Monday, October 31, 2005


British woman gives birth to twins from two wombs...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

from the 3rd amigo

Glad to be of assistance.

It is amazing what a step back and a new day can bring.

So, for those of you that are woundering what the third little amigo is doing these days.... let me fill you in and clear up any ghaustly rumors.

I David do will my.... oh wait that is for another posting.

I am working for a company called CAD Solutions. We have been hired as a sub-contractor to do the CAD work for JHKelly one of the largest, and definatly most worth-while mechanical contractor on the west coast to work for. JHKelly has been sub-contracted to do the mechanical portion, and duct work insulation ?!?, by Turner Construction (TCCO) on the Sacred Heart Medical Center project. The hospital is being constucted for somewhere in the ball park of $350M. My cut is much smaller. Of course that was before $ change orders $. For any of you familuar with the little building project that went on down in Reno a few years back you can rember how many contractors make ALL there profit on change orders. We both smile and groan when changes are made. Lots of money.... a pain in the neck to change.

So, now that I have established the higherarchy of my working environment.... My official title is Project Engineer. I didn't know that until my buisness cards showed up. My primary responsibilities are to keep the field current with what they need to proceed in layout of sleeves and inserts. (Sleeves are sheet metal cylinders used to keep the concrete away from where a pipe will penetrate the concrete slab being poured. Inserts are what is know as bangers. These are used hang strut by providing a screw permanitly poured into the concrete.) Another primary responsibility is to go to coordination meetings every Wednesday and argue over who gets to run through that one inch of ceiling space.

The main portion of the hospital is has grids 1-20 north to south with 32 ft between each grid and B-M east to west with 24 ft between those grids. The garauge level (which is by far the lightest floor and easiest to coordinate) had almost 8000 sleeves and inserts.

A third responsibility is to track all RFI's, ASI's, Addendums, constructability logs, and any other official instructions we may have that can make the install differ from the blueprints as issued to us.

Thus far I average about 44 hours a week at work. My highest week was 48 hours. My shortest that I actually worked 5 days was 43. I typically try and leave at noon on Friday to start a precidance for later in the year when the days get shorter.

I have my own appartment. The address can be found from alternate forms of communication. I am convinced that if I ever upgraded to a car that looked remotely new or like it actually could run a few years without some serous maintnence, I will need to move to a different neighborhood. It take several blocks before you find an even remotely nice car. But I am right off a nice city park and everyone around seems nice. It is a quiet part of town. I like that.

I think that might ward off the biggest of rumors. I am tired and going to bed.

the little amigo,

--reposted on behalf of the third forgetful amigo as he forgot what is blogger account was--

You say it's your birthday, It's my birthday too...

well, not really. But a few of us can claim that.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Janell & Jen!!

Hope you both have a wonderful day.

* yay for the Beatles

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

selling house

The latest update on our house sale is that the investor guy may not do a structural inspection (wooohoooo) which may mean he won't have a stupid list of crap for us to fix. not that there would be anything. we have done just about everything we can find but at least the pressure is off.

turns out this 'investor' guy, doing a 1031 exchange to buy our house (trading one rental for another) is buying seven (7) houses. It kind of feels like getting put out of business by walmart.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Keep the Sabbath

a commentator i enjoy most of the time did a piece on keeping the sabbath. pretty interesting to hear. listen to it at this npr link.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


i was playing solitare set and had 15 cards on the "table" aka couch. odds are ~2500:1 that there is no set with that number of cards. i couldn't find one... can you?
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Thursday, October 20, 2005

ftp search

remember that file search from lycos? is pretty scary.
someone implemented an interesting idea very well.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Why does my straw come in a paper wrapper, and my CD come in a plastic one? I can't think of a single contimant that won't permiate the paper.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

round 2: get the fat lady with the voice in here

well here we go on round two of selling our house. someone is buying at 3.6% below our original asking price. we had already dropped the 3% when the market flattened out in the fall. so this time it is an investor doing a 1031 exchange which means they have to close a deal within a certain amount of time in order to not pay capital gains. so that means they are more committed. however i think the time limit is 180 days so it isn't exceptionally restrictive. it isn't airtight until after the inspection. we fully expect the inspection will go well, but one never knows...
closing would be nov. 15 so we would be a month and a half out from our closing on the new house (29th dec). a good cushion of time to make sure all the money is in the right place. and not so long that we'll get sick of the in-laws.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

no, we really mean don't do it here...

out on our walks in the neighborhood, we found the following sign. It amuses me every time I see it...

Free Image Hosting at

Thursday, October 13, 2005

USA de-nerdifying?

an interesting report on how the usa is falling behind in funding (employing) and educating in science research. here are a few quotes i found particularly interesting.

Last year, more than 600,000 engineers graduated from institutions of higher education in China, compared to 350,000 in India and 70,000 in the United States.
The cost of employing one chemist or engineer in the United States is equal to about five chemists in China and 11 engineers in India.
a couple of the reccommendations:
The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, scheduled to expire in December, should be made permanent and expanded. It goes to companies that increase their spending on research and development above a certain level.
The proposed actions include creating scholarships to attract 10,000 top students a year to careers in teaching math and science, and 30,000 scholarships for college-level study of science, math and engineering; expanding the nation's investment in basic research by 10 percent a year for seven years; and making broadband access available nationwide at low cost.

full report ny times article

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

On Demand TV

its about time. now you can buy a tv program for $1.99 commercial free the day after it is broadcast. assuming you now own the video, can watch it as many times as desired, and it is of good quality this is a deal i look forward to. hopefully more programs will join and there will be some sort of subscription discount for pre-paying for episodes or the like.


I never did get the subatomic particle physics, but it seems someone came out with a language (drawings?) to describe it. its kind of pretty.

solar challenge

not a car, a house.
check it out

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


in case i get ambitious and have spare time (hahaha) i'll make one of these for my brother for christmas.

This I Believe

NPR is running a series called "this i believe." modeled after a series run in the 50's by the same name. it is pretty interesting to hear what people believe in one relatively small essay and i enjoy hearing people read their own writings. this week was dr. benjamin carson (yup that one from that book). you can hear it or read it at there is no job more important than parenting.

Acrobat Reader as a Presentation

one of the things that can be done with LaTeX is make a presentation viewable in adobe's acrobat reader. ah whatever i thought when i read that. i'll probably just use powerpoint or the word perfect version since those are designed for that.

however, today i thought i would just have a peek at what you can do with LaTeX presentations to see if i am missing anything.... and i think i'll use it. download (to get full effect, but can just view it in broswer) "An example using many features" (name of file:beamerexample1.pdf) from the beamer sourceforge page. check it out in full screen mode (ctrl-L or there is an icon on the bottom left of adobe reader). looks pretty normal until you start clicking on the outline at the top of the screen. now i am sure there is some way to do that in powerpoint. but i don't know how and to be honest don't care. i know how LaTeX does it. you tell it at the beginning you want that to appear at the top and based on your headings that you tell it for each slide it auto generates your outline. i'm going to try it out for my presentation next week.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What We Look At

interestingly, your culture can influence how you look at a picture. americans look at the central item in a picture while chinese look at the background details. in other words americans think of the central object being independant of the context while chinese think of things as being defined by the surroundings. if you have access check it out in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences, vol 102, no 35, p 12329-12633.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I think I want an echidna