Get Your Red Hot Techs Over Here !

Posted September 20, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

Today, I began the basic construction of my new\old website located at . I’ve decided to do a little bit each day since I’ve never had the time to mess with all the fancy html that everyone in the world but me seems to understand. Maybe, over a period of a few months, I’ll be able to master some of the basics (or at least learn how to steal code from those more talented than myself. I’m even considering some B-movie reviews (like we more of those – from me, no less). I spoke (via email) with Nathan over at Million Monkey Theater and he seems to have reached a temporary impasse regarding his completing more extensive reviews. Sounds similar to Ken Begg’s need for a vacation resulting in the much-missed current lack of updates on Jabootu. Ah well. The Agony Booth seems to be doing well, though.
Other than that, not much else going on, today. My own company ( ) is just starting out. It’s sort of an add-on to my wife’s pretty successful nurse staffing agency ( ). I’ll have to start making some room in my schedule in order to try to fit it in with my current career at Flextronics. Right now, it’s just the basics (tax ID, business license, etc.). At least I have office space that I sublet from Nursing Capital in downtown Olive Branch – so the overhead is cheap. It turns out the estranged wife is not so estranged, after all. That’s the amazing thing about life. You can find yourself walking on an Alaskan glacier one minute, enjoying the colorful tropical shores of Okinawa, the next – then end up hawking computer techs to various companies from an office in Olive Branch, Mississippi in the year 2006. If life were a rollercoaster, it would be banned by Six Flags and condemned by Disney World as “unsafe” (and their rides actually kill people). (note the two links)


Modern Love (sans Bowie)

Posted September 19, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

I’ve been lamenting the loss of my combo VHS\DVD player for a few weeks, now. It stopped functioning in small pieces. Much like an elderly person slowly losing control of their faculties. The first thing it did was to refuse to read DVDs all the way through. This wasn’t too bad, since I could view my DVDs on my PC (which is a newer model with a decent LCD screen). But when the VHS player decided to take an extended holiday, that was just unacceptable. I have some tapes of obscure films that never made it to DVD release and I was not a happy camper. Especially since I’m cheap and my wife had informed me that the combo player was pretty expensive. However, I had failed to realize an important fact. The combo player was expensive when we first bought it, which was a few weeks just before the fall of the Roman Empire. Prices have changed, needless to say. I saw a good deal for about $70 on (highly recommended – they have great deals and $2 shipping across the board!). But, as it turned out, when I found myself at the local Wal-Mart Superstore, this past Saturday, I decided to check out what they had to offer. Sure enough, I found pretty much the same deal and loaded it into my shopping cart. However, something told me to turn around and take a look at the opposite shelving.

There sat my reason for praising the Modern Era. (not to mention marveling at how certain areas of technology will occasionally slip by me – affordable technology, that is – not the technology, itself). Here, we had the VHS\DVD combo units that allowed dubbing from VHS to DVD and visa-versa. Thus the clouds parted, the sun shone and the angels sang.
And YES, it wasn’t that expensive.

Once home, I was amazed at how user friendly the setup and user interfaces were. The first thing I did was to watch my “Castle of Blood” DVD. The one with the scenes removed for American audiences that appeared in their original French. Next up was the pièce de résistance. A VHS copy of “Return of Dracula” starring Francis Lederer with the original Chiller Theater intro (the newer one with the 6- fingered hand) that I effortlessly dubbed to a blank DVD. Life is good.

Yesterday, I decided to take the steps necessary to have my domain hosted at Host Monster, which seemed like a good deal. This was the first step in accomplishing two things. One was setting myself up on WordPress, which mentioned that I would have more options if I used my own site. The other is to actually set up my own personal website (like I had at one point in the dim recesses of the past). Who knows, a new adventure may await.

Next up – Has my domain transferred yet or do I have to come over there

Don’t Forget the Fish Oil Capsules

Posted September 18, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

Enough with the hospital, already. Suffice it to say that, besides the family, my other visitor was the Director of Production for my building, at work. Which was definitely a nice gesture. He’s a good guy who happens to be my immediate supervisor but who’s comfortable enough to talk to, so that he ended up visiting for about an hour with no awkward “forced hospital talk” that makes those kinds of visits so awkward. For example – “So, they got you in the hospital, eh? How’s the food? Hope you feel better. (long silence) Well. I know you need your rest (which never happens). I guess I better be running along. Bye. Hope you like the flowers. (Yeah, sure. Just what I needed for that funeral parlor ambience).
Suffice it to say, I was released and I’m doing better.
Although, I had to re-visit my eating habits. One good thing about the year 2006 is that there is an abundance of nutritional information right on the packages of food. Not only that, but there seems to be a plethora of pre-prepared, frozen, microwave-ready dinners that contain a sensible amount of fat and calories. They’re tricky, though. Finding the ones with enough food for an actual meal can be daunting. I tried a couple that would only qualify as a meal if you also ate the cardboard packaging that it came with. Even then, you’d still need dessert. So far, the “South Beach Diet” dinners fill me up the best. I’m not sure what the heck the “South Beach Diet” is all about (I’ll be looking I up right after this post). They should just call it “You Get Enough Food – But We’re Watching the Fat Content Diet”. Fine by me.
Hey, who says you don’t get pre-occupied with your health when you turn 50. I guess the next stop for my attention will be bowel city. Lord – I hope not…
Next up – How I fell in love with my new VHS\DVD player (Got it Saturday).

I’ve Had Better Vacations

Posted September 13, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

The first three days of my hospital visit were spent in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This is similar to an obscure form of “friendly torture” practiced by the Monty Python version of the Spanish Inquisition. Everyone was very cordial as they proceeded to awaken me every hour on the hour for lab samples. Between the lack of sleep, food and Dilaudid cocktails, by the time I made it upstairs to my own room, I was certifiable. By now, I was feeling bold and negotiated a “clear liquid” diet consisting of broth and Jell-O (yay!). I also began to notice that the clock on the wall had these peculiar red lines running along it’s face like a miniature laser light show. Interesting. To add to the festivities, it appeared that I was being paid a visit by a small hoard of mechanical spiders that were checking in on me to see if I was OK. I didn’t recognize them as colleagues from work, so I assumed they were from some other reality. This actually helped a bit, since my sense of humor kept me from being too disturbed at this latest development. It was the voices on the other side of the wall that occupied my thoughts with more focused attention than anything else. This required some inspection on my part. After crawling out of bed and dragging my IV pole along with me, I made good time to the entertainment center that housed the TV. My reckoning was that the trip took less than a month. When I arrived, I noticed that I had been deceived. There was no door leading to the promised party on the other side of the wall (and here I had my heart set on some form of debauchery to while away the hours). Oh well, back to bed. This took the better part of several weeks to navigate since the IV tubes had taken on a life of their own and refused to cooperate. Fortunately, none of this was noticed by the hospital staff, thus I avoided any embarrassing restraints to keep me from my periodic sojourns. I still don’t understand how I managed all this and still didn’t miss my once-every-four-hours Dilaudid fix. I attribute this to my refusal to adhere to linear time. Things were looking up.
Next – a visitor! (human, this time).

And Now a Word From Paddy Chayefsky

Posted September 12, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

Well. That was an interesting adventure. It all started on Tuesday night, August 29th. I was feeling rather poorly with a sickening anticipation of a possible ulcer attack. This didn’t surprise me, since I had been under some unusually heavy stress on the job, as of late. But my diet didn’t really hint at an ulcer attack. But there it was, getting stronger every minute. Finally it reached a ridiculously painful point whereby I phoned the wife at her job (she was working as a nurse supervisor from 3PM –11PM) and casually mentioned that I might need a ride to the emergency room (or the local morgue, whichever was closer). She hurried on home and away we went.

Upon arrival, we were told that it might be a few hours before we were seen. This was the point when my wife went into full RN mode and demanded to see the nurse supervisor of that hospital (not the one where she had been working – this was more of a “country club” type establishment). My wife not only works as the occasional nurse supervisor, but runs her own nurse staffing agency – so you don’t want to mess with her. She’s all business. Needless to say, we were seen immediately. Good thing. First of all, it wasn’t an ulcer attack – it was a cyst on my pancreas causing acute pancreatitis. The kind associated with high cholesterol that accounts for 80% of the fatalities associated with pancreatitis. They took three blood samples and couldn’t get a reading of my electrolytes because, somehow, I was dehydrated and according to them, my blood was turning to “sludge”. That precipitated IV’s of saline given pronto since I was NPO (nothing by mouth – but I negotiated for some ice chips). Next up was a shot of morphine for the pain. Which worked about as well as a half of a St. Josephs Aspirin for Children tablet. So out came the Dilaudid. This was injected straight into my vein at the junction where the IV was inserted. This was followed by a phenergan chaser for possible nausea. Now, if you’re not familiar with Dilaudid, then consider this – it’s pretty much synthetic heroin about eight times as powerful as morphine. They ended up giving this to me every four hours (on the dot) for a period of five days! Next up – “Is that really a gang of spiders and why haven’t I been invited to that party on the other side of the wall?”

Down But Not Out

Posted September 8, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

Unfortunately, I was hit with a serious case of pancreatitis, last Wednesday and just got out of the hospital early Thursday morning. More details on Monday.

Rainy Days and Mondays

Posted August 28, 2006 by hbrennan
Categories: Random musings

Today feels like I’m dragging myself through a thick sea of mud. It’s probably due to the fact that it’s a rainy day. I never do well on rainy days. Oddly enough, getting up is no problem but after that, it’s a struggle. I had a great birthday weekend. Spoke to all the standard relatives and friends. Received the standard birthday cards, etc. I had dinner out with the estranged wife on Saturday. Spent the day by myself on Sunday. Watched “Star Wars – The Attack of the Clones”. On second viewing, I think I appreciated it a bit more. I had a little more patience for Anakin’s whining and, overall, I guess my expectations were lower than when I paid to see it in the theater. The Jedi’s battle was the highlight for me as well as Yoda taking on Christopher Lee. I have a feeling that when I get an opportunity to see the final chapter (actually Chapter 3) again, I’ll enjoy quite a bit. It didn’t strike me as all that bad when I saw it originally. They were wise to keep a dark edge about it. Not to mention the scene when Darth Vader was outfitted with his new armor and “flipped out” (not a term you would use to describe him in his presence) when he was told that his wife had died. The scene, of course, was reminiscent of the Frankenstein monster being brought to life. Probably the only truly great scene in the last 3 “Star Wars” films. I’ve also noticed that my mind is beginning to spawn new ideas for NaNoWriMo (even in my dreams). It’s amazing how participating in that competition really brings out one’s creative side in day-to-day life.