Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Coming in 5 weeks

(click to BIGGIFY)

Coming in 5 weeks!
Am I getting excited?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Can you name this car?

After 5 and a half years
of boulevard cruising in my Jag XK8 convertible,
and with only 32,500 miles on it,
I just couldn't take it anymore,
and had an itch I couldn't scratch
without more horsepower and more toys.

This past Sunday I did the deed
and ordered my new car with these specifics:
(Can you guess what it is?)

2 seat convertible,
Engine: aluminum block V8, 6 liter,
400 Horsepower, 400 lb./torque @ 4400 RPM,
6500 RPM redline

6-speed paddle shift w/ automatic modes

Candy-apple red metallic paint
with black interior and top

Top: power-folding, includes power tonneau cover,
and glass rear window with integral defogger

Seats: leather trim, heated,
6-way power adjustable

Steering column tilt & power telescoping

Universal home remote transmitter 3-channel
programmable integrated garage door opener

Mirrors: outside power remote control,
heated, w/driver side auto-dim

Mirror: inside manual day/night w/ compass

Headlamps: xenon, high intensity discharge,
with automatic exterior lamp control

Foglamps: dual halogen

Underhood light

Daytime running lamps

Memory package: presets for mirrors, steering, driver's seat

Voice activated navigation system

Keyless entry & ignition

Head-Up Display: includes readouts for street mode, track mode with g-meter, vehicle speed, engine rpm and readings from key gauges including coolant temperature and oil pressure

AM/FM/CD & satellite radio with
Bose premium 7-speaker system
and MP3 playback

Performance package includes:
stiffer springs, stabilizer bar, shocks,
big brakes with cross-drilled rotors

Wipers: intermittent
Antenna: hidden, integral

Air bags: driver/passenger, dual-stage,
frontal and side impact

Air conditioning: dual-zone, electronic,
with air filtration including pollen filter

Run-flat tires.
Tire pressure monitoring system.
Wheels: Five-spoke Painted Aluminum,
18" x 8.5" front and 19" x 10.0" rear

Power Rack and pinion steering, speed sensitive
Suspension: 4-wheel independent
Traction control
Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Weight 3199 lbs.

What is it?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pandora - custom radio stations

Click on the logo for
one of the slickest new internet services
I have seen for music lovers.
Pandora allows you to create your own customized radio stations,
as many different ones as you like,
and play them as much as you want,
and, of course it is free!
(or, you can pay a small fee for upgraded services)

The neat thing is that it starts out asking you to
name an artist or selection you like,
and it builds your station(s) one tune at a time,
as you listen to them,
and you click thumbs up or down for more of the same.
Every once in a while it will surprise you
with a selection you might even like,
but never would have imagined.

It's all done because of the huge database of music,
which music-geek humans have categorized according to
a bunch of different metrics, or "genomes".
The process, as they call it, is a musical conversation
between the Pandora music experts and the listener.

It's really fascinating,
and great listening while you work!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Skype is good for you!

Skype ( is the best thing that has happened
to people who make phone calls in a long time.
Although we knew free phone calls were coming,
even free international calls,
I didn't think it would come so soon,
or be as good as Skype is.

It is so easy to use, a moron could do it.
Free video phone, free conferencing, free file transfer
while all the above is going on.
What's not to like?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Full Moon Changes

Today is a Full Moon,
the 18th day of uninterrupted focus,
and marks the start of a couple of days of time off.

Changes are coming fast:

A new hammock will arrive soon,
and this is significant because I have worn out
it's predecessor, and surely that is a sign
of a life being well lived.

Custom improvements to the pool table.
(see pool blog for more details)

Pool challenges are keeping me busy and focused.

New car fever is heating up.
This is a dangerous potentially expensive time of year
for a car nut like me.
I have been kicking tires in showrooms lately.
I have had my Jag convertible for 5.5 years
and while it has only 32k miles and is perfect,
I seem to want a change of pace...

Other numerous subtle changes
which are improving overall health...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Google Analytics

All I can say about Google Analytics is that it is STUPENDOUS, Amazing, Awesome, Excellent, and Fantastic, and you know that I am not a person given to superlatives.
If you have a business, and you want to track what happens with your website, there is no alternative. Once you see how easy it is to use it, and how incredibly thorough the analyses are, and how customizable, and graphical, you will use only this tool, evermore.
The mind boggles at how excellent this service is.
Free, but available by invitation only.
Apply for an invitation here.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Waco Model First Flight

Back in November
I wrote about a guy in Slovenia
(still don't know where that is, right?)
who built a model of my Waco biplane,
so detailed and true to the original
that it even has my name
on the side of the cockpit!

To see that post,
and a photo of the model prior to finishing,
click here.

All winter long,
our hero, Marko Klancisar,
a graduate mechanical engineer,
patiently waited out the cold,
and just a few weeks ago took his
fantastic creation for its maiden flight.

Can you imagine working for hundreds of hours
on building a thing of such perfect beauty,
and then actually flying it,
and risking everything in a crash?
Only a very experienced builder/pilot
would do such a thing!

Feast your eyes on this beauty:

(click photo to BIGGIFY it)

And, not for the moment you have
been waiting for:

Click here for video of that First Flight.
(11 MB .mov format)
Notice the perfect aileron roll.

Here's a closeup of the model:

(click photo to BIGGIFY it)

And, for comparison, the original, my biplane:

Congratulations, Marko!
You are a true artist.
And, thank you for bringing back such fond memories!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Shower of Ideas

So many times I get ideas in the shower,
but forget about them as soon as I get out.

One of the ideas I keep getting
is that I need some way to write down ideas
when I'm in the shower.

But, of course, I forget the idea
as soon as I get out.
A real Catch-22.

In the fullness of time,
I finally thought of this idea
(a water-friendly writing methodology)
when I was not in the shower,
and so I have finally found the answer.
See above.
Click on the photo to buy one.

It's clever, but not perfect.
I got lots of ideas how to improve it
the first time I used it in the shower,
and wrote the ideas on itself.
How perfect!

I can't wait for my next shower.
I may discover a cure for cancer,
or the end of world hunger,
or remember where I put my keys...