Thursday, December 30, 2010

Since the motorcycle crash

As my friends know, I was in a hit-and-run motorcycle crash in September. It has been more than three months, and it seems appropriate that I update the blog.

So, I'll start with the crash itself. I was riding the motorcycle to work on surface streets. I have a strong affinity for driving the speed limit, so as I was coming down hill towards a stop light, I was off the throttle and coasting at about 40 MPH. There was traffic behind me about 1/8 mile away, and had a comfortable cushion of space in front and behind. It was about 7:40 AM.

It was a four-lane road with a turning lane in the middle. I was in the left lane coming upon a red light with traffic stopped. There were two cars in the middle facing me, waiting to turn left into the shopping center. The woman in the car waiting to turn looked right at me (or through me) and turned when I was 30 feet (maybe three car lengths) away.

The practice and training I received in the motorcycle safety training course paid off: I let off the throttle, applied both breaks, and downshifted. Unfortunately, I locked my front break, so I was committed and could not steer. Another unfortunate thing was the woman stopped directly in front of me (instead of continuing through into the parking lot). So I could not stop in time, or steer around her.

I remember thinking, "Don't go over the car." I don't know what happened next, as I do not recall consciously deciding to do so, but I found myself laying down the bike (to the right) and sliding toward her car.

The next thought was, "Don't get caught under the car." I remember watching pieces of the bike tearing off, bits of tinted plastic and glass flying by as I slid along the pavement. My helmet skipped along and I curled up to make myself NOT fit under her car, and then hit it.

The bike hit the passenger side back tire/door area, and I'm not sure what I hit. Once I came to a stop, I pulled my right arm out from next to the back tire, and the car started moving again and drove into the parking lot.

It must have been adrenalin, because I rolled onto my hands and feet and look looked around at the stopped cars, down at the bike (still running) next to the broken hubcap (Nissan), and ripped off my helmet. I was satisfied I wasn't in any more immediate danger, and I hit the shutoff on the bike. As I got up, I saw the car pull into a parking spot, and the woman got out and started walking toward the street. I ripped off my gloves and pulled out my phone (7:42 AM, I think) and stuffed it back in my pocket. Why oh why did I not use the camera feature and snap a photo of the car and driver?

The guy in the truck behind the woman was on the phone calling 911. Two more women ran up to me and one identified herself as a nurse and started asking questions. As I answered her, I looked at the driver of the car: she was grey-haired, about 5'2", a little over weight but not obese, a light-colored stripped shirt, and an olive complexion. She stared at me with her mouth gaping open, and looked back at her.

One of the women who stopped traffic behind me was a nurse. She told me she saw the whole thing as she was following me, and that I did everything perfectly to save my life. (I don't know how she assessed that, but it was comforting.) She asked me questions and helped me realize that 1) I was shaking and 2) I could not take a full breath. She told me I was going into shock, and helped me sit down.

Next thing I heard was the sirens. I looked up, and the woman in the Nissan got a worried look on her face, then turned and hurried (she didn't run, it was more of a fast mince step) back to her car. I tried to yell for people to get her license plate, and all we came up with was the first four letters, not the last three numbers. I watched her drive toward the grocery store, turn in front of it, and drive through the parking lot the street and turn right.

Well, the cop showed up as the woman was driving away and the ambulance shortly after that. I told the cop my license and insurance were under the bike. As soon as the cop got the three witnesses he pulled them aside for information, and an ambulance spewed EMT people, and a fire engine showed up to and more people swarmed around me. The next minute was spent assessing me as they poked and prodded me to check for injuries.

They asked things like if I hit my head, my name, my age, my date of birth, where I was going, where I was, if I blacked out, where I work, that sort of thing. I think they were trying to figure out if I had bad head trauma. Then it was the questions of what hurt. I said I think I was going to be O.K. and they told me I was no judge of that at that time (fair enough). They strapped on a cervical collar, strapped me to a back board, then into the ambulance.

Wow the ambulance drive hurt. I'm glad I was not hurt any worse. The helmet, bike jacket and bike pants really did their job as I had no abrasions.

Interesting thing about emergency rooms: they start a chart for you before you arrive, so they assign you a pseudonym alphabetically. I was named Autumn. They wheeled me into the E.R., asked me all the same questions again, and stripped me bare. A social worker asked if I needed to contact anyone, and I asked her to call my work to update them, but not to call my wife yet as I did not want Cathy to worry.

There were IV's, and it was a good thing I hadn't had breakfast yet as they wanted to scan me and take x-rays. They took blood and fluid samples, and gave me a pain killer in the IV.

Wow, painkillers. The medical folks called it a synthetic narcotic, and I don't remember the name. However, a warm feeling spread through me and the pain just went away. It was amazing, and I am still impressed with the pain management technology available to us today.

I was pretty out of it, but I was also pretty bored. At some point, I got a phone and called Cathy, and told her I was OK but at the hospital. She came down and we spent time together waiting.

I spent the night at the hospital and my night nurse was from Taiwan and she took a liking to me and checked on me often.

The upshot was three or four (depending on which doctor I asked) cracked ribs and a broken clavicle. And a LOT of bruises - I was purple and eventually yellow for weeks to come.

The next day, I was on pills instead of IV. I still hurt but was able to get up with help and walk around. The doctor said my clavicle break was clean, and they used to operate but now they just let it heal. I like the idea of NOT operating. I performed well enough that they agreed to discharge me that afternoon.

For the next week, I slept sitting on the recliner and generally slept, read, and got better. I dreamt for days of riding a motorcycle through mountain roads or beautiful scenery and ending up at the same intersection and replaying the same motorcycle crash, and every single time I ended up on the pavement again. I think it was my subconscious way of processing the events, my mortality, and whether I could have avoided the whole thing. I eventually concluded that really did do all that I could, except for taking a picture of the license plate. The dreams stopped after that.

Although I was warned that I would likely not get full mobility back, I feel like I am more than 90% back to normal, and my strength seems to have gotten back to almost normal three month later.

I did get a ticket from the city of La Habra for not presenting my license to the officer (wow), and had to go to court and pay a fee to have it dismissed. (The judge was very clear that it was not a FINE, they were clear they were not punishing me, just charging me a FEE to clear my name. Sheesh.) The city police says a partial plate (first four) and a make (Nissan) and description (four-door, silver or grey) was not enough to go on, so they'll never find the hit-and-run driver. Sigh. I figured there's only 1000 possible plates when you have the first four letters, so how many are made by Nissan that are four-door?

The bike was totaled, and frankly between the bike, medical, broken things that were in my saddle bags, I'm out over $5000 (ouch) and we're back to a single mode of transportation. I've learned the bus routes that get me to and from work, I catch a ride with a coworker whenever possible (which has helped me make a new friend, so that's good).

I'm glad to be alive, to still have my health, and my life is generally going to get back to 'normal' eventually. And for those of you who are curious, I would ride again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Cathy!

I've got a few minutes before the show so a quick note seemed appropriate.

It had been a great weekend; we celebrated Cathy's birthday at her favorite rib place the night before and went to SeaWorld on the actual day.

The weekend was full of surprises though... First, my mom called to tell me that she fell and broke her arm. I knew this day would come. I think we'll be OK this time.

By the time I got off the phone with mom we had no chance of making it to church on time, so we went to the only church nearby that had a 11 o'clock service, a nearby Baptist church. Suffice it to say I will not be doing that again anytime soon. It may warrant a post of its own.

The rest of Sunday went well. We soon dropped off Chica at Rhonda's and had dinner at Newport Ribs, then watched the Twilight movie, Eclipse. We had a great time.

There was another surprise though... when I tried to order tickets for SeaWorld it didn't give me my tickets, but did charge the bank twice. That meant we couldn't get here at at park opening, but it worked out though. They comped us the tickets for the day and gave us preferred seating for the day, so we still got to see everything on time.

