Sunday, September 26, 2004


I have definitely eliminated one problem: a bad solder job (er, my own, actually) on a PL-259. This was on the stretch of coax that I had previously used for mobile ops, which may be why I was always having so much trouble getting anyone to hear me when I went mobile. I'm feeling a lot better now. This should mean my problem will be solved by a new piece of coax. Also a new PL-259 to fix the coax for future mobile operations.

I think I finally figured out a way to mount the HTX-100 in my truck. Yeah, yeah, 10 meters is dead, but this is when it's the most fun. You never can tell when a band opening will happen, and when it does, it's lots of fun.

Get your Desktop UTC clock here!

Here's another ham radio aid I found recently. Just tuck this AlphaClock - miniature digital desktop clock down into the corner of your screen and you'll have a UTC clock right where you can see it easily above your regular clock. This has been very useful for me.

And by the way, in case you don't know about these little programs, you should also get Atomic Clock Sync, so you and your computer will really know what time it is.



Saturday, September 11, 2004

60 Minutes is full of it.

TCS: Tech Central Station - Blogs v. 60 Minutes: Since you probably won't hear about this on the news, I'll have to post a link here, just to do my own little part.

"To hammer his point home Johnson superimposes the purported memo with his Microsoft Word, typed today version. Literally 1:1, not even fuzzy, not a letter out of place."

If Bush were more like Clinton, he might start saying, "It's the character, stupid." But he wouldn't say that. It's not in his character.

Technology, shmecknology.

I recently switched to a normal Internet service. By which I mean, no special proprietary software to access the Internet. Just plain ol' Windows, like back in the old days. Odd things happened, however. I tried out the newest version of Pegasus (Pegasus was the first email software I ever used, long ago) and it was working great, then suddenly it stopped. In my inexpert level of expertise, I can only figure that somehow it has stopped properly translating my IP address from winsock, and my email server thinks I'm not supposed to be there. I can still send emails to others within my domain (, but not to anyone outside. Oh well. Eudora comes up with the same problem. Fortunately my old standby Agent works (I've been an Agent user for years). Unfortunately, even the new 2.x version of Agent is straight text only. From a security standpoint, this is the best way to go. However, I don't think anyone I receive email from has been using the Internet for more than 5 years (if that long), and they almost all use html-formatted email. It gets to be a drag to launch a web browser just to read email. So, it looks like I'm using Outlook Express. I really dislike this program, but so far only it and Agent are able to talk to my email server.

Although I don't remember the exact date, this year will mark my 10th anniversary of using the Internet. I suppose like many people back then, I had already spent some time logging on to local BBS's and had tried a few online services (for you newbies, AOL, Compuserve, et al, did not originally provide access to the Internet). The first Internet service I used was called Novalink. I have forgotten the monthly fee, although I think it was $14.95, and for this you got 5 hours of access per month. That's right, 5 hours. You could either log on to their in-house service using a simple terminal program, or you could fire up Windows (3.x), start up Trumpet Winsock, and access the Internet using NCSA Mosaic (but only if you had also installed Win32s). I remember one of the few websites I visited back then was a catalog of Rush lyrics. The front page was a collection of thumbnails of all their albums up to that point, and you could click on the thumbnail to see the lyrics for that album. I thought it was fantastic. The only problem was, it took a long time to load all those little pictures at 2400 baud. Yeah, 2400 baud. Oh yeah, and back then Mosaic couldn't display inline jpgs, only gifs, so the pictures tended to be somewhat larger than the norm now.

I bought that 2400 baud modem for $5 at a ham radio swapmeet. By that time, I think the cutting edge was 9600, so it was obsolete. But it worked. I thought I was really going blazingly fast when I jumped up to 14400.

The first search engine I encountered back than was called Infoseek. It's now called "" and pretty much stinks. It apparently is owned by Disney, and it no longer bothers even to use its own search engine. It uses Google.

So ten years have passed, and the Internet has been a big part of my life, providing me communications with family and friends, allowing me to make some new friends, and providing a source of knowledge and humor. I just hope that in another 10 years, high-speed technology will have advanced to a point where it's affordable.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

A New Song

I have been sitting on this one for a while because I don't actually have rights to use the words. The words are a poem written by Katherine Artus Taylor, who is (or was) a woman who my late grandmother knew when they were girls. Mrs. Taylor wrote a small chapbook of poetry late in her life, which my grandmother had a copy of, and which she passed on to me before she passed away. The poem actually consists of three stanzas. I used the first two stanzas for the stanzas of this song, and the third stanza for the chorus. I don't know if Mrs. Taylor is still on this earth, and if she is, where she may be living, and I have been unable to get any contact information. So, I guess I have to say "lyrics used without permission." On the other hand, I think I did really well on the music.

So the new song is God Shall Keep Me Ever, and as usual, the midi file will be coming along later.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

U.S. Army Chief of Staff's Reading List

I don't read nearly as much as I used to. I still read when I can, but not as much as I should. Here's a site that I might someday find very useful if I can afford so many books. Maybe it's time to get a library card again. U.S. Army Chief of Staff's Reading List:

"The Professional Reading List is a way for leaders at all levels to increase their understanding of our Army's history, the global strategic context, and the enduring lessons of war. The topics and time periods included in the books on this list are expansive and are intended to broaden each leader's knowledge and confidence. I challenge all leaders to make a focused, personal commitment to read, reflect, and learn about our profession and our world. Through the exercise of our minds, our Army will grow stronger."

I do already have one book in Sublist 1: Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Files Update

I finally got around to fixing up and adding the midi file for My Heart Is Steadfast. Each voice part has its own track so you can use your favorite midi player to mute, solo, or change instrument tracks for learning purposes.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

New Truck

I guess I should try to post more often, but I usually can't think of much to write about. So how about this.

Four years ago I bought a Toyota Echo. It got great gas mileage (about 41 mpg highway) but was just a tiny little car that did not come close to replacing my old '89 Ford Ranger (which got over 30 mpg highway, by the way). This year the balloon payment was coming up on the Echo so it was time to get rid of it, or something. So I ended up with a '03 Ranger.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday with the truck. I gotta say although the mileage is going to stink, it's really nice to be in a truck again. To be up off the ground where I have some decent visibility is just flat-out wonderful. The previous owner had spilled some oil (not motor oil, something like 3-In-One oil) in the toolbox, so I got some Dawn soapy water and cleaned it up, then started putting stuff in it. Then I broke out the owner's manual and figured out how to break out the jack and spare tire (it is actually more like my old Courier than like my last Ranger) and then spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how in the heck to put a radio in the thing (ham radio, that is). It has an extra auxiliary power jack in the cab that is rated at 20 amps, so I might be able to get away with just hooking up to that, and not running power cables all the way to the battery. This still leaves the problem of how to get the antenna cable out. My old Ranger had several rubber grommets in the floor that were seemingly made just for such a thing (as did the Echo, in fact), but no such things exist in this Ranger. It looks like I will have to drill a hole somewhere.

One nice thing is, the extended cab creates a much larger roof area, so large that I could actually get one of those big 4-magnet mag-mount bases and put a big antenna up there if I wanted--although I probably would not actually move with a bugcatcher on the roof. I still have the mount that I fabricated for the old Ranger, and it might work on this one--it might not, because this one is slightly different in the area where I had it mounted on the old one. This magmount scheme might be okay for what is called "Rover" operations, where you drive somewhere and park before operating the radio. There's a special Rover class for the annual Field Day event.

I mention radios because, as I was driving it home the other day, I realized something that I had thought about several years before--an automatic transmission means no stick in the middle of the floor. There's a big empty area there that will hold multiple radios if the proper mount can be created. Some hams are kind of snobby about magmounts, but to me they have always been very useful and versatile. I have even occasionally operated with a magmount stuck the roof of my house. But then, living in a trailer house doesn't give me room to be snobby about much.

Nearest Book Meme

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

"As far back as the 1930s Giovanni Montini as a young ecclesiastic had been profoundly influenced by a single attitude that would, thirty years later, go a long way toward making him a Pope unlike any Pope before him." --from The Final Conclave by Malachi Martin.

via Peachwater, Tx. Journal

Thursday, August 12, 2004

What Famous Leader Are You?

