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Alcohol

Posted 2011.02.21 17.12 in Pointless Blather

Because when you’re feeling down, there’s nothing like a depressant to chase away the blues.

Roaring Forties

Posted 2010.08.11 17.46 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather

Why does the yummiest stuff come from so far away?

I mean, I’m in Brampton, Canada – roughly 79 degrees west and 44 degrees north. King Island Dairy is roughly 143 degrees east, and 40 degrees south. In other words – the opposite side of the world. Like what’s that, 20,000 km away?

Yet they make some super  yummy blue cheese – Roaring Forties Blue – named for the winds which whip around the southern seas at 40 degrees lattitude, at speeds up to 100km/h.

I guess I should just be glad that I can even get my hands on it, here on the far side of the world. And it’s not even crazy-priced, too.

Anyways, blah blah blah blue cheese. Get some, try some, it’s the bomb.

Unobtanium?

Posted 2010.05.09 22.56 in Music/Movies/TV

So I finally saw Avatar the other day. It was a lot longer to watch, than it was to read the synopsis. It was a lot like the Pocahontas movie, only with blue aliens and heliopter gunships. I didn’t see the Pocahontas movie, but I read the synopsis of that too.

So the first big thing that stuck with me, was this unobtanium stuff. The word unobtanium has been around for a long time, and it more or less means something that is next to impossible to get.  I first encountered the term in the late 90’s, relating to Apple’s Newton eMate product. The memory upgrade was said to be made of unobtanium, because it was virtually impossible to get your hands on.

So in the movie… unobtanium sounds like it would be acceptable as a working-term for early on in the script developtment. But it shouldn’t have made it into the finished film. Considering this grey rock was supposed to be so important and so valuable that it was worthwhile to travel so far and spend so much money to mine it, I’d have really liked to know what it was good for.

I think the corporate guy said it was worth $20,000 / kg which at first seems like a lot. When you consider though that it takes about 6 years to travel between Earth and Pandora, and how much it must cost to move every kg of supplies back and forth, how much personelle and material had been moved to Pandora, and how long they had appearantly been there, $20,000 / kg seems fairly reasonable.

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Pointless Dingoo Mods – Redux

Posted 2010.05.07 8.50 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Not long ago I did some pointless mods to my Dingoo game device. I added a power LED and a good old fashioned serial port. I called them pointless because the LED just tells you it’s on, and usually you can tell that from other hints. As for the serial port, at the time I put it in, I didn’t even have a way to connect to it, so that was even more pointless. At the time.

Since then, I’ve ended up using the serial port quite a bit – I had an FTDI prototype chip in my parts bin, and made a USB to Serial converter to connect the port on my Dingoo, then installed Minicom on my linux laptop. This has come in handy a few times as I’ve been hacking around with the linux kernel and trying to learn more about the boot sequence. I’ve baffed up the Dingoo a few times such that the serial port was the only way to access it.

As for the LED, when I wired it in originally I just connected it directly between Vcc and Ground. The LED is rated for 3.2 to 3.5 vdc; the battery in the Dingoo is rated at 3.7v nominally. I’ve seen its output as high as 4v though. Needless to say, the blue LED was fried in only a matter of days. Ooops.

So I had to go back in again tonight, and while I was replacing the blue LED (and adding a resistor to limit the current) I took a couple pics.

Still No Eggs!

Posted 2009.08.27 15.22 in Aquaria

My big blue snail has started sneaking up out of the water again – but still she isn’t laying eggs.

Leaving the Water

Here she is just starting to climb out of the water, but she foolishly chose to climb the filter. So an inch above the water she finds… more water!

From here, she went on to check out the tank above the water-line a few more times, but appearantly she is very picky and nothing has satisfied her yet. Below, you can see the problem fully illustrated:

No Eggs!

Counting the Eggs before They’re Laid

Posted 2009.08.11 13.36 in Aquaria

I think my big blue snail is loaded with eggs! The past two nights, after dark she has hauled herself up out of the water and has been searching around the top of the aquarium. In my limited experience, they just don’t do that for the heck of it – full size apple snails aren’t exactly graceful out of the water. I imagine for them, it’s like lugging around 300 or 400 pounds of scuba equipment – managable and easy underwater, but ungainly and massive in the air. So for her to climb straight up out of the water, and another 3 inches or so to the top, then search all around, she must have some serious business to attend to.

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