Playing with the X Theme

carbonboyDesign, Uncategorized

xWhen the folks at Thesis Themes did a major overhaul they sort of lost me. The learning curve was far too steep for a non-coder. I’m still using an older version on my blog, but will switch to X when I master the fundamentals here. Same goes for

Sorry Thesis Themes – great product, but not for the masses! Meanwhile I am still at using the old Thesis Themes. Ah but a new 2014 theme is such a joy to work with! This is where I get to play with it!

carbonboyPlaying with the X Theme

Carbonboy’s Mirror Site


Carbonboy has moved to

This has become the mirror site to while we repair it. Some files have become corrupted at the old site, as it no longer views properly in Microsoft Internet Explorer (which doesn’t surprise me). No worries, as the new site will be much faster!

Meanwhile, I am manually reposting all the original posts here starting from the old FrontPage posts from 2002 to 2007. It is best to convert all those old bloated html files into something that I can keep current.

It will take some time, but it is a rather fun process!

carbonboyCarbonboy’s Mirror Site

Verizon iPhone 4 replaces 4 old friends


iPhone 4

One iPhone replaces four old buddies – all I need is radar detection! Is there an app for that?

Like I’m not a big Apple lover and just mildly despise Micro$oft, but I tell you this: my new Verizon iPhone 4 made four other pocket devices about obsolete: my iPod Touch, my Nuvi GPS, my Flip Mino HP and my Blackberry Tour. RIP!

Now, I have no time to fix the WordPress file corruption that renders my blog as screwed in Internet Explorer. So switch to Firefox, Chrome or Safari as your web browser. They are all vastly superior. Yet I will fix the issue someday when I move these bloated pages to a fast WordPress friendly server.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 4 rules. Bring on the iPhone 5!


carbonboyVerizon iPhone 4 replaces 4 old friends

The Blandness of Winter and How Beer Saved the World

carbonboyA Day in the Life

Ridley Park Brook

Those who say they love the change of the seasons are idiots – in my humble view

So let’s see, it has been a tumultuous two weeks, thus no recent posts. The middle of last week I went in for my first ever stress test, as I wanted to take advantage of my client’s fitness center for fifteen bucks a month. They wanted a “doctor’s referral”  because I am a male over 45, and my doctor wanted me to take the stress test, as I never have. Well, fortunately, it was much ado about nothing. But it screwed up my schedule and as a result I had to work my first Saturday ever for years.

Well, no big deal as places like Egypt are in the process of tossing out their American sponsored dictator, and the ramifications may well be that such an event sets off an ousting of other dictators in the Mideast, and the price of gas will go to a gazillion dollars a gallon.

I can’t say I care. I am to a point where about all news is meaningless to my life, and best be just avoided.

However I did happen to watch the Discovery Channel’s “How Beer Saved the World” show tonight, and was quite impressed with its history. Basically its accidental discovery from barley collecting water in clay vessels some thousands of years ago brought on the agricultural age, built the pyramids, created math and writing, saved millions from bad water, made the church rich, prompted the American Revolution, ended child labor in the US, invented the first factory, developed refrigeration and a whole bunch of other earth-saving stuff. Watch the show, as I am sure it will be repeated. You will be impressed!

Meanwhile I am preparing for the third major winter storm here in Philly, which may come as more ice than snow. Each time I regret ever leaving California, but there’s little point in past regrets. I’ll tell you this, there is a world of difference between Piney Point and Philly in the winter. My real home was hit with some rain and about an inch of snow. Philly was buried with a foot of wet messy snow and they don’t have a clue as to how to clean it up.

Well so it is. I have a clean bill of health to hit the gym and that’s about all I can do until Spring. Ooh, but on 02.03.11 at 3:00 a.m. I will have the chance to log on to the Verizon Wireless web page and sign up for my iPhone. The odds of getting through are staggering. If I don’t, I’ll just wait for the iPhone 5.


carbonboyThe Blandness of Winter and How Beer Saved the World

Winter in Philly

carbonboyA Day in the Life

Philly Winter

View from my apartment balcony just before sunrise

I actually enjoy the first day of a winter storm – it’s quite exhilarating for a brief time. I stocked my cozy little apartment with food and drink last night in the hopes that I could simply work from home.

No such luck, as Philadelphia was spared. We only got about five new inches of snow. So I drove to my client’s site only to find about half the people showed up. Either way, it makes for a good day to get caught up with few interruptions.

Tomorrow I will revert to my normal attitude, dreading the day I left Southern California, and dreaming of selling all my possessions and moving to a tropical island to work as a simple bartender.

No sense in complaining over the inconsequential. This Friday I will drive home to Piney Point to check on the house. With winter ending no time soon, I now make that trip but once a month.


carbonboyWinter in Philly

“Don’t retreat; reload” and more “Second Amendment remedies”

carbonboyCollective Stupidity


Christina Taylor Green, 09/11/2001 – 01/08/2011

Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle and Jesse Kelly are in full denial of any wrongdoing, of course. Added to the infamous quotes above is Jesse Kelly’s past election promo: “Get on target for victory in November – help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office – shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

Asked by the New York Post whether his daughter, Gabrielle Giffords, had any enemies, Giffords’s father replied: “The whole tea party.”

Enough said – the lunatics are winning.


carbonboy“Don’t retreat; reload” and more “Second Amendment remedies”

Mikey’s Ocean – Forward to the Past, Part II

carbonboyA Day in the Life, Art, Family

mikey's ocean

Recovered from my mom’s house (she saved everything), my view of the ocean at age seven (thanks Jacques Cousteau)

I recall finding this in my mom’s bedroom built-in cabinets, a trove of all things saved, with my sister Kathi, when we were preparing to put the house up for sale.

It’s about 3 foot X 3 foot on brown craft paper in crayon. Well, I was destined to be no artist for sure, but wow, the impact that Jacques Cousteau had on me was pretty amazing (and that was before we had a color tv).

So much for exploring all things past for a time. Reality beckons tomorrow, as I drive back to Philadelphia.

I’ll likely spend some winter weekends in New York City, exploring the art museums, as now seems the best time to do so. NYC will be a mega-tourist trap once things thaw in 2011, so I best visit in the cold.


carbonboyMikey’s Ocean – Forward to the Past, Part II

Forward to the Past


grandmother's photo albums

The two photo albums from my grandmother Helen Smith – in need of high resolution scanning before lost forever

Well this was a melancholy week, productive as I’m back into a comprehensive workout routine, but somewhat saddening, as I just should have gone to the Carribean. In not doing so, I sorted through all the stuff from my mother’s house. I discovered that my grandmother’s photo albums – like going back to 1912 – are fading fast.

I started a high resoution scan of them some five years ago and captured maybe 75%. Those files may prove to be the best. I have all of them backed-up on two hard drives.

Yet I will repeat a complete scan again, with a bit more respect to detail, and then post all those lost memories somewhere in cyberspace for my many cousins to ponder things like: who where all these old people?

Aside from my grandmother’s ocasional notes, no one ever will know who these people are. Yet I best preserve the images, as in this digital age, such images can be preserved forever, or close anyway. Who knows who may view them in the distant future?

Oddly, my grandmother’s mother’s photo album is doing well. Scanning that is next on the 2011 agenda. I’m not sure why I have possesion of these gems – well yes I am – I am destined to preserve them.

I’m going to leave my trusty HP flatbed scanner at home. I just bought a new Epson Artisan to bring to Philadelphia. I’ll check the specs, but likely this is as good as a dedicated scanner. If not, I’ll bring the flatbed up on my next trip.

Epson 835 Inkjet Printer

My new Epson Artisan 835 Color Inkjet

Wow – there’s a lot to do in 2011. This is added to the list.  In spite of the mundane (but cherished) task to preserve the past, this is going to be an exciting year. As much as I hate air travel, I love global travel – trips to Spain, Korea, Italy and India are in my plans and dreams.

carbonboyForward to the Past

Can’t be in the Caribbean? Well eat as they do in the Caribbean!

carbonboyA Day in the Life, Healthy Food

Caribbean Chicken Kebabs

Caribbean Chicken Kebabs with Lime-Cayenne Butter

Washington DC and Piney Point were spared the brunt of the first major East Coast winter storm. I won’t even bother to shovel, as the forecast for the coming days is mostly sunny and maybe even 50 degrees F on New Year’s Day!

Yet as with most of Europe last week, countless thousands of travelers on the East Coast were stranded somewhere where they likely didn’t want to be. It appears not nearly as bad as last season’s Snowmageddon – at least in the mid-Atlantic.

Although I am perfectly content to be home for the week, I can’t help regret not being on some warm white sandy beach on a remote Caribbean island instead of seeing a blanket of cold white snow outside.

Whatever – I’m here safe and did not have to spend eight long hours in a freezing New York subway car. Yet I opted to grill out tonight in the spirit of a future trip to the Caribbean. The wind was howling, but I, and my marinated Caribbean Chicken Kebabs did not mind a bit. Not bad at all.

Funny, after all this, I had an urge to see what we, as humans, can really survive. I took a walk barefoot outside in the snow with no coat. I perhaps took ten steps before my feet felt the deadening pain of the cold crystalized snow. How incredibly fragile we are as humans!

I rounded out the evening with a really odd moive, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and some great music of 2010 – the Black Dub and an amazing Maurice Brown. Stuff like this keeps life magical. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Oh, BTW, dinner was super! The trick is to marinate at least six hours, and use really hot charcoal for just a brief time.


fred December 30, 2010 at 1:01 am

You missed a good chance for awsome snow pictures. The news reports remind me of why I am in CA.

I always enjoy the photos and commentary. Wishing you happy 2011.


carbonboy December 30, 2010 at 10:25 am

Ha ha – I’m sick of snow already and it’s only December. It also reminds me why I regret ever leaving California.


carbonboyCan’t be in the Caribbean? Well eat as they do in the Caribbean!