Friday, October 27, 2006

Two men enter, one man leaves

I had flashes of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome when I saw this article. I liked this "...with a typical Vermont dairy cow producing around 13 gallons of manure daily...". Now I am not sure how much a gallon of cow manure weighs, but a gallon of water ways about 8 pounds, so we could be talking 100+ pounds of manure per day per cow. And that is assuming they do not get any Taco Bell. For those a little more visual, check out the picture here. Scroll down until you see the picture with the text "horse poo-poo" on it. For reference, the guy with his foot on the pile is over 6 foot tall (I think I heard 6' 4", but don't quote me on that).

This is a great way to deal with two problems. I know 10 or so years ago Germany and other European countries were trying to get synergy between industries in using the waste from one industry as the raw material for another. It not only cuts down on stuff going to landfills and to reduce the need for raw materials.

If Green Mountain College wants to go another step further, they should be putting at least 1 solar panel on every roof top. Yes, they may not be able to provide all their power needs through solar power, but every little bit will help.

We will fry anything

When I first saw this I thought "oh my god now what". Fried coke?!? You have got to be kidding.

Then I remembered the tempura sampler at my favorite Japanese place. It includes things like green beans, yams and my personal favorite - banana bites. Of course that at least has SOME healthy bits in it.

Then again, people regularly fry things like Snickers bars. I guess if you have a deep fryer sitting around you just start throwing stuff in.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

eMail Trouble

I was reading a post from Allison Randal over on O'Reilly Radar about the fun and joy she has with email. I can sympathize. I have a couple of different email accounts, meaning several inboxes, things spread across those inboxes, more mail than I can keep up with some days, etc.

Interestingly I was also playing some catchup on some other feeds and was reading Tim O"Reilly on the abandoning the power user in Windows Vista.

Now I do not believe the typical user has several email accounts. Most will have 1 for home, one for work (maybe), and possibly a third web-based account.

The problem is email is just getting worse, and it is not just a power user issue. Spam issues aside, more and more of our lives funnel through email. If you read Allison's article, you will see many of the things that goes through her inbox. Not to mention "friend spam" as Merlin Mann put it in the article on the LazyWeb.

Even the "new fangled" RSS does not do enough. Nick Bradbury talks about how much more RSS could be doing for us. One tip for the FedEx & UPS type of businesses - when we get the email notifying us of the tracking number, could we get a link so we can subscribe to the tracking RSS feed? It would make my life simplier. Also it would be nice if we could find a way to let our aggregators know when a feed is completely done.

Tag clouds and beefed up search only go so far though. We need some more horse power in our mail programs. Most seem to allow you to move/delete emails, but not much more.

Contrast that with the Geocaching Swiss Army Knife. One of the primary goals of GSAK is to read in files you get from and convert it so it can be loaded into your GPS unit, along with various other mapping and other geocaching software. However the scripting language allows for almost all (if not all) functions to be scripted. I have just really began to work with it, but already I have a small script that takes my 3 weekly downloads from, loads them into a temporary data base, exports them into separate files to load into my Palm, load all 3 into one big database, then export the big database to my GPS. Even further, I can run programs outside of GSAK. One thing I am looking to add is running a small program that picks up all the finds from my Palm and then updates that info back into my main database and initiates another macro (already provided) to help automate the logging of those finds back at I can even add a message box to remind me to synch my Palm before doing that process.

Why can't my email be like that? Geocaching, whereas fun, does not have near the volume of activity as my email. Why can't I automatically download the attachments from the emails coming from to a specific directory? Sure, I can set GSAK to handle it, but it is recommended I setup a new email (!!) specifically for that. Why? I have to do this every week. Why can't Merlin's LazyWeb idea above be easily implimented in all email programs? Why can't we have some kind of microformat that would allow us to easily pick up the amounts from an emailed receipt to import into our financal software? We pick the account, but the underlying info is all there. Why can't right click on an email and say 'mark everything in green from this sender' to draw attention to electronic bill presentment? Why can't we then slowly turn those to red as the bill date approaches? Microformats could somehow handle that. Even the current iCal could. Or maybe play a sound when a bill comes in? Or, as Allison suggested, have a special window at the side of important things, turning them into ToDos?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Interesting Take on American Politics

Tom Hollander has an interesting view of how the whole election process works here in the States. Truth is, I have to agree - the damn signs make little sense. Here in Ohio they are constantly getting bigger. Down the street from me is one that is roughly 4x6 foot! Fortunately it is not where it would obstruct traffic.

Since I live on a corner of a busy street, not far from a school, I get calls all the time asking to place a sign in my yard. This is one of the reasons I no longer answer my phone unless I know who it is.

I have yet to feel strongly about any candidate since I was able to vote. Mostly I feel I am picking between the lesser of two evils. However I do at least throw my vote in, even if I feel as though I am flushing it down the toilet.

At least then I feel semi-justified in complaining when things are not going the way I want them. I want to slap the people who complain about the state of country (or state, county, city, etc.) yet never get off their fat asses to go and vote. You may not find someone you like, but usually you can find someone you DON'T like. Don't complain if you are not exercising your rights.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Interesting video from YouTube

Saw this on YouTube and thought it was interesting.

I have been very busy, but I hope to post an extended entry tonight.