Wednesday, December 28, 2005

erzberg Rally

I love rally racing. soop up a WRX, slide it around corners until you roll it. Thats the kind of fun the entire family can learn to love. thats kind of what I thought I was going to be watching when I fired up a clip from what i think is the erzberg rally. found on

I think think this is what one of the guys was trying to tell me about awhile back where they race out of an open mine pit. looks brutal.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

sat maps

more arial (sp?) sat maps. check out windows live local powered by virtual earth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I pick mine up on dec 30,
watch an early version in germany here
watch another race

Saturday, December 17, 2005

gmail spoof

Like a sucker, I fell for this one, the link is not a link to, it is to, I suppose to fish for account passwords. if you get this one, don't click it.
------------------------ to me More options Dec 16 (23 hours ago)

This is an automated message from The Gmail Team. Please do not reply!

Our bot has detected that your account has been inactive for about 2 months.

This information may be wrong, because the bots are still in beta stage. So
if you are still using this account please click link below and verify.


We are terribly sorry for any inconveniences.


The Gmail Team

Monday, December 12, 2005

$500 for less

We are purchasing a fridge for our new house. something in the vacinity of $1,000 seemed semi reasonable so we targeted that price point. we came up with a very nice fridge. before purchasing it we drove down to the developer and measured on last time. we decided 10 inches of sticking out was a little excessive for a fridge, so we looked at getting one that wasn't quite as deep. how much does less cost you? in our case $500. now we are paying around $1,500 for basically the same fridge, just not quite as deep. gotta love that.

vw relay update

a little update for all of my avid readers. I replaced the relay 109 with the real one, and with great reverence retired the switch hack job to a semi-safe location in the boot (trunk). this go around it was as easy as three Torx T15 screws, prying plastic around on the bottom of the dash, removing the large bigger relay bellow 109, replacing 109, putting large big relay back in and screwing it all together while forcing the plastic to fit on the underside of the dash. all in all, a 5 minute job. so...... in good car fashion, I'm sure you thinking whats wrong now? well.. the drivers side door has begun to squeek again. its winter, and its cold, and since I have boycotted the dealer the door has never been greased in its life. someday I'll have to grease it... but not today.

macro lense

I was reading slashdot and ran across how to make a macro lense from a pringles can. it seems the pringles can is the new duct tape, or the new zip tie, or something. the results were astonishing, I give you a ballpoint pen.

Friday, December 02, 2005

WRT Firmware

a little rundown of links for me that covers some of the available firmware for the WRT54G $20 subscription
sourceforge wifi-box

Friday, November 18, 2005

VW stops

It started about two months ago. I would be driving the 2000 VW TDI Golf down the road and the engine would just STOP. It happened about once a week (500 miles). In the last few days it has become much worse. one day it happened 3 times on the way to work (50 miles). I'm not sure if you've looked at your daily commute like I have, but after you start having to look at a place like you have to make an emergency stop, it gets pretty scrary. I did a little reading on the net, and it looks like it could be one of two things. Injector pump (800$?) or Relay 109, the main relay that applies power to the ECU and a few other circuits in the car. if you have a TDI, make sure you head on over to those guys are awesome. so I pulled out the torx screw driver, took a few bits a and pieces apart off the dash and ripped out relay 109. I called up the local VW shop, and they said the relay weas $28 (I thought it use to be $150, but maybe the price went down). conveniently enough, it was a special order part. hmm.... strange. any compentant shop would have a part that is KNOWN to be defective in stock so people arn't stranded. if your in reno, looking for a good vw shop, just keep on driving. Lithia VW is WORTHLESS.

I pulled Relay109 out, and proceeded to solder a bypass switch in the event it failed again, I could just flip a switch to bypass. I got that all soldered up and installed right before the big Turkey-Day trip. we didn't even make it out of town and the car failed. I flipped the switch, it started right up and were off!

if you find yourself needing relay 109, head on over to to get your own very own replacement Relay 109 for $16. I got mine shipped to our Turkey-day destination and we'll install it half way through the trip.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


We are officially homeless

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

purchased wrt

wrt54g overview
I stopped by good old compusa and picked up a V4 WRT54G. approx $45 after I get the money back from the mail in rebates. not a great deal, but not a bad deal. gives me something to play with over christmas.

I've gotta go off on a tangent about compusa. as one of my instructors says "i'm getting up on my soap box" (and then make gesture for size/shape of box, and then 'step' onto said box). Compusa is sub best-buy. bestbuy sucketh because they bought geeksquad and made geeks even lamor than they already were... as if thats possible. what kind of geek drives his girlfriends BUG. thats no way to run a business. pasty geeks never see the light of day and then you stuff em in a car like that and no one will ever let them out in public again.

oh yeah.. compusa. so why is compusa sub best buy? becuase their parking lot is CRAP. yup. you heard me. here in town it is the most ghetto parking lot around. I never felt I was impressed one way or the other painted asphalt, but let me tell you, after you see the decaying lumpy turf these guys call a parking lot you want to puke. I actually had to look twice at the store as I was sure the banner out front was a going out of business sign. I made it through the door and was greeted by geeks only slightly above the tallent of 'the squad' at the rival yellow electronic store.

I found the isle with the router and they were sold out. not wanting to admit defeat so quickly I spoke with 'customer service', and yes, that does need to be in quotes, and no the thought does not count. they said they had 68 in invetory even though none were on the shelf. turns out they don't stock them on the shelf, they stock them k-mart style on a shelf way up in the middle of no where where you actually need some little ladder to get them down.

I got mine, and like an idiot forgot the serial number list to cross reference the serial number to board rev. I looked all over the box for a version and couldn't find it. I figured it'd be version 5 (vx works... pass on that) and asked the cashier if I could take it back once opened if it wasn't what I wanted. they said I had 21 days or something. so when i purchase it the guy scans the serial number on the outside of the box!! I was like wooooo... hang on man. why are you tieing the serial number to my name (I always pay with credit card, maybe I should re-evaluate that). He actually didn't take it too hard and explained they have alot of people that purchase one, swap it out for a dead one and return it. chalk one up for the getto compusa. I can live with that but I still don't like the serial being tied to my name. oh well...

first impressions:
I'm thinking this is the router that dan had. I can't remember. its about twice the size of my netgear (i have two of those). I think it runs a little hot (had it on for 10 minutes), and the default IP is instead of the more traditional that my netgear ones come with.

is it a keeper?
yup.. I haven't put new firmware in it yet, but since its a verion 4 it is suppose to be linux based so I'll be playing with openwrt. it has two antenna slots (switched, not truly dual) with standard connectors. my thoughts are to run power and cat5 on a pole and mount this baby and its new antenna on a pole and see how far I can go. theres some fun antenna designs (see cantena bellow) so I'm looking forward to that. I'm thinking worst case I could actually canabolize one of the antennas that came with it to use the connector, and then tell openwrt to just use the slot I plug a good antenna into.

I actually got it up and running and dialing my SBC modem in about 10 minutes. the stock FW doesn't seem that terrible, despite what you may read.

for grins and giggles..
a funky omni design
more antennas
I knew I wanted the dish!
antenna modeling

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I've been reading about the linux enabled router, and it seems I've read about it before but I must have forgotten about it before I had a chance to purchase one. for when I decide to get one, I'm giving a list of links to open firmware (linux) for it.
version 5 of the unit uses VXworks so don't get that one.

from here
CDF0 = WRT54G v1.0 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF1 = WRT54G v1.0 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF2 = WRT54G v1.1 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF3 = WRT54G v1.1 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF5 = WRT54G v2.0 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF7 = WRT54G v2.2 / BCM5325EKQM Chipset
CDF8 = WRT54G v3.0 / BCM5325EKQM Chipset
CDF9 = WRT53G v3.1 / BCM5325EKQM Chipset
CDFA = WRT54G v4.0 / BCM5352E Chipset
CDFB = WRT54G v5.0 / BCM5352EKPB Chipset --

inside the wrt54g(s)
HW that openwrt will run on
wiki wireless bridge
sourceforge wifi
*wrt54 basic hacking*
asus WL-500 has usb functionality as well

Friday, November 04, 2005


here it talks about the cantenna. I have started to move utilites as we are moving and SBC wanted to peg me with a $200 'early termination' fee for moving my dsl. I explained to them that we would be moving out, and the service would sit idle for 1.5 months but I was happy to pay the bill and not receive any service at all. they said the DSL had to be tied to something. so I suggested tieing the number to my cell phone and they didn't like that very much.

in the end, after 2 days of back and forth on the phone, we found that it appears we can cancel our current service, and as long as we APPLY for new service at the new place within 30 days we don't get charged the early cancelation fee. BUT, we are still stuck with a service contract. at least it's down to 6 months instead of one year. I'm seriously considering just paying the month to month rate (probably $5 more) and then canceling as soon as I find a nice neighbor to share broadband with.

its high time we build wifi networks like bittorrent. it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a system where people can share their connections for free, or set a flag to sell their bandwidth. theres a $1 a month connnction fee for all that want to be part of the network, and you just set what you want your bandwidth to be worth if your selling, and if your the leacher you set how much yoru willing to pay, and boom. instant network, everyones happy.

mesh networks:
tropos 5110
plugnplay solutions
mesh with WRT54gs
WRT54 open
mesh discussion

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


A friend at work got rear-ended on the way home last night. I was driving home and was coming up on what appeared to be someone waiving over traffic because a car was getting a tire changed, but when I passed I saw it was my friend that had been hit by another guy at work. that makes for a real awkward situation. everyone was ok, and the saturn is stil drivable, but the ford ranger that did the hitting seemed almost perfect. a little tweek on the front bumper resulted in a completly caved in trunk on the saturn. So... those of you with saturns (*caugh* DAN/Sarah) when a ford ranger is coming up quick in the rear view, move over.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Internet Score Card

I guess the 'net had some troubles yesterday/today? with help from the internet score card we can see who's stock not to buy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

OOO 2.0

for the tech impaired, it looks like today marks the release of openoffice 2.0 its actually very useful even if you use it for nothing else than its single 'print to pdf' feature. I remember way back when, when I started with the predecessor to office 95 and it sucked. to bad this wasn't as advanaced way back then and none of us would be in the proprietary microsoft bed with a very useful, but very pricey office suite.

225 all of america is about a chick from the BBC that rode the 225 from alaska to the tip (or as close as you can get) of south america. pretty cool.


in todays staff meeting I announced that this years halloween thing is Gypsies. I let them know that I never participate in things like this and that there would be no cash awards this year but they were free to participate. I made the mistake of showing them in the staff meeting where a picture of me was and they mutilated it. I love the people that work for me!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

flexible paper

I'm glad they are still working on the flexible paper I'd use this.

color lasers watermark pages

I was reading some news articles about how some color laser printers actually watermark the pages they print with information. some CIA conspiracy for anti money making or something. this guy modded his scanner with a whole bus of blue LEDS so his scanner could see the watermarks. pretty cool!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

'da throne

something tells me it may look better with the throne attached. and yes, the new house is wired with cat5. they used it to also run the phone circuits. so I bet I could terminate with an RJ11 AND a cat5 end. I betcha I could even fit two phone lines AND a computer connection in there but whats the point. we'll be on voip in a few years anyway. dan, you need to let me know how VGA over cat5 cabeling works and how long your run was.

hire / fire

at times, I think I have the worst possible job in the world. I have to hire people. which seems like a pretty straightforward task. find someone qualified, and give them a job. well our temp service, and yes I will say their name so you can all AVOID them, ADECCO SUX. they do not screen for valid candidates. I will not go into specifics lest someone does not agree with what I consider the BASICS of a qualified candidate, but they are not doing their job. they are not screening for what we ask. they are not administering the health and safety tests that we request. they suck. the contact person they gave me at adecco is someone that thinks she is to high and mighty to talk to me so I never get a straight answer when I talk with her. she ingores my requeests, and ignores the requests of my other co-managers that talk with her. they are idiots.

so.. the hiring sux, but today I found the firing sux as well. its not really firing when you just ask for a replacement temp, and for them to take back one that they sent you but it still makes you feel all icky inside for telling someone they wern't worthy, as if a $9 job doesn't have 99.9% of the population qualififed right off the bat. the upper ups expect WAY TO MUCH from this level of employee, and these poor guys give way more than they should for what they are compensated for. I don't let that out due mostly in part that I don't want a severe mutiny on my hands but its the truth. the person I let go actually called me after she was let go (the firing was done through proxy) and I was honest and told her areas to improve upon. I was actually glad I got to talk with her. hopefully I'll help her in the long run to be a more productive person. yeah.. thats a bunch of crap. is what it really comes down to is she was a 9$ person. no more than we were offering, and the company wants a $20 person. how do you tell someone its not their fault? it really isn't. its the crushing power of the big machine.

end of rant.

new description

I had to change the description of the blog. it now more accuratly reflects my limbo-ness in society.


fraps seems to be a halfway decent screen (movie) capture utility. it appears to be targeted at gaiming but I was able to successfully use it to capture some flying around I did in world wind 1.3 and then try to convert to xvid to play on a xvid compatible dvd player. it almost worked but I screwed the codec up on the final conversion but the idea is sound. now I gotta find some way to free up my 150gig. I really am trying to figure out why theres only 500meg on this machine. maybe it IS time to reformat. with limited space the capture time is severly limited. ohh.. if you do use fraps, get it registered (i'll leave the method to you) as the record time is unlimited then. I was really hoping that dvd shrink would do the conversion for me, but that seems to only work on dvd's (very well too). so I moved on to virtual dub which seems it needs more than 30 seconds to perfect and learn. powerful, but not a simple sit down thing, as proof by the fact that my final result looked awesome in media player classic but like CRAP on the philips DVP642. at least it played. its not the 642's fault. I screwed the conversion up. of that I'm sure.


any remember suprnova? seems somone is capitalizing on the name.

Monday, October 17, 2005

free codecs has a plugin to play real media wihtout realmedia player.....

Bittorrents Bram Cohen

Fortune did an article on Bram Cohen. It looks like he somehow started a company with 8.75 million in startup. I use to think thats alot, and it is, but its not as much as I use to think it was. I'm really glad someone is giving him a chance to capitalize on his success. The bittorrent technology has definatly changed the face of the 'net and Cohen should be duely rewarded.

I LOVE the ending to the article. 'always more puzzles'

Monday, October 03, 2005

30 gigs

so, if your one of the few who thinks Gmails 2.5gig isn't enough, maybe you should hop on over to and fatten yourself up.

Friday, September 30, 2005

sucky games

I'm sick of stupid games. if get about 10x more bored than I currently am (which could happen) maybe I'll get an engine on and entertain myself.

maybe will help with modeling the hikes and motorcycling i've done. that could be fun.

gps tools for DEMS and STMS


stupid stuff to do to an xr650. I use to hate the pavement, but after about 10k miles from around town, commuting and the last trip to alaska i'm starting to get a nack for it. the big problem is deciding what kinda bike I want for the next trip.

1-1.5)1100 or 1150gs BMW
2) some street bike
3) convert the xr650L to more street worthness and leave it sit where it stops in alaska

people thought I was stupid with option #3 but given my desire to reamain not poor #3 is looking more and more interseting. i'm sure the riders I go with would dis own me... that could be a problem if the bike does stop.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

credit cards

I found this linked from one of the news sources I read. If i'm bored I may watch it and see what it has to say. credit (and the protection of information) has been an interest.

Monday, September 26, 2005

World Wind

I found World Wind on it seems it may be just the tool i've been looking for to render earth elevation models (including SRTM). should be fun to play with. I hope it allows me to overlay tracks and it'd be super awesome if It would allow little flyby movies, but thats probably a bit hopeful.

mt. St. Helens


I continue to be amazed by the power of a modern spreadsheet. during some random surfing I ran across a tutorial for open office that talks about Vlookup and gives and example of application.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


after running through some misc. stuff on the net, we stumbled across Millions an english film that was well.. different. We very much enjoyed the photography, as well as the music. the plot line was sincere and family values based for a change. but check out what this IMDB reviewer had to say about the director

Millions reinforces the fact that Danny Boyle cannot be pigeonholed as a director. One does not expect to see the director of acclaimed drug abuse and zombie movies come out with such wholesome entertainment.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

hasbro projector

here it talks about a 300$ projector targeted at kids...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

just MLS

I'm not so sure the money i'm paying to sell my house is worth it. in an attempt to see exactly what it takes to 'do it yourself', often called FSBO (for sale by owner), I did a google search for just mls. that revealed some sound blaster analysis tool... not quite what I was looking for. I searched a little farther, and found where they claim you can get your listing in MLS for $399. that looks MIGHTY ATTRACTIVE. anyone ever tried something like that?


sara posted it and It is interesting. see
its a way of turning a single piece of paper (with a few folds, and a single cut) into a booklet. intended to replace the ever FAT PDA, it seems like it may be a cheap and viable alternative. it may even survive the washer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

mba class in paper

thanks for finding this jen. It is the MBA class i'm taking. the following is the message I posted to our student BBS system, telling others about it. I posted it in the OPTIONAL reading section as there was a big complaint in class (the same night the article was written) about people not wanting to have to read more than they had too.

my head is the one on the right of the image, right above 'purple shirt'

I think this is our class that made it in the paper. Note I am putting this in the OPTIONAL discussion board for those of you that are too lazy to read.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

new laptop

so I finally got confirmation that my new laptop is in transit. I ordered it with a monitor stand, a USB memory thinggy, a rolly bag, extra 12V adapter, and extra 120v adapter. see anything strange on what fedex is sending me?

bannana gun

check out the description on this auction. hilarios!