Another one of those what something-or-other are you tests. I get a kick out of these, though I don't know why. I took the long version of the test.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Five more LPs

I should do this more often, just so there's a new post every day. Five more vinyl albums.
David Bowie Tonight (accidentally got from RCA Record Club, decided to keep)
Jackson Browne For Everyman (bought used, has Jackson's original version of Take It Easy)
Tony Carey Some Tough City (bought new, still think it's a cool album)
Harry Chapin Greatest Stories Live (bought new, haven't heard it in a loooong time)
Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Front Boulevard (bought used, not a huge Clapton fan)

New Books

I got some new books this week. I am now reading The First World War by Hew Strachan. It got very high marks at Amazon.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

New Files

After struggling over some changes today, I trashed most of them and went back to the original version of this song, more or less. So both round-note and shape-note versions of "My Heart Is Steadfast" have been added to the files section. A midi version will be forthcoming when I can get around to it.

Tomorrow might be busy. I don't do much here during the week, so if I don't get the midi version up tomorrow, it will probably not be here until next weekend.

Still Songstering

I thought I would have another song ready for posting today, because I thought it was finished and would only require some tweaking of the print to make it look good before I uploaded it. But alas, I decided there were bits that could be better, so I have been touching it up slowly, a little at a time. Maybe next week.

It is a one-liner. Another term I just made up, meaning it doesn't have stanzas and a chorus in the traditional style. It has only one line sung straight through, and is taken from Psalm 108.

The Shape of Things

Someone had asked me about shape notes. There are actually several shape styles, but the one I refer to is the 7-shape system. Information on shape notes can be found at Christianity - Shape Notes Top Links. This site has a load of links regarding shape note singing.

If you take a look at any of the files here you can get the idea. Each note of the scale has its own particular shape (Do is an equilateral triangle, Mi is a diamond, etc.).

There are still a few publishers who sell hymnals in this style, most notably Howard Publishing, publishers of Songs of Faith and Praise.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What I've been reading.

For lack of anything better to post, lately I've been reading the Book of Acts, various Psalms, and occasionally progressing slowly through "In the Company of Soldiers" and "The Dead Sea Scrolls." I have a hard time sticking to just one book at a time.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

What do I have in my music collection?

Someone might be curious. And I figure if I list 5 albums/CDs per week, it should keep me going for about 3 years. These will be listed in no particular order, except that most of them should be more or less alphabetical. I'll start with the records (that's a 12-inch wide, flat, round piece of vinyl with grooves on it, you know, they used to record music that way, hence: "records"). ;-) So here we go:
David Bowie--Pinups
Syd Barrett--The Madcap Laughs/Barrett
Jon Anderson--3 Ships
Jethro Tull--Aqualung
The Eagles--Greatest Hits 1971-1975

I said they should be more or less alphabetical. I don't know how Jethro Tull and the Eagles got put there at the beginning, but then I haven't reorganized the collection in a while.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Site Feed Fixed

I just noticed that I had forgotten to reset the site feed for the new url. So now it's fixed. Not that anyone has actually subscribed yet, but still...

Bible Versions

Bible Versions at "There are so many versions, which is right? Although there are still those who will insist on the King James Version, also known as the KJV, an important trend during the 20th and 21st centuries has been an abandonment of this longstanding tradition in favor of the KJV...With the discovery of older and better manuscripts, giving the translator a more accurate basis for translation, the Bibles of today may be closer to the original intent of the author than were those of a hundred years ago."

This site has information on the origins of more than 20 different Bible versions, in case you've been wondering what the New Revised Standard is, anyway.

Files Update

The round-note version of "We Gather Now" has been added.

Friday, July 23, 2004

New Files

So the first of the files have been added. This is a hymn called "We Gather Now to Praise the Lord." I write as I have been taught, using the rules of classical four-part harmony. I don't write pop songs with "religious" lyrics; this is just a good old-fashioned hymn (at least, I hope it's good). I write in shape notes because that's what I'm most comfortable with. Tomorrow I plan on posting a round-note version also, so anyone who is interested can use whichever one they are most comfortable with. I also don't write instrumental accompaniment. If you want to do that, it's your business, I only ask that you don't republish it with any such accompaniment, under the terms of the Creative Commons License.

