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 - )

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Actual conversation between me and my girl tonight during the Red Wings game:

Her: Shots On goal? You just made that up!
Me: Not actually, its a real thing.
Her: Oh look, His hat came off
Me: It's called a helmet
Her: Hat/ helmet what's the difference he lost it why don't they stop the play.
Me: It's hockey the don't stop the play for that. They are lucky it's not a bloody severed head.
Her: That would be a first.
Me: Obviously you have not seen ninja hockey.
Her: Ok now that's not real.
Me: Whaaat?

Her: Oh look he lost his hat again.

Photography 101

Sure I take a lot of photos. Hell I almost always have a camera in my hand thanks to my phone. No mater how many photos you take it is always good to remember the basic techniques: light, subject, composition.... and for god sakes try to stand still for a second. If not you might get results like this.


Sprint is out to warp your mind, worse than Hulu

If you have seen the new Sprint commercials, you know the ones... the now network where so many people are twittering, and so many are leaving there phone in the cab... etc etc, then you are going to love this:
They have a screen saver that makes that commercial is leaving you starved for useless information.

Check it out *here* if you dare.

Quick Nature Shot

Sprouting up in the midst of a flurry of pine needles, this lone shoot caught my eye as it was sprinkled with tiny peddles from a near by flowering bush.

This was taken *here* in the pine forest area of the woods adjacent the recreation center.


Friday, May 29, 2009

More Handy Life Lessons: If you deal with the public you are really just a mediator

Ahhh Friday….Another week has gone by. Early this morning I was once again reminded that 90% of my job involves being a mediator and a master at dispute resolution. Or more like a buffer between angry/crazy and the company. Here are some memorable quotes from this week.

When you start a sentence with “I have never been so mad in my life” its hard to get anywhere productive. Let try this again. Please calm down sir, we are playing your claim. The adjuster is not cheating you.

Yes, adjuster, I am just checking on the claim, but before we start I just wanted to let you know it looks to me like everything is going smoothly, right?

I understand that your payment is going up, but you have to remember rates can change even when you don’t have a claim, you are part of a larger pool and other things can effect your rates. Instead of getting angry, lets talk about a reasonable payment plan.

Hello? If you can’t hear me it’s because the person on the other extension is being loud. Seriously: someone on your end just picked up the phone and is loud. Wait…and now you just hung up on me because you heard the other extension hang up. Seriously? I am sorry did I call a crack house?

Just because its called “no-fault” it does not mean you cant be found to be the cause of the accident. Its really about who pays the bills afterward, you did get a ticket, right? I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure the officer was well within his rights to give you a citation.

It might be your neighbor’s tree, but it did fall on your house. We are not insuring trees we are insuring houses. See where I am going with this? It will be your home policy that pays for the claim, usually that is how it works.

Wow! I am talking right to you. When you turn to make a comment about me to someone standing right next to me I CAN STILL HEAR YOU. Clearly making your distain toward me known was your goal, you can just tell me. It’s ok. Are you trying to get passive-aggressive qualified as an Olympic event? Honestly I am not your biggest fan either. Really? You are a minister? nice way to live by example. Here is what you don’t understand: Your particular brand of crazy is so unique that you don’t understand that I have gone way so far out of my way to help you and keep a smile on your face when you are clearly just NUTS. Have a nice weekend.

Thank you general public for the weekly dose of reality.


Thursday, May 28, 2009


If the force is with you, you can get it *here* at Amazon.

Here is how Uncrate describes:

After literally years of waiting, Fanboys ($14) is finally available on DVD. The film tells the tale of a group of old friends — and complete Star Wars addicts — who must make a cross-country road trip, rumbling with Trekkies and getting into plenty of other hijinks in order to infiltrate Skywalker Ranch and steal a rough cut of The Phantom Menace, so their cancer-ridden friend can see it before he dies. Loaded with Star Wars references and cameos, it's a must-watch for any Sith or Jedi.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Somtimes no Matter what you say...

You are still wrong.

I am sure there are some underlying subtleties that I am missing here.

Why I love/Hate Apple… Today.

Recently my precious iPhone has been acting up, and I have been ignoring it.
It basically re-set it self and fu-cked up my iTunes to a previous version. Disabling my Genius results (meh) my pod casts ( meh) and my videos (wait what the F) . It appeared my music was pretty much un-touched.
So when it tried to re-set it self AGAIN, and I had to do some rigging to get it back in order, it created a Bunch of Junk files (what I have no idea because Apple makes it hard to just Browse the files on the iPhone from PC anyway) and filled the thing to the brink making me break down and call apple. I have to say the experience was overall good, they helped me back up everything, emailed me instructions (kind of insulting, like I was an idiot) and it fixed my phone. I have to admit their help was good, and it worked to fix the phone. The files, however, are still missing.
Now I have to figure out what is missing. Nice to know that I am anal enough to keep every receipt so I am in the process of figuring out what is missing, not easy because it did not effect a files from a certain time but rather just video so it spans many receipts with music that I still have. Scrubs, IT crowd, Blue Harvest, and Looney Tunes interspersed.
So why am I whining? What is the problem? Apple has the phone so locked down I cant just find a file and fix it…. No I have to call them, and they nicely treat me like an idiot and if they deem it OK , they let me have my files. The same files I already paid for. All sales are final, they reminded me, but there is a one time exception. Is it just me or is it crazy I have to go begging for the files I legally paid for and have a receipt for?
Don’t get me wrong, I *love* my phone but damn it, stop locking it down so bad. Please?!

Movie Madness Runs Amok in MI still...

I have mentioned *before* that a new Hillary Swank movie is being filmed here along with some others due to all the movie incentives that MI is doling out.

I just found one of our client’s vehicles, in fact the one pictured, will make an appearance in the film. I guess you will just have to watch to movie to see if it makes the final cut but from what I hear it’s in a scene that will likely be important to the story line so chances are good you will see this truck some day on the big screen. 1948 Thrift Master PU that was until recently, used as this guys daily driver.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Post long Weekend Fallout

Well, Its back to work.
Long weekend my ass, the longer the weekend the quicker the time goes I Swear. I did manage, to my better half's delight, to squeeze one more project in this weekend. I switched out the downstairs light fixture from the old pull chain to a nicer one. The trick was cutting in a switch box. Pain in the ass, you can see my original attempts I.E. holes in the wall (who puts a damn horizontal stud across a wall right at plug height?) So now its done and I just have a small amount of patching to do, overall not really a bad project.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Sunday, May 24, 2009

All was not "Crappy" this weekend

I can not say how happy I am that the Farmers Market is back in effect as we were able to get some flowers and bread on the cheap. Damn summer ROCKS. Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!


Shop update

My friend Ron waned a similar chest as the one I had previously made
so he stopped by Sunday and we knocked out this slightly larger
version for him.

Oh shit!

Apparently I did somthing to offend the neighborhood robin's. Birds suck.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Look what's back!

And looking al shiney and new.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Go Boilers!

I guess my friends in IN and not just messing around down there:

New 'broadband' cloaking technology simple to manufacture

New type of
invisibility cloak

Download image
caption below

Researchers have created a new type of invisibility cloak that is simpler than previous designs and works for all colors of the visible spectrum, making it possible to cloak larger objects than before and possibly leading to practical applications in "transformation optics."

Whereas previous cloaking designs have used exotic "metamaterials," which require complex nanofabrication, the new design is a far simpler device based on a "tapered optical waveguide," said Vladimir Shalaev, Purdue University's Robert and Anne Burnett Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Waveguides represent established technology - including fiber optics - used in communications and other commercial applications.

The research team used their specially tapered waveguide to cloak an area 100 times larger than the wavelengths of light shined by a laser into the device, an unprecedented achievement. Previous experiments with metamaterials have been limited to cloaking regions only a few times larger than the wavelengths of visible light.

Because the new method enabled the researchers to dramatically increase the cloaked area, the technology offers hope of cloaking larger objects, Shalaev said.

Findings are detailed in a research paper appearing May 29 in the journal Physical Review Letters. The paper was written by Igor I. Smolyaninov, a principal electronic engineer at BAE Systems in Washington, D.C.; Vera N. Smolyaninova, an assistant professor of physics at Towson University in Maryland; Alexander Kildishev, a principal research scientist at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center; and Shalaev.

"All previous attempts at optical cloaking have involved very complicated nanofabrication of metamaterials containing many elements, which makes it very difficult to cloak large objects," Shalaev said. "Here, we showed that if a waveguide is tapered properly it acts like a sophisticated nanostructured material."

The waveguide is inherently broadband, meaning it could be used to cloak the full range of the visible light spectrum. Unlike metamaterials, which contain many light-absorbing metal components, only a small portion of the new design contains metal.

Theoretical work for the design was led by Purdue, with BAE Systems leading work to fabricate the device, which is formed by two gold-coated surfaces, one a curved lens and the other a flat sheet. The researchers cloaked an object about 50 microns in diameter, or roughly the width of a human hair, in the center of the waveguide.

"Instead of being reflected as normally would happen, the light flows around the object and shows up on the other side, like water flowing around a stone," Shalaev said.

The research falls within a new field called transformation optics, which may usher in a host of radical advances, including cloaking; powerful "hyperlenses" resulting in microscopes 10 times more powerful than today's and able to see objects as small as DNA; computers and consumer electronics that use light instead of electronic signals to process information; advanced sensors; and more efficient solar collectors.

Unlike natural materials, metamaterials are able to reduce the "index of refraction" to less than one or less than zero. Refraction occurs as electromagnetic waves, including light, bend when passing from one material into another. It causes the bent-stick-in-water effect, which occurs when a stick placed in a glass of water appears bent when viewed from the outside. Each material has its own refraction index, which describes how much light will bend in that particular material and defines how much the speed of light slows down while passing through a material.

Natural materials typically have refractive indices greater than one. Metamaterials, however, can be designed to make the index of refraction vary from zero to one, which is needed for cloaking.

Read the rest of the article *here*

Somewhere just north of highway 2

In Michigan's UP Just east of forest highway 13 between Escanaba and
Manistique lies a stretch of Sturgeon river that will always have a
special meaning to me.
It's not where I caught my biggest fish or where I caught the most
fish but rather a place where my memories of youth met my adult life
and where a fly rod and a canoe and the company of a good friend were
all I needed to have a great adventure.
I can remember the day as it as yesterday...100 years ago. It was a day
of beauty and of strife. A day of rainbow trout and black flies. It
was the day full of fun and lessons and stories like the giant spider
I will likely tell for the rest of my life.
It was that day I lost my favorite dry fly a tied bee similar to the
picture except with tiny feather wings. I have been looking for a
replacement for that fly for over, my god it's been over 10 years now
and I have just not been able to find just the right one.
This week it all came back to me when I was looking through a
selection of flies at Colton Bay Outfitters in Ann Arbor. I asked and
they looked at me like I was asking for something awful and sugested I
check at Meijers as they carry a foam rubber One I might like. Yeah
right, thanks guys.
I will likely still look for that exact bee for another 10 years or
more until I find the right one. I guess I really just should be happy it
brings back a flood of memories each time. I guess some things are
meant to be remembered fondly and not reproduced.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Worst. Idea. Ever

What happens when you merge the crappiest home grown plant on the planet with our commander and chief?

Chia- Obama. Seriously.

I really, really , really wish this was a bad joke but you can buy it *here* for realz.

Top 10 things bugging the CRAP out of me this morning:

1) The rich are still getting richer
2) I am not one of the rich
3) Some douche-bag won American Idol last night
4) The fact I know who won American Idol last night
5) I have to work, especially on such a nice weather day (we only get 10 a year here give/take)
6) My lap top is dying a slow death… its pissing me off
7) Thursday huh, lets face it your not quite Friday now are you?
8) There is a spot on my shirt I did not notice this morning, F^@#!
9) Three words: Brown Bag Lunch
10) The best post idea I had this morning was a stupid top ten? Who am I freaking Letterman?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Think before you forward!

Thank you *Gizmodo* for this one

It was not even 8:30 yet and I already did my good deed for the day!

At the red light two blocks from our house...Throwing my truck into park I sprung into action. Sprinting to the car in front of me and confronting the startled guy in front of me:
I think you will be needing this. Handing him the cup that was left on the roof of his car.

Good deed done, the rest of the day I can be bad now...
(photo credit to flicker user joojanta)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why flying commercially is soooo frustrating…..

Some of you may have noticed that I went to TX last weekend. We went for a graduation/vacation combination and we had, overall, a great time.

The problem with any travel really seems to be in the rush to get there, in particular in the flying… the commercial flights.

When flying was new, it used to be an adventure to fly, back then looking out the window and the novelty of being suspended in the air was enough to assuage any inconvenience due to the weather or ones schedule The flight itself was so much a novelty that discomforts and delays were expected and people rolled with the flow.

Those days are gone.

Now we are slaves to our own schedule, in such a rush to get there to start enjoying our time we forget the journey is half the trip. Hurry up and wait…. Ugh, so annoying. I myself was totally annoyed by the fact we were 12 hours late due to the weather. We could have almost driven, almost. We would have missed eating at the airport TGI Fridays though! The problem is not all us it also has to do with the commercial viability of keeping an airline in business. You see we feel packed in like sardines because they have to sell enough seats to stay in business. Try and remember that next time you are stuck in the middle seat between Mr B.O. and Mrs. Hacking-her-lungs-out like she has SARS for three hours until your next destination. We feel like they treat us like idiots, because there are a lot of idiots out there and they are all free to use the same airline system as the rest of us. We feel like security measures are restrictive, but that is because they have to be. That is the world we now live in. Seems like there has to be a better way, right?

Lets face it, flying first class does not really help. A cushier seat and a better meal only will go so far help ease the inconvenience of today’s airline traveler. Although I will admit, from time to time on a select flight I find it hard to pass up these little luxuries. The do somehow make you feel better, getting just a little extra attention. I am afraid of what that says about us all as well.

So what is the solution? I have none. I would tell you to slow down and enjoy the ride but I hate giving advice I find hard to follow myself. I would say things will get better, but I think we all know that is not going to happen. I would like to say that people will slow down and learn to strike a balance in their schedule but hell I could barely type that out I was laughing so hard. Maybe someday, travel will have the same romantic-adventure feel of the old days when flying was new or maybe those days like so many other things, are just gone forever.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Cool Gear - Cocoon Bags

Leave it to *Uncrate* to find the coolest laptop/gadget bag ever while we were out of town.

This ultra customizable gadget keeper is the coolest thing since sliced bread and damn if I might have to buy one for myself as I am a kind of a organizing freak (despite what my other half will tell you). Anyway check it out for yourself or go right to the horses mouth *here* and see what I mean.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Last night in TX

We say good bye to Airman Green and wish him luck as he goes on to his
Tech School. In just a couple of days here you can't help but admire
his resolve and dedication and feel the pride of all our men and woman
in the service of our country.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Yesterday we went to see the Alamo. This photo was taken by flicker
user cowboys006 not us as our photos have to be uploaded yet and let's
face it this one is awesome.

I heard while away, a bunch of crap is coming down the pipe as
expected at work for June. How depressing. Oh well as is good while
we are here in the lone star state.

Friday, May 15, 2009

At Lackland AFB

Waiting for the new graduating class to march by.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally. San Antonio River walk. *updated*

And the girl is all smiles.
Now with added photo.

Above the clouds.

That kept us in the air so long. Damn mother nature.

Waiting at Fridays

Stuck at Dallas waiting for a connecting flight. Since we ended up on
OK for an unexpected stop I was able to re book a new flight ok the
tarmack from the phone. Now, however, we have time to kill.

Off to Tx!

We are off to Texas for a long weekend. What is up with flying in the

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dear General Public:

I have talked about this *before*, its bad enough when you smell like pot. But when the money you pay with smells like its been hanging out in the bud bag for a month, DON’T USE IT TO PAY FOR REPUTABLE GOODS AND SERVICES.

Seriously, there may be some places that that is funny, like the local “pipe” shop, or your dealers house, but don’t bring that stuff in here. Really, you are an idiot. When it smells so bad I have to separate it from the rest of the money. It is not really funny. Plus good thing I know the people at the bank (hi guys) because it brought mixed reactions to say the least. Is bad enough you pay in cash anyway, you simpleton.

So just a quick rant on something I jus thought was common sense…. You should not pay with your pot money any more than you should roll up next to a cop with a joint in your mouth…. Stupid stupid stupid.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cool Gear: Remote Hat

Someday I will wish I would have patented this. A place to place your
remote: what's on is on your head!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Like 36 Jawa's ...

Looking out of a tunnel I opened up this box of light bulbs to find
them staring back at me.

Speaking of The Shop

Sparks were flying as it scored the re-bar before cutting it down to size for the hose station project.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shop update

As I said this weekend was a busy one but I did take a couple of hours in the shop to make this hose station. My girl was tired of the plastic crap that was uglifying the lawn so I crafted this up to hold the hose. This project was made entirely from two ceder 2x4's. I used 1/2 in re-bar drilled into the bottom to secure it to the ground.


Happy Mothers Day Everyone!

Hope you spent some time to honor your mother today.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Alicia and Aaron's Wedding

Congrats on a beautiful wedding.

One Fuse

Is worth a lot when your horn gets stuck. At the park. In the rain.

Kitty Checks In

She is having the weekend I wanted laying around. We,on the other
hand, have very busy schedule.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Bad Decisions

I don’t want to say companies make bad decisions… I don’t want to but I just might HAVE to as a certain change is brewing in the case of a company I usually hold near and dear. Keep in mind I could be wrong and there is still time to reverse things but I see the writing on the wall.

“What could be so bad” you ask? Well let’s just say that sometimes, in the interest of saving money, certain executives will make a decision looking at numbers and charts and projections and such, these numbers are all prepared nicely with the best intentions, and they MAKE BAD DECISIONS. They loose sight of what is like to be in the field, dealing with CUSTOMERS (remember the reason we are in business) the ebb and flow of information in the real world. How relationships are built, how people don’t like to disclose some information, and how some people think about large corporations and the face we represent is the companies. Should we not have the best tools, the most streamlined process? How certain changes will complicate and alienate the processes, literally reversing all the good intentions. Or worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the pressure from the other side, to be profitable, to do more with less, to streamline and automate. Just don’t loose sight of what is real behind the numbers: relationships, promises, respect and delivering on what is initially offered.

In certain lines of complicated service oriented business, you want your front line team to have the most info in the best most functional way they can. This is where the game is played people. Don’t make decisions without looking at the bigger picture, that is all I ask.

(piechart photo credit goes to fliker user gatheroses and can be seen *here*)

Stupid Dry Cleaner

Ok... I could believe that one shirt was ripped, thought no fault of your own. Its possible I overlooked it when I took it in.
But send me another shirt, ripped in the exact same way, in the exact same sleeve the exact same length from the cuff.... how stupid do you think I am? I don't care how many damaged before we got the shirt stickers you put on it, there is no fricken way.
You have two choices, do something and I will decide if I want to keep bringing my clothes to you. or. Do nothing and I will decide if I want to keep bringing my clothes to you.

Stupid Drycleaner

PS I loved that white one you bastards!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Your the tire...somtimes your the ball.
Found in our driveway tonight.




Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Thanks to flicker user blackthorne56 for this awesome photo.

Original photo can be found *here*

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Monday, May 04, 2009

The Real Reason...

I'm happy about the farmers market! Stone Hearth breads of Brooklyn MI
and the rosmary herb bread that tastes like thanksgiving in every
bite. Yum!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Shop Update

This was a short weekend but I started a project anyway. This is the
begining of a double fileing cabnet project.