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.

no transmitters

I'm sure you guys have all heard it, but I've heard it at lest 20 times in the last month. When the door to the plane closes you have to shut off your cell phone and other unapproved electronic devices until the plane lands and an attendant instructs it is now OK to turn it back on.

halfway through the flight (at about 33,000 feet) the lady next to me pulls her cell phone out of her purse. she never turned it off. she proceeded to scroll through her txt messages and put it back in her purse (without turning it off of course).

interesting to say the least.

2 minutes later she again rummaged through her purse, and pulled out a blackberry (wireless email/PDA $500 piece of crap thinggy....) and proceeded to scroll through and check her messages. she also returned it to her purse without turning it off.

I was going to say something to her, but I don't really agree with the whole turning transmitters thing off. I'm sure high power transmitters COULD screw up the nav/coms systems on the plane, but a few hundred 2W phones should be fine.

If RF devices really did cause problems with the plane don't you think they would do an RF sweep when the brought the drink cart by? I think so.

That reminds me of another story. I think I was traveling with Jen... I can't remember. anyway, there was a guy just a few seats up. he had like 3 drinks, and during landing (50 feet from the runway) his cell phone started to ring and he answered it. this story also goes to show that cell phones (from what I've seen) don't do jack to the plane.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

'93 xr650L

as some of you may or may not know, in my spare time I peddle (inside term that means: to push slowly).. I peddly my bike around, on and mostly off road. yesterday I had a quick run to homedepot to get more hardware for the shed project and while hanging a left hand turn some guys almost took me out.

the thing that makes me totally peeved is even AFTER he saw that I was turning he continued to attempt to pull in front of me and block me (I was pulling into where he was pulling out). I pretty much had no where to go so I Just road up over the sidewalk and kept going. what a loser. for all you non riders out there, please give us a break. just because we look underpowered doesn't mean we don't crunch when you run us over. I know some bikers deserve being run over but the vast majority of us do not.

heres what I usually look like while riding. its not, me, or my bike, but some guy that found himself in a similar situation.

ohio #3

on sunday I leave for ohio for the third and hopefully near final trip to the smoldering armpit of what many call the east. I'm a fan of the mid west, the west, and the far west. I'm sure some of you are going to correct me and say thats not far enough east to be considered east, but let me tell you. coming from the west coast, THATS EAST. to east for me.

given the opportunity, I'd rather relocate to texas than ohio. I had this conversation with jen that kinda got me in some troulbe. I relayed to her that there wern't as many ugly people in texas, (and by extension) more 'pretty' people. I had heard from an x-coworker that houston, and phoenix were both high on the 'pretty people' scale, and I Thought it was a bunch of crap until I was actually in houston to witness. yeah.. alot of normal people, but on average I think more of the women survive on slimfast or nothing at all than in other areas of the US, (such as the yucky east coast)

OK.. OK... I"ve stepped on more than enuf toes I'm sure, and with my luck i'll be moving to the east coast before I die, so I"ll just quit now.

oh yeah.. the point of it all. I'm leaving for ohio on sunday, returning thurs night. this weekend I was able to completely cut the end of the shed off and make two swinging door, and a 6foot wide ramp to drive the motorcycles right into it! yeah.. it looks like it was designed and constructed by an electrical engineer, but I'm proud of it. so proud in fact i'll post some pics when I get a chance. 8x16 foot of wonderous SHED. legal limit is 120 sqft, so i'll let you do the math and determine my punishement.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I found this on a website jen linked to on her site. so kev, did you send this in? [i'm a twin]

wine - dine -sixty.....

I'm in houston to see a supplier, and a customer. got in mid-day monday and spent the remainder of the day at the supplier. I didn't eat breakfast, I didn't have time to grab lunch, so you can imagine that by the end of the day (7pm) I was pretty starving. well woulnd't you know, this specific place in houston does NOT have any good food. I drove 10 miles in every direction. there stores, residential, business's, your normal mix of city and what not, but there are NO restraunts. its the most pitiful thing I have ever seen. I'm a guy with a company credit card looking to get some FOOD (40-60$ meal) and theres no place to go.

I was very distressed, and it was in tears I pulled into a little ceasers pizza place and ordered a plane cheese pizza (already made). I was too hungry to wait for one with toppings. and woulnd't you know it, NO CRAZY BREAD. they said I could get in line and wait but there were already 6 people waiting for the next batch so I stood little to no chance of getting any, so I took my 6$ large pizza and headed back to the hotel.

now thats just one sad story, I can assure you.

combine that with the fact that the hotels 'fancy hot meal' consists of some random meat the looks like turds.

again, at the end of the day I'm still in the same area. and I know whats in 10 miles each direction, and theres NOTHING (save one gentlemans club that serves steak but jen would kill me, so I had to rule that one out.)

ahh.. the power of the internet. at the hotel on the wireless G network I pulled up look at an area, sub search for mexican and WALLA..... address and directions to a hole in the wall place to eat. 1.8 miles down the street that I NEVER would have found. food was 6 out of 10 (compare that with twinsburg oh's 3 out of 10 raiting). not great, but definatly edible. the entire meal was a measly 7$ so I left a 10$ tip. it was some girl working tables, and I think it was just her mom in the kitchen cooking. if the company gives me crap about the tip I'll pay it. they were nice people and deserved it.

