Tuesday, October 31, 2006

COLD!

It is almost 1:00am on Tuesday morning and I thought I would come down and see how cold it was outside. Friggen 11 degrees! That is a tad on the cold side if you ask me.

Monday, October 30, 2006

There's A New Skyscraper In The Works!

Upon its completion in 2008 the Burj Dubai will likely become the tallest building in the world. It will beat out the current title holder, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, as well as numerous other proposals including the Freedom Tower at New York City's World Trade Center, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Fordham Spire. In addition, it will assume the title of the world's tallest structure, surpassing the tallest freestanding structure (on land), Toronto's CN Tower, as well as the guyed KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, the latter setting a minimum height for the tower at almost 630 m.
Full Info

Cost Of Drinking Calculator!

Shows you how much it costs you a year to imbibe.

Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments II - The Domino Effect

The guys from EepyBird are back, with 251 bottles of Diet Coke and over 1,500 Mentos mints. In Experiment #137, they did a mint-powered version of the Bellagio fountains. This time, it's one giant Coke & Mentos chain reaction that has to be seen to be believed.

Keywords: eepybird eepy bird mentos coke diet coke mentos experiment fountain soda science geyser experiments fountains geysers

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jerky Time!


This fine Jerky Kit can be purchased from any Cabela's Store.

Lean ground beef & the spice pack is all you need.
See, even I can do it!

Deb did 99 percent of the "Jerky Squirting" but all of the photos I have of her don't include her head. So, you get me instead.

Pop your extruded raw beef and seasonings into the oven for the next 4 hours and enjoy the smell!


It's Jerky Time! I used the scissors to cut the strips into snack size pieces. I know, "How does it taste?" you ask. Tender and very tasty!

New Weather Station


Ever since Deb and I rode out the big wind storm in August, we have both been thinking it would have been nice to actually know how hard the wind was blowing. Not the wind speed in Boise, or Kuna mind you, but exactly how hard was the wind blowing right here at the house. So when we saw the La Crosse WS-2308U Professional Weather Center at Costco for only $99 dollars, we grabbed it. Buying it turned out to be the simple part. As you can see the outside setup was a little involved. Getting the device to "talk" to the computer turned out to be the easiest part. After that it was time to get our system to upload all of this new collected data to the website Weather Underground.

The system consists of all the goodies in the photo above and a receiving station inside the house that wirelessly gathers data from the sensors located in the back yard. This receiving station is connected to the computer where software logs all of the data and stores it in a history file. While all of this is happening a second program also processes the weather information and uploads it to the web.

We actually have had the weather station for almost a month but lacked the time or will to do the big set up. Last week, another one of those "We haven't had a wind storm like that in years!" prompted us to drag the pieces out of the box and set it up. Oh no, we didn't do what your viewing in the photo above. You see I couldn't, it was 9:00pm at night, the wind was howling, so Deb sent me out onto the deck with some zip ties! After way too many trips out into the gale we could at least tell you the wind speed: 30-33 miles per hour sustained, and a 41 mph gust!

Well the station is up and running, and again just in time:

Special Weather Statement as of 1:35 PM PST on October 29, 2006

... Change of airmass bringing cold conditions Monday and Tuesday...

A cold front will move through southeast Oregon and southwest Idaho tonight bringing gusty winds and cold air in behind it. High temperatures will be 15 to 25 degrees colder on Monday than they were today. A chilly northwest wind behind the front will make it feel even colder. Winds diminish Monday night allowing temperatures to drop sharply. Low temperatures Tuesday morning will be the coldest so far this fall... With some locations in Baker County and the west central and Boise Mountains approaching record lows. After Tuesday temperatures will gradually moderate through the week.

Part Of Weather Underground

As you know we now have a Personal Weather Station. I figured since I was collecting the data I might as well share it. So now you can click on the title above for a complete forcast and current conditions provided by the station or click Here to see a history of what has and is happening minute by minute in Deb and Rick's back yard! If you would like to see where the station is on google maps click Here. You will find the name of my station along with other Boise personal weather stations on the right hand side of the page. Ours is named "SE Of Kuna, Idaho." If you mouse over the name you will see the station light up on the map. Once you see it on the map you can click on it to see a pop up of the current weather data it last transmitted. I will soon replace the "Accuweather" information down the left hand side of the blog with my own data. Until then you have to go to the above sites to monitor the station.

Our New Back Yard!


One of the hardest parts of leaving our Battle Ground property was loosing the 4+ acres of wild right off the back of the house. It made riding our quads more than convenient. When all you had to do was drive out of the garage and turn the corner, there was no excuse for not riding when ever you felt like it. I knew when we sold, we would never see anything like that again. Turned out I was wrong!

After deciding on our new house in Kuna, Deb and I started exploring our new territory. At some point we noticed a truck with 2 ATV's packed in the back heading down a road that seemed to go nowhere. We were sure it was some farmer heading home but then we saw another truck hauling dirt bikes on the same road. We decided to follow. Well it turned out we just so happened to move about as close to a HUGE network of riding trails as we possibly could have.

It could not have been better, it was only 8 miles from the house! All we had to do was load the quads on the trailer, haul them over there and start to ride. It was at that point I started to think about the railroad tracks. Tracks by the house, tracks by the trailhead. Hmmmm, I wonder?

So yesterday we drove the quads out of the shop, out of the neighborhood and down the road to the train tracks. There was an overgrown dirt road running along side of it. Would it continue the whole way? It sure did! It turns out to be 7 miles each way to the trailhead where we have hundreds of miles of riding available in all directions.

So, the only thing that has changed is this. We went from 4 acres to hundreds of miles, but we can still drive straight out of the garage to do it! Not too bad.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Local Color

Sunrise.

From the top of Bogus Basin.

Out in the woods.

Lonely but loud.

What's Up?

Weather: Since our arrival on July 10th the sky has only produced some kind of precipitation twice! The current drill is cloudless blue sky, highs in the 60's lows 35 to 45 degrees. The reason for wiper blades in Kuna are... Wait for it... To remove the dust from your windshield.

Cat Door: For the third time in my life I have had the pleasure of sawing through a wall or door to install a cat door. This time it was through the wall and out to the garage. The job took about 2 hours and included some cursing and phrases like: "That will be okay, the molding will cover it." and "See Deb, the problem is that the house is not straight!" An interesting note is, during the entire install Mishra layed on the floor about 6 feet from all of the action. When I was done and everything put away, she looked at me, looked at the door and headed right through it without hesitation. She then proceeded to spend the next 3 nights out in the garage. Mission accomplished.

Shop: The shop is done. I know you are saying to yourself, "Wasn't that done a month ago?" The final touches have been a sink and the most valuable item on any house, the window screens.

House: Still lots to do here in the way of moving in. There are still about 20 boxes out in the garage that I am afraid to open because it will just mean work! My computer still sits in pieces on the floor. The theater room is all about storing the stuff we have not dealt with yet, and nothing to do with watching a movie.

Garage: With the impending arrival of cold weather Deb and I finally cleared out the garage enough to admit all of the vehicles! I must say that since this is the first time in my life I actually have garage parking privileges, it is nice.

Us: We are both feeling well with no apparent issues. Deb is getting comfortable with her new job and I am staying busy as usual with mine.

Yard: The grass is coming up in the back yard! While it is no work of lawn art, containing many weeds and bare spots, the "Grass Man" recently visited us and sprayed for weeds and put down another layer of seed. We will wait and see.

The Gravity Express

About four hundred years ago– sometime in the latter half of the 17th century– Isaac Newton received a letter from the brilliant British scientist and inventor Robert Hooke. In this letter, Hooke outlined the mathematics governing how objects might fall if dropped through hypothetical tunnels drilled through the Earth at varying angles. Though it seems that Hooke was mostly interested in the physics of the thought experiment, an improbable yet intriguing idea fell out of the data: a dizzyingly fast transportation system.

Line Rider

Click on the title and play with this simple flash goody.

Only after you have had your fun is it safe to watch the movie below!

Line Rider Movie

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Toys: Snowmobiles!

2003 Polaris 800 RMK Vertical Edge Snow Check Select

I'll be riding this one.

2003 Polaris 600 RMK 144

This one is for Deb.

1996 Arctic Cat 550 Cougar

This is for who ever wants to go snowmobiling with us!

Well, now that we're living in Idaho and most of the water that falls from the sky comes down in the form of snow... We thought it would be a good idea to get some snowmobiles. Some friends of ours are sadly moving away to a place where snowmobiling would be difficult at best. This change of scenery forced them to make the very tough decision to sell their snow loving toys. Deb and I expressed interest in purchasing them, went over and took a look, and the rest is history. We plan on selling our current ATV trailer and getting a new one that will support the sleds in the winter and the ATV's in the summer. After that, all that is left to do, is wait for SNOW!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Strange Facts!

Learn the weird histories and bizarre facts behind these commonly used products.

New York Changing

Photos of New York from the 1930s and their 1990s Equivalents

By: Douglas Levere

Internet Explorer 7 Released!

Internet Explorer 7 provides improved navigation through tabbed browsing, web search right from the toolbar, advanced printing, easy discovery, reading and subscription to RSS feeds, and much more.

Internet Explorer 7 provides security through a robust new architecture, security features that help defend against malicious software (also known as malware), and new ways to better protect against the theft of personal data from fraudulent websites, a practice known as phishing.

Internet Explorer 7 has improved support for cascading style sheets, a rich RSS feeds platform, and robust tools for deploying and managing Internet Explorer 7 in large enterprise environments.

Seven Ways To Light a Fire Without a Match

Mythbusters Blooper Reel

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's Been Two Years!

Happy Anniversary To:
'What Am I Doing?"

It has been up for 2 years!
934 article posts!
Over 300 Photos!
Many thanks to all who have left comments and contributed to the fun!

Carve Your Own Cyber-Pumpkin Online

Do You Live In The Smartest State?

When it comes to intelligence, a new survey ranks Arizona dead last among the states.

For the second year in a row, an annual smartest-state ranking puts Arizona in the No. 50 spot.

The list is compiled by Morgan Quitno Press, a private research and publishing company in Kansas that also puts out annual rankings on the most livable, safest and healthiest states.

In the smart-state ranking, Vermont comes in at the top, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maine.

Arizona is at the bottom, preceded by Nevada, Mississippi, California and Alaska.

View the full list of rankings.

The ratings are based on 21 elementary and secondary education indicators, ranging from graduation rates and test scores to teacher pay and class size.

"Vermont performs very well in a number of important areas of education," said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press, in a news release. "A high percentage of the state’s students are proficient in reading and math. In addition, class sizes are small and the number of teachers per student is among the lowest in the nation."

Human Species 'May Split In Two'

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn recently drifted in giant planet's shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn and slightly scattering sunlight, in the above exaggerated color image. Saturn's rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the above image. Visible in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn's E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus, and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, visible on the image left just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor RC

Want to see if your Windows XP-based PC can run Windows Vista? Just download, install, and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor RC.

This small software tool will scan your computer and create an easy-to-understand report of all known system, device, and program compatibility issues, and recommend ways to resolve them. Upgrade Advisor can also help you choose the edition of Windows Vista that best fits the way you want to use your computer.

Should Everest Be Closed?

Tourism is turning the world's highest peak into its biggest garbage dump, claim conservationists, who are pressing for controls on climbing. But will this cost sherpas their livelihood? Dan McDougall in Kathmandu reports on the campaign.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How To Wash Your Car

Paul Dolton - The Worlds Best Car Cleaner

Water Balloon Explosion

Using A High Speed Camera at Around 5000fps.

How Do Planes Avoid Colliding?

There's a little box that yells "Traffic! Traffic!"

By Daniel Engber

Download the MP3 audio version of this story here, or sign up for The Explainer's free daily podcast on iTunes.

The Brazilian courts ordered the detention of two American pilots on Monday, a few days after the jet they were flying crashed into a passenger liner over the Amazon jungle. Interviews with the pilots may help explain how the accident occurred, even though both planes were outfitted with automatic collision-avoidance systems. What's a collision-avoidance system?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Our Lake Is Complete!

This is the new and improved evaporation pond for our neighborhood! It has been dug out and lined with a rubber blanket so it can hold water from the waste treatment system. Just in case you are worried about smell... The water released is cleaner than a public swimming pool and is chlorinated.
It took 5 days and several fire hoses to fill this bad boy up. Not too bad of a view if you ask me!
Makes you want to go swimming doesn't it.
This is what it used to look like!

Did Costco Get A Fountain?

This is what happens when a Semi-truck cuts the corner and takes out a fire hydrant! (yup, that's me looking stunned in the lower right hand corner of the photo.)

At every fire plug there is a shut off valve in the ground at a distance of about 15 feet. This way when this type of thing happens it can be shut off.


The tool in the guys hand works the emergency shut off valve.

There was a ton of water that flowed down the streets in all directions.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Colliding With Death at 37,000 Feet, and Living

Click on title for complete article:

It had been an uneventful, comfortable flight.

With the window shade drawn, I was relaxing in my leather seat aboard a $25 million corporate jet that was flying 37,000 feet above the vast Amazon rainforest. The 7 of us on board the 13-passenger jet were keeping to ourselves.

Without warning, I felt a terrific jolt and heard a loud bang, followed by an eerie silence, save for the hum of the engines.

And then the three words I will never forget. “We’ve been hit,” said Henry Yandle, a fellow passenger standing in the aisle near the cockpit of the Embraer Legacy 600 jet.

Watch Spyware Take Out Windows XP

Fall Comes To Idaho

Snake River Canyon at Dedication Point.
Lucky Peak Reservoir Park.

A cool looking horse.

That's right, Fall without gray sky's!