Monday, August 28, 2006

These images come from NASA's pic of the day site.
The top is the Lagoon Nebula, aka M8. Below, a " smoke angel " created by dropping flares. The smoke is sculpted by the disturbed airflow from the plane.

Seems simply carrying cash is now grounds enough to have it seized.... article below. This almost unbelievable story illustrates how paranoid we've become.

There's a famous quote... " Those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither. " I've probably mangled it but the gist remains.

The article....

Federal Appeals Court:

Driving With Money is a Crime

Eighth Circuit Appeals Court ruling says police may seize cash from motorists even in the absence of any evidence that a crime has been committed

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that if a motorist is carrying large sums of money, it is automatically subject to confiscation. In the case entitled, "United States of America v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit took that amount of cash away from Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez, a man with a "lack of significant criminal history" neither accused nor convicted of any crime.

On May 28, 2003, a Nebraska state trooper signaled Gonzolez to pull over his rented Ford Taurus on Interstate 80. The trooper intended to issue a speeding ticket, but noticed the Gonzolez's name was not on the rental contract. The trooper then proceeded to question Gonzolez -- who did not speak English well -- and search the car. The trooper found a cooler containing $124,700 in cash, which he confiscated. A trained drug sniffing dog barked at the rental car and the cash. For the police, this was all the evidence needed to establish a drug crime that allows the force to keep the seized money.

Associates of Gonzolez testified in court that they had pooled their life savings to purchase a refrigerated truck to start a produce business. Gonzolez flew on a one-way ticket to Chicago to buy a truck, but it had sold by the time he had arrived. Without a credit card of his own, he had a third-party rent one for him. Gonzolez hid the money in a cooler to keep it from being noticed and stolen. He was scared when the troopers began questioning him about it. There was no evidence disputing Gonzolez's story.

Yesterday the Eighth Circuit summarily dismissed Gonzolez's story. It overturned a lower court ruling that had found no evidence of drug activity, stating, "We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity."

Judge Donald Lay found the majority's reasoning faulty and issued a strong dissent."Notwithstanding the fact that claimants seemingly suspicious activities were reasoned away with plausible, and thus presumptively trustworthy, explanations which the government failed to contradict or rebut, I note that no drugs, drug paraphernalia, or drug records were recovered in connection with the seized money," Judge Lay wrote.

"There is no evidence claimants were ever convicted of any drug-related crime, nor is there any indication the manner in which the currency was bundled was indicative of drug use or distribution.""Finally, the mere fact that the canine alerted officers to the presence of drug residue in a rental car, no doubt driven by dozens, perhaps scores, of patrons during the course of a given year, coupled with the fact that the alert came from the same location where the currency was discovered, does little to connect the money to a controlled substance offense," Judge Lay concluded.

Here is a PDF file of the ruling.
This pretty picture is by a fellow Honda Valkyrie rider, it's a shot of the front of a flat 6 valk engine with the timing belt cover off. Complex and simple all at the same time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Since I have a new download program,, my good old top hits site is now getting use again.

Alaska Jim is a collection of music from around the world, in many different genres.

I use it to check out the Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and UK music scene, then plug in the songs to Shareaza to download and check them out. Like,keep , not like, delete. Easy.

These photos come from a daily photoblog called
Daily Dose of Imagery.

A Toronto, Ontario guy runs this, takes interesting shots of life around him.HE has a good eye, good composition, good light read skills.

P.S. It's the bottom of a pomegranate. recently did an article on a mountain bike photographer, Karen J. These are her shots.
I was a bit torn on whether or not to post these images...they are slightly disturbing. But then I realized that art and images are SUPPOSED to engender a response, art without stirring any emotion has no purpose whatsoever. So, for better or worse....

One of the funnier photoshops in Worth 1000's "Planet Pluto" contest

Saturday, August 26, 2006

T Shirt Hell

Yet again. Sick, involves a Sesame Street character and a razor blade. Can't get better laughs than that.

Friday, August 25, 2006

With the demise of Kazaa, I've had download withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks while I checked out my options.

Shareaza is the new program I've been using for a week or so now. I like it. No ad's, shareware, popups. No limit on searches, no priority downloads...everybody's equal.

Nice interface. The only issue I have is that it's so new that there's not a lot of content on it just yet. So, get on it.

Download page

Never did "get" the genius that supposedly lives in Jackson Pollock's abstract work....really does just look like paint strewn on a canvas to me. Guess I'm just not high enough class. Or, did someone just mention the emperor has a brand new robe??

Anyway. Prove me wrong( or right). Make your very own Pollockesque masterpiece

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cobra Starship - Snakes on a Plane

Excellent first and last lines, a cameo by the man himself.

P.S. there's some naughty words in this song, if you're a sensitive type, I suggest you get a life and watch it anyway. I mean, how can you even exist in a world like this while being so out of touch with reality that a few bad words tie dye your panties. Really.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here's a spot where you can fly through the air with the greatest of ease......

WHISTLER, BC, August 8, 2006 – Riders who like to spend more time in the air than on the ground have cause to celebrate with the launch of Whistler Blackcomb’s Air Dome to the public slated for the remainder of the summer season, August 12 until October 9, 2006.

“Whistler Blackcomb’s Air Dome is the only mountain bike specific foam pit training facility in the world,” says Rob McSkimming, VP of Business Development at Whistler Blackcomb. “Combine the potential our Air Dome with the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and you have the world’s ultimate arena for progression right here in Whistler.”

The Air Dome features a massive pit with multiple in-runs filled to the brim with $26,000 worth of foam, a table-top ramp, a quarter-pipe, a half-pipe, and wall rides. Located at Base II and easily accessed by the Magic Chair at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Air Dome was first introduced earlier this summer to riders taking part in the Summer Gravity Camps (SGC).

“The level of progression that a facility like the Air Dome can drive was really illustrated to us through the achievements of two young local riders that competed in last month’s Kokanee Crankworx,” says McSkimming. “Alex Prochazka and Kyle MacDonald of Whistler were both working on backflips in the Air Dome’s foam pit prior to competing in the Kokanee Slopestyle. They mastered the move in the dome and then pulled it out in competition to successfully compete against the world’s best. Fifteen year old Kyle competed in the finals and ranked 17th out of a field of 86 athletes.”

Public access to the Air Dome will provide the ultimate learning experience for riders looking to take their technical skills to the next level. The Air Dome is a supervised facility and all of the features can be used to learn intricate tricks such as barrel rolls, 360’s, tail whips and even double backflips in a safer manner with less potential consequence than what is possible when training on dirt. Basic air awareness and less technical moves can also be learned in the Air Dome.

“The Air Dome allowed my campers to progress in a controlled and safe environment,” says Andrew Shandro, Director of Summer Gravity Camps. “It is the perfect training facility.”

Air Dome Facts - Open August 12

-Massive foam pit with multiple in-runs
-Table-Top Ramp
-Quarter Pipe
-Half Pipe
-Wall Rides

Summer Season Hours:
-Daily from 11am-8pm until September 3, 2006
-Open from 5pm-8pm on weeknights and from 2pm-8pm on weekends from September 4-October 9, 2006
-Hours and dates may be subject to change

-$129 for a season pass
-$15 for a 3-hour session
-Same price and product for all ages

Ticket Sales:
-No ticket or pass sales on site. Tickets must be purchased at the Guest Relations desk located at the base of the Village Gondola.

Other Stuff:
-Access via the Magic Chair (with Bike Park ticket and only until September 3, 2006) or by vehicle access via Lot 6.
-Helmets mandatory
-Same age/height/waiver restrictions as the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

This looks like a lot of fun...despite the inevitable chain "tattoos" you're going to get as the foam blocks get greasy from nasty bikes landing in them.

Don't poke a cat with a stick....or, make sure your window is up. I'm with the kitty on this one.

A teletubby dancing to MC Hammer's "Too Legit". While I normally don't much like either, the combo is oddly hypnotic.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Since nailguns have become the defacto standard in home construction now, hammers have taken on a new primary role....destruction.

The newer versions have begun to reflect this trend. They can still drive a nail, but are growing protrusions and curves to make taking things apart easier.

This is the new Stanley FUBAR. Great name, but they weasel out a little by saying it's short for "Functional Utility BAR".


Fits in a standard hammer loop, 18 inches of demolition at your fingertips.

Want one???

The site...

Stanley tools

This is a bowline at your left.

To your right is a sheet bend.

Want to learn how? Go to the cleverly named site...

I Will Knot

For short well done video clips.

If you're reading my blog, (poor you), you know I recently went on a camping trip to watch a meteor shower away from Seattle's light pollution. It was a great trip. ( Scroll down for pics.)

Despite leaving for home in Plenty of time to get to work, I ended up having to call in late, as the 4-5 hour drive inexplicably took NINE hours. Bumper to bumper traffic from basically the southern border of Washington state to just past Tacoma, south of Seattle.

We kept expecting to see an accident, a work crew, something to explain why a trip took almost twice as long as usual.

Nothing. Well, almost nothing. We did notice several series of huge white oval dots painted on the roadway, approximately 30 feet apart, then they'd go away, then another series would begin. It was like this for several miles.

Looked a lot like this....

Seems that there was a new idea being put into play, the idea being that tailgating is a problem, and by using these dots as reference points, you could maintain a safe following distance.

