« June 2009 | Main | August 2009 »

July 31, 2009

Rufous Hummingbird

Above: Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus),

Above: Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus),

Above: Female Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus),

Above: Female Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus),

Above: Female Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus),

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 31, 2009 at 8:22 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

Garmin Sucks!

I hate Garmin so much I don't know where to begin. I noticed that somehow, my Garmin unit lost all of my GPS maps. So, I was trying to reload the maps from MapSource which is just nearly impossible to figure out. It sucks so bad. You select a map and then select "Transfer - SendTo GPS" and it says "you must first select a map". Like what do you think I just did you piece of garbage? So, finally I decided to update the MapSource software, as in, surely the latest version doesn't suck this bad, right? Wrong. Got an error trying to update the software using the MapSource "Check For Updates" feature. Had to manually install the update because it doesn't even work properly they way you might think it should...under the "check for updates" and all.

Finally get the software updated and guess what? It still sucks. If you select a map, then select "Transfer - Send To Device", it says "you must first select a map." Maddening. Finally, I found this:
How do I load a map from MapSource to my GPS?

Like, trust me...if you have an FAQ to explain to people how to copy maps into the gps, then you need to redesign the method of copying maps into the gps. So, finally I selected all of the Western United States and tried to copy it into my GPS, but no no no. Not so fast there, Kemosabe...."The map set is approximately 648.9 MB, but only 120.0 MB is available in the destination. Please select fewer maps and try again."

So, I did finally get the GPS maps for Colorado loaded into the piece of garbage. But, serious, I hate Garmin. In a big way. They suck so bad. The hardware. The software. One big package of suck. I found this software Garmin IMG to GPS Uploader Front-End for SendMap which I'd recommend to anyone that doesn't want to go insane trying to use the MapSuck software from Garmin.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 31, 2009 at 4:02 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Rock Lobster

Greg posing with his first lobster of the season. Looks delicious.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 31, 2009 at 6:30 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 30, 2009

Mule Deer Buffet

I photographed these mule deer bucks in velvet grazing on the scrub oaks yesterday evening. I think that, if you walked down to the either end of the line, you could get all four deer in one shot. Is that wrong? (Larger photo of each buck below, from left to right.)

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 30, 2009 at 5:56 PM : Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

July 29, 2009

Gran Torino Soundtrack

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/soundtrack

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 29, 2009 at 11:12 PM : Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

July 28, 2009

Bear Breaks into Boulder House

A bear broke into a Boulder house and attacked the homeowner. To kill the 120 pound young male bear required 3 shots from a 12 gauge shotgun, 5 rounds from a .45 caliber pistol, and 2 rounds from an AR-15. That's one tough bear.
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/jul/27/bears-break-boulder-county-homes/

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 28, 2009 at 11:07 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 27, 2009

Spread The Wealth

This photo is circulating on the internets. I didn't take the photo but I love the sign.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 27, 2009 at 9:06 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Obama Snubbed in Russia

News sources like to display the POTUS as a God throughout the world but in reality he is greatly disrespected as you will clearly witness.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 27, 2009 at 6:58 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 26, 2009

Johnny Carson and Dom DeLuise

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 26, 2009 at 4:57 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

Chinns Lake ATV Ride

http://www.magnalox.net/log/no.php?fmt=g&lid=18050

Update: I think the link should work now. It required a login previously, which was my fault.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 26, 2009 at 11:49 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

June/July 2009

I just shot my 30,000th image for the year, so I thought I'd cobble some of my recent photos into a slideshow. I shot these images in June /July of 2009 in Austin, Aspen, Pensacola, San Diego, and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

These images were all captured on one of the following:

The images are compiled into an 17 Meg (4:23) Adobe Flash slideshow(hello.swf) that you should be able to open and view with any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.). To view the slideshow, just click on the photo above. If you want to view the slideshow as a Windows executable, you can play this version (hello.exe), and it allows you to play, pause, skip forward, backwards, etc.

Image post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended. The slideshow was created using Imagematics Stillmotion Pro.

