My Blog

Archive for 2005

Midlife Crisis

by on Dec.11, 2005, under Richard Bingle

I’m 40, so maybe its my midlife crisis. Of course, I’ve wanted one since 1983 when shopping for my first car when I was 18, so maybe I can’t blame it on a midlife crisis. Either way, I finally bought a convertible. Not just any convertible, but a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport in Winning Blue.

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I got (I think) a fairly good deal on it. I was able to get it via the Mazda S-Plan (Friends and Family) pricing which works out to be invoice. I was planning using a $500 off coupon I’d received as part of the Mazda Zoom Zoom Live event that was held here in Orlando a couple of months ago to make it a great deal. Unfortunately, the local Mazda dealers all charge a pretty hefty “document preparation fee”, so in the end my $500 coupon only ended up getting me the car for $1.50 under invoice (plus tax/title).

This time of year in Florida is perfect for tooling around with the top down, although it can get a bit chilly at 60 mph once the sun goes down. Hopefully it won’t be too hot this summer!

Zoom Zoom!

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Testing WPG2

by on Dec.11, 2005, under Site News

I’ve been hacking quite a bit at this site and playing with WordPress, Gallery2, and the WPG2 plugin that attempts to tie the two together. This is just a test to see if embedding a gallery image (like this one)

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works. If it does, then good! If it doesn’t, then I’ve still got work to do… The image that should appear within this post is from a cruise that my extended family took earlier this year. Don’t you just dig those awesome handmade tie-dye shirts?

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Rubbin’s Racin’

by on Nov.29, 2005, under Richard Bingle Family

I went to the races twice this month, once at Miami-Homestead and once at Orlando Speedworld.

One of my former co-workers (Buck) and I drove down to Homestead to take in the final race of the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup series. For a while there it looked like my favorite driver, Jeff Gordon, might have a chance at the win the race (Tony Stewart clinched the championship), but it wasn’t to be and Greg Biffle eventually took the checkered flag inches ahead of Mark Martin. After the race it took us about 1.5 hours to get out of the parking lot at the track, which meant we didn’t get home till about 2 a.m., but it was fun nevertheless. We’ve already started talking about taking a small camper down next year if we go so that we don’t have to sit in traffic and drive 10 hours in one day.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, the family took in Crash-A-Rama at Orlando Speedworld. This years Crash-A-Rama featured a 51-car/100 lap Enduro race, a Pro Figure-8 race (only 5 cars), a backwards race, a blind-fold race (drivers wore paper bags over their helments and took directions from a passenger), a “flagpole” race, a boat-trailer race (winner had to be pulling at least part of their trailer at the end), a “roller derby” race, 4 demolition derbies (only stayed for 1), and the main event, a 20 bus Figure-8 School Bus race. The school bus race was somewhat anticlimactic after the trailer race and the blindfold race (only incident in the bus race was one bus rolling onto its side in the infield). The Enduro race was interesting as it didn’t have any yellow flags (although it did have one red flag). By the end of the race there was debris everywhere, including a couple of cars (drivers still inside) that had come to a rest against the outer wall. The trailer race was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Within seconds of the start there were boat pieces scattered everywhere, including an entire 20 foot long boat in the middle of the track between turns 1 and 2. The blind-fold race was actually somewhat scary as there ended up being a 4 car accident right in front of us The 4th car involved hit the others after the red was displayed and the rescue trucks (sirens on) were already pulling up to the wreck. While we had a lot of fun, it’s probably not something we’d do every year…

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The call of duty

by on Nov.03, 2005, under Richard Bingle

I played a pivotal role in society yesterday when I answered the call of my country (ok, county – it’s only 1 letter different). No, I didn’t enlist, I served on a jury. Well, kind of. While I was chosen out of the pool to actually serve on the jury, when it came time for the trial to start, the prosecution’s witness was a no show. With no witnesses to the alleged criime, the prosecution had no choice but to drop the charges.

One of the most interesting tidbits I picked up during the Voir Dire process was that this particular court did not have a court reporter/stenographer in the courtroom. They were actually in a different building and were listening in via about a dozen microphones hung about the room.

At least I got to sit in the jury box.

— Rich

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As Fred Flintstone would say… Wilma!

by on Oct.25, 2005, under Richard Bingle Family

After the $10,000+ worth of damages we had from Charley, Frances, and Jeanne last year, we were looking forward to a year free of storms with stupid names hitting us. Well, after spending several days in Mexico, Wilma finally decided to visit Florida. Fortunately for us, Wilma’s path was fairly far to the south of us. While we did get 45+ MPH winds, we suffered no real damage this time around. One of the front trees that we had to upright (several times) last year is listing a little bit (farther) towards the house, but we are hoping we can get it straight again. Unfortunately, that means yet another year of having braces on that tree.

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The rumors were true…

by on Oct.17, 2005, under Richard Bingle

Well, Apple has indeed come out with a video iPod (and a new version of iTunes to support it). You can even buy episodes of a couple of ABC shows after they air for $1.99. I think I’ll stick with my trusty 2nd generation iPod for now and wait for the iPod with the built-in 3D holographic projector…

— Rich

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Video iPod?

by on Oct.06, 2005, under Richard Bingle

The rumors are swirling everywhere that Apple will introduce a video-capable iPod next week in San Jose. Do we really need yet another new ipod model so soon? We’ve already seen the original iPod with its (now paltry) 5GB of space. A short nine months later brought us the 2nd generation iPod (which is what I use at work everyday) with its improved solid-state wheel. Eight months later it was out with the old and in with the new.Tthe 3rd gen arrived, with is backlit buttons and dock connector. While the dock connector (which enabled either USB or FireWire connectivity) was a great idea, those buttons definitely weren’t. Next was the iPod mini (in several fashionable brushed metal colors) followed by the 4th gen iPod, both of which abandoned the buttons of the 3rd gen and returned to the simple and elegant design of the 1st and 2nd gen style touch wheels. But the world wasn’t satisfied with just songs and a monochrome display, and the iPod Photo with its bigger disk and tiny color display was born. Eventually all future iPods (with the exception of the Shuffle) would get the color screen. Even the iPod Nano (released just recently and still hard to find in some places) could display photos. All of this in 4 short years.

So, what do you do to top all of that? Apparently, if the rumors are true, you make the jump from photo to video. Where (and when) will it end?

— Rich

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Ahoy, Matey!

by on Oct.03, 2005, under Richard Bingle

I was pleasantly surprised to see Jefferson Crutchfield in the hallway at work today. It seems that Jefferson and I will once again be working in the same building as it was his first day with ACS today. It will be nice to have a fellow TLAPDer around next September!

— Rich

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Starting over isn’t a big deal…

by on Sep.24, 2005, under Richard Bingle, Site News

With all of the “issues” that the Mambo folks have been going through lately and the recent release of gallery2, I’ve decided to start the family website over again, this time using WordPress. Starting over isn’t a big deal, since I never really did anything with the old site.

— Rich

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