Monday, December 25

Bored Silly

Christmas night. Bored silly at ihop in tyler tx. It's amazing how wonderful family can make life.

Tuesday, December 19


Originally uploaded by Jon Allen.
Santa gave me an early present.

The short version of how this happened is i fell off my scooter. I was turning left onto seaboard from mallory station to go to church. I hit a patch of gravel and the scooter slid out from under me cause my left leg to take the full force of the fall. The doctor said i basically removed my foot from my leg. No skin broke but all the ligaments were torn and my fibula was fractured.
I have spent my whole life taking for granted how important both my legs are. It's rough with only one that works! I'm much better than a week ago. I was very strong pain medication and I actually can't remember much of the last 2 weeks. I'm off pain meds, by my own doing, so I have full control of my mental state. I'm finally in a hard cast so I feel much more secure about moving around. The doctor says i'm probably in this cast for 4 months. I'm praying it won't be that long.

Thursday, November 16

NYC! From the Razor

Big Green Hindend

Empire State Building
Allen Room
Central Park
NYC Library
5th Ave Apple Store

Coming up the glass elevator in the 5th ave Apple store

Saturday, November 4


My first attempt at sushi. I couldn't figure out how to get the rice on the outside. It keeps sticking to the mat.

Tuesday, October 31

Around the Warehouse

I think Maxx Technology is on the way to being the top production company in Nashville in short order. Well organized, well prepared, and constantly a step ahead of the latest trend.

Here is our wonderful warehouse:

Warehouse Car

Firefox 2.0 - Necessary addons

Here is my humble opinion of the must-have's for Firefox 2.0
These are items that I use on a daily basis. Somehow i've convinced myself that i can't live without these.

  • All-in-one Gestures
    If i could do a life hack and create controls for hand gestures, I would rule the world. Whenever I go to use someone else computer i find myself flicking the mouse in silly directions with no result.

  • All-in-one Sidebar
    Instead a 50 annoying, yet useful, windows open from firefox, this combines them all into a disappearing side bar. The screenshot on the right came from this wonderful plugin. ----->

  • DownThemAll!
    I don't understand how this works, but I know it does. Somehow it gets much faster transfer rates out of normally slow servers. Downloads are effortless with this.

  • firefox Showcase
    I'm still playing with this one. Either in the side bar or in a tab will give you thumbnailed screen shots of all the tabs and/or windows you have open. As i am very visual, i'm enjoyin this one.

  • FireFTP
    Can't live without it!! Dreamweaver seems to always choke on uploads that are time sensitive or extremely important. Complaining of the server not responding or some crap. FireFTP uploads quickly with no questions or complaints. All from the comfort of a tab in my proofing window of Firefox.

  • Forcastfox
    Again, can't live without it. Check the mail, check with weather to see if it's good scootering weather. I've been stuck coming home from work in the rain on the scooter, and it's no fun.

  • Gmail Manager
    Small, clean line in the status bar that allows me to be one with the gmail.

  • Google Notebook
    I can only describe the notebook as super cool online bookmarks. It let's me take notes for any page on the web. All my notes are stored online and are accessible from anywhere.

  • IE Tab
    MUST HAVE. I don't know why the world still clings to IE, but they do. While I'm working on a site here's how my proofing windows tab list reads:
    | The Site (Firefox) | The Site (IEtab) | FireFTP |

    With a simple flick of my mouse gesture all these items refresh to reflect whatever change i'm working on. And it all minimizes to one little item on the taskbar.

  • No Script
    In the evil world of popups and porno, this is a Godsend. It will be annoying at first but once you have all your normally visited sites in it's list, you'll never go back. It blocks all unwanted scripts from the originating URL and outside.

  • Tabbrowser Preferences
    Give tabs a ton more flexibility. You can move them, rename them, all sorts of good stuff.

  • Web Developer
    If you have to update or rework a site this is pefect. I can visually tear apart a site, on the fly edit CSS and HTML, and break source code apart better than any program i've seen.

  • Wikipedia Lookup Extention
    Have you ever met those people that seem to have all the right answers? That just means they frequent Wikipedia.

Website Overhaul

Ugh, another night were i know i should have gone to bed a long time ago. Been working away on some updates for the site. I think i've finally got the user experience so they don't have to leave the site. 'Cause if they leave, I loose them. It's sad because most of the work is for the client portal. So not many people get to see all my handy work.
It's becoming apparent to me why there are entire office buildings of people that maintain large sites. This site is so small, and yet I can see it getting out of hand in the near future. I've tried to put automated systems in place to make it faster, but i'm still hand coding a lot of it.

Who am I kidding? No one looks at this thing. That's probably why it feels like i'm typing to a brick wall, or at least a drywall slab.

Monday, October 30

Avenged Clothing - Spring Line 07 photoshoot

Woah! A crazy day of lights and cameras and actions. Shot in the John Boyd's backyard with an old bronco and my new scooter. A bunch of friends, new and old, showed their wonderful faces and we took some pictures.

Some of the proofs are up if you want to see.

Thursday, September 28

Client portal of the late night

AAHH!!! I've been up two long working a client portal for my website. This silly website was designed to be a static resume basiclly. I've had a call from the website alot faster than expected! SO of course I decided out of the blue that I need this stupid portal.

Several hours (that should have been spent sleeping) later I've finished this thing for now. With a little help from my programmer buddy Josh, I have a cookie based secure sign in.

Thanks Josh, you're my hero.

Tuesday, August 22

BBC NEWS - Airport rules 'costing musicians'

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Airport rules 'costing musicians'

Boy am I glad i'm off the road. If this silly rule of only one carry on the size of a briefcase carries over to the US, most of my friends are in trouble. That's going to thoroughly screw up carrying on guitars.

Monday, August 21

Again I've created something that only my mother will view. Hopefully this can be a sort of resume I can refrence to for future work.

If anyone can help me with a PHP include for the flickr site, please let me know.

Wednesday, June 7

HDRi Imagery Test

Here is my first attempts at HDRI imagery. I was so glad to finally discover how to make these things. Photomatrix and tone mapping.

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Turkish Delight

A new friend of mine from a recent trip to seattle bought me some turkish delight. This is her struggle.


I want you to know, that what I had to go through to get this turkish delight was a pretty incredible act of heroism on my part.
So..............with it being Memorial weekend and all, it was extremely busy down at Pike Place today. Lots and lots of people, especially the homeless. So anyways, I'm on " Pike " St. and I park my car and I can see the " Turkish Delight " sign clearly in view. I start to make my way towards the entrance and as I enter, the smell of turkish food and the quaint open windows of the small cafe were simply delighting (maybe that's why they call it Turkish"Delight"?). I start analyzing the various different types of delight and I decided on two that I think you will be very
pleased with! I paid for the delight and started to make my way out of the cafe when all of a sudden........a homeless man running down the sidewalk runs past me and GRABS the delight out of my grasp and takes off running down the busy street. I started yelling " stop him, stop him, he has my Turkish Delight !!!!! " People were looking at my like I was the crazy one, but that's when one must assume they've obviously never tried Turkish Delight! So I start running, and running and.......then I see HIM!!!! Sitting on the street corner covered in powdered sugar! It was a dead give away, this was the man who stole my (YOUR) turkish delight, as you probably know by now I am completely appauled. I make my way to the man and asked him what in the name of @**$#% he was thinking??? And then....I punched him in the face! Uh oh...I mean what was I thinking??? Then, I saw the look in his eye (face still covered in powdered sugar) he was about to come at me when about that time a pol ice officer started making his way across the street! I was extremely relieved, now I could explain how this man was a theif! Not so fast.......the officer didn't want to hear my part of the horrific trama I had just been through. All he saw was my offense towards the man when I punched him in the face. HE CUFFED ME ! Can you believe this??? Here I am sitting in the back of a police car, and empty handed at that!!! By this time I'm almost in tears! Not because I'm scared, but because I'm furious about the Turkish Delight! The homeless man had the officer convinved that HE BOUGHT the Turkish Delight and made up some story about how I've come after him before, and he thinks I have a mental disorder. The officer buys into his story and let's him go, Turkish Delight and all! He then proceeds to make his way to my side of the backseat of the police vehicle and asks for my side of the story, even though I knew he already believed the homeless guy. So I tell him everything, I gave hi m tears and emotion and everything I had to give and then.........he looks at me and said " must be mental, cause noone likes Turkish Delight enough to go through what you've just gone through! " Then he uncuffed me and told me to " get help "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And to be honest, by this time I'm feeling alittle " mental " ....all I could do was laugh, and I did......I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. And what did I do???? I crossed the street........and there it was again .....the" Turkish Delight" sign. I made my way back into the quaint cafe, a few strange looks but I didn't care. I got our Turkish Delight, paid for it, and hung onto it with a kung-fu grip like you've never seen and I ran........I mean ran not walked to my car! I got in, locked the doors and drove home. And here I am writing you. You better savour this like you've never savoured anything else in your life!!!! In fact, you shouldn't even eat it, you should frame it or something ! Yeah that's a great idea........enjoy .......
By: Amber Pettit

Thursday, June 1

Vacation Home

I took a little trip home to TX. Here is the childrens park in Tyler.

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Friday, May 26

Chicago, IL

We had about 3 hours to waste between soundcheck and the show. I decided to ask the venue if there was a train station near by. Just my luck there was one a few blocks from the venue. Steve, Andrew, and I jumped on and headed into the city to have a wonderful 2 hour vacation.

We had some amazing deep dish pizza, saw two guys fighting down a street, and went to Millennium ParkPosted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17

New camera!!

I can't wait to actually figure out how to use this camera. So far it's just amazing what this thing does. I'm not even trying yet.

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12

Seattle Shannangins

The Sound

The Orginal Starbucks

Some friends of Andrews at the Space Needle

Friday, March 10

Roadside Bomb (IED) vs. God's Plan

Here is a picture of my friend David Jones' tank as it burned after being hit by a rocket or bomb in Baghdad today. David and his entire crew were able to escape by following the emergency procedures they had practiced over and over again for months. Everyone back at camp couldn't believe they had gotten out alive, let alone virtually unharmed.

God isn't done with David yet.

Here is the powerful story from David:

By now, I’m sure that most of you have heard what happened to my tank crew and me on the morning of 10 March. I had hoped to keep most of you from knowing, but with it being all over the news and everyone talking about it back at FT Hood, I should have known that people would find out eventually. It isn’t that I want to keep secrets from anyone; it’s just that I had hoped to save all of you from worry and needless heartache.

But since the cat is out of the bag, I suppose that I should spin you the tale, partly to dispel any rumors and mainly for all of you to know how God has answered your prayers for safety.

My wingman and I were patrolling the major MSRs (Military Service Roads) in our Battalion area. This is the primary mission of the tanks right now, securing the roads to allow other military vehicles that are less protected freedom of movement. I was the lead vehicle, taking my tanks down the exit ramp of one road to merge onto another. About halfway down the exit ramp, my tank was struck by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device).

This was no ordinary IED though. The insurgents have discovered a particular type designed to penetrate the armor on our vehicles. The Abrams Battle Tank is an amazing vehicle, and by far the safest vehicle to be traveling on. However, it was designed to fight against other tanks, and the armor is placed where it can offer the best protection against incoming tank and artillery rounds. The insurgents know this, and are targeting the areas of the tank that are the most vulnerable with these advanced IEDs.

So when the IED hit C11 (my tank’s identification number), it hit below the armored skirts on the sides and penetrated through the track, punched a hole in the hull, and went into the fuel cell. The Abrams tank has two front fuel cells that allow the tank to go for a long time before needing to refuel. The IED hit the tank on the right side, igniting the fuel instantly. I think that the blast confused me for a moment, because it threw me from my TC’s (Tank Commander) station and into other side of the turret. I saw fire coming up from under my gunner’s feet, and my driver reported that the fire was in the driver’s hole as well.

When the tank is on fire, the only thing that you can really do is get yourself and your crew out. We evacuated the vehicle and tried to put out the fire. Even after spraying three fire extinguishers, the flames were still coming out of the driver’s hole and all the rubber on the track was still burning. The metal was simply too hot for us to put out the fire. I ordered the crew to abandon the vehicle and used my wingman tank to provide security until help could arrive. If any of you saw the pictures or new footage of the tank burning, they were taken after we had evacuated and moved away from the vehicle.

By far, the most important thing was that no one was seriously injured. The blast was strong enough that a crewman on the tank behind me had his shoulder thrown out of socket after hitting the inside of the turret. I twisted my knee getting out of the tank, but it isn’t sprained that bad and should be fine in a few days.

It took us the rest of the day to recover the tank. The metal was so hot that everything inside the turret melted, and the tank was smoldering for about eight hours after the fire was finally put out by no less than five fire trucks. All of the small arms on the tank cooked off a few minutes after the fire started, but the real fireworks came when the main gun rounds went off. I had about twenty rounds for the 120mm main gun on the tank, and after we thought that the fire was completely out, it finally got hot enough inside the ammo compartment for them to go off. To get an idea of what that looked like, imagine the largest Roman candle that you’ve ever seen and multiply that by a very large number.

The tank was a complete loss. It burned for so long that the only thing salvageable is perhaps some of the armor. As the tank lost hydraulic pressure the main gun slowly lowered, and I knew that she had given up the ghost. Because of the countless number of hours spent on their vehicles pulling maintenance, training, or on missions, tankers grow a certain attachment to their modern-day chariots. Each tank has its own quirks and aspects that make it unique. In all the time that I spent on C11, she never let me down. As we were loading C11 onto a semi to haul her away, I commented to my commander that she was truly gone. He replied, “Yes, but if she died, at least she died for you.”

He was right, but for all the protection that C11 and her armor gave me that day, there was a sovereign God who provided even more. There are so many ways that things could have turned out differently, but none of the “what ifs” matter. Everyone told my crew and me that we were very lucky, but I simply believe that we were protected thanks to your prayers and God’s will. Apparently, He has a few things for me left to do on this earth.

I already have another tank, which will soon be christened as the new C11. I have been out on missions since the attack, and have returned to see where we were hit. This experience has done nothing but hardened my resolve to seek out and engage the enemy. We still have a long road before Iraq is secure enough for us to leave. Fighting an insurgency is a very slow and deliberate process, and while you would never know it from watching the news, there are signs that we are doing the right things and that we are winning.

Thanks to David for keeping us all informed. We are praying for daily David!

Links to the Stories:
BBC NEWS | In Pictures | Week in pictures: 4 - 10 March:
Netscape w/ CNN News
Portsmouth Herald
Washinton Post (not specificly about the explosion)
Detroit News

Saturday, February 25

500v Arc

This is what used to happen when I tried to hook up the power distro...


Friday, February 3

Making a podcast is actually easy!

Hot off the presses
SONICcast #1
I was listening to TWIT (This Week In Tech) podcast the other week and thought to myself, "I love this podcasting stuff. Some day maybe I'll figure it out." At work (Industrial Strength Marketing) we were meeting about a huge new web project we're taking on. A many thousands of dollars worth of website, backend databases, and fancy store front. I mentioned the importance of offering an RSS feed for the newsroom portion of their site. Of course I didn't really know a thing about RSS.
The one place I have seen RSS used was on newssites, so i went to reading code. Come to find out RSS is really easy to script. Then i stumbled across TWIT's RSS feed. Which come to find out that's all a podcast is; a very simple RSS feed that points to mp3 files!

Well i jumped right on it. I read every bit of the TWIT code and noticed a link to a Harvard law site. Which apparently is the mecca for all RSS 2.0 info. I also noticed in the TWIT code some strange tags that i wasn't sure about. Well luckily apple actually has some help on how to code a proper RSS stream for an itunes podcast. This was helpful but is good only for an itunes podcast. I want my stream to be good for newsreaders and itunes. So i just messed the code from the Harvard site and the Apple help.

Well the first one is out, but i'm so boring in it!! I think maybe I was too excited to just post something without really thinking about my inflections. I also worked tirelessly into the late night to finish it. Well I'm all jazzed up about some of the future episodes. They stand to be much better.

Thursday, January 19

Unamed Foundry

A new flickr photoset of a recent industrial client.