It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.



I live less than a mile from a gun range. On clear days in the Fall, you can hear a popcorn sound coming form the north while outside. That is the gun range. Today, there is the normal level of distant snap crackle pop. Then, every couple of minutes there is a low thud that nearly makes the ground shake. I would like to know if it is a .50 or some other different kind of weapon that I'm not familiar with.

Our dryer is kind of cheap. I forget exactly what we paid for it. The lint tray is small. You have to let it run for thirty minutes or so and then go clear the tray out. Then run a full dry again to get a load of clots dry. Annoying.

The cars behind Fast And Furious (2?)

Reboard plan

There is a story of a man in the early days of flight asking to be taken up in a two seat biplane plane for a bit of barnstroming. He neglected to fasten his seatbelt if there was one at all and fell out of the plane at the top of a loop. His guardian angle was on the job and he landed on the tail of the plane s it passed through the bottom of the loop.

This kind of thing is probably why barnstorming was regulated out of existance.

First impression of Ubuntu 9.10

Works the same as 9.04. Besides the sound issue (see earlier post) everything else that I have tried on day one appears to be working normally with one exception.

Firefox is working better. The version of Firefox in Ubuntu 9.10 is 3.5.4 at this time. The one notable betterment is the choppiness of response issue that I have had in the past appears, in the short term, to have been fixed. I'm sure I'll blog more if it comes back. The issue was mostly noticeable in online video. The video would skip and catch up in a skipping action. Audio was not affected. It was very annoying and may very well have been fixed. I do not notice the skipping in the rest of Firefox either.

Ubuntu 9.10

I upgraded from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10 using the upgrade utilities. It worked except sound gave me an error. It was something about bluetooth that failed every time I tried to do anything that activated the sound system. I found a place that told me what to 'purge' from apt-get. This caused the error to stop, but still no sound.

Well Kelly doesn't handle obstacles well. I had to stop and walk away from the computer for a moment. I mumbled and stomped around in an angry tone for a bit. I looked for something to eat but came up blank. I threw a load of laundry in and came back to the computer.

Diagnostics step one. Check the settings.

Volum: set to 0%.

Set volume to 50%


Sometimes it is that easy. Why do I let myself get so worked up over crap?


My Flash Forward

In my flash forward I was sitting in front of my computer, staring at a blank page trying to come up with something to write. I had just had a glass of wine and was drinking a glass of hot chocolate to kill the taste and trying to come up with something to say. I was trying to come up with a topic for a blog entry. I think I failed. I'm not sure. Something was there, getting close to the surface. Something was ready to be born. I reached for the keyboard with a light heart. I was ready. It was ready.

Then I came to.


My new CAT boots, the one's that say "waterproof" on the side, are not waterproof. I need to mink oil them. I only have a fifteen year old can of mink oil. I wonder if there is something better these days.

I listened to PodCastle today. It was episode PC075_CuranderoAndTheSwede. The person reading it had sometimes in the background that made a worrying noise. I believe it was fan on his laptop. It got louder and louder as he recorded and topped out at the fan sound that laptops make. It was distracting.

Idea for an Android app. Google already has a sky app that tells you all kinds of cool information about stars and static stuff. They need the same thing for known satellites, the IST and ships like the shuttle and the Russian ships, GPS satellites, communication satellites. Everything labeled and moving in its orbit.  As you aim your phone up in the sky it highlights what is up there, looking back down. I bet that one would get some attention.

Thank you "hope and change"

$150,000,000,000 for 650,000 jobs. That is $230,000 a job, please check my math. Fantastic job yourself there Mr. President. You are sinking a spike in to the heart of this country. You are out to destroy this country. That or you are incompetent.

I'm not sure which of those I hope is the answer. If they are out to destroy America, then that is really a bad thing. If they are incompetent and cannot do math, then that is a really bad thing too. The republican would not do any better a job.

Experts are now saying that the U. S. taxpayer will never get their money out of GM. In the U. K. they are suffering through the whole good bank bad bank thing in every industry. The tax payers are sucking up the bill for all the failures and the good bits are getting sold off to inverters

So, if you screwed off and pissed away all your investment in the early 2000's, you get a bailout from the taxpayer. If you scrimped and saved and now have a bit put away for a rainy day, you get screwed by inflation.

There is a not saying the over all U. S. economy grew by 3.x% so we are out of recession. The rub is, there are no jobs coming with this 'recovery'. Companies have trimmed the fat to the bone. It kind of looks like they intend to stay that way for a while.

Between outsourcing and glottalization, there are fewer and fewer people in the U. S. who can afford all those great cheap products.

The U. S. economy is headed to hell in a rocket powered handcart.

If I got any number of hits the White House wold bad mouth me on their web site. They would bash my math and tell me I'm a fear monger. I can divide. Maybe I can catch some of that Fox News hatred overflow. I'll take what I can get.

TV shows of late

TV sucks. I have just plane not been following any TV show well enough to remember the primary character's names. The last show I fallowed was Serenity and that was over a year after it was canceled. I followed Star Trek Next Generation and Voyager. I watch The Simpsons American Dad and Family Guy, but I do not go out of my way to catch them. I was upset when King of the Hill was canceled. I hadn't watched much of the last season.

The Sopranos was one I watched. Well, I marathoned a couple of seasons after the series had been canceled. I did enjoy it. I liked the characters and the actions made sense to me. That is, I got the motivation behind people's actions. That is important.

I'm not sure if I like Stargate Universe or not. Why couldn't they use the little floating ball to close the shuttle door?  I don't really find any of the characters appealing. They are too stereotypical of their stereotype.

I'm not sure I like Flash Forward either. They are trying to be LOST with the whole time shift thing. It just seems like this could be three episodes long and you would have the answer. It is the first season and it feels stretched already.

I'm not sure I like LOST any more. We have achieved the stretched feeling. This next season better be the last. It better wrap things up nicely, with some cool twists that make me go "yes!" and nothing that makes the whole thing a dram or something stupid.

Warehouse 13 is kind of zany for my taste. This is one of those shows where you can more or less pick it up anywhere and most crises get solved in one to two episodes. It is sit-sci-fi, situational science fiction.

Dall House just doesn't do it for me. Lots of pretty women. I'm just not impressed or intrigued.

Sons of Anarchy is the shiznit! I like this series. I'm completely caught up and can't wait for the next episode. Who is going to get the shit kicked out of them this time? This one may be the one that I follow well enough to remember people's names. I get up from the show in the middle and want to break someone's neck for messing with my friends, the characters on the show. Guess that means I'm identifying with them on some level.

Heroes has become a soap opera with capes, minus the capes. I wish some of the characters who have died would stay dead. I've lost track of who is who and who is on what side. And, I just don't care any more.



Family Guy is going to run an advertisement for Windows 7. The guy who does Family Guy is a greedy bastard, a funny greedy bastard.

GMAC is headed back to the bank of the American tax payer for another hand out. The pendents are comparing it to that scene out of Oliver Twist. "Please dir, may I have some more?" Some say it just won't matter if they do get the doe.

Some investment gurus say the latest run up in the price of gold looks too much like a bubble.

Many very intelligent people in IT cannot spell to save their lives.

Today was a busy day. I got knocked around from task to task and had to jump through hoops on every one.

I cut my thumb at work. It bled like mad. I have a band aid on the wound, but there is blood under the bandage.

Last seen headed North up the Mississippi.


My Cousin Mat

Company Bio

Another interview from 2008 that refuses to embed.




It turns out it is getting more and more difficult to find a simple 11x17 black and white laser printer. There are tons of them, but it looks like ink jet printers have so dominated the cheep printer market that the only 11x17 laser printers are designed for high volume, or color output. There are more choices for below $400 color laser printers from HP than black and white.

I want to shoot a video and I have no idea of what. Adam says we should just write something even if it sucks and just do it. Just for the experience. I like that idea and say we shoot a western. The most difficult thing will be the horses.

Now that I've put up some ads, I have a different attitude when listening to podcasts and watching shows. Before, I just endured ads and bypassed them if I could. Now I hate them. I single out a moment in my life to be pissed that they exist. I wonder if receiving my first dollar will change that attitude?

The Simpsons' Tree House of Horror hits 20. I cannot frigging believe this. That is awesome. I wonder how many writers they have gone through. Marge is the first animated character to appear in Play Boy.

I hate it when people meet in the hall and stand there whispering to one another like they can hold a top secret meeting. I'm sure one or two sentences is fine, I witnessed a small group today in a huddle trying to make arrangements for something. They looked guilty of something to be honest.

Disclosure: I don't think I've ever received anything for free that ended up on this blog. I would think that 'free' stuff would stick in my mind. So, screw the FTC. Someone send me something for free that I can review so I have to have a real Disclosure paragraph. I'll hold my breath.


It turns out it is getting more and more difficult to find a simple 11x17 black and white laser printer. There are tons of them, but it looks like ink jet printers have so dominated the cheep printer market that the only 11x17 laser printers are designed for high volume, or color output. There are more choices for below $400 color laser printers from HP than black and white.

I want to shoot a video and I have no idea of what. Adam says we should just write something even if it sucks and just do it. Just for the experience. I like that idea and say we shoot a western. The most difficult thing will be the horses.

Now that I've put up some ads, I have a different attitude when listening to podcasts and watching shows. Before, I just endured ads and bypassed them if I could. Now I hate them. I single out a moment in my life to be pissed that they exist. I wonder if receiving my first dollar will change that attitude?

The Simpsons' Tree House of Horror hits 20. I cannot frigging believe this. That is awesome. I wonder how many writers they have gone through. Marge is the first animated character to appear in Play Boy.

I hate it when people meet in the hall and stand there whispering to one another like they can hold a top secret meeting. I'm sure one or two sentences is fine, I witnessed a small group today in a huddle trying to make arrangements for something. They looked guilty of something to be honest.

Disclosure: I don't think I've ever received anything for free that ended up on this blog. I would think that 'free' stuff would stick in my mind. So, screw the FTC. Someone send me something for free that I can review so I have to have a real Disclosure paragraph. I'll hold my breath.

Science Fiction

Star Trek is socialism in space.

  • One world government.
  • A federation of planets where every one plays by the same rules.
  • There is no mention of who is paying for those big shiny ships or where the resources come from.
  • Any individual planets that do not fall in to line, Romulus for example, get blown up.
  • The only legally armed ships and people work for the Federation.

Star Wars is a space opera.

  • Ewocks suck!! This has nothing to do with my point, but it needs to be in as many places on the net as possible.
  • Good is good and evil is evil for the most part.
  • Trettery is the only way to succeed in the class system.

Serenity is a western with spaceships.

  • Frontier living.
  • Outlaws living on the cusp of society successfully.
  • Different levels of technology.
  • There is a center ring of planets that are all cityfied (back east and Europe)
  • There was a civil war where the out landing states planets were rebelling against the North center ring of planets in order to pursue their way of life separately.
  • The lead character carried a revolver.

The Alien series is a horror movie in space.

  • This one is so obvious it needs no bullets. Here are some generic bullets just to fill in the space. I'm going to number them because I never use ordered lists.
  1. isolation
  2. danger
  3. hope
  4. death
  5. more danger
  6. salvation



Podcasts are back online. The five little USB sound cards showed up last night. It is awesome having my news back. It was hard listening to online radio on my phone only because I could not skip the crap and back up and relisten to something that was interesting.

Went to a Mediterranean place for lunch. I had a sandwich that had meat, veggies and some kind of cheese on it. It was good. The hummus and bread was awesome. Hummus is not Mediterranean in my book. Too many cultures use it for it to be linked just to one. it is like bread itself. Bread is not European or African or whatever. Hummus has different formulas, but it is basically the same thing round the world.

I'm trying adsense. Please let me know if you do not mind it or if you do not like it. I don't expect to make any money.

Leadership Drain

"The Whitehorse will cut all salaries at Fox News by 80% immediately." That was the joke when talking about this issue on Fox News Sunday. Shortly after that joke was "This is why you do not want the government running companies unless absolutely necessary." (quotes from memory.)

Our government is just happy to control wages for top executives. There is no worry over market balance or someone else offering experienced people more money to bail. I'm just waiting for the first story of a whole board leaving a company and going over seas to run some company in Eastern Europe or something. It doesn't matter where they go, it matters that they are leaving the U. S..

I'll crack up when I hear it. Then I will weep for the loss of that intelligence and that drive that will be lost. The first and then second and then tenth time something like this happens, will tell the rest of us that the grass really is greener on the other side of the border.

Remember, the people who run corporations are not idiots for the most part. They have drive and are willing and able to make things happen. They also spend money. When they start leaving because they have no place in the U. S. to perform their living, we know that either we must change thing quickly, or we must prepare to become a country that is no longer the leader of the world in making things happen.

Too many people think the U. S. should not be the leader any more. They act like it is a bad thing to be on top of what is going on all around the planet and to be the leader for the entire gaggle of humans on the planet. If the U. S. is not the one on top, someone else will assume that position.

I think many people are under the delusion that Europe will take that roll. I doubt it. Europe is also advocating their world leadership roles to no one. Russia acted like she wanted the job a while ago, but just wants to make noise and money now it seems. There is only one nation on Earth stepping up to the task. Do you really want China dictating how U. S. Citizens should be compensated for performing a job or in charge of the inevitable public health care system? Do you want China deciding who may have children and what career every one should pursue?

All china has to do is say they don't want dollars any more and offer to pay other currencies for oil. This would throw the dollar in to a tailspin. China would then demand some show of submission from the current administration. Obama would happy to give in and make stop the skyrocket of gasoline prices that consumers would be screaming bloody murder over.

When that happens. The reign of the U. S. has ended. The era of China will have begun. Mark my words.

Movie Making

I tried rendering a straight forward copy of a 51 minute video shot by my Flip last night on kdenlive. It worked up to the last couple minutes where the video just went black. OK, kdenlive is not perfect, but again, it works about as well as the Windows software I've used in the past.

Most of the videos I shoot will end up being less than ten minutes long. That is the current limit for YouTube under a free account. Honestly, I'm not up for making anything longer that would keep people's attention. The only way that might happen is if I make some sort of instructional video or I'm trying to document something. The latter will probably only need the raw video with maybe a snip here and there.

The funny thing is that I want to do video and have nothing to shoot. It was a slow drawn out process to become an amateur photographer. I found myself wising I had pictures and buying a camera. Then I went digital. Video just isn't working out like that. I may be suffering existing infrastructure block.I want to do both take pictures and videos. I need to work on that mechanism. It might be cool if I could rig up my static camera to just keep shooting video in between the pictures. That might make for some good candied video.

This Just In

A whole bunch of planes took off and landed safely today. Many sober focused people did their jobs to make sure that happened.


It just happens every day

A Miracle happens with every drop of rain.

The game is called "Officer Says"

Don't tell the cop your are going to sue. Tell your lawyer well after the fact.

Don't get drunk and act a fool. Don't act a fool. What is the point.

Don't try to find out what you can get away with. That is a sure fire way to have the limit find you.


What did telling our troupes not to shoot back bought us? This may become the deadliest month in Afghanistan since the war started in 2001. Thanks Obama.

