Sunday, March 30, 2008

John Played Chess In Daytona and our guest are leaving today.

Good morning all. We have been having a great time with Kara and Sheila. Sadly they are leaving today to go home. Kara made us dinner last night. She made Pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beens, and mac and cheese. It was really good. Thanks Kara.

I was able to fix Kara's computer that she brought with her. I backed everything up on to an External Hard Drive that I have and then formatted her hard drive and reinstalled the OS and drivers and restored her documents, pictures and so on. I also installed some software that she needs. I set up her e-mail in Microsoft Outlook 2003 and she was able to download her e-mail from here ( all 930 some messages ) LOL I put Firefox and CCleaner on her computer and told her how to use both. Once she gets some more memory for her computer it should be good for another two years.

John tied for 1st & 2nd Under 1600 at Daytona ( John on Right )

John on Right

John on Right

John on Right

John standing

John standing

My son John played Chess yesterday in Daytona Beach at a USCF tournament. Two guys from the Jacksonville Chess Club picked him up from Mayport Naval Base and drove him down to Daytona to play. John tied for first place and won some money. My parents that live in Port Orange, FL ( a suburb of Daytona ) went and saw him. My Mom made him all kinds of cookies and packed them in a big bag. It is a birthday bag. Mom said it was the only bag large enough to hold all the containers of cookies that she made. :) She also took some pictures of John playing chess. John beat the guy he is playing in the pictures. John took the guys that drove him to the tournament out for Pizza on their way back to the Navy Base.

Mom said in her e-mail to me:

"I baked cookies for John but the only bag I had was this birthday bag to put them in. I made pizzelle’s and he said I made enough for the whole ship. I don’t think so but they last a long time so he can have them for snacks for awhile.

Love, Mom"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Drinking Coffee

Good morning, I am still on my first pot of coffee for the day. I woke up at 4:45am today and took a shower and went to the store to get some breakfast food for our guest. I picked up a Danish, Donuts, Bagels, Cream cheese, English muffins and Orange juice. We also have Bacon and Eggs here.

We had allot of fun last night with Kara and Sheila. Mainly we just sat around and talked. :) Today I am going to fix Karas computer that she brought with her from Arkansas.

My daughter Cindy called last night from San Diego Naval Base. She got a 90 on her mid-term for FC CIWS C-School. Congratulations Cindy. She is going to fill out her dream sheet ( where she wants to be stationed next ) next week and is picking Hawaii first. She is at the top of her class so I am sure she will get her first pick.

That's about it for now. I will try to post some pictures later today if I get a chance.

Navy SEAL to Receive Medal of Honor

A Navy SEAL who died smothering a grenade with his body to save other servicemembers will be given the Medal of Honor, congressional staffers said Tuesday.

The Navy Times first reported Monday that Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, who has already received the Silver Star for his service in Iraq, would also be awarded the nation's highest military honor.

While serving with the SEALs in Ramadi on Sept. 29, 2006, Monsoor grabbed a grenade tossed by insurgents and held it against his body to absorb the blast, saving other servicemembers.

The story cited an unnamed Pentagon official, who confirmed that Monsoor would be awarded the Medal of Honor after news to that effect was posted by a blogger on March 15.

Congressional staffers said they were awaiting official announcement of the award, but that they had been told that Monsoor would receive the honor.

Read the rest of the story here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kara, Sheila, John, and Cindy

Cindy's new Laptop

New $5.00 Bill

New $5.00 Bill

Good afternoon all. We are just waiting for Kara & Sheila to get here. They are Vickis friends from Arkansas. Vicki called them and they are in Joplin, MO ( about 2hrs away ). They are going to stay here until Sunday. I went to the store and got a few things that we needed so now we are ready. :)

My daughter Cindy commented on another blog post of mine today. Here is what she said.

"Good Morning Dad and Vicki. We took the BITE (built in test equipment) test yesterday. Marsac and I both got 96, the rest of the class got 92 and below, lol. I still have the highest grade. Today is my mid term. Wish me luck. Keep Chris in your prayers he just left for Iraq last night. Love ya "

"OMG have u seen the new 5 dollar bill? its purpleish kinda pink reminds me of canadian money lol."

She then sent some pictures of the new $5.00 bill and her Laptop.

