Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Small Town Accident

In Green River Utah having shake and burger when I see a wheel bouncing down the parking lot across the street. It seems the woman in the blue van lost a wheel. Everyone in the small burger joint knew her and one guy said "the way she drives, something was going to happen". I just thought it was funny that everyone knew her.

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Following Paul

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Delicate Arch!

J.W. Philip Ramsey


J.W. Philip Ramsey

Morning in Moab

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rustic Inn - Moab, Utah

Spending the night at the Rustic Inn here in Moab. From the outside
you'd think this was a big time dive, but it turned out to be a
fantastic place, it's not the Ritz, but definitely 5-stars in it's

Julie Chillin' in Moab

Waiting in Moab and enjoying a smoothie. Moab has grown a lot since I last came here (about 14 years ago), I'm sure many would consider it small, but it's a busy little town.

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Love the open road!

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Headed to Moab Utah!

J.W. Philip Ramsey


J.W. Philip Ramsey

Denver, baby

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 1 and 2 Recap

As you can see we've been moving across the country quickly, we've gone about 1700 miles in 2 days.

Day 1

The first day we were slated to stop Mt Vernon Illinois, but instead decided to cross the Mississippi at St Louis. It turned out to be good because we would not have been able to see the gateway arch if we waited a day (it was very foggy in the morning). We drove until Kingdom City Missouri, I should have known better than to stay at a place called "Kingdom City", we stayed at a Days Inn, which was horrible. I was half expecting to find a fresh blood stain somewhere.

Overall we visited 6 states on Day 1 (Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri.

Day 2

Boy this was fewer hours in the car, but a much tougher ride, I don't know how the pioneers did it, they must have been increadibly hearty people. I kept thinking that they would travel week after week with only the hope of a better place, we have it so easy with modern conveniences. The high point of the day was seeing the windmill farm in Kentuky, they had hundreds of windmills up. I spoke with a girl at the gas station (no I wasn't flirting, but she was cute and wearing overalls), she told me that at first everyone was upset with the windmills because they interferred with the migritory pattern of a crane (personally I think this is the oil types who are trying to squash alternative fuel).

Don't get me wrong, Kansas was fantastic and georgeous and the people that I was able to speak with were very friendly. I kept looking at the rolling hills and thinking what it must have been like to be a Native American looking down at thousands of Buffalo. As you can tell I had plenty of time to pretend I was someone else. It was a long trip. Anyway, we're now in Aurora Colorado, and resting up to go to Moab Utah in the morning (another 6 hours away, sigh).

Dinner in Aurora Colorado

I think Julie's face says it all, we're all tired after over 750 miles on the road. Tomorrow we are scheduled for only 380 miles to Moab Utah.

J.W. Philip Ramsey


J.W. Philip Ramsey

Prairie Dog Town

J.W. Philip Ramsey

McDonalds, somewhere in Kansas

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Kansas City, MO, to Kansas City, KS

J.W. Philip Ramsey

On the road again ...

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Friday, July 25, 2008

Days Inn - Kingdom City, Missouri

We've made our first stop, it was a long day, we were on the road for
14.5 hours and in the car for about 13 of those hours, 949 miles. We
barely got into this hotel, last available room, the comfort inn we
tried before had just been booked :(. We're all tired and incoherent
(I know what you're thinking, what else is new), so off to bed!
Tomorrow we only have 650 miles scheduled.

Missouri--we decided to go.

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Bob Evans

Sitting at Bob Evans in Mt. Vernon IL wondering should we stay here for the night or continue on for 2 more hours.

Mt. Vernon IL (not to be confused with Mt. Vernon IN) was scheduled to be our initial stop, our next scheduled stop is in Limon CO over 800 miles down I-70 from here.

The question now is should we stay or should we go.

Another hour, another state; Illinois

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Out of Louisville, over the Ohio and into Indiana.

J.W. Philip Ramsey


J.W. Philip Ramsey

Entering West Virginia

J.W. Philip Ramsey

The journey begins

I-66 Virginia

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Monday, July 21, 2008

4th Dimension

I've always been somehow aware of the existence of the 4th Dimension, as a kid (under 10 years old) I would loose a quarter in one room and then find a quarter another room, I assumed that the quarter rolled through an opening in the 4th Dimension to it's new location. If it could do that it wouldn't have to travel far, since the 4th Dimension could easily allow the quarter to pass through walls, well technically the quarter wouldn't pass through the wall, it would just go around the wall via a opening that doesn't exist in the 3 dimensions we see and experience on a daily basis. As a kid I didn't think of this that much, I just figured that this was possible and it also explained where all my extra socks were (of course I've never been able to find those).

As you read on, you'll possibly think that I've been smoking something good or drinking way too much. Well the scary fact is that I've never done drugs and my thoughts are still weird (many of my friends believe that if I did drugs or drank I'd be normal, and that's not something I'm willing to play with).


As a young college student interested in Mathematics, my oldest brother, who I call Marcos, but others call Jim (I kind of wonder if he has two personalities to go with his two names), gave me a book called "Flatland". Flatland is an interesting book (though very sexist, I'll get to that later, but if you read it, be prepared to put your distaste to sexist talk on the side).

The book is about a square who lives in a flatland (2-space), as a square he is considered part of the working class. In this world as you get brighter and more evolved you get more sides, so a circle (which can be though of as a polygon with infinite sides) is considered the highest form you can achieve, while a triangle (a woman) is the lowest (down, it's a good book to show the 4th Dimension exists, it proves it via mathematical induction). In this book the citizens of 2-space are aware of 0-space (which is a point) and 1-space (line). When the square interacts with someone in 0-space, that point doesn't see anyone, but can hear the conversation. When he passes through 1-space, the point in a line all of a sudden sees a new point in front of him, he's confused by this, since he's only known 1-space. To both 0-space and 1-space the interference of a citizen from 2-space was like a ghost.

One day the square from 2-space is visited by a sphere from 3-space (which has been observing 2-space). This sphere can see inside the walls of the square's house, tell what's in the cabinets or any safes that the square has, this is because what is solid to the square isn't solid to the sphere (look at the blueprint of a house, imagine if you were living in 2-space, all those walls would be real, but as a citizen of 3-space you can see into those walls). The sphere has to prove his existence to the square, but by appearing and disappearing, he manages to convince the square that 3-space exists.

When the square brought this meeting up to the circles in his world, he was labeled as a heretic (oh I forgot to mention, circles were also religious leaders) and locked up (boy doesn't that sound familiar, religious leaders locking up philosophers and scientists). Despite the circles objections the square not only believed in 3-space, but was able, through pure faith in 3-space, be able to experience 3-space. Now when he brought up the idea of 4-space to the sphere, he was told that such talk was that of a heretic.

I don't do it justice, get the book and read it (it's only 100 pages), I believe someone made it into a movie.

Real Life

OK, how does this relate to real life? Well I can't prove that the 4th Dimension exists as a spacial dimension (people tend to talk about time as THE 4th Dimension, but time is just A dimension). It would be helpful if it could be shown and exploited. It could make it very easy to move around, nothing "magical" would happen, but you might be able to make shortcuts when going outside or into the kitchen (maybe Merlin or Houdini understood the use of the 4th Dimension).

It could explain the existence of ghosts, which I don't see as being supernatural beings, I see them as 4th Dimensional beings that happen to be passing through our 3-Dimensional plane, they appear to be passing through walls (they are going around them in 4-space) and we can see through them (because we are only seeing a cross-section of them in 3-space, in 4-space they are quite solid).

I'm sure right beside every clothes drier in the world there is a collection of socks and left handed gloves (I always loose the left hand), they are sitting there, but we can't get them. Hide and seek would also be cool in 4-space (well assuming you had access to it and others didn't). In my house I've found a portal for the 4th Dimension, it's under my recliner. I'll have my army knife, alarm fob or something else in my pocket, I'll loose the knife, look all over the house to find it and then finally go and look under my chair, and there is the item I lost. My wife says that the knife is slipping out of my pocket, down through the chair and onto the floor, but I think that the knife falls off my bedside table, through two floors and ends up under my chair (OK she might be right with this one, but I still like my idea better).

