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Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Happy New Year everyone! Took a break through the month of December for a couple of reasons. One, to let the Jasmine donation post be at the top for any readers who might want to donate a little bit of money to help us all out. I would like to thank the people who have donated, thank you! It means a lot to me and Jasmine. Two, I've been busy with the holiday's and just taking a break from everything.

I had a wonderful Christmas, went and visited family, and finally got to meet and hold my little nephew Cai, he's such a cute little kid. I now have a telescope to view the night sky. I love it! The crappy part now is waiting for a night without clouds. I did get a good look at the moon, and Jupiter so far. Will dive deeper on the next clear night. Waiting on some new eyepieces and filter kit to come in the mail to get better views of planets and nebulae. I also got the game Red Dead Redemption for the PS3, which I will admit I have been highly addicted to. I've already put 20 hours into it, according to the in game time tracker. I think I've only completed about half of it within that 20 hours, so I'm sure there will be plenty more game for me to play. Also less time spent playing it due to going back to work next week. It's been a great week off though.

As far as New Years resolutions go, I never really have done a resolution, and if I have I never kept it longer than a month. So I don't think I'm going to do a resolution this year. I'm going to have a few drinks, watch a movie, watch the ball drop, maybe play some Rock Band, possibly. Just going to be a nice quiet relaxing evening at home.

Anyway, not much to update with just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy New Year, and a belated Merry Christmas. I'll be back blogging more often again, very soon. Don't forget the Jasmine donation button will remain on the right side bar at the top, so feel free to donate as little, or as much as you want. With the donations so far it has helped quite a bit, so thanks again to you who have donated.

Me and Cai, Christmas 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Donations If You Can

I'm not one to post online begging and pleading for people to donate lumps of cash to me. This is a bit different. This is a donation for my dog Jasmine, which I've discussed her recent vet visits and what her situation is. She's been to the vet's a couple more times since I posted about her last, but didn't feel like clogging up my blog with minor vet updates. Just brought her in because of issues with her blood glucose being too high and then not wanting to eat, only to find out that she's just a picky eater, and we probably had a bunk bottle of insulin to boot.

Anyway, my girlfriend has posted a blog post about Jasmine also asking for donations here at her blog. Now I'm also posting her paypal donation button on my blog (on the bottom of this page, and in the side bar) in hopes of anything. Not even asking for a lot, just a few cents here and there.

The Math:
According to Google Analytics I had 742 Absolute Unique Visitors in the month of November.
I'm sure that a lot of them are repeat visits, so I'll drop it down to half; 371.
Let's say that 371 is the number of visitors I receive each month. And each one of them donated $.50cents to me, that would be $185.50 each month.
Now I don't even need THAT much, and I'm not asking for that much. I'd be happy with $.20cents per visitor which would average to be $74.20 a month.
Or even $.10cents per visitor which would average to be $37.10 a month.

Her insulin is roughly $30 a month, and her special diet food is roughly $120 a month, and the vet bill is roughly up to... well we won't go into that price, but you can take my word that it's pretty high.

I'm just trying anything I can, asking for help in places I never ask help from. Any money donated will go to Jasmine's diabetes fund, which would go towards her insulin, special diet food, and/or to pay off vet bills.

Anyone who donates will be posted under my "Links" section at the top of my blog (right below the banner). So donate to get your name and link there. Also please leave a comment with your blog address.

So please feel free to donate as much as you want, $.10cents or $1, it's up to you. I know it's the holiday season and I have bad timing for asking for such a favor, but I need to give it a shot.





Thursday, November 25, 2010

60° In Winter Is Different Than 60° In Summer

furnaceWoke up this morning to a freezing cold house at 8am. Well actually it wasn't freezing cold, the thermostat said 60° although it felt about 40°. The furnace and heat were working fine before we went to bed. What the hell happened in the 6 hours I was asleep? When I got out of bed I turned up the heat to the usual 70°, I heard a click like usual but no air blowing. Scratching my head I then turn the heat down until I hear it click off. Give it a few seconds, in my mind I'm thinking "I sure am a genius this will work!" So I turn up the dial to the usual, hear the click and still nothing. Hmmmm... well then I'm no genius, but let's have a look at the furnace. I open the front door on it, and like any man that tries to fix something in their house whether they know what they're doing or not, I look in at the pilot... "Looks fine to me" I thought. So I look at the little knob that says "Pilot" push in for manual pilot and pull out for auto. It's on auto, so I decided to try manual. If one doesn't work the other should right?

Wrong.

Nothing but cool air started blowing out of the vents. Set it back to auto. "Hey look at this little trip switch, this must be the issue" I thought again. So I flick the little switch and close the door. AHA! There's the noise I was waiting for. Few seconds later it stops, still no heat.

Again like any man trying to fix something I feel I must get this. Who needs a professional when I'm a pretty smart guy? So I flick the trip switch again and hear the noise, then I push in the pilot button and still no heat.

I start getting frustrated as my girlfriend says "Someone will be here in 30 minutes to help us out." The guy gets here and tries the trip switch and that wasn't it. So he goes out to the fuel tank only to find out that the line has been frozen... or has it? After some tinkering around outside he lets us know that it was debris from when the gas truck came and filled up our tank. The sediment on the bottom was stirred up and must have clogged the tubes and made it so no fuel was able to get to the furnace. After which he gives us a tip, which we should have thought of; After a refill of gas turn off the heat for about an hour to let the sediment settle.

Now the heats back and working and my fingers and toes are melting and warming up. Which brings me to the statement that 60° temperature in the house in the winter time is much much MUCH colder than 60° in the summer.

