came in the box
* WordPress Default – came in the box
* Painted Desert – long running current
* Blocked
* ChinaRed
* New York, New York
* Wuhan
* Vistered Little – if you run Firefox check this out, click on the little squares at the top to change the background

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 388

Early B-Day Shopping

Donna and I went over to Augusta this morning and did a little shopping for my birthday even though it is still 10 days away. I of course have an extensive list from stuff that would never happen (new Miata, 60″ plasma HDTV) to the mundane (12oz Coke, spiced pumpkin seeds) and everything in between (DVDs, new hydraulic jack.)

Did pretty well, as I’m now the proud owner of the movie Le Mans on DVD and a “lightweight” aluminum jack from Harbor Freight.

I got a Coke and some pumpkin seeds too!

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 389

Free Parking

No, I haven’t been playing Monopoly, just unearthed my parking stub from the Charlotte airport under some papers at my desk here.

Parking is at a premium at Charlotte- Douglas International Airport and as they fill up one fence enclosed long-term lot they open another down the street. When Donna and I went to CT for Labor Day we parked our car way out in a satellite lot as directed by airport personnel. A fellow handed us a ticket with a handwritten date on it and directed us to the shuttle. We we in Lot #2, Section Z.

When we got back 3 days later it took a little while to sort out which shuttle bus to take. The bus took us back to the lot and pulled in through a gate next to a booth. We loaded up our car and followed the exit signs back to that same booth, but on the other side. I rolled down my window to hand the ticket to the person in the booth and the gate opened in front of me. The booth was empty. I drove out and away.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 392

Miata Forum Science

Humfrz Theory of Mental Relativity:
The sensation of “speed” is relative and is directly proportional to the ?speed? at which the biochemical process works in the flow of neurons across the synapses of ones brain. As we age, this process slows while the world around us, continues to move at a constant ?speed?, thus giving us ?old guys? the sensation of ?great speed?.

He has an equation he is working on to help explain the theory:
H + S + A x AGS ? X ? PS
hat + suspenders + age x actual ground speed ? (X) ? perceived speed

This explains why 80-year old men in hats are doing 20 MPH in the 45 zone…they think they are flying.

I like it. Might even try and find a prominent spot for it here to go along with Sturgeon’s Law.

New York, New York

The default theme for this blog is called Painted Desert and I like it, but I just can’t leave well enough alone. First I changed the original header image to one with a Miata to better suit me and now I’m working on a little thing to keep it fresh that I hope to get going this weekend for all you Internet Explorer users.

Last Friday I fell in love with a theme called Vistered Little, that is real slick, but choked on IE big time. Well the good news is that Internet Explorer 7 RC1 displays it pretty well, so it has become Donna’s favorite way to read this here gibberish.

My favorite way to view this blog is using a theme called New York, New York. First I kept the white style and replaced the New York skyline background with a Miata collage, but then I saw some one’s dark version of the theme and knew that ws the way to go and I had just the image for the background, the one from the Windows Vista homepage. A quick search of the web led me to the stand alone jpeg. The girl would look kind of stupid in the background of a page called “Life of Brian” and I didn’t have a suitable photo of me I could photoshop in, so lucky for me the same place had a de-girled jpeg too. I’ve spent the last couple hours tweaking the CSS to get it to look great in Firefox 1.5, but I still need to do a little work on single post pages and archives and such. In IE 7 it looks passable, but the post header opacity doesn’t work rendering them too bright white. In IE 6, who knows.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 398

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Scott on Piano We had promised to visit Donna’s youngest brother and his wife later this year after the “baby to be named later” was born and hopefully named, but when an etiquettely correct invitation came to the baby shower arrived, a plan was hatched. Forget later, Donna and I would show up at the shower unannounced. The eldest brother and his wife were convinced to join the surprise crew and we almost snagged his other sister too. Well, we cleared it with Beth, the expectant mother, but we still wanted to surprise Scott.

The shower is on Saturday and the four of us were getting into the Seattle area on Friday afternoon, so Plan B called for the surprise to happen at an impromptu anniversary dinner for Scott and his wife Beth at her parents house (their anniversary is tomorrow.)

Things were going along smoothly until Beth was trying to get, Mr. Workaholic, Scott to take off on Friday afternoon to get ready for the anniversary dinner. He finally demanded to know what was going on and not being able to lie to him any more she told him that we were coming up. At first he didn’t believe her. Well, I hope you’re pleased with yourself.

I guess I’ll get back at you the only way I know how, post a baby picture of you for the whole internet to see. That’s you sitting on Donna’s lap playing on the piano in New Orleans.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 404

Where America’s Day Begins

Wedding DayAt least that is what it said on the license plate, which segues nicely into…Traffic Court, Agana, Guam, September 29, 1976. The large room is filled with scofflaws awaiting the chance to plead their case on why they weren’t really speeding or why they shouldn’t be thrown in jail for driving without a license. The clerk leads 4 nervous young adults in the back doors, past the rows of defendants and their families, past the tables used by the lawyers, down to the low wooden railing in front of the imposing, still empty judge’s bench. The noise level drops a couple notches as the crowd starts to whisper among themselves wondering what is so special about these kids.

The bailiff enters from the right and loudly proclaims, “All rise!” After a few seconds the judge enters in a swirl of black robes from a door right behind his chair, looks out over the courtroom and gruffly says, “Remain standing.” He then gazes down at the 4 trembling youngsters in front of him and asks in a paternal voice, “Is this to be a double ring ceremony?”

After the judge pronounced the couple man and wife, and as they and their witnesses were escorted back out of the courtroom by the clerk, the bailiff could be heard to say, “Be seated, the first case will be…”

Newly married Brian & Donna Bogardus along with Brian’s squadronmate and his wife, Ken & Helen Tiller walked to a park adjacent to the courthouse and cracked open a coconut to celebrate.

Why am I writing this on September 28th you ask, instead of the actual date of my 30th anniversary, I’ll tell you. Guam is literally half way around the world from here and as such is 15 hours ahead of eastern daylight time, so as I write this at nearly 10 PM on the 28th it is already 1 PM in the afternoon on the 29th and we are a couple hours into our 31st year of wedded bliss. Guam, where America’s day begins and Brian and Donna’s marriage began.

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 407