Friday, October 31, 2008

Bothering Me...

Hey all! It's been a bit... I've been working some pretty long days at work lately and have been too exhausted to type anything up. I'm pretty stoked to get to sleep in on a Saturday tomorrow.

Something has been bothering me.

You hear it all the time, people complaining about how much money gets spent on this or that. Whether we are talking about Bill Gates's home office, someones private jet, or even an aircraft carrier. You always get someone saying things like, "Why do they need that, they should give it to charity/kids/education".

It drive me up the wall. Do they think the money is just burned?

Here is an example.

My office is next door to a company that builds upscale luxurious yachts. We're talking tens or hundreds of millions to purchase one. Do you know where that money goes? It goes to people like you and me. These things don't build themselves. Countless people are employed to make a boat like that. You got engineers, drafters, carpenters, welders, material handlers, truck drivers, crane operators, janitors, managers, painters, plumbers, electricians, etc. And that is just where they assemble the thing. Their suppliers for furniture, windows, engines, and electronics all employ a bunch of people, just like their suppliers. On down the line we go.

Same thing goes with military spending. Stop spending any money on aircraft carriers, airplanes, tanks, bombs, and you have a hell of a lot of unemployed people.

Things don't cost a lot of money just because. I'd be curious to how many man-hours go into the building of a Ferrari compared to a Chevy. I'm talking from the ground up. The guy raising the cattle for the leather seats, the person mining the minerals to make the metal, the people that sweep the floor, the people in HR, everything. Yes, the Ferrari costs 10 times as much as the Chevy, but it also feeds many more people per car.

Basically people need to open their minds and stop looking at just the shell. See the whole egg.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The G1 is here

After some worry that my order didn't go through because the tracking never showed up, my G1 was dropped off by Mr. UPS on my front porch.


I'm off to play with it some more... Detailed report to follow...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Still Sailing

Here we are almost a week since my last post and I am still sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race Game.

True to my word, I have stayed the course and not bought any options. The boat doesn't change course unless I grab the wheel and do it myself. First thing in the morning, a little before five (I work early) I get up, set up the coffee maker, and check my progress. I'll tweak my course and re-set my sail if it has become worn, checking what the future wind may be. Off I go to the office.

I ignore it all day and check it first thing when I get home. This is when I set my strategy for the next 24 hours. I scour the GRIB files, looking for a path with some good wind. Pretty much, I end up just guessing. I'll check back a few time through the evening and tweak, ending with a final course setting that should get me through the night without hitting land.

It is definitely not an adrenaline rush, but there is a lot of satisfaction seeing the long term progress.

From a start around 16061st place my boat has steadily moved up to 12288th. Still 4400 miles to go. The end of the race won't find me in the winners circle, but my results are encouraging. I'm pretty confidant that I'll do just fine when I get to start with everyone else.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sailboat Racin'

I came across this fun little game today... It is the Virtual Volvo Ocean Race. You get to skipper your virtual yacht against thousands of people around the world, AND the real-life yachts of the Volvo Ocean Race going on right now. It different from fairy-tale football, where you just pick some players and hope they do well for you. If you screw this thing up, it is all on your shoulders... You picked the course, and the sail.

There is no fantasy here!

Unlike your typical addictive flash game, this game is a commitment. If you look at the picture above of my dashboard, I have 6116 nautical miles to go. ...On the first leg. ...Without a fast forward button. The race won't be finished until June 27 of 2009.

I think this will be a good test for me as it is totally against how our "right now" society works. Can I sail this thing through to the finish? We'll find out.

If you want to join me (it's free, and easy) be sure to buddy up with me. My boats name is 'mdelite'. No worries that the race has started, they place you in the back twenty percent of boats. My goal for this leg is to see if I can finish in the top fifty percent.

BTW, they charge for some options like an autopilot and such. Lame. I'm sailing 'old school'. I'll set my course before I go to bed, when I get up, when I eat lunch, and when I get home for work. Hopefully I won't hit any islands or continents!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

I am Mike Domestic

Just came up with that...

I found an interesting article on kitchen essentials [h/t Lifehacker] over at the LA Times.

Kitchen essentials, and items you can pass by

Basically they weigh in on what things you need in your kitchen and what you don't. I agree with all except the toaster. Sure, we don't have toast all that much, but when I do have it (morning) I am in no mood to fire up the BBQ, as good as that sounds...

I am completely fed up with non-stick pans and will not buy another. Like they say, a 'good' one gets beat up just as fast as a cheap one. you just paid five times as much for the thing. My favorite pan is a 8" Calphalon anodized fry pan. It's as good as new, five years later.

...I got hungry thinking about my pan, and stopped writting to cook up an egg, sunny side up, with a little Tabasco on top. Tasty. I'm back now.

High quality coffee is another that I am a big proponent of. Cheap coffee is like cheap booze, users only use it for it's effects. The buzz. Good coffee (and booze) is an enjoyable experience. The same thing goes for beer.

That brings me to the fondue (fon-don't) set. I have two, we have used them once. ...In seven years... Because of my aversion to throwing stuff away, they are just taking up precious cabinet space. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it (especially the dark chocolate and strawberries, mmmmm) there are better ways to do it, as they point out.

I'd add this as an un-needed kitchen appliance... The microwave.

Carrie and I have been microwave-less for five years now...


Yes, that's right boys and girls. Mister Gadget-Freak has no microwave. ...And we haven't missed it once.

No, I am not afraid of the radiation. We just decided that it isn't needed.

Sure it takes us a bit longer to re-heat something in the oven, but it is so much better. Especially Carrie's baked macaroni and cheese. It is actually better re-heated in the oven than when it is cooked the first time. A microwave would ruin it.

Yes , a half-cup of coffee gets wasted once in awhile, but that is the only downfall. The upside is more counter/cabinet space, and better food.

Ditch your microwaves people! You'll be glad you did.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

New Shots

Pictures taken while camping at Potholes Resevoir in Eastern Washington.

I threw a few new pics up on flickr yesterday... Nothing spectacular, but I like them.

These are four of my favorites out of almost three hundred snaps of my shutter. I would have taken many more, but I was busy fishing or drinking beer. We had a good time out there!

BTW, I was much more successful at snapping photos than catching fish. I caught five fish, only one was keeper sized (barely). ...Still, it was on of my better performances this year. Cut me some slack, it's been some twenty years that I have cast a lure in anger before 2008.


Toy Boat

Check this out....

Bathtub III from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Fascinating! I love how it makes everything look like toys.

The video is a collection of time-lapse pictures using a tilt-shift lens. Here is another example. I'll had to add one of those to my 'needed' items....


Thursday, October 02, 2008

One Nation, One People

Hmmm, sound familiar?...
...Ein Volk,Ein Reich,Ein F├╝hrer...

h/t Protein Wisdom

No, I am not not calling Obama a Hitler, just noticing some similarities...

A powerful charismatic speaker able to move a crowd...

...the Nazi-like propaganda, like The singing children...

..."Truth Squads" to threaten libel charges against critics.

Hey, I guess it worked once!


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