Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo at the Zoo

I worked at the Sacramento Zoo last night, at a Halloween event called "Boo at the Zoo," a trick or treat alternative for little kids.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blooper - Last Video this Month

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I came across this video my kids made years ago. As I say in the opening frame, it should be subtitled "Where was their Mother?"

Sometimes I think it's miraculous that they all lived to adulthood.

I am leaving tomorrow for Santa Barbara for my sister-in-law's wedding. I'll be "babysitting" the Irish relatives until the wedding, so I won't be posting any videos until November...but should come home with LOTS of work to do to create videos!

I may still phone in audio messages from the road, so check back and see.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Happiness Is...

The is the last video from "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," the finale, "Happiness Is..."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Baseball Game

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Another number from "Charlie Brown." This one is "The Baseball Game"


I am up and running again. I have copied the dog photo entry back to Funny the World and will start posting there again, and using this for videos again.

Thanks to EVERYONE who made this exile to Blogger a brief one!

Monday, October 16, 2006


OK...enough moping about. Let's have some fun. Halloween is coming and though I am not one who is likely to put costumes on the dogs (nor would Sheila be a dog who would let me!), I gave some thought as to what I might dress them as, if I were that kind of person. This is prompted by the announcement that there is going to be a costume parade at the dog park
How about this for the two of them together?

Or how about...

Or perhaps better some individual costumes. How about Royalty?

Or the "Old Masters"

And of course there's always:

It's probably a good thing I don't do costumed dogs at Halloween or at any other time!

Video of the Day - "The Kite"

I simply LOVE this video snippet. Paul played Charlie Brown in the show and had this solo to sing. There is a point where he has to go up for a somewhat high note and the first two nights (there were only 3 performances) he missed and it sounded terrible. In fact the second night, after the show, he locked himself in the theatre bathroom, he was so angry with himself. At this performance he nails it. There is a point in the video where I zoom in for a closer shot as he starts to sing "Ohhh...." and he breaks into a huge grin--it wasn't the happiness of Charlie Brown for having a kit that was flying, but the happiness of Paul for having hit the note right!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A P.S. -- Earthquake in Hawaii

A 6.5 earthquake is nothing to sneeze at, but in this era of 24 hr a day news coverage, I have had many laughs today watching MSNBC trying to fill the hours before actual video of the situation on the Big Island is available. They are trying so hard to find something catastrophic to report. So far we've learned that.

* There are road closures.
* There is no major damage to the hospital
* There were landslides
* TVs were knocked over

Hoping for sensational material, they interviewed someone from the hospital, continually asking her about people whose life had been put in danger, but only found out that all but one patient was removed to the Sheraton Hotel, where there is apparently power.

An artist gave a plug for her paintings and talked about how one painting fell off the wall and "almost" hit them on the head. The news concentrated on the dog, who was under the painting, uninjured.

Finally film came from a geologist, who said that there was ...uh... shaking that was ... uh ... strong enough to topple chimneys (if there are chimneys in Hawaii, he added). Turned out he was being interviewed in Los Angeles and was just speculating. But it filled a few minutes.

Someone was questioned about why there was so much damage in Northridge, and so little in this earthquake, when magnitudes were similar. The reporter was told that Northridge was a more densely populated area and the topography was different. Duhhh.

All the while they were showing pictures of Waikiki beach filled with sunbathers, which they then point out is archival footage.

"We're talking to the mayor who is going to tell us about the chaos on Maui earlier. I understand there was kind of a chaotic situation."

"Well, there wasn't really any chaos," said the mayor.

"Are you going to be helping your neighbors with all the debris?" the reporter asked another person, hopefully.

"Well, there's not a lot of debris," the subject replied.

"I hear the police are out in force," the reporter pressed on. "How many police officers, would you estimate?"

"Oh--I don't think we have more the 10 on the whole island," she was told.

Finally came video footage of what looked like a normal street on a normal day, except that there was one ambulance.

"As you can see, there are ambulances on the street," said the reporter.

