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2011 - Jan - Feb - March - April - May - June

- January 1, 2005 -

Mary Lou's party went very well, Bob, Christie, Teresa and Letha came, and we played games and had a good time.

Ah man... I hope this year is going to go better than the first day. I have a sore throat, so I'm not really happy about that... and all of a sudden my technology has suddenly revolted. My printer is bad of course, my wondrous 21" monitor is started to get slight echos... a signal that it is started to head down the road to destruction. It's not even to a degree that it is annoying yet... and I've seen monitors develop little problems like this, and they'll act up for a while, and then stop, and it will return, but it never gets worse... and just does that and carries on for decades... I've also seen monitors get little problems... and then exponentially get worse until it just dies. So I've either got a month left on it... or it will last forever. I bought it in May of '04 and it was "off lease" meaning a company owned it before me for perhaps five years... so I got a good deal on it. I don't think I'd order anything off lease from now on though. The HP started to act strangely too... it kept switching which video card it wanted to use as primary, so today I just removed the lesser of the two and it uses it now, and that's for the best cause it reads as having the 3d acceleration features now of the best card when it did not before.... I was watching TV on it though, and it kept freezing.. the software for the TV card was always really flippy, so I guess I'll just use a different program. The other program doesn't allow me to set the computer to record different programs I might miss though. Bah, mayhaps I'll add a new TV capture card to my wish list. This one was extremely cheap... like $30, and it's several years old. So yup... I'm not really happy with the technology today. I pondered super upgrades for the HP anyway, getting a 512MB chip of ram for it, and then getting a new 200GB drive to have for a new backup drive, and then my old 100GB backup drive could go into the HP, and perhaps a new TV capture card.

- January 3, 2005 -

I ordered the hard drive, TV card, and ram last night, and used the gift card that Bob gave me for Christmas, but when I entered the code to redeem it, it doubled the amount. I told Bob and he called his bank, and they said he wasn't double charged, and he also called Tiger Direct, and they said the error was theirs, but they wouldn't correct it. When I checked out on the website it figured everything up... and at the very bottom it noted I redeemed coupons, but in the e-mail I got today there was no mention of it, so I ponder if it actually counted them at all, I guess I'll have to see. I'm very giddy to get my new technology.

- January 4, 2005 -

We had an ice storm today, so pretty much I was stuck home... I'm feeling quite a bit better, and I think tomorrow I'll be good as new, though tomorrow I'll probably be stuck here at home too.

I started to read a book tonight… a Star Trek book, but a book none-the-less! Well…. I guess I cannot praise myself, cause I got to page three and threw the bloody thing down. It was a DS9 book, a hard-back special edition I’d gotten long ago, and I have so many Trek books all the plots run together… so I pondered it would be new enough… so I was reading it… and the author called Quark “The Innkeeper on DS9” I just found it all shmeppy… or did I like miss the episode where Quark owned a bed and breakfast? And I pondered if I’m just to page three and this moron author and his zippy fact checkers don’t know the basics about who the characters are, it really wasn’t worth reading, cause they were bound to really mess it up later.

- January 5, 2005 -

I went today and took pictures of the motor Dad is working on (I got the day off since all state offices are closed), It's snowing like crazy right now out there too. Dad still went to work today though because Goodyear no longer allows snow days, not even if it were taken as a day of vacation.

Bush is set to push forward on changing social security (which I feel is a bad idea) later this week. Basically he wants to change it so that people get more of their money back, and can in turn invest it for when they retire. I feel this is bad for several reasons... Social Security is already under funded, so making this change now will decrease money going into it all the while the baby boom generation is beginning to get ready to start taking money out of it at a much faster rate which will bankrupt the system. -Given the fact that his plan will run the system dry, benefits will have to be cut, and as reported by the Washington Post, in 2022 benefits will be cut by 10%, by 2042: 25%, and by 2075 benefits will be cut by 46%. As more and more time passes Bush's plan means that Social Security is going to be phased out. This leaves every citizen on their own to pick the best way to invest their money to try and save for when they retire, and I think as we have all seen with how the stock market can react, or with people that rely on a company pension, or any number of other ways to save, that could suddenly go wrong... Leaving people with no safety net. I feel that Social Security needs bailed out. When it was started, the money you put into Social Security was yours, and it was saved... but over time the government began to borrow money out of the system, leaving us where we are now... People working today pay into the system, and the people on retirement take our money out. Basically... I think we needed a lock box back in 2000.

155,000 people are now declared dead in the tsunami. Governments around the world have made pledges, and have moved to help the survivors, Japan has pledged 500 million, several EU counties have now raised their pledges near that, and the US is up to $150 million, but plans to give pledge more, and we are also helping on the ground. There was a story today in the news questioning what will happen once the media attention fades or move on to the next big story. ...It's happened in every disaster in the last few years, and has been getting more and more pronounced, and was what sparked the comment by a UN official that modern countries had been growing more stingy. When famine or disasters occur many nations make pledges, but often less than half the amount pledged is actually sent. A list was given of disasters, what was pledged, and what percentage was given, the highest was 46%, and it quickly thinned down. The earthquake that struck Iran early last year proved to be one of the most deadly in history, and $1 Billion was pledged by countries around the world, but only $17 million ever arrived... to this day people still live in tent cities. I feel that governments should get out of the habit of making pledges, and work as fast as they can to either do something, or to give money to an organization that is in the position to do something. I'm very proud of the role the US has taken after the tsunami in mobilizing so many ships and helicopters to deliver aide where it is needed.

An interesting story out of Indian Ocean; there are a couple very small islands near India that contain ancient tribal people that the Tsunami hit. The islands are a protectorate of India, which have been kept isolated from the world because the natives that have been there perhaps since the last ice age still live as they would have in ancient times... they've also been very "anti-social" to visitors in the past. Since the islands were hit by the tsunami however the Indian government felt it had to determine the state of the people living there and provide food and water if they needed it so a helicopter was sent... It was unable to land though, because once it found a clearing it began to take fire. Apparently the natives all took to higher ground, perhaps they had better instincts like all the animals that fled before the tsunamis hit, so they all seemed ok, and fortunately for the pilots, bows and arrows are of little tactical significance to a helicopter.

- January 6, 2005 -

I went to work today, and it took forever to get into my car and get the windows half-way decent. I also got my TigerDirect stuff tonight. The TV card works great so far, and I've also got the Ram and hard drive installed. I ponder I should now get rid of my old TV Card, perhaps I should give it away, but to someone that gets Sci-fi so I can tell it to auto record Stargate Atlantis each week. The card does have XP drivers... but it doesn't seem to really get along well... the program does illegal operations or freezes a lot.

Teresa got me a Star Trek Calendar for Christmas, thus, today I know that it is currently Nog's Birthday.

Since I've had more free time lately I've started to do more origami... and now I've got a pretty good basket going. I wonder if I could sell it, or mayhaps I'll give it away, but money is always good, with Christmas, New Years & Snow days, my January pay checks are going to be quite dismal.

- January 7, 2005 -

Thanks to the Star Trek calendar Teresa got me, I know that it is Morn's (Mark Allen Shepherd's Birthday today.

I still have my cough... and I really seem to have it late at night, I don't even remember falling asleep last night, just coughing every minute or so. So in the morning I got up and took a shower, and I put the shampoo in my hair, and rinsed it, and then I put more shampoo in my hair... and then came to the realization that I just did that... Oiy. When I got to work I told Debbie that perhaps it might be a wise idea if I do not assist with the ILL today. Today on Star Trek TNG they aired "Night Terrors", which the crew could not get into REM sleep, and they all slowly started to grow crazy, so I think I better use the Nyquil tonight or tomorrow I'll really be messed up.

