April 30, 2005
Jennifer and I assembled all of the Habitrail tubes for her gerbil "Snuggles" today. There's a scene in the movie Garden State where they show a sprawling maze of Habitrail tunnels similar to this Dr. Seuss inspired configuration. Note that Jennifer is sitting inside the 55 gallon aquarium with "Snuggles". She pointed out that we have too much space for just one gerbil and suggested we go buy some more gerbils to fill the void. She doesn’t miss a trick.
April 29, 2005
Mars rover stuck in sand dune
The Mars rover Opportunity got stuck in a sand dune on the back side of Mars. Kind of reminds me of Pismo Beach back in February. Fortunately, for me, the tide was going out...
New Millenium Dating Service
Based on the inadequacy of the current dating services out there, I created a new, more contemporary dating service. Times have changed, and the New Millenium Dating Service has changed to meet the new, unique challenges of modern dating.
Complete the simple 12 question personality assessment to see if we currently have a match for you in our database. It's free. What have you got to lose besides your dignity?
Jennifer: Guess what, daddy. Mommy said that today, if I’m good, I can get a new fishy.
Daddy: Yeah, sweetie. What kind of fishy?
Jennifer: I’m going to get a Beta.
Daddy: Where are you going to get one?
Jennifer: At PetsMart
Daddy: Don’t go to Walmart. Their fish are always sick.
Jennifer: I know Daddy. I’m getting good at picking them out. You have to get one that’s really active. His tail and his fins and his top fin have to move really good. That’s how you can tell that he’ll live a long time.
Daddy: How many have you had?
Jennifer: Probably about five.
Daddy: Sounds like you know how to pick ‘em.
Jennifer: I can’t get a hermit crab though. Momma says they don’t live long enough.
Daddy: How long do they live?
Jennifer: Well, the last one we go only lived for a week.
Daddy: He lived for a whole week?
Jennifer: Well...a weekend, I meant.
"Hey...Did you ever notice that the little woman tied to the tracks looks a lot like me?"
Everything we know about women
April 28, 2005
Digital RAW Image Controversy
Recently, Thomas Knoll of Adobe accused Nikon of encrypting the white balance information in the RAW image file for the D2X and D2Hs cameras. In doing so, a controversy that had been smoldering for some time erupted into a firestorm.
The problem of RAW proprietary formats is a very real problem that is on a path to becoming the Achilles' heel of digital photography. Non-compatible RAW image formats will unnecessarily cripple the explosive growth of the photographic community. Camera manufactures believe that they have a vested interest in encrypting their files as Joel Sposky explains here.
April 26, 2005
My next project is to set up the FTP server delivered as part of IIS with Windows XP Pro, as described in this article.
So, I did Start - Control Panel - Add Remove Programs - Add Remove Windows Components - selected IIS, clicked Details, and saw that FTP wasn't checked. So I checked it and clicked OK twice. The Windows Component Wizard ran and said it was happy, so I assume I have FTP available now.
I verified that I have a directory named c:\inetpub\ftproot.
US Bank Sucks!
Aside from how they treated me, here's scads of complaints. Don't do business with this company. They make most of their revenue by placings "holds" on deposits longer than allowed by Check 21, and then charging their "customers" (victims) outrageous fees when the have "insufficient funds" because of their unnecessary and illegal holds on deposits. I'm not making this up. It's how they do business, day in and day out. They f*ck their customers to generate revenue. Don't believe me? Read what these people have to say:
A Teardrop In Space
I have no idea what this is, or what the website says, but I found it today searching for information on how banks illegally collude via the Chexsystems scam, and it appears interesting enough that I want to look into it further. So, this is basically a glorified bookmark in Firefox.
If anyone gets a chance to review the infomation contained in the diatribe posted on the Teardrop website, please post comments. Thx.
Hmmm. OK. After reviewing the diatribe on his website, I've decided he's a socialist elitist, and possibly worse. Possibly a full-scale commie. But, the thing that I do like about his website, is he's got a fairly well-organized diatribe. I'm not saying I agree with any of his ideas, but I do commend him for presenting his delusional thoughts in an organized manner.
Betty Crocker Gets an AK47
Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again. New Florida law allows homeowners to use deadly force to protect themselves. Housewives standing in line to buy AK-47's. Liberals shocked. Career criminals fear for their lives.
April 25, 2005
Liger (bred for its skills in magic)
Napoleon Dynamite observed of a Liger that "It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic."
