Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lenovo Ideapad S10 2 GB RAM and 6-cell battery upgrade

Lenovo Ideapad S10 2 GB RAM and 6-cell battery upgrade:
"For the Lenovo S10 you need a DDR2 PC5300 SODIMM (this will not fit into a standard SDRAM SODIMM socket). A SODIMM, or small outline dual in-line memory module, is a smaller alternative to a DIMM, being roughly half the size of regular DIMMs. SODIMMS are often used in systems which have space restrictions such as notebooks and netbooks.

Lenovo's IdeaPad S10 netbook is easy to upgrade. The S10 has 512MB soldered onto the motherboard and only one SODIMM slot. If your S10 comes with more than 512MB preinstalled, than there's already a SODIMM in the slot and you will have to remove it first. The motherboard also cannot recognize more than 2GB in total, including the built-in 512 MB. A 2 GB DIMM will give you 2 GB, not 2.5 GB, because the last 512 MB will be ignored"
Click the link above to get linkies to ram, batteries.  Or just search Amazon.  Sweet.  

Now to decide 'tween Dell Mini 9 and Lenovo S10.

Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart from Boing Boing Gadgets

Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart (updated) - Boing Boing Gadgets: Got a Netbook for Christmas?  Want to make it an hackintosh?

The linked page has all the dope.  Their summary?  "get an MSI Wind or Dell Mini 9."

Monday, December 22, 2008


Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Posted without comment.

Update 6:45 PM:
Everyone is OK; Carol's car is not. Just the fender damage but I'll assume the insurance will total it out one way or another. (91 honda, 200K miles . . .)

More photos from the scene:

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Took Alec and his mom to Kaleidoscope today. Alec had fun. I was a touch bored. Till I saw the sign board. Then I wasn't bored - I had a board!

Then leaving, I see someone else had a sign.

Update: Made a playlist (channel) page for this. View all current and future 'signs' videos from one place.

Alec and Mom at Kaleidoscope

Alec and Mom at Kaleidoscope
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Alec at Crayola Store

Alec at Crayola Store
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Nuts about Nuts?

BBC NEWS | Health | Warning of nut allergy 'hysteria':
"Measures to protect children with nut allergies are becoming increasingly absurd and hysterical, say experts.
A peanut on the floor of a US school bus recently led to evacuation and decontamination for fear it might have affected the 10-year-old passengers."

Facts: there are 2,000 hospitalizations a year (out of 30,000,000 total) for all allergic reactions.  Just 150 people a year die from food allergies.

Professor Nicolas Christakis, a professor of medical sociology at Harvard Medical School, notes that the hysteria about nut contamination looks more like mass psychogenic illness. (See: Salem Witch Trials, etc.)

Are we Nuts about Nuts?  Yup.  

Interesting article about The Role of the Media and Media Hypes from Johns Hopkins. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tree is up

Tree is up
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Accuracy vs Precision

Fiddling with new toys - got a $5 oven thermometer and a $40 meat thermometer.  Set the oven to 350 - nice digital display, so it *should* be accurate and precise.

Testing that theory.  The $5 oven thermometer reads precisely 10 degrees low - the oven claims it's at 350 degrees; the thermometer reads 340.  The $40 meat thermometer shows the initial warmup overshot to 375 degrees, then cooled to 365, even after opening the oven several times to check the $5 thermometer.

After about a 10 minute 'rest' -- long enough to type up this blog post - the $40 meat thermometer has dropped to 351 degrees.  I think the oven agrees - I just heard the relays kick on to re-energize the heating elements.  The $5 thermometer still shows low - 342 or thereabout.

After a 20 minute 'rest' and a full heat cycle the oven thermometer now shows 160, and the meat thermometer shows 165 degrees.

So, which is right?  I don't know.  They are all precise - same measurements every time.  But until I can find a definitive answer, I'm out of luck for accuracy.

Update: Thought of a new test. We know how hot boiling water is - 212 degrees at sea level. Well, I'm 1,000 feet above that, but I pulled a pan of hot water (less dissolved solids) and set it to a rolling boil. The meat thermometer registered 212 degrees. So it is accurate and precise.  The oven thermometer isn't submersible, so no way to test it - but comparing against the meat thermometer it appears to read within 10% or so, just slowly.

