The tree was heard…

I was talking with someone the other day and explaining how that I was really enjoying my blog set up, how that I felt it was the thing I should have done a long time ago, that I felt that there was lot more flexibility and options by doing it myself as to using myspace or even a regular blog space. I have complete control and can do whatever, say whatever, and even make it look however I want to. However, I was also noting that the traffic to a independent blog site was a bit harder to generate. After all, if you are on myspace, you post your blog and all your friends at the very least get the notice. So during this conversation I made the comment of something like, “After all, if the tree falls in the forest and no one was there to hear it, did it really make a sound?”

I guess I no longer have to worry about the tree falling being heard. A few nights ago, I installed a WordPress plugin that counts actual traffic hitting (and presumably reading) the blog parts of the page. Yes, I was getting stats on the website from webalyzer, but a little bit harder to figure who is doing what. Anyway – the traffic is small, but about what I expected given the massive changes I have made and the general newness to this site in the last month or so.

A few things amaze me a lot though that I thought I would share. The tool does some wonderful tracking of things and reports on them. For instance, the number of folks that are using specific search terms for things and getting to this page from information that was contained on here from at least 3 or 4 years ago, if not closer to 5 or 6 is amazing. To those folks, I am apologetic. I know you were here looking for collectibles, possibly cards or model trains, or maybe even beanie babies <GAG>. Anyway, I have not been really actively involved in that for a number of years and the page has not really indicated that for while either.

Another amazing one was the number of folks that are coming here from one of my other websites. Notably the one that comes to mind is eligius.org, which is a the site for jousting/medieval equestrian group. There are probably some links there, but I am not completely sure about that these days.

Now this next one, it really makes me feel good, but at the same time I really have to wonder who. So one of the search criteria that showed up was “Ray Cornish” Kentucky. For those that are not familiar that is a very specific search that will only find Ray and Cornish in order and should look for them in conjunction with Kentucky. It is the kind of thing that geeks often do themselves to see how well known they are on the net. Ironically, my jousting/SCA name is much more well known then me – Raynold of Wharram.

But here is the thing, I didn’t do that search to land here this past week. So, I kind of have to assume that someone is specifically looking for me. Makes me wonder, is it some long lost friend that just happened to give it a try or do I have some secret stalker? Well, whichever, next time whoever it was that did the search drop me a note and let me know who you are.

My Heroes have always been cowboys…

My heroes have always been cowboys, andCowboy chasing or roping a calf. they still are, it seems. I am sure that a number of your recognized the title of a song by Willie Nelson, himself a certain type of cowboy/hero type, but more on him and that idea later. And yes, for those that are wondering, on one of my recent late drives I put in a greatest hits of Willie and after listening, I was inspired for at least five or six blogs.

So, as to my heroes – just as the song says, I spent most of my youth dreaming of and playing at being just like one my heroes. Not sure that I learned the little bits about taking what you need from the ladies and leaving them with a sad country song until a bit later – but I am not sure that is absolutely a requirement – though I guess in reality that lonely drifter image that is unwilling to bend to anyone or anything, including progress is part of the attraction. It is certainly the reason that they are still my heroes today. Continue reading “My Heroes have always been cowboys…”

MySQL & Sun

I noted on something that come across my inbox yesterday that MySQL is being sold to Sun. I was kind of shocked and a bit disturbed by this. A note, the deal was reported worth one billion dollars. Not a bad deal of you were one of the two contributors to the code (see below).

First my shock, I was under the impression that MySQL had been developed and released under the GNU GPL licensing schemes. Which basically I thought meant that the code was free for everyone to develop and that everyone got to use all the contributions that came from everyone developing the code base. And that all this development leads to great things on the software package and everyone is happy. Apparently however, there are some variations where the GNU GPL licensing allows for code to be wholly owned by a few people – in this case apparently two. And I guess, though I didn’t realize this, that they have not taken any code developments from anyone else – otherwise how would they be able to sell the MySQL product to Sun?

Now my disturbance – Sun has a bit of a bad track record with things from an open source stand point. What is even worse about this particular product that they have acquired is that it is used by, well I suspect millions of computers, but if not, easily approaching the first million for sure. I know in my server room there are now less than 20 installations of MySQL, possibly more. Now when all of those were installed there were no license fees of any sort associated with using them. Now that Sun has purchased the product, will that change for the future usage of the product? Beyond that, will the product have new innovations in the future that keep up with technological demands? Or will it become stagnant, wither, and eventually die?

Everything that is Old is New Again

Short little observation regarding technology that occurred to me this past weekend at a larger upscale bookstore. I had simply ran into store to pick up a copy of one of my favorite periodicals — the mere mention of which brings to mind another blog I need to write about my negative feelings toward technology regarding things such as books, magazines, and even a general distrust of the delivery systems to keep my magazine in prime condition through out its travels until it reaches my hands. I hear you though, enough with the rambling, I am getting back to the topic.

