February 28, 2006
Selling Your Photos Online
At SmugMug, the professional account which allows you to sell prints, is $149.95 a year. If you enter a discount code, you will receive $5 off your subscription fee. Then, for each image you sell, they charge you a %15 commission. SmugMug print prices: 4"x6" = $0.29, 5"x7" = $0.99, 8"x10" = $3.99. SmugMug shipping charges.
At ExposureManager, the account costs $79 a year, and they charge you a 10% commission on your sales. ExposureManager print prices: 4"x6" = $0.39, 5"x7" = $0.85, 8"x10" = $2.45. Pricing information.
Because 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 are all different aspect ratios, ExposureManager allows you to "upload a different file for a 4x6 than an 8x10, therefore always ensuring the optimum crop”.
Hmmm. This is a tough one.
What's new in Windows Vista
Technorati tags: Vista
This is a good site for tracking the securocrats. The report on all sorts of predicable Illegal Police Activities.
February 27, 2006
Time Killing Games: Bugs
Through The Ice
At the ice races this weekend, Mike told me about a bunch of vehciles that broke through the ice up North somewhere. I found a photo on the website of Ice Fishing Stories that is probably the event he was referring to. Around 5:00 a.m. on January 5th, 12 vehicles broke through the ice at Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Fish and Fur now has posted guidelines for driving on the ice, including the following gems:
- Leave at least 60 feet between vehicles parked on ice.
- Leave windows down, seatbelts unbuckled and doors ajar for a quick exit if the vehicle breaks through.
- Bail out as soon as the car starts to break through. Don't wait for it to settle to the bottom. Cars often turn upside down as they sink, which combined with freezing water, make breath holding more difficult and limit visibility. Mud pushing against the doors can make escape nearly impossible.
More photos in extended entry.
Wyoming Archers Defenseless Against Grizzly Bears
The state of Wyoming cares so little about archery hunters, that when they're attacked by a Grizzly Bear, archers are forced to defend themselves with Pepper Spray.
Case, however, said archery hunters in his district are having more-frequent confrontations with the grizzlies, whose population has rebounded to the point where the federal government has embarked upon removing them from the endangered-species list.
Under state law, they can carry only pepper spray to thwart an attack.
Freaking tree-huggers are going to ruin this country.
Help Break Original Enigma Messages
Slashdot is covering a cool project to break some WWII Axis transmissions encoded using the Enigma machine. Although these three messages were transmitted in 1942 they have never been decoded. You can help out by donating idle time of your computer to the project. If you want to participate, go to the M4 Message Breaking Project.
From the Mouths of Babes
From a recent conversation with Jennifer regarding Cheney's Quail hunting accident:
You know who the president of the country is, baby?
That's right. And who's the Vice President?
Cheney. The Vice President is Dick Cheney. He helps the president. He was hunting Quail down on a ranch in Texas, and he accidentally shot a man.
Well, those little quail are camoflauged. You can't hardly see 'em. And then when they get up, the whole covey gets up at once. They explode right under your feet like a Claymore and fly in all different directions. It will scare you to death. And you're standing there with this loaded shotgun, and the goal is to shoot the birds, so you swing and fired and there was a man behind the Quail when Cheney shot and he got hit by the shotgun pellets.
Did he get the bird?
Did he at least get the bird he was shooting at?
(Laughter). I don't know, baby. I never thought about it. That's the first time I've ever heard anyone ask that question. It's a very good question.
February 25, 2006
Ice Racing - Georgetown, Colorado
When I drove by the lake at Georgetown today, I saw they were racing jeeps on the ice, so I stopped to watch. The races are run by a group called Our Gang 4 Wheelers. There was a group out there filming them today from SuperLift. They said it would air on the Outdoor Channel in May/June.
Kory Pegorsch is the guy driving the 1948 CJ-2A with the American flag. Had to do a double take when I saw a couple of CJ-2A's without a gas cap on the driver's side. No axe/shovel slot. No gas cap. I'm like....ah...ah...hmmm. Turns out many of these rigs were converted over to run on propane and they just closed up where the gas cap used to be.
These are all original images I shot on Saturday/Sunday February 25th-26th, 2006 in Georgetown, Colorado. The images were taken with a Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR w/ 17-85mm Canon lens and a circular polarizing filter.
This slideshow is a 26 Meg self-playing executable named ice_racing.exe created using Imagematics StillMotion PE. The soundtrack is The Hand That Feeds by the Nine Inch Nails, a CD Single-Import, released in April of 2005. Click here to download the presentation. If you have an Apple, click here to download the Macromedia Flash version. Click here if you need help.
Update: I just narrowly missed this accident in Georgetown today. Some genius in an 18 wheeler came barreling down the continental divide, lost his brakes, and decided to use the Georgetown exit as a runaway truck lane. T-boned a Suburban and pushed it through a stand of trees. They life-flighted the driver of the Suburban to a Denver hospital, where he's fighting for his life. Took them 3 hours to cut out the idiot driver of the 18 wheeler. When they got him out, they took him behind the Diamond Shamrock and shot him once behind his left ear.
Lyrics posted in the extended entry.
February 24, 2006
uBrowser - Freaky Cool Technology to Nowhere
This uBrowser is as cool as the other side of the pillow. I'm not clear what the commercial/practical value is, but it's cool to play with. This uBrowser runs under Windows and renders web pages into 3 dimensional surfaces (globe, waving flag, or a cube). Not only can these 3-d html objects be rotated, moved, scaled up or down, but they retain their properties as html web pages. So, you can take a web page, warp into into a sphere, rotate it, zoom in, and click on the links of the page to navigate the web. I'm not sure what the point of it is, but it's undeniably cool. Basically it's like the rendering engine of Google Earth unleashed on the rest of the internet. Right now, it only works with Windows. And it doesn't work over Remote Desktop(RDP). Oh, and you'll want to replace your version of ubrowser.exe with this customized version: http://www.peeniewallie.com/ubrowserapp/ubrowser.exe.
February 23, 2006
Cheney's Next Quail Hunting Expedition
Police Station Intimidation
Posted by Peenie Wallie on February 23, 2006 at 7:30 AM | Permalink
February 21, 2006
President Bush Visits NREL in Golden, Colorado
Bush flew in and out of NREL today in a post-modern whistle-stop tour. Secret service jockeyed with a herd of police cruisers to control the crowds. The crowds turned out to be a couple dozen protestors and office-cubicle spectators licking the glass of their cages, cowering in the bleak obscurity of the Denver Park West cube-farm.
NREL is the National Renewable Energy Labratory. They're ostensibly tasked with inventing forms of renewable energy. In reality, languish in a lackadasical stupor draining funds from the public sector. When forced to produce results, they release incomprehensibly stupid proposals like tinting car windows.
Ironically, 32 NREL employees were laid off this month. So, when Bush decided to visit to make an appearance of concern for renewable energy, it was sort of embarassing that these 32 people had been so recently capped. Their blood was still all over the visitor center. So, in a remarkable conincident, they were all reinstated to their positions a few days before Bush's arrival.
Bush flew in. Bush flew out. The protestors folded up their signs and headed home. And 32 NREL pawns put their feet up on their desks and wondered how long they'd be around.
February 20, 2006
I saw this small vehicle tonight in Colorado. No clue what it is. Appears to be a European military vehicle, but not one I'm familiar with. Any help in identifying is greatly appreciated. More photos in extended entry.
Update: Chance Wolf pointed out that this is a Volvo PV Jeep. Volvo produced two versions of the jeep in the 1960's, based on the L3314 VALP - Valpen(puppy) chassis. The military version of the PV (PAK carrier Volvo) Jeep, made in 1963-1964 is the PansarVärnsPJäsTerränGBil 9031(Pvpjtgb 9031) (antitank defense cannon carrier 9031). The civilian model is the L3304.
The military version (pvpjtgbil 9031) was basically a kamikazee vehicle used to fire a 90mm recoilless Bofors canon at a tank. Only a few hundred were ever built. Exact production numbers are a state secret. Later, Volvo added a much needed roll cage.
I'm not real sure what this is, but it's WAY cool. Check out the Zoomquilt.
Technorati tags: Zoomquilt
February 19, 2006
A woman driving an SUV and chatting on her cell phone got too caught up in her conversation. She drifted into the median, over-corrected, and managed to flip her SUV over the guard rail, rolling the vehicle several times. Her severed arm was found a short distance away....are you ready for this...still clutching the freaking cell phone. I kid you not.
Keep it up, Muslims
This video at California Conservative is freaking hilarious. The muslims bombed the world trade center, Spain, France, Indonesia, and more countries than you could count, and we're told it was Muslim "extremists". Now, they're all freaking out all over the world, killing people and bombing buildings over the Sunday Comics. So, I'm thinking they're all "extremists" if they think it makes sense to murder people over a comic strip.
