Archive | February, 2011

>Official BlogMeet Report

28 Feb

>The multitude (for just a couple of minutes, it looked like we might top out at three) gathered at the appointed place at the appointed hour, and it was goooood.

The Monon Food Company excelled at, how ’bout that, food. Gunblogger recommended!

Clockwise from front left: Don, The Jack, Joanna, Tam, Kerry, Mycroft, Old Grouch, Longhorn Jeff and the space left vacant by The Blogger Usually Known As Me. Note the Wheelbarrows’O’Cash atop the table, too! Jeff handed them out, possibly the reason he looks so happy.

Jeff brought something else along, too, which will be the subject of a future post at Retrotechnologist. (A new link in the top post there, to the Morse Telegraph Club, who put landline telegraphy on the Internet. Try’n top that; you’d need a steam-powered directly steam-operated computer.)

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>"Cartoons?"

28 Feb

>The next time someone gets sniffy about animation, show ’em this.

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Worked from life but I don’t think it’s rotoscoped; it appears his eye is just that good. Either way, it is art.

>BlogMeet Report

28 Feb

>Photos and details are upcoming here; nine bloggers and blogreaders in attendance, including Don Gwinn (who brought himself) and Jeff (who brought official gunblogger Wheelbarrows Full Of Cash). I got mine now, woo-hoo!

I learned I had missed Old Grouch’s fabulous poster for the event. For posterity, a copy is herewith appended, or at least until/unless he hands me a take-it-down notice.

Pretty classy, isn’t it? Splendid! I’d’ve posted sooner had I been alert enough.

Great fun, excellent food and fine conversation was had. (A couple of us had Sun King Cream Ale,* too, which I highly recommend. Mind you, I’m not a beer drinker, but I found it mild, even light without being watery; what big-name lagers claim to be and aren’t).

All, as they say, will be revealed in the next episode!
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* Sun King also has one of the best and most malleable names for a brewer. They’ve only started their way down the list of Earthly royalty and ancient deities for beer names and label art; withal, it is symptomatic of a degree of detail-oriented thoroughness that could well harken great things for this local company. Their Osirus Pale Ale (APA, rather than IPA) is especially well reviewed.

>My Book: Maybe 15% Off

27 Feb

>Sale’s over — but you can still buy the book, or download it for pocket change.

LuLu sent me a coupon for 15% off full price. Being the author, I get ’em for a bit over cost and it doesn’t apply then.

So if you’d like to buy my book from the publisher at a discount, click on the LuLu button in the right sidebar under I Work On A Starship: the book and type in SAVE305 at checkout. Offer ends Monday and it might be first-come first-served.

(If you buy from them and want the book autographed, that’ll cost you postage both ways; write for details).

>Hey, That’s Not A Deck Chair

27 Feb

>Or is it? (Some) Republicans are trying to stop the upcoming ban on normal incandescent lamps — and never you mind that the factories that made them are going out, one by one, all across the continent.

We may get ’em back just in time to have to buy all our conventional light bulbs from Red China, too.

>February BlogMeet

26 Feb

>It’s tomorrow, 3:oo pm, at the Monon Food Companty in Broad Ripple. Link to the map is right over there in the right-hand column at the top. See you there!

Okay, now I gotta go cook breakfast. Photos later, if it is good enough.

Update: Pretty good brekky, picture later, gotta go transport Mom from hospital to heart rehab center.

Update II: So, all this transportng of Mom is in her big, comfy car…which no one has bothered to renew the plates on (due the middle of February). I haven’t even seen it in weeks, sister has been driving it. Funny how suddenly, neither of my sibs was available. I’m such a sap.

>The Hidden Frontier?

26 Feb

>I am at a loss to explain it. It showed up in an old Raytheon (PBUT*) ad found here:[CLICK TO ENBIGGEN]The end item does not appear to fit. A closer look seems to show a “flying saucer” type vehicle communicating or trading shots through a cloud with a flame while an armored hand is reflecting or deflecting something at an angle; or maybe it created or is removing the cloud?

I suppose this could be a reference to the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saint (associated with lightning, artillerymen and others who work with explosives), but that seems pretty unlikely in this context; perhaps instead it is more likely to indicate a project named for the saint, some kind of OHAP/Joint Air (Force) – Navy Electronic Technical Team defense against the “glocke” starships of the Far Edge? Just one more little gap in the not-quite-perfect wall of secrecy about the Hidden Frontier! Tsk, Raytheon, somebody let the Art Department see more than they should!

Update: I am, of course, slightly kidding Raytheon (or did USSF-I and NSA make me claim to be kidding and if they had, would I admit it in order to add another layer of FUD?). Raytheon has a very long history with electronics experimenters and hams, from the first affordable rectifying tubes (the cold gas BH) through innovative multigrid tubes power, mercury-vapor amplifying tubes (!) and the very first affordable “hobby” transistor, the CK722. These days, Raytheon is largely (but not entirely) taken up with .mil and .gov work but at one time, they were building everything from radars to radar ranges to transmitters and mixing consoles for radio stations.

It’s a short Wikihop from Raytheon’s most famous transistor to Alfred P. Morgan, the man whose books introduced countless youngsters to electronics, chemistry, small engines, electricity and plenty more; about as soon as it became possible, he began including solid-state projects in his books and that meant CK722 transistors and 1N34A diodes. Not too shabby for a man whose first book — on building your own biplane glider! — was published in 1909.

(And if you drop down the early-semiconductor rabbit hole, you end up in interesting places, like the guy who built an audio amplifier in which the active devices are rectifier diodes!)
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* Every time you microwave popcorn or some other snack, remember Raytheon and Percy Spencer, without whom you would probably not have the device. …And you might living in a very different world in other ways, too, since he was the man responsible for putting radar tubes into mass production.