Tuesday, January 27, 2009

BTW I put up 2 more posts on the tech blog...

So, over on the Frizzle Tech Blog, I just added two more posts...

The most recent is a post about moving your antenna around to get better digital reception.

The second most recent post is about my latest fractal antenna.  which I splerged and spent a whole $3 on.    I know what you're saying... how decadent.

Anyway... I also thought it was funny how I had to put the antenna all the way on the other side of the room before I could get adequate reception with Fox.

Anyway... just another quick update about the stuff I'm writing about on the other blog.

Later,
     SteveO

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blogging somewhere else too...

So, being me, I have a few other blogs that I neglect constantly, however, I do that because this way, I can keep this blog more on topic. whatever that topic is...

Anyway, I've been conduction experiments with digital antennas. I have build quite a few in the past couple days... and I've found some cool results too! FYI building a digital antenna out of garbage works better than buying one from the store.

Check it out here at the Frizzle Tech Blog!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Note to self, Windows 7 needs a ton of memory!

So, to keep myself busy while waiting for Obama's inaugural speech, I downloaded the Windows 7 beta. So, to test it out I decided to run a virtual machine (like I do for XP and Vista...)

Well, It turns out that reserving 1GB of system memory for the Vista setup wasn't enough. Not only did the machine use 1.5GB of RAM (which my system normally runs at about 450MB...) but it also ate up my 967MB of free swap space... in the mean time, the 1.7GHz processor is cranking at full speed.

I think it is the first time I actually maxed out my PC. Which is a real bummer.

On the bright side, Ubuntu didn't crash while using 100% RAM, 100% SWAP, and 100% processor resources. On the down side, this makes me think that I need to reformat my machine to create a larger swap and home partitions. As it turns out I can actually give up an additional 41GB on my root partition for my home partition. Ubuntu with all the bells and whistles I need only needs about 4GB for the root. So if I leave an additional 10 for... I don't know what... I'll think of something... then I can put an extra 25 GB on my home partition and 5 GB for my swap... ? maybe not that much for swap. However, if I add another 2GB of RAM, then... hmm. OK, if I make a 5GB swap partition, then my system will be ready for up to 4GB of RAM... which I won't even use... at least not without a 64-bit OS... but if I add 2GB of RAM, then I should have enough for Windows 7 to run correctly. However, I will still running on a single-core machine, which I know Aero will have issues with.

So... all the technical mumbo jumbo aside... what I am saying is that the Windows 7 installer (while running on a virtual machine) uses more memory than XP does while running Photoshop (8 7MB files open), IE, and MS Zune (while running on a virtual machine).

And now to welcome Obama as our new president!

Later,

SteveO

Renton Fog

So, I was walking around tonight, and I decided that I wanted to see if I could get some good pictures with my tripod and setting my camera to use a long exposure time.

This was the result. At least once I doctored up the photo by increasing the fill lighting, highlights and shadows, as well as altered the color temperature a little.

I think it looks amazing!

anyway, it is at least some of the best photography/photoshopping I have done lately. So, here is a slide show:




So, it's been cold and foggy at night and sunny and cheerful during the day. Which is kind of nice. At least as long as you don't go out too much at night.

And that leads me to what has been keeping my so busy lately. So, I have a deadline of the 23rd to get all of my paperwork done to backdate my unemployment claim. I finally finished up everything. I had to call around to a few of the places I applied to so I could get reference numbers or names of the people who would have been responsible to contact me... if they were doing their job at least... so, I got all of that done. In the process I also compiled a list of employers I have applied to, and contacts for recruiters/hiring managers for different positions.

So, that is all done, and today I faxed a copy over, which means that I need to call up the unemployment office on Thursday to make sure they got my application. Otherwise I will need to fax it again.

So, that being said, I guess the only other piece of news I have is that I have a new nephew! Susie had a son today, which means the family christmas party just got a little bit bigger... about 20lbs bigger.

So, other than that, Jaani and I are happy and eating well. I have done a little bit of computer work to earn some money on the side, which means I am a little closer to breaking even at the end of the month. However, if I go grocery shopping one more time and I don't get an unemployment check before the 1st, I may be in trouble.

I'm sure I will figure something out soon.

So, that's an update for now.

