One year and you’re done for!

Those doubters among us knew this already right, the following article was grabbed from off the net by yours truly – enjoy R.

ROME (Reuters) – Your heartbeat accelerates, you have butterflies in the stomach, you feel euphoric and a bit silly. It’s all part of falling passionately in love — and scientists now tell us the feeling won’t last more than a year.

The powerful emotions that bowl over new lovers are triggered by a molecule known as nerve growth factor (NGF), according to Pavia University researchers.

The Italian scientists found far higher levels of NGF in the blood of 58 people who had recently fallen madly in love than in that of a group of singles and people in long-term relationships.

But after a year with the same lover, the quantity of the ‘love molecule’ in their blood had fallen to the same level as that of the other groups.

The Italian researchers, publishing their study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, said it was not clear how falling in love triggers higher levels of NGF, but the molecule clearly has an important role in the “social chemistry” between people at the start of a relationship.

My Classic A6 for sale Ad on Craigslist

I finally got a 1999 A8 Quattro so I reluctantly need to sell my 1995 A6 Quattro! (I have no need for two cars and you can only serve one master right)

Specs: Color gray with black cloth (All Wheel Drive) – 5 speed – V6 170hp with 136k miles. Heated seats and sunroof. Electric drivers seat. Headlight washer (currently disconnected). The car comes with two sets of wheels/tires, hi-performance 17 inch summers and Dunlop non-studded snows – Note: radio and subwoofer will be removed or sold separately ( I have a high end pioneer DEH8600MP $450 – MP3 CD player that is in the car you can purchase from me but you can have the old radio / tape player) ($6300 KBB for car is $5300 + $400 for snows and A4 rims in good condition and $600 for Hi-performance 17inch summer tires Kumo and sweet new wheels, just paid $1200 for summer tires and rims)).

Seeing as I live in Boulder, am a bit of a lefty and love Mother Earth etc. I have decided to sell my Audi A6. 🙁 I’m getting a 4.2L Audi V8 – BooYah!! It’s time to run with the big dogs, no more pissy V6 for me chaps, it’s 300hp and 300lb of torque and manly V8 engine for me phoofters, so watch out! Audi diesels (in the USA) are still a few years off so it’s time to have some fun – yeah! and double BooYah! (don’t tell anyone this but the A8 can get 27 mpg on the highway). I love my A6 and I probably shouldn’t sell her but what the hell.

So let me start out by telling you why you need this car? Let’s face it if you live in Boulder or Denver every Tom, Dick and Harry has got a bloody new Subaru Outback (Subie). Christ on a bike!, you’ve only got to drive down to Pearl St. in your new Outback and there is a good chance that you’re gonna park next to an identical model, perhaps even one in the same color. (it happened to a mate of mine) You want to get a Subie cos it’s safe but the 95 A6 has 5 stars front and passenger rating too. You want AWD (you don’t want to have to push a button when you start to loose traction!), the A6 has AWD and locking front and rear diffs, try getting locking diffs on a similar priced Subie. And gents, do you really think a lovely lass is gonna want to get a bit of “leg over” if you’re driving a Subie and let’s not leave out the Ladies here – how good do you really think a bloke is gonna be in the old “Boudoir” (winky winky …) if he drives one of these – think about it!

Details – see full specs of the 95 A6 here.

  • Summer Tires – Kumo 225/45 ZR 17 inch tires on 17 inch rims – $1200, new a year ago
  • Winter Tires – 185/65 R15 – Dunlop Graspic Snows Tires on Audi A4 rims – good for another 2 seasons
  • New windshield $220
  • New battery
  • Synthetic oil changed at 135k (she’s good till 140k)
  • New struts – Boge gas (better than the OEM ones that were oil filled) $1000
  • Radiator and brake fluid flush – all fluids are nice and clean
  • New front rotors and pads at 120k
  • Timing Belt Replaced at 119k (she’s good till 180k – this is a $1200 job when done correctly)
  • New air filter and plugs about 2k miles ago
  • Aircon recharged and blows cold
  • Will get 20 mpg worse case in city and 25 on highway.
  • 21 gallon gas tank – drive 450-miles on a tank or more.

