30.september.2006 - Regarding the Linksys WRT54G Wireless Broadband router, which many folks have, seeing it's one of the more popular routers on the market (and for good reasons), HERE is a link worth bookmarking .. if you (or somebody you know) has this router.
The web-based utility contained in the link is the only way I know of to re-configure a router which has lost its settings.
The install CD that came with the router failed to work, even tho it worked fine for the initial installation. Go figure.
I spend a few hours trying numerous approaches, none of which worked. Was even considering the controversial sledgehammer re-calibration method, but that option rarely produces satisfactory results of a lasting nature. =/
You will need one piece of info to use this web-based utility: the router's password. The default pasword is admin. This is why it's a good idea to tape the password to the bottom of the router, if you ever change the default (like I did).
Linksys calls this method Easy Connect (yes, it's easy), which employs their NetSet utility.
I don't know what you could do (other than the aforementioned Sledgehammer Re-set method) if you lost the password, cuz the router's reset button did not reset the password to the default (yes, I pressed it for more than 5 secs), nor did unplugging the router.
The Linksys NetSet utility may work with Linksys routers other than the WRT54G (probably does), but I have only used it with that particular model.
If you happen to need help configuring your wireless broadband router, Magoo has a great guide which has become popular; it's posted here: Magoo's Guide to Wireless Networking.
27.september.2006 - I have another developmental milestone to report. If you recall, back on August 30th, the little guy (Rad Jr.) rode the big-kid swings for the first time.
Today, he responded to the question "What's your name?" when asked by a complete stranger (lady in check-out line at grocery store). He's never done that before.
He has said his name before (plenty of times), but never when somebody asked him like that. And nobody who (already) knows him, asks him his name.
I know this isn't one of your traditional developmental milestones, but for some reason, it struck me as significant. (He's a year-and-a-half.)
I really didn't expect him to respond. The lady said, "You're so cute. What's your name?"
It took him a few seconds, but then he told her .. kinda quietly (shyly), yet loud enuf that she could hear. Not sure why that struck me the way it did. I was proud of him, and surprised.
It was pretty adorable, if ya ask me. I told the lady, "He's never done that before." He's kinda cautious with strangers (like his dad).
24.september.2006 - Remember the opening scene from Mission Impossible II (2000), where Tom Cruise is climbing a rock .. and the camera pulls back to reveal him perched precariously on an immense face .. thousands of feet (meters) above the ground? (filmed at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah)
Or how about the scene from Mr. & Mrs. Smith, where Angelina Jolie is doing the same thing .. with a friend? (done with computer graphics)
I love those scenes. Something about rock climbing has always intrigued me. Maybe cuz it scares me.
Anyway I met a guy at the coffee shop recently, and we've become friends. He has a 5-year old daughter, who he also shares with his ex (50-50 custody).
He's an avid rock-climber .. for 15 years now. Said he put himself thru college teaching rock-climbing classes.
Anyway2, he invited me to the rock-climbing gym where he belongs .. said he could get me in free, since he used to teach there.
Today I took him up of the offer. Totally loved it. Can see how it could become addictive.
Actually, he invited me to Joshua Tree (national park) with his buddies yesterday (Saturday), but I passed, cuz I first want to learn the basics, so I didn't hold them back.
We spent a couple hours at his house today, where he showed me the basics. (He has all the cool rock-climbing equipment.) Then we drove to his club, where he let me climb routes or varying difficulty (5.6, 5.7, 5.8) until they closed the club.
He said I was a natural climber. The main limitation I had was my forearms. They started cramping after only a short time, before locking up and giving out. Heck, my forearms are *still* sore. They haven't cramped like this since I was a teenager. ;-)
I only fell once .. while launching for hand-hold at the very top .. that I couldn't quite get.
Even tho I was tied into a harness .. with a rope, and I knew he was an expert, keeping an eye on me, I still got nervous at heights above 20-feet or so. My heart was pumping, respiration cranking.
