So today was April right?

What a beautiful day. We have been taking it easy here at HQ, enjoying the nice weather and giving the dogs a chance to run.

Happy to report the new AC Moore is a nice place, full of nice stuff. Kinda what you would expect from a store.

Did some light camerawork today, will have stuff up on Flickr later, or tomorrow. One of the two. Sorry about the whole Podcasting thing, but I got a new phone this weekend, upgraded from my old junky thing - and I've been tooling around with the configurations on it.

A good ol' Nokia.

Trusty, reliable, and no silly frills like cameras or excess buttons.

Anyway, things progress as always here. See ya when I see ya.

Oh, coming soon - easily identifiable F-R streetwear. Now you can track us like GPS... but don't get in our photos. Ok?


Ok - heres the sched. (M-String included)

Im off this weekend, for more photo-adventuring. I'm going to drop a live audiocast at some point today. That will be this weeks podcast. I figure a live one would be different enough to keep you interested. So keep checking back for that before 5pm today.

I might do one over the weekend, depending on where my hunting takes me.

Im gonna try and shake the quantuum particle hyperdimensional string theory physics thing this weekend too, so you might just have to suffer through another post about it. But I think you'll be ok.

Let's say this much for now: We live in a 10-dimensional universe, possibly more. But atleast 10.

I am going to try and add a few peices to the Orphans page, so you all have something to look forward to over the weekend. Me.

And with any luck, I can finish this position paper I've been working on. But we can hope.


Uh Oh

Some dark corner of my soul has been re-awakened by an article posted on Fark.com of all places. Other Dimensions might soon be detected.

You might not understand this, but I am a closet physicist. And while I might not understand all the math (ok, none of the math) I do grasp the concepts of hyperdimensional physics, and am able to easily extrapolate them further than any sane individual would.

The words "string theory" perked up some long dark corner deep inside me. Something I had forgotten about for a while.

I can ramble on and on about "phase variance" and "material transferance" and your eyes would glaze over, you would walk away slowly. Its not for everyone, I understand.. but forgive me if I lapse from time to time into DeepThought (42) and pull a rabbit out of a brick.

Yes, you heard me. And yes, it's entirely possible.

Thats the beauty of quantuum hyperdimensional physics. Everything is possible, you just have to explain it.

For example: You have been told since you were young, "We are all stardust." And yes, it's true. We are. The very same particles that make us individual were not created just for us - the spirit that makes them move, love, laugh, and live - thats an entirely other matter. But the physical being known as you is the very same substance (recombined) that created worlds. Galaxies.

We are all stardust.

Photons fall at an alarming rate through the universe, this way and that. While you read this, there are most likely billions of them passing directly through your body. Slamming into your head at alarming speeds, and passing right out your feet (if your standing). Now, the question is - do they simply pass through, or is there displacement?

A single photon can be the catylist for massive change, on the order of an atomic reaction - or can pass un-noticed through the world. We know photons carry weight, albeit minimal on a level most of us can't comprehend, but they do have weight.

So as I said, do they displace, or simply pass through?

And what about that there "dark matter"? The very essence of the universe? Well, I can't answer all those questions, but I can theorize. But I will attempt to restrain myself. However, if you seek more logical and studious information, I would like to direct your attention to Michio Kaku.
/> can explain particle and string physics like you would tell someone how to get from here to there. Simply and definitively.

Anyway - Im off to go collect some photons and dream a little string...

Finally, the moment you've been waiting for (feelin kinda grumbly)

My commentary on the new Roanoke Times online..

My biggest complaint is the design, its extremely jumbled and, for an average user, very frustrating. And thanks for disabling the right-click feature so now I actually have to use my back button (which I rarely ever use) rather than my usual rightclick-back. You've also taken away my ability to open an article in a new window, thus ensuring that the main portal page is now rubber cement. Your stuck there, and you just keep bouncing back.

Also, would someone please download Firefox there? It's really simple to use, and includes many features which will be found in the new Microsoft Internet Explorer, when it ships with Windows Vista. Most of those features you have blocked with your new design. Oh yeah, and thanks for dropping us bloggers off the main page (remember back when the Blog of the Day was actually changed day by day?) in favor of your two blogs.

If your going to block everything in sections (New River Valley.. The Lake.. Business....) maybe you should invest in someone with the coding know-how to run Ajax or Ruby on Rails, so the user can customize their own start-page. The homepage information is still static, the headlines for The Lake and Neighbors has not changed in a week or so.

The Times updates its entire site at 1:30am, but doesn't seem to free it of errors until later in the morning. I can look over the site now and still find the same errors that were online when the update went live.

There is plenty to like about the new Times homepage, but it still needs plenty of work. But please, clean up your CSS sheet, and cut out all the gaudyness.

