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August 31, 2009

Approach to San Diego San Diego-Lindbergh Field Airport (SAN)

Above: San Miguel Mountain Summit (elevation 2,559 feet).

Above: Interstate 805 and the Escondido Freeway (California State Route 15).

Above: Casa Del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park.

Above: San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park.

Above: Jet waiting to take off at sunset at San Diego San Diego-Lindbergh Field Airport (SAN).

Above: San Diego San Diego-Lindbergh Field Airport (SAN).

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 31, 2009 at 11:22 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

August 30, 2009

1941 Slideshow of San Francisco


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 30, 2009 at 10:40 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Elk Bugling

The elk are bugling tonight for the first time this year. Oddly, it's on the exact same day that they started bugling last year.

Here are some recordings I made of the elk bugling in the back yard last year with a laptop and a USB microphone.

(Warning: Keep one hand on your volume control on these. They're safe for work, of course, but some of them are louder than others, so buyer beware.)


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 30, 2009 at 9:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama Slips Up - Picks a Winner

For the fist time since he's been in office, Obama actually did something right. He appointed Craig Fugate as the new head of Federal Emergency Management Association. Fugate obviously doesn't have a lot of empathy for most of Obama's supporters:

"We need to change behavior in this country," he told about 400 emergency-management instructors at a conference in June, lambasting the "government-centric" approach to disasters. He learned a perverse lesson in Florida: the more the federal government does in routine emergencies, the greater the odds of catastrophic failure in a big disaster. "It's like a Chinese finger trap," he told me last spring, as a hailstorm fittingly raged outside his office. If the feds do more, the public, along with state and local officials, do less. They come to expect ice and water in 24 hours and full reimbursement for sodden carpets. But as part of a federal system, FEMA is designed to defer to state and local officials. If another Katrina hits, and the locals are overwhelmed, a full-strength federal response will inevitably take time. People who need help the most--the elderly, the disabled, and the poor--may not get it fast enough.

To avoid "system collapse," as he puts it, Fugate insists that the government must draft the public. "We tend to look at the public as a liability. [But] who is going to be the fastest responder when your house falls on your head? Your neighbor." A few years ago, Fugate dropped the word victim from his vocabulary. "You're not going to hear me refer to people as victims unless we've lost 'em. I call them survivors." He criticizes the media for "celebrating" people who choose not to evacuate and then have to be rescued on live TV--while ignoring all the people who were prepared. "This is a tragedy, this whole Shakespearean circle we're in. You never hear the media say, 'Hey, you're putting this rescue worker in danger.'"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 29, 2009

A Day at the Lake

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 29, 2009 at 9:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Where's Timmy?

We moved the GPS onto a harness on Timmy's back, and it gets a much better signal now. There is where he went last night.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 29, 2009 at 8:26 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 28, 2009

Chattanooga boater sets Tennessee River speed record

What's so funny about this story is that I was actually thinking today that so few people understand that there is no speed limit on the Tennessee River. That it's perfectly legal to drive 100 mph while drinking a beer at night with no headlights down the Tennessee River. What a country.


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 28, 2009 at 8:50 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Photos of San Diego

Above: Fortnight Lily, Butterfly Iris, African Iris (Dietes vegeta). Thanks to Charles and Diane for helping to identify this flower.

Above: Palm trees and plate glass.

Above: Boeing Vertrol CH-46 Sea Knight tandem rotor helicopter operating out of MCAS Miramar.

Above: The largest helicopter in Western Civilization - the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter operating out of MCAS Miramar.

Above: Point Lomas near San Diego, California.

Above: Sunset cliffs, Coronado Island, Tijuana, Mexico.

Above: Sunset cliffs, Coronado Island, Tijuana, Mexico.

Above: Sunset cliffs, Coronado Island, Tijuana, Mexico.

Above: Sunset cliffs, Coronado Island, Tijuana, Mexico.

Above: Mission Bay.

Above: Mission Bay.

