Saturday, April 23, 2011

Security in Google Datacenters.

The Google Apps team has released a video about security measures in Google Datacenters:

Saturday, April 09, 2011

San Francisco To Paris In 120 Seconds

This is a video of time lapse photography of a flight from San Francisco to Paris France.  It is roughly one photo ever 2 miles of the journey.  Note the awesome view of the Northern Lights :)

SF to Paris in Two Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.

Internet Classics IV: The Cake Is A Lie

The ending theme to the game Portal... its awesome, watch it, know it, love it.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Texas Pierre

Today was chicken wings and pizza day at the office.  Normally this sounds right up this bears culinary alley, but alas disappointment was to be had.  The pizza was a fancy foo-foo pie with no sauce and little cheese that was an embarrassment to real pizza. The wings were dry and uninspired (you may ask yourself how a wing can be "inspired", and the answer is, well, complicated but delicious).

So what are we to do with such a situation?  Experiment! My coworker Michael went to the fridge and pulled out some condiments and other containers and we ended up with the following:

            • Texas Pete hot sauce
            • duck sauce
            • various hot mustards
            • organic Maple Syrup (yeah, I know, what maple syrup *isn't* organic?  silly marketers)
My first experiment was to go whole hog and mix maple syrup, duck sauce, hot mustard and Texas Pete together, then spread it on a wing.  It was definitely flavourful, but it was too many competing flavours all at once.  Mainly the duck sauce overpowered everything else.

Experiment two proved to be a winner:  equal parts maple syrup and Texas Pete.  It was wonderful - a heavenly blend of sweet and heat.  All it really needed was a thickening agent (perhaps butter).  Otherwise it was about as awesome as awesome gets, which is good as I only had 5 chicken wings and was running out things to experiment with.

Since the maple syrup was imported from Canada, which means odds are it is from Quebec (they make 75% of the worlds maple syrup supply) I dubbed this delicious concoction the "Texas Pierre", tho Michael preferred "Maple Pete".

I highly recommended you try it on your next chicken wing.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Google I/O From Your Living Room

Google I/O is Googles yearly developer conference, and a place where they have made some large product announcements.   Since tickets are sold out, and its likely most of my readers are not local to San Francisco anyway, but are all Google Fans (you *are* fans, right? :), that you might want to check out the conference over streaming video.  The conference begins May 10th.

For more information, check out this blog post: and the Google IO website: to enjoy all the Google I/O goodness.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Ever wonder who will replace Bruce Wayne as Batman?  Well, wonder no more!

... just don't tell Joker-baby.

Every OS Sucks

A classic from Three Dead Trolls In A Baggie:

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Return From The Space Coast

This is my final post on our trip to Florida.  It was only a few short adventure packed days, but it was a great time.  See these posts for more info:

  • Journey To Space Coast [link]
  • Space Coast Adventures: Here Be Manatees [link]
  • Space Coast: The Final Frontier [link]

On Saturday we drove a couple hours north to Jacksonville FL and spent the night there.  The next day we drove the remaining  8 hours home. Zeke proved to be a great traveller, which made things a lot easier.  Debbie was a pretty good traveller too :)

To break up the time we spent some time caching.  The most remarkable of which was a visit to the Butler Island Rice Plantation off I95 in Georgia.

We arrived home just before supper time, and spend the evening relaxing before work started again on Monday.

Now that you've read about our adventure to the Space Coast, you may be interested in seeing some more of the pictures that I took, including more manatees, rockets, Zekes, and the occasional geocache.

This was a great trip, and although it was short, it was thoroughly enjoyable.  It also taught us several lessons about travelling with an infant that will come handy when we go on a larger adventure later this year... but that is a story for another time.  Until then, keep on caching, and thanks for reading.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Space Coast: The Final Frontier

On Saturday I took my family to the Kennedy Space Center to check out the space guys doing space guy things.

One of the major features of the Cape Canaveral landscape is the Vehicle Assembly Building. The VAB is where the Apollo rockets, and now the Space Shuttle is assembled.  

 This is the largest single storey building in the world.  The Saturn 5 rocket, the rocket that sent astronauts to the moon, stood upright in this building (think 2 Statue Of Liberties stacked on top of each other).  The flag on the side of the building is the largest US flag in the world, and I can fit my house in that space over 9 times.  It is larger than The Empire State Building by volume.  The building can be seen for miles.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour was on the launchpad, being prepped for its launch on April 19th from launchpad 39A. It is really awesome seeing something that will literally go into space sitting around waiting for its journey. 

The shuttle is encased in a protective cover that will be removed 3 days before launch.  At that time the final preparations will be made, and the shuttle will launch into orbit.  There have been 133 shuttle missions so far, and sadly only a few more left. 

The Kennedy Space Center has a huge amount of American space history, including many rockets in the Rocket Garden.  There is also a full scale Saturn 5 rocket, the largest rocket and most complex vehicle ever made by man.  The size of this rocket is absolutely huge: 363ft long, 33ft wide.

Strangely one of the more remarkable things at the Kennedy Space Center is a full scale replica of the Mars Rovers made out of Lego.  The detail on this model is impressive and puts my model to shame.

It was truly amazing to spend some time exploring the Kennedy Space Center.  Man was meant to be explorers, and the history that has occurred is the very definition of putting human destiny into action.  One small step for man may have happened on the moon, but it started here.  NASA has not been the only group to send people into space, but they have definitely been a centerpiece of our efforts to spread our wings and reach for the stars.

Space Coast Adventures: Here Be Manatees.

For a while now I have been wanting to see manatees in the wild.  So while we were in Florida we drove over to the Merritt Island Nature Reserve and checked out the majestic sea cow in person.

Manatees are slow moving beasts with obvious tell tale signs of their presence.  First of all is the grass floating on the water that they kick up as they graze on the bottom of the rivers.  Second is that they leave disturbances in the water as they exhale and move their tails underwater.  If you are in a Floridian river and see a series of large circles mysteriously appear in the water, odds are a manatee is about to surface.  

Merritt Island Nature Reserve had a ton of other animals.  Some of them that we saw were gators, lizards, a bunch of birds, dolphins, and s star fish.

After lunch we parted ways with the in-laws, and went geocaching.  I was 4 caches away from 400, and I had a specific cache in mind for my 400th.  So we spent some time finding 3 caches.  On cache two, on a causeway over the Indian river, I bent over to search under a tree and felt a strange sensation... it was only later that I realized that I split my shorts almost in two, down the leg from my left pocket down to almost my knee.  We were a half hour from the hotel, so we patched it with safety pins.  I spent the rest of the day getting scratched, but to the best of my knowledge no one noticed the gaping hole in my shorts, or the rather large amount of metal holding it together.

For my 400th cache I decided to pick a big cache for a big accomplishment, so I found the biggest one I could find.  The container is a 3'x4'x2' plywood ammo can.    It is by far the largest cache I have ever found.

All in all it was a wonderful day of exploration.  Couldn't have asked for a better outcome (aside from intact pants :)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Journey To Space Coast

The past few days have been a mini adventure for us.  My wifes parents are in Florida on their annual RV vacation, and since we are (relatively) close by we decided to take a long weekend and visit them.

The drive is only 10 hours, however we have two issues to deal with:  a) We are in possession of a  17 month old kid who doesn't like being trapped in a car seat for 10 hours and b) I'm a geocacher, I need time to find tupperware in the woods.  We decided to take two days.  So on Wednesday afternoon we packed up the car and hit the road.

The Sheldon Ruins
I didn't plan on caching the first day, but as it turns out many rest areas along the interstates have caches at them, so I managed to snag one while Zeke was taking a much needed car break.  That night we stayed in St. George SC.   The next day is where the real adventure began.

Our second stop was our most interesting cache.  It was at the Sheldon Ruins, a church that was built in 1755, burned by the British in 1779, rebuilt in 1826, and reburnt in1865 by the Federal Army.  The south may rise again, but this church apparently is down for the count.

The site is a virtual cache (no container to find, but rather information to gather, in this case information from the gravestones on site).

F4C Phantom
Other caches included another virtual at the Mighty 8th Air Wing Air Museum.  The site contained an F4C Phantom, and a MiG 17.  It was a nice distraction on a long drive.

The Cat In The Hat
The final cache was found at a Cracker Barrel in Titusville Florida, 300ft from our hotel.   We had to wait until after supper, and wait out an elderly couple who were sitting right beside then cache before I could make the grab.  After 15 minutes the couples table was ready so they got up and left.  30 seconds later I had the cache in hand.  All in all I found 6 caches, and was able to check off 2 states from my list of states I've cached in - Georgia and Florida.

The last interesting piece of information about the drive to Florida was when we stopped at a tourist information center because we were a) tourists, b) in need of a break, and most importantly c) they had free orange juice. (hey, my wife is Dutch - they never let free things pass them by).

The center had a really cool statue of The Cat In The Hat.
<-- See?

While there we bought admission tickets for the Kennedy Space Center (foreshadowing of a future blog post - hint hint).

Stay tuned.