Monday, December 31, 2007

The Bridge: Photography in the Forest




Just about an hour or so ago I hiked out to a roadway bridge near my home and took some pictures. Not all of the exposures were very good, but it was fun to indulge my interests in arcane and industrial subjects.

Plus I got to take my dog. I was going to take some pictures of the sewage lift too, but it was pretty close to the road, and I didn't want her to run out to the road and get hit.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas

All three readers of my blog probably want to know what I got for Christmas.

- Nikon D40x
- AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm lens
- AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm lens
- Music Stand
- Robot
- Candy
- Money
- Tickets to see Trout Fishing in America
- Secondhand iPod mini, pink
- a night vision scope
- Severe battery shortage

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Copyfight

I just got a haircut. It makes me look like a redheaded Cory Doctorow. Really, I do.

We're sort of alike. I hate copyright laws too. They're only used by managers to embezzle legally from artists. For example, what band from 20 years ago still makes money off of their royalties? None of them, it's some fat chump in a wingback chair who gets all the cash. Authors may need publishers to reach a profitable audience, but they have to give away a huge portion of if not all of their creative control to the publishing house. Cartoonists are chained to marketing, just ask Bill Watterson. At least visual - arts people are smart enough to have avoided syndication.


Publish your work under creative commons or no-rights licensing today and help preserve the American way.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas

I just learned a new alphabet. It's the Elder Futhark runic script, and was used by Germanic tribesmen for several centuries.

It'll come in handy someday.

If anybody wants to get me a present for Christmas or my birthday (doesn't really matter which), I'd like an English translation of the Koran. I came across a copy of one today, and the binding was beautiful. The script was too, but I can't read Arabic, so, I'd like an English version.

It'd just be neat to have, eh? I'm sure it makes good reading, full of pearls of wisdom.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

ETA: Incalculable

Due to spam from an idiot, this post has been removed. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blogging is hard work.

Blogging is hard work. I feel like I have this obligation to perform well.

I never considered myself a good writer. It's not a self esteem issue so much as an issue with the fact that I don't write poetry like the people classically thought of as good writers.

I write technical manuals. I write emails. I write profound speeches intended to rile up the masses to my cynical cause.

I never wrote for beauty. I never wrote to express any sort of emotion. I never wrote to do anything except communicate simple ideas and bits of data to people.

I'm a programmer at heart, so I appreciate the way code can become it's own kind of poetry. The statements made by a programmer can be woven into a simple pattern that has an infinite intrinsic power.

That's what poetry is. It's an attempt to form the natural languages of man in such a way that the words become more than words. They become symbols for something greater, something that exists somewhere in the hearts of all men and can never be totally extinguished from the human race.

We just need to keep talking. We need to realize the power that we wield, the power that no other form of life has ever had. The power to progress, but also the power to destroy. The power to influence something so mighty yet so fickle as mankind.

Humans seem to forget exactly what kind of gift they have been given. None of what we have could ever have existed before language was handed to men by some sort of Promethic messenger from heaven. None of what ever has been could ever have existed. Concepts themselves did not exist in the time before language. Only a barren world where the unwritten laws of Newtonian physics existed before that time.

Language is dynamic. It's like a four-way stop. The patterns of usage change constantly. For example, "thee" and "thou" used to be the singular forms of "you." But after 1066, French customs of using plural to indicate respect had influenced the English in such a way that those forms fell almost entirely out of use.

The same thing happens every day throughout the world. People with no understanding of their power effect our language in quite a negative way. Every day a new foul phrase is thought up, a new improper construction invented.

And they think it's cool to be misunderstood. I thought kids who were misunderstood were supposed to slit their wrists and listen to My Chemical Romance.

Oh wait, they do.

I respect my language, and I especially respect the French and Germans. The French
have a council that decides whether or not to allow new words to be used, and even gender of nouns is tightly controlled. The Germans for a century or more argued over whether Fraktur or Antiqua was more German and how those typefaces reflected the German history. (Personally, I favor Fraktur. I find it easier to read German in Fraktur than in Antiqua.)

I want to contribute.

In the words of David Waters, "all we have to do is... keep talking."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1984

I regret having read 1984.

That's that. The first half of the book was wanton sex, and the second half was wanton violence.

