Category Archives: News

Atmosphere and You

Contrails or Electro-Conductive Govenment Mind Control Sprays?Anyone seen Michael Crichton’s new “State of Fear”? The man who brought dinosaurs back to life now disputes the commonly held belief that global warming is a consequence of increased carbon dioxide emissions produced by the industrialized world.

I’ve never really looked at the evidence supporting the anthropocentric theory of global warming, so I took a look around and found what I hope are a few unbiased sources:

Exploratorium’s Climate Change Page
Environmental Protection Agency

And a couple of clearly biased sources:
Fact, Hypothesis, or Myth
National Defence Research Council

My take away?

1) There is a definite warming trend in global surface measurements observable
Continue reading Atmosphere and You

After the wedding…

With the surge in ‘reality’ shows and the radical change of MTV (from Music TV to eMpTy V), America’s millions of tv viewers have asserted their power to change the situation for smaller TV networks who produce most of the reality shows. The production cost of a reality show is a small fraction of what the big networks spend on their big productions like HBO’s Band of Brothers, which is really chapping the big networks’ collective butt.

Advertisement: Slightly Used Wedding Gown. Only worn twice: Once at the wedding and once for these pictures.

Anyway, eBay is another medium that has changed the way the internet is being used. Most of the postings you see on eBay now are organized “Power Sellers” that run entire businesses off eBay, but a large number of posts are from your typical casual seller that just wants to auction something off. This post, as the title suggests is a post on eBay for an auction that closed on April 28, 2004 (so, I don’t know how long they are going to keep it up) for a wedding dress… Normally, I wouldn’t give it another look, but the pictures woke my appetite and the reading afterwards of the item description settled my appetite for a good laugh.

Diehard Cubs Fan?

He's just unlucky to be in the front row.  Everyone was reaching for it.

* Front row seats to Game 6 of the Cubs – Marlins Series: $400
* Cubs baseball hat: $25
* 4 Beers: $24
* Reaching out to catch a flyball, causing Alou not to catch it and initiating the 8 run inning for the Marlins…then to have your picture on every sports website and name revealed…forever to be cursed by Cubs fans: priceless

Witness Protection Program: Anything less would be dangerous.

Intrsieteng Fcat

Kdenlal, I frat in yuor geanerl dicroetin.The paomnnehil pweor of the hmuan mnid.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

From Turkey Guts to Oil

It's going to change the way we build citiesSo, what are our collective thoughts on this? I received an email via inCircle (the email distribution parameters look pretty promiscuous and I can guess this is a repeat for some of you) from a ’98 grad who works at the company in question (see the extended entry for the full text of the email).

$15 a barrel on the first deployment with the production cost dropping to $10 in three to five years? Sam, do you call BS?

From a business perspective, it seems like they have some momentum – government support, investor support, protection of their intellectual assets, and a well-stocked pipeline.

As a total aside, maybe I’ll cancel that lunch order for a turkey sandwich ….
Continue reading From Turkey Guts to Oil

10 Things to do in Roseville

Roseville is like a little Texas - lots of room left and right and nothing much to do... I might try cow tipping though!

Quick background; Yours truly was recently staffed for what looks like the better part of 5 weeks in Roseville (about 15 miles past Sacramento) in California and he is not too stoked about it…

So after the first week, I can now present to you the Top Ten List of things to do when you’re staffed in Roseville…

1. Work
2. Sleep
3. Eat
4. Shop
5. Work out
6. Climb the indoor wall at REI
7. Think about things to do
8. Play minigolf
9. Find bigger rims for your truck or a deal on new boobs
10. Go night skiing in Tahoe after work

Any suggestions to improve my list?

PS. The map is of California’s original “Gold Country” so I guess the 11th thing to do is dig for gold…

Digital Music

CDs are made to collect dust.Yesterday I finished ripping every compact disc in our house into mp3 format for storage on my NAS or Network Attached Storage system. I got the Linksys EFG80 a few weeks ago, for general backup of our laptops, but also to replace the print server in my failing router.

