Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year Fast Approaching

So here we are at the end of yet another year. If you're under 25, take heed: The years go by faster as you get older. And so it will end with my novel(s) unfinshed; the house unfinished and the cars still in need of repair. But, you know what? I don't care. It's been a good year, I've been happy ... In fact one of the best years I can remember. (Which either means serious memory problems or a some seriously sucky years past.) So I'm tired and have a lot of unfinished business...all that means is that I've got more to get done next year.

-- Mordekai

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Forgotten

We had a big get together over this Thanksgiving Holiday and in the middle of it all it seems like we forgot what this Holiday is all about
. Oh, sure, during the prayers over the meals we all said the words about how we must give thanks for what we have and how fortunate we are to live in such a free country, blah, blah, blah.

What I mostly saw was people trying to take control. It always happens in any family gathering. One or more of the gathered siiblings will attempt to structure and lead the entire group while the group generally wants to go and watch football. Another sibling (or sibling-in-law) attempts to wrest control of the group from the alpha sibling and as such, tensions are high and stupid decisions are made.

A for instance: Sibling A wants a fried turkey along with the two smoked turkeys and baked turkey. Sibling a acquires a huge pan from sibling G who also agrees to fry a turkey. However, $50 worth of oil and two more turkeys are purchased and the ENTIRE family must wait to eat until these two "fryers" are done. All because the wanna-be Alpha sibling "thought a fried turkey would be a nice touch." Everyone else is irritated, hungry and snippy.

All the while, nobody seems to remember how nice it is to live in a country where you can go and pick up an extra turkey just 'cause ya want to. This means you've got the money, the turkey's available, you've got the transportation, the permission and the trust in the merchant that you'll get a fair product for the price. That doesn't happen in about 90-percent of the countries on this planet.

And I'd say about 90-percent of U.S. citizens do not even realize it.

-- Mordekai

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Do UFOs exist? Sure.
They're objects flying in the sky we can't readily idenfity. They exist ... that's why we have a name for them. Are they alien spacecraft? Ahhh...there's the rub. Are they?
Here's what I think, since you asked.
In this day and age of video camers, digital media and webcams, we should have actual, positive proof of actual hovering, manuevering craft. All we've actually got are some blobs of light at high zoom and pixelated video of some dancing object a zillion miles away. To me, that's not UFO footage, that a camera malfunction or someone playing a hoax or lightening bugs at a thousand yards. It's not proof of alien spacecraft.
If you're going to tape proof of actual flying saucers or other alien spacecraft, then do it. Get a shot of an alien craft, clearly identifiable as alien, close up and personal. Wave them in for a landing and ask about all those crop circles.
So, note to UFO hunters: Stop telling us about the ones that got away. Give us some proof ... you know, maybe hang from an antenna a bit while the ship lifts off (this will require a buddy on the camera and is additional proof.) Come on...anything but the bouncing dot video taken by a palsey victim. I'll expect something in the next few weeks.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I just discovered PageFlakes. I like it. I also discovered a Blog with 50-writing tips! Wow! What a great way to avoid actually writing. It'll take me a few WEEKS to improve my writing by reading all this great material on HOW to write mo' bettah.

I'm sure that, like with jujitsu and aikido, that you can watch it for weeks and fully understand the how and why of a technique ... but until you get out there and get your hands on another person and DO IT, you will not understand all the physical nuances involved. As I'm often fond of saying, "there's nothing like real to add realism."

So, now that I've convinced myself (and whatever poor sod who decides to read this blog) that I can study technique for weeks, but won't truly understand until I actually do something, then I should go and write ... I'm assuming I mean something besides this blog...

-- Mordekai

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Enjoying the speed

Now that I can create a blog in just a few minutes, rather than have to wait a Bloody Week for the pages to load, I think I might just keep this up a bit more consistently.
Well, I've been consistent -- I've posted about twice a month...or less. Now I think I can hit it with a bit more frequency. Anyway. Nice to have the high-speed internet after waiting 10 bloody years for it.
Windstream REALLY didn't want to give up their land-line connection to our house. I finally told them that they, and Alltel before them, had about five years worth of opportunity to get DSL or some kind of high-speed connection in this area and they didn't do it. Oh, every time I called and asked, it was due in just a few months. And never materialized. My neighbors are now envious and are asking lotsa questions about "how fast is it and how much does it cost."
Hehe...I'm telling them the whole truth.
And I see a few more home phones leaving the matrix.

-- Mordekai

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

High-Speed Internet Comes to East Mountain


We broke down and bought satellite internet access. They installed it today and we're all ecstatice. (You're talking about a family of four that shared a single dial-up connection for the six years.) So after four years of waiting for Alltel, then Windstream to follow through on their promise to have DSL to our road "within a year" we finally got the satellite.
Yep, got it installed and called Windstream and told them to disconnect our two phone lines and shut off our internet access ASAP. They were most displeased. Tough. We've been crawling along to their tune for too many years. They lost us as a customer.
(Oh, and it feels good.)

