Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I'm sure nobody will care about this but me, but I finally downloaded Opera and Mozilla, so that I could test the site's look and feel. And, luckily, they both work great.

Even the JavaScript for creating popup windows works fine, from what I can tell.

Hopefully, if anything doesn't work, people will let me know, so that I can fix it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


It amazes me how many people don't know how to use their headlights properly. So, as a public service, I present the following guide to using the headlights in your vehicle:

  • There are three settings available to you: Parking lights, low beams, and high beams. On modern cars there are also daytime running lights, that are on when none of the other settings are selected.
  • If you turn the headlights knob one click, you have turned on your parking lights.
    • I'm sort of surprised how many drivers don't know this, and think that they have turned on their low beams when they do this, but the first click is for your parking lights.
    • With this setting, you have turned off your daytime running lights, and simply turned on two little orange lights at the front of your car. This means you have less light than you would have with daytime running lights, which further means that your car is less visible to other cars. It does, however, turn on all of the lights on your dashboard, so that you can see the instruments (and radio) at night.
  • If you turn the knob two clicks, you have now turned on your low beams.
    • This is the setting you usually want for driving in the city, or on roads where there is oncoming traffic.
  • Turning on the high beams is different from vehicle to vehicle; you normally put on the low beams first, and then pull the headlight lever towards you until it clicks, or do something else, to get the high beams on. However, on no vehicle I've ever seen do you just keep turning the headlight knob until the high beams come on - you always have to do something separate.

Please investigate your vehicle, and understand how to use the headlights. There are so many people out there turning on their parking lights, thinking that they've turned on their low beams (because the dashboard lights are on inside, I guess), and it annoys me. It doesn't annoy me a lot - just enough to post about.

I wish I had more to write, but my brain is too tired

I'm being asked to do a lot of "business" type stuff at work lately, instead of "nerd" type stuff. Which is fine - it has to happen from time to time.

But it always gives me a headache, and makes me feel so useless. My brain just doesn't work that way; if you ask me to create a PowerPoint with a business case in it, I won't get it the way you want it. If you want me to create a prototype of the solution you want to provide, I can whip it off pretty quick, and everybody's happy.

I'm so tired...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Well NOW I've done it...

I went and gave out the address to my blog today, to someone other than my wife. That means that there is a possibility, however remote, that someone might actually start reading this drivel.

Oh well. It had to start some day. Might as well be now.

P.S. Hi Jennifer! hehe


I'm bored, so I'm posting, but I don't have the energy to really post what I want to write about. So instead, here are the things I would have written about, if I had been more proactive:

  1. Maya Rudolph. Maya is a player on Saturday Night Live, and she is a brilliant actress. Unfortunately, you may never see her doing much other than SNL; she's great at playing characters in a sketch show, but it's hard to tell yet if she could do other things. But the way she loses herself in a part on SNL is amazing to watch. My wife and I have discussed this at length, and we're both impressed with her abilities. If I had more gumption, I could write a very long post about her, but I don't, so I won't.
  2. Luddism. Even though I'm a bona fide hacker, I have very luddist tendencies. (I don't know if "luddist" is really a word, but this is a blog, so I feel free to invent words as often as necessary.) If we didn't have technology, I personally think we'd be a lot happier. Hackers don't tend to believe that, as you may know, but I tend to think the Luddites really have some wisdom the rest of us don't have. I mean, does a car really run better if you put a computer chip in it? Or was it better before, when it was all mechanical, and anyone could fix it? (How many people do you know who have had a warning light come on, only to bring it to the dealer and find out that it's the warning light that's broken, not the thing it's supposed to be monitoring?)

Anyway, enough of this. Maybe the next time I post I'll either have something real to say, or have enough patience to write a real post.

Friday, March 25, 2005

MSN Messenger

So I joined the MSN Messenger club a number of years ago, and I've changed some of my chatting ways. For example, I use emoticons all the time these days. It took me a while - for the first year or so I had my emoticons turned off, and I only used text smileys, like :-) and stuff. But everyone else was using them, so I finally had to give in, and use emoticons myself.

