Friday, December 10, 2010

Sure, that's my phone...

So I was on the Palm site today looking at the Palm Pre 2.
My son was on the lap and asked me if the picture on the screen was my phone.
Normally when pictures of Pre's show up, I agree that it is my phone.

But how can I tell him that my Sprint Pre is the same as the Pre 2 in the picture?

So I told him that it wasn't my phone; it was the Pre 2.

"It's the pre too?"


So I decided to show him the differences and picked up my Pre from the desk.
Skipping over OS versions and processor speeds, I tried to keep it simple.

See? Mine has a circle button. That one has a white line.

And without missing a beat, he pointed over my Pre Plus sitting on the Touchstone.

"It has a white line too!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guest Post: "Promo"

 Today's Guest Post is by Constance Woods.

So I go to Babies "Я" Us to buy two cases of diapers, and when you buy two cases you get a free $15 gift card.

So I go to check out and they ring me up and then add $15 to the total for my gift card.

I'm like no it's a free gift card.
They said it's a promo to get wipes or soap later, and I'm like well I could do that now if I need it.

So I return it, but they couldn't even give me all my money back because of the gift card, so they gave me my money for the diapers and I bought a $15 gift card.

Promo;  sure it is.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Changing Face of Sugar

As many of y'all know by now, my Doctor has taken me off of sugar and caffeine.
And as most of you know, I really enjoy Dr Pepper.


Amazingly, the adjustment has been quite smooth.

Normally, I would drink regular Dr Pepper. It's good stuff.

My parents shipped me up some Dublin Dr Pepper that I've been rationing. And I drink that on occasion.

Regular Dr Pepper is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
Dublin Dr Pepper is sweetened with Imperial pure cane sugar.


So I'm used to two different sugars.

And then I went to Australia…

I'm not 100% on what type of sugar they use down under. But it isn't what I'm used to up here in the states. But it is sugar, not corn syrup.

When I got back to the states, my local Walmart was selling anniversary edition Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar". Woo!
It was certainly not Imperial sugar. But it was also better than corn syrup.

I call it mid-grade Dr Pepper.
Not as good as Dublin, but better than regular.

And now I have to avoid sugar; cane and corn syrup alike.

So I switched to the Diet. And, well, it tastes more like regular Dr Pepper than I expected.

My taste buds knew that it was the sweetner that had changed; and I've spent the past year changing sweetners.

Before I was done with my first can, I had adjusted to the aspartame.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sugar? Sugar. Sugar!

To clarify and expound on my recent status update.

I was just medically discharged from my job.

I seem to have a problem keeping my blood sugar level up.

Yesterday, with a simple test, they were able to see that my "monthly blood sugar average" is 2.

2 what? I don't know.
But that's low. Really low.

Today I was informed that I can't drive a big truck (Oh, I'm a trucker. Or at least I was) with this blood sugar problem.

And so they let me go.

I'll be seeing a Doctor tomorrow to figure out what's up with my blood.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Best Buy Mobile on webOS

So I found this "Best Buy Mobile Guide to Mobile Phone Apps" pamphlet at my dad's house.
And, naturally, I flipped through until I found webOS.

I found the page labeled "Operating Sytem Overview: Which OS is right for you?"

I skimmed past RIM, Android, Windows Mobile, and found webOS (right above Symbian).

This is what Best Buy has to say:

webOS is comparable to the Linx OS for computers. It is belovved by many Palm users, who appreciate its synergy with multiple information sources, over-the-air updates and its touchscreen-specific graphic interface.

Ah, "beloved by many Palm users". Yes, webOS is certainly beloved.
A very powerful fan base. So powerful, in fact, that we're a feature of the OS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm a size 0

On the last day of trucking school, we all got company T-shirts.

They went around the room and asked everyone for their shirt size.



4, no 5


Everyone tossed out a number of X's.

XXL, XL, …

The instructor didn't miss a beat calling out names and marking responses.

Until he got to me.

Large, I said.

He paused.

He looked up at me.

He seemed confused.

And eventually marked his paper and moved on.

I was the only Large in the room.

No X's.

I wear a size 0.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More on Trucking

Yesterday, I graduated from trucking school with a 96!


So, now what?

Now that I have my CDL and am done with school, I need to get some on-the-job training.

Today is my first day as an employee (not student) of Stevens Transport.

As early as today, I will be assigned to a trainer and their truck.

Then for (at least) 35 days, I will be traveling all over the US and maybe even Canada learning the ways of the road warrior.

((Bring on the foursquare mayorships! ;-) ))

After that, I'll come back to Dallas for a few days. ((Ah, paperwork…))

I don't know what day I leave, or who I'll be stuck with.
I just hope my developer phone arrives before I ship out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Truckin'

The keen-eyed observer may have already seen the changes I made to Facebook and LinkedIn.

For the rest of you; here's the news.

I'm going back to school!


I got a job!

This upcoming Monday, I will begin trucking school--I'm getting my CDL.

The school, through Stevens Transport, is in Dallas.

After I get my CDL, I'll be officially hired by Stevens and begin over-the-road training.

Yay, job!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Neat little Service Bell app #webOS

So the other day I downloaded this little app called Service Bell (you can get it here: )

It's simple. You hit the bell and it dings.

But am I really going to use it?

Well, I used it today.

I was at the Target pharmacy and I couldn't find a pharmacist.
So I opened this app, placed my phone on the counter, and Ding!

Not five seconds later the pharmacist walks quickly up to me and asks how she can help.

She didn't even question the fact that they don't have a bell of their own!

This app is a keeper.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fun with a Mobile Hot Spot

So my Palm Prē can act as a mobile hot spot, providing internet to other devices.

I got bored at DFW this morning waiting for my flight (they broke the first plane. I've been here for over 5 hours!).

So I activated my MHS app and re-named my SSID "Free Network" (it's normally "Infected Network").

It wasn't long until a laptop connected to it.

I felt kinda neat providing free Wi-Fi to a random stranger.

A minute later, an iPhone connected.

Wow. If only that guy knew where his internet was coming from.

After the laptop disconnected, I shut down my MHS.

And then I noticed a very confused looking iUser.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Darth Vader, Legos, and webOS

Last night while I was at Target; I came across a giant Darth Vader Legoman.

With a push of a button, Darth's lightsaber ligts up and he moves.

Sadly, there was no audio.

But wait!

I had just downloaded two apps that morning on my Prē.

So I pulled up the "Darth Vader Breath"
app and added the needed audio to the display.

It was much more effective.

After that got old, I opened up "Saber Ultimate"
 had a ligtsaber duel with Lord Vader.

It's about this time that my brother walked away…

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Australian Coke and Waco Dr Pepper

I drink Dr Pepper.

It's good stuff.

And if you read your can of this good stuff, it'll say "Plano, TX" on the side.

That's where I grew up.

Last month, I went to Australia on business. I couldn't find Dr Pepper anywhere.

For most of the week, I drank water.
And I never drink water.

I tried drinking Coke, but something tasted... off.

I found out that they don't use corn syrup down under; they use sugar.

Huh. I've had Dr Pepper made with sugar several times. This Coke should taste better than this.

It didn't.

And I just found out why.

After returning to the States and drowning myself in Dr Pepper; I came across the last two cases of "Made with Real Sugar" Dr Pepper in my local Walmart.


But something was... off.

It tasted almost like that Australian Coke.

The "off-ness" wore off and I really enjoyed my 24 cans.

I eventually studied the can long enough to realize that the words "Imperial" and "cane" were not present.

The reason that both sodas didn't taste like the nectar of the gods was because they failed to use Imperial® cane sugar.
They used some other sugar instead.

So between the random sugar-of-choice, and my unfamiliarity with Coke; the combination was almost un-palatable.

Then I opened my first can of corn syrup Dr Pepper less than an hour ago.

What the heck is this stuff‽

If Imperial® cane sugar is the good stuff, then "Real Sugar" must be mid-grade.

Which leaves corn syrup as the cheap stuff.

Which it is. And that's why we use it.

As I take another sip from my soda, I realize that my taste buds have some adjusting to do...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

San Diego Recognizes Klingon as Official Language

In a bold move, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has traded all of the English signage posted at Gaslamp Trolley Station for those written in Klingon.

Some may view this as a simple publicity stunt for the annual Comic Con held at the San Diego Convention Center, but others think it has a deeper meaning.

As mentioned, the English signs at the station have been removed. This forces transit users to either learn Klingon, or remain in the dark. Anti-Spanish language groups have been supporting this approach for years (although, with English signs).

By having Klingon as the only language at the station, San Diego has declared that Klingon is not only an officially recognized language, but one that it feels enough of its citizens and visitors are fluent in that it is the only one needed.
And since the United States has no official language, there is nothing forcing the MTS to post English signs.

As a San Diego native, I find this approach refreshing.

This is a major breakthrough for not only Klingon, but all conlangs. This is a major step down a very long road.

With official backing from the State, local California businesses can't be far behind.

Klingon translations were provided by Steven Boozer, Chris Lipscombe, and Michael Roney, Jr.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Australian Adventure - Thursday

Last day.

I met James and Tracy for my last breakfast down under: cereal and muffins.

Tracy was staying a few extra days on her own, so we said our goodbyes (and wrote a post card to Marc Okrand) and James took me to the airport.

SYD is setup differently than any other airport I have observed.
Instead of letting each airline have a permenent presence, they set-up shop just long enough to take care of business at any one of the identical ticket counters available.

So, three hours before my flight, I watched the Chinese airline take down their cardboard flight attendant, and United put up their signs.

Not armed, I made it through customes without a problem.

I had a random pizza, and picked up some final souvenirs.

Including a boomerang and a didgeridoo. Apparently wooden weapons and heavy, blunt objects are allowed.

During my 13 hour flight back to LA, I discovered thw the port for my headphones was busted.

Thanks, United

Without sound, I didn't feel the need to watch any movies.

Going through US customs at LAX was a breeze. And oddly, instead of keeping us in the airport, we ended up outside.

When I realized that I was about to exit the building, a rush of emotion washed over me; I was in California.
I was home.

I slowly stepped into the Californian air, taking in everything.

And then I saw it: sunshine. I saw the California sunshine on the other side of the road.

I couldn't resist.

I made my wa across the street and out of the shadows.

The light spilt over the buildings and onto my face. Oh! It was glorious.

It felt so good to be home. To feel the sun. To see the palm trees.

I wanted to stay. It was painful to leave. I had to rip myself away and force my body back inside the airport.

Standing in queue for security (again), it felt cruel to trap us inside, denying us the sensations just beyond the wall.

These thoughts were soon replaced by the realization that I could find Dr Pepper.

And eventually, I found some. At McDonald's... Um, sure.

That's all I purchased.

A few gate changes and slight departure delays later, I was on my way to Chicago.

With a working port, I plugged into the planes music stations.

