Wednesday, December 30, 2009

49er's Stadium: What does Cedar Fair really want?

Perhaps there is some legitimate concern for proper bureaucratic process over at Cedar Fair, owners of California's Great American theme park. Why else would they file a lawsuit against the City of Santa Clara complaining about how paperwork was recently handled in the process to approve the new 49ers stadium? (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case number 109CV158836.) Well, maybe they seek to take advantage of the delicate phase in the planning of the new stadium?

Given the lack of enthusiasm for the new stadium previously expressed by Cedar Fair, I'm guessing this is more of a ploy to legally extort conditions and concessions from the City of Santa Clara. Cedar Fair may feel it needs more money from the city simply because the new stadium site is a direct neighbor to the theme park. Here's the funny part. Even though Cedar Fair does own Great American, the City of Santa Clara actually owns the land upon which Great America rests. The City of Santa Clara is the landlord to Cedar Fair. Santa Clara has already bent over backwards to make Cedar Fair feel at home. Cedar Fair now seems to be abusing their position as our guest and interfering in our business. Is there a San Francisco connection, as SF City Hall tries to buy yet even more time in their uber-pathetic effort to keep the 49er's in San Francisco? They've already had over 1.5 decades to do something.

Frankly, there could also be a Sac connection, since some big names in our state and even the Federal government are against the 49er's moving to another city in the Bay Area. Again, there is another funny part to this. If the 49er's do not find a new home in the Bay Area, they have suggested that the will leave the area completely. So, all this effort to pin the 49er's down in San Francisco could backfire by slingshotting our team to another state altogether! How embarrassing would that be?

And now a new wrinkle. Cedar Fair was just bought by a private firm that has yet to comment on their position. My hope is that they do not interfere with local economic endeavors, and instead help boost the local economy by supporting the new 49ers stadium.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blossom Hill Road drive

Blossom Hill Road is a fairly long street that cuts through several areas of southern Santa Clara Valley. Usually, people see only one short stretch of the street, but I'm guessing most have rarely seen its entire length at one time nor in parts. Besides that, when seen in parts, it's not a particular interesting street. Most of it is fairly straight. However, when driving its entire length at one time, it is actually very interesting. It ends at Freeway 101, crosses Freeway 85, cuts through south San Jose and Almaden, goes up the green and slightly overgrown Blossom Hill (from which its name comes) and starts up just north of Downtown Los Gatos. Quite a strange mix of sights.


View Larger Map

Friday, December 25, 2009

Possibilities Regarding Zeta Reticuli

A recent book that has come to my attention on the topic of aliens and Zeta Reticuli is FROM ZETA RETICULI TO EARTH. TIME, SPACE, AND THE UFO TECHNOLOGY : Scientific Frontiers of Alien Space Crafts. It's a long name for a book that is so far well reviewed by its readers. According to the publisher, it takes an objective view regarding topics ranging from time travel and UFO phenomena. It should be interesting to see what the author Maximillien De Lafayette has to say about this subject.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday Two: City bruizin'


Tuesday Two


GocycleThe eco-friendly Gocycle is a hybrid electric bike that weighs a mere 16.2 kg due to its special composite material. This folding bike is designed for city living. It converts from human power (peddle power!) to electric with the push of a button. Will it save the world from eventual doom? Only time will tell.

A drop of waterI know whenever I here the word "Nanotube", my ears perk up. Imagine how excited I am to see a recent article about vibrated nanotubes used to filter water so well that anything larger than a water molecule is removed! Imagine how fresh and tasty such pure water would be. Wait...technically, humans cannot taste water, right?

Epoch-Fail


So far, Epoch-Fail awards have gone to particular unsuccessful ventures. Today, I'm handing an Epoch-Fail award to something that does seem to be successful. Why? Because I dislike the trend. This week's Epoch-Fail award goes to every city council that is banning plastic bags from the grocery stores! Aren't we destroying enough trees? Need we bring back the stone age paper bag and pretend it is from a renewable resource; when the reality is that the resource is not being renewed? Sure, plastic clog our bogs, and choke our rivers, but hey, they are more reusable than paper bags! And what of reusable canvas bags? Heh. Guess what. You have to buy them. They get very unsanitary very quickly. Wanna guess how many patrons are not washing them regularly? There are reasons behind our strict food handling guidelines, and canvas bags now represent a very weak link in food safety.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some tranny trouble with my G8 GT

Under warranty, I've now had one major issue and one minor issue handled. The minor issue was a scratch on the underside of the front bump cover that was likely put there during one of its test drives...so that doesn't really count.

The major issue is with the transmission. Over time, my G8 GT developed a clunking when I would shift from reverse directly into drive. It was inconsistent. It was more pronounced when the car was cold started. Every once in awhile, the car would actually jerk forward so much that I had to get into the habit of pressing very tightly onto my brakes before moving into drive.

When I first reported the issue to my dealership at 6000 miles, the service dept said that there was no bulletin on the issue even though I did get the service manager to reproduce the issue. I didn't make a stink at that time, though I prolly should've. The problem got worse from there. It got so bad, I couldn't let anyone else drive it.

So, at about 8000 miles I had enough. I took it in. The dealership was claiming that they could not reproduce the problem to the degree I stated. In addition, they claimed that a bulletin from GM (just issued a month before) said that clunking transmission was "normal operation". To me, this was not just operation, but safety (since the behavior of the car was actually dangerous). I insisted that the issue be addressed. I had to include the involvement of the general GM customer service department. After I insisted they keep the car and keep trying, the dealership was finally were able to reproduce the issue and finally realized that something needed to be done.

A lot of time was supposedly wasted because the GM technical service didn't have the staff assigned to handle any issues in the NorCal region (something to do with the restructuring that was going on at the time). Finally, an engineer was assigned to the case and determined the issue was mechanical. The dealership followed Detroit's instructions, replacing a bunch of parts deep inside the tranny.

All said, the dealership had my car for two weeks. The issue was much less obvious afterward. There is still some tendency for the tranny to engage a bit aggressively when going from reverse to drive, but at this point, that seems to fit the "normal operation" mentioned in the GM bulletin. At least I don't have to be concerned with it jerking forward.

Now that the car is over its 10K mark, everything seems to have broken in.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Your Nature

Oh mighty California
My abode, my great adventure
Your heights and lowlands
Wonderous poppy fields
Endless bounty
Grand shoreline joggle
Mysterious moving desert rocks
Canopy carpeted mountains;
Become my surprize and discovery

Myself exploring your vastness
Beauty, peaks, crashing calm waves
Enjoying the mastery of possibilities
Sky filled canyons
Sun kissed waters
Ample journey roads
Your glory, your grace
Gratifying my wonderlust;
California, my world

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What is clairvoyance?

Clairvoyance is the ability to experience sensation or thought that is derived from input other than ourselves or the physical realm in which we dwell. Generically, these sensations are called extra-sensory perceptions (ESP). Experiencing clairvoyant signals is usually related to some internal realization or via some sort of approximation or channelling through our physical senses. Names have been given to the types of these sensations.
  • Clairsentience (feeling or touching) is the acquisition of psychic knowledge primarily by means of feeling or touching. It can relate to the feeling of the vibrations of lifeforms. Different degrees of clairsentience range from the perception of diseases of other people to the thoughts or emotions of other people.
  • Psychometry or token-object reading (knowledge gained through touch) is the acquisition of psychic knowledge about an individual by making physical contact with an objects that has been in contact with that person.
  • Clairaudience (hearing or listening) is the reception of psychic knowledge by paranormal auditory means, such as a voice or music with no physical source. The ESP auditory sensation may come from within one's mind, inner ear or perceived as being external.
  • Clairalience (smelling) is the paranormal experience of a odor, scent or other smell with no physical source.
  • Claircognizance (knowing) the intrinsic acquisition of psychic knowledge. This is the ability to paranormally know something without knowing how or why.
  • Clairgustance (tasting) is the ability to paranormally taste or perceive the essence of a substance without it coming into contact with one's mouth.
Reference: Glossary of Psi

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Toebzilla is a good dog, yes he is (even with a nickname like Toebzilla)

Toebzilla is just over 10 months old now. He's still learning the rules of the house, slowly but surely. However, he has learned his basic commands.

Sit


Down


Stand


Shake

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Cool Apps for Android Smartphones

Android has thousands of apps. Many are worthy of mention. This is a list of ten that I thought are cool, though not necessary. Most are simple and to the point with full functionality:

Tips Calculator by KajaBo Mobile is a simple tip calculator based on the bill before tax. Most tip calculator apps do not determine the tip based on the pre-tax bill, even though this is customary. This app even calculates how much each person owes for multi-party bills.

GPS Speedometer by Char Software, Inc. is a cool little app that keeps track of one’s near current speed (in the car), average speed, and a few other data points.

Quick Settings by Sergey Shafarenka allows the user easy access to basic Android smartphone settings on one screen.

Google Sky Map by Google Inc. displays are real time image of the night sky constellations based on whatever direction the smartphone is pointed.

Thinking Space by Charlie Chilton helps in developing and recording thoughts and ideas. This is helpful for abstract problem solving or getting through writer’s block.

Ringdroid by Ringdroid Team let’s you splice up your MP3 and iTunes music to create custom ringtones.

Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team will read any barcode. If the product is found in the database, it will show information and reviews.

AttachEmail by gasoline allows the user to attach files to emails being sent from the Android smartphone.

GDocs by WildArt will access your gmail GDocs account and the documents you have stored there.

Superpages by Idearc Media LLC is the link what some may call real yellow pages online these days.

Snow in the SF Bay Area?

It snowed over night in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is not competely uncommon. The hills around Silicon Valley often see snow during winter. However, this is just about as low as I've ever seen the "snow cap". In fact, it did even snow in Livermore, CA (which is not exactly at a higher elevation).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Oh Nakkid Girl

Oh nakkid girl, in the shower
The suds cover your body
The water running down every curve
Juicy, sexy, hot, mmmhmm
Nakkid girl in the shower
I want to touch your wet skin
Caress your nipples and ...
just a minute...
...she's inviting me in!
woohoo!

(circa 2002)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Epoch-Fail

In this special edition, I hereby give the Epoch-Fail award to AT&T for their recent nonsensical lawsuit to stop Verizon from advertizing a truthful comparison between their respective 3G network coverage areas. Needless to say, this lawsuit did nothing but highlight the pathetic nature of AT&T's 3G coverage.

According to Paul Thurrott,
AT&T, of course, is the exclusive US carrier for the Apple iPhone, and—as any iPhone user will tell you—AT&T's 3G network is tiny, ill-equipped to handle the iPhone's voluminous data traffic, and often completely unavailable.
There has been several news stories in the Silicon Valley area (home of Apple and Google) which have highlighted AT&T's much complained about network, including non-3G problems, such as frequent dropped calls (issues that may have been carried over from the Cingular days). Among 3G complaints, speed (slowness) is one of the major issues. AT&T has said they are in the process of upgrading their network right now. However, why would a company put forward such a poor product at the heart of one of the world's technological centers?

It almost goes without saying that the lawsuit was thrown out of court (already!). Can't sue the truth away from the public eye!

Paul Thurrott concludes,

[AT&T's] 3G network is widely considered the be the shoddiest of the major wireless networks in the United States, a fact that was coincidentally confirmed this past month in the latest issue of Consumer Reports, which rated AT&T's overall cell phone network as the worst of the major carriers.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday Two: Zit zapping


Tuesday Two


Zeno Zit ZapperUse NASA technology to zap your zits away with the new Zeno family of devices.(available discounted on Amazon.com) The iPod look-alike contains a heating element that is resistant to human oils and acids. With clinical trials showing 90% success rates, this may end teenage embarrassment one zit zapping at a time. No word on if there are plans to make a version that plays MP3s.

Brains are usThere is an artificial intelligence that involves integrated planning. This allows an operator (human or fellow robot) to establish a telepresence that may be able to control remote units (for example, another robot) at great distances (another planet) to provide feedback (suggestions) about the instructions it is receiving. Who's controlling who?

Epoch-Fail


The Northeast Passage opens because our planet is slowly getting hotter. But trade routes won't come easy if shippers want to travel across the Arctic Ocean. The planet hasn't thawed enough to sail north of Russia without the need for ice-breaker class ships along with a fleet of support ships to break up the ice that's still there. Pesky environment keeps getting in the way of progress!