This print-out is not perfect. There are bits here and there where you may want to use white-out to clean up the print (like all the long underlines in the chorus). Also note that with the software I'm using (more on that later), I can't insert a rest unless both voices are resting in one staff, so in the eighth full measure (right where the chorus starts) there should be a quarter rest in the alto part. You might want to hand-write a quarter rest in there. There is also one place in which Do and Re are right on top of each other, instead of slightly staggered as they should be with adjacent notes. This is another small issue with the software--unless I just haven't figured it out yet.

I've also included a midi version with each voice on its own track so you can use it for learning purposes, if desired. With this midi version it should be easy to mute or solo specific tracks, or change the instruments for the tracks, or whatever you wish, just to help learn the song. And as always, if you find an error in either the pdf or the midi, please let me know so I can correct it.

I should have two more songs ready to post fairly soon.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Sun comes up, it's Tuesday morning...

I step outside for a few minutes and come back in to hear anomalous strains of music, something I haven't heard in a while. I discover that my 4-year-old daughter has dug out a toy from Christmas that she hasn't so far touched: a little kid's karaoke box, which also serves just fine as a tape player. She has managed to find my old tape of The Caution Horses by Cowboy Junkies. There she is, sitting still and staring at nothing, the player in her lap. "Dad, is this a sad song?" she says. "Does it sound sad?" I answer. "Yeah," she says, and returns to silence.

I never could listen to this tape too often. I had to be in a special mood of lonely, contented resignation, something I haven't felt in a long time. It was good on slow afternoons, when there was nothing to be done but drink some Jack Daniels and listen to music. Or possibly go to sleep, because the music on this tape is so lethargic.

Voltaire should have lived to see the Internet.

"The multitude of books is making us ignorant." (Voltaire)

Saturday, February 07, 2004


Well, I just didn't feel much like putting a daily pipe diary on the blog this week. I've been having Yale Mixture in a Dr. Grabow and the Velani dublin, then on Friday I tried some of the Billy Budd in the dublin. Somebody somewhere probably really loves the Billy Budd, but I'm not the one. I will have to keep trying it to see if I can find some merit in it. Not that it's bad, it's just not my thing, I guess.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Ballistic Shockwave

Check out this poster of the gas-and-shockwave photo of Glock 17 in 9mm. This 1/500,000 second snapshot shows the escaping gas and shockwaves in the air around the muzzle of a Glock pistol just after it was fired (the bullet is still visible). Very cool.

Friday, January 30, 2004

More on Mike Rowe

Here's what may be the end of the Mike Rowe story, mentioned here previously.


This is a map of all the states I visited during my brief 6 months as a truck driver. How did I manage to miss South Dakota? Also included (but not on this map) were British Columbia and Alberta, and actually I was only in the southern section of Michigan. Thanks to

More hoax-busting from Snopes

I just received an email that sent all the email hoax alarm bells off in my head, and sure enough, here's a page at Snopes that refutes that Mister (Fred) Rogers ever served in the military.

And here's another hoax-busting page aboutLee Marvin and Bob (Captain Kangaroo) Keeshan.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Never get off the boat, unless you're going all the way.

Here's one of those what something-or-other are you sites. I was not entirely surprised to find that I am Apocalypse Now.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Up yours, Tripod.

Guidescope is a free service and free software that takes a few minutes to set up but is well worth it, because it will block even banner ads out of websites. I couldn't get it to work with IE but it works great with Mozilla, which I also just recently installed. Mozilla also has it's own built-in pop-up blocker, if you don't want to go all the way with Guidescope but would still like to stick it to Microsoft.

Short, ugly man seen picking nose in Wisconsin meadow.

Interstellar Espionage: While We're Watching Mars, Could Someone be Watching Us?

More fodder for those who tend toward paranoia.

Next time I'll have the chicken.

Cow Herds in Three States Quarantined:

"Maybe one reason we haven't found more cases of mad cow disease is because the American public has been eating the evidence," [Rep. Earl, D-Ore.] Blumenauer said.

Well, that's a comforting thought. It occurred to me a few days ago that I may not be eligible to donate blood now, because I ate a hamburger in Nisku, Alberta about a year ago. Good burger, though.

