Monday, January 25, 2016

Mammoths, feminism, and "masculism"

I've been digging through my college notes recently, culling some things. One of the gems I thought I'd lost was a curious essay.

It's titled "The Other End of the Mammoth: Qualification Rituals for Male Bonding in and out of Literature" and it's by John S. Harris. Probably not the politician one, but I really don't know.

The Internet doesn't seem to know that it exists, which is quite surprising to me. I would love to know where to find it legitimately so that I can freely share it; as it is, I probably won't scan my copy. It's quite worth the read, especially in contrast to modern vehement rhetoric.

Spoilers lie below... You've been warned.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

[Tech] Eve Pendant, Phase 2

For an upcoming Disney-themed event that my wife and I will be attending, I decided that she needed something really really special to wear. One of her favorite Disney characters is Eve, from Wall-E (YouTube link), and, well, I realized that her face was an awful lot like OLED screens I'd seen.

Once I found the Adafruit tutorial for an OLED necklace, I was hooked. I was totally doing it.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

[Tech] A couple of useful Windows tools


If you're like me, you occasionally have the need of doing Useful Things (TM) on Windows, but you have a Unix-ey background. The GUI just doesn't cut it, so you pull up CMD or, *gasp*, PowerShell. In all probability, you're also like me and CMD is both more familiar to you (from MS-DOS 6.22 days) and more common in your work. I regularly use a product that only works correctly in CMD (well, without some hackage).

Here a couple of tools that have helped make my life easier:

  • RoboCopy has many similarities to rsync. I think it might even have a proper subset of rsync functionality.
  • findstr is vaguely like grep...once you use the right command line arguments. Note that findstr does not know what the crap UCS-2 encoding (or any number of other encodings) is (are). (grep doesn't seem to either.)
  • dir /s /b is just enough like the default output of ls to pipe to findstr and do useful things.
Hopefully that helps someone.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Das Blinkenlights!

I made some.

Do you not know what blinkenlights are? The Wikipedia page does a remarkably good job of explaining the term. I apologize--only slightly--for the awful misappropriate of German language pieces. It really should be "die Blinkenlichten." ;)

Mine were from a kit that my lovely wife got me. Hackaday is a pretty dang cool blog with an attached store that carries it. It's a bag of electronics parts and no instructions. The board-to-board and curvy-trace design elements are both reminiscent of electronics designs from the 1950s and 60s, and it reminds me of the electronics repair work I did in the physics department at my university. The point is to reverse-engineer it and put it together--which I did:

assembled Cordwood Puzzle from

Amusingly, due to the lack of instructions I attached the 6-pin 100-mil connector wrong (through-hole instead of surface-mount), leaving three of the LEDs always on and making physically connecting to it difficult. I'll eventually get a solder vacuum (not solder sucker! *shudder*) and fix it.

Then, for the ward talent show last night, I combined a Raspberry Pi 2 with my cordwood LED kit and made some blinkenlights!

My Raspberry Pi 2 blinking lights and looping a video.
My Raspberry Pi 2 blinking lights and looping a video.

I then topped it off by having the Pi play a trailer for my friend's old-computer-hardware YouTube series, hence the monitor.

The rainbow ribbon cables were lovingly borrowed from my Xilinx programmer and my SmartScope.

The Bash script on the left of the monitor is the one blinking the lights; it simply echoes commands to the /sys/class/gpio tree under Raspbian Linux.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


You know, I kind of like the library.

Sure, it's dark, and the butler insists it's haunted. Parts of it move around inexplicably from time to time, and a vestibule might be gone tomorrow and elsewhere the day after, but overall I can find what I'm looking for and I get things done.

It rather reminds me of what I imagine an old university's library should be. The smell of old books, elaborate shelving, sweeping staircases, endless shelves upon shelves, the occasional cobweb, dim light filtering in from stained-glass windows, and at night soft light wafting down from grandiose chandeliers.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sausage Kale Soup

Hi everyone,

I highly recommend this recipe:

The writer had a blast writing it. The results are tasty, even reheated at work. :)

Why am I posting this? It keeps getting dropped from my wife's Pinterest board, which is super annoying. >:-( I might have to find or write an app that keeps track of her boards that will alert her to vanished pins.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Breathe Deep

Eet eez a beeg ball of boom. Ya.

And I'd made it.

Luckily, I'm on the other side of a duralloy pressure containment door. This side has a simple, two-color design on it reminiscent of its cousins for bio, chemical, and radiation hazards, but about twice as frightening: memetic hazard.

You see, just because it's information doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Even through the double-walled duralloy chamber, it aches. Not in the head, but in the chest. It isn't too bad here, but inside, facing it? Ugh.