Cindy we are so proud of you. Good luck on your mid-terms and we will keep Chris in our prayers. Love, Dad & Vicki

We talked to our son John last night and today. He was on duty on his ship in Mayport, FL. John was getting sick and went to medical last night and got some meds. This morning he went back to medical and was given a penicillin shot for strept throat and was put in SIQ ( sick in quarters ) in his barracks on base. He will go back to medial tomorrow morning to get checked out again.

Save Jericho!!! CBS just lost a viewer.

Last night was the last episode for my favorite show on network TV. The show is Jericho.

CBS decided to cancel the show after trying to cancel it last year. The last time Jericho was canceled enough fans let CBS know that they were unhappy with the decision to cancel the show that CBS decided to give it another chance ( well kind of ). CBS gave Jericho a bad time slot and made it a mid year replacement this year.

I really haven't watched the major networks in years because the programming has become substandard. It's so frustrating when the networks finally put a good show on TV and then don't even give it a chance to get off the ground. I guess in this day of reality TV and instant gratification what should I expect? Our only hope is that some other network like Si-Fi decides to pick it up...

Save Jericho
Save Jericho

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will be released in April

There's some great news for all of us die-hard XP fans: XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will be released in April! This is most assuredly the last major update the operating system will receive until the end of its life, as Microsoft will remove it from store shelves in June.

SP3 contains 1073 patches and hotfixes. Of those, 114 are security-related. The 959 remaining are geared toward improving the performance and reliability of the OS. It even seems that SP3 could improve XP’s performance by up to 10 percent!

Walmart Growth Video

Here's a short video mapping in time-lapse of the spread of Wal-Mart stores in America, from a few lonely dots in the sixties to a rising torrent that ends with an America covered by the lights of the retailer.

Don't get me wrong, I like Wal-Mart. I do most of my shopping there from food to other household items.

Link to Video

Just waiting

Good morning. I sold the computer that I mentioned in an earlier post today. I had 3 calls about it this morning and one yesterday. The computer is going to a school teacher so it will go to good use.

My wifes friends Kara and Sheila from Arkansas are coming up to visit us this week. They should be here sometime today or tomorrow and are planning on staying until Sunday. My wife Vicki has been friends with them since they were kids. Kara is bringing her Dell Dimension 4600 with her for me to work on. It's running slow and has some other problems, but that is to be expected after 4 years. I will probably format the hard drive and reinstall the OS and suggest that she get some more memory for it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cindy bought another Laptop

My daughter Cindy just called from San Diego. She bought another Laptop from a person that she knew from her time at Navy FC A-School in Great Lakes. She got it for $300.00. It's an Everex Sa2052T with Windows Vista. It's less that a year old and still under warranty. The person that she bought it from formatted it and reinstalled the OS and other software for her. Her last Laptop had Windows XP Pro but was allot older and had several problems. She is now able to get online from her room in the barracks. :)


Happy Easter Everyone.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Got the computer up and running

I spent several hours last night getting the new ( used ) computer formatted and then reinstalling the OS, drivers, and other software. This morning my computer room looked like a real mess with computer parts everywhere. Today I moved things around and cleaned up a bit. It will stay this way until I get rid on the computer that I got yesterday.

I have both computers right next to each other on the floor and the monitors on my desk. This way when I show it to people they can try it out before deciding on whether or not they want it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Formatting Computer

Today was a good day. I went to help some people with a new computer that they bought a few weeks ago and when I was done they gave me their old one. It is a Dell Dimension 2400. Not that great by any standard but it will do. The first thing I did was to open it up and get the vacuum cleaner out and I then vacuumed all the dust ( 5 years worth ) out of it. Don't ever do that people, you could fry the insides. I have been using and working with computers since the 80s and know what I am doing. The next thing to do was to find a keyboard ( I had an extra one in a closet ), then I wiped the drive and am formatting it before I install Windows XP back onto it. You can see the computer and the 19in CRT monitor on the left on the pictures with the keyboard sitting on top of it.

UPDATE: I got the computer that was given to me to work. I have everything installed and am still doing windows updates. I had this computer up and running with Windows XP at 7:30pm. I am doing this Blog update on the new ( old ) computer. :)

This computer is a Pentium 4 2.4 GHZ, 256megs ram, 74 GB hard drive, 3 1/2 inch Floppy, CD/RW, and DVD Rom drive with a 19in CRT Monitor. It runs pretty good right now. Probably just like it was when it was new several years ago. If I were going to keep it I would probably upgrade the memory quite a bit ( you can get the memory from Walmart for $34.86 ) but aside from that this would be a great first computer for most people. Anyone need a computer?

I installed Firefox, IrfanView, SM Player, AVG antivirus, and CCleaner and did all the latest updates for the software.

Coming to PBS April 27th - May1st CARRIER filmed aboard the USS Nimitz

CARRIER, a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. The programs follow a core group of film participants, from the admiral of the strike group to the fighter pilots to the youngest sailors, as they navigate personal conflicts around their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror.

CARRIER Badge 125 x 40 Blue

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NCAA March Madness Live on Joost

Joost is running their first big Live test run tomorrow with NCAA March Madness. It begins Thursday at 12:20 p.m. EDT / 4:20 p.m. GMT and ends after the last game which is scheduled for 9:55 PM EDT. 16 games will be streamed live on that day and it will be interesting to see how the Joost client will handle that kind of traffic.

You can read about the Live test here.

Cindy Called

My daughter Cindy just called from San Diego Naval Base. She has the highest GPA in her class at FC CIWS C-School. Her GPA is 94.5.

Today she got the PPD and Typhoid shots and will get the yellow fever one Friday. She has PT today so that should be fun doing push-ups with a sore arm. Poor kid.

Cindy has Midterms next week and then gets to fill out her dream sheet ( that is where they get to say where they would like to go ) . Her choices in order of where she wants to be stationed are San Diego, Hawaii, and then Mayport. Cindy says that she doesn't care what type of ship it is as they all have their advantages and disadvantages. I see her point. God bless you Cindy and good luck.

I'm home

Good afternoon all. This last week has been busy, first with my son John home on Leave from the Navy and then my Cardiac Stress Test today. As I have said before I have been having Chest pains lately and decided to get things checked out to see what was going on. Today I had the Stress Test and I will get the results Friday. The worse thing about the test was having my chest hair shaved so they could attach electrodes. LOL If you ever watched the TV show Seinfeld and saw the episode where Jerry shaves his Chest and then itches and howls at the moon that is how I feel right now. :) I did send my son John a text message when I got home and he called me back right away. John is on duty today and was about to eat hamburgers for lunch on his Ship. He told me that after lunch he has to stand watch so he will have a busy day.

John and Doris

Above is a picture of John and our neighbor Doris. Doris is like a Mom to us and a Grandmother to John. She made John cookies and brownies for him to bring back to his base in Florida. John called me last night to say that they made it through the trip in his luggage intact and he was eating some then with his roommate James. Thanks Doris. We really appreciate that. When John was home another friend Mable made John a home made chocolate cake and butterscotch meringue pie. John said that he was going to get fat here. If you know John you would know that he probably never has to worry about that. :) He couldn't gain weight if he tried. Thanks to everyone that cooked for him while he was here.

Aside from all that it is all quiet here. I have about 40 or so e-mails and comments about my blog that I have to respond to so I will start doing that now. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It was a long day today

John getting his luggage out of the car at the airport today.

Today has been a long day. I got about 2 1/2 hrs sleep last night and then had to get up and take my son John to the airport in Kansas City so he could catch his flight back to Mayport Naval Base. I reset the odometer on the car this morning and the mileage from our house to the parking lot at MCI was 148.8 miles. That is without stopping anywhere and without any Coffee!!! After John got on his flight I had to drive home. John got to Atlanta, Ga ( where he had to change planes to continue to Jacksonville, FL ) at the same time as I got home. He called my wife Vicki just as I was walking in the door to let us know the plane landed. LOL

After I got home I had to go to the pharmacy and then to the store to get a few things and then we cleaned the house. Tonight I am going to watch my favorite TV show "Jericho" on CBS and relax. Tomorrow morning at 6:15am I have my Cardiac Stress Test that was postponed from last week. I should get home about noon tomorrow.

John is on duty tomorrow on his ship and wants me to text him when I get home to let him know the results. :) We had a good time and enjoyed his visit and will miss him. He called when he got back to his base and was tired. He said that he slept through both flights. He said that he might be able to come again around Christmas. We sure hope so.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Picture of Cindy and The Fire Controlman’s Creed

My daughter Cindy sent me a picture and "The Fire Controlman’s Creed" yesterday. Cindy is in her CIWS C-School at Naval Base San Diego. Cindy is currently an FCSN and will graduate C-School July 3rd and then go to the Fleet. Thank you Cindy. We love you.

This is like the Sailors Creed but for my rate.

The Fire Controlman’s Creed

I am a Fire Controlman, a Petty Officer in the United States Navy. My work is the operation and maintenance of the weapons aboard the fighting ships of the Navy. I am a trained specialist and technical assistant in the weapons department of my ship. I am required to know, operate, and maintain intricate scientific precision instruments. To do this, I must have a thorough knowledge of the work of an Electronics Technician, Machinist Mate, Gunners Mate, Machinery Repairman, Operations Specialist, and Engineman. My aim in life is to know my job; to know everything that pertains to practical gunnery and ordnance. As long as there is any operation or piece of equipment I do not fully understand, my job is not complete. In the event of war, I must be prepared for any emergency. I must be capable of and competent to fill my station, or perform any operation in the weapons department of my ship; to assume command of, spot, or control the fire of any battery. In addition to being competent to perform any operation, I will strive to know my maintenance duties so well that I may maintain the battle efficiency of my ship, even on a darkened ship, under enemy fire. This to the end… THAT THE SHIP MAY FIGHT AS LONG AS SHE IS AFLOAT!

Cindy also ordered us a Pizza and Pepsi Sunday and had it delivered to our house as a surprise. It was delicious. :) She is so thoughtful.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

John finally made it home and Cindy called



John and Vicki ( my wife with her face still swollen from having dental work done )

John and Mable

John and Mable

John and Mable

John and Joan

John and Joan

John and his friend Garrett

John and his friend Alex


My son John finally made it home yesterday. He was stuck in Atlanta for several hours while they ( Delta Airline ) was waiting for equipment . He later found out that the equipment that they were waiting for was the Plane, Crew, and pilot. Apparently they were all in different states. When the plane was finally ready to fly John said that the pilot looked EXACTLY like John Travolta. LOL. I told John that maybe it really was John Travolta. Travolta is a certified pilot and owns five airplanes, including an ex-Australian Boeing 707-138 airliner. John thought that was a scary thought. :)

John brought his Dress Blues home for us to see. He has a few more ribbons on it now than when we last saw him. He will also put his E-3 on it when he gets back to Mayport. He looked really good so I took him to see some of our friends here in Kansas. Kinda like our Kansas Parents and Grandparents, we have several that we adopted :). My parents live in Florida and Vicki's Mother passed away several years ago so Doris, Joan and Mable are all really like family to us.

Mable made him some Chicken noodles and Chocolate Cake and is going to have him over for butterscotch pie later in the week. Two of Johns friends also stopped by to see him yesterday evening. He is going to visit some more people later in the week including our neighbor ( adopted Mom ) Doris so we can get some more pictures.

My daughter Cindy called from her base in San Diego just as we got home last night to say hello. Cindy sounded great as usual. I am so happy for her. I wish I could see some pictures of her. Cindy, that is not a hint, I give you enough of those. LOL I just miss you. I didn't get to talk to her very long when I had to go back out and then when I got home I fell asleep so I will try calling her back later today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My son is home on Leave

Good morning all. I don't know how much posting I will be able to do for the next week. I am picking up my son John from the airport in Kansas City ( 126 miles from my house ) this morning at 9am. John just called from the airport in Jacksonville, FL when he was getting ready to board the plane. John will be home on leave from his Ship at Naval Station Mayport until the 18th. This will be the last time we get to see him until after Christmas because of his schedule. John is going to come with me to the hospital tomorrow morning when I get my cardiac stress test done.

I have not heard from my daughter at Cindy at Naval Base San Diego this week but I am sure that she is doing well.

In other news, yesterday I had to take my wife Vicki to the dentist because of a severe tooth ache. They were able to pull the offending tooth and Vicki felt better yesterday evening. Vicki had been in severe pain since Friday afternoon. I hate tooth aches.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Woman earns Silver Star in Afghan war

A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said.

After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said.

Read the rest of the Story Here

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chest Pain...

Good morning everyone. I have had a busy week. This week I went to the Dr's and had an EKG and some blood work done. Let me explain, I have been having Chest Pain lately and want to make sure that I am not going to drop dead with a heart attack. Next Wednesday morning at 5:30am I have to have a Stress Test at the hospital. So far things are going well.

My EKG was normal ( that means that I have not had a heart attack yet ). My Hemoglobin, White Count. Glucose, and Kidney function were all good and within normal limits when I got the results of the blood work back. My blood pressure was a little high 140/100 at the Dr's office. It has been higher st times and my cholesterol is through the roof with an overall cholesterol level in the 390s.

On Tuesday I have to pick up my son John from the airport in Kansas City. John will be here until the 18th. He said that he is going to come with me when I have the stress test done. :). Thanks John....

I have to tell you that the only thing I am not looking forward to is not being able to drink coffee 24hrs before the stress test. That means that I have to drive 126 miles to the airport and another 126 miles back home Tuesday morning without any caffeine. That sucks :( Oh well. I will let you know how the stress test turns out. Wish me luck.

US Daylight Saving Time starts this Sunday morning

In case you didn't know, this is the weekend when US Daylight Saving Time starts. This is the switch where you get an hour less in bed. At 02:00 local time Sunday morning the clocks go forward an hour.

I set my clocks to the new time early Saturday evening. it helps me adjust...

Vice President Addresses Recruits, Staff at Naval Station Great Lakes

NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- "When you leave Great Lakes, you leave doubt behind," Vice President Dick Cheney told more than 4,000 recruits and staff members at the Recruit Training Command Pacific Fleet Drill Hall, March 7.

The Vice President toured Battle Stations-21, the Navy's newest training simulator, and presented Navy ball caps to recruit divisions who had just completed the rigorous 12-hour event.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 Download Site Up and Running

Internet Explorer 8 can be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Note, IE8 is still in Beta stage so only download if you know what you are doing. As for myself I will continue to use Firefox and Opera as my web browsers.

Link to the Internet Explorer 8 Download Site

More reading Below:

You also might want to read "Why Internet Explorer 8 might not pass the Acid2 test"

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) announced the release of Acid3, the latest in a line of tests designed to expose flaws in the implementation of mature Web standards in Web browsers.
Acid3 Test Released

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Congratulations Pablo and the rest of Div 094 Navy Boot Camp PIR Feb 29th, 2007

Hello all. It's been fun blogging about Navy Boot Camp for the last year. I have two kids that went through Boot Camp last year and both are doing well and are happy with their decision to join the Navy. I never imagined the reaction that I would get when I started to post my kids letters home from Boot Camp on this Blog. It has been so positive. It's been nice to be able the help hundreds of future recruits and their families and friends with their questions and concerns. Usually after someone graduates Boot Camp I never hear from them or their families again and that's ok but it is nice to be remembered.

Today I got a very nice e-mail from Carlos in White Plains, NY who just had a family member ( Pablo ) graduate from Navy Boot Camp Feb 29, 2007 Division 094. I am going to post his e-mail below.

"Had a truly memorable visit to Great Lakes for the Graduation on 29 Feb.

I'LL SAY IT AGAIN--- your posts and blogs about the experience and base itself,
gave some much needed insight and proved EXTREMELY helpful to helping us
understand and "know what to expect"

Our Grad was very impressed with how much we knew about "Boot Camp"
before he could even begin to TELL US a story.... heh.

Everything went smooth, from the parking to the liberty periods to the traveling
to/from Chicago.... very much grateful to your posts & responses all this time!


( stayed at the Motel 6 Waukegan which was NOT advertised in the flyer,
but did receive a VERY IMPRESSIVE $50 nightly rate-- which beat out
anything the MWL flyer had offered" )"

Carlos also e-mailed me some pictures and links that I will share with you.

METRA Great Lakes Station (on the Base)
(Trains from Kenosha, WISCONSIN to CHICAGO)

METRA Waukegan, IL Station (same line; hotel station)

**CHICAGO UNION STATION (with Great Hall)**

Gurnee Mills Mall (1 floor 200+ stores)

Here's our guy from Division 094



Saturday, March 01, 2008

Warm Day today and talked to Cindy yesterday

Good morning all. I wasn't feeling well yesterday but seem to be doing better today, at least so far. :) My daughter Cindy called during her lunch break at C-School from San Diego Naval Base. Cindy was doing well. She told me that she played Poker at the MWR and came in second place and won a gift card. They played Texas hold 'em. Cindy has a friend that is in the Marines and is currently in Arizona and on his way to Iraq that is going to drive up to San Diego for the weekend to visit. They plan on going out to the Movies and just hanging out this weekend. My son John is on Duty today in Mayport FL so I probably won't hear from him until tomorrow when he gets off. Now that he is qualified with the handgun he will probably have to stand guard duty allot.

We have strange weather here in South East Kansas. Today it is supposed to get up to 70 degrees and Monday we might get Snow. LOL At least Spring is right around the corner and then we should have warm weather for several months. We can't wait. That's about it from here. Hope everyone has a nice weekend.