Friday, July 31, 2009

Fred Zeppelin @ Gold Lake

Last weekend we were camping at Gold Lake and a few campsites down there was this amazing band rocking out. The band is called Fred Zeppelin and they were really good. There is something magical about a hard rock band playing in the wilderness. Thanks to Fred Zeppelin for a great show.

Thanks to my cousin Mark for inviting me and posting the video!

Piston Powered Fusion

Sometimes I forget how much I don't know about science. Being an expert in one field sort of blinds us to the crazy and creative things going on in other fields. Case in point, the folks at General Fusion have come up with an idea for a new kind of fusion reactor. Read more about it in this Technology Review article.

I love this quote:

"One of the big risks to the project is nobody has compressed spheromaks to fusion-relevant conditions before," says Richardson.
I'm glad folks are still working on big idea startups. This is not a Y Combinator kind of idea. This is a $1 billion project. Cool!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Judas and Me

If you're going to be in NYC, this September or October check out the new play from Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar. It's part of the New York Musical Festival this Fall.

Here's the description:

It's tough keeping up with the Joneses when your neighbor's kid is the Messiah. Consumed by jealousy, Rheba Iscariot pushes her son Judas to be better than Jesus - and we all know how well that turns out. A new musical comedy by the Tony-nominated writing team of Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, Judas & Me is a hilarious look at life with the ultimate biblical stage mom.
Should be a great show!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hawley Lake Run

Jameson Canyon?

Mark and I were doing a run last weekend for Wampler Kids. It's a great cause.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Clamato and Bud Light

I did not buy this but I'm tempted!

My First Cat5

I'm putting a new camera at the front door and decided I needed to make my own ethernet cable. I got a crimper and a spool of cable from Radio Shack. I had to look up the order of the wires, and found this site and the video pretty useful. Thanks LAN Shack for the great tutorial.

I didn't know if the wires were supposed to be the same on each end or not. They should be in the same order on each end. The order is: orange stripe, orange, green stripe, blue, blue stripe, green, brown stripe, and brown.

The image above is the first image from the camera. It's not mounted yet and the wire is still strung across the doorway. I just wanted to do a quick test to see if my home made cable actually worked or not.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Armstrong and Truveo

Just saw this in the NY Times. It seems the new AOL CEO likes Truveo but was convinced that it's not a core business. Strange.

Eventually, the assembled employees voted on their top five ideas. Separately, Mr. Armstrong wrote his top five on a blackboard, turning it so the audience could see it only after the vote. The only difference: Mr. Armstrong wanted to include AOL’s Truveo video search company in the top priorities. But he deferred to the group and assigned Truveo instead to a new unit called AOL Ventures, where he is putting noncore businesses, like the Bebo social network, that might eventually be sold.
I wonder if anyone from Truveo was in the room...

3 Phone Wires

We're doing some remodeling and I need to move a phone jack. Turns
out this old house has three wires running to the phone jack. What's
up with that? I've always seen pairs but never an extra wire.

As you can see, the third wire isn't being used.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Makeshift Camera Cover

Just in case it rains.

I added a camera that keeps an eye out on one of our doors. I didn't have a lot of time but wanted to make sure the camera didn't get destroyed if it rained. Luckily the camera came with everything wrapped up in little plastic bags. I used a couple of those bags to drape behind and in front of the camera. There is enough room for airflow so it shouldn't get too hot. The lens isn't covered so it doesn't obscure the image.

Hopefully this will hold until I have a chance to find a better solution or the wife finds it.

The camera caught a snapshot of me attacking it. :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SMS Camera Alerts

As we pulled into the garage early on Friday morning my iPhone chirped the arrival of an SMS. I thought this was odd since it was I don't usually get text messages at 1am.

Silly me, I forgot that I had setup the camera to send me text messages when it detected motion. We've been out of town for most of the summer so I wanted to know if there was any action inside my garage. I was pleasantly surprised when it worked so well. In the photo above, you can see me telling above telling my wife what just happened.

I'm working on a website that will let you do this kind of thing, and a whole lot more. If you're interested in trying it out, go to and request alpha access. We're slowly opening the doors to a few alpha users.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cool Augmented Reality with Pacube

I've been following Pachube for a while now. They put out this video recently showing how Pachube data could be combined with augmented reality.

Imagine folks walking down the street with those augmented reality glyphs printed on their clothing. If you had the right camera setup, you could check out the data feeds represented by their t-shirts. I see a computer art project in the making....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rubicon Misadventure

On our way out on the last day we got stuck behind this rig (above). I didn't have any pictures of it so I didn't include it in my original Rubicon post. The guy pictured above was stuck on Cadillac Hill. He only had 4wd high with no breaks. This is an example of how not to do the Rubicon. His engine (below) was held in with the yellow strap. The engine eventually shifted and the fan started hitting the radiator. Our guys helped jury rig it so it worked a bit. Notice the jack and the newer orange straps holding it together!

The guy was nice enough but he just wasn't nearly prepared enough for the trip. After a couple of hours we were able to get him to a wide spot in the trail so other folks could get by. On the Rubicon you can never be in a hurry.