Monthly Archives: August 2011

No parking


Unless there’s a funeral. If somebody dies, you can do whatever you want.

I imagine that emergency vehicles aren’t the most fuel efficient of conveyances, and in this time of budget gaps, high fuel costs and environmental turmoil, driving one of these bad boys around to non-emergency events may not be the best decision.

I have the utmost respect for emergency workers.  I don’t think I’d do their job for any amount of money – and in the town I used to live in, it was all volunteer.  (We tried to give them a tax break once and the people voted it down.)  Still, lets be practical.  I love you guys, but there has to be a better way.

Hurricane Irene – The Aftermath


This kinda says it all, huh?  The cleanup is far from over and the final cost yet to be assessed, but its clear to all that what Hurricane Irene lacked in furry it made up for in sheer reach.  From the Carolina’s to Canada, Hurricane Irene made its presence felt with wind and a whole lot of water.

It’s a twister!

OK, it’s probably not a twister – well, I guess it can’t be… twisters are tornadoes, and we on the east coast expecting Hurricane Irene. I don’t have much faith in weather prediction, but there’s no reason to screw around. Here’s the Disaster Supply Kit as outlined by National Hurricane Center. Of course, the most important thing is water. As long as you have clean water, you can survive for a fairly long time, even without food. People tend to overlook their pets in these situations – check your pet food supplies and account for them in your water preparations!

As for me, I counsel you not to panic, no matter what anyone on TV says. Check your local government’s websites – if your area gets issued with an evacuation order, do it – if I have to see one more idiot standing on his roof shouting, “I ain’t leavin’!” at the National Guard troops trying to save him, I am going to snap! Otherwise, relax, stay home, and stay safe.

Check boxWater – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Check boxFood – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils

Check boxBlankets / Pillows, etc.

Check boxClothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

Check boxFirst Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Check boxSpecial Items – for babies and the elderly

Check boxToiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Check boxFlashlight / Batteries

Check boxRadio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Check boxTelephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Check boxCash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods

Check boxKeys

Check boxToys, Books and Games

Check boxImportant documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Check boxTools – keep a set with you during the storm

Check boxVehicle fuel tanks filled

Check boxPet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash

Dogs Playing in the Backyard – Samsung Infuse 4G Video Camera Test

NOTE:  When I edited this, I screwed up the resolution.  This video is a much better example of the Infuse 4G’s video capabilities.

This video was taken with my Samsung Infuse 4G.  I thought I’d be able to do some simple edits in Windows Movie Maker, but no such luck – WMM can’t import .mp4 files.  There are conversion programs, but when you’re dealing with video editing software as primitive as WMM, why bother?

In any case, I have to say that I’m impressed with the video quality.  Sure, it’s not amazing, but for a cell phone, it’s pretty nice.  There are some manual controls and some automatic white balance controls that rivals some presets I’ve had available to me on some old camcorders.

Since I got this phone, people keep asking me if I like it, and I can’t really answer that question.  The Samsung Infuse 4G is my first smart phone, so I don’t really have any frame of reference to do a comparison with.  What I can say is it does everything I want it to do:  takes pictures (has a flash), takes video (max setting is 1280 x 720), works as a video/MP3 player and has external storage as well as internal storage.  I thought I would have trouble adjusting to typing on a touch screen, but it’s a lot easier to get used to then I thought it would be.

In any case, the video camera works well and has more manual controls then I would expect for a camera phone, but I don’t have any idea how well it stacks up against the competition.

more Dog Videos at

Siamese Twin Fortune Cookies


Yeah, Siamese Twin Fortune Cookies…  Bet you didn’t see that coming.  If you didn’t already know, I have a hate-hate relationship with fortune cookies due to the fact that the messages inside are rarely fortunes and usually just bits of attempted wisdom, but Siamese Twin Fortune Cookies takes it to a new level of crapiness at the fortune cookie factory.

Learn Bartending: Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster cocktail

My buddy George dropped by to put on a cocktail making clinic and share his own modification to a Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters recipe he found somewhere on this thingy the kids call the inter-web.  The Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters cocktail is an amusing little drink that is worthy of any warm evening.  To further amuse your friends at parties (trust me, after a few of these bad boys, it’ll be easy), you can explain that this drink traces its origins back to the novel, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which describes it as the best drink in the universe.  As far as drinks go, it’s a sweet one – I guess it’s a cocktail…  I understand that a cocktail is any alcoholic mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients…  whatever.  Here is his recipe:  Read the rest of this entry

Eggplant harvest



The picture of my eggplant doesn’t say it all…  I think this gives the impression that I’m some sort of bad ass farmer, but its not true.  I just buy little baby plants through em in the ground and make sure they get water.  Still, eating stuff that grows around your house is awesome.

Butterfly on my buttetfly bush


That sounds filthy, right?  But it’s true!

Google+ or Oh Goody, Another Social Network!

If you’re not already following on Twitter and Facebook… well, you could. Frankly, I’m content if you come to the site and read the posts – if you drop a comment, I’m ecstatic. If you use one of the social medias and make this site a part of your experience, I’m grateful. As for me, I’m fairly lost in the social networking wilderness.

Twitter is pretty self explanatory – I only use it for and (no personal account) and besides alerts for new posts, I primarily only tweet at the latter. Twitter is what it is – it’s kind of a mess, but at least there isn’t a ton of extraneous nonsense. As for Facebook, I figured out how to make the alerts for new posts go to my personal page (which is almost entirely populated with alerts for new posts at BB and CJ), but not quite to the Facebook pages for the respective sites. I try to check out people’s updates… but I get discouraged quickly. I don’t care that someone parked across three spaces at your office, that your sunglasses fell apart again, or that you made a great dinner.

For me, Twitter and Facebook are a fairly significant amount of social media to manage on their own, and given that I’m not especially interested, it’s tough to get up the motivation to actually do anything manually. If not for the automatic alerts for new posts (bless you, WordPress software!), my Facebook and Twitter would be sparse indeed.

But now, I find myself using Google+, the social networking offering from the search giant that their shareholders have been clamoring for. I’ve never been a heavy Facebook user, but I have to say that in comparison, Google+ is a lot easier, cleaner and less befuddling to use. I haven’t received a single invitation to tour someone’s farm, participate in a gang fight or help someone get food out to a customer in time. The Streams (sounds filthy… or like Ghostbusters: “Don’t cross the streams!”) of family, friends and acquaintances is much easier to navigate than Facebook’s mash up of people you know (their group tool doesn’t do it for me) or MySpace’s advertising-lain distopia. (Maybe Justin Timberlake can fix it, Napster style.)

As much as I can go on and sing the praises of Google+ and it’s superior formatting and user experiences, for me, outside of letting folks know what’s going on at the blog, it’s still a social network and social networking is fairly pointless. For example, last night: my girlfriend was so impressed at my arrangement of taco salad on my plate that she encouraged me to take a photo, which I did, and it occurred to me that as I took the pic with my new phone, I could easily send it somewhere, but… does anyone really care that we’re proud of our dinner? Probably not.

But I’m on Google+ now. Check out my dinner!

vegan nachos daiya cheese

My vegan nachos - that's daiya cheese!

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