News for April 2006


Radiation tri-blade 29.apr.2006 - Rad Disneyland report: My favorite ride: Pirates of the Caribbean was closed (Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me...) .. until end of next month. Bummer.

Being revamped to incorporate elements of upcoming movie: Dead Man's Chest (opening July 7th). Rumor has it Johnny Depp is being integrated into the revamped ride .. or at least his likeness.

We compensated by riding the Indiana Jones attraction twice (Temple of the Forbidden Eye). Pretty cool ride. Scored front seats both times.

Surprising how many people were there, even tho it was mid-week (Tues) and off season (not summer). Still, the waits weren't very long: no more than 15 mins.

I refuse to go in summer, or on weekends. Excesivo gentes.

Julie knows D-land like the back of her hand. She grew up in nearby Santa Monica. Her mom skated at an ice-rink near D-land, and would take along the kids and drop them there while skating.

Hard to not think how much little Rad Jr. would've enjoyed it .. with so many kids there.

Radiation tri-blade 25.apr.2006 - Going to Disneyland today: happiest place on earth. I normally go every year on my birthday (January), mid-week, when the crowds are gone.

But January '06 was not very happy here, so I'm going to celebrate my birthday today.

Would like to take the little guy along, but he's still small, and I would have to bring him back pretty early. So next year should be better, when I get him for some overnights .. cuz our birthdays are only 1 day apart. I think he will dig it there.

If you stop in City Hall at Disneyland on the way in, on (or near) your birthday, and show them your ID, they will give you a mouse name-tag to wear. Then, everywhere you go, all day long, people greet you by name with a rousing "Happy Birthday!". Pretty cool, no matter how old you might be. There's a kid in everybody.

If you need technical assistance today, the guys at the forums can always help.

Radiation tri-blade 24.apr.2006 - The site was down for several hours this afternoon, due to "networking difficulties". The outage affected all 300 servers owned by Lunarpages (my host).

It's frustrating when you work hard to build a quality site, only to see it unavailable due to a hosting issue. There's nothing I can do - including vociferous complaining - that will help.

Site outages have always bothered me more than they should. I moved the site to Lunarpages several months ago because my old host had become unreliable.

I don't mind if the site is down for 5 or 10 minutes. But when it's down for hours .. especially during busy times of the day .. ugh, that blows.

Other than this outage, I have been pleased with Lunarpages service and support. If you can read this, the site is back. But right now, it's still down. Bummer.

The recorded message you hear when calling says, "Lunarpages is currently experiencing networking difficulties. All available system admins are working to correct the problem and hope to have it resolved as soon as possible."

Radiation tri-blade 23.apr.2006 - Rode up to Bakersfield yesterday (co-pilot), north of Los Angeles (3 hour drive), with Miss Julie & her family .. to help celebrate little Frances' 5th birthday (niece). Different family members live in different parts of the state, so Bakersfield is a central location where all can meet.

Finally met Julie's dad yesterday. Been looking forward to that (as you might imagine). Also met her dad's wife, which represents the last of her immediate family.

They were all gracious and welcoming. I want everyone to like me, of course, and Julie assures me they do.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in the blog here:> Meeting the Family

Radiation tri-blade 19.apr.2006 - Played Rad dad today. Had the little guy. I call him the Bug. [Most babies are cute as a bug's ear. He's cute as the whole bug. =) ] Wish I could post some photos .. cuz he pretty dang adorable .. but I can't.

Took him for a walk at Main Beach, here in Laguna, early this morning. We didn't even make it to the shore before he buried his head in my chest, which means it's time to nap. Didn't expect that so early.

The sound of the ocean has always lulled him to sleep (even when the surf is loud and thunderous). Maybe that's cuz the first place we took him after we brought him home from the hospital was to the beach (at Crystal Cove) when he was 5 days old. Or maybe it's cuz I used to walk him on the beach at sunset most nights for the first few months of his life.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in the blog here:> Life's Best Moments

Radiation tri-blade 17.apr.2006 - Saw Closer last night (trailers, reviews). It has been out for a year, so you might've seen it already. Very well made. Held my attention. Scintillating dialogue. I found the story emotionally intense. Sidney raved about it back when it first came out.

I enjoy movies that strike my consciousness and make me think, far more than ones which subscribe to formulaic models. They seem more realistic (cuz life doesn't subscribe to formulas).

The lives of two couples affect each other. The theme hits close to home.

The synopsis says: a dangerous love story about chance meetings, instant attractions, and casual betrayals. So much of life is determined by chance meetings, instant attractions, and betrayals, so it's easy to relate.

Radiation tri-blade 16.apr.2006 - He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. [Matthew 28:6-7 King James Version]

Happy Easter. Made a batch of my world-famous, nuclear-grade stew today. (Having a bowl right now.) Yummy. Made it with lamb (shoulder) this time, instead of beef.

Also used a new crock pot. Plum wore out the last one, which I had from college days.

New one is programmable, so you can set it, and leave the house, or go to bed, and not have to worry about over-cooking the stew. It turns off automatically. No more setting the alarm clock for 4AM to get up and turn it off.

Radiation tri-blade 15.apr.2006 - While soaking in the jacuzzi this afternoon at the 24 Hour Fitness club in Costa Mesa (the big one on 19th street), I noticed two heavily tattooed guys walk into the pool area.

One of them looked *exactly* like the Brazilian UFC fighter Babalu Sobral. (Here's a photo of Babalu in action. He's the guy on the top. He doesn't lose very often.)

Both guys spent time soaking in the giant jacuzzi before heading over to the pool, where they swam laps.