Happy Thanksgiving <--- Felt I should put that in here due to the holiday. Stay full, and don't drink and drive.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Survival Part 1

do you have the will to surviveLet me start this off by saying I'm not crazy and I'm not out of my mind. I guess I've read up on too many conspiracy theories that leave us fending for ourselves, or fighting to survive. Maybe I've watched too many survival shows and think it looks easy, which I highly doubt any of it's easy. Maybe it's all just a fantasy I have that I wont ever examine any further than just a thought.... Don't get me wrong, I love all the creature comforts we all enjoy such as electricity, simplicity of going to the store for food, computers (I love computers), cars for transportation, etc. But I feel I need this experience, like it will help me somehow, some way.

I have started doing a bit of research on finding a survival expert near me that I could learn from. Apparently there are quite a few all over, did a quick search for "learn from a survival expert" and I came up with this link. So I read what was on the page, and on the page was a link to a huge list of survival experts and schools all over the place. Found two places pretty close to me, one of which the website is under construction so I can't get a hold of them, and the other only had 2 classes in 2010 and they sound like they do a bunch of stuff in Michigan and North Carolina, so hopefully in 2011 there is some openings. Unfortunately it's almost $900 for a weeks worth of classes/lessons. I don't have the money at the moment but I will definitely be looking further in to this as time goes on.

I've watched "Into The Wild" where the guy gives up everything, travels to different places to learn essential knowledge before he makes his venture to live alone in Alaska. My girlfriend feared that I would do that if I watched the movie when she first saw it. For one, I would never leave on a venture like that without telling anyone. It would put too much worry on family and loved ones. For two, I sure as hell would not try to do it in Alaska, especially without any prior experience. I want to start small. I'm not even saying I want to live this way, I mainly just want the experience in case it's ever needed, when the shit hit's the fan. I guess you could call it "extreme camping" if you must give it a title. I just want to be prepared for the worst beyond just stocking cupboards full of non-perishables that will only last so long until you need to start surviving without any of the prepackaged goodies...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Back

Good ol' fall back is taking it's effect tonight. I've always enjoyed when we put the clocks back ever since I was a kid. Extra hour of sleep, and.... ok so there is only one plus and it's only for one night instead of every night, get's lighter a earlier and of course it gets darker earlier.

So what is the point of this? Daylight Saving Time (not Savings time like commonly said by numerous people) was brought into effect during World War I to help save energy for war production in the later evening hours of summer, April - October. Then again during World War II the government requested we observe the time changes again. Between the wars each state and community chose whether or not they would continue doing this, until 1966 when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the legth of which Dalight Saving Time would happen.

In 2005 the Energy Policy Act was passed which would increase the legth of DST by four weeks, from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with hopes that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day by companies during daylight hours. In 2007 is when this act took effect on the country.

So what do you think. Is a 1% increase in energy savings during DST worth it? Not every business experiences a saving from DST.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Update on Jasmine

dog diabetesWell it has been hectic the past week. Monday (10/18) we took Jasmine in to the vet because she had been drinking somewhere around 8 bowls of water a day. Which is quite a bit. We figured it was a liver problem that we were told about at the last vet visit, so we wanted to get the perscription from the vet. Sunday night I had noticed Jasmine hardly touched her food, which she usually inhales like a vacuum. That monday morning as I woke up for work there was still just as much food int he bowl which had me worried because she never skips a meal. She might be a dog but she's a little piggie! Later in the day I sent a text to my girlfriend to see if she had eaten her food yet and still nothing. Luckily I have a girlfriend that loves animals as much as I do and she called the vet and made the appointment for that day.

We get to the vet tell her about the amount of water she's been drinking and how the last couple days she's been eating less and less food. Put her on the scale and she went from 91lbs at her last visit to 80lbs this visit. There was no change in exercise or amount I was feeding her. They wanted to keep her overnight for testing. Jasmine was at the vet from Monday evening to Thursday evening, she was diagnosed with diabetes. She had a blood glucose level of 400 when we brought her in! You never would have guessed by looking at her that she wasn't doing well. I came home from work that monday before the vet visit and there she is with her favorite ball chewing it and throwing it at me and being quite playful. Hard to believe what we heard when the vet told us what the issue was.

Those few days without Jasmine around the house; not there wagging her tail when I got home from work, and not there crunching on her food while I was laying in bed got me pretty depressed. There are no words to describe the void that is filled by having her back. She is the sweetest most loving dog in the world. I mean, look at the face, how could you not love that?

She has to be givin insulin twice a day, once in the morning and once and night, right after a meal which is a special diet given to us by the vet. She seems to really like it. I thought giving her the insulin would be a pain in the butt and that she wouldn't like it at all, I was wrong. She sits right there nice and calm, lets you grab the scruff of her neck and give her the insulin. Such a well behaved dog, even the vets were amazed by how well behaved she is, and how easy it is to give her the injections. I don't think the vets wanted to give her back to me. Not that I can blame them.

So as of now she's back home, and happy, and acting more like her self. It's just great having the happy dog back. Here are some pictures I took with my phone since she's gotten back. Yeah I've gone a bit picture crazy with her. Click pictures for full sized images if the thumbnails aren't cute enough.





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Friday, October 1, 2010

The Peace Sign


We all know the peace sign, we've all seen it, especially when there are wars going on. When you see a peace sign your first thought (well mine anyway) is 1960's, Vietnam War, Protests, people speaking out and actually caring for what's going on around them. I've always kind of considered myself a hippie born too late and taken over by today's current technological advances with an urge to try to make a difference but not having what it takes to start that kind of movement. If that makes any sense at all (haha.)

