Friday, May 15, 2009



so I wrote a book, and I was all excited that my friend Sheila came up with such a clever title for it: f#*@ing_brilliant

I love that. I loved the exact appearance of the cartoon swearing. and a lot of other things about that. but: now that people are looking for it, of course they don't know how to spell in cartoon swearing. and they can't find it.

so: this post represents the beginning of me trying to make the book appear on search engines under the non-cartoon spelling of: fucking brilliant.

now: fucking brilliant is the title, and always has been, but I liked the idea of having the cartoony: f#*@ing_brilliant on the cover, because that's kind of how the book is. A bit profane, but fun! so: I don't want to change it 'officially' to fucking brilliant, but the only alternative I have is to generate things like this blog post that will cause the search engines to 'cross-list' the two 'titles'.

so here it is: f#*@ing_brilliant == "fucking brilliant" == f#*@ing_brilliant == "fucking brilliant" == f#*@ing_brilliant == "fucking brilliant" and so on.

gripping reading, no?

p.s. if you've read it, or you just know it's great, why not go to the book page and post a little review. -- hell, if you hated it, post that too! (but you didn't hate it, did you now?)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

pretty good

here's a link to a friend's blog. it's pretty informative grammar/style-wise. and it's fun too!

also: good for the linkings etc...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This is a fictional account. The names were changed to....

Today at 12:05am
alright... you have sucked me in. what is with the numbers?

David DeHetre
Today at 12:12am
heh.. sorry about that..

I'm working on a book, and those are word counts..

It's sort of a way that a few of us in a club keep track..

I guess it is kind of annoying..


David DeHetre
Today at 12:12am
I put a little explain on the page, for others.. who may be confused as well.

Today at 8:28am
Not annoying, but it definitely piqued my interest.

So you are writing a book? What topic?

David DeHetre
Today at 10:25am
It's a novel.

and I'm having trouble categorizing it.. Basically it's a romance I guess, but there's a lot of sort of horror type things to it.. It's kind of like fight club.. -- if you see what I mean.. Not really any category in particular. But it's a novel. Fiction.

Today at 11:07am
I understand. My romantic life has a lot of horror type of things to it as well.

Good luck!!

David DeHetre
Today at 11:10am
that's hilarious! I'm going to edit out your name and send that to a few choice friends...

Thursday, December 4, 2008



After years and years and about 5 tries, I finally found a wireless mouse that works.
Not sure if it's that technologies and human factors design has just caught up in the past couple of years, or if this particular model is just good. But:

It's a Microsoft bluetooth notebook mouse 5000.


works great. no tracking glitches, no wake up delay, it reads and tracks on anything that isn't clear, nothing irritating about the buttons or wheel, etc..

The battery life seems good (original batteries, and it's been on for four days now.. still working, but I use rechargeable, so I don't really care as long as I don't have to fiddle with them too often)

It worked right away with my macbook, just by turning on bluetooth and adding it to the list of paired devices.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

cover progress

so. just since I'm already piecemeal answering questions about it, I thought I'd just send the sequence out and save myself some time.

For the new book, I wanted a cover that was generally yellow, and, since so many people liked the ferrari on the other book cover, I figured that was a good place to start.

This is a sequence of image refinements starting from a different angle of that same ferrari, same day. Basically the same process as the other cover. notes with each step below.

First, there was a stereo pair of pictures. Lot's of bright sun and a really shiny and yet matte painted car. (notice the engine intakes there in the back window... cool)

btw, this is the 'cheap' ferrari, the F430... only 186,000 dollars.. you know, if you're looking for an xmas gift idea..

(left eye angle)

Add Image

(right eye angle)

Then, combine those two using an exposure bracket HDR merge, even though they aren't different exposures, and then use the High to Low tone mapping to get back to a regular image. This produces the cool localized contrast. and some neat/weird side effects (i.e. the sparkly effect)

Next, an intermediate crop and some color tweaking.. zeroing in on the bit that looked promising.

more color tweaks

more cropping and tweaking

finally, stretch the image to the shape needed for the cover.

I may end up placing something on this (in addition to the title etc..) but I'm not sure about that yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


That's pretty fun reading, I must say. And you manage to use color names as nouns instead of adjectives!!!

From: dave
To: xxxxxx
Subject: snippet
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008

Thought you'd like to see this one..

just another example of shamelessly cramming mostly unrelated stuff into my book to pad up the word count.