-- Mordekai

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It Feels Good to be a Hog!

For the past few years, it's not been all that much fun to be an Arkansas Razorbacks fan. But, now, the times, they are a changin'. After being humiliated on national television two years in a row by USC, the Hogs, and we Hog fans, got a little of our own back Saturday when the unranked, unnoticed and under-appreciated Razorbacks put the screws to No. 2 ranked Auburn ... at Auburn.

Fans on both sides of the contest are still in shock: Auburn Tiger fans for the humiliating loss on national television; Arkansas Razorback fans for the unexpected victory as a 15-point underdog.

Most remarkably, the Hogs played like a REAL team. Defense defended and offense, well, offended by proving they could score on anybody. It went the way the USC game should have gone. Our freshman quarterback looked like pro and our three-headed monster -- Darrin McFadden, Felix Jones and Payton Hillis -- ran over the Auburn defense like they were...well...Mississippi State. It was a thrill to watch -- if you're an Arkansas Razorback fan.

So now the Hogs lead the SEC west for the first time in several years with a 4-1 overall and 3-0 conference record. Houston Nutt, the head coach, is now off the hotseat, and fans are straining the shocks and tires on the bandwagon.

Today, it's good to be a Hog. Even better, the future looks bright!

-- Mordekai

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Holocaust Deniers?

I heard the other day that Mel Gibson's father is a "Holocaust Denier." A little research reveals that these are people who do not believe the Nazi's heartlessly, ruthlessly murdered more than six million Jews.

For my part, I can say that "Holocaust Denial" is the stupidest ****ing thing I've ever heard.

These kinds of people probably also believe the Illuminati run the country (and the world) and that Elvis is still alive somewhere is Thailand. Come on! Get a grip, people! Or, at the least, quit trying to pry loose the fingers of those of us who do have a firm grasp on history and reality.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

SETI Update

It's been a month since my post concerning my Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. So far I've turned up nothing. Even a search for intelligence down here on Earth is starting to take too much work to produce defendable results.

My search for ETI has taken a few set backs, mostly due to the fact that I'm having a hard time remembering I'm doing it. My alien flag-down devices never got built (started a serious game of Dungeon Seige II ... and forgot.)

I do occasionally remember to look up, even at night, if I happen to be outside.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Perfect Day

It only happens about once a year... if you're fortunate enough to get even one ... but you get that perfect day. Today was that day. It's unfortunate that I have to say it in the past tense. We got the fishing gear ready, to boat ready, the food ready and headed for the lake. The weather was a good as it gets ... not scorching hot, but warm enough to run the boat full out and not need a wind breaker. Just right. The water was clear and cool, but not cold. Just right. We docked on Sugarloaf island and hiked to the top (something I've always wanted to do, but never got around to) and enjoyed a fantastic view of Greers Ferry Lake and the surrounding country side. We tied off on a tree in the lake and jumped in for a cool-off swim. I fiddled around with fishing gear for all of 20 minutes, but then decided that was too much work. I went back in the water. We ended the day with a good old fashioned southern cookout complete with gnarly relatives, cholesterol blockage on a bun and sweet iced tea. It was awesome. Mordekai

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Fuel Crisis

A buddy of mine who drives a diesel work truck told me he "filled up with soy-diesel, and will from now on whenever possible."
It's not cheaper, but it is supposed to be cleaner.
The main thing is, it was all made from products grown in the United States. As far as I'm concerned, every little bit helps. We've got to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. As long as we depend on other countries for energy, we'll be subject to economic blackmail. (And if you don't think oil is the reason we're in Iraq, you haven't thought far enough into it.)
I'm considering converting my truck to alcohol, which can also be made completely here in the United States.
I keep hearing we need to be more "energy conscious" or "energy efficient." I say we need to be more energy savvy -- if we make our own, we'll have plenty.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SETI ... ing?

Oops...I verbed a noun, err an acronym. (Poor grammer, or so I'm informed.)

I've come to grips with my creativity failure, finally deciding that it's a "so what" kinda deal. You can't be perfect. (NOTE: Last guy known to be perfect pissed off half the planet and was nailed to a cross.) As such, I've found that writing isn't the only way to be creative, albeit, it is my first choice.

As I'm in a bit of a slump in the writing department, I've decide to move on to other avenues. I'm joining in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Wouldn't you just love to be one of those guys getting paid a handsome salary to sit for hours watching a scope for a tell-tale blip or listening to outer space noise, trying to hear a string of prime numbers through the cosmic static? Yeah, SETI has their scopes and listeners and all that high-tech gadgetry and...well, so do I. I've created my own device for signaling passing trans-galactic ships. (Plans for this device will be made available as soon as my patent clears. Though I'm sure it will, the patent office maintains that 9-volt AM transmitters, flashlights and hoola-hoops are already patented and this could slow things down.)

If I don't post for a while, assume I've been abducted by aliens.

Don't bother to send search parties.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Creativity Failure

Here we are in another month and I've failed to post "regularly." And why? Because I'm having a creativity crisis. It's why my novel isn't written, my short stories are only beginnings with no middles or endings and why my blog isn't witty and interesting.

So there.

Creativity, inspiration, motivation: You just can't buy 'em. And when they don't come naturally, they're hard to come by at all. Some fortunate few have these as God-given gifts: The rest of us just have to suffer through, doing the best we can with what little we can dredge up. So really, maybe all I'm having is dredge issues.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Strange Things Afoot on East Mountain

Well, I've completely failed to become an expert at Java programming. However, I did learn that it's a lot like C, which I know a little about. Mainly I've been working and .... YES ... writing. I wrote an article on photographic composition for a local newsletter. It's my second article for them, so I'm thinking I'm on a roll.
Other happenings: The net server got hit two nights ago. Yep. Another one of those Arkansas Nuclear Thunderstorms came rolling through and I was on my way to work and couldn't run up front and unplug the modem. One of those lightning bolts hit somewhere nearby on the mountain and ... when that happens, things go dead. I pulled the modem and looked it over: The tops were blown out of the comm chips. Nice. The old server fired right up, so it apparantly didn't get past the modem.
(And, yes, I use a dial-up service with a net server. I live out past the boondocks: As far as Alltel is concerned we should consider ourselves lucky to have actual telephone lines. Cable and/or DSL are a pipe dream. I've considered satellite, but, I can think of other ways to use the equivalent of a car payment.)
Note: The thunderstorm put up quite the impressive lightning display. One of the best I've seen in a couple of years.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Learn Java?

As a professional programmer, I'm interested in all kinds of programming techniues and languages. However, I'm an old-school, self-taugh straight-line kinda guy. Hence my trouble with JAVA. JAVA and OOP are way different from what I do... I like it but it seems like I'm often unclear on some of the concepts. (Kinda reminds me of my life...) However, I endeaver to perserver. I keep reading and researching... and plugging away. Eventually, I'll get it...

Carrying on,


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Whole Month Gone By?

I don't recall time passing so quickly when I was younger. Must be a middle-age thing. Seems like I've just got over the near-death experience with the flu ,,, and a toe fataile ... broke the right pinkie toe good and plenty.
Oh sure, I'd love to be able to say I was sparring during Jujitsu class and had a bad fall, or had a kick blocked and took the injury. But no. The answer is much more mundane and, let's face it, boring. I inadvertantly stubbed it on a chair walking through the house. Reality is often harsh. But it's still funny.
Ever notice that the best commedians take their material from real life? I've considered the "stand up" as a form of employment but, all things considered, my life isn't funny. In fact, it's kinda boring and, in the past, has sucked really bad.
(But I'm much better now!)


Sunday, February 12, 2006

So Much to do...So Little Ambition

Ain't that the truth!

Still recovering from the flu, I've managed to sit on my duff and play about 12-hours of Battle for Middle Earth against multiple opponents. I have completely failed to come up with some clever and informative post for my Blog ... nor have I managed to sit down and put even a single letter or punctuation mark on one of my short stories.

To sum up: I've no ambition, no creativity and no will power.

(I wonder if that will ever change?)


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How I Lost 12 Pounds in Four Days

How? I hear you cry.
I caught the flu, that's how!

Now, I've really got an idea. Since I'm off work at the moment and my future in the Factory looks bleak (See previous post on Automotive Components Factory Sale!) maybe I should go into the diet business. It's big, and heck, after what I just discovered, it's not that hard to create a diet that works!

That's right!

Mordekai's Deathly Illness Weight Loss Program:

Here's all you have to do: Breathe the air from this baggie. At the height of my illness, in between bouts of delirium, I coughed into baggies, each time capturing the Weight Loss Virus. Now, for the low, low price of $10 per baggie, you can use this amazing virus to lose from 8 to 16 pounds, depending on the strength of your immune system. For me, it was a four day trial, after which, I had lost 12 pounds. (Some of this is due to the extraordinary nature of the Weight Loss Virus: I got the usual fever, cough, runny nose, sinus pressure, feeliing lousy, but also, the two exits and no waiting as a added bonus weight loss!)

So with my program, you'll feel tired, achey, miserable, etc...but really no different than you'd feel if you went to the gym or just got out and exercised. This way, you lose the weight, but don't actually have to do any work. That's what we all want isn't it? Lose our weight, suffer for a short time, for long term gain!

