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January 31, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

Dude, let it go already. I mean, when you bowed to the head of a foreign country, it just made you look weak, juvenile, inexperienced, inept, and foolish. But to bow to the mayor of Tampa???? WTF???

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 11:31 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

NASA Meets With Renegade Group, Scraps Constellation

NASA has scrapped the Constellation program after a secret meeting with renegade NASA scientists.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 10:45 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Climategate - The Gift That Keeps on Giving

They lied about global warming erasing 40% of the rain forests. They lied about the global warming causing the glaciers to melt by 2035. They lied, and everyone knew it was a lie. First, Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia Univeristy was fired. Now Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is struggling to keep his job, as the chief lying mouthpiece of the global warming alarmist campaign. Apparently, it turns out that Pachauri is "a former railway engineer" and "has no qualifications in climate science at all." He is accused of making a fortune from businesses linked to in the carbon trading industry.

Guffaw. Reap it, tree-huggers.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 10:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

An Inconvenient Truth - The Tenth Amendment ;)

Aha. So, the states are beginning to assert their rights. Very interesting. Last summer, it was Texas Governor Rick Perry threatening secession. This week, it's Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal reminding the feds that the only powers the feds are given are the powers specifically enumerated in the constitution. All other powers are reserved to the states, or the people. This is something the power hungry feds have chosen to overlook for a long time.

The Ninth Amdendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

The Tenth Amdendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

So, while the feds are busy passing laws regulating the flow of our showerheads, someone has the kahunas to speak up. All I have to say is that It's about damn time.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

'Pucho Something With Heat'

I deboard the plane at Lambert Field - St Louis International Airport. As I walk off the plane, I ask them..."what kind of plane is this?"

"It's an Embraer 145," she beams.

I only ask because the plane is too small. Too small for normal humans to fly on. After spending over an hour inside of the beast, I feel like a human accordion.

In the airport terminal, a girl stops and checks herself out. She puts her arms down at her side and checks her sleeves. Her shoes. Her general appearance. She does this without the aid of a mirror. She has a remarkable body. Thin with jeans that cling to her all the way down. Little leather boots. I couldn't say what all she had going on, but she had it going on and this was intuitively clear to the casual observer.

The flight attendants are wearing sweat pants, and this woman is dressed to kill.

As she walked through the airport, she passed by a little restaurant called "Beers Around the World", and was hailed by a fat guy at a table. There's these 3 guys sitting at the table, and I dunno what the fat guy said to her, but she stops and starts talking
to them. The other two at the table snap to attention. One of them is a computer geek with dark plastic rimmed glasses. The other guy is an oriental. Somehow, this fat guy has roped her in, and now the two wingsmen snap into action. Where is she going and why.

She's going to North Carolina. Traveling alone. Like this chick's going to be on my flight. Of course, I don't have the balls to say anything to her. I can't even look her in the eye.

I pause at Brioché Doree, but I just can't pay $8.50 for a sandwich. I just can't do it, so I turn back, resigning myself to a meal at the Sausage Kingdom.

Continue reading "'Pucho Something With Heat'"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 1:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Convert FLAC files to WAV files

I used WinAmp to convert FLAC files to WAV files, then I used Audacity to encode them to MP3 files.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

House Sparrows

Above: Male and female House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) breeding in Old Salem, North Carolina.

http://www.whatbird.com/forums/forums/thread/136661.aspx

View my other bird photos.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 9:24 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Vote Obama Down

There's a poll on how well Obama has done on his first year in office. You can vote to give him a grade of 'A' through 'D', though why you can't give him an 'F', I'll never know. The bleeding hearts at Reddit have voted to give him an 'A'. Let's shake things up a bit.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/01/20/grade-president-obamas-year-office/

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 31, 2010 at 9:16 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 30, 2010

Southpark Drug-Free Treatment for ADD

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 10:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The World's Most Complicated Recall

I don't understand what's going on with the Toyota stuck accelerator. I've seen one recall after another over the last year. I honestly have no clue what's going on at this point.

Toyota CEO Apologizes to His Customers

Runaway Toyotas

Toyota Recalls 3.8 Million Vehicles

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 6:21 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama Admits You Would've Had to Change Doctors

http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2010/01/29/obamas-stunning-admission/

"The last thing I will say, though -- let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we've presented -- and there's some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge." [emphasis added]


Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Avatar Nominated For 'Propaganda of the Year - 2010'

I went to see Avatar today and, I have to say, I was blown away. Not by the computer generated special effects, although they were impressive. But more by the bold strides our komrades in Kalifornia have made in putting forth the doctrine of political correctness. I would honestly say that this movie should be considered more for it's value toward the Dimocratic Party's ideals than as a form of entertainment. It is appreciated much more for it's propagation of the hidden agenda, than as a form of entertainment. As a work of propaganda, however, it excels. But don't take my word for it. This site says:

"Avatar has been thoroughly analyzed as a cliched story about white guilt/reverse racism, cheesy noble-savage mythologizing, cheap anti-capitalist fantasizing, pantheism, environmentalism, anti-militarism, and so forth."

Basically, it must have started out with a bunch of liberal white-guilt apologists sitting around a table in Westwood with some energetic liberal at a white board sniffing a marker for too long. It must have gone something like this:

"OK. Let's see if we can't cover all the talking points with this one, people. The studio has said to pull out all the stops. We want to make "The Birth of a Nation" look like a comedy. We want Joseph Goebbels to sit up in his grave and take notice. We want to go all the way on this one."

"OK...what if we do this...let's have a black female warrior as the lead role....she'll fall in love with a white guy...and they all live happily after."

"No...no...they fall in love and mate...they have to have sex...you know...to get rid of the races...the big melting pot so we're all the same and there can be no discrimination."

"And he's handicapped...a quadraplegic."

"OK...Hang on...let me write this down...so a black female warrior falls in love with a crippled white guy...and they mate...but this is not a R rated movie...how can we show them having sex?"

"We'll come out and tell everyone they mated...make a big deal out of it."

"Oh. I love it...keep going..."

"OK. Then, we'll have a stone-age culture that lives in harmony with nature....and ...uh...we'll have evil white greedy males come in to rape their planet...they'll strip mine a rain forest."

"Awesome. Beautiful. Keep it coming..."

"Wait...I got...the natives live inside a giant tree, and we'll have the military come in and gas, napalm, strafe, and bomb the natives and destroy the tree they live in... White guys, of course....evil white males in the military murdering innocent natives...."

"Brilliant. Perfect. We all know that greedy white males and the military are to blame for all of our problems....bombing trees...napalming natives...love that...that will be a huge hit...what else?"

"Have we covered everything? Let's see...neo-colonialism, white guilt, reverse racism, misandry, eco-terrorism, communism, ADA, pantheism, environmentalism, anti-militarism...I feel like we're missing something here....anyone?"

"What about natural herbal remedies? I know, it's not much, but it's something. Let's push that too. I mean, hey, if we can't shove free healthcare down the throats of the Amerikans, why not pretend western medicine was worthless anyway? The ole Sour Grapes schtick. Screw the hospitals. We'll really play up the herbal remedies."

"Perfect. I knew we were missing one."

"We'll have a tree that literally saves people that western medicine can't begin to help."

"Genius."

"Of course...we'd all like to get some digs in about Global Warming, but after Copenhagen, Climate Gate, and those sea turtles freezing to death in the gulf of Mexico, it looks like we'll have to hold off on that one for now. Let's call it a wrap and go with what we have."

I can tell you this...I'm not taking my daughter to another movie without reading a review to see how much propaganda is in it. This is despicable.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Postcards From Nowhere: Winston-Salem

These photos were taken while we were in the "Twin Cities" of Winston-Salem, (aka "Camel City") for Uncle Bobby's funeral (Jan 28, 1010). Very difficult to come to terms with with the loss when someone so special disappears so suddenly. There aren't any photos of Uncle Bobby in this slideshow. Mostly it's composed of family photos, many of which I saw for the first time. I view this grand reunion, the reunification of individuals and of families, as one of Uncle Bobby's parting gifts.

The images were all captured on one of the following:

The images are compiled into a 5 Meg (3:45) Adobe Flash slideshow(2010_NC.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 (2010_NC.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 "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Continue reading "Postcards From Nowhere: Winston-Salem"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 11:27 AM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Winston-Salem Landmarks

While it's fresh in my mind, I wanted to record a few other Winston-Salem landmarks.

1) Nana's House
2) Grommy's House
3) Uncle Bobby's House
4) Uncle Jack's House
5) Old Salem Winkler Bakery
6) Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
7) Crestview Memorial Park & Mausoleum (aka Montview Memorial Park)
8) Williams Family Cemetery at Panther Creek

(Addresses in the Extended Entry)

Continue reading "Winston-Salem Landmarks"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 9:06 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 29, 2010

Winkler Bakery in Old Salem

Wow. I'm not sure who to thank, but the goodies left in my rental car from the Winkler Bakery in Old Salem were out of this world. I'm guessing it was SL or Catherine, as I didn't see Jonathan buying anything. Moravian Sugar Cake, some type of Cherry Pastry, Cranberry Orange Cookies. I can hear myself getting fatter.

Update: We have a winner. It was SL that left me the goodies. Apparently, the Cherry Pastry was day old and marked down to 1/2 price, and she got the last of the raisin bread, plus, of course, the Cranberry Orange Cookies. All was delicious, and much appreciated. :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 29, 2010 at 9:43 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Williams Family Cemetery at Panther Creek


View Larger Map

As we always seem to have a hard time locating the family cemetery, I've finally decided to break down and post it on Peenie Wallie. I believe that the address is 11327 Double Springs Rd Lewisville, NC 27023. It's located very close to the Panther Creek Boxwood Gardens outside of Lewisville, NC, at the intersection of Williams Road (NC State Rd 1173) and Double Springs Rd (NC State Rd 1176).

And, while we're at it, here's the Montview Memorial Park where my grandfather, Robert Bean Sutton, is reportedly interred, along with Uncle Bobby.
Update 1: Uncle Bobby's name was also apparently Robert Bean Sutton.
Update 2: The Montview Memorial Park is apparently also referred to as

Crestview Memorial Park & Mausoleum
6850 University Parkway
Rural Hall, NC 27045-9619
(336) 969-6793


View Larger Map

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 29, 2010 at 9:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Songs I've Decided I Like

When Jennifer and I were in North Carolina in November, we decided we liked the songs "Use Somebody" by "Kings of Leon", "Be There" by Howie Day, and "Calling All Angels" by "Train".

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 29, 2010 at 8:27 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Human Touch iJoy 2400


Jennifer and I found this Human Touch iJoy 2400 at CostCo. It's a chair that massages your back. Makes me feel like I'm in heaven.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Tennessee Williams

I found out this week that I'm apparently related to Tennessee Williams, albeit very distantly. I'm trying to run down the details on this connection through my contacts in North Carolina.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 29, 2010 at 8:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Rollover

I found out this week that a relative of mine, Jim Sutton, was in a play movie called Rollover that came out in 1981. Pretty cool, me thinks.

He's also apparently associated with "a group of drinkers with an acting problem", or "a group of actors with a drinking problem," depending on your worldview, I suppose.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 29, 2010 at 8:02 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger's Death

Saddened to learn of the death of author J.D. Salinger. Catcher in the Rye was one of my favorite books of all time.

"if a body catch a body coming through the rye..."

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 28, 2010 at 10:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 25, 2010

Uncle Bobby

I was saddened to hear this morning of Uncle Bobby's passing. He lost his battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Transparency

Obama has a Q&A with 6th graders behind closed doors. So much for transparency.

Update: They're saying now that Obama used the teleprompters to talk to the media, but not to the kids. I wasn't there, I dunno, but I've seen him try to talk without his teleprompter before, and it's just plain sad.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

IPCC Lied About Glacier Melting

Here's a big surprise...when the IPCC reported in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035, they knew it was a lie. Big surprise there, huh?


Posted by Rob Kiser on January 25, 2010 at 12:02 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 24, 2010

Cafferty on the Islamic Terrorist Attack at Ft. Hood

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 24, 2010 at 11:41 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Tips for Single Ladies (1938)

Continue reading "Tips for Single Ladies (1938)"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 24, 2010 at 11:04 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Jennifer's New Cell Phone

After bouncing from Verizon to Sprint to AT&T last year, I ended up back at Verizon. It's a long story, but this is where we are. Jennifer was not quite as nimble and ended up stranded back on AT&T with an LG Neon. Finally, I bought her a cell phone on the Verizon network and we drove down to the Verizon store yesterday to get it activated. Only AT&T refused to port her old phone number over. They were basically holding it hostage since I had a balance on the account. Finally, I was able to pay the bill over the phone, the b@stards at AT&T released the hostage phone number, and it was ported over to Verizon.

Jennifer has a lot of technology. I can't deny that. Some would say she's spoiled, I'd put her up against any other kid on the planet when told she can't have something. She doesn't whine, cry, or complain. She doesn't raise her voice to me. She says "Yes sir," and that's the end of it.

She has a laptop, an ipod, a cell phone, and a desktop.

And, of course, you just hope that nothing gets lost or broken or stolen. This is where we are.

And then today, she leans over and drops her brand new Verizon phone. I didn't raise my voice. I didn't shout at her. I didn't come unglued. Because you can't hurt the phone. Nothing happened to it at all. It just bounced. Because it's not a Palm Pre or an iPhone. It's an old-school RAZR. These things are indestructible. And you thought I was an idiot. ;)

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 24, 2010 at 2:51 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

India-Pakistan Daily Border Closing Ceremony

The people parading in this melodromatic border closing ceremony remind me of John Cleese in the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 24, 2010 at 1:34 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 23, 2010

Magic Mirror

Jen and I have been playing with the free (trial) version of Magic Mirror tonight. We're sitting here warping each other's photos and creating morphs of each other and laughing 'till we cry. Pretty fun.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 23, 2010 at 9:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

TomTom Voices - 000 Squidmund Leaves The Farm

SL got me a TomTom GPS for Christmas. Jennifer and I finally got around to setting it up and using it last night. We loved it, of course, but then we hooked it up to the computer and we were playing around with the voices today. Pretty soon, she figured out that we could record our own voices for it, so we recorded all 59 unique messages, linked them together, created an index, and an image file. It took a couple of hours, but when we were through, we were able to load "Squidmund's" voice into the TomTom One 130 without too much difficulty.

For a sample of our work, play the You Have Arrived At Your Destination message.

If you're interested in creating your own content for the TomTom, the directions are here.

If you want to use my files, feel free. Connect your TomTom to your PC and from TomTom Home, select "Add Traffic, Voices, Safety Cameras, etc.", then click on "Voices", then "Recorded Voices", and then select the first one in the list ("000 Squidmund Leaves The Farm"). Alternately, download these 3 files and copy them into the Voices folder of your TomTom:

data89.vif
data89.bmp
data89.chk

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 23, 2010 at 8:01 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Thousands March in Protest of Global Warming

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 23, 2010 at 3:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Crucial RAM Upgrade

Today, Jennifer and I installed 2 Gigs of Crucial RAM in the Dell Dimension 4550. I figured out that the Dimension 4550 would support 2 Gigs of RAM (instead of just 1 Gig) a while back. I got Crucial RAM because Robert recommended it last time. It seems to have worked.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 23, 2010 at 11:05 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 22, 2010

Wrong Number

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 22, 2010 at 9:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Rocky Mountain Lip Repair

It's dry up here in the Rockies. In the winter, the humidity drops down to like 12% or something crazy like that. So I usually have to carry a chap stick or three around with me. I've tried Carmex, but it's too hard up here. When it's 24 degrees outside, the stuff sets up like concrete. Then, at some point, I stumbled across this little Carmex-like tub of lip balm called "Rocky Mountain Lip Repair". I have no idea where I found this stuf, but it's the bomb. It's softer than Carmex, so it's easier to apply. I've looked everywhere for it, but could never locate any for sale. So, I finally broke down and checked out their website at Rocky Mountain Sunscreen. This site has the right logo, but doesn't mention "Rocky Mountain Lip Repair" at all, so I called them today and they told me it was discontinued, but they were thinking about restarting production because they got so many calls for it. She said they still had some old inventory laying around, so I asked her to send me a crate of the stuff. Here's hoping they re-start the production lines.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 22, 2010 at 10:32 AM : Comments (6) | Permalink

Chris Matthews Skewers Howard Dean - Yeeeeahhhh!!!!

"Never underestimate the power of denial." - Wes Bentley, American Beauty

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 22, 2010 at 9:57 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Hope and Change

Lots of good news today. It looks like the Dimocrats won't have enough votes to get that idiot Ben Bernanke reappointed to the Federal Reserve. Air America went bankrupt, yet again. Pelosi admits that there aren't enough votes in the House to pass the Senate version of the bill. (Their hope was that, with Brown in office, they'd just have the House pass the exact same bill the Senate had already passed.) Looks like that won't fly. The Copenhagen Accord on climate change is quietly falling to pieces. Dimocrats are coming across the aisle to block the EPA from regulating Carbon Dioxide.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 22, 2010 at 12:24 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

That Wasn't Fun

I tried to upgrade from Movable Type 4.2 to 4.33 and, well, let's just say it didn't go so well. Thank God I had good backups.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 22, 2010 at 12:01 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 21, 2010

Upgrading to Movable Type 4.33 (Nightmare - Turn Back!)

I'm in the process up upgrading from Moveable Type 4.2 to 4.33. Downloaded MT_4.33-en.

Movable Type 4.33 requires the following applications:
Perl 5.6.1 or greater;
A web server like Apache, or Windows IIS;
Access to a database like MySQL, SQLite or Postgres;
The following Perl modules:
DBI
Image::Size
CGI::Cookie

I'm running ActivePerl 5.8.6.811
Apache 2.0.63
MySQL 4.1.10

Now, I need to verify that I'm running the necessary Perl modules.

Continue reading "Upgrading to Movable Type 4.33 (Nightmare - Turn Back!)"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 21, 2010 at 12:21 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 20, 2010

Redhead

Above: Redhead (Aythya americana) drake in non-breeding plumage near Jackson, Wyoming. Sept 17th, 2006. From July - September, Redhead drakes exhibit non-breeding plumage when the black breast feathers are noticeably absent.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 11:01 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Dazed Dimocrats Rethink Entire Strategy

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31717.html

"Scott Brown has turned this town upside down....There is no way for Democrats to spin an upside to losing their 60th vote in the Senate."

"Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) told a local reporter, "It's probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate." Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) told MSNBC this morning....Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said his leadership is "whistling past the graveyard" if they think Brown's win won't force a rethinking of the health care plan."

"Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)... said the party needs to rethink its entire approach to governing....Any Democrat with even the faintest fear of a tough race in 2010 is rattled....They are in denial no more: If Democrats can lose in Massachusetts, they can lose anywhere. "

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 9:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Three Reasons the Dimocrats are in Trouble

Three reasons the Dimocrats and Obama are in trouble for the near future.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 9:43 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Sitting Ducks

Above: Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) duck (female).

I dropped off Jennifer for her piano lesson and, seeing as I had about a half an hour to kill, I went down and shot some ducks on Bear Creek. The light was too dim, plus I had the Image Stabilization set on Mode 2, which is a nice effect when it works properly. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough light to accomplish the trick I was going for. So, here are some photos of ducks, but they're nothing special. I present them mainly for identification purposes.

Above: Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) drake.

Above: Breeding pair of Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus).

Above: Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) drake.

Above: Breeding pair of Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula).

Above: Breeding pair of Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula).

http://www.whatbird.com/forums/forums/135313/ShowThread.aspx#135313

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 8:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

'Show Dekstop' Icon Missing From Taskbar

I dunno where it ran off to, but for some reason the 'Show Desktop' icon went missing from my taskbar. Normally, I use Windows-M, but that doesn't always work. So I followed these directions to restore it.

1. Open Notepad and either type in or paste in the five command lines:

[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop

The text needs to be exactly as shown - except that the capital letters are optional. If you are using Vista, and prefer to have Vista's new icon design, change the middle line of text, after pasting it into Notepad, to read...
IconFile=shell32.dll,34

2. Save the Notepad file to your desktop as Show Desktop.scf. To do so, click File > Save As... > at 'Save in', choose Desktop > at 'File name', type in Show Desktop.scf * > at 'Save as type', choose 'All Files (*.*)' > Save > close Notepad.

* The file has to be named exactly as shown, including the white space and the capital letters. This is because the name part (extension excluded) also serves as the hover label (tool tip) for the new icon.

3. After step 2, you will have acquired an icon on your desktop, the same as or similar to the example in Fig 1 right. Using the right-hand mouse button, drag the icon over the Quick Launch bar, release the mouse button only when you see the insertion bar and, at the pop-up menu, left-click on Move Here. If you have trouble moving the icon see tip 1 in the RH column. Finally, use the left mouse button to drag the icon so it is next to the Start button, and that's it, finished.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 11:54 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Windows Messenger - Not Signed In

How to really kill Windows Messenger

To uninstall Windows Messenger:

1. Open %WINDIR%\INF\sysoc.inf with a text editor. (For me, this is c:\windows\inf\sysoc.inf)
2. Look for the line that goes like this:
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
3. Delete the hide keyword so that it now looks like this:
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,,7
4. Save the file and exit.
5. Click on Start -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components
6. Scroll to the bottom of the list and you should now see 2 items for Windows Messenger. Uncheck both of them, giving a triumphant whoop of vindication as you do so.
7. Click on Next, and Windows Messenger will be fully uninstalled.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 1:08 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Massachusetts Miracle

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 12:56 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Adobe Photoshop CS4

When I used to go out with Wendy, she was always telling me over and over that I needed to upgrade from Adobe Photoshop CS3 to Adobe Photoshop CS4. Which is odd, because I never saw her use Photoshop once in my life. I'm not even clear that she ever owned a copy. But you know how you fall asleep with the TV on and those late-night infomercials work their way into your dreams and you wake up thinking "Jesus Christ how have I lived this long without a Bass-o-matic?" I can't imagine that CS4 is any different, but I finally upgraded.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 20, 2010 at 12:31 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 19, 2010

Photographing The Moon

Robert forwarded me an email today from a guy that was trying to take a photograph of the moon, and wanted to calculate how many pixels the moon would strike on the sensor of his camera. The question he asked was a valid one, and I've gone through the calculations here primarily for my own edification. (I forwarded the calculations to the author of the letter, but he's a royal jackass and didn't even bother to reply. Some people are that way.)

Now, it just so happens that his camera is a piece of trash made my Panaseptic and he's using a 1.7x teleconverter which is like putting a putting a coke bottle in front of your primary lens, but that's neither here nor there.

First, you need to know something about your camera's sensor. My Canon EOS 50D has a reported Pixel Pitch of 4.7 microns. This means that the distance between each pixel is approximately 4.7 microns, or 0.0000047 meters. This is the advertised Pixel Pitch, but you can calculate it yourself for any given camera. All you have to do is divide the number of pixels by the size of the sensor.

Continue reading "Photographing The Moon"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 19, 2010 at 9:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Ten Years After

I stumbled across this image today, It's a shot of me when I was going through my divorce and I flew down to Key West for the weekend. It's hard for me to believe that this photo was taken 10 years ago. (Possibly it was 9, but it was a long time ago.) As brother says, "fun flies when you're serving time".

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 19, 2010 at 9:28 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Coakley Concedes!

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/01/live_coverage_o.html

Woohoo!!!!

Palin is on TV right now. I've got such a boner for her. Palin 2012!!!!

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 19, 2010 at 7:42 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Brown Take Early Lead Over Coakley

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/19/polls-close-competitive-massachusetts-senate-race/

Republican Scott Brown has taken the lead in the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate, an unexpectedly competitive contest that could have significant implications for President Obama's agenda in Washington.

With 66 percent of precincts reporting, returns show Brown leading Democrat Martha Coakley 53-46 percent. Independent candidate Joseph Kennedy is pulling 1 percent.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Please Please Please

Lord, I don't ask for much. I don't care who wins the Superbowl. Please let Scott Brown win today.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 19, 2010 at 10:34 AM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Frogs Accuse Obama of Occupying Haiti

Yeah, that's right you silly frogs. We've just been waiting for a chance to take over Haiti. Everyone in the Western hemisphere has their eyes on that little gem of a country.

When people ask me where I want to go on vacation, I'm not thinking Cozumel, Grand Cayman, or the Abacos. No sir. I'm thinking "Top Shelf" for me baby! I'm going to Port Au Prince, Haiti.

Like, it couldn't possibly be because we want to help that miserable little festering crisis of humanity on the island of Hispaniola, could it? Shut your mouth, frogs. No one cares what you think. You could consider forgiving them the 84 million you claim they owe you, seeing as how they're the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. But, other than that, yeah...just shut your mouth sounds like the best play at this point.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 19, 2010 at 4:03 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 18, 2010

Jennifer Got Braces Today

Jennifer got braces today. She'll have to wear them for at least 18 months. She sounded fine when I talked to her at about 4:00 p.m., but by 8:00 p.m. she reported that they were starting to hurt. I assume that her teeth were starting to move around. She took some medicine...an Advil I think. So, I hope that the pain subsides. :(

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 18, 2010 at 8:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Vote for Scott Brown

For those of you that reside in the state of Massachusetts, remember - Republicans vote on Tuesday, Democrats vote on Wednesday.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 18, 2010 at 7:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Desktop Tinkering

I spent some time this weekend tinkering one of my home servers. I always max out the RAM in my boxes just because, it's so cheap these days, you may as well, right? My Dell Dimension 4550 had a gig of RAM in it, which is the max according to to Dell's website. But then, I realized fairly recently that the desktop could actually support 2 gigs of RAM, but Dell had just never bothered to test it with 2 gigs, for whatever reason. Of course, some bitheads tested it and they figured out that it would support 2 gigs, providing you had the right RAM and the right BIOS update.

I wanted to verify my motherboard and FSB, so first I ran this (Start - Run - Cmd and then enter "dxdiag"). This gave me some info, but not my FSB info. So then I downloaded and ran this handy little CPU-Z program, which is very slick. Tells you all kinds of information that you probably never wanted to know about your box.

I already knew I was running an Intel P4 CPU at 2.4Ghz. The main thing I got out of it was that my Front Side Bus (FSB) runs at 533 Mhz. Now, maybe this doesn't seem like the ultimate game machine circa 2010, but you have to realize that, unless I'm mistaken, I bought it approx 9 years ago in the winter of 2001. And the idiot UPS man delivered it to one of my neighbors across the valley. Like, we both ordered a PC from Dell and they got crossed somehow. Of course, mine was way more tricked out than his, so I called Dell and told them about the mixup and they straightened it out in short order.

I reinstalled the O/S on this box over a brief, but frenzied period of activity which greatly alarmed Timmy. The upshot of this activity was that I finally diagnosed the grinding noise emanating from within the desktop which had alarmed me so. Apparently, it is related to a drive controller that was operating two additional drives inside the server. Disabling the drive controller stopped the noise. There really wasn't any data on the drives that I was using, to the best of my knowledge, as they were made obsolete by the 4 Terabyte RAID Level 5 array I added in 2009.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 18, 2010 at 10:27 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Ban Butter?

Yes, it looks like the nanny-state wants to ban butter (granted it's in the U.K., but I figure California can't be far behind). Next thing you know, they'll be going house to house searching for cows.

"Butter should be banned to protect the nation's health, according to a leading heart surgeon. "

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 18, 2010 at 9:39 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 14, 2010

Blue Jay

Above: Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) in Ken Caryl Canyon, near Littleton, Colorado.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 9:13 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

American Kestrel (Female)

Above: Female American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) near Littleton, Colorado.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Falcons

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 8:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

American Kestrel (Male)

Above: Male American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) near Lakewood, Colorado.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Falcons

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 6:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Hooded Merganser

Above: Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) drake near Lakewood, Colorado.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 6:37 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

New Tiger Woods Game

http://www.atom.com/fun_games/tiger_woods_defense/

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 1:35 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Fried chicken, collard greens for MLK Day

Denver Public Schools lunch menu on January 15 "In Honor of M.L.King" features "Southern Style" chicken, collard greens and sweet potatoes. Apparently, some people have a problem with this.

According to the King Center in Atlanta, Fried Chicken and Collard greens really was MLK's favorite meal.

But there's no real "win" here. There's no appeasing the politically sensitive race-baiters. When I lived in Dallas, the PC crowd determined that they would not serve fried chicken and watermelon at the Juneteenth celeberation. Why? Because they wanted to be poltically correct. And guess what? The blacks at the celebration were furious. They wanted fried chicken and watermelon. So, what end is really served by not putting fried chicken on the menu?

They say "truth" is the ultimate defense against libel, but truth is no defense against being politically insensitive. The only option is to apologize over and over again until the camera shift's it's gaze to a less fortunate, less sensitive victim.

You can't win. When the politically correct come calling, you cannot win.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 11:48 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Anywhere


Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2010 at 12:03 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 13, 2010

Things You Don't Want To Get Caught With...

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/01/nehalem_man_arrested_after_dru.html

Oregon State Police arrested a Nehalem-area man Tuesday after they found drugs and weapons in his car during a traffic stop on Interstate 5 near Eugene.

Troopers pulled over a 1991 Acura four-door sedan driven by Gary Mortensen, 26, at 1:50 p.m.

They discovered about a half-pound of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, hashish and drug paraphernalia, said Lt. Robert Edwards, a state police spokesman.The car also held two rifles, a machete, a samurai sword and knives.

Mortensen was arrested on accusations of possession and delivery of controlled substances. He was held at the Lane County Jail.

--The Oregonian


Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 11:24 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Don't Break the Internet

"... the pot drips what's in it." - Rumi

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 11:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Microsoft Outlook Sucks So Hard

Microsoft Outlooks sucks so hard it's inconceivable. It's just mind-numbingly stupid. After I reinstalled Outlook, I copied over all of my miserable little .pst files. My address book was completely empty. Why? Did I mention Outlook sucks? I found this old Outlook post, which helped me somewhat. As in, I could see my contacts, but just couldn't use them. Like, you know, to send emails. But this all makes perfect sense to the bull nuts at Microsoft. As a matter of fact, it happens so often, they've got a post explaining how to fix it. (Fixing the problem was apparently too much of a challenge.)

Continue reading "Microsoft Outlook Sucks So Hard"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 10:21 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Can You See Me?

I'm having a hard time taking control of my desktop over RDP. Really frustrating. I don't use port 3389, as that's too obvious. I use my router to forward a different port to my server, but I can't get it to work. It works for my other PC's of course, but just not this one. Somehow, now that I've reinstalled the O/S, I can't get it to work.

I set up the PC to allow incoming RDP connections. I turned off the firewall. I set up the port forwarding in the Linksys BEFW11S4 router. I just can't get it to work. Maddening.

I've been using this port check tool called "Can you see me?" which is fairly useful, but of course, I've still not solved the problem.

OK. I just figured it out. I've got to go into the registry and change the port that RDP listens to. This was the step that I'd forgotten.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 9:01 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

American Kestrel

Above: I spotted this American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) this morning near Morrison, Colorado. I've tentatively identified it as a female due to multiple black bands across the tail. Update from: WhatBird.com - She's a she:

"This is a female. Note the blurry rufous chest barring vs. definite black chest spots." and "The more obvious mark is that the male has blue wings rather than the black striped rufous ones on these birds. Also, along with the difference in the markings on the underside, the back of the male lacks the stripes, and instead has more sparse black chevrons near the rear of his back."

Previous American Kestrel photo.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Falcons

Continue reading "American Kestrel"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 10:11 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Re-installed O/S

I reinstalled the O/S on my 2400 Mhz Dell 4550 desktop tonight/this morning. I was reinstalling the drivers and trying to remember when I bought this silly thing. If I'm not mistaken, I purchased the PC in the fall of 2001, which means it's over 8 years old. Can that be right? Fun flies when you're serving time.

In any event, it's behaving much better now that I've reinstalled the O/S. I reinstalled the O/S on my laptop over Christmas. So this means I've reinstalled XP SP2 twice in the last month. Ugh.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 1:56 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Circle 7 Outpost & Provisions

If you haven't checked out the Circle 7 in Madison, MS, you should stop in and check the place out. Everything you see in there makes you think..."I need to go how and throw all my crap away and start over". A very cool store to browse, me thinks.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 13, 2010 at 12:20 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 12, 2010

Jen's Sony Vaio VPCCW14FX

Jennifer is in bed and I have my paws all over her new laptop while she's sleeping. This is the time I've really had a chance to check it out. Looks like Santa was good to her this year, for whatever reason. The specs on her notebook are as follows:

Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T6600 (2.20GHz)
Memory: 4GB DDR3-SDRAM (DDR3-1066, 2GBx2)
Hard Drive: 320 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce GT230M GPU with 512MB dedicated VRAM HDMI™ output
Screen: 14" Screen (1366x768)
Camera: Built-in 1.3 megapixel MOTION EYE® camera and microphone
Optical Drive: CD/DVD playback/burning
Networking: WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth: Integrated Bluetooth® technology
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

For whatever reason, it didn't come with any install discs. I'm sure it's a cost saving measure. In any event, I called Sony tonight to get a ruling on this and they explained to me how to create a set of System Restore DVD's, which I promptly did, because I'm so...shall we say...detail oriented?

Start - Run - "care".
Allow "Vaiocare" to execute.
Select "Recovery and Restore"
Select "Create Recovery Disc"

They recommended using DVD-R's, but all I had was a platter of DVD+R's, so I'm trying those first. (Fingers crossed.)

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Why I Believe Printers Were Sent From Hell

This is hilarious: Why I believe printers were sent from hell

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 12, 2010 at 12:49 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 11, 2010

How To Permanently Allow Scripted Windows on Select Sites in Internet Explorer 7

Note: I copied this from the "Walk On My Path" website, but the website was taken down, so I had to use the Wayback Machine to find the post, so I'm reposting it in the extended entry.

Continue reading "How To Permanently Allow Scripted Windows on Select Sites in Internet Explorer 7"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 11, 2010 at 11:38 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

January 10, 2010

Cardinal

Above: Male Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) near Madison, MS.

Above: Female Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 5:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Carolina Wren

Above: Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) near Madison, MS.

http://www.whatbird.com/forums/forums/133705/ShowThread.aspx#133705

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 5:12 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Carolina Chickadee

Above: Carolina Chickadee (Parus carolinensis) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 2:30 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Female Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 1:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Above: Female Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 1:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) near Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 1:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Wood Duck

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) in Jackson, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) in Madison, MS.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 12:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) flying above the Pearl River near Jackson, MS.
http://www.whatbird.com/forums/forums/post/132897.aspx

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 12:43 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Red-tailed Hawk

Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) in Morrison, Colorado.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 8, 2010

We're the TSA and You Can Count on Us!

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 8, 2010 at 5:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Watch Those USB Cables

A baby here in Longmont got 3rd degree burns by putting a USB cable in her mouth while the other end was plugged into a computer. And this isn't some random chain-mail scaremongering lie like using cell-phones and pumping gas. This happened Monday night in Longmont,CO.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 8, 2010 at 10:15 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Muslim Terrorists - Calling a Spade a Spade

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 8, 2010 at 2:10 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Windows Genuine Advantage Notification - Installation Wizard

I reinstalled the O/S on my laptop over the Christmas break and now it's nagging me to run the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification - Installation Wizard every time I reboot. It isn't that my version of Windows isn't legitimate. It is. I've never bought a computer without Windows (at least, not since 1991, anyway). My Windows key code is on the bottom of my laptop. You have to put it in to activate windows. So I did. And I activated Windows.

But now, it's nagging me to run this stupid Genuine Advantage crapware and I've had enough. I'm not running it. Send me to prison, I don't care. I'm not doing it.

I searched to try to figure out how to stop it from running, but everything I found was for people that were failng the Genuine Advantage process and getting a nag screen telling them that they were out of compliance. That's not my situation. I've never run the wizard, and I want it to stop nagging me to run it.

Finally, tonight I figured out that WGASetup is a scheduled process:
Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Scheduled Tasks

So, I deleted the scheduled task WGASetup. Now, when I reboot, I think it won't nag me any more.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 8, 2010 at 1:25 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

January 7, 2010

First Blood

Hannah got her first deer this week, at the tender age of 11. The doe was felled with a .223, reportedly at a distance of 185 yards, which sounds pretty incredible. The deer dressed out at 100 lbs, so it was a pretty decent doe, me thinks.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 7, 2010 at 11:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

January 5, 2010

Postcards from Nowhere: Madison

Jennifer and I managed to get a little time off from work and school to slip home and visit the cousins. These photos were taken over the Christmas break (2009/2010) in Madison, MS. The images were all captured on one of the following:

Note: All of my lenses have been repaired at this point, although I did get an "Error 30" message a few times on one of my 17-85mm lenses.

The images are compiled into a 22 Meg (3:49) Adobe Flash slideshow(madison.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 (madison.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 Shattered [Turn The Car Around] by O. A. R. off of the album All Sides.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Continue reading "Postcards from Nowhere: Madison"

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 5, 2010 at 10:01 AM : Comments (3) | Permalink

January 2, 2010

Sony Vaio Fn Keys Not Working

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/itprovistahardware/thread/8a67b24c-c0c7-4ce2-8303-511a58d8632c

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 2, 2010 at 11:29 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink