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User Journal

Journal: I just don't know what to say.

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

I don't know what to say, or how to start this. I have been plagued by this for the past year. I have some very good friends that are going through a more painful time than I can even imagine.

Around June 27th in 2004, my friend's daughter Claire started getting frustrated and was getting head aches because for some reason her vision was being blurred. Her parents immediately took her to the hospital. After a lot of testing, the family was informed that Claire had a rare, inoperable brain tumor that was putting stress on her optic nerve. They were told that they could treat it, and prolong her life, but the doctors seemed to agree on one thing. This tumor was not going to be healed, and would eventually kill this six year old girl.

When I was told, I was crushed. I immediately thought about my daughter, Raechel, and what I would do if we were in the same situation. I just couldn't believe this girl that I remember as a little baby was going to die.

She was given one to two years to live. As we come up on the one year mark, it is starting to look like that time line was about right. Unless God intervenes, I believe that Claire will die with in the next month or two.

It's so hard for me, because I see Shane (Claire's father and my friend) everywhere I go. I tear up everytime I see him and/or his wife. Raechel sleeps in Claire's old crib. Everytime I put Raechel to bed, I think about the joy that Claire has been to the Tatoms. I think about the joy that they must have had putting Claire in that same crib.

My human heart prays for her to heal and be better so that she could spend more time here with us. However, my spiritual heart knows that while the miricle of her being healed would show an awesome power that God has, I know that if she were to pass quickly then she would no longer be in pain, and she would not have to go through the pain and temptations that we go through. Sometimes I feel that she would be the lucky one if God were to take her from us now.

I don't know what spiritual backgrounds people have around here, but I would ask you to keep Claire Tatom and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Her family definatally needs strength and comfort. I love this family, and my heart breaks everytime I talk to them or even drive down the road and see a sign that says "Pray for Claire Tatom and her family."

For more information on Claire Tatom visit the Fortville Christian Church web site (to avoid complaints about web site design, I did not design this site. There is supposed to be a flash nav bar at the top of the page. It shows in IE but not anything else. I have told the developer about the coding error, and how to fix it, but he never has)

You can also read updates that Amber (Claire's mom) write on this livejournal

User Journal

Journal: The Demise of Slashdot 2

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

I am so tired of the ridiculous changes Slashdot continues to put in their rules for posting. I can understand banning proxies. 95% of posts sent from proxies were/are crapfloods and stupid trolls (as opposed to good trolls).

Then I start having issues, posting bans when you post one maybe two posts that piss some people off, or people miss the joke and you get modded down to -1. This happened to me. I posted a joke that people obviously didn't think was funny so they modded it down. (hint: if you don't want this type of joke posted, then don't tell readers he will answer their burning questions). Also on a side note to moderators: Don't be such an ass to mod something down as overrated, if you aren't sure that it will stand up to metamoderation, then maybe you shouldn't down mod it.

Next the 2 minute between posts ban. as has been pointed out to me, this only stops humans from posting, not scripts.

In general, I have a problem with the lameness filter. If I want to look like and ass by posting all caps, then let me. Maybe after being flamed enough, I would stop. If a troll just does it to piss someone off, then they will just find another way to do it.

Now they require you to read this illegible image and type the text in before you can post. This pisses me off anywhere that uses this. It takes too much effort to try to figure out. At least make the text REAL WORDS.

How long will it be until they do this with journals too? I could fill several people's email boxes up by writing a script that puts a bunch of journal entries in within seconds of each other. Don't worry, I won't do that.
There are plenty of other sites that allow you to post with out having to go through a bunch of shit in order to post. They aren't having these problems that /. has. The people who make these decisions to try to quell tolling/crapflooding with these posting rules need to understand that by further restricting posting rules, you are pissing off that many more people who are going to eventually either stop posting/reading or they will begin abusing the system themselves.

Am I the only one that feels this way?

Star Wars Prequels

Journal: Another Episode III Journal

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

Since everyone else is putting in Journal Entries for Star Wars, I figured I would join in on the fun.

I went to a midnight show here in wonderful Indianapolis, and it was amazing. Wonderful story telling, which is what it is all about for me. The acting wasn't all that great, but it was better than Episode II.

Last night, I was looking at one of our local drive-in theaters thinking that there was little to no hope of Star Wars playing there. Needless to say it was a pleasent surprise to see that it was. Not only was it playing, but they were showing it twice. Now came time to convince the wife that it was a good idea to spend the money on it. I called her and told her that if she let me go see Episode III again this weekend that I would take her to see Fever Pitch. This confused her because how could I convince her to spend money going to see 1 movie by promising to spend money on a second movie? I then told her it was at the drive in, and the Episode III would play twice, and we only had to pay $8 per person.

So it looks like Saturday I will be there. I might have to go back looks like I might have to go next Saturday too, they say the will have guys dressed ad Darth Vader an a Storm Trooper. The midnight show I went to had people who "dressed up", but it was very sad. Of course it would have helped if I went to the theater that the Indy Knights (local fan club, duh) went to.

Star Wars Prequels

Journal: Star Wars Celebration 3 1

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

This weekend, it seems living in Indianapolis is finally going to pay off. Star Wars Celebration 3 is in town and it has everyone here talking. Most people making fun of it of course. But people like me are excited about it. While I have been excited about it too, I have also been saddened by it. I mean I live in the city that the biggest Star Wars event (outside of premiers) is being held, and my dumb luck that I have had nothing but bad luck lately. My wife has recently been sick and had to go to the hospital for pneumonia. My daughter has been to the doctor a couple of times because she is throwing up very badly and... well let's just say she has been throwing up and down if you know what I mean.

So it looked looked like I would not be attending the convention. Then I heard George Lucas himself was going to be here, and that renewed my desire to go. Alas financing was still a problem... Until last night. I got a call at about 8pm and it was my mom. I have been doing a lot of upgrades on her computer with no charge (I mean she's family). Pretty much I have used extra hardware sitting around the house to build her a new decent machine. Well, it appears that she wants to show how much she appreciates what I have done by paying for me and my wife to go to Star Wars Celebration. So it looks like tomorrow, I will get to go and enjoy a day at the convention (depending on my daughter's health)(and if it's not sold out).

I'm so excited. Anyone else going to be going this weekend (yes, I know it started today.)

In other news, I have heard about a group of storm troopers that are marching on the Indiana State House today. They are trying to get legislation passed that would build a new/expanded convention center and a new stadium for the Colts.

XBox (Games)

Journal: Xbox Live!(and other stuff) 1

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

It's been so long since I have posted a JE. So many things have happened, it's unbelievable. I'm working at a new job that has 0 room for job growth, but I have some leads on some other opportunities that could possibly lead to a more satisfying job.

Other things going on. My daughter just turned 1 year old a month ago. It's amazing the changes that fatherhood brings into your life. It has meant many sleepless nights, and many trips to the doctor, but I'd do it all again. Unfortunatally, my wife hasn't been handling it the same. She was just diagnosed with post-partum depression a couple of weeks ago, and I can tell she feels weird about that. I just keep telling her that it is normal and happens to alot of women. That seems to give her some amount of comfort, but I can still see that it bothers her.

Also in the past year, I have been subscribed to XBox Live. I love it. I will not go back to playing with out it. I'm flat out hooked. Are there others here hooked up on XBox Live? If so, you're welcome to game with me anytime. My gamer tag is GrandMoffTarkin . I have mostly been playing Halo 2, but I think I'm going to get Ghost Recon2 soon. I have a couple of other Live games, but those are the ones I play most of the time now.

I'm going to actually try to keep up on my journal this year though.

User Journal

Journal: Vacation Time. 1

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

So how does the average Slashdotter use his/her vacation time?

For me, I just started my job so I only get 1 week vacation. I had a difficult time deciding how to use it this year, but eventually I had the descision made for me. You see, usually (when I have more time) I go on a mission trip with my church and I also take a group of kids to a christian convention in Johnson City, TN (Home of Milligan Bible College). This year I had to decide whether to go the a mission trip to DC or take my youth ministry staff to a convention. We didn't have enough people to go on the mission trip this year (for the first time), so it looked like my mind was made up for me.

Some people ask me why I don't take that time to relax, and I just tell them that I am relaxing when I am doing that kind of stuff.

How do you use your vacation time?

User Journal

Journal: Baby Stuff 2

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

It's been awhile since I have posted any news on my wife's pregnancy. I have been busy and haven't been able to keep up reading Slashdot, much less posting to it. Thank God these editors love to post dupes, maybe I'll be able to catch up on some old stories.

Anyway, we went to the Doctor last week and had an ultrasound done and we found out that we're having a GIRL. The ultra sound picture was pretty clear in showing that to us. It was almost like she knew what we were looking for and said, "Here! See? Now go away!". I am excited. I get to be the intimidating dad that her boyfriends get to be scared of.

I thought for sure that we were having a boy, and there was a short window of time where I was disappointed that we weren't. I mean, all that my family knows how to have are boys. My mom was the only girl, no sisters & 3 brothers. My brother 2 boys. My dad had 1 sister. My mom gave birth to 3 boys. She was pregnant with a girl though, but she lost her about 5-6 months into the pregnancy.

I tell you about my (dead) baby sister only to help explain the next part of the story.

After the miscarriage my mom was put into a depression that she still has never recovered from. She has been angry at the world for about 10 years now. She hates my father, because she blames him for the miscarriage. It has been a task for me to even talk to her because she has so much bitterness pinned up inside her.

So I call my mom on the phone last Thursday to tell her our news. I tell her that we are having a girl and she starts bawling... I don't even know if that is the proper word to use. I would call it wailing. She cried so loud that my wife heard her in the next room with the TV on.

My wife and I have hope that this girl will help bring healing to her. I hope that this ends her hatred toward God for taking her daughter. I hope she can find God somewhere in this.

User Journal

Journal: Long Life Light Bulb

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

My house is full of energy efficiant florecent light bulbs. We use them in most of our lamps. Low cost, and rarly needing to be replaced. I love them. I ran accross a web site today that tells of the world's longest burning light bulb. It was first powered up in 1901 and has been burning ever since. It is used as a continuously burning night light over the fire engines of the Livermore, CA Fire Department. Lots of photos and even a web cam of all the action.

User Journal

Journal: 5th Anniversay Coming Up 2

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

Wow! It hardly seems like it's been 5 years since my wife and I were married, but as of August 15th it will have been. So what shall we do? We live just outside of Indianapolis, IN. We have been considering driving up to Toronto for the weekend (It's about 8 hours from where I live). Anyone know of a good place to stay up there? Things to do/see? Neither of us have been to Canada yet, so we thought it would be neat.

Anyone have any better ideas?

Linux

Journal: My First Linux Install 3

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

Well, today, I am preparing to embark on a new journey. I have yet to install Linux on any of my boxes, but I have got a spare that I have nothing to do with right now, so I figured it would be time to install RedHat 9 and start learning all that I can about linux.

Here are my foreseeable problems. I don't know where to go to find drivers for my hardware. Do the ISO's I downloaded include drivers for a lot of products? Do I need to look around the net to find them?

Specifially I have an Intel EtherExpress PRO B thatI don't know that I can find drivers for. I'm concerned about the rest of the hardware, but I can deal with a generic video driver until I can find the right one, but I have to have network connectivity.

Any suggestions are appriciated. I figured, of all people, Slashdot readers could help me with this.

User Journal

Journal: Well... The Pictures are in... 1

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

I went with my wife for her first ultra sound today. I must say, guys, if you and your wives have childeren, you will have a whole new respect for women.

I took my wife to the doctor yesterday for her first exam. For those who don't know, the first exam is really just her yearly check up. I recommend not going to this one. Where they take what can only be described by me as reversed salad tongs and use it to allow them to get... let's just say a deeper look at things. They do several other things that I wish that I had not witnessed, also.

But today was the big day. We went in for her first ultrasound. It is truely awesome to see those first pictures and hear the heart for the first time. We are only about 11 weeks in so I can't tell if I have my boy yet or not.

When I first thought of an ultrasound, I thought of them putting that jelly stuff on my wife's belly and watching them put the little ultrasound thing on her belly, but what they don't tell you is that before 13 weeks, you cannot see the baby that way, but they do have a way to do it... I think you could have knocked me over with a feather when they said the words "vaginal probe"... I thought they were kidding at first, but to my dismay, they weren't... It was awkward at first looking at the pictures, thinking of what the lab technition was doing to my wife, but I got over it...

She says that it is kind of awkward, like having someone else's finger up your nose... and was not sexual in any way (which I didn't figure it was, but I had kind of hoped because the lab technition was kinda hot... :)

Anyway, we have out first pictures!!! and we are excited!!!

User Journal

Journal: What to do when work keeps getting worse... 2

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

Can someone give some advice here? I am in a job right now, where the health benefits are already expensive, and the company (not the insurance company) is lowering how much they will contribute towards the cost of health care. When I started (Dec. 2, 2002), insurance was quoted to me as $175 per pay period (2x per month) for my wife and my self. In Feb, when I became eligable for coverage, they dropped all contributions for dependants (ie. my wife) and would only contribute 60% toward an employee's benefits(that puts me paying $278 per pay period).

April, the company announces that the insurance company has decided to raise our insurance rates... (now I am paying $298 per pay period)

The company has dropped all matching for 401K.

The company just put out a memo stating that starting July 1 they will only contribute 50% towards employee benefits (0% toward dependants), they will pay 0% for any dental/vision (in which we were paying 50% of before).

All said and done, I am looking at $300 per pay period for health insurance, and about $50 per month for vision/dental.

What should I do? I really enjoy the job, but I am afraid I am going to end up paying them to aloow me to work for them.

(BTW: after all the insurance hikes, I am now making about$6000/yr less than I was at my old job (which I cannot go back to because they no longer have any programming staff)

Oh Also, when the baby arrives (late December/early January) I will be paying $425 per pay period for family...

The Internet

Journal: Do Business While Doing Your Business 1

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

It seems the Internet has taken a bit of a bathroom break in Britan. You can take care of business and do your business at the same time now. It will also be an excellent form of advertising, as they plan to have toilet paper print with suggested web sites written on it. There is no information about when this will be available in the States. And I thought workstations were already dirtier than toilets...

Announcements

Journal: I Never Thought I'd Make This Announcement 2

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

So I'm at my office yesterday, and at about 11:50 I return to my desk from a meeting. I notice that I have a voice mail from about 5 minutes before I had returned. I check it, and it was a hang up. Only one person I know ever hangs up on my voice mail, so I proceed to call my wife.

She sounded like she had been crying, and I thought to my self, "Oh my, someone has died, or someone is really sick." She then tells me that she had taken a pregnancy test and it came up POSITIVE!!!

This is awesome news in and of itself, but to sweeten the deal:
6 months ago, my wife was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (aka PCOS). She was told, more than likely, due to how severe her case was, we would never have childeren. If we did we would have to be on some expensive & powerful fertility drugs (not covered by insurance). They put her on several medications, one of which being birth control. After 6 months, they doctor said her ovaries have amazing improvements, and that she could go off birth control (which was making her lose her hair). We were told we could start trying to get pregnant when ever. We didn't want to get pregnant right away (trying to buy a house), but we didn't take precautions to prevent it. We always said since we got married (4 1/2 years), that we would get pregnant in God's timing.

This is yet another miricle God has bless me and my wife with, and I have been thanking Him every hour^H^H^H^Hminute since.

Star Wars Prequels

Journal: ASCII Star Wars 1

Journal by Treebeard the Ent

This is a link to the source of the now infamous Star Wars ASCIIMATION project that has been evolving since 97. This guy has stated that he prefers to finish this project on his own (but you are welcomed to do any of the other Star Wars movies).

In his FAQ's he has stated that he doesn't have time to support his Java applet nor the text files, so he would not be making them available for anyone. Fortunatally enough for those of us who are interested, he has left them wide open in a standard zip file on his server. So download and have fun... Just please don't make any ASCII pr0n movies...

(Submitted as Story)

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