» There I was .. sitting in the passenger seat of an SUV as we cruised down the highway. Chatting with the driver. Yackety-yak. When out-of-the blue I ask, "Is your cell phone in your pocket?"
ESP? Psychic? Warning?
My friend feels around. Yeah, it's there.
Silence .. as I start wondering .. "how come me to ask that?"
I mean » how come I asked right at that time .. in the middle of another thought? The question seemed to come from nowhere .. from left-field, so to speak.
So much so that it caught my attention .. and made me wonder.
I know why I was curious. Because there's no center divider on this particular road. And one small distraction (.. such as fumbling for a ringing cell .. or hurrying to answer it before the caller hangs up) can be tragic .. as cars & trucks (big-rigs) woosh by. So close.
Most major roads here in California have a center divider (.. often adorned with trees or flowers). But not this one.
Sometimes he places his cell in the dashboard cubby .. so he doesnt have to dig for it when it rings. It can be difficult to dig deep in your pocket while seated and driving at highway speeds (.. something I'd seen before, that made me uncomfortable.)
So that's my motivation for asking. But the timing. And how the thought seemed to come out of nowhere.
While I'm thinking about how the question seemed to pop into my head .. his cell rings. (I sh!t you not.)
Of course, he knows where it is .. cuz he just felt-around and found it. He retrieved it from his pocket and handed it to me. (Illegal to talk on your cell while driving here in California .. even tho everybody does it.)
As he hands me the phone, I say (surprised at the timing), "That was a good trick, huh?" =)
"Yeah," he says. (It was. Maybe 30 secs elapsed between the time I asked and when his cell rang .. 45 max.)
Programming Languages Need No Spaces?
That torqued my cranium nicely. Tho not sure why. Maybe cuz it's clear that the Englishlanguageneedsspacessobadly.
PS - For months (.. as I've studied programming) I've been on-the-lookout-for parallels or intersections (connections) between's Nietzsche's values and Programming values. Tho I never found what I was looking for. Not even a loose thread. Frustrating.
Nietzsche's 'values' are really about » morals & priorities.
While Programming values are about things such as » numbers (.. 1,2,3), "strings" (.. of text), booleans (.. true/false), arrays (.. ordered lists), objects (.. unordered list of property/value pairs) & functions (.. code that can accept an input (argument, parameter) a spit out a value).
In other words we're talking about » variables. Which are values that change.
Two totally different sets of semantics. So I'm surprised by how the non-existent connection finally played out. I mean, the syllogism was obviously meant as a joke. (I did have a class in Logic, which was one of the better uses of my college time.)
» The Bug is back! We went to Seaworld this week .. the one down in San Diego. (First time there for both of us.) First thing we did upon arrival » follow the screams to the park's gnarliest ride » Journey to Atlantis, where the Bug rode his first roller coaster.
The Bug's First Roller Coaster Ride
The ride's height-requirement is a minimum of 42 inches. He passed easily, which means he can ride if accompanied by an adult. (Kids over 48-inches need no adult.)
The Bug and the 9-year old girl who accompanied him both wanted to sit up front. (Each car has 4-rows of 2-seats per.) I sat directly behind them. (The girl's mom & her older brother both chickened out.)
The first plunge is the most dramatic drop, where you become weightless for a few seconds (.. tho it somehow seems much longer at the time).
It reminds me of Splash Mountain at Disneyland, at least the plunge part .. tho the wait (15 or 20 mins) wasnt nearly so long.
Seaworld first opened back in '64 and they've been adding to it ever since .. with a new Manta coaster scheduled to open next year. It is now a major theme park.
We took in as much as we could before closing time, sometimes running from place to place. This included both the Shamu and the dolphin shows (.. where the loudest ooh's & ahh's were coming from). These are impressive shows, especially Shamu, being such a huge animal.
Maybe I'm just projecting .. but Shamu actually seems to have personality. Charisma, even. And it is clear from the tricks they do .. that they are remarkably intelligent creatures (.. smarter than some humans, you might argue).
I'm curious .. as to how much they have Shamu in$ured for. I mean, if you think about it (the math is not difficult), he bring$ in more than any professional athlete.
The first dozen rows are located in the aptly-named "Soak Zone". They do not mean 'splash,' no. They mean » soak.