The NAS is awesome, but that’s a discussion for another forum. Having all of our CDs in high quality mp3 format, available to any computer on our network is great. Nearly 300 discs took 25 GB of space and a lot of cpu cycles on the two laptops I had running in parallel.

The real goal is to replace my old laptop serving as a music server with a stereo component that can play mp3 format music straight off the network over the stereo speakers. To achieve that, Turtle Beach has a product called the AudioTron that goes beyond similar attempts by Onkyo, Sony and that like because it doesn’t require any server side software to be running to serve the music files. The AudioTron can play music from any computer on your network that has shared mp3s, an important feature as the linux running NAS doesn’t allow for server software to be installed.

I’ve read about every review, forum, and mailing list post raving about the AudioTron. Some even compare it in value to their TiVo, but TiVo is still King in our house. As soon as Turtle Beach releases their already announced new versions, I’ll be snapping up an AudioTron and you’ll hear about it here. In the mean time, if you have any CDs I could borrow, I have another 40 GB of space to fill….

Flipper – The Navy’s Finest

WWwwwweeeeeeee

Is there any wonder why these are my favorite animals on the planet???

* The U.S. Navy will bring in trained dolphins this week to hunt for seaborne mines in the waters around Umm Qasr, Navy officials say.

Navy Sgt. Andrew Garrett watches a dolphin training near the USS Gunston Hall in the Persian Gulf. The coalition expects to use dolphins in looking for mines in the region.

[Editor’s note: Picture has been resized and moved to the right]

PineMeadowGolf.com

Gambling is illegal at Bush Wood and I NEVER slice...

I gotta give props where props are due. I bought a set of Callaway Big Bertha imitation irons from PineMeadowGolf.com (they are $150 as opposed to $950 for the real thing) which were custom fit to my 6’4″ gorilla swing. I have played a few weekends since I got them, gone on golf vacations in Spain and Florida and they have been great. However my aforementioned gorilla swing (100 mph+ hitting the ball with the bottom edge of the club head) resulted in breaking the low irons (the 3 and 5 irons).

I called up PineMeadowGolf and got a return material authorization to return the irons. They first sent me two new irons (charged me full price as a deposit), i sent them back the broken ones and they fully refunded me. It was sweet.
Continue reading PineMeadowGolf.com

Nick Buzolich Sr.

Nicholas Anthony Buzolich Sr.  1918 - 2003My Grandfather, Nicholas Anthony Buzolich Sr., passed away last Tuesday at his home in Irvine, California. My Dad said, “His big heart finally gave out on his big body.” He was born 3 October 1918.

When I’d ask him where his parents were from, he first said Yugoslavia, then more specifically an island off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Now when I think about it, the country his parents left to come to America from what was then part of Austria, and he came before and lived longer than Yugoslavia.

I’ll never forget we he took me fishing, long before I learned the value of quiet reflection. On my fifth or sixth birthday, he showed up having shaved his beard…I didn’t recognize him.

I remember building a glider airplane and him laughing at how I’d pick up the glue. He taught me how to walk up a steep hill with my feet turned perpendicular to the slope so I could clean the spiders out of the sprinkler heads in their backyard.

At 6’6″ tall, he towered over the basketball players of his generation. When I passed my Dad’s 6’2″ height, we would joke that height obviously skips generations.

Sara asked my Grandmother on Sunday where they went on their honeymoon. She replied, “The Northeast.” My Grandfather was on the professional tennis tour which took them around New York and New England after their wedding.

He will arrive in Heaven sailing a Sunfish, probably the one he built himself.

From the Orange County Register:

Nicholas Buzolich, 84, of Irvine, a high school teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, died Feb. 25, 2003, of natural causes.

Nick on the Web:

* All-America Basketball at Pepperdine: 1944, 1946
* All-America Tennis at Pepperdine: 1945, 1946
* Athletics Hall of Fame at Pepperdine: inducted 1980
* Plaque on the San Pedro, CA SportsWalk for Basketball and Tennis
* Highest Scoring Average in 1944 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Scoring 22.5 ppg (45 of Pepperdine’s 85 total points.)
* Member of Harbor Soaring Society where you can find Nick’s Views

Watch Your Wallet

eCriminals Abound!The first few times I walked on the street in San Francisco, and later New York, I was sure that someone would lift my wallet. I’ve since relaxed my guard and become comfortable in large masses of people, confident that pickpockets were rare and unlikely to target someone of my modest resources. Today I received an email that has renewed my concerns for the safety of my money, this time for that of my PayPal account:

Dear Paypal Member,

Paypal is constantly working to increase security for all of our users.
To ensure the integrity of our payment network, we conduct frequent checks
on our system. To be able to serve you more securely please cooperate with
us providing information about your credit card. You are reqired to review your last credit card information.

Please Click Here and enter the information required.

Upon providing incorrect information your account will be suspended.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

The Paypal Account Review Department

I followed the enclosed link, only to be brought to a page which has apparently been closed down. I suspect that a fraud has been perpetrated on many PayPal customers, one which I probably would have stumbled into myself had the site not been removed. I humbly submit this experience as a warning to those of you out there who keep money online. There are pick pockets. And they will find you.

Should U.S. bomb Iraq?

Bush is like a child running around with a hand grenade with the pin pulled out... After reading up on the current situation of Bush and his administration wanting to bomb Iraq, I found an article that sums up a few good reasons not to do so:

# There is no legal justification for U.S. military action against Iraq
# Regional Allies are likely to widely oppose a U.S. attack
# There is no hard evidence of Iraqi links to Al Qaeda or other anti-American terrorists (although it is quite feasible)
# There is no firm proof that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction
# Iraq is no longer a significant military threat to its neighbors
# There are still nonmilitary options available
# Defeating Iraq would be militarily difficult

After years of questionable Iraqi elections, it would be refreshing with a breeze of democracy. If there is a non-military way of doing so that should be explored. If not, I’m 100% with Good ol’ G.W.’s song.
Continue reading Should U.S. bomb Iraq?

McFrivolous Lawsuit

Duece, duece and a half was so 8 years old.The lawsuit by the fat teenagers against the fast food industry was rightfully tossed into the waste bin with too many hamburger wrappers. A US federal court judge dismissed allegations that the world’s biggest restaurant chain sells unhealthy food and neglected to sufficiently warn customers about its dangers.

One of the plaintiffs was a 400 pound teenager that eats at McDonald’s every day. He’s got to be the stupidest kid in the world…”Hmmm, I passed 3 bills a few weeks ago, but I still think I can be the Jared of MickeyD’s.”

Rowling Strikes Again

Pairy HotterHarry Potter fans, you have cause to celebrate! According to this announcement off of BBC.com, the fifth enstallment of the children’s epic series has been written, and will be released June 21st, the Summer Solstice. Amazon and other major book retailers are taking preorders today! Not yet a fan? Catch up on the series!

Storytime anyone?

In the Words of George Carlin

In the Words of theOnion.comShannon asked me to share this with all of you; These are some thoughts from George Carlin which contrast a lot of interesting points that could really make you think about things if you are not careful. Enjoy

The Paradox of our Time

* The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
* We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
* We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
* We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
* We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
* We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
* We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
* We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
* We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
* We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
* We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
* We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
* We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
* We write more, but learn less.
* We plan more, but accomplish less.
* We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
* We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
* These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
* These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
* These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
* These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
* It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

The End of an Era

You tell neighbor drop dead?It is with great sadness that I announce the end of our tenancy at 434 Hugo St, AKA, Chez Hugo. Chez Hugo was a decent place, the kind of place that would welcome you with a cold beer and the squeak of the couch. The dust bunnies would come to greet you at the top of the stairs. The furnace would ping, crack, ping at you, just to say hello.

I remember the first time Thad and I set eyes on Chez Hugo. We were introduced by Alan, our gay Chinese landlord. Well we’re not sure about that. He might be Japanese (Okay, that one doesn’t work as well in writing). We oohed and aahhed about how nice the Canary yellow interior paint job was, and how it would certainly brighten the house on foggy days. Thad steadied the ladder while I replaced the lightbulb and rewired the fixture while Mr Chu leared at us in Chez Hugo SE.

Brian, Thad, and Sam were the first to take posession of Chez Hugo, and were shortly thereafter joined by Dave. Together we lived in modest glee for a year until Banc of America called Brian South to Palo Alto.

It was at this time that we were introduce to Wob, who lived with us only briefly, but managed to win our outright fury with his brazen antisocial behavior, microwave destruction, and phone line abuse (I’m sorry for that phone line, I’ll never let that happen to you again).

After Wob came Julie, the fireheaded dynamo that breathed new life into our yellow abode. And so the new crew, Thad, Sam, and the red headed North wing had the pleasure of residing at Chez Hugo.

Alas, Thad was stolen by a harpy and spirited away to New York where he lives in the cold streets, turning tricks and selling dime bags to make it by (Actually he met this sweet little thing and got hitched, but that just isn’t as interesting). In his place, Michael moved in and Chez Hugo, like the Phoenix, was reborn.

It wasn’t long after that that Dave, worn by the commute, retreated to a peninsula abode. In a masterful move, Kendall moved in, joined briefly by his brother Joey.

Time went on, and Julie’s applications to Graduate school were filled out, mailed, reviewed, and accepted. The last of the Chez Hugo firecrotches bid us adieu and moved to freerentsville vis-a-viz her dad.

The final addition to Chez Hugo was Fabian, our Ecuadorian stallion. Little did we know, that like water over rock, the dreaded Commute was wearing half of Chez Hugo away…

We weren’t satisfied with your original form, so we molded you into our own design. We repainted you, wired you for ethernet, and connected speakers all throughout the house. We stripped you of your original piddling showerhead and replaced it with a waterfall. We collectively exhausted one of your toliets (nice work guys).

We remember Chez Hugo with a full heart and fond memories. We hope that your next residents fill you with as much energy, as much fun, and as much beer as we did.

Chez Hugo is a magical place. It turns strangers into friends, friends into family.

Chez Hugo, we salute you!

Act Like You’ve Been There

Columbia is nice, but I can't wait to start programming with a purpose.When John Vargas was my water polo coach in high school he always told us to “act like we expected to win” after a victory. No big cheers, just act like it’s another game and no big deal. It’s a bit of psychological warfare against the other team and we pretty much kept to it.

I think he was paraphrasing the late Walter Payton’s famous line of “Act like you’ve been there before” in regards to scoring a touchdown. Without a celebratory dance or a spike of the football, Payton would hand the ball to the ref and jog over to the sidelines.

Well, that is all well and good, but I’m ready to celebrate. I just landed a great job programming for Solspark! I can’t celebrate in the traditional “-OH” way until after my last final tomorrow. Maybe I should bring a six pack in a cooler to class. One of many things I’ve wanted to do in a final exam.

A Night to Remember

80's rockbands perform Christmas Carols... wow

Shannon got eight of us (Sam, Cara, Kendall, Jenny, Joe, Ceci, herself and me) tickets to go see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) perform at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA last night. We arrived, late from dinner and with the first set of completely incorrect Yahoo directions I have ever seen, about 30 minutes late to something I thought would be an Orchestra doing Christmas Carols in a nice, classical way. Oooooh, no – TSO is a composition of R&B singers, 80’s rock guitarists (bass player from Savatage and the lead guitarist from Alice Cooper’s old band) and enough lights to get a tan in the back row.

It was not at all what I expected, but it turned out to be a great show and it was very amusing to hear the familiar tunes of the Christmas season being wailed out on electric guitars accompanied by bass, synthesizer and heavy drums.

The outfits, the big hair, the way they spoke and carried themselves was great – very 80’s. We had a few die-hards (40-year old men with long hair and big bellies, yelling and giving the band ‘the horns’ [handsignal] while they are doing Chrismas Carols) in the audience as well, which just upped the ante. Finally, they played the music of the Retard Choir Christmas Carol (click the “Merry Christmas” link at the top) which left Joe, Sam and Kendall in tears.

Precious…