Monday, September 12, 2005


thanks to slashdot for the the link to a summary of free techshows. some look interesting. its about time they put broadband to good use!

Friday, September 09, 2005


the other day my manager wanted to know how often I was going to replace steal toed shoes for those that work for me. I said "well, my shoes have lasted about 7 years.... but I think 1yr is reasonable"

good old ROCKPORTs waterproof, warn at LEAST every other day for 7 years. a little scuffed, and the sole is starting to wear but are still running strong.

this morning I snapped one of the shoes strings (not the origional) and now I have tow 1/4" strings I'm trying to tie in a bow-tie. I got half the knot. I was proud.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

pocket projector

here is a pocket projector from mitsubishi slated for release Q4 of this year. LED builb (10,000 hrs) pricing around 800 bucks.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I found this yet again on kevs only link. I find it particularly interesting because we discussed beatniks this weekend as the predecessor to hippies. If hippies had 'free love' what did beatniks have?


Pronunciation: /pik-uh-RESK/

adj : of or relating to roguish heroes and their adventures

"The party was filled with beatniks, hippies, and sundry picaresque characters."


thanks to kev for the ONLY link on his link page I followed it to a small story about tesla here i've read a little of Teslas work, but I've never heard of this. it makes me want to get some more literature on the dude.

Tesla was virtually written out of history by the wealthy Energy Cartel, and later by the United States Government; who had him working on Top Secret Projects like the so-called "Philadelphia Experiment". This combined Tesla's technology with Einstein's still-secret discoveries in physics causing a US Navy Destroyer called the Eldridge to disappear in 1943 into a parallel Universe with 493 men aboard.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

OB: reaction paper#1

a reaction paper for organizational behavior. i'm sure you guys will like it.

Program Reaction:
The program is finally off and rolling! It all started 1 year ago when I was on the motorcycle trip up to Canada and my father in law suggested I enroll in an MBA program. he said "an MBA will help you as much with your career as your undergrad in engineering has" so the only way to prove him right or wrong is to do it and see what happens! I have been anticipating the start of this program for awhile now and I was really hoping it would start last spring. I completed the application, took the GMAT, and thought I was accepted, but the school kept pushing the start date out. so... like I said, I'm really happy the program has started.

Teacher Reaction
The experience in big business (medical hospital field) is a great slant to add to the course material. my mother has been in nursing even before I was born, so I have heard much about the industry from a workers perspective. now I look forward to the bits and pieces that are always divulged during a good class discussion that will give insight into the inner workings of the corporate level of the medical industry. Its always fun to learn that even though the fields are very diverse (engineering compared to running a hospital) the same people issues seem to come up. its the people side that makes being a manager entertaining / challenging, and I hope your background can supplement my own and through our in class interaction help me to view people from a more rounded perspective and make me a more effective leader.

I absolutely HATE powerpoint. I find that people throw a gazillion slides up and then read them to the audience. I always think to myself "WHY are you even standing there?, your just blocking the screen". I learned in my speech class in undergrad that visual aids are a must, but keep the slides to no more than about 1 for every 2 minutes of talk time. wait, maybe it was 2 for every 1 minute. well. I can't remember exactly, but the point is slides are a SUPPLIMENT to the material. as a new manager, I have found the importance of powerpoint in delivering information the those that work for you. there is MUCH info that my boss wants to me 'share' with those that work for me, the powerpoint presentation just serves as a reminder when I talk to keep me on topic. or rather I should say it will be when the company gets me the laptop. I'm sure you were reading this thinking I was going to dog on your use of powerpoint, but your wrong. I think you only had 4 slides the first night. you didn't read the slides to us, you used it as a reminder to share key thoughts with us. AWESOME. thats what powerpoint is all about. short, to the point, don't' read it.

Class diversity
Since Organizational Behavior is about people, why not analyze the class real quick! I was amazed to find that the class is over 1/3 GE, about 1/3 misc. engineering firms and 1/3 state workers. mix and match a little home entrepreneurs and harley davidson finance guys and you have our class. it really didn't shape up to be what I predicted. I figured it'd be 1/2 GE and 1/2 Starbucks, but for some reason Starbucks didn't really show? what gives? I guess that goes to show that no matter what type of group you 'think' you'll end up with, if you are open minded you can end up with just about anything. Thats something I need to put to work immediately. I need to remember not to stereotype people. on a whole a stereotype may be an accurate generalization but you will be hard pressed to hold free thinking people to 'the norm'

Class goal
I was glad to see that ALL of the people in the class are working professionals, that all look like a die hard crowd to finish this thing. I wonder how many people will drop out along the way? I"m sure we'll lose some, but right now it looks like the class shares the same hard viewpoint of making the classes meaningful. I like that the comments are on topic, and people aren't sleeping, walking in late, or taking tons of cell phone calls like undergrad. I hope the class maintains a professional atmosphere, as it is really inducive to learning.

Teams for Case Study
I wasn't quite sure what to expect for the case study groups. When I first read the syllabus I thought we were going to have to propose a topic the first night. I was very relieved to find a list of topics that we just had to sign up for. it was also convenient that you forced the teams to be 3 or 4 people. this made sure there wasn't half the class on one topic, and then each of the other topics only had 1 person assigned. I was a little puzzled that you didn't just throw the teams together by random. I appreciate you letting the teams self form, but I"m afraid what I've seen in the past will repeat itself and all of the 'smart' highly driven people will end up one team and a lot of people that may need more help, or be lacking one area, will be forced to be all together on one team. its kind of sad in a way. I think the rational that was given was that the people that were near each other could be on a team but was does location have to do with it?! this is the era of high speed communication. email, IM, blogs, webct, and even fax if you had to. I venture to say you could have thrown just about anyone together and if they had 21st century technology it wouldn't be a problem. oh wait. theres my stereotypical view again. now that I think about it again, I think there most defiantly are some in the class that are more tech savvy than others. it would be VERY challenging for me to be on a team with people that weren't Internet savvy, so my hat is off to you for letting us self form! thanks

I have no idea what case study topic I signed up for. I must admit I just signed up for the first one to get it done. I hate procrastination. it just makes it more painful later. I say get it over with! and if I go first theres no major class standard I'm held to. I get to set the bars starting point. I like that. it eases the pressure.

The book talks about the Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control process of six sigma in the first chapter. GE uses the DMAIC process, where D is Define. I learned in intro to engineering, one of the very first classes I took in undergrad that to find a suitable solution, you must FIRST understand the problem. so WHY in the world doesn't the authors of the book talk about the DMAIC process? is it not industry standard to first DEFINE the problem? its very strange and puzzling to me, and worth more investigation when I find time.

