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AS-GasTracker v1.0 Released
December 7th, 2005 | View Post

An overview of the basic HTML graphing.

A screenshot of the data view.
This script will allow you to keep track of your gas mileage and have the results displayed in an easy to read website. None of the data is harvested from anywhere on the web but is rather entered manually by the user and for the user.

Currently the program only supports the English system of miles and gallons. Future versions intend to include the metric system as well as conversions between the figures.

If the demand seems to exist, a future version will allow the user to import a CSV file (or something similar). This should satisfy any users who have historically kept up with such data with Excel and other spreadsheets.

Download from Freecode at:
http://freecode.com/projects/gastracker

Download directly from:

Tar/GZ: AS-GasTracker_v1_0_0.tar.gz (43,789 bytes)
WinZip: AS-GasTracker_v1_0_0.zip (62,133 bytes)
Austin AIDS Walk
October 17th, 2005 | View Post
My parents came into town this weekend and participated in the AIDS walk downtown with my brother. To our amusement, my mom made it into the paper the next day. Here's a little screen capture of it.


Nancy walking in the AIDS walk (shes on the far left edge of the picture)

Gene and Vanessa Stock the Bar
September 30th, 2005 | View Post
Introduction

Instead of having the traditional wedding shower, Gene and Vanessa decided that they would have a Stock the Bar party - to be hosted by the Crocketts. However, instead of having the traditional Stock the Bar party, here is what they did: Everyone that was invited to the party showed up with a bottle of something. Gene and Vanessa brought all of their old bottles of liquor to the party. So rather than everyone consume the new bottles, we consumed the old ones, and the newer ones are to be saved for their wedding party. I thought it was a pretty good idea.

Setting up for the Party

Krista asked me if I could help her setup for the party and so naturally, I decided that I could.

Krista had a number of errands she needed to run for the party. First stop on the list was a quick trip over to Party Pig Superstore. Naturally, bring a kid into a candy store and it's not a quick trip. In this case, bringing me into a Party Pig store - we stayed there for awhile. After taking pictures of all things 'fascinating' and waiting around for 30 minutes to have a dozen balloons filled up, our trip was complete. Next stop was over to H.E.B. to pickup some flowers for the event. Finally, back to the Crocketts house where I spent 10 minutes making sure that the toilet that Crockett and I had broken, fixed, and broken again, just the day before, was in good working order.






Reuben's Emporium Liquor Store


Inside of Reuben's Emporium
I'm not sure what the relevance of including this is, but Krista really seems to love this liquor store just down the road from where they live. I am pretty sure that from the outside it appears to be called 'The Emporium', but a quick search on Google suggests it is called Reuben's Wines and Spirits. Either way, here is the address since this was a Stock the Bar party.

Take a look at those cubby holes they have for the liquors. They actually have a different cubby hole for each type of alcohol (tequilas, rums, etc.). Crockett sees these enclaves as the store's exclusive selling point.

Reuben's Wines and Spirits

11637 Research Blvd.

Austin, TX 78759

(512) 345-2866


Some Party Highlights

I would have to say that overall the party was pretty tame, but certainly not without it's moments of drunken humor. Since it was, in some way, a wedding shower party, we played a game whereby Gene and Vanessa were blindfolded (not at the same time) and had to sit on the couch. A line of girls formed for Gene, and a line of guys for Vanessa, and each one quietly kissed them on the cheek (or in some cases jumped on top and licked their cheek). After everyone had their turn, they were supposed to guess which one was their spouse-to-be. Gene failed not once, not twice, but thrice, before picking Vanessa. He cited he lost count. Vanessa technically lost as well, however I think it is clear she was cheated because Gene decided not to go. Technically I suppose it should have been possible for her to say that none of the kisses came from Gene, but it was assumed that he had participated.

Perhaps another element of the night worth mentioning is Christine taking a body shot from Crockett's bra? Well, naturally this is entirely captured on film. It's actually in two different parts because I could only film 20 second clips at a time on my cell phone.






Notable Word-Coining Experience

I would just like to add this quick section as a reminder to the greatest word ever coined. I believe the real name of this game is Indian Poker, wherby players pickup a card from a deck and place it on their foreheads. Since nobody could recall this name prior to wanting to play it, it was dubbed CardHead.

