News for May 2006


Radiation tri-blade 30.may.2006 - The Rad community forums registered member #2,000 today .. with user name shahinbasheer at 2:27 AM (looks like a night owl, or someone who lives on the other side of the world).

A year ago, we had 1,000 registered members. So the number has doubled these past 12 months.

Note also that I disabled the requirement to register prior to posting a question, so folks who need/want to post questions can do so without registering (by logging in as a guest).

So the forums are used by more than just registered members. But if you're going to post many questions, it quickly becomes a hassle, having to log in every time.

The Rad community forums contain nearly 2500 topic-threads, comprising some 20,000 individual posts.

Most of the topics deal with the subject of hard drive back-ups via "imaging", which is a somewhat sophisticated technique, yet one which (sooner of later) most people will want to employ.

In other news, I'll be heading up to Los Angeles this evening (Avalon in Hollywood, near the fabled corner of Hollywood & Vine, across the street from the Capitol Records building) to see Pinback in concert.

The band is originally from San Diego. Their music has a nice groove with building intensity.

Radiation tri-blade 29.may.2006 - Happy Memorial day. Finished my book yesterday: Into the Wild. Read the final chapters slowly as possible .. trying to make it last.

Seems every time I opened that book in public, such as at the beach, someone would approach and ask how I was enjoying it. Apparently, many have read it.

The main concept/idea I came away with (surprisingly enough) is that it's not merely wasteful to waste food, but actually immoral .. especially when some animal had to give its life for your meal.

That notion never occurred to me before. But it rings true, especially when so many go to bed hungry every night, and we live in a land of plenty.

In the story, the book's main character, while roughing it in the Alaskan wild, kills a moose, but can't eat it all. His journal entries express regret, even tho he is dropping weight from lack of sufficient food .. 'cause he was not able to preserve it properly.

Every book leaves me with at least one novel idea. This one provided many. Easy to recommend.

Radiation tri-blade 27.may.2006 - Applied for/to the Yahoo Publisher Network today. The Yahoo program is similar to Google's AdSense, which I've been using here for a year now. Text on their page says:

Yahoo! is expanding its distribution network to include you.

Based on demand from online publishers, we are opening our Publisher Network to the broader publisher community. Through the expanded platform, we plan to offer unique products and services to publishers of all sizes.

Some folks claim Yahoo pays more per click, but how can you be sure without actually applying?

Surprisingly, Yahoo claims their program is still in beta. They introduced the pay-per-click model back in '98. Shortly thereafter, they changed its name to Overture, which you might be familiar with.

I think Yahoo's old partner model (Overture) requires a minimum of 20 million page-views per month. RADIFIED sees ~20,000 page-views per day, which corresponds to ~600,000 page-views per month .. nice, but nowhere near Yahoo's requisite 20 mil.

Update: I just checked site stats with new Lunarpages hosting, and they report ~750,000 page-views so far this month, so we must be serving more than 20,000 per day.

So maybe their new program is designed to attract sites (like Google's AdSense program) that don't have such mega traffic requirements.

Either way, competition is good for content providers, as we're likely to go with whoever pays most.

Google lets you host ads from other Ad-sponsors on your site, but they don't want you putting them on the same pages. So on any page, you can host from *either* Google of Yahoo (but not both).

Radiation tri-blade 26.may.2006 - Been over a week with no updates. That's not like me. Normally, I'm rarely at a loss for words. I could never understand people who talk about having writer's block.

But I never write something simply to see my ideas in print. I need to "feel" what I write. It needs to mean something. If I don't feel it, I leave it alone.

But writing is like a muscle, and if you don't do it for a while, you start to lose the mojo. So I'm a little concerned that it has been a while since I felt the old, familiar urge to bust out an update.

Had my first 'challenge' with the new relationship recently, signaling the end of the honeymoon period, so that probably has something to do with my loss for words. (Maybe I have a touch of depression.)

I come with more baggage than a 747 taxying down the runway at Honolulu International, so I certainly understand her concerns.