I saw a guy with nary a dry spot on his entire body. "Shamu got me *three* times," he said, holding out a number of dripping fingers. His Nike's made a squishing sound as he walked away. (His girlfriend was dry.)
So it surprised me when the Bug asked (after the show had already started), "Can I go down there, dad?"
» Ever since the Bug was old enough to ride on the big-kid swings (.. seeing he just finished Kindergarten and lost his first baby tooth) .. we've played a little game called » fly-like-a-bird ..
.. where he lays face-down on the swing (.. like a bird flying). I grab his little hands, pull toward me and release.
He swings backward, then returns .. with arms out (.. like a bird in flight). If his arc is big enough, I can catch him .. on the upswing .. in a big hug.
Around my neck he wraps his little arms and his little legs around my back. Slowly I back up, taking small steps, until the swing's plastic strap (laying flat between us) begins to tug at his belly.
It feels as tho something is trying to rip us apart. Used to be, I could dislodge his hold quite easily (.. by backing up) .. but now that he's gotten stronger, it's no longer so easy. (He squeezes tightly.)
As I'm backing up, I say, "No matter what things might try to separate us .. <-break-> .. we always come back to each other."
This is usually where his grip is broken and he swings away .. only to return on the next arc forward. =)
And I catch him and hold him and hug him and kiss him. Again he wraps his little arms & legs around me, squeezing tightly. I tell him how much I love him .. and how he is the most important thing in my life .. and how he is the best thing that ever happened to me .. and how I am the luckiest dad in the whole world.
Update » I asked the mailman, "Do you deliver to Kobe's house?" He said, "Kobe doesnt live in Corona del Mar. He actually lives in Newport Coast. Different zip code." A mile down the road.
From my window here I can see the park where I used to take the Bug every day .. back when I was living in Laguna .. way before he started school. Begonia park is the first thing I see upon waking and the last thing I see before shutting my eyes at night.
I was already missing him something fierce. (He's back East for a few weeks of vacation.) But seeing this park while laying on the bed makes me miss him even more. (I've looked at all his old pictures.)
» Summer in Corona del Mar (Photos)
Have a special treat for you. Took along my digital camera for a walk before sunset. Used up my entire flash card (.. all 120 photos). Havent done that in a long time. Felt like such the tourist, but everything here is so picturesque.
The shots are all full-size, high-quality images .. averaging 150-KB. Each one was cropped, scaled down (in Fireworks) from 2272x1704, and encoded with a generous allowance of kilobytes. These photos are too nice to compress heavily.
Hope you enjoy. It was fun putting them together. Update » I added Next/Prev links to the bottom of each page. Let's start at the Goldenrod footbridge (built in 1928) cuz my friend here says that's the main reason he bought the house. Here ya go:
The Ballad of Bob Dylan
Dylan has been called our "greatest living songwriter" .. an artist who has "transformed generations".
Even judges quote him from the bench. ( "You dont need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." ) Our judiciary's most-quoted songwriter.
This book takes you back to the days and places where he got that reputation.
The frail-looking young man with tousled hair entered the auditorium from stage left, strumming his guitar while people were still getting settled in their seats.
A triple row of folding chairs had been hastily arranged in a semi-circle upstage behind the performer's spot to handle the last-minute overflow. Now these latecomers were sitting down, applauding as he passed them. He wore a pale blue work shirt, blue jeans, and boots.
It was as if he had come from some distance and had been singing all the while to himself and whatever group he could gather on street corners and in storefronts, his entrance was so casual and unheralded.
He moved toward his spot center stage next to the waist-high wooden stool. On the round seat was a clutter of shiny Marine Band harmonicas.
Scarcely acknowledging the applause, mildly embarrassed by it, he lurched toward his place onstage wearing a steel harmonica holder around his neck that made him look like a wild creature in harness, blinking at the floodlights, hunching to adjust the strap that held the Gibson Special acoustic high on his slender body.
Recall that JFK had just been assassinated only weeks prior (.. on November 22nd). The nation was in turmoil & grieving. MLK was still alive, but not for long. RFK would follow two months later.
» Took a walk after dinner last night, just before sunset. The area here is truly beautiful. You dont realize how much until you get out of the car and go for a walk. Bit of a jungle feel. Tall palm trees rising up from deep, plunging valleys .. full of lush, leafy vegetation.
