Sunday, October 05, 2008

Well, this is it.... Finally ready to go. This poor blog will be devoid of any updates for the next 5 weeks, as I'm taking a much anticipated vacation to New Zealand.

One of the things I've always wanted to do, so finally just stopped talking about it and planned it. So, if you're inclined, I (we) have set up a blog to chronicle the trip....

Leaving October 9th, 2008, getting back November 16th, 2008.

Wish me luck.


Speeding motorcyclist killed in police chase near Oakridge

OAKRIDGE, Ore. -- A motorcyclist died while trying to elude police Sunday after crashing into a guardrail and tumbling into the road where he was hit by a police car.

Eric Bracken Tyner, 32, from Bend, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Lane County Sheriff's deputy saw Tyner westbound on Highway 58 Sunday evening traveling at about 90 mph, according to the Oregon State Police. The deputy attempted to catch up, but Tyner sped up and the deputy lost sight of the motorcycle. The deputy notified other law enforcement to be on the lookout for the motorcycle.

An Oakridge police officer in an unmarked car spotted Tyner at 7 p.m. on the east end of town and attempted to make a traffic stop. Tyner accelerated to a high rate of speed as a second patrol car joined the chase.

Tyner led the officers on a high-speed chase for eight miles before failing to negotiate a corner in the road, colliding with a guardrail. Tyner was ejected from the motorcycle and fell in the road. Officer Zechariah Ames, a 2 1/2 year veteran of the Oakridge Police Department, was unable to avoid Tyner and struck him with the patrol car.

OSP troopers from the Springfield and Oakridge offices are continuing the investigation. Lane County Sheriff's Office, Oakridge Fire Department, and ODOT assisted at the scene. Highway 58 was closed about four hours.


Mixed feelings about this...Shouldn't have tried to run, but probably didn't deserve to be killed by the cop for it. Poor judgement all around. More and more states are adopting the "no pursuit" policy if the offender's only wanted for a minor infraction/etc. and tries to run, because the consequences are potentially so much worse than a speeding ticket. Also, the odds are no cop car will catch a well riddden bike if the rider's determined to try to get away. What if this chase ended with an innocent being hurt/killed? Would it be "worth it" to have gotten the guy? Think.

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State rule clarifies 60-day supply of medical marijuana

A new rule determining how much pot constitutes a 60-day supply for medical-marijuana users was finalized on Thursday, a decade after Washington voters passed an initiative legalizing marijuana for people suffering from terminal and debilitating illnesses.

The new state rule, which goes into effect Nov. 2, sets the supply limit at 24 ounces of usable marijuana plus 15 plants. Those who need more marijuana to manage their pain will have to prove they need it — though how they would do that remains unclear.

While the new, 60-day-supply rule is meant to clarify the law and help police officers determine legitimate amounts, medical-marijuana advocates say the amounts are unreasonable — especially the 15-plant limit — and put patients at risk of criminal prosecution.

In King County, though, that's not going to happen, said Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, who has met with local law-enforcement officials and created an office policy that looks upon medical-marijuana cases "with a very lenient eye."

"Having this rule, having some amount ... is helpful, but it's not the end of the analysis," Satterberg said. "If you're in King County and you're dying of cancer, we're not going to prosecute you if you have 15 plants or 30. If somebody is legitimately ill, we're not going to prosecute that case, period."

In 1998, Initiative 692 legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Passed by 59 percent of Washington voters, the initiative said patients with valid certification from their doctors could possess a 60-day supply — but never said how much pot that was. The confusion and uncertainty led to conflict between police and patients.

Last year, the Legislature ordered the state Department of Health to spell out an acceptable amount. An early recommendation put the limit at 35 ounces of usable pot plus 100 square feet of growing space. That proposal was changed after Gov. Christine Gregoire's policy analysts urged the health department to get more input from law-enforcement agencies and medical experts because the amounts appeared to be on the high side.

Earlier this year, the draft rule was changed to 24 ounces of usable pot, six mature plants and 18 immature ones. The new rule finalized Thursday, however, doesn't differentiate between mature and immature plants.

The rule also drops a requirement included in the earlier draft that patients get a doctor's note if they need more marijuana than the determined 60-day supply. The department opted "for more general wording" to better reflect what is written in state law, said Health Department spokesman Tim Church.

During a public hearing in August, many patients argued that their doctors were unlikely to write them a note because of the controversy surrounding supply limits, he said.

The department didn't come up with an alternative to a doctor's note because that wasn't their task from the Legislature. While Church acknowledged that the new language muddies the waters some, he said it will now "be up to patients and the courts to determine what medical necessity is" and how to prove it.

Gregoire's spokeswoman, Laura Lockard, said Thursday the governor "wanted the department to have a solid sense of wide-ranging opinions and information to develop the best possible rule. She feels they have done that."

