A blog by Bryan Pryor. Random thoughts on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Also contains good technical bits to help you along the way.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year, New Decade. Here's to hoping you make the most of 2010. Cheers!

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Car - Chevy HHR!

Here's the new addition to our family of cars, a 2008 Chevrolet HHR, in the Imperial Blue Metallic.

Why the HHR? We were looking to increase our fuel economy, and this car is the 'biggest small car' we can find. At over 30 MPG on the highway, it fits the bill very well. Feel free to comment!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reform Michigan Now - Ballot Proposals

It appears that a group is circulating petitions for a ballot proposal this fall that looks like it will shake up state government quite a bit.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/MI_BIG_BALLOT_PROPOSAL_MIOL-?SITE=MIDTN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

In the modern era we live in, there is no reason for our goverment to be as archaic as they are. It is time for Lansing to realize that they must scale back their operations, just like the Michigan economy has done in general.

I for one will be signing this proposal.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Seatbelt Enforcement in Michigan Causes Crash

Here's a big pet peeve of mine: Click it or Ticket enforcement, AKA Seatbelt Enforcement.

In general, I disagree with ticketing people for not wearing seatbelts. Granted, I always wear mine & fully understand the benefits of wearing one. Also, I fully agree that the driver should be responsible to ensure all passengers under 16 wear their seatbelts, but that's my agreement ends.

Once a person is 16 and old enough to drive a car on their own, I believe it is their own right/responsibility to choose whether to buckle up. Here's the bottom line: A person who chooses NOT to buckle up is only putting themselves at risk. They are not harming other people. In the event of a car crash, them not wearing a seatbelt does not put other people at risk.

With that in mind, WHY ARE WE WASTING OUR POLICE RESOURCES TO TICKET PEOPLE NOT WEARING SEATBELTS?!?

If a person chooses to put themselves at risk, that is their own right. Just like sky-diving, downhill skiing, or riding a bicycle. In all aspects of life, there are risks . Using valuable police time to identify and ticket these people is in NO WAY protecting & serving the public. What a load of crap. It's just the easiest revenue generation that these cops can find.

The reason I chose to complain about this now is that this morning, on my way to work, I drove through a seatbelt enforcement zone. No, I didn't get ticketed. As I said, I wear a seatbelt. What caught my attention wasn't even the 6 police cruzers with people pulled over. It was the accident that this 'enforcement zone' had caused. Sure enough, a lady in a Ford Excursion rear-ended some poor sap in a Honda Civic. No doubt, she was distracted by the numerous cops pulling out in traffic to keep the public safe by removing all those dangerous unbelted drivers from the road.

This is where I draw the line: When the actions of the people we pay to 'protect' us end up causing more harm than good, it is time for reasonable citizens to say "Enough." We should not allow this to happen any more. My recommendation is to remove the ability for police to pull over cars for seatbelts as a primary infraction. End this useless seatbelt enforcement, and get the cops back to work preventing crime.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Modifications to Headlamp to accept 18650 batteries



I have modified one of my headlamps to accept larger capacity batteries. The first step was to dis-assemble the entire headlamp, solder wires in the correct places, and run the wires out of the lamp. You can see the headlamp in action with a couple of 18650 lithium ion (LiIon) batteries that I had laying around. These batteries should give about 4 times the original runtime on AAA batteries.

Next step: I need to make a nice remote battery pack & quick-connect plugs for this.




Friday, May 23, 2008

Pictures of the Brooks Champion Flyer



Here's the first pictures of my new saddle on the bike. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taking the Plunge: Brooks Leather Saddle!

After my first couple hundred miles of riding in 2008, I've decided to take the plunge and purchase a Brooks leather saddle. I've chosen the champion flyer, a single rail sprung saddle. My main reasoning for this is the horrible roads we have in Michigan. It's much akin to driving/riding in a 3rd world country. Cars routinely lose entire wheels in potholes, which makes the ride on a bike brutal at times. A little suspension on my commuter should be a good fit.

I chose to buy it from Wallingford Bikes, www.wallbike.com. Their 6 month return policy sealed the deal for me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great vocalists - Check them out

Boyce Avenue.... A (mostly) acoustic band I recently discovered. I highly recommend checking them out. I would love to see these guys in concert, possibly opening for Of A Revolution (O.A.R.) That could be one of the best concerts in history. Only enhanced if 311 were there as well. 311 covering O.A.R. songs, O.A.R. covering 311, & Boyce Avenue covering whoever they choose.

I would love to see this concert. Anyone else?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

205 Miles per Hour in a Corvette... I work on this Car!

Just watch this video. It's pretty amazing, 200+ miles per hour in a Corvette. And the best part is, I work on this car! Woo Hoo!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Pending Patent!

Here's the link

This is exciting stuff for me. My second patent has be published by the USPTO. In theory now it's just a matter of time before one of my patents gets granted. Exciting stuff for dorks like me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

50Hz Square wave from Astable 555

 

Here's a quick look at the 50Hz sqaure wave created from a 555 timer to overcome the vehicle anti-theft system.
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50Hz square wave generator for VATs/Passkey


 

My weekend project: create a circuit that would create a 50Hz square wave signal to feed into the ECM/PCM on a 1990's caprice to circumvent the vehicle anti-theft system. Solution? A couple of capacitors, resistors, and a 555 timer. Result: the car runs like a dream. More to come.
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Monday, April 14, 2008

More problems with Zecco

Today I could not log in to zecco.com at all for trading. This was pretty much what I was expecting when I signed up for the service, and the reason I have only put a small amount of my money into Zecco. If you cannot trust a banking or trading site to be 100% reliable, it is difficult to put much faith into them. For this reason, zecco will only hold my 'play money' for the foreseeable future.

Here's their explanation:
http://www.zecco.com/forums/Update-on-Site-Availability-27008_1.aspx

Downtown Farming Petition to fight narrow streets

I found this article in the free press:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080410/NEWS03/804100362/1005/NEWS03

I agree 100% with this petition. Restricting Grand River will only further reduce the number of shoppers downtown. There are many areas I already avoid because of the horrible traffic, and if this goes through I will have to put downtown Farmington on that list.

Had the DDA actually done their homework, they would have found that what is needed to make this actually work for the area is:

1. Increase Grand River to 4 lanes, possibly with bike paths, to ensure maximum traffic can reach all areas of downtown.

2. Create an 'offshoot' of Grand River that has quick & easy access to plentiful parking. This parking should be 1-3 blocks away from the desired shopping district. The amount of added parking needs to be in the 300-500 spaces, not the 10-20 spaces that are currently being offered.

4. Ensure clearly labeled pedestrian crosswalks at multuple places. on Grand River for those who want to cross.

Basically, they need to take the cue from cities that have implemented successful 'downtowns.' Take a look @ Birmingham, Royal Oak, Ferndale, & Novi. All have followed the exact same formula of unrestricted traffic along the major artery (Woodward/Novi Road) with offshoots & ample parking.

If they think for one minute that restricting traffic in the downtown area is the right thing to do for local businesses, all they have to do is look at the sales numbers from last summer. The bridge work successfully slowed down traffic downtown, and in turn nearly bankrupted local businesses.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wireless Networking Links

Links for setting up a wireless network between 2 locations.

Click here to access my links/information regarding wireless networking and antennas.

Monday, February 4, 2008

DTE Nuclear Plant Fermi 2 Malfunction & Shutdown

Here's an interesting tidbit. Could this have been the 'green flash' I saw over Detroit tonight?

DTE Energy Co. has shut down its Fermi 2 nuclear power plant after two cooling water pumps stopped working.
WXYZ.com – Feb 2, 2008 4:15 PM [GMT]

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Green Flash in Detroit/Farmington

Did anyone else notice a green flash of light in the sky Sunday night around 10:20 local time in Detroit or Farmington/Farmington Hills? I was headed home after the Super Bowl, driving south on Orchard Lake just south of I-696 when the entire sky lit up with an eery green light. It looked like extremely bright lightning, but was green instead of the normal whitish-blue.

Just seems kind of weird. Maybe something will come out in the next day or so...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

How to unsubscribe from thumbplay.com text messages

Customer service and technical assistance
1-877-THUMB-99 (1-877-848-6299)
support@thumbplay.com

I have been receiving text messages from thumbplay.com, all of the unsolicited. I found this on their website and called the number. I was told that I would not receive any more texts from them. Let's see if they're true to their word.

Another cell phone text message scam link

http://www.jamsterscam.com/

Unsolicited text messages from thumbplay.com

I've recently started receiving unsolicited text messages from thumbplay.com. I'm in the process of trying to determine if there is any recourse I can take against them.

I did find this web site:
http://www.classactionconnect.com/?q=node/680

However, a section of their terms and conditions really bothers me:

KamberEdelson, LLC (“We” or “Our”) has the right, in our sole discretion, to modify, add or remove any terms or conditions of this Agreement without giving individual notice to you, by posting the changes on the Site. Your continuing use of the Site signifies your acceptances of any such changes.

I'm not sure I trust that site enough yet, so I'll keep looking for other options.