-thoughts and ideas

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well this is four days late, but still, hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving day. We enjoyed a nice day at the park with our dog, enjoyed a nice meal, and of course watched some football and relaxed the evening away.

I've been reading Herodotus' History. It's a take from Greek/non-Greek view-points. I find it interesting to learn about a viewpoint from about 2000 years ago and make connections to things and happenings today. Certain "style at the time" attributes seem carry themselves and transcend through time.

Similar stories would be Homer's Iliad & Odyssey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hostility a-plenty

I haven't blogged much lately. Every time I decide to put something down it gets inundated by my seething hostility for just about anything. I think it may have something to do with my genetic method that I apply haphazardly. Oh well. Will just have to stick to random thoughts I guess. Random, but filtered for crap. Wait, that's stupid.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

non-fossil fuel fuels

Another quick thought:

Are fossil fuels really the most overall effective fuels. I'm talking about total cost of production and implementation and also return on investment.

The good people at www.journeytoforever.org give good evidence and research for looking into alts.

Bio-Diesel will be a big player in the near future. That is to say an even bigger player. (Most farm diesel has some percentage of it as bio)


Unicameral like Nebraska

A quick thought:

Why don't we have a Federal non-partisan unicameral congress, or even one of the legislative houses for that matter.

I was watching something on the History Channel and it mentioned that Nebraska has made this their way for legislature. Seems like a better way to handle it.


Monday, October 22, 2007

FSU v. Miami

Whatta bummer of a game. Pre-game antics were wonderful. Homage to the DEVICE!

Jackplane Ranch, WY

I went hunting with a few friends out in Wyoming a couple weeks ago courtesy of the Jack-plane Ranch. Beautiful country, almost in a desolate, uber-western way. Rough hills pour over the entire scenery when your standing in that property. I shot and killed a young buck. The other two guys shot a buck each. Great hunt and many thanks to Rick for the opportunity and guide.

We traveled around the area taking in what the Big Horn mountains and the town of Buffalo could offer. (Maybe I'll post some pics)

If you're an outdoorsman and headed that way, I definitely suggest skipping Cabela's and take your business down to the Sportslure. They were able to offer quality advice, knowledge of product, and courteous service. I plan on going back there again.

Journal of a crapper

I don't remember if I've said it before. (I don't read my own blog) But this has turned into more of a "Journal of a Crapper" than I thought it would get to be.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

facts, opinions

Isn't it funny how the same facts can cause different opinions, but the same opinions can come from very different facts. Funny...eh!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Black Swan by Taleb

After reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb's latest book "The Black Swan: Impact of the Highly Improbable" I believe I'd like to read it again, at least parts of it. (large parts) At this point all I've gotten from it is that certain events happen, not necessarily for no reason, but the they are generally unpredictable. That leads into the whole Extremistan/Mediocristan thing, which is an interesting description of our worldly situation.

Anyway I'll be giving it another read. If you haven't read of it or heard of it even, I suggest checking it out.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Why are so many things crap?

Have you ever worked on a project, gotten to a point where there are several different methods or ways to get a smaller part of the overall project done, and due to some time constraint or social-tick just half-assed it. Keep in mind it's just a minor detail...or is it. Minor detail...needn't worry about it?! I wonder if that crossed the minds of the O-ring designers, or the installers, that helped blow up the Challenger shuttle, or countless other half-asseries in design. I may be out of line on the Challenger reference, but not too far out. Still it could possibly offend someone, or it could be misconstrued on my part. But at this time I don't care. Not even a little.

Is the world we live in now really the product and summation of our best design? Really, like my '06 1/4 ton truck that only gets 25 mpg when you drive it NOT like most drivers. Bunch of crap, rubbish. I can't stand poor design. Worse yet is good or decent design that gets halted and then gains on the crap-o-meter as time advances.

