Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Better late than never

So I forgot to post my weekly list of recommended tunes last week. Well, not as much forgot as I got sidetracked, and never finished my post. In order to make up for it, I'm doubling the recommendations and choosing two bands. They fit well together, due to the international influence they draw upon. The first band Enon, hails from the US, but draws upon Asian influences that are intertwined into the beats. A wide range of musical styles causes this band to be hard to pin into any one category. Ranging from J-pop beats, to drawn out trip-hop, and a few anthems throw in for good measure as well.

The second band is easier to categorize, but is also unique to the US airwaves. NY city based Nous Non Plus is a French band, whose album is just that, French. But what make this album special, is the ability to not know French and still enjoy it. Either one of these bands, allow for a trip through the back alleys of the current music scene. Give them a try, I think you will walk away pleasantly amused.

If I found a phishing link, do you think I could just tie a stick of dynamite to it and send it back?

So Melanie has been getting some suspicious emails as of late from some people claiming to be Chase Bank. Not being one that would be duped so easily she deleted the message and went along her buisness. But then she kept getting the email over the course of a couple days. After this she sent the message to the fraud department at Chase. I just wanted to remind people there has never been a financial institution that has ever sent email requests to customers about their accounts, that is NO, as in none, nada, never have never will. If you ever have a question about the email, open a new page, go to the companies website, and find someone to call (do not use the provided link in the email). The number of email you recieve about the problem will not change the fact that its fradulent. I'm posting the phishing email so you can see first hand what they look like.

Dear Customer,

For the User Agreement, Section 9, we may immediately issue a
warning, temporarily suspend, indefinitely suspend or
terminate your membership and refuse to provide our services to you if we
believe that your actions may cause financial loss or legal liability
for you, our users or us.

terms and conditions you agreed to state that your service
must always be under your control or those you designate
all times. We have noticed some unusual activity related to
your service that indicates that other parties may have
access and or control of your information's in your service.

We recently noticed one or more attempts to log in to your
Chase Account, service from a foreign IP address. If you
recently accessed your service while traveling, the unusual log
in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you
did not initiate the logins, please visit Chase homepage as
soon as possible to restore your account status.

The log in attempt was made from:

ISP host : ip220.tele-rom.ro

To restore your account status click the link below:


Have questions? Our online helpscreens provide answers to many frequently asked questions. You can also click the Customer Center tab then go to the

Contact Us page to find a list of helpful numbers to call.
Please do not reply to this
automatically generated e-mail.
We know you
have a choice of banks. Thanks for choosing ours.

Online Banking Team,

About Us|Careers| Privacy Policy|Security|Terms of Use|Legal
©2006 JPMorgan Chase & Co.

And as another huge red flag on this one, I notice that it has scripts imbeded into the email its self. Nasty Bastards.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Well that sucked

Over the weekend we noticed Melanie's Accord was leaking fluid. Since we had some work done on it about 3 week previous, we deduced that as the likely culprit. The plan was for Melanie to take my supra to school and I'd take the Honda to the dealership. So I pulled out and headed on my merry way to the shop. At the first stop sign is where I noticed the problem. The gears didn't seem to engage, so I was hitting high RPMs with little movement. After finding a balance that allowed the car to craw towards a steady acceleration I traveled onward. At the next stoplight, I started to have a large number of problems. The acceleration was still underperforming, I needed to turn through the light, which was not going quickly, and I had lost all momentum stopping at the light. There was a small hill that the road turned up, so small most of the time you wouldn't notice the incline as you drove over it. But this hill became the mountain the car couldn't surmount. As a result, on went the hazzard lights, and I slowly let the car coast down the hill to the side of the road. After around 40 minutes, the tow truck arrived to bring me the rest of the 2.5 miles to the dealership.
Once I arrived, I pointed out the work that had been done, and what were the problems I was now experiencing. They went to work, and later found that it had been a line from the transmition to the radiator that had broken off. Mel had hit some tire debrie around 10-11 months back and punctured the radiator. The work done on the radator when it was replaced was singled out as the root cause of the hose failure. To my suprise the dealership absored the cost and provided the work for free. That made me happy. I then set off to complete the rest of my chorse for the day. About 4 miles away, the low oil pressure light came on.
Thinking the resulting leak had drained my oil reserves, I stopped at Target to grab some auto oil. Dumping a quart into the car, I jumped in to head home and finish up my errands. As I pulled out of the parking lot, the flashing light of doom returned to mock me. "Where do you think you are going?" it silently asked. Sighing dejectly, I called the dealership to inform them of my new problem; "Oh, that's bad! You better come back to have them look at that." was the responce I got. I headed home to drop off the supplies for my previously planned yard work, knowing that it would be pushed off to another day. Once I arrived back at the dealership, the shop manager greated me and asked if everything was alright. Once again describing the issue, the manager had one of the mechanics run off to see what was wrong. 15-20 minutes later they returned to describe what caused the problem. As was the case before, the two issues were not related to the activity that proceeded them. This time it was the electronic switch that turns the low oil pressure light on and off that had gone bad. Having that replaced, I headed home for what I decided would be the final time. While I did make it home without incident, this better be the last time I need to head to any dealership for the next two months, at least!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Olympics + HD = phenomenal

I picked up my HD set a little over a year ago, a Sony CRT, so I've had a chance to view a lot of HD content over the past several months. While Discovery HD could suck hours of my time away, its been this years Olympics that have proven the best show so far. If you haven't had the chance to see sports in HD, if there was only one reason to get HD, that would be it. This coming from a guy who may love to participate in sports, I have never been a big fan of watching sports. Sure there are a few, but most of them come in 4 year increments (Winter Olympics and the World Cup). If you get a chance, try and catch at least a little bit of the games in HD. If you miss it, think of it as an oportunity to get a set in the next four years before the games return. Crossing my fingers for the World Cup in HD.

Sweet little site

I just ran across a site that caught my eye, Evoke Tv
Its kind of an interactive tv guide on steriods. Check it out when you get a chance, but sory US schedules only right now I've add a link into my side bar to show my tops shows, digg it!

Time for a new plan

Ever since I moved out to North Carolina I've been slacking in the athletic department. Back in Portland I was on an indoor co-ed team, and we were pretty damn good. So a few nights week I'd head in for some 90 min games. Indoor is fun, and I had a blast, but I was missing coming home with grass stains and the occational raspberry. So an adult league in Chapel Hill was pointed out to me. As long as I don't get a retarded schedule conflict from my new position at work, I'm geared up to sign on. But that leaves me lacking in one department in particular, fitness. So as a new resolve, I'm attempting to meet a daily date with my new workout partner. Here she is:

Lets hope she can whip me into shape quick enough.

Thank you Apple for saving the day.

While there may be a few policies at my new job that I feel could be improved on, there was on in particular that I was actually thrilled to see. Since my hours at work are normal a twelve hour shift, things can get a bit boring. But once I found out you can listen to music while you work via headphones, I was psyched. Being able to listen to 1500+ songs (still have room for some more) at work on my second generation iPod has provided me my biggest return on investment since I got it back in July of 2002. Rockin out to some Warhols, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, or U2 has never made the days go quicker. I've also been downloading podcasts and a few audiobooks, why not get informed while I'm at it. Only thing that sucks about it is when I forget to fully charge it and run out of juice midday. I'm thinking another
model may come out in the coming weeks that might just tempt me to buy a third iPod (first was this model, second was an iPod mini for my wife). If you are in the market for one, hold off for a few more weeks. For the same amount of money you may be able to pick up a touchscreen iPod, which may or may not have a radio transceiver to listen to it in the car with no wires attached. I know I will be keeping my eyes pealed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Days to daze..

Ever wonder what you were going to be when you grew up? I thought I did, but life has a way of throwing curve balls at you. There is a lot of things that I'm interested in, or would like to pursue, but I always find myself at another crossroad, pondering the distance, envisioning where it might take me, only to pick up and start my meandering to the next crossroad. Window shopping the opportunities of life, smiling, frowning, laughing, or fuming at what I might see, then picking up to another yet another unknown destination. I almost see a vagabond existence watching my life unfold as act two rolls up the curtains. Can you be a tourist of life itself?
I guess it was just too easy while you were growing up, the white picked fenced house with a dog and a cat, and your wife smiling as you walked through the door. But did it matter if that fence was brown instead of white, and where exactly had I departed from on my trip home. I think those are the details that get caught up in the mix as we punch it, trying to fly towards the horizon as fast as we can. Does it really matter where this trail one calls their future will lead you, as long as it presents you with an end?
Did I answer the knock of opportunity too soon, should I have waited for the second knock, or should I have just got my coat and went out looking for this so called opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I've had many fortunate events occur along the way. But one does wonder what happens when you spend too much time smelling the roses.
Even though I tend to ponder on these things, there really isn't much to complain about. I do bring these questions to mind, primarily as a poke in my own ass. I've haven't had the chance to play as much soccer as I wish, and the same goes for skiing. Working as a process engineering tech has limited these factors, but it pays well. That is really what I kick around the most in my head these days. I guess I have two years to put that puzzle together, best to just have a ball doing it then. That's just part of the mystery.