The good news is that the oven display is right on the money, at least good enough for home use.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Messy basement

Messy basement
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Took this with the panorama feature on the touch pro. Pretty dang fancy.

Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Saturday, December 13, 2008

CNN misses, Google Hits.

Earlier today (yesterday, now) nuclear armed India invaded nuclear armed Pakistan -- quick action by Pakistani air force jets headed off the attempted invasion.  Ok, the news calls it 'airspace violations'.  At least some of the news.  CNN - not so much.  A search at 10:00 PM CST, Dec 13 shows zero hits for Pakistan Airspace on CNN:

pakistan airspace - Search results for pakistan airspace -

The same search on Google News turns up 539 hits. 

What's CNN up to?  Or are they just bound and determined to go tango-uniform?  (toes (tits) up - Dead)

Good day for a ride

Good day for a ride
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Grandstand burgers

Grandstand burgers
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Kansas City Lunch Spots - great website

Kansas City Lunch Spots   advertises that "It shouldn't be this hard to find someplace to eat lunch."

Nice web blog site with reviews and info on local joints for lunch.  On my Reader list...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Alec wins Pack 3094 Pinewood Derby

Alec's had a great time building, racing and winning with Pine Car Derby and Cub Scout Pack 3094 in Overland Park, KS.

First Place!

First Place!
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Track record all day!

Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Alec at pinecar derby

Alec at pinecar derby
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, 'travellin with the touch pro'

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tiny PCs, Full-Size Problems

Rob Pegoraro - Tiny PCs, Full-Size Problems: "What to get instead? If you're buying a netbook as your sole computer, knowing that you'll only use it on the Web, Acer offers the best bet for now. If, however, you're buying it as a third or fourth computer and are willing to tweak it to fit your own needs, look at the MSI.

But it might be better to wait. If these manufacturers have the good sense to steal each other's best ideas, we should see significantly better choices before long."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Magical thinking

Neat: Magical thinking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "magical thinking is nonscientific causal reasoning that often includes such ideas as the ability of the mind to affect the physical world, correlation equaling causation, the law of contagion, the power of symbols, and the meaningfulness of synchronicity."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Presidential Transition Info

Presidential Transition Team: "this online directory will introduce you to the operation of the Federal government and the resources available to help you begin your service in the new Administration."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ahh, fall

Ahh, fall
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour

Guess Mom's gettin a new mac

Netflix now offers their 'Watch Instantly' feature for the Macintosh, but it requires:

Netflix: Watch Instantly: "Mac
An Intel-based Mac with OS 10.4.8 or later
Safari 3 or higher; or Firefox 2 or higher

Mom's still running a G5 iMac - the original 17" model.  She's also a big fan of Netflix.  Hmm.  New mac?  Or Rokku netflix box for streaming over the TV? (and wifi network and receiver and speakers for switching between cable, DVD and Netflix and . . .)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Line for advanced voting

Line for advanced voting
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
About a block long... Wonder if people think this is an important election?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Constitution Free Zone

American Civil Liberties Union : Surveillance Society Clock:
"Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This ' Constitution-Free Zone' includes most of the nation's largest metropolitan areas"

What in the hell am I talking about?

Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches. The border has always been an exception. There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply. For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.” But what is “the border”? According to the government, it is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.

Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose. On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing. Dozens of drug sniffing dogs are employed along southern borders in Arizona, resulting in thousands of arrests per year. Not for pounds and kilos of dope - for dust in a baggie; used pipes in the trunk; seeds and stems in the carpet.

They're setting up terrorist and immigration checkpoints in those hotbeds of radical violence, like Forks, Oregon. (Courtesy the Seattle Times)

This July, the government updated the Border Patrol policy to date regarding information searches: now documents and electronic devices can be detained for an unspecified period. They may now be copied without any suspicion of wrongdoing, the lowest legal standard. Any papers. Any electronic device. Any information. An example? An FBI agent asked Texas native Yasir Qadhi to come by. Qadhi said the agent cited the March 2006 stop, where his cell phone was confiscated, and said, "We went through your personal diary in your phone, and we discovered these numbers on there, and we want to know your relationship with these specific individuals." (Courtesy the Washington Post)

Discussion on

(realistically, checking the Bill of Rights, the only one the current and past administrations have missed violating or simply eliminating by fiat is the 3rd amendment. 9 and 10 have been long gone since the 1930s.)
Indeed, I rather doubt that the framers of the Fourth Amendment would have considered 'reasonable' a program of indiscriminate stops of individuals not suspected of wrongdoing.
Justice Clarence Thomas, 28-Nov-2000 (City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000))

CSS Inheritance

This is a nice tutorial on how CSS Inheritance works:

CSS Inheritance (Dorward Online): "An explanation of how inheritance works in CSS and why CSS doesn't need Object Oriented style inheritance."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who is Bill - author of Ravioli at Lightspeed

This post to the MIT Humor mail reflector was written by 'Bill'.

