24 Apr

Regional Dialects

The Internet is its own region and thusly has a dialect unique to the inhabitants.  To this end, l33t and tech are relegated to mere “accent” status, and the cadence and structure of the dialect conforms and transforms culture.


Language drives culture and interaction.  It should be apparent that language is a prerequisite to ordered filing systems, such as memory (both conscious and unconscious).  Ask a five year old, who should be very close to pre-speech memories age-wise, to tell you about being a baby.  They find it as impossible as you or I do–they simply did not have the language to describe events–therefore no long-term records.

Wamma-lamma, Bamma-lamma.

I am in the middle of Mississippi this weekend installing a several additional blades in a bank’s blade center, and an additional terabyte of disk in their SAN.  Huge, multi-state bank, in a little bitty town.  BTW, VolumeCopy is now a personal requirement for every SAN with which I become involved…just remember to disable “read-only” mode. 🙂

Anyway, this morning I stopped into a c-store and purchased some coke / soda / pop / what-have-you.  While I was standing there at the counter, I heard the door open up behind me, and the most amazing thing happened.  The girl behind the counter smiled over my shoulder at this new customer entering the store and said, I kid you not, “Good mornin’, Uncle Bebop!”

Now, how cool is that?  Don’t you want to be known as Uncle Bebop?

19 Apr

Conan vs. Darth Vader


It’s not as easy a question as you might think.  I personally know about several pretty serious beings that Conan has brought low–some that are arguably more powerful that Vader.  It not just about a steel sword up against a light saber.  One has to consider the entire package here.

I won’t delve into the un-answerable, but here is some food for thought:

  • Conan is adept at discovering an opponent’s weakness and capitalizing upon it in unexpected ways.
  • Conan is a team builder–often the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
  • Conan has no time for subtlety–sometimes brute force wins over finer distinctions.
  • Conan knows what’s best in life.

I would often start a class off with this simple question written on the whiteboard.  It was simply amazing how heated discussions would continue for weeks afterward.

It is, I believe, greatly indicative of one’s personality.  Each individual confronted with the question would immediately come down hard on one side or the other and resist adamantly any efforts of persuasion to the contrary.  Face it, gentle reader, you have already taken a side.  The majority tend toward Vader.  I accept that, but I have always represented for my man, Conan.

19 Apr

What more can I say? It’s just one way!


It is truly paradigm shattering when empirical evidence confronts one to up-end a fully-realized meme. What is more well known than the epic battle between Galileo and the Catholic Office of the Inquisition? How he was tried and would have had a death sentence executed* for teaching that the Earth was not the center of the Universe in contradiction to the teachings of Catholicism at the time! How heroic he was to stand there, alone in his principles, and face the wrath of narrow-minded mental midgets, steeped in their religion and world-view–who were simply unable to see things any other way. What a triumph Science made that day!

What if I told you that it didn’t happen…well…anything like that?

  • What if I told you that the Copernican model had been well-accepted as a working model by the Catholic church for years before Galileo?
  • What if I told you that Galileo was probably on trial because he made fun of a pope who didn’t possess much of a sense of humor?
  • What if I told you that Galileo strongly believed that God Himself gave astronomical revelations only to him?
  • What if I told you that at the time of trial Kepler’s theories had so far out-moded Galileo’s that the models to which he held were no longer even relevant?

Read it for yourself. Look up the footnotes. And if you can catch the reference in the title, you’re doing well. Ticket to the moon.

* Is the phrase, “Jones has been executed,” proper English? Wouldn’t it be better to say, “The death sentence upon Jones has been executed.”

18 Apr


Well…as it sits on our kitchen counter it doesn’t look like much.  But, you’ll have to trust me.  It will butterfly into an extremely cool
rocket.  It is completely custom designed using the fantastic RockSim 8.0

It will fly on a 29mm Aerotech reload, and hit about 1660ft
on an F40.  Which is about where I wanted it.  I’m using all
LOC/Precision parts that I had on hand from an aborted project to
kit-bash an Estes Honest John.  Anyway, I still need to order a few
more bulkhead plates, a third centering ring, and an Ogive nosecone.  Theorhetically, I will be making this rocket baffled (no wadding) and zipper-proof.  We’ll see how it works out for me 🙂


What you see here is, left to right, a tube coupler that is serving as my baffle chamber.  It’s alot easier to build a baffle inside a 5″ long tube, rather than trying to get down inside a 30″ airframe.  It is CA’d to a 2.56″ centering ring on an 8″ chunk of 29mm motor mount.  The rear CR in the picture is just there to make sure I can get a square joint while the adhesive cured.  Last night I used 30 minute epoxy inside and out on this small assembly.  I’m now ready to place the first baffle plate.

Here’s a thumb of the rocksim interface with the Sirius design loaded–click for a full sized shot.  You’ll notice that the stability is too high here because I do not have an engine loaded…it falls back to about 1.40 or so with an F40.


14 Apr

R is for Ray Bradbury

I started working on a short story based upon the work of Ray Bradbury about 10 years ago.  I never could quite get the feel right…but now, I’ve finally finished it.  Or abandoned it.  There were alot of references that wanted to put in which simply would not fit, and there were a few that stayed in that I probably slighted.  And then there are those few out-and-out blatant references.  The funny thing is, I don’t even know how many there are now after so many years.  Maybe you could tell me. 🙂

It is entitled “Those Who Live by the Sword” and is posted on the main site.  Please check it out and tell me what you think.

07 Apr

Print yer own

CompTIA announces a new certification today. In addition to the well-known CompTIA A+ Certified Technician, and the Network+ Certified Technician, a new program from this body finally formalizes a sector of technology users that before now has received much attention, but little standardization.


I have taken it upon myself to create some good study materials for the test. Good luck to all the candidates out there who are preparing for this exam!

06 Apr

Short Added

An old short story has been added to the main site.  It is called “Keith McQueen Saves the Universe”, and I can only assure you that it is unique.

06 Apr

DJ Mikro

The unparalleled Mike Cummings is making some pretty suh-w33t progress on our NessusWX hack.  From the command line we can now drop the results automatically to CSV.  This is much better than having to enter the GUI and clicking the “Export” button.  With this addition to the code, we can fully automate these scans–and then schedule a DTS package to take them right into a SQL Server DB.

We will also probably add a command line switch to automatically export to MySQL, since it doesn’t seem to require that much more modification.

So now, it truly is a floor wax and a cake icing!

Two strange things immediately occur at this point:

  1. If you google “new shimmer”, “floor wax”, and”cake icing” you get a few hits with people referring to it, but none actually devoted to it.
  2. There’s a guy walking around our office pointing a laser pistol-style at all the HVAC registers.  Either he has one of those cool remote temp sensors, or he thinks he’s battling alien dust mites from deep within the dark recesses of our duct work.

Now that it’s out on the screen, maybe those two things don’t go together after all.  Oh well, here’s a cool game.