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May 31, 2007

Beer Contains Female Hormones

Last month, National University of Lesotho Scientists released the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of Female Hormones in beer.

Men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption. The theory is that beer contains Female Hormones (hops contain phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women.

To test the theory, 100 men drank 8 pints of beer each within a 1 hour period. It was then observed that 100% of the test subjects:

1) Argued over nothing.
2) Refused to apologize when obviously wrong.
3) Gained weight.
4) Talked excessively without making sense.
5) Became overly emotional.
6) Couldn't drive.
7) Failed to think rationally
8) Had to sit down while urinating.

No further testing was considered necessary.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 31, 2007 at 11:38 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 29, 2007

Amnesty Again?

Looks like they're trying to sneak a new amnesty bill through again.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 29, 2007 at 9:22 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Remember the Alamo

A very gentle Texas lady was driving across a high bridge in Texas one day.

As she neared the top of the bridge, she noticed a young man fixin' to jump.

She stopped her car, rolled down the window and said, "Please don't jump, think of your dear mother and father."

He replied, "Mom and Dad are both dead; I'm going to jump."

She said, "Well, think of your wife and children."

He replied, "I'm not married and I don't have any kids."

She said, "Well, think of the Alamo."

He replied, "What's the Alamo?"

She replied, "Well bless your heart, just go ahead and jump, you dumbass Yankee."

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 29, 2007 at 12:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 28, 2007

Woman Causes 5 Car Pileup

A woman locked up her brakes to avoid running over a goldfish, causing a five car pileup that sent 5 people to the hospital.

Five people were badly hurt including three children after the cars they were travelling in swerved to avoid goldfish that had been left on the road.

Mother Marianne Schmitt, 47, slammed on the breaks of her Fiesta when she spotted the bag in the road, but drivers behind her could not stop in time and five cars piled into each other.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 28, 2007 at 8:21 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink


Are you suffering from Hillary Ambivalence Syndrome? Try OxyClinton!

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 28, 2007 at 9:15 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 27, 2007

4-Wheeler/ATV Pull-Behind Mowers

So I've decided that I need to get a mower to pull behind the ATV. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they aren't cheap. I've found a few different models:

Swisher 44" 10.5 HP Trailmower - $800.00
Swisher 44" 11.5 HP Trailmower - $800.00
Sears Craftsman(Agri-Fab) 10.5 HP 42" Tow-behind mower - $1,080.00
Swisher Rough-Cut 44" Trailmower - $1,200.00
Agri-Fab Rough Cut 42" 14.5 HP Trailmower - $1,650.00
Swisher Finishing Trailmower — 60-Inch 14.5 HP Model#T14560 - $1,666.23
Estate Super 54" Finish Mower - $1,730.00
Swisher Finishing Trailmower — 66inch, 20 HP, Model# T18566 - $1,989.00
Agri-Fab Finishing Mower 63" 14.5 HP - $2,234.00
Tow Behind Engine Powered 48" Rough Cut ATV Estate Mowers - $2,400.00
Estate ATV Finishing And Grooming 60" Mower - $2,420.00
Befco Cyclone C30-CE5 60" Rear-Deck Finishing Mower - $2,775.00
Kunz AcrEase 58" Finish Cut Mower C60H - $3,000.00
Kunz AcrEase 57" Rough Cut Mower MR55H - $4,000.00

Product Reviews:
Kunz AcrEase mowers.
Agri-Fab 42" Finish Cut Mower

Product Websites:
Agri-Fab Mowers
Befco Cyclone Mowers

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 27, 2007 at 1:43 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Really Cool Treehouses

Someone's been building some really cool $330,000 treehouses.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 27, 2007 at 11:39 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Mars As Art


Spacecraft have imaged the surface of the planet Mars for nearly four decades, providing insights into the history, climate and geology of our nearest neighbor. This exhibition showcases selected images returned by spacecraft from NASA and European Space Agency, which have been selected for their aesthetic rather than scientific value. These images are actual images of Mars, taken from orbit and from the surface by spacecraft that have visited there.

Five thousand images were nominated by scientist; forty-five were selected by a panel of professional artists, photographers, and photo editors. Every successful Mars mission since Viking is represented in this collection.

The exhibit was unveiled on July 20, 2006, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Viking Landing.

