Earthrace ripping and roarin’ … finally

| March 31, 2007

So far so good for the captain and crew of Earthrace. They have escape not only the tragic events that transpired in Guatemala, but have done so with dignity. (Pete’s comments below) For now, Earthrace is making fast runs north, they have refueled and under a renewed spirit are anxious about continuing their voyage. I’ll […]

Friday Tech Tip: Leaching Images

| March 30, 2007

Posting of images on personal pages such as Myspace or Facebook or placement of images to forums is a regular practice for those using the internet. Instead of creating personal images or at minimum ‘serving’ them from ones own file serving space, people often leech images from web servers owned by others. This practice is […]

Sling Media ‘beta’ for Palm OS available

| March 29, 2007

For gadget lovers, “Slinging” on the move with a Palm device is now a reality and is pretty impressive! I’m testing the beta release of Slingmedia‘s Palm OS version of the Slingplayer software and it is absolutely fantastic. I’m using the Sprint EV-DO service as my carrier and running the Slingplayer Mobile on my Treo […]

Earthrace moves & Biofuel prices up again

| March 28, 2007

Topped off with B20 at my regular Mt. Gilead Sunoco biofuels station today and can’t help but grumble as the prices continue to go up. ULSD was selling most stations for about $2.64 on my way north and saw them a little lower in northeast Ohio. Nevertheless, I’m not going to complain too much knowing […]

The Virgin Islands welcome Donna Lange

| March 28, 2007

Although I’ve written before about solo sailing nightingale Donna Lange and her impressive skills as a sailor and musician, I wanted to update that today she is navigating through the Virgin Islands — a detour from her original ‘direct to Rhode Island’ course. Perhaps later today, or early Thursday, she will be setting the hook […]

Ohio Northern team wins ‘Robot of the Year’

| March 27, 2007

It is nice to be able to take pride in one’s alma mater and with the Ohio Northern University robotics team winning the “2007 Robot of the Year” award, its just enough to be a little boastful. Believe it or not, way back when … when I was a polar bear trudging across the ‘tundra […]

Volkswagen: Sometimes its the little things

| March 26, 2007

Volkswagens are often considered a ‘driver’s car,’ a vehicle that most car buyers can afford, unlike many European cars imported to the U.S. The engineering built into these vehicles is exceptional although they are not without their small quirks. Many go unnoticed until well into ownership or only when a problem occurs. One such quirk, […]

Spring is here & its perfect Rugby weather

| March 25, 2007

Early spring bulbs are blooming in Cincinnati and the grass is turning green — and growing already. (ugh) I noticed the thermometer hit 80*F on Saturday and perhaps the same today. I think winter is behind us? My son’s rugby team had their second match of the season (and second lost unfortunately), but the opposing […]

Peak Oil and a biodiesel powered VW TDI

| March 25, 2007

A CinciTDI friend forwarded a CBC news segment on peak oil and I thought it was interesting enough to share. (Thanks Mike) The ‘rattle’ of the little 1.9 liter diesel is definitely noticeable to those familiar with our VW oil (or biodiesel) burners. Not all of us necessarily agree with the Peak Oil position as […]

Earthrace: A little good news

| March 24, 2007

More Earthrace talk and another update … yes, I’ve become enamored with this project. Currently I’m working to get a little U.S. media coverage of their situation; we’ll see what comes of it? I’ve received a few emails from Pete and project members and in reading the recent blog postings have concluded that the tragedy […]

Earthrace tragedy: Collision at sea

| March 23, 2007

Those of you who have been following Earthrace and looking for updates like me, might have wondered what’s happening? (no updates for several day until today) I’ve noted that they suffered problems with an engine and would be coming in for repairs, but never suspected the news would be so grim. Unfortunately on March 18 […]

Unusual USB devices: Knee warmers

| March 22, 2007

Just when you thought ‘geeks’ couldn’t get any odder, they do. Computer users with a couple spare USB ports can now sit comfortably wearing “Heated Kneepads.” Yes, USB powered kneepads that can be warn to keep those cold knees warm on a winter day. How many people have you heard complaining about cold knees??? (but […]

Chili Pepper Racing using biodiesel (B50)

| March 22, 2007

Unfortunately the Volkswagen Jetta TDI in the Speed World Challenge Touring Car championship this year had to drop out of the race after only two laps in its first race on Friday at Sebring. Press reports say the biodiesel-powered car, driven by Jim Osborn, suffered mechanical problems. Next race is May 17-19 in Utah. Here’s […]

