Thursday, March 29, 2007

Driving Directions

Between Seattle, Washington and London, UK
6,800 Miles and 31 days 4 hours
Step 18 is going to be tough though.

Thanks Google

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Good Lordy

Just in case you were wondering 2:45 AM is way to freakin' early to get up. I am setting in the Plant at North Bend waiting for anybody to show up. I was told that I MUST be here by 4:30 if I was going to help with their problem. It is now 4:45 and I have seen no one save the security guard.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's Back

My 360 is back in my possession. A day later than promised, but a day earlier than expected. Now I just have five hours of work to go before I see if I have a functioning device.

UPDATE: So the 360 is working but now Live is down!!!! I want my Castlevania!!!!

Flying Sharks

I watched the first episode of Planet Earth last night. Sorry about the lameness of the link but Discovery HD does not seem to have a page devoted to the series. I highly recommend anyone with access to a High Definition Television check it out. The episode I watched was called Pole to Pole and featured visuals from the North Pole to the South Pole. It was a week theme for the episode but the visuals were amazing.

  • The world's rarest cat: the Amur leopard
  • Mating dance of a Bird of Paradise
  • The first hunt of African hunting dogs caught on film
  • A Great White Shark jumping completely out of the water
The first three episodes aired last Sunday but are being replayed in heavy rotation. The next three episodes are scheduled for this Sunday.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Now that is what Willis was talkin' about!!!

Much spoilage on the season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica. Consider yourself warned.

So Saul Tigh, Samuel Anders, Galen Tyrol, and Tory Foster are Cylons. I am not sure if the characters know they are Cylons or if the just suspect they are Cylons. Since the show has set up some Mystical Mumbo Jumbo in the past, it could be that is the actual reasoning behind the music and the meeting. Then again the people the have experienced the MMJ, has been Tyrol and Thrace. And since Thrace just returned from a certain "death", she could be the last Cylon model so all of the MMJ could just be programming.

Having these four be Cylons does bring up some interesting stuff:

  • The three main leaders of the Cylon occupation of New Caprica were all Cylons.
  • Hera is not the only Human-Cylon hybrid.
  • There have been human models alot longer then expected, if Tigh has been in the service for 40 years. It is my understanding the Cylons were just created 50 years ago.
  • Did Tory leave Hera for the Cylons on New Caprica on purpose?
  • Are Cylons attracted to each other? Tyrol/Boomer, Sam/Starbuck?, Sam/Tory
  • 20% (or more) of the Cylon models were on a ship scheduled to be decommissioned when the attack on the colony happened.
Lee finally gets a back bone and has probably his best scene of the entire show, but in doing so airs a bunch of dirty laundry to the fleet. Now that the legal system is up again do you see a civil suit for all the "forgiven" shit that has gone down?

To the surprise of no one, Starbuck returns. Does this mean that she is a Cylon? Only the creators no for now I guess :( I was really hoping that she would have been wearing a white version of her uniform. If there are any fans of the original series reading this they know what I'm talking about.

UPDATE: Ronald says they are!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Finally a compelling reason to own a PS3

Sony just released a new firmware update and new new free application. The free application is called Folding @ Home. It is a distributing computer application that is being used to sequence DNA to look for a cure for Alzheimer. Well according to Gizmodo, adding the idle PS3's to the mix has tripled the available processor cycles and that is with just 14,000 units online.

A good idea?

Today's Onion Radio News has a story about a "New Bill Will Send Illegal Immigrants To Iraq". I know this was posted as a joke but why is this a bad idea? Why not have a new path opened up to US citizenship for any qualified candidate that signs up for four years of military service. I would keep the existing paths to citizenship, and would just use this as an alternate path. I know this is not a new idea, since it was used as the motivation to join the service in Starship Troopers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How we Wii

Popular Science has an article on how the Wii Remote works. Nothing ground breaking but still cool.

Long week

The stupid pink flowering trees are flowering again. So my allergies are acting up.

I was at the plant in North Bend until 7 PM on Monday. Went to help my mom with some computer problems in The Dalles on Tuesday. And I had to be back for a 9 AM for a meeting on Wednesday. Tomorrow I get to fly to Spokane for a project kickoff. The original plan was to drive to Spokane, so at least I am spared the ordeal of that 10 hour round trip car ride. Friday I get to try and squeeze 5 days of work into 1 day.

On my trip to The Dalles, I listened to "The Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell". It is a very unusual book. It relies heavily on quantum physics as both the narrative topic and the narrative force. The majority of the book seems to just ramble on and on about things that just seem to mean nothing. There is a point in the book were they spent 15+ minutes discussing the creation of a new drink...