- January 9, 2005 -

My new site is done! ...well, not really, but it's a start isn't it? It still has the same look, I just made it differently to use tables instead of I-frames, and now it's much more browser friendly. I think I'll also make different images so I can change them out every now and then so I'll have rotating themes. I also plan to keep my most current blog entries on the main page from now on, so your first glace at my site should be enough if you come often, and then when I write new entries I'll move the older ones to the blog page.

On Nature (PBS) tonight they had a program on Hawaii, and there was a mention of how the main island is cracking that I found frightening. They discovered that on the ocean floor there were seventeen separate debris fields where the island had cracked and fell into the ocean all at once. The discovery solved geologists questions of how Hawaii could have high cliffs that rose out of the ocean, cliffs that showed few signs of weathering... the reason for the lack of weathering, was because the cliff was quite newly formed within the last thousand years. The reason this is so scary, is that such an event could case a mega-tsunami. As I tried to illustrate below, the top diagram would be the creation of a Tsunami, with one plate in the ocean rising up displacing water, causing a Tsunami. With the mega-tsunami, like if a cliff breaks off, there is much more land moving, and much more water being displaced, this can create a Mega-Tsunami in the order of 100 times as powerful as the one that hit in the Indian Ocean.

CBS News reported today that 1354 American soldiers have died in Iraq since the start of the war. It's been a while since I'd heard how many, and they seem to report it less frequently now... Just 20 more days until Iraq is to hold an election.

- January 10, 2005 -

The main computer I use for the internet is infected with a virus, a spam virus! So it now spams people, but no one in my address book apparently, since I haven't gotten any complaints. I pondered that I did have a virus, but McAfee, HouseCall (an online virus scanner) and Norton all fail to find anything. Norton (which I just switched to) does however notify me when it scans each e-mail that Outlook sends out, so when the computer sends a spam letter out, it also notes that mail is going out, and how many, but it lets the letters go, because they do not contain viruses, they are just spam letter, so it really isn't a virus, but somehow it was able to install onto my computer via the internet... Perhaps when I went to look up a serial number for a program (That I did buy, but lost the number for) and sites that give out serial numbers are often very shady. If I just open Outlook and get the mail it doesn't send them, but if I send a letter, and keep the program on it will start to send them out... so I ponder I'll just keep it closed after I'm done with it... until I can find a way to clean it manually.

It has drizzled all day, and froze as it fell... and the porch is deadly slippery, so I ponder if I'll be working tomorrow. Carrie already got out of school for tomorrow. Grandma called and told Mom that she was headed to bed, but would call before she did, but then never called, and Mom couldn't reach her, so we walked over to check on her. She was ok, but something was wrong with her phone.

I guess I've conquered my spam problem... I switched to Thunderbird and I'll just keep Outlook contained until there's an easy way to clean it.

I got very few things on my "to do" list done this weekend, but I at least got a start on my website, so I guess I've got something done. I also majorly cleaned out my web server space.

- January 11, 2005 -

The power went off at work today for a few hours, though it was before I got there, but Teresa called to tell me about it before I came in. On the news they said that the buried line must have been severed somewhere, but that they never found where exactly... I feel this begs the question; "How did they fix it if they didn't know where it was broken?"

I started to add to my portfolio tonight and added the Amelia Earhart site I did in college. The portfolio page will have buttons to different galleries, like a web gallery, but for now I just put it there... Since I felt I need to add something every day... but yet I left very lazy tonight.

I ponder buying an origami book... I found one in Japanese that said it had 100+ models divided into sections on Chemical compounds, physical compounds and other interesting shapes including DNA Helix. Doesn't that sound interesting? It was like $35 though, but that's very good for that many models. I tried to google the book, but I couldn't anything else out about it. Sometimes you order a book like this, and the description is neat, and the cover is neat, but most the stuff in it is kinda lame. I use to order books from the "Friends of Origami Center of America" which is an organization in New York... but they changed their name to OrigamiUSA.. which is nice... and much easier to type in as a url... Back when I ordered books and paper from them they didn't have a site though, and it seemed every time I ordered something, they'd send me a letter back stating that they raised prices, and I needed to send more money... so I probably still owe them a couple dollars from a decade or so ago.