But doctors and patient advocates say the new 60-day limit is woefully inadequate and could have a chilling effect on physicians if they have to go to court to defend their medical opinions.

"I'm disappointed. I think it's more politically driven — they used politics rather than science" in determining amounts, said Dr. Greg Carter, a clinical professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington. Carter was one of the first researchers to report marijuana's effectiveness in treating the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

"The state is really not operating in the best interest of sick people who require this medicine," Carter said.

Steve Sarich, the executive director of CannaCare, an advocacy group that provides patients with starter plants, said the health department "has set up a law you can't possibly follow." He said the rule doesn't take into account marijuana's growing cycle, which exceeds 60 days, or the fact that someone would need to plant 60 plants in the hope that 15 or 20 of them might reach maturity.

Alison Holcomb, the drug-policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, said the new rule "is a step in the right direction," even though it doesn't begin to address the practical matter of accessing medical marijuana.

"Twenty-four ounces and 15 plants is a heck of a lot clearer than '60-day supply,' " she said. "It gives an average law-enforcement officer a very quick and easy way to determine if they're in compliance, move on and leave that patient in peace."

But Douglas Hiatt, an attorney who represents medical-marijuana patients, disagrees. He said he plans to file a lawsuit to have the limits thrown out.

"No one I know is in compliance with the number of plants. No one," he said. "We will drown in cases if we can't get this rule stopped and keep it out of the hands of law enforcement."

Satterberg said that, at least in King County, he's advised law-enforcement officers not to confiscate patients' pot supplies on the spot, even if they seem questionable.

Essentially, Satterberg's policy says, growers — including cooperatives — won't be prosecuted unless prosecutors believe the operation is a front for distributing marijuana to those who are not ill. He said Thursday that his office hasn't yet encountered any such illegal operation.

Satterberg said he's told local police agencies and the sheriff's office that "If there are any questions [about a patient's legitimacy], officers should take a small sample and some photos and give us a call."


Why Rick Steves believes marijuana should be decriminalized and regulated

With my work on the ACLU-produced TV program Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation, support of NORML (a group working to decriminalize marijuana in the USA) and willingness to talk at Seattle's Hempfest as well as at other events, some people are wondering what's motivating me. Let me explain:

I support the decriminalization of marijuana among responsible adult users in the USA. ("Decriminalization" does not mean unfettered use — it simply means NOT mandating that use is a criminally punishable offense.)

I do NOT support the legalization of hard drugs.

Like most of Europe, I believe marijuana is a soft drug (like alcohol and tobacco), not a hard drug. Like alcohol and tobacco, it should be treated as a health rather than a criminal issue. Crime should only enter the equation if it is abused to the point where innocent people are harmed.

I do not support children using marijuana (or alcohol or tobacco). In fact I don't advocate smoking marijuana at all. I believe, however, that if mature adults want to smoke marijuana recreationally in the privacy of their own homes that is their own decision. That's why Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU, Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief, and I serve together on the board of directors of NORML.

Why do I care?

Last year over 800,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges — a 100% increase since 1980. Well over 80% of these arrests were for simple possession. Many of these people were sentenced to mandatory prison time. Our courts and prisons are clogged with non-violent people whose only offense is smoking, buying or selling marijuana. While our nation is in a serious financial crisis, it spends literally billions of dollars annually chasing down responsible adults who are good, tax-paying citizens in all regards except for the occasional use of marijuana. Arresting people for marijuana use is laughable now in most of Europe. Canada is now following the European model. After ten years of treating marijuana as a medical issue rather than a criminal one in the Netherlands, law enforcement officials there report no increase in the use of pot. They also report that by decriminalizing marijuana, the crime related to it simply evaporates. "Harm reduction" is the measure of an effective, pragmatic, and enlightened drug policy in Europe and Canada.

The propaganda war our government wages against the use of marijuana is not only expensive in terms of money but it erodes its credibility among young people in regards to other more serious drugs. The White House even runs ads during the Super Bowl claiming (between all the beer ads) that marijuana causes teen pregnancies. As it has politicized science and medicine and so much else in our society, the White House has recently sent a summary of the evils of marijuana to all prosecutors in the USA with a litany of entirely false claims. These are refuted one by one at

With the tenor of our country right now, dealing with the prohibition on marijuana is considered political suicide for most elected officials. Teachers I know tell me they will put their jobs in jeopardy if they question the deceitful (and generally considered somewhere between ineffective and counterproductive) DARE program which indoctrinates children about the evils of marijuana. Average Americans embrace this big lie because it is scary to question it. I refuse to lie to my children about a fun soft drug that the majority of my friends and workmates have enjoyed at some time in the past. I have explained to my children my position on the senselessness of continuing this expensive and counter-productive war on marijuana users. They respect my honesty and I have won credibility in their eyes.

