Life Unscripted

Friday, 30 January 2004, 19:09 | Category : Geek Stuff
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No, this has nothing to do with TLC. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a day that’s just nice. You feel good, there are no crises, birds are singing, happy little forest creatures are, well, happy. And then, of course, you find out how foolish you are to think that the day was nice. This day became one of those right before lunch, when one of our mid-level managers walked in my office and asked if there wasn’t a way I could restore the database to the way it was at about 9:30 this morning. Well, yes, there is, of course – that’s part of what you pay for with Oracle. But it definitely wouldn’t qualify as painless. He and his partner in crime had fired off a new procedure to do some updates, without really testing it first. It careened it’s way through the database like a car that’s lost it’s steering in a crowded marketplace. Fortunately, I was able to restore the corrupted tables without having to roll the database back. Unfortunately, that process took until 5:30 this afternoon, which means that in addition to missing lunch, I also didn’t get several other things done that needed doing. And since most everyone was gone by the time I was finished, there was no one around to proclaim me a hero. Such is life….

Car #1

Thursday, 29 January 2004, 14:26 | Category : Autos
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Haven’t found a picture of my 1960 Ford Falcon yet, but this one is just like it, except I had no whitewall tires:

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Cars I’ve owned

Wednesday, 28 January 2004, 20:51 | Category : Autos
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Mark has been talking about Bad Cars Of The 80s; and while my old cars weren’t bad cars, it still got me thinking about them. So I went looking for pictures. And found a few. I’m still looking for a picture of my first car, a 1960 Ford Falcon. But here’s Car #2 and Car #3. Car #2, a 1967 Volkswagen Convertible:

and Car #3, and 1978 Datsun 510:

Democratic Candidate Analysis Update

Friday, 23 January 2004, 21:22 | Category : Politics
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Time for another look at how the race is shaking out….

Howard Dean: The Dean bubble has burst, and it’s hard to see how he could put the air back in. He’s battling for a third place finish in New Hampshire now, and third won’t do anything but hurt him. A strong second place finish might keep him in the race, and with Clark showing some weakness, second is still possible. But he needs to be close enough to Kerry to make Kerry look vulnerable. Prediction: 15%, 3rd place

John Kerry: In Billboard terms, he’s Number One with a bullet. Kerry is trying to play it safe in New Hampshire, avoiding a mis-step that would bring his percentage down. And with Senator Fritz Hollins of South Carolina signing on, he can make a push in South Carolina. Certainly not to win – John Edwards should have that state locked up – but to place or show significantly. But in New Hampshire, John Kerry has pretty much locked it up and thrown away the key. Prediction: 38%, 1st place


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Suicide isn’t painless

Thursday, 22 January 2004, 8:59 | Category : Life
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A 17-year-old guy committed suicide in my town this past weekend. He was a pretty popular guy, an active member of his church group, a pretty good baseball player on a pretty good high school team. A mentor in Big Brothers. Not the kind of kid you think of when you hear about teenage suicides. But his mother had died of cancer last year. He and his girlfriend had just had a big fight. I guess he decided there wasn’t enough left. But there was plenty left. A father who lost his wife, and now his oldest son. A younger brother who lost his mother last year, lost his brother last weekend, and now is seeing his father barely hanging on to stability. The guy had a friend, a teammate, who was at a party with him the night he committed suicide. He wanted his friend to come spend the night with him after the party, but the friend said no, he had something he needed to do. Now he’s carrying around a load of guilt big enough to crush a city. His girlfriend is shattered. Teachers at the high school are in shock. many of the kids are beyond that. This is the third death this year – the others weren’t suicide, but they’re still gone.

Teenagers aren’t going to stop committing suicide, no matter what we do. It’s a horrible reality of our society. But there are things we can do. And maybe the first thing is to acknowledge that, no matter how small we may think their problems are, to them they may look insurmountable. From an airplane, buildings look tiny. From the ground, they appear huge. It’s all about perspective.

Hug your kids.