It would be great for spies, thieves or anyone else wanting to look or be where they shouldn't. Hmm, I wonder if Homeland Security knows about this, I'd tell them, but they'd probably say that my talk was crazy and that of a heretic.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Praying Mantis

Spotted this guy, well I guess it's actually a chic, hanging on a bush from about 20 feet away, I noticed something that didn't look like a bush and it was a praying mantis (or is that "womantis"? It's all so confusing).

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It seems that we've become the country of super-size, everything from food, toys, gadgets, computers, and cars, to homes have become super-sized. Everything has to be bigger and faster, and once something is faster or bigger, we throw out the old and get the new. In today's world not only is that not needed, but it can cause huge amounts of waste. Where does the problem come from? Well I think it comes from our need as a society to compete and how winners are so richly rewarded, I fall victim to this also, and I'm chastising myself.


I've grown tired of eating out, the portions are just too big and eating out is too expensive. Think about it, for me to take my family of 3 out to Ruby Tuesday's, I'm looking at $40-$60 with tip for dinner, that's half our weekly food bill, I went to Uno's yesterday, two bad salads and a appetizer for my daughter cost us $45.00. We have all fallen for the bigger is better deal, we get more food for our money, we see it as being frugal (wow look at all this food), when in fact it's a complete waste of money and food.


OK, I can't find a great argument hear, I love toys and gadgets, but I think that people need to really research the gadget before they get it. There are way too many unused gadgets (for example I don't really need my iTouch, but it's fun to play with).


I hate to say it, mainly because I love getting new hardware, but the average user doesn't need to upgrade their computer every year, in the business world they say every three years. I believe that computers are powerful enough now that the average user could easily stretch the lifespan of a computer to over 6 years (my daughter is working on a 10 year old computer now, and it's working fine for her, 2 of my workstations are over 4 years old, my laptop is only 2.5 years old, but unless it dies horribly, it's good for another 3-4 years).

Who needs new machines? Well I can see gamers needing new boxes as new games come out, but I also think that if they build their initial machine right, then they should be set for many years. Networks always need bigger and faster machines, but I think in their cases, if they spend $10k on a killer machine they can then use it to virtualize many smaller machines (Computer virtualization is KEY for networks, this should be critical for all companies, it lowers power and space usage, which means a reduced need for AC and generators, which could also mean a reduced need for people, I could see a big company saving millions by the virtualization of smaller servers and requiring a waiver for a physical machine).


Don't get me started here, well I guess it's too late now. People have been buying cars that are way too big for them and their requirements. Think of a car as a tool, you don't get an SUV unless you need to go off-road, and don't use the, "but what about snow?", get a Subaru, they are killer in the snow and will go almost anyplace an Avalanche will go (it will probably go more places than an Avalanche will go). I think there should be a law against people getting SUVs, shoving 27" rims and summer sport tires on it. At that point the vehicle should be taxed and treated as a gas-guzzling car, since it's no longer an SUV.


There is a lot of hidden issues with houses. The biggest is people buying these very large houses and they only have 2-3 people living in them. Most of the big names in the world are guilty of this, I think if they want to have a 5-6,000 SQF house they need to make sure it uses the average energy of a 2-3,000 SQF house. Instead of doing this though, they are going out and getting a Prius and then patting themselves on the back for being green :(.


Over all I think we just need to reconsider our purchases, purchase wisely and with thought to what we really need. Remove waste, don't purchase items that aren't built well or don't work well. I'm guilty, I admit it, but I'm slowly trying to change my ways (it won't be so easy for me to change my wife and daughter).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Trip

Went out to Sully Plantation near Dulles Airport in Virginia. It was very nice, I had never gone there, despite having driven past it many times. I don't have any pics (sometimes I like to leave the camera behind so I can better enjoy the world around me). It seems back when Dulles was built our government wanted to destroy the plantation to put in a runway (hmm, yep that sounds like our goverment), but after a lot of heat from locals, they thought better.

Twitter Stalker

I have my first person following me on Twitter, it's very exciting. It's a friend of mine from when I rode the VRE, she's pretty cool and like me is getting more involved with blogs, twitter, etc...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Butterfly Bush

We get these odd bees on our butterly bush.

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birds & Music

Are these birds on the roof listening to the music or wondering where the food is?

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Well today's trip out was supposed to be to Great Falls, but since it was raining, we went to Fredricksburg instead. We were supposed to go to see the Kenmore house in Fredricksburg, but I think the real reason we went was to visit Sonic Burger. They have good burgers and OK shakes, but I still think Burger Supreme and Stans in Provo Utah both rock on anything else. The Kenmore house was nice, it was recently redone. The work on the ceiling was remarkable, it must have taken someone a long time to do this work. Here are a couple of pictures for enjoyment purposes. They also had a couple of gorgeous magnolia trees, I love this tree, but I'm told it's a lot of work to keep them nice (so I haven't bother with them). I'll include a flower picture I took (almost lost my sunglasses while taking the picture, I got to the car and couldn't find them, then while backtracking I found my sunglasses pretty much where I thought they would be on the grass, they are expensive glasses, so I'm happy I didn't loose them).

Monday, July 7, 2008


To keep things busy over the summer, I've decided to start posting my daughters videos on YouTube. She and her friends have made a couple, somewhat funny vids. I gave them the sole challenge of NOT having any of their faces or other body parts show up in the video, I also made them get parental permission before posting (I'm kind of an old fuddy duddy, n'est pas?).

Here is one of the videos, stand up comedy by a stuffed horse (go figure).

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Some very pretty flowers in my front flowerbed. Enjoy!

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Political Rant

Wow I just read that there are Clinton supporters who will not be voting or will be voting for McCain solely because Clinton didn't get the nomination nod from the DNC. What a bunch of babies, this is exactly the problem with this country, people are much more into the person running than the country itself. People should be voting for their ideals and for where they think the country should be going, instead both Republicans and Democrats are voting for individual people or their party.

Let's set things straight, so you understand where I am coming from. I am fairly liberal, but I refuse to take the banner of Democrat, I don't believe in parties, I believe in voting for the people I think will make a change. If I thought a Republican could do a better job at leading the country or moving the country into a position that I believed was correct, you better believe I would be voting Republican.

I think setting ideologies based on people or a group is counter-productive to the whole. These people should not believe in Clinton, but her goals, Clinton's goals are very much like those of Obama. Personally if Clinton had won the nomination, I would have though about voting for McCain, not because I don't like Clinton, but because I think we need someone other than a Bush or a Clinton in the White House, these two families have dominated American politics since 1981 and it's past time for a change.

The other issue that bothers me is when a politician changes their mind, all of a sudden they are considered waffleres, I'd rather have someone change their minds about a decision, than to stick to their guns and illegally invade a country, killing tens of thousands of that countries innocent citizens in the process. I expect my politicians to change their minds, to review information and readjust their thinking based on that information. I expect them to work towards the good of the country and not the good of their investors. Only an idiot would find a single path and stick to it and I expect my politicians to be brilliant. Of course there's the problem in my logic, I expect my politicians to be brilliant, to review and accept opinions counter to their own, and to act in regards to our country instead of their investors (note I'm using the word "investor" on purpose).

I have a unique perspective in that I have dual citizenship. I love the USA, but I also have strong feelings for Brazil. If I had to make a serious choice, it would be the USA hands down. Without having to make a serious choice, I choose the USA when it comes to Brazil vs USA soccer and Brazil when it comes to all forms of auto racing. I also have a degree in theoretical mathematics which allows me to think way outside of the box, actually I'm usually told that when I think the box doesn't exist, I like this way of thought, it allows me to be very abstract and objective in my approach to life and problems.

4th of July/Tour de France

4th of July

Yesterday was the 4th of July, we had hot dogs and hamburgers, then watched "Cloverfield", interesting movie, it's Godzilla taken from the person on the streets perspective. Most of the monster films are taken from the Monster or Military perspective (always by a 3rd person), this was taken first person from the street view. This also meant a lot of jerky camera scenes which made me a bit sick. After the lights went out we went and set off some fireworks with the neighbors, one of which was celebrating his 4th birthday.

The fireworks were pretty cool, but I noticed an increase in price this year. I'm always very careful with fireworks, so I wore eyewear (of course I discovered on my last firework that the eyewear was tinted yellow, which took away from the effect, note to self, next year wear clear eyewear). The neighbors loved the fireworks, the little boy in me has always been a pyromaniac, so I loved lighting them off. It was raining, but that didn't dampen our spirits. Some of the neighbors set off very big fireworks, I've never liked doing that in a neighborhood, too many things that can catch fire.

Tour de France

Well the TDF has started. I just found out that one of my favorite sprinters, Tom Boonen, has been DQ'd due to a positive result for cocaine during the off season. I'm sorry, Tom is an idiot, I feel bad for him, but he should know better, it's a witch hunt and the big riders like Tom are a focus. This of course leads the sprints open to one of my other favorites, Thor Hushovd, I like Thor because he's a big guy, 180lbs, which is huge for a cyclist. As I have previously mentioned Astana is out, which is unfortunate, but we do have two American Teams in Garmin/Chipotle and Columbia.

It's great to see more American companies spending money on cycling. Cycling is an incredibly tough sport and anyone who thinks it's easy has never tried to climb a 20 mile long mountain, has never gone over 100 miles in a day, has never sprinted up a hill, has never fallen hard and gotten back up, nor have they gone over 20mph for more than a few seconds (the guys in the TDF will do over 30mph for an hour, and without help of a team). It's not a sport that requires big pads or hitting, but it does require tons of endurance, and they do have some hitting (I've seen people get punched in the gut or hit in the head with an elbow during a sprint).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Work Done...


Well today I had a physical and it was the first time the Doctor ever told me to bend over, let's just say, it wasn't fun (I told the Doctor that he owed me a drink). Other than that I seem to be in good health, he even ran an EKG and it came up clear. Still waiting on cholesterol and such, but it's good to have someone say you're fit, overweight, but fit.


Well after another leak in the dishwasher I had Sears send me a tech. After a couple of weeks of no dishwasher, it seems that the leak stopped, best guess is that when I put the dishwasher back, I was pushing the motor up with the drain tube and kept the motor from seating properly. That mistake only cost me $125 :(, but I did make it a point to watch and speak with the tech so I could learn. In the lawsuit department, it seems that my heating coil (which started this issue) had a service alert issued by the manufacturer, they knew that they had bad coils out there, but didn't want to issue a recall, they fixed the coils for anyone who had the dishwasher under warranty, which they would have done anyway. Well my warranty expired and Sears wouldn't fix the issue (sounds like Sears should have everyone who bought the dishwasher sue them, I tend not to like class action suits, so it'll have to be up to someone else).


I took this picture the other day of a bush we planted for my daughter, the flower is about 10-12 inches in diameter, about the size of a dinner plate.

Weekly Wednesday

Spy Museum

Yesterday we went to the Spy Museum, they have many great toys and gadgets in there, most were not a surprise to me, what was cool was to see the James Bond Aston Martin from the movie Goldfinger that I saw when I was a kid in Provo. Some how a local jeweler in Provo had purchased both that car and the one that Goldfinger drove. What was a bit upsetting was to see one of the most important devices in modern history getting more of the spot light, what I'm talking about is the Enigma. The Enigma was crucial to the Allies winning WWII, without it and without the spectacular game played by the Allies I would doubt WWII would have ended as soon. Only big downside for this museum is that it was a bit crowded. They try to have you play a game by gaining an identity, but let's get real, it's too crowded to play the game.

Native American Museum

We went to the Native American Museum after the Spy Museum, this is a beautiful place to visit. When we visited they had beaded clothing displayed from many different tribes, it was spectacular, outside of the Air and Space Museum (and that's only because I'm a geek), I can't think of another museum you should visit before the Native American Museum.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I'm playing around with sending email to my blog from my phone. If this works as expected you should also see a cool painting by my brother Paul.

J.W. Philip Ramsey

Peronsality Not Included

I attended a networking event last night hosted by Network Solutions, it was regarding a book called "Personality Not Included". It was interesting since it was discussing marketing techniques, as a recovering geek I suck at marketing, of course since this is something I know very little about, it was a great opportunity to learn. The basic story line (other than the author wanted to sell books, which I did help him with) was that you need to generate some sort of personality for your brand. The author is Rohit Bhargava "http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com" and the event was moderated by Frank Gruber "http://www.somewhatfrank.com". Both of these people seemed to be very bright and I might have to check out their blogs (maybe I could learn something).