peristaltor: (Default)
I got a good shot of… hard to explain.


An eclipse at 92%
as viewed through cedar trees.


Essentially, a whole wall at work was filled with the same crescent image. It was cool.
peristaltor: (Default)

xkcd, of course.


But if the glacier is big, so too are the piggiebacking eratics.




It's been around, as this 1948
house
archive file shows.



And before the house (which is still there),
it was around then, too.


And I can walk to it easily in less than 10 minutes.
peristaltor: (Default)
There's a new bridge under construction here in town, a floater (just like the old one) that bobs atop Lake Washington between Seattle and the north part of the East Side (as opposed to the bobber that bobs betwixt Seattle and Mercer Island, farther south). I've been driving across the newest section since the day it opened to traffic. Compared to the old bridge (still being demolished right next to the new) it's a smooth ride.

With one exception, that is.

Since this is a floating bridge, and since the level of the lake varies from day to day (sometimes from hour to hour, in a heavy downpour), the bridge requires a flexible section bridge people call an expansion joint. You feel these joints when you cross bridges, generally; they're like an old cattle crossing gate, a series of bars perpendicular to the road's direction of travel. As the bridge flexes with the movement of the water below, the bars either get closer or farther from each other. Given the number of bars involved, this allows quite a bit of movement. Think about it: put twelve bars down and an inch difference between the bars is a foot of overall travel.

There is one grumble from the neighbors, though. Since they opened the East section, peeps living nearby have noted the noise. It has increased compared to the old bridge.

There were some significant changes, of course. The new bridge is taller, for one. And I believe the expansion joint is larger. Whatever the cause, be it placement of the noise maker or the overall size of same, the state bridge builder has been scrambling to find a solution.

So, Wednesday comes along, and my friend secures me a tour of the new section, still under construction. And I see this thing.


It's called a sinusoidal plate.


Sinusoidal, like the wave form. (The construction guys giving the tour, though, kept calling it a sinus plate, which my friend and I found pretty funny. Nose jokes galore.) Look carefully, and you can see the parallel straight bars below the waveform plates; those are the standard compression joint elements with the waveform pieces simply bolted atop.


Here's another pic, but not as crisp, due to [reasons].


The theory, and it's a good one, is simply that car tires hitting that plate will not hit the plate in the same perpendicular plane at once. Rather, the leading edge of the tire footprint will hit the nearest "point" and follow the curved sinusoidal shape. Different impact points means a smoothed impact sound, just like a muffler allows the escaping exhaust gases to not bang out the pipe, or a spiral cut gear doesn't clack when it rotates.

Sadly, given the size, the other compression joint on the east side (we were touring the west side, still getting built) cannot be easily adapted. Replacement would be required, and that would cost multi-millions.

Here's a thought: could you just buy out the neighbors? Pay for the houses they cannot easily live in?

Here's another thought that should put that cash outlay in perspective: the neighborhood affected by the rumble of passing freeway traffic has as one resident Bill Gates. He's about a mile from the rumblin' joint.

It'll be interesting to see what they can do.
peristaltor: (Default)
Just bought butane today. I haven't bought any in.... I thought about it, and realized it was 1983. I bought a case of largish refill bottles at a police auction for $6. That same day I bought a quarter changer for $4, a microscope-shaped tube that holds $33 worth of quarters. Squeeze the bar and it dishes out four quarters. It's in the other room as I type.

I still have one of the bottles, only the nozzle broke off years ago and I can't think of a safe way to get that stuff out.

So, yeah. New butane.
peristaltor: (Default)
My power company sends out these Home Electricity Reports every year or so, just to let folks know how they are doing in comparison to their neighbors (those within a one mile radius, at least). Wouldn't you know it? I finally mad the naughty list of those who suck waaay too much power through that wire. Ah, but did I drastically change into a incandescent holiday display weirdo, or start practicing with my Tesla coil-based garage band?

Not me.


No. What I did is below, in the letter I just sent them. Enjoy.

Dear Power People,

I just got your "Home Report" in the mail, and I have a quibble: it's nonsense.

Don't get me wrong; this is not nonsense I noticed before, either. But really, am I now, after years of moderate use according to your previous letter, suddenly an average over-user of energy compared to my neighbors in a 1 mile radius?

No, no I am not, when one factors in that I bought an electric car last year. But then I realized: you don't know that, do you? I mean, how would you?

And that got me thinking: you don't know that my wife and I also rely on an electric water heater and range/oven as well, and that our prime television is a smaller (relatively, anyway) LCD, not a wall-sized mongo plasma monster.

Which got me to thinking even more: what if you gave everyone a survey asking about what power suckers we have in the house, uh, before you accuse us of being "energy" spendthrifts?

Until you actually do that, please take us off what I am renaming your shaming list. You're preaching to the choir here, and we're having none of it.

Sincerely,

Perry Staltor

Oh, and I decided not to supply any other identifying information on my part because, hey, it doesn't matter to the overall Report: unless you have everyone's data, you may as well have no one's.
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
I Dreamwidthed it. Same name.

I'll still check in on occasion, since I haven't figured out how to get a lot of my feeds there yet.

But, yeah.
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
Hey, LJ,

Has anyone else out there noticed that email desktop clients seem to no longer work like they used to?

Specifically, in my old client (Eudora), the program would access email, delete the email from the email server, and move to the next message.

Now, I can't seem to find a client that will do that. Instead, they all have accessed email, copy it to desktop...and that's it.

I don't want that. Is anyone else informed on this issue? Can you explain what is going on?

TIA,

Perry Staltor
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
Today, the worst Chinese "restaurant" in Seattle finally reopened as a tavern.

A tavern with 60 beers on tap.

That's right, 60. Flat-screen tellies wrap the corner, each with a description of the beer available directly below the entry which includes IBU, %booze, price, etc.

A tavern giving away free growlers right now.

Oh, and you can get your beer to go in 32 oz. cans, canned on the spot.

Now, the excitement: )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
I haven't mentioned it recently, or at all, but a few months ago I spoke with a Bitcoin guy. He was my first, a tecky by trade who really believed in the Bit.

I asked him what the appeal was. For him, it was to take control of money in ways that separate it from people. Things proceeded to weird. )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
At work today, a co-worker shared a bit of her lunch, some Italian salami. Bad news, though; it was starting to turn. I didn't mind; I could tell it had a few more hours before the turning meat taste would be overpowering. (I've been told I have an Iron Gut. Never sick on bad food, ever.)

She, however, tasted that initial turn and spat it out. I ate a few more before she tossed the package. We headed out to get some grub elsewhere instead.

On the way, she was remarking on my ability to eat tainted meat. Just before taking a sip of soda, she said, "You're probably going to get trichinosis."

"Oh, no," I said without missing a beat, "trichinosis tastes totally different."

That soda got spat on the beauty bark, but almost. . . .
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)


Happily, this was not the only tee available. I did not purchase it. I only purchase shirts I will wear.

Sadly, this is the only pic of The Bern my crap phone would take, despite my superior seating position, directly in line of the speaker, and above the cameras:



Here you see a podium positioned on home plate. Bern has just completed an opening line about dreaming to be in this position, and now he is, but he doesn't have a bat.

It was fun. Caucus tomorrow morning.
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
While finishing up the latest long post, I answered the phone. Yet another telemarketer. Ah, but when I asked why she was calling, she said she was from Pro Life, an organization that helps protect the lives of unborn children [et cetera, et cetera]....

I put that in brackets because I started laughing really, really hard. I finally got a word in edge-wise, saying "Oh, boy, have YOU called the wrong house!"
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
Hey, LJers! Long time, no see words from me. I'm not dead yet, just busy. I've got a few moments, though, to insert into the journal that is mine some details for readers such as yourselves. Details, Ho! )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
A pedestrian has been hit by a bus. And killed.

Five years ago, there was a similar accident in Portland, Oregon, though that one was far more deadly. That crash served as a wake-up call to transit operations everywhere. As a direct result of that crash, for example, we drivers in King County had a mandatory "pedestrian awareness" training class concerning the most likely causes of crashes and how to avoid them. I remember that class very well. The instructor told us that we should always be tired after work. Why? If we aren't tired, we weren't paying enough attention.

There is logic in that. There is also a problem. )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
Ridden the bus lately in King County? Or, rather, tried to ride it? Things are a bit sticky of late. Why? Well, let's run down the laundry list. First, what you know. )

What you should know. )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
I thought this one worthy of kudos:

Censor
Ship
Sucks


Looks like it was homemade by the wearer, a young lady off to school. Very complex play on memes, that one!
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
Which rumors, you ask? Why, those would be about the recent bad press Amazon has been getting.

You know about Amazon, don't you? It's that place online that is sucking the profit from every corner of our economy. Everyone complains out loud about Wal*Mart sucking profit; but that's because it pays and treats its employees so poorly. Amazon treats its employees as bad or worse, but at least they don't work for Bentonville. )
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
The former Finance Minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis does not mince words. In the first interview given since he resigned, this tradition continued.

A short-term deal could, Varoufakis said, have been struck soon after Syriza came to power in late January. “Three or four reforms” could have been agreed, and restrictions on liquidity eased by the ECB in return.

Instead, “The other side insisted on a ‘comprehensive agreement’, which meant they wanted to talk about everything. My interpretation is that when you want to talk about everything, you don’t want to talk about anything.” But a comprehensive agreement was impossible. “There were absolutely no [new] positions put forward on anything by them.”


Things get interesting in the next few paragraphs:

Varoufakis said that Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister and the architect of the deals Greece signed in 2010 and 2012, was “consistent throughout”. “His view was ‘I’m not discussing the programme – this was accepted by the previous [Greek] government and we can’t possibly allow an election to change anything.

“So at that point I said ‘Well perhaps we should simply not hold elections anymore for indebted countries’, and there was no answer.

(Embolden I must!)


I just got back from a camping visit/fireside drinky fest with friends and friends of friends. Myself and one such friend of friend, a finance professional and very nice guy, got to talking over beer and bourbon over things financial. If this guy is any indication, finance in general has been taken over by folks who wish to eliminate local control over currencies and, if necessary, maybe make this possible by moving to a post-state world.

BTW, "Post State" means you don't get to vote. Technocrats take care of you.

I voiced my complete and utter disagreement, of course. Still, after that illuminating conversation, I have to say I cannot be too surprised at what Varoufakis encountered. Continuing with his interview:

It is well known that Varoufakis was taken off Greece’s negotiating team shortly after Syriza took office; he was still in charge of the country’s finances but no longer in the room. It’s long been unclear why. In April, he said vaguely that it was because “I try and talk economics in the Eurogroup” – the club of 19 finance ministers whose countries use the Euro – “which nobody does.” I asked him what happened when he did.

“It’s not that it didn’t go down well – there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on, to make sure it’s logically coherent, and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply.”

(Bold words, I hope you agree!)


Exactly. The economics has been agreed upon for those at the top; alternate economic positions—even ones backed by empirical evidence—need not apply. The Technocrats rally 'round their own, and ignore the rest.

Expect shit to get interesting. Everywhere. Well, everywhere finance professionals continue to be Wrong and In Charge.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] solarbird for the link and interest in following this shit once again!
peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
The Wife™ is having a bit of trouble with someone. Essentially, this asshat is acting like because she is a woman, he doesn't have to respond in a timely manner to shit he and he alone is authorized to approve.

In the spirit of mocking him, I asked her, "Given my obvious superiority as a man, I hereby ask that you refer to me by the honorific 'Your Guyness.'"

She laughed.

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