American newspapers are, unfortunately, afraid to reprint the comics. Our own state department condemns Denmark instead of supporting free speech. Of course, Jesus Christ can be dipped in urine with government funds, and we just have to be tolerant. This video sums it all up nicely.
February 18, 2006
Bryant Gumbel Plays the Race Card
From a Ku Klux Klan rally(photo above), HBO's Bryant Gumbel commented on the Winter Olympics:
"Count me among those who don't care about them and won't watch them...[snip]...So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention," said Gumbel.
Download video here.
So Gumbel wants to watch the "Chocolate Olympics", huh? Go figure. He likes white women so much he married one. But, of course, because he's black, he can say whatever he wants. It's a phenomenon called "soft racism" - lowered expectations for blacks because, presumably, they're not capable of controlling what they say.
Imagine if someone on CNN said commented the following on basketball games in the Summer Olympics:
"Count me among those who don't care about them and won't watch them. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a lack of whites that makes the Summer Games look like a Democratic convention," said XXXXXX.
The contest didn't matter because there weren't enough white players and that a basketball game had so many blacks that it looked like a Democratic fund-raiser? How would that sit with the MSM?
If he were white, like Jimmy the Greek, he'd be fired. Go here and tell HBO to hold Bryant Gumbel accountable for his racist views.
Predictably, his flagrantly racist comments are hardly being covered at all. So far, Zero coverage by Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, or Little Green Footballs. There's been a few chinks in the media blackout though. See here, here, here, and here.
Update: There are a ton of irate posts on HBO's Real Sports forum.
Building a Rabbit Hutch
February 17, 2006
Burning Man 2006 Hope and Fear: The Future
Let me guess. You didn't go to Burning Man last year, did you? I'll bet you've never been. Maybe spending a week in August on a sun-scorched ancient lakebed in the Black Rock Desert isn't your cup of tea. Maybe freezing nights and dust baths on the playa aren't on your agenda. Then again, maybe civilization's lost some of its lustre. Burning Man 2006 Hope and Fear Tickets now on sale.
Police to install cameras in citizen's homes
Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt wants to install cameras everywhere in Houston, from streets to private homes.
Facing a shortage of police officers, Police Chief Harold Hurtt called Wednesday for a new type of patrol: surveillance cameras on downtown streets, apartment complexes and shopping malls — and in extreme situations, private homes.
"If you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Hurtt told reporters.
February 16, 2006
I'd rather hunt with Cheney than ride with Kennedy
February 15, 2006
Epson Perfection 2400 Scanner
I've never been overwhelmed with my Epson Perfection 2400 Scanner. It never seemed to work very well. To get it to function properly, I always had to turn the computer off and restart it, then unplug the USB cable a time or two before it started working properly. Just a major pain. Not what you'd expect from a product with the word "Perfection" in the name.
Finally, tonight, I tried to scan some documents and it wouldn't let me save them. As in, there was no "File - Save" option. You couldn't specify a file name, or file type, or anything. Just preview and scan. I had no idea what was going on, but I got so p1ssed that I uninstalled the all of the software for it and started over from scratch.
I got to Epson's website, which isn't as poorly organized as you might imagine, and found some drivers for the Epson Perfection 2400 for Windows XP.
I downloaded these files that said "TWAIN Driver and EPSON Scan Utility v2.68A", "Windows XP 64-bit Edition", "epson11572.exe - 8.4MB - posted on 08/26/05". I didn't have a clue if I was using 32 bit XP Pro or 64 bit XP pro. So, I went to this site and downloaded and executed this script, and it told me I had only 32 bit XP. :(
But, I installed the 64 bit drivers anyway. After I unstalled all of my current Epson software, I unzipped and extracted the new files to the designated folder and ran the setup.exe program. Then, it wanted me to reboot, so I rebooted. Then, XP found the scanner and got all excited, so I told it that I would point it to the correct drivers for the scanner. Logically, Epson had, in their infinite wisdom, included 3 .inf files: Es27.inf, Es32.inf, and Es34.inf. I know. I know. You're thinking 'which one is for the Epson Perfection 2400?' Get in line. As it turns out, it goes like this:
There are 3 inf files in the installation archive for the Epson 2400: es27.inf, es32.inf and es34.inf. Each inf file supports a different model scanner, the 2400, 3170 and the 4870, respectively.
