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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    Saturday, September 26th, 2020
    5:19 pm
    Prayers and good thoughts please
    I just found out that an old friend is in the hospital. She's in critical condition with an antibiotic resistant infection. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    2:23 am
    reading the instructions
    "Ok, we're supposed to get a bunch of tree roots of sizes from arm thick to finger thick. Then we have to weave them into a sort of block, with as few gaps as possible. 'solid' not like a basket. Needs to be 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. Then we place the body on top."

    "What are you doing?"

    "Oh, we're making a root bier." This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Friday, September 25th, 2020
    3:49 am
    Energetic chemicals
    I know some of you have heard mention of fun chemicals like chlorine trifluoride (ClF3) and dioxygen diflouride (FOOF).

    Well, here are a few more

    Chlorine pentafluoride (ClF5)
    surprisingly, this is *less* reactive than ClF3. Thought to be because the fluorine atoms are packed tightly enough to interfere with each other when it comes to reacting with things.

    Trioxygen difluoride (FOOOF)
    *Way* more unstable than FOOF. Also, in storage (at extremely low temps) the liquid tends to recombine to form FOOF and FOOOOF. Yes, that's *four* oxygens in a row. and that last reacts explosively with damn near anything. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Sunday, September 20th, 2020
    1:24 pm
    Calling all geeks
    Back in the late 60s a local bank was giving away key chains. Pretty ordinary with a big "gold" oval fob with the banks logo on it (It may have been Lincoln Savings & Loan).

    I happened to discover something interesting about the fob. It was *para*magnetic. That is, it was attracted by magnets, but only weakly. Very strange.

    Whatever the fob was made of it was solid, not plated (I used a file on one edge). It got lost many years ago but I've always wondered just *what* that alloy was.

    I'm hoping one of my fellow geeks might know.

    (tanks in advance :-) This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Thursday, September 10th, 2020
    7:37 pm
    Song Meme
    (swiped from [personal profile] gingicat)

    Each song title must contain the item listed, no Googling, no kids songs.

    A Place: "Banned from Argo"
    A Food: "Beware the Sentient Chili"
    A Drink: "307 Ale"
    Animal: "Cat's In the Cradle" by Harry Chapin
    A Number: "One is the Lonelist Number"
    Color: "My Love is Blue"
    Boy's Name: "Jaques Chretein"
    Girl's Name: "Mandy"
    Profession: "Horsetamer's Daughter" (or Queen of Air and Darkness)
    A Vehicle: "Hot Rod Lincoln" This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
    4:36 am
    Free comics
    Amazon/Comixology have all the Black Panther comics (individual issues only, not the compilations) available for free this week.

    This includes Doomwar, Killmonger, and X-Men 175 & 176 (part of te "Wild Kingdoms" arc)

    Best way to get them is to search for "black panter comics" in the kindle store.

    Then when you get the list (22 pages worth if you restrict things to Marvel, 34 if you don't because of other publishers have "black panter: stuff that has nnothing to do with the Marvel character) click not on the title, but on the series link just under it. That'll let you grab the whole batch in one go.

    There are a couple of exceptions. Marvel Tales:Black Panther is the only free comic in the "Marvel Tales" batch. And there's another series that has 62 issues. You can crab the first 50 with one click, but then you have to find issue 51, click on "buy with one click, and it will pop up the option to buy the next issue. So 12 more clicks to get the rest of the issues.

    Note that there are a *lot* of issues. I haven't counted, but I've seen the number 255 mentioned. So this will take over your library in the kindle.

    I've started reading with Black Panter #1 (from 1977) and when I finished that issue 2 popped as "read next". So reading in order isn't a problem inside a series. I'll have to figure out which series "comes next" after I finish. :-)

    For now, I'm enjoying Kirby's over the top art. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Saturday, August 29th, 2020
    2:50 am
    The sounds of Science
    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Thursday, August 20th, 2020
    4:46 pm
    earworm/story idea
    For some reason a variation on the old Pillsbury jingle keeps popping up in my head.

