Friday, August 30, 2013

Dark Side on the Web

Well, we all missed it around here.  Probably wasn't on the BBC's World Service West Africa Ascension Island transmitter, and the ionosphere has been lousy lately anyway.

Luckily, it's archived on the web.  Enjoy!

Afterword, Monday 9/2: The program (programme?) is only available on the web until 11:02 GMT today.  Give a yell if you have to have an .mp3 of it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Price of Madness

So last Friday I had the opportunity to drive a friend's new/used '08 Mustang GT (where GT = V8 + cool accessory package).  It's a very fine car, and we both agreed that his and my '12 V6 are about the same with slight differences everywhere.  The '05–'10 V8s, stock, are all in the 300 hp range.  By 2010, they'd crept up to 315, but that was about it.  The newer '11-'14 V6s are in the same power range, 305 hp stock, with a bit less torque.  But drive'em right, and they're about the same in performance (evidence), and they certainly felt the same zipping around last Friday.

OK, so what were the significant differences?  The '08 V8 just has that sound.  Glasspack a V6 all you want, and it can sound cool, but a V8 will sound cooler.  The V8 has a smidge more torque on take-off.  Nothing a driver can't work around, but the difference is there.  And then we get to milage.  I know, I know, but these cars are both daily commuters, and $hit $tacks up when the ga$ bill comes.  He's getting 21 mpg, while I'm getting 25-ish.  Well, maybe more like 23 when I drive like I mean it.  So, beginning Sunday and ending with Monday's commute home, I tried driving like a sane person and managed to eke out 26 mpg.  (29 mpg is easy to get on interstate trips, but that's a pony of a different color.)  By coincidence, my gas bill arrived in the mail yesterday too.  No road trips on this month's bill, just daily driving, perfect for a comparison.  So I did some math: what would be the monthly dollar difference if I continue to drive like a lunatic and suffer 23 mpg, or if I try to tone things down a bit and economize at 26 mpg?

Answer: $26.30 per month.

I think we know my response.
Rock on.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oh, the timing!

So the AC goes out over the weekend.  I sweat through a couple of nights, nothing too bad but a little sticky.  Get things repaired today, and what's the weather forecast for tonight?  Let's see:

Yep, 68 degrees.  Perfect windows-open early fall sleeping weather...

Can't complain.  A new AC blower motor was $500 but it was still under warrantee.  No, can't complain at all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trickery 101

From SMBC:

"What, now you kids want to watch TV?  Here, have a book on antenna design."

Monday, August 19, 2013

You see?

I told you that something exciting would be along any minute now.

Fortunately it looks like Erin is breaking up and 94L... well, the jury's still out on that one.  But it's already feeling like fall around here, and these cold fronts (well, vaguely cool-ish fronts) we're having tend to keep things from getting out of hand.

Update: 20 hours later things are looking a tad better:
Wrap it up, I'll take it!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Not Dead Yet

C'mon.  Flopping around for a week while popping antibiotics and waiting for a case of pneumonia to clear up isn't the kind of stuff I like to blog about, or that you like to read about.  Dull.  Ready to get back to work.

It's a new week, I'll have new stuff up soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Sung to you by Huey "Piano" Smith.

Folks it's no fun, but I ain't down for the count either.  Will be back with something interesting to say in a few days.  In the meantime, I'm popping the prescription meds, getting plenty of water & rest, and catching up on some light reading.  Oh, and finishing out the Outer Limits DVD box set.  Maybe I'll have something to say about that later today.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Geek IQ Test

Over at youtube.  Go on, try it, it doesn't take more than a  minute.  One warning though, each question is timed, so be ready to jump on it when you hit go.

And yes, to satisfy the curious:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

As Seen on Another Blog

Specifically, at the blog Arcane Radio Trivia we find:

  • A sense of perspective when we look at the rudimentary electrical equipment in the 1900 Sears catalogue.  This is the environment into which commercial radio was launched.
  • How not to listen to a radio broadcast.  Sure, it works, and it's even kind of cool, but it's really not recommended procedure.  Just go watch the video and you too will be amazed and appalled.  Bonus points to these guys for demonstrating an impromptu plasma speaker.
  • Joan-Eleanor, an early FM (sorta) high-VHF spy radio system used in WW2.  Think of it as a sort of proto-satcom system.  Amazing ingenuity.
OK, that's all I've got for the moment.  It's reblogging, but it is some cool stuff.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bright on the Water Today

Not a remarkable ride, but it was bright and very pretty.  Here's a shot from the top of the bridge:

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Think of Beauty...

is a joy forever:
And it can be yours for a mere $13k.  Details here.

If I only had a spare $13k and a garage to properly keep it, I'd be all over it.  And if pigs could fly and talk, they'd be pigeons speaking pidgin.  Damn but it is beautiful though.  I particularly like the year and the color scheme.