January 30, 2009

An Invention for Klutzes Like Me

Since I am deadly around keyboards, I decided to cover my next new one. So, when I replaced my Dell keyboard, I used the cellophane, it was wrapped in, as a keyboard cover.

Eventually, it gets dingy. So, I flipped it around and used the other side until, it too, was unable to be used. So, I looked into keyboard covers. The Cyberguys.com, had a "one size fits all" type cover. But, I wanted something more tailor made. I found one at protectcovers.com. It arrived promptly and I installed it immediately.

It was really simple. You just place it over your keyboard. It is exactly as described. Tailored to your keyboard. You can see, from this crappy photograph, that even the Dell logo is pressed into it:

After you fit it over the keys, you peel off the paper, over the adhesive, and adhere it to the sides and the bottom:

And this is the final result:

When you type on it, you are aware it's there. It's not invisible. But, you get used to it. An added bonus? It quiets down the keyboard. And, it's supposed to be easy to clean. As big a klutz as I am, I will probably find out soon, whether or not it is.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2009

Why Dogs Rule!

This is why I love dogs!

Article here

Dog saves owners life after near attack

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A woman is saved by her dog after suffering a near attack experience Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Broward Sheriff Office, a man posing as a repairman entered the victims apartment at River Side Drive and tried to rape the victim, but her Boston Terrier chased the suspect away. "The female dog, she saw her owner being attacked. The woman did try to fight off her attacker, but it was the Boston Terrier that came to the rescue. [The dog] came right in there, bit this man on his right sholder," said Veda Coleman-Wright, BSO.

The suspect is described as a white male with tan skin, between the ages of 40 and 50-years-old. He is believed to be six feet tall with wavy brown and gray hair, very white teeth with a Boston, Rhode Island ascent.

If you have any information on this attack, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

Posted by Valkyre at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2009

Kudos to solidsignal.com

I am usually quick to rant about a company that does me wrong. But, sometimes I neglect to give kudos to those who treat me right. So, I wanted to praise a company called solidsignal.com. Back on December 9th, 2003, we got a new, larger TV for a steal from Sam's Club. What we didn't know, at the time, was that analog TV's were being cleared out for the new wave of digital TV's that were going to hit the market. Well, our TV's analog signal will be made obsolete on February 17th, 2009. We're not about to toss these still working, reliable RCA's into the rubbish bin. So, that means we needed converter boxes. After days of searching, reading reviews and comparing, I settled on a Winegard converter box. It got high ratings and I was familiar with the Winegard name from their TV antennas. I went to solidsignal.com and bought two, using our two $40.00 coupons courtesy of the Federal Gov.:

A couple of days, after placing my order, they called me to tell me that those units were no longer in stock. However, they would replace them with a more expensive unit and charge the same price. So, with these images, you can see what I paid and what they usually charge.

A difference of $8.00 per unit. A total savings of $16.00. If we end up having to buy a third converter box, I will definitely go back to solidsignal.com.

Posted by Valkyre at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2009

January 20, 2009

As soon as Obama was sworn in as our 44th president, the images changed at whitehouse.gov

Posted by Valkyre at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2009

Yet Another Fascinating Video

Fast forward to almost 2 minutes. Watch how fast the first rescue boats get to the scene.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2009

Videos of the Hudson River Plane Crash

These are amazing:

Posted by Valkyre at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2009

A Happy Ending

I was terrified when I first read the headline. But, thanks to a skilled pilot, all of the passengers and crew survived.

US Airways Flight 1549 pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III has been hailed as a hero for safely landing the plane after two engines blew out Thursday in New York City. The captain for US Airways has more than 40 years of flying experience, according to a safety Web site.

Article here

All safe after US Airways jet goes down in New York's Hudson River

The pilot is praised for saving Flight 1549's 155 passengers and crew. The plane traveling to Charlotte, N.C., lost power after apparently hitting a flock of birds.