Now what you might not know, which I didn't until I came across this article today, is where the peace sign came from. Who made it, and why? I've always wondered if it was just created as a sign of peace or if there was a deeper meaning behind it. Of course I never really looked into it before or else I wouldn't just now be discovering this today.

The peace sign was designed in 1958 by a London textile designer, Gerald Holtom. He was trying to create a symbol he could put on banners that marchers were going to carry in a "ban the bomb" march which would be Britain's first major demonstration against nuclear weapons. The symbol is actually the letters "N" and "D" taken from flag semaphore signals, which is an alphabet signaling system that was once used for distant communication in the maritime world in the early 19th century. The letters "N" and "D" were used for the words Nuclear and Disarmament, and then put in a circle to create the peace sign we all know and use frequently still today. In 1960 the peace sign was imported into the U.S. via a peace sign button brought from the UK by Philip Altbach, reshman at the University of Chicago.. The symbol was around before but once the Student Peace Union was convinced by Philip Altbach to adopt the symbol it grew rapidly. By the late 1960's the symbol was adopted by anti-war protesters.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

No Money

Why is it so hard to make money? I understand having to work in order to make money. Why is it so hard to find a decent job? It's almost impossible to find anything worth while that pays a good amount. Without a college degree or atleast 2 years experience in anything you're pretty much stuck with low paying dead-end factory/warehouse jobs, or a bag boy or cashier at a grocery store.

Sure there are get rich quick scams online everywhere you look, but that's just it, they're a scam. When you do find something that's not a scam it is some small amount of money per ad you click on, or per survey you fill out. Feels like it's worth more than just 32 cents to fill out that survey if you ask me!
How does one live on their own paying rent, electric, insurance, groceries, gas, and other bills/needs, work full time AND go to school? I've thought about doing this numerous times, but at the end of my day at work the last thing I'd want to do is go sit in a class to learn. I'd probably end up falling asleep in class, then it's high school all over again; and I didn't do to well there. I've also looked into online classes, but keep hearing horror stories of how much harder it is to do online classes than it is to actually go to a school and participate in classes. Then again I'm not these people so maybe it wouldn't be as hard for me to do. Filling out financial aid, which I probably won't qualify for seems like such a daunting task. It feels like everything is a dead end or under construction, either I have to turn back around or sit in this long traffic jam waiting to move only a few inches. Seems like every job I'm interested in or think I could get the hang of very quickly, you need a degree and/or atleast two years experience. Nothing that interests me in any way, shape or form offers any on the job training. It really is a bit stressful, and starts to become a bit depressing.

Oh how I wish money wasn't the ruler of everything around us. Seems you can't do anything without money. With making so little money I have barely any at the end of a month to even call worth it. Making it much harder to repair my car, making it impossible to take a taxi everywhere I need/want to go. I'm sitting here trying to remember which class throughout my 12 years of school was preparing me for this part of life. If I was smarter or just less of a teenager and more of a grown up then, maybe I would have participated in a BOCES class like my mom always suggested. I should have known the magnet on her fridge was true (House Rules #1 Mom is always right #2 If Mom is wrong, see rule number 1) and I should have listened to her. I look into taking classes like that now, almost 10 years after being out of school, and it's kind of frightening. Still I worry if I'll be able to do my best if I take these classes and continue on working where I'm at. I don't want to pay for these classes only to end up with grades like I had in high school.

Looking at my options at the local Adult Education Programs there's a small few classes that interest me and I'm not even sure just how much they interest me.

Computer Tech, learn networking in one year and web design in the next year. After two years and pass the necessary exams you'll become certified CIW Associate design Specialist. I don't even know what I'd do with that kind of certification.

Environmental Conservation/Forestry, learn forest logging and heavy equipment operations at the local Miner Institute. Experience maple season, produce maple syrup or work in a greenhouse to seed and grow bedding plant crops, participate in wildlife management or fruit orchard operation. What do I do with this after though? News over the summer was talking about local parks shutting down due to not enough money to keep them open and maintain them. I also have a friend who's area was shut down and he had to search for another place to work which is further, pays less, and he doesn't enjoy it as much as his previous station.

Graphic Design and Communications, learn the basics of photography, layout and design, desktop publishing and computer graphics work as a team to create holiday cards, booklets and posters. Learn print operations, sophisticated four-color separations, darkroom procedures and bindery operations. Description isn't quite what I want from graphic design.

Those are about my only options that I find interesting enough to do. Then what after that though? Everyone that works in the factory I work in now have degrees in things and they're all doing the same thing I'm doing with just my high school diploma. Looking around for jobs gets more and more depressing the more you look. I guess the best I could do is go to the Adult Education School and talk to someone. Maybe they can help me out a bit more.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm an Uncle!


It's official. On August 4, 2010 my brother and his wife had a baby boy 7lbs 9oz, named Cai. I haven't been able to make my way down there yet to visit, but I can't wait to see him! Not a lot on this topic, I just wanted to share with everyone.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers



I'm always late on these updates, either way here it is. On August 27th, at Saratoga Performing Arts Center here in New York, I went to see; Crospy, Stills & Nash, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Petty was on tour for his new album MOJO. If you haven't heard it yet I suggest checking it. I'm figuring if you've read this far into this then you like Tom Petty.

