I ate my wafer...


Keep Moving Forward

So, about a year or so ago, I heard about the polarization based, "Disney 3D" method of 3-D cinematography, and decided to see it, even if it meant watching a horrid children’s film. As it turned out, my efforts to watch Chicken Little in 3D were thwarted by my local movie theatre’s accounting department, which had forced a switch to the regular 2D version, resulting in my watching of part of Chicken Little without 3-D, then more or less forgetting about the entire Disney 3-D concept.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to see “Meet the Robinsons” in polarized, digital 3-D. It definitively was worth the obscene, $10/student discount ticket price, both for the excellent 3-D experience , and for the admittedly somewhat sappy plot.

Not to spoil the movie, but in my current position as a newly minted inventor, the memorable line from the movie, “keep moving forward,” was very amusing. If nothing else, it made me realize that as much as Cornelius Robinson uses that line, I use various versions of “It’s not what we can do with (the tool/item we wish we had), but whether we/I can figure out a way to do it with (what we have right now).” So...can anyone post a good comment involving my use of that phrase? The next time we meet face to face, I'll buy a beverage for each person that can come up with a good Mcguyver-esque story.

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Beer crisis in Germany

So, Spigel International has a fascinating little piece about the decline of the brewing industry in Germany. Coming from a long lineage of German brewers*, this is, of course bad news to my mind, and if German beer consumption drops below 100L/per person/year it may even be a sign of the end times. Besides somewhat reasonable health concerns, apparently much of the decline is due to German youth drinking evil hard lemonade "malt beverages". Frankly, it is fine with me if the various German states (and U.S. ones) taxed the crap out of Mike's Hard Lemonade to boost beer consumption. Besides tasting like effeminate cool-aid, the alchopop beverages have about as much tradition and variety as Kraft Easy-Mac.

*In my family, the German agricultural traditions are still strong, and can be simplified as: 1. Properly tile and drain your land. 2. Kill all rodent and insect pests. 3. Ensure adequate beer supply.

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The Volkswagon Egg

So, last Saturday I spent 14 straight hours working for the Pontiac area Christmas in Action, which is sort of equivalent to habitat for humanity except fixing existing homes rather than building new ones. To be fair, I only planned on spending about half that time, and I didn't realize that a good chunk of that time would involve breaking large rocks into little rocks on three hours of sleep, but I'm not complaining.

Anyway, at one point in the day, I desperately needed some 2.5mm and 4mm screws to piece together a light fixture, and decided to check out the dumpster for possibilities. Glancing down the length of the 20 cubic yard dumpster, I spotted an imac computer, and realized that computers often have metric screws. So....I grabbed the computer and with the aid of a hammer wielding Gunar, looked for screws in it. Unfortunately, the iMac designers made it impossible to get the screws we needed, so I redneck-tapped the light fixture's metric hole by filing a taper and notches in a SAE 8-32 machine screw, and used a self-tapping sheet metal screw for the second hole. Although the iMac sat in the rain for an hour or so, I decided to take it home, mostly because I was simply too tired to think straight.

So...today, as a long time Windows/Intel computer owner (yes, I did own a Commodore C64 briefly), I now own my first Mac. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but it already inspired this fun conversation:

Housemate A: Hey, (sarcasm) I don't think you're supposed to put computers on their faces!

Bob: Its not a computer, ahh.....ahhh...its a volkswagon egg.

So, now that I've dubbed it the VW egg, I'm going to try running OSX or linux on it and using it for simple internet browsing. Other suggestions for it are welcome. As a side benefit it irritates my microsoft worshipping roommates:-)