Meeting People in Person, Natural Heritage Area, Backing Up Your Blog, Finger Stick, Camera Attached to Telescope, Dining Room Remodel

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Blog Action Day seemed to be quite a success, according to the website over 20,603 blogs participated. Not bad. There was a good amount of press coverage too, which helped.

A good blog I found on the Blog Action Site that might be of interest along the lines of recyclingItems You Never Thought To Recycle.

And if you live in the local area check out our FreecycleWatertownNY list for giving away items you don’t need or want instead of throwing them in the trash. You can also ask for items. If you live elsewhere go to Freecycle.org and find a local group near you – chances are there is one, or you can start one yourself!

Oh yea, that death threat thing I got? Some sort of scam that’s circulating. Apparently the scam is e-mailing people and trying to get them to pay off the contract on them or some such. The one sent to me didn’t ask for anything though. It seemed to be just my friendly neighborhood hired killer letting me know he was going to kill me.

According to a recent study 43% of the US is in drought conditions. And this isn’t a study by a wacky tree-hugger group, this is by the National Climate Data Center. Wow. Isolated to this year, or sign of Global Warming? If the latter we are in trouble…

Is Wal-mart trying to stick it’s big, cheap, Chinese-sweatshop-product-created thumb in everything? A recent article shows Wal-Mart and Hughes satellite hooking up to deliver broadband Internet via a dish. It won’t be any cheaper (still about $70 per month and a high cost of equipment, slow uploads and a throttled connection) – it’ll just have Wal-Mart on it instead of Hughes, heh.

And if those are enough signs that the world is in trouble – Cheney and Obama are related? 8th cousins, according to Cheney’s wife while researching their family tree.

One of Obama’s spokesman said -“Every family has a black sheep.” [Guffaw]

Yea, I see the end coming.

Giant Dog and Photoshopping

Giant dog, wow.

I’ve done a lot with trying to find fake photos and are moderately good at using various techniques to find them. Once in a while though, you come across ones like this (or the giant cat one from previous years) that you know are fake; but you just can’t find any mistakes with. It has come to a point where even the pros can’t tell the difference sometimes, an issue when it comes to using photos in legal proceedings for evidence. And it’s only going to get worse.

New York’s latest Natural Heritage Area?

If you’ve ever went on any of the trails down near Black Pond, Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, or the El Dorado Preserve & trail area you might know that this is the one of the largest inland dune systems in the eastern Great Lakes area – there’s protected white sand dunes, lots of preserves and wildlife.

The DEC is proposing making that 17 mile stretch of land and making it a Natural Heritage Area.

What does this mean? Apparently the protection of wildlife and the environment in this area will take priority over other things related to and on this state-owned land. I take this to mean that any high-risk area may be shut off from the public, and there may be some constraints that we are not seeing down there now.

Meeting People in Person Versus Over the Internet

People are sure funny, uh, people sometimes. I’ve noticed that with many people seem to automatically trust someone they meet in person, especially the older crowd may be more likely to do this. It doesn’t matter if they have known the person through chatting over the Internet, on a telephone, the CB (many years ago when it was popular) previously and just met them. It doesn’t matter if everyone else online says the person is a scumbag. With some people if they meet them in person it’s nearly an automatic trust, face-to-face.

I find it amazing. Sure, some people are better at reading others in person – but how many people are really experts at this, or even knowledgeable enough in human interaction to do this accurately? I’ve seen and heard this happen over and over, and it causes a lot of problems.

In one case I know of a child-toucher was called an honorable person and 100% believed valid over legal evidence as well as what many others (both online and in person) had said.

The ability of humans to be snowed by a simple face-to-face meeting is amazing. On the other hand, as I’m sure we all know, there’s so much misdirection and dishonesty when dealing with people over the Internet.

Then again, the same goes for those in person.

Backing Up Your Blog

The only satisfactory way I’ve found to back up my blog is, well, to just use Firefox’s SAVE PAGE AS function (under FILE). You can do the same with most any other browser.

I use Backstreet Browser often, as well as a number of other pieces of software along the same lines. None seemed to do the job as quickly as just saving the page.

I don’t need the labels saved, or the searches. Just saving it saves all graphics and text for the particular entry, which I can then edit if I need to. Comments can be saved via clicking the Comments themselves and saving them.

There’s a lot of different ways that people are backing up their blogs, but the simplest seems to do the best for me.

And remember – backup your template too, if you’ve made changes to it. Just go to your Dashboard, click LAYOUT beside your blog, and then EDIT HTML. Save this as plain text.

Damn Those Neighbors For Stealing My Wireless, I’ll Get Them

This guy’s right long my line of thinking. He found that his neighbors were stealing his Internet by connecting to his WIFI signal. Instead of just locking his system down he split it into two networks; one for himself, one for the neighbors to connect to. He then ran that network through a transparent proxy and had some fun. One time he redirects every link to kitten sites, the next he uses the proxy to intercept the graphics and flip them, another time he makes all the graphics fuzzy. Hilarious.

Finger Stick

I took this down at the above-mentioned Black Pond trail. At first I thought a real finger had washed up on shore, but it was only a piece of driftwood. 😉

Lens adapter & Experimenting with the Camera and Telescope

Wow, check out this lens adapter for the Canon I570 IS. You can basically attach pretty much any lens to it.

Experimenting with mating the camera to my telescope. Check out this pic (below).

This is the warning beacon light on the top of a fairly tall cell radio tower. I need to work on a better tripod system for holding the camera still, as I was somewhat steadying it with my hand. Also, I need to play with the manual focus on the camera. Not bad as a first effort though. And this is with the telescope at its lowest power.

Another reason I wanted this particular camera over the one with a high optical zoom – no protruding lens to scratch when I’m experimenting with using it on my friend’s telescope or mine.

Starting Remodel of Dining Room

We own a very old limestone house. It might seem interesting, the personality of an old building like this and such. But the headache of working on it and maintaining it can sometimes be overwhelming.

We have most of the rooms remodeled at this point, but some not quite to my satisfaction due to floors not being quite level and such. Not much can be done (I’ve done a little jacking up of the floors but you can only do so much of this before something else breaks, and only very small amounts over long periods of time).

Anyway, here’s a quick shot of the dining room. As you can see there’s a lot of work to be done, the first being adding supports under the floor in the cellar and adding beams to the existing ones.

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