I wasn't sure it was Babalu, and couldn't imagine what he would be doing in Costa Mesa, since he fights out of Rio de Janeiro, but would have regretted not approaching him .. if it were indeed him.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in the blog here: Met Babalu Sobral: UFC Fighter

Radiation tri-blade 14.apr.2006 - Tomorrow (Saturday), HBO is rebroadcasting the boxing match between Zab Judah (from New York, 34 wins, 4 loses) and the undefeated "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather (from Michigan), who many consider the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport today.

The fight actually took place last week, but you had to pay to see it. Tomorrow it can be seen by anyone with regular HBO. Starts at 9:45 here on the Left coast.

Both fighters are wicked-fast, have proven skills, huge hearts, monster egos, with enough arrogance to make for a good match.

Mayweather is impressive. He has been capturing titles in every weight class in which he competes. Seems unstoppable. Cocky.

Radiation tri-blade 12.apr.2006 - When we encounter tough times (like I did this past year) I think we survive by disconnecting somewhat, psychically .. cuz, at the time, the bad stuff is too much to handle.

Later, as life returns to normal, we begin to re-integrate the pieces of our traumatized psyche. That's when we begin to deal with the yucky emotions stored from those tough times. At least that's how it works for me.

When the sh!t hits the fan of life, we can't afford to lose it. So we shunt negative emotions, in order to focus on the crisis at hand .. undebilitated by the intensifying distortion that accompanies emotional upheaval.

That's kinda where I am now. Feeling emotionally whacked today. The war is over. Time to pick up the pieces of my post-nuclear life and move on. I can actually feel myself re-integrating.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in the blog here:> Post-traumatic psychological re-integration (PTPR)

Radiation tri-blade 10.apr.2006 - Spending lots of time with new friend, developing the new relationship, meeting her family members. We all had dinner Saturday nite at Tutto Mare (Newport Beach) for her folks' wedding anniversary. (I ordered my favorite: pasta puttanesca.)

You recall how fun it can be .. in the early stages of a relationship .. when everything is shiny and new. The days seem brighter, the grass greener, sky bluer. It has been a long time since my sky was this blue.

Over the years, I've accumulated much experience in this area (maybe too much), having learned a thing or two about the dynamics of romantic relationships (most of it, unfortunately, the hard way.)

An observation: I've noticed that the agreeability of women tends to decrease as you get older. Not always. And sometimes you get lucky (like I did)..

.. but as a general rule, I've found that women wax cantankerous as the years pass (particularly if they've never been married).

The remainder of today's entry is continued in the blog here:> Finding love in your 40's

Radiation tri-blade 06.apr.2006 - Friendly reminder for those of you who live here in Laguna Beach (where it's been raining like crazy) .. today is the First Thursday Art Walk. Maybe we'll see you out on the town, sucking up a little culture (...with the complimentary vino & hors d'oeuvres). Sun is supposed to come out today.

On a more technical note, the makers of WinBackup have released version 1.86 for free download .. in order get people excited about their 2.0 release. See here:> WinBackup free download. Thanks to Magoo for the heads up.

Mr. Pleo notes that WinBackup appears to be a file-oriented backup utility, rather than an image backup application. For your imaging needs, I can (easily) recommend Norton Ghost. (It's what I have used for years.)

Rad forum members have practical experience with many different back-up imaging utilities, such as the Drive Snapshot, (made in Germany), as discussed here.

A back-up image can save you a week's worth of headaches, should the unthinkable happen (hard drive die). The back-up lesson can be a painful one to learn. (It was for me.) You can lose everything.

It's always best to back-up to a (physically) separate hard drive, in case the one you're using dies. An external drive will work fine, altho usually a little slower than an internal drive. Removable optical media is also acceptable (CD/DVD), altho usually even slower than an external drive.

If you're not familiar with how a hard drive imaging utility works, check out the (world famous) Rad guide to Norton Ghost .. published on the web for nearly 6 years now. It's the site's most popular feature.

Also, since so many enjoyed yesterday's photos, here's 3 more: julie_04, (60-KB) .. julie_05 (105-KB), .. julie_06 (160-KB).

Radiation tri-blade 05.apr.2006 - While I'm in the photo mood, I have 3 more for you .. only this time Miss Julie isn't riding on anybody's shoulders. See here:> julie_01 (80-KB), .. julie_02 (120-KB), .. julie_03 (75-KB).

These pictures were all photo-shop'ed with high-quality settings .. hence the larger file sizes.

Yes, she's sweet as she looks. Big heart. Has that girl-next-door look. Maybe cuz that's how we met: "Got any butter?" Taking it one day at a time.

Radiation tri-blade 03.apr.2006 - Have photos for you today, from our bike ride to the Balboa Peninsula yesterday (after church), where Miss Julie sat on Eric's shoulders, while he rode his unicycle down the strand (Newport Beach). See here:> Riding a unicycle down the strand on Balboa Peninsula

Eric's butt sits at 6-feet (2 meters) His shoulders are 9-feet high (3 meters). Julie's head is way up there, at 12-feet (4 meters). Julie posted more photos on her site here:> nebulous studios.

Radiation tri-blade 02.apr.2006 - Started attending co-parenting classes. Program is called Kids First. Hand-out reads: KIDS FIRST is an interactive educational program designed to meet the needs of children whose parents are separated or divorced.

Classes are held in Orange, at the Chapman University campus. Beautiful campus, great architecture. I go every Saturday morning. (Not to be confused with my weekly support group meetings.)

Most people are there (I learned) cuz of court orders. Judge says they gotta go. Cost: $150.

Yesterday, the instructor went around the room and asked everybody to share a little of their story, i.e. why they were there .. as much or as little as they felt comfortable with.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in the blog. See here:> Kids First Co-parenting classes