Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cool. Just cool.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Wow. Busy day. Started in about 9:00 this morning and just quit at 8:30 tonight. I have been working on the bookcases a lot. I got the sides cut and dados cut. Then I remembered that I have to drill all of those damn holes for the pegs to hold the shelves. I REALLY hate that chore. Got that done and then started in on sanding. I got the four sides for the 2 outside shelves done and stained on the inside. Then I cut all of the fixed shelves, sanded and stained them. I was outside and was getting ready to go to Menard's when neighbor Dan came over. He wondered if I wanted to go to Menards. So off we went. We stopped at Autozone and got brake pads, rotors, and shocks for the truck. Then at Menards we got some of the decking that we will use to make his deck later this summer. I got the 3 sheets of 1/4" plywood for the backs of the cases. That took about 2 hours. Came home and started staining the other sides of the shelves.
I made some goulash stuff that the kids really like and we all ate too much.
Then the Iowa Pond Guy showed up. He was here to install the ultrasonic algae killer. So we mounted the box and about then Dan came out to see what was up. We all worked on digging up the yard so we could bury the cable out to the pond. I was so glad I did not have to do that by myself like I did with the air hose. I was full of goulash and really did not feel like digging, but it is done!
Then I mowed off the back yard. Then I got the second back piece cut, sanded and stained. Now tomorrow when I get up I can start out by putting poly on all of them before I go to Ranger Rick's house. I am going to go over there and he is going to help me install the parts on the Dakota. By "help" I mean do all of the work while I watch. He has a shelf project for his house and we are going to figure out what he wants and then I can bring the wood home and cut it here.
By the time I get home I should be able to put some more poly on the shelves.
That should about do it.

Friday, April 24, 2009


85 outside, gotta get busy.. but first this:
Here is something that you don't often hear an 82 year old guy say, "When I opened the door, he started toward me and I kicked him in the balls," STORY HERE
So much for, "GET THE HELL OFF OF MY LAWN!". I bet those 2 come up with a better story as to why they are in prison.
Gotta get busy making some rails to enclose the flower planter on the deck. I need to make it so it matches the other 2 and also keep the dog out. He likes to chew up flower bulbs. After that I need to get back to work on the book cases. I decided to cut the dados in the sides and everything and then go ahead and stain and poly the insides of the panels. I will do the glue up and then do the outsides when it is together. I think it will be so much easier to get poly on if the panels are laid out flat. Also if a bit of glue oozes out and i don't get it ALL off there won't be the problem of stain not taking there. See how it goes... Here is a Sketchup of the project. It will have crown molding around the top, but I was too lazy to draw it in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Well I am sitting here looking forward to getting picked up for drunk driving. They are supposed to pick me up in about 10 min to take me to the simulator and load me up to drive. That should be interesting.
It is 68 here in Iowa City. Holy cow I see it is 98 in Paul's Valley! I can't imagine that right now because this just feels GREAT.
I will be mowing in the next few days. That will make it official and I can't wait.
Gotta dash. More later.
Okay. I am back. Today was the control day I guess because as soon as I took a drink of the juice I knew there was nothing in it. But yet, you have to go through all of the same process as if it were packin' including the part where you sit in the little room and surf the net while you "sober up".
Here is the really funny part: As I was driving the simulator I got a phone call. Naturally I let it go to voice mail. When I was in the sober-up room I checked my voice mail. "Hi, this is Rachael at the National Driving Simulator. It says here that you might be interested in coming in to do a study. If you are interested, please call me at XXX-XXXX. How funny is that. I was like 30 feet away from here driving the car and she was calling me to see if I was interested in driving the car. Um.... YES.. yes I am interested.
Anyhow, once again it was prety fun to do and any time I can get paid to have fun.. well sign me up.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We got pictures taken last night and today. I found a guy that needs to do subjects for his portfolio to get into the BFA program here at Iowa. He was very nice and worked really well with the 'utes. We took a bunch around the house and by the pond and then went to the high school and shot some out there. He is going to come to work and shoot people working. It will be nice to have stock photos for when we do promos and websites and stuff. We usually shoot them ourselves, but if you can get somebody that is really good at it, then you might as well.
I have been at Menards at least three times and ran into my neighbor Dan when he is standing there looking lost. I like to sneak up on him. He always laughs because the reason he looks lost is that he wants to buy some lumber and can't get it home. So today Mary and I are going to Menard's and I am putting gas in the truck. The phone rings and it is Dan. "what are you doing?" I tell him I am gassin' up the truck and he asks if I am wanting to go to Menards today.
Too funny. So he jumped in the car and met us over there. He and his wife are pretty darn fine neighbors and I don't mind a bit going on lumber runs with him.
Worst. Craig's List. Ad. EVER.

JUnk for sale - $100 (ic)

Reply to: sale-q5gbh-1129840810@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-04-19, 12:56PM CDT

selling some junk

Location: ic
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 1129840810
Jalopnik had a link to a video of a run on the Nurburgring track with a Ruf Porsche. It is fun to watch and it really looks like he has his hands full. Not to mention passing folks who probably think they are going really fast. Then I watched a video of a VIPER running it and taking a full min off of the time. It just does not even seem like he is going as fast because he makes it look easy. It surprised me that the Viper set the record since there are cars out there that are way more advanced and certainly better balanced. It was originally built as a low-tech big displacement hot rod. Anyhow, seems like things are easier now.
Steve and I drive this track on Forza Motor Sports 2. I usually make it around in about 8 min. It is a huge track and fun to drive. Especially when you don't get killed every time you hit a wall.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Do you think that part of MLK's dream was to have his family name remembered as money grubbers?
Ever notice that when geeks use office equipment to play music it is usually a Mario theme? I guess that is what they grew up on. So here you have a laser cutter doing Mario's Theme

lazzor music! from hypatia on Vimeo.
TOO FUNNY. Somebody was really watching closely. You know the "Lauren" commercials that MS is running now.. Where Lauren goes into an Apple store and then comes back out after looking at all of the computers and says she is just not cool enough to own a Mac. Well it seems that she never really even went into the store. I am sure that Apple would not let them film in the store so they faked it, but still kinda funny.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh, yea..

On the way to the driving simulator yesterday, I saw a Lamborghini Murcielago drive past. Daing! Wish my house was worth as much as that!

This is Frank.. Here is a spoof on the commercials from MS selling computers they don't make. Pretty funny.

Here is my thoughts on the MS ads: Besides the fact that their software sucks and they dont' mention "windows", let alone "VISTA" in the ads.. and besides the fact that they can't compete on features so they are saying, "yea, it is not as good, but it is cheaper".. Here is what I was thinking..
They are running on the theory that the economy is bad so lets push the price difference. The economy IS bad indeed. But it seems like for most of us, you either have a job or you don't. There are some exceptions, I am sure. Car salesmen come to mind. Sales down, commission down, less income. But most people are either still working or not. If you have a job and you want a Mac then you will get a Mac. If you are not working and you want a Mac, you probably won't be buying ANY laptops right now. Things like food and rent come to mind first.
So what is the point of the ads? Please let me know if you figure it out.
HERE is a video you should watch. It is some old school woodworkers. Amazing stuff. Not even a vise to hold the wood. It is kind of fun to figure out what they are doing.
I am amazed how quickly the do what they do. I also am amazed that they don't have injuries. At work we have people that get RSI's because they do the same thing all the time. One one of those projects I could not count how many times he swings his hatchet. But think how many hundreds of thousands of times he did it to get as good as he is.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm back.

I did the simulator tonight. I am pretty sure that I was drinking everclear and OJ. Felt a little buzzed but not sloppy drunk by any means. I took about 30 breath test things. They keep testing you every four minutes trying to get you at the point you need to be at to take the test. It was pretty fun to drive the simulator. Afterward you have to stay there until you are .003 (even though they are driving you home) so more breath tests. Got home by 9:00.
A while later there is a knock on the door. It is a cop. It seems that somebody called them because Crosby was barking. Everyone in this neighborhood has a dog and they all bark at some point. I did not see all of this as Mary answered the door. The cop was pretty nice about it. There was no doubt WHO called them since our former friend Jim was standing on the sidewalk saying that "that damn dog has been barking all night". What a pussy. He is a former "law enforcement agent" (what ever that means) who has a disability and does not work. But what a spineless way to handle things. If he had come over and said something we would have fixed the "problem". If we had ignored him a few times, sure call the cops. But to get the cops over and then stand in our yard mouthing off... wtf?
We have GREAT neighbors on each side of us. These guys are around the corner and face the pond, so we see them and had gotten to know them last summer when they moved in with their 2 dogs. He stopped over a few times last summer when I was working in the yard and we did that lean on the fence and visit thing. Yea he as barking, all dogs do that, but the citation says he was barking for more then 15 min more then twice a day. Whatever.


I just got done with the driving simulator. Pretty amazing stuff. I would guess that I got the .005 dose tonight, but I am not really sure. I think it was everclear and OJ, but again I am not sure. The folks here are really nice. I am sure like anything else it gets old, but what a cool place to work.
They picked me up at my house and drove me here. On the way over we saw a Lamborghini Murcielago driving down HW 6 in Iowa City. Golly. Spring must be here.
Gotta wait here and sober up a bit before they can drive me home. Liability is a biotch.


Just to clarify yesterday's post: There were hundreds of kids on the honor roll. Only 10 kids in the Senior class cared enough to come. 12 in the junior class.
Gotta get ready to go drink and drive the simulator now :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

kinda sad...

Last night they had a program at the school to honor the students that were on the honor roll. Tim and Alex both were invited. The school is huge and there were hundreds of kids on the honor roll, so we were prepared to be there a while. Our kids were supposed to be there 1/2 hour early. I figured they had to organize all of the students so they would not have a mess when they tried to announce all of them. They also broke it down into groups. Freshmen and sophomores in the first group. Juniors and seniors in the next. I could understand why they did it that way because there would probably not be enough room for all of the parents in the auditorium. I was just glad that I would not have to sit through them reading off all of the underclassmen.
So we had a half hour to kill. There was a jazz ensemble from City High playing on stage while we waited. They were really good and we enjoyed it.
Then came time to bring out all of the students. My jaw just dropped. There were about 12 juniors that came out on stage. Then they brought out the seniors. There were about 10 of them that came.
We had to suffer through a couple of sports banquettes and they truly sucked. Boy howdy the parents showed up to hear all the cliche crap about building character and life long lessons and blaah blaah blaah. The place was packed for the relatively few students who were in sports.
I just could not understand how parents expect kids to believe that they should do well in school and that it is important, but yet the parents can't drag their asses in to school one night and make them feel good about what they have done.
Anyhow, Mary and I were proud when they called out kids names out one after the other. Hell we had 20% of the students on stage that night.
One thing that I noticed was the one black kid that was honored was dressed like a thug. Gangsta. Playa. But he was on the honor roll and his whole family was there taking pictures. I was glad that he was able to do that and that at least HIS parents appreciated what he had done.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Well I gotta work this weekend, so y'all go ahead and have fun without me.
My birthday is coming up, so if you don't know what to get me, here is a suggestion:
I always liked the 300z and that one is just sweet.
Here is a happy little film. It is an actual safety video made a while back. *warning* pretty nasty stuff.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Did not get as much done on my day off as I wanted to. But that is the norm.
I got called from the driving simulator guys and I drive the next 3 Wednesday. WHOOT!
This is some amazing paper model stuff. You can download the printouts and make them. That would take way more time that I have, but I really like the idea.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In case you did not read it, the Hawkeys made ESPN this week. Once again they made the news because some of the players were arrested. It makes the story more interesting because one of them was the coach's son. Again. Yup, second alcohol related charge against him. Wonder how much trouble he will get into once he is LEGAL to drink? My friend (big) Tim pointed out a few years ago that a lot of schools recruit bad students in the name of championships, but Iowa does it and does not even win much.
Here is what (dad) the coach had to say:
It was very disappointing to learn of the behavior of our three players last night," Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. "Short term, all three will be suspended for the remainder of spring practice and they will be expected to fulfill significant community service obligations the next several weekends.
How significant can it be if they can do it on a couple of weekends?
Additional action will be determined at a later point and return to the team will be based on additional criteria."
In other words.. later on after it is out of the news I will yell at them and go back to trying to win a game or 2.
Enough about that.. I will let it go for now and just wait to post more next time they get arrested.
I just got back from driving the simulator. I had to sign a bunch of papers and then just drove around for about five min. Pretty amazing stuff. They are supposed to call later today if things work out and we can get our schedules to work. Hope it happens.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Texas says "No" to Vista. That just looks really bad.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


We went to see Monsters VS Aliens Friday night. Mary and Tim were not really up for it so Aled and I had "geek's night out". The movie was really pretty cute and enjoyable, but the 3D really made it a hoot. There was one scene where Susan (who is now 80 feet tall) is talking to W.R. Monger (Keifer Sutherland) who is flying a jet pack around her.
He was in the foreground and you could have sworn he was hovering above the head of the guy 3 rows up from you. Kind of freaky.


Got some random stuff done today. Just some odd jobs that I wanted to get done for a long time. I am told that we are going to get 3-6" of snow over the next day or so. Yea. Great.
So Microsoft launched the second "Lauren" commercial this weekend. In the first Lauren is given $1K to buy a laptop. She wants a Mac, but can't get one and settles for a HP. The odd thing is that it kind of works and plays along with sweaty Steve's "Apple tax" theme that they have going on right now. But what is odd is that she says that she guesses she is not cool enough to own a Mac. So what she really wants is a Mac? Does that really speak well for the HP? Wait. This is a MS commercial not an HP commercial, but NOWHERE do they mention the operating system. You know.. the "V" word.
The second one is pretty much the same thing. Once again the guy settles on a HP, and once again Vista and MS are not mentioned in his choice.
So MS knows that Vista is crap and the only way the can try to sell it is to promote that the machines that they infest are cheaper.
Ya know... I realize that some people like PC's and some Mac's. If you like PC's better then that is your choice and I am happy for you. But I hate it when people say that PC's are better because they cost less then Macs. I guess that our Honda is WAY better then a Ferrari.
I was at Menard's today and a guy we getting into his black hemi Challenger. I smiled and said "nice ride". He said "thanks". Then I don't know what possessed me, but I asked a really dumb question: "like it?" WTF? It is a new Challenger. One of 2 in town. It is black. It is a hemi. DUH. He was nice and said it was really fun to drive. But I know he had to be saying to himself, "duh".

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I just got a call from the National Driving Simulator. I applied for a study a while back and have not heard from them and thought I did not get picked. Well I may be in. I go in for screening next Wed. and if I pass then I am in.
The study is on the effect of drinking and driving. There will be 3 sessions with various levels of alcohol ingested. You don't know how much you are drinking at the time, but you drink it and then go driving around in the simulator.
I did one other study and just loved it. It is THE most amazing simulator anywhere and it is just a blast to be a part of it.
Here is the kicker. They will pay me $250 to do it. Hell I would pay that just to drive the thing. How often do you get a chance to get paid to get drunk, play an multi million dollar video game, and then get a ride home?
Besides being really hard core geek-fun, it will also be very interesting to see the results too.
So hope that I get in!

The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is the most sophisticated research driving simulator in the world. Developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the NADS offers high-fidelity, real-time driving simulation. It consists of a large dome in which entire cars and the cabs of trucks and buses can be mounted. The vehicle cabs are equipped electronically and mechanically using instrumentation specific to their make and model.At the same time, the motion system, on which the dome is mounted, will provide 400 square meters of horizontal and longitudinal travel and nearly 360 degrees of rotation in either direction. The effect will be that the driver will feel acceleration, braking and steering cues as if he or she were actually driving a real car, truck or bus.

The latest in visual display technology and a high-fidelity audio system will complete the driving experience. The test subject will be immersed in sight, sound and movement so real that impending crash scenarios can be convincingly presented with no danger to the subject. Vehicle and driver data can be accurately gathered and stored and tests repeated with exactitude. TRW was awarded the construction contract after winning the design competition conducted by NHTSA. TRW assembled a world-class team that incorporated the latest in simulation technology in all aspects of the design for the $50 million project. The team included Dynamic Research, Inc., Evans & Sutherland, I*SIM and MTS Systems.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


THIS had to hurt. Glad he was not hurt worse or killed in that incident.


CRAZY day at work yesterday and so coming home all I wanted to do was get home. I knew there was something I needed. I got home and remembered that Gears of War had new maps coming out that day. I needed to pick up a few Microsoft Points so that I could download them. I jumped in the truck.. over to Kmart.. got the card. Stood at the electronics check out for ten min. Nobody. I got disgusted and threw the card on the floor and walked out of there. That happened to me before and I left them a note on the counter. ATTN: Management. Nobody in your store would help me. If you want to contact me I am at Walmart LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. Yea, I get cranky about this stuff.
Anyhoo... I head over to Wally and get my card.. no check out person. I look around electronics (A.K.A "tronics") and find the tronics woman talking to a customer. They are going back and forth and the customer says, "you're an electronics kind of guy, right?" to me. I say I guess so. So she asks me her question. It seems her friend has this box that lets him skip commercials. I started to explain a DVR to her but she said it was live tv.
Now, I am NOT an expert and there may be some amazing technology that I don't know about.. but that did not seem possible to me.
I told her that her friend had probably recorded a show or had paused it and that allowd him to skip. I also told her that I thought the original Tvio's had a 30 second jump button for that purpose, but the networks had a cow and they removed it. Nope. It was live tv.
I said I don't think that is possible because the signal is not into your house yet. It would be a box that could look into the future and predict what will happen next and then make it for you. It would be like a machine that goes to your mailbox and gets mail that is not even here yet.
OKAY... this is the funny part. The tronics person chimes in and proves me wrong. She said that it could be possible because the people on the east coast are not seeing the show at the same time as us, so maybe it is showing you what they are seeing.
I started to explain ... No the show is going out at the same time, but our clocks.... Then I stopped and said, "Can I just get this rung up"