New Toy

Purchased a Fuji FinePix F470 digital camera today. I am impressed with the quality. The only problem so far is blurring. I was taking pictures of the cat (click on thumb to the right). He can’t sit still so he is coming out blurry. I had the camera set at automatic mode. Maybe I can alter a few settings manually and get rid of this problem. I have a bit of learning here.

The other cool thing is that this camera can take video. Fairly good video at that. The video is at 30 frames per second and there is sound. The only disappointment is the compression, or lack there of. A 54 second video at 640×480 takes up nearly 50 MB. I did purchase a 1 GB memory card with this camera, so I will still get 20 minutes of recording in. If I want more time, I can drop down to 320×240 resolution and get 30 minutes.

My only available target for shooting pictures was my cat, so he was the first to get filmed. I uploaded this video onto YouTube, so it has lost some quality due to YouTube’s compression scheme. Watch carefully as parts of Spar’s soul drift away.

Scientific Slight of Hand

A small news crew was duped into believing that some dude was using water as fuel (your YouTube video). This is not the first time this has been accomplished (another video on YouTube dating back to the 80s).

You have to put energy in (electricity), to get energy out of water. See the diagram associated with this post for a play by play of what is happening. The electrolysis of water is a great way to store energy, but you aren’t making energy. If you have a solar panel or wind generator, you can have the electricity generated go to making hydrogen fuel. Then when you need the energy, you burn the hydrogen. Think of the electrolysis of water as a form of battery.

A little X-posting action from the community. Looks like a firm has made some PR spots saying that the science behind global warming isn’t good. I made my official funny comment on the reply section of the weathnerds post. Please read. If you want me to debunk those commercials, just ask. I’m hoping you can see through them on your own.

Sven Sundgaard has his own blog. Since he is a TV weather dude on KARE11, I really should mock him. I just can’t. I have had a couple of encounters with him, and he is a cool and likable guy. But I won’t stop any of you from making fun. That goat that you see throughout his blog is a prime target for mockery, I think.

If you page down to the May 5 entry of Sven’s blog, you will see this picture. Amy to the left and Amanda to the right are two of my co-workers. It is through their friendship, that I’ve been at the same social gatherings as Sven.

Sociological Cahoots

I just don’t play games that much anymore. If I do, I fall back on a game I have experience with. I own a copy of Call of Duty 2 and Battlefield 2, and I have barely touched these games.

So I had a rare gaming night last night. I played the old reliable UT2004. I found a server that was compatible with my skills. The last game of the night was was the most frustrating. I had the high score of any individual player, but I was on the losing team. The last round of that match, I actually broke through and took the other teams key node. The rest of my team didn’t react in time and the early advantage was lost. The other team quickly regained the upper hand, and the final spike was driven in our loss.

Here is the stat page from that defeat. I am fairly sure we would of won if that Caps wasn’t on our team. What dead weight (place winking emoticon here).

Hi, Coal Hauler

I went to the St. Paul ChatterBox Pub last night with a couple friends. A great place. Chatterbox is split up into two sections. One section had a bar, some high tables and few booths. The other half had more booths with a couch section in the middle for the retro console video games. Looking around, the people having the most fun were the ones playing board games. I was looking at the video game couches, and saw the all too familiar glazed looks of people staring at TV pixels.

The ages there were young (hipsters?). We then took note that this place was close to 3 small colleges. My group was around 40 years old. We estimated that there might have been 5 people older than us. The place was packed when we got there just before 10 PM. When we left at 1230 AM, I would say it was about a third full.

We played a couple games of Yahtzee. This had to be the first time I played Yahtzee in over 20 years. Even with a drunken score keeper, I managed to win both games. Yahtzee is the ultimate game of skill and strategy – remember that.

Today was a drive down to Lakeville, MN and bike around the town day. Here is the MotionBased trace of my bike ride. While I was down there, I was scoping out the place to see what kind of standard of living there was for the money. I still have hopes of moving down to the cities, so I keep doing research. Very bike friendly area with a few fairly big lakes (hence the name) within its city limits. I cut and paste an article about Lakeville below. This article was part of the reason I did this little trip.

If I were to move to Lakeville right now, this would be the house I would buy. Here is a picture I snapped of that place (the small, grey house in the middle). The main thing I like is that the Lake Marion beach is within walking distance for me and my kayak.

One negative with Lakeville is that there are plenty of tract housing projects in this fast growing town. Something I would like to avoid. I like a little diversity in my neighborhood.

Strib article on Lakeville

Two Years Ago

I have been blogging on LiveJournal for two years as of May 13. I should of made a post to celebrate the occasion. This does give me the itch to take a peek at the blog to see what I was up to then. That is one thing a blog does, it helps you remember crap.