Well, the show's about to start...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hug your cat

I just read about Liz Dean's cat, Diablo, passing away, and it brought tears to my eyes. Liz's description of her relationship with Diablo struck a cord with me, and reminded me much of my own cats.

If you know me you know I love our cats. We refer to them very affectionately as our 'furkids' and I've probably spent more money on them than I have on myself in the past 10 years, both for healthcare and for toys and stuff.

Liz asked the reader to give their cat a hug. I do that just about every day, but I think I'll hug them a little tighter when I get home tonight.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Message: God Knows

So, here's the text that I tried to preach from, and the audio player is below, or you could play it directly here. I fumbled in the introduction so the message does not even start until the 1:30 mark, but feel free to give me some feedback. I'd appreciate it.


Hi, I'm Lee Jones, and thank you for allowing me to participate today in such a significant way to me. I do have a text I'd like to expand on today, but first, please allow me to pray for us briefly.

Father, thanks for this day, and for the freedom that we enjoy now, and that we could gather today in Your Name. Please guide our conversation today, and speak to us, and use me to the best of my abilities, and that You may exceed my limitations and speak to us anyway. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.


I cannot say for you, but if you are like me, these last few years have not been easy. A few years ago, my wife and I became landlords nearby and found a good church to join. I was about to graduate from the seminary, and we were doing well enough to support Cathy's mom, who had to move in with us. I loved my situation, my job, my church, and we were pretty well-off. The future was bright.

Then, things changed for us. Cathy became sick with Hepatits C, and we were told she might have 10 years to live. A series of property issues, and a tenant who stopped paying rent got us behind the eight ball on the mortgage. Cathy lost her job, and I started working second and third jobs to try to keep up. Then, my father died suddenly and left no will, and I found myself supporting my mother financially. We lost the apartment and had to move out, and Cathy's mom had to leave, too. It was a very tough time for us.

Transition to Text

It is not an unusual story. I don't know what your story might be. But we've all heard about rising unemployment, foreclosures, the economic downturn, a global war on terror, and people losing their retirement investments. Just when we think we've made it through one thing, it seems another one happens. Now what? What do we do now?


I imaging that might be how Naomi felt. Her story is found in the book of Ruth. I hope you are familiar with the story (look for nods). We won't have time to go through the whole book today so I'll be quoting a text here or there as we go along. (Maybe ask if everybody is familiar with RUTH if there are faces I don't recognize).

But think about it. The book of Ruth was set during the time of the Judges (1:1), which is a time of many wars. Naomi's husband and family moved to Moab during a famine, and for an agrarian society a family would be like a severe economic downturn, impacting everybody for the worse. Naomi lived through a tough time, and she lost everything.


Naomi lost her husband (1:3). For Naomi, this is devastating, not just emotionally but economically, for she has no good way to support herself. In today's terms, Naomi had no marketable job skills, so now she is dependent upon her children. But then she looses both of her sons (1:5), a double blow to her, as she lost all her family, and her means of support, and Naomi has no male grandchildren to carry on the family name and inherit the property. She returns emptyhanded to Israel, except for Ruth (1:22), and Naomi is so bad off that she mortgages her land and leases it out (4:3), with no hope to redeem it.

And in all of this, Naomi know that God is aware of her situation, her plight. Naomi says that God has testified against her 1:20). Naomi has lost everything, and she knows that God knows about her problems, and that has to be a troubling thought.

Transition to Us

God know about our problems, and yet we still have problems. Does that ever bother anybody else than me? Doesn't God know that my wife is, quite possibly, terminally ill? Doesn't He know that I can't afford another plumbing problem, another cut in hours, another reduction in my government benefits, another increase in my cost of this and cost of that? Doesn't God know I can't keep this up forever? Doesn't. God. Know?

[pause] And, more troubling than that, doesn't He care?

[pause] Of course He knows. And of course He cares.

[use the hands, gesture] But sometimes it is one thing for us to know something is true, and it is another thing for us to believe in it and live it. Of course we know that God knows. And of course we know that God cares. But things can be so hard that we know He knows, but we forget to believe it. Or, we believe He cares, but we forget to live like it.

Transition to Text

But we can remember, or we can learn, to live what we believe and know. Now Ruth illustrates how God knows and cares, and we can learn to live what we believe and know to be true. To steal a page from Pastor Mike's playbook, there are four things that God gave to His people in this story that I want us to see.

The point: God will provide

First, I'd like to point out that God provided Naomi with Ruth. Before all the trouble came around, God brought Ruth into Naomi's life. When things got tough, Ruth stuck with Naomi (1:18). When they got back to Bethlehem and had to eat, Ruth went and cleaned in the fields (2:2). God provided Naomi with Ruth. Before the trouble struck her, God had already provided both people and support.

[slowly] Like Ruth for Naomi, God may have already provide people to you, in your life, to encourage you and support you. God does know about your situation, and He may have already provided someone. So think about the people that are already in your life whom God has provided. Give thanks for them and encourage them as they encourage you.

So God provide someone ahead of time. Not only did He provide Naomi with Ruth, second, God provided Ruth and Naomi with Boaz. When Ruth and Naomi had to eat and needed to work and glean for their grain (2:2), God brought Ruth into Boaz's field. "It just so happened" that Ruth came across Boaz's field (2:3) and Boaz happened to be there (2:4) and Boaz happened to notice Ruth (2:5) and give her protection (2:8-9). Did it just happen? No, God provided for Naomi and Ruth with Boaz. God had already prepared and provided for someone new to come into their lives.

Like Ruth for Naomi, God may provide new people and opportunities and bring them into your life to help you and support you. God does know about your situation, and He may be arranging for someone to help you, right now! It will probably not be charity, and effort will be required on your part, but God has. already. provided. So look out for the people that God might bring into your life who can help you get on your feet or encourage you. Give thanks for them and encourage them as they encourage you. God had prepared someone to be a blessing for Naomi and Ruth when their need arose. God provided.

Not only did God provide Ruth to Naomi ahead of time, and Boaz to them both when they returned, and next, God provided Boaz with Ruth. Now, follow me on this. We already know that Boaz is a close relative and a redeemer (2:20). Though God had bless Boaz in many ways (2:1), Boaz was apparently still in need of a virtuous woman (3:11). There's no way to know for sure, but it seems to me that the story assumes that Boaz had no wife (3:10-13). Though Boaz had to wait many years, God not only blessed Ruth and Naomi, He blessed Boaz as well. God had prepared a virtuous woman for Boaz, and prepared Boaz to be a blessing and to be blessed as well.

It is very likely that God has already provide people in your life for you to bless them, perhaps just as much as they bless you, or perhaps more so. God will provide not only for you, but through you as well. So look for those chances to be a blessing to others, even as God is blessing you.

God provided for Naomi with Ruth ahead of time, God provided Naomi and Ruth with Boaz just in time, and God provided Boaz with Ruth as well. And, finally, through them, God provided the nation with a future king. God didn't juts provide for the people in the story, He provided through the people in the story for all the people of God. Remember, in those days when Israel had no king (Judges 21:25, Ruth 1:1), God brought two families together in unlikely circumstances to bless them, and through them, to bless the nation with a king, a king after God's own heart. The Davidic line also led to Jesus, whom God provided for our forgiveness of sin. So remember that God provides not only for you, but we cannot know what good-and-future blessing God is providing through what we do and what He is doing through us.


And now we know the ending of Naomi's story, and how God provided in her life. Naomi no support and no heir, and God provided. Ruth had no husband, and Boaz no wife, and God provided. Israel had no king, and God provided. God knows, God cares, God provides. Even in hard times, especially in hard times, God has already provided for you. He will provide for you and you will want to be ready for God to provide through you. God knows. God cares. God provides.


