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22 March 2009 @ 08:02 pm
...has become fun again. Not quite the "just got my license" fun, but close...

This post is long overdue, but in being late, shows just how real the "fun" is. So what's so fun? This:

Sure, its the "same" car I had before...but add 5 years, a turbocharger, some performance oriented parts, and a "limited" package, and its a whole other machine. I bought this (traded in my old car) just before christmas 08, and I still am not "used" to driving it! Even a few days ago I drove home late at night in a huge circle through winding roads just for the hell of it...

It not only looks and performs better, but it also sounds better (thanks to too many hours of my time stripping the car to its skeleton and installing a custom sound system). It's really a fun car to drive...I think I'd rather just live in it...well not really...but you get the point!

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I spent a chunk of tonight reading a 21 page document to the members of the House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure FROM the staff of said committee about infrastructure projects and its effects on economic recovery.

It basically supported my longstanding belief that the United States as a whole is severely "behind" in all of its infrastructure development AND maintenance...something that will start to show more and more each year until its effects bring us down like trying to walk with broken kneecaps (and that could literally happen...just imagine limited or even no power, water, sewer, or ways to travel...how would you function?)

Sure taxes are bad...I hate them more than anything...hard earned money "gone"...but is it really "gone"?...lets be smarter about this. Funding for infrastructure projects comes from taxes imbedded in gasoline or from roadway tolls (and many other taxes too). The truth is, our national average gasoline tax is $0.53 per gallon, and in areas like Europe, the average is over $5.00 per gallon! The truth is, our infrastructure will not last forever, and much of it is already way past its designed lifespan, and is technically not even safe to be using, and nothing is being done to repair it. And when there are large scale or even catastrophic failures, repairs are done, but with limited or no overall improvement to the system as a whole. There is simply not enough money spent on infrastructure in the United States to even SUSTAIN our current levels of infrastructure, let alone expand them to meet the demands of a still growing nation.

Some quotes I found interesting from the document:

"The construction market is experiencing the biggest sustained decline...in at least four decades."
(not good)

"The Commission's report...calls for an annual investment level between $225 and $340 billion -- by all levels of government and the private sector -- over the next 50 years to upgrade all modes of surface transportation to a state of good repair. The current annual capital investment from all sources in all modes of surface transportation is $85 billion."

"13.1 percent of highway bridges are classified as structurally deficient; and 13.6 percent of highway bridges are classified as functionally obsolete"

"Estimates for the nation's clean water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years exceed $400 billion...Drinking water infrastructure needs are estimated at nearly $500 billion over the next 20 years."

"Road congestion has become a major national problem...in 2005, traffic congestions cost urban motorists $78.2 billion in terms of wasted time and fuel...The effect of uncertain or longer delivery times, missed meetings, business relocations, and other congestion impacts are not included in this estimate."
(and don't forget to add another $9 billion lost in air delays)

"To create jobs while at the same time meeting important infrastructure investment needs, the House passed the Job Creating and Unemployment Relief Act of 2008 (H.R. 7110) on September 26, 2008, by a vote of 264-158...H.R. 7110 provides $61 billion in additional funding, including $30 billion for programs within...Transportation and Infrastructure..."

"[The] Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff estimates that this $30 billion would create or sustain more than 834,000 jobs."

Some High Priority Projects Listed (with relevance to me):

Transit Category #4 of 4- New York City Transit, station rehabilitation, rail track improvements, and customer information screens. Total Cost: $680,000,000

Passenger Rail Category #3 of 3- Amtrak Engineering Projects, Emergency backup power systems for Penn Station and ADA station upgrades. Total Cost: $36,000,000

Water Quality Infrastructure Category #3 of 5- Westchester County, NY, Necessary Biological Nitrogen Removal (BNR) upgrades to treatment plants. New York State has executed an Order of Consent with the County to govern the BNR upgrades. Cost: $103,000,000

I found it very interesting that three projects out of the 17 or so that were listed in the document pertain to a system I use regularly. All of these projects are "Ready to go"...but due to funding limitations simply can not. Keep in mind this list of 17 or so projects is from a NATIONAL list...and 3 of them pertain to systems which I have personally seen "falling apart"...

This is a real issue. And many Americans don't even think 1 second a year about all the infrastructure systems they use and take for granted day after day after day. They are falling apart and failing, and sooner or later you will be forced to think about it, but by then, it might be too late.

Think northeast blackout, 2003...Think steam pipe explosion, NYC, 2007...Think Combined Sewage Overflows (raw sewage dumps due to insufficient cleaning capacity) of 850+ BILLION gallons annually in the US...Think Interstate 35 Bridge Collapse in Minnesota, 2007....Think airline delays, taxi delays, runway delays...Think city traffic, highway traffic, your average "rush hour" traffic is longer and longer every year, this is a fact...

This is a "scary" post...but when I see all this neglect...it scares me to think that after all these obvious issues that are staring us straight in our faces...there still isnt enough money being spent, even to keep our infrastructure at a level where it is currently...which is already not good...which means its only downhill from here................unless.............

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17 July 2008 @ 10:40 pm
I want to make you smile
I want to keep you smiling
I want to make your day
I want to keep you warm
I want to care for you
I want to watch you grow
I want to eat with you
I want to laugh with you
I want to work with you
I want to sleep with you

...i simply just want to be with you

tell me you love me
...ill love you forever


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(can you believe it? 7,000+ hits in less than 3 years)
08 June 2008 @ 12:55 am
For some reason Ive had the chorus of this song stuck in my head for a while...but I never knew the other verses...now that I looked it up...its eerily similar to that dream


The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

I'll always love you and make you happy,
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me and love another,
You'll regret it all some day:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

You told me once, dear, you really loved me
And no one else could come between.
But now you've left me and love another;
You have shattered all of my dreams:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

In all my dreams, dear, you seem to leave me
When I awake my poor heart pains.
So when you come back and make me happy
I'll forgive you dear, I'll take all the blame.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away



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26 May 2008 @ 10:30 pm
Sometime late last night:

You came off the elevator...into this room where a party was going on...it was both 2007 and 1999 according to the signs and banners...you looked upset...i mentioned it was a party about the past and pointed at the signs...you started to cry in my arms...you wouldnt let go...we were suddenly laying on the floor...and the world zoomed out...and i woke up...you were still there though...the world just faded into a new one...you got up and walked away...no party this time...a different room...still generic though...you wouldnt look at me...i closed my eyes...then i woke up...this time i was crying...but i was in my own room and in my own bed...so i just went back to sleep...

I'll never know if i ever really woke up that last time...or if it was part of the dream...and I'll never know who you were...or where those places were...or what year it even was...

dreams are so mysterious sometimes...


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09 January 2008 @ 10:48 pm
There are some weird cops out there...

found this pic online:

Smile! Youre on candid dash-camera (and radar too)!

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27 December 2007 @ 12:42 am
Ive come to the conclusion that:

Without the combination of Wives, Mothers or Grandmothers and Christmas...

Guys would never have underwear, socks, or sleepwear.

Merry Christmas All,
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08 December 2007 @ 07:02 pm
So this entry is going to be pretty technical...but I feel its significant to me so its going here anyway.

Today I engineered the first ever (at least as far as i can tell from searching and researching information on this topic for almost 4 hours online) simple single cable solution for flashing the firmware on motorola's super expensive PRO/WARIS series portable radios! (HT750, HT1250, HT1550, etc)

Now dont get me wrong I'm a huge fan of motorola's products. In fact the only brand cell phone I've ever owned was motorola, and their radios really nudge up the bar when it comes to quality. But their products just cost SO much! Yea, yea, "you get what you pay for" does apply here...but certain things shouldn't cost $250, such as the equipment needed to upgrade firmware on their radios (this isnt even including the price of the firmware upgrade software)!

So today I set out to find an alternative to the commonly used (because its what motorola makes) string of random blocks, boards, lights and wires for doing a firmware upgrade. Because really...is it necessary to need all this:
1) A 9 to 25 pin serial adapter
2) A Flashing adapter (essentially a SPDT switch with two DB25 connectors on it)
3) A 25 pin serial RS232 to RIB cable
4) A RIB
5) And a RIB to Radio cable
Just to update firmware or upload new programming?

Here you will find the solution I came up with and how to make it including a step by step with pictures description of what I did.

In the end, I had one cable, with no adapters, and it only cost me $25 for parts including shipping for the cable!

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30 October 2007 @ 04:00 am
So today I bought my 100th legal song on iTunes...Its hard to believe I've spent 100 dollars on iTunes (i bought one of those new 1.99 songs so its actually 100)

and 100% truth the 100th song was (total coincidence) "100 million dollars" by birdman

(free music is starting to suck more and more, and good places like OiNK have been shut down making things just that much worse so Im starting to spend more on music...Im not sure if im happy with paying just yet)

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18 September 2007 @ 11:28 pm

Rest In Peace Buttercup...

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