I didn't believe any such animal existed, but apparently I was mistaken. A male lion bred with a female tiger produces a sterile offspring named a Liger. Who knew?
Posted by Peenie Wallie on April 25, 2005 at 10:57 PM | Permalink
Canon EOS 20D
Lately, I've been getting an annoying error message from my Canon EOS 20D. The display blinks a cryptic 'Err 99' message on the display, and refuses to function.
I get the error message frequently enough that I looked it up in the manual. As it turns out, there are a total of six error messages for the camera. Err 01,02,03,04,05, and 99. For 'Err 99', the manual says this: 'Err 99: An error other than the above has occurred.' Nice. That pretty much clears it up. Thanks Canon. Good job.
Turning it off and back on resolves the problem, but if you're shooting people, they're standing there grimacing like 'hurry up and take the picture you moron' and you're thinking 'Christ I can't believe I've got three thousand dollars in this farking camera and it won't take a picture when I press the button'.
Then, this evening, I was shooting the Canon EOS 20D camera out in the field, and it suffered yet another catastrophic failure. This time, it refused to release the shutter, just like it did in Humboldt County back in February. I had to bring it home, take out the battery, remove the lens, and then reassemble this piece of junk to get it to take a photo. I have to say that, from a reliability standpoint, I'm disappointed in the EOS 20D.
Update: Related post on Error 99
FYI, if the web site seems painfully slow today, it's probably due to the heavy spring snow. The snow tends to accumulate on the antenna on top of my house and the antenna on top of the mountain also, impeding TCP/IP traffic between the two. But, look on the bright side, things could be worse. You could be forced to forage in this stuff, and leap over tall fences in a single bound. Or not. (I saw this poor elk attempting to cross my neighbor's fence yesterday. It looked painful.)
April 23, 2005
I went overboard today and bought Jennifer a boat load of Habitrail tubes for her gerbil "Snuggles". There's a scene in the movie Garden State where they show a maze of Habitrail tunnels snaking up to the ceiling. I think we'll be able to do at least as well as that.
This is a crazy video. Some yahoos down on the Redneck Riviera in Florida snatch a monster Tarpon from the jaws an enormous Mako shark. The story is sort of a funny fish tale. Funniest thing to me is the reation of the rednecks on the boat. Freaking hilarious. (Warning: Language not suitable for anyone except for sailors and marines.)
April 22, 2005
Inventor Can Beam Voices Into Your Head
PORTLAND, Ore. - Elwood "Woody" Norris pointed a metal frequency emitter at one of perhaps 30 people who had come to see his invention. The emitter — an aluminum square — was hooked up by a wire to a CD player. Norris switched on the CD player.
"There's no speaker, but when I point this pad at you, you will hear the waterfall," said the 63-year-old Californian.
April 18, 2005
Here's a video of some of some recent photos. This slideshow is an 8 Meg self-playing executable named audioslave.exe. The soundtrack is Be Yourself by Audioslave. Click here to download the presentation. If you have an Apple, an iMac, or some other type of computer with training wheels, click here to download the Macromedia Flash version.Click here if you need help.
April 15, 2005
Toby is the cutest little bunny on the planet. Unfortunately, he will DIE on June 30th, 2005 if you don't help. Toby's owner will kill and eat Toby if he doesn't receive $50,000.00 in contributions by June 30th, 2005. Only you can save Toby. Why didn't I think of this?
Microsoft Releases 'Data Protection Manager'
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager
Simplify and strengthen your backup strategy with Data Protection Manager (DPM), the new Microsoft server software solution for rapid and reliable data recovery. Lower your total cost of ownership with efficient and near-continuous data protection. To find out more:
April 14, 2005
Remote Desktop for XP
Windows XP has a feature called Remote Desktop that allows you to take control of your computer from a remote PC via the internet.
Microsoft has step-by-step instructions for getting it up and running. But, unfortunately, I haven't been successful at getting it to work for me so far. I assume that my problem is related to the firewall(s) between the two computers.
April 13, 2005
I'm not clear how I missed this, but apparently Lexington Kentucky's town drunk is a guy named Henry Earl. He's been arrested "900+ times in the last 13 years" and has spent roughly twice as much of his life in jail as out. His rap sheet is pages and pages long. Here's a link to a Firefox extension which will allow you to track Henry Earl's status (in/out of jail).
April 12, 2005
Silence The Beeping in Windows XP
Ever wonder how to stop your Windows XP computer from beeping at you like R2D2? I figured the first part on my own (set 'Sound scheme' to 'No Sounds'). The second part was a little more arcane though. Follow these two simple steps (and reboot) to silence the mind numbing absurdity of a computer attempting to communicate with its operator in the age of technology.
Remote Control Flies
"It seems that Yale scientists have managed to engineer a remote control system for flies. According to their study (recently featured in Cell), specific neurons can be stimulated by lasers to control basic functions in fruit flies such as jumping, walking, and flying."
I, for one, welcome our new fruit fly overlords.
On Easter Sunday this year, I didn't have my daughter, so I spent the day alone. I went to Wendy's and ordered my Sunday dinner through an intercom.
"Can I get a number six with a diet coke?"
"That will be five twenty one, sir. Happy Easter."
On the way home, I accidentally stumbled onto an Easter Dinner that my neighbors were throwing. It was embarrassing and awkward. I had always considered them my friends, and it wasn't like it was a small party. Everyone seemed to be there except me, so I just excused myself and left, feeling lower than a snake's belly.
Then, tonight, some of my other neighbors threw a party tonight and, predictably, I wasn't invited. They offered to feed me and I was like "Oh no. I have to get going. I've got to rewind all my DVD's. Sorry for the intrusion." and I bolted.
It's really embarassing. I mean, you think that you're friends with these people, and then they're all sitting around like socialites, eating, drinking, and gossiping. And it's intuitively obvious to the casual observer that they don't want you there, or you'd have gotten an invitation.
I considered burning my house and fleeing into the night, but this seemed a bit drastic, even to me. But, considering that things probably wouldn't change in the near future, I wondered if there wasn't a way to solve this social dilemna.
It was then that I was struck with the idea of the "Disinvitation". In my world, I envision an entire line of "Disinvitation" greeting cards for those pesky, unwelcome neighbors(such as myself) that have a nasty habit of turning up at the most inopportune times. Uninvited, unannounced, unwelcome ne're-do-wells can irreparably tarnish the patina on what should have been a pretentious social gathering.
Here's a sample Disinvitation that I threw together tonight. I think I'll print these up and hand them to my neighbors so that they can notify me of their parties, without inviting me, so that we can avoid these unpleasant situations in the future.
April 11, 2005
Daddy...guess what my favorite food is.
OK, Angel. Is it Pizza?
Is it hamburgers?
No. I'll give you a hint. It starts with a 'K'.
OK. Is it carrots?
No! That starts with a 'C'! My favorite food starts with a 'K'!
Oh. Is it cucumbers?
No! That starts with a 'C'! My favorite food starts with a 'K'!
Oh. Is it ketchup?
No! That's what you put on food, but it's not food.
OK, baby. I give up. What is it?
April 2005 Menu
Click on the photo above for an elarged version of the April 2005 lunch menu.
United Flight 232
I recently learned that the guy that does the play-by-play for the Denver Nuggets basketball team is a survivor from the United Flight 232 DC-10 plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989.
They were flying along at altitude on autopilot when the number two(center) engine in the tail section exploded violenting, destroying all hydraulics on the plane instantly, leaving the pilots with no flaps, ailerons, rudder control, brakes...nothing. A complete loss of all flight control except for the ability to change the amount of fuel entering the remaining two engines. Miraculously, they managed to get the plane to the airport and onto a runway, but, unable to control the flight once it was on the ground, the plane broke apart, burst into flames, and cartwheeled down the runway.
Not only did this guy walk away from a plane crash that killed 112 people without a scratch, but as he climbed from the inverted, burning fuselage, he heard a crying baby and went back in to retrieve the baby from an overhead bin where she had been thrown by the crash.
He wrote a book about the ordeal called Chosen To Live which I'm currently reading. Definitely one of those books that helps you keep things in persepctive.
You can read more about the crash here: http://www.airdisaster.com/eyewitness/ua232.shtml
April 8, 2005
"The Wiggles" named Australia's Weathiest Performers
The Wiggles have sung and danced their way to the top of a list of Australia's wealthiest entertainers, edging out Hollywood heavyweights such as Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. The four Australian performers topped BRW Magazine's list of Australia's 50 richest performers in 2004 with an estimated gross income of $34.5 million, up from $10.7 million in the previous year. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
April 7, 2005
"Access is Denied" - Data Recovery in XP
I'm currently in the process of attempting to recover some data from a computer running XP that has suffered a catastrophic failure. PC will not boot up, even in the Safe Mode. I hit F8 while the computer was booting up, and managed to get into the advanced setup menu. I tried 1) rebooting in safe mode and 2) restoring to the last known good configuration. Nothing worked. It would fail attempting to launch windows, briefly flash an error message, and then attempt to start widows again. Only by disabling Automatic Restart on Failure was I able to read the error message for the first time. The GDI32.DLL file didn't pass the checksum evaluation. I replaced it and got the same message with imagehlp.dll. So, this didn't seem to be a feasible approach. I didn't feel like replacing countless .dll files one at a time.
I decided to try booting from the floppy or the CD-ROM drive. I was able to create a bootable CD-ROM runing DR-DOS. This allowed the computer to boot up, and i was able to access the files via DOS, however there were no USB drivers loaded in DR-DOS, and I was unable to copy the files.
So, I tried putting the drive into another computer as a slave and accessing the data via that method. If I put the drive in my XP computer, I can see the drive under windows. However, when I get the folders that contain the data I want to recover, I get an "Access is Denied" error. This is because the folders are for a system administator and the files were password protected. In XP, I believe that this means the data in encrypted using Encrpting File System(EFS) In theory, the data could be recovered by a Data Recovery Agent, but XP does not require a Data Recovery Agent to be set up, so I'm reasonably sure that no Data Recovery Agent has been defined, and therefore is is not an option at this point.
Advanced EFS Data Recovery claims it can restore EFS encrypted files. However, I ran this utility and it indicated that there were no EFS encrypted files that required decrypting.
So, I went back to the drawing board and found this Microsoft document explaining how to solve the "Access is Denied" error. Following these steps finally solved the problem, allowing me to access and copy all of the files and folders that had been protected by the old Security ID defintion.
Now, I have to reinstall the O/S, but at least the data has been recovered. :)
April 6, 2005
Eric & Allie
April 5, 2005
Image Resizer for Windows XP
Ever want to resize an image(or several) just so you could send them in an email without email bombing someone's mailbox? Most any graphics package will allow you to resize an image, but what if you don't feel like launching Adobe Photoshop or IRFanView just to resize a single image? If you're running XP, Microsoft has a neat little solution called 'Image Resizer' that's delivered as one of the Windows XP Powertoys.
Once you download and install the Image Resizer XP Powertoy, you can just Right Click on an image file (.jpg) in Windows Explorer and select 'Resize Pictures'. By default, it makes a copy of the image named 'filname (custom).jpg'
I found this out by shoulder surfing a guy that had a Canon EOS 10D at Genentech out in San Francisco. Thanks Avais!
April 4, 2005
I'm attempting to identiy the palace in this painting. The artist signed the painting "Brogan". I have no clue who the artist is, or whether this place is real, or imagined. It vaguely resembles some of the buildings on the South end of the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. We have scads of these 2005 XPEDX calendars at work featuring this image. I emailed Thomas Costello, the president of XPEDX, a subsidiary of International Paper, but he didn't see fit to respond. Any help identifying the artist and the subject matter is greatly appreciated.
Update: It does not to appear to be the work of Patricia Burke Brogan.
April 3, 2005
April 4th, 1984
[In response to criticism from the ACLU,] Bellwood's mayor said he welcomed the suggestion that his town might be considered something akin to a Big Brother-land. 'I wish we could create that image. I would love that,' Mayor Frank Pasquale said with a chuckle.
For some reason the telescreen in the living-room was in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it could command the whole room, it was in the longer wall, opposite the window. To one side of it there was a shallow alcove in which Winston was now sitting, and which, when the flats were built, had probably been intended to hold bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen, so far as sight went. He could be heard, of course, but so long as he stayed in his present position he could not be seen. It was partly the unusual geography of the room that had suggested to him the thing that he was now about to do.
The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp. Winston fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off. The pen was an archaic instrument, seldom used even for signatures, and he had procured one, furtively and with some difficulty, simply because of a feeling that the beautiful creamy paper deserved to be written on with a real nib instead of being scratched with an ink-pencil. Actually he was not used to writing by hand. Apart from very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into the speakwrite which was of course impossible for his present purpose. He dipped the pen into the ink and then faltered for just a second. A tremor had gone through his bowels. To mark the paper was the decisive act. In small clumsy letters he wrote:
April 1, 2005
Lethal computer virus spreads in humans
The first computer virus that passes from PCs to humans has been discovered in the wild. Leading anti-virus firms are putting users on high alert after Malwarlaria.B was spammed worldwide in the early hours of Friday morning.