Sunday, December 30, 2007

3rd Sock


What am I supposed to do with the third sock?
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

If God were his co-pilot...

If God were his co-pilot, that bush would be burning.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Caught!

You may have escaped a minimum hundred dollar fine at the intersection of Prospect and Chapman in Orange on October 16th, 2007, but you haven't gotten away scot-free. You're welcome.



Monday, October 15, 2007

Catch 'n Release BugBuster

Courtesy of the Home Trends catalog which won't leave our mailbox alone:


Is this environmental enough to count as a Blog Action Day post?


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pontiac 6000

This is a 1985 Pontiac 6000.
a Pimpin' Pontiac 6000


I drove a 1985 Pontiac 6000 LE, which looked almost exactly like this:except I had hubcaps. And no major dents or rust. Same bumper-wearing-down-showing-yellow-plastic-ness, though.

I never made a thermojet out of mine.



Saturday, October 06, 2007

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it

I've heard the phrase "Stick that in your pipe and smoke it" but never seen it in action, until now.

video

This is from Jackie Chan's Who Am I?.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How much is that room?

At the Embassy Suites where I'm staying, the card on the back of the door lists a room rate of $399 per day, $2793 per week, and $12369 per month for one person or two persons. Slightly more for 3 and 4 persons. In case you're wondering, $12469 is $399x31. I'm not paying that much per day for my stay.

California requires that these rates be posted.

California Civil Code Section 1863
(a) Every keeper of a hotel, inn, boardinghouse or lodginghouse, shall post in a conspicuous place in the office or public room, and in every bedroom of said hotel, boardinghouse, inn, or lodginghouse, a printed copy of this section, and a statement of rate or range of rates by the day for lodging.

(b) No charge or sum shall be collected or received for any greater sum than is specified in subdivision (a). For any violation of this subdivision, the offender shall forfeit to the injured party one hundred dollars ($100) or three times the amount of the sum charged in excess of what he is entitled to, whichever is greater. There shall be no forfeiture under this subdivision unless notice be given of the overcharge to such keeper within 30 days after payment of such charges and such keeper shall fail or refuse to make proper adjustment of such overcharge.


Apparently this is the (anti-free market) anti-gouging law for hotel keepers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

For whom the bells toll (taxpayers)

bell marker for Historic El Camino Real

When I saw these markers on the side of the road, I just knew that somehow, there was taxpayer money wrapped up in this whole thing...

The story starts out well enough: it looks like California women paid for the first bells, and AAA took over later. But why am I not surprised: in 1974 the California Legislature decided Caltrans should pay to maintain and replace the bells, and in 2000 Caltrans was awarded a federal grant (i.e. money from taxpayers in Rhode Island, Texas, Minnesota, etc) to add more bells. I hope the people in Nebraska appreciate our set of bells spaced every mile or two.

Read more about the El Camino Real.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Do you promise?

I googled for "sunk costs" and came across an argument by Robert Bass of Coastal Carolina University that it's sometimes rational to honor sunk costs. He says that economic theory is incomplete because of these cases. He gives an example: let's say you make a promise, and later realize you'll see greater benefits by breaking the promise. Should you honor that sunk cost and keep the promise, or break the promise? Bass says it's beneficial to be considered a promise-keeper, so it can be rational to keep the promise because of that benefit.

If I'm reading his argument right, I think he's wrong. There's nothing wrong with economic theory -- it's right and rational to ignore sunk costs. Assuming a right and rational world. Humans aren't always right and rational. Making promises is not rational.

So how do I answer his argument that there's cases when you should consider sunk costs? That it's irrational to assume that humans are rational. Back to the promise-keeper -- it's beneficial for me to make a deal with a promise-keeper. It minimizes risk to deal with a promise-keeper. Wanting to deal with a promise-keeper is rational. You're banking on his irrationality.

On a planet of robots, no one makes promises.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Whiskeys

Ten High and Kessler whiskeys
Kessler blended whiskey is pretty good, but I still think I prefer my Ten High bourbon whiskey.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Viagra can make you feel the love too

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School* have discovered that using Viagra can boost sensations of love, driven by hormone oxytocin. Physiology professor Meyer Jackson suggests that Viagra might be used to promote "social-bonding".

While experiencing social bonding, though, you might have side effects such as erections, which may last more than 4 hours, in which case you should seek medical attention. Which could interfere with your social bonding.



* Disclosure: I worked for the Medical School, and graduated from UW-Madison.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quote of the Day

On global warming:

"We certainly adapted to the 0.8 C temperature change quite well in the 20th century, as life expectancies doubled and some crop yields quintupled. ... Global warming is real, but it does not portend immediate disaster, and there's currently no suite of technologies that can do much about it. The obvious solution is to forgo costs today on ineffective attempts to stop it, and to save our money for investment in future technologies and inevitable adaptation."

-- Patrick J. Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies for the Cato Institute.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wint-O-Green Lifesavers


So here I've been eating Wint-O-Green Lifesavers for years, only to learn this morning that they glow when you chomp 'em!

For those not familiar with the visible spectrum, 450 nanometers (the peak in the graph above) is the wavelength of light in between blue and violet.

Friday, August 17, 2007

100 oh-oh-oh!


Yep, my car rolled over the 100,000 mile mark today on the way home from work.

It would have happened tomorrow, but Kim needs my car tomorrow so she can use the bike rack, so I had to drive a couple miles out of the way so I could get a picture of this milestone (Kim's not so interested in taking pictures of odometers).

In other news, there's a mere 14 hours until my final exam for ACCT 509 -- I'll be glad when that's done! Better get to studying...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fair Followup

Of the 1,090,000 people who went to the Orange County fair this year, only 584 purchased a Hucowamongous Burger. Of that number, we can only guess as to the total number of people who actually ate the whole thing themselves (it's probably a safe bet that no one ate more than one, at least not in one sitting -- but who knows!).



They don't say how many people got their pictures taken with a racing pig, though I know of at least two. :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What a load II



Upstairs at the new library in Orange, the load limit is 150 PSF. What exactly does that mean, anyway? At least this sign isn't all in your face and snooty like the one at Fullerton College...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What a load...


What benefit does the sign provide for library patrons? And do they even care?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Had a cow, man!


Kim and I took a trip to the Orange County Fair today. For 2007, the theme is Cowabunga! - the Year of Herefords, Surfers & Sand.

This year's signature fair food: The deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (the ingredients here are pretty self explanatory), and the Hucowamongous burger. It's big. I mean, BIG. The biggest burger I've ever seen.

I wasn't even planning on eating one until Friday, when Carl at work questioned whether a person could even eat such a thing. Well, I took that as a challenge, and was determined to give it a try. I'm no champion eater, but I'm no stranger to large amounts of food, either.

We spent a good amount of time wandering the fairgrounds, looking for this beast of a burger, but couldn't find it anywhere amongst the deep-fried desserts, and various meats on sticks. My strategy to prepare was to avoid any fair food I'd normally eat; instead I drank a couple beers (Sierra Nevada Summerfest).

We gave up hope finding this burger on our own, and visited an information booth. The helpful staff told us they were somewhat hidden away, inside the Carnival of Products building, at the California Grill. The lady told us she shared one such burger with her 6'5" husband and 5'11" daughter, and between them, they managed to finish it.We thanked them, and headed over.

When I went to order it, the man behind the counter at the California Grill asked me if I was sure I wanted it. Of course I was sure! Within minutes, it was ready.

As we carried it outside, there was lots of pointing and staring. At the burger. It has a commanding presence. I'm not sure anyone saw the man behind the burger. We found a table and I settled down.

How did I do? Was I up to the challenge? Have a look!

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Membership in the Multiple Kwik-E-Mart Club

When you think about it, it's rare enough the person who gets to visit a Kwik-E-Mart. Only just more than a handful of 7-11's across the country have been converted.

It's even more rare (rare-er?) the person who gets to visit more than one. Here's a couple people besides me and Kim who have reported visits to multiple Kwik-E-Marts:

RumorsDaily.com: Simpsons 7-Elevens Still Packed, Sold Out -- Los Angeles and Burbank locations

P & C: Burbank and Henderson (Las Vegas) locations

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Two Weekends, Two Kwik-E-Marts

Last weekend, Kim and I went up to her grandparents' house for a birthday barbeque pool party for Ryan's birthday. On the way, we stopped by the 7-11 turned Kwik-E-Mart in Burbank. Our timing was good -- we got there when there was no line. By the time we left, the line had grown. We couldn't spend a lot of time in the store, because Molly was waiting in the car.



Today we had a beach day with Kim's friend Stephanie and her boyfriend Justin. We spent a few hours soaking up the sun (through some SPF-30) at Playa Del Rey. The beach was nice -- lots of sand, not too crowded. A little noisy -- it's just north of LAX, so there's lots of air traffic, and the crashing waves contributed to hearing difficulties. Afterwards, Kim and I decided to go to the Kwik-E-Mart in Los Angeles on Venice Boulevard. It was almost on the way home.

But when we got there, there was no parking left, and a long line. I drove up the street a ways, but all the street parking was taken. A little disappointed, I headed back to the freeway.

But traffic on the freeway was awful! So bad, that the exit to Venice Boulevard was looking pretty nice...so we gave the Kwik-E-Mart one more chance. It didn't let us down! There was a spot on the street sitting open, just feet from the end of the line of people. We actually parked closer to the end of the line than people who managed to find spots in the Kwik-E-Mart parking lot.

Sitting in line made for good people-watching, and when we finally got in, we had more time to browse around and see all the merchandise.



The next nearest Kwik-E-Mart is in Las Vegas (well, Henderson). I'm not sure how many other people can say they've been to two Kwik-E-Marts...what about three? Hmm...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Need for Speed

I went for a short bike ride this evening, over the hill on Cannon, to Santiago Oaks Regional Park, biked some of the trails and found a new (to me) path that takes you out the side door of the park, so to speak.

On the way down the hill on Cannon, my speedometer hit 51.7mph. I knew I was going faster than I had gone the last couple times...but I also had a feeling that I wasn't really going 51.7mph.

Just before heading out, I tried to reset the tripmeter, max speed, etc on my speedometer. Unfortunately, I don't know the button commands well enough, and completely reset the whole thing -- it prompted me to input a wheel factor.

I couldn't remember what I'd used before, and the garage door had shut already, so I wasn't going to waste time going back through the house. I took a stab at the number, and headed out on my ride.

I'd guessed too high. So I ran the numbers, fought the math, and came up with a new top speed of 46.4mph. Not too shabby! I think I can probably get at least a couple mph faster on that hill. Can I top 50mph? I'm not sure, but I want to find out. I may have to qualify my previous top speeds as "unofficial".

I'm also going to carve the wheel factor digits into the back of the speedometer, so next time I inadvertently reset the thing, I can know what to set it back to.

View of the Santiago Pits percolation ponds from Bond Ave.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bike ride to Peters Canyon

Panoramic view from top of Canyon View Ave in Orange, CA
This morning I took a bike ride to and through Peters Canyon in Orange.

Ride stats: 10.9 miles
Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Avg speed: 9.1 mph
Top Speed: 43.8 mph

The panoramic image above is compiled from a set of photos I took at the highest point on Canyon View Ave, on the way to Peters Canyon. I hit my 43.8 mph top speed going down that hill (past the stop sign on the right side).

It only took about 15 minutes to get from home to Peters Canyon. I did the usual loop (after the hill on Canyon View, the hills were especially unfun, at least the upside), and then headed back home.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Windows XP bug

I've seen this particular bug dozens of times, but this is the first time I've documented it. Why on earth is Windows XP Explorer showing five icons labeled "Desktop" in the explorer bar?


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Six papers, one midterm exam down....

...three papers, one final to go.

Our midterm exam for ACCT 509 was 26 pages long, one question per page. No one bothered asking how much we were supposed to write for each question. I think we just assumed the answer would be "write until you feel you've explained it."

After spending almost three hours writing for the exam, I was the second person finished. Wonder how long everyone else took, or if they got cut off at noon?

Friday, June 29, 2007

ACCT 509 Exam in 11 hours

Tomorrow morning is the midterm exam for ACCT 509. We'll see how that goes...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Evening Bike Ride

In lieu of going to the gym today, I went for a bike ride after work.

I headed up Cannon, not dropping below 4mph according to my spedometer, and on the downslope, I hit 44.5mph. Fast! Somewhere around 36mph is about the fastest I could reasonably pedal and keep up with the wheels.

I biked over to Santiago Oaks Regional Park so I could take a look at the burned areas from the fire a few months ago. Here's some pictures.




Also pictured is the Grijalva Adobe Site historical marker, on Rancho Santiago Blvd. I swung by there on the way back home, so I wouldn't have to go all the way up and over the hill on Cannon again. The historical marker could use some sprucing-up, there's a lot of exposed concrete that probably shouldn't be.

My average speed: about 11mph, for about an hour.

Reindeer room

reindeer room wallpaper

About a year ago when Kim and I went to Wisconsin, we helped Matt to start a project to remodel his "reindeer room" upstairs in his new house in Cudahy. The ceiling was water damaged, and along with the walls made not of drywall but some kind of pressed wood product -- it all had to go. More than anything else, the psychadelic lime green deer frollicking across the walls with flows.

We weren't able to finish the project, which involved raising the ceiling up to the rafters, insulating, rewiring the lights, and putting up drywall. To this date, Matt's been too busy to finish the project on his own.

I use the picture above as the desktop background for my laptop. What better wallpaper than wallpaper?
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All moved over from Wordpress

I found a tool today that uses the Blogger API to migrate blog posts from a WordPress blog to a Blogger blog. I gave it a try, and it looks like it worked perfectly; all my old blog posts are now here on Blogger.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ACCT 509 Research paper trends

Since I'm spending so much time lately working on research papers for my Accounting 509 class, I decided to take a look at just what my time is producing.
TopicWord CountPagesPages, all# ReferencesGrade
IT Funding1254459100
IT Portfolio Mgmt11223.54.51085
Outsourcing137445.5985
Shareholder Value188769.516
Total Spend Analysis3270101310
CIO Dashboard (in progress!)22837.58.58

No time for analysis right now...still gotta finish up paper #6!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Driving home at 700mph

Ok, I didn't really drive home at 700 miles per hour.

But I did take my old Quickcam and recorded my commute home from work on Friday. The original recording was about 25 minutes long, at 15 frames per second. It was neat to try out, but kinda tedious to watch. So I bumped it up to 150fps. Much nicer! It finishes in two and a half minutes.

Next time I need to try to aim the camera up a little higher (too much hood in the frame), and FOCUS! (not that you can tell how out of focus it is in this tiny pixelated video that blogger lets me post.)

video

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just 5 papers to go!

Received some potentially good news today. Instead of having to write a total of 14 papers for my accounting class, we are only now going to have to write 9 -- just one every other week for the rest of the semester.

This sure beats having to write 10 more papers, spending roughly 20 hours per week researching...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Night at the Museum

After a tiring and frustrating day working on research paper number four for my ACCT 509 class, Kim convinced me to have a beer and take some time off to relax.

We watched A Night at the Museum. It was pretty entertaining, but what I want to know is what happened with the old security guards?


Friday, May 25, 2007

A Day in the life

I'm keeping pretty busy these days. Here's the basic rundown:

  • Wake up
  • Take Molly for a walk
  • Breakfast
  • Shower
  • Work (meetings, followup from meetings, and occasionally some hands-on technical stuff)
  • Lunch break
  • Work again
  • (if I get home first) take Molly for a walk
  • Dinner
  • Homework
  • Take Molly on another walk
  • Sleep
On weekends, cut out the work parts...otherwise it's pretty much the same. By quantity, most of my life's events revolve around taking Molly for a walk, three times a day. I guess maybe I visit the bathroom more than that, but that's about it.

Re-blogging

I used to write to my own blog on my website (ok, I'd post every few months on average), but Google's Blogger can do some cool stuff, and it's one less thing for me to have to maintain, so I'm moving over here.

I'm sure you've heard something like this before, maybe from me, but I'm going to try to keep this blog active and post as frequently as I've got something to say...so thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekend Review

Let's pull up the to-do list and see how we did:



  • haircut - check. Still extra crunchy with all that gel they put in it

  • nail trim for Molly - check. plus a couple shots. and I trimmed Madison's claws too.

  • homework - check. Even got started on next week's database assignment

  • bourbon and coke - check. Working on the second one right now

  • fix the lamp in our bedroom (again) - hmm...maybe next weekend.

  • spend plenty of time wearing my new bathrobe - Also working on this one right now


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bacheloring It

bachelor chow -- now with flavor!Kim's heading to Wisconsin for her cousin's wedding tomorrow, so it's just me and the pets this weekend. The weekend should go by pretty fast though, since I'm probably going to have to spend most of it doing homework. I've got research paper #3 to write for my Accounting 509 class. I got the database class's homework done...select, insert, delete? Maybe I should have embellished my work a little....Nah...

So on this weekend's to-do list:


  • haircut

  • nail trim for Molly

  • homework

  • bourbon and coke

  • fix the lamp in our bedroom (again)

  • spend plenty of time wearing my new bathrobe



That should about take up the whole weekend, I think...