Saturday, July 30, 2005

Gameboy Gone

Warren begged his parents for a Gameboy. His father thought video games were a waste of time and energy unlike the computer he had bought for Warren. In weeks, Warren had become an Internet adept. He downloaded new browsers and mail agents for everyone in the family. He set up a firewall and cleaned spyware off all the family’s computers.

Warren was an A student and used this fact to finally persuade his parents to buy him a Gameboy for his birthday. The parents caved. Warren was ecstatic when he pulled the wrapping paper off his most desired birthday present.

From that moment, Warren played incessantly with the Gameboy … in the mornings before school … after school until his mother made him turn things off and go to bed … all weekend long.

At the end of the next six weeks, Warren brought home a report card filled with C's and showing the only D he had ever earned in his life. Warren’s father sent a younger sister to invite Warren down from his bedroom / computer-den / Gameboy-cave to the patio. There Warren watched his father throw the Gameboy into the swimming pool.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Two Worthy Articles

If your doctor tried to treat you with 200-year-old medical knowledge, you’d fire him in a blink. If someone proposed a reciprocating steam engine for your backup power supply, same ending. So it must really be frustrating to economists to hear people, politicians, CEOs, bankers trotting out economic ideas discredited for 200 years as advice for the future.

The 20th century was the century of death – not just because of wars. Socialist governments killed 130 – 350,000,000 of their own people. It must have been especially frustrating to economists of the Austrian school because in 1920, Mises showed that planning, the vaunted advantage of socialist government, was impossible in a socialism. So the whole story of oppression, destitution, starvation could have been avoided just by paying attention.

Today, I received a note about written by one of Mises’ followers. It’s short and pretty accessible.

Ever since the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, I’ve followed insights of Daniel Pipes, son of Richard Pipes whom I followed during the Cold War. One of Daniel Pipes’s recurring theorems has been, “Orthodox Islam is the cure for extremist Islam.” Since 9/11, the silence of orthodox Islam has caused me to doubt.

This note makes the point that the West is unwilling to rely on eventual measures from inside Islam and is making its own provision for defense against the extremists. It’s quite short.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Part 1 - Lorie's Family Gathering - Pat & Lorie

Saturday, we went to (son) Pat and (his friend) Lorie’s to meet her son Andy and celebrate Andy’s and (her daughter) Katie’s birthday. We hadn’t met Andy. He’s an Aviation Mechanic on the USS Enterprise.

Part 2 - Lorie's Family Gathering

Here’s a picture of Pat, Lorie and (her youngest) my buddy, Stephen. This was the third attempt at a picture. Stephen will just have to go down in history as an unserious person :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Part 3 - Lorie's Family Gathering - Lorie & her Kids

Here(l to r) are Steven, Andy, Lorie and (daughter) Katie.

Part 4 - Lorie's Family Gathering - Andy

- Here’s Andy alone.

While ashore, Andy is having major art done upon his body. I show you the scorpion on his right arm. The tattoo on his left arm is just an outline at present. The scorpion over a foot and a half long. Very well done.

Part 5 - Lorie's Family Gathering

Part 5 - Katie was recently married to Jack who couldn’t attend. His daughter also named Katie is shown in the picture below. I haven’t liked calling the stepdaughter “little Katie” because she's grown so much in the last coupla years. So from now on, she’ll be “Katie darling” to me.

Don't know how I got three copies of this pic on one upload. If I try to delete one, all go away.

Part 6 - Lorie's Family Gathering.

Part 6 - Next, a picture of Lorie, her mom and her sister Debbie.

Part 7 - Lorie's Family Gathering

Part 7 - Debbie, most of her kids and most of her grandkids

The place was small. It rained. Nita and I hadn’t been around that many little kids in a long time. The kids were a joy. Noise was hi but very little crying and all the kids treated each other kindly. Not much of , "Put that down.", "Stop that.", "Somebody's gonna get hurt." and "Take that out of your mouth."

Patrick broiled excellent hamburgers. Cake and ice cream. We drove home looking at a rainbow. Wonderful family time.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Texas Blonde Would Rather ...

The Texas Blonde Would Rather…
By Bill Drissel

A loud Texas blonde worked in a building adjacent to ours. We all shared a common parking lot. The blonde owned at huge truck, a Ford crew cab 4x4 with extra road clearance. A decal in the back window proclaimed, “Badass girls have badass toys.”

We were coming back from lunch when the blonde drove up in an absolutely cherry ’98 Mustang GT convertible. Fire engine red … polished to a high gloss … not a fingerprint on it … showroom clean even the tires. She dismounted to face four car guys.

“You get rid of your truck?”, one asked.

“Naw, never. This is my husband’s toy. I drove it into town today. They’re gonna put a roll cage in it. He wants to drive it at Denton speedway.”

“Is he gonna compete?”

“No, he’s got a supercharger in the garage. He wants to bolt it up and see what the car will do. They won’t let you run at Denton without a roll cage.”

“Is this his daily driver?”

“No, it’s his parade car. It’s his baby. He doesn’t drive it a thousand miles a year.”

“Isn’t insurance a killer?”

“It’s high but I’d rather have him piss his money away on cars than on girlfriends.”

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Attempt to post a math page

Using MS Word and its equation editor didn't work. Might have to learn more HTML. I'd like know which browsers can render:

A = &pi r2
A = &pi r2
Third try:
‌A‌ = πr2
nCr = n! (r!(n-r)!)
nCr = n! / (r!(n-r)!)
¦ A ¦ = πr2
çA÷ = pr2

The first of these is, "The absolute value of A equal pi r squared." The second is, "c cedilla A divisionSymbol = p r squared."

Please let me know. I can check Firefox and IE. If you use another browser please let me know what the equations look like.

Very complex HTML copied from a math web page:

Example 1.
How many combinations are there of 5 things taken 4 at a time?

5C4 =

5· 4· 3· 2
1· 2· 3· 4
= 5

Using a rowspan'd table:

Combinations of Five Things taken Four at a Time
5C4 = 5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 = 5
4 * 3 * 2 * 1

Friday, July 08, 2005

On the road - Vacation 2005

6/18 – Saturday, up with the chickens … pack the car … head west. You can follow our track on
We followed US 287 from Ft Worth. (type in “us 287, fort worth, tx to Amarillo, tx”). Pretty uneventful. We planned to take I-40 west from AMA to Santa Rosa and US 84 N to I-25. When we got to the middle of AMA, I-40 was blocked solid. We exited on US 287 N to Amarillo Blvd. We went west to Boys’ Ranch Road (Texas 1061). Thru Dalhart … thru Texline. ! The famous sign is missing !
… the road is all torn up. I hope they replace the sign. West thru Clayton to Raton where we pick up I-25. We called (nephew) Charlie from Raton to arrange dinner in Colorado Springs.

Pierre & Deb - Vacation 2005

6/19 Sunday: Morning at the Air Force Academy. Some excitement getting (wife) Nita’s camera to work. Fresh batteries did the trick. Coupla pictures of the chapel. We tried to get together with (94 yr old uncle) Homer on Sunday but it didn’t work. So we tried to set up with (Heather’s parents) Pierre and Deb. They invited us to Father’s Day dinner. We got to meet Heather’s grandmother. Had a wonderful time. Pierre and Deb have bought a house much closer to Denver (in Centennial). They are doing extensive remodeling.

Gary & Elizabeth, Homer - Vacation 2005

6/20 Monday: Went to (cousin) Elizabeth and Gary’s (new to them) house. Gary’s been a builder all his life so extensive revisions are underway there too. (Good line from Gary explaining that there was no extensive network of specialist subcontractors in Gunnison: “We started with shovels and ended with vacuum cleaners.”) Timeout to get Homer. Gary and I drove past the golf club where the women’s Open was about to take place and brought Homer back to Gary and Elizabeth’s. Homer looks good. He has persistent low hematocrit. Lately he has been having scary nosebleeds. The docs have him on a meds schedule that keeps him on a tight leash.

A military law case came up. (Homer is a retired Col of JAG; Elizabeth is a retired briefing attorney for the US Appeals Court in Denver.) Homer was an authoritative part of the discussion.

Denver to Glenwood Springs - Vacation 2005

6/21 Tuesday: Away mid-morning headed for Grand Junction. Over the mountains to Lake Dillon.
There wasn’t as much snow as this photo:

Past Vail (in fall colors):
in the winter:

Down Glenwood Canyon on the world’s most expensive (and maybe most beautiful) road:[CO].jpg

Down to Glenwood Springs … road construction made lunch there a pathfinding puzzle …

Glenwood Spr to Grand Junction - Vacation 2005

6/21 Tuesday West of Glenwood Springs, the terrain is much less mountainous. Down by Rifle, the road is in a wide valley.

Thru Parachute.

Thru Palisade. The dam below nearly touches I-70.

Into Grand Junction. There to visit (Nita’s sister) Jo and her husband Jack. They treat us like royalty. With Nita and Jo planning the menu, we eat healthy meals fit for a king. This time of year, we eat breakfast and supper in a magic spot: the porch on the east side of their house. Two arms of the house guard from the north and south. The main wing of the house protects from the west. The east is screened and a transparent roof sheds what little rain falls (9 “ / yr).

Jack is a golfer and a student of the game. A couple of years ago, the British Open was on TV and Jack had played at that course in Scotland. He knows a lot of the history. He knows the rules and follows the contemporary technical advances in equipment. Thursday, I walked around the golf course with him and his golf buddies. Then we went back to the house and watched the women’s Open. Saturday and Sunday, we went back and forth between a PGA tournament and the womens’ Open. We saw the amazing last shots that won both.

Grand Junction 1 - Vacation 2005

I’m going to try to interpolate into the text the view of the Colorado National Monument from Jack and Jo’s house. Looking west: This is what we see looking out the seven floor-to-ceiling windows of their living room!

Colorado Natl Monument - Vacation 2005

Looking S from Jack & Jo's house!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Telluride 1 - Vacation 2005

6/27 Monday morning, we left Grand Junction headed to see Telluride then Cortez, east to Pagosa Springs and south to Santa Fe. Telluride is built in a narrow valley – even narrower than Aspen’s. The mountains loom.

Telluride 2 - Vacation 2005

We had lunch there. The restaurant was crowded (good sign). We sat in the brilliant, alpine sunshine, sharing a table with two other couples (crowded). One of the men said that the narrow-gauge train came to Telluride and ended there. Until sometime in the 40s then, the Denver & Rio Grande Western ran a narrow-gauge train from Antonito, CO to Chama, NM to Durango, CO to Silverton to Telluride. The line was shut down for economic reasons and then a landslide broke the line between Chama and Durango. The states of CO and NM revived two separate tourist lines. One runs between Durango and Silverton; the other between Antonito and Chama. Thirty-five years ago (brother) John’s family and ours took the trip from Antonito to Chama. My children still talk about the trip. The scenery was stunning. Impossibly steep canyons alternated with alpine valleys.

Cortez - Durango - Pagosa Spr - Vacation 2005

The world flattened out a lot by the time we got to Cortez. These mountains can be seen off in the distance.

Mesa Verde is nearby but we didn’t stop. Onward to Durango which has always seemed to me to have the most “Western” name. Filled up Nita’s Town Car next to a Dodge Durango. This is a winter scene but those hills can be seen from the hiway:

Pagosa Springs - Vacation 2005

On to Pagosa Springs. This is how the road looks as we came into town. (The hill is only slightly exaggerated.)

At Pagosa Spr, we took US 84 S. I don’t know when the road was laid out but it’s a 65 mph road with a few 45 mph curves rather than a 75 mph road. The cliffs around Abiquiu, NM look like:

As we came down from a pass toward the Chama river, there is a totally unexpected landscape feature – a huge body of water in the middle of totally dry country, the Abiquiu reservoir.
Georgia O’Keefe lived near here for years. She painted several scenes like:

Santa Fe - Vacation 2005

6/27 Into Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the US. The actual qualified sentence is too complicated to remember … lies at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Lotsa sand, some green and the mountains in the background. Old adobe architectural style.
Fall colors:

Canyon Rd - Vacation 2005

6/28 We love western art. Especially the landscape paintings of the mountains and desert … the jewelry that uses opaque stones … Canyon Rd is one gallery after another.

Gallery Garden 1 - Vacation 2005

Many of the galleries have flower gardens. Here’s one.

Gallery Garden 2 - Vacation 2005


The Stables - Vacation 2005

Here’s a cluster of galleries called the stables. Nita and I like the landscapes of the man on the second floor. He told us it took him two years to prepare his paintings of Big Bend for a show. With a big smile, he announced he had sold three paintings at the show.

Sculpture Garden 1 - Vacation 2005

A lot of sculpture gardens. They are magic spaces.

Sculpture Garden 2 - Vacation 2005


Monday, July 04, 2005

Sculpture Garden 3 - Vacation 2005

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Last Panel - Vacation 2005

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Bill & Nita - Vacation 2005

Jo took this picture. She wanted the picture to be full of faces so Nita stood on a low wall. I'll write a lot more about our trip. I started the blog today and I wanted experience putting pictures up.

Jack & Jo - Vacation 2005

Jack & Jo kept us during our stay in Grand Junction. We always have a wonderful time with them. This photo was taken outside a nice restaurant using just sky light.

John & Barbara - Vacation 2005

We went to dinner with John & Barbara. Stayed up late talking about Santa Fe. Both J & B are doing watercolor. John's memories of Santa Fe are not artistic at all. He remembers wrasslin' with the state burrocracy (sic) over permits, plans etc.