End of the Year Reflection

Here is a photo of my new server erowyn.zaramyth.net (she was the only female to actually use a sword in Lord of the Rings)

The two IP addresses of the server are 65.89.129.7 and 8

These Cobalt Raq servers recently went into end of life from Sun. They are nice and have a cool web interface. You can pick them up real cheap nowadays. The WISP that I just signed an agreement to work for is letting me use one of his old ones to learn how to run a hosting system. There is nothing there yet as I’m currently setting it up.

If you want to see more photos of the Cyber Shop in Giddings go to:
http://www.wormley.org
–> Wormley Photos
–> Click on search
Enter Total Access in the search box and click search

I never expected to wind up working for a WISP running a Cyber Shop doing computer repair (Win98 problems and replacing modems mostly) and helping small town farmers with computers. The shop does not officially re-open until after the New Year. It has been closed for about six months because the guy that ran it retired. He was a heavy smoker and did not like to deal with people very much. Giddings, Texas is about 17 miles from the ranch. Total Access (http://www.totalaccess.net) is a WISP/ISP in central Texas. The Giddings location is just a satellite location from the main HQ in Elgin, Texas 30 miles away. I’m not going to get rich here, but the owner wants me to help him grow his business to the next level. Folks here really like the fact that there are guys around to fix these dang puters.

You can appreciate the picture of the Cobalt in the rack and what it means to me symbolically. Soon I’ll finally have a radius server with a certificate. Total Access wants to start putting Linux based APs in small businesses. The Cobalt will be my own personal server to do house my graphic clients and web clients work. Ted Green, the guy who owns Total Access has been running the business for 10 years and has survived the dot bomb and is giving the big Telco’s a run for their money. Texans are loyal and love the local guy. Verizon and Time Warner are as evil down here as 10 Qwest or MS companies.

I’m not trying to paint a completely rosy picture as it is still tuff to survive in the sticks with hicks, but it sure is rewarding as all get out. You may or may not know it but I was a Moonie for 5 years before I got married. Before that I was a hippie artist that wandered the streets of San Diego sketching portraits in bus stations and cafes. I’m having so many deep revelations about life just like I did in my early twenties. Every time I go through a spiritual makeover I think that I’m doing something that was never done before in my family. Here is a picture of my dad in his 20’s http://www.wormley.org//Photos/Lonnie1/Roll-03/w105.jpg. He worked for a small company in NY that installed some of the first TV antennas. He also ran a small TV repair shop in LA for a while before he became a minister. If you dad is still alive spend time talking to him about what he was like when he was young and you may learn a lot about where you are know and where you will wind up. I also find that this is the first time that my favorite radio station is also listened by another member of my family. Uncle Cliff and I both listen to KVET out of Austin, Texas. This is a country station that plays a lot of the old classic country and western songs.

So today I was working on a Win98 box that had a failing HD that a women bought it in a few days ago. I grabbed all her data onto another drive before it bit the dust. As I was working I started thinking about the folks that taught me something about what I was doing. The names Bob Maddock, Richard McDaniel and Rick Tipton came to me as I was working on the computer. I sure am thankful to them for taking the time to teach me some computer crap.

Real Rain

Well today is the first real rain storm that I have seen in Texas.. It has been raining on an off since early this morning. I feel like I’m back in Portland again. A few of the ranchers that I have talket ot have been worried that the winter has been too dry, well this rain should help wet things a bit.

AOL Man


Seasons Greetings from AOL man. Phyllis Thomas gave me this nice crushed cotton AOL shirt which is so cool!

Dead Battery in Elgin

12/18/2003 8:17 PM

I will never get used to being stranded because of car problems. My Toyota pick-up truck left my possession with 220,000 miles and was reliable up to the end and I never had so much as a flat with it. I did leave my lights on a few times in a McDonalds parking lot near my work but that was it. Being here in Texas I still feel like a stranger sometimes.

There are several small cities east of Austin that I am starting to visit quite frequently for business and shopping. They are Bastrop, La Grange, Elgin, and Giddings. Each city has their unique character and a purpose for my visits. For example Bastrop is closest to Austin being 30 miles from the city center. It is the county seat of Bastrop County and is 20 miles from the ranch. I like going there for groceries because it has a Wal-Mart super center and a really nice new HEB for food. I go to Giddings to check up on the shop and I go to Elgin because that is where the HQ for Total Access is located. It was on one of my visits to Total Access that I had the chance to meet some nice folks in Elgin.

I had a meeting with Karol and got the keys from Jack for the Giddings shop and I was returning to my car to drive to Giddings. I put the key in the ignition and turned it on and there was silence. I took a long deep breath and tried again with the same result, the engine was silent. I quickly looked at my lights and they were off, so I knew I did not run the battery down because I left them on. I sat in my car for a few minutes and thought about being stranded in a town that I was not familiar with in a state that I had just re-located. I was 30 miles from the ranch and felt like I wanted to hit the car with a sledgehammer.

Well I decided to get out of the car, walk to Main Street, and see if there was a repair shop near by. I walked two blocks and saw the chamber of commerce and when in. There was a nice woman working there with a strong English accent and I asked here if there was a repair shop near by. She gave me a list of shops and said that one was just up the street. I love trains and had photographed the Elgin train station that is now a museum and asked her what this building was as it was right across the street from the museum and near the tracks. She told me that the building was the freight station and the other station was the passenger station. The inside of the building was beautiful and had a large meeting area in the main part of the warehouse. I thanked her and headed off to the repair shop.

I walked into this repair shop that had a big waiting room with two old sofas and smelled like cigarette smoke but there was no smoke visible. There was a door ajar at the far end of the room and I slowly walked in announcing myself with my usual loud ‘Hello!’ By the time I got to the ‘office’ door I met a young girl that looked about 20 with dark brown hair and heavy eye makeup. She had on blue jeans with holes in the knees and a big gray sweatshirt with a plaid shirt underneath. I told her that I had a car problem. She said follow me and lead me to the rear of the building where I met a man about 50 that was taking a bowl of chili out of a microwave. I could tell that he was hungry as I explained my problem. He said that he would help me after he ate lunch. I went back to the waiting room and wrote my name on the blank business cards that I had been given by Karol of Total Access.

Another young mane in a sharp purple and black jacket came into the waiting room and went into the office. He later came out and along with the older mechanic who had finished his lunch walked to a truck and dove to revive my car. During this time I was explaining to them the short history of my problems with the car and the fuel injector problems. They gave me a jump and tested my alternator. I decided to take the car back to the shop for them to test the charge and to clean up the posts on the battery. After the batter posts were disconnected and cleaned the mechanic was connecting the battery when the car alarm when off. I had forgotten about this problem. When I purchased the car the previous owner did not know how to deal with the alarm. Another mechanic that did some work on the car for me did not know how to deal with it either. The older mechanic at this shop when to get another mechanic and he went right to the button that controlled the alarm.

Wow I said thanks a lot for showing me that alarm button. I told him the other problems with the car and he said that he knew exactly what was wrong. He had owned a Celica that had the same engine it and he experienced the same problems that I had on wet damp days. The car starts fine on dry days but if it is damp it is hard to start and runs rough until it is really warmed up. He said that the plugs needed to be checked and the deep holes that they are in need to be dried out. He also said that the distributor cap was a cheap on and needed to be replaced. He also said to change the timing belt every 60,000 miles no matter what. He likes this year of Toyota and said that he has several customers that have them and they have put 300,000 miles on them. I told him that I would consider brining the car back to him later to correct the problems.

So what did I learn from this experience? I have only written a fraction of the stuff that went on in my head today. There have been several times here in Texas when I thought I was in an unfriendly place. I am not use to asking for help and I am usually in surroundings that I am familiar with. Being in Texas and dealing with people has opened my eyes to the real Texas that you cannot see on the news or read about in books. I know that the whole world has places like the small towns in Texas but for me these experiences are causing a revelation in me because I am not use to dealing with strangers in strange places. I am good at just diving in feet first, but I always get the butterflies in my stomach before I leap.

I wish that I could go back and photograph the people in the repair shop. I know that it is not always cool for a stranger to just walk in and take pictures. I guess that is why I need to start sketching stuff right after I see it. I still have several ideas for paintings in my head of the girl in the office and the young guy in the purple and black jacked and the older mechanic with the bowl of chili.

I have a new battery in the trunk of my car. I will install it tomorrow and return the old Costco battery for a little cash on the warranty. The old battery was a 72-month battery and it is leaking at 36 months.

Windy Winter Morning

In the morning when I wake
And see the beauty God can make
I know it can’t get better than this

When I can see five miles
It makes me smile
To live in this heavenly bliss

The brisk winter wind
Makes the oak branches bend
And can make your eye tear

But as I stand and turn around
Listening to the rushing wind sound
I marvel at the Texas sky so clear

Corpus Christi


I took my first trip to the Texas coast on Sunday. I was the guest of my friend Phyllis Thomas. She grew up in Corpus Christi and wanted to show me the property that she owned.

Full Power

Well I finally took a hot shower on the ranch! Bluebonnet came out yesterday and completed the meter installation and connectet the power to electrical panel on the pole behind the house. I got home around 12:30 AM and started turning on all the breakers for the furnace and water heater. I pulled all the packing out of the refrigerator and turned it on. I emptied my ice hest nd put all my food in the refrigerator. The ultimate test of full power however came was this morning when I could take a hot shower and not have to deal with running outside to turn on the back-up generator and pump.

Now with heat and warm water I can start to clean all the construction dirt from the house and put n shelf paper. I can also get my phone and computer completely charged at night.

One Week on the Ranch

12/8/2003 8:58 PM

I have spent my first week living on the Lone Worm Ranch. It has been a week full of discovery and challenges. Taking cold showers and going to bed with the chickens and waking up 4 hours before sunrise are just a few of the moments that have made this week interesting.

Today Dan Nettles showed up and so did a few loads of the gravel that will provide a firm surface to drive from Wormley Lane to the house.

I also got a call from Bluebonnet Electrical Coop telling me that they will come out tomorrow and install the poles that will supply full time electrical power to the house. Finally getting electricity from a source other than the part-time generator is what I have been wanting so much. When the electricity is full-time I can power the refrigerator and stove and start to live like a normal person again. Cold showers are OK for a while, but I look forward to a nice warm shower again.

The weather got real cold for Texas, but my Oregon blood was prepared for the chill. It dropped down to 27 degrees for a few nights and then today was warm and humid as the wind shifted fro blowing from the north to from the south. It is a full moon tonight and I have taken some pictures that I think are cool. I can walk around outside the house without using my head light during the full moon.

One Week on the Ranch

I have spent my first week living on the Lone Worm Ranch. It has been a week full of discovery and challenges. Taking cold showers and going to bed with the chickens and waking up 4 hours before sunrise are just a few of the moments that have made this week interesting.

Today Dan Nettles showed up and so did a few loads of the gravel that will provide a firm surface to drive from Wormley Lane to the house.

I also got a call from Bluebonnet Electrical Coop telling me that they will come out tomorrow and install the poles that will supply full time electrical power to the house. Finally getting electricity from a source other than the part-time generator is what I have been wanting so much. When the electricity is full-time I can power the refrigerator and stove and start to live like a normal person again. Cold showers are OK for a while, but I look forward to a nice warm shower again.

The weather got real cold for Texas, but my Oregon blood was prepared for the chill. It dropped down to 27 degrees for a few nights and then today was warm and humid as the wind shifted fro blowing from the north to from the south. It is a full moon tonight and I have taken some pictures that I think are cool. I can walk around outside the house without using my head light during the full moon.

Good Morning Bambi

Window pane 1

Window pane 2

Window pane 3

Thick clouds at night gave way to a beautiful morning full of sunshine and clear skis. I was sitting in the kitchen drinking my smoothie and making phone calls to start my day. As I was talking to the road contractor I noticed four animals that were not cows moving in the pasture across Wormley Lane. I watched them jump a fence and I realized that they were white tailed deer. There were three does and one large buck that had a huge rack on his head.


When I got off the phone I quickly put my telephoto lens on my camera and tried to take some pictures from the kitchen. When I noticed that they were grazing I went outside to take some pictures with my tripod. The pictures that I took show the deer further from my location than when I first saw them while talking on the phone. The deer were about 200 yards from the house when I first saw them and this photo shows them at about 500-600 yards. The deer were barely visible with the naked when I took the photo.

I am encouraged by this deer sighting as I had planned to have part of the ranch designated as a wild life range land. The State of Texas helps land owners do this. I had hoped that there were deer in the area that used this part of Texas as their home. Now that I have seen these deer I know that they are around and preserving the woods and planting native grasses will help preserve their range land.