Oh, hey, by the way. My pal Dave tells me his referrer logs show a lot of traffic coming from a comment he left on this very page. (In fact, right now, it seems to be his number one referral.)

So, just think of it: Leave me a little comment, and tah-dah, more traffic to your site!

Friends helping friends, that's what it's all about, Baby.

In what way does "Sharon" sound like "Susan"? I am constantly amazed at how many people make that error.

Ah, here we go. The Poltergeist snaps you into action from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Yeah, it felt like that.

On a more upbeat note, Ben and Tosha took us to Fiesta Texas in San Antonio yesterday. We rode an incredible assortment of roller coasters. It was a marvelous day. Let's see...

I was about to say, "All coasters are steel, except where noted," except that they were *all* steel. Is the wooden coaster a thing of the past? That would be sad. But perhaps they just can't compete for the affections of today's thrill-a-minute audiences.

We started with the Boomerang, which pulls you backwards up the hill and then drops (back through the station), where you then zip off through a loop and an inverted turn and some other confusing things, until you climb up a hill that matches the initial one. And then... kwa-ping! Off you go, backwards through the whole thing again. Tee hee hee! Backwards was definitely better.

Next, we were disappointed by the Warner Brothers coaster, partly because we walked about a mile through the maze, built to accomodate crowds that would never be there again. It had the look and feel of a wooden coaster, yet it was steel. It just never managed to be particularly thrilling. There were some cute cartoon references scattered through the maze and along the coaster track, but, well, ho-hum. And then when we disembarked, we were funnelled through a Warner Brothers logo store. Tacky.

Not to worry, because (bum-ba-da-Daaah-dum) Superman was next! *repressed chortle of glee* This may well be one of my new favorite coasters. It's "floorless" (so, neither upright, nor suspended. Just chairs without floors.), and because I was wearing sandals, I had to ride barefoot. Woo hoo hoo! The loops and turns were wonderfully enhanced by the misty wind rushing between my toes. Somewhere through the track there was a corkscrew turn that caught me totally by surprise and elicited a real scream. Genius!

The order of events gets a little fuzzy for me here, but we went on the bumper cars, to Jon's great delight, and the carousel, at my request. And then we went on the Wave Swinger (Dorney Park name)/Die Fliedermaus (Fiesta Texas name), the big swing thingy. You know what I mean. Once again, I was "required" to ride barefoot. Oh, this was a true delight. I took off my hat, held my arms out to the sides, closed my eyes, and let my shoeless feet hang free in the wind. "I'm flying, Jack." Jon replied, "I still haven't seen that movie." Hmph, boys.

Then, with questionable wisdom, we had lunch. The less said, the better.

Ooh! Go Carts! Ah, but no sandals allowed--and this time, no bare feet, either. So Tosha and I sat and watched as our boys raced around the track. Very earnest, they were. Maybe this is the way to get Jon jazzed about learning to drive... (Better that than the bumper cars.)

Okay, so there's this huge pillar into the sky, this Masochist's Tower of Babel, where you can willingly get flung into the heavens and then unceremoniously dropped back out of them. And Tosha just had to go. And, therefore, so did I. Because it holds 12 people at a time and this was the first attraction that we actually had to wait for (it was after noon by now), I got to watch this so called "Scream" quite a few times. Folks sit on little chairs, their toes free in the breeze (moreso, for the sandal wearers), they get strapped in, and then Pow!, they're gone. Then they drop back down, seemingly in free fall, bounce back up like a bungee cord, get a few seconds to contemplate their fate at the top, and then Zing!, back towards the ground. Whooptee. But I wasn't going to be stopped by some irrational thing like fear. And, I got to take my shoes off again. Turns out, it was wonderful. I sat on the side away from the park, and I could see for miles--red, desert-y rocks, patches of greenery, flat land stretching away forever. And the drop really wasn't quite free-fall, so I didn't get that tingly feeling in my tummy. If the line weren't so long, I think I would have pushed to do it again, so I could get a different view.

Oooh, the Poltergeist. Now here is an impressive coaster. The train fills up in the station and then--kwa-ping, it's gone. No chain, no laborious climb up a hill, just instant speed. It was so surreal looking from the station. Even more so from the train. So we're fired out of the station like a rail gun and catapulted into a dense tangle of turns and loops. As the ride started to wind down, with momentum running out, we then start to go faster and faster, unbelievably so. The sense of speed was probably augmented by the fact that reason says we should have been slowing down. More swoops, more screams, and then, rest, and rolling into the station. Wild! We figure it must use electromagnets, which made Jon realize the pun in the name: A poltergeist throws things around without touching them. It is a masterpiece of technology.

