Hatfields and McCoys - The Real Story

There's a new show on the History channel - Hatfields and McCoys. It stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. I guess it's ok for a drama to be on the History channel because it's about two actual families that were all a fussin' and a feudin'. Although beyond that i'm not sure how historical it is.
Hatfields and McCoys, History, kevin costner, bill paxton, show

I was down in Kentucky and West Virginia several time for work, walking along the roads and back in the "hollers". And back in 2010 i was in the same area on the Kentucky / West Virginia border where the whole Hatfield and McCoy feud took place. I saw the original Hatfield home and lots of other famous sites. I even walked to see where the whole thing started. The trees where the first killings occurred. The story was that the old man Hatfield promised Mrs. McCoy that he wouldn't kill her sons in Kentucky. He kept his word. He took them across the border into West Virginia, lined them up against some trees by a river and then shot them all. Here's some of the pictures from that trip, just to give you an idea of what it's like down there now.

West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful. I think Kentucky's state motto is Unbridled Spirit and theirs usually a horse on the sign.
west virginia wild and wonderful, kentucky unbridled spirit, state sign

There were a bunch of graveyards scattered all around. I would see them as we were walking along the roads. There were a bunch with the last name McCoy. hatfield, mccoy, tombstone, graveyard, a.e.mccoy, 1883-1919, west virginia, kentucky

The creepy ones were when people would have their own "family" graveyard on the back of their own property. We would see a house on a hill and way in the back would be 5 tombstones. I guess it's legal down there to bury people in your back yard.

And there were lots of stores and restaurants trying to cash-in on the Hatfield and McCoy popularity.
hatfield and mccoy store, west virginia, kentucky, buy, home

Here's a typical yard in West Virginia. People are really poor, live out in the middle of nowhere and have tons of dogs, which they don't take car of. They are either in a shack or tied up under the foundation of their house.
west virginia, dogs in shack, tied up

i also saw lots of rosters, presumably for cock fighting. This was the nice "farm", they actually have little houses for them. Most places just used 55 gallon drums as the roster pens.
kentucky, cock fighting, farm, roosters, cages

All of the roads were dangerous down there. Steep winding paths around the mountains where the speed limit was 55 and people drove 70. I guess no one needs to use the suspension bridge any more.
falling down suspension bridge, rusted, river, west virginia, kentucky

But most people we talked to were really nice. Everyone always said "How y'all doin'". So i guess the Hatfield and McCoy story is just like any stereotype people have. Not everyone down in Kentucky and West Virginia smokes, while chewing tobacco, caring a shotgun and telling you to get off their property. Maybe 20% of the people we met were like that, but not everyone.
hatfields and mccoys on the history channel, may, 9pm, costner, paxtonchannel


The Future of Cell Phones

What will be the future of cell phones?
What will the next version of the cell phone look like?
future cell phone clear screen glass plastic iphone
I'm not exactly sure. I think it's a case of innovation having to follow technology. Just because you want to hop in your car in the morning and let it drive itself to work, doesn't mean it's going to happen. Eventually it will, but not until the technology is there. Designers love coming up with all this fancy futuristic ideas of things like cars, but when it comes down to it, they end up just building a regular old Honda Civic.

Anyway back to cell phones. In order to see where we are going, we need to see where we have been. First a short history lesson.