Landing on my Feet in an Elegant Jungle
'Hilly' is a word I might use. Doubt there's a single flat spot for miles (in every direction) that wasnt put there by a bulldozer.
Impressive, sprawling estates are found everywhere the eye wanders. No two on the same plane.
Some cover hilltops; others sit camouflaged beneath dense vegetation. (Can only see part of their roofs.) Many in between. Every place different. Custom.
From this lofty perch, I look down on more homes than up at (altitude). Cooler breezes blow higher up.
The place here is so nice that it feels .. too nice. Know what I mean? Like I dont deserve to live in something so nice, so palatial. But I'll do my best to get accustomed. =)
For years I lived, stationed aboard a nuclear submarine, with nothing but a bunk and the 8-inch deep compartment you find fixed beneath it (.. to store all my clothes & personal belongings).
When two guys share the same bunk, that's called "hot-racking" .. cuz the bed (your "rack") is still warm when you climb in after standing watch (» Machinery II - lower level, feed station).
Flip the pillow over to get rid of your bunk-mate's drool and say 'good-night' to the boys in your section. (* more nuke sub watch-standing lore at the end of today's entry.)
Meanwhile the place here is so big that it took me a few days to learn my way around. Contrast.
My room has a ceiling fan that actually works. It rotates without wobbling or making noise. Didnt know such a thing existed. I'm not used to houses where everything is new (.. and works).
While laying there, looking up at the fan as it spins, I sometimes think of the opening scene in Apocalypse Now .. one of my favorite movies. [ "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." and "Charlie dont surf!" ]
Cant get over how smoothly all the drawers slide in & out. Sometimes I just sit there, opening & closing the drawers in the desks of the office (adjacent) .. open & close, open & close. Beautiful craftsmanship. Remarkably smooth mechanism.
"Here, let me help you up."
A giant picture window at the far end of the house displays a view so spectacular .. that it makes your knees weak as you step thru the front door. Boom! "Sorry 'bout that, dude. Here, let me help you up."
The best view is actually from the kitchen sink, a corner sink that has been turned to face the corner. No struts to support the corner joint. All window. All glass. All view, from both sides of the corner. Best in the house. A view of the distant mountains. (We fight over who gets to wash the dishes.)
» Biggest problem I had moving into the new place came when it was time to send mail. I normally send mail thru Radified's own SMTP mail server (Linux-based .. physically located downtown Chicago).
Cant Send Mail thru Outgoing Port 25
But most ISPs want you to use *their* SMTP server .. so they block port 25 (.. the default outgoing mail port). It's an anti-spam thing.
Normally I call my ISP and have them unblock port 25. But this is a DSL line with dynamic IP's, which they unblock on an IP basis.
They told me I'd have to upgrade to a "Business account" if I wanted to "unblock port 25 for unrestricted access." (Uh, can you say, 'reading from a script?)
I can tell when they assign us a new IP, cuz I have to "update session" .. by providing my password at the forums. That's a security feature. Change your IP and you're no longer trustworthy.
Far as I can tell, we get a new IP on a daily basis. Which involves losing our connection for a minute or two.
The Rad VPS has a static IP. Some providers make you pay extra for dedicated IPs. My account comes with 3 extra IPs that I've never used.
After beating my head against a wall for a couple of days .. listening to their litany of pre-recorded menu's (.. I hate those things) .. and going thru a few levels of their tech support .. I finally got hold of a supervisor .. who actually knew something. (Hallelujah, brother!)
Once I learned they *cant* (not wont) unblock port 25, I started plan-B .. which is obviously where I shoulda started.
The answer was to go into my site's WebHost Mgr (.. made by cPanel, which is based in Houston) » Main » Service Configuration (.. not to be confused with "Server Configuration").
There I found an icon for "Service Manager" .. and THAT's where I found an option to enable Port-26 (.. or whatever port you might prefer). But ISPs dont normally block port 26, so that's why it's the default alternate SMTP outgoing mail port.
Been getting some decent donation$ recently. Maybe the economy is starting to turn around. (Thanks for the sandals. I needed them.)
Running in the Heat of the Day
Later today, at the beginning of the hottest month of the year .. I'm gonna lace up my Nike's and go for a run .. and explore the area .. in the heat of the day. Let's go meet this new place. If you dont hear from me again, it was nice knowing you.