Archive for the 'Review' Category

Finally got to see the movie Hackers…

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I never got to see Hackers back in 1995, and I finally got to watch it on Sunday (Netflix) I watched it with Melissa the boys. We all enjoyed it thoroughly.

All of the track and field events ranked…

Monday, July 4th, 2011

So I just got done giving the Area 5 Knoxville meet a harsh review. I thought that maybe ranking them all might be useful.

2010 Junior Olympics in Virginia
10 out of 10 points
Perfect, everything was on time. The judges were great. The venue was great.

9 out of 10 points
A very well run event the only criticism I have was that there were a few judges that were rookies. I saw a guy get disqualified from a walking event because the judged didn’t understand the rules. But it was great event.

USATF Summer Meets
8 out of 10 points
Very well run. Nice awards. The people running it are usually kind of mean and arrogant, but they usually do a good job. I wish they would have had more events…

Heat Spring Meets at Sprayberry High School
7 out of 10 points
Small time stuff, but well run.

Pebblebrook Spring Meets
7 out of 10 points
Small time stuff, but well run.

AAU Augusta Meets
6.5 out of 10 points
They do a good job, but the venue is terrible. Great concession stand though. They usually can’t handle the number of participants. The town and the area is a dive though. But they do a good job. I don’t really understand why they do it in Augusta, and why Area 6 doesn’t have two events, but whatever.

Knoxville Meet
3 out of 10 points
Everyone is polite (except Sodexo) but they just don’t know what they are doing.

AAU National Qualifiers In Knoxville Tennessee Review

Monday, July 4th, 2011

The boys competed in the AAU Area 5 National Qualifier In Knoxville Tennessee. I have no idea why we in Knoxville. Rod and Lex are throwers and Area 5 is a much more competitive environment for throwers than Area 6 (our area). We were very very fortunate that Rod and Lex were able to advance to the Junior Olympics out of Area 5.

I sincerely believe that the Knoxville Tennessee event was the most poorly run track and field event I have ever participated in. The reason it was so bad was because the people running it just didn’t care. I think it was because no one was responsible for everything. I think every part of the event was run by a completely different organization.

The good:
1) It was on a college campus UT
2) The people were polite

The bad:
1) I don’t think the tool they were using to measure the lengths works. It seemed like a guy holds a big flat square thing and pointed the flat surface towards a lady that was shooting some kind of laser or something at it. The the guy would adjust the angle of the flat surface until the lady would let it him know she was done. Then my child would relay the recorded distance to us… That tool was way off, it looked like that tool was 15 to 20 feet off. I think the guy would eyeball the distance and then read the result and have the guy adjust until she got a reading that appeared correct. It was sad.

2) They wouldn’t announce the distances. I have never, ever, ever been to a meet that doesn’t announce the distances thrown. I can tell you why they didn’t announce the lengths, because the lengths were wrong, because that equipment is garbage.

3) $3.50 for a soft drink and $3.50 of a very unimpressive hot dog. The hot dogs weren’t nearly as good as a gas station hot dog. Sodexo was running the concession stand and they are TERRIBLE.

4) Fifty cent pieces as change. Really, who hands out 50 cent pieces for change. The Sodexo employee said that since all of their food/drinks are in 50 cent increments it’s just easier for them to give out 50 cent pieces instead of quarters. Because they really don’t care at all about providing good service. I mean they were selling an item every 20 or so minutes it having to count out an extra quarter twice an hour that hard?

5) Seriously bitter concession stand employees. I don’t blame them, their situation SUCKS, having to give people 50 cent pieces as change is idiotic. Selling cokes for $3.50 when there is a vending machine around the corner for $1.25 has got to suck. Sitting there doing nothing all day has got to suck.

6) I hate to mention this, but it truly did mess things up. The people running the event were ancient. I mean seriously old. They just couldn’t do the job correctly and the athletes suffered for it. They did try very hard though.

I never realized how well run the August meet is.

Watch Source Code at the dollar theater today…

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Wow, what an amazing movie… Source code. I believe it’s a movie that is well worth watching.

We have finally given up on the tankless water heaters…

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

OK, so the upside to tankless water heaters is supposed to be that you can take an endless hot shower and it is supposed to save electricity because it heats the water on demand.

From a convenience perspective if the tankless water heater is about even with a tank water heater. The tank water heaters deliver hot water instantly and when the electricity goes out you can get a hot shower if you move quickly enough. Tankless water heaters take about 2 minutes to heat up and if the electricity goes out you are out of hot water in about 20 seconds. So under ideal conditions they are even.

We bought a tankless water heater and after the guy installed it and ripped our tanked water heater out he mentioned that our tankless water heater couldn’t do the job and that we needed a second one. Then he put the second smaller one on (in series) and it was acceptable. Turns out that the first one was broken and the second smaller one was the only one working. The tankless water heaters were not doing the job about 3-4 times a year. My mom decided to give us her fridge because she bought a new better one. We took the fridge and moved to old one into the garage. After that any showers that lasted longer than 5 minutes would trip the house circuit.

It was one of the few truly ironic twists in my life that the tankless water heater was the one thing that taught us to take short showers.

Anyways, the stupid things broke again today. We called for support and as usual their solution is for us to take the heaters out, mail them to Miami Florida, and then they may replace them or they may charge us $400 a piece.

So we give up… back to the 40 gallon water heater. The last one lasted for 30 years, we didn’t have a single tankless water heater last longer than 6 months.

Just Finished My Book… Building Android Apps by Jonathan Stark

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

If I had to assign a letter grade to the book I would give it a A+ for being worth reading.

This is how I consumed the book. I read a chapter every night for a week and then on the weekend I did the examples.


I thought each chapter was laid out with a good nights worth of reading.
I was introduced to a lot new concepts.
The idea of changing CSS for mobile phones and the computers is pretty cool.
A nice introduction the JQuery


Not as focused on Android as I thought it would be, but all and all that turned out to be a good thing.

Finished up the book Too Big To Fail on Friday

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

I hated reading that book. The book was well written and interesting, but the people in the book make me sick.

The book is red with big black letters. It’s kind of like communist red.

I think one of the major points I took away from the book is that the USA is a lot like China’s government. There was a point where the government pulled in the very top bankers and offered them a loan with strings attached. The president of Wells Fargo did not want it and he was super vocal about it (saying we didn’t get involved with any of these stupid loans and financial tools why should we have to lose our freedom). Then the government said that he would be out of business (something about the FDIC) if he didn’t take the loan.

The point is that no one can say no to the federal government. We all have to do whatever they say.

The truth of the matter is that we have always had someone that can force us to do what we don’t want to do. For example, I have to pull over is a police officer turns his lights on. It doesn’t matter if I was breaking the law or not. A police officer can make anyone pull over at any moment. So the fact that there is another entity that can push us around is nothing more than good to know.

So anyways… it’s almost impossible to predict anything in the country because the Federal government can force any organization to do anything.

Here’s what I mean. So I see that there is a bunch of money in the system and I predict inflation. That makes sense, but it’s not predictable because lets say I find myself with a $1,000,000,000 and I decide to buy all of the green beans in the world. The Feds can just tell me to quit buying beans and guess what, I am going to stop buying beens. They can even come to me and say, here’s another $1,000,000,000, just don’t buy anything with it. If I have a shop they can say we see the inputs and outputs of your business and if you jack up prices your going to jail. Remember the people that got in trouble for raising prices during the last oil shortages?

Things are unpredictable.

Finished my book… People of the Valley by Frank Waters

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

I have read 1000s of books. I truly enjoyed reading the book. If anyone every asked me “If I could read only one book, which book would you suggest” I would say “The People of the Valley” by Frank Waters.

Great book!!!

Great Android App – Calorie Counter By Fat Secret

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Calorie Counter By FatSecret is a fantastic application. If you have an Android Phone then I suggest you download it.

Inglourious Bastards

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The boys and I decided to watch the movie Inglourious Bastards when they got home from school today. We’ve seen the movie a couple of times.

I think one of my favorite moments in the movie was at the end when the Hans (Jew Hunter) realizes that Aldo is crazy. My take on the two characters is that Hans was a highly intelligent/ambitious person that is pretty much willing to do anything to get ahead. Aldo was a highly intelligent/insane person that was driven to rage by the Nazis.

I believe that throughout the movie Hans was thinking that Aldo was brilliant that Aldo was mainly just trying to advance. Hans studied every detail of Aldo. It was great when Aldo asked Hans, “are you ever going to take that uniform off?” That’s the moment Hans realized that Aldo was insane and that he couldn’t care less about advancement.

What a great movie. A++++++++