Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

John Ayers

Friday, May 27th, 2022

So, I’m on my way to John Ayers’s remembrance party at Headwaters. I struggled with whether to go – partially because even though Phoebe had posted that ‘all are welcome’ I had vague worries that even though we were back on speaking terms “all” might not have included me – on the other paw I didn’t want to bother her during this obviously difficult and traumatic time by asking.. and I also knew if I didn’t go I would likely regret it.

Anyway, I thought maybe I’d throw some eulogizing of John Ayers in here. In a lot of fundamental ways, me and John are very similar – he was a jack of all trades, a master of some, and one of the few voices in my head – and in my life – that encourages taking the risk and spending the time to be a artist. While I still haven’t made it to professional musician, I have been putting increasingly more and more hours into it as the years go by and I feel like I’m a whole lot closer than I’ve ever been, and he is one of the people who has always encouraged me both that art is worth doing for art’s sake and that you can make a living being a artist.

John is also one of the few people I know besides myself who has built houses – who can run wiring, thread a pipe, put up a wall, fix a well pump. He doesn’t have my facility with repairing cars or computers, but what he has instead is a rock-solid sense of beauty and the ability to create beautiful things out of metal – or stucco – far beyond anything I will ever have. I was sorely tempted to buy his house even though I have no possible use for a house in Arkansas just because of the beautiful construction and the amazing home-y feeling it has. Even though I don’t generally retain visual memories, I still have strong visual memories both of John and of his house, which defines hygge.

He’s also one of the gentlest and kindest souls I have ever met, and defines everything that was good about the pot-smoking hippies of the 60s. I think he literally was in the peace corps – he definitely was doing some kind of good work in places other than America. I feel like I was a lot more like him in that regard in my youth and wish I could find that part of myself again – lately it seems like while I haven’t actually performed any acts of violence, the political and dystopian scene on Earth is making it harder and harder for me to really embrace peace.

He also had great taste in music and we had many good conversations over the music that he’d heard and collected over the years. He also was a photographer (as I said, jack of all trades) and I remember fondly exposing him to the first digital camera I’d ever purchased. I wonder a lot what he would think of the Rebel T6 I now carry, which in many ways is superior to the best 35mm cameras I’ve ever owned.

He is one of the few people who has spent significant time with me during a manic episode – long before I understood their cyclic nature, long before I knew what drugs would suppress them. His kindness to me during that period is difficult to even put into words.

In addition, of all the parents of lovers I’ve ever had, he was the most rational about my relationship with his daughter – and also the parent I most wished would have adopted me. I am still kicking myself for not stopping by his place more often, not talking to him more often. I always thought we had plenty of time. (Of course, having mostly broken my friendship with Phoebe, I could say similar things – I wish I’d made different decisions all over the place. But, tomorrow’s another day and I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hopefully do better in the future).

There’s really not enough good I can say about the guy. I will miss him terribly. I hope we will meet again, somewhere.

Will Smith controversy

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

So, I thought I’d weigh in on the Will Smith thing, not that anyone cares what I think, but I do watch the Oscars and I am a fan of both Will Smith and Chris Rock.

Do I think what Will Smith did was cool? No. Do I think he should be further punished for it, that it was horrible and deeply damaging? Also no.

I think we need to remember that Will Smith, despite getting paid to do stuff in front of a camera, is a human just like the rest of us. Someone said something insulting to someone he loved, he got angry, he briefly overreacted – by slapping Chris. Violence, yes, but it’s not like he did any permanent damage to Chris Rock, who I am sure has gotten far worse in his career. It was a bit jarring, but I also have to consider that emotions were running rather high, especially for Will Smith who was probably on edge because he was about to find out if he’d won the biggest award of his career.

I also have heard people talk about how Will Smith can’t act like this “as a black person”. Look, whatever the color of his skin, he’s still human. I understand the idea that some folks have to work harder because there’s so many ignorant and or stupid people who start out against them. I mean, after all, we had Obama who had to try to do the nearly impossible (get health care for people like me) – and then of course having had one of the best presidents we’d ever had, we then hand to demonstrate one of the worst (Trump, who even cheats at golf, is probably a russian asset, and tried to overthrow the government when he didn’t win – not to mention lying repeatedly – and, I could go on for many many pages about what a awful human being he is – I think I have, elsewhere, so I’ll return to my original point). But there are still limits.

And my point is, yes of course we all want to represent the best we can be for our race/country/whatever. But we do also have to forgive small mistakes because we are human – which means we are created via a evolutionary algorithm and created as a blank neural network which then has to pattern while immersed in all kinds of emotions. We’re complciated animals and we’re going to have flaws despite the best of our intentions. Will Smith made a mistake. He apologized for it. I do not want to see cancel culture revving up to cancel him for it and i am sure he will regret it for the rest of his life and probably be remembering it on his deathbed. We have no need to punish him further for it.


Friday, April 2nd, 2021

Lately I’ve been missing Phoebe more again – it seems like my missing of the various people who are gone from my life ebbs and flows, but it never really goes away. I am in one of those spaces of wishing I had done everything better – I think probably this is one of my depressive phases. Not that there’s really anything to do about it.

I shouldn’t complain.. after all there’s many people with far worse problems than I have.. but the combination of the recurring problems with wrist tendinitis with my paw, the missing people, and just the general weight of the world seems to be getting me down a bit.

Results of 4 axis test

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

(Test at



I can’t decide if I’m sad that I’m not more ‘woke’ or happy – a lot of the questions in the quiz make me question whether 100% woke is a wise place to be.


Potpourri of thoughts

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

So, this is a collection of thoughts I’ve had over the last few weeks and thought, I should write about that in my blog. It’s interesting that my blog has kind of developed this mixed flavor – originally it was just for me to follow my own personal growth, but now it’s a mix of that and a soapbox, which is funny because it probably doesn’t have a lot of readers. (my web stats broke a while ago and I never got around to fixing them, so I don’t actually know)

Anyway, my first thought is related to the cloud. I recently told someone that you shouldn’t build anything that you want to still be working ten years from now on the cloud. This is partially because companies come and go, partially because companies get gobbled up by other companies that don’t feel the need to follow the original company’s agreements to their customers, and partially because of what I call the “microsoft office effect”.

Let me digress to explain the office effect. Office, as software, probably peaked around 2002. That’s when it was the most intuitive, most useful, most stable. However, there’s a team of people hanging around microsoft for Office, and they felt the need to earn their paychecks and didn’t want to get fired, so they talked themselves into a series of what I would call downgrades.. things that made the software less intuitive, less stable, etc. Their managers were soulless evil middle manager types, and so they encouraged the creation of new file formats for each version of office. The net result is the software got steadily worse, but everyone had to upgrade to it or not be able to read each other’s documents.

And, of course, this happens with cloud services too. APIs drift, parameters get added and dropped, etc, because the team maintaining $WHATEVER has to earn their paychecks. It’s one of the evils of capitalism that everything keeps getting marked “new and improved” when in fact it is new but not improved.

Anyway, that said, kill the cloud. Until and unless every cloud service can have a IETF-style approved interface and a guarantee not to drift, and be provided by several competing vendors, encourage everyone you know not to use it and *especially* not to rely on it. Remember, there is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer. Also remember the hundreds of thousands of man-hours thrown away when various “free web page” places shut down during the dot com bust.

Segueing into another thought – I was musing how little of today’s software is going to be runnable on *anything* in 20 years. One of the unfortunate phenomenons I’ve been seeing more and more of is people upgrading just to upgrade – I can’t run the latest Allen & Heath mixer control application on my mac because I refuse to “upgrade” past 10.10 [for a variety of reasons] and for no good reason they’ve decided to use settings for the compiler that produce a application that isn’t compatible with 10.10. I’ve been seeing this more and more – realistically, there is no reason *not* to try and make every binary run on the widest number of operating system versions possible, but some developers are so in love with upgrading or playing with the latest toy that they will kick out i.e. applications that will only run on windows 10. Which is also, IMO, awful.

Anyway, one thing that the developers, especially those of web sites but also those of applications, don’t seem to get is *we just want them to keep working*. Sometimes we might want some new features but we *really* don’t want the user interface to change. JIRA, your new interface isn’t any better than your old one and you threw away thousands of man hours of people using it having to struggle to find things they already knew where were. Shame on you.

OK, on to another point. All new governments should go far beyond simple checks and balances, because we have seen that over time, checks and balances are eroded by corruption. Watching for and weeding out corruption should be built into every layer of the system and the founding document should recognize that over time people slide steadily downhill towards placing the needs of the few above the needs of the many. I am guessing we’re watching the endgame for the USA, I am curious what is going to come next and hoping that the loss of life and violence is kept to a minimum. I’m kind of hoping we just break it up into 10-12 countries and start over..

Meandering as usual

Wednesday, March 27th, 2002

Well, a lot of things on my mind but I doubt if many of them will make it out to paper. I guess this is my first journal entry – so I ought to try to be a little bit interesting. But I probebly won’t be..

Watched Moulin Rouge tonight. Wonderful movie. The juxtiposition of modern songs into the 19th century whorehouse and theatre never failed to get a laugh. Such a bright, happy movie, but so tragic a ending.

It was definately a kindness for the writers to warn us ahead of time that the heroine was going to die. Although it still rather did yank one’s emotions around. Very Le Misish of the author. What is it with the french and sad endings?

Still, I like it when hollywood throws us a sad ending from time to time. Makes you appriciate the happy ones more.

The mk3 project continues to roll along – finally got a entire packet to spray out – then promptly broke things again by re-enabling timeout0. Shit.

[I’m thinking that maybe the blanking packet isn’t resetting the timer. Or maybe none of the packets are resetting the timer. But I’m also thinking that right now I’m so tired I don’t care.

The collision detection code definately works. [It works so well it keeps detecting collisions when there aren’t any. Well, okay, so this is mostly my fault]

I have this cryptic message on my whiteboard – ‘Surface charge after light tap w/ reg = diffusion!’. Something I wrote while I was rather under the influence, I’m afraid, so it may take me a while to figure out exactly what I was getting at. But I’m sure it was brilliant – or something..

Still intruiged by Farnsworth’s work on fusion. Need to get around to doing more research on this, but Farnsworth made [no joke] a small fusion reactor in a vac tube. [see]. Of course, he never achived overunity, and many have said overunity isn’t possible – but it is clear from the hundreds of people working on it that you can in fact make your own fusion reactor in your backyard. Now tell me _that’s_ not a mad scientist project.

I have this funny vision of firing a fusor with high frequency high voltage AC [50kV @ 10khz or something like that] and setting up some kind of resonant reaction. But obviously, more research needed. So what else is new.

Bush continues to find new and exotic ways to annoy me. Some day we will have a president I can live with .. but don’t hold your breath.

I’d really like to see a female take the reins for a while, just to see how one would do – thus far, in 200 years we’ve had 0 female presidents. It’s not that I’ve got anything against men, but frankly, not that many of the male presidents we’ve had have done a very good job.

I do enjoy watching people’s reactions when I tell them I’m on Osama’s side. [Not that I really am, of course – killing that many innocent people is deplorable, and the guy’s got a lot of other undesirable attributes – but, really, it appears that the only way to get the US’s attention is by knocking down a building or two. Actually, erase and correct, apparently even knocking down a building or two isn’t enough to get our attention. Else we would have learned something from the Unibomber – or at the very least, learned something from this latest debacle]

One does have to ask why we didn’t blow up Utah.

Seriously, this whole war on terrorism makes me just _sick_. There was a ad on the Oscars ‘If you buy illegal drugs, you helped fund terrorism’. No, if you pay taxes you help fund terrorism. Remember who trained Osama?

[For those of you who haven’t yet checked out bob harris’s commentary on this whole debacle, there’s a link to it off my homepage, go, read, be enlightened]

Okay, moving onward.. the electric vehicle continues to do it’s thing – it’s kind of funny, it’s getting to where I just expect that when I get in it, it will take me wherever I’m going. So far [knock on wood] it hasn’t broken down once. But I do need to do a bunch of little things on it – not the least of which is replacing the springs.

A friend came over the other day and jammed with me.. ahh, that felt good. Been entirely too long. Hopefully he’ll drop by again later this month and we’ll do a little recording, lay a few tracks down and commit them to mp3. Good stuff.

I guess that’s about all I have to say for now, I despritely need sleep and I don’t think I could say anything interesting or cool if my life depended on it – just not a interesting or cool guy. 😉