I use Google products religiously. There. I said it.

Any mail I am receive is procmail-ed to GMail. I read everyone’s blog through Google Reader. I manage my bookmarks through Google Bookmarks. I even have a recipe or two saved on Google Base (RIP).

Why do I use Google? Simplicity. With a broadband connection, even with my slow computer, Google’s apps are faster than something running locally more often than not. And since my information is saved to Google’s computers, I don’t have anything to back up other than my music.

I do have a couple of issues with these products. Reader (RIP) needs a “Mark all read” button, though this can be hacked around with Greasemonkey. Calendar seems to have problems keeping the event bars lined up with the times in the grid, which I can forgive for now since it is three days old. Edit: I was using a Camino nightly build. I am now using the stable and this problem went away. Bookmarks should be exportable.

But other than these couple of issues, I love Google’s services. I could use another reader, but then I would have another site to remember to visit, another password to remember, my personal information on some other company’s computers. It just isn’t worth it for small quibbles.

As for privacy, I am not worried. Google refused a government order to turn over search results that didn’t even ask for user names. They use my search history to give me ads I will want to click. So? I found ThinkGeek from a banner ad and it is now my favorite shopping site online. Privacy nuts should be more worried about their ISPs who have ALL your information pass through their pipes.

Lay off Google.

Side effects of marriage


I am quite happily married. I love my wife more than anything. The one and only problem I have with marriage is my mother-in-law.

Yes, that mother-in-law.

About a week after our wedding she came to stay with us overnight, so she could go to a shelter the next morning. That was early November and she is still here.

We got a notice from the apartment manager on our door that she needed to leave or we would get in serious trouble a couple of weeks ago. We told her she needed to find somewhere else, and every day she tells us she needs “one more day”.

She doesn’t contribute (well, she has bought us fast food a couple of times with the welfare money she gets to buy diapers with for the baby she hasn’t seen in three weeks). She doesn’t work (and hasn’t held a job for over a week in two years). She doesn’t respect our house rules. And she won’t leave.



The wedding had quite a few little kinks in it, but all in all everything went alright.

On the way there to set up my car died, but my sister gave us a ride over there so that wasn’t that big of a deal (though I sure wish that it still worked). We had quite a few problems getting ready, mostly due to the hard soil that we couldn’t stick anything in.

My best man showed up a little late, because he had to pick his wife up at the airport. Most of the people who RSVPed didn’t show. The wedding started forty-five minutes late.

But when I saw my beautiful bride walking down the isle none of that mattered to me. It may not have been exactly the wedding I have been expecting, or the one Jennifer was planning, but it was without a doubt the most wonderful moment of my life.

(I will post pictures as soon as the people with cameras email them to me, I promise.)



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?