The show was great. The bands sounded amazing. Tom Petty does his little dances like I've seen him do in other live performances I've seen on the web. I will say however the crowd at the show was HUGE. Massive! I've never been to a concert with that many people there. I can't even begin to give an estimate. At one point in time me and my girlfriend went to the bathroom's and to grab a beer. We got there after about 10 minutes, should have been about a minute walk. Once we got there the crowd of people rushing to the bathrooms (CSN had just finished their set) was enormous. We attempted walking to the beer area but it was packed full of people, no room to breathe. We stopped near a sign or something on the ground, figuring they're going to be going around it anyway. Every now and then the crowd would let up and you could start to feel fresh air again, and just when you are finally getting the air you need, the crowd would close in around you.
The spot we had on the lawn for the show wasn't in the best spot, but you could just see Tom Petty at his microphone where I was standing. The bonus of the spot was the giant screen right in front of us so we could see up close shots the band performing. The sound was good, although I could hear more bass than guitar, and the vocals seemed low. Maybe just because of where I was, I'm not sure.

I can't remember the setlist off the top of my head. Such a horrible memory. So thankfully we are on the internet, and a quick google search brings it right up from Setlist.fm:
  1. Listen to Her Heart
  2. You Don't Know How It Feels
  3. I Won't Back Dow
  4. Free Fallin
  5. Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  6. Mary Jane's Last Dance
  7. Carol (Chuck Berry cover)
  8. Breakdown
  9. Jefferson Jericho Blues
  10. Good Enough
  11. Running Man's Bible
  12. I Should Have Known It
  13. Learning to Fly
  14. Don't Come Around Here No More
  15. Refugee
Encore:
  1. Runnin' Down a Dream
  2. American Girl

And of course here is Crosby, Stills & Nash's setlist:
  1. Woodstock (Joni Mitchell cover)
  2. Military Madness (Graham Nash cover)
  3. Long Time Gone
  4. Bluebird (Buffalo Springfield cover)
  5. Déjà vu
  6. Long May You Run (Neil Young cover)
  7. Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones cover)
  8. Our House
  9. Southern Cross
  10. Chicago
  11. Almost Cut My Hair
  12. Wooden Ships
Encore:
  1. Love the One You're With (Stephen Stills cover)
  2. For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Encore 2:
  1. Teach Your Children
I was hoping to hear a guest appearance from Neil Young, especially when Long May You Run came on. I wasn't anywhere near finding a place yet to sit yet, was still looking for a few friends I was meeting there. We finally met up with each other after grabbing a beer. Then we all wondered around. Didn't really sit down until around Southern Cross started.

Here are some pictures and a few videos I took at the show. Some of the pictures were taken of the screen because zooming in 32x makes for a blurry picture when people bump into you.










And here are the three videos I got of the show:






Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Drivers


Hello everyone. I've been away from blogging for a while. No real excuse, so let's get into it.

DRIVING! I would think that if you are driving you are well aware of the rules. You would understand what you need to do on the road in order to keep yourself and other drivers safe. Of course thinking that will get you no where because it seems (atleast where I live, but I'm sure it's everywhere) that a good 70% of people don't know what they're doing out there. I get a bit of road rage, and it's not good. I tell myself I need to stop getting so mad, but then I start thinking about what's actually making me get this rage when driving and I realized that I'm being perfectly reasonable with my road rage.

I've wanted to make this post for quite a while, so I'm finally sitting down to do it.

Blinker: Use your blinker when turning. If you have hit your brakes to slow down and you haven't turned on your blinker, you've already screwed up. Blinker before brakes. Gives drivers enough of a warning that you're turning. Use them, even if you don't like the way it sounds.

Slow Moving Vehicles: When on a highway if you are going slower than the speed limit, stay in the right lane. Don't go in the left lane just to drive on the opposite side of the road. They put two lanes there for a reason, so if you are moving slower than the flow of traffic you can stay out of the way. You're not supposed to pass someone on the right so you being in the left lane slowing down the flow of traffic is making people pass you incorrectly.

Allow Some Space: On highways at high speeds, give the car in front of you some space. If you can allow the person behind you some space. Give two seconds between you and the car ahead of you. Or the rule I try to follow but is always ruined by other drivers. Give one car space for every 10MPH you are traveling. This is hard to do because other drivers like to cut you off at high speeds. Don't quite understand it. When you pass someone don't move back into that lane until you can see their entire bumper in your rear view window.

4-Way Stop Signs: The person to the right as the right of way. If 4 cars show up at the same time, whichever one has stopped first, has the right of way, it's very rare that 4 people show up and all stop at the same exact time, so be observant, which you should be anyway since you're driving.

Turning Onto a 2-Lane Road: I thought this was basic driving etiquette, and I could have swore this was on the written test for driving. When turning left onto a two lane road, you must turn into the left lane, then switch lanes if needed. When turning right onto a two lane road, you must turn into the left right lane, then switch lanes if needed. I thought everyone knew this. I get the weirdest looks when I'm turning onto a two lane road and the person straight ahead is also turning onto it and we go at the same time. I've had them beep and give me the finger and flail their fist at me. If they paid attention during the test they would have know. Either that or they did and they forgot or they just don't give a shit.

When a 2-Lane Road is Ending: If you've been following someone on a two lane road, and let's say the speed limit on the road is 35Mph, and he's doing 40Mph. Then all of a sudden you see the sign that indicates Left Lane Ending. DO NOT jump in the left lane to try and pass the person because it'll be your last opportunity. Should have thought about that for the mile or so you were following them just fine at that speed.

When Going Under The Speed Limit: Make sure you turn your 4-way flashers/Hazard lights on. This will give other drivers fair warning that you are going slower than the speed limit with enough time to slow down and not cause an accident.