The soundtrack is Hello It's Me by Todd Rundgren. I chose this song because when I was in college, I saw that someone owned one of his CD's and I've never heard a singe song by Todd Rundgren that I liked in the least. So, I was always perplexed by why he would have bought that CD. Then I heard this song in the background of a movie recently (The Virgin Suicides, I think?) and I googled it and finally found one song that Todd Rundgren sings that I actually like, and this made me feel a lot better. Like a salve for 20 years of angst.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Continue reading "June/July 2009"

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 26, 2009 at 10:31 AM : Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 25, 2009

Polaris Ranger RZR

Jen and I were resting on a promontory on an ATV today at about 11,300 ft above sea level about 5 miles east of the continental divide, as the crow flies. We were just admiring the scenery when these people came up the trail in a Polaris side-by-side. I've never been overly impressed by the side-by-side configuration of off-road ATV. To me, it seems more like a golf cart than an ATV, so I've managed to avoid the craze up to this point. But, this is clearly where the market is heading.

In any event, these two guys came by us today in an 800cc 2009 Polaris Ranger RZR and I have to say it looked pretty cool. Looked much more like a dune buggy than it did a golf cart. Lots of travel on all four tires. Independent suspension. They were strapped in their seats with seat belts, protected by a nice roll cage, with a cargo net over about 1/2 of the vehicle. Plus, a little area on the back with some cargo strapped down. It was impressive, and made me wonder how well it handles. But, we were on a pretty rough 4x4 trail and they went up it like it was no big deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNojQcUic-4

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 25, 2009 at 10:49 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Camping at Chinns Lake

Jen and I went camping this weekend up at Chinns Lake, near St. Mary's Glacier. We hauled up an ATV and the canoe. Caught a nice cutbow last night, a hybrid of a Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout. I don't think I could have landed it if Jen didn't net him for me. Went on a nice long ATV ride today up above St. Mary's Glacier. Wildflowers are spectacular.

Note: The road to Chinns Lake is not for the faint of heart. It's a fairly rough four wheel drive trail (think 4wd - low range for a few miles). I saw a guy in a little Mercedes SUV and I told him that he could probably make it, but not without some body damage. He turned back.

But once you get there, it's all worth it. No tree-huggers. No Ranger Rick. No facilities. First come first served. Bring your pistol.

Above: Chinns Lake at dawn with the continental divide in the background.

Above: View from Chinns Lake at dawn.

Above: View from Chinns Lake at dawn.

Above: Looking across Chinns Lake at dawn.

Above: Castilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or Prairie-fire.

Above: Rocky Mountain bluebells (Mertensia humilis).

Above: I'm not clear what flower this is.

Above: Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea).

Above: Sun breaking through the clouds near treeline.

Above: Jennifer eating a variety of yogurt that you can squeeze and eat without a spoon, apparently. (Assuming you don't mind having your face completely covered in yogurt.)

Above: A dead tree in Chinns Lake.

Above: Jennifer making hobos.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 25, 2009 at 10:21 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 24, 2009

Word Table of Contents Displays as {TOC}

OK. This one is brilliant. Took me a minute to figure this one out. I couldn't see my Table of Contents in MS Word. Not sure why, but suddenly it started appearing as some cryptic {TOC /o "1-3"} gibberish. So, I searched and found a clue that said to hit Alt-F9 and suddenly the Table of Contents appeared. Alternately, in MS Word, go to Tools - Options - View and Uncheck the "Field Codes" box. Either way should work. Tada!

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3GS

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 24, 2009 at 10:39 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 23, 2009

Another 4 Terabytes of Disk Space

Well, obviously I've been shooting a lot this year and I don't delete any photos and then, with the new camera having a 15 Megapixel sensor, well, one can see how the files might start to add up after a while. My 1 Terabyte RAID Level 5 Buffalo Terastation is reporting that it's at 90% capacity so I figured I'd get a new Terastation. But when I went looking around, I wasn't seeing great reviews on the Terastation. Lots of complaints about their controllers and their technical support team. So I decided to try something a little different and get a 4 Terabyte WD Sharespace.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 23, 2009 at 7:03 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (2) | Permalink

New Rear Tire

I finally saved up enough money to order a new rear tire for my dirt bike. Should be here next week. I can't wait to get out there and hit the trails again.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 23, 2009 at 12:32 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Claymore Mine Donated to Charity

Someone put a claymore mine with the words "Front Toward Enemy" in a Goodwill collection box in Arvada yesterday. Classic.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 23, 2009 at 9:52 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Bear ransacks Aspen office

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_12892173

"Bears are roaming around the mountain town, looking for things to eat. A late freeze wiped out some of their normal food sources."

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 23, 2009 at 1:50 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

July 22, 2009

Land Line

I requested to have my old-school land-line reconnected today. I've been using my Vonage VOIP line over the internet for years, but there are a couple of problems with this:
1) traffic over my web server causes the line to drop out like every other word or so.
2) when I answer the VOIP phone, I always have to say "Hello" at least twice - not sure why this is
3) when the blizzard hit and we were without power for 3 days, the VOIP line was about as useless as tits on a bull. And, my understanding is that during the same people, people that had Qwest land-lines were not affected.

So, for these reasons, I ordered the basic service for $14.88 a month which will allow me to have a true land-line which I can use to accept incoming calls and dial out for local numbers. We'll see how it goes.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 22, 2009 at 1:37 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 21, 2009

Alien Landscapes

Amazing "alien" landscape photos.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 21, 2009 at 9:43 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Patrick Huges - Reverse Perspective

I saw an amazing piece of art on display in a gallery in Aspen this weekend. It appeared to be a normal flat painting, but when you walked by it, the perspective changed in a surreal, preternatural way. My eyes and my brain couldn't reconcile what was going one before me.

I was floored by it, and didn't understand it at all. It was both exhilarating and disturbing at once.

I called Jennifer over and she saw it right away as well, and we were both just dumbfounded.

I walked around the gallery until I found another one of his pieces on display. On the second piece, I could see that what my eyes had mistakenly interpreted as a flat piece of art was actually a very meticulously constructed three-dimensional illusion. Basically, the works consist of a series of truncated pyramids protruding from a backboard. These pyramid shapes are then painted in a reverse perspective so that the parts physically closest to the observer are painted as distant objects, and the parts physically most distant from the observer are painted as closer objects.

I've not explained it well, but the illusion is both dramatic and disturbing. If you get a chance to see some of these works by Patrick Hughes, you should check them out.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 21, 2009 at 9:13 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 20, 2009

Postcards from Nowhere: Aspen

Update: These photos were shot free-hand without the aid of a tripod and are posted straight out of the camera. Some are over-exposed. Some are under-exposed. Some are poorly cropped. All I really have time to do is cull out a few and drop them onto the website and then move on.

I'm not really interested in growing as a photographer. A serious photographer would drive up to Maroon Bells at dawn and set up a tripod and a laptop and try to get some really clean low-noise images in the can with a 50mm "normal" lens with the ISO set at 50 and the Aperture set at f/20 and a UV filter, etc. But that's not really my bag. I get bored with all that very quickly. I like to keep moving and find new places to shoot. So, again, I apologize for the rough look of these images, but this is where were are.

Above: Rocky Mountain bluebells (Mertensia humilis). (This photo was actually taken near Evergreen, Co.)

Above: Jennifer prepares to wade in a creek above Maxwell Falls. (This photo was actually taken near Evergreen, Co.)

Above: View from near the summit of Independence Pass, going west on Colorado State Highway 82, heading into Aspen.

Above: View from near the summit of Independence Pass, going west on Colorado State Highway 82, heading into Aspen.

Above: View from near the summit of Independence Pass, going west on Colorado State Highway 82, heading into Aspen.

Above: View from near the summit of Independence Pass, going west on Colorado State Highway 82, heading into Aspen.

Above: The Devil's Punchbowl just outside of Aspen, Colorado. These lunatics actually jump across the ledge like mountain goats, and then dive into the punchbowl below. Crazy.

Above: Cosmos flowers.

Above: Cosmos flowers.

Above: Carnations. Update: I'm told these are Zinnias.

Above: Carnations. Update: I'm told these are Zinnias.

Above: Pansies.

Above: Flower bed beside one of Aspen's artificial recirculating creeks.

Above: Little Annie's restaurant in Aspen.

Above: A pedestrian mall in Apsen.

Above: Fountain on a pedestrian mall in Apsen. The kids would put balloons in the fountain and then watch them rise up, balanced on the fountainheads.

Above: Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia flavescens).

Above: Wendy had a name for this, but I forget what it was.

Above: Cosmos.

Above: Cosmos.

Above: No clue what this is. Update: Possibly a Dahlia?

Above: This is a sepia-toned photo hanging in a hotel in Aspen of some people negotiating Independence Pass by horse and buggy. The road today is not much wider than this in places. It's paved and as has guardrails now, but in parts it goes down to one lane - no joke.

Above: Flowerbed in front of an Aspen hotel.

Above: Wendy identified these as Delphiniums.

Above: Cosmos.

Above: Cosmos.

Above: Delphiniums.

Above: Ski lodge in Aspen Highlands.

Above: Flower basket in Aspen Highlands.

Above: Maroon Lake with Maroon Bells in the background.

Above: Jennifer negotiating the trail to Crater Lake.

Above: American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus). This bird actually swims underwater fairly well. Very surprising the first time you see one go under and then pop back up a few feet away like it was no big deal. I assume that he must have some type of oil gland on him like a duck because his feathers never seem to get wet and I've never seen one sunning their wings like a cormorant.

Above: The trail to Crater Lake through Aspen trees and Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota). Queen Anne's Lace was imported into the New World from Europe as a medicinal plant and has been used as a contraceptive for centuries. Also known as the Wild Carrot, the vegetable carrot was bred from this same plant.

Above: The trail to Crater Lake through Aspen trees.

Above: The Colorado Chipmunk (Tamias quadrivittatus) is a species of rodent in the squirrel family Sciuridae. It is endemic to the United States.

Above: Jennifer at Crater Lake posing before a large stump. Note all of the dead trees behind her in the lake - this wood was all taken out by one of the unimaginable avalanches that periodically decimate everything in their path as they tumble down the chutes of the slopes around Maroon Bells.

Above: Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea).

Above: Castilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or Prairie-fire.

Above: The American Pika (Ochotona princeps) is found in the mountains of Colorado in boulder fields at or above tree line. They are the smallest of the rabbit group.

Above: A grove of Aspen trees. Some claim the largest living organism in the world is a grove of Aspen trees in Colorado, New Mexico, or Utah.

Above: No clue what this is.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 20, 2009 at 11:40 PM : Comments (4) | TrackBack (2) | Permalink

Peenie Wallie Lives!

I moved Peenie Wallie from Network Solutions over to GoDaddy for reasons that probably weren't nearly good enough for the headache it caused me. The transition was not very smooth, and happened while I was in Aspen, so the site has been down for a few days as a result. The new A Records are being propagated (slowly) across the internet Domain Name Servers. My website is located at 66.109.210.3. The best DNS server at this point is probably (NS45.DOMAINCONTROL.COM) 216.69.185.23.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 20, 2009 at 10:31 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 17, 2009

Zac Sunderland completes solo sail around the world

Zac Sunderland completes solo sail around the world

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 17, 2009 at 1:50 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 15, 2009

One to One

Above: I finally mixed my sugar to water as a 1:1 ratio. As in, I dissolved 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of boiling water. I used use 1 part sugar to 3 parts water. Or even 1:4 (gasp).

This is why I never had the full-on dog-fights over my feeders, but I finally clued in and now, it's standing room only at the feeders. Dangerous to go outside, even. I was so excited today when I saw the first Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus) on my feeder. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pics, only to realize that my Rufous Hummingbird was actually just a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus platycercus).

Above: I shot this flower at Jeanelle's. No clue what it is.

Above: Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus platycercus) on Wendy's feeder.

Above: Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus) on Wendy's feeder.

Above: Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus) on Wendy's feeder.

Above: Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorous rufus) on Wendy's feeder.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 15, 2009 at 11:05 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 13, 2009

Jefferson County, Colorado

Above: Scarlet Fairy Trumpet or Western Scarlet Gilia (Ipomopsis agregata aggregata).

Above: Scarlet Fairy Trumpet or Western Scarlet Gilia (Ipomopsis agregata aggregata).

Above: Pink Fairy Trumpet or Pink Gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) with White Fairy Trumpet or White Gilia (Ipomopsis candida) in background.

Above: Small Flowered Penstemon or Clustered Penstemon (Penstemon confertus procerus).

Above: Small Flowered Penstemon or Clustered Penstemon (Penstemon confertus procerus).

Above: Indian Paintbrush (Castillja coccinea).

Above: Colorado Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea).

Above: Black-eyed Susan (Udbeckia hirta).

ZOMG look what I found. Awesome.
http://www.denverplants.com/wflwr/nav/b_p.htm

http://www.denverplants.com/wflwr

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 13, 2009 at 10:30 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

Disable Windows Genuine Advantage Notification in 3 Simple Steps

http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/how-to-disable-windows-genuine-advantage-notification-in-3-simple-steps/

How To Disable Windows Genuine Advantage Notification in 3 Simple Steps
Angsuman Chakraborty
April 24th, 2007

Following three simple steps now you can get rid of the pesky and sometimes buggy Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notifications:
1. Reboot Windows in safe mode (hold the f8 key while booting and you will get the option to boot in safe mode) [Click Yes I do NOT want to go to a previous Restore Point (Microsoft Doublethink)] and then:
2. Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and [backup the registry - Start - Run - Regedit. File - Export - Export Range=All]. Search for wgalogon folder [Edit - Find - wgalogon] and delete it. You should backup up the registry beforehand, in case somethiong goes wrong.
3. In your windows directory search for files wga* and delete them. [Windows Explorer - search folder C:\windows for wga* and delete whatever it finds.]
[Restart your pc and]
You are done!

Note: On two of my PC's, it wouldnt allow me to delete one of the files...I think it was the wgalogon.dll file. So, I had to reboot again in the safe mode, then it allowed me to delete all of the c:\windows\wga* files. Now, I believe all 4 pc's are free of this MicroSoft-created virus.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM : Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

July 11, 2009

Postcards From Nowhere: Pensacola

Above: Fishing pier at Pensacola Beach. At 1,471 feet in length, the Pensacola Beach Gulf Fishing Pier is the longest on the Gulf of Mexico. It was destroyed and rebuilt at some point. Probably after Hurricane Ivan, I guess.

Above: Penscola Beach, as seen from the fishing pier.

Above: A Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus) some guy caught off the pier.

Above: Someone airbrushed a turtle onto some equipment on the pier.

Above: If I'm not mistaken, this is Lurch from the Addams Family.

Above: They just recently reopened the road to Fort Pickens, so Jen and I drove out there to check it out, as she'd never seen it. We saw this Osprey nest on the way out there.

Above: This is a shot of Fort Pickens, a fort guarding the entrance to Escambia Bay and the Santa Rosa Island Sound. Geronimo and his three wives were held captive here for some time after being captured and deported from their native Apache lands in Arizona.

Above: Catacombs inside of Fort PIckens.

Above: Catacombs inside of Fort PIckens.

Above: Brick ceiling in Fort PIckens.

Above: Jennifer wilting like a flower in the sun at Fort Pickens. She actually enjoyed the fort very much, as she had no idea what to expect. She liked wandering through the cool catacombs beneath the groin vaulted ceilings. But outside was pretty hot.

Above: Catacombs inside of Fort PIckens.

Above: Catacombs inside of Fort PIckens.

Above: Catacombs inside of Fort PIckens.

Above: The Gulf coast of the Santa Rosa Island.

Above: Jennifer poses before a 32 pound cannon.

Above: I believe that this is called Trumpet Vine or Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans).

Above: Buildings surrounding Fort Pickens.

Above: Boeing T-45 Goshawk trainer.

Above: Buildings surrounding Fort Pickens.

Above: Jennifer and Jack at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Jennifer and Caroline at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Jennifer, Jack, and Kate bury Caroline at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Jennifer, Jack, and Kate bury Caroline at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Jack and Caroline at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Kate at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Jennifer and Caroline bury Jack at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Jennifer and Caroline bury Jack at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Kate, Caroline, and Jack bury Jennifer at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Kate, Caroline, and Jack bury Jennifer at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Kate, Caroline, and Jack bury Jennifer at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: Kate at Peg Leg Pete's.

Above: USS Alabama in Mobile, AL.

Above: Some grass swamps and small islands near the Gulf Coast.

Above: Some grass swamps and small islands near the Gulf Coast.

Above: Lighthouse near Biloxi, MS.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Heading out from the D'Iberville marina.

Above: Hurricane-ravaged Deer Island.

Above: Hurricane-ravaged Deer Island.

Above: ?

Above: Some suicidal locals fishing in a tiny skiff at Dog Keys Pass.

Above: A red channel marker indicating the channel from DIberville out into the Gulf between Deer Island and Horn Island.

Above: Jonathan retrieves a buoy that we set to mark a wreck in 70 feet of water about 20 miles off the coast of Mississippi.

Above: David releases a small shark.

Above: One of the countless off-shore oil drilling/pumping platforms that dot the Gulf of Mexico.

Above: One of the countless off-shore oil drilling/pumping platforms that dot the Gulf of Mexico.

Above: My understanding is that this is a radio tower used by the Air Force. My assumptions is that this is a VOR radio tower.

Above: A crew boat takes supplies to an off-shore drilling station.

Above: Jonathan landing a Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) while fishing off of a Chevron deep sea drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico 20 miles off the Mississippi coast.

Above: Jonathan lands a Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) while fishing off of a Chevron deep sea drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico 20 miles off the Mississippi coast.

Above: Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico 15 miles off the Mississippi coast.

Above: Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico 15 miles off the Mississippi coast.

Above: Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico 15 miles off the Mississippi coast.

Above: Jennifer suffering beneath the summer sun on Pensacola Beach.

Above: The T-6A Texan II Aerial Demonstration Team performs above Pensacola Beach.

Above: The T-6A Texan II Aerial Demonstration Team performs above Pensacola Beach.

Above: USMC Lockheed C-130T Hercules "Fat Albert", the support aircraft for the US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team. The "Fat Albert" has jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) rockets mounted on the sides.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Jennifer and Caroline play in the Gulf of Mexico as the F/A-18 Hornets perform overhead.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets performing over Pensacola Beach.

Above: Chipper driving the boat, with me spotting, as we pulled Jennifer and Ana on the Ski Bob. Chaz and one of Susan's curtain-climbers in the bow.

Above: Sailboat underway in the Santa Rosa Island sound.

Above: Greg, Jonathan, and Kate pulling some pedal-pushers through the sound on the Ski Bob.

Above: Unidentified bird rests atop a hurricane-damaged boat house.

Above: Jack and Anna sitting on the Ski Bob.

Above: American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) searches for fish in the Santa Rosa Island sound.

Above: Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) hunting for fish above the Santa Rosa Island sound.

Above: Pleasure boat motoring down the Santa Rosa Island sound.

Above: Sailboat moored in the Santa Rosa Island sound.

Above: Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.

Continue reading "Postcards From Nowhere: Pensacola"

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 11, 2009 at 6:28 PM : Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | Permalink

July 9, 2009

Postcards From Nowhere: Pensacola

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 9, 2009 at 12:26 AM : Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 8, 2009

United Breaks Guitars

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 7, 2009

Meditation from Thais

Yesterday, Kirsten played two different songs on her violin with pipe organ accompaniment at her father's funeral. She's so talented that you want to cry when she's tuning her violin. She's that good. No joke. I'm not sure what the first song she played was, but the second one was "Meditation" from the opera "Thais". She played it for her father in his final days and of course, he loved it. Then she played it again yesterday at his funeral accompanied by someone playing the church's pipe organ. I bet there wasn't a dry eye in the church.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 7, 2009 at 8:44 PM : Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 5, 2009

The Last Thing You Want To See In The Airport...

This type of crap makes me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers. I shot these videos of a reality-challenged individual wrapped in a table cloth today at the Atlanta airport. I was thinking this would probably be the last thing I saw before the four horsemen of the apocalypse came riding down upon me.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM : Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

La Jolla, Tijuana, Phoenix, Breckenridge

Above: Biplane flying over La Jolla Cove.

Above: Unknown flowers in La Jolla, CA.

Above: Steps leading down into Sunny Jim's cave, one of seven sea caves at La Jolla Cove.

Above: Looking out from Sunny Jim's cave at a bunch of 4th of July tourists trying to drown themselves in rented sea kayaks.

Above: A botanist in La Jolla, CA and Wendy informed me that the flowering tree/shrub shown here is a Melaleuca, a plant that is native to Australia, and of the Myrtaceae (Myrtles) family.

Above: California Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) at La Jolla Cove.

Above: California Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) at La Jolla Cove.

Above: One of seven sea caves at La Jolla Cove.

Above: Hibiscus flowers (Hibiscus syriacus) in La Jolla Cove.

Above: Unknown flowers in La Jolla, CA. Update: SL informs that this is Periwinkle.

Above: Hopefully, your 4th of July is going better than this guy attempted to ride his Italian Aprillia through La Jolla, CA.

Above: Hopefully, your 4th of July is going better than this guy attempted to ride his Italian Aprillia through La Jolla, CA.

Above: Mission Bay, San Diego, CA.

Above: Border Field State Park in the foreground. Tijuana, Mexico in the background.

Above: Somewhere east of Tijuana.

Above: View of Camelback mountain in Phonenix.

Above: Art in Phoenix airport. Note: The Phoenix airport does not have a Terminal 1. They only have Terminals 2, 3, and 4. And there's no way to get between terminals without reclearing security. And standing outside in the sun to catch a bus. In July.

Above: Sun shining through cumulous clouds over Phoenix.

Above: Day 21 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.) These birds should fledge on July 6th or 7th. (Bud's birds have already flown the coop.)

Above: Seasonal waterfall in Clear Creek County, Colorado.

Above: Clear Creek County, Colorado.

Above: Char's Oriental Poppies in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Above: Char's Dahlia's in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Above: Looking East from Breckenridge, Colorado.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 5, 2009 at 12:29 AM : Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 3, 2009

Palm Pre - Is there anything it can't do?

As I was driving down the road after work, I decided to see if I could get my new Palm Pre to help me find a place I'd written about on my website. I pulled into a gas station so I wouldn't kill a family of Lefties in a Prius or something. Then, I opened a browser and brought up www.peeniewallie.com. On the right side, I typed in "Hornet" and hit the "search" button, because I knew the post had that word in it.

So, you're following me so far, right? I'm browsing the internet through my Palm Pre cell phone, searching my own web site for a post. I find the post and it has the address. I click on the address and my phone browser launches Google Maps. It immediately shows me where I am, and where I want to go, and generates turn by turn directions. I pulled out of the gas station and drove right to the place.

This Palm Pre is just unbelievable. I know. You're thinking..."Tom Tom or any good GPS does that". Well, no. Not really. See - I had to surf the internet to get the address I was looking for. And it wasn't like I was going to a restaurant. I needed to look up the address first on a website, and then get directions to that address.

I know..I know. You're thinking "an iPhone does that". Well, no. Not really. The iPhone has no GPS and can't give turn-by-turn directions. At least, this was true as recently as June 2009. That was when the Palm Pre came out and Apple figured they'd better get off their @ss and start playing catch-up.

The iPhone doesn't have a real keyboard. iPhone doesn't support Adobe Flash. iPhone can't be used as a tethered modem. iPhone is incapable of any syncing via WiFi or Bluetooth, even though it supports both. The iPhone does not have a removable battery. no games. iPhone No multitasking with the iPhone. The iPhone is so large they use giant hand models to fool people about the size of the thing.

The Palm Pre has a wireless battery charger for Christ's sake. It literally beams electricity through the air to recharge it.

Last night, I plugged the Palm Pre into my laptop with the USB connector. It immediately appeared as a USB drive on my laptop. I created a folder on the phone called "Music". I dragged some pirated music onto it using Windows Explorer and boom. I was off to the races. It immediately found the music and started playing it. No iTunes. Fvck iTunes. What a load of crap. Who wants all that nonsense? Palm Pre is the way to go, people. It's the bomb.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 3, 2009 at 1:07 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Postcards From Nowhere: San Diego

Recently, Meghan asked me where I was and I said San Diego and she said "is it pretty there?" So, for those who've never been to San Diego, here's a few shots I snapped today.

Above: ? Update: I have confirmation from a botanist in La Jolla, CA, and from Wendy as well, that the flowering tree/shrub shown here is a Melaleuca, a plant that is native to Australia, and of the Myrtaceae (Myrtles) family.

Above: The landowner identified these as "Succulents".

Above: The landowner identified these as "Honeysuckle".

Above: The landowner identified these as "Acacias".

Above: Angel's Trumpet.

Above: Gladiolus.

Above: Gladiolus.

Above: Hollyhocks.

Above: Magnolia tree in bloom.

Above: Agapanthus.

Above: Objects in mirror are stranger than they appear.

Above: ?

Above: ?

Above: ?

Above: ?

Above: ?

Above: Bougainvillea.

Above: Snap Dragons.

Above: Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove.

Above: Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove.

Above: Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: La Jolla Cove beach.

Above: Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 3, 2009 at 12:02 AM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 1, 2009

Technology Breakdown

I just can't tell you how retarded I look walking around, but if you've ever seen me, you know. I'm dangerously "over-tech'ed", as they say. I routinely carry two cameras, a camera bag, two laptops, and a cell phone. When I sit down and start plugging in, I drain more power from the grid than a third world country.

When I flew in on Monday, for whatever reason, my cell phone ceased to function properly. Now, keep in mind it is...or rather was...a RAZR. I hated that phone with a passion, so I was about as upset when the phone died as I was when I heard Billy Mays passed away.

But, it was a phone, which meant that I had to replace it, of course. Because I couldn't communicate any more, which sucks beyond belief. I felt roughly like I felt when we were hunkered down in the Spring blizzard for 3 days without power.

I'd considered getting an iPhone, but I despise all Apple products with a passion normally reserved for governmental agencies, liberal talk show hosts, and off-key pitchmen. The iPhone doesn't have a keyboard, of course. And they flat out refuse to support Adobe Flash. And you can't use it as a tethered modem for a laptop. And it's too big. And, you have to use iTunes, I'm sure, which I hate in ways I can't go into without throwing glasses and breaking plates.

I liked the idea of a Blackberry, but you can't surf the web with one, really. At least, not that I'm aware of. Not that I've ever held one, mind you. Most people with technology know enough to keep it out of my desperate little hands. My last cell phone before the RAZR was a StarTac, for God's sake.

I don't get good coverage in the mountains where I live in CO, so I wanted to get away from Verizon anyway. I wanted to at least try AT&T or Sprint. I'd wanted to try this for some time. I'd been planning a break with my provider.

Plus, I really needed a new iPod and a new GPS.

But, I'd heard that Palm had finally gotten their sh1t together and come up with a new phone called the Palm Pre that was supposed to be an iPhone killer. Sort of like a slider Blackberry with an iPhone type touch screen. That runs Adobe Flash. And has a USB charger. And shows up as a drive in Windows Explorer. And isn't made by Apple. And doesn't have iTunes. And doesn't run Windows CE. And doesn't use Verizon as a carrier. And works as a tethered-modem.

So I started looking at the Palm Pre when they announced it early this year. When my phone died, I thought...WTF? What have I got to lose? I'll go get one and take it for a test drive.

I'm not normally a fan of consolidating a lot of products into one. I got the cell phone on Monday and in I played with it for a little bit, and I thought...oh crap...why did I get this piece of junk...this will never work. But after playing with it for a day or two, I've now decided that it is by far the coolest phone I've ever held. Now I think I can't live without it. It gives me turn by turn directions as a GPS, plays mp3 files that I can copy over under Windows explorer. It shows up as a drive in XP - and I think of all the hacking I did to crack open that god-damned Verizon RAZR. I could murder those fuckers for what they put me through.

Oh - FYI - apparently they backed off their plan to let it funtion as a tethered modem. Probably Sprint balked at the idea. So, I was disappointed by this, but other than that, I freaking love this phone. You just can't begin to know how cool this phone is. Go get one. You'll love it.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 1, 2009 at 11:16 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

The Left Coast

F/A 18D Hornet

I saw this guy mowing today, and I took a shot of him because I'd never seen anything like this before. The guy was standing up, mowing the lawn like there was no tomorrow, wearing suit pants and a white button-down shirt. I've seen the zero-turning-radius commercial mowers, but this thing was pretty crazy looking. Like something Dr. Seuss would have invented. But of course, when I said something to Jonathan, he was like...yeah...Will had one of those a while back. Will was like...yeah...it's called a "Sulky". So, per usual, I'm the last to know, it seems.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 1, 2009 at 10:57 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

White House Charade Implodes

This from Scott K. Classic.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 1, 2009 at 9:25 PM : Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink