22nd Century - New Millenium
Thoughts Gallery January 2002
January 1
Image of the Day
Had a nice peaceful new years morning.  Spent the evening launching off fireworks into the cold winter sky. It will be interesting to see how many more wars break out this year around the world.  What groups are really looking for peace and seeking to solve conflicts, and who are just gready and selfishly seeking only personal gain.
January 2
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A Marine looks at magazines that were sent as part of a care package that arrived from home. Marines are guarding the front line perimeter around Kandahar International Airport where U.S. troops have been since Dec.13. The much anticipated Christmas mail call brought letters and photos from home as well as food and other supplies. 
January 3
Image of the Day
I've been able to enjoy driving my new 2001 pontiac Aztek for a few days now.  It's nice to have features like power windows, locks, and the good old cuise control feature.  Now all i need is to find a good tent for the car and it's time to start camping once the weather warms up a little.
January 4
Image of the Day
Here's a corner residential suite I like the design of.  This is a scetch of a residence in florida of a historical buildings still existing.
January 5 
Police on gave details of a suicide note that appeared to show the lone 15-year-old who flew a light plane into a
high-rise office block in Tampa was inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Tampa Police Chief Bennie Holder told reporters a note found on the body of Charles Bishop, who was killed when the stolen Cessna crashed into a Bank of America building in the city, expressed sympathy for Osama bin Laden. The tail section of a small plane hangs from the  Bank of America tower.
January 6
Image of the Day
Visited Georgetown in the afternoon today to visit Erin's parents house.  After a few hours of watching her brother & sister rearrange their house we left to get some dinner.  I made my timely weekend visit to home depot to buy the remaining electrical items to add electricity to the new renovation.
January 7
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I've always like the arch overhangs, of entrances to buildings like this.  This one is a little narrower than most, in that it is for pedestrian traffic only, with no vehicle drive access to the lower level.
January 8
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It's interesting to see the design similarities between the older spanish towers and the middle easters towers.  The city decided they didn't want to take the liabilty to connect my sewage in the back of the property so I am having my plumbing contractor do all the work instead.  So now I have to get the money I paid transfered over to cover the second water meter installation.
January 9
Image of the Day
A White Alligator at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans waits for dinner to be served. The Audubon Institute in New Orleans now owns all of the leucistic American alligators known to exist. Twelve blue-eyed gators with ivory scales were signed over on the last day or two of 2001. 
January 10
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Wendy's International Inc. founder Dave Thomas, the smiling, down-to-earth everyman who personified the No. 3 U.S. hamburger chain through more than 10 years of self-effacing television commercials, has died at age 69, the company said.  `This fast-food icon was an everyday man's entrepreneur and that was part of his charisma,'' said Merrill Lynch restaurant analyst Peter Oakes. ``He was an ambassador for the brand, for the industry and for adoption, and that's what made him a great humanitarian.''  Thomas often said he felt lucky to have been born in the United States. ``Only in America would a guy like me, from humble beginnings and without a high school diploma, become successful,'' he once said.
January 11
Image of the Day
My plumber has finished installed the second sewage line into the city sewers, so hopefully the plumbing section of the renovation is now complete.
Mich. Congressman Forced to Strip
DETROIT - Security guards at Washington's Reagan National  Airport forced U.S. Rep. John Dingell to strip to his underwear before boarding a flight to Detroit.  The guards at the Northwest Airlines terminal did not believe the 75-year-old congressman's explanation about his metal hip, which he received after a horse fell on him 20 years ago.  They felt me up and down like a prize steer,'' Dingell, D-Mich., said. ``I was very nice, but I probably showed I was displeased.''  The private security guards made him take off his overcoat, then his suit coat, then his shoes and socks on Saturday. When he still triggered metal detector alarms, the guards took him to a back room and asked him to remove his trousers.  U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta  heard about the incident and said he would look into it, Dingell said.  ``I asked Norman to check to see if they treated me like they do everybody else,'' Dingell said. ``I just wanted to be sure that what they did was necessary, that I got the same treatment, no better or no worse, than anyone else.'' 
January 12
Image of the Day
      Erin and I worked on finishing out the downstairs bathroom today.  After painting the wall with a fresh coat of paint and fixing the holes in the wall we decided to put up some cloth instead.  We covered 2 of the walls from floor to ceiling with a dark print cloth, that offsets the light green walls.  I rehung the mirror on the wall, it's nice to have that after several months of no mirror in the bathroom.  Now we just need to find some base boards and the rooom will be complete
      A calf looks out of the back window of a cab as it is transported to a shelter after a cold snap caused temperatures to fall below minus 22 C in the central Turkish town of Sivas. Freezing weather conditions which have gripped the country for a week are expected to change as high pressure from the west coast of Turkey moves eastwards in the coming days. 
January 13
Image of the Day
A Chinese acrobat contorts her body during a performance in the southern city of Guangzhou. Chinese acrobats are famous for their flexibility and strength and frequently tour the world, dazzling audiences with amazing feats.
January 14
Image of the Day
My contractor and his installers finished installing the shingles and flashing for the new roof section, so today I am finally protected from the rain.

Ken Bellanger holds his "Pocket PC" in San Francisco. Bellanger, who holds a 1985 trademark on his gag gift, has filed asmall claims court suit against Microsoft to protect his 'intellectual property', and vows to file a new suit every month that Microsoft keeps using the domain name pcpocket.com. 

January 15
Image of the Day
Now it seems we need to put a lease on the electrician and get him to switch out the circuit breaker boxes. 

Here's a picture of some of my relatives the May family that live over in the Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa area of Arizona. 

January 16
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The chewing gum for the dhows was manufactured in Korea, and was being packaged to be smuggled into Iran.  It's nice to see how much money is created in the world from items randomly being declared illegal by the politcal entity's that get bribes from local industries.
January 17
Image of the Day
Here's a nice view of the Dubai creek that runs through the center of downtown Dubai.

Seems like now we are playing the waiting game with the electrician.  To think at one time I thought all the renovation work would be done in 6 weeks.

January 18
Image of the Day
Here's a nice modern building overlooking the Dubai creek.
January 19
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The old house in Dubai hasn't changed much my dad writes.  Lookes like the palm trees have managed to survive without a camel eating all their leaves.
January 20
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Be glad that english is the dominant international language, so although the menu may be in arabic, the packaging is still in english.
January 21 Image of the Day
January 22 Thought of the Day
      The New York City Fire Department commissioned a statue of the famous photo of three magnificent firemen hoisting an American flag at Ground Zero on Sept. 11. The men in the photo were all Caucasians, but the statue will instead portray one white, one black and one Hispanic raising the flag. We should probably be relieved it's not going to be a statue of three Muslims in burkas raising the flag. The decision to change the truth was made by the studio making the statue; Mayor Michael Bloomberg's fire commissioner, Nicholas Scoppetta; along with Forest City Ratner Companies, which owns the property at FDNY headquarters where the statue will be located. Fire Department spokesman Frank Gribbon explained that two of the white men would be eliminated in order to more accurately reflect all of the firemen who died at the World Trade Center.
      Except, like the statue, that's a lie, too. A statue that accurately reflected the racial composition of the New York Fire Department -- as well as those who died on Sept. 11 -- would have to show 33 firemen raising the flag, one of whom would be Hispanic and one of whom would be black. (Blacks make up 2.7 percent of the NYFD, and Hispanics 3.2 percent.) Liberals love erasing the truth. They call their lies "legally accurate," "affirmative action," "saving the Constitution" -- and now, "art." When the truth is gone, brute political power prevails. And manifestly, white men have no political power in modern America. They just rush in to save us when the nation is attacked. But having emerged from months of therapy, Manhattan liberals have forgotten about planes flying into their buildings and can now cheerfully return to snarling about "angry white men," "white male oppressors" and "dead white men." After a few months of applause from terrified Manhattan liberals, firemen are no longer heroes. They are privileged white males again. It is a privilege that allows them to be discriminated against in college admissions, jobs, government contracts, teaching positions, scholarships and so on.
      Liberal race demagogues so love goading white men, they can't get their story straight on the American flag. The last word on the flag out of the left was that blacks do not share in white America's jingoistic flag-waving. Four days after the attack, black firemen in Opa-Locka, Fla., refused to ride on a fire truck that displayed the American flag on the grounds that it was a symbol of the oppression of blacks. Tennessee state representative Henri Brooks (D, needless to say) has refused to say the pledge of allegiance for nine years because "to stand up and salute that flag that waved over the colonies that enslaved us and did all the horrible things that the institution of slavery represented, would be a slap in the face to my ancestors."
      Syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux also refuses to say the pledge of allegiance, explaining "my lips can't move ... I think of (those words) as nothing but a lie. Just a lie."  In an interview two days after Sept. 11, black singer Alicia Keys said she was "torn" by seeing American flags all over New York. She, too, sees "lies in that flag. I can't suddenly be all patriotic." Yet now, in that presumptuous way of theirs of always speaking for the black man, liberals simply assume that blacks would have wanted to hoist the American flag at Ground Zero. Who are these liberal honkies imputing patriotism to blacks? Haven't we seen enough of this type of Jim Crow elitism from the left?  Liberals constantly want to have it every single way. They are indignant at the possibility that President Bush might have acted to help Enron. When it turns out he did not, they fume: What? He did nothing! He should have done something! They hate the American flag, but on the other hand, demanding that two white men be ousted from the Fire Department statue also has its seditious attractions.  Who are they kidding? What they'd really like is a memorial showing a diverse group of Americans burning the flag. Isn't that the essence of our freedom, really? The right to dissent and not some phony flag-waving?
      Liberals are, at best, indifferent to America winning the war in Afghanistan. They falsely proclaim that "of course, everyone" is rooting for America, so they can stop talking about it and get back to stirring up class and race resentments at home. Meanwhile, three men with real names raised that flag in that photo at Ground Zero: New York City  firefighters Dan McWilliams, George Johnson and Billy Eisengrein. We know what they'd do if the situation were reversed. After World War II, a statue was made of six American servicemen raising the flag at Iwo Jima. (Three of the six raising the flag were killed in the battle.) White male patriarchs didn't bleach Indian Ira Hayes off the Iwo Jima memorial. Back when the oppressors were white men rather than race demagogues, the truth still counted for something.
January 23
Image of the Day
Now why can't american 8 year old's take care of their own herd of camels.  My father is over in the Middle East roaming around the local markets of the U.A.E. when he's not working.  Trying get all the site seeing in before anyone else can....
'Bruce' the Giant Goldfish
      DONGGUAN, China - Two Hong Kong fish breeders are angling for a place in the Guinness Book of Records with a giant goldfish the size of an average housecat. ``Bruce,'' more formally known as a Red Oranda, measures 37.2 cm (15 in) long and is big enough and strong enough to give any hungry tabby second thoughts. Scooping up the writhing orange bundle with both hands, Louis Chan beamed and attributed Bruce's bulk to selective breeding, a good diet and plenty of exercise.
      ``Every fish breeder dreams of owning the biggest fish,'' said Louis as he and his brother Jackie showed off the grounds of their large fish farm in Dongguan in China's Guangdong province.  Guinness has no category for the longest goldfish, but the Chans secured a certificate of authentication from Chinese officials late last year and are confident Bruce will eventually win a place.
     ``It isn't the case that every fish, given the best conditions, can grow so big. We can predict which fry has the potential, but from there, we need to nurture them,'' said Louis, who preferred not to give away the secrets of Bruce's diet nor exercise regime.  The brothers are among a group of fish breeding pioneers from Hong Kong who moved their farms in the 1980s to southern China, where land and labor costs are far cheaper.
      The Chans are set to make more waves in June when they release a new hybrid goldfish they successfully bred last year.   ``Behind every successful new breed is five or six failures,'' said Louis as he held up the black and white Ranchu -- a variety of goldfish without dorsal fins.
``It takes at least three years to get a new variety,'' said Jackie, who together with his brother have bred more than 20 new varieties of goldfish in the last two decades. 
January 24
Image of the Day
Aircraft weighing as little as a chocolate bar could one day be darting over the surface of Mars with the agility of dragonflies and the eyes of bees. Australia-based scientists say they have developed navigational and flight control devices based on research into several types of insects. The resulting sensors are so small they can be placed on 'microflyers', a model is displayed in this photograph, weighing just 2.625 ounces. The team of researchers at the Australian National University won
over NASA during a test flight of a prototype last week and the U.S. space agency has agreed to help finance further work.
January 25
Image of the Day
A prototype of the Jasker Power System, a device whose makers say it can provide free energy, is lit up by bulbs running from its own power source at a secret Irish location, January 11, 2002. Its inventor, a 58 year-old electrical engineer who intends to remain anonymous, has spent 23 years perfecting the machine and says it is capable of nothing less than replenishing its own energy source. 
January 26
Image of the Day
      The big dhows are being made to smuggle oil from Iraq into Dubai. The big dhows are the result of about 100 days of work, with an additional 50 days remaining.  Here's an interesting picture that shows the large wood logs that are used to construct the dhows, with the end product in the background.
      Went to San Antonio for the day, and visited Chuck E Cheese for the first time in many many years.  It's nice to know that they are still making money charging $18 for a cheese pizza.  I was dissapointed with the 20 games available verses the 150 kids running around.  It's time to bring some competition back to this submarket, where's my Pistol Pete's Pizza, my Showbiz Pizza, my Pete Piper Pizza, my Celebration Station.  They spend more money for their lighting equipment that some clubs here in Austin.
January 27
Image of the Day
Today the rock facade holes were filled up with mortar around the renovation addition area.  Getting ready to get the plumbing and framing inspections completed later on in the week. I started completing the kitchen furdown in order to enable it to hold the air conditioning ductwork that I replaced last summer.  It only took one painful gouge to the forehead to motivate me enough to finish that project.  Here's a large log about to be processed into boards for a dhow.
  January 28
Image of the Day
Why use an electric motor when human power is cheaper.  At lease that's the notion being used at this lumber yard along the shores of Dubai.  I'm waiting yet another day to get the electrical work done on my house.  It's been almost a month I've been twiddling my thumbs waiting for this step to get finished.  I sealed up the interior walls with foam insulation in the spots that were mortared over the weekend.  Two more face plates were installed around the house, only 1,234 more to go..... 
January 29
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You can't be afraid of heights in this job.  You have to scale the timbers up to the top and help adjust the boards into place while painting tar into the edges to seal the area.
January 30
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Teddy Bears Spread Infection
LONDON - Teddy bears might have to be banned from doctors' waiting rooms because they may spread infections to already sick children, New Zealand public health specialists said.  ``Isn't it time to give teddy the boot?'' asked Paul Corwin and colleagues at Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand after checking contamination levels in toys at six group practices in Christchurch.  Their findings, published in the British Journal of General Practice, showed 90 percent of soft toys examined had moderate to heavy bacterial contamination.
      The researchers also found that soft toys are difficult to disinfect and rapidly get recontaminated after cleaning. Hard toys were much less likely to be contaminated and were easy to disinfect.  They noted that many doctor provide toys in waiting rooms and stopped short of calling for a ban at this stage.  Children, many with infectious diseases such as those causing diarrhea, are likely to be handling toys and putting them in their mouths. The next child to play with these toys may thus be exposed to pathogens that could make them ill, they said in the research journal. 
January 31
Image of the Day
Imagine having to spend a month drilling holes in the side of the dhow to dolt together all the boards. For all your hard labor you will only be earning $1.50 an hour.

Internet Firm Hacked Out of Business

LONDON - Fears are growing once more that companies operating on the Internet may not be equipped to ward off electronic sabotage after anonymous ``hackers'' forced a small British firm out of business.
CloudNine Communications, one of Britain's oldest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), shut down last week with the loss of eight jobs in what computer experts believe is the first instance of a company being hacked out of existence.

The electronic attack -- a so-called ``Distributed Denial of Service'' or DDOS -- was reminiscent of one in February 2000 that crippled Yahoo, one of the world's leading Internet media firms, along with the online auctioneer eBay and the electronic brokerage ETrade.  Other Internet operations have been infected by malicious software in the form of computer ``viruses.''  In a DDOS attack, a computer is swamped with an overwhelming number of requests that are disguised to look innocuous, so that the Web site that it controls grinds to a halt.  Experts say tens of thousands of such attacks occur each year -- and that a far greater number probably go unreported by companies fearful of hurting their business.

CloudNine, six years old, was forced to sell its business and hand over 2,500 customers to its rival Zetnet.  ``The basic reasoning was we would have needed to bring the network offline for far too long (to make repairs). We just came to the conclusion that we couldn't continue,'' said co-founder Emeric Miszti.  Two other recent victims of DDOS attacks were the British Internet portal of the Italian ISP Tiscali, whose service was halted for several days, and the British Internet provider Donhost, whose outage lasted a few hours.  ``It's not just a game of taking down one server,'' said Stephane Huet, acting chief operating officer for Tiscali UK. ''It affects portal revenues if the rest of the world cannot access it. It has a powerful business impact.''  The motivation for such attacks is diverse. Many hackers are simply after illicit thrills, while others seek publicity for a particular cause. It is now common in wars, especially civil ones, for each side to sabotage the other's Web sites.
In the case of CloudNine, the DDOS attack prevented users served by the company from logging onto the Internet and shut off access to Web sites hosted on its network.  ``It was a very methodical attack,'' said Miszti.   ``It occurred over a number of months. Their objective was to map out our network, identifying the key servers and determining their capacity. Then they knew how to attack with the appropriate force.''  Miszti says he is not sure why his firm was targeted and has no clear idea who was behind it.  He and Tiscali are both working with police, but computer experts say DDOS investigations are rarely successful.  ``If (a hacker) takes reasonable precautions, it would be very difficult to track them down,'' said Gary Milo, managing director of security start-up Webscreen Technologies, which has developed software to protect companies against such attacks.