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My father is going to laugh over this one.

Yesterday I took the doors apart on Wally the superbeetle. Cleaned them up, sanded them, and painted black. In the process Nora came out to help. So, I set her to sanding the drivers door while I started putting the passenger door back together.

While I wasn’t paying attention she changed the sandpaper grit from 220 to 80 and went to town. As I’m applying paint a while later I notice something doesn’t look right. You can see definite swirls all across the door from the 80 grit sand paper. Doh!

Well, at least it’s black and I can fine sand it down and give it another coat next weekend. I learned something, and Nora learned something. So, all in all it was okay.

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Well, from the annals of “I thought that would work”.

After building the Hackintosh I had the old fatal1ty motherboard left over and a tired old Pentium 4. So, I figured, hmmmm. Bet I can mix and match and have a faster computer.

I started by getting an old Intel Duo Core chip. Once I acquired that I figured I was good to go.

I put in a 2.4 ghz Intel duo core chip, an nvidia 8600gt card, a 250 GB IDE drive I had laying around and an IDE DVD read write. I have a lot of crap floating around, if you didn’t notice.

Step 1. After putting it all together I discovered an old pentium 4 power supply does not have the correct 20 pin connector for the motherboard. Ordered $50 power supply from new egg. Week later.

Step 2. Installed everything again with the new power supply. Fired it up. Yes! Uh oh. Why is the video all pixilated like a 16 bit video game? Hours later, give in to the fact that the video card is toast.

Step 3. Borrow video card from a co worker. Install everything and fire it up again. Hard drive comes up as a 130 gb partition instead of 250 (left over issue from trying a dual boot with linux, if ya get it wrong windows is not happy). Bag it, it still works. Move on. Install my old copy of windows XP. 3 hours later and a dozen or so windows updates I’m up and sailing. Install world of warcraft, 2 hours to download. Good to go.

Step 4. Get a 250 gb drive that’s not buggered up (yet). Boot a live Ubuntu Linux cd and dd a copy from old drive to new drive. Remove old drive. Fire up computer. New 250 gb drive now thinks it’s a 130 gb drive. Damn!!! Several hours later I give in. Pull new/old drive and stick in a different drive.

Step 5. Power on system. 5 seconds later, poof, powers itself off. Unplug new drive. same thing. Unplug everything not needed to boot. Same thing. Pull memory. beeeeeeeeeeep. Okay, sees memory. Pull cards, same thing.

Final step. Open beer, admit defeat. I’ve toasted it.  Damn computers anyways!

As I walked to the car this morning, heading out to drop the girls off at school and head for work, I felt a difference in the air. It seems that every year there is a day, sometimes it stands out from the others, sometimes it’s a quiet change, that let’s you know the season is changing. Today was that day.

The weather was sunny, cool, and crisp. The wind blew in little give and takes. Leaves rustling in the small gusts.  There was an expectation to the air. It was as if mother nature was telling the leaves, today it’s time to start changing colors. It’s time, winter is coming.

The changing of the season ignores the calendar. It happens when it happens. In Alaska the change was breathtaking, in Mississippi it was quiet as a mouse. Here, here it is felt more than seen.

When I was in grade school I remember it happening as I walked down the road by our house. It’s the first time I remember ever feeling it, the expectation of winter around the corner. I remember the day in 1985, it was while walking through officer housing at Ft. Knox, a day I won’t ever forget. I had an afternoon off from basic training, so I went walking. Just time to myself, and it turned out to be the day the seasons changed.  It was also a year of major changes for me.

Then today, I feel the quiet breath once again. Winter is coming.

I was given a book by a coworker. The Loch by Steve Alten.

The Loch by Steve Alten

So far it’s pretty decent. What I find so fascinating is reading about places we’ve been. They talk about driving past, through, stopping at, visiting, places that Roberta, the girls and I actually went to.

We stayed in one of these cabins for a couple of days before heading back to the USA. It was our last big hurrah in Scotland. A trip up to Loch Ness. (Not sure why the map isn’t showing. Probably another silly “added $$ feature” option with wordpress. But you can click the link to see where we stayed).
View Larger Map

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of Megan.

Megan at Loch Ness

So, you tell me, is this just coincidence?

I’ve been working for over 25 years now, been married for over 18. I’ve always been able to include my wife, and now children, on my insurance with nothing more than some paperwork, names and social security numbers.

Until this year.The year that the “Obama Healthcare reform” takes place.

This year I have to sign my family up in October, over a month early, for next years health care so that my company and the government can “audit” me. I will now be “required” to do the following to have them covered.

As part of the verification, you will be required to provide full documentation (birth certificates, marriage certificates, tax forms, proof of joint financial responsibility, etc.) for all dependents you elect to cover.

Tax forms? Really? WTF?!? On top of that, life insurance is cut in half and the price raised 10%, co pays are up across the board, and medical raised roughly $600+ per year per family on top of the already exisiting monthly costs.

Thanks for nothing Obama! Good luck getting elected again you putz!

“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
— Margaret Thatcher

Well, this weekend was the Cherry’s Jubilee held here in Monterey. Classic Muscle cars from almost all era’s. There were decked out Model T’s, T Bucket Roadsters, Chevelle’s, Mustangs, you name it.

I’d post pictures, but sadly, after over three years of faithful service my camera decided to bite the dust. Sometimes it will turn on, most times it boots up and says power off and try again. It’s been a really nice camera. Getting a little old technology wise. So, I suppose it was time to upgrade anyways.

Sony Cybershot DSC-W100

So, now I need to find another camera.  I’d love a nice DSLR camera, but being the cheap bastard that I am, I just can’t justify a thousand bucks for a camera. I can dream though. (-:

We picked up this peice of crap Dell printer last year off of craigslist. Turned out the stupid thing pretty much only worked with windows XP. Not windows vista, Not windows 7, Not ubunu, and Not Mac OSX. Dell AIO 924. Not worth a crap printer. I actually put XP on an old computer to keep it running, pretty sad really.

So, yesterday we were walking around Costco and I saw an HP printer on sale for $89. What the hell, might as well try. It comes with wireless, not that I cared really. It’s an HP Officejet 4500.

Long story short. I now have the printer working through

  1. OSX Snow Leopard: USB Cable
  2. Windows 7: Wired network to wireless hub and then wireless to printer
  3. Ubuntu laptop: Wireless connection
  4. (future) windows XP via wireless (rebuilding the computer. bigger, better, faster)

3 different operating systems, three different connection types, and all working without a problem. It’s pretty sweet!

HP Officejet 4500

While the girls were getting ready for school this morning I noticed an odd bird in the back yard. It was brown with a hooked bill. It would put it’s bill in the dirt, shake it’s head and look for bugs in the divits it was making. I tried  unsuccessfully to take a picture. There were 4 or 5 of them digging through the mole hills and sandy patches in the back yard.

Anyhow, while putzing around today I decided to do some quick research. Turns out the birds are called “The California Thrasher“. I’m not sure why I haven’t noticed them before, but they are kind of neat.

Here’s a picture I found online. It’s by Tom Grey from up at Stanford. Click on the picture to go to his bird website.

California Thrasher pictured by Tom Grey

I ran across this youtube video talking about the Hubble Deep Field images. It’s enough to make a person feel pretty tiny. Strangely enough, I find it is comforting to know that we are such a small part of such a large thing though.

I’ve posted the pictures here in the past in an article called Nerd Alert. This is a video talking about the two pictures.

Enjoy the video.

The TV commercials are starting again. Get your H1N1 flu shot “or DIE!!!!!” Run in circles screaming the PANDEMIC is back!! The PANDEMIC is back!!

Oh wait, uhm, didn’t we all die last year from the hiney flu? I mean swine flu, I mean Bird Flu, I mean H1N1? Oh whatever! At least according to all the fear mongers we were all supposed to die last year, (or was it the year before that, or the year before that?) from this earth destroying pandemic flu. Now it seems they were mistaken, at least last year they were. But now we’re all going to “DIE!” of the Pandemic bird/Hiney/swine/H1N1 this year. At least according to the news and infomercials showing up on television, again, for the “you Must get your flu vaccine”. Yes, the commercials predicting our doom have started again. Didn’t pan out last year, so let’s try again this year. Just replay the same panic and doom videos from last year and hope people can be suckered this year.

In case you didn’t catch it, or maybe the news didn’t tell anyone. The “Pandemic H1N1” flu virus actually turned out to be less harmful than the regular seasonal flu. references But I bet you didn’t hear that splashed across informecials/news/media.

You have to love our society. If it Bleeds it leads. If it doesn’t bleed, bury it.

I get so sick of people trying to raise a false panic over some cause or item. It gets so very old. People/News/Activists need to learn to shut the hell up already.

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