Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yes..I met Staind

March 2006
I was afraid I'd lost this photo. Fortunately my brother had a copy.

Was one of the cooler things I've been able to do. That had been a long day prior to meeting them. Ticketmaster had completely and utterly bungled my order. After driving over 3 hours and inviting others along to use the tickets I'd purchased I arrived and they told me I had none. To say I was upset is to say Vesuvius was just a volcano. I was with rage is better. I was at that point where my peripheral vision blurred to dark and the only light at the end of my tunnel was I know why those imbecile fat cow ticket agents are behind Plexiglas.

I had some rather unpleasant, unkind, torrents of profanity to express at what I'm sure was a volume greater than conversational. (Yes, I know what you're thinking smartass...and yes I can speak at a conversational level)

As I had decided I needed to leave before my urges of mayhem overtook me and I ended up being the guest of the local authority...I heard someone coming up behind me a tad too fast for my liking. I heard a question: "Is there a problem?" At least I think that's what he'd said...I was still trying to quiet the sound of "Redrum!" in my head...

So, as I was already wanting to pummel someone I planted and spun on this poor guy...I expressed my problem in a somewhat aggressive manner (Yeah, shut-up smartass) and in the midst of my tirade he explained (I'm sure more than once, I was torqued beyond measure...if memory serves I had paid for 6 tickets at ~$60 each, plus B.S. fees and I'd lost a lot of money not counting the 3 hour drive and my ever precious personal time.) ($1,223.125/hr is my value...what's yours?) He explained to me who he was, repeatedly, that he could help me out...hmm.

Turns out, he worked for the local radio station that was sponsoring the concert and had extra tickets. Enough for all 5 of us, as well as TWO MEET & GREET PASSES!!!

I almost cried. Actually, I probably did.

I owe this aid in no small part to my little brother Nato...who was friends with one of the staff and had been talking with them whilst I was getting tickets, and heard the subsequent explosion.

I'm eternally grateful to all who showed me kindness that I didn't deserve that day. Meeting Aaron Lewis meant more for me than I expect more than one or two people will ever know. Including Mr. Lewis himself I'm afraid.

So Mr. Lewis, in the off event you troll the web looking for yourself (I know I do) and you come across this. Thank you. Thank you for things I can't begin to explain and you probably will never know.

Thank you for what you did for Layne. Because you have done the same for me as you've ascribed to him.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

License to kill

This isn't what it appears to be usual. What I want to present to you is an idea that has occured to me on many many occasions. How many people do you think would agree to allow anyone the use of a car, any kind they chose to buy out on the highways and byways without any training, supervision, nor licensing requirement? A lot of teenagers I'm sure. Now I know what you're probably thinking...what in the hell are you on about now? And what does this have to do with that massive revolver you are holding?
(Smith & Wesson Model 500 by the way)

Nothing really to do with the revolver other than, as with my automobile allegory, to convey a sense of potential danger if used by the untrained.

My point, moreover my fervent desire, is to relay the inherit danger of allowing just anyone and everyone access to a computer, and even worse the ability to attach that untrained hand guiding the computer to the Internet.

I submit this:
People do not understand the ubiquitous Personal Computer. Further the masses have very little beyond surface knowledge of technologies that they interact with daily.
As such they cannot truly understand risk. Without understanding of risk there is inherit danger.

I'm not saying everyone should have complete understanding, but they should understand enough to know when to stop. Failing that, a mechanism forcing them to stop.

My suggestion is this: As computers, in my professional opinion, possess as much potential for personal harm as does an automobile similar licensing should be required.

Yes, I'm really serious. Think it can't cause personal injury? Perhaps you should speak to the foolish woman who allowed her life savings to be stolen by a well known Internet scam. Ask about that second mortgage she took out. Yeah...anyways.

I think that people should be given basic training in order to safely operate a computer. A learner's permit as it were. Without a license you could not purchase nor operate a PC.

What you might wonder spawned this thought? Users. Fucking idiot users.

I've had this idea for years, suggested it at a few corporations I've worked for. It's a sound idea. But it'd take time and money. Guess why no one thinks this is a good idea? No one likes to be restricted, but how many people like getting stupid assed viruses because you don't know not to open every attachment you receive? Or better still how many folks like getting viruses from family member because they don't know any better? Uh huh.

How many many I've lost count...have I been asked to look at someone's machine because "The Internet is slow" First thing I see...boot up and in the taskbar, next to the clock...about 20 little icons of all the nonsense shit they've installed. Each program robbing the computer of processor and memory fucking startup of the machine I might add. 20 minutes later...when the desktop finally appears and the hard drive stops churning I get to start their web browser...and wait some more...whilst all the godforsaken plug-ins start. (MySpace is the entry to hell by the way) ((Hint: Social networks...on a computer...aren't social. Moron.)) Defined: Social
"3: of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society"

How many search toolbars, or toolbars in general, does one really need? I've seen machine, no lie, with Google, Yahoo, MSN, AND Lycos toolbars, along with Anti-virus toolbars, as well as provider (Comcast) toolbars.

Now let me backtrack for a minute and pick at a nit...To say "The Internet is slow" is criminal. It's retarded on a cosmic scale. The Internet...has no speed. Capiche? No, most likely...if you've ever uttered this do not. You're the same person who says "NIC card" or "RAM memory" or any number of things demonstrative of ignorance of that of which you speak. The Internet is a series of interconnected networks. As such your ability to access it at any given speed is relative to a large number of factors. Chief amoungst those the health and well-being of your connected device.

Now then, where was I? Ahh yes...toolbars.

By the time I get their browser to actually open and again wait on the hard drive to stop it's incessant chatter due to all the memory paging going on (No, I'm not going to bother 'splaining that one Lucy) I have a screen with a 4 inch menu/toolbar area and MySpace as their damn homepage.

"Why is my machine slow?" Well little one it's because you bought a $200 Dell, and you had no idea about what the component specs were and now you're trying to run Windows XP SP1 (Yes, SP3 has been out for a long time...but why should I patch?) on a machine with 512 MB of RAM. Meanwhile at startup, before you even get to open the Start Menu you've sucessfully loaded 1024 MB worth of crap!!

Here are some rules to help everyone:

Rule Number One: The first rule of Fight Club is...oh wait...

Really...Rule Number One:

If you don't know, or suspect you don't know. Stop! Get some a book, ask a knowledgeable friend, find a 12 year old...whatever, but learn first.

Rule Number Two:

If the computer starts asking you questions, e.g. "Are you sure..." Stop! You may be in violation of Rule One, refer to it.

Rule Number Three:

Read everything the computer puts on screen when you are installing software. A lot of software anymore does something called "Bundling" which often includes additional software, and toolbars aside from what you intend to install. As such it may be necessary to select the "Custom" option so that you can read and learn. Otherwise refer to rule number one, as you are most likely in violation.

We really do need learner's permits though...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why can't things be simple?

No I mean it, really. Why not?

Why is it that if you start on what should be a simple project it becomes this all consuming vortex of time?

Why? Because there are no simple perhaps bodily functions....which we don not consciously control.
Good thing too, else we'd screw that up too.

Here's a quote for you:
The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.
- Nathaniel Borenstein

Just remember these words always "We're here to help..."

When you hear them, run like hell, it may already be too late.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great night for caffeine

One of my (surprisingly) favorite Sci-Fi shows of late has been the new Battlestar Galactica series from the Sci-Fi channel. I originally balked at the show when it first debuted. (Starbuck was a man damnit!)

I've since decided to give it a second chance and my fiance' and I love it!

Apparently we're not alone:

We're all Cylons: Battlestar Galactica’s last days

"Of all the television shows of the last twenty years, Battlestar Galactica stands head and shoulders above the rest. While the spin off series Caprica looks promising, it's going to be hard to top this. Battlestar has held up a mirror to the present and we could all benefit from taking a good hard look at ourselves. And you thought it was just a television show?"

Update on the Helios Project

They have a new site that further explains their project. I'd still encourage folks to read about it and contribute if they find their cause worthwhile.

Freedom to speak...

This comic from xkcd is very apropos for me today after having a little skirmish erupt over comments on one of my posts regarding the HeliOS project.

So far, my logic, and rationality have been called in to question. :)

For the record: I mostly believe no one reads what I put out here. I do it for me as a catharsis of sorts, plus it's nice to see that I'm not mad when I re-read on occasion ideas that present themselves to me.

I'm surprised to find out when people do read, and make/leave comments. For the most part I publish whatever because I'm lazy and take it as my friends having fun with me.

Since the offensive posts were made in what I thought was our usual public mental banter, I removed them lest we be seen as offensive.


After much discussion it was pointed out to me that while their commentary may have been flippant that their point should still be allowed to stand. Which basically is: Caveat emptor

So, I've allowed both posts to stand, and agree that if you are to give away monies you should do your homework.

I'll also be looking in to adding a Paypal button to my site. :o)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sad day

'Lost in Space' actor Bob May dies at 69 in Calif.

The speaker of my namesake is no more... :o(

Thanks to Mit for his, always timely, notification of this sad event.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Updated photo of Radio Gear

Update: I've had a few queries regarding the "big red button" It actually is the reset switch for my ID-O-Matic.

My Newest Hobby: Amatuer Radio

Note: This image is from my mobile, I'll get a better image up soon.

To the right, my newest addition, Kenwood TS-450SAT

The autotuner is quiet, fast and reliable.

I love this hobby!

For those in the know: My VHF/UHF antennas are multiband verticles.
On HF I'm using an 80 Meter di-pole 18 gauge wire inverted V. Feed point is at ~30 feet off the ground. I also have the Cushcraft MA5V 5-band vertical at 35 ft.

73 de N1CKI

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

व्त्फ़ (WTF in Hindi)

I haven't vented (properly) in some time, and as was pointed out to me by whom I believe to be my only real reader...this is supposed to be a place where I could vent and be honest. (I'm also not as fat now as in this photo, but it conveys something...special.)
That my apparent life was little more than a sequence of "release valves." Not quite, but I can see how it appears that way as most of the time all I ever show of "me" is the release of pent frustration.

This all started rather innocently today. Someone asked for my assistance. By asked, I mean to express expected. They expected in a rather unreasonable time frame and unreasonable way. Unreasonable in that, it's not within my realm of responsibilities. I do try to assist at every opportunity just to be nice, and becase I know how frustrating it can be to solve a problem when a damn processs precludes anything resembling progress...however, my nice-ness is waning.

I was sent an email at 17:04, expressing a problem they needed resolved. The following morning at 08:34 wanting to know if I was done yet. Huh?!? Are you fracking serious?

They were, and are actually. They have found me...less than nice today, especially when I explained their situation having existed within my grace, and that grace was being retracted. Go. Call the help-less desk and molest me no further.

Which brings me to a conversation with my sister...

A series of unfortunate events has transpired for her and her family that I shan't get into however we touched upon the grieving/healing process which sparked this response from me:

"Yeah, everyone does it differently. I didn't really appreciate how different people were until relatively recently.

If anything, it just serves to further alienate me. I'm nothing like these things I associate with day to day. Seldom do I find someone to talk to for more than 5 minutes if it's not work related, and even then I don't have much to say. I spend my time in my head forcing myself to be silent and wait while these slow-ass baboons speak, ad nauseum, to explain to me what it is they think needs to be done. For fun, most of the time I fix their problem *while* they are still talking...

But now I'm just venting my day's frustrations on you. Sorry for the tangent.

And people wonder why I try to work from the house or in a private corner as much as possible. No, I do not want to be "social" with you. You can't even understand half of what I might say. Your thoughts seldom stray far from food, sex, entertainment...ever. The question of "Why?" seldom molests you. Idiot bastards...go to Wal-Mart and buy yourself a bigger TV to watch millionaire thugs play a fucking game."

Now...I know you must be thinking "Hey! What's wrong with sports?" In and of themselves, nothing. Play your ass off, I encourage it actually.

Did you miss that? Play *your* ass off. The idea that people spectate/hero worship astounds me.
The problem, the thing I see as 'wrong' is this. It's out of line in it's priority. People pay exorbitant amounts to see these games in person, more for paraphanalia, more, more, more...for what?

Entertainment? To say stupid shit like:

"We played a good game Sunday!" "Our team made the playoffs!"

Is it now? Really?

Since you're part of it why don't you try going on the sidelines then? No? What part is it you play in actuality? Oh're the sheeple that fund this extravagance. Without ever asking why I might add...never a question as to what real benefit does this really apply to *my* life?

Other questions you may have are: What do I actually think about that's be so hard to talk about to others?

Ha! Let's start with dark matter. Since it's widely accepted that it exists. What exactly is it? How does its mass interact with my mass? If we accept that all mass creates a gravitational field is it possible that fate is really dark matter attracting my mass in a particular direction and time? Is there truly time and space? Or is what we refer to as "space" simply matter we cannot see nor comprehend?

How about magnetic wave propagation? What if, since we are electrically charged beings and having mass and a gravitational the process of our daily living and thinking and generally emitting electrical waves and gravitational fields is it possible that we also affect that matter which we cannot perceive and if so, are we mucking about in another universes life? Can they "hear" my thoughts as electromagnetic energy emissions? Hmm...

I don't find these types of preponderances in many of the public places I'm oft forced to frequent. If any...ever.

How about this: If Einstein maintained that energy ceased to exist beyond the speed of c (186282.91 miles per second) (umm, that's light speed...ish) is it then possible that it actually does exist as dark matter beyond our perception? What if dark matter is just *really fast* matter?

Enough. I'm, as usual, over driving the point in my relentless pursuit of something very simple, yet hard to find in this plane of existance.


P.S. I did fix the problem for them in the end. On my schedule though.

P.P.S. Like you cared.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Test posting mobile