Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My light cone

The speed of light produces some very interesting consequences. One of these is the concept of a "light cone" the sphere of causality bounded by how far light will travel from a given point in time.
This website Will allow one to enter a date (preferably a birth date) and obtain details of the cosmos within the light cone from that date.
I'm not gonna list all the stuff in my light cone, but here's the most recent elements:

Coming: Rho Cancri (3 months away)

Rho Cancri is 40.9 light years away and only 3 months from the outer surface of your light cone - your ever-growing sphere of potential causality - which began its expansion from Earth on Guy's birthday.
80. 85 Pegasi

85 Pegasi is 40.5 light years from Earth. It was enveloped by your light cone 2 months ago.
79. Beta Trianguli Australis

Beta Trianguli Australis is 40.1 light years away.
78. HR1925

HR1925 is 39.9 light years away.

Some of that stuff gives me weird "astrology" vibes.

Another frozen night

A lot of us around here have been noticing that this is the longest our yards have remained frozen in recent memory. The snow which fell over two weeks ago is mostly gone from our fields but up the hill here amongst the orchard and between the barns several inches of white stuff remains. I say white stuff because I don't think it is snow anymore although much of it is just as fluffy. On the darkside of one of our metal storage buildings the ice crystals have grown into huge almost feathery proportions.

This is a mixed bag, good for the apples and other dormant fruit but quite difficult on the long list of work which is backing up behind the frozen ground, so to speak. Even the big fields are frozen at night and turn into smooshy mud slicks during the day as the ice crystals which heaved the soil melt away and leave something with a totally glue like consistency.

The weather is supposed to mellow this weekend so dad and I are preparing ourselves mentally for the onslaught.

Hope everyone out there is having a great time.

Farberware scissors suck

Fellow buyers beware!
Dad bought mom a 4 pack set of farberware scissors for Christmas at Fred Meyer's and mom just finally got around to breaking them out to use on some stitching she was doing. Out of the four only the tiniest pair was worth a darn. The other 3 were useless, the largest shear type being unable to even cut denim.

This is part of a disconcerting trend that has become evident since many American manufacturers began moving their production over seas. It is especially noticeable with products originating in China. Chinese factories will regularly make products which look nearly identical to an American made product but which completely fail to perform the task for which the device or product was intended. These items then displace locally made items from the shelves of our stores due to the larger profit margin that the store can make from them. The end result is we throw away money for a product which has no value what-so-ever regardless of how cheap it is.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still a little messy

Need to spend a little more time zip-tying all the cables together but this new desk is pretty rock'n. Gonna enjoy doing all my computer stuff from this new vantage.

The Guy is back online

Hi Everybody!

Dad and I finally finished the clean-up/remodel and desk build for my computer room. I'll get you a pic a little later today. It feels like being on the deck of the starship Enterprise ( Lqtm ) Will take a little while to get used to but I like it. A very nice Christmas gift from mom and dad.

Well, gotta go out and do some stuff while the sun is out.
Have a lovely day.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My kinda pie

Thanks Rae Ann for virusing me with this amusing concept, one of many reasons I enjoy your blog, for the mental infections I might get.

Guy is Apple Pie

You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional
Those who like you crave security

I'm still mostly offline for a couple more days while working on the room, be patient.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bloggish interruption

I'm embarking on a project to repaint and generally remodel the room I do my computer work in so I'll be offline for about 2-3 days as I disassemble, renew and reassemble my working space.

Hope everyone out there has a super fine time while I'm gone.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bloggers Beware

To all people who blog on American soil:
Our new democrat controlled congress is adding to the march of tyranny by attempting to remove some of your first amendment rights. Buried deep in 9000 word bill before congress right now is a provision which will criminalize certain blogging activities. Claims have been made that the provision is tightly restricted to only one tiny class of bloggers but if you look into it the wording is quite vague and could apply to many people who blog regardless of political affiliation or income (although the specifications do seem slanted against more successful bloggers)

By some measures of this bill, my encouraging you to contact your congressman to help prevent this becoming law would be construed as committing a crime. But since it isn't in place yet, for heavens sake, contact your congressman or woman and get section 220 of this bill struck down.

No member of our blogging community should be silenced, regardless of their income our political bent.

More details available here

melting snow, busy work

The recent storm reset a whole bunch of our projects and set us all off on tangents. Dad has been winnowing onion seed today, managed about 120$ worth already and I've been rummaging through piles of old tasks that got sidetracked when the weather was better. Getting ready to remodel part of the basement and etc. Snow weather is great for inside clean-up. We've also started on the second round of seeding and sprouting for when we get the greenhouse up. Even started some tomato seeds, how's that for ambitious?

