Derp Shelf

Who came up with this goofy design anyway?

I looked at the washer and saw a sock had been tossed overboard.

On this particular front loader Speed Queen washer, there’s a rubber door boot and unlike most, this one has a lip such that an object tossed from the basket just stays there.

Clearly the designer always throws their socks in one of those mesh bags every time they do their wash and never has to wash baby clothes or other small items. What a silly oversight.

They’re still nice washers though. The spin is damn good, it’s officially specified to reach 300 G’s of force when it’s able to hit top speed, so clothes dry fast.

That is assuming they don’t get yeeted out the front of the basket ……..

Herblederble

We have these neat signs in our lobby at work with the station logos on them. Originally they were screwed to the wall, leaving holes in them (argh!). At times I had to take them off so they could be used in promotional videos and such then put them back.

The lobby was painted so they came down and I decided this time to put them up with3M Command strips. Yes, their URL is actually command.com … I’ll never forget using DOS…

I used the strips that come backed in that funky high grade Velcro that connects and disconnects with a crunchy snap action, so the signs can go on and off the wall in seconds as needed. Beautiful! I kinda went by memory of where they hung, and it all went great until……

I swear I put that calendar up in the same place using the same anchors in the wall but now it fouls the KKXS sign!

Oh well. For the amazingly weedy share that station pulls in and the amount of grief its satellite automation causes me, it can stay there, right above the calendar everyone in traffic uses and the Keurig nobody uses.

On another note, I clearly have a lot to learn about MySQL. Last night a change I’d made to its configuration led to a “No space left on device” screwage as it shot logs like a firehose. That’s why this site was returning THE VOID when accessed last night.

Redding sucks snow off Mt. Shasta.

In the honor of having worked in the city of Redding, California, for over a year now, I wish to inform you all of why it sucks. Massively.

I work in Redding, but I live down the road about an hour. I’ll gladly take that hour or so over the mere idea of living in Redding, not that it’d be reasonably possible anyway, for spooky reasons I’ll get into shortly.

A little backstory: Redding was the original northern terminus of a railroad— I guess Southern Pacific. It was certainly involved in the Gold Rush and stuck around as a city of industry with businesses selling timber products. Later on, it became one of the industrial hubs to support the nearby Shasta Dam construction project. It continued with a lot of construction and agriculture related businesses until the Great Recession in 2008.

Most of the businesses closed suddenly and Redding lost a lot of residents. Also, at some point, methamphetamine started blasting out of the storm drains or something. I’m not sure when this became such a major problem but it’s fucking everywhere.

At that point, a growing megachurch, Bethel, was able to swoop in and pretty much snap up EVERYTHING including monopoly control over the housing market and commercial real estate, key positions in the local government and police department. They formed a great fractal burst of shell companies that somewhat hide their involvement, but it’s still bleeding obvious if you know where to look.

Flash forward to today, and Redding just sucks ass.

The first thing you’ll probably notice if you start researching the city’s current state is Bethel, and the associated Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Yes, you read that right, and it’s every bit as stupid and utterly horrible as it sounds. Bethel is… actually a terrifying cult. Among their core beliefs are the dangerous theory that prayer will cure things that should really be left to Western medicine, such as cancer and other deleterious diseases. They’re pretty much your textbook cult, training their followers that outsiders are in need of conversion and SURVEILLANCE, and encouraging them not to speak to the outside world… I’ll get into that more later too, get ready to laugh and/or cringe.

An amusing thing I have discovered: Bethel drones are comically afraid of ham radio. I use this to my advantage often.

The City of Redding bends over backwards to support Bethel’s services, which is unsurprising considering that Bethel has pretty much taken them over anyway. The Redding Civic Auditorium is reserved every week for programs for the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and the police will block up traffic so that everyone else has to wait for their students to finish coming and going before anyone else can travel through the area.

BSSM recruits students nationwide, and is kind of just enough of a school and kind of just enough of a religious organization to qualify for every tax break in the code. Their voracious appetite for expansion has completely locked down the housing market in Redding. Unaffiliated families and individuals seeking a place to live in the Redding area find themselves either refused for not being affiliated with the cult, or they find themselves competing with the cult’s many agents and shell companies for buying or renting property. Once the cult gets their hands on a property, they cut it up into dorms and pack it full of BSSM students, or just keep it empty and off the market until it becomes part of the BSSM housing later. They also own an entire business district alongside the Sacramento River that they keep empty as overflow parking for their services at the Civic Auditorium.

The entire city shuts down at 9 PM. I realize this wouldn’t be uncommon for a SMALL city, but Redding isn’t all that small. You can’t even get gasoline late at night without going out of town to a truck stop.

Living near BSSM students is an interesting sort of horrible as they spy on and harass the neighbors. A friend of mine frequently experienced eavesdropping in the quite literal sense: he routinely found occupants of the BSSM dorm in the end of his apartment complex sitting on the roof over his unit and listening to all conversation within.

The Bethel cult has control over most commercial real estate within the city and businesses effectively cannot be created without the support of the church. Costco managed to get their hands on a parcel to build a new store without going through Bethel, and their reaction was to immediately tighten their grip on housing and begin evicting tenants from rental properties they own through their shell companies, blaming the Costco store for the loss of available housing. Charming.

Last time I looked, you could….. maybe…. get on a waiting list for a few months and get a one room studio for $1300 a month, no utilities included, no parking available because it’s all reserved for the Bethel kids in the complex, no pets allowed, and a roof that only occasionally lets it rain inside. Meanwhile, about an hour away I’m paying 950 a month for a two bedroom townhome that’s never given any issues whatsoever.

It is no wonder Redding has a disproportionately large homeless population. Whereas many churches do a lot for the community and will try to assist people who are displaced, Bethel does nothing. When the Carr Fire swept through Redding, Bethel both refused to open their facilities to assist people displaced by the fire, and started a totally bogus collection for wildfire ‘relief’. I’m guessing any funding collected, if it was used for related purposes AT ALL, was probably used to snap up more property for housing BSSM students.

Among the homeless population in Redding, there are a lot of problems with substance abuse, and Redding provides pretty much no resources to assist with this. Drive around Redding and you’ll see people just barely shambling around who look like they died two years ago and came back as zombies with their skin falling off. Walk around Redding and NO WAIT DON’T WALK AROUND REDDING ARE YOU MAD–
(At least they aren’t super aggressive like Miami zombies.)

The lack of social services tends to be, well, a big conservative thing… and Redding is a very conservative town. Redding’s pissed that it’s a very red city in a VERY BLUE STATE. The city hosted a campaign stop for Fuhrer Drumpf before his election and has had at least one bizarre rally in his support since. “State of Jefferson” supporters are everywhere. The large yellow bumper stickers and truck decals they display serve as a useful warning sign that douchebaggery may occur onboard their vehicle. The areas surrounding the city are dotted with mansions up in the hills occupied by the rich idiot sector of the population; all they really care about is not seeing anyone else when they come down the hill to go shopping.

Marijuana is legal in California and has been for a while now, and Redding simply tripped over their own fat feet trying to figure out what to do with this. There are three dispensaries for medicinal and recreational marijuana products up in the city of Shasta Lake to the north, as they welcomed businesses to the city without any major restrictions. Redding sat around for a long time mulling what requirements they’d have – last I heard they came up with a highly restrictive zoning plan which – SURPRISE – ruled out any business district that Bethel doesn’t own, and they wanted to charge 20K in fees a year. Nobody’s taken them up on their amazingly generous offer, so they don’t get a share of that revenue. Oh well! Guess they don’t really want to be in the business of doing anything other than hosting a cult. 😉

Well, at least I’ll say this much— it isn’t that bad working in the city and leaving every night. I will not, however, consider living in this right mess. Bye Felicia!

Best error message ever

Found on a monitor of unknown function at a Love’s truck stop

OH SNAP THE WORDPRESS MOBILE APP GLITCHED ITSELF TO DEATH WHILE TRYING TO POST AN ERROR MESSAGE ABOUT AN ERROR MESSAGE AND DID IT TWICE 😀

Tested but not tested?

I guess the Chinese quality control method of “the customer is our quality control” has been inherited by iBuyPower.

Still, they manage to be one of the very few off the shelf systems we can still buy locally that uses standard components.

Dark absorbent

I got a box of LED light bulbs at the local DumpshitMart and the first one I pulled from the box was a dud but flickered several times as I screwed it in. Strange. I suspected a bad solder joint, and noticed the bulb part felt like plastic and not glass.

I started prying on it a little and it popped off revealing the emitter board.

Interesting construction. Spring contacts are used for the capacitors, and presumably for the power input. I noticed right away that one of the power input pins wasn’t visible in its terminal.

I wonder what these regulator ICs are? No visible inductors are present (and I can’t see any signs that they used a multi layer board with a pancake inductor) so it’s not a buck converter. Might just be a linear constant current driver or something.

16 LEDs in series assuming Vf = 3.2v each would be an operating voltage of 51.2v. This would imply that either those led packages contain more than one diode in series, OR most of the voltage is being dropped by the current drivers!

The two caps behind. Strangely, once you’ve unglued the bulb, these would be the easiest caps to replace that I’ve ever seen. They’d just slide right out.

I didn’t get a picture behind but all the bulb needed was for the lead wire to be pressed back into the terminal. I didn’t have the same white silicone goop the thing was assembled with so I just used silicone gasket sealant to stick it back together and returned it to service.

I took this before gluing the bulb back on. Operating the bulb like this in an open fixture, as nice as it looked, would likely lead me to accidentally stick my fingers into it. I’m very prone to accidentally sticking my fingers and hands into the ceiling fan. I’m working on my Horrible Klutz merit badge, you see.

Interestingly this bulb has the metal heatsink cone for a base that I was used to seeing on earlier LED bulbs, it’s just covered in plastic. This kinda implies that their bulb just doesn’t dissipate much as heat and possibly that the metal core circuit board is not acceptably (or not at all) electrically isolated from the AC line voltage to allow it to safely remain exposed.

The old LED bulbs with the huge heatsink fins are noticeably few and far between, after all. They’re getting pretty dang good. Now can we have some build quality??

I love boring transmitters!

By this I mean the ones where you install it, then outside of routine maintenance, it just works and never asks for more. Boring….NVlt getting the 5.0 software update.Always move the Pusheen to the center before updating, otherwise you have to do it again. I don’t know why and I’m not questioning it. Yours doesn’t have a Pusheen on it? Uh, that’s a highly technical problem.Boring backplaneElsewhere, this Crown started losing its boringness. It started occasionally dropping output. I’ll be replacing it with a fully boring transmitter soon. I bet it’s not much more of an issue than a dried cap in the power supply.Note to self: print a Pusheen to leave on top of the new one.