Previous photos here

Fri, 14 Oct 2005

Bobby hooked me up at CompUSA today.
He got me two Mac Minis at $400 each. What a deal. More about the Minis later. Now I just want to put up a couple pictures of Bobby's arms. The first one is his new tattoo. Nice, traditional, old school. And good work, too. But the second one just makes me cringe. You have to look at it closely, but when you do, you can see the outline of an electric plug. That's because one of his cow-orkers whipped him with a power cable. He hit Bobby's arm just right, and the shape of the plug was imprinted into his skin. But Bobby said that he laid down the smack on the transgressor. It won't happen again.

posted at: 23:28 | permalink |

Thu, 13 Oct 2005

Me and DeanO biked down to Clematis tonight.
I was replacing my chain when he called looking for something to do, so I told him to get in his car and drive over and we would ride down to Clematis. Last night Linda and I did a short loop over to Palm Beach and back. Coming back over the middle bridge my chain suddenly fell off. The chain is a SRAM with the Powerlink that you can open and close by hand, and I guess the Powerlink just wore out and fell off. This is my first SRAM chain, and it came well-used on a well-used bike I bought, so I don't know how long it should last. I could have gotten another link, but I decided to just get a whole new chain.

So I went by the bike shop today to get a replacement. I asked for a Shimano 9-speed like I usually get, and all they had was an Ultegra, for $36! So I asked what else they had, and they had an SRAM for $25. Guess which one I got.

I was putting on the chain and watching Messenger when DeanO called. I just got the Messenger DVD in the mail today. I heard about this link at Puma where you could request a free copy of the DVD from Puma, and about a month ago I went there and put in my info. I got home today and found a padded brown envelope in my mailbox with a Messenger DVD inside. It's about the guy who won the Puma Messenger championships in NYC. Eight weeks of races, and the guy who won got a movie made about him. He doesn't have a lot to say. Mostly he talks about riding the bike. I recommend it.

So DeanO finally showed up while I was getting cleaned up. He tried out the bike, and after I dropped the seat post for him we were off. I thought I would make him work on the ride down, but he kept right up with me and he talked the entire time. I don't understand how he can do that.

We locked up the bikes, got a couple $3 Bass, met Plop, and walked around for a while. I found a hot dog guy, and then a bowl of seafood chili. Mmm. Back to talk with Plop for a while. And his date. I was able to tell her that she drove a Toyota, just by looking at her.

Then AAA showed up. He was looking good, cool haircut, but he told me he was driving a 1995 Porsche 930 Turbo, and I totally believed him. Then he said it was actually a Toyota 4Runner. Oh. The bikes were still there, we had an uneventful ride back while DeanO talked about how we are going to replace the Kawasaki 440 motor in the race car with a 493 Rotax he bought. I'm ready to weld whenever he has all the cutting and fitting done. Then we watched Messenger a couple more times and that was it.

Oh. Both these photos were taken with the night mode I just found on the phone. It looks okay. The shutter speed is pretty fast, as I didn't get any blurring. Maybe it does some processing on the image that gives better contrast, at the expense of a little clarity. I don't know what happened to AAA's photo.
posted at: 22:07 | permalink |

Wed, 12 Oct 2005

Here's some pictures of the other kid.
I have shots of Joshua and Sydney several entries below, but none of Rachel. So here's a couple of Rachel with a large ball, and with Sydney. There's also one of Josh in the Kroger. That's "Be Cool" in the Blockbuster bag he is carrying. Perhaps not the best choice of a video to watch with kids. At least I have pictures of both nieces and the nephew up now. No chance of being accused of favoritism.

posted at: 07:28 | permalink |

Tue, 11 Oct 2005

We returned to the Bear Creek mountain bike trail
in Ellijay on Saturday. This time I had opted to rent a bike, instead of going through the hassle of shipping mine up and back. After exchanging some emails I got one from Cartecay Bikes in Ellijay. It was a white Kona hardtail in XL. The front brakes were a little iffy, but we got them working to the point that I felt confident going downhill with them. Bruce had his own (Giant?) hardtail.

This time we drove to the top of the mountain and parked at the trailhead there. A couple of bikers already there told us that we would be going down the mountain, doing a loop, and then coming back up the same trail that took us down. And that's what happened. I had the GPS with me, but once or twice after a stop I forgot to start it right away. And a few times the signal was obscured by trees. But you can still see the basic trail on the aerial photo.

