Thursday, February 26, 2004

Sitcom Coincidence

My friend Jeff Robertson also pointed out that Thelma Harper was the name of the main character on the show Mama's Family back in the 80's.
Hatch Been Parodied

From one of my loyal readers:

Senator Hatcher,

I'm appalled by your recent vote against allowing pseudo-cities such as Mashsqueal
to decide their own policy concerning indoor farting laws. Your job is to
protect the welfare of your constituents. Methane is a dangerous
byproduct of the dangerous, addictive habit of indoor farting. If a community
decides that it wants to protect itself from this type of carcenogenic odor, it
should be allowed to do so. To hide behind a state law that was obviously influenced
by taco bell lobbyists is despicable on your part. This issue alone convinces me
that you should not be allowed to serve in office any farter.

"Phhhfftt !!!",

Jefferson D. Falkner
Coontown, AL
Hatch Mad

Well, I got so riled up yesterday about the smoking policy bill that I actually emailed Senator Thelma Harper. Below is the complete text of that email.

Senator Harper,

I'm appalled by your recent vote against allowing cities such as Nashville
to decide their own policy concerning smoking laws. Your job is to
protect the welfare of your constituents. Cigarette smoke is a dangerous
byproduct of a dangerous, addictive drug. If a community decides that it
wants to protect itself from this type of carcinogen, it should be allowed
to do so. To hide behind a state law that was obviously influenced by
tobacco lobbyists is despicable on your part. This issue alone convinces
me that you should not be allowed to serve in office any further.


J. Alan Hatcher
Hermitage, TN

Here's the kicker. She called my house last night and left a message for me to call her back, which I plan to do this afternoon. Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Smoky Politics

Tennessee still seems to be in the grip of the tobacco growers lobby, since a state senate committee recently voted against a bill that would allow local municipalities to pass their own laws concerning smoking.

The whole argument against this is that restaurant owners should have their own say about whether to allow smoking. I think this is a fallacy. In my mind it's the same thing as regulating what chemicals can be used in a restaurant or how clean a restaurant is. We have inspections to guarantee the health and safety of customers, why would it be so wrong to prevent a carcinogenic substance from being forced upon non-smokers? There's no "right" to release deadly chemicals into the air.
The Heartbreak of Hatch Bloat

This wasn't a good week for weight loss. I weighed in Monday night at 295, the same as the week before. I'm not exactly sure what caused it. I'm either on a plateau or the Chinese buffet I dined at 2 times last week had some hidden carbs in their meat offerings. For the next week or so I'm going to avoid eating out and bring my lunches in so I'll know exactly how many carbs I'm taking in.
Loo With A View

I love London. A new piece of artwork outside the Tate museum is certainly a creative idea.
Uncle Bud

Did you really mean to throw away that beer can last night that was still half full? Uncle Budweiser is not pleased.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Computer, lights

I have no idea how well this Voice Controlled Wall Switch Dimmer works, but it's not very expensive so I may try one soon.

If you want to get really geeky, you can purchase the Star Trek Voice Controller, which actually has Majel Roddenberry's voice programmed to respond to your commands.
Things To Read In The Bathroom

For those of you who are having trouble sleeping, I've updated my Autobiography of a Hatch page on It now includes details of my recent time in the hospital and what's been going on for the last 1.5 years.

Monday, February 23, 2004

The Man Project

Here's a cool shockwave app that follows your mouse cursor around.
Powers of 10

This is cool. The ultimate zoom in.
Pacemaker Follies : Twiddler's Syndrome

Ok, yes I'm obsessed with looking up stuff about pacemakers. This article on Twiddler's Syndrome is interesting though. Maybe I should stop encouraging people to "feel my pacemaker, baby."

Friday, February 20, 2004

Hatch Wants to Work on the Railroad

I've been hankering to get back into some model railroading lately. I just need to figure out where I'd put a layout since space is at a premium at our house. I did run across this though. It's an HO scale Model Engine that actually runs off steam power. It even comes with gloves to handle it. It'll only set you back about 500 quid.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Self Tuning Guitar

I don't normally rip links from Slashdot, but this is just too cool. A self tuning guitar. It can even retune itself while you're playing it and can store 240 pre-configured tunings.

I've been informed by my friend Heff that he feels this guitar was spawned by Satan and will be the death of "real" guitar playing. That makes it even more uber cool in my book.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Hatch Reviews '50 First Dates'

Marissa and I went to see the new Adam Sandler movie '50 First Dates' on Valentine's Day. I normally try to avoid Adam Sandler because he tends to annoy me greatly. I was prepared to endure this movie but in the end it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Drew Barrymore was charming and not too goofy like she sometimes is in comedies. I wouldn't pay to see the movie again but I wasn't plucking nose hairs to entertain myself at least. Here's Mr. Cranky's review for comparison.
The Future of Robots

An interesting article. This factoid caught my eye : "...the typical U.S. household today has more than 225 microcontrollers..."

I just want to be able to control the lights, thermostat, and security system by speaking to a computer from anywhere in the house. We've been shown this type of thing for at least 50 years in the media. It's time to get it done and have it available at a reasonable cost. Of course, maybe it's already available and I just need to look into it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

When Hatch Turns Sideways He Disappears

On Tuesday, Feb 10th, I weighed 306 at the doctor's office. I went to the YMCA last night and I weighed in at 295. Not too shabby. I'm down about 24 pounds overall since the middle of January when I weighed 319. I've got 6 more days of Induction on the Atkin's diet that I'm following and then I can add a few carbs back into the mix. The low carb diet is a lot easier this time since a lot of restaurants have started offering low carb menu selections lately.

I'm still recovering from my surgery on Jan 30th. My scar on my chest is healing up, but it's feeling tight and itches a lot lately. My joints are still apt to have some pain in them and my right knee hurts when I'm walking down steps. Makes me feel like I'm about 60 years old or so. Overall I feel pretty good. Losing some more weight should help.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

A rich Englishman had a large network of tunnels dug out near Liverpool, England almost 200 years ago. Very strange but very fascinating.
Great news. The Scifi Channel has green lighted a 13 episode season one of Battlestar Galactica. No word on when the new episodes will air, but production starts next month. The Executive Producer also made some comments on the upcoming series. Hopefully they can maintain the same quality that was shown in the mini-series.
The checkup at the cardiologist went fine yesterday. No problems seen and I don't have to go back for 3 months. I still have to take it easy for about another month but after that I can resume the process of getting back into shape. I started the Atkin's Diet again on Monday. As of yesterday I weighed 306 at the doctor's office. Stay tuned for D.B.A.N. weight updates in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

We Can Rebuild the Hatch

Sorry for the lack of updates for my faithful readers. I've been out of it a bit. On January 30, 2004 I officially became a cybernetic organism with the implant of a Medtronics Kappa KDR901 model pacemaker. I had a condition known as 3rd Degree Heart Block, which was causing my heart to only beat at 33 beats per minute, and I could have dropped dead at any moment. All is well now, though. I'm still recovering and I'm going to see my cardiologist later today. I'll update later on the results from that.