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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in feedle's LiveJournal:

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    Saturday, May 26th, 2012
    11:25 pm

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    image

    Sunday, May 20th, 2012
    2:43 pm
    Today’s recreational electronics project.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Monday, May 14th, 2012
    3:49 pm
    My hero.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    I like The Oatmeal.  But he really hit it on the head with this one.

     

    Now, if there was only a way to join the powers of bacon with the genius of Tesla.

    Anyway, go visit The Oatmeal.  Now, dammit.

    Friday, May 4th, 2012
    7:38 am
    One Million Moms vs. the other Three Hundred Million Americans

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    One Million Moms is at it again against JCPenney. And it would be humorous, if it wasn’t so sad.

    JCPenney, like most middle-class focused retailers, has been watching their classic demographic wither and die. They’ve already watched as many of their contemporaries.. once proud national retailers like Montgomery Ward.. and regional retailers like Mervyn’s.. have folded. Sears is a shadow of it’s former self. And even the upscale retailers have not been exempt, as chains like The Broadway and Meier and Frank have found themselves consolidated into Macy’s, while others have just simply vanished.

    JCPenney is smart to be inclusive. Increasingly, as the next generation matures into adulthood, they already carry a much higher level of tolerance to alternative lifestyles. With each passing generation American society is becoming more inclusive and more open.

    For the rest of us, let’s remind JCPenney that One Million Moms.. even if they do indeed represent “one million Moms”, is 0.3% of the population of the United States. We should not allow a small, hateful, bigoted organization to dictate terms under which we all should live.

    It’s time for that minority to go into the closet.

    Friday, March 30th, 2012
    8:56 pm
    Desert rain, and winter pains.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    I miss living in the desert.

    Spring appears to have arrived in Bend.  I’ve only lived here a few weeks and I can already identify the shift in the weather.  In fairly short order, the snow has turned to rain, and the rain has a.. dryness to it that reminds me of the monsoon rains in the Mojave and Sonora deserts.

    It smells a little like home.  And it’s comforting.

    I’m now surrounded by the odor of a desert coming alive.  This smell is quite different from the odor of the past three weeks.  It’s not as “cold” (even though the temperature still hovers around freezing at night).  It’s inviting.  It’s earthy.  It invited me to get out of my car in the middle of the desert today (some 40 miles east of downtown Bend) to experience the rain.

    A lot of pain from the Long Winter I just lived through was washed away today.  Spring is finally here again.

    Thursday, March 8th, 2012
    11:24 pm
    Prank Calls at the Motel 6

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Something really odd just happened. I awoke to the phone ringing in my hotel room at about 10:15-ish. On the other end was somebody claiming to be from the hotel’s front desk and saying something about getting complaints about “loud parties in my room” or some such. I went silent on the line and just waited, and after a couple of “hellos?” they hung up.

    I immediately knew it wasn’t the front desk. First off, the call audio was obviously not local.. even through this motel’s crappy PBX I could tell it was likely long distance, and even had telltale signs of Skype jitter in the audio. Secondly, I’ve stayed here long enough to have met all the front desk staff: they’re all old geezers, and this caller’s voice sounded like a juvenile punk kid. It also sounded vaguely.. familiar.

    I sure wish I wasn’t asleep when the call came in. I now suspect it was the children at Madhouse Live.  It sounded like them, anyway.

    OK, haha, very funny.  How droll.  And then I realized something that kinda creeps me out a little bit: they used my first name during the call.

    Wait. How did they know my first name?

    I walked to the front desk and had a brief conversation with the (old) man.  Turns out that our fun-loving telephone r0dent social engineered the front desk into releasing the name of the person in room 1xx using some story about somebody being ill.  Wonderful.  I informed the guy that we’d just been had, and went back to my room.

    After sitting here for a few minutes, I now feel a little uneasy.  One of the downsides to having a unique first name is that it’s pretty easy to find me.  There is only one person with my first name: me.  Doing a simple Google search on only my first name gives you Everything You Ever Need To Know.  (Yeah, I’m aware that by posting this very article I’m making it worse..)

    I’m fortunate: the caller could have been a phisher working a scam and not just out for a Fiber-Optic Joyride.  I also plan on making sure the hotel gets a little bit of an education on this and doesn’t fall for this flim-flammery in the future.

    Oh, and a big apology to Madhouse Live (assuming that was in fact you) I didn’t provide a better show.  I was asleep.  Give me a little warning next time and you’d have had something legendary.  I could have slipped in to my “Big Dick” Stetson voice and gone all shit-howdy hick postal on you (which is probably what you expected when you called a budget motel in rural Oregon anyway, not some half-awake blogger geek).

    Anyway, I’m going back to bed.  With the ringer on the phone switched to OFF.

    Friday, February 24th, 2012
    3:18 pm
    Why Ham Radio needs to die. Now.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Morsemail is, “A simple text format that encodes mark and space times to make it possible to send Morse coded messages via email” …

    Am I the only one that sees how moronic this is on the very face of it?

    Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
    7:48 am
    And suddenly, I’m very aware of gender bias in Neopaganism.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    The whole Pantheacon “thing” really gets under my skin.

    On the one hand, there are things about it I don’t think I’ll ever understand.  I’m unquestionably male in appearance and in outward personality.  I’ve never had to cope with many of the issues that those friends of mine who are transgender have had to cope with.  I’ve never had to look at the face in the mirror and feel like the person staring back at me “is not me.”

    On the other hand, a significant part of my spiritual and cultural identity is decidedly transgender: my feminine higher self is always there, guiding my hands and words in often very subtle ways.  She is honored and cherished, and with some adjustments over the years is happy and content with the balance as it sits.

    I am a member of a spiritual group that has sought out my divine feminine self, and nourishes her.  She holds a special place in their ritual structure.  They accept the fact that She is in a male body.  They accept that when she speaks the words may be coming from a male mouth.  And they honor and cherish both the male container and the female self.  They look beyond the physical into the spiritual, and see the Creature inside for what and who she is. And all are happy and content with the balance as it sits.

    In a moment of clarity while meditating about the “Z Budapest Situation” last night, I bolted out of meditative state when I heard my internal voice say the following line:

    As the athame is to the male, so the chalice is to the female.

    .. and I realized the inherent sexual and gender bias in that very statement and in the way the Great Rite has been played out, time and time again, in just about every Pagan tradition I’ve ever been affiliated with.  And suddenly, I’m no longer content with the balance as it sits.

    In the pagan display of the Great Rite as presented here, there’s no place for transgenderism.  There’s no place for non-heterosexual intercourse.  There’s two clearly defined roles: of the athame, the male, the phallus.. and the chalice, the female, the womb.  The implications are profound.  You either have a penis, and are male.. or you have a vagina, and are female.  And the only valid display of the Great Rite is a penis inserted into a vagina.  That is the Only Sacred Thing: there is no opportunity for two athames to interact, or two chalices, or any other combination.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this thought, other than I’m actually now a little bit ashamed of myself for not seeing this sooner.  And I’m left with a lingering uneasiness that maybe it is time to reclaim a new ritualization of this act.. one that accepts that human sexuality isn’t black and white, isn’t just about the Pure Male penetrating the Pure Female.  One that can accept the paradigm of homosexuality, of transgenderism, and of transhumanism.

    Trust me, there will be more.

    EDIT: a slight change to the wording in a couple places was made at 1:15pm for prosaic flow.

    Thursday, February 16th, 2012
    8:43 am
    I’m going somewhere with this…

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Blu-Ray will go down in history as the last successful mass-market media distribution format. From here on out, all distribution of content will be via Internet.

    It’s largely a generational thing, really. Most kids (up to people in their early 30′s, generally) seem to be pretty comfortable with electronic delivery of their content. They’re perfectly content getting the majority of their content from their game consoles’ media stores, on their iPad or phone, or from Netflix or Amazon.  The older generations are not likely to really see much advantage with any media beyond Blu-Ray.  Even now, many in the 50+ age bracket seem happy with DVD.  I know more than one person in that age range that still actively uses VHS…

    Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
    7:31 pm
    From Reddit…

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    I recently posted this to Reddit to a “DAE” post about fathers.  I don’t know why I felt like sharing it.. it just felt like a good thing to share.  I repeat it here for completeness.

    I had a lot of fond memories of my father. But the best was a bit of a time-release memory, not realized until long after my father’s death.

    My father, when he was in his early 20′s, was a camp counselor at a place called Camp Union, somewhere in Massachusetts, probably back in the 1950′s. This I knew.

    What I didn’t know was that he kept every single piece of correspondence he ever received from the young men and the families he worked with. I found the box of letters in cleaning out his house after he passed away.

    A few of the letters were actually recent. I reached out to a few of the most recent letter-writers, and discovered one of the men was now living nearby (I live in Oregon presently). We met for coffee one day, and he shared with me many wonderful stories of times at the Camp. And he shared with me many of the letters my father wrote back to him over the years.

    But the best was the letter I got from this gentleman a few days later. What he could not express to me that day was that my father apparently worked with “at risk” boys from the inner city of Boston, and that my dad was one of the key reasons he straightened his life out and went on to be a “pillar of the community” when he was well on the road to being a street thug.

    And suddenly I realized that my father was not only my father, but the father of a lot of other struggling young men in the 1950′s long before I came into his life. And I have a lifetime of correspondence to read and cherish, knowing that as much as my father meant to me.. that there are hundreds… maybe even thousands… of other men who’s lives he touched.

    And that makes me proud of my father in ways no one single memory can ever do.

    Saturday, January 21st, 2012
    8:28 am
    IMPORTANT..

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    If you have a webpage hosted somewhere on feedle.net, please call me ASAP. Dreamhost (one of the companies I use for hosting) has had a database compromise, and they have reset all user logins to new passwords.

    Note this does not effect the listserver.

    Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
    8:04 am
    Writer's Block: Thesaurus Day
    "Abandoned".
    What is a synonym for your LiveJournal?
    7:45 am
    It doesn’t mean shit.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    You want to stop the RIAA and MPAA? It’s really this simple.

    Stop buying RIAA-produced music. Stop buying movie tickets to MPAA-produced movies. Stop supporting the content industry in general, who produces vapid mind-rotting “culture” and abuses artists and technical people alike.

    10% of us doing this would do more to hurt the industry than if every website opposing SOPA/PIPA went dark for a month.

    Thursday, December 29th, 2011
    10:10 am
    To all Non-Christians: We Won the War on Christmas.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    When you think about it, it’s almost comical, because we’re not even aware we won.

    “But wait,” I hear you cry, “how can you say we won when Christmas is everywhere.. starting from Halloween until .. well, Christmas Day!”

    That’s exactly the point. Christmas has become a one-day holiday for the vast majority of Americans. It’s become the day we travel “over the hills and through the woods” to Grandmas, eat ourselves silly (like we don’t eat ourselves silly the other 364 days of the year), and give thoughtfully mass-produced gifts to one another completely devoid of any deeper meaning other than.. “here.”

    If you think about it, all the traditions everybody celebrates on Christmas Day are not Christian. The gifts. The tree. The fire in the fireplace (Yule Log: they didn’t even bother to change the name on that one). The celebration of the birth of the Sun God.

    Sorry, that one just leaked out.

    But that’s the greater point. In all this talk of the Religious “Right” about a War on Christmas, nobody ever mentions the fact that very few people in the United States celebrate Christmas.. um.. “properly.” I drive around my appropriately festive upper-middle-class neighborhood and I already see my Christian neighbors dismantling the lights outside. It’s not even New Year’s Day yet and one neighbor had already put the tree at the curb for collection by the garbageman.

    Don’t They Know It’s Christmas?

    Maybe because I grew up in a staunchly proud quasi-German family that held on to the few traditions they felt mattered, but Christmas decorations went up on Christmas Eve (maybe a couple of days before in some cases) and came down on the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

    You remember Twelfth Night, right? Surely, you’ve heard.. if not actually sung.. that “Five.. GOOOOOLDEN… RIIIIIINGS!!!!” song. The Twelve Days of Christmas? The Christmas Holiday starts on December 25th (or, in fine Abrahimic tradition, the evening of the day before) and runs for the Twelve Days of Christmas. Each day has some significance in the more orthodox Christian sects, including the Feast of King Wenceslas, ending at Epiphany (the day the “three wisemen came to the manger”) on January 5.

    Of course, the entire “Twelfth Night” thing harkens back to Pagan Europe’s traditions of the Lord of Misrule and the traditions of Samhain and Saturnalia.

    But the greater point is that Christianity adopted many of the traditions of the pre-Christian peoples of western Europe and adapted them into a wonderful story of their Christ, rich with symbolism, some of which was adopted of course. But some of it was meant to teach Christians what it means to be.. Christian.

    And here comes the Religious “Right”, who wants department stores to use the words “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays”, and gets offended when some non-Christian politely asks that we tone down the Jesus stuff, because we’re Not All Christian After All. Meanwhile, the very things they are arguing for serve to only reduce the meaning of Christmas to a secular holiday we celebrate on (or about) the Winter Solstice. None of these Jesus Junkies are out there telling people to go out there and celebrate the Divine Liturgy on the Saturday after Christmas Day, or to invite a (poor) stranger into one’s home for the Feast of King Wenceslas.. the latter being doubly ironic because these same people sing the carol attached to that day without actually listening to the words.

    All of that has been lost in all the clearance sales, sports games, Doctor Who specials, and leftovers.

    So, congratulations, my fellow Heathens. We won the War on Christmas.

    Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
    11:35 am
    It’s shit like this, Google.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Image of Google MapsJust a quick note on something I just observed. Google is getting better and better at the sort of UI tweaks that I’ve come to expect from Apple. Maybe Google did this months ago and it was just so subtle that I just now noticed it, but if you look at the “mode change” box in the upper right hand corner of Google Maps, it acts as a lens showing you exactly what’s there: see my example, where you can see the corner of the Oregon Convention Center and MLK Blvd. in the box.

    Really cool, guys.

    Thursday, October 6th, 2011
    2:50 pm
    Occupy? My ass.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    I really want to be wrong with where I’m going with this entry.  However, I fear that I am more correct than even I realize.

    Let me start by saying I in principal agree with most of the points that seem to be proffered by many of those protesting in our nation’s cities.  I’m heartened to see many of the younger generation finally starting to “get it”: that corporations have too much power, and that the cornerstone of our Republic has been so compromised that change is needed.

    That change needed to happen before September 11, 2001.  It just can’t happen now.

    This war you are fighting was lost a century ago when corporations were declared “persons” not by an act of Congress, nor by Presidential decree, but by a series of court decisions and even more centuries of legal precedent.  Our entire society has been based upon this bit of legal wrangling.  It’s not just as simple as declaring it “not to be true.”  Corporations exist for a reason, and many corporations use their legal “personhood” to do much public good.

    Case in point.  Occupy Portland began their march today in the shadow of MercyCorps “corporate headquarters”, on the site of the old Skidmore Fountain Market.  As I look at the live feed of the video, I wonder how many people.. many of whom are literally LEANING on this very building, are aware of how much “corporate personhood” allows MercyCorps to do what they do.   I don’t even understand many of the legal implications, let alone understand what I do know well enough to explain them to someone else.

    Do you really want this corporation to cease to exist?

    The American Red Cross provides much in humanitarian aid to not only those affected by large-scale natural disasters, but small personal ones as well.  The blood services they provide alone have saved countless lives.  I have my disagreements with how the Red Cross is often run, but that does not stop me from acknowledging the greater good they do to society as a whole.

    Do you really want this corporation to cease to exist?

    For good or bad, much public infrastructure depends on the legal infrastructure of the corporation.  There isn’t a communications technology invented in the past 200 years that could have existed WITHOUT the corporation.  The Pony Express (the United States Postal Service is, in actuality, a corporation owned by the US Government), the telegraph and the railroads that it was built along side of, the telephone (and the telegraph network it supplanted), cellular telephones (which by their very nature requires a very tightly integrated network that would be financially impossible to build by a private individual on the scale required for blanket coverage [Side note that ties this together: Did you know that Sprint was, at one point, part of the Southern Pacific Railroad?]), and the Internet (which requires some of the same infrastructure as much of the above).  All of these very “democratizing” forms of communication REQUIRE a corporation to make happen.

    Do you really think the government (who is likely the only entity who could effectively manage and control all these resources effectively) would do any better?

    Banks exist for a reason.  We can argue that reason until we’re blue in the face, but the reality is we could no more switch off the Federal Reserve System tomorrow if we wanted to.  Even if we decided, as a nation, that the short term economic destruction was worth it.. it just couldn’t happen.  Small-scale reforms?  Maybe.  But even then, any significant changes to our financial system would likely have huge repercussions that nobody would understand.  Nobody. Anybody who says otherwise is either lying, mentally deranged, or just simply an idiot.

    We can all shift our money to Credit Unions.  There are implications to that.  Also, as auxiliary members of the Federal Reserve System, you  aren’t really changing much.  The money you deposit into a credit union will often find it’s way right back into Bank of America, Citibank, Chase, or any one of the Big Banks We All Hate.  As an example, did you know that if your credit union is a member of the CU Service Center network, when you deposit at a CU Service Center the transaction is actually “cleared” via accounts held at Citibank?  (CLUE: Why do you think VCOM machines at Seven-11 are both Citibank ATMs and CU Service Center locations?)

    There’s no wonder that conspiracy theories abound in this environment.  Everybody has blood on their hands.

    Everybody.

    Which is why nothing will change.  Here’s a fact that many of you who are protesting don’t understand.  That 99% vs. 1% dichotomy you keep parroting?  It isn’t that simple.  Most of us in that 99% depend on that 1% for our paychecks.  Most of us in that 99% depend on that 1% to keep our money, our streets, and our homes safe through insurance and bank accounts.  Most of us in that 99% depend on that 1% for what little heath care one can get without the aforementioned job and/or insurance.

    At the end of the day, most of that 99% lives in relative comfort.  Most of us live in peace.  Some of us are old, frail, and/or sick and would quite literally die if society were to collapse tomorrow.  A few of us fear for the Republic if things continue the way they are.

    But if there’s one thing I’m sure of, if tomorrow the corporation ceased to exist, I’d be dead within a week.

     

    Is that what you really want?

    Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
    10:17 am
    Today’s rant.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Apple’s announcements yesterday? Color me unimpressed.

    And another thing. All the analysts that are calling the Kindle Fire “not an iPad killer” are totally missing the point. If the Kindle Fire does 80% of what an iPad can do and costs 40% of the price, it is an iPad killer.

    Just like Android hasn’t been an iPhone killer.

    Current Smartphone Share

    Ouch.

    Friday, August 26th, 2011
    3:10 pm
    CFPeople: 2011 Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    OK all.  I’m going to spam a few specific people who had expressed interest, but I also wanted to post this publicly as well.

    Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire in Kings Valley, Oregon is September 10-11, 2011, and I need your help!

    Last year, I inherited a rough job: I became the Guildmaster Pro Tempore of the Artyfactors’ Guild.  We’re the guild that is responsible for the Faire getting built. We also do a bunch of other neat things, including operating the Water Dragon Maze, and this year a few little surprises which will be announced later..

    All in all, it’s a wonderfully fun job.  We have a good time playing with power tools for pre-faire/post-faire.  We get to chase kids around the maze during Faire.  We get to camp out at Faire site, and trust me: there’s no better experience than being at a Faire site after we kick the patrons out.

    I NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS.  I’m working on filling out my daily schedule for all the tasks that need to be performed, and I’m running very short on manpower I can depend upon.  I know there’s a lot of wonderful people in my friendship circle who’ve never been to a Renaissance Faire, but might be interested in going.  What better way to come to a Renaissance Faire than as a volunteer?  You’ll get the total behind-the-scenes experience.  You’ll be living, at least for 48 hours, in an Elizabethan English village with colorful people.  You’ll be able to know that you had a hand in creating an experience for the general public: by your very presence!

    There are a few rules.  We will need to get you a reasonably period costume, if you don’t have one already.  That we can arrange.  We’ll also need to get you to Kings Valley, Oregon.  That we can also likely arrange with carpooling, if you live in or around the Portland Metro (or can get there) to Corvallis.  If you have a sleeping bag, we can arrange a tent for you to share with others (the Artyfactors have a guild hall behind the scenes).

    There will be food.  There will be fellowship.  I can also guarantee a lifetime of memories.  Volunteering for Shrewsbury has been one of the highlights of my life, and one that I can’t wait to share with you.  If you have physical limitations, we still have jobs that need to be done.  If you think you can’t, believe me .. you can.

    Call me ASAP at 503-451-0714, and we’ll get your adventure started.

    6:49 am
    Why Steve Jobs does not matter.

    Originally published at feedle dot net. Please leave any comments there.

    Steve Jobs is stepping down from Apple as CEO. He will be continuing on as Chairman. The news media has gone crazy over “OMG, what will happen now?”

    Very little, in reality.  And it shows just how stupid a lot of people are about how all companies, even Apple, are run.

    Yes, unlike most CEOs, Steve Jobs had a lot of input into design decisions.  More than any other tech company executive, Jobs seemed particularly prescient in determining high-level designs and even some low-level features.  But in the end, he had as much to do with the actual end product as the CEO of ExxonMobile has to do with the formulation of the gasoline you buy at the pump.

    To be sure, Jobs made sure Apple hired the best, and set the overall tone for how the company is (micro-)managed.  And I have no doubt that for high-profile products he was in many of the design meetings ensuring that his vision was the one that was getting pushed.

    But in the end, it’s more about the people Steve Jobs HIRED than about Steve himself.  Tim Cook is one of the people that Jobs has had a strong influence over.

    As long as nobody panics and the Board of Directors stays out of everybody’s way, there’s no reason why Apple can’t continue for the next ten years being the same company they have been the last 10.

    Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
    7:09 am
    Question for LJ folk..
     Is there a tool (or an easy way that I can't quite find in the system) to go through all your posts and either turn comments off or at least set them to "friends only" or some such?

    The quantity of comment spam on LJ has, once again, reached epic proportions.
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