Was that all? I think so. It was a very full day, and we all realized that we are, in fact, aging. We finished up with a funnel cake, for old times' sake. Then back to Ben and Tosha's for water, pasta, and recovery.

Ah, dentistry.

Went to the dentist this morning, about four months overdue for my four-month cleaning. I got a deep gum cleaning *shudder* and a good scraping *goosebumps*. I also made a follow-up appointment for October 4th, to get impressions taken for a new bite guard, to protect my teeth from grinding at night. This dentition thing is, like, a full-time job.

So, the dentist appointment was at 9:00, so I figured I'd just go to it directly. I got into the office at 10:30 and got rounded up at 11 for a farewell luncheon for a co-worker. Back in the office at 1, full of tofu and cheesecake, punting around and feeling sleepy. But everything is nearly ready for my code deployment next Friday. Yay.

I'm telling you, we need nap rooms...

Back in the groove. Making up for last week's inability to program, getting back on schedule. Also, made some headway on the project Dad asked me to do for his company. Woo woo.

Watch out for spam collecting donations. That would be the easiest scam in the book. Stick to reputable sources.

Happy update of reassuring news items:

My Uncle David is alive and well! He lives in California and travels back and forth to New York all the time. I finally found my aunt, his sister, online, and she gave me the reassuring news that she has talked to him.

My best friend Tameka has a brother who was at the Pentagon and stepped out to get something from his car at just the right moment, so he is fine, too.

And beloved Faith in New York is fine and has found all of her friends who still worked in the WTC, and they are fine.

To my knowledge, no one I know was harmed.

I just had a very illuminating conversation. It turns out that the irritating guy listening to music without headphones... is using headphones. He just has it *that* loud. Yikes.

Time Bandits was good. The DVD has commentary from Terry Gilliam, which I hope to listen to tonight. ^_^

My e-friend Michael over at Agent9 shares a nice sentiment: There are so many heroes.

Surely you've heard about the request to wear red, white, and blue tomorrow. I like it. When I got the (first) email about it, I was struck by a great idea that I'm going home to paint on a t-shirt tonight: A sunrise, with the horizon washed in red, white, and blue (so that the sun is rising over the flag), with the text, "It is darkest before the dawn."

And now, after a day of using Blogger to keep me sane(ish), I'm heading home. A coworker has lent me Time Bandits. Should be a good evening.

I. Got. Stuff. Done.

Programming stuff, even. Put the headphones on, loaded about 50 mp3s into Sonique, hit Shuffle a few times and then Play, and programmed. Whee.

Ah-ha. Reblogger lost its old hosting location, hence the errors on the page and in the commenting system. Jesse has found a new one, so we're back in business.

I was getting dressed this morning, trying to make as little noise and light as possible, and I noticed that Jon was smiling at me. His eyes were just barely open, and his brain was ever so slightly awake, and he was just smiling at me.

So I have now decided that being smiled at by the sleepy person you love is simply the best way to start a day.

I love my text editor even more. Select a chunk, hit Shift+tab, and it scoots it out one level.

So, what a disconcerting state of affairs. If Reblogger is down, my blog is offline. Gotta get my own PHP-powered commenting system going.

Humorous Speech contest tonight, with Toastmasters. I'm competing, but I'm more nervous about the logistics of the contest, since I'm the club President. No real responsibility, but all of the blame. Sigh.

Code for my project at work is working! This morning, when you edited an item and clicked Save, it cheerfully deleted the item. Then, when you edited this other thing over here, my code very helpfully deleted everything on the page! I've fixed that now. I am much relieved.

I have an unpleasant lump on my finger. I think it's a spider bite. The area is all red (right on my cuticle. Yow!) and puffed up. And boy, does it itch!

What? No, I'm not going to tell you what my humorous speech topic is. Espionage, and all that. I'll tell you tomorrow.

Oh, shoot! We'd meant to borrow Time Bandits from Ben before leaving yesterday. I just have a hankering to see it again. Jon's only seen it once and doesn't get my references, so we *have* to remedy that.

Ohmygoodness, I love my text editor. I just discovered that clever little UltraEdit will indent an entire chunk of code if you highlight it and press the tab key. See, you use levels of indentation to keep the hierarchy of your code straight, and if you want to move this piece from here to there, you'll probably have to go along and put a tab in front of every line, to scoot it in to where it's supposed to be. But not with UltraEdit! Select the piece, press the tab key, and viola: Indentation.

I am so happy.

I did it, I did it, I did it! I fixed my broken code that has been plaguing me since Friday. I had a moment of insight in the locker room this morning after T'ai Chi. The insight was right, but I implemented it wrong this morning, so I thought I hadn't solved it. Looking over the flowchart I made this weekend, I saw where I'd goofed. Tweak here and there... and Kwa-Pow, it works! Whoopee.