title image
| sealed is our fate
written in stone?
free will requires
we make our own
| the journey of life
destination unknown
guided by our choices
a new world is grown
| struggling to make
the best decisions
we are guided only
by distant visions
Wishing you the best of visions,

Scott Arnold

Welcome to Scott Arnold's personal web site.

3/24/2016
Updated my Vehicle Pictures page, adding a few pictures for my last 3 vehicles.
3/16/2016

A Tesla, be it a Model S, Model X, or even a Roadster, is not just a play thing for the rich. It is important that people understand the deeper motivation behind buying one of these cars. Sure, maybe a few rich people just want one as a play thing. They are great cars, and the S and X are both quite practical as well. But there are more fundamental reasons behind the decision to buy a Tesla for many buyers. Tesla vehicles are fun, they are sexy, they are practical, but there is a mission behind Tesla Motors that has been there from the very beginning, and that mission is compelling. Compelling enough for many to buy a Tesla when they would never consider paying as much for any other brand.

The mission of Tesla sounds simple and at first perhaps not very exciting: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible. You have to dig deeper into what this really means before you can understand.

Sustainable Transport:

While some just buy Tesla's because they are great cars, yes, the green argument weighs heavy for some. Pollution control, climate change, and sustainability are important to many people, including me. Yes, the Model S and X are somewhat big, somewhat heavy, and expensive cars that are occasionally associated with wealth and gluttony. But it's not about the type of car, it's about what powers it. Electricity is sustainable. It's the currency of energy. It can be made from anything. And it can be made available forever. Yes, some of those sources are dirty, but if we work to also clean up our power generation sources, the net energy to power your car can become entirely clean. And even with dirty sources, the efficiency of electric motors is so much higher than gasoline engines that in most places, electric vehicles are already cleaner than gasoline fueled cars.

Mass Market:

Tesla isn't just in the business of building cars for wealthy people. In fact, you can go back to one of their earliest blog posts and see that it has always been their mission to build an affordable mass market car. But you can't just immediately start building mass market products at affordable prices. Technology always goes through a cycle of small production high prices flowing eventually down to large production low prices. And this is exactly what Tesla is doing. Those who bought a Roadster in the earlier years helped fund the research and development needed to build the the Model S and the Model X. And those that now buy the Model S and the Model X are helping to fund the research and development needed to build a cheaper mass market car, which is already in the works. This first mass market car is referred to as the Model 3, and it will be unveiled for the first time at the end of this month, with production likely starting in a couple of years. Will they really make it? Look up the "Gigafactory". If they are funding a battery production facility that big, then you know yes, they really intend to make it.

Accelerate the Advent:

Tesla isn't just trying to become the sole source for sustainable transport. They are happy to encourage, or if need be, drag other automakers to follow suit. You can see this in their blog posts, presentations, and actions. As just a couple of examples, they open sourced all of their patents, and they have said repeatedly that they are open to sharing important assets like the Tesla Supercharger network to other automakers willing to contribute to it. They are not just looking to push electric vehicles for their own benefit, but for potentially everyone's benefit.

Back to Sustainability:

So for someone who buys into sustainability and clean energy for the benefit of all mankind both now and in the future, should they not be looking for ways to advance those goals? There are two common approaches. One is to use less. The other is to make what you are using as clean and sustainable as possible. For someone like me who likes the idea of a Star Trek future, the latter is actually the more important endeavor. In what way should I use the wealth I have to move us towards a Star Trek future full of sustainability and clean energy? One great way I can think of is to use it in support of a company whose mission is to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible: Tesla Motors.

2/26/2016
What if we're the first to make it to the other side and to make a civilization like the Federation in Star Trek? And what if everybody out there is waiting for us to do that? To go out and rescue them. To show them the way. That's a scary prospect. That's a burden. I think we can take it on. I think we can do it.
-- David Brin - Physicist and Science Fiction Author - The Science of Star Trek - Documentary 2016
2/1/2016
UPDATED! Tesla Order Progress Everything is looking good, and it appears we are actually ahead of the Tesla timer at this point. However, since I have never updated the Tesla count down timer before, I'm planning on just letting it go as is and see how it pans out.
11/18/2015
UPDATED! Tesla Order Progress The Tesla timer on this page remains eerily on track, having never been adjusted over the last few years. And the Tesla Order Progress page will start seeing some periodic updates. Most likely acquisition at this point is a CPO Model S, but all plans are still tentative.
10/24/2015
Evolution need not only be a physical thing. Never lose your inner child, but never stop growing up either.