I was also surprised how difficult it was (physically). I was sweating pretty good.
Tom (guy who took me climbing) has climbed El Capitan (in Yosemite), the largest monolith in America: 3000-foot of vertical, or more than two Empire State buildings, stacked one atop the other (including the lightning rod) .. which some call the best rock climb in the world. (Took him 3 days.)
Was nice to make a new friend, especially since I don't make friends very easily. I'm kinda cautious. Not sure why. Takes me a while before I can really trust someone.
Tom is originally from Kentucky. He's remarried. His wife is also a rock-climber. (She's in France now, bike-riding with her dad.) He looks lean, fit, athletic. We're gonna go again next weekend.
"The secret to successful climbing, he said, "is heavy pre-chalking." (the white chalk that keeps your hands dry, so you don't slip)
21.september.2006 - Final two days of summer: today & tomorrow. Saturday is the equinox (equal amounts: day & night), when autumn begins (at 00:03 Eastern time, which = 9:03 PM Friday eve for those of us here on the Left coast).
Speaking of happenings here on the West coast .. I was walking thru Heisler Park recently (which some travel magazines tout as "perhaps the most beautiful park on the California coast")...
... strolling along the coastal walkway at sunset (gorgeous) with Miss Julie .. minding our own business .. and who do we run into??? > but Wendy (ex Rad-squeeze).
Haven't seen her in years. Rad old timers will recall the days when Wendy was going thru the graduate Film school program at USC (home of the first, and arguably finest Film school in the world).
In fact, we ran into Wendy right at this spot HERE. She was there by herself, staring out to sea, seemingly contemplating the meaning of life.
Think we surprised her. She certainly wasn't expecting to see me there. Wendy is living up in Long Beach now, with her new squeeze.
Anyway, it was good to see her again, after all this time. She looks a little older, as you might imagine, but basically the same. I introduced her to Julie and vice versa, before asking about her folks, her kids, her new squeeze, yada, yada.
Wendy seemed uncomfortable, so Julie & I were going to continue our walk. In saying good-bye, I offered Wendy a friendly hug, but she refused, backing up saying, "I don't want to hug him." (him, as if talking to Julie).
Then she said to Julie, while walking away, "Watch out for this one." (referring to me)
Julie thought Wendy was joking, but I knew she was serious. Of course I was hurt she'd say something like that about me (to someone she'd never met before), but even more so, I was surprised. Thought Wendy & I had a good relationship after the break-up. She even invited me to her Film school graduation, which I attended.
Heck she used to call frequently, asking questions about computer-related stuff, which I was always glad to help her with (for free).
She has been to my home since after the break-up, and never mentioned harboring any grudges or resentment. I've spend hours setting up her new laptop computer (free of charge). I wonder what changed between then & now. Funny thing is, I never see her any more. So I don't see how anything could've changed.
I've since spoken to several people who know everyone involved (Wendy, Julie & me). They all feel Wendy was probably feeling insecure .. cuz I was with Julie, who was looking so .. uh, "young & hot".
I must say, Julie was looking extra hot that day.. all tan, trim, and dressed for summer .. wearing .. well, next to nothing (as usual). Julie is 10 years younger than Wendy, looks 20 years younger (maybe 30, depending who you ask).
But that's still no reason to say things like that. I was good to Wendy. Helped her get thru grad school. (You can read about it here.) I'm still waiting for her to call and apologize. I've waited a week so far. (Good thing I'm not holding my breath.)
"Watch out for this one." (this one what? my name isn't good enuf anymore?) I thought she had more class than that. Makes me embarrassed I was ever with her. Guess she doesn't need any more help with her computer. She never even asked about the bug, and kids were always a big thing to her.
Or maybe she was regretting the break-up .. as one person put it, "Once you've gotten used to prime rib every night, it's hard to go back to baloney sandwiches." =) [My friends can be flattering at times.]
So yeah, I was hurt .. but even more surprised. Never would've expected that response and comment from her in a million years.
