Category Archives: Life in general

A Tollbooth Merry Christmas anyone?

I recently went on vacation the week before Christmas with my family.  While driving, I came across the tolls that Florida loves to charge for.

I decided to be in the holiday spirit and wish the toll attendants a Merry Christmas.  Out of six attendants, two returned back a reply with “Merry Christmas.”  One replied back with “back to you…”  One just looked at me dumbfounded.  And the last one said thank you.

And there you have it ladies and gentleman.  The latest poll results at just how friendly Florida Tollbooth attendants are around the holidays!  🙂


Salute during National Anthem now permitted

A skydive buddy of mine, Arne, who served in the Marines just emailed me this:

WASHINGTON — Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

“The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation’s flag.”

Which can also be found here. Nothing wrong with a proper salute by a vet.  Someone asked me today if I was happy being out of the military.  Hell no…I miss it, but it wasn’t fun all the time either.  The men and women who serve and the families left behind when they go off to fight dedicate a lot to this country.

To all the Veterans out there…thank you very much!

To my buddy Kurt….blue skies man…I’ll have a beer for you!

Canon Factory Service Center

I was very surprised! Almost a year ago, I accidently set my camera on a chair. Forgetting, I sat on it! Just as I was sitting down and felt something odd…I realized it was not a good thing, but it was too late! My rear end cracked the LCD screen.

I eventually got around to figuring out how to get it fixed. They estimated it would cost about $130 US dollars.

I took my time deciding if I wanted to repair it or put the money towards a new camera. I mean digital cameras are cheap, even though I spent more than than average on this camera!

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Sharper Image Bluetooth Speakers

I had been watching the Bluetooth 1.2 Wireless HI-FI Stereo Speakers at Sharper Image for some time now. Original price $200 down to $99. Priced them at Amazon too, they also had reduced them. Since I had store credit, I decided to buy them at the store. I’ve kind of grown irritated by the tiny speakers in my laptop and the other pair of speakers on my HP w22 LCD. The display looks great, but the speakers … well uh…suck! I think Talking Elmo has a better speaker in it!

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A little holiday cheer

One of the guys I work with took it upon himself to create this in good fun.

I couldn’t stop laughing.  But now I have to think of something good for payback. 🙂

Chumby here it comes…

I have a tendency to buy Gizmos and let them sit on my desk.  I’ve had some things torn apart like breadboards, multimeters, microprocessors, wires hanging out, half mounted LCD’s, and things entact but still collecting dust like PDA’s, USB sticks, iPAQ’s, scattered around my desk.

So when Ken first showed me the site and told me what Chumby’s were all about, I was impressed and shocked at the same time.  But then the sinking feeling of uh oh another gadget fell into my head.  I mean spending $179 would buy me a fun weekend of skydiving (or 8 jumps — skydivers measure how much something costs by how many jumps it would buy).

The other day Ken mentioned his was shipped.  Damn you Ken! I went back to the website and decided yes I too wanted to have this under my Christmas tree this holiday season.

Tonight while I was working, I came up with yet another idea I could use the Chumby for.  And then I received an email stating my Chumby had been shipped! I am going to look forward to playing around with the flash interface and writing up a sample little idea I have.

I guess the one great thing about this gadget is it was made to sit where I want it to, and can do virtually anything.  I eventually see my son wanting one in his bedroom as an alarm clock to wake him, then to tell him the scores of last nights sporting event he couldn’t stay up to watch.  I see one in the kitchen to let my wife browse her recipes, check the weather or keep tabs on that Ebay auction while cooking, perhaps displaying an IM from me when I have locked my desktop at work for the day and am on my way home?

Thanks Ken!  🙂

Cashier Power!

Do you use your debit/credit card for everything? I do, I hate carrying cash. I like the itemized list of things I spent money on each month. Ok…lets face it, I really hate that change that fills up in my pocket, falls down the side of the center console in my car when I’m driving or ends up in some old fish bowl in the house.

I began to pay attention to the different cashiers. Some take your card, swipe it and hand it back to you. Other places like Target, you insert the credit card into a reader, and it spits it back out to you. And then there is the grocery store. You swipe your card, and stuff it back in your wallet.

Well…at work we have a cafeteria.  The food is adequate, not excellent, but hey its edible.  Well there is this one lady who works as a cashier, who takes your card, swipes it, punches in the amount and waits, holding your card! I have even reached my hand out as if I am waiting for my card back so I can stuff it in my wallet and put my wallet back away.  No signature is required, I can even elect to not receive a receipt.

What responsibility does this lady think she has, that she has to keep my card in the case where it tells her to destroy it? One, I am at work — would I really be using a stolen credit card? Two, does she work for the credit card companies? Is it really worth her frustration? Does anyone know if every vendor signs a credit card agreement to become a credit card employee and keep that credit card in the worst cases?

I’m nice to the lady, in fact I smile and nod and act like I know the reason she is holding my card.  But if I wasn’t, would someone really put themselves in harms way JUST to pull the credit card power over me?

I’d like to see a comic strip from XKCD on this topic.  Ok…I’ve ranted long enough…