Monday, December 31, 2007

If nautical nonsense be somethin' ya wish...

Then pay close attention to this little high seas tale me hearties.

First, this photo from my wife's side of the family:

You stay classy, San Diego. I mean, this is a pirate hat away from theme park memorabilia. I've got some 'What were they thinking?' fashion mistakes from my own 70's childhood, but as I was 8 in 1979, I suffered from a lack of control of over my own posterity at the time. So I can't really be blamed.

But this, this really says something. What, I have no idea. Just drink it in dear roblog reader. Perhaps if someone asks nicely, I'll blur it without the captions for a Fark photoshop contest.

Now to be fair, a story on my side of the family.

When certain, but to remain nameless, close close relatives of yours truly were younger, and, shall we say, 'bumpkins', they decided to to spend a night on the town at a nice restaurant.

It was a small town, but had just recently had the good fortune to have a BRAND NEW Long John Silver's built.

To be fair, since Long John didn't get started until 1969, they weren't well known in the 70's I suppose.

But getting dressed up nicely to go to LJS expecting a classy seafood restaurant is still 'You Just Might Be a Redneck' territory.

I love you all. And thanks for your non-consented use of your 'Pirates of the Caribbean' souvenir photo.

(Yeah really. This photo ISN'T memorabilia, unless you count the 70's as a theme park ride. For some of you damn hippies, it might have been. If you can remember it at all.)

Friday, December 28, 2007

No Pets

My daughter says 'look it says *pets on* on the wing'. Oh maybe 'no pets'.

(Click the photo for a larger view.)

This is the child with the world land record for stuffed animal ownership.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


New video I made with some hot chicks in it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Monumentally Epic

We were in line behind one of the more monumentally epic clueless denizens of the United Idiocracy of America.

She was using the Kodak picture kiosk at CVS pharmacy to copy pics from her camera card to a CD.

Had an iPhone. Had a digital camera. W...T...*FRICK*?!?!

Burned *2* CDs full.

Also, if you'd cut those ridiculous nails, the touchscreen work would go a lot faster.

In the old days we'd use a computer for that. I hear there is a product called iPhoto that will do this for you, even.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mr. Vocabulary

We're at one of those restaurants in a strip mall that doesn't have a soda fountain.

(No free refills which irks me. What am I? In England?)

Aaron and Kimberly both get a glass of root beer. I warn Aaron that if he keeps drinking it, he won't have any when his food gets here.

As expected, Kimberly has nearly a full glass and Aaron has none when the food gets here.

Kimberly: "I'm glad I have a nice glass of root beer to go with my food."

Aaron turns to her and says "Don't gloat!"

Now, I haven't heard that word used in a long time, much less from a 6 year old. He's my special boy.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Worst Day EVER

The wife and kids are in Gulfport. They woke up at 545AMish this morning to leave to go to the airport. I go back to sleep after that bit of fun and sleep late.

I only have to fly to Baton Rouge and back and be done at 530pm.

I had decided to leave a little later. I didn't have to be at the airport until 130pm, so I knew traffic wouldn't be bad and I've been getting there well over an hour before my show time.

I was talking to my friend whose wife is having a baby who has been surviving on a teacher's salary and regional airline pilot first year pay for a while. He's getting a raise soon of which most of it will probably go to baby stuff. At least he has a few months to put money aside as his wife's car is getting paid off. I remark how some people think the good Lord is persecuting you when you get extra money and then something happens so that you have to spend it. I say you have a windfall just as you happen to need it, so it's perspective.

He has to go so I clean a little. I find a live frog with a mangled leg under an ice chest in the kitchen. Don't ask about why there's an ice chest in the kitchen.

My friend calls back. "Man, I got to go. I have to get ready for this trip and I just found a mangled frog I have to deal with."

What to do? Put him out of his misery? Amputate the leg? I decide to let nature solve it and put him outside.

So I get showered, shaved and dressed. And that's when the real trouble started.

I can't find my car keys. I can't find the pants I had on the night before that had my wallet in them. I tear around the house for a while in an increasing panic. The wallet also has my passport in it. I wonder if there is any chance my wife somehow has my wallet AND keys.

Then I remember that I had given the car keys to Sue after eating at Ninfa's last night so she could see how my car was driving. I had new tires put on not long ago.

So, my car keys and house keys are in Gulfport. She went there this morning to visit her dad for Christmas. I call her and wake her up and she remembers piling a bunch of folded clothes on top of my pants from last night. So I find the wallet, and feel like I'm running just a bit late at this point.

I would have been really screwed without my passport. I'm overnighting in Mexico in two days.

I can't find my sunglasses as they fell out of my shirt pocket somewhere while I was tearing the house apart looking for my wallet and keys.

Fortunately I had taken the key to a car we're trying to sell off the keychain in case anyone wanted to test drive it.

Now the car I have to drive is my car we're selling and guess where it's parked? Between the garage and the car I don't have keys to. Which is locked and an automatic, so I couldn't even move anyway. So guess where the garage remote is? Fortunately I had an extra remote for my electric bike which uses a keychain. So I have to back it out in 1-2 ft increments. Forward, turn, back, forward, turn, back. You get the idea.

So on the way there, I remember as I go through the second EZ Pass tollbooth lane that THIS CAR DOESN'T HAVE AN EZ PASS ON IT! So, I'll have to call and fix that to avoid a fine. My car I normally drive does.

Then I have to put some air in the tires. It's 75 cents, and I manage to somehow lose 2 tire stem caps.

I get to the employee lot and I'm in such a hurry that I get on the E terminal bus when I need to go to B, which is 2 tram stops away.

While on the bus, I notice that my $400+ Scott leather bag has dragged and the corners are worn through. So now I have to figure out how to get that fixed and stop it from getting worse. And my $300ish Luggageworks bag has a rip in the nylon at a corner in the frame.

Then I get out at E with a little over an hour to get to the crew room, check my inbox, and get to the gate.

At security, I notice my ID is missing. They fortunately let me in with my passport and military ID.

While I'm riding the tram, it gets stopped at the B gate doors for 'maintenance'. So now I'm trapped on the train. 5 minutes go by and finally someone arrives with the key to let us off.

At the crew room I find out the plane we are supposed to take to Baton Rouge is delayed so I have extra time.

I sit down to post pub changes, open my flight case, and there are my sunglasses which had fallen into it. No ID card however.

The Chief Pilot drives me over to get a new ID made. It's $50 unless I find the old one and that will make it $10. He takes me out via the van but I have to go BACK through security again now that I have my ID. He can't escort me through the drive in checkpoint.

I'm telling all this at the gate with my crew and another crew. The gate agent wants me to do a breathalyzer. Ha Ha. I tell the captain maybe he should do everything and I'll just swing the gear. Laugh everyone, laugh at the day from hell. The flight attendant who has been up for 14 hours even sympathizes a bit.

While waiting for the now long overdue flight I decide I'm going to grab a coke from the galley on another plane. Storytelling makes me thirsty.

Guess where they're going? Gulfport! And they were delayed thirty minutes. So we swap cell numbers and information and he's going to put my keys in my inbox after my wife drops them off in Gulfport.

We end up getting delayed for two hours. On the ground at Baton Rouge my cell rings and the other guy has my keys, and says he's off in 20 mins. Great, we'll probably be there about the same time. We get off the gate in 21. So we're ahead as GPT is fther away.

We get back and the gate assignment computer has crashed so we have to wait for a gate for about 15 minutes.

My captain jokes that he hopes the guy with my keys isn't like a Chicago commuter and doesn't forget to put my keys in my inbox. Ha ha ha. We'll just keep shuttling them around the country and have everyone hold them up in front of well known landmarks while they take a picture.

I get back to the crew room and there's the guy with my keys.

On the way home I find out that you have to run a tollbooth three times before they flag it, and just call back in a few days to check. I think I only ran two. At any rate, they said they'd just out it on my bill. I imagine it happens fairly often with multi car families.

So here's the score:

Wallet: found due to wife's lucky memory of seeing my pants before she put the clothes on them.
Keys: Had an extra car with an extra key and extra garage remote.
My normal keys: Houston to Gulfport via wife, Gulfport to Houston later that day via airline pilot.
Scott Case: corners worn through, unresolved.
Luggageworks Case: Rip can probably be superglued, unresolved.
Sunglasses: found in flight case.
Tire stem caps: 2-3 lost; one already missing.
Tollbooth charges: unresolved but promising.
ID Card: $50 hoping for $10.

I'm typing this from bed the next day on my laptop. I go on reserve at noon, and I doubt they will call.

But I'm just a little afraid to get up.

Dear Lord, please give me more than just a windfall to make it through the day today.

If that weren't enough, I'm planning on trying to finish some Christmas shopping 4 days before Christmas.

Wish me luck.

Aaron and the Blessing

When Aaron was younger, I asked him to say the blessing. "I pledge allegiance..."

'No Aaron, the BLESSING.'

"I pledge allegiance..."

'No buddy, the *blessing*.

"I can't, the Pledge of Allegiance is in the way!"

Poor thing couldn't get it straight in his little 4 or 5 year old head.

Well, truth is no stranger than fiction, as today I was watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and witnessed this exchange between Clark and his senile Aunt Bethany.

Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: What dear?
Nora: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? Ohhh...She passed away thirty years ago...
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say grace.... The BLESS-ING!!!
Aunt Bethany: Oh.

Aunt Bethany:I pledge allegiance, to the flag of the United States of America - and to the republic for which it stands - one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!
Clark: Amen.

This recalls to mind his later duplication of the scene in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels when Steve Martin as Ruprecht brings his trident to the table.

Apparently too much TV IS bad for you. I'm one of those people who quotes movies and obviously it's soaked into my DNA.

Aaron has never SEEN those movies.

And now you know...the rest of the story....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hilarius or Disturbing

Your Choice.

The McFly 2015 Project

This is an online
effort to get Nike to make the shoes featured in Back to the Future. Everyone's got a cause. World Peace? Won't happen. Nike Air 2015's? Just possible.

Bonus video:

With inflation the phones will be much smaller, but the same price.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's not Christmas yet!

This is the message on the slide at Sienna Crossing Elementary on their closed circuit television channel.

As I understand it, its an effort to keep the kids behaving, but how Grinchy is that?

To me its a lazy message.

How about something like 'Christmas is almost here, so be on your best behavior and be of good cheer!' vs the administrations lazy and purely negative message shown all around the school?

I'm having issues with the draconian atmosphere in the school these days and this is indicative of it.

More on that later.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What says Christmas

This means Christmas to me.

From when I was a child, and now when my own children watch it. The instrumental version of 'Christmastime is Here' will take you back, my friends.

If you like, you can click and buy individual tracks for 99 cents. And unlike Apple's iTunes store, they are vanilla MP3's which will play on anything that plays MP3's. No restrictions.

So fix yourself a cup of hot chocolate or buy that Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha that I've recently found so addictive and load up the traditional MP3 player with this classic.

Stay young roblog readers.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What a Crock

What a crock.

An article on spatial disorientation of pilots and how scared you all should be.

In other news, riding in a tin can for hours in the clouds can be on occasion somewhat disorienting for a bit to the best of us.

Lots of pilots probably get this to some degree. Simple solution: fly the instruments. They don't lie like your butt and your head do.

In yet other news: on slow days, the media will fear-monger.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Roomba Deals!

UPDATE 12/26/07: Still a great deal for the Scooba.

I have a Red and a 4220SE. GREAT products. Refurb Scooba is on sale too. Click the one you want, and you know you do. Sue: Get me the Scooba!

Sign up here first. Ebates gives you cash back for online purchases you make anyway. I've gotten over $100 back from them so far. Amazon doesn't give cash back but lots of other places do. Amazon thru ebates has coupons sometimes.

Advice for Airline Passengers

First off, I love you all, you pay my salary. Lots of you are really cool and I presume trying to be cool. However, here are some annoyances I must air. These are directed at the other guy, not you, you're great. Here's some advice for those of you in the cabin. (And us pilots ride there occasionally too.)

  • If the board says you're at the right gate, and the earlier flight is still showing when you get there, you're ok. Just check the board. The gate agent is busy working the flight before yours. Wait til it closes and THEN ask them about the movie/free upgrade/seat assignment etc. If it's not time it's not time and the flight won't leave more than 5-10 mins early. And how often does that happen to you? Not very. It's going to take as long as it's going to take. Leave the driving to us.
  • A pilot in uniform has no special mastery over all things airport related. We just drive the bus. We may not know where gate Z555 is, because we always come in at gate A1. There's probably a sign. We are better in bed though, that's true.
  • The seatback is not a handhold. When you're jerking around on it, it makes the person's head in that seat look like a Stevie Wonder bobblehead doll; especially if they're asleep. Well, they aren't any more. Don't use it to stand up and sit down. (Psst: if you are in an Embraer regional jet, look under the armrest back near the hinge for a small button. You can press that and raise the armrest. It's about an inch from the hinge.)
  • Don't hang that extremity into the facial area of the person sitting down. Unless you've got a Hooter's girl body and it's those extremities and the pax in question is a heterosexual male, then it might be ok. Usually it's the other end of someone and it isn't a Hooters girl. Unless you're on Hooters Air, but I digress.
  • Jumping around in the seat WILL move the seatback and odds are the tall pax behind you has their knees jammed into it. It ain't much but when an immovable object encounters an unstoppable force...wiggling, and whining, isn't fashionable at any age.
  • Don't suddenly lean your seat back. You're not in your La-Z-Boy at home. See above.
  • Don't take your shoes off. I don't care if they don't smell. It's just not polite society. See above. You're not in your La-Z-Boy at home.
  • Pajamas? Really? Again, above.
  • Flight Attendents ARE there for your safety. They wait on you but they are not 'really just a waiter' or somesuch as I overheard some 'aviation expert' say on a flight the other day. Folks can't even figure out how to work the bathroom door and the overhead bins and you're going to handle stuff in an emergency like oxygen masks not correctly deploying, automatic defibrillators, and exiting the aircraft at the correct exit, not the one where the wing's on fire and you're in a panic? (FA's: Most of you do a great job, just don't get too overbearing on the newbie travelers ok? It's all new to them.)
  • It's a plane, not a 'partner'. That's when you should complain about size. Want to fly in a 737 or larger all the time? Limit yourself to the larger city pairs. Houston, Cleveland, Newark, etc. Oklahoma City? You just ain't there yet.
  • Don't bring your small child on the late late late or early early early flight. No one will be happy.
  • And lastly, you will fly XYZ Airlines again, if we're the cheapest or going at the right time. We'd be ever so glad if you'd take your loud and lengthy rant to ABC Airlines. You'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Stay safe, stay polite, and try and have fun. You are getting an airplane ride at least. I leave you with this classic. (Hey, TSA, if there wasn't a grain of truth...)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


For no reason other than I think it's funny.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Macbook Grinding Noise If moved While Disc Spinning

Really Apple, was this necessary? If you pick up a Macbook while the Combo drive in a Core 2 Duo Macbook is spinning, you can hear a grindy sound as something is hitting the disc or drive while it's spinning.

It's because the bottom of the Macbook flexes and hits something going around and round. Don't try it unless you like shavings of some sort in your Macbook.

I'm going to see what Apple has to say about this. Anyone out there in Internetland knows anything, leave a comment.

Friday, November 30, 2007

We Gots Forums

Free to register at:

Rant away. It's a good waste of time (tm).

Got an idea for a topic? Let us know.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Google Maps Mobile: Find your location (sort of) without a GPS

It works by figuring out which cell tower you're on, and showing an approximate location of where you are. Which in my case, is a 1700m circle, which is kind of large, but hey, it's free.

(How many commas were in that sentence anyway? You should have a conversation with me in real life. I lose track of the sidetracks.)

I'm using a Cingular 8525 with Windows Mobile 5 on the AT&T network. I was on the EDGE network. I wonder if being on 3G makes a difference?

Check it out on Google.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Apple Pro Keyboard and Nintendo Wii

This combination works. I'm posting from it right now. This is the white wired Apple Pro Keyboard. Circa 2002.

M7803 is the model number.

The arrow keys, Num Lock on the numeric keypad, and Caps Lock work.

In Opera (the Internet Channel) the up and down arrow keys scroll the page and left and right work if you zoom the page using the Wii controller.

Now I wonder if my wireless Kensington Desktop would work. Be neat if the mouse worked! Have to try that some day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Expressjet Crew Room

Don't you people have homes? (Caddyshack)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chicago Trip Notes

To eat: Brazzaz Brazilian steakhouse on Dearborn.

539 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 595-9000

This place was sparkling clean, picture perfect food and furnishing.
Outstanding service. I could have done without the spoken word new age
jazz though. It was classy enough without it. 19.99 for lunch for an
excellent buffet.

Pizza Uno:
I love their pizza and the crust has excellent texture but the crust
could use some salt or seasoning.

To watch: 'Wicked' at the Ford theatre. Not too much singing, or too
much drama. Humor, plot twists, and great weaving of the plot into The
Wizard of Oz.

It's cold. So bring a jacket.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cupcake Cafe in Sugarland

Great sandwich. Try the Pesto Pollo. Here's their site.

We got there latish, about 620pm or so. They close at 7pm, and turn off the grill at 645pm but the service was excellent and friendly.

The pasta salad that comes with the sandwich was also good. The Boston Creme cupcake was ok, but I'd prefer less of a dark chocolate icing and more of a milk chocolate.

Cool decor with a couch and table and a giant inverted cupcake about 8 feet across with the 'cherry' being a red lit lamp and light up 'sprinkles' on the ceiling.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Random thoughts:

You know you've been traveling too much when you sit down in your seat at the theater in Chicago to watch 'Wicked' and for a split second you want to buckle your seatbelt.

I was just here on a long layover a week ago so it's a bit familiar at the moment. A long enough layover to drink beer until 3am and be legal, and still walk around town for a while until early afternoon.

Stay classy roblog readers. Tell your friends. Click some ads. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Embraer 145 / Expressjet Seating Advice

You want an 'A' seat. 1A etc. Single row. No neighbors. (Something for you Googlers.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

When Democracy is Inconvenient

Here's a story about an employee at a major company (thousands of employees, publicly traded), who was told they had to take a trip out of town on election day.

The employee was aware of the possibility he might have to take a trip but hadn't considered that he was going to miss his chance to vote on an issue very important to him and his family. He should have early voted, but just didn't put two and two together.

He informed his company of what he thought was his right by state law (and was correct) and the company didn't see it his way. They also did not try to get him back in time to vote because it was inconvenient for them to do so. It was doable, but they didn't want to expend the minor resources to do so.

Furthermore, the employee was called to the floor for a minor matter related to this incident because the person he informed on the phone that he was going to report the matter to the voter registrar didn't like the way he worded it. "I'm going to report you." or words to that effect.

Several people informed the employee that since he was new, he should not make waves over this matter.

So here's the sum: Company breaks state law, possibly federal (and was informed they were doing so), did nothing to remedy the issue (which they could have, and had the time and resources to do so), and then the employee gets 'in trouble' for purportedly the wording he used to the people involved.

Furthermore, he was told not to stand up for his rights by nearly everyone he told in the interest of his job.

Human Resources should have been brought in as well, but they were not even informed. It was kept within the system that was 'controllable' by the people involved.

This makes me sick on a number of counts. Comment by clicking the link below.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I bought some Christmas cards for the squadron members (well, ok, I bought a box of 16 cards) who want to send them to recovering troops at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Cost for the cards: $9.56

The message on the card:

"With God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26)

When I stepped out of the car an hour later at my hotel, guess what was on the ground beside the car? Like 1 foot from it.

A ten dollar bill.

God says "Thanks, and here's your change."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Genie Excelerator / GIFTD-1BL Garage opener issues

Welcome Googlers, hopefully this will help:

I bought the above model GIFTD-1BL 1 button compact remote with built in flashlight and the instructions didn't work. Here's the errata:

1. I don't have a radio signal indicator on my Excelerator garage door opener. The button is there, but no LED. Just holes where it would be on the circuit board. Maybe it fell out from the vibration. 6 year old home, built in 2000. Just hit the Learn button on the opener and click the remote a few times. Worked for me.

2. The manual says 315Mhz for every day use. I had to set mine to 390Mhz for it to work at all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Haunted Golf Course Ride!

This was a BUH-LAST! Me and Kimberly rode a bit of the the Sienna Golf Course cart path for speed on Halloween night. View the interactive map below. Too much fun. We saw a family of deer (two adults and a baby) and an orange cat run into the bushes. No rabbits but I plan to try this again. The electric bike isn't disturbing anyone or hurting anything. Good urban exploration.

View Larger Map

Zoom in on the map to see the route we took.

Help support by registering with Ebates here.

Ebates is a site that you go through to make all the purchases you normally would at regular websites like and

Ebates sends you a small 'rebate' automatically when you reach $5 (IIRC) of cash back. I've saved over $100 since I've joined with them.

Happy Halloween!

It's that time of year, and the decorations are out. Giant 3ft inflatable skull: check. Color changing crystal ball with mist bubbling inside and overflowing the monster hand bowl: check. Fake tombstone and light up skeleton parts: check. Smoke generator: check. Strobe with lightning sound effect: check.

Candy: we ate a lot of the good stuff, but, mostly: check.

Can't wait for the post Hallows Eve sale. I've got my eye on the Zoltan talking head in a case prop. Should be on sale at Garden Ridge. I'm not paying $50 for a plastic talking head.

So, good luck and remember: the kids will be asleep soon and you can raid their bags for the less memorable candy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

For you Asimov fans

If you're familiar with the laws of robotics...

Rob's law of robotics: Your Roomba will always run out of power under the middle of the bed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BatteryMinder: does it really work?

This is the product I bought.

Followup: Look here for our followup article and 'interview' with the developer of the BatteryMinder.

What is does is pulse the battery with a low voltage, high frequency signal at the resonate frequency of either the sulfate bonds or the crystal formation (read the theory somewhere else) and returns those materials to the acid solution vs having the crystals gunk up your battery plates.

All the sources I looked at said it works. I got mine for half of what they sell for on the company website. I figured I'd throw $35 at the chance of not having to buy 6 new batteries for these Razor E100 scooters I'm working on for the kids. Those batteries are at least $20-$25 each in small quantities.

I'm thinking that the batteries are just 'dead' from sitting with no charge on them. That's a great way to kill one.

I'll probably throw it on the cars for a day from time to time as well.

I have a couple of batteries hooked up to it. The first one has been on it for 2-3 days, the second I hooked up in parallel today. Both are also on an automotive charger at a 2A rate. This is so that the BatteryMinder will see a 12V source and pulse the batteries for desulphation. It will not function below something like 10.2V IIRC.

So, we're tricking it into pulsing. If you do this, I'd make sure you don't have a shorted cell in your battery. That could be bad.

When I first put it on, I checked to make sure the batteries weren't getting warm. They are nice and cool, and battery #1 appears to be slowly accepting a charge. It's a 12V battery, first showed something really low like 1.3-3V after the first few hours on the charger.

Now, days later, it shows 6+ V off charge, so preliminary data shows it's working. I'm keeping a log of rough times and voltages so we'll see.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You haven't seen it all

Check this out: a gutter cleaning robot. From iRobot (the Roomba people) so you know it works unless your gutter is hideously corrupted.

Watch the video on that page.

I ordered a new Roomba SE 4220 today for $150 since a new battery is about $25, and the new one will also have the floor charger base (which it finds by itself and recharges on) as well as two new virtual walls, a remote, faster recharge time, bigger dust bin, etc. etc. Thought it worth the difference. I think I paid near that for just the base Red model a year and a half ago. We still have old Red and this new one will let me troubleshoot Red to see if it's his battery or him that's sick. He won't run right.

Wish him luck and send a get well soon card.

Here's a minor Roomba tip: Just wash those filters out with soap and hot water. Over a year of use and the new ones still look fine.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gelato ebike update #1

The pedals were cheap and cracked when I got it, so today I swapped them for some on a bike that will soon get junked.

So, standard pedals will fit. These were larger so its easier to pedal when hill climbing, cruising slowly for exercise, nearing your destination, sidewalks near businesses, etc.

Posted from the seat of the bike. :)

XJT Bidding

Bid results should be out in a while. I got to bid in phase 2, which is all the reserve stuff. I got an R4 line for 24-28 October, which means I'm on call from 9am to midnight. I hope to get at least R5 which is Noon to 3AM. Later Rx lines don't get called as much as I understand things.

Staffing looks pretty decent; most days there are still 20-30 pilots on reserve that don't get called. I want some time off to get the house affairs straight. (Sell the Cessna 182, sell my extra car, etc.)

I am #139 for reserve bidding, so I should get a relief line or builtup line in a month or two hopefully.

Update: I got an R5 line which is phone standby from 9AM-Midnight. According to my friend, those don't get called out much. 12 days off for Oct, and hopefully next month will get me a line.

I was two spots out of getting a line on my bid preferences.

Now I have to figure out whether I'm considered inexperienced as I have about 170 hrs on the plane now, and whether or not I have to consolidate or not.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saying of the Day

From time to time I come across one I haven't heard before, so I might make this a regular thing. Here's today's:

"If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is."

(Yeah, that's you & me and everyone else that likes to 'improve' it or see how it really works.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Monkey on my Back

I got some Epicurean's Delight Bread & Butter Garlic with JalapeƱo from this place. It's AWESOME. You can just eat the cloves straight outta the jar as they are lightly sweet/sour/garlicky/spicy all at the same time. EXCELLENT with pizza or a sandwich. A little pricey at $8 a jar but I bet I can just drop some new cloves in the leftover juice and make a new batch after a while.

IOE's Done

Finished IOE Thursday, took 28 hrs. (25 is the minimum, but we still had some material to cover.) Crappiest landing of course on my checkride. Mainly, floated and ballooned a little bit but the touchdown was good and within the zone, so it counts. Gusty wind doesn't help.

Don't you hate that? Eveything's fine fine fine until the LAST MINUTE THEN you hit some sort of snag.

Here I am at FL370. The Captain had to go to the little captain's room so on goes the mask.

That'd make a great Halloween costume. Strogg pilot. I'll be terrorizing the skies over the central Americas soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Periwinkle blue

Someone told me to put something in the 'periwinkle' box today. Uhh, you mean this blue box? Ladies, guys have the mental color equivalent of the 8 count crayon box. The fat stubby ones too.

Unless the object in question is a sports car, a motorcycle, or some hot chick's eyes, please stick to an 8 color spectrum.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Gelato Ebike Trips

I am trying to figure out mileage. The bike really needs an odometer. It's got a speedo, so they should add one just for a ballpark figure.

Here's today's trip so far.

View Larger Map

You get a lot of looks on it that's for sure. Now how do I pick UP the dry cleaning? I'll try a trip to CVS at Hwy 6 and Sienna Parkway to see if I get run over or not. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I hope they'll bring me another bowl. This guy landed on the rim and then made a poor second attempt.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Now you know we pilots love passengers, because you pay our paychecks. But you folks ask some silly questions sometimes.

Here's yesterday's:

'When we were coming in to land, were those cumulus clouds we flew through?' (Yes, this was a grown man.)

Answer: 'Uh, I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention.'

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pet peeve of the day

The 'here's your change pile' where they pile your change, bills, and reciept in one pile. What do I do? Fumble with my pile of disparate objects and wallet. Each item has to go to a separate place. Does that get me thru the line any quicker?


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Gelato Bike Thoughts

  • GREAT enjoyment to ride with the kids. They comment on everything and even your pain in the butt daughter will let her shields down. Aaron and Kimberly both love to be take for rides on it and we talk the whole time.
  • You do things on this bike you'd never do in a car. Like cruise around just to see what's what. We found where some of Kimberly's friends from school live: just around the corner! We found a new neighborhood addition. We found a shortcut to behind the shopping center that lets us avoid a little traffic on the bike. today we drove it probably 6-10 miles I'd bet.
  • Fast enough to avoid traffic if you move to the right and travel with it in the neighborhood. Cars don't have much of an overtake. Indicated speed is 28-29MPH, 18-20 validated with a GPS.
  • Pedals! For slow cruising around in a cul de sac, or when the law enforcement comes by and you're on the sidewalk. 'Look, I'm pedaling, it's a bike'. I swapped the small pedals for some larger adult sized ones.
  • Even if it's hot outside, it ain't with a 20MPH breeze in your face. Extends the riding season for hot climates.
  • Headlight, turn signal, horn; for warning joggers and traffic.
  • Plastic bodywork is easier to polish perfections out of with car rubbing compound.
  • Needs more speed. Just a bit. 35 MPH would be GREAT.
  • I wish it had: hazard lights, a cup holder (I can add that).
  • The seat is too hard, or I need to get fatter. I can figure out something.
  • Mirrors are a bit narrow. Again, probably something you can get in an addon.
  • Some of the bits are on the cheap side. Somewhere a pin hinge for the cargo box got lost.
  • Two chargers, although it is probably cheaper than a single charger. Have to figure out how to charge without opening the seat. Minor.
  • If you have someone on the back seat, and you pedal, you can hit their feet with your feet. Just don't pedal with a passenger.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 so far!

Now, get busy on those donations so I can save the environment.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Gelato E bike electric Bicycle is here!

Got a great deal on a lightly used one. Pics and reviews, tips etc to follow. Some minor annoyances but overall a LOT of fun to drive. Both kids love riding it with me. Might even hold two small adults.

Ice is Cold!

Kimberly informed me today while I was putting sugar in my tea that adding ice would make it cold! Wow, that was news to me. I turned up the sarcasm output on that one but she was laughing. 'Thank you Kimberly, I am so glad I have you here to tell me these things.'

My 8 yr old knows everything!

Dads are apparently in need of guidance on just about everything.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Phrases I shall try not to Use

On theroblog, I hope you find something useful and/or entertaining amongst all the ramblings. I'm going to come up with a list of phrases that I'm getting a bit tired of hearing, and seeing. You can call me on it if I slip.

1. "highly anticipated". Well WTH does that mean? "much anticipated" makes more sense. Or "widely anticipated" or "greatly anticipated" (maybe). This was heard in a Zd net blog video and I realized I'm sick of it, and it doesn't make sense anyway.

2. "Tiger", "Leopard", "Panther", "Puma", "Orange Ba$*ard Housecat" or whatever Apple keeps naming their operating systems. I don't mind Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista so much as they are different enough (and not released on what seems like a 3 month schedule APPLE) that I can keep them straight. I'll just use OS X 10.blahdee.blahdee. Don't get me started on the whole OS X 10.0 deal. Anyone for the Roman numeral version? The latest is OS X.IV.X

3. A list in no particular order: "pundit", "paparazzi", Movie phrases: "Must see" and "feel good movie of the ...".

Aaaaand, I'm spent.

You can leave your own words and phrases in the comments. Repeat the nonconformist's oath:

"I promise to be different!"

"I promise to be unique!"

"I promise not to repeat things other people say!"


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Should I be concerned NOW?

To be fair, it was the last large fork clean, and I'd planned to use it for pancake eating but Aaron had been eyeing it for a day or two. Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree I suppose.

(That second photo is Steve Martin as 'Ruprecht' in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels".)

Monday, October 01, 2007

For the little prizefghter in your child

I need to add a 'badtoyideas' tag. This is a miniature side of beef for I suppose a tiny Rocky figure. Yikes. It comes with a tiny bloodstained bathrobe too. Wonder why it was on the clearance aisle?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

horse doo doo

Reply to: see below
Date: 2007-09-30, 9:43PM CDT

neighbor can't afford to feed their horse so
I let them put the horse in my yard with the
promise they would keep road apples cleaned
up. I bought a sack of oats for the horse
and did a good job of baby sitting until
Sun morn at about 2 am when Butt Head tore
outside faucet off and made a lake out of
back yard. Butt head went home but poop
is still here. Call BR549 if you want free

Ok, the whole God thing

Ok, well I promised you some controversy. Sorry, it's late in coming. I'm going to do some posts here and there about theological aspects from a secular standpoint. Why? Because it's pretty darn well difficult to completely nullify either theory: big bang, evolution, etc. and the world in 7 days as proposed (and I'm admitting bias here) us Christians. Yup, I said it. I'm going to come at it from the stand point of 'Hmph, I didn't think of that.' Things DO evolve, but 'Someone made the universe' seems easier to believe than 'It just happened for no particular reason from nothing'. Structure and relative order imply design. Stuff happening for no reason on the other hand also refutes the scientific principle of cause and effect.

I'm LEANING toward the pro-God side, as I must, because that happens to be my faith, but again, I hope to present the material in an 'Oh, I hadn't thought of that.' way. Apologies for misuse of Douglas Adams' babelfish material. (Read the bit at the bottom, funny stuff.)

Let's just jump right in and tackle the biggie:

"If there is a God, give me a SIGN!"

For one thing, it isn't very likely. The Bible timeline varies, but for argument's sake, let's say it covers 2000 years. I know it's a short time, but if we want to argue that you're not going to get a sign of biblical proportions we'll use it. (Which is what you want isn't it? Not something ordinary like a self reproducing consciousness based on chemical reactions.)

How many miracles were in the Bible? Let's say it's 100. I know, it's high, but let's go with it.

So, roughly one miracle every 20 years. And since a lot of them were done by Jesus (resurrection, water to wine, healing of people well known to have a long term or serious affliction, like, they were dead) then that leaves less in the remaining 1966 or so years.

Oh, and consider all the people in existence during that time. Very few people saw or experienced one relatively speaking. Hitting the powerball is more likely, and do you actually know anyone who has won a large prize of any sort? I don't.

So, you're not going to see one or know anyone who has (even if they'll admit to it in this day and age.)

If you're waiting for God to give you a sign to believe in him, I'd say the odds are against it if you're looking for the burning bush type thing.

If you don't believe in miracles, then you're just a happy accident of chemistry. (Or unhappy, as the reaction eventually is going to decrease along the increase in entropy: THE END.) The accident that happened a LONG time after the formation of the universe. Apparently at great odds since it took so long. There's not a whole lot of middle ground here.

Still looking for that sign?


General Tso's Chicken McNuggets

Did you know if you mix the caramel from the apple dippers and ketchup and dip your nuggets in, its a passable Tso's chicken? If McD uses my idea, I get royalties!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Airliner Games

Games to play on an airliner:

Who's got the biggest carryon.
How fast can I jump up in the aisle and stand there motionless after the captain turns off the seatbelt sign.
Guess the stank.
What's this button do?
Pretend you know about aviation and/or flying

Child Labor in America

Here's a thought:

When your child builds their own toy at Build-a-Bear and the like, isn't that child labor? And if it is, shouldn't they get an employee discount?


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Prior art

No one makes a Mini DVI to DVI-I adapter for the Macbook. Apple makes a DVI-D cable. I'm looking into having some made, so if anyone knows a low volume manufacturer let me know, or if you want one let me know.

Also, don't steal my idea. Or send me some royalties. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Test 2

To see if pics come thru...and dreams come true...


Test of the posting thru email link. You know, for kids.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Where's Rob and What's Up?

Not doing much. I'm pulling my annual tour for the USAF Reserves.

Here's another list of what people are looking for when they turn up at theroblog:

Looks like we've got first class postage licked. OH YEAH! That's a good one. Hee Hee. Hey, Carlton Keen, you out there? (A little something for the search engines. He'll appreciate it if he washes up here amongst the other digital flotsam and jetsam.) Nothing weird on this list like the list from Aug 30.

Some rambling thoughts:

What is UP with the long lead times to see the next season for TV shows? Burn Notice is an excellent show, but, next season just ended a few days ago and it's a wait until NEXT SUMMER to view it. Whaaaaa....?

Dr. Who (the current episodes on the BBC) have a ridiculously long hiatus as well. First the Canadian dollar exceeds the U.S. dollar (they're coming over to BUY OUR STUFF MAN) and now this. Have to check out the Sarah Jane Adventures to see if it's any good.

Listen to Club 977 under iTunes. Click the radio icon and then 70's/80's (man, why'd my music get lumped in with the 70's...) and Club 977 is at the bottom...

Hey, send me a donation for my next project: an electric vehicle. I'd be shocked if I got the $519 for an electric bike. It looks like a scooter, is street legal, and will got 25-30 miles at 25-30 miles an hour. Husbands: my wife told me I don't need one, but if 518 of you send me $1 I'll match your contribution and add the last $1. Let's make a statement! No more oil money, and honey, I'll spend my website scooter money any way I D@AMN WELL PLEASE! Yeah. That'll do it. Or send me roughly $31,999 for a Hyundai Tucson professionally converted to electric. It's that link over on the right.

Next post: Some interesting theological questions and theories! You'll come back to see that for one reason or another.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dying to Play

I'm not sure how to approach this one, but it's not a new occurrence. Another young Chinese gamer has died from an Internet gaming binge. I could make a socio-political statement or just say how it's just sad.

You wonder if it's because the Chinese are repressed to however much degree and just want to escape into whatever other sort of reality they can, virtual or otherwise.

Or is it because of some other reason?

I too once was held in thrall by the addiction known as Everquest, and before that, Ultima Online, but 4 days, yikes. Didn't anyone say 'Go home and take a shower and get a nap'? Even if no one was concerned for this guy's health, seems like someone would say something after a couple of days.

I expect some sort of governmental crackdown, but I'd hate to see that happen. If you wanna game for 4 days, so be it. The cafes should self-police this one.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Your Daily Piece of Excel Code

What I did for my Summer Camp (Air Force Reserve annual tour) today: wrote Excel code of course!


If H6 is blank, then put #NA in this cell otherwise add 1 yr, and one
day to H6 and put it here.

Today's likely capper:


If it's blank print NA, otherwise run that nested IF statement and say someone's current, has less than 90 days currency remining, or is noncurrent.

It was kind of fun.

(Sick, isn't it?)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Candy Theme: Money

Chocolate Coins

Gold Mine Gum

Look at all the money related candy. Know any more? I ate about 500 GRAND today in the fun size. Who knew there were so many...I'd be pushing it to add Junior MINTS. Get it, a mint makes money har har...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Grandy's Cooks (Everything)

Ok, I admit to an odd indiscretion: I've eaten fried chicken hearts. (What else do you do after the voodoo that you do? well....apologies to the Blazing Saddles fans...It's HEDLEY.)

They taste pretty good, but they are just muscle like other chicken parts. This is a little lower down the list of things I'd eat off a chicken.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Commuting Sucks!

Every time I go somewhere these days the flights are full. Somebody's making some money. Or dang well should be. The OU - Miami game has all the flights to Oklahoma City oversold.

Well, all the cheap seats on Southwest. American is how I'm (hopefully) getting there.

Commuting Sucks!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I don't know exactly how to say this, but I'm kind of a big deal

Oh fickle finger of fate and celebrity. Apparently I'm the number THREE page listed in Google (as of a few minutes ago) if you use the phrase 'suburban soccer mom'.

Here's the other search terms people are using when they click on the ole roblog's results from the Goog'.

We're also very well thought of in the Wii easter egg category. Better get busy playing more Wii so I can keep my street cred.

NASA (National Aaron Space Administration)

All the rockets in Houston baby, couldn't hold a candle to you...(name the singer).

Get the title? Aaron...air and...get it?

Here's a little video we made. Glad we got it on tape, as you'll see what happens to the rocket. And I had to use glue and materials to actually BUILD that thing. Grrrr...

Monday, August 27, 2007

iDVD 4.0.1 and Dual G5 1.8GHZ Hang

I was making a little DVD for Mom and my sisters for a family event.

Soooo. It kept hanging at Stage 2. I deleted the preferences, reinstalled iDVD, repaired permissions, etc.

Then I noticed that all the issues with iDVD 4.0.1 or 4 were on DUAL G5's. Hmmm.

I had installed the CHUD Tools from Apple for the G5 chirping power supply issues. With that, you can disable processor nap, and/or RUN ON ONE PROCESSOR.

You guessed it, disabling the second processor allowed iDVD 4.0.1 to get thru the second stage!

This is very preliminary but NOTHING else worked before.

Looks like you can re-enable the processor during Stage 3. Activity Monitor interestingly won't report on the second CPU after re-enabling it unless you restart Activity Monitor.

Enjoy your old version of iDVD 4.

This was under OS X 10.4.10

UPDATE: Just using one processor appears not to work as well as I'd like. Here's what seems to be reliable:

-no motion menus
-1 cpu enabled (enabling second CPU after Stage two of asset coding is complete)
-no transition effects
-Delete Assets under the Advanced Menu before starting rendering
-background rendering off,
(I'll keep updating this until I get tired of it or my $5 copy of iLife '05 arrives.)

I just got 5 or 6 passes thru stage 2 with these options.

Update # 2:
I archived this project after importing it into iDVD 5.0.4. 5.0.4 ALSO was also locking up. I'm creating a DVD image now using iDVD 6.latest.update on an external Firewire drive using my Macbook, which has only a combo drive. This appears to be working. I also used a later theme, from version 5 or 6 I can't recall.

Update #3:

I did an archive of the project from within iDVD 5.0.4 and imported it into 6.x. That let me make an image and burn it, using later themes. On a Core 2 Duo Macbook.

My G5 is doing weird things too after doing an Archive and Install. I'm moving to an Intel based Apple desktop in the near future. I gotta be honest; this is starting to remind me of Windows. Don't get me started on that crapbox.

Hey, Apple? Don't make people go thru this. Surely back in the day there were just as many people with this issue. Lots of old griping about dual G5's and iDVD.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

XP Install = Jenga

Does it seem to anyone else that installing even a new clean XP deployment is like the game 'Jenga'? What should I do first? Well, antivirus, antispyware, and antirootkits ala AVG seem in order, especially since my CD is an SP1. then of course SP2 should be installed, and for good measure Norton Systemworks Pro 2003. (Hey, it's old, but it was cheap. For SMART monitoring and Speeddisk mainly.)

But oops, I let XP install a driver for the not real Soundblaster LIVE! included in a Dell 4550. So now I'm applying the patch from Dell. IIRC, it's not a real SB as it does not do full hardware acceleration or something. One of these days I need to replace that POS, but I'm not a big gamer at all stays probably forever. As I'm not buying a PC anymore. I'll still do Microsoft OS's, but my next desktop will be an Apple Pro Xeon of some flavor.

I've gone 4 years without a reinstall, and I think my hard drive was getting flaky. All the data was backed up so I don't think I've lost anything.

Can't wait for Apple OS X 10.5 and time machine!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


A study in light and composition.

Ah, the dawn of a new day, and the promise of a family vacation starting today at Disney World.

Too bad the kids are here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

'Sweet Victory'

If you watch one Youtube video on a blog this summer, this should be it! You MUST watch until the hilarious ending, trust me. the rest is pretty dang funny too. And I'm not biased here.

Watch the video they are dancing to sync'd and inset with the main video. They imitate what the characters are doing on the show. Comedy Gold.

The kids and the dog dance on the bed to the 'Band Geeks' Spongebob Squarepants episode while being secretly taped.

Sweet Victory indeed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Missouri City Power Sucks

I've had all sorts of weird computer problems, and the power here blinks A LOT. Yesterday it did to because the alarm clock was flashing 12:00 at one point.

The A/C guy who came out says he's replaced a lot of circuit boards and parts on home air conditioning units since they de-regulated the power here. Great. Cheaper ain't always better. (*Cough* PC vs. *Cough* Apple)

BUY A UPS. (Uninterruptible power supply.) My Dell 4550 PC will run off a 325VA with a monitor off it for a while, at least through the blips. 325VA is a rating, higher is better. 300VA is about the smallest you can buy. Conext has the 325VA ones for $24.99 at Fry's. Cheap. A good surge strip will cost you a third of that, and the UPS has two outlets with battery backup, and two with just surge protection.

My 1.8Ghz Dual G5 will not run off this size of UPS. You need to be able to run a monitor and a PC off it so you can shut down safely.

You should also plug anything that accesses data like a network storage device, game systems, etc. IMHO.

The Wii, Xbox, and Dreamcast are plugged into one. The TV is not, but that would take a large one.

Get one today!! (As I typed that, I heard thunder.)

If you don't have a Fry's, there's a little better one at for a few bucks more.

Art Class

Today we had art class from one of those 'learn to draw' books. Click the pic for a large version.

Guess which one's mine! (Psst: It's the one in the middle.)

Aaron did not participate. He was awarded a prize for non-participants, commonly referred to as 'diddly', mathematically expressed as:


Monday, August 13, 2007

Strange Craigslist Giveaways

This one
goes to 7 or so on the Weirdometer:

"I have a brand new unopened box of sesame chicken eggrolls I bought 2 boxes at Sams and my husband dosent care for them he likes the pork eggrolls. Long story short Sams dosent exchange so If anyone wants them come get em I dont want them to go to waste. Thanks."

'Ma'm, I was calling about the free eggrolls?....' . Imagine the possibilities: Crazy catlady, hyper 4'0" oriental grandmother, dangling cigarette ex-Barbie, who knows?

Also note the "long story short" comment. I mean, how much more can there be? Was some sort of restraining order or revocation of a Sam's Club membership involved?

The mind boggles.

Hot on the heels of that one is this gem.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Wii Easter Egg

If you have a Wii and download the sneak peak of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption , there's an easter egg. A pretty boring one actually, but still.

When you're at the screen to play the movies, click the little blinking light with the 'A' button on the Wiimote. It's this light blue one in the upper corner of the window as shown here.

On the next screen, hold down the A button on the Wiimote and wave it around. You'll start to see a picture uncovered. Once you have a lot of it uncovered, click 'Reveal'.

There's only two at this point, but Aaron had a bit of fun revealing the complete picture.

Friday, August 10, 2007


FINALLY! Something to get excited about! The ANTIBACTERIAL COLLECTION! I mean really, how about the "Clean Hands Collection" or the "Next To Godliness Collection".

I think this is from Bath and Bodyworks or one of those other 'Women Only' stores.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Aaron's Time Machine

Aaron had a broken rocket tail fin with 2 fins of the four broken off. I said to keep it for building some sort of machine. He decided he'd build a time machine. I also gave him some battery powered mini Christmas lights.

Quotable quotes:

In reference to the blinking Christmas lights: "Oh yeah! Everyone time machine has that!"

"We need something to make a portal out of!"
"Mama, don't turn this off or it will make the port stop spinning and we might be trapped in an age!"

I told Aaron to watch out for the time cops, because it would be an unlicensed time machine. "There's no such thing as time cops!"

He also needed some 'electricity to hook it up with'.

The CD he put in the broken portable DVD player was the 'time DVD'.

I told him he needed to test it with the cat in case he had a polarity wrong and it turned him inside out. "We can't do that to a pet! Let's put mommy or sissy in it!"

And they say TV rots your brain cells.

M-16 Super Nintendo Trainer M.A.C.S.

They had one this past weekend at Tinker AFB, OK. Pretty cool, but I've never seen them use it.

It's an M-16A2 hooked up to a Super Nintendo so you can practice basic riflemanship.

I shot 45 out of 50, tied for the highest score in the class, but it was so hot my heart wasn't in it. That's down a little from my score of 47 last time.

Read more about M.A.C.S. here.

According to that article it was specially built, but some papers I read on the internet say it's a de-mil'd M16. Why build a special one? Use a real one for the same weight. Also, it's optical, not a laser.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Slow News Day

Slow news day here at the office. So we watched TV.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

ExpressJet PC (checkride) Passed!

PC=checkride. So, LOFT tomorrow and IOE who knows when. Hopefully about 3 weeks off. I still have to get my background check finished. Go figure.

When can I fly to the moon? I mean, I was promised flying cars by the year 2000 dammit!

And if anyone was checking in to see how I was doing, I was doing very well, then stunk for a sim session or two, then had a great checkride. My examiner was the MAN about making you relax and fly the plane.

My partner passed too.

Good ride, good times.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

9800 Pro PC Version flashed to Mac

This is a bit of old news, but if you flash the PC version of a Radeon 9800 Pro with a Mac ROM as detailed at the Strangedogs Wiki, it is reported by System Profiler as supporting Core Image.

Apple doesn't say the 9800 Pro supports Core Image, but the 9800 XT they say is supported. Just so you know. Hopefully someone will google this someday and find out easier than I did.

I have to verify that my card is in fact not an XT, as Techtool Pro 4.5.3 reports that it is. TT Pro says it's an R360 Core, system profiler says its and R350 core. As noted on the next post, I don't trust TT Pro completely.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Techtool Pro 4.5.3 Issues


*HUGE* CPU and RAM use. I left it running overnight with two instances of memtest and Techtool this morning was using 1.15 GB!! of memory and 85% processor on a G5 dual 1.8ghz. You've got to be kidding me. I had to force quit it. I've only got 768 physical RAM.

It doesn't report any errors this way at least.

BUT: When booted from a DVD, locks on the 1010101 (or whatever alternating) memory test. With either set of RAM sticks installed that I have.

Memtool in single or in a terminal window in the OS has no such issue and reports all RAM ok.

So far, I have to say, I'm not terribly impressed. At least I only paid $50 for it during the Macupdate special.

I've also heard disk horror stories of it trashing people's drives and having to fix it with Disk Warrior.

I don't have a success story for you on this product and I'm a bit afraid to use it for something important with what I've seen and heard.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Suburban Soccer Mom

I found this sticky note. It read:

Target: Veggies, Milk, Wine Glasses.
Oil Change
Liquor Store

I wonder whose this is. I imagine a suburban soccer mom of some sort; no slight to those who are. It's good work if you can get it.

Next stop: comfortably numb.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Years Later Review #1

I tend these days to stay behind the power curve on tech stuff. No, I don't own an old Mac or a terribly old PC. It's pretty compelling to own a machine that when it came out 4 years ago was $1999, and you paid $595 for it.

I just bought a dual G5 1.8ghz with three times the RAM it came with for that price. Also, I got the Apple Mighty Mouse, which I didn't think was stock for a G5. And a retail copy of OS X 10.4 vs the original 10.3. Those items are $158 retail at the Apple store.

Hard to turn down.

So here's the review: Get one. Well, at least pick up the mouse. (MM I'll call it.) I'd recommend a more slippery mousepad for it than the cloth topped kind. It's more draggy than my Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical. The MS mouse touches in 4 small places, and the Apple mouse touches in a ring all around the bottom. The scroll ball on the MM is just deliciously precise.

There's tons of detailed reviews on the G5 already, so what's the point of a lengthy one? I'll be moving my 9800 Pro Radeon to the G5 soon, which will make it probably more powerful than my 2.53Ghz PC. What a relic!

We've said it before, the prices on the Motorola chip based Macs are in freefall since Apple switched to Intel. The G5 is also a lot quieter and prettier than the G4, and I'm betting will be supported slightly longer.

My G4 will be for sale very shortly if anyone is interested.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Macupdate Promo Techtool Pro for $49, and more

Techtool Pro and a few other worthy apps for $49.

Did you miss it? I bought after it was over because I was having trouble creating an account with less than an hour to go.

Mainly, for the Techtool Pro application. It's $98.00 on Micromat's site.

Here's a direct link to the promo. Quick, before they realize it's still active.

Worth it just for that app alone, and the others are gravy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

'Burn Notice' on USA Networks

Its good, watch it. Jeffrey Donovan does a great job with the lead character, Bruce Campbell is just fun to watch as always, and Gabrielle Anwar brings the psychopathic (or is it sociopathic? dunno, I've never been officially diagnosed) eye candy with killer six pack abs. If you like that sort of thing.

Spy show with gadgets, girls, humor, mild violence, and fun characters.

Set your TiVo! (I have the Series 3 below, can't recommend it enough!)

XJT Oral Passed

So, in old news, I passed my oral exam on Saturday. It was short and a pretty good time. Really laid back, with no tricks. Don't forget to apply that temperature correction to the runway charts for nonstandard altimeter setting like I did.

I''ve got FTD5 tonight, and then 5 days off until Sim 1. I don't have a partner that I know of so that might make my sessions shorter. FTD4 last night was really short. It was just sort of an intro to hand flying the aircraft, and since it was just me with no partner, and I've flown the airplane before, it was about half the regular time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Found Icons

Have you found a natural icon in the wild? I found this one. We can also file it under the 'Seperated at Birth' category.

First, this is in the parking valet area at Texas Children's Hospital:

Now, take a look at the Airport icon from Mac OS X:

Aww, it recognizes it's mommy.

Water Fountain:

Now that'd make a cool WiFi icon.

Dell Customer Service and Tech Support; Buy a Mac

Well, as a followup to this post, Dell Support is lacking.

I had problems with the x51v they had sent me. Pen sticks in the slot badly, one dead pixel, graphics corruption if Pocket Internet Explorer loads a big page, and the rubber bumpers are coming off the back.

So, they didn't show the x50v as returned. They fixed that. Then, the x51v was out of warranty because they don't change the service tags when you ship in your product. So someone bought the old x50v as a refurb, and thet still showed the Completecare on the x50v. It didn't get transferred when I got the x51v.

So, we're two and a half hours into this involving four chats, a tech support supervisor on the line, etc.

When I called Apple about my Macbook having screen streaking (that just turned out to be something I couldn't clean with microfiber cloth) they offered to clean it for me if I took it to an Apple store.

I won't bore you with the lengthy chat transcripts.

Buy a Mac.

I Like Games

My son loves this video. And the more you watch it, the more you will love it too. Someone loves their classic 8-bit games.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Starcraft II

Many hours were spent whiling away the time at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia during Operation Southern Watch while we played Starcrack. I mean Starcraft.

Now, check out this trailer for Starcraft II. They ought to let game companies make movies and keep Hollywod out of it. Less suckage and all. If this were a trailer for a movie, I'm goin'.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Macbook Screen Cleaning

I had some streaks on it that looked internal to the screen. My microfiber cloth that came with my PSP didn't clean it off. Soooo....

Office Depot's brand has some notebook screen cleaner as well as Kensington lint free wipes. Use those first, THEN the microfiber cloth. I think 3M made that. Clean as a whistle.

I think the streaks on the screens of new Macbooks come from the plastic they put between the screen and the keyboard.

If you have a new car, you will see the same sort of residue build up on the inside of the glass. New plastic=off gassing.

Ciao. Missouri City Speed test

Here it is after updating my Macbook with the 802.11n firmware. I have a Belkin F5D7230-4, nothing special. It's been a good product for me. There's versions of this router, and mines the older, but you can get one for $30 now from Amazon.

This is over wireless, so the download speed is as good as it's going to get. I only have a 54G network, so 5400 would be the theoretical max anyway.

Performance signal-wise seems unchanged, maybe one less bar. I get 4/5 bars going through several walls to the other side of the house, so not much loss. Looking now, it's back to 5/5.

It ain't Cox cable, but it ain't bad for out here in Suburbia.
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