Crockett Dancing

It's almost getting too easy if you ask me - ruining any chance that Mike Crockett might have at Congress or the like. Once again, Mike drank some alcohol. Once again, without provoking of any kind, he was on the dance floor. And once again, the spectacle was caught on film. I'd personally like to thank Mr. Michael Crockett for providing me and all of his party guests with several minutes of entertainment.
Dreux's Engagement
September 28th, 2005 | View Post

Dreux and Amy about 1 hour after getting engaged

The Rolex on Amy's arm
Introduction

Well, it's been coming for years now - that Dreux and Amy would wind up getting married that is. I can recall back to the first time that I met Amy at a party. Though it WAS my birthday, the party was technically not a birthday party, but rather just a get-together that Crockett, Evan, and Dreux were having at their house.

I'm not sure if I was drunk or not, but I vividly recall telling Amy how much Dreux had been talking about her - even though it was only the first time I had found out Dreux was even dating someone. She seemed mildly impressed that he had spoken so much about her, but at the time, I don't think I knew she was a doctor and probably assumed I could out smart her. In hindsight, I'm sure she knew I was full of shit.

Anyway, I asked both Amy and Dreux to give me their own stories that landed them engaged. Dreux sent me his in two installments.

The Tale - Part I (Considering Marriage)

The Dreux version of how he and Amy got engaged.

Amy and I have been dating for quite some time, mostly long distance. I was in Austin and she was in medical school 79 miles away in San Antonio. At the end of medical school and 2.5 years of dating me, she accepted a residency in Austin so we could live in the same city. I bought a house around the same time that she was moving to Austin, so we thought, "What the hell? We'll live in sin and see where it gets us."

A year went by living in our small 1950's house. Late spring - early summer of '05 - things became a little more serious. We had discussed engagement rings and how impractical they were. As a doctor, Amy would not be able to wear the ring very often because she wears gloves when treating patients. Taking on and off the ring is a recipe for loosing it. Also if you know Amy, then you know she does not wear rings or jewelry unless it's a special occasion. Me, personally I think the diamond market is a scam. What are diamonds really? They're just a clear hard piece of rock that people only value because of clever marketing. The only piece of jewelry I own is a hoop that is pierced in the cartilage of my ear. I don't even wear a watch. I tell time by a mobile phone that fits nicely in my pocket, but I digress.

I was trying to figure out what to get Amy as an engagement gift. Amy tends to hold on to anything that she gets as a gift, even if it gets broken. Her brother once gave her this campy wall clock for her birthday. The clock broke and she did not want to toss it because her brother gave it to her. When I asked her brother if he would be offended if she got rid of it, he did not even remember that he gave it to her. Moral of the story: don't give her something that will got out of style, wear out, or an electronic that will be archaic in 5 years.

Rule #1: It had to be something that lasts a lifetime.

I was half-way considering getting a painting, a nice piece by an artist Amy and I liked. But then she would not be able to show off the painting to her friends when she told them she was engaged. Her conversations would go something like this:
Amy: I'm engaged!!!
Amy's friend: (jumping up and down screaming) Really, I'm excited. Where's the ring?
Amy: Oh he didn't get me a ring. I got a painting. It is hanging in the living room you should come by a see it sometime.
Amy's friend: (visibly less excited) Oh, that's interesting.

Rule #2: It has to be something mobile, so she can show it off.

I was talking to my friend Dave about the issue and he suggested a watch, a nice watch, like a Rolex. I thought it was a good idea. Amy currently wore a watch. Doctors usually do, they've got to time you heart beat somehow, or call someone's time of death. This was an excellent idea. Rolex watches last for forever, it is something that can be shown off, and it was something Amy could wear all the time. I liked the idea because a watch was utilitarian.

The Tale - Part II (The Proposal)

In the late spring - early summer of 2005 - Amy asked "Can we get a new showerhead?" Of course I said "Sure, we can get a new showerhead." This went on for another month during which Amy would periodically ask about a showerhead. Now Amy's birthday is September 27th, and so when she asked for a showerhead, our conversations would go a little something like this:
Amy: When are we going to get a new showerhead?
Dreux: Maybe you will get one for your birthday.
Amy: I don't want a showerhead for my birthday.
Dreux: A showerhead is a great birthday present.
Amy: I'm going to buy a showerhead and install it so you can't get me one for my birthday.
Dreux: But I already got you a showerhead it is in my box.
Amy: What box?
Dreux: The box where I store stuff of yours that I don't like and if you don't notice it is gone, in six months I get rid of it.
Amy: You don't have box, do you?
Dreux: Maybe I do.

This went on all summer long - Amy always threatening to call my bluff of getting her a showerhead for her birthday by getting one and installing it. It never happened. When September finally came around she started to ask what she was getting for her birthday. She always wants hints on her gifts and I have a history of not playing this game right. She asks me what her gift is and the first time I say, "I'm not going to tell you." But then she proceeds to ask and eventually after the 5th time I just tell her what she is getting. Then she says I was not supposed to tell her and that I've ruined the surprise. I always tell her if she wanted to be surprised she should not ask. So in September 2005, I employed a new tactic. Every time she asked I would say, "You know what you are getting, a showerhead." Amy would always reply "I'm going to be very disappointed if I get a showerhead for my birthday."

I planned to propose on her birthday. The week before her birthday I was going to be in the China for business, before I left, I ordered the watch. The salesman at the jewelry store assured me it would be in when I got back, and before Amy's birthday. My buddy Emerson knew my plan to propose and while I was in China, Amy and he went out to dinner one night. Amy was asking him for hints at what I was getting her. All Emerson would say was ?"It is something you have wanted for a long time."

I came home September 24th the same day hurricane Rita hit landfall in East Texas and West Louisiana. When I went to the jewelry store on Monday I was told that due to hurricane Rita, deliveries were delayed. The watch was not coming in until Wednesday, the day after Amy's birthday.

New plan. I needed to get her something so I was not empty handed on her birthday. That morning Amy mentioned that some of her bras were wore out and she needed new ones. After visiting the jewelry store I went to Victoria's Secret and got a gift certificate. Monday night I met Amy's dad for a beer at a restaurant near his work so I could ask for Amy's hand in marriage. I'm not a traditionalist, but Amy's parents are to some degree, and I felt it was the right thing to do. When I asked, his response was "Good, It's about time." We both laughed and he told me about when he and Amy's mom, Linda, went to Linda's parents place to tell them they were getting married.

Tuesday morning came and Amy woke up. I wished her a happy birthday. She asked when she was getting her present and I told her tonight at her parents place. During my lunch hour I went to Home Depot and picked out a top of the line showerhead.

That evening I met Amy at her parents place with my pink Victoria's Secret bag complete with a showerhead and gift certificate inside. I handed Amy the bag and the conversation went something like this:

Amy: A Showerhead?? I can't believe you got me a showerhead?
Dreux: There is a gift certificate too. You said you needed new bras.
Amy: Dreux!! (looking over at her mom)
Dreux: Your mom knows you wear bras. You don't like your birthday gift? (acting hurt)
Amy: No, no I like it, thank you. (trying to act not disappointed)
Dreux: That is a top of the line showerhead, and very aesthetically pleasing.
Amy: Yes it is a very good showerhead.

Amy's mom who was watching knew that the watch was late and this was a fake gift, but still could not help feel sorry for me. This was a feeling I appreciated though misplaced as I was enjoying this back and forth and acting hurt. And then as if on cue, Amy's brother, Scott, and his girlfriend, Kathy, showed up and asked what I gave Amy.

Kathy: What did Dreux give you?
Amy: A showerhead.
Dreux: A top-of-the-line showerhead.
Kathy: Cool.
Scott: That's cool.
Kathy: I want a showerhead.
Dreux: (to Amy) See, the showerhead is a good gift.

We went to dinner that night with her parents and on the ride over.

Amy: Did you tell Emerson what you were getting me?
Dreux: Yeah he knew, why?
Amy: It was just not what I was expecting.
Dreux: What you don't like the showerhead? Scott and Kathy like the showerhead. It is a very good showerhead.
Amy: No I like the showerhead, it is just not what I expected.

While I went and picked up the watch on Wednesday, Amy's friends at work asked what I had given her for her birthday. Amy had to reply "A showerhead." That sparked a male-bashing session with broad generalizations that men don't know how to give gifts or how to shop for gifts, and telling of tales of fathers giving mothers microwaves or vacuum cleaners. That night was Amy's birthday dinner with friends [at Trudys North]. When Amy got home she asked if we could delay the friend birthday dinner to another night. She had a presentation on Friday and the attending wanted to go over it Thursday and she had not done anything for the presentation yet.

Dreux: Well we could delay the dinner, but if we do I can't give you this. (handing Amy a gift wrapped box.)
Amy: What is this?
Dreux: Open it and find out.
Amy opens the box to show a very nice Rolex watch.
Dreux: Amy, will you marry me?
Amy: Of course I will.

Then I related the whole story of how the watch was not in on time and how I thought it would be fun to get her a showerhead. That night we had a great time with friends at dinner. Amy's friends at work had to eat their words the next day.

There you have it folks, the long twisted tale of how Amy and I got engaged from Dreux's point of view. I could not be happier on how it turned out and I'm glad we have a nice tale to tell.

Comments

Pat - 10/20/05 - 02:32:19 PM
"Dreux"
Did he ever tell you about the doll he set on fire?

The Other Cajun - 10/20/05 - 03:07:40 PM
"Every dog has his day"
My congratulations to you and my condolences to Amy. Amy: Please have that watch appraised. I hear through the grape vine that Druex took a quick flight to NYC and bought a couple of "Lolex's" in Chinatown....

Lauren, Joe and Noah - 10/21/05 - 09:46:47 PM
"Watch Boy"
If you need a watch boy, we have one who can do it for real cheap. If you do employ him, he will require workman's comp, and health insurance. Also, make sure the watch is water-proof, cause he drools a lot! It's nice to hear your story. It's a little long, but good, so long as Amy is happy. Don't forget to get the watch insured (they're only covered in theft under a Homeowner's policy for $500!)
Your beloved friends,
The Cadilacs


Kim - 11/29/05 - 03:58:31 PM
"Congrats to Dreux and Amy"
Congratulations on your engagement! Dreux, Amy is a keeper because I would've bopped you over the head with my "top of the line" showerhead! :-)
Hurricane Rita
September 22nd, 2005 | View Post

The shelves at HEB almost entirely bare despite the fact that we're several hundred miles inland with no major bodies of water around
To anyone not familiar with hurricane Rita, as of this writing she is a category 4 hurricane anticipated to make landfall sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, September 23rd - September 24th, 2005, around the southeastern region of Texas.

After noticing how the general scenary of my town has changed in the past few days, I just wanted to make a few notes as to what I have seen regarding the much feared hurricane. I guess it's not a surprise that after the damage caused by hurricane Katrina, people would be more than willing to evacuate from Galveston, Houston, and the surrounding cities. For Austinites, however, the influx is showing.

My H.E.B. Experience

When I walked into H.E.B. (the local grocery store) just the other day, I can't say that I was entirely shocked, but rather just annoyed at what I was seeing. It looked as if people were preparing for the apocalypse or something equally as exciting. Of course, unlike the rest of the crowd, my only intention was to purchase my usual groceries. Imagine how much more annoyed I became when I found I couldn't get my Gatorade, bread, water, and milk, just to name a few.

As exciting as it was to see H.E.B. in this state of complete chaos, I was disappointed not being able to get the foods that I am accustomed to getting. Yes, one could call it selfishness given the recent state of things in the south-central states, but that wouldn't change the fact that I was still thirsty. I think I was more so just annoyed that people felt the need to stock up as if they're going to be stranded for weeks to come. Perhaps I am not the best person to make this call, but it seems unlikely that Austin, a city 200 miles inland, would be devastated by a hurricane.


Cars lined up to the street for gas in anticipation of the hurricane
The Gas Rush

Much like I have seen before, when chaos strikes, we first make sure that our cars are filled to the top. I am still not entirely certain if this is because we fear the worst and think that we'll need to evacuate at moments notice, or if it's just that we are all futures brokers at heart and predict the price will make a significant increase. Whatever the case may be, the local gas stations have been swamped and many have even managed to run out of gas.
Build-A-Kev
September 20th, 2005 | View Post
I'd seen dozens of people do this sort of thing before and had wanted to make my own version of it. So after growing my beard out for about two months, I thought it would be fun to create a little stop-animation of the shaving process (thus run it backwards to have it grow).

I had a semi-formal affair to attend and really needed to shave for the event. Unfortunately it just so happened that my camera broke the day before and so I was kind of between a rock and a hard place with my little artistic experiment. The best I could do was to use my old video camera to capture basic clips and then grab stills from those video clips.

I'll admit it's definitely not the type of final product I had in mind (nor nearly the best I am certain I'm capable of producing), but it sufficed. If you look closely, you'll notice there are two little marks on the wall. These were actually nails that I used to align my head between for each shot. I had intended to remove them all, but never actually did since the images were so weak to begin with.

The images used to construct this can be found here: Build-A-Kev