To date, my google ad has made almost $35. This sure is a slow process of making money. I ponder I need to get more tutorials and things... and get in better with google... When people come to my site, but do not click the ad... it seems to raise the number when people do click it, so if I can get some good traffic perhaps I'll be able to make the free/easy money easier?

- January 12, 2005 -

I think having my blog broken up with new things on the main page will help my google ad do better, or at least be more interesting, since the ads try to adjust to what my content is, so as I talk about different things, it changes. When I had all my thoughts building up, it tended to ponder: 1) Craig is a Democrat, and 2) Craig has too much free time. And the result was that every ad was: "Meet Single Democrats!" Ah, the wonders of technology!

I added two pages to my tutorials section today... Unfortunately the other sites I made the tutorials for had different colors for the backgrounds, and I made many of the images to match, so I need to redo most of it, and some of the text still has problems... feel free to report errors! But I did manage to put up pages on file types, and on making shaped images.

Tomorrow Teresa and I start Karate. Brent is teaching classes... and I kinda worry it's going to be comprised totally of little children. Haley, Debbie's daughter was also going to go, so at least there will be someone closer to our age there. Perhaps after class Brent will show us what work he has for Teresa and me to carry out. He had a number of projects he wanted help with, and Teresa and I both want to make some cash!

- January 13, 2005 -

Site updates: I added a couple links, Photoshop tools pt I, and about layering to the tutorials section.

Tonight was the first night of karate, and it was really fun. The children that were supposed to come didn't because it was still very icy out, so it was Teresa, Debbie, Haley, Carl and myself, and I think that's about a class full because you need room to spread out and such. We learned so much, and it was very fast paced... I hope we review a lot.

BAH! Last night I downloaded Microsoft's Anti-malware, and several security updates, but tonight I discovered that my Kazaa Lite no longer works, this is what I use to download episodes of Stargate Atlantis that aren't carried on TV here, so now I'll totally cut off from watching it again... Grrr, I guess where there's a will there's a way, but my attempts to uninstall and reinstall Kazaa, or to install other versions of Kazaa failed, so I guess I'm at a pondering point... what's worse- it deleted my partial downloads folder, so I lost a couple episodes that I was nearly done downloading... and they took so many hours to wait for. Microsoft... it's things like this that get you vilified- I want my Stargate back!

Ok, now I'm in a complaining mood, Bush, bah! I think his plans for a Mars mission really bite. I love anything space related, but I see the plan to put people on Mars to be the worst idea ever. Certainly there will come a time when we will put people on the red planet, but the steps he has taken are just wrong. First, such a project will be one of the most costly endeavors humanity has undertaken to date, and given the state of the budget, no extra money has been allocated to NASA, yet, NASA still has been given the directive to get it done. This means an end to all truly worthwhile scientific research. There are still a few non-Mars projects going on, a probe to Saturn will be landing on Titan in a few hours, and another probe to study a comet is on the way, but all programs that were in the design stages have been canceled, and any project in the works that could be changed for Mars use will be. Once the International Space Station is completed the US has declared it will end participation in the project, and at that time all space shuttles will be decommissioned. All shuttle flights not associated with the ISS have been cancelled. Currently we have designed and built new optics for the Hubble Space Telescope... I consider Hubble to be one of the greatest tools ever created for space exploration, and these new optics would increase the capabilities of the telescope ten fold, with it, we could see ten times as far, and with ten times the clarity. Hubble will soon be a fatality of the Mars plan... It has five gyroscopes which are needed to aim and stabilize, and only three are required, the other two serve as backups... Hubble is now down to three, so once the next one fails, Hubble will slowly begin to spin, preventing us from ever docking with it to repair it... At a cost of tens of millions of dollars we've already built all the parts to fix it, but that will not be done.

The US trade deficit hit a record high of $60 billion that Americans now buy in imports, but fail to balance with exports. Most every EU country now has achieved a trade balance, with each nation conducting in trade with partner nations, and their imports and exports are equal.

- January 15, 2005 -

So in conclusion to my partial Mars thoughts on Thursday... We can learn just as much from rovers, robots and probes as we can from sending people, and we can often study things longer and in greater detail with robots as well, and since rovers, robots and probes are many thousand fold cheaper, and can be left at the point of study without having to be returned to Earth... Why must we try and send people to Mars? Sure it's a nice "Woohoo! We did it!" but in how much time it will take, the huge financial cost, the possible cost of life if there was a failure, and the abandonment of all other areas of space research, I feel it is wrong.

I'm watching SNL now... and they just had a skit on about the US dollar and how low it is compared to other currencies, and I pondered that could throw a wrench into my possible trip to Japan this summer. The first time I was there the dollar was very strong to the Yen, but this time things would be much more expensive!

This morning Teresa called and said that Brent needed help on a photoshoot in Olathe, so we rushed out there, both kinda nervous since we didn't know what we were going to be doing, and we got a little lost, but it turned out all right. Brent took pictures of YMCA junior high basketball teams, so basically Teresa and I took down names to make sure the frame numbers matched who was getting their picture taken.

- January 16, 2005 -

Today we worked at Brent's house, mostly cleaning blinds, and odd jobs, so the upstairs will be ready for when the Sensei comes to stay. Tomorrow I'll go back, and hopefully we'll get more done, cleaning blinds seems to take forever.

- January 19, 2005 -

It's been a very busy week! Teresa and I finished at Brent's, though there is still more to do, he'll always have things to do, but our contracted weekend was up. Last night I helped Brent with a photo shoot, being a photo assistant is kinda fun! Mostly I just helped move all his stuff and set up, and then took it down... it was just one group portrait. Earlier that day I had lunch with Susan to talk about the next newsletter for the Capital-Journal, and I picked up a computer to work on as well... I'm always up for extra cash, and she had a vote tabulator job counting "Best of Topeka" ballots that I said I'd do. Tonight Teresa and I went over to Lin & Brian's to look over their basement painting project, which we will start on this weekend, I also work Saturday, and there's going to be a game night at Mary Lou's. New Year's was a lot of fun, so I'm happy to see game night might be a more regular thing.

I heard today on the news that 226,000 people have now been declared dead from the tsunami.

I ponder all my extra job money I'm earning I'll put into a digital camera fund. Brent got his wondrous digital camera yesterday... course I really need a printer too, but if you buy both together you can often get the printer very cheap, or for free. Perhaps I'll sell my old printer/scanner... it's an excellent printer in you wish to print just text without color so let the bidding begin. I pondered I should try and save my money more effectively, so I wrote my bank about mailing me a form to open a money market account tonight... so I think I'll put my money in that, and leave my savings for just the "Digital Camera, printer, and new scanner" fund.

- January 20, 2005 -

Today is DeForrest Kelley's Birthday, happy birthday Bones! (even though I don't like TOS that much).

After Karate Teresa and I ate at KFC.. The KFC on Gage is very nice, the cashier even gave us both free pop, and said we didn't have to pay eight cents so the dollar amount would be even. After eating I came home and spent a very frustrating night with flash trying to figure out the best way to streamline video content for the web... I pondered using Flash, but now I'm just irate that Macromedia took the very simple and straight forward Flash 5, and turned it into such an evil program that makes what was once a very very simple thing... into something I spent several hours on now... and still haven't figured out. Oy.. 1 am, and I'm just going to go to bed.

- January 21, 2005 -

It was announced today that it is "too dangerous" and "too expensive" to launch a repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Again though I must compare it to a Mars mission, since we are going to prepare to take on a manned mission... If sending a craft up to orbit this planet is "too dangerous" than how can we send a craft to another planet to orbit, land, and return and deem that an acceptable risk. If going up to repair the Hubble with craft we already have made, and with parts we already have made, is "too expensive," than how can building a craft to travel to Mars and back be within the budget?

- January 23, 2005 -

I spent the day at Lin and Brian's painting with Teresa and it was quite a job, just the one room in the basement took us from 9am-8pm, and we had some difficulty, because of the two cans of paint we used (that seemed identical) but one was semi-gloss, and the other was flat! We had turned on fans, cause it looked like it wasn't drying, and finally we knew it was dry on some walls, but we could still tell where we painted and could see places where the rollers went... After reviewing the cans though we saw why we were having problems, and it was just a half an hour before Lin & Brian came back home... so we painted over as much as we could with the matte white as quickly as we could, and it looked pretty good when we were done... though it still might require a touchup.

Last night we had a repeat of game night, so we ate and played Uno & Pictionary... Lots of fun. Next time we'll have to order out for food though so it's less work for Mary Lou... Oiy, I wore my contacts to work that day though, and they were not doing good, so I had to drive home and get my glasses.

- January 24, 2005 -

In the news they said that today is the most depressing day of the entire year. Perhaps I'd have to agree, I got my muffler replaced, so I'm out a hundred bucks, and what could be more depressing than that? Well... I guess a lot of things could be, so I'll be happy I guess. Besides getting my car worked on I cleaned some and started to work on the computer for Susan's daughter, oh and my fish waited for me to clean their tank... but I never did. With the plants in the aquarium it really doesn't seem to need cleaned nearly as much. When I didn't have live plants I'd clean it about once every two weeks, but now it's going on a couple months probably, and it doesn't look green or anything, but the water line is down a couple inches.

- January 25, 2005 -

Bush was reinaugurated on the 20th, though I didn't really watch, but it was somewhat impossible to miss with parts of it being re-aired in the news. On Meet The Press they repeated part of it, with Bush's statement: "Where ever people stand for their liberty, we will stand with them." Many are somewhat leery that a growing "Bush Doctrine" will get the country into more conflict, and for me that comment made me think of Taiwan. For decades the US has supported Taiwan in their goal for independence, which China has stated that any act of separation by the Taiwanese would be something they would put down by force. When Bush first took office, he became the first President to side with China, in that he told the Taiwanese should not attempt to separate because we would not protect them in a conflict with China. So I pondered after his new statement which it really is.... If Taiwan were to declare independence and take a stand for there liberty... where would we really stand.

Today Brent paid Teresa and I for working on his house, he even tipped, so tonight I added his dojo website to my portfolio. I need to add more stuff to the portfolio, but mayhaps I'll get to some of it this weekend.

We've gotten a lot of our dogs adopted out... right now we have just two puppies left, and the little Chihuahua that was abused... I hope we can keep her though.

- January 26, 2005 -

Today as I was driving in to work I saw a bald eagle. It was flying near the Kansas River bridge and it was a very stunning site to see one in the wild... poor thing though, having to hunt in the Kansas River. I wish I would of had my camera, but I guess even if I did I couldn't have stopped there anyway.

National Geographic reported on its website on different groups that are conducting in Human/Animal genetic research... Pigs that create human blood, goats that produce spider silk, mice with human brains, some projects seem very important, others seem like they could possibly stir more of a backlash towards genetic science.

- January 27, 2005 -

Tonight was Karate night, and all of Brent's Karate sensei friends came to visit him, but they didn't get there until class was over. At that point the number of sensei's really outnumbered the students then.

I got some pictures back from when we worked at Brent's... he fed us pizza for lunch, and as you can see, Teresa really likes the pizza! I need to put more pictures in my blog, and I need to be more interesting.

ER was very good tonight, the story centered around a girl with kidney problems, who was put on a drug to control her seizures, which then damaged the kidney she had transplanted from her father, and the drug industry had gotten multiple reports that the drug caused kidney damage... but the information had been suppressed. It ended with the father killing himself so that she could then have his other kidney. ER often takes shots at the drug industry, though most are probably justified I think. I heard that Michael Moore's next film will be about the drug industry... I will certainly try and see it when it comes out.

Payday is tomorrow... Paydays are always good days. My plans for the weekend are... to stay home, and hopefully I'll get caught up on my computer fixing, fish tank cleaning, and just get caught up.

- January 28, 2005 -

Snow! Tonight after work I went over to Beca & Andrew's house, I knew it was supposed to snow at some point, but it had been chilly all day, and hadn't done anything, so we played Smash Brothers on the Game Cube... a very fun game it is.... and then we decided we'd go to Applebee's to eat... it was then that it just barely started to snow, but we figured we'd have time to eat, but probably after that would have to call it a night. Applebee's was packed though, and we had to wait twenty minutes to even get a seat.... All the while we could see outside that it was snowing harder and harder, so we ate, and got our dessert to go and left. The roads were extremely slick, and after getting off I-70 I could barely make it up the hill on first street... and when I turned to go onto the street Beca & Andrew live on... the car just kept on going, so I went around the block, and left them off at their corner instead. They did offer for me to stay the night there, but I felt confident I could make it home safely, despite all the cars that we saw wrecked on the highway... but those seemed to mostly be teenagers... it's a pity to see teenagers with new BMW's and Mustangs wrecked into the center wall of the interstate... it really is. *L* So I made my way home at a brisk 30 mph, which was the speed the entire convoy of cars was going, and it took about an hour and a half to get home.

Now that I'm home... I plan to stay here until I am forced to go back to work on Tuesday! Hopefully that will let me get caught up on all my projects.

- January 29, 2005 -

Today I spent indoors mostly, aside from morning sidewalk scooping, and I cleaned some upstairs, fixed Carrie's laptop, and compressed some video files. Brad (my cousin) came over this morning and adopted one of the puppies, so now we only have one left.

Iraqi elections are now underway... I ponder some of the wisdom of holding elections, since the candidates couldn't campaign... I mean, if no one knows what anyone stands for, and are just picking names at random is it really going to be worthwhile, though I guess no matter how much a candidate promotes their views, people will still overlook the issues and vote on likeablity. Perhaps all that matters is that the Iraqi people picked someone, no matter who it is.

- January 30, 2005 -

It would appear that the elections in Iraq are turning out to be a success, there were seven attacks on polling stations, but nearly 60% of those that registered showed up to vote. It seems like this could be the first step towards progress.

Today I spent in my continuationg of getting things done. I cleaned out the fish aquarium, organized and created an invoice for Dad for the engine he rebuilt, and I watched the Sunday news programs.

- January 31, 2005 -

Free stuff, here I come! Ok, go here, and then sign up for some'n! When you go to that link, you sign up, tell a number of things you don't want to participate in no... and then when it gives you a big list of sites, you pick one to join. And I'll get a free iPod Shuffle, ok, so I hate Mac, but I can get it free, and it's like $150. You can open a credit card, no need to actually use it, or get an account with a site, I chose NetMarket.com.. by using my link and coming from my site... it will register a hit and give me a point when you sign up.. after three signup's, I get a new Ipod shuffle in the mail! There are programs for a lot of things too, but they require a lot of referrals to get those, so I'm starting small, or starting mini *G*. Tammie, an online friend introduced me to this promotion, she's already gotten her Ipod mini, and is working on her IMac. Nope, it's not a scam! Wired News had an article about it, and it was also featured on CNN.

Today I finished working on Gumby, the computer I've been working on, so mayhaps tomorrow he'll return home. I also got a sore throat today, I woke up with it... and it's stayed with me all day. For the rest of the night I shall work on my Ancestry.com poster I need to have for work tomorrow.

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