This weblog is no longer being maintained. All information here has been ported to EclecticEchoes.com. This site (heupel.com/eclectic) remains only for archival purposes.

December 31, 2003

MRPTTJHDJ

Matrix Revolutions plot the traditional Japanese hippo dancing jockstrap photos.

A little navel gaze- those are the top 10 search keywords that brought people to this site this year (ok quarter as it’s only been since September). I had to laugh when I first read it off the screen.

Posted by Eric at 06:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Year End Shorts

Some shorts for the end of the year:

  • The Telecom Riot Act of 2004 — 29 Reasons To Not Celebrate The 20th Anniversary Of The Baby Bells
  • The State of the Economy as seen through eBay auctions and trends — summary: If there’s a recovery on, we’re not seeing it…
  • According to my 2004 Farmer’s Almanac, sunrise will be at 7:14am here with the tide still high, and the FBI will now be eying me more suspiciously. Yes they actually released a warning brief to their offices and police nation wide that almanacs are a probable terrorism tools and to “watch for suspects carrying almanacs, especially if they include suspicious notations or marks.” Add all that to the fact that I am a library card carrying, scuba-certified veteran….
  • WikiPedia the excellent online open encyclopedia —along with it’s spin-off projects are in financial need. There have been some outages recently caused mainly by the fact that they have no spare hardware to cope with routine failures. As with any similar system, when a failure occurs the load on the rest of the system increases and as their system is already heavily taxed, results in cascading failures. WikiMedia is looking to raise at least $20,000 to get new hardware so they can continue their growth and provide redundancy in the system. This is a great resource that I use on average every other day. WikiMedia is a Non-Profit organization and appears to qualify any donation as tax deductible, although of course IANALFAOTABSOMFAFA
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December 30, 2003

Shatner Releasing New Album

Captain Kirk (aka William Shatner) is threatening to bring us a follow up album to the critically acclaimed The Transfromed Man. What, you don’t recall that album? The song stylings of Shatner on that album’s cut, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (mp3) is easily the worst cover of a Beatles song ever released. Also not to be missed (by the musical masochist at least) is Mr. Shatners haunting (well it haunted me for a number of nights) cover of Mr. Tamborine Man (mp3). These songs from The Transformed Man are not overshadowed by Shatner’s over acted readings of Shakespear which appear between the songs.

Amazingly Mr. Shatner intended The Transformed Man as a serious album, both musically and as readings of Shakespear. It has in many ways turned into a comedy cult classic. Shatner’s fans deny the reports that the album has been used by various Intelligence agencies as an interrogation and torture tool.

I just played the majority of Shatner’s available media for my wife, who is writhing and crying miserably on the floor. If you need to incapacitate someone I suggest:

In the highly unlikely event that doesn’t reduce them to a quivering mass… well there’s plenty more out there (all mp3):

Oh and there are lot’s of RealVideo clips at the First Church of Shatnerology.

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December 29, 2003

Black On Black: Field Of Beans

Black On Black: Field Of Beans

A second photo from a “Black On Black” coffee theme.

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December 28, 2003

B&H Video Catalog = Porn

My sister-in-law is in town visiting for a couple of days. As part of my Christmas present she brought the latest porn supply from NY – B&H Video’s latest catalog. I’ve already spent about $12,000 (well in my dreams that is) and I haven’t even gotten to the video monitors and cameras. It’s great that she gets up here every 2 months or so and can keep me supplied with a fix. I love their web site (along with Adorama’s) but while I can take the laptop into the bathroom, it just isn’t the same….

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December 27, 2003

The Trick is to keep moving

You know, it doesn’t matter if you keep moving from one disaster to another – I guess the trick is to keep moving.

My wife just looked through all our old Christmas letters, one thing she discovered is that there has only been one year when there hasn’t been some sort of major stress event. Laid off, move, major car accident, major illness, death, laid off, etc… Somehow we have survived all of it and managed to come out stronger as a couple.

Here’s hoping that the new year is joyous and relatively low stress, for all of us.

Posted by Eric at 07:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RIAA Silly, DVD Jon and Privacy

It’s been a good month for privacy and electronic freedom. Justice Ginsburg ruled RIAA’s use of the DMCA subpoenas and their argument “borders upon the silly.” Read the Ginsburg decision in PDF format (pretty clear in her message!) Looks like the judicial branch is slowly but steadily and surely limiting the broad, abusive powers granted under the DMCA, applying conservative readings at most turns. DMCA still needs to be pulled in the legislature, but it is reassuring to see the system work–checks and balances.