Just got through feeding mom's birds. Boy have they been busy. The thousands of tiny bird tracks in the snow look like some incredible book of unknown origin. If only I could decipher it what wisdom might I find?

Wishing you a fine day and warm toes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snowy day

Just some pics. Snow lane, Sparky chasing a ball in the snow and Dad knocking some snow off the roof of the barn.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cold, good work day

Pruned grapes, cut firewood, did some clean-up and lots of other trivial stuff. Tired now.

early to bed, early to rise, yada yada ....

Hope everyone is doing well, being well and thinking well.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

21 degrees F

Another lovely morning in the Pacific Northwest. The air so chill it makes me thirsty. The sky a livid blue like some otherworldly influence. The ground frozen so hard it is dry and not even slippery on the icy patches. The frost has grown enormous in the night air, like living things from the dark and ancient past returning to haunt the world of today.

And there are even some icicles, first time I've seen those around here in about 8 years:

Hope this day treats you to something just as beautiful.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

17 degrees F this morning

Huge crystals of hoar-frost grew on the snow remaining from the night before last. It looked really cool but my rotten HP digital camera wouldn't capture a good image of them, sorry.

Dad has a roaring fire going in the basement stove so the big house is really comfy. My loft in the barn is being kept a tolerable temp but I hate to think of the electric bill.

Gonna get crazy and go out there to prune some grapes shortly. It has reached about 27 degrees now and I'll be wearing a load of layers so it shouldn't be too bad.

Wishing you a safe and comfy day.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hooray for China!

According to this article at physics news China's blogging population reached 20.8 million in 2006. Still a pittance of their 1 billion plus population but a heck of a good start. So glad to have all you wonderful people join us in the blogosphere.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shout out

Just checking my stats. A big Boo-Rah! to Netanya in Hamerkaz. Thanks for stopping by.

Good day of chores

Had a fine day beneath the hanging bed sheet of fog today. Never once saw the top of the mountain but temperatures were cool to moderate and I managed to get some stuff done. Sawed some branches off the yellow delicious apple trees, cut blackberries and pruned grapes in the vineyard. Mom was in town with a couple of routine doctor's appointments so I did the dishes and made supper for her. Dad was driving because of her cataract (the second appointment of the day was pre-op for that ) so I pretty much had the farm to myself. Peaceful.

Spent a little time putting together the components for another experiment. Combining biofeedback with the quantum entanglement of electrons and coherent photons. Should have everything assembled in a couple days. If you haven't read Rudy Rucker's "Master of Space and Time" give yourself a couple good chuckles and a brain cramp if you can get it at the library.

Off to flick through the channels a couple times and then to bed. Have you noticed how totally sucky with advertising TV is getting? I'm thinking seriously of building my own TiVo. Now that multi-gigabyte hard drives are cheap it shouldn't be too difficult. I even saw that a Terabyte drive will be out shortly for less than 400$ what a deal.

Wishing you a warm, dry place to sleep, a full belly, freedom, and peace.

911 mysteries

Couldn't sleep last night so I sat up and watched a show called "911 mysteries" which was on one of the public broadcasting channels. I kept an open mind and watched attentively as a whole string of facts and conclusions were laid out for me. When it was over my eyes were really opened.

Opened to how easy it is to employ the same propaganda methods used by Hitler and Stalin. I was reminded again of all the advertising coercion techniques I've read about and the memetic control methods such as cognitive dissonance which play upon how our perceptions are formed.

911 mysteries was definitely just such a piece of propaganda. Numerous statements are presented as "facts" without anything to back them up. Fact: cats can fly. Yeah, if you put them in a catapult first. The most egregious bit of visual programming was when they showed a number of steel columns cut at a diagonal and claimed that the picture was from moments after the collapse of the WTC. According to the filmmakers this was evidence of the use of explosives. Anyone familiar with steel working could tell that those beams had been cut by oxyacetylene torches and left to stand in open air for weeks. I guess when it comes to getting out the "truth" the ends justify the means, especially if it means lying. And that is just one example, I might have let it slide if the entire thing hadn't been put together in exactly the same fashion.

The only mystery behind "911 mysteries" is why the people who made this pointless fabrication aren't laughed off the face of the earth. 911 mysteries is a poorly executed attempt at insulting our intelligence and besmirching the good name of serious workers by grand standing attention hogs who's only excuse is utter and contemptible ignorance. The funniest part to me was the last few frames wherein the makers encourage everyone to "question authority" and not to be afraid as we all find our way through "The Keyhole of 911" Alright, I question the authority of the makers of 911 mysteries; they should all get a job at McDonald's or Wal-Mart instead of faking documentaries.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I can see clearly now

The rain is gone. All obstacles seemed to just disappear. Or something like that.

It is a wonderful out there right now. The sky has cleared to a deep almost azure color and the clouds make a counterpoint of cheerful free whiteness caressing the mountain tops and dancing in a gentle winter breeze. It's a Sunday and I'm not even going to recriminate my own laziness. Just too damned nice of a day.

Wishing you all the same ten times more.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cheap electricity from lightning?

Was reading some articles at my favorite open-access science website, IOP new journal of physics when I came across this fascinating bit of thinking. These gentleman from malaysia have an idea for triggering lightning using ultra short laser pulses. And as if that weren't cool enough they also have a proposal for capturing and storing some of the electrical power present in the lightning stroke.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Weird dreams, poor nights

Lost about 2 hours of sleep last night because the weird dreams wouldn't leave me alone. For only the second time I can recall I saw fire in my dreams. This is very odd because it has only happened in the last couple of weeks. This time it was quite spooky because the fire was threatening to engulf the kitchen. Last time it was just a tiny spot on the carpet easily stamped out. Sat up watching "Adult Swim" on the cartoon network and flipping channels rather than tolerate that crap.

Many other odd and eclectic dreams filtered through my mind last night only a few seemed connected to anything that would actually come from my own experience. Many were laced with what I label as "outside influences" whatever those are. Most of these occurred once I went back to sleep.

Today I'll mostly be pruning and cleaning up. It is cold and windy outside, 32F and much colder with the wind chill factor. The mountains around the farm are masked by fog but snow can be seen everywhere just a few hundred feet above us.

Hope your day is restful and free of worry.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Strange Dreams

Had a pretty good night's sleep but was quite haunted the last few hours by peculiar imagery in my dreams.
First I was working in a metal recovery/recycle plant cutting up large metal pipes, 8-12 inch diameters, which seemed to weigh nothing at all. Then I saw my old friend Tom Scott a couple of times though for some weird reason he was calling himself Tom Paul. Spent a good bit of the dream wandering in steep, hilly woods and over streams with moss damp boulders. Got in my car and zoomed around roads that were similar to but quite distinct from the local roads I travel here in southern Oregon. Firs and pines with lichen covered branches dominated the terrain and in flat places small houses squatted like little bear dens. Then Tom buzzed up besides me on a scooter and handed me a slip of paper that had all sorts of words and numbers on it. They were coordinates he told me after I pulled over and turned around to catch him.

There was more, all obscured now by memory and oppressive weirdness. I used to lucid dream quite a bit but since I gave up trying to consciously influence the course of my dreams much of that skill has faded. I found that waking awareness would always intrude on the eventualities of my dreams when I tried to control them. It is quite tricky to strike a balance between volition and creativity.

Off to have breakfast with a friend now. Hope you all have a delightful day exercising your freedoms.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Strange day

Just got through watering the cabbage and lettuce in the sprouting room. So nice and warm in there but a little close on a rainy day like this. The wind came up earlier and set motion across the terrain but now things have calmed a bit.

Spent a good bit of today cleaning up in the barn. Found an old box of personal papers and etc. from way back in like 1994 or so. Found digging through that more taxing than any of the other work I had to do today. Some old letters from my friends Scott and Steve and some of my musings from back then including a partially finished novel. Might turn that into another blog thread, better than just throwing it on the burn pile. The letters were easy enough to dispose of, they had no content of historic significance. But to reflect upon the writings of an earlier me was a bit like getting hit in the head, without the pain.

We're starting to get the seed orders ready and make our plans for this upcoming year. Dad and I will be hauling equipment over to Bro's shop for repair and rebuild. Especially the corn seeder and mound maker/plastic mulch layer. I'll have a chance to do some more welding. Very meditative work that. The plastic mulch layer is just being repaired but the seeder is in need of a new fertilizer attachment and that will be a challenge to fabricate.

Wishing you a peaceful, rainy day like the one I had.

Happy Perihelion

Our closest approach to the sun for this year. 3% closer than at aphelion in July. Whooped dee-doo!!

You sure can't tell here, it's pouring down rain. Already over half an inch has fallen since last night. Wish a few percent of this had gone off to Australia instead, they could use it more than us.

Hope you all enjoy the extra solar influence.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

Happy New Year my good fellows!

Had a lovely nights sleep after dwindling the evening away until midnight. Many of our amusing redneck neighbors fired guns into the air; to scare away the evil spirit I suppose. Just glad none of the bullets came down on my barn.

The land and sky had a strange, almost ethereal or spooky appearance this morning. Cold, frozen, motionless. Nary a car on the freeway. A falling leaf was all I heard as I scurried into the warm central house to have my coffee.

A new year is laid out before us. Let us all hope and pray and work to make it a great one.