But one thing I never got used to was the way people keep changing their display names, and putting up song lyrics and crap.

"So, what's your name?"

"Oh, my name is 'raindrops keep falling on my head but that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin red'."

"I... see. Um... my name is serna."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Works in progress

Because I'm too lazy to do any work, I'll spend some time writing about the writing that I'm not doing.

Here are the things I'm currently working on:

  • God in the Driver's Seat. This book is a drawn-out modern-day parable, which I feel has a number of applications in Christian life. This work is currently in the editing phase; I've given the first draft of the manuscript to my pastor and my wife. My pastor has already given it back, rife with comments, and I've promptly set it aside, to collect dust until I can summon enough courage to work on it again. Let's be clear about this: I hate the editing phase! It doesn't matter how good my self esteem is; when I get back a manuscript, with changes, corrections, and "man, I can't believe you thought this was a good point" comments on every page, I get very close to depression.
    (To be fair, I haven't read any of my pastor's comments yet, so I don't know if he was that harsh on me. He can't be half as bad as the computer nerds who did the technical editing for my computer book... If you ever want to write a book, don't write a book about computers! Because it will be read by technical people, who will tear it to shreds, and have no pity on you! Computer nerds make the worst technical editors.)
  • There is also an as yet untitled novel I'm working on, about a computer nerd who becomes a spy. This, my friends, is an act of hubris by an author who hasn't yet earned the right to produce an act of hubris. Jeez; a spy novel? Sheesh! Luckily, I've gotten stuck on the plot, so it may never see the light of day, and I may never have to deal with the harsh criticism of my peers and betters.
  • There is Using Microsoft Word, which outlines some best practices for using the word processor to its best effect. Now this is the type of writing I do most often; it started as a simple little document, with some best practices for my coworkers. Then I added a little more, and a little more, and the next thing I knew I had over 80 pages written, and lots more I could write about. I probably won't try to sell this one or anything, I'll just continue distributing it for free. But there are enough people around who use Word badly that I have no problem trying to help them out.

So now that I have a blog, what will happen to my works in progress? Oh, the same thing that happened before I had a blog.


A quick [and useless] post

The funniest conversation I've heard in a while:

The three year old we're babysitting: My feet are all sweaty!
My Wife: Then air them out!

Okay, so maybe you had to be there, but I thought it was hilarious.

It's funny...

Reading someone else's blog, even if that blog happens to have no redeeming value at all, and is pretty much a waste of time to read, still inspires me to post to mine.

And now I've wasted your valuable time.

(Well, okay, to be fair, if you're reading this, your time can't be that valuable...)

Stabbed in the heart

No, not me. My heart is okay, for the time being.

I just finished talking to a friend on MSN Messenger. She was just dumped, and she's broken up because she thought he was "the one". (I don't know how broken up - I always seem to catch people on Messenger just as they're about to leave...)

The thing that really tears me is that this woman is perfect. She's smart, funny, compassionate, amazingly beautiful. (She's even been a sunshine girl - twice!) If she were Christian, she'd be the whole package. If I wasn't already in love and married and all that, I'm sure I probably would have fallen in love with her by now. (She would be out of my league, but that wouldn't stop me... hehe)

So... why does she keep ending up with guys who don't appreciate her? (And isn't that the age old question?) Why, when she's exactly what so many guys are looking for, aren't any good guys finding her?

This, my friends, is why psychologists and psychiatrists make so much frigging money. There are questions like this that people have been asking as long as men have been falling in love with women, and they've been driving us crazy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Wow. For someone who claims to be a writer, the writing in this blog is really bad. (One might even call it amateurish, if one could remember if that is the correct spelling of amateurish.)

I hope I'm going to get better at it, otherwise I'll have to have the guts to give this up as a lost cause, and move on to something else...

Monday, March 21, 2005


In the building where I currently work, there's a variety store in the lobby, where I sometimes go for a non-nutricious breakfast, or an afternoon snack. And wow is there ever a lot of pron there! You can't turn in any direction without seeing a scantily clad woman draped across the cover of some men's magazine.

Okay, sure, so they're not Playboy or Hustler or something; but the "PG" pron like FHM or the rest are still pretty bad. And store owners these days figure that, since these magazines aren't "real" pron, they can just put them anywhere, so that sometimes you can't throw a rock without hitting a picture of an almost naked woman.

What a society we live in...

blog blog blog blog

I'm realizing that I use the word blog a lot in this blog. If you were to search this blog for the word blog, I'm sure you'd find millions of occurences of the word. (Margin of error +/- 1,000,000.)

It's like I work for the Bush administration, and blog is one of my talking points...

Blog updates

I updated the look of my sidebar a little bit. (Still haven't decided if I should keep the Recent Music section, or just let it go.)

I'm very impressed with people who are able to really customize the look of their blogs, if they aren't used to this type of development; I find it pretty easy, but there are lots of people who don't develop, and who have done fancier stuff than I have.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Well, since it's Sunday night, and I have nothing else to write about, I thought I'd walk the gentle reader through an average Sunday in serna's life:

  • 9:20am: I get to church, and set up the instruments before worship team practice. I play guitar at my church, and sometimes lead the services, so I have to set up the equipment first.
  • 9:30am: Practice.
  • 10:45am-12:30pm: Service
  • 12:30-2:00pm: Lunch break! I celebrate my free time by taking down all of the equipment from the church sanctuary, moving it to another room, and setting it back up again.
  • 2:00-4:00pm: Choir practice. I'm also in my church choir, which my wife leads.

After this, the plan is usually to go home and fall asleep on the couch, while I watch the previous night's Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, I don't normally fall asleep, so I lose valuable napping time.

I wish it was more exciting, but it's not.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Another Saturday, another nothing to write about...

Okay, so I'm done with the melodramatic posts (for now), and ready to get onto the normal, day-to-day posts. ("I'm a writer, and writers write!" blah blah blah...)

Saw The Incredibles today. Meh. I mean, it was a good movie and all, don't get me wrong... I was entertained. But it wasn't exactly ground breaking or anything. A family of superheroes, living their day to day lives... it's been done.

It would have been better if they'd made one simple change: Make the woman super strong, and make the guy super stretchy. I know, I know, the whole "gender bending" thing has been done before, too. But when it comes to superheroes, let's face it: The woman superhero is always super stretchy. You'd think they could think of a better super power for a woman.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Why a blog?

Well, now that I've got the format of this thing pretty much the way that I want it, it's time to give some thought as to why I wanted to do it in the first place...

It started with my blog fascination. It continued when I started reading some other peoples' blogs regularly, and realized that you don't have to be brilliant to write one yourself.

The deal was sealed when my ISP changed the way they provide web space, and put it all on GeoCities. I am not putting a web site on GeoCities! Every racist, sexist, moron who can't get web space anywhere else goes to GeoCities. Even though my ISP promises me that there wouldn't be any popups or anything, I still can't go with a GeoCities website. Just the fact that the URL would say geocities in it is enough to make that a deal breaker for me. So, I figured it's time to try a blog, instead.

But the overarching reason that I'm creating this is that I'm a writer, and writers write. I haven't done much in the way of professional writing; it's not my actual career - more of a hobby. I'm currently working on a couple of projects, but neither one is grabbing my interest full time.

(Actually, one is in the editing phase, and I've got some comments back on it. But I hate the editing phase, so I'm putting it off. The other one I just can't figure out what to do with the plot right now, so I'm putting that off, too.)

So, if I'm going to continue as a writer, professional or otherwise, I need to write something. And thus the blog.

Of course, all that being said, I don't expect anything too special to happen here. It will probably happen like this: Any time I have nothing to do at work, I'll pull this thing up and write something useless, simply to occupy my time. I'm almost positive that I won't be posting here every day, and there will probably be long periods when nothing happens.

But only God knows for sure how this will all turn out. The nice part is that this thing is free, so even if I don't make a lot of use out of it, I haven't lost anything.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A blog is born

Well I've finally done it, and created a blog. I've been fascinated by them for years, but I never got around to creating one - mostly because I don't really have anything to say.

But then I started reading more and more of them, and as it turns out, most people who have blogs have nothing to say. So I'm in good company.