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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

August
12
2008
1:05 pm
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I think Google is getting in on the Green, Environment, We Need To Reduce Our Dependency on Foreign Oil bandwagon.  I’m tagging this as a “conspiracy theory” because it’s sexy to do so.

As you may have learned from my Twitters and Utterz, I’ve started riding the bus to work.  I’m actually typing this on my laptop on the bus on the way home.  They really need to put some work desks in.  I’m serious.  Since when is a laptop supposed to actually go on your lap?!??  If they’d just put in a few airline-style workdesks or maybe just a table or something for a couple seats, I bet more professionals might find it worthwhile.

But I digest.

Reason #1: Google helps people ride the bus

So one of the things I’ve been using Google for is to find the next few times for my local bus stop.  It’s pretty amazing!  The bus stop just shows up on google maps, and when you click on it, it tells you the next two or three times that the bus should be there.

About the only thing that would be cooler is if I could give it a range of times and have it alert me 15m before the bus automatically and then magically “know” when I’m on it or in my car so it stops bothering me.

Google helps people plan walks

I noticed this today when trying to get directions out to a very secluded place out in the country where we could watch the Persoid Meteor Shower Monday night.  We really wanted to get out of the city, away from light pollution and really be able to see the stars and comet debris that is supposed to be drifting into our atmosphere over the next couple of days.

This land is way out in Bastrop, TX.  I’ve been there maybe once.  But it would be perfect for what we want, so I got the address and googled it.

The first thing I noticed was that it was 50+ miles away.

The second thing I noticed was that it offered a “Walking” dropdown.  Um, what?  So naturally I tried it out and it was actually shorter to walk!  I saved more than a full mile (2 percent, for those of you keeping track) of my horizontal traveling if I just chose to walk instead.

 Of course, the trip would take 17.5 hours, but I’m saving A FULL MILE.

I also noticed that the actual journey changed quite a bit.  When going by car, the route looked like this (blue line is the car route):

yet if I walked, the rout changed I went through a lot of side streets, trees, or secret military installations. (Tip: any time a map does NOT indicate that it’s part of a secret military installation, chances are it might be a secret military installation.  I mean, it’s not like they’re going to advertise it, right?)

And here’s the revised walking-enhanced route (same blue line):

So since Google is going to start pushing Walking as an option, that’s another nail in the Conspiracy Theory coffin.

There’s only one known blog post about this Conspiracy Theory

One of the biggest tip-off’s on conspiracy theories is how few people know about it.  Think about it – have you ever heard of this before now?  And I bet if you Google about conspiracy theories that involve Google, you just KNOW they’re filtering them out. And they’re probably reporting you to themselves somehow.  If something weird or unnatural happens to the author of that one blog post, then you’re guaranteed to be smelling like a Conspiracy Theory.

For example, that single author might be all-of-a-sudden unfunny.  Or he might be “delayed” in his video blogs for a month with little to no explanation.  It could be anything!  Maybe *I’m* the “dead man walking” Google-style.

BE AWARE, PEOPLE!  Trust no-one.

‘cept me.  You can trust me.

Two weeks ago, I was walking Luna like normal in the morning.  I usually walk about 1.25 miles (according to the “Distance Measurement Tool” I found on Google Maps)

For your convenience, I’ve marked with yellow all the places Luna marked with yellow.

On this given day, I notice half-way through that there’s a tipped over garbage can, a good half mile away from any houses.  It was half-empty and just on the side of the road.  I thought that was odd.

Later in the day I find out one of our trash cans is missing.  Gone.

Then later I find out other neighbor’s trash cans are missing.  After checking with our trash pickup provider, they said that several cans were reported missing in the area.

Combine this with multiple occasions where we’ve found all the mailboxes on the street opened up at the same time (as in, the mailbox doors are just sitting wide open and no mail inside), I’ve come to the belief that our neighborhood has been targeted by identity thieves.  This has only happened the night before our weekly trash pick-up day.

So my poll to the Internet is thus: what do you think my reaction should be?

  1. Super-passive: not do a thing and try to understand why someone would steal my identity.
  2. Semi-passive: not do a thing and hope the problem goes away.
  3. Self-protective: start shredding my documents, and only put trash can out the morning of trash day instead of night before.
  4. Semi-aggressive: report the violation and seek updates.
  5. Pranksterish: put something really nasty in my trash so the people going through it go “ick!” and decide on new course in life.
  6. Semi-evil: put something dangerous in my trash so the people going through it go “Gah!” and die.
  7. Evil: Put trash out night before, then sit and wait on my property with a shotgun and be prepared to eliminate the problem
October
8
2007
11:00 am
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The only Family Guy stuff I’d ever seen was a Chuck Norris skit that fed into my own interests.  I knew a lot of people liked the show, but I’d never seen it myself.  Oh, and there was this one South Park episode that purported to have “solved” how the Family Guy comes up with it’s plot and flashbacks.  And the spoof they did.

family guy

But during a recent Garage Sale escapade (THANK YOU GOOGLE MAPS for the “add a destination” feature!!!!  It’s completely awesome and makes garage sale trips very cool while having a laptop in the car with a mobile internet card – that plus the “drag around your route” feature is awesome) I saw a semi-box set of the Family Guy – seasons 1 and 2 on 4 DVD’s.  For $4.  Total.

I snagged it and have gone through the first disk, episodes 1-7.  I must say, I’m hooked.  I laughed almost all the way through each episode.  It might even replace The Simpsons for me as far as regular must-watch TV.

Of course, I’ve only seen 1/2 of the 1st season, so I have a long way to go, and I have no idea what season they’re in now.  But at least I have plenty to watch and fill up the time!

Question: does the mom just hear gibberish when Stewie talks?  What’s up with that?  Seems the other characters hear what he says…

I decided to follow the meme (post #1, post #2) of posting Google Maps and MSN Live maps of your home.  I spent a little time pondering the security implications of this, and then ultimately figured that it’d be fine as I’m not disclosing my address or anything. 

So, first the Google Maps picture of our little plot

google maps 

Then the MSN Live picture, which i find to be superior in quality and “youth”

 MNS Live maps

We had a driveway put in a few years back and you can see that on the MSN Live picture, so that tells me it’s more up to date.  Also, I find I can zoom in a little more on MSN Live and can actually see the little toy sandbox with umbrella we had out there for Jaden some time back…

close up of house

The Ford Explorer is also there for our viewing convenience.

Now what I *don’t* understand is the shadows.  The MSN Live map shows the shadows correctly – and I can tell that this was taken mid-morning since the Sun rises in the East, the shadows are to the West.  In between that umbrella and the house we have a small deck that we can sit on and read, and it’s nice because it’s so cool in the mornings, and not until noon or sometimes after do we get sun on the deck itself.

However, the Google Maps picture shows the shadows going NORTH.  Maybe it was at a time in the year when the ecliptic is lower than the equator, giving our house a shadow to the north instead of straight up-and-down.  Obviously the sun was not directly overhead because our house has a pretty long shadow going towards the north. 

Any astronomers out there want to guess what month that our latitude (Austin, TX is 30 deg north) would have that kind of shadow during midday?

April
13
2007
10:39 am
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So, if you go to Google Maps (http://maps.google.com) and ask for directions from New York, NY to Paris, France, it gives you a decent map, and enough work to plan out your year.

    

And if you look through the actual step-by-step, turn-by-turn directions, step #23 is interesting.

    


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