The ride was good. It took me a little while to get used to not having the great modulation and braking power of the Magura Martas on my Trek Fuel, but eventually I adapted. There were a number of water crossings, but both of us managed to stay dry. I got some shots of Bruce doing the water crossings, but none of them are really outstanding. I'm still happy with the camera phone, and am not ready to start carrying a camera as well.

We stopped for a rest at the Gennet poplar, which the people at the trailhead had told us about. It is a big tree. If you like that sort of thing. I decided once and for all that the digital zoom on the camera phone is basically worthless. That shot of Bruce sitting down is at 4x zoom, which simply uses 1/4 of the CCD in the camera. I would have gotten the same effect by shooting normally, and then zooming in four times with PhotoShop.

Soon enough we were back at the top. It's a lot easier to climb on rocks and hard-packed dirt, instead of the loose sand we have here in south Florida. Plus up there the trail builders don't feel the need to throw in artificial obstacles (like logs) at random. And there's no elephant trunk roots, either. I think the hardtail might have helped, but I'm not sure. The stable platform on my PUSH-enhanced rear shock is really, really good. The first picture here came out really good with the lighting and the sun, but Bruce looks like he is about to start dancing Swan Lake. We stopped on the way down to check out the view. And then we dropped off the bike, got some pizza to go, and made the drive back to Marietta.

posted at: 07:28 | permalink |

Sidney is 3
and Bruce is somewhat older. They both had a good birthday party this weekend. I was in the right place to get these photos. The only lighting was from the birthday candles, which give a nice color to the pictures. I used the camera phone braced on the table because I figured that it would be a slow exposure. I think the third shot is the best.

posted at: 07:13 | permalink |

Mon, 10 Oct 2005

I called Rob to go mountain biking as soon as I got off the plane Sunday.
I had too much fun the day before at Bear Creek near Ellijay. So I got my Trek Fuel out, and loaded up all the gear, and picked Rob up. We got to Jonathan Dickinson about 4:30, and did a nice ride in the cool of the afternoon. Rob hadn't planned on riding that day, so we took it easy and only did 6.5 miles. I had my GPS with me, but I haven't figured out how keep all the previous rides from overlaying the trail, so I didn't bother putting up the track. I did get a good shot with my new camera phone at the double jump just before the end. I knew it was going to be backlit, but I'm still happy I got the framing right.

posted at: 22:18 | permalink |

I have a new wallpaper on my phone.
Linda took a shot of Martha lounging. Her leg isn't really that long; it's just a trick of the camera.

posted at: 07:11 | permalink |

Sun, 09 Oct 2005

My mom is on the internet.
Well, she's been on for a long time with dialup, but now she's got DSL (Lite). I went over tonight to set it up. Normally the install would be a painless exercise, but she is using a Macintosh iMac from 1999. It's running OS 8.6. We got all the filters installed, and popped in the CD. Here is where you would expect a problem, since most install CDs would be for Windows, but I guess BellSouth has enough Mac customers that they support both. I had tried out the CD in Linda's iBook before I left home, so I knew it had both Windows and Mac install stuff on it. But when I put the CD in the iMac it came up with "CarbonLib extension not found" or something similar. I guess the CD is good enough for OS X, but not OS 8.6. So I looked on the CD and found a CarbonLib installer, and double-clicked. The installer installed something and rebooted the machine, and when it came back up I re-ran the DSL installer. Sucess!

It was that easy to put her iMac on the internet. Of course, she was using Netscape for her browser. Netscape 4.08 to be exact, so (surprise) most modern-day web pages don't display correctly. No problem, go to the Netscape site and download the latest version. Except Netscape 8.0 seems to be available only for Windows. Okay, go to the archive section of the Netscape site and pull down 7.0. Easy enough, but now we need StuffIt to unpack the new Netscape, and it's not installed. I start looking on the StuffIt website for a free demo copy, but the website won't display properly and I can't see the download link. That's enough fooling with that.

Then I tried Firefox. It only supports OS 9 and higher.

We'll try Internet Explorer instead. The iMac has IE 4.01 installed. After some clicking and downloading we got 5.17 installed, and that solved most of the problems. I say most, because after we updated IE we went to the AOL site to pull down Instant Messenger, and the AOL site claimed that IE wouldn't support their scripts, and suggested that we use AOL browser or Firefox. So I went home.

One thing that I found impressive here was that after seeing a whole succesion of sites fail to display correctly in both Netscape 4.08 and IE 4.01, the site displayed fine in a six year old browser (even if they did write the browser themselves). I guess it is possible to support older browsers, if you have the resources.
posted at: 22:21 | permalink |

Here's some pictures of my niece and nephew.
Sidney and Joshua. Rachel will be appearing separately. Sidney keeps everyone on their toes. And Joshua is getting good at Yugi-Oh. Is that how it's spelled? I always like spending time with them.

posted at: 10:21 | permalink |

Fri, 07 Oct 2005

Bart is looking tanned and fit.
It wouldn't kill him to lose a few pounds, though. He lives with Lisa. And he's still a kind of feline black body, absorbing all light that comes near him. He's got a pretty good life. You can see him enjoying his favorite activity in the second shot. There's also a couple shots of Quattro. At least I'm pretty sure that's Quattro, and not PJ. Quattro/PJ looks relaxed.

posted at: 17:27 | permalink |

This is why I come to the big city.
I was driving down Peachtree Street, and I saw this muscular guy who seemed to be wearing ... a tiara? And carrying a baton? I got a little closer, and that's exactly what he was doing. Well, that and wearing a pink cape. Cars were honking, and people were clapping. Even the cops seemed to approve. I took a quick picture so I could prove it. When I saw Lisa later that afternoon she said that he is a regular fixture downtown. It's a little blurry because I had the camera phone on 4x digital zoom. I felt privileged to be a part of big-city life.

posted at: 17:25 | permalink |

I saw where Bruce works
in the old Norfolk-Southern Railway building. They're closing the building down, so there are only 18 people working in this big 7-story building. He's still working hard, though. We met with one of the IT guys, and saw his new Cisco IP phone. That is some phone, with a color touch screen. I want one. I also got to see some of the punch down blocks in the machine room. And there is a big row of batteries that act as a UPS. That's going to be tough for someone to dispose of all that sulphuric acid and those lead plates. Lots of empty offices there. I'm going to do a little Java network programming to help out.

posted at: 17:18 | permalink |

Thu, 06 Oct 2005

Wednesday's hash started from the same bowling alley as last week.
And we had lots of rain, too. AI was the hare this time. I only had to bring the beer. By some careful shopping at the ABC superstore I was able to achieve an average price per can of $0.65. And we had a lot of variety, too. PBR, Rheingold, Genesee Cream Ale, and many other fine beverages. See how excited AI was? Fungus was visiting from somewhere in California. And Itsy brought his "cow-orker". He lost points with her, when she asked him for some water, and he told her to drink out of one of the puddles. Oh, and that girl who came out a few weeks ago and told us that she had broken her bed showed up again. She said the new bed is holding up just fine. No picture of her, though.

posted at: 21:55 | permalink |

Wed, 05 Oct 2005

You find the coolest photos in used cell phones.
I'm sure I don't have to remind you about the bachelor party photos and video I found in the Nokia 3650 I got off eBay. And I've been meaning to post the SMS text messages that I found in a Siemens S56 I bought for a messaging project. By default both outgoing and incoming text messages are saved in the phone, so you can follow the whole drama of a teenage love affair. I'll work on getting that posted.

The photos I found in my new (to me) Nokia 6670 are much more innocuous. There are two shots of some child's artwork, and a picture of a large cathedral-looking building. It would appear that the child's name is Valerie. The phone came from Poland, so it is a good bet that the building is somewhere in Poland. Anybody recognize it?

posted at: 07:21 | permalink |

Tue, 04 Oct 2005

I got my new Nokia 6670 cell phone today.
I didn't get much use from from the Motorola V551 that I got when I migrated from ATT to Cingular. I am much more familiar with the Nokia menus, and I just didn't like the V551. So I unlocked my old Nokia 3650 and started using it with Cingular. The 3650 is a nice phone, but it is pretty bulky. Then I unlocked the Nokia 3200 that I had gotten for Linda and began using it. Linda wasn't using the 3200 any more because she also got a V551 as part of the migration. The 3200 is a small compact phone, but the camera sucks. I think it's 320x140, or some similar low resolution. I started looking at phone specifications, and decided the Nokia 6670 was the one for me. It has a 1.1 megapixel camera(!), Bluetooth, and all of the cool features that the 3650 did. It will even accept an add-on flash. Used price on eBay is around $200. I finally got one for $177 + $25 shipping. From Poland. I was a little concerned, but the seller had over 200 positive feedbacks.

On Monday I got the registered mail notice in my mailbox. Linda had the next day off, so she went by the post office to pick it up. Did you know that for registered mail only the person the mail is addressed to can pick it up? I had to drive down there myself during lunch. Then I met Linda for lunch and checked out the phone.

The package itself was pretty cool. I've never gotten anything from Poland before. There were lots of modernistic stamps on it. (The photos of the package were taken with the 3200. You can see why I wanted to trade up.) Once I got the envelope open, I found another package wrapped in duct tape and typing paper, along with a broken CD. Okay. I got the package open, only to find the phone, wrapped in a napkin and duct tape. I guess they don't have bubble wrap in Poland. I got the napkin open, and the phone appeared to be okay. I like the styling.

I moved the SIM card over easily enough, but I couldn't get the phone to turn on, which I figured meant that I couldn't play with it until I got the battery charged. Then Linda pressed the right button, and the phone powered right up. Cool. It has a big, sharp display, and a digital zoom. I think I'm going to have fun with this phone. We took a couple pictures to try out the camera.

posted at: 20:18 | permalink |

Mon, 03 Oct 2005

I went to the Cycle Fest criterium on Saturday.
Here's the Cycle Fest website. Actually, I went twice. The first time was at noon, when me and my dad went to Brogue's for lunch. We got an outside table right by the start finish line. We saw a juniors race, a 55+ race, and then walked over to Fat Cat Bikes to say hi.

Then me and Linda came back at 6:30 after that miserable Florida-Alabama game, because that's when the pros were racing. We saw two races, both much faster than the earlier ones. The last couple pictures look cool because it was getting dark, so the camera phone used a slower exposure (or maybe it's a standard fixed exposure) so the racers are really blurry. Linda took these pictures.

posted at: 07:08 | permalink |

Sat, 01 Oct 2005

Boy, that Florida - Alabama game sucked.
How could they score 14 points in the first 1:42? And 31 - 3 for the final score? The Gators just didn't look like they did last week against Kentucky. I guess there's always next week. And we did have fun watching the game with the Gator club.

posted at: 21:52 | permalink |

Here's a bicycle classic
from the 80's. Or maybe the 70's. It's the bike I rode while I was in grad school. I have no idea what size it is, but it's big. Big enough to fit me. I have the vague recollection that it has 27" wheels, because I think I had trouble finding replacements. But I could be wrong.

It's been languishing under my parent's garage stairs since 1990, and they have decreed it's time for it to go. So I looked at, with an eye to a single-speed conversion, and decided that it just wasn't worth it. Besides, I like gears. The bike has some rust on the top tube, the components are nothing special (SunTour) and it really has nothing going for it except for the size. But I already have a mountain bike that fits, and a street bike that fits. And neither of those need any work. So I left it there.

posted at: 20:19 | permalink |

Fri, 30 Sep 2005

I got to pee on Usama Bin Ladin.
Or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. Dave came out of the bathroom at the Old House all excited. "Usama's in the urinal! He's in the urinal!" I didn't know what the heck he was talking about, but that's not the first time that has happened. Finally we worked out that there was a painting of UBL *in* the urinal. Cool. I had to check it out, and sure enough, there it was. There were a couple other painted urinals, but nothing approaching the artistic rendition of Usama. I tried them all out anyway.

posted at: 07:13 | permalink |

Thu, 29 Sep 2005

We had another hash in a hurricane last night.
Okay, it was actually an "urban flood watch" or something like that, but there was still a lot of rain. I was the hare, and it was fine when I started laying trail, but after the first couple of miles the heavens just opened up. My beautifully-laid trail got washed away, and ColdPorter was the only one of the entire pack to make it to the beer check. Well, him and all of the soaking-wet walkers. I got a call from the rest of the pack, who had gathered at the Old House for some reason. We all headed back to the abandoned bowling alley where we had started, and got under a sheltering overhang for the circle.

Circumspector had brought along a box of Crunchberries in lieu of the usual hash orange food (Cheetos) and they were well received. "Death to Cheesy Poofs! Long live Crunchberries!" and similar sentiments. And I had picked out a nice selection of uncommon, yet inexpensive beers. Think PBR, Genesee, Old Milwaukee, and of course, Booty Beer. And a few odd Rolling Rock Lites and Michelob Ultras from the back of my refrigerator. I don't know why, but it really amused me to watch people rooting through the coolers, looking for something, anything, that they were willing to drink.

So we had a rollicking good circle, complete with hash clothing giveaways, and then we went to the Old House and drank good beer (Stella Artois).

Here you can see the twisty trail, and the beer check at some park on Hypoluxo. It was going great, until the rain.

As mentioned, the Crunchberries were very popular.

The crowd was really packed in there, trying to stay out of the rain.

Down-downs were fun.

There was quite a pile of debris. But we cleaned everything up. And I was really impressed with ColdPorter's new shoes. At least he wasn't wearing them when he caught me.

posted at: 07:05 | permalink |