---- writing sample omitted ------

how am I?

October 16th 2005

I hate the phone...

Nothing about talking necessarily, I just hate being on the phone as a device.  I think it comes from the really crappy jobs I had doing phone work.

Anyway, I didn't call you back, because I didn't even look at my phone until now (sun night).  Unless I'm away from c, I don't usually look at it.

Right now I'm just home from work.  I get to work as much overtime as I want, so I usually put in a few hours each weekend day.  this is nice because there's no noise, or interuptions, or people watching me work...  so I can get things done.

The job is great, perfect, except for the pay which is only okay. but we have a new CEO who's talking about how important it is to retain the good hi tech people, so maybe the pay thing will change.

I'm also still teaching, this time at a place called ottawa university, which is in ottawa KS, about 30 minutes from here.  it's fine, the students are kind of mediocre, but they try hard, so it's a fun challenge instead of a depressing one.

In the spring, they've asked me to teach two classes, programming 1 and computer game programming.  so that should be fun!

that's also one of the great things about the press (my main job) is that they let me go and teach two days a week.  They don't pay me, but they let  me go during the day, and then I make up my hours at night or whatever.

I've pretty much worked 60 hour weeks at the press and also teaching every week.  so I'm making decent money.  (almost as much as you!)  If I get a good raise, we may get carla a new car..  the mini is one of the possibilities.  Any thoughts on that?

mainly what I do at the press is R&D for the typesetting area, but that seems to be evolving into product develoment for various software products that we sell..  this happens because, people here at the press use the software that we also sell to other companies, and since I produce such very pretty and presentable software, I think they want to put that good image out to the paying customers.  so that 's good, job security etc...

it's also exciting.  I'm working in a situation where I can work the way I like...  Like I did in grad school or while novel writing.  I can be very productive, and nobody really cares if I'm tied to my desk for 8.5 hours a day minus the 1/2 hour lunch.  

SO, any news from there?  I guess we're coming out at some point when mom's there.??  

How are the dogs?  We're having flea season here.  we've shaved hazel twice this month.  she looks funny!

I love it that gas is $3 a gallon.  so much less traffic on the roads.  and my gas bills have gone from $5 a week to $15 a week in the past year, so it's not that great a hardship for me.  You?

That's all I can think of right now.




assuming you have a pc, and not a mac, you would just need the activeperl windows install

I guess they have mac versions too, but I haven't had great luck with the installer for that.

anyway, download the win32 .msi installer version of the binary, not the source or zip files or whatever else they have... the correct one is in the middle of the dl page and is about 12.4 megabytes in size.

run the installer. this will set everything up by default and will create a perl directory on the c: drive.

now open a cmd window from the run menu (dos window) and change to the perl directory: cd c:\perl

now all you have to do is get a notepad document open and save it to the perl directory. you will need to give it an extention of .pl ... so say you call it, then, in your dos window, you can just type or on some difficult pc's perl

just for reference: at the top of each perl program, you need a line that specifies where the perl instal is, so it will look something like this

#! C:\perl\bin\perl -w

that's all you need to do the actual running of programs.

if you like you can take my learning perl book. it's right here.

there are whole chapters on the topics you mention.


On Apr 10, 2005 3:00 PM, t wrote:
How do you solder copper pipe? Did you use propane, MAPP, or Acetylene ?

On Apr 10, 2005 3:42 PM, dave wrote:
you mean for plumbing?   just the regular propane.  that gets more
than hot enough.  why?

by the way, you left your compressor hose and a couple of wrench things here.

also of amusement, look at the ads that google placed in your mail...

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Get a Customized Discussion Guide. Summary of Symptoms & More - Free!

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I heard this song on dr demento in the mid eighties and I've been
trying to find it ever since. here's the lyrics, and that's the
important thing


"Welcome. Tonight's dinner consists of chocolate covered spinach
and licorice pizza hors d'oeuvres, gingerly dipped in breadcrumbs,
tobasco sauce and vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between warm
lettuce leaves dripping with chicken fat and served on oreos for
an appetizer. For the main course: congealed meatloaf and prune
soup paste, lopped over a raw bacon slab stuffed with bubble gum
and whipped cream, then gently deep-fried in year-old oil with
sand. Served with side orders of: cold dry spagetti mousse float-
ing in cream cheese and orange juice, and a small dish of steamed
saltines. For dessert, a choice of: scrambled eggs with shells in
banana jello, or raw clam meringue pie, or chicklets and candy
corn frozen in beer, or a refreshing glass of dishwater."

what I was trained to write:

Hey, I don't really have access to a fax machine, how about if I come
to campus on monday and take care of the paper work then? I'll
paste the syllabus below. I haven't worked out the grading criteria
yet, but I'll bring that in monday as well.

