Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fun with drywall.....yeah...uhuh...

So, we are going to install some in-wall speakers in the coming weeks, but unfortunately, it looks like the easiest way to get into the wall is to actually drill down into the basement, rather than up from the basement, which means cutting some holes in the drywall to get the drill in there, then patching those because the holes for the speakers themselves will be WAY too high to drill down into the basement.  It is going to be SOO much fun.

Copilot is a wonderful thing

Fog Creek Copilot is a wonderful piece of software.  I am remotely connected to my mom's PC doing trouble shooting without having to set up port forwarding on routers, or VNC, or remote desktop or ANYTHING.  And the best part is, it is free on weekends.  Oh, and it works on Windows or Mac.  Kudos Fog Creek....kudos:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Missing the truck

Let's try this again.  I had already written this post once through Picasa, but blogger gave me an error and deleted the post entirely.  FUN!

So, as the title says, I miss my old Frontier.  It was a truck big enough to haul things to the dump, pick up things at home depot, and transport my old big-screen TV THREE times (Best Buy->Elkridge, Elkridge->Millersville, Millersville->House of co-worker that bought it).  It didn't take up too much space in parking lots, and got decent fuel mileage for a V6 pickup truck.  I had a lot of good times in that truck, including when Chrissy & I drove cross country in it back in '02.  This picture is the perfect one to show of the truck too.  I did more modifications to it later in it's life (TJM Bull Bar on the front), but eventually traded it in when I bought the Jetta before the PCS to Germany.  It just didn't make sense to take a pickup truck with over 100K miles on it to Germany.  I wish I could pick up a used one (preferably with the same rough specs as my old one) but it just isn't in the financial cards at this time.  So, instead, I will just post up a pick of the old one in all its muddy glory.

Monday, January 18, 2010

CDANS(?) - Once again open for business

It has been several years since I did paid web development work.  Well, I am back in the mix.  Granted, it wasn't much, but it might line up future work, and I actually had fun doing it (when was the last time I actually had fun doing work?  a LONG time ago).

Now I have to decide if I actually want to stand up a business website again. lapsed a LONG time ago (and was grabbed by some company in Japan...?), but I still have locked up until 2014.  The problem with cdans, it was "Crutchfield Development and Network Services" and I plan on sticking to the development side of things.  Maybe I can think of a different meaning for cdans. I will have to get legitimate hosting for a business domain though (unlike my current half blogger/half server in the basement with dyndns setup).  I guess I can leave it as CDANS because the network services would include configuring hosting, etc...  Will have to ponder that.

Of course, I also will need to figure out how I want to market myself and what kind of projects I want to take on (assuming I can find projects to work on).  SO....I guess what I am saying is, if you need help with a website...let me know! 

Picture of the week

Well, this one is pretty darn obvious. Yes, that is the REAL Eiffel Tower, not some imitation. I was toying around with the black and white setting on the camera and liked the perspective of this shot. I haven't taken many B&W photos, but this is by far, my favorite. Hence, why it is the photo of the week.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Photo of the Week

This panoramic was taken at one of the U Turns on Stelvio Pass.  Despite the roads narrow appearance and blind corners, it is two-way traffic all the way up the side of the mountain.  It actually made for some harrowing situations especially when we were also passing bikers (the pedal kind, not the motorcycle kind).  This is the road that Top Gear (the REAL one from Britain) hailed as the greatest driving road in the world.  It was also featured in an issue of Motortrend (which lead to us finding it in the first place).  It was a blast driving up and down the mountain with the convertible top down.  Maybe someday we will get back there.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Shot of the week, Lake Geneva

I hope to actually make this a regular segment.  I will go through and pull up a photo from my collection (usually historical, but sometimes it might be from that week) and talk about where it was, and share any other interesting tidbits about that particular shot.

Evian-les-Baines HDR 2.jpg
This photo is an HDR image I created while we were staying at the Hilton in Evian-les-Baines, France (one of several times we stayed there).  This was probably our favorite view from any hotel we stayed in.  Looking out over Lake Geneva, with the Swiss Alps in the background, and the French Alps were directly behind the hotel.  By taking this photo at three different exposure levels and combining them into a single HDR image, you can see the detail in the clouds, but still have clear definition of the leaves on the trees in the foreground.  Very little of the sky is at maximum saturation, yet the rest of the image is bright enough to see magnificent detail.  I know this is a place we will both want to return to if we make it back overseas.  Evian is a very quiet location, but the drive to Geneva is reasonable for a day trip (we stayed here for the Geneva Auto Show) and it was close enough to Germany for a weekend jaunt if we hit the road early enough on Friday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The pain of being DINKs (Dual Incomes No Kids)

Now that tax time is here, it is time to be reminded just how much it sucks to be DINKs.  Even with a mortgage, donations, education loans, refinance costs (1/2 point), we are going to owe big time.  While we were overseas, w/o a mortgage, Chrissy and I both claimed 0 on our W-4.  Now that we are back, I claimed 2 figuring, with our mortgage, we should be good (Considering, when it was just me, I had 5 exceptions with my mortgage and still got money back).  Well, looks like that was a gross mis-calculation.  We might get wolluped this year in taxes.  That is the only problem with not having little tax exemptions running around.  We will see once I get the final info, but it isn't looking good.

Scirocco, how I want thee

Damn you, damn you VWOA. Damn you for not brining the new Scirocco to the US. It is one hot little hatch back. But are worried about how it will cut in to GTI sales. Well, guess what. There are people who would buy the Scirocco that wouldn't buy a GTI, and there are some visa-versa. How about this, you could limit GTI's to the 4 door if you really want to differentiate them. But bring the damn Scirocco here! Ugh....this is what I get for browsing through old photos.
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Track Days

Ahh, days at the track. I was flipping through old photos in Picasa and came across this gem. This is Ben's 325ix, our Jetta and our 325i at hockenheimring after spending some time out on the track. Chrissy was cruising around int he 325i and I hit the track in the Jetta. I wish I could go to a race track here in the states as cheap as I could in Germany. That was insane! Here, it is insane how much it costs. Ohwell, just thought I would comment on that one. Oh, I also need to post up about the cluster fuck that was my domain name changes. Let's just say, google apps + custom DNS name + blogger with that domain name = chaos. Oh well, things are smoothed out enough with some behind the scenes magic using ZoneEdit.
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Changes are coming

Since my website's start page and my blog layout were VERY similar, I am just making the later the former, gradually.  I started by updating the style of the blog to match the theme I had running on my website.  Next will be some behind the scenes DNS changes and some changes to the widgets that are on the blog.  Finally, will be figuring out a way to create the sub pages I have on my site in a way that make sense.  I am thinking it will be by making them different tags in the blog and doing a massive post-fest in the blog to create those pages. 

I liked how back when I was using Wordpress you could make pages that weren't blog posts by were still part of the blog, and unfortunately, blogger doesn't seem to offer that capability (or I just totally missed it).  If I can't find a way I am happy with that, I will keep the sub pages on the server in my basement, but those pages will be a rather than  (Part of the behind the scenes DNS changes going on).  Oh crap...just remembered I have to get the Slingbox plugged back in tonight.  I will take care of that after dinner.  Otherwise, Mom wouldn't be able to watch the Ravens game tomorrow.