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    an idyllwild weather clam!

    Our gal, The Idyllwild Weather Clam thinks that it will rain again today.

    Tuesday 22 August 2017
    Currently at 4:54 AM 57°

    Up to the minute now-casting provided by: Idyllwild Weather Clam Mega-Skyview Ultra-Precision Doppler 160000 Super Computron Forecast in Full Spectrum HD

    Entries in gizmos (12)


    A Jaunty Little Fishtank



    Here's a fun toy to play with. You're welcome.

    - bob


    Happy Birthday Intelsat I!


    Today is the 45th anniversary of the launch of Intelsat I, the first commercial communications satellite. Sure, it could relay your telephone and fax transmissions in 1965, but it was also considered the world's tallest television transmission tower providing a little over 80 hours (or in today's terms, two weeks) of programming that year.

    Happy birthday, Early Bird! Don't hit the space station, okay?

    - bob


    P.S. Yes, I know that the picture is of Intelsat III, I was hoping you wouldn't notice. Sheesh, you guys are sharp.


    The Justice System

    I was not programmed for you. Friends,

    The geography-challenged papercrats running the Riverside County court system thought it'd be neat for me sit in a jury room in the city of Riverside today. I've never been to the court there and those who've been staring at words I've posted here for a while would presume that this thought made me a nervous wreck. What you may not know is that I've been issued a Motorola Droid at work. A lot of phones have mapping applications, of course, but this one has free built-in turn-by-turn maps missing from others (ahem! iPhone!). Neat, I thought, constantly updating maps that I'll need to refer to instead of the degraded freeways along the way. What could go wrong? Then I tapped the Navigation icon. Hello! What's this? Mrs. Droid is now telling me where to go (you do seem to have that effect. - ed).

    Not just which turns to take at the last minute, but advance warning as well. I would've liked some repeats and hoped that some voice input might've been rolled in as well, but I couldn't get a response from "what?" "huh?" "say again?" or even "repeat." I'm sure someone will comment that I'm missing something, but I'd love to know how to make it work better.

    By the way, the judge dismissed me from a trial this morning after my halting, sputtering plea that I can't afford to lose that much pay. The woman dismissed before me had her service rescheduled after explaining that she'd have to care for her husband after eye surgery. Eye surgery, people. I think I will never understand their system.

    - bob


    Out Of The Space


    So, anyway, I've taken a week away from the site. You needed a little break, didn't you? I did, especially since the news has been either crappy or boring. The elections are beating us down with the sniping. My adorable little iBook crashed mightily and is enduring a restore at the moment. You're backing up, aren't you?

    The old, old, old Powerbook (check this, it's brown. classy in a west elm kind of way.) is in the shop at the moment to fix the video system. Same speed though, just much heavier. It has a beautiful and very large screen, when it works. Maybe I'll move everything over there just for kicks. None of this funny Intel business for me!

    This site, as well as bobtherieau.com has been flaky lately due to crashed servers at our webhost as well as security updates. With my production machine on its back (Oh, you had to go there, didn't you?) I've taken way too long to fix stuff. Most everything is back up, just in time for the site updates. Brilliant!

    Any news or interesting bits to share? Throw everything into the new, easy-to-use comments section!

    Your pal,



    Lil' Tykes Security Theatre


    You've got to be kidding me. This is super fun playtime hijinks?

    "Okay, you be the fey European tourist and I'll wear my black patent leather TSA outfit and hold the metal detector wand ..."


    - bob


    Notes Suitable For A Nine-Inch Screen


    Here are a couple things that just made me smile. You'll note that there's nothing here about work. There's a reason for that.

    One Laptop Per Nephew - I was finally able to deliver the tiny laptop to my six-year old nephew's Charge d'Affaires and gave her a little instruction on its operation. No real manual is available and my help was minimal, but the printed Quick Start guide give a nod toward serendipity. She sent this note:

    I just had to write you a quick note about the laptop. So Maxi was eating his breakfast as I jumped into the shower. I could hear him shout, "YES!" I finished up and he yelled to me, "Mama, I got on the internet!"

    He was sitting on the couch with the computer in his lap and sure enough, he was on the net. He was so proud of himself. He said, "Mama, I figured it out before you could." Then he showed me a map of Europe. "Here's Sweden." He went on and on exploring different countries.

    I think in a way it is good that there is no instruction b/c he was really excited to figure it out on his own and then show me how to use it.

    Thanks so much.This is really an amazing present.

    "Here's Sweden." Good gravy, he's already smarter than the rest of us. I always thought that Sweden was a county in Wisconsin.

    The Mighty Road Racing Dakota - I out-drove and out-handled a guy in a late model Porsche Carrera 4 running down the hill this morning. In a crappy (but free) ten year old, four-cylinder mid-size American pickup. I found it a completely bizarre and hilarious development. It's so wrong.

    Primaries - Obama won Texas after all by three delegates? Breaks the narrative of Hillary as comeback kid, doesn't it? Dad's already bored by this thing though. We usually have a long chat about the latest results on the phone, but this week he couldn't care less. And he watches fishing shows—on purpose!

    The Mollusk Channel - The Clam has been doing very well with the weather predictions lately. Everyone else (except for Yahoo!, who we don't track regularly) has been wildly inaccurate. Your winning lottery numbers are forthcoming...

    Your pal,

    - bob


    Thanks, Pakistan!


    You may have noticed that YouTube and another great big pile of Google sites died yesterday. The speculation is that when Pakistan banned YouTube for hosting "unauthorized videos," they crapped all over the routing tables. "Oooh, tech-speak," you must be thinking. Points to my reliance on the internet gizmos, maybe yours as well. So my advice to you is to break out your inkjet and print copies of everything on your computer, then chuck your peecee out the window.

    Or stop using 'net services that are exposed to other countries.


    Where's my Levenger catalog?

    - bob


    Love vs. Hate


    I just needed a diversion from delegate counts and work this evening, so I checked the mail...

    While I love the new Apple Wireless Keyboard I received from my generous sweetie. I find that I'm a big fan of typing on the chiclets that remind me of the Timex Sinclair 1000 from our Ancient Technology Collection...

    tippy, tappy, typing!
    ...but I can't get over this bit. I haven't had my 8GB iPod Touch very long, and now they've sent me an email announcing a 32GB version:

    32 gigs? that's crazy.
    How many Daffy Duck cartoons could I fit on this thing? Good gravy, it could be Rabbit Season every day for a month.

    Brother, can you spare five hundred bucks?

    More on the primaries later...

    - bob


    Freakish Geek Nonsense Alert! - Webclip Icons


    Now that you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you must know that you can save bookmarks to favorite websites on your home screen (or another of nine screens, but that's for another day). I've added new webclip icons to the famous bobtherieau.com site for your amusement. Just cruise to the page on your iPhone and hit the plus sign at the bottom of the screen. You'll be asked what to do, so just click "Add to Home Page." Glossy finish, rounded corners, it looks swell.

    And for the rest of you, KCRW is giving away an iPod Touch every hour or so during their pledge drive this week. Donate to the station and get a chance to win! You know you love them. Give them money.

    - bob


    An Evaluation Copy


    I heard that the Wi-Fi-ified version of the iTunes music store was online and that one could get at it with an iPhone. Maybe even an iPod Touch with its own internet connection. What the heck? Why not try it out with the Screaming Trees' album Uncle Anesthesia...

    Yeah, the video is crappy, but this is how I remember their show in San Luis Obispo back in the 80s. Pixelated and nearly black and white. Why do you ask?

    By the way, the stage at the little bar where they played strained under the weight of the Connor brothers. Creaking and groaning every time they even hinted at one of the their guitar hero moves. They're bigger fellas, you know.

    The download to the iPod worked without a hitch on my network, and once I synced, the desktop went out and retrieved the full copies of all the songs. Pretty slick, especially for traveling. You'll love it.

    - bob


    Where Are You? - Not Working!

    Let me know if you like this thing. It's an interactive map from maps.amung.us that shows visitors to this very site. I thought I'd give it a try to see how it works, but if it's too creepy, throw that in the comments too.

    Fun! (maybe)

    - bob

    UPDATE: Wow, it's pretty pokey, isn't it? The thing works, but yikes.
    ANOTHER UPDATE: Turns out that it's slow because it doesn't have much data to work with. If it's remains stalled in an hour or so, it's gone.
    FINAL UPDATE: I had to kill the map because it wasn't working and made the page run so slow as to be unusable. It was a super fun experiment though.


    Calendar Of Events: Wednesday


    The new iPods are coming! It looks like His Steveness is going to announce new iPods at an invite-only event tomorrow! Maybe even some Beatles something-or-other (by the way, the beatles were a pop combo of some note from the sixties. some of the members are now deceased. - ed Thanks for clearing that up, chief!). And Fred Thompson's going to announce his candidacy. Whatever.

    Hey! iPods!

    - bob