New poem -- Of Love.
7/21/2015
Non-family exciting things this year:
  • NASA New Horizons space craft gives up first ever close up details on Pluto. Timing: Already happened! But new data will continue to stream in for months.
  • Tesla will start production of the crossover/SUV Model X. Timing: In about 2 months.
  • Tesla Supercharger network is starting to fill out in the U.S.A.; Construction of the last supercharger on the I-70 route in Columbia Missouri will start soon! (they already have permit)
  • SpaceX advancements -- reusable rockets, crew Dragon with landing rockets, and new rocket configurations (Falcon Heavy). Timing: A few months, some delay possible due to fixing issue with CRS-7 rocket failure.
  • Games! Fallout 4 and Doom 4 due out before end of year.
In other news, my Tesla timer at the top of this page remains right on track. Good chance we may take advantage of the somewhat new Tesla Certified Pre-Owned program once the timer runs down.
1/23/2015

I've been nearing the limits of my bandwidth the last few months. Not really interested in upgrading my service, I took a look at the web statistics for my site. The primary bandwidth hogs were mostly large images in a few areas that get hits from the world at large. To reduce the bandwidth load, I have cropped and/or scaled down the biggest offenders.

Some of the pages on this site are getting very old, but I find it is interesting to go back and look at some of the older content, so I'm not taking it down. Note that you can get a quick idea of how old the content on any page is by looking at the footer at the bottom. I always add one or more last updated dates to the footer.

9/15/2014
Upgrades to my security system coming soon. New server hardware replaces the horribly outdated Intel Celeron system, including upgrades that will improve system recovery after power outage. I'm sadly ditching the rack mount setup due to cost and the low reliability of the various rack mount equipment I have experienced since I started that experiment. I'm likely setting up a new camera in back, and adding new IR illuminators for front and back of house for better video at night. Yay!
Time for a little bit of Awesome.
5/2/2014

Quick news roundup!

SpaceX more-or-less successfully landed one of their Falcon 9 booster rockets in the ocean. This is a big step towards rocket reusability that will help drive down the costs of access to space. This was a _real_ rocket launch that sent a resupply capsule to the ISS (CRS-3 mission). If you want to see some awesome video of the SpaceX prototype rockets landing (test flights, not a real one like the CRS-3 mission -- the CRS-3 mission did not have good video), just search for "F9R" on Youtube.

Google Fiber is coming to our town in 2015. You better believe we are going to sign up for it!

Cari and I test drove a Tesla Model S. It is a really cool car, and confirmed my intent to eventually acquire one (or similar Tesla model). Superchargers will be coming to I-70 from Denver to St. Louis soon. I'll post some details as soon as I know more. For now, the only thing we know for sure is that there is a permit to build a Supercharger in Goodland, KS.

Tesla Logo
8/5/2013
Updated my NAS Setup page to add a new section for setting up Fedora 18 and Samba 4.x. The section on Fedora 13 and Samba 3.x remains as well.
7/20/2013
Stay tuned the release of CatBack 1.4 coming in another week or two. I've made several significant updates, including fixing the progress bars to show a more accurate representation of progress, adding options to greatly speed up backups to slow network locations, and various other small improvements.
6/22/2013
As I did once before with the Mustang, I have posted a Tesla Order Progress page where I will provide progress details on getting a Tesla. While the Mustang was an awesome car, a Tesla is an even more awesome car, and more importantly, goes one large step further by being from a company and a leader with an awesome vision and outlook for the future of humanity.
6/2/2013

If their plan holds firm...
Why I've decided to get a Tesla as my next car in a couple of years (bare in mind my semi-regular KC/Columbia/KC commute):

Epic Win - Supercharger in Columbia, MO
5/26/2013
I updated my Links page. Yes, it really needs a complete overhaul, but I don't have time for that right now. So I just updated my existing links and added some new ones at the top. And here is a look ahead to things in my future (other than the obvious stuff like doing lots of stuff with my kids):
  • House Painting - This is happening in the next couple of weeks! No more pink house! Yay! Be on the lookout for pics.
  • LED Light Bulbs - Costs are coming down. Unlike CFL's, I really like LED light bulbs. I'll have all LED light bulbs on the outside of my house in the next couple of weeks, and I look forward to putting in LED bulbs throughout the inside of the house over the next few years.
  • My Software Projects: RoboJogger - RoboJogger is a tool I wrote for the Robocode community. It's probably the first hobby software I've ever written outside of work that others outside of family actually use. Someone else wrote a very nice command-line utility for running robot challenges. RoboJogger is a UI for that utility.
  • My Software Projects: CatBack - CatBack is due for a big update. I hope to find time do this in the next few months. There are some big changes it needs, including making step 2 optional, which will speed up the backup process considerably.
  • Computer Update - In the next couple of years, I will finally say goodback to Windows XP and upgrade to Windows 7. Yes 7, not 8. I hate 8. Since this update entails another complete hard drive setup, I am waiting to do this until I also update the rest of my computer. I'm currently running a low end Core 2 Duo with DDR2 RAM, which I will update to whatever is current.
  • Tesla - In the next few years, Tesla is planning on coming out with a mass market EV. Whether they do or not, we are looking at getting one in a few years. Note the countdown timer above. :-)
  • Solar Panels? - I've looked into this before. There are some nice incentives right now, but it's still expensive. I will probably put it off for years. But it's interesting that I even considered it, so I'm listing it.
5/11/2013
We can have a world living modern lives without killing the climate.
        - Michael Shellenberger
        - President and Co-founder, The Breakthrough Institute
Loving your children is about loving the future and loving the world they are going to inhereit.
        - Mark Lynas
        - Journalist and Environmental Activist
Can you be an environmentalist and be pro nuclear? In light of climate change, can you be an environmentalist, and not be pro nuclear?
        - Stewart Brand
        - Founder and Publisher, Whole Earth Catalog

1/18/2013
log scale of energy density cartoon

12/7/2012
Today is a great day! I found this:

Illinois Millers First Insurance Co. Agrees to Rehabilitation

I quickly sent Millers First Insurance an email about their plight that read:

Dear Millers First Insurance,

I saw recently that Millers First Insurance has agreed to "rehabilitation", and that the company has apparently had issues with profitability. I'm confused as to why this is so. Have you turned away good customers with flawless insurance records for stupid reasons like someone being temporarily unemployed even though they had money to pay the premiums? Oh wait! Yes you have. That was me, back in January of 2004. And to think I still have never once filed an insurance claim in my entire life. I just pay the premiums and go about my day. Too bad you didn't keep me. It might have been more profitable than the 8 years since where my only contribution to the company has been recommending to all of my friends and neighbors not to use Millers First Insurance.

Sincerely,

<signed>

7/5/2012
Added page on low emission vehicle classifications. Basically just provides a table of the common low emission vehicle acronyms with a summary of what they mean.

4/2/2012
Science Council for Global Initiatives
I've updated my original page on Alterative Fuel Vehicles, though all I really did was refer you to plugincars for up-to-date information, leaving most of the content as an interesting look back to how things looked in 2007 when the page was originally created. I also changed my Tesla link on this index page (since the original image no longer exists) into a link to the Science Council for Global Initiaties (SCGI); they appear to have an excellent roster of members with a vision of the future I wholeheartedly agree with.

3/26/2012
Confused by some of the hybrid vehicle terms? See my page on Hybrid Terminology.

3/25/2012
Cherolet Volt Pictures. There are 2 sides to me; the tech nerd and the gear head. This is the first car ever that really appeals to the tech nerd without offending the gear head.

2/20/2012
CatBack 1.3 for Windows is now available. It's been done for awhile, but I am only now posting it. It is still not tested as well as I would like...but so far it is working without any serious problems for me. The progress bars still act a little wonky occasionally, because the means for determining how long the tasks will take is a balance between doing it fast and knowing how long it will take to do it (the better the progress estimate, the better the progress bar will work, but then the backup ends up taking longer overall). Also, it is packaged with a little extra utility called CatScan, which still has a couple minor bugs, but otherwise works; CatScan is just a silly little search and statistics tool, mostly for finding files.

Also...just because...Trance Music Clip

1/8/2012
After more than 10 years using my trusty NEC MultiSync FE950+ 19" CRT monitor, I've finally decided it is time to upgrade. My old CRT still has a crystal clear picture, but it has been getting darker over the years, and it is hard to see what's going on in dark games even with brightness and gamma maxed. The new monitor I have selected is the Dell U2412M 24" widescreen LCD monitor. Some of the key criteria for selecting this specific monitor were as follows:

  • At least 23", so that it is at least as tall (height) as my old CRT it is replacing.
  • IPS panel for good viewing angles and better color reproduction than a standard TN panel. (Specifically, it is an E-IPS panel, which is not as good as S-IPS, but it is still better than TN and it keeps the price on target)
  • 16:10 aspect ratio, which I prefer to the 16:9 used on a lot of monitors (this means 1900x1200 resolution, rather than 1900x1080).
  • Good response time with minimal motion blur. This is one category (perhaps the only category) where TN displays can be better than IPS displays, but this model has performed well in testing done in the tech reviews.
  • DisplayPort connector (don't need it now, but likely will in the future).
  • Good price, given that it is not a low-end monitor.
I should receive this monitor next week. I'm looking forward to using it. The only concern is that my video card (a GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB) will not handle the native resolution well. This video card was a performance card when I bought it, but it's achilles heel is the small memory size, which kills its performance at high resolutions above 1280x1024 (what I currently game at). Until I can budget a new video card, I may have to live with a semi-blurry scaled down screen resolution when gaming.