CO3110 Modern Programming II
Spring 2005

Course Description

Programming computers is a skill central to Computer Science.
This skill involves translating algorithms, sequences of simple steps
that have complex results, into programs that can be followed by a
computer. High level languages facilitate this translation by allowing
programmers to express their algorithms in a form natural to the
people using the algorithms. Like writing essays, programming in high
level languages is a skill that is best learned by reading well
written programs and trying to emulate them. Also, like essays, the
criterion for a well written program is that others can easily
understand it.

Modern programming 2 is a second level course that focuses on
structured program design, development, coding, and analysis using
Java as a programming language. Also included will be an introduction
to algorithmic efficiency and analysis. A number of programming
exercises will be assigned to illustrate the principles above .

Course Objectives
· To continue the development program design, coding, testing, and debugging.
· To learn objects, classes, and program implementation in the Java language.
· To design ,code, debug, and test well designed useful programs.
· To understand and use in programs a number of fundamental
programming algorithms including: objects, classes, inheritance,
internal sorting/searching procedures .
· To introduce the Big O notation and techniques of algorithmic analysis.

Text book to be assigned later.

Tentative course outline

1: Course Introduction

* Course Introduction

2: Creating, Compiling, and Running a Simple Java Application

* Introduction
* Compile and Run a Simple Application
* Create a Simple Class
* Create and Initialize Variables
* Write an Expression
* Create and Initialize an Array
* Access Array Data
* Creating, Compiling, and Running a Simple Java Application
* Follow Up

3: Controlling Program Flow

* Introduction
* Write If Statements
* Write a For Loop
* Write While and Do...While Loops
* Break Out of a Loop
* Write a Switch Statement
* Write a Conditional Operator Statement
* Controlling Program Flow in Your Cash Register Program
* Follow Up

4: Working with the Java Class Library

* Introduction
* Create a New Object from a Java Class Library
* Call Existing Methods
* Cast and Convert Objects
* Compare Objects
* Determine the Class of an Object
* Working with the Java Class Library in Your Cash Register Program
* Follow Up

5: Creating Classes

* Introduction
* Define Methods
* Overload a Method
* Define Constructors
* Create Static Class Members
* Use Command Line Arguments
* Creating an Employee Class in Your Cash Register Program
* Follow Up

6: Programming with Objects

* Introduction
* Import a Class
* Extend a Class
* Override Methods
* Create Interfaces
* Implement Interfaces
* Create Inner Classes
* Creating a Manager Class in Your Cash Register Program
* Follow Up

7: Handling Exceptions

* Introduction
* Handle Exceptions
* Write a Method to Throw a Checked Exception
* Write and Enable Assertions
* Handle Password Exceptions for Your Cash Register Program
* Follow Up

8: Creating Threads

* Introduction
* Create Threads by Extending the Thread Class
* Create Threads by Implementing the Runnable Interface
* Synchronize Threads
* Creating Threads for Your Cash Register Program
* Follow Up

9: Course Follow Up

* Course Follow Up

you don't say

went over to feed the cat this evening and there were a pair of birds
in the back room, they'd eaten all the food that was out and pooped on
some things. I had to open a window to shoo them out and I couldn't
get the screen to go back in. so it's just sitting inside. I left
your pc over there, but it's still in pieces. it should work, just
the covers are off.

I want it all

On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 20:38:21 -0600, dave wrote:
could you do a cream with metal flake paint job on a car?

like your sister's car but with gold metal flakes in the color coat.

On Thu, 6 Jan 2005 10:55:43 -0600, t wrote:
That would change the color. There is a pearlecent white it reads sort
of silver.
Like this?

On Thu, 6 Jan 2005 11:25:25 -0600, dave wrote:
no, i was thinking more of just cream with gold specks in it.  like
ice cream with sprinkles.

On Thu, 7 Jan 2005 11:55:43 -0600, t wrote:
it would change the color

Oh roomba.