Now - to another topic on the main page, real estate. As you all know I, your future Overlord, and my wife are currently searching for a new HQ. So I tend to read any story on the Roanoke Valley's real estate market with keen interest. But I have to say, never have I seen a delusion to this extent played out on paper. I was told that every house is priced over assesment, which is true - but the prices that are being asked are way over assesment, and for homes which should be valued way under assesment. I've looked at houses in undesireable areas (more commercial than residential, and not convient to anything) where the price was firm. And I mean firm, yet the sellers were allegedy motivated. How can you be motivated and yet not change your price? Thats not motivated by any stretch of the imagination.

I've been in houses which need more work than one would normally care to do. Again, the price is non-negotiable. If I have to invest 10k to clean and repair the home, Im not going to pay you that 10k AND pay it out to have the work done. That's stupid on my part.

And yet even with all the work these homes needs, the prices stay firm. And sit, and sit, and sit for months on the market. And Im not kidding about that. Im talking 3 months average for some of the homes We have seen, with no price change. After 3 months, do you not think there may be an issue?I'd be willing to say there is...

If you want to sit on your property until someone stupid enough comes along to pay full price, then make that clear from the outset. Stop playing games.

I realize the Roanoke Real Estate system is different from the one Im used to in NY, but for all those differences, the delusions are still the same. And Im not sure if the blame lies with the agents or the sellers.

/end rant


Just a note on the whole Google/China deal

I have a feeling that Google knows it's audience well enough to know that even though they have to work with restrictions in China, there are always ways around them - as any good G-Hacker will tell you. Therefore, I applaud Google in working with China to provide internet search access. And as for the blocking of certain topics - well, hackers - get to work.

And for those industry analyists so short-sighted not to see the probability of wrap-around hacking for the Google user behind an Iron Curtain, ya'll need to get a grip on reality and stop looking at numbers for answers.

Mystery in the park

This time I actually had my camera with me when I was in Elmwood... last time I was there, wandering (safely! unaccosted by the homeless!) and exploring the park, I came across this tree. A tree with pipes embedded within.
Yeah, you heard me - pipes embedded within the tree. And unless it's meant to be an aid to climbing the tree - I can see no reason for a tree to be peirced. I did some futher searching this time with my camera, and came across this:
If you look really closely, inside the hole - at the 11 o'clock position, you can see a grey line. Its a nail. One of 3 which are also embedded within this hole in the tree. I realize I was risking assault by squirrel in taking these photos, but I really need answers. How did the tree gain those nails deep within, to the point where the only parts showing are the sharp ends? The heads must be embedded within the wood itself.

My theory, this tree was once part of the fence corner for Elmwood, back when it was privately owned. And the fence was directly attached to the tree. But even that sounds barely plausible to me. So I turn to you, the viewing public - any ideas?


Chef K walking tour

My buddy Chef K has a walking tour of downtown on a Saturday night, with a report on each restaurant along the way.. interesting read.

I have my own review to make: Nick's Pig and Chicken in the Market building, best damn fries ever. The BBQ was great, but the fries.. oh man. I could live on those fries. Let Chef K have his mussels... I just want fries.

And as for the whole guido thing.. maybe one day I will tell you about them, but if I do - it will not be a proud moment.


Keeping Mill Mountain

href="http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/wb/xp-49524" Mountain protection plan />
This is a no-brainer. The hallmark of Roanoke absolutely needs protection. It should be protected, and lest anyone think otherwise, for example; Someone decides to buy a chunk of Mill Mountain to develop similar to Roanoke County's Slate Hill project - the streets would run with the bl... nevermind that.

The response to the development of Mill Mountain would make Victory Stadium look like a municipal street-cleaning project.

Look, we all love that Mountain. With its shiny star, pretty and serene zoo.. just protect the thing. Plus, where else would you want your Overlord to look down benevolently upon the citizenry of Roanoke.

Oh, and in a side note - I was once up at the pavillion on Mill Mountain having a nice lunch. On the pavillion is a board stating the schedule for who has that space reserved for them. Who reserved this spot atop Mill Mountain for a warm day in June?

Why none other than the mayor himself, along with the city council and support staff. Sounds like a municipal field trip to me. And an idea I highly support, I think its important to get out and get into the city itself, rather than be ensconced in a small room attempting to make big decisions.

I know its winter still, and I know we have a few more months of it to go.. but I'd like to invite the mayor and the entire city council to revisit the top of the mountain - and see whats worth preserving.

Cursed/Woodland Park - a photoset on Flickr

Cursed/Woodland Park - a photoset on Flickr

And here are the companion photos, ones which did not need to be on the same page, but were good none the less.


Forgotten Roanoke

Forgotten Roanoke

Here.. enjoy...

don't yell at me for it afterwards

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Working in the dungeon

The next page launches later tonight - in time for the ice storm (alleged)

I urge everyone to tell a friend about this page..

this is the big news I've been promising.. the curse of Roanoke explained...