Teachers just work for money comment in class
In class, there was an article handed out about how there is a shortage of teachers in the local community. One person made the comment that it was 'just all about money, its always about money and the majority of the class went into a mini uproar. I can't believe people want to deny that they work for money. If you were so naive to admit to your boss that you just worked there because you liked your normal day job better than any of the hobbies you had, you'd be an idiot. I'm sure this class will bring up additional reasons why I go to work, but right now, I'm letting you know that I work for money. That is may main reason for working, is to put bread no the table. side reasons include: mental stimulation, growth (in all senses of the word), friends, atmosphere. reasons to NOT work include: being pissed off, not getting along with people, it costs money to commute to work, work takes up time that I'd rather be doing something else. hey look, I have my own little list of criteria for the Herzeberg report!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

started class

I started my MBA this week. night classes for (count them) THREE YEARS. I am in two classes right now, organizatoinal behavior, and financial accounting. the course is comprised of 30 working professionals. over half the class is engineers from my company. the rest is comprised of a few engineers from other local business's, and then some misc. entrapanuaer (sp?) type people. its a fun mix. everyones serious about getting stuff done so not alot of stupid crap.

last night the instructor for the finance class brough CANDY to class. how cool is that. one class is 6-8:45 on mondays, and the other class is 6-8:45 on wednesdays. she said she didn't want us falling asleep. both classes should be very fun, but they are a SURVEY level. not many assignements, a bit of reading, and graded MAJORLY on in class participation. i'm not going to complain but I did expect a harder level for a masters. again it just proves you just have to do it. maybe i'll be proven wrong, and it'll be harder than I forsee, but I really doubt it.

they are also doing some of the classes through a chat room type thing over the internet. so it so happens that this holiday, thanksgiving and what not all happen to fall on an 'internet' day so that makes it super cool for vacations.

i've been working my nomral 40hr week, AND staying 2 hours late on monday and wednesday to wait for class to start (its in a building across the street). its KILLING Me. I leave teh house around 6:30 am and get home around 10pm. i'm sure i'll get use to it but its crazy. i'm glad its 2 days a week and no more. if it was everyday I'd die.

good looking?

I'm sure most of you have heard that tall good looking men are on average more successful in their carreers than the short stubby variety. I wonder if the same is true for women? I was looking through some recent candidates for a position, and I thought to myself no, no, no. and then I meet one of them. I reconsidered on looks.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


some foreign film I presume touting the success of helmets. heres the skull getting crushed by a sledge hammer. see the clip here

TPS reports

it has been such a productive afternoon surfing. I found some tps reports over here

TPS memo
TPS report

I'm going to have to print them out and put them on a select few desks at work to see what happens.


yup.. found something else worthy of the link section. the newest edition, 'logons' seems to be someone caching logons for those places you just can't seem to get into and for the ones you really arn't motivated enough to load up a script to get in. I found some random site requiring a logon and it worked! wow.. cool. that qualifies it for the link section. I was however glad to see no one had put in an account for my remote access at work. that would have been very disturbing.

chainsaw to the neck

saw this on MSN's weekend pictures. the thing that struck jen and I is DON"T LET THE SAW SLIP. it'll take your neck out!, click for larger view.

alaska motorcycle trip

on this site someone posted a prelimary route to alaska. we road part of this rout when we went up the first time. its worth having a picture of.. click to enlarge


For all of you that arn't at the heart of the west coast, you may have never heard of craigs list, so I thought I'd tell you guys about it. it seems its really big in the bay area. we have recently been using it to shop for motorcycles, and we almost got someone to rent our rental house through it. if they don't have a listing in your area, or the one in your area isn't very active, you can still use it to search its huge collection of classifieds type posts and see what your junk is worth. its actually very time consuming and fun.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

house update

we had the inspections (pest and structural) yesterday. everything came back pretty good except the structural guy found a missing support under the floor. someone removed it when the ductwork was installed. I'm not too concerned about it, the only snag is if this would effect teh appraised value and not allow them to do their 100% financing then were screwed. I was going to crawl under there and fix it myself last night, but I was too tired. the buyer seems to be a pretty handy guy so he may just prefer the cash (500 to go towards improvements) and I'm happy writing the check and being done with it. I'd give him 5 crisp 100's if it meant closing the deal without a hitch. Jen is siding on lets just wait and see but i'm pretty anxious to get this done. turns out they own an aluminum trailer in the north poorer) section of town, and have it payed off at 70k or something. we learned this through our realtor when she overheard them talking during the inspections. the house would be a major upgrade for them. We wern't present for the structural. and got home at the end of the pest. the pest inspector was interested in the rental, so we gave him the address and hope to hear back from his t his afternoon if he's
interested, so that was a lucky coincidence.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

free books

it seems was indexing books, but as of recently has stopped scanning in at attempt to address copyright info.

that won't stop me from reading ben raines in the ashes series. see for yourself here.

Monday, August 15, 2005

dragon illusion

the Dragon optical illusion is some kind of paper thing that looks odd. see how to build it here and let me know how it works!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

waterproof paper

I love these kinds of accidents. you know, the kind where you spill some crap on your paper and discover you just made water proof paper that you can still write on. sounds like the teflon story.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Desk warez

People come by my desk and love to play with miscellaneous things that I have sitting out, so far all I have is a hacky sack I got for my birthday, a couple of broken units that we build here (those are not the favorite) and a pet wooden snake I picked up while I was on company business.

I usually keep the snake hidden as it seriuosly offends my boss, but its lots of fun to 'leave out' and see what happens.

what ideas do you guys have for cool things to have on the desk for people to play with when they come to talk to me?

Monday, August 08, 2005


thanks to kunae gives us guess the google picture game that pops up 20 images from a google images search and you have to guess the search word. I suck at it. the only one I got right was because the search word was part of one of the imiages, kitsch

Saturday, August 06, 2005

back window

out the back window, click for 800x600

Monday, August 01, 2005

Genuine Advantage

linked from article about getting around MS's genuine advantage scheme.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


the next version of windows will be called VISTA, not the code name longhorn. I like the code names so much better than what they actually choose. Vista?!! yeah.. thats a garmin GPS. names been taken, pick a new one.


I was asked the other day by one of my employees:

"Boss man, what does RTV stand for?"

now to give it a little context, the RTV is a chemical that turns rubbery. we use it for sealing things. hmm.. sounds easy enough right? after a few minutes I did learn what really stood for here. I was a little disapointed I wasn't able to pull that one out of my butt on the fly. maybe next time.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


ever wonder what a Distributed Hash Table is? well after snooping around Azureus, I wondered what pesky abreviation was. you can read up on it here

Friday, July 22, 2005


probably my only readers of this blog already know about this, but I'll do a quick write up for the rest of you.

you see, when my wife and I went on a cruise this summer with my brother and his wife we had a most wonderful time. someone coined the term 'pinky' after this late teenage girl that just got married and was traveling among the 1500 passengers on the ship. one night she was part of a game show that we attended and every time she answered she had this kind of high pitched yelp. pinky pretty much summs it up and will forever describe my stereo-type view of late teen girls.

Pinky. I laugh every time I think about it.

blackjack computer

hidden way down in an article about building the first blackjack computer

No, we kept it a secret. We wouldn’t have been countenanced well by the church. There are a lot of hard-liners that only see black and white, even though the Bible doesn’t actually condemn gambling. There is a thought somehow that gambling is evil. There was deceit involved there, and that really bothered my wife in particular. It has always been an issue. I personally haven’t had much wrestle with it because I came to realize that man is basically evil, and except for the grace of Jesus Christ we haven’t got a chance. We’re doomed. Whether the sin is one thing or another, it is still a sin. Gambling per se isn’t a sin. The love of money is a sin. It’s like trying to rate sin. Can you put one sin over another? Jesus made it clear that when the Pharisees talked about having sex with a woman out of wedlock, the fact that you had lust condemned you equally. To gossip about someone, or to lie to someone, these are all human failings we have. Gambling is just another in a long list of things that are ripe for abuse. To get more to the question, Ken’s lifestyle-that is the real world. As Christians we are to be out in the world, and be witness to the world. For some, we will be the only bible they ever read. It was an opportunity to witness to Ken, and we had some very good conversations about faith and such subjects.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Spam Filter Chess

thanks to for the link to can a spam filter play chess is an indepth paper on unix scripts to setup, 'train' and play a spam filter. it is VERY educational in both scripting and the concepts of learning through probabilities. a must read for the intellectual or bored gourd.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dshield seems to be the internet storm watch center. I Like it!

Monday, July 18, 2005

$99 linux

This is an embedded device, 90mhz, keyboard, display, and 802.11b for $99 that runs linux. if its not to hard to mod this would be a GREAT embedded box. I wonder how hard the GPIO is to expand?
hack info here
more hack info
add mmc?
a little first hand experience
mainboard scan

for me, an idea to expand the GPIO with i2c here

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I'm back to playing with the NE64 chip. I've got someone that can really benefit from a simple program on it so I'm off to use it! finally! heres a note for me on uBug12 and miniide review

NE64 on freescale
intro to microcontrollers
bcd to 7-segment display
GNU for HC12
HC12 guides
miniide and ubug12 example

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

XR honda

for me, a link to as they seem to link to even the manual!

home price inflation

I was taking a look at the stock LEN, one of the symbol Lennar Homes trades with, you know.. the guys that are building our new home? anyway, check out the max history yahoo finance publishes, and it got me to wondering if home prices have tracked the value of this stock? probably not but its fun to look at and think that if I were right I'm selling at a high and buying a high so its kind of a draw.

