Vapor Life

Vapor life... My life as it is, as it should be. *********************************************************************************************************** Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Whitmore Lk From 2500ft AGL

Today Barb and I had the pleasure of the company of Peter and Ellie his girlfriend.

They are in the process of moving to Connecticut as part of the Pfizer exodus. We were to fly to breakfast in an attempt to see the fall colors but an exceptionally windy day and a call of 40-50 kt wind shear at 1000 feet meant a short flight was in order. We took a quick trip over his house on Whitmore lake and a quick tour of southwest MI. Soon this will be Pfizer’s house and they will be residents of another state.

Another loss for Michigan.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ann Arbor Makes the Gadget News

Straight from engadget:

Ann Arbor street lights to be replaced with LEDs

The latest locale to join Toronto and Raleigh in the LED City initiative is none other than the home of the Wolverines, which recently announced plans to replace about 1,400 street lights with light-emitting diodes. The city is claiming that it will be the nation's first to "convert all downtown street lights to LED technology," and it's hoping to save around $100,000 per year in doing so. Not surprisingly, Research Triangle Park-based Cree will be providing the components for Ann Arbor's transformation, and it sounds like it'll take a couple of years before the $630,000 project is actually completed. Hopefully, it won't take quite that long before the Maize and Blue can topple Ohio State again.

[Image courtesy of University of Michigan]

Leaves are Falling

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why the Big Ten Network Sucks Ass

I am a huge Big Ten Fan, but I can not stand the Big Ten Network. Comcast is a close second.

This startup network that I understand is majority owned by the big ten conference (51%) and Fox (49%) is a slap in the face to the fans. They make it sound like Comcast and other cable providers are the bad guys but what appears to be happening is the conference is using a loyal fan-base to mussel its way into its own mini-network making millions of dollars off games that were basically free to consumers last year.

So what is the problem? Why cant I get this “network on Comcast”. Its because Comcast wont pay. Face it I have no love for Comcast and their wallet fleecing practices but in this case part of me is glad they have not caved in… yet. Why. Well our beloved conference, the one that is at least partially funded with PUBLIC money, is asking a whooping $1.10 per subscriber per month. Does not sound like much? Try $63 million that’s what it adds up to at the low end, I have seen Time-Warners estimates in the $200 million dollar range. Considering other PROVEN sports channels ask some where near ½ of that it seems Big Ten is out to line there pockets. Who do you think will be paying that money? Comcast? Not likely. Try more fees for the cable we already pay too much for.

Here is a quote from an SI article:

The longer the cable companies hold out, the more ticked the fans are going to get. And while it's the Big Ten itself that caused the predicament by creating the network, fans are far more likely to direct their frustration at the cable company than they are their favorite conference.

Here is my favorite quote from the Detroit Free Press:

Public universities perform many noble services. This is not one of them.

And Comcast execs can blather all day and night about looking out for their customers' best interest, but come on. This is a large, aggressive, money-hungry company. I'm not saying Comcast would push you out of a tree to install another cable line, but I'd make sure it doesn't have any trucks around before you climb up there.

So who do I blame? Jim Delany Big Ten Commissioner, most because he is fueling the fire with a bunch of BS blathered all over the airwaves about Comcast taking the games from fans when Big Ten did it themselves. Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman, yes he also is one fellow I would place some blame on. Oh, and almost every Comcast exec, who don’t tell you we pay (albeit less) for the Golf channel and other less exciting fair most likely because they own a stake in that and other channels.

In the end it is the public, the fans, that loose. The very ones that have made these sports great. These same Alumni, and others who take pride in there teams and support them through good seasons and bad. With the economy so bad in this region taking more hard earned dollars away from people just seems wrong. Shame on you. Shame on you all.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Phone VS. Nokia N80 Real World review.

OK I have lived with the iPhone for a while now, and here are some observations.

I love the iPhone, but I do miss my Nokia. I love the apple web browsing, but I MISS the way better Nokia camera. I like the Apple form factor, but I miss not having to worry about dropping it and being able to throw it into my pocket.

I find writing direct to the blog with the iPhone, is EASIER, but I would give a virtual testicle to send an MMS from the iPhone. The calendar is better on the iPhone but I miss the Nokia video and voice memo capability. The interface on the Apple is slightly faster, but I hear the new simbian UI on the Nokia N95 is better. Finally I have to admit that after getting used to it I like the virtual iPhone keyboard. Its not perfect but better than the old multi-tap T9 method even with the best predictive text. However I thought Nokia was bad with the hard to find free themes compared to Sony Ericsson, but getting anything free from Apple is like taking backdated stock profits from a baby.

Popular Science has an article here where they totally trounce the Apple in favor of the Nokia N95. I am far more gracious toward the iPhone, but I have to tell you as much as I live the iPhone, and sometimes I just really love it and the attention it brings, but honestly I miss the s understated Nokia. Honestly , I am more confused than ever.

Sure I could just pop the sim card back in the Nokia, but how inconvenient is that. Meanwhile I am sticking with the iPhone. Which I love… Damn Apple.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy B-day Mina!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Andrew & Mike

Andrew and Mike were up for MI Purdue game, and despite the fact that they are big prude fans I met with them and hooked them up with a couple of tickets.

I was not planning on attending the game but will be watching MI win later in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, I helped them find a place to park/tailgate and hung with them for a while before I jetted out of there for a view from a comfortable bar stool somewere.

Welcome the the Big House guys....


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Stump Removal

This weekend, at the country house, the neighbor’s grandson had a back-hoe to pull out a stump. As he was he was a nice guy, and if you remember last spring some tree sumps still remained so… long story short he was wiling to help us out.

Suffice it to say it was a little more work than the poor guy expected. Here is ONE of the two GIANT stumps. The roots system seemed to be a little more intricate and deep than I could have imagined. This sump was so heavy it was pulling the front wheels off the ground of the freaking tractor when he was just moving it around.

I felt so bad, I gave the guy most of the cash I had on me, not nearly enough to compensate for his work in this sweltering MI fall day as today it was 90 plus. It was a hot, difficult job and I have to say I am glad it’s over. Now I have to fix the mess he left in the yard.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tanner Ball

Tanner continues to get her daily trip to the park.

The other day we found a football left behind at the park. For a while she could only chase it around could not her mouth around it but eventually she got her teeth into in and carried it around proudly.