That thing in the header…

Someone asked me what that terrifying mascot face is that occasionally comes up in the header image. I currently have like ten different pictures in random rotation there, and one of them does look very much like a horrible rejected character from Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Well… it is none other than Miami-Dade County’s own Emergemanasaurus! 

emergemanasaurus

Absolutely nothing is known about this Emergemanasaurus character, why or when it existed, but it appeared in a PDF of an old newsletter from Miami-Dade County Emergency Management and I took a capture of it to preserve as proof as to why I can never take the agency particularly seriously. (Well, that and our repeatedly nonexistent CERT program.)

And then I put it there to stare at people with its cold, lifeless, conjoined eyes, because I’m an evil troll.

Whatever the hell it was, I doubt it smelled particularly good.

Congrats…

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Dear unknown scrap rat: you manage somehow to have the least scary truck in the whole city right now. None of the cargo is secured in any way, but it’s not overflowing, and the containment structure is actually attached to the truck!

Whoever you are, you set a far better example….

A Fluke….

This is evidence of why malware vs. social media can get really embarrassing.

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This is the Facebook feed of Fluke corporation….. invaded by a basket of Urechis unicinctus. It’s a weird looking variant of spoon worm that does not look like a digital multimeter.

This is evidence of why Facebook’s methods of editing a business page suck. You don’t log in as your page… You have to manage it from a personal account, and you’re always clicking one link away from an xss attack or other hijinks compromising everything  embarrassingly.

I dunno… Just a big case of “I would have done this differently”.

Frequency hoarder

Frequency hoarder (n). One who desires to add so many frequencies to the internal memory of their scanner or other radio device that they can easily fill the 1000 channels on a GRE scanner or any of the recent Yaesu radios* and find themselves dejectedly trying to figure out what won’t make the cut.

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I am guilty of being a frequency hoarder. When will the scanners just read a CSV file off a microsd? I’m waiting…

* except for the 817/857/897 which only have 200!! Why, yaesu? Why did you make three rigs that beautifully span DC to 512 megacycles with no gaps in am/FM/ssb/cw/wide FM and then only give us 200 pigeon holes for our frequencies?!

Seriously…. Or, The Z16HD+ Kick in action.

If you told me years ago this would be a significant part of my job, I’d have had a lot of trouble believing you.

This, incidentally, is what you get when there’s no maintenance budget. This transmitter is the only one in house and can’t be taken off air to replace some bad relays. A potential great deal on a backup transmitter that would have allowed me to do so was allowed to go by the wayside so here I am kicking this box to make it stop dumping half its output power in the system isolator load due to an IPA select relay fault.

 
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The relays responsible for making me have to kick the transmitter.
 

<fnord> Yes, Miguel, rest assured those are leather pants. Would you expect any less? </fnord>

Merry kurisamasu!

Read in the voice of Osaka from Azumanga Daioh.

Finally someone posted this amazing documentary in full to YouTube. Enjoy the majestic silliness!

This documentary was produced by PBS affiliate WGBH Boston a year before I was born. Trust me, the videotape artifacts are part of the experience.

If you’re lucky, your local library may have it or be able to inter-library loan it on VHS, U-Matic, or even film! Check Worldcat here.

I posted The Colonel Comes to Japan here since it kind of touches on the surprising way that KFC Christmas dinner became a wildly popular ritual in Japan. The whole documentary, however, is completely ridiculous and is worth watching no matter what.

Americans in casual clothing. I always lose it at this.

WOIR-AM… There are no words

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Greetings! I am FAILTUNER! Enjoy my field of nightmares!

I saw two AM towers I’d never noticed before while driving away from the site WDNA-FM is on after fixing a major case of explosive Z-Bola (more on that in another post). I’d never seen them lit before despite them having beacons at the tops? I drove in for a closer look and whooooa brother is there ever a mess to be found here. This is a good example of bad broadcast engineering and maintenance practices. FOUL!!!
Read more “WOIR-AM… There are no words”

Y’alls on crack.

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I bought some Lite-On led displays with integrated shift register driver a few years back. They’re kinda cool, reducing the microcontroller pin count needed to drive two digits of alphanumeric displays to a mere three — chip select/enable, clock, data in. Not bad at all, even if they don’t have serial out like a proper shift register; the last cell of the shift register is connected to output latch to remove the need to externally fire the latch.

But good luck reading that datasheet.

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So far so good, right?

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aargh.

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AAAUGH. WHY?! WHHHHYYYYY??!!! All this is missing is a liberal use of Comic Sans.

Please, do not do this.

Fiber Seeking Backhoe incidents are uh, phun

Wild-Backhoe-Appears

Even more challenging when your backup network connection is an old AT&T “Business Class” ADSL that gives you 786 kilobits *when* it feels like working, interspersed with random 1-7 second dropouts. Oh well. Crank the Delay Cushion on the Comrex Access up to 10000 mSec and have, uh, …. phun.

Interesting patterns in Miami-Dade County election results

As the Miami-Dade County election results trickle in, I noticed an interesting feature to the software used to display them on the website: if you click on Precincts Reporting, it will neatly give you a color map of which precincts voted towards that particular issue.

On a side note, Miami-Dade County is known for having really weird cultural boundaries for no particularly good reason. For an idea of just how strong this effect is, check out Culture Mapped and the Racial Dot Map (kinda coarser data, but you can see the sharp differences between black/white/Hispanic).

Here’s the result of just overlaying two of them: the race for state governor, and Amendment 2 on allowing medical use of marijuana.

Note how closely they correlate.
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Also note that I did not observe the logical fourth condition shown ANYWHERE – a precinct preferring Charlie Crist but not medical use of marijuana.

The few bright green precincts left appear to be the results of missing data (I did this based mostly on the early voting+absentee ballot data!) and the tan areas are where the medical marijuana issue tied.

Oh yeah, as for why I call him Scottdemort, well, it was better than my other name for him: Dicksnot.

I’M SO DAMN POLITICAL TONIGHT.