Sunday, December 26, 2004

Is it time for the new year resolutions?

Once again the old year retires to the background and another comes splashing on the scene.

First, a review to see what wonderful things are left in memory.

2004 was an interesting year.
- Logic was thrown out the window by the election.
- Storms ravaged.
- War continues.
- The Yankees did not win the World Series (yeah!).
- My son turned 16 and his sister turned 11.
- personally survived several run-ins with the medical professional.
- continue to be loved by (and in love with) the most incredible woman on earth.
- sleepless nights, blogging, TV, building PCs, learning, enjoying every moment

Since, no one really knows, (from Joe Versus the Volcano) -

"Joe, nobody knows anything. We'll take this leap, and we'll see. We'll jump, and we'll see. That's life."

2005 should be...
- a year with hope, love and peace.

So, there is what rattles through my head at 4 AM. It must be because most people are asleep and this small corner of the world is quieter than usual. I hear thoughts clearly then, more then any other time of the day. Sitting. Listening to the rain outside. Bathed in the glow of the laptop's screen. The CPU fan occasionally letting me know that I have been staring at the screen far too long. I feel happy. That surely has been a long time coming.

Thank you Arlene! ILYVVM

Monday, October 11, 2004

insomniac session #1

I document here the fact that it is 2 AM and I am quite wide awake. Nothing is wrong. I am not worried about anything in particular. My brain is just busy. Thinking about:

work, kids, my moblog , my partner, the volcano, learning stuff (CNET courses) and just surfin the web.

This feels like a waste of time. To document this sleeplessness. But who knows perhaps this is a pattern and by noting it here I can understand why I am so energetic so late (or is that early?).

There I was flipping channels when I came across the local Public Access station (SCAN TV). It was showing the latest episode of Goddess Kring. I had never seen this before and since it was this women sitting in what was apparently her bathtub with her nose up in the camera it was rather curious. I watched with amazement as she rambled on about dozens of subjects from Johnny Cash to her relationships to singing goofy songs. It felt like she was simply there trying to fill up air time.

It didn't take long to determine that this was exactly what she was doing. Filling each second with noise. I am sure some of it made sense, but unfortunately I clearly missed that part. This "show" was the prompting to turn off the TV and find some better way to spend these wakeful hours.

I turned to this blog.

Suddenly, I realized that here I am just filling the time rambling on about life or something like it. Wait! That was what I was just watching and listening to. Wasn't it? Yes, I am behind a screen not in my tub. {fear of electrocution I suspect}. But none the less I ramble on. Babbling from one subject to the next. Randomly spilling my consciousness (let's hope) onto the "page". Think about the billions and billions and billions of bits of information that are placed into cyberspace, the air, space and the lot. Pretty darn amazing. Oh sorry, I ramble on.

Fortunately for you, you too can switch the channel or turn off the transmission at a whim. Good for you.

Good night, good morning and good day.

Monday, October 04, 2004

drop IE and get a real browser

You're gonna love this browser.

BTW, this helps the G4TechTV folks Firefox download count.

change the world

Register to vote:

Be involved!

yet another blog about Mount St. Helens volcano

Just like several million others here in the Pacific Northwest (USA), I am experiencing the amazing impacts and dare I say, entertainment of the St. Helens volcanic events.

For me however it means quite a bit more. I follow earthquakes (EQs). I have even attempted earthquake (EQ) prediction. {stop laughing} Eventually someone is going to understand enough to do that.

My partner, Arlene, follows volcanoes of all types. As you can guess, the St. Helens activities have us both excited and concerned.

We carefully track and compare the various seismic webicorders that display the many burps and tremblings. Looking for patterns that disclose what is coming. This is something many learned scientists are also attempting with little success. The typical pattern for an earthquake is a sharp jolt on the seismograph followed by a slowly descending vibration. Rather looks like a stingray. When a volcano trembles the pattern is quite different. Yes, volcanoes have earthquakes, but the tremor is different. This appears more like a speech pattern. The vibration builds either slowly or rapidly but not with a jolt. It can vibrate for a long period. The amplitude can be maintained at a near constant rate. In association with the volcano these patterns are associated with magma movement. According to the volcanologists, St Helens is experiencing both EQs and the tremors.