Flaming Rum Monkey
Put a teaspoon of brown sugar, a sprinkling of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and a teaspoon of coconut syrup (the kind used in pina coladas) in a warm mug. Add a little boiling water--just enough to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture steep for a minute. Pour in two ounces of dark Jamaican rum and one ounce of dark creme de cacao. Fill the mug with boiling water and stir.

Now for the flames! Put a pinch of brown sugar in a big spoon. Fill the spoon with 151 rum. To warm the rum, hold the spoon over the mug filled with hot water.

Light the rum in the spoon. Tip the spoon into the mug. The mixture in the mug will burn with a lovely blue flame.

Don't singe your eyebrows. Don't burn your tongue. Blow out the flames and try a sip of your Rum Monkey. Hot, sweet, and touched with coconut. Enjoy your Rum Monkey and dream of possibilities.

So the thing is the real author of the book is a minor character in the book. The book itself is about an author that is being pursued on a luxury liner by two of his pen names come to life. Kind of weird huh.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hockey Night in Canada

This Saturday the gang and I went to see a hockey game in Vancouver. It was the Canucks vs the Red Wings. Since there were eight of us we decided a road trip was in order. And to make this a proper road trip, we even had a "it's just rental" moment. The hotel had an underground garage for us to park in. The height level of the garage was 6 feet 5 inches. The problem is the van was 6 feet 6 inches. Jim managed to scraped the top of the van. It was a white van so the scraped off paint did not show up, so returning the van should not be an issue.

We walked around downtown Vancouver in the rain. Had a great time, ate at a Greek restaurant for Liner (or is that Dunch). We stopped at this strange underground mall on the way back to the hotel. It was in the process of being remodeled, but was still pretty upscale. It was also pretty much all below street level.

As you can see, we had OK seats. The view was good but kind of high up. This picture was taken during the the player warm-up.

While this one was take during the first period.

Everybody loves the Zamboni. Not sure why, but they do. There is scientific studies that prove it. I'm sure that it was good old American grant money that was spent studying things that everyone knows.

Something I was not prepared for - Flying Killer Whale!!! I saw Orca, those thing are scary. And now they can fly and drop movie passes to "Blades of Steel"
The crowd was fairly rowdy. There was an problem during the second period when someone above us was throwing things at two Red Wing fans that were below us. Even after they were asked to stop the throwing continued, so they through a beer at the loudest group of fans. These fans of course returned the favor. This beer was not as thrown as well and managed to get some on us. There was a shouting match that ended up with ejections on both sides. The problem was that they apparently did not take the tickets of ejected parties because the Canucks fans were back by the third period laughing about the security. Thankfully no beer more beer was flying the rest of the game.

The final score of the game was 4-1 Canucks. The Red Wings fans among us felt this was because the Red Wings were sitting all of their stars so the they would be rested for upcoming conference games. I don't know if that is true, but I do know that the Canucks took them to school.

After the game, we went back to the hotel and ordered pizza and pasta. We took the food up the activity room were we could all comfortably hang.

I may not have mentioned that Saturday was St. Patrick's Day. Jim (2.0) has on his 101 in 1001 day list to drink a green beer on St. Patrick's Day. So the Jims, Jason (Duece) and I went looking for some green beer. On our way we found the results of a pretty spectacular accident. Unfortunately my pictures did not turn out so you will have to deal with my less than thousand word description. Basically a white SUV crashed in to a parked black SUV and then continued on in to a shop window. The black SUV was hit so hard that it pivoted 90 degrees.

I was very impressed at the crowds at the bars and pubs in downtown Vancouver. It made sense that all of the Irish pubs would have a long wait to get in, but all of the bars seemed to have a 30 minute wait to get in. Well at least for us normal folk. We did see a professionally dressed lady spit and slap in the face of a bouncer.

We basically gave up on finding the beer and were heading back when we found an off the beaten path bar, that was closing in 30 minutes but it did have green beer.

As you can tell Jim likes to bogart the alcohol.

Jim did get his green beer. I never did get a good explanation for why he had a crayon behind his ear. I am thinking he is hoping that we would eat at another restaurant with paper on the table like the Greek restaurant we had Linner at.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Pi Day George

Yesterday was George's Birthday. Since he is the kind of person that would not volunteer that kind of information, I thought I would let the world know.

Well at least our small part of the world know.

I was a little disappointed that he did not remain clueless very long. About 20 minutes after putting up the sign, someone comes in and points at the sign and says "Which George?" Way to not follow directions. These are the kinds of people that make us have warning labels that say thinks like "Do not iron clothes while wearing them."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

RSS Reader showdown

A couple of months ago, I was talking about my love of bloglines and how it had transformed my websurfing in the same way that Tivo had changed my TV watching. Well I was bored on a job site waiting for someone else to catch up to me so I decided to check out Google Reader again. I liked what I saw the first time I checked it out, but every time I would go and check out the new messages on a feed it would display all of the messages not just the new ones. After so tinkering, I found the "show only new message toggle" which made it a much more pleasurable experience.

