The world’s trippiest transmitter site?

Actually, this is another Mandelbulber render, but it’s funny how this system of attractors looks like it ought to be a trippy space-age TV tower.

Click for fullsize.

towers1Look off to the right there…. out of the whole system that remains so orderly and symmetrical from the left grows one quite organic and beautiful little tiny tree.


Upon further inspection, that tree is trippin’.




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….

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. Read more “Why do we wait in line at the polls?”

A Fluke….

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


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.


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.


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…


Aaand they’re off! Oh what’s this?


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.


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.


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.