More thought police.

An article from The Register about why NASA wanted data on 10 million Northwest Airlines passengers:

"This shows that NASA was working on data mining, that this work had relevance to CAPPS follow-ups, and that it envisaged a system using biometrics to check both with a central database and to match the booked passenger with the flying passenger (page 12). So far, so fairly prosaic, but the requirement 'must detect people who may pose a threat but are unknown' is a tricky one. So, what about 'non-invasive neuro-electric sensors'? The NASA presentation says it is working on this interesting technology in collaboration with an unnamed commercial partner. Such a system, if deployed, would likely work in conjunction with data mining and biometric screening in order to kick up people who might be having suspicious thoughts, or seem suspiciously nervous.

That's the kind of notion that makes you suspiciously nervous just thinking about going to the airport - there goes your holiday, friend... "

Friday, January 23, 2004

New Site Feed

Woo hoo! Thanks to Blogger and Atom, I now have a real RSS feed. Just use the link at the XML icon on this page.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Very Important Things

Very Important Things is a collection of 50's-era illustrations with new captions added, and there's a new one every day. Such as:

via J-Walk

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Richard Bushnells 'Bowling For Truth' ---- Michael Moore lied to you

Richard Bushnells 'Bowling For Truth' ---- Michael Moore lied to you: "This website is here as a recourse to expose the distortions and dishonesty in fictitious film director Michael Moore's Oscar winning documentary, Bowling For Columbine. The point of this website IS a lot of things, but here are some that it is not: It is not to reveal a 'bias' in Moore's work. It is not to make the case for guns - I've never owned a gun, never shot a gun, and probably never even held a real gun; Guns scare me. It is not, in large part anyway, even to rebut Moore's beliefs. Rather, this site exists because Michael Moore is clever and glib and a very good film maker - but he uses his powers for evil. Michael Moore persuades his viewers by deceiving them, and this site exists for those who wish not to be fooled."

Monday, January 19, 2004

But Jesse Ventura did it in "Predator," so it must be true!

Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics:
"First, let us point out that the thirty-round magazine in a Mac 10 will be expended in a mere 1.8 seconds of sustained fire! If our shooter blazes away steadily for a total of only 3 minutes, his or her Mac 10 will spit out around 3000 chunks of lead at roughly 15 grams a piece. This amounts to 45 kilograms or a little less than 100 pounds of lead. And that doesn't account for the weight of the 3000 cartridge cases or 100 empty magazines scattered on the ground.
Second, bullets are, after all, propelled by some very hot gasses which exert high pressures that create high stresses in gun parts. A firearm can withstand the high pressures and stresses only if the blasts of high temperature gasses don't happen too many times before the firearm has time to cool off. Running 3000 of these temperature cycles back-to-back would turn a light weight submachine gun, like a Mac 10, into a red hot piece of scrap metal, that is, if it even lasted for 3000 rounds."

Here is an essential website. Not only do they counter stupid movie mistakes, they use the laws and formulas of physics to do it. Also included is a section on why a shotgun blast will not hurl a human target backwards 30 feet through the nearest plate-glass window.

Yahoo! News - Ancient Cosmic Superstructure Defies Theory

Ancient Cosmic Superstructure Defies Theory:

"A string of ancient galaxies has thrown astronomers for a loop by defying standard predictions for the evolution of the universe. The colossal structure hints at possible misunderstandings of how the universe, or maybe mysterious dark matter, behaved shortly after the universe was born."

I love it when a new discovery completely (or even patially) messes up a previously held theory.

Sued for phonetics.

MikeRoweSoft Design is a website designed by 17-year-old Mike Rowe to showcase his website design talents. Also, he's been sued by Microsoft for having a phonetically similar name. Looks like he'll win the suit, though.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Stardust Surprise

Stardust Surprise | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "When NASA's Stardust spacecraft flew by Comet Wild 2, the probe saw something that surprised astronomers."

Here's a cool article about an unusual comet.

Top Ten Signs You May Not Be Reading Your Bible Enough


10) The Preacher announces the sermon is from Galatians ...and you check the table of contents.

9) You think Abraham, Isaac & Jacob may have had a few hit songs during the 60's.