This nock off almost chain hotel uses wireless G networking. the fact it is G is really irrelevant, I just mention it because its the first commercial use of G that I have seen. everyone is still stuck on B. heres the interesting thing. there was no WEP which means next time you need to look something up and need to find a hotspot, just park at a hotel in the parking lot and see if you can get on the net. I know.. seems simple enough.. I just never thought of it. so next time you think of it you'll know you didn't think of it, I did, and your regurgitating info that I thought of first =)

cruise in time

jen (my wife) and I scheduled a cruise for the end of may. my twin and his wife will actually join us so it should be a TON of fun. after all this corporate travel I figured I needed to SCHEDULE time away from the plant/company so they couldn't milk me for more than they were paying me.

today I got an email for huge week long project that got rescheduled for the end of may. I was suppose to be part of it at the beginning of april but since all of this travel requirements came up it got rescheduled. as soon as I booked the cruise, I let my boss know I would be gone at the end of may, so its not like I'm ditching requirements. so you guessed it, they rebooked this super big project thing for the last week in May.

Ahhhhhhhh.............. big sigh of relief. I got out of that legit. I'm so happy! screw the fact its going to go on my review I missed it, I scheduled my vacation 2 months in advance and i'm TAKING IT!

short enuf?

I got a nice little story to tell the lot-o-ya.. I just now got a sec to type it up.

so if you read bellow, you will see that I did indeed travel through the las vegas airport. ahh... las vegas, the town of the new motto "what happens in vegas stays in vegas". what else could someone possibly say about a place like that? well I gotta little story that I'm sure at least half of you will say it should have stayed in vegas instead of ending up on da blog.

My fellow potential passengers and I were sitting in the staging area, waiting for some capsule of flying terror to land and let us trade places with those onboard. the plane landed, and began to expel passengers up the jetway and into the terminal. not having anything better to do at 11:30 at night I kept glancing at those leaving the plane, more of something to do keep me awake instead of looking for anything in particular.

then it happened.

two girls/women (whats the difference anyway?) exited the plane and walked to the main area of the airport. a hush fell over the area and I kid you not, everyones mouths were open. These two girls, with high heals and not much else, exited the plane like they were on some european catwalk just eating up the gazes. they both wore the tightest and SHORTEST shorts I have ever seen. you know how some bathing suits fit in a wallet without much trouble? you could have fit the entire wardrobe of BOTH women in a wallet with room for change to spare.

after they left the area some random person shouted out "where those shorts or underwear?!!!" and the more I think about it (I haven't given it THAT much thought) I would have to agree. definatly underwear. so that begs the statement "no shirt, no shoes, no service". in this case, pants were not required.

do you ladys think there should be a dress code for being in public or is partial nudity allowed?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

on the road again.....

i'm home for friday
next monday I leave for texas to interview a supplier, and then over to a customer to hear their side of the story
then i'm home (hopefully) for thursday, friday,
then i'm off again for 1, possibly two weeks (yet to be determined) back to ohio.

planes suck, or I should say not having my own plane sucks.

I will have been on the road (away) for 6 or 7 weeks.

the moral of the story is, don't ever say "yeah.. I could fix that" cause your boss just may take you up on it!

second moral, don't do too good of a job, cause he'll want you to go back.... again... again.... and again....

theres a few other customers in canada and china and what not. at this rate I might as well at least touch down in every country I can.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

home away from home

yesterday the lady showed up to clean the apartment/condo thing. she cleaned absolutly EVERYTHING and i'm pretty sure she made my bed (which I havne't made in a week) with new sheets. she left a nice little note about how she called in the two broken faucet handles, which we had called in twice before and were not fixed, but she got them fixed.

i'm not sure how much these 3 bedroom 2 bath condos are, but i'm guessing around $2-3k a month. I still felt like leaving a tip for the lady, and I probalby would if I were here next time shes here (once a week?) but alas.. I get to go home tomarrow! oh yeah.. she even did our dishes and took out the trash. finally got a 3rd roomate last nite. I've done work with him before. he played the TV in the master sweet a long time and since he came from 3 timezones away I think he was up till about 1am getting aclamated. sucked for me. but I already told super boss dude I aint going in early. I gave my car keys to the other animal I work with and he went in at 6. i'm catching a ride with boss dude at 8.

for dinner last night we went to a crappy little mexican place. I use the term mexican loosely because anyone with a freezer and microwave could give this place a serious run for their money. the parking lot was packed so I had high hopes that my initial raiting (3 weeks ago) of a 3 out of 10 was a fluke. after dining or should I say surviving.. the 3 of us still agreed that the raiting of 3 out of 10 was fair. in death I think the raiting should always be reduced to a 2, so that gives you some idea of our raiting system.

going home.. going home... I can't wait. out of the last 6 weeks I will have been away from home/"normal work" for 4 weeks. I talked with one guy who has only seen his family for 3 days in the last month. thats screwed up. its one thing if you want that kind of life but a totally different thing if thats your job and thats what you get.

the rest of you blogging guys need to keep posting stuff! i'm outa my gourd here, going crazy and I need your posts on nerdy tails of stupid stuff to make the day worth something!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

hertz hurtz

I posted over on nerdytales that I was going to get a rental car. I called up last night and had one booked in cleveland and was going to pick it up last night, but our group decided to pick it up this morning. we were able to find a hertz place online that was closer so I transfered my reservaction there and said I wanted the car there at 8am to be ready for pickup in the morning.

We went by work, the power is still out so we headed out to breakfast. we had a good breakfast, took our time and then headed out to find the rental car agency. after many wrong turns, and my terrible directions we were finally able to locate it.

we walked in and I asked for my car. he knew right away who I was because the office was very small and it looked like they didn't get much business so i'm sure there wasn't very many people listed in the system for pickups today. he appolgized and said he tried to call me (at the condo) but was unable to get throuhg so he rented my car to somoene else. now i'm only 2 hours late. and I never said I'd be there at exactly 8am (when they opened) to pick it up.

so I said.. no big deal. just bump me a class and get me a car. he said they couldn't do that. no more cars. well.. what about the 20 cars in the lot? those are all customer cars, they dn't have any rental cars. they have to get the cars they rent form the airport (45 min away, one way). so they had NOTHING.

well... no big deal. really, kinda irritating but we can come back later. so how about you just give me a map so I can find my way around your city? nope.. no map.

how about you give me a computer printout of my reservation so I have something to reference. sorry. cant do that.

how about you book me a neverlost GPS system to come with my car. sorry... no never losts are avialable.

then the people I'm traveling with decided we needed ANOTHER car (lots of people coming and going) so they want to book a mustang... nope.. sorry, not available at this location. but you get them from the airport, so just pick one up!.. nope.. sorry. can't rent from this location.

so basically, what do you always tell the customer?! well, if your hurtz its NO.

so we setup a new reservation for two cars to be ready no later than 5pm. we say repeatedly hold our cars. don't rent them out, we will be back. we are assured the cars will be here ontime.

we dink around for a few hours and come back at 4:30. yeah.. a tad early but since they screwed us so bad in the morning we figure they'd be ready. well.. not too surprisng was the fact they had NOTHING. the few cars they did get in during the day were not held. so we had to wait.

first car shows up, a mazda 3. an ok car. no big deal. my car is late, so out of respect i'm upgraded from bottom of the line to a ford focus. now i'm not one to complain but I asked what class the focus was and how it differed from a bottom of the line car and how exactly that was an upgrade of any kind. I was assured it was an upgrade (a much nicer car). and was like RIGHT.............. uh-huh

so the focus shows up. dirty as all get out and a smoker car. one of the guys I was with asked the girl if she could bump me to a pontiac that had just come in and they agreed.

I asked at the desk if they got me a map with my car (all rental cars come with maps) and the guy at the desk again explained how there were no maps. so I asked why he didn't get some from the rental car agency at the airport where they picked the car up and he said it was because they had no maps (right..... they rent 100's of cars and have no maps)

so he agreed to have one of the girls pick me up a map (for free I presume) from the gastation when they are topping the car off before they bring it in.. so good to his word he did get me a map.

bottom line. ended up with a midsize car, and a map (which they owed me for getting lost on the way any way) for around 155$ a week. not bad but i will NEVER be suprised when I get crap from hurtz again. my expectations are sub-teranian for this business and their is no way they can sink any lower. at least I hope not. i'll let you know how the return goes if there is problems in a week.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

mepis 3.3

I dunno if you guys have ever heard of a linux live cd, but basically its a linux distribution that you can boot and run off of a cd. they basically pack 2 gig worth of data onto a 700mb cdrom and then boot it and decompress and run it at the same time. it doesn't do anything to your hard drive... so no worrys about screwing up the corporate laptop.

heres the kicker. before I left for the trip I downloaded mepis 3.3 and burned the bootable cd. I used it to make a birthday computer for one of the juniors at church (pentiumIII,600mhz, 192mbram, 10gig hd, CRAPPY 8meg video, no sound cuase i couldn't get the drivers to work. my old 200$ 15" trinitron monitor)

so here I sit. in the condo, wondering if mepis will run on the company laptop. and sure enough it does! it actually runs BETTER than win2000. it found my wireless card in 1/2 the time and the connection 'feels' about 10 times as fast to the net. so i'm impressed. very impressed.. now if I can just figure out how to do the secureID connection (with nortel network client?) to the corporate system I'd be set. well.. I'd need something that was 100% compatible with the ms-exchange email system but who knows.. maybe thats on here to.