Yep, Arlene and I are really enjoying the entertainment that nature has offered up so recently.

I predict that we will have yet another steam event tonight and perhaps even an actual eruption (magma reaches the surface). At least that is what the patterns demonstrate. We shall see how well I read the patterns.

Rich's EQ pages at
Arlene's volcano page at
Mount St. Helens volcano pages at

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Thursday, September 02, 2004

some days are colder than others Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 08, 2004

yet another theory... everyone into the quantum pool!

Some time ago I took a Systems Analysis course and during this educational opportunity the trainer brought up a common person's explanation of "chaos and the quantum pool". Of course I didn't understand it but listened dutifully. What else are you going to do as a captive audience? Here is what I walked anyway with. It may not be the actual thing he was trying to teach, but it is what I learned.

The basic understanding (quite rarified) is that there is a quantum pool which contains all the chaotic "pieces" that are the basis for all that exists. These pieces are linked to each other and they transcend time and space. For example, let's say that one of these particles are spring in a specific direction. And this particular particle has a mate that it is associated with and its mate spins in the opposite direction. If we could reverse the spin of either one of these particles, then the spin of the other would also reverse, simultaneously. To me this seemed like a reasonable theory, until the trainer said that each particle could exist on different sides of the universe and they would still change direction simultaneously. This is where I became both interested and completely and utterly skeptical.

Normally, I can accept bizarre, nonsensical theories as long as they were at least a theme on Star Trek or some sci-fi blather that I have come across. But this was just plain insanity. Let us just throw out the knowledge of space/time and somehow connect all this quantum crap together, no matter where it exists in this universe (or possibly any other universe). Now to top this off, he tells us that each of us are
what might be termed quantum pool lenses. Confused? Well I was. The concept purported that what we know as reality is created moment by moment by... us. My understanding was that there is this quantum chaos that we (our brains; bodies; senses or some unknown "organ") focus into a less chaotic "moment" in which we now exist. The next moment is then formed based on all that we know, experience, believe to be true (or
false), see, hear, feel sense, or absorb in any other known or unknown way. {Geek moment: talk about processing power!} Not only does this newly created moment affect us, but all the other just created moments from everything's "conscious assembly" of their moments.Yep, open-minded me was just not buying this toro-poo-poo.


I was on a trip a few weeks after "learning" of this theory and something interesting happened. A person traveling with us was a triathlete and "happened" to sit next to a woman in the terminal. They started talking and found that both were triathletes. Of course, the conversation went on for some time. We then headed off toward our gate
and to his surprise the woman headed to the same gate. They found out they were traveling on the same flight. Both said that perhaps they could continue their discussion on the plane. Thinking no more about it they boarded. Each found their seat and to everyone's surprise they were seated next to each other.

Normally, I would go "wow, what a great coincidence", but I thought this time... could it be that each made their own reality and caused this coincidence to occur... NAH!! What was I crazy? Well, I catalogued the incident and chalked it up to just getting a lucky break. However, now I was interested in testing this theory. So, I made a mental note that I would try to observe any unique occurrences like these in the future. As time went by, more and more of these coincidental occurrences appeared.

So, after enough of these, I decided to (unscientifically) test if I could focus the pool. I found that by thinking about the negative outcomes of a situation, more often then not, the negative outcome arrived. Thinking about the positive outcomes for a situation, then as you guessed, the positive outcome more often seemed to result. Yep I know, could be mere coincidence. But as for me, I don't believe that anymore. I now believe that we control our "destiny". It is of course not perfect control, because we are impacted by all the others who create their reality simultaneously with ours. It is also a very big "system" to control, so lots of things still don't go as planned. Who knows why? Perhaps a flea sneezed somewhere in the universe and our reality was morphed ever so slightly. But you know what; I believe that the quantum pool can be "focused" to create the current moment, and the next, and the next... and so on. No, you really don't have control, but rather more like a hand on the tiller. Try as you might to steer a perfect course, it just won't happen. Too many factors. Waves, wind, your strength, the spin of the earth, that particle that just reversed its spin because its mate a universe away decide to take a different direction. Who knows?

But wouldn't it be interesting if at some eon in the future, some brilliant someone finds proof that this is how things work? Until then, give it you own test. Next time, you are looking for a parking space in a crowded lot, just "know" that you will find one up front, close to where you need to be. Just know it will be there and see how many times it is. The more it happens, then the more you believe it will happen and of course then the more it happens. I know, I know... toro-poo-poo. But you know what, now these thoughts, which were my reality a moment ago, have entered your being and by doing so have and will affect your quantum focusing. Sorry, you have no choice on that one now that you have come this far.

Good luck finding a parking spot. Anyone up for a dip in the pool?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

as I get older, the wants over rule the shoulds...

Each day is different now that I have passed the last decade milestone.

As the days go by I find myself changing my priorities. In the past it has always been the case that all the chores needed to be finished prior to the "fun". Now, however, the priorities have morphed. I still adhere to all the adult responsibilities. I have no desire to shirk the duties of financial responsibility; fatherhood; trusted life partner or valued employee.

But when I find myself asking what "should" I do, I re-ask the question as what do I "want" to do. Again, it does not mean I'm a slacker. When selecting something from any of the many on the lists: work; chore; hobby or relaxation, the one that gets preference is the one I "want" to do.

What I have found is that selections made in this manner are completed with an enjoyment that never was present when the "should" factor took precedence. Some things don't get done right away. Others are done with surprising quickness; quality and excitment. The overall sense is that of more control of my life. An enjoyment of the many "tasks". A renewed interest in what each day brings, no matter the challenge.

This approach has brought back enjoyment, as well as options. In the past, options were few, mostly one. Now, options arrive whenever a choice is to be made. Perhaps this ability to see options is due to the aging process or finally maturing or seeing the world through new eyes. Whatever the reason, I plan on enjoying the adventure.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

everybody has a theory on life...

I am lucky enough to be spending the remainder of my life with the most amazing person that I have ever met.
To avoid being too gushy, I will only say that she is brilliant.  That wasn't too gushy, right?
Together, we have formed a theory on how life works, well at least when it comes to relationships.
We came up with the "triangle" concept.  Each of us meet people daily.  We interact with them on a remote or close basis. Remote interactions are those that happen in passing.   These range from the casual "hello" or an acknowledging glance to simply catching a glimpse of someone from a distance.  No matter how brief these remote interactions are, they do have an influence.  The close interactions are those we have with our friends, family or anyone we have more than just a remote connection.
Now, back to the triangle concept.  Each triangle consists of "you", "me" and "we".  In any interaction we each bring ourselves to the party.  The "we" is what results.  All those traits, physical and beyond, are traded to produce a new point on the triangle.
Reasonable and straight-forward, don't you think?
Now here is where is gets a bit more complex.  Each point of this you-me-we triangle is infinitely connected to all the other "you"s that come in contact.   So you could think of this simple triangle being connected with other triangles similar to the way a geodesic sphere appears.  However, with a geodesic sphere, that would only cover the single "shell".   The relationship connections are made up of an infinite number of connections, thus forming an infinite number of geodesic sphere shells or better yet "webs".   
Wait, I am starting to get lost! 
Here is a very simple example.  Let's take Rich and Arlene.  They are life partners.  Rich brings all his experiences (good, bad, etc.) to the interactions with Arlene.  Arlene brings in her set of experiences.  During these interactions something unique happens.  Each is some how changed or influenced by what occurs and this forms the "we" connection point.  Sometimes it is basic and simple, like a exchanged smile (or frown).  Other times it is complicated and complex, like trying to understand multiple universes and why time travel is possible (or not).  Either way, the "we" is formed as the unique point of combined "energies" (for lack of a better word).  
Of course, neither Rich nor Arlene live in a vacuum (although sometimes that has some real appeal).  They each interact as individuals with others, which once again forms new triangles.  These are separate triangles, yet those interactions cause them to bring back new "points" to their triangle.
Let's say Arlene interacts with Karen.  They have just formed a new and separate "we" from the Rich-Arlene-we. 
But wait there's more! 
Rich also meets Karen and interacts with her.  Now there exists three separate triangles, the Arlene-Karen-we, the Rich-Karen-we  and finally the original Rich-Arlene-we.
So what does the world look like when Arlene and Karen and Rich all interact together. 
Is this where all the different "we" points come together?  Isn't it true that Arlene and Karen and Rich could all interact?  Yes.   Wouldn't this now form a new triangle point where  all 3 come together to influence each other.  Yes. 
This gets even more complex.   The "we"s formed by each pairing can connect to the other "we" pairings, infinitely. 
As described each two person triangle is simply that, a triangle.  When you add a third person, the triangle becomes a four pointed shape.  Add a fourth and you have a common "we" between the four.  But always triangles.  As each new person is added to the mix a new "we" point is created.  Once created, it always exists.  The resulting shapes can connect infinitely to all other individuals that are "contacted". 
Confused yet?  Think this is a load of bull?  If so, just let it rest.  Sometimes the best way to understand something is to let your conscious mind NOT think about it.   Forget about what you just read. Think about what you had for lunch.  Go do something else.    OR, read on.
You and I just formed a "WE".  So no matter what, something changed.   Unfortunately, unlike in-person contacts, this was very one sided.  You and I really didn't have a complete "we" contact.  I didn't see you.  I didn't hear you.  I didn't feel your energy.   But still, there was a connection.  You read this and now something has changed in you.  
"So what?",  you say.  "Why do I even care what your theory on life is?", you ask.  Good questions.  
What I have found in my relationship with Arlene is that you never know what will come out of the exchanges.  A casual comment might later blossom into an entirely new personal direction or pursuit.  Enlightenment might arise from the smallest of sparks. 
I guess what I am trying to get across is that we cross paths with many others.  We influence each other in many ways.  Some times the influence is extremely small, but it is an influence, none the less.  The bottom line is - try not to be so focused on "I" that you can't see all the other points of contact.  Don't miss what they offer.
Thanks for listening.  May your life be full of  "we"s.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

the jersey shore immortalized...

Okay, you probably know I am from New Jersey. To be specific, the South Jersey Shore.

Well, in the August 2004 issue of National Geographic is a feature on "The Jersey Shore". It covers the entire length (127 miles from Sandy Hook to Cape May Point), some sections lighter than others, but covered at least.

They asked what was your favorite Jersey Shore vacation. Since growing up there on a farm was never a vacation, I have only really had one or two and they came after I had moved away to Washington State.

If you want to post your Jersey Shore perfect vacation, head over to the forum.

Here is what I posted on the NG Jersy Shore forum:

My perfect vacation on the South Jersey shore was getting a place to stay in Cape May (the Stockton Inn was our choice) and then exploring from there. Wildwood boardwalk; Cape May point; and the various inland farms, antique shops and cheesy summertime tourist traps.

But always returning to wonderful Cape May to quietly wander the streets to meet an old friend or two.

I am originally from Rio Grande, NJ and live now in Washington State.
I spent my summers working as most do who live at the "Shore".
So, it was wonderful to come back and actually enjoy what the South Jersey Shore has to offer.

With a family lineage that dates back to 1623 at the Shore, its hard to stay away even if you can't be physically there.

I love to vacation there and as the article says, you just keep coming back again and again.

I will.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

some times I feel guilty when I'm happy...

Athletes have that state of being "in the zone".  Now, since I'm a geek, one would think that "in the zone" would be an elusive opportunity at best.   But today was one of those rare days when everything came together. 
First, I have one of the best jobs that I can imagine.  I work for a large aerospace company that originated in the Pacific Northwest.  I can no longer say "based" in the PNW, cause they moved the corporate offices to Chicago.  Probably a good move, but what a break from 75+ years of tradition.  But I digress. 
I am lucky enough to have my job, my career and my favorite hobby be the exact same.  I have "worked" in the computer industry since 1975.  I have done just about everything.  Currently, my assignment is to run the company intranet search services.   A thankless job until... wait for it...
we decided to bring in the Google Search Appliance.  Wow, what a change!   It has released me from the tedious day to day grind, so that I can actually help and talk with the customers.  Go figure, an IT guy who actually enjoys customer interaction.  In addition, I get to work "virtually" 3 days per week.  Two days in the office and 3 days out.  But again,  I digress.
At home, I have built a wonderful home LAN that really cooks. I enjoy The ScreenSavers on TechTV and I am now "moding" and building my own computers.  Have a web site, a blog, an account on Orkut and last but not least a GMail account. Could it get any better?  I think not.  But once again I digress. {perhaps I have ADD}
Today, all the facets came together.  Work just clicked.   Things were getting done.  I  enjoyed talking with everyone.  The network, my laptop and all the communications were just too snappy to be believed.  Awesome!   At home,  today's virtual office, during my short breaks I enjoyed the birds, the sound of the stream and the wind rustling through the bamboo outside my "office" window.  After work, my partner came home, we went out into our backyard, which is our sanctuary, to barbeque and have dinner.  She designed our sanctuary to be a natural area which attracts birds, bugs and animals of all kinds.  It has got to be the best park around.  Now that we are full and have finished off the wine,  a relaxing evening is in progress.  Laid back and comfortable.
Not all days are like today, but at this moment I can't remember any of those other days that may not have been up to par with today.  Were they really there?  Is today really happening?  Of course it is.  Will tomorrow be more of the same?  Probably!  Some times I feel guilty when I am this happy... but not today.  No guilt just enjoyment.  Oh, to be able to bottle this and give it away to everyone. 
Okay, so perhaps this isn't exactly being "in the zone", but from where I sit it sure is close.
I really enjoyed all aspects of today.  These kinds of days happen rarely, but they certainly wash away the memories of all the others.
My partner has a new favorite quote, which may be appropriate for this euphoric day:
"I Live In My Own Little World, but it's OK. They know me here."
Enjoy your own little world as often as possible.  
See ya.


Sunday, June 06, 2004

bamboo branch Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 05, 2004

just playing around...

The other day my partner and my daughter were using the dining room table as their craft room.  Arlene doing her one-stroke painting and my daughter, Jennie, also doing one-stroke but making a Mother's Day gift.   Watching them play and learn together inspired me to get out my sumi brushes.
My approach on sumi-e is to doodle what ever comes to mind.  In the midst of at least 25 sheets of doodling, a bamboo branch came to life.  The rest of the pages were, to be kind, crap.  But for some reason the bamboo stood out.  Since it was the only thing on this particular sheet, it became a "card" for Jen.  Conveniently placed, I folded the paper in half and now needed some inspiring words for the interior. 
Not really being a writer of inspirational quotes, I looked around for some words to use.  We have a local artist from Vancouver, Canada who does wonderful paintings.  Katsumi Sugita's art is everywhere, see as one example.  I own  one of his paintings titled, Cascades of Wisteria.  On it  is the inscription -
"Whether life is seen as an opportunity or a burden depends on one's point of view, not on one's circumstances."
Not sure where this came from, sounds rather Zen-like.  This is what I used for Jen's card. 
The bamboo branch can be seen at  Jen seemed to enjoy it and I hope you do too.
Until next time,  "if the answers were in the places you've been looking, you would have already found them".

Monday, May 31, 2004

from the real world... via the net

You might recall that I mentioned that from time to time I stop by the real world to see how things are going.  For the most part it is a thrill to be there.  Occasionally, it sucks.  Over the past few days due to medical issues, it has really sucked big time.
But today,  while I was cruising through several feeds about TechTV and the ScreenSavers, my daughter came online in IM.  She is in 5th grade and lives with her mom.  Quite the cutie, as well as quite the artist.  Back on one of my geekier days, I taught her how to setup and use IM.  We practiced by IM'ing each other while she was over at my place.  She in her bedroom and me  in the kitchen.  At the time, I thought what a silly thing.  But we enjoyed it!
Now, right now,  she is at her mom's and she came online.  We talked for awhile about her anime drawing, her upcoming graduation and just to say I love you.   Ending with an emoticon hug and a kiss.   Sure it is all via the Net.  But you take opportunities when you get them.
That silly little exercise of learning IM has turned out to be the any time opportunity to keep in touch with her.  Phone really isn't an option. I said that the solitude was nice here, but so is the connected-ness.   I miss my daughter, but at least we don't lose touch.  Thank goodness for geekiness....

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Why would anyone write here?

You know some people just need to write.   Some do this well, while others simply spew.
I think I am probably one of the spewers.
The person that got me started was Wil Wheaton.   The hell you say!  Rather indirectly.  Wil hosted Call for Help (unfortunately CfH  has been retired by the G4/TechTV marriage) one week and mentioned his site and book Just A Geek.  After visiting his site, I was amazed at his writing style and what his blogs brought out as information and his essence.
I started writing.  Not for gain.  Not for fame.  Not even for recognition.  Just to write. 
Okay, so why here?  If I wanted to write and not receive any of the above, then why not quietly jot these ramblings on some paper and stuff them in a drawer some where?
First, I am a nerd.  Computers and the Internet are where I find challenge and interesting involvements.  I have a non-nerd life, which is another facet of the whole, but the nerd part is truly fun. 
Second, I love to write but have not for 30 some years. 
Last but not least, I have a life with the most wonderful person I have ever known.  It was a very long, crooked road that brought me to her.   She inspires me to be more than just a day to day person.
All these elements combined to focus me once again toward writing.  It is a convenient opportunity that presents itself with each evening's computer journey.  The fact is, I am writing again.
If it is read, great.  But my enjoyment comes from the writing.  
The absolute greatest accomplishment of this writing would be if someone read it and
started writing simply because they discovered, as I did, it is a joy not a chore.
Thanks Wil.    

Sunday, May 23, 2004

An unfinished oriental garden's view...

Keeping with the oriental theme, I want to share the view from our unfinished oriental garden.
As you look through a ever increasing bamboo forest, you can sit quietly gazing at the bubbling spring.
To gaze for yourself, I have shared what I see at:
It is not exactly like "being there", but you will get a sense of the moment.

As you can see...

As I look around the Net to attempt an understanding of why "blogging" is everywhere, I keep coming up with the same impression. 
"It's all about me!"
Well, in the spirit of obsessive narcissism, I too have joined the throngs in creating my own noise to add to the billions of words already  floating in Cyberspace. 
IF, and that's a really big if, you are reading this, you have some how mistakenly stumbled across the Rich's "It's all about me" rambling station.  I will try to "broadcast" on a regular basis.  However, as noted previously, there appears to be a real world that continually pulls me away from my wonderfully isolated, controlled existence here. 
Also, since my nature tends towards laziness AND as I have aged I find that I do more of the "want to do's" versus the "should do's", you and I will have time gaps in our blog relationship.
As you can see from the previous lobs, I will share thoughts and real world exchanges that are "all about me".   Thanks for reading this far.  You are definitely an extremely persistent bot.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

OK, so it may not be exactly the same as Arlene and I. Here is the "almost matching" image from Joe versus the volcano. Posted by Hello

Now here is a real Joe versus the volcano moment. Have a uke and my "Patricia". Actually Arlene... Posted by Hello

Sumi - "signature" stamp of hope and trust Posted by Hello

I obtained this stamp through a private source in Japan. Later these became widely available via places like www.asianbrushart.comand many other Japanese online malls.

Sumi - Cherry Tomato by Rich Hand Posted by Hello

Sumi- Red Pepper by Rich Hand Posted by Hello

Sumi seahorse that was published in the book "A Flower Unfolds" part of "The Eyes of Kwan Yin" Posted by Hello

Arlene's most recent incredible pansy picture. Posted by Hello

Second post is sent from email

In an effort to experiment and understand,
I have sent this post from a foreign land.
Yes, the real world still exists out there.
although I can't tell exactly where.
Rich Hand

Welcome - I write therefore I am

This is my first attempt at blogging. I have no idea where this will lead nor if enlightenment arrives swiftly or so slowly it can't be seen.