8) You open to the Gospel of Luke and a WWII Savings Bond falls out.

And seven others, of course. Unfortunately, many of these are "gettable" only to people who DO actually read the Bible.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Would you rather be on Mars?

Daytime temperatures on Mars are now warmer than daytime temps in the frigid northeastern U.S. No mention of chill factor, but hey, it's not going to snow on Mars either.

Bury me deep.

An article from Yahoo! News about an eco-friendly cemetery near Lake Livingston, Texas.

"Russell's family wanted to preserve Waterwood, so he and his parents bought 2,500 acres near the lake, about 10 miles from the Sam Houston National Forest. Besides the cemetery, they have used the land to establish sanctuaries for alligators and eagles, a 131-acre longleaf pine preserve and a 110-acre research forest.

'I feel like the only permanent legacy that a person can leave is a piece of America the beautiful," Russell said. "With this concept, even in death, in this cemetery ... that beautiful forest will always be there for everyone to enjoy.'"

Sounds good to me.

(NOTE: This article includes a link to the cemetery's website, but I am unable to bring it up at this moment.)

Finally, someone makes some sense.

U.S. lets scofflaw gun dealers continue to arm criminals:

"Multiple offenders make up only about 1% of the nation's 104,000 licensed gun dealers. But federal statistics indicate they are the source of more than half the guns used in crimes. The problem of scofflaw dealers was underscored by a report Tuesday by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation, which favors tougher enforcement of existing laws." (empasis mine)

In most cases, the immediate "solution" is to pass more laws. This article shows some reasons why current laws are seldom enforced.

One for the bad guys.

A Washington D.C. court decides that law-abiding citizens of D.C. have no right to defend themselves from unlawful violent attack.

Man saves family, becomes criminal.

Hale DeMar saved his family from a night-time intruder by using his handgun. But handguns are illegal in Chicago, so that makes him the criminal. Fortunately, the town is on his side. We'll see how this one turns out.

On the stupid criminal side, the intruder drove himself to the hospital in DeMar's SUV, which he had stolen the previous night.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Have fun snooping on your neighbors.

Every now and then I have to check out The Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Database. Search by ZIP Code or city and get a list of all of them in your area! (State of Texas only, of course).

Against "gun control"? Don't even think it, if you live in Britain.

A Perfect Example of the Victim-Disarming Mindset is about Philip Luty, who wanted to prove that senseless laws will not stop people from owning guns, so he built a machine gun in his garage using common tools and materials that anyone could buy in any hardware store. Stupid, you say? Well, maybe, but what's even more troubling is why he was denied probation.

"... there is little evidence to indicate that Mr.Luty has fully addressed the causes and consequences of the offences ... and although he states he accepts responsibility, still describes the crimes as "an innocent project". Mr. Luty continues to maintain very strong views about UK gun laws to which he is opposed. Report writers identify considerable apprehension over his lack of insight and concern over the wider implications of his offences and his continuing views over gun ownership and use."

This was one reason. Because, even though he accepted responsibility for building a firearm, he was still opposed to gun control. He was being denied probation because of his belief. Here's another one:

"... of special concern , I understand Mr. Luty's brother attempted to send him an article from the internet by an organization called "Jews for the preservation of firearms ownership" (JPFO). This appears to be yet another 'Right to keep and bear arms' group."

Heaven protect us! His brother tried to send him a simple news article and this was somehow important in denying him probation.

So, apparently, in Great Britain it is now not only illegal to own a firearms, but it is also illegal to have beliefs contrary to the government. What a country.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Definite article wanted, no emoticons need apply.

This archived article from the CBC (originally broadcast October 1993) describes a new network called "Internet", in which emoticons play an oddly prominent part.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

This stuff is just fascinating to me...

These drawings were made by an artist under the influence of LSD during the government tests made during the 1950's.

Gun Control in Chicago

Chicago leads nation in murder rate, in spite of/because of some of the most oppressive anti-self-defense laws (a.k.a. gun laws) in the country.

Why Good People Own Guns

And here's another, originally from the Los Angeles Times, and archived here by the Independence Institute: Why Good People Own Guns

Why People Fear Guns

Why People Fear Guns, a good article by John R. Lott, Jr.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Maybe they should have just said "attacked"

A newsbite about a man who was "shot and hacked" turned up in Moreover's computer security newsfeed, even though he was "hacked with a sharp weapon," not hacked with a computer. Somebody's spider needs a little tweaking.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

More thanks

Another thank you to eXTReMe Tracking for providing free website tracking statistics for this site. Very cool.

Who Would Buy That? (auction oddities from all over the web)

Just in case you don't already know about this fairly famous site, here's Who Would Buy That? (auction oddities from all over the web). People put the weirdest things on auction. But what's even weirder is that other people buy them.

A couple of thank-yous

I now have an RSS feed (of sorts) thanks to Blogmatrix. Just click on the Blogmatrixrss icon at the bottom of the page.

After many fruitless searches and several resumed downloads, I have finally succeeded in downloading the entire 16 meg monster of "Grendel" by Marillion. Thanks faro, whoever you are.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

The most misidentified song...

In 1979 there was this song called "Pop Muzik." It was a huge hit on pop/rock radio stations and got played to death. The group who did it failed to follow up with anything else, and went into history as a one-hit-wonder.

Here's the deal: THIS GROUP WAS NOT DEVO. In the beginning, I remember back at that time, asking someone who did this song, and was told it was Devo. Even now, if you look this song up on Kazaa you will see that all the mp3s of this piece are identified as being by Devo. Let me say it again: IT WASN'T DEVO.

It was, however, a group called M, and was fronted by a guy named Robin Scott.

The Earth has stopped slowing...or is time speeding up?

The Earth has stopped its slowing trend according to NIST scientists. Here's a CNN article about the now-obsolete "leap second" and the difference between Coordinated Universal Time and Greenwich Mean Time.

That sucker's huge!

World's longest snake goes on show at a recreation park in Kendal, Indonesia. Non-metric measurements are: diameter 33.5 inches, length 48 feet 8.5 inches, and weight 985.5 pounds.

Lists of 5 things...

5ives are lists of 5 things. It's hard to describe, so here's an example:

Five things I realized later than I probably should have:
My crappy BSR turntable played everything a full step too fast (1984)
"If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?" is a dirty play on words (1987)
New Order was mostly a disco band who stood very still (1989)
"Expendable" apparently does not mean the same thing as "flexible" (1980)
"Seals & Croft" and "Sid and Marty Krofft" have nothing in particular to do with one other (1978)

It's not a website, man, it's a cyberheadshop.

On Monday three people were arrested in England for allegedly selling marijuana online. And probably smoking it, too, if they thought they would get away with it.

UFO Evidence? #1

An article on Betty Hill, who with her husband Barney were the original UFO abductees in 1961. Barney died in 1969, but Betty is still alive at 84, though now dying of cancer. From

Help-Site Computer Manuals

Help-Site Computer Manuals has loads of manuals and faqs for computers and software. As of this post, they have 17,867 documents available. And apparently it's free.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

So much for freedom of speech...

A Chinese man mysteriously dies in prison after being jailed for "hacking." Hacking was only his tool of choice. This guy was a freedom fighter, and he died for providing an output for a banned religion. Here's hoping hackers worldwide smack down some Chinese gov't sites just to teach them a lesson.

New Year's Superstititons

Here's a list of New Year's Superstititons from the folks at snopes. Hey, any excuse to eat black-eyed peas, right?

Don't get caught carrying a concealed almanac.

Yes, the FBI really is warning police to watch for people carrying almanacs.

And by the way...

Here's an online version of the original The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce.

What it really means...

The Foolish Dictionary is a more lighthearted version of the Devil's Dictionary, and provides lots of fun reading on a slow afternoon.

Example: "AFTERTHOUGHT A tardy sense of prudence that prompts one to try to shut his mouth about the time he has put his foot in it. "

I'm feeling like they're telling me...

Demystifying John Edward of Crossing Over shows how John Edward of Sci-Fi's Crossing Over does it, and it doesn't have anything to do with dead relatives.

Saturday Night Live Transcripts

Want to refresh your mind on something they said on SNL? Saturday Night Live Transcripts is not affiliated with the show or the network, but they got transcipts! And a search engine.