Freedom Lives

April 29, 2004

Cool Stuff

With all the stuff going on including three more weeks of classes that I have to take from 5:30 to 9:30 M and W next week is going to be something special.

I really can't say much about it. What I can say is that we have been working on some plans for some time and the web site I am working on is a major part of that. Next week we get to excercise to see if those plans work and where the weak points are.

As part of this effort we are testing out some cool stuff, like tonight I brought home a 2-way hand held radio to test, to see if it is up to spec. I won't say how much it costs but I spent less money on my last computer.

April 28, 2004

Theodore Roosevelt

Quote of the Day

Life is not easy, and least of all is it easy for either the man or the nation that aspires to great deeds.

Theodore Roosevelt

April 27, 2004

How not to buy something

Job hunting.
Not really but the un reality of some of the things at this job I am at make me so mad sometimes.
Item 1:
My boss wrote a memo on the 13 steps she needed to go through in order to buy something. You would think that this would send up some red flags and someone would off to help cut some of this stupid red tape before the next terrorist attack.
Wrong, instead the 13 steps have as of today become 15.

Item 2:
When buying some service what is most important:
a:lowest price
b: best quality service
c: minority participation.

The choices in order are c, a, b

Reverse of how it should be IMHO.
Maybe I slipped into a Bizarro universe when I wasn't looking.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:43 PM | Rank Stupidity | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2004


We are having a slight argument here about wether this is a clemetis as we thought or a clematis as a book I picked up for the wife at 75% off books spells it.
Whatever, it is still pretty nice looking and I wish we had more.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

April 25, 2004

Two Steps ahead, One back

Did you ever have one of those days when everything was going fine and you thought you were making good progress and all of a sudden reality comes over and slaps you in the face.

Yesterday the wife and I made a list of things to do and went out and got them all done. Things were going so well that we decided to drop into Denny's and have a bite to eat, which wasn't on the list.
We get home do a little work on the garden and as I start to go into the house I notice something odd about her car. I had get closer and when I did I saw this.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

It looks like one of our oak trees decided to drop a limb on it. I won't go into how much it is going to repair but it is less than our deductable.

Other than that i was a great weekend.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:15 PM | Home and Family | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 24, 2004

You Never Know

After several weeks of work and finally going around the system I finally got a trackball last week. I have been using one at home for a while and like it better than a mouse especially with limited desk space.

Yesterday I discovered something amazing. The cord got caught and when the thing hit the floor the ball popped out. Upon close examination it seemed to me that it was designed this way so that the contacts could be cleaned. This was a major revelation to me since I had taken mine apart twice since I had it and if you have never taken an optical trackball apart my only advice is, don't.

I guess I should have read the directions but who ever does that.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:15 PM | Misc. | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 23, 2004

George Patton

Quote of the Day

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.

Gen. George Patton

Pat Tillman

Michele has a good non-political post on Pat and more later here.
At least it was non political until the raving loonies decided to try and score points in the comments.

This is the same lack of seriousness and respect for the dead that brought on the travesty that was the Paul Wellstone rally.

It shows how shallow these people really are and why they should not be trusted to govern. I think they are sowing the seeds of their own destruction and I love it.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:55 PM | War on Terror | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kerry and the SUV

I am constantly amazed at what the press is letting Kerry get away with.
This latest flap about his SUV is no different.

The family has it. I don't have it," he said

They report this with no shame. I cannot frigging believe it.

Even if we take him at his word the obvious (to me anyway) comeback would be,
How the hell do expect the american people to give up SUV's as you have said many times when
you can't even get your own flaming family to give them up!

Posted by Starhawk at 10:31 PM | Politics | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 21, 2004

Fortune's Double Yellow

We have had this rose, a climber, for several years now but this is the first time we have had decent blooms from it. Part of the reason is that it doesn't get as much sun as some of the others, the other part has to do with deer.
Not bad really but I wonder how it got its name since it really doesn't have that much yellow in it.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

April 20, 2004

Light Rail

Today was a first for me. I had a super secret mission in downtown Houston and decided to get there by riding on our new Light Rail system for the first time.
I bought a round trip ticket for $2.00 but no one ever asked me for it. I guess that the train is for free if you don't want to pay. I am not sure how this is working in Houston but if it was NYC I am sure it would be filed with free riders.
For that matter it may be anyway.
The train I was on was pretty full and as we got close to downtown there was standing room only.
The trip took about 30 minutes or twice what a car would take. The train was clean and the trip was pleasant, both of which I would have a hard time saying about the trains in the town I was born in.
Better yet we didn't hit or get hit by anything. In case you have not read about it our light rail system has had over 30 accidents in the last few months, not a bad start.
I would ride it again but even one of my co-workers who is otherwise very honest told me I should have only bought one ticket and not the round tripper.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:04 PM | Houston | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Birthday Gifts

Well the big day has come and gone and today I felt almost normal until I had some car problems (more on that later).
I didn't get many gifts but the ones I got were great or will be when I get them.

The wife got me two DVD's I have wanted for some time, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet which we managed to get as an amazon special combo.

My friend who was visiting got me an XP Pro upgrade disk that I have wanted/needed for many months. He also left me with some great cuban cigars, which is why he remains nameless, that we didn't manage to finish along with a lot of JD that we did manage to finish.

Last but not least my wonderful mother sent me a check which has enabled me to get my riding mower fixed and will give me many weekends of pleasure. Luckily the mower was not super expensive so I will also be able to get some Babylon 5 DVD's.

I can't decide which seasons to get but perhaps I will just throw in a few bucks and get this which will give me every season except the newest release of season five.
Eat your heart out Meryl.

That is a lot of money of DVD's but I will probably end up buying them separately if I don't get them together.

Not a bad haul if I do say so.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:41 PM | Home and Family | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 19, 2004

Watch this space

Speaking of my eyes going out of focus.
I got back from class at 10:30 tonight wrote checks for about, well it seemed like forever, and now I have to head to bed since I was up at 4:30 this morning on 4 hours sleep. It all seemed so easy when I was younger.

Regular posting and pictures should resume tomorrow along with details of my few but wonderful birthday gifts.

The jasmine is finally in full bloom and I love it. In years past it has been in full bloom on my birthday but was a little late this year. It still smells great.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:38 PM | Home and Family | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Sac is Back

The Sac is back, in a big way.
I am not sure how Kelley does it but she seems to have sampled a huge number of blogs.
She even mentions me (thanks Kell) though I had to read it twice to find myself as my eyes lost focus trying to take in all she had written.
Good to have you back.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:30 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2004

Very Late

It has been a long a exhusting weekend and I have to get up in four hours to take my friend to the airport.
The astros won. The Rocket pitched a great game.
Minute Maid Park is kind on an odd ballpark. I will have more on that, hopefully tomorrow but since I have a class till 9:30 it will be another long day.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:44 PM | Home and Family | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2004

Still Busy

Still celebrating.
Spent the last two days emptying a bottlle of JD 1915 Gold metal, with a friend to help of course.
I might be able to post after the game tomorrow but then again I might not.
This will be my first trip to the new ballpark (formerly known as Enron Field) and I am looking forward to it. I have meant to go several times but have never gotten around to it yet.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:05 PM | Home and Family | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)

April 15, 2004

The Day

Happy Birthday to me!

Posted by Starhawk at 12:02 AM | Home and Family | Comments (9) | TrackBack (3)

April 13, 2004

Coral Honeysuckle

I have a fence around the back that is filled with this stuff.
Not bad to look at but I wish it had some fragrance.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

News from Iraq

I was worried about my friend with the current shit going down but he seems to be ok even though he would rather he here than there.

The news is disturbing, we are locked down and our convoys have stopped running until KBR and the military can create contingencies that will keep our people safe. As long as we stay inside the "Walls" we are reasonably safe. However, this is a third world country in a war zone. We have folks in outlying camps that we can't support until the current situation is minimized and they are enduring some tense moments.

It is really encouraging to see our guys fighting back, for so long they
have had to take more than necessary. I just hope the hostages can be

Pray for our guys, and stay the course


Posted by Starhawk at 11:29 PM | Desert-Cowboy | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2004

Pant pant pant

Doing taxes today and cleaning the house for a guest this weekend.
I have three classes after work this week each 4 hours long.
This is going to be a busy week.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:40 PM | Housekeeping | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2004

Antoine Rivoire

I know I have shown this one before but this is only its second year and already it is blooming and it seems to get better each time.
One of my better purchases.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

April 07, 2004

No blog today

One of the benefits of not having a ton of readers is the ability to take a day or maybe two off like today.

There might be no posts until Friday. I am just tired.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:38 PM | Housekeeping | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2004

Firecracker Plant

This is one of my favorites. I bought it three years ago but this is the first year it has really come into its own.
The proper name is RUSSELIA EQUISETI-FORMIS just in case you are interested in that kind of stuff.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

April 05, 2004

Treasure of Sierra Madre

Quote of the Day

Bob Curtin: You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens. Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - 1948


This is the first rose bloom of the spring. I was a little late taking it but there is a story that goes with it. It turns out that this is one of the 10 roses we bought last fall at Wal Mart for $5 a piece. Oddly enough all ten have made it in fact this one started to bloom when it was still in the pot so I rushed the wife to put it in the ground somewhere quickly.

The bush is only about 2 feet high at this point but with any luck it should double or more this year.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Famous Bloggers

At least I would think they are famous when they mentioned on a national talk radio show hosted by Michael Reagan like our friend Michele was earlier tonight.
I was driving home and pulling into the Wal Mart lot when I heard Michele's name and had to pull over a listen.

Just think I read her way back when several years ago before she made the big time. I was going to buy her lunch next time I was in new york now I suppose I will have to shell out for Yankee tickets. Good thing I am a fan.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:53 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 04, 2004

More Kos

Still some fallout from Kos' ill considered comments about the Falluah killings.
It is covered by Michele here even though she had said she was not going to continue.

It seems from what she has written is that things have taken a turn that has been typical in all these blog wars over the past year or so.
Someone writes something, someone else takes them to task over it, other people join in, then someone goes way over the top.
It almost all cases neither party has not been involved it the over the top stage but it is someone who supports them and doesn't know where to draw the line.

Interactivity the curse of the blogosphere.

April 03, 2004

Treasure of Sierra Madre

Quote of the Day

Gold Hat: Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - 1948

Pink Jasmine

The garden has been very fregrant this week due to two large Pink Jasmines.
This first one we thought was dead but it hitched a ride on its cousin the Star Jasmine and went right up a tree as we wanted it to.

This picture might look a little odd but this patch of Pnk Jasmine is 40 feet off the ground and it is the best I can do with the limited zoom lens I have.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

In this one very close in the garden we had intended to do the same thing but the Pink Jasmine had a mind of its own and decided to ignore the tree and totally invest the adjacent rose bush. This particular bush is almost like a tree being that it is fully ten by ten with canes reaching the second story (more on this rose at a later date).

You can see the tree we had intended it to go up on the right and behind it gutter for my house. This is not a trick photo it really is that large.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Before it blooms the Pink Jasmine looks pink, hence its name. Once it is fully in bloom however it is white as you can see below. It smells great also which is why I bought it.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

John Huston

I finished reading my palm pilot version the Maltese Falcon yesterday.
I was surprised how closely the movie followed the book.

They don't make movie's like that anymore but then again they don't have John Huston around anymore either.

Huston not only wrote the screenplay but he also directed it.
This was a man with incredible talent and it was not even one of his better movies.

This post was originally titled the Malese Falcon but as I was reading about Huston I changed that.

He was nominated for 15 oscars but only won once as Best Director for The Treasure of Sierra Madre which, if you have never seen it shame on you, it is a classic.

The Falcon was the first film he directed.

And then there is this from his bio at IMDB:

Huston was a licenced pilot...and a prankster. He once flew over a golf course and dropped 5,000 ping-pong balls while a celebrity golf tournament was in progress.

What a guy.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:35 PM | Books | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Weather in Iraq

An friend of mine who I used to work for had been out of work for a while last year when he got the chance to work for KBR in Iraq (a division of Halliburton if you didn't know).

I just got the following letter and while it doesn't go into what he is doing other than working 12-16 hours days he has this to say about the weather.

The weather here is really nice this time of year. The temp is just now starting to clime into the 90's nights are in the low 60's with nice cool breezes during the day. The winter was a lot like Houston. Rainy and cold, there was actually some frost a couple of mornings. The month of May will probably be the return to 100's day and night....

He is able to access the internet so I hope he will send some more information about what he is doing aside from making lots of money.

Keep your head down cowboy and come home safe.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:10 PM | Desert-Cowboy | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Growing Polarization

A sign of which is when people who have in the past been regarded as somewhat sane go off the deep end.
Case in point Kos, who I will not link to, have never in fact linked to that I recall, said some pretty over the top things in relation to the people killed and brutalized in Iraq last week.

If you have not read about it you can bring your self up to speed by reading at Glenn's and Michele's.

Posted by Starhawk at 04:16 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 01, 2004

Web Quiz

This is about as wrong as a web quiz can get. It must be the 6 years I lived in Ohio but I lived in Columbus which is a much better place IMHO.

Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"

You are blue collar and Rock n Roll. You Work hard and party harder.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:07 PM | Web Quiz | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)