Google vs. Facebook

This past weekend I have been messing around with Google+, and I have to say, I really like it. I look forward to when everyone can be on it and would like to see how everything works. I know that Facebook said that they are adding Skype to their user interface but from what I understand it is only one on one chat. Google+ can have 10 at once, If the other people have the capability to do so. Then only thing really holding Google+ back is whether or not they can get the Facebook user base to change to Google+. It will be interesting to see what happens and how Facebook will respond to Google+.

Last night I got an email from Google saying that my adsense account was banned do to "invalid activity". I tried to appeal it and after a "careful review" I got an email two hours later saying that they would not reactivate it. So, no more internet money for me.

If anyone wants a Google+ invite leave your email address in the comments section and I will fire it off. As always, follow me or click to RSS feed button to subscribe that way.


One Small Step Backwards

Today was the last launch to the soon to be retired Space Shuttle.

It is hard to imagine that when John F. Kennedy set the goal of going to the moon on September 12, 1962 that we would be there in under 10 years.

The computer technology that powered the first rockets that went to the moon is outmatched by the common smart phones of today. Even the Space Shuttles have less computing power than the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3. We now have more powerful technology in our households than they do on the Shuttles.

It is a sad day as the Space Shuttles get retired, but presumably the private sector will take up the slack and begin sending people back into space. Companies like http://www.spacex.com who are working with NASA to develop rockets and capsules to continue to take people and satellites into space.

Only the future will tell whether or not we go back to the Moon, or to Mars. I imagine we will know soon enough.


The Love of a Generation

On Thursday July, 14th an adventure lasting more than a decade will come to an end. For many, it has encompassed their entire lives from when it was first released in September of 1998. For a reference when it became available to the public in the United States I was a brash 13 year old. Fast forward to 2011, I am now 26 almost 27 years old and have a fiance who is 25 and both of us are excited, her more so than me.

In case you haven't figured it out yet I am referring to Harry Potter. It has engrossed an entire generation of children and gotten them to read. Not just read because they have to do it for school, but actually want to sit down and read instead of playing a video game or watching television. This is something that probably won't happen again for a very long time. If you haven't read the books I do recommend it.

I also find it amazing that the entire cast of the Harry Potter movies are still there, with the exception of people who have died. None of the main characters have gotten into any trouble or are part of tabloid rumors that plague so many of the young actors who are thrust into fame.

So next week everyone will say their goodbyes to Harry, Ron , and Hermione. But only J.K. Rowling knows if we will have to say goodbye to Hogwarts.


Dreams and Cats.

Every now and then I actually remember my dreams. Normally I remember a general outline or the main theme of them, but the one last night was vivid and I remember it well. The part I remember the most was when I was trying to buy a new car. It was a tough decision because it was between a Porsche 911 GT3, Ferrari 458, Ford GT, and a Koenigsegg. Now I can't actually afford any of these but it would be nice. On a side note I would pick the Porsche.

Over the last week a very bizarre thing has been happening in my house. One of Whitney's(Fiance) cats has taken to sleeping in the dog crate. I always thought that cats prefer to stay up high e.g. on top of the washing machine, where he normally is.

Don't worry the crate remains unlocked and he can go in and out as he sees fit. I just find it very strange and funny.

Also I am in the process of trying to find some pictures for reference for a Sherlock Holmes tattoo that I want to get. I would like an antique door knocker that has his address on on, 221B Baker St. I have a few pictures that I have seen but if anyone finds anything else that would seem appropriate do email them to me at stephen.d.bauer@gmail.com it would be appreciated.

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As always, Have a wonderful day


Good Times and Bad Times

Hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day. Unfortunate for me it rained and fireworks got canceled. Instead my fiance and I stayed in and watched "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest", the third part in the Millennium Trilogy by the late author Steig Larsson. Sadly this is the last of the series as he never completed the forth book that he was writing. These are the Swedish versions of the book, which are fantastic. They remain true to the books throughout, but have to leave out extraneous details. If you have Netflix they are all instant play and I do recommend them, especially in light that the American version will be coming out later this year.