Congrats on the New Store!!

Just wanted to send a special congratulations to my brother Quinn and my parents on finally opening the newest Cold Stone in Montana. After a year of hard work getting it off the ground, negociation set backs, building delays, and many other obstacles they finally opened the doors for business. As a final flaunt in their faces, the soft opening this past Saturday was met with -5 below. Not what you would call good ice cream weather. But standing at the door at 10:30am (they open at 11) were their first customers. Since it was too cold out they were invited in to the store. The previous night was Friends and Family night for the employees to introduce them to the store and its wonderful product. They Served over 100 people that night, which turned out to be good practice for the next day. In spite of -5 degree weather, 600 people found their way to the Cold Stone in the Hastings Parking lot, right next to the High school. Mind you, this is with out advertising, minus a small sign in the window "We will be open for business 2/18". This is a phenomenal start to what I am sure will become a huge success. Don't just take my word for it, head down if you find yourself in Bozeman Montana, and try a scoop. The staff couldn't be better, and they have embraced the Cold Stone spirit, already writing their own songs In case some money finds its way to the tip jar. As far as I know they have been quite busy since the start (something I have to assume since I can not get in touch with them). But once again, a well deserved congratulations on all the work so far. Here's a shot of the crew

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A few changes in store for the site..

I've been thinking about some shifting of a few things I do on this site. A large part of what I have been posting are short synopsis on stories that are interesting to me. The whole point was to add commentary on those posts. Well, that just hasn't worked as well as I had hoped. So, time for something new. On my right column under the links, I've added a section that will list all the stories I've been checking out. For the ones that I have the time to dedicate the deserved attention to, I be posting them to the main blog. The rest that are informative or fun will show up on the right. I hope this will clear out a bit of the clutter and prod me into doing what I was aiming for in the first place. I've got some ideas too of a much larger overhaul down the road, but that's for another time.


Just wanted to extend a warm welcome to my visitors from Germany, the UK, and Australia. Thanks for stopping by ^^


Unintelligent Design origin of life

Viruses have been viewed as being non-living parasites, outside of the evolution of living organisms. New research has uncovered the shocking conclusion that viruses are actually the ancestors of all living things.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Is your cable bill high? U.S. senators agree.

Do you think your cable bill is high, it might be reassuring to know that a bipartisan group of U.S. senators agree. New technologies that allow for high-speed data transfer over the Internet have revolutionized the way consumers and businesses communicate, shaking up the nation's communications sector from telecommunications to cable.

I think this is the start of movement to Cable al-la-carte, or paying for the channels that you want, instead of bundled packages. People who are against al-la-carte claim that it will increase prices overall, and kill off channels like the food network and HGTV, because the subsciber base would drop. While I do agree, it would be harder for those channels to get subscibers with out the standard model of just happening across them since they are part of the package. But come on, I have to support someone else's potential find? I for one would charge the channel and the viewer to break from this mold. Offer some of the channels top shows in downloadable format on a limited basis to let people see what the channel is like. I just did the math, and I'm paying around $50 a month for somewhere around 60-70 stations, seven of which are the only ones I watch. If cable al-la-carte is introduced, each channel would have to be over $7.14 each for me to loose any money, I also doubt that we would see channels (outside of premium channels such as HBO) go for that much, the standard 60-70+ channel package would go for $400-500+ a month. I truely belive making this move to cable al-la-carte is in our overall best interest. Even if the cable companies charge a rediculous amount of money per channel, that will only create a void for others to fill, others like IPtv, which I feel would trive in that environment. But that's my two cents.

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Desperate Presidents

This week's addition to the pack are two groups hailing from the unformiliar lands of Electo Indie. The first group I have been listening to for a few weeks, with their single Desperate Guys leaving a haunting beat that leaves you bobbin to the beat. The Faint has had a wandering path,with release starting back in the late nineties. Several renditions of their sounds can be sampled from each album, and the adventure is well worth it.
Which leads me into another elect India group, but one with a shorter history so far. Electric President's self named album has only been out since Jan. 24, but it provides a trip cross of the soft vocals found in bands such as Modest Mouse, accompanied by a wired and jagged backbeat. The dynamic cross of these two methods provides a unique experience, and one that may be rough around the edges, but with the right effort, you can visualize that polished sounds.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Weekend Trip to VA