Send me your $10 and I'll send you a baggie full of virii!


Monday, February 06, 2006 Site Renewed

I've renewed my domain name and hosting for the site. With a film and still photo crew coming in tonight to cover a class for ... well basically for practice for them, I'm hoping for a good selection of current photos of actual students from my classes. For the past year, I've had photos of people I trained with at Master Mike Brown's school in Jacksonville.

Oh, I tried several times to make some decent photos of my guys, but had trouble with the stop motion due to low lighting or horrible background clutter, etc...etc...

You can see the current site at:

If all goes well, I'll have new, better, faster, more powerful photos on the site by the end of the week.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Automotive Components Factory for Sale!

We workers at the Heber Springs, Ark., plant of Superior Industries International, Inc., Automotive Components Division, found out about two weeks ago that the company has put us up for sale. (Anybody out there with a spare $45 million...take note!) The factory has more than a $100 million in assets installed, but Superior is determined to dump it because it's losing money.

However, a French company that make the same components is taking a hard look at us. It looks like they're going to buy. (I've never worked for any non-American company, so this'll be new.) If all goes well, they'll lop off the management head and leave me (a technician) in place and programming my computers. If they do as they've done in France, we can expect jobs to start falling off ... through attrition ... as they automate the factory (the way Superior should have done in the first place.)

I'll keep posting as news arrives. Hopefully, I won't be posting during a stint of unemployment.


Monday, January 30, 2006

That Blog Won't Post!

I struggled to post my first Blog yesterday. So I finally got it posted today. See "ROM Leaves the Net After 15 Years."

Turns out my proxy server kept timing out my connection, so here I set at the server ... posting another.

I'm irritated at news media in general a the moment: A reporter and a camera man get injured and it's on every channel, and headlining every newspaper. But when Corporal Johnny Johnson gets killed serving his country -- not his TV Network -- he's a statistic buried on the bottom of page 4 or noted as "another roadside bombing in Iraq kills two service men and eight Iraqi police."

The men and women of the military are doing what WE have asked them to do and deserve as much, if not more, respect and attention than a couple of paid thrill seekers.


ROM Leaves the Net After 15 Years

After 15 years of providing free, fun-filled entertainment to the huddled-over-the-keyboard masses, the original ROM is slated for shutdown March 31 at midnight (server time).

I first flirted with ROM in 1994, working my thieving way up to a mediocre level 14 before losing my internet connection to those snivling bastards at a certain University in Arkansas who guarded their bandwidth like it was ... well ... 1994.

I reconnected with ROM in 1998 (when I had my own, real, legal internet connection) and have been in and out of the MUD scene ever since. Oh, sure, I moved to other, bigger (read: more complicated), MUDS, but ... it just wasn't the same. I like a MUD where the imms regulate and run the game, ensuring a balanced playing field, but generally just stay out of it. I'm not happy in a 'gonzo' universe in which the implementors make themselves part of the story line, flinging restores and special items to all and sundry.It's too much like cheating a $40 game you just bought: what's the point? If you're not going to play the game the way it's designed -- why bother.

But, I digress...

ROM is a special MUD. Many a MUD on the net today uses the original ROM code as a basis for their universe. More than that, when it came time for my son to try his hand a mudding, I took him to ROM. There, the imms kept the bad language out of the gossip and, generally, ensured a good clean game for a 12-year-old. Nowadays, when we get tired of Half-Life, Battle for Middle Earth, Quake 3 or Motocross Madness -- we go MUDDING! In fact, the boy has just passed me in level and is determined to max out before the MUD closes. I'm not so sure...I spent about five years as "Mordekai the Eternal 43" before actually moving forward late last year. (This was because I didn't actually do anything in the game during those times I infrequently logged in.)

Early on, however, I got half a dozen of my friends addicted during my early days. We worked nights and mudded in the mornings. I still remember my boss coming in looking dead, eyes sunken, quaffing coffee to stay awake through a 10-hour shift after spending ALL DAY trying to make level 32 ... not sleeping, not resting, just mudding the day away. He was such an addict, he'd go home after a terrible night like that, sleep an hour or two and get right back at it. I'm a little more moderate...most of the time. (Nothing to extreme...including moderation...)

There were times when I actually, really fell out of my chair laughing at some of the antics of the players in the game ... whether I was personally acquainted or not. In retrospect, it is probably the game from which I've got the most entertainment. And I've been gaming since the early '80s (I know, showing my age.)

For ROM, it's been a good run. A good time was had by (almost) all ... and if you didn't have a good time, it's your own fault for taking things too seriously or ... trying to cheat. Fifteen years of fun and frolic in the MUD is plenty for anybody. And the price? No charge .... Thanks, Zump, for makiing it possible.

--- Mordekai the Eternal 43 ---