View the gallery at www.nasa.gov/externalflash/Mars_as_art

Sort-of-related post: Europa Rising

Posted by Robert Racansky on May 27, 2007 at 6:45 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 26, 2007

Females Fly The Coop

Sunshine and the two female Eastern Bluebirds flew away today.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 26, 2007 at 9:24 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Eastern Bluebird Flies The Coop

The male eastern bluebird flew away yesterday. He was approximately 14 days old.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 26, 2007 at 5:04 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 23, 2007

Baby Eastern Bluebirds

Well, it looks like I've adopted some more varmints. This time, it's a nest of three baby Eastern Bluebirds. Two girls and one boy. Their mother died in a tragic automobile accident. She built her nest in a newspaper box, and got run over by the mailman. So, the mom was deceased, and the father just sort of hung around like..."heck, I'm not feeding them...that's woman's work...besides...I'm not even sure they're mine." One of them died yesterday, so I decided to take the three that were living and see if I could raise them.

At first, I was afraid they wouldn't eat. I was trying to feed them Food Lion dog food soaked in a bowl of water and mashed with a fork. I fed them this concoction with tweezers and an eye dropper. Then, after lunch, I bought them some meal worms and crickets. You wouldn't think that birds this small could eat a full-sized cricket. They were pretty scared at first, but now, they're used to me. They scarf down live crickets and meal worms that I feed them by hand. They suck them down alive in one piece, like it's no big deal. Pretty funny to watch.

Their beaks don't really look that big until they open them up. Then, it looks like you could put a Magic 8 Ball down their throats no problem.

According to this website, the mom and dad both take care of feeding/raising the birds. It also says that they will fly after 17 days, so these birds are pretty close to flying. They also point out that a blue jay killed one of their fledglings, so I'll have to watch for Blue Jays when we release the baby Bluebirds.

The Bluebirds hatched on Saturday May 12th, so they are almost two weeks old. They should be flying by Tuesday.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 23, 2007 at 4:51 PM : Comments (4) | Permalink

May 21, 2007

Computers, Computers, Computers

The chic next to me in the airport had a pretty slick little laptop. I asked her what it was and she said it was a joint venture between Compaq and HP called a TC1100. You can buy them all day long on eBay for $550.00. It's kinda slick because it's small, but it has a good sized keyboard and screen and it's also a tablet pc. So, it has a little pen you can write on the screen with. Also, you can use it without the keyboard as well. I thought it might be a good PC to take into the field for photography. It's smaller and less expensive than my Sony Vaio dual-core Pentium 2.4 Ghz PC. Might be safer to take on a Seadoo or a boxcar than my laptop.

In any event, she told me she got it 3 years ago and they don't make them any more. But, she pointed out that there's a really slick really small computer coming out called the OQO. It's really small. Not sure how practical it would be, but she says she's dying to get one.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 21, 2007 at 8:34 PM : Comments (4) | Permalink

Five In Ten

There's a 10-20 knot wind blowing and thunder is rolling through the hills as I open the valves to the boomless sprayer. These are not exactly ideal conditions for spraying, but I have to fly out tonight, so I'm a-sprayin' - come hell or high water.

I'm riding the 4-wheeler up a steep hill, pumping Curtail out at 40 PSI spraying a 30 foot swath. Leaning over the handlebars to keep it from turning over backwards. It doesn't handle well with an additional 500 pounds on the back end. Go figure. After I've been spraying for about an hour when the ATV dies. It dies and it won't start and it won't change gears. The ATV has failed to proceed.

Continue reading "Five In Ten"

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 21, 2007 at 2:33 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Think Globally, Act Locally

Robert points out a sure-fire way to help save the Earth. Carbon Offset Credits begin at home. Think Globally, Act Locally.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 21, 2007 at 10:53 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Windows Time Synchronization Error

I noticed that the time on my computer was about five minutes fast, which isn't supposed to happen because I have my PC set up so that Windows automatically synchronizes the time with time.nist.gov. So, I went into "Date and Time Properties" - "Internet Time" and clicked "Update Now" and it says "An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with time.nist.gov". So great. It's not working. Excellent. I remember that this was a pain to set up initially, because my ISP was blocking the port used by Windows Time Synchronization. Maybe they're blocking it again? Who knows. So, I googled for "Windows time service xp" and found this post.

I went to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services. Then, I checked the "Windows Time" service, and verified that the "Windows Time" service was running.