So, that means the Es27.inf file is for the Epson 2400. Brilliant. So, I pointed it to the es27.inf and it works fine now. Go figure. The old Epson Scan utility was apparently hosed, as I was missing the two little arrow buttons beside the preview and scan buttons that normally allow you to specify a file name and image type, etc. It's working fine now though, go figure. Thanks Epson. Thanks for nothing.
Unknown Artist - Unknown Song (Techno)
February 14, 2006
Mediots Salivating Over VP Dick Cheney's Hunting Accident
Cheney made an unfortunate mistake and inadvertently shot Harry Whittington, another member of his hunting party. His wounded friend is in the hospital, and has reportedly suffered a heart attack due to birdshot in his heart. Cheney is no doubt gravely upset at his tragic mistake.
Dick Cheney is an avid and accomplished bird hunter. Last year I flew into Pierre, South Dakota the same day Cheney flew out on Air Force 2. We were both there for the same reason...to hunt pheasant in the pheasant hunting capital of the world. If you've never been bird hunting, you can read this pheasant hunt story to get an idea of what it's like:
We hunted today until about 2:30. I really didn’t do very well on the last day, as I couldn’t really focus. I was too tired or too something. I started getting gun-shy from the birds. It’s hard to describe the terror that those birds can put in you. I nearly stepped on two roosters and more hens than I could count. When those birds explode right underneath you, it will make your heart stop. Twice I couldn’t even get the safety off before the bird was gone. The hens were just unnerving the way they’d let you nearly step on them before they flew.
Every time the dogs started coming by me and getting birdy, I’d just hold my breath and sort of pull back, afraid of what would explode from the grass. It’s really the most bizarre illusion. You can sit there staring at the grass, and there’s nothing there. Just six or nine inches of hay or winter wheat stubble. And a Labrador retriever will walk through it and out comes deer, grouse, prairie chickens, pheasants, rabbits.
Anyone that has ever been bird hunting understands that it's not hard to accidentally shoot someone in the field. When you're flushing birds in the field, they don't fly up where you expect them to, and they don't head the direction you'd like. The adrenaline starts pumping when the birds explode from the brush, and they frequently fly between hunters, so you have to be really sure of where everyone in the party is when you pull the trigger. I've been an avid hunter all of my life and I've never shot anyone, but people are human, and people do make mistakes. Our thoughts and prayers should be with VP Dick Cheney and Harry Whittington in this difficult time.
Update: As inconceivable as it may be, the tree-huggers are covering news stories on Paul Begala on CNN and Dana Milbank at MSNBC dressed in hunter orange, making fun of this tragic accident. Have these people no shame?
Update 2: Cheney's hunting accident is "red meat" for the mediots. Video of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan fending off the frothing liberal reporters.
Posted by Peenie Wallie on February 14, 2006 at 1:03 PM | Permalink
Alternative Valentine's Day Cards
Here's some Valentine's Day cards you won't find at Hallmark.
February 13, 2006
The Wanaka Bra Fence
No. I'm not making this up. There really is a fence in New Zealand where women hang their bras for reasons not entirely clear to me. Photos here.
Epson P-2000 looks like a neat toy
The Epson P-2000 looks like a pretty neat gadget.
Enjoy the freedom of multimedia portability with the Epson® P-2000, featuring a 40GB hard drive and 3.8" LCD to view, store and playback photos, videos and music–all without a computer. Review images easily, or share and enjoy them at your convenience. Exclusive Epson Photo Fine™ LCD technology ensures brilliant color and vivid detail.
A perfect companion to any digital camera, the Epson® P-2000 makes it easy to download files to and from any CompactFlash™ or Secure Digital™ memory card through its built-in card slots. And, with an optional third-party adapter, it supports additional memory cards. Designed with a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface, this portable device transfers photos, video and audio files in a snap. It supports JPEG and select RAW image files, MPEG4 and Motion JPEG video files, plus MP3 and AAC audio files.
DP Review reviews it here. The basic idea is that you're shooting out in the field, say on an extended vacation to Europe. With my Canon EOS 20D, I've got a 4 Gig CF flash card, which is pretty outrageous, but it only holds about 500 photos. So, normally I download the images onto my laptop, and then burn them onto DVD if I run out of space. But, that means you have to lug around a laptop. And there are plenty of places you wouldn't necessarily want to take your laptop, like the Black Rock Desert, or the continental divide, or crossing the open ocean on a 35 foot boat during hurricane season, etc.
Initially, I was thinking of getting a 60 gig video iPod and connecting it to my EOS 20D digital camera with the Apple iPod Camera Connector. But, this guy didn't seem to excited by the Video iPod/iPod Camera Connector setup.
The Apple Ipod Camera Connector screams intelligence on the part of Apple, but falls far short. DO NOT think of using this for any real photography purposes or with pictures above 3MP in size. To transfer 1gb Sandisk II ultra CF card takes roughly 45 minutes, and kills almost all your Ipod's battery (not to mention the impact on your cameras battery for that 45 minutes).
Its a great idea, but the ipod battery is not originally engineered to support such a power supply, and does not stand up to heat...
Look elsewhere for a portable harddrive to store pictures, such as Epson P-2000.
Curious George - The Politicially Incorrect Monkey
The pseudo-intelligent politically-orrect anti-llectual potentates are beating their drums again. This time they're having a field day with poor little Curious George. I always thought it was just a funny children's book. Who knew that it was a lesson in third world exploitation by Western Imperialists, replete with flagrant violations of animal rights and glorification of destructive behavior such as smoking and hunting. Arkonline says this of the book:
Not only does the story reveal the sinister side of a corrupt wildlife trade with perilous roots in Western imperialism, but recent ethical, legal and scientific considerations on the personhood of primates makes a traditional reading of Curious George both impossible and irresponsible.
The book begins with a picture of a happy monkey swinging in a tree and eating a banana. The image is so pleasant, in fact, that even the flowers in the illustration have happy faces. The little monkey is happy as well, until he is captured, when his wide grin turns to a grimace. When H.A. Rey first wrote the book in the early 1940s, public attention and conservation efforts failed to focus on a dangerous and controversial wildlife trade where millions of apes and monkeys are slaughtered, captured, and sold into animal slavery, and babies are frequently snatched from the lifeless bodies of their mothers. In Rey's book there is no violent capture-only a benign looking white man - presumably a wildlife trader -- in a big yellow hat.
The current controversy has remarkable parallels to these satirical observations of Curious George from four years ago:
Authorities now suspect The Man in the Yellow Hat may be responsible for having lured Curious George to the urban jungle of drugs, sex, and carnivals and away from the jungle he called his home. A photo, recently obtained from an unnamed source, implicates "The Man" teaching George to get high. The Man's attorney, Burt Goldenberger, released the following statement: "These photos don't prove a thing...they were completely doctored. George doesn't even have an opposable thumb."
The satirists are clearly having a ever more difficult task of trying to keep ahead of the Left Coast loonies and the self-appointed guardians of the politically correct ideologies. It seems nearly impossible to dream up something so absurd that these thought-police won't adopt the satire as their true cause.
Fortunately, I'm on board now. I've seen the proverbial light. I'm going to go home and torch all of Jennifer's "Curious George" imperialist propaganda and, while I'm at it, I'll dig around for that horrific Goodnight Moon manifesto also. (Goodnight Moon paraody here).
February 12, 2006
Time Killing Game - Area Flat 2
Cool Timelapse Photography
Company requires RFID chip Implant in employees' biceps
If you want to access the data center at CityWatcher.com, you have to get an RFID chip implanted in your bicep.
February 11, 2006
The New Bunny
Censor Google Earth Now!
If you have Google Earth installed, check out profanity.kmz. (Warning: Probably not safe for work.) There are some crop circles nearby. If you don't have Google Earth installed, you can (and should) install Google Earth.
February 10, 2006
Here's a good web page for learning farm animals in Spanish. Includes pronunciation audio files. Spanish-English farm animal coloring book. Here's some English to Spanish translation games focusing on animals.
Driving To Gitmo
Looks like things are worse in Gitmo than many had imagined.
You have exceeded the size limit on your mailbox - MS Outlook
MS Outlook sucks. Of this, we can be certain. According to an article titled When Microsoft's Outlook Stops Looking Out for You
The problem is this; Outlook 2000 and 2002 (Office XP) only allows a stated maximum data file size of 2gb but the actual limit size is smaller – only 1.82gb.
So, if your Outlook.pst file gets to 2 gig in size, you're apparently running into the brick wall of Microsoft incompetence. I'm running Microsoft Outlook 2003, but it looks like Outlook 2003 has the same 2 gig limitation on the .pst file. The .pst file is a proprietary file format that the dolts at Microsoft use so that no one else can read or write to their files. It's a miserable little format written by liberal geeks and mental cripples that stores everything in one file. Your contacts, tasks, calendars, and emails are all shoe-horned into one poorly organized file. If it gets larger than 2 gig, then you're pretty much hosed. There are some tricks to allow the file to get larger than 2 gig, and some more tricks to repair the .pst files larger than 2 gig, but this seems pretty dicey.
As it turns out, the best option is probably to create a new .pst file, as described in this article about how to create additional .pst files. This is basically a work-around for Microsoft's incompetence, but when you're dealing with incompetence on the scale of the crew at Redmon, Washington, the "great" is often the enemy of the "good".
So, I first created a new .pst file and named it 2004-2005.pst. (File - Data File Management - Add then select the "Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst)"). Once the new .pst has been added, it appears on the left side of Outlook as a high-level folder. You can then move around and copy folders as needed. Each of these .pst files can be up to 2 gig. So, I created two sub-folders "Inbox" and "Sent Items" and moved in all of my emails from 2004-2005 into these folders. You can still search this new .pst using outlook, although you apparently have to specify to search each .pst separately.
I had some old "Archive" .pst files which I'd never used so I deleted them.
Somewhere in here, 4 emails got stuck in my outbox. So, I opened each one and selected an action of "Resend" and each one resent in turn and, after I deleted the 4 mails from my outbox, everything seemed to be working fine.
Finally, I looked at my default Outlook "Personal Folder" and convinced myself that it was formatted as the older Outlook 97-2002 format. I wanted it to be the new 2003 format, so I created another new .pst file named Current.pst and copied my Inbox and Sent Item folders from the default "Personal Folder" under the new Current(.pst) folder. I also copied my Contacts folder, as I didn't want to lose my Contacts. Then, I tried to delete the "Personal Folder", but it wouldn't let me, as it was my default folder, set up to receive and send emails. So, to change this, I went to Tools - Email Accounts - View or change existing accounts and then, where it says "Deliver new emails to the following location", I selected my new "Current" pst file. Then, I went back and deleted the "Personal Folder". Now, it seems to be working. My plan now is to just create a new .pst file and archive my Inbox and Sent Items every year or so when the .pst file hits the 2 gig limit.
Note: If you want to get tricky, you can technically, exceed the 2 gig limit, but if you do, and it crashes, it isn't pretty. Here's an article about repairing a .pst file larger than 2 gig.
Posted by Peenie Wallie on February 10, 2006 at 9:00 AM | Permalink
February 9, 2006
Charley's Crab and the death of Chuck Muer
Chuck Muer grew up in Michigan and opened a restaurant there in October of 1964. Later, he opened a restaurant named Charley's Crab in Palm Beach, Florida. Their seafood is indescribably good and I've been scarfing meals at the Charley's Crab in Palm Beach for over a decade. Predictably, word about the food leaked out, so more Charley's Crabs popped up in South Florida like mushrooms after a spring rain.
The tragedy is the story of poor Chuck's demise. Here's a guy that had everything to live for. Here's a guy that was making money hand over fist, living in Palm Beach Florida. Bought a sweet 40 foot boat and named it "Charley's Crab". He sailed back and forth between the Bahamas, which is pretty much the thing to do on the Treasure Coast.
In the summer, crossing over to the Bahamas is a cake walk. You could cross over to Grand Bahama Island in a 14 foot flat bottom boat with an outboard and a few jerry cans of gas. Plenty of people make the crossing without the aid of a GPS receiver. My brother-in-law said he and his brother used to do it all the time with nothing more than a compass. Accounting for the Gulf Stream, they'd just head East South-East for 4 hours across the open ocean in a 20 foot boat and watch for Memory Rock on the horizon.
In the winter, the seas are rough, but in the summer, unless there's a hurricane, the oceans are generally calm and the crossing is a cake walk.
Chuck Muer had a big boat. A 40 foot boat is a large boat. Now, I know, there are bigger boats. However rich you think you are, South Florida can be an humbling place. You pull into the dock and some guy next to you anchors his yacht and he's got rescue boats the size of your boat hanging from cranes over the stern of his vessel. But a 40 foot boat is a big boat. I've made the crossing more times I can count in boats ranging from 27 feet to cruise ships. But a 40 foot boat is a large boat and is certainly capable of making the crossing in anything shy of a full-blown hurricane.
On March 13th of 1993, Charles and Betty Muer and their friends George and Lynn Drummey attempted to cross back from the Bahamas when a freak storm blew up. The storm hit much more quickly, further South, and with greater intensity than had been forecasted. By the time the freak March storm left Florida, it had killed more people than Hurricane Andrew and done $500 million in damages. Then Governor Lawton Chiles wrote a scathing letter lambasting the National Weather Service for their poor forecasting.
Chuck Muer's party had probably nearly completed the crossing before they heard any forecast of an impending storm on their marine radio. By the time they knew of the storm, it was too late. Battling 30 foot seas and 70 mile per hour winds in the pre-dawn blackness, Chuck Muer placed two calls at 4:25 a.m. and 4:27 a.m. to Palm Beach County's emergency center. But each time, there was only the crackle of static on the line.
They never found a trace from the wreck, and they searched like it mattered. They mounted a massive search and rescue operation, because the guy was as rich as Croesus, so they searched for him like it mattered. This wasn't a Coast Guard search for a Hatian clinging to a palm tree in the Gulf Stream. This was a "Holy Sh1t a jillionaire is missing calling-all-cars search-and-rescure" and they never found a trace of him. Nada.
In the aftermath of the tragic deaths, we are predictably left with a cacaphony of reverberating wrongful death lawsuits revolving around General Maritime Law and the Death on the High Seas Act. In September of 2002, that dreadful blight of corporate cuisine known as Landry's acquired C.A. Muer Restaurants.
Rest In Peace Chuck Muer, Betty Muer, George Drummey, and Lynn Drummey.
The Mohammed Dance
Check out The Mohammed Dance. (Make sure your sound is turned on to enjoy the full experience!)
February 8, 2006
Stone Age tribe kills fishermen
Some guys were out drinking and poaching crabs in the Indian Ocean off of North Sentinel Island. Just your typical sort of "hey, let's get snot-slinging drunk in a canoe on the Indian Ocean and spear a few crabs" type of evening. Only they got so drunk they fell asleep. And their canoes drifted into a swarm of angry stone-age cro-magnon men who promptly killed them and ate them.
And this didn't happen in the 1950's. It happened on the night of January 25, 2006. When a search party went to recover the bodies, the Sentinelese shot arrows at the helicopters. I had never heard of these guys until the tsunami of December 2004, when it was reported that a stone-age tribe was shooting arrows at the search and rescue helicopters and I was thinking wtf?
February 7, 2006
Front Range Toll Road Company(FRTRC) Superslab
This is possibly the most flagrant example of eminent domain abuse I've ever seen. A private company is trying to use Eminent Domain to condemn a swath of land of almost incomprehensible size. They're trying to steal a strip of land either 2 miles wide or 12 miles wide (I'm not clear on this) that stretches 210 miles across 7 counties along the Colorado front range.
If the Front Range Toll Road Company, owned by Ray Wells, gets their way, they would reportedly displace at least 600 families, possibly over 1,500 families. They want to build a private toll road across other people's land to make a profit. They would bulldoze your house, and arrest you for trespassing on your own land. You can't make this stuff up.
I reported this egregious abuse of eminent domain to the Castle Coalition.
BlackBerry, Patent Trolls, and molding, rotten meat
Tim Wu has posted an interesting summary of the plight of BlackBerry titled the Weapons of Business Destruction describing 'How a tiny little "patent troll" got BlackBerry in a headlock'.
What would happen if a rogue actor managed to get hold of a powerful patent and threatened to detonate it and destroy e-mail as we know it? You'd have the BlackBerry NTP v. RIM case—the tech world's very own Dr. Strangelove. NTP, a one-man Virginia firm, armed with nothing but patents, currently threatens to bring down BlackBerry and with it the sanity of millions of e-mail addicts. A textbook "patent troll," he wants a billion dollars to stand down. What to do?
It is telling that the dilemmas created by software patents today are routinely compared to those created by nuclear arms, with patent trolls playing the role of the nuclear madman. But while it's easy to bash trolls as evil extortionists, to do so may be to miss an important lesson: Patent trolls aren't evil, but rational and predictable, akin to the mold that eventually grows on rotten meat. They're useful for understanding how the world of software patent got to where it is and what might be done to fix it.
Continue reading Weapons of Business Destruction.
February 6, 2006
Eminent Domain abuse
Here's a story about local Eminent Domain abuse. The city of Black Hawk, Colorado confiscated land from a citizen for a road under the auspices of Eminent Domain. Then, after the road was built, a court-appointed panel decided how much the city owed for requisitioning the land. As it turns out, the panel ruled the city should pay $5 million dollars to the legitimate owners of the property. Black Hawk promptly balked and is refusing to pay for the land they stole from an 84 year old woman. Classic. I went ahead and reported the story to the Castle Coalition.
I'm trying out this free task management software on the web called Voo2do.
What makes voo2do different?
Unlike ta-da list (and clone bla-bla list), voo2do tracks priority, due date, and time estimates for each task. There is no notion of "lists" in voo2do— tasks can be grouped by project, but you can view and edit a bunch of projects together. Voo2do does not yet support sharing your tasks with other people. learn more »
Why is this free?
Because I made it for myself, and it wasn't that much extra work to just let anyone use it. Or at least, it didn't seem like that much extra work at the time.
What web browsers are compatible with voo2do?
Voo2do works on Internet Explorer 6.x, Firefox, and Opera 8. It works imperfectly on Safari, and may work on some other browsers. Please let me know how it works for you.
Sign up for free. Voo2do is completely free (with no limits) and there's nothing to install.
Is Your Town Overpoliced?
What happens when your town can't produced enough crime to satiate the desire of the police force to arrest people? The police have to do something. You can't just eat donuts and drink coffee 24/7.
On Jan. 24, a SWAT team in Fairfax shot and killed Salvatore J. Culosi Jr., an optometrist who was under investigation for gambling. According to a Jan. 26 front-page story in The Post, Culosi had emerged from his home to meet an undercover officer when a police tactical unit swarmed around him. An officer's gun discharged, killing the suspect. Culosi, police said, was unarmed and had displayed no threatening behavior.
It's unlikely that the officer who shot Culosi did so intentionally. But it's also unlikely that the investigation into this shooting will address why police sent a military-style unit to arrest an optometrist under investigation for a nonviolent crime and why the officers had their guns drawn when approaching a man with no history of violence.
Read the rest of the Cato Institute article.
Technorati tags: Overpoliced
February 5, 2006
Someone said that, with my scruffy beard, I looked like someone from "Deer Hunter". I've never been to Vietnam, and I'm no Robert Deniro, but it is fun to shoot rifles though. There's no denying that. Watch the video as a self-playing executable(deer_hunter.exe) or a macromedia fash version(deer_hunter.swf).
A: Windows XP Professional runs IIS version 5.1, which comes with a 10 connection limit. Often that's not enough when you are testing a site from multiple browsers (or multiple locations). You can easily increase the limit to the hardcoded maximum: 40 connections.
Make a command prompt window (start, run, cnd.exe) and issue these commands.
start - run - cmd
(note: for some reason, command acts differently than cmd. not clear why. use cmd.)
cscript adsutil.vbs set w3svc/MaxConnections 40
The first command connects you to the adminscripts folder. The second command runs a script that sets the MaxConnections value in the IIS metabase to 40 (the maximum allowed). The third command (iisreset) shuts down and then restarts IIS.
February 4, 2006
Careful With That Axe, Eugene!
Here's a 1 meg video of some idiot shooting the new Smith & Wesson .50 caliber pistol. This is the largest handgun ever made and, as Clint Eastwood said, it can "blow a man's head clean off."
February 3, 2006
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston's hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies. And yet the very next instant he was at one with the people about him, and all that was said of Goldstein seemed to him to be true.
1984 - George Orwell(Eric Blair)
Of course, if someone portrays Osama Bin Laden as Christ, we're supposed to just respect their views and not be so culturally ethnocentric. ;)
Update: Now Michelle Malkin has started a Muhammad Cartoon Blogburst.
Posted by Peenie Wallie on February 3, 2006 at 8:25 AM | Permalink
February 1, 2006
According to Slashdot:
Nedry57 asks: "I am in the somewhat unique position of being a technology worker, who lives outside of the IT department in my company (a very large organization in the US). By far, the biggest challenge I face is getting anything done due to the bureaucracy that exists, within IT. There are certain tasks (i.e. anything that happens in the data centers) that I don't have the access to do. Even a simple task, like installing more memory in a non-production server, can take nine months and massive mountains of paperwork (no exaggeration), thus costing many times more than it should. The lack of agility is maddening, because I know we are missing significant business opportunities. My management is extremely supportive and despite our excellent track record of success in creating robust/secure applications--our work has passed audit numerous times with flying colors--we get no support from IT. Even senior management can't break through the barrier. I am very interested in hearing the experiences Slashdot readers have had in similar situations." How do you get your technology work done, when your IT department is more hindrance than help?
Go to this link for the replies.
Just Imagine is a pretty cool video from Sand Fantasy.
You can see more videos at SandFantasy.com.