Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Black and WTF Blog is full of interesting old timey pictures!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Set to music

Engaging video clip here:

Three Comments
1.) Apparently, don't trust a girl that's using a pay phone
2.) Oh hey! He drives a Protege5, I almost bought one of those.
3.) I don't even really hear the music while watching this

Monday, November 23, 2009


Well this is fun. Ben this one is a nod in your general direction.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Loe sent me this link this afternoon. I was amazed thus the repost. People like this make me feel rather lazy!

(follow the link if you'd like to see miniature pumpkin pies, shaped... in 3D, like pumpkins)

Creepy Youtubers

I found #2 Ice Tea Steve the most engaging.
(just watch his I'm not depressed clip: here if you don't want to waste the time to click through all 12 of the videos)

Also, Teen Tourette's camp: (nsfw language quite obviously)

And on a lighter note this:

(best invention ever!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Nice quality clip from some farm boys with a sweet buggy. Over at BoostMD:

Friday, November 13, 2009


This evening at dinner a cute girl was describing how she uses a search engine called 'Blackle' (that I refuse to link to lest we build their resolve). "Blackle" does a Google search for you and then displays the results on a black screen with gray text. Their claim is that displaying a black screen rather than a white screen "saves energy". This was definitely filed under "far too misguided to let slide" by the engineers in the room. After a short tutorial on how LCDs shutter a back light that is always on regardless of what the image on the screen, it was dismissed as a gimmick. (CRTs and OLED displays do use slightly less energy displaying black but if you're still using a CRT clearly you don't give a hoot about energy efficiency anyhow). This failure to provide savings stacked on top of their mere existence as a middle man server makes them huge losers. Anyway she's still talking to us so apparently we weren't too big of jerks about it.

I mentioned this nonsense to Andy, and he said "At some point I'm going to calculate how many hours of running 100W light bulb is equivalent to the energy consumed by stopping my car from 45mph" Turns out, at some point, was the following 5 minutes. The kinetic energy of Andy's 5400 lb Ford Expedition (the energy that is dissipated by slowing down from 45mph) is the same as burning 100W for about an hour and twenty minutes! This doesn't even account for the fact that your car was at best 20% efficient at getting you up to that speed in the first place! A fun fact to share if you're being chided about not using a compact florescent bulb in a room where the light is rarely on.

Oh it looks like Google covered this themselves 2 years ago.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Year 2 Audi numbers

Year 2 cost of ownership numbers!

Total miles: 222640 (45,498 of them mine)
Year 1 miles: 20195
Year 2 miles: 25303

Total gallons of fuel: 2085 (that's ~40,000 lbs of CO2 if you were just thinking about that...)
Year 1 gallons: 930
Year 2 gallons: 1155

Average miles per gallon
Year 1 mpg: 21.7
Year 2 mpg: 22.0

Estimated fuel cost total: $6078
Est year 1 fuel cost: $3022
Actual year 2 fuel cost: $3056 (much cheaper gas this year! An extra 5k miles for 'free')

Insurance total: $866
Year 1: $380
Year 2: $486 (rates went up and I didn't notice?)

Maintenance total: $3172 ($315 on oil changes, $2858 on mechanical repair)
Year 1: $1227 (all sorts of random junk)
Year 2: $1176 (big timing belt and hose repair job and oil changes only)
(uhh that doesn't add up, I should check those numbers again)

Accident repair: $1695

Total everything cost of ownership: $16,593 (!)
Year total 1: $11,608 (includes$4200 purchase)
Year total 2: $4985

Hopefully there is a 3rd installment for this car. Also I predict a dramatically lower mileage for the next year as I now live only 4 miles from work. And tomorrow I'm supposed to ride my bike in!

Craigslist and Medium Brown

Saturday afternoon I set off on an adventure in search of inexpensive Ikea furniture (in medium brown) to outfit my room a bit more. (Why yes, I am writing a post about buying used Ikea furniture... What?) I got a bit cocky about how much would fit in my car, and somehow thought that the dresser and table would fit in it no problem. The dresser took up a bit more room than anticipated, but luckily the friendly, drunk, starving artist types that I bought the table from already had it disassembled with the hardware neatly organized in a little plastic bin. Things fit just barely! (imagine full car with table hanging over the passenger's head rest, well into front seat.) After two furniture stops, I made another stop to pick up to pick up some concert tickets, where I'm pretty sure I saw Ron Jeremy leaving a restaurant, and then headed towards Santa Monica to hang out with Justin for awhile. We watched "Fast & Furious" it was not as bad as predicted.

Dresser that I'm happy with because it is in good shape, was half price used and I didn't have to put it together. More stuff that needs to be sorted and put away.

Too tall 'dressing table' with too low drawer, my chair is extended and could be a tad higher, maybe a chair with out arms in the answer? At least I didn't have to pay much for it. I like the way it looks and doesn't take up much space, but the heights aren't working out just yet.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

3D guy costume

This is a very cool costume, and well documented as well!

update: the dude's "fast slide show" of Japan is quite good as well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New room

New room is set up just enough so I can sleep here now. Amazingly the drive "all the way to Camarillo" to finish moving out seems like a big hassle now. Funny how that works.

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Hollywood Halloween

West Hollywood had some pretty ridiculous sites Halloween night. Worth checking out sometime just to see the massive numbers of people that are out and about.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New road tires

Finally purchased new tires for my road bike. The old ones were starting to show threads and had worn down to have a very flat profile.

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Close enough to the 3 year mark for the bike to do the data dump.
The short version is I need to ride more!

First ride: 12/08/06
Total miles: 2586.2 (Jason points out that this is roughly the distance across the US)
Average speed: 14.2
Tubes: Less than 5? Not many flats! Two of them in the last month.
Miles in 06: 104
Miles in 07: 882
Miles in 08: 897
Miles in 09: 703 (with 2 months to go)
Total hours in the saddle: 182.2
Rides over 50 miles: 3. Pathetic. Looking back at my ride log, almost all of my rides are in the 18-25 range. (I got carried away... histogram below...)

The only maintenance has been lubing the chain and new grip tape! Totally trouble free!!

Click below to get a close up of the neurosis that is my bike log.
From forweb

Hey look a histogram that displays graphically how I usually don't ride more than 20 miles!
From forweb

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birds of a feather... flocking

A (only mildly staged) photo prior to a very sweaty 3.4 miles @ 4.2mph (ha!) bike ride near Rocky Peak in Simi Valley. Thanks to some expert trail scouting by me, we rode UP the downhill section of the Chumash trail. Oops. There were times when it would have been a nice hike if I wasn't dragging my bike up the hill with me. Actually a very cool trail! Only the 2nd MTB ride since 4/08. Mike has been talking about getting a new bike so there may be more rides in the near future.

Laz0r scanning

Cool 3D mapping on this little UAV. Coolness is a couple of minutes in. Some mild laughs to be had in the comments as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New wheels

Konig Rewind 16x7" wheels, 205/60-16 Yokohama Avid TRZ shipped mounted and balanced from Discount Tire Direct. Goodparts 1" lowering springs. Happy with them so far! Big improvement over the worn out and 10 years old tires they are replacing, so I'm not hard to impress at this point.

more photos...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A shipment!

New wheels and tires for the Triumph arrived today. Whooo!! Pics of them on the car by Sunday hopefully...

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Monday, September 28, 2009


I got a cavity filled today. Lindsey seemed very happy with her handiwork so I figured I'd try and take a look for myself. Nicely done Dr. Anderson!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

80's dudes, then and now

Andy supplies more quality links.

I like how even the chihuahua is mesmerized.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Backpacking report

Finally! The backpacking pictures!(em-biggen pics by clicking)

Members of the expedition are Jason, Karisa, Melanie and Kendall
From backpacking2009

Here was the route we did in the "Mineral King" area of Sequoia National Park.
From backpacking2009

Labor day weekend is a very busy weekend for once yearly backpackers such as ourselves to come out of the woodwork. We attempted to get to the Mineral King Ranger Station early, by leaving around 4:30am. We had some success with this as when we arrived at the ranger station at 10:15am we were just ahead of several other parties. We didn't get onto the same trail that we planned to hike originally but really that's just kind of the way our backpacking trips seem to go. We set out around noon in good spirits. We met some quirky dudes in their 50's that were joking around with us in the parking lot and gave us some of their "gorp" since they were just going to throw it away since they didn't have any more room to pack it, we reluctantly accepted. Turns out it was super tasty with sunflower seeds and craisins and basically blew away the trail mix that we brought. Thanks dudes!

Then we hiked. We hiked past some water falls, a nice valley, a lake, and thenon some rough terrain, apparently it was too hardcore for the horse that keeled over for some reason, right around the 11,000 foot mark or so.
From backpacking2009

From backpacking2009

From backpacking2009

From backpacking2009

From backpacking2009

We made it too the top of the 11,710 ft pass right around sunset. We were supposed to get to the the lake at 100 deg east in the panorama below that night but we didn't quite get there. After 4000 ft in 8 miles the last 2 of the remain 3.5 miles just wasn't going to happen.

We set up camp in the almost dark, had some good beans and rice. The *new* jetboil stove that I got for my birthday works great! It was a little bit chilly and we didn't have a fire, my verbalized wish before going to bed was "I hope I wake up in the morning because the tent is too hot" Wish... GRANTED, well after 8am! Awesome. This is where we found ourselves when we woke up.

We hiked up another small pass, past a couple of lakes and could then see the valley that we were going to hike through the rest of the day.

At the second campsite after another 10 miles or so, we stopped well before dark and even had a campfire! I tried to make the Backpacker's pantry biscuits and gravy with somewhat disastrous results. They tasted alright in the end but the consistency was very off. It did mix in well with the vegetable curry.

For day 3 we had another 10ish miles or so and 2000 feet to go up, and 4000 feet to go down. Some guy on the trail saw my WWC t-shirt and informed us that his boss went to WWC. Good times.

We made it too the top Sawtooth Pass at 11,630 ft, and we could see where we had come from. And where we were headed too. The view was great, you could see the coastal range to the west, and to the east, they other guys at the top of the pass were pointing out Mt. Whitney. One of the dudes at the top systematically doled out one orange peanut M&M for each of us that made it to the top. Thank you?

There was really a surprising amount of water, flowers, and fresh green plants. In this picture the mountain top is right there another 200 feet above, not sure where all the water for these flowers is coming from??

Also you'll notice the trekking poles in some of the pictures. I can't say enough good things about trekking poles, this is my first trip where I had my own, and didn't have to borrow them after my knee got sore. Also, my knee did not get sore. I will never go backpacking without trekking poles ever again. They are like 4wd for the steep parts of the trail. (I got some like this for 50% off at rei since they were returns from the online store. SCORE!)

The decent off of Sawtooth Pass was extremely steep and there were some really sketchy sections of steep rock, covered with decomposed granite, not all that fun but at least it was over quickly. Coming down was really lame, I can't imagine going up, suffice to say it would be lame.

We finally made it back to the car and saw some deer. We ate celebratory pizza at the Pizza Factory in Three Rivers. Great trip! Next year, trail reservations, and maybe half the mileage? ... or not?

Slide show:

Monday, September 14, 2009


Stuffing Manicotti is a two person job!

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Cool pictures

I liked the "click to fade" to see the 1 year difference in these photos.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Leaving for a backpacking trip in about 4 hours...

This seems appropriate to share!:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SP Zen

Deep thoughts from Alan Watts and the Southpark guys. Also this (here) if you want some soothing voice telling you to enjoy life, man.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An array of 'tubes

Joigold7, purveyor of excellent how-to automotive clips, sent me this.(here) It basically melted my old laptop, but it's kind of interesting, in that way that 20 youtube videos making an audio mash-up, is kind of interesting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Look ma, no hands!

From the "wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it" dept!! Kevin stumbled on to this on Joe Sorren's Blog and thought that Loe would like to see it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kevin and Jessica travel to Nepal!

Kevin and Jessica are departing for an adventure to Nepal for a couple of months, they depart in about 30 minutes! They have a blog, follow their adventures.

Going and living in another country is all the rage this summer. Deeanne and Garret skipped town a few weeks ago and have headed south - they also have a blog filled with (epic and well documented!) adventures.

Comment Feeds!

I have a comments feed!

When Jason started his weblog he shared a link for his comments feed as well. I found this to be awesome. I tried typing "comments" where "posts" goes in the link for the blogger feeds and what do you know - a comments feed was lurking all along! Loe and Kevin I'm now feeding your comments as well - the word has officially been gotten out.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The OS browser OS

The below is probably of limited interest to people who spend less than 8 hours a day in front of a computer.

When I read in the summary that this IEEE article (here) discussed "The projects—ServiceOS and the Gazelle Web browser—make the browser act more like an operating system." My first thought was "This article is likely going to make Jason's head asplode." However it didn't end up being all that inflammatory or terribly interesting, even for people who really believe that the current trend of using the web browser for everything is rather misguided. The upshot is that Microsoft has a project going that has end goals similar to the Chrome OS from Google.


Wikipedia just can't compete this time.

Generally, damped harmonic oscillators satisfy the second-order differential equ...


oh look! animated breast simulator that advertises mega-bras!

Today's suggested experiment, confirm that even an 'under-damped mass-spring system' (*cough*) acts as a low pass filter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plug-In 2009

Must look at tracker of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in development now: here. Lots of cool cars in the pipeline!

On Tuesday evening I attended the "Plug-In 2009" electric vehicles (EV) conference public night at the Long Beach Convention Center. Carrie met me there (hooray for an interested friend!) and we got to the exposition floor with about 30 minutes until the discussion started. It ended up being busier and a bit larger than I had expected. AV had a large booth set up showcasing charging stations and a hybrid drive test system. I ended up chatting with the AV sales rep for awhile and didn't leave much time to check out the cars on display. So in the last few minutes I just quickly snapped pictures of anything that was shiny. (slide show at the bottom)

The discussion was interesting and exceeded my (kinda low) expectations as far as being engaging. The panelists were: Chris Paine the documentary director of "Who killed the electric car" Chelsea Sexton an EV activist ever since the EV-1, and of course Bill Nye is "The Science Guy" who has one of the Mini-Es. The first question was very technical, about the P1772 connector. But the panel wasn't really there to debate engineering specifics so the discussion mercifully was directed back towards broader themes. There were some colorful characters and Bill Nye raised the ire of the dirty hippies (unbathed) in the room when he suggested that dirty hippies have unrealistic goals about what the environmentalism movement should try and achieve. Bill Nye comes off as genuine and likable as you'd expect. He appears to possibly have a bit of a love/hate relationship with his self proclaimed D list celebrity status. My arm chair psychoanalysis is that while he loves his career of promoting all things science he may feel a bit like a fraud, constantly being portrayed as an expert on subjects when really while he is a remarkable jack of all trades, he's not really an expert or accomplished 'scientist' in any given field. (perhapds accomplished engineer but not 'scientist') Anyhow, he's still out making science fun and easy for people to understand, and he was on TV when I was 13 and that's awesome.

Something else that I found kind of interesting about the EVs on display is that their installs were a little bit ... kludgey. As in not very different at all from what I helped wire up at Anuvu Inc. in 2003. The installs are just square boxes packed full of electronics wedged in where a gas engine used to be. The built from the ground up plug-in and 100% electric vehicles will hopefully have much more elegant integrations of the drive systems. (After a short search I found the obituary for Anuvu. I'm glad I went to work for Cliff instead of taking the job there full time after the internship! Interesting comments)

The Tesla Model S - WANT!

Hydrogen is really on the back burner these days.
(gotta love how you can find a headline that matches any point you're trying to make) With nearly all research money going into plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell cars will not arrive any time "in the next 10 years" that they were talking about 10 years ago. The point was made that this doesn't have to be an either-or proposition however. And that people adopting electric cars in large numbers would only help the hydrogen technology when it comes finally becomes available.


The tomatoes are coming around. The plants are actually a bit disappointing. They look sort of spindly and they don't have many leaves on them. But they are starting to crank out the fruit as you can see below. Red tomatoes!
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