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Showing posts from April, 2004
Well, long time and no blog.

Tonight, I find myself blogging from Georgetown, Kentucky's first cyber cafe, "Lock and Key Coffee House", in the old JC Penny's building, which then was a bank, which then was...er...something. Now it's a coffee house. they've got a website, but I can't seem to resolve the name. i'm sure i'll be back, so I'll post pics then.

Honestly, it's too cool for G'town.

* * *

Let's see, what's going on?

Susan is buying a new SUV, it would seem. She's tired of her Focus. Can't say I blame her, though goodness knows I see enough hot Foci in H-Stock. Good chassis, bad build quality. Had one for a week as a loaner while the Problem Child (My old jetta, may it rest in pieces) was getting the hood repainted. Hated it. They do drive rather nicely, though.

* * *

Well, I've had it with getting beat at autocross...i'm taking the Evolution school up in Louisville next Friday. It's kind of…
Well, after an hour-and-a-half at the dentist's office and an hour nap, I'm conscious again.

Man, is the dentist HORRIBLE! I mean, they do the best they can (tons of novacaine) but the combination of the close-quarters, the medieval looking instruments, and the sounds and smells. Gaa...

Anyway, I just had one small filling that had to be redone w/a tooth-color filling, so it was relatively simple.
Random thought I had while doing laundry:

Everything takes longer than you estmate.

Personally, I'm late to most everything. It's rather a personality trait (thanks, honey!), and it puzzles me. I used to be spot on time (or early) to everything, but then I realized: I wasn't, my PARENTS were. My mom was my chauffer everywhere, and she's always early.

Anyway, I suck at estimating how long something's going to take. From brushing my teeth to housecleaning, combine my proclivity for procrastination with my bad estimating skills, and i'm chronically late.

Going to try to do better tomorrow.

::crosses fingers::
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New MINI colors (or 'colours' <g>) for 2005. (Top: Hyper Blue. Bottom: Cool Blue)



Meh. Give me Indigo Blue ("indy blue") any day of the week.
don't ask why...here are the lyrics to "Pop Goes the Weasel"
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Well, if you want to buy that Mitsu Evo, better do it quick



Mitsubishi is in deep trouble, though I'm not suprised. Aside from the Evolution 8, they have no interesting product: The Galant is an also-ran, as are the lancer, the Ascender, etc. No product == no sales == no profits == no company.

Recently, an affiliate, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus, had announced a recall after a series of accidents caused by wheels flying off moving vehicles. In one widely reported case, a young woman was struck and killed by a runaway truck wheel. Mitsubishi Fuso was a division of Mitsubishi Motors in 2002, when the accidents occurred; it later sold much of its stake to DaimlerChrysler, which owns 65 percent of the truckmaker.

Yeah, combine that with the story from a few years back where customer complaints got stuffed inside a locker at corporate headquarters, never to be addressed.

Incredibly incisive New York Times article on how America is losing to foreign nations because of our lack of focus on innovation.

We're doomed, folks. Enjoy it while it lasts: While America is the elephant, a million gnats in the form of India, China, and East Asia are nipping away at our effectiveness. Sure, our vast natural resources and productive economy have enabled us to be the big dogs for comming-up on a century, but times change. While we might churn-out 100k top-level engineers in this country per year, China can output a million.

Sorry, not everyone can be a football, basketball, or movie star. Some people have to work for a living, and America's getting bad at that. The children of 3 generations' worth of wealth are indolent, and why shouldn't they be? As Dr. Wirzba once said, we have an OBSCENE standard of living in this country. We have to scratch and claw for nothing, so why should we individuals acquire the tools to do so?

So long as we can …
Now, this is cool....profiles of your neighborhood's demographics

apparently G'town is not as bad as you'd think...

Jackson's a total hell-hole, but then ya knew that...
Long, cautionary tale about how Offshoring and bad software killed AT&T Wireless

The company became sharkbait for acquisition by Cingular.
Article on the recovery of ancient greek fighting vessels, the triremes:
Very Cool
Some more pics to go with the "new truck" buying day:

here ya go
somebody kill me. I've got "Toxic" by Britney Spears running through my head....

won't....leave....
Tired. Burnt. Sleepy. How else should one begin a Monday? :D

Patrick's being friendly (which in my current state of mind is just annoying), and I haven't even had coffee yet. I need a 1 week sabbatical just to sleep, I think.

* * *

Looks like my neighbors have wised-up and locked-down their wireless connection. Tired of me downloading 150mb applications overnight, I suppose :)

I've been looking and Adelphia has a plan for $45/month where you don't have to subscribe to their cable service, and you get the cable modem for free. Plus, no contract.

I'll mull it over, but I'll probably go with it; with my new laptop, dialup is just PAINFUL. Serviceable, but painful.
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My new truck:




Specs:

4.8L V-8 Engine (code: l4R): 275hp, 285 ft-lbs torque
4L60E transmission (w/a .70 overdrive)
Dry weight: 4246lbs
108,000 miles



Dad bought himself a new 2004 GMC Sierra 1/2 ton pickup. 5.3L v8, automatic tranny, decent option level. Sticker was $28k, and he got it for $19.6k, after all discounts. So, in a fit of amazing generosity, he's *giving* me his old truck.

Yeah, it's the anti-mini. Been a pack-a-day smoker's car for 3 years, so it pretty much reeks inside. But it's got a 'Murican V-8, baby. Needs just a bit of work:

brakes have never been done
Tranny is a bit slushy
There's some highly annoying squeak in the left side of the cab
coolant: never changed
never had a tuneup
seats are excruciatingly uncomfortable


Had a wonderful day on Saturday w/Mom and Dad, really. and I brought home a new member to the stable. Might call it "big red," but I haven't decided...

* * *

Today was, well, okay.

I awoke at 6 to leave at 7 for Kentu…
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I love this pic. Sue me.

Okay, I'm a gadget freak, but anyone that pays $15k for a cell phone needs their head examined:
NY Times article (registration req'd)
Also, note to self: There are certain people who hate the word concubine, apt though it may be.
I know, I know...long time no blog. This is amazing, considering the amount of time I've spent on my new powerbook in the past week.

Today is my powerbook's first (and, likely, only!) trip to work with me to show off to the guys

Saw Matrix: Revolutions for the second time last night at Whitney's place, and I must say it's better on the second viewing. After the overblown, quasi-Zen philosphy of Matrix: Reloaded, Revolutions was a let-down when I saw it in the theatre. Mainly, I was pissed-off that Revolutions had wasted 2 hrs of my life, b/c the 3rd picture basically discarded all the stuff from the second.

Actually, the first and third movies together make a pretty good, continuous storyline.

* * *

Excited as the Central Kentucky Region SCCA is downtown tonight @ Sawyer's Grille and bar; enjoy some Bass beer with the guys :)

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Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, people! Dave's out sick so BOTH of my rather pointless meetings are cancelled today!

I'm feeling random & sleepy, so this might be a *bit* diffuse...

There is something just so pastoral and pleasing about making coffee. Granted, here at work, the machine does it all for you, but seeing it created is just...nice :-)

So anyway, my weekend:

Friday was a totally wasted day at work; Dave's been out since Tuesday and I'm nursing our server along, looking for bugs popping-up in our log file and logging them as Problem Tracking Reports (PTRs). It's about as fun as watching paint dry, but if this release is to have any hope of success, we'd better trace-down every bug we can find BEFORE our users get to do that for us.

Anyway, Friday night was lovely; Whitney came down and we watched one of my favorite movies of all time: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon



If you haven't seen this one, rent the DVD and go for it. It's in Mandarin Ch…
No sleep. been travelling, hanging-out with loved ones, and enjoying my new powerbook :-)

Have to get some sleep, but can I just say THIS THING IS SO COOL! :)

[ferris bueler]If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up[/ferris]
Piece of "Office Space" fiddle-faddle:

Q: How do you know you've been working at an office for too long?
A: You've memorized the numbers on the snack machine and have a Pavlovian response whenever you see those numbers:

mmmmm.....33.....Snickers bar....
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Well, saw my lovely last night and we went to see Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Thoughts:

Why in the world does everyone expect thoughts to be in a bulletted-list? Is this the "POWERPOINT EFFECT"?


:D

Anyway, I thought it was a decent film, if utterly pointless. I had quite a bit of fun, and there's more there than the PG rating would imply: Fart jokes, skimpy outfits from the two female leads. Lots of guilty pleasures here, mostly revolving around SMG doing a Buffy-esque fight with the Black Knight Ghost, and Linda Cardellini....well, all of Linda Cardellini.

On a related note, Thelma is not a Lesbian, as we'd all surmised.

I believe we all know who Sara Michelle Gellar is, but here's Linda C:

This is me swearing for the gazillionth time I won't have two cups of Sumatran at 6pm. I'm just about to crash, but I've been on a bender from 6 until 12...mind racing, doing housework, blogging, talking on the phone....
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Okay, folks, here's where I'll be on June 20th:



I'll be in the Northwest Vista watching 30 screaming Formula 1 racers duel at the world's greatest racetrack.

:) nummy.
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Behold the successor to the civic as the new tuner standard, folks:



That's right, it's a Scion tC (née Toyota), it's got a supercharger-friendly engine, and it's only 15k. The xA and xB scions are really, weird, but I find this coupe oddly handsome. If it has good dynamics (and it should) I see kids running to 'em in droves.

So, when you see one fly by with neon lights on the undercarriage, a wing fit for a b-52, and an exhaust bigger than a Folger's can, at least you've been warned :-)

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Looks like the Jeep Liberty is going to have a diesel engine + manual transmission available next year:


The diesel Jeep Liberty will be powered by a 2.8-liter common rail turbo-diesel engine produced by DaimlerChrysler. It will be available with a manual or automatic transmission, as well as two- or four-wheel drive. It is expected that the diesel-powered Liberty will have up to a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy, versus a comparable gasoline-powered Liberty.

I have to hand it to Daimler-Chrysler, this is a smart move: It'll up their CAFE, and should prove to be a popular model. The Liberty is already a good truck, and this engine should make it better. Imagine, an SUV that gets 30mpg.

pic:


(BTW, why can't *I* take pics like that....light, good composition...out of practice, I guess....)

It's odd: I have no inclination to buy an SUV, but if I did, the Liberty would be at the top of my list.

* * *

Well, just got my bank statement for the end of March, and I realized:…
Okay, since I spent most of my childhood flat of my hind-end watching cartoons, this is just AWESOME:

Cold, windy, and I lost.

But I had an amazing time at our little (only 54 entrants) autocross today! And the weather is so beautiful and sunny outside, I can't be sad that I lost.

Well, maybe just a little.

The morning dawned cold, cloudy and early. What with the time change last night, it felt like I'd barely slept. So, I loaded-up the car, scarfed some McD's + coffee, and arrived around 9 or so.

My class was rather full, with four entrants, two of which were serious comptetition for me:<


Scott, driving an '03 Civic EX (street tires)
Terry, driving a Focus Sedan (street tires)


Basicallly, I got whipped Scott, a more experienced driver. While I slowly edged my way down during each run (first was a 39.xx, then a 35.xx), Scott was ripping off 35's then 33 second runs after that. While I did turn a 33.8 eventually (on my 4th run), I just could't keep enough heat in the tires to get any faster. On the bright side, I did have a spectacular slide on my 5th ru…
Kill me, I'm a man:

"The Producers" was hilarious and very up-beat. Great fare for a matinee, and our seats were excellent. We arrived late and missed the opening number, but from what I've read that's no loss.

My personal favorite: Ulla Basically, a Swedish chick that's like 7 feet tall, stacked, and, as Whitney remarked, "Do those legs ever stop?" Stole the show, IMHO.

* * *

Some random thoughts I had for websites or blog topics:


The Analog Devolution: Everything is going digital, but as my research into VoIP (Voice over IP, or "internet phones") indicates, some of this stuff is just overkill. There may come a time when there's a backlash against computers and digital stuff, particularly in two areas: Books and pictures. Digital books are a non-starter; people prefer the permanence and tactile experience of reading a book. Digital photos for the masses....I think there may be a backlash when people lose their entire photo a…
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Well, I'm offically poor.

I finally took the plunge and got myself my gadget-of-all-gadgets, a 15" Mac Powerbook:



After using our Dual Processor Powermac at work all week, I just had to break down and get one. I love everything about these things:


The operating system is unix-based, so it's got 25 years of development and tens of millions of man-hours of refinements in it
The user interface is unparalleled in its user-friendliness
The machine itself is a marvel: 1" thick, 5lbs, tough aluminum casing
It comes complete with all the tools one needs to develop applications.
Unlike Linux distributions, it has a whole company behind it to ensure compatibility and integration


Some specs:

15.2" screen, huge bright and clear.
80 Gigabyte 5400 rpm hard drive (most laptops only have 4200rpm drives...)
Superdrive: Will read and write both CDs and DVDs
Firewire
Wireless 802.11(b) and 802.11(g) integrated
bluetooth is integrated


Should have it in ~2 weeks. I also sprung for the 3…
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Well, with another autocross this weekend, I guess I should probably talk about the last one:

Pics:







Got first in my class, but it was a slaughter: No one else had race tires, nor any experience autocrossing. Capture of my times:



40.186(1)40.604(1)37.63737.37538.955(1)

Best time: 37.375



I had the victoracers running at 50/45 psi throughout the first 4 runs, and then had a wild ride on the last run with 40/45 pressures.

Ended up 26th overall, out of 134 drivers after the PAX'ing.

The track was a mid-30 second track, but FAST. UPS's Grade Lane parking lot, right beside the airport. I don't have a link to a coursemap (Louisville Region doesn't believe in 'em), but here's a general description:

You start out right beside grade lane, pointing south, parallel to I-65, you start off flat-out, into a quick right and left. Shift into 2nd at redline into the dogleg, and bend (too fast) into a tight 180 degree, but with a broad exit. Pour on the throttle as you go p…