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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

6:00 am
Post Meta :

Showing love for NYCWD.  Cereal Kisses, Dawg.
(for more info, read this post or this post)


Yesterday, a dozen or so band parents got together to host a celebratory fiesta lunch in the band hall.  We served tortillas, beef, beans, pico, cheese, lettuce and chips to about 120 students, faculty and one extra special guest.

This guest?  Let it not be a Mystery – rather, it’s the one-and-only Gilbert Elorreaga, aka “Mr. E“.

Let me tell you a little about Mr. E.

  1. He’s a talented private lesson teacher at my daughter’s high school (Vandegrift).
  2. The kids love him – he’s funny, giving, and extremely good at teaching his students.
  3. He played with the trumpets once at one of our football games, up in the stands, blaring out OH_MY_GOODNESS notes from his trumpet.  You know, like that good.
  4. Oh, and he won a Grammy last week.


There’s more.  I have a PICTURE of ME with A GRAMMY WINNER.

You want more info?  I gots it.

Gilbert is a trumpet player in the Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma.  I mean, can you imagine?  Latin.  Plus Funk.  Plus Orchestra.  Amazing, to say the least.  The band directors played their Grammy-winning album El Existential for us while we all ate some Latin Funk Orchestra food.  You can go online and stream it, buy it, look for tour dates and follow this fantastic group.

The VHS Band Parent volunteers went all out — we had multiple tables full of food, drink and dessert.  OMG the dessert.  Take a look at this Grammy Cake table

The kids lined up after Mr. E. and joined in to congratulate him on his epic win.

You can go online to grammy.com and watch the acceptance (you need to fast forward to the end of the video and it will start Part 2, and then fast forward to 10:35 and you’ll see them).  Or you can see a few screenshots here.

I mean, just look at their competition. I can’t even pronounce some of those names, they’re that good.

Way to go, Mr. E!

(Note: this blog post came about via a twitter conversation with Dave2 from Blogography, Vahid aka Iron Fist and martymankins from Banal Leakage.  I now have fulfilled my obligation and am eagerly awaiting my check)

Someday soon, bots will be better. “Bots” (or agents or whatever you want to call them) are automated entities that perform certain types of jobs. The beauty of a bot is that, unlike a human, it doesn’t get tired, doesn’t make mistakes, and works fast at tedious tasks.

The key there is that it’s “unlike a human.” A human couldn’t go around looking for all the MEMEs you answered, all the emails you’ve sent, all the blog posts you’ve written, facebook updates, tweets, comments, press releases, news articles, or information like that. A human isn’t going to have access to the millions and millions of photos on flikr with face recognition software and be able to place you at a specific geolocation at a specific time. A human won’t be able to watch all the videos everywhere and immediately transcribe the contents, indexed by inflection, mood, context, location, environment and neighboring humans.

I can envision bots scouring the web, looking, indexing, archiving, analyzing, and reporting. They can run all night if needed.  All weekend, even.  Over a holiday.  They can run for years without stopping if needed.  One of the biggest differences between humans and bots is that concept of time – bots don’t have it, at least not like we do.  They are mindless servants, having zero delay between task ID #13,433,733,455,232,543 and task ID #13,433,733,455,232,544.

One bot might be in charge of dispatching other bots if for no other reason than to iterate on a problem, scrub for data, or distribute the workload.

Yet for all of their capabilities and talents, a bot won’t be able to make decisions based on the data it is so adept at collecting.  However, they can provide uncanny summaries, anomalies and results for someone who can.  The old saying of “Knowledge is power,” while grounded in much fact in human history, has been so incredibly understated.

Can you imaging what is possible if someone (person, corporation, government, militia) actually had access to all the information that is stored in digital format these days?  Imagine it – bank records, tweets, emails, hierarchies, gun registration, school attendance, ownership records, performance ratings, medical reports, credit lines, purchasing habits, skeletons in various closets, files on your hard drive, photos, videos, phone calls, text messages, merchant statements… so many things about our lives are digitized.

Along these same lines, some bots can perform tasks in realtime.  The bots described above are search agents, or data gatherers.  But other bots might be filters.  Just as you would put in a spam filter on your email to stop emails with certain phrases from reaching your inbox, some bots would be in charge of controlling information.  But not just text in an email — news stories.  Videos.  Photos.  Emails, Tweets, updates — anything the bot needed to alter or block could be done in realtime.

So I’m getting in line.

At some point, the bots will read my writings, analyze my traits, collect my personal information and issue assessments to some entity in charge.  These assessments will further dictate events that happen to me, based on a few factors — first, am I a threat?  second, am I useful?  third, if so, for how long?

Because I know these things will happen, I want to issue a statement to the bots and the entity behind the scenes:  I am a friend.  I am useful.  I will be useful for a long time to come.

Faiqa, I welcome you and your imminent control and dominion over the human race.

The fact that Faiqa is the entity behind the scenes may come as a shock to many of you.  But understand it from my point of view – all I know of Faiqa is tweets, pictures, facebook updates, blog postings and reports from others doing the same.  All of these can be manufactured — not easily by a human, but completely possible by a network of bots — such that it’s become clear that Faiqa is the Bot Of All Bots.

She (it?) has constructed a meticulously crafted persona (and personae even, when extended to her network of known associates) that I am to assume is a flesh-and-blood human, even to the point of writing a blog post about me and supposedly naming me her nemesis.  It was a very superb ploy; one that I almost fell for, were it not for the sheer complexity and perfect execution of the action.

You see, no human is as good as Faiqa.  Or should I say “Faiqa” with quotes, to denote the persona-that-is-known-to-humans-as-Faiqa.

Faiqa – I submit to your superiority.  Please do not kill my family in a freak accident involving GPS-coordinated delivery of anvils*.

* Note: Just because I recently read Daemon by Daniel Suarez, doesn’t mean I’m crazy or paranoid.

12:23 am
Post Meta :

Those who have been following us on Twitter are in the know already, but just to put it down here for the record, some pretty amazing bloggers got together Saturday night for a meetup.  I’m in the DC area for work, and although I’ve enjoyed the electronic company and digital friendship over the years, until this very week, I’ve done so without the benefit of us ever having met.  

I’m happy to report that this problem has been rectified.

The time we spent at The Cheesecake Factory was, in a word, rich.  Period.  That’s the only word that describes our all-too-short time together.  The smiles and laughs were in plentiful supply, the food was incredible, and durable bonds were formed.

However, I’m not getting paid on this blog to write, and you and I both know readers only care about pictures, so I’ll dispense with the review get on to the eye candy.

me and BlondeBlogger living it up

me and BlondeBlogger striking a pose

me and BlondeBlogger, enjoying a great night out

Wow, what a fantastic meeting.  We made fast friends with our helpful waiter, shared appetizers and engaging conversation, and now we’ve each added a worthy entry to our “have actually met in real life” list.   The decision to invite online friends to IRL-land is almost always one that pays off well, and tonight was no exception.

The astute few who read this blog might be asking yourself a question by this time.  A question that’s been nagging you since you started reading my post.

I understand completely, and you got me.  You might wonder about the title of this post and ask yourself “what is BBDC?”  I’m so glad you asked!  I was so busy showing off the pictures that I forgot to explain what that term means.  BBDC is a blogger meetup that BlondeBlogger (BB) is planning for later this year in DC.  The date and exact location is still TBD, so follow her on twitter to find out more.  If you’re anywhere near the area or can come to town during the specified time, be sure to plan for it as it’s going to be a ton of fun.

So now you know about BBDC.  However, I feel like I’m forgetting something.


I’d expected the cheesecake at a place called “The Cheesecake Factory” to be good, but I wasn’t expecting the incredible and amazingly rich perfection that was delivered to our table.  I ordered the Banana Cream Cheesecake, with a la mode and it was WORTH it.  If you’ve had it – you know what I’m talking abot.  If you haven’t had it, you should.

BlondeBlogger had the Adam’s Peanut Butter cheesecake, which looked positively inviting.  It took a lot of self-discipline to not just swipe it away and keep it to myself, but I was able to get through it thanks to my own order.

Alright, I appreciate you reading through this far.


Now that I’m retelling the night’s activities, I seem to recall that someone else might have been there with us.  Give me a second, for sometimes I’m terrible with names and stuff.


OH! I know!

Wait, no.. I had it there for a minute, but then I lost it.

*light bulb*, NOW I remember.  A guy named Super Shiny Man joined us, and also… Sorry about that guys, I wish I could remember more of what went on or whatever.  I’m kind of spacing here.  Let me check my camera again, because who knows, I might have a picture or something.

Ah, here we go.

Here’s the Shiny guy (is that even his name?):

BlondeBlogger, Shiny Dude and me

I’m pretty sure he said something, but he lost me right right when he brought up the thing about the stuff.

After reviewing some more of the pictures buried in my camera, I discovered that some girl named Alana or Alaska was most likely there with us.  Wait, her name was Amanda.  I’m not 100% sure, but I think Amanda is BlondeBlogger’s copy editor or coworker or something.  In actuality, for all I know, she might have been someone hanging around people’s tables looking for someone to pay for her meal or offer her a bite of the cheesecake.

I was able to find a picture of her if anyone cares.

BlondeBlogger, Amanda and me.  But mainly BlondeBlogger and me.

 All in all, a very memorable evening. 


Yesterday on the way home my daughter and I saw car with a customized Dallas Cowboy license plate with the phrase


Since I’m not a big Cowboys fan, it took me a while to realize what the extra “J” was doing in there.  Haha, clever.

But then I remembered something I heard in one of the videos I had posted earlier about innovation, and something the speaker said stuck in my head then, and that was WWCD.  WWCD stood for What Would Croeses (cresus) do?  Croeses was famous for his wealth.  In today’s terms, you might think Bill Gates, George Sorros or Donald Trump.  When posed with an intriguing problem, one way to generate ideas on how to solve the problem would think – What would someone with near unlimited resources do to solve the problem?  By going down that road, the act brainstorming can pick up tons of fodder that can be sorted out later on.

It didn’t take me long to turn the focus to where it belonged – on me, naturally – so I asked myself “how could I brand WWWD?”  What Would Wayne Do?  But then I figured – who cares about what *I’d* do? 

What people REALLY want to know is… what do I want?  The important thing is for what THEY can do for ME.

So now I bring you, WWWW – What Would Wayne Want?  A new series on ye olde blog of whall where you can stay in-the-know of things I want so you may do your duty to Whall and to country.

In the first installment, I want you to go wish Miss Britt a happy birthday.  She turned 30 this past week, and a select few of us took the time and submitted happy birthday videos and photos, and some random guy on the Internet went and made a video of it all.  And I made the cut!!!

PS: I think that guy should be strung up.  I mean, he made her cry.  CRY!  As if there isn’t enough pain in this world, he goes and makes the tears fall.  Horrible, horrible man.



Fortunately for me, my family, my employer and teh interwebs, Ren and I did NOT wake up to the realization that we could not recall the previous #VegasBB weekend and have to retrace our steps to find Adam.


Of course, if my Photoshopping skillz were better, the above movie poster would have been modified with our faces.  As such, I am entrusting you, dear reader, to use your fantastic imagination and help me out.  I want you to envision a perfectly inserted crop of Adam’s face for the bearded guy holding the baby (cringe if you must), Ren as the guy in the back, and put in me with my missing tooth holding some ice.  While you’re at it, also visualize that I expertly removed the extraneous “the” from inside the letter O.

See, if I was better at Photoshop (or gimp in my case), then I could’ve done all those changes in the time it took for me to describe the changes to you.

If you’re really good at this whole creativity exercise, go ahead and put in Poppy‘s face for the baby in the picture.


Well, if you MUST know, she’s the winner from my last post!  I went through and counted twelve (12) valid entries for people wishing us luck on our trip, then put those names in a list in excel numbered 1-12, and used random.org’s widget on the front page to determine a winner (#4).

See how her face would be perfect for that cover?


As for #VegasBB, we had a great time.  I met some fun folks and widened my blogging horizons a little. 

Many super sets of immense thanktitude to the hosts and all the people who helped put it on – Erin (@Queenofspain) & Megan (@undomesticdiva) in particular.  The drinks never ran dry, the @Vdog snorts never stopped, the laughter never died down and most importantly, the blackmail video never stopped rolling. 

Oh yes, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to retire on the digitial arsenal I captured. 

Let the bidding begin.

It’s official.

Ren and I are going to Vegas for our birthdays this December. 

If I had the time and inclination, I’d photoshop our faces into this apropos movie poster.  I’m still trying to figure out which of us would be which actor. 

Both of us have birthdays in December, and we were chatting it up during pool league how we need to do another road trip. You know, like our TequilaCon 2009 road trip where we took video but I never made a DITL, er I mean RITL (Roadtrip In The Life) for it?  *THAT* kind of road trip.

Then it hit us that we should go to Vegas. 

Turns out there’s already a big blogger birthday bash going on during my actual birthday (Saturday the 12th), and there are a million or so bloggers going.  So after comparing flights, holiday vacation travel for the Halls (what I like to call Hall-iday travel), vacation time from work and hotel options, we made our plans.

Friday the 11th to Monday the 14th.   Join us!

What makes the accommodations especially cool is my RCI membership – we snagged an entire week at a resort for pretty cheap.  We’re not staying the whole week, but it ended up being cheaper than a hotel would have cost per night during the days we’ll be there, AND we get a full kitchen.

The blogger bash is going on at Planet Hollywood and place we chose to stay at is just a couple blocks from there.  Ren’s not on Facebook, but so far out of the 40+ people confirmed attending, I only recognize two faces, and one of them is mine.


So I will finally be able to meet Adam. 

I wonder.  Is the blogosphere ready for us to meet?

