Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013





Fair warning.

Honestly, right now - I don't know what you are going to get this week. I have tech stuff (potentially) but I don't know if I will write about it. I'm in the middle of a refi of my primary and I'm pretty much losing my shit. This is a prime borrower which means I have an inspection on Monday. That means nothing and I mean nothing for you this weekend. I am squeaking by. The inspector doing my house is also the inspector that did my comp. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. That comp is an outlier. <br>
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One side of my brain only hears the cracking sounds from the ice road due to the economy. The other half is consumed with the countdown clock from 24. I have a reset in two years. I have to try now. I finally am in 20% equity. I won't comment about this under I pass or not.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

They've landed.



Alien ship crashed into this guys house. His smoke machine was a little aggressive, and I'm not sure if the fence is going to come down. So I might have to go re-shoot this one too.





Saturday, October 26, 2013

IR spiders.



The bushes are blue because this was taken in infrared. I might have to go re-shoot this house to get better detail.


I had a shot that wasn't as overexposed as this one, but I chose this one anyway. It gave me more of a Courtney Love vibe.

Friday, October 25, 2013

In a few months the entirety of America will start claiming they were never for Obamacare. They are liars, but people blow with the wind so they will claim it anyway.

Dear Elderly people - Elections have consequences.

Elderly patients sick over losing doctors under ObamaCare

Every time I want to be terminally sad about what is happening - I have to remind myself that people voted for this. It's the will of the people. It doesn't matter you were too uninformed to know you were killing yourself. You have to lose faith in government to stop depending on it.

I'm actually kinda bitter about the Baby Boomer generation. They lived like there was no tomorrow. The funny thing about life is you live much longer than you expected. Usually. Baby boomers wasted everything that the Greatest Generation gave to them. They wasted everything they made, and now they are wasting the efforts of an entire new generation. They did zero plan for the future and now I have to be their slave? Bitter party of one.

My own primary care physician was first in line to tell me how great Obamacare was going to be. I kept telling him it wasn't going to work the way he thought. Even I couldn't have predicted this though. What comes next will be worse.
Today is Friday, right? I know the Obamacare website is delightful to everyone, but not one economist or anyone talking about jobs data today? Did it not get released? Even Google only provided hits from 2-3 days ago.

The world is hilarious.

I'm actually having quite a bit of fun with the whole Obamacare roll out. Seeing reporters talk about stuff they know zero about.

Seeing this administration trying to act like they can reproduce what it took Silicon Valley decades to perfect. And since the public is just as stupid as the rest of the nation regarding technology (since it just magically shows up on their desk) they don't know how it works either.

I think the fun has just begun. The website is insignificant to what else is coming.

This administration is so idiotic about poor people and how they view the world. I come from welfare. My mom was barely a teenager when she had me. I know a lot about the poor. Sadly, more than I want to know.

The neediest are the least likely to be tech savy or even have resources to be on the Internet. They are also the least likely to understand how to navigate the medical field making them use resources at a disproportionate rate. And the final worst thing - they are the least likely to gain new skills in any of these areas.

The whole thing is sad really. The people who really need help are not going to get it while robbing the resources of the people who would really improve the lives of poor people. Unfortunately a lot of idiots are going to have to suffer pain to realise their stupid view of the world only makes this group worse off. A lot of Silicon Valley fits into this criteria sadly. I really feel like they helped sell us out. And it's hard - I remember the old Silicon Valley. They weren't a slave to government.

The only thing that makes people learn is pain. The only thing. Unfortunately a lot of poor people will be hurt. And it's really a hard thing to watch because you want to help them, but their ideology is pretty much in line with a socialist system. I know because I came from there.

When winter comes...

This is the time of year when companies start to "re-balance" their workforce. This happens every year without fail.

Last night it occurred to me that California's economy is being slightly distorted by construction. We are in the driest January to October period in 160 years. The construction window has been open much longer this year than anytime in my entire life. Spring showers never materialized.. There has really been very little rain since December.

We have a major stadium project in Santa Clara that is more than half way done, and a BART extension in Fremont. These are all one time events. It's hard to tell how complete the BART extension is because it's already late - but from what I can see of the work - I'd gauge it to also be half completed.

Construction activity obviously pulls back in winter. Draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

OMG.


Today I was raging about how little common sense people have right now. Can we still really call it that? It's not really not all that common.

Unbounded Robotics UBR-1.



I'm not actually going to say much about this product because techcrunch did a fantastic article about them a couple of days ago.

I didn't even push to see this thing demoed because I've already seen how amazing the PR2 out of Willow Garage was a couple of years ago. This is just a smaller version of that.

To be honest I re watched the video and in my memory the PR2 seemed like a hulking sized of a machine. Even though it moved really smoothly. I guess it wasn't as big as I remembered. BUT! The thing I found really clever about what Unbounded Robotics has done is they made an accordion in the middle so it can change height. I've seen a lot of telepresence robots, and it's the first time I've seen that. I love that to death. That's better for children and old ladies.



This is how big it is in relation to a man.



Now for the good stuff.



At the risk of having half the economists on the planet freak out and start a frenzy of posts about how robots are going to take all of our jobs - I present to you a robotic Caterpillar. Which made the tard in me fall in love. It's like pimp my Caterpillar.

I mean, I've been watching robotics for a really long time now. I've seen all manor of crazy stuff. I just didn't realise we were at this phase.

Obviously the monitors don't come with it. They are just props to let you see what the robotic vision sees. Which in this case is Ladar. Not Lidar. You can read about it here. When you walk up to these things you have to tick off all the flavors of robotic vision. Is it Lidar, Ladar, point cloud, sonar, or heat map. There are probably more but these are the ones I can name off the top of my head.

Here is the presser for the Forge by Autonomous Solutions Inc. There is a video in the link, which really looks more like an ad. I have yet to find anything that shows the product working in real life.

Of course everyone is going to scream what a horrible idea this is - but robotic vision is starting to be not that bad. I'd like to see this thing in action of course.

Mr S. and I were trying to figure out real world applications. He came up with snow plow which I thought was brilliant. I would have never thought about that. I've never lived in snow.







Soon everyone will be awake.

As you can imagine I've been talking to everyone about Obamacare. And.... it turns out most people are in full retard mode. Their stupidity is so breathtaking all I can do is stifle a terrified laugh. If you want to know why so many people didn't fight against Obamacare I'm here to tell you why.

Not one of them thought it would affect them. Seriously. If I hear one more person say this I'm going to lose my shit. Grown adults who should know better. Take this conversation I had before my conference yesterday with my chiropractor.

Me- Is Obamacare affecting you yet?

Him - It doesn't take affect for a year. (note he is a business owner, so for him it doesn't start for a year)

Me- Yeah, but everyone is in open enrollment right now. They are all starting to figure out how much extra they are going to pay.

Him - Obamacare is never going to affect me. 85% of my patients pay all cash.

Me- Yeah, but all of their premiums are going up. That is going to trickle down. You can't add millions of people to a system, plus a huge bureaucracy and not expect it to not affect you. How do you expect them to pay you?

(I also pay cash because Chiropractors aren't really covered much under insurance. I still pay for insurance)

Then he had some nonsensical logic about the administration trying to attract young guys to pay for the system.

Him - Well, they have to pay because they are going to get fined.

Me - That is never going to happen.

Him - Sure it is. They are going to get fined it they don't.

This is where I became aghast.

Me - Imagine you saying this to your 20 year old self? Can you imagine if someone told you that? You'd tell them to fuck off.

Then he tried to convince me more with the fine. I wasn't having any of it.

Me - Men are never going to pay that fine. I've known guys who skip out on child support! That is never happening.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Because that's the kinda chick I am.

I was at a tech conference today. So.... you'd expect my first post would be about tech. Right? Oh no! You read this blog, I assume.

