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August 2007 Archives

August 1, 2007

Various Topics » Nuclear Nightmare, Learning XHTML/CSS, Trying to Quit Coffee, Dog to Wed in Prague

U.S. Naval NuclearPower School | An Inside Look - Part IIBroke up recent blog entry (about Navy Nuclear Power school) into two parts.

The original grew too long for a single page. Also added heading titles (not needed with shorter entries).

Part II es aqui » U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School | An Inside Look - Part II

I could write a book on this subject. (Looks like somebody already did.) Hard to turn it off. Hard to forget. So many stories. I still dream about being in. Like a recurring nightmare.

In my dream, I realize I should've been discharged long ago. When I tell the Chief however, he blows me off, saying he's too busy to process my paperwork. "Come back tomorrow," he says. It's like I'm stuck in the Navy, & can't get out.

The only other entry (btw) I did that for (» broke into 2 parts & added headings) was the one » Comparing Joomla vs Drupal Content Management Systems. Another case of more-than-expected.

Still reading Head First XHTML/CSS book. Learning about CSS. Already know most of this, too, but definitely best chapter yet (far as learning useful info). Next chapter covers » fonts + color, both of which interest me. Hopefully I'll learn some new tricks.

Continue reading "Various Topics » Nuclear Nightmare, Learning XHTML/CSS, Trying to Quit Coffee, Dog to Wed in Prague" »

August 6, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum | Rad Film Review

Matt Damon play Jason Bourne in The Bourne UltimatumSaw Bourne Ultimatum Friday (opening day) at the Big Newport .. on the "largest screen in the West".

Figured I'd beat the crowds by catching the matinee (4PM screening). Unfortunately, half of Newport Beach was thinking the same.

Theater was packed (seats 1100). Had to sit way up front (kinda loud).

Went with e-dawg, who just graduated from UCSB (degree in Physics). He's heading to Taiwan next month .. to study Chinese (read "to meet cute Asian chicks").

Rare for a sequel to match the original, but this Bourne was the best. It exceeded all my expectations. I found it intelligent, well-crafted, and the story skillfully presented. Easy to recommend.

When we came out, the line for the 7PM screening wrapped around the block.

Continue reading "Bourne Ultimatum | Rad Film Review" »

August 7, 2007

Returning to the Gym After 6-Month Layoff

ArnoldReturned to the gym yesterday .. first time in 6 months. You might recall, 6 months ago, when I tweaked my back, how bad that suk'ed. (See entry titled » Falling Apart at the Seams.)

Felt good to throw around some iron. I went straight to the BACK exercises, beginning with deadlifts.

Felt surprisingly strong, considering. Used moderate weights (not light, not heavy). Resisted the urge to push it. I did tucker out pretty quickly, tho. I'll see how I feel in the morning. (Hope I can climb out of bed.)

Until recently I had no desire to workout (only bike-rides). But this week, it felt like my body was asking to get back in the gym.

Another factor » my eyes been bothering me lately. Been reading the Head First book on XHTML/CSS, which I've been enjoying .. more so as I get into the more advanced chapters.

Continue reading "Returning to the Gym After 6-Month Layoff" »

August 9, 2007

Jarrod Arrested for Protesting the Iraq War

Tank Man - Protesting in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China (where civil disobedience is lethal) 1989While sitting at the coffee shop this morning, where I was chatting with my rock-climbing buddy (Tom), who had just suggested we take the kids to Joshua Tree next weekend, for some camping (under the stars)...

.. when in walks Jarrod (a regular there, who teaches Criminal Justice at one of the local universities).

On our table he tossed a copy of today's Los Angeles Times, and points to an article titled (big letters) » War protest in O.C. ends in 6 arrests. (Front page of the California section - Part B. Yeah, he was one of the 6.)

They entered the offices of Representative Loretta Sanchez (in nearby Garden Grove), and said they weren't leaving until she promised not to fund the war.

Continue reading "Jarrod Arrested for Protesting the Iraq War" »

August 11, 2007

Exercise, Bizarre Dreams & Advanced Web Construction

ArnoldRemarkable how much better I feel whenever I work-out. I even feel better about myself (psychologically).

Shirts fit more snugly (in chest & shoulders). Arms hang a bit heavier. Each step flows more easily, propelled by stronger legs ("wheels").

Been adding weight, too (muscle-weight, hopefully). Lost ~15 lbs following the back injury. Each time I've visited the gym, my weight has climbed (on their digital scale) » 188 » 189 » 190 » 191 » 192, & today » 193.

I like how, once I get in shape, and develop a routine, I develop a desire to work-out (instead of a dread). Getting to the gym is half the battle. Once you're there .. the hardest part is over.

The routine that works best for me » legs+abs on day-1, shoulders+arms on days 2, rest day-3, back+abs day-4, chest day-5, rest day-6, repeat cycle (2-on, 1-off). Each session begins with 10-min aerobic warm-up. (For which I prefer the recumbent bike.)

Sleeping better, too (zzzz). Still having bizarre dreams, tho .. such as the one where I was » flying around Laguna Beach on New Year's eve with the bug in a slow-moving, over-crowded commuter-jet piloted by Tom Hanks...

Continue reading "Exercise, Bizarre Dreams & Advanced Web Construction" »

August 18, 2007

The Bug is Back | The Dog is Married

This was the longest stretch I hadn't seen him since .. well, since those dark days of '05 (.. which I'd rather not remember). It had been more than 2 weeks.

Baba YagaHis mom took him to Michigan, to visit family there. He has made the trip several times now. Getting to be a little frequent-flyer.

In the car, as we drove away this morning, I asked, "So, did you like flying on the big airplane?"

"Yeah," he said enthusiastically, "It was too much fun." =)

Speaking of the car .. as I arrived this morning, the bug was out front, where he spotted me waiting at the light across the street. "There's dada," I heard him shout.

As I pulled up to the curb, he ran over to the car. I reached across and opened the passenger door. Into the car-seat he scrambled .. all by himself. His mom shut the door behind him and we drove away. (Pick-ups don't get any smoother than that.)

He talked the whole way home. Never seen him so vocal. Seemed to have a lot on his mind. At the coffee shop this morning, the girls there made a fuss over him. Everybody seems happy to have him back.

Continue reading "The Bug is Back | The Dog is Married" »

August 21, 2007

Synchronicity, Coincidence & the Sedlec Ossuary

Radiation: can't see it. Can't feel, hear, smell or taste it. Yet even a tiny amount of radioactive material can be lethal.

Virgil at Kutna HoraBeing trained to deal with the hazards of ionizing radiation (an unseen danger) has conditioned me (for better or worse) to view life a little .. differently.

My habit (of being consciousness of the unseen) is not something I try to do, mind you. Rather, after of years of working in the industry, it has become part of who I am (for better or worse).

On the positive side, it's easier for me to view life more spiritually. On the negative, it tends to make me suspicious .. in a curiously observant way.

If you apply this habit (being conscious of the unseen) to normal, everyday life (where we encounter countless stimuli), you might see why I'm quick to question statistical anomalies.

Say for example, you're sitting in a movie theater, watching a great flick, and you have to be somewhere right afterwards. You see the movie starting to wind down, so you move to the rear of the auditorium (where several hundred movie-goers are seated), prepared to make your escape (to beat the rush).

Continue reading "Synchronicity, Coincidence & the Sedlec Ossuary" »

August 24, 2007

Download Classic Books (for Free) from PlanetPDF + Military-style Mass-Innoculations

Link worth bookmarking » PlantetPDF. Contains 7 pages worth of links to books (all free) .. with authors such as Dickens, Homer & Dostoevsky, and titles like Dracula & Beyond Good & Evil (Nietzsche).

If your PDF reader is like mine, you have a colorful icon in upper left-hand corner » Send to FedEx Kinko's (convenient feature). Two days later, the printed text arrives on your doorstep.

Impressive titles, worth perusing the list. Interesting also, to hear them bash Google Books. Kinda funny.

Nearing End of Head First Book on XHTML/CSS 

I'm also finishing the final few chapters of a book on XHTML/CSS. Today I finally got to the part where they address the *first* problem I had with trying to layout a standards-based page. (Note: current chapter addresses » Layout + Positioning.)

I thought » "Ah-ha, here's where I finally learn how the pro's solve the infamous multiple-columns problem." Dude, they totally balked. I couldn't believe it. See here (page 512):

Continue reading "Download Classic Books (for Free) from PlanetPDF + Military-style Mass-Innoculations" »

August 27, 2007

Goodbye Tears + The Bug Drinks from a Water Fountain

Played Rad-dad this weekend. This was the first time the Bug didn't want to go back to his mom. He actually cried (tears). That's never happened before.

Water fountain, Laguna BeachCan't think of a reason for the change. My rock-climbing buddy (Tom) said a similar thing happened right after his ex weaned his daughter.

"Come to think of it," I said, "the Bug hasn't mentioned the m-word since he returned from his trip back East (earlier this month)." So maybe that's what happened.

"If he's been weaned," he said, "that would explain things .. cuz it would put you on equal footing with his mom."

Haunting Images 

I know it's not a problem, and he'll be fine soon as I leave, but it really bothers me to see the Bug in distress. The sight of him holding out his arms, crying, "Dada," as I drove away .. ugh » it's haunting.

Continue reading "Goodbye Tears + The Bug Drinks from a Water Fountain" »

August 29, 2007

Best Book for Learning Cascading Style Sheets » CSS Mastery by Andy Budd

CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions, by Andy BuddWith my current book (on XHTML/CSS) coming to a close, I've been researching books that deal solely with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) ...

.. to determine which one might represent the next step in upgrading my web meister skill set. Here's what I found.

Let's begin with end. The best book (for me) would be » CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions .. by Andy Budd (from Brighton, England. His blog is » here.). Sample chapter posted » here (600-KB, 20-page PDF dealing with Layout).

The book contains ~250 pages (not counting the index). It retails for $35, but can be purchased for ~US$22.

75 customer reviews posted » here, 60 of which (80%) gave CSS Mastery a perfect 5-star rating.

The biggest negative, from what I can see, is that the book was published in February, 2006. Not ancient history, yet more than a year older than Rachel's CSS Anthology, which was released this May (even tho Amazon says August).

For someone like me however, who is no CSS guru, I'd rather get a solid CSS book, than something more cutting edge.

Continue reading "Best Book for Learning Cascading Style Sheets » CSS Mastery by Andy Budd" »

About August 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Ye Olde Rad Blog II in August 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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