Monday, December 21, 2009

DreamHost Web Hosting: Limited Time Sale!





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Dreamhost (the service I host my site with) is offering this smoking deal, check it out!


Women worse at parking than men, study shows - Telegraph



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Finally proof of the fact every man knew to be true...sorry ladies!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Prank War 8: The Skydiving Prank

Check out this video on YouTube:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zO69d-FY4c]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Cappella Group does "Poker Face"

I haven't posted anything in a while but this was too good to pass up, check it out!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW5czKqT05A]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day! Here are some great reunions!

Returning vets greeted by their loved ones, both two legged and four!

Buzz Aldrin: Why We Need Better Rockets




Well, it looked spectacular.



I'm referring to NASA's recent launch of the Ares 1-X, billed as the prototype of the Ares 1 as a crew launch vehicle, a fancy term for a manned space booster. The rocket is said to have performed as planned, and ushered in the era of the Ares rockets to replace the Space Shuttle next year. Only it won't. In fact, the much-hyped Ares 1-X was much ado about nothing.



Yes, the rocket that thundered aloft from NASA's Launch Pad 39B sure looked like an Ares 1. But that's where the resemblance stops. Turns out the solid booster was - literally - bought from the Space Shuttle program, since a five-segment booster being designed for Ares wasn't ready. So they put a fake can on top of the four-segmented motor to look like the real thing. Since the real Ares' upper stage rocket engine, called the J-2X wasn't ready either, they mounted a fake upper stage. No Orion capsule was ready, so - you guessed it - they mounted a fake capsule with a real-looking but fake escape rocket that wouldn't have worked if the booster had failed. Since the guidance system for Ares wasn't ready either they went and bought a unit from the Atlas rocket program and used it instead. Oh yes, the parachutes to recover the booster were the real thing -- and one of the three failed, causing the booster to slam into the ocean too fast and banging the thing up. So, why you might ask, if the whole machine was a bit of slight-of-hand rocketry did NASA bother to spend almost half a billion dollars (that's billion with a "b") in developing and launching the Ares 1-X?



The answer: politics.



Technical problems, the kind that follow every new rocket's development, have haunted the Ares like leftovers from Halloween. The rocket as currently designed shakes so much during launch that shock absorbers are needed beneath its capsule payload. All of this takes time to fix -- and money, money that NASA really doesn't have. To stave off critics, three years ago the Project Constellation managers conceived of the 1-X flight to supposedly show some progress. They could instrument the rocket with hundreds of sensors gathering information never before obtained during a booster use in a Shuttle mission. It would give the launch team some practice in the assembly of an Ares. And NASA would find out if something as ungainly as the Ares 1 design - a thicker top than the bottom booster - could survive during ascent through the Earth's atmosphere. Of course, all of the changes to the Shuttle launch pad to accommodate the Ares wouldn't be ready in time, so they decided to just leave all of the Shuttle hardware, such as the rotating tower that envelops the Shuttles there. A success might just buy more time for Ares to fix its problems.



And that's just what happened.



Meanwhile, the huge Ares V super booster is just a series of drawings. Unlike the plan used to send Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and me to the Moon in 1969, whereby we used just one rocket to lift all of the elements of our Apollo spaceships, the current return-to-the-Moon plan requires not one rocket but two-one launch of an Ares 1 carrying the astronauts in the Orion capsule, and an Ares V lifting a big upper stage, a sort of space tug, and the lunar landing craft called Altair. Together, the two ships dock in orbit and then the tug, called the Earth Departure Stage, fires up for the outbound trip to the Moon. Two rockets in development; two launching systems. And two price tags. Two ways for failure to occur. Or delays to develop.



Worse yet, neither rocket alone can accomplish a deep space mission. And deep space, such as Mars is, as our friends in the recent Augustine report stated, our destination in space. These rockets were originally supposed to all be derivatives of the Space Shuttle-using four segment boosters and Shuttle engines - but the designs were changed to save money and development time. Neither of which has proven to be the case today. Our Augustine panel colleagues stated flatly that some new heavy lift rocket would be needed no matter which direction President Barack Obama chose for the space program. But Ares 1 is too small, barely able to lift the crew space capsule. And Ares V is too weak to boost all of the elements together.



What do we need? One rocket for all our deep space missions. Save the taxpayer's money by canceling the Ares 1 and V. And go "back to the future" in designing the big beast. So how do we get to the space station without Ares 1? Let the commercial space firms develop their own crew launchers, and crew vehicles. Why should Uncle Sam be in the people hauling business?



