Daily GUIDE-ance:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Predators on Facebook

It was unkind of me. But I couldn't help myself. I smelled an easy mark. I opened this debate with somewhat evil intentions. The Devil made me do it:

The person who "liked" Elmer's comment was me. What's not to like about it?!

He was giving up, which I couldn't have , so I egged him on.
Crickets for now. Jimeny Cricket was one of them, telling me that this was just wrong of me. He's a bit conflicted about us posting this too... Sigh. (Yaller dog and pison. Me Tom and Huck.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MS Excel as a CAD system

For a living, I work with a CAD (computer aid drafting) system. I use a very nice 3d system called Pro-Engineer at work. After I learned Pro-E, (and became pretty much awesome with it) it literally became part of how I think. Kind of like how reading and writing become part of you after you become literate. Or how it's pointless to ask a martial artist to fight without 'using any of that karate stuff'. It's now part of how I consider and evaluate new ideas. Its cool.

I've wanted some sort of CAD system for home for a while- it doesn't have to be as nice as Pro-e. A working 2-d system would suffice. But I didn't have one, so I was wistful for a while.

Then I decided to try to use MS Excel:

This is a screen shot of the layout I did when Liz and I redid our front walk. I reset the row height and column widths in XL to make squares in stead of the traditional rectangles, and then I zoomed way the heck out, decided my scale was one cell = 2" x 2" and started merging cells to represent the size blocks we were thinking about using. Copy, paste, etc. Tried out various patterns to see what stuff would look like, to see what would fill the space up best.

Here's a shot of the final, real world result:

Here's something I did the other day while bored:

It's a floor plan for an ultra miniature, one person house. Kind of a super efficient design with a single, college student type person in mind. It's dimensions are only 15x15 (tiny) but it has what you need. I lived in a place like this while I was missionarying in Nevada a million years ago. Me and Snave. Good times.

XL as a CAD system obviously has its drawbacks, but it is basically free and dimensionally accurate. Also, it's actaully alot simpler to use than Pro-E. It's basically just really really really nice graph paper. The commercial 3d systems out there are a million times awesomer than this, but people have been designing and building stuff successfully for thousands of years with basic 2-d drafting. Any drafter in the 60s and 70s would have loved to have had a CAD system as slick and sophisticated as XL is, once you are thinking out of the box enough to try to use it as one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What time is it?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have a number of relevant, significant things I could write about. No, I guess not.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"The same year that Bobby became world champion, my elder sister, Susan, then 3 years old, found a chess set. Years later, Susan, my younger sister, Judit, and I led the Hungarian team to victory in the international chess Olympiad. Today, Judit is rated among the top 20 players in the world. When she became a grandmaster at age 15, she broke Fischer’s record as the youngest player to reach the mark. This was especially sweet, as Fischer’s opinion of a woman’s abilities was not terribly high. “They’re like beginners,” he once said. “They lose every single game against a man. There isn’t a woman player in the world I can’t give knight-odds to and still beat.”

--Sofia Polgar

Monday, August 16, 2010

Credit Where It's Due

Please reference the below email chain Re: Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(You'll have to read it backwards email style because I am too lazy to unravel it for you. I am publishing it with permission from the author.At least, I think I have permission.)

Would it kill you to at least mention me on your blog? I did tip you off! Oh and you can tell Liz that I was not being presumpuous. At least not on purpose. Actually I don't get what you mean by that. Knowing the deffinition of a word doesn't always help. Most of that email I was kidding (kinda at least). It doesn't make since in this context. At least I'm not as bad as Virginia! I may just have to tell her!! Lol. G2g.

From: john sever
To: peanutter butter
Sent: Thu, August 12, 2010 9:02:01 PM
Subject: RE: Your latest blog post


that was actually Liz who wrote that, not me. She thought she was forwarding your message to me at work but accidently hit reply instead. I think she must have thought you were being presumptuoeuosus.

So you can see the peanut butter thing. Huh. Virginia is listed as Evil Satan, so don't feel too bad!

Yeah, Avatar rules. Just started the last season today. Amazing.

Congrats on the car and liscence!

Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 15:03:33 -0700
From: patrickbryan93@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Your latest blog post
To: sageowl@hotmail.com

What "kid" are you talking about?! Me or Aang? LOL! I was only kidding anyway (though a little recognition for putting you onto this would be nice)! Honestly, you were fawning over Avatar in your blog! Not that I'm saying that's a bad thing. I personally agree with you! Avatar: the Last Airbender is awesome not to mention way better than its movie remake (which was merely "ok" in my opinion).
Anyway, dude. Would you mind changing my name in your contacts from "peanutter butter"? That's just insulting! JK, LOL!

From: john sever
To: peanutter butter
Sent: Thu, August 12, 2010 3:45:31 PM
Subject: RE: Your latest blog post

i, personally, think the kid needs smacked down. just my opinion. lol!

Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 13:23:20 -0700
From: patrickbryan93@yahoo.com
Subject: Your latest blog post
To: sageowl@hotmail.com

Yo, John!
Who was the one who told you the cartoon was better? Seriously, if I hadn't have told you to watch it you wouldn't have even watched a single episode! You aren't going to even give me any credit here? Not to mention your complete aditude change! Oh well, what ever. I'm just glad you came around in the end. I knew you'd agree with me in the end! Do you not agree that they screwed up the fire benders in the movies? Not to mention all the other stuff they scewed up! Anyway congrates on seeing the light! Lol!
Your's truly-

Friday, August 13, 2010

Comtemplating Postal

I've often thought that a nice idyllic job would be being a mail carrier.

Easy, walking around all day in the weather, nothing all that hard to do mentally, so the mind would be free to wander... just dropping off stuff. Seems to me that this job would be very calming and relaxing. Stress free, almost Utopian.

So why is it, I wonder, that these guys have such a reputation as psychopaths?

Maybe it's because only people who are already psychotic to begin with find this type of job attractive?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ha! Look what I figured out how to do! There's no stopping me now! This game is totally unremarkable, I just posted it to see if I could do it. I'm black and I win because this guy blunders his way into oblivion, despite his rating being much higher than mine.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

We finished season two of Avatar the other night, and I have to say it rules. The best cartoon ever. I've been pretty darn close to crying over this cartoon a couple times. And it's hilarious.

I used to think TV was a terrible format for story telling, but I was fundamentally wrong there, apparently. Between Avatar, Firefly and season 1 of Heroes... I've been forced to admit that it can be done very well indeed.

Geesh. I'm like, all caught up in the Avatar thing right now. Uncle Iroh... There's a segment in one of the episodes that shows him grieving over his dead child, that I just can't quite get over. Honestly, the only thing I can compare it to is when Dumbledore died in HP and I went around in a daze for a day or two, literally doing a miniature of the mourning process so that I could get on with my life. (Pathetic sounding, no?)

And the final episode of season 2... I'm just Blown Away. So. Major props for Avatar: The Last Airbender. The cartoon blows the movie away.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Facebook Account Got Deleted!

Or "disabled" is how they put it. No explanation why. Just gone, with a message mentioning the fact when I attempted to log in.

Pretty weird, and pretty annoying too. It was free of course, and what do you really expect from a crackerjack box, but still... I kind of liked Facebook!

Anyhow, I did the basic steps a couple days ago: asked for an explanation, tried to find the right thread in the maze of 'help' to pull on to get my account back, but I haven't gotten a response yet, and it's been three days. I've heard that an account will 'go to sleep' after a period of inactivity, but that wasn't me. I was actually in a flurry of activity, debating prop 8, energy policy and BHO's mental health all at once.

So naturally, I want to suspect that some conspiracy from the left is trying to silence me! In all likelihood it's just a hork in the system... but I really can't wait to know what happened. I hate it when they don't explain!

However: if it turns out that I got flagged for hate speech or treason or as being dangerously intelligent-or for calling Angelina Jolie a toothless bearded hooker-that would be just like me! I seem to have an innate knack for making the perfectly innocent (ok, relatively innocent) look terribly suspicious.

It kind of reminds me of the time in Nauvoo, when some insane Mormon woman came up and preached at me, Todd and Trent because we were playing Magic, which was a sin. I asked her to explain. She stormed away farting and barking that I needed to listen to the spirit. Sigh. I hate Mormons sometimes.

I did well, I didn't get mad or even sarcastic. Really, I didn't! I just asked her to explain.

I hate it when they can't explain.

But I am used to it.

(This was in between Order of the Phoenix and The Half Blood Prince. There were alot of people there that year who were all down on us for openly reading Harry Potter too, which genuinely surprised me.)

So- it's probably nothing- rationally speaking it's most likely just a glitch in the system. (This is why I hate systems in general.) Yeah. Just a glitch. Right? - but maaan- it feels alot like repression!


Monday, August 9, 2010

People who go on shooting rampages and end by shooting themselves should be more considerate of others. It would be better to shoot yourself first.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Awesome Books

I found TWO really awesome books in the last couple weeks. Both are from authors I had never even heard of before- just random grabs off the local library shelf. (I'm getting desperate for books, you see.)

Some how I managed to win the lottery both times.

Blind Lake, by Robert Charles Wilson,

is the best sci fi I've read in a long time. He's like Michael Crichton on steroids. He seems at least as at ease in talking hard, believable technology based on real science as Crichton was- only more so, because some of Crichton's work got awfully-- lecture hally-- and Wilson never does. Along side his powerhouse technical knowledge, he also has a gift for story telling. Great, believable characters, suspense. He juggles any number of story lines that seem quite disconnected from each other, but somehow you never get annoyed when he switch's storylines because you are intensely interested in all of them. I can't believe I've never read this guy before! And he also has a more powerful imagination that Crichton did- and I loved Crichton! Anyhow. I'm enthralled. Major props to Blind Lake. I'm getting all this guy's stuff now. And so should you, scumbucket.

Ghostwalk, by Rebecca Stott.

Rebecca Stott, a history professor with her first novel, is at home in the 17th century as Wilson is in the world of scitech. Ghostwalk is a mystery novel... er... I guess .It's a mark of her abilities that even after I finished the book it is hard to really give it a genre. Mystery fits, but doesn't really come close to covering it. The book is set in modern day Cambridge and centers around a historian who has pieced together some facts that possibly implicate The Isaac Newton in a series of suspicious deaths that seemed to have paved his way to scholarly success in 17th century Cambridge. Then a similar series of murders occur in modern times and... the fun begins. I was very impressed with Stott's gift for narrative and character development. I was kept guessing the whole time as to whether I was reading a ghost story or a historical sort of thriller novel. The story is told first person and I would never have thought to approach a narrative as she does- her character tells the story in a kind of emotional sequence rather than chronological sequence. It's terribly clever.

Both my new writer's are terribly good at getting you into their character's heads. I can't say too much for fear of spoiling... But the bad guy in Blind Lake reminded me eerily of an exboss- you feel sympathy and still hate him- and Rebecca Stott gets you so well into the mind of this married guy's affair girl, that I have to wonder if she has experience? Believe it or not, Rebecca, that was actually intended as a compliment.

So there it is. I'm officially recommending both to you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Here is a link to a good article about of ethanol as a fuel. If you are looking for a sustainable, "green" fuel, ethanol is probably not what you think it is.

A quote:

"...the bottom line is that, broadly, to perform the same job as an equivalent volume of petrol, you’d need to burn about 40 per cent more pure ethanol, and it would emit the same (or very similar) amount of CO2. "

The article doesn't touch on the fact that the last time I checked, it still took about as much energy to convert raw plant matter into a burnable fuel as you can get from the end product burnable fuel. Which makes the whole excersize totally pointless. (Am I wrong about this?)

Also it doesn't touch on how mindblowingly awful ethanol fuel is on metal. (Your engine is made of metal.) I work in this industry. A conventional part of basic aluminum costs about a sixth of what it costs to make the same product able to stand up to 85% ethanol fuel. Its ugly stuff.

It's politicized science, unfortunately.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010