19.september.2006 - Feel better today (than yesterday). Head finally cleared. Only problem is I run out of jam quick. Get winded easy.
Jumped in the ocean today at Crescent Bay (with Julie) here in Laguna. Felt better afterwards. Water surprisingly warm (for September).
Dropped off the little guy at day-care earlier today. First time I ever did that. Totally suks. Difficult to leave when he's crying, "Da-da!"
Real tears ran down his cheeks. Took me over an hour to get out of there. I have many thoughts on the subject. But not for today.
In other father/son news, Julie played song today: Father & Son (by Cat Stevens, 1970, from Tea for the Tillerman CD). Great song. Made me cry (which surprised me). 'Sup wit dat? Came out of nowhere.
I remember playing that song (loudly) for *my* dad, when I was a young pup, hoping he'd hear the lyrics (uh, he didn't):
How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It's always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.
Now there's a way and I know I have to go away.
I know I have to go.
"I know I have to go away." Uh, I know that feeling. And that's exactly what I did .. soon as I was old enough (18). Hasta la vista. I enlisted (in the Navy's Nuclear power program). Ended up some 6,000 miles away .. in Hawaii (aloha wahines) .. where I met the Dog (yesterday was his birthday).
Felt happier from the very day I left. That first taste of freedom was delicious .. sweet land of liberty. The complaining stopped, seemingly overnight. Nobody taking out their frustrations on me any more.
Would've went off to college, but I didn't want my folks holding anything over my head, such as having to support me, paying my tuition. Enlisting in military allowed me to cut all ties (including the financial one) .. be totally independent. I'd rather do it myself (my way).
Got my degree later (while working full time). Admittedly, there are easier ways to go about these things .. than the path of independence I took. But what fun would it be to take the easy route? =) And I never would've been able to live in Hawaii for a couple of years, like I did.
Reminds me of the book by Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons (Russian, 1862), which influenced both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
Anyway, I pray my little guy never feels that way about me. I always try to get down on his level, look him in the eye and listen to what he has to say.
17.september.2006 - Got a bug. Feel like hammered dog-poo. Probably caught it from the little guy (who has a runny nose).
Feel fine from the neck down. Only my eyes & nose are miserable. No headache. (Rarely get headaches.) Everything outside seems super-bright. Difficult to open my eyes. Squinting.
Felt only slightly funky yesterday. Thought I'd beat it. (Thought wrong.) Was feeling invincible earlier this week.
Been sucking on Cold-Eeze lozenges (zinc) and downing glasses of Airborne (Alka Seltzer with herbs). Maybe sauna at the club later and try to sweat it out. I hate being sick.
Julie came down with similar symptoms at same time. Weird timing. (She was hugging the bug, too.)
Probably just chill out today and read new book: Rules of the Wild, subtitled A Novel of Africa (by Francesca Marciano), about an Italian hottie wanderlusting in Nairobi .. sounds biographical (Random House).
Last book someone recommended was Into the Wild. Now we have Rules of the Wild. Do I see a pattern here? Is the universe suggesting I should go wild? Heard the autumn moon is the best time to go. [Then I'd really have some interesting stories to share. =) ]
Speaking of interesting stories .. was chatting with an older woman earlier this week in the coffee shop. She mentioned having three daughters, who she raised by herself cuz the dad ran off with another woman and didn't want anything to do the kids.
She described feeling she did a good job. One daughter is a doctor, another a lawyer. (I forget what profession the 3rd daughter adopted.) "They all make lots of money," she explained, "have beautiful homes, drive fancy cars, take exotic vacations every year."
But the lady (dressed classy, not like me) explained how she felt their father's absence makes it difficult now for her daughters to maintain intimate relationships. "None of them are able to keep a guy for very long," she said regretfully.
"You think growing up without a father had something to do with it?" I asked. "Oh I think it had *everything* to do with it," she confirmed.
I've heard it said: people who have trouble with their opposite-sex parent have trouble in relationships with the opposite sex. Conversely, people who have trouble with their same-sex parent have trouble with themselves. These girls obviously didn't have trouble with themselves.
I've also heard that boys need a dad more than girls. But maybe that's incorrect.
16.september.2006 - Received mail in recent months from a handful of folks (brave souls), saying were getting married and looking forward to the joys of fatherhood after reading some of my experiences here .. especially so in recent weeks, such as this one (this week) from Peter:
I am getting married in three weeks. Can't wait to become a father. Your comments have been very insightful.
I'm certainly no expert (far from it). But most would agree parenthood is life's single most transforming event, even more than marriage. Your life no longer belongs to you.
Much of our parental response (I believe) is hardwired into our nervous systems. In other words, we are born with the skills necessary to raise children. No university education required. (Altho some would disagree.)
The problem, I feel, is that parenthood is taxing, relentlessly so. Sure, it's often easy, joyful, a breeze, but at other times it can stretch us beyond our limits.
In fact, I have felt (my own opinion) the best thing you can do to prepare for fatherhood is to get in excellent shape (cuz you will need it). It can be exhausting.
Regarding single parents who work for a living .. uh, I don't see how they can give a child the attention & affection needed to develop properly. There's only so much energy to go around. And it's difficult (impossible?) to be loving, patient, kind & understanding when you're physically & emotionally exhausted.
You've probably heard the adage, it takes a village (old African proverb). Uh, yeah. The good thing is .. you'll find folks who've been there (done that), who understand (how hard it can be), and who are willing to help. It's remarkable. (There's good karma in rendering aid to a needy parent.)
You'll receive help from countless sources, in countless forms. And of course, when it comes time, you will likewise render assistance where you can .. to other parents who need your help. That's how it works.
On the flip-side, it's not surprising to me that we have so many people who are emotionally dysfunctional (like me), not having received the emotional raw material required to develop properly.
On a tangential note, I was walking thru a grocery store recently (by myself), when the sound of a *sharp* slap caught my attention. I turned to see a large woman (250-300 pounds, black hair) holding the wrist of a frail, little girl (4 or 5 years old, blond hair).
"Don't touch!" I heard the big woman say, nastily.
Instantly my attention became focused like a laser-beam. I can't tell you what I saw myself doing (cuz it might be used against me later). But my heartbeat and respiration jumped. I fought the natural inclination to intervene.
I felt sorry for the little girl and realized I had to leave, cuz this scene was none of my business. She was adorable. What a weird, unsettling feeling it was walking away.
Finally, regarding the relationship you have with your spouse, it needs to be solid, cuz any weaknesses will be only exasperated by the addition of a child.
Strong relationships will solidify. Weak ones, unfortunately, will falter (as in my case). So iron out your problems ahead of time (or find someone who's better suited to you).
In summary, I feel that raising kids is all about providing them with the love, attention, affection, patience & understanding they need. Do that, and the rest will fall in place.
13.september.2006 - Had a strange dream a few nights ago .. that Miss Julie (ex-Rad squeeze) was dating Bobby Brown .. you know, the guy who's married to Whitney Houston (since 1992).
We were in a courtroom (in my dream) .. on jury duty. Bobby Brown was juror #1, seated to your far left. Julie was juror #2, sitting right beside him. And they were kissing big-time (serious schmoochin') .. a passionate display for all to see. Almost obscene.
I was seated further down the line .. juror #7 or 8. The guy sitting next to me (another juror) whispered, "He's [Bobby Brown] not a very nice person."
It seemed so real, so vivid. Then I woke, remembering everything perfectly. Tho I don 't know who was on trial, or for what charges.
Where does this stuff come from? Never in a million years could I have imaged such a scenario.
I wasn't going to say anything to Julie, cuz the dream seemed so bizarre, but I told her about it yesterday.
What's even stranger .. is that *today* (at lunch-time) I walked into Baja Fresh (for some steak tacos), where they have two flat-panel TVs mounted on the walls there, one at each end of the restaurant ..
