Shadow/Brooke's Journal
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Shadow/Brooke's InsaneJournal:

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    Friday, January 18th, 2019
    1:27 pm
    Novelist error messages
    Digging thru old emails and found this link:

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Thursday, January 10th, 2019
    12:09 am
    An idea that I had many years ago and have refined somewhat since.

    "Modular" bookcases. I'm thinking something along the lines of 2' by 3'. They have a slot in the sides on the front, so you could slide a sheet of plywood/masonite/plexiglass in to keep the books from falling out while moving them.

    Slot would be angled so you could slide the sheet in/out while the modules were assembled. With plexiglass or the like, that'd be a way to reduce dust, and keep books from getting messed with by small kids, but still see them to search for a book.

    Size is intended so that you can just slide the sheet in and pick up the module without it being horribly heavy. Being books they are gonna be heavy regardless.

    The original concept had them just stacking and maybe having keyed post/hole bits to hold them together. I've reconsidered that and they'd probably need a "frame" to attach to. This should be something that can be easily broken down *and* be capable of being fasten tto a wall (earthquakes and the like, y'know?).

    Probably need at least to kinds of modules. One for standard paperbacks, and another for trade paperback and small hardcovers. Large hardcovers and "coffe table" books are a pain to deal with regardless. *sigh*

    For those of use with *lots* of books, these would make life so much easier.

    Oh yeah, another advantage of the "frame" would be that you could swap in/out modules without having to deal with the other modules.

    This would be good for those of us who don't have room for all our books. Grab a module with stuff you've read thru recently . Go to the storage locker, grab a module with stuff you haven't read for a while and swap them.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
    7:41 am
    Logo needed
    Anybody have any suggestions for a logo for a (fictional) organization That mostly goes by ERS (it's an in joke, stands for Eternal Revenue Service).

    They are a sort of "direct charity". Things like handing someone a debit card with money on it and more deposited on a regular schedule.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    1:12 am
    pondering an idea
    If you were homeless, what would you need to at least make life bearable? And would it make a difference if you were the sort who doesn't do well with other people?

    So far I've come up with the following:

    1. A dependable income. Not necessarily a job, but a source of money you can *rely* on.

    2. someplace *safe* to take shelter and keep your stuff. It doesn't necessarily need to be heated, but at least warm enough that you won't get hypothermia trying to sleep there given warm clothes and blankets. (50 degrees?) Also needs to be secure if you are away for a while (jail, hospital, whatever)

    3. some sort of medical "coverage". a way to be able to go see someone when you are sick and *not* have outrageous bills to pay afterwards.

    I hesitated about that last one, but anything short of a *large* income (upper middle class or higher) just won't let you deal with the bills if something bad happens.

    Anything else folks can think of? Mind you, I'm thinking of stuff that'd be "necessary" not stuff that'd be "nice" to have.

    I can't say much more without giving away too much about the story idea :-)

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
    10:45 pm
    You think your job is bad?
    The instructions for extracting saltpeter in Pryotechnica (a medieval manuscript) describe how to extract saltpeter.

    You mix pee, manure and wood ashes in a barrel. Heat it well over a fire and stir. After it's been cooked long enough, you transfer it into another barrel that has a perforated bottom. You pour hot water into the top and collect the liquid that comes out the bottom. That gets boiled to to produce the crude saltpeter cyrstals.

    But that's not the sucky part of the job. It's this last bit. You are to pour water into the perforated barrel until the runoff no longer tastes bitter *to your apprentice*. Yes, the manuscript specifies that the apprentice is the one who gets to taste the runoff...

    Other not fun jobs back then. Harem guard. . And male soprano singer in a choir (both have the same minor surgical procedure required)

    On yeah, it wasn't until a little over 100 years ago that the Church outlawed the making of castrati,

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    12:50 am
    Electronics help
    Hopefully one of you is an electronics wizard.

    I need a circuit design. *hopefully* it's a fairly simple job. Once I've got the design, I can build it myself.

    Ok, hopefully you've seen the ever-popular-with-geeks binary clocks. They have rows of LEDs the tell the time in BCD or even "true binary".

    What I want to build is a *trinary* clock. It'd use the Red/green LEDs. The ones that are red if the current flows one way, and green if it flows the other way (and a sort of orange if the flow is changing directions really fast).

    The trinary states would (obviously) be:
    0 = off
    1 = red
    2 = green

    And the display would be "trinary coded decimal" (Perhaps with true trinary as an option.)

    So the values would be (turned sideways) with X for off,. R for red, and G for green

    0 = XXX
    1 = XXR
    2 = XXG
    3 = XRX
    4 = XRR
    5 = XRG
    6 = XGX
    7 = XGR
    8 = XGG
    9 = RXX

    So the display for the TCD version would look like this: (underlines are just to get things to line up right)


    For the true trinary, we need the numbers up to 59

    10 = XRXR
    11 = XRXG
    12 = XRRX
    13 = XRRR
    14 = XRRG
    15 = XRGX
    16 = XRGR
    17 = XRGG
    18 = XGXX
    19 = XGXR
    20 = XGXG
    21 = XGRX
    22 = XGRR
    23 = XGRG
    24 = XGGX
    25 = XGGR
    26 = XGGG
    27 = RXXX
    28 = RXXR
    29 = RXXG
    30 = RXRX
    31 = RXRR
    32 = RXRG
    33 = RXGX
    34 = RXGR
    35 = RXGG
    36 = RRXX
    37 = RRXR
    38 = RRXG
    39 = RRRX
    40 = RRRR
    41 = RRRG
    42 = RRGX
    43 = RRGR
    44 = RRGG
    45 = RGXX
    46 = RGXR
    47 = RGXG
    48 = RGRX
    49 = RGRR
    50 = RGRG
    51 = RGGX
    52 = RGGR
    53 = RGGG
    54 = GXXX
    55 = GXXR
    56 = GXXG
    57 = GXRX
    58 = GXRR
    59 = GXRG
    60 = GXGX
    61 = GXGR
    62 = GXGG
    63 = GRXX
    64 = GRXR
    65 = GRXG
    66 = GRRX
    67 = GRRR
    68 = GRRG
    69 = GRGX
    70 = GRGR
    71 = GRGG
    72 = GGXX
    73 = GGXR
    74 = GGXG
    75 = GGRX
    76 = GGRR
    77 = GGRG
    78 = GGGX
    79 = GGGR
    80 = GGGG

    So the true trinary display would look like this:

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, December 31st, 2018
    7:01 pm
    Remember that TV I found a month or so back? It powered on ok, but I couldn't navigate the menus using the buttons on the side of the set. And there was something odd about parts of the screen. I suspected some water had gotten in between the display and the fresnel lens that all of these type TVs have.

    I ordered a remote for it (it was only $6.99 with free shipping). The remote showed up today and I put batteries in it and tried it out. The set works fine. In fact the screen oddness was gone too, so it *was* water.

    So I now have a 32" LCD tv/monitor to use as a spare or the like. Go me.

    Still need to get some sort of stand or mount. But now that I know it works, I can budget for that.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, December 25th, 2018
    12:24 am
    The best laid plans...
    So I set up the crockpot with the chicken for tomorrow. a whole chicken and a couple of thighs (I threw the thighs in because they were bone in and all the other chicken in the freezer was boneless).

    So I'm congratulating myself on this and planning the rest of the stuff for tomorrow (stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy green beans, etc) as I check my blood sugar. It's only as I'm injecting myself that I realized I'd slipped up.

    I was supposed to inject 4 units of insulin-R. Instead I injected 8. Big oops. So I made myself a PB & J sandwich with the very much *not* sugar-free mint jelly. (BTW, PB&J on rye is downright *odd* :-)

    I'll just have to wait longer before doing my fasting levels in the morning.

    Anyway, the chicken will do instead of a turkey, and the various fixings will be easy to make. and since it's only me, I'll have leftovers for a while. Chicken sandwiches aren't as good as turkey sandwiches, but they are good enough. :-)

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Sunday, December 23rd, 2018
    7:06 am
    Here, have an earworm!

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Wednesday, December 19th, 2018
    10:05 am
    While talking about a number of things with [personal profile] alatefeline last night a couple of things came up.

    One was unconscious assumptions. The other was the old canard "it takes two to make a fight".

    While reading this article, the two ideas bashed together in my head.

    The problem with "it takes two to fight" is the horribly inaccurate assumption it makes about "male" interactions in childhood. Namely that the choice is "fight"/"don't fight".

    In reality, the choice is "get beat up"/"try to protect yourself". so it's actually unconscious gaslighting.

    I mentioned "male" above because in my experience, it's always the female authority figures spouting this nonsensical piece of "wisdom". I suspect that is because of the differences in "male" and "female" socialization. Boys are expected to have fights. girls are "trained" to attack in less physical ways.

    Though come to think of it, "it takes to to have a fight" *should* be equally applicable (and wrong) to the social sniping among girls, which can get *really* nasty by high school.

    "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me" is another horrible example of gaslighting kids and is another bit of "wisdom" that should be stomped on *hard*.

    Name calling can do *more* damage than physical assault, Bruises, even broken bones heal a lot faster than the emotional damage those "harmless" words can inflict.

    I know I'm far from the only person to have PTSD from *emotional* abuse.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
    10:34 am
    Seasonally (in)appropriate
    The Marvelous Toy

    The Murderous Toy

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, December 17th, 2018
    12:33 pm
    Holiday reposts
    A couple of oldies to repost for your enjoyment.

    ps. Ysabet? Do you think that Christmas "bush" would fit into Terramagne?

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Friday, December 14th, 2018
    12:08 pm
    It's been 46 years
    Dec 14, 1972. At 2:54 pm PST, the last humans departed from the lunar surface.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Sunday, December 9th, 2018
    8:00 am
    silly exchange
    This little exchange popped into my head yesterday. Not sure if I'll ever use it, so I'm throwing it out here in case anyone else wants to use it.

    Guy (shocked) to T-girl: "You've got a dick!"
    T-girl: "And you *are* a dick. We've all got our problems."

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
    7:17 am
    Demented holiday music.
    A reply to someone's comment elsewhere reminded me of some decidedly *odd* seasonal music.

    O Little Town of Bethlehem
    Two more versions:

    I Am Santa Claus

    Jingle Bells(?) in Klingon

    Tom Smith's O Yog Sothoth
    Tom Smith's Ultimate Ultimate Christmas

    Snoopy's Christmas by The royal Guardsmen
    (this sort of echos the 1914 Christmas truce

    This one's not demented, just sad:
    Santa Never Made It Into Darwin by Bill & Boyd

    So's this: Mom & Daddy, Please Don't Steal for Me This Christmas

    A couple I can't find online but worth mentioning:
    Rudolph's Mitzvah
    The Star Wars Holiday Special (shown only once: November 17, 1978. Lucas never let it be seen again, but lots of bootlegs exist)

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    12:08 am
    seasonal music
    I finally got around to checking for this year's Garritan Community Christmas album Sunday. Got it download and gave a quick listen. Then I moved it to the appropriate slot in the holdiday music directory.

    This year I'm trying something different. I've imported the "Christmas" subdirectory into Media Monkey, and I'm trying to build a playlist from it.

    The raw import data shows why I rarely noticed the "list" (mostly manual switching between directories) repeating itself. Individual songs that occurred in more than one album, yes. The list as a whole no,

    Why? Try this on for size: over 1700 song, with a combined play time of more than 90 hours! That's over 12 gig of files.

    I don't mind the list being that long. In fact being that long is handy for avoiding getting boring. :-)

    My portable bluetooth beakers will play music (MP3 and WAV files only, so not all of the above will play on them) directly off a microSD card. So when I get things weeded out and arranged a bit, I can copy things to the card, and then just stick it in the speaker. Instant background music for the holiday season. And easy to store the rest of the time.

    It's a bonus that the speaker remembers where it was when you paused it and resumes.

    But some weeding is *definitely* needed. I'm only 50 songs in and I've heard the "nine inch noels" parody twice.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, December 3rd, 2018
    9:18 pm
    The perils of Naming
    On the bus today, I was watching for my stop, and so I saw this young lady get on. While she was fumbling for enough change to pay her fare, I couldn't help but notice her first name blazoned across the back of the hoodie she was wearing (later, when she turned to walk down the aisle, I saw that the hoodie was for her high school swim team. Go her!)

    As soon as I saw the name, I winced inside. Why? Her name is Alexa.

    Knowing teenagers, I'm sure she's had to put up with more than a few stupid jokes.

    And it's not as if her parents could have foreseen that her name would be a problem. And I'm sure the engineers tried to pick a less common name.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Saturday, December 1st, 2018
    10:35 pm
    Unknown super
    There's a super *nobody* knows about. That's because when they use their power, no one *remembers it.

    Y'see they've got what may be the ultimate power. By its very nature it's irresistible and unstoppabele. The fact that nobody else can remember being used, is a sort of unfornate side effect.

    What is this power, you ask?

    It's the power of *retcon*. They can make changes to the world, even to the past and it will be as if things had always been that way.

    So, of course they are unknown, and they don't even have a "cape" name. Why bother, nobody would believe them.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, November 26th, 2018
    2:00 am
    Fun Christmas ornament/toy
    I saw this gizmo when they were putting out the Christmas stuff a few weeks ago.

    List price was supposedly $12.99. But the had it "on sale" for $9.99. It looked interesting and I figured I 'd get one when my social Security check posted.

    Well, today I noticed they'd cut the price down to $5. So I got one.

    It's a bit noisy, but not bad. The really good part is that the noise isn't a whine and not exactly a buzz. You know it's running, but it's not annoying.

    The box doesn't mention the sensor that the notes for the video do, but I suspected something of the sort.

    The rotor blades are "hinged" where the attach to the hub so they fold up if they hit anything.And they usually makes the motor turn off. Nice safety feature.

    The lights make some very pretty patterns reflecting off the blades.

    They also have a version that instead of a ball, is a pink unicorn.

    Simple, mindless fun.And not especially fragile (I'd been woried about that, but several crashes indicate that it is at least *somewhat* sturdy.

    A google search for "hovering ball" will get you listings from a lot of stores. With prices varying from $3.49 to $9.99.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Friday, November 23rd, 2018
    11:41 pm
    A little something that came to me the other day...

    The chunk of nickel-iron spun slowly in the vacuum. As such things go there wasn't anything special about it.

    It was around one hundred meters along various axes. Likely broken off some larger body far in the past.

    Wherever it had originated, it was approaching an encounter with another body. Earth, the inhabitants called it.

    It wasn't large enough nor moving fast enough to be a "dinosaur killer". It was going to impact at around 30 km/sec. The blast would only be ten megatons or so. Not anything of more than local importance.

    Alas, due to the impact point, it was going to be a lot more than a "local" disaster.

    Unfortunately for humanity, it struck almost directly above the center of the magma chamber under the Yellowstone caldera.

    Not only did it blast through the cap rock, it fractured most of it. so all the pressure that had been building for thousands of years released at once. and the trapped gases in the magma turned it to ash as the massive blast the mere 10 megaton one had triggered broke the pieces of the overlying rock into smaller and smaller pieces.

    They'd still be quire large enough to cause lots of damage when they came down..
    So would the blast effects.

    But the ash, and later steam as various rivers tried to flow back into the immense crater where the magma chamber had been were what caused the lasting damage.

    Global warming wasn't going to be a concern for quite some time...

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