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Another fiscal conservative/social libertarian
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Les' LiveJournal:

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Monday, March 28th, 2016
9:26 am

It's Easter again
Sunday, April 5th, 2015
9:41 am
Saturday, April 19th, 2014
7:32 am
Sunday, March 31st, 2013
4:10 pm
Saturday, April 7th, 2012
8:59 am
Monday, March 29th, 2010
8:23 pm
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
11:24 pm
Stuff going on this week
Had Emily drive around Fort Collins this morning. Then we went and donated blood. Emily was dizzy after that, so she was done driving. Tomorrow is her driving test, and possibly her license. (worried)

Went shooting at the indoor range in Greeley Monday night. Got a 84/100 which is my high score for a single target in that discipline (bullseye, 50 foot single handed)

I have been having fun looking at the houses I grew up in on Google street view. Funny thing is that I can't find one house, which I think was on Prosperity Lane. But I did discover that one of the first subdivisions in that town from the late 1800s was called Poverty Ridge, which was later renamed Prosperity Lane. ...Is it only me or is it funny that Poverty Ridge was renamed to Prosperity Lane.
Monday, January 11th, 2010
10:03 pm
Went shooting tonight. Had not been in quite a while. Got a 84/100 for my best target at 50 feet one handed. My only two handed target was 85/100.
Sunday, December 13th, 2009
7:49 pm
Just another weekend
I discovered how to download free ring tones to a Verizon cell phone today.

Judged at the First Lego League robotics state championship Saturday.
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
10:07 pm
Water
Three holes in the drywall and 90 minutes with a heat gun = running water again. -16 is very cold.
Thursday, November 19th, 2009
12:45 pm
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
12:50 pm
William F Buckley on Wordstar
From a Time Magazine article: “I’m told there are better programs, but I’m also told there are better alphabets.”
Sunday, October 25th, 2009
9:37 pm
Sci Fi Convention update
We just got back, here is the report:

The "boat race". I really thought that we were going to win this one. Our boat worked so good in the tub here at home. Cyndee made the best boat. It was made of Styrofoam, with the cut up milk carton hot glued to the Styrofoam (the rules did say that the HULL needed to be made from a milk carton). She then coated the boat with a fresh coat of wax. For power we drilled a hole big enough for a CO2 cartridge in the stern of the boat. I made a device out of pipe fittings, a spring and all-thread to puncture the seal on the CO2 cartridge.

It worked so good here, but the CO2 cartridges I had purchased smelled very bad. I had purchased air rifle cartridges which I think have some oil mixed with the gas. I went to the bike store and bought some of the same sized cartridges which were meant to fill bicycle tires. I assumed without the oil it should not smell bad.

Well, when the race started I tried to puncture the cartridge, the impact pushed the boat a few feet, but the seal was not punctured. I re-cocked the launcher and tried again, still no puncture. I guess the bicycle cartridges have a much thicker seal than the air gun cartridges. I asked to go again and tried one of the air gun cartridges. This time we got a small hole off center, the boat slowly went about 4 feet then slowly spun in circles while stinking up the pool.

I guess the bicycle CO2 cartridge dulled my launcher. Cyndee did want to test before the race, but I didn't want to because we only had 4 bicycle cartridges, and the air gun cartridges (which we had plenty of) smelled bad. I guess we should have tested, but I don't know what we could have done differently.



The "robot competition" went really well. I wasn't going to enter after the boat race, but Cyndee convinced me to do it. I spent about 5 hours Saturday evening writing the firmware (programming) which controlled following other robots, and backing away from the edges of the stage if the robot was about to fall off.

The first time I was able to test the robot on the stage was at 12:00, and the competition was at 3:00. I made about 3 firmware changes and was "as good as it was going to get". We didn't win any of the 10 matches we fought, but that's what I expected, after all it was a autonomous robot fighting a remote controlled vehicle.

I thought it went well. A major problem was that every time I went over the printing on the stage (on the wood) I interpreted it as the edge of the board and tried to back away from it. I was also very slow compared to the other robots. I got a lot of compliments on how well the robot was built (better than most there), and that they couldn't believe how low my center of gravity was, they couldn't get under my robot to flip it over, HA! The other robot in the video that follows could barely push mine off the stage. None of the other robots in the 20 pound class had wireless remote control, they were all hard wired to a few switches.

Here is a video of a match. I came up with the name Ria when they asked for a name, after our bird. May not have been a good idea when some kids started yelling "die Ria".

Thursday, October 15th, 2009
10:52 pm
Update
Incredibly busy week at work. A few projects which just keep going and going and going.

Put a new alternator in my car tonight (thats the third time in the five years we have had it, but the first replacement alternator was older than the broken one and had 200,000 miles on it). Replaced the battery and the negative battery terminal also. Probably didn't need the battery, but it tested at six times it's rated capacity (was the bad alternator over charging it????). I didn't want to argue with the store who thought that the battery was at fault for the broken alternator, and the $140.00 alternator was covered under warrenty at Checkers.

The robot is coming along nicly (9 days until the competition). I have fixed the self destructing h-bridge motor drivers. The sonar works great now. Both (main and backup) CPU boards are working great and provide the correct voltage to run the infrared edge detectors. It has a key fob remote control for on and off this year too!

At this point I need to mount the sonors (probably wont be rotating) and the edge detectors, then its firmware time.

Got a flu shot today, the nurse didn't think the jokes I and the next guy in line were making about getting a discount if we shared dirty needles were very funny.

Wrote some great Delphi code today, when I was done I decided that the old code would have worked just as well, but it was cool code.

Cyndees merchandising job went realy bad today. She was supposed to have a four hour job putting all the bras at a walmart into new packaging, but the inventory was such a bad mess that she spent nine hours organizing and didn't even get started repackaging. She will spend another full day tomorrow finishing the job. That sucks.

Bras, not the best thing in the world, but next to it. :)
Friday, October 9th, 2009
7:34 am
The Nobel prize is now completely irrelevant
BHO wins Nobel peace prize:

Don't even ask what he has done to deserve this (nothing). Ask what he did in his first fourteen days in office to deserve this, because that is when the nomination process ended.

First a Nobel prize for a study on why the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard bothers people, then Al Gore for his fictitious movie, and now this. The Nobel prize is now completely irrelevant.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
5:12 pm
Good bye Saturn
General Motors said today it would shut down Saturn after respected Detroit businessman Roger Penske shocked GM and 350 Saturn dealers by saying that his plans to buy the storied brand had fallen apart.
Friday, August 28th, 2009
9:37 am
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
11:58 am
Happy Anniversary
Yesterday was out 22nd wedding anniversary.

We went to health care plan rally. I was called many interesting things. Apparently my sign saying "Read the bill" qualifies me as a racist. There were 400-500 anti reform bill (as it exists now) people, and about 10 pro reform bill people (who all showed up in one double decker bus). All the police hung out on the pro reform corner, things that make you go hmmmm. After about a hour of standing on the corner with signs, they all marched down to Representative Betsy Markey's office to leave a package of letters on her door step.

Cyndee took many great pictures and made a video which we will post later.

I was interviewed by a reporter from the CSU Collegian (college paper), I don't know why I would expect her to give a accurate report on what I told her.
Friday, August 21st, 2009
12:21 pm
Diagnosed with AAADD
Recently, I was Diagnosed with AAADD - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
1) The car isn't washed
2) The bills aren't paid
3) There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
4) The flowers don't have enough water,
5) There is still only 1 check in my check book,
6) I can't find the remote,
7) I can't find my glasses,
8) And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
10:29 pm
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