I finally got a break long enough to explore the region for some ski hills. With the winter storm that hit the upper East coast I was hoping to see some decent snow sneak down my way. While it may not have been what I have typically grown used to in Montana, the few regional ski hills did get a small amount of new snow. The next decision was to pick where I would point my car in the morning. The two spots that I had narrowed things down to were both at least 3 hours away, so distance to one or the other was kind of a forgone point. For the advice of a friend, I decided to head north into Virginia, and make my trek to Wintergreen Ski Resort.
I got off to an early start, and was able to make it up to the hill by 9 am. I was relieved to see the conditions would allow for my new skis, and I was able to set aside my rock skis for the day. Since our move out to the Southeast, skiing has been a much less likely occurrence than when I was living out in Oregon and Montana. Which is one of the main reasons, once Mel finishes her Doctoral program at UNC, we will be heading back to the mountains I have come to love. I was fortunate enough last year to get a new pair of Salomon boots to match my two year old Scream Pilots, which are the best skis I have ever owned. The only problem was that I have not really had a chance to break in the boots yet. I know I should have been wearing them around my house, but I haven't. As a result my feet did take a beating, since this was the first time this season I have had a chance to use them. Regardless of any pain my body may have suffered, I was out to have a good time, and was successful at that. While the runs were woefully short, the short sprints to the bottoms I thoroughly enjoyed. The only major downfall of the day would be the snow machines. Dispute the perfect conditions (cloudless sky, 29 degrees) they were running the snow machines full time. And while I understand these are necessary given where I was, the damn ice crystals still stung like hell when I raced through them.
All and all, the entire outing was highly enjoyable. It may only have been a substitute until I can get back to my beloved Rockies, it cured my fix for now.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

10GBs of High Resolution Wallpapers 1600 x 1200 Enjoy

Well I stumbled upon this great website that has 90 pages of great quality wallpapers ranging from cars to ladies to landscapes... have fun..

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Fallout Friday..

Hey everyone. Decided to get the jump on this Friday, and post before I hit the sack. I decided to bring out a band that I first ran into during my College days. The Dandy Warhols hail from Portland, OR, just a hop skip and a jump from my stomping grounds out there. Psychedelic rifts and entrancing melodies can all be expected from this top notch band. Try out some of their most recognized hits such as Bohemian Like You, We Used to be Friends, and All the Money or the Simple Life Honey. Then move on to their more off beat numbers like Scientist, I am Over It, and Green.

Church offers $1000 to prove Earth revolves around the Sun

CAI [Catholic Apolgetics International] will write a check for $1,000 to the first person who can prove that the earth revolves around the sun. (If you lose, then we ask that you make a donation to the apostolate of CAI).

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HL2 Rube Goldberg Device

Cool video of a rube goldberg device made in half life 2.
Someone had too much time on their hands

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Can you swim faster through water or syrup?

It's a question that has confused Newton himself: Do humans swim slower in syrup than in water? In this Nature worthy experiment, 16 volunteers swam in a regular pool and in the guar syrup. So which pool was faster? You might be surprised....

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Why Do Workouts Work?

"As weightlifters know, the more that people use their muscles, the stronger they become. And unused muscles do not remain preserved; neglect causes them to waste away, or atrophy. It's a remarkable response, one that scientists don't fully understand."

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How to connect your PC to your HDTV

We've got the ins and outs as well as the gotchas all in one spot so you can take advantage of that HDTV set as a PC monitor. If you've ever wondered about the different resolutions between monitors and TVs or to determine what adapters this might require, this is a must-read.

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McDonalds far worse than you once thought...

McDonalds somehow missed that it's fries contain 1/3 more trans fats than once measured. Consumer groups and the government (US) have been pushing fast food restaurants to size up their true nutritional content and place it on packaging. This means a large fries contains 30 grams (1 full shot glass) of artery blocking goodness.

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Yahoo Offering Huge Benefits if You Use their Search Engine

Unlimited Email storage, Netflix Discount, Frequent Flyer Miles, No Yahoo! Mail ads, all if you use Yahoo as your primary search engine. This might get me to switch....

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Laptop Freeware Utilities Guide

If you have a Centrino laptop. You have to install Notebook Hardware Control! And preferably underclock your Pentium M CPU to keep it cooler and get longer battery life without performance loss.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

NSA spied on over 5000 Americans. Nearly all were innocent.

The Bush administration refuses to say -- in public or in closed session of Congress -- how many Americans in the past four years have had their conversations recorded or their e-mails read by intelligence analysts without court authority. Two knowledgeable sources placed that number in the thousands; one of them, more specific, said about 5,000.

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New space-time theory does away with big-bang, dark energy etc.