6/12/2010
Completed an early release of CatBack version 1.2. Currently I only have the Windows version ready for download. Download it from the CatBack homepage.

6/9/2010
Updated the My Computers page. Added our new NAS machine. The other computers are pretty much unchanged since the previous update a year ago.

6/2/2010
New Poem! Woo Is You.

6/1/2010
I'm considering working on version 1.2 of CatBack. I never have much time anymore, but there are a few features I think would be really nice to add. This includes:

  • Option to pause after analysis and before actual backup begins to show user what the backup intends to do. The user can then continue or cancel. This gives the user a chance to back out and alter their backup set if they want, before proceeding with the backup.
  • Option to leave copy details window open at end of successful backup. This gives the user a chance to review what the backup did after the fact, if desired.
  • Add user preferences for how to manage incremental backups.
    • Max amount of hard drive space to allow for incremental backups.
    • Min and max incremental backup folders to keep.
    • Ability to exclude some files from the incremental backup folders, either by type, folder of origin, or size.
  • Add user interface for resolving items in the backup set that can no longer be found.
  • Add second progress bar to progress dialog on copy step to show copy progress of individual files.
  • Add ability to schedule backups. This will be done using one of the various Open Source job schedulers for Java, such as Quartz, cron4j, or jcrontab (because the Windows task scheduler sucks).
  • Add splash screen since load time can be a bit slow sometimes.
  • Fix issue with warnings being issued in the log for files on a network share that is not mapped to a local drive letter.

5/27/2010
Instructions for setting up Fedora 13 and Samba to serve as a homemade NAS. I'm no expert, and make no guarantees. But it might give you the courage to try it, and it might save you a lot of time with the initial setup.

5/6/2010
Track Our Mustang Order

2/22/2010
(full poorly executed image gallery)
Ford 5.0L 4V Ti-VCT V8 engine, partial build
Coyote V8

1/13/2010
In my excitement over the upcoming 2011 Mustang powertrain improvements, and in light of the dwindling information available regarding many model years of Mustangs, I couldn't help but put together a web page showing the Mustang Engine Options, 1964 - 2011.

10/31/2009
Happy Halloween! Version 1.1 of CatBack is now available. If you are using 1.0, the bad news is you will have to recreate your backup profile. Sorry. The good news is you won't see this problem in any future versions.

(9/16/2009)

Galaxy MGB Raid Pro NAS Lesson: The Human Screwdriver

How To Screw Yourself:
  1. Use a Galaxy MGB Raid Pro as your NAS. This will ensure that you have no way to access the "root" account on the NAS. There is an "admin" account, but fear not, it won't prevent you from being screwed.
  2. Set up your NAS using RAID to make it unlikely that you will be able to access the drive by placing it in another computer.
  3. Set up a user account for accessing the NAS.
  4. Back up a bunch of files using your user account; make sure the files only have user access granted on them (no group or global access).
  5. Do something to cause a factory reset of the NAS (in my case, a simple power loss was all it took for the system to automatically factory reset itself). This will cause your user account to be deleted.
  6. Congratulations! A non-existant user is now the only person that has access to your files. You are screwed.
How To Unscrew Yourself:
  1. Good news! At least for me. Might depend on your hardware version. But the MGB Raid Pro is basically the same hardware as the RaidSonic IB-NAS4220-B. This is the key to unscrewing yourself.
  2. Download the IB-NAS4220-B 2.6.3.2 firmware from RaidSonic.
  3. Log in to your NAS and use the firmware upgrade page to install the IB-NAS4220-B firmware (specify the tar.gz file which you will have to extract from the zip file you downloaded)
  4. Clear your browser cache and log in to your NAS. You should now see the "IcyHot" web pages rather than the original Galaxy pages. You now have RaidSonic firmware running on your Galaxy NAS. Pretty cool, eh? RaidSonic firmware provides a few abilities the Galaxy firmware does not.
  5. Download the Packages bundle from RaidSonic.
  6. Using a file browser or FTP, navigate on the NAS to the public/applications/new_software and drop the ssh-server.tgz file there (extracted from packages.zip you downloaded).
  7. Restart the NAS.
  8. Use an SSH client (such as Putty) to SSH to your NAS. Log in with user "root", password "admin" (if "admin" doesn't work, try whatever password you have set up for your admin account).
  9. You should now have terminal access to your NAS with the root account. Total awesomeness.
  10. Navigate to the directory where your files are and execute command:
    chmod -R 775 *
  11. Congratulations! Now you don't have to be a non-existant user to access your files; everyone has access to them. You are unscrewed.

(9/9/2009)
A short new poem: Poem of the Passed

(8/26/2009)
Uploaded CatBack version 1.0 for Mac and Windows. Several improvements from the 1.0 CR1 and CR2 versions that were available previously.