Under enough pressure, ravioli behaves as a gas

Who is Bill? I'd love to properly cite this article in my .sig; I'm misattributing it to Nathan J. Williams now, who posted it to the MIT mail list.

(updated link - w. England 14-SEPT-12)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So not going riding

So not going riding
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
No way would i go out riding tonight. It is absolutely pouring down rain!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jeremy Clarkson on Motorcycles (British)

Jeremy Clarkson Vespa GTV Navy 125 review | Driving - Times Online: "What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, bikes and cars are both forms of transport, but they have nothing in common. Imagining that you can ride a bike because you can drive a car is like imagining you can swallow-dive off a 90ft cliff because you can play table tennis"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

IRS Withholding Calculator

IRS Withholding Calculator: "The purpose of this application is to help employees to ensure that they do not have too much or too little income tax withheld from their pay. It is not a replacement for Form W-4, but most people will find it more accurate and easier to use than the worksheets that accompany Form W-4. You may use the results of this program to help you complete a new Form W-4, which you will submit to your employer."

Nathan - may be handy with your new job!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Random Cat drinking

Random Cat drinking
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Random Cat will only drink out of the faucet. He's too good for the fancy Drinkwell cat fountain!

Jing Project: Visual conversation starts here. Mac or Windows.

Jing Project: Visual conversation starts here. Mac or Windows.: "The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.
Try it, you’ll like it. It's free."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Airave and bandwidth

I've just gotten a Sprint Airave -- a box that acts as a micro cell tower and sends the voice signal across the Internet to the public telephone network -- and I thought I'd see how it works when you are limited in bandwidth.

So, I'm downloading a whole stack of files, using over 600kb/sec of bandwidth (the cable modem only handles about 680kb/sec) and got on a conference call.  

Everything seems to be working fine!  Fancy...

Motorola S9 audioblog

WxExW Auto Audio Blog #20

Set up the Motorola S9 stereo bluetooth headset on the Instinct - here is the first test!

Gabcast! WxExW Auto Audio Blog #20

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BywayBoogie banquet

BywayBoogie banquet
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Great food after a great day of riding around Paris, AR. Thanks to the Grapevine Restaurant.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Study: Sprint ranks worst in pay-for-performance - Kansas City Business Journal:

Study: Sprint ranks worst in pay-for-performance - Kansas City Business Journal::
"A Glass Lewis & Co. report, released Oct. 3, said the Overland Park-based wireless carrier (NYSE: S) paid its top five executives almost $74 million in 2007, when the company’s stock dropped about 30 percent and it reported a $29 billion loss."
What I like about this is the employees participate in the same bonus scheme - last bonus period we got a nice surprise!  :-)  Too bad the merry-go-round will stop in a couple years.  Then I'll have to get a real job.  

I should re up my American Concrete Institute certification . . .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Audioblog: Instinct, Moto Bluetooth test

Just playing with the Instinct again, paired it up with the old Motorola H500 Bluetooth headset. Functional, somewhat muted. I get a pair of S9 headphones later this week or next week - see if they are any better!

Click to listen . . .
Gabcast! WxExW Auto Audio Blog #19

Monday, October 06, 2008


Here I was feeling pretty good about getting a homecooked meal for Alec tonight - nothing fancy, just a basic omlette, toast, orange wedges, etc. Then I talked to Nathan. And he's fixing home made macaroni and cheese. With home made croutons. From his own made from scratch home-made bread. (using his home-brew yeast cultures I have to assume!)


And he's a single dad with a harder full-time job than I have!

I think I'll order pizza.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pork Salad - or a good hard shaft?

From the Jamie Dupree show on "Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft,"

I'm not sure if they're legislating how to F*** us or just making pork salad, but that is from page 300 and 301, Section 503 of the senate approved version of the Wall Street bailout bill.


Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3): "Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Apple App Store customer reviews now require purchase

Macworld | iPhone Central | App Store customer reviews now require purchase:
"That’s kind of a no-brainer, when you think about it: if you’re going to review an application, it only makes sense that you’ve used it, right? Hopefully, this will do something to prevent the onslaught of bad reviews based only on an application’s description."

On a site I run for work, we encounter the same problem - people providing bad reviews, bad information and inflammatory comments on devices and services they don't have - and have no intention of purchasing. This is an interesting technical solution - and fairly easy for Apple to adopt, since their review platform is tied directly to their backend purchasing systems.

Our systems are unfortunately not so well interconnected - we have no way to identify users who actually have the device, so we rely on good old fashion manual reviewing of content submissions. Some sludge still leaks through, but it's as good as we've got for now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

TexSTOC Ride Report

TexSTOC was my first event I've been to since I wadded up my ST1100 in May of this year. Rode down on Saturday on my new-to-me Ducati ST2 (hey, it's still an ST!) - it took a while to get psyched up to go ride, but I did it. Intellectually, I was ready to ride, but my body still remembered the last time I was riding it rather hurt. Lots of autonomic responses trying to make me stay home. (translation: I was skeered)

Turned out to be a fine ride down, great people too. Met up with a good chunk of the KC crew that I'd seen occasionally at Culvers or for BBQ over the past couple of years, plus a new member, Maureen, from Lees Summit. Spent an hour or more talking with Mike and Allison from Louisiana about their BMW club, pets, kids, lowering bikes, their Cajun ride to eat and rock in November and more.

Saw George Catt across the room at dinner but never caught up with him - guess he was across the street atCampSTOC Hi, George!

I won the door prize (set of screwdrivers) for the most unreliable bike there -- thanks, Keith!

Going home was even better than coming down. Rode from Eureka Springs up to Eagle Rock, then cut across MO Hwy F through Roaring River state park. (that'd be a great location for a camping evnet!) 'F' took me to 112, south to Seligman, then North on 37 to Washburn, and 90 across to Southwest City. Awesome route! From there, down through NE Oklahoma and up US69. Passed through Pitcher, OK, a sad rural wasteland. They've had a double dose of hell - first the tailings from lead and zinc mining have toxified the entire area - no plant growth, serious heavy metal poisoning in the animals and human stock left there - and were hit by supercell tornadoes on 11-May of 2008 killing six. No one has bothered to rebuild - just left the ruined buildings and found somewhere else to live. It gave me remembered shivers looking at themoto photos from the Chernobyl area

However, I did manage to hit lots of twisties on the ride home, and got my rhythm back. The new Avon on the back of the Duc only has about a quarter-inch chicken strip left on it. That Ducati sure handles sweet and really has a great growl coming out of the corners. I wasn't sure if I'd be willing to push it any after wadding a bike, but I was hitting the corners harder and faster than I ever had on the ST1100.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Now This is a Disclaimer

Nelson Rocks Preserve - Disclaimer: "We do not and will not even try to keep the premises safe for any purpose. The premises are not safe for any purpose. This is no joke. We won't even try to warn you about any dangerous or hazardous condition, whether we know about it or not. If we do decide to warn you about something, that doesn't mean we will try to warn you about anything else."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alec at sunset

Alec at sunset
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, mobile on the mogul

The short - but eventful - life of Ike - The Big Picture -

The short - but eventful - life of Ike - The Big Picture -
"In its brief lifespan of only 13 days, Hurricane Ike wreaked great deal of havoc. Affecting several countries including Cuba, Haiti, and the United States, Ike is blamed for approximately 114 deaths (74 in Haiti alone), and damages that are still being tallied, with estimates topping $10 billion. Many shoreline communities of Galveston, Texas were wiped from the map by the winds, storm surge and the walls of debris pushed along by Ike - though Galveston was spared the level of disaster it suffered in 1900."
Amazing high resolution photos . . .

Everything you wanted to know about Honda Goldwings

Bike Timeline: "This page is dedicated to the various models, options and images of the Gold Wing throughout the years."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

View from Teeter Rock

View from Teeter Rock
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
This is a painting in the lobby of my building. Pretty darn accurate - those are the rocks we sit on when we go out there... Surprising to see this hanging on the wall here.

Will England, mobile on the mogul

The Art of Evangelism - Guy Kawasaki presentation

The Art of Evangelism: "a time when consumers are bludgeoned by online, offline, text, audio, and video advertising, what marketing tools still work? One answer is evangelism -- that is, getting people to spread the "good news" about your product or service to their friends, relatives, and colleagues."

Guy Kawasaki, one of the original Apple employees and the original technology evangelist made the above presentation on how to use evangelism to promote your brand, product or company.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Alec with mango popcicle

Alec with mango popcicle
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
We went to the Indian Resturaunt last night and Alec had leftover mango juice. So we made a massive mango popcicle!

Blurry squirrel

Blurry squirrel
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Tried the digital zoom on the mogul. Not so much.

Who's getting taxed?

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. - The Official Website:
"According to recently released IRS statistics, less than one half of one percent of Americans are 'wealthy,' meaning that they have assets including houses, of more than two million dollars. When a middle-class house in many cities can easily cost over $500,000 for less than 1,500 square feet, having $2 million in assets may make you 'affluent,' but it's far from 'wealthy.' Put another way, the 'upper five percent' of Americans that Obama wishes to tax more heavily amounts to roughly fifteen million. According to the IRS, only ten percent of those are wealthy."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Reduced costs at Harvard, Yale hard to replicate | ScrippsNews

Reduced costs at Harvard, Yale hard to replicate | ScrippsNews
"Last week Yale detailed its plan to cut costs for students by as much as 50 percent and to increase annual spending for undergraduate financial aid by more than $24 million, to about $80 million. Families with incomes under $60,000 would pay nothing toward a child's education, and those with incomes of less than $120,000 would contribute between 1 percent and 10 percent of their income annually. Students still will be expected to pay $2,500 annually, a cut from about $4,000."

Google Hardware

Google Hardware: "Wonder where your search runs? Here are the machines:"

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Up too late

Up too late
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Will England, mobile on the mogul

New haircut

New haircut
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Rainy day today so Alec and I went for haircuts. Footlights in Westport is such a great place for a quick, good haircut.

Will England, mobile on the mogul

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Why I like Palin . . .

Palin and the Beltway Pundits by William L. Anderson: "Ultimately, the response of the Beltway Crowd has boiled down to this one viewpoint: Sarah Palin and her family are not like the rest of us. Therefore, she is not qualified to be Vice-President of the United States."

Because the political insiders don't. :-)

Neat essay above - worth a read.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Make your 404 pages more useful

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Make your 404 pages more useful: "If you've created a custom 404 page this allows you to embed a widget in your 404 page that helps your visitors find what they're looking for by providing suggestions based on the incorrect URL."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Monte Cristo Sandwich in Kansas City

Bennigans, a formerly good chain of irish-themed restaurants introduced me to the Monte Cristo - a ham and turkey sandwich, deep fried and served with jam. However, they left a small smoking crater (chapter 7) and the sandwich is no more. I found a review of a good one in Memphis, but that's a 500 mile one-way drive. THEN, the Pitch newspaper noted in their review that the One80 saloon in Westport has, "a top-notch Monte Cristo sandwich."


Alec and I are heading to Westport!

Shoot, Shovel & Shut Up by Ralph R. Reiland

Shoot, Shovel & Shut Up by Ralph R. Reiland: "Robert J. Smith, director of environmental studies at the Cato Institute, provides the lesson that the government is teaching: 'Make sure there is nothing on your land that might attract wildlife or rare species. It will merely bring oppressive attention from federal bureaucrats.' The solution that people have come up with when they spot something that's allegedly endangered on their property? It's called 'shoot, shovel and shut up.'"

Friday, August 29, 2008

Report cards on Kansas judges are online

If you're like me when you look over the ballot there's 20 names of judeges with a 'yes' or 'no' box to retain them. I figure if I never heard of them - they didn't foul up enough to make the papers - they keep em. Now there'll be more information coming out - this story in the KC Star has some details: Report cards on Kansas judges are online

Official Kansas tags for motorcycles running low | 08/28/2008 | Official Kansas tags for motorcycles running low
"Parts of Kansas are seeing an unexpected side effect of higher gas prices and a government glitch: Official tags for motorcycles are running low.

The problem is bad enough that counties with plentiful plates are being asked to share with other counties.

“We are out of motorcycle tags, and we don’t know when we’ll get more,” said Reno County Treasurer Clark Miller. “We’ve gone through 50 of them in the past two weeks. We’ve begged and borrowed from other counties, but we can’t get more. The state says they will send us more, but I can’t give you an answer on when we’ll get them.”"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guard invites public to see rockets fired at Fort Riley | 08/27/2008 | Guard invites public to see rockets fired at Fort Riley:

"A Kansas National Guard unit is inviting the public to come watch a live fire exercise at Fort Riley next month.

The 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery will fire its multiple launch rocket system during an exercise on Sept. 13. The rocket system is capable of firing rockets to support ground units, return fire when attacked or attack targets for larger units, such as a division.

The system can fire 12 rockets in 60 seconds, aimed at up to six different targets. It has a range of about 20 miles to more than 180 miles. Spokeswoman Sharon Watson said the exercise is part of the battalion's regular training schedule and that there are no pending deployment orders. Currently, there are about 500 Kansas National Guard soldiers deployed.

In 2003, the unit deployed to Iraq for 12 months. It traces its history to the 1st Kansas Artillery, formed in 1868. Soldiers from the battalion have served in every war since the Civil War, including awards for service in campaigns in Muese-Argonne, Alsace, Lorraine, the Aleutian Islands and the European Theater.

The battalion has armories in Hiawatha, Sabetha, Marysville, Concordia, Horton, Atchison, Salina and Abilene.

The exercise is scheduled to begin around 12:30 p.m. Shuttle buses will move the public to a viewing area."

Sweet - and that's a Saturday. Guess I'll have to call up to the Fort to check the arrival times, etc.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Outdoor comfy?

Outdoor comfy?
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Cat has been very confused with the whole new carpet / painting thing. Now she's wondering why her comfy chair is out on the deck...


Originally uploaded by kcsporttour


I started using Twitter to see if it has any application for Sprint - and found it mighty useful for quick posts about what I'm doing. So I added a feed at the top right of the page.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pole damage

Pole damage
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Lady hit a lightpole at 80th and Metcalf. Shes fine, but the pole dropped over a powerline taking out my electricity briefly

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to make a Smoker from a Trash Can

How to make a Smoker from a Trash Can
Grilling is cooking meat by the direct application of high heat with a gas burner or an electric heater. Grilling is simple since temperature is easy, but doesn't bring any new flavors to the party.

BBQing is cooking meat by the direct application of heat with charcoal or wood. The burning of the fuel adds flavor to the meat. BBQing requires more skill since the flames must be managed to prevent burning or low temperatures.

Smoking is cooking meat by the indirect application of heat with wood at low temperatures. Low temperatures are considered around 225. The smoke of the burning wood adds significant flavor to the meat.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Riding Again

Out riding again - on the 'new' 1998 Ducati! Gorgeous day today...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How Far Can You See? - TIME

How Far Can You See? - TIME
"At sea level the curvature of the earth limits the range of vision to 2.9 miles. The formula for determining how many miles an individual can see at higher levels is the square root of his altitude times 1.225. Thus on a clear day at 1,000 feet a person with normal vision can see 39 miles; at 10,000 feet, 123 miles; at 25,000 feet, 194 miles. With good visibility a pilot at 25,000 feet can see Germany from the English Channel; at the same altitude over Tunisia he can see the middle of Sicily."

From the Monday, June 21st 1943 edition of Time Magazine.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Alec with a wicked big shovel

Will England, mobile on the mogul

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Helmet

Finally got around to getting a new helmet - the last one was done.   Was on the way to Jack Stack in Martin City and stopped at Reno's Yamaha on a whim.  I figured they were long closed - it was 6:30 PM and everyone knows bike shops close at 6 at the latest.  Well, I caught the owner as he was leaving and mentioned I needed a helmet.  Turns out they were open till 6:30 and were glad to stay open late for me.  Took a look around and picked out something that shouldn't ever need extra graphics to stand out - the Shoei RF1000 'Sever'.  Wicked.  :-)

Full face this time, not flip front.  Figure it's marginally safer that way.  Very interesting graphics - first 'fancy' helmet I've had.  Before I've had silver, white and black.  Time for something with some 'punch'.  And classic Shoei fit - felt great the second I put it on.  I'll be perturbed when I get the first scratch on this one!

Got the Ducati out for it's first ride today too - OP to Jack Stack and back; about 40 miles.  Fun bike, but definitely going to take some getting used to after the ST1100...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Photos from Colorado Vacation Up!

Lots of photos from our trip are online now - check out the album!

Alec at RMNP Throwing Rocks

We found a beautiful still lake off the road a ways at the Rocky Mountain National Park.  So, what does Alec do?  Throw rocks. 

Photos up from Family Visit

Rich, Shirl and Merrybelle all made it to KC for a week of fun - I took a few photos:

Monday, July 21, 2008

On The Road with Alec: Colby, KS

July 21, 2008 - 9:50 AM.

Colby, Kansas

Heading Home. It's been a nice weekend with lots of new experiences for both Alec and I. We played in the snow in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park; we drove to the top of Mount Evans and checked out the view and the observatory. We camped one night, then decided motels were a better deal.

What happened to camping? I forgot one key thing - camping is only fun when there's not a lot of people around! Arapaho Nat'l Forest is just a couple hours drive from the Denver Metro area and a LOT of people show up. The first night was interesting - we were regaled with tales from the kids across the way of how they "jumped off desks and shit like that" when their teachers weren't in the room. They were 5 and 6 years old. We got to enjoy the gentle sounds of drunkards screaming across the campground to "shut the fuck up!", while others politely informed them that it is two thirty in the morning. We were serenaded by the sweet sounds of boom-car bass all afternoon - tejano competing with country.

So we packed up and headed into Grand Lake, CO for a nice quiet motel on the side of the highway.

Got to play lots of mini-golf, just like Alec wanted. The mini-golf place in Grand Lake has been there since at least 1968 and is basically unchanged. Still a lot of fun. Alec wanted to eat mexican food every night, so we tried out a couple of different places; one was fair, the other, El Pacifico, was outstanding. Fresh home made food.

We saw moose in RMNP, very few deer, a few marmots and lots of hummingbirds. That was the single highlight of the day spent camping - Alec and I were both buzzed by hummingbirds!

Weather was great, 70's in the day, 50's at night. Now we're on the way home.

Pictures to follow...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mount Evans

Mount Evans
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
the castle at the top of Mt Evans in Colorado. Posted while we are still on the peak!

will england, mobile
sent with a palm centro

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the road with Alec: Colorado

We found camping at the Willow Creek Reservoir in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. About 10 miles North of Granby, CO.

Will England, Mobile on the Mogul

On The Road with Alec: Limon Colorado

Limon Colorado. Just over 500 miles from Kansas City. Headed to Granby Colorado and the Rocky Mountain National Park.

We left Overland Park right at noon - got a late start but it doesn't matter, because we are on vacation! No schedules, no deadlines, just do what we're doing.

Drove clear across Kansas, stopped just for fuel, food and a few rest areas. Alec was great - played game boy, ate Mc Donalds, Burger King and Taco Tico. Soda and junk food - diet of great explorers!

At one rest area in Western Kansas, they were repainting the pavement markings. The paint crew was just wrapping up as we got there. As we were getting ready to leave, one of the crew came over and showed us how they make the paint reflective - they spray it with little tiny glass beads! He had a paint can full of glass beads they spray on the wet paint and showed Alec and I. I had heard of this but never seen the material before. Alec was fascinated. I was too...

Earlier in the day Alec saw his first wind farm. All along I-70 they are planting 300 foot wind turbines. We got to drive past a set right next to the highway and Alec got a good look. Some time back I got a chance to sit right under a turbine in South West Kansas somewhere - they are really fascinating. Alec was concerned about the animals living in the fields with the turbines - they had horses corralled in one field. He thought they might get electrocuted.

Leaving Goodland, KS we stopped at another rest area to look for motel coupons and found Sunflowers instead - great huge sunflowers. They were so big I thought they were statues or fakes. No - they were real, seven foot tall sunflowers with flowers bigger than dinner plates. Amazing!

Pulling into Colorado, Alec saw a grain elevator and was fascinated by it - he said he likes grain elevators. Come to think of it, so do I. Pure function no thought to design or 'pretty', just great big tools to get a job done.

Stopped for the night here in Limon at some random motor hotel. I simply cannot stay in a modern motel with interior corridors. I love having the car 8 feet from the door. Plus, as a smoker I can get a non-smoking room and just step out the door to pound another nail in the coffin...

More to come as we travel...