|Tuesday, November 6th, 2018|
I filled out the ballot a couple days ago. since it was too late to mail it, I took it to the drop box at a local library branch this afternoon (it doesn't open until noon)
Due to the way the buses ran, I stopped by a Papa Murphy's on the way home and got a pizza. Hadn't recalled it was $12 Tuesday, so an X-large (family size) cost less than a largbe normally would.
I'll have food for tonight & tomorrow.
And I may need comfort food while I'm listening to the election results.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1074200.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
It's bad enough here.
But consider that on another timeline this is the 6th anniversary of the election of Nemiah Scudder as President.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1074170.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Friday, November 2nd, 2018|
|Fun idea I can't handle myself
I somehow came up with fun idea. I suspect it's *not* new, but I don't recall encountering it before.
Archeological dig unearths some cuneiform tablets. Definitely the real thing. Lots of context, carbon datable stuff in the matrix, they can even check the age on some of the broken pieces by that trick involving heating ceramic (somehow that can give an age range, I just can't recall how).
So, definitely from ancient Sumeria or Assyria or whatever.
But some of them seem to be random nonsense. They get scanned along with a large number of other tablets as part of a process of making info available to scholars online.
somebody runs some software against the database that contains them and a lot of other ancient and more recent inscriptions and documents.
Some graduate student notices something odd about the results of an analysis attempting to identify various languages by things like letter/phoneme frequencies.
The "nonsense" tablets show a high correlation with modern English. Obviously a goof of some sort.
So trying to figure out what sort of bug it is, the student examines the scans more carefully. He has to get some help from a friend in another department who can actually *read* clay tablets.
The friend asks who he got to make up the fakes. Much confusion as friend doesn't want to believe they are real.
Basically, the "nonsense" seems to be a "phonetic" transcription of some passages in modern English.
The original team hadn't picked it up because there are several *different* schools of thought on how many ancient languages are pronounced.
What do they say? Well, that'd be the story, wouldn't it.
Alas, pulling it off properly for a story would requires somebody who knows the language and the writing system. And *I* don't know anybody like that.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1073790.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Monday, October 29th, 2018|
|A tale of a fateful trip
A couple of adventurers are drinking in a tavern
"So, I hear old Albertus died on your last trip into the ruins at Kathegar?"
"Yes, he didn't realize that he'd encountered a particularly subtle fungus. This one goes for enchanted wood. It'll leave it looking intact and then when the magic is called forth, it consumes the magic and the wood. That's bad enough but if it happens in a fight, well..."
Yes, he died from a staff infection."This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1073488.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Sunday, October 28th, 2018|
|Not so random thoughts
Ok, several different things sort of collided in my head the other day.
First was the Dunning-Kruger effect
Next was Impostor syndrome
Add in a Dilbert cartoon where the pointy-haired boss was talking to Alice about Dunning-Kruger...
So, I thought, we have the *really* incompetent thing they are great at whatever, so they'll be very confident about their abilities. And a fair percentage of the folks who are actually *good* at something will have Impostor syndrome and not be very confident.
Now, what is a very important (actually *overly* important in my opinion) factor in job interviews? How confident the applicant appears.
Considering the above, that may not be a very good criteria. Especially if you add in the con-man types who can *exude* confidence in spite of knowing they aren't competent, but can *fake* things long enough to accomplish their goal.
Once again subjective factors mess things up.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1073251.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Saturday, October 27th, 2018|
|Friday, October 26th, 2018|
|New earthquake risks
Earlier this week new info on faults around Mt. Hood came out.
The news item wasn't specific, but from the description, it sounds like they used lidar to map the surface without the trees getting in the way.
They uncovered several previously unknown faults as well as evidence of major quakes 6000 & 3000 years ago.
If these faults let go, Portland would get a 7.2 quake.
So Ysabet's "The Big One" quake(s) on Terramagne are likely to trip those faults. Which would add more destruction to Portland and a lot of other places in NW Oregon.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1072479.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Thursday, October 18th, 2018|
|fantasy and "medieval" economics
I just finished reading a short story set in someone's fantasy world.
Roughly medieval level, with multiple intelligent species and some magic (all I recall from this one was some healing potions).
So, some farmers are losing stock to some sort of big cats. Probably a group of them.
Some folks from the village who have relevant experience get together to go after them.
They search and finally find a dead cow (which seems to have been dragged there in some sort of cart). And they follow the tracks of the cats to a lair.
At the lair they encounter 13 of the big cats (types not specified, just "giant cats") and an extra large variety of orc (who is over by the cart which has a dead horse in the traces.
After a battle, our heroes manage to kill all the baddies with only minor damage to themselves.
They then go back to their "base camp" where the smith they'd dragged along repairs the minor damage to their weapons and gear (a nice touch, folks forget about that so often) and they use the potions to deal with wounds and bruises.
Here's where economics come into it. They left *all* the bodies out there.
Uh-uh. No way that'd happen. First of all, they'd attract a lot of scavengers, which is *not* something you want to encourage around farms and places with herds of animals.
Second, those hides are worth serious money. Even with the slashes, etc, large furs are useful. And sometimes decorative. So skinning the big cats is a no briner, even if they went back to base and came out later with a cart and some helpers.
Even the (probably badly damaged) hides on the dead cow and worse are likely good for *some* leather.
The meat of the cow and horse are likely unfit for human consumption. And the meat from carnivores isn't that great.
But at least *some* of it is almost certainly useful to feed to dogs and even pigs (remember, pigs are omnivores and will quite happily eat meat)
Heck some of the claws & teeth from the big cats may be valuable as decorations. Or for magical uses.
This is something that both writers and game masters need to keep in mind. A lot of stuff has value that modern day folks don't think of. Well, modern day *city* folks anyway.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1072152.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Friday, September 28th, 2018|
|Do it yourself for the win
I've had an electrical toy for many years (Erostek ET-312B if anybody cares). Some time last year the internal battery quit holding a charge. It still works ok, with the wall wart plugged in though.
The manufacturer offers a replacement "battery assembly" for $60. So I'd just been making do.
this month I had a fair bit extra left over at the end of the month so I was seeing what I was going to get off my "wish list".
One of the items was replacement batteries for some of my old UPS boxes. I noticed that *their* prices were around $10-30 and there was no way anything that big would fit in the case for the ET-312B.
So I got suspicious. I'd already downloaded the instructions for replacing the battery assembly, so getting case open was fairly simple. Getting the battery assembly out wasn't hard either.
The assembly consists of a metal bar that bolts to the case, the battery, and a U shaped bracket that fits over the battery and has "feet that bolt to the metal bar.
Unscrewing the feet was easy. Getting the battery free was not easy. They had large strips of double sided foam tape between the battery and the bar and the battery and the bracket. Getting *those* pried loose was not easy, especially since I had to worry about cracking the plastic case of the battery.
Once the battery was free and the tape removed, the battery proved to be a relatively standard sealed lead acid rechargeable. 12V 1.2 Ah.
When I looked it up online, prices ranged from $25 down to some discounters who had it for a bit less than $6.
With shipping, it came to under $14 when I ordered it from one of them. Less than a quarter of what the manufacturer wanted. Yeah, I'll need to buy some double sided foam tape, but I need that for other projects any.
So, for the same price I'm getting the battery for the ET-312B, one for one of my UPS's, and a couple of thumb drives with hardware write protect.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1071960.html. Please comment there using OpenID. Current Mood: accomplished
|Sunday, September 23rd, 2018|
|Saturday, September 22nd, 2018|
|Thursday, September 20th, 2018|
|When redundancy isn't
I'm reminded of a joking phrase used in WAN operations: backhoe fade
That's when you lose your connection because some idiot dug up the cable with a backhoe.
A rather infamous incident shut down the Internet in New England back in the late 70s.
Seems that while the customer had specified separate routing for the pair of T-1(?) lines that carried the Internet, the provider had routed the connections via separate cables... in the *same* trench.
Needless to say the customer had words with the provider. And the provider revised their rules so the "separate routing" meant different cables *routed* differently so that one accident couldn't take both out...
A manufacturing place I used to work at got separate power feeds from two different power companies because they had processes that didn't take well to sudden power loss.
One power line came in from the north, one from the south. Only single point of failure was the company's substation that they both connected to.
And they had a *large* room full of batteries to enable shutting down those critical processes gracefully.
Sadly, we still lost power a few times in the dozen years I worked there.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1071178.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Thursday, September 13th, 2018|
|Nineteen years ago...
We lost the Moon when it was blasted out of orbit.
We may never know what happened to the folks on Moonbase Alpha.This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1070883.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Tuesday, September 11th, 2018|
|Sunday, August 26th, 2018|
|Monday, August 20th, 2018|
|Soup and other accomplishments
For some time I've been planning to make soup frm some stuff sitting in the freezer.
There was this package of frozen veggies from the food pantry. Carrots (sort of shredded), red beans, garbanzo beans, potatoes and red bell peppers.
The potatoes were diced really small about the size of kernels of corn. The peppers weren't much bigger.
I also had a package of beef (carne asada) that I couldn't think of much else to do with.
So I sliced the beef into smaller pieces. I probably should have spent more time on that as I still had some longer strips after cooking it. Then I tossed it in the crock pot along with the veggies. Set it to run 4 hours on low.
Once the veggies had mostly thawed I could see the frost hadn't amounted to that much fluid, so I add 2 cups of hot water and some beef soup base.
I checked the temp when it finished cooking and it was over 180, so that was good enough.
It was sort of like a *really* thick soup or a thing stew. but that was fine. Tasted great. I had a couple bowls and put the rest away in a microwaveable container. Since I'd used a liner on the crockpot I just had to give it a quick wipe after it cooled.
In a day or two I'm going to make meatloaf. One pound of ground beef and a pound of (ugh) "mechanically seperated chicken". I've found that's about the only way I do anything acceptable with the "chicken".
Meanwhile I'm *slowly* starting to move things around so I can relocate the bed to an "acceptable" spot. Supposedly it blocks the window which is a no-no as we are supposed to use the windows as a fire escape if the hall is blocked.
This is rather silly as I can pretty much dive onto the bed and roll out on the other side next to the window.( Read more... )This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1070331.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Monday, August 13th, 2018|
The other day I added some chia seed to my ramen by just pouring it from the container. I added a lot more than I had before.
It worked out ok. Made the broth much thicker. and added some interesting flavor notes and texture.
The texture, and the way the cooked chia seeds looked reminded me of frog eggs, except way smaller. And that's when the evil idea struck me.
Cook up a bunch of chia seed to a sort of pudding, and use it in a Halloween dinner or part of a "haunted house" type scenario.
Harmless, and yet something that presented properly could *really* be gross.
Call it frog spawn or something. :-)This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1070005.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Sunday, August 12th, 2018|
|Useful Paypal tricks
A friend needed some money urgently tonight. I didn't have cash on hand but I offered to Paypal it to her.
She complained that that'd take a couple days and this might not be fast enough, but she gave me her info anyway.
I recalled something from sending money via paypal to a few people and sites. I'd noticed that the one that defaulted to my bank card posted quickly, while the ones that used "bankl balance" took a day or three.
So when I went to "send money to a friend". I chose my card rather than "bank balance. It cost me 88 cents on top of what I was sending, but if it worked, it'd be worth it.
Sure enough I checked my bank account and the charge was already pending. and when she checked her Paypal it was there.
also, she discovered that for a 25 cent charge she could get the money moved to her bank account "immediately". Which did work.
She's overjoyed and is even gonna pay me the 88 cents when she pays me back.
I figured that you folks might want to know how to speed things up a bit (at some extra cost, but hey)This entry was originally posted at https://kengr.dreamwidth.org/1069668.html. Please comment there using OpenID. Current Mood: accomplished
|Friday, August 10th, 2018|