(8/24/2009)
Started my 2009 Christmas Wish List. Expect it to be updated a few times before December.

(8/2/2009)
Here is an early beta of the simple Address Book software I wrote. This version is packaged for Windows, though you can use it on a Mac (delete applestub.jar if running on a Mac).

(7/27/2009)
Updated My Computers page.

(7/11/2009)
New version of CatBack uploaded, this time both Windows and Mac versions. Requires Java 1.5+. Download available from the CatBack page.

(3/31/2009)
I have now completed a beta version of my backup software named CatBack. This is a companion to the earier mentioned CopyCat, though CatBack is actually more mature than CopyCat at this point. You can download CatBack and try it out if you like. After you expand the ZIP file, you can run catback by executing catback.jar. You can also use CopyCat if you want by executing copycat.jar, though the only real reason to use it is to take advantage of copy functionality. If you use a Mac, hang on awhile longer; I'll be putting up a .dmg file for CatBack. It's still a beta, so you may find a bug or two if you use it enough. Feel free to email me with feedback or feature requests.

(2/23/2009)
I've written a new Java application called CopyCat. Also made note of it on my Software Projects page.

(2/12/2009)
I brought my Software Projects page up to date. That is all. Have a good day.

(2/5/2009)
So...I set up CVS on my server in the basement to manage my Java source files. In addition to providing file versioning, it allows me to easily work on my code from just about anywhere, which is what I really set it up for. However, it is not a simple task (especially on Windows, as the documentation really doesn't cover Windows). For anyone who wants a quick how to for setting up CVS on Windows, just look below. It's only the bare basics, with no consideration given to security or setting up a proper branch structure, but it will get you up and running. Also, if you hadn't considered it, you might want to also check out Subversion and Git for version control.

Setting Up CVS on Windows

  1. CVS is not really Windows software. It's used mostly on Linux and to a lesser extent Mac OS X. There are a few issues with running CVS on Windows. However, there is a site that markets CVS software for multiple platforms including Windows, and the basic server software is free. Download and install the CVSNT Windows Server software (which at it's heart still uses CVS).
  2. Run the basic CVSNT server utility that should now be in your start menu. You can't do much with it really, but you can at least set up your repository location. Sorry, I don't have a good step-by-step for this, but it's pretty easy to figure out.
  3. Not sure if the CVSNT install sets up the CVSROOT environment variable or not. You can type "echo %CVSROOT%" on the command line. If it doesn't show your repository location, then edit your environment variables and add CVSROOT as a new environment variable with a value equal to your repository path.
  4. Also, for ease of use, you might want to edit your PATH environment variable and add the path to the folder with cvs.exe in it. I think the default location is "C:\Program Files\CVSNT\". Double check to make sure.
  5. The remaining steps assume you have some existing code you wish to move into your new CVS installation. For these steps you will need to use the command line. From the command line, navigate to the folder that has the files you wish to import into CVS.
  6. Run command: cvs import -m "Imported Source" <repository-directory> <name> start
  7. When you set up Eclipse, it will want you to specify a module. So next, we set up a module for the imported code. Run command: cvs checkout CVSROOT/modules
  8. Edit the "modules" file in a text editor and add a new line as follows: <module-name> <repository-directory>
  9. From the same directory where you ran the checkout, check it back in with the following command: cvs commit -m "Added module" CVSROOT/modules
  10. From the same directory, run command: cvs release -d CVSROOT
  11. Set up a windows account to use for accessing CVS. If you are using XP, it will need to have admin privileges due to some glitch. Without admin privileges, you won't be able to check files in.
  12. If it's not done already, you should set up the machine to use a static IP address on your network. Write down the IP address for later. You'll need it when setting up Eclipse on other computers. From the command line, you can just run the following command to get your IP address: ipconfig
  13. I don't think you need to have a username and password for CVS itself; at least, not with this simple install. However, if you do want to add a user and password in CVS, you can use the following command (you should be prompted for password): cvs passwd -a <username>
  14. You should now be able to access your files in Eclipse from anywhere on your network. In Eclipse (and this is specifically for the Ganymede version), go to "File->New->Other...". You should see a folder with name CVS. Open it, select "Projects from CVS" and click "Next".
  15. The next page has a bunch of fields to fill in. for "Host", enter the IP address of your CVS server. In "Repository path", enter the path of the repository.
  16. For user and password, enter the username and password you set up.
  17. Assuming you didn't change it during the install of CVS, leave Connection type as "pserver" using the default port (which is 2401 by the way, something you will need to know if/when you decide to make your files available over the internet). Click "Next".
  18. On the next screen, enter the name of the module you set up and click "Next".
  19. The next 2 pages, the "Check Out As" pages, you can leave everything as it is and click "Next" on both.
  20. You should now be on the "Select Tag" page. If you didn't get fancy and set up proper branches (something I didn't cover here), just select "HEAD" and click "Finish". Your project should now appear in Eclipse if everything worked as planned.

(2/3/2009)
I've set up a stub page for information on the My Movies Java project. It's now called MyMo.

(1/27/2009)
I mentioned in my last update that I've been playing around with the HTML5 canvas functionality. Specifically, I've been writing a graphing engine. You can
see an example here.

1/24/2009

I've been playing around recently with drawing on web pages using the <canvas> tag. Some early adopters of the canvas tag functionality do not provide a way to draw text onto the canvas. Below is a method I wrote that can accomplish this task using absolutely positioned div elements. While I wrote it specifically for canvas, it should actually work on any HTML element, should you find a reason for it. It could use a little more refinement, but it works well enough as shown. So far tested to work on IE6 and Firefox 2+. (note: to use canvas in IE, look up "excanvas" on the web)

PointAlign.LEFT_OF_POINT = 1;
PointAlign.CENTER = 2;
PointAlign.RIGHT_OF_POINT = 3;
PointAlign.ABOVE_POINT = 4;
PointAlign.BELOW_POINT = 5;
function PointAlign() {
}
function drawText(canvasId,text,x,y,hAlign,vAlign,textStyle) {
	var canvas = document.getElementById(canvasId);
	x += canvas.offsetLeft;
	y += canvas.offsetTop;
	var canvasParent = canvas.offsetParent;
	var div = window.document.createElement("div");
	div.appendChild(window.document.createTextNode(text));
	var divStyle = "position:absolute; visibility: hidden; left:0px; top:0px;";
	if (textStyle) {
		divStyle += textStyle;
	}
	var isIE = /*@cc_on!@*/false;	//IE detector
	if (isIE) {
		div.style.setAttribute("cssText",divStyle);
	} else {
		div.setAttribute("style",divStyle);
	}
	// div must be placed before offsetWidth and offsetHeight attributes provide proper numbers
	canvasParent.appendChild(div);
	if (hAlign) {
		if (hAlign == PointAlign.CENTER) {
			x -= Math.round(div.offsetWidth / 2);
		} else if (hAlign == PointAlign.LEFT_OF_POINT) {
			x -= div.offsetWidth;
		}
	}
	if (vAlign) {
		if (vAlign == PointAlign.CENTER) {
			y -= Math.round(div.offsetHeight / 2);
		} else if (vAlign == PointAlign.ABOVE_POINT) {
			y -= div.offsetHeight;
		}
	}
	div.style.left = x + "px";
	div.style.top = y + "px";
	div.style.visibility = "visible";
}

(1/5/2009)
Happy New Year everyone! Been awhile since I updated anything here. I'm currently working on a new program to manage my movie rankings. It's not done yet, but a "beta" version of it is basically done. It is responsible for updating and building the My Movie Rankings page. The new page look is somewhat unfinished at the moment, but I went ahead and uploaded it anyway. In addition to adding about 40 new titles, the new page can now be sorted by clicking on the table column headings.

(4/25/2008)
The Bradford Pear trees are blooming, and once again I feel an overwhelming urge to buy a chainsaw. The ninja-stench of the Bradford Pear tree is insidious. For awhile you will smell nothing, and just when you think it's safe to breath again, it hits you like a ton of rotten fish. Why? Why plant these horrific trees? Sure, they are pretty. But do people really favor something that looks good rather than something that smells good? I don't know, but I myself would much rather have an ugly tree that smells good than a pretty tree that smells...well...like a Bradford Pear.

PS: The surveillance server is coming back soon! Stay tuned!

(4/17/2008)
I discovered something interesting about my D-Link router today. As I was examining it's operation, I discovered that the login page, after submission, was not returning a cookie with a session ID. Normally when logging into a web application, the website will set a cookie with a session ID. This ID is how the website knows you are logged in, and it is used to identify you as you move from page to page on the website. So how does the router know I am logged in? To my surprise, it apparently doesn't. After successful log-in, it redirects to a page that is not secured in any way. Meaning I don't have to log in at all. I can access any page on the router so long as I go directly to that page. I wonder how many other routers out there are like this? Next I need to try enabling the remote management and see if it suffers from the same lack of security when accessing it from the Internet.

(11/11/2007)
Added recipe for the best chili ever to my cookbook.

(10/6/2007)
Parts of this site is getting way out of date. I'm considering dropping this site in favor of scottandcari.net, the joint website for my wife and I. Our joint website is currently still dedicated only to our wedding, but it will be expanded and become our future home on the web in the months to come.

