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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.

1:03 pm
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Some of you know that I happen to be a certified Astrologer (NCGR Level 1).  Evidently, this past week, *I* forgot that I was.

Here’s a Twitter conversation Monday night between me and Jestertunes (my token gay online friend :))

Me: anyone else see two bright stars just under the crescent moon? and nothing else in the sky?
Jestertunes: @whall those aren’t stars. it’s Venus and Jupiter. Venus is the brighter one.
Me: @Jestertunes I’m the certified astrologer here; I shoulda known that! I mean yeah, um, I knew that /rollseyesatself
Jestertunes: @whall uh… don’t you mean “astronomer?” Or are you planning to give me a birth chart and analyze all my relationships?
Me: @Jestertunes nope, i’m a certified NCGR astrologer. did so to help support wife’s career, she’s the REAL astrologer
Jestertunes: @whall Learn something new everyday.

I heard the implied smiley at the end of “all my relationships” and chuckled to myself.

Granted, I don’t “do” astrology for a living.  My wife does.  I don’t write about her very much (at her request) but I will say this: she’s an incredibly gifted astrologer.  Real astrology has little to do with pop culture horoscopes and more to do with personality profiles, synastry charts, decision making, and analyzing the influences imprinted in you when you’re born along with the transiting influences in the sky and meshing them with the other two factors of who makes you who you are: DNA and environment.  The Natal chart is like your celestial DNA, encoded within you at the moment you take your first breath as a snapshot of the heavens at that moment.

My certification had more to do with helping her continue with her career (I do math pretty good, and certification requires a lot of math to hand-calculate a chart).  I gained a valuable bit of knowledge of the planets, signs, houses, and have come to trust the readings she does.  Even just knowing Mercury retrograde info and staying on top of backups and redundant systems has proven quite worthy.  Sometimes I’m seen as a psychic at work after pressing and pressing on making sure a backup system is up and running only to find that it was down and then we fix it just in time to make a difference.  I credit my wife for those instances for her little reminders.

The Venus – Jupiter – Moon conjuction we saw in the sky Monday night was a pretty big thing for astrologers to watch and comment about.  Any celestial show is fun to behold analyze, but this one held special meaning for me, because it was a celestial smiley face:

Image from Martins Skywalk

Image from Martin's Skywalk

Seems the heavens has a sense of humor.

… so good.

One of my bestest blog and IRL buddies, Jennefer, pointed this little site my way. Have you heard of Animoto? It’s called “the end of slideshows” because you upload photos (or point it to a collection like Picasa or Flikr), pick some music, and then it renders a VERY cool video for you.  It’s like making your very own music video.  For Realz, yall.

You can create 30 second videos for free, pay $3 per full-length video, or get a yearly pass for $30.  You can get $5 off that pass if you sign up through my referral code.  Be careful though – once you create a 30 second video, you will likely want to purchase a full-length one.  I just did.  And judge for yourself how good the quality is.

So here’s “my” first creation, featuring the dogs that we’ve owned for the last 20 years. The music is provided unwittingly by the great and masterful Jonathan Coulton with a song I can’t get enough of called “So Far, So Good”.


And below, you can see the little honorific (or is that horrific?) video Jennefer made for me. I suppose it’s a tribute, but… hmmm, you can judge for yourself :). Um… Thanx, Jen. I think.

4:52 pm
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LOLcats are an internet phenomenon.  WHALLcats are my custom version of LOLcats.  Sound it out.  You’ll get it.

Here’s my latest creation.

whallcats lolcats jupiter how wasted am i

Jupiter is so cute 🙂  How about the hair of the dog?  Will that cure him?

Twenty weeks of stuff you don’t want to MISC.  Been a busy week.  How have you been?

We three dogs

I thought I’d share a pic of our three dogs – Jupiter, Zina and the newest member of the Hall family – Bebe (shown in order). Actually, Bebe belongs to the in-laws but since we share a back yard and a kennel run, he’s over at our house a lot. He survived the Distemper false alarm and is just finishing up tackling an eye infection on his right eye (you can kind of tell in the picture). He’s cute, young, playful and gives Jupiter a lot of attention, for which we are eternally grateful.

jupiter zina bebe


She’s not a bragging kind of person, so you wouldn’t hear it from her.  But *I* am a doting parent and not afraid to brag on my kids.

Caitlin got a ranking of 4th in the District at her most recent Flute District Tryouts.  This is out of more than 60 flutes!  It also means she qualifies to go try out for Region next weekend, and if she makes that, she gets to play in a Region concert made up of the best band members around.  At the middle school level, they don’t have a “state” competition; that’s not until High School.

We couldn’t be more proud!  Here’s a snap of me and Caitlin at this last UT Band Camp, where Caitlin earned 1st chair of the top band.

caitlin daddy flute ut band

Global Warming Alarmism

I don’t know much about Global Warming or the lack of it.  I don’t know if man is causing it, or if it’s just part of our normal cycles.  How could we possibly know?  The world is what, 6 billion years old or something and we’ve been crawling on it for a blink of an eye.  Plus, man is inherently flawed.  Practically ALL science we ever thought was true turned out to either be wrong or drastically different than we expected, and boy will our descendents 200 years down the line really scoff at us in the 20th century.

Unfortunately, Hollywood and alarmists like to spread fear.  And too many people just buy into the fear.  It is for that reason I’m thankful for a recent speech given by Senator James Inhofe.  It seems a lot more straightforward, honest and unconcealing than most of what you’d see on TV or in the papers.

global warming alarmism

It’s long (2hr speech) but well thought out and well delivered.  It should be linked to as a counter-point to all global warming articles out there that use little to no science to push forward their scare and fear.

Best of LOLcats

lolcats in ur computer cognitive

lolcats left footz in

lolcats invisible step ladder

lolcats you got it babe


3:16 pm
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I don’t blog on Saturdays. 

Most of the time, anyway.  So since you’re here looking, I might as well give you something. 

Guess the planet:

Now, no fair looking at the name of the file in the image properties.  Or the tags!  Or the picture!  You have to guess the planet WITHOUT having read this post.  Then you’ll really prove you’re *something*.

Bohemian Rhapsody by 25 artists

Saw this on Kazim’s Korner.  Reminded me of the Evolution of Dance video in a way, in that it’s one of those “must watch at some point in life” videos.  Why not watch them now? hmm?


I had mentioned earlier that I came up with WHALLcats, a complete rip-off of LOLcats, but I didn’t mention that I don’t have any cats.  So all of my images are going to be of Jupiter, Zena or Nacho.  Maybe Maverick and Nitro (passed away).  The name stuck tho.

So I started on a couple.

WHALLcats jupiter burger


WHALLcats excellent

WHALLcats nitro jupiter eggnog

The only frustrating part of this is that the software I use (SnagIt) for most of my quick photo manipulation needs – it’s truly a fantastic tool for quick changes, but it doesn’t support fonts with colored outlines, so I end up with letters that either need a bright or dark outline.  So far, I had to just do a quick black line across the bottom.  I think that’s annoying, both to make and to read.  I guess I could use the LOLcats generator if I needed to…

In fact, I did – I went ahead and used the generator on this photo above and I must say, it is better than mine.

whallcats nitro jupiter eggnog

Here’s another try with the generator.  I think I’ll stick with it from now on.

whallcats nitro this have a flavor

So I don’t think that these are “worthy” of trying to submit to I Can Has Cheezeburger… but if you think they are, add a comment and let me know. I know that if I do get one that’s very good, I’ll submit it.

Guitar Heronoid

So, seems someone came up with a robot to play Guitar Hero for you.  Sounds like a great robotic project for a young up-and-comer in the science community – especially if they have a passion for music, technology, and overall high injections of coolosity.

Guitar Heronoid

Click on the picture to get a full run-down on the construction, fingers, strumming, the technology they used to “listen” to the screen and music and putting it all together.

It really is a fascinating read.

7:52 am
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I’ve become an avid fan of the I Can Has Cheezburger site, making it part of my “essential” blogreading list on my feedreader.  From there I found LOLcats, volume I and II.  When I first read this, I just couldn’t stop laughing.  These are hilarious, truly hilarious.  Volume I is funnier and easier to read.  My favorites are the “I hate everything” one and the “it’s a lion” one.  Oh, and the “i has bucket” one.   Some of the stuff is not completely PG-13 so watch your eyes a little.

You know how when you read something really funny, or maybe you’re just in a giggling mood, you can’t stop?  And you get a little embarassed about how much noise you’re making?  That’s what happened to me with Volume I.

Wikipedia has a full definition of LOLcats.

Now that I’ve become such a fan of LOLcats, I’ve decided to make my owns.  I’ll call them WHALLcats (sound it out).

Here’s my first submission into my own blog category.

WHALLcats jupiter 

7:34 am
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We got a new dog.

Zina on the couch

Everyone, meet Zina.

I haven’t blogged about this next part yet, but as some of you know, our 15yr old dog Nitro passed away last month.  It’s not something totally unexpected; I mean, he was 15 years old, and was showing the signs of failing eyes, failed hearing, etc, but still, it’s difficult to deal with that kind of loss of a big part of your family.

Needless to say, Nitro left a pretty big void, even though we had Jupiter around.  We knew we would likely get another dog after some time, but we were thinking at the end of summer, after Caitlin had volunteered at an animal shelter for a while and got to know, you know, just the right dog for us, with personality, charm, etc.

Nitro in the bluebonnets

Well, the family couldn’t wait.  We rescued Zina through PawMatch, and she’s a Border Collie with some unique qualities that work well within the family. 


 She seems to be about 6 years old, and we’ve done the vet visit and the grooming and she’s starting to get accustomed to all of us.

Jupiter is showing a little bit of jealousy, though.

Jupiter looks up in jealousy

But he knows deep down we love him more than ever.

11:11 am
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Today we had a visit from Ann Elliott, owner/operator of Dirty Paws Mobile Pet Grooming to get the dogs groomed.  We had a great experience.

We’ve taken Nitro (15yr old Toy American Eskimo) and Jupiter (2yr old unknown, probably Belgian Shepherd-type) to PetSmart in the past, and they’ve done a decent job, but there’s something special about using someone who loves what they do enough to come to you and do it, not to mention the convenience of having the work done at home.

The price was more than reasonable for both dogs, and she gave a bath, did grooming, whatever trimming we wanted, brushing, toenail clipping, and brushed down the pads.  The dogs loved the extra care and attention (even Nitro, who typically would choose to attack visitors to our property and would prefer to not let anyone leave with the ability to walk or sit down), and look absolutely great. 

Here’s Jupiter after his spa treatment:


 And Nitro – well, he’s so old just about anything wears him out, so he’s resting.  Ann even put on a little green bandana as a gift.


She shows up with her truck with a mobile grooming trailer and just needs to hook up power and outside water faucet.  She has a tub, trimmers, pump, and everything someone would need for great pet grooming.


I highly recommend Ann’s service, so if you’re in Cedar Park or that area and need some special attention to your pets, give her a call.  512-259-8992 is the number or you can email her at ann@dirtypawsmobilepetgrooming.com.

And remember – if you ever need pet sitting service, you should call or email Jennefer at Flawless Pets.  She can make sure your pets are fed, loved, taken care of, medicated, attended to and safe while you’re away.

6:00 pm
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This is Jupiter, one of our dogs.

jupiter in sunglasses

tsk tsk

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