2005-08-30

Comment Spam

I'd like to say I've made the big time - big enough to get comment spam. But in this case, I think it is just a spam-bot, and it is hitting blogger's blogspot users randomly.
The good news is that there is a new option to make commenters fill in a picture box to block bot-based comment spam. My appologis to ligitimate commentors that you have to take this extra step.
I got hit a few times before this, but it was pretty small stuff. Not that yesterday's hit was that big. Just 7 comments. But all to the same entry. And at first glimpse they even look like ligitimate comments. Things like 'nice blog', etc. But the links definately look spam oriented. And all the entries were from 'anonymous'. And when I checked my site counter for the IP range, there were no visitors from that time. That says to me a bot that wasn't loading the image content.

2005-08-29

Ouch

Playing with the kids on Friday evening. Running around the house. Managed to bash my right pinky toe. Boy did that hurt. Still a little swollen today - and achy. I've got my foot up, watching Johnny Mnemonic. Made it harder to Geocache over the weekend. But we did anyhow. Went around shopping at the outlets in Castle Rock. Huge number of grasshoppers in Castle Rock area. Geocaches seemed pretty sparse - but it was a neat find. I've started using Google's Earth program even more. It crashed on me once, but luckily I saved most of my locations to files. Looked at the file format that Google saves in - it turned out to be a zip, with an XML file - cool. That has the potential to allow saving coordinates for easy download - perhaps an enhancement on geocaching.com - I hope!

2005-08-25

Pic: Pink Clouds at Sunrise


Pic: Pink Clouds at Sunrise
As I got to work about 6am, I noticed the pick on the clouds from sunrise behind me. I decided I could be a couple of minutes late to take some pictures.

2005-08-20

Photo Friday - One


Photo Friday - One

Plane taking off - just one in the sky - for Photo Friday Theme One

2005-08-19

Shuttle Only Lift For Space Station

Continuing my thoughts on the Space Shuttle...

I understand there is a lot of concern and pressure to getting the shuttle flying again, and often. Because it needs to be involved in a large number of missions to assemble the international Space Station.

The reasoning is that the shuttle is the only launch platform that can take the pieces up to the station, and they want to get the station finished before the shuttle is scheduled to be retired in 2010.

which makes me ask 2 questions: is it just the size, or is it because you need astronauts with the robot arm to assemble the parts?

The space station already has an arm, and astronauts.

Based on size, I would think there must be other ways to get the pieces up there. Some had been previously sent on Russian rockets.
But even if the pieces are too big for Russian rockets, or any other rockets around, it seems to me that there is another choice...
create a simple rocket based on the shuttle. No crew area. No wings. Just a payload bay, launch engines and a few maneuvering thrusters. Use the same engines as on the shuttle now, but perhaps make them removable so that they can come back in the crewed shuttle bay. Let the rest of it burn up, just like they do with the liquid fuel tank. Or maybe even anchor them up there for external storage. And they might even provide some protection against micro-meteorites and space junk. They could use the same solid rocket boosters and launch system already in place.
You could send up a number of the modules in these cargo rockets - then send up a crewed missing to install 3 or 4 modules. They could bring back the rocket engines for another set of cargo rockets.

Just my $.02. I guess I'm up to at least four cents now on the space shuttle :)

2005-08-18

Geocaching: Our First Travelbug


We hiked up from Blodget Open space this past weekend. This time we looked up a Geocache in the area before we went. We found it with only a few minutes of searching. The GPS started us about 15 feet to the South. It was a very nice cache. It would seem that this person works for or is somehow closely associated with a local outdoor-activity-store [ERV].

In it, we unexpectedly found a travelbug!

Geocaching - Travel Bugs - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A travel bug is a 'treasure' with a special dog tag to let you track the item. And the item goes from cache to cache. Some have a destination. Some are just wandering, perhaps with some other theme, such as the one we found. We have to make sure to put it in another cache in the next few days. Cool stuff!

2005-08-10

Hiking Pikes Peak Pictures




20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Is it time to start hiking?

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Sunglow through the substation

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Going up Barr Trail

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Sunrise on the trail

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Ridgeline Against the Sky

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - View of the Mountain

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - It sure looks far away!

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - The Packs Taking a Break Too!

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Leaving Barr Camp

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Looking down on the A-Frame

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - View from the A-Frame

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Near the Tree-line

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - 3 Linear Miles to go

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Looking Up

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - View of Colorado Springs

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Edge of the Summit House

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Tip of the Summet House - and People on the Edge

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Not far to go!

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Don't look down!

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - View up Boulder Field near top

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Rays on the Rocks

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - '16 Golden Stairs'

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - Woodland Park from the Peak

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - View from the top

20050807 - Hiking Pikes Peak - He made it!

Denver Robot Meeting Aug'05

This month we continued building the group's common-themed robot. A square base, the DARC-Board, 2 modified hobby-servo motors with wheels, and an unmodified hobby-servo motor for ball capture.
I had finished building the 3 sensors at home with some help from my 12yo! We wound up adding a fourth sensor while I was at the meeting. I also started on the LED to Cds cell capture sensor. I should be able to finish that up at home before the next meeting. As you can see from the picture, I was being a bit anal about routing my wires. :)


Select the picture to go to my robot blog to view all the posted pictures, and to be able to see larger views of the pictures.

2005-08-09

Shuttle Waiting for Foam Fix

I was reading about this last week - where they will not fly the shuttle again until they can stop the foam falling off the external fuel tank.

I was thinking maybe they could put some sort of metal shielding over the most sensitive areas. Which may not be such a bad idea anyhow.

But then I was thinking about the external fuel tank and why they put on the foam. They put on the foam to help insulate the ultra cold of the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen from the outside. This helps reduce the icing on the outside.

Then the solution hit me. What common household item is known for keeping hot-things-hot and cold-things-cold? A thermos. Where is the insulation on a thermos? On the inside of the shell. So what is obvious solution for the space shuttle?

PUT THE FOAM ON THE INSIDE!

Okay - I have to imagine that some other rocket scientists have thought of this already. Why wouldn't they have already gone with this idea? Probably because it would mean enlarging the tank a little to fit the insulation on the inside. And that means more weight. And also it might be more expensive to put the insulation on the inside. Yet it does seem to be an obvious solution.

Daylights Savings Time Change

I must say I think it is dumb to change daylight savings time.
It is an idea with limited value in the first place.

And they stuck it in the middle of an energy bill.

They will keep daylight savings time an extra 3 weeks in the spring and a week in the fall.

Just what we need - more craziness.

And the idea is to save energy.

Lets look at what is really going on here. They are playing games with the clocks to try to get businesses to change when they do business. Change when lights need to go on. When people have to drive. In theory, it will save energy because they should be a slight reduction of power aligning work to stay within daylight hours.

To that end, they are going to force us to adjust our clock. Creating all sorts of odd conditions - 2 1:00AMs in the fall - and no 2:00AM in the spring. People loosing an hour of sleep in the spring. And how many times have you - or someone you know - been thrown off by the time change. Showing up an hour early - or worse - an hour late - right after the time change. How much does that cost businesses?

They want to save energy? How about instead of playing games with the clocks - they give incentives to business to adjust working hours to match the most energy efficient time to do the work?

And did anybody really think how much energy was really being saved? Aren't there much better ways to save energy? Say incentives not to drive gas guzzlers?

2005-08-07

Pikes Peak Hike 2005


Pikes Peak Hike

I made it!

The altitude really got to me. The 6-7 hour hike took me 10.5 hours. But I did it!

2005-08-06

Hiking Barr Trail July 3rd, 2005

Keith's Pictures: 2005-08-06


20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trailhead

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trail & Railings

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Cog, Power & Parking

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Cog depot

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Heading up

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trail up

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View out

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Purple Wildflower

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Pack dog

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Sign: Peak 12mi

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Sun on Garden of the Gods

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - A little peak through the trees

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View down

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Cliff Dwellings & Beyoung

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Manatou Cliff Dwellings and beyound

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Railings, Rcoks & Trees

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Clouds over Colorado Springs

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Self portrait - Sitting

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Tree along fence

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Wildflowers Purple

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Wildflower Orange

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Pine cones

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Curve & Rdige

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Curve up rocks

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trail through rocks

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Small peak

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Sign Cog 3mi

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Steep rocks

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Curving Trail

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Rock in Stream

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - 3.5 Miles to Barr Camp

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Wildflower blog and white

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Sky above trail

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Rocky formation with trees

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Rocky Formation with Trees

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Meandering Trail

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Majestic Pikes Peak

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Rocky formation

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Pikes Peak appears above the trail

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Pikes Peak Above

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Twisty rock against the Sky

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Rocks, Tree, Ridge, Sky

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Pikes Peak

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Rocky curve

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trail curving up

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View of Pikes Peak ahead through trees

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trail

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Nearly There

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Barr Camp

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Barr Camp - Camping site

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Trail with railing on the way down

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View into town

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View of Downtown Colorado Springs

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - Garden of the Gods & Rt 24

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View of Garden of the Gods

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail - View up hill

20050703 Hiking Barr Trail