NOAA/Google Weather Maps

When I was a kid, we listened to the local radio station for updates on impending snow storms. Next came storm tracking updates from the local broadcast TV news with updates on the half hour.

While at UMF in the early 90’s, one the computer center staff created a program that rendered raw NOAA satellite data over an image of a Maine map. We could see real-time satellite maps of a comming storm – if you counted the 30 minute rendering time on a 286 PC and nearly as long downloading the data files over the university 56k line.

Later, I remember hovering over for updated views and reports.

This morning, we are on the bleeding edge of Web 2.0 as the boys hover over the NOAA’s beta display . Their NEXRAD maps use a composite of Google Maps, radar images and weather warnings complete with animated time loops.

Now, if they could only do real-time Street View of the storm so I know when the plow trucks have blocked in the end of the driveway!


Email to SMS Gateways

Most major cellular carriers provide an email address for each user that will forward email as a text message to their phone. I have been digging around to find providers local to my area (central Maine) with the idea of creating a SMS prayer list tool.

Just so I don’t lose track of these:

Alltel –
AT&T/Cingular –
Boost Mobile –
US Cellular –
Nextel –
Sprint PCS –
T-Mobile –
Verizon –
Virgin Mobile –

There is a huge list available here.

General Learning

StumbleUpon Alternatives for Your Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

If your a StumbleUpon addict like myself, chances are, you have gotten “You have seen all your topic here pages. Explore others…” as a result of pecking at the “Stumble!” button like a demented, tic-tac-toe playing chicken.
While reviewing more sites can add a little spark back into your stumbles, it’s a bit of a “cart and horse” problem if the main way you find interesting sites is through StumbleUpon. It seems some alternatives are in order. If you are using Firefox, drag any of the following links to your Bookmarks Toolbar:

  1. Random Wikipedia – Wikipedia provides a special link that will pick an interesting article for you to read –
  2. Random – provides a link redirecting you to one of it’s more recently added links.
  3. Random Google – If you have Google Web History turned on, this link,, will take you to a random link related to your previous surfing history. Google provides the same functionality through recent version of their Google Toolbar.

There are also StumbleUpon-like services out there, like SpinSnap and Youlicit, but I like keeping the above links around for a quick, random-link fix.

Learning linux

Dugg up – When old blog posts come back from the Dead

I am on the tail end of the effects of appearing on the front page of Digg. I hadn’t posted in a while (major new job, new church building, new home group, etc., etc.) so I was a bit off guard when I got an email from my shared hosting company, saying they had disabled my front page due to excessive CPU usage (load average of 70, mostly my fault).
Like a good programmer, my first thought was “What has changed?” quickly followed by the recollection that WordPress 2.6.3 had released a few days ago and I updated it last night.

I would now like to take a moment to ask for forgiveness from the anonymous WordPress developers who’s names I took in vain and accused of being far less talented than they actually are. I am deeply sorry and it won’t happen again. I hope…

It wasn’t until I got WP-Super-Cache installed and the site back up, that I took time to look at the stats. Over 8000 hit in a few hours and rising quickly!


New Look – Please excuse the mess…

I finally decided to do something about the 150K background image and lighten up the site overall. I hope things run a little faster and are a little easier to read.
So please excuse the mess while I re-create a few pages and clean up some little odds and ends.

IXOYE Learning

Divorce is Predictable: Do the Math

While this is a WebMD article, Math May Tell Which Marriages Last, about a book, The Mathematics of Marriage: Dynamic Nonlinear Models, written in 2002, the message is timeless: marriage is about the connection of two people being made one. According to the research, success or failure of a marriage can be predicted with a 94% accuracy based on the scoring of negative and positive cues displayed during an argument. Rolling your eyes or being dismissive gets negative points, using humor or a supportive nod results in positive points. Couples with a score of 5 positive to 1 negative points have a stable, lasting relationship, while a ratio of 1 to 1 or less is a fast track to divorce court.
The mathematics put concrete face on something most know intuitively; a marriage full of negative comments, self-interest and disrespect is an unhappy one. God’s Word is pretty clear:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:22-33


New Family Member!

We are proud to anouce that we are the parents of new new, bouncing baby… beetle! I have plans to add a GreaseCar kit to burn pure veggetable oil, as well as look into home-made biodiesel. I’ve heard of petro-diesel mileage exceeding 240 mpg with this kit (That’s just the amount of diesel burned – doesn’t count the veggie oil). Imagine only pulling up to the pumps every three months or so…
My New Baby