Thursday, February 28, 2008

Someone at DMV having fun???

OK, I mentioned a couple posts back about wanting to get a personalized plate for my new Mini.  Was checking out how that is done on the NC DMV web site and discovered they have a page that, amongst other things, will let you search for the availability of a plate that you may want.

When I went there though, I noted the "sample" plate that they show on the page.  My guess is that if you tried to slide a plate through with "WTF" it would get rejected.  Unless everyone at DMV is totally clueless, which could be the case considering what they have on their web site.  Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny.

WTF DMV?

Someone at DMV having fun???

OK, I mentioned a couple posts back about wanting to get a personalized plate for my new Mini.  Was checking out how that is done on the NC DMV web site and discovered they have a page that, amongst other things, will let you search for the availability of a plate that you may want.

When I went there though, I noted the "sample" plate that they show on the page.  My guess is that if you tried to slide a plate through with "WTF" it would get rejected.  Unless everyone at DMV is totally clueless, which could be the case considering what they have on their web site.  Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny.

WTF DMV?

WTF DMV?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives from Food Network

One of the shows I enjoy watching on The Food Network is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  It highlights "local" restaurants in a variety of locations throughout the U.S.  Recently they have been showing an episode that highlighted a place called Harold's down in Gaffney, S.C.  Based on the info at their web site, I put together the following Google map:
View Larger Map

Of course, the challenge now will be to visit them.  That could be tough as there is only one location in NC, two in SC, and one in Tennessee.  Of course, he has only done 20 episodes covering roughly 60 locations.  So I suppose I can excuse the lack of locations in the southeast US.  Fortunately, I have a business trip scheduled to Boston in a couple months.  It looks like one of the locations (Mike's City Diner) will be within either walking or taxi distance of where I'll be and another (Kelly's Diner) may be within reach.  I have another trip scheduled to Las Vegas and may be able to catch the The Four Kegs Sports Pub.

I am thinking about starting up a similar map/listing of NC "dives".  For instance, Zack's Hot Dogs in Burlington would probably qualify.  That might make for some interesting locations for people to visit (and for me to drive my Mini to).

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives from Food Network

One of the shows I enjoy watching on The Food Network is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  It highlights "local" restaurants in a variety of locations throughout the U.S.  Recently they have been showing an episode that highlighted a place called Harold's down in Gaffney, S.C.  Based on the info at their web site, I put together the following Google map:


View Larger Map

Of course, the challenge now will be to visit them.  That could be tough as there is only one location in NC, two in SC, and one in Tennessee.  Of course, he has only done 20 episodes covering roughly 60 locations.  So I suppose I can excuse the lack of locations in the southeast US.  Fortunately, I have a business trip scheduled to Boston in a couple months.  It looks like one of the locations (Mike's City Diner) will be within either walking or taxi distance of where I'll be and another (Kelly's Diner) may be within reach.  I have another trip scheduled to Las Vegas and may be able to catch the The Four Kegs Sports Pub.

I am thinking about starting up a similar map/listing of NC "dives".  For instance, Zack's Hot Dogs in Burlington would probably qualify.  That might make for some interesting locations for people to visit (and for me to drive my Mini to).

sunday_route_1.png

Friday, February 22, 2008

My New Toy, errr, Car

dsc_0723.jpgOK, this really came out of the blue for me. Maybe I should say "red"?  Over the past few years, my wife and I have struggled with a variety of vehicles until we both ended up driving green minivans.  Neither of which was great, though mine, a Plymouth with almost 150k miles, was doing ok.  I did have to just get it taken in for a bunch of work (including fixing a pretty significant oil leak that had developed).  Meanwhile, my wife has struggled along in her Ford Windstar (don't get me started).  Fortunately, in the last few months, my mother was in a position to sell us one of her vehicles, a 2003 Chrysler minivan (gold in color, no less).    In fact, that vehicle is so new, we still haven't completely gotten used to it.

Anyway, the last really new vehicle we had purchased was way back in the mid-90's when I got a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Good vehicle until I totaled it.  Nevertheless, I'd been wanting to switch to a car and get out of the SUV (and then minivan) market.  A few years ago I had test driven a BMW 540i with a sport package and was blown away by it.  So that had kind of been at the top of the pyramid.  Since then though, I've tried to temper my desires a bit and one of the candidates has been a Mini Cooper.  Probably, mainly based on The Italian Job.  But, I knew my wife was really "next in line" for a new car and she really did need a new one more than me.  Unfortunately, she is interested in some large SUV's which are out of our range right now.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My New Toy, errr, Car

dsc_0723.jpg

OK, this really came out of the blue for me. Maybe I should say "red"?  Over the past few years, my wife and I have struggled with a variety of vehicles until we both ended up driving green minivans.  Neither of which was great, though mine, a Plymouth with almost 150k miles, was doing ok.  I did have to just get it taken in for a bunch of work (including fixing a pretty significant oil leak that had developed).  Meanwhile, my wife has struggled along in her Ford Windstar (don't get me started).  Fortunately, in the last few months, my mother was in a position to sell us one of her vehicles, a 2003 Chrysler minivan (gold in color, no less).    In fact, that vehicle is so new, we still haven't completely gotten used to it.

Anyway, the last really new vehicle we had purchased was way back in the mid-90's when I got a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Good vehicle until I totaled it.  Nevertheless, I'd been wanting to switch to a car and get out of the SUV (and then minivan) market.  A few years ago I had test driven a BMW 540i with a sport package and was blown away by it.  So that had kind of been at the top of the pyramid.  Since then though, I've tried to temper my desires a bit and one of the candidates has been a Mini Cooper.  Probably, mainly based on The Italian Job.  But, I knew my wife was really "next in line" for a new car and she really did need a new one more than me.  Unfortunately, she is interested in some large SUV's which are out of our range right now.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

New Photo Project

As readers probably know, last fall I got a new Nikon D-SLR camera and have been enjoying working on my photography craft.  One of the things I've been thinking about doing is creating a portfolio (or more likely, portfolios) of my work.  Although I've taken an abundance of soccer and vacation photos, I don't have much else.  A few sunrises and sunsets maybe.  Of course, there is a lot more I'm interested.  First up is my interest in capturing lightning.  I've started dabbling a bit with some moon shots.  And there is a lot of other stuff I'd like to get around to eventually.

In some research I did on how to go about building a portfolio, one "tool" for doing so is a project referred to as "picture a day" or PAD.  Doing a picture a day seems a little daunting to me.  But I suppose over the course of a year, it does give one a lot of opportunity to practice different photography skills.  So, though I'm unsure about how I'm going to approach, I've decided to jump right in starting on Feb. 01, 2008.

The next step was to figure out a way to share the growing portfolio for the 2008 PAD.  I was recently getting my eyes checked and my doctor uses Flickr for his photos.  So I was just about poised to figure out how to create a link or otherwise integrate Flickr with the ToTehMoon site.  That plan hit a snag yesterday when it was announced that Microsoft had made a bid of $44B to purchase Yahoo! The problem with that is Yahoo! owns Flickr, so if the deal goes through, Microsoft will own Flickr.  Since I try to avoid all things Microsoft, Flickr is no longer a real good option (even though there is some question as to whether the announced deal would receive regulatory approval - they are the #2 and #3 search engines and their merger would put like 95% of the search market in the hands of two companies - Google and Microsoft).  So I did some searching and found the NexGen plugin in for WordPress.  It lets me create photo galleries and albums here on the ToTehMoon site.

I am still working on some other issues - trying to get wireless to work on a laptop, trying to figure out why the remote desktop connection to Strategic Innovation laptop is not working, etc.  Hopefully it won't take long (like sometime today) to get the next photo up.  I probably will finish watching The Fantastic Four.

Anyway, you should notice the link to the 2008 Photo A Day page.  I doubt I'll blog about every photo I take.  But at least the first probably deserves a little mention.  It seems like such a mundane photo - the gas price sign when I stopped to fill up on the way to work.  But it helps chronicle the time when the project started and begs the question - what will it be a year from now, at the end of the project? As the year progresses, I'll see what kind of skills I'm able to develop.  For instance, right now I've been struggling to get good action photos of my kids playing basketball.  It is a challenge as the gym is not lit very well, which makes it hard to get the shutter speed fast enough to capture the action.

New Photo Project

As readers probably know, last fall I got a new Nikon D-SLR camera and have been enjoying working on my photography craft.  One of the things I've been thinking about doing is creating a portfolio (or more likely, portfolios) of my work.  Although I've taken an abundance of soccer and vacation photos, I don't have much else.  A few sunrises and sunsets maybe.  Of course, there is a lot more I'm interested.  First up is my interest in capturing lightning.  I've started dabbling a bit with some moon shots.  And there is a lot of other stuff I'd like to get around to eventually.

In some research I did on how to go about building a portfolio, one "tool" for doing so is a project referred to as "picture a day" or PAD.  Doing a picture a day seems a little daunting to me.  But I suppose over the course of a year, it does give one a lot of opportunity to practice different photography skills.  So, though I'm unsure about how I'm going to approach, I've decided to jump right in starting on Feb. 01, 2008.

The next step was to figure out a way to share the growing portfolio for the 2008 PAD.  I was recently getting my eyes checked and my doctor uses Flickr for his photos.  So I was just about poised to figure out how to create a link or otherwise integrate Flickr with the ToTehMoon site.  That plan hit a snag yesterday when it was announced that Microsoft had made a bid of $44B to purchase Yahoo!  The problem with that is Yahoo! owns Flickr, so if the deal goes through, Microsoft will own Flickr.  Since I try to avoid all things Microsoft, Flickr is no longer a real good option (even though there is some question as to whether the announced deal would receive regulatory approval - they are the #2 and #3 search engines and their merger would put like 95% of the search market in the hands of two companies - Google and Microsoft).  So I did some searching and found the NexGen plugin in for WordPress.  It lets me create photo galleries and albums here on the ToTehMoon site.

I am still working on some other issues - trying to get wireless to work on a laptop, trying to figure out why the remote desktop connection to Strategic Innovation laptop is not working, etc.  Hopefully it won't take long (like sometime today) to get the next photo up.  I probably will finish watching The Fantastic Four.

Anyway, you should notice the link to the 2008 Photo A Day page.  I doubt I'll blog about every photo I take.  But at least the first probably deserves a little mention.  It seems like such a mundane photo - the gas price sign when I stopped to fill up on the way to work.  But it helps chronicle the time when the project started and begs the question - what will it be a year from now, at the end of the project? As the year progresses, I'll see what kind of skills I'm able to develop.  For instance, right now I've been struggling to get good action photos of my kids playing basketball.  It is a challenge as the gym is not lit very well, which makes it hard to get the shutter speed fast enough to capture the action.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Marketshare Memes

In a recent discussion on the OpenOffice.org marketing list, we were looking at some data about MS Office marketshare. As we discovered, market share for office suites is apparently measured based on revenue share. Thus, for a free product like OpenOffice.org, there is no market share. So, we are trying to enlighten users and others trying to get a grasp on this metric. Something like "seats" (same way they measure operating systems) would be more appropriate.

Why is this important to you? Unfortunately, statistics and psychology (perhaps sociology) suggest that many people who hear that MS Office holds 95% of the market for office suites will feel pressure to go out and buy a copy as well so they can "be like everyone else". But if that 95% number is not accurate, then perhaps you are not being like everyone else if you continue to use or buy MS Office.

Benjamin Horst has posted an entry, Marketshare Memes, over at his SolidOffice blog in which he explores some of the information regarding market share. Interestingly enough, this rose out of an analysis of price on office suite selection. I encourage you to read Horst's article. And of course, I continue to encourage folks to try and adopt OpenOffice.org.

2008 PAD Project

Welcome to my 2008 Picture A Day project. This gallery started on February 01, 2008. Will I make it 366 days?

[gallery=1]