Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baby Great Lakes


This is the picture of that ridiculously little airplane. Apparently, this is the smaller version of Great Lakes biplane, which is why it is called BABY Great Lakes. Some people call it Baby Lakes.

Wingspan is 16'8" if I recall correctly. Must be neat to have an airplane that fits in 3 car garage.

You can find this plane in Kansas Turnpike rest area MilePost 65.

I also saw some balloonist in Albuquerque, NM this weekend. A balloonist passed me by with his pickup truck, carrying his balloon, flamer, and basket in the bed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



Saw this at MicroCenter store. Play in 3D! The sign says. It really is in 3D. If you've seen 3D movies, recently, then you know the effect. It works based on polarised lenses. Really cool piece of technology.

However, I can't tell you much about it, since the person behind the gaming counter don't know anything about it, except that it uses 2 DVI inputs.

This particular Microcenter is staffed with good people, but I think they should replace this guy. I never did get anything out of him. This is the guy who when asked to recommend a good first person shooter for Nintendo DS, couldn't name even one. I even pointed out the Call of Duty game. Negative. Needless to say, I didn't buy the game.

Turns out the game is terrific. I picked it up at Target, after seeing glowing review. It's perfect! It's exactly what I was looking for. So MicroCenter lost a sale on that one.

I also asked him about the new DSi, but he couldn't tell me anything about it either. At one point, I asked whether any Internet connection would work. "Sure", was his reply. Not true! You need to either know the exact settings, or use AOSS. Not all Wifi settings are open or automatic. So bad advice there. I did buy one, but can't get DSi ware, which is disappointing.

So, about the 3D monitor. I asked him whether it works with all games. "Yes", he said. "Even Pacman?" I asked. "Sure", he answered. Folks, Pacman is 2D! Obviously, this guy is rattling out his usual nonsense.

My guess is that the game needs to be able to support multiple monitor output, such as Doom, and this acts like a double monitor put into one.

The effect is certainly spectacular! Just as good as 3D movies, albeit with lower resolution. If you like 3D movies, and I do, I'm sure you like this 3D monitor.

Eat much food...FREE!


I saw this at Petro Truck Stop. I think that's wrong, though. We're talking about the whole meal, here. I know the Big Texan in Amarrillo does the 72oz steak challenge, but they don't require you to eat the whole meal, just the steak. Looking at the picture, the meal here is quite large, indeed.

I wonder how many calories is in the whole meal. I don't feel like digesting 3 days worth of calories in one sitting, do you?

The biggest problem, though, is not the wanton gluttony, but safety. Is there no one involved in the program capable of seeing the danger? Anybody can eat humongous amount of meal, if they eat quick enough. And there in lies the problem.

Choking danger notwithstanding, you really do need to train your stomach. There was a TV show showcasing 1000 ways to die, and one segment deals with overeating. The stomach actually burst! The resulting poisoning effect killed the woman.

I think that 72oz steak is one thing, but 72oz steak plus generous helpings of salad, biscuits, and other goodies pictured is plain criminal. There's actual danger of dying, here, instead of just being fat.

I think the program organizer actually are scared that too many people can pass on the challenge, but ignoring the possibility of stomach exploding due to too much food is criminal, IMO.



Saw this at Cabela's at Sidney, NE. Their aquariums are quite nice. Have you been to the one at Bass Pro Shop at Stapleton, CO? They have one huge fish in there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nintendo DSi


I got myself a Nintendo DSi. That's right. The new one. It doesn't have GBA slot, so no Guitar Heroes. But it does have two cameras. I still have to get to Internet connection to get some DSi wares.

The pics aren't that bad, but the effects wears off quickly. The kaleidoscope effect is fun, though.

Housing for sale


I saw an advertisement for a cheap house in Brighton. I'd have gone and take a look if I have the time. Too busy working, I guess. Need more time at home.

It appears that this house qualifies as $100 down payment AND $8000 President Obama Tax Refund! Such a good deal.

Too good of a deal. I wonder if it's haunted? That would be one motivated seller, indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Going into Space


Charles Simonyi went into space as tourist with the Russians ... again.

Personally, I don't see the attraction. You go up. In zero G, you fly. You throw up. You go down.

That's it.

Yet Another Ponzi


I don't know why so many finance managers are dealing with Ponzi schemes. I just read another one on paper today. This time it's Shawn R. Merriman.

I mean, get real. How can people who are supposedly know their numbers expect to keep doing it and not have the scheme collapse eventually? There's only so much money in the world and you can't get them forever. Doing a ponzi scheme with the intention of staying is extremely foolish. These are the kind of people in charge of millions of dollars!?

If we're talking about financial market, those analysts have been losing money all the time, while drawing a big fat salary for themselves. It has been a big scam all along. I forgot where I read this, but apparently, some analysts published a paper on how the market is inherently positive, so when you bet big, you win big. That works until the market collapsed, then you lose big. Of course, that's how it supposed to work.

The problem is, they never worked on an exit strategy. That's a big mistake. There comes a time when market is confused, and you have to stay away from it for a while. I stayed away from stock market until I heard the Dow hit 6000. So far, I'm holding for the long haul. Market is good and cheap right now, but that stops to be above 8000. Obviously, the closer you get to 6000, the better. The point is, there is a limit both on the low end and the high scale. "Balanced" is cliche, but it is truism you should follow.

Even though I believe in GM's recovery. I refused to invest more when it gets below $2. Too risky. We'll see whether or not GM will recover in 2 months. For now, do nothing.

I also constantly remember why I manage my own investing. I used to have 401(k) investment. That went to zero when dot com melted down. The question I asked was: "How can it goes to zero? The market, although down severely, didn't go to zero!" Obviously, he "balanced" my portfolio by selling safe investments and put it into risky ones, such that I keep losing money on the deal.

I resolve to manage my own money from then on. "When it comes to losing 100% of my money, I can do it myself. If I make a mistake, then I get hurt, and learn from it. When these scammers make a mistake, other people get hurt, they seek new victims, yet never bothered to correct their mistakes."

It has been a hard approach, but on the whole, I've been doing quite well. I lost $8 on my short term investments for last year, that's due to 1 big mistiming on a good stock. My fault. I got emotional, and ignored 3 warning signs. Never again.

As far as long term investments, that will have to wait until October.

So, back to this Ponzi scheme. Why would anyone be engaged in this illegal tactics when they can easily make good money doing bad trades legally? Greed answers only part of it. Stupidity is really a major part of it. These people studied numbers? I find that hard to believe. I think these people studied politics and excusology (good at making excuses, and deflecting and/or ignoring hard questions). If only people would learn how to spot these people better.

So the business plan goes like this: Fool people out of their life savings, live extravagantly for a few years, and apologize, go to jail and receive free food, board, health benefits for 20-30 years. That, folks, is what is wrong with this. The bad guy got more than the victims, which after their life savings is exhausted, most likely will end up starving out there on the street.

Someone said that it's not that the analysts can't calculate things, but that they won't. I agree with that. Even with my limited exposure to investing, I'm doing well. Warren Buffett lost 2/3 of his wealth. I only lost 1/3. Of course, Mr. Buffett has billions, and you just can't move that much money to cash all of a sudden. And I think, that smart as he is, he would be able to get it all back when the market picks up again in a couple of years.

When things get tough, be tougher! Don't cheat!

Oh, one more thing: Shawn Merriman is a Bishop for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. (The Denver Post, Thursday, April 9, 2009, "Financial Fiction.")

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Too many traffic jams


This is too much. I ran into 7 traffic jams this week, and I 80 got closed yet again. Why can't people be careful? They know the road is slick with 60 mph wind gusts.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Borders reward


Somehow I keep getting email: Borders Registration Confirmation. I have been using my Borders membership card, but I've never used their discount.

The reason for this isn't that I don't like books and movies, but because their sale is only good for 2 days, Saturdays and Sundays. I NEVER was home on weekends. Almost never, anyway. So, I end up just deleting the coupon and never use it.

I wonder when will they realize that and make their coupons good for one week?