Here's my plan -- and yes, I am a rocket scientist -- cancel Ares 1 now and the version of the Orion capsule that is supposed to fly astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station. Instead, unleash the commercial sector by paying them for transportation services to the station. Could be capsules. Could be winged ships like the Space Shuttle, capable of flying back to a runway with its crews and cargoes, not splashing in the ocean like a cannonball. With the money saved, start developing a true heavy lifter worthy of the Saturn V's successor. Could be a side-mount rocket like the Shuttles, with a tank-and-booster set flanked by a payload pod jammed full of cargo-or a space capsule with astronauts in tow. Or new upper stages capable of deep space missions. Let's open 'er up to a true competition, with designs from inside -- and outside -- NASA. If we bypass a foolish Moon race and let the development of the Moon be an international affair, we will have time to refine the super booster to make sure it is compatible with our deep space goals, like missions flying by comets or asteroids -- or to the moons of Mars. Such a rocket would be ready when the time comes to colonize Mars. No more false starts and dead end rockets.



Maybe use innovative elements like new upper stage engines, or entirely new propulsion systems. Or designs truly evolved from the Shuttle era. The idea is to get the best thinking from rocketeers before we start spending Uncle Sam's space bucks.



I confess I have a design in mind that I and my team have worked on for years. It's called Aquila, and it is a true offspring of the Space Shuttle. It makes maximum use of the existing Shuttle infrastructure -- unlike the real Ares -- and Shuttle boosters, engines and the side-mounted design where today the winged orbiter rides into space. If we need bigger rocket engines, Boeing's RS-68 behemoth is always available, flight proven and flight tested aboard the Delta IV commercial launchers. You see, heavy lifting doesn't need to be heavy spending, if we do the job right.



But let the designers take the field-and may the best booster win. To paraphrase David Letterman, we don't need any stupid rocket tricks. Just good sound engineering. For without good new rockets to carry our payloads and crews, nobody is ever going to follow in Neil, Mike and my footsteps into deep space. And that's where we are destined to go.









Very interesting take on the future road the government space program should take, one that seems to make more sense than anything else. I have a feeling that because it does make sense...it wont happen. Logic often has a way of disappearing when runs into politics.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You Won't Need Chairlifts with the Fastest Snow Car In the World






This is the first time I've seen something that makes me want to move back to where it snows just so I can drive it! OMG I WANT!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

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via twitterrific

Trick Out Google Apps for Your Domain - Gmail - Lifehacker




Create a Catch-all Email Address



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One of the advantages of having your own domain name is that you have control and access to every single word combination @ yourdomain.com email address that you want. If you create a "catch-all address," you can forward any email that comes to your domain and doesn't match a user to a specific address. This means that if you wanted to use custom email addresses on the fly—like amazon@yourdomain.com when you register for an account at Amazon, or lifehacker@yourdomain.com when you register for an account at Lifehacker, you can do so without having to create custom addresses. Instead, set up your domain's catch-all address to forward to your user account. To set up a catch-all address, in your Google Apps Dashboard, from the Service Settings drop-down choose Email. There you can either reject mail that comes to addresses that don't match a user, or set up a catch-all forwarding address as shown above.





I never realized you could do this! Perfect way to set up email's for business users and have all kinds of email address' without adding users (which cost money in Premier). Going to remember this one. Check out Gina's excellent article for more great tips for Google Apps.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Want To See Boondocks II? You'll Have To Demand It

"The film's distributor hasn’t announced any plans to open the film wider yet but it looks like they may be trying to pull the same bit that Paramount pulled off a few weeks go with Paranormal Activity by asking that fans DEMAND it if they want it. A page which appears to be an official setup has been created here to allow fans to demand the movie in their area. Presumably if your town gets enough clicks, they'll will consider sending All Saints Day to your town "



Brian Bufalo


Friday, October 16, 2009

OK I've stopped bleeding!

Had a scare today that I just had to share with the world. I was getting through another day at work and without thinking scratched my arm.  A few moments I looked down to find myself bleeding profusely.  Thought it was odd but I patched myself up with the standard Alcohol and Superman band-aid routine and went on lunch.  As I wrapped up lunch I noticed I was bleeding through my band-aid!  I got a little scared and started getting worried.  A kind woman at work (who used to be a nurse!) helped bandage me up with an ace bandage but as I was heading home I loosened it up and check and was still bleeding! At this point I decided it was time to go get this looked at.  So Samantha drove me to the clinic and they took a look at me and decided I had somehow scratched a spot that was attached to a vein.  They numbed my arm and cauterized the wound.  Samantha's face was priceless!  Needless to say I am not scratching at anything now!  And now you know.  And knowing is half the battle!

