Friday, December 29, 2006

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 7

Apparently the Associated Press was a little bit excited about this storm, but so far it is not too bad in in the Northern part of the state. There was about eight inches of fluffy powder to shovel out from in front of my garage, but by the time I finished, the plow had already made it through the parking lot a couple times, so it was smooth sailing from there.

The second wave of this storm is supposed to slide in early this afternoon and last through the night, so we'll see what happens with that one when it happens.

And now, the AP article, um, borrowed from a newspaper. (The first paragraph sounds a little porno-esque... or maybe that's just me.)

Second Blizzard Hits Colorado,
Threatens to Close Denver Airport

Associated Press
December 29, 2006 9:05 a.m.

DENVER -- The second major snow storm in a week pounded Colorado Friday, burying the foothills under another two feet of snow, shutting down highways and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights at the Denver airport.

The storm stretched across the Rocky Mountains into the western Plains, where the National Weather Service warned that the gusting wind could whip up blinding whiteouts.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens again declared a statewide disaster, putting the National Guard on standby as areas west of Denver got 28 inches of snow Thursday and early Friday. In the city, about 16 inches had fallen by morning. Interstate 25, the main north-south highway through the state, was closed about 60 miles north of Denver.

While last week's blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow in about 24 hours, making it impossible for airport and highway plows to keep up, snow from the new storm was expected to stretch over about three days.

United Airlines and Frontier Airlines, the largest carriers at Denver International Airport, both canceled 322 flights through Friday morning, but were hopeful that they could soon get back on schedule.

"Right now, we're planning to operate a full schedule starting at noon," United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said early Friday.

Greyhound canceled all trips out of Denver Friday and more cancellations could follow this weekend.

The metro area's light rail trains, buses and public transit planned to run on their regular schedules, though. Maintenance crews covered Denver streets with deicer, but offices still closed early Thursday and residents stocked up on groceries.

With memories fresh of the 4,700 stranded holiday travelers and backed up flights around the country last week, New Year's travelers jammed the airport Thursday trying to get out of Colorado while they still could.

Managers at the nation's fifth-busiest airport drew up snowplowing plans, and airlines urged ticket-holders to get early flights or wait until after the storm. The airport and airlines called in extra workers, and security lines moved relatively quickly. But long lines formed at ticket counters as travelers tried to adjust their plans.

The Frontier line snaked across the cavernous terminal, weaving behind the lines of ticket counters on the other side of the building.

Frontier waived its usual change fee to encourage passengers to catch earlier flights. "Let's try and get as many people out ahead of the storm as we can," Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said.

After running out of bedding for stranded passengers during the first storm, airport managers lined up cots and blankets and urged food vendors to ensure they had plenty of supplies on hand.

In New Mexico, Interstate 40 remained closed Friday morning from Albuquerque to Santa Rosa, with numerous crashes were reported after a storm swept through.

Residents of Cheyenne, Wyo., also braced for another snowstorm. Heavy snow began falling around dusk, and forecasters said up to a foot was expected.

In California, a powerful winter storm left tens of thousands of people without power as winds gusted to near-hurricane force. Forecasters warned of dangerous winds, with gusts over 70 mph, through Friday morning in the valleys and mountain passes.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Blizzard Blog pt 6

Here we go again...

This was taken shortly after I got home from work this evening (so about 6:00 considering it took me an hour to get home today - grr) when it had only been slowing for about two hours. The top two inches or so is new snow, and whatever is underneath that is left over from last week's craziness.

We'll see how this turns out in the morning.
...Taking all bets! 16" Pays 2-to-1...!

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 5

Hokay, so, I'm finally getting the pictures I promised posted here... and it's gonna snow again today.

KUSA - Snow began falling on the metro area Thursday morning as much of Colorado braced for another winter storm with heavy snowfall.

9NEWS Meteorologist Nick O'Kelly says the metro area could get 2 to 5 inches of snow by Thursday evening. The snow will pick up throughout the day.

The storm will intensify overnight into Friday and there could be 9 to 17 inches of snow by Friday morning in the metro area.

Snowfall rates could get up to 2 inches per hour, especially in the foothills along the Front Range.

Nick says by Friday, the foothills could see 18 to 36 inches and the mountain areas 12 to 24 inches.

The storm is expected to continue through Friday and possibly into Saturday afternoon.

Nick says we should expect hazardous driving conditions; many highways could become icy and snow packed.

The storm could also impact travel at Denver International Airport because of gusty winds, blowing snow and drifting.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect from noon on Thursday to 6 a.m. on Friday for a large area, including the metro area, the Eisenhower Tunnel, Boulder and Estes Park. The warning could be extended into Saturday.

The heaviest amounts of snow are expected to be in the areas west of I-25. North winds could get up to 10 to 20 mph with gusts as high as 40 mph. That could create blowing and drifting snow.
Sonofa... This is going to make for another interesting couple of days. Oi.

Get the full 9News forecast for Denver here.

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 4

Pictures!

Betty in the parking lot at work freezing her somethingerother off.
(1:00pm 20 Dec)

Corner of College and Harmony in Fort Collins on the way home.
(2:30pm 20 Dec)

Betty, stuck, up to her eyeballs in a snowdrift trying to get into my condo parking lot. Turns out she gets high-centered fairly easy!
(3:30 20 Dec)

The pretty side effect of 23" of snow: a nice view of a white Longs Peak looking west, just north of Longmont.
(8:30am 22 Dec)

In conclusion, here is my strategy for getting through a blizzard in a rear wheel drive car that does not have good tires: get a full tank of gas (the day before); some weight (like a big floor jack) in your trunk; put a shovel in the passenger seat (scares hitchhikers and good for digging out); don't try to drive through unplowed :( streets; and air-down your tires to about 20 psi (just don't forget to fill 'em back up!).

Looks like I'll get to try out my strategy again sooner than later...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope you and yours are having a wonderful day.

The snow stopped falling, the airport opened, and Christmas dinner is on the stove. There's still plenty of snow on the ground though, and I'll have a few more pictured of my blizzard adventures up soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 3

Well, apparently every single school district on the Front Range is now shut down; Highway 34 is closed; all of our jobs are shut down and questionable for tomorrow; every supplier in Denver that I have called is closed; my mom slid sideways down our driveway (she called); and there are 5-foot drifts on my boss' back porch (his wife called).