Above: Mission Bay.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 28, 2009 at 2:45 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink


Timmy's been wandering a bit more, I see.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 28, 2009 at 1:38 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 26, 2009

La Jolla Cove

Today, after work, I slipped down to La Jolla Cove to get some shots. I'd taken many photos of La Jolla Shores, but I never realized that La Jolla Cove is a separate little beach. I found it tonight. Not sure how I'd missed it before.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2009 at 11:29 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

La Jolla Shores, CA

Wendy told me that I needed to de-stress a little and take a break from work to try to relax and "smile" more often. So today, I took off from work before dark and shot over to La Jolla to get a few shots before the sun set. I'm not clear that it helped my project any, but it was fun and I really did enjoy the time away from work.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2009 at 1:15 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

RIP Mary Jo Koepchne

Mary Jo Kopechne, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was the only child of insurance salesman Joseph Kopechne and his wife, Gwen.

Probably most people alive today have never heard of Mary Jo Koepchne. Of those that know who she is, fewer still have been to the scene of the crime where the late Senator Ted Kennedy drove into Lake Chappaquiddick and managed to save his own life, but left her to die, then lied and tried to cover the whole thing up.

I've been to Lake Chappaquiddick on Martha's Vineyard. We hopped the ferry from New Bedford and went to the exact spot where Uncle Teddy drove into the "lake". You could swim across it drunk, at night, with a bottle of gin in each hand. It isn't deep. It isn't wide. It isn't much of a lake.

As a matter of fact, the residents of the island used to have an invitation swim there on the island. They called it the Ted Kennedy Lake Chappaquiddick Invitation Swim. The summer I was there it was at the tail-end of summer, just after Labor Day of '93 or '94, as I recall. President Clinton and the other vermin that comprise his family had just vacated the island and I was invited to participate in the 5th Annual Ted Kennedy Lake Chappaquiddick Invitational Swim, in honor of Mary Jo Koepchne. It was the first time I'd ever heard her name. Their slogan was "Ted Had a Fifth - So Can We". I remember the commemorative T-shirts well.

And these locals showed me where the incident took place and I was just shocked. Just dumbfounded that anyone could have downed there. And today, the world is discovering that Ted Kennedy has died and not a word is mentioned of the fact that he got away with murder, or manslaughter, at a bare minimum.

Rest In Peace, Mary Jo Koepchne.
(July 26, 1940 - July 18, 1969)

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2009 at 12:45 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 23, 2009

McDonald's has a website for McBlack people


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 23, 2009 at 12:18 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Recent shots...

Above: I'm not clear what "Rager X" means. My initial thought was that he was doing "X" and going to all-night rage parties. But I couldn't find anything on "Rager X".

Above: The Honda XR-650R that will be the death of me.

Above: Oleander.

Above: My motel in San Diego.

Above: I love this ad on the side of I-5 in San Diego.

Above: A disturbing image at the place where I rent my car.

Above: Landing in Denver.

Above: Denver International Airport(DEN) at night.

Above: Bear Creek near Kittredge, Colorado.

Above: Bear Creek near Kittredge, Colorado.

Above: Bear Creek near Kittredge, Colorado.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 23, 2009 at 1:01 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Military Muscle

Above: Saw this beast rolling down I-5 this week in San Diego. I'm not clear what this is. Sort of looks like an updated Humber Pig. It must be pretty heavy, as that's a 10 ton truck towing it on a low-boy, if I'm not mistaken. Update: This is a 10 passenger 4x4 Cougar - a Mine Protected Armored Patrol Vehicle. "As of June 2006, there are more than 130 Cougars and Buffalos in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since their deployment to Iraq in 2003 the Cougar and Buffalo vehicles employed with explosive ordnance disposal teams and engineers units have taken about 1,000 IED hits without a loss of life..."

Above: I shot this CH-53E at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego this week. The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest and heaviest helicopter in the United States military.

Above: I shot this CH-46 at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego this week. The Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight dual rotor helicopter is significantly smaller than the dual rotor Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Aside from the size difference, the easiest way to distinguish between the two is the smaller sponsons on the CH-46.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 23, 2009 at 12:02 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 22, 2009

Where's Timmy?

Well, I finally broke down and purchased the CatTraq for Timmy so that we can see where he goes. It's hilarious. We put it on him today and then tonight, Jennifer took it and uploaded the data to her computer and voila. We found out where Timmy went today. :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 22, 2009 at 10:08 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Cool trick for shooting in the field with a laptop

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 21, 2009

Booting from a CF Card


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 21, 2009 at 6:13 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 20, 2009

Cash For Codgers

Democrats, realizing the success of the President's "Cash For Clunkers"
rebate program, have revamped a major portion of their National Health
Care Plan.

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Reed are expected to make
this major announcement at a joint news conference later this week. I
have obtained an advanced copy of the proposal which is named....

"CASH FOR CODGERS" and it works like this... Couples wishing to access
health care funds in order to pay for the delivery of a child will be
required to turn in one old person. The amount the government grants
them will be fixed according to a sliding scale. Older and more
prescription dependent codgers will garner the highest amounts.

Special "Bonuses" will be paid for those submitting codgers in targeted
groups, such as smokers, alcohol drinkers, persons 10 pounds over their
government prescribed weight, and any member of the Republican Party.

Smaller bonuses will be given for codgers who consume beef, soda, fried
foods, potato chips, lattes, whole milk, dairy products, bacon, Brussel
sprouts, or Girl Scout Cookies.

All codgers will be rendered totally useless via toxic injection. This
will insure that they are not secretly resold or their body parts
harvested to keep other codgers in repair.

Remember you heard it here first...

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 20, 2009 at 6:46 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 19, 2009

Baja Bound...

2006 Honda XR 650R

Well, it looks like I'm getting closer to a little Baja run after all. I picked up this sweet little ride today and brought it back to the San Diego crib. It's pretty much stock, except for the Baja Designs seat, and Pro Taper handlebars.

Not exactly street legal, but I think I can probably get it down to the border one way or another. So far, the biggest trick seems to be keeping the front end on the ground.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 19, 2009 at 9:41 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 18, 2009

San Diego border patrol shot 8 times


this is pretty hardcore. Dude was capped 8 times.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 18, 2009 at 11:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Close To Nowhere

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 18, 2009 at 7:22 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 17, 2009

Canadian healthcare is unsustainable

"The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says the health-care system is imploding and doctors have to develop a plan to cure it."

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 17, 2009 at 10:31 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medecine

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 17, 2009 at 9:19 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 15, 2009


When the drawbridge came down, the police issued her a DWF and released her.


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 15, 2009 at 10:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Open Carry in TN

I love this story:

"[...] at a Sonny's Barbecue for lunch. A man -- late 40s, big, with a wife and a daughter -- came in with an empty holster on his belt. As he sat down at the booth next to mine, the manager came by and asked him if he'd left his gun in the car. Yes, said the man, who had a permit but thought he wasn't allowed to carry in restaurants in Tennessee.. Well, they've changed the law, said the manager, and if you want to go get it that's fine with us. It's legal now, and I'm happy to have you carrying -- if somebody tries to rob me, it's two against one."

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 15, 2009 at 12:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Updating your computer is almost complete.

I've been getting this nag again lately. I've fixed it before, but now it's returned. I'm not clear why. Lord God this Windows O/S is annoying.

I'm not sure what happened, but I suspect they changed it with XP-SP3. For now, I'm going to try this:

1. Click Start > Run
2. Type sc stop wuauserv and click OK.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 15, 2009 at 11:51 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Sarah Palin Wins

The Death Panels, which Sarah Palin accurately identified in the Senate Healthcare bill, have been removed. It doesn't matter, of course, in the long run. The federal government is bankrupt and can scarcely deliver mail, much less long term care. But in the short run, the gig is up. 54% Say Passing No Healthcare Reform Better Than Passing Congressional Plan.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 15, 2009 at 9:47 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

August 14, 2009

IIHS - Blind, Deaf, and Liberal

Now comes the news that the "Kia Soul, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight earn IIHS Top Safety Pick awards".

Of course, I immediately became suspicious. As in, I find it hard to believe that someone who is being objective is going to look at a rollerskate like a Prius or a Kia and think - that's the safest car I could possibly find to put my family in and send them down the interstate. It's just absurd. It's intuitively obvious to the casual observer that this is not right.

I'm not even clear who the IIHS is. The "Insurance Institute for Highway Safety"? WTF is that? The IIHS has a web site, sure enough. But I have two, and that's not saying much. That doesn't carry a lot of water in my book. It costs like $9 a year to get a domain name on GoDaddy.com. So, color me doubtful at this point.

They're not the NTSB. And they're not the NHTSA. The IIHS is not a government agency so far as I can tell. The IIHS claims that they are "an independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses -- deaths, injuries, and property damage -- from crashes on the nation's highways."

So, I have no clue who these people are, but the proof is in the pudding. Let's look at how they rated the safe vehicles. Like, if you think you're safe in a Prius, you should see how one does when it gets T-boned by a Government Motors vehicle like the Chevy Suburban. Here you go buddy...have a seat...get you a bucket of popcorn...sit back and watch what a Suburban does to a sardine-can-Prius. I promise you that if you saw a Suburban tangle with a Prius, you'd sell your rolling-coffin-Prius for ten cents on the dollar and take your "IIHS Top Safety Pick - 2009" and toss it in the trash. You wouldn't walk away from witnessing that crash wondering which vehicle you'd rather have your family traveling in, I can assure you of that. Not unless you're blind, deaf, and liberal.

So, I went to the IIHS ratings website to see how they rated the Tahoe and the Suburban and the Yukon because, you know, they're so concerned about your safety and all. They have to have tested these big safe vehicles because that's what the the HS in IIHS stands for, right? Highway Safety. That's what they're all about, right? They're worried about your safety. Like, sure gas is expensive, but you should try hanging out in intensive care on life support for about 6 months. Gas starts to look pretty cheap.

But neither the Suburban, nor the Tahoe, nor the Yukon has ever been awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

"Why is that?", you ask. How could it be that the largest, safest vehicles on the road never garnered the coveted "IIHS Top Safety Award "that they are showering on imported aluminum skinned golf carts masquerading as cars? The Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon never got a coveted "Top Safety Award" because the IIHS never rated the Suburban or the Tahoe or the Yukon. But don't take my word for it. Go to the IIHS Ratings website and see for yourself.

It's actually well documented that SUVs have the lowest number of deaths per registered vehicle (20 per million) and SUVs have lower injury liability losses than cars.

The fact of the matter is that SUV's are safer than cars. Plain and simple. The higher mass of SUVs provides an advantage in single and multiple vehicle crashes that more than compensates for the disadvantage in accident avoidance and single vehicle crashes. SUVs exact a higher death and injury toll on the occupants of smaller/lighter vehicles in multiple vehicle collisions.

So, thanks for the advice on how safe the Prius and the Kia are, but I think I'll pass.

P.S. - Did you ever notice that Kia stands for Killed In Action? That's why people in the military won't drive them. ;)

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 10:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Field and Stream Photo

I submitted one of my mule deer photos to Field and Stream. Click on the link and vote up my photo. You don't have to give your real email address when you register. Just create a phony one and it will let you register and vote up the photo.


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 9:25 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Why Don't Humans Have Fur?


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 6:17 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Ghost Tape Number 10

Somehow I'd missed this. In Vietnam, as part of their psychological warfare operations (PSYOPs), they played music that was intended to scare or demoralize the enemy. The most effective recording was called "Wandering Souls" or "Ghost Tape Number 10". "Number 10" was apparently slang used by the Vietnamese and Americans to indicate "double plus bad". I stumbled across this bit of trivia in an article about equipping the Predator Drones with speakers for psychological warfare. Wild.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 5:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Windows XP Taskbar Uses Two Rows

My taskbar went haywire last night. Couldn't figure out how to get it back down to 1 row until I found this:

"If the taskbar seems "stuck" between double-height, and no height, drag one of the dotted vertical sizing handles up to the row above it. Then drag the top edge of the taskbar down a notch."

This fixed my problem. Windows sucks.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 4:19 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

How Men and Women Argue

How Men And Women Argue

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 1:40 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Yeah...it looks like these guys picked the wrong dude to rob. Four of them stormed his place of business armed with pistols and plastic zip cuffs. They kidnapped two employees, zip-cuffed them up real good, and then started pistol whipping them. That's when the 72-year-old owner decided he'd seen enough and opened up with a pistol grip 12-gauge. He killed two and put the other two in the hospital. An armed society is a polite society. Suck it, tree-huggers.


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 14, 2009 at 12:59 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 13, 2009

The Daily Deer

Well, I laid down my XR today and managed to break the clutch lever, believe it or not. I was able to drive it back to the house, but shifting gears wasn't easy. When I got back to the crib, I decided to go out back and shoot my deer. But, I suppose that we're all getting pretty bored looking at him. OK. So there's a "5 by" mulie that weighs over 200 pounds that lives in the woods in my back yard. Big deal.

So, I decided to get on one of the four wheelers and drive up to my neighbor's and see how his deer are looking. Warning: I would suggest that, if you're a hunter, you should stop looking at this point. Seriously. Do not scroll down. You've been warned.

These are four wild deer grazing in an open field lined up shoulder to shoulder. This scene was not staged in any way. The deer lined up on their own volition. All I did was snort and stomp my feet to get them to look up and pose for this shot. I used Photoshop only for auto-contrast and to sharpen the photos slightly.

Each of the four mule deer bucks in this photo is at least a "5 by" and a poacher could easily have killed all four with a single shot from a .270. More photos of this same scene (below).

(By the time I left, there were actually six trophy bucks in the field together, but only four of them got the memo about the chorus line, apparently.)

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 13, 2009 at 11:50 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

One Single Payer System

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 13, 2009 at 9:09 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Task Killer

I just can't stand Task Manager. It will never kill a process when I want it to. Like, when I say "kill this process", I want it to leave a smoking hole in my screen when it kills it. A little nuclear mushroom cloud on the screen would be a nice touch. And, if it means that the OS comes crashing down and I have to reboot the computer, or even buy a new one - that would be fine. Just kill the freaking process when I tell youo to kill it and I'll deal with the consequences. But don't leave it running when I tell you to kill it. Don't do that. That's a FAIL.

So, I decided I had to find a better solution. I'm trying out Task Killer, a shareware solution. It can't be any worse than Task Manager.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 13, 2009 at 8:53 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Free Money! Thank God For Obama!


A $200 back-to-school giveaway for needy kids sparked a mad rush for money on the streets of New York on Tuesday.

"It's free money!" said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids.

"Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us."

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 13, 2009 at 6:16 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 12, 2009

XR 400 Rides Again

I finally broke down and bought a new rear tire and had the Honda shop mount it on the rim for me. I put the wheel back on the bike with the new tire today and went for a little 96 mile ride (my first ride on the XR this year) God I love that bike. It will be the death of me, but I love it.

Total Ascent: 10,288 ft
Max Elevation: 11,873 ft
Max Speed 72.7 mph
Moving Time: 2 hrs 58 mins

Follow my ride with Magnalox/Google Earth.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 12, 2009 at 10:08 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Err 01 - Communications between the camera and lens is faulty

The EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens is not working properly. I get an error message that says "Err 01 - Communications between the camera and lens is faulty. Check the lens contacts." The lens gives the same error with either camera (40D or 50D). It started occurring sporadically when we were in Aspen, but then yesterday it was so bad I couldn't get it to take a pic when I wanted it to. I tried cleaning the contacts on the lens with an eraser today, but I doubt it will help. It looks like I will have to Canon for repair for the 3rd time.

Canon Camera History

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 12, 2009 at 2:58 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 11, 2009

Cap and Trade: Measuring the Disaster


The Heritage Foundation has released a new economic analysis of Waxman-Markey, the cap and trade bill that is dead--we hope--at least for this year. The results aren't pretty. Heritage finds that Waxman Markey would, by 2035:

* Increase gas prices 58% above the increases included in the baseline forecast.
* Increase electricity prices by 90%.
* Raise energy costs for an average family of four by $1,241 per year.
* Cause the average family of four to pay $4,609 more per year, including increased taxes.
* Reduce GDP by an aggregate amount of $9.4 trillion.
* Increase the national debt by an additional $12,803 per person.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 11, 2009 at 11:32 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Chevy Volt Will Not Get 230 MPG

The 230 MPG Chevy Volt is a lie. A big fat government backed lie. And an obvious one, at that.

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

The Daily Deer

So I went out back today to get a shot of the deer. I waded all through the choke cherries and could see where they've been laying up, but no deer.

Here's a shot of a grosbeak on one of the feeders.

I shot a photo of a dragonfly.

..and a European honey bee on a Russian Thistle.

Then, as I was walking back up to my barn, this beast jumped up and nearly trampled me. I guess it's the same one I saw yesterday. I'm not sure how big he is, but they seem much larger when they're bouncing downhill toward you on all fours, in that odd manner that mule deer run, if you can call it running. They actually bounce on all fours like the cartoon skunk 'Pepe Le Pew'. But he's out there in any event. I did verify that much.

Update: I've decided that this is the same deer I saw down there yesterday, as he has a small notch in his right ear.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 11, 2009 at 12:19 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 10, 2009

Madison, MS

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 10, 2009 at 2:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 9, 2009

Technology Meltdown

My laptop hard drive started crashing in MS so I've not posted any shots for a few days. I'm back in Colorado now, but things are not good. I'm experiencing a technology meltdown and I've got to find my way back to the airport at some point today.

The garage door wouldn't open because a breaker had been thrown - who knows why that is. Then, a drive on my mail server began to fail. You can hear it beside me now in its final death throes. Ball bearings grinding into the platters. So, I'm trying my best to move the data off of it onto my new 4 Terabyte Western Digital RAID Level 5 ShareSpace.

By some miracle, my laptop booted up for the first time in several days, so I'm ripping data off of it as fast as humanly possible. Trying to save what I can.

Timmy, of course, is screaming for attention. He's been neglected and he's shedding and sharpening his claws on my jeans. Ouch.

Update: The problem I was hearing from my server was the...wait for it...video card. If you guessed video card, please step forward. There's a fan on the video card that was making a racket intermittently. I blew the PC out with compressed air, however, and it's not done it since then (fingers crossed).

Also, my laptop seems to be working. So, I'm not clear what the deal was. Possibly the humidity in MS? I ordered a new hard drive for it just to be on the safe side.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 9, 2009 at 10:49 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

August 7, 2009

Madison, MS

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 7, 2009 at 11:16 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Walking Helmets

Walking helmets - An idea whose time has come, komrade.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 7, 2009 at 12:41 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 6, 2009

Madison, MS

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 6, 2009 at 11:36 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

August 5, 2009

Cool Folding Bike

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 5, 2009 at 2:56 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink


The NY Times recently posted this image timeline of music sales in various mediums over time.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 5, 2009 at 2:53 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

iPhone Browser

I hate iTunes so much it makes me want to commit Hara-kiri. I'm going to try installing iphonebrowser, which should let me drag-and-drop files onto it using Windows Explorer.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 5, 2009 at 1:02 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 4, 2009

The Dark Side: There's an app for that

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm installing iTunes on my PC. Ugh. I despise iTunes. iTunes 8, which I'm downloading now, is 75.5 Megs of DRM-laced malware masquerading as a useful application. There's nothing needed on the iPhone that you couldn't drag and drop onto it with Windows Explorer, but this is what we have instead - iTunes 8 - a ginormous specimen of malignant, festering bloatware.

So, I finally get this fat piece of garbage installed and it starts scanning my whole computer looking for music files so it can turn me in to the RIAA and the Apple and the Free Masons.

I hook my stupid iPhone to my PC for the first time it shows up in iTunes - miracle of miracles. So then, I got and search for the one and only app that I want - Shazam - it's a little free app that's supposed to be able to listen to a song playing and tell you what it is - which is pretty cool, if it really works. But first, I've got to create a stupid iTunes account, so I do this. Then they send me a verification link.

So I click on the verification link and it wants me to open it with something...i dunno...it's late and it was pretty confusing. Probably if you grew up on an Apple it all makes sense, but just gibberish to me and finally I can sign into the iStore and I see my stupid app - Shazam. And I try to download it and nothing happens. iTunes seems to have fallen into a coma.

I unhook my iPhone and open it up and of course the app isn't there. It's not that easy, of course. Who knows where the app is? Hung up in cyberspace somewhere. God I hate Apple. I hate iStore. I hate their whole miserable little application. A nightmare. I feel like I'm walking into meat grinder.

So, finally, I guess that I have to click on my iPhone so I do and it wants me to register it, and I politely decline. Then it wants to sync everything on the earth - my Outlook contacts, favorites in my browsers, email address phone numbers, appointments, you name it.

Now, I have very little faith that this will work out. Considering that at the AT&T store, they tried to copy the contacts from my RAZR into the iPhone and this is exactly what their machine does because they've done it twice now, on 2 different phones for me - and I got the same results both times. Their machine copies over the first phone number for each person in your cell phone and categorizes it as a "mobile" number, regardless of whether it's a home, cell, or work number. Makes no difference.

So now, my contacts are all fvcked up in my iPhone, and it wants to know if I want to "sync" my contacts. No hint as to what's about to happen here, but I'm thinking they're fixing to fvck me in a big way. As in royally. But it's late and I'm tired and there is no explanation of what it's about to do. All you know is "Sync" or "Don't Sync". This is the world of Apple. Simple. We make complicated things more simple than is possible.

I have no idea what kind of sync it's going to do. A left to right? Right to left? Both to both? Who the h3ll knows? I google it but finally I just give up and say "go". It's just spinning and spinning and who the h3ll knows what it's doing? I have no clue.

Finally, I click on the little spinning wheel to see if it's hung up or actually doing something and I see that it's smack dab in the middle of a 297.9 Meg O/S update for this stupid thing that I've had less than a week.

Like...how out of date could the sofware be? They just cut the thing out of the box on Sunday. Christ. The 300 Meg update times out when it's nearly complete and I restart it and it starts over from 0 and I think - thanks for that, Steve. Even Microsoft has figured out how to restart downloads, but not iTunes. Not in 2009, anyway.

So, finally I just sh1t-can the 300 Meg update. Like, I don't want to spend halft the night trying to update the O/S from 3.00 to 3.01 anyway. WTF?

Eventually, I figure out how to delete the stupid update from the sync. Then, I sync my ipod and it offers to turn me into Apple for about the 427th time, and I politely decline and say "don't ever ask me again and stop trying to nark on me you j@ck@ss". Then finally, it tells me it's "syncing" all my contacts. Who knows what it's doing? Finally, it says the "sync" is complete and it's safe to disconnect the iPhone and if I look outside, I should see the FBI the RIAA marching down the driveway arm-in-arm.

But instead, I look outside and they're confused about which house is mine because I don't have my street address posted anywhere and they're dragging my neighbors out of their house and beating them with trudgeons in their nightclothes by the light of a full moon.

Over the muffled screamed of my bleating neighbors, I unhook the iPhone and look at my stupid little screen and there's no Shazam app. But then I scroll to the next screen over to the right and lo-and-behold, there it is. And I run the stupid app and it wants me to "tag" music, whatever that is so I push the "tag" button and it says "listening" and I hold it up to the window so it can hear the riot next door - sirens and alarms and firemen and sheriffs...dogs barking...children crying...and above it all, the RIAA and the Apple guys beating the ever-living sh1t out of my terrified neighbors and right there in the middle of it is Steve Jobs himself and he's got my neighbor by the throat...got her pinned real good down on the asphalt in her nightgown and she's squirming and bleeding but not screaming as much now that he's got a better choke hold on her than he had before.

"There's millionaires starving out in Los Angeles," he's yelling at her. "Do you have any idea what the collision insurance is on a Lotus Elise when you live in a state full of uninsured Mexicans?!!" Like, somehow it's her fault that the musicians are behind on their Lotus payments or something. Of all the gall.

Of course, the iPhone is listening to this melee the whole time - there's an app for that, after all - and then it says "transmitting data", like I think it uploads this file to be analyzed by the super computers down in Cheyenne mountain, I think. And it comes back and says "Watts Riots?" and I put "No". Then it says "Kent State Shooting?" and I say "No". It says "Con Son Island Tiger Cages?" and I say no. Then it says "Man installing iTunes?" and I say "Yes" and turn it off so they can't track me and I yell at the neighbors to shut the h3ll up so I can sleep.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 4, 2009 at 8:42 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Illegal to throw things at bicyclers?

Well, Colorado has actually gone and passed a law that makes it illegal to throw things at bicyclists. Now I've got to think of something else to do to pass the salad days of summer.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 4, 2009 at 6:31 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

iPhone with MS Outlook and POP3 Email Accounts

POP3 is sort of the "old school" way of running an email account, apparently. But my email address that I've used for years is POP3, basically because my ISP uses POP3 email.

I have a PC at my house that runs MS Outlook and grabs my mail messages from my POP3 account and pulls them down into Outlook where I store them. This has worked fairly well for me up to this point.

But now, when I configure my iPhone to read the POP3 email account, I'm having a problem because Outlook tries to read my email account while the iPhone is trying to read my email account and they're fighting over the email box, essentially. The error message I get in MS Outlook is:

Task - 'Receiving' reported error (0x8004210E) : 'Your mailbox is temporarily unavailable because another e-mail message is being delivered to it or another mail application is accessing it. The server responded: -ERR mailbox locked by another client, please wait'

I think that I like this solution to the problem:

Create a new POP3 email account expressly for the iPhone - only the iPhone accesses that mailbox; the PC never does. I configured the first mailbox to forward all messages to this second one. iPhone is configured to fetch the contents from this mailbox every 15 minutes (best it can do with POP3 apparently).

This explains how to configure Outlook to forward email:

"In Outlook, you can use the Rules and Alerts command or the Out of Office Assistant to automatically forward incoming email to another email address. This approach can be used to forward internally to another Exchange mailbox or to an external address."

Continue reading "iPhone with MS Outlook and POP3 Email Accounts"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 4, 2009 at 11:28 AM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Vote on Obama's Performance


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 4, 2009 at 3:13 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 3, 2009

Unpacking the 32GB iPhone 3GS

Well, I finally got around to playing with my iPhone some today. I managed to get it connected to my wifi network which isn't simple because the security on my network isn't necessarily foolproof, but I use a strong key, don't broadcast the SSID, and I use MAC address filtering. Not perfect, but not just a driveby type of crack, either.

So, I managed to get the iPhone connected to my wireless network, for what that's worth.

Then, I configured it to read my email, but not without some new issues popping up. It seems as though my iphone is capable of reading my email and delivering me the annoying, meaningless winmail.dat file that Microsoft is so proud of. But it causes errors for my Outlook account. Now, Outlooks says the following:

'Your mailbox is temporarily unavailable because another e-mail message is being delivered to it or another mail application is accessing it. The server responded:

Task - 'Receiving' reported error (0x8004210E) : 'Your mailbox is temporarily unavailable because another e-mail message is being delivered to it or another mail application is accessing it. The server responded: -ERR mailbox locked by another client, please wait'

So, this is pretty painful and it sucks in a big way. Not sure how I'll get around this without setting up another account and mirroring my email to the second account. Hmmm.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 3, 2009 at 5:07 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

More Taxes to Fix the Economy

More taxes will fix the economy? That's what the Dimocrats think. Just think of all the revenue it will generate. We should raise taxes to 100% and be the wealthiest nation on earth.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 3, 2009 at 10:42 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 2, 2009

Baby Mule Deer

We saw a couple of baby mule deer yesterday evening near Mount Falcon. I think it's late in the year for them to still have spots like this. I hope they make it.

Update: In the Rocky Mountains, on average, mule deer fawns lose their spots after 86 days. This typically occurs between July and October.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 2, 2009 at 10:41 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Why I'll Never Go Back To Detroit

This is why I'll never go back to Detroit. These photos capture the place exactly as I remember it.


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 2, 2009 at 8:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV


"...the government now wants to place 20,000 CCTV cameras to monitor families ("the worst families in England") within their own homes, to make sure that "kids go to bed on time and eat healthy meals and the like."

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 2, 2009 at 5:08 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Are You a Mosquito Magnet?

"One in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 1, 2009


We took the girls geocaching today for the first time. Jennifer and I had actually found one before by accident. We were playing around in Alderfer/Three Sisters Park and stumbled across one by accident. So, I'd sort of always wanted to do it and we decided to go find some today. It was actually pretty fun. We found two so far.

But then, on the way back, we got into it about the furniture store in Indian Hills,Co named ""Tesoro" (Tosoro?) In any event, there used to be this real high-end furniture store in Indian Hills which is just the middle of nowhere. I mean, this store might have made it in Aspen or in Breckenridge, but not in Indian Hills. So, in any event, the place when under. It folded and closed. So she's trying to explain to me that Tesoro was making money hand over fist, but we drive by the building and it's just shuttered. Like vacant. Abandoned. As, in...they're not selling peanut brittle there. Not a gas station. Not an IHOP. Not a girl scout camp. Nothing.

So, I try to explain to her that a business is generally worth 20X their annual profit, so if they were making $100K a year, the business would be worth a cool 2 mill. But she wasn't having any of it. The place was making money hand over fist and they shut it down for no reason and moved away.

This stuff kills me. They should teach Economics 101 from kindergarten on up. Then we wouldn't be having these conversations.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 1, 2009 at 6:46 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink