Glocks

September 28, 2006

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When I was a kid staying with my Grandparents in Tennessee my Grandpa and I would go out sometimes and shoot .22 rifles at tin cans. Also, one time when I was probably eight or ten my uncle let me shoot a 9mm pistol of his once. Other than that I've never really done much shooting. I've kinda wanted to do a little pistol shooting for a while so last weekend I found a local firing range that lets you rent guns to shoot and gave it a spin. It's a bit surreal. You walk in, show them your ID, sign a form saying you aren't high or drunk and they hand you a 9mm Glock 17 and a box of ammo. Here's a shot of the pistol. Glock 17 Considering I've never really shot a pistol I think I did okay. Target Practice There are 40 rounds in the target below. Twenty shots from about 8 yards and twenty shots from 15 years. These were the last of the box of 50 that I shot and my arm was surprisingly tired. I didn't really think it would be a workout, but it was a bit of one. If you have never shot a pistol (or I suppose a gun of any sort), it's a wild experience. You squeeze the trigger slowly and nothing happens for a while as it's moving back. Then, with a suddeness that is hard to describe, you are literally holding a controled explosion in your hand. It's over so fast that you don't have time to react to it till a half second after the bullet has hit the target. It feels very different than it looks in the movies. No. I'm not going to turn into a "gun nut", but it was a fun experience. A little pricy though. Gun rental was $15 for two guns (I also shot the smaller Glock 26), Range fee was $10, and the box of 50 shots of ammo was another $10. About $40 with tax.


Bug on my windshield

September 27, 2006

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To continue with the bug postings, I'm going to move over to an actual insect. While driving this weekend I hit a bug going about 45MPH. Aparrently he has bug armor because he wasn't the smear that you would expect, but was still well formed and just hanging on the window. I pulled over and without the wind in his face he walked around a little on the glass before flying off. I don't know if I should be really impressed of scared. Seems like it might be the start of a bug army that is doing some crash testing to check out their battle technology before they start the invasion. I managed to get a shot of him before he took off. It's a little washed out since the flash went off. He was a darker in color than the photo makes him out to be. Armor Bug


Comment Math

September 27, 2006

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I've been getting a little bit of comment spam. To try to defeat it, I've added the Math Comment Spam Protection Plugin. When you leave a comment, you will be asked to do some simple math to verify that you are a person and not a robot.


Bugs in my chair?

September 27, 2006

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Okay, this is a photo of the bottom of my office chair at work. What the Hell is that wire doing there? Seems to me that the loop its in would make a nice antenna…… Chair Wire


Real Life Rube Goldberg's

September 27, 2006

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Outside of the boardgame Mousetrap, I can't think of many Rube Goldberg's that I've seen. Of course there are all the ones that Wile E. Coyote and other Looney Tunes characters came up with, but there's something to be said about real life ones like these. After watching this, I've decided that if I ever win the lottery, one of the ways I'm gonna spend my time is making overly complex machines to do simple tasks. Fun with kinetic energy.


Bugs in my head

September 23, 2006

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Odd things going on in my head today. I woke up around 5am at which time the fridge just happened to be running its cooling cycle. It's one of those noises you don't notice until it stops. It went off shortly after I woke up, but was still lying in bed. Once it was quite there was effectively no noise in the house and no cars other environmental noise from the outside. Almost immediately I heard what sounded like very very faint radio static coming from my ceiling. Puzzled, I walked into a couple different rooms but couldn't get a line on where it was coming from. After I verified that there wasn't anything on in the house that would cause it I opened a window to see if it was something from outside. As soon as I did this the ambient noise from the rustling of the trees washed out the static. The trees aren't loud at all, and you wouldn't notice them unless you were specifically listening for them or something else very quite. At this point, I got a little nervous as my mind jumped to : what if I somehow got termites (despite the termite bond) and I'm hearing them eat my house? Slightly freaked, I put my ear to the wall in several places, but the sound didn't seem to be coming from there. After walking around a little more I stopped in the living room and tried a little experiment and tightly covered both my ears with my palms. Sure enough, I could still hear the sound. In fact, it was a little louder. So, the sound is, quite literally, all in my head. With most peoples ears, if you get into a virtually silent environment, you will hear a slight ringing. From what I gather this can be either tinnitus or your ear just making up something to send to your brain since it doesn't have anything else to send. I've never had this happen with a sound more like static though. I've had a head cold, so I wonder if this has anything to do with it. It's probably that, or the fillings in my teeth are picking up radio waves….. By the way, you should try putting your ear up against a wall that has an exterior face. It's wild what you can hear. In my case, it was the highway that's probably two miles away.


New Photo Storage Philosiphy

September 23, 2006

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I really don't like deleting things off of a computer. You can never be quite sure that you won't need whatever it is that you are throwing away again. This has been causing me a little anxiety when it comes to my digital image files. Currently, I download images off my CF cards to my computer. From there I burn them to a DVD. I'm starting to make two copies and am using high grade media recommended by C.J. The problem I'm running into is that even with a 300GB drive I have to delete files from the computer itself at a rather fast rate. Even though I'm not really shooting that much at roughly 12MB per image that the 5D produces it's easy to eat through storage space in a hurry. I'm fairly confident in the DVDs, but they are a pain to get back to if I ever need to find old ones. So, the new setup that I've decided to go with is to get external drives to store the photos. I'll still make the backup DVDs, but instead of moving the images to the internal hard drive, I'll move them to the external one. Once a drive is full, I'll just unplug it and put a new one in. No more deleting images from the magnetic media. An added benefit of this will be that I'll have at least two copies in two different media (one DVD and one hard drive) of my images. Also, for those times when I need to pull an image from the archive it'll be much easier to just drop in the drive than sorting thru CDs. I haven't done the pricing yet, but I think it's going to be least expensive to by a regular internal hard drive and then an external case seperately. From a quick look, it seems that there is a real premium if you buy the external setup that's prebuilt. I'll post later with what I decide, but I'm already feeling more relaxed about file storage. Beats me why I didn't think of this sooner.


HTTrack - Website Copier

September 23, 2006

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If you ever need to make a copy of a web site to keep on your local machine, you can use HTTrack. It grabs local copies of the files require to render the site and converts them so that you can browse the site offline on your computer. Great for things like documentation sites that you want to be able to use when you are on your computer but away from an internet connection.


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© Alan W. Smith
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