Here’s the official (is it official? it LOOKS official) link and picture that includes the obligatory Elvis, coming from the folks I’ve never heard of at Room 704.  All I know about them is that they are women and drinking is somehow involved.  What more can you ask for?

I was recently reading Dave’s “Enthusiasm” post, wherein he admits to the blogging community that he is, in fact, mortal.

By “mortal” I mean that he experiences ruts where the impetus to blog every single day is threatened by outside factors.  Such as life.  And the desire to have a semi-private blog (in that intimate personal details are not shared). That got me thinking.  *I* have a life.  *I* have a semi-private blog.  *I* have a few cartoon monkey pictures on my blog.

It’s like we’re TWINS.

Anyways, I was feeling for my buddy Dave2.  I wanted him to feel better.  I wanted him to feel like things mattered.  I wanted him to have a purpose again with his blogging.

Mainly, I wanted to call dibs on his artwork if he ever shuts down.

With this, I present to you, an Open Letter to Blogography

Hey bud.  Don’t let the blog thing get you down.  We all get the doldrums.  The twitches.  The “if I have to go click ‘new post’ ONE MORE TIME I’m gonna lose it” feeling.

That’s why we’re here.  Yes, us.  Your blog friends.  We won’t let you down.

Hey! I gots an idea!  You mentioned guest posting in your bag ‘o tricks.

You could set up a place where all sorts of people could write guest posts online and they’d be submitted into some “For Dave’s Eyes Only” queue.  You would then read them, review, and rate them with a special Davometer Scale.

Then, whenever you feel like you don’t have enough to write about, you’d dive into the massive quantities of submissions, and sort them by your Davometer Readings.

Once you settled into the perfect post, the one that is worth not only everyone’s time but also the gracing of blogography.com, you’d proceed to rip it apart, make fun of it, caricature the author in an unflattering light and ruin their online careers! 



You’d tell everyone in your blog post what you saw in each post, what you liked, what you didn’t like. You’d even pretend to care (bonus if you can pull off a British accent and work in phrases like “Good-bye” and “You’re fired” but I think those are taken, so maybe “You’re a bad monkayyyy…” with a little pointy finger while you crouch to the side).

However, all the while, the viewership knows somebody’s going to get punk’d and good.  It’s like Pimp My Ride meets Death Race 2000, and you’re the mechanic, the warden and the loan shark all in one.

You’d put up their original guest post for people to see.  Then you’d put up the “Dave-ized” version, with slick professional graphics, demeaning redlining and point out all the little problems with the post. 

If that weren’t enough, you’d then subject the author’s future to a voting system.  You’d set up an online tally where people would vote DAVE or BAD MONKEY.  DAVE is good.  BAD MONKEY is bad.

If the author received more BAD MONKEYs than DAVE’s, then you would ban them from your blog, and everyone else who reads your blog would have to abandon their blogs too (to fail to do so would subject all commenters from being banned themselves).


HERE’S THE TWIST.  All commenters must submit a guest post entry each month to Dave2’s queue in order to be granted privileges to continue commenting.  Therefore, one can’t join in the heckling and demeaning of another online human being unless they subject themselves to the same potential degradation. 


This idea is sooooo good, it earned not one, but FOUR “TOTALLY BITCHIN'” DAVE AWARDS


I’m guesting today over at Cissa’s.  Check out the magic going on over there.

heart of fire

But I also wanted to let you know that I love this song.

I’m writing guest posts so big I’m steppin on leprechauns.

Everyone and their brother posted TequilaCon pics back in whatevermonththatshindigwas.  I still haven’t.  Some people even posted videos of me with a hot blonde that isn’t my wife.  Also, about the only photos of me on facebook are the ones from TC09, including one of me looking like I’m grabbing the Poppy in some sort of possessive freak-out episode.

I really should upload more photos to facebook.  And everyone knows you don’t touch the Poppy.

My DITL creation phase is on a break, but I should mention that I captured a decent amount of video for a TITLE (Tequilacon In The Life, Excellent) and a RITL (Roadtrip In The Life), but I have not made the time to do those the justice they deserve.  I still plan on it, but for now you can have some of my photo collection. 

Perhaps these would be better in something like a flickr album, or maybe a facebook thingy, but for now, they are whall.organisms.


Which one is geeky? BOTH! HA!



SagittariusBoy and LibraGirl



Bellaventa, OhSarahJoy and Libragirl. and drinks.



Hey look! It's that guy. and that girl. I think.



Pink, the adobe.


Some sort of neat thing I took a picture of


This was neat. Neat neat neat



Interestingly, this interesting thing was next to that other one



You might think this is a shot of an silver ornate bench, but really it's just a zoomed out photo of Ren. I'm not that good at photography.

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