The problem was that people were either mystified or curious, and therefore slowed down to read the signs and discover the reason for the dots, causing a massive chain reaction backup in traffic.

By the time we went by, the signs were covered up, and only the dots remained. Great idea, guys. Doesn't work on congested highways, I-5 is notoriously overcapacity on most days to begin with. Thanks for making me 3 hours late for work.

Here's the article....

"An attempt by Washington state transportation officials to stop tailgating failed an important reality test over the weekend when it caused massive traffic jams on a two-mile stretch of northbound Interstate 5. Officials had just unveiled the "2 dots 2 safety" program that urged motorists to keep no less than two of the specially painted freeway pavement dots -- 160 feet -- distance from the car in front. Each dot is spaced eighty feet apart on the freeway between Lacey and Nisqually. The hope was to expand the program statewide and use the dots eventually to help police issue $101 citations to drivers for following too closely.

During heavy Saturday traffic, however, motorists maintained the 160-foot distance as required by the posted signs, even though such distances were unnecessary at the crawling pace. This further reduced the freeway's capacity causing a chain-reaction slow-down.

"The idea was not to impede traffic, but to increase safety," state Traffic Engineer Ted Trepanier said in a statement provided to The Olympian newspaper. "We apologize for delays drivers faced as a result of this program."

The state maintains tailgating is a problem because it leads to rear-enders. "Twenty-one people died in rear-end crashes in Washington during 2005," the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website asserts. In the context of red light cameras, however, Washington state dismisses the importance and severity of potentially fatal rear end collisions and encourages cities to install the automated ticketing systems. WSDOT will now remove the dots from I-5 and try them on another freeway."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Just some random neat pics from

Sunday, August 20, 2006

2004 Bike Messenger race. Wow. Seven minutes of dodging buses, pedestrians, traffic and other bikers at high speed. Legs and lungs of steel, brains of ???.

Happy National Radio Day!!!!

Yeah... Aug 20th is national radio day.

Tomorrow? August 21st is National Spumoni Day.


Over on, a new member took these pics on a recent bike trip to Crater lake. Nice shots.

Here's his blurb...

"Crater Lake used to be Mt Mazama, a volcano that erupted 7,000 years ago and then collapsed, forming the 5 by 6 mile, 1,949 foot deep lake (the deepest lake in the US). This is a view of the (almost) entire lake. It's so big, that even my 14mm lens could not get it all in one frame. That's Wizard Island in the foreground, a cinder cone volcano that erupted a few hundred years after Crater Lake was formed."

"...The other island, appropriately named Phantom Ship Island. This is where I'll build my retirement cabin."

His whole post is here.
Spanish cops are a lot less tolerant of hostage taking robbers than we are here.....

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
There's several videos of an old English guy making the rounds on Youtube, He simply sits and rambles about his life on camera. Interesting in a mellow way.

I personally used to look after a few horses an elderly neighbor kept, he was a veteran and a born storyteller, I'd sit in the kitchen after the chores were done and listen to tales of his life.

The guy goes by Geriatric 1927.

There's 13 more on, just search for his name.
Noticing a growing trend here among Seattle drivers......

Here's the pull up behind another car waiting to make a right hand turn at a light. Traffic's clear, so the car ahead ..... Does nothing!! Waits for the light to turn green before making the turn.

The first few times I wondered if there was something I couldn't see, but it seems that the law allowing right turns on red in the vast majority of intersections is no longer being taught. If it's NOT legal, you'll se the sign to your right.

Otherwise, turn right and stop blocking traffic.


These are tiny engines from a company called Rotamax. They come in the two sizes seen here, a 650 cc and a 1300cc. Rotary engines (think Mazda's RX series) are light and powerful, but suffered from emissions problems in the past.
This would make a cool custom motorcycle, just add a Harley-style 6 speed transmission and you'd be in business. I don't know about the turbo add-on, though, the rotors are air cooled so adding forced induction might just be too much.
The site
Three random shots from somewhere on the web.... I have to start writing this stuff down.

This is Dead Fred. He'll uncomplainingly hold your pen whenever you ask.

Want One? Too Bad...You can't have one.


Click Here

Saturday, August 19, 2006

So , Went on a camping weekend last week, a 4-5 hr drive from Seattle to a pretty spot on the Columbia river, south of Yakima, called Goldendale.

The culmination of a month-long meteor shower, we'd see the biggest and brightest without Seattle's light pollution. Didn't disappoint.

The Stonehenge pics are just eccentric millionare named Sam Hill built it. ( You know the old saying, "What in the Sam Hill are you doing?".... Yeah. That guy.) His tomb is the white box in the pic below.

The girls had an impromptu photoshoot in the backseat...