Monday, December 31, 2007

Open source media

The Viewer's Strike of 2008 is a pretty great idea. Throw in a transparent mesh network layer built around 802.11 or the public broadcast bands and there'd be no way the legacy system could reimpose its will on the people.

Happy 2008!

Wishing happiness to everyone, especially anyone reading here. May this new year bring us all enthusiasm, good will and well being.

Redneck hobbies

(Warning! not suitable for some non-redneck viewers) I laughed so hard I thought I was going to injure myself.

Going RSS

Been enjoying the Google Reader for compiling all my news, science and tech feeds so I got inspired and ran up the syndication code for my site (links under my profile)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another assault on (Un)reason

I'm on a roll tonight.

Uncle Al has a sermon about the seven deadly virtues. Ol' Ben Franklin would love this guy.

Enjoying wikipedia

Been following assorted trails from the mathematics portal and found my way into regions of belief and uncertainty. Found a new (to me...) definition which amused:

Ignosticism—the view that a coherent definition of God must be put forward before the question of the existence of God can meaningfully be discussed. If the chosen definition isn't coherent, the ignostic holds the noncognitivist view that the existence of God is meaningless or empirically untestable. It should be noted that A.J. Ayer, Theodore Drange, and other philosophers see both atheism and agnosticism as incompatible with ignosticism on the grounds that atheism and agnosticism accept "God exists" as a meaningful proposition which can be argued for or against. The ignostic would say, "I don't know what you're talking about when you refer to God. Unless we first figure that out, debates over whether god exists are meaningless."

I'm not saying that's my viewpoint, only that I found the definition amusing.

I encourage anyone who has the means to contribute to Wikipedia; in my opinion it may turn out to be one of the great endeavors of the human race.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dave Lindorff: The voice of the world farting

Excuse my crudeness!

The article "Global Warming Will Save America from the Right...Eventually" by Dave lindorff had me laughing so hard I just had to type it.

Every time I try to be open minded and consider all the points-of-view, someone like Lindorff comes along and spoils any chance of my listening objectively to liberals for at least a couple of days. This man is a typical slogan chanter, a sin to be found on both sides of the political aisle for sure. But you've got to wonder if this fella has ever had an independent thought. He's certainly never experienced objective skepticism.

The Will to Doubt, Mr. Lindorff, the will to doubt.

Snowy day

Kept myself busy with an oddment of assorted ephemera and chores today. Snow fell in flurries and blowing showers almost all day.

Mom and dad took down most of the holiday decorations today. Dad has been suffering from a bit of ear and sinus infection the last couple days, probably brought on by the cold and recent increase in candy consumption. His blood pressure has been running high this last week so the doc has him on some new BP medicine which seems to be taking hold now.

Gonna go have a cup of chicken soup now. Hope y'all are enjoying life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Doubly wireless blogging

Not really sure how this post is going to look when I'm done. I'm using my new wireless keyboard and mouse while routing the video output through my ol' tv set. Text is little and a little blurry. But it is really nice to kick back in a comfy position and be able to control this machine. If I ever get liquid I'll invest in a big screen tv that accepts 1024x760 resolution. Or maybe a projector. That will make writing code a smooth cool breeze.

It's snowing outside at the moment. Flurries been blowing through all day.

Hope you are all happy and well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

A fine, frozen Christmas morning here in Southern Oregon.

Gifts have been exchanged, much sated happiness abounds. I got a wireless keyboard and mouse. Will make computing more delightful. Also lots of clothes, some candy treats and other cool little tools and items. I gave mom one of those little indoor fountains and dad a new craftsman screw-gun, and of course other minor items.

Wishing all of you as fine a day or better.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Energy Victory

Been listening to Robert Zubrin on C-span. Wow! he's not the world's best public speaker, but he's sure got his ducks in a row when it comes to energy independence. Once more I'm ferociously pissed off at my government for not listening to someone like him. His website and book are here. If you can afford to buy, let me borrow it when you're done!

But seriously, listening to him one comes to realize really how easy it would be to solve a plethora of problems while also freeing America from its oil addiction.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Zubrin.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Evening contemplations

Train rumbling by in the night, sound the horn in darkness 'neath moonlit sky

Snow covered ridge so cold, so beautiful

Lights on the freeway moving, always moving

Silhouette trees dreaming in their winter slumber

Feral cat filching a snack in my barn

Christmas gifts that (desperately) need wrapping

Shadows silently reading

Congressional report

You gotta see this one...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Senate kicks global warming in the butt

Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming

Well, at least they (our representatives) aren't totally full of you-know-what

Lakota Seccession

I have mixed feeling about this but I'm so pissed-off at my so-called government right now that I've gotta tell the Lakota people "Rock on, you crazy aborigines!" I totally hope you kick DC's butt. DC isn't even representing those citizen that want to be part of their institution anymore.

Interestingly, this is parallel to one of the "ShadowRun" story lines (the books, not the games) I wonder if the authors knew about the '74 proceedings or if they just came up with this?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More political Cr^P from DC

The illustrious "More-ons" in Washington DC have done it again. Spending literally trillions on every foible, abuse and social corruption and now they've cut the R&D and science budgets (details at ScienceNow, the AAAS website)

If anyone had a doubt about our government belonging to OPEC and/or big oil, just check out the fact that they cut funding to the ITER project which WAS the world's most advanced fusion project and was slated to deliver loads of cheap electricity at some point in the next 50 years. No radioactive byproducts, no CO2 and no oil dependence, we gotta make sure that doesn't happen.

Any hope for MIT's proposed geothermal plants is pretty much toast.

We might not mind these cuts, if a matching amount of the pork had been cut from their budget or if the border fence had been left intact. Arrrrrgg!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Government Spending Transparency

Another FINALLY! moment.
The feds have finally started to comply with recent transparency legislation making it possible for us to see how they're wasting our money. Check it here.

On the Oregon page it is quite clearly visible to see when the feds stopped paying their taxes on the O&C railroad lands which they confiscated and will not return to our stewardship. From 2005 on there has been a precipitous drop in money coming to southern Oregon. They should either return those lands to us or pay what they promised.
Been digging around there a bit and can already see the pattern of obfuscation we have come to expect from our government. The database is difficult to access and search, browsing is all but impossible especially when done by category. Listings are limited to the first 500 of tens of thousands or all of them, no page-by-page display. Typical methods of keeping the public from using it. God forbid they issue an actual database interface so someone could use datamining on the set. How about allowing us to download the data as a spreadsheet, would that kill anyone?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What the heck?!

File this under "why the US congress has a 14% approval rating"

Rain peaceful

Just a light sprinkle going on right now, not enough to even switch the radar from "Clear air" mode.

The ground is wet and the sound of a running chainsaw fills the air. Should check and see if it is a burn day.

Soon will be leaving to weld, cut and machine.

Wishing you all a peaceful and rewarding day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Global Warming?


Spent most of yesterday working at Bro's shop on a forced-air heat extractor for our wood stove. Will make it much more efficient. Probably do the same today.

The turkeys are back, gleaning the apples from our numerous trees. Some of them have taken to flying up into the trees to get the apples hanging there. Guess they like to eat in peace. The turkeys are the only spots of color out there now; everything else is covered in frost. Thank god for global warming.

Hope y'all have a fine, comfy day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

cold and fog, frost and cloud

Fielder mountain is covered in frost and fog. A low lying cloud darkens the northern sky, casting Fielder in the image of dark fortress or frost giant realm.

Pruning apples as often and for as long as I can stand it. The air is about 33 in the shade. Out in the sun, the wind is up so I'd say out there it's about 20. Brrrr...

Been suffering through a light flu the last couple days. Low level nausea, sore swollen joints, intermittent fevers. The usual winter funk, actually quite mild compared to some I've had. Still icky feeling. Grateful for the mildness of it, considering the alternative.

Gotta go be useless. Hope y'all are doing well.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pray for Rae

Taking a few minutes after some clean-up in the north barn and I came across the comment from Rae-Ann telling me she had a burst appendix last week. Wow! what a bummer. Everybody send her a bundle of wellness and happy wishes. She said she's out of the hospital and slowly recovering but that is still a very heavy illness to suffer from so I'm sure a little well-wishing is appropriate.

Get well Rae.

Insomnia and mortgage crisis, part 2

Apparently I'm not working hard enough during the day to get a good nights sleep.

Cspan is reviewing some mortgage crisis hearings from Wednesday. I am still astonished by the situation that the mortgage industry is putting itself into. Facing imminent foreclosure catastrophe brought on by their own practices, that industry acts as if it is not composed entirely of human beings. Can you imagine sticking a thumb-tack into your arm and then saying "Ow!" and then sticking yourself again and again until you bleed to death? That's exactly what the mortgage industry is doing to itself.

No one is holding a gun to the head of these people saying "you better foreclose on these loans" or "you've gotta raise those interest rates or I'll blow your brains out!"

All these banks have to do is to act, well, human. Alter their loans to make it possible for people to continue to pay. Why do they need congress to hold their hands and walk them to the potty?

In the words of Brian Regan "I give up on this species...."

Friday, December 07, 2007

No news is no news

Christmas shopping again this morning, had to take some stuff back and get the right things.

Pruning most of the afternoon, both grapes and apples. Been planning on writing up a short "pruning tips" post with a couple of pictures from the orchard but haven't had the energy to do so yet. Got the pics made already, just need to transfer them and come up with appropriate text describing the pruning process as I see it.

The last couple of days when I take a break and come into check the web for news I have been sublimely disappointed. It seems like this is the dullest time of the year for informational material. It's as if the news and science sites I usually peruse are barely even trying, just repeating a lot of stuff going back over the last 6 months with different titles or variations on the same explanations. Even the search engines are becoming balky and uncooperative. When I enter a search I have to wade through a crap-pile of commercial sites and advertising much of which is only remotely connected to what I entered in my search. Oh, for the carefree days of Gopher to return!

Hope everyone out there is feeling fine and acting kind.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Very large smoke plume on Fielder Mountain

A very large plume of smoke, presumably from a large fire, shot up from the slopes of Fielder Mountain above I-5 near the small city of Rogue River, Or. today shortly after 3:00 pm. The smoke appeared to originate from the vicinity of a quarry operation known to use explosives in its mining process. The column of smoke was approximately twice the size of that caused by a burning three bedroom house. The cause of the fire could not be ascertained from this location but the color of the smoke was alternately white to dark, dirty gray with only hints of petroleum black. Most such mining operation use ammonium nitrate/fuel explosives which are also highly combustible in open air. Speculation is running in that direction as to the cause.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rainy goose day

It is like, totally pouring out there. Has been all morning.

Did some Christmas shopping this morning, taking advantage of a free trip into town as mom was getting a perm today. Got most the stuff I was looking for in gifts and a few more items for some of my art projects.

As we pulled up the driveway we were astonished to see about 50-60 geese parked in the field below the grapes. Probably a lot of good food out there leftover from this year's crops. Was quite a flock, here's a pic: