Friday, December 31, 2010

Bwahahaha: Giant Stick vs. Hammer Robbery

Ah, those ingenious criminals. Giant stick vs. hammer!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Improv Electronics Boogie Board Review

Updated 16 Dec 2010. I added a review at the end for the Magnet / Stylus Clip kit and the sleeve that the kind folks at Boogie Board sent me.

What's in the box:

Telescoping stylus
Cleaning cloth

Here are some pics next to a #2 sized pencil and a 8.5x11 piece of paper.

If only the iPad looked this cool.

It's very thin and light. It weighs what you'd expect a piece of plastic this size to weigh, since that's mostly what it is. It's a roll to roll 'printed' LCD panel from Kent Displays. You can bend it and it's not an issue as long as you don't get too violent with it.

The actual display area is a little less than half a sheet of paper.

The stylus is cheap, but you can write with nearly anything on it. If you don't like the stylus, any old PDA stylus or pointy but not sharp object would do.

Closed and open stylus length:

Using a blunt object makes sort of bubbly looking marks. Pressing hard with a finger is sort of like finger painting.

The black of the display is sort of bluish kind of like the Kindle.

The button to clear it is the moon looking thing at the top. It is under a thin membrane so the top with all the writing is flush.

These pics were all under industrial type or office lighting with an iPhone 2G so expect this to look better in person.

One caveat: don't use excessive pressure. That can leave minor marks on the surface under the ink. Not a big deal, and for what is essentially a whiteboard, it won't be noticed.

The construction is all sealed. You might peel back the plastic label on top but I'm not going to. I'm sure someone will have a teardown. Looking at the top seam it may come apart there. The rest of the unit has no seam along the screen portion of the case.

The video will answer some of your questions. Sorry for the quality! We don't need no steenkeeng HD!


Q: What is the resolution?
A: It's more like the ink is suspended between two layers and you pressing pushes it aside to various widths. I looked with a jeweler's loupe and you don't see any squares as on a digital LCD. This is still a Liquid Crystal Display, but it's an analog one it appears. Or it's so high res you won't be able to tell.

Q: Can you mount it on the fridge?
A: Yes, if you put something magnetic on the back. It's almost 100% flat. It has some small dimples. Updated 1 Dec 2010: They sell a stylus holder / magnet kit now. As of this writing Amazon says it's unavailable. Try our Amazon search box to see if it is now.

Q: Is it durable enough for children?
A: The stylus could be broken if they tried, but I doubt they'd damage either much unless they are trying. Scratches on the plastic might be the most damage you'd see, and unless they used something very sharp, it shouldn't damage the board beyond use.

Q: How waterproof is it?
A: It looks like it would take submersion to cause damage or a very heavy spill that you don't clean off. There are some very fine gaps in the larger area at the top, but as long as you don't stand outside with it in pouring rain for a length of time, it looks like it's nearly waterproof barring submersion.

Q: Can you really use anything to write on it?
A: I don't think a paintbrush would do much. A foam brush maybe. It takes pressure, but you can dry extremely fine, light lines with the stylus. The kids thought it was funny when I used a banana to sign my name. Yes, a banana.

Q: Can you transfer what you write to a computer?
A: No, it's only $30. :) Rumors say the next version might have that feature at a higher price.

Q: What are the usage parameters?
A: Store between -10°C and 65°C (15°F and 145°F) and use between 10°C and 40°C (50°F and 100°F). So you're not going to get the best results in the desert or on the icecaps. For those of you wondering how to type the ° degree symbol on a Mac under OS X, it's SHIFT-OPTION-8.

Q: How new is your board?
A: Looks like I got serial number 00301. So, it's a collectors item. Oops, I opened the box.

Q: Got a link to the company website?

Video Review of the Magnet / Stylus Clip kit and the Sleeve

The Sounds of Star Wars: A book you can read and hear

Update: I bought this Jan 1! It's a great coffee table book, and I think it's actually inspiring my kids' creativity. It's neat to read how they created the sound, try to hear those sound in the effect, and listen to the source audio, the effect itself outside the movie, and some doubtless never before heard stuff that isn't in the movie, such as Ben Burtt's raw sound archives. GET IT!

This is pretty cool. And they are so right, 'Star Wars' sounds are half of the movie.

Watch the trailer, but basically it explains a little about how they made the sounds, and you can push the buttons on the device on the side of the book and listen to the actual sound.

This would make a GREAT iPad app.

It's reasonably priced too, but I expect that will shoot up (no pun intended) when it's no longer made.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The turn signal, as explained by Mr. Manners

Ah, turn signals. The little used, oft misunderstood, or misused piece of automotive technology that comes standard on every vehicle on the road today.

It seems to have passed into the realm of quaintness, and is little seen except perhaps when a member of a kinder gentler generation leaves it on. However, I believe it could come back into fashion if we could adopt some simple rules and habits.

For purposes of this article, let's use the following vocabulary: mergee being those who are being merged into or might want to know your intent. Merger, the person who wants or will have to change lanes.

First, to me, it's for one of two things: I'm will be coming into your lane as dictated by merging lanes or another condition developing in my lane, or, I'd like to come in to your lane, so here's fair warning.

Let's explore uses under the first condition.

When a long line of cars meets another line of long cars, turn on your signal. Perhaps the folks in mergee lane will notice 36 cars of mergers with a long line of blinking lights on. This is their warning that today, like many other rush hour days, there are a lot of cars coming off the loop onto the main highway into downtown.


Or, there's a huge box full of babies in the road and we really should get over.

In the second case, the mergers would like to get out from behind Grammaw who is 10 miles an hour under the limit, or the low...ri...der who ain't using no gas now.

So it's either 'I need/have to' or 'I'd like to by your leave'.


When mergers signal, don't close up the gap between mergees that they were aiming for. You probably don't own this particular piece of road. They were courteous enough to signal, you should be courteous enough to not take that spot. Corollary: If they've had the signal on for 5-10 seconds indicating they are asking for permission to get over, make room somehow. Speed up, slow down, or get out of the way.

Don't turn on your signal and simultaneously stab over into the next lane right in front of the mergee. The light needs time to travel from your tail light and get processed by a brain, etc etc.

And of course, don't leave it on if you can. This ain't Motel 6, so there's no need to leave the light on for me.

Next time we'll talk about how tailgating in traffic makes it worse. Think 'brake, gas, brake, gas' and your reaction time for each. Now multiply that amount of time by hundreds of cars in a long line.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

P90X ebook

I will be writing anebook about diet, recipes, tips and techniques, and the sorts of things I've learned in my 14 months on the P90X program. After that long and going from 197 lbs down to 168, I figure that knowledge should be worth a small amount.

I was thinking $3.99 and no digital rights management. I will be doing it like my guides and other ebook.

Updates will be free for the foreseeable future. I'll probably do a PDF again.
Comments welcome.

Monday, December 06, 2010

AT&T Tethering fee is Stupid

So they want to charge you extra to hook your phone to your laptop to use it to connect to the internet?

They charge you $25 for 2 gigs of data on the plan I'm on.

Charging you extra on how you use it is like the grocery store charging you extra if you want to use your bread to make toast.

I hear though that many of the phones you can buy without a contract don't have tethering crippled, for example the Nexus One. Hint Hint.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Captain Likes Lt. Blender's Sugar Free Margarita in a Bag

I *REALLY* liked this. It's low calorie except whatever you add and its VERY good.

You add your stuff, freeze it, crush it up and then squeeze it into a cup or your mouth I suppose.

9 calories a serving! It's a bit hard to believe it's sugar free.

Death Look

My son and I were 'karate fighting' in one of our semi-weekly MMA-style fake fights, and I told him that I could kill him without even looking at him.

So I turned slightly away and gave him one of these.

On cue, he mutters a small 'ack!' and falls over flat backwards onto his bed. I love that kid.

Monday, November 29, 2010

P90X: A better use of your time than the gym and walking

I know it's two back to back posts on the same topic, but I'm still gonna do it. I'll make it quick.

I see people walking, which is fine, but I also note that they appear fit enough to be doing something more strenuous that will get you serious results in about an hour a day. (In theory, skipping the Ab Ripper portion of the videos.)

The other point I'd like to make is this: how much money and time could you save just by using P90X in your home for better than gym results, and how much more would you exercise if it were in your house?

My theory being, wander upstairs or to another room, put in the DVDs and go.

I have been getting good results with the red band, 10 and 25 lb weights, an overhead pullup bar (freestanding that I got second hand for $25), and some pushup bars. That's it. We're talking maybe $200 worth of gear.

How much is the mileage on your car, gym membership, lost time during the drive, with perhaps lesser results worth to you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

My P90X Coach Link

If you're considering the purchase of the program, equipment, or anything else, I'd appreciate it if you'd click and then the shopping button there on the left hand side. Alternately, you can click this banner:

At the bottom of this post, you can click the 'p90x' tag to see P90X related posts on my site. Clicking the tag will show you my progress photo stream, etc.

To briefly recount, I've been doing P90X for over a year. I'm just over 6' tall, and went from 197 lbs to as low as 163 lbs, but I'm around 168 now with more muscle mass. My run times have also gotten much faster. I recently averaged a 7:31 mile pace for a little over 2.5 miles.

The program works, and it's risk free. There are no gimmicks. It's just old fashioned diet and exercise.

My Sienna Run, mapped and Tracked

View 29 June 2009 Run 28 minutes 2.64 Miles in a larger map

This is a 2.64 mile course according the the map. Doesn't matter terribly, I'm just running the thing over and over to see my fitness level. You can click it and read the comments for time. I will update with new low times as they happen.

Since starting P90x, I have gone from 23:55 to 19:52.

Current time to beat: 19:52, at a 7:31 pace.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Luke Skywalker Head not included

I bet I know what's inside this pinata!
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs

Ok, geek time. People make fun of the bit in Star Wars where Han Solo tells Obi Wan the Millennium Falcon is the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.

In our universe, that's distance, not time.

But what if he referred to his/the Falcon computers' ability to shorten the run? Perhaps referring to the navigation hazards on the run? A shorter run means faster too.

She'll make .5 beyond light speed and it ain't like dustin' crops, boy.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Barely. P90x food!
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

P90X Tips

I will make this a running post, with revisions from time to time.

Ab Ripper X Tips:

1. With or without shoes? The shoes on add a little weight. Take them and your socks off if you can't complete or maintain form with them. Then add socks and or shoes back as you get better. I can feel the difference. For really advanced people, I suppose you could add ankle weights.

2. You can do this on the bed. My job with it's long sits in worn out aircraft seats has caused me some tailbone pain. Sit on the corner for the obvious moves, or do them all on the bed. Lay down something so the sheets aren't all sweaty.


I will post that tip shortly, just wanted to get this started.


Pack your bands. Encode a copy of the videos from your DVD to your iPhone or other device. Why isn't P90X available in the iTunes store?

Take photos of your progress. You won't believe it if you just keep at it!

(I know, this post is a little weak but I just wanted to get it started today.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Continental Airlines In-Flight Menu

Prices look reasonable too. I'd for sure pick the cheeseburger at $6.25 over the $7.00 snack box.
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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Expressjet Bidding on a Mobile Phone: Android Firefox FTW

I can confirm that I was able to open the bid pack, and add to 'Bid Via Preferences'.

I can pull a employee report and sort it as well.

I have a Nexus one with Android 2.2.1. It ran fairly well on this device.

2.0+ is required. Or Maemo, but who owns one of those? Comment if you do.

There is a minor issue with changing which session you are looking at, as the screen isn't long enough sometimes so it isn't easy to size and select a different bid session.

I can not actually bid as of this writing as bidding is not open. But it appears that you probably can, as the website is functional, with some small issues on Firefox for Android.

It is Beta, so that's to be expected.

Still, major step forward.

Use the ZXing Android barcode app to scan this barcode to download it:

Or here's the link: (But do yourself a favor and get the Barcode app.)

Buy something from Amazon while you're here. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm a Jet Pilot

Teh funny for today. Ah those Kiwis with time on their hands.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How to Avoid Being Wrongly Jailed While Hiking in Iran

1. Don't go hiking in Iran. On the surface this seems simple but I guess it needs saying.
2. Don't visit Iran for a vacation of any sort.
3. Really?! Any if this seems like a good, let alone sensible, idea?!?
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good Seats!

Dodgers vs Astros 9/12/2010
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

OS X Address Book Sync with Google Contacts and Android Phone

I've got OS X Address Book sync working under OS X 10.5.8. I can add/delete contacts in Address Book or online with Google Contacts on my Gmail account. The changes show up in both.

I can even use the little 'Sync Now' option with the MobileMe icon in the Menu Bar on OS X. (Enable that icon using iSync preferences.)

Try this: (Found this solution here.)

1) Go to your Address Book preferences, General Tab.
2) Then check the Exchange box and click on the Exchange button.
3) Enter your Gmail or Google Apps e-mail address in the E-mail field.
4) Enter your password in the password field.
5) In the Outlook Web Access Server field, enter
6) Check the sync every hour box.
7) Press OK.
8) Then check the Google Sync box and click on the Google button.
9) Enter your Gmail or Google Apps e-mail address in the E-mail field.
10) Enter your password in the password field.
11) Press OK.

In order to launch the syncing right away:

12) Open, go to preferences and check the Show in menu bar option.
13) Click on the iSync menu bar icon.
14) Click on Synchronize.

On OS X, open a terminal app window and paste in :

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/GoogleContactSync.framework/Versions/A/Resources/gconsync --sync

If it goes back to a command prompt without an errors, you should be good. Add and delete some fake contacts in both contact managers and sync a few times to see if it's working.

If you get something like "gconsync[23784:10b] ISyncSession record validation failure: Value other pushed for enumeration property service on is not an allowed value." it is because (in may case at least) you can specify a Skype contact type under IM types, and OS X Address book doesn't allow that type. Sorry, you have to delete that Skype contact out of Google Contacts. As a fix, just put it in the notes section. Or really, you will still have it in Skype so not a huge loss.

Drop a tip in my tip jar over on the right using the Paypal Donate button. Help me keep buying toys and figuring out how to fix annoyances for you. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Healthy Fast Food

New favorite! Whataburger has a healthy option that's quite tasty.

I think I've posted about the McDonald's Grilled Chicken Classic. That's old and busted.

New hotness? The grilled chicken sandwich at Whataburger. On a wheat bun!

Putting them way over the top is Coke Zero on tap.

Just avoid the sweet onion rings if you can.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Easy Doughnut Recipe

We used to make these when I was a kid. My son loved them. They are easy and very good.

You will need:

Icing (or powdered/granular sugar or whatever. We used candy melts)
Can of premade biscuits

Heat the oil. Open the biscuits. Put your fingers in the middle of the biscuit and form a hole. Fry them.

For icing, melted candy melts with some oil added to thin them are excellent! Dip the donuts in that and add sprinkles. Or you can put powdered sugar or similar topping in a paper sack and shake the hot donuts in that.

Protip: we used butter flavor biscuits and those were crackpipe good. Specifically ,HEB Hill Country Fare Texas Style Butter Flavor'.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 19, 2010

Men Are Just Happier People

This one's been floating around the web, but it's pretty good.


1. If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
2. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.


1. When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
2. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.


1. A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
2. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.


1. A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel .
2. The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.


1. A woman has the last word in any argument.
2. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.


1. A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
2. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.


1. A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
2. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.


1. A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
2. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.


1. A woman will dress up to go shopping, go to the gym, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
2. A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.


1. Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
2. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.


1. Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
2. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.


A married man forgets his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

P90X Photo Stream: Work in Progress

Update  Feb 18, 2015:

Yup, it's been almost 5 years since I wrote this post. I'm STILL at it.

LOTS of things have changed.

I made that has my progress photos from 2009 to now, tips, recipes and more as I've moved on to P90X2, Insanity, and Body Beast. I really got into it, and also do it as a business now. (Click here if you're into diet and fitness and are looking to make some money off your hobby.)

You can also go to to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and all that fun stuff.

So, wow. Life changer.

And, I'm happier and healthier. :) And I don't miss many workout days. It's RARE.

Original article:

Ok, a few caveats: I'm still working on it. I really can't do it every day. Other pilots know how horrible the schedule can be sometimes. When you only have 8 hours off from the time you step off the plane until you have to fly again, you aren't going to do P90X, or much other than sleep.

Yes folks, 6.5 hours of sleep at best. Write your congressman. And yes, it will cost you a little more on your plane ticket. But increased safety doesn't come free. More time to sleep=less time to work=we need more people for the same amount of flying. Sorry, rant off.

Despite my schedule, I've made progress since returning to work in March 2010.

I'm ready to show my progress.

As you can see, I didn't start off in the best shape, but I'm continuing to work on it.

These photos are made with a cheap camera, and aren't flexed poses, just natural poses. IIRC, all are after a workout, so they all have the same baseline.

Enjoy, barf, or whatever, but P90X and a good diet does work. Just show up and keep hitting play.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fat Kitty

Heh. LOLs.

It's a well known fact that many cats are schizophrenic psychopaths waiting to ice their owners.

This cold blooded meowfia enforcer makes those accidents look easy and effortless.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Standards of Behavior

Locking the door is considered standard behavior when using a public
restroom 'single toilet'. No I am not coming in even if you are just
washing up. Pass. Not even if you say it's ok. An invite makes it far
less likely.
Check our Sienna Plantation forum and more at
--Buy and sell, Local area deals, free stuff, hot offers, etc.
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Must Own CD: Journey's Greatest Hits

I would have liked to see 'Stone in Love' on it. But, I think I'm on about play 5 or 6 for this CD since getting it from Amazon yesterday.

You can also click the link and get the MP3 version if you can't wait, but the CD costs about the same. Order $25 or more and the shipping's free anyway.

Yes, people still buy music on physical media!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Post Cupcake Pebbles

It looked so bad for you I had to buy it.

Plus it was on sale.

I wonder if I can withstand the sugar rush.

At least I bought light soy milk.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bad Graphics? I'll show you Bad Graphics

My son was complaining about bad graphics on some game. I showed him this:

Those were bad even for the 2600! Plus the sound stunk, at least for the pellet eating.

As proof, I offer the Ms. Pac port. They did a much better job.

I think it caused him physical pain to even look at it. Well, some things never change. It was painful back then too.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Stuck in the 80's

You've heard me mention this podcast before.

This week, I got a mention on the show for naming the mystery clip!

Listen, it's at around the 1:28 mark.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Random Novel Lines

I could have spent a lifetime admiring her beauty from behind but that illusion vanished when she turned.

Smashed, broken into so many pieces.

Mere driftwood like pieces of the ugly tree branches she'd smashed on the way down.

Adrift, floating on a sea of ennui for what might have been.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Liar Liar

"Dear iPhone 4 Users,"
"Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong."
"Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G."

In addition to the lie you're living with, original iPhone users, you still won't get any more software updates.

Well at least I'll be able to point out how many more bars I show on my original iPhone than someone's shiny new 4G, so, there's that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 Poor Affiliate Experience

Help me make back the money Amazon rightfully owes me!

I was showing someone some items on a home theater system and we had to add a TV to the cart to view the price. Later, she went back and ordered all the stuff through my website so I'd get credit. She had been planning to order it through Crutchfield but Amazon had better prices and free shipping.

I sold over $2000 worth of stuff for Amazon that day.

The TV I guess was left in the cart. Guess who didn't make $64 in commissions on that TV because it didn't tag with my associate ID?

When something was in a cart at something like 90 days prior to them clicking on your link, you don't get credit. However, they make a lot of high priced item prices unviewable UNTIL you add them to your cart. This almost certainly drives down the commissions they have to pay due to old items floating around in carts.

They admitted I got credit for 4 out of 5 items they bought on the order numbers I gave them, but wouldn't give me the TV credit. Which was 80% of the order value. Which would also have put me nearer a higher commission tier.

The most insulting bit from the email: "I understand that you wanted this order to count as credit for you. Because of this, we will not be able to respond to further inquiries on this order."

I have inquired about the affiliate program. Wouldn't you?

In the meantime, so I can get back what Amazon owes me, please buy stuff you were already going to buy through this search box.

Then, even if you were going to buy it anyway, they'll have to pay me a commission on it.

BUT BEFORE YOU DO: Log into your Amazon account and make sure your cart is empty.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Airline Pilot FAQ

Here's what I fly. Because people ask.

Also I'm answering some common questions.

No, I do not make tons of money. I do not have a regular route, like a paper route, although the money is probably similar. Unless you consider anywhere in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. to be regular. Yes, I live in Houston but I'm based in Cleveland, OH.

I only know the days I'm going to work, and not necessarily where or when I'm going exactly.

No, we don't know what the United/Continental merger means. That's like asking someone who just went on a first date if they have their children's college fund set up. Too soon to tell.

Yep, it's a 'small' 'regional' (most of North America), but try gently hustling it down onto the runway on a Houston summer day. It's 40,000 lbs at around 140 miles an hour. And if you're not adjusting power, you're juggling the yoke around because it's inherently unstable. Most of the time, both. Don't forget to adjust for the crosswind. It helps if you can drive a 5 speed, talk on the phone, and eat something at the same time. Also, absorb and correlate the power setting, picture out the window, altitude, speed, etc etc. Don't bend anything.

No, I don't have to find and pay for my own hotel. It's not truck driving.

It's a crazy business.

Why do we do it then?

Because we're crazy, that's why.

(more questions and answers TBA)

Stories for Pilots

Some of these might get REALLY specific, like you'll only get them if you fly in a specific area of the country, or to a particular airport. Pardon the explanation.

Fly more, so you can get the joke. :)

1. World's Shortest Vector
We were direct ELA. ATC says: "Turn left 360 (90 degree turn), when you get to that heading, turn back direct ELA. Vectors for spacing."

2. Flying into IAH, we had just gotten vectors direct JEPNI. The CA says something like 'I guess we aren't getting 27 (runway) any more. Oh well.' I snap back and say "No, JEPNI." (Oh well is the phonetic pronunciation of a waypoint on one of the other approaches into IAH.)

3. Yetlink We're flying in Mexico, talking to their ATC. The CA checks off to talk to the pax, and says: "I'm off, you got one? (Comm radio 1)." Me: "I got Juan." (Get it? One/Juan?)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Here's Your Sign

So I'm waiting at the front of the plane, in flight, to go to the lavatory. There's a person at the back in the aisle that just came out, and I thought I saw someone go in, but the light that comes on when someone is in it isn't lit.

It's the one with a toilet and a person and a red line across it. (What a mystery!)

It's bright, about fist sized and there's one on the front and back of the plane. (TWO lights for one lav.)

So I go back, and the latch isn't even partially latched, so ok, looks clear right?

I partially open the door, see a lady in there, and shut the door. No harm no fowl, she was still standing up.

So I lock the door for her. (I'm not going to tell you how to do this from the outside so don't ask.)

Here comes someone else down the aisle, probably wondering what those mystery lights about the size of a beer coaster with the red line, person and toilet means.

I silently point to the 'OCCUPIED' sign that's in half inch letters next to the LATCH.

I wait in the seat next to the door and a few minutes later I hear a rattle. Rattle Rattle. Rattle Rattle Rattle. She can't figure out how to get out of the bathroom. So I reach over and work the secret unlatch.

She comes out and I go in.

No doubt to tell her fully grown daughter about how the automatic lav latching lock doesn't work. Doesn't lock when it should, takes too long to unlock.

Ah well, at least the daughter was comfortable. She looked all relaxed when she stood up barefoot in the aisle to let mom back in her seat.

Wonder if she had them on when she went to the bathroom to check out the autolocker?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tech Support Tip of The Day

You know all those nifty looking external hard drives you have for backing up your precious memories? (Or don't have, in which case I'll be seeing you sooner for a data recovery job.)

Most have one big problem: heat.

Many of those drives spin at 7,200 or 5,400 RPM on the mechanical side. Spinning a metal disk at that speed is going to take power, and that power's gonna generate heat.

Guess what heat does to electronics? Un-good things.

I have a Seagate myself that gets fairly warm. So here's your tips for keeping your backup drive working longer.

1. When in use, put it on one of those notebook coolers. (Click here for a post I made about those.) I have one I use for my backup drive or laptop, and one that keeps my router and ooma VoIP box cool.

2. When you're not using it, power it down and for bonus points unplug it.

Happy Data Management!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lawnmower 'turtle' setting

I got funny friends on FB, but sometimes I bring the funny.

Batter Blaster Pancakes in a Can Taste Test Review

Part 1:

Part 2:

The pancakes are decent and it's organic. The can is 18 ounces so it's not too terribly priced for what it is. There is no waste and no cleanup.

Where it really shines to me would be camping trips, fun with kids, and of course, lazy bachelors.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A P90X Moment

I had a P90X moment today. I have been doing it off and on after completing the program once, running, losing weight etc.

Remember this from gym?

My kids have a similar circumference rope outside at their school. I was at field day taking pictures and such, and decided to see if I could climb it.

Well, not only could I climb it, I can HAND OVER HAND climb it without using my legs. It's about 12-15 feet high at the top.

All was good except the kids who yelled "SHOW OFF!!" at me.

Yet another Original T

If you are receiving this message, buy this T Shirt. Generalissimo Franco did not buy the T shirt and within 100 years, he was dead. Someone else bought the T-Shirt, and they lived.

Many other people who did not buy the T Shirt, did not win a lottery. Most people who did found varying amounts of valuable items over the next few months.

Your luck is guaranteed to change with every purchase.

Store Linky

Jailbroken iPhone Unable to Join or Connect to Wifi Network

Many guides say to reset all your network settings but you can go to Settings>Wifi then tap the blue arrow next to your network, then 'Forget This Network' and then try re-selecting it. It should ask for your password, which is the WPA/WEP key you set for your network, NOT the password to the router.

It might take a try or two but it seems to eventually work. I just did it again and it joined on the first try with a good connection.

Tested on a 2G iPhone with 3.1.3 firmware and the baseband unlock.

A pain, but the benefits of jailbreaking are many.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another 'It's Real' post

Sometimes I say "Yeah, I read about that in 'DUH' magazine."

Not a stretch by any measures, but nice to see someone's snatched up the domain name and done something with it.

My wife comments that she still can't believe the 'MacGruber' movie is real. I'm with her on that.
Another SNL skit stretched to two hours.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yes, the Homer Simpson Donut is Real

I found these at an airport 7-11 in Mexico City.

For reference:

Friday, May 21, 2010

BUFFALO WLI-TX4-G54HP and TiVo: Having trouble?

I have a WiFi bridge (connects a wired LAN client like a TiVo) to a WiFi network. I had trouble with my two TiVos seeing each other, the MAc seeing the TiVo on the Buffalo bridge, etc.

The WLI-TX4-G54HP is also known as a "High Power Wireless Ethernet Converter".

Long story short, I had firmware version 2.50.

Here's the link to 2.53

I know, what took me so long? Now TiVo transfer sees the TiVo as soon as it loads.

Other people have had trouble too with this bridge passing certain kinds of network traffic, like from DirectTV, etc. Connecting to the TiVo service and downloading shows never was a problem.

You're welcome. The donation button is over on the right.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Either the iPhone Clock is off or AT&T is

I have an app that checks several Internet time servers and comes within 1 second of them all. My Casio Wave Ceptor syncs to the atomic clock in Colorado. It's showing the same time within a second.

My iPhone's time is a good 12 seconds faster than that and is set to auto update from AT&T.

AT&T : We don't care what time it is as long as we've got the iPhone exclusive contract.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Caddo Magnet High School 1989 Band Trip

I'm posting this so it'll carry over to Facebook:

Who wants a copy of the DVD from the 1989 Caddo Magnet Washington DC
band trip? 1 HR and 40 mins of raw footage. I don't think anyone much
outside of me has seen it. I'll setup a Paypal button if anyone wants
to get a copy. $5 for materials and postage sound ok? I'll have a cast
list up soon but you'll see TONS of your younger selves and friends on
it. Ray Evans alternately yelling and giving up resignedly, late night
debauchery, Nadine, and all that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Your first economic lesson

Lesson one kids. No one needs a $10 container to keep spare change in.
Piggy doesn't pay dividends let alone a DRIP program.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bazooka Joe

Whatever happened to Bazooka Joe? Dubble Bubble is alive and well,
you'll be happy to hear. But I haven't seen Joe in years.
Check our Sienna Plantation forum and more at
--Buy and sell, Local area deals, free stuff, hot offers, etc.
Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Free Month of Netflix On

Click here.

I have the $8.99 unlimited viewing online and 1 disc at a time. Enjoy!

Expires 6/15/2010

Cheap and Healthy Breakfast

Organic Annie's on clearance and strawberries from the planter on the

Now to milk the cat. (The neighbors said no to the cow idea.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm Pretty Excited about Sharebuilder

This is a great way to set your kids up with a brokerage account. No mins to open, and reasonable fees if you're low volume/low balance. Both of my children have one.

ShareBuilder - Welcome page

After you make an account, you can get 5 free trades.

You can use the promotional code HVC09NY to get 5 free trades at Sharebuilder.

To enter your ShareBuilder promotional code, log in to your account, navigate to the Accounts tab, and then navigate to the Promotions tab, where you can enter your promo code for 5 free trades.

I set my kids up with a couple of high income closed end funds that pay a dividend. Sharebuilder can be set to reinvest this dividend in the stock, so it keeps growing.

Start them out today, and use it as a teaching occasion about money, investing, etc. You'll both have fun with it and be glad you did it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Camping Spot

That clearing with the pond would make a nice camp spot. I bet the
Crowne Plaza whose lot that is wouldn't care for you to do so, however.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Didja get that Memo?


> No one told Colorado Springs that it's almost MAY! Since it was in
> the 80s in Houston, I neglected to bring a jacket.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Android Running on iPhone

This guy has gotten Android running on the iPhone 2G. Goodbye AT&T and Apple if it gets more useable!

I just sent him a $5 Paypal donation on principal alone. I'm eyeing my extra 2G lying over on the table...

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