Driving With Your Left Foot: The only time you should have to use your left foot while driving is if you have a manual transmission and you need to use the clutch. Or if you have one of those e-brakes that you use your foot to set it. I'm sick of following behind someone that decided they'd have their left foot hovering over the brake, so that every bump you hit causes your foot to tap the brake causing the light to come on. Making the person behind you hit their brake thinking you're slowing down. Plus sometimes you like to let your left foot get heavy and rest on the brake so you're going a constant speed but your brake lights are on confusing the drivers behind you.

High Beams: High beams are for dark driving situations when there are no on coming cars. When you see a car coming turn off your high beams, it's blinding to other drivers. Takes a few seconds for your eyes adjust back to the dark and a few seconds is all that's needed for you to run off the road or hit an animal.

Turn Off Your Blinker: So I've been following you for about 10 miles on a highway, we've passed 3 exits and your right blinker is still on. You need to turn that off. Pay attention, this can be confusing to other drivers thinking you're going to be slowing down and pulling off at the next exit, or pulling over on the side of the road.
I also want to say this is confusing when at a stop light and you have your left blinker blinking, I'm across from you also turning left. If that was the situation you and I could turn at the same time, but if you forgot to turn off your blinker you're all of a sudden pissed off at me for cutting you off when in actuality you would be at fault for anything that happened since your blinker was on.
This goes for any situation where your blinker is on and you forget to turn it off. Sometimes a certain turn isn't making your wheel turn enough to click the blinker switch causing it to blink. Just give it a look real quick. I don't know how you can miss it blinking, it makes quite a loud noise, I can hear it over my music when driving. If you can't hear it over your music, maybe your music is a bit too loud for you and you should turn it down.

Texting And Driving: Yes I went over this in my previous post. Just don't text and drive, please! If you want to text and drive, don't. Simple as that. Pull over or wait until you get to your destination. It's illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving what makes you thinking typing a message to someone is any less legal? You're not that talented, so get over it.

Pay Attention To Your Speed: Without cruise control it's easy for your speed to fluctuate a little bit especially in hilly areas. Just monitor it a bit. Nothing I hate more than setting my cruise control to 65Mph on the highway, and cruising along and all of a sudden someone comes flying up behind me, passes me, cuts me off gets ahead of me then all of a sudden is going slower than me. I then have to pass you, or wait for traffic to go around us so that I can safely pass you. Then you speed up again only to pass me. I hate playing leap frog with other cars on the road. Understandable if it's a slight difference but going 15Mph faster than me, to 10Mph slower than me, then speeding up again is a huge difference and not very safe on such a road.

Alright I think I have covered just about everything I can think of that's been bothering me about other drivers recently. I'm not saying I'm a god to the road ways. But I do try to follow these rules of the road, and when I see other people not doing it, it really aggravates me to no end.

If you can think of any other ones, feel free to post them in the comments. I know I've missed things that get to other people so please post them!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Texting While Driving

texting while drivingOh my god, seriously how is this an issue? Are people really surprised at how dangerous texting while driving is? First of all if you have a phone like in the picture you need two hands to do the texting, and if you only use one hand it will take you longer, which means more time your eyes are off the road. One hand off the wheel is bad, both eyes off the road is, for lack of a better word, DUMB.

I remember in drivers ed they told you not to mess with your mirrors and especially not your radio while driving. You also should keep both hands on the wheel and never take your eyes off the road. Hell I remember those things at the 5 hour course, and on the written test also.

So now we've got laws saying that you can't drink and drive. Really we can't drink and drive? I wonder why not? *Slugs down a beer, takes a step falls over* Nope I'm still good to drive *Goes to lean on you and misses your shoulder* Yup I'll be better once I'm sitting down behind the wheel... dumb law that never should have been needed. It's common sense.

And we can't talk on our cell phone's while driving because for some reason people can't watch the road and have a conversation at the same time. These people need a one seater car, because if they have any passengers they'll most likely get in an accident. I can understand if you have to dial the number, then you're not looking at the road when you're dialing and a kid, animal, another car, or some figment of your imagination could pop up right in front of you. Don't you hate when trees jump in the middle of where you're driving? I wish they'd stop doing that to people.

DO NOT PLAY WITH THE RADIO WHILE DRIVING. That was a huge thing when I was learning to drive. Pick what you want to hear before taking off, or pull over to adjust. Yeah, no one does this. Hell I don't even do this, but it's a good rule. I also don't look down at my radio when I am adjusting it.

Now with all those kinds of rules/laws in effect we get texting phones, and teenagers getting their licenses and thinking they can text while they're driving down a busy highway at 65mph. I'm not saying no one ever warned these kids. What I am saying is that these kids are, again lack of a better word, FRIGGIN DUMB!! Who the hell honestly gets in their car with their cell phone, straps on the seat belt, puts the car in drive, gets into traffic and decides "Hey I'm going to text my friend and let them know that I'm almost to their house," seriously? Since when is this a good idea to focus on typing a message to someone while your driving a vehicle?

Recently over in my neighboring state of VT, they actually set up a road course for teens to try and drive through while texting. Obviously they all failed miserably because they weren't looking where they were going. After running the course all the teens had said "It really opened my eyes to how dangerous it is to drive while texting." Again, are you serious? You had to run this course to notice the dangers of this act? You couldn't just use some logical thinking and come up with a conclusion like that? You had to actually do it and see it? Must be a see it to believe it type of person... a lot of people must be this way. Which scares the living CRAP out of me!

To me the fact that any state or any law maker or anyone in general had to pass the law of "No Texting While Driving" is just sad. Common sense, where the hell is it today? It's gone! That was a waste of time and money to pass such an obvious law.

Here are some laws I'd like to pass that shouldn't ever need to be. If we need one for texting and driving then we might as well have these laws:
  • No Tying Shoes and Driving
  • No Sleeping and Driving
  • No Exercising and Driving
  • No Looking At The Person In The Back Seat and Driving
I'm sure there could be many more but I think you get the point. Stupid law for stupid people.

Friday, July 30, 2010

RUSH Time Machine Tour

A week ago on July 23rd I attended the RUSH Time Machine Tour at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in Saratoga, NY. I saw RUSH at the same place 2 years ago for the Snakes and Arrows tour. These guys put on an amazing show. The lights, the large screens at SPAC to see close ups of the band playing if you are too far back to see them very well with the naked eye.

I had seats, if you want to call them seats, in the lawn section. Standing is what I prefer at a concert, I want to see the band, move to the music and enjoy it. If I wanted to sit down and watch the band I'd buy the Rush Live in Rio dvd and watch it in my living room from the comforts of my couch.

The sound at the show was simply amazing. Rush sounds even better live than they do on cd. Recording them playing live just doesn't do it justice. At the show they played 2 new songs that will be on their new album in 2011. They did the entire MOVING PICTURES album in it's entirety.

At SPAC they have a strict no alcohol rule in the parking lot to keep people from tailgating before the show. Of course if you play it safe you can still get a few beers in before the show. Prices on beer in the venue were really expensive, a cup of beer was $9-$12 depending on the size of the cup, or $11 for a tall boy can of beer (tall boy is 24oz. in case you were unaware.)

All week I was checking the weather for the show, it's 2.5 hours south of where I live so I had to keep checking, it kept saying rain and isolated thunder storms. I was getting scared that the lawn seats were going to be a wash out. I would have still enjoyed the show just as much I'm sure, but rain is never that fun to stand it for almost 3 hours, even if it is warm. I had brought a change of dry clothes to change into after the show. I even had an umbrella. The people I went to the show with brought ponchos and extra clothes to, just in case. We arrived in the parking lot 2 hours before the show started and from then until the end of the night we had avoided the rain all together. It was a dry show thankfully. Made the night with RUSH even more enjoyable.

Anyway, here are some pictures I got of the band, along with a video of them performing PRESTO and the famous drum solo that Neil Pert is known for at every live show they do. I'll say it again, it was AMAZING. Click thumbnails for a much larger image.






Getting the video was the hardest to do. I had to stand with the camera recording above my head for these videos, zoomed in optically and digitally up to I think it was 24x or 30x. So any shaking or moving was major. I had to release the camera with one hand to gain feeling back in one, then switch, then back to both hands. Sorry for any Blair Witch shakiness to the camera, but what else do you expect from amateur concert footage taken with arms straight up in the air.
To view these videos full screen or in HD, view them directly on youtube. ENJOY!


PRESTO:



The drum solo I let one of my friends, who was a bit drunk, hold the camera for a bit, you can tell where he held it, the video doesn't focus and he can't keep it still at all. Can't blame him, and I appreciate him giving my arms a break.

DRUM SOLO:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Geese Pose Problem For Air Travel

Well Government officials have a plan to wipe out 2/3rds of the Canada Geese in the states. This plan came in to effect after the Hudson River incident where a passenger jet had to force land into the Hudson River due to geese getting caught up in two of the turbines. City, state, and federal agencies want to trim the number of geese down to 85,000, from an estimated quarter million.
In New York City more than a thousand geese were trapped and killed last year.

Is it just me or does it seem like we shouldn't really mess with nature?
Geese pose a problem to air travel? How about we pose a problem for geese to air travel. It's natural for them to fly.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trying to Capture a Beautiful Moment

Photographers are always trying to catch a beautiful moment on camera. Whether it's animals, water, the sun setting, the middle of the woods, or just another person. This lady must have been trying to capture a beautiful moment on her camera of a cute Kangaroo hopping around in a field. Moving in to get her shot, the right angle, the right lighting, the correct shutter speed. Everything must be perfect. Try to get in a little bit closer for the shot hoping not to scare away the cute animal. Just as she's about to take her picture, she gets sucker punched right to the face. Of course someone captured that beautiful moment from a safe distance. So who's the true photographer? The one getting a quick sucker punch by a cute lovable Kangaroo, or the one that captured the moment from a safe distance? Quite honestly I can't give a conclusive answer due to the fact that I can't see sucker punch lady's pictures. Although she does look to be taking it quite well. You think she fought back or grabbed her camera and ran away?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Zebra Spiders


Also known as Jumping Spiders, or their Latin name Salticus Scenicus. I've captured one in an old makeup container my girlfriend gave me. I decided to break out my Kodak Zi8 and the macro lens attachment I bought for it from http://usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=789
These are probably the only spiders in existence that I actually like. They don't scare me like most spiders I've come in contact with, they're not creepy, they're actually kind of cute.
Well I just wanted to make a post about these cute little creepy crawlies and share a couple of the videos I've taken of it. So here they are, hope you enjoy. And if you'd like to view them in 720p HD, then go directly to the videos on youtube.



Friday, July 2, 2010

Working Blues

Well this past week has been one hell of a week! All week at work and even at home I felt highly depressed. I didn't feel suicidal just completely unhappy with things. Since my job allows me plenty of time to think and my work is all just muscle memory I get too much time to think and it's not necessarily a good thing. I felt unrested, which could be due to how little sleep I get on a work night. I also just felt unhappy with my job in general. I wake up go to work do the same exact thing throughout a 10 hour period. I work on an assembly line, in a spot that takes roughly 20 minutes to do the job, then I push it on and get started on the next one, doing EXACTLY the same thing again.
You think watching "How It's Made" is boring and monotonous looking, try actually doing something like it. Of course some of those episodes are interesting. That's the good thing about that show is it's not showing the same exact thing over and over again, like my job.

Anyway, with work being so boring and the fact that they just fired or laid off 2 people one of which I'm a good friend with, who also happened to be the supervisor, was laid off for restructuring of the work place. His position was no longer needed, so instead of putting him in a needed position they canned him, pretty crappy. The other guy was also needed, but I think there were other reasons that made him a good decision to let go, although we could have used him over the week. I don't think this was the major factor in what was causing my depression as I said I had plenty of time to think, 10 hours a day for 4 days. I think it was just the repetition of my job and me just feeling fed up with it, along with a worry I have about my dog's x-ray's. I haven't got the results yet, going to give the vet a call probably tomorrow.

Anyway the depression has cleared up a bit since work ended for the week yesterday at 4:30. As soon as the bell rang to go home I was instantly happy. I didn't bring my depression back home with me. Which is something I usually do, I forget about all the stress and anger at work as soon as I'm out. Not this week for some unknown reason.

As soon as I got home I sat down and played my guitar, such a great release for stress, I just couldn't bring myself to pick it up all week though. Anyway, I learned the acoustic version of the song Layla by Eric Clapton, think I've got it down pretty decently at the moment although I need to practice it a bit more.

I wasn't planning on ranting about this on here but then I was thinking, this is my blog, about me and things that interest me plus other random rambles and bits of made up humor and so on. So I figured why not post this, it'll help me just release the rest of the depressed mood and feelings and just get it out there. Luckily during this week I've had my very understanding and helpful girlfriend by my side to help cheer me up and to just understand what was going on. For that I'm thankful.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Internet Kill Switch

Senator Joseph Lieberman proposed a bill that would give president Obama the authority to shut down the internet for fear of cyber-terrorism. The bill which is called Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), has been dubbed the name "Internet Kill Switch." The bill will require that broadband providers, software firms, and search engines will need to immediately shut down and comply with emergency measure or action, which will be put in place by the Department of Homeland Security, or else face a fine. So shut down for some silly cyber-terrorism or pay a ton of money to prison guards aka Homeland Security.

Of course with creating such a "switch" there will be yet another department added within Homeland Security, they will be known as non other than National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC). More ways for the government to get our money, to fund a branch that seems quite useless and highly unneeded. So if you make money off of the internet you are subject to command by the NCCC. Some of you that make money off of the internet might also have to engage in information sharing with this new agency.

Liberman says it's imperative that the president has this ability to shut down the internet "say to an electric company or to say to Verizon, in the national interest, 'There's an attack about to come, and I hereby order you to put a patch on this, or put your network down on this part, or stop accepting any incoming from country A."

The Senate Committee of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has approved the cybersecurity bill on June 25th. So I'm guessing that this means they can shut us down whenever they'd like.

Usually I don't sign or point people towards an internet petitions, they don't usually do much but it's the only thing I can think of doing at the moment. So if you disagree with the kill switch and would like to sign a petition against it click here for the "Stop the Internet Kill Switch Bill." And don't forget to check out the "Stop The Internet Kill Switch Bill" Forum.

So how do you feel about this? Leave your comment below, and don't forget to check out the two links for the Petition and the Forum. I didn't create them but am spreading the word.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jasmine's Back From The Vet

Thursday I took my dog to the vet due to a very swollen ear. I couldn't even see the ear canal and I was supposed to be inserting an anti yeast medication into her ear once a day. This was nearly impossible to do with her ear as swollen as it was. I would have to pour it into her ear, and rub it in and hope that some made it in. After a week of doing that and there being absolutely no sign of it getting better, I finally got her to the vet to tell them about this. They kept her over night on Thursday so they could put her under and irrigate her ears. They saw how swollen and sore her right ear was and noticed her left ear also getting swollen. While they had her they found an ear polyp and zapped it out with a laser. While she was there they also trimmed her long nails for me.

Let me just say, Thursday night without Jasmine around was very odd. It felt weird, and I felt a bit lost. I missed letting her outside, telling her to quit begging while I'm eating food. I missed getting her food for her at night, and I missed her laying on the bed. Yeah I'm a bit obsessed with my dog, I'll admit it. Friday when we got her back was awesome! I know it was only one day, but she's never gone so it's just strange when she's not around. I have some antibiotics that I have to give her once a day for the next few days for her ears. The antibiotics came as a chew, why don't they make more dog pills and medication in chew form? It'd be so much easier than trying to hide the medication in a piece of food.

At the vet they did some blood work, and just about everything came back normal except her liver was on the low end of high, so she's going to need medication to help with it. The medication isn't a cure but it should help. We are still waiting on some X-ray's to come back, they had to send them out to a specialist to have them double check a possible build-up in the lungs. Kind of expected with her cough/gag/hack thing that she does. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it's nothing too bad.

Well, all in all for an 11 year old Black Labrador I'd have to say she's in overall good health. I'll probably be updating about her again when the X-ray's come in and we get the results.

Click the picture above for the full size image of Jasmine if you'd like.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fishing Time

Well it's that time of year for me. Get a fishing license, grab some lures, make sure the pole is all set to go out to the lake and catch some fish. I'm not much of a keeper of fish but sometimes I do, nothing like catching your own dinner.

Well I went to Gander Mountain the other day and I bought me one of these Blue Fox Vibrax Shallow Lures (which I can't find on the Gander Mountain online store), because most of the time when I go fishing it's right off the shore and it's not as good to fish with a deep diving lure if I'm going to be constantly scraping it along the bottom of the lake and snagging it on rocks. So I went with one of these. I get to the fishing spot with a few lures I had just bought, but decided to try this one first because it looked the most pleasing and appetizing to me, thinking like a fish. So I put this shallow lure on my line (I had bought the one that is all the way to the right in the picture), cast it out into the water, had some good distance. I start to reel in the lure and within a couple turns of the crank BAM! "HOLY SHIT I GOT ONE ALREADY!!" I said, wow this is a big fish, holy crap, I'm thinking to myself. Just as the excitement is getting to me and I'm getting him closer, my line comes flying all the way up to the shore, no swivel no lure and worse of all, no fish. Had no luck getting any other bites that night, so I know what I must do. I must go back and get another one of these lures and hopefully land the next fish that decides it wants to eat it.

Can't give a full review since I've used it only once and didn't even get to cast it more than once. Wish I could have landed that fish... if I can find another one of these at Gander Mountain I'll be buying it. It might be my next favorite lure next to the Phoebe Lure.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Birthday


Well it's not actually my birthday today, I'm a few days late. Honestly I didn't feel like sitting on my computer at all on my birthday so I avoided it. My birthday was on June 8th. Not a whole lot to write about just wanted to mention a few things about birthdays.

First, why do so many people get so upset over their birthday? It has never made any sense to me at all. Every year on my birthday I'd have to say it is the best day of the year. I always wake up in a great mood, all types of energy and usually pretty damn happy with the day and the majority of what happens during the day. Even if it's not all about celebrating me. I don't even require that, although I do enjoy hearing people tell me to have a happy birthday.

Second, what's everyone so upset about at their birthday where they don't want people to know what day it is? Let people know, they'll be nice to you and appreciate you, do you not like that? Do you hate people liking you? If so why do you have friends and have contact with other humans if you hate being appreciated. Get over it, it's just a day, and it just so happens on that day friends and loved ones will appreciate you a little more than usually. Wow that sounds pretty horrible.

Third, why does getting a year older depress so many people? Were you not expecting this to happen? You've been on this earth quite a few years now, you should know what happens on that day. It happens every year. Plus you're not one age then magically another age on that one day. You're progressively getting older as the seconds tick, if getting old really depresses you, you should be in a constant state of depression.

Fourth, I had a great birthday. Worked, that was a great day at work. I don't know if you'll ever hear me say that about my job other than for that one day. Yes that's right I don't mind working on my birthday. Things actually went well. After work I met up with a few friends and went fishing. I didn't catch anything, except a slight buzz from a few beers. After fishing I came home to spend time with my amazing girlfriend, where we sat and watched TV and a movie in the comfort of our living room. All in all I couldn't have asked for a better 27th birthday. It's not about the gifts, it's about how you make it for yourself. People that despise birthdays need to cheer up a bit and learn to loosen up and relax a little, enjoy it. It could be your last. Seriously, how would you feel if you were moping around on your birthday and woke up the next morning dead and you didn't even get to spend your last day happy. Not only was it your last day, but it was also your birthday. Think about it. haha.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cleaning my HDD

Blank DVD's are the biggest pain in the ass product to use as your backup, backup device. Trying to clean off and save 300gb of files you have stored on a spare hdd is not an easy or fast task. The disc says it holds 4.7gb, which would be nice if it did but I can only fit 4.5gb on the disc before it says "There is not enough room on this disc. Insert a larger disc." I'd love to insert something larger (that's what she said) but this is all I've got (that's what he said). Blu-ray discs are too expensive to use as a backup plus I'd have to spend a crap ton of money on the player/burner for them. So here I am cleaning up my hdd with these tiny ass disks making data dvd's to get the most out of them.

So let's do the math, I have 300gb filled (well pretty close to that much), and I have a stack of blank DVD's which say they hold 4.7gb but they actually only hold 4.5gb without it bitching that it's not big enough. So in order to clean my 300gb completely I will need to use 66.66666666666 discs... holy fuck, nope some shit will be deleted and/or moved to different locations. Or I just wont clean it off completely and get atleast 200gb free... which is still 44.4444444444444 discs.... yeah that's a lot of burning and a lot of discs.

One of these days I will learn that I need to back things up instantly to save myself this trouble in the future. Sure I tell myself this every time I get a hdd for backups but this time I mean it. Oh I can't forget about all the music I have, I need to back it up also but will not be removing it from said HDD, but it would be nice to have it for the day I turn on this computer and I hear a weird noise that sounds like little green plastic army men got thrown into a blender, only to find out the HDD has shit all over itself.

The moral of this story, back your data up early enough so you don't have to go through this hell. If you wait too long you may find that you have lost EVERYTHING you have.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Having a hard time deciding if she's a super bitch or if she's sick and tired of all the kids bitching that her grilled burgers aren't as tasty as McDonalds all "beef" burgers.

Well either way, sit down, shut up, and eat your damn meal!

Bitch, bitch, bitch, that's all I hear these days. You don't like grandma's cooking then make it yourself! Not her fault you don't like food cooked the old fashioned way... DELICIOUS! Grilled food, just can't get enough of it. Appreciate the food that has been cooked for you, or don't eat at all. Your decision.

Have a great Memorial Day, eat good food, drink some beer, but don't get hungover because tomorrow you have to go back to work. Well actually screw work, get hungover, it's not your fault they decided to give you the holiday off without a recovery day afterwords. Enjoy.