I don't really like either. For example, the sex scene in Walking Tall pretty much ruined the movie. It was not central to the story and was, well, actually rather embarrassing.

I also hate the idea of "meaning" in fiction. I had to read three books over the summer: Jane Eyre, Fahrenheit 451, and The Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie was just plain ol' dumb. That's why I didn't like it. Unexpectedly, I liked Jane Eyre, even though I did sort of set fire to my copy of the book.

But Fahrenheit 451, which was a favorite of mine when I was little, was the worst. It's like I have to find a secret analogy to unions and the author's life story encrypted into the text. Teachers never seem to understand that maybe books are written just because people like books.

Maybe they do. But the fact is, they continue to lead us into the torment of reading good books and then ruining them with dull analysis of obvious facts.

No wonder I'm considered some sort of threat to society. I'm always the first to voice the thought of Why in the h*** do we have to do this it's so obvious Ray Bradbury just thought constant TV watching was bad for us that thunders through each student's brain.

Then I'm labeled as a "disruption" or a "troublecauser" and sentenced to the horrible fate of psychological analysis.

I remember the time I was accused of planning to bomb the Holocaust Museum in Washington. A substitute teacher had seen the new firing mechanisms for guns that I had doodled idly on a paper during a boring video about The Bear Flag Revolt or something obscure like that. A regular teacher (who much to my joy has since been relieved of her duties) misunderstood my negative review of A Diary of Anne Frank as an NSDAP rant.

Really, I just thought the book was dumb. I've got no problem with Jews. I've had lots of Jewish friends.

Anyhow, I was sent to the guidance office under false pretenses. I had to explain to (poor) Mrs. Guidance Counselor (I really do feel sorry for her, she had to listen to me in a moment which I concede was not my best) why I love guns and why I disliked the diary.

Xeroxes of the essay and the guns, along with samples of my Cyrillic handwriting, were circulated among the school system - including elementary schools - to warn of my "dangerous" behavior.

I was discriminated against by those who fear dissent. I am proud. No, the picture you have gathered of me is wrong. I do not wear all black, I do not go to malls with AK47s, I do not do graffiti (anymore), and I am not socially inept. I do not need to kill because I have no enemies who could pose any threat to my existence at this time.

I am a normal kid with poorly defined political views. A lack of understanding between myself and the establishment caused me to suffer for my views. I was proud to be a martyr for a cause I believe to be correct: the use of free speech for the purpose it was provided. That purpose is to through public means engage in discourse in order to expose the illogical fallacies of those who are wrong and to find and disseminate truth.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Technological warfare quote

One of my favorite quotes is a quote by Bruce Simpson.

"In the 21st century, technology plays no favorites -- technology is the slave of anyone who chooses to master it."


He wrote this in an article discussing the feasibility of terrorists building and launching a pulsejet-based ballistic missile. Of course, it's totally possible to build one, I mean, I know how to build a FREAKING NUCLEAR WEAPON right off the top of my head, so it's inconceivable that there isn't someone out there with my talents who's completely turned to the dark side.

But is it really worth it? No. Explosives really aren't the most efficient way of killing many people. Toxic gas is. Or biotoxic agents, it really depends on the desired effect.

But either way, no matter how much we try, the only way to beat our enemies is to be more cunning and subtly dangerous than they are.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cookies

I made cookies today. I haven't eaten one yet (I'm saving them for breakfast), but they're probably good.

I'm a good cook. I enjoy cooking. People are always surprised to find that out. They think cooking's for gay guys or something (I'm not gay). I'll have them know that cooking is science! The way brownie mix works is similar to the way paint works. The mix is like the pigment. The eggs are binders, which glue the whole thing together, and the oil and water reconstitute the chocolate.

Now I just have to convince people that it's OK that I like Jane Eyre.


I have the cards stacked against me in so many ways.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

UN

Well, the UN lady is sure helping me in ways I never imagined.

I asked the UN for documents to help me with my research paper. I didn't think they'd reply, considering how they're nothing more than a giant bureaucracy.

I asked for some classified documents about the 1967 Six Day War.

The lady, who I will not name, did not give me the classified documents but instead sent me all the unclassified ones, including a few about the Suez Crisis, and has been working her tail off all day (and probably tomorrow) scanning documents and emailing them to me.

