Archive for September, 2006


Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

For the James Bond fan with a computer: a USB hub self-destruct switch.

They’re currently unavailable, but just the thing for escalating the arms race against the guy in the next cubicle. Video here.

The Anime Network will be showing a new production of The Guyver. You can see episode 1 here.

Dominoes and more.

Microsoft wishes it could be as evil as Apple

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Starz is having a free weekend this weekend, and one of the movies that’s on currently is The Terminator. I just saw a scene with the terminator’s computer-generated vision overlays, and was reminded that the things that look like columnnar text are actually assembly-language program listings for the Apple II from Nibble Magazine. If I hadn’t given away all of my Apple magazines when I gave away my Apple, I could probably even identify the program.

Not a guide to vacation spots

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

This looks like a pretty good map of recent disasters. Clicking on any of the items brings up more information about the disaster, as well as a Google Maps image.

The Wrong Army

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

I’m keeping track of this for next Veteran’s Day, but you don’t have to wait until then to read it.

Not the usual insipid inspirational posters

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Star Trek inspirational posters.

I can’t imagine how this would feel …

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

but what I can imagine is horrific enough. I don’t know anyone who died on 9/11, although it took me four days to confirm that my father hadn’t been in the Pentagon when it was hit. This is a 9/11 story that just brought me to tears.

Found via Straight White Guy.

Like watching a train wreck, but socially acceptable

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

Last night, Marion and I went to the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts to see Souvenir, a play about Mrs. Florence Foster Jenkins. The play was hilarious for the most part, with a very poignant ending.

This is a woman who was convinced that she was one of the great coloratura sopranos, but who was once described by a critic as the “first lady of the sliding scale.” I’ve never been so delighted by truly bad singing.

Alex Ryer, who played Mrs. Jenkins, was marvelous in the part. One of her previous roles had been Edith Piaf in a show she herself wrote, and in the notes for the performance, she stated that she was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of Judy Kaye, who was nominated for a Tony for playing the role on Broadway (note – the link has audio), but asked in an interview in the Rocky Mountain News, “What if I can never sing right again?”

If you canĀ  get to the Arvada Center while it’s playing, or if it comes to your area, I’d recommend seeing it.

Robotic Frisbees of Death

Friday, September 8th, 2006

Don’t you just love articles with wonderful headlines?

Via Gravity Lens.

Update: This goes right along with it.

Ah, that was fun!

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Marion and I went up and spent the weekend in Dillon. We had a great time. Among other things, we took our bicycles, because there are lots of trails in the area. On Sunday, we decided to circumnavigate Lake Dillon, which was formed by damming the Blue River. It would take us near Breckenridge and through Frisco on the trip. I thought that we could perhaps stop for lunch in one of those towns. We didn’t expect it to be a hard ride – after all, it just went around the lake, so it had to be fairly level.

As an aside, we’ve ridden some of the bike trails in Denver on weekends. Usually, we take the Platte River trail south from Confluence Park to Littleton and back. Depending on how far we decide to go into Littleton, it’s normally a 20-22 mile round trip. Although it’s a fairly level trail, I’ve learned to wear braces on both knees and to take some aspirin before we start.

Anyway, we had a map showing the trail around the reservoir, and the dam was right across the street from our hotel. We started around in a clockwise direction, which turned out to be a very good choice. A few miles into the ride, the separate bike/pedestrian trail ended, and we got onto Swan Mountain Road. I commented to Marion that I was hoping it didn’t involve an actual mountain.

It did.

We came back later with the car and checked it. We had a 2.6 mile climb to the summit, along a busy, winding mountain road, with a 1.9 mile drop back to the reservoir level. I looked up the altitude difference later – it was only about 430 feet, which is half what we estimated. Then again, we did start out at about 9100 feet, rather than the 5300 we normally ride at. Going back down the mountain was a pretty zippy trip. I later found a document about the plan for a separate bike/pedestrian trail across Swan Mountain, with quotes from locals:

Swan Mountain Road is a major safety issue and blockade for many users of the trail system.

Swan Mountain Road is extremely dangerous in its current layout.

I’ve Ridden Swan Mountain Road for years and have survived, but it’s not the safest way to go!

We’ve decided that we’ll each blame the other for “dragging me over that mountain!”

Anyway, back onto the trails once again, we headed into Frisco, deciding against the side trip to Breckenridge, which would have added about 12 miles to the trip. Marion, who was in the lead at this point, was enjoying being on a fairly level trail surrounded by beautiful scenery so much that she missed the sign for the turn into Frisco itself, and we started along the path that leads to Copper Mountain.

I stopped her and pointed out where we were on the trail map, and we headed back a short distance along the trail, then we went through Frisco and back to Dillon.

It was a great ride, but my thighs certainly let me know how much I’d abused them. After Swan Mountain road, even the slight rises were an effort to ride up. Next time we take our bikes up, we’ll probably just go from Dillon to Frisco to Breckenridge and back, without attempting to go completely around the lake.

But, if they ever complete that trail over the mountain …

UPDATE: Here’s a couple photos from the ride. First is me, taking a break by the side of the road. My t-shirt, by the way, says, “50-year old unneutered male, free to a good home.” It was a birthday present from Marion a few years ago.

Yours truly

Next is the view from that point back towards our starting/ending point. As best I can tell, we started from the far side of Lake Dillon just about behind the trunk of the dead tree.

View of Lake Dillon

Hmmm … I can see I’ve got things to learn about getting photos up at a reasonable size. I expected these to be larger.

Update 5/16/2007: I figured out a way (probably not the preferred one) of getting larger photos displayed in posts. Now, I just need to figure out the correct way of doing it first time.

A Nice Dinner

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

Marion took me out for dinner on my birthday. We both like italian food, but I thought we were getting into a rut with the restaurants in our area, so I did a web search for others. We ended up going to Via Toscana.

It’s a very good place to have found. The seating area we were in was designed to make it look as though you were dining under a grape arbor, and it was done well. I had the Cioppino, and Marion had the Salmone al Carciofini. The food was great, and the service was excellent – the server even came by once to ask if I wanted extra bread to sop up the stew.

We’ll definitely be going back again.