Cummins Inc. approves B20 biodiesel use

| March 22, 2007

A company synonymous with American diesels, Cummins Inc, has give the nod to B 20 biodiesel this week. We Volkswagen TDI drivers can only hope that VWoA will follow suit and approve B20 for use in its small diesels. (currently they approve blends of up to 5% — B5) Cummins Announces Approval of B20 Biodiesel […]

The XP to Vista switch requires patience

| March 21, 2007

There have been many moments in the last few days that I’ve wondered why I purchase a computer with Windows Vista installed as the operating system last week; it has not been easy nor will be for sometime I fear. From the simple task of getting programs and files transferred over from and XP machine, […]

Mapquest helps locate alternative fuel stations

| March 20, 2007

Mapquest offers a fuel locating (and pricing) tool linked to their mapping site. Its easy to locate the kind of fuel you are looking for using pull down menus and plugging in locations. (ie. biodiesel) Although the maps are not as functional (IMHO) as those independent “mashups” using GoogleMaps they do offer the traditional maps […]

Hapax legomenon or Googlewhack – sort of?

| March 19, 2007

First, I suspect most of you will need a definition? Hapaxes, (pl. hapax legomena) is a word that occurs only once in the written record of a language, in the works of an author, or in a single text. Is related to a geekish pasttime referred to as “Googlewhacking” — A Googlewhack is a Google […]

Earthrace: not a Happy National Biodiesel Day

| March 18, 2007

Although it would be better to celebrate “National Biodiesel Day” with good news from the Earthrace team, its not been a promising start for the biodiesel project. After significant hype, having prop problems followed by a cracked engine part are putting nails in the coffin for the crew attempting a world record biodiesel circumnavigation. The […]

Rugby season – Subconjunctival haematoma

| March 18, 2007

Keyboard nightmare: What were they thinking?

| March 17, 2007

Donna Lange: detouring to St. Thomas

| March 16, 2007

For those of you keeping up with circumnavigating sailor Donna Lange (plots/log daily on right sidebar), she has had stronger than expected winds … along with larger seas. Her little 28 foot boat continues to pound it way along, logging well over 100 nautical miles each day. (116 nm yesterday) This speed puts her several […]

Snow again? I’m ready for spring

| March 15, 2007

Posting from Palm Treo this morning as I looked out the hotel window in Akron Ohio to something white on the ground. Hmm … I walked in last night sweating in a tee-shirt and this morning its snow and cold again. Someone tell mother nature to make up her mind! EDIT: Post from flickr didn’t […]

Power & USB connections have gone kaput

| March 14, 2007

After 4 years of pretty much rock solid performance from my well (ab)used Gateway computer, my favorite notebook is starting to show signs of wear. Today its USB ports, two weeks ago it was the DC power connector. I was ready to replace it when the connections would no longer work, but being my favorite […]

President Bush talks biofuel in South America

| March 13, 2007

By now anyone following world news knows that President Bush took a six day trip to South America talking with the leaders of countries like Brazil and Uruguay. (link) The primary purpose seemed to be a U.S.-Brazil ‘pact’ that calls for studies in regard to ethanol production and use in Latin America. This agreement puts […]

Tivo and Amazon Unboxed – $15 credit too!

| March 12, 2007

I’m a big fan of the ‘movie by mail’ services like NetFlixâ„¢ and Blockbuster Total Accessâ„¢, but recently found out that there is a new game in town: Amazon Unboxed “delivered to your Tivoâ„¢.” The concept is similar in many respects to the service offered by Apple that allows downloads to iTunesâ„¢. (PC and Mac) […]

Spring is on the horizon

| March 12, 2007

This past weekend was enjoyable; I had an opportunity to be outside, take a few photos and contemplate the work ahead in the yard. The grass and trees were still brown of course, but signs of spring were all around — including the smell. In Cincinnati, we had a mild December and January for the […]

Earthrace: Disappointment on the first leg

| March 11, 2007

EDIT: The Earthrace team hasn’t given up. I’ve posted a 3/12/2007 update over on a new ‘Drupal‘ driven CinciTDI site — in the biodiesel section. (or visit March 11, 2007 Press Release: Earthrace Limping into First Race Port Panama City, Panama- March 11, 2007—On 10th March, Earthrace started its attempt to set a new […]