I checked the Event Viewer, and for some reason, I don't see any messages, warnings, or errors in the log from the Time Sync errors. Not sure why.

Continue reading "Windows Time Synchronization Error"

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 21, 2007 at 9:50 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

May 20, 2007

MacArthur Park

After drinking some Tequila today, I found myself singing MacArthur Park to Jennifer.

"MacArthur Park is melting in the dark, all the sweet, green icing flowing down.
Someone left the cake out in the rain,
I don't think I could take it, `cause it took so long to bake it,
And I'll never have that recipe again, oh no!"

She thought I was making up the lyrics. I was like..."oh no...I swear to god...that's a real song."

Ten years ago, Dave Barry said Richard Harris's original version of the song was "The Worst Song Ever Recorded". When I was 12, my dad used to blast Donna Summer's version on his home stereo in the den.

"My dad used to listen to it on his turntable when I was a kid...he turned it up real loud....it's called MacArthur Park."

She was like "What's a turntable?"

"It's what people used to play records on."

"What's a record?"

"OK. That's enough. Time for bed."

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 20, 2007 at 9:07 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Photos From April

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting my photos from April. Better late than never, I suppose.

This slideshow is composed of original images I shot in April of 2007 in Colorado and Tennessee. All photos were captured using a Canon EOS 20D and either a Canon EF 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens or a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens with a circular polarizing filter.

This slideshow (4:30) is a 19 Meg self-playing executable named trouble.exe created using Imagematics StillMotion PE+. The soundtrack is Trouble by Coldplay, off of the Parachutes album.

Click here to download the presentation. If you have an Apple, or you're running Unix, or if you're nervous about running a .exe file from my site, then click here to download the Macromedia Flash version. The resolution is not quite as good on the Macromedia Flash version, and you can't pause and go backward and forward, but it loads faster, and it's a fairly decent presention. Click here if you need help.

To see all of the slideshows, click here.

Lyrics in the exended entry.

Continue reading "Photos From April"

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 20, 2007 at 12:06 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 19, 2007

My Most Newest Toy

I finally broke down and purched a 25 gallon sprayer for my ATV. I looked around at some different models, but in the end, I decided to go with the Fimco 12 volt 25 gallon 45 PSI 3.8 GPM 30 ft boomless 3-nozzle sprayer from Gempler's. I'm trying to take care of some knapweed and Russian thistle. They say to spray 1 gallon of Curtail per acre, and to spray at 10 gallons per acre or more to minimize drift. So, that means to mix 9 gallons of water to one gallon of Curtail, by my calculations. So, I put in 22 gallons of water, and two gallons of Curtail, set the pressure gauge at 40 PSI, and drive at 4 MPH. That sprays 10 gallons per acre, whether you have 1, 2, or 3 nozzles open. Of course, I have the hand wand also. So, I'm pretty stoked. I would have sprayed today, but we got an afternoon thunderstorm, and it's not good to spray when the plants are already wet. They need to be dry so they soak it up better. Here's hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow. :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 19, 2007 at 7:28 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Torture, Anyone?

Looks like John McCain is the only republican to get it right about torture. It's not about the terrorists. It's about who we are. We don't torture people. You can't toruture people and remain the same. It changes who we are. Let's not go back to the days of the Con Son Island Tiger Cage.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 19, 2007 at 9:47 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

The 1/2 Hour News Hour

Fox's 1/2 Hour News Hour comes on again tomorrow evening (Sunday). Here's links to some of the bits from the last (pilot) show. Check local listings for the time. Do NOT miss it. Hilarious.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 19, 2007 at 9:41 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Field Day 2007

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 19, 2007 at 9:11 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 17, 2007

Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage


"The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

[...]the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis."

Har, har! Suck it tree-huggers!

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 17, 2007 at 10:38 AM : Comments (4) | Permalink

May 16, 2007

People Will Click On Anything

Didier Stevens documented an interesting experiment, in which he purchased a Google ad that encouraged people to click on the ad to be infected. (Thanks for the pointer, Johannes!) Didier was curious to see how many people would actually click. More than you might think. It turns out, the "ad was displayed 259,723 times and clicked on 409 times. That’s a click-through-rate of 0.16%." Not bad at all, considering that the campaign cost around $23.