(8/29/2007)
Here's a little something goofy for everyone:

New Page! (1/27/2007)
Check out my new page on Alternative Fuel Vehicles. It only has information on electric vehicles at the moment, but I'll try to expand on it later. Cari and I will be keeping our eyes on both Tesla and Phoenix Motors. Maybe someday Ford or Chevy will offer something more than half-assed hybrid attempts.



Red Panda

I recently ran across this curious and cute little creature while browsing the web. It is a native of China, and is most commonly known as the Red Panda. However, it is also known as the Fire Fox. This immediately got me thinking about the best browser for the web, the Firefox browser. I've always thought the Firefox browser mascot was just a fox with a fiery tail, but maybe someone had the Red Panda in mind when the browser was given it's name.


New Poem! (1/17/2007)
In Dreams, dedicated to Murphy.

New Link! (1/9/2007)
Check out University of Pittsburgh professor Bernard L. Cohen's publication on The Nuclear Energy Option. It's old, but a good read. At least read Chapter 14, which gives a good argument for how other alternative energy options are supplements, and not replacements for nuclear power.

New Page! (10/26/2006)
I've added a page on Moral Dilemmas that I extracted from a book I read. It is not in the main drop-down menu as it's just a temporary page that I will take down after awhile. Read it while it's there -- it includes an excerpt of the book covering some rather interesting thought experiments.

Recently Updated! (9/6/2006)
Updated My Movies with the latest ratings. Since January, I have apparently watched 27 previously unranked movies, which takes me up from 290 titles to 317 titles. Also made some minor updates to the Cookbook (added new ingredient to queso recipe and made a few new recommendations here and there).

- End Updates -
All updates prior to 9/1/2006 have been purged.



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Murphy and I

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Earth

One Earth...

One Chance...

Our Home.

Help keep Earth clean and safe...

...a place we can be proud to call home.





Shadow and Sun

poem art

Sometimes we are the sun,
shining light on everyone;
keeping the world from an eternal night,
to bring us day this must be done.

Sometimes we are the shadow,
hiding from the light of day;
out of sight despite the suns glow,
only darkness leads the way.

Sometimes we are the man between,
sometimes hidden sometimes seen;
on one side shadow and on one side sun,
it is the nature of our being.

So when you turn and see your shadow,
and feel like running far away;
just turn again and see there's sometimes sun,
and light will brighten up your day.

-- Scott (~2/2004)




Gifts of Life and Love

I once had love, but it had a cost
Once was found, but now is lost.
The grandest gift, if one could choose
The grandest gift, that one can lose.

You and I, forever together
Simple dreams, nothing better.
But like a sunset, an end of day
You leave me cold, and drift away.

Thoughts of darkness that will never end
But time does pass and renew again.
A new day dawns and the sun does rise
Bringing forth again those beautiful skies.

despite the sadness, despite the loss
I find I'm stronger despite the cost.
hurt and strife, I rise above
for the gifts we know as life and love.

-- Scott (~11/2004)




I wrote this one in 15 minutes while tipsy. However, I don't think it accurately depicts my philosophy, so I'll elaborate a bit. My chief complaint with the war in Iraq is that the political and military leadership has not sufficiently communicated to the public why we are there, what steps we are taking, and why we believe it is the right thing to do. Details are key. Give us a web site, or news briefings, or something, where we can read about some of the good tasks we are performing in Iraq. Leaving the public both here and abroad somewhat in the dark breeds doubt and discontent, and endangers proper historical record. We need at least enough information to give us confidence, and I do not think we are getting it.

Dogs Are Barking

dogs are barking
from their house on capital hill
never taking action
barking and standing still

meanwhile our guns are ablaze
fire lights the night sky
for years months and days
how many will die?

do we bring them liberation
or might we have gone wrong
are we an empirial nation?
who would Jesus bomb?

allies turn their backs
debts burn faster than cinders
dogs in their packs
how will history remember?

-- Scott (5/27/2005)




Tonight I was thinking about my someone special, as I often do. I cannot think of a good way to express or share my feelings in a way that sufficiently explains how much I care about her and all she has added to my life. Nevertheless, I have tried to encapsulate these feelings into a short poem about the love that we share.

Our Love
Dedicated to Cari

a tribute to love
and to whom I adore
for the love we have
to share and explore

together in love
together we care
deep in our hearts
forever to share

a feeling of content
that will never die
a wonderful peace
that lives deep inside

-- Scott (7/30/2005)




This is a song I wrote, though I don't have any actual music to play with it. This is sort of a rough draft, and is still subject to edit. I will try to compose the music for it at a later date.

Time and Friends

-1st segment-

I saw you walking down the street
Kicking rocks, staring at your feet
head hung low, walking slow
A heavy weight upon your shoulder

I walk closer, I start to approach
But I stop, I don't want to encroach
What should I do? I feel for you
The day is getting colder

I decide to follow you to work
I can see your feeling hurt
I saw you cry, but don't know why
There must be someway I can help her

Working at the corner station
Selling gas to endless patrons
I walk in the store through the door
Your selling tickets at the counter

-chorus-

Keep living
I've been there too
Don't give in
There's more life ahead of you

Keep searching
There's nothing else to do
You'll make it
Time will see you through

-2nd segment-

I stand there feeling sort of foolish
I'm not sure how that I should do this
Grab a can of pop in hand
I slap it on the counter as something to buy

She slowly spins around in place
She seems relieved to see a friendly face
She looks at me and I can see
She's near breaking down - a tear is in her eye

I say what is someone so smart and pretty
doing working in this part of the city?
doing chores for this store
Working for them when they should be working for you?

You say my life is mostly stalled
Sometimes I think of ending it all
But you come by again, and I remember when
you said "with time and friends you'll make it through"

-2nd chorus-

Keep living
I've been there too
Don't give in
There's more life ahead of you

Keep searching
There's nothing else to do
You'll make it
Time will see you through

-last segment-

You have your stories
and some of them are bad
We all have our stories
but they won't all be sad

Don't give up on time
Time won't give up on you
Don't give up on friends
Time and friends will see you through

- ending chorus -

Keep living
I've been there too
Don't give in
There's more life ahead of you

Keep searching
There's nothing else to do
You'll make it
Time will see you through

Keep living
We've all been there
Don't give in
to hate and dispair

Keep searching
There's nothing else to do
You'll make it
Friends will care for you

-fade out-

Friends will care for you
Time will see you through

Friends like me and you
In time we'll make it through

-- Scott (8/23/2005)




The Game

Life's a game. You have to play it. Play it right, and you just might make it.
They'll tell you it's not, they'll tell you that a lot. But watch them close, they'll take their piece and play it.

For every ninja in game, you'll find a ninja in life. They'll try to take your job, or even steal your wife.
Play it wrong, and you'll be called a villian. Play it right, and you're a hero to millions.

It's all in how you play, and that's the scary thing. That the villain and hero might have done the same.
Villain behind bars while the hero lives large, and that makes the hero worse, but that's how you play the game.

The righteous man stops...to think about it. How can he win the game without being corrupted by it?
Villainous hero or heroic villian. What to do? So he plays to hold; neither win nor lose.

But maybe that's the real game, like it was all a secret. To neither win nor lose, just pick a spot and keep it.
Can drive a man insane, to try and think about it. Where if you win you lose, but if you hold you win it.

So hold the line; that's the battle plan. Don't reach the bottom or top, just be the middle man.
So if you're on the right, move into the middle. For the middle's right; just come left a little.

A game where if you win you lose, but if you hold you win it. But you have to play; you're already in it.
And once you're centered and righteous, then just stay the same. Can't really do any better in this crazy game.

-- Scott (3/16/2006)




In Dreams
Dedicated to Murphy

Nothing can begin without an end.
But no matter how much I will miss you now, I'd do it all again.
And maybe it's not as final as it seems.
Maybe I will see you in my dreams.

I cried as I layed you out to rest.
But if you're still out there somewhere, and can hear one last request...
It doesn't have to be as final as it seems.
Will you come visit me, come visit in my dreams?
If you're still there somehow and fate allows, come and be my guest.
It doesn't have to be as final as it seems.
Come visit me, come visit in my dreams.

-- Scott (1/17/2007)




Poem of the Passed


living life
but can't find peace
in life their's joy
but only in death release

cry for now
if you must
but peace is found
in ashes and dust

-- Scott (9/9/2009)




Woo Is You


In the beginning when it was new,
apparently there was plenty of woo.
Now time has passed and busy we are;
the woos have grown silent and few and far

Where are the woos, where did they go?
How do we find them, does anyone know?
What streets do we search, what sands do we comb?
What do we do to bring them back home?

I looked in the closet, found only my cat
You looked in your shoes, but that's not where they're at
We've looked everywhere, now what do we do?
Woo is me and woo is you.

And that's when we remembered they cannot be found
No pockets will yield them when shook upside down
My cat did not eat them or bat them away
They have not been lost or wandered astray

A woo's not a noun to be found in a bin
A woo is a verb and comes from within
So where are you my Love? Whom I wish to woo?
And the rest of you, go woo someone too!

-- Scott (6/2/2010)




Of Love


Dreams of those in our past
Souls come and go
memories last
Heartfelt stories...

of love.

With those we have laughed
For those we have cried
Their mark burns eternal
forever inside

The places my heart has been
Mountains of hope and valleys of doubt
Careful with who I fall in
I don't know how to fall out...

of love.

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