The credibility of parents, teachers, police and our government is important if we are to help our children resist the temptation to mess their lives up with drugs. Credibility on all counts suffers with the current "war on marijuana."

We've been there.

Prohibition on alcohol (1920-1933) finally fell apart in our grandparents' age because Americans came to realize that the criminalizing of alcohol did not reduce its consumption. But did succeed brilliantly in: filling jails with unlucky drinkers who got caught; creating a stubborn network of "underground distribution" crime where none had existed before; and diverting enormous government resources to violate people's personal privacy. Prohibition was a classic example of a hoped for cure that brought more harm to society than the problem it was designed to tackle. It was Big Government at its worst. And our grandparents courageously stood up and said, "stop this waste!" In the early 1930s, our society didn't say booze is good. It concluded that criminalizing it only made the problem worse. Looking back, we know that was the right conclusion.

With the prohibition on marijuana, we are dealing with a similar problem today. In the name of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we'll all be better off when we let our police officers, courts and prisons deal with real criminals and start taxing marijuana rather than arresting those who enjoy using it.

Rick Steves


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Friday, October 03, 2008

Ernie Vigil wringing out a Ducati Hypermotard....(3:20)

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"God's Gonna Cut You Down", AKA " Run On". Folk song that lasts through the ages.

The Man in Black....

The King....

Moby brings it back....

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Some recent random oddness from inside the mind of Nataliedee (Slightly NSFW sometimes.)

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The 1971 Plymouth Duster is a somewhat unusual candidate for an electric motor conversion. In fact, other than an '83 Delorian, I have not encountered what I consider to be a cool street car converted to electric power. Most people seem to be converting the lightest, ugliest and cheapest vehicles they can obtain. In fact, I sense that the choice of that type of vehicle is even part of the sub-culture of "conversionists". I have felt an attitude of slight disapproval when discussing this project on a couple of EV forums. It doesn't meet the sub-culture's idea of a practical conversion.

I guess if cheap practically were my only consideration I'd have to go with the usual beat-up silver or white 4 door foreign piece of crap that is popular with the people that have already done conversions. But, I'm just not that kind of guy. I'd almost rather keep buying gasoline - or walk - than to have to drive something like that to go electric.

I believe that the Duster possesses several advantages for conversion. First, it is a solid, road-worthy, working automobile that needs nothing. Stripped of its engine, exhaust, radiator and other no longer relevant parts, it is actually a fairly light roller. Oh yeah, the sub-culture calls them "gliders". My glider is quite large compared to most. That means plenty room for batteries, controllers and chargers, etc. It does not contain a computer or sensitive electronics to contend with as newer vehicles do. It was built without power "anything", which is good. The non power brakes were built to stop much heavier cars than a Duster. Also, the previous owner of my car installed super stock leaf springs in the rear. As far as I can tell, that car could easily support 10 head of cattle in the trunk - and there is room for them! Lastly, an advantage to me is that I have worked on several of these cars. I know every square inch of it. There is no learning curve with the car itself. Yes, there will be challenges and required modifications, but I expect the results will be quite satisfactory.

Build log ongoing at...

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When I was at the Green Summit a couple weeks ago I saw some vendors demonstrating pervious concrete which is porous concrete that water can flow through to the ground. Turns out this is quite a useful characteristic for some applications where traditional non-pervious concrete is usually used such as parking lots, drive ways, and paths. It reduces the heat island effect, helps recharge aquifers, saves space, and reduces toxic runoff.

Probably one of the greatest benefits of this is that it reduces the heat island effect. Concrete already reflects more heat than asphalt because of its light color, but pervious concrete goes a step further. Since it is porous it allows moisture from below to evaporate which acts to cool the concrete. One of the vendors also said that since it has less thermal mass it doesn’t absorb as much heat.

Another benefit is that pervious concrete can help recharge aquifers. Instead of rainwater being diverted into storm drains or water retention basins the water goes straight down to the ground. This helps recharge aquifers and water trees and plants around the area of the lots. Trees around lots with pervious concrete have been shown to live longer and grow wider.

Effective use of land is an issue in cities and since water flows through pervious concrete in many cases the need for retention basins to collect rainwater is reduced or completely eliminated. This is a huge benefit in places where space is at a premium.

Permeable concreate produces no toxic runoff. Most asphalt lots are sealed with coal-tar based sealants, which is the black coating you often see and smell used on streets and parking lots. Run off from coal-tar sealed parking lots have been found to have 65% more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than unsealed lots. PAHs are one of the most widespread organic pollutants and have been found to be probable human carcinogens. PAHs have been long associated with causing lung cancer in roofers and asphalt workers according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. Large concentrations of PAHs can also kill aquatic life. I’m not sure how true this is, but the vendors claim that when automobile fluids are washed down under parking lots that they are filtered out and transformed by microorganisims into inert materials before they reach aquifers.

If you are looking to build a pathway, drive way, or parking lots pervious concrete might just be the perfect alternative to traditional concrete. Vendors are popping up all over the country and here in Phoenix Progressive Concrete Works is probably one of the best known. They’ve done some large installations such as ASU’s Art Museum parking lot...(2:45)


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1 Reason Taking Meth is a Bad Idea

Ten more reasons and source Here

Excuse me, I suddenly feel the need to go floss.

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Built his own bike......


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Dolphins play with bubble rings... (1:07)

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Do you recognize any of these people? Each one of these lost photos came from a found camera or memory stick. Check back again for more pictures.

Tell your friends about this site and let's all try to return some of these lost pictures home.

Interesting idea.

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Here are the rules. Read 'em and weep:

* 1964 and earlier TRADITIONAL style rods and customs ONLY!
* No visible billet anything! Especially wheels!
* Traditionally styled choppers and bobbers ONLY! (No modern West Coast Choppers, OCC style fluff bikes)
* No trailered cars (race only vehicles excepted with prior approval)
* No digital gauges (it's not traditional and it's ugly)
* No IFS on fenderless cars (it's not traditional and it's ugly)
* No mag wheels made after the 60's

Keep in mind that we have the right to refuse any vehicle WITHOUT A REFUND, so read the rules carefully and decide for yourself. Don't cry when we turn you away, tears stain billet. recently posted a huge gallery from the NorCal Show.....

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If you want to be a successful plutocrat, you have to perfect the art of the hostess gift.

Edwina Rogers, the wife of Washington lobbyist Ed Rogers, is a master of the form and has developed her own signature specialty. She wraps her thank-yous in sheets of real dollar bills, purchased from the Bureau of Engraving.

In this clip from the pilot episode of “PowerHouse”–a kind of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” show set in Washington and in development for NBC–Mrs. Rogers is shown in her “wrapping room,” a special area of her walk-in closet in her 18,000-square-foot mansion.

She unfurls a roll of dollar bills and starts slicing them up to make the appropriate wrapping sheets. No matter that she slices several dollar bills in half–it is all about lining up the George Washingtons on the front.

“The effect is fabulous, especially for foreigners,” she says. “They love it.”

The host, Mario Correa, quips that he spends “less money on gifts for people than you do on the wrapping paper.”

Mrs. Rogers responds, quite thriftily, that she only wraps small gifts–not large ones–in money (a sheet of 32 $1 bills goes for $55).

Besides, it’s the thought that counts, she says: “I love giving gifts that are wrapped in U.S. dollars.”

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Pushing, pumping, tic-tacking, it's all so pathetically 90's. Get over it. The skateboards of the future are all electric. And OK, it may not work for flippy-do tricks but harnessing the energy of the Exkate electric skateboard is the closest feeling to surfing you're ever going to get on the pavement. Commanding a respectable 20 mph with a wireless handheld controller, your feet never leave the board as you carve your way all over town. And with around 10 miles to a full charge, you'll be tripping. Until someone invents the Hoverboard, this baby is it!

ALTERED DCM - Digital Control Modules
In reality your Altered Electric Skateboard is both a skateboard and a wireless computer. For 09, we spent nearly a year & a half developing the finest digital wireless electronics available. We have the patent on the wireless feature and we partnered with a Silicon Valley corporation to raise the bar to the highest levels. It was a huge expense but the result is everything we had hoped for. In the past the electronics were an older RF technology which limited performance and had some interference. With our new 2G Digital Wireless DCM's, we are now state-of-the-art and this will open doors for many future developments.

Tips for using a skateboard

* Give your board a safety check each time before you ride.
* Always wear safety gear.
* Obey the city laws. Observe traffic and areas where you can and cannot skate.
* Don't skate in crowds of non-skaters.
* Only one person per skateboard.
* Never hitch a ride from a car, bicycle, etc.
* Don't take chances; complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially-designated area.
* Learn to fall—practice falling on a soft surface or grass.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 15,600 persons need hospital emergency room treatment each year for injuries related to skateboarding. Fractures are a frequent type of injury. Deaths as a result of collisions with motor vehicles and from falls are also reported.

Irregular riding surfaces account for more than half of the skateboarding injuries caused by falls. Wrist injury is the number one injury, usually a sprain or a fracture. Skateboarders who have been skating for less than a week suffered one-third of the injuries. When experienced riders suffered injuries, it was usually from falls that were caused by rocks and other irregularities in the riding surface.

Alteredelectricskateboards (site autoplays "Kickstart My Heart" which could be either a good or bad thing.)

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