Thursday, May 28, 2009


So you are off on vacation on the gulf of mexico, you take a series of pictures by standing in one place and snapping pictures as you move horizontally, now you want to put them together to make a panoramic image. How to do it?

Hugin is a free download from that will stich the images together based on common images in each picture.

I strongly recommend using the assistant tab as it makes melook smarter than I am :)

Hugin version for Windows

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

This is a simple thank you to all that are currently serving or have served in the United States Military and to the families who have lost friends and family members while involved in protecting our freedom and providing for our national defense.

I pause to remember two grandfathers who served in World War II. One of which received a Purple Heart and Two Silver Stars. And, I join with you and yours as we recall the personal sacrifices made by the men and women in our military.

May you and your families enjoy a long weekend, and may we never forget.

...One Nation, Under God.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Text Message Shorthand and Chat Acronyms

A friend on facebook mentioned they wished they had a glossary of Text shorthand definitions. Back in the 90s when we were all chatting, I used to have a lot of this in my hand. Well here boys and girls (and those somewhere in between) is the most complete list I have ever seen. Read with caution:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Your Car Warranty is About to Expire

It seems that an over ambitious firm is calling every home phone, business phone, and cell phone number in the United States and beginning a conversation with a recorded message, "Your car warranty is about to expire." This despite whether the number they are calling is on the National Do Not Call List. They then present the "victim" of their call with two options: 1 - talk to one of our fine sales people for more information or 2 - have your number removed from our call list.

If you press 2, they just call back in 8 hours or so. If they get voicemail, they just call back as well. So, what to do to make it stop?

The magnitude of this problem was become recently apparent as I have heard people passing on the sidewalk talking about it, people in restaurant lines, and coworkers.

Wednesday, when I had just arrived at the office (pre-coffee), one of my coworkers cell phone began to ring. He answered it and said, "oh boy, my car warranty is about to expire again." So, he pressed one this time. A woman picked up and asked him his name. He responded, "Richard Wrinkle." She said "Good morning, Mr. Wrinkle. What year and model car do you have?" Now you would think if this call was authentic, they would know what kind of car he had. so, this kind of verifies that this is a scam. So, he played along. He replied, "Its a 2009 Audi R8." She then asked him to hold and transferred him to a warranty consultant. A few seconds later, a man came on the line and said, "Good morning, Mr. Wrinkle. What year and model car do you have?" My coworker replied, "Its a 2009 Audi R8, and my friends call me Dick."

The warranty consultant then began to ask for more details, "How many miles do you have on the car?" My coworker replied, "12 miles." The warranty consultant seemed a little frustrated, "Do you plan to keep it for a long time?" My coworker replied, "Well, unless I get bored and trade it for a Ferrari or something." The warranty consultant responded, "Ok, hold on" and hung up. He has not received any further calls.

So, Yesterday when our home phone rang, and my wife said, "It's the car warranty people", I jumped to action. A female voice came on the line, "Would you like to extend your car warranty?" I replied, "Sure!" She then asked, "what year and model car do you have?" I replied, "A 1978 Ford Pinto, and it is a piece of crap." The tempo of her speech pattern quickened to almost staccato, "Ok, we will remove you number from our call list." CLICK.

So, if you are receiving these annoying calls, and chances you are. And, you've tried pressing option 2 to no avail, and you've tried reporting them to the Do Not Call List and discovered they are spoofing their caller id info, then it's time to have some fun.

Pick out your favorite old crap car, maybe an MG Midget?

Pick out a humorous name. If you can't think of one, this fine fellow has a list on the internet:

Make up a good story and return the annoyance back to these fine folks. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Free KFC Grilled Chicken

Oprah wants us all to have free grilled chicken at KFC, so here's the link to print your coupon. You can print it until 9:59pm tonight CDT. The coupon itself is good thru 5/19/2009 but not good on Mother's day. (is that enough stipulations or what??)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sometimes a Casual Saturday Ride goes bad

A charity ride went horribly wrong here in North Georgia this weekend. Three people are recovering from injuries received in a wreck while participating in a charity ride. Apparently they had divided their 100+ group into smaller packs for the ride and were on wet pavement.

Some how the spacing of the pack dissapated and the middle group came up on the first group. As the leader of the middle pack came up on the first pack, he attempted to brake hard, lost control while braking and went down. The bike immediately behind him locked it up, flat spotted a tire, and went down as well. A third went off the shoulder of the road.

It makes me sick to hear about something like this happening. It is even worse when it seems easily avoidable. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured.

Here is the story from the local newspaper site:

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Mambo's Cafe

After getting home from a day riding motorcycles, it was time for date night. My wife's co-workers had been raving over the cuban restaraunt, Mambo's Cafe in Alpharetta.

I was introduced to Cuban food for the first time last summer when we visited Key West. Our excellent tour guide, Michael and his wife picked us up in a pedal cab and took us to a local Key West Cuban restaurant. Ever since, we have been hooked and my wife has been searching for a good local Cuban restaurant.

So, off we went to Mambo's at: 11770 Haynes Bridge Rd. Suite 601, Alpharetta, GA 30004 Phone 770-753-4352.

The Steak Palomilla was wonderful served with yellow rice, fried plantains and black beans. The portions were gracious and the service was superb.

We left Mambo's Cafe stuffed and content. Pleased that we have found a great Cuban restaurant that isn't too far away and has wonderful food. We are already discussing our next visit and what other selections on the menu that we need to sample.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Poker Run

I've never played poker or pretended to know the good hands or bad hands apart. But a worthy cause, the Children's Center for Hope and Healing, was holding a fundraiser and a Poker Run was the format they had decided upon so who was I to argue? It was for a good cause and gave me an excuse to be out on Rosie, so side stand up! While having participated in several organized bike rides, I had never been apart of a Poker Run, so teach an old dog a new trick.

My buddy, Steven was up for a ride. He sent me a text Friday night around 11pm to say he'd be here when I said we'd need to leave my house by 9am. This morning I saddled up and waited. At 9am, no Steven. I figured he'd seen the weather report calling for rain or decided to sleep in, or whatever and I knew to be at the starting point by 9:30am, I couldn't sit past 9am. So, I sent him a text and off I went. After checking in at the ride starting point, Steven came riding up. Seems he had missed his turn coming to my house and had ridden a bit out of his way before realizing and turning around. All is well that ends well...sorry buddy!

So, they handed out the ride maps, explained that we could ride whatever pace we wanted and it wasn't a pack ride, etc. Steven and I neither one had a tank bag or a good place to put a map we could look at while riding. I suggested we just follow a bike, namely a Triumph I saw that had the map taped to the tank with masking tape.

When everyone fired up and got ready to depart, Steven decided he'd would like for us to follow a Hondapotimus instead. I didn't argue and away we went. When the Honda turned on the interstate I thought it was odd as it wasn't on the map but figured he was making a loop of some sort to get to the ride route. We rode on and I was thinking "we are heading the complete opposite direction of whee we are supposed to be going." Finally we pulled over and the guy we were following explained he had decided not to ride the route. Some quick regrouping and I was put on point, and we beat a hsty retreat to reach the first stop on the map before the rest of the bikes left.

Unfortunately, traffic wasn't cooperative and by the time we reached stop one, everyone was gone. So we pressed on to stop two and there they all were making a group photo. Again, alls well that ends well...and heck, we got to see a giant concrete rabbit.

We could see rain approaching from the west and were keeping an eye on it both watching the sky and the weather channel on our cell phones. We didn't miss anything else or take any other scenic side trips.

The raffles were held, burgers were eaten and yes, a good time was had by all. We mounted up a bit before everything was completely concluded at the rain was moving in, and started our ride home.

Along about the Dawsonville Outlet Mall, the rain began falling. It wasn't hard but steady. I pulled into our garage, dismounted, and was pulling off my helmet when the bottom fell out. Good Timing!

Friday, May 01, 2009