We finally decided to shut down the main office a few minutes ago and I'm gonna attempt my (only) 15 mile drive back home with my rear wheel drive, bald tired Mustang now. We'll see how this goes! 8-0

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 2

It's really startin' to come down now.

Looks cold and windy, eh? Here's a shot out the front door of my office at about 9:00 a.m.

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 1

So, apparently it's supposed to snow like a mother today.

On Monday I was hearing 4-8" accumulation along the Front Range. Tuesday it was 8-12". Now there's a Winter Storm Warning in place until noon Thursday for accumulations of 24-36" in Northern Colorado, 14-24" in the Denver Metro, and 10-18" for a huge swath of Southern Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska as the predicted storm lumbers its way to the northeast.
(Below is a cool 9News graphic to illustrate this.)

If it does snow as much and as hard as they are currently predicting, this will be the worst winter storm since the March 2003 storm that dumped over three feet of snow on Northern Colorado. That storm closed the public schools, and the university [yay for an extra week of "spring" break!], and many buildings and trees were heavily damaged by the heavy spring snow. This time around it's a lot colder and a lot earlier in the season, so the snow shouldn't be nearly as wet.

As of 8:30 a.m., all of the Denver area schools are close, as are most schools on the eastern plains. The list of school and business closures fills up ten (!) printed pages. Of course, right now, there is only about an inch of snow in most places and the roads area really not that bad. I think that most of the districts are just taking this opportunity to kick off Christmas break one day early, and I definitely don't blame them.

Stay tuned for a few more posts as the storm builds and the snow falls. And I sit in my windowless office. :-|

And from the National Weather Service, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas in Denver!" Click to see a recap of the last several years Christmas weather.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lord Monckton defends science, calls on Senators to resign

On 11 December, The Viscount of Brenchley, England, Lord Monckton sent an open letter to Senators John D Rockefeller (Democrat-WV) and Olympia Snowe (Republican-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of ExxonMobil to stop funding scientists who are skeptical of the climate change "consensus" promoted by environmentalists and the mainstream media.

You can read his whole letter (please do), including works cited and the executive summary of a University of Southern California research paper here: http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061212_monckton.pdf

In his letter, Lord Monckton,
former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, does some serious calling-out of our beloved leftist environmentalist Senators. He writes:
You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to “senior elected and appointed government officials” who disagree with your opinion. You are elected officials yourselves. If you do not believe in the right of persons within the United States to exercise their fundamental right under the world’s greatest Constitution to petition their elected representatives for the redress of their grievances, then you have no place on Capitol Hill. You must go.
Lord Monckton is a long time and well known critic of the global warming / anthropogenic climate change theory. He continues in his letter to criticize the ignorant environmentalists and their even more ignorant followers by not only challenging the climate change assertions that they seem to believe as Gospel [although, Gospel means "good news," and that is something unknown to these types], but also by calling attention to the fact that the withholding and repressing the critical side of the global warming debate is equivalent to violating the first amendment!

These senators and their ilk seem to believe that if they are unable to answer to the critics of their point of view, they can simply call into question the source of their opponents. I'm pretty sure that a lot of good, unbiased science comes out of private firms who are not funded by the government, but apparently that is too hard for some to believe.

And furthermore, why did it take a British nobleman to call out these United States Senators? Are we so jaded and used to the pathetic rambling of our politicians that we no longer care? Or is it that the critics of this so-called consensus on global warming do not have the backbone to defend themselves?

Of course, it could well be that no one knows about the letters in question. Google News only had nine measly references to this story today. Which obviates the fact that the mainstream media does not care to acknowledge that there is even a debate on the topic. Oi.


... Anyways, back to the climate change thing...

The authors of "On Global Forces of Nature Driving the Earth’s Climate: Are Humans Involved?" [which they apparently expect you to pay $30 for here] conclude that:
“The human-induced climatic changes are negligible. … The global warming observed during the latest 150 years is just a short episode in the geologic history. The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. … Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01°C of approximately 0.56°C (1°F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century”.
Which sounds perfectly plausible to me. Even if the current human activity is causing an increase in global temperatures, we have not been able to accurately measure and study it for nearly long enough at this point in time to come to any strong conclusions. I agree with the USC researchers that the natural ebb and flow of global climate is much more powerful than most people give it credit for. As great as the human race seems to be, we probably can't influence the heavens and the Earth as easily as we would like to think.

So poo on you, Mr. Gore.

Shelby GT500 vs. Roush Stage 3

My Mustang is not nearly this cool.



Check out the Ford SVT site for the GT500 here and the Roush Stage 3 page here.

I will have to look up the price difference between the two. I think the GT500 is around $55,000 and the Roush Stage 3 is closer to $75,000. Ouch.

I don't even want to think about what insurance costs!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Pony

Just in case you were wondering...

Merry Christmas! ;)

How to Win in Iraq

Really good article / action plan for how the United States can still choose victory in Iraq written by several decorated military commanders and published in the current issue of the "Worldwide Standard" section of The Weekly Standard.

Here is an excerpt:
Victory is still an option in Iraq. America, a country of 300 million people with a GDP of $12 trillion, and more than one million soldiers and marines can regain control of Iraq, a state the size of California with a population of 25 million and a GDP under $100 billion.

Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. Defeat will lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased global terrorism.

Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising sectarian violence threatens to break America’s will to fight. This violence will destroy the Iraqi government, armed forces, and people if it is not rapidly controlled.

Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and decisively.

Three courses of action have been proposed. All will fail.

Click here to read their plan for victory. It doesn't sound fun or easy, but it is something that needs to be done for the same of Iraq, the Middle East, the U.S., and the world.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Live on light!

Breatharians. People who live on light and/or air.

Google it.

What friggin' moron came up with this crap?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holocaust? What Halocaust?

Wacko-fundamentalist Muslim and dictator - I mean, uh, president - of the terrorist state Iran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is once again claiming that the Holocaust never happened with his new, state-sponsored conference, Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision, yesterday. He also reasserted his belief that "Israel be wiped off the map."

There are many, many articles and columns out there today regarding this idiotic meeting of historical revisionists, anti-zionists, and other crack pots. The ones below are a few that I picked:
It was reported that about 60 protesters chanted "death to the dictator" and burned photographs of Ahmedinejad in the first protests since the he became president 18 months ago. I would guess that there is a pretty good chance that we may never hear from some of those 60 people again.

