Who is Brer Vole?
Jan. 1st, 2007
02:11 pm - small steps.
Working on the motor controller circuit - and noticing how my mouse hand/arm hurt. I just came from 40 mins of practicing piano. Whats new here is that 3/4 of that time was simply working on the most basic fingering exercises - the C major scale. Despite being able to play 1st movement of Moonlight Sonata fairly well - I'm just now learning basic scales! After just two sessions I can see the value of these "stupid exercises" in my improvement. And since my arm feels like I just came from a swim workout, it'll also probably improve my strength and speed - which I'll need for the 3rd movement.
Its exciting cause it is clear now that piano is a tractable problem for me. There's absolutely no reason that if I simply work the exercises that over time I'll be reasonably good amateur and the ability to play new songs will come more easily. I now see a path to fulfill a dream I've had at least since I was 10. Before I've just been applying brute force methods to learn (to play) song(s?) I like....
Nov. 21st, 2006
"I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries
"General, would you rather command an army of slaves? "
A tribute to the late / great Milton Friedman - and his efforts against draft:
And then there are those that want everyone to sacrifice - equally.
"I do think we need a draft," says Charles Moskos, military sociologist and professor emeritus at Northwestern University. "Our country is experiencing what I call 'patriotism lite.' Nobody's willing to sacrifice anything. We don't even have gas rationing. Congress votes to go to war, but won't send its own children. We don't have enough troops. We've used reservists and the National Guard in an unprecedented manner."
... Military sociologist Moskos's answer is a three-tier system of required public service for all young men and women: uniformed military service, homeland security jobs (guarding borders, ports, nuclear plants, and other sites), or civilian tasks such as teaching in poor neighborhoods and helping the elderly.
It makes me sick.
Oct. 30th, 2006
So around sunset - on Sunday Nov 5th the final moonlight sailing of the year will happen at MIT. We'll also celebrate Guy Fawkes day.
Lets hope this one don't fall on a Salon...
Oct. 12th, 2006
The "energy" barrier created by time, emotion, and reason has been crossed successfully and safely. I'm free. It was amazingly friendly and anti-climatic and positive. Should have happened in April.
Oct. 4th, 2006
This is starting off as one of those days.
I think I didn't get enough good sleep. I'm so anxious these days.
For mental purity I was planing a ride to Walden on my way to Cambridge. It started with a bus that ran me off the road (he cut over after passing and stop quickly). Words were exchanged. About 1 min later, still having problems with him, I smashed into a back-side of parked 4x4 SUV. I had been going 32 to clear the bus, and had slowed to the low 20s now that we had some space.
( Read more...Collapse )
Update: I made it to work incident free - except that I left the keys in the scooter when I parked it.
12:24 am - fun with a photo shoot
Today the prof had a last minute photo shoot. It was for some award (or possibly background/support material for one of his professors). Anyway, when we were told the award - we all broke out laughing. I guess 6 months turned me into one of the resentful old timers here. Actually I am quite resentful at the moment cause I've been doing little more than technician work for too long. I just can't seem to get the ok to do the kick ass motor controller. Of course I'm working on it anyway - but well I have to divert my attention to power cables that make the motor run.
The cool part for me about the photo shoot is that photographers toured both of our labs, had the option of shots outside the lab etc. They choose my project work space and desk and back drops for the shot. When I objected that is was a chaotic mess he pointed out the whole labs is a mess and looks well worked and lived in - but that this mess was more interesting. I think it was the four 35AMP air-core inductors that impressed him.
Last week I amused the lab spectators soldering 12AWG wire to these bests. I had to use a torch. There were clouds of smoke rising and fire falling as the flux burned.
Anyway, I think slipped the CVM into the shot and believe my desk riser with the steel ribs did also....
I'm so resentful, its 12am and I've been at work 14 hrs now.
Sep. 23rd, 2006
Today I finally received my first copy of Mother Earth News (it was a 2005 Christmas gift). It's really cool - all these people living their dreams and wonderful stories! But the cover story is about "Easy Solar Power"....
My anxiety seems to have subsided a bit this week. The end of last week was terrible - the anxiety / panic that a single glance created. It would take one of Rand's multi-page rants to adequately describe what it all means. Unfortunately I haven't a clue other than most likely nothing and that I spend too much time trying to assign meaning to meaningless events.
Probably I was/am driving everyone crazy - so I took off for a long ride. Was trying to make it to SW NH and back in one day - but didn't quite have it in me (I got a late start). Ended up with 90 miles and some swimming at Waldon. I'm taking it easy this week as a cramp at Waldon strained my sartorius. Next weekend for sure - i hope- but I'll take overnight gear just in case. Possibly visit some land or go to Mt. Monadnock. But the Saturday ride (last week) really helped. After just 2 hrs my head was relatively clear - but for purity the total trip went on for 9hrs. I rode hard most of the time - setting a few anger induced personal records : 38 in a 30 (mostly flat), and accelerated to 30 while going uphill. In Fitchburg, the passenger of some car (I slowly passed) thought it necessary to inform me that should be riding on the sidewalk - so I showed him! Maybe if I keep it up I'll be able to hit 40 on flat ground - or get killed.
Sep. 22nd, 2006
10:37 am - How we need the police.
So my friend's rather expensive scooter was vandalized last night. The cost to repair may exceed the replacement cost. It was legally parked along the street - right next to all the rather expensive cars that park on the street. The scooter is titled and licensed with the city/state as the law requires.
She called the Cambridge police to report this vandalization and request an investigation. The "peace officer" stated that we have hundreds of these events, we can't send someone out to take a report (the scooter isn't insured) - much less investigate.
Looking around, I believe I understand why the peace officers don't have time investigate a real crime - one where there was a real victim and real property damage. It looks like they're too busy with their social control programs, enforcement of arbitrary traffic laws, working overtime standing at construction sites chatting with the workers paid with tax dollars, confiscating knitting needles at public events, harassing my MIT educated "black" friend, steeling my bicycle parked on my own property, and a whole host of other victimless "crimes". Basically - the Cambridge police don't seem to be interested in creating peace or enforcing laws unless their's money in it for the city.
09:03 am - Coup in Thailand - again
I just heard the military had another coup in Thailand this week. This happens periodically when the corruption gets out of the hand - the military moves in and sweeps the crooks out of power. The funny thing is - the military doesn't hang onto to power and the "monarch" supports the coup. Fortunately it fairly benign as far as coups go - except that their appears to be some media and Internet censorship. Hopefully it'll blow ever quicky. Ohh how I miss that place....
Sep. 14th, 2006
09:26 am - RoHS madness.
The fracking EU ordered that electronic components not contain lead. Instead of the justice of reality plunging the EU into a lead-free dark age - spineless manufactures and distributors scrambled to transition to lead free products. One result has been chaos in the electronics components area. It seems as though because of the transition manufacturing slowed and/or distributors reduced (pre Pb free) inventory for fear that everyone would demand the lead free crap. Now so much stuff I need has a led time - even from Digikey!
One learns that before fabricate a PCB to verify availably of components What happens when things are so disordered that critical components disappear between schematic / PCB submission and component ordering!