Thoughts Gallery August 2002
August 1
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How much more pollution can our environment take.  I guess we will find out as we continue on with our same commercial and industrial practices around the world.
August 2
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I saw the new Austin Power's movie Goldmember.  The script was written better than the previous one, yet the same comedy acts get old the third time around.  I would rate it a 6/10.
A streaker painted with an advertisment for international phone company Vodafone interrupts the Tri-Nations rugby union test between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies in Sydney. Vodafone apologised for two streakers which it unwittingly sanctionedto run into the middle of the rugby match wearing nothing but the phone company's logo.
August 3
Image of the Day
Nothing like waiting for 45 minutes at the ProDesk of Home Depot to make you realize that they need some competition.  To see their stock trading at a high rate, while others in the marketplace fall flat makes you relaize the monopoly that they have on the residential buildilng materials marketplace.  We need to bring a Furrows or another company back into the marketplace to get the prices lower.  Maybe walmart could start stocking more basic items and expand their nursury section inthe Super-Walmarts.
August 4
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I upgraded the gas lines in Unit A today of my duplex.  Four trips to Home Depot later, and everything was working.  I filled and picked up 40 trash bags of garbage from the front lawn area.  Nothing like sweating in the sun and wishing the wind would pick up again.
August 5
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Hopefully the sheetrock will get finished over the next few days.  The trim work is starting today, and the bullet rossets and fluted trim dress up the entryways nicely.  The bundle of sheetrock for the second floor was delivered today to be used on wednesday.
August  6
Image of the Day
A interesting picture of some pedestrian-friendly street.  We need more of these livable areas as urbanization has overrun the environment we live in.  The storage crates were delivered today for me to put my stuff into storage.  The second floor sheetrock was hung today by a crew of 5 mexican laborers. The front short roof overhang finally has shingles
August 7
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The city of Austin finally showed up today with a sewage camera to investigate the leak.  Hopefully the will discover the source and get it fixed, so I can fill the hole in my backyard.  The trimwork continues and hopefully will be finished today.  After a few hours of labor the first storage crate got packed, only one day left before they pick it up.  Nothing like working all day long to come home and pack boxes and furniture.
A domestic tortoise, which lost the use of its hind paws after being hit by a stray bullet in Rio de Janeiro shanty-town, moves along a floor. The 20-year-old animal was learning to walk, or roll, using its front pawsand a pair of wheels from a television rack, attached to the bottom side of its shell with adhesive bandage. The tortoise' thick bony shell failed to protect it from the bullet.
August 8
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Auan, a seven-year-old female cat, shares a meal with Jeena, a three-year-old male mouse at a farmer's house in the central province of Phichit, 450 km (281 miles) north of Bangkok. The animals' owners say Auan found Jeena three years ago and has been his playmate and protector, including warding off dogs, since then. 
August 9
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 A .50-Caliber M2 machine gun is lowered into the cargo area of a GMC Suburban as it is prepared for towing to a test site from the Ibis Tek shop in Butler, Pa. A .40-mm grenade launcher is offered as an alternative weapon. An Ibis ride with all the trimmings will set you back about $500,000. 
August 10
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 I wonder if all the squid on the California beaches were from testing of new sonar equipment. 
David Ellifrit, right, of the Center for Whale Research, looks at a dead whale after it was beached on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. A group of environmental organizations are trying to stop the U.S. Navy from deploying a powerful low-frequency sonar system that the group says can harm marine mammals. At the time of this beaching, environmentalists say mid-frequency sonar used by the Navy may have contributed to the beaching of at least 16 whales and two dolphins. Scientists found hemorrhaging around the brain and ear bones and say those injuries are consistent with exposure to loud noise. 
August 11
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Environmental Groups Sue over Navy Sonar Plans
WASHINGTON - A coalition of groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council said it would file suit to block the U.S. Navy from using a powerful new sonar that scientists say could injure whales and other marine mammals.  After years of debate, the National Marine Fisheries Department last month granted the Navy permission to operate its new low-frequency active sonar system, which is designed to blast wide areas of ocean with sound waves as it seeks to detect submarines equipped with "stealth" technology.
      The Navy says the new sonar, also known as LFA, is needed to protect U.S. warships from a new breed of submarines that can barely be detected by conventional sonar systems.  But environmentalists said the new sonar produces ambient noise levels that might physically harm whales and other marine mammals or alter migration or other behaviors vital for their survival.
      "If the Navy deploys LFA, tens of thousands of square miles of ocean habitat would be saturated with extremely loud and dangerous sound," said Joel Reynolds, senior NRDC attorney, in a statement announcing the lawsuit.  Reynolds cited Navy estimates that the LFA system generates sounds capable of reaching 140 decibels more than 300 miles away.  He said the mass stranding and death of multiple whale species in the Bahamas in March 2000 had been linked by federal investigators to use of a Navy mid-frequency active sonar system. Scientists worry the lower frequency sonar the Navy wants to use now could have similar consequences. It also said various measures, including provisions that the sonar cannot be used within 12 miles of the coast and must shut down if any whales, sea turtles or other marine mammals are detected within about 1.2 miles, would help to ensure the sonar did not harm marine mammals.
August 12
Image of the Day
The sheetrock work on the second floor continues today.  I have pushed back the carpet installation yet another week to allow time for everything else to get finished.
Abdullah, 7, welds in the metal shop where he works 12 hours per ,day, 6 days per week, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Abdullah earns US$1.50 per week. He works one block from the main school in Kandahar, but said he will not be able to go there when class starts next month, since he is an apprentice at the metal shop. The shop owner said he also started his apprenticeship at Abdullah's age. 
August 13
Image of the Day
The sheetrock work is continuing today.
An inhabitant of the eastern German city of Grimma, near Leipzig, stands in floodwaters as he looks for his missing car.  Across much of Europe, heavy rains have unleashed some of the worst flooding in decades.
August 14
Image of the Day
The countertops in the kitchen were installed today. The green silestone lookes great, now I finally have a kitchen sink again.  The texturing of the sheetrock should finish up today.
This is an aerial view of the swollen rivers Berounka, left, and Vltava as they flood a huge area near Zbraslav on the outskirts of Prague, partly seen in the upper right, the worst flooding in the Czech Republic since 1954.
August 15
Image of the Day
The sheetrock was finished today, so the final trim work is being completed.  The painting process continues on....
New Zealand artist Maurice Bennett stands with his giant portrait of the King Of Rock n' Roll, Elvis Presley crafted out of more than 4000 small slices of toast. Bennett, whose previous toast portraits include Leonardo da Vinci's enigmatic Mona Lisa and New Zealand rugby star Jonah Lomu, spent two months fashioning his unique 'toast' to mark the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death.
August 16
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The remaining trim and doors were mounted today. The plumber came with an invoice at the crack of dawn today, only a few more bills left, so bad they will all be large ones.
New Zealand's Ted Matthews, 75, shows his hand and fingers after he chopped off his gangrenous finger with kitchen scissors as he could no longer put up with the pain in Timaru, New Zealand. Christchurch Hospital, in the south island of New Zealand, told him he'd have to wait six months for an operation so he decided to perform the surgery on himself.
August 17
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Eight-month-old Asian elephant Kandula playfully sits on his ball after taking a cooling dip in the pool at the National Zoo in Washington. Officials at the National Weather Service say the hot weather, with very little rain, has made this a particularly tough year with unhealthy air quaility. Weather conditions have trapped cooler air under a layer of warmer area over the region and that's preventing pollutants from dispersing in the upper atmosphere.
August 18
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Nan-Yao Su, a professor of entomology with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, holds a piece of wood being used in a new electronic monitoring system that detects feeding activity by subterranean termites. When termites feed on the wood and break the circuit, the electronic sensor warns pest control operators before it invades homes and other structures. He said tests on the sensor at UF's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center have been more than 98 percent accurate. 
August 19
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The painting deadline is Friday, all the painting must be done by then for the carpet installation. The trim was finished toady and the closet rods and shelves installed.
A veterinarian feeds a baby female pangolin, one of several hundred mammals recently seized in raids by Thai police, with liquefied food from a syringe at Bangkok's Dusit Zoo. Thailand has long been notorious as a transit point for the trafficking of drugs, weapons and people - now a new commodity is being smuggled, the scaly, ant-eating pangolin.