I noticed a lot more chicks in tech. I mean, it went from maybe 5% to a little more than 5%. Yeah. I guess. I don't really feel too much one way or the other. I'm not into the girl power thing. But what I did notice was that all of a sudden I got super possessive about the bathrooms.

You can't imagine what bliss it is to be a chick in a mans world when it comes to bathrooms. You barely see anyone in there, and they are soooooo clean! It's like having a private bathroom. Chicks can be pretty grodey most of the time. All of a sudden I was like - these chicks aren't going to be using my bathrooms are they? Yeah. My bathrooms. Where the hell did that come from?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dancing on the razors edge.

At least this thing will finally be over. I mean, no matter what happens to the health care law - you are locked in for a year now bitches. The damage has begun. And what is the most frustrating thing ever to me is this country is filled with people who fled socialism in whatever form. Yet they continued to let people they left behind convince Americans to buy into a system you think sucks. Good job guys. You knew what idiots we are.

Hell, none of them that are here now even stood up and said - uuuum... hey guys... you might want to reconsider. We think our system sucks. That's why we are here. DUH. But we only tell that to each other. Not you stupid Americans because we know you don't pay attention to anything anyway. WTF?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Carved SF.



I'm not sure what was up with this event. I got the impression it was going to be much larger. And it was in a parking lot, and not on the beach. Of course, I'm not even sure if the beaches are open right now. Technically. So that might have been part of the problem.















California.



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I thought I was gonna have tech for you today.



Instead you get a wrapped Masi. I can be really entertained in parking garages sometimes. Which is good because I never remember where I put my car. I mean, I know the general direction. But spotting a hidden Masi turns the frustration into happiness. The wrap was a little warble-ey though. You can see it on the fender.





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When sheer genius goes bad.



I thought I'd been to the smallest restaurant in California. It was called the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento. Stretch your arms out, and that was how wide the business was. Which means they were not handicapable. Someone started suing them and forced them to move to a more handicapable space. In the end it was probably much better for the business and the customers. The wait time at that place was mind crushing. I was kinda bummed because it was a charming place you never see in California anymore. Like those old timey drive in burger places. It was the end of an era I thought.

Well..... this weekend I accidentally found an even tinier place. I'm not even going to say the name of the establishment or where it is - because this is literally the tiniest restaurant I've ever seen. And frankly I don't want the guy shut down. He's old and might not recover as easily as the Sqeeze Inn did. I don't know how he hasn't already been shut down due to it's close proximity to Berkeley. It was probably half the size of the old Squeeze Inn.

When we got here - there were 6 people in front of us. That's because a total of six people could fit in the place. And it was all bar seating. It wasn't a problem and we just sat outside. What we didn't realise however is the place cooked each meal one at a time. And after each meal the grill was cleaned so your food only tasted like your food. Mr S. and I really didn't even get to eat together as the plates come out one at a time. It took well over an hour to get our food.

This man was so passionate about his food when he brought mine out he said "please taste it before you put anything on it". Like I was at a fancy steakhouse or something. But the man was right. His food was cooked to perfection. And the guy had really creative ideas I've never seen before like sausage pancakes. (above) I thought I'd ordered scrambled eggs but it turned out to be this egg risotto dish. I've never had anything like it before and I couldn't believe how good it was. Make you full for the whole weekend heavy though. I'd go back there in a heartbeat - if I had a few hours. It really was like home cooking. And the charm of such a tiny place - I just love. Not being able to eat with the people you arrive with is a huge bummer though. Super huge bummer.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Now ~that~ is a pricey car.



It's been a few years since I railed against this topic. Here and here. Thankfully most of the guys have garaged their fancy cars, or moved the plates to their more sensible cars. It does run salt into the wounds when you see firefighters driving cars you yourself could not afford. And I have two houses! It's not like I'm doing too shabby. This car however costs between 70 and 100 grand. I blogged about it way back here.

Of course I will get a bunch of firefighters here telling me they have wives that make much more money than them. I never believe them. It's like believing strippers actually will finish college. It's their get out of jail free card. Not to mention the threats of "it would be a shame if your house burnt down".

When I was growing up I already lost a family house to fire. That innuendo doesn't work on me.

Remaining Albany Bulb pictures.















Shoe tree.





Saturday, October 12, 2013

I gained a new euphemism today.



Today I was up at the Albany bulb. Which the internet describes as an "artist" community. That is really over glorifying it. 95% of it is a bum jetti. And I spent a few years being a beach bum when I was growing up. Still, these people have really ginormous compounds.

When I was a beach bum we took everything with us. These were hoarder encampments. One had a tent the size of which would fit a car. One camp was rocking a tiny solar panel. Mostly it was just homeless people. There is some beach art there, and some graffiti - but to call it an artist community was funny. I used to make drift wood wind chimes when I was growing up. I guess I'm an artist! But then, Berkeley's idea of art is twigs ala The Blair Witch project. So by their standards I am a fantastic artist. But now every time I see a homeless encampment I'm going to call it an "artist community".





I almost died of happiness because the skytypers were there. A few years ago they flew over my house. I wasn't even sure they were still in business. Maybe I will upload the video I got today of them later.





My S. called this the Charley Brown tree. It was filled with dream catchers instead of kites. I didn't think that detail would show up so you only get the trunk.







This is the dog ambassador of The Bulb. He adopted us and walked us out of the park the whole way.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Heads up Displays go prime time with the Oakley Airwave.



Something about this made me really happy even though I've never been skiing. Augmented Reality is finally making it into products I can actually see people wearing. A few years ago I saw a prototype HUD, (bottom video) and at this same conference was Oakley. I don't know it to be true - but I wouldn't at all be surprised if these guys collaborated to make these ski glasses. They are sort of Halo-esk.

Oakley was really early into the augmented reality space. At the time I just couldn't figure out why. They didn't have a technology presence, but they kept turning up at these augmented reality conferences. But, I can actually see people wearing this. And apparently it's not a vapor wear product. Here is another boring-ish video of skiers using it on the slopes.



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Man, it's positively like France around here.

I know you guys are at the edge of your seats over the budget impasse, but this whole thing is more delicious in California!

We are a little more than 24 hours from a BART strike. (Bay Area Rapid Transit) And no one knows if they are going to strike! Can you believe that shit?

A couple of days ago they declined to give a 72 hour notice. The unions basically said - we aren't telling you if we are going to strike. We will either show up or we don't. Seriously.

First thoughts on the Nvidia Shield.



I've been pretty skeptical about this game system. I've never been much into handhelds. It's more of a guy thing. I'm am not the PSP demo. I like to come home and plant my ass on the couch and play a console system on the giant screen. The system is also oddly shaped and bulky looking. The games the system offers are anemic. What's to love?

After I started playing it for a little while I told Mr S. - I think I might completely reverse my opinion on this system. OMG I can't believe how much I like being able to watch TV and play video games. I didn't expect that. I had much less of a problem with it's shape and size than I thought. It is basically the size of an Xbox controller. Though because I'm a girl I do wish they had balanced it slightly different.

I know they aren't going for me as a target audience. Our bodies are just shaped differently. Even though it's about the same size as a game controller, I think because of the screen it really feels like your elbows are up in your boobs. Maybe that is a feature not a bug. Still, that is not effortless. If they would have just added a little more weight to the front it would balance in a way that it didn't feel like you were duking it out with your breasts. Just sayin'. I mean, if these companies ever thought girls would play they need to consider how it really feels to live in a girls body. I know. Waaaa.

I've only been playing it for half a day, but it is a fun little machine. The mouse cursor is off the chart ridiculous though. Some of the text is crazy tiny, and the mouse icon is crazy tiny. Try to select something tiny with something tiny. However some of the physics is pretty nice for a small machine.

Give us more games Nvidia! I mean, Sonic is fun. I was going to say 10 years ago... but okay - it's still fun.



It's also incredibly hard to take screen shots. The screen is super reflective. This is Darksiders II.





 
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