By Geraldine Baum and Michael Muskal
6:56 PM PST, January 15, 2009

Reporting from Los Angeles and New York -- A US Airways plane made an emergency landing into the icy waters of the Hudson River today, and the pilot was being called a hero for keeping about 155 passengers and crew alive after his craft was forced down moments after takeoff from New York City.

The cause of the crash will be investigated, city, state and federal officials said, but early reports indicated the plane may have hit some birds, causing its engines to lose power.

"We've had our miracle on 34th Street," New York Gov. David Paterson told a televised news conference this evening. "Now we've had a miracle on the Hudson."

"This pilot somehow, without any engines, was able to land this plane and perhaps without any serious injuries to the passengers," he said.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg praised the pilot as well.

"It would appear the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and then making sure everybody got out," the mayor said. "I had a long conversation with the pilot, and he said he walked the plane twice after everybody was off to verify nobody else was on board."

The pilot was identified as Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III of California's Bay Area.

Sullenberger has more than 40 years of flying experience, the last 29 as a captain with US Airways. A former fighter pilot and captain with the United States Air Force, Sullenberger has also served as a local safety chairman and accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Assn., according to his resume posted on the Web.

US Airways Flight 1549 was en route to Charlotte, N.C., when it lost power after takeoff from Runway 4 at LaGuardia Airport about 3:26 p.m. EST, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown.

The craft, an Airbus 320, took a left turn, then crashed into the river after three minutes into the flight.

"Indications are that there was a large flock of birds in the area," Brown said. Officials will investigate whether the plane hit the birds, disabling the engines and forcing the plane into a controlled crash.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he spoke about the accident with Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, who told him that based on preliminary information, the plane was brought down by one or two flocks of Canada geese that took out both engines.

Schumer told WNBC that Peters said "that the pilot did just an amazing job getting the plane down. She said it seems the pilot is the reason that, praise God, nobody was hurt."

Witnesses praised the pilot for bringing down the plane safely, and passengers repeatedly said they were alive because of his skill.

"Wow! And thank the Lord and thank the pilot. I can't believe he somehow managed to land that plane safely," passenger Alberto Panero told CNN.

"It was near-death experience," he said. "Thankfully, it didn't turn out that way."

In a brief statement he read to the media, US Airways Chairman and Chief Executive Doug Parker said that the plane was carrying 155 passengers, including two pilots and three flight attendants.

Some passengers were taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan and others to Palisades Medical Center in New Jersey for treatment. The extent of the injuries was unknown, but hypothermia could be a concern. One passenger was an infant.

According to a WNBC-TV meteorologist, the air temperature was about 20 degrees when the plane went down. The water temperature was between 35 degrees and 43 degrees.

Shortly after the plane hit the water, commuter ferries crossing the Hudson rushed to the scene and began plucking shivering passengers from the wings of the downed jet.

"We were just going home to Jersey," said one rescuer who would only give his first name, Jim. The 40-year-old man, a resident of Belmar, N.J., was on the first ferry to reach the jetliner.

"They were pretty calm," he said of the passengers. "They just wanted to get out of the water. Everybody looked like they were in pretty good shape. They were thanking us. We were just worried about getting them on the boat."

Jim's wife, Susan, 39, said she was astounded to see the plane just floating on the water.

"We just didn't believe what we were seeing," she said. "They were just standing on the wings waiting for us to pick them up."

Some of the rescued passengers were taken to the New York Waterways Terminal, Pier 79, where police officers were seen bringing in cots and blankets.

Mike Benny, an emergency medical technician who arrived at the scene a few minutes after the plane went down, said passengers were calm but were concerned about contacting friends and family members who would be worried. "They were all just basically concerned about their loved ones back at home," said Benny, who turned 37 today. He said he treated about 40 people at the scene.

"Amazingly, most of them were calm," he said.

Westchester residents Jim and Michelle Prisco were driving down 40th Street toward the West Side Highway when they saw the plane go into the river.

"I freaked out," said Michelle Prisco. "I thought, not another terrorist attack."

Jim Prisco said he initially thought the plane was going to hit the George Washington Bridge. He was surprised to see it glide onto the water.

"It looked very gentle the way it landed," he said.

Patrick Wilder, a 35-year-old social worker, was bicycling north along the Hudson River near 125th Street when he saw the plane pass over the George Washington Bridge.

"I saw the plane on the Hudson, and I knew it was in trouble, because that's just not the normal route," he said. "All of a sudden it looked like it was pulling up slightly."

He biked on, then turned around to see the plane go down.

"I saw the splash," he said.

Initially, the plane appeared partially submerged, at about window level of the fuselage, but sinking quickly. Passengers wearing life vests were being helped off the craft.

By evening, the plane was being supported by several boats.

On Nov. 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587 crashed off Queens, killing all 260 people aboard and five on the ground.

Staff writers Peter Pae and Joanna Lin contributed from Los Angeles. Staff writers Matea Gold and Walter Hamilton contributed from New York.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2009

Tilt-Shift Photography

Very Short List, sent the following link in an e-mail. It's called 50 Beautiful Examples of Tilt-Shift Photography. I had never heard of this before. There are some beautiful examples on the site. I couldn't post all 50 here, but picked out some of my favorites. They look like toys, or miniature dioramas.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2009

Another Day, Another Replacement Credit Card

*sigh* A couple of months ago, they sent us new Visa cards with different account numbers. An accompanying letter explained that our account numbers may have been "compromised" at a merchant's site. Never told us which merchant. Well today, we received two new Discover cards in the mail. Same thing. Our account numbers may have been compromised at a merchants site. This time, they didn't change the account numbers, but I guess the new expiration dates will make the old cards invalid. It would be nice if they would disclose which merchants these are. And, it would be nice to know how they were "compromise". Were the sites hacked? Did an employee steal the information? Was it a large site like Amazon, Target? Or a little Mom and Pop place. So many questions. So few answers.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:22 PM | Comments (1)

January 02, 2009

I Love Stories Like This

It reminds me of that Urban Legend. A young kid is asked to clean out a garage. He can keep everything he finds. Under all the junk is a cherry vintage car. Sometimes a Mustang, sometimes a Camaro. Never a Bugatti!

Rare 1937 Bugatti found in English garage

By Gregory Katz The Associated Press
Posted: 01/02/2009 07:51:46 AM PST

LONDON - It was the equivalent of finding an old Picasso or an unknown Beatles tape hidden away in your uncle's attic.

Relatives of Dr. Harold Carr found an extremely rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante - a Holy Grail for car collectors - as they were going through his belongings after his death.

The dusty two-seater, unused since 1960, didn't look like much in the garage in Gosforth, near Newcastle in northern England.

But only 17 were ever made, and when it's cleaned up and auctioned in Paris next month, experts believe it will fetch at least 3 million pounds ($4.3 million) and possibly much more.

Bugatti once represented the height of motoring achievement. The supercar was so ahead of its time it could go up to 130 mph (209 kph) when most other cars topped out about 50 mph (80 kph).

This particular car is even more valuable because it was originally owned by Earl Howe, a prominent British race car driver, and because its original equipment is intact, so it can restored without relying on replacement parts.

"It has all the finest attributes any connoisseur collector could ever seek, in one of the ultimate road-going sports cars from the golden era of the 1930s," said James Knight, head of the international motoring department at Bonhams, which will auction the car Feb. 7.

Knight and a small number of Bugatti enthusiasts knew of Carr's proudest possession, but not the eight relatives who inherited Carr's

The orthopedic surgeon, who died at age 89, was described by relatives as an eccentric hoarder who never threw anything out. He also left behind an Aston Martin, which was sold, and a Jaguar sports car that was scrapped because it was in such poor condition.

The Bugatti marque is famed for its speed and handling and was a frequent race winner in the 1920s and 1930s. The 57S Atalante was one of its most successful models, each one made by hand with unique details.

The company founded in 1909 by Ettore Bugatti collapsed in the 1940s after a long string of racing victories.

The rights to the legendary Bugatti name were purchased in 1998 by Volkswagen, which has built the Bugatti Veyron, one of the world's fastest and most expensive cars.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)