Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Tease

Nice board dude!

Here's Your Sign

Some of them are quite scary!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Man



What makes a Man?

Tested feats of strength and endurance?
Constructs that withstand the ravages of time?
Literary works that inspire imagination?

What measures a Man?

A creature noble in word and deed.
A seeker of knowledge and truth.
A steward of youth and kindness.

What is a Man?

Spiritual being encased in flesh and bone
Enables others to surpass expectations
Freedom fighter for mind, body and soul


Man: the hope, the myth, the legend.

Hi There....




I've had success with accessing images I moved to my flash drives, however, I still cannot download new pics from my camera or download things from the Internet. The reset defaults are still preventing it. When I get this problem resolved, I'll be more careful about the compatibility of software with Windows 7. But this is a start, even if it requires more hoops to jump through to get the result I want.








I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.



Also, I have made some changes to posting comments, though I'm not sure how exactly it will impact my faithful readers. I have started receiving a lot of spam in the comments that I've been deleting. If any of you have a problem with posting a comment, please let me know through my email and I'll try something else.

Friday Tease

Good reason to sleep in!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Afterward....

It seems weird not to have a pic to go along with my post, but I guess that's the way it will be till I can remedy the situation. Hopefully by next week, things will be back to normal.

Thanksgiving is a over for our family. It is always good to see them together a few times a year. It exhaust me. I can't imagine how worn out my mother must be from all the cooking and cleaning to get ready for everyone. The smaller digs wasn't too bad. Definitely cozy. The food was amazing as always. There are times, like when I gain weight, I wish my mother was an awful cook. It is just too scrumptious to pass up a second helping. I may have regained that 10 pounds I lost.

Three of the kids had birthdays very close to Thanksgiving. It reminds me of how old I'm getting, though I don't feel it or act it. One cousin turned 25, his brother turned 21 and my oldest nephew turned 14! It has been amazing to watch them grow up. It doesn't seem possible they could be that old now.

I always feel a little odd around them. I don't have kids of my own. I seem to constantly be unemployed, though this has been the longest stretch. I don't have a house or cool car. I don't have anyone in my life, nor foresee that changing anytime soon. But some how, despite it all, they still treat me like family. I'm always included regardless and for that I'm thankful. It seems as though the more things change, the one constant is always family.

Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful and safe
Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Settling In

Well, without the distraction/obsession of the Internet over the last couple of days, I have been a very busy man! I had the furnace looked at. It hadn't worked in the last 2 weeks. Turns out it was the breaker and the sequencer. Replaced both for $137.00 and runs like new. I almost forgot what warmth felt like!

I gave the house a much needed cleaning. Mostly because I didn't want repairmen ogling the mess while they were here. One was quite cute by the way.

I put up the Christmas tree. One day I may be able to post pictures again. We'll see how that turns out.

I helped my father build a 500 pound doghouse for a 12 pound dog. I have some pictures when that thingy is working again.

I have actually lost 10 pounds, somehow, since my last weigh in. I'm now at 195#! Yippee!!! Twenty more pounds and I'll be at my fighting weight again! Of course with the ill placement of Thanksgiving, I'll have to see if it creeps back up. But I'm hopeful. I figured I could drop at least ten pounds by cutting out my very high soda intake by substituting water and unsweetened ice tea. (This is the south after all).

I also glued my angel back together that I had mentioned here. I can't wait to show y'all the picture. It turned out great. You can't tell it has been repaired at all.

On a different note, my desktop system has lost it motherboard. For about $100-$150 more than the cost to repair it and I can replace it with a newer, more powerful model. It was my first. I'm very sad about it's passing. Thankfully, the laptop is somewhat functional at the moment. Also my DVD player has stopped working, and two lamps have shorts in the the switches. It is not a good month for electrical/electronics at the Ultra household. The stereo system still hasn't been replaced from when last year. Oh well, I'll worry about it when the new house is completed.

Another great thing. The research paper I dreaded on Ethical Hacking was finally completed and submitted. I scored 98 on it! Another woohoo! That keeps me above 94 in both of my classes this semester. I registered for the Spring semester and actually got all my needed classes and the schedule I wanted! That has never happened since I've been attending.

And last but not least, I want to thank all my readers and followers. Thanksgiving may come once a year, but I strive to do it everyday. Despite it all, there are many things to be grateful for, even when it doesn't seem very obvious. I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday!

The Past Creeps In

Monday evening, I had a surprise visit from an old friend I had previously discussed here. I've ignored his calls for the last few months, but here he was, at my doorstep. He stayed for 2 1/2 hours. He had questions and propositions. He said things I wanted to hear, like I know I owe you $645.00 but I want to pay you a minimum of $800.00 and if things go well, maybe $2,000.00. Of course, I have heard similar crap before. It is always sometime in the future, never cash in the hand. He still wants me to visit Costa Rica with him next summer. He still wants to hang out and do things. He even wants to help me paint the inside of my trailer, replace the flooring and buy me a new sofa. I smile and nod. Heard it all before buddy boy. All talk, no action. I made it clear to him, that all sounds great, but I'll believe it when I see it. You can come to me if you want company, I'm not spending my gas to come to you. You want to hang out and do stuff, you pay for it, I can't afford it. You want to chat on the phone, you supply the minutes. Blah, blah, blah. Of course the real high light of the evening was him constantly spritzing the place with Fabreeze. And asking if I thought his 5.5 inch dick was too short. He's a straight guy! Why should I care what size his dick is? I'm not holding my breathe for any of it. Not calling him. I can be a cold heartless bitch when I've been manipulated and used. He can deal with.

Well Now, Isn't That Special?

I had upgraded from Vista to Windows 7 with no problems. Everything was going fine. Loving life and a much improved operating system. Sunday, I put up the Christmas tree and decided to install the camera software on the laptop so I could download them. Big mistake! Huge mistake! The software wasn't compatible with the Windows 7 upgrade. Before I could search online for an upgrade to the camera software, the damage was done. It had reset all the defaults, and I mean ALL, to Windows Photo Viewer. Internet Explorer. Gone. OpenOffice. Gone. Almost every software was changed. The only way I discovered I could still access the Internet was by happenstance. While transferring all my files to flash drives for backup for the inevitable hard drive wipe, I stumbled upon my Favorites folder. In it contained enough software code to access the Internet. Yeehaw! After two painful days of not being able to do anything, and a trip with the laptop in tow to Best Buy, I was able to sneak in the back door as it were, to get on the web. Now the Windows 7 was a free download offered through the school. I can access the site, but can't download the operating system again. The default setting is preventing it. The website doesn't offer the option of burning it to a disc. (Those I've been able to get to play.) I also had done away with the recovery disc for Vista once I installed Windows 7, thinking I wouldn't need them any more. So now gentle readers, I'm in a quandary till classes resume next Tuesday, and have a chance to speak with an instructor to see if they have the option of burning the disc available to them, to which I can get a copy. That is where it stands at the moment.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Update

I have been experiencing some computer problems since trying to install my camera software on my laptop. I'm not sure exactly how much posting I'll be able to do. Most of my operating software is seriously screwed. I managed to sneak past the errors to get online just now. Once the issue is resolved completely, I'll go into more detail.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Pics







Knowledge IS Power




Interesting stuff these days. It is almost overload on the economy and healthcare, the right wingers and their scandals. Just too much to asssilimate in one sitting. The hate crimes are becoming scarier by the day. I always thought that at this stage of the game, that people would realize that whether you agreed with someone or disapproved of their choices they were still human beings and should be treated as such. Apparently some did not get the memo. Violence has always been a part of man's makeup, since the whole Cain and Able thing. It would appear we haven't progressed much since. Yes, we talk pretty now, but our actions and attitudes sure haven't changed much as a species. It seems the worse is from those that place ideology above reason and common sense. That is sad. Something that was suppose to make the human race strive to be better, has returned some to Neanderthals. Murder, beatings, decapitation, and on and on, spring forth from some seriously twisted minds. Where does this twist come come, you may ask? It is born out of a feeling of righteousness. The thought that nothing except your personal beliefs are important and anyone who appears, believes, acts differently than you is less than you. Granted, they are always exceptions, not everyone of faith or ideological backgrounds will fall lockstep. There is a special mental and emotional makeup to those that do. In my experience, it comes from religious repression of basic human needs or urges, low self esteem, and sadly a certain degree of ignorance, whether organic in nature or willful. These people have serious issues of their own that need to be addressed and church or political affiliation will not resolve them. Sure, you get the warm fuzzies from belonging, but that isn't an answer to their problems. It only serves to intensify the feelings they already have. It allows the issues to remain hidden behind good deeds and plastic smiles, where it festers and slowly over time it will surface. There is help for these people. All is not lost. People can and do change, but rarely on their own. It usually requires some outside event to challenge them to a new way of thinking, to expose their beliefs to be shallow and unworthy. Those held in it's deepest sway will never acknowledge truth regardless of it's source. For others, time and knowledge are keys to their awakening.

Family History





I had the family crest researched and discovered that there were two.
Both date back to the mid 14th century. One from England,
the other from Germany. To reconcile the fact, that our bloodline
immigrated from Germany in the mid-1800's, I combined them.



This is how it turned out. Rather nice I think.
I added the banner as a special touch for our family branch.
It says, "Do Ut Des", which is Latin for
"Give To Gain".

Saturday Tease

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Thanks

Breaking bread is one of the truly oldest traditions around. At this time of the year, we as a society pause a moment to reflect upon our blessings. I feel we should do this more often during the year, instead of only once. Despite it or maybe because of it, none of the bad things that have happened bother me during this season. This will be the second Thanksgiving without my grandfather around. He was a major influence on my life. These times that the family gathers together seem empty without his presence. I know that he is still around, just as my grandmother, watching over us, seeing what we are up to. I find a great deal of comfort in that.

There are so many things I feel thankful for this year in particular. It seems like my grandfather's passing was the end of one chapter in my life and the beginning of a new one. I felt the same way when my best friend passed away 9 years ago. Like somehow even though things were certainly gonna be different from here on out, they will also somehow be better. So far they have. Not only has my attitudes towards life in general have changed, but my appreciation for life, the people in it, the things that make me who I am. I feel closer to the universe in a way, more of a part of it. I feel a closer connection to my family and friends than ever before. It's odd, but I really don't think I truly lived before their deaths. Like there was a barrier holding me back from experiencing life to the fullest. Maybe it is just the fact that it took the death of so many people close to me to learn what living was really all about.

I have many fond memories of family and friends over the years. A majority of them involve food. Restaurants, the dinner table, where ever we shared a meal, it seemed to be just as nutritious for our souls as our bodies. Conversations over dessert or pre-dinner drinks, the shared experience, the connection, was undeniable and strengthen. For that, I will always be thankful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Evil Rewards

What bringer of happiness is this?
A pale triumph, a sour victory?
A turned tide in your favor?
The hope to oppress, to down trod.
Undiscovered hideousness in your soul lies, retched vermin.
Ill gotten gains, built upon distortions, upon lies.
Truth unknown on your lips.
Vile hatred of justice.
Convoluted beliefs of righteousness.
Swiftly the night will come, heavier than ever before.
The light dimmer than you recall.
No way out.
No way up.
No pleading will set you free.
Your eternity awaits.
Your eternity has already begun.

Here's Your Sign!

Doesn't sound very appealing to me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Tease

A welcoming sight.

Religious Truth




There are somethings I'll never understand. And there are somethings I can't tolerate. Since the debate or maybe more aptly, cultural war, over same sex marriage has came about, I found myself less tolerate of the "other side". This bothers me greatly. I have always held a live and let live philosophy. Never tried to change any one's mind about their deeply held beliefs. Never thought that theirs beliefs were wrong. That it was personal, their choice and their right. I would give my life to defend it, if need be, even if it opposed my own. I felt that way because it seemed right to do so. To silence it, it seemed to me, would be a greater evil. There was a time when I would have refered to myself as a Christian. The weekly church service, the outreach, the witnessing, though a part of me felt it wasn't real, that it didn't answer all the questions I had. Even as a youngster, I felt drawn to the divine truths, the secrets of the universe, the occult if you will. That there was something greater to this life and that there was some way that us mere mortals could reach it, understand it, transcend it. These feelings, these beliefs are deeply ingrained, still present. I still follow some of the basic tenants of that belief system. I've read and studied others. I combined what made sense and discarded what didn't. I sort of formed my own personal belief system over the years. It has served me will.




I think back to the old days of my burgeoning Spiritual life. Back when the Bible held a higher place in my beliefs. I read it thoroughly, underlined, highlighted, made notes in the margins of my copy. I come to understand it wasn't infallible. It had been translated by men with their own agendas, voted on as to what was included or not. There are pieces missing, so how could it be the undeniable Word of God? It spoke of things that in today's society are unspeakable evils. Rape and incest. Murder and betrayal. The list is long. I found it a great reference, a commentary on a time long gone. Static, like a picture. It paints a different picture if you truly are open minded and open hearted, about God. He does change over time. Our relationship to him has as well. It speaks of freewill and certain endowments given to us as human beings. It gives us standards to adhere to and guidance when we may be lost. It can not be taken literally.




I have a hard time fathoming the religious zealots in the quest for domination in this country. It is deeply disturbing. It should be for anyone that has functioning brain cell or conscience. You can not force someone to your way of thinking or believing. It violates free will. You cannot hate or deny someone the right to live as they see fit, it isn't what God or Jesus asked you to do. He said be a witness, let your actions lead by example to claim followers. Nothing I've seen has shown me this in the hateful rhetoric that has gripped this country. Religion is one of those things that should always be left out of civil discourse, yet the religious right has brought it to the forefront in a effort to make everyone subject to their views, their beliefs. They espouse lofty ideals for everyone else, yet fall way short themselves. They seek a theocracy in this country. They seek to define marriage, stating the Bible is an absolute in the matter, when they themselves have little grasp of what they are asking for. Traditional marriage is a relative new concept when compared to a 2,000 year old text. Before Christianity took hold, same sex unions were practiced 300 years beforehand in Rome. Do they really want what the Bible calls a marriage? I think not. No reasonable person would.




They are not reasonable. They have no use for logic or rationale use of facts. They are devoid of Christ's teaching, yet continue on in his name. The question of what is evil is easily answered. The sinners are everyone including and especially them. The world has changed, improved and their religious teachings has failed to adapt. They have failed to adapt. If you want to be Christ like, then follow his words, his actions, his deeds. Otherwise, you are the Anti Christ you claim others to be.




Having come full circle in my own spiritual quest, I have found a comfortable place to rest, to grow. I've opened my eyes, my heart, my mind. I understand the one single truth I see in all great religions: Love. When Jesus was asked by a disciple which was more important out of Love, Faith or Charity, he simple said "Love".

Art Appreciation

I remember this from Art History
classes, but cant recall the name.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Tease

Love to follow that trail!

Updates

Well, today my parents finally moved in to the other house, my grandparents former place! I'm worn out today. Even though we had moved a great deal of stuff over the last week, this last bit still took almost 8 hours! There is still much to be done though. The deck needs to be built this spring or sooner. My father needs to have his shop built very soon to move his stuff into. The greenhouse needs to be moved and set up again. The dog kennel needs to be moved too. Also, at some point, we will begin getting the old place ready to put on the market. And of course, start construction on my house when everything else is completed. I'm exhausted thinking about it. I would have never guessed there was so much to do, but there certainly is, despite having worked for over a year now just getting to this point. Of course, had my parents decided to have this work done, instead of us doing it all ourselves, it would have been completed in about half the time. Oh well, a penny saved is a penny earned.


In other news, the research paper due this week is coming along. I just can't get excited about ethical hacking. I have about 3 more paragraphs to complete it. I'm more concerned with getting the MLA format correct than anything. My notes in class about the formatting has help some but still I've email the instructor a couple of time to clarify a couple of items that proved problematic. Learning Microsoft Word, but doing it in OpenOffice hasn't been easy, but is manageable given their similarities. I would like to keep my average up. Right now I'm at 94.6 and want to keep it there or higher. Guess I'll have to wait to see how it turns out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Endless Pursuit



With open eyes,

arms stretched forth.

The tender embrace,

warmth of flesh against flesh.

The stirring.

The longing.

Wanting to meld with another.

Consumed with desire.

A thirst for passion.

Never enough

Insatiable.

A pounding heart.

A racing pulse.

The frivolity.

The glee.

The joy.

The endless pursuit

of love.

Saturday Tease

It's almost warm enough here for a naked bike ride!
It's 72!

Afternoon Giggle

This is just too cute!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Happens Next?

I stood there looking,
wondering what next.
I could hear the whispers,
the small sounds behind me.
The breeze slightly chilling,
the dark a bit oppressive.
I ran through scenarios
of what it could be.
Many things could make that noise.
Many shadows could make those shapes.
I stood there wondering,
what would happen next.
The hairs were straight up on my neck.
Something touched my shoulder.
I knew what would happen next.

Friday Tease

Wouldn't mind hanging with him!

World of Wonder

Can't even make a guess about this one.

Sport's Oops!

Hangs to the right.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Tease

This guy is a knockout!

Here's Your Sign

Make me wonder what exactly they're serving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Here's Your Sign

There is humanity in all of us.

Veteran's Day

There is no more noble a purpose
than one who will sacrifice
their life for another human being
or their country.
To the brave and courageous
men and women
of the armed forces,
Thank You.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Tease


When It Rains



Well, this is turning out to be an interesting week. Where to even begin?


First of all, the furnace has stopped working. Not really surprised or upset over it. I've been resetting the breaker since last winter. Never could figure out the problem then, so when it started this time I figured I have to keep it up for this season as well. At first, I thought it was the breaker having gone bad. It appears after my father talked with some of his cronies that the trouble is with the furnace, that is why it continually trips the breaker. I've got to call someone to look at it after I get this nasty house cleaned up enough for a visitor. It's almost 20 years old so some type of repair or maintenance is to be expected. It just isn't convenient.


Next on my endless list of frustrations is my own stupidity. I was working on my research paper that is due on the 14th. I wiped out some of the work when I installed Windows 7. No bigger, I wasn't that far along. I was so focused on it I forgot to do another assignment for that class due last Saturday. Hopefully it won't ruin my 94.61 average in the that class, but a zero is bound to hurt. In my other class I have 94.1 average. Now if I can keep from screwing up anything else, I'll be fine.


The other school related thing is registration started on Monday. Already had the paperwork filled out and an turned into the instructor to load into the computer. All I was gonna have to do was go pay for it. Turns out, she couldn't because of something in the system that says I need to talk with someone in the office. I'm a little miffed that isn't didn't call me to let me know. I could have done it this morning. These computer classes fill up very fast! If I can't get the last three classes, I'm gonna have to quit and devote much more time to a full time job search. I can't go another 6 months or year till these classes or offered again. It's all I can do to stay with it now.


Another source of tension for me is the fast approach of Christmas. I have no job, no prospect of one, no interview offers, nothing. This should be the time for seasonal hiring. No job, no Christmas gifts. I'm sick about it, or at least when I can find the time to think about it. It sucks. There is nothing worse than receiving gifts when you have nothing to give in return, however small it may be. Be there, done that. Don't want to do it again.


Since I don't have money to purchase my own groceries, my mother has kindly step in to help. The down side is I don't eat properly so I haven't lost any more weight. The upside, I haven't gained any back either. I'm still at the 200 pound mark. My goals was to be at 175 by now. If I could have continued on the way I was going, I would be.


That's enough venting for now. I won't even mention the marriage crap right now or the other hater activities that drive me to distraction. I'm hanging in there. It will get better. At some point!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Tease

Damn container!

What Do People Love About You?




People Love That You Are Responsible and Dependable



You're the type of person who can make decisions easily, and you don't mind leading or directing people.

It's likely that you're friends look to you to figure out what to do when you get together. It may feel like a burden, but take it as a complement.

Your friends also know that they can turn to in times of crisis or deep trouble. You can help out in an effective manor.

Your pals may complain every now and then that you're a little too responsible, especially when you want to call it a night early. In the end, though, they appreciate that they can count on you.


World of Wonder

Was the jacket really necessary?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Tease

Relax, it's the weekend!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Tease

So glad the weekend is here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fighting Back

Once again we were told that we don't matter. Our relationships aren't important. That religious beliefs triumph civil rights. We were shown that putting civil rights to a majority vote isn't the way to gain them. That our enemy is very effective at campaigns based on lies and distortions. We were also shown that the anti-gay organizations will not stop till all gay and lesbians are back in the closet, unseen and unheard from at the least, and their preference would be to see us dead or non-existent.
Now is the time to formula a new plan. Educating the ignorant, strengthening support from our allies and undermining the credibility and funding of hate groups, should become our priorities. Striking back with boycotts has met with limited success. Installing allies into government offices has paid dividends. Now the next step.
We have been too reactive, showing up to the fight after it starts, always on the defensive. We must now become proactive. Take the fight to their gate. Keep them off balance. Hammer them hard and repeatedly. This should be ongoing, whether there is a ballot measure or not. We need a constant stream of negative imaging campaign that ties directly to the groups and their funding sources. For example, using websites, on air advertising, billboards, etc. that exposes the facts of the corruption in Catholic churches, the shady dealings of vocal hate preachers, let the general public know that these people cannot be trusted to tell them the truth, that they are self serving and only want to enslave the population to serve them and their needs, through manipulation and lies, to arrive at their ultimate agenda of a theocracy. Pit them against other religions as to who would rule over the new theocracy they so desperately want to create for their God.
There is enough infrastructure in place, but the efforts need to be coordinated and relentless. Use the same broad brushstrokes used against us to paint them. This isn't about revenge, but survival. It truly is us against them. Our allies can only do so much. We need to step up our efforts, use the same rule book as they and above all, stop playing nice!

Thursday Tease

Feeling blue over the defeat in Maine?
Me too!

Notice to Anti Gay Groups


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