My first Rebellious "roll"

Photography 1 feedback »


Rebellious Flowers

I got the new toy today and took a few shots before dark. The big lens is fun to play with. & the kit lens is way wider than I am used to. Which is good. These shots were just quickies for the most part, I need to play with it a lot more. I am really looking forward to fiddling with some HDR shots. Yeah, I know it’s gimmicky, but some of the results are pretty cool.

Rebellious Ducks


Geekdom, Enviromentality, Health+Fitness 1 feedback »

So, I was using some of that pre-foamed soap from the new dispensers they just installed @ work today and realized something. That stuff may actually make you do a worse job of washing your hands. Previously, I would get my hands wet, and soap, rub them together until I had a good hearty lather, then rinse. With the new stuff I start out with foam, so I find myself rinsing my hands way sooner than I would otherwise. I realize that the foam dispensers probably use less soap & stuff, & I kind of like the foam, but I think the law of unintended consequences is definitely at play.

(And for those from facebook, this isn’t the post I wanted to research first. :p )

I wonder how I get on this list...

Geekdom, Enviromentality Send feedback »

Back in February there was an entry on the GoogleBlog about a cool new Google Gadget called Google PowerMeter. I thought it was pretty cool at the time, but didn’t think much of it, since I doubted it would make it this way for a while. But according to this recent post it looks like it might. TXU is one of Google’s partners in it. I already have the fancy schmancy digital meter, so now I just need to get on the list. & maybe switch back to TXU (though I hope not - I’m hoping it’s just based on your electric delivery company).

It will be mine!

Photography Send feedback »

Canon EOS 500D / Rebel T1i (image from I just logged into a little bit ago as I tend to do randomly. I keep a few items I eventually want to buy in my cart, because they will tell you when the price goes down when you view your cart. I’ve had a Canon EOS Rebel T1i in my cart for a while now, just keeping an eye on its availability & the price. This time when I logged in, it had the little message saying the price had gone down from $899.99 to $872.84. My first thought was that it was from random retailer with who knows what kind of customer service record, but it was actually being sold by Amazon. So I checked my credit card that gives me my 1% just to make sure, & bought it. & did I mention the free Standard (not Super-Saver) shipping?

So, I’m a bit giddy. Some time next week I will finally have my own DSLR instead of borrowing Jimbo’s 8 year old EOS D30. And my total price will be $864.02 after my credit card bonus which is cheaper than anywhere else I’ve seen it. And even better it’s from Amazon, so if I have a problem, it will be solved. :yes:

Spring 2009 Grades

Edumacation 2 feedbacks »

My grades are finally up. I wasn’t expecting much this term, but was pleasantly surprised for both classes. I’ve known the Virtual Environments grade for about a week, I figured I would end up with a B or something in there, but I guess I showed enough progress to make him happy. The C++ grade that just posted is even more of a surprise. I was prepared to be thrilled if I just passed. I didn’t invest nearly enough work into that class. I guess I did pretty well on the final.

Section Course Title Midterm
Points GPA
CS-3335-501 C and C++ B 3.00 9.00 3.00
ATEC-3365-501 Virtual Environments A A 3.00 12.00 4.00

My current cumulative GPA for UTD is 3.737. A bit lower cos of the B.


Geekdom Send feedback »

My connection had been a bit crappy today, so I decided to run a speedtest, it had been a while since I ran one anyway. The results:

Speedtest Dallas 5Mbps

Yuk. & you should have seen some attempts to other servers. So, I restarted everything. Results:

Speedtest Dallas 27Mbps

Uhh … Wow. The iPhone is even getting 4935 Kbps. Since I suspected a fluke, I just ran it again:

Speedtest Dallas 27Mbps

And here is a test to a server that was getting me .96Mbps before I restarted my modem, etc:

Speedtest FW 7Mbps

I also tested my connection to Austin before & after. Before it was like 1.5Mbps. Here is after, latency sucks, but wow is that a lot of data:

Speedtest Austin 30Mbps

On a whim I ran a few other locations:

Speedtest San Jose 10Mbps
Speedtest NYC 15Mbps
Speedtest Sydney 3Mbps

I guess I need to get X10 up & running again & put my cable modem on a module that powers off & back on once a day! :p

Previous Speedtests

Dallas Propositions 1 & 2.

Politics 2 feedbacks »

Anyone that knows much about be can probably guess where I stand on these, and I was pretty sure I knew before even reading them. But, to make sure I wasn’t getting caught up in all the hype & the steaming shovelfuls of crap that both sides have been slinging, I looked them up & read them.

Proposition 1

Shall Chapter XI of the Charter of the City of Dallas be amended by adding Section 15 to:

(1) prohibit the city from, directly or indirectly, using, lending, or transferring city money or property, or lending the city’s credit, for the purpose of siting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility;

(2) prohibit the city from creating, authorizing, or sponsoring any special-purpose governmental entity or any non-profit corporation (including a local government corporation or a public facility corporation), or authorizing the issuance of bonds, notes, or other debt instruments by such special-purpose governmental entity or non-profit corporation, for the purpose of siting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility;

(3) require the city to assume the powers and duties of any existing local government corporation previously created or authorized by the city for the purpose of siting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility;

(4) require the city to alter the structure, organization, programs, and activities of any existing public facility corporation sponsored by the city and to prohibit such corporation from siting, financing, constructing, acquiring, leasing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility; and (5) provide certain exceptions?

______ YES

______ NO

In summary, Prop 1 keeps the City of Dallas out of the hotel business. I have yet to figure out why people think the government at any level will suddenly become competent and do something better than the private sector. Admittedly, of late, the private sector hasn’t done so hot, but I doubt our corrupt, incompetent elected officials (why do we keep voting for these idiots) could do better.

Proposition 2

Shall Chapter XI of the Charter of the City of Dallas be amended by adding Section 16 to:

(1) prohibit the city of Dallas (including any special-purpose governmental entity, nonprofit corporation, and any other entity created or controlled by the city) from providing more than a total of $1,000,000 in financial assistance (including any grant of tax concessions or relief; any authorization of debt or debt instruments; any expenditure of public funds; and any exchange, grant, or below-market sale or lease of city-owned land) to any private development project (the primary purpose of which is to construct or aid in the construction, renovation, repair, alteration, or remodeling of any hotel, convention center, luxury residential condominium, or retail facility, or the infrastructure of any such facility), unless the city gives at least 65 days’ public notice (including posting the notice on the city’s website for the entire 65-day notice period) before approving the financial assistance and obtains voter approval for the financial assistance at a regular or special election when voter approval is required by a petition that is signed by at least 500 residents of the city and filed with the city secretary within 60 days after the public notice is posted;

(2) exempt from the financial assistance restrictions any retail development of less than 50,000 square feet that serves a subsidized residential development; and (3) provide a severability clause?

_____ YES

_____ NO

Proposition 2 makes the city tell us 65 days in advance and hold a special election upon petition if they are going to give away more than $1 million of our money. Again, why is this a problem? $1 million is a pretty decent cap. About $0.75 per person. And likely more like $2 per tax payer. I realize we elect the council to make these decisions for us, but they have proven time & time again to not be competent to do so. If a project is worthy, the people will approve it. What are they so afraid of?

So that should make my opinion pretty clear. Please read them and make up your mind based on the propositions themselves, not on the rhetoric & fancy websites of either side.

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