I Need A Job Title

I was thinking today that I’ve never actually had business cards before (never really needed them). But sometimes it might be handy to have them (I dunno… maybe you need something to write on real quick…)

So I decided if I’m going to get business cards, I’m going to make cool ones. But then I realized I don’t really have a job title… So you guys needs to think of a job title for me. The best one I could think of myself is “Digital Inventor”, but I want to hear all suggestions (leave a comment with the suggestion).

Buick Invitational

I went VIP style to the Buick Invitational golf tournament today (thanks to Bank of America). It was pretty fun to lounge on the 18th green/fairway with all the food/drinks you want. :)

I’m sure you must find that terribly exciting (whoever is reading this), eh? :)

Me and Tiger Woods are becoming old friends these days. :)

Tilt Shift Photography

Been seeing some interesting pictures floating around the last week or so where people take a picture of a real scene, but it’s done in a way so it looks like a very detailed model.

For example, check out the pictures on these sites:

http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=1760>
http://blog.so-net.ne.jp/photolog/archive/c22183

Being a dork, I started digging into the “how-to” side of things and found a really informative site…

http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/tilt-shift

100 Patty Burger

A group of 10 drunk friends went to In-And-Out Burger and demanded a cheeseburger with 100 patties. Aaauuuggghh…

http://whatupwilly.blogspot.com/2006/01/in-n-out-100×100.html

I need to stop right here. Please take a CAREFUL look the picture on the right. There is a common misperception that the 100×100 has a hundred buns. No, that’s not true. It’s one set of buns and ONE HUNDRED meat patties and ONE HUNDRED pieces of sweaty-oily cheese in between the buns. Clearly, the worst part of this experience wasn’t the meat..it was the sweaty cheese.

World’s Smallest Fish

Last time I was deep sea fishing, I swear I caught one of these, but threw it back because it seemed a little small. God dammit… if only I knew it was fully grown!

The tiny, see-through Paedocypris fish have the appearance of larvae and have a reduced head skeleton, which leaves the brain unprotected by bone.

They live in dark tea-coloured waters with an acidity of pH3, which is at least 100 times more acidic than rainwater.

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2006/jan/news_7501.html

Fiber To My Door

I just found out today that the house I’m building is going to have fiber to the door from the phone company (SBC/AT&T), so there will be no old school twisted pair copper wires coming into my home. :)

The downside to this is the temporary construction trailer is going to need special equipment to get a temporary phone line from the fiber. Oh well. :)

39Mbit “DSL”, here I come!

tcpdump

If you ever need to figure out what is eating bandwidth on a server, tcpdump comes in handy…

tcpdump -n -i any

That will spew out everything, so you might be able to find anything that looks suspicious in there. Say you find the IP address of 1.2.3.4 doing something suspicious, you can zero in on them to see if they are doing anything naughty like so:

tcpdump -n -i any host 1.2.3.4

In my case, someone was utilizing one of my DNS servers for about 200 lookups per second (not logging DNS lookups and it’s UDP traffic so it was hard to figure out where the bandwidth was going).

Once you find a naughty IP address, now just block them like so:

route add -host 1.2.3.4 reject (Linux)

or

route add -host 1.2.3.4 255.255.255.255 -reject (Mac OS X/BSD)

Stock Market Set For A Good Year Thanks To The Steelers

Time to invest in the stock market! :)

http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/23/news/funny/super_bowl_indicator/

The National Football League playoffs produced a Super Bowl matchup that suggests a winning year for stocks is now a lock.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers upset the Denver Broncos Sunday, it meant that neither team in the Feb. 5 game will have American Football League roots. The Steelers, which moved to the American Football Conference when the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, will face the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s championship game.

And according to the Super Bowl Stock Indicator, a victory by an old NFL team means a bullish year for stocks, while a victory by an old AFL team gives the bears the upper hands.

I’m Psychic (No Seriously)

I get very few phone calls on my cell phone… maybe 3 calls per week or so. Anyway… sitting in the car with my roommate, I started singing my ringtone (which I don’t do normally). And 10 seconds later my cell phone started ringing. My roommate had a pretty weird look on her face. :)

3 Year Old Smoker

Teach ‘em young! :) At this rate smokers might die of lung cancer before they are legally allowed to buy cigarettes.

Maybe Gerber should just make tobacco flavored baby food. :)

I can just see this kid on Santa’s lap… “I’ve been a good boy, I would like a carton of Marlboro Reds please.”

Powder At Mammoth

Was at Mammoth mountain the last few days and the day we left (this morning) it was snowing pretty good. Got a half day in before driving home. The mountain got about a foot of powder overnight and was snowing hard enough all morning that when you went back up the lift, your previous tracks were gone, so every run was virgin powder. Nice! :)

Satanist Running For Minnesota Governor

Wait, what? I don’t even know what to say about this one, but Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey is running for Governor of Minnesota in 2006.

The picture I have was taken from his campaign website. hahaha…

http://www.jonathonforgovernor.us/Home_page.html

Honesty is very seldom heard nowadays, especially from a politician. So, I am going to break from political tradition. My name is Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, Ph.D., L.D.D.D. I am a Satanic Dark Priest, Sanguinarian Vampyre and a Hecate Witch. My Magikal Path name is: Lord Ares.

I despise and hate the Christian God the Father. He is my enemy.

Well… isn’t that neat… :) Maybe this guy can make sure that whoever stole my snowboard stuff (see previous entry) really does burn in hell.

I kind of want this guy to win, because it will be years of good material for Conan, Jon Stewart, Saturday Night live, etc. :)

New Snowboard Junk

I got a new snowboard (and some other stuff to do with it today)… I ended up getting a Burton Custom 154, Flow bindings some new boots and some *really* nice gloves (having cold or wet hands SUCKS!).

Anyway, just in case whoever stole my previous gear out of the back of my truck is reading this… “It sucks for you, because now you are going to hell and you are going to have no use at ALL for my snowboarding gear in hell. And if I ever see you, I’m going to stab you!”

Lame ass took EVERYTHING from the back of my truck… snowboard, boots, gloves, beanie, thermal underwear, socks, frisbees, etc.

Schematic Design Review

The 2nd (of 3) design reviews by the design board (for the HOA) where my house is going to be built is done. It was approved on the first try submittal (yay!).

I think the final submittal is basically just the working drawings (same thing you submit to the county to get permits). If all goes well, that could be in 5-6 weeks.

Chuck Norris Facts

What’s the deal with Chuck Norris lately? I seem to run across his name everywhere these days…

From http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/

  • Crop circles are Chuck Norris’ way of telling the world that sometimes corn needs to lie the fuck down.
  • The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed misserably.
  • There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.
  • When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.
  • Chuck Norris drives an ice cream truck covered in human skulls.
  • Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.
  • In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.
  • There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.

I’m Going To Enter The 2006 NFL Draft

I was in Mexico on Saturday helping give out gifts and feed kids (I never want to see another hot dog or piece of carne asada in my life), and we took a break to play a little street football.

I never realized how awesome I am at football… I caught the only touchdown for our team (we only had one) and on defense I had 2 defended passes and all the interceptions for our team (2). In fact the whole game ended when their quarterback quit after my second pick.

So, I’m hereby entering the 2006 NFL draft. I should be a high 2nd rounder I’m thinking. I can play offense and defense!

Oh… did I mention that the kids I played against were all 10-15 years old? ;)

Someone Finally Got A Car Stereo Right

Wow… I was starting to think that no car stereo company would “get it right” and give me exactly what I wanted. Not only did they get it right, but it’s better than I wanted (detachable GPS for example)…

I wanted a double-din deck with a touch screen (I even tossed around the idea of having a company rewire the IVA-300 touch screen to not be motorized because the PulseTouch screen is so nice (but not double-DIN). There was absolutely no option for bluetooth built into an aftermarket car stereo. I wanted iPod control, but it was annoying to have a hideaway box to get it. I also wanted a navigation system with the ability to see live traffic on it (also annoying it required a hideaway box). I went over it all over here and here.

So anyway… check this out…

Alpine came out with a double-DIN sized deck (the IVA-W200). It’s certainly more than I was expecting… double-DIN, with a PulseTouch screen (only the 2nd deck in the world with it), built-in iPod control (no need for a hideaway box) and Bluetooth (KCA-100BT module). As a bonus, it’s a DVD player too. Oh, and it has a steering wheel remote jack as well (you can still use your steering wheel controls without an IR blaster).

They also came out with the Blackbird (PMD-B100) portable navigation unit. The cool thing about this you don’t need a bulky hideaway DVD unit (with map data), since it’s portable, it’s all self-contained. It has a docking unit (which you could throw in your glovebox or something) so when it’s docked, you don’t have to see it and you can just access it from your deck when you want to. It also does live traffic data as well. :)

What the hell? Could it possibly be that someone did it exactly right? I guess we’ll see in March. :)

Central Audio/Video Distribution

Okay, I finally sat down tonight and figured out what I *think* I need (at least it’s a start so the experts have something to start with) to do centrally distributed audio/video for the house.

Audio

So I’m thinking every room (minus bathrooms, except for master) should be an audio “zone” as well as the pool house and then 3 zones for audio outside (front yard, back yard and golf area). That works out to 20 audio zones. Three of those should be 7.1 surround (living room, home theatre and master bedroom) with everything else being 2 channel stereo. So after figuring that out, now what in the hell sort of equipment do I need to make all this work? Maybe this (this is all Crestron stuff)…

  • CNX-BIPAD8 (3 of them) – CAT5 24×8 distributor (24 possible sources in, 8 rooms out) any room could be on any source so 3 of these will cover 24 “rooms/zones”
  • CNAMPX-16X60 (2 of them) – 16 channels x 60 watts each (8 rooms per amp, 16 rooms total)
  • CNAMPX-2X60 (1 of them) – 2 channels x 60 watts each (1 room)
  • CNAMPX-7×200 (3 of them) – 7 channel x 200 watts surround sound amp (3 of them for the 3 rooms I want 7.1 in)
  • C2N-DAP8 (3 of them) – 7.1 surround sound processor
  • AAS-4 – Digital Audio Server (250GB of MP3s, able to output 4 independent streams as sources to the distributors)
  • CEN-IPOD – iPod dock

So in the end what would that give me? I would have the ability to pipe any of the 5 sources (4 unique streams of MP3 and music from an iPod) to any specific zone, plus with the ability to hook up 11 additional sources, you could pick up the audio output of a computer for example and use it as another source.

Video

So this is where it gets even more complicated. I want all TVs to be running digital signals (HDMI/HDCP) where possible. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Crestron has any equipment to run HDMI signals. Another problem is the HDMI signals are going to be coming from the server room, so you start to run into a cable length issue. So… enter Gefen.

  • EXT-HDMI-444 (2 of them) – 4×4 HDMI switch (4 sources switchable between 4 outputs. 2 of them should give 4 sources switchable between 8 outputs)
  • EXT-HDMI-244 (2 of them) – 2×4 HDMI splitter (2 sources switchable between 4 outputs. Need this to split the 4 master sources to the 2 4×4 switchers.)
  • EXT-HDMI-1000HD150B (3 of them) – 150′ HDMI fiber extender
  • EXT-HDMI-1000HD100B (4 of them) – 100′ HDMI fiber extender

The lengths are just guesses, but that setup would let me run HDMI signals over fiber at full 1080p resolutions (1920×1080).

What would really simplify this would be if there was a 4×8 HDMI switcher available. But I couldn’t find a company that offers a HDMI switcher/matix except for Gefen. I didn’t even attempt to go digging for a dual link (Type B) HDMI switcher. hehe

At least this gives me something to start with when dealing with the home automation guys… now I don’t have to meet when them and just be like, “Duuuuhhhhhhh… I don’t know what I want/need.”

It also made me realize I want conduit running to every place a TV could be.

Wearable Video iPod Screen

eMagin is making a wearable iPod video screen. Apparently they didn’t realize iPods are more about their “cool factor” than anything else… But for those that want to walk around town looking like the borg, now you can! :)

“Suddenly you’ve got this big-screen, movie-screen, home-theater experience, wherever you are,” said Gary Jones, eMagin’s president and CEO.

Amputee Porn

Last night when I was at Shawn and Allison’s apartment for New Years Eve, somehow we ran across something that I never knew existed… Amputee porn.

I don’t remember how we ended up finding it, but uhm… wait… amputee porn? People pay a membership fee to look at naked chicks with no legs/arms?

After that, no matter what anyone says about me… I’m normal.