Biodiesel powered Earthrace begins

| March 10, 2007

Quick update: Earthrace (early post) starting their biodiesel powered run west toward the Panama Canal this morning (3/10) and is currently passing the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Although I’m confident in the engineering and design, I’m concerned for the durability of the crew … the surging for extended periods has got to be grueling? […]

Donna Lange crosses the equator

| March 10, 2007

Donna Lange, circumnavigating solo sailor, has hit two milestones this week. First she crossed her outbound track, which legitimately means she has rounded the world in her 28 foot sailboat, and second, in today’s news … she crossed the equator again … going north this time. She posts to her log daily and the updates […]

US and Brazil working to ease petroleum’s hold

| March 9, 2007

President Bush in his 6 day visit to South America met with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva today and toured a bio-fuel plant that produces clean ethanol fuel from sugar cane. The visit is not without its critics, some political and some concerned that expanding biofuels will risk turning rain forests into sugar […]

Biodiesel and cold NE Ohio March weather

| March 9, 2007

Thinking winter was nearly over, I topped off my VW Jetta TDI with B99 (100% biodiesel / 1% petroleum diesel) this past week prior to leaving on a regular drive to northeastern Ohio. Unfortunately I didn’t realized that snow was in the forecast or that low temperatures were in the offing. In fact, the low […]

2008 VW Touareg V-6 BlueTDI to US first

| March 8, 2007

An Edmunds 2007 Geneva Auto Show post announced that the 2008 Touareg BlueTDI will be introduced in the US rather than in Europe. The new “selective catalytic reduction” or SCR, system that reduces nitrogen-oxide emissions by up to 90 percent, thus making it what VW asserts is “one of the cleanest diesel engines on the […]

Sprint to offer new Treo 755p in May

| March 8, 2007

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to a new Palm based smartphone and are a fan of Sprint and their EV-DO service (higher speed data), you might want to hold off until May 14 this year. According to, the new phone will be a smaller antennaless version and will probably replace the 700p. (my […]

2008 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

| March 7, 2007

Oh-la-la — gimme this in a diesel and I won’t even ask for 4-motion! I spotted these photos on the blog from the Geneva Auto show and thought a couple readers would like to navigate over for more. I like it even though the folks at commented that “the front and profile seem […]

Earthrace circumnavigating on biodiesel

| March 5, 2007

Earthrace, a unique 78 foot biodiesel powered wave-piercing trimaran, is at the starting line in Port Charles, Barbados. The sponsored project is looking to break the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat, and intend to do it on renewable fuel. The team is skippered by 41 year old New Zealander Pete Bethune, […]

Surfing the Banzai Pipeline … kinda

| March 4, 2007

Haven’t posted a video clip for a few days and thought I would post this one for Taylor — he would rather be one of these rats. (Does PETA regulate rats?)

BIODZL: The car in that header looks familiar?

| March 4, 2007

Hey that’s my car! DieselBlog is featuring rotating headers on their website and has a photo of my Volkswagen Jetta TDI filling up at the Mt. Gilead Ohio biodiesel pumps! 😀 The site is a very informative site which includes updates on news relating to diesel vehicles and the technology which is making them superior […]

Word of caution for WordPress 2.1.1 users

| March 3, 2007

WordPress, popular blog publishing software, is the latest to fall victim to a security problem. The problem only affects those who have upgraded to 2.1.1 over the last week. WordPress software has been corrected with the latest 2.1.2 release and an upgrade should alleviate the risk tied to a PHP exploit. Most who have downloaded […]

Waiting for the Volkswagen Passat TDI?

| March 2, 2007

The rain has been coming down and it almost looks like spring is here in southwestern Ohio. Yesterday I soaked my leather seats tossing the umbrella in the rear door as I made a quick escape from the cold rain, so when I read an Autobloggreen Australian two part review on the Volkswagen Passat TDI, […]

Sebring to feature VW TDI March 14 – 16

| March 1, 2007

Jim Osborn, of Ooltewah, Tennessee, and his Spice Red Number 24 MK 5 Volkswagen Jetta TDI will be debuting Chili Pepper Racing’s high performance diesel this year at the SPEED World Challenge season opener at Sebring, March 14-16. This entry is believed to be the first production-based diesel car to race in a professional U.S.-based […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog