Monday, November 28, 2005

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Powerful book.
Could you amputate your own arm
to free yourself from the death grip of
two immovable boulders?

Aaron Ralston did it,
but probably not many others could.

I was introduced to this book by our mutual friend (Scott).
About 10 years before the incident,
Aaron used to babysit Scott's kids.

Before he could cut his arm off,
with a small knife and pliers,
he had to survive for 5 days
by drinking his own urine,
then finally, intentionally breaking both the bones in his forearm.

What an extraordinary example of
the power of the survival instinct.

(blog top)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Million Dollar Home Page

Check out the Million Dollar Home Page

and check out the story behind it:
A 21 year old college student in England
needs money for books, tuition, and socks.
So he sells the 1 million pixels on a home page
for one dollar each,
with amazing success!

Reminds me of one of my own college capers.
In freshman year I sold advertising
placed on every student's desktops
to the local merchants.

The desktops were real, not virtual.

Click here for the story.

Google Video

Google's new beta application is video.
Go to and see the future.

The genius that is Google is that
they create content, index it, host it, and monetize it.
A monopoly of information.

It is exactly what I was going for in '79, with PAL,

and I have been a Google fan since the earliest days.

This latest offering, Google Video,
creates new content simply by hosting it.
They provide free hosting of video content,
and even give you a way of charging per view.
They will index it, make it searchable,
and serve the video, free.
You will pay, somewhere along the line,
but you will never feel it,
because it will be advertiser supported,
and you will love it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Do Good Now

A friend stopped by, we had lunch.
His tale of woe and need
reminded me of a time long ago,
when I was that way.

I studied and analyzed my situation,
and invented a way to change everything immediately.
I packaged it into three little words:
Do Good Now.

It is the end of all fear and need.
It is the beginning of comfort and joy.

It is in harmony with all religions.
It is in harmony with the laws of physics.
Do Good Now.

These three words were on the inside cover
of the first TeleMagic software user manuals.
The year was 1985.

I shared this 20 year old discovery with my friend today.
And I felt better all over again.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who find their way here.

Do Good Now.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mailbag - Waco RC Modeler

In this morning's email,
I am amazed at this photo sent to me
by a Remote Control model builder in Slovenia.
Can you point to Slovenia on the map?
I couldn't, not with any precision,
before this morning.
But now I can, and so can you.
Just click here.

Ok, now for the story.
This man, Marko K., who must have lots of spare time,
has built this amazing model of the Waco YMF-5,
which is the biplane that I owned and piloted
for the years '93 to 2000+.
With the power of the internet,
he found me and wants to use my biplane
as the basis for adding the finishing details
for his model, so he needs some photos.

Now there's just one more thing that never
would have happened without Google!

Watch this space for more on this incredible model.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Anne's photo magic

(c) copyright 2005, Anne LeBris

beautiful stuff.
that's why we fly!

Free software

I enjoy this time of the year the best.
The air is crisp and clean.
Long sleeve shirts.

Time for some new clothes.
Donate the replaced pieces.

Kind of like "Spring Cleaning"
but it happens in the Fall.
I get to throwing stuff out,
making room for the new.

And that's when I thought about
a couple of software gizmos I wrote
and have yet to pursue aggressively.
A perfect project for Now.
Therefore, allow me to present you with:

The Idea Grinder

For entrepreneurs who have several options to consider.
Which business will provide the best overall experience?
This is an organized way to consider
the many changing variables involved in making a good decision.


This can be used effectively every day.
An automated "To-Do" list for maximum effectiveness.

1. How Much? Free! These two software products are free for the downloading, for the purpose of evaluating and giving feedback on the use and marketing of the products. These products are for personal use only and may not be sold, resold, given away, or otherwise transferred to any other person, company, or organization whatsoever. This is beta version software, so you should not count on it working perfectly, so be sure to back up your data if you are going to test it with live data.

2. Who can have this free software? Anyone who wants to help. Anyone who sees an opportunity for themselves in the widespread marketing and use of these products.

3. Why am I doing this? I have had good success with developing software products, so I think there is some good future for one or both of these. I am involved in lots of other things right now, and these two products deserve more attention. Taking this approach will move the project ahead.

4. When will it end, this free offer? Not sure. Let's see what kind of response I get and we'll take it from there.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This Video Taken With (almost) No Pants

Ok, here's the story:
I'm working on the new "vestibule" area.
That's the space between the condo-unit door,
mandated to be plain,
and my new, custom, cherry wood and stained glass front door.

This vestibule area is intended
to be completely buffed and tricked-out.

Every element engineered for maximum effect.
After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

So, here I am in this area, the outer condo door is closed,
my inner sanctum door is open.
After some work,
I have re-arranged the vestibule accoutrements
to be absolutely perfect.
So I resolve to video tape the finished (for now) creation
and email it to friends who may not be visiting soon.

With the video camera in hand (Nikon Coolpix 4200),
I go through a dry run,
and notice that I want to open the outer door.
This will require pants, as up to this point I am underworn.
I add pants, open the outer door, close the inner door
and take the video clip.

Then I notice that the inner door is locked.
Recently added pants have no keys in them.
I can not get inside my home unless I take Plan B.
And that requires an elevator ride to the garage,
exiting the building through
the garage
and then back inside through the main entrance.

(Don't ask, it's complicated.)

If I had decided to take the video
without opening the outer door,

I would have been
locked out of my home whilst wearing no pants.

I would also have had to walk outside,
and around the building,
into the main entrance and up the elevator,
and down the hall,
all whilst wearing no pants.

Personally, I find this to be just about as funny as it gets.

I may, sometime soon,
take a ride on my elevator with no pants,

just to enjoy what might have been.

It's amazing how great moments
revolve around seemingly insignificant details.

Click Here For The Video

Everyone in this video IS wearing pants.
If you are looking for pants-less videos,
you are looking in the wrong place.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Successful Season for Anne

copyright 2005 Anne LeBris

Good friend Anne
just finished another season as a tanker pilot,
flying into forest fires and saving lives.
She took this photo through the rear windshield of her car,
while driving away from her trusty airplane,
ending the season.

I can relate to the feelings she must have had.
But only somewhat. I haven't flown into forest fires!

She's a true artist, and one heck of a pilot.

Check this link for one of Anne's drawings.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Personal Recommendation: Best Book

The Greatest Salesman in the World
by Og Mandino
In my darkest hours, this made the most sense.
I have read it many times,
and each time it is strikingly clear and true.
I recommend for young and old.
Great principles to live and work by.
Also, a well-told story. price: $7.99
Click here to buy it from

Top 5 Books

For the top 5 books I recommend:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Door

Today's major accomplishment for the door project
was in creating a "Welcome" document for visitors.
This will orient first time guests to the
many wonders of the vestibule area,
and acquaint them with some of the Fun House rules.
(No Shoes, No Sniveling, No Flatulence, No Whistling...)

After re-reading some of these rules,
I'm getting the idea that we're rather strict here,
especially for a "Fun House".
But rules are important.
This ain't no House of Chaos!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Front Door, phase III

The new front door is coming together.
Today I made major progress.

To the vestibule area, which until now has been empty, I have made the following upgrades:

Installed the video surveillance camera, always on.

Installed the motion detect X-10 system to automatically
- turn on the overhead light
- ring the doorbell
- email a video clip showing source of motion detect
- spray fresh scent throughout the area
- start fan to circulate air in the vestibule area
- start up DigiFrame slide show.

Installed brass welcome sign: "Welcome to Mikie's Fun House - please remove your shoes."
Installed cordless phone for use by guests while waiting.

Added furniture:
One low, Chinese cabinet, on top of which I have an intriguing water voporizer feature.
Next to the cabinet there is one additional water feature (water fall) which adds the sounds of a babbling stream. These natural, soothing sounds are magnified and echoed in the small area of the vestibule and are quite pleasing.
On top of this cabinet I have added these other touches:
A twin-flame candle.
Books: The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. The I Ching.

Added two palm plants. More plants will follow soon.