Things I liked:
- Post's original formating is kept intact. Bloglines tends to show all html code as if you are viewing it with Notepad. After all formatting is for fancy ass programs like Word.
- Embedded videos actually show up. Not only do they not show up in Bloglines there is no indication they are even in the original post.
- Able to go to next post/page by pressing the space bar. Makes lunch time reading more convenient.
- Able to star articles that I find interesting so that I can come back and look at them latter.

Things I hate:
- VERY SLOW update time on some feeds. I first noticed this when I was asked about a post on a feed I read. I knew I was up to date, so I went to the originating site and saw many posts that I had not seen. I then checked Bloglines and saw that it too showed the post in question. Then on Saturday, I was doing a comment check run through the blogs kept by people I know and noticed that Technogreek had added a post 5 + hours ago and I had not seen squat. After some searching on-line and my own massive experience I think that they way Google looks at feeds is based on how many people are subscribed to the feed. I am guessing this because the feeds that are popular are the ones that seem to have quick updates, but my friend's feed seem to be dog slow.
- Unable to publish a list of my feeds. I am able to publish articles that I think are interesting which is kind of cool.

I had made up my mind to go back to Bloglines, but in the process of doing so I managed to delete all of my feeds. PEBCAK. So for right now I am going to stick with using both of them for right now, with Google Reader being used for the major sites and Bloglines being used for the friend sites.

I somehow doubt I will mention if I make a change again :)

UPDATE: So I am still liking Google Reader, but I liked to have my feeds listed. So I figured out how to export my Google Reader feeds and re-import to Bloglines. So you can once again check out my 88+ feeds here.

Red Ring O' Death

I decided I wanted to play a little 360 last night. Only 2.0 was online, but when I went to look at his gamer score the screen when blank. When I restarted the machine it came up with the "Red Ring of Death" I was tired and kind of pissed so I did not want to deal, so I left the research into what to do next until today. I found this site that looks helpful.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Travel Adventures

I finished up in LA quicker than my planed Wednesday departure, so I decided to try and get out of town earlier. Before making a final decision I checked the Alaska Air Website and discovered that there were seats available on all of the afternoon flights out of LAX. If you have ever flown out of LAX to Seattle, you may have noticed that there is a flight an hour between 3 PM and 10 PM, so I felt my chances of getting home on Standby were pretty good.

Little did I know the 11:30 AM flight was going to be canceled due to mechanical difficulties. Because of this standby was not going to be an option. So when I arrived at the airport at 1 PM, I was forced to pay a change fee to get a seat on the 5:30 flight. I was only able to do this much because of my MVP status with Alaska Air. Without this I would have had to get tickets on the 8:30 PM flight.

Well I found a quiet little corner of the airport and played a little Final Fantasy III on the DS while I listening to Stephen King's Cell on my iPod. After a bit I noticed that my battery was running out on the DS, so I went hunting for an outlet. While looking to find an unused outlet I noticed that my 5:30 flight had now been delayed until 7:00. I decided to play it safe and check with customer service. They told me that the plane was having mechanical problems in Seattle and had not even left yet. He put me on the Standby list for the 7:20 flight because there was no way I was going to get on the 6:40 flight.

So at 7:00 PM I am waiting for them to call my name off the standby list when I notice that there is no plane at the gate. Since they are supposed to be boarding this is not a good sign. It turns out this was supposed to be the second flight out for the plane that was canceled this morning. The good news was the plane was fixed. The bad news was they were having problems getting the plane moved to the gate. At about 8 PM they call out a bunch of names off the standby list. Mine was not on the list. So I am hovering by the desk waiting for the next batch when I here my name over the PA telling me to go to gate 33B for a seat assignment. I push myself through the crowd at 32, to stand in line at 33B. After about 10 minutes I get to the front of the line and they have no idea why they would have paged me to go to that desk since they were going to Vancouver, she suggested I try gate 34 since it was going to Seattle. This was of course the 8:30 flight that I would have gotten tickets on if I had not been an MVP.

I get over there when I over hear them say to grab the next names off the standby list since no one showed up. I quickly speak up that I had gone to Gate 33B like the message had said. She turns around and looks where she was and says "Opps". So I did get a seat on the plane. It was a middle seat... Next to a crying infant... Whose mother did not speak English and did not understand that the area underneath the seat in front of me was for MY carry-on luggage... Next to a smelly old lady... That had never learned that if I have my headphones on it is because I don't want to talk about your vegetable garden...

Well I made it home without killing anyone. I even had 35 minutes to spare until being forced to say that I came home on Tuesday.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Welcome to the 300 Club

Went to see 300 today and it was freakin' awesome!!!

Before I get in to the details of the movie, I wanted to talk about the journey that I took to get to see the film. It was not quite up to Homer's scope but it was at least mildly entertaining. Well at least to me. :)

Last Saturday, George mentioned that the Stop had gotten in passes to see a sneak preview of 300 on Tuesday and were we interested in having them. The answer was of course not yes but Hell Yes! With passes in hand I sent out the call to arms and it was answered by six of the usual suspects.

The original plan was that Jim D. was going to me me at my place at 4:45 from there we were going to pick up Beau and Mary Anne at 5:15 and Quiana at 5:30 and meeting Dawn and Jason at the theater at 6. As always plans never survive the battlefield.

You see I had scheduled to sign the papers on my refinance on Tuesday as well but that was at 10 AM. When I got in the morning, I found out that I need to go down to Boeing Auburn and that I needed to be there before 11. There was no way I was going to get both done, so I called the Title Company and asked to reschedule. At first they only had 4:30 available, but I would not have been able to meet up with Jim in time to get the 300 train on the track. luckily they called back and were able to schedule a 3 PM signing. While I was there Jim called and asked if I would be able to start a bit earlier, since he needed to stop at the Stop on the way. Since I had left work early anyway it was easy for me to meet him at 4:15. Well the stop at the Stop was much quicker then expected so we were at Beau's at 4:45 and Quiana's at 5. We took much shit from everyone for being early.

We arrived at Pacific Place at at about 5:20 and at that time the line wound around the top of the atrium. Well to make a long story shorter, after an hour plus wait we were about 15 people short for getting in. The evening was not a total waste because Jason took us all out to the Dragonfly (an aSian restaurant). Thanks again Jason.

So the moral of this overly long story is that if we had arrived when we were scheduled to we would not have even been allowed in the line since it had been capped by the management by that time. We still would not have seen the movie but we would have missed out on all the line enforced bonding.

While I was waiting for the non-movie, I had finally received word that the long planned but unfunded trip to LA was actually going to happen. So I knew I was not going to be able to see the movie with the regular gang. But since I was going to be a short two hours from San Diego, I figured that I would try and see the flick with Drew and Stacy. This of course meant that I was going to have to get two days of work done in one, but I was game. To do this I stayed late on Friday and went in early on Saturday. I was able to get everything I needed to get done but not all I wanted to. I got up early this morning and headed to SD. It was actually earlier then I like since this was the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. I got to see Drew and Stacy's house. It was nice.

Now the movie...

Last weekend I pulled the issues of 300 out of the comic boxes since I had not read them since the original issue had come out. Because of this I was able to notice some of the changed and missing elements of the story. The biggest change was addition of the subplot of the wife and "McNulty". I am not fond of this addition because it takes away from the narrative of having the last Spartan telling the story of the last stand since he was not there he should not know what happened. Then again how did the narrator know what happened after he left? I guess I should not look too deep. And that end credit sequence was cool. Frank Miller's art made 3D and brought to life.

To blog or not to blog

I had the need to go back and look for a link that I knew that I had blogged in the past. In the process of this, I realized that I kind of liked having a historic record of what I was doing and when I was doing. So even though I never seem to have time that I want to spend on this endeavor, for the sake of future generations I feel that I must...

OK the real reason I am going to start blogging more is that I have been working on a personal improvement project. For years I have been a pretty fair hunt and peck typer. Well I have been using a copy of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 17 for a couple weeks and now find my self needing more practice. While I use a computer at work, my job does not require me to do much real typing since most of the programing I do is mouse driven. So let this be my first official non-hunt and peck blog post.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What are the odds of that?

Interesting factoid from the Sci-Am Podcast:

If you drive 10 miles to pick up a lotto ticket, you are 12 times more likely to die in an auto accident then you are to win the jackpot...

Now you know why I always buy 12 tickets.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Water to Snow

This is Freakin cool.

This footage was shot at Mount Washington Observatory on March 6, 2007. Water was boiled to a temperature of approx. 200F and then thrown into the air which was at -35F. This turned it to snow instantly. The video has shots in real time and shots in infrared to show the water leaving the objects hot then dissipating in the cold air without touching the ground. Mount Washington Observatory is a nonprofit, member supported organization. For more information visit:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Necco Sweethearts

I just finished my last box of Valentine's Day candy. I think just I shed a little tear.

Is The Lake House so bad it's cool?

I have not actually seen the Lake House, although I do have a small desire to see it since it apparently has something to do with time travel and I am such a mark for time travel movies. Though I have not actually seen the movie, I am under the impression that it blow quite large chucks. The thing that is weird is that I just watched two different TV shows back to back (The Class and Gilmore Girls), that referenced The Lake House as a bad movie that you can't turn away from.