Month: October 2015

Happy Halloween

Or in my terms, ba fucking humbug. Halloween is for the kids, not we adults. Our job is to supply good candy. Never cheap out.

But the past few years halloween has been with friends and part of the time was at a now close gay club in Dansbury, CT.

And this evening we won’t be around as we’re going to a halloween part in Newport.

Now when it comes to halloween I’m really low key. For the gay club thing I donned little tiny demon horns on my head.

Or when I worked at that information security company that shall not be named while every other unit went bonkers I suggested some frozen CO2 in a rather large metal cauldron and spritzed with warm water every now and again. Plus we had candy to give out but the candy was in a low, rolling fog of CO2.

And I heard tell I missed the halloween goodness at the Quincy office where I work now. I explained that what I’d experienced at  the company that shall not be named was enough to carry me through Halloween good cheer for another couple of decades. It was that over the top.

But for the party tonight I again went low key. I’m not one to spend hours putting on makeup or the like. The simpler, the better in my opinion.

So here I am, ready for the world.

webcam-toy-photo1 (1)

TV Bites the Dust Again

Well – the TV bit the dust again. We’ve gotten a few years out of it. More than I expected to be honest. But it’s at the point where getting the part is getting more difficult.

So it’s time for a new TV. We’ll go without for a bit. The two computers do net based streaming video really well so it’s not like we have no entertainment. And I’ll be the first to admit, the silence is kind of nice. Well, not completely silent there’s a drone of a fan but as an I.T. guy I’m used to that.

I note the prices on TV’s are sort of coming down a bit. So I might get like a 50″ or so inch TV next. When you think about it it’s only 10″ more on the diagonal bigger than the 40″ we have now, of course it’s non-functional. I might just disconnect the power for a few hours. See if it maybe comes back up when everything cools down. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s the damned power supply again.

I just don’t have the time to take it apart and then desolder the bad capacitors and install the good capacitors.

And I blew the budget on a KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer. And I do want to get a new leather sofa so getting a new TV might wait a few months. And I can tell Cox to disconnect the video service in the interim and save more money. And the mixer – the price was right on Amazon Prime of course. Retail I’ve seen these puppies at $500 to $600. I got it for $339 on Amazon.

Discovering Ones Atheism

So I’m watching this:

And my experience is much the same as that of Ms. Sweeney and Dr. Dawkins.

It started just after I was 7 years old and had made my first holy communion. I must have been about 8 years old when I was like, something isn’t right about religion.

It wasn’t until it was time for my confirmation that I acknowledged that something was definitely rotten in Denmark. I recall telling the priest at the interview just before we were confirmed that I had a very difficult time with the concept of faith and that the whole entirety of religion I’d learned up to them was no solace and more to the point it was all so much bovine effluent.

They confirmed me without a hitch. Of course just prior I was resistant to being confirmed in the church. I knew it was all horse shit or equine effluvia and had pretty much stopped going to church at this time. But a judicious bribe was paid me and so I went through with it, for the memory of my dead mother.

But I realize that not everyone had the cognitive capacity to just come out and admit they don’t understand or don’t believe in a God that could be so petty and tyrannical and pretty much an invention of bronze age mind or minds.

And of course just a year or so prior to my confirmation my mother had died. When the priest told my father and I that my mother couldn’t be given the rite of burial by the church it was the only time I respected my father. Because my father’s reaction was to pick that SOB priest up by his neck until such time as that priest capitulated.

So all of that meant my faith was gone. It didn’t help that the entirety of my primary and secondary education was in Catholic schools where they did things like teach us critical thinking skills and then try to get us not to apply them to the Bible we studied a year or so later. Yeah, right.

A Wednesday Night Out

Yeah every now and again. Try to do it at least once a month. Last month it was to see Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson speak.

This evening we had dinner over at Rasoi at 727 East Avenue, Pawtucket, RI. Just a short throw from Providence’s Hope St. I had the Lamb Vindaloo extra spicy of course and Keyron had a seafood stew. Very good food – about $70 for the meal and a couple of drinks.

From there we had to jet over to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence to see C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”. Fascinating production. Just two people for the entirety of the play. Screwtape Letters Program

We were in section G, seats 301 and 302. Stage left in other parlance.

Tickets to Screwtape Letters

Sounds and lighting were perfect. Picture a background of skulls and bones moodily lit by red or white light or combinations thereof. Picture sounds.

At the beginning of the play the entirety of the theater was darkness. That was cool.

All in all a good time was had by both of us. And me, I’m working from home tomorrow. Now way I’m getting in this late and getting up to be on commuter rail. Then Friday I’ll work out of the Boston office again – that makes twice this week.

Code Black Drone First Flight

Well – got it to fly. Didn’t have much control but it’s cute with all it’s LED’s on. And it’s small but really powerful. If you hold it in your hand and apply full throttle it pulls with considerable force. Some things to point out. See those little clear bubbles near each fan? Those are RGB LED’s. Looks like they’re 3mm by the size of them. And that little dot on the front of the central body – that’s the camera.

Got to learn how to fly this little puppy. They make it look so easy in videos. And I suppose once I get the layout of the sticks on the remote in my head I’ll do better.

But all in all I’m pleased. It’s a buzzy little beast and the cat doesn’t know what to make of it.

New Charge Pack and other news

So I got a ZeroLemon charging pack. It has the same capacity as my Ankner 10,000mAh battery pack. Except there is one difference – it charges either via USB or via solar power.

It’s all part of my going off grid plan. This is just the beginning.

We have a nice window at work – I can charge it via that.

So there’s progress. In other news I donated $50 to the World’s Larges Skeptic & Atheist Community Center.  Just click the phrase and make your donation – for the $50 level you get a Get out of Hell Free card.

And more – my drone is all charge up. I just have to format the 64GB SD card and snap it in. I’ve even got batteries in the remote. Haven’t gotten first flight yet. It’s really a cute little drone, here’s what it looks like:

And yes, it has LED’s everywhere. It’s pretty small – maybe 6″ across. I refuse to have to register such a cute little drone.

Other news the boss is back at work. Both the office mate and I noticed the boss didn’t look as shell shocked as he usually does. It’s pretty funny.

Neighbors and Wifi

So the new neighbor that moved in upstairs introduced herself today.

But then asked if she could use our Wifi. My first reply was no. But then I though about it. I can with the Cisco router I have create up to four SSID’s with their own passwords and assign each SSID to  VLAN.

So I set it up for them. Told them it might not work so well in the Z direction and as to monthly charge I’d have to wait to see what the bandwidth usage kicks up to.

Plus they don’t get the admin password to the router and I can shut it off if it becomes too much of a burden.

Physics: It’s all around you

Think of it for a moment. Physics governs the physical world in which we live. It’s concerned with the four fundamental forces, the strong, electro-magnetic, weak and gravity.

Let’s take them one by one:

Strong Nuclear force – it’s the force that keeps the atoms in us and everything around us from flying apart.

Electro-Magnetic – we use this one the most in our society. From the hard drives in computers to the very nature of computer circuits, to all the electricity that flows around us and gets transformed into light with photons the exhibit a dual nature as particles and waves.

Weak Nuclear Force – this is the one in the quantum world. It lets quarks do their thing. Not so strong as to inhibit but to encourage some play among the quarks.

Gravity – I suspect there is a strong relation between gravity and the strong nuclear force. Except one is at the micro level, the other at the macro level. Gravity is what keeps our feet to the ground, and what we struggle against when we get old.

Testing: A Verizon JetPack

If you’re not familiar, it’s a 3G/4G wifi hotspot tied to the Verizon network. The actual device is built by Netgear.

Now in testing I notice it suffers more dead spots than my 4G cell phone from MetroPCS.

Plus it’s a 5GB limit per month on the JetPack where my MetroPCS phone is unlimited.

And looking at coverage paths for both devices the MetroPCS phone wins particularly in northeastern North Carolina.

Driving: A Fun Twuck to Dwive

Because it’s not a car, not a truck but a Twuck or more specifically a van. A Toyota Sienna (It’s also sold as a Lexus – but pure Toyota through and through.)

It has characteristics that are common to all Toyota vehicles. Slam the door and it sounds like you’re closing a tin can.

However the one I drove this evening – it had some redeeming qualities.

For example – this baby could fucking move. I had her up around 90MPH on the highway. Lovely! It almost makes you forgive the fact that it’s a Toyota and a Minivan.

But the piece de resistance, the creme de la creme, this twuck could burn fucking rubber. I mean I pulled a few whole shots with this van, had the tires chirping and squeaking like crazy.

I guess Toyota finally figured out – give a Minivan a reasonably powerful engine, with torque pretty much out the wazoo and you might sell a few more. But no – it’s still a Minivan – useful for hauling people and shit around. and I’d never buy one as my heart belongs to cars of German or Bavarian lineage. To be specific a Volkswagen Golf TSi or Golf R, or a BMW X3.

But it if you are in the market for a minivan – I can highly recommend this one as it’ll let you relive the joys of your gearhead youth and let you pull wholeshots with a van, a front wheel drive van I might add.