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Kitten Mittons!

Friday, July 9, 2010 

After Tortuga had her kittens, the clatter of tiny paws was almost deafening.  We really could have used a whole case of these!

Posted at 13:01:04 UTC

Category: funnyvideo

Spooky Cupid Shuffle

Friday, June 25, 2010 

A modern Macarena? Is it odd when people start a synchronized dance at the German embassy?

[quicktime]http://www.blackrosetech.com/gessel/wp-filez/cupid_shuffle.mp4[/quicktime]

Posted at 20:12:38 UTC

Category: video

loading our bags

Thursday, November 6, 2008 

Our plane stopped on it’s way out of the gate, went back to the gate for a quick mechanical fix to the toilets, we were told.  Outside I saw them loading a few more bags including Carolyn and Mine (the grey and yellow plastic ones).

loading our bags.3GP

Posted at 16:00:12 UTC

Category: photoplanesvideo

Tossed like a Salad…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 

The New York Times had an article about the trials of the survivors of Ike in Texas. Pretty dramatic, but nothing highlights the malevolence of a storm than an allusion to tossed salad:

“Outside, the peninsula was under siege. Flooding and winds moved beach houses onto the highway, tore off awnings and walls, and rushed straight through houses and businesses, leaving their roofs intact but their insides tossed into a salad of clothing, furniture and debris.”

Read more…

Posted at 11:50:56 UTC

Category: funnyvideoweather

Acceleration Slidewalk

Friday, August 15, 2008 

For the last year or so I’ve been waiting for the acceleration slidewalk at the Toronto Airport to open. One day last March I saw it running, but never since. It works a bit like an acceleration ski lift. The hand rests and the tread expand for the first 10 meters or so of the slidewalk as it starts, moving faster as they expand. It looks like it runs about twice as fast as a regular slidewalk – nearly a jogging pace. At the end it slows down as the treads compress into each other. I can’t wait until it opens.

Acceleration_Slidewalk_YYZ.MOV

Read more…

Posted at 19:00:25 UTC

Category: technologyvideo

4th of Juplaya

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 

Carolyn and I went out to the Black Rock Desert to partake in the 4th of Juplaya experience. Kent put together (along with Dismal crew) an amazing fireworks show, well worth the trip. We drove out in my old ’79 F250, which is becoming a classic (apparently the 78 and 79 are much desired according to a nice ranger we met), and camped in it.

Dismal_fireworks2.jpg

The show was really great. It was, by far, the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen. The pyrotechnics weren’t necessarily as big as a city-sponsored show, but they were close, “crowd interactive,” and very creative. Photographs, especially with a point-and-shoot digital, do not do justice the experience.

dismal3.jpg

We camped with Nephology/FKO, and had a very nice time with our “neighbors.” Vera and Eric caravanned out with us and we ended up next to Simon and Julia. Between us we had brought a lot of good food and enough cooking apparatus to make very nice meals like citrus marinade for the ribs and chicken and butter lettuce and sides of seared vegetables and yams.

Our_Camp_juplaya.jpg

The fourth is a good time to head out – the playa is uncrowded and if you must avoid an impromptu rave that sets up near by you can just drive straight away until the sound fades to zero a mile or two away. By doing so, we slept very soundly in the back of the truck.

On the way out we took a very pretty dirt road that paralleled the paved road between 80 and Gerlach. We ended up driving down it a bit further than anticipated and the GPS told us to take a right at a “road” (as it was named on the GPS map) we could barely discern from the desert.

Road_through_Washoe.jpg

After an hour of crawling over washouts and flash creeks we found ourselves at a gate and a fork in the road. While waiting for the GPS to figure out which direction led to pavement (the battery died, the cigarette lighter in the truck doesn’t work so it was bare wires against he pins to wake up the GPS)… there was a fairly significant “BOOM” from under the hood and the engine stopped suddenly and a could of steam spurted out…

Road_through_Washoe2.jpg

We were 25 miles or so from the last place we saw a human being and an indeterminate distance from the nearest paved road or even cell service. It was about 1pm. About 105F. Not the best time to be out in the middle of nowhere with the top blown off the radiator.

Road_through_Washoe3.jpg

After inventorying what was in the back of the truck I dug out some ratchet straps, cut down a stick I found by the side of the road with the vestigial saw on my multi-tool, and used the stapler to fabricate a seal from a rag and strapped the radiator back together so it wasn’t blowing out steam fast enough to flood the distributor. I refilled the radiator with drinking water and we were ready to go. We found ourselves walking distance from a ranch where the lovely Annette there let us a refill our water bottles and we managed to drive over the pass and out to the paved road. With a few adjustments and minor events we made it all the way to I80 where the truck finally gave up.

[quicktime]http://www.blackrosetech.com/gessel/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/rattler.mov[/quicktime]

There we met a friendly rattler who kept us company until AAA showed up and took us to Waynes Auto repair in Sparks. They seemed to know F250s pretty well, so they’re doing all the work the truck needs at the moment.

Posted at 23:00:44 UTC

Category: oddphotoplacesvideo

Guca Golden Trumpet Festival…

Saturday, January 26, 2008 

Carolyn and I were on a night train from Zagreb to Venice last night and our cabin mate was on his way from Belgrade and told us that the most amazing experience of his life was the Guca Golden Trumpet Festival, especially the finale where the hills around the town are wired with dynamite charges, one for ever of the 47 years of the festival.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXR6v1d2ZVg[/youtube]

Posted at 10:47:59 UTC

Category: travelvideo

Toilets in FRA

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 

The red carpet club in FRA has 220 outlets with exposed metal springs carrying live current (you can connect more or less any plug style just by holding it against the springs – even fingers). The bathroom is pretty and all the free alcohol you can drink… but the Lufthansa Senators lounge is much nicer: the outlets are safe and the toilets clean themselves.

Posted at 07:18:08 UTC

Category: planestravelvideo

Night in YYZ

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 

The view from our hotel is very nice. They put us on the 20th floor with a balcony overlooking downtown Toronto.

{vidavee id=”2927″ w=”320″ }

Posted at 17:35:07 UTC

Category: hotelstravelvideo

Gatorland video

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 

Back in January of 2007, Carolyn and I visited the premiere 1/2 day attraction in Florida, the amazing Gatorland, home of the gator jump. Unfortunately, in January, the water is a bit cold for Gators and they don’t jump as enthusiastically as they apparently do in warmer months.
{vidavee id=”1842″ w=”320″ }

Posted at 23:53:20 UTC

Category: placestravelvideo