Thursday, March 31, 2005

Spirit has a View!

A recent (last week) view from the top of the hill that mars exploration rover a ("MerA") nicknamed Spirit, is climbing. This is looking across the crater to another set of hills in the distance. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

How Far is a Second Anyway?

I run into people everyday that don't realize that a second has a physical length measured in meters (or miles if you prefer). I really don't understand why this isn't a common understanding. I mean Einstein and Michelson are so last century. You would think everyone had grokked it already.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Piper Arrow!

I once had a PA-180. A '69 Cherokee with Hershy-Bar wings. White with red pin stripping. She was N 51 Juliet with baby blue interior, new king radios, ILS, and Loran.

I miss her.

This is a new Piper Arrow. Picture from the Piper corp. web pages. They have desktop/screen saver images availble for all of their current line of aircraft.

 Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Burn Baby Burn! (Annual TWatt's)

Last year, 2004, the USA used 3,251 Tera Watt hours of electricity. That's a lot of juice!

That is equivalent to turning 287 lbs (130.2 kg) of matter into pure energy (e=mc^2)
OR it is equal to 2,795 Mega-Tons of TNT
OR 223,629 Hiroshima sized a-bombs!

To think we burn that much matter every year in our light bulbs and air conditioners.


To look at it another way it's over 3/4 lb mass-energy conversion per day
OR 7.7 Mega-Tons TNT per day
OR 612 Hiroshima's per day.

This does not count the fuel burn in transportation or the use of energy by other countries. The total energy used is at least quadruple the USA electric usage. That's over 1,200 lbs of mass to energy conversion per year!


You have just entered a large quiet darkened room late at night. Computer terminals are sitting at tables all around the room. There is no one else here. As you sit at a terminal to check mail you see the edge of an old yellowed note sticking out from under the terminal. You pull out the note and read it. The note says;

Behind the portrait in the hall,
Beneath the clock upon the wall,
Lie the sources that you seek,
Of Zorken dungeons dark and deep.

PS. What do you get when you divide by Nixon?
PPS. Read Fortran much?
PPPS. You owe me 10 zorkmids and a beer.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tumble Weeds

Ya know, if it weren't for the thorns tumble weeds would be fun.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Cherry Shots!

A few years ago, sitting in a bar with some friends, I discovered that the cherry in my glass was a great still life. I took half a dozen shots of this and they all look like I did them in a studio.

I use this one as a desktop sometimes, e-mail me if you would like a desktop sized version.

 Posted by Hello

Simple Music Theory

I've thought about this for 30 years or so and have many drawings. Despite this drawing's occult appearance it has nothing to do with Wicca or any other religion. This drawing is a simple representation of Music Theory.

You can create one of these diagrams yourself with a compass or circle template. I've used these diagrams to demonstrate the relationships between waves (circles), and the numbers twelve, seven, five, and three. Sixty and three hundred sixty are actually multiples of twelve so they are also natural circle division units.

 Posted by Hello

This diagram represents an Octave. The distance of once around the circle is one octave or twice the frequency of the base note. In reality this is a logrithmic spiral. The spiral is flattened in this representation to form just a circle, the log of the spiral which greatly simplifies the diagram.

A circle or wave can naturally be divided into six separate parts defined by the radius of the initial wave/circle. Also there is a matching counter wave(i.e. sine to cosine )that would cancel out the initial wave. This can also be divided into six segments. The result is a natural circle or wave division into twelve parts. Sixty and three sixty are multiples of 12 so a degree, or 360'th of a circle is a natural circle division.

I've tried to be simple but, it's probably about as clear as mud for someone who has never seen this before. So here is a simple exercise to get you started;

1. Materials, you need a compass or circle template, paper, and pens or pencils of three colors. (You can draw it all in one color if you like but, the diagram will be clearer if you use three.)

2. Draw a circle in the middle of the paper. You will divide this circle with additional circles of the same size.

3. Draw two lines through the circle, one vertical and one horizontal. A plus "+" where the center of the plus is the center of the circle.

4. Change colors; Where the vertical line intersects the top of the circle make that the center of and draw another circle.

5. Draw two more circles centered on the intersection of the circles.

6. Continue this until you have drawn six circles.

7. Change colors and draw six more circles starting from the horizontal line intersection instead of the vertical;

8. You will now have twelve equally spaced points around the circle.

At this point if you know a little music theory you can see how you could choose points to represent a standard scale. This still doesn't explain five note and seven note groupings. I'll get into that a bit more in my next post. Bring your guitar, pianos kind of obscure a scales relationship to the notes, though you can use any musical instrument available to play and compose with this new musical tool.

Music without sound is almost useless.

More Problems with COMCAST Cable Modems

COMCAST is down again today after working perfectly for a day. They say they can't do anything about it till Sunday. Crappy service if you ask me. My regular dial-up ISP is never down for that long AND I can call them and get a straight answer about the problem.

Good thing COMCAST isn't a monopoly. They sure act like they are though.

I've turned my modem back on, Windows 2003 server just plugged the NAT traffic back thought it like it had never been turned off.

Perfect ... It's good to have seamless and redundant Internet connectivity working for your LAN. Damn, TCP/IP works just like ARPA designed it to work thirty years ago! I bet I'm one of very few households in Seattle with this redundancy capability.

Don't you just love a good piece of engineering!

PS. I like the Microsoft 2003 server! Works out of the box, very little hacking or configuration required.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Get Yer Own Rock!

Still thinking about public-key-crypto™ from this morning. I've got King-Arthur, RCA, PGP, swords-in-stones™, and math all jammed into my head occupying the same neural-space-time™. The result so far is that everyone is Merlin, has their own rock to put swords into if they want, but only the owner of a particular rock can take-the sword-out-again™.

I guess Rivest-Shamir-Adleman™ were not the first to discover public-key-encryption.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I Am Pentium of Intel

Just got a copy of Star Trek "First Contact". It's a fun movie. The extras are great as well since they link Borg character development through this movie and the Voyager series. Recommended movie, IMHO it's the best of the movie series on breaking new science fiction ground! (The Wrath of Khan is tough to beat for pure screen action, it just didn't break much new sci-fi ground.)

Which all reminds me of a joke:

When the first Pentium chips were released there were problems with floating point division. That sparked a couple of jokes including;

I am Pentium of Intel.
Division is futile.
You will be approximated.

Open Letter To COMCAST Networks

I've been very patient but, COMCAST is having trouble running their networks. Since I installed my Comcast cable modem in December, about once a week their network drops 5% to 100% of packets between my server and their router.

I contacted COMCAST and was informed that 5% of the packets being dropped isn't very much.

My response is that if you think that losing 5% to 10% of packet loss isn't very much then you should give me a 5% to 10% discount on your network service.

Just to reiterate;

There should be a zero percent packet loss. IP is an error correcting network, 5% is an enormous number of packets to drop and indicates a badly implemented network branch.

Fix it COMCAST. Until you do I want my bill discounted to match the packet dropout rate.

Thank you,

CC. Every other COMCAST customer.

PS. The way you check your internet connection is the following under XP;

create a command window by choosing Start -> Run -> command

In the command window look up your default router with the command ipconfig
and find the default router owned by comcast that is your gateway to the rest
of the internet. Something like 67.DDD.DDD.1 where D is a digit. (NOTE you need to do the ipconfig command on the computer that is directly connected to the internet)

ping the router with the command ping -n50 ROUTER_IP_ADDRESS

Your result should look like this;
$ ping -f -t 67.DDD.DDD.1

Pinging 67.DDD.DDD.1 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 67.DDD.DDD.1: bytes=32 time=26ms TTL=64
Reply from 67.DDD.DDD.1: bytes=32 time=7ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for 67.DDD.DDD.1:
Packets: Sent = 10, Received = 10, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 6ms, Maximum = 35ms, Average = 18ms

Mine sometimes shows a 5 to 100% packet loss. ANY packet loss at all is totally unacceptable on a closed network like this.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Fluffy can be a bit intense ... ;) Posted by Hello

Sunshine's birthday was yesterday

Sunshine's birthday was yesterday. He was born on the spring equinox last year. Here he is looking over his shoulder at his mom cornering a little grey mouse. Posted by Hello

Fixing Social Security

Bush is the second republican president to 'fix' social security in recent times. The last was Ronald Regan who fixed SS back in the 80's.

I don't think that social security should be 'fixed' any more. It's a ponzi scheme that steals billions of dollars from Americans, who see less and less of their income every year. Social Security is stolen from continuously by congress who have exempted themselves from their ponzi program.

Ronald really did 'fix' SS. He gave us 16 more years of the program. Now his fixes have worn out and the program needs a bigger fix to keep ripping off Americans for another 16 years.

Don't fix it! Leave it alone and it will die it's miserable death in eight years and our children will be free of it.

Tyranny comes in small increments.


In case you haven't figured it out yet the government is going to pass a major Social Security change later this year. It will be touted and trumpeted by both sides as a major victory for all things, blah, blah.

The reality is that even if George didn't support it Social Security would be changed anyway because it is a major government income source. The one thing the government will protect is it's income, derived from stealing your income and retirement.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Hey, Where is the Patentleft ?


Just a second, how come there isn't such a thing as a Patentleft. This would be where someone invents something and announces to the whole world that they have "Patentlefted" it and give the rights away to anyone else who wants to use the idea. Exactly like the GNU Public License only for physical things.

I guess that most things that exist are already considered to be patent-lefted.

Can the first DIYBAK be very far behind?

DIYBAK = Acronym = "Do It Yourself Brain Augmentation Kit"

Cool article. I want one of these replicating - replicators!,

A TECH Art: The RepRap Project
A NEWS Art: Make-it-all Machine for Do-it-yourself Homeowners

Reminds me of a little post from back in the GNU heyday;

USENET: Date: 10 Apr 92 21:16:26 GMT

Subject: Re: Virtual reality, the brain, and high-speed modems.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Apr 92 21:16:26 GMT

In article
<> (Michael James Gebis) writes:
I have recently read a variety of stories concerning COMPLETE virtual reality where the user has had an implant (or something, sometimes this is not very clear) in his brain which totally simulates all sensory input, and also receives all commands from the brain.

My question much information is this? How fast an interface would be required? Would a simple parallel port do, or are fiber-optics more realistic? Anyway, thanks.

Interface? To your Brain? A parallel port? Well _kind_ of
parallel, actually VERY parallel ... :-)



Are you tired of your old VR helmet? Is your data glove
touch feedback just not fast enough? Is the new Sco OS for
these systems still 4 releases behind everyone else?

Cut out the middle man! Spend no more money on high priced
equipment that only takes you half way there! Go all the way
and permanently embed yourself in Cyberspace with ...

1) Included are two complete, and replicateable nanofactories
with 50,000 Nanos ready to go to work on you.

2) Just add sugar/water and swallow.

3) Once ingested the systems will organize and gain access to
your nervous system spinal fluid.

4) Initial programming will create, almost overnight, 50 thousand
meters of super conducting fiber a couple of molecules in diameter
with almost 100 thousand terminal SQID detect/affect terminal pairs
in all vital cerebral areas.

5) As the system becomes functional a 50 Million cpu, micro-spark
system will be generated around the nanofactories. All brain
activity may then be mapped, modeled, recorded and shared
with your friends.

6) It doesn't stop here! Share the new bio-tech with your friends!
The software and bio-systems are fully redistributable using
the GNU Copyleft and Patentleft licenses.

Offer begins Oct. 2, 2150 ...

Notice how life imitates art, the new self replicating replicator is GNU licensed so you can share the tech with your friends.

I wonder how far away the DIYBAK really is?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

For Pete's Sake!

Oh fer Pete's sake. I'm watching C-SPAN Live and the government bullying the commissioner of baseball over an old draft version of some report. That's right, as if the government didn't have real work to do getting very worked up over ... a game.

Baseball is just a game. I don't care if all the players take muscle building drugs. Its a professional sport played by human adults. Athletes aren't horses they have informed consent about what they choose to do for training for their sport. They don't need the government telling them how to play.

This is a ridiculous waste of our time and money. For Pete's sake, please leave baseball alone.

The part that really irks me though is the baseball commissioner in the hot seat being bullied by a senator over whether or not he could get the initial draft of some report for the 'committee'. The Commissioner should be standing up and saying to the senator that it's none of the Governments business how baseball operates.

Face it, professional athletes take steroids, WWWF, NBA, NFL, Baseball, International Soccer (Football to everyone else). Nobody wants to pay big bucks to see pansies play sports, we want superstar gladiators.

So lay off already this is the way it is. Injectable steroids have been around since the turn of the century and have been taken by atheletes since that time. Perhaps the baseball commissioner could use some steroids so he could stand up to rabid senators better.

Personally I would like the governor of California's input, not because he might have used steroids at one time but because he actually might have an educated opinion on the subject from the perspective of being an ex-professional athlete.


By the way, steroid use is illegal. Congress butting into baseball will not change the fact that professional athletes use steroids and have always used foriegn substances to enhance their body building. It would be better and kill fewer athletes if the FDA deregulated steroid use so that medical professionals could help athletes use steroids safely, players could admit they used steroids, and Baseball could address this issue without the risk of sending their stars to jail.

It doesn't matter what laws you pass these guys will do what they need to do to maintain their edge and keep healthy. Do something useful, repeal the laws that are causing this problem and get out of the way.


AJAX = Asynchronous JavaScript + XML

Wow! I'm continuously impressed by how little chunks of technology find their way together to create seemingly new things. The biggest immediate problem with this approach for me right now is getting a good JavaScript debugging tool. I'm sure there is one out there, FireFox might have built in better JavaScript checking than MIE. I'll have to check.

In the meantime dust off those JavaScript O'Reilly manuals and get to work!

Check out this Tech Ajax link ...

And this News Ajax link ...

PS. Industries where this technique may apply include older school industries such as Amazon, FedEx, Government Sites, Banks and others who don't want to invest large sums in third party enterprise developer and server software.

I may be optomistic but Microsoft will supply tools to support this type of programming later this year. MS’s JavaScript support is meager as far as my experience with it goes. I think MS would be foolish to fight this trend, though they did fight the internet browser trend in the beginning so I guess it's possible they would drag their feet here as well.

As an exercise imagine if you combined C#/.aspx with generating JavaScript AJAX stuff. It would require a couple of new meta-commands I guess but it would theoretically make for an easy way to create AJAX applications without some of the difficulties currently present.

I don’t see it as a C# aspx or Java killer. However I do see it as a way to create very functional web apps without the overhead of a Java app server or an ISS .aspx server.

PPS. And I thought Ajax was a soap brand name ...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Fluffy the Mouser

Our cat Fluffy is a fairly good mouser. Catches and injures them but isn't hungry enough to actually kill them. Strange ... some of our friends call her demon-spawn. We just call her "Fluffy the human flayer" :)

She carried this mouse around the yard for part of the afternoon. I wouldn't let her bring her new 'friend' inside though.

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Thought For The Day

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a Federal Express truck full of DVD's.

(This is an update to an old saying from the early 1970's. "Never under estimate the bandwith of a Ford Station Wagon full of magnetic tape.")

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

USA is Missing the Mark on Gay Marriage

Ken's Editorial: Gay Marriage: A Matter Of Dignity

I agree with Ken Schram, like what he has said here, and he deserves nothing but props for the way he has said it, however there is a part of this he doesn't get. He can be excused I guess, as no one else seems to get it either.

Marriage is an ancient institution of tribes and religions, prescribing a duty of partners to each other and their family and formally bringing non kindred persons into a family. Marrige has always had everything to do with family property rights and inheritance protocols, but it has NOT always been a government institution. As usual the State has stepped in and muddied the stream so much with its lawmaking that everyone has forgotten the precepts and concepts of what marriage really is.

The state has passed further laws creating it's own definition of marrige superior to that of religions and imposing this definition upon ALL religions. They have absolutely no business in this and are in fact barred by/from doing so by the Constitution of the United States, i.e. The First Ammendment.

Do you want to protect marriage? Then get the government out of it. A marriage is a close personal union and partnership of two people who act as a family unit. If you want a church approval they may have more restrictions for their recongnition of a marriage . What marriage is not is a union of two people and a government nanny.

Governments don’t have the authority to allow or deny a couples marriage. Perhaps God does, but it sure as hell isn’t the Government.

Don't add another fix to marrige laws, abolish them.

Art Bell and the Demise of Coast To Coast Radio

Coast To Coast

I tuned in to George Noory last night for a moment (I’d noticed that some of the image captions for my meteor images had an incorrect SOLs so I was up late and thought I’d tune in.) In less than 30 seconds I was barraged by Georges apparently sincere belief that the end of the Earth was upon us, biblical signs were everywhere, and the rapture was nigh!

HOLY TOLEDO Batman!!! What drivel C2C has become since the departure of Art Bell. It's not supposed to be a Christian authoritarian promoter but it is. If I wanted to listen to this end of the world religious nonsense I'd tune to Jerry Faldwell radio.

As I remember Art years ago he was a fairly level headed, Libertarian minded, entertainment oriented host. His shows were for the most part listenable, except for the occasional Dr. Doom guest who is a ranting Christian “Raptureist”.

I want a rational Libertarian agnostic in charge of C2C again. I wonder if such a talk show host exists anymore. The closest would be Tom Leykis. He’s got his own better gig though. (Though he's proclaimed himself and Athiest, which is less wishy washy than being an Agnostic.)

The Tom Leykis Show.

I don’t like the doom and gloomers and I’ve got news for them all, including George Noory and Dr. Doom. The Rapture you are all looking forward too has already happened. God found eight, count them eight, worthy people and took them all off to a “better place” about 23 years ago. The rest of us are just going to have to fend for ourselves and make this world the best place we possibly can.

Hey are you listening late nighters, there is an opening for a new late night talk radio program to replace George and C2C.

Lets get on with it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Irish Folk Ballads!

I picked up a stock music CD of Irish Folk ballads. The artist is "The Countdown Singers". It's just a mass market thing but the songs are well done and they are fun.

Close to St. Paties after all. I reconize many of the tunes and still remember one by Lt. O'Reilly, on a Star Trek episode when I was a kid, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" ... one more time ... :)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Gods Of War

... imagine going to war with a thousand rail projectile weapons, each a lance a thousand kilometers long, each tipped with a hundred megaton star.

Imagine if ...

Is BJ Shea a Closet Baptist Evangelist ?


I was listening to the Antarctic radio station last week

"A Net",

which was playing some calm jazz , bluesy countryesque tunes (play lists 2 and 3) and caught myself humming an old Baptist hymn that my grandmother used to sing.

Funny thing was I noticed that I was replacing all the hims in the song with her. As in "And she walks with me and she talks with me, and she tells me …".

Guess I’ m not terribly God fearing nor do I buy into the religious male domination propaganda, which I guess is why they call religious songs “Hymns” instead of “Her-emns”.

Merle Hagard "She Walks With Me".

BJ Shea, The Buzz, 100.7 FM Seattle:

This got me to thinking about BJ Shea‘s 107.7 The Buzz radio program in Seattle.

BJ Shea, The Buzz, 100.7 FM

His radio theme is “Talk show for guys”. He’s been on a theme recently which can be summed up as the following points:

  1. Religion just Wrong and Bad

  2. Male superiority over females

  3. Country Music and NASCAR the future
    (BJ wants to use country music as his bumper music.)

The Out of the Box connection:

Notice these themes are mutually exclusive;

  1. Religions support male superiority in society and lack of female rights. Lack of religious morals coupled with "feminization" of society is blamed for causing major societal problems.

  2. Country and Blues have their roots in Baptist Religious Hymns and continuously emphasize their religious affiliation.
    And again -> Merle Hagard "She Walks With Me". It's not the only example by far. I'm just lazy.

  3. NASCAR is just dripping in country music and hence religious themes.

Just wanted to point out that if BJ would support Jerry Faldwell’s and G.W.B.’s religious sentiments then he would be consistent with his male domination themes. I would contend you can’t have one without the other two.

“And she walks with me and she talks with me, and she tells me I’m her own …”

CLICK! to sing along but drop in her for all him's


Friday, March 04, 2005

Software Systems Development

I was reviewing some of my writings (and some of my best is in various Resumes I've created over the years.) This paragraph I think is worth repeating since I'm so frustrated in system bugs in everthing from toasters to passenger jets where the tails fall off in a strong cross wind.

I quote;

... implementing systems which are easy to maintain, follow industry standards, and are provably correct.

It is possible to design, plan, and build high quality software quickly with very few flaws. This is accomplished by developing a system iteratively in very close cooperation with the end users of the system. Such systems do not appear out of thin air they are built, rebuilt, and tested until they are correct.


I like this line. So many people just stare when it is suggested that a system can be created without errors.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Michael Jackson, A fair jury?

I love a good "Reductio ad Absurdum" argument and Ken Schram got a great one here;

Jesse Jackson Can Be Such A Buffoon

It's a classic "Reductio ad Absurdum" argument by extending the hypothesis of Reverend Jackson "i.e. It's discrimination to not demand more black jurors for MJ." to the obvious ridiculous conclusion. Then Ken goes further to challenge anyone to find someone who would actually be a peer to MJ.

Despite this analysis "Reductio ad Absurdum" arguments hide and obfuscate the truth of a matter by "making fun" of them.

I do not think that MJ is getting a fair trial. Not because he is black but because he is obviously not "straight" as in a normal/average heterosexual male. Society automatically suspects a male who is perhaps "gay" in some way of being capable of child molestation.

I wonder just how many "gay" jurors are on Michael Jackson’s jury?

... and Ken how about a straight serious argument for a change, oh yea you are in the entertainment business, sorry what was I thinking ...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lawmakers Should Read The Bills They Vote On

Well duh, of course congressmen and women read the bills they vote on ... don't they? To not read a bill before you vote on it would be just plain stupid, wouldn't it?

Apperantly they don't actually read the laws they pass. Why not? No clue.

Here is a link;,2933,140204,00.html