Saturday, January 20, 2007

a few things

I'm back, and I'm going to ramble.

Impressions from the Costa Rica trip? I hate people.

I say so jokingly, but there is some truth to it. I'm greatly annoyed when people are condescending. It doesn't need to be condescending to me personally, but I do appreciate it when people are generally respectful of people or societies that are different from our own. Yes, the food is different than ours, and Tico food isn't anything special, but that's no reason to continually say how it's crap. American food sucks even more. Cajun and southern food are good, but even then a lot of it is an acquired taste. Pulled pork sandwiches don't seem good at all until you overcome how the thing looks.

Neat odd thing of the trip:
I'm rich! After withdrawing some money from the ATM, I was pleased to discover that I was now a millionaire. A multi-millionaire at that. Available balance of 2,436,973.88. Heck yeah!

So photos...
I took a look at the photos I took on the trip. I think I had about 400 total. I've pruned out about 100 of those so far to eliminate the ones that didn't come out right. Yes, I've gotten to the point where I'll take 2-10 shots of the same thing hoping that some will come out better than others. Photoshop skills can recover a lot, but it's still a hell of a lot easier to just start off with a well-shot photo. Plus, you can't do much of the thing is out of focus or blurry. Short version: I'm love my camera and I'm beginning to appreciate burst mode. Great for taking shots of birds flying and people planting pineapple plants (no joke). I do think that I might treat myself to a new zoom with a bit less distortion at short focal lengths though. The curved horizon thing just isn't cool when you have 300 photos to deal with.

Next random topic: My car
The Check Engine light is on again. Once again, it says that it's the oxygen sensor. I think that's bullshit, or they broke it when fixing my exhaust. The guy did mention that he dumped water on it to cool it off when he was fixing it. Nothing like dousing a hot object with water to cause it to crack, warp, or break. I think I'm going to opt for the easy "fix," resetting the ECM.

Next random topic: Investments
Once I finish tranfering funds between my various accounts (BofA, FirstIB, ING), I'll dump another $4,000 into my Roth IRA. Nothing like using the Roth IRA in a year of low income! (-: Having less than a year of income has a few small perks.

Next random topic: Power generation
After discovering that UI has jacked up our electricity rates, I'm going to switch over to Levco for my power generation. Yes, they use nukes, but to be honest, I'm totally OK with nukes. In fact, I challenge someone to give me a better *practical* alternative. Coal and oil suck (ugly, air pollution, damage from coal mining), hydro ain't all that great either (impacts to waterways), and wind and solar aren't yet practical (perhaps not enough wind). So nukes it is. Minimal pollution (as long as they are responsible), and they produce a crapload of power in comparison to all alternatives aside from hydro.

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