A man was stopped at a gas station, and gave a plug for a food and products show.

I sincerely hope everyone in Hawaii is all right, but I have to admit that my main sympathies are to the poor reporters who (a) can't pronounce the names of a lot of Hawaiian towns, and (b) have to try to make something out of what sounds like really nothing!

I give up. Technology wins.

What the hell is Port 80 and why do I need to care?

The nice thing about Windows XP is it keeps you constantly upgraded with all those lovely “protection” things it says are going to protect you from Internet evils (not unlike the federal government--we just give it free access and it does what it thinks is best for us).

One of those upgrades happened last night. When I woke up, the computer had shut down and I had to reboot. When I re-booted, it told me that it had done magical things to my computer while I slept. I felt safe and secure.

Until I attempted to boot up FrontPage, the program that I use to design journal entry pages.

I use FrontPage 98, which is a very old version of the program (the latest version is 2003) because it works for me and upgrades cost money. For what I do, there has been no point in upgrading all these years. I only need the very basics and what you’re paying is for all the fancy stuff I’ll never use. But now FrontPage 98 had become my enemy.

When I attempted to start the program, I got the message, “FrontPage personal web server is not able to use port 80. There may be another web server running." This same thing happened two days ago and I was somehow able to get it all started again, but don't remember what I did.

I tried doing a system restore back to a day when it all worked, but that didn't help. I got out my FrontPage 98 for dummies and found absolutely no reference to this message whatsoever. I sent out pleas to people I know who use FrontPage, but they all use later versions and couldn’t help me.

Then I did a Google search on “Front Page port 80" and found a page that seems to know all about the port 80 problem

“Port 80 is the default port that FrontPage looks for on the Personal Web Server. If the web server is not installed correctly, or if the FrontPage extensions have not been installed and configured correctly onto the Personal Web Server, you'll get this incredibly maddening message stating that FrontPage cannot run because it cannot find Port 80. Forget about finding any resolution to this problem in any FrontPage manual; I've never seen anything in print that would be of any use in resolving this common glitch.”

Well. Gee. Thanks. It appears that I am, officially, up shit creek.

I don’t know if I can get FrontPage working again, or if I need to upgrade to FrontPage 2003 in order to get it going. But I am very definitely dead in the water.

I have entirely too much work to do to take time to figure this out right now. I have entirely too little money to upgrade to FrontPage 2003 with bells and whistles I’ll never use.

So, I’m giving up. I’m officially calling a halt to Funny the World, the journal and moving it all over to Funny the World, the blog, just like Steve did. Just like Rob did. Just like Jim did. Just like others have done. This has the advantage, I suspect, that as I travel, upgrades will be easier. The video of the day and the journal entry will all be on the same page ("Video of the Day," if there is one, will follow the entry itself). But I feel sad. Funny the World has existed for six years and I feel sad to see it end.

I could save big bucks by ending my Yahoo account, but that would end the archives and I just paid to renew my domain name, so the monthly expense wouldn’t actually end for a year yet. Updating to Blogger also solves the guestbook problem too, since now I have a working guestbook which cuts off whatever pearls of wisdom are posted beyond 250 characters. It also now makes the journal an rss feed, and may end the need for the daily reminders, though I will still send those out for my mother, who can’t find my journal any other way.

In a way, this feels like a little death, but in another way, it will be easier. No more wondering how to change the look of the page each month, no more coming up with ideas for new title designs, just type it all in Blogger and be done with it.

It’s amazing how much time I have spent in the past week trying to “fix” the things that all the “new and improved” software is supposed to make life easier for me, like the QuickTime mess, which is better, but still not back to where it was.

I’m sure that once I have adapted to the new blogger format and once readers have gotten used to coming here instead of to “funnytheworld.com” (which will still have a pointer to the new site), I’ll like it. But for the moment, it feels like a very sad day.

However, I just did realize one fun thing about using Blogger instead of Funny the World. I realized that as I drive down to Santa Barbara next week, I can stop along the way and leave audio messages. When I’m traveling with Nora, I can have her leave a message on the blog. This might turn out to be fun after all. Maybe I should just look on the bright side and not worry about the negatives.

The thing that worries me is that right now some 350-400 of you read my journal every day; 20 read my blog. I’m hoping that everyone will make the switch to Blogger and that I don’t lose too many in the transition.

Technology is my friend and technology is my enemy, all at the same time.

LATER: Hope may yet exist. A friend, who shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty, says there exists a later version of FrontPage which is mine for the asking, but it will be awhile before it can be sent thru the mail. I will keep this blog at least thru the end of October, due to being gone for the better part of two weeks. But perhaps in November I can start back on Funny the World again. Hold the good thought.

Actually, input from readers would be nice too as to whether this works for you or whether you like the old format better. Now that I have a good guestbook, you can fully express your feelings!

entry 2391

Video of the Day -- "My Blanket and Me"

David played Linus in this production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." I don't remember how old he is here. Maybe...10? And if I'm not mistaken, he is actually using Paul's old security blanket in this number.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

A Good Man

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Once upon a time there was an organization called The Sunshine Children's Theatre Company. It ran for some time in Davis, California, but the founder, ms. lin McElroy moved on, leaving the actors with a small bank account, and no direction....and a desire to do their own version of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

And so they decided to do it on their own.  Jeri was the director, Ned was the lighting and set designer, Paul played Charlie Brown, Tom was Schroeder and David was Linus and their friends played the other roles.

I was never so proud of those kids as I was on opening night of this show that they did entirely without adult assistance.  It was a damn good show!

This is Jeri's introduction, and the opening number. 

Thursday, October 12, 2006


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I received word that my friend Chris, whom I met in Australia, committed suicide yesterday. I am stunned. This is the only piece of video that I have of Chris.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

...Speaking of Weddings...

My journal entry for today is about weddings, so it seemed only fair to upload a wedding video. This is one of the first foreign students to stay with us, who came from Zaire. He came in about 1982 and then came back for Christmas every year for many years after that. When he married his fiancee from Zaire, we went to the wedding and I was the videographer.

This video may load very slowly. I had to upgrade iTunes and that meant it installed a new version of QuickTime, which erased all of my settings. I "compressed" a 14 MB video for "fast start" into a 57 MB video. But that's a journal entry for another day, assuming I still have fingers left after slamming walls in frustration. HOPEFULLY I'll have this problem fixed by the time I upload another video.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


We had Toby for a very long time. Here he is in 1992, trying to stay on the couch.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Doggie Cam

I set up "doggie cam" to catch Lizzie in the act. I then put some treats on the kitchen counter. This is what I saw.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Meet the Neighbors

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The city hosted "meet your neighbors" gatherings all over the city last night. This video didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped, but it is a brief record.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Leaping Lizard

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I don't think I'm going to say what this one is about.? Just that it's short.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Purse Cam

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I attended Beijing Opera last night and snuck a bit of video from my camera -- without looking through the viewfinder. Not great video, but interesting as a production.
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

More with Luana

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While the Brasilian family was here, Ned spent a morning with Luana and her mother at the playground.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


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Yes. I am related to these people.
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Paul Sings

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You know, I was always very realistic about Paul being a very good performer, but not really a great singer. However, I came across this piece of video which makes me believe that his problem wasn't not having a good voice, but just not having the right back-up musicians. Give him a full orchestra and he sounds amazing.
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Ahh, Luana

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In 1992, my "Brasilian brother" Nelson came from Brasil with his wife and daughter. It was daughter Luana's birthday and I made her a cake and we had a party. At that time, Ned was still pretty fluent in Portuguese.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

DSAF at 25

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In the early days of its existence, I was invited to be on the Board of Directors for the Davis School Arts Foundation, which raised money so that children of Davis could continue to have music and art lessons, even with tax cuts which eliminated them. The DSAF is 25 years old now and tonight all of us who had served on the board over the years were honored for our work, particularly Patricia Hershberger, who was the founder of DSAF.