Whenever you see a link to view a PDF file residing on a web site, there’s a very good chance you’re going to see a link to download the Adobe Reader, that bloated piece of software that takes too long to download and just as long to run.
It’s too bad that not everyone’s aware of some additional PDF readers that are way smaller and run much faster.
Cool PDF Reader holds the title of the smallest PDF reader ever. It’s only 655KB installed and runs extremely fast. This is pretty good for basic PDF viewing.
As cool as Cool PDF Reader is, I prefer the slightly larger Foxit Reader. It has more features than Cool PDF Reader, including the handy form filler. At 1.5MB, it’s still a small download and runs in a flash.
Today is the first day of hurricane season and it’s already off to a fast start. We’ve got Tropical Storm Barry which is currently soaking Florida with some badly needed rainfall. It’s been raining nonstop all day, which is quite a pleasant way to end the drought here.
This has been the worst drought I have ever been through. It’s nerve-wracking to see how low the water level has reached at the canals near where I live. I can’t even stand to read the paper about the drought’s effects on Lake Okeechobee, let alone see the horrifying photos of mud puddles in areas that once had enough water to accommodate boaters. I am happy that Nature has finally started the healing process on our fragile ecosystem.
WTNT32 KNHC 012035
TROPICAL STORM BARRY ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL022007
500 PM EDT FRI JUN 01 2007
…TROPICAL STORM BARRY FORMS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO…
AT 5 PM EDT…2100 UTC… A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED
FOR THE WEST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM BONITA BEACH NORTHWARD TO KEATON
BEACH…AND A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM NORTH OF
KEATON BEACH TO ST. MARKS. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA
WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS AND A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH
AREA…GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.
AT 500 PM EDT…2100Z…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BARRY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 24.2 NORTH…LONGITUDE 85.5 WEST OR ABOUT 320
MILES…520 KM…SOUTHWEST OF TAMPA FLORIDA AND ABOUT 235 MILES…
375 KM…WEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA.
BARRY IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 12 MPH…19 KM/HR. A GRADUAL
TURN TO THE NORTH-NORTHEAST WITH AN INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS
EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 45 MPH…75 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS ANTICIPATED BEFORE
BARRY REACHES THE COAST.
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES…150 KM
MAINLY TO THE NORTH AND EAST OF THE CENTER.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT WAS
1000 MB…29.53 INCHES.
COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF UP TO 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE
LEVELS…ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES…ARE
POSSIBLE IN THE WARNING AREA NEAR AND TO THE RIGHT OF WHERE THE
CENTER OF BARRY MAKES LANDFALL.
BARRY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6
INCHES OVER THE FLORIDA KEYS AND PENINSULA INTO SOUTHEASTERN
GEORGIA WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES.
REPEATING THE 500 PM EDT POSITION…24.2 N…85.5 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD…NORTH NEAR 12 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1000 MB.
AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER AT 800 PM EDT FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1100
Palm Beach is well known for its parade of mansions and sophisticated lifestyle. But what not too many people know is that it has some of the best scuba diving in Florida.
Nothing tops the scuba diving that the Florida Keys have to offer, but the fact that not too many people are aware of the excellent diving in Palm Beach means that the reefs aren’t crowded with boats and scuba divers.
The best time to go is in the morning at high tide. The water is crystal clear, very refreshing and calm. Once you reach the bottom, that’s when it hits you. There are hundreds and hundreds of fish of every size and color swimming among the valleys and valleys of reefs. It’s worth it to even dive along the bottom, as there are tiny fish that burrow into the sand.
What makes the dives worth it is seeing some other creatures besides fish that also frequent the reefs. On more than one occasion, I was lucky enough to see a sea turtle swim by. On another dive, I saw a green moray eel that was resting on the bottom. I still envy that other diver who was lucky enough to bring an underwater camera to take its picture.
Even more fascinating is that there is good wreck diving in the area, too. At 90 feet down lies the Mizpah, a yacht used to carry troops in World War II. Eventually it would be sunk to start an artificial reef. I have yet to try a dive down there, as conditions have to be just right for diving with no strong currents. There are several other artificial reefs to explore, including a sunken Rolls Royce. There is no other place in the world other than Palm Beach to offer this kind of diving.
There are lots of dive shops near my hometown of Lake Park that offer dives off Palm Beach, but the one that I dive with most often is The Scuba Club. Their web site has an interesting article with more information on the advantages of diving off Palm Beach. The dive shop itself offer some very reasonably priced afternoon dives and excellent service, and I recommend them highly to handle your Palm Beach dives.
If you should pass through the Palm Beaches on your way to scuba diving in the Keys, it is worth it to stop by and take a plunge and explore the reefs near Palm Beach. I may just get in trouble for letting the secret out.
As of right now, Florida is going through a terrible drought, and I’m thinking I may have been an indirect cause. My working life has been decorated with instances of former employers either going out of business or struggling big time after my quitting them. Here are some examples:
- One of my earlier jobs was working at a bird store. I only lasted one day there and had to quit when they couldn’t accommodate my school schedule. Not long after I left, that store went out of business.
- I once worked as a busboy at a restaurant, but when I quit, they went out business weeks later.
- When I got fired from K-mart, it would be years before that store would close its doors.
- I used to bag groceries for a Winn Dixie store, which soon closed after I quit.
- My first computer job was doing data processing for an office that sold copiers and other business appliances. After I got fired, they soon found themselves out of business.
- I worked at a hospital doing tech support for 10 years. When they let me go, it would be a few years before they would be hit with a major crisis from declining admissions to a shortage of doctors.
Of course, not every place I worked went out of business or is going through hardships, but still, there’s strong evidence to support my theory that my leaving an employer may have caused that employer to either go out of business or descend into a major crisis.
This brings me to the next incident which supports my claim that I may been an indirect cause of the drought in Florida. I once worked at the South Florida Water Management District as a contractor. It was a very cool job but it was only temporary. Towards the end of my contract, the drought was settling in and after I left, the water managers have since been struggling with the water shortage in the face of the worsening drought. After all that, I apologize for having caused the drought.
I am now working at a sewer treatment plant, and the state of Florida will be damned should I ever lose my job there.
I use DeepBurner for backing up data on my hard drive to CD. There’s a freeware version available that allows you to burn CD’s from ISO image filess, create data CD’s and music CD’s. It works really well and I highly recommend it.
Also available is the reasonably priced DeepBurner Pro, which does what the freeware edition does, except it also makes video DVD’s and photo CD’s. At $25, it’s way cheaper than the CD burning software you’ll find at the store.
But if you’re just going to make CD’s from ISO image files, data CD’s and music CD’s, the freeware version of Deep Burner will serve you well.
Speaking of radio, I need to comment on the so-called HD Radio that’s recently entered the radio arena. I’m really not impressed with it. The HD radio tuners are still expensive, and even if I were to get one, there’s not much I’d be able to pick up.
At the web site, I did a search for HD stations in my area and only found 11, none of them offering anything different from what I can pick up with a regular radio.
I may be a radio fanatic, but HD Radio is something I’m not going to discover anytime soon.