Why do we wait in line at the polls?

Let me tell you guys about a magical time. The year was 2000, and we used this stuff called “paper”. There were no major delays at the polls. Upon arriving you would go into a short line based on the first letter of your last name; this was probably not even necessary at smaller precincts. Each line led to a poll worker with a book of authorized voters. They’d check your ID and give you a small tear out piece from the printout which you took to the next station to get your ballot. VotomaticThe ballot was a punch card; you’d take this to an ES&S Votomatic carrell which had a manual card punch with an attached stylus and a flip book that looked like the flip book inside a jukebox that tells you what songs are in there (let’s date myself even farther here). Punching the stylus through the hole caused it to go through the semi-prepunched “chad” in the appropriate position on the ballot and through a layer of rubber flaps. If punched fully, the chad should have detatched fully, or partially and gotten caught in the rubber flaps so removing the ballot will fully tear it away. If you messed up and punched the wrong hole, you took the ballot to a replacement station, handed it in and got a fresh one (you had to start over though). You then took the card out, checked it for correct punching, took it to the last station and handed it in. The whole process took MAAAAAYBE ten minutes from start to getting your “I Voted” sticker and walking out the door. Continue reading »

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>

Welcome everyone to Downy Downs…

It’s going to be the race of the century tonight here folks! In lanes 16 and 17 we have twin Huebsch contenders, both weighing in at 7.5 amps of 208 volt wye connect 3 phase power…

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Aaand they’re off! Oh what’s this?

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Number 16 has a slow start! Those two seconds before it fired the door lock coil and started turning could cost it dearly here… Wait what’s this? 17 has made it to its first drain and spin first! Oh it’s anyone’s race here tonight thanks to the magic of water flow rates…

Aaaaand this is why it was a bad idea to put a coffee machine in the laundromat, guys.

Wabi-sabi?

Is it strange to have more enjoyment for the unused byproduct light of the laser than its precisely sculpted coherent beam?

Well if so, Deal With It, that’s how I roll.

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Warning: 1700vdc. Do not replicate this setup unless you’re me.

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.

Cockplugged! Or, a holiday salute to Miami traffic. Pingas.

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It should come as no surprise to anyone who lives, travels, or works here in Miami-Dade County that it has some of the worst traffic anywhere in the civilized world. As any truly spirited post describing Miami traffic should, this contains copious profanity and pseudo-phallic imagery. You’ve been warned. For a family friendly multimedia version of my commentary, enjoy der aktiv-schaum. (Flash support required ’cause I’m oldschool) Continue reading »

Thank you, Victor Schauberger, for thinking outside the box.

This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read:

“Nature is not served by rigid laws, but by rhythmical, reciprocal processes. Nature uses none of the preconditions of the chemist or the physicist for the purposes of evolution. Nature excludes all fire on principle for purposes of growth; therefore all contemporary machines are unnatural and constructed according to false premises. Nature avails herself of the bio-dynamic form of motion through which the biological prerequisite for the emergence of life is provided. Its purpose is to ur-procreate [re-create the primary, the essence of] ‘higher’ conditions of matter out of the originally inferior raw materials, which afford the evolutionally older, or the numerically greater rising generation, the possibility of a constant capacity to evolve, for without any growing and increasing reserves of energy there would be no evolution or development.

This results first and foremost in the collapse of the so-called Law of the Conservation of Energy, and in further consequence the Law of Gravity, and all other dogmatics lose any rational or practical basis.”

~Viktor Schauberger (From “Implosion” no. 81 re-printed in Nexus magazine Apr-May 1996)

I’d never come across Schauberger’s work until now, but he was doing some totally fascinating stuff with harnessing the inherent angular momentum in vortex flows and the rareified side of pressure waves to create propulsion systems for air and sea craft.

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