I first saw this months ago while on my way to a doctor appointment, and was finally able to stop and take pictures today.

Duck Roll Closeup

Just north of the intersection of I-10 and Highway 6, west of Houston.

My good deed for the day

While watching trick-or-treaters tonight, we saw a father and his elementary-school-age kid walking down the street, with the kid dressed up in a decent Darth Vader costume. He had a lightsaber, but it was one of the cheesy “red plastic on a flashlight” kinds.

Amy ran into the house and grabbed my Star Wars Force FX Darth Vader lightsaber, and I walked up and gave it to the kid as he and his father walked by, saying “You need a proper lightsaber, here you go”.

The kid was floored – “Woah!” and the father asked me if he owed me anything for it. I said “No, it’s been sitting on a shelf for two years since I bought it, and I just saw an opportunity for someone to get some use out of it.”

It was good to see the kid swinging it around and having fun as they walked around the neighborhood for the next hour and a half.

Finally put up the Obama sign

I put my Obama ’08 sign up in the front window of the house (facing the street) today. We’d spotted some McCain/Palin signs a couple of streets over and I figured it was time to finally haul it out. It’s just one of the cardboard “rally signs” and not suitable for putting out as a yard sign; the advantage of this is that it’s hard for someone to steal a sign taped to the inside of a window.

Edit: I’ve now got a yard sign too, and nobody’s messed with it yet.

Yes, I know Obama’s past record on gun control, and I have my own reasons to not worry about the tinfoil hat brigades running around screaming that the Democrats are going to take our guns away.

Oh, and I voted early.

2008 Election Ballot

I’m now an Entered Apprentice Freemason

Tonight at Gray Lodge #329 here in Houston, I was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Freemason. An online friend from from Austin was nice enough to drive down to meet me and attend the ceremony, which was really cool.

Thanks to him and all the Brethren at the Lodge who made this an extremely exciting and memorable night and the beginning of something I’ve wanted to do for years.

Sunday Night Computer Surgery

It’s been a busy hour or so, and the living room is a mess. I need to clean tomorrow.

I unpacked the Sun Ultra 20 (new in the box, but two years old), updated its BIOS, and installed 2G of RAM. I then took out its Socket939 Opteron 144 CPU and set it aside.

I took my old gaming machine, took out its Socket939 Athlon64 X2 3800+ CPU, installed that processor in the Ultra 20, and verified that everything worked.

I took the Opteron 144 from the Ultra 20, installed it in the old gaming machine, and verified that everything worked.

When my parts for the new gaming machine (Intel DG31PR motherboard, E5200 CPU, 4G RAM) arrive on Wednesday, I’ll take the motherboard/CPU/RAM out of the old gaming machine and install the new parts, along with a GeForce 9500 video card that I’ve had sitting here waiting. The old GeForce 7600 card will go into the Ultra 20, which currently just has onboard Rage XL video.

This will give me a (for the first time) current-generation gaming machine with a decent video card, while at the same time giving me a machine to play with Solaris 10 and VMWare on.

The ASRock board, CPU, and 2G RAM will be given to a friend who lost his system in a power surge during the recent hurricane.

I’m in!

Amy and I attended dinner and the open portion of last night’s Stated Meeting, and got to see a great speech by Rex Hutchens, author of “A Bridge to Light“. He is a great speaker and a funny guy – I’ll be buying his book soon.

Just spoke to the Sr. Deacon of Gray Lodge a few minutes ago, and the vote last night was all favorable. I’m in! My initiation as an Entered Apprentice Mason will be next Thursday night.