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Comments

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Rosetta Code Study Weighs In On the Programming Language Debate

robi2106 huh (165 comments)

My /. account still works. Havent' used it in ...err... a few years.

Just here to bump this article for my friend Mike and his fantastic work on RC.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Simple Way To Backup 24TB of Data Onto USB HDDs ?

robi2106 Re:DaisyChain (405 comments)

and yes I know RAID 5 has a big performance hit. It is a reasonable tradeoff between redundancy & speed.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Simple Way To Backup 24TB of Data Onto USB HDDs ?

robi2106 Re:DaisyChain (405 comments)

your problem wasn't the Drobo, which can be connected with eSATA or GigEthernet. The problem is using crappy "eco friendly low power" green drives. If you concern is performance, then don't get the slowest most energy efficient drives you can find. Get yourself some 10k RPM drives with 64MB cache. Like these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236243

And then use a RAID 5 setup in the Drobo.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Simple Way To Backup 24TB of Data Onto USB HDDs ?

robi2106 Re:USB and disk Speed (405 comments)

I have two SATA over USB docks for bare SATA harddrives. I have ~7TB of unique data I keep (video editing business generates a lot of data).

I copy data using BeyondCompare from the edit RAID array to each twin pair of SATA drives. That gives me some redundancy for the data, but is a PITA to track.

I also would love to have a software solution that lets me just number the drives, tell the system to keep two copies of everything, and then would just instruct me which drive # to pop in the dock in order to back up file X.

more than 2 years ago
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At Long Last, a Private Cargo Spaceship Takes Off (Video)

robi2106 Ahhh night launches (137 comments)

Nothing is like watching a rocket launch at night. fantastic experience.

more than 2 years ago
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Online Loneliness At Google+

robi2106 Re:No one gives a shit about Google+, more news at (456 comments)

I used to only use FB on the mobile app, but it crashed so much and took too long to load so I ditched it. Mobile G+ is a lot faster and hasnt' crashed on me yet.

more than 2 years ago
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Online Loneliness At Google+

robi2106 False conclusion from a failed assumption (456 comments)

This story is full of fail...... the very reason people use G+ is so that they can post NON-PUBLIC content to their specific circles!

If they want to really get useful information, then need to ask Google for the aggregate statistics of posting activity including private circles.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Building A Server Rack Into a New Home?

robi2106 Verticle? (402 comments)

Just get a metal bracket and hang the server vertically (or invert it so that the cold to hot flow is from bottom to top. That takes up a LOT less room. But if you want a full sized one, I have a full height full cage rack in my garage you are welcome to have for free. But you pay shipping. :-)

more than 2 years ago
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Posting Photos of Olympics Could Land You In Court

robi2106 yay?! (394 comments)

Yay corporate greed and licensing to ruin the Olympics. Sad and inevitable.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?

robi2106 Silly wabbit (568 comments)

Silly wabbit. Openness and transparency isn't for Kids (or school).

more than 2 years ago
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Minecraft Creator Announces Space Sandbox Game Mars Effect

robi2106 Re:Sigh (117 comments)

why is waist high walls.... anything? this most be some new meme all the kids are talking about...

more than 2 years ago
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Google's New 'Account Activity' Is a Sham

robi2106 Agreed (1 comments)

I signed up for the account activity report and expected the main landing page, but did not expect that that was it. I would expect that clicking on any of the sections would lead to more detailed break down of information. But noep. that is it. pretty useless. The one saving grave of the report is that it does show that I opted out of the web history project because there was nothign listed. well at least it shows that google isn't showing me any of my web history. Not that they don't have it. :-P

more than 2 years ago
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Notch Wants To Make a Firefly-Inspired Sandbox Space Game

robi2106 and this is why... (227 comments)

... Notch is awesome. He just wants to play that kind of game. and will make it if necessary.

more than 2 years ago
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Holy crap! 450 comments in less than 3 hours!

robi2106 Dude! (19 comments)

Dude!

more than 2 years ago
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Camera Gun Would Let Hunters Get Killer Wildlife Shots

robi2106 Re:This thing (263 comments)

yep. "oh uhhh it was totally a threat to my life & safety so I had to shoot that 13yr old girl with the dangerous assault rifle"

more than 2 years ago
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TSA 'Censoring' Media on Body Scanner Failures?

robi2106 ya think? (1 comments)

stifling reporters and the truth is pretty much what they do. not stopping terrorists.

more than 2 years ago
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What will you do for Pi Day?

robi2106 And (2 comments)

And congress feels the need to waste time on this sort of a resolution because.......?

more than 2 years ago
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NC State Agents Replaces Preschooler's Homemade Lunch with Cafeteria "Nuggets"

robi2106 oh good (2 comments)

that parent almost got away with parenting their own child! Glad a nanny from the state was there to make sure that didn't happen.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Allow Test Takers Internet Access, But Minimize Cheating?

robi2106 Log it all (330 comments)

You could just allow blanket access, require everyone using a connection to get MAC address filtered access (so you know every device requesting access) and then log everything. Then provide stipulations that any live chat or forum use is forbidden. Anything except reputable / academic sources is forbidden. To make it extra fun, tail the log of the access point live (projector?) and grep it through a few good regex to weed out junk and find any terms associated with IRC, forums, etc etc. Allow them to ask for white listing sources, or provide your own (allow wikipedia, but not the discussions on each page which can be used to carry out conversations, etc). Or just allow all net access but restrict access to just the sites you think are of use (wikipedia, specific journals, publisher's reference information, google for unit converting on the search bar, etc).

more than 2 years ago
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Full-Body Scans Rolled Out At All Australian International Airports

robi2106 We are sorry (329 comments)

From all those americans that tried to prevent this from happening here, I'm sorry the disease spread to your shores. At least some of us are not brain dead. RonPaul2012.com

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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First Flight - Yuri's Mission Audio w/ 1080p Video

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

robi2106 writes "From the YouTube Description: "A real time recreation of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering first orbit, shot entirely in space from on board the International Space Station. The film combines this new footage with Gagarin's original mission audio and a new musical score by composer Philip Sheppard. For more information visit http://www.firstorbit.org/" Turn the lights down, pour your favorite beverage and enjoy phenomenal footage and the mission control audio in real time set to modern classical soundtrack and celebrate international Yuri's Night."
Link to Original Source
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robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  about 8 years ago

robi2106 (464558) writes "I recently visited a friends house with my laptop and a 72 disc CD case full of my entire PC gaming collection for the past 10 years, freshly consolidated from smaller cases. Of course, this case was left on the car roof while packing up for the return trip and promptly lost on the drive back. I lost every PC game I have owned in the past 10 years (except C&C Red Alert and Sim City 3K). Aside from being a great example of what not to do, this has erased my ability to revisit my past, as I frequently would re-install favorites and play through them, with friends where applicable. This led me to think of the memories I have now lost the ability to relive. What games would other readers loose if their tabletop sets, D&D manuals, console discs, etc were lost in a similarly brain dead event? Or even worse, what associated memories would dull with time? Should these memories even matter that much?

Do I now have a great excuse to visit the bargain bins and get new unscratched discs? Or have I just regained several house a week in possible productivity, sleep, or spousal relationship building? Is that such a bad thing?"
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robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  about 8 years ago

robi2106 (464558) writes "I have been to the doctor's office only a few times in my life. Once yesterday, once earlier this year, and once back about 8 years ago, and then again some time when I was 14 (I think).

But this time was different. Why? Because I got to pay for it. You see, previously, I had insurance through either a government employer (like when I was a cop) or when my dad worked for a Big Company. This time it was just me... me and my extremely high deductible HSA plan, thanks to the IRS (PDF). Now I am not mad at the IRS, I am actually thanking them, I think.

Before having a state job I worked as a contractor for several years, and that means benefits like health care are FRIGGIN expensive, but they (meaning the contracting company) can shaft you because you can be fired at any time and they have no incentive to actually invest in you as an employee. So they charge $180 / month for a high deductible plan that covers hardly anything. And don't even think about getting their plans with a family ($300-500/month).

So back then, and being a single and fit guy, I did the sensible thing, I bought a HDHP, a high deductible health plan with a $2K deductible PPO for $110 / month with barely anything covered, just in case. It turns out that these plans don't even cover accidents (broken legs, etc). They only cover health related issues (cancer, asthma, or other diseases). And nothing preventative is even mentioned as possibly covered (until you meet your $2K deductible).

Back to the recent experience. ~2 months ago I got married, and we were both self employed (aka self-UNEMPLOYED). Getting your own health care is more expensive than buying the engagement ring (not that I have anything against rings). The only tangible benefit is the $75 / month premium.

Think that is low? It is. But consider that to step up to a non-HSA account with decent coverage ($1K deduct) might cost a perfectly healthy male age 28-30 about $130 / month. The difference over a year in premiums alone between the HSA account (900) and normal plan (1560) is $660, meaning that to switch to a higher plan will cost almost as much as another health plan coverage. And that is just in premium.

So here is where the HSA comes in handy. If you expect that you might spend about $1000 / yr in qualified expenses (glasses, dentist visits, etc) then you get the HDHP and put that $1000 into a HSA account, TAX FREE. So at the end of the year you fill out IRS form 8889 which is where you tell them how much you put into that HSA then that much is subtracted from taxable income. Not bad.

Except you still have to friggin HAVE the money in order to put it aside in the first place.

Enough rambling about the IRS code. I have allergies. Bad ones in fact. My recent move into a house with my wife confirmed it because my eyes swelled up for weeks. Yes weeks. Off an on they would get better then worse. This weekend, while away from home for 3 days, my eyes got better significantly. So it is official.... something in my house is trying to kill me.

I got an appointment with an allergist and she said "yep.... you got some bad infections in your eyes because the allergic reaction ran unchecked." Bummer. It could be dust mites, pet dander, or may be something else. My wife and I eliminated all smelly things that she wears, literally. They are all out in the garage in a bag. Once my allergy testing happens next week we may know if one of them was the culprit.

So here is where the rambling about HSAs and allergies intersect. The Dr office visit is not covered (naturally) with any co-pay so I get to pay the full amount ($170 cah-ching!). Then the 3 meds I am on cost $160 (cha-ching-ing-ing) and I go back next week for an actual allergy test (any time lab work is involved I assume the price will hit ~$200).

This isn't soo much of a post where I am soliciting input as it is a post where I am complaining about lacking money. :-) Kidding aside, has anyone else had some bad allergy problems and gone through the allergist testing stuff? What can I expect?

jason"
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robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

robi2106 writes "So I'm back from the honeymoon and here are some thoughts in general, on marriage and married life (as it applies to someone that has been married for only 9 days and most of that was the honeymoon).

1) Honeymoon: Pack lots of clothes for the honeymoon. You never know what the weather will be like. Yes that means bring a jacket even when you think you are "mister cold weather" and don't' need one. Fortunately for me... I brought one.

2) Honeymoon: Stay in one place for more than one night in a row. Nothing adds complications and stress like trying to go to a new place each night.

3) Honeymoon: Don't plan to do a whole lot each day. Someone is sleeping in your bed and if you can manage to keep your hands off of her (him) long enough to sleep, you still have the novelty of them taking up your bed space. This means you will sleep like crap so plan accordingly.

4) Honeymoon: Various sex related fun bits that will not be mentioned here. The general opinion is that sex is great......... go get hitched to a wonderful person and have lots of sex. :-)

5) Honeymoon: Stay an extra day (travel permitting). We lengthened our stay by one day just because we could. Not being rushed as soon as you return is a great stress reliever.

6) Honeymoon: Turn off the phones or don't answer them. No one is going to call with any significant news, so just don't answer your phones.

7) Honeymoon: Don't tell the in-laws & parents when you will return. They are just going to bug you with post-wedding related issues that are trivial and don't matter. Keep them guessing as long as possible.

8) Be prepared for drastic changes when returning from the honeymoon. There will be things to sort, pack, unpack, throw out, donate, etc. These things are the theoretical things belonging to your spouse. They are YOUR THINGS.... and you will have to let them go. Sniff sniff.... Besides, the wedding presents will replaces a lot of your old crap any way.

9) Gifts: Some people use you registry. Yes! Others do not (what the heck is this thing that [random distant friend of some aunt] gave us?). Just because someone gave you an ugly 60s color schemed painting and it was their dying wish that you have it hung on your bedroom wall.... doesn't mean you have to take their crappy painting and put it any where. The garage is just as good a location.

10) Thank you notes: get a process going and rip through them. Common decency seems to indicate that a hand written thank you be given for each present / cash / check. Don't get a spiffy mail merge all ready to go because these things are supposed to be hand written.

11) Thank You Notes: you can lie on a note and say you love the crock pot they gave you. It doesn't matter that you got several of the same thing ..... and it wasn't even on your registry!

12) Thank You Notes: You can actually say the same thing on every note. "Thank you for coming to our wedding and for the [thing-a-ma-jig]. We will use the [thing-a-ma-jig] all the time with our friends and family. Thanks again." Just be sure that you do use / hang / frame / etc the thing if the note is written to someone that lives close by or that you expect might actually visit.

13) Gifts: don't worry about hurting someones feelings about returning their gift. It was the wrong color for the item you actually had on the registry and they knew it. That is what gift receipts are for.

14) Gifts: Gifts that do not come with a receipt are that way for one of three reasons: a) they forgot - not a problem... annoying, but not a big deal b) hand made item - big problem; this means there is emotional attachment to the item and in giving the gift that person has enslaved you to their need to see their gift in use / appreciation. c) too expensive / cheap and the giver doesn't' want to reveal the price - not a big deal just deal.

I am sure I'll have more witty remarks about weddings, but that is all I have for now. Discuss amongst yourselves. Let me know what are your rules for wedding gifts. Do you have rules for gift giving? Gift receiving? What problems do I have with my rules, if any? :-)

jason"

Journals

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Dam! Slashdot Journal Code Sucks

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Why the hell do I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of my journal page to find a button to post new content? But guess what? I have to do it fast, because the oh so helpful AJAX auto loads the next page of entries if I scroll down, so that means I have to scroll down and quick click the post button or else I have to keep scrolling down. WTF were they thinking?

Have they never seen any other social media site? That sort of basic functionality needs to be front and center at the top so you can... you know.... use the site.

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Dang I feel old in /. terms

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I've returned to occasional /. use due to no longer working from home, and dang my user ID is low compared to a lot of the account comments I'm seeing. Did /. experience a mass exit recently and are only newbies and fresh troll accounts posting?

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Diffusion Cloud Chamber Observations with Video

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 5 years ago Ever build an apparatus to study subatomic particles out of stuff sitting around your house? Well my friend did and this video is the result of our replication (sort of) of the Wilson Cloud Chamber. We used the updated diffusion cloud chamber design from Andy Folannd with a bit of info from Cosmicrays.org.

The apparatus is a bit finicky and prone to getting too cold, but it worked. We observed several dozen alpha particles zipping through the room interacting with the alcohol vapor. Unfortunately, no muon decays or scattering was observed. It would be interesting to try this again with a different chamber shape / height, a different temperature differential (measuring it next time), and possibly with a magnet to observe the magnetic field affects of the paths on the charged particles.

Observation notes: It greatly aided the observation to have the live video feed piped via s-video to nearby TV, so more than one person could observe the interactions. Only close proximity ~12" makes in person observation possible due to breath condensation and freezing on the cold chamber wall.

We are looking for other experiments that can be performed at home with out significant investments / highly specialized materials that exhibit the ordinarily invisible elements of our universe that also show well on video (or can be made to so so with appropriate pre-planning). Any suggestions?

Notes on the video: shot with GL2 on Matthews tripod at F1.8, 1/60th, WB to sunlight (led light source ~5400K), 0dB gain (except opening scene which had some gain) and MF locked. No specialized color / exposure profile used, no post WB. Opening text plain with background fractal keyframed movement. "Highlight" effect applied to duplicate additive track placed above source with exclusion mask applied to select sections of the video. Video trimmed to exclude empty segments. Cinescore Soundtrack. Rendered as 3Mbps Peak VBR single pass WMV.

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Crash Course in Linux & OSS for a Win32 QA guy

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I need to help someone get a crash course in QA work on an OSS stack, as opposed to their previous few years of QA work on a Win32 stack. We will be installing Ubuntu tomorrow for a quick and easy workstation. Then we need to find or write a series of tasks to learn the skills to help said person get a crash course in working in / with the LAMP OSS environment.

Again, not a SW dev, or admin, just a QA guy, so tasks, reference material, etc need not be super low level. I have the perl trifecta (learning Perl, Perl Cookbook, and Reg Ex with Perl), but everything else I have relating to Linux is +5yrs old.

