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California Car Caravan


Mental Note: remember to scan and tile the floor pattern for the page's background.

Well, I did not get nearly as many photographs this year as I wanted to (the Polaroid kind of became a ball-and-chain), but I did get a few. I also shot a little video--I'm awaiting some frame-grabs and post-processing. But what I do have are stories and memories (and a really bad, really long joke)!

First off...a word from our sponsor. Unfortunately, I have not bothered to contact "Eat Me Foods," the people who make/distribute the Skeleteen drinks. Even if I did, I doubt they'd have much to say. But anyway, this year, the California Car Caravan was unofficially sponsored by Fukola Cola, one of the Skeleteen beverages. You thought Jolt has a lot of caffeine? Mountain Dew? Kick? Nahhhh..... Fukola has not only "(A Lot Of) Caffeine," according to the label, but it has all kinds of natural things to fuk you up, as well! Try stuff like ginseng, ginger, brazilian guarana, ginko biloba, mad dog weed [yeah! I'm serious!], ma hung, gotu kola, dong quai, and essential citrus oils. This is some STRONG stuff! It is quite tasty, but once it hits you! POW!
Everyone's been asking me where to buy it. I can find it in most good coffee shops in southern california (Orange County, LA County). Now, when I use the word "good," I'm using it from an undergound/hacker point of view, not from a gourmet-artsy-fartsy-Starbuck's point of view. I got my case (24 bottle count) from Rock'n'Java in Newport Beach.

The Caravan worked out fairly well. We all kept together. We had enough seats and equipment space. No fights. No stealing.
Feedle with x-mitter
Prof. Feedlebom with the Ramsey FM-10 transmitter
There WERE a few problems with communication, however. In the typical hacker style, several people bought CB radios from Radio Shack--to be returned on Monday. Some people had 2-meter rigs. Everyone (except me) had FM car stereos. Unfortunately, no one had both a 2-meter radio AND a CB. Because our broadcast engineer was supposed to work late on Friday, drop out of the caravan, and fly to Vegas, the high-power transmitter was never finished and our J-pole antenna was never constructed. At the last minute, though, he got the night off of work--so we had to get a Ramsey transmitter kit, construct it, and use it. (For those that don't know...the Ramsey FM x-mitter is based around a low-audio-quality chip, has some funky idiosynchroncies, and is very low power). I'm not even sure that the transmission was able to leave the transmitting truck--as it had no real power and no real antenna.

Anyway, we got there alive and in one piece. And everyone (...I think...I hope) got their own little Net Ninja. If you didn't, contact me!

Spot the ninja
Can YOU spot the Ninja in this picture?

Security did not seem to like anyone. "Haxors" took white curtsey phone handsets AND the phones themselves! As we arrived to the hotel, several people were being booted out of the hotel for shining a laser pointer out of their window. (Is it illegal to use a glorified flashlight???)
By the way:

When you are in your hotel room, do not take off your phone jack's cover plate. Do not notice that there is no security there. Do not see that there are other rooms' twisted pairs running behind your cover plate (This is a fairly new hotel! Don't they know about stuff like phone security?). Do not splice into someone else's phone pair. Do not make fradulent calls, as they will cost your neighbors (or the hotel) about $5.00 each for a quick call (like to dial a pager). Well....I guess it doesn't cost the hotel $5.00, but that's what they charge after tax, licensing, options, and dealer prep.

Do not look at your window. Do not notice that it only opens about 1". Do not notice the stopper is held by philip's head screws. Do not destroy your cheap screwdriver trying to take out the screw (I'm serious about this one!). Do not remove the screws. Do not open your window all the way. Do not tear pages from your telephone directory to make into paper airplanes to throw out the window. Do not throw assorted other items out the window.
Technopagan, the paper pilot
Technopagan, the paper pilot
Elevator utilities
Do not notice there is a (ringdown) phone and power point in the elevator. Do not jam insulated paper clips into the outlet to trip some random circit breaker somewhere.
Elevator Utilities
It's hard to see...but you can notice an electrical outlet to the left of the drink

To be continued...I'm going to bed...

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