Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2006/01/31

Galbatron!

Well, it is official. Someone I know is on Google Video. Here is a video of Jeremy Galba just minding his business and trying to bring in a stack of new office chairs. Another guy named Jeremy just happened to have his camera out and instead of turning it off and giving JG a hand, he just video taped him, waiting for something amazingly funny to happen. Here it is.

Okay, now, admittedly, this is not that funny, but we got a kick out of it at Galbatron's expense.

Surprise, It Still Hurts

Working on the computer tonight, just doin' my usual, when my daughter, Olivia --who should be asleep-- comes to the side of my chair and tugs gently on my arm. It is not uncommon that this will happen. Though my oldest is sleeping comfortably in her room, Olivia still sleeps in the living room most nights. It's a work in progress.

But tonight, instead of her usual "I'm not tired," or "I'm thirsty," she said something that she hasn't said in a while, perhaps a few months, and it took me a bit by surprise.

"I miss Poppo."

I didn't know what to say at first, so I scooped her up and sat in the recliner and talked to her about it. Basically, it's hard to help a four-year-old understand death. She had a lot of questions about why. We talked about heaven, and Jesus and how long people live. She asked about a few people one at a time; me, mommy, Meema, Bubbi, Poppi, Grandma and Grandpa; and asked if we were going to die. I assured her that most people live a long time. I used my Aunt Ruby as an example, who is nearing or around 90. I also reassured her that death is only a sad thing for those left here on earth. Poppo is in heaven with Jesus (who she thinks is a baby?) and he is no longer in pain. He is happy. Best of all, she can still talk to him or Jesus any time she likes just by closing her eyes and praying. Poppo is right there, in your heart.

Most likely, this was just playing right along with what she wanted, which was just simply a few minutes more of my attention even though she should have been asleep. Four-year-olds can be manipulative, just because they don't know any better. Sometimes as a parent, even though you know your heart strings are being pulled for this reason, you play along just because it helps you too.

I miss ya, Frank. I thought I had more time to spend with you. But I guess everyone's time is limited. I pray to see you again some day. Good night.

2006/01/27

Section 508: The Road to Accessibility

A book I have been reading called ASP Web Development with Dreamweaver MX 2004 has been teaching me quite a bit about the program as well as a better overview of web standards in general. I'm a perfectionist at heart so this stuff appeals to me. There was an entire chapter on Accessibility, i.e. for users with disabilities and it was especially eye opening.

Here are some links in that chapter concerning accessibility standards related to Section 508, the law in the U.S. governing web accessibility.

Making your web pages accessible is not just nice, in some cases it is the LAW.

Hey look! There's Whitewater!

Lisa and I were looking to go on a little vacation just for the two of us perhaps this summer. One of the areas we were considering was Branson and I was reminiscing all the great times me, Mom, Jon and sometimes the Fentons or the Hollmans or both had down at Table Rock Lake and that area.

I was checking the maps for these little bed and breakfast places we were considering. Because some of them were hand-drawn then scanned and posted on their websites, I was checking their maps against Google Maps. There in the middle of Branson was WHITEWATER! This really is the biggest and best water park I can ever remember going to in my life and we went year after year. It looks pretty small from space.

Well, anyway, here are some of the sites I was checking out that Lisa had gathered.

2006/01/25

Your Dog Looks Like My Dog!

I was checking toothpastefordinner.com and laughing at the images there. The site also has a link right now to a random "livejournal picture generator" (not a recommendation). From what I gather, the page script does exactly what it says it does and pulls random images from random livejournal blogs and then loads them all on one page. As expected most of them are dumb, pointless and/or not-safe-for-work.

I was scrolling quickly through the junk when right there in the middle of the page was a photograph of a beagle, ...that looked exactly like my dog! I mean, they could be twins or sisters or something. It is not like there is really all that much difference between dogs of the same breed anyway, but you be the judge.

My Dog, Lucy

Our Dog Lucy, the first week after we got her

Danellyn's Sister's Dog

Lucy's Twin, Danellyn's Sister's Dog

Image reposted without permission.

Looking back at the top photo that I took, I'm reminded of how much better Lucy looks in the last couple of months compared to when we first adopted her, which was the same week I took the above photo. As you can see here, she was skinny and scrawny-ish, but she's much healthier now -- and therefore looks a lot more like the slightly older dog in the second picture.

I hope this photographer, Danellyn, doesn't mind me linking to their site as it was just too spooky a coincidence to not point it out. I haven't checked out the rest of her (or ..his?) photography, but this page looks pretty cool so far.

My wife thinks I'm crazy. What do you think? Check it out at danellyn: New photos.

2006/01/24

What? Me, Pester?

This past summer, I posted here and here about the whole mess with Sparky's server -- thanks Mr. John Q. Hacker -- and what a crazy trip it was to be without access to my website. Well I didn't notice until today, but apparently my ... er, nagging ..was what got Sparky to fix the machine.

Thx to Arco for reminding me to work on everything, without his pestering I would probably have delayed the repair of this online property.

Currently, my website at Arconati.us is holding steady at a Google Page Rank of three and some this blog site has a one and Mudhorny.com also has a one. So really, no complaints here.

Gasp!

It hit me hard over the last couple of days that in less than a month, I will turn 30. That's right, THIRTY YEARS OLD!

Deep breath, ..nothing to get concerned over, ..just another date on the calendar... *slowly hyperventilate*

Haha, I'm not really the kind to get worried about this sort of thing. Getting old -- as my Dad would say -- is better than the alternative; dying young. It's just that for five minutes there, I considered obsessing over it... or something.

Someday soon, perhaps, I will finally have a good idea what it is that I want to do once I grow up. Besides holding out all hope for Luke Skywalker's job, that is! Now, someone help me find the keys to my T-16 Skyhopper.

2006/01/23

Selling Out!

Just in case anyone missed it and thinks that I was trying to do something sneaky, I've started experimenting with Adsense. For those not familiar with what this means, I am putting a few ads up on the different blogs that I run. So far, I have added Google ads to this blog as well as my joke blog and my quotes blog. I have also attempted to add a referral link for Firefox to the home page of Arconati.us but am having some sort of technical problem. This one caught my attention the most because Google will give out $1 for each referral that leads to a download of Firefox. All total, here are the pages/sites with ads.

Now, people who know me well should be crying foul at this point, as most of the time I speak out against advertisement. Perhaps I've changed and joined the Dark Side, you might think. But if you think about it logically, this is the United States of America, and we live in a capitalist society. Yet, when someone starts seeming greedy or sneaky by using or supporting the advertising industry all credibility as a person as opposed to a business seems to be thrown out the window. This is a strange standard.

It's a strange relationship we as citizens hold with other people and businesses. If they are individual or small 'Mom & Pop' organizations, no lack of support can be shown. Yet, at some point when the small business strolls into the Big Business arena, the small-town neighborly support dries up quickly. It's not like I'm a business at all in reality, but you could get my analogy. How do I portray the accurate 'me' when at the same time I'm hosting/displaying ads? It's like watching a movie overloaded with product placement or a television show with too many commercials.

It's a dilemma I've thought about for awhile as you can probably tell. I've come to the conclusion that I ought to at least try it and see how I feel, since it's my site(s) and I can do what I want. In addition, web advertising is a large part of the business I'm in (indirectly) so it might help my clients in the long run if I were more on-hands familiar with the industry.

My hope is that the advertisements will be small enough to be unobtrusive but perhaps successful enough to bring in a small amount of extra dough.

I've got to rationalize all this time in front of the computer to my wife somehow, right? I really only look sweet and innocent

Note to friends and family: please don't click repetitively on these ads just to help donate to me. First off, the amount I'd get is too small for your time and second and most importantly, Google has some pretty sophisticated folks trying to trick them and they don't get away with it. In fact, they get their site(s) banned. I don't want to be mistaken for miscreants like those.

2006/01/20

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah - Google Video

Sometimes, the simplest parodies or jokes can be the funniest. This homemade video takes a scene from the Oprah Winfrey show, where Tom Cruise is discussing his overwhelming love for new wife, Katie Holmes. He goes a little eccentric and stands over Oprah, grasping and shaking her in an excited fashion. On top of this video, the music and laughter sound effects from Star Wars Episode III have been added, along with force-lightning special effects. The ultimate effect is much more sinister and matches with the laughter.

But the real reason I wanted to add it here is to express my surprise and delight that Google -- through their site at Google Video -- has made it possible to load the videos from their servers onto another site. Load any of the free videos you find by random or by search and look for a link on the right column that says "Put On Site". I have copied out the proper code for this one and modified it a bit to make it xHTML compliant.

The most remarkable thing to keep in mind about this video is that it is only fifteen seconds long. It's hilarious!

2006/01/19

Introducing ASP

Here are some links I got from a book about ASP.

2006/01/18

Christians Who Deny the 'Supernatural'

Tonight, Katie and I watched "Supernatural" and then I drove her home to her dorm. On tonight's episode, one of our heroes, Dean, is closely confronted with death --in this case, literally, to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult's (Don't Fear) The Reaper. In the adventures that ensue to avoid and defeat this menace, it is emphasized that our cynical duo will need the power of something they are sorely lacking - Faith.

But in a show about the supernatural (heh), where does the concept of faith fit into the milieu? As I drove Kate home, we debated this and it seems that she knows quite a bit about the subject and we both had some interesting points.

Many would assume that Christians want to deny the possibility of or the power of the supernatural. However, God performs miracles. In his time on this earth, Jesus performed many miracles. The Bible, in fact, does not explicitly deny the existence of ghosts or demons. In fact, many stories seem to emphasize or talk about them with assuredness that they do exist.

One interesting example in Mark 5:2-15 has Jesus driving a host or legion of demons from a man into a group of pigs. Our preacher, Stacy, referenced this passage one Sunday and made the joke that this is where "Deviled Ham" comes from.

So to say that believing in the supernatural is a sin is wrong. These things exist, miracles exist and continue to happen and there is a lot more to this world than we know. However, the Bible does seem to indicate that these ghosts, demons, premonitions and apparations are not to be sought out. Actively seeking to contact or passively allowing these to contact you should be avoided.

In the western world, this could be better defined as "the occult" which is more specific than supernatural events. Popular culture tends to want to confuse the two, adding an element of mystery and taboo to any supernatural event or miracle. At the same time, the impact or importance of actual 'occult' practices are depicted in a more innocent way than Christians should be comfortable with.

The antagonist in the show tonight was clearly rationalizing and confusing the two for their own goals. There was a strongly reinforced belief and delusion that God had chosen this character to have a certain power over life and death when in reality, it was through occult practices that their powers were gained. It seems funny that an 'extra' character on the show, a skeptic versus the faith healer, was one of the first to fall victim to the reaper but be rescued just in time by our heroes. There are more evils --worse evils-- on the horizon gunning for Sam and Dean and I hope that they work more elements into the show to reinforce the fact that they will need lots of FAITH on their side in order to win.

2006/01/17

Free Television to Good Home

Free Television to Good HomeMy coworker, J.D. Pohlman, is giving away a television. It's a 25 inch console TV circa 1981. It still works and the picture is good. If any one is interested check the link to his site and email him.

Here is a picture. Note that the messy apartment is not included.

Reminder, please spay or neuter your electronics.

2006/01/16

Attention: Arconati Network

It would seem that I can not find a way to easily post over FTP using the Blogger software since it cannot be set for anything other than the default ports for FTP. As I've mentioned before, I'm in a bit of a quandary on what to do about it.

Below is a post I'm removing from the Arconati News blog as it is no longer applicable for my plans.

This site is using the backup domain for Arconati.us which is Arconati.net. This domain forwards right now only a blog, which was hosted on Blogger's Blogspot at http://arconati.blogspot.com/ but I am forwarding it after tonight onto the main domain using HTML Meta Refresh. What should happen is that when this page loads, after a brief time interval of 5-10 seconds, the browser is redirected onto the correct site.

The method for doing this is common enough, and as far as I can tell is the only way to get one page to forward onto another without using JavaScript if they are not .ASP pages or another scripting language. As a reference, I am using an article on About.com called HTML Meta Refresh Tag.

Redirecting to a New Page

While the reload option is useful, it is usually not what people want from the meta refresh tag. To redirect to a new page, the syntax is nearly the same:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2;url=http://webdesign.about.com/">

The only difference is in the content attribute. content="2;url=http://webdesign.about.com" The number is the time, in seconds, until the page should be redirected. Then, separated by a semi-colon (;) is the URL that should be loaded.

This blog account is going to be used to better document changes to the site, the Arconati Network and general family news, while my main blog at blog.arconati.us will be reserved for more personal posts.

Update: Attempt failed. I'm dealing now with a technical issue where I was attempting to post the blog posts to my hosting provider over FTP, but it turns out that Blogger cannot use FTP over non-standard ports, which my host is using for security reasons. Delays, delays...

2006/01/15

More Arconati Template Tweaking

Today, I've been working some on the template for the Arconati site and I have moved all of the color elements, link colors, text colors and background images to a separate CSS file. The idea is to make it more simple to update over time by separating the layout elements from the color elements. I may find an easier way to do this.

Here is some text I removed off the home page for now and rearranged things to explain what I was doing.

Here is a bare-bones template that I am using for the moment. I may not keep it, but I will use it for now.

I've added a background image that I like quite a lot. It is a scan of a scratch piece of paper that Reese colored a couple months back. It is just a mess, but it looked like a landscape portrait to me. Blue and pink sky at sunset, purple clouds and green grassy fields. Not her best artwork at six-years-old but I'm gushingly proud.

When the del.icio.us links on the right hand column are working you may notice also that I have attempted to match the colors of Reese's background image. I have set them up to alternate colors between purple and green on a blue field background. The links are pink or black or white as well. My goal is to work with this sort of framework for the rest of the site's elements, extending her artwork out.

2006/01/04

Updated Footer

I've updated the footer section of the Arconati web site and have copied the basic information to my multiple blogs for uniformity. To see it from this blog, click the permanent link # below OR the heading above.

The main visible change was the year. Happy New Year!

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Some Other Things to See

Lucas James Arconati

© 2003-2017 James A. Arconati

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