August 20
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'Miss Germany' Katrin Wrobel has broken her contract and could lose her crown because she objects to beauty contest rules banning her from marrying or posing in the nude, organizers said.  Wrobel, canceled her contract because she said it contained 'immoral clauses,' Ralf Klemmer, director of the Miss Germany Corporation said. 
August 21
Image of the Day
The painting continues on, most of the trim was finished today, now the walls are the last item. The final punch-out list is getting smaller and smaller. Here's a nice multi-monitor setup that they had all over the Siggraph convention I attended, not if only I had that many monitors to play with also.
August 22
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The painting marathon wrapped up today at 10pm.  All week long we've been painting 4-5 hours a day to get all the interior painting finished for carpet to be installed tomorrow.
A woman reads a book in the rooftop garden of an apartment building overlooking a residential area of Tokyo. Trapped by
concrete and asphalt, heat from heavy traffic and millions of air-conditioning units have made summer in the cities hotter -- a phenomenon known as 'heat-island effect.' By converting a bare roof top into a green oasis, it helps absorb heat and keeps temperatures inside the building lower.
August 23
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The long hard wait is over, after 14 months carpet returns to the floors.  The all day installation went quickly, and there is only 1 carpet seems in all three floors.  It's time to buy another computer when you have 10 people surfing the internet on the same computer.
August 24
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Hauled off another few carloads of garbage to the dumps.  It seems like there is always something to throw away. Here's an eyesoar, wouldn't you love to have these neighbors peaking over your backyard fence.
August 25
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The entire exterior of unit B was painted today by my old tenant. Seems he wasn't at all worried about the 3-story height of painting.  This all day event only used up 10 gallons of the paint, compared to the 25 gallons the inide used..Here's an interesting picture of Fort Jefferson in the Florida Keys.
August 26
Image of the Day
I decided to rent the paint sprayer for another day to paint the entire rear of my houseline and make everything match.  The balcony rail was installed today, and the hot water heater remounted.  I've scheduled a final building inspection for tomorrow, so I have my fingers crossed.  The driveway work will start tomorrow, and things are coming along smoothly now.
A bus parked nearby gives an idea of the size of the newest instrument at Green Bank: a radio telescope so massive the Statue of Liberty, including the pedestal, could lie down on its blindingly white observing surface with room to spare. Its 43-story height and 16 million pounds of tilting, turning mass make it the largest thing on land that moves. Welcome to the National Radio Quiet Zone. Feel free to shout, play the tuba or let out a primal scream. Just don't think about using a microwave oven. One stray zap from a microwave -- or a
car's sparkplugs, or even an electric blanket -- in the heart of the 13,000 square mile zone could interfere with science at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, a patch of forested Appalachia just west of the Virginia border.
August 27
Image of the Day
Last night the A/C system and electrical systems decided to stop working.  After exhausting all the phone numbers in my phone I was forced to sleep in the humid hot air.  Circulating fans don't do much to cool anything but your skin, as it sticks to everything you touch.
Beached pilot whales flap their tails in the water as rescuers attempt to cool them and coax them back out to sea after a group of more than 40 beached themselves for the second day in a row off Cape Cod. Rescuers later gave up hopes of saving the whales because the animals were already tired and distressed from their hours spent out of the water during their first stranding a day earlier. 
August 28
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A truck deposits tomatoes during the annual "Tomatina" tomato fight in the town of Bunol, near Valencia, eastern Spain.  Tens of thousands of people stripped off their shirts and hurled truckloads of tomatoes at each other in food fight, sending knee-deep rivers of tomatosauce down the streets of this small Spanish town. 
August 29
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Emilio Egeraige has shared his cigars with movie stars, singers and poets, but the salesman is especially proud of thisthank-you note hanging on his store wall from former President Bill Clinton. 
August 30
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Ten-year-old Thai schoolboy Wattana Thongjon and his father Prayoon watch television with their pet crocodile "Kheng" and their dogs at their home in Thailand's rural Phichit province. Prayoon found the crocodile as a hatchling in a local pond three years ago and it has grown to over one-meter in length and weighs 40 kg (88 pounds). The crocodile is pampered with a diet of fresh chicken, has his sharp teeth brushed every day by Wattana and his father, and lives indoors with their two pet dogs.
August 31
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