Thursday, 30th of May, 2002
Monday, 27th of May, 2002
From Road and Track:
"Callaway Cars, famed tuner of twin-turbo Corvettes and builder of the C12 supercar, has a 480-bhp V-8 at your disposal. The normally aspirated 6.2-liter engine serves up a pavement-ripping 475 lb.-ft. of torque, is 50-state legal and can be fitted to most behicles that use GM's 350-cu.-in. V-8. And it works with either a 6-speed manual or an automatic." - Wow.
"The upcoming Ferrari F60 is so hot, the prototype recently caught on fire at Fiorano and burned to the ground, according to European sources. A new one was quickly built and was soon testing, performing (and sounding) every bit like a full-on race car. Also, the F60 will not use ceramic brake rotors as previously reported, but will use carbon fiber - possibly with 8-piston Brembo calipers." - lol. Eight-piston? Wow.
Wednewsday, 22nd of May, 2002
I went to the first day of ITEC today, and there was actually a very small crowd for what it could be. A couple booths had some interesting magicians that did tricks that may or may not have anything to do with their product to spice up their booth a little, and that was interesting. Otherwise, I attended some cool IT seminars on Samba, Mac OS X, and network security. Not bad for being free, I must say. Iomega also had a booth, and now I'm glad I have my Predator portable drive instead of the new 24X burner. The new 24X burner is so huge, you might as well slam a full sized 5.25" drive into an enclosure, and it would be about the same! Now I don't feel so bad about my "large" portable burner, cause they're only getting bigger.
Tuesday, 21st of May, 2002
The Strolling Strings had the opportunity to work with the 4th and 5th grade strings tonight at their final concert. Between the regular 4th and 5th grade program, we played a couple pieces from our show for them and then did a "Fiddler's Frolic" piece with 12 of the advanced 5th graders. The 4th and 5th grade program was also really cool, I particularly liked the 5th graders playing an arragement of the Menuet from Handel's Water Music in D. It's my favourite movement, and they played it!
Sunday, 19th of May, 2002
We had the final St. Louis Youth Symphony concert today. We played a Rimsky-Korsakov arrangement of Mussorgsky's intro to Khovantchina. The rest of the concert was Shostakovich. Peter Meyers won the concerto competition and played the entire Cello Concerto No. 1. It was really awesome. Then we played Shostakovich's 5th Symphony, which to me has become quite an amazing piece. It expresses a very profound emotion in music, and it's taken me a couple months of playing it and listening to it to realize and appreciate it. It's also a hard piece, but I had time to practice the last 2 weeks, so it worked out well.
Thursday, 16th of May, 2002
A couple of days ago I saw an Iomega Predator portable CD burner on sale for $99 online. Now that's by far the lowest price on a portable burner I've seen, and even though it only does 4X/4X/6X, you can't get much higher with USB anyways. It is one of the fastest USB drives around, and so I got it. Well, turns out, it isn't quite as portable as I had imagined it. The adapter that makes it USB, Firewire, or SCSI takes up a lot of unnecessary space, and the power supply is ridiculously large, about 40% bigger than my laptop power supply. But otherwise, it's kinda cool, the way it holds on to the disc while burning looks really sturdy, and it's kinda cool looking I guess. I guess the ultimate solution would be to get a real CD burner in my UltraBay in my laptop, but that at this point is $299.
Wednesday, 15th of May, 2002
Tuesday, 14th of May, 2002
For my birthday, Mom bought me an EcoSphere, a balanced closed ecosystem in a glass ball with red shrimp, algea, and bacteria. According to the handbook, the average EcoSphere lasts 2 years, and the shrimp can last up to 10 years (they rarely reproduce). It continues to sustain itself after the shrimp die for even 18 years, supposedly. As long as it receives 6 to 12 hours of low light per day and stays between 15°C and 30°C the shrimp will stay pretty active and the algae will run down so that it's barely visible yet balanced for the ecosystem. This is so cool!
Sunday, 12th of May, 2002
Wow, the new 2003 Lincoln Navigator has power running boards! They retract and advance 5 inches in and out to let people get in and out. Wow! It's like a spaceship! The 3rd row seat is also powered, and folds flat onto the floor for a completely flat cargo area. Wow! That's a lot better than the current Navigator. The only things Lincoln can come up with as prime selling points on their website are the 5.4L V8, load-leveling suspension, waterfall grille, 17" wheels, and sculpted hood. I yanked this straight from the website. That's when you know you're getting a bad deal on an SUV.
Friday, 10th of May, 2002
I ordered Voyetra's Techno eJay from PCNation Tuesday night, and it came in UPS Ground from Tennesse yesterday! That's impressive service! But yes, this is my new toy, it's so awesome! With over 3000 samples to chose from, and endless possibilities due to manipulation with built in tone-shifters and stuff, I can finally play the techno that I compose and hear in my head all day. Since everything is in wave files, it's totally customizable, applying Cooledit to this should give me a whole summer's worth of fun. Wow! It even detects the beat-rate of wave files, and converts them! This is amazing!
Thursday, 9th of May, 2002
"DETROIT (Reuters) - Consumer Reports magazine, the bible of wary shoppers, gave about 15,000 new subscribers an unexpected welcome for signing up -- a defective tire pressure gauge and a flashlight that could overheat and start a fire. "...
..."U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned owners that they should immediately remove the batteries from the flashlight and throw it and the tire gauge away. "...
..."Consumer Reports said it received eight complaints from subscribers in late April about the kits. Two people reported minor burns from the flashlight, while others reported its case had melted and two complained about the tire gauge's accuracy."
"It tested the Chinese-built flashlight and gauge in its labs, and both failed. The magazine said it notified the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, and was in the process of sending letters to subscribers who received the kits when the federal agency announced the recall Tuesday."
"Consumers Union said it was urging the importer it bought the devices from to also do a recall. Subscribers who received the kit will get six extra issues of the magazine if they return the flashlight and gauge or tell Consumers Union they threw them away. They can also cancel their subscription early."
All I can do is laugh. The way Consumer Reports tested products sometimes didn't make much sense to me, and now it's funny to see them getting a slap in the face.
Oh but this is awesome: Someone fixed a highway sign by himself, and went all out!
Wednesday, 8th of May, 2002
After reading some good online reviews of the Grand Prix Karting center as being the "largest go-kart/sprint kart track", I went with the Thomases up there for Ginnie's birthday to check it out. Turns out it was a total shack in every aspect possible. The track had some good turns, but also some long boring straightaways. The sprint car I drove was decently fast, and along with a slightly damp environment after the rain it was pretty slippery and fun, and the turns that did exist were fun. The barriers being really sketchy made it more fun, as on turn 2 I quickly went into an oversteer and plowed halfway into a mud puddle, getting myself dirty and wet. Other puddles along the way made for some nice spraying water fun too. So, overall, I could get over the shackiness if it's slightly wet and fun on the sprint cars, but other than that, I sure hope there are better places in the St. Louis area to go. But it was still really nice of the Thomases to include me in their birthday fun on this excursion. I had fun.
25 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Olivette, MO
Saturday, 4th of May, 2002
I went to see Kirkwood HS's theatre production of Romeo and Juliet. It was really neat, they made the set and costumes kind of obscure, and set after a nuclear war. But that's the kind of twisty touch that's cool for such a popular play, or else it would have gotten boring. They even stuck 3 old Macintosh up on the top of their metal racks on wheels, and turned them off and on during certain scenes - it was interesting waching 2 of them successfully boot up (one was dead). I also thought the long stretches of dryer vent hoses were there for decoration, until they actually used them to direct dry ice to the stage floor on the last scene. Cool! There was another interesting moment when they were moving the set and they just slammed it into one of the electrics, and sent it into a very wide swing - fortunately nothing came off and it didn't hit any other electrics, or that would have been really bad.
Friday, 3rd of May, 2002
I moved from Danforth today back home. It was very interesting to, again, fit all the stuff I have into the Cavalier wagon except for the office chair. I've been helping a couple other people move this week too, and it continues to amaze me how much stuff that little wagon will swallow. I'm definitely never buying a sedan, as there are too many limitations to space, such as the beams that hold the trunk lid up - those seriously limit space back there! It's also interesting to think that there aren't any boxy wagons that use space as efficiently anymore - to get a wagon with the equivalent cargo capacity of the Cavalier I'd probably have to step up to the Legacy, which is a good 10 inches longer. A byproduct of them making cars more curvy these days is less space. The Cavalier wagon has more headroom and front legroom than an Audi Allroad, and more shoulder room than a Subaru Legacy, yet shares the same dimensions as a 2002 Toyota Corolla plus 3 inches in length (and same weight too).
We had a stroll tonight at the Gatesworth. It's been a while since we've been there, and it was cool. I got to talk to several people who were either musicians or had family that are very successful musicians (one who writes Broadway musicals), so it was really neat.
Thursday, 2nd of May, 2002
So I think I have this misfiring problem in my Cavalier solved for good. After a new distributor cap and plugs didn't solve the problems, we decided to look at the coils, since spraying a garden hose in that general direction resulted in some rough idling. When replacing those engine coils, my mechanic discovered that the engine computer was full of all sorts of good short-circuiting material, like water, oil, soap (from the car washes), wax... lovely. So he took all that apart and replaced all the gaskets that leaked all that stuff into it. He also air dusted out everything else nicely, so there's no more junk left in it. Hopefully, this will solve things, and it's definitely really nice that I got it fixed in that way - and not with a new computer.
Wednesday, 1st of May, 2002
So today, I saw a referral link from portalofevil.com and I discovered I have a forum! This is what Portal of Evil describes themself as:
"Portal Of Evil is the Internet's best resource for the pages that surprise, shock, confuse, titillate, or awe the mainstream... Think Yahoo for the odd."
"While we joke about the sites in our descriptions - Portal Of Evil is not an attack site. It is a celebration of what makes people different. From people who want others to defecate on them to girls who dress up like cartoon characters. The sites aren't all actually evil - they are just different."
Here's the description I got for my site: "Itemized lists of the things you carry in your pockets don't make you a nerd per se. However, an intense love for station wagons and boring photos (and movies!) of what the road looks like when you're driving on it might be a bit too far." And yes, I don't strive towards being evil, as the description of them adequately indicates, but rather, I'm honoured that I can be included in the fun. As of today, I have 170 referrals from Portal of Evil. Thanks!