.. and on one of these TVs was a news program being broadcast, describing how Whitney filed for divorce from Bobby Brown (today). See HERE. More HERE.
I immediately rang up Julie on my cell. She admitted the timing was a bit bizarre.
Another odd fact is that Julie's best friend lives very close to Whitney & Bobby (in Huntington Beach). In fact, her friend ran into Whitney in a supermarket there.
Not sure what to make of the dream (if it means anything) or its timing related to the announced divorce .. but it did seemed very real compared to most dreams, much more vivid.
The only thing I know about Whitney & Bobby is that they had a tumultuous relationship. Again, I never would've imagined something like that in a million years.
I heard that Osama bin Laden has the hots for Whitney. Wouldn't it be weird if Julie ran into Bobby Brown in a local club?
Maybe tonight I'll dream about lottery numbers. =)
12.september.2006 - Yesterday I intended to state my feelings on developments since the attacks of 9-11, including the war on terror, aka the war in Iraq, .. but I decided rather to abstain, since I'm sure you've had your fill of commentary on this topic.
September 11th remains one of the site's busiest days, due to folks searching for pics from that day, which I have here.
I was also thinking of adding some Google ads to those pages .. in order to take advantage ($) of the annual spike in traffic, But somehow, that didn't seem right .. capitalizing on that day.
Despite the 9-11 pages remaining ad-less, yesterday still set a new Rad record for ad-clicks (tho not revenue) .. so it appears 9-11 searchers must've wandered off to other parts of the site.
Let me summarize by saying I thinking the incomprehensible amount of money we're spending in Iraq could be better spent elsewhere. And it could be argued we're doing more harm than good over there.
Okay, one more point: one I've never heard anybody else make. Our leaders keep claiming the terrorists hate us because they hate freedom. Uh, doesn't this sounds absurd?
Nobody hates freedom. They might hate our government's policies, our cultural values. But I doubt they hate freedom. And every time I hear our leaders use that phrase, I feel they're trying to play me (manipulate me).
Terrorists are fighting for the freedom to live their lives the way they choose, the way they see fit (as we are). Their idea of what to do with their freedom is simply different than ours. And it's obvious they feel strongly enough about their beliefs to die for them.
After our government used weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) as their basis for invading Iraq, which turned out to be a fabrication, I'm sensitive to being played again. I'm having a hard time believing anything they say.
In rosier news, I had my body-fat measured again yesterday. Results: 20%, which puts me in the "fit" category (for my age-group) for the first time.
Months ago, the first measurement was 24% (aghast), then > 23, later > 21.5. Now 20. I'm not doing much except trying to stay active, eating only when hungry, and stopping when satisfied, instead of stuffing myself.
For my age-group, 15-20% is considered fit, 20-25% is considered healthy, 25-30 is listed as needs improvement, and over 30% is deemed unhealthy or obese. Below 15% is considered athletic.
I'd love to hear the guy say any number with a 'teen after it, which sounds much leaner than twenty-something. I'm also curious to see what different body-fat levels look like on me (and curiosity has always been a major motivator of mine).
I'm psych'in' myself up to start running sprints again, in order to crank up my metabolism (fat-burning), but I've been dragging my feet, because I hurt so bad following the last bolt down the beach. Next time I'll start much slower.
Despite the soreness, I greatly enjoy the psychological effects of running sprints on the beach, especially at sunset.
09.september.2006 - Yesterday morning, while playing Rad dad, I was walking thru Mother's Market, carrying the little guy (looking for some yogurt we could share) when the bug laid his head on my chest .. something he normally only does later in the day, when growing tired.
The sight apparently moved an old man shopping there, who approached and commented how darling it was, adding how he and his wife (now gone) had never had children.
I've heard similar comments during those times when the bug lays his head on my chest, like from the guy we passed on the beach in Laguna early one morning, who said in passing, "Best times of your life right there."
Anyway, the old man's comments made me conscious of how it must appear to others .. when I noticed a tear running down his cheek (from his right eye).
