Saturday, December 29, 2007

Google Street View has come to Indianapolis

Google Maps has added Indianapolis to Street View. But, they have not stopped at just downtown, no, they have added the greater area, including many cities and towns within 50 miles!

Greenwood, IN

So, this includes Martinsville, Terre Haute, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Shelbyville, Bloomington, Lafayette, Kokomo, Muncie, Anderson, Columbus, Crawfordsville, the list goes on (sorry Ft. Wayne, you were just barely missed).

Now, if NAVTEQ would only add my subdivision! (My battle continues with them, as they supply map data for nearly ALL online map services for Indianapolis and Greenwood)

Recycling and Cleaning

We are doing some cleaning around the house and we are attempting to recycle nearly everything we throw away during this cleaning. (BTW, we currently recycle glass, plastic, and newspaper/phone books, and we compost).

I know there are several good options out there for recycling old cell phones, but I thought this was especially easy. You print out this postage-paid label for a box, and throw your cell phones in the box. Its that easy! We are sending about 5 cell phones out on Monday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! And my God bless you and yours during this season of remembrance.

So I am up on Christmas morning reading news, actually. This article about the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD war sparked a thought as I disagree with their opinion.
Some powerful voices are telling buyers to remain on the sidelines.
Consumer Reports instructed readers not to purchase either HD DVD or Blu-ray players. Film critic Roger Ebert recently wrote that he's not buying until the format war is settled.
If people take a passive approach and wait for one side to win, no one will win. We, the consumers, will continue to be the losers until some sort of agreement is made, or dual media players become more prevalent. I say pick a side, and go with it! Pick the side that you prefer (depending on if you are an XBox 360, PS3 fan, Disney fan, etc).
For consumers, picking one high-def player means some favorites flicks won't be available in their chosen format.
While this is true, the flicks will continue to be available in regular, good old DVD. So, you will be able to purchase and watch in home any movie you desire. For example, I wanted to purchase the Bourne Trilogy, but as it is not available in Blu-ray (my choice), I will purchase the DVDs. And, as I have picked Blu-ray, I have access to great titles such as The Simpsons Movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, and all Disney filmes. I say we the consumers work to end the war and pick the side we think is better (Blu-ray!) and help ensure they win the "war".

Lucky for my side, Blu-ray has Disney, which is what I hope will help end this so called war.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New (To Me) Web Site!

Ever try to park at the airport parking during a very busy holiday or other time of the year?

Now, we need not worry anymore. I just made my first reservations, for about the same price as the long term lots, and they may even wash my car!

The website was very easy to use. I will let you know how the experience ended up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

PS3 to get DivX Support Tomorrow

According to a thread on and Engadget, Playstation UK leaked the updates to v2.10 scheduled to come out tomorrow.

Among them, DivX support! This is one of the last things that XBox360 had that PS3 did not have (that I want). So now when I am streaming my mp3s to the PS3, I can watch those TV shows I have as well!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's full throttle at 15

This is Kacey's cousin!
It's full throttle at 15
Sophomore at Carroll has her sights set high
By Ben SmithThe Journal GazetteAdvertisement

She has been to Charlotte. She has been to the Brickyard. She has met Kyle Busch and David Stremme, followed with a more clinical eye than most Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin.

You could say Andrea Hans is into NASCAR.

Where it gets interesting, though, is when she tells you she also wants to get into NASCAR.

As a driver. As a competitor. As an equal, maybe, someday, to the Busches and Stremmes and Hamlins and Stewarts.

This is not as preposterous as it sounds, even after you’ve learned that Hans is a 15-year-old sophomore at Carroll who loved NASCAR but never thought about it beyond the spectator context until three years ago, when her dad, Karl, bought her a go-kart.

“I loved it,” she says.

And that led to novice racing in the go-kart. And that led to quarter midgets. And that led to a deal with Team Full Throttle, a program specifically designed to develop young, prospective NASCAR drivers on and off track.

Hans’ dad bought her the Legends car, sort of a mini late-model stocker, from fellow Team Full Throttle racer Thomas Hartensveld. It’s one more step in a journey that has been nothing if not meteoric.

“The difference between quarter midgets and Legends cars is (the Legends car) has a lot of throttle control,” says Hans, who raced from Kansas to Ohio in quarter midgets and won her share. “In the midgets, we’re just used to flooring it the whole time around the track. The Legends cars, we have to roll off the throttle and roll on. And we use the brake. The quarter midgets, we don’t use the brake that much.”

It’s an adjustment, Hans admits, but she’s had a few practice runs at Baer Field and in Charlotte, N.C. She needs all the practice runs she can get, because come January she goes to Lowe’s Motor Speedway to run a road course, her first official Legends event.

Life’s a blur, in other words. In more ways than one.

Her career, for instance, accelerated to warp speed the day Tom Baker called. Team Full Throttle’s founder, Baker brought not only expertise and guidance to the table but connections. He got started 15 years ago in New York state, just sort of informally mentoring young drivers, showing them how to deal with the media and woo sponsors and move up in short-track racing.

A perceptive man, he took one look at the rise of Jeff Gordon – polished, media-savvy, a sponsor magnet – and realized the game had changed. And there were all these kids coming after Gordon who needed to understand just how the game had changed.

Team Full Throttle was the result.

“We’re an independent company, and what we do is cultivate drivers for NASCAR opportunities,” Baker says. “We’re very fortunate in the fact that our company gets probably 20 inquiries a week from drivers who want to be involved. And whenever we’re at a racetrack, we’re obviously keeping an eye out. You never know who the next star is gonna be.”

The program, he explains, does two things at once: train and develop drivers and also manage and represent them. They counsel young drivers on when to move up a class, where to move and how long to stay there.

Hans struck them as someone who was ready to move on from the quarter midgets. She’s the first female driver Team Full Throttle has ever signed.

“She’s an outstanding young lady,” Baker says. “Her parents are top-notch people who add class to anything they do. She’s got a lot of energy, and she’s a very good racer, and she just needs to be developed at her pace.”

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Come to Australia!

While I work on getting some pictures up, here is a little song about Australia Tourism.

Come To Australia

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Home, Cold Home

So the reason I have not posted in a while is we were in Australia and New Zealand for three (3) weeks! It was a blast, and exhausting, and memorable. I believe we took around 4700 pictures, so I have a lot of sorting to do. I will post links here when they are all up. Our itinerary...

4 nights in Melbourne
2 nights in Ayers Rock
3 nights in Cairns
3 nights in Sydney
1 week driving from south to north island New Zealand

I wrote a journal through the trip, and I intend on writing a little about each city or area on here as time allows.