Monday, December 31, 2012

GOODING "Crash" Live

One of my favorite bands out of Wichita (now LA) has a new video out from their last tour.  Wish we could have caught them!  Next best thing, eh?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What Would Help?

In Connecticut, the following gun laws applied to the crazy bastard that shot up a school:

  • Permit to purchase handgun
    • FBI and State background check
    • Training course
    • Fingerprints
    • and a high licence fee
  • 14 day waiting period to purchase handgun
  • Permit required to transport handgun, even to the range
  • Guns must be stored unloaded in a locked container 
  • All transfers, even private party sales, are subject to having a permit and are registered and tracked through a state database
  • All 'assault weapons' are registered since 1993.
  • Cosmetic features and some functional features are banned (bayonet, pistol grip, etc) since 1993.
  • Allowed police seizure of weapons with sworn warrant of 'danger to others'.

My question - which of these laws prevented this crazy person to obtain firearms?  What law, regulation, training requirement, etc. will prevent future crazy people from obtaining guns and doing bad things?

"Easy - outlaw private possession of firearms!"

OK - would the billions of dollars it will take to register, sieze and destroy some or all private firearms be better spent on expanding and improving mental health programs so people can actually get the help they need?  

Your comments?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Softbank and the Long Now

My director at work brought up a 30 (or 300) year plan from Softbank in todays Ops review.  For the impatient, you can find the slides or a 2-hour video of Masayoshi Son presenting his 30 year vision.

What's this all about?  It's a long term vision - not quite on the 10,000 year scale of the Long Now Foundation but far more forward thinking than the typical quarter by quarter lurching of modern Fortune 500 publicly traded companies.  What is the vision all about?  Not profits, income or OIBIDA, but human knowledge and satisfaction with life.

Personally I've always worked toward making Wireless better for people.  Not selling phones, not checking boxes on spreadsheets, but making the whole wireless experience better for humans.  Helping people communiate with other people.  Do that right and you'll get the sales, the retention and the trust that makes a company profitalble. 

SOFTBANK works to make people happy
through information revolution.

The presentation starts out starkly - death, lonlieness, suicide and despair, quickly moving to what makes people happy - reaching directly into Maslow's Hirearchy of Needs, speaking to connecting with people and self actualization. After a quick comple slides on the company past and metrics, they jump right into some rather unique goals for a corporate entity:

Endeavoring to benefit society and
the economy and maximize enterprise value
by fostering the sharing of
wisdom and knowledge
gained through the IT revolution.

After a brief review of the past 300 years, they dive right into the Singularity.  Softbank forecasts our computational power will exceed the human brain in just 6 years; far faster than Ray Kurzwiel or Vernor Vinge or other futurists are predicting.  Softbank doesn't mince words - they simply state that one of their goals is to bring the brain / computer to life.  Son and Softbank aren't just futurists or tinkerers like Kurzweil; they are directly working to bring the future to life with cloud computing, instant speed networks and unlimited bandwidth.

They close out with this from Albert Einstein:

We exist for our fellow-men
- in the first place
for those on whose smiles and welfare
all our happiness depends,
and next for all those unknown to us
personally with whose destinies
we are bound up by the tie of sympathy.
-Albert Einstein

Originally published on the Sprint Community in our internal group.

Monday, October 22, 2012

WiFi density as an Economic Indicator

It's interesting that the neighborhoods with known lower income families have far less wifi access point density - the South West corner of the KC metro area is very high income and is nearly full, while the North East corner and North West corner of the KC metro area are lower income.

I'm sure someone with more time on thier hands could pull down the datasets and create a statistical correlation between income level and wifi access point density. 

Suprisingly as you zoom in the 'Leawood Hills' neighborhood in Johnson County is nearly blank, but the income levels there are off the charts.  Perhaps another statistical correlation - that's a lot of old folks living there who haven't caught up with technology yet.  Neighborhood age vs wifi denisty?

Or, since most of the data has been obtained by 'war driving' (driving around with a specific piece of software marking down the GPS location of each WiFi access point), perhaps that's a gated community with no access for the war drivers.

It's not 100% accurate - it has my neighbor, Flip, with his access point nearly a half a block away.  Mine is recorded twice  about 50 yards apart.


(data and map from )


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Watching TV

Cable is easy.  And boring.  But over the air TV reception is interesting.  I've always loved finding radio signals over the air - fascinating.  So, to watch TV in the Overland Park area, here's a few things I'll need.

First, an antenna (UHF will get all the stations available for 100+ miles).

Next, a wall mount - not drilling holes in the roof and the chimney is on the wrong side of the house for where I want to put the TV.

Since I want to get both Topeka and KC stations, plus try for some crazy stuff when we have storm conditions (tropo-ducting), I'll need an antenna rotator.

Wire that up with a bunch of wire and holes in the wall, then hook it to a good TV.  LG has the best reputation for OTA tuners followed by Sony and Samsung.  See what's on sale next year when I get around to doing this!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Who's Softbank? And did they just buy Sprint?

SoftBank, while not well-known in the United States, is a major player in Asia, where it’s one of the biggest Internet and telecommunications companies and is Japan’s third-largest wireless provider with more than 30 million customers.

Headquartered in Tokyo, the company has 22,500 employees, 196 subsidiaries and 97 related companies. SoftBank has a market capitalization of approximately $45 billion.

And the name? Software is called “soft” in Japanese – “SoftBank” literally means “a bank of software,” reflective of its aim to be a major services provider in the information era.

SoftBank operates as a holding company with five segments:

  • Mobile
  • Broadband
  • Fixed-line telecommunications
  • e-Commerce services
  • Information technology-related products 

The company has a very successful track record of improving its competitive position and driving mobile growth and financial performance in prior acquisitions. Softbank established Yahoo! Japan through a joint investment with Yahoo in 1996; subsequently they acquired Japan Telecom in 2004. In 2006, SoftBank acquired Vodafone K.K., the #3 mobile provider in Japan. Since the Vodafone acquisition, SoftBank has outperformed every other carrier and doubled its subscriber base. SoftBank also holds a large stake in China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba.

The company is headed by CEO Masayoshi (“Masa”) Son, an entrepreneur who founded SoftBank in 1981 as a distributor of computer software.

A third-generation son of a Korean family in Japan, Masa studied English and computer science before moving to the United States at the age of 16. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in economics and studied computer science.

And yes, they just offered to buy a majority stake in Sprint.  Sprint and SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, announced a transaction that would give SoftBank a 70 percent ownership of Sprint for approximately $20 billion with $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint’s shareholders and $8 billion to strengthen Sprint’s balance sheet. 
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son made the announcement at a press conference in Tokyo.
This transaction would create a new, stronger Sprint. It would provide the kind of financial flexibility we need to grow into a stronger #3 wireless provider competing against much larger competitors. That’s good news for Sprint customers and all U.S. consumers of wireless services.
An improved cash position will allow Sprint to invest further in our network and customer experience. SoftBank is a leader in providing Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology to its subscribers and will provide valuable knowledge to help support Network Vision.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Planting grass

Summer heat killed off all of my bluegrass. Instead of renting a power rake and clearing out all the dead grass, I decided to turn the weed eater sideways and cut some stripes down to the Dirt. Then I seeded in with some Revolution fescue. A weeks worth of gentle watering and TahDah! grass stripes!

Revolution fescue grass seed blend is really incredible. It stays green all summer and winter long and never requires watering. When it is 115 degrees it will go dormant but comes right back once the temperature drops.

Electronic Pearl Harbor - Haven't we heard this before?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta smirked his way though a press conferece, apparently sourced from the 1997 recycle bin.  He claimed that we are on the bring of a 'Cyber Pearl Harbor', where 'terrists' would take control of our systems, introduce foreign substances into our precious bodily fluids, contaminate our water supplies and crash our trains like a giant Gomez Addams.

“The collective result of these kinds of attacks could be ‘cyber Pearl Harbor,’ ...” he said. (

Sounds familiar, eh?  At least to people who've been reading for a few years.  George Smith, security researcher, editor of Crypt newsletter and author of Virus Creation Labs has discussed this since the early 1990s.  The Pentagon has consistently refused to provide substantive proof, other than its say-so, and they continue to do so in the current warning from Panetta, as he spoke with business leaders in New York.  "No one explains precisely the how, whys, and wherefores of these apocalyptic scenarios," says George Smith, the editor of Crypt Newsletter, which covers computer security issues. "You always just get the assumption that chemical plants can be made to explode, that the water supply can be polluted--things that are even hard to do physically are suddenly assumed to be elementary because of the prominence of the Internet." (2002, Washington Monthly)

We've seen this before: 1997, "Experts prepare for 'an electronic Pearl Harbor'" (CNN); 1998, "U.S. Studies a New Threat: Cyber Attack" (Washington Post); and so on and so forth.

George Smith debunked this in 1998; most of the threats posed are overblown, bored kids, and realistically if your PC crashed 10% more, would you even notice?  Smith calls for more attention on basic computer security: 

"If organizations don't intend to be serious about security, they simply should not be hooking their computers to the Internet. DOD in particular would be better served if it stopped wasting time trying to develop offensive info-war capabilities and put more effort into basic computer security practices." - George Smith, 1998 (Issues in Science and Technology)
Fortunately, Panetta seems to be on a similar page, exhorting the business leaders to (after they get done lobbying Congress for more billions in defense dollars for cyber-war), 

"Help us innovate. Help us increase the nation’s cyber security by securing your own networks. Help us remain ahead of the threats that we confront,” he said. “By doing so, you will help ensure that cyberspace continues to bring prosperity to your companies and to people across the world.” - Leon Panetta, 2012 (

Disclaimer - I've been reading this stuff since it first came about in the mid 1990s.  I haven't a dog in the fight, but I do like to call bullshit when I see it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How To Register Adults with Trailhead BSA

Hmm.  Learning fast as a Cubmaster.

When registering Adults as Cub Scout leaders,  you'll need to bring in all the training print outs. Youth Protection and  Job Specific.

Sigh.  Going to be a second trip to the HOAC service center.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


First free weekend in a while. Been camping, riding and blowin and goin the last few weeks. Up next: two campouts in a row! Troop 387 shooting sports then the Trailhead family campout. Then the final baseball tournament for the fall season.

Not a lot of time for updating this here journal. Posting this one from the phone at 3&2 ball field while Hunter warms up for his game today.

Up next today: lawn work.  Cut and seed my lawn, mow and edge my moms. Tomorrow,  another game and possibly church.

Quite the contrast from 2 years ago where the most exciting thing going on was getting a new stack of Louis Lamour books from the library!

Game is about to start, signing off!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gangnam Style - with lyrics

Ganganm Style has hit bigtime - it was on Good Morning America this week.  Nice to see KPOP and dubstep hitting the mainstream...  


Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style

A girl who is warm and humanle during the day
A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that

I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two

You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

Great Cub Scout Adult Leadership Recruiting Skit

The Yardstick 

The importance of the ages 6 - 11, the Cub Scout years. 

Created by Pack 715, Scouter Joe Wollet 

Props - You will need a standard yardstick with marks at the 3", 5.5", 7", 9" and 11" distances from one end. These correspond to ages of 6, 11, 14, 18, 22.  Mark both sides.

Dave’s Variation - Prep yardstick by sawing into the yardstick from both sides at the designated marks.  Be careful - do not cut all the way through.  Leave enough that the stick is still firm.. Have a second uncut yardstick to hold up.

Look at this yard stick as your son's life. Each half inch equals 1 year. Thirty six inches - 72 years, the average person's lifespan. At 1/2" (1 year) he is cruising the carpet and furniture, getting into all kinds of things he shouldn't. At 3" he's six and is in first grade, and excited about school. At 5 1/2" he's eleven, and is moving on to Jr. High or Middle School. At 9" he's eighteen and graduating High School.  You're busting your buttons with pride for him in his cap and gown. At 11" he's graduating college and has moved on to his own life and family.

Dave's Variation - After completing the above paragraph, go backwards and ask people how much influence and control they will have at that time and snap off the sections as they are discussed.  

First from college after (11 inches), essentially none, snap it off.  Then during high school (7 to 9 inches), almost none, snap it off.  Next middle school (5 ½ to 7 inches) weakening, snap it off,  Then tell them that whether they did good or didn’t, the first 6 years are gone and snap off 0 to 3 inches.  Now you are left with the piece from 3" to 5" and one half inches.

I'd like to go back to the 2 1/2" between 3 " and 5 1/2" (between 6 and 11 years old). [Hold your fingers at these two marked lines]. These 2 1/2", or 5 years are key years in your son's development. Many of his decision-making skills, ethics and morals will be developed and reinforced during this time.  A recent study showed that young people who were close to a caring adult in these early years were less likely to get into trouble with drugs, crime, etc. and were more likely to continue in school.

These five years are the years of the Cub Scout - Tiger Cub through Webelos Scout. [At this point drop the yard stick, but keep your finger spaced the 2 1/2 " apart]. In Cub Scouting we need every family to get involved this much.[refer to the distance between your fingers]. "This much" is different for everybody. Your "This much" might be as a committee member, or a den leader for your son, or for others'. It might be organizing an outing, handling the Pack treasury, writing a newsletter, organizing the Blue and Gold banquet. It might be as a Cubmaster.

[Thank the current adult volunteers]

[Lift the whole yard stick again]. If one person tries to do this much the program will surely fail, but if everyone does "This much" in your son's Scouting career both he and you will have a great experience!

So what are you waiting for? Let's make your son's Scouting Experience something he will remember for a lifetime!  Sign up to help today. Scouting - a family fun experience!

From Baloos Bugle

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scouting and Social Media

Seems like I've been promoted to Cubmaster for Pack 3094 (whole nother story there).  Since I don't know much about nothin but digital media, I figured I'd ask about setting up a Facebook page for the pack.

We've already got a website ( and that's done OK, but no one uses the web anymore.  Everyone is on Facebook.  So I asked the Council about social media and scouting and they directed me to the National site where you can find the following guidelines about Scouting and Social Media.

In a nutshell?

  • It must be public.
  • It must be run by at least one trained leader.
  • You must have two people run it.
  • It cannot identify kids by full name or address -- first names only.

So, I spent a couple hours and whipped up a Facebook Page for Pack 3094:

We turned off the 'messaging' feature -- no private messages allowed.
We turned off 'tagging' of photos to avoid any kids getting tagged by accident (except by admins)
We posted our big public events (Pack Meetings, District Campouts).  We keep the den meetings and internal events private - only shared on the private site.
And my wife posted a few dozen photos of past events.

Shoot - we're a 70 year old pack, we should have some kind of public presence out there on the Social Internet.  So for the 3 people that read this, feel free to click into the site and 'like' it.

If you have other questions about scouting and social media, go ahead and leave a comment.  I'm sure other Boy Scout and Cub Scout organizations have questions about doing this . . .


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

White Sands Missile Range Museum and National Park

// another great missile post from bOINGbOING -- happens to be on the way to Tuscon to see the Titan site too!  Just across I-10 in Southern New Mexico.

White Sands Missile Range Museum and National Park:
Unknown Fields (UF) is a design studio, originating in London’s Architectural Association, that "ventures out on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies." Mark Pilkington, author of Mirage Men and publisher of Strange Attractor, has just led this busload of architects, writers, filmmakers and artists in an exploration of the mythic landscape of the American Southwest, and the stories that it has inspired. Their trajectory took them from Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque New Mexico to Black Rock City, Nevada, via sites of military, architectural and folkloric significance. Mark sent us occasional postcards from the edge. - David Pescovitz

White Sands Missile Range Museum and National Park


America’s space program started here in 1946 with the aid of a few dozen German rocket scientists, imported as part of the highly-secret Operation Paperclip. The apex of their WWII achievements was the enormous V-2 rocket, which housed its devastating cargo in an elegant back and yellow casing. An original 1946 V-2, cut-away to reveal the intricacies of its thrust and steering mechanisms, forms the centerpiece of the museum collection. Over the next 20 years Paperclip team leader Wernher von Braun built ever-larger missiles, climaxing with the Saturn and Apollo rockets that took America to the Moon.

As its curator reassures us, White Sands’ on-site museum is “not your typical military museum”; as well as a housing a wealth of missile related technology and ephemera, it has sections dedicated to the local flora and fauna, including the African Oryx released into the wilderness in the late 1960s to entertain hunters and wreak environmental destruction; the indigenous peoples who once lived on the land, (many of the earliest inhabitants disappeared in the 16th century as the once verdant lands turned to desert), and a room of paintings by a survivor of the brutal Bataan forced march of WWII, in which up to 10,000 Pilipinos and 650 Americans died at Japanese hands. Outside is the rocket garden, housing a number of missiles, rockets and drones used in combat from WWII to Gulf War I, including personal favorites like the ever-reliable Ryan drone, the monumental Redstone Cruise Missile, and the saucer-shaped Viking Mars Decelerator.

Following the museum the Unknown Fields team engaged in workshop activities amongst the gypsum dunes of the White Sands themselves, formed from the remains of a 250 million year old shallow sea. As part of our training for future hostile environments, we fought off hordes of aggressive red ants, made sand circles on which to land our RC drones, buried one team member alive, and tested the effects of exposure on another as he ran naked across the shifting desert sands.

Titan Missile Museum, Tucson, Arizona

// From bOINGbOING, an interesting article on a Titan Missile Museum.  Sounds like it's on my bucket list!

Titan Missile Museum, Tucson, Arizona:
Unknown Fields (UF) is a design studio, originating in London’s Architectural Association, that "ventures out on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies." Mark Pilkington, author of Mirage Men and publisher of Strange Attractor, has just led this busload of architects, writers, filmmakers and artists in an exploration of the mythic landscape of the American Southwest, and the stories that it has inspired. Their trajectory took them from Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque New Mexico to Black Rock City, Nevada, via sites of military, architectural and folkloric significance. Mark sent us occasional postcards from the edge. - David Pescovitz

The Titan Missile Museum, Tucson, Arizona

Fifteen miles south of Tucson, 140 feet underground, stands a monumental testament to the apocalyptic technology of the Cold War. Between 1963 and 1982 this was Titan II ICBM Site 571-7, one of 54 such silos operated by USAF Strategic Air Command at three locations around the country. The other two were in Little Rock, Arkansas and Wichita, Kansas, though 571-7 is the only site with all its components still in place.

One-hundred-and-three feet high and 10 feet in diameter, the Titan II had a range of 6500 miles and reached its target approximately 30 minutes after lift off. Each rocket – and there were 18 situated at each site – packed a 9 megatonne charge (almost twice the total explosive force unleashed by all sides in World War II) capable of devastating around 900 square miles in a single blast; a turn of a key selected whether the detonation took place on the ground or in the air.

Four staff lived in the bunker at any one time; initially these were all men, but towards the end of its operational life women also worked on the site. Most of their time was spent performing routine maintenance checks, but if the call to arms was heard, as it was, briefly, immediately after President Kennedy’s assassination, two of them were expected to simultaneously turn the keys that would launch their silo’s missile and erase the future. The missile’s actual target was unknown to its caretakers, and remains classified to this day, though it would probably have been military and was certainly in the Soviet Union. Should one of the crew have suffered a crisis of conscience and refused to start World War III he or she would be shot and replaced by someone else – the crew were expendable, the missile, and its purpose, were not.

The missile launched 58 seconds after the keys were turned, leaving the crew with nothing to do but sit tight and await further orders; they might make use of the designated smoking area in a cramped corner of the control room, or listen to music on the 8-track stereo that once sat here. But what if further orders never arrived? The bunker held enough air and supplies to last 30 days, after which the choice of whether to venture outside or end the wait with a bullet was up to the team. If, as was likely, the Russians had Titans of their own, then the crew needn’t have worried about what to do after the launch: the silo, a probable target, could only withstand a one megatonne strike at a distance of about half a mile.

Accidents, unfortunately, did happen: in 1965 a fire killed 53 people at a silo in Searcy, Arkansas; this became known as the ‘ghost silo’ and gained a reputation for being haunted. Also in Arkansas, in 1980, a worker dropped a tool which struck a missile, causing a fuel leak and a subsequent explosion that killed one crew member and blew a 760 tonne blast door several hundred feet; the nuclear warhead was thrown clear of the site and mercifully didn’t detonate.

Since the early 1990s the Tucson site has been run by the non-profit Arizona Aerospace Foundation and its thrilling tours are lead by a team of knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. If you have time, ask for the deep access tour, though this can take over four hours to complete. Among the many highlights, look out for Richard DeSpain’s beautiful drawings of the site in the debriefing room.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Minuteman Missile Silo Photos

A couple photos from the Minuteman Missile Natl Park from my visits in 2011 and 2009.

Control Panel

Missile Replica in the Silo

Preserved Silo

Ending August

Wrapping up August by recruiting Cub Scouts and getting ready for a family campout.

We had a good recruiting event for Pack 3094 - over a dozen new scouts and more to come.  Time to round up some more leadership - we need a cub master, treasurer, assistant-everything and a bunch of parent volunteers for committee positions.  But enough of that!

This weekend - Kanopolis State Park!  We'd planned to hit Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, but the tropical storm is raining that out.  So we're heading West, just outside Ellsworth, KS.  Canyons, hiking trails, lake, just an hour from the Cosmosphere, more.  IF we can get everything loaded in the minivan with 4 kids, it should be a good trip.

See if I can find a tripod out in the garage and try for some astrophotography with the ancient Canon 300d.

Time to get packin . . .

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday the 26th

Up late, dialed into church.  Weak commentary on violence in the Old Testament.  'sometimes you have to move a lot of dirt to find the gold'.  Really?    Anyway . . .

Cleared up Mom's yard, de-vined the bushes and pulled crabgrass.  Installed safety bars at the steps between levels.  Began clearing the garage and lining out family camping gear.  Drove out halfway to nowhere to pick the boys up.

Shot a few photos of the moon - nothing very good.  Need less gain, more tripod.  300mm lens, F11, 1/1000th second at ISO 1600.  The old Canon does not do high ISO photos very well.

And this morning (Monday now) I find out that Hurricane Issac is headed directly toward central Arkansas, where our camping trip is planned this weekend.  Not the best omen for a family camping trip!  Perhaps we re-orient for the Badlands and Wall Drug?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2009 Riding Map

Got some good riding in for 2009, until I broke my collarbone in karate.  That'll stop that for a while!

Started out with an MSTA lunch ride; I camped out (or tried to) at Devils Den State Park.  Then off to BearSTOC 09 in Montana and back, on the Ducati!

Zoom out for the full view . . .

View 2009 Riding in a larger map

Whitebalance Fail

Was playing with the new (to me) Canon 300D this weekend and set a custom white balance for the very yellow 'soft white' CFL bulbs in the living room.  Ambient light shots in the living room came out great.  The dear wife claims my shot of her in the living room looks like a studio shot.  Then I did some other shots, without changing the white balance.

With the on-camera flash:

Flash photo while using custom white balance for 3000k CFL lamp. Fail.

In the boy's bedroom with his 5000K 'Daylight' CFL lamp for backlighting:

Backlit 5000k (daylight) CFL with custom white balance set for 3000k CFL.  Fail, but interesting fail.

And a gorgeous blue cast fail with the same 'Daylight' CFL for side lighting:

Gorgeous blue fail - 5000k CFL lighting while using custom white balance for 3200k.

Lessons learned?  You can get cool effects with custom white balance.  Reminds me of the old film days where you'd use tungsten film outdoors, or outdoor film under tungsten lamps.   Also, reset your settings before you change lighting situations.

Riding your Motorcycle in the Wind

Reading on the CBR250R forum some good tips on riding in the wind.

1 - Use your knees to keep yourself anchored to the bike
2 - Loosen your grip on the handlebars. Don't fight the bike, it will self correct
3 - Loosen up your arms. This will help with posture and keeping your grip loose
4 - Acknowledge that you will not keep a straight line and will drift a bit
5 - Once the gust is over, reposition yourself in your lane

and most importantly:

If it's too windy, and you begin feeling unsafe, PULL OVER. Nothing says you are required to continue putting yourself at risk.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Wrapup

Got the meal plan for Crater of Diamonds State Park lined up.  Basic but solid foods.  Now to pull the kit from the garage and get it packed and ready to go tomorrow.

Got Alec's room cleared and his new desk built and installed!  He's quite happy as you can see.  It's not the best quality, but it fit well in the space he had in his room.  Missing one part; we'll have to call Monday to get another hinge for the drop front desk.  Sigh.

Nikki and I stripped the middle boys room and re-organized their clothes, closet and drawers.  Came up with 2 huge bags of donations.  Got through totes and bags of out of season stuff too.

Didn't get over to Mom's to get her grab rails done; that's moved to tomorrow.  Going to be a busy afternoon!

Dinner at Cozy's Cafe near Downtown OP; amazing food and service with a great, quiet atmosphere.  Alec tried something new (salmon) and I think he liked it!

Lots of fun, laughter, geeking out and generally an excellent day.

Kickin it with Kahn

Alec just got logged into Kahn Academy today. He's working on exponent math right now - very focused!

Saturday plans

Supposed to rain today, putting a crimp in outside plans.  So, indoor plans:
* steel hand bars for moms house
* plan and pack for Crater of Diamonds State Park camping trip
* clear Alec's room for a cool folding desk from Target

Friday, August 24, 2012


Wonder what happened yesterday?  300% jump in traffic - all the way to 10(!) page views.

Hm - maybe that's live stats reflecting me visiting the blog as I updated it for the first time in 6 months.

Friday Activity

Today: Project kickoff at work.
Tonight: Alec fixed dinner.  Chicken spaghetti.   I unpacked books from my mom's old place.  Found Stephen King, Fred Saberhagen, more great stuff from the 80s.

Scanned in photos for Nikki while I was unpacking.

Now kicking off journaling on this dopey blog.

Friend of mine, Jeff Schnieder, got me on the 'dopey' saying instead of a pile of cusswords.  He's up in Minnesota, eh, getting fitted for a new Aerostich.

In a couple weeks, I'll be puttin on the 'stich and rolling to Bull Shoals Lake for the BS Rally.  Nice long ride on a stock seat on the CBR250r.  Still riding.  Not sure why - it hurts when you do it, and I dread the rides before I go.

Not sure what I'll do with the books - I haven't finished a book all year.  Last winter I read about a book a day - Zane Grey westerns.

Bloging - not so much

Not so much of a blogger.  Twitter and Facebook have claimed the short updates / linksharing I used to do. Turns out I've never been much at journaling / blogging.  Last time I journaled regularly was 1983. Made it a week. I went to IGA and bought soda.  Then called in sick to school the next day.

It was actually interesting seeing the old notes in my handwriting from 11 years old.

So, perhaps I'll start journaling here.  No one reads this so it's as good as private, eh?

Only drawback is it's typed; when folks go back through your stuff when you're dead, the typed work just isn't as interesting or personal as hand written notes.  I recall going through my dads stuff -- his handwritten notes were interesting; the typed manifestos, not so much.  Couldn't tell if he was writing it, or copying someone else.  No personality in the typed page - or at least not as much as a hand written journal or note.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have legible writing.  But once in a while it's good to note down what's going on in life in pen in a good bound book.  Give someone something to decipher.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lookin at Lines

Looks like some storms tonight.  55,000 foot cloud tops.  Long line of storms going to roll over KC eventually.  Finally - some rain!

Intellicast - Radar Summary in MO - Jefferson City