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The Weblog With No Name





Updated: 2014-10-06T19:03:43.129-05:00

 



Score!

2011-08-14T12:35:13.761-05:00

Found on eBay and delivered August 13th. "TO THE MOON". From Time Life Books and Records in 1969 6 records in slipcase, plus hardbound book concerning the race to the Moon. Both in original slipcase, with much of the original plastic wrap still in place. All in the original shipping box. All in astoundingly great condition. Along with all the other paperwork that came with the set, including an order form to buy another book/record set. Original price in 1969, US$29.95 Price in 2011 (via eBay) US$39.95. But wait, there's more! The seller transferred the records to CDs. I was planning on playing the records once, in order to copy them to the Macintosh. Thanks to the gentleman I bought the set from, that task won't be necessary. The records are recordings of speeches, space craft communications, etc. Haven't listened to them as yet. I wanted to get this set back in 1969, but at the time, I couldn't afford it. Better late than never. Original shipping box front Original shipping box back Slipcase for records and book Slipcase for records Record slipcase with record index. Record in sleeve [...]



9/11 Anniversary

2011-08-01T12:39:53.893-05:00

9/11/2011 is going to be a day of unending blowfullness. Not to mention the overweening, fulsome suckitude.

The festivities, and make no mistake, it WILL be a festival of xenophobia, self congratulatory rhetorical masturbation and all round bullshit, will likely inspire another wave of anti ground zero 'mosque' protests at the site of the planned islamic center.

Geller and her ilk will be wall to wall on Fox Noise.

NYC that day will be awash in faux patriotism and American flags made in China, as another few first responders die from the multiple illnesses resulting from their efforts on that day and the succeeding days as they searched the smoking rubble.

Sure, there will be grand statements about the bravery and sacrifice of the police and firefighters. Not one word will be spoken about the fight to get those people the health care they deserve, nor will one word be spoken about the GOP refusal to grant them care for the cancers that are slowly killing those heroes.



The Apple TV and I

2011-07-31T12:17:36.880-05:00

(image)
(the Apple TV in situ, along with DVD player, cable box and external speakers.)

This past July, I got a 1st gen Apple TV from eBay. Works fine, as Apple defines "fine". It's been upgraded with the current OS revision/ATV firmware. It's also been hacked with the latest "upgrade" software/firmware, and has XBMC (XBox Media Center) installed.

Having trouble getting the XBMC to "see" the drive/folder where all my video files are kept, as well as the iTunes music library.

Apparently, I need the equivalent of "Hacking the ATV for Dummies".

That said, the ATV, using the ATV software, works well enough to play video and audio via the LCD TV. The Boston Acoustics computer speakers/subwoofer are a huge improvement over the stock built in TV speakers.




Letter to Democrats.org

2010-09-23T19:56:56.790-05:00

Email today. Paper mail followup tomorrow.

When is the Democratic Party going to grow a pair, grow a spine, and vigorously confront the GOP on every damned issue, large, small and everything in between.

Goddammit! STOP caving in to the goddamn GOP. America wants their taxes cut for the poor and middle class. They want those damned Bush era cuts for the rich to die on schedule.

I am a 'yellow dog Democrat'. I've been voting for Democrats since my very first vote.

I voted for President Obama to do what he promised to do. I voted for the Democrats here in Massachusetts to help President Obama keep his promises.

This November, I am not all that sure that I will make the effort to vote.

If the Democrats in the House and Senate and White House are so goddamned reluctant to do what that landslide in November 2008 elected them to do, than I can't see why I should vote for those COWARDS who are so frightened of inconveniencing the big bad GOP.

The Democrats OWN the House. They could KEEP the House and they could OWN the Senate in November if you get off your collective asses and FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE GOP and the insanity of the Teabaggers!

If the Democratic Party wants me to vote for them, you had better start goddamned fighting for me and the rest of the Americans who gave you their money and their vote and their confidence in 2008.



Don't blame BP. Blame yourselves!

2010-06-03T16:18:53.752-05:00

To all those Gulf Coast states that constantly and consistently voted in GOP Senators, Representatives, state and Congressional, as well as GOP Presidents. That voted against your own best economic and social interests. That voted the way Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson told you to vote. That swallowed the lies of the GOP and begged for more.

The destruction of your coastlines, the destruction of your tourist-based economy, the destruction of your Gulf-based seafood harvesting economy, the destruction of countless jobs.

Actions have consequences.

You brought all this upon yourselves.



Rise of the New Tribes

2010-05-28T01:05:45.781-05:00

(Something I wrote YEARS ago. There's a big clue as to how long ago in the text.)The rise of the new tribes.The "subculture" is dead! Long live the new Tribalism!Used to be, back in the day (1967/68) the Hippies tried to form something beyond the Establishment label of "counterculture", a label that was actually embraced by the nameless entity that the hippies were struggling to evolve into. The absurd amount of drugs, the chronic malnutrition occasioned by so-called "macrobiotic" diets, rampant apathy and the lack of wide bandwidth communication killed that idea in the womb.The Hippies ended up as little more than some scattered communes and a marketing ploy aimed at the middle american teens who wanted a taste, the merest frisson of the Hippie lifestyle they had read about in Time magazine, Rolling Stone and had seen on TV and propaganda films screened by the Hygiene Squad at High School.These were not pretty times, I know, I was there.Today, we no longer have a single "counterculture" or even subcultures, we are seeing the rise of the New Tribalism.New Age Hippies, Skaters (roller and board) urban bikers, hackers, the whole amorphous queer scene, hip-hop, 'zine creators, street gangs, goths, punks, goth punks, goth punk hackers, gay goth punk hackers. (This is getting confusing, innit?)Myself, I'm part of several tribes, hacker (cDc), SF fan, SubGenius, slight goth leanings, although more because of my interest in H.P. Lovecraft than any desire to wear white pancake and smoke clove cigarettes.The tribes I'm part of all have their own rituals and sub rosa language and customs, more to bind the tribe members together than to keep the outsiders at arms length.What allows these New Tribes to develop and flourish is partly the breakdown of national societal norms, and the rise of wide bandwidth communications between tribalists. Yeah, the computer is part of it, as is the homemade 'zine and the DIY music cassette and CD. All of these have taken the place of the communal sweatlodge or the longhouse as a means for bonding the tribe members together.Coupled with the easy access to world culture via cable TV, video and music, ethnicity is no longer a Big Deal. Who you ARE is the thing, not where your great grandparents came from or went to.And like all primates and most higher mammals, we prefer to hang with those like us and look with some suspicion on those who are Not Like Us.In fact, we like it so much, that households are often formed around a single aspect of our Tribes. Hackers, ham radio, punk music, crossdressing, heavy drug abuse, role playing games and anything else that interests people these days.Some households actually occupy a real house, some don't even occupy the same continent, let alone the same city, yet a member of a household is welcomed into whatever structure another member is occupying at the time. Granted, you may have to doss down on a piece of foam rubber in a corner of a room, but hey, no problem, it is, after all, your house.The Internet allows for households, or houses for short, to spring up and to allow far flung members of a house or tribe to keep in close touch with other members of his tribe. The same personal computer, balanced on a milk crate by the side of a cheap futon also churns out 'zines and is the MIDI driver for making music, and is the animation stand for making movies. Think of it as a multimedia Swiss Army Knife. Many of the New Tribes have an artistic bent, if not an overwhelming urge to create art, music, literature, something, anything to put a dent in the universe, to express themselves. The computer, the 'zine, the 4-track cassette deck, the camcorder, the potters wheel, the rubber stamp, the spray paint can, pirate radio, wall posters, all are part of the totem poles and cave paintings of the New Tribes.To an extent, 'zines are also a way for keeping a tribe informed about tribal doings. (and I am NOT going to attempt to describe 'zine[...]



Edward Kennedy

2009-08-29T13:38:19.653-05:00

He's being laid to rest at Arlington today.

The Commonwealth has lost a great legislator and a good friend.



Mac OS X

2009-08-27T12:02:06.910-05:00

(image)

Time Machine FTW!

Time Machine just saved me a few hours or so of re-downloading an old public domain movie from Archive.org.

I inadvertently trashed the folder the film was in, and then emptied the trash.

"Ah, bugger. Oh, wait. Right. Time Machine!"

Opened Time Machine, went back a few hours, and there was the file. Select. Restore. Done.



Not dead yet

2009-08-16T12:22:05.457-05:00

The G4 died, 6 weeks later, I have (thanks to the generosity of friends) a "new" Mac. a dual processor G5.

So, just had some fun with it. I changed out the Nvidia video card for the Radeon 9600 Pro video card in the G4. I also installed the old Sonnet USB/FireWire PCI card I had in the G4.

Now, the video card has its own slot at the bottom of the stack of slots. The card also has a metal shield that was dangerously close to some solder joints on the underside of the USB/FireWire card.

I slapped some duct tape over the solder joints, trimmed off the excess and installed the card.

(Yes, I could have installed the Sonnet card in another slot. I still would have had a slot I couldn't use, due to the potential of a short between the video card and whatever card was installed in the neighboring slot.)

REBOOT!

Startup chime and then... nothing. Crap! Change out the card for the Nvidia. Reboot. Chime. Nothing. Hell! I KNOW I observed all safety precautions.

OK, work the problem. The computer booted WITH the Nvidia card. What changed? Aha! The USB/FireWire card. Pull the card. Reboot. Chime and boot to desktop.

As I'm setting the Sonnet card aside, I noticed that some of the tape is covering some contacts on the other side of the edge connector. The side I never looked at when I was trimming the tape.

Oooops!

Trimmed that little bit of tape. Installed the card. Reboot to desktop.

AHA! Install Radeon card. Reboot to desktop. USB/FireWire card works. Video card works. Heart starts working.

Really, I am getting too old for this sort of thing.



It Just Won't Stay Dead!

2009-06-11T00:10:31.199-05:00

2010. Comedy Central.

26 NEW Futurama episodes.

"Hey, Cancellation! Bite My Shiny Metal Ass!"

(image)



Speaking of pathetic weenies.

2009-06-05T02:23:36.224-05:00

One of the stupidest trolls on the Internet has decided to post some comments on this mediocre little weblog of mine. It showed up on the Eschaton blog a few years ago, and immediately began a campaign of vulgar and obscene postings.

I discovered how to get under its skin, to the point where it was begging me to lay off.

Of course, if it had come to Eschaton, seeking a reasonable discussion, couched in civilized language, it would have been welcomed, despite its political leanings.

But no, it decided to be a pest. As ye sow, so shall ye reap!

I shall leave its pathetic little comments on my mediocre little blog, as they amuse me. Its cries of impotent outrage are as the very music of the Angels unto my ears, and I drink deep of its tears!

Texaschilibean: Stumpbroke & Steercotted, say "hi" to your mother, sister and older brother for me, OK?



Go for it, guys and gal!

2009-06-05T01:40:32.153-05:00

(image)

So, some pathetic weenies have complained about this ad campaign With Sally Ride, "Buzz" Aldrin and Jim Lovell.

All you pathetic weenies, listen up!

Your negative comments are understandable.

You realize that you will never be as cool and as competent as those three people in that image.

You will never do anything with your lives even 1% as amazing & exciting & history making as those three people.

You go to work, and the worst that happens is the office coffee sucks.

Jim Lovell went to work one day and made death in space his very own personal little bitch.

Ed Aldrin went to work one day, and discovered that his ride home was broken. The LM was incapable of lifting off from the Moon. A critical circuit breaker was munged.

So, in true MIT Ph.D fashion, he hacked that LM circuit breaker...

With. A. Ballpoint. Pen.

So, what did YOU do at work today?

Sally Ride, oh yeah! The Shuttle has so many critical points of unrecoverable fatal to the crew failure that Chinese bottle rockets have a better safety record.

She has more balls than a Jeff Stryker movie.

I was three miles from a Shuttle launch, STS-4. The exhaust from the SRBs, if the wind changed, well, we were told to get under shelter ASAP. You don't want to be exposed to the exhaust of the SRBs. Not at all.

Just watching a Shuttle launch from the press site can be dangerous. There's 14 names on the Wall at KSC that are testimony that the Shuttle can kill you in horrible ways.

If Ride, Aldrin and Lovell can make a little coin by being in the same picture with some LUGGAGE, what the hell does it say about them, their history and their iconic status that Louis Vuitton is paying them a bundle to be in the same picture with some LUGGAGE?

You pathetic weenies WISH someone would pay you that kind of money, just because of who you are and what you accomplished in your life.

Louis Vuitton wants a little of their fame and status to rub off on its luggage.

Can't say I blame them for wanting that.



Bob Ruzzo

2009-05-03T00:27:06.112-05:00

I've known this guy for YEARS!

Artist, musician, all around creative fellow.

This is his music website. Really, you should go there and listen to some of his music.

And if he'd get off his duff and start selling his CDs online already...



Wild Turkeys

2009-04-06T19:28:37.229-05:00

(image)

Seen around 5:30 PM, April 5th, 2009, at the beginning of the Neponset River pedestrian trail near the Central Avenue MBTA trolley stop in Milton, MA.



Hey, Glen Beck, try THESE principles!

2009-03-16T18:43:05.345-05:00

"The principles by which Buckaroo Banzai, M.D., Ph.D lives are known as the Five Stresses, the Four Beauties and the Three Loves. Things to be stressed are decorum, courtesy, public health, discipline and morals. The Four Beauties are the beauties of mind, language, behavior and environment. The Three Loves are love of others, love of justice and love of freedom."

Dr. Banzai can AND HAS kicked Chuck Norris' butt on several occasions.



The 'Impact' rally in Boston.

2008-11-17T01:19:18.598-05:00

I was there, along with over 2000 of my closest friends.

Helped some sweet dykes get their rainbow flag hoisted. (Lovely women, but couldn't tie a knot to save their lives!) took a bunch of pictures.

This is my favorite:
(image)

To see things like this, fills me with hope and optimism. Seeing these two older, distinguished gentlemen, having a conversation with a teenaged Asian girl, speaks so much about what we can be as a society and have become as a society. That these people, who some would think were separated by the gulfs of race and age were engaged in a conversation, the one, learning from and about her elders, the other two, encouraged and energized by this child.

Yes. This IS what hope looks like, what it feels like.



November 15th. 1:30 PM. Boston. City Hall Plaza.

2008-11-15T10:42:58.268-05:00

Protest against Prop 8 in California. Rally for full equality for citizens.

Both the Massachusetts and U.S. Constitutions guarantee all citizens the full and equal protection of and under the law.

I'm straight. I support marriage equality.

I'll be there.

(edit) crossposting my comment from the Facebook Boston Rally page:

"These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph."



Thomas Paine, The Crisis -- December 1776

Have fun at your "riding lessons and 'American Girl stuff", your "plays", your "other plans".

Sorry that you won't be there in Boston because of the icky rain. Wouldn't want you to be the least bit uncomfortable.

I'm 56 years old. I am badly afflicted with arthritis. Standing in the cold and the rain will hurt like HELL for me. I'm also straight. But I'll BE THERE for my gay brothers and sisters. No matter what.

I can't really say that I'll miss seeing you 'sunshine soldiers' there.



If you look long enough, you can find anything on the Internet.

2008-11-10T06:30:23.067-05:00

For example:
Bertrand R. Brinley's 'Rocket Manual For Amateurs'. Published in 1960, it has long been something of the Holy Grail for modern amateur rocketeers.

Chock full of technical details, design specs, and rocket fuel recipes. And that's the reason why it's been out of print for decades.

Rocket Fuel. There are some seriously dangerous formulas in this book. You could easily kill yourself if you did something stupid.

And of course, in this post 9/11, "BE AFRAID!" day and age, as well as the irrational fear of anything that might possibly hurt someone, no one is going to take on the potential liability for republishing this book.

However, getting back to the subject of this posting.

The book is on the Net as a PDF scan of the pages. I just downloaded it myself. Not that I'm planning to brew up rocket fuel in my apartment or launch rockets from the roof of the building.

No, I downloaded it because I'm now one more person that has the PDF, making it just slightly more difficult for this book to be lost and forgotten.

While I'd love to have a genuine hardcopy of the book, the cheapest version I have seen recently was US$50.00 via eBay. Maybe someday I'll be able to spend that kind of money on a 40+ year old paperback book.

Oh, the URL?

Sure. Here you go: http://www.filestube.com/1144a11ae0e8381203ea/details.html

You'll have to download three seperate files, though, via Rapidshare, which will take you about 45 minutes to get all of them, and then use some manner of file decompression utility to expand the .rar files.

Oh, and then there's the matter of the file password.

It's Brinley.

DISCLAIMER!!! I am not responsible for ANYTHING that YOU DO with this book. Don't be stupid! If you have a "Here, hold my beer" moment and wind up getting a Darwin Award, that's not MY FAULT. No way, no how.

Got that? Good.



Ain't that America!

2008-11-06T18:56:04.730-05:00

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Has it been that long?

2008-09-30T23:32:18.726-05:00

Apparently so.

Save for two trips to NYC, multiple X-Rays and MRIs of my right shoulder, plucking a very nice Macintosh Beige G3 Desktop (with Sonnet 500 Mhz G4 drop in CPU installed) off a Cambridge street corner, said Mac to become my graphics workstation, avoiding early jury service AGAIN, and emailing my Congressman and both Senators, as well as sending actual papermail to their offices, concerning the Wall Street Meltdown and potential bailout, there's not been much writing about.

So, here's the "new" computer:

(image)
Yes, that is the "My Life as a Teenage Robot" logo. Gotta love a cartoon where the aforementioned Teenage Robot says things like, "Thank Jobs!" (as in Steve Jobs)

Time for my nighttime pills.

"And so to bed!"



If it wasn't for Alan, you wouldn't be reading this!

2008-09-30T23:01:12.185-05:00

(image)
ALAN MATHISON TURING
23 June, 1912 - 7 June, 1954


Simply put, Turing is the father of the digital computer.



Dumb Little Thug

2008-06-24T09:07:56.492-05:00

(object) (embed)

The person holding the camera is myself.

The older gentleman is homeless and lives in his car in the parking lot of a supermarket.

The dumb little thug was arrested shortly after he fled from the scene. He plead guilty last week, thanks to the video evidence.

18 months supervised probation, on top of his current probation (I said he was dumb!) and random drug and alcohol testing.

When you're out thugging, if someone is videoing you, you don't look right at the camera and make threats, make threatening gestures, throw stuff and otherwise MAKE IT WORSE FOR YOURSELF!

You run like hell AWAY from the camera.



Well, THERE'S your problem!

2008-06-11T21:26:53.794-05:00

(image)

A little parking problem on Alpine Street, just around the corner.






What we can do if we try.

2008-05-27T01:37:02.176-05:00

(image)
The Phoenix Lander and Parachute, photographed as it descends to Mars.

Article here.

Phil Plait says it better than I ever could:
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Humanity can do whatever we can imagine. We have only but to decide to do it.