Government Surplus Guide

one of the Android apps I created

Don’t miss out on some of the best deals on the planet! Government surplus!Scores of sources for buying U.S. government, state, city, county and other public agency surplus and seized vehicles, computers, furniture, tools, heavy machinery, military surplus, real estate, specialized equipment, and much more – often for pennies on the dollar! A lot of great info here for just 99 cents. Includes sources now also for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.For both phones and tablets.
Continue reading Government Surplus Guide

The Woman Who Sold Time

from a wonderful book by David Rooney
as reviewed in The Telegraph (UK) by Nicolette Jones – “This gem of a book tells the story of one life but illuminates in the process a swathe of history, writes Nicolette Jones

“Written by the curator of timekeeping at the Greenwich Observatory, it relates the life of a woman who sold time to the clockmakers of London.

“”Between 1836 and 1940, Ruth Belville, and before her her father, John, and later her widowed mother, Maria, carried around the city a pocket watch certified weekly at Greenwich Observatory as correct to within a 10th of a second.

“Clients checked their timepieces against the Belvilles’ silver “chronometer”, which was called Arnold after its maker, and paid for the privilege. …”  Continue reading The Woman Who Sold Time

Google App Inventor

new book by Ralph Roberts

The number of mobile apps has grown exponentially in the last two years. If you want to join the crowd, Google’s App Inventor is the easiest and best tool for you to get started with. It is a tool to create Android phone apps and uses a graphical user interface, and drag and drop methods to create apps. It’s so simple that anyone can build an app.

Learn how Google App Inventor eliminates the mystery around programming. It is a visual language, where we simply drag and drop blocks (graphic elements representing blocks of code) in various combinations to give us applications that run on our phones or other Android-based devices. No programming background is required. Playing with blocks has never been more fun!  Continue reading Google App Inventor

Giant Iceberg Aircraft Carrier – “…300 feet wide, 2,000 long mid-Atlantic runways. Displacing 1,800,000 tons of water (26 times the Queen Elizabeth), they would carry aircraft, munitions, crew, and – naturally – a refrigeration system that would guarantee that their 50 foot walls wouldn’t fall to their greatest enemy (even more than Germany): heat. …

These iceberg battleship/aircraft carriers would have been the stuff of nightmares: massive white slabs of steaming ice, churning through the sea, a flurry of aircraft and support ships darting around their bulk. The Germans, my guess, would quake in fear more from the audacity and insanity of their concept than any weapons they could carry. …”  Continue reading Giant Iceberg Aircraft Carrier

Wonder weapons of War World II – “The Second World War was a period of remarkable advances in technology and many new weapons were invented during this period, some of which entered production and actually saw service in the war, while others never left the drawing board.

“Most of us are familiar with the secret weapons the Nazis had at their disposal in the last months of the war that were expected to turn the tide against the Allies. However, Germany had a reputation as a scientifically advanced nation well before the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. At the beginning of the war, the Germans had a significant advantage in many areas of military technology, although it lost the lead, for a variety of reasons, as the war progressed. …” Continue reading Wonder weapons of War World II

Wildcat Branch Falls and Ceasar’s Head in South Carolina

Wildcat Branch Falls near Greenville, SC

by Ralph Roberts

In 2007 Pat, myself, and our friend Fremont Brown took a trip over into South Carolina. At the time I had a local TV show entitled “Waterfalls of the Southern Highlands” (now a series of DVDs available on

We took U.S. 25 down the mountain from North Carolina and turned right on Hwy 211, the Cherokee Scenic Highway.

After an all-too-short beautiful drive through the glorious foothills of the towering green Carolina mountains, we came to the Wildcat Branch Falls Wayside Park. A small park on the side of the road, it features two waterfalls, Upper Wildcat Branch Falls and Lower Wildcat Branch Falls.

Continue reading Wildcat Branch Falls and Ceasar’s Head in South Carolina


Blueberry, elephant and tablet both

We collect elephants and usually name our computers after them. This is Blueberry the elephant and Blueberry the Android-based tablet computer. I took the photo with an HDR (high dynamic range) app on my Droid 2 (which is named Chatt after an elephant we bought during a visit to Chattanooga).