Archive for April, 2002

Friday, April 12th, 2002

I’m going to try to explain my views on this whole Osama thing, because it seems a lot of my friends misunderstand, and maybe some of them read my journal.

I’m on Osama’s side.

I don’t like the guy – his humans rights violations are atrocious – but I can understand where he’s coming from, if he sent us those commercial airliners on september 11th. A matter that still hasn’t been proved to me, by the way – doesn’t it bother ANYONE that we’re fighting a war for a crime that we have no proof of the perpitrators of, just allegations?

I don’t condone violence against innocent people – I don’t want more people to do what Osama did. Hit those who hurt you, not those who are innocent. The world trade towers had many, many innocent people in them. Thumbs up on the pentagon, though. 😉

I can’t lie about this. If you work for the US military, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. If you can really beleive that the US military is not abusive, you don’t know what military training is like. Would you want people trained like that wandering with you? Maybe it’s a pity that soldiers don’t have to stay with civilians any more – in today’s world, with a video camera in everyone’s hands, a world like that might be very desirable.

Many of my friends work for the US military, or did. Including my own parents. I’m sorry. You made a mistake. Go back and learn why, please, don’t sit there bleating like sheep and insisting that we’re the freeist country in the world. It’s a lie, okay, it was always a lie and it’s still a lie. Get on the internet and learn that.

Anyway, about the Osama thing.

We want to build a pipeline for oil through the middle of a country _we_ turned into a war zone.

How many times will a puncture from a mini-war the oil spill? Oil is _nasty_ stuff, and they HAVE NO FUCKING WATER LEFT!

Wake up, smell the coffee. Osama is RIGHT! We are WRONG!

We do NOT have ANY fucking moral authority to go put a oil pipeline in someone’s backyard who doesn’t want it, because we want to keep driving our SUVs and making our profits. I’m sorry that it’s going to destroy the economy, but this has GOT to fucking STOP! Or I, for one, am out of here, and half our youngest and brightest will be right behind me.

MEMO TO BUSH ET AL: We know what’s going on. We’re not all stupid television-addicted morons.

Another Freedom Of Speech Test [tm] brought to you by Sheer Pullen.

And the world keeps spinning.

Thursday, April 11th, 2002

Nope, I haven’t fallen off yet. Woke up at 11pm, though, feel sleep deprived – don’t think I’ve gotten a decent bit of REM in days. But no rest for the weary.. have to pull the battery pack in the EV, it’s gotten unbalanced.. damn it, must work harder on regs. Slacked all morning. And talked to a good friend for several hours.

Sancho, my armor seems to have a few more holes in it every day.

When I was a kid (15? 16? I don’t remember exactly when) I figured out that the human race, or at least the american slice of it, is fundamentally fucked up when it comes to sex.

It first of all doesn’t help that males appear to have about eight times the sex drive females do, as a general rule of thumb. [Now how’s _that_ for a design bug? Yeah, that really proves a intelligent god has our best interests at heart, now doesn’t it?]. Yes, there are exceptions, but generally..

It second of all doesn’t help that we’re not supposed to talk about sex. At any rate, this is always the impression my parents have foisted off on me. If you’re a child, you’re supposed to think the thought of your parents being romantically involved is disguisting – and if you’re a parent, you certainly don’t want to know that your child just lost his or her virginity at seventeen. Hrm, this is a great setup, now isn’t it. Can’t talk about it..

It gets better. Heinlien spent a lot of his writing stabbing in the dark, trying to figure out what was going on with human sexuality. I think he missed the target a lot, but I’m impressed that he was trying. Other fans seem to write this off as him being a ‘dirty old man’. Well, he made you fucking think, didn’t he? Beats the hell out of your average TV show! Even if you thought ‘ewww’ [and one thing you might ask yourself is WHY you thought ewww] you at least were thinking.

What’s the one thing that makes heinlien’s sexual utopias impossible? Jealousy. You all know it’s there. You all also know it’s not particularly useful. Jealousy makes sense when there is no birth control, at least if you apply the ‘mother of my immortality’ thoughts [Think about it for a minute]. But does jealousy make sense otherwise?

I don’t know. It’s all too confusing for me. I’ll reattack this thread later. [I love the fact that I don’t in fact have to make sense in this thing. I hope they don’t delete my entire journal someday because they don’t like my thoughts. Or, worse, sic the FBI on me. 😉


In other subjects, I can record and play audio from a dataflash – little side project I did for Bruce. [Who, I suspect, could have done it better than I did.. the actual code took two hours, the electrical debugging took me two _days_. Let’s face it, I’m a failure as a engineer].


In still other subjects, watched a simpsons episode tonight that spent several minutes bagging on Ed Bagly jr and electric vehicles. This is real fucking encouraging, now isn’t it.. 😉

I wish the actual EV were more impressive. Roy keeps getting after me to clean it up and make it pretty – but it seems to me it’s more productive, in a helping-the-human-race sort of way, to build the perfect battery management system.

Have a killer headache. This lack of sleep stuff is going to drive me crazy. What time zone am I in?


From the ‘It’s a really small world’ department.

Sunday, April 7th, 2002

Ye gods. 6 am, and it’s not even light out. I think i’ve wandered into the twilight zone. Damned daylight savings time.

Not one, but two ‘small world’ events today.

First, observe this message. I did not post it. I’ve never had the email address That means, that through whatever statistically unlikely series of events drives such things, there are two Jon Pullens out there that chose the alias Sheer, and both of them are geeks. Synchronicity, hello? does anyone else find this vuagely disturbing? Occasionally I wonder if I have a split personality, and HE is – but if so, he doesn’t exist any more. Tried emailing that address, got a bounce.

Okay, so I’m guilty of doing the vanity search. Doesn’t everyone at some point? But I had a reason for it..

My dad ran into someone in west virginia who had heard of me.

I mean, I know the internet makes this possible and even likely – look at all the junk I write on a daily basis, emails to mailing lists, my own mailing list, I mean, yes, I’m a prolific author of completely useless murmerings. I even write this journal, I suspect, for a audience of one. [besides me, that is.] Actually, I mostly write it for me, it helps me to straighten out my thoughts and refine them.

Anyway, how freaky is that? West Virginia, and he’s heard of me. Who else finds that scary? Raise your hands.. I had a email from India, telling me my april fools joke was in fact funny. [Now there’s a topic which could turn into a entire journal entry all by itself].

Also pondering love and sex – reading Heinlien, which leads one to these ponderences anyway. And P. read me a bit out of someone’s dairy – 300 years ago, and still petting every warm female bit o’ flesh his hands came near. And his wife still being hurt by it. Jealousy, still with us, check. Sexual hunger, still with us, check. Pregnancy, mercifully not as with us.

Someday I will pen down my thoughts on the whole matter, but not until after I’ve given them a few more lifetimes of thought. For now, I’ll stick with electronics, electric cars, power generation, the evils of dubya, and other topics that I can speak on elloquantly and usually with only pissing off half the known universe. Besides, I’m sure at some point P. will get sufficiently bored to read at least a few pages of this and I’d hate to give her any bad ideas.

I also note that I seem to have singlehandedly generated serious attention for Evercel, Inc. Wonder what they think about that? Well, beats the hell out of trying to sell them as trolling motor batteries.

The car continues to run fairly well – had a ‘just barely made it home’ event the other day, after which I noticed a faint gassing on one of the back pack during charge. NEED those mk3s on there. Got to finish them. Bad sheer. stop slacking. Work harder. Lay out board. Pin up schematic with new software. _learn_ new software.

No rest for the wicked, and such.

Not even sure what time zone I’m on any more.


Why I don’t use XP, drive a electric car, and other murmerings

Saturday, April 6th, 2002

You know, considering the fact that [until now] I was a reletively affluent computer geek, being paid to be a computer geek, there are a few things you might wonder about.

The most obvious you might wonder why I didn’t buy a P-IV – or indeed, any machine faster than 750 mhz

The second most obvious you might wonder is why I never went to XP. After all, I _bought_ both 95 and 98. [Well, okay, so I only bought one copy of each and ran them on all the computers I own. Seems obvious to me that with microsoft, you can’t use more than one computer at once, because if you try to use any microsoft product to run a server, it blows up fairly quickly. Hence, I’m one person, I need one licence. Never mind the fact that I use ten computers or so – that’s not the issue here.

So why didn’t I buy XP?

Well, two reasons, really. One, I have a major problem with the idea that I might ever need a microsoft server to clear my OS for takeoff.

Have you people THOUGHT about what this means? This means you need microsoft’s permission to upgrade! If microsoft ever goes out of business [likely], or decides to become a world information dictator [not so unlikely, now is it. Look at how they’ve treated the rest of the world. And has anyone noticed that bill gates’s salary is $666 thousand dollars? You think he didn’t PICK that number?] you’re done for. Your OS will not work – will the filesystem mount on another OS? Are you sure? Did you make backups with a program that can be read from a non-XP tape? Are you sure?

People, you’re signing up for hell, at least in a digital sense. DON’T DO IT!

I need a bumper sticker. ‘XP – just say no’. This isn’t a joke. I’m not kidding. Go back and read the licence agreement. THEN THINK!


I’m serious. It’s a really simple question. Here is a corperation too big for the US government to break up. There’s no doubt that they’ve been naughty, naughty, naughty – look at the transcripts of the microsoft trials! The proof is there. I don’t know who bought the judge to go off to the press like that – maybe he just couldn’t deal with the vile actions he’d seen – but the truth is out there.

As if we don’t _all_ know that microsoft is evil.

Keep your favorite unix geek well fed. You may need him someday. 😉

[And I’m not just saying that because I’m a unix geek. Really. I swear. ;-)]

Interfacing with this atmel part is interesting. I’m using this little dataflash – 4 megabits on a chip the size of your finger, persists after you turn the power off – pretty damn cool, really.

The abusive uses of these things are endless. But I digress.

Anyway, they have the world’s wierdest interface. Each page is 264 bytes. Think they’re encouraging one to include checksums? 😉

[Do these people seriously think I have the RAM to do page checksums?]

[well, maybe I do]

People keep encouraging me to change processors. The TI parts are apparently a order of magnatude better on some important issues, including RAM, for the same price.

I’m not thinking I’m going to do it, though. First of all, the TI’s come in form factors that are a bitch to do prototyping operations with. Second, I don’t see TI product in very many stable products. Third, I have this _thing_ about supporting texas. They gave us Dubya, the first unelected president the US has ever had. Dark, dark days, friends.

Listening to Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby [he ROCKS! really. Download or buy some live hornsby. Then go to a show. I can’t beleive no one told me about him. His words are, literally, several layers deep. Every time you listen, you take away something new – it’s like the Indigo Girls for Men. ;-)]

[Don’t get me wrong, I love the indigo girls and I think everyone should be required to listen to and explain their songs in school or something. ]

On another topic, I think my biggest fear is that Bush et al will continue the oil wars.

I’ve tried to show him another answer, but he just doesn’t listen to people like me. 😉 [No, I’m not kidding. I have sent him email. Hey, there was always the roll of the dice that my email might have been selected to be read. ]

One of my biggest hopes for the internet is that it will enable the peoples whos governments elect to fight wars to talk to each other. I keep waiting for this to kick in in the middle east – but I guess we’d have to actually get the net there and operational before it could happen. And, face it kids, with all our deadly toys lying around, that ain’t gonna happen.

Why, why, WHY were we SO stupid as to give them guns?

“Yah, you’ve got oil, we’ll sell you weapons!”

There’s gotta be a less bloody way to set this situation up. Really. There does in fact have to be a way. The world is a puzzle, and we’ve got to solve it. But there are no impossible problems, just hard ones.

[“He’s gone Crazy Eddie!”]

Well, yes. I am Crazy Eddie. I know that. I also think Crazy Eddie was right.

How did I come to this conclusion? Well, if you’re me, it’s a interesting story. If you’re not me, it’s probebly kind of boring. But let me explain anyway.

I’ve decided to try – yes, seriously try – to change the human race from oil to electricity.

I’m convinced there are several reasons why it’s the right choice:

a: it’s a lot easier to make tens of thousands of large power plants clean than a hundred million mobile ones.
b: We already have the power capacity. At night, the grid is _idle_
c: If every car were also a 20kW battery bank, the US would be battery backed up. Yes, the entire country. How’s _that_ for defense?
d: Most of our power is domestically generated. More could be – we have hundreds of thousands of nuclear bombs, and there are ways to build nuclear power plants that are actually safe. [No, not how we currently do it. Are you kidding? Read about CANDU]

What could be better than taking those bombs offline? Every nuclear bomb is a insult to the entire human race, a shame on every man alive. How we could ever be that egotistical, I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the christians telling us god made us in his image. Liars. You’re telling me you couldn’t design a better human, if you were all-powereful and had unlimited CPU? No, I’m serious.

As a side note, I think we should not allow cloning until the DNA geeks can hand us a commented version of the human source code. Look at how long it took to aquire it – and the stuff isn’t binary, it’s quadrary – each bit can have four states. That’s, um, gonna take a while.

It does, however, show certain signs of intelligent design.

But then, does anyone seriously beleive we’re alone in the universe? If we are, that’s _really_ terrifying.

I sometimes wish I could live forever, though. It’s easy to understand the temptation the christian virus offers. The thought that you don’t lose people.. that they don’t fall off. Strictly speaking this is true – assuming we don’t destroy all life on this planet, every atom in you will be in another living creature eventually.

How much data can be stored in a atom?

[I think we might find the answer to be suprising. But what do I know?]

Just reread another Dianne Wynne Jones book. She’s good. Rereading some Heinlien, reread some Pournelle. Need to hit the library again.

How’d it get so late, so fast? Time flies when you’re babbling about things that your readers aren’t even remotely interested in.