Category Archives: General

The Penn State Debacle

The more of this story comes out, the more horrifying it is. I’m still wrapping my head around how rotten people can be. John Scazli, I think, has the best thoughts yet about the whole thing. Read it.

Useful Product Tests: Padlocks

Ever need to buy a padlock? Ever give a thought to which brand/model might be the best and protect whatever you’re attempting to protect? I have, but never saw an actual test. Now Popular Mechanics has done it for us. Thanks guys!

I don’t think I’ll cost them any clicks, since really, you should read the article to get a feeling for why they won, but Master was the winner. Luckily, that’s what brand usually shows in stores, so there ya go.

Newsflash: Commutes Suck

Yeah, speaking the obvious here, I know. I was sitting here, before going to bed, thinking about today and what to write about. I reflected about just how much stuff I got done (don’t worry, I won’t list it off, since it’s mostly pretty mundane, every day things), considering it’s a work day. Then I thought of the big reveal for the day: commutes suck. Why? The reason I got all these things done and still had time to watch some TV before sitting in front of the computer is because I worked from home today. Since I drop the toddler and the wife off at their respect day time haunts on my way to work, I spend nearly two hours a day in the car. Today: zero.

It’s a rare thing for me, unfortuately. I have a software job, so theoretically it’s possible, but the pipes are just too small from here to my work (their side, not mine, really), so it’s just too inefficient. Anyway, I really look forward to the day where my commute is at or near zero minutes — every day. It’s coming, but not for a long while.

The DEA’s War On Doctors

The New York Times Blogs have an interesting post this morning concerning a report on how America — the medical industry and the government — deal with chronic pain. To sum up: not well at all. I was amazed to see that 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That’s much more than I was expecting. For those that need a definition, usually pain is considered chronic after a patient suffers for about 3 months, but it varies quite a bit depending on what’s causing it. I’m definitely a sufferer, and can attest to how pain gets to the point where you would do anything to make it go away. It sucks almost all enjoyment out of life, and can cause a cascading problem in your life, going from pain, to depression, to inactivity, which causes more pain, etc.

There’s something deeply, deeply wrong in this country that the authorities are more concerned with making sure people don’t enjoy a drug or become addicted rather than relieving people of never ending pain. I think it comes from our puritan past: enjoying, well, anything is suspicious, if not downright bad. And on the flip side, pain is something to be dealt with stoicly, offered to God, and bourne silently. Do seek out a chemical treatment for that pain? Well, you are either weak, trying to get high, or more likely both.

The More I Eat Healthy Foods, the Healthier I Am, Right?

Even though ongoing research changes the known value of foods almost on a daily basis, it’s still fun to read about how good some foods that you love are for you. Thanks Prevention! The biggest surprise for me was #1: eggs. Even though ongoing research changes the known value of foods almost on a daily basis, it’s still fun to read about how good some foods that you love are for you. Thanks Prevention! The biggest surprise for me was #1: eggs.

A Cop That Needs to Get Fired. Now.

Most cops are generally good people. Not all of them, though. Some are flat out power hungry freaks that are only working in the job because it gives them authority over others. Case in point: 72 year old great-grandmother getting a taser in the chest. Yeah, she was certainly a threat and a clear and present danger. This dude needs to get fired. No excuses and no second chances. If something in his brain rationalizes how this is an OK thing, then he is not fit to be in a uniform. Click through.

Note that I think the taser — and other non-lethal options — are great tools for law enforcement (and private citizens) to have in their bag ‘o tools. The wielder of the tool, though, needs to realize that the line for using it is still pretty far down the road.

“Speedracer is Going Down!”

For those that don’t know, my Dad’s been a small plane pilot for a couple decade now, give or take. He’s build his own experimental plane, as well as done a lot of work on several others. To say he’s good with his hands is an understatement. Still, everyone makes mistakes, and he has a story in the AOPA magazine (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) detailing one of them from a while ago.

I had no idea that he wrote anything like this, for publication or otherwise. I’m not sure if he even signs my birthday cards that my Mom sends. Pretty cool.

Vacuum Sealing Jars

I’ve actually been looking for this lately, and finally had a few minutes to dedicate to it today. My wife and I have been dehydrating some types of food lately (the kids eat the dried apples as fast as we can make them), and have a food saver. So, how to vacuum seal the glass jars we’re using to store the food in? Get the Food Saver, get the attachment, some jars, and watch this video:

Yeah, This Is One Thing I Wouldn’t Do

Don’t ask me how I located this page: on the interwebs, anything can happen. Did you know there was something called the Schmidt Pain Index? It was created by a researcher that poked and prodded stinging/biting insects until they caused him pain. I guess you can’t say his job is boring. And no, he says he’s not a masochist: just dedicated to his field. Right. Now, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but dude.

Now, do NOT click this link to the article if you have, oh, I don’t know, some psychological thing about ants (wife!). There’s a close up of a bullet ant, right out of my own uncomfortable dreams. (My nightmares usually consist of losing things or regrets, not external threats. Yeah. Weird, I know.) Now, if you clicked through, and think you’re all that and a ball of mozzarella, go ahead and go to this page: The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World. You know what’s great about Oregon? Yeah, none of these guys.


The New York Times Travel Blog Meets Columbia Gorge Wineries

It’s always pretty cool, if you’re from a small town, to see the area you were raised in mentioned in a national rag. So, imagine my surprise and  happiness when my Google Alert for White Salmon told me about an article in the New York Times Travel blogs (the Frugal Traveler) where the writer biked from White Salmon to Lyle and did a little wine tasting. Pretty neat.

Then, after I had picked as my base the town of Hood River, Ore., I discovered that bicycles were banned from the bridge over the Columbia. Oops!

Yeah dude, it’s a bit narrow for bicycles. And yes, Syncline does make some fine vino. My wife and I purchased a few bottles there last year, as a matter of fact.