Tuesday, May 26, 2009




Its cold outside,
There's no kind of atmosphere,
I'm all alone,
More or less.
Let me fly,
Far away from here,
Fun, fun, fun,
In the sun, sun, sun.

I want to lie,
Shipwrecked and comotoase,
Drinking fresh,
Mango juice,
Goldfish shoals,
Nibbling at my toes,
Fun, fun, fun,
In the sun, sun, sun,
Fun, fun, fun,
In the sun, sun, sun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Revised History

This may be a lengthy intro, but I thought I'd mention where this came from. Last year my MIL (mother-in-law) upgraded her computer and the old one ended up in my basement. A couple of weeks ago I started to go through it to see what was wrong with it. So far there's nothing wrong with it and it's actually faster than our computers. Fast enough that it can do a reasonable job of video streaming from Netflix. I've set it up in the tv room and have been watching various shows. A $29 Ebay video card with s-video out allows a decent display on our tv.

One of the videos available on Netflix streaming is the first season of the Original Star Trek.

It's not mentioned in the description, but you learn from viewer comments that these have been "Digitally Remastered". But there's more . . . they've not only sharpened the images but the exterior special effects scenes of the ship and planets and so on have been replaced with new computer generated images. Not just an enhancement of the original image but completely new images. The above image is the shuttle Galileo jettisoning fuel in the episode "Galileo Seven". The original footage didn't look anything like that.

I know Hollywood has a history of remakes, but this isn't a remake it's an alteration of the original. Like colorization of a black and white movie. It's a falsification. A down-right lie. It's like someone deciding to repaint the smile on the Mona Lisa because they thought she'd look better with a more sexy smile with lip gloss included. To paint a new Mona Lisa is one thing, to alter the original is horrendous.

Star Trek was a show before it's time. This is most vividly pointed out in its cheesy, low budget special effects (and Uhura's skirt). How can future generations fully appreciate what Star Trek was if they're not actually watching it.

Here's the twist . . . I like the new special effects. The clear shots of the ships and the more realistic space and planets are far more three dimensional and realistic. But I'm keeping clearly in mind that I'm not watching the original. If others are made fully aware of it and have the chance to see the actual original as well I guess I won't slap the producers up-side the head quite so hard (though I'll still slap them).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

37 years of progress

The Fed's are going to push for an increase in fuel economy from American auto manufacturers. They're pushing for 42 mpg from cars and 35 mpg from truck/car combined average. I've seen lots of commercials since last summer's $4/gallon gas, many touting their marvelous 33 or 34 mpg innovations. I always find myself shaking my head in disbelief at their pitiful advance in technology.

My 1972 Datsun got 35 mpg! 1972, that's 37 years ago. It had the simplest carburetor made, had push-rod valves, and not one single computer chip anywhere!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hair Pins

When I mentioned the hair-pin corners in the Seat-850 post I wasn't exaggerating. Here's a satellite photo of one section of that very road. This was the main road from the local town of Soller to the city of Palma on the spanish island of Mallorca. There's now a 1.87 mile long tunnel through the mountain range.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Years ago when I was in the Air Force I was stationed in Spain for a time. Long enough that we tested for and received Spanish driver's licenses. After a few weeks on station I bought a used car from an older gentleman for a few hundred dollars. I wasn't much into photography back then so I ended up coming back to the States without thinking to document all my time there in photos.

Here is the closest match I've come up with from the internet. It's a 1968 Fiat 850. Mine was a 'Seat 850'. (I've forgotten what year it was.) Seat is Spanish made Fiat. It was a rear engine, rear wheel drive, with a four cylinder 850cc engine. My motorcycle was bigger than that.

The trick was to get the speed up and then do everything to keep the momentum going, including doing tire-squealing slides around the hair-pin corners on the way to the city. Between the local little town and the city on the other side of the island was a road which crossed over the mountain range. There were 28 hair-pin switchbacks going up one side and 30 going down the other. What a blast! I miss that little car.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Got that Froody Feeling?

If you're feeling in a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy mood, and you type the word "Froody" into Firefox, it tags it as a misspelled word.

Firefox's listed suggestions for correction are:
  • Broody
  • Fronde
  • Frothy
  • Frowzy
  • Frosty

I love feeling Froody, but most time I'm just Frowzy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

An Excuse to Drink.

Portland Oregon is a big celebrator of "Cinco de Mayo". I think most people have no idea what it's all about. I also think that it's a holiday promoted mostly by businesses that profit by it. I've actually been in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) during that time of year. Pretty much nothing happened.

From Wikipedia:
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "Fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico.

The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n.

The Battle was significant for at least two reasons. First, while outnumbered almost two-to-one, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had known no defeat for almost 50 years. Second, this battle was important because it would be "the last time that an army from another continent invaded the Americas." While significant, however, Cinco de Mayo is not an obligatory federal holiday in Mexico.

While Cinco de Mayo has limited or no significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. However, a common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day. Mexico's Independence Day is actually September 16, which is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.