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Long time no see: (I know). Test DB app questions

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  about 6 years ago

I'm trying to figure out how to keep working at my current contracting company beyond my contract end date (next Wed). One thing I know they are working on is a test config DB; a system to store all the possible test configurations and the status of those tests. Unfortunately for them (and me) they are an all MS all the time shop. But I wonder if I could make some substantial progress towards a system (agile method with some real quick cycles) and peak their interest.
 
The system would need to be able to create new records for "revision B" of PCB board, revision X of the chip on the board, revision Y of the firmware for the chip, revision A of expansion board type Blah, firmware rev G for expansion board Blah, PDF quick start doc for entire kit Goop, etc.
 
The system would need to then be able to say "has this been tested before?" by looking at a "tests" section which would have some list of valid test IDs to run against a specific combination of components. The test lead would like to look at a page and see "board F + FW v0.1 + chip B + exp board J + exp board FW v0.0.2" has been tested on the following....... and then see a list / chart of tests performed, and tests not performed.
 
Has anyone heard of any such software? I've found TestLink via Freshmeat, TestTracking on SourceForge, TestCaseWeb (SourceForge, but hasn't been touched in 3 years), and VarTrack again on SourceForge wihthe last modificatio nat the Epoch (system time fail?). I'm not sure these are specific enough. But that doesn't mean they could not be modified to do so.
 
I would appreciate pointers on any commercial packages, but only so I could compare them. My goal is to find an existing project I can learn and be the admin for, or get a project to use as a good jump start for my own internally developed one.
  (cross posted to my multiply account. use the user name and multiply.... if you need more clues.... I cannot help you.)

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Shameless plug: Vote my last post up in the Firehose

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Previous journal submitted to Firehose as front page story submission. Shameless MySpace behavior follows.....

Vote for me! That is all.

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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Sneak Peak

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I ditched out of work on Wednesday around 11am so I could drive 1/2hr out to Middleton Id for the final "Reveal" of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It was roughly 102-105 outside, with no wind, shade, or clouds. Nearly Perfect filming conditions (except for the temperature) and nearly fatal conditions for the elderly, infants, and anyone who didn't drink plenty of water (which was available). I personally drank all 2 bottles I brought (about 1.5 liter total) and then 3x1 pint bottles they provided.

I'll provide many many pictures, & video (as soon as I find a good motion tracking software so I can smooth out the jitter in some of my footage).
 
Until I get my stuff up, you can watch KVTB's great coverage (IE required - at least it doesn't work with my FF) and read about it as well.

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Heights Of Idaho

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I have published my photo album from this weekend's climb up Mount McCaleb, Idaho. Lots of photos, and several extremely large stitched panoramas (complete with trial software text printed in the middle of each picture). I might end up buying that software because it sure is slick. I had to manually stitch most of them together and the results are still pretty impressive.
 
If you notice the captions changing it is because I am in the middle of adding them right now. I might finish some time tonight. Enjoy some of the Heights Of Idaho.

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(Mirror) Bicycle Commuting: Day 4 & 5 - More Gear, More $

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

My de-wimp-ifying is progressing slowly but surely. I biked in to work two days in a row! A first for me. Also impressive is that I got in to work before 10am both times which means I biked some time around 9am and it was in the 50s. Not exactly biking weather either with morning temperatures in the mid 50s with mild winds.

I have determined that I need actual riding clothing because my running outfit is just not meant for cold weather and wind. That outfit just feels like cheese cloth when faced with blustery weather and temperatures in the mid 50s (even in the sun). I smell some clothing upgrades in the future.

Speaking of clothing upgrades, I returned the helmet and the ill-fitting biking shorts for $69, but then purchased a wind proof jacket for $25 (chah-ching), summer riding shirt for $35 (chah-ching-ing), and padded bike shorts for $40 (chah-ching-ching-ing). Net expenditure of $31 which equals my planned accessory purchase for 2007-Q1. Next on the list is an odometer / calculator which could run around $30 with tax. That item is on sale through the web site so I'll probably buy it today (chah-ching-ka-ching-a-ling-a-ring-ding) Assuming I limit myself to one $30 purchase each quarter, I will break even in the Third Quarter of 2008 which is only 1.5 years from now.

Eventually I'll have all the gizmos and doo-dads possible so after 3 years of buying a new toy / item each quarter I'll assume that droops to $10 or so and replacement costs will increase from $30 / year to $60 / year.

I will be saving anywhere from $115 to $170 each quarter or $38 to $56 each month. That is as much as having the home phone line (on the low end) or a cell phone plan (on the high end). And now that I look at the numbers it does make me want to cancel the home phone which costs $35 / month and reduce my cell plan.

So what are you spending money on that could be eliminated?

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(Multiply Mirror) Bicycle Commuting: Day 3

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

So I skipped a day..... meh. I didn't get enough sleep and it was cold in the morning. No way am I riding when it is that cold. See Day 2 for details of road, weather, etc etc.

Eventually it would be nice to be a bit more consistent with this.

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(Multiply Mirror) Bicycle Commuting: Day 2 (from 4/3/2007)

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Yes the second day of bicycle commuting did not immediately follow the first. What can I say..... it is 40 degrees in the morning and I need warmer biking clothing (I only have running clothing and that stuff just wasn't made for wind). We had a meeting with our investment banker downtown so I didn't get to the house until 10:30am and didn't leave for work till 11am. Still took about 40 minutes to ride, shower up, change into work clothes, and get to my desk.

Weather:
60s and sunny. Ahhhhhh Not much wind (~10mph)

Road Conditions:
Construction. Yay. That road gets narrow and it freaks me out when a big truck goes past me with only a foot or two to spare.

Traffic:
Light

Physical Conditioning:
Sucking. Sucking it long. Sucking it hard. (bonus points if you catch the reference). Why is it that physical activity

Bike Mechanics:
Shifters are in desperate need of adjustment. Harder than hell to get tires pumped up to 120SPI.... I settle for 60. I might need to move up to the bigger pump which should be easier to use. Might run that shopping trip Saturday in addition to returning the helmet & non fitting shorts (and / or pump). Need to swipe parts from my old bike at the folk's house. Probably also going to need to get a basin & can(s) of oil to clean my chain.

Over All Impression:
Still a wimp but realizing that if I do this more, I'm going to have some killer thighs.

Now if only I could get PAID to do this or get paid while doing this..... (more on this later)

1) Buy Bike
2) Sell Car
3) ???
4) PROFIT!

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(Multiply Mirror) Why this scientist believes in God

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Check out this article from a tip here. The article is about Dr. Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, the director of the Human Genome Project. In the article, Collins discusses how he came to believe in a God while an atheist med student. The article is short but interesting and if you have the 10 minutes for the article and video then check them out.

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(Multiply Mirror) Journaling On The Road

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

My last post (a picture post on Multiply only) was from some available WiFi at the Red Lion in Bellevue WA as part of a quick business / personal trip to Seattle for a friends wedding, and to deliver my latest Photo Memory Movie which was displayed before the ceremony.

The drive was nice, especially because I slept the entire way, having stayed up till 4am working on some special features for the DVD (additional angle & audio tracks). We took off at 6:20am and my brother and his wife did the driving while me and the Mrs. were in the back.

Thoughts on the destination..... Seattle is a lovely city, and it could be better if there were only a few million less people. Ok I should correct myself there, I like the climate and the terrain but I could live with out the traffic and crush of people on every piece of ground for miles in any direction.

Friday my brother and I spent 3 hours trying on mountaineering shoes at the flagship REI. We unfortunately didn't have any time to look at anything else in the entire store. Bummer! My first time there and I only visited about 1/10 of the store. I didn't even get a chance to look at the climbing wall. My brother's wife got him a book written by members of this club while we were at the REI store. Very interesting book and it should hold lots of information for us as we get get more into climbing higher and higher.

We then drove to the International District for dinner with Demigeekessand Dave. medicgeek and waussie were both busy so I didn't get a chance to see them. Then we drove back up town to Queen Anne to hit up a great little Irish pup with the Bride & Groom for a while. Then we headed back to Bellevue for the evening.

Day two was the wedding. We drove up to Green Lake for the service which was 10 minutes at most. An additional 13 minutes at the start was my production. The movie went over very well and all involved parties loved it. Go Me. After the wedding we drove back down to downtown Seattle at the Mountaineer's Club (woo!) for the reception. Space Needle visible down hte street from balcony.

After the reception we headed down to Pike's Place Market too take in the sights. We didn't have any specific need to buy things, and for me, most things there were not "Jason Safe (TM)" so I didn't feel too badly tempted. The place I felt the most tempted was this Russian bakery. Man did some of their creations look and smell amazing. There was a small cheese making facility right on the row of shops so my brother got to explain the whole process to us. He is a manager at a massive cheese facility and he helped build and design the new Southwest Cheese plant This is one of the few plants in the industrialized world that is built from the ground up and not from an existing plant.

Then we met up with Demigeekess"> again for dinner and a stroll around that area. See my photo gallery for pictures from the market. I didn't take too many because I was trying not to hit people with my laptop & camera bags because I wasn't about to leave my laptop in the vehicle unattended.

After a lovely dinner we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the trip out. I popped up the lappy and check for an open WiFi and posted the photos and hit the sack.

Sunday was pretty much the drive back. As far as allergies are concerned, I flared up considerably as a result of eating out all the time. Restaurants never know exactly what is in their foods or at least the waiters don't know and they couldn't eliminate all flour, eggs, and milk if they tried. Even rice noodles at the Chinese place probably had eggs, which are my most reactive substance.

Fun trip. Lots of people.... too many people for my taste. Great weather (cloudy and occasionally rainy) and great temperatures (50s) and if it weren't for the number of people and the cost of living there, I would love it. Oh and the politics.....crazy. Just ask Pudge.

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(Multiply Mirror) It's Never Too Early ... For A Salad

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Voice behind the movie trailers, Don LaFontaine, has given an interview on Good Morning America Weekend Edition. Don is The Movie Trailer Voice but is never recognized for his face until recently. Great video: check it out.

Then there is the piece that started it all. It is a 4 minute short featuring all the big names in announcing. Notably missing are the guy that does boxing matches and the guy that does Mexican soccer matches. Great sound bits like "Hung Like A Horse" and "Rated R".

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(Multiply Mirror) When Government Goes Too Far

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

According to an artilce I read here, in Sweden you have to get approval for your children's names from the government. Right. You can't name them something unless the government approves of that name. So what government agency is responsible for approving your child's names? Some Decency Review Board? Or some sort of Family Planning Council? Nope. The Swedish National Tax Board. And if they don't like your choice, you can be stuck in limbo until you yield to their decisions and pick a name that isn't "ugly." Swedish National Tax Board refused to register the name, saying it was associated with both the rock group and the word "metal."Oh no! An ugly name that is associated with a type of material substance! What about names like Stardust or Crystal or Sunshine. Give me a break Sweden. May be this is the libertarian in me, but an idiot should be able to name the little idiots whatever they want (as long as a text version of the name is possible) and yse I would even allow parents to name their kids after curse words. The parents would then get to suffer the humiliation as teachers and students deride the child for his / her name. If the parent hates their children enough to do that to them (Boy Named Sue, anyone?) then they should be able to.

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Bicycle Commuting: Day 1

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Asside from finding a broken shower pipe that is flooding my walls last night which made me stay up till 4am poking around in the wall and fretting like crazy and making me shift my shedule back by 4 hours.....

I actually made my first bike commute to work. Of course it was at 11:30am and not 7am when it should be.

Weather:
It was windy (34 mph with gusts up to 45MPH ). Dammmm windy. Dangerous actually. But the temp was plesant (60s) and there was no precipitation.

Road Conditions:
Construction. The main road I drive (no bike) to head to work is under construction. That means lots of patched up road and that is not good for road bike tires / rims. I'll either have to take a full lane when riding there, or go somewhere else because there is no shoulder.

Traffic:
Light. Only one major stop light to wait at along with a dozen or so vehicles.

Physical Conditioning:
Sucking. Hard. And. Long. Of course I was fighting a bad wind, biking with ~20lbs of crap on the back, and for the second time in several years. But I still got elevated heart rate and broke a sweat (not like that is hard to do). Forgot to wear my gloves so hands were sore.

Over All Impression:
I'm a wimp. Driving is easier. More money would change this situation (ie not have to scrimp on the funds) but would probably just make me worry about money more. The more you have the more you have to loose.

Now if only I could get PAID to do this or get paid while doing this.....

1) Buy Bike
2) Sell Car
3) ???
4) PROFIT!

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Thanks for the Weather Update Stan, Now on to the Top Story

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

So we had some lucky guesses, some close guesses, and a nearly correct guess (except he was greedy and tried two answers in one).

Purchasing a bicycle is nothing ground shaking. What is, is that I will be selling my car (sniff sniff.... I love that car!) and moving my family to a one car household, and my wife keeps her car.

There are many reasons NOT to give up our current a 1:1 ratio of cars to people:

1) two different jobs
2) living in a large geographical area that is not bicycle friendly
3) second job requiring on site visits in my off hours time
4) the "late for work rush"
5) convenience
6) summer heat (Boise gets to 100+/- 5deg and stays there for weeks) that car is old style freon and works stronger than ANY vehicle I have ever been in. We recharged it the month before the ban in the US.
7) safety - bikes by themselves may be safe but any bicycle / motorcycle vs SUV crash is one sided)
8) spur of the moment errands
9) capacity.... few cars (excluding trucks here) have the capacity of an 88 LeSabre for being able to haul lots of stuff or people or both all while hitting 20MPG in city traffic.

But there are also many reasons to get rid of the second vehicle. Here are some:
1) Money - Car insurance - additional $200-300 every year.
2) Logistics - Low mile commute (less than 2 miles)
3) Money - Gas - $320 / year (again for a very low mileage commute) (~$80 / wuarter)
4) Health - Forced exercise (more on this in later journal)
5) Money - Car Repairs - at least $150-200 / year in bits and pieces averaged over time.
6) Logistics - Flat terrain (no hills between work & home)
7) Money - Vehicle Registration & Fees - ~$100 / yr in registration & emissions test
8) Sex appeal - ok..... so bike shorts don't quite count
9) Tradition - My wife's dad has ridden a bike to work for decades (of course he has worked at the same business for decades where as I have had 3 jobs in the last year, and 9 jobs in the last decade)
10) Social - Road Biking with the brother-in-law & pastor. Should be loads of fun.

Yes I mentioned money a lot. That is because money is a big concern. Especially when our mortgage is 40% of after-tax income and my per hour income after health care (bought on the open market through a PPO) is $13 / hr (excluding any actual spending on health care).

So of course I made a spreadsheet. It is costing me about $1.85 every day to fuel, repair, register, license, and insure my vehicle (an `88 LeSabre). This cost does not include the cost for my wife's car. This is just my costs (I even can tell who's credit card receipt for gas it is because she goes to Chevron and I go to Fred Meyer).

A bicycle has far more limited re-occurring costs. If I blow a tire tube every quarter $10 (not that crazy of an expectation) and buy gear every once and a while ($30 / quarter and that is a big expense account for just commuting and occasional road biking) I'll have a pretty realistic expectation lined up. After one year my expenses with a bike would be $1,130. Car would be $465.32. After two years the expense is $1,290 for the bike and $1,115 for the car. After three years the cost is $1,450 for the bike and $1,765 for the car.

So after 3 years, including startup expenses and assuming no major problems with the car then I will be ahead by switching to the bike. And assuming no major problems for the car is quite an assumption.

To that end, I bought a road bicycle yesterday. Visit the pictures section of my Multiply to see the rig. I bought a clearance bike at Bob's Bicycles Boise (Google to find it) that was initially ~$950 and has carbon fiber front fork and seat post. Nice shifters and lots of gears. Then I added on a rear rack to hold my change of clothes, a rack bag with side bags (and the metal frame to hold the side bags), a helmet (might return it cause I found my old one), pants (yes they are padded biking pants), a pump, and padded gloves (a must).

So in 3 weeks I'll be flushing my cars brakes (needed this for a while) checking lots of fluids and then putting it up for sale. Pretty much any income from the sale will push forward my break even deadline.

So there you have it. Not an insignificant change. Hopefully a change for the better financially and health wise. Now if only I could be paid to have made this change (more on this later).

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Life Changing Decision Made. More after the weather.

robi2106 robi2106 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I just made a pretty significant decision with my lifestyle. It cost me ~$970 but will save me $600 / yr assuming I stick with it. Stay tuned for more details.

jason

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