    More about her

    Before I start let me tell you that I’m the kind of bloke who’ll climb into the passenger seat of your brand new automobile and tell you 10 things that are wrong with it, REALLY, I’m a tad anal when it come to cars so bear with me here!!! I am going to tell you her little nuances, some of which you probably won’t even notice, ever!

    There is a little oil leak from where the tranny goes into the engine but it’s not worth being fixed because it does not interfere with the clutch (no slippage or heaviness ) and my mechanic told me I can do it when the clutch needs to be replaced which, judging by it’s current operation and the observed history of other A6 users this may be quite some time! The car is leaking on the driveway (is worse in winter due to cold metal contracting) but it hasn’t done this for about 6 months. The oil tends to drip down and collect on the plastic skid plate under the engine, I will remove it and clean it off at the car wash. It is really not a big deal but just wanted to let everyone know. The car does consume some oil which is normal for a car of this age but it’s not something that you’re gonna have to check at every fill up but just something to be aware of. The car does not smoke or hesitate at all.

    The front left tire seems to be wearing faster than the tire on the other side so I just had the alignment done ($45!). I don’t know if this will fix the problem but my mechanic looked at the wear and said that that alignment appeared to be the problem. The car was aligned with the big 17 inchers on so you may want to get it aligned with the snow tires on if you notice wear as they are pretty different in size. I also noticed a little noise coming from the right front of the car when backing out of the driveway but I don’t know what this is and I don’t feel any shakes or wobble at any speed (0 mph to 100mph+) – she we cruise quite happily at 75-80mph with the snows on and higher speeds with the summer tires on.

    Electrics – sunroof needs to be fully opened before it can be closed. (It works fine otherwise) and sometimes when the headlights are left on by mistake the little buzzer doesn’t buzz to tell you to turn them off, a few of the dash lights are out (2-3 out of the total of 12) but you can see the dials fine and one side of the speedo looks dime. All the windows work, doors lock, cruise control works etc.

    So get to it – I have been told that this ride will be snatched up soon!

  • Watch Energy Crisis 2012 – ShootOut 2005 finalist

    Here are some links to view the wonderful award winning moive we made for The Shoot Out Boulder 2005, the 24 hour film fest that takes place here in Boulder ever October. Click the play button on the bottom left of the window below and enjoy. If you get a “The movie is currently not available” message then jump to the “Other ways to see the movie” section.

    Watch on YouTube

    Other ways to see the movie

    If you can’t get the video player above to start or it says “The movie is currently not available” then start out by jumping to the bottom of the page and clicking on the hi-res verions of the video, if your get no sound then it means that you don’t have the correct/latest version of quicktime to view the movie and you’ll have to keep reading (Sweet Mary and Joseph this is getting complicated – sorry!)

    I just realized that to view my amazing movie WINDOWS users (Not Mac) will need QuickTime 7. MOST windows users will only have QuickTime 6 installed and clicking on the video file will result in no picture being shown and only sound playing! So before you can view it you’ll have to download the FREE QuickTime 7 Player for windows. Here is a link to download the QuickTime Player 7 (20 Megs):

    QuickTime Player 7 for Windows

    You can put in a bogus email address and also uncheck the check boxes. Enjoy and sorry for the confusion. I will try to put it in a more accessible format but H.264 (the current method that it is encoded in) produces the best quality and the smallest file size.


    You can try clicking of the link below first and it should launch quicktime player in your browser window.

    It may take a while to download the video so if you don’t see it right aways give it a little while before you write me a nasty email!

    You can also right click and do a “save link as” and save the movie file to a folder of your choice. Once downloaded you you can just double click on the file/movie and it should launch the Quick time Player and play the movie.

    The larger movie looks good at double size and you can also try full screen mode. In the QuickTime Player select View>double size or View > Full Screen.

    Here is the big hi-res version – 300Kbps : get it here

    Here is a very small dial up friendly version that’s barely viewable (mom use this one!) : get it here

    Equipment recommended from Podcast

    Listening to a new Podcast that I just subscribed to about video production. The presenter made a few recommendations regarding video kit: ( These were made in episode 14 of a Pixelriffic Podcast)

    Mic’s:

    Wireless mic’s – he like the Senheiser Evolution range.

    Wired mics for vocals at around $100 or so Sure SM58 and also not as good Sure SM57 – has no windscreen.

    Tripod + Fluid Head:

    He recomended a bottom of the line Bogen for backup and non important stuff.

    Bogen 3011 ($150) with a 700rc2 head.

    Shoot Out Boulder – notes on screening of last years films

    So Jiah and I went down to the screening of some of last years jewels at the Outlook Hotel near the old Perkins off 28th st.. Oh boy! The setting was far from ideal with the deep voiced horsy sounding barmaid complaining about not being able to watch the pussy football game on the TVs. The sound levels varied between “jump from your seats to turn the din down” to “turn up your hearing aid to maximum” so you can hear the inaudible hiss. Apart from the less than idea surroundings I noted the following:

    1) Sound sound sound and more sound. Shitty picture with shitty sound made me look out of bar the window so it’s imperative to get great sound.

    2) Eyes – guy with sunglassed didn’t work and the other guy with a wig next to him eye’s weren’t visible either.

    3) Slow beginnings for these kind of film fests. don’t work at all. Got to start off quick and end up with a real ending. EG. the one about the gift, long car drive as well as the one with the 2 minute credits at the start! Also the one with the people sitting at the table and drinking, what the fuck were they saying as the sound was so bad and sitting round a table – god, watching paint dry would of been more fun!

    Spoke to the guys from the hotel room skit and they said it was hard to plan as they wanted to use the rock at the hotel and couldn’t cos it was in darkness when they came by to shoot. Perhaps we’ll get a showing of the top 10 going to get the creative juices flowing.

    Firefox Passwords files OSX vs Linux

    I was tying to copy across my Firefox browser data (my bookmarks and saved passwords) from my Linux / Fedora Core 3 laptop to my Mac G5 and ran into a little strangeness with the naming convention used for the password file. Here is what I found:

    Firstly, locate your Profiles Folder – on the Mac at:

    ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxx.default

    and on Linux at:

    ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxxx.default

    (where xxxxxx is some random number that your computer will generate) The only files needed are the bookmarks and saved passwords files. Bookmarks are stored in a file that uses the same name on both Mac and Linux and it intuitively called bookmarks.html For Passwords you will need to locate and copy two files on Linux the files are a text file called xxxxxxxx.s and binary database file called key3.db. Now here is the wierdness, on OS X there is no xxxxxx.s file but it is called signons.txt so if you have an existing file signons.txt on your Mac you will need to delete it, copy over the xxxxxxx.s file from linux and the key3.db file then rename xxxxxxx.s to signons.txt.

    So in summary:

  • Copy over the files bookmarks.html, key3.db and xxxxxxxx.s from your Linux profile folder to your OS X profile folder.
  • Now rename the xxxxxxx.s file to signons.txt (if it complains about a pre existing one then choose overwrite).

    Surf and Enjoy

    R

  • James Peak Wilderness – Backpacking

    We decided to take a little overnight jaunt up to Heart Lake which is situated about 800ft below the continental divide in the James Peak Wilderness Area. We started at the east side of the Moffet Tunnel which is located about 4 mile west of the town of Rollinsville which is just off the Peak to Peak Highway. The South Boulder Creek Trail follows the South Boulder Creek all the way up to Heart lake so it was a relatively easy 4 mile climb in nice cloudy 70F weather. The pups had fun and managed to find some nice mud holes. We had a good laugh at them as they emerged from the mud with their newly acquired black mud booties -very sexy! There were quite a few people on the trail but most were heading for the closer Crater Lake. We made it to Heart lake in about 3 hours and proceeded to scout out the area for a secluded camp site.

    Thabo had gone missing some 10 minutes before this and I just assumed he was digging or chasing something and that he knew where we were. Well it turned out that he didnt know we were at the lake (because of the loud noise of the river he probably didnt hear our calls) and made a b-line back to the car! I realize this when asking some hikers who were behind us on the tail if they had seen a little red wolf dog. So off I ran at high speed down the 2000 odd feet of elevation back to the car and it seems that everyone on the trail had seen him come whizzing past them, sans owner and wondered where the hell he was going!