On May 28, 2004. I sold the Willernie Leisure Society club house (a picture). That place is an illustration of how crazy the Twin Cities market was at the time. I purchased this unspectacular 600 square foot “cabin with a basement” for $85,000 in August of 2002. I sold it in May 2004 for $118,000. The house was only on the market for a week when I had a signed purchase agreement. Like I said, crazy.

June 16th of 2004 was the day I was forced against my better scruples to do Grandmas Marathon. I blame the Zoyx Attorney. I grimace in pain just thinking about that day. Ouch, stop that!

June 25, 2004, was the day this log home I am currently typing from became mine. I’m thinkin’ if I put this house on the market right now, the earliest possible closing date would be past the two year anniversary of closing. That means I wouldn’t have to pay capital gains taxes! I really shouldn’t think so much.

July 20, 2004 was the day the Park Point house (picture while addition is being tacked on) was out of my life. So thats moving out of two houses, and then moving all this junk into one house in a one month period. How the heck did I make it through this period and still find time to goof off?

In other news, I have lost 7 pounds since Easter. I’m still eating my vegetables and staying away from the snackies… like all good little boys should.

Wall of Shame

The Palm Club’s infamous wall of shame. I think you all should walk with me on the golden path to Palmer’s some fine day. If you had a purple crayon and wanted to create the perfect shit-hole bar… this would be the place.

I am over the darkness that overwhelmed me when I found out that I didn’t get the jobs I applied for down in the cities. It’s probably a good thing I lost track of those wrist-slitting razer blades. Now I am back to optimism. Thank god I restarted my heroine habit. That has really picked up my spirits.

PHPBB Blues

I run a few PHPBB forums. The spammers have found out how to post their spam to these forums. I have been fighting this problem for over a year now, and I am finally ready to give up. I hacked the code and disabled registration to two of my forums. I haven’t had a legit registration (non-bot registration) to either of these dead forums in well over a year. So this decision was easy. The forums in question are the Zoyx forum and the WLS forum. If you really want to register for these forums (why?), just send me a note at xenozoyx@gmail.com, and I can show you the way. If you have an account on these forums, this account will work and you can still post.

Retro Risk Ruckus

The fine folks at Mister Absurd have pointed me in the direction of Chatterbox Pub (see Strib article below for details). Guess what I am going to scope out this weekend. Covers three things that I am interested in. 1) Geeky gaming; 2) 80s reminiscing; 3) Liquor and food. Hopefully there will be friends of mine willing to try this place out with me… be more fun that way.

We finally had a dry day today. Gave me an opportunity to cut the hay that has grown in my yard. During my visit to my childhood home last month, I took a gander at the lawn I used to cut. Seems small now in comparison to my current yard.

ChatterBox Article at the StarTribune

Happy Mother’s Day

This video has been making the rounds. This is as close as I come to being sentimental for this holiday. We will be having a family gathering later this afternoon, and those are always fun. That’s all Mom wants on this day, to see our family getting together.

I made a DVD with Ozone Radio and Tightline episodes on it. These Rich Kronfeld gems came from my archive. I then sent a copy down to a guy in Metairie, LA. If you wish to have a copy of this DVD, send an e:mail to xenozoyx@gmail.com. The production value is amateur at best. I will charge about $5 (materials and shipping) for this DVD.

I was turned down for the jobs I applied for in the Twin Cities. The prayer circle and interpretive dance didn’t do the trick. I now have an application in for Des Moines. No prayer circle or interpretive dance for this job… don’t wanna jinx it.

One more thing, Bravo Mr. Gore, Bravo.

Bike Hike

I did a healthy stretch of the Gateway Bike Trail yesterday. Nearly 34 miles of biking according to the training device. Here is the motionbased page for my trip. MotionBased.com is having problems, and seems to be getting worse. So it will probably take awhile to load that page.

You will notice the name of Peter Seed at the bottom of this Gateway Trail history page. That is the dad of a childhood friend. I had forgotten he was one of the folks that spearheaded that project. He was a logical person to help out on such a project, since it involved working with State governments and the court system. Oh yeah, I didn’t mention it, he is a high profile lawyer. Oh yeah, and another thing, he co-authored a biking book.

While on this trip, I discovered another trail. The Bruce Vento Memorial Trail. This trail crossed the Gateway Trail at the Gladstone junction. This junction was where the SOO line (Gateway) crossed the Burlington Northern line (Bruce Vento). The small town of Gladstone formed around the depot at this junction. The town of Gladstone no longer exists, usurped by the town of Maplewood.

Today I played a round of golf in Hinckley, MN. Let the record show, that weather people played a round of golf in dry weather. As soon as that round was over, the showers started. This must be an all-time first.