Norway’s Jon Lech Johansen’s earlier acquittal on all counts of alleged copyright violations–stemming from his creation of a way to read DVDs on Linux — was upheld by a panel of seven judges (three full time judges and four “lay” judges, of which two had technical expertise) in the appeals court. It will probably go on to Norway’s supreme court, but this type of unanimous decision at the appeals court level does not bode well for the prosecution’s chances.

Finally Black Box Voting systems and especially Diebold, have come under greater and greater scrutiny by the general press–even being named as Fortune Magazines worst technology of 2003–as well as EFF and the technical press. More states and districts are requiring paper trails, and Diebold was raked over the coals when it was discovered in California that NONE of the fielded black boxes were running the state certified software. Diebold also backed down after the EFF and Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School stepped in to provide legal representation to two college students and a non-profit ISP being sued by Diebold for Copyright violations under the DMCA. Diebold has agreed not to sue and to retract all prior legal threats from all ISPs and individuals it sent them out to. EFF and the team from Stanford are seeking a final court order that will clarify the legality of providing links and protect posters, linkers and ISPs.

If you can, support the EFF with membership or a gift. They have been instrumental in helping in all of these issues.

Posted by Eric at 02:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 24, 2003

Smile Daddy!

Smile Daddy (c) Johann Heupel

Johann got ahold of my camera, and really wanted to take my picture. This is his first real picture taken all by himself. Not bad for a three year old. Of course now we have a rule about using Daddy’s camera without help from an adult, but I don’t want to discourage him either.

Posted by Eric at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCO gets another a--hole for Christmas

One interesting side effect of SCOs latest folly, is that it is providing some interesting insight into the initial development and maturation of some of the core of linux. Linus and other core developers have torn SCO another new one. Unfortunately the press, even the tech press, haven’t really come to understand the ridiculous nature of SCOs claims. I really just wish the McBride clan would just lay down their cards, fold and walk away from the table.

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Dear Santa-

All I really want–that I haven’t already provided for myself–is a full time job or funding to start my own business.

Posted by Eric at 05:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

Wake up! -- Black on Black

Black On Black

A half pound of Sumatra Italian roasted beans make a nest for a very tasty French pressed brew in a Euro design glass and steel espresso cup. I personally prefer clay fired cups but this cup was on hand and fit the need.

This was to be “Black on black”, so I grabbed a half pound of the Mystic Coffee Roasters darkest bean that had a light to medium oil sheen to it. (More sheen would have been a nightmare to light I think, especially as no roast is perfectly even across all its beans), had a pleasant aroma, and decent taste, but was not a decaf bean. Those criteria earned me a few really strange looks from the guy on the other side of the counter, until I told him my first purpose for the beans. Then he got right into it and steered me to the best 3 choices from which I–of course–chose a slightly more expensive one that also has a reputation for a good taste.

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December 15, 2003

Christmas Stroll

Christmas lights at the park

December 2nd, Mystic held a Christmas Stroll along with the lighting of the town Christmas Tree, and a parade of decorated boats along the river. (Must have torked anybody not aware of what was going on as the bridge was up for over an hour!) I got pictures of the boats, a few pictures of Irish folk dancers that were performing and a few of other stuff from the evening. I have put all of those images in a new sub-album of the gallery: Christmas Stroll.

Posted by Eric at 10:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Penguin...

Wait, be sure to get my good side...

Had a few requests for more shots of the African Penguins from the Mystic Aquarium. I really do need to get back out there real soon (haven’t been yet this month!) hopefully with a tripod and maybe even some rented glass. In the mean time here is another shot from about a month ago.

Last nights snow was followed by sleet and rain–which proved too much for the snow. I had planned on trying to get out early to get some shots of the snow, especially on the rock formations and in the forests near here. I ended up waking up later than I wanted too, but it would have been no use anyways–almost every bit of the 4 or 5” we had last night around 11pm was washed away by the rain. A few patches here and there, mostly where the shovels piled it, but that’s it.

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December 14, 2003

Wheels In The Snow

Two old wagon wheel hoops draped in the recent snow.

This shot is from outside the steak house at Olde Mistick Village — two old wagon wheel hoops draped in the recent snow. Actually this is from last weeks snow, which had just completely melted away as of yesterday. There are still a few spots where the snow plows had made large mounds, but that’s it. Today it started snowing again, beautiful big flakes coating everything in a white blanket. The prediction is for 5—6” by tomorrow morning. I love it! Of course some folks are having issues driving in it, but hey we can walk to anything we need so…

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December 13, 2003

Little Christmas Tree

A nice little Christmas tree, decorated in snow

A small tree nestled against one of the buildings at Olde Mistick Villiage after a recent snow storm. It seems perfectly draped in snow. Working on getting snow exposures correct. Looks like I will have plenty of practice.

Posted by Eric at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2003

Referer Trolling for Santa's Tugboat

Santa Claus arrives at Mystic River Park by tugboat

Peeking at my referer logs the other day, I noticed someone had arrived at the Family Updates site’s entry about Santa’s arrival in Mystic through a search for “Santa Claus Mystic Tugboat.” Out of curiosity I checked out the top result for that search which led to John Keyes’ Photolog. Sure enough John, who lives near Boston, was visiting Mystic when Santa arrived aboard the Seaport’s tugboat Kingston II. (The same boat featured in the snow storm image in Santa’s Tugboat.)

John took a few photo’s of the events and the Kingston II which he has been adding to his site over the past few weeks. When I saw his entry for December 2nd, I knew he had been just a bit upriver from me at the time (at most a hundred feet away—more likely closer.) Sorta one of those small world type of things. John lives near Boston but was among the 150 or so people who were there for the arrival of Santa that cold and windy day. John even reports in the comments that he enjoyed some ice cream from Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shoppe afterwards!

Posted by Eric at 05:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2003

Buena Vista: Ruben Gonzalez

Ruben Gonzalez, one of the legends of Buena Vista Social Club and the unique Cuban Jazz, has passed away in Havana, according to the BBC. This man was a rare talent and pure joy to watch and listen to.

via Antipixel

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December 07, 2003

Santa's Tugboat

Santa's Tug

The Mystic Seaport’s tugboat–which also served as Santa’s ride for the recent festivities–during yesterday’s snowstorm. All told we got about a foot to a foot and a half of snow from Friday evening to Saturday night. There was a window of about 4 hours late Saturday morning when it stopped. By the time I got out to do some errands around town, it had started up again, and by 3pm it was coming down very heavily.

Posted by Eric at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2003

Miserable Failure

Whooops!
Is someone at Google is trying to make a political statement ?
If you go to Google and type in “Miserable Failure” as the search criteria then click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button you get…

George Bush’s bio page the the Whitehouse.

No it’s not a statement by Google, but rather Bush bashers taking advantage of the google ranking system. Of course in a way I’ve just contributed to the high ranking of the Bio getting the top ranking for the search phrase “Miserable Failure”. The high ranking is the result of numerous web sites linking to GW’s bio with the term. The trick uses the fact that Google considers web links as a major search ranking factor. With all the links to GW from that term, his Bio page is now the top ranked web page, even though the words “Miserable” and Failure” appear nowhere on the page or in the meta-data.

Posted by Eric at 01:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2003

Let It Snow

Wow, when it finally decided to dump the snow, it didn’t fool around. When we left Mystic this afternoon it hadn’t even started to flurry. By the time we got to Old Saybrook to sell our old crib, it was really just beginning to come down. By the time we left Old Saybrook, we knew it would be a rough drive home. It took us the better part of three and a half hours to go 15 miles. Not really because of traffic congestion like New Jersey had (though at times there was quite a bit of that) but more because of less than 50’ visibility conditions. They are predicting 3—6 inches by morning, and considering that there is already 2—3 inches down and it’s still coming hard I think they may have underestimated just a touch. Hopefully I will be able to get out tomorrow morning to take some pictures, especially of the seaport and the granite rock formations with fresh snow on them.

Posted by Eric at 08:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2003

Leprechaun

Leprechaun Busker

During the recent Christmas stroll in Mystic CT, a group of Irish folk dancers performed (in 15 degree weather – 5 degree with windchill) This fellow is the first photo I processed – their musical accompanyment.

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