    I found him in the crowded parking lot looking a little lost. He was happy to see me I suppose and was probably wondering where the hell we were! So off we went jogging back up the friggin trail. The folks who were down hiking were quite amused to see us heading back up! First dog, then some time later, owner tearing down the trail, now dog with owner jogging back up the trail – what in gods name ! It also started to rain but I told myself it was nice to be out in the woods with my boy and I that there was food and water at camp, something that, in my rush to find Thabo, I had failed to bring with me.

    I managed to make it back to camp by 3pm and collapsed into my sleeping bag in the tent that Aimee had pitched in my absence. She was glad to see us as I hadnt told her that I was heading to the car to get hound. I had a mega nap till about 8pm then we ate and I hung the bear bag and read my book till about 11pm. Thabo wanted to sleep in the tent with daddy and as usual he pushed me to one side of my therma rest so it wasnt the most comfortable of nights sleep.

    In the morning we hiked up to the top of the divide Mr. GPS told me it was 11900ft so we had nice views from the top but gray skies to the west of us shorted the divide excursion. The dogs also found two nice snow banks to roll around on. We broke camp at around 1130am and made it back to the car at 130pm.

    Summary: Nice hike and its a pretty easy jaunt to the divide from the Moffat Tunnel. Would be nice to of stayed out longer and done a loop up onto the divide then down the Forest Lakes Trail. Plenty of spots to camp a few miles some easy week day camping perhaps?

    Gear Report: I need a pillow inflatable one me thinks. New pack is nice but tent has to go on outside cos when i put it inside there was no room at the inn.

    Flat Tops Wilderness – July 2005

    On Friday July 15th Aimee, I and the pups set off for a little weekend getaway to The Flat Tops Wilderness Area – the 2nd largest wilderness area in Colorado. It’s a large area who‚Äôs center is located above Glenwood Springs. It was about a four hour drive or so and the final 17 miles were a rutted dirt road with particularly sharp and nasty loose stones covering it. It was one of these stones I theorized that broke a piece off my plastic gas tank protector under the car and also loosened or split a little gas tank breather hose around the same area.

    I realized something was amiss when we stopped to look at a roadside map and heard a strange goose like noise coming from the gas tank. Upon closer inspection I smelt gasoline and noticed a leaking gas breather hose near the fuel pump. Anyway, seeing as this is a friggin trip report and not an Audi related item I will just say that we stopped some time later and decided that there was not much we could and to avert the imminent fiery inferno Aimee was assigned to man the mini fire extinguisher and when the flames appeared she was instructed to toss it to me and then to evacuate the pups from the back seat while I would attempt to tame the fire! Needless to say we eventually forgot about the impending danger and nothing ended up happening – thank Allah – but it did add a little excitement to the final part of the ride to the trail head.

    Now on to the rest of the trip – got to the trail head at 6pm I seem to remember and made our way up towards the Devils Causeway – lots of bugs, this was unfortunately going to be the theme of the trip, mosquitoes and those nasty black flies that, to add insult to injury, sting you as well as suck your blood – bastards! We set up camp on a relatively flat clearing just below the final steep switch back up to the causeway The files, sensing we were the only fresh blood for miles had now launched a full scale attack and we both wished to be anywhere but here. The Pups also were getting the shite bitten out of them – poor babies cos their fur is pretty thick so the mozzies go for weak spot, the snout, and tis was a pitiful site to see Gaia lying stretched out look looking up at you all forlorn with a ton of bugs on there little nose.

    In the morning we made a hasty clamber up to the Devils Causeway, a narrow piece of mountain that ran east west from out campsite. At one point it’s so narrow you can see the 500 ft drop on both sides. The pups had great fun chasing little critters and would run right up the the drop giving us a both near cardiac arrests a few times. The view from the tops was magnificent but we were in poor spirits due to the bugs so on return to camp we decided to “blow the joint” and head for greener pastures. While we were evacuating the campsite a Ranger came by and upon inquiry about the bugs he commented that he hadn’t seen it this bad in years!

    We took a little dip in the reservoir and decided we‚Äôd head for Steamboat and camp on the top of the Rabbit Ears pass in a Forest Service campground. On arrival we found a nice spot and I‚Äôm happy to say it was relatively bug free. The next morning we packed up camp and made our way down the other side of the pass and drove down a side road, parked and continues to hike down the dirt road ‚Äì no cars, no bugs and no rednecks/hunters nice …. dogs off leash and cool. We parked in a great future camping spot with lovely views of rolling hills so I made a mental note to go back sometime in the future to camp. We then headed back towards I70 and stopped in Frisco for some lunch. We hit the highway at peak rush hours it seemed and we sat in bumper to bumper to traffic ‚Äì arggg! At least an extra hour and a half of driving ‚Äì note to self ‚Äúavoid I70 at all cost on Sunday afternoon and early evening!!‚Äù

    Summary: Not the best trip ever and perhaps staying at home would have been better idea 🙂 but it was nice to be outside with the pups in nature. Note to self ‚ÄúBugs and heat suck in July ‚Äì unless you‚Äôre up really really high forget it I say. Perhaps I should of used DEET as the stupid citronella bug spray did jack shite, the bugs seem to like it but then there‚Äôs the added nicety of DEET being a pesticide and it getting on my skin, clothes and on the dogs too.

    Gear Comments: Would be nice to have an extra day pack to take with.

    Open Source to the Rescue – Software for the masses, Firefox, ThunderBird, OpenOffice and Spybot – XP, Mac and Linux

    Software for the masses – Open Source Software to the Rescue.

    (Updated March 2th 2006)

    The Problem: A bloke in little brown shorts has just handed you a big cardboard box which contains your brand new Sony lappy. You unwrap it like an excited kid on Christmas morning and nervously turn it on. To your dismay you discover that the MS Office icon is no where to be seen, you didn’t want to fork over an extra $300 – $400 dollars for it (hell your lappy was only $800) and, you dare not click the little blue Internet Explorer icon as you’ve read an article that claims web surfers have lost more than $500 million due Phishing caused by security flaws in this wonderful Micro$oft program. So it appears that you’ve just forked over $800 of your hard earned lolly for jack shite!

    The Solution: The good news is that all is not lost and before you launch your laptop from your second story window onto some poor unsuspecting bastard below hang on a MO! This little article will help you get back in software saddle so to speak. Come on now, blow your snotty little nose and wipe the tears away from those ruddy eyes! Take a hold of yourself will ya! Most people buy a computer to primarily perform the following simple tasks : surf the web, write a report, check email and make sure that their pride and joy hasn’t got a nasty rash (infected with a virus or spyware) Well, we’re gonna tell you how to do it with free / open source software. Yikes, you might say, free normally comes with a price – no, this stuff is truly free, no having to fill out forms, deal with annoying ads or having to promise your first born or left nad. The programs listed here will do the job just as well (better in my opinion) as the bloated software they replace. In the remainder of this article I’ll briefly describe what you need and where to get it with tip or two thrown in for good measure. I’ll also tell you the best sites to visit if you have problems. Let’s start off with the the most important task a computer can perform – surfin’ da net. (Note: for those of you poor souls still on dial-up connections, you may want to get a more evolved pal to burn you a CD of the software below as most of the stuff is pretty large with OpenOffice being a whopping 70 Megs.)

    Shark proof Surfing (IE alternative)

    Product: Mozilla Firefox ver 1.5

    Download (9.5MB): here – (Select platform – Mac, PC or Linux and then Language)

    Get Firefox!Right now unless you’re running MS XP with service pack 2 installed you should not be using IE, period. I’m just a Linux zealot you might reply – NO, numerous main stream tech jockeys have written articles in the most popular computer magazines about the security flaws in IE. See Cnets article entitled Why you should switch to Firefox now, Wall street Journal article on August 30, 2004 on IE flaws and the article in Forbes: Better than Internet Explorer by leaps and bounds and USA today article. Firefox will work with most website and it has features that IE doesn’t like tabbed browsing, a pop up blocker and a great text search feature (hint – press f3 once you’ve installed it and look at the bottom of the browser window) Tip: (1) Once you got it installed you can press ctrl-t (on a PC) and it’ll open up a new browser tab – this is one of the most valuable features.(2) Check back for updates regularly as Firefox is updated every couple of months.
    Resources:Reasons to switch from Mozilla website. FireFox Help website.

    Writing and Spreadsheets (MS Office alternative)

    Product: OpenOffice ver 2.0

    Download (70MB): here

    $300 to $400 is a lot of lolly and why fork over the cash if you can get something that does the job just as well, can read and write MS word and excel files (.doc and .xls) and is free. There is even a mac version, NeoOffice, – see this link!

    Tip: Turn off the annoying help agent! Go to Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > General and un-check the Activate box under the Help Agent section.

    Resources:Documentation can be found here. Forums – post a question and get an answer here. Free intro flash tutorials – from digitaldistribution.

    Email – An Outlook alternative

    Product: Thunderbird ver 1.5

    Download (10.7MB): here – (Windows users you’ll want the Installer) Mac and linux versions too

    Get ThunderbirdWeb mail is convenient but it’s nice to have a copy of all your emails on your lappy, hell you can even write emails when you’re not on line to be sent later. I recommend Thunderbird, also from the Mozilla Project. Some of it’s goodies include spam filtering, spell checking and the ability to make custom folders and filter mail based on anything. See this article for details on “Why You Should Use the Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail Program” You can even import your email address and email from webmail programs and MS OutLook too.

    Tip: Create a filter to put all emails from your pals in a folder other than the inbox.

    Tip2: Windows users, want to back up all your emails, email addresses, filters and email account data? – just save C:Documents and Settings[User Name]Application DataThunderbirdProfiles

    Resources: Thunderbird help site – Click here

    Spyware and Adware Protection

    Product: Spybot – Search & Destroy 1.4

    Download (4.15MB): Click here (Windows only)

    So you’re a naughty boy or girl and you’ve been using IE on the sly. You now wonder why ever time you close it down you get a ton of new popup windows, just like the time you visited that free Shanghai donkey porn site! SPYware – you’ve got spyware ( definition) – oh the shame of it all! Spyware and Adware can slow down your computer by up to 50% or more. You can even get a nasty case of spyware infection after installing some legit trial programs on your computer without you even realizing it – (they do tell you but it’s normally on page 100 of the terms of service – the ones you never read) Search and Destroy can also be updated and gets a list of new spyware every time you click the update button. (Note: Spybot – Search & Destroy is not open source but free to download and use)

    Tip: Click the update button before you run it each time and it’ll add new spyware to its list of gremlins to look for and delete.

    Anti-Virus

    Product: AVG Free Edition

    Download (7.6MB): Click here (Windows only – link is at bottom of page and you want the AVG Free Edition installation files -Version 7.1.375 – NOT the trial version – )

    Gremlins can come to you many ways and this program does a good job at detecting email viruses. Email viruses normally come to you as email attachments in email messages. Once you’ve clicked or opened the attachments the little blighter’s go to work doing anything from the less serious such as popping up ads in your web browser to the more drastic like wiping our the entire contents of your hard driver or using your machine to send out thousands of spam emails to all your pals and business associates. It’s best never to open attachment unless they are photos. The most clever viruses, once they infect your computer, will get hold of your email address book and email itself to all your pals or even worse, business associates – so if you think attachments from your buds are safe forget it. Most of the time you won’t even know that you’ve been infected. Your computer may seem slower than normal – perhaps you’ll just blame it on her old age. Nonsense! computers don’t slow down over night and unless you’ve installed new versions of programs or have an unusually large number of windows/programs open your pride and joy should not slow down.

    Tip: Make sure you update the virus defintions (database) for this program on a regular basis. If a new virus comes out, this program may not catch it if you have not updated the list of viruses it can detect.

    Conclusion

    For most computer users the above software will do just fine and when a problem or security flaw is found there will be an update of fix out within days, not months or years like with Micro$oft. Do your mates a favor and pass on this URL to em – they could also do with saving a few Rubels or two! If you feel like it you can even donate to any of these projects – Come on now, a couple of bucks isn’t gonna break the bank – you’ve just saved hundreds!

    Cheers

    Richard

    (Contact me email)

    Copyright 2005 – All Rights Reserved

    About MyLittlePortal.com

    MyLittlePortal.com is the home of Richard’s Web Portal – a gateway to all things Richard. Here you’ll find articles I have written on my travels, filmmaking endeavours, culture, humor, computer shite and more.

    Cheers
    Richard