Later,
SteveO

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jaani and I have been watching some TV.



I was watching the National Geographic channel on Hulu.com, and I noticed that Jaani loves animal shows!

So, we have been watching all kinds of animal programs lately.

On another note, the flood waters have dropped down to just above the normal water level... and that log jam under the williams ave bridge was cleared out today.

So, that is a little update just to keep everyone informed. 

Later,
     SteveO

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lol Cats showed me how to eliminate my carbon footprint!

So, maybe it's not a good solution, but aside from the methane from bear farts and a decomposing body, that would be the end of one person's polution... however, I don't think I will seek out this innovative method.

Later,
     SteveO

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I think the water stopped going up!

This is the Cedar river on a normal sunny summer day...
This is the Cedar river right now.

It is pretty crazy. I hear reports that the river is higher than it has been in 14 years. However, someone said there was a pretty big flood is 2002. I don't know who is most accurate, but what I do know is the river is pretty high.

The majority of the rain has stopped, and the weather report indicates that we will have light rain in the city and snow in the mountains over the weekend, but then next week should be sunny and clear. That would be awesome!

In short, all this warm weather and rain has caused a massive amount of snow melt in the mountains. As a result, I5 is shut down near Olympia, and I90 will be shut down for a while in the mountains. They recently opened Steven's pass to the north, so at least some traffic can get in and out of the Seattle Tacoma area, but the region is generally inaccessable by land otherwise.

Here is a slide show of the snow, and be sure to check out the totally awesome bridge that Boeing can lift up out of harms way during this flooding!





Click here to view all of my photos on a map!

So, there is all of the excitement from today! Check back to watch the water go down tomorrow!

Later,
SteveO

P.S. Here is a bonus before and after picture taken from the Logan Ave bridge looking up river.

This is the Cedar River on a normal sunny day.
This is the Cedar River while flooding.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Water is still rising...

So, the rain keeps calling, and I have to say that the boots, gloves, and hat that I got in Michigan are really paying off.  Now, when I put my rain gear on, I can put the baseball cap style hat on under my hood to help block the rain that blows in the rain... and the gloves keep my hands completely dry.  Plus my new waterproof hiking boots allow me to walk through block long puddles that average six or so inches deep.
I was also able to reach my hand to the bottom of an 8 inch puddle to clear leaves that where blocking a storm drain along the path.  It seems like I have the perfect gear to keep me dry in the worst conditions Seattle has thrown at me yet!

This picture is a follow up on my previous blog post.  You can see that the bench (8 1/2 hours later) is now completely under water.  A local even told me that this is the worst he has seen in Renton sense 1994, when the water was about six feet higher.

However, it seems we have it easy here in Renton.  No major roads are flooded and the waves in the river are about 2 feet below the bridges.  However, everything could change in the hours to come.  Reports say that up river in Lyman the Cedar river now has a severe flood risk as opposed to the moderate flood risk here in Renton, which shows a potential for trouble before the river crests.

Residents along the Puyallup and Snoqualmie river areas are not so lucky; the National Guard was called in to assist with snow removal in Eastern Washington, and now 200 guardsmen were called in to assist with flood, mud, and evacuation efforts in the Snohomish, Pierce and Lewis counties.  King county seems to be getting by with minimal assistance. 

The weather is crazy, but everything is nice and cozy here in my apartment.  I have power, and plenty of food and water should things turn nasty here in Renton. 

So, that's an update on the storm and flooding. 

Later,
     SteveO

Flooding!

So, we've had a few nice but cold days over the past week, but the rain came back yesterday, and last night things warmed up a bit...

As a result, you can see in this picture that the mighty Cedar River has risen about 5 feet from a few days ago, and has now changed from clear to brown.

The lower part of the trail is covered by about 3 feet of water, and the underpass at Logan Ave has about 4 1/2 feet of water on it.

This bench is on the trail near the senior activity center, and as you can see is more hospitable to ducks than people at the moment.

The traffic reports indicate that all three mountain passes are closed, large parts of the Snoqualmie and Puyallup River areas have been or are being evacuated, I5 is being closed just north of Tacoma, and they plan to close I5 between a couple more spots between Tacoma and Portland, OR. 
In short, all the major rivers are flooding.  So, I'm just going to hang out here at my house and wait it out.  At least if the Cedar were to flood I would be OK up here on the 3rd floor and my car will be fine on the upper level of the parking garage as long as the river doesn't rise more than about 30 feet higher than it is right now.
So, no real worries for me at the moment, but I hope that none of my friends get flooded out of their houses or worse.  I have already heard that Enumclaw is having major flooding problems, and all of that water is flowing this way.  I guess with a little luck the layout of the land here won't ficilitate the same type of flooding they have.  Anyway, I guess time will tell.

So, I guess to finish off, I'll put up a little slide show of pictures from Celest's birthday (yesterday), and I'll have more soon.






Later,
     SteveO

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Renton's Worst Intersection Strikes Again!

So, I don't have the statistics to support my claim of Renton's worst intersection, however I am aware of an above normal accident rate of this intersection.

In this accident was a Mitsubishi SUV VS. a Dodge Ram pickup truck, and I think I can say that the truck won.

The driver and passenger of the pickup truck were not harmed, but seemed very concerned about the people in the other vehicle.

In the SUV, the driver suffered an injury that appeared to cause lower back pain and a limp, and the small child in the back seat of the SUV seemed uninjured as the firefighters carried the child in the car seat to the ambulance; the passenger in the SUV was rendered unconcious but breathing.

Once myself, Norm, and Paul noticed the accident, Norm was quick to approach the intersection with his cell phone to his ear while taking account for any injuries, and Paul ran to the fire station to notify them of an unconcious passenger in the SUV. Almost immediately the ambulance came out of the fire station as Paul was on his way back to the scene, and moments later police, fire, and medical crews closed the road, and Norm directed the medics to where they were needed most. In the mean time, Jaani and I approched the passenger in the pickup to try and establish if she was all right, and to attempt to establish exactly what happened.

Judging by the fact that the pickup driver was allowed to leave the scene shortly following the incident, I am speculating that the SUV driver ran a red light and was at fault, however the only thing I know for certain about the accident was that I heard a thud from behind me while I was having some coffee at Jet City Espresso. By the time I positioned myself to see the accident, the SUV was facing the wrong way on a one-way road with the rear driver side wheel slightly on the side walk; the pickup truck was pulling into the Jet City parking lot.

The Pickup suffered only mild damage, however the front bumper on the driver's side of the vehicle was smashed in far enough so that it would rub the front tire if the driver made too sharp of a right turn.

What happend was that as the SUV was traveling West on 2nd through the intesection, and the pickup was traveling South from Bronson Way S to Main Ave S.

This intersection is a problem for a number of reasons. When a driver is headed West on S 2nd St, the traffic light at this intersection is out of sync with the other lights in front of the driver, and most of the traffic lights in this area are above the road, while the light for S 2nd St is on the side of the road. I have heard many times and even experienced myself that a driver will get the urge to proceed through a red light because the driver sees a bunch of green light in front of them, but the red lights are on the side.

The second problem with this interseciton is where Bronson Way curves from a South West to a South direction and turns into Main Ave S. The delay from the traffic lights before and after the curve needs to be increased. When a driver that is not familiar with this intersection approaches a yellow light on Bronson Way, they may think they can make it through the intersection because the light is yellow, but immediately after taking the curve, the driver is presented with a red light that they are not able to stop at.

The result is a large number of accidents caused by people running red lights at this intersection. I am nearly certain that one of these two scenarios is responsible for this accident.

However, there is also a problem where Bronson Way merges with S 2nd St. Numerous vehicles have failed to make this turn due to poor driving conditions causing them to take out a phone booth and nearly hitting two different buildings.

So... that was my excitement for today.

Later,

SteveO

P.S. I think we have about a half inch of snow that has fallen sense this accident, however there was no snow at the time of the accident.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! 2009 Is Officially Here!

Well, it's official, it is now 2009 in the entire continental United States! I got home just in time to crack open a Deschutes Brewery Jubelale (a festive winter ale, 2008). So, I'm going to unwind a little bit and have a beer, then go to bed and get the new year off to a well rested start.
My apartment was just the way I left it (big suprise there...) and I am really tired after my flight.

I will post more later.

Later,
SteveO