And how did my story end? Thankfully, our story is still being told, but I can tell you that, in spite of Cathy's normally fatal disease, her treatment was successful; against the odds 25-to-1, she has survived. I believe God provided healing. Cathy's mom is finally receiving social security and can afford her rent. We still help her on occasion, but things are looking up for her. God provided for Cathy's mom. Although my mother receives less than 1/2 of what she needs from VA survivor benefits to get by, every month God has provided extra work for me to support her. In this economy, I know God provides, and he provides for my mother every month. Although Cathy and I had to sell the property and our credit is shot, we were able to avoid a foreclosure. [insert story of RV purchase here, or if there is not enough time cut the to end] We managed to do a shortsale, and although we had to move out, God had provided pre-approved financing for an RV, and we found that we actually enjoy the lifestyle now.

Yes, times are tough, and sometimes we might wonder what God is doing. But you can know that God will provide. He has already been working in your life, He is working in your life, and He will work through your life. He will bless you and bless others through you, especially in these hard times.


What about you? What is your story? I don't know what chapter of Ruth you are in. Perhaps you are the blessing, or perhaps you're still looking for a Boaz. But through it all, remember that even in hard times, especially in hard times, God has already provided for you. He will provide for you and you will want to be ready for God to provide through you. God knows. God cares. God provides.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finally got myself a laptop

So, after 13 years of marriage and three laptops purchased for Cathy, she finally forced me to buy one.

I had been eying an Acer Timeline for church for weeks. The specs are such that it hits the sweet spot for me. 14", LED screen, 8hr battery life, 4.4 lbs, with a built-in optical drive. I love it.

At least I did until Saturday afternoon, when I closed the lid and it never came back on. Not even a POST. Acer said to send it in so I took it back to the Microsoft Store.

They have them back in stock, so I got my replacement, no hassles. They're also running a promotion, buy a laptop and get a monitor for free. Not only did I walk back out with my replacement laptop, I also got the last free LCD screen this week! They'll have more next week, though.

If you're in the market for a 14" laptop and a 21" monitor, call the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo! It was about $540 out-the-door.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Samba 3 on SCO 5.0.6

SCO OpensServer 5.0.6 came with Samba 2.2.2, and you could update to 2.2.8. With the arrival of Vista, Microsoft began defaulting to NTLMv2. There are tweaks (Vista here, Windows 7 here) to allow workstations to connect to Samba 2.x, but ideally you would want to upgrade to Samba 3.x. There is not a release supplement from SCO to do this, but you can install Samba 3.0.14Aa via Skunkware.

On SCO OpenServer 5.0.6 we'll need the following patches (in this order of dependence):
  • RS506A - Release Supplement for SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.6 (ver rs506a)
  • OSS646C - Execution Environment Supplement (ver 1.2.0a)
  • OSS663A - LPD supplement for OpenServer 5.0.6 with OSS646
  • gwxlibs-2.1.0Ba - Supplemental Graphics, Web and X11 Libraries (ver 2.1.0Ba)
The gwxlibs-2.1.0Ba update is available from
The OSR 5.0.7 version of Samba 3.0.14Aa is available from

You'll want to create a directory (say /tmp/samba3) and download the .cpio file there. If you are not familiar with CPIO files, you can examine the man page, or just run this command to produce the VOL files:
cpio -idmv -I samba-3.0.14Aa-VOLS.cpio

I'm going to assume you know how to install VOL files in SCO software manager. All four (rs506a, oss646c, oss663a, gwxlibs) can be installed as media images. For the existing Samba 2.x, I usually just disable it in custom rather than removing it, but YMMV.

The startup files are /etc/init.d/smb and /etc/init.d/nmb. Samba looks for /etc/samba/smb.conf for the configuration. You should be able to backup your original configuration and drop it right in for Samba 3.

Be sure to check /etc/rc2.d for startup files. I create symbolic links to the startup files like so:
ln -s /etc/init.d/smb /etc/rc2.d/S99smbd
ln -s /etc/init.d/nmb /etc/rc2.d/S99nmbd

You can reboot the server, or just run the the rc2.d scripts:
/etc/rc2.d/S99smbd start
/etc/rc2.d/S99nmbd start

I looked for a Samba 3 solution on SCO 5.0.6 for a client that is was having streams memory leak issues, and I'll have to wait to see if that helps upgrading to Samba 3 helped. Neither SCO's knowledge base nor Google was terribly helpful in the memory leak or running Samba 3 on 5.0.6. Frankly, I don't know if Samba 3 would break something else (such as CUPS / LPD). But, Samba 3 is running on my SCO 5.0.6 system now.

UPDATED (04/23/2010):  I added a note about installing OSS663A. Also, it did help with the streams memory leak on that SCO OpenServer system.

UPDATED (11/14/2011):  Updated the links to Samba3 on Skunkware and the patches. Expanded explanation on restarting Samba.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Patch Internet Explorer Now

You may have heard that Google's China operations were hacked. It turns out it was due to a flaw in Internet Explorer, and Microsoft has issued a patch.
  1. If you are still using Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) or IE7, please upgrade to IE 8.
  2. Also, please go to Windows Update ( and install the latest patches.
  3. Consider installing another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
The flaw in Internet Explorer seems worst on IE6, but has been demonstrated in IE7 and IE8.

It wasn't just Google that was targeted by the Chinese hackers, as Adobe provided additional information, and Yahoo and Northrop Grumman were also affected. Google, however, came forward with the information, and has effectively decided to pull out of China. As an interesting side note, Google hacked the hackers right back (link via Gizmodo).

The patch has been available since Jan 22nd (for reference, see bulletin MS10-002 and KB 978207). It may already be installed, but please 1) upgrade to IE8 and 2) run Windows Update. Alternately, switch to Firefox or another browser like Chrome.

Think you already have the patch but you're not sure?
  • For Windows XP, look in Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, click 'Show updates' at the top, and look for 'Windows Internet Explorer # - Software Updates' and look for an installed on or near 1/22/2010 named 'Security Update for Windows Internet Explorer 7 (KB978207).'
  • For Windows Vista and Windows 7, click Start and type 'View Installed Updates' in the search box and press ENTER. Look for the Microsoft Windows section, and look for 'Update for Microsoft Windows (KB978207)' installed on or near 1/22/2010.
Screen Shot for XP

Screen Shot for Vista / Windows 7

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts on the Google Nexus One 3G/T-Mobile/HTC problem

There's been a lot of complaints about the new Google Nexus One having problems staying on 3G with T-Mobile in the U.S. Early adopters are frustrated that they cannot get the issue fixed and don't have direct access to Google for customer service. I found that odd as Google provided phone support for their new DNS service, so go figure. Anyway, users are getting referred from T-Mobile to HTC and back again.

I doubt the problem is at T-Mobile. I've got the G1 on T-Mobile and it is an Android phone from HTC. The Nexus One is an Android Phone from HTC that works on T-Mobile's frequencies. So if a new phone with the same OS (Adnoird) from the same manufacturer (HTC) doesn't work on the same network (T-Mobile)... I wouldn't think it is the network, you know?

Both the G1 and N1 were branded as 'the Google Phone.' I figure that HTC builds both, but this time Google marketed it, so ultimately Google will have to lead the customer service charge. However, the problem is probably either a hardware issue (HTC) or a software issue (Google) that will need to be addressed. Hopefully, it is software, and an over-the-air update will fix it.

I don't have the N1 yet. :-( As a current subscriber, I don't get the subsidized price, so I didn't go for it (but boy is it tempting). But if I had the N1 right now, yes I'd be frustrated, but I also figure that Google will make it worth my while somehow.

Be patient, keep (politely) complaining -- they'll fix it soon.

Small Update: Steve Kondik (cyanogen) seems to think his N1 is bouncing between two 3G protocols, UMTS and HSDPA.