* * * * *

These events and many that are similar are reported on at least a weekly basis from Iran and Ahmadinejad's rule. These events outrage the vast majority of the world, including the UN, Europeans, and American democrats. Yet the world approach in dealing with this dictator is still appeasement.

It is pretty clear what happens when a crazy dictator is appeased without end. If you forgot, ask the Germans. Or the French. Or the Jews.

Monday, December 11, 2006

CrackBerry

So... Wall Street Journal article on "BlackBerry Orphans," i.e.: kids who's parents spend waaay too much time with their CrackBerry...
Emma Colonna wishes her parents would behave, at least when they're out in public. The ninth-grade student in Port Washington, N.Y., says she has caught her parents typing emails on their Treos during her eighth-grade awards ceremony, at dinner and in darkened movie theaters. "During my dance recital, I'm 99% sure they were emailing except while I was on stage," she says. "I think that's kind of rude."
That is sad times. The article continues...

Some mental-health professionals report that the intrusion of mobile email gadgets and wireless technology into family life is a growing topic of discussion in therapy. They have specific tips for dealing with the problem, like putting the device in a drawer during a set time period every day. "A lot of kids are upset by it," says Geraldine Kerr, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Morristown, N.J. She says parents need to recognize that some situations require undivided attention. When you shut off the device, she says, "You're communicating nonverbally that 'you matter and what's important to you is important to me.' "

Still, like teenagers sneaking cigarettes behind school, parents are secretly rebelling against the rules. The children of one New Jersey executive mandate that their mom ignore her mobile email from dinnertime until their bedtime. To get around their dictates, the mother hides the gadget in the bathroom, where she makes frequent trips before, during and after dinner. The kids "think I have a small bladder," she says. She declined to be named because she's afraid her 12- and 13-year-old children might discover her secret.

Um, if you seriously need family therapy because you can't ignore your office email for a few hours a day, you might have bigger problems. Like lack of a spine to tell your boss that the work-week is Monday thru Friday. But I can't exactly talk, since I have been known to occasionally check my work mail from home on the weekends or evenings -- but not to that extent!

We'll see what happens when I get myself a Treo.

Update: I forgot to include the link to an eleven-month-old NPR story that I heard about this as well. You can find (and listen to it) here.

I still want one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Geography Quiz

"We've seen Georgia on the map; its purple!"

Well, not on this map, but take this geography quiz anyway and see if you can beat my score. ;) I got 149 -- Rhode Island is really hard to spot on the map!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Grease Remover

No one should watch this.

Unless, of course, they find such things humorous. In which case, they are a sick puppy, and therefore we have something in common.

The following video contains course language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone. (Thanks, South Park)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Best. Pen. Ever.

...and a very nice macro mode on my camera.

Uniball Jetstream pens are hereby endorsed by Matt. ;)

More Cold Things

I'm cold. And it's not just my heart. ;)

The boiler at our office that heats the downstairs - where I am - is not working right this morning. When I got here at 7 it was about 60 degrees in my dang office! Now it's warned up to somewhere around 68, but wowzers, it was chilly in here.

And drafty. My "back door" in my office leaks the (cold) outside air in near the handle. I would fix it with some duct tape, but it gets used way too often for that.

And now, cold things from my trip to Frisco, CO last Thursday.

This is a picture of the stereo and heater controls of the relatively-pimp, champagne colored Buick from work that I drove three hours and 135 miles (one way) up to Summit County (where the ski areas are) to check out a job. When I left Fort Collins at 5:45 a.m., the exterior temperature display (at the bottom of the picture read -1 degrees. By the time I got into Frisco, elevation 9042 feet, the temp outside was -13. Fahrenheit. Thirteen degrees below zero. Burrr! At least the sun was out; and it did warm all the way up to 9 above by the time I left town at noon-thirty.

And this is some mountain that sits to the south-west of Frisco. Maybe Breckenridge Mountain? I thought it was further south, but who knows. If there is a ski resort on this one, it's on the back side.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Burrr!!!

Welp, it looks like winter is finally here.


It totally wasn't 43 degrees today, either. According to the weather station on CSU's campus, it only got up to about 40... so close, but not really.

Luckily (?), I was in meetings from 6:30 a.m. on, and now I'm heading to a class that goes till 9:30 at night! The only time I saw the sun today was when I took a box out to the trash at lunch. Grr.

Monday, November 27, 2006

...In with the new

Welp, this is, apparently the new Blogger. Which is still in Beta.

But since it is now a Google product, that should come as no surprise, since most of their stuff is in perpetual beta form. I mean, c'mon... I've been using Gmail for quite a while now (like a couple of years) and it's still in beta. But as long as it works, I don't really care what they call it.

But this new Beta thing with all its new-fangled fancy features is going to take a little bit to get tweaked just right. Like the Labels thing. I'm going to have to come up with some categories and stick with them if I want to have any hope of a cohesive experience for my (few) visitors. So far I'm thinking News, Nerds, Rants, Photos... and that's all I've got so far. We'll see where this goes, if anywhere.

Man, I hope this worked.

Out with the old...

My Last Post
...using the current version of Blogger.

Apparently, my new version of Blogger is ready... and I think I can take the plunge. Although, if all of my links and stuff get messed up or I lose some of my "content", I'm gonna be a little perturbed. It may not be obvious, but I put a decent amount of work into some of this.

Welp, here goes nothing... on to the New Blogger!
(The Blogger formerly known as Beta?)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

JFK and Thanksgiving

[Okay, last post of my marathon pre-Thanksgiving blogging.]

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The day which we thank God and each other for all of the blessings and other good stuff in our lives, and try to ignore the bad for a little while.

I am not going to go into the usual list of things that I am thankful for, other than that we live in the best damn country in the world. Instead, I would like to share a little bit of history.

On this day in 1963, President John F Kennedy was assassinate in Dallas, Texas, marking the end of a life cut too short and the beginning of an era of unrest in the United States. We had already dealt with the Bay of Pigs, Communist Russia, and the very beginnings of the Vietnam War (which France started, btw). But this was nothing to compare to the social changes of the rest of the 1960s; and with it, the death of the Democrat party.