A new theory presented by Alexander Franklin Mayer at Stanford claims time is not just linear, but points in different directions, just like gravity does not point in the same direction everywhere.

Gota love science, alway serving up a new dish for us to ponder. ^^

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Flat Panel CRT Monitor

Tired of ghosting, bleed through, and other bad things LCD's have? Then get ready for SED!

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Congress Extends Patriot Act Another Five Weeks

"Lawmakers remain at loggerheads in attempting to renew 16 controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act, voting to give the provisions a second five-week extension to continue negotiations."

Sigh, wouldn't is be nice if they created laws with names that met with what they were intended to do. Lets replace Patriot Act, with "Hey, if your not going to use those Rights over there, mind if I take them?"
Serriously, before you go off on not supporting the Patriot Act, read up on what it does, and don't be so quick to say that those powers will never be used on such an outsanding citizen as yourself, those rights were put in place for a reason :P

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I posted my feelings on the subject in the comments section as follows:

In all honesty, those who are willing to give up their freedoms at a drop of a hat like so many have, most likely have never had to call upon those freedoms in the first place. I have never been arrested, and never plan to be, but if there was ever the case where I was pulled into custody, I have the comfort knowing that I have the legal right to an attorney, regardless if I am innocent or guilty. One of the powers the Patriot Act was seen in the Jose Padilla case, otherwise known as the "dirty bomber" case.

May 8, 2002, Padilla was picked up as a material witness while flying into Chicago O'Hare Airport. A month later, he was classified as an "enemy combatant" and transferred to a Navy Brig, where he was prevented from seeing his lawyers for two years. Now REGARDLESS of how you feel about Jose Padilla, I am using this for an example of what exactly what has occurred in the wake of the Patriot Act . The Patriot Act allows for executive arrests and the suspension of habeas corpus of immigrants. It also allowed the gray area for Padilla to fall into, as an American citizen listed as an enemy combatant.

But this then begs the question, what is habeas corpus? Well you can read a better definition here:


or I can give a basic run down. Habeas corpus is a petition to the court, for an inmate to be taken to a court and determined whether or not they should be imprisoned. The inmate must demonstrate an error has taken case in order for the request to go forward. In Brown v. Vasquez (9th Cir. 1991), the court cited the Supreme Court had

"recognized the fact that`[t]he writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.'

So where does this Habeas corpus fall in the scheme of things, if its so important the Founding Fathers would have said something, right? They did. It can be found in Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution:


And reading it there you find there are two clauses attached. The writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it. Here is where the debate really begins. The Constitution shows that in matters of grave concern over national security, the congress can allow the executive branch to detain people without trial. But Congress hasn't suspended habeas, and the Administration read between the lines to gain the ability to deny the right to Padilla.

And now we come to the crossroads. While you may feel secure in that you will never find yourself in this kind of mess, do you really want to throw out the one thing that could end up saving you? In my mind what makes this whole story so scary is not that I think it will happen to me, and it is not that it will widespread and over abused, it is the one time someone would use this the wrong way. And that is not a veiled jab at the President, it is for anyone who would misuse this power down the road if it was made permanent.

Just some food for thought, please don't willingly offer to give up your rights as an American, that above all else is what makes us who we are.

I do love a well balanced debate, so feel free to let me know where you fall on this subject ^^


Well the pick of the week on Fridays isn't going as smoothly as I had hoped, mainly because I am currently working on Friday nights. That kind of puts a damper on the Friday posting. But I am moving departments soon, so I hope this will be resolved soon... in some manor of fashion.

One to the band! This weeks pick is a group of lads hailing from East Sussex. What's remarkable about this group (besides its sound) is the path they have chosen for them selves. They put in the hard work and got signed to a Record Label. Here is where it gets interesting. They decided to take a path less traveled, created a website and turned over all their music for free on the website. They decided they just wanted their music out there to be heard, and this is why the band Steadman has so very much awesomeness (sorry couldn't help myself, its freaking 6:55 am here)

So here is the link, head over there and enjoy! www.steadmanband.com

ps - I know I recommended them before, but this is your chance to actually listen to them this time :P

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yet another high-def Easter Egg from "My Name is Earl"

This weeks "My Name is Earl" had another Easter egg that was only viewable in HD. This makes the 4th one!

Viva la HD! :)

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The wrong number scam!

This is a good warning from a government site about a new scam.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How to Fix a Dead Pixel on an LCD Monitor

Sometimes, if there is a dead pixel, it's usually stuck, as the liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) has not covered the whole screen. This can be easily fixed.

good info

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