guapacha.com

Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for January, 2005

Plane Crashes

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Yesterday there was a plane crash at Gillespie Field here in San Diego. The pilot died and his passenger seriously injured. Any plane crash is terrible but to get so close to the runway and not make it is just awful. I used to read a monthly magazine dedicated to NTSB accident reports but had to stop after it became clear just how crazy it is to strap wings and a motor to your back and leave the ground. A large number of accidents occur from which the pilot had no possible chance of remedy, others where the pilot was unprepared and did a bad job, and of course there are very many where the pilot did it all himself. I’d like to think I’ll never fall into the latter category and I have my fingers crossed that when the time comes I’ll be ready for it – but who knows?

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January 13th, 2005 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Flying

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Album of the Week

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Been spending my iTunes gift vouchers and, thanks to U-Pop on XM radio, purchased the excellent Hopes and Fears by British band Keane.

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January 12th, 2005 at 10:42 am

Posted in Music

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New Apple Goodies

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Today was the big day in the Apple Calendar – the keynote speech by Steve Jobs – at MacWorld. There had already been plenty of rumour about what was coming (and lawsuits to boot!) and it seems like they were right. Most interesting to me:

The iPod shuffle: tiny new iPod with no face, upload 240 songs and away you go for up to 12 hours. Only $149, too. Perfect for working out or doing stuff where you don’t care about choosing tracks etc.

The Mac mini: a barebones Mac, add your own keyboard, mouse and monitor. Stylish and ergonomic as one would expect, and only $499. I’ve wanted a Mac in the house for ages but couldn’t justify the price, this just might be the way to do it. With a DVD-burner superdrive, maybe it can become the business machine, though it might not be fast enough.

Amazingly, Apple sold 4.5 million iPods during the 2004 holiday quarter, compared to 733,000 in the previous year’s quarter. Holy cow! Is there anyone left on the planet who doesn’t have one??

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January 11th, 2005 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Computing,Music

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Stick it to Ken Lay

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Apparantly Ken Lay is paying search engines to display his “I’m innocent” website when you search for his name. So if you feel like sticking it to the creep and making him cough up 5 cents or so, go search for his name and click on his link. NB. It appears he may already have deleted his ad campaign.

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January 10th, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Posted in General

Technology Gaps

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We all tend to think of America and Great Britain as technology-aware countries but there are very definite areas where they disagree, or where one is far behind the other. I am always reminded of this at a petrol station. In the UK there is a huge awareness, and campaign about, the dangers of using a cell phone when pumping fuel. The feeling at home is pretty much that if you dial a number within 10 feet of a pump it will blow up. Over here though, that doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. There are no warnings about it on the pumps and most people I speak to haven’t even heard that it might be dangerous to use a cell phone at a petrol station. Given the American sense for over-protection it makes me think that the danger has been over-hyped in the UK though clearly it does exist (there are plenty of episodes of people being set on fire by igniting the fuel when their cell phone goes off), but why is it almost totally ignored over here?

Sigh, I am getting some comment spam again. Not much but enough to annoy me.

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January 10th, 2005 at 9:37 am

Posted in America,Great Britain

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Keep Playing Those Penny Slots

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I always thought that the penny slots were great for killing time – your money goes a long way – but never for winning anything worthwhile. However, on Monday, a man won $2,065,685 on the “Twilight Zone” penny slot machine at Viejas Casino. So maybe I should play the penny machines after all? Although with such a big win, maybe I need to wait a while for the jackpot to build back up….

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January 5th, 2005 at 1:04 pm

Posted in California

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TiVo ToGo

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I’ve been wanting TiVo for a while now but have always found a reason not to go for it. But their new service TiVo ToGo might change that – download the shows you record to your computer, burn them to DVD if you want. Also schedule your recordings over the ‘net if you connect your box to your home network.

I want, I want, I want!

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January 3rd, 2005 at 10:20 am

Posted in General

Happy 2005!

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Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and all that. Its going to be quite a year of travel for me… already confirmed:

  • March – A Mini Vacation in Vegas 2
  • March – parents 40th wedding anniversary at Sandals, St Lucia
  • May – sister’s wedding in England
  • May – best friend Steve’s wedding in England (too bad they couldn’t coordinate so I only have to make one trip)
  • June – US Formula One Grand Prix, hurrah for having a brother-in-law who lives in Indianapolis!

And possibly a trip to New York or Edinburgh for New Year’s Eve, though after two transatlantic and one trans-continental flights I might be happy just to sit at home and get an early night.

Wishing you all a good one!

Written by admin

January 3rd, 2005 at 9:39 am

Posted in General