Friday, April 29, 2005

Read For Yourself -- Frightening!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:41 PM


Red States vs. Slave States

The Home Gym

posted by John Blanco @ 7:26 PM


Just like the Foosball table makes our downstairs rooms a "game room," now that we've moved our treadmill in to the laundry room, it's now a "home gym." :-)

Six more days til New York. How can I go 2 weeks without blogging?

"Thank you for your answers..."

posted by John Blanco @ 7:12 AM


Yes, that is what our President ended last night's press conference with...Thank You for your answers...

NO, Mr. President, they asked you QUESTIONS. You, sir, were "left behind."

Some comments on what he said last night, his first primetime conference in over a year (cause speeking ees harred fore hymn):

I hope we can get an asbestos reform bill out of both the House and the Senate. There are some positive noises on Capitol Hill as to whether or not we can get an asbestos reform bill. That will be an important reform in order to make sure that our economy continues to grow.

What was the question? It was about our fledgling economy. It's all asbestos's fault. Oh, BTW, totally unrelated, but Halliburton has been hit with many asbestos lawsuits lately.

Like I said, totally unrelated.

And I'm proud of my party. Our party's been the party of ideas.

Bombing Iraq in an illegal war, destroying Social Security, relaxing environment protection laws, torturing Iraqi prisoners, cutting taxes to multi-biollion dollar corporations during a time of war, tearing the American culture in half using religion as a tool of hatred, and lying to the American people constantly are not ideas.

Role of religion in our society? I view religion as a personal matter. I think a person ought to be judged on how he or she lives his life or lives her life.

Boy, James Dobson is gonna be pissed!

Polls? You know, if a president tries to govern based on polls, you're kind of like a dog chasing your tail.

Ummm, OK? Then, gee, why did you say the following previously, among others:

Bush cites polls showing more Iraqis feel their country on 'right track' than Americans do on United States

It sure sounds like when you say you don't listen to polls, you only mean ones that don't favor you?

Listen, thank you all for your interest. God bless our country.

No CNN, that's not what he said. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

From today's Social Security event in Galveston, Texas...

posted by John Blanco @ 6:32 AM


From today's Social Security event in Galveston, Texas

MR. BENTLEY: And we're operating in central Iraq. I'll be back there next week.


THE PRESIDENT: How many children you got?

MR. BENTLEY: We have two children. We have a four-year-old son named Patrick, and a three-month-old daughter named Elaine that I just got to meet for the first time.


MR. BENTLEY: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: No wonder you're emotional. (Laughter.) That's awesome.

MRS. BENTLEY: She was born two days after he deployed.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, great."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Save Something Special for the End

posted by John Blanco @ 9:04 AM


Chess Avatara is very close to development now. The edumucation from "the Java book" I got is going nicely...what a great little (little?) book!

The plan is to start official development after I get back from New York. I've been doing prototypes in the meantime of certain features. It will be quite a load, but this preperation should be worth it. I hope to go on a huge coding streak in June to set up for the 6-month stretch that reaches to the end of the year, my hopeful release date.

What fun!

Back at work today as well. Nothing much going on, so not so bad that I missed a day. We have some company festivities set for Thursday...not sure what, but in involves a "happy hour," so should be interesting.

Run now baby, run now ba-by run...

White Chocolate Space Egg

posted by John Blanco @ 7:10 AM


White Chocolate Space Egg - Liz Phair

Orange and blue, green and pink
I see you in everything
Don't need money, don't need wine
I've got better ways to spend my time

I'll see you around
Every hollow has its favorite sound
And my heart is holding on

Purple, yellow, reddish-brown
Once I felt you, I couldn't lay you down
Don't be shy, baby, don't be careful with me
Let it go, let it soak me down

I'll see you around
Every hollow has its favorite sound
Every rock and tree and leaf abound with your face

Don't tell me I've been wrong
Don't tell me all the magic's gone

I'll see you around
Every hollow has its favorite sound

I'll see you around
Every corner has its favorite clown

I'll see you around...
I'll see you
I'll see you

Monday, April 25, 2005


posted by John Blanco @ 8:06 AM


Yesterday, we also went to Hudson Gardens to see the foliage. The picture above is Shawn and Michele riding a horse statue named "Tar Baby." Odd name. But, cute picture. :-)

Down With Seafood!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:05 AM


Yesterday, the whole family went out to Red Lobster for dinner to celebrate Chris's birthday, Eadie's birthday, and our own Anniversary!

Dinner was yummy, and it's Michele's favorite place after all, but little James did not like the seafood too much because he ejected it all over the floor. :-) OK, I'll move on...

I'm home today...not feeling well. "I don't feel very good!" Gonna try to make my day productive...but my throat is very tender this morning. Not sure why.

No other stories to report. :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

It's All Over But the Crying

posted by John Blanco @ 12:23 PM


Yeee haw...been a long time since I treated myself to some CD's. I got the new Garbage CD, Bleed Like Me, and went back in time to get Korn's Issues.

So far, all is good. :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Nets Are IN!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:12 PM


The Nets are IN! Here comes Vince Carter, baby!

Mid-Evening Update

posted by John Blanco @ 5:55 PM


A lot of tidbits queueing up, so I have to unload on how things are going for me right now.

On Chess Avatara:

I just waded through "classpath hell," which is common for a Java programmer. An amazing phenomenon, classpaths are SO much better than the C++ equivalent, but there so many cases where they just drive ya batty!

My problem came with Java Web Start, and how to handle external JAR's. But I just got it working, so now time to put some effort on cleaning up the Ant files and build scheme.

On the Nets:

Biggest game of the year! If they win, they're in! Things haven't gone smoothly though in Boston. The Nets played a little lackluster, and then the Celtics put the pain on and went up by 19 points!!! The Nets immediately fireback with a 9-0 run, and after a harsh fight, the Nets came back to tie a few minutes ago...

And wouldn't ya know it?!?!??! The Nets have now gone up 11! NOW 13!!!!!!!!! This is unthinkable and a classy damn way to make the playoffs...The Nets have outscored the Celts 32-8 in the 3rd quarter. I wish I was watching it, the run is HUGE! From 19 down to 13 up, that's a 32 point turnaround in just over 15 minutes of play! Amazing.

On the Mets:

Looking sloppy. Heilman is dissapointing, and it's 7-2 Marlins now. We'll see what they can do. The Nets are the key right now. :-)

Tom DeLay, 1995...

posted by John Blanco @ 1:52 PM


U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said in 1995,

"The time has come that the American people know exactly what their representatives are doing here in Washington. Are they feeding at the public trough, taking lobbyist-paid vacations, getting wined and dined by special-interest groups? Or are they working hard to represent their constituents? The people, the American people, have a right to know. I say the best disinfectant is full disclosure.''

The people, the American people, are waiting, Mr. DeLay.

And Then There Was One

posted by John Blanco @ 8:41 AM


Greetings, basketball fans! Today's the day! Your New Jersey Nets go into the last game of the year, trying to win a playoff spot! A win by Jersey, or a loss by the Cavs, and we're in!

Go Jason! Go Vince! C'Mon R-Jeff!

I'm here at work, listening to Jerry Springer on my headphones, working on a defect, and hopped up on chocolate. :-) Sorry, no more left. The Yog will be jealous.

Tonight, Beth Hart and Liz Phair, in concert, on Comcast's CET channel. :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Happy Anniversary to Us!

posted by John Blanco @ 5:31 AM


Happy Anniversary to us! :-) Yesterday, April 18th, was our one year anniversary. Holy Cow that was fast! We spent the weekend in Estes Park at Barbara's Bed and Breakfast, pictured above. Never been to one, but it was quaint and beautiful.

One year ago today, we were on a plane bound for Kauai. Dang. :-)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

New York Mets

posted by John Blanco @ 6:54 AM


5 in a row. Heilman pitches a 1-hit CGS to beat Josh Beckett. Yeah, ba-by! Pedro today. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Estes Park Bound

posted by John Blanco @ 4:06 PM


Within the hour, *the* Jackie Henke will be showing up at our house so that we can be off to dinner! :-) We're headed to Claim Jumper, in Highlands Ranch, to celebrate Jackie's birthday on Sunday and the me and the Yog's 1st Anniversary!

Yeah, us!

Tomorrow, we're headed to Estes Park to stay at a Bed and Breakfast. We'll enjoy some time shopping and relaxing at our favorite spot in Colorado.

Rough week at work...nothing to do, really. Booooring! I spent the last day trying to find some random issue in the app pertaining to performance, but there's just not enough Flash tools to help find it. Grrrr. Ah, well. has sent me my is in the mail! FINALLY! I should get it at work sometime next week. So, gotta finish out my Avatara design! The design is pretty much there...but I want to know each and every thing that needs to get done ahead of time, as I should.

Can't wait to start! Will still be a while, but I'm psyched!

OK, well, time to get ready to go. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Oh, and congrats to Sean Christmann, who became a full-time member of InsureWorx today! Whoo hoo!

Thursday, April 14, 2005 Update

posted by John Blanco @ 2:34 PM


Got the reply...they refunded my money. No reason. It was either out of stock, or they did it in response to me demanding a refund if they hadn't sent it yet. Obviously, they haven't. Over a week to tell me it's out of stock!!!

I've now ordered it on $9 cheaper! So, something good came out of this.

SOB's. NEVER order from I'll link to em for Google's Sucks!


posted by John Blanco @ 1:26 PM


I bought a book from (why is this book causing me such consternation??), and a week later, it still hasn't been *sent*. Not delivered...sent! I'm trying to get my second refund in as many orders on this.

So, mark them off the list of places I'll buy from. And I suggest the same to my readers.

I'm at work right now. Nothing substantial to work on, so I'm investigating some memory leaks and performance issues that I've been seeing. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and find a major resource leak!

This evening, chicken for dinner...watching some baseball...and more Avatara design. Lord knows I can't do any work from my book which hasn't arrive yet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Poo-Poo Head!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:11 PM


Holy Moly! The Mets, after an 0-5 start, have now won 3 in a row. Good character, boys! :-)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

A 3D Chessboard

posted by John Blanco @ 8:39 PM


Ooooh! Above is my first 3D art, like...ever! :-) A couple rigorous days of Blender tutorials, and I was able to construct a 3D chessboard. Nifty! It was blood, sweat and tears though, since my expertise at Blender is still at about 2% (heh), I had to make each individual square almost completely manually. But I did learn a good deal about duplication and relocation to do it. I snagged the marble textures off Google.

I hope to one day be able to make this image in about 4 minutes. It seems to be a step above trivial.

Still, very proud. :-)

PS - I can't wait until I learn how to specify the absolute rotation of an object.

Snowed In

posted by John Blanco @ 8:16 AM


Michele and I are completely snowed in at our house. Not to say that's bad, we're just haning out, gonna watch some movies, and snuggle (perect day). The snow is amazing outside, blizzard-like conditions...


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Free Nuggets Tix!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:31 PM


This is weird. the Yog and I entertained Jessica and Jason tonight as we went to Lil' Ricci's for a yummy pizza night. We planned on either some bowling for D&B's afterwards, but while we were finishing up dinner, two hostesses from Lil' Ricci's came up to us and asked if we'd like free tickets for the Nuggest tonight. :-)

"Free? Four tickets?"


Well, it was 6:30, and the game started at 7, so we hustled it outta there actually got to the game only a couple minutes late! The last time I was at the Pepsi Center was for a Family Value concert over 3 years ago. Michele was last there around the same time, watching a Barenaked Ladies concert with her just-became ex. (Don't ask)

Well, the game was the game. I'm a New Jersey Nets fan, but I've never seen the Nuggets and so we had a good deal of fun. $19 seats x 4...can't argue. :-) A nice Saturday suprise.

I stare out my window now, and it's beginning to drizel. The storm is COMING! Supposedly going to get over a foot of snow in the Denver area....multiple feet in other areas!

And also, as some of you read my blog and know I'm a baseball fan...a HUGE Mets may have noticed that I haven't mentioned baseball at all yet. Well, the reason is, that in 2005 my Mets have become the laughing stock of the league. :-(

On Opening Day, the closer, Braden Looper, complete blew a 2-run lead in the 9th to lose the game. Since then, they've lost 4 more. Yep, the Mets are 0-5, and the only team in the league that hasn't won a game yet. If they lose tomorrow, they'll head into their home opener at 0-6. My god that is so sad.

The happiest game of the year, and they could be 5 games out of 1st place before they even play a frickin' home game. :-/



posted by John Blanco @ 3:11 PM eyes hurt.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Java Web Start

posted by John Blanco @ 8:49 PM


Welp, the Dreamcast is sold and shipped. I bought the Java book I needed (only one hint per blog), but then got a Refund notice today. Doh! Out of stock! Curse you Amazon Marketplace! So, bought another one on eBay...from a local place, so hopefully I'll get it soon.

Part of my grand plan of Chess Avatara includes a Java piece. I spent the last couple days trying to figure out how I'll deploy it -- applet, window, hybrid? Then I remembered Java Web Start (JaWS), and checked on it and bingo! Perfect!

So, add JWS to the list of new technologies which will be involved in the venture. So far, I've had to get into the PHP and MySQL stuff. This weekend, I will set up the JWS framework. After that, I will do some network prototyping (OK, two hints)...and that should keep me busy whilst I wait for the Java book.

One of these days I need to check some old backups for some old Java code I wrote. It'd sure save me time if I still had that particular library... :-)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

eBay Drama! (dum, dum dummmmmm)

posted by John Blanco @ 8:58 PM


So, I decided to sell my Dreamcast, and all of my games, on eBay. Dreamcast is an older console system...not ancient...but Sega's last hardware release before folding into software-only. It's still a competitive system, and it competed with the PS2 and GameCube, but it's about to get blown away by the new crop of hardware and I don't play it anymore, and it's just taking up space, and...well... :-)

So, I put it in eBay. 7-day auction. On the last day, my sister calls to see what's up. I mention my DreamCast. She's all like, "Oooh, what's the product #?" and I give it to her...but I say she proll doesn't want it. My nephews already have an XBox and GameCube, so what's the point?

Anyway, she goes on and starts bidding. I email her: "Stop bidding. Trust me." But no. She keeps going...and guess what? She wins! (BTW, for those in the know, this would be Susan I'm referring to :-) )


One week later...

Still no payment from my sister. We'd resolved that I'd bring the Dreamcast with me when we road trip to NY in May (less than a month away!!!). But, no payment yet. Then, the email:

Whats up bro,,,,
I totally forgot about the sega.....michael told me
I won't like it for the
kids because the graphics are older how's
this idea.....of course I
will buy it if you don't agree...

GAWWWW!!!!!!! She ruined my auction! Gasp! So, I'm trying to resist flunking her on her eBay feedback. :-/ How laaaaaaaaame!

All was not lost though, I made a Second Chance Offer to the next highest bidder and she accepted. Sent it out today. And with my spoils comes my Java Game Programming book that I need to vitally. A good trade. :-)

As for Avatara, still chugging. Did some networking code yesterday, and resolved how I will do write some of the low-level details of said code. Today, I researched on some tools. I was generally less than impressed with the Mappy tool I used on Counterpart, so I needed a new one. And I found it...and how!

Subtle hints, but not the whole cheese... :-) Not yet.

So, over the next week, I hope to work and work to get some basic stuff functional. Can't do too much though til this book arrives, so I'll try to do some less-exciting stuff whilst I wait.

No problem. Got the rest of 2004 to finish. ;-)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I'm King of the World!

posted by John Blanco @ 5:48 PM


hehee ehehe...mua hahahaha ha haha...

The picture above is from Jay's balcony. He's the swingenest guy in Denver now. The second highest residential estate in downtown Denver. The second highest balcony?! It was an amazing view. The Yog and I are out there hangin'. :-)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Left of the Dial: 5 Blancos!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:17 PM


Air America Radio | America's Progressive Talk Radio Network

The Yog and I just watched the tape of "Left of the Dial" (thanks Mike!), and it was very good! It was amazing to see all the on-air talent when they were just getting to know each fresh and green.

Now, they're a Bush-grillin' machine. Fucking fake Republicans. Come to reality!

Marc Maron was great to watch, as was Randi, the master. If there's any Liberals out there, get with it and click the link at the top of this blog! You'll love it!

If you're not a Liberal. Fuck you, asshole. Some of us care about this country...and if you choose not to be one of us, then go in the corner, jack off, and convince yourself that we're headed in the right direction and you'll just wait and see. :-|

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Chess Avatara: Phase II

posted by John Blanco @ 7:07 PM


With the Web site at a solid base, and much time spent thinking about game design and such, I now move on to the second phase of the Avatara project.

This is the Java piece. :-)

This will involve some prototyping, a good amount of research, and some toying around. I also need to get my hand on an additional Java book. Time to order it.

On Failed Friendship

posted by John Blanco @ 7:04 PM


Well, Baseball Opening Day is upon us: Red Sox versus Yankees. How cliche. :-)

But, today reminds me of something else. Something more sad. A longtime friend of mine with whom I played Fantasy Baseball with for the last four years...well, that run has ended.

After my wedding, I started IM'ing him and he didn't answer any of them over the span of several days. So, I figured I'd just let him contact me.


So, to my old friend, I wonder what I did to deserve the silent treatment...I guess I'll never know...but, C'est la Vie, enjoy whatever ventures you've moved on to, Good Luck with Pop Peeper, and I'll see ya another day.

Counterpart now Free!!

posted by John Blanco @ 3:42 PM


Handango Mobile Software: Java Phone Software - Counterpart

Counterpart is now FREE. :-) There is no money to be made, so I release it to all!


Destiny Quiz

posted by John Blanco @ 3:36 PM


Here's my answers to the Destiny Quiz...very interesting...

1) What is your husband/wife's full name (include maiden name if needed)?

Michele Mary Blanco (Ross)

2) When and where did you meet?

We met after a week of correspondence on on January 12th, 2002.

3) What were the odds of you meeting?

Well, we both had to post on Matchmaker at the same time, essentially. I found her, so it also had to rely on me deciding to write she may not have found me amongst all the desperate man-meat on the site. :-)

An old friend of mine was using Matchmaker and I'd watched her going through it on New Year's if *she* hadn't been using it, then I wouldn't have found it at that time.

So, in effect, my old friend is responsible for us getting together. Weird! Never thought about it that way...hehehe, thanks Kristin!

4) Was it love at first sight, or a fight?

Michele and I really hit it off well, but she'd been recently kilted in a 6-month-long relationship so it took her a while to feel confident in me. But, we always had a good time together and in the 3+ years that we've been together, we've only really had just one "fight." But, it was more my issues, than a fight. :-) Compare this with my big ex-relationship, where we had just one big fight -- once a day!

5) Were there ever problems in the relationship? time I effectively had broken up with her, but it was because I was having serious mental issues at the time. I needed to get away from the relationship, but I still loved her immensely. After a couple days, I realized that I wasn't interested in starting over a year or two down the road, and that I needed to fight these issues then because I had found a great girl. :-)

Michele's never had problems with me...she's too smart. I'm the jerk!

6) Were you ever close to marrying someone else?

Not really. I had one really long relationship a year prior to Michele, but we weren't close to marriage...although we were together 5+ years. Too much trauma. Aside from that, there was nothing of substance that I could report.

7) Was your spouse ever close to marrying someone else?


8) Why did you decide to get married?

We were both looking to settle down...and we were blissfully happy with each other. Best decision ever!

9) Good or bad?


Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fool's Day: My Day

posted by John Blanco @ 6:12 AM


Ah, my favorite day of the year, and the plans are already in motion. ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Google's April Fool's Joke

Also today: Jerry Springer debuts on Air America, hope to get my hands on the "Left of the Dial" tape, and Rib City Grill!