Heston & Gun Control, OLED TV’s, Free Local WIFI Hotspots, Garmin eTrex Venture HC, Draft.blogger.com

Heston & Gun Control

I’ve always tried to be a supporter of the rights of America. Gun rights included. I’ve pretty much always owned guns, not for hunting (no, never ever for hunting) or anything like that but as the last line of defense in protecting myself, others close to me, and my stuff.

But I’ve never had any illusion about the average American’s ability to handle the responsibility of a gun.

Heck, the average guy on the street can barely use his car responsibly – neither in the ability to just plain drive it around normally nor to restrain himself from using it as a weapon when something pisses him off.

We’re an angry people, angry about what – I don’t think most of us know. But give an angry person a gun and any shred of residual reason goes out the window. Give a person a license to shoot things with it and a good number of people are going to abuse that. Believe me.

Sure, there’s plenty of responsible hunters out there, and gun owners. Probably the majority, and I’d never want to take away that freedom even if a heck of a lot of people are dumb about it.

I’ve chased off so many hunters, even with No Trespassing signs up some redneck with a bunch of dogs, dirty clothes, a rusty car, and missing teeth will wonder onto the land and then give every excuse and lie that he can that he should be there. Again, I wouldn’t take their right away but an intelligence and empathy test for hunters wouldn’t help either…

Anyway, this isn’t about hunters and I’m drifting from the subject at hand.

A good portion of humankind can’t even handle free speech, like we have on the Internet, and have to abuse and take advantage of it. Let alone having the freedom to own a gun.

Not to say I think our freedoms to own a gun or anything else should be taken away, as I said and I want to say again (still I will receive nasty e-mails I’m sure). But, like so many things, there has to be a happy, fair middle ground and sometimes that ground moves with evolution, technology, and the current condition of humankind.

Despite what some think – our governing ancestors knew this and didn’t expect the ideas they set up wouldn’t evolve also.

Charlton Heston just died, which brought me to this entry.

He was a great actor, no doubt about it. And in his younger days he was a fighter for liberal freedoms and damn good at it, and damn vocal about it as well as committed.

But in his later years he went more conservative. Some people’s personalities don’t change over time, some change somewhat over time, and some people’s change a LOT.

It’s one thing to fight for a freedom or cause, it’s another to become fanatical about it. I don’t think fanaticism helps any cause.

Firstly it makes you look like a loon, secondly it alienates many of the average people who might be drawn to your cause normally; but won’t be or will be totally turned off from it if you act like a nutcase. Thirdly fanaticism slows or stops you from organizing and accomplishing what you need to do.

Again – moderation, keeping your head about you and rational presentation of your ideas and facts accomplishes much more, and policing your own personality with self-awareness. Whether it is gun rights, the NRA, PETA (another group that has crossed over into that realm in many people’s minds and is inadvertently doing just the opposite of what it should be sometimes), tree-hugging, Global Warming, religion, or getting pissed off because someone cut you off in traffic, etc. Fanatics and fanaticism only hurts a cause and losing your head only makes a situation worse.

OLED TV’s

Even I have a hard time keeping up on technology sometimes, and learning about what I already have!

The newest television technology that will probably one day be replacing plasma is OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode).

All the reviewers and tech people who have seen it claim that it is by far better than even the best plasma tv’s. But there’s some limitations – the organic material tends to, er fade over time. If the technology is so much better I imagine that this will be overcome, as well as the price for it at this time (wow).

The good thing is that since it’s a light emitting diode no back light is needed, less power usage and power drain (like for laptops).

Free Local WIFI Hotspots

If you’re in the Jefferson County area of New York state you can find some free (and legal to use) hotspots for your wireless laptop.

*Wendy’s on State Street has a good coverage, including into the parking lot. A friend of mine set up the wireless for this particular Wendy’s and the one that used to be on Arsenal Street (due to some sort of strange rigmarole with leasing the property – that Wendy’s is now gone).

*Arby’s on Arsenal Street has indoor coverage, not so much out in the parking lot.

*Panera Bread on Towne Center Drive off Arsenal Street probably has the best and fastest broadband connection and coverage. Great inside, great out in the parking lot.

*JRECK Subs in Black River also does, from what I have been told (I haven’t tried this one).

*The Black River Brewing Company in the Paddock Arcade also had free WIFI but I believe this business in not running any longer, anyone confirm?

Of course, you can just drive around until you pick up an individual’s or business’ WIFI that isn’t encrypted. But this would be illegal (what, you didn’t know that?).

McDonald’s also has WIFI but you have to sign up and pay for it from them.

You can also try Holiday Inn, Econolodge, they will likely have WIFI. As well as some other hotels. But you really need to be a patron to use it.

Same goes for the above fast food places – it’s just polite to buy a burger or a side salad once in a while if you’re going to use their WIFI, even if you’re just sitting out in the parking lot and checking your e-mail.

Check out the WIFI finder links over in my right column, BTW.

Garmin eTrex Venture HC

I got my new GPS receiver, a Garmin eTrex Venture HC.

First, I want to point you toward TheNerds.net which is where I got it from. I’ve ordered some stuff from this company in the past so I had no problem doing so again, especially since they were one of the cheapest to get it from. Surprisingly Walmart sells the same one for twice the price as most places on the Internet.

The shipping was fast, even though I had selected the cheapest they had.

Awesome little piece of equipment. It’s even smaller than my eXplorist 100, and the color screen is incredible.

The basemaps are a bit lacking but once I figure out how to vectorize and transfer my own I plan on sticking on a bunch of terrain and road maps.

The rest of the features are great, the joystick works well, many buttons are multiple functions, transfer to and from the computer is fast, and the electronic compass works much better than the eXplorist. The Geocaching functions are nice too, as well as the calendar and such. The calculator works as expected, something most people may not use but for us map junkies it’s great for figuring square area, etc.

Start up is real fast, and puts the eXplorist to shame. I even get most sats from inside our house – through solid limestone over a foot thick! Wow.

The software that comes with it works well, but is fairly simple but does the job. I prefer to use USAPhotoMaps instead for heavy-duty mapping and map retrieval and waypoint management, and GPSBabelGui to convert the USAPhotoMaps data back and forth (I don’t like to use USAPhotoMaps itself for data transfer as I lose the nice little icons for various waypoints).

I also found that this fits well in my BucketBoss cellphone holster. Basically, this is a padded, Carhart-looking heavy-duty cellphone holster I bought at Sears (I hate Sears and their third-world produced products, not that they are specifically different then Walmart in that aspect). When I got a new cellphone (Motorola Razr V3xxx) it wouldn’t fit and I started putting my GPS in it, this Venture fits in it even better.

I have to get working, otherwise I’d ramble on about this unit. The features are numerous.

I can’t wait for the weather to get even better so I can do some biking and hiking with it, and mapping too.

Yesterday we sat out in shorts and t-shirts it was so nice. Today a bit cooler but still looking real good. I’m no big fan of summer temps, but it’s been a long winter nonetheless.

(The is blog entry below is no longer relevant)

 

Draft.Blogger.com

If you blog on Blogger.com and don’t mind playing around with Beta functions check out their http://draft.blogger.com

You can try out upcoming functions. Check out the top of the right column – a nice searcher I’ve added from draft.blogger.com. You can search my blog, search the blog and comments, and even search external links that I have referenced in my blog. Real nice.

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