This was basically the first cell phone. It was really big, heavy and expensive. You had to carry around a giant battery and could only talk with people if you were in a big city like New York. These made more sense when they were mounted in luxury cars.
briefcase phone, bag, heavy, original, genesis, first cell phone
In 1986 the first thing that really LOOKED like a phone was this, the Motorola DinaTAC, which took 10 years to develop and was nicknamed the Brick. I think i remember that the guy who invented it, based it off the tricorder from Star Trek. It was still expensive, costing over $3,000.
first cell phone, the brick, zack morris phone, big, heavy
I still know it as the Zack Morris phone because of him always using it on Saved by the Bell.
zack morris phone, first cell phone
But eventually technology progressed and the phones got smaller and cheaper. Still they were only used for calling. Because why would you want or need to use a phone for anything other then calling someone?
old generic cell phone, ericsson, plain black, basic
Then they got even smaller and there were new designs like the first flip-phone. You could fold them up and put them in your pocket, after you put down your little antenna of course.
first flip phone, motorola, black plastic, antenna
Flip phones really hit their stride with the Motorola Razr. A small, cheap, easy to use phone that everyone had.
original motorola razr, flip phone, camera, touch
It had a camera and front screen and it was relatively cheap. This was when cell phone companies realized that they could make more money in the monthly cell phone bills then by selling the phones. Sort of the same story as computer printers costing $40 and then when you need to buy the ink it cost $25 for a little cartridge.
motorola razr, razer, front screen, camera, flip
Then the screens got better, cameras got better and people shifted from calling more to texting more. So for texting, email and the internet they needed a fully keyboard.
slide cell phone, verizon, samsung, keyboard, touch
There were some other early adopters out there that saw that the phone would eventually become a mini computer. I remember people having the Palm phones, but they never really caught on at that time. It seemed like they were a little early in the whole data phone plan idea.
palm one, palm pre, first data phone, treo, first, original
There was also things like wireless bluetooth technology which could sync your phone to other electronics. It allowed for wireless talking and data transfer.
basic bluetooth earpeace, earpiece, bluetooth, blue, tooth, black, motorola
Then the era of the large, simple glass flat screen phones arrived with the Apple iPhone. No more keyboard to get in the way, this phone could transform itself to whatever you wanted. And since then, this has basically been the model for modern cell phones.original iphone, basic iphone, version 1, v1, apple, iphone, size

So what is going to happen next? Here's my predictions...
(click to enlarge)
The future of the cell phone, future of cell phones, diagram 
I think that the most immediate technology that will come to phones will be the cell phone / credit card. By credit card i mean drivers license, health insurance card, bank card, birth certificate... No more wallets or purses, alright women will probably still have purses for their stuff, but all your important information will be on your phone. It will be a consolidation of your life's documentation.

But with all of this important information on our phones, we will need some way to protect it. And sci-fi movies have shown us the best ways to protect our precious information, retinal scans. You will put your eye up to the camera, a high-tech laser beam will come out and pass over your eyeball. Of course this means that if someone wants to steal your phone, they will then have to cut out your eyeball with a knife too.

The wireless charging docks already exist. There are versions made by Energizer and Duracell. The concept of wireless electricity was invented by Nicola Tesla decades ago.
nicola tesla wireless electricity, transmitter, city, power, time, future
His idea was to power an entire town with wireless electricity, but i guess he was just too ahead of his time. Today though, we have a special cell phone case and table top pad that when next to each other will charge the phone.
energizer wireless docking station, pad, case, future
I think that all future phones won't need the special case, the hardware will be built in. And this will really catch on only when Apple says it's cool and you need it. Then eventually you wouldn't need a dock, your entire home would be the dock. Your phone would start charging when you walked through the door.

This would also tie in with my bluetooth control of everything electronic. No only would your phone begin to charge when you enter your home, but you phone would start communicating. Downloading and uploading files to backup hard drives and turn your phone into the TV remote and the light switch. I'll call it SIRI 2.0. The software on the phone will eventually become like a real person. It will understand all of your commands.

Now who wants to be carrying around their phone with them while they are in their own home? Not me. So i see something like you set your phone down and your watch becomes the interface.
cell phone watch, stylus, wear, phone, wireless 
It's easy to move around with and small enough to forget about. Although i don't see that stylus catching on. I think that the future lies in screen projection or holograms.

I mean doesn't this just look like what your house will become in the future. You won't have a 50" TV, your TV will be however big you want it to be.
future of home phone, minority report, virtual screen
There's already lots of versions of this in the world today. You can even build your own table top version that uses a projector and a Nintendo Wii controller as the sensor. But as the technology continues to progress i think we will see a simple, powerful, easy to use version. future of cell phone, control screen with your hand movements

They already make cool screens that can bend and fold. This is more of the future of the cell phone interface. How the phone will look and feel.
samsung fold screen amoled, bendable, cell phone screen
Maybe it will be similar to the phones we have now, just clear and futuristic looking. This looks more like a work of art and actually not that futuristic. It's overly complicated.
future cell phone, artwork, art, samsung, glass, clear
Even something like a ring or bracelet that you wear seems overly complicated.
cell phone ring, bracelet, future, when, release, make
Google will soon release their Google Goggles, which will be able to merge the computer to what you see.
google goggles, glasses, project, walk, connect, info, information
Instead of just looking at a movie theater, you will see the front of the building and a projection of what's showing, at what time and whether it's sold out or not. You won't even have to ask your phone, it will just do it. And it will remember your favorite types of movies and give you suggestions of what you might enjoy.
google goggles, glasses, screen, projection, transmit, wear, when, release, ever make
A phone in the future will be something that you can't forget. It will be come a part of you. Maybe a chip will be implanted into your arm. It will be all of your information, GPS, phone, computer... now it's starting to sound like one of those Sci-fi movies where the government controls peoples lives.
computer chip in body, arm, cell phone, part of you
Either this or we will just TELL the computer what we want, basically like in the Starship Enterprise. "Computer...turn on the lights." "Computer...make me a chicken pot pie." We will forget how to do everything manually and only know how to interact with software.

Until eventually the fate of the universe will rest in the memory banks of two droids and they will communicate with a hologram. I mean it wouldn't have been as dramatic if Princess Leia would have told Obi Wan Kenobi that he is her only hope, via Email. Attached is a PDF of the plans to destroy the Death Star, hopefully R2 got the Adobe update so he can read the file.

Human or "human-like" interaction is the key. The future of phones will eventually be able to simulate actually being in the same room as someone.
future cell phone, star wars, princess, r2d2, hologram


Memorial Day Parade - 2012

I took some picture again year in the Redford Memorial Day Parade. Here's pictures from the last parade in 2010. I'll skip the story, but i first started taking pictures while driving in the parade in 2007. The very first picture i took was when i saw my friend Ryan and his dad.

Since then i've seen them every year standing in generally the same spot. Here's what i mean, these are pictures from 2007-2010.
redford memorial day parade years 2007-2012 pictures ryans dad

And now in 2012.
ryans dad redford parade, memorial day, pointing

Ryan's dad did not disappoint. As long as he's there and i get this picture every year, i'm happy.

After 2007 i started taking pictures of all the people who lined the street and waved. Then i did it again in 2008, then 2009, 2010, skipped a year and now again in 2012. I've noticed a trend in lots of people who dress the same, sit in the same place and act the same as i drive by. So here's some of those pictures. Before i begin though, here's pictures from 2010 Memorial Day Parade.

First let me show you past pictures of people i did NOT see this year. Either i didn't notice them or they weren't at the side of the road for the parade.

Donutown Ladies - I looked but didn't see them. They weren't on their lawn chairs or in their minivan.
donut town ladies, parade, stretch pants, spandex, fat, chair, van

Biker guy with beer cozie.
fat biker guy, beer cozie, lawn chair, parade

Licking kid. I didn't see him or his plastic yellow ring.
licking kid, yellow ring, memorial day parade, church

Mr. Moustachio and his friend - They weren't down by the river this year.
mr moustachio and friend, redford parade, big black socks, hippie

My 3rd grade teacher from Bulman Elementary (which got torn down this year)
mrs cannizzaro, bulman elementary, redford memorial day parade

So those were all the people i missed this year, but here's the people i did see.

Lonley guy. He is always seen sitting in a lawn chair all by himself.

lonley guy, redford memorial day parade, lawn chair, alone, fat

This year, same as always. Notice the super old computer monitor in the window. And he always has shorts, black socks and a t-shirt.

Shirtless guy and his dog
hippie shirtless long hair guy, and dog, parade, tan, memorial day

This year he's back to his cut-off's. Even the dog's the same, with the crooked way it sits.
shirtless guy and dog at parade, long beard

This kid is always in a great mood and looks so happy to see the parade.
strange white vampire kid at parade, getting candy

Though it doesn't look like he's been out in the sun since last year.
happy vampire, kid, super white, camo pants, by road at parade

These three area always sitting down by the river. And the one lady always has an interesting shirt on.
family that sits down by the river to watch the parade, chair, clothes

This year she's wearing a Kenny Rogers shirt. And the guy is still wearing his black velcro shoes.
unhappy family, smokes, sits, parade watching

The best cop in Redford.
oldest cop in redford, police man, funny, happy, smiling

Looking good this year too.
best cop ever, reflective vest, happy, smiling

This was Mr. Big Mac 2010 - The Hamburgler
the hamburgler, fat, pointing at candy, kids, chair

And this year's Mr. Big Mac - 2012 - Big Red. I'm guessing he's in charge of guarding the candy all the kids collect.
this years mr big mac, parade, candy

In 2010 this girl must have just been getting back from a soccer game.
chubby soccer girl walking along the parade

This year, no soccer but still cat like reflexes.
big girl running after candy, words on forehead, fat

I'm not sure what it says on her forehead, but there is definitely something written there in permanent magic marker.
weird running girl gettin candy with stuff written on her forhead

The most disappointed family - 2012
most disappointed family award

Here's this guy with his stripey pants in 2010.
chef pants, depressed, parade, watch, memorial day

In 2012 he switched to jean shorts.
still frowning at parade, unhappy, jean shorts

Typical parade watchers.
worst parenting award, parade watching, smoking, tattoo

This was a group of people that usually sit in the same spot. The one guy had his pimp-cup back in 2010.
parade pimp cup, memorial day, drinking beer

Not as many people there this year.
redneck parade watching, beer, drinking

2012 Father of the Year. Pulling his daughter around to see the parade.
father of the year award, drinking, beer, 40oz in bag

Someone needs to tell those girls that their matching sunglasses are big and uncool.
uncool girls with giant sunglasses, thinking they are cool

I thought that these two hippie guys looked related, maybe it was just the weird "einstein-like" hair.
harry hippy and his hippie wife, woman watching parade

harry einstein look a like at parade

Another family enjoying the parade in lawn chairs. The kid is sporting a sweet mullet.
mullet kid and family enjoying parade, beer, smoking

Harikrishna kids. Although i didn't see their harikrishna parents, who obviously force their kids to dress like that and shave their heads.
harikrishna kids watching parade, shaved head, ponytail sandals

Some random hippie stealing a painting.
walking down the sidewalk with painting, cut off jean shorts, hippy

He just kept on walking with his homemade shorts, high black socks and hippie headband.
watching a man steal a painting in public, parade

Monkey harness from 2010.

And monkey harness 2012.
kid with monkey backpack at parade

Kids excited to get some candy.
big girl excited about getting candy thrown at parade, ripped dress

With the help of their parents direction.
typical family watching the memorial day parade

This girl went for the cute and adorable angle, which seemed to work.
happy girl getting candy at parade, nice, friendly

Here's the 2nd best Santa Claus at the parade.
santa clause at memorial day parade in desguise

This guy got 1st place. It's funny that they both have big white beards and both wear red shirts.
real santa clause sitting in chair at parade, redford

The long shorts club.
typical redford kids with long jean shorts, look dumb

Whatever this is.
sexy sitting at parade, in grass, spread legs

The guy in the middle looks extremly comfortable.
man wanting to have fun at parade, sitting in chair, drinking

I always find it interesting when people are filming the parade. This was from 2010.
filming the parade to watch later makes no sense

Apparently now people are filming it on their cell phones. As if two weeks later they are going to say, "Hey who wants to watch the Memorial Day Parade on my cell phone?"
filming parade with phone, dumb, watch later

See you next year.
party parade watcher, drinking, smoking, waving