Archive for November, 2007

26
Nov

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Food!, Life Stuff

Turkey Day 2007

Well, the time has come and gone. A week of planning and preparing has again proven to be a great time. I had two turkeys, one teriyaki, and one garlic herb, both deep fried for juicy goodness. The guests hauled in bunches of “everything else” and we had more than enough food for everyone, with plenty of food to send home with everyone. It took about 6 hours of clean up time to get things settled back in, but it was worth all the work. Good times with great friends. I hope everyone had a good time, and got plenty of food to take home. I know I have more that enough.

11
Nov

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Tech

Customers aren’t the only ones frustrated with the high-definition format wars—Sony CEO Howard Stringer is reaching the end of his rope as well. Blu-ray, which is backed by Sony, was doing well up until recently and winning the war based on merits, Stringer said at an event in New York. That is, up until movie studio Paramount decided to “change sides” and go exclusively HD DVD in August. Things have apparently become more difficult since then, and the high-profile CEO is showing signs of wear.

“It’s a difficult fight,” Stringer was quoted saying by the Associated Press, going so far as to describe the situation as a “stalemate.” He candidly indicated that the war mostly came down to bragging rights over who was winning, and said that the two camps could have collaborated better in the past to develop one format. Stringer even said that he wished he could go back in time to make that possible—is that the smell of regret floating in the air?

Indeed, without some sort of compromise, it doesn’t appear as if the battle will be over any time soon. The two sides have been going back and forth in the media as to who has been “winning” at any given time, with Sony taking a lead in overall player sales, but HD DVD winning out when it comes to standalone players (most of Blu-ray’s players come as part of the PS3 console). The rest of the market has been forced to take sides in many cases too, with Blockbuster and Target giving points to the Blu-ray camp while HD DVD remains more popular among European movie studios. The stream of news about little victories between the two is nearly endless—and “little” they are, as the market is still so small that just the changing of the wind can tip the scales in either direction.

Market research firm Forrester Research recently revised its stance on the Blu-ray versus HD DVD deadlock, saying that it was sure to continue well into 2009, if not longer. As a consumer, that news is just plain dreadful, and for a manufacturer with hands in the game, probably even worse. A large majority of consumers are still hesitant to buy players for either format. And with customers not spending money, neither camp will come out on top. Stringer appears to have finally come to that realization—will Toshiba hear his cries and come a-knockin’? We’d love to be wrong on this one, but we just don’t see it happening now. It’s just too late.

8
Nov

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird


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The Associated Press reported a 1951 Chevy pickup, converted into a boat, got within 40 miles of Florida
This truck/boat was spotted, on July 16th, 2003 by a Bureau of Immigration and Customs patrol plane. It was later intercepted by two U.S. Coast Guard boats. The truck was kept afloat by attaching empty 55 gallon drums to the bottom, making it the first known truck raft to attempt crossing the Florida Straits from Cuba to Key West. It was powered by a propeller attached to the drive shaft, propelling it along at 8 miles per hour. The tires were still on the vintage Chevy truck. Eduarado Perez Graz, one of the 12 immigrants on board, stated “We arrived at the coast in the same truck and assembled everything in six hours. If they had let us get to Key West, we would have been able to drive it right onto the sand.”
The Associated reported on March 12, 2005 Luis Grass, his wife, Hisora Hernandez, and son Angel Luis Grass Hernandez, who attempted the voyage from Cuba to the United States in the above 1951 Chevy pickup, finally made it to U.S. soil. In addition to the 2003 attempt, in 2004 they were again intercepted short of landing on U.S. soil. This time in an old Buick Sedan.

The successful trip was finally achieved by crossing the U.S./Mexico border near Bownsville, Texas.

2
Nov

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff

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Tibbits remarked once, “The guys who appreciated that I saved their asses are mostly dead now.” Tibbits went on to offer that “in war, there is no morality”.

Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the B-29 bomber Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb onHiroshima, died Thursday at his home in Columbus, Ohio after suffering a number of health problems. He was 92.

Tibbets’ wishes were not to have a funeral or a headstone. His confidant Gerry Newhouse explained that Tibbets had concerns that his detractors would protest at his gravesite.

Tibbets enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Fort Thomas, Kentucky in February, 1937. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1938 and received his wings at Kelly Field, Texas. Tibbets was named commanding officer of the 340th Bomb Squadron, 97th Heavy Bomb Group flying B-17 Flying Fortresses in March, 1942.

He piloted the lead bomber on the first Eighth Air Force bombing mission in Europe Aug. 17, 1942, and also flew combat missions in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Tibbets returned to the United States. to test fly B-29 Superfortresses.

Tibbets “by reputation” was “the best flier in the Army Air Force”.

Aug.5, 1945, Tibbets named the B-29, serial number 44-86292, the Enola Gay after his mother. At 2:45 a.m. of Aug. 6, 1945, Tibbets flew the Enola Gay from Tinian Island in the Marianas for Japan. At 8:15 a.m., the atomic bomb, codenamed Little Boy, was dropped over Hiroshima. Soon after, the war ended.

On March 15, 2005 I attended the Titusville Airshow, and was lucky enough to “meet” General Tibbets. It was amazing, at his age, the schedule he kept with hundreds of people in line for autographs and pictures. Way more patience than what I would have.

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