In 1935 my great grandfather opened a furniture store in downtown Ft Worth, Homer Oneal’s Furniture. The building is still a fixture on Jennings St. His philosophy was that a store that carries quality name brands but was still small enough to treat everyone individually would prosper, and it did.

Around the late 70’s or early 80’s, he died and my father and uncle Charles continued to run it. They were the two main salespeople, did all their own ordering, all the accounting, and more often than not, the deliveries themselves. Yet they could to this day remember the name of most of their customers and what they bought.

They later opened a small storefront in Hurst that specialized in chairs, the Chair Emporium. (this is before La-Z-Boy opened dedicated stores) For several years this was about the only specialized furniture store in the DFW. After closing that closed, they bought Days Furniture and Railroad Salvage in the middle of the Stockyards, a store that sold discounted surplus, factory models, and refurbished furniture, though that also closed eventually, also.

In 1999, they closed down the store downtown to open a new building in ritzy Keller, offering design services as well as furniture. Sadly, that will soon be closing as well, putting an end to 70 years of a family owned business. I was never to anxious to get into the business — it never seemed interesting to me — but I always assumed that when I got older I would end up carrying on the family tradition. It surprised me to realize how sad I am that I won’t be.



I know that a lot of people lost everything in this disaster, and I certainly feel for them. I am also more proud of being a Texan than normal, as our state has taken the lead on helping out the refugees. However, I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out some of the things that bother me about everything.

First is the people who claim “This is our tsunami”. Last year’s tsunami happened so quickly that no one knew what was happening until the wave was 10 meters or so from them. With a hurricane we had four days notice. Also, the tsunami decimated 13 countries (if I remember right) while Katrina’s main destruction was confined to two states. It is typical American arrogance to believe that the suffering, however real, of our citizens is anywhere near the Asian tsunami.

Second, they should know better than to live there! For years people have known that New Orleans was the city most likely to be devastated by a hurricane, due to the fact that the city is entirely below sea level — the residents even has a phrase worked out for if it happened, “filling the bowl”, decades ago. Why anyone would know that and stay in the city is beyond me. For some reason people are drawn to dangerous locations — Naples will be almost entirely destroyed the next time Vesuvius erupts, Budapest is one of the most populated cities in the country and is already overdue for an earthquake, California is on one of the most active above-ground fault lines in the world.

Third, why didn’t people leave when the NWS first announced that a hurricane was coming? I know roads were probably jammed, but four days is enough time to find other ways to leave too, or at least head for the stadium being used as a shelter. If you think that you can stay in your house and win a battle with nature, you have it coming when nature hands you your balls.

I still feel incredibly bad for everyone this has affected, and am doing the little I can to help them, but I feel the need to point out that most of the damage, or at least death, could have been prevented. Will it be next time?

Languages of Choice


I recently checked out a book from the local library on Python (Learning Python, 2nd Ed.) and don’t think it is a very good language. It is too loose where it shouldn’t be, and restrains you where it shouldn’t.

A good programming language should allow you to do almost anything you need, should be consistent throughout, and should allow you to use knowledge of another language as a starting point. C and derivatives, Java, and to some degree Perl and PHP all have enough similarities in syntax that it is fairly nontrivial to learn all of them once you have learned one. For my money, however, the best one to learn is JavaScript.

JavaScript is (almost) essential if you plan on doing any web development. It is designed so that you can learn bits and pieces and do functional stuff within the first half hour or so (without much case and pasting), and is scalable. It can be used for trivial tasks such as image rollovers in a web page, but scales so well that the majority of Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, and pretty much any other application or extension is primarily written in JavaScript. A good chunk of DreamWeaver is in JS. Not to mention a large portion of Windows (okay, that’s not such a good example, but bad apps can be written in any language).

JS is cross platform. Odds are that the browser you are using can interpret JS. Excellent quality web applications are written in it (Flickr, Google Maps, and GMail come to mind). And if you want to do something more ambitious than a web app (perhaps an app that can save files, for example) you can make a piece of Mozilla chrome (XUL Planet has an excellent tutorial) that will run on any computer that is running any application.

I long for the day that GNU releases GJSC (GNU JavaScript Compiler).



For the past three weeks or so, I have felt the crushing embrace of apathy. Apathy towards my job, apathy towards my friends, apathy towards apathy. The thing that is scaring me is that I am embracing it right back. And I don’t care.

I (who am normally quite nice looking and well groomed) have shaved twice in the past three weeks and fixed my hair once. I haven’t been keeping my bed made. I left some clothes I washed in the dryer for four days before retrieving them; they are now sitting in a pile on my floor rather than hanging in my closet. And I don’t care.

I don’t do my best at work. In fact, rather than my normal taking pride in doing a great job, I am doing as little as I can get away with, sometimes less. When customers that I normally look forward to seeing walk in, I outwardly smile but inwardly shrug. And I don’t care.

I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m hardly eating, and what I do eat is rarely anything I want. I am doing an even worse job managing my finances than usual. And I don’t care.

I have uber-fast cable internet. I should be posting to my journal every day. I should be working at redesigning the site and tweaking the code for TextPattern. But I don’t care.

I’m not even trying to spend time with my friends. Rachel’s birthday was Monday; I almost didn’t call her. I have seen her once in the past week. And I don’t care.

I need to get out of this rut. I need to take care of myself. I need to tidy my room and keep it that way. I need to do the best job possible at work. I need to spend time with my friends and family.

If only I could bring myself to care.

Lord Of The Rings Review


I have tried to watch Lord of the Rings before, but always fall asleep not far into it. I just managed, for the first time, to stay awake through the entire movie. The plot is confusing, the characters are annoying and unbelievable, and the acting is horrible.

Worst movie ever.