She also sent me a list of all the documents she felt relevant to my quest and a form to actually visit the archives.

Nice lady, really.

This has really changed my idea of the UN.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sick, and sick of it.

I've felt bad all week. It feels like apprehension. You know, the boiling feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're up in your room playing your guitar and your mom calls you and you realize that she just opened your report card and saw that you're failing a class.

I dunno really why it's happening, but it's no fun. I hope it goes away soon. If it doesn't, I might just crack again like the time I had sleep deprivation. That wasn't fun for anyone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Almost there.

I'm finally to page 250 or so in Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It's an excellent book, and I recommend it to all.

The literacy in the metropolis of my county (Sacrifices to Zeus for the fact that I don't actually live in said ambiguous major metropolitan area) is horrible. Approximately one third of all adults in the city are functionally illiterate. That means that they can spell their name and they can fill out the forms for welfare properly, but they can't read a newspaper or in many cases even a children's book.

Now don't get me wrong about what I'm going to say in a moment. I love America, and I would be the first person to kill or be killed for the sake of George Washington. I would bleed my last drop of blood to keep the stripes on that high-flying flag red, and I love the freedoms God so wisely gave me that this land has not stolen like so many others.

You think other countries are free? Think again. England doesn't allow it's citizens to carry (or in many cases even own) firearms. Germany keeps tabs on all of the hackers. China keeps a tight grip on any form of religion (or free assembly, for that matter), while all Communist countries steal money from those who under the principles of Marxism deserve it most, the proletariat.

No, America is the freest nation on the Earth by God's grace.

But I sometimes feel that it may be the most ignorant.

Walking down the street to the arena to see a world-famous choir perform, my family was accosted by several youths who were selling candy. They asked if we had tickets to the basketball game. Of course not, there was no basketball game. They might have known that if they could read.

Exiting the skool one day, I ran into some people. Some of them were old buddies, some were current friends, and a few I did not know. Upon seeing my copy of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, they were curious as to why I was reading it. No problem, I don't mind explaining, but these were what are considered well read kids. And I mean well read, there were a few geniuses in the group. (Yeah, I really look up to the person I'm hyperlinking, OK?) They should have been able to recognize it.

I watch a little television (mostly anime that I Tivo) and I read the newspaper every day. I see examples of the stupidest kind of people, and I mean Deal-or-No-Deal-spastic-contestant stupid.

The thing is that these people are quoted like they know something. It would be fine and dandy for The Onion to quote these people that way, but a serious newspaper never should. In fact, our local newspaper would contain more newsworthy content if it was run by The Onion.

At least it hasn't infected The Wall Street Journal yet.

Here's the plan, OK? I'm going to plant Blotto Boxes all over America. When they go off, the phone networks will shut down. Internet access and any kind of phone service (yes, that includes cell phones - they require land lines to work, moron!) will stop.

Then I'm going to buy 150 shares in the Chinese Communist Party (they had their IPO in September) and get myself a post in charge of cell phone manufacture. I'll redesign cell phones so that they really do give people brain cancer! It's not as if they don't make people retarded already.

Then I'll make myself a Brigadier General in their army. Yeah, party members can do that. I'll invade San Francisco using microtanks offloaded from shipping containers. When all the degenerates in America come to defend their moronic Mecca, they'll get slaughtered because they don't realize that the Chinese don't follow the Geneva Conventions against shooting meaty bullet absorbers.

Too bad it can't work. Blotto Boxes don't work (well, nobody knows, it's too dangerous to set one off) and I'd rather fling myself into a meat grinder than join a Communist Party, even one as inept as the Chinese one.

Oh well...
Only 700 pages to go.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ninja's blog

Ninja made a blog. He mentioned me (indirectly, of course) so I'm all like WOOHOO.

It's pretty good. I recommend it. One thing I don't really get though is why he made his business Accounting on the profile. Oh, yes I do. He's the gas station accountant.

Oh, and to all waiting for the comic blog, it's still in the works. I just gotta get my lazy butt outta bed and scan that comic I drew. Lousy comic, but it's still a comic.

Ninja's Blog

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Something from the Koran:

" if any one saved a life

it would be as if

he saved the life of the whole people,Quran 5-32 "

I found that in the .nfo file of some software I was downloading. Interesting.