I suddenly felt sad for him. He looked ancient & frail, but sweet. Actually, I couldn't hear him very well, cuz he was choked up. But his watery eyes made me feel grateful.
After he left, others approached to express similar sentiments, such as a guy who worked there, a Hispanic with broken English, who mentioned how he had a son the same age, and how "safe-n-secure" it must feel for kids to lay their heads on daddy's chest, where they can hear the comfort of a heartbeat .. and how good it feels.
Oddly enough, only men approached. No women. Must be a guy-thing.
Later in the day, after taking the bug for a ride on the carousel at Fashion Island, I found a store with subdued lighting and big, cushy chairs, where they played contemporary music (Hollister).
I settled into one of their chairs, and again the bug nestled into my chest. Softly I stroked his head, for a long time .. feeling grateful for what we had.
Normally he tears thru the stores, an inquisitive bundle of energy (1-year-old), but this week he seemed more low-key, tho didn't seem sick. When he's not feeling 100%, he likes to be held. (Don't we all?)
I try to pour as much love & affection into him as I possibly can in the limited time I have him each week. Admittedly, some weeks I do a better job at this than others. This week however, I feel like I did a good job.
07.september.2006 - Friendly reminder for those of you who live locally .. today is the First Thursday Art Walk here in Laguna Beach.
And it's also a full moon tonight. So the art walk should be extra special. Hope to see you out on the town.
Have you noticed it's getting dark earlier now? (a minute earlier every day) And the nights are starting to get chilly.
04.september.2006 - Did you hear about the Crocodile Hunter (<server obviously taking a beating) getting stung in the heart by a Stingray? ..
.. while filming his "last documentary" off the coast of Australia, in the Great Barrier Reef? Steve Irwin pulled the serrated barb out of his chest before dying.
That suks. I liked that guy. He was so enthusiastic. Everything was caught on video (which the police now have). He was 44. Here it says:
The 44-year-old Irwin is one of only a few humans known to have met their end by stingray. According to marine wildlife experts, stingrays usually only lash out in self-defense ..
.. and their attacks are rarely fatal, unless the animal manages to land its jagged barb in its target's stomach or chest as happened to Irwin.
I liked how he would say, "He's grumpy!" when a snake would strike at him. A memoriam is posted here, but I doubt the server can handle the traffic.
02.september.2006 - Here's a post (kudos) from this thread in the Rad community forums (located on THIS page) from user Knoware2.
My thanks and appreciation to Rad and NightOwl and the many users who have posted both answers and questions in this forum. I have acquired the answers to over a dozen questions concerning Ghost 2003/8.x without having to post the questions. This speaks very highly of everyone involved. I apologize if this post is technically off-topic. The kudos are well deserved and long overdue.
Yes, it's true: many knowledgeable people frequent the forums and lend their expertise. Each have their own particular bailiwick, based on first-hand experience. Always nice to get kudos.
I just noticed that thread has nearly 70K page-views. Wonder what will happen when it hits 100K. Will it roll back to zero? .. like odometers on the old Volkswagens used to? I think so.
Speaking of the forums, Pesky posted a deal where you can get Ghost 10, Partition Magic 8 & Norton Internet Security, all bundled in one package, complete with a bunch of rebates. See HERE. (Offer expires on the 7th.)
Pesky (who survived hurricane Katrina) has a knack for finding deals. The good thing is that Ghost 10 comes with a copy of Ghost 2003, which I prefer (for reasons stated here) and use to back-up my system.
You'll find other attractive offers mentioned in the forums. Typically, only those that are too good to pass, such as free-after-rebate, are posted there.
01.september.2006 - Goodbye August, hello September. Alas, September brings summer's end (and a tear). The autumn equinox this year "falls" on the 23rd (a Saturday).
This summer had that brutal heat-wave. Lifeguards here in Laguna said water temp got up to 80-degrees this summer .. higher than they've ever seen. (Global warming real?) Still, we're sad to see the summer end.