Monday, August 27, 2007

:-) Just for fun...

I've been seriously unplugged for a couple of months. I've tried keeping up with this and everything else, and you know what fell behind. One of the things that has kept me from blogging is below, Dodgeball. This is something I just could not take seriously enough to really get into, but we had a lot of fun. I have a link to my picasa web page on the right where you can see the pictures from this video and much more. I have a lot more to say, but I'm getting ready for my son to come home on Friday, meet and greet at his school Thursday, and the start of school next week. Enjoy the video and know that there is more coming. I'll be visiting again too...sorry I've been away for so long!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


It was a mistake to do a full upper body workout, then play three volleyball games, and then try to run 5 miles under an August heat advisory.  I almost made 2 miles before stopping due to imminent heat stroke.  Talk about stifling, there was no wind.  It was just dead, humid air trapping all that heat around me. Essentially five degrees cooler than hell.

The good thing was that we won all four volleyball games!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Traffic around here is like the Bad News Bears take Ballet.  When you get to one of the few hills and get an elevated view of things, it is comical to watch as large groups of people try, and fail, to simultaneously merge in opposing directions.  The traffic choreographer hits the cue and cars just start swerving with what is exactly not grace into and sometimes around each other.  Blinkers and brakes lights illuminate with abandon, like a Christmas tree that was just knocked over by stampeding live stock. 


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ego boost and other things....

The Ghent Summer Bar Tour was the 27th of July last week.  We had a great time!  The concept was to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation here in Hampton Roads, and to appreciate the many great dining and drinking experiences in Ghent (a section of downtown Norfolk).  Each restaurant/bar had some special that you could partake in if you were part of the tour.  In the midst I found the best pizza you can get in Hampton Roads.  I do not say this lightly.  There are a few places I like, and I usually order from Papa Johns because I don't have to talk to distracted teen-agers that way.  Cogan's Pizza was a grand slam home run for pizza though.  I will easily drive the 20 miles to get there from where I live.

Volleyball Monday night was a bust for a couple of reasons, but I still had a lot of fun.  We only won one game though, out of four.

Wednesday was wine tasting and jazz at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk.  Great wine, great music, great girlfriend, and great friends.  We had a splendid time and got to meet a number of new people.  Susan and I went to the 219 afterwards, my favorite restaurant in Hampton Roads.  It was divine, as expected.  :-)

The floods came, so to speak, on Thursday afternoon.  The dishwasher and washing machine were going and something backed up.  Water started coming out of everything.  I got it stopped and used ALL of my towels to mop it up.  One pipe needs a new seal on a joint, but I think that is it.  I'm not sure what caused the backup yet, but everything seems to be good now.

Dodgeball on Thursday was rough.  I was taken out early every game and we lost all but the last one.  That one went into sudden death overtime (ie one player left on each side).  We added three players to each side.  I ended up with the stinger ball.  The stinger is a smaller ball, black, lighter, and more difficult to through.  The other team charged us.  I waited until I could see the whites of their eyes, then spun the stinger into the universe.  The aim and spin were true and the player was OUT!  So for all their screaming and running, they were out before they even got off a shot.  :-)  And we won.  whew.

After dodgeball I went with one of the guys from my team to shoot some baskets.  It quickly turned into a five player game of 21.  Here is my ego boost I'm going to brag about.  When shooting a free throw, the ball bounced off the back of the rim back to me.  I lunged, crouched, the launched into the air.  I grabbed the ball, went over everyone, and jammed it home.  The teenage guy playing said "I was just jumping, I didn't know you were going to dunk it on me."  :-)  Not to shabby for a 38 year old white guy.  It really made me feel good as it seems between running, working out, and probably beach volleyball more than anything, all my exercise and energy output is paying off.

After basketball we went to Shorebreak pizza to socialize for a bit, meet up with Susan, and then over to Off Shore to see Jesse Chong.  Jesse is a one man band of sorts.  A truly talented musician.  With just an acoustic guitar and a little bit of equipment he works with his feet, he plays and records his rhythm and melodies for each song, then starts the lead and clicks in the rest as he needs them.  To sing play, and work your own sound at the same time seems like it would take obscene amounts of talent.  To top it all off, he was very funny too!  Sometimes he plays with Charlie Austin, a renown fiddle player.  That I have got to get out to hear at some point.

Friday Susan and I went to Cha Cha lessons!  My first ever dance lesson.  What a great time.  I didn't even break any toes!  It has been a desire of mine for quite some time to learn how to dance.  It is going to take some time, but I'm on my way.  We went to Cogan's afterward for some amazing veggie california pizza.

Saturday was a work day.  I fixed Susan's hot tub and helped her setup a hammock.  She did lawn work while I did that.  All is better and working now!

I did my run this morning.  3.5 miles.  It was hard going at first, but gets easier.  I'm trying to expand my stride some so that my knees are bearing the brunt of the punishment.  Off to Church!  More soon!

"Until you forget what you think you know and what you think is possible, you will never know what is truly attainable."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Internet Security Tip....

This is nothing new, but it does highlight a few things you need to be aware of.  Any information you send over unencrypted channels can be sniffed and captured.  When using public wifi, make sure you use HTTPS whenever possible.  Where this is not possible, then the information you send/receive and cookies created can be grabbed and used with abandon.  Another alternate solution is to use some sort of Virtual Private Network, like OpenVPN.  This allows you to create a secure encrypted tunnel back to a trusted location where you can then do your surfing through.  However, even there, any information you send/receive in the clear can be captured by your ISP or someone else further up the stream, and just about everything on the Internet passes in the clear.  Tunnels like this are very complex and difficult to create and get working correctly even for experienced IT professionals.  Keep in mind that using public wifi is sort of like having a conversation in a crowded public place, and If you do not want people to hear something you say, then do not say it. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Go see Transformers. Best movie of the summer and has something for everyone. It wasn't anything like I thought it would be. Harry Potter was ok, and a must see if you are a Potter fan, but Transformers blew it away.

I went kayaking early Sunday morning and found that dolphins don't get up before about 8:30 am. We saw a bunch on our way back. Below is a picture from after our paddle.

Internet safety tip:
When you get some notification or email with a link, don't click on it. If you knew it was coming, it might be ok, but otherwise, just say no. If you must satisfy the insatiable curiosity, don't click on the link, but go to the legitimate site manually in your web browser. Go to the site and find the information from there. Emails can hide tons of things, so even if the link looks ok, it may still take you somewhere else. Do not trust them. It is exactly like getting mail from the post office that says you need to come down to your local bank branch and fill out some forms, only the directions in the letter don't go to your local branch, but to the bad guys hideout. They then rob you, take your clothes and your car, and leave you. You know where your local branch is, so why would you follow directions to somewhere else? You wouldn't, but people do it all the time online because it is so easy. The fake sites look so real that sometimes even experts can't tell them apart without very careful analysis. It is much safer for the bad guys because there are not many fraud laws like there are with USPS transactions. It is safer for them because it is hard to trace back. It is safer because people may not report it due to shame. Scams are easy on the Internet because everything is hidden from you already. You don't need a building and decorations/signs, etc, you just need a couple of graphics that no one looks at anyway.