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Tires Really Make a Difference

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I knew it, but I guess I didn’t really know it. I do now — tires really make a difference. A week ago, I bought a new set of Michelin Primacy MXV4′s for my car. If I recall, this is the 3rd set of tires I’ve put on in the 100,000 miles I’ve put on it (in 10 years). I’ve needed them for a while, but I kept putting it off, because I knew they’d be a special order. Nobody stocks the size tires I need. As this October was the wettest October in Memphis history (at least since they started record keeping in the 1800′s), I finally got sick of slipping and sliding like I was on ice and called Sears up to get them to order the tires. They came in after a few days and I got them put on over lunch on Friday a week ago. The difference is dramatically different. The road noise, ride, and grip have all improved more than I expected. The most impressive change is in road noise. I knew my car was loud, but I just assumed it was because I’d pulled out the headliner and that it’s 20 or 21 years old. Sure, I realized there was some tire noise, but I didn’t think it was such a large contributor. Now, it’s like I’m driving a new car.

11/8/2009 – Slight update: Gas mileage increased as well. With one tank behind me I’d say 5%.

11/11/2009 – Further update, I would have been in an accident yesterday if it weren’t for the new tires.  Cruising home from work and suddenly everything stopped.  Lots of cars sliding and pulling onto the shoulder.  I absolutely know the old tires would have let go, but I didn’t even get a chirp with these.

Bought An iPhone

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

So, I finally got an iPhone. I know it’s a few years behind the time, but the 3GS and 3.0 OS finally made it seem like a complete product. Also, the 32GB model seemed like it was the first to really be big enough as a convergence device. Additionally, the App Store “ecosystem” looked like it had reached the size needed to sustain itself. So, I dumped my no-longer-on-a-contract T-mobile account over to AT&T. So far so good. It’s nice to have a reasonable Internet browser all the time. I’m an NPR addict, so having instant access to their podcasts is awesome. Weather radar in your hand is amazing. I’ve got enough space to hold an enormous number of apps, music, podcasts, pictures, movies, and TV shows to remain computerless for a good chunk of time. I’ve even managed to connect to my office VPN, but I haven’t bought an SSH app to do my normal thing with yet (I live on a terminal). I even found this blog app, so maybe I will get back to posting again.

Staying busy

Monday, December 18th, 2006

It’s been pretty busy since my last post.  There is a lot going on.

First thing is the weather.  It has been a Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde thing.  We had a pretty cold streak that lasted about a week (cold enough I actually turned the heater on) followed by a heat wave.  It hit 70F-something today.  It’s December; it’s not supposed to be that hot.  I’ve turned the A/C back on.
Kitty is losing some weight.  I’ve put her on a restricted diet with Shinta gone and when she came back she said Kitty looked skinnier.  I’m not starving her by any means, but we’ve cut back from giving her food at every meow to something much more structured and regulated.  When she gets down to “healthy” we’ll increase the flow a bit.  I bought a bag of the “light” food too, so hopefully we can up the volume enough that she doesn’t feel as hungry.  We’ll see how it turns out.

I’ve been out to the airport 3 weekends in a row now.  It’s kinda nice just sitting there watching the planes and listening to the traffic on the scanner.  I’m gonna be real used to radio traffic again when I start back flying.  Heck I might even get to know “the guys” fairly well by then too.  It’s cool to have such an active little airport so close to home.

With Shinta gone, I had to occupy my time more than normal.  I decided to go ahead and try listening to a podcast I’d seen postings about, but just never gotten around to listening to.  It’s BSD Talk (http://bsdtalk.blogspot.com/). Somehow, I managed to listen to ALL of them.  Yes, an entire year’s worth of podcasts in a little over a week.  I’m caught up and loving it.  Will does a really great job covering the BSD’s and related things.  I find myself checking for more postings daily now.

The TV show season is winding up.  We just watched the Survivor ending tonight.  It’s cool that Yul won, but really any of the final 4 was fine with me.  I’m a little disappointed in the Amazing Race ending.  I really didn’t want any of the top 3 teams to win.  I’d have liked the Alabama team to win from the 3 that got to the top, but I really wished Kentucky or the Cho brothers had made it.  I think the Cho brothers had more of a chance, but they shouldn’t have played so stupidly.  It’s one thing to help the other teams in the “six pack”, but to constantly draw themselves down in order to help the others was just dumb (in my opinion).  Oh well, it could have just been how the producers edited things.  I’m looking forward to the Amazing Race All Stars coming next year.  I’m starting to wonder when Stargate is going to pick up again.

I took a couple of work buddies shooting.  Introduced them to “the dark side”.  It’ll be interesting to see if they want to go again.  I think they enjoyed it.  It’s hard not to enjoy blasting 5.56 down range.  No recoil, lots of noise, and an evil looking toy.

I finally added a slide show to my photo gallery.  It’s certainly not the most full featured slide show.  It’s not pretty, very intuitive, or even that elegant, but it functions without javascript.  That’s a big deal to me right now.  Maybe when I code some sort of AJAX solution, but not right now.  Right now I want it all done in a way that supports a wide set of browsers without the need for javascript.  I’m about ready to write the captions parser, but I may wait and redo the entire back end first to make it a bit more of a media asset manager with web browser accessibility, than just a dedicated photo gallery.  We’ll see.

Work seems to be kind of winding up for the year.  Looks like there are a lot of people disappearing for vacations and our last release of the year out the door.  Time to start working on some infrastructure changes for next year.

catch-up

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Okay, it’s been a while since my last post. A lot has happened, but my web presence has been pretty limited. Two words: Moving sucks.

Let’s see what all has happened…

Well, I graduated. I really wondered about my grade in my Theoretical Foundations of Computing class, but I did manage to pull it off. It was a little stressful waiting for the grades to get posted, but all was well.

Graduation Day was interesting. We got lucky in that the weather was cloudy and cool. I’ve been to plenty of graduations out in the sun and that sucks. Heck, it even rained on us, but they gave us rain ponchos as we walked out onto the field. President Bush made quite an entrance with the helicopters flying over the stadium. They (“they” being the President and his entourage, filling 4 or 5 helicopters) landed on the practice football field just east of Gallagher-Iba. President Bush’s speech was a good one. It was short at about 20 minutes, but that’s not such a bad thing. Many keynote speakers drone on forever. It was pretty much non-partisan and very much a graduation speech; not a political speech. It really made those protesters seem stupid. In effect, despite what many of them claimed, they were protesting our graduation and not the government’s policies. I didn’t walk down to the protesting area, but from the signs I read, and the stuff I heard from their PA system, they were pretty pathetic. They assumed the speech would be political and wound up making fools of themselves. The media gave them a heck of a lot of coverage, though.

After the preliminary speeches were done, everyone left for lunch and got ready for the 2 graduation walk ceremonies in the afternoon. We went to Pat’s apartment for a little gathering Pat and Mom put together. They did a real good job. Pat’s apartment is pretty small, but we managed to just fit.

For the walk part, we were inside Gallagher-Iba. I was far from the last person to line up for the procession from the A&S gathering site to the arena, but lots of people pushed forward so as not to look like they were late and I wound up at basically the end of the entire walking process. It took so long I think I might have fallen asleep waiting for my name. I’m sure glad that is over.

The next day was a moving day for me. I intended to move out before noon, but it wound up taking until nearly 21:00 for me to get done. That was a long day. I then spent the week with Pat.

The next weekend was for moving my stuff out to Memphis. That was one heck of a drive. I hate driving. Have I mentioned that? I hate driving.

My next week consisted of me catching up on a season worth of TV shows. Except for Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy, I had Beyond TV recording everything I wanted to watch for the semester. Wow was that a lot of shows, but I did get caught up.

When Shinta got back to Memphis, we went to see Mission: Impossible III. It’s a fun action film. I don’t get all the negative press over it. I thought it was about as good as the second film. I particularly enjoyed the action. It was constantly moving forward. They had it cram packed with HK weapons too. I also noted that some of the mercs in the bridge scene were carrying Krinkovs. Gotta give props to the great AKS-74U.

The next day (Saturday) we caught Over the Hedge. It’s a really funny film. I enjoyed it. I didn’t exactly enjoy the little kids and the huge mess they made in the theater, but it was a good film. I recommend it. As intended, it’s good for all ages.
Then, Sunday, was Marrina’s graduation. So, I made the long drive back to OKC for that. While there I picked up the grandparents so that they could spend the week with us in Memphis. It was a wonderful week. It has been a long time since I’ve been around them for such a period of time and it was great. We took them to the Wat Buddhasamakeedham for the yearly memorial of my dad’s death and Uncle O took them back to OKC with him. I hope it wasn’t the last time they stay with us.

When we got back to Memphis, we went to see The Da Vinci Code. It’s a good thriller. I never read the book, but the story was really good. Most of the twists I didn’t expect and they were interesting. I don’t understand why the critics didn’t like this one either, but I did. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the book, but it was good.
Last night we went to see X-Men: The Last Stand. That was a good film too. At least in the summer blockbuster sense. It thought it was about as good as the first film (the second was the best of the three). It was well done and I think well written. The special effects were mostly good. There were a few things that the special effects could have improved on, but for the most part it was fairly seemless. No spoilers here, but there were a couple of interesting twists I didn’t expect.

I think that catches things back up.

Cool weather

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

And I mean that in both senses of the word cool.  So I was complaining about 102F in April.  Well, the high today was a whopping 44F lower (58F).  Other than being a little windy, this was more like it.  I love the variety sometimes.

102F today

Monday, April 17th, 2006

And the weather saga continues.  The NOAA website shows a 2 days history for Stillwater Airport weather data.  It shows that the high today was 102F.  Considering I’ve experienced snow or at least freezes in late April, this is nuts.  The average daily temp for today is 79F.  Could be worse, though.  There was a fire at a power station in Edmond today that knocked out power and therefore A/C for a bunch of people there.  Power is supposed to be back up now, but the temps are down over 20F from the highs.

Where did Spring go?

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

I’m starting to wonder what happened to the Spring? We went from an aweful cold (well, aweful for most people, I thought it was pleasant) to this blistering heat. I don’t know what the official high temps have been for the last few days, but I know they had to be near 100F if they didn’t pass it. Where are those 70 degree days of Spring? Hopefully we’ll get some reprieve on May 6 or I’m gonna pass out on the field.  If it is this hot now, we’re gonna be breaking records in August.  When 120F days are “the good old days” I don’t wanna be in the present.