I drive through Indian Hill, a suburb of Cincinnati, on the way to work everyday, and sometime loiter in this church’s back parking lot to catch up on my reading if I’m too early. While sitting behind the Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church, I was looking at my phone and noticed I had quite a few bars… in fact all the bars. Indian Hill is notorious for poor cel reception, especially as it is an enclave for wealthy people.
So while I was thinking about that I noticed these cables run up the back wall of the church and dissappearing into the roof. Big cables, and quite a lot of them. They ran back behind the church and into a big pile of computerized equipment…. quite the modern pile of gear for a church. Did this church have a super cool stereo system to praise the Lord with?
There are megachurches with plenty of broadcasting power to lure the tv crowd, however I don’t think this is one of them… On further investigation, I think the sign on the electronic gear gave it away…. Property of T-Mobile…. It’s a cel tower.
I hate to say it out loud. I love paper. I used to try and make it out of a bunch of old rags, mixed into a paste and pressed out to dry. The sunday morning paper is a comfortable old friend. The stacks of books on the wall don’t want to leave. There are albums crammed full of pictures, snippets from magazines and articles I can’t do without.
I read a lot, but lately it hasn’t been on a paper background. It started with computer screens that got connected to the internet. There isn’t enough wall space here to stack the number of books you can access on the net. But now, with Ipads and whatnot, you can access all that stuff from anywhere, and you don’t have to wait till you can get to the library or the bookstore or wherever. Your kindle can download anything you could possible want to read. And it all packs into some little thing you can put in your pocket. (Well, everything except the Ipad)
I’m still keeping the sunday morning paper as long as I can, even though it is changing also. The paper is smaller now, and ad content usually covers three quarters of each page. Still, it is paper, and it will be something our great grandchildren will only see in museums.
You read a lot of press about how China, the waking leviathan, will eventually be the center of gravity for commerce, and leader of economies locked in global competition. Well, that time is now. Surprise surprise.
The latest developments in radio control center around three areas: brushless electric motors, lithium type batteries, and spread spectrum 2.4 gigahertz band radios. More and more modelers are converting their radio systems to 2.4 ghz, and just about everyone has an electric indoor and outdoor airplane and helicopter of some sort. Everyone flying an electric airplane or helicopter has multiple batteries, so they can fly on one while they charge another. Every day another manufacturer of these batteries pops up in an ad in the trade magazines. All promise longer life, more recharges, and safer technology, and most are originating from China. These batteries are not imported and relabeled and resold in the states; they are mailed directly to you from China, where they are manufactured.
Today, I can buy a very good high quality large capacity battery, and get it in about 10 days directly from China. The shipping is free, and the price is already lower than any retailer in the states. And its not just batteries. Everything that has to do with the Radio Control hobby can be ordered online from China. The only downside, the longer shipping time, has to do with customs inspections.
These Chinese manufacturers are also running full page ads in the RC magazines every month. You quickly see that other manufacturers cannot beat the price for just about any item. Many Chinese manufacturers are also opening offices for support in the states. Kind of a different ‘Chinese human wave”.
Well, they might as well get in the game. And it is a truly global game. I recently saved a bunch of money on Frontline flea and tick medicine for our dogs. I ordered it from Australia.
So my friend is throwing out an old IBM Celeron powered Laptop. I intercepted it before it became trash. Not much to talk about, a couple usb ports, really small harddrive, small everything, battery dead, etc.
It did have a PCMCIA network card. First I loaded Damn Small Linux, and it all worked fine. I connected to the internet, did a little research on Newegg, and ordered a linux compatible Edimax PCMCIA wireless card for $19 bucks. DSL however, wouldn’t recognize the card. I found myself in NDISWrapper hell. I did have linux drivers, but they wouldn’t compile, and this is documented in multiple discussion forums.
I decided to try loading several distros, to see if any of them would recognize the card. I loaded PCLINUX, which looked great, but no see card. I tried SLITAZ, same result. I tried Ubuntu, etc etc. No luck. Then I tried Freespire. Finally, success. Freespire took about 30 minutes to install, and it was painless. It immediately recognized the PCMCIA Card. I setup wireless networking, with WEP (WPA is still flaky in this distro) and then installed the network printer. I now have the laptop downstairs in the “man cave” for access to the internet, etc. If I wasn’t so cheap, I’d buy a battery of Ebay for $50 bucks. Or I may hack it myself. It’s a Nickel Metal hydride battery, pretty easy to replace. Maybe Someday…
Got some pics of the baby from Jonathon and Melissa…
Born 5:51 pm 1/7/09
Weight 7 lbs 12 oz
What a cute kid!
Prior to this latest discovery, we have been enthralled with the notion that there is matter we cannot yet see. Dark matter. Most of the universe (that we know of) is comprised of dark matter. Vast unimaginable cosmic distances of nothingness, colossal voids, or rather, dark matter…
Just as I am getting my astrophysical metaphysical brain around this wholly unimaginable concept of dark matter, a new stunning discovery makes its debut in all the cutting edge star magazines, and I develop a headache.
There is apparently a newer type of recently discovered matter in the universe, that seems to dwarf the vast nothingness of dark matter. I am of course, talking about: “Doesn’t Matter”.
We would die one thousand times before we reached the nearest habitable planet. And surrounding us all on our improbable journey would be “Doesn’t Matter”.
Doesn’t Matter is visible – in the county vehicle registration office. It’s all over in there, trust me. And, it is pouring out of the local Sheriff’s cruiser, when your are explaining your accident. On debate night for the presidential candidates, the building is literally constructed out of “Doesn’t Matter”
Parents are literally covered in it, when they are adjudicating a fight between brother and sister. Doesn’t Matter is spraying all over the place.
So, look around. Take a good look. You may get a glimpse of “Doesn’t Matter”.
With all the talk about the oil crisis, I am always on the lookout for alternatives to use in the country. We drive an explorer that runs on biofuel but it takes 2x as much so it isn’t really saving us any money and it upsets me that my drive to walmart is causing a Somalian to starve. So after much research – I thought a car running on methane from pig shit was the perfect solution but I really couldn’t stand the smell and I don’t do animals so it would never make it through the week . Since we live in the middle of the mennonites – I have discovered the perfect vehicle –
Caiden Joseph Schraut was born at 12:30 pm on May 4th, 2008 to Ashley and Joey. He only took 22 hours to come out, but out he came… 6 lbs 9oz, and 20″ long.
Check out Caidens Pics in the Gallery!
A few of our dear spouses will turn the big 10+10+10+10+10 this year.
Suitable gifts for anyone turning 5 X 10 years old are many, ranging from cheap to expensive.
A couple I have my eye on:
i like the one that has the basket for the Geritol…
If you want an account on the Spechtacle, you may:
1. email firstname.lastname@example.org and request one
2. register in the Spechtacle, and we will approve your joining the fray
3. send a million-billion dollars in a suitcase to 105 Blueball Road, Rineyville Ky 40162
Feel free to skip right to number 3, if you have a suitcase…