John Kennedy was a democrat, but unlike his cousin Teddy, he was also a great and courageous man.

Here are a few lines from John Kennedy's inaugural speech on 20 January, 1961. (You can also listen to it here if you use Real Player.)

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do -- for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom -- and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

I'll be a monkey's uncle if ol' JFK doesn't sound pretty Pro-America, Pro-Democracy, and, rare I say it, kind of Republican.

Now, I know that "times have changed" and that the worlds is different, etcetera, but where has this American Exceptionalism gone in today's Democrats, and even some Republicans?

This Thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks to those who came before us to make this country the great place it is, and those who defend it today.

No time to sleep? No problem. (So far.)

Many (most) of us don't get enough sleep, and we know it.

We know that we should get eight hours of sleep each and every night to maintain optimal brain function. But honestly, who can do that?

That might be a problem of the past with a whole new category of designer, "lifestyle" drugs that can keep you awake and aware without any of the side effects of caffeine, nicotine, or meth.

There are also a several new drugs that put you to sleep and actually get you rested instead of the crappy unconscious induced sleep that the current "hypnotic" sleeping pills provide.

Other than the device that charges parts of your brain with DC power to put you to sleep or wake you up at the flick of a switch, this stuff sounds like a pretty good deal to me... but I have the feeling that this will get abused, just like every other powerful drug designed to make out lives easier.

I would write more... but I'm just sooo sleeeeeeepy... ;)

Google to take over the world in six months

Well, okay, they probably won't take over the world. Not in six months at least. But that is when they are speculated to go ahead with some sort of "GoogleOS" that could compete directly with Windows Vista.

I tried out a couple of the "WebOS" applications (AJAX / Java based) that run inside of you browser window like Gmail and Google Calendar do, and they are pretty cool, but I don't think it would really compete with anything, since they run inside of another application that is running on a computer with an operating system.

Personally, I hope they do a full-featured Linux disto. That could make things interesting. Especially when you throw in the new graphical desktop features that open-source XGL hardware graphics acceleration can provide. (Check out YouTube for some impressive videos - search "XGL Linux")

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cool-Ass Sunset!

Here are some pictures I took about ten minutes ago outside of my office. There was a crazy cloud bank up against the Front Range all day today, producing some really weird lighting all afternoon. Luckily I snuck outside just in time to catch the tail end of it.

Looking pretty much straight West...

And looking South-West...
South-West close-up...

Again, looking South-West...

And another South-West close-up...
Yay for Colorado. :D

No more extension cords!

There's not a lot of things that I actually hate, but among those are hoses (garden-type water and compressed air) and extension cords.

They are always getting tangled, knotted, and kinked [there's nothing worse than those kinky hose]. Not to mention pinched, stepped on, tripped over, and generally being a pain in the arse to store.

Now, there is obviously no practical way to transfer water or air without some sort of hose or pipe, but it has always seemed to me that you should be able to transfer electricity without a cord. While it is true that electricity can and does get transfered from one wire to another through electrical induction, that is only over very short distances, such as in an electric motor, amplifier, or other power transformer.

But if current research being done at MIT pans out, all (well, some) of my woes may be relieved! As reported in MIT's TechTalk publication below (download the pdf) and elsewhere (title link), it may soon be possible to power consumer (and industrial) electronics wirelessly:
Marin Soljacic, [an assistant professor in MIT's Department of Physics and Research Laboratory of Electronics], realized that the close-range induction taking place inside a transformer—or something similar to it—could potentially transfer energy over longer distances, say, from one end of a room to the other. Instead of irradiating the environment with electromagnetic waves, a power transmitter would fill the space around it with a “nonradiative” electromagnetic field. Energy would only be picked up by gadgets specially designed to “resonate” with the field. Most of the energy not picked up by a receiver would be reabsorbed by the emitter.
That would enable laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras, and even factory robots to operate with no wired connections - just WiFi for data and MIT's new wireless power.

Now, this probably won't work for the toaster or skill saw, but dang would it be nice not to have to constantly plug- and un-plug all of my gadgety crap.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Swing Society feels no love from CSU

Woot! I was on the front page (below the fold) of our college newspaper yesterday!

[The caption reads "Summer Criswell, Sophomore, Graphic Design, and Matt Thompson, CSU Alumnus, kickin' it up Wednesday, September 20, 2006, at the LSC as they and fellow members of The Swing Society polish their dance routine."]


About two months ago, the Rocky Mountain Collegian, CSU's daily student newspaper, decided to do a story on the student organization that I am (still) involved in and our struggles to get a decent place to dance on campus. The title of the piece, "Swing Society feels no love from CSU" accurately reflects the general feeling of club leadership. [The Collegian's new site layout is pretty nice, too.]

Of course, the story didn't run when it was originally intended. It probably got bumped to make room for a story on the ski team, or something. But it did run yesterday(!), and luckily the writer called our president to update our situation... which has now somehow morphed into a struggle over our club's insurance status. (CSU wants the club to buy our own liability insurance because we are "high-risk.")

As a side note, I have heard from a reputable source that all the trouble that the Swing Society is having lately is the result of some new administration person's attempt to make a name for themselves. Hopefully I'll get a few more details on that later.

[Dun da dun dun... dun da dun dun daaaaa! The story you have just read is true, the names have been changed to protect the ignorant.]

Very shortly after this story was printed yesterday, my friend / sometimes partner / fellow blogger / club president was already getting worried phone calls from the student organizations administration people wanting to make sure that we don't "think no one cares" and "hope we know they are working towards a solution." Only time will tell if that actually happens.

But the point remains, I was on the front page of the newspaper!

And I wasn't naked or in handcuffs! ;)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spear Phishing?

"Security group ranks human error as top security worry" says this article on the Network World website.

My first reaction was a resounding "DUH!"

In this "spear phishing" experiment conducted on West Point Military Academy cadets (who should be really smart people), more than 80% fell for the trap by following a link from an unsolicited email to a website and following some sort of instructions. What's worse, 90% of freshman cadets clicked on the link, even after hours of computer security instruction.

Dang.

Maybe I'm cold and heartless, but my faith in people to not do stupid things with their computers is somewhere around nonexistent.

