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January 2006 Archives

Northern California Road Trip

I took a solo Northern California road trip this week. Pictures!

Like any good All-American road trip, mine started with an All-American road-side diner! The food kinda sucked, though. It was cold.

This is where that diner was:

I stayed at an ocean-side hotel for a couple of nights in Fort Bragg, CA. I like how Google Maps satellite view only has half the town in hi-res. Guess what this next picture is; I'm pretty proud of it:

It's the building next door! That's a 15-second exposure I took with my mini-tripod. :)

The view from my back porch in the morning:

Reverse angle shot from the Glass Beach:

Okay, so you can't actually see the hotel, but at least it's a reverse angle shot of that group of trees!

This store reminds me of those "Chinese Food and Donuts" joints, except even more peculiar:

(It's not a joke! They really do sell both music and photography equipment!)

The highlight of my trip speaks for itself:

It reminded me of this picture I took of Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium in Graz, Austria, though that's not named after him any more! And yes, the State Park is actually named after a different Van Damme. :P It still makes me want to go find places named after Stallone and Seagal, though. And then I can go on a real scavenger hunt and look for a landmark named after Lundgren!

I wanted to check out the the Pygmy Forest, but it was closed because the bridge was damaged by a storm. :(

This is a cool bridge, and I like how you can see the river peeking through the trees here:

It's a tiny town where people looked at me funny when I drove in, so I drove right back out, but I think it's quite photogenic from afar. :P

Sunset panorama in Mendocino:

Closeup:

I got back to Fort Bragg, went down a side road, and found the littlest Sears you ever saw:

Had some decent dinner at Mendo Bistro, where they had this odd ginger ale:

(I was also amused that my fish came with baby bok choy. I guess it's a theme!)

I love the way this building looks. I love the logo font, and the texture reminds me of suede:

They have a restaurant across the street, where I had the best fish sandwich ever. Locally caught fresh fish makes a big difference! I didn't drink their beer, but I did try their "Mendocino Mustard" that's made with their beer, so I guess that counts! :) (It was good and interestingly textured mustard, too.)

The next day, I drove up through the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park, where you wind through a redwood forest. It was very pretty, but I don't have any good pictures from it. :P

It rained the whole way back down to Santa Rosa. This picture I took along 101 is kinda spooky and pretty at the same time:

I love how all the roadside attractions proclaim themselves as "World Famous". :) This is supposed to be the house with the tallest ceiling or something like that. It was closed, though, but I took this vertical panorama:

Next to my motel in Santa Rosa was a very nice steakhouse. (The $25 prime rib was great stuff!) I also liked the juxtaposition of the classic Bates Motel look of the building and the modern sans serif font on the sign:

Good Ol' Charlie Brown! The pattern on his forehead is a drawing of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, which is where this was:

In the courtyard was this odd sculpture:

My favorite part was Woodstock's clipboard:

:)

Finally, I checked out the Pacific Coast Air Museum, where I saw lots of nifty planes, and also this other kind of flyer:

I like the part that reads: "Equipped with a full one horsepower 24 volt electric drivetrain, the best way to describe the power capabilities of the E-200 is that it is equal to the power of one person, struggling, to move the aircraft." :)

Smurf bombing video, Chuck Norris, and more!

Remember that UNICEF ad in Belgium where they bomb Smurf Village? I blogged about it before.

The only complete and high-quality version of the ad is the streaming video in this CBS News article. (You'll have to suffer through a commercial first before you can see the commercial.) I couldn't find any downloadable high quality version, only this low quality, slightly edited version.

* * *

Btw, you've probably already seen the ridiculous list of Chuck Norris Facts. My favorite is: "Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits."

You may not have heard that Chuck Norris has personally responded to the list! Since the page does not look permanent, I'll copy it for posterity here:

IN RESPONSE TO THE "RANDOM FACTS" THAT ARE BEING GENERATED ON THE INTERNET

I'm aware of the made up declarations about me that have recently begun to appear on the Internet and in emails as "Chuck Norris facts." I've seen some of them. Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. Being more a student of the Wild West than the wild world of the Internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's quite surprising. I do know that boys will be boys, and I neither take offense nor take these things too seriously. Who knows, maybe these made up one-liners will prompt young people to seek out the real facts as found in my recent autobiographical book, "Against All Odds?" They may even be interested enough to check out my novels set in the Old West, "The Justice Riders," released this month. I'm very proud of these literary efforts.

~ Chuck Norris

Awesome. :) All this reminded me of the briefly-aired Chuck Norris cartoon from the 80s. Here's the opening credits of Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. I love how they say "Chuck Norris" 5 times in the first 15 seconds. :D

* * *

Okay, while I'm at it, I might as well knock of a couple of other random videos. Here's what happens if you put a car behind a 747. And I don't know what the hell this one is, but I guess it's live action stop-motion?

And finally, a picture for you. The new face of China? I love the expression of the soldier on the left. (Btw, "kennethinshanghai" is not me; it's some other Kenneth. :P) I love the list of flickr tags on this one:

china
beijing
lesbians
gay
kiss
public
tiananmen

Now there's a combination you don't see every day.

The false promises of the Internet

Michael J. Fox has been guest starring on Boston Legal as a rich terminal cancer patient. There was a scene in tonight's episode where his girlfriend is up late at night on her PowerBook, desperately looking up information about cancer treatments.

The Internet makes us feel like we can find out anything, and isn't knowledge power? But, in the end, we're still powerless against so many things.

Bad ideas

Physicists might have created an artificial black hole. Is that really a good idea? (via /.)

Apparently, if you are so inclined, you can see the actual papers here.

In other news, "Hiya Gary," this parrot would say. "I love you Gary." The bird's owner, one Chris, was not pleased to hear his pet bird speak such words in the voice of his girlfriend. :) After breaking up with his girlfriend, the parrot's owner couldn't get the parrot to stop saying Gary's name, so he had to sell it. My favorite part of the article is the quote from his girlfriend:

Collins, who admitted the affair, said: "I'm not proud of what I did but I'm sure Chris would be the first to admit we were having problems.

"I am surprised to hear he got rid of that bird," she added to The Guardian newspaper. "He spent more time talking to it than he did to me."

Ouch! (Link via Boing Boing.)

Hm.. Interesting. I just looked up the Guardian article, and that last part of the quote is a bit different:

"I'm surprised to hear he's got rid of that bloody bird," she said.

Silly CNN editing. :)

Mysteries of the Moon

Here's my latest guest post. It's about the moon illusion.

Also: ZEBRAS!

Apple vs. The Postal Service?

Here's Apple's Intel chip ad. (Never thought I'd say that phrase!) But then look at this music video for Such Great Heights by The Postal Service. Hm....

Noticed it from this forum post.

Update Jan-17: Apparently, the two works were made by the same directors, but without the knowledge of The Postal Service's record label.

New definition of terrorism

So there was this bit on the local news about a guy who planted a bomb in a Starbucks bathroom (which police got rid of), and how they have a suspect in custody now. Then the reporter said that police believe this event "has no connection with terrorism".

HUH?! I know I know.. they meant "known terrorist organizations", but still. :P

Moonshot II and Are Rovers Peppy or Broody?

In my latest guest post, I point out plans for the new moon rockets, and the LiveJournals of the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rovers. Also, the prototype for the $100 laptop that MIT is developing for the UN, to be used in third world countries.

Lifesigns detected!

[Radar Scope] [Mouse Scanner]

The defense department has a device that can sense movement 50 feet behind a 12-inch concrete wall, and even detect breathing. Crazy.

Also, some guy hacked his optical mouse into "a ghetto scanner". :D

Finally, did you know that You can pay a hundred bucks and get someone's cell phone records, who they called, etc? Scary.

Meta-Top 10 Films of 2005

Here's a site that gives you the top 10 movies to appear in 400+ critics' top 10 lists for 2005. It's still being updated as new critics get added, but the current meta-top 10 are:

  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. A History of Violence
  3. Capote
  4. Good Night, And Good Luck
  5. The Squid And the Whale
  6. King Kong
  7. Crash
  8. Grizzly Man
  9. Munich
  10. The Constant Gardner

Wow.. I call myself a movie geek, but I've only seen two of those (King Kong and Crash). I'm curious about Grizzly Man, A History of Violence, and Munich, but I'm not that excited about the rest. I like Ebert's list:

  1. Crash
  2. Syriana
  3. Munich
  4. Junebug
  5. Brokeback Mountain
  6. Me and You and Everyone We Know
  7. Nine Lives
  8. King Kong
  9. Yes
  10. Millions

I've seen four of the movies on this list (add Syriana and Me and You and Everyone We Know). I'm curious about Junebug and Yes. (I've got a bit of a Joan Allen crush :P, but I'm also curious about the fact that its screenplay is in iambic pentameter!) Hm. Nine Lives sounds interesting, too.

My resolution for 2006: Keep track of every movie I watch this year, so I can actually make a top 10 list myself next year.

Things that fly

Here's an image of a space shuttle sonic boom.

Next up, windmills in the sky could provide more efficient wind power than ground-based ones. I love the idea. Here's the advocates' website. The idea reminds me of that Gorillaz video I posted about. :)

That totally ripped up plane was an A-10 "Warthog" that nonethless landed safely during the Second Gulf War. You can bet your ass one of them fancy new fly-by-wire babies would be a molten heap by now. Capt. Kim Campbell lost all hydraulics and had to fly the plane mechanically. Once she was out of the combat zone, she had to decide whether to eject or to try landing. According to Campbell, her checklist said to "attempt manual inversion landings only under ideal conditions." I wouldn't call this ideal conditions, myself. :P Manual inversion A-10 landings were attempted three times in the first Gulf War, and one of the pilots crashed and died. She succeeded.

That's an old story, but I kept meaning to blog it because it contains two of my favorite things: solidly built machinery and impressive women. :)

The last picture is a jet-powered "birdman suit" flight. Here's a better picture of the leg-mounted jet engines, and here's a video of the event.

The first 9/11 movie is upon us

The first big-screen 9/11 movie is coming out this spring, and its teaser trailer is out. It's directed by Paul Greengrass, who directed Bloody Sunday and The Bourne Supremacy, and it's called Flight 93. (That's the one that crashed into a Pennsylvania field.) There's a New York Times article about it.

What I found most interesting was what Greengrass says in this CHUD interview:

What’s really interesting is that when you look at it like that, you realize something important about Flight 93, which is that it, in many ways, occurred in the post-9/11 world because of the quirk of fate that that airplane was delayed on the ground for forty-five minutes. Not long after it was airborne, the first two planes went into the World Trade Center. By the time Flight 93 was hijacked, the third plane had practically gone into the Pentagon.

What it means is that you had forty people – or slightly less, as some had been killed – essentially you had a small number of people on an airplane who were the first people to inhabit the post-9/11 world. For all the rest of us, whether we were in civilian air traffic control, Presidential bunkers, or just ordinary folks like us watching on TV, we knew something terrible was happening, but we didn’t really know what. We maybe knew it was terrorism, but we didn’t know what. But for those people on the airplane they knew exactly what it was, they could see what was facing them, and here’s the thing – they faced a terrible, terrible dilemma. The dilemma was: what do we do? Do we sit here and hope for the best? Or do we strike back at them before they do what we think they might be about to do? In the course of action of whatever those two choices we make, what are the chances of a good outcome from either of those two choices?

That dilemma is the post-9/11 dilemma. It’s the dilemma we have all faced since then.

The Nunchucks of Peace

Latest guest-blog entry: Bruce Lee statue in Bosnia

Am I bugging' you? I don't mean to bug ya. Okay, Edge, play the blues!

Vinod pointed me to an awesome U2 story, which I've guest-blogged here.

Short version: Onion vs. life, and now Onion vs. life. :)

About January 2006

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in January 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2005 is the previous archive.

February 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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