The ad said:

Drive-By Download
Is your PC virus-free?
Get it infected here

Continue reading "People Will Click On Anything"

Posted by Uzi Baron on May 16, 2007 at 1:55 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Visa Merchant Agreement Violations

Coffee County Tennessee charged me ten dollars today for the service of allowing me to pay for my speeding ticket with a credit card, which is in clear violation of their merchant agreement with Visa.

Visa and MasterCard both have "merchant agreements" with companies that are authorized to accept Visa and/or MasterCard payments. Both of them have stipulations that 1) you can't have a minimum charge for a credit card transaction and 2)you can't charge more if the customer pays with a credit card. The reason for this is that they want to penalize the customer for using a credit card. They want it to be essentially like paying with cash.

In theory, if a merchant violates the merchant agreement, then Visa or MasterCard could revoke their permission to process payments.

The Consumerist has some of the low-down on the MasterCard and VISA merchant agreements. MasterCard has a Merchant Violation Form. Visa does not. Or, rather, if they have one, I can't find it. And I've looked.

Visa, unfortunately, doesn't really care if their merchants violate their merchant policy or not.

Continue reading "Visa Merchant Agreement Violations"

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 16, 2007 at 1:07 PM : Comments (67) | Permalink


Someone pointed out that I didn't have "Robisms" linked into the website any more. I think that what happened was that I had Robisms linked into the old website, but had never posted it into the new-and-improved Movable Type website. So, I've reposted the complete and unabridged version of Robisms below for your entertainment.

These comments are provided solely for your entertainment. If you are not offended by any of them, then you haven't been on the receiving end of them…yet. Anyone trying to find any order, logic, or method to this confused amalgamation of delusional sound-bites will be shot. Survivors will be shot again. No animals were harmed in these recordings. Be careful using these lines around children, foaming intellectuals, or mouth-breathing tree-huggers.

The definition of a fool is a person who does the same thing over and over and expects to get different results.
The first thing you do when you find yourself at the bottom of a hole is you stop digging.
No matter how flat it is, every pancake's got two sides.
If you wan'na make an omelette you gotta break a few eggs.
There's no point in closing the barn door after all the horses are out.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything you see looks like a nail.
You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the tracks.
You can't deny a leopard his spots.

Continue reading "Robisms"

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 16, 2007 at 8:30 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Here's a little uplifting Mother's Day video I put together of me and brother playing down on the Colorado/Texas border. IMHO, it is a very touching, moving video. Try not to cry.

Your son,

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 13, 2007 at 2:03 PM : Comments (7) | Permalink

May 12, 2007

Three Stages of a Man's Life




Posted by Rob Kiser on May 12, 2007 at 9:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 8, 2007

My Little Cowgirl

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 8, 2007 at 10:55 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 7, 2007

Fred Speaks

Run Fred, Run! Here's Fred Thompson's stump speech.

"So I ask you, even though we won't be going around in the woods to find any bears to kill, sometimes the bear visits you, whether you're looking for him or not. And when that time comes, and hopefully the people on the forces of civilization realize that they're fighting against the forces of nihilism and destruction and darkness...come together...who is going to need to stand firm and stand strong and stand united if it's not the United States of America?"

These are my crude notes from a portion of Fred's speech. He was talking about the future of the planet, after we get out of Iraq, which we will one day, no doubt. The thought being that, if we pull out of Iraq tomorrow, then so be it. But you've still got the nuclear powers....India, Pakistan, China, Russia...etc. Iran and North Korea both trying like mad to create and deploy nuclear weapons. Make no mistake. We are up against the forces of nihilism. Fred knows that. And he's not mincing words.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 7, 2007 at 10:13 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

What Media Bias?

Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when one of them was attacked by a vicious Rottweiler. The dog had already locked his jaws on the Boy's' legs.

Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off of a nearby fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and twisted it, breaking the dog's neck.

A newspaper reporter from the Boston Herald witnessed the incident and rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline, "Brave Boston Red Sox Fan Saves Friend From Jaws Of Vicious Animal."

"But I'm not a Boston Red Sox fan," the little hero interjected.

"Sorry" replied the reporter. "But since we're in Boston, I just assumed you were."

Hitting the delete key, the reporter began again, "John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Dog Attack."

"But I'm not a John Kerry fan either," the boy protested.

The reporter replied, "I assumed everybody in this state was either for The Red Sox, John Kerry, or Ted Kennedy. What team or person do you Like?''

"Well, I'm a Texas Ranger fan, and I really like President Bush," the Boy answered.

Hitting the delete key, the reporter began yet again: "Arrogant Little Republican Bastard Kills Beloved Family Pet."

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 7, 2007 at 8:03 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

S32EVNT1.DLL installable Virtual Device Driver failed Dll initialization

C:\Progra~1\Symantec\S32EVNT1.DLL. An installable Virtual Device Driver failed Dll initialization. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.

I get this error message when I try to run the old version of 16 bit DOS from the command line in Windows XP Pro. Start - Run - command. (As opposed to Start - Run - cmd).

I followed these directions to remove the S31EVNT1.DLL Virtual Device Driver from the registry.

This fixed my problem. Lord God Norton sucks.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 7, 2007 at 12:42 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

May 6, 2007

Global Warming Strikes The Rockies!

Photo by Rob Kiser Copyright Sunday, May 6, 2007 in Jefferson County, Colorado. Image captured with Canon EOS 20D, Canon 17-85 mm IS USM telescopic zoom lens, Canon Speedlite 580EX flash, circular polarizing filter. ISO=400, Aperture = f4.0, Shutter Speed = 1/60 second.

This global warming thing is really kicking us in the shins this year. The power was out three days last week and we lost about 40 trees out back. I wish Al Gore would get serial and solve this whole global warming nightmare. It snowed hard most of the day. It was one of those slushy wet Spring snows, so the power went on and off all day. My Dish network isn't working. My Wispertel internet access wasn't working for most of the day. But, right now, the stars have aligned just so, and the internet is working and the power is on and all is right with the world. In the photo above, Jennifer and Allie demonstrate their solidarity today with the global-warming-alarmist snowman in the front yard.

In all seriousness, the global warming advocates say that there will, in fact, be cold days. So, this is just noise in the data. That's brilliant. So, basically what they're saying is that it's getting warmer, and the fact that we're breaking records all winter long for snowfall and cold temperatures doesn't mean that the planet isn't getting warmer. So, basically then, there's no way to disprove their logic. They believe that it's getting warmer, and the fact that is isn't getting warmer doesn't matter. That's not science. That's theology. Global Warming isn't even "junk science". It doesn't rise to that level. At best, it's a cult.

Update: The apologists at Climate Feedback point out that the shrill eco-terrorists of the "venerable New York Times" are clearly and demonstrably incorrect as the Gray Lady persistently foments ecological revolution with inchoate musings and ill-informed banter on climate change.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 6, 2007 at 8:45 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Fred Dalton Thompson

Quote beneath Fred Dalton Thompson's senior yearbook:

"The lazier a man is, the more he plans to do tomorrow."

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 6, 2007 at 12:59 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 5, 2007

Hundreds of pages of Steinbeck's work found in attic


A handwritten draft of John Steinbeck's novel "Sweet Thursday," along with an unpublished story and other works, will be auctioned by a writer who says they were sitting in a closet for 50 years.

"This stuff was unbelievable _ just laying in a box," said Joel Eisenberg. "I had this `Aha!' moment when I realized not only what I had here, but what I had the responsibility to do."

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 5, 2007 at 4:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Free The Film

There's a movie that was paid for/produced by PBS called Islam vs. Islamists, but, unfortunately, the censors have decided that we can't watch it. Even after our tax dollars paid for it. Basically, the movie talks about how the extremists have hijacked the religion of Islam for their own nefarious reasons. Of course, PBS has decided that people might be offended by it, so it's best not to air anything controversial. So much for freedom of speech. This is exactly why tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the arts. For exactly this reason. However, since the film has already been made, we may as well see it. Go here to sign the online petition to have the movie released by the self-appointed censors. Movie trailer here.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 5, 2007 at 1:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

First, They Came

Here's Michelle Malkin's video "First They Came". It shows how the Muslims are targeting people that they don't agree with. With YouTube so quck to ban videos, it looks like QubeTV is taking off.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 5, 2007 at 9:10 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Gumball Rally Claims 2nd Victim

Gumball Rally claims 2nd victim:

The international rally Gumball 3000 claimed the second victim today - Margarita Chepunjoska, the wife of Vladimir, who died two days ago, has passed away today in the Skopje Clinic Center. Margarita was severely injured in the accident that took place on Wednesday, when a participant of the rally crashed his Porsche into the car driven by her husband.

Yesterday, an investigative judge of Struga Court ordered 30 days of temporary detention to Nicholas Morley. The Police filed a formal accusation against him for "heavy violation of traffic safety" and "failure to provide help to an injured person".

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 5, 2007 at 7:10 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 4, 2007

Run Fred, Run!

Fred Thompson on the Global Economy, Taxation,and the Entitlement Programs. Run Fred, Run!

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 4, 2007 at 11:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

11 Tips for Better Candid Photography

Uzi pointed me to this site today: 11 Tips for Better Candid Photography. It has some excellent suggestions, including a few I'd never considered. Like the following:

"10. Frame Images with Foreground Elements - A trick that I often use in candid shots is to purposely include something in the foreground of the shot to make it look as though I’m hiding behind it. You might do this with by shooting over someone’s shoulder, by including a little of a tree branch or the frame of a doorway."

So, in the above photo that I shot today, you can see that the person in the foreground is shot out of focus, but he does add some drama to the image. You have an idea of what Jennifer is reacting to. She's responding to this boy that I've shot (accidentally) from the back.

Thanks, Uzi.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 4, 2007 at 1:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Fatal Crash Kills Gumball Rally

It looks like the Gumball Rally has been canceled.

"The Gumball 3000 rally was called off last night after two British drivers in a Porsche were involved in a high-speed accident in which a man died and his wife was injured.

The rally, which was inspired by “Cannonball? Baker’s coast-to-coast motorcycle race across the United States in about 54 hours in 1933, will not travel any farther this year. "

Wikipedia has more details, and it doesn't look good:

On May 2, a convoy of four Gumball 3000 vehicles was involved in a traffic accident near the town of Struga, Republic of Macedonia. The Techart Porsche 911 Turbo of Nick Morley and Matthew McConville hit an oncoming car, at a reported speed of more than 200km/h, after which, according to media reports, they tried to escape the country via the nearby border post. However, they were stopped and arrested by the police, and will be held in custody until their trial has begun. The casualties reported in the accident were the 67-year old driver of the other vehicle (a Volkswagen Golf), who died on his way to the hospital; and his wife, who was seriously injured. [5] [6] The following day, the rally was cancelled because of the accident. [7]

So, basically, they appear to have hit a VW Golf head-on going over 200km/h (124 mph) in Macedonia, killing the driver and seriously injuring his wife. They, they ran for the border but didn't make it. Ouch.

Update: Video of crashed vehicles.

Update 2: Apparently, they were reportedly picked up by another Gumball Rally vehicle with Russian plates and fled the scene without administering first aid. The man then died on the way to the hospital in an ambulance. This sucks. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Update 3: Here's a video update from the BBC. The two rally participants have been arrested.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 4, 2007 at 9:28 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 3, 2007

Europa Rising


Press release: www.pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/050107.htm

More pictures: www.pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/050107_pressGraphics.htm

A sort-of-related post: Saturnalia

Posted by Robert Racansky on May 3, 2007 at 12:59 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Massachusetts to require dogs to wear seatbelts

In a true nanny-state, even the dogs aren't safe:

"...state Rep. Martin Walsh is howling mad about dogs running wild inside moving cars and is considering filing legislation requiring drivers to buckle up their canines. “When I drive down the road and I see a dog running around the car, particularly on the lap and front seat, that’s crazy,? said the Dorchester Democrat. "

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 3, 2007 at 9:28 AM : Comments (2) | Permalink

May 2, 2007

Green Hornet

Will Pace and Joe clowning around in the Mississippi Coliseum in the Green Hornet and a tricked out white Ford.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 10:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Peaceful Hills Patrol

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 9:56 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink


Here's a timelapse video I shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from Lands End/Baker Beach and also some day/evening/night footage shot from my home in the Rocky Mountains.

Update: I used a utility called JPGVideo to create and AVI file from the .jpg files, then I used WIndows Movie Maker to add the audio. I created this video in December of 2004. I'm not clear why I didn't post it until 2007.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 9:33 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Speedlite 580EX Slave w/o Master

Now that I have my Speedlite 580EX, I'm trying to figure out how to use it. Theres a lot to it, of course. The manual appears to have been written by Leo Tolstoy. The thing that I'd like to do is use the Speedlite 580EX as a slave without a master. Or, more accurately, to make the EOS 20D frame the master, and trigger the Speedlite 580EX as a wireless slave. Unfortunately, you can't. Or, more accurately, you can't do it without buying another little gizmo called the Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, which runs about $180. I also apparently need to order an "Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2" to make this thing function correctly with the stroboscopic L bracket.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 4:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

School Pictures

Jennifer's third grade school picture. Note that I didn't take this school picture, and I'm not all that enamored with it. Notice, for instance, that her left elbow is almost as large as her face. This is caused by having the camera lens too close to the subject, so that objects increase in size non-linearly as they get closer to the lens.

This peculiar phenomenon is demonstated fairly well by the classic Robert Crumb illustration "Keep on Truckin'".

The solution to this is to back the lens up a few feet and zoom in. This keeps the body parts in a more familiar perspective, without distorting proportions.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 10:57 AM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Microsoft's Driver Signing is a Failure

I hate Microsoft, probably as much as anyone. But their "driver signing" project is an abject failure. As useless as tits on a bull. Not only is it nearly impossible to write drivers for windows so that they will be "signed", but there are many back-door workarounds that the bad guys can exploit anyway. So, it's actually worse than tits on a bull. It does positive harm. It impedes progress unnecessarily. It is bad in XP. But, you can change it so that it doesn't nag you at least. Just go to System Properties - Driver Signing - and select "Ignore-Install the software anyway and don't ask for my approval".

In Vista, it's even worse because Vista won't let you install unsigned drivers. And it isn't because of security concerns. It's because of DRM. They want to make sure that the audio is streamed to a soundcard instead of to disk. Secure beneath the watchful eyes of Microsoft.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 9:40 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Digg This:09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0

After HD-DVD code was cracked (more details here), Digg tried to sit on the story. Digg tried to cover it all up and sweep it all under the rug by taking down stories about it. However, in the end, Digg decided to do the right thing and stop censoring their own site. Three cheers to Digg for having the kahunas to do the right thing, albeit belatedly. Google, whose motto is "Do no evil", might take note here and stop their Orwellian censorship and monitoring practices at home and abroad.

Update: Hot Air calls describes the fracas at Digg as a Digital Riot in Progress.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 2:08 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Local Woman Attacked by Bear

A Conifer woman was attacked by a bear yesterday. This is close to where I live. Too close. These tree-huggers come up here and think that we live in a theme park and they disarm themselves and go wandering through the woods like they're in Disney World. Of course, when a cop shows up and a bear charges him, he shoots the bear. Which is what the woman should have done, except, that she was disarmed. (Can't we all just get along?)

Of course, what the story neglects to mention is that a man did shoot a bear in Conifer about six years ago that was a nusiance and kept breaking into his house, and they prosecuted him to the fullest extent of the law and beyond. He had to pay $50K in legal fees to stay out of prison. Because no one believes in the rights of citizens to take care of matters on their own any more. We need to get attacked and dial 911 and let the police handle things. Thanks, police. Good job. Oh, and for the record...I've got money they killed the wrong bear. Stay tuned.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2007 at 1:41 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 1, 2007

Bruce Irons wipes out in Tahiti

AP Photo: Karen Wilson

Bruce Irons wipes out in Tahiti preparing for the Billabong Pro Surfing Tournament in Tahiti. Bruce is from Kaua'i’. If you're not sure who he is, check him out on this YouTube video.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 1, 2007 at 8:34 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Reason They Closed North Turkey Creek

In case you didn't get to see it, here's the reason they closed North Turkey Creek on Saturday. It was a great lesson for Jennifer in civil disobedience, as well. A cop came by and ordered us to turn around, and I said "OK", waited until he drove away, and then we continued on our way. Jennifer was somewhat confused.

"Daddy, he told us to turn back." she complained.

"It doesn't matter what he says, baby. We weren't put on this earth to do as he says. We don't have to answer to him."

"He said it isn't safe." she continued.

"He said it wasn't safe, but he was down there, wasn't he?" I countered.


"So, it's safe for him, but not for us. That's what he said, right?" I continued.

"That really doesn't make any sense, does it?" she puzzled.

"No, baby. It doesn't. See, police love to tell people what to do. That's why they become policemen. If you like bossing people around, you're going to love being a cop. See how excited he got when he ordered us to turn around? He lives for that. It doesn't matter what he says. You just ignore him."

"OK, daddy. I will."

I hate to think about all the mindless marching drones among us. An army of sycophants. A confederacy of dunces. Unlike the unwashed masses, Jennifer will be thinking for herself. ;)

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 1, 2007 at 11:18 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink