Archive for October, 2009

Truth as strange as fiction.

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Thanks to a post at Me and My Boys, I learned that Nantucket island is actually mining their landfill.

Beyond the environment winning here, I’m am amused because this is truth following fiction as this is just what Stirling predicted would happen in his book Island in The Sea of Time.

For those unfamiliar with the book, the island of Nantucket is arbitrarily plucked from the modern era and transported to circa 1250 B.C. Geographically, they are still on Nantucket Island, it is only the when that changes. Faced with a lack of refining and technological assets they eventually begin mining the landfill for electronic components and other refined materials. Cool, huh? This was one of my favorite details from the book. Necessity meets ingenuity and bang: elegant solution.

With the price of copper and some precious metals skyrocketing, it does make you wonder when this becomes financially worthwhile on a grand scale. What percent of the material needs to be useful for the separation process to be worthwhile? I have no idea, but it is a compelling thought.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

A spooky sunset welcomes the trick-or-treaters
IMG_4620

as does a ferocious dragon
IMG_4614

and a somewhat more jocular jack.
IMG_4607

Roar!
IMG_3895

Madison Country Contest… Apparently still going…

Monday, October 26th, 2009

So the photo contest I entered a few weeks back was supposed to have been judged and done weeks ago. I hadn’t heard anything, so I just assumed that none of my pictures had rated.

So then I see this posting from the Madison County Tourism blog and apparently they haven’t even judged the darn things yet.

Now my stupid hopes are going to get up again.

FlashForward Flaw.

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

So K & I have been watching the show FlashForward. We just watched the latest two episodes. We’re not quite hooked yet, although the last few minutes of the most recent episode may be putting us over the top.

So for those of you who are not watching, the premise is that at one particular moment everybody on Earth passes out at exactly the same time. During the time when they are unconscious, they have a vision of a particular date and time six months into the future. It’s unclear whether the visions are going to happen or are just one possible future, but none of them have been violated yet.

So here’s my primary flaw with this concept… and it’s a pretty big flaw in my mind. Why doesn’t everybody imagine themselves celebrating the fact that what they saw has come true?

If I had a concrete vision of some point in my future and I knew exactly what point in time that was, I would have every alarm clock in my life set to go off at exactly that time so I could validate my vision. I’d anticipate that date and time with pretty much every fiber in my being. If it were a global phenomenon, I’d expect the media to be whooping it up and partying like it was 1999…

Yet, everyone’s vision that we’ve seen so far, is pretty much ordinary… like they had no vision of the future at all. Not that the visions were necessarily business as usual,[1] but they were just regular daily activities.

I’d be pretty certain to be out of the office, or out of town or out of the country if I saw a particular bad thing happening, but most likely I would have expected to be staring at my watch saying: “Look, I’m staring at my watch just like I knew I would be!!”

  1. I won’t go into details for fear of spoilers. []

Colors of Fall

Friday, October 16th, 2009

The thermometer has taken a dive for the cellar and what was a beautiful start to fall has pretty much skipped right to November. This morning, the frost was definitely on the pumpkins.[1]
IMG_4470

However, over the last few weeks we’ve been enjoying the rainbow of leaves and the autumn activities here in Central New York. [2]
IMG_4423

Our pumpkins with Nate for scale.
IMG_4446

After work today Nate and I had some fun playing in a big pile of leaves in the front yard. Honestly, this is probably the first time in 4-5 years I’ve actually raked leaves. I guess I had a good reason for once.

IMG_4486 IMG_4496 IMG_4508

IMG_4488

Also check out some of the other new pics of Nate that have been posted: Nate helping paint the nursery, Nate giving K the “No Mommy” face, etc.

  1. Snow actually. []
  2. I admit to wondering if I’ve managed to capture the new logo for the GBLA of Canada. []

Moving quickly…

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we’re 11 days into October already. There’s been so much going on but so little has really been blog-worthy.

Some follow up news:

Some tech items:

  • TV: The new flat screen looks much better than I expected. I admit I was skeptical about the whole HDTV thing, but it really is crisper and clearer. I’ve gotten so used to the wide-screen ratio on my computer at home (and laptop at work) that it feels much more natural than the 4:3 ratio now. Not that I’ve had much time for TV.
  • CPU: New processor is humming along nicely. Calling this a success.
  • K’s PC: Did some low level malware cleaning, nothing major, then did a WXP repair. Seems to be better now.
  • Forged Alliance: Bought SupCom Gold (original plus FA expansion) for $5 on D2D. If you hurry you can get it before midnight. Annoyed that their site doesn’t seem to work properly with FF. However, since IE can’t handle downloads over 4GB, this forces you to install their annoying download manager. Also got Bioshock ($5!) for a rainy day (month?). Not sure when that’s going to happen. I’m bummed I found out about this sale in week 4 of 4… although my budget probably is not.

Life items:

  • Work is insane.
  • Last weekend: I have no idea. I can’t really remember last weekend… I think it was fall. See previous. There might have been pictures, and if there were I’ll post them soon.
  • Nursery: Finally started painting. Got the room emptied out and setup for painting. Got three walls done. Fourth wall (complementing color), trim and doors remaining.
  • Apple Fest: Went to Lafayette for the apple fest. Started drizzly and cloudy. Apple fritters were worth it. Cleared up by early afternoon.
  • Pumpkins: On the way back from previous, we found a great farm along Rt.80[1] selling pumpkins. We bought 3 ‘medium size’ pumpkins for $10.[2] These pumpkins were enormous. Pics will follow. Very cool horse tire swing we may have to try to replicate.

Sleep now.

  1. The farm is somewhere between Highland Forest and Rt. 91… sorry I can’t do better, but it’s a lovely scenic drive and I wasn’t paying that much attention. []
  2. They were $3 each, but the guy was so nice we gave him the change. []

Organized by mechanical engineers…

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

This is my inaugural post from our new office/guest bedroom. Technically, it’s the same room I had my office in before, but now there is a queen size bed crammed in also. Through some planning, sweat and back-breaking iteration, we have accommodated:

  • One four poster queen bed (5×7.5′)
  • One circa 1953 steel desk[1] weighing in at ridiculous and measuring 2.5×5′.
  • One large office desk chair
  • Three 30″ 2-shelf bookcases.
  • One two drawer filing cabinet
  • All of my computer gear (Large tower, flatscreen and UPS on desk, flatbed scanner and laser printer on bookshelf and filing cabinet respectively)
  • A closet full of shelving containing more books, computer parts and various other accessories

The room measures a just short of 10’x11′, has a door on the end of one wall, a window on the opposite wall (in the far corner), and in the same corner as the window (but on a third wall) is a deep closet. All desk and cabinet drawers are clear to extend to their full depth. All bookshelves have full access and the closet doors can open and close (bi-fold style)[2]

I wish I had a lens wide-angle enough to show you just how packed, yet functional this is. It’s a bit tight getting around the bed to the closet, but a person can still fit easily. The bed fills pretty much half the room, and there won’t be much space for luggage… but we didn’t have to buy any new furniture.

Now that we’ve got the ex-guest bedroom cleared out, it can officially be transformed into the new nursery. That will pretty much be paint and window treatments. I’m bummed we don’t have the cash for the wood floors I wanted to put in, but new siding was more important.

  1. We call it the battleship desk. []
  2. In the interests of full disclosure, I removed one of the doors simply because it serves no purpose now, but if it were there it would have sufficient clearance. []