thetimesink: (Default)
2017-09-09 10:38 pm

A passage of sorts...

...although I suspect just the use of a different conveyance: Jerry Pournelle moved into yet another universe on Friday at the age of 84. Jerry is perhaps best known for his Science Fiction, but he also contributed regularly to Byte Magazine and was one of the first people in the late nineties to publish regular posts online via a private web site.

His online work at Chaos Manor became a cornerstone of a group of similar tech-minded people who called themselves "The Daynotes Gang". I was a member there since early on and carry some very good memories of times together sussing out tech questions, proofreading member's books and occasionally generating some genuine Internet horseplay.

Enjoy your next journey, Dr. Pournelle; check back in then you've found the comm path...
thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-08-15 09:47 pm

The Colour Formerly Known as Purple...

For Reference, of course...

(Thanks, garret!)
thetimesink: (half-baked)
2017-08-13 02:47 pm


Via work and such...

There's an eclipse scheduled...

"Yeah, but we're not in the path, so no big..."

Darn, I was hoping to see something.

Hey! Totality isn't everything (exceptions excluded); drop by Vox's Magic Eclipser Page and toss in your ZIP code (no need if your browser already knows who you are, where you are and what your inclinations are) to see what you will see. Much of the US, Canada, and Mexico will receive some effect. Heck, I figured we had nothing; it turns out that we'll have 75% occlusion.

...and yeah, safety first: there's no point in looking if that would be your last visual memory.
thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-08-04 10:39 pm

Mixed Media...

click for larger version...

Just dinking around, putting off something I should be doing...
thetimesink: (catitude)
2017-08-01 08:31 am


Skynet is/was live...

I wonder if they remembered the backup on the Colossus server?
thetimesink: (half-baked)
2017-07-20 10:24 pm

Vis-à-vis life of late...

We're surrounded by so much information that is of immediate interest to us that we feel overwhelmed by the never-ending pressure of trying to keep up with it all. — Nicolas Carr in The Shallows (embedded promotional link).

Via Farnam Street

As a counterpoint, or even perhaps confirmation of sorts:

This would be wrong:

...and this would be very wrong:

thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-07-01 05:58 am

Why not?

I do believe I'd foreshadowed the weekend earlier...

Paramore is a group I've followed for several years. Some time back they did a local gig and I hijacked/bribed the youngest to go along (so I wouldn't be the weird older guy by himself in the first row outside the mosh pit; of late, I find I could care less).

Rambling on: the band has changed over the years, but the lead singer has remained in place. Their label just linked an article that is worth a read for the ... ah ... "maturizing"/open/self-aware... Heck, we all have problems, life "is"; it's how we deal with it...
thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-07-01 01:19 am


Recently we were called upon to sell Mom's house. We accepted the project as we had accepted the transfer of executor from another family member to me and had accepted the lead role in moving Mom from that family member's house to an independent living facility. We'll allow the preceding to fall under the "best solution for all concerned" heading and continue the story from another view.

Some background is necessary to set the stage, but I'll keep it germane: Dad died almost twenty years ago, on his birthday and on the Father's Day that coincided that year. The phone call home to say we were on our way over for the get together became, Dan, they're doing CPR on your father. Again, we leave the page and pass to another chapter...

Mom, ten years of adaptation, a vehicular accident, a bit of medical mis-management, a fall, another fall, the decision as a sole occupant of the house no longer practical, a move to a family member's house, grand kids non-renting the house (and the family growing therein) for another seven years. Again, background, and a remove to an earlier chapter in the family history...

Of the several skill sets my father held, wood working was one of those he practiced at a craftsman or even master-craftsman level (I admit a bias). Combined with a true master's knowledge of all-things-electrical, he modified, crafted, re-purposed, and created anything from a birdhouse to put together with a grandson, to a full workshop building in the back yard, to a three level, 12' x 8' O-27 gauge train layout in the garage.

Work of this level demanded tools, and tools to fit the nature of the work. I learned early on which brands worked well, when to save a buck for a one-off project, and when to know when it was time to purchase a radial arm saw to complement the table saw when production work was the next step. Hand tools? Yep, from his early days, including the wire cutters with the gap blown into one blade when I cut a wire pair that was live (prank in a shop class in junior high; no one laughing), to the full sets of wrenches simply to have that particular full set of wrenches.

...and again, a pause; a moment needed to learn that shortly after his death Mom had given away the train layout and much of his "stuff". ...and again later, when one of the grandkids sold off "tools for grandma", only without prior consult. So his son, not his protege by any means, but nonetheless in possession of a portion of his skill-sets, had to make peace with the fact that some memories will be just that: memories, sans prompts, such as tactile or visual stimuli could provide.

Onward, ever onward, and now to the close of a chapter: the house is changing ownership; the grandkids have kept the house itself as it should be, they've even upgraded several areas with grandma's finances which will make the sale a bit easier. We still need to move some furniture somewhere (estate sale?) and we do need to assess whether the workshop in back should be torn down or can live again as something other than supposedly storage for still more furniture. ...and so, while Shelley is reviewing the house, I have the shop to unlock and see what needs to be removed.

Imagine... )
thetimesink: (catitude)
2017-06-30 11:01 pm


Danny Trejo, on Michelle Rodriguez, referencing who to have at his side in a bar fight:
...everyone that you mentioned would dial 911 to save me, but Michelle Rodriguez would pick up a bottle, and start whacking people.

Source code
thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-06-30 10:39 am

Stress management, self care...

Foo Fighters, December 1, local, ticket printed (may frame it)...
thetimesink: (catitude)
2017-06-29 01:01 pm

New favorite artist...

Tell me, Cinderella, does the anger ever fade?

...Robyn Cage, "Born in The Desert".

Yes, folks, we may be going strange places this weekend.
thetimesink: (Default)
2017-06-19 08:27 pm

Sometimes you just have to go with it...

Nature's Miracle High-Sided Litter Box

+1 to the Marketing wonks.

No, I'm not going to link it; simply join me in quiet contemplation of a job well done.
thetimesink: (half-baked)
2017-05-30 08:44 pm


For the three-day weekend, the TV ended up on the "Harry Potter Weekend" channel (I don't watch a lot of TV, but that's another story). During a moment of focus I noticed (again) Narcissa Malfoy and wondered (again), "Why?". Sometime later, during what I recall as the last movie in the series, there is a scene that does a close focus on her (forest, asking Harry if Draco still lives, he nods) as she turns toward the camera... Okay, that is full Random Access Memory (yeah, Daft Punk) and the overpowering demand to know those eyes and those cheekbones on the other end of wherever-I-know-them-from!

Ahem. Okay, Helen McCrory. Sure. No help. IMDB. Oh, no way! Hugo, "Mama Jeanne". Oh, heck. (also Skyfall and Penny Dreadful; I haven't seen either)

So, Hugo, you ask? I ran across the sound track on Spotify, thence to the opening scene (the first eight seconds!), and then to the movie itself.

Huh. Scorsese, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee (bit part), Sacha Baron Cohen, a couple of other familiar faces?

...and this evening, as I research spelling and links, I find out the storytelling that looked so like an overview of early film making was a Scorsese homage to Kingley's character.

thetimesink: (catitude)
2017-05-29 03:31 pm



So, this is a "religious" thing: Texas has brisket; Louisiana has pulled pork; Californians are happy to take a "cull cut" of meat and turn it into an article of faith. This would be a decent example of our version of BBQ: a tough cut of meat, a 'rub' as a seasoning, smoked for eight hours at 225F. The fat has turned into gelatin; the red ring is called a "smoke ring".

Briquettes are anathema; lump mesquite charcoal or hardwood is canon. Rub recipes are known only to the high priests and their acolytes...

Heretics are known to use an over-the-counter "Santa Maria" seasoning and to grill over an open flame. For this affront, they are often forced to use "bread" and make "sandwiches" with "condiments".

Holders to the true path simply serve slices with a side dish (to keep from devouring a pound of meat each).
thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-05-28 10:31 pm

I rotate my work art occasionally...


Annie Leibovitz, for Vanity Fair:

The Four Cover Versions

The Definitive Preview

Edited: size, size, size. Sheesh.
thetimesink: (catitude)
2017-05-19 09:31 am

Nomenclature Failure...

How the wrong cat litter took down a nuclear waste repository

Words have actual meanings, explicitly or implicitly; thing is, my "high" is not necessarily your "high".
...or John Denver's, or my acquaintances from my street time.

Soooo glad it's Friday, and five o'clock somewhere (to continue the theme)!

Stolen shamelessly from CONULY...

(totally unrelated: that "A" in inorganic chem and the "C" in organic chem way back when)
thetimesink: (half-baked)
2017-05-16 11:39 am

We had a weekend!

Sorely needed...
thetimesink: (catitude)
2017-05-07 09:18 pm

Guardians of the Frickin' Galaxy, A-holes!

Wow... That is one heck of enjoyable show! The SO was ambivalent about the first one, but came away from this story already on the phone to our son to tell him she wanted to go again when he did. I may be off the the IMAX...

The sound track was dead on for both of us; and let me just enjoy the ride. Heck, I even teared up at the end.

When the first movie came out and I posted a similar pic, I may have forgotten to thank Dwight for pointing me to that t-shirt; if that's the case, "Thanks!". I'm pretty sure I'm the only kid in town with that one.
thetimesink: (Gravely)
2017-05-07 12:30 am

Story time...

They tell me journaling is good for a variety of reasons: self-expression, cleansing the soul, entertaining, information exchange... The list goes on for a bit. At one time I considered myself a "content producer", cranking out daily posts and the occasional tech piece. That ended for several reasons (to be detailed later and elsewhere), and my next foray into an online presence came about through LiveJournal and the existence therein of a similar community as I'd been a part of through the Daynotes Gang. That's a rather longish way to say, "Thank you" to those who are reading and interacting on here on DreamWidth.

That said, times have changed; systems have evolved; life has proceeded; and the wheel is turning on its eternal axis. ...and since Sweet Lethe has shown herself to be absent this night, I may as well relax to the inevitable and let the Muse have her time in the moonlight. Forthwith, three tales from days past of a gentleman of my acquaintance in my professional persona (yes, a CV would be an excellent idea):

Dr. G was a physician well into his sixties working as an ER doc in a local hospital during the mid-seventies. The translation of that sentence: he had made the transition from being an "doc who worked in the emergency room" to a board-certified ED Physician, something even the current generation of hotshots considered a bit daunting. As I recall, I was doing some routine CE, which meant I was working up patients in treatment rooms and presenting their case to the on-duty physician. I'd passed along one case to Dr. G.; and as he wandered down the hall, he stopped at an extensive flip-up rack of medical journals (mid-seventies: no computers). He selected one volume; had me read up on the reference there that matched the presumptive patient condition; and passed along the maxim, You don't have to know everything about a subject, just where to find the information. I'm thinking he missed his calling as a librarian, and would love the Internet as an information source today.

Fast forward several years. Dr. G is still working in the ED; the staff has grown enough to warrant two or maybe three physicians during the day, but still only one on duty late at night. I'm working as a flight medic at this hospital as a part-time job and rotating my duty time between the ED and rehab (working, not admitted). It's the night shift and a floor nurse shows up downstairs and asks if Dr. G. is working. I let her know he is, but he's in a room with a patient and can anyone else perhaps help. Her answer is to say, I'll wait; I wanted to check with him about my pregnancy. Okay... Maybe we do the blood tests in the ED?

After a bit, Dr. G. comes back to the station and she asks him about her pregnancy. He looks into her eyes for a moment and pronounces, It's a girl. WT??? So I ask an ED nurse about this bit of medicine that I didn't recall from medic school. What I get back is that Dr. G. has a rep for something like a 90%+ correct call on the baby's gender after the third month of pregnancy, and that essentially all the in-house staff who are "with child" check in with him when they reach the end of their first trimester. "McCoy"; "old country doc"; and "Star Trek" are my only thoughts...

...and a few years later there is an early morning radio call from a crew that is headed toward this ED; the nature of which is enough to send my partner and me there to assist. Details are waved, but it's a trauma call and the entire ED staff ends up working the patient. I'm in the nurse's station as Dr. G. walks in to start his day (after drinking some "been in the pot all night" coffee) and asks where everyone is. I let him know the nature of the call and he heads down the hall with me tagging along. When he arrives, the scene is one straight out of a Level 1 trauma center (which this hospital is not for another year or so). Dr. G. asks the attending physician what he has and that MD says, Well, if I could, I'd crack his chest and...; but I'm tied up with the resuscitation. (Level 1 stuff, two physicians and plenty of staff to pull that off.) Dr. G. just turns to the closest RN and says, Let me have a thoracic tray, please. He then goes about the procedure as though it was just another day. "No flippin' way!" is in the thought balloons over every head in the room as they watch "an old country doc" do his thing.

Just another day...
thetimesink: (Beard)
2017-04-23 09:25 pm

Melancholia, epigenetics, creativity, music, and cognitive neuroscience?

That's one heck of a set of tags...

I could have added more, but if you are in a reading mood that should spark enough interest. Two links from the randomness of TheTimeSink:

In praise of melancholia, wherein the author discusses "melancholy" versus "depression", the assumed tie in with creativity, genetic encoding of stress effects passing through generations, and music as balm for the soul.

A bit of a scatter-gun approach, but readable if only for the bit on "genetic memory" (Lamarck, are you back in the game with Mr. Darwin?).

Network Science and the Effects of Music Preference on Functional Brain Connectivity: From Beethoven to Eminem. Yeah, the title is a clue; but if you work your way through it, there is some interesting stuff going on.

Oh, heck, just read the abstract...

Edited to add (for the masochists or those who cannot walk away from info):
Wikipedia, Default Mode Network
PMC (more depth)