Sunday, October 30, 2005

Great quote

From a Marx Bros movie:

"OK, just sign here"

"I uh forgot to tell you - I can't write"

"That's OK - there's no ink in the pen anyway!"

Friday, October 28, 2005


Just heard on TV someone talking about a pirate accessory for a costume - an eye patch. I wasn't paying much attention, and was wondering what new model of Apple music player (iPod) they were talking about!

Measuring Boredom

Alec is measuring boredom in pounds - school is one pound boring!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wired News: U.S. Cell Phone Tracking Clipped

Wired News: U.S. Cell Phone Tracking Clipped: ". . .judges rejected the location tracking portion of the request in harshly worded opinions, concluding investigators cannot turn cell phones into tracking devices"

W00t! Checks and Balances Do Work.

Wired News: Web 2.0 Cracks Start to Show

Wired News: Web 2.0 Cracks Start to Show: "Web 2.0 is very open, but all that openness has its downside: When you invite the whole world to your party, inevitably someone pees in the beer."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Build Your Own PVR

Build Your Own PVR: "The “You have ten seconds to drop your weapon.” Robocop School of Software."

An amazingly funny look at Microsofts' Media Center 2005. The dude built a *monster* system.

A few other fun quotes:

no where close to a vintage Tivo

What Media Center does really well is [...] allow you to practice starting in “safe mode”

People from the non-geek world who bite on this instead of Tivo or the satellite/cable DVRs are going to be unhappy.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What makes a good conversationalist?

I asked this question on the ST1100 e-mail list, and I got a great answer back:

InterestED vs. interestING has a lot of truth to it, but I don't believe it should be taken as an absolute. To me, a good conversationalist is a person who draws out my opinion, and makes me believe they care. Not just by nodding and agreeing, but by offering input on certain points, asking for clarification and forcing me to more clearly define my beliefs, or by interjecting alternate notions, theories, etc., without commandeering the conversation. Not just a passive listener, but a contributor, catalyst and inspiration to further discussion.

A good conversationalist will have the strength, skill and discipline to not let someone trap them in a monologue for half an hour without a break. They will do it in such a way that the motormouth does not take offense.

A good conversationalist is able to segue smoothly from one topic to another without the other party feeling that they have been cut off from their story. This, in my mind, is especially important in the case of returning to a boring conversation after an interruption. The good conversationalist will take them back to where they were, and then gently guide them to a more interesting place.

A good conversationalist will try to involve, or at least acknowledge all participants within a small group or cluster.

Most importanly, they will laugh heartily at my jokes. And they will make me believe that they meant it.

Hmmm. Seems that I have just described what I would like to be, rather than what I am. Going to have to work on that.


Paul Forkheim
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Squared 5 - MPEG Streamclip for Mac OS X

Squared 5 - MPEG Streamclip for Mac OS X: "MPEG
Streamclip is an application that converts MPEG files (including transport streams) into muxed, demuxed, QuickTime, AVI and DV files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Toast 6."

More importantly to me, I can rescue my old MPEG-1 home movies from 6 years ago and re-encode them to the latest standards for inclusion on my video blog

Blog Vlog Schmog

Blog Vlog Schmog: "Video blog by Will - old (and new) movies ripped to iPod ready format. Look - a Podcast! Once I get a bit of clue, I plan to publish to iTunes." (defunct)

Update: What a PITA. Blogger doesn't have the right kind of feed - they use Atom, and ITMS requires an RSS 2.0 feed, with special tags. So, I have a blog set up at Mylanders but that server doesn't grok M4V files - tries to dump them out as plain text. Sigh. Fix the mime.types, now it works.

Try this blog

Download standalone Quicktime 7.0 Player

Apple - QuickTime - Download - Standalone QuickTime Player

Skip the 30+ MB download of iTunes and just get the player so you can watch my videos!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yes, you can use dual monitors on a G5 iMac :: View Forum - iMac: "The ultimate Mac screen spanning resource!"

Ok - it's not supported, and it's a hack, but folks have been using that patch for 6+ months and reporting no problems.

(Nat - checking to see if you read this thing!)

Note - the iMac G5 only has analog VGA out - your second monitor must accept analog VGA.

Watch NOVA online from PBS

NOVA | scienceNOW | Watch Online | PBS: "Watch any or all of the six segments from the October 18, 2005 broadcast of NOVA scienceNOW. To see previous episodes go to past stories."

Fancy. Just need a fast connection and a modern computer. The window is a bit small, but quite watchable.

Side Note: they do some really cool things with Quicktime.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Picture Share!

Sunset in kansas

Pete Townshend - free book

Whoah. Pete Townshend, from "The Who", has written a book, and is now giving it away free on his 'blog, one chapter at a time.

Way too cool.

Paper Houses

A company by the name of Global Village has been creating rapid assmbly refugee shlters from paper -- !

Rated to withstand 80MPH winds, and treated to be water and fire resistant - these things are just cool. Bigger, stronger and cheaper than cabin tents. And, they can be printed with sponsors logos - "this hurricane relief effort brought to you by Coca Cola and the Ford Motor Company"


More on this sort of stuff in an article by Wired Mag.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Welding the ST1100 subframe

Shane welding the sub frame - unfortunately he ran out of inert gas, so the second half of the welds are pretty rough. It'll hold, but he volunteerd to re-weld it next weekend with a TIG rig, supposed to make some pretty clean, strong welds.

Grinding the ST1100 subframe

Shane repairing the rear frame for my st1100. He first had to grind the break smooth, then fabricated extra bracing to reinforce the frame. This is the part where the top case attaches -- extra support is always a good thing.

A Kodak Moment, 2

Father and son

Over at Nathans - ethan had to get in the action.

A Kodak Moment

Grandmother and grandson

(The traditional routine at Grammas - eat popcorn and watch cartoons)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vatican astronomer ponders baptism of extra-terrestrials

Vatican astronomer ponders baptism of extra-terrestrials

While it sounds like something out of Weekly World News, it is a serious Jesuit astronomer with a degree from MIT asking these questions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Apple - iPod - OMFG!

Video. Photos. Music. HUGE space. And the store now has ABC / Disney TV shows to download. That you own forever! OMFG.

iPod Page

iTunes Page about video

Synch your own videos to the iPod too using Quicktime 7 (hey - copies of my DVD's for the car for Alec?)

Looks like the pirates are already taking advantage - see this Cult of Mac blog post.

iPod can either play the new H.264 video (see clips below) or old-school MPEG-4 compliant stuff (think 3ivx!)

OMFG to the Max!

A Picture Share!

A squirrel was checking out our deck this morning!

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Picture Share!

View from school in downtown kansas city.

Bird Flu for a Police State?

Wow - wild stuff.

1) There is a pile of news out there about "Avian Flu" and a new pandemic. Today on CNN, they had clips from the 1918 flu pandemic all day long on TV. Google news reports over 8,000 stories matching the keyword "avian flu"

2) The current administration has stated that they will use military force in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 to enforce quarantines for "bird flu".

(Update April 2009: Dead links.  Heres a Google search for Bush Bird Flu Military - do your own reading...)

SO, you have the administration with the military poised to attack the US of A, and the media banging the drums of war.

You draw your own conclusion.

By the way, a flu pandemic is just about impossible these days. The 1918 pandemic was only possible because you had umpteen thousand people stuffed in trenches in France under the most impossible sanitary conditions, sharing viruses back and forth, allowing it to mutate into the most virulent possible virus. (a virulent virus. Hmmm).

Anyway, once out of the trenches, the virus basically died off.


A) we don't have trenches today, and
B) we have medicine, communication and technology to see and stop outbreaks of the flu.

Ex: in 1917, in Fort Riley, KS, the entire fort became sick with a flu-like virus. After folks started to get better, they were sent over to fight in WWI trenches. Over 500 died at Fort Riley alone. No one knew they were sick, no one cared, and no one talked about it. Today, 6 (six!) people died on a small island in the pacific from Avian Flu. It's front page news.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Error setting up account

Oh - so you are getting an error when you try to set up an account at Yeah, it does that. Don't worry, your account is set up, and you can log in from the front page. Go ahead, try it. I'll wait.


Now, just call the number listed at the site, follow the prompts, and bingo! You have an audio post on your 'blog.

The registration error is most likely something like this:

Notice: Use of undefined constant unique - assumed 'unique' in /home/www/ on line 260

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/www/ in /home/www/ on line 175

Got me. I tried to contact Audioblogger from the contact address on their website, but it bounces with some relaying error. Ah well. Maybe this post will get some publicity to the error, or at least help folks to work around it.

Carol Laid an Egg

Carol laid an egg!

Alec wanted attention from Rich, and said "Hello!" in such a teenager tone that it just sent Carol into a laughing fit...

A Picture Share!

Grog discover fire!

Audio post about Nothing

this is an audio post - click to play

Kansas Excitement : Watching Grass Grow

Watching grass grow, post one. I just tilled and planted new grass this week. I figure i will document the progress of the grass.


Rich and shirley got in safe and sound

Nathan Making Beer

The other weekend I was down to Winfield, and took about one minute of video of Nathan and his dad making a new batch of beer. Pretty cool - with the low frame-rate and the shaky camera, and the poor lighting, it looks almost like the old 'Super 8' home movies.

Whee - 35 years of technology, billions of dollars of infrastructure and thousands of dollars of personal electronics, just to duplicate a 1965 home movie! Anway, click the triangle to watch Nathan and his dad, Jim.

Current book: the eye of the world, by robert jordan

Friday, October 07, 2005

Alec washing the car

We got a new power washer to help paint Gramma B's house. Since it was down there already, we figured we should wash her car, too. Alec wanted to help, and he did a great job!

Note: This is a Quicktime 7.0 video; it will only play with Quicktime Version 7 installed. Click to get Quicktime 7.0!

(Tech note - this uses the new H.264 High Def codec - 15 seconds of 15fps video at 320x240 for under 500KB. Recorded using a Nikon CoolPix 2500 digital camera)

Let your fingers do the walking used to be easier . . .

Remember the old Yellow Pages advertisements - "Let your fingers do the walking!"? Well, that used to be a lot easier when you could reach someone in the store with half a clue. Been looking for a new BozFram tonight and I see why the internet is so popular - click here, drool there, you find out which model you need, how much it costs and if they have it in stock.

Contrast that to calling the store - ask for the department you think sells it. Ask if they have it in stock. No speakey engles, por favor, un momento. {bad hold music}. Now, repeat to the next droid. He puts you on hold to ask someone if they have something utterly unrelated to what you are looking for. Be told that "No, they don't carry the FramBotz, thank you, goodbye" {click}. He must have been in a hurry to get back to texting his girl or something.

And, I'm still no closer to getting my BozFram tonight; if I want to see if it's in the local store, I have to go out, fire up the gashog SUV and drive the 5 miles over there. Grouch.

Or, I could order it off and have it delivered to my house in 5 days. Phtht.

Support your local stores my ass. Hire someone with a clue, and I will.

Interesting note - I only used one video tape in the camcorder so far this year. Not sure what that means.

Update: I remembered why. The camcorder is dying. Sigh.

A Picture Share!

Milk and cookies! Earlier today alec got a scratch on his glasses and told me that his glasses had a bruise!

First Post!

Holy crap - it acutally works, is cool, free (FREE!) and does what it says it is going to do. Google once again fails to suck.

(this would be a great way to record reminders to myself. )

2016-NOV-09:  Audioblogger has since met the bitbucket in the sky, taking my blogs with it.  Sigh.

why to ride?

Awesome short essay about why motorcycle riding fails to suck.

Link to

"Level One"

Our new org chart was just posted after the merger - I am now "Tier One Production Support". That sounds frighteningly like helpdesk. I've came from designing and developing the website, to supporting the servers, to helpdesk.

I'm going backward.

So far, no paycut announced, so I really cannot complain.

Side Note: 4 out of the, um 4 people who knew everything about the Shop and Manage websites have left the team. 100% failure rate! "May you live in Interesting Times"

A Picture Share!

A photo of a geek in a cube