Brian

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

@DOGingham • GREEN SPRINGS DOG PARK OPENING!




Saturday, October 17 at 9:00am


George Ward Park on Green Springs Hwy, Birmingham, AL


Map here!


From Bark for a Park Headquarters:


You and your dog are invited to the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Langford for the Greensprings Dog Park at George Ward Park in Birmingham! (Boy, we’ve all waited a long time to hear those words!) Be prepared!
Creative Dog Training has posted podcasts on “Preparing Your Dog for the Dog Park” and “Taking Your Dog to the Dog Park.” We encourage you to take a listen. You’ll also want to read the dog park rules. (They’ll also be posted at the park entrance.) Please note that the ground is quite saturated. You will need to bring towels to dry your dog and something to protect your car seats before you let Fido back into your car after play. Be prepared for mud! Bring poop bags! Enough for yourself and to share. This all happened so fast the waste stations and bags we ordered haven’t yet arrived. Be responsible and clean up after your dog! Don’t come empty handed! We have lots of fundraising to do to pay for the fencing. We’ll be there with Bark t-shirts, coozies, cold sodas, bottled water and more to sell. If you’re not yet a Bark member or donor, now is the time!

HAVE QUESTIONS? Email Bark for a Park at barkforapark@yahoo.com





Check out the grand opening of a new dog park in Birmingham! Might just have to get out there with Lucy!


IM+ for iPhone adds email push notifications


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IM+ has been my instant messenger of choice for my iPhone. I recently
bought the full version and have been very happy with the app. And
today they have added a much desired feature, email push notifications
for Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail email accounts. The feature is a bit
hidden but you can activate it under the individual account options by setting it to "On".  It does work however in my tests it seems to be a bit slower than the actual email arriving via Gmail's own Google Sync.  However this keeps my from having to buy a seperate app and is great feature addition to an already wonderful app. Get it here: http://bit.ly/sdrlu. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I bought a new Mac, now what?

Many of my friends often ask me for help with their computers, especially their Macs! I've been working with Apples since I was young and they are my platform of choice for any computer environment. Because I get so many requests I often end up sending long emails with my recommendations over and over again so I wanted to take the time to write them down in a blog post, both to point to for future reference as well as to educate anyone out there who is buying a Mac for their first time.

First things first, welcome to the Apple community! There are many very dedicated and enthusiastic users out there who actually love their computers! This first article is to illustrate the getting started with commonly used applications for the Mac that are either compatible with or are a replacement for their Windows counterpart. This is to be a brief overview of these features and software applications, not a specific step by step how to. I wanted to write this because the most often question I get from people is "I bought a Mac, now what?"  People buy a Mac understanding they are investing in a great computer but don't know what to do once they get it.  So first things first, here are the first programs I install on every Mac I get in no specific order:

VLC

Now some of these applications may sound strange to you but each either mimics the functionality you get with a Windows based application or are a free or inexpensive replacement for an Apple product and there are a couple that are just for fun!  Let me explain each one to give you an idea why these made the cut.

Firefox is a great web browser, in my opinion the best one out there and here is why.  You can install it on anything and have a consistent user experience across the board.  No other browser is to this point yet (Google Chrome is a close second but it's not quite to where I would like it to be).  For Windows users it is a must have application as Internet Explorer is dangerously tied to Windows.  If you hose IE you potentially hose Windows.  This is not as much a concern with a Mac but I still replace it.  And you should consider it too!

iChat does a great job of being a chat client allowing you to communicate with friends and family with quick messages or long, flowing conversations via the keyboard, with a microphone, or with video.  But what to do if everyone uses Yahoo Messenger?  I know there is a Yahoo Messenger for Mac but it's not as developed as the Windows counterpart and it's a pain to install a chat client for each service.  This is where Adium steps in and fills the gap.  It works with almost every major IM platform out there.  The only thing it doesn't do (last I checked) was audio and video (they are working on it!) and this is my plug for Skype.  Most everyone is on Skype and the interface is excellent for video and audio conversations, including to land lines (for a price).

NeoOffice (or OpenOffice) are replacements for Microsoft's Office suite that really are incredible.  For absolutely nothing in terms of cost you get a fully featured office suite that even opens and saves Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.  The software is open source and is actively developed.  What I recommend is try it out, there are subtle differences between it and Microsoft's offering but if you are open minded and give it a try you might find it covers all your needs.  And if you don't like it, you haven't paid anything and you can go out and by Microsoft Office for Mac!