I could not sleep last night worth a damn. I kept having ridiculous dreams, but I don't remember what they were about. I just remember waking up and thinking "What the hell was that?" Had some frozen prepackaged bbq. Wonder if that kicked off the strange slumber.

Lunch was a bit short today. Normally I go walk around to clear my head and think about something else. Today I didn't get that chance. Normally, the rain doesn't stop me from getting to the parking garage. As previously blogged, that is all under construction. People have to make a dash from the front door of the building to the front door of the garage. The building is providing umbrellas, but the rain is blowing.

I ended up turning of the graphic effects on my home box. It is just an old piece of crap. I hadn't taxed the box much until just recently while performing video editing. That was the straw. X11 went from 15% usage on idle to 1% on idle. Not bad for a single setting. Besides, the mouse wheel was really pissing me off by flipping workspaces over the background. That made the change wort it. Maybe in my next box, I can use the fancy effects and menu ballooning or whatever it is called. I could bake cookies when I click render. Nat says it makes my computer sound like a vacuum cleaner.

Where are my USB sound cards? I'm missing all my podcasts dag-nabit.

Found out that Flanking Position will not have an episode this week. We all have families.  The heft of responsibilities on our lives makes the fun stuff take a back seat.

Patching the BIOS

I had to update the BIOS on a system today. We messed with it a bit Friday evening. It was put squarely in my lap this morning. I hopped on the manufacturer's page and figured out that we had already downloaded those utilities Friday.

The manufacturer wants you to use one of the following.

  • Boot off the utility DVD they sent with the box and click 'update firmware'.
  • Floppy boot disk. When is the last time you saw a floppy on a computer?
  • Windows Utility. Great if you have Windows installed.
  • Linux utility, Great if you have Linux installed.
  • Some sort of USB drive thing that is supposed to let you boot the box like the floppy and patch the BIOS. This is more Voodoo than reality.

They would argue that they provide ample working methods for applying the patch to the BIOS. I would say that you need so many methods because none of them work more than half the time or in half the situations users have in front of them.

When I booted off the manufacturer boot DVD, the 'update firmware' choice was looking for something that I had not found on the manufacturer's web page. Solaris (the OS on the box) would not run the Linux version of the utility. The Ubuntu and Fedora live CDs would not run the utility for the lack of the same versions of C libraries. There is no Windows live CD that I'm aware of.

I had to grab a hard drive out of the graveyard (every company has one) and install Red Hat 5 on it. That is the OS the Linux utility was built for. That worked. That is a bit above the call if you ask me. Since it's my blog, I'm asking.

Friday there were three of us working on the task and we got basically nowhere. I had some sleep over the weekend and the other two had other things taking up their time. By myself, it didn't take long at all. Too many cooks I suppose.

We were held up by many typical speed bumps in the process. We had to track down a USB DVD drive so we could boot with the proper utilities because the machine only had a CD drive. No floppy, because who the hell has a floppy? I've had machines in the past that would not boot from DVDs at all. Not old machines either.  I've had machines that would not boot from the front USB, but would boot off the back USB buss.They probably just need a BIOS upgrade.


Water Crossing

This is how a snorkel kit is supposed to work. Looks like fun too.

This is what you do after they fish you out.

Or you could just go really fast.

Old School.

The money way to cross water on wheels.

How to render in kdenlive

I like this guy. He not only tells you how to get thigns done, he tells it like it is.

Linux video notes

The following is a dump of my notes regarding Linux video over the last several months.

Flip Mino HD Video

General Notes

As far as I can tell from the forums, I'm lucky to have gotten anything to work at all. Mpeg 4 renders faster besides.


Home Page


It looks like mpeg 4 (mp4) 12000k (single pass because 2 pass keeps crashing) is going to be the best bet.



Grayed out render button for most codecs, Would only output to DV format. Plenty of useful effects.


codec install link.

Command line:

sudo apt-get install libavcodec-unstripped-52 libavdevice-unstripped-52 libavfilter-unstripped-0 libavformat-unstripped-52 libavutil-unstripped-49 libpostproc-unstripped-51 libswscale-unstripped-0

Rerun the Run Configuration Wizard under tools menu.

More Issues

Takes a long time to render when first adding a clip. Long time to render regardless. Just plane hammers my box.

During playback, the scale moves and causes more stress on the machine.


Home Page

Won't load the video that comes off the Flip. I get a green screen when I try to play it and a ton of errors. If I convert first to mp4 Cinelerra looks good.


Home Page

Will not install properly in my Ubuntu 9.04 x86.

Avidemux for YouTube.

Home Page

Playback is very choppy. No editing tools other than cut. It is the only one I've gotten to work so far at the YouTube settings below..

Settings from YouTube

MPEG4-AVC (x264)
From the Flip, you have to re-render to get this format.
MP3 or AAC preferred 44.1 khz
If the sound is off more and more as the video plays, make sure you re-render at 44.1 khz.


Home Page

Just plane blows. Meant for getting video off video cameras and not much else. Only does DV format and skews video like mad when you output to one of its standard formats.

old 2009-09-26

Using Fedora 10 Linux.

Plays fine in MPlayer.

Kino takes many times too long to import a simple video. Then the resolution is completely ruined.

avidemux works, but the sound is a mile off.

mplayer works, but the sound is a mile off.

Trying VMWare.

It turns out the problem with the audio is in MPlayer, not the editors or the Flip Device. It appears avidemux works for an editor, but I cannot view the finished product because my computer is to slow. I need to come up with a way to get the video playback to force the sound to match the proper frame. I'll figure it out eventually.


  After minutes delving though the man pages I found the following that seems to work. There is a bit of skip at the beginning, but what the hell.

/usr/bin/player -vfm ffmpeg -lavdopts lowres=1:fast:skiploopfilter=all $1

It looks like this command allows mplayer to skip frames of the video in order to match to the audio. The mplayer folks were very helpful by giving several reasons and example code when it detects a problem such as this. For the record, the error message was extremely helpful.

Cinelerra on Fedora 10 (Did not work)

Found the following for Fedora 9. Substituted "10" for "9" in the link and it installed.


Fedora 9

To install Cinelerra from kwizart repository (x86 and x86_64) do

su -

rpm -ivh

rpm -ivh

yum install cinelerra --enablerepo=kwizart


1 - This package tweaks the kernel.shmmax value in /etc/sysctl.conf so there is no need for you to modify it.

2 - This version points to the system fonts path in /usr/share/fonts (instead of /usr/lib(64)/cinelerra/fonts).

This is needed for the title plugin. It needs fonts.dir (which is usually deprecated) to be regenerated.

You can do:

yum install ttmkfdir xorg-x11-font-utils

and then in each subdirectories of /usr/share/fonts that you want to be seen by the title plugin, so for example:

cd /usr/share/fonts/

ttmkfdir && mkfontdir

Building Cinelerra (works so far)

  • Downloaded the community code.
  • Ran the configure script.
  • Installed RPM Fusion repo. Livna is has been rolled in to RPM Fusion apparently.
  • Started resolving the missing bits.
  • Had to download fftw-devel, and libmp3lame manually. They were not in the repos.

So far, I've only brought up the windows and stopped. That was such a victory, I'm worried about finding the problems with what is left.

Fixing that Memory error more permanently


Cinelerra started giving the error message regarding shmmax. This should be the amount of memory shared between process by the kernel. After some work with google I found an easy solution - in the terminal I gave:

sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

and at the end of this file I added the line


I saved the file and I made

sudo sysctl -p

Now cinelerra [will] run fine.

It's a very powerfull software, it's worth some troubble.

From some commenter on my blog. No idea if it works.

This appears to be straight off Cinelerra's page. I tried this, but the Cinelerra package was not listed under kwizart repository.

You should have rpmfusion too free and non-free

su -c 'rpm -Uvh'

kwizart repository for fedora10 ==> rpm -ivh

When done just yum install cinelerra-cv

Good luck.

Trust Me

Today I might just find a Linux video editing system that doesn't suck. Game writers are waking up and writing games for Linux that don't suck. Linux is showing up on machines that people buy to get normal every day stuff done called netbooks. I've been using Linux exclusively for almost two years.

We have heard it all before, from Mac and Microsoft by the way. I'll stick with Linux for now.


Elliot is gone

Elliot and his wife are off to Cyprus (Middle East Journal) to be missionaries. They will have a couple months of training then it is off to the wild almost middle east. He swares he wants to start a blog one the subject.

He will be missed.

Flanking Position episode 2 is up

Episode 2 part 1

Episode 2 part 2

Episode 2 part 3

My name was almost mentioned mentioned at the very beginning of the middle video under the credits.  Cool. I was counting minutes because A) I was there and B) my phone had a stopwatch. I'm in the credits as Producer. <clear throat> EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! how exciting.

Do not miss the "Borged Vogon" poetry at the end of the whole episode. I know it sounds horrible, and it is, but that is the point. Geoff apparently knocked it off in 10 minutes. Good job Geoff.

I think the funniest joke was the Crusher joke actually.

Last week, i was the first "embed". I would love to get that this time, but I want to watch the videos and watching Elle on Saturday afternoon. She is so cute. She says high to the guys as they yap on the videos. I asked her if she remembered Adam from my and Nat's wedding and she does. He was my best man and held Elle when the vows started.

I shot some pictures of the setup just for fun. Ignore Chris, every one else does. Thank you Nat for letting me play with my friends. Laurie too for letting Adam play. I believe Geoff is married with a little one on the way. Thanks to Mrs. Geoff.



Did you know that the double dashes in an email message before your signature are part of an international standard and are there for off limits to disable. Thank you world government. Is there no limit to your micromanagement?

First time buyer tax credit is the only thing bringing new blood in to the housing market. People are scrambling to get in before the wire at the end of next month. I'll tell you, it pisses me off that I just bought a house before all this shit happened. I get screwed because I not only do not get the tax credit, but I bought when things were high. The whole neighborhood is circling the bowl. Tell me a gain why I bought a house?

There is something about Chronix Radio that will kill my phone if it doesn't catch the station on the first try. it sure would be nice if I could get Pandora on my Android phone. No dice so far.

A bunch of folks were going to Beck's for Friday. One of the guys is leaving and he made it in to his send off party. I would have loved to go, but I didn't have $10 for a berger. I ended up at McD's and got 4 $1 bergers. I cannot eat that many but something told me to get them anyway. I ended up giving one to one of my coworkers. His lunch did not fill him up.

There is a camera we use at work that was top of the line a decade ago. It is analog and hooks up through several converters.  The camera has an 80x zoom for macro shots. It was very expensive when it was purchased. The camera that replaced it is basically a dissecting microscope with a USB cable coming off of it. The new camera has more like a 200x zoom and works many times better for the tasks we ask of it.

One world government

This is what a conspiracy theory should sound like.

My God Fox news station sound paranoid. I don't care if they are right. They sound like a bunch of right wing nut jobs. I've considered myself a right wing nut job. I'm going to have to redraw some lines. The commercials even call the leaders of the U. S. 'treasonous'. They are selling long term food storage and products for God's sake. I'm trying to get the other side of the story because our president doesn't want me to know something. he is driving me to listen.

They are talking about electing 'greenhorns' to congres this next election. That is, vote out all the encumbrance. They assume the people going in are 'evil' and corrupt. The assumption is that the greenhorn newbies will take a long time to become trusted by the higher ups so the government will become gridlocked and this is a good thing.

I've believed that having one group in charge of congress and the other in charge of the presidency was a good thing because it is competition. They are at each other's throats and end up only getting critical efforts completed. I think this is a good thing.

In order to get the whole world to agree to be ruled by one government, several things have to happen. The low fruit will be the countries that are in squaller as is and will take any hand out they can get. The middle fruit are countries that have an existing working economy, but they are getting bullied around by the highest fruit. These are the U. S., Europe, China that are large enough to simply bully anything they want from anyone not on the a-list.

The easiest way to break the a-list participants is to lower their status to the middle fruit area. Lower their standard of living so they are bullied around by the a-list countries. Once bullied for a while, even people who were alive during the good times will want to be covered by an umbrella that they will perceive as saving them from boot heal of the a-list countries.

Bush made the rest of the world hate the U.S. He was not the first to accomplish this. Now we will surrender everything, our freedom, wealth, standing, respect, everything to become a member of the world government.

Why? What would possibly motivate someone at the top of government to ruin their own economy and put their people through outrageous turmoil. Is it just plane evil? Is it really that they just don't get how to make things work? Can't be that simple. Surely someone who has never worked an honest day in their life would know how to run a government.

Ever watch Star Trek? Know how they travel from planet to planet or system to system and it always seems like there is one group of people to talk to and nearly every one from that group seems to agree with whatever that representative says? Well, it is a bit like that. Except, we are not the ones on the ship. We will not be aloud in to the 'federation' until we have the vast majority of beings on our planet under one centralized rule.

Beam me up


Wild Crazy trampoline stuff

Warning: Strong language in the song.

This reminds me of rocket jumping in video games, only better because it is real. Those French, they like bouncing around like monkeys.

Windows Version numbers

I hate it when a political blogger explains a geek idea better than geeks. It proves that gees are too close to the issue to properly explain it to those far away. It is like trying to explain why elephants have tails at both end to someone who has never seen an elephant's trunk in action.

The geek (circus performer) says "An elephant's trunk is flexible, sensitive and a miracle to watch when the elephant needs to manipulate it's environment. "

The observer responds "What does the other tail do?" To which the geek stops and stares with that look programmers have when a user asks if the colors of the interface can be changed.

If you ask Microsoft's PR department, they will tell you that Windows 95/98/ME were Windows 4, Windows 2000 was Windows 5.0, Windows XP was Windows 5.1, and Windows Vista was Windows 6.0, which it appears to make a certain amount of sense to follow with Windows 7.


Rather than attempting to put a lot of new features in the next Windows, Microsoft decided to fix the problems with Vista, wait for better driver support, and slim the code down so that it would run better on current hardware. They wanted drivers that had been developed for Vista to work on their new system, so as to not be hit by driver incompatibility problems again.

They largely did this. Windows 7 is largely "A slimmer Vista that Works". In defence of Vista, after two service packs and some, Vista pretty much works at this point, too. However, due to the bad reputation of Vista, Microsoft wanted to sell the new product as something new that it would dissociate from Vista. So, they did the same thing that had been done to disassociate XP from Windows 2000, which is that they gave the default screen lots of different colours from the previous release. And they gave it a brand new name that sounded like a version number of a major release.

Except, of course, if you go look in the registry, there is a dark secret.

That's right. If you ask Windows 7 what its version number is, it answers that it is version 6.1. "Windows 7" is not actually a version number. It is a version name.

There is something very Microsoft about this.

There is actually a good reason for this. When drivers are being installed, the registry is examined to check the version number of Windows to see if they are compatible with the operating system. Usually, they decide if they are compatible or not based on the major version number - ie the number before the point. If this is different from what they expect they may refuse to install. If the registry was set to 7.0 then many drivers that were previously designed for Vista would not install, even though Windows 7 might well work fine with them in all other ways. This suggests something slightly askew in the overall design of Windows driver support model, but we shall let this pass for now. Given, though, that Microsoft has gone to some trouble to minimise changes from Vista so that Vista drivers will continue to work on the new system, it probably is reasonable to conclude that from a technical perspective, 6.1 is a more reasonable version number than 7.0.

It might look like I've quoted, but it was very difficult to resist reposting the entire text of the article.

I cannot blame Microsoft. I work for a company where we have to make these kinds of decisions every day. "What will it break?" "What will it fix?" "Who will it hurt?" "Who will blame us?" "How bad will we be if ..?"


Nat and Elle are both sick. I stayed home this morning to be helpful. The poring rain I would have to walk through helped the decision along. I'm not going to kid myself or my readers. I'm not above dreading the soggy walk. The traffic reports are all about wrecks and clogged lanes full of water. It is a mess out there. Nat said half the map is red. This rain is supposed to keep up until at least lunch time.

So, I had a chance to watch Glee. Adam seemed to like it in the latest episode of Flanking Position. I can't say it grabbed me. I didn't feel sympathetic with any of the characters. The glee club kids are too glee club and the jocks are too jock. The stereotyping is painful. I enjoyed the little 'diary' videos after the episode played on hulu. They were entertaining.

Eastwick Blows. Too much bitching and wining.

It seems like I would like Chuck, but I do not. It has this Get Smart feel, but it just doesn't pull it off.

Modern Family is more bitching and sulking, but I can sit through it because of Ed O'Neill. They try to hit all the buttons of modern sit-com 'realism' with gay couples, strange redundant family tries and global warming. But Ed makes everything OK by being the guy who just wants to watch football and is married to the hot Latina.

Using yet another blog template. I had to add the horizontal lines between days. It is amazing how much of a pain that is. Let me know what you think.

A new template for my pictures is in place. This is really just a test since I had time. Please remember that I have a photo site. It is on my computer at the house. I know, there are a million services for this now, but I still cling to the archaic method of using my own server.

Notes: (from 2009-10-21)

I had a crazy dram last night that I had walked out of the store with two different boots. I was a nightmare. I woke up wanting to check that my boots matched. As soon as my conscious mind came online, I was like "You have got to be kidding me. This is what wakes me up from a sound sleep these days?"

Where do people go to complain when Twitter goes down? ... Ah, Facebook.

I am reviewing the machine database at work. At some point we had computers named Mothra, Mulder and Sculley. .


iPhone charger Fire

The following is a story from people I trust to not make things up.

As some of you may know, we had a pretty scary incident recently.  Attached are pictures of what remains of our 2007 Suburban.  We are all okay but I wanted to warn everyone not to make the same mistake I did.  
This fire resulted from leaving an Iphone charger/docking station plugged into the car outlet.  It overheated and started a fire, while parked in our garage.  PLEASE unplug anything you have in your car outlets once you turn off your car!
We were VERY fortunate that we accidentally found the fire, at 11pm, before going to bed and before it spread to the house.  None of our garage heat detectors or house fire alarms went off (another item to take care of on my to do list).  The boys, Jonathan and I were pretty freaked out but we're all enjoying our new car at least.
Feel free to pass this along to anyone you want.  Better safe than sorry.


I found out I got some glue on the lenses of my cheap drug store glasses ($4.99) so I tossed them. Had a spare pare. My fingers still smell like glue.

If Hewlett Packard redesigned the horse, it would have gills. No one not working for HP would know why.

One word. "phugit!!!"

USB sound cards

I ordered 5 of those USB sound cards. It came out to $20. That should have me set for a bit. I intend to put zip ties around the case. This will reinforce it greatly. That was the downfall of both of the other devices. Once the case pops apart, there is no structural integrity and the bits inside just collapse.

Podcasts keep me sane. Without them, I have few anchors to base my thoughts on throughout the day. My mind wonders aimlessly between tasks. I loose focus more often. Yet, nothing productive comes of it. They are wild thoughts. At least with the podcasts, I have some semblance of useful bits of information floating around in my head.

Come on USB sound cards. Besides, I cannot get the computer to read to me with out the cheap little life savers. Sound is a necessity these days. No longer is a compute used by a person (not a server) useful without sound. I remember debates over color screens and mice (any pointing device). Do hey really help productivity, or are they just a distraction?

Got an email that they shipped this morning. That means I should get them by Monday or so.



Someone was talking about a church event where all the parents lined up to video tape the kids doing some kind of play. There were forty people trying to set up video cameras and tripods on this little balcony stage area on the other side of the stadium. The church had strung extra power cords to it and hung a felt cloth behind it because the glow from the cameras reflecting off the white wall would cause distraction after the lights were lowered.

What does the used car industry do to prevent people from renting a car, taking it home and swapping out the tires for the crap already on their old crappy car?

Used Super Glue to fix my glasses. Got some on my fingers, but succeeded in NOT gluing my self to anything. I'm calling it a win.

No sound card at work, day one

07:55: This is the first full day I will face work with no sound card. This may mean I'm alone with my thoughts today while stressed out over every day work issues. I will most likely break out the phone and online radio to save myself from climbing a tree and throwing poop at passers by.

09:15: I had to move my earphones out of reach to prevent myself from picking them up and putting them on out of habit.

10:30: Got a big task and bit the bullet. Phone cranking classical music for the moment. That didn't take long.

11:30: Switched from classical to heavy meteal to help me deal with network issues while trying to perform a big task assigned to me by 35 people.

11:45: Switched to comedy because the heavy metal was getting me a bit riled up.

I talk to myself more when I do not have a source of podcasts to listen too.

One huge advantage to listening to podcasts and music is a block list. I never want to hear a song from U2 ever again. I can stop and delete shitty news stories after listening to the intro. I can click the next button fifteen times in a row whe nthere is just a run of songs I am not in the mood for.

13:20: Listening to NPR, wishing I could skip through the liberal bias. Where is fox news when you need them?

13:30: Found Fox News. Found out that Fox News is slammed and could not get in. Went back to NPR.

17:00: Finally got through to Fox News. Not impressed.


CAT Boots day 2

Short note on the newCAT boots. When I got home yesterday and took them off, I could have kept going. Well, my feet could have kept going. The CAT boots did not dig any holes or make my feet hurt in ay way. I ware boots all the time and can tell you this is not the case most of the time. The soles are bright yellow down the middle. Not sure why, but this bugs me. They also hold on to mud a bet more so than some of my other boots. Not so much that It bugs me.

Caterpiller is sthe subject of debate over their equipment being used by Israel to distroy launch sites of missiles used against theri citizens. This is a selling point to me. I may not have botherd with CAT boots without that bit of video playing in my head.

Hopefully my next blog post on the subject will probably be in five years when I throw them out.



A friend of mine created his own video blog with a bunch of guys from work. It is uber-geeky. Watch at your own risk. I envy them because I have no drive to do something like this. I hope they keep it up. Isn't 'Flanking Position" in the Carma Sutra? I'll consult the internet on that one.

Episode 1, part 1 of 3

Episode 1, part 2 of 3

Episode 1, part 3 of 3

My name is Adam. 

  • The slayer of PCs (I helped save a few.)
  • The spreader of fizzing crotch disease. (No comment)
  • Aspect of twat on the killem hord server "For the hord!" (I cannot make what the hell he is saying. Adam Comment correct information.)
  • A sports fan.
  • A foodie (likes to cook and eat I guess.)
  • Barrel rider. (I've never seen him on a barrel.)
  • Beer ... connoisseur. (You drink beer, but do you know beer?)
  • ... (I have no idea what this one was. I'm lost.)
  • Computer Engineer. (And a good one.)
  • A former aspect of .. hiku in New Eden.
  • Jim shooter follower. (something geek)
  • Lief Vilage Ganene.(something geek)
  • Gavity Gun master.
  • On John Lock's side. (LOST I believe, me too byt the way.)
  • Ultima Online first weeker.
  • Part time German pig farmer. (Think video game)
  • Listerner of Thaco
  • ... (can't get that one no matter how many times I back it up.)
  • Skyer.
  • Sometimes kilt wielding family man. (I think he means kilt waring family man, but we will let the symantics go.)

They are never going to hear the end of this. I guarantee it. Not until my throat is sore anyway. I mock because I'm envious. Evey one I know at work had something to do with this video.

Good job folks. Keep it up.


Wrong angle

I remember a scene in the classic "Heavy Metal" where this mousy guy is testifying against a right bastard. The bastard tells his lawyer "Don't worry, ... I got an angle." For some reason I remember the guy's name on the stand. He was Hanover Fist. The more Hanover testifies the more this other personality starts to show up. He turns from a mousy nobody to a raging hulk bent on rending the bastard. Hanover chases bastard out the door and down the hall, only to corner bastard and just as he is about to pounce, bastard tells Hanover "Good job Hanover."

Hanover shrinks back to his scrawny  self and says "Thanks Boss." Hanover gets flushed out an airlock for his trouble. I guess Hanover should have had an angle too.

Apparently my work had the wrong angle on the addressability (wheel chair) ramp at the back of the building. they have to rip it out and replace  it. In the meantime, there is a temporary ramp made of aluminum and pipes at the front of the building and barriers to prevent people from walking in to a hole fencing off the entire back half of the building.

If you walk out of the parking garage, you would normally have walked up that ramp in the back to get to the revolving door to the lobby. The elevators in the garage are now blocked off so you have to walk inside the parking garage to the front almost hidden door to walk between the garage and building. it is annoying. Considering how much I hear people complain about the garage and getting around inside it with a car, I wait with head in hands for the bitching to commence over the construction pedestrian dentures.

The building where we reside now is a good one. The security is pretty good as far as I can tell and the services are in line. I do not work with them directly so i don't know how much haggling goes on behind the scenes.  I've heard of worse and even worked in a couple. The last one was not really the owner's fault. The foundation was sinking and cracking. You could see new cracks on the walls daily and in some places on the first floor, you could roll balls around the corner. they just plane had to move to a new building.

Temporary Access Ramp


I just listened to a rap song about smoking weed and praising God. You know, God made Marijuana. It grows up out of the ground.

Some dairy farmers are figuring out that feeding cows grains and milking them to death is not as profitable as letting them roam around grassy fields and then milking them on a realistic schedule. You will not make as much money, but it costs less money and it is much less work so you can take a vacation once in a blue moon.

Unemployment amongst 16 to 24 year olds in the U. S. is 50%.

If you owe the bank a million dollars, you are in a lot of trouble. If you owe the bank a billion dollars, the bank is in a lot of trouble. commercial properties are killing banks. The shoe is dropping and banks are struggling to keep up with.

"The Man Called X" One of the online radio stations I listen too called AM 1710 Antioch OTR. They play old time radio shows including "X Minus One". "The Shadow Knows", Awesome.

My USB sound card died a horrible death. I stepped on the earphone cable and yanked the whole mechanism out of the computer to it's doom. I think I'm going to order fifteen of the $1.95 USB sound cards. If I get six months out of each, they should last me a good while. I ordered 4 more for $20.

Swine Flu Update (OK, this one may disturb some folks.)

New Boots (CAT)

The new boots are not bad. That is my very first impression. the true test is asking a week in. I went with CAT this time instead of Wolverine only because the couple of boots I tried on that were in my price range fit differently. The CAT had a more level feel to the toe and heal. I've noticed, the more the heel feels higher than the toe, the more problems I have with the boots. I'm testing out that little theory with my own health.

I agonized for twenty minutes over which boots to buy. I went back and forth up and down the isle weighing features and ascetics. Weighing the boots. I felt silly, Until another guy came in after me and was doing the exact same thing.

This was Academe. I've done tons of boot shopping there. No one offered to help me. no one got in my way. The sales people were very helpful. I think they have learned to leave the guys pacing the work boot isle alone and leave us to our pondering. There was no shoe polish or leather protector that I could find. I asked one person, but they didn't think there was any around.

The new feel of the boots kind of throws off my balance. In the store, while walking in a circle, I nearly lost my balance twice. The boots just react to my movements differently. The walk in this morning proved there is a bit of acclimating involved to new boots. I feel pretty confident now.

The old boots died because the sole was separating. They squeaked. The noise was getting worse and worse and it drove me up the wall. They were old and had given many years of adequate service. They had gotten wet, as in walking in floods, a couple times. The tread was nearly warn off in the middle of the ball of the foot. The heal was warring in to the spongy bit. it was time. They are in the closet in case I need to do some dirty job like taring a driveway or something.

Every time I get a new pare of boots it reminds me of a story. A friend of mine was starting a job at a construction site. He got picked up by an old timer who stopped, made him get out of the truck and take off his boots. The old timer then bashed the brand new boots against the curb and scraped them across the concrete until they had some noticeable scuffing. "Never show up to a construction site on your first day with a new pare of boots." said the old man. My friend figured out later that he had been saved a tremendous level of grief.



I've decided to stop with the whole "Very Local News" entries. They have just stopped making sense to me. Instead, I'm going to publish "Notes:" entries that show what I'm thinking about in more of an analog dump of thoughts and ideas. The word 'news' implied a point. That would be confusing.

I cannot chew and type my password at the same time. Thank God I'm a geek.

Heard an interview with "Silent Bob" The man loves to talk. I think the whole silent thing was an inside joke.

What if I've already written the thing I will be remembered for? I've only written crap up to now. That might be worse than not being remembered at all. I'll have to get back to you.

An NPR reporter said the first notification of Obama winning the Nobel Prize came to them in an email. They first thought it was from the Onion, but was then dismayed that it was not. The first thing out of everyone's mouth when I told them was "For what?"  I heard the president had a similar reaction.

One third of the billionaires in China are members of the communist party.


I shot a video last night just for the heck of it to test my system under Ubuntu. I wanted to figure out very simple editing with the tools available on my system. It turns out, the same setup works the same as it did before on works about as well to boot.

The editing software is avidemux. I did not set out to use this software. It is just the only one I could get to work in a short period of time. I've gotten cinalera to work too, but it is so frigging complex that I have difficulty keeping it working over a long period of time.

If I had a choice, I would use Microsoft Movie Maker. It is so goddamn easy even I could get things done in a reasonable amount of time. I'm not a magician. I'm not a director. I am not picky. I just want simple editing features. I want them to work every time.


  • Cut out bits
  • Stitch short videos together from different sources (different resolutions and and such)
  • Mute, and other simple sound controls
  • Automatic sound video syncing. I do not want to be concerned or asked about it. Just do it for me.
  • Substitute audio (dubbing)
  • Put text up on the screen


  • Push button effects
  • One click DVD creation, drag and drop, click go
  • Giggle reduction
  • Rotate video (from holding the camera sideways)
  • Zoom and window in window kinds of editing that is easy

I want a video editor with a Power Point interface. Drag and drop text. Drag and drop effects, graphics, whatever. At the moment, you have to split your video output in to pieces. Manipulate those pieces in different packages with different formats. Worry about moving things around and loosing quality. Then, stitch everything back together after hand building every little bit of it. It is a bit like having to rebuild your car's engine every time you want to turn it on and go to the store.

Cameras are point and shoot. Video editing software is like juggling live ferrets.

Editing video on Linux is almost impossible for me because of the crap sound support in Linux. I only have a sound card on the motherboard. It is junk. That is not really the trouble. Linux has crap sound support in general. That is my experience any way.

When I play a video in the editing software, the sound skips every second. This makes it impossible to line up video and audio by watching the video play. This makes it impossible to separate audio from video and perform many true advanced editing techniques. Once I get the sound out of sync, I will never get it back on my current system. This kind of problem prevents me from ever doing any serious video editing on my current system. I'm not worried about it.

GDocs download

I looked for software to download Google Docs last night. I want to make a backup on my computer. I heard there is an effort from Google to do this. I found several packages that allow you to do this for Windows. When it came to Mac and Linux, I found basically two projects. One is a GUI that I couldn't get to run because of some mysterious dependency. The other is a shit python script that has deprecated modules. I'm not going to link to them because I could not get anything to work.

Google has put out an API (Application Programming Interface). This is useless to me because I do not want to write a program to download my own documents. I want to click next five times and it just works.

Now, I've witnessed this sort of thing happen in the past. The API, 1.0, comes out and a couple real shit applications turn up. These are just the first bits out of the box. the API is not complete, or perhaps unusable. By the time you get to API 1.4 or 2.0, things start getting handy and usable. I'll give it a couple months before i really start complaining.

However, until this problem is fixed in a meaningful way and things like date formats and local private templates are handled, I cannot recommend using Google Docs at a professional level. Until we get some enterprise level performance, Google Docs is a handy web toy for private users.



It is the fourteenth of the month. What happened? It was the first ten minutes ago. I suppose there is truth to the idea that time seems to go faster as you age. Everything took an age when I was a kid.

Talking about this makes me think of the movie A Christmas Story. Not sure where that came from. That movie came out in 1983. My God! I'm old.

Cloud Computing Growing Pains, Whom to Blame

Cloud computing. Microsoft and and amazon have both had trouble supporting their cloud computing efforts. Amazon has suffered DNS attacks and Microsoft managed to loose a bunch of T-Mobile customer data. Well, maybe it was some other company that Microsoft heired or bought called Danger (Not touching that one.). The gist is, there was no backup of any of the Sidekick data ... ever. Not just before a major upgrade that went south. Not last week. Not last month. I really hope some heads roll. I hope some one goes to jail for out and out fraud.

These issues have proven that Cloud Computing is not that much more reliable than good old fashion computing. The issue is who can you blame. It sucks to say "I lost our data." It is nice to say that "Microsoft lost our data." In this case Microsoft is blaming a hardware company for not backing up before an upgrade. You get the idea.

I use Gmail. That is cloud computing. I have all my contacts in there. I also use Google Docs. I have a bunch of content in that mechanism. There is an effort to provide the ability to simply dump your content to a folder on your local drive as a backup. I can't wait. I will definitely take advantage when I figure it out.

Someone at the office said "You would think Microsoft would have their shit together and keep a backup of data." I answered basically "I have used Microsoft products and I have no such faith in their work."

The rule is, keep local copies of important data. That is easy to say and difficult to practice. I do not know how to pull my information off of T-Mobile's site for example. They believe they have a vested interest in holding my data hostage so  I will not leave their service. I wish someone would mandate a user bill of rights that says I have the right to take my data and business elsewhere. If you have hold of my data, you have to give it back to me in a useful and transferable format so I can take my business elsewhere with my data in hand.

MySpace blows!

There is a mass exodus from MySpace. Or does the following sound better? MySpace is hemorrhaging users. They have lost 20% of U. S. traffic since June. News Corp is kicking themselves in the ass for buying MySpace. Brick and motor companies need to figure out that when they buy something new and 'hip', it is no longer new or 'hip'. The new or 'hip' thing or people have sold out and are now uncool and 'last week'.

My problem with MySpace was people's pages. Every page had so much crap on it that you could not get to any content that might have accidentally shown up. I remember a Simpson's episode where Homer had a page with way too many distractions and no content. It was not until he started putting up gossip, which is arguably content, that people liked his 'blog'. MySpace pages had multiple videos and sound links that all tried to load right along side all the animated graphics that your friends had cursed you with in the comment sections.It was poor planning and bad design.

I don't remember the last time I logged in to MySpace that wasn't to read someone's blog entry. I haven't updated my page in about six months or more. I bet I count as a current user.


Very Local News

If McCrystal gets his 40,000 troops for Afghanistan, that will bring us up to Soviet levels. Remember how that worked for them?

Obama has killed more civilians through air strikes in his nine months than Bush did in 2008. Way to earn that peace prize Mr. President.

Email from my dad. "The most POSITIVE thing about Cash for Clunkers .. It's taken 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.". If only that were true.

At about 17:00 a wall of rain traveled from south to north across the target parking lot and Westheimer. It was a dense nearly solid and only lasted for a moment or two. It was strange to just watch it pass from my window. I wander if any one else noticed.

A buddy of mine recently bought a color laser printer. He paid less than $200. It comes with one set of color cartridges. They are toner, not ink. He said he thinks the replacement cartridges are like $60. Difference is, you get thousands of low coverage pages out of a laser printer. The math works out that it will be cheaper to replace the printer than replace the toner. Why don't they just sell disposable printers that come with all the ink/toner you need for ump-teen thousand pages? I can still not beet Wal-Mart's price per page. Probably never will.

Dropped by Best Buy just to have a peak at video cameras. I do not have a need for a video camera, but I love looking. A buddy of mine makes a geek video podcast. They have an expensive video camera but can't use it because the Sony software blows. There is no shortage of choices.

There is a new video editing software on the market. That is, the free software market. It is called Open Movie Editor. Original, ay? It is Linux only. Looks like supports all the open versions of stuff. It is in the Ubuntu repositories. I plan on giving it a try soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Lunch Conversation

  • Kids costumes for Halloween.
  • Armor, leather, plate and several jokes about cod pieces.
  • If you like calamari, what would jelly fish taste like?
  • Who would make the best brisket. Not who would cook the best brisket. Who could we cut up and make in to the best brisket. I think I won. Sad.
  • If our company was in Pennsylvania, it would be PMS. All our systems would have to have mandatory maintenance every 28 days. (woman came up with this).


Very Local News

I remember feeling liberated when I ordered things out of a catalog. I used cashier's checks. I ordered knives and nunchucks, swords, blowguns and throwing stars. I bet everything I ordered has been banned by now. I also ordered ammo cans. I still have some of them them. Good times.

Well, that was all I had. On to some blog-fodder.

Videos of the day

Adam, you better get on the stick. (found here)

I cannot get enough of video cameras on RC aircraft. More please.

My GOD!! I feel old

Videos skipped

Guy flying around in one of those sky diving practice tubes. He was really good. It just looked too easy.

Family screams while they burn to death in a car accident in Mexico.

2009 compilation of people falling and busting their ass.

Trucks rolling down a hill and killing a bunch of middle eastern men.

A bunch of girls attacking a guy in the mens room at a club.

One way to do the math on Cash for Clunkers took FEDZILLA up on its offer of $4500. dollars to trade in your old "Clunker" (interesting choice of words)? Well, let's see who got thebest of that "deal"... If you traded in a clunker worth $3500, you got $4500 off for an apparent"savings" of $1000. You could have gotten $3,500 if you had just traded the car in. So you really are $1,000 ahead (depending on your clunker's value) at this point. Not too bad.

However, you WILL have to pay taxes on the $4500 come April 15th (something that no auto dealer will tell you). If you are in the 30% tax bracket, you will pay $1350 on that $4500.

So, rather than save $1000, you will actually pay an extra $350. to the feds. In addition, you traded in a car that was most likely paid for. Now you have 4 or 5 years of payments on a car that you did not need, trading in a "clunker" that was costing you less to run than the paymentsthat you will now be making. Even if you save $1,000. dollars a year in gas due to better mileage, you're still gonna be in the red for five years....hello?

But wait, it gets even better: you also got ripped off by the dealer. For example, the month before the "cash for clunkers" program started, every dealer here in LA was selling the Ford Focus with all the goodies including A/C, auto transmission, power windows, etc for $12,500.because competition was stiff due to poor sales from the stalled economy.

When "cash for clunkers" came along, they stopped discounting them and instead sold them at the list price of $15,500. So, you paid $3000 more than you would have the month before. Honda, Toyota , and Kia played thesame list price game that Ford and Chevy did. Now let's do the math...

You traded in a car worth:
$3500 You got a discount of: $4500
Net so far +$1000 But you have to pay: $1350 in taxes on the $4500
Net so far: -$350 (that's the red) And you paid: $3000 more than the car was selling forthe month before
Net Loss: -$3350

We could also add in the additional taxes (sales tax, state tax, dealer prep, etc.) on the extra $3000 that you paid for the car, along with the Five years of interest on the car loan; but let's just stop here while you kick yourself. Suffice it to say that those costs will be much higherthan any savings you get from "better mileage". So who actually made out on the deal? FEDZILLA collected taxes on the car along with taxes on the $4500 they "gave" you. The car dealers made an extra $3000 or more on every car they sold along with the kickbacks from the manufacturers and the loan companies. Manufacturers got to dump lotsof cars they could not give away the month before. Lots of good or repairable used cars got taken off the market, crushed and sold as scrap metal to (ready for this?) CHINA ! (Look it up...) And the poor consumer got saddled with even more debt that they cannot afford.

FEDZILLA'S merry men (who promised that people making less than $250,000.would pay "not one red cent more in taxes") will make millions in new taxrevenues after convincing Joe Consumer that he was getting $4500 in "free" money from the "government" In fact, Joe was giving away his $3500 car and paying an additional $3350 for the privilege. Chicago politics gone global...with an agenda.

If you find errors in this math, please let me know.. .being a simple guy, I'm always willing to learn new things; and if you took "advantage" of the Clunkers deal, I have some swamp land down in Florida that's for sale... And remember, these are the same Einsteins who want to take control of our health care system. Hold on to your wallet!!

A friend of mine sent me this in an email.

Sounds about right. I tried to tell someone they would most likely have to pay taxes on the benefit come tax time. They thought I was nuts.

Then comes the news that September car sales are in the toilet. Dozens of people said this would happen. People who were about to buy a car anyway signed up a bit early and now there is a huge lul right before the holidays. I understand that is a slow time in the business of selling cars to consumers in the best of times.

Yup, cluster-snafu from start to finish.


Cough tingles

I coughed a moment ago. My knee tingled. My left knee felt funny. It wasn't that big a cough. After a couple minutes I noticed the rib in my back that has been driving me nuts for a week seems to ahve popped back in to place. My knee feels normal. My back feels normal. The scary thought of anything The spot on my back was on the right side. Well,l you know what? I'm not doing the math here. I'm calling it a win.

Night all.

Lack of Story

There is no story deep within my sole clawing to get out. Where have the stories gone? I have decided not to worry about my lack of muze.  I cannot even spell the word muze. I cannot even find the word muze on the net to spell it correctly. No wander it has left.

I do love it when something inside come boiling to the surface and aches me until it is out. I hate it too. Neither has happened in a long time. That's fine. I'm not a writer. I'm not one of those people who finds themselves (plural used deliberately due to the lack of a nuder pronoun in English) giving birth to vast prose of high quality. I have not now nor will I find this in my life. I just do not believe it so.That is fine. I am what I am.

There are miles of potential writers on the internet. There are, believe it or not, a couple of good ones. I listen to a couple fiction podcasts that do not suck. I have not found any fiction blogs that do not, ... yet. If I find them, I'll put blog them here. Nonfiction is well represented in the blogsphere.

Apologies, but I intend to put very bad fiction of my own creation here. I will label it so it may be avoided. It will come in snippets and incomplete conversations or anecdotes. Then again, I've had no complaints yet.


Powers of 10

Watch it, you might learn something.

Gun fight

You can tell it is real because it doesn't look like any one got hit.

Russian tracked boat thing

I got to get me one of these. Convert it to an RV and drive around just running over shit. Sounds like a dream.

Bullets hitting stuff

Why don't I have this kind of time and drive to do cool shit?

Bullets hitting stuff

I was mesmerized for the entire length of this video.

Most of the way through come the FMJ rounds that simply peal mettle off as they hit things. It is almost beautiful.


Very Local Fiction

I Existed Once

In one moment all the things that brought me to this came to me clearly. Childhood, family, education, training, all changes in one moment. The moment my boots touched the ground everything changed. My whole life has been a game, child's play, roll playing until this.

No amount of training prepares you for combat. Someone famous must have said that. Maybe every soldier says it. Maybe some get the opportunity to slip in to a combat situation their fist time. For the rest of us, we simply realize when we are in the middle of a fight that we are on the edge. It all comes slamming down with a silent world changing crash all around the moment one realizes there are people over there trying to kill you, and your buddies with you.

Napoleon said something about the most important virtue of a soldier is physical endurance against fatigue. Bravery comes second. The man knew war.

This moment that happens comes to some only when they are about to die. Some only feel alive with bullets whistling past their heads, bombs bursting in air. For me, it came the first time I stepped out of the Humvee and a kid threw a rock at us. He was pissed and screaming. The rock bounced off armor and skittered across the ground. No one reacted except me. I knew it was a rock and not a grenade. It was the first time I realized someone wanted me dead. He just didn't have a gun or grenade to do it. Not yet anyway.

In the months to come, I was in a dozen fights for my life. I carried a bleeding man through a hail of bullets to save his life. I've defused traps, been hit by a roadside bomb. I took a slab of iron in the leg for my trouble. Tons of stories. That kid who threw the rock is the one I find in my thoughts. Sometimes I want to hate that kid for haunting me. The rest of time I just get on with my life. I try to remember it was an army he hated.

Maybe that kid made me a better man. When things get bad and I want to explode, I remember that kid and my whole life is spread out before me. It is like I can see it all from start to finish.

How do people who have never been in a life or death situation deal with day to day living? How do they get past all the bullshit to know what is real and what you should just step over and move past?

Tough Phones

Last night I was hitting YouTube looking at videos of tough phones. I do not have one. Some look like they were built by Tonka. If they were, I would trust them further. Alas.Most of the 'tests' didn't put the phones through real world paces. In my book the real test is throwing it in the washing machine and seeing if it survives. The only video I found of someone doing this killed the phone.

Someone mentioned a while back that there are police radios that are highly indestructible. They are military spec design with civilian frequencies. I don't know if HPD or any other locals use the radios. I remember a conversation on the scanner years ago that mentioned the radios they had then were $2400 each. Ouch.

Most of the phones I noticed were basically rain proof and could put up with being dropped. Better than 95% of the junk available on the U. S. market in my opinion.  The iPhone goes down in high humidity I've read. No one I know has had this kind of issue. Not good in Houston. My G1 has shut itself off once I believe because the humidity was something like 115%.

The phone would still have to be a smart phone. There are hardened laptops so I know it can be done. Watches have gone off the deep end with durability. It is a matter of scale and demand. Some of these phones had GPS, compass and texting. It would be nice to have a phone I could use in a real emergency, like a hurricane. You know, in the rain.