Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The other great underwater project

Have I ever been busy or what? Where to begin? Last weekend I replaced the rudder on my boat and didn't do such a great job because the steering wheel is not centered any more (whoops). Needs a bit of adjustment this weekend. It rained most of the weekend so I worked on my underwater video camera science project.

This dude has a similar project except mine has a million candle light, a higher resolution camera and is designed to go down 150 feet. Hopefully it will be working by the end of the weekend. Right now it leaks a lot :)

Here's a video of javadog's camera in action.

Here's his device:

Monday, August 15, 2005

Details, details

I am usually a stickler for details so when things are done half assed, they bother me until I finally break down and do them all over again until I am satisfied. This brings me to my rant about a six inch piece of wire. In itself, a piece of wire is worth about a hundreth of a cent but in a boat it could be worth quite a bit more. Actually, almost a hundred grand. Why exactly would a piece of wire be worth a hundred grand you might ask? Well, let me tell you, if that wire in question is the safety wire that holds the locking bolt on your rudder, it becomes a lot more valuable by a factor of about a million. So what does that have to do with me? It seems like the last time I broke my rudder and had it replaced last June, the mechanic neglected to install a safety wire. And what exactly happens when you don't put in the safety wire? Well, what happens is that the rudder falls out of the boat down to the deepest part of a lake. Of course rudders never fall out in shallow water. This in itself is a four hundred dollar mistake EXCEPT that when the rudder falls out, it leaves a two inch hole in the bottom of the boat. Let me tell you, with three bilge pumps, a hand pump and a lot of swearing, we managed to remove no measurable water and the boat took on about two feet of water in three minutes. By fluke my neighbor whizzed by on a jetski and I flagged him down and very politely asked for a tow to my beach. Another 3 minutes in the water and the boat would be submerged. All this because somebody neglected to put on a little piece of wire. The boat is fine, my neighbors impeller ate a rock on my beach and I'm a little traumatized but everything worked out OK.

Like any good fiasco, there is a moral to this story, actually two:

A) Be good to your neighbors
B) Watch out for details because they'll kill you

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Health Care in Canada

I keep having these discussions with people about health care and how badly the government is dealing with it. Most people want more healthcare funding. Not me, here's what I want.

Tabacco: make it a prescription drug and anybody can get it as long as they opt out of public medicaire. Twenty plus percent of all deaths (45000/yr) in Canada are directly or indirectly due to smoking. The cost is 3 Billion directly in health care and over 11 Billion including indirect costs. Tax revenue is only 7.6 Billion making it a losing business for society.

Source: National Clearinghouse on Tabacco, CCRA

Obesity, substance abuse etc.: Same as above, tax revenue minus costs adds up to a negative balance sheet. I'd say throw some money into prevention and for those who don't care, they should be allowed to opt out of health insurance.

Long term health care: get the old folks into proper long term care and out of hospitals. Hospitals are supposed to be for asssembly line repairs, not parking lots.

All this above should add up to 5-10 Billion/yr in extra funds for society and should theoretically unclog the existing health care system. Maybe it's a hard line but it doesn't make sense to keep making the same mistakes over and over. That is after all the definition of insanity.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The moose is loose

So what the hell have I been up to, lets see.... I went to a wedding last weekend in a barn which actually was a lot cooler than it sounds. I saw either the space shuttle or the space station whizzing by in the clear country night sky. You may think I'm making this up but as it turns out, both were passing by southern Quebec at the time. Check out this site.

I have done so many things that I just can't remember anymore.

This past month is my re-entry into science projects. I have been working on a few custom microcontroller software/hardware projects for car/boat entertainment and am shopping for a small CNC machine to make prototype parts. The last few times that I started projects like that, I ended up dumping tens of thousands of dollars into these seemingly useless projects. However, these experiments also breed new business ventures and they are fun at the same time. There's nothing better than being so stoked about your business that not only are you excited about going to the office in the morning but you don't want to leave at night. Having a CNC machine, a logic analyzer and a microcontroller dev kit is making me that excited.

In case you think I'm getting dull, here's the thong of the day.

Oh yeah, Avenged Sevenfold have a new album out and (gasp) Sinead O'Conner has an album coming out covering reggae classics. Let's hope she doesn't desecrate the standards. Somehow, I don't have a good feeling about this.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The burbs

Every time I drive by the suburbs I can't help thinking about how much I don't want to live there. There probably are some places there that most people can afford as a first house but at the same time they seem like tarpits where dreams and ambitions go to die. I really hope that never happens to me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Baloon Bazooka

I want one of these. My birthday is coming up, hint hint ;) Check out the video.

What I did on my summer vacation.

I drank a little beer. I changed a cylinder head gasket. I went to some parties. I helped somebody else with a bent propeller. I installed some video cameras. I installed an Omnifi MP3 player in my boat. I played some croquet and finally, I did some loafing around.

 Posted by Picasa

A littly froggy on my stairs Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 01, 2005

Back inna groove

While I was on vacation somebody died or was murdered near my place. The first story that I heard was that this woman was run off the road by her ex husband and then repeatedly driven into until the car was squashed. This story progressively mellowed out to an "accidental" hit and run where the lady ran off the road and then was plowed into by a second car that was behind her and U-turned to help. Who knows what really happened but at 4:00AM, we all know what state they were in.