    At first it was just:

    Nothing says lovin'
    like something from the coven
    and [blank] says best

    The blank was irritating and finally I came up with "Avesbury" to fit the rhyme.

    Now, mind you most of the fictional references to Avesbury that I've encountered were in Cthulhu Mythos stuff. Mind you, "coven" can work in that context so it's maybe acceptable.

    Now part of me wants to *write* it. But the rest of me is going "Hell no!"

    So I'm throwing it out there from anyone does like writing that kind of thing. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, August 17th, 2020
    2:51 pm
    a song for our times
    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Friday, August 14th, 2020
    1:03 am
    It was a dark and stormy night...
    On this day in 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show debuted in London.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, August 10th, 2020
    1:27 am
    To the moon...
    "I still say it's gotta be volcanic," argued Arthur.

    "It can't be. The moon isn't active enough for that," Dave replied.

    It was an old argument but it helped pass the time while they ran the otherwise boring search grid.

    Suddenly a light flashed on the control panel of the lunar buggy, and an alarm sounded.

    "It's another water vapor spike! And this time we're close. Check the differential detectors, Dave!"

    "I am, looks to be off that way," Dave replied as he steered onto a new course.

    "Be careful, the map says we're heading for a rille."

    Sure enough they found themselves on the edge of one of the small valleys.

    "Look, it's definitely a collapsed lava tube. And there's section that hasn't collapsed," Arthur said as he pointed at a dark opening perhaps a hundred meters away.

    They quickly suited up after radioing base.

    It only took a few minutes to reach the mouth of the lava tube. They entered carefully shining their lights to check for hazards.

    "Wow, the vapor level is still high but dropping."

    Arthur had been looking ahead while Dave checked the meter.

    "Uh, Dave...". His tone got Dave's attention. He looked up. And froze at the sight of bodies. Lots of them.

    Many were more like mummies but some were less so. Including one that was obviously freshly dead.

    It was months before the investigation was anywhere near complete.

    Dave was reading a headline in the rec room "Jimmy Hoffa found on Moon".

    "Well, that explains a lot of disappearances. But we still don't know how they got there..." This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, August 4th, 2020
    3:48 pm
    Bad pun
    Q: what do you call a device for gene editing that is specialized for certain types of plant biology?

    A: a vegetable CRISPR This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, August 3rd, 2020
    10:03 am
    "Forgotten" technologies
    For folks writing or gaming in situations where people might encounter long forgotten (or hidden) installations there are several technological bits that would make fun additions.

    First off, our old friend TIMMs. Thermally Integrated Micro Modules.

    These were blocks of ceramic and high temp metals. They were developed after EMP was discovered as something that could survive EMP bit still not be much bigger than the then current gear that used printed circuits with individual transistors and the like.

    They were tube based, but the tube were the size of a dime. and the units were a solid block of metal and ceramic except for the cavities that were the vacuum inside the tubes or the filling of capacitors.

    The didn't have filaments for the tubes, so that eliminated one common source of failure in tube based equipment. Instead the blocks were placed in what amounted to a well insulated oven and heated to a dull red heat which got the cathodes hot enough to work.

    These would be great for gear in the stereotypical volcano lair or around a big nuclear reactor.

    Next, if you encounter a *really* old installation (say 1890s to 1920s) you may encounter radio transmitters (morse code only, not voice) that don't use tubes. Instead they use an alternator (a sort of AC generator) to generate the signal.

    Another fun thing are radon bulbs. Used for emergency lighting, they are glass globes or other shape, The inside is coated with a phosphor much like the ones used in fluorescent lights. They are filled with radon gas, and the particles emitted by the decaying radon strike the phosphor coat and produce light.

    You could probably make some something similar with other radioisotopes, but radon is what was used in the ones I've read about.

    "Gee, how are these lights still working? They're a bit dim, but..."

    "Wait a sec. Look at how they are mounted. There aren't any wires..."

    Just the thing to creep out the radiation averse. :-)

    (added later)

    Oh yeah, refrigeration gear. Before freon was invented commercial refrigeration used 3 different easily liquified gases as working fluid: Chlorine, ammonia and sulfur dioxide.

    all of these are toxic. and they meant leaks were a *really* bad thing. Which is why home refrigeration didn't take off until freon came along.

    Note that they are *still* used to some extent in commercial plants. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Friday, July 31st, 2020
    2:02 pm
    silly meme
    (swiped from [personal profile] fayanora)

    • Age backwards: 56

    • Favorite Pie: mince

    • Steak or Seafood: seafood

    • Italian or Chinese: Chinese

    • Pepsi or Coke: Dr. Pepper. (Pepsi that's not available)

    • Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate

    • How many tattoos: None

    • Ever hit a deer: no

    • Netflix or Hulu: Netflix

    • Last text from: my pharmacy

    • Favorite season: summer except when it's really hot

    • Broken Bones: right big toe, lower left arm twice

    • Surgeries: Tonsils and adenoids removed, adenoids removed (they can grow back)

    • Favorite color: blue

    • Sunrise or Sunset: Sunset

    • Mountains or Beach: Beach

    • Dogs or cats: Cats

    • Early morning person: Nope. Night owl.

    • Summer or Winter: Summer

    • Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving

    • Beer or wine: beer

    • Mild or hot salsa: medium

    • Smooth or crunchy peanut butter: Smooth

    • Waffles or pancakes: yes

    • Who will play: Don't care.

    blank version to fill out ) This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
    12:17 am
    head coverings
    What with my forehead having reached most of the way to the back of my head, I need to look into head coverings. I've banged my head on some things indoors and without the hair as padding, it's way too easy to damage my scalp.

    Hats mostly work outdoors, but I need something for indoors. I also need something for my bicycle helmet to keep my scalp from getting sunburned through the holes.

    One thing I've thought is a sort of cloth cap that ties in the back. It looks like you've tied a bandanna into a sort of head scarf, but they aren't.I've seen them in truck stops, but don't know what they are called.

    They seem popular with bikers.

    Anybody know what I'm talking about? This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Monday, July 27th, 2020
    9:07 pm
    pulled pork revisited
    I finally made the pulled pork. I decided to just punt and use the McCormick Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork mix I'd used once before. It's intended to work with hunks of pork shoulder, but worked just fine with the precooked, unseasoned pulled pork I had.

    You have to add cider vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup to the spices in the packet.

    This time it came out *way* better than the previous attempt. I think two things made the difference. Since the recipe says "firmly packed" brown sugar and I had trouble getting it mixed well last time, this time I dug out a flour sifter and sifted the sugar into the vinegar.

    I then stirred that well until most of the sugar was dissolved. Then I added the spices from the packet and stirred well. I added the ketchup to the bowl last and it stirred in fairly easily. Then I could just pour it over the meat in the crockpot.

    I opted for cooking on low for 8 hours rather than on high for 4 hours. I think I did that last time too.

    But this time I used a meat thermometer to check the temp every hour or two. The probe fit nicely through the hole in the crockpot lid for its temp probe (which I wasn't using) .

    After 5 or 6 hours, things were up to 186°. More importantly, there was no resistance when I stuck the probe in.

    So I took off the lid and used a small serving spoon to stir things up until they were well mixed.

    The last hour or so, the smell escaping through that hole in the lid was driving me crazy.

    When it was done, it was *so* good. I used some burger buns to make sandwiches. Mmm.

    I used a slotted spoon to get the rest of the meat out and into a plastic container with a lid to go int the fridge.

    That left a bit of meat and a lot of liquid (too thin to really be a sauce) left. I ladled that out into another container and put that in the fridge too.

    I've made more sandwiches with the cold meat. Still delicious even without reheating.

    I think I'll try using the leftover liquid along with some of the meat to cook up a batch of lentils later.

    Definitely on the list for next time I get a batch of pork in the food boxes. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Sunday, July 26th, 2020
    4:43 pm
    It's hot...

    Last night I checked the weather forecast and found that today's high was going to be 98F. And Tomorrow (Monday) was projected for 100.

    I made a store trip to get supoplies shortly after the store next door opened (6am). Around 8:30 I swiched from fans positioned to make the air flow in the livingroom window and out the bedroom window to setting up to use the air conditioner.

    Turn off fan in bedroom doorway. Check
    Move fan so door can be closed. check
    turn off fan in bedroom window. check
    leave bedroom and close door. check
    close living room window. check
    turn on air conditioner. check.

    Note that for various historical reasons, I use the bedroom for storage and sleep in the living room.

    So I took a nap with a fan blowing air from the air conditioner at me.

    (makes note to replace pedestal fan that died)

    Now I'm at the computer with that fan blowing the air at my chair. and making a list of things I forgot to put on the list for thios morning's trip to the store.

    Being so close, I *can* get away with going there even in the hottest part of the day, but I'm not going to. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    1:58 pm
    Semagic update
    Attention: [personal profile] fayanora
    With the latest update, it can now access DW friends data.

    This means I will no longer be messing up links or have to do them by hand. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Friday, July 24th, 2020
    3:52 am
    Learning curves
    I am slowing getting the Linux box (as yet unnamed) set up the way I want.

    First hurdle was updates. It'd been almost a year since Doug set it up for me, so it needed just a few... 255. Took some digging to figure out why I couldn't run the system updater. It was easy to discover that something else had a lock on the pkg files. Not so easy to figure out what/why.

    After chasing some dead ends trying to see what the program was *doing*, I stumbled across Muon Package Manager in the Applications. That was the key.

    Next I got about half of the things updated before getting an error message. Which had a button to click for details but did nothing.

    I tried updating subsets of the stuff that needed updating. No luck. Finally, I decided to try a reboot. That was the trick. Got a message about "unattended upgrade in progress during shutdown. Do not turn off computer." So I switched back to the main Windoze box and did stuff. When I checked back much later, I had a login screen. The rest of the updates installed just fine.

    I managed to install Beyond Compare (my preferred file manager) without any problems. Still trying to figure out how to install my preferred antivirus program (F-Prot) After reading the readme, I think I know what I need to do, just need to figure out how to do that. (missing bottom ruugs, strike again)

    I also need to work on accessing my NAS boxes, and shared drives on the Windows boxes. And on setting up WINE or the like to run a few programs.

    I'll get there. Kinda have to, because I am *not* going to go to windows 10. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
    Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
    4:01 am
    Anachronistic Zorro
    I recently came across a pair of *very* anachronistic Zorro movies. both are on youtube.

    The first, which I haven't watched yet is Zorro and the 3 Musketeers (1963). I looked at the beginning, and it explicitly states that it's in the 1600s.

    The second is a Republic serial Zorro's Black Whip (1941). It's set in the late 1800s (main plot is about peopling trying to keep Idaho from becoming a state). Technically it's not a Zorro movie. But they have the outfit and use a whip a lot.

    It also has a few other not quite anachronisms. Such as there being a few telephones (the really old wall mount sort with cranks). After a bit I realized that there seemed to be only two. One at the newspaper office and the other at the ranch of the newspaper publisher. Though there's a bit near the end when the bad guys are using them, and it doesn't quite seem right for the plot.

    But with only two phones that *does* explain why there isn't an operator. But it doesn't explain why nobody ever tries to cut the phone wires!

    Given that Zorro lived in Spanish California in the late 1700s/early 1800s you might be able to explain the outfit as having been passed along to a new family.

    This doesn't help at all with the 3 Musketeers one though. well over a century too early.

    Ah well, it's all fictional. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
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