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Wednesday May 20th 2009

Headlight shining
Red said I should blog about this, so I suppose I will.

The Intrepid ES I bought had very foggy and yellowed headlamps. I took course sandpaper, then something slightly finer and finally Mothers aluminum polishing compound to one. Now, 8 months later it's still nice and clear.

The other one had a crack in it, so I replaced it with another one used at the end of December. This lamp wasn't as badly fogged as the original one, but still pretty bad. I had picked up some Meguiar's PlastX headlight polishing compound at an earlier time and decided to give it a try.

Initial results weren't as good as the sandpaper/Mothers, but I put it on the car anyway.

Now, less than 6 months later the PlastX treated lens is almost as bad as it started out.

So sandpaper/Mothers > Meguiar's PlastX.

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Monday May 11th 2009

Busy movie weekend...

Appaloosa (2008)
Cowboys and indians! Well, not so much indians. While the plot of the movie wasn't anything special, what made the movie worth watching (and ultimately a good movie) was Ed Harris.

Diane Lane was apparently supposed to have played the female role, and I'm thinking that would have been better than Renee Zellweger if for no other reason that Diane Lane is hot!

Anyway, a pretty basic Western when it boils down to it, but the dialog in the movie really makes it entertaining.

Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
A lot of people don't seem to like Nicholas Cage. You know what? After watching this movie I'd have to say I'm starting to see their point. This movie could just as easily have starred Jean Claude Van Damme.

The only thing that really makes it worth watching is the hot asian dancers in the club!

There are some very dumb things in this movie. It really should get a 1 pear rating, but the overall plot really isn't that bad, so I'll give it 2.

Righteous Kill (2008)
Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro portray two detectives in the NYPD. The movie starts out with DeNiro's character confessing to killing 14 people. The rest of the movie pretty much just recaps some of the killings and the investigations around them. There's a twist to it all, though...

Special (2006)
An average guy (maybe even slightly below average) signs up for a clinical trial program. Turns out the drugs make him hallucinate, making him think he has super powers (he can fly, turn invisible, run through walls etc). He figures that he should do something useful with his new-found powers, so he designs his super hero costume and sets out to save the world.

Unfortunately for him things don't really work out the way he thought. Add to that, once the company doing the clinical trial finds out that he's running around town acting weird, they try to make him stop any way possible.

I couldn't really get into this movie, and ended up falling asleep through part of it. I like the concept, though.

Wanted (2008)
You know, I've been avoiding this movie for a long time. From the previews it just seemed way too far fetched and dumb. And it sort of is.

Clearly almost everything they do in this movie is beyond the scope of reality, but set that aside for a moment and just think of the movie as entertainment. It really works. Rating it as purely entertainment and not some deep plot, I'll have to give it a 4.

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Tuesday May 5th 2009

Paintball barrel
Got the replacement barrel back from J&J Performance. They were nice enough to upgrade me to a Full Tilt barrel for free. This is basically two pieces of the Edge Barrel kit, with a .688 back and .700 front. I guess if I come across some cheap backs in other sizes I'll pick 'em up, but for now I'm sticking with just the .688 back.

Playing with the stock A5 barrel this weekend made me appreciate the J&J barrel a lot more, though. I shot a lot, but didn't hit much.

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Friday May 1st 2009 (Entry was updated on Friday May 1st 2009)

So I bought some boots. Actually, I bought quite a few boots.

I bought a pair of Wellco 3 layer comfort hot weather desert boots. Size 9 1/2 wide. They were too big and too wide.

I bought a pair of Altama Jungle boots, size 8.5 regular. OMG!! Felt like I was trying to get my feet into a pair of toddler shoes. They were long enough, but not nearly wide enough. So I bought a pair in 8.5 wide.. and at the same time I picked up a pair of 9 wides. Figured I'd save on shipping just in case...

The 8.5 wides were still much too small. 9 wides fit pretty good, and once broken in should be fine.

So clearly there's quite a difference in size between manufacturers when it comes to military boots.

The kicker, though, is that the Altama boots are made in China!! There are tags on the boots bragging that they're official DOD boot suppliers, there's a big US flag on the tag inside the boot.. and a little sticker saying made in China. I also noticed that the Altama name on the bottom of the sole is a glued in piece... so the $20 knock off boots you can get are probably the same exact boots.

At least the Wellco boots are made in the US.

I guess if the US ever goes to war against China, they better make sure they stock up on boots first!

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Thursday April 30th 2009

10,000 and counting
The Intrepid passed 10,000 miles on the rebuilt engine last night. Still runs like clockwork.

Tags: dodge es 2.7l 2.7 liter rebuilt engine

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Thursday April 30th 2009

Do you have the swine flu?
I thought this would be helpful if you think you might have some of the symptoms.

Do I have swine flu?

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Thursday April 30th 2009

Tap, tap, tap..
That's what I kept hearing while trying to get to sleep last night. It would come and go, and mostly seem to coincide with my breating. I tried to figure out where it was coming from, but was unable to. I still don't know if it was coming from within my body or from something else.

All I know is it was really annoying.

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Tuesday April 28th 2009 (Entry was updated on Tuesday April 28th 2009)

I decided to paint the hopper on the Alpha Black paintball marker. It's just a huge thing, and easily spotted. I figured some woodland camo would help it blend in.

I used Krylon Fusion paint in the camo colors (Olive, khaki and brown). Didn't need black since the hopped was already black. They make it easy to find the right colors because it says camouflage right on the label.

And don't you just love my wallpaper?

Edit to add: I also returned my J&J barrel for the A5 this week. Turns out there was a manufacturing defect on it. I wasn't sure if it was or not, but when I compared it to the J&J for the Alpha Black it was fairly obvious. An e-mail to J&J later and it was confirmed. Good customer service from the J&J guys so far.

Tags: tippmann tactical

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Tuesday April 21st 2009

Yes Man (2008)
One of the very few Jim Carrey movies I've enjoyed.

Typically I don't care for Jim Carrey (as I've expressed in previous blog entries). Fun With Dick and Jane is another movie with him that I actually enjoyed (in most part due to Tea Leoni and her inherent hotness).

But anyway, Red and I watched Yes Man this weekend, and I'm pretty sure we both liked it.

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Monday April 20th 2009

I don't think I've posted this picture before.. Took it in July last year.

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Friday April 17th 2009 (Entry was updated on Friday April 17th 2009)

So I went home at lunch today like I always do. I take the dog for a walk then eat my lunch.

Today there was a note on the counter (names blurred to protect my and the kids' privacy):

Then I looked in the freezer, and there was a Heath ice cream on a stick with the following note attached:

Isn't Red sweet? She knows Heath is about my favorite ice cream flavor.

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Wednesday April 15th 2009 (Entry was updated on Thursday April 16th 2009)

Paintball stuff

Here are some pictures of my actual paintball markers (I can do that now that I have a working camera, you know). You can also see the broken Canon S2 in the background.

The Tippmann A5 and Alpha Black Tactical (not really a Tippmann, although identical inside to a Tippmann 98 Custom, but made in China for the US Army). Oregon Scientific ATC2K camera strapped to the barrel of the A5. Bought the A5 brand new. The ABT was a "refurb" for cheap. It hadn't actually been refurbished, I think. More like someone bought it and returned it. It looked and worked like new when I got it.

Both markers have home made Rear Velocity Adjusters (RVA), polished internals, silenced hoppers (foam lining inside) and J&J ceramic barrels (14" on the A5, 12" on the ABT). The ABT has also been fitted with a Cyclone feeder and hopper (standard equipment on the A5, not on the ABT). The A5 also has a X7 low profile hopper and a double trigger.

The sidearm, a PMI Piranha USP. For those times when I run out of air or paintballs for my main marker. Bought this as a refurbished unit for $39.99. Then I had to buy a $10 parts kit to re-refurb it. The bore where the valve goes had some big burrs sticking into the bore, so when you pushed the valve and pirece pin assemblies in, the o-rings would get torn and it would leak.

I'm not sure how can claim they refurbished this marker. Clearly it wasn't factory refurbished. More like some underpaid, pimply faced kid in the back room refurbished. The moment I pierced the 12gram it started to leak. Once I disassembled the marker it was clear why. I used a deburring tool along with a felt polishing tip (covered in Mother's Aluminum Polish) on my rotary too to remove the burrs and polish the areas.

Apparently shoddy refurbishing seems to be common in the paintball business. My friend M bought a refurbished Brass Eagle T-storm from that chops balls like it's going out of style. It'll go into spurts (about 6-7 shots) of full auto shooting, which only leads to chopping. Hopefully he can get it either replaced or credited.

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Tuesday April 14th 2009

Pilot Speed - Alright
Yes, I know I've posted this before in connection with the movie "Death Sentence", but this is a different video, one which I thought was neat!

So here it is again.

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Monday April 13th 2009 (Entry was updated on Monday April 13th 2009)

Monster balls!
I was doing a Google Image Search for Monster Balls so I could make a warning poster for our paintball "field". You see, the cheapest paintballs you can buy are Brass Eagle Monster Balls.

They're available at WalMart as low as $25 for a case of 2000. Compare that to the next cheapest WalMart paint that's $37 and up for 2000 count.

It easy to see why someone would pick up a case of Monsters. However, what they don't know is that Monster Balls are simply dangerous. They're probably the hardest paintball available. They don't break easy (most times not at all) so when someone gets hit by one, it hurts. If they get hit in a "soft zone" (ears, throat, nuts etc.), count on them being injured.

Monster Balls are banned from a lot of paintball fields!

Anyway, my point of this entry is to let you know that when searching for Monster Balls (the paintballs) on Google Imgages, make sure you include "paintballs" as a keyword!!!!

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Friday April 10th 2009 (Entry was updated on Monday April 13th 2009)

Canon SX10 IS

Keen eyed readers might notice that the pictured camera is no SX10. In fact, it's a Panasonic DMC-FZ28K (or FZ28 for short).

Prices on the Canon weren't falling fast enough, and a good deal on the FZ28 came up. Both camera's are highly recommended cameras, and considering the issues I had with my previous Canon S2 IS (memory card errors and E18 lens errors, one of which ultimately spelled death for it) I decided to switch brands.

I'll miss the flip out LCD screen of the Canons, though. But I suppose actually being able to take a picture when the moment counts instead of having to deal with memory card errors makes it a sacrifice worth taking.

I also picked up an 8GB SD card to go with it. I had a 2GB in my S2, but with the FZ28 being able to do video in 720p resolution (1280 x 720) vs. the 640x480 the Canon S2 (and the SX10) is capable of it should eat memory cards for lunch.

The 2GB card now resides in my Oregon Scientific ATC2K bullet camera (strapped to my paintball marker).

The FZ28 should be sitting on my porch at home now courtesy of the UPS man. Gotta go home and check it out!

Tags: lumix leica lens zoom vario-elmarit

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Wednesday April 8th 2009

I've got the power!
Power came back on last night at 7:30.

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Tuesday April 7th 2009

In the dark
Woke up at 4am yesterday morning to the alarm going off. Fumbled around in the dark trying to find the snooze button. Wait a minute, something's wrong here. Why is it dark? I should be able to see the red glow from the 7-segment clock display. Ack. Power's out.

So I get up and go outside to fire up the generator. It's ofcourse been stored way in the back of the garage, under and behind a few things. I manage to get it out, though. With a few pulls, it fires up from it's slumber (that's lasted over a year at this point).

It's now 28 hours later, and the generator is still running. Estimated time for the power to come back on is tomorrow at 4pm.

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Friday March 27th 2009

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Friday March 20th 2009

We all love 'em, right? Well, maybe not. Personally I receive very few telemarketing calls (maybe none?) these days. I've been siged up with for a few years now. About the only non-solicited calls I receive these days are creditors wanting to talk the the ex wife.

However, I found this funny:

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Friday March 20th 2009 (Entry was updated on Friday March 20th 2009)

Law suits
Is it just me, or is there something inherently wrong with people?

I was reading a and old news story about a set of parents suing their former day care provider for $6 million due to the death of their 4 year old kid. The kid died when the day care provider's husband accidentally ran over the kid with a mower (news link).

Granted, the kid was killed due to negligence on the mower operator's part. But how does one come up with the $6 million number? Is that the going price for a 4 year old these days?

Since the day care provider only carried $100,000 insurance (which the insurance company was happy to pay out), the parents sued the manufacturer of the lawn mower as well.

On a bright note, they were awarded "only" $2 million. $500,000 for each of the parents, and $1 million to the kids brother, who was 1 year old, and was inside the house at the time of the accident (and as such has no recollection or knowledge of the accident). Seriously? $1 million to a 1 year old that didn't even witness the accident? Kid didn't deserve a dime.

I'm not a parent myself, but I still find it hard to put a dollar value on someone's life. What kind of parents are able to do this? And how the hell does receiving money make one feel better about losing a child?

For more stupid people filing stupid law suits, check out this site:

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