I recall back in the early and mid-eighties when computers were still relatively new and I was one of the few that just had to figure out and learn everything that could be learned about them I got into a shareware software deal with a teacher of mine. Yes, I was the ultimate geek, I tinkered and learned about computers, bought my Timex Sinclair 1000 in 1981 (that took ten yards mown at ten dollars each), and was good friends with a teacher that I did not even have in class at the time. Anyway, we got about fifty diskettes in the 5.25 inch floppy variety loaded with software that was free, less the basic cost of the diskette itself. Most of it was shareware, which was in theory if you used it, send a bit of money to support the development of further projects, updates, etc and some of it was just freeware. Anyway, the average disk would have anywhere from just a few executables to sometimes approaching a few hundred. Keep in mind, these diskettes held the major amount of 360 kilobytes of information. Yes, that is kilo – not mega. So amongst the jewels of educational and business software, there were a number of computer based games – the vast majority of which were based on the classic board games that I had been playing the previous decade (that was the seventies for those of us keeping count).

So, what does this trip down memory lane have to do with my being in the bookstore this weekend and old being new again? in the bookstore, on the shelf right below the revamped, shiny version of the Stratego and Risk board games, was a new board game called Age of Empires III – oddly a board game based on a popular computer game. And the implication is that perhaps the previous two Age of Empires were done as board games as well. Interesting thing is Age of Empires, if not a direct lineage back to Risk and Stratego, is at least the offspring of something was influenced by the two a few generations before. The world turns, the circle is complete, everything old is new again.

Chuck Norris, teenagers, and presidential hopefuls

Chuck NorrisChuck Norris is apparently a major player in the presidential primary campaigns for the 2008 election cycle. First, just to keep Chuck from coming and wanting to kick my behind-end, let me state that I have no problem with him endorsing any candidate he wishes (my understanding the nod goes to Huckabee). Nor do I have any problem with his stumping for said candidate, especially on issues that Chuck holds dear and feels that candidate is the best man or woman for the job. What I do have issue over is the marketing power of such folks as Mr. Norris (and I am sure there others like him) and the way the candidates have recognized this and are fully taking advantage of it.

Continue reading “Chuck Norris, teenagers, and presidential hopefuls”

WordPress VS. Joomla

A major change for this website. Not sure how many remember that are still clicking here, but apparently from traffic counts, more than a few. I used to run a business selling collectibles on this website. Have toyed with a couple of different things since then. Nothing really struck a chord strong enough to be taken full-out despite several ideas for the usage of the name.

Anyway – last night I finally decided that setting up a full-blown blog with several different categories here on this site was the right thing to do. So, I un-installed the Joomla content management system that I had most recently been toying with, installed WordPress, ported over my stuff from that site, downloaded a few themes, and ta-da – what you see is that result. Looking pretty good, excepting my incorporation of Google’s AdSense stuff over there in the left hand frame. I am thinking that is a minor something, but I am hoping to get that figured out shortly. Anyway, the design is so much less to set up then a full-blown CMS (had been toying with the idea, but thanks Chris – aka www.mechguy.com, for the final convincing from his own recent change to a blog setting) – really only utilizing the components that I will be needed and I can add in things as required using plugins (which there are 100’s of things available). Hopefully the nature of this being a blog will encourage a more regular stream of updates from me.

Update on Life

First things first – for those that were watching (don’t think it was many), IBitzer as a pup. have moved the blog from the free space over on WordPress.com to my own hosted space at mephistos.com using the wordpress engine and such. I have, as was stated in one of the two post from so long ago, felt a major need to for an outlet of this nature. Hopefully, with this move and a bit more time, I will get more opportunity to post things here.

Continue reading “Update on Life”

Beginnings…

This is the beginning of this blog. I feel like there should be something profound here, especially since I originally turned this thing on more than a few months ago and had kind of waiting for the right moment to proceed. That has not occurred as of yet. There are plenty of excuses, some of which might even start to hold up as being valid. A few that I could offer is the dividing up of property between myself and ex-girlfriend, including a house and farm, horses, dogs, and cats; the fact that I teach part-time and work a full-time job; the full-time job has had a recent promotion to director of information technology; budget cycles; and some general soul-searching. However, excepting possibly the last one, I do not think that any of those are a valid reason for not having started this.