Evernote has simply changed my life.  I use it for everything any time, any where. It is a note taking application that I can quickly jot down thoughts idea's, add photos or audio and find it later.  It works on everything (Mac, PC, web, iPhone, etc.) and simply has begun to take over my note taking world.  Every student needs this, every doctor, every lawyer.  This is the app to download and use!  Best of all the basic version is free and the premium version is rather inexpensive.

Google Earth is just for fun.  You can install it and check out maps and locations around the world including Street View, a sidewalk angle of most major cities. Really neat!

Apple includes by default iTunes and Quicktime players as well as a DVD player.  But wouldn't it be nice if you could have an app that would play almost any video file under the sun all from one app?  VLC does just that!  This one is another open source offering and it is amazing, playing everything you can throw at it.  I recommend it for when you get a strange video you can't open any other way you got from one of your Windows buddies!

The next two are system utilities for keeping your Mac ruining in tip top shape. SMART reporter is a program that keeps an eye on your hard drive for any signs of failure.  The icon lives next tot he time/date in the menu bar and changes color if bad things are going to happen.  The next one is Onyx and this one you have to be careful with, it's really powerful but can also mess up your system very quick so use at your own risk. Onyx will clean up your Mac's temporary files as well as customize your Mac to your liking.

Finally we have Dropbox, an amazing backup and sharing service that is simply amazing. I haven't been actively using this app until recently until it saved my rear when it was time for me to do a presentation and needed a file right away.  Dropbox gives you 2 Gb's of space online to backup your documents and photos and access them from any computer or even your iPhone or iPod Touch.  This is where it helped me out for my presentation.  I had the presentation for the projector but I needed to follow along so I dropped the PowerPoint into my Dropbox folder and pulled it up on my iPhone and was able to present the entire thing without worrying about if what I was saying was the correct slide.

Each of these apps have empowered me in one way or another and are absolutely indispensable for my work flow.  I wanted to add a honorable mention here and that is Google Apps.  If you have a Google account then you already have access to these features but they give you an online workplace that is accessible from anywhere.  The power of these apps are simply astounding and Google continues to improve them.  In fact this post was written from notes in Evernote and Gmail and finally written and posted using Google Docs.  The concern is you are trusting Google with your data so beware legal firms, HIPAA bound individuals, and crime syndicates to be careful how you use these features.

I hope this guides you the right direction in choosing some great apps.  The next post will focus more on dual booting your new Mac (that's right, your Mac can also run Windows) and then there will be a post about security for both your Mac and a Windows based system.  Questions or comments? Leave them below!


This is only a test, please disregard!

This is only a test, please disregard!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Traffic: Posterous vs. Blogger

I’ve noticed an interesting trend since I’ve started using Posterous. Every thing I do in Posterous generates so much more traffic than anything else I use. Now, I am by no means a highly read blogger.  I’m not even consistent, which is evident by the screen shots below.  But what is interesting though is my post’s generate a whole lot more traffic when using Posterous.  What is even more interesting is it seems viewer ship is also up on those sites’s I post to.


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Posterous Traffic


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Blogger Traffic

There are two reasons for this in my opinion, first, I find Posterous is so simple posting things is fun and therefore I post more often.  Second, I post everywhere with the services and because it’s all automated and the process by which I post to these services is centralized it is again easier and more fun.

By posting more often I get more hits and drive up the numbers. Posting is quick, either via email, text, or bookmarklet (I generally use the bookmarklet for sharing content and email for generated content such as this post).

Anyone else notice this trend with their own experiences? Anyone use a different solution?  Comment on it below!

Monday, October 5, 2009

How To Solve The Business Card Blues : NPR




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I recently listened to this on NPR and really found some great tips including the amazing Evernote for organizing your paper into digital format. This is by far the best way to organize your life. I'm planning on purchasing the full subscription to this service for Christmas. Keeps my whole life organized!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friendly Fires 'Skeleton Boy'






This video was an iTunes freebie a while ago and it came up in my library and wanted to share it. Love it, really interesting to watch every time. What do you think?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Simple Blogging Faceoff: Tumblr vs. Posterous






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Last week, we decided that it wasn’t enough to just wonder which web browser was better; we had to settle the matter in a battle for the ages. So we pitted Mozilla Firefox against Google Chrome, gave them some ammunition, and left it up to you to decide who was the victor. In the end, Firefox beat up on Chrome, 4600 votes to 3310.


Everyone had so much fun with the web browser faceoff though, we decided that we had to do it again. So it’s time to take two of the web’s most popular apps, put them in the ring, and see which one is the people’s choice. Our competitors this week? Two of the most popular simple blogging platforms: Tumblr (


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) and Posterous (


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).


This isn’t the first time we’ve put these two web services in opposite corners: we compared the two in a head-to-head comparison (Posterous won, but not by much). Since then though, Posterous has added custom themes and Tumblr broke 255 million pageviews.


So which simple blogging platform deserve to earn the title of winner of this week’s Web Faceoff? The answer to that question is up to you. Cast your ballot in the poll below. The voting booth will stay open until noon EST on Friday, October 2nd.


And don’t forget: once you vote, let us know your logic and reasoning in the comments.







Thank you for voting!



Tumblr 54% (1,404 votes)




Posterous 38% (991 votes)




Tie: I just can't pick between the two 7% (191 votes)



Total Votes: 2,586





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Who would win in a fight: Tumblr or Posterous?(polls)





Posterous FTW! Go vote!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Alabama Supreme Court rules against Love Stuff - Hoover Blog






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Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance Jr. looks at a display of a school girl uniform costume while touring Love Stuff on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007 in Hoover. (The Birmingham News file)


MONTGOMERY -- The Alabama Supreme Court ruled against Love Stuff, a Hoover business that sells vibrators and other sexual devices, and upheld Alabama's anti-obscenity law.

The court ruled that the business failed to show that the state law banning the sale of sexual aides was unconstitutional.



"Public morality can still serve as a legitimate rational basis for regulating commercial activity, which is not a private activity," Supreme Court justices wrote in the opinion issued Friday.



"As the Eleventh Circuit in Williams IV pithily and somewhat coarsely stated: 'There is nothing 'private' or 'consensual' about the advertising and sale of a dildo."



Love Stuff had argued a section of Alabama's anti-obscenity law banning "adult-only entertainment" near churches and child care centers was unconstitutional vague because the phrase was not defined.



"We're not closing," said Love Stuff attorney Amy Herring.



She said the store is reviewing its options for appeal.



She said she was very pleased that two of nine justices concurred with the store's argument.


 




Really...This is outrageous in a "red" state for the Government to be this invasive in people's personal lives is outrageous. Who cares what people put in them? It's crazy. Free the love...man. Totally...


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Facebook adds "@" replies a la Twitter

Facebook announced today on their blog that you can now "tag people and other things you're connected to on Facebook" by adding an "@" sign and the persons name.  Here's how it works:

Now, when you are writing a status update and want to add a friend's name to something you are posting, just include the "@" symbol beforehand. As you type the name of what you would like to reference, a drop-down menu will appear that allows you to choose from your list of friends and other connections, including groups, events, applications and Pages. Soon, you'll be able to tag friends from applications as well. The "@" symbol will not be displayed in the published status update or post after you've added your tags.



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Really similar to how tagging works in photos but also tore a page right from Twitter's play book. Also going to have to see if it actually takes off and people start using it...

via Facebook Blog: Tag Friends in Your Status and Posts

Tethering and iPhone 3.1: Hopefully soon

While not dependent on the iPhone's recent ability to tether, I do like having it as an option when all else fails.  Unfortunately updating to the latest firmware the hack I use was broken.  Not to be dismayed as the developer, Ben, has a fix on the way that will re-enable the now defunct tethering.

For those of you who do not know how this works, many different hacks came out shortly after AT&T announced that tethering would not be out (although third world countries would be able to do this....) and as all good hackers do, they found a way to enable this feature to work anyways.  Simply point your iPhone's Safari browser to http://help.benm.at and follow the instructions to enable both tethering and MMS functionality. 

Ben and his team posted there should be a fix on the way and also to note that AT&T will be enabling MMS September 25th. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Google Voice Adds Email Forwarding and Replies to SMS - Google Voice - Lifehacker




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The feature I've been dying to have as I'm too cheap to pay for text messaging means I can now receive and even reply to text messages via Google Voice! Very nice and now I have free SMS all around. Click through for the details from Lifehacker.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Boondoc Saints 2 trailer

Really excited about this one! Check it out:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if2-PYxgL50]

Annoyance today


Annoying

It's frustrating when people don't listen.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Look What I Got Today

Sad but this was my high point today. I got a shelf on my desk. That is all.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Bonhomme Richard Celebrates Birthday






I was stationed on the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard from 2003-2006. She turned 11 on August 15th while out to sea.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Boating on Lake Purdy

I had such a great time out on Lake Purdy today! We are definately going again and soon. We also fed a lot of fish! Nothing on our hooks but we were trying! We need to get Lucy a doggie life jacket so it's easier for her to go swimming. She didn't do so well on her own.

 All in all it was a blast and they let me drive the boat!


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Thursday, August 20, 2009