The trailer for the Swedish film:

And the American one directed by David Fincher:

This morning I also decided to do what can be considered my greatest passion. Mountain Biking. I heard rumors of a new "feature" that had been installed called the Triple Hump. I was really excited to try and find it because I didn't actually know where it was. After about a hour of riding I find it.

It is about 7 feet high at its tallest point, and the last part rolls out and drops about 15 feet or so. However, I still couldn't ride the thing because apparently there was something wrong.

They removed one of the sections. That was a bit frustrating and annoying because I was really looking forward to riding that particular obstacle. All was not lost though, the section of trail that runs from that point onward to the trailhead is one of my favorite sections of trail.

Also I got to stop and eat here.

Sorry for the weird blurry pictures, I was using my phone and apparently it did not like where is was.

Thanks for reading


The 4th day of July 1776

Happy 4th of July everyone. My plans for today are to work then hopefully go see a fireworks show. I say hopefully because i don't know when it actually starts.

I also find it interesting that we celebrate our independence of July 4th. Congress passed the resolution to become independent from Great Britain on July 2nd, and it is commonly believed that the declaration wasn't actually signed until a month later.

Another Interesting fact John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only two signers who became president, died on the same day, July 4th, 1826. That same day marked the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


Have a safe and happy Independence Day, and be sure to keep all you fingers.


Random Inspirations

A few days ago I posted up some stuff on Reddit.com, basically just asking for criticisms and feedback. I got some feedback on my writing, but someone also left this little inspirational gem.

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, its just not that good. Its trying to be good, it has potential, but its not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are in this phase, you gotta know that its normal and that the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It's only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It's gonna take a while. Its normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way though." Ira Glass

Thank You scouty05, in the future I think this will really help out.


In the Year 2000

Just finished reading an article about a tumor that alters the length of the telomeres in a persons DNA. More specifically the ones that control "whether you live or die".

Unfortunately for people suffering PanNET, the extra long telomeres are what keep cancerous genes alive even when they are malfunctioning horribly. That's why it's probably more appropriate to call these cells undead rather than immortal. Yes, they're alive, but they're shambling along and trying to replicate and replace every other cell with a version of themselves.


There is talk amongst people and scientist about the potential uses of this finding. Some speculate that this could allow scientists to pick which genes to block and thus cease the aging of the cells. This is all pure speculation of course and a therapy that would be applicable in humans would not be around for quite sometime, to say the least.

This raises the question, would you want to live forever, or even to be 200 year old. What if you could afford it but you significant other could not?

Personally not for me.

Considers this though too. The amount of innovation that has happened in the last 100 years alone is astonishing. The early 1900's where home to basic cars, the Model T wasn't invented until 1908 and with that the basis for mass production. The Wright Brothers first powered flight wasn't until 1903. There was no short wave radio. Teabags where invented in 1904. All these things are taken for granted now. Think about how much will change in the next 100 years. Computer technology expands at an exponential rate and medicine will get better. It will be interesting to see what things are taken for granted in the future and what are luxuries.

This all assuming that the Mayan Prophecies don't come true on December 21, 2012.


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Games Away Time to Let Transformers Play

Today is the day that these

go into this

which finally goes up here

and now that, that is finished time to move on to more productive things.

I woke up this morning at around 8:20am and decided that because I am off today, and that because it is Friday, that I should go to a movie. It just so happened that there was a 9:30 showing of Transformers: Dark of the moon.

I can safely say that this is the best Transformers movie thus far. I went to see the IMAX version of the film and did not realize that I would also bear witness to Michael Bay's first foray in the relm of 3D. My god was it a marvelous. The 3D was very well implemented and the effects were nothing short of jaw dropping. The massive wattage of the audio system and Michael Bay's emphasis on action and explosions lend itself to the IMAX experience, not only did it sound marvelous but it felt that way too. I am happy to report that the annoying robots from the second film are gone, but are replaced by two smaller ones who are far less annoying and actually lend a bit of humor and lightheartedness when needed but are still annoying.