Another beginning, of sorts, deserves mention here as well. I have had some notes for a book that have been around since at least 1991 or 1992, maybe even as far back 1989 for some of it, when I think on it. I have some notes floating around in my head for another one as well. I admit, from the beginning, I am not the best of writers. Actually, I guess my brain is pretty much wired to the other side – being more logic oriented (although I have my thoughts about this whole right and left brained thing too – maybe another comment sometime – and now I see why I have never started this before, I can’t narrow my thoughts for long enough to let my fingers keep up with things… 🙂 )

Back to the books, the first is set in a high fantasy environment. Think along the lines of Tolkien – who incidentally is my all time favorite author. The main character is basically a charming scoundrel and the story will follow his realization of how far he has fallen and then, as the fates have their play with him, his chance and redemption through heroic deeds, but more importantly his own realizations of things. The second idea is a historical fiction work, set in and around Kentucky primarily during the civil war. A man who is part of an extreme religious sect will rebel against his blood family and the extended family of his faith to join in and support his beliefs regarding the war. The question of redemption could come in here too, but the greater question is probably who needs the redemption – the person that acts on his beliefs or the person who stifles his beliefs for some greater good. Anyway, the note here of these book ideas is that I have actually started to write the first book as of sometime a couple of days ago. Granted, so far I have not written much more than a revision of something that is on some noted page already, but I couldn’t find that noted page. I an intrigued by the this idea of writing a book in a month – I am a bit late to start it for November, but I am thinking that writing a book in three months or so is a more attainable goal.

Along with new beginnings, previous chapters must come to a close. I have already noted a couple of them in passing and I am not sure if they need more notation then what exists. For instance the ex-girlfriend thing. Who were we kidding, that should have ended at least three or four years ago, possibly longer then that. And in all honesty, as I look back, I am not sure it should have been anything more than a fling. I do not say that to be hurtful, I say that to be honest. As we continued on we become more and more tied together, but lacked the basic fundamentals that one really should have in a relationship.

Another thing that is at least for now coming to an end, largely due to the end of the relationship, is my attempt to move toward a more simple existence. Yes, I am guilty as charged. I spent eighteen years getting off a farm and another eight trying to figure out how to get back to one without starving. It is possible, but it requires either a drastic change in ones lifestyle or a major outside job. Anyway, the dog and myself and one or two horses will move on to something else, but no longer will there be a plan to raise a market fresh garden or antibiotic steroid hormone free pork. Instead I will turn my focus back to maybe some contractual programming and definitely some more gentle pursuits, such as the writing.

The other thing that has already come to a close, a few weeks back, but that still has a loose end out there or two is the few women that I have seen and even had interest in of late. There have been several, but most were only a dinner or a visit here and there. There are perhaps some additional things that need to be said here, but I will save that for another blog as well.

There is also some change that is not really a new beginning, but at least a major turn in direction. I will continue the enjoyment of horses and such, but as noted, it will be on a different scale. The occasional trail ride, the occasional jousting trip, perhaps some day big pretty horse that will prance and dance and have feathers at his feet – perhaps instead a different breed of gaited horse that doesn’t have the negatives as much as the one I have been associated with to this point. I will plan on continuing with jousting, but as has been moved toward this summer, on a much more historical level, continuing toward getting a better kit, etc. Perhaps even the one thing I have always wanted to do, a bit of American Civil War re-enacting.

Now that I am rambled on for over a 1000 words, one is probably beginning to wonder what the point of this blog is. Well, at some point, fundamentally I do hope that someone will read it. For the near time though, I consider this blog more as an open journal, at this point written more for myself. Something that I can come back and have to measure myself with on occasion, mayhap, even look back in a few weeks and think what an almost love-struck fool over angel or some such. Anyway, it is something fits in well with a thought that I often have. The modern-day world of disposal is going to leave a big void, especially with those in my generation and following. You go back a bit and people wrote journals and diaries – today maybe blogging? But the big place we are going to lose, people wrote letters and they were kept. Today we get 100’s, even 1000’s of emails daily and we delete all but a very few of them. One other thing, I figure the closest thing most of us have to immortality is making a mark on society or writing something that will be referred to by future generations. Unfortunately, there are few places for most of us to make a mark on society that will be remembered much beyond the generation after us – so my attempt at immortality will be to put words down. Perhaps someday, when I make a bit of a mark with a book or something else the words will be worthwhile.

Well, now that I am getting closer to two thousand words and still have not closed, I will move that direction again. The band that is playing here is doing their first set. They are SO young – another reminder of my age. They kind of remind me of a modern Simon and Garfunkel – a little bit more edgy with some of the music – and I think it is original lyrics – which is interesting that someone so young will have such deep insight and opinions. I also think some influence of the beetles – especially the non-fluff stuff. Perhaps they are cover songs that I lack familiarity. I think the name is Dickie Haydon – though that may be the singer’s name? An interesting side note, there is a family, Mom, Dad, two daughters and son, all the children under eight is my guess, but what do I know of such things. I think it was accidental they are here, maybe not. The kids are kind of not sure about the music, but are enjoying the sweets and hot chocolate and well-behaved, especially to be in such an environment. The littlest girl in her pink coat, with the icing on her cheek and drinking the hot chocolate through a straw is cute and indeed makes me reflect on my above noted desires even more, even brings to question the why of having waiting so long and been so positive about my choice otherwise in the past.

I am going to enjoy the rest of gyro, drink more coffee, and quit being so rude to the band….