The first few songs were quite appropriate.

An in-flight movie later, and I was almost home.

Starving, I found food and Dr Pepper.

And I finally figured out how to get a mobile boarding pass.

So for my last flight, I handed my Prē to the gate agent, she scanned it, and I boarded the plane.

The flight was only 30 minutes, not even enough for a drink service.

Which was fine by me. I was ready to be done with planes.

IND was almost empty when we arrived. And my bags were almost the first ones to show up.

My wife picked me up out front, and we went home.

My Austrailian Adventure - Wednesday

The day we came for.

The two main reasons for the trip:
1) Tour the cave--make script revisions
2) Record the script

I met Tracy and Dan for breakfast and enjoyed some corn flakes (with sugar) and some chocolate muffins.
(The muffins at Jenolan were better...)

Then we were off to the studio.

"We're in Austrailia. At a recording studio. About to record in Klingon."

Yeah, I spent a large portion of the trip in absolute amazment or disbelief.

Tracy did a fabulous job on the recording.

I was on the other side of the glass following along with the script to catch any slips of the tongue.

We made a few alterations to help the recording flow better.

When Tracy got to the section on Cave Rules, she really hit her stride.

((Dan likes listening to the rules in the different languages. He says that the French almost sounds apologetic, while the German means business. Our goal was to beat the Germans.))

Tracy really got into character during the rules, and just kept on going.

But when we got to Maryanne's section, she asked that it be calmed down.

After Tracy made a very weak-sounding recording, I made sure she punched it back up for the next session.

After the recording was done, we listened to it all the way through.
I wasn't listening for much beyond pronunctiation at this point, and was focusing on the script one syllable at a time.

Why does she sound so weak? I think I'm going to be sick. Oh, it's Maryanne's section.

Luckily, the weakness fades quickly.

But Marryanne is happy with it.

Amazingly, we finished hours ahead of schedule. Apparently even the English version took longer and had more mistakes.

So we went to lunch by the beach.

I had french toast, covered with powdered sugar and syrup.

And since we had extra time, we toured the Sydney Opera House.

That night, we had our celebration dinner.

At a steak & seafood restaurant.

Unknown to our hosts, I eat neither.

So I had the burger. And this time, the tomato sauce was perfect. Nice and rich.
And the chips? Just the way I like 'em, thick.

My Austrailian Adventure - Tuesday

A side-effect of inviting me down, was the ability to have a Klingon on-site for promotional photos.

Despite my efforts, I was unable to gather a group of local Klingons.

(Rohan, regardless of wether or not you own a KDF uniform, I apologize for not remembering you live in Austrailia.)

Fortunatley, mIl'oD, my ship's moral officer and mascot, also attended.

In uniform, I proceeded to breakfast.

Chocolate cereal again.
((Oh, and the morning before I also had two chocolate muffins.
They were out of such things this time.))

Then we caught up with Dan, Domino (Dan's wife), and James.

We headed back out to the Cave, audioguides in hand (promotional pictures for an audio tour need to include the audio guide...).

Mid-tour, Dan presented us with the Jenolan patch.
Domino pinned it to my cloak,
and James proclaimed "You are now a member of House Jenolan."

A great honour, indeed.

At one point, I jokingly lifted my audio guide and shouted "matlh, HIjolchu'!". This somehow resulted in the photo shoot turning into a video recording.

After Domino was done taking pictures, Tracy and I took over Dan's office to add our script revisions to the soft copy.

Lunch in the bistro was a ceaser sandwich. It was nothing like I expected yet totally deliscious.

Our time at the Caves was coming to an end, and so we hit the gift shop.

And then it was back to Sydney.
We had a Wednesday morning appointment at the recorsing studio.

The drive was extended due to scenic detours and stops--well worth it.

After checking into our hotel in the city, we walked to dinner.

Not sure what the place was called, but it was near the water.

Daring to be adventourous, I ordered the kangaroo.

And well, either the meat itself, or the sauce it was under doesn't like me.

It tasted okay--a bit too chewy. But my body refused to take more than two bites.

Eventually, I ordered a salad.

It was the most disgusting salad I have ever had--but it made me feel ten times better. I was grateful.

After choking down as much salad as I could, I had a wonderful slice of chocolate cake.

My Austrailian Adventure - Monday

I had assumed that I would sleep in.
Instead, I awoke before 8 am.

I found Tracy in the restaurant and we had breakfast.

I'm confused by anyone who serves mushrooms and tomatoes for breakfast.

I had chocolate cereal.

That out of the way, we went to go find the platypus.

((Despite the fact that we were told about three platypuses live in the area, everyone insisted on referring to "the platypus".))

And we found him.

Then we toured the waterway. Very peaceful.

We met up with Dan, and the three of us all grabbed a copy of my translation, an audioguide, and headed out on the tour.

The audioguides were more advanced than I had imagined. Thankfully, I was not forced to wear a headset.

I had spent the last few months translating 4,884 words. Despite this, I was not prepared for what I saw.
Words are not enough. You have to see it.

Tracy and I noted modifications to the script as we went. Dan made some helpful comments as well.

At one point, Dan pointed out that a certain section was Maryanne's favorite.
It's a flowery bit about the sun throwing its rays across the rocks. And the colours, and so on.

Dan noted that the Klingon seemed short.

I admitted that the section in question had caused more than one headache.
I also pointed out that Klingon has no word for "sun" or "colour" and that "red, orange, brown" are all one colour as well as "blue, green, yellow".
The paragraph was complicated.

He understod.

But as it was Maryanne's favorite, we would look over it again.

Lunch in the bistro was interesting.
"Tomato sauce" is almost like ketchup. But it wasn't for me. At least not that brand.

Tracy and I flushed out the script, and made some modifications here and there; and had an epiphany when we got to Maryanne's section.

After that was taken care of, we joined a tour of the Lucas Cave.

The tour guide even pointed me out mid-tour and requested several on-the-spot translations like "Cathedral" and "Home of the Tooth Fairy".


Dinner was in the restaurant again, this time with Dan, his wife, and their two children.

Mmmm... chocolate cake.

My Austrailian Adventure - Sunday

Just after six o'clock Sunday morning, I could see the shores of Austrailia through my window.

The plane circled a bay before landing at SYD.

((Much later, I studied a local map and discovered that we circled Botany Bay.
The S.S. Botany Bay is the sleeper ship that Khan and his genetically engeniered followers escaped on during the 1990's.
DNA from embryos from the same project that created augments like Khan is responsible for the smooth QuchHa' forehead seen in the 23rd century.
I was infected with the virus a few weeks ago.
The pilot was circling the bay as an insult.))

The first thing I tried to do was access the local Wi-Fi.

I managed to learn that SYD has two different providers, but didn't get far enough to actually connect.

I met up with Tracy and we proceded to customs while I continued looking into Wi-Fi.

Then we hit a sign that said no cameas or phones. *sigh*

Eventually, I handed my passport and a little form to an official.

The exchange went smoothly enough.

And then I bought $5 worth of Wi-Fi (Ah, the joys of a CDMA phone--no service in GSM countries) and wasted most of my 15 minutes.

Luggage was found, and currency exchanged--with a $10 fee attached...

And then we went through another customs check point.

I declared the food and knife in my luggage.

Long story short, I kept the food; they kept the knife.

I had brought my Daqtagh, a symbol of my personal honour, as well as the rest of my Defense Force uniform.

In the US, "costume laws" allow me to wear such a blade (or even carry a betleH) as long as I'm in costume and at (or traveling to/from) a related event.
The official stated that they did have such laws, but they were still going to confiscate the dagger.

This process took quite some time.

((Meanwhile, Tracy made it through customes without a scratch and found Dan standing with all of the limo drivers holding a sign labeled "Klingons". I hear he got a lot of looks.

After I didn't come out for a while, Dan remarked to Tracy "I hope they didn't confiscate his betleH."))

After all of the paperwork was resolved, they put me back in line to deal with whatever food I may have. But they failed to give me back the needed form.

After they figured out what happened to my form, they were so confused that they didn't ask me about the food--so I didn't tell.

Eventually, I made it out.

I found Tracy and Dan and informed them of the seizure, and they both looked over the stack of paperwork.

Dan assured me that we could get it back.

UPDATE:  I got an e-mail last night informing me that it should be on its way back by the end of the week!

And then it was off to the Blue Mountains in Dan's batmobile (his car has bats on it).

We stopped for breakfast along the way at a little restaurant? bistro? and I had my first Austrailian food: scrambled eggs, bacon, and some sort of bread with a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

I didn't recognize a thing.

But it was delicious.

Over breakfast I mentioned the superiority of webOS and Dan assured me that his iPhone was company-issued and that he wasn't a fanboi.

Hours later, we pulled off the road to find some kangaroos.

"I'm looking at a kangaroo. In Austrailia. Because I speak Klingon."
It was un-real.

The first thing you see when approaching Jenolan is their Grand Arch. I'm pretty sure it's the only cave in the world with a major road going through it.

Words do not do it justice.
(But please show up and take the audio tour ;-)

After making it through the arch, the view opens to take in the hotel and offices. Impressive indeed.

And cold. It's winter there.

Our rooms weren't ready, so Dan took us to his favorite cave, the Temple of Baal.


I don't know what I had expected, but this is a nice cave. And there's a rock that looks like bacon!

Finally, we got the chance to freshen up. We had been traveling for well over a day by then.

The rooms at the Jenolan House are quite nice. (I'll note here that they don't have TVs in the rooms--you won't miss it. There is a common TV room, though.)

I was even more impressed with the instantly hot water in the shower.
And all of the water in the hotel is local water that has been filtered through the surrounding limestone.

Mmmmm... limestone.

Dan had things to take care of, so James took over as host.

The three of us explored the Imperial Cave.


Tracy took several pictures of me in the Imperial Cave.

((I should have these pictures on Saturday.))

It is a very impressive cave. Even has a wine cellar.

And when we came across an undergound river, we were shocked by how clear it was. Absolutely amazing.

That night, the three of us met for dinner at the hote restaurant.

I can't pronounce the chicken dish that I had, but it was wonderful.

I followed it with chocolate mud cake.

((I was unable to find Dr Pepper. Austrailian Coca-Cola is made with sugar, unlike its American counterpart. However, to my pallet, it had a distinct artificial sweetner aftertaste. I drank water for most of the trip.
My wife informs me that Americans have more sugar in their food than other countries. Between this and the lack of soda, this partly explains why I followed so many meals with chocolate cake and why I always felt sugar-deprived.))

As James is in charge of the restaurant, we discussed ways for him to tie-in to the Klingon tour.
We discussed various Klingon food and drinks.

((As great as this trip was, I can't help but feel like I'm missing out.
In a few months, they'll have a Klingon tour, Klingon food, and hopefully a T-shirt. Wow!))

The day over, we retired for the night.
Sleep came easily.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Austrailian Adventure - Saturday

I departed LAX Friday, July 9th.
I arrived at SYD on Sunday, July 11th.

Somewhere in there, Saturday occurred for a few hours.

Feel free to stare at a map and comprehend the International Date Line.

My Austrailian Adventure - Friday

Friday, July 8th, I arrived at Indianapolis International Airport.

International‽ They only got me to Chicago!

But let's back up.

In March of this year I was contacted by a guy named Dan from Austrailia.
Apparently they have some famous caves ( ) down there and they want their self-guided audio tour to be in Klingon.


That time last year I was translating for England-based Sophos and produced a Klingon anti-virus.

And so things moved on.

I completed the translation and assumed that everything was over.


It's an audio tour.
It needs to be recorded.

I recommended qurgh.

Someone was going to be in the States late June and they would do the recording then.
But I still wasn't done. They wanted me to be present for quality control.

No one on their staff speaks Klingon, and if qurgh were to make a mistake, they wouldn't be able to detect it.

Allright. We live only a few hours apart. If they book a studio in Kentucky, it'll be a day trip.

And then things turned seriosly cool.

They couldn't fit the recording into their schedule.
Aince they couldn't come to us, they invited us to them.

We were going to Austrailia. To speak Klingon.


Unfortunately, qurgh was unable to make the trip.

So I sent them audio samples of two other Klingonists; they chose Tracy.

Back to July.

Tracy and I made our way from IND to ORD to LAX to SYD over the course of 21 hours.

Our seats were never close.

The flight from Chicago to LA was the longest I had ever been on.
They even played a movie!

And then there was the 13 hour flight to Sydney. Wow.
It was so long that they gave us food. (Yes, I have seen such things in the movies. But movies lie all the time.)

I fell asleep before we even left LA. Several hours later, I awoke.

What time is it? Where are we? I wondered.

Then I realized how unreal those questions were.
We were not on some road trip where you can point out a highway sign and X miles to city sign.

We were somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. There was no way to know where.

And what time is it where? In LA where we left? In Sydney where we're going? In the random time zone that we're passing through?
Surely there's not a "ship's time" to go on.
No, the time was also to remain an unknown.

Soon enough, the random TV show playing ended and a map was displayed; complete with all of the info I was looking for.

Thanks United.

Hours later, a stewardess walked down the aisle collecting "rubbish".

I knew we must be close. be continued...

Austrailia on a Dollar

Early January 2002, my friends and I walk into a Half-Price Bookstore.

In a small display, I found the audio cassette Conversational Klingon on clearence for one dollar.

"Wow! I can learn Klingon for a dollar!"

My friends and I proceeded to practically choke ourselves on the way home attempting to pronounce  [Q].

Flash forward eight years.

I just got back from Austrailia after supervising a recording of a Klingon translation that I completed for Jenolan Caves.

That was the best dollar I ever spent.

As I have the time, and as the mood hits, I shall record my expieriences abroad.

There were three cameras involved in the trip--I don't currently have any pictures of me. So I'll have to go back and add them as they come in.

As I am still (back) on my social network-free diet, please post all comments and questions on my blog, not on facebook or twitter.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Due to...circumstances, tomorrow morning I will be going off the grid.

I will be cutting off all of my social networks (I'm in the process of shutting things down right now).

I will not really be checking my e-mail.

I still have some business transactions going through, so I'll be looking specifically for those messages.

But my internet access will be severely limited, so don't expect instant replies.

I don't know when I'll be back, or even if I'll be back.

Until then,


Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Open Letter to Palm

Dear Palm,

I love webOS. I really do.

I don't go a day without telling someone how great it is.

I bought my Prē on launch day on Sprint.
I have sold at least 6 more since then.

And I'll continue to do so.

Now can you do something for me?

I've sent multiple e-mails and tweets to you, and have received no reply.

I want to translate webOS into Klingon.


Oh, I'm capable of putting my own phone into Klingon. But that's not good enough anymore.

You see, there are several third-party apps out there that I would also love to translate.

But first, they need the OS to auto-detect the language.

Which is where you come in.

Just send me the strings.json files, and I'll begin right away.

I won't even charge you. I'm volunteering.

If you didn't already know, webOS has more Klingon apps than any other mobile platform.

And I've already provided translations to devs who don't use the auto-detect feature.

Other devs have been kind enough to make sure that their apps work with the native Klingon writing system.

I have been overwhelmed with the amount of support that I've received from other webOS devs.

Now I need suport from the company that made webOS possible.

Thank you,

Michael Roney, Jr.
Professional Klingon translator and webOS dev

p.s. Both Macs and Firefox recognize Klingon as a language. The iPhone auto-corrects "klingon" to "Klingon".

nom qaS yIn. Hoch yIjon!
Life moves fast. Don't miss a thing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let's show @Evernote just how many "a lot" is! #tlh

On April 10th at 1:26pm ET, Evernote sent out the following via Twitter:

Evernote keeps adding new language support and language-related features:
Following the link, you come across the following line

If you would like to help translate Evernote into your language, then join our Translation Program »

Of course I want to join the Translation Program.
I'll gladly donate my time and skills to bring Evernote into Klingon.
Especially since they have a webOS app ;-)

I ended up on their Contact Us page.

While I don't have a copy of my initial message, it went something like this:

I would *love* to help translate Evernote into Klingon.
I would especially love to for that translation to end up on the webOS app, but of course I'll translate more than just that.

I received this reply:

Hello Michael,

Unfortunaly we don't have such plan. We translate Evernote into languages where there is a lot of users.

Thank you!

Irina Soshinsky
Evernote Corporation

I'm not sure which hurt more; the rejection or the grammar.

I replied thusly:

I think you mean "where there are a lot of users".

How many is "a lot"? I will start gathering names.


I am very sorry, but for now we don't have such plan - translate Evernote into Klingon language.

Thank you again.

Again with the grammar. And the rejection.

So, this begs the question: How many is "a lot"?
(and did mentioning the webOS app hurt? They haven't released an update in a while. And we need one.)

When Sophos released their Klingon anti-virus last year, they had a lot of downloads.
(I've been unable to track down the exact number.)

I've released a few Klingon-themed webOS apps, and I would say that they have had a lot of downloads. (Klingon solitaire has 1630)

They already have the infrastructure set up for adding additional languages.
It's not like I'm asking them to take on a massive project.

So, let's let Evernote know that there are a lot of Klingons in the world!

Send Evernote a message letting them know that you want Klingon!

tlhIngan maH!

Once again, the Contact Us link.

And for those of you a little more bold, the support address that replied to me.

(And for reference, it's Case 93795)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Old habits die hard?

The other night, we ate dinner out on our back deck.

It was a nice night, and we were enjoying the stars.

At one point, Ireland decided that instead of closing just the screen door, that she needed to close the glass sliding door as well.

My first thought was "But we won't be able to hear the phone!"

My phone is in my pocket.

We don't have a "house phone".

I don't even remember the last time we had a land line.


2006. We had a landline in 2006. For a few months.

And I never used it.

Time before that would've been early 2004 before I got married and still lived with my parents. Not that I used their phone much as I got my first cell in January of '04.

How far back does this go?

And why in the world is my daughter closing a door triggering a reaction that we're going to start missing calls on a phone we don't have?

Old thought processes die hard.

--Sent from my Palm Pre

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A quick note to my fb friends

I'm not really here.

It just looks like I'm on Facebook.
But the truth is, I'm seldom on

In fact, I'm not even writing this note on fb.

I'm composing an e-mail on my phone which will get sent to Blogger and then sucked into fb.

My status updates are sent through my phone to Twitter and then sucked into fb.

While you may see me as Available to chat; that's again because of my phone.

My phone is always on-line. And so I'm almost always shown as Available.

And when I do interact with fb, it's usually through the fb app on my phone.

There are times, that I actually log on.
But it's usually just to follow up on a comment.

So don't be surprised that I'm not joining your army or babysitting your sick seal.

And don't be offended if I didn't respond to your late night chat; I was probably sleeping.

While I love all y'all, I just don't have time to sit in front of my laptop playing on fb.

-Michael Roney, Jr.
Professional Klingon translator
webOS dev

--Sent from my Palm Pre

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My #palmspot Idea

For those of you who don't already know, the folks over at are having a little contest.

Basically, make your own Palm Prē commercial.
I'll let you head over to the site for the rest of the details (and prizes).

And I came up with what I think is a good idea.
Problem is, it invoves a celebrity.


As I'm married to a foodie, I've seen my share of "Good Eats" episodes. The host, Alton Brown, is always talking about how your kitchen gadgets need to be capable of multiple tasks and have lots of applications.

As he puts it, the only uni-tasker in his kitchen is a fire extinguisher.

Now that all of the non-foodies are caught up.

We take AB here, and have him in his kitchen when he sudddenly needs to make a call, or look something up.
Point is he needs a phone.

Then Thing (a little hand who often hands him various items) pops out, and tries to give him an iPhone.

AB takes one look at it, says his line about uni-taskers, tosses it off screen and says while picking up a Pre, "No, /this/ is what I need."
And then have him highlight a few of the multi-tasking features of webOS.

Yes, it's still a rough idea.
No, I don't expect Mr. Brown to guest star in an ad for /me/.
And it's target audience is foodies.

But my wife loved it.

Last I checked, William Shatner uses a Pre.
Palm should get him to endorse it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What has Michael been up to?

Let's start this off by answering the Army question.

For those of you that don't know yet, the Army doesn't want me. I shaved my head for nothing.

Pectus excavatum ( ). That's why I was rejected. They're afraid that I have a "diminished lung capacity" that would interfeare with going through Basic.

I assured them that I can breath.
I told them that I lettered in wrestling in high school.
I told them that I'm an Eagle Scout who has gone on countless hikes.

I also applied for a desk job dealing with satellite communications.

None of that seems to matter.
Just wish it didn't take them over 2 months to figure this out.

Oh, and my recruiter also has a pectus excavatum.

Meanwhile, I landed a job at Sam's Club as a Gas Station Attendant.
I had previously been unemployed since mid-November.

Enough of that.

As all of you should know, I'm the proud owner of a Palm Prē (you should be too. Available on both Verizon and Sprint.).
I have recently tried my hand at app development.

I currently have 5 apps published.
I hope to submit number 6 tonight.

Along the same lines, I review webOS apps over at
Head on over and take a look.

And as exciting as all of that is, there's MORE!

I recently began working with the folks at Jenolan Caves ( ) in Austrailia.
They have a self-guided audio cave tour. This year, they're expanding the offered languaguages by 3.

I'm providing the Klingon translation.

I started translation earlier this week and things are moving along swiftly.
I have to say, it's a whole lot more enjoyable than translating an anti-virus.

Looking Forward.

It's only March, but my year is filling up fast.
This July I'll be co-presenting a panel on Klingon at InConJunction here in Indy.
And to make the weekend that much more enjoyable, I got the Con to invite Keith R. A. DeCandido, my favorite author, as their Author Guest of Honor.

Then in September, I've been asked to go to Chicago for a weekend to give a basic language lesson to the actors in "A Klingon Christmas Carol".

November brings Starbase Indy.
Last year, I co-presented a Klingon Language panel.
Nothing is set yet, but I'll get something in the works before long.

Lem'me know if you have something to fill in those gaps.

What've you been up to?

Brightkite vs Foursquare

I've been using Brightkite since it was in closed Beta.
At the time, it was exactly what I was looking for.
I traveled a lot for work, and I enjoyed being able to look at the little map of pushpins.

It was fun.

But it never really caught on.
I had some friends on there (and made some friends on there), but not a whole lot.

And then came Foursquare.
They took the same idea, but they turned it into a game.

While Foursquare isn't more popular with my friends, I get to play with complete strangers. People I don't know oust me as Mayor. I oust them.

I get to earn points.
As far as I can tell, they're worthless, but I earned them.

I can recommend things, like "try the ribs".

It makes using Brightkite kind of boring.

The one feature that Brightkite has over Foursquare is the ability to comment at a place after check-in.

If I show up at a restaurant, I don't know what I'm going to have or how long the wait is.

Brightkite lets me post countless times at a location.
Foursquare let's me comment with my check-in.
All other comments are in my stream, but not specifically at that place.

So what do I do? I bypass Foursquare for those follow up comments and send them directly through Twitter.

There's also no native notifications.

Brightkite let's me subscribe to my friends via e-mail and SMS. I also get notofied of comments.

Foursquare let's me get my friends check-ins via Direct Message in Twitter.
And as far as I can tell, there's no way to comment on a post.

So Brightkite has the features, but Foursquare has the sparkles.

If Brightkite wants to compete in this expanding market, it's going to need to get some bling.

(Gowalla just frustrates me.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Ever since Verizon got the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, I've been wanting to try one out and see what all of the fuss is about.

Yesterday, I stopped by my local Verizon store and got to play with each of them.


Well, playing with a phone in-store is totally differant than taking it home with you. You just simply can't try it out properly. It's tied down to the display, you're mot making calls and sending texts.
You don't dare log-in to any of your accounts.

So you play with what's there.

First, both phones were dirty. Covered with fingerprints and what not.
They were also rather sluggish. Probably hadn't been restarted recently.

So I told both the Pre and Pixi to update all of their apps, and then gave them a good restart.

Turns out the Pixi was wirelessly providing the store's music via Pandora. The store went silent--oops.

I didn't actually talk to any employees, so I can't say anything about their knowledge.

But the thing I was most curious about was the lack of a center button.
I found myself acting as if it was there. I knew where it should be, and my swipes took that into account.
And tapping on that line of light worked just as it should.

The thing I found odd was the keyboard.
I've had my Sprint Pre since Day 1. I'm well aware of how to use the keyboard, but the Pre Plus semed to trip me up a bit. Not sure what was going on there.

Bottom line? I'll stick with Sprint. While I'm sure the Plus memory would be nice at times, it's not worth the hassel of switching providers.

--Sent from my Palm Pre

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How my Prē really impressed me yesterday

Thursday evening, I Doctored (think "reformatted") my Pre.
Don't worry, there was nothing wrong with it. I had my reasons.

Problem is, I think I told my Pre that it was a Pixi. Not recommended.

I couldn't get my Pre to boot. I couldn't get webOS Doctor to recognize the device to reformat it again.


Eventually, I managed to get the phone working.

I still wasn't sure if my Pre knew what it was, so I Doctored it again Friday morning.

About this time, I realized that the home internet was down. Nice.

I needed that internet.

Since my Pre was nice and fresh, I didn't have any of my fancy homebrew stuff on it. Like a tethering program.

I didn't even have Preware. (Preware is what I use to install all of my homebrew apps, patches, and themes.)

Now, I normally use webOSQuickInstall (on my laptop) to install Preware, but it has to download it first.

No internet, no download.


I had the files and patches for FreeTether on my laptop.

But I needed other things installed for WOSQI to do modding.


I recalled that there was another way to install it Preware.

I googled "Preware", downloaded a .jar file onto my Pre.
Moved it to my desktop via USB.
And then ran the installer.

Then I used Preware to install the two needed packages on my Pre, WOSQI was then able to patch my Pre for tethering, 

and then my laptop was on-line.

Complicated? Only a bit. And only because I started with a fresh Pre and a laptop without internet.

Impressive? Most definatley.
Like I just said, I started with a fresh Pre and no home internet.

Check out for Preware and Homebrew

--Sent from my Palm Prē

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So what's happening with that Army thing?

A few weeks ago, someone suggested that I look into the National Guard.
I've heard the comercials, "one weekened a month, two weeks a year".
I decided to give them a look.

Their web-site wasn't very helpful. I was hesitant to click "send me more information" because I didn't want to be hounded by recruiters.
But it seemed like that would be the only way to get the information that I wanted.
So I took a look at the form.

Besides all of the normal contact info, they asked "Do you want to be a linguist/translator?"


Wait, what? They didn't ask "Can you fly a helicopter" or "Do you like shooting guns?" They asked "Do you want to be a linguist/translator?".

Okay, I'll bite.

Moments later I recived an automated verification e-mail.

Instead of saying "click here to register your e-mail address" or "click here if you didn't request info", they said

please click on the link below to verify your information."
please click on the link below to remove your application from the system"

They got me again. Of course I'm going to proceed with the "path of honor"! How could I not‽

Eventually I managed to find an e-mail address for the local recruiter which eventualy resulted in my taking the ASVAB.
I got an 84. He seemed very impressed. He said that basically any job the military had was open to me. He suggested Military Intellagence.

Then there was a stack of paperwork to fill out.

They needed the last 10 years of my life. Where I worked, where I lived, people that knew me at each of those places.
Medical details, financial information.

They're the military, can't they just do a search?

I was given a list of the current openings in the Army.

Oh, I've decided to go "active first". Basically that means that while I'm signing up with the Guard, I'll be active Army.

So I looked through the list of openings and picked MOS (think "job") 25S. I'll be working with satalites. Cool.

And then came MEPS. It was to start with a physical and end with swearing in.

I'll spare you the details, 'cause I'm sure you don't want to know.

I'll sum it up, though.


I had two problems. I have wax in my ear (doesn't everyone?), and I have a pectus excavatum.

Apparently the Military started caring about the whole chest thing this past May (or was it March?).
Anyway, it's a recent thing.

I didn't qualify.

However I can get a waiver. The Doctor even recommended it (then why'd he fail me?).

So Monday afternoon while I was not swearing in, I was informed that we could get a waiver on Thursday.

That's today.

Turns out while the waiver has been gotten, it has to be sent off to Virginia for approval. It'll take a week or more to process. Nice.

But they don't see any problems with it being approved.

So yes, I'm going in. No I don't know exactly when anything is going to happen.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Palm needs to start advertising like Star Wars

I'm a Trekkie.

And I love my Palm Prē.

But I'll be the first to say that their advertising sucks (not including the latest "Star Trek" film).

Star Trek is older than Star Wars.
Star Trek has more screen time than Star Wars.
But for some reason, Star Wars manages to get all of the hype when they re-release a 20 year old film.
They get cereal boxes and children's toys and everything else you could use to market a movie.

Star Trek seems to hide under a rock.
Flip cell phones are based on Star Trek's communicator. Why am I not holding a working communicator?

Palm seems to be working the same way.
Their existing fanbase all showed up to the midnight showing and bought a Prē.

But what about the rest of the population?

I didn't see a Prē ad until after I had one in my hand. About a month after.

And the ads for it and the Pixi don't seem to say anything.
If you're going to spend 30-60 seconds on a smartphone ad, you need to have someone selling the phone.

The "Droid does" ads come to mind. It does two things: it makes fun of the iPhone, and it states what the device can do. Win win.

iPhone ads also brag about what the phone can do. (not the part about "apps, apps, apps", but the "look what the phone is doing".

Palm needs more of that.
Show off the fact that it can multi-task. Show off the 3-D gaming. Just show it off in a way that the audience can follow.

People know what the iPhone is.
Apple doesn't need to advertise in a big way.
Google is also a household name. And they can stick ads practically anywhere with their Google Ads.

Palm needs to remind people who they are, that they're back in the game, and that they're not going away.

Typed and sent on my Star Trek themed Palm Prē

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Career Workshop

Back in late October/early November I attended a Career Workshop.
I'd like to stress the "career" in the title.
It was for people with careers to further their careers and find jobs in that career.

I don't have much of a career.

So for the purpose of most of the exercises, I went with "transportation/logistics".
I've been a courier for about 2 years, it's all the "career" I have. It's not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it's what I have experience in.

What I really need right now is a job. Or a way to break into a career. But that's another post.

The instructors gave us several different ways to network within our careers. Ways to further our careers and so forth.
Most of the stuff I learned didn't really transfer well to being a courier.

But what I did notice is that it transfered quite well to being a linguist/translator.
In fact, I'm doing almost everything right to further my career as a professional Klingon translator.

  • Join professional organizations. Wear lapel pins. Et cetera.
I'm a member of The Klingon Language Institute. I proudly wear a KLI lapel pin on my suit coat, and have my membership card in my wallet.
I'm also a member of Klingon Assault Group (and a member of thier Klingon Language Guild), The Empire, and KlingonSpace.

  • Use LinkedIn!
If you were to go to my LinkedIn profile, it would clearly list me as a "Professional Klingon translator". I have all of my translating work listed (along with my "real" jobs).

  • Other stuff that I'm doing that I don't remember the "category" of...
I also have a Google Profile. Most of my translation jobs come through it. I don't know how they end up there, but it seems to work.

Twitter. My first paid translation gig was through twitter. For a while, I read every tweet that used the word "Klingon". One such tweet contained a request for a Klingon translator. Next thing I know I have a job.

  • Networking
I'm semi-active on the KLI's e-mail discussion group. Recently I made a contact through the list, and we're co-hosting a panel on tlhIngan Hol at an upcoming convention.

I have 333 followers on Twitter (I just looked, I don't memorize the number). They're all aware (or should be...) that I speak Klingon. My twitter bio clearly states my professional status, and every third Wednesday of the month, I tweet exclusively in Klingon.
I have made several new language-related contacts through twitter.

Part of networking is just getting your name out there. My e-mail signature (and my signatures in my various groups) state that I'm a translator and link to my Google Profile.

  • Seminars
Each summer the Klingon Language Institute holds their qep'a'. As of yet, I haven't been able to attend one. However, this past November, I co-hosted a panel on the Klingon language at a local convention.
And as I mentioned, I'll be dong so again this coming July.

So if Klingon translators were in higher demand, I'd probably have a job by now.