Invariably, the problems originate on my end, and they are not insignificant. Still, she remains a trooper, very cool, understanding, patient .. so I try my best to do what I can to compensate. But alas, I don't always succeed.

In the end however, we can only be who we are ("warts and all"), and attempts to be something we're not (as you know) usually end tragically.

On a related note .. been receiving letter from readers, asking what's up, where I've been, if I'm okay, and when they might expect the next Rad update (their next "fix"). Most are encouraging, like this one, which just arrived:

Hi Rad:

Been reading your site for a couple of years. In fact, I began using Norton Ghost after learning about it on your site. I've also been keeping up with what you have been going through concerning your son, and can't help but wish more parents had the devotion and love for their children that do you.

I'm divorced (not my choosing), in my mid 40's, don't have children and wish like heck I did. I can really feel the sincerity and joy you have in your heart for your son. Please continue sharing those things with your readers.


Memorial day weekend is here. Let the summer games begin. Fire up the barbeque. Break out the sunscreen.

In other news, Mr. Magoo, who is the author of several popular guides here, such as the Wireless Networking guide, the Guide to Eliminating Spyware, and the BitTorrent File-sharing guide, says another is close to completing another.

He's currently working on a guide to Linux, which I'm excited about. This will be his 4th guide, and each one keeps getting better. (Practice makes perfect.) A guide to Linux is no small undertaking.

Everybody, I feel, should have a distro of Linux installed on their system .. to play with from time to time, so they can become familiar with it.

Linux is a free download, and a very powerful operating system .. built by gifted coders from all over the planet, who contribute their time & skills to the cause. Long live Open Source.

Radiation tri-blade 18.may.2006 - Excited to see the Da Vinci Code. Planning to see it tomorrow (opening nite). It'll be an event, likely sold out, so I'll try to stop by the theater earlier in the day, to pick up tiks, or grab them online.

Controversial flick, based on a controversial book. Horrible reviews. Yet that doesn't always mean the movie will suk. I've enjoyed many movies panned by critics.

Surprising tho, since Ron Howard usually makes quality films, often critically acclaimed. Still, my expectations will be revised downward.

I don't know anyone who has changed their religious views after reading the book. People are interested in the novel for its entertainment value, and little more - at least the ones I know. So I don't really see what all the controversy is about. (No, haven't read the book.)

Radiation tri-blade 16.may.2006 - Attended my last court-ordered co-parenting class Saturday. The class lasted 7 weeks, and was held at Chapman University, in Orange. Beautiful campus.

Near the end of the last class, before graduation ceremonies commenced, the instructors (one a PhD) asked if we had any final questions.

I asked if they could sum up the info (tons of it) presented over the past 7 weeks. On the blackboard they drew a large 'V', which represents the life experience of a typical individual.

The beginning of life experience (represented by the very bottom of the 'V') is where they annotated 'trust vs mistrust', which occurs/forms (or should occur) by age = 18 months.

In other words, if the child doesn't develop trust (depending on how it's treated, or mistreated, such as doing what you say you're going to do and being consistent) it will, by default, mistrust.

Much later in the life cycle (much higher in the 'V', where the 'V' is broader), we come to the ultimate aspect (psychologically speaking): emotional intimacy vs separation.

In other words, if the mature person doesn't learn to form emotionally intimate relationships, they will, by default, find themselves emotionally separated.

So there you have it: the life experience summed up, beginning with trust (very early in life) and culminating with emotional intimacy later in adulthood. (I'm currently working on forming my own emotionally intimate relationship.)

And if not, mistrust, by default, leads to emotional separation. So building trust is of crucial importance. Perhaps you know somebody who has a fear of intimacy.

The also mentioned, the child's basic personality is formed by age 6, so those years are obviously key.

I also asked if parents could screw up a child, thru neglect, so bad in its early years, that it might never recover. In other words, broken irreparably. They said, yes, it is possible.

Got my completion certificate. Glad to have my Saturdays back.

Note, today's entry can also be found (in its entirety) in the blog. See here:> Final Co-parenting class: trust leads to emotional intimacy.

Radiation tri-blade 13.may.2006 - Happy Mothers day, all you mothers. We'll be spending the day at the Huntington library & botanical gardens .. up in Pasadena .. with Julie's mom.

Played Rad dad yesterday. The little guy gave out shout as I arrived to get him: "da-da" .. excited to see me, pounding on the screen door. Pretty cool. Made me wanna cry.

He has uttered those words before, but I was never sure he wasn't simply parroting. But yesterday, for the first time, I knew he knew who I was. Spent the day doing cool, fun stuff. Wish I could post some photos, cuz he's pretty handsome. But I can't.

But I *can* post pictures of myself, taken with Miss Julie .. earlier today, while chillin' at the ranch (listening to the Beatles White album). Three photos.

See here: chillin' on the floor (51KB), chillin' on the couch (74KB),.. chillin' up close (74KB). First photos of us together.

Radiation tri-blade 09.may.2006 - Here in Costa Mesa, I've noticed a growing number of photo-enforced traffic lights. (Laguna had no such things.)

Early one morning, not long ago, while driving to pick up the little guy, I noticed (still half asleep) a bright flash .. poof! .. like when someone takes your picture, when you're not expecting it. "What the heck was that?" I wondered.

On the way back, I noticed the intersection labeled Photo enforced, with cameras and lights mounted on poles at all four corners. Obviously Big brother had been there.

This is technology at its worst. Okay, maybe not its worst, but still sad. Cuz it's nothing more than a money-making scheme .. for the city. They might as well install toll booths at each intersection.

And they set yellow light timing very quick, so if you don't slam on your breaks soon as the light turns .. you shortly receive a love note in the mail from the city .. containing a self-addressed envelope (no stamp, tho).

Now I've not received such a note (yet), and pray I never do, but something about these big brother intersections gives me the creeps.

I mean, basically, the way it works is that you get a fine in the mail, mail in your payment, without ever speaking with a real person.

In other words, "We don't want to talk to you. Just send us money." That leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Big brother making money, hand over fist.

In other traffic related news, I just received word that I got out of a speeding ticket received several months ago, cuz my speedometer wasn't working properly. Took a long time to get a response.

Did the mail-in thing, with a copy of the invoice from my mechanic, for fixing my speedometer, and the judge dismissed my case. Small victories. Now I just have to get my money back ($178).

Today's entry is posted (in its entirety) in the blog. See here: Photo enforced traffic lights suk.

Radiation tri-blade 08.may.2006 - Saw Dennis Rodman yesterday (aka "the Worm"), while working out at the 24 Hour Fitness club in Costa Mesa (the big one on 19th street) .. same place where I met Babalu last month.

It's a monster club, with lots of room, and tons of expensive equipment (literally), so I can see why he'd go there.

Costa Mesa is just inland of Newport Beach, where I've heard Dennis lives. (Kobe also lives in Newport Beach.) Update: heard that Dennis now lives in Huntington Beach (near Whitney Houston).

Didn't bother Dennis for his autograph. Maybe next time, if I see him there again.

He was by himself, wearing long blue athletic pants, a gray t-shirt and ball cap (looking very cazh and relaxed, seemingly in no hurry). A few girls approached to chat. He seemed friendly & engaging. Didn't see any body guards.

I don't get star-struck, but it's still cool to see famous people, especially so close, and in an informal setting, like the gym, where they can drop their guard and be themselves.

In other news, I saw Mission Impossible 3 last night, on the big screen at the Big Newport. (Cue up MI theme music.) Mission Implausible .. but I still enjoyed it.

Starts with a bang (literally). Non-stop action. Almost too much. Thought Laurence Fishburn (aka Morpheus) did an especially good job. So did Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Cruise waxed teary-eyed a little much for my liking. Good reviews. Trailers here.

Radiation tri-blade 07.may.2006 - At Teri & Alan's annual Cinco de Mayo party yesterday (my favorite party of the year), a few people came up and asked, "Are you Radified?"

Several others, including them, mentioned how much they enjoy visiting the site. I mean, they really went on about it .. like they really meant it, saying they found it interesting and entertaining. My cabeza (head) started to swell.

A few others asked, "Aren't you the one who had the infant at last year's party?" (I'd forgot about that.)

I didn't feel like getting into how things have changed since last year, merely acknowledging, "Yeah, he's fine. Happy & healthy. I spent the day with him yesterday."

Lots of great food. Alan works the barbeque for 8 straight hours (11-7) .. mostly marinated chicken thighs (since they hold up best on the grill) but also serves up some fresh salmon filets, pork and (my favorite) assorted veggies. Taco city. Didn't see any beef, tho.

Most people there are massage clients of Teri's .. so the group consists primarily of people who appreciate the benefits of regular massage (relaxing) .. in other words, not your typical party. Nobody there seemed very stressed.

Nice to hear how much locals like the site, since most of the mail I get comes from people who live in other states, and other countries.

Radiation tri-blade 05.may.2006 - The boys at Seagate released the world's first 750-gigabyte hard drive. They also have an external 750-gigger, which they're marketing as a "must have".

They're labeling the drive "three-quarter terabyte," since 1000 gigabytes = 1 terabyte. I think it's funny the prefix "tera" originates from the Greek word teras, meaning 'monster'.

So their new drive drive = ¾ of a monster. I like the description 750 gigabytes better. But either way, it's still a big drive, with a lot of space.

Newegg has these puppies in stock for $500. User reviews here. Mostly favorable.

Radiation tri-blade 04.may.2006 - Friendly reminder for those of you who live locally here in Laguna Beach (LaBeana Gooch) .. today is the First Thursday Art Walk, which should be more enjoyable, now that the days are longer.

Radiation tri-blade 03.may.2006 - Cinco de Mayo is this weekend. Here in SoCal, with its large Mexican population, it's a major holiday. My favorite party of the year is traditionally held on the Saturday following the 5th ..

.. which, this year, happens to fall on Seises de Mayo (6th), hosted by Teri & Alan. Good people, good food, good fun.

Maria is also throwing a party, on the 5th itself (Friday). Maria mentioned that Wendy (old girlfriend) might be there. Haven't seen her in years. Would be cool to have the old meet the new .. to contrast where I was with where I am.

In other news, I'm playing Rad dad today. Last week I took the little guy to his first movie theater. I'm trying to give him new experiences every week.

Thought it would be cool for him to experience what it's like to walk from the bright sunlight of day into a darkened theater, with a movie being projected onto a giant screen, along with the soundtrack.

I was only planning to stay a few minutes, but he fell asleep so quickly .. and didn't wake until the show was over.

This week I'd like to take him for a tour of a health club, where they have swimming pools, aerobic classes (high-energy music), steaming jacuzzis, tropical saunas, weight rooms (mirrors everywhere), folks pounding the treadmills ..

.. all of which represents a very different environment that the one he normally encounters, and one which I'd like him to become comfortable with. (He's 15 months old.) Maybe we'll run into Babalu there.

Radiation tri-blade 02.may.2006 - Saw UNITED 93 last night, on the big screen at the Big Newport (largest screen in the West). Surprising how many people were there on a Monday nite.

The film's logline reads: September 11, 2001. Four planes were hijacked. Three of them reached their target. This is the story of the fourth.

I found the film painfully realistic, sobering. Much attention paid to detail. Received strong reviews. Trailers posted here. Disturbing to relive that day, despite 5 years passage. Not a feel-good flick.

Afterwards I felt agitated that our military managed to dig Saddam out of a hole in Iraq (who, incidentally, had nothing to do with the attacks of 9-11), but (for some reason) can't seem to find Osama, the guy who orchestrated the attacks. He's still out there, making movies.

Looking forward to seeing the Da Vinci Code. (Opens May 19. No, I didn't read the book.) I enjoy pretty much everything directed by Ron Howard. I remember when he spoke at the USC Film school graduation ceremonies, few years ago. Surprisingly humble and approachable .. for a double Academy Award winning director.

Radiation tri-blade 01.may.2006 - May day. Workers of the world unite.