Today, there are many options available for hardware and software to protect computer users from having their machine compromised without their knowledge or interaction. Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, Anti-this-that-and-the-other-thing. But there is nothing that will reliably protect people from themselves and their (our) own stupidity.

What's the saying? "Nothing is fool-proof to the creative fool." or something like that.

This is nothing like the spear fishing that you do on a frozen lake in northern Minnesota.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Why of Mentos Eruptions

So, since I don't spend a lot of time on YouTube or digg or any of those other "popular" websites, I was a little behind on the whole Mentos + diet soda thing until I met Steve Spangler at the Magic in the Rockies conference in early September.


[Why do all of my posts start with "So,"? Anyway, moving on...]

Steve is a science educator, Director of the National Hands-on Science Institute in Denver, toy designer, television personality, and pseudo-magician. He is also the guy behind the popularization of the original "Mentos and Diet Coke" thing and the inventor of the contraption that drops the Mentos into the bottle. He is not the inventor of the experiment , however. That honor goes to science teacher Lee Marek, a friend of Mr Spangler.

The theory of why soda erupts out of the bottle when you drop Mentos candies into it is available on Steve Spanger's Science website, Wikipedia, and probably several other places, but the general idea is approximately as follows:

  • Soda is bubbly because there is carbon dioxide (CO2) gas disolved in the sweetener / water / other chemical solution.
  • The surface of a Mentos candy is covered with some huge number of itsy bitsy little pits and craters and spikes and stuff.
  • When the soda comes in contact with the sharp edges of the candy, nucleation sites are formed (more on that here) where the carbon dioxide comes out of solution with the rest of the soda and causes a chain reaction of rapidly expanding gas that forces the soda up and out of the bottle.
    • It's also handy that the candy sinks to the bottom of the bottle so that it has to force the soda up instead of just the gas coming out the top and foaming a bit (like when you drop ice cream into root beer).

So basically, it's just a physical reaction of the CO2 and soda coming out of solution, not a real chemical explosion. The soda isn't really altered in any way, other than it comes out of the bottle and does not have any carbonation left.

There are plenty of good videos on YouTube that (sometimes) show this in action. One nice adaptation is this one of two French guys making rockets out of soda bottles.

As an interesting side note to this whole thing, Mentos appears to be a big advertising winner, while Coke is a huge looser. Mentos estimates the free marketing generated by the viral-video phenomenon to be worth $10 Million in marketing, while Coke Spokeswoman Susan McDermott says, "It's an entertaining phenomenon. We would hope people want to drink more than try experiments with it." And that "craziness with Mentos doesn't fit with the brand personality."

Wowzers. When I try it this weekend, I'm gonna use Pepsi. Or store brand.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Derided Dylan musical is to close

The Bob Dylan / Twyla Tharp musical collaboration "The Times They Are A-Changin'," which has received horrible reviews, will close on the 19th of November, less than a month after it opened on Broadway.

The early closing has been described as a "mercy killing."

Apparently, the show consists of a young man's turmoils and tribulations while working for a struggling circus. Sounds like an edge of your seat thriller, don't it? On top of that, the story line is "nearly incomprehensible" and "failed to capture the magic of the songs."

Sounds kinda like a Dylan concert. Well, the "nearly incomprehensible" part anyway.

If only I could find out for myself just how disjunct and painful the show really is... Oh wait, I can!

I know people who know people who know people who do some illegal stuff. :D

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Votin' Day

Happy Birthday to the Republican Elephant!

This symbol was "born" on this day in 1874 to cartoonist Thomas Nast.

Hopefully his peeps will turn out and do a little votin'.




In other news, well, this speaks for itself...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Adopt a Microbe

This is kinda spiffy. Check it out. Maybe even bookmark it.

Plus, the author is a pretty Australian girl. Who is apparently 249 years old.

Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II - The Domino Effect

251 bottles of Diet Coke + 1,506 Mentos mints = A mint-powered version of the Bellagio fountains.

... and one huge sticky mess!

The Press at War

Why do they hate us?

No, not the terrorists. We know why they hate us. (It's because we have freedom, liberty, and don't grovel to their prophet.)

The question is, why does the press hate us?
Focusing ever more sharply on the mostly bicoastal, mostly liberal elites, and with their more conservative audience lost to Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, mainstream outlets like the New York Times have become more nakedly partisan. And in the Iraq War, they have kept up a drumbeat of negativity that has had a big effect on elite and public opinion alike. Thanks to the power of these media organs, reduced but still enormous, many Americans are coming to see the Iraq War as Vietnam redux.
Very long, but good article from City Journal and the WSJ's Opinion Journal.


Saddam to Hang


<-- Insert Saddam Here.



Former brutal dictator and oppressor of the Iraqi people, Saddam Hussein, was found guilty of crimes against humanity and generally being a pain in the ass on Sunday. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but any death penalty verdict is automatically appealed to a nine judge panel with no time limit.

Personally, I think they need to kill him as fast as possible to eliminate any shadow of hope that the Saddam-loyal Sunnis might still hold for his return to power.

Obviously, there has been a difference in reactions between the different factions of the Iraqi populous. Here is my summary:
Kurds - "Hang the bastard, he killed my people!"
Shiites - "Hang the bastard, he killed my people!"
Sunnis - "What crimes? He only killed Kurds and Shiites."

Here's how a more respectable news-source summed it up:

Sunnis are likely to remain unhappy even if Saddam were to live. It is their diminished role in the post-Saddam Iraq that distresses them.

Saddam matters, without question, to the Shi'ites. The violence has reinforced the determination of the Shi'ites and Kurds, who suffered immensely under Saddam's rule, to put an end to any chance the former regime might make a comeback.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bad Economy?

Okay, what the heck…  I just need to stop listening to NPR at all.  There are no redeeming qualities that they posses, especially in their election coverage.  I have no illusions that the republicans have drifted way too far to the evangelical camp and will probably loose the House or Representatives.  But when they talk about the economy, I can’t take it any more.  

We are currently living under some of the best economic conditions that we have had in the past twenty years.  National unemployment is at 4.4%.  The economy is growing at a sustainable rate.  Taxes are low.  The government’s tax receipts are up (because of the low taxes.)  And mortgage rates are still well within reach of a great many homebuyers.  

When these east-coast elitists go and talk to unemployed, uneducated, unskilled factory workers in the upper Midwest and then blame the Bush administration for our “failing economy” and the worker’s unemployment.  The reason these workers are unemployed is because the company they (used to) work for could no longer afford to pay them the wage than they demanded.  There is no logical reason that some guy who puts lugnuts on wheels should make $45,000 a year, have free health care, and 4 weeks of paid vacation.  

But somehow, starting in the late 1940’s, labor unions beat up their employers for more and more pay.  

Well, the labor union’s habit of wanting more, no matter what the cost, has finally backfired on them.  The company’s they harassed and blackmailed into submission have finally had more than they can take and are starting to go under.  They can no longer afford to pay these exorbitant wages to unskilled workers.  

So what happens?  The high paid workers get laid off.  (Since you can’t fire a union worker.)  Their jobs get outsourced to lower cost factories on another continent.  They get replaced with robots.  Etcetera, etcetera.  It’s not that hard to fathom that when a company cannot remain competitive, they will do something to fix it.  

But they often can’t just stop paying their union workers.  They have to pay benefits; pensions; health care.  So they end up paying money for zero productivity.  And this opens the door for Japanese auto makers, who do not hire union workers and therefore have substantially lower overheads, to step in, make their cars in America, and gain market share.  This further hurts the big, union auto makers, and the cycle continues.  

Conclusion: Don’t blame GM and Ford for 100% of your unemployed whining.  Blame Big Labor and their Leftist allies in Washington.  

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dinosaurs 'lived for 300,000 years after Mexican meteor strike'

But I thought we knew everything there was to know about the dinosaurs and their extinction!?

;)
                   boing         boing         boing
e-e . - . . - . . - .
(\_/)\ ' `. ,' `. ,' .
`-'\ `--.___, . . . . .
'\( ,_.-'
\\ " " a:f
^'

Carve Your Own Pumpkin!

Check out my cool pumpkin!


I know it's a little bit late now, since its the 1st of November today (can you believe that?!), but I thought that this was pretty neat. It's just another random java app, but (until yesterday) was quite appropriate.

Still fun though!

(As usual, click on the title.)

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Folly of "The Folly of Citizen Journalism"

This column / overblown blurb by tech blogger John C Dvorak got me with its title, but failed to deliver any substance. I was hoping for an insight on what he thought of the blogosphere or the state of the "pajama clad" masses at their keyboards.

What I got was, well, nothing.

Citizen media is worthless and mundane; Big Media misses what needs to be said and panders to advertisers; Digg promotes group-think.

The piece only has a few good sentences:
For local insight, I'd suggest a list of local bloggers—and note that most bloggers call themselves bloggers, not journalists. There is no pretense.
Which any of us who actually does blog would obviously agree with.

And:
Citizen journalism, to me, is like citizen professional baseball—it's just not practical. You can't play professional baseball just because you think the Seattle Mariners stink. You're not a good enough ballplayer.
Which is also just a nicely worded tid-bit of common sense.

Don't even read the article. It's not worth your time. Go check Google News instead.

Google is Scary

Just in time for Halloween, Google has extended its quest to organize (and store) the world's information to scary stories. Really, really old scary stories.

These stories are so old that the copyright has run out. That is how Google can legally scan every page and post them on the internet. If you (or Google) tried to do that with any recent publication, no matter the reason, you would likely see the inside of a courthouse faster than you can say 'fair use.'

But that's neither here nor there right now... since the only good scary stories were all written long enough ago that they are now in the public domain.

Want to read Poe, page by page? It's there.

Bram Stoker's Dracula? Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Yup, all there. All in their pseudo-paper digital glory.

Now this could lead into a whole discussion about Intellectual Property rights and (mostly) restrictions regarding what can and cannot be done with works of literature and music, but I really don't have the energy. Basically, IP is BS. Just like DRM is CRAP.

...Yay for Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

FireFox 2.0 is out!


For those of you that missed the official release (like me) on the 24th of this month, FireFox version 2.0 is out and available to the public.

I installed Release Candidate 2 a couple of weeks ago, and have been using it without problems since. I'm going to update to the full release right after I finish this post. Or maybe after I get back from the eye doctor. I'm pretty sure I'll be a little to worthless to get much else done after they dilate my pupils.

Take a peek at what it looks like... Nice and clean, eh?

Get it now!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

'Rape victims have themselves to blame'

Sometimes the truth of what Muslim clerics say leaks out.
"If you take uncovered meat and place it outside on the street... and the cats come and eat it, whose fault is it? The cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem."

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
Moderate my ass.

Google and Political Bias

I'm not sure how many people actually use Google Earth on a regular basis - although I admit it is pretty damn cool - but the folks over in Mountain View (at the Googleplex) have figured out how to use it for political advantage.

Hans Riemer of (liberal) Rock the Vote says that this is "a promising direction for Google" and he "hopes its the start of something big."
If you’ve already turned on the guide as a layer in Google Earth, you might already have noticed the patriotic stars now adorning the U.S. map. There’s one for every congressional district. Click on the star and it opens a set of links to useful voter tools. First, you can click to register to vote. I love this because so many people still think that in order to register, you need help from a government employee or political activist. Wrong. You can register yourself to vote by getting your forms online and sending them in by mail. Spread the word!

Second, there are links to news, web and photo searches for candidates for the U.S. House and Senate races on November 7. Now, I think a squirrel could figure out which way to go on our presidential candidates and political parties. But an educated vote does require some Google searching, especially when candidates try so hard to blur the differences.
And we all know what Google thinks of George Bush, although they claim otherwise!

What happened to my reliable, unbiased search engine?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Did Bush Lie?


This is quite entertaining.

If it wasn't obvious enough already that the Hero of the Left, Slick Willy Clinton, knew that Iraq was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and that something desperately needed to be done about it - way back in 1998 - then just do what the button says.

Did you do it? Well, okay, you can do it at your leisure, but see for yourself just what Clinton said about the problems with Iraq versus what he did about it. There are no similarities.

In other news... President Bush today says that America's patience in Iraq is running out and that Iraqis will have to start solving their own problems.

"Americans have no intention of taking sides in a sectarian struggle or standing in the crossfire between rival factions.

"A military solution alone will not stop the violence. In the end, the Iraqi people and their Government will have to make the difficult decisions to find solutions to these problems."

Well it's about damn time.