There really is not much you can say about the acting from the humans. They are the same as the first two films. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is just as good eye candy as Megan Fox was, and maybe even better, and she should be, as she was a Victoria Secret model before filming this movie. Shia Labeouf does his usual running, screaming for Bumble Bee, running, yelling for Optimus, running, and being blown up more times than a normal human-being could withstand.

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Busy Bee in FL

I have not posted in a while because I have been a tad but busy consuming the entirety of Game of Thrones in one fell swoop.

Watch it, there are not too many words that can describe what it is other than a bloody political backstabbing epic. I can not wait for season two and there are not too many television shows that I watch.

Beginning tomorrow I will not be playing them for at least the next month. I have other ideas and projects that I would like to work on in this time, and I just would like to see how productive I can be.

I do still have a bone to pick with Activision, the publishers of the Call of Duty franchises. Their newest game, Modern Warfare 3, comes out on November the 8th. That is fine and dandy, however it does annoy me that they are still releasing downloadable content for Black Ops which came out around the same time last year. The most recent expansion is the third thus far with a now rumored fourth expansion to came out even later in the year.

The issues I have with this, and I am sure many other do, is that I have bought the last two expansions and will probably not be buying any more. The reason for this is because I will probably not play Black Ops multi-player again once Modern Warfare 3 releases. This is what happened with Modern Warfare 1 and 2. That is at least $100.00 worth of content that I have paid for that I do not have access to unless I want to play an older game. I would be more inclined to purchase downloadable content in the future if it were possible to make them compatible with future games.

For those people who say just play Modern Warfare if you want those maps. All I ask of you is to tell me how many lobbies you get into that are not hacked to bit and pieces.

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The Scam of the Babysitter's.

I woke up this morning and reviewed dove into the world of Twitter. I must confess that it is not something that I do and it is not how I normally choose to start my day. However this morning one of my favorite children's authors put up something about teachers and their salaries.

omiof5 writes:

I'm fed up with teachers and their hefty salary guides! What we need is a little perspective.

If I had my way, I'd pay these teachers myself -- I'd pay them babysitting wages. That's right -- instead of paying these outrageous taxes, I'd give them $3.00 an hour out of my own pocket. And I'm only going to pay them for 5 hours, not coffee breaks. That would be $15.00 a day -- each parent should pay $15.00 a day for these teachers to babysit a child. (Even if you have more than one child, it's still a lot cheaper than private day care.)

Now, how many children do they teach every day -- maybe twenty? That's $15.00 X 20 = $300 a day. But remember they only work 180 days a year! I'm not going to pay them for all those vacations! That's $300 X 180 =$54,000. (Just a minute -- that can't be right; let me check my calculator.)

I know what you teachers will say -- What about those who have ten years experience and a Master's degree? Well, maybe (to be fair) they could get the minimum wage -- instead of just babysitting, they could read the kids a story.

We can round that off to about $5.00 an hour, times five hours, times twenty children. That's $500 a day times 180 days. That's $90,000 ..... HUH??

Wait a minute; let's get a little perspective here! Babysitting wages are too good for these teachers. Does anyone see a salary guide around here?


This is a travesty. Teachers are one of the most important people in a child's life. As the pay of teachers drops the desire for people to want to teach also drops. Some people that would be the best teachers will not do it because they will make barely enough money to support themselves.

In Florida our esteemed governor is cutting teachers pay to make a balance the budget. The amount of money that Florida puts into its education is below the national average of $10,500 per student. (http://tinyurl.com/3za6gyb) As a comparison New York spends $18,000(http://tinyurl.com/6b8a5k5) a year per student. Florida on the other hand spends about $9,000 a year per student.(http://tinyurl.com/6gky56b) Teachers are leaving Florida for other states that will actually fund education and pay them more than that of a baby sitter.

And people wonder why the education system in Florida is terrible.


Could you hand me that shotgun buddy, Also that chair?

During my time in high school. Acquiring friends, or at least people that I enjoyed being around and that I presume enjoyed my company, was not very difficult. I don't mean for this to sound pretentious or conceded in any way. I think that because I was in Band in high school I automatically had a group that I could identify with and they with me. We were all outsiders, but, we where all outsiders together. Over time we became more accepted among out peers, and the relationships between band members and other cliques began to spread. By my senior year, members of the band were being elected to the student offices and were in some of the most popular clubs in the school. Some of these friendships would end after high school.

When I talk about friends I do not mean some one that will just call to go to a movie or go out for a night on the town. The people that I truly consider friends are the ones that will call to see if you are home and then show up and little while later, they are the ones that just come over with no expectation of going and and doing anything except sit on the couch.

After high school comes what many people call "the real world". After a few years of living at home and going to college everything was still really nice because my core group of friends all still lived in the same city. However after college everyone has moved away from home and we have all separated.

I say all this because today I suddenly had and awakening. I had those friends. I no longer do. I have now lived away from my group of friends for five years, and have done nothing in that time to find other friends where I live now. This saddens me. I blame it on myself and my personality.

I have an addictive personality, and that mainly shows itself in video games. I can routinely come home after work and play games for five hours a day. I have realized that my desire to speak to the people that I have met on there and consider friends can not replace the presence of an actual person. My desire to play games has caused some of the largest failures in my life thus far. Part of me feels that it is slowly destroying other aspects of my life, and I will not let that happen.

On July 1st, I will not play any games for at least a month. After that who knows, I just need to stop wasting my time on things that, in the long run, do more damage than good.


What kind of Muppets are we?

A number of my friends and co-workers are either pregnant or have children.  This has caused an interesting development in my life and many questions have arisen that must be addressed.  This all began with a simple conversation on Facebook at 3am with the father of a now 3month old boy.  He dropped a truth bomb on me.  He asked me, in all seriousness, what Muppet I most closely identified with.  I was not prepared for this question and did not know how to respond.  The conversation that followed was an analysis of the various personality traits of the Muppet by two full grown men at 3am.

It was established that I share many physical and personality characteristics with Dr. Teeth.  With the large bushy beard and the odd quirks that I do have.  I however do not have the red hair or the gold tooth.  Or the awesome hat...yet.  He on the other hand was more akin to a Fozzy Bear or maybe the Angry Eagle, I think it depends on the day of the week.

But the conversion also brings up the question of children and at what point is someone ready to raise a child?  How financial secure should they be?  Should they be married or does it matter so long as it is a loving home that supports the child for who they are and not what the parents want them to be?

I am very fortunate that my parents let me do discover things for myself ,the good and the bad, and I am forever grateful of that.

Happy Fathers Day.

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New Things and Old Things

As of a few days ago my fiance got me watching Parks and Recreation.  I am hooked and have been watching a few episodes a day for the last few days. Parks and Recreation is The Office without the painful awkwardness of Michael Scott.

Aziz Ansari is probably one of the best characters on the show, and I am really excited to see him in his new movie 30 Minutes or Less.

Jurassic Park, the best movie of all time, is being released on Blu-Ray by the end of the year.  I have been waiting for this for this to come out since Blu-Ray really won the format war.


I was born in '84.  When Jurassic Park came out I was 9 years old.  I managed to get my parents to take me to see it three times.  I don't know how I managed to convince them to do it but that one movie sealed my love of movies forever.  I remember the scene with Dennis Nedrey and the Dilophosaurus in the Jeep scared me so bad that the first two times that I saw the movie I could not bare to watch it.  The third time through I forced myself to watch it.  As it would turn out, it was not that bad, and it turned out to be pretty awesome.


Lady friends

Last week was the little ladies birthday. Now being the awesome and wonderful person that I am, took some time to decide what she was going to get from me. After brainstorming for a few days I decided that she needed a swing for the backyard. Not just any swing mind you but a great one. One that was designed and built by yours truly.

So I called a few friends and posed them a question; "would you be willing and able to help me with a project?”

They eventually agreed and they suffered.

As a reference, the gentleman in the picture with the a-frame is 6ft 1in tall.