Monday, July 11, 2005

corporate words

here is a list of words that some have submitted as 'weasel words' I've made it a little way down the list and my favorite so far is ThoughtShower

Thoughtshower: 'Brainstorming is itself bad enough (and was apparently banned by the BBC because it was deemed offensive to those suffering from epilepsy), but 'Thoughtshower' is abominable. This site also explains a variant of brainstorming, in 'blamestorming' (where colleagues publicly denounce one another).

Thursday, July 07, 2005

money talk

I read a good article on about what is appropriate and not appropriate to talk about money. the interview with Emily Post's great grand daughter in law was interesting but danced around the topic, as usual with ettiiquite, not giving anything substantial one way or the other. the most useful thing was a quote from Emily Post:

When in doubt, always remember the four cornerstones of etiquette: respect, kindness, consideration and honesty.

a comment!

I'm not one (usually) to link to my own stuff but check it out. I actually got a comment way back in the depths of the archive! thanks Eddie M.

some of you may be wondering how I found it. I'll clue you in on a little secret. you can setup blogger to email you when a comment is made so you don't miss any. I have it send it to a gmail account

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

open access point

I found this on slashdot in one of the comment sections, arguing that it should not be illegal to access open access points. I rather like it...

Imagine your neighbor has a TV going loudly - he has cable TV and you do not. You hear a show playing you've been meaning to see. You yell over the fence, "mind if I come over and watch that show?" The neighbor's butler yells back, "Sure, come around through the gate.". You go over, sit down and enjoy the show. After the show is over, the owner shows up, and is PISSED because you are there.

The neighbor has not lost any property, but has been denied payment for a service he has performed. (providing you with entertainment) Unfortunately for the neighbor, you were allowed free access to the entertainment indirectly by the neighbor. The neighbor has no legal grounds against you because you were acting with permission of an agent of the neighbor. (the butler)

This is very similar to the issue of open access points. The wireless router being the butler that's been told to allow anyone that asks to be given free internet access. Just because you get upset that the currentl policy of your own access point bothers you does not give you free license to sue someone that has taken advantage of your offerings.


hmm.. whats this? seems like distributed surfing model to help anonymize your connection. its like bittorrent meets proxy. interesting.

$4500 / code

Google is paying $4500 to summer interns that finish a coding project. it is intended to introduce new coders to the wonders of open source. read about it on

one interesting aspect is they may work on imbedding bittorrent in firefox. read it on

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

VOIP adapter

build your own POTS (plane old telephone service) to VOIP (voice over IP) adapter cord. pretty trivial but fun. see it here thanks to

Human Computers

from it talks about how human computers (the first use of the term computer) were used to compute tables. they had a little rule:

Black plus black is black
Red plus red is red
Black plus red or red plus black, hand the sheets to team 2

UNR mba

its nice to see Daimler-Chrysler puts UNR MBA graduates on par with DUKE, or at least lets them work together. read it here

Friday, July 01, 2005


Ahh..... the beginning of the internet! I totally forgot about this. read all about the early years on

more NE64

for me, more NE64
a good sd -> ethernet project done here

Thursday, June 30, 2005

linux HDD

in my never fulfilled quest to persue embedded technology I ran across an ethernet hard disk drive with wireless acess, a USB port, and I presume a print server that is Linux based for $85. now that seems pretty reasonable to me.

see it on
referenced from


I rather like this animated gif, probably the BEST use of an animated GIF I've seen to date, in the almost 10 year history of the animated GIF

google video

google video bassed in part on VLC should be VERY interesting. I can't wait.

according to this the player was cracked by the author of deCSS

here is the so sue me page

hires wallpaper

its always nice to find something nice to look at

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

it looks like google is getting its feet wet in yet an even more expanded map product. to bad its in beta and I can't get a copy of it to play with.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I'm all for the CGA, VGA, SVGA sayings, but i'm totally lost with the newer list of 'sizes' to convert back to pixels, consult this chart for

Friday, June 24, 2005


I need a subscription to this! a dead battery, the storm is setting, how do you get the car started. I love this!

credit score

here is a little info on the illusive credit score model. I for one had heard it said that it was not good to have credit cards with high limits. this I learned is FALSE, as a high limit with none of it used INCREASES your avalable credit to used credit ratio. I also learned that it IS good to have multiple sources of credit (at least 3) as this is required to come up with an average.

and.. to the young among is, did you know the credit score was not utilitzed in aquiring a home mortgage until the mid 90's? our forefathers and grandfathers didn't have to worry about this crap!

made in america

I saw a bumper sticker that said

If all our cars are imports, where will our kids work?

it was on a honda.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

GIANTS flock to reno

this is a less than informative article on the housing boom in reno. kind of washed up numbers but at least it lists a few of the builders.

choosing tennants

good screaning process identifies good tenants talk to some of the warning signs that some potential tenants give. I like the one about bragging what they did to their last landlord. we actually had some of the applicants for one of our properties do this, and I remember thinking at the time what an IDIOT. does he not know I would be his landlord and its like telling me to my face that he is a jerk! a good read for the property investor among you.

shoe jobs

I received authorization yesterday to visit the shoe store and pick up a pair of safety shoes on the comany dime (since I work in manufacturing). I was fairly happy with the selection at redwing shoes and was able to find a pair of steel toe shoes WITH ES (electro static) protection. they kind of look like old grandma shoes but they'll serve the purpose. you can see it in all its ugly glory here. I was hoping for something a bit more professional but that was all they had in the store and I didn't fee like waiting for a special order.

the shoes retailed for around 140$, so with the mandatory discount for doing business with my company it came to 115$ after taxes or something. heres the funnny part. the shoes were on SALE for 99$ so the mandatory discount actually cost the company money. this is not the first time i've seen this happen, and from what i"ve witnessed it seems to be more of a norm than the exception for the company to get screwed by their own strong arming.

heres the cool part. the old guy running the store was like "hey, thats the exact same shoe someone from blah-blah-blah got last week!". now, anyone that needs a steel toe AND ESD protection definatly works in similar line of work that I do. (elecrtronic assembly / production). he gave me the names of two local business's that do similar work to mine and i'd never heard of them!

Next time I need to find a job, screw the temp agency, i'll go the a specialty shoe store and ask who bought 'this type of shoe'

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

bird to the head

this morning I was riding the BMW 1200GS to work, and was following a guy (maybe a gal) riding a harley. we were doing about 60 and a bird came in at a right angle to our path, and sideswiped this person in the head. I hope I don't get an early morning wake up call like that!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

bram cohen

the author of Bit Torrent has a little blog type comments thing HERE. I think its some interesting reading, particularly the comments about rowing efficiency!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Custom maps

Finally! after 2 years of trying I stumbled across the tools needed and finally had enough braincells active to understand the process of making your very own custom GPS map (for use on garmins only). it is as simple as 1,2,3, (4)!!

1) You need to capture your map. the garmin units use a Vector based system so you will need to use a tool to draw/trace the features you want in your map. I started with quakemap and have actually registered it. the vectors get exported to XML format

2) you then translate it. I have been using gpsmapedit a free program to convert to the strange format of .MP. so far I have not found a way to batch convert the vectors so I painstakinly go through, right click on each one and convert to poly line.

3) Compile it! this tool has been around for some time, but untill the recent addition of GUI interfaces to actually draw the vector content it seemed very unapealing. the free version does all that I need so far and can be found at they have some website that will do the conversion online (and I presume keep a copy of what it compiles) and I Think the online tool has more options that the free one. just something to keep in mind. some people have used another program called mapdekode, but I haven't looked into that yet.

4) I almost forgot this step, UPLOAD it! there is an accompanying program called sendmap that can do the job, or if your feeling a littly giddy you can try the hack on mapsource to view and upload it with garmins own tools. I've used sendmap. fast, simple, and it works.

I made a quick map (about 160 routes) around my place of residence. that coverse probably a 10 mile by 10 mile region. I'm hoping it will help me find all those tricky hidden backroads that you can only seem to find when you have a satelite view. this map (to my amazement) compiled to 10k. it was 450k as an XML file. thats great news, because my unit, a rhino 120 has 8meg.

if this isn't a good enough thing to get you guys going, read this other summary HERE I'm sure there are better and faster ways to do this, but right now i'm just happy its posible. i'll let you know if I find better ways to do it.

img2gps, front end for sendmap
gps visualizer
spatial data for POI starting point
convert to .MP format
dem2topo $250 but may be worth it.
dlg from usgs

Friday, June 17, 2005


I rarely read, but sometimes I wish I did more.
someday I'll have to get the complete ashes series. I've read several and really liked the mind numbing it bestowed. ISBN's here

a coworker has recomended the Pliocene Exiles from Julian May, more info found here. some of the early ones may no longer be in print. the series is comprised of Pliocene Exiles, Intervention, and Galactic Milieu

Thursday, June 16, 2005

next gen DVD has a VERY good writup on the nextgen DVD standards. it contains a great comparison of the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray standards as well as introducing some even more next generation concepts like holographic storage. if your a geek hop on over and give it a read. if you've never heard of Blu-Ray, don't waste your time reading it, you'll get lost. instead just rest content in the knowladge that great things will come in optical storage in the next 5 years.

brown nosing tuesdays

I work for big corporate america, and like all good places, the employees often get together and try to start trends, fashions, and what not. you've probably heard of the most famous, hawaiin fridays, where everyone is invited to wear a hawaiin shirt on fridays, or casual fridays, where everyone is invited to wear jeans....

well, we have the almost normal hawaiin thing, except it is on thursday. the cafeteria, which use to be not for profit, found a profitible ploy to offer free icecream to the hawaiin thursday crowd. they'll have to do better than that to get me join in on that.

then theres another group of people that always wear slacks, nice shirt, and a tie on MONDAY. yup.. never could get into that either...

the newest one I learned about is 'brown nosing tuesdays'. why I haven't heard about it before is beyond me, but I'm very happy to now consider myself that on tuesdays. its a small group of people that have a sarcastic sense of humor. brown nosing tuesdays consists of wearing a company shirt with a company logo on tuesdays. to the untrained eye it appears as though we are so proud of the company we like the strange dress wear we win or receive for various stupid work assignements, but to the intelect among us it is 'brown nosing tuesday', a sarcastic jab at the brown nosers higher on the corporate latter than we have been able to make it.

Monday, June 13, 2005

too old?

I know you guys are sick of painting, but I'm not. so lucky you, you get to read through another boring post about pigment enriched shed spread.

I was wandering around out back looking for my old illegally stashed paint cans. they use to be in the garage but they were taking up 'precious crap' space, so they got the boot and now reside outside on a random patch of earth with a 2x4 ontop. i'm not sure what purpose the 2x4 held, but thats how I found the stash of about 10 1-gal paint cans.

I was hoping beyond hope that one of these ancient things had a little of the trim paint left so I could do the upper trim on the shed. I was just beside myself when I found one that looked to have the right color smeared on the outside. the lable had long since desentigrated so reading what it was suppose to be was not an option.

I got the 1-gal stirrer our and attached to the dewalt cordless. I was hoping that even though the outside of the can was a little rusty things would be squeeky clean inside. imagine my surprise when I found more rust on the inside of the can than the outside! oh well.... nothing a good blending won't fix.. and its just going on the shed anyway.

once blended you could hardly tell it use to contain rust chips. I learned my lesson last time on the 5-gal bucket 'DONT SCRAPE THE SIDES' so that may have been one reason the paint looked usable.

after painting I re-sealed the can. the thing is so far gone I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get it to seal up again, but with the aid of several hammer blows the lid started to go down. its ready for another 5 year rest until someone needs it again.

Friday, June 10, 2005


S/PDIF is a digital format for sending audio. I've heard of it, but never done any thing or had anything that used it. it can be used in two flavors. optical or electrical (rca). the new DVD player has a digital (S/PDIF) out, and this got me thinking. awhile ago, a friend of mine gave me some digital speakers. what an oxymoron. how can speakers, something that generate compression waves (in the analog realm) be digital? have no fear. they still employe analog, it is just contained to the amplifier in the speaker. the link from the source to the speaker is what is using digital.

I plugged the speakers in with a standard RCA/RCA cable (usually used to plug your old style VCR into the TV before the advent of S-Video. this got me thinking.. the p4s800 motherboard I purchased over a year ago may have had a digital output. I dug through manuals online because I"ve lost mine, and i'm to lazy to actually stick my head around and look on the back of the computer. I thought it was particularly interesting that I was able to remember the model number of the motherboard yet be to lazy to look at it. maybe I am a geek. the online manual confirmed my board had SPDIF output. I plugged the cable in and NOTHING. how disapointing. then it dawned on me it must be a driver issue. 10 minutes later.. NOTHING. then it dawned on me it must be a BIOS issue. a reboot and a looksee and NOTHING..

hmm.. how weird. whats the point of an SPDIF output if it doesnt' actually do anything? when I restarted the machine it magically worked. it must be some autodetect on the hardware level to see if its plugged in, or autodetect in windows or something. soo....... digital output.

whats the downside? I use line in, and the soundcard does not automaticaly resample the line in and put it out the SPDIF. I was looking for a fullduplex utility to buffer my line in, and put it out (in essense using the computer to convert from analog to SPDIF) but I haven't found a utility in the 5 minutes of looking. all I really need is something that can record and playback at the same time. kind of like tivo for audio. if anyone sees it let me know.

now to find a few digital buffers, some resistors to cut the voltage back to 1vpp, and an isolation transformer from an old network card and I'll make an SPDIF with two inputs (one for the DVD, and one for the computer) so I don't have to pay 100$ or more for a stupid receiver that can switch SPDIF.

new house floor plan

2302 sq feet. 2 story, 4 bed, 3 bath, 3 car garage (pull through)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

new DVD burner

I figure its about time to join the 21'st century. I placed an order for a pioneer DVD burner and a 100pack of 16x media. thanks newegg. the total came to $93. the drive is suppose to do 6x DL disks, and just about everything else trendy. I wasn't going to splurge on the 16x media and was origionally planning on buying a 50 pack of 4x for around 15$ but if I bumped up to a 100 pack it cost around the same price per disk except I got 16x. i'll probably burn through that.


The philips DVP642 is a standalone DVD player that you can pickup at walmart, bestbuy, compusa, etc.. its an entry level player and mine was 59$ at bestbuy. after tax it came to $64. I had two 25$ giftcards so out of pocket expense was around 14$.

you can learn a little about it at

plays divx
plays xvid
plays mp3
plays JPG
region free by code punched in with remote
slim design
firmware upgradable
at $59 it is afforadable even if it had to be used as a boat anchor.

I gave it a bit of a rundown last night which was a little difficult because I don't own a TV. I pushed the video through the capture card. for some reason the program I was using (WINDVR) gets a big fat white box in the middle of the screen when playing DVD's but it didnt do this during any of my other testing. i'm sure its because my copy of windvr isn't registered correctly. how ironic. a piece of software that i actually OWN and it doesn't work right. that really makes you want to purchase software doesn't it.. but i digress.

things that would make this worth 10$ more:
show me more of the filename. it only shows the first 11 characters
read the TOC faster.. it can take 30 seconds to load a pretty big CD
play mp3's in random order. it may do this but I didn't read the manual yet.

all in all.. i'm very happy with the purchase. it will be lent out to some of my technological deprived friends who still watch video on a standard A/V system and don't have a method for alternative formats.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

sleepy painting

yesterday I got up before 4 in the morning to get to work at 5am. it was my big unanounced check on my employee day. I was secretly hoping that there would be several people late, no show, etc.. but everyone that was suppose to start at 5 was there and working. amazing. out of my 19 employees that start between 5 and 9. there were only two that were a few minutes late. of course they had the usual excuses and said they'd make up their time.

let me give you guys a little clue. I know alot of people don't believe in kissing the bosses butt and I have always been one of those people.. UNTIL I became a boss. the kisses are kind of nice, for a while, but after only a few days, you know what I like better? brevity. i'm not sure if I spelled that right, or if its even a word, but somewhere way down in my sub conscience (now I know thAT one has a spelling problem) that was what popped up. I am now a big appreciator of someone that can come to me with something in clear, and short terms tell me what their problem is and then LEAVE. alot of people think that when they stick around to chit-chat they are following doing a little kissing of the hinny, but in fact they are not.

phew.. with that out of the way...

since I started at 5 in the morning, I was home before 3. what a nice change! what to do with my new found afternoon?! paint the shed of course. a few weeks ago a spanish guy nocked on the door and said he noticed my shed wasn't painted. I declined his offer and told him i'd get to it later this summer. he gave me an annoyed look and then explained he was a contractor and had 5 gals of paint that was a pretty good match to my house if I wanted it. I sheapeshly agreed (why I thought he was offering to paint it i'm not sure.. it was just what I assumed). when he brought it over I tried to pay him for it but he declined. he lives a few houses down.

so... I painted 3 sides. to do the 4'th I'll have to take the fence down, paint and then put the fence back up. the paint is a good match, and with the 5 gals I may be able to touch up some of the house.

I got some paint stirrers for the drill. one is for a 1gal can, and the other a 5gal can. the smaller cost 2.99 and the other 3.99 at lowes. full metal, good quality. I was able to mix the thing without getting paint all over the inside of the garage (and new motorcycle) so that was a plus. I tried to purchase a cheap 4" brush, but they were out, so I was forced to get a 7$ brush. I painted about 128 sqft with an old crappy 2.5" brush. that went pretty good. then the brush started to gum up so I busted out the new 7$ beuty. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. everyone always says pay your good money in trim brushes but for me and my painting skill the 7$ brush was WELL WORTH IT. I could go almost twice as fast (not just because the brush was about twice was wide) but because with the higher quality bristles I actually had to make less strokes to get the paint into weird areas of the textured siding.

woulnd't you konw it.. this morning it was raining. I think the paint was sufficiently setup before it started raining but i'll look closer tonight.

I used alot less paint than I thought I would. maybe 1.5 qts for almost 300 sq feet. i'll have to look at the container I was using but that seemed pretty good to me. jen promptly said that I needed another coat so maybe my eyes and method arn't as good as I thought they were.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

high altitude pics

here some hams got together and made a high altitude balloon with a gps a camera payload. the cameras were disposable the the GPS receiver was 20$ on closeout from radio shack. the thrifty among us could learn alot from these guys. one step above dumpster diving in my book.

nock around cam?

I've been looking for a cheap nock around cam that I can take where I usually wouldn't take a camera. like mount it on the front of the motercycle. put it in a pouch during rock climbing. try a ziplock underwater... that kind of thing.

it seems 130$ may get you pocket dv2 a cam capable of 1280 by 1024 stills, and low quality video. AND it can write to a 512meg compact flash! hmm... might just be the cheap hunk o junk i'm looking for.

this was from a article I was reading about a disposalbe 20 min. video camera for $30. that may be worth something to if it is hacked.

supposedly there is an even better one than the dv2 the dv350 I'll have to keep reading.

other links
a blogger that used the cvs video camera
hacking the cvs still

Sunday, June 05, 2005

no new cycle, BUT....

so we were planning on going to look at an F650gs (motorcycle) for sale this weekend, but we got side tracked. instead, I ended up fixing a CAT backhoe (blown fuse), and we bought another house. I know.. I know, a bit different than what we thought we'd be doing.

the house? 2300 sqft, 2 story, lot is 6600 sq feet. if you punch that into google you'll see that that is the definition of a POSTAGE STAMP. the house will be done jan31. in the $400k range.

we are thinking of building a climbing wall in the dining room. it is open to the full height of the 2 story, so that should get the appetite going.

anybody wanna buy my current house? if you don't want to buy it, i'll consider renting it to you. it has a nice new slightly illegal shed that fits 4 motorcycles. if you have more than I do, you may be able to fit 6 in it.

Friday, June 03, 2005

BMW F650GS tour the world

4 F650GS's tour the world here and really tempts me to buy one for sale for $4k in the local paper. I wonder what the differences are between the 01 model and the current production model?
f650 review
f650 classifieds

energy storage

I'm a sucker for technology, not just the micro electronics, but the macro electronics as well, specifically power generation and storage. I ran across an interesting place HERE that re-introduced me to a few storage methods I had forgotten about, and some I never knew hit production (like the fly wheel).

- ZnBr
- NaS
- Li-Ion
- Super Capacitor
- Flywheels
- Lead-Acid Battery
- Pumped Hydro Storage
- Metal–Air Battery

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I recieved a letter about a month ago that said my application to the masters program was missing two forms. I filled this stuff out and sent it back, and on the cover sheet of the fax said PLEASE CALL ME OR EMAIL ME and tell me the status of the application. is anything missing or is it complete?

they never called or wrote so this morning I called up to the people that I faxed the paperwork to and they had no idea what i was talking about, they said I needed to talk to the grad school. so I called them, they had no idea what I was talking about. they said my application had been received and approved months ago. they also said it was my fault for receiving a letter and not acting on it a month ago.

now wait a sec... I received a letter that had wrong information and now your accusing me of being stupid for not acting on it? and now that I have, you say you have no idea?

this masters thing is going to FUN. i can see that already. you'd think a business school would know how to shuffle papers, but apparently not.

bottom line. i still don't know if everything was received, but people 'say' everything was taken care of months ago, but no one will pull the file to verify.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005


the cruise was so awesome I didn't want to come back to civilazation. a 4 day ordeal that stopped off at san diego, catalina island and ensenada mexico by none other than the royal caribien carrier (out of norway or something). the food was great, and it was fun to spend time with family. we camped on the way down to LA, and we camped on the way back. so 2 days of camping, 4 nights on a cruise ship, and a partridge in a pear tree. the vacation was so good in fact I really wasn't interested in returning to work. with some major luck I"ll be able to retire while I can still appreciate it. wish me luck.

Friday, May 13, 2005

adventure motorcycling

maybe its just work, but I"ve got a real itch to get out on the bike again! this seems to parallel, very closely to what we did on street bikes in BC last summer. if we want to go the adventure route we should check into call of the wild!

ahh.. here is a must get. 15$ for the rhino mount. I wonder if its crap or if it will hold up to the rigors of the bike or if it is of the $14.99 quality it is for sale for?

i'll check it out anyway

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

no cat is one method of making a shared wireless 802.11b network. I like the quote from albert einstein

Friday, May 06, 2005


HERE is another good story of riding, this time in Australia. one of my favorite parts goes something like this:

At Airlie Beach I sailed for three days through the Whitsunday Islands on a charter yacht, a break from the bike and a rest for my bony arse. I met this crazy German guy Frank on the boat; he had just ridden from Perth to Cairns in 12 days. 5000 Kilometres straight across Australia, the mad mad bastard. He had so much luggage he couldn't manage it in the deep sand of the Gibson, and nearly ditched it before bumping into a 4x4 which offered to carry it for him. I nearly pissed myself when he pulled out his mask and snorkel on the boat. Yep, he'd brought that across the desert as well. We swapped stories and I began to wonder what the hell I'd let myself in for.


Here is a little story about an xr650 and a UK rider that survived the paris - dakar race. a must read for the motorcycle enthusiast.

BMW 1200GS

A review of the bike (i think) will be visiting my place. I look forward to it!


zoom in on the universe HERE

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

pela 6000 oil extractor

I got a pela 6000 oil extractor. it holds about 1.5 gallons. its for chaning the oil in the TDI since i'm sick of taking the belly pan off (now full steel). gave it a shot today, worked fine. i'm sure it will come in handy for other odd ball tasks that require something to suck.

I payed 35 or $40 for the pela (got a link off of but in retrospect I could have got one for around 25$ from harborfreight but the one from harbor freight look like it comes with a crappy hose. the end of the hose on the pela is rigid and rams right down the oil check hole perfect.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

plaque on pioneer 10

[click to make big]

I found this on what were they thinking in the 70's?!!!! what are alians going to think of the human bodies next to 8 in binary. what is that suppose to mean anyway! I'm from earth and its alian. I think they should have sent the probe on a boomerang path so we could get a good look of what we were like in the 70's and see just how far we have come, or not.

small planes

I found a good write up HERE about little planes. amazingly they built planes with around a 7 foot wingspan and 10 feet long. I think thats smaller than my car (15 foot long, 6 foot wide? i'll have to measure it when I get home). if I could find a kit for a plane that would fit in a parking stall I could see some real appeal to that.

cell phone

after almost 2 months of filling out paperwork and waiting, I think the cell phone from work is on the the way. I was assigned a phone number, so I consulted this website to see where my phone was local to. I think they got it off by one county so I'll have to call up and change my prefix. fun fun!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

wifi channels

the appartment has a motorola wifi access point to cable adapter thinggy-mo-bop. the entire apartment complex seems to be on either 1, 6 or 11. (seems kind of odd, but not when you understand that we really only have 3 wifi channels in the US. i'll take that over the 1 that is allowed in japan.

I was having trouble staying connected, so I rummaged around for the logon and pw to the thing and changed the channel. hmm.. what to change it to, there is about equal interference on all channels. I tried 11 and it works like a champ. so... mental tech note to self. when there is wifi conflicts, with equal interference the higher channels are better than the lower ones. I dunno if this is a lucky coincidence. what channel do you guys use?

scientific papers.

someone at the office said I should wait for them in their office and they'd come by and talk with me. I waited for about 10 minutes. after I got done going through all of their useless crap I went into the hallway by the cube and started going through the bookshelf. this place has all kinds of interesting books, located throughout the building. as far as I can tell the people that work here think they are for decoration. last time I was here I read one on nuclear weapons. a small pamplet written from the japanese perspective. really interesting. this time I grabbed a book.

How to write and publish a scientific paper, by Rober A. Day. second edition, 1983.

in the back, they have a list of 'words and expressions to avoid'. on page 169 (near the end of the book) it has a little quote.

Sermons on brevity and chastity are about equally effective. Verbal promiscuity flows from poverty of language and obesity of thought, and from unseemly haste to reach print-- a premature ejaculation, as it were.
-Eli Chernin

Monday, April 25, 2005


now that my shed project is coming to a close, I need to get a new project. kevs building a projector, maybe I'll build a

dual sport rides

I was cruising the net looking for pics of dualsport rides and ran across this article on awesome little story. I'd settle for just going across nevada and back.

recharge the card

We have all had the magnetic strips on our credit cards wear out, I'm sure I"m not the only one. the usual solution is to just call up the credit card company and have them send you a new one. Personally I think it is due to sitting on it all the time and wearing off the magnetic material, but lately I've heard some other theorys.

Today, I tried to use my card and it didn't work in the tellers machine. the teller said it was due to heightened security and the airport had the metal detectors turned on full blast and that was what erased it (yeah right). its funny it works fine at the gas pumps, but not at the grocery store.

A few weeks ago, when I was in ohio and the card didn't work the teller at subway put it in a plastic sack, jumbled it around, took it out and it magically worked again. weird.

then today, it didn't work so the teller at the GIANT EAGLE asked if I wanted to do the 'bag trick' on it. by the way, we have nick named the store 'big bird' and 'screaming eagle' but one of my Coworkers says thats the name of harley aftermarket parts company, but I digress.

So I grab a plastic sack, throw my card in it and shake it around a bit. the teller looks at me like I'm insane (hey, it was her that suggested it...) for her, the 'bag trick' is to put in the plasic bag and then swipe it through the reader IN THE BAG. amazingly it worked. this ohio place is kinda strange.

high temp solder

an informal writeup on high temperature solders specifically in use in down hole applications. it was written from a techs point of view.. pretty good

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Onion Eyes

Someone, I wont say who, told me that the reason onion vapors burn your eyes is because it turns to sulfiric acid in your eye. Now however unlikely I may think this is (the eye just has salt water in it, right?) I would like to make an onion -> sulfiric acid converter so I can turn my onions (with the addition of the now universally accepted TOXIC LEAD) into car batterys. if you run across a reaction that says this whole onion -> acid conversion is real post me a reaction! this goes nicely with my whole organic power mentality I have been feeling as of late.

Windows Security

I got up this morning with high hopes of traveling in style today. The plan was to copy a few shows/movies onto the laptop and watch them during my 7 hours of coporate travel that was to commence at 12:00 noon.

I tried to connect to my home network, but was unable to because the laptop had already been joined to the corporate domain. so I reset it to my domain, restarted, and logged in.

I TRIED to login, but my logon was tied to the domain that I just disconnected from. I had no root (admin) access, and no one told me the admin password. I was leaving for the airport in 20 minutes, and now the laptop was useless!

I fired up google, burnt out the first linux NT recovery tool I could find and left for the airport. no movies, and now a piece of rubbish laptop that woudn't let me login!

at the airport I reset the admin password, added my own admin access and was up and running in about 10 minutes.

there was some warning about how loss of data could commence when I reset the password, but a laptop that own't let me login is useless, so I took the risk. no matter any way, I can get most of what I need with web access and with a linux mepis liveCD in the laptop bag I was reasured by the fact that if the hard drive was taken out and run over by a car I'd still be able to start linux with the CD and get most of what I needed done.

moral of the story? every laptop bag should have a copy of mepis in it as well as a boot cd or floppy for 'fixing' admin rights. mepis may have that tool in it, I didn't take the time to look.

Geese in turbines

I've been doing so much flying (can't you tell) that I can't stop thinking about failure modes of the plane. I have been wondering what happens when a canadian goose gets sucked in/through the turbine? I'm sure it has to happen. The turbine must be able to handle it because I can't recall off the top of my head any commercial flight losing an engine and having to limp in underpowered.

I don't have web access right now, so maybe one of you guys can look it up for me!

Flying Cars

One of my friends (mike) says according to paul harvey there will be a flying car for sale by the fall for about $50k. I've seen a flying car written up in pop. science, and pop. mechanics a while ago, but last I heard you couldn't drive (fly?) it without a private pilots license.

for $50k I think I might just have to chip in and get one of these. any of you guys heard rumors of flying cars going on sale?

organic photovoltaics

I've got another far fetched business venture idea, the problem is I've not seen the technology to make it possible.

I need some kind of plant or chemical (besides traditional and expensive semiconductors) that exhibit the photo Voltaic effect. this is where direct conversion from light (most often sunlight) results in electron movement, or electricity. We see this effect every day in solar powered calculators, solar powered lights in front of your house, and solar street signs.

I want to GROW an entire field of a plant that exhibits this effect and in basic terms.. just plug my field into the power grid. at 15Cents per KwH if some plant, even at a few percent effecient conversion, I might be able to make money. and hey, with the government paying you to not grow stuff I'll just have them pay me to not grow during the winter months and I'll make money all year.

maybe the miricle plant could double as silage for cows, or be used to make ethanol or something so after my field was all juiced out I could sell the plant for another use!

any ideas? I need the biologists and chemists to chime in, you know who you are. if you know how to do it i'll cut you in on the profits! =)


Jen and I went over to one of our friends places and helped him read dates on pennies. He's got a penny collection that is probably worth a few thousand dollars. We had a great time sorting and what not, trying to optimize our process. its funny, highly educated people tend to want to spend more time doing optimization than actually doing work, but we sorted about 1500 pennies in and hour or so. I think we found about 200 that he added to his collection.

this spurred an interest in coins, so I did some quick research on the new state quarters. jen and I have already been working on a collection of random state quarters. we don't care much about quality, or place that it was minted, we just want the pretty picture on the back.

it turns out the US mint is spitting out MANY MORE of these state quarters than origionally intended because they estimate 150MILLION people are now collecting them? I may have that number wrong, but it was high.

a state quarter in excellent condition (basically uncirculated?) is now worth $1, so I'd encourage you guys to start hanging on to them. if you don't want them, i'll buy em from you (for face value of course =). the early ones are harder to get now.

I'm thinking of buying the full silver PROOF state quarters. they sell for 11$ from the mint each. that should be fun. am I nuts?

What do you guys collect?

Airport Wireless

Where is a starbucks when you need it? I thought they had something that if you got a cup of coffee you could get 1/2 hour of wifi access for free (well, as free as it can be when the coffee costs $5), but i have yet to see starbucks or ANYONE with food at the airport offer wifi access with a purchase. maybe I just haven't looked hard enough.

the vast majority of the airports I have been in do NOT have free internet wifi access. most of them have this annoying open wifi access point that once you connect, all HTTP requests are sent to a page that prompts you to purchase wifi access for 6 or 9 or 12 dollars, depending on the airport. how lame. I've been to atlanta, cleveland, mineapolis (sp?), phoenix, houston, and las vegas. of all of those, las vegas was the only open access point that I can remember.

for a future business venture, I think I'll rent a locker in the airport for $5 a month or what ever it costs, and call up the cable company and have cable installed in my locker. then i'll put my own access point in there and sell access for 3$. actually I'll make the first 15min free (and track by mac address or something). then make a deal with all of the food people in the vicinity of my locker. that way people can add a 'wifi sandwich' to their meal and get access. you see, on cooporate travel I can charge food to the company card no problem, but i'm not so sure about internet access. such a solution should solve everyones problems.