And Iraq's little pansy of a Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is apparently fed up with our military defending itself and the people of Iraq from insurgency. That's also in the article.

I think that the Kurds are the only semi-sane folk in that country. They wanted to break off and re-form Kurdistan a long time ago, and I think the should have let them. At least then the Suni and Shia would just be killing each other.

Killing Children

The above link is a very interesting read on the virtues of killing children. It may not sit well with you at first, but if you have a realistic bone in your body, then it just might strike a chord.

I, for one, agree with the author, but only fear that if we could actually adopt that mindset to accomplish what needs to be done, we would have a hard time turning it off once it was done.

But it will never happen that way, because we are good, children loving people. And that is just what gets them killed.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Compare these photos"

Okay, so supposedly, these two pictures are identical except for three tiny differences. If you can find all three, you're kinda special I guess. I could only find two before I gave up.
The pictures are here.
(Caution: May not be safe for work. Or Children. Or those with a heart condition. Or a weak bladder. Or use with some prescription medication.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The End Is Nigh!


Yes, the crazy guy on the plaza with a big sign is right!

Well, nine years ago today in 1997 he could have been right. But he wasn't.

Today is Creation Day. At exactly twelve-noon on the 24th of October, 4004 B.C., God created the Heavens and the Earth. At least that's what literalists believe. And apparently, the earth would endure for exactly 6,000 years, since that's how long it took God to create it, given the One-God-Day equals One-Thousand-Man-Years conversion.

But, since 23 October 1997 passed without a hitch, and it's way past noon Jerusalem time today on 23 October 2006, I think that the millenarian theory doesn't really hold water anymore. (click on the title to read an interesting article, and here for more background.)

This leaves non-Muslim end-of-the-world-ists with only the Aztec option left. This one figures on the fact that all Aztec calendars end with the year 2012, and therefore the world ends then. (click here for a little on that.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Damn Stingrays

Is this becoming some sort of sick, trendy fun for stingrays?

The BBC reports (on an AP story) today that a Jumping stingray stabs US boater in the chest.

Weird-ass fishes. Apparently Steve the Crocodile Hunter wasn't enough; they've gotta go after an 81 year old grandfather out with his granddaughter in Florida.

At least this guy didn't die--he was rushed to a hospital where surgeons removed the poison barb from his chest--but he is still quite ill.

Thimble-cake?

Am I HUGE?
Or us that the tiniest little cupcake you've ever seen?

Britons are getting fat and lazy too

The Times of London (online version creatively called the Times Online) reports today that Obesity is linked to lack of childhood sleep.

Here is the main jist of the story:

Two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that control appetite have been shown to be affected by sleep disturbances in experiments at the University of Wisconsin.

Leptin is a hormone released by fat cells to tell the brain that fat stores are adequate, and ghrelin, released by the stomach, is a signal of hunger.

In people with too little sleep, the Wisconsin team have found that leptin levels were low, and ghrelin levels high. Both these would encourage an individual to eat more.

The most obvious reason why children sleeping badly would get fat is that by day they would be tired and inactive. Even a small drop in activity can mean that calories consumed exceed calories expended, leading to weight gain.

The process could feed on itself, he suggests. Lots of physical activity means that people sleep better: a lack of it means they sleep less well. So as the sleep debt accumulates and daytime activity falters, sleep suffers yet more, creating a vicious cycle.

Seems reasonable to me. When you don't sleep, you're tired. When you're tired, you're lazy. When you're lazy, you're inactive. When you're inactive, you don't sleep well.

So just remember: if you're fat, it's not your fault. Your parents should have put you to bed earlier and forced you to be active insead of sitting in front of the television. Sure, you may consume more calories than you burn, but that's not your fault. It's your parents. [The sad part is, some people actually believe that.]

Personally, I think that a lack of sleep likely contributes to all kinds of fun diseases that are mysteriously on the rise in today's society. When your body isn't rested, it can't defend itself. For example, I never sleep; and I'm always about 30% sick. And I'm gonna die of a heart attack. But that's Big Fast Food's fault. ;)

Incidently, in a BBC report on the same story...
Tam Fry, chairman of the Child Growth Foundation and a member of the National Obesity Forum, said the problem with obesity in the UK was "huge" and continuing to rise.
I think that is kinda humorous. Describing childhood obesity as a "huge" problem. Wow.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rocky Mountain Rage

Aparently the North-Metro area was feeling left out of the whole minor league hockey thing that we've got going on up in Northern Colorado... so they started their own team, the Rocky Mountain Rage.

Of course, they needed a place to play. The Av's have the Pepsi Center ("The Can") and the Colorado Eagles (Northern Colorado's Central Hockey League team) have the Budweiser Event Center ("The Keg"), the Rage built the Broomfield Event Center. I don't think it has a nick-name yet, but through some odd piece of conspiracy, my company built both the Budweiser Event Center and the Broomfield Event Center, so I don't really care what they call it.

I'm not sure if the North end of Denver can really support another sports team (Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, Rockies, Crush, Rapids, etc.) but a minor-league, and therefore cheaper, hockey outlet might not be a bad idea.

Up north here we don't really have much for spectator sports outside of the Colorado State University and University of Northern Colorado stuff, so the Eagles went over really well here, with 83 consecutive sold-out games at one point.

But what I really wanted to get at was the interesting slogan / tag line / advertisement they have:
There is a new kind of hockey in the Rocky Mountains. One born from the very natural forces that formed this area. A fiery, fierce, and powerful upheaval. One so strong, one so unstoppable, one so inspiring that it has become the heartbeat of a hockey team. Welcome to the intensity that is The Rocky Mountain Rage. An Ice Force that is so fast, furious and frenzied you won’t be able to stay in your seat.... Welcome to Hockey Untamed!...
Yeah, that's kinda what I think about when I think about hockey... not so much. Creativity points though!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Runaway bride

So does anyone remember that lady that was "abducted and sexually assaulted" a few days before her wedding in Georgia last year and somehow wound up in New Mexico? She faked the whole thing

Well apparently that stunt wasn't enough for her. Now the Runaway bride is sueing for half a million dollars.

I don't even have anything to say... other than if I was her fiance, I would regret looking for her so hard the first time around.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Seven Levels of Photographers

"Bad rich amateurs think fuzzy B/W images of poor people are art."

(Seven Levels of Photographers © 2005 KenRockwell.com)


I wish photograhy were free.

Actually, I wish film and developing were free, and that I had enough time to mess with it.

Ken Rockwell (who happens to be one friggin' good photographer) is right... it's not the camera that makes art. The camera is there to help you put what you see onto paper or the screen. It's job is to get out of the way.

Of course, the expensive cameras get out of the way a little faster then the cheap ones.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blogger's Ass

Uh oh...

Just click on this diesel sweeties: pixelated robot romance web comic. There's no explanation needed.

(I think I need to go to the doctor!)

The Adventures of INVISI-CAT

Um, this is totally un-safe. Like, for anyone involved.

Slate Floor + Gray Tabby = Bloody Ankles!

Yay for Cute Overload! ;)

(Click on the title!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Microsoft To Rip Your Head Off If You Pirate Vista

Microsoft To Rip Your Head Off If You Pirate Vista, says the really crappily written article on TechLime.com, which did not cite any sources. Google news has a bunch of sources here if you want to actually look yourself.

Basically Microsoft's Windows Vista will just render your computer unusable if you do not have a "genuine" copy that you shelled out some huge sum of money for.

Is anyone suprised?

Here's Betty!

Yay!
'05, V6 Premium, Black on Black.

Communicate much?

Not only did I fall asleep in my clothes last night at a little past midnight; then wake up at 5:17 thinking that I had to leave in 13 minutes; shower and dress and kinda do my hair in 15 minutes and fly out the door; realize that if I leave now, I'll get to work at 6:oo a.m., which is 30 minutes earlier than I am supposed to be there for my department meeting at 6:30; then go back, re-brush my teeth and tuck my shirt in right, decide to leave for work at 5:50, drive to work, go to Starbucks, and get here at 6:20, still 10 minutes early; then I head to my office, set up the confrence room, check my watch about 12 times, and notice that no one is showing up... my boss cancelled our meeting yesterday afternoon and told everyone but me. Now it's 6:48 and I'm still the only one here. Oi.

Things have gotta get better, right?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pictures!

Yay Pictures!

For the first time in a long time, I'm posting some of my own pictures; insteadof ones that I've schisted from other people. ;)


My sweet, rediculously low '66 Ford pickup truck. Not much of a truck, but quite a bit of fun.

Did I mention it's kinda low?


Are my swing friends retarded, or just crazy?

Uh, no comment.


My brother driving my dad's '01 Ford Lightning at Bandemere Speedway on 29 Sept.
It's one of the highest drav strips in the nation at 6000 feet above sea level, and that dang truck still turned a 14.8 second quarter mile at 100 mph! (That'd be about a 13.6 at sea level, which is pretty fast for a truck.)

Nice Fall sunset at the drag strip.

David Hasselhoff is Hooked on a Feeling

There's a good chance that I already posted this at some point, but I feel that it needs to be reiterated.

David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling - Google Video

Possibly the most creepily narsicistic thing ever. But it is awesome. I mean, weiner dogs, flying, motorcycles, jumping Africans, little angles, some weird wookie thing. C'mon, it just doesn't get any better.

Don't Hassel The Hoff!

Darker than the inside of a cow

This morning at about nine-thirty I was using the restroom at work, minding my own business, when the lights flickered, went off, then on, off, on, and then finally off, and stayed off. Lemme tell ya, it was uncomfortably dark in there! It's a good thing I was basically done, or else it could have gotten out of hand.

The thing that supprised me was not that the lights decided to go out in the middle of the morning, because our building is kinda old and very crappy, but just how dark it actually got! I do understand that I was in a five foot by seven foot half-bath, but there wasn't even light coming in under the door. And on my return to my windowless basement office it was, of course, just as dark. If it wasn't such a trash pit I might have gotten away without knocking anything on the floor, but it is kindof a disaster area.

Oh well, it gave me a convenient excuse to evacuate the office for a while to check on my truck's progress at Papa Wheelie's Custom Exhaust shop down town. Yay for spending huge sums of money on ancient vehicles that rarely get driven. Oi.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dow Sets New Record!

woot!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally closed above it's previous record high from back in 2000 before the tech bust.

Read about it here from Bloomberg.com, or about 500 other places.

Of course, October is historically one of the most volital monthes for the markets, and these kinds of highs are generally followed by a soft period for a couple of weeks, so I wouldn't be supprised if we saw a pullback of several hundred points in the near future.

This ralley was apparently driven by today's rapid (at least temporary) drop in oil prices, to $58.68 a barrel. I would be tempted to call this more of a normalization in prices, because I feel that the crazy $80 a barrel prices were just that - crazy. And artificially inflated. Crazily artificially inflated. [Well crap, I just lost any shred of credibility I may have had. Oh well, F*** it.]

Lets see how long it takes for Colorado gasoline prices to fall as well. I'm guessing around Thanksgiving we might catch up with the rest of the nation. ($2.55 here versus $2.12 elsewhere. Oi.)

Eclectic Coalescence: Math

A very high quality, and slightly nerdier than I could come up with on my own post by Allan Freisen at his Eclectic Coalescence blog, simply entitled "math."

I would add that ( disaster - crutches = coffee ) for the simple fact that if you survive a disaster without needing crutches, you deserve coffee.

Although, ( disaster + stiches = IHOP ) in some situations. ;)

Understanding Engineers

Because these jokes never get old…

UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE ONE

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE TWO

To the optimist, the glass is half full.

To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE THREE

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!"

The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him."

"Hi, George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire-fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group was silent for a moment, and then the pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE FOUR

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?

Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE FIVE

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE SIX

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.

One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints."

Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections.

The last one said, "Actually it must have been a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE SEVEN

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE EIGHT

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because the passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, "I like both."

"Both?"

Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."


UNDERSTANDING ENGINEERS - TAKE NINE

An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."

He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want."

Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girl friend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

Friday, September 29, 2006

They Call That Working Longer?

OMG, what a bunch of spoiled, socialist babies most [all?] of Western Europe is. In the BBC NEWS Business section report, "VW workers agree to work longer", LONGER means 33 hours a week! Four hours longer than their former schedule of 29 hours a week.

I work more than 29 hours in three days! And they wonder why we thing they're all lazy. Sheesh.

On that note, I'm gonna leave work early now. ;)