Not that the internal combustion engine (especially the one in my truck) is junk, or that "in and of itself" is a poor design. It's actually a terrific design, marvelous for what it is. But to power my transportation, nope. I'm calling that poor at best...nowadays anyway. I didn't live 80-90 years ago, but for what I've been told, the whole world was affected by the producing of 1000s of vehicles in just a few months (or so). And when the railroad unions opened the doors to over-the-road trucking, the whole thing exploded to what it is today. But is it really that way? I don't know and other than entertaining thoughts I don't care, as long as we can do better.

note: I loved Homer Simpson's line in an episode where he tells Bart "...you don't quit. You just go in everyday and do it really half-assed. It's the American way." I smile big when I think about that, mostly because it should be a parody, and hopefully it stays that.

What a bugger

I'd like to start giving this blog some direction and regularity soon. It's an odd thing, I never really wanted to start a weblog/personal website. I wanted to have had one going for a while. Maybe just a few months, or even several years would've been neat to. That's a good indication where I've been in my life lately. I find a tremendous amount of difficulty with starting almost anything at all, after the honeymoon of the announcement that is. I've been all too good at announcing what I'm going to do and what I should've been doing that, even though I've been keenly aware of it, I'd trained myself to "give-up" before actually trying. What a bugger that's been.

And all of that is not some announcement that "from this time forth...blagga blagga bleh...blagga blagga." I may still be though-infected by it and may go on in spite of it's processes. Oh well.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Black Swans and Bridge Collapse

Though I never lived in Minneapolis for more than a few days at a time, I had motored across the I-35 bridge many-a-time. I heard about the collapse via cell phone call whilst traveling on the Florida turnpike. We stopped in a travel plaza and watched on the television mounted in the ceiling corner of a Burger King the "news" coverage of the event. Quite a fright to be there, or as was my case, to have family and friends, as I eventually found out, very close to it. Over a thousand miles away it made me anxious as we continued to drive. Graciously all phone calls were returned and the first priority was vested- knowing they're okay.

A friend of mine, also Minnesotan by birth and primary education, posted something profound about the cause:

...on the cause of the bridge collapse, I think they'll determine it was a cascading failure and not a singular reason...this is a so-called black swan, an event no one would have expected.
I believe he's been reading "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Excellent work, both of you. I highly recommend the read. In fact here you go: to buy it; to wiki it; to drink it.

The Economist

Well, it's been longer than I thought I wanted it to be since the last time I managed to log-in to my account and type away something recent. Anyway,

The beer turned out great. Excellent reception and review from those who were, as it seems, fortunate to get a bottle or two. 5 gallons produced about 52 12 oz bottles. 52 times 12 is < 5 gallons, but there ends up being some waste involved. Oh well, now it's time for refinement of the process. If you're interested in a sample, email me. (No, I'm not publishing my email. So it's still an exclusive club...we meet Wednesdays.)

I've been reading The Economist (online, RSS of the "Full print edition") and found it to be pretty on the level. I suppose that depends on your point-of-view, but hard to argue that it's not well written. To check it out: The Economist

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What Next for Hackers

Seems to me hackers, also known as "those who tinker", have generally been the fore-runners of the great technological breakthroughs, advances, and what not. I'm sure the inventor of the wheel was just tinkering with a stone or log or something. People played with fire and now we've got pyro-technics.

The term, hacking, has been fixed to computers and programming now so firmly that I think people automatically think computer geek when they hear that word. But whatever, people who tinker with anything over time are hackers.

The PC has been here a pretty long while now and the internet is past it's fledgling phase. It's easy to see where the industry has been for the last 20 years, but I wonder if it can be any indication for where it may be going? I recently re-lit the idea of what can be next in the way of technological breakthrough. Would we even know it if it was upon us right now, just not getting any play on the adverts?

Monday, June 18, 2007

yet another month

I don't mean for this to be a "monthly" thing, but then again it seems I'm "making" it a monthly thing.

The beer is good. Delicious, nutritious, frothy good. Turned out to be kind of a cross between a "Brown Ale" and a "Killian's Red". Good stuff. The rest of the notes will be up soon...before next month...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Brewing Beer

I brewed the wort (pronouced "wert") today and transfered it to the first stage fermenter. I bought the brewing kit from Beer & Wine Hobby via their website at www.beer-wine.com (nice website by the way)

I bought the ingredients back on April 17th, but due to an already strained schedule, brewing was put off until today (May 20th). But like the mantra says "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew." (however since not having brewed any "homebrew" I opted for a deliciously wunderbar Sam Adams Light) Oh man, that Samuel Adams is great stuff, absolutely. Anyway I'm attempting to make something that'll eventually be in the wunderbar category.

Here's what I did to get this far:
  1. Decided on whether or not to buy the "Kit" or assemble my own brewing station. (I decided on a kit due to time constraints of being a busy minded person and not wanting to take the time to locate all the pieces separately. The kit also came with ingredients.)
  2. Ordered and received the kit & ingredients, checked everything out. Tried out the hydrometer, auto-siphon, and thermometer.
  3. Sanitized all equipment used. (Brew pot, ladel, spatula, thermometer, hydrometer, metal tongs, glass for pitch, fermenter & lid, fermentation lock, strainer, & prep/brew area.)
  4. Placed crystal malt into muslin bag (basically made a tea-bag) placed into pot with 1.5 gal of water and brought to boil; then removed heat and let steep for about 5 mins.
  5. Added malt extract, hops, water crystal (gypsum & mineral) and then brought back to boil, stirring often; once boiling heat reduce to make for a "gentle" boil for about 30 mins. (note: placing malt extract cans in warm water makes them run from the container more easily, also using a spatula gets all the malty goodness out. Just before you throw the container --taste a little bit of the malt. Interesting flavor.
  6. Added about 3 gal of cold water (I used 1 gal of ice, but that seemed to drop the temp to far) to fermenter; then via ladel added wort to fermenter. Also used a strainer and picked up the pot to pour after a manageable weight was left.
  7. Let wort cool to about 70 degrees Farenheit, then mix in the pitch by stirring vigorously, but don't spill. (the pitch is 12 grams of brewers' yeast added to 1/2 cup luke warm water and allowed to sit for 10 minutes)
  8. Take the hydrometer's container (sterilized) and fill about 3/4 full of pitched wort, take the specific gravity reading. (This is used to determine alcohol content as well as an indicator for the next stage of fermenting.) I read 1.042
  9. Place lid on fermenter and insert fermentation lock. Place fermenter away from disturbances and direct sunlight.
I did end up breaking the nice thermometer that came with the kit (during the sanitizing process). That caused for a bit of disappointment. Be careful when handling anything glass or any measuring device. ( the thermometer only dropped 2" as it slid out of it's container as I was placing it into the fermenting bucket filled with sanitized water. Surprised me!)

Now it's 3-4 days until it gets moved to a 5 gal glass carboy 2nd stage fermenter, and it's also time for more Samuel Adams. It'll be about 14-17 days before it's time for a Samuel Edwards.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Legal to lie

Did you know that, unless under oath, it's legal to lie. Blah blah blah, pretty neat huh?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One Month

Well, I haven't posted in over a month now. I suppose I should site the usually suspect of "not enough time" or "too busy", but really looking back over the past month there are spots where I'm sure I was not busy. And time has been pretty constant I guess.

I'm trying to move into a phase of condensing endeavors. I just returned this past weekend from a trip to my farmlands. Farming...it's a form of "nutsness" really. Not sure what direction it's going for us. Though I could never see myself living up there on a permanent basis. I could never be all that far away. Some of my best thoughts ever have come to me while being around the home-front. Some of the worst as well, but in retrospect much more good thoughts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Too much

I actually envy some of the people I can't stand. That is I at least go through the motions of envious behavior and thought. Horrible to think that though I may say it oughtta be this way when I feel so guilty if it isn't that way. I think I'll brush up on my French.


I'm all over the place. Too many thoughts, too out of time. Too much energy when I shouldn't have any. Not enough when I believe I really need it. Too easily manipulated to get rich quick, to get smart, to get help, to get back, to get anywhere. Huh...

Sunday, April 1, 2007


From the point of view of an ant the world undoubtedly looks different, but would it feel different also? An ant has the ability, poise, and confidence to "pick up" a droplet of water. Actually pick it up, really. For us it seems such an impossibility, at least without the help of tools or a long long long time practicing --no doubt some form of oriental mysticism. Anyway, so the ant can pick it up because it does not break the tension of the water with its "hands", straight outta the box, no practice (i don't know for sure, but I'd bet a few farms the ant'd do it before you.) I wonder about the other things on its level that must seem just as normal to the ant, but so far out of our reality. Like social tensions, biological tensions, things like that. Disney and Pixar easily corrupt the minds with all that human-ification in their movies, but I'm gonna bet again that it's something completely different. I wonder how much would really be similar?...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ten Minutes

Ten minutes, what could you get done in 10 minutes? That's enough time to write 3 pop hits! Well, theoretically anyway.


You know what I'd like to see on my desktop? ...all the info I deem relevant. Right there, in real-time (with a few exceptions) with the ability to modify on the fly. I can't stand the way typical computers are setup. They are to cumbersome and so many unnecessary things. more later...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ticks on Twain, Feynman

Sometimes it seems to me that people know what they want, but haven't the slightest idea of how to accomplish the task or tasks required to obtain that "what". There always seems to be some excuse for their current situation. Consistently using the words "if only...I would've...if I could go back... " and it remains most of the time in vain. The same people will look at a problem, knowing damn well they haven't a clue or even enough sense to actually recognize a clue, then furrow their brow in a futile attempt to convey they are trying to solve the problem. I wish they'd just admit that they don't know, then follow through with the not knowing by listening to the person who does. I wish I'd do that too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A sight for sore eyes

It wasn't more than two or three weeks ago now. I saw the ol' gal. That beauty of work and steel. She had a new paint job, rims, and oversized tires. She'd gone threw some hard times though. She's lookin' like an armed model now, but been threw a few lovers of late. Then there were the additives she'd been hooked on for so long, hell, damn near tore her valves up over that. She would've been left for dead out on that lonely highway. Good thing there was that wrecker. A good man, did her well. Wish I could say she reciprocated, but nah, that wouldn't be like her to do that. Something about her though left that ol' lift and tow in good spirits. She did have that quality. You know the one where you'd let her walk right up to you and put a bullet through your foot all the while wearing a smile that seemed to say "...just keep smilin' hun, you'll be fine."

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Singularity

Does a singularity really have any significance in and of itself? I'm not sure that it does.

Ginger Beer (ver 0.1)

I've always been enamored by the cook and the chemist. So I'm going to try it out for myself. My first attempt will be a very simple recipe from Giles Paterson, a software engineer, from Kingston on Thames, and he shan't hardly be bothered by anything else.


that's the link (posted without permission) (do you need permission?)

All Right, it's getting more and more exciting...all the time.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


There's definitely something flawed with the software industry. There's way too much ambiguity allowed by consumers. That's who actually designs the market, the consumers of market's product. And though, not entirely dependent of consumer "happiness", I think ultimately the patrons will decide on how a business will perform and subsequently how that market will thrive.

With software people have accepted a quality standard that is hardly a standard at all. There's hardly any assurance that the software you've purchased and installed and activated and any other contingencies before actual use, will accomplish the task. Anyway that's just an all to common gripe that I've heard when talking to "informed" individuals. I wonder if it's a "herd" mentality that keeps quality down...I don't know.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

from Mark Twain

"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions; one private , which we are afraid to express; and another one--the one we use--which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until the habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics. Look at the candidates whom we loathe one year, and are afraid to vote against the next; whom we cover with unimaginable filth one year, and fall down on the public platform and worship the next--and keep on doing it until the habitual shutting of our eyes to last year's evidences brings us presently to a sincere and stupid belief in this year's. Look at the tyranny of party--at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty--a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes--and which turns voters into chattels, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master."

from "The Character of Man",
Mark Twain's autobiography, Vol. II (January 23, 1906)

--just thought I'd share that...

cut from a letter

I'm actually going to be on the farm near the very end of April. I'm actually looking forward to it. It's another one of those things that I now know about myself that I didn't know then.

I'm looking at finishing my degree in either Computer Sci or possibly Physics. It's something I really regret putting off. Technically I'm not a drop-out since I do have my A.A.S. in Electronics, but it doesn't hold much weight. But that's not the reason I'm going back. I'm going back because I know now what I didn't know then. I'll just leave it at that.

More Feynman

I can tolerate fools. Definitely, in fact I can be quite entertained by the mere thought of one. I can even work with them. Ordinary fools that is. Now there's another kind that I don't fair well with and that's the Pompous fool. Ordinary fools are honest, but the pompous fool uses his efforts in a way to make himself illegitimately "superior" to those around him. In other words taking credit for other fools' hard foolish work.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I don't even have rabbit ears hooked up to my TV let alone cable, dish, or any other television broadcast medium (although we do have a VCR & a DVD player hooked up and will, thanks to our tv show enabler, watch taped episodes of "Lost" and fine movies in the mail from Blockbuster), though I still can't find the time to read as much as I'd like to. I don't know, I could very well just be making excuses. Anyway, I'm reading "Surely you're Joking, Mr. Feynman" isbn # 0-393-01921-7. If you're even remotely interested in physics or sciences, or just curious characters, then I highly recommend this book. I've also been checking out the audio books on his lectures on physics. I've been able to gain so much from my brief introduction to the guy's work in several different areas, it's just remarkable how it hits. Good stuff.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Trapping and Programming

There's so little in common with those two professions. I don't know why I pursue either. I've got so little to do with either of them. But still for some reason I find myself steeped in one or the other. Hunting and gathering my seem like a more viable option considering the climate in Florida, but air-conditioning makes the one seem like the other's not so bad after all.

Tom Waits' New Album

Check out Tom Waits' new one called "Orphans: Bawlers, Brawlers, and Bastards"

Wow talk about back porch music. It'd probably work all right on the front porch too. I might not try it in the car. Great stuff: raw, witty, dirty, city, country, 20th Century, fox and the hound dog kind of music, poetry, and prose.

Whatever it is, it's worth checking out. Give it a listen, give the whole thing a listen.

Kudos Blockbuster

I just recently returned from blockbuster with two movies in my hand. I did not pay for them. That's right, I walked up to the counter and laid my coupons down and walked right out. Of course after scanning my card and asking for my phone number...why do they always ask for my phone number? Anyway, we're subscribers to Blockbuster online. For the most part I let my girlfriend handle all that business since I'm really not up and up on the movies thing. Anyway I just got the gist of it the other day:
  1. Go to Blockbuster online
  2. Then you search for movies (they even had "Ghengis Blues")
  3. Then they mail them to you
  4. Watch them
  5. Return them via the US Postal Service.
Okay, that's wonderful, really it is. But I recently found out that there's an alternate option to #5. You can also just stop by your local Blockbuster store and use the sealed envelope to get another movie free! That's incredibly awesome! Why? Because Blockbuster stores are practically worthless if you're into foreign or non-pop movies. But online you have a great selection. Soooo, now
  1. Go online
  2. Get hard to finds
  3. Watch them and return to store
  4. Pick up "New Release" that you want to see
That's cool. Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Engineering versus Philosophy

I find myself being interested in too many things. I don't have enough time to devote to so many interests. At times I end up asking myself: "what the point of this particular interest is?" So often I find that I do actually know. I know that there isn't much point and I get frustrated, even angry at myself for all the time I seem to have wasted. It can be likened to a fishing lure. I see something shiny, or a single appealing attribute, and then next thing you know I'm hooked and begin the long struggle to avoid being "hauled in".