---from april some time ---


I got a different roomba, for the basement. This one is based on the older models of roomba and is missing the vacuum component but has much stronger brushes..

anyway, I can now say that the new, 500 series roombas are remarkably different and better.

to my expert eye, the 500 roomba is scary smart, while the older roombas are basically just motorized pinballs that careen around the room while vacuuming.

I am seriously considering getting yet another 500 model.

in fact, I would like to have about 8 so I could get the house really clean, really fast.

it's kind of fun to watch the two I have go at a room together.

Just thought you'd want to know.


Friday, November 14, 2008


notice that I've place a small ad widget there ->

I did that to see what kind of ads google comes up with based on this blog. Plus... $$$

I think I stand to gain cents per year with this scheme...

(rubs hands)

what's it good for

On Oct 10, 2008, at :52 PM, xxxxxxxx wrote:

The Roomba/dust thing makes sense. I saw on its Web site that it can distinguish between wood floors and carpet and adjusts as necessary. Pretty cool. The next gadget I get, though, will be a clothes steamer. I detest ironing and try not to buy stuff that needs it, but we already have tons of shirts hanging in the basement that I haven't gotten around to ironing. A friend has a steamer and swears by its ease of use.


And see, that's what I mean. You saying those things, most people just wouldn't. But you did, and it doesn't bother me, coming from you.

OK, your digestive tract info is completely wacky. Did the doc say that you're good to go or that you need to watch yourself? That's scary stuff. I take it you were born with parts in strange order? And you have a great memory. I'm thinking it wasn't Loretta Lynn. Maybe Tammy W.

I don't want to bring up bad memories, but can you tell me what happened to your dad? What did he used to do for a living?

Subject: Re: ------
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 :31:16 -0500

yes, the roomba is pretty cool. the only problem is that a lot of people expect it to be something that it's not. for example, if you run it once and compare it to a vacuum, it's awful. -- but it's not the same thing. It's kind of like saying that an airliner isn't nearly as good as a steamer ship because it doesn't have staterooms.

re; the digetion stuff.. he didn't really know what to make of it. he just seemed surprised. there are a few issues of diet and so forth, but it was mostly things that I was already doing sort of naturally. basically, really fast digestion... and yes, I was born this way...

my dad did basically the same thing I do, only earlier in history, and better/more successfully. He died of his third heart attack at 56 years. He had his first bypass surgery when he was my age.

-- funny story: he actually died in a car wreck, but he'd been having severe chest pains for a few days, and hadn't seen a doctor about it, so... but anyway, he had a really cool wreck.. went off the highway at about 120mph, up over an embankment, flew about 100 feet up, and 500 feet forward, and landed flat upside down on top of a parked car. both cars were about 2 feet tall, and just flat. It was kind of cool, and if you had to pick a way to die, really, that's a pretty good one. He was lucky in a lot of ways...

--totally random aside (other than it involves people like my dad) ... have you seen mad men? it's great. I bought the dvds.

On Oct 10, 2008, at :45 PM, xxxxxxx wrote:

Any idea why he was going 120 mph? You're right, he was lucky, I guess. I'm glad that you're taking care of yourself. Heredity is a funny thing. Sometimes it means everything, sometimes not so much.

Nope, haven't seen madmen, only heard good things about it. We stuck on Survivor, The Office, My Name Is Earl and ER (last season). And Desperate Housewives (probably last season, too).

BTW, yesterday I Googled your address and if you look at the Street View, you can see your little orange car. If you Google our house, there's some random woman standing in front, getting her mail. Anyway, thought you'd get a kick out of seeing your car online ...

Subject: Re:
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 :07:28 -0500

I think that when the heart attack hit him, he must have just slumped over, pressing down the accelerator in the process.. my stepmom was following behind him at the time. they were going to church, and for some reason were going different places afterwords.

On Oct 10, 2008, at :40 PM, xxxxxxx wrote:

More proof that church is bad for you. Are you a church-goer these days? Curious to know what you do/don't believe in. I'm/we're not church-goers. Not at all. Neither are my folks.

I also remember you teaching me how to change the oil in my car in the parking lot of your Emory Rd. apt., and watching you do your own several times. Always took a really long time and a six-pack or two ...

dave wrote:

I avoid church at all costs. it puts me to sleep instantly.

I have a pretty well informed and well thought out belief system (as you might imagine), but the short version is: I pretty quickly demonstrated to myself that if there is a god or some higher what not, then it's obviously demonstrable that he (it) doesn't want us wasting time going to church or anything of the sort. There is a set of things that is very obvious that shows us what we're supposed to do, hunger-eating, tired-sleeping, bored-fun, cold-warmth etc... but church isn't really on that list. xxxxx tells me that this is very Camu-esque, but I've never read that, so I couldn't comment. -- I think that I saw a bumper sticker that kind of sums up the whole thing: If god hadn't wanted us to eat beef, why did he make cows so tasty and slow?

Further: it's obvious that there is a built in block that all people have that prevents us from comprehending things that are infinite , --try to think about what happened before the beginning of time, or what was it that the big bang took place in), almost everyone gets faint, or an anxious uncomfortableness in this situation. -- and that peculiar block says that we're not supposed to be able to comprehend it, so why fight it. I figure that we should all just do our best to be good (in all the senses of the word) people, and hope for the best.

as an aside, and something that I came across quite by accident, but that turns out to be a key motivator behind some of the protestant religions (can't remember which exactly) but this particular bit of the bible was edited out of the catholic version, and some others. -- no lie, I found this by flipping open a bible in a hotel room while saying: "I bet everybody tries to start reading this at the beginning, and in the middle here is stuff that's more interesting" -- anyway, the chapter was paul's letters to the galatians, or just 'galatians' -- and the very first verse in there is easily summarized thusly: if any person or entity claims to be representing god, they are a false god and you should ignore them. trust yourself to see what god is, god has provided all the evidence you need in the world around you, and you should follow that true path, not letting the false prophets distract you. -- that's pretty good evidence, and a really good argument against church goers who are trying to convert you.

Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 :43:40 -0500
dave wrote:

This is the bit I was referring to:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from birth[a] and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was

xxxxx wrote:

I see. I suppose that since this was written only a half century after Jesus supposedly died, that it is referring to all other Christian denominations that came after and that its implications are thus less distorted than any that followed. One of my issues with the Bible (NT and OT) is that they were written by men, usually tens or hundreds of years after the fact, and you know what happens to memory when you try to write down what happened even last week. I tend to look at the Bible more as an elaborated account of history than a moral guide. And I just don't buy that you need God or Jesus or Buddha or whoever to tell you how to treat people decently and live a good life. The God of the OT is all fire and brimstone and in the NT all lovey-dovey. Just doesn't jibe. I'm agnostic but have been leaning more to the atheistic side as I age. But I just can't quite claim atheism, since I just don't know for sure. Do you believe in some sort of God, or higher being? And have you seen Religulous yet? Pretty good, if a little sensationalistic ...

dave wrote:

I don't really see movies. -- too impatient.

... I think you have assessed the problem with the bible that I'm trying to point out... i.e. it is not divine, and doesn't even claim to be. so much so that there are writings in it that explain that it isn't. therefore: any religion based on it is intrinsically flawed. It is demonstrably useless.

I spend a lot of time on analysis of life and cognition and purpose and morals... really just a side effect of what I do in life. ... but two things: I suspect that there is some reason or purpose... but: as I said before; we're obviously expressly wired to not be able to figure it out. whether this is because it's just impossible, or whether we were 'designed' this way is irrelevant. the point is that in either case it's a waste of time to bother with 'god'. demonstrably/ provably, there either isn't a god, or there is a god and he doesn't want us thinking about god.

I think though that you do need some sort of guiding purpose, you need to have a framework, and I see that a lot of people can't be bothered to put enough time into this. So I understand why there are religions. and the fact is that almost all of them have a common set of values between them, and those tend to agree with common sense too. so i's ok that there are religions, I just think that more people need to actually follow theirs, rather than trying to make other people follow theirs.

dave wrote:
> Subject: before and after..
> Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 :32:51 -0500

> I can't remember who I was talking to about this, so I'm sending it to
> a blind list of everybody... anyway: here's the roomba.. -- go ahead
> and delete it if you aren't curious. there is a picture of some kitty
> litter on the floor below...

> this pair of photos illustrates a good example of why it's better/
> different than a regular vacuum. of course it does more mundane
> vacuuming things too, but in a picture, I think this shows why it's
> good-er.

> to look if you don't want to.. it's not terrible, just kitty litter,
> on the floor, but I'm trying to be sensitive..>

> that blue stuff is used crystal kitty litter... really awful smelling
> stuff that the cats kick out of the box (already absent, usually in
> that corner)

> -- imagine trying to get in there to clean it up.. under the tub etc..

> -- now imagine that times 3 litter boxes..

> --every day..

> -- plus all the shed fur, and shredded toy mouse carcasses cleverly
> hidden under the couch, plus all the normal stuff that you vacuum for..

> and it's all taken care of every day.

> the floors are always clean. as if we had a live-in maid.

> and more... -- totally worth it.


real information

--- On Mon, 9/29/08, dave wrote:
From: dave
Subject: pendulum
Date: Monday, September 29, 2008, 10:47 AM

physics questions:

how does a pendulum, or a gyroscope behave differently if it was at a
pole vs the equator?

when you try to turn a gyroscope, it tends to react by moving in an
angle that's like 90 degrees off the direction of push.. why is this?
is it dependent on the rotational speed or something? could you spin
a gyro at a speed where the push would
be at different angles? (i.e.
is it adjustable)

I'm trying to wrap my head around what it is that a gyro is stable
relative to.

I've seen those giant pendulum(s) in museums, and it makes sense to me
that it would work pretty obviously at a pole, but not so much how it
would work at the equator. also, do those pendulum(s) have to be
offset/adjusted on a solar orbit basis? (i.e. does the time of year
'tweak' the progression of the pendulum, so that you could actually
have a calendar pendulum?)

absolutely no reason for this, I'm just sitting at work in a meeting
pondering these kinds of things. -- trying to develop a space warp
drive in my head. I think I'm getting close...

A gyroscope would behave the same - mostly - there's a different coriolis and centrifugal force due to the earth's rotation but it's minimal (if you stand on the equator it feels the same as standing on the pole except it's warmer). With the pendulum if it's swing axis is constrained like in a clock then again it's almost exactly the same, but with the free swinging Foucault pendulum (like in science museums) it is different. I find it hard to visualize but if you get an orange and imagine swinging a pendulum over the pole and over the equator you sort of get the idea. The 'plane' the pendulum swings in is fixed (more on this later) while the orange rotates underneath it.


What is this plane of swing remaining fixed relative to (lovely sentence). The old answer is 'the fixed stars.' In other words the 'long distance' distribution of matter. You're talking about the origin of inertia. It's how I got into cosmology. Mach's Principle.

As to variations over the year, yeah I think you could due to the tilt of the Earth's rotation axis relative to it's plane of motion.

Why do gyroscopes kick a funny way when pushed? It's all to do with conservation of angular momentum. If you've got an object moving north and you hit it from the west it'll veer east. This is cos it's 'linear momentum axis' and you give it some 'easterly' momentum so it goes off in that direction to conserve linear momentum (the thing that hit it will lose easterly linear momentum). That's sort of intuitive. The funny thing about angular momentum is that the angular momentum axis points at 90 degrees to the plane of spin. So if you have a CD that's spinning in its usual horizontal configuration its ang mtm axis is pointing straight up or down depending on which direction it is spinning. So when you hit a gyroscope you're basically giving it angular momentum (at least if you hit it in a line that isn't coincident with the ang mtm axis) and it moves in a 'funny' direction to conserve ang mtm.

Does that help?


On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 13:33:44 -0600, xxxxxx wrote:
I thought you were going with bilstein?

On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 21:49:20 -0600, dave dehetre wrote:
that was for carla's car, and we did. I don't thing there are really
any good bilsteins for the miata untill you get into the really
expensivive (1500 dollars a set) coilover setups, and those aren't
really necessary for the miata because it already uses a coil over
spring set up.

koni's for the miata are better than kyb, but twice as much and
require drilling out the shock towers so that you can't ever use any
thing other than konis. also, you have to take the konis out to
adjust them. If I like the adjustables, eventually I'll probably
upgrade to the tein shocks. those are what go on the japanese
mazdasport cars. they're green.

On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 07:57:49 -0600, xxxxxxx wrote:
tien? cool name! Japanese or German?

The first critique:

On Nov 14, 2008, at 1:51 PM, XXXXXXXXX wrote:

Well, that's cool. Habitat for Humanity ... I've never done that. Sounds great. Try to run your stuff through spell-check before posting (esp. the title of each blog). Just my two cents.

nope. I don't care about presentation.

this was requested and is being provided as a raw dump of the stuff I email.

my intention is to provide an insight into what is involved. Most people said that they wanted to see such things and that they were interested. however, I still don't believe them. -- and I certainly am not going to spend time editing and sprucing up 2 year old emails.

If somebody wants to publish it and pay me, I'll take the time.

But this isn't meant to be a written thing, it's just a glimpse into the raw material.

(and, well, that's sort of funny too, given the name for the blog.. don't you think?)

Here's somthing

This is from last year, but it's the kind of thing I've been asked to put up here..


Hey all: here’s a write up of my first day working on a Habitat site. (Just in case you’re afraid of the unknown, here’s what it was like, and maybe you can come next week… or maybe you were there, and were wondering where I was all day.)

I showed up at about five to nine and spent the first half hour trying to figure out what to do. We were tasked with drywalling, but Allen Press had so many people there that we were getting in each other’s way. Once I figured out that we had enough drywallers, I ventured next door and started working with some other volunteers from Trinity Episcopal Church. We were doing ‘miscellaneous’ finishing touches and random things that didn’t really have a category. Keith Yehle and I put siding on the underneath of a bay window, and then did the front porch support post (both of which involved a lot of detail carpentry that neither of us were any good at; but we managed eventually).

That kept us busy until lunch, which was very nice, and was thankfully heavy on the water and fruits. (If you come next week, make sure you bring water and sunscreen). During lunch, I met a man named Kareem, who is putting in volunteer hours preparatory to applying for a Habitat home of his own. (Apparently you have to volunteer for 50 hours before you can file an application) This was Kareem’s first day too. While we were eating, I found out that Kareem moved to Lawrence in the early 90’s from Darfur to study mathematics at KU, and he’s been here ever since. In the past seventeen years, he’s gotten his MS in Math and grown a family of six, putting down substantial roots. For the past five years he’s been working third shift at K-mart distribution, and living/working at a CLO home (and he’s learning computer programming in his spare time!). He’s hoping that getting a Habitat home will allow him to develop a more normal work schedule and spend more time with his children (aged 7 to 17).

After lunch, Kareem and I volunteered to take over roofing duties for some of the folks who had spent the whole morning in the direct sun (they looked pretty weary and not at all like they should also spend the afternoon roofing). Roofing was interesting to do, and satisfying in a methodical way (like knitting). You really can’t drink enough water in this situation – it really involves putting in six tiles then drinking a bottle of water over and over. – It’s also a bit challenging because of the density of volunteers; you really have to pay attention to avoid stepping on each other.

I was assigned to work in a line with Jen and Jo. As it turns out, this house belongs to Jen; and Jo was the family partner (which is apparently a liaison type position between Habitat and the homeowner). Jen made a point of telling us to just throw the wrapping and the scraps overboard because she needed to put in volunteer hours on Sunday, so she would be cleaning everything. Jen works as an instructor at Pinnacle Career Institute teaching medical office administration (which is what my sister does, so we had something to talk about) and she knew the punch line to my favorite joke: “What’s the difference between god and a doctor?”…

Roofing made the time fly, and by the time we finished, everyone else was already cleaning up, so I didn’t have to do too much of that (it’s surprising how little mess we made, all things considered).

Here’s the things I learned on my first day:
  1. Even though they say they have tools, you should bring your own gloves, sunscreen, eye protection, and a utility knife (and aspirin!).
  2. It’s really not that much work for a day. I suspect they plan it this way to keep from burning out the volunteers, and I guess they know what they’re doing. The schedule was long enough to get some sun and get something done, but not so long that I dread going back next week.
  3. They can pretty much always use volunteers on Saturday, and I think they’d be happy to have able-bodied souls show up even if they don’t come in a big group. So, even though AP committed for these two weekends, if you couldn’t make it, go some other weekend.
  4. It seems like someone is always walking around taking pictures. –I asked Jen about this and she said that it was usually either the newspaper, or, there is a lady at Habitat that makes a scrapbook of each build to present to the homeowner when they move in.
  5. Trust me, you really can’t drink enough water.
  6. There are about half a dozen ‘regulars’ or supervisors – I don’t know what they’re really called, but they are very patient and helpful and fun. They keep things going in the right direction on-site without being stern or strict.
  7. Put your name tag on your hat, otherwise it’s likely to sweat off.
  8. I don’t know if this applies to volunteers, but they also work Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Here's my blog.

enjoy the brevity while it lasts..