Category Archives: Cool Stuff

The CPSC has got some Balls.

And they want to take away everyone else’s.

Buckyballs, that is.

You may or may not have seen the Gizmodo story about the CPSC suing to get Buckyballs off the market. Read it.

The CPSC was created with the intention of preventing companies from selling products that they knew would be harmful even when used for their specifed purpose and in a sane and reasonable manner.

Nobody ever expected an adult to give powerful magnets to a child and leave them unattended.  But because there are stupid people in the world, someone did.  And because of a whole two incidents in a decade or so, the CPSC is coming down like a ton of shit on the heads of a company that makes a toy for adults.

Show them some support.  Got to www.getbuckyballs.com and buy some.  Like I did.

Then write your Congressmen and Senators and tell them to yank on the CPSC’s leash.

So this is an iPad.

Ok, I’m told there’s a WordPress app, but the iPad doesn’t like the visual editor.

As a device, in the thirty seconds or so I’ve played with it, it seems pretty cool. Not necessarily something I’d buy, but I can see the appeal.

Spell check and auto-correct is nicer than on the Pre. The keyboard works fine, I don’t know what all the bitching is about.

Maybe I’ll play with it more later.

Made in America, again.

I was talking with a customer today. He’s waiting for a CNC machine to come in from Taiwan. That’s good news – he’s making more stuff here. But the better news – the company he’s getting the machine from is moving production to the U.S. Apparently they can’t make and ship them fast enough to meet demand.

That’s good news on two fronts. It means that more high-skill value-add manufacturing jobs will be here in the States. But it also means that more manufacturers are buying them here. Which means even more manufacturing jobs.

And I’ve long believed that the only way to have a growing economy is to have manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing is the only sector that increases the value of material. Shipping, stocking, selling – all important, but not a single one of them adds value to the raw materials that make up the item.

So news like this makes me happy.

Lessons learned on the River Housatonic

Those stories you hear about thick cloud cover obviating the need for sunscreen? Lies.

When the guy at the kayak place tells you “If you fall in the water in the rapids, DO NOT try to stand up” he knows of which he speaks.

Rocks are harder than flesh.

It is easier to attempt swimming (and that is all I can be said to do) when you decide to let go of the kayak and the oar, and let someone else corral that thing for you.

In case you hadn’t guessed, a bunch of us went kayaking on the Housatonic River in northwestern CT at Clarke Outdoors. It was a blast. Actually we used what they call “Sityaks”, which is kind of like a kayak, except you sit ON it instead of IN it. Whcih means when you capsize, you at least haven’t got a boat stuck to you. But it also means that you crush your knuckles on a rock when you fall over because you didn’t listen to the guy when he said “don’t stand up in the rapids”.

Tiring, but a lot of fun. And at least I wasn’t the only one to ditch.

Oh, and if you find Kevin’s glasses, please drop me a line.

Road Trip!

I am posting this from the passenger’s seat of a Subaru on Route 7 in Pittsfield, MA.

We’re passing Pontoosuc Lake, according to the GPS that’s running through the same Bluetooth dongle as the connection to the cell phone.

I was ready to pitch the thing this morning – Street Atlas took its sweet-ass time finding the configuration dialog for the GPS. Once that got going, everything went smooth.

Sometimes I don’t hate computers so much.

Fireworks!

These photos are from the West Haven fireworks display on 7/3/2005.

The whole album can be seen here. What, you thought I was gonna use my limited bandwidth for ALL THOSE?

I’ve cropped them to convenient desktop wallpaper sizes for your enjoyment.

(Yes, I realize that was last week. I’m lazy, so sue me!)

I don’t want a pickle!

I just wanna ride my motor sickle!

Got me a new toy. Kawasaki Vulcan 800. What a sweet bike this is. I’ll post pictures if I ever get around to taking a decent one.

Rode about 60 miles on Tuesday, going no place in particular. You couldn’t have knocked the smile off my face with a sledge hammer. Well, maybe with a sledge hammer. But you get my point.

It’s going to be a fun summer.

Flight!

Beautiful day today. Upper 60s, nice breeze. Go fly a kite, I says. I kinda flew a kite. The winds were variable and swirly, so I didn’t get more than 30 seconds out of a flight, but some is better than none.

This one is a 30″ parafoil. It has no structure, it is simply a set of bags that catch air